Aletiah- Thank you for reading and telling me not to hurry! Most reviewers are always telling me to hurry, so it kind of makes me feel bad when I take a long time. Saying that really took pressure off me.
The Red Dove- Don't worry, it's not my policy to just ditch stories. Any on my profile that is not finished, believe me, I've probably finished it, just not actually put it online.
Well, I was contacted by somebody interested in publishing my stuff. Let's just hope they were being serious.
The police were at the school, questioning people they thought might know something. Toby saw that they were mostly asking Hajime, but that came as no surprise, since he knew the most about Jonathan. While heading to sixth period, he saw the cops in the hallway, talking to Hajime again. Jonathan was still with him, so he asked him, "Should I go talk to them?"
Jonathan tilted his head curiously. "You don't know anything about me."
Toby rolled his eyes. "I figured they'd ask me the questions, and you'd tell me what to say."
Jonathan considered it for a moment, then shook his head. "Naw, I'm sure Hajime told them all he needs to know." He answered, and then he started to drift away without saying anything to Toby. Toby wondered if he should go after Jonathan, but his next class was the other way. And the ghost didn't look like he wanted to be followed.
"Jonathan!" he shouted, not thinking. "My class is this way!" He regretted it a second later, because there were only a few people left in the hallway, and they all turned to see who he was talking too, glancing back at him with confused eyes when they saw there was nobody there. He quickly looked away and trotted off, speeding up when the warning bell rang.
He didn't notice that Hajime too had turned at his voice suddenly ringing out, and was watching him go with calculating eyes.
"Okay, first we gotta come up with a list of people who would want to kill you."
"Do I look like the kind of guy who would have enemies?"
"...Kinda. You seem annoying."
Toby and Jonathan were in Toby's room, and Toby was sitting on his bed with a piece of paper and pen. Jonathan was floating directly above him, staring down at the same piece of paper, arms crossed like he was laying on a bed too. Toby rolled over on his back and stared up at the ghost, who huffed.
"Annoying? Me? What would make you think that?"
A second later, Jonathan suddenly screamed, and started to drop like a rock. Toby gasped and covered his face, knowing there wouldn't be anytime to get out of the way, or avoid the other boy. What had happened? Was Jonathan so new to being a ghost that he'd lost control of his floating abilities? But then he heard Jonathan gasping with laughter, and when he opened his eyes, the dead boy was floating back up to his previous position, laughing madly at his joke.
Toby flushed in embarrassment and anger, and rolled off his bed. "Maybe that's why I think you're annoying! Jeesh, I'm helping you find your killer, and you're goofing off. Maybe I just won't help you." Toby said, going over to the other side of the room and crossing his arms.
"No!" Jonathan said, still laughing. "I'm sorry, I"m sorry." He tried to stop laughing, but Toby could see he was fighting pretty hard. After only a second, Jonathan burst out laughing again, even louder this time. "You should have seen your face!" he cackled.
"That's it wise-guy, you can go find somebody else to help you." Toby said, opening his bedroom door. He pulled back in surprise when he saw Cody standing right there, obviously about to knock. He looked around his cousin's room.
"Who are you talking to?" he asked, and Toby thought fast.
"I, uh, was just talking on my phone with Cory. He wanted to copy off of me for a paper."
"Oh." Cody said. In his arms was some manga, which wasn't abnormal. His cousin had always had a freakish addiction to that stuff. Cody had told him that when he got older, he hoped to move to Japan, and be an english teacher.
"Don't you have to learn Japanese for that?" Toby had asked, which is what had prompted Cody to start teaching himself japanese. Toby thought he was probably good at it by now, two years later, but he didn't actually know for sure, since he'd never asked.
"Whatcha reading?" he asked good-naturedly, peering over to read the title and get a look at the glossy cover page. Cody shrugged and started off to his room before he could though, saying, "Nothing you'd find interesting, I'm sure."
"Probably true." Toby answered, shutting his bedroom door. Jonathan was finally done laughing, and was staring with a thoughtful expression at the paper, obviously trying to remember anyone who might want to kill him. And he either couldn't think of anybody at all, or his mind was overloaded with possibilities. Toby figured it was probably the latter.
"Think of anybody yet?" he asked, and Jonathan smiled at him.
"You're still helping me?"
"Not like you have anyone else who could help you."
Jonathan nodded. "You're right. Thank you."
Toby shrugged and motioned back to the paper. Jonathan looked at it, and smiled sadly. "I don't know. I thought of a lot of people who were annoyed by me, but nobody who would want to kill me."
"Well, who was annoyed by you the most?"
