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Pei Yi ([personal profile] lacewood) wrote in [community profile] toxicskyremix2006-01-27 09:59 am
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bleach - the only adventure: two

Part Two: Say Hello (Punch in Face Mix)



Ichigo wouldn't have admitted it to anyone if they'd tried to wring it out of him, but - okay, maybe Seireitei Academy looked a little impressive. At first glance. A /little/. It was all that Gothic architeture, gargoyles and all, hanging over you in spiky, time-blackened stone. It probably would've been more impressive if the place hadn't been overrun with screaming, howling students, thundering up and down the corridors and twisting, narrow stairs. By the time he'd found his way and stopped wandering in circles, two-ton trunk in tow, the place was looking decidedly less glamourous, if only because dragging baggage up twenty flights of ridiculously steep stairs would have disillusioned /anyone/.

At least he'd finally found the right room. He glared at the dull gold numerals that had been screwed into the door (sure, put him on the top floor of the tallest tower in the school, why not? Now all he needed was a witch with a turnip garden and he could pitch his trunk out the window on Prince Charming). Another bad thing about Gothic architecture: the room numbering system made no sense comprehensible to the human mind. He heaved his trunk up the last step with a crash and tried to open the door. It wouldn't budge. He frowned, then pounded on it. "Hey!"

A muffled sound of scuffling came from behind the door, which swung open to reveal a small, nervous-looking boy.

"Oh! Hello! You must be, um..."

"Kurosaki Ichigo." A paper had been taped on the back of the door with three names written on it. Ichigo tried to read it. "And you're..."

The boy bowed. "I'm Yamada Hanatarou. It's nice to meet you, Kurosaki."

"Yeah, same to you. Who's the third guy?"

"Um, I don't know, he hasn't come yet."

"Huh, and I thought /I/ got lost."

He dragged his trunk into the room and abandoned it just inside the door. This high up, the room was smaller than some of the rooms he'd seen - probably explained why there were only three of them in here. The ceiling sloped down to almost meet the floor on either side of the door; three beds with tall, narrow wardrobes beside them lined the left wall of the room. The right was lined in three desks with shelves above them, the wall opposite the door taken up by a large round window. Smaller windows are scattered high in the sloping roof.

A trunk was sitting at the foot of the bed nearest the door, a blue coat hanging on the wardrobe beside it. Ichigo raised his eyebrows. He'd have thought whoever came first would've grabbed the window.

"This your bed?" he asked, gesturing. The boy nodded. "You didn't take the window?"

"Oh, er, I didn't know if someone else would want the window bed, so I thought I'd wait till everyone had come..."

Ichigo snorted. "You're going to get eaten alive in this crazy place if you're this nice all the time," he told Hanatarou, then dragged his trunk over to the window bed. He stuck his head out to admire the view. The tower was at the very end of the western wing that were the boy's dorms; far below was the green of what he assumed were the courts and practice grounds, beyond them, the darker green of forests. The sun was setting already, Ichigo realised, low and red in the sky; how long had he spent wandering the damn place?

"Nice view," he said, coming back in. "You sure you don't want this one?"

Hanatarou nodded. "It's really alright! I'm very comfortable here," he assured Ichigo.

Thumps from beyond the closed door made them look up. Voices, two of them. The door swung open with a bang.

"I can take my trunk myself!" a boy their age was protesting from the landing as an upper year, tall and black-haired, looked into the room and grinned at them.

"And who was the one that got lost trying to find his room? Kuukaku told me to take good care of you, c'mon. She'll kick my ass if I don't. Your roommates are here already," he said over his shoulder, and shoved a trunk into the room.

The other boy looked around the door. He was a little shorter than Ichigo, stockily built, with the same bushy black hair as the older boy. Ichigo raised an eyebrow. Hanatarou looked at the list on the door.

"Shiba Ganjuu?"" he hazarded.

"Yeah." He came into the room and jerked a thumb behind him at the older boy. "And that's my brother, Kaien. Which one's my bed?"

Ichigo pointed at the middle one. "Only one left."

The boy grimaced. "Knew it," he muttered. He turned to his brother. "I'm fine now, you can go back already!"

