A/N: I've been recently diagnosed with acute bronchitis, inflammation of the lungs, breathing the stench of death, crazy coughing fits and being incredibly contagious. Spread the disease! I should apparently be resting, and yet the only people who tell that I should be at school are the ones who are with me at home. The point? Nobody knows what the hell they're talking about. My parents find it fit to think that my schooling and their finances take front and center over the actual condition of my health, and that the only reason they ever had to pump me full of allergy medication and fucking inhalers is so that they'd stop losing money in the long run. Aren't we all one big happy family?

Yeah, life's fucked up pretty much right now. Senior prom's right around the corner and it doesn't look like I'll get the chance to ruin it for everybody else by building up massive amounts of pressure inside cans of diet coke and dousing cheap prom dresses with concoctions of sugar death. Oh well, life's not fair, and I've known that for a shit load of a long time. To writing, and ignoring homework, I say!


Chapter 3: I Guess That I'm Just Becoming Numb To The Truth

Seii Karei looked around and wondered how he had escaped her sight. Absolutely gone without a trace, his mask vanishing from view and the space around her.

"Xelphy? Did you see where he went?" Xelphy looked up from her sandwich and shrugged. Seii sighed and placed her hands on her hips.

"What's the point of trying to help me find some cute guy if we don't even know where he is?"

Xelphy began to speak, her voice muffled from the bread in her mouth, "Doesn't matter if I can't pinpoint his every location. It's your job to help yourself, not mine." She waved her messy brown hair out of her face and went back to eating.

Seii pouted, "Fine then, maybe I should just-" before she could finish, the bell signaling the end of lunch and the return to the dreaded monotonous system of public education echoed across the school grounds.

Xelphy hopped out of her chair and hugged Seii tightly, "Don't worry, you'll find Mr. Right soon enough, and maybe even sooner than you think."

Seii didn't hear her; she was too busy dragging her belongings behind her as she shuffled slowly up towards the nurse's office.

Jet hair awoke as he stared nauseatingly and dizzyingly at the ceiling. The nurse came over to him and removed the damp towel from his forehead to replace it with a cooler one.

"Are you in pain?" she asked gently.

He smirked, "nah, I'll be fine."

He sat up and immediately regretted his decision as he cringed from the pain swelling from his broken ribs, "scratch that, not fine."

Seii walked into the office and immediately gasped in horror as she saw the jet haired boy sprawled across the cot, blood staining his clothes and pain seemingly revolving about him.

She turned to the nurse, "Oh my God! What happened?"

Jet-hair merely shook his head and looked up towards the lights on the ceiling. The nurse didn't say anything; she just went back to typing on her computer.

"Wow, what happened to you?" She asked as she sat down upon the vacant cot.

He turned his head towards her, "I would think you came into the office for a purpose other than to see me, but that sounds pretty unlikely."

She felt a bit off guard to the comment and merely smiled. She turned to the nurse, "My head hurts a little bit. I'm not feeling very well." The nurse withdrew a small, disposable thermometer and handed it to her.

"Under the tongue, dear."

Seii nodded and lay back upon the pillow.

Jet hair smirked, "I'm surprised you're not throwing questions at me left and right."

Seii turned around to look at him as the nurse stood up from her desk and left to go work on some paperwork.

"Come off it, seriously, it's cool. I'm surprised you never approached me earlier."

Seii cocked her eyebrow, "I don't follow."

He laughed, "You're such a bad liar."

"No really, I don't know what you're talking about. But have we met before? Your personality seems very familiar."

He stopped smiling and looked back up at the ceiling. Seii felt her stomach begin to bother her as she listened to the gentle hum of the computer, the only noise she could hear.

"What's wrong with you?"

Her eyes opened a bit wider, "Sorry?"

"Are you really that dense? I guess his decisions were right."

"I'm afraid…I don't know what or who you're talking about."

