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Stakes raised high

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As Akira hurried his way to shelter himself from the rain, the cold droplets felt like just another shove of bad luck to match the rest of his unfortunate situation. Looking down at his phone, he noticed a strange app icon flashing on the screen. An eye? He didn’t have time to contemplate the peculiar design, lowering his phone in favor of watching the slender form of a girl walking to stand next to him. She brushed the rain from her shoulders and took a hold of the hood concealing her face.

Long blond pigtails fell across her shoulders, almost distracting from her clear blue eyes. She noticed him unconsciously staring and gave a slight smile before focusing on the view in front of her. After looking at her for a few more moments, he snapped out of it and proceeded to do the same.
A white car rolled into a stop before them and the passenger seat window was lowered, revealing an arrogant looking man with a mop of dark curls. “Good morning. You want me to give you a ride to school? You’re gonna be late,” he called out to the foreign looking girl.

“Uhm, sure. Thank you,” she politely accepted, making her way to the car. As she opened the passenger door, the man’s gaze shifted to look at Akira, focusing on his face. Dark brown eyes narrowed, and the man stared a little too intensely before quickly forming a smile and asked “Do you need a lift too?”

While the man seemed plenty of kind and the girl seemed to know him, his parents had made sure he was familiar with the concept of ‘stranger danger’ and stepping into a unfamiliar man’s car definitely contradicted those rules. He smiled politely as he shook his hand in rejection. Dark eyes lingered a few more second before raising the passenger window, hiding the girls almost worried frown from view. As the car drove away, he was left wondering whether he should be alarmed by the girls seeming doubt and the man’s suspicious staring. Perhaps he was looking too much into the situation?

A boy ran past him, slowing to a halt while looking at the retreating car in frustration. “Damn it…Screw that pervy teacher,” the blonde grumbled.

“…Pervy teacher?” Akira repeated in slight confusion. This caught the boy’s attention. He whirled around to look at him, stepping closer with an almost threatening stance.

“…What do you want?” he asked accusingly. “You plannin’ on rattin’ me out to Kamoshida?” Not quite getting the vulgar boy’s question, Akira answered with a confused “Kamoshida?”

This seemingly brought the boy off track. “Huh?” he questioned, “In the car just now. It was Kamoshida.”
Thinking back to the unfamiliar man in the car, he quickly realized who the boy was talking about. “He does whatever the hell he wants. Who does he think he is anyway?” Not quite sure what he meant, Akira frowned in confusion.

“Who was he?” After a moment of surprised silence, the blonde asked “…Wait. You don’t know Kamoshida? Are you for real? You’re from Shujin, right?” he asked.

“I think so…” Akira nodded, remembering Sojiro’s mention of the school he will be attending for the next year.

The boy frowned. “…You messin’ with me? You’re wearing a Shujin uniform,” he noted. The detail just now being brought to his attention, he realized the blonde was right. “A second year, huh… We’re in the same grade then,” he said. “Never seen you before though.” The boy gave it a thought, before coming to a sudden realization.
“Oh, you a transfer student? Hm. Well, no wonder you don’t know him.”
Shrugging off the prior conversation topic, he looked around to notice the rain had calmed itself to a slight drizzle. “This rain ain’t too bad. We better hurry up, or we’ll be too late.” This brought a relieved smile to Akira’s face, knowing he probably would’ve been too late without a guide to lead the way through Shibuya’s numerous alleys and streets. He gratefully followed the boy, the brief walk ending when the giant building that was Shujin academy that came into view. “Welp, we’re here” the boy noted.

Akira smiled politely, “thank you for showing me the way…” He said with a questioning tone towards the end, hoping the blonde would introduce himself.
“Damn, I forgot to introduce myself. The names Ryuji,” the boy replies with a grin. “Akira Kurusu,” he smiled in turn.

The two of them shared a firm handshake and Akira wondered whether Ryuji was also looking for a friend.

“How long are you two going to be standing there?” a stern voice called from the school entrance, accompanied by an annoyed sigh. Looking around for the source of the voice, Akira found a middle aged man in a gray suit looking at them with a questioning stance.

“Crap, he’s right! We gotta go!” Ryuji exclaimed, taking his your hand and quickly brushing past the exasperated man. Once inside the school, Ryuji stopped for a second. Akira was embarrassingly disappointed by the loss of physical contact when Ryuji awkwardly let go of his hand once he realized he was still holding it. “Follow me, the second year classrooms are on the second floor,” he mumbled, turning his slightly red face towards the stairs.

Making his way up the steps, Akira hoped Ryuji shared a classroom with him. Not only because of the relief of knowing someone in the unfamiliar sea of students, but also because he found he genuinely enjoyed Ryuji’s company, as strange as the brown eyed boy may be. “I have to go but since you’re new you should probably look for your homeroom teacher, yeah?” Remembering Kawakami’s sullen look, he didn’t look forward to seeing her again.

Realizing he didn’t quite have a choice though, he asked ryuji for directions to the faculty office. “No probs, lemme walk you over there,” Ryuji responded.
He quickly followed him to their destination. “Here we are. I gotta run to class, but see ya later?” Ryuji asked in what the dark haired boy hoped was a chance to see each other again, maybe even becoming friends.

He nodded maybe a little too quick, which earned a bright smile from the blonde. “Great! Bye dude, catch ya later then,” he grinned, before running of to what he assumed was Ryuji’s classroom.
Now alone he realized exactly how nervous he was, quickly swiping his clammy hands on his new school uniform before gathering his courage and knocking on the door. “Come in,” a voice called, and he entered with slight hesitation. Immediately spotting Kawakami, he promptly walked over to the woman’s desk, and as he met her tired eyes he was met with what seemed like an almost disappointed look.

His homeroom teacher sighed and greeted him with a quiet “You actually came… “ before standing up and motioning him to follow her. She led him to what he assumed was his classroom, and without a waring she abruptly entered, waiting for him to follow.