There's a new girl in class, and she is so innocent, it causes strife from the first moment.
The next school day came, and Jean-Claude, Karin, and Kenta all made their way down the hill. There was little in the way of conversation, and Jean-Claude wondered if it were possible to see Chiyuki in class. He wondered what grade they would put her if that were the case, or what she would look like in the uniform. He also wondered how much money she had. If she were old like he suspected, she had to have something squirreled away. Of course, she would indeed gain praise from her teachers, considering that, at her age, whatever that might be, she would be an ace student. It all remained. In addition, he carried a large bag with a pair of hockey skates and a stick. It was the start of the hockey season, and he hoped that this would be a good tryout. He did not know how well they played hockey here, or if they understood the true Canadian philosophy behind the game. Being Franco-American with Canadian connections, he knew the game well. He had his own philosophy, and it stemmed back to the old Philadelphia Flyers: if you can't beat 'em on the street, you can't beat 'em on the ice! He hoped they were ready for him. Karin said, “So, you any good?”
He just affected an evil grin on his face, and said, “Wait till they get a load of me!”
The other two saw the look, and said in their minds, “Oh boy!”
However, Jean-Claude had one of those...well...feelings like something was near, but he could not put his finger on what. However, before he could get his faculties together, she popped in. Chiyuki was watching quietly, as she waited for the little posse she had join to come around, when she said Jean-Claude walking around with gear in his bag, she jumped down gracefully and landed abreast to him. The uniform looked amazing on her, her hair pulled back into a braid, “Ohiho, Claude-san,” she said, smiling cutely.
Kenta nearly crawled out of his skin, as Karin jumped back and squealed. Jean-Claude was about to take a stance when he then figured out who it was. “Taking tips from Corn Muffin, or has she been learning from you?” he asked.
“I’ve been doing that longer then she has been alive,” Chiyuki said quietly.
“And just how long have you been crawling around?” he asked, hoping this would not get too personal.
“A little over a thousand years,” she said, smiling cutely.
His eyes went wide as he walked, looking like a codfish. He finally choked out, “But...but...I’ve never heard...that’s...not even the average vampire has lived that long, at least, I don’t recall hearing of that!”
“Average vampires didn’t move around enough,” she said, “I had too because they noticed I didn't age,” she said quietly.
He thought for another moment, and then said, “Also, how did you get past registration? I mean, I had enough trouble, and had to give a false address until I moved in with the Markers! I figured that, at 17, being on my own would be a problem. Of course, I later learned that, if a kid, even if they are just 16, and they can sustain themselves, can rent and live on their own. Wow, that must be a hard row to hoe. Anyway, what kind of shenanigans did you pull off to get in without a problem?”
“Um…I told them I was you sister,” she said.
His eyes nearly popped out of his head, and Karin shuddered. Jean-Claude said, “Umm...you do realize that would give you a last name of Marker, that is, Makka, here in Japan? You also realize that means you would have to use my address, right? Oh boy, covering for this is going to take some thought.”
Then he remembered that he had not told her that, both in the human and vampire worlds, Henry had legally adopted him, and he then told her that this had happened.
“Oh...well…I knew you didn’t have a family, so I said I was a long lost sister, I fluttered my eyelids, looked cute and they said nothing,” she said, scratching her head.
“Well, no sense in worrying about that now,” he said, “We have to get to class. Give me time, and I'll figure out something today.”
He then had an epiphany, “You know, Yuriya and I have recently wed, right?”
“Yea, I knew,’ she said, smiling.
“Well, the bats have almost finished the house we will be using,” he said, “We may have to sneak you in for the time being, until we talk to papa, but you are welcome to stay there. Cool?”
“Okay,” she said smiling; she then started to act cute as the walked into the school building.
As they entered, she flipped her hair over her shoulder and smiled slightly, making herself look innocent. She had completely changed form the person he knew. Jean-Claude put a hand to her forehead, (slightly shaken by the lack of heat emanating from her,) and said, “Are you feeling alright? This is like a Jekyll and Hyde...” but before he could continue, he remembered his own demeanor when he hunted, and that was normally his game face, considering what he chased, and what he had to do to get it. At least that would not come for another month or so. She said, (constantly affecting a smile on her face,) “Jean-san, this is so I can keep things simple and it keeps people form suspecting anything about me.”
“Yeah,” he said, “I didn't stop to think. Besides, it’s kinda the same way with me, although, what you saw a couple of nights ago was more like a game face. I am more focused on the task at that point.”
She acknowledged this with a nod as they entered the classroom. As they did, the teacher intercepted Chiyuki, saying, “It is so good to see you, Makka-san. Please stand up here as I introduce you to the class!”