"Aw, what, embarrassed of Big Brother?" The older boy ruffled Ganjuu's hair and ducked a punch. "Dinner's in an hour in the main hall. Don't be late!" he called over his shoulder as he went back down the stairs.

Ichigo looked at his roommates, then flopped down on his bed. He rubbed at his stomach, where Rukia had elbowed him earlier during the first big assembly - hell, who had elbows that /sharp/? It'd been over an hour and he could still feel the bruise, she'd probably /permenantly damaged/ his kidneys. Note to self: Crazy bitches with lethal elbows, avoid like plague. This place was starting to make it look like there was a /reason/ why his father was so insane - getting out of this intact was clearly going to be even harder than he'd thought.

He heard Ganjuu drag his trunk over to the middle bed, asking Hanatarou about that prep school thing - deep in thought, he didn't pay attention until Ganjuu's face loomed into his line of vision and made him jump.

"Oi, I said, which prep were you from?" he said.

"Didn't go to prep," Ichigo said, sitting up, hard. "Wouldn't even /be here/ if it weren't for my dad."

Hanatarou looked surprised. Ganjuu looked like he expected Ichigo to sprout antlers and breathe fire next. "/What/?"

"You..." The other boy's eyes narrowed and Ichigo suddenly found his face three inches away from his own. He prodded Ichigo in the cheek. "You know, you look kind of like -"

Ichigo punched him.

"Fuck! What was that for, asshole!"

"What the hell do you think! You started poking me first!"

"I was only gonna say you looked like my brother, you didn't have to hit me!"

"Ah... er, please don't fight, oh shit what'll I do -"

"Yeah well, d'you always poke people you think look like your brother? And I don't look anything like him!"

"What, you got a problem with looking like him? You only wished you were that cool!"

"Maybe /you/ wished you were that cool. I don't give a shit!"

"Ohshitohshitohshit - Don't!"

Hanatarou, in between flailing in a vain attempt at stopping them, and looking scared out of his wits, somehow managed to trip over someone's trunk and crash into Ganjuu, who let go of Ichigo's collar and stumbled back.

"Oi!"

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do that! But please don't fight, it's only our first day here and I'm sure we'll get into trouble if someone hears you and anyway, we're roommates, it's not good if we don't get along, right? And um, I'm sure you didn't mean to hit each other or poke each other or -"

Ganjuu opened his mouth, glared at the smaller boy, then shut it and settled for folding his arms across his chest and glaring at Ichigo.

"/So/," he said in portentous tones.

Ichigo glared back. "So /what/?" he demanded, belligerent.

"... /So/, what house're you two in?"

"Camellia. You?"

"I'm in Willow," Hanatarou said.

"Think they put me in Lotus, same as my brother used to be in."

"Well, aren't you lucky," Ichigo said.

Ganjuu paused and grimaced. "Yeah." He didn't sound too sure of that. "Not that I'd be as cool as he was," he muttered to himself, turning to drag his trunk to the foot of his bed.

"What specialisation is your brother in?" Hanatarou ventured to ask after a few minutes of silence.

"He's fifth year, Navy."

"Oh."

There was another long, awkward silence while they went back to unpacking, and privately exploring the confines of their room, which was looking smaller and smaller by the minute. Ganjuu bumped into Ichigo trying to look out the window, and for a minute they scowled at each other, then settled for ignoring each other again.

It probably figured that it'd be Ganjuu who broke the silence. "SO. That your real hair colour?" he asked, staring at Ichigo.

"Yeah it is, want to make something of it?"

"Nah. Saw someone with pink hair on the train, yours is nothing. Just thought I'd ask." Another pause. "You'd /really/ look like my brother if it was black, though."

"... I'm not dyeing it."

"Hey, I didn't say you had to! I'm just sayin', geeze, you always this touchy?"

"Who's touchy? And what's with you thinking I look like your brother anyway?"

"C'mon! Hanatarou, you saw 'em, you don't think they look alike?"

"Um... um. Maybe? A little? Please don't fight!"

"Who's fighting? We're just having a little friendly conversation."

"Not with a face like yours -"

"Hey, you want one, I can take you anyday!"

