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Hidden 16 days ago Post by Courtaud
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Location: Sarayashiki Junior High Roof






Minato Ishida was standing on a precipice.

On the roof of the Sarayashiki Junior High School, he felt at ease. He'd come here during the day between classes, or skipping gym, in order to look down on all of his classmates from up on high. It was less lording over them and more...well, something else. It was difficult for Minato to accurately describe. When he was still an acceptable member of his student body - back when he was part of the Disciplinary Committee working for the Student Council, Minato would post up here like an eagle's nest. Now?

Now he just looked down at his turf. Standing along the barrier, leaning his head on the chain-link fence, Minato saw the progress he and the others had made in such a short time. His friendship with Ten Ton remained as strong and tight knight as ever, and his trust in people like Yonaka and Ana was only continuing to grow. If the warring factions of various delinquent games were a series of chess matches, Minato was working on establishing his pieces.

But there was growing unrest throughout the various city's. The Ikebukuro Diamonds were making stronger and stronger pushes. Not a day would pass without some punk getting their teeth knocked out in some throwdown, or other smaller gangs swearing allegiance to that psycho, Kazuma Kyoya. As they were now, the Sarayashiki Gang was not strong enough to make their claim. But in time...

Now however, there was something else pressing. The group itself has become a larger community of swelling support from within the outskirts of the school's periphery. As new as they might be, already there were members of the student body who were itching to throw their support in behind the gang. The recent mopping of various clubs throughout the school came with a groundswell of support from the lower grade students and was only steadily rising. This undoubtedly drew the attention of the Student Council - a malevolent group of corrupt students bent on keeping the school under their thumb. Their most recent tactic involved a vicious beatdown delivered to the original members of the gang. Minato tightened his fist just thinking about it. Takuya wanted to act on it right away, but Minato assured him that the right move would be to wait. But was it? Minato had grown unsure. But the gang itself, the ones with the voices...there were additional folks who were beginning to stand out to Minato and his other closest allies. His lieutenants, his closest confidants.

And that's what had brought him here, tonight.

A few hours ago, he had gotten a phonecall from Ikue. Of all the others that were in the gang, Ikue was something of a wildcard. She was an invaluable source to Minato and the others - seemingly always having her finger on the pulse of what was going on throughout the school, an information broker of gossip and secrets. And tonight, her phone-call had an edge to it unlike some of her other more playful ones. She asked Minato to gather the top members of the gang. Apparently there was something troubling her. Minato passed the message on to Ana, who dutifully did just that...

Yonaka, Akina, Yuya, Gaijin Kevin, and the newest member of the gang - Mai Li.

These were the foundations that Sarayashiki's Delinquents would be built upon.

Behind him, Minato heard the double doors to the rooftop open up. The first of the others had arrived. He looked around and saw it was -
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Hidden 16 days ago 6 days ago Post by pugbutter
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"Yo."

Of course. Minato remembered now: a few minutes ago he had heard the grunty timbre of a bike engine, crawling into the school parking lot and then dying there, like a sick wolf unburdening the pack of itself; and if he was watching, he had also seen the single headlight, a knife slicing through the skin of the dark, also strangled with the same flick of a killswitch. He wasn't, however. Not now, not here, with the cooled summer breeze sweeping the roof, and the city in full resplendency, extinguishing the stars in its quiet-deathly halo.

They exchanged wordless greetings: Ishida's nod dipped downward with the weight of his mannered reverence. Yūya's snapped upward, inflated by attitude. Yūya snatched away with a spot along the wall. Liberating his shoulder of a bookbag's yokes, setting it aground, he had already betrayed its contents, for glass settled against glass and loosed a frail, inconsonant song. Condensation already melted from the bottles as Yūya lifted them—twelve in all, already bundled in their cardboard cliques—from his school-regulation vessel. It carried those things which taught him, and those which made him forget what he had learned, with equal aplomb.

While his hands roamed Hawaiian shirt and bontan pants pockets for a pack and a lighter, his eyes similarly roamed: to the access door, unstirred as if frozen in shyness; to HVAC pipes, typically a perch for other, more solitary creatures; along the wall, where his was the only bookbag. Somehow, despite himself, the night had seen him early to this rendezvous. And with that affirmed, finally his eyes could shelter upon Ishida Minato, and the goosebumps on his skin could understand, a little bit better, the climate of their souls, and the arcing in the electrical currents of their hearts. Ishida-san stood dramatically by the edge of the roof, and turned to pretend he had just been caught in a moment of vulnerable reflection, as if to be ashamed of a gaping wound for showing Yūya the stuff beneath. A moment choreographed, and then performed, perfectly. Yūya, content to play his part this night, also feigned surprise, letting a glance betray whatever curiosity, admiration, or envy it pleased as it flinched from Ishida like he was an inferno, too bright, too hot. Not all of it was artifice, however. Out in the mountains the distant city congealed into a puddle of light; but here, among the blood-throb of the city, they could be counted. Reconciled. Every individual streetlight down there, the brake lights on the cars, the ramen shops' back-alley bloom, the apartment windows filled with alien, familial warmth: if each mote of light represented an enemy to defeat, Ishida was scheming his blackout. But at least in the mountains one was safe. Here, mingling his light among the others? Ishida-san's spark seemed just as fragile as theirs, snuffed with hardly a blink.

That's right. Yūya had to hate this guy, didn't he? If the hate wasn't instinct, then he had to learn it, accept it into himself. He'd have to reject this rejuvenating breeze, so that his most baleful fires could be stoked.

Too easy to forget up here. Too pretty ...