Toby was caught off guard for a second by his quick answer, and then he nodded. "Martin Fish?" he clarified, and Jonathan nodded too. Toby could definitely see that. Martin was a real dick head, who thought he was God's gift to the world, and that anyone who didn't do what he wanted, or was different in any manner, was a freak, who needed to be taught a lesson.
"He's been making my life hell since the seventh grade." Jonathan said, frowning. "He would follow me home from school and call me all kinds of shit. Then, when I reached home, he'd pick up a rock and throw it at my head." The ghost rubbed the side of his head then, like feeling the phantom of that rock. "He has good aim."
"He's gotta, since he's on the football team."
"And since you're both on the football team, you should get along just fine."
Toby wouldn't say that. He and Martin, though they had never had any out right issues, just instinctively disliked each other. They were complete opposites in attitude, so they mostly steered clear of each other. Now, he'd have to go talk to him, and figure out if he was capable of murder.
So, the next day, Toby kept his eyes out for Martin. They didn't have any classes together, so he had to make sure he didn't just walk by him. The whole day, he felt nervous. This was all too weird for him, and it felt like it was happening to somebody else. He couldn't find him though, not even during lunch, even though he'd asked everybody he came across if they had seen him.
Finally, in fifth period, he caught a break.
He'd been sitting in his desk, with Jonathan sitting in the empty seat beside him. The girl who usually sat there was absent today, so Jonathan had occupied the seat, and was laying with his head in his hands, like he was going to take a nap. Toby watched him curiously, wondering if he could. But before he got the chance to find out, there was suddenly a loud, 'thump,' against the wall, like somebody had been thrown against it. Everybody looked over, shocked, and a second later, the sounds of screaming reached their ears.
The teacher shouted for everybody to stay put, but they were already up and racing for the door, excited to see what was going on in the room next door. They were met by children from the class on the other side of the classroom where the commotion was coming from, and they all went in. Toby followed, and his eyes widened when he recognized the two boys that were the reason for this chaos.
"Hajime!" Jonathan shouted. His friend had just shoved Martin into the wall for the second time, the first time being the thump they'd heard. Martin reached over and grabbed him by the shirt, pulling him toward him with strength that Hajime couldn't match. The Japanese boy didn't look afraid though. He looked furious.
"Don't ever talk about him again!" he screamed, and Martin swung, hitting Hajime right in the jaw. Hajime stumbled, stayed up right, and swung back. The kids around them were shouting and screaming, excited and scared at the same. The teachers were trying their best to get through all of them, but they were all frail little women, and he knew they didn't stand a chance.
"Toby, help him!" Jonathan screamed in fear, and Toby looked over again, and saw that the two fighters were now on the ground, and Martin was about to pound the smaller boy right in the face. Toby pushed past all the smaller kids around him, shoving them aside easily. They let him, a few looking up at him in fear too, apparently thinking he was going to join in on wailing Hajime, since both he and Martin were on the football team.
"Get off!" he ordered gruffly, getting behind Martin and grabbing him by the shoulders, pulling him off the smaller boy. Martin twisted in his grip, trying to see who it was that had stopped him, cursing. Hajime got up, wiping blood off his cheek. Toby thought Asians were supposed to be smart, but apparently this wasn't the case for Hajime, because he jumped forward again, pushing Martin roughly in the chest.
"Hajime, stop!" Toby said, after he'd regained his balance. After all, he was attached to Martin, so if one went down, so did the other. Luckily, Hajime didn't come back for another attack, just flipped Martin off when he spit, "Faggot."
A few seconds later, some male teachers finally made their way into the chaos, and took Martin off his hands. His fellow football player shot him an angry look that he ignored, turning to see some teachers asking Hajime and some other kids questions. Listening in, he was able to get the summary of what had happened. Apparently Martin had said, loud enough for Hajime to hear, of course, that since Jonathan was a homo, he deserved to die. Which is when Hajime had attacked.
"Get back to class!" He heard his teacher shout, and he started for the door, not surprised when he saw that Jonathan was not following, and instead had chosen to stand next to his best friend, hovering over him, tears washing down his pale face. Toby noticed that he seemed even more ghostly then he usually did, and he noticed with alarm, that he could see the teacher's desk through his new dead friend. Usually, he was solid. The crying was taking away his energy.
"Don't cry." he said, without thinking, and some kids, including Jonathan, and Hajime turned to look at him. Seeing that his gaze was not on him, Hajime turned and looked curiously over his shoulder, seeing nobody. He looked back at Toby, but Toby was walking out, embarrassed at having spoken to the ghost in public again.
He looked back quickly when he reached the door, and Jonathan gave him a gentle smile, and his lips moved with silent words. Thank you.
Toby waved him off and went back to his class, but inside, he couldn't help but feel a bit proud.
