Carin awoke the next morning to the sound of her CD-player playing her favorite song. It was in English, but she understood every single word of it. Smiling, she stretched her arms above her head and sat up. Looking around her, she saw that the sky was still dark outside the sliding glass door. Pushing herself up from her bed, she walked quickly to the bathroom that she now shared and locked the door so she would not be disturbed.

A good 30 minutes later; she emerged from the restroom in a bathrobe to a very disgruntled Rina.

"Oh," Carin smiled. "Good morning Rina-san."

"Don't good morning me," Rina growled. "Why should you take so long in the shower? You don't have to prep anything."

"I like to take long showers, always have. I'm sorry, I will take showers at night from now on," Carin moved out of the way of her now roommate. "Is that alright with you?"

"As long as you don't disturb my sleep," Rina slammed the door.

Carin sighed before she heard a knock at the door. Raising an eyebrow, then lowering it again, she walked to it and cracked it with the chain still in the door.

"Good morning Jouchi-chan," it was Tsuzuki.

"Good morning Murasaki-senpai," Carin smiled through the door. Even without her glasses on, she could still see. Though, her glasses were required for her to do her school work, so she just constantly wore them so no one would ask questions as to why she did. "Why are you here so early?"

"I came to deliver your uniforms, well, the first set of uniforms," Tsuzuki held up two pairs of girl uniforms. "I hope that your sizes fit. They are each labeled with your name. Do you need to me to wait and escort you to the cafeteria?"

"Umm…" Carin thought. "I am fine walking by myself, I do remember the way to the cafeteria."

"I will see you there then," Tsuzuki smirked and winked at her as he handed the uniforms through the small slit in the door. As he walked away, Carin closed the door and turned around. Looking at the uniforms, she placed Rina's on her bed, and proceeded to get dressed in her own.

When she was fully dressed, blazer and all, she turned toward the restroom, which she could hear water still running. Going to the door, she said very loudly through it: "I am going on ahead, Rina-chan!"

Not getting a response, Carina shrugged then headed out the door. As she walked, she could feel eyes watching her every move. Picking up her pace, she tried to get to the cafeteria quicker than she would have normally cared to do.

"Finally," Rina murmured to herself as she lathered the shampoo in her extremely long hair. It took several minutes to wash all of it, but she was used to that. Showers were the only time she was alone in her house. It was nice to relax and let the scent of her peony shampoo carry her mind somewhere more pleasant than a school filled with filthy boys and a roommate she couldn't stand.

Several minutes later, Rina was done with her shower. She shut the water off and reached through the curtain for a towel. She quickly wrapped it around herself and stepped out onto the warm, though still slightly wet, rug next to the stall.

"Eriko," Rina called as she walked out of the bathroom. "I need my hair dried!" she tried again and then paused. Blinking a few times, Rina smiled sadly to herself. "That's right, I'm all alone here," she sighed and looked over at her bed. There was a new uniform with her name on it. She leaned down to wrap the towel around her head before looking at the outfit she'd have to wear from now on.

"It's not so bad," she took in the red blazer and eyed the embroidered school crest on the left breast pocket. It had the initials "T.B.A." behind a white dove holding a letter in its beak. Under the blazer, she found a crisp white button-up shirt and two more items. The first was a navy blue skirt and the second was a matching bow. All-in-all, the uniform was actually cute; not that she'd admit that aloud.

"I suppose I should get dress," Rina looked over at her alarm clock. She still had an hour or so before her first class. Of course, this being the first time she'd have to dry her hair on her own, she didn't have a moment to lose.

Nearly forty-five minutes later, Rina was primped, primed and ready for her first class as a student of Tamazusa Boys' Academy. She looked at her reflection once more, trying to make her eyes softer, before she opened the door and ran face-first into a very hard chest.

"Oww…" Rina pulled back and blinked before looked up at the person she'd bumped into.

"Good morning, Kousai-san," the boy's voice was deep. Rina furrowed her brows. She didn't know this man and yet he knew her name. He smiled at her, her brown eyes shining behind unkempt auburn bangs. He was taller than she was, standing at nearly six feet, maybe an inch or two shorter.

"I'm sorry, I don't believe we've met," Rina broke away from his gaze, as not to be rude.

"Ah, yeah," the boy scratched the back of his head. "My name is Futeki Ren," he bowed slightly, though it looked awkward, as though he wasn't used to paying such respects. "I was hoping to give you a tour of the school," he seemed sincere, but there was just something about him that Rina didn't trust. Perhaps it was the unruly hair or his partially unbuttoned and untucked dress shirt. But, after taking him in, she decided it was the smell of cigarettes and the two snickering boys standing behind him.

"Are those your friends, Futeki-san?" Rina peered over his shoulder. She saw Ren tense before he turned around. He whispered something to the two boys and suddenly they were gone. Ren turned back towards her, smile pasted back on his face.

