Ch. 1 part 6

1.

"So pretty you are!" she observed and raised her chin. "What was your name again?" she asked pleasantly.

"Kithara," Kithara answered plainly.

"I still don't understand why she had to come!" snapped San crossing her arms in front of her chest and glaring at the wall.

She felt a hand on her shoulder, "At least your dream was wrong about Ms. James being hurt and all," Salem reminded her.

She sighed, "Yes, you're right..." she said tossing him a look from over her shoulder.

"Think about it, with all of us helping with this box thing, I'm sure we'll be able to kill all of the thousand demons easily!" cried Chip.

"I only hope so," she said looking up at Kithara and Ms. James.

"You're Shou Lang's pretty girlfriend aren't you? I met you at the tournament just a little while, haven't I?" asked the old woman with a pleasant laugh.

She watched Kithara nod her head, "Of course!"

She snorted and crossed her arms again, "And just where is Shou Lang anyway? We've only been back about half an hour and already he's gone off somewhere!" she said crossly.

Kithara looked in her direction, "Shou Lang? He's on the roof...why?" she said.

"We need to be killing off those demons!" she snapped at her. "If he's off on the roof he better be doing something productive!"

"Hush, love, why are you so loud?" asked Ms. James wiping her hands on her apron.

"I'm not being loud!" she said raising her voice louder just a notch.

Salem crossed his arms and sighed, "So once again we're back in your world, the entire gang this time. Off to save the world again, eh, rat?" he said looking down at Chip.

She scoffed and turned away, "I'm going to tell Shou Lang to do something! This is serious! People are going to die and we're just sitting around!" she said as she turned into the hallway.

"Wait San! Let me go with you!" Chip squeaked after her.

"He isn't going to listen to you, human," she heard Kithara's bubbly voice behind her.

She ignored it and waited in the hallway for Chip to catch up. Chip scampered on her shoulder and tweaked his whiskers. "Let's go."

She sighed heavily and walked outside, the afternoon sun greeted her and warmed her face. She walked out so she could see the whole view of the house, Shou Lang was on the roof standing.

He was looking at her; his yellow eyes glinted with the sunlight. "What do you want?!" he yelled down at her irritably.

"We have work to do bonehead!" she yelled up at him.

"What work?! I don't know where to look, and I can't sense anything! You need to go back inside and keep your little bratty mouth shut!"

She glared at him, "We're in my world! You can't tell me what to do! From now on you listen to me!" she shouted at him. "Come down from there!" she shouted.

"Listen to you?! I rather die!"

San scoffed and gritted her teeth, "You are such a-! See if I care what happens to you! In my world you can't just do what you want, we have laws!"

"Laws? Your human laws don't apply to me, wretch!"

She turned on her heel and started back in the house, "Stay up there and rot for all I care!" she shouted as she slammed the door shut behind her.

Chip shook his head and looked up at her, she squared her shoulders and turned into the stairway.

So Kithara had been right, she thought. Big deal.

2.

(Sunday morning...)

"You look pretty today, San," admired Chip jumping on her dresser.

She smiled at him and pulled her shorts over her hips and then strolled in front of her mirror to examine herself. "You're going to like the movies, Chip," she promised as she tied the lace to her shirt.

"How come you don't dress like this when you're in my world?" he asked jumping from the dresser to her bed so he was behind her. He looked at her through the mirror.

"Why would I? This stuff are my school clothes, I only wear them if I'm going out."

She grabbed her brush and started brushing the kinks out of her hair. She frowned at her reflection and examined the roots of her hair. "I need another perm..."

"So the movies is a big screen? Like paper in the light?" asked Chip excitedly.

"Yep," she said setting down her brush and giving him a dazzling smile. "You're going to like it! My world is so much more fun than yours," she said and pat his head.

His green eyes sparkled, "So it's just going to be you and me and Ms. James?" he asked with his tail whipping excitedly behind him.

She nodded her head, "Of course! Why would I bring anyone else? Shou Lang, Salem and Kithara can mope on the roof all day if they want and watch TV." She scooped him up and opened the door to her room. "Ms. James?" she called.

"I'm almost ready!" came the old woman's reply from the hallway.

San smiled at Chip and walked into the bathroom, she set him on the sink and took out her lip-gloss and started applying it to her lips. When she was finished she stood back and smiled at her reflection. Then looked at Chip, "How do I look?"

"Like an angel!" he breathed with his green eyes wide.

