Chapter 1 : Cold Mornings

Damn it was cold. Shouldn't be this cold this time of year. Felt like she was coming down with something too, typical. It was because of all that running around the city, she knew it…
Junko stood on the pavement and shivered, clad in a plain white T-Shirt and combat pants, staring into the morning sun, her hands firmly in her pockets and a scowl on her face. She moved her head to the side and brushed her hair back, silently cursing its tendency to be impossible to manage…
"Junko! Bright and perky as…" The voice came from down the street and Junko turned to the boy, causing him to stop and turn his head to the side, flashing her a grin "Well… I take it back. In a foul mood as always Jun-Chan?"
Junko instantly gave him one of her death looks™ and turned her shoulder to him "That's a record Makoto, you've only been here 5 minutes and I'm already about to kill you"
Makoto just chuckled, shaking his head casually "No, remember when I walked in on you half naked that time? That was faster"
"You're treading a fine line…"
He raised his hands in defence and stepped away "Yeah… you had a bad night? You look like hell"
She quickly raised her hand to her face with a concerned expression before dropping it back against her side and scowling again "Cheh, I don't care. I had a really crappy nights sleep, I'm tired and stiff" She narrowed her eyes "So lay off"
Makoto chuckled and nodded, standing next to her silently for a little while, the seconds slowly passing…
"I'm bored. You're no fun"
"…"
"Heh, we look like boyfriend and girlfriend"
"Can't you quit being annoying for 5 seconds?"
"… no. It's fun!"
"Why are you still wearing your school uniform?"
"I don't have any other clothes"
"Yes you do!"
"Oh yeah. I guess I just felt like it"
Junko sighed and held her hand to her head tenderly "You shouldn't wear your uniform when you're not actually at school you know? Oh… where is everyone! We were supposed to meet here at 9:30!"
Makoto looked at his watch before smiling up at her as she fretted "It's 8:54 Jun-Chan, not everyone is as punctual as us"
"My name is Junko smart ass! I'll be glad when Aiko and Ping are here, you can annoy them instead"
"Hey peoples"
Makoto turned, a big grin on his face as he waved to the tall girl moving across the grass, dressed in a Shonen Knife T-Shirt and black jeans "Taiya-Chan! You grace us with your radiant presence at last!"
She gave him a wave back with a friendly grin "Hey Ko-Ko. Hey Junko"
Junko took a deep breath and nodded to her before rubbing her eyes "Takami-San"
Taiya noticed her broody demeanour and stole a look at her face, Junko just frowning at her "I know I look terrible"
Taiya sighed before tapped her foot as she glared at Makoto "What have you been doing to her Ko-Ko?"
"Nothing!"
She snorted in amusement at his obvious lie and walked over to her, looking down at her affectionately "Hey, bad night?"
"Yeah"
She nodded and stretched, chucking a little "Ah well, you'll feel perkier later. No much can keep you down for long. And don't listen to Ko-Ko, you look fine. You look better without make up, you've got a nice natural beauty"
Junko snorted and smiled a little "Yeah right… and you should talk, you're wearing tons of it"
Taiya laughed and rubbed her head lightly, flexing her neck "Yeah, but I'm ugly"
Junko smiled at this, her eyes perking up a little as she looked up at her with a surprisingly gentle expression, rubbing her temple "Peh, so am I"
Makoto grinned and brushed his hair back, giving the two girls a cheeky smile "I'd do both of you"
"No you wouldn't, you fancy Largo"
He thought for a moment before nodding with a shrug "Ok, maybe. Still, if you're offering…"
"We're not"
"Spoilsports"
Junko looked into the distance with a slight smile on her face "Well, there's two more…"

