Akira's Back
First Day of High School Arc

Onee-san/Nee-san: Big Sister

Aneue: Older Sister (More formal; archaic)

Hai: Yes

Baka: Idiot/Moron

Shoujo-Ai: Girl's Love

A young, yellow-haired boy, no older than seven years, was lying down on the grass in the park, looking up at the clouds overhead. He seemed lonely as he stared up into the sky, lost in his own thoughts. He didn't even hear the girl walking up to him until she spoke up.

"E-excuse me... what are you doing?" A timid voice asked him.

The boy looked over at the girl. Her hair, which was a light blue much like the sky itself, was rather short, only coming down a little below her chin. Her eyes, matching the same color as her hair, looked unsteadily into the boy's own red ones.

"...Nothing." The boy said.

The girl seemed hesitant at first, but then she stepped forward. "Ah, um... do you want to... play together?" She asked in her soft voice, her eyes glancing about nervously.

"Play together...?" The boy repeated, not sure if he had heard her right. She wanted to play with him?
"Y-yes..." She said, quietly.

Looking at her suddenly made his cheeks hot and he looked away, embarrassed. With his own voice now soft, he answered her. "What... are we playing?"

At her smile he blushed harder.

That was the first time they met.

Kuroki Household

Rin felt hot, as if someone was right up against him; but he was still dreaming, so he just ignored it, knowing it would go away soon enough. It didn't go away, and before he could wonder why, a cool breath of air blew into his ear.

He snapped awake with a cry and found himself staring up into a pair of dark brown eyes only inches away from his own. The person the eyes belonged to smiled at him, her face framed by pure black hair. "Good morning, Rin~" She whispered, no shame whatsoever.

"Kozue!?" Rin yelled, shying away from his sister who was right on top of him in his own bed! "What do you think you're doing!?" He shouted right before kicking her off of the bed.

She was caught by surprise, hitting the ground and rolling once before getting back up onto her feet. She pouted, dusting herself off, her long hair settling down her back. "Can your Nee-san not come and wake her little brother up for his first day of school, teehee?" She said, smiling.

"No she can't!" Rin cried, his pillow flying into his sister's face. "Now get out of my room!"
"But, Rin~" Kozue whined, removing the pillow from her face, only to get hit by his alarm clock.

Rin's face paled as the clock fell down to the floor, revealing his sister's smile frozen on her face. He hadn't meant to do that! He had just grabbed the closest thing to him! "Ko-Kozue...?"

"That... didn't leave a mark, right?" She asked.
Rin gulped, looking up at her forehead.
Kozue stepped forward, a dark aura gathering around her. "That didn't leave a mark on your beautiful Nee-san, right?"
"N-not at all..."

She grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and lifted him up, bringing him face-to-face with her. "Not even a scratch, right?"
"Hahaha..." Rin nervously laughed, sweat rolling down his cheek.

Kozue dropped him and tore out a small, portable mirror from her skirt. When she spotted the red mark on her forehead, she snapped it closed, and shifted her now not-so sweet smile to Rin. "How is your Nee-san supposed to go to work like this, Rin?" She asked, her hands gripping his shoulders.

"Wh-what about a Band-Aid...?" He muttered, afraid.

Kozue glared into his eyes; but, suddenly, she backed off, releasing him and parting her bangs. Rin stepped back, getting a bad feeling about this. "Maybe... a kiss will make it better?" She whispered, glancing up at him from underneath her parted bangs, a sweet, innocent expression on her face.

"Can I... just buy you an apology present?" Rin asked, a nervous look in his red eyes. The next thing he knew, she had her arms wrapped around his neck, choking him.

"G-gaaah! I-I'm sorry...!"
"Hehe~" Kozue only smiled.

Hayasaka Household

Breathe in...

Breath out...

Breathe in...

Breathe ou-


"Kyaaa!" Akira screamed, nearly losing her balance as her door suddenly opened up and her big sister, Kanata, stepped in. "A-Aneue...?" Akira whispered, holding a hand over her racing heart as she looked up at her sister, her light blue eyes like that of a frightened animal.