"Oh Chip," she said and giggling picked him up. "You're so sweet! If everyone were like you..." she said tousling his red hair.

He looked her up and down, "Are you sure what you're wearing is...customary?" he asked with his whiskers twitching.

"Hm?" she asked perching him on her shoulder.

"Women in the forests don't wear clothes like that," he stated. "I mean, I think you look nice, but...doesn't it...I mean..." he trailed off.

She shook her head, "You're in my world now," she told him. "Shorts and tank tops are a necessary part of a girl's wardrobe. You'll see today," she said walking up to Ms. James's closed door.

She waited quietly and then knocked, "Ms. James?" she called.

"One minute!" croaked the old woman. "I'm getting my purse," she heard rustling and footsteps moving around in the room.

She blinked several times and then sighed. "Ms. James? We're going to be late for the movie!" she called.

"I'm coming!" and then the door was open with the old woman standing there in the doorway with a large purse and hat. "Ready?" she asked happily.

"Yeah!" she said and took Ms. James' arm, "Let's go," she said leading her down the stairs.

Once they reached the bottom they opened the door and went outside, Salem and Kithara were in the parlor watching television.

"We're leaving now!" Chip called over to them.

"See you then," replied Salem without looking up from the television screen.

They all stepped outside shielding their eyes from the bright sunshine.

"Shou Lang?!" called Ms. James looking up at the roof.

San looked up as well shielding her face with both hands, she saw Shou Lang's figure, he jumped smoothly from the roof to the ground and walked over to them without an expression.

"Shou Lang..." said the old woman smiling and touching his wrist. "We're going out, we'll be gone for several hours. Will you stay here or are you coming?"

Shou Lang looked at her for a long second with his eyes drifting to San, San stared at him blankly. "Well?" she asked impatiently.

Shou Lang facial expression changed for a brief instant and then he was blank again. He walked up to her and looked her up and down, then circled around her looking her over.

"What are you doing?!" she cried and swatted at his face.

He jumped back behind Ms. James and then pointed at her. "You're not going out in public dressed like that! I won't let you!" he cried.

"And who made you my father?!" she shouted at him angrily. "I'll dress however I want! I'm not your slave!" she shouted angrily and turned around.

"San, calm down..." said Ms. James.

"Are you coming or not?" she snapped facing him with a glare.

Shou Lang snorted, "If you're going out dressed like that of course I have to come!"

"And just what does that supposed to mean?!" she yelled at him.

"Children! Children!" soothed Ms. James placing her crooked hands on both of their shoulders. "All of us are going, and all of us are going to have fun," she said smiling from one teenager to the other.

She glared at him, "I'm not going if he's going. He'll only ruin the outing!"

"San!" cried Ms. James. "That was very rude, apologize right now!" she chided.

She narrowed her eyes, "I would never apologize to him, it isn't like he has any feelings anyway!" she cried looking back at Ms. James.

Ms. James looked very tired, "He has feelings, San..." she said.

"No I don't!" Shou Lang protested with a snort.

"You see?" she cried. "He doesn't have any feelings! He doesn't care about anything but himself!" she said heatedly and crossed her arms.

"Aren't we going to miss the movie?" groaned Chip.

The old woman sighed and motioned them to the car, "Get in, we'll miss the movie."

She gave Shou Lang one last dirty look and then walked to the car and slid in the passenger seat while Ms. James sat in the driver's seat. Chip jumped in her lap and then she shut the door.

Shou Lang plopped in the back seats muttering and cursing underneath his breath.

...

"Wow! Look at all the people!" cried Chip bouncing up and down in her lap. He looked up at her grinning, "Look, look!" he cried pointing.

"Yeah, isn't it cool?" she asked and tousled his hair again. "Once Ms. James parks then we'll be off watching our movie!" she said and hugged him tightly. "You're going to like it," she said smiling as she looked out the window.

The movie theatre was teeming with young teenagers and young couples. They filed and swarmed in and out the doors with tickets and wallets in their hands.

"What's the point of all this?" Shou Lang asked dully.

"So people can get together with their friends and family and have a good time," answered Ms. James swerving into a parking lot spot. "Ok! Everyone out!" she said opening her door.

San jumped out of the car and walked across to Ms. James side, and then taking her arm she proceeded into the entrance of the theatre. Shou Lang stood behind them with his hands in his pockets and tail wagging.

