[identity profile] virgo186.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] fadingdaydream
(Return eyecatch, and let's get back to this thing.)

After a few hours of trying to weave together a slightly altered version of her 'official' story, Kotori set the pen aside, tucked the finished paperwork back in the folder, and put Keine back on her pillow. "Thanks again, guardian," she said, smiling. "I really couldn't do this without your help, you know that."

"Someone has to keep you in line," Keine answered, purring. "I only wish I could be more help sometimes."

"The fact you're able to stick with me is plenty of help," Kotori replied. "Do you ever regret what we did? The soul-bonding thing?"

"I promised you that you would never have to suffer being abandoned again," Keine said. "I think I made the right choice. Do you ever regret me staying with you?"

"Not one bit, even if you nag me," Kotori said. "Speaking of which, feel free to nag me over homework, since I'm going back to school. Want me to bring extra back for you?"

"Nice of you to offer, but I think yours will be enough," Keine laughed. "You might end up with extra anyway, if Usagi-chan decides she wants your help."

"I just hope I can remember the name changes," Kotori sighed, glancing at the folder. "I'll go turn that stuff in tomorrow. Might as well start soon. For now, though, I guess I go back to that chore list. Enjoy your nap while the sun's still out."

Keine curled up in her sunbeam-warmed pillow again, returning to her nap, and Kotori headed back outside to her broom.


A couple days later, Serena's class was discussing the news of a newcomer joining them that morning. Nobody had seen her yet, but the rumors were already starting.

"I heard she's completely weird," one girl was saying. "Really shy and talks funny."

"Think she'll be cute?" one of the boys asked. "Cute and shy aren't bad combinations."

Serena ducked into the classroom just as the bell rang, thankful her teacher was nowhere to be found. "Not late today, not late today, not late today," she panted, dropping into her seat. "Not late today. Can escape on time."

Of course, just after she sat down, class supernerd Melvin took that as his signal to start up discussion with her. "So, word is we have a new girl joining us today," he said, leaning against Serena's desk. "No details released yet, but everyone has an opinion."

"Since when is that anything new?" Serena said, digging out her notebook. "Whoever she is, she'll show up and be somebody, just like anybody else."

"Did you pass anyone interesting while you were running here?" Melvin asked, still smiling as usual, "or manage to run over anyone?"

Serena swatted at him with her book. "Buzz off, nerd-boy," she growled.

With that, Melvin returned to his seat, and the class settled down as their teacher came in. "I'd like to introduce a new student today," Miss Haruna announced, gesturing towards the door. "I expect you all to be helpful, and make her feel welcome."

The new girl entered, and the students finally got to see the one they had been discussing earlier. She looked nervous, standing in front of the room. Her hair was pale lavender, in two long thick braids, and she wore large round glasses over her ruby-red eyes.

Serena sat up quickly, recognizing the girl almost instantly. Tori's here!

"Welcome to Crossroads Junior High, Tori Fielding," Miss Haruna said. "You can take one of the empty seats. The rest of you, I hope you did your homework last night."

The new girl locked eyes with Serena as she walked up the aisle close by. As promised, she would be looking out for Serena. Her mission had finally begun.

Now that I'm here, Kotori thought, bring it on, new rival. We're ready for you.
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Fading Days, Fading Dreams

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