"I heard what you did today."
It was after school, and Toby had met up with Finn and Cory, and had been in the middle of listening to Cory tell them about the girl he'd met, when Yuki had come up behind him and uttered these words. He looked down at her and blinked in confusion.
"What?" he asked, and she smiled.
"About how you helped Hajime." she said, beaming at him with pride, and he felt himself blush. Next to him, Cory and Finn snickered, enjoying his embarrassment.
"Oh, yeah. That."
"Yeah. That was really cool of you."
She nodded, and stood there only for a second more, waiting to see if he would say anything else. When he didn't, she said, "So, you're still picking up, right? For Gwen's party?"
"Good." she said. "Cool." she added. Then she started walking off quickly. The moment she was gone, Cory punched him in the shoulder, "You're killing her Tiger." he said, and Finn laughed, adding, "Yeah, I heard about that too. Martin's gonna be pissed at you."
Toby shrugged. "Whatever." he said, and then they started off, to spend the day at Cory's. He hadn't seen Jonathan for the rest of school, but he imagined that the ghost would be waiting for him once he got home. He spent some time as the day went by, thinking about the display Martin had put on, trying to see if this meant that the boy was capable of murder. He'd discuss it with Jonathan.
When he got home, it was late, but luckily, it was Friday, so there would be no school tomorrow. The house was quiet, everybody asleep, except for Cody, who he could hear moving around in his room. Suddenly, he heard a voice that didn't belong to Cody, and he stopped, listening quietly. He heard Cody's voice a second later, answering the voice that had just spoken.
Was somebody in there? Was he having a friend spend the night? Maybe a secret girlfriend? Toby knocked on the door, and his suspicion only increased when he heard Cody's voice low with panic, and shuffling around, like somebody was moving across the floor. He heard Cody say, "Hide over there!" very quietly.
"Hold on!" Cody's voice called out, and he waited for a second. Finally, the door opened, and Cody stood there, visibly relaxing when he saw that it was Toby.
"Oh, hey Tobes. What's up?" he asked, and Toby raised an eyebrow and looked past his cousin, into the room. Cody bit his lip, clearly nervous. "Do you, uh, need something?" he asked, and Toby shook his head.
"Nope. Just thought I heard another voice in here."
"Nope. Just me in here."
"Then you won't mind if I come in?" he asked, and Cody gulped, but quickly shook his head.
"No, of course not. Come in." he said, moving out of the way, and gesturing for Toby to come in. But Toby didn't make a move. Clearly, somebody was in here. Somebody Cody didn't want them to know about. He must have been right. Cody probably had a secret girlfriend. But why would he tell Toby about that? Oh well, he'd come around. He just needed to be given time.
"Naw, it's okay. Just wanted to check on you."
"Oh. Okay. Thanks." Cody said, starting to shut the door.
"Yeah. And Codes?"
"Yeah?" Cody said, pulling the door back open.
"Make sure Marty doesn't hear her." he said with a wink. Cody blushed fiercely, a deep red, and then nodded quickly, giving him a worried smile.
"Thank you." he said, and he shut the door.
When he got to his room, Toby was surprised to see that Jonathan wasn't there, like he imagined he would be. He must have been really worried about Hajime. Or maybe he went to go see other people, like his parents.
He took a shower, and just seconds after he'd gotten changed into his night clothes, Jonathan appeared.
"Where were you all day?" Toby asked, and Jonathan answered, "With Hajime."
So he had been right.
"Is he all right? Did he get in trouble?"
Jonathan shook his head. "No. The principal went easy on him, because of...well, because of me."
Toby understood that. Nobody could blame Hajime for losing his temper when he murdered best friend was bad mouthed. "Hey, I was thinking." he said, and Jonathan looked over. "I'm going to a party tomorrow, and Martin will probably be there. I'll talk to him, okay?"
Jonathan nodded, and Toby asked, "Do you really think he might have killed you."
"Pff. Did you see the way he treated Hajime, today? Multiply that by one hundred, and you'll see how much he hated me."
"Alright then. Tomorrow it is."
Toby got into his bed, pulling the blanket over him, and shutting his eyes. "You're welcome. Now go to bed."
Toby opened his eyes, looking at the boy sitting on the ground a few feet from him. He felt bad. "Well then, make yourself comfortable, or go to Hajime's or something."
"I'll stay here."
"Then stay quiet."
And he went to bed, preparing himself mentally to catch a killer.
So, I'm thinking about changing the title to, "To Catch a Killer." What do you think? I just don't really like the title it has. So, if you don't like the title I suggested, I would love some suggestions on a story title. Can't wait to hear from all of you!