V2 Had to get a good bit of editing in. I forgot that I had to remember where this was supposed to be at. You guys might not get what I just changed, and some will yet be like…what an idiot, does she know nothing? But whatever…

"Naisho"

The girl ran. She ran until she could not bear it. Her foot steps pounded unevenly on the concrete, quick but to still too slow, her breathing becoming ragged. Her pursuer seemed to glide behind her, silent as a whisper. The girl stumbled, her body hitting the ground with a sick crack.

A woman's strong hand caught her shirt yanking back. Disoriented she glanced up her face twisted in a painful grimace. Her eyes widened. The shine of metal. Cringing as she prepared herself for the blow from a hatchet in the lady's other hand.

A breeze passed through the trees, rippling the water in a stream, slowly turning red.

Akayu, Japan

"Suku! Get up!" Suzume Kui, the name on the papers allowing her into her school, and what everyone who didn't know her thought her name was. Suku for short. Rolling over she hid her face from the landlady that was hollering at her because she had slept through her alarm. Chores to be done. A ride that she probably would miss to catch. For the life of her, she really couldn't care.

"Suzume-chan!"
"I know, I know. I'm up woman so stop screeching already!" She had to bite her tongue to keep from saying that, It seemed that saying that in this country was far more offensive than back home.
"Hai. Komenasai Amane-san" Rolling out of bed Suku slowly made her way towards her dresser, quickly getting into the uniform of the exclusive private school where she was currently being sent. She hated it, but when the time came, she never had a word of complaint to utter. Glancing in the mirror she glared at her reflection. The dye in her hair wasn't holding up as well as she had hoped, and without her brown contacts in, the light colorlessness of her eyes made her look gothic. Not that she didn't like the look; just that it set her even more apart from her classmates. Japanese, Korean and even a few Chinese kids went there, and she had to do her best to try and fit in. Even with her hair chemically processed to be like theirs, skin darkened through hours of hard work outside for the landlady, and eyes shaped through clever work with makeup, and even darkened with colored contacts, it didn't change the fact that her nose was to large as where her eyes, her face to Caucasian. She lied and said that her mother was German, blonde in fact, and that she had gotten a few of her features.

This made her a little better accepted. It helped that she could speak German as well as any Deutsch man or woman, though the method through how she learned would have made most of the Spoiled Brats at her academy cringe or even faint. Tying her hair back she hoped that she could get by another few days before having to mess with her hair again. Jogging out she groaned as she saw the sun was already up, quickly running into the garage, she grabbed a bag full of cleaning supplies. She lived and worked at an Onsen, a Spa, and it was her job every morning to clean every surface before unlocking the doors for the customers. The landlady did it so she could boast the cleanest Onsen in Akayu. Of course, this involved about 15 minutes three times a day, in each of the four baths.

Finally, after having to go through a long apology at the opening of each of the baths, she finished cleaning the last one. It was the smallest, least used, indoor one, with only one entrance. She noticed a young man standing in the entrance in his bathrobe. Familiarity settled with Suku and she stared at the ground, opening her mouth to grumbled Komenasai, Sumimasen ect. she stiffened as the guy ignored her completely, disrobed and got into the bath. "Eh, well sorry for disturbing you" She said quickly and sarcastically in English, only to be startled by the young man finally speaking up.

"Suzume Kui, class 1-B right?" His Japanese was accented, Though even Suku wasn't good enough in hers to tell just yet.
"Mm. Komene-"
"Quiet. Are you actually working here like a slave? What about that proud German and Japanese parentage that you've got. Don't tell me they're dead, I'm afraid that would be far too Cliché." She stared for a moment, how rude the boy was...seemed like he was being horribly familiar with her. Suddenly she remembered. This was the top the upper class, he'd refused position of class president or some rot like that. Gekido...Gekido...Gekido Koshudai. Yeah, a weird name apparently. Gekido was Fury if she remembered right and Koshudai was something rather morbid according to the girls in her class. Suzume wasn't sure if she could trust their sense of morbid though, it seemed that they were a bit easily bothered. They probably only made fun of his name because he'd said no during a confession of complete and undying devotion. Something silly like that.

