Note: So apparently someone liked my previous story, 'Object of my Obsession', though sometimes I can't understand why. So I kept getting requests, why wasn't I updating? For one thing, that part of the story is done, over, finite! I got to thinking though, perhaps a continuation? Later in the year, of course, plus the addition of some new characters. This features all the characters from the previous round, as well as some new ones. Enjoy!

Title: Falling for Roses

Author: Cheshire Rabbit AKA Rachel Curtis

Genre: Kyarafic . . . which I broaden to include my other characters.

Note: Most of these characters are based off the Role-Playing Games of my friends and I. Kyara*, Charon*, Mirelli*, Hunter*, Jaden, Landon, William, Amy, Nathan, Marie ect. are exclusively mine. Mike, Richard, Vincent, Kaitlyn and Myth belong to Rob. Ebony belongs to Melkay. If you steal them you will die a long and painful death.

*these are the one's that I've actually role-played, the rest are just story characters

* * * * * * *

Chapter One: Forced Labor

Winter melted into spring with easy gentleness, as if the whole world had been plumped and softened by a liberal application of honeysweet syrup. The snows vanished into nothingness and the rain encouraged the green grass to sprout up out of the dead and dull mast that had accumulated through fall and winter. A few unlucky students, given detention by irritated Professors found themselves raking up leaves that had been missed and were now brown, black and slimy. It was a sure sign of spring-as was the return of outdoor sports.

The middle of March found the various specialists of physical education encouraging their charges to get outside and run around, even if those particular charges were very reluctant to do so. It had been a lazy winter, one that encouraged quiet study and contemplation. It had been chilly, but not cold enough for skating safely so a great deal of winter's enjoyment had been forfeited for mild weather. The itch of cabin fever, crawling over the skin like thousands of fire ants doomed many young students at May Bell Academy before they even knew it.

Such was the fate of Ebony Black and Kyara Tikadam, though Ebony couldn't begin to be as concerned for her as she was for herself. It had happened during Physical Education. The aggressive, bearded, Nathan Thompson had declared that Ebony and Kyara, by virtue of natural talent had to join the field hockey team and that he'd clear it up with all their teachers. There was no excuse, simply no explanation for why they couldn't play. He was like an evil genie making things happen that no one really wanted.

It was early afternoon during a free period granted to Ebony because she was an ace at Physics and because Charon simply didn't have a class. They sat outside, cuddling for the most part, with Ebony tucked up in his lap, her head resting on his shoulder. She was already dressed in a t- shirt, shorts and shin guards, her black hair tied back and her stick leaning over on the railing. Charon was dressed much the same way-in bigger sizes but the maroon of the shirt was identical-but he didn't have a stick since he played football and not field hockey. His black curls glinted in the sunlight and long lashes brushed over his cheeks.

"It's not fair," Ebony was saying for the thousandth time, "I didn't apply to this school to play sports."

"I didn't apply at this school at all, my parents bought my way in," Charon murmured back. He didn't even crack a smile, he sounded rather sleepy like a child at naptime.

She kissed him on the cheek, "Ah money, it solves so many problems. Like starvation-and ugliness."

"Mmm, quite true, we'd be overrun with displeasing looking people without plastic surgeons. Makes me wonder though, why isn't the process mandatory for those who are less than stellar in appearance? Marie would be first on their list."

Ebony smacked him on the shoulder. "That isn't nice, Marie has some very good qualities," she said firmly. Even then she was picturing her rather dowdy friend. Marie simply wasn't blessed with attractive genes; her face was too round, her hair too plain. Add that to associating with Kyara, who could make average people look like gargoyles, which did not help at all. Kyara with her lustrous black hair, emerald eyes, red lips and perfect facial structure sometimes seemed too beautiful to be true, thankfully Ebony was not the sort to be jealous, especially since she was remarkably pretty herself.

"And her nose isn't one of them," Charon retorted. He laughed as she struck him again, and pushed her off his lap so she stumbled to her feet like a life-size mockery of a marionette. "Done abusing me yet?"

"Never."

"Just like I thought," he grinned and kissed her firmly on the mouth, sucking on her bottom lip like a cherry lollipop. "See you after practice."