"He used to talk about you fairly often, really. But now it's like you've completely left his existence, as if you were like a homework assignment: important one moment and insignificant the next."

Seii said nothing but looked at him with an expression of disbelief.

"Honestly, I was always expecting him to be exaggerating a little, but you're really thick headed, about as smart as a three year-old."

She still said nothing.

"You must live a secluded life, huh? So used to everything around you, and so unfamiliar to the real world, it's pretty sad."

"…"

"Yeah, I'd see why he'd stop, you seem like a person that's easy to forget."

"…Thank you."

Jet hair sat up again, this time ignoring the pain in his chest, "Why the fuck are you thanking me? Do you have some sort of mental condition or something?"

She smiled as she looked down at the floor, "I've lived the secluded life, just like you guessed. But I didn't want to live that way. I always wanted to have people in my life that could just be honest, speak their minds and tell me what they think. But I'm always surrounded by losers that keep telling me I'm special and pretty and whatnot, and I'm sick of it! I know what they want, and they're never getting it. But the problem is that the people that I want to give myself to, they just don't care! None of them!" Her eyes began to water as she hugged herself tightly and the thermometer dropped from her mouth as her lips quivered.

Jet hair didn't say anything.

"I don't even know what I want anymore!"

"Geez, don't go telling this to complete strangers, you might come off as crazy."

She hiccupped in a combination of a laugh and a sniffle, "Yeah, that happens a lot."

She wiped her nose on a tissue from the nurse's desk and covered her eyes with her arm.

I mustn't cry. Must not cry.

"Kujo Kyoukou." Seii looked up and saw him extend his hand. He withdrew it for a moment and shook it off.

"Mind the blood…oh dammit, I'm quoting him again."

Seii smiled as she grasped his powerful hand and shook it thoroughly, "That's not your real name, is it?"

"Seii Karei isn't your real name either, but I don't see you-"

"Kujo! Back down on the cot!" Kujo sighed as the nurse came back inside and ordered him to lie straight, "Honestly! As a football player, you should know how to act when you're injured."

Two men in white uniforms came into the room and hoisted Kujo onto a stretcher. Kujo merely laughed as they pulled him out of the office, giving a casual wave goodbye to the girl sitting on the cot.

Seii lay back down upon the cot and sighed as she placed her hand on her head.

It was going to be yet another long week.

Rendan muttered incomprehensible babble as he turned over and smashed down the snooze button on his alarm clock for the eleventh time that morning.

11:11 a.m, Rendan's most hated time of the day. He usually took Fridays off for the sole purpose of having a usually unwinding day from the rest of the crap he had to deal with. Investigating murders, putting up with unwilling and resistant suspects.

He'd much rather sleep.

A phone call made him grit his teeth in anger as he rolled out of bed to answer the phone and pull open the drapes to his 3rd story apartment building.

"Hello, Mr. Rendan?"

He scratched himself and mumbled, "Yeah? What is it?"

"I'm from your niece's school's health office and-"

Rendan's eyes instantly shot open, "What's the problem?"

"Well, Seii has a fever and her parents aren't home, and I was calling you to ask you if you could come pick her up."

Rendan sighed with relief, glad that he wouldn't have to be inspecting yet another case again. The last nineteen had been stacking upon each other, pooling the evidence from each scene together as a hopes of catching the single suspect all together. Unfortunately, it had only served to make things all the more confusing.

"…Mr. Rendan?"

"Wha-? Oh, yeah, sure. I'll be there."

"All right, thank you."

Rendan dropped the handset back down upon the receiver and pulled on a pair of khakis, something he was quite used to wearing. Not exactly formal attire for him, but good enough to get the job done.

As he got into his car, he felt he wind blow and remembered how the wind had been blowing as he had lost yet another trace of his murderer. North, about three or four miles an hour, fairly dry, blowing up leaves. Wind was a nice thing for him. It usually meant change, and generally in a good way.

