Prologue

Tatsuki took a long drag from his cigarette as he sat on the ugly brown carpet of his bedroom. The suitcase on the floor in front of him lay open, messily packed.

Tatsuki took his eyes from it to watch the smoke of his cigarette drift towards the ceiling. His room stunk of smoke, like the rest of his house. He hated it.

He was glad he was getting out of here.

Three neat raps came from the other side of his door. "Tatsuki, dear? Your shuttle's here." His mother's voice sounded nervous, and he felt somewhat guilty. He was sure it was because of the argument he had just had with her husband.

Tatsuki would never call him his father. Not that man.

Slowly, the teen closed his suitcase and stood. He smothered his cigarette in the ashtray on his dresser. That ashtray needed to emptied. He'd do it later.

Later would have to be when he got back, though. Whenever that was. It didn't matter.

His mother was waiting for him outside the door. She looked exceedingly worried, as if she was reconsidering sending him away.

Too late now, Tatsuki thought bitterly. He loved her, he really did, but he couldn't help being in a bad mood. "Don't look at me like that. I'll be back in a few months."

She looked at the ground. "I know. Do you have everything? You didn't forget anything, did you?"

"Mom, I checked and rechecked. I'm good."

He passed her without another word. The walk from his room to the front door had never been longer, especially when it came to the living room.

That woman's husband was sitting there, in that fat, dirty old chair, which was darkly fitting, as it matched him perfectly. A cigar dangled from the man's fingers and his dark eyes watched him. Glared at him. Tatsuki glared back until he reached the door.

Then he tore his eyes away and swung the thing open, finally letting some sunlight into their small house.

God, he was glad to get out of here.

The "shuttle" was more like a dingy old school bus that had been painted a grimy greenish color. Nothing special, but he had been expecting that. The bus driver was a chubby old man with a bristly moustache and a large nose. He grinned as Tatsuki got on. "Fukushima Tatsuki?"

The boy couldn't help but grin back, albeit a little forlornly. He nodded, and looked around. The bus was packed with boys, most appearing to be around his age, yelling and causing chaos like they tend to do. There were few available seats.

The boys were too busy with each other to take notice of Tatsuki getting on. He moved towards the back, the only place that seemed empty. He hoisted his bag above him and collapsed onto the seat as the bus began to move.

He sat there with his eyes closed for a while before opening them again. Damn, he was tired. What was it, ten in the morning? He had been up all night.

He glanced over to the other side of the bus, and blinked in mild surprise.

On the seat across from him was a boy he hadn't even noticed when he sat down. Perhaps it was because he was alone, quiet, and very still. He was staring out the window, looking almost… angry. No, not almost. He definitely did look angry.

He was dressed in what looked like a military uniform. It was adorned with various pins and seemed slightly worn. No one else on the bus was wearing one.

Tatsuki cleared his throat. "Hey, is that camp's uniform? I've heard that they have one, but…"

The boy's hard gray eyes moved to him. He nodded stiffly and turned back to the window. Tatsuki looked at him for a while, one brow raised, but decided it might be better not to bother this boy anymore. He turned to his own window and watched the houses of his neighborhood pass by.

At least the weather was nice.


"Nana-sama?"

A warm breeze rustled through the curtains on one of the many balconies of the seaside estate. On this particular balcony was a table, upon which was a highly luxurious tea set and a small basket of cookies. A wealthy youth looked up from his cup of earl gray and over to his elderly butler, who had spoken. "Yes, Watson?"

"I do believe it's time to pick up the others now."

"Ah, is it now?" Nana took a long sip from his tea and glanced over to the ocean. He was dressed neatly in his uniform already. "Don't tell me. Shi has once again refused to ride with us?"

"You are correct yet again, young master."

Nana sighed, still smiling. "Always the rebellious one, him. The others will be with us as usual, though?" Watson nodded. "Good, good. I suppose we should be off, then." He finished his tea and set the cup on the table for the maid to get later.

The car they were driving in was the family's limo, which was rarely used. It came in handy for this trip, however. It was definitely the most comfortable way to transport the six boys. Seven, if Shi would stop being so silly and egotistic.

Well, at least he wasn't Roku. Shi was humble and meek in comparison. Roku's definition was egotistic. Nana often felt sorry for poor Ichi, who had to put up with him even more than he did.

Then there were Nii and Go, who really were humble and meek. He was thankful San was there to keep things cheerful. Who knows what camp would be like without him?

Nana could just picture all of them: Ichi waking up with his face pressed against a book; Nii, waiting quietly by the window; San, rushing and packing everything at the last minute; Go, burning breakfast and on the verge of tears; and Roku, striding around his mansion, grinning and barking orders to his maids dramatically.

Nana smiled to himself as his slid into the car.

It was going to be another lively year.