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[Chilly Look]

shutter_hime in ghostsugar_rp

Take Two Blue [Tag to Ulf]

[Two Days after Hiding Out]

Kokoro came into her dorm room shaky and tired after volleyball practice. Mostly, she'd just helped the team manager clean up the clubroom and called out advice to the first years, but it still felt like she'd run a marathon. Stupid sudden anemia, stupid body. Matsuzaki had moved from the seat beside her, too, which was a mixed blessing. She'd almost miss kicking that idiot's desk every time he fell asleep. As it was, the desk beside her was now empty, and Kokoro didn't mind that she still had Ulf-kun next to her. At least they could trade notes in peace without Matsuzaki getting his panties in a bunch.

With a sigh, she flopped face down on her bed. Dinner would be served soon in the dorm cafeteria, and she really wanted something good to eat. She would just... have to convince herself to get up first. Kokoro turned around onto her back and looked up at her poster of Hikki. She always looked so ready to be energetic! Why couldn't Kokoro have that same energy? Kokoro groaned and threw a hand over her face. "Where's Ulf-kun, already, jeez. I bet he got caught up on some girl. Dummy," she muttered to herself and sat up.

Her cellphone hung off her bag, and she snatched it up, laying on her back to text. A new message caught her attention from her mother.

Call me immediately, Koro-chan. Kokoro deleted it. Nurse Murakami probably messaged her to let her know about her anemic state. When she tried to remember how she'd gotten to the tea garden, it was one big, violent blank spot. Her skin would get goosebumps and her pulse would race. Whatever happened, it hadn't been good.

But what had happened? Kokoro looked at her phone and sighed again, before tapping out a new message.

Ulf-kun, where are youuuuu~? \(o.o\) She hit the send button with her thumb and stared up at her ceiling.
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Typical impatient teenage girls, eh? Ulf pulled a snarky face at his phone even as he knocked on Kokomo's Kokoro's door, opening it cautiously. "I'm right here, dummy," he announced with a snort. In his pocket he could feel the slight weight of his 'iron pills'.

He probably shouldn't tell Kokoro exactly what was in them. She might look at him funny if he told her that they were for 'that time of the month'. Especially since he meant something entirely different for it. Sheesh, it wasn't easy being a teetotaling werewolf sometimes...

"Feeling any better?"
Kokoro sat up and pushed her pink hair from her face. "A bit." Well, that wasn't a complete lie. She felt loads better from the other day. She hadn't even fallen asleep in class this time (Kramer's eraser throw had been dead-on accurate), either.

Ulf-kun was a nice guy, she'd decided. Really, he didn't have to offer up iron pills or anything, and he had. He was made of awesome. "Thanks, Ulf-kun," she stood and bowed, carefully watching him as the room tilted left, right and then stabilized. "Practice was great, by the way. Sorry you missed it," she teased.
Automatically moving to steady her, Ulf tsked at the foolishness of keeping to propriety when Kokoro was clearly still ill. Honestly, she didn't need to bow when he en--

--why could he smell Matsuzaki in here? His nostrils flared as he stilled, suddenly wary and uncomfortable for no reason he could immediately discern. Kokoro still smelled off, too. At first he'd thought she was just doing normal girly bleedy things, but now he was beginning to suspect that wasn't the case.

Matsuzaki's scent was on Kokoro's bag. Ulf tried to ignore his rising hackles.

"Quit that, you like like you're about to fall over," he remonstrated the girl gruffly, snapping back to real-world focus. This was a mystery he could try and solve when Kokoro wasn't fainting all over the place. Ulf nudged her back towards her seat on her bed gently and pulled out the container of his special pills, offering them to her. The container was marked in Norwegian, of course. "Here. Just take one of these a day. They're super-strong, so make sure you don't overdo it. You might not need more than one or two."

God, he hoped it was okay for her to take them. Sure, they weren't anything too deadly, but pills designed especially for werewolf use might have some weird effects on the normies.