Chiyuki blushed, “Well gosh, thanks,” she said, making the most cute face possible, so much so, that practically all the guys where having nosebleeds. She then whispered in a fashion that she knew only Karin, Kenta, (with his g’hul abilities,) and Jean-Claude could hear, “Does Ren have anyone special?”
Karin whispered back, “Ren...have someone special? You might as well ask for pigs to fly! He’s like a doorknob—every girl gets a turn!”
The teacher called for the students to take a seat, and the teacher said, “Okay everyone, we have a transfer student here. Here name is Chiyuki Tanaka Makka. She is a long, lost sister that was just recently able to reunite with her brother, Jean-Claude Makka!”
Everyone began to applaud, and then the teacher said to her, “So, tell the class where you come from, how old you are, and what are some of the things you like to do.”
She touched her finger to her lips and then got very excited, answering, “I am sixteen years old, and I am from Florida in the Americas. I like to write poetry and draw,” she said.
Every boy's eyes were dreamy, as they were fantasizing about her being his girlfriend. Some were naughtier than others were, but she could have said that she was Attila the Hun, and it would not have mattered in their eyes. However, Karin, Kenta, Wiener, and Maki were stifling laughs, as Jean-Claude was making motions as if he were spreading a lot of cream cheese on a bagel, staring right at her, with a knowing smile on his face. Chiyuki giggled at him then turned to the teacher, asking “Could I sit down?” pointing towards a seat next to a boy who's eyes looked like they might explode. “Certainly,” she said, “And I am glad you mentioned poetry, because, in English class today, we are discussing the form. Jean-Claude is going to read his favorite poem by Kipling, and if you have one, you are welcome to read it as well, even if it be one of your own!”
She giggled and took her seat next to the guy with the bulging eyes. She started to write down one of her favorite poems she had written:
I take back my tears; the wasted years I spent crying for what could never happen.
I take back my heart; my shattered heart up off the ground and back in my arms.
I walk away a free woman, held by nothing of yours; to fly away free as the wind.
The boy glanced over, saw what she had scrawled, and he gushed, “That is so beautiful,” with that same dreamy look. “Arigatou…umm…” she said, trying to think if he had told her his name. Just then, Neko came and hoped on to her shoulder, he rubbed his head against her neck and purred softly. The cat caught the attention of the teacher, and said, “Who is that on your shoulder Chiyuki-san?”
“Him? He is Neko-chan!” she said, petting his head.
“Well, I know you didn't bring him in,” she said, “He must have snuck in. However, you know he cannot be in here during class, right?”
“Oh please Sensei, he has never been without me and he gets scared easily, so he followed me,” she said her eyes big and pleading.
The teacher came up, and began to scratch the cat’s head, saying, “He is adorable, but, you know how the bureaucrats are: sanitary conditions, having to have a litter box, what a cat may carry in. The only way that could happen is if he were to be made some kind of mascot. But the school has the Bats, and I don't know how this could be done.”
“He is clean: I wash him everyday, and he is well behaved,” she said, saying her argument with pleading reason.
At this, the boys of the class were showing their support for her and Neko, if for no other reason than to gain her favor. Because of the pleading, the teacher said, “Well, just for today, as long as he is housebroken. I’ll have to see if we can keep him.”
Chiyuki smiled and petted Neko, “He is, and Arigatou,” she said, to the bulgy-eyed boy next to her.
“Yes?” he said, dreamy-eyed.
She smiled at him and gave him a cookie she had in a lunch box, “I made these this morning, please accept,” she said, holding it out.
“That’s Chiyuki-san, nice, you're welcome!” he said, robotically taking the cookies, so smitten, that rational words ceased to come from his mouth. Meanwhile, every girl behind her was gnashing her teeth at her, not liking this new rival’s presence. She turned to smile, oblivious at the girls, and waved. All Jean-Claude could think was, “Oh God, if they try anything, they are in big trouble!”
That afternoon was English class, and Jean-Claude presented what was his favorite poem, and what spelled out much of the philosophy in his life. It was titled If by Rudyard Kipling, and it went as follows:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much, If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! (Public Domain in the United States.)
He then said, “If only enough people thought like this, the world would be a better place.”
Chiyuki applauded and cheered, “Go Jean-san!” all the while sitting next to a curly red head, which would look down at her breast when he thought she wasn't looking.
“Wow! The Bats could use you in the stands this year!” said Jean-Claude, “Tryouts are today. Why don't you come and watch—I could use all the support that I could get.”
“I might come, though sports never interested me much,” she said, yawning.
“I think you'll like ice hockey,” he said, “It plays fast and hits hard,” and then joked, “And that's just in the stands!”
The teacher then spoke up and said, “Okay, so, let’s have some feedback on Jean-san’s poem, in English, mind you—this is the whole purpose of the class.”