He came beside her, she looked up at him briefly and then looked out in front of her. "This will be so fun!" she said excitedly. "You're first movie with the big screen," she said squeezing Chip closer to her. "You're going to like it, Chip! I promise! They'll be popcorn, drinks, candy..."

"Don't overwhelm him," laughed Ms. James paying for their tickets in the front.

The man behind the counter squinted at Shou Lang. "Excuse me sir, no costumes allowed in the theatre. You're going to have to take off the costume."

"What costume?" snarled Shou Lang.

She guessed that the man was scared because he backed off and shook his head at the menacing look on Shou Lang's face. "S-sorry! Go on in!" he said with a laugh.

San shook her head and opened the door for all of them, she filed out with them and walked to the concession stand. "Go get seats, Ms. James, I'll get the popcorn," she said waving her off.

Ms. James and Chip went into the corridor laughing and talking, Shou Lang lingered and looked over at her.

She ignored him and went up to the stands and looked over the prices.

Let's see, she thought. $4.00 for a large popcorn and another for a drink...if I want to get candy and-

"San! San!" cried a voice from behind her.

She turned and stared in surprise at the laughing face of Abdul. Immediately a rush of butterflies raced up her stomach. "Abdul!" she cried laughing.

He grinned at her and shoved his hands in his pockets, his brown eyes laughing at her and his teeth flashing. "How've you been? I haven't seen you around lately," he said.

She felt stupidly awkward and shy and found herself looking at her feet. "I've been out and around lately," she said and looked up at him smiling.

Abdul grinned and smiled at her, "You look nice," he said.

"Thanks," she replied with another frenzy of butterflies flying back into her stomach.

"What do you think you're doing?!" growled Shou Lang stepping in front of her.

She had stopped smiling, she looked at Shou Lang and glared at him. "Get lost, Shou Lang!" she snapped at him.

Shou Lang was glaring at her, "Who is he?" he demanded looking at Abdul with a sneer.

Abdul looked puzzled, "Huh?"

"He's-" she started. Then she was angry, "Why are you still here? Get out of here! I'm busy!" she shouted pushing Shou Lang away from her.

Shou Lang crossed his arms in front of his chest and glared at Abdul. "I'm not going anywhere!" he grumbled.

Abdul looked at Shou Lang confused, "Is he your brother or something?" he asked looking at her with another dazzling smile.

"I am not," Shou Lang said in a cool voice. "Who are you, anyway?" he asked.

"Who is he?" Abdul asked her pointing a thumb and Shou Lang.

"He's no one, I met him in summer camp!" she said quickly and glared at Shou Lang again. "Get out of here! Sit with Ms. James already!" she told him sharply.

Shou Lang twitched and looked from her to Abdul.

"Hey man," said Abdul smiling and offering his hand. "I'm Abdul," he said.

Shou Lang stared at it, then scoffed and straightened up. "Hurry up, San," he said giving her a look, then starting the way Ms. James and Chip had left.

After he had left she sighed and looked back at Abdul, Abdul had his hands in his pockets again. "Who was he again?" he asked.

"Nobody," she assured him with a smile. "But I...have to go, my Ms. James is waiting for me," she said scooting to the line again.

He stood next to her, "I'll buy it for you, what do you want?" he asked.

"No, I can do it," she said turning so she was facing the cashier. "Thanks but no thanks," she said with a laugh and looked over the menu again.

"Ok then...maybe I'll see you around sometime," said Abdul stepping back from the line with a smile. "I'll see you tomorrow, ok?" he asked.

"Ok," she said and waved. "Bye!" she waved at him.

Abdul grinned and turned walking into the opposite corridor, after he had left San giggled to herself and had trouble concentrating on the menu.

I can't believe he spoke to me! He even remembered my name! She thought grinning into her hand. Could he like me? Oh I hope so!

...

"That was the most awesome thing I've ever seen!" exploded Chip jumping on top of Shou Lang's head. "Did you see how the building exploded into pieces?! It was so real...!"

She laughed, "You liked it? I told you that you would!" she told him with a grin.

"I didn't like the movie," said Ms. James with a shudder. "It had too much killing in it for me to handle. I was squirming when he shot those two police officers in the head."

"I definitely have to see it again!" she cried as Chip agreed with her.

"What about you Shou Lang? Did you like it?" asked Ms. James.

Shou Lang had his hands in his pockets with a puzzled kind of look about him as if he was in deep thought.

"Shou Lang?" asked Chip tugging his ears.

Shou Lang didn't answer at first, and then nodded briefly at Ms. James and continued staring off into space.