... But for now, a cigarette. The flickering hiss of the lighter dyed his hand a watery orange, and then Yūya had added his own tiny spark to the city's blaze. His first puff fed the ember, which shrank away again behind a veil of brittle ash. Tucking the thing between his knuckles, he reached for a bottle and the opener next. "You want one,「bosu」?" Yūya called across the distance.
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Hidden 16 days ago 16 days ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

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Yonaka Aimi


The volatile one was next. She was late for class, a slacker in her studies, but when Minato asked for her Yonaka was never far away. Well, maybe Minato was just passing down a request, and really, it was Ana that told everyone. But still. She knew Minato would be there, so...she always made sure to show up on time.

Yonaka walked through the doors backwards, leaning into them and backpedaling through with a gait full of swagger. Over her shoulder was her kendo stick. As she turned, she span it around with her wrist, letting it fall and twirl like a marching baton. Her purple eyes, with small, predatory irises, met Minato's. Though her mouth was covered with a cherry-blossom patterned surgical mask, her eyes carried the energy of her wide smirk underneath well enough. A black school uniform, torn and unmaintained, flowed loosely in the wind. The space between her top and her long skirt showed several inches of her pale midsection, the waistline of her dress only barely covering her belly button.

"Hello boys~~~" Yonaka greeted in a sing song voice, striking a pose. Then she began to approach, heavy boots thudding across the concrete of the roof top. She gave Yuya sassy little wave but her attention was on Ishida.

"It's me, Minato. Your favorite." She teased. Skipping a step she moved to his side. An outstretched arm wrapped its fingers around several links of the fence, and the other rested on a kendo stick that was now stabbing the ground. Deliberately she placed herself between Ishida and his line of sight of Yuya. He'd have to look past her to get to look at him. Forget the cigarette or the beer or whatever he was offering. All eyes on me.

Tap tap tap. Yonaka clicked the tip of her kendo stick against the concrete. "Unfortunately I didn't run into any council parasites on the way here. Otherwise I woulda..." She cut herself off and looked at Ishida. "Played it cool and moved on, just like you wanted." One eyebrow was raised, her eyes wide as if to say 'What reason could you possibly have not to believe me?' kind of way.

"Anyway. Mai Li-chan should be here soon, too. She's great, you'll see." She glanced between Yuya and Ishida. There was an underlying mote of uncertainty in her words. Didn't seem like anyone was as desperate to prove herself and stand out as that girl. Yonaka straightened her back, and her voice was back to it's normal playful, devil-may-care tone. "Even if her face does look like a little mochi. She can be our mascot! Like the class pet. Just don't try to feed her a treat, she might nip your finger off." Yonaka 'advised.'

"...And watch your ankles around her, too."



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Hidden 16 days ago 6 days ago Post by pugbutter
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"Oh. Yonaka-chan ... Konbanwa."

Jeez, woman, you think I'm the one who's gonna steal him from you? Chill.

Yeah, there was overprotectiveness—a jealous boyfriend guarding his squeeze, a hikikomori for whom behind every corner there lies in wait a robber or a yakuza tout—an older brother watching his imouto at the park, perhaps—and then there was whatever the hell Yonaka Aimi was. A class all of her own, that one.

While she blabbed, Yūya leaned just far enough back to see past her, where Ishida had managed not to evaporate away in the intensity of her glare. Well ... if he wanted a beer he could always come grab it, Yūya reckoned with a shrug, so he set it down atop the precipice, right where the wall ended and the chain-link fence began. If Ishida took the initiative and walked over to it himself there was no way in hell Yonaka would keep interfering. She just about worshiped the dirt that touched his loafers, never mind getting in his way, even to "protect" him from whatever poison she had detected in the brown glass neck frothing with bitter effervescence. Yūya placed another beer right beside it for Yonaka, but if she rebuffed too he'd claim it was for himself all along.

Anyway ... Little mochi? Class pet? Ankle-biter?

"She's just another first-year, ain't she?" said Yūya. "They're all tiny, but ..."
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Hidden 16 days ago 13 days ago Post by Noblebandit
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Up on the rooftop. That's what Yonaka had told her. Go straight up to the rooftop, no distractions, no detours. Would have been much easier if Yonaka had decided to go with her, but she didn't want her first impression to the rest of the gang to be Yonaka handholding her all the way.

Mai was determined to make a good first impression. She knew she needed to show her best side to these people if she was to convince them that she had any potential to join them at all. The slightest whimper, a moment's linger, a breath's hesitation, and they'd scrub her out. If she gave anything less than 110%, she could kiss any opportunity to join this gang goodbye.

It wasn't going to be easy. She knew how she looked. She was small for her age, doe-eyed and chubby-cheeked like a hamster. It didn't matter how often she ran the track, the baby fat just would not seem to burn off. Oh, everyone gave her compliments on it. She must have been called “cute” about a thousand times. But cute wasn't what she was going for. “Cute” meant small, weak, helpless. It was the exact opposite of the kind of image she wanted to project, and if these guys saw her as some cute little girl, they weren't going to take her seriously at all.

Mai checked her watch again, and decided to pick up the pace. She wasn't late, exactly, but she sure as heck wasn't early, and that was already a problem. Then again, she didn't want to come across as too eager, did she? They might mistake her eagerness for toadying, and if there was one thing worse than someone who didn't care at all, it was a kiss-up. Maybe she should show up a little bit late, show them that she had other options and that she didn't need them…

Ugh! She was way overthinking this. She was doing everything right so far. Why panic? Honestly, they'd probably be pleasantly surprised if she just showed up at all. And did she really want their first impression of her to be some dithering, indecisive, lost little girl, or did she want them to look at her and go “this is a girl who knows what she wants, and she's willing to take it”?