She then looked at Chiyuki, and said, “Let’s start with you, since you are so enthused to participate today!”
“I think it is a wonderful and thoughtful poem that I wouldn't mind reading over and over again,” she said, in the thickest, sweetest way she knew how.
“Anyone else?” she asked, but almost all the boys were fixated on the “goddess” that sat in the room, and the girls were showing too much anger and hatred to answer. Thus, Kenta spoke up, and said, “I think people would not hate so much if they had this attitude.”
“People would leave each other in peace,” said Karin.
“I don’t tink peopre would be so judgmentau,” said Maki, still having diction problems. The teacher said, “Watch your pronunciation.”
She remembered what Jean-Claude had said, and she tried again, “I don't... (sticking her tongue between her teeth,)...think... (with a healthy “t-h,”) people would be so judgmental.”
“Much better,” said the teacher.
Jean-Claude chimed in, and said, “There is a folk song that talks about unity, and I would like to sing it, if that's okay.”
“Go ahead,” she said. With that, he picked up his 12-string, and began to play an old folk song entitled River of Jordan, talking about there being only one river that leads to only one sea, and that all are really one people, no matter who or what they are, and more importantly, one spirit to all. The song began to move a bit, and everyone began to clap along with it, taking the edge off the mood in the class. Jean-Claude intended this ulterior motive, seeing how Chiyuki was getting ready to cause a civil war. Of course, Chiyuki was doing this is so she could make prey, and thus when she drank from them, she would make friends out of them. Of course, Jean-Claude did not know this, although he had his suspicions. Everyone applauded at the rousing song as he took his seat. The teacher then said, “Many songs are poetry set to music. It can have the same effect. Now, Chiyuki, you said you liked to write poetry. Would you like to recite one that speaks from the heart, or gives a unique perspective on the world?”
Chiyuki stood up and smiled, “I am going to recite Edgar Allen Poe's biggest, most popular poem,” she explained before she started reciting:
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door - Only this, and nothing more.'
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore - For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore - Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door - Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; - This it is, and nothing more,'
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; - Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!' Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore - Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; - 'Tis the wind and nothing more!'
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door - Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door - Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore - Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door - Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.' But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered - Till I scarcely more than muttered
`Other friends have flown before - On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore - Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore Of "Never-nevermore."'
But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! - Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted - On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly,
I implore - Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore - Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore - Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting - `Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted – nevermore
She then waited for the class's response. Normally, this poem causes all kinds of responses. Even though she gave forth the happy-go-lucky kind of appearance in the class, her reading of the poem smacked of some kind of empathy towards the character. She read it as if she were the man conversing with the raven, pleasing in vain for the relief of his sorrow, pain, regret, and loss. Every utterance of “Nevermore” was the same, but had more impact with each request of the speaker. In short, she read it as if it were from her heart. Members of the Clan did not miss this, but the boys had a different reaction. Every boy in the class instantly wanted to hold her, console her, and remove the sorrow from her face as she read. However, although the girls were struck into silence, some wanted to crawl into a hole and hide, while others began to conspire as to their next step. The boys offered various kinds of feedback that exuded sympathy. All Jean-Claude could say was, “It seems like you read it as if you were the one who wrote it.”
Oddly enough, this got some of the boys talking, wondering why he wasn’t so head-over-heels for the girl as they were. Some mentioned that he already had someone, while others murmured why he would go after the likes of her when he could have this!
Chiyuki smiled, saying, “I like Edgar Allen Poe’s writings, that they don't do what normal poetry does and highlight the good things, so I like it because of that,” looking to the side. She truly knew that this poem did relate to her. Jean-Claude, to probe her mind a bit, asked, “What about Poe's poems entitled Annabel Lee or She Walks with Beauty? I do think there were many facets to the man that many miss.”
Now the other boys were looking oddly at him, seeing that he seemed completely unfazed at the sight of beauty standing before them. Despite all this, (and well seeing how things were going,) Karin had all she could do to keep from breaking into a laughing fit! “Facets are faults right? Well I want you to name one guy in here who doesn't have a soft side or a faulty wiring,” she said, furrowing her brow in pretend irritating, trying to keep herself from laughing. Kenta, also catching the humor of the moment, had to add, (as seriously as he could feign,) “Facets aren't always faults, just different sides to one's personality, right Jean-Claude?”
Jean-Claude just turned his head and gave him that raise eyebrow look. He then said, (giving her that knowing look,) ‘Everyone has their quirks—I mean, who doesn’t?”
Oddly enough, this picked up the ire of a few boys in class, and one even said to him, “Hey! Watch your manners! You sound like you're saying she's crazy!”
