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Fog of Seasons

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A pair of eyes wandered around, curious and confused. He found himself sitting on a barstool looking at an assortment of drinks when he was sure he was sleeping a moment ago.

“Welcome to the velvet room.” A man spoke, causing the curious one to turn right, to what looked like a stage, primarily used for dancing. There was a balding long nose man, sitting behind a desk hands clasped together. “Please do not be alarmed.” The long nose man calmly spoke, noticing the tenseness of his guest. “You are currently asleep in the real world as this place exist between dream and reality, mind and matter.” The man only hummed.

So this is a dream? Weirdest dream I ever had. Maybe I should lay off the-

“Anyway, My name is Igor. It’s a pleasure to make an your acquaintance.” The man now known as Igor greeted. “This place is only for those who are bound by a contract.” He began to chuckle. “A great fate may await you, now please why don’t you introduce yourself.”

“Ryoutaro Dojima…feel free to call me Ryo for short.” he said, deciding to play along. If this truly was just a dream he’d wake up but if not, this old man was in a rude awakening.

Igor nods before making a gesture. A slam could be heard next heard next to Ryo as stiffened. He quickly turned back to a man about his height sizing him up with steel gray eyes. Ryo simply rose his brows, the man was menacing for sure, with his sharp features and blonde hair that screamed deliquent, but that was all ruined by what he was wearing. A blue dress shirt with a black short sleeve vest over it, followed by black slacks and dress shoes. To top it off, a blue hat, the ones you usually would see a bellboy wear and to the side of it was a white flower.

“This is Kanji, he is a resident much like myself. He’ll be here to assist you on your journey.”

“Aw yeah!” Kanji boomed, facial expression turning into a wicked grin, giving the now surprised Ryo and bicep polishing pose. “I’ll give it all I got!”

“All in due time, there’s no need to rush Kanji.” Igor chuckled. Kanji nervously chuckled scratching the back of his head. “Now then… if you could.” Kanji nodded as put a stack of cards face down in front of Ryo. “Do you believe in fortune telling?” Igor asked.

Can't say I ever believed in that crap… Ryo thought as Kanji flipped a card over, a picture of two dogs howling at a moon with a lobster on top of it. “The moon in the upright position, it represents hesistation and mystery…” he chuckled again. “How interesting… it seems you will counter a misfortune at your destination, and a great mystery will be imposed upon you. Hearing Ryo click him tongue he continued. “In the coming days you will encounter a contract of some sort, after which you will come back here. The coming year is a turning point in your destiny…If the mystery goes unsolved…”

“Your future may be lost forever.”

Ryo simply rolled his eyes, once again another adult was talking to him about his future. Even if this was a dream it gets tiring to hear.

“We’ll see about that.” Ryo smirked. Igor simply closed his eyes, chuckling again.

“Quite the arrogant guest. But still it is my duty too ensure that doesn’t happen. Till we meet again, farewell.” And with that Ryo blacked out.


 

Ryo lept outta bed, a fresh coat of sweat running down his body. He looked around and had a sense of familiarity; his PlayStation 2 console, the random posters of his favorite boxers. He was back in his room. A sigh left him as he glanced at the clock above his TV. Half past six. He then looked at his calendar to the right.

Crap.


 

Between the alleyway of the Aiya Diner, two guys leaned against the hard brick wall. One of them taking a puff of a cigarette while the other one squatting, cringing at the smoke coming out of his friend’s mouth.

“I still don’t see the appeal of that Ryo.” He frowned, watching his friend flick the cigarette away after another puff.

“It makes me look cooler.” He said more as a statement with a wicked grin earning an eye roll from his companion. The two were suppose to be heading off to Yasogami High to start their second year. But they felt that their Spring Break ended a little too soon. As soon as enough time passed they would head off too Okina. At least that was the plan.

“Please… just leave me alone.” They heard a girl beg. She was currently surrounded by at least seven guys from across the street. People looked on but decided to keep walking, mostly due to fear.

“We just want to give you a good time.” One of them said.

“Come on don’t be such a party pooper.” Another one said, going are far as to stoke the girl’s cheek. The two could see the fear in the girls eye and spat in disgust. With a shrug, they walked over as the men kept trying to persuade the girl to come around, once again promising her a good time.

“A good time huh? Why wasn’t I invited?” The bullies turned around seeing the smug faces of the duo. One of the guys, a man with blond hair walked up. A sneered plastered on his face.

“Ryoutarou, what do you want?”

“Like I said I'm looking for a good time.” With all the bullies looking at the duo, the girl found enough courage to run away and run behind the shorter of the duo, almost clinging too him. He mentally fist pumped before turning his head to her.

“Are you ok?” He asked as she nodded

“Y-yes thank you…”

“Tohru Adachi, at your service! Deliquent Hero extraordinaire!” He said with a toothy grin.

“Hero? Ha! More like sidekick!” one of the bullies called out. Ryou actually snorted at that earning an irritated glance from Tohru.

“Well this “sidekick” kicked your ass last time.” Tohru teased, voice filled with sarcasm.

“It won’t be the same this time! Get them boys!”

“Just don’t cry when you lose!” Ryou already threw himself into the fray, decking one of the guys in the jaw. Tohru was about to join in when he remembered the girl behind him.