"You wish, you'll be all sweaty and I don't think I want to smell that," she said, indignant.

"You'll be sweaty too," he countered.

Ebony shook her head imperiously, "I think not, girls don't sweat."

"And that, my love, is a very shitty lie."

"I don't know, if you stand very still most people can get away without sweating. Of course, it all really depends on how warm it is at the moment."

Charon and Ebony stepped away from each other, instantly wary at the sound of an unknown voice. They turned to look at the girl. She was tall, maybe 5'9", with mocha skin like delicious coffee, toffee colored eyes and rows of black braids. She wore blue eye shadow and sparkly pink lipstick and obviously knew her way around a mascara brush. Yet even with that, she wore shorts, a t-shirt, shin guards and held a field hockey stick like she knew how to use it, braced on her shoulder like a Viking maiden.

*~*~*~*

Kyara came to the end of her lap around the field. She braced her hands on her knees and took a deep breath, sucking the sweet spring air into her lungs. Perhaps devoting all that time to studying during the winter months to the detriment of her physical fitness had not been a very wise decision. When Hunter came round she was barely even puffing.

Hunter Caden Skye was all but the Captain of the senior team, it hadn't been officially decided but the choice was blatantly obvious. Hunter was short, at most 5'2", slimly built and lithely muscled. She had vibrant red hair, which was startlingly dark when compared to her pale skin. Her eyes were a pale grey green and she had a perfect rose bud mouth. Mostly though, it was her personality. As a member of the senior class she was quite popular, her wicked tongue and avid self deprecation made people like her even though she was wildly talented at so many other things.

"Have you been running?" Hunter asked as she bent over to touch her toes.

"Started too," Kyara said softly. "I was lazy over the winter." She smiled wanly in hopes that Hunter would be forgiving. She felt like a great tall idiot out here in shorts. She didn't play team sports and she really thought that she was too tall for this one anyway, but Thompson was convinced that her speed as a result of long legs would make up for the fact that she was a bit lanky.

"I don't blame you," Hunter replied, "though I could. I could tell you how you ought to be perfectly fit, ready for anything, like a gazelle, ready to run for hours, ah ha," she chuckled as Kyara paled at the suggestion of marathon running, "kidding, Tikadam. I know you're busy being Prefect, so I won't bug you about the running, especially since the rest of the team and your friend Black have yet to run."

Kyara looked over her shoulder, glimpsing for a moment the football pitch where Charon and the brothers of her pseudo-boyfriend were practicing. Vincent Damodred, probably the most improbably match for Kyara in the entire school. They weren't dating, not really, mostly because she wasn't particularly ready to handle even that sort of commitment after the various traumas she had suffered. Instead they were friends and even that relationship seemed to baffle the majority of their acquaintances, as if they were a pair of aliens when they were together.

Ebony was approaching, obviously taking her dear sweet time about it. She was strutting as she usually did, hips snaking back and forth, but cleats on grass didn't work nearly as well as other shoes and surfaces. Walking beside her was a much taller girl, with dark skin and black hair. Kyara frowned, her lips pursing as she realized that she had no idea who the girl was.

"Hurry up Black," Hunter called, "pick up those feet Elspeth, we do have to practice today, Thompson said three-thirty, not four!"

The blond cringed and started off jogging and the rest of the stragglers, girls of many different shapes, sizes and colorings started off running as well. That is, except, for Black and the new girl.

"Ah, Skye, pleasant day, no?" Ebony cooed, she grinned as Hunter frowned slightly, "This is Mirelli Jordan, Miri for short, and she's going to be playing field hockey with us."

"Pleasure to meet you, Skye," Miri said, holding out a hand. She had a voice like silken butter and her smile, placed on a wide joyous mouth was so infectious that Kyara almost wanted to grin.

"Hunter," the Captain grunted, taking the hand. "Skye's my last name."

"Ah. It's very pretty. And-?"

"Kyara Tikadam."

"Lovely."

"Where are you from?" Kyara asked, picking up where Hunter had gone silent, mulling over the surprising new addition. She had an interesting look about her, maybe a bit too shiny for Kyara's taste but there was a certain appeal to open honestly.

