Kivrin walked along the campus, muttering to herself.  She was supposed to meet Touma after her classes were done, but he had, of course, forgotten to tell her where to meet.  She figured she could swing by the Archery Club and see if he was there; he was one of the coaches after all.   If he wasn’t there, she’d stop by his office, and if he wasn’t THERE then she had NO idea where he’d be.  But the field where the Archery Club met was closer to the Fine Arts building than his office was.

She could’ve called him using the bond, but was wary.  If he was in the middle of a demonstration or grading papers, and her mental call suddenly distracted him, he would not be the happiest of campers.  And it wouldn’t kill her to just check two places for him real quick. 

Her first day of college after an absence of….How Long?  College had had to take a backseat to saving the world.  She could’ve gone back to IU, but WHY?  She missed home, sure, but she really did LOVE Japan, and for the time being, Touma had to stay here.   Luckily for her, between Touma’s new professor standing and her credits from Indiana University, she’d been able to start as a sophomore. 

Fortunately, the meager grasp of Japanese she’d had when she first came here (aka NONE) had improved dramatically.  She could now understand it, speak it, and read it haltingly (with the aid of a dictionary).  She was NOT looking forward to doing her homework….but such was life.  She could always sucker Touma into helping her with it. 

The Archery Club members were assembled on the field, chatting and joking.  She noted that they were all male.   No females in this club?  She might have to join just to change that…

As she walked up to the club, the conversation died to whispers.  She smiled and tried to look pleasant and be polite.  “Sumimasen, Hashiba-Sensei wa doko desu ka?”

One of the guys grinned.  “You’re a freshman?”

“Transfer student from Amerika,” she informed them. 

“And already one of Sempai’s  ‘Groupies’,” she heard someone whisper.  “He’s catchin’ ‘em early….”

She frowned.  She was aware that there were both graduate and undergraduate students who were…..rather fond of her adopted big brother, but she would be damned if she’d be mistaken for one of them.  She loved Touma dearly, would do anything for him, but she didn’t love him like THAT,  nor was she some lovesick twit.

“You thinking about joining the Archery Club?” the first guy asked.  “I’m the Captain, so I naturally have an interest.” 

“Well, actually I was….”

“Great! As you can see, we’re a little short of the fairer sex around here.  Of course, that tends to be because the fairer sex is also the weaker one as well.   But with us trainin’ ya, you’ll do juuuust fine,” he assured her.  “You know anything about shooting a bow and arrow?”

I’ll show YOU who’s the weaker sex, buddy…. “Only what Hashiba-Sensei’s told me,” she said honestly enough.  She smiled in a sickeningly sweet manner and idly played with a lock of her hair.  “I’m a quick learner,” she told them. 

“Good, good, you’ll do fine,” the captain told her.

“Can I start now?” she asked, setting down her bookbag gratefully. 

The captain turned and grinned at the other guys.  “If you think you’re ready to try, sure.  Here.  This is my own bow, not the school’s.  See if you can draw it.”

“Don’t I need an arrow?” she asked.

The captain laughed.  “Sure sure.  Matoko, get Jo-Chan here an arrow. “

Jo-Chan?! Just who do they think they are?!??!?!?!  “Jo-Chan ja nai yo,” she informed them, “O-namae wa Kivrin desu.”

He nodded.  “Your Japanese is very good.  Jo-Chan’s just a nickname.  Don’t worry about it.  Here ya go.  You go ahead and try all you like,” he told her condescendingly as he handed her an arrow and his bow.  “The target’s right there.”  He pointed to a round bullseye target about 20 yards away.

She took both and pretended to fumble with them a bit.  The guys were already snickering.  And now let’s end this cheap charade  Kivrin raised the bow, drew and let fly an arrow without hardly aiming.  It thunked into the center of the target.

“I was supposed to do it like that, right?” she asked innocently. 

The entire Archery Club was agog, eyes wide, jaws slack.  Soon whispers of “Beginner’s Luck” floated around and she frowned.  I guess that wasn’t demonstration enough for the bakas…

The captain recovered his annoyingly smug grin.  “Yeah, Jo-Chan, just like that.  But if you can do that, then our little Initiation Test should be Noooooo problem at all.”
            “Uhhh, just what KIND of test?”

“Ah, it’s no big deal,” in that condescending tone.  It was all she could do NOT to sock him in the nose, let alone keep from showing signs of irritation.  “See it’s easy.  You stand over there, with a bow, and your back to me.  I stand here and I shoot an arrow at you.”


“Oh no, don’t worry, we’ve got protective gear for you to wear.  The idea is that when you hear the arrow approaching, you turn, grab it while it’s in the air, and shoot it at the target behind me.  I’ll get out of the way after I shoot.”

“Oh.  Sounds simple enough. “

The captain smirked.  Hmph.  Touma does it better.  “Yeah, well, all the same, don’t feel TOO bad if you can’t do it.  It took me ten times to get it right.”

“Hashiba-Sensei makes you guys do this to join the club?”

“Nah, it’s just our own little thing.  Here, let me get you the gear….”

“No thank you.”

The captain paused.  Showing up the little girl who wanted to play with the big boys was one thing; actually hurting her was another.  “I really think you should have the gear….”

“But it’ll just slow me down.  I need to be as fast as I can be to catch that arrow.”

“C’mon, man, just don’t aim for anything vital!” someone encouraged him.

“Okay, if you say so….just don’t sue me or nothing, ‘kay? I’ll come visit you in the hospital,” the captain told her.  He traded bows with her, taking back his own and giving her a school issue.  She walked until they told her to stop and turned her back.  A bunch of the team jogged down with her to watch at what they thought was a better spot. 

I’ll give ‘em something to watch….  She closed her eyes.

The captain released the arrow.  Kiv could FEEL the arrow closing upon her as she mentally reached out.  As it came close enough she turned, already raising the bow as she grabbed the arrow in its flight, notched it and let it fly.  THUNK! Another bullseye, right next to her last arrow. 

“What is going on here? Are you boys playing that game again?” came a disapproving and all too familiar voice as the jaws of the entire Archery Club once more dropped to the ground.

“Nii-Chan!!!” Kiv called, raising her hand to wave.  “It’s about time you showed up!! You didn’t tell me where to meet you, you baka!!!”

“Kivrin, PLEASE don’t call me that.”

“Nii….,” the captain spurted.  “Hashiba-Sempai…this is your….sister?”

“Sonotori!” Kiv piped up, handing the bow to the nearest slack-jawed youth. 

“Well, not genetically, but…,” Touma acknowledged.

“But…but….I thought you said you’d never….,” the captain stammered to Kivrin.

“I said I only knew what ‘Hashiba-Sensei’ told me.  It was YOU who assumed that that meant ‘nothing’. “

“You guys weren’t mistreating my mouto-chan, were you?” Touma asked with a raised eyebrow.

Every member of the Archery Club instantly bowed their apologies to both Touma and Kivrin, while the latter merely smiled graciously.  “Don’t worry about it, boys.  It was fun.  I’ll see ya around!”  With a wink and a victory sign she walked over to her bondmate.  “C’mon you promised me dinner after my first day of classes, and I have some questions about some of my history homework…..Nii-Chan.” 

Touma rolled his eyes and shook his head as they left the  amazed members of the Archery Club behind.