"Ko-Chan!"
"Hitting on Junko again huh? You dog!"
Two more boys came running up, one of them wearing glasses along with a smart shirt and trousers and the other wearing a black T-Shirt with a picture of some Anime girl on the front, a set of spiky hair covering his head. The one with glasses paused for breath as the other ran up to Makoto and gave him a high five "You're here early dude"
Makoto laughed and shrugged "Ah, I woke up early. And don't worry about Junko, you know my heart belongs to you Ryu baby" He blew him a kiss and Ryu stuck out his tongue and punched him on the shoulder, causing Makoto to dodge away and bounce into a combat stance "Oh yeah? Think you've got the moves huh?"
Ryu laughed and ran at him, both boys dancing across the grass as they threw punches and kicks at each other, Makoto ducking a sweep kick and moving to flank him.
Junko watched the carefully choreographed scene for a few seconds before giving them a low look and dismissively brushing her hair to one side "Boys"
The boy with glasses moved over to them "Where do they get that energy from so early in the morning? I envy them"
Taiya looked down at Junko and crossed her arms, giving her a big shit eating grin "Huh, we could take them couldn't we Junko?"
"Honestly I don't think it's worth the effort. Let them get themselves all muddy and tired, I'm not into stupidity"
Taiya chuckled before looking over to the boy with glasses "Hey Hiroshi? Where's your sister, she is coming isn't she?"
Hiroshi blinked for a second, knocked out of his thoughts "Huh? Oh, she went out with Akio early this morning. I think they're going to get some new clothes and pick up Ping-Chan"
Taiya smirked at him "You didn't go with?"
"Huh? Why would I?"
Taiya just laughed and turned away, watching Ryu as he got Makoto in an arm lock "The chance to escort some pretty girls around? You need to be more forceful Hiroshi, you're never going to get anywhere"
Hiroshi looked a bit uncomfortable, scratching his arm "Oh no… Ryu likes Ping. And Aiko? That would just be wrong…"
Junko snorted, busily frowning again "I don't think Aiko likes boys"
Taiya blinked a little before smirking "Are you kidding? She's ALWAYS talking about boys"
"Yeah, 'that cute boy on TV' or 'that sexy politician guy', or 'that cute singer from that band'. I don't think she knows what real boys are"
Hiroshi looked deeply embarrassed, biting his lip "I can't imagine Aiko as someone's girlfriend. I've know her since she was a toddler… uh…"
"Bad mental image?"
"Hmm… yeah"
"You naughty boy"
Hiroshi looked up so quickly that his glasses nearly fell off his head "What? No! No, I wasn't…!"

Junko leant against a lamppost and closed her eyes as everyone bickered around her, she really didn't have the energy to mediate today. She was going to take it easy today, she had been too stressed lately and she could feel it getting to her.
"Junko-San!"
She opened one eye and smiled softly at the cute round face in front of her "Aiko"
Aiko gave her friend a big grin as Junko slowly woke herself up again "Are you asleep?"
Junko yawned and opened her eyes fully, stretching "No, I'm just a little tired today. Is everyone here?"
She was instantly accosted by the familiar face of Ping, the young girl bounding across the path to look her up and down with a worried expression on her face "You look ill Junko-Sempai"
"I'm fine" Junko quickly shied away from the attention, backing away from Ping and Aiko as they advanced on her, a burning desire to help in their large sympathetic eyes, something that Junko knew all too well to be scarier than infernal hatred.
Aiko lunged forward and caught her hand, turning her head up at her friend, a scared look in her eyes "Do you want to sit down Junko-San, you look really pale…"
"Just let me take your readings Junko-Sempai…"
"Get off me! I'm fine!"
Taiya grinned as they chased Junko around the lamppost, the young girl swatting at them as they tried to flank her. Hiroshi looked on helplessly "Shouldn't we… help her?"
Taiya chuckled "You should know never to get in the way of Aiko and a potential victim. She appears to have found a soul mate in Ping"
"I… feel sorry for her. Aiko used to play nurse with me when I was a kid… I still have the scars…"

He was distracted from the fleeing Junko as a girl who looked very similar to him bounded over, dressed in a cute green dress and carrying numerous carrier bags in her hands "Hiroshi! Look what I got…" She ruffled around in one of them and pulled out a black shirt with a flame pattern "This would look so good on you don't you think? I've got a few more shirts for you, you need some warmer ones for winter, you've grown out of all of last year's…"
Hiroshi backed away from the rather enthusiastic girl, blushing deeply "Uh… you don't have to buy my clothes for me Midori…"
She looked up at him with a confused expression "Don't you like it?"
"Uh… no, no! It's… lovely. Thank you Onesan…"
"What's up Midori? Heh, buying Hiroshi some shirts?" Ryu leaned over and punched him lightly on the arm with a big grin "His old ones are getting really tatty, I think he would have to go out naked if you weren't there for him"
Midori smiled happily as Hiroshi willed the ground to open up under his feet, the girl doing a short bob to Ryu "Oh no, I enjoy looking after him. Hiroshi's a sweet guy buy he's so disorganised, aren't you Hiroshi?"
"Yes Onesan…"
Ryu chuckled before leaning in and whispering to Hiroshi "Look on the bright side, my big brother is a total jerk. At least Midori-Chan's nice to you"
"Too nice…"
"What was that Hiroshi?"
Hiroshi looked up quickly and shook his hands at his sister franticly "N..nothing!"
Midori's face opened up in a wide grin as she stalked forward "I know you said something…"
"You're imagining it!"
"Hehe, are you embarrassed Hiroshi-Chan? Aww, you're so cute, I know you said that I was nice. Come here!"
She jumped on Hiroshi and squeezed him tightly, the others giggling. Ryu smirked at his friend as Midori made a concerted attempt to swish him "Death by hugging. An interesting way to go…"

