It was a nice day, so Yuki and her friends were having their lunch outside. (Actually, Yuki had gone out in hopes of finding some peace and quiet, and her friends had followed to make sure she didn't get them.) The long-haired girl nibbled her bento without much enthusiasm. Tuning out Asako and Mami's chattering, she reflected on the past few days. Her eyes seemed vacant as her sight focused on something far, far away... it slipped around the sports field, the wall surrounding the schoolyard, the decorative vegetation-

-and suddenly came to rest on a familiar figure with blonde hair, standing just beyond the gate.

Yuki sat up with a gasp, startling her friends. The figure at the gate turned away, and started to walk off with a slouch in their shoulders. Yuki caught the faint glimmer of sunlight on glasses.

She stood up in a flash, her lunch spilling on the ground. "<Mr. Piro-san!!>", she cried, and ran off at top speed.

"<Yuki-chan? Where are you going? The lessons aren't over yet!>", Asako pleaded as she and Mami gave chase, but their friend didn't listen.

Yuki skidded to a halt beyond the gate, and looked around frantically. She noticed the blonde-haired stranger just as he was rounding a nearby corner. Her heart leapt as she caught sight of the familiar bag on his shoulder. Without a second thought, she ran after him.

They were in a narrow, dirty alley between buildings. Some part of Yuki's mind wondered what in the world he was doing in such a place at this time, and furthermore why she had something as crazy as run out of school to pursue him. She didn't dwell on it, though, much too happy to be able to see him.

"<Mr. Piro-san>", she began happily. "<Excuse me, but I'd really like to talk to you for a moment...>"

He turned around slowly in the limited space, holding something out. It was his sketchbook, opened on one drawing she'd found particularly interesting, and had commented on very extensively. Seeing it brought back so many memories at once, she lost track of what she was trying to say and fell silent.

Then the blonde man spoke. "<Remember>", he said, pointing a strange device at her with his other hand.

Yuki's piercing scream alerted Asako and Mami, who had just managed to lose track of her. By the time they found their friend, slumped against the wall and unresponsive, the attacker had fled. The only thing that remained was his bag, leaning against the wall next to the unconcious girl.

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