"Were you even watching the movie?" asked Chip tugging his ears. "It was so cool!"

Shou Lang appeared to not have heard him.

She looked into the theatre with a smile, "That was really good, maybe next weekend we'll see something else," she said looking at Chip.

Chip grinned and started singing a song, Ms. James looked over at her and laughed. "He's so cute," she said laughing and looking back at the singing possum.

"I know, I'm glad that I found him," she said looking fondly at him.

He was pulling on Shou Lang's hair and singing moving his shoulders as if dancing.

Shou Lang swiped him off with a disgusted look on his face and shoved his hands in his pockets. Chip jumped back on his shoulder laughing.

They were now outside walking when she heard a loud whistle from beside her, she looked over in surprise. Derek and his buddies were piled beside the door, Derek waved at her. "Hey San! Come over here!" he laughed.

"Eat your face, Derek!" she snapped at him.

"Ooooh!" he laughed and nudged his buddies, scoffing she turned away and stood beside Shou Lang.

Shou Lang was looking at Derek and then down at her, "Who are they?" he asked.

"Losers," she said with a shrug.

Ms. James opened the car and all of them went inside. This time she sat in the back and let Shou Lang sit in the front. Chip sat up front with him also.

She looked out the window with a big smile on her face as Abdul came to mind.

3.

"School? How long will you be long at this...school?" asked Salem tilting his head.

"Several hours, most of the day," she told him while adjusting the backpack on her shoulders. "I'll be back though," she said and smiled at him.

Salem shrugged, "You're ok going by yourself?" he asked.

She smiled, "I'm fine, I'm in my world, remember? Make yourself comfortable, just don't touch my stuff in my room! Tell the same to Kithara and Shou Lang," she said taking Chip and walking outside the door.

"Hey!" called Shou Lang from the stairway. "How come the rat gets to go with you to school?!" he demanded.

"Because he's cute and I want him with me," she said turning and closing the door behind her. Chip smiled up at her, "Will I like school?" he asked. "Of course," she answered.

...

"Oh he's so cute!" cried one of the cheerleaders crowding in with the other girls to look at Chip. "Aw! Look at him, he has red cheeks and everything! He's such a doll!"

She swelled with pride, "Yep! He's a good friend of mine, his name is Chip," she said and watched another girl take him in her arms.

Chip was laughing and wiping lipstick off his cheek. "I love school!"

...

"So..." cut in Derek in front of her. "Just who was the old lady and freak boy you were with yesterday?" he asked.

"Leave me alone, can't you bother someone else?" she cried.

"Leave San alone," said Chip angrily from on her shoulder. "You've been pestering her the entire day! Does she have to deal with you like this everyday?" asked Chip.

Derek sat in front of her beside Herman, Herman made a face and looked the other way as if disgusted.

"The mouse can speak!" cried Derek with a laugh. "Well, it seems that you attract all kinds of freaks for friends, eh?" he laughed nudging Herman.

"I'm not a mouse," said Chip crossing his arms angrily.

"What is that...thing?!" cried Derek poking his little chest. "He's like a toy or something," he said looking up at her. "Is he some kind of midget?"

San's eyes narrowed, "Don't make fun of Chip! Leave him alone, and I mean it, Derek. Go away before I tell the teacher that you're bothering me again," she snapped.

Derek made a face as if he was hurt, "Come on, San, don't be that way. I want to sit with you , that's all."

She scowled, "What do you want from me?"

Derek's expression changed again, he leaned forward with his chin in his palms. "Who was that geek with the tail that I saw you with? Does he think it is Halloween or something?" he said with another laugh.

"Can't you leave us alone?" asked Herman pushing up his glasses.

"Who was he?" demanded Derek again. "It wasn't a boyfriend was it?"

"Of course not," she said smiling at him. "I'm saving myself for you."

"I'm touched," he said touching his chest with his hand. "But enough sarcasm, who was he?"

She shrugged, "That is for me to know and you to find out."

He stood up, "Real funny, but I'll find out sooner or later. Until then, bye sweetie," he said saluting and then walking away.

Herman shook his head, "He's a jerk."

"He's mean to you too?" asked Chip shaking his head. "I would love for Shou Lang to knock the sense in him. I'm sure he'd do it gladly," he said looking up at her.

"Shou Lang? In my school?" she paused and thought about it. Then grinned, "That would be awesome if he went to my school," she said and then laughed.

