In Dreams by: hitomi_kun

Chapter 1

A man's face was hidden by the shadows. He handed down an envelope to a girl who was wearing a beautiful blue robe outlined in gold. She had her ebony hair in an elaborate chignon with a few loose tendrils tugging at the sides to frame her face. The two of them seemed to be talking, yet no sounds came out from their mouths.

Sixteen-year old Nina Uekusawa opened her eyes abruptly.

~It's that dream again! The same dream for the past three weeks. What the hell does it mean?~

She wipes the sweat on her forehead with the back of her hand and sighs tiredly.

RIIIIINNNNNGGGGG! The alarm clock screeches.

She reaches across her bed to turn the alarm off.

~I'll see the psychic at the mall. Maybe she can help me.~


TI TIT! TI TIT! TI TIT! TI TIT! Goes the alarm clock.

"Dammit! I'm late...Again!" Seventeen-year old Kaede Katsuragi said, reaching for the clock on his bedside table.

He ran his hands through his strawberry blonde hair in frustration as he got up and put on his uniform hurriedly. He went down the stairs leading to the kitchen and declared, "Mom, don't bother with breakfast, ayt? I'm already late as it is…"

"Oh no, you don't. Kaede," said a middle aged woman with blonde hair and a few silver streaks at the temples. "I want you to sit down and eat what I cooked for you young man," Kaede's mother ordered as she tapped her foot on the marbled kitchen floor, hands on her hips.

Kaede stopped in his tracks and looked at his mother beseechingly, his last attempt at stalling his breakfast. "But mom…" he whined.

"Do as your mother tells you, son," said a tall man with hair the same color as that of Kaede's.

"Fine…" Kaede sighed in utter defeat as he grabbed his chair and took his place beside his father. He said a quick thank you prayer and ate a third of his food before wiping his mouth with a napkin and standing up, thus declaring that he had finished. "Okay, I'm done with breakfast; I really have to go now…" He looked at his mother and sarcastically said "NOW, may I go mother of mine?"

His mom gathered all the dishes that needed washing and softly said, "Oui, ma cherie…"

Kaede rolled his eyes upward as he kissed both parents on the cheek. "Bye, you guys!" He grabbed the backpack he had discarded on the floor and headed out the door.

"Take care!" his mom and dad said at the same time.

"Will do! See ya!" Kaede said over his shoulder just before the door closed.

At Montville High…

"Damn that Kaede!" Nina exclaimed in disgust. "He'd better thank me later for being so nice. Argh!" she said as she unsuccessfully tried to balance Kaede's books on top of hers as she headed towards their classroom. She finally managed to get the door open without dropping any of the books when someone suddenly bumped into her, causing the books to tumble to the floor…and Nina's butt along with it.

"Watch where you're going, you jerk!" Nina said grumpily as she went down on her knees to gather the books strewn across the floor.

"I'm sorry, wussie…" said the person who bumped into her.

Nina stopped what she was doing and looked at the person standing in front of her. "What the hell did you just–" She closed her mouth and stared menacingly at the opposition.

"Sorry I was late!" Kaede said sheepishly as he held out a hand to help Nina up.

Nina shoved the books at him and took his outstretched hand. "Where the heck have you been?! I've been waiting for 20 minutes! You know I hate waiting!" She pretended not to notice Kyle staggering to keep the books from falling to the floor. "I even got your books ready for you and how do you repay me?" She finally took pity on him and got all her books from his arms.

"Thanks," Kaede said gratefully.

Nina paid him no heed and went on with her tirade. "You bump into me for no apparent reason! How do you like that? I sure didn't! Also, you even had the balls to call me– " she stopped in the middle of her outburst when the door to their economics class suddenly opened.

"Could you please keep your voices down? This place is a learning institution, for crying out loud, not a public market," said the teacher, Ms. Natsubo. She raised an eyebrow at the two of them and flipped her blonde hair over her right shoulder.

~Shoot!~ Nina thought. "Excuse us, Ms. Natsubo. It'll never happen again, right Kaede?" she said, turning to Kaede.

"Umm, yeah."

"See that it doesn't or else it's detention for the both of you." Ms. Natsubo said before she returned inside the classroom.

Kaede and Nina exchanged looks and rolled their eyes to the ceiling simultaneously as they followed their teacher inside.

5 hours and 6 subjects later (Mr. Takahashi's class)…

"And that, class, is the reason why the earth is round. The people of long ago thought that…" Mr. Takahashi, their history teacher, droned on and on – not seeming to notice that his students were doing everything and anything but listen to him.

Nina toyed with the end of her pony tail for a while as she looked at Mr. Takahashi. ~Poor guy! Well, he can't blame us – it's all his fault. Why did he ever take this job, anyway? Doesn't he know that no one but a geek would like history? Is he blind or what?~ She then decided to avert her attention and looked at her classmates as she made mental notes:

* Shiro Kanoe was picking his nose and sticking stuff under his chair.

- EWW! Remind me never to sit in that chair!

* Mabelle Gimenez was doodling away in her sketchpad.

- I'll look at it at lunch.

* Yumi and Chie were endlessly passing notes back and forth.

-They're at it again…Oh boy…

* Kaede was asleep in his seat, his head covered by a cookbook.

- Typical!

She averted her eyes from Kaede as tore a page from her notebook and write something in it. She crumpled it up to a small ball and threw it in the direction of Kaede's head.