"Deland," Miri replied, naming one of their arch rivals. There were only so many private schools in the region, and Deland was certainly one of the best. The temperature seemed to drop a few degrees as an uneasy silence settled over them thick and choking.

Ebony grimaced and took that moment to start her run, taking off just as the rest of the girls returned and sat down to stretch. Hunter was glaring at Miri, her eyes gone steely grey as she raked her gaze over the invader. No one at May Bell liked Deland, it was simply the way things worked and nothing would ever change that.

"Is there a problem?" Miri asked, managing to look unaffected and unconcerned. There was a spark of humor in her eyes and Kyara go the distinct impression that the girl was laughing at them. Hunter was too angry to notice, which was probably just as well since her temper matched her hair and greeting a new student with a fight would create a terrible image for the school.

Hunter huffed, plucked her stick from the ground and ran out on the field, dribbling a vibrant orange ball so that it made pleasing clacking sounds at each contact of ball and stick. Miri stared after the departed red-head, her expression confused. She turned back to Kyara then. She was still so unfamiliar with everything, May Bell was famous for its athletics, academics and fine arts, and she really didn't know what to make of such an overwhelming amount of talent. Then there was field hockey, her favorite sport, and she didn't know what to make of the fiery Hunter or the model- like Kyara who was so stiffly reserved.

"What did I do?" Miri asked.

Kyara rolled her shoulders in a graceful shrug, "I don't know," she said and went to join Hunter on the field.

Nathan Thompson arrived soon after. He'd played nationally at one time and loved the sport. In his own opinion the team this year was going to be great, especially now that he'd got Mirelli Jordan. She was the best player he'd seen in years. Hunter was great too, and even Kyara might be amazing if she practiced enough, well, that was what he was there for, right? to coach these girls to a championship.

*~*~*~*

"It was very odd, she went all cold and stiff which as you know is not in character with Hunter in the least," Kyara was saying. It was lunch hour and Kyara had balanced her cup of strawberry tea-sweetened with a liberal addition of sugar-on her knee. It was knee length skirts again, and there was just enough grey material to provide purchase for the saucer and keep her properly covered when she sat. Her black blazer had been removed and folded over the back of her chair and her long jet hair was braided and then twisted into a weighty bun on the back of her head.

"Deland is our 'arch enemy' Kyara, the one school we hate above all others, who we can never forgive for past deeds that no one quite remembers the specific details of. You know how those things are." Vincent leaned back, tapping his toe on wrought iron of the table bottom. His uniform was neatly pressed, black pants, blazer and the embroidered maroon and gold of the school crest on his breast pocket. His black hair was, as it ever did, flopping over his forehead, inducing in Kyara the urge to push it back but she resisted for it seemed to intimate an action for public display, though she had done it once or twice in private.

"It's stupid," Kyara remarked disdainfully.

"Perhaps," he agreed," but nonetheless it is the truth, no matter how much the rest of us wish to change it. It is quite like Hunter to have that kind of opinion; you remember last term when Jaden said she looked like an overgrown poppy? She still refers to him as the Ugly Hedgehog."

"His hair is hedge hoggish," she muttered. Vincent stared at her, trying to figure out if she'd really said it. They had both changed somewhat over the winter, Vincent growing more confident in his interpersonal skills and Kyara relaxing more, so that she didn't shy away from any male who approached her. She still did, of course, retreat to the safety of her friends but now Vincent was included amoung those, a fact that Vincent valued dearly.

"Hedge hoggish." He bit his lip so as not to laugh.

"Oh, you are awful, Vincent," Kyara said, pouting, "I can't be the only one who doesn't use ridiculous words."

"Of course not." He got stiffly too his feet, still bursting with the need to laugh so that he nearly choked on his breath. He pushed his chair back under the table, "if you'll excuse me, I've got to go to Theatre."

"Oh sod off you bloody cad!"

Vincent shook his head and laughed, jogging away before she got any ideas about kicking him.

"He was cute."

Kyara blinked and noticed that Miri had appeared. She was like a cat appearing out of nowhere. "Vincent?" He was cute, she knew this but she rarely thought about it. He had fine bone structure and had been spared the ravages of acne such that he was a very good looking member of the male species, provided he remembered to shave. Unlike Mike he hadn't quite managed the scruffy look yet.