Just around this corner was the stairwell up to the roof. The gang's leader, Ishida, would be up there. She had to wonder, were the tales she heard about him true? A thug, but a thug who fought for justice. It was quite a reputation. Would she, Mai wondered, get a reputation like that? Would people spread stories of Mai Li, the girl who fought for what was right even when no-one else would? The thought made her smile. Mai Li, warrior for justice. Mai Li, protector of the downtrodden. Mai Li, the hero. If nothing else, it was a darn sight better than Mai Li, the Chinese hafu foreigner.

She could make a name for herself; all Ishida had to do was give her the chance.

At any rate, time waits for no man, and it probably wasn't going to wait for her either. She jogged up the stairs, put on her biggest smile, and flung the door open to step out onto the rooftop.

"Yo!" she called out, scanning the faces before her for someone she recognised. "Hope I didn't keep ya waiting!"
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Hidden 16 days ago 16 days ago Post by LostDestiny
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Ana Tamura


Little did the newest member to the gang know Ana was following ever so slightly behind her. The usual passive or disinterested look on her face as she walked. The white haired female usually didn't attract much attention unless she was with the rest of the gang and even then it wasn't uncommon for her usual bored look to be plastered on her face.

She remained silent a few feet behind the smaller female. More or less observing her from a distance. She seemed unsure as to how she wanted to present herself and changed pace a few times. This seemed to amuse Ana a bit as, if the girl had taken the time to turn around she would notice a small smile playing on her lips. But the other female never turned around seeming determined to keep moving.

Ana waited at the bottom of the stair until Mai had made it up them and onto the roof. After which she ascended at a causal pace and opened the door to the roof. It seemed Mai hadn't made it too far onto the roof so as Ana walked past she placed her hand on the girl's head. It was a friendly gesture, not one of malice or ill intent and he only stayed there for a moment as she walked past to join Minato at his side, who she waved to as she walked up to him. She leaned against the fence.

She couldn't stop herself from side eying the other male. Her expression changed only slightly from passive to one of slight annoyance. Of the newer members Takanashi was the one that made her uneasy. She couldn't quite put a finger on it but she didn't trust him. She had expressed this concern only once to Minato who seemed to mostly ignore it. If he accepted Takanashi she would play nice for now but she wouldn't think twice about wringing his neck should he show signs of betrayal.

Ana said nothing as she stood there. She was generally a person of few words only really speaking up if she felt what she had to say was important. Or if someone spoke to her first. She could be seen talking to Minato or Ten-Ton more often than the others, but generally remained silent when the whole gang was together
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Hidden 16 days ago 6 days ago Post by pugbutter
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"She's just another first-year, ain't she? They're all tiny, but ..."

And before he could finish his thought, Ri Mai arrived, and although probably not in the way she wanted, she stole his breath from his lungs.

Yūya could've puked right then and there.

She stepped out onto the roof all coiled up, brimming with childlike enthusiasm and momentum. It may as well have been her first day at school, or her first date to the skating rink with a boy: clutching something to her chest, steadying her breathing, ... flitting her eyes about in some expectant way. Yūya couldn't decide whether she searched for something in particular (except, perhaps, her apparent friend in Yonaka) or merely awaited her reception as her attention nuzzled up to each one of them for a time; a newborn gazelle, still wet from the womb, watching the grass for lions. And that tiny, shivering thing? She was lion food. She knew it.

Obviously it was someone else. This "Ri Mai" didn't have braided pigtails, and she wasn't knobby enough in the knees and elbows; too cherubic. Obviously she wasn't wearing a helmet, and instead of a randoseru she carried a charcoal-grey bookbag, same as the rest of them. No doubt about it: hanging on a hook somewhere, or maybe tossed haphazardly into a washing machine, she had a Sarayashiki uniform. But for a second—just one—Yūya saw another young girl walking through that rusted access door.

Finally Ri's curiosity fell upon him, and in that same moment he learned, for some esoteric reason, one he didn't fully understand, that he couldn't stand to look her in the eye. So he hurried his scrutiny somewhere else, feigning interest in the iron knotworks of the HVAC unit on the other side of the roof. With a snarl and a drag from his cigarette, Yūya suppressed some kind of a wince welling in his chest. He reached for the beer on the shelf, not because he needed the alcohol that badly, but to give his hands something to meddle with, and his attention something else to fixate upon which wasn't her.

What the hell are you thinking, Yonaka-chan? he wondered, a question which wrung his insides until the first sting of sweat welled up to the surface, flushing his skin with an itchy, nervous heat. Was Ri just chum for the waters? Or someone's new toy? And Ishida ... had he allowed this? Even sanctioned it?
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Hidden 13 days ago Post by BenG85
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Takuya just arrived- he was slightly sweaty, as he'd made the trip from his home to here a brisk walk. He took a few deep breaths before going up all those stairs (It had to be up on the roof, didn't it?). Once he'd managed that, he got to the roof, and stepped through the door, pausing only have a glance around at the present company. Hm. Doesn't look like we're all here, yet...

He walked over, and stood next to his friend, Ishida, "The Boss", with his uniform shirt and jacket wide open (still wearing an undershirt, of course) and his arms crossed over his chest. He frowned as he looked around, his usual "Think twice before making a move on The Boss" routine. Usual faces, some he liked more than others. His gaze settled on Takanashi; The boss trusted him, but "Ten-Ton" didn't like the way he looked at Ishida, sometimes. He especially looked anxious tonight, which only put Takuya on higher alert.