"Shall we find your homeroom, Kousai-san?" he grinned. Rina shook her head.

"I'm sorry to be rude, Futeki-san, but I really must get to my dear friend," she lied. "My roommate left ahead of me and I have to catch up with her," she went on, "she's simply hopeless without me."

"Ah, is she nervous around boys?" Ren leaned against the door frame, face hovering mere inches from Rina's. The brunette girl blushed and pulled away slightly. "She's not the only one?"

"E-excuse me," Rina pushed past him and quickly turned the corner before he had a chance to call out to her. Ren pushed himself off the door frame and smirked as he caught sight of her long hair before she disappeared from his view.

"This year is going to be more interesting than I imagined," Ren snickered and then paused when he heard an echo of laughter right behind him. "Will you two get a life, already?" he growled at his friends.

"Sorry Ren, we just wanted to see how far you'd get with Rina-chan," the fake blonde pouted. The other boy nodded and pouted as well. Ren rolled his eyes.

"Alright, let's get to class," the auburn haired boy sighed and began walking, slow enough so the other two could follow him.

"You're going to class today?" they seemed surprised.

"Of course," Ren smirked, "Rina-chan is in my homeroom."

Tsuzuki had fun watching Carin walk into the cafeteria while being watched by all the boys. She seemed really nervous around them, but pushed ahead to get into the line. Figuring he would end her suffering, he got up from his chair and told someone to make sure that no one sat down at the table. Walking over to her, he leaned over her shoulder and practically whispered in her ear:

"You don't do well around boys you don't know do you?"

Carin jumped, literally about a foot into the air, and whipped around and put her hand over her ear. She was beat red, almost matching the blazer she was wearing. Smirking, Tsuzuki chuckled at her innocent reaction. However, he wasn't expecting her to then turn and run away from him. As he watched her disappear out of the cafeteria, he raised an eyebrow in curiosity.

"You really shouldn't have done that to her Tsuzuki-sempai," a light voice said from behind him.

Turning, Tsuzuki saw the second year that he was always temped to try things with. The boy's name was Chihoru, Mira; and he had silver hair and green eyes. He seemed to be glaring at his sempai at the moment, so Tsuzuki was curious.

"Why should I have not done that to her?" he questioned.

"You don't know what she has been through, and she doesn't really get along well with meeting guys by herself," Mira said, then began to walk by. "I need to go find her. She is in my homeroom and most of my classes. Though, I think she has a class or two with the seniors."

"Yeah," Tsuzuki put his hands in his pockets and walked with Mira outside of the cafeteria. "I heard that she has science and math with me. Maybe I can get back on her good side in those."

"Please don't get any ideas sempai," Mira looked up to Tsuzuki. "I do not want to see my friend get hurt, and I am the only one right now that she can rely on. I don't want to have to try to beat you up."

Tsuzuki would have laughed if he didn't know that the reason Mira got into the school was not only because he was good in his academic areas, but he was amazing at Jujitsu. Tsuzuki put his hands up, "Alright, I won't do anything that will make her upset or regret her decision in coming here."

"Thank you sempai," Mira grinned. "I will try to convince her to have lunch with us out on the lawn."

Mira ran down the hall in search of his friend and all Tsuzuki could do was stare after the small boy. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair and walked in the opposite direction. So, Jouchi Carin was not good around new boys. He wasn't used to that. Tsuzuki was used to all the girls falling over him and almost forcing themselves on him. He had done what he had done because he thought the most she that she would do would be to get embarrassed. As he continued to walk, he pondered if there was a deeper meaning behind her fear of new boys.

Mira found Carin under a tree outside. He walked over to her and then softly said, "Hey there Carin."

She turned and at first looked somewhat scared, then her face broke into a smile. She hugged Mira before she said, "Thank goodness you are here. If you weren't, I don't know what I would do."

"I know, I know," Mira laughed. "Come on, we are in the same homeroom."

Mira grabbed her hand and walked with her through the buildings and to where their homeroom was located. When they arrived, the teacher was setting up and asked Carin to remain up at the front with her. The bell rang shortly after and the teacher turned to face the students.

"Alright," she called, "I know you are all excited to start the new school year. You also have all realized that we have two new students along with all the new freshmen. In this homeroom, we have Jouchi…" the teacher looked at the roster.

Carin looked down at the ground as the teacher try to figure out how to say her name. Turning her head, Carin spoke to the teacher, "Sensei? My name, there is no character for it, but it is pronounced as Karin, if that helps."

"Yes, it does," the teacher made a note. "How do you spell your actual name, and what nationality is it?"

"My name is spelled C-A-R-I-N, and as for the nationality," Carin looked thoughtful. "It is just English, but my mother was Austrian, which had something to do with it."

The rest of the class gasped at the mention of Carin only being half Japanese. Swallowing hard, she looked back down at the floor until the teacher told her that she could sit next to her friend. Walking quickly, Carin sat down and throughout the day paid close attention to the lessons.