"Vincent," Miri repeated, taking the recently emptied chair. "It sort of rolls of the tongue, doesn't it?"

"I suppose," she replied warily.

"Your boyfriend?"

Kyara gaped like a fish, her mouth working with no sound coming out. The color had flooded to her cheeks, making her appear to have a healthy and lively spirit. "Not really, we're more like-friends."

Miri nodded knowingly, a mischievous smile playing on her lips. "Want me to help you change that?" Kyara stared, her eyes gone wide with panic at the thought. She was barely used to being friends with a guy who wasn't Charon, plus his brothers were always an issue not to mention the fact that she was sure that she wasn't ready! "You don't have to answer now, come on, it's time for class."

Kyara was hauled to her feet with barely enough time to grab her blazer before she was lead through the halls like a dog on a leash. It was not an experience she liked and she found herself glaring at Miri's back, once she'd shaken off the thought of Miri trying to change the dynamic she had with Vincent.

*~*~*~*

Thankfully the first period that afternoon was not one they shared. Kyara had learned that morning that Miri was in the same year as her and likely to share several classes. She didn't know to put her finger on it, but she didn't quite like the bubbly girl, there was something decidedly too bright about her that rubbed Kyara the wrong way. Hunter obviously disliked her because of the fact that Miri was formerly from Deland which was far more reasonable in Kyara's opinion, she couldn't even begin to fathom why she didn't like Miri.

She pushed the thought aside, focusing on her class work instead. Calculus was a very irritating subject. She didn't like it much but she took it anyway since it would doubtless help her get into University. It was getting in that was important, since her trust fund was generous enough to afford her many years of post secondary education. She wasn't worried yet though, since she still had a year left at May Bell.

The afternoon passed quickly and the homework as light. She soon found herself outside again, leaning on her stick and standing amoung the other members of her team. The junior team was present, as well as the football team, both boys and girls teams, the tennis players and the people who preferred track and field. Some people, like Hunter, did a couple of things, but most were wise enough to stick to a single activity.

Kaitlyn Damodred played tennis, as did the Senior Prefect, William Pemberly. Mike, Richard, Charon and Jaden all played football. Amy, Jaden's pretty girlfriend, played on the girl's team and was hanging off his arm looking like an adorable little Barbie in her black spandex shorts.

Nathan Thompson blew his whistle and waited for silence. He was a large man, and his beard, reddish brown, was like a bush on his face. Kyara was quite horrified of it, afraid that somehow, someday it might actually come into contact with her. He was good at what he did though, and was clearly committed to athletics.

"Ooh, I can't wait till we get to see them run in those skirts," Mike whispered, loud enough for all to hear. The handsome senior with his green eyes and red-brown hair grinned at the field hockey team, looking them over suggestively.

"Sod off, Damodred," Ebony snapped.

"Girl's in skirts? Who can resist?" Mike asked.

"I'll show you the end of this stick and we'll see what you can resist you toad-faced twit-."

"That's enough," Thompson said, shaking his head. They were a lively bunch, like snapping piranha. "I've got an announcement to make, which you all need to hear. The Athletic Faculty of May Bell Academy along with the Athletic Faculty of Deland have organized a competition, this is in addition to the usual season. Various sports, and age levels, whoever gets the most points wins a 'prize'." He waited for the gasps to die down, "we've asked the other faculties if they'd like to be involved, but we haven't got an answer back."

"So we'll be competing directly with Deland?" Hunter asked eagerly.

"Yes," Thompson was grinning like a child in a candy store.

"This is going to be--," Richard was shaking his head.

"Excellent!" Mike cheered.

Kyara lifted her gaze, avoiding looking directly at the living beard. "What's the prize?"

"Ah," Thompson held up his finger, "running up the flag of the opposing school and the sponsorship of some new equipment that the department has yet to determine and of course, some well deserved praise from the mouths of the losers." His smirk revealed who he thought would win.

The footballers roared with laughter. Hunter looked eager, Kyara speculative, Ebony bored, and Mirelli was quite perplexed.