He resumed looking forward at nothing in particular, but spoke aloud, "So, Boss, I miss anything interesting? Who else are we waiting for before I can go grab some sushi?" He gave another glance, and raised an eyebrow like he just realized he'd missed something before. ...Who brought the kid? I'll probably have to put myself between her and... Just, EVERYTHING if she's a prospective member.
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Hidden 12 days ago Post by Courtaud
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It wasn't long before the rooftop of Sarayashiki was beginning to fill up. Minato was glad that his friends were so quick to arrive. Yuya Takanashi was first, which was surprising to Minato. Of all of the members of the gang, he was one who closely resembled the traditional crass and volatile delinquent. His joining of Sarayashiki was recent, and his rebellious demeanor was one that drew scrutiny from Minato's inner circle. Both Ana and Ten Ton had expressed the wild-card nature he seemed to exude, and they felt he was someone who may not believe as strongly in what their gang could be. Minato heard their concerns and absorbed them. But he wanted to give Yuya a chance. Despite his somewhat prickly attitude, he had a particular honor about him that reminded Minato of the old samurai movies. Yuya offered Minato a drink but he turned it down. Minato didn't like to drink or smoke - he needed to stay clear headed, especially tonight. Ikue's message seemed of particular importance.

Minato was going to respond to Takanashi's offer but then came the powder keg that was Yonaka. She was wielding her trademark kendo stick, slinging it over her shoulder like a blade. Minato couldn't help but smile at her approach - she was always incredibly enthusiastic, and she had the energy of someone who truly believed in Minato's ideals. What other reason could there be for the looks he caught from her? He smiled again to himself at her joke regarding the "parasites" of the Student Council. Minato was rapidly growing to appreciate Yonaka more and more. She was expressive, sure. And a bit violent. Maybe a little aggressive. But beneath all of that belied a caring woman. Even if she'd step on you with the heel of her boot if you even dared to suggest it. Minato wondered if that was something Yonaka would have been into. Minato had heard rumors of the legions of boys she left broken at her feet if she caught them staring, or trying anything with her. She was...complicated.

"Yonaka. Let's hope tonight doesn't come to that just yet. I need my favorite to hang onto that frustration for just a while longer."

And now the others. The new girl that Yonaka had invited, as well as Ana not far behind, and of course the reliable Ten Ton. He nodded to Ana, their silent acknowledgement. Ana was always a source of strength for the group, a pillar of the gang with the way that she carried herself. Minato turned his head in order to take in the sight of the newest recruit, Mai. Now that the others were here, he needed to retreat back into the stoic leader he was. They may all be close, or getting closer, but things were going to start getting more difficult for all of them. The Diamonds were growing at a rate Minato wouldn't have predicted, and without the support of the Student Council, Sarayashiki's Delinquents would face opposition even at home. Minato knew the powder keg in the school hallways was about to go off any day now.

Minato turned again from the view off the roof and to the others who had surrounded him. He sat on the railing and addressed them - speaking softly, Minato forced everyone to listen close. It was his way of making sure everyone's attention was focused.

]"Everyone. I appreciate your timely arrival. The truth of this meeting is that it wasn't I who requested it. It was Ikue who called us all here. I imagine she'll be here soon. I don't like to conjecture, but I get the feeling that this isn't an ordinary gathering. When she arrives, give her the same courtesy you give to me during our councils. And afterwards..." He lifted an open hand to Mai.

"We have some introductions to make."
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Hidden 12 days ago Post by TheWendil
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The night was fresh and the air was young. It was a nice parallel to the rowdy group gathered under the darkness of the sky, all of them kept in due check by their esteemed leader. Indeed, the Sarayashiki Gang was no small force to be trifled with, not anymore at least. Where once they may have been a group of delinquents, they were now, albeit slowly, becoming a true force to be feared in Sarayashiki Junior High. Maybe that’s why Ikue threw her lot in them. Maybe, maybe.

Minato’s phone would buzz and ring just as he was finished giving his speech and catching everyone’s attention,. Assuming he’d pick up, a casual voice greeted him from the other line. “Yoooo,” came Ikue’s voice right into Minato’s ear. “Hey, don’t tell me you actually went ahead and gathered everyone? No, you didn’t, did you….ahah, man you crack me up boss!” “Worried” was using loose terms. Ikue wasn’t worried at all, not in the slightest. But in hindsight, maybe the previous call came across as that to Minato and there was no doubt he actually took her seriously. And if that was the case…

“Hey so I bet everyone’s here, right? More or less. Go ahead and put me on speaker then boss,” Ikue said smoothly. What, they didn’t she’d actually bother to come out just for a meeting, right? And it wasn’t even that big of a topic. Even so, she apologized with a, “Sorry, couldn’t quite make it. Got caught up in some business; but here I am in spirit! Oh, and if Ten-Ton wants to make a big fuss about it, tell him I’ll buy out a sushi joint just for him.” She knew damn well she was speaking loud enough for the boy to hear her, even if she wasn’t on speaker.

“So yeah, sorry, not sorry for not being there, but I guess this counts as important news.” Ikue could be heard clearing her throat over the phone and her next words sounded like she was reading off a script. It was time for business. “So like, there’s been these student attacks in Sarayashiki lately. Crazy I know, right? And you’re probably wondering, ‘Well Ikue, come on, ya didn’t have to drag us all out of bed just to tell us that. Violence happens all the time in our line of business.’ And I’d say, ‘Well of course, duh.’ But these attacks all got a pattern to them.”

She paused for dramatic effect over the phone. Or maybe she was just sipping an expensive drink. Either one could have been the case for Ikue. “Get this. All these attacks are on first years and all the evidence shows it’s gang related. There’s even rumors everyone’s favorite Student Council is trying to cover it up. Sounds like something right up our alley, eh boss?” Another pause, and this time because a realization dawned on Ikue. “Isn’t that new girl with you right now? Hah, this really is something of a coincidence. Hey fresh meat, how’s it going?” she asked Mai.

“Doesn’t this make you public target numero uno.”

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Hidden 12 days ago 6 days ago Post by pugbutter
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Yūya had had enough of the barking bulldog treatment for one night, so he decided to give Yonaka her space. Slinking across the roof, he dragged half a beer and half a cigarette with him. Tonaka had just arrived; that meant Kevin-kun wasn't far behind. And if there was one pup it was just too fun to rile ... The span of wall right beside the door would give Yūya the perfect spot from which to launch his ambush. The only other greaser in the group, he knew better than anyone how much Kevin's hair meant to him. All in harmless fun, of course; nothing a little more pomade couldn't fix.