Taiya chuckled at the pair before her eyes narrowed as Junko ran past, her hands reaching out and grabbing Ping and Aiko by their collars "That's enough you two, you're not going to make her feel any better by chasing her around"
Junko took a second to catch her breath, clutching her chest "Thank you! Now I have two hyper little idiots to attack me every time I look slightly pale or tired or goddamn quiet…"
Taiya smiled at her and let both girls go, smoothing out their ruffled clothes "Be nice Junko. Why don't you two extract poor Hiroshi from his sister instead, I think he might need some help over there…"
Ping clasped her hands together "I think it's cute! Sibling love, wai!"
Aiko giggled and nodded "Aww… they are sweet. I know Hiroshi appreciates Midori really"
Junko just snorted as she looked at them "I think it's creepy… they're virtually joined at the hip all the time. When was the last time either of them got into a relationship? Agh!"
She was instantly glomped by both Aiko and Ping, Ping holding her arms while Aiko ruffled her hair "Be happy Junko-Chan! Your miserable face makes you look so ugly!"
"Thanks a lot! GET OFF!"
Taiya crossed her arms and tried to suppress the urge to laugh "Girls, I don't think she's going to be happy when she gets out of that…"

Yori drove down the street and leaned over, using the wing mirror to adjust her short black hair as she casually used her other hand to drive. She was going to be late for work, she knew it… damn little brothers, using her as a taxi service for his friends. She had just got this car damnit, they better not mess up the leather interior. Oh well, he was… 16? Or something. She forgot. Anyway, at least they weren't some little kids…
She drove up next to the meeting spot and leaned out of the window, watching them as they tried to kill each other. Makoto looked up at her and grinned "Heya spud face. Umph!"
He was tackled by Ryu who took the opportunity to lean over his back to stare at Yori "Man, your sister's hot Makoto!"
She scanned the rioting crowd one last time before glaring at her brother "You'll pay for this. Real badly"

________________________________________

Where are they going? You'll find out (Nowhere too exiting).
Junko has a cold, which of course is Largo's fault. Expect her to be in full on bitch mode for the whole story, though I plan to explore more of what makes her tick, why does someone like Taiya even tolerate her?
For you Junko haters, she'll also display a Largoish tolerance for pain. He would be so proud.
Aiko's wearing a pink and white double layer top (Pink on top, white for the sleeves) with Cutey Angel written on it in English along with a pair of pink crop trousers.
Ping's wearing her dungarees as normal, though she has a few other outfits in Midori's bag (Erika gave her some money)
No, Miho won't be appearing. Neither will Largo (Except in conversation of course). There will be an appearance from another character however…
No, Aiko and Hiroshi didn't do that kind of playing nurse. They were six. Perverts.
No, Midori and Hiroshi aren't sleeping together.
Yet.
Types: Fanfic
Largo's class

They said it peoples, though I really need an easier guide (Things are a bit all over the place in that topic...)

Junko-Sempai!
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Makoto "Ko-Ko" Chan
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Takami "Taiya" San
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Ryu-San
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(This is an awful picture, Ryu's a hider, it's hard to get a good picture of him)

Hiroshi-Chan
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Midori-san
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Aiko-Chan
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Ping-Chan (Yay!)
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Yori doesn't have a picture... poor Yori.
Chapter 2 : Eight kids in confined spaces…