"Nervous much?" Kanata asked, giggling.
"H-hai..." Akira breathed.
Her sister smiled at her as she walked up to her. "Well, this is your first day of high school, so I understand."
Akira blinked, confused. "Aneue, were you... nervous on your first day?" She asked, her voice timid.

Kanata's a year older than her, so she's already in her second-year of high school unlike Akira who's just starting high school. She wouldn't have thought that her big sister could be nervous. After all, she's always boldy charging forward like a wild boar, unlike her timid self...

Kanata's smile sweetened. "Only a little, not like how you screamed just now~" She teased, making Akira blush. "Anyways, are you ready? We don't want to be late."
"Ah, hai!" Akira nodded, grabbing her school bag and following Kanata down the stairs.

Akira stopped to say goodbye to their parents while Kanata just kept on walking. She caught up with her outside, and they started on their way to school. As they were walking, Akira remembered that although this isn't her big sister's first day of high school, it will be her first day at this high school.

Aneue... isn't nervous about it?

Wanting to know, Akira asked her about it.

"Nervous?" Kanata repeated, then grinned. "Not at all! Going to a new school is just like an adventure! Gather a party, slay some dragons, and grab the treasure!"
Dragons...? Akira tilted her head. "Aneue, I don't think there'll be any dragons..."
"But there's teachers, don't they both breathe fire?" She shrugged.
"I don't think they do..."
Kanata sighed. "At least there's the treasure."
"The treasure?" Akira asked.
"Yeah, good grades!"

Akira smiled. "I hope you do well on your exams."
"You're already bringing that up!?" Kanata cried, turning on her.
Akira took a quick step back, her eyes widening. "Ah, I-I... didn't mean-"

Kanata smiled and patted her little sister's head. "I was just joking~"
Akira softly nodded, still nervous. "H-hai..."

They kept walking, the two girls walking beside each other as they exited the neighborhood and went up the road towards the school. On their way there, Akira thought about what she knew of the school they'd be attending from now on.

Kanada High School.

It was the closest school to their house, only about fifteen minutes of walking away. Their parents had suggested it because of that reason, and because it also had good academic ratings. However, what troubled her is that it's rumored to have a lot of... delinquents. Just thinking of that word frightened her, and a shiver ran down her body.

"Akira, you okay?" Kanata asked.
Akira glanced up at Kanata and scooted closer to her, seeking her warmth. "Aneue, is it true that..." Her voice trailed off, and she looked off to the side.
"What is it?"
She took a deep breath and looked up into her sister's amber eyes. "Is it true... that Kanada High is... filled with... d-delinquents...?"
"Akira..." Kanata whispered, her voice soft.

Her big sister smiled and took ahold of Akira's hand. "I'm sure those rumors are just exaggerated. There's probably, like, only one or two in a class, nothing you need to worry about."
"A-are you sure..?" Akira asked, her voice sounding hopeful and doubtful at the same time if that was even possible.
"Yeah! When have I ever been wrong?" Kanata exclaimed, crossing her arms with pride and sticking her head up.

Akira, taking her question seriously, brought her free hand up and started counting. One-by-one her fingers stood up, albeit slowly.

"Hey! Don't count!" Kanata cried out, alarmed.
"E-eh!? I-I'm sorry..." She whispered, her cheeks flushing.

Kanata smiled at her, and wrapped her arm around Akira's shoulders, holding her little sister against her. "It's okay." At her gentle tone, Akira relaxed into her, laying her head on her shoulder. Kanata softly rubbed her arm as they continued to walk until she saw that Akira looked like she was falling asleep, on her shoulder, and still walking without missing a step! "H-hey, don't fall asleep on me!"

Akira opened her eyes and lifted her head up, holding her hand in front of her mouth as she yawned. When she was done with that, she turned to look at Kanata, who had already taken her arm off of her. "Aneue, your shoulder is very comfortable..." She complimented, a light smile on her lips.

"It is? Maybe I'll let you sleep there tonight." Kanata teased, a smirk on her face.
"I... prefer my bed..." Akira whispered, looking away.
"Break a girl's heart, will you?" Kanata sighed, disappointed.
"Wh-what?" Akira blinked, looking back at her, confused.