Once heads started turning and lips started shushing, he took the cues that someone had something important to say. He listened all the while making his seemingly-innocuous move into position; to the boss first, then to the phone's speaker. He still didn't know whether or not to look at Ri Mai as he passed her, though. He still must've been deciding what to think of her. In certain respects they shared a lotta the same circumstance out here; both of them had been given a chance. Someone had chosen to trust them both. They were still ... on parole, one could say, like the guys getting out of juvenile prison. But if he welcomed her outright, and gave her the ally she probably needed right about now, wasn't he supporting her being here? Then, by association, he was supporting her first beating at the hands of Sarayashiki's rivals ... and all the humiliation and shame which comes from losing a fight. Any fight. Kuso; why did he have to be so cold to do the right thing in the long run?

Yūya just had to remember Rin. That'd keep him sensible. Would he let her follow him into a skirmish with a baseball bat or a bokken or a chainlock? Would he just look away and accept her foolish wishes to make her happy today, while sacrificing her happiness tomorrow? Was he really that kind of coward?

"Sounds like someone's only got the guts to go after people littler than him," he replied tersely to the message at hand, gathering his lips into an O and launching a globule of phlegm over the edge of the roof between tameguchi verbs, laden with trilled R's and scalding contempt, a well-practiced drawl he, like most yankii, had picked up from one American movie or another. James Dean, Marlon Brando, Peter Fonda, Frankie Valli—the first step into delinquenthood was choosing your idol, Yūya supposed. "An insect like that will go down easily enough. It should be taught some manners."

Alright, fine; just one little peek. Maybe Mai was already losing her nerve among all the sneering and jeering and suspicions going on up on Sarayashiki Junior High's roof. Maybe she was beginning to realize the entire breadth of what she was trying to get herself into.
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Hidden 11 days ago Post by Zoey Boey
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Zoey Boey ~I'm Stone Free, do what I please~

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Yonaka Aimi


'My favorite'? Did he really just say that? Or was that just a joke? Yonaka froze for a moment, like someone was animating her on 2's instead of on 1's. Yonaka wasn't sure how Minato could say things like that while also being a god damn brick wall in other aspects. "You got it."

Yonaka snapped back to attention as her own (second) favorite person stepped out onto the rooftop. "Mai Li!" The senior shouted, throwing her hands up into the air. Dropping her kendo stick with a clatter she jogged over and took to Mai Li's side. She could tell already people were giving the kid some weird looks, and if they were giving her weird looks that meant, by extension, they were judging Yonaka's choices. Which was, of course, not cool. Yonaka Aimi didn't make mistakes.

"Didn't keep us waiting at all. You're right on time. Unlike Little Miss Perfect." Yonaka said, slapping Mai Li on the shoulder. Complimenting Mai Li while deriding Akina- the best of both worlds.

The violet haired woman now listened to Ikue, who was giving them a briefing. Ikue was cool enough, though Yonaka wished she actually committed to the gang instead of just being a satellite member. Until then she was never sure she could trust the voice on the other end of these weird new tiny phones.

Someone going around beating up first years? Why? Student Council. Parasites! Yonaka's eye twitched as she felt a surge of anger travel up and down her spine. She exhaled behind her mask, keeping herself calm.

"Well. I guess we just need to find out who and break their jaws. Heh, if anything," Yonaka looked down at Mai Li. "You could be bait, Mai Li-chan. Wait for them to come find you, all by your little lonesome, and then if there's anything left once you're done with them, the rest of us play clean up." Yonaka shook Mai Li's shoulder encouragingly. Whether or not Yonaka was being sincere was hard to tell. But she didn't seem to be interested in treating Mai Li as some helpless child. If people wanted to underestimate her, that was their mistake. From how her 'plan' sounded, that was what she was relying on.

Yonaka looked brightly between all the other members. Ana, Ten-Ton, Yuya, and of course Ishida. "This is our chance. We can find out whose doing this, and make 'em squeal."
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Hidden 10 days ago 10 days ago Post by sassy1085
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UMEKO HOUSEHOLD

Crap! Crap! Crap! Akina is late! She knew that homework would keep her late but not late! Akina didn't see the text from Ikue, she was busy with the books. With no time for waiting, Akina grab kendo sword and head toward the door into the night but only then stop when she hears irritated yet familiar voice "...And where you think you are going late at night, young lady?" It was her father, who was reading the newspaper to see his own daughter "....I'm just going to kendo club, father" Akina say to her father "This late at night? Why is your kendo club this late?" Crap! Could have sneak out of the window, Akina but no, you choose the door. Think of a lie, quick! "Well, Our kendo teacher wants us to come at night is because, um....To help to strengthen our mind, so we can be stronger at night?" There was a intense silence between the two, does he buy the lie? "....All right, be home after your club though" "Yes, father" After shutting the door right behind her, Akina let out a big sigh of relief, she can't believe that he believe her!.....Well, this is not the first lie that she come up with.
SARAYASHIKI JUNIOR HIGH

Despite finally made it to Sarayashiki Junior High, unfortunately, being disappointment to herself, Akina was late. Being the last one here, she wave embarrassingly to everyone as she led on the fence right next to Yūya, she then look at Yonaka like deadly daggers at her "It wasn't my fault, I just had homework." Akina say to Yonaka. Seems that this meeting is about attacks are on first years, Akina hear that been going around lately and she will not stand for it! Picking on the little guys is wrong! Akina and the gang will stop on whoever planning these attacks and put end to it! "Wait, even if we do use Mai Li-chan, they probably expected that they'll know that it a set up, right? Mai Li-chan all alone, with no one around? We need a better plan then a simple ambush" Akina explain the group "Minato-kun, Ikue-kun, got any other plans on how we get rid of the attacker"

@Zoey Boey@TheWendil@Courtaud
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Hidden 9 days ago 9 days ago Post by Noblebandit
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If Yuuya thought that Mai was going to turn tail and run from this, he was sorely mistaken. This was her element. It was gonna take a lot more than a few stares and a story about some boogeyman to scare her off!