“Aha you should probably get somewhere safe.” He warned her. With a grateful nod she ran off giving him the chance to join in.

“Hey Toto! How long have we known each other?” Ryou ask while holding a man's head in his arm while headbutting another.

“Since elementary! Hard to believe I dealt with your crap for 10 years Ryo!” Tohru responding kneeing one man in the face before ducking from a hook of another. He quickly punched that guy in the gut followed by an uppercut. He could hear Ryou laughing as he let go of the man he was suffocating.

“Sorry about that!” Ryou laughs as he back hands another man leaving just the leader. “Well this was disappointing.” He was hoping for more of a challenge.

“I thought you said it wouldn’t be the same this time?” Tohru mocks, arms open as if inviting him to try his luck.

“Shut up you think you’re hot shit don’t ya?!”

“Well-“ Tohru couldn’t start his retort as sirens wailed across the district. Three cop cars containing at least eight cops came by.

“Freeze! Everyone get on the floor right now!”

“Ah shit…” Ryou winced praying that a certain chief wasn’t here as well. He was wrong and he heard heavy boots get closer to him.

“Nice to see you causing trouble again you little shit.”


 

“Ryoutarou Dojima, three charges of assault, four charges of vandalism, and-“ The chief snatches a cigarette from Ryou's mouth. “Underage smoking.”

“To be fair, at least the assaults were on scumbags.”

“Take this seriously!” The chief slammed his desk before sighing, looking through the papers of his two reoccurring offender. “Look I know deep down you’re a good kid, a smart kid. That Yamano girl even put in a word saying you two saved her, but you can’t keep doing this! You’re almost adults, I won’t be lenient towards your crimes if you keep this up.

“Right I appreciate the concern.”

“Hmph you won’t be so smug when you leave. She’s outside waiting for you.” At that Ryou paled. That demon waiting for him. “Well go on then, at least with her around you’ll actually go to school today.”
Ryou considered actually going to jail but knew the demon would still get him, with a “tch” he heads out the door. The chief just shakes his head. “I don’t know what she sees in you…”


 

Ryou eyes shifted right and left, only seeing other police officers walking by. Screw this I’m going through the back. He casually walks to the back entrance, making sure no one tries to stop him. He opens the door to an alleyway. He smirks knowing that he can just head home and not deal with the demon's talons. Sorry Toto you’re on your own! He's about to walk when a pair of hands reaches for his ears. With a twist and pull, his head gets pulled back.

“How’d I know you try to run.” A feminine voice whispered. It sounded sweet but filled with venom. Ryou felt a sweat run down the back of his neck as he struggled to turn his head.

“Just.. just do it already.” Ryou sighed accepting his fate.

A few bumps to the head and ear twists later, he was finally given sanctuary. He groaned, kneeling while clutching his ears and few tears rolling down his eyes. The girl crossed her arms as Tohru stood behind her in the same condition.

“You…getting soft on me Chi-chan? That wasn’t as harsh as the other times.” Ryou clammed up when he saw a glint in her brown eyes. “Tch, nevermind.”

“You guys were planning on skipping school today weren’t you?”

“Nope we were just patrolling Inaba!” Tohru quickly defended.

“If by patrolling you meant go to Okina and play games all day.”

“Aha well…”

“Jeez…what am I going do with you two?”

“Letting us go would be nice…”Ryou frowned receiving a harsh kick to the knee. “It was a joke…” he winced as she huffed.

“Of course, now move it you too we’re already late!“ she glanced at Tohru, who wasted no time rushing out of the alleyway before looking at Ryou. “And Ryo?”

“What?” He stopped as she wrapped something red around his collared shirt. When she took a step back he looked down seeing a pristine red tie.

“There now you look more professional.” She smiled before walking off.

“Tch…” he groaned trying to ignore how nice her smile was.


 

The three walked too school, or rather the two got dragged there.

“Hello! Aren’t you kids late? Oh it’s you two troublemakers!” It was the gas station attendant, giving off his usual bright smile.

“Seems our names precedes us huh Ryo?” Torhu shrugged with pride.

“Yea well whatever, we gotta head off to school.” Ryou scoffed trying to end the conversation. Something about that guy just seemed off.

“Well alright! By the way maybe you two might want to consider a part time job. Might keep you two outta trouble. Give it some thought ok?” The attendant held his hands for the two guys to take. A bit skeptical but he knew Chisato would get on his ass for being impolite, shook it.

“Will do!” Tohru followed a fake grin on his face. The trio walked away hurrying to school.

“Well that guy was nice.” Chisato spoke earning an eye roll from Ryou.

“Meh looked like an asshole to me.” Tohru casually replied. A few steps later Tohru's vision saw double as he stumbled. He felt like he was about to throw up.

Ryou looked in confusion before the same happened to him. Holding himself up against a tree, he held a hand to his mouth.

“H-hey you guys ok? You aren’t just trying to make getting out of school again are you?”

The two panted as the feeling went away. They looked at each other before looking back at the gas station.

“I knew there was something up with that guy.” Ryou growled. Chisato already sensed their hostility, pulling them both towards the school.

“Oh no you don’t!”

Ryou tched as he took one last glance back at the gas station. He decided it wasn’t worth his time.