"Oh no, not again, please..."

-----

Rukia had no trouble finding her room, despite the maze that was the eastern wing. There was a /reason/ she'd spent the holidays reading up on Seiretei - and not just the school textbooks either, as Renji seemed to think, but histories, records, even maps. Rukia believed in /research/ - she was not going to disgrace the Kuchiki name, or disappoint her cousin and her sister, or -

Surprisingly, she wasn't the first to arrive. When she pushed the door open, a petite girl with bright pink hair was already perched on the second bed from the door, drumming her heels on her trunk. She looked up when Rukia came in and beamed.

"You're finally here!" she said, hopping off the bed and standing. She was a little taller than Rukia, but not by much. "I was wondering when someone would come!"

Rukia blinked for a moment, then beamed back, sparkling, because first impressions were always important. "Hello! I'm Kuchiki RUkia. You're...?"

"I'm Kujajishi Yachiru! Did you get lost finding tthe room?"

"Oh no, not at all!"

"That's good! I was a little worried that the rest of you wouldn't be able to get here, don't the walls and everything get in the way here a lot? Ken-chan says if I didn't come so often and know everything so well already, he'd be worried that I'd never be able to get anywhere because my sense of direction's so bad. But it's not that bad at all, I always know where I want to go -"

"You come here a lot?" Rukia echoed, still trying to process the stream of chatter

"Yep, I used to come here during the holidays when we didn't go somewhere else because Ken-chan said at least I'd get lots of room to run around here, and there'd be no one to complain if was too much noise."

She blinked at the other girl. "Oh. That nust have been nice. Ken-chan?"

"Oh, he teaches here! He teaches... what'd he call it? Combat and survival training? It sounds fun, doesn't it? I hope they let first years take it!"

"It's in our schedule, so they do," Rukia said, remembering. "I don't know if er, Ken-chan - What's his name? is teaching it though."

"Our schedules are out?"

"I got mine from the office," Rukia explained, still smiling. "I was worried they might not give them to us in time otherwise, I like time to prepare, you see. You can look at mine if you like!"

"Oh, maybe I'll go look later then. Hm, if you're Rukia, then there's only Momo left. Do you think she got lost?"

"Momo?" Rukia turned to the list of names pinned to the door when Yachiru pointed at it. There were only three names on it, althought there were five beds in the room. "Oh, Hinamori! I don't know, maybe she's coming soon. There are only three of us here?"

"It looks like it! At least we'll have more room, though I'm a bit sad, it'd be more fun if there were more of us, don't you think?"

Rukia wasn't so sure about that, but she didn't say so, only smiled and went back to studying the room. It was long and narrow, lined with beds on one side, and desks on the other. There were two windows, just by the second and fourth beds. Looking out, she saw a wide field, the faint glinting of what looked like a small stream, and far in the distance, grey stone buildings - it must be one of the colleges for the upper years, she realised. She stepped back from the window.

"Which bed are you taking? Were they assigned?"

"It doesn't look like it. I'm taking that one with the window," Yachiru pointed to the bed she'd been sitting on. Rukia nodded and considered the other four. The other window bed was the most obvious choice, but if there were only three of them here, Rukia thought they could probably spread out a little. She dragged her trunk over to the bed furthest from the door. There was more than an hour left until dinner, she knew. Might as well start unpacking now.

Unlocking her trunk and opening it, she lifted out two photographs in frames - one of a family of four: two parents, a girl and a baby. She didn't give it a second glance; she'd only really brought it because if she'd left it behind, then Hisana would find it and /know/ she hadn't brought it. The second she glanced at -

"Ooooo, she's pretty. Is she your sister?" Yachiru said over her shoulder. Rukia narrowly avoided jumping and yelping.

"Ack! Yes, she is," she said.

"She looks like you," Yachiru said, cheerful. "Does she come to Seireitei too?"

"No, she doesn't." (Rukia wouldn't think of how worried Hisana had looked when she'd gotten her acceptance letter. She wouldn't think about that cool, considering look her cousin had worn either.)

"That's too bad. Oh, why don't I show you Ken-chan, then!"