Well, one way to find out, he supposed.
He meant look like hadn’t he? Kokoro chuckled a little and took the pill bottle, though she couldn’t make heads or tails of the writing. It looked like it wanted to be English, but then had an unfortunate accident somewhere along the line. “I’ll really be okay, Ulf-kun, I mean it. And I’ll be really careful with these.” She had to be; even though she was a vegetarian, she was also still growing (sob, she was going to be two meters tall by the time she was twenty and never have an appropriately sized boyfriend, she just knew it), and had to give her body what it needed. And an overdose of iron seemed like a really bad idea. Ulf’s gruff voice surprised her; he could sound almost-serious in class, but not like this. This was a different kind of voice.

“So, how do I take them? I mean, I can’t read this.” Kokoro shook the bottle, and the pills inside rattled, “With food, without food, on my head while reciting the national anthem for Norway?” Somehow, she had to let him know she’d be okay, even if he didn’t seem to believe her. “While texting you love notes during class?” Kokoro stuck out her tongue playfully.

That's right, Ulf, she knew what the rest of the school's female population had been up to. After all, they'd tried bullying her into giving up his e-mail more than once!

It was so much easier to ask, since he didn't seem to mind giving it out.
"Once a day, half an hour after food," he expanded, not at all fooled by her 'I am perfectly fine, Ulf-kun, stop looking at me like that' act. He wasn't necessarily the brightest crayon in the pack, but he wans't born yesterday either. Still, Kokoro was big enough and ugly enough (as his mother would say) to take care of herself. He could only help in whatever way she'd allow him to.

He pursed his lips for a moment and added, "But if you want to send me love notes, go ahead. It must be hard for you to keep restraining yourself like this! I'm impressed you haven't started tearing my clothes off yet. You really must be feeling ill!" One large hand pressed to Kokoro's forehead playfully as Ulf winked, all smiles and geniality once again.

Still, the weird scent on her bag was really bothering him. He'd have to look into that, for sure.
“Oh yes, because that’s all I can think of Ulf-kun~ You alone in my room~~” she teased, trying to act adult, when her cheeks reddened slightly. It was out of place on her oddly pale face. Actually, it was against the rules for male students to be in the female side of the dorms, but no one would care, and the door was open, besides. “How ever will I ever be able to beat back my competition for your attention?”

He had big hands, and they were nice and warm against her forehead. Kokoro pulled his hand off her forehead and held it between hers. Ulf was her friend, she couldn’t go getting all fluttery-chested just because he was a little nicer to her than usual. She'd promised herself no more crushes until she had her head above water again.

“But, seriously, thanks. Do you know what was on the menu? I thought it was curry pizza…” Maybe she could get the veggie tempura, instead. That was always really good, and the chef the dorms had hired was a little on the eccentric side.

Pretty much par for the course at Kikuryou, though. "So, how do you want me to repay you, Ulf-kun? For the pills, I mean."
"Aha~~ I knew it~~" he bantered back, taking the counter-teasing in good part. The sudden reappearance of the flush in her cheeks worried him a little, but Kokoro seemed determined to shrug it off so he let it be.

Ulf's stomach growled immediately with the mention of dinner, and took over his vocal cords to answer the girl's last question. "Take me out for a meal sometime," he blurted with a cheeky wink. Sure, his parents gave him a fairly nice allowance, but who ever turned down a free meal? Not Ulf, that was for sure. "I'll let you pick the place. Even if it's-" he shuddered, "-vegetarian. Sound like a fair trade?"
Kokoro patted his hand. “I wouldn’t inflict my choice of cuisine on someone who wasn’t.” But Ulf did need to eat more vegetables. All that red meat couldn’t be good for him! “But that sounds fair to me!” Man, where could they go that would fill the both of them up and not cost her an arm, a leg, and her virginity?

“When I find a good place, I’ll tell you. Now, let’s go get something to eat. I’m starved.” She put the pills on her bed and stood up again. “You don’t want me dying before I can feed you? Right?” Kokoro laughed.
"Too right!" he agreed, grinning widely. "That'd totally defeat the purpose of me saving you with my awesome medicine." Ulf stepped back so he wasn't crowding her, but was close enough to steady her should she need it.

He really didn't like how pale she was still. It made him feel all...twitchy.

Ulf gave a small shake of his head, as if to settle his half-wild hair back into place, and gave a very proper bow. "Well then, Kokoro-san, please allow me the honour of escorting you to our repast~"

(See? He could use his manners sometimes, too!)
Kokoro giggled and returned his bow, “Thank you, Ulf-kun, I would be delighted.” Her heart beat quickly in her ears, and she wondered if this was what being charmed felt like. It was either that or worry that she had been too light-headed. “Such formal language!” she teased. She was lucky her father had taken her along to some of his domestic work, or she wouldn’t have known what to say at all.