Kanata waved it off with a smile. "I'm just playing around."

After a bit of walking they finally came into sight of the school gates, and Akira saw something that she really didn't like. At the gate was a group of students, two of whom were practically forehead-to-forehead, shouting at each other as the others watched them. "Aneue..." She whispered, edging closer to her big sister.

Kanata looked down at her, a gentle look on her face. She then grabbed Akira's hand and pulled her up against her, smiling at her. "Don't be afraid. I'm here, aren't I?" Kanata assured her, firmly holding onto her hand.

"Aneue..." Akira whispered again, looking up into her sister's eyes. A weak smile made its way onto her lips, and she nodded, grasping Kanata's hand in her own. Together, they walked closer to the gates.

"Besides," Kanata began, "they're probably all idiots, so don't worry about it."
"A-Aneue, that isn't nice..." Akira softly whispered, glancing up at her.
She stared at her. "You're half-scared to death and you're worried about that?"
Akira blushed and looked down at the ground, embarrassed.

"Who are you calling an idiot!?" The sudden cry made both Kanata and Akira jump, the two girls quickly looking over at the source as Kanata wondered if the idiots had actually heard her. However, the two delinquents that had been arguing were still facing each other, but now the boy looked a lot madder.

"Who do you think!?" The girl shouted back and their foreheads pressed up against each other for real this time.
"You really want to go, Cannon?" The boy growled, his hands balled up into fists.
"We know who's going to win, Matsubaka." The girl shot back. "And it's Kanon!"
"What did you call me!?"
"You heard me! I called you Matsubaka, baka!"
"I'm going to make you pay for that!"
"Go ahead and try!" They grabbed each other by their collars.

"Yeah... they're idiots alright." Kanata mumbled under her breath, watching the spectacle.

Suddenly, the delinquents let each other go, the boy spitting on the ground. "After school, the usual place." He muttered, starting to turn away.
"Yeah, the- wait." The girl stopped him, a frown on her face. "I can't. Not today."
The boy turned back and sneered. "What? Chickening out?"
She glared at him, crossing her arms. "Family matters, idiot."
"Yeah, whatever." The boy muttered, walking away. "Tomorrow?"
The girl nodded. "Tomorrow."

The boy walked through the other students and the girl followed. With the fight having ended, the onlookers started to disperse, most of them heading towards the school building.

Kanata looked back at Akira and smiled. "See? Didn't I tell you that they're idiots?"
She was half-hiding behind her shoulder. "Th-they're scary..."

Even watching two of them fight gets her frightened. Kanata's smile was a gentle one as she rubbed Akira's hand, hoping to ease her little sister's nerves. "Akira... you have to be strong." Akira's hand tightened in her hold, the girl leaning more into Kanata as their eyes met. "I can't always be there for you, you know? You'll have to go through a lot of it on your own." Akira looked down at the ground, a fearful look in her eyes. "But, if you ever need me, just give me a call. I'll come running!" Kanata winked as Akira looked back at her, and a smile slowly formed on her face.

Unfortunately, the sweet moment didn't last long.

"Yo!" A boy with brown, shoulder-length hair stepped up to them, a smile playing across his lips. "I'm not interrupting some shoujo-ai, right?"

Akira was silent, staying next to Kanata who looked straight into the boy's orange eyes. He had been one of the ones watching the fight between the two delinquents. "No, you're not." She said in a stern voice.

A girl, who came up about to the boy's eye level, joined him with the same kind of ulterior motive smile on her face as he had on his. "Ah, that's good. 'Coz, you know, you two look like sisters, and that'd be as strange as this girl here liking a g-"

The girl's fist connected with the boy's head, the girl not even glancing at him. He staggered away, holding the side of his head as the girl lifted up her other hand in greeting. "Yo," She began, her eyes glancing between at the number of pins on their collars, "I see that you're new students here. A Second Year and a First Year, right?"

"That's none of your business." Kanata said as Akira hid behind her arm.

"Oh, but I think it is." The girl said, holding a finger up. There was a smug smile on her face. "You see, it can be a little tough here for new students." The boy walked back over, sniffling. "But, we could watch your backs, you know, and all for just a little lunch money. Of course, if you say no, it might be even harder than usual."