"Who is Shou Lang? A friend?" asked Herman biting into his sandwich with interest.

"Not exactly," she said slowly.

"He's uh...he's like an uh...um..." said Chip.

"A transfer student from...Australia!" she said quickly.

"I've never heard of-" started Herman squinting at her.

"He just moved in-!" she said laughing. "But he might not come to our school, he's looking at other schools," she said laughing.

Herman sat back in his seat, he sat there for a long while thinking. He opened his mouth to speak but the bell rang, San jumped up from her seat.

"Nice talking to you Herman! I'll see you later!" she said grinning and running into the hallway. Chip jumped after her on top of her shoulder.

"What's a transfer student?" asked Chip as she swerved into the locker bay.

4.

She dumped her backpack on the ground and ran into the parlor, Shou Lang, Kithara, and Salem sat there watching television.

"People!" she shouted angrily. "You've been watching TV all day?!" she cried. "I don't believe you all, we have a job to do!" she cried.

Kithara looked up at her, "You've been at school, so none of us were doing anything."

She glared at her, "We have to find those demons you guys! I can't believe you just sat here watching TV the entire time!" she groaned walking into the kitchen.

Ms. James was washing dishes, "Hello San!" the old woman greeted pleasantly.

"How was your day?" asked San tying an apron around her waist. "I'll help you with that, Ms. James. You should take a rest," she said patting her arm.

"It is no trouble, you want to eat a snack?" asked Ms. James.

San kissed her on the cheek, "I got this, go rest," she said taking the gloves off of her frail hands. The old woman untied the apron around her waist and sat in one of the kitchen chairs.

"How was school today? Did Chip like school?" she asked smiling.

She nodded and slipped on the gloves, "He liked it. He was a hit with all of the girls," she said giggling.

"I bet," said Ms. James chuckling. "He's adorable..."

She put soap on a sponge and started cleaning the dishes, "I've been thinking, Ms. James..." she said as she worked.

"What is that?"

"Chip should go to school, I think he'll do well, don't you think? He's really smart!" she said smiling at her. "I like him with me, Herman and I had more fun with Chip eating lunch with us today."

Ms. James nodded her head and then stood up out of the chair, "I think all of them could use a little learning. What would you say if Kithara and Shou Lang went to school with you? Would you like that? I'm concerned that you don't have any friends in class."

"They aren't my friends!" she snapped glaring into the running water.

"Don't say that...they are your friends. Kithara and Salem are nice, aren't they?" she asked gently.

"Kithara would kill me if she had the chance," she shot at Ms. James crossly.

"Salem is nice, isn't he?" asked Ms. James.

"He's the only one besides Chip," she said with a sigh. "Actually, he's a really dependable guy." She looked into the soapy water with a smile, "I like Salem. He's always been nice to me and everyone else."

Ms. James nodded, "You see? Would you like him to go with school with you?" she asked.

"He would never agree to it," she said with a sigh. "In fact, if they all sat with me it would be a very interesting lunch period," she said.

"I'm enrolling them into your school tomorrow," she said firmly. "I want you to have friends, you spend too much time at home when you should be out with friends."

"They won't like it," said San bitterly. "I would like to have them but...they would-"

"Shou Lang! Salem! Kithara! Chip!" called Ms. James cutting her off.

San turned off the faucet and looked over as all three came strolling into the kitchen. Chip was perched on Salem's shoulder.

"Yes?" asked Salem.

"Would you like to go to school tomorrow with San?" she asked pleasantly with a gentle smile on her face.

Salem shrugged, "I guess it's ok. I want to see her school anyway, Chip tells me how the boys bother her there."

"What?!" snapped Shou Lang. "What boys?!" he demanded.

"School?" cried Kithara in a dreamy voice. "I would love to go to a school with only humans inside of it!" she cried and then smiled. "I'll do it!"

"I want to go to school," pouted Chip.

"You all will...Shou Lang? Will you go to school?" asked Ms. James.

"What boys?" he asked again shaking Chip. "Tell me, cretin!" he snarled.

"B-boys at school!" Chip stammered.

Shou Lang growled, "Boys? They're going to get it...!" he said making a fist. "Who?"

"I'm right here!" she snapped. "You can just ask me, Shou Lang!" she snapped.

"I'm not talking to you," he said making a face.

"So it's settled," said Ms. James straightening her back. "Tomorrow you all will go to school with San tomorrow."

San groaned and looked into the sink. "Oh god! Give me strength!"