Sighing again, he turned the ignition and was off at a decent pace

When he arrived, Seii sat outside the school gates with the nurse, her backpack besides her as she hugged her knees to warm herself from the cold.

He pulled up to the curb and stretched across the seat to open the door.

Reluctantly, she hopped inside and put her backpack on the floor, a frown on her face as she closed the door and buckled her seatbelt. The nurse thanked Rendan as nodded to her out the window and drove off.

As he pulled onto the freeway, he said quietly, "So, can I just drop you off at home? Got any keys?"

She turned to look out the window and muttered, "Yep."

He pressed down upon the gas and pulled into traffic, "Alright."

As the car sped up, Rendan eased up his grip on the wheel, as he was prone to do. Seii glared out the window at passing cars and sighed heavily every few minutes.

"So, how are your folks doing?"

She continued to gaze at the passing cars and said nothing.

"Everything going on well in school?"

She continued to ignore him.

Rendan closed his mouth and changed lanes.

Somebody honked as he swerved widely in and barely avoided a massive pileup. He grabbed the wheel tightly and fought to regain control of the wheel. He managed to regain stability as he pulled back into his lane, away from the wall.

"Watch the turn signals you son of a bitch!" He screamed out the window as he rolled it down and threw up his middle finger.

He breathed heavily and glanced at his niece.

"You okay?"

She grunted as a way of acknowledging his question as she stuck her headphones over her ears and rested her head in her palm against the window.

Rendan's grip on the wheel tightened again as he pulled off the freeway and lit a cigarette.

Rendan watched as Seii opened her front door and closed it behind her as he sped off towards his apartment. Maybe some inspiration would strike him. Maybe now that he'd gotten a good night's sleep, he'd finally be able to think straight enough to be able to piece together some of the clues, spot the one thing he'd missed on that videotape and find more evidence tomorrow when he went to investigate the nineteenth scene. He didn't know who it was yet, and he didn't want to think about it too much. All he did was press down harder on the gas and flick his cigarette out the window.

As he pulled into his garage, he slammed the door behind him and opened his mailbox. A small, folded, white slip of paper made him freeze. Reluctantly, he pulled it from the slot, unfolded it and saw what he had expected.

20-0

Not much more for me to say, Mr. Rendan

"Geez…again? When is he going to let me get a chance to have some fun?" Sado muttered to himself as he stood over a bloodied corpse propped up against a brick wall.

"Hey, Sado…what's-? Oh fuck." His friend began and murmured as he looked upon the gruesome image that wouldn't be leaving his immediate memory anytime soon.

Nothing had been removed, unlike the previous nineteen times, but this body, this "evidence" as they were prone to call them, was completely covered in a mixture of punctures caused by staples, thumbtacks, misshapen paper clips and any other sort of metal office supply that could be used to puncture the epidermal layer.

Broken scissor blades, bent staples, shattered kitchen and tool bench knives, sharpened computer chips, every single piece of school supply made of metal that had any sort of danger factor to it littered the ground and jutted from the wall, leaving zigzagging trails of cracks.

"It must have taken some serious force to cause that sort of damage, huh?" Sado chuckled as he pulled a knife from the wall and tossed it into the air.

"He caused a lot of damage to the tool, but recoil tends to do that. You put too much force into a strike and the backlash can be devastating." Sado turned to see that his friend's face had turned white as paper and chuckled.

"Yeah, that's probably the expression he would have expected to see."

His friend scuttled up from the ground and ran down the hall, away from the scene.

A security guard saw the flustered student and glanced upon the scene of slaughter, "Oh My God…"

His gaze slowly traced down towards Sado who smiled and pocketed the pocketknife in his hand.

"You! Freeze!"

Sado chuckled, "Don't tell me what to do you fat bastard." He turned around and cleanly scaled up the three story brick in a matter of seconds, hopping over the roof and spitting over the edge, "I'll end you."

And with that, he laughed wildly and sprinted out of sight.