"I'm hungry…"
"I told you to have breakfast before you came" Junko poked Aiko in the arm "You always have to cause trouble don't you?"
"I'm hungry…"
The group sat in the interior of the rather huge people carrier, Junko, Aiko, Ping and Taiya in the second row and Makoto, Ryu, Hiroshi and Midori in the first. Makoto laughed and leaned over the seat, handing Aiko a chocolate bar "There you go Aiko. Trust me to be prepared"
Junko sighed and lay back, staring out of the window as the city swept by, the people heading off to work "Yeah, I knew someone was going to have forgotten to have breakfast…"
Aiko took the bar and gave him a big grin "Thank you Ko-Ko Chan!" She quickly unwrapped it and took a bite before she noticed everyone was staring at her, her eyes moving slowly around as she paused mid chew. Makoto clapped his hands together "Haha, it's worth it, you look positively adorable when you eat!"
She turned red as a tomato and swallowed the chunk whole, attempting to hide her face with her hands. She curled up, glaring at him as she shuffled towards Junko "Eeee… stop it… Junko! Makoto's embarrassing me!"
Midori climbed up on her own chair and looked down at her through her thick glasses, slightly confused "What's wrong with being adorable?"
Aiko gave them another furious look and tugged at her friend's sleeve franticly "Junko, they're being mean!"
Junko sighed and continued to look out of the window, shrugging her off as she leaned against the glass "What do you want me to do about it? Live with it, you're cute"
Ryu grinned at Ping, the little android looking around and up at him with a puzzled expression. He just laughed at her "I think Ping could give Aiko some competition on that"
Taiya smiled and closed her eyes as she placed her hands behind her head "I've got to admit that's a pretty heavy combination there"
Ping looked at all of them before clenching her hands together and smiling cheerfully "Wai! That makes me feel happy!"
Makoto waved his hand at her "See, Ping doesn't mind being adorable. Not that any of your can even touch my shear aura of cuteness of course, though you can all plump for being third best"
They all said it at the same time "Third?"
He just shrugged, giving a fake look of surprise as he nodded towards Taiya "Well you can hardly compete with our lovely titan of death can you"
She smirked and looked down at her feet "Damn right…"
Ryu's expression suddenly grew serious and he slid back down into his seat, sighing before quickly returning to normal "Aren't we there yet?"
Yori turned her head to them, frowning angrily "Hey! Don't you lot get shirty with me! And get off the seats, sit down you little monkeys!" She turned back to the road and snorted to herself "Look, we're almost there"

The sign declaring the large glass building as Agano Gardens came into view, another hanging underneath baring the legend "Grand Opening Music Festival!" a long queue of people already outside. Taiya nodded in appreciation "It's a nice looking building"
Junko sighed as she looked it over, it was quite nice looking she had to admit, but then new buildings normally were, "I've never heard of anyone in this festival thing…"
Aiko just gave Junko a pouty look as Yori looked for somewhere to park, poking her on the arm "Three Biscuit are great! They're going to be big soon, you just wait for it!"
Makoto nodded in agreement "They are pretty good…"
Junko smirked "Well I don't like that kind of music. And if a band called Three Biscuit ever become famous I'll…"
Makoto chuckled and raised an inquisitive eyebrow at her "Snog Aiko?"
Junko laughed and nodded "Ok then, it's a bet"
"Sweet!"
"Pervert… Plus the leader singer is like, 40 or something?"
Aiko stuck her tongue out "Ewww, no you won't… and I think Ayame is cute…"
"Aiko… Ayame is a girls name"
Aiko punched Junko on the shoulder, doing the grand total of nothing "Wah! You're not allowed to make fun of the bands I like! And he's 32!"
"It's still a girls name"

Yori pulled up outside and punched the button for the locks "Right bitches, get out of my car"
The doors opened and they all started to get out, breathing in the fresh morning air as Makoto laughed at her "Love you too Yori-Chan"
Ryu nodded as he followed his friend, smiling at Yori "Yeah… hey, are you single? Just wondering…"
"Don't bother mate, she's a lesbian"
Yori's eyes narrowed and she glared at her brother "I have a boyfriend…"
"How come you never bring him home then huh?"
"I'm not letting him anywhere near you freaks. I'll never see him again"
Junko shouted to them as the others moved towards the line "Hey Makoto! Stop flirting with your sister and get moving!"
Yori gave Makoto one last ugly look before hitting the accelerator and speeding off, Ryu laughing at her "Man, you and your sister sure seem to fight a lot"
Makoto gave him a funny look as he moved toward where Junko and the others were "You kidding? I love my sister, she's cool. Good genes!"
"So your whole family are weird and hard to work out then?"
"I prefer… enigmatic"

_____________________________________

Umph… another all talk, no real action or plot chapter. Fred, you moan but I suck far more than you at pacing sleep.gif

In the good news, I typed the Miho discussion today, being hit by sudden inspiration. I like it a lot, look out for it in chapter 4-5 odd. Yes, I am actually getting somewhere!
Slowly.