She took his arm and they left her room, closing her door behind them. If the other girls caught the foreign exchange student being too friendly with the leggy girl, it would be a problem. Girls were scary creatures when someone was getting too close to their idol. It played out in dramas every week, after all. So, once Ulf and Kokoro had made it to the bottom of the stairs she slipped her arm off of his and smiled at the boy apologetically.

She was too weak to deal with the horrifying wrath of the teenage girl. “What are we going to eat?”
It would have been sort of nice had Kokoro left her arm there - at the very least it would have bumped it his reputation up another notch, and his ego to follow suit - but that was okay. He was sort of used to being friend-zoned. He could deal with it. Ulf held the door open for her with a cheeky wink.

"Hmm. Everything? You have the vegetables, I'll take care of all that nasty meat. Y'know, since I'm so nice and all," he teased.
She laughed, “My hero! Saving me from the perils of crying over cow-chan!” She did feel kind of bad, though. Poor Cow-chan. Could’ve been anywhere except on Ulf’s plate. And, she noticed as she walked through the cafeteria beside him, anywhere except her fellow students’ plates. Such was the life of a vegetarian, she reminded herself. Still, even just walking beside him and talking about school stuff, they were drawing a lot of curious stares. Even kind of hostile from some places.

“You know, there isn’t anything wrong with eating a little rice, Ulf-kun. It’s good for you!”
"Nope. I'm definitely allergic to anything non-carnivorous," he replied with a totally straight face. "Start going into anaphylactic shock and stuff."

People were looking at them funny. Well, Ulf was kind of used to getting weird looks, being foreign and all, but this was different. He tried his age-old tactic of unleashing dazzling smiles on anybody he caught glaring their way - mostly girls; weird! - and kept walking. "Where do you wanna sit, then, Kokomo~?"
“You know I don’t believe that for a second, don’t you?” she grinned at him toothily and playfully elbowed him.

“Ah…” Kokoro looked around and pointed out an empty spot. “There’s good.” They got their food in a hurry, and true to his word, Kokoro somehow ended up with all of his vegetables, too. Sitting down was some kind of wonderful, wonderful luxury.
She released a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding when she picked up her chopsticks and carefully split them. “Itadakimasu~” she chirped, trying to sound better than she actually felt.

"So," she started between neat bites of tempura vegetables. "Did you get any of what we were supposed to be getting in literature today? I kept dozing off. Tanaka-sensei's voice just drones on and on..."
"Itadakimasu," Ulf chorused with her. He was getting better at this whole chopsticks-dealy, too, which was a source of much pride to him. The first couple of months he'd spent in Japan had been very hard on his stomach, having to wait more than twice as long to get the same amount of food. No more! He was almost a pro at this!

He shovelled some meat into his gob in relief - if he didn't eat every three hours he started to feel a bit pale - before replying. "Mmm, nope. Actually I was hoping to copy notes off you...whoops?" Usually Kokoro was pretty good about letting him do that. Probably took pity on his terrible written Japanese skills. Hell, most of the time he took notes in Norwegian anyway, or English. English was far and away his best academic subject here, a change from home.

"Oh yeah- you're still lending me those Math notes, right~?"
Kokoro laughed a little, and nibbled at a sweet potato. “Whoops is right, oh well, I guess I can take a little hit to my grades, missing one quiz won’t be horrible.” At least she hoped it wouldn’t be. Who needed Literature, anyway? She, personally, could live without knowing the WOE~ and TRAGEDY~~ of her ancestors.

Besides, didn’t everyone like to think their life was the worst? They needed to think more positively. “And I’ll let you borrow my math notes; I’ll grab them after dinner, if you don’t mind?” Kokoro let the offer dangle while he stuffed his face and concentrated on the rice and vegetables in front of her.
"Just bat your eyes at him and protest that you've been sick. Doesn't that work over here?" Ulf grinned and flicked a piece of something green over onto her plate. Eww, vegetables. The only ones he could forgive were potatoes. Sometimes corn. All the others were a no-go zone.