They're trying to extort money out of us? Kanata frowned, glaring at the two delinquents. "Akira, you go on ahead." She said, glancing back at her.
"A-Aneue...?" Akira whispered, wondering what she was thinking.
"I'll take care of this, so just go on ahead without me."

"Aneue..." Akira whispered, her hands clutching Kanata's back, "please, don't use force..."
"I... can't beat them up?" She asked, shocked.
"I... don't want to see you get into trouble, again..." Her teary-eyed face made Kanata's cheeks beet red.
"B-but, I'm not good with talking things through, you know...?" She muttered, averting her eyes.
"P-please..." Akira persisted.
"F-fine! Just get going!" Kanata told her, too embarrassed to be stubborn.

"Thank you..." Akira said, letting go of her jacket. She took one look back at the delinquents and then hurried off.

So... what now? Kanata wondered, looking at the two delinquents. What do I... say? How do I talk my way out of this? Usually, I'd be knocking their lights out right about now... Why did I have to fall for her cute face!?

Akira was now past the gates, walking towards the school building. Trees were on either side of the path in front of the school, giving it a nice appearance despite it being in the center of the city. However, despite the pleasant scenery, Akira was far from at ease. Her 'Delinquent Radar' was blaring warnings from all around her, her eyes glancing about frequently as she tried to make herself as small as possible.

At 2 O'clock were a pair of girls, one with long, messy bleached-blonde hair and the other had her jacket tied around her waist. 7 O'clock behind her walked a girl with her orange hair up in a ponytail, her bag slung over her shoulder, and her jacket unbuttoned; only her apparent twin brother beside her didn't make Akira's radar go off. Finally, roughly 11 O'clock was a tall, bald boy leaning up against a tree, watching everyone that passed by. His eyes drifted to her, but she was already looking away, her body tense.

The number of delinquents around her far outweighed the number of regular students, and there could be no way that it was just one or two delinquents per class! Ah, that's another time Aneue has been wrong... Akira added that to the count. The only reason she was keeping count was because Kanata asked her that all the time.

Just then, something caught her eye on the edge of a side path through the trees. It was a small cat, a cute white one that lazily rubbed its head with its paw. Akira's cheeks flushed, and her unease drifted away. So cute... The cat stood up and walked down the path. Not even thinking, Akira turned and started after it.

The trees were denser than she thought, some of them even blocking out the morning sunlight as she walked down the path, looking for the cat. She thought she heard it meow, and turned to the side right at the corner of the path. She stepped forward onto the grass, looking around for the cat and not seeing what was underneath her. Another step and she tripped.

"Kyaaa!" Akira cried, falling forward. At the last second her hands reached the ground and she propelled her legs over her head, her feet hitting the trunk of a tree, and she pressed against it to keep from falling over. Now she was on her back with her legs up the tree, one hand holding her skirt up and the other at rest by the side of her head!

I... have to be more careful... She thought, extremely embarrassed about what just happened.

"Who's making all the noise...?" Someone sleepily muttered, and Akira looked up and behind her to see that what she had tripped over had been a boy!

Because of his sister, Rin had gotten to school way early (something he mused a delinquent should never do). Still tired from his wake up call and the stranglehold Kozue held him in for nearly a full minute, he had decided to find a nice, quiet place to take a little nap. But, then, someone just came along and screamed practically right in his ear! If that person didn't have a good reason for doing that, he was going to hit her.

However, all of his irritation vanished at what he saw in front of him. A girl was on her back on the ground, halfway up a tree and holding up her skirt as she, upside down, looked at him. Something about the light-blue of her short hair and matching eyes was familiar to him, but he couldn't get past her strange position. Just what had she been doing?

Akira blushed, even more embarrassed. With flaming cheeks, she lifted her feet off of the tree and shifted her body around so her feet came down to the ground on her left. She quickly righted herself, standing back up as she brushed her back off, averting her eyes away from the boy in embarrassment. "P-pardon me..." She quietly muttered, forcing herself to look into the boy's red eyes.