It did introduce an important question: why? What did someone have to gain out of attacking first-years? It wasn't like they could brag about it, beating up someone half your size and three years younger. And it wasn't like first years were rich, either, so they could safely rule out theft as a possible motive. "Sounds like someone wants to send a message," Mai mumbled, more to herself than to anyone around her. If Ikue was right and the Student Council was getting involved in trying to keep things quiet, then they were trying to assert their authority over the new kids; that put her right in their crosshairs.

Which was right where she wanted to be. Taking on the Student Council was brave. Taking on the Student Council and winning was next to impossible. But what was the alternative? Keep her head down and hope the bad things wouldn't happen to her, ignoring when her classmates came to school bloody and bruised, if they came to school at all? Not likely! This thug wasn't going to stop on their own, and it was up to her to make them stop

Mai had been so caught up in her little fantasy of taking on the Student Council that for a moment, she forgot to say anything at all. She snapped out of it when she felt Yonaka's hand on her shoulder, reminding her that there were others in her presence, waiting for her to contribute to the planning.
"Hey, I can look after myself!" she asserted, in her typical bokukko fashion. "Don't go changing the plan on my account. If you need my help to catch this chump, all you gotta do is ask."
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Hidden 7 days ago Post by BenG85
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@Zoey Boey "I agree with Yonaka. Let's find 'em, and make 'em regret it."
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Hidden 7 days ago 6 days ago Post by pugbutter
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Just as it seemed like everyone had finally gotten settled in, and the real meat of the discussion could finally start (the boss, of course, building a quiet suspense for what he would say to this news, and to his lackeys' suggestions), Yūya heard footsteps clack-clacking up the stairwell. The distinct crispness of leather soles told him that Kevin-kun had arrived in his engineer boots. Good. He'd be just about jumping out of them in a moment. Despite a casual, kicked-up posture right beside the entranceway, Yūya was coiling. Bracing.

The footsteps made less sense the nearer they came to the door, though. They had none of Kevin's stomping bravado; too urbane, too ... genteel. They only could have belonged to the pompadoured punk in question if he was seriously ill, wounded, or maybe heartbroken. But Kevin's fellow yankii, entirely committed to his innocuous ambush, didn't waver; not until the wrong head of hair—not slicked up with a handful of grease, but draped over a narrow shoulder in a demure braid—bobbed past the window and out onto the school's observatory. Yūya had to skid up onto his tiptoes to stop from crashing right into her.

"Waa-waa-waa-waa," he hissed, like the squealing brakes of a bullet train. "Akina-chan! K-k-ka-ka-ka-konbanwa! I was, I was just, uh ... eh heh heh ..."

Her greeting, a smile and a wave, glazed over each of them with the same impersonal warmth. Either she hadn't heard Yūya, or—likelier—she was feigning as such, to give him the chance to come up with a bad excuse, and caulk up some of his injured dignity. He certainly could not rebuff this offer. Holding the door for her, he entered, and peered down the stairwell; then, hopping the ledge of the roof and twining his fingers through the chainlink fence, he glared down at the parking lot, where his motorcycle should have facsimilied itself into the next spot over. Kevin wasn't coming. Yūya reckoned that every gang had its half-hearts, but he wondered why here, why now: had an enemy ambush put Kevin in a sanitized white room, reeking of surgical stainless steel and formaldehyde? Had he broken down on the highway, his hands now a blank canvas for dirty oil and road-soot? Had the men in blue hats and blue tunics finally put Kevin in the back of their van, then a piss-stained cage, then a room with benches and a podium and a panel of men looking down on him with silk nooses knotted around their sweaty, grave-pale necks?

The ember at the end of Yūya's cigarette now warmed his knuckles; he gathered saliva on his tongue and drowned it. He hopped down from the fence. Umeko was there. Yūya scanned the roof for empty spots—by the vent, for example—by the now-quiet access door—really, anywhere but that radius around Ishida-san, thickening with people as his quietude forced them close, the moons revolving his Saturn—and concluded that there was plenty of room, and wanted to ask why she had chosen there, beside him, to situate. The realization—the wanting—hurried a shameful heat to his face. Molten fairy tales melded together with whisky commercials and radio pop songs in the kiln of his blood-rushed mind. He didn't think to question the irony: that he could dash ears-first into a platoon of baseball-batted thugs with no regard for the bones they'd break and the gashes they'd write in his skin, but such a childish curiosity could leave him petrified, like a bullfrog trapped in the crystalline pith of a November pond. That his face could feel so warm while he was utterly frozen in place.

When he thought she wasn't looking, Yūya did take the chance to glance down at her feet, though. She was wearing basketball shoes, the ones with the thin, hard rubber soles. He stifled a grumble.

"You could be bait, Mai Li-chan."
Oh ... that's right. He and Umeko were on the rooftop to contribute to a war effort. To resolve easy questions with easily-understood blunt instruments.

"Wait for them to come find you, all by your little lonesome; and then if there's anything left once you're done with them, the rest of us play clean-up!"