Kaede woke up with a grunt, picked up the piece of paper in front of him and read what was written inside

"We're eating at the roof top at lunch, ayt? You coming?"

He grabbed a pencil from his backpack and wrote "Sure. What u got 4 lunch?" underneath Nina's message. He then crumpled it and threw it back to Nina.

She caught it in midair and read it. Then she answered "Chicken curry and a few ramens. Why?" She crumpled it and threw it back.

He caught it just in time before the teacher turned away from the blackboard. He read it and quickly wrote in response. "I'll trade you my mom's rice cakes for your ramens. Deal?" He crumpled it again and put it on the floor before he kicked it in Nina's direction.

It landed beside her left foot and she waited until Mr. Takahashi's back was turned to them before retrieving the piece of paper. She read it and mouthed to Kaede: "Deal!"

RIIIIINNNNNGGGGG! The school bell screeched as everyone in the room dashed towards the cafeteria for lunch, leaving behind their teacher in a cloud of dust without even letting him end their lesson properly.

"Man, I LOVE my job!" he said sarcastically as he went towards the faculty room to eat his lunch.

At the rooftop…

When Kaede and Nina reached the rooftop, they saw Mabelle and David Burgundy, her boyfriend; kissing each other on the bleachers like there was no tomorrow.

"Ahem!" Kaede coughed as Nina giggled.

David stopped the kiss and laughed while Mabelle blushed and kept staring at her lap.

"Sorry to interrupt you love birds, but…" Nina let the sentence hang.

Mabelle blushed to an even darker shade of red. "It's okay. Don't apologize." She kept playing with her fingers as she continued, "It makes me feel guilty!" She fixed her raven hair and got out her sketchpad to give to Nina and Kaede "Lemme know what you think, ayt?"

Nina and Kaede took the sketchpad and sat beside Mabelle as she and David fed each other.

Nina's eyes widened as she looked over her friend's recent masterpieces. "Mabelle…"

"These are superb!" Kaede continued.

Mabelle nodded her head meekly and humbly said. "Thanks for saying that but they're not that good really. I'm just an amateur, after all."

"WHAT?!" David exclaimed between mouthfuls of lasagna. "I happen to like your drawing immensely, darling." He swallowed his food and gave Mabelle a peck on the cheek.

"Thanks…" She stretched out her arms and folded everyone in a bear hug. "You guys are the best!"

"So, Nina…" Kaede began when Mabelle let go them. "About those ramens?"

"Oh, yeah." Nina took out her ramens and gave them to Kaede. She watched in utter fascination as he devoured the whole thing in on seemingly impossible gulp. She blinked when she remembered something.

"HEY!" she exclaimed, hitting Kaede hard on the head with her chopsticks. "Where're my rice cakes?"

Kaede smiled innocently while rubbing the sore spot on his head. "Ohhh….rice cakes...I sort of…ummm…ate them?" He held out both hands to fend off Nina's chopsticks. "I was hungry! Can I help it if I'm hungry? I'm sorry ate them, ayt?"

"Unbelievable!" Nina grumbled as she rolled her eyes and continued eating her chicken curry. "You are such a pig, you know?" she remarked Kaede. "I've never seen anyone eat so–"

A man's face was hidden by the shadows. On his robe was a crest that seemed eerily familiar to Nina. He handed an envelope to a beautiful girl in a golden robe. The torch on the side of the wall illuminated the girl's features. She had unique violet eyes and a small mole under her left eye.

~That's me!~ Nina's chopsticks dropped to floor. ~What's happening here?~

She jumped when she heard Kaede's voice cut through her dream.

"W-w-what did you say?" she stammered.

"I asked you if you were okay," Kaede repeated, concern etched on his face. "Are you okay?" he asked, putting his hand on top of Nina's and giving it a gentle squeeze.

Nina put a smile on her face that didn't quite reach her eyes as she squeezed Kaede's hand in return. "Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry about me…"

"What happened to you?" Mabelle asked.

"Nothing….it's just…" Nina sighed and raised her hand to pinch the bridge of her nose. "My dream, it came back to me just now, that's all. It's the same dream I've been having for the past three weeks." She dropped her hand and frowned. "The weird thing is, now, I'm seeing myself in it."

"What were you doing?" David asked, becoming interested in Nina's dream.

Nina gave humorless chuckle as she ran her hands through her hair. "That," she said, "is my problem. I don't know…I'm just talking to this guy whose face I can't see and he hands me an envelope –"

"What's inside the envelope? Do you know?" Kaede interrupted.

Nina shrugged her shoulders. "I have absolutely no idea. My dream always ends there, though – with me accepting that darned envelope." She stopped and added hesitantly, "I don't know why that dream keeps on bugging me. I feel like the person I was talking to in my dream was someone that I know…" she shook her head as if to make the thought disappear and forced a laugh. "Weird, isn't it?"

The four of them just kept quiet until Kaede broke the silence with a question. "What're you planning to do?"

"I'm going to see that psychic that everyone's talking about these days. They say she's really good." Nina placed her chopsticks in her bento box (bento box means 'lunch box') and sighed tiredly.

"We'll come with you," Mabelle offered as she looked at David and Kaede, who nodded in approval.

Kaede put an arm around Nina and said in a British accent, "After all, all for one and one for all!" He raised his chopsticks in the air in mock salute.