As soon as the girl's eyes met his, Rin's chest tightened and his breath slowed. Now he knew why the light-blue was so familiar to him, and those eyes could only belong to one person...


It was a few years after they first met and became close friends, when they were just starting their 6th year of primary school. Rin and Akira were walking home together, Rin's cheeks red as he looked over at her, the hand in his pocket tenderly touching the letter he had written the night before. She noticed his gaze, but instead of smiling at him like she usually did, she averted her eyes.

Instantly, he knew something was wrong.

"Akira...?" Rin asked, his voice soft.

She stopped, looking down at the ground as he stepped towards her. "Rin..." Akira began, not looking away. Rin stopped, feeling a cold sense of dread. "...We're moving."

"M-moving...?" He repeated, his hand tightening around his backpack.
She nodded.
"W-where to...?"
She looked further away. "To... a different city..."

Rin's eyes widened, his backpack dropping out of his hand. Akira's moving...? To... to another city? B-but... I won't be able to see her! I won't... be able to...

"B-but... you can't move..." Rin muttered, tears welling up in his eyes.
Akira's hands tightened around her own backpack, her voice shaky. "I-It's... my mother's job..."
"W-we... leave this Friday..."

Rin stepped back, his heart feeling like it was just stabbed. "Th-that's... just a couple days away..."
Akira finally looked at him, her own eyes shimmering with tears. "I-I'm... so sorry. I didn't want to tell you..."
"I-isn't there... something you can do...?"
She frantically shook her head.

"I-I'm... so sorry, Rin! I-I don't want to... b-but, we have to... because it's mother's job..."

Rin stared at her, shock and fear filling his small body. Then, with tears streaming down his face, he turned and ran. Akira called after him, but he ignored her, crying as he ran home.

In the end, he wasn't able to give her that letter, to tell her how he felt about her. Akira moved to a different city, and Rin never saw her again. He finished primary school sad and alone, and ended up becoming a delinquent in middle school.

But now, in high school, she's back.

Akira's back.

Rin couldn't believe it. She was standing right in front of him, Akira, his childhood crush. Ever since she's left, he's never forgotten about her, for four years. She still looked a lot like she did when she was younger, but there were still some differences. She's taller, of course, and she was maybe about his height. Her hair was still bob-length short, but the front-side of her hair on the right side of her head came down longer than the rest of her hair; and, on the shorter left side, her hair was pulled behind her ear and held in place with a silver hairpin. Her eyes were still as beautiful as ever; but, it almost looked they held more timidity in them than before. One thing that stayed the same, though, was her chest; it was as flat as ever.

What should I say? What do you say after meeting for the first time in years!? Rin could only sit there in stunned silence, staring up at Akira with red cheeks.

Suddenly, she stepped back, a forearm coming up to her chest. Rin blinked and looked into her eyes, scared eyes. D-don't tell me...

Akira took a step back, raising her arm, afraid. Her internal alarm was blaring, and it was because of the boy right in front of her! His shoulder-length hair was pure yellow (a sure-sign of delinquency), his jacket was unbuttoned, and a simple necklace was hanging from his neck in clear disregard for school regulations. Worst of all, his fierce red eyes glared up at her.

H-he's... a d-delinquent! She cried out in her mind, taking another step back. W-why...? Why did she have to go and trip over a delinquent!? "I-I'm... s-sorry!" Akira cried out before taking off down the path.

Rin reached out a hand to stop her but he only brushed against the fabric of her shirt.


She... doesn't remember me...?

It felt like a spear had gone through his heart.

Akira stopped running when she reached the bulletin board in front of the school, ignoring the looks other students were giving her as they stopped by to check their classes. With a hand over her racing heart, she berated herself for running away. W-why... did I do that? I should have... apologized properly! Even if he's a delinquent... If I see him again, I-I'll have to apologize properly... It's the right thing to do!

She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down. F-for now, I'll just check to see what class I'm in... She looked up at the board, looking for her name under the 1st year classrooms. Finally, she found it under Class 1-C. This is my class... Unintentionally, her eyes drifted lower, and a particular name caught her eye.

Kuroki Rin.