Reaching for his can of cola, he nodded. "Mmhmm- that's fine. Veldig bra!" Gee, Kokoro was so nice, really. They teased each other a bit and pretended to fight, but already he considered her one of his best friends here. He'd have to do something nice for once she was feeling better.
"I'll have to catch him when he's not around Kramer-sensei." All the teachers were so inflexible when the foreign teacher was about. But was okay, no one was quite as perfect as Kramer-sensei, either. "Otherwise, he'd be all, 'Well, Amamiya-kun, you should have paid more attention. When I was your age' blah blah..." Kokoro waved her hand to dismiss her reenactment of the old teacher. "Hey, that's a perfectly good piece of broccoli, Ulf-kun! It's good for you, I swear!" she said when the green flicked into her aburage-tofu.

She wondered how he ever got to the height he did (which wasn't that high, considering they were the same height!) by forsaking vegetables so. "Fine, I'll just eat it." Kokoro popped the brocolli into her mouth with a fine flip of her chopsticks. "Mmmm~ so goood~"
Ulf snorted. Geezers were all the same. "'When I was your age, we had to walk to school through the snow and the mud and the gravel - uphill both ways - for three hours! And we had to lick the road clean with our tongues as we did it! Then when we got to school - well, in those days they were known as 'coal mines' - we had to do seventeen hours of physical, back-breaking labour! We'd get home two hours after we went to bed, and be up again in another two.'"

Oh, he was so funny! Ulf started laughing at his own ridiculousness, forgetting momentarily that he'd just taken a swig of cola and feeling the burn of carbonated beverage in his nostrils. "Hack! NFF!" His eyes watered automatically (and, honestly, wasn't that the stupidest reaction ever? How was tearing up going to get something out of your nose?! Stupid human body!) as he reached for a paper napkin to clean his shame.

Kokoro couldn’t help it; she laughed hard and got her seven chuckles from his plight before offering him another napkin. “Are you okay, Ulf-kun?” That had to have hurt a bit, Kokoro herself had never inhaled soda before, but now that Ulf looked red-faced and embarrassed, she could believe it must have. Besides, a good friend was allowed to laugh at you.

“Here, here, have another napkin. What’s ‘faenataruribettmine’ mean?” Okay, so she mangled the word, but it wasn’t her fault! Dipthongs were weird in every language!
He accepted the napkin gratefully, pulling faces at the people around them who tittered and giggled at the foreigner's ineptness. Those jerks! Where was the sympathy here?! Only Kokoro cared about his wellbeing. SNIFF. TEAR. WOE.

"Eh? Oh, 'Faentalivettmine' basically translates to 'Fuck my life'," Ulf explained a little absently, glaring at the cola in his glass like it was responsible for his new injury. "Maybe a little over the top in this circumstance, but that hurt, damnit!" He pouted. This totally didn't help his Coolness Factor or his ManPoints Count...
Kokoro patted his hand sympathetically. Her meal was half-finished, but she wasn’t really hungry anymore, besides, she had some rice cakes in her room if she really wanted to eat more later on. “Well, if you want to get out of here, I’m all done.” Poor Ulf, it looked like a tactical retreat would save him from losing anymore cool points. Actually, after all this she really needed a nap. Or. Something.

“We can go back and get my math notes, just remember to give them back to me tomorrow, okay?” she smiled.
He smiled at her, mood flipping back to sunny once more. "Okay, we can do that. You gotta be tired, too." She still didn't look a hundred percent. Still, only time would fix that now. Ulf finished the rest of his meat meal quickly, swallowed back the cola in revenge, and got up. He took Kokoro's plate for her, carrying them up to stack with the other dirty dishes, and sauntered back.

To be honest, as much as she had fun with him, Ulf did tire her out. He gave off that… adorable hyperactive puppy energy. So, when his back was turned, she let herself slump a little. But, since he was gone about ten seconds, she straightened up and smiled, standing up from the table. “Yeah, I’m ready.” They started off back to the dormitories, and Kokoro did her best to keep her normal, busy-bee pace. “I owe you so much, Ulf-kun. I was actually thinking about skipping dinner today and just sleeping.” Because that seemed like an excellent option to her. The air outside of the cafeteria was nice and cool and Kokoro took a deep breath.
Ulf shook a finger at her in remonstrance. "You need to eat, otherwise it'll take you longer to bounce back. Even with those pills. Mmkay?" Really, he knew more about this sort of thing than he really wanted to.