As if, for the second time in machine-gun-fire succession, reading the climes of his temperament in the dials and barometers of his face, Umeko once again saved Yūya the trouble of speaking. Whereas he would have objected to the plan on moral grounds, refusing, in so many hypermasculine words, to let a little girl take a beating for him, Umeko, in more clinical, strategic terms, explained why the plan would not work. Yūya admired her cleverness—envied it. How tactfully she had rejected this idea without spitting in the faces of its most frenzied proponents: Yonaka Aimi, eager to be indispensable to Ishida as she sniffed out fresh fuel for his war-machine. And Ri Mai—given no other avenue or purpose—eager to burn.

On the topic of Umeko, Yūya thought back to something she had told him once, on a day when he had walked outside to his motorcycle, only to find that someone had snipped the brake lines, obviously scheming an injurious and humiliating crash at the next red light or stop sign. Of course Umeko had said it in ... was it English? Latin? It sounded something like kuibono, but she'd had the grace to translate for his illiterate ass, too: "You know, Yūya-kun, there was once a Roman politician who was famous for solving cases like this," she had chirped. "During the trials he always asked, 'Cui bono?' That is, 'Who does this crime benefit?'"

"Mattaku. Where the hell do you keep learning this stuff?" he'd growled, trying very hard to ensure he sounded unimpressed.

"In books, of course. My father's books. Maybe you should start reading more, too. You'll be more useful at Minato-kun's gatherings!"

"Haaah? I'm plenty useful. When you need a guy to stand behind you menacingly, cross his arms and look mean, who's the first guy you call, hah?"

She giggled first, and he followed. Remembering it now, a smile struck a glancing blow across his face, and died just as quickly, like a firefly's S.O.S. signal in a tepid, lonely, dark blue summer night. Cui bono? In other words, who benefited from systematic attacks on the new first-years? Yūya's knee-jerk response, of course, had been to assure the others that he wouldn't back down from a confrontation with these perpetrators no matter how honed their skills, how indomitable their spirit. Whether as a matter of his confidence in his own fighting strength, or simply his snorting, horn-headed stubbornness. But these more cautious, hesitant members of the group still wanted certain assurances. Some of them wanted to know they championed a noble cause. Others thirsted for domination and conquest. More still simply wanted a glorious fight, a worthy opponent, a smooth, hard stone on which to whet their skills. Most of them, boringly, needed to feel assured that they would win before taking even one provocative step onto another gang's turf.

Think. Who the hell is it? Who stands to gain from pushing around a bunch of green-gills?

Was a stronger gang putting the squeeze on them while they still didn't know their way around the school? (It was only June, after all.) Were the first-years, against the odds, actually a force to be reckoned with, so much so that someone wanted them crushed before they found their bearings? Had they unknowingly stepped onto someone else's turf, which its bellicose banchō then took to heart? But none of these helped to narrow it down whatsoever.

Y'know, this, right here, is why she thinks you're a dumbass. Yūya side-snuck a curious glimpse, but when Umeko threatened him with eye contact he shyly snapped it forward. Well, maybe it can't be helped. Only way to find out might just be to be there when the next bop goes down.

Yūya stood right on the cusp of resigning himself to this non-answer when something ... strange—something cold and jagged—pierced his gut, and hooked him back from the precipice. A feeling. A strange, pluck-churning gravity which tugged him into its nucleus to be crushed by the weight of a new epiphany. His eye, inexplicably, was drawn to Ishida Minato, calm and gathered in his grey sport-coat and white Oxford button-up.

... Huh?

In his typical fashion, Ishida had pocketed a single hand. The other hand hung from its shirt sleeve, unwaveringly cool, inert, brimming with potential energy like a firing pin pulled taut behind an unfired bullet. He leaned against something—didn't matter what—and stared off into the light-polluted evening sky so as to look like he couldn't care less about the conversation at hand, while he quietly gauged the air for the moods and atmospheres radiating off each of his subordinates. He needed to look aloof and speak rarely if they were going to hang on his every word, and he needed to give them what they wanted, if only every now and then, if he wanted them to see the value in sticking around and following orders.

Don't be ridiculous. That chūnibyō just wants everyone to think he's secretly some kinda genius mastermind. Besides, how does Ishida-san benefit from a bully messing up the young blood, anyway? Spoiling the school's fresh meat ...

Fresh meat. The new recruits. The heirs. The new growths after another year's rumbles had scorched the political landscape of the school, like the yellow-green fern buds that burgeoned from cooled lava, the first new color in a blackened, glassy-dead world. Ishida needed them just like every other boss-boy: to carry his legacy, and let him graduate in the comforting knowledge that all his grudges and rivalries, even the ones he had inherited from his senpai, would be kindled and carried on into the next generation of students. But this would only happen in time; with patience. Right now they were still saplings: soft, pliant, easily trampled.

... Unless ... unless that meat wasn't going to waste.

What if a boss had some way of getting the young blood into the fight a year, even two years early? And not only that: what if he could threaten them so existentially, so absolutely, that they had no choice but to join his side, and all-together swell his army to an unaccostable size? Was such a thing even possible? If so, it made a sick kind of sense: either pose as (for example) the cheer squad, or incite the actual cheer squad into doing your dirty work. Then go to the smaller, weaker, battered, humiliated victims and offer them relief. Protection first; shelter from the relentless storm. Then, as they got back on their feet: dignity. Respect. An alliance.

Kill two birds with one stone, as they say: gain a new ally, and scapegoat your enemies for their mistreatment. Hell, Yūya himself could corroborate at least the former half of that story. After his defeat, he had been given precisely that dignity: the chance to rise to his feet, dust himself off, and shake hands with the victor. No gloating. No shame.

But ... no. No, this was too high-level even for Ishida. No one could handle that many variables, that many moving parts, no matter how well-machined.

Yūya discovered that somewhere in his rumination, he had stuck an unlit cigarette between his lips. He must've been acting out of habit while he worried himself stupid; a sort of ... rooftop highway hypnosis. His own stupidity amused him. He chuckled dryly. "Pathetic. Just pathetic," he murmured.