These bastards write themselves, I can't control them.

I didn't spend as much time on this (I can't, the last one took weeks) so I don't think it's quite as polished. I could take forever doing that though.

Aiko's a rock chick! Can't you just imagine her in the mosh pit?

Ping isn't one to speak up much, though she'll have a LOT more to say later.

Three Biscuit were named from the fact there were three biscuits on the plate when they were naming the band. They used English to make it sound cool.

They're not bad.

Doubt there's going to be any hot lesbian activity between Aiko and Junko though.
Chapter 3 : Differing tastes

The group marched through the doors and into the wide street inside, the place filled with people talking and shopping. Midori looked around with wide eyes and giggled like a schoolgirl "Wow, they've got some pretty nice shops here!"
Taiya grabbed a leaflet from a nearby stand and flipped it open with a flick of her wrist "Hmm hmm hmm… you're right. Bit far though. If it was closer it would be perfect"
They found a suitable space and filed out as Junko stopped and turned to the group, her legs apart and her chest thrust out "Right, are we all here?"
"Yes miss!"
"You always have to be a smart ass don't you Makoto? Shut it. One two three four… ok! Who's doing what?"
Aiko stuck her hand up "Me and Makoto are going to see Twin Sonic!"
Junko searched around inside her trousers and pulled out a pen, writing their names down before waving it at them, looking like nothing so much as a general addressing her army. All traces of illness had left her face now, she was in her element "Ok, what about the rest of you?"
Midori stabbed her finger at a name on the program "I've heard some of these guys' music…"
"Which guys?"
"Muh…hea… third down, second stage"
Junko nodded and tapped her pen against it "Mucha… something… what language is that, German?"
"Well I've heard of them. I think you would like them Junko, we have similar tastes in music"
Junko shrugged and wrote their names down "What is this, a music festival or a 'who can make up the most stupid name' festival… what about you Hiroshi?"
He looked up quickly "Hmm?"
Junko just narrowed her eyes and clicked her fingers at him "Wake up Hiroshi! Are you coming with us?"
He looked around at the others before shrugging "Uh… ok"
Ryu smiled and moved over to Ping who was standing there with a spaced out smile on her face "Hey, Ping-Chan, what kind of music do you like?"
She blinked before smiling sweetly at him "Me? Oh… I don't really know…"

Taiya suddenly gave an evil grin and came up behind her, placing a hand on Ping's shoulder "Hey, you want to come with me Ping-Chan? No one else will and it's lonely on my own"
Ping lifted her head up, looking at Taiya's face as it hovered over her "Really Taiya-Sempai? Wai, I would love to come with you!" She looked back at Ryu again, a slightly horrified look on his face "Do you want to come with us Ryu-San?"
His eyes flashed to Taiya and back to Ping before they moved to Taiya again, the big girl smiling slightly, something slightly unpleasant behind it as she spoke slowly and purposely "I don't mind"
"Takami-San… that's not fair…" He paused for a moment before his head dropped and his arms flopped to his side "That's ok Ping chan... you go have fun…"
"I will! Where are we going Taiya-Sempai?"
"I'm not sure yet, that's half the fun…"
Junko gave Ryu a glance that looked suspiciously sympathetic before she carried on "Right, that's everyone… oh, Ryu, where are you going?"
"I'll just… walk around"
Aiko flicked a rubber band at his head and it bounced off his ear, Junko giving her a angry glare before clapping her hands together "Ok then! We meet back here at 12:00 for lunch, don't be late! Who forgot their watches?"
Ping raised her hand "I don't have a watch"
"Well just stick with Takami-San. No one else? Not even you Aiko?"
"Hey…"
Junko nodded and placed the program back in her pocket before clapping her hands together once more "Right, you can go"