The fact that Kokoro smelled so different with this sudden anaemia was both off-putting and welcome. Normally Ulf was always subconsciously dealing with the smell of human blood and what it did to his instincts. Over this many years he was good at ignoring it, to be sure, but it was still something his base nature craved. It had long been a point of pride to the Ulvestad clan that they didn't need human blood, that they'd conquered their inner beast. But that never stopped them wanting it.

Still, Kokoro didn't smell nearly as appealing to that beast when her blood was this worn-out. It made it that much easier. Ulf felt a bit guilty that her illness was a boon to him, but that was just the way it was.

Holding the door open for her - man, he really was a picture of gallantry today! Anne-Marit'd give him a gold star if she saw - Ulf ushered his friend through. "Hey, speaking of weird shit that's been happening lately, d'you know why that jerkhead Suguru's buggered off? I mean, it's nice to have the peace and all, but I'm suspicious."
Kokoro paused, trying to think of a good reason why Matsuzaki had up and vanished. She remembered… seeing him in the tea garden, yelling at him… and then…

No way! No freaking way!

Hurt… hurts… it hurts…

Shh, hold still. No, hold still. Don't move or it'll be worse-- stop moving!

Quietly, she put her hand up to her throat and fiddled with her neckline. “I really don’t know, Ulf-kun,” she lied. “I can’t think of a reason. But, he’s so weird anyway, right? Who knows where he wandered off to?” She felt her pulse beat against her throat wildly, as if trying to drown the memory pieces that surfaced as quickly and fearfully as possible. “I’m sure he’ll turn up again.”

She really hoped he didn’t, though, and didn’t feel relief strike her until they were in the dorms again. Her shoulders relaxed minutely as she opened the door to her room and went straight for her bag. Her skin felt weirdly clammy, as she opened her leather schoolbag and dug around for the math notebook she kept.

“Ah, here it is, Ulf-kun! I found them!” She offered the notebook to him. “You know, between my love poems to you and my plot to take over the world.”
It was hard, pretending not to notice the sudden look of apprehension on her face, or that he couldn't hear the increased beating of her heart. Ulf did it anyway. He had no wish to distress poor Kokoro further.

"Ahh, thanks!" he chirruped instead, taking the notebook gratefully and wishing he had something to block his nose with. This was going to have his nerves on edge until he got to the bottom of it. Seems like he had something to do at nights, now...oh, well, it wasn't as if he slept all that well anyway. He was nocturnal by nature. Daylight didn't hurt him, per se, but he preferred to be about at night.

The notebook was tucked into his back pocket. "When do you want 'em back, then? Do you need them for tomorrow?"
“I don’t think we have that quiz until the day after, so just make sure I get them before that sometime.” Kokoro shrugged and smiled at him. Her pulse seemed to be calming down. “Besides, it’s not like you won’t know where to find me, you know?” Kokoro turned her head to yawn. Man, she was so sleepy lately.

It was all of what? Seven thirty? Well, if she woke up early enough, she could get her homework done then. Kokoro stood up and ushered him to her door. “I think I’m going to get to bed now,” she smiled at him. Her hand lingered on his arm.

“Thanks again, Ulf-kun.”
"Don't forget to take one of those pills before you go to bed."

Ulf ruffled her crazy-coloured hair, a fond motion that trailed wistfulness after it. He was slowly filling the gaps moving away from his family had caused - they were all very close, after all - but not even his new friends here could replace them. Sometimes it just made him miss them more. Oh, well. There wasn't too much he could do about that.

He leaned lightly on the doorhandle. "Get some sleep, Kokoro. You look beat. Tomorrow you'll feel better, though! Promise." And with that, his mission accomplished, Ulf gave her a light wave and headed back to his own room.

Seemed like he had some serious thinking to do. Maybe a little sleuthing, too. He glanced back briefly to make sure Kokoro hadn't suddenly imploded or whatever, and thought he saw a face outside her window...no, that couldn't be right. Unless it was one of the ghosts rumoured to lurk about the school. Ulf shuddered uneasily. Whatever, he could ponder all of this tomorrow. For tonight, he had homework to do.