Skipping over to her own trunk, Yachiru threw it open and rummaged in the mess inside before pulling out a large framed photo.

"Ken-chan was so silly about taking the photo. He said he didn't know why I needed one, it wasn't as if I was going toforget what he looked like," she said, then showed it to RUkia.

Rukia stared. It showed a tall man with a heavily scarred face, a glare that could have terrified wolves and hair gelled up into /spikes/. Standing beside him, Yachiru looked /tiny/. She was also smiling and waving a V-sign at the camera, never mind that 'Ken-chan' looked ready to eat the photographer. She blinked. "Ah..."

"He looks scary, doesn't he?" Yachiru said, and giggled. "But he's really not, you know, you just have to -"

The door opened just then and a dark-haired girl looked in. "Um, is this..." she said.

Rukia looked up. "Hello, Hinamori. You're finally here!" she said, and smiled.

"Oh, Kuchiki! I didn't know we were going to be roommates," Hinamori's tired face broke into a smile. She looked at Yachiru just as the other girl bounced to her feet.

"Hello! You're Momo, right? I'm Yachiru!" she said. She looked at the both of them. "The two of you know each other? Did you go to the same school?"

"It's very nice to meet you," Momo said, smiling back.

"We're from different preps," Rukia said. "But her classmate's an old friend of mine, so we met sometimes."

Momo had looked around the room, and now she blinked at the empty beds. "Oh, I'm not the last one here?" she said, surprised.

"There's only three of us," Rukia explained. "I think there weren't enough students this year to fill all the rooms, or they had an odd number. Did you get lost?"

"Oh, yes, it was awful, I went to the teacher's quarters by mistake, and I had no idea how to get back! But one of the teachers saw me and gave me directions and helped me find a prefect, he was really nice," Momo said.

"That was really nice of him. Who was he?"

"Ah, he said his name was Sousuke? Aizen Sousuke? He teaches Maths, I think."

"Maybe he he teaches first years," Rukia commented. "It's going to be dinner soon. You'd better choose a bed."

Momo chose the middle bed, and they spent the next twenty minutes unpacking and talking. It went peacably, and Rukia mentally wrote a reassuring letter to her sister in her head - "my roommates are very nice, I think you would like them, and I've met Hinamori before, she used to be in Renji's class, and the room has a very nice view and -"

The door crashed open.

"I /told/ you all the first year rooms are on the top floor, man, see what happens when we listen your direction sense?" Ikkaku said and strolled into the room. "Oh hey, Hinamori! Didn't know you were rooming with Renji's girlfriend too -"

"Will you stop calling her my fucking girlfriend? Do I look that crazy?" Renji snapped, coming in after him. "This was /your/ stupid idea - Oh hey, Hinamori."

"Abarai! It's nice to see you, but um, are you sure you should be -"

"What are you two doing here?" Rukia stood and frowned at them. "Boys aren't allowed in the girls' dorms, there's going to be trouble if you're found here -"

"Hey, it's the first day, no one's going to care where we go. You could wear a peacock's tail on your head and no one would notice, you should see /our/ roommate."

"It doesn't matter what you think, /we're/ the ones that're going to be in trouble if you get cau -"

"You can tell 'em we held you hostage in here or something, /geeze/." Ikkaku said. Renji strolled over to the window and looked out. "Figure the girls would get the better view," he said, leaning out of the sill and looking into the garden below. "And I bet it's easier to sneak out from this side too, you should /see/ the boy's dorms."

"Maybe that's because they're worried that the /boys/ were more likely to try and break out of bounds," Rukia snapped. "As the two of you are /proving/ right now. It's only the first day here and -"

"Oh, you should talk. Who was the Little Miss Perfect who almost set /our/ school on fire and then talked our principal into believing she'd saved it from a raging - FUCK. You didn't have to kick me so hard! The hell Renji puts up with you I don't kno -"

Yachiru, who'd been watching the conversation with interest, chose that moment to observe."Your head is really shiny. Do you do that on purpose? It looks like a dango!"