Taiya grinned at them and gave a wave as she began to walk away, Ping skipping along behind her happily. Makoto watched her for a few moments before making a fist and letting out a huge laugh "BUSTED! Sooooo busted…"
Ryu just sighed and scratched his head "I deserved that I suppose" He frowned in the direction they had left "Still, I won't rest until I get Ping alone! After all, when did the course of true love ever run smooth?"
Junko's eyes narrowed and she pursed her lips "Ryu, you've known her all of five seconds. You want to get her into bed, quit with the bad poetry"
Aiko giggled at Junko's deadpan expression and flicked another elastic band at her "Junko!"
She just caught it in one hand and threw it to Midori "Aiko, one day I'm going to hang you from the roof with those things. Ok, let's get going, shows start in 15"
Chapter 4 : Cute Little Schoolgirls

They certainly attracted their fair share of attention as they made their way through the crowds, Taiya looming over them while Ping cuted it up like a pro, the people parting slightly as the strange pair looked for their destination. Taiya's eyes searched the edges of the room before she pointed "That way. Keep close Ping, wouldn't want to lose you"
"What are we going to see Taiya-Sempai?"
"Tokyo Moonlight. I've heard people talking about them, some of my friends online say they're good"
Ping giggled and gave a big smile as she ducked someone's elbow and tagged behind the larger girl like a little duckling "Their name is pretty… AI!"
She yelped suddenly and Taiya looked round, looking down at the blushing Ping before starting forward and placing her hand ever so lightly down on the shoulder of the man behind "That was an accident?"
His eyes widened and he visibly trembled under her gaze, his eyes moving over to her large powerful hands "I..I… b..bumped into her… I…"
"Don't do it again"
He nodded quickly at her simple statement and ran like a bat out of hell, Taiya straightening out and sighing, "He's lucky I'm not Junko or Aiko"
Ping placed her hand on her behind and she reddened in embarrassment for a second more before smiling gratefully at her "You're awesome Taiya-Sempai!"
She paused and an odd expression passed across her face before settling into a slightly sad smile "I suppose I am. Come on Ping, and watch yourself, this place is just full of people like him"
Ping showed no indication that she noticed her odd reaction and continued to follow her, speaking up after a few seconds "I wonder why Ryu-San didn't come with us?"
"Him? Hmph…"
"Ryu-San is always really nice to me, he's really helpful!"
Taiya bit her lip and looked round slightly, Ping looking back at her with her usual happy expression. Taiya just sighed and dropped her head down again, scratching her neck "Ping… you really are… a little clueless"
"Taiya-Sempai?"
Taiya suddenly stopped and placed her hand on her shoulder, gently pulling Ping over the side of the room "Ping"
Ping didn't resist but looked really confused at her friend's odd behaviour, turning her head to the side, her big eyes inquisitive "What's wrong? Did I do something wrong?"
Taiya's face seemed pained, breathing deeply as she searched for the words "No Ping, it's not you. I just think you should be more careful…" She shook her head and sighed "What am I talking about? Ah…"
"I don't know Taiya-Sempai…"
Taiya laughed at this, leaning against the wall and placing her head against it "Yeah. Well Ryu can be a little less that moral when it comes to women ok?"
Ping's expression still looked very confused, trying to work out what she was trying to say "Don't you like Ryu-San Taiya?"
She just laughed again at Ping's words, a little more coldly this time before straightening out and continuing on, waving to her "Come on, we're going to be late"

Ping followed her once more, her head lowered and her eyes sad. Taiya gave her a quick glance before she rubbed her eyes and raised her head to the roof "Everyone thinks I'm awesome…"
"Taiya-Sempai?"
"Yeah, Taiya-Sempai. It's nice isn't it Ping, to be respected, to be big and tough and scary. To be bigger than everyone else and for everyone to look up to you?"
Ping smiled a little, Taiya seemed to be returning back to normal at last "I wouldn't know. I suppose so"
Taiya chuckled lightly "You have no idea Ping. Junko should have been born this way" She looked at her hands and closed them into a fist "Big and strong? I've had blood on these hands before, more than once… it's a horrible thing, I detest violence. But really that's the one thing I've always been good at"
Ping's eyes became softer and she tugged gently at Taiya's arm "You were cool with that man…"
Taiya smiled at her for a moment before nodding "Yeah, I know. I'm honoured to be able to protect people. Junko always used to joke that everyone was scared of me, despite the fact that she knew I would let people taunt me for hours without lifting a finger. At least I can use that fear to protect those I care about" She grinned sadly at Ping "Are you scared of me?"
Ping shook her head "I like you lots Taiya-Sempai!" Her face became upset and she continued to tug at her arm gently "Why are you sad?"
"Because everyone looks up to me. No one has ever really looked across at me, or down at me. It sounds strange…" She placed her hands in her pockets and shrugged "I've been referred to as cute by those who know me best. It's true, I'm a little girl trapped in the body of... a titan of death. I was bigger than my mother at 13. My father at 14. It's a lonely existence up in the clouds"
She sighed and let out another chuckle "I want to be taken care of sometimes, to be told I'm cute, and to have my hair ruffled. To be in the arms of someone who can protect me…" She looked at Ping affectionately "…but all of those sort of boys go for girls like you"