"Alive and Kicking. And yes, I work here. Got a problem with it?" She slipped into English half-way through, not even meaning to. Looking to the ground she hoped that he didn't know English from Duetsch. Though, he appeared to be Japanese, and being at the prestigious school they where at, he had probably taken a few years of English Language. Damn.
"Why do you work in your school uniform? That's rather disrespectful towards our prestigious academy."
Again she found herself biting her tongue from the things she'd like to say. Toe out of line could shoot her careful little life all to hell. Deciding to take a rather dodging approach she asked him a question.
"Why would you come to a bath like this in the morning before school? Wouldn't you have better things to do?" He tilted his head back and smiled just a little.
"Why...I don't think I could get this good of a view up a girls skirt even on those stairs in the west end of school." Backing up and tugging on her skirt Suku glared at him. "You're just a perverted slack bastard." He turned to face her and stood up from the bath, her eyes automatically averted as he took a few steps towards her. Standing still for a moment she suddenly realized that he was naked. Cheeks burning, she quickly turned to the door and said a quick "I'm sorry for interrupting your bath. I hope that it is to your satisfaction sir" slipping as many honorifics as she could without sounding retarded. After no reply, she whispered "I hope your pilae shrivel up to nothing" before leaving. Chuckling, the boy shook his head.

"Seems I spooked Naisho."

---

Suku wiped her forehead with a clean towel and looked closely to make sure she hadn't sweated anything off. She'd had to run to school this morning, her usual ride, some family friend of Amane-san, refused to wait more than 3 minutes for her. She'd come so close too, being able to still see the guy as he drove off. Jerk. As soon as she'd reached her homeroom, the bell sounded and the teacher gave them a great surprise. A lovely long pop quiz over Japanese History. Hanging her head Suku groaned. Why couldn't they take one on her home country? It became increasingly apparent that she wasn't a native if on all the pop quizzes she failed Nihon and aced America. If she studied then the scores where the same but...damn. Midway through Gekido had walked through the door, hair still wet and uniform a little untidy. This wasn't his class, he probably had an open and came into here for a study period or something. Still, he was casual and the teacher looked like she was in love. How young where high school teachers these days? Jeez. Funny how she hadn't really noticed him before, he actually didn't look fully Japanese, maybe his skin seemed a little redder than most. Made her think of retarded cartoons of Native people, those had never made sense to her. In all actuality it was nice. Much better than hers, which still held the tell tale pinkness to it whenever she stayed out too long.

Quickly turning back to her quiz she tried hard to remember a certain date of when some war happened, she bit down hard on her pencil and broke it. Broke the stupid plastic mechanical pencil. Hanging her head and sighing, Suku knew that today was gonna be one long stay in Jigoku.

So now she was in the girl's locker room after third period after having to run the late spring Marathon that her teacher so loved to send them on. She had mizu proof stuff on, but somehow it just wasn't always reliable when it came to sweating and just about anything with a bit of sodium in it.

Looking in the mirror she noticed a girl behind her sneering. Turning physically towards her Suku wasn't sure if things were good or not. Thinking back she had beat everyone else in the marathon. Maybe that was what she wanted to be snearish about.

"Hey, you're real good at running. You in any clubs?"
"mm, no. I have a job that I..."
"You should join the football a/n soccer team."
"Uh..Thanks. I'll see if I..."
"Don't flake out and not tell me ok!"
The girl turned away and walked out of the locker room. Suku sighed and hung her head for a second time that day. Four months in this place and no friends. They all thought she was either an oddball or like that girl - probably the soccer team captain - had decided after 30 seconds. She was a flake to them. Thinking back Suku tried to remember if she had ever played soccer before. It didn't come to mind. Still, it sounded interesting.

No friends could get pretty lonely. As she slung her bag over her should, Suzume blinked as the sun coming through the windows blinded her. It was easier with the dark contacts, but it still hurt. She heard her name whispered and glanced to the side to see some pissed looking track stars huddled together. Great, she'd managed to get on someone's bad side. Closing her eyes she just tried to keep walking, hoping that it wouldn't insult them in anyway. Obviously the tactics that worked back home didn't work here.

"Hey Suzume-Baka. Gonna just ignore us?" Lifting her head she silently swore, wishing that she could just remember her manners, just fail at what she should. Then she would have friends. Glancing behind her at an approaching fist the word "Maybe" came to mind. She went to dodge it, but like a flash something else blocked it.

Standing in front of her was Gekido. He had the girl's wrist in his hand and she stared blankly at him. "Sorry to break it up but little Suzume-Chan didn't mean the offense. She got her manners from the Germans"
The familiarity with which he spoke about her made everyone in the hall nervous. The girl blushed and backed of offering an apology that seemed half way heart felt. Suzume felt the strong urge to throttle the guy, but gave a strained "Arigatou gozaimasu, Senpai" before trying to run for it when his arm got itself caught around her waist and pulled her in tight. "No running. It would just be even stranger to those girls. I don't want to see you with a bloodied nose after I'm not around."
"And I haven't forgotten that you're an utter pervert. I'm not that desperate for protection, I could have dodged her easily. Really, I think she was just gonna try and punch the back of my head. What a little child."