Some part of him must've been grasping at straws; peering for the justification. The excuse. Anything to demonize Ishida so that if (if) Yūya did decide to go along with Mutо̄ Hiroaki's idea, it would make sense to Yūya and his weird little warrior's code; it would ... feel right.

And so he was coming up with asinine, dumbass notions like this, huh?—anything to vilify Ishida and rationalize taking him down. Just as the first chuckle was dying down, Yūya chuckled again.

Don't worry, bro, he said to himself as he braved another glance in the boss's direction. You're good but you ain't that good. Right?

Surely, no one was.
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Hidden 5 days ago Post by TheWendil
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Well, wasn’t this fun. The others took the news just about as Ikue expected to be honest and she was happy to see she could hear in on the conversation even from her side of things. Ah, weren’t cellphones just the greatest? As far as conversation was going, everyone seemed to fall back to the obvious plan that was lingering above their heads like Yūya’s cigarette smoke. Why not just use the first-year runt as live bait? Give their enemy what they wanted?

It was almost too good of a plan to be true, but then again, the simple decisions were sometimes the most glaringly correct ones. And above all else, Mai herself seemed to hop aboard the gang’s plan for her. “Hey new girl, that’s some real spunk you got there. Provided your face isn’t caved in by the time we actually meet, I think I can formulate a response from these observations.” Or in other words. “I think I like you~” The sound of something shifting could be heard on Ikue’s line of the phone; was she moving a corpse or just stretching? Who really knew these days.

Still, all of them could debate or agree the entire night away and no decision would be reached unless their leader said so. The majority tended to agree with this plan but Ikue said nothing in addition or subtraction for it even when Akina asked. After all, nothing was final until Ishida gave the order. Until then, the most they could do was spitball ideas as Ikue sat around on the other line. It wasn’t like she could really see what was happening on their rooftop anyway.

“Well, got any more words to say boss?” she finally prodded to Ishida. “As much as I enjoy the waiting game, it can’t possibly be too warm up there at this hour. If you just said so, I could have thrown this meeting in a fancy hotel and we’d be real gangsters, hah!” Well, whatever the case, she was sure she’d have to pay for something in this new development for them. “Just tell me whatcha need and toss me the bill later,” she added on.

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Hidden 5 days ago 5 days ago Post by LostDestiny
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Ana Tamura


Ana listened to Ikue's information. The other female's speech patterns, admittedly, annoyed Ana but she would never express that verbally. She was a good source of info, and funded the gang pretty heavily also, so she couldn't complain even if she wanted to. It was more that Ikue had a flare for the dramatics and Ana was more a straight to the point kind of person. Either way the information about the attacks on first years was disturbing to say the least. Then others started suggesting using the newest member as bait, something Ana wasn't quite comfortable with at this point. She was untested, they didn't know what she was truly capable of, not to mention they had little information. She seemed willing to take it on but Ana wasn't sure. Now was one of the few times she actually spoke up. Her voice much more confident than one would think considering she rarely said anything to most of them.

"I don't like using an untested member of the group as bait. Regardless of her skill, we don't have enough information. For all we know it could be more than one of us could handle on our own. I don't like risking our group's health on a gamble that she can take care of herself." He violet eyes scanned the group, any one who wasn't brand new knew that Ana cared about everyone here. They may not see eye to eye but they were she closest thing she had to a family. They also knew it wasn't often she spoke out. She was the silent pillar. Always in the background ready to clean up the other's messes. Her attention went to Mai.

"Whereas I appreciate the enthusiasm you don't have to risk getting beaten bloody to prove yourself to the group." She looked the smaller female in the eyes, before turning back to the group. She saw the determination in her eyes. Ready to prove herself to this group of misfits by any means necessary. "IF, we are going to go through with using her as bait, which again, I would rather not risk, we more of a plan then, let the first year fend for herself. Someone needs to be nearby at all times. Far enough to not get noticed, close enough to step in if she needs help. This person can't be Ten-Ton or myself, everyone knows we are with Minato. It needs to be some of the newer members." With what little information they had keeping someone close was the best option. Obviously the course of action would be determined by the boss, but her opinion had weight and she knew it. All the options needed to be on the table.

She hadn't moved from her spot on the fence as she spoke, and her arms remained crossed in front of her, to some this was the most she had spoken since they joined. Her eyes flashed over the newer members of the group. Who, if any, would volunteer to be the first years back seat baby sitter. It couldn't be a prominent member of the group she knew at least Minato knew this. She supposed they had some time to think about the options. But really how much time did they have?
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Hidden 3 days ago 3 days ago Post by Noblebandit
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Mai looked at Tamura like she had punched her. Did she think she was so weak that she couldn't handle one cowardly attacker by herself?

Well, it isn't as though I've proved myself. They still think I'm some kid.

Right. They didn't know who she was, not really. In their eyes, Mai was just some dough-faced child trying to act like one of the big boys. But that was exactly why she had to do this. She couldn't go hiding behind someone else's skirt for the rest of her life, sitting on the sidelines while someone else did all the important work. No, she had to participate, if for no other reason than to truly earn her place in the gang. If she backed down now, they would always look at her like a child, but if she did this, even if she took a thrashing, they'd at least know that she was willing to take that for them.

"Maybe I don't have to take that risk. But someone does! How else are we supposed to catch these guys?" She raised a hand, pre-emptively silencing any protests. "Sure, we could go around the victims and ask them questions, like some chump detectives, and maybe we might be able to piece together some evidence from the patchwork of "I didn't see their face" and "they were wearing a mask" that we'll get, but I don't think we'll get anything useful at all. Besides, what if someone remembers wrong? We won't know for sure unless we catch them red-handed!"
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