Ping let go of her arm and looked down at the ground sadly before Taiya spoke again, her voice cheerful once more "Thanks Ping"
Ping looked up in confusion "Why are you thanking me Taiya-Sempai? I'm no help"
Taiya just gave her a big grin and placed her hand on her head, ruffling her hair softly as she gently corrected Ping "You're completely wrong there. I really like you Ping, you're a good girl to have around"
Ping looked both confused and grateful at the remark "Taiya-Sempai?"
"What do I need guys for when I've got good mates huh? Junko, Aiko, Hikaru, Akira… I have no reason to whine. But when I do, it's good to have people like you to listen to my problems, just so I know I've got people who care about me. That's a very important thing to anyone"
Ping smiled sweetly and clasped her hands together, her big eyes shining upwards "Wai… I'm glad I could make you feel better Taiya-Sempai…"
She nodded "Just call me Taiya, I hate people putting me on pedestals. I'm just a cute little girl remember?"
Ping nodded and they continued walking together for a little while before she looked up again, her face exited "What about Largo-Sensei's friend?"
Taiya blinked "Friend?"
"He stands around in class. He spoke to me yesterday, I think he's friends with Largo-Sensei…"
Taiya thought briefly before nodding "Yeah, I know who you mean. Why?"
"He's taller than you…"
Taiya gave her a widening grin and placed her hands in her pockets "Someone to look down at me?"
Ping nodded and bounced slightly "Wai!"
"Haha! You never know, maybe I'll take that up…"


Tokyo Moonlight's music drifted through the crowds, the lead singer's haunting lyrics recounting stories of disconnection and loneliness as the guitarist and drummer played an ethereal backing track. Taiya gently stroked Ping's hair as the small girl lay in her arms and though it was still daytime many of the crowd had lighters aloft, making for quite an impressive sight. Ping stirred slightly as the song finished, looking up at Taiya "That was beautiful… it's so sad…"
Taiya smiled down at her, chuckling at her continuing ability to be cuter than cute "Yeah, I'll agree with that. They're even better than reported"
A man next to them turned and gave a nod, puffing on a cigarette "That was a new song, first time the played it. Going to go far on that one" He smiled at them and turned back to the stage "I've been following them for a while, I knew Keitaro had it in him"
Taiya grinned at him before ruffling down in her pocket and pulling out some money "Hey, got one of those for me? My mom has a habit of throwing mine in the bin"
The man turned back to her and laughed as he threw her a cigarette "Take it. In appreciation of your super cute girlfriend"
Taiya caught it and grinned down at Ping, still curled up in her arms "Oh, she's not my girlfriend, she's just a big baby who likes to be cuddled. You want one?"
Ping shook her head and snuggled further into her arms "It will just make me smell funny and we still don't have a proper bathroom in our apartment"
"You don't? Where do you wash?"
"Down at the hot spring"
Taiya gave a lopsided grin at this "You have enough money to go to a hot spring for a bath but not to buy one for your house? Are your parents afraid of bathrooms or something?"
Ping gave a big smile "Miho took me, she's got lots of money. She's really nice to me, I wish she could have come today"
Taiya turned her head up and sighed for a second before lighting the cigarette and taking a drag "Miho huh? Hmm…"
Ping nodded and settled back down as the next song began to play "Yeah, Miho's always taking me nice places… I wonder if the others are having fun?"
"I'm sure Junko's keeping them amused…"

__________________________________________

Ping/Taiya shippers, line up against that wall while I go get an automatic rifle.

Though that would be very hypocritical of me of course happy.gif

This chapter is dedicated to Bruce Springsteen : Streets of Philadelphia.

Not for any real reason, I just like the song.

How seriously did she take Ping's suggestion? Haha…

Yes, she smokes. Not too much however.

You might have noticed. Taiya doesn't like Miho.

At all.

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