"Makes you sound like an old woman"
"Don't need you to tell me that. Let go."
"You say that and it makes me want to hold on."
Closing her eyes Suku clenched her teeth before shoving him off and running for the stairs. Reaching them she jumped to the flight below by going over the railing. He smiled.

---

The way home Suzume ran. She jumped fences ignoring the fact that her physical abilities where far beyond her tiny body. She didn't care if she was seen; all she wanted was to be home. As soon as she reached the door she set to her chores with a will, and her mind was soon distracted. It took until a few hours later when she suddenly found herself half-way through homework when her mind returned. The snap back to reality was in the form of a strange figure in the yard. Shaking her head Suku suddenly realized it was after dark. The spa would be closed. And even though she hadn't been with it the last while, she still could recall clearly where everyone in the household was out. The figure was a little girl. Before she knew what she was doing she wandered out to the porch to see who it was. The light shone on the grass, but didn't reach the figure. "Who's there?"

"Nee-sama."
Suku stepped back. Who the heck would be calling her Nee-sama? That was like...respectable sister or something weird like that. The figure stepped forward, just a little girl. Brunette with slanted eyes. Slanted eyes with a stare that on any other little girl would be cute and inviting. On this one though, it seemed as if she were just mimicking what she knew her face should look like. She was dressed like some Lolita Goth or something, weird. It had only occurred to Suku that stuff like this occurred in manga and anime. Could anyone holler out Cliché? Of course though, comics didn't know a flip about anything.

"I'm sorry; I think you think I'm someone else." Suzume said as gently as she could. The little girl held out an open palm, a bleeding one to Suku and tilted her eyebrows. "Naisho-nee"

"I am not Naisho!" Suzume screamed. Covering her mouth she knelt down wide eyed in front of the little girl. What was she getting worked up about? The second before all she was thinking about was getting that hand bandaged up. Now she was suppressing extreme anger directed at the little girl for even suggesting her name was Naisho. Shaking her head she laughed suddenly, figuring out what Naisho meant. It was Secret; the little girl had called her a secret sister. Weird, but Suzume didn't know the games little kids here played.

"Komene, I didn't mean to yell at you like that, I just ah..."
"It's ok Naisho-nee, you're just thirsty." Again the little girl held out her bleeding hand and suddenly Suzume could smell it distinctly. It didn't bother her like it did other kids. She just, was used to it? Suddenly the color red flashed in her mind and she found herself on the ground. Blinking stupidly she looked around but the little girl wasn't there anymore. Someone's shoes where in front of her face and for a moment she tried to figure out just whose shoes those where.

"Sorry that Hakumei was bothering you. She just never listens to me." English. Man, a friend finally. Standing up she smiled "That's alright what kind of game...was...she..." Gekido stood in front of her with the little girl in his arms, her little forehead resting on his neck, a wicked smile on her face. Sharp little canines glistened in the weak porch light, Gekido watching Suzume with a stare that made her uncomfortable.

"Although Naisho, you really shouldn't ignore her like that. It breaks little Hakumei's heart."

"I have no idea what you're talking about" She made to run for the door but Gekido caught her arm and yanked her back.
"Not yet Naisho" And just like that Suzume was somewhere else. An alley, screaming out she felt a tiny hand over her mouth "Naisho-nee, quiet! People can't come bother us!"
"Nani!" Again the tiny hand pressed against her mouth. "Sorry Sparrow." Gekido whispered, and then, all she could sense was the feeling of warmth, and the color red swimming in front of her eyes.

Teaser for guess what? Yet another story that's gotten its self lodged in my mind. Demon's Wake is taking a short break, but will be returning sometime this month.

For lack of better name at the moment, this one is simply label Kyuketsuki

Threw in lots of simple Japanese. Sorry, really hoping it gets a little better integrated as this goes along. Quick list

-san, -sama and -chan are used after names and what not. San is like Ms. Mrs. and Mr., Sama is used on people higher than you (kinda like royalty I suppose) and Chan for people you are familiar with or that are younger than you.

Komenasai- Sorry, Sumimasen- Excuse me

Nani-What!?

Nee (Onee-san) is for Sister.

Hai-yes

Mizu- Water

The names I've already explained- Gekido-Fury

Naisho-Secret

Extra: Suzume-Sparrow

Working on it. Like I said, at the moment it's pretty sad, BUT getting there

If you didn't catch the little opening thing a moment ago…this is set in Akayu, Japan. A good Onsen town. "Suzume Kui" "Gekido Koshudai" and "Hakumei" are not gonna be names you'll be seeing for a while. "Naisho" and "Sparrow" will.