Instead of getting defensive, Jean-Claude had his own way of handling it. He looked the boy dead in the face and said, “No, but how do you know I'M not? Do you really want to find out?”
He leaned forward with a grin and glare. Considering the clear size difference between the two boys, the other boy got the hint, and had all he could do to keep from soiling his underwear. The other boys quickly, and for the first time, realized that he was the kind of person that did not give a flying flip what others thought of him, because they knew there was really no one in school that could gainsay him, or were really that foolhardy to try. “Oh please don't fight,” she pleaded, adding on even more innocence and cuteness. Just to add on the humor, she said, “Fighting is wrong!” trying to restrain a chuckle. “Oh, me, fight?” he said, “There wouldn't be a fight, well, something that you could call a fight.”
“Oh really,” said another boy who did have a bit of size, and tried to posture a bit, “How good are you? Or is all that martial arts training you claim all an act?”
Jean-Claude just sighed, trying to remind himself, “You're a Christian, your a Christian, turn the other cheek,” but he then said, “Son, I would rather not fight, but, if you really wanted to, there would only be two hits: me hitting you, and you hitting the floor!”
The teacher was beginning to see that things were getting out of hand, and she was trying to keep something from happening. Fortunately, for her, the bell to end the day sounded, and the class was dismissed. Jean-Claude put his guitar away and headed out into the hall, getting ready to go to the “barn” for the tryout. However as he started to make his way down the hall, the same boy deliberately bumped his chest as he passed. He stopped, turned and looked at the boy, and said, “Now hit this one,” pointing to the side of his jaw. The boy, who did not like being fronted against, and really did not have any use for round-eyes, balled up his fist, and hit him. Jean-Claude just rolled his head back around. If looks could kill, the boy would have been a pile of ash. Suddenly, everyone gathered around, hoping for some action. The boy then said, “What are you going to do now, gyjin!”
Jean-Claude swiftly grabbed the boy by his shirt, lifted him high off the floor with one hand, and pinned him against the lockers, saying, “I don't know—the Lord didn’t give me any further instructions!”
This silenced the hallway, and everyone figured that this boy was about to die. However, Jean-Claude looked around, knowing that he would get in trouble if his instincts kicked in, and just said, “You're not worth it!”
He released his grip, let the boy drop on the floor, picked up his bag, and headed to the rink. Kenta knew that those boys on the ice were in trouble if he chose to vent there. The boy just said, “I’m gonna kill you!” as Jean-Claude walked away. However, everyone really wondered just what he could do against the giant. Chiyuki frowned and followed Jean Claude out of the class, she smiled as she watched the other boy be thrown around, it was appeasing to the vampire eye, or at least hers. The boy wheeled around to see Chiyuki standing there, looking as if she had all the sympathy in the world for him, and he said to her, “Did you see that? Man, I’m gonna make him pay! I hate him! I hate those westerners! They think they’re so smart and better than everyone else!”
He stood there fuming as he pondered all the ways he could exact revenge. Chiyuki’s eyes widened and she nearly attacked him there, she managed to say one thing, asking quietly, “Would you like to talk this over a coffee or something?”
His anger mixed with ecstasy, considering who was asking, and he jumped at the chance, saying, "Sh...Sure!" not realizing that he was being pulled in like a fly into a Venus flytrap! Yuri smiled and led him away, beckoning him to follow. He almost looked like a cartoon character being led by the scent of good food, held by the nose by that scent, and not so much walking down the hall as he was floating. Of course, some of the girls stared daggers into her, resenting the fact that she had it so easy with the boys. One said to Karin, “I figured she was loose!”
Karin, now understanding the mindset of the vampire, and now truly embracing what she was, said, “It's not good to hold in that hate. You should get the chance to confront her about this!”
She chuckled to herself, knowing that she may just be setting up a future meal for Chiyuki, and thinking, “I bet Ren would be proud of me!”
Chiyuki lead him away until she was in a secluded area and she smiled at him, yet it was different then the smile she showed at school. “Such anger, wow, it makes me smile, and makes my mouth salivate!”
She then affected a businesslike look on her face, still with a smirk, and said, chuckling, “Don't scream or it will get worse.”
His lust and anger turned to sheer terror at the sight, and he wanted to scream, but he was so terrified that expression left him. All he could do is stand there and have the appearance of a deer staring into headlights, and shake uncontrollably. Chiyuki bit on his neck and drank, then when she was done, she let the prey fall to the ground, and Neko came and brushed his tail under his nose and erased his memory of this date and the blood drinking. She headed for the ice rink, wondering the mindset of Jean-Claude, and wondering how much future prey she might have created by that mindset. If he built resentment on the ice, it could mean feeding for the next two years! “Yes,” she thought, “Maybe mixing in the mortal world would be fun after all!”