Ikkaku looked at her. "A /dango/? What? It's -"

"He shaves and polishes it every morning," Renji said with a snort. "Takes /forever/ in the bathroom. Doesn't want people to know he's balding ear -"

"Shut the fuck up, Abarai, /you're/ the one that nearly got expelled for your fucking neck tattoo. And if it weren't for me, it'd have been your eyebrows too and /then/ you'd have been in the shit."

"Who was the one who got me fucking /drunk/ because he thought it was a joke first? You're just lucky I didn -"

Rukia looked at them. First impressions, she thought. /She/ still had a good one she wanted to make, never mind those two barging in and ruining everythi- Yachiru was giggling as she watched. "Are they your friends?" she asked Rukia. "They're very funny!"

Friends, she thought, wasn't quite the right word. Just then, the sound of hurried voices and running feet in the corridor outside made them look up. Momo looked out the door, curious, then shot back in, eyes wide. "The teachers are coming!" she said. "I think they're checking that everyone's in the right rooms, Abarai, Madarame, you need to -"

"Shit!"

They stared widly around the room. "Don't be /stupid/ there's no way you'll fit in the closet, moron!"

"Oh, so you'd rather jump three stories out the window!"

"Maybe if we hide them under the beds, the teachers won't see them..."

"They're bound to catch them, they're too /big/."

"They're coming!" Yachiru said.

Rukia looked at the door, then made up her mind and and set her jaw. She grabbed Renji when he made one last desperate dash at the window. "You'll break a /leg/," she hissed at him, then grabbed Ikkaku with her free hand. "I told you there would be trouble, Hinamori, help me!"

"Ah, Kuchiki, what are you trying to -"

With Hinamori holding on to a swearing Ikkaku, Rukia wrenched the door open, then with a heave, shoved them so hard they fell out of the room sprawling.

"Kuchiki! Are you sure we should -"

"Fuck! Bitch, you didn't just -"

She slammed the door shut before they could scramble to their feet, then locked it. Loud pounding filled the room for a moment, before the sound of footsteps, then voices, ended it. The three girls pressed their faces to the door, but the oak was thick and the words muffled.

They were clearly in trouble, however.

Rukia tried to think. There had to be an excuse for the boys to be in the girls' dorms... Yachiru nudged her. "Open the door," she whispered.

Rukia blinked at her and Yachiru winked, then wriggled past her to unlock the door and open it.

"Mrs Unohana! Please don't scold them, they're only here because I got lost and they helped me carry my stuff here!" she said.

The tall woman with long, dark hair pulled back into a neat plait, looked up as the girls spilled out the room. "Yachiru," she greeted in mild tones. "These boys showed you to your room?"

Yachiru nodded. "Yes! I got lost and went to the wrong wing, and ran into them and they were very nice and said they'd helped me crarry my stuff here because it was sooooooo heavy and -"

"I thought you'd stopped getting lost here years ago," the woman observed.

Yachiru stopped. "Ah, that's because -"

Rukia cut in before Yachiru could try to come up with another unacceptable excuse. "I'm sorry, Mrs Unohana! Yachiru was only... trying to help me. They only came because I left my wallet on the train and forgot to take it back. I suppose Renji was worried that I'd need it," she said, smiling apologetically.

The teacher gave her a look that somehow managed to be simultaneously bland and yet not - /quite/. "Is that so... I'm sorry, your name?"

"Kuchiki Rukia, Sensei."

"I see. Well, I suppose I can make an exception this once, since it's the first day and they were only trying to help a friend. I hope you have your wallet back?"

"Ah, no, not yet -"

"Then Abarai and his friend had better return it and get back to their rooms, then."

Behind her, Renji gave her a disgusted look, then had to cough and duck his head when Mrs Unohana turned to him. He rummaged in his pocket, pulled his wallet out and handed it over without a word. Rukia accepted it with brilliantine thanks, then waved and watched Mrs Unohana escort the boys down the hall and out of the dorm.

"You're good at this, Rukia," Yachiru said, with a grin.

Rukia gave her a coy smile. "Oh, it's nothing, really," she said. Rifling Renji's wallet, she found that he'd been right when he said he was broke. "Only ten dollars," she said, thoughtful. "But it should be enough to get us all something nice, don't you think?"


tbc - maybe