Chapter 2:


In the Pocket

"Dante, can you tell me what 'y' is?"

Dante was deep in thought, stroking his fingers "How could I play so well for my first time?" he dreamt.


The rest of the class went completely still, everyone held their breath. Mr Suzuki was quite an intimidating man, being particularly bad tempered at times, so noone ever really misbehaved in his lessons.

Mr Suzuki slammed his desk with the palm of his hand.

Dante bolted upright from a slouching posture. "Erm, yes Sensei?"

"Are you with us Dante? Are you sick? You've been staring at your hands the whole morning!" the teacher questioned in his deep stern voice.

Stifled laughter entered Dante's ears from behind him, he hated sitting at the front of the class as he didn't like not knowing what was going on behind him.

"Erm, well no, I just like looking at my hands Sensei" 

Multiple gasps echoed around the room.
Mr Suzuki's face reddened with anger, his teeth clamped together and he lowered his head slowly down to Dante's eye level.
"Well you think you're funny mister? Now stand up and finish this problem on the board, with no help from anyone else!"

Dante sighed and got up abruptly in defiance, when he turned he could see his best friends Takumi and Ryo at the back of the class both with pursed lips trying not to laugh out loud.  He walked up to his teachers desk and picked up the chalk glancing at the Algebra equation on the board.

"Hmm" he grunted as he pondered the numbers and letters in front of him.

"He's going to bottle it, he hasnt got a clue" Ryo whispered over to Takumi

As Ryo finished speaking his eyes diverted back to Dante who had already completed the equation. His classmates gasped. 

"Someones done their homework, if I wasn't watching you closely I would of thought you saw my answer sheet" exclaimed Sensei with a raised eyebrow.

"How the heck did he do it so quickly?" whispered Takumi through the side of his mouth.

Dante flopped back into his chair lowering himself until he was almost laid down in his seat, his head touching the back rest.

"Why do my arms feel different? I feel stronger, touching those stick's last night did something to me, it must have" thought Dante as he clasped his hands together.

*School Bell Rings*

Walking out of the room first Dante flicked open the door to the classroom and as he entered the corridor he felt a ball of paper hit him in the head.

"Dude! You totally humilated Sensei! I thought you were in for it when he slammed the desk like that!" chortled Ryo, pushing past his classmates.

"Yep" agreed Dante gazing into the distance leaning back onto a locker with the bottom of his foot.

"Chops whats with you today? Your head's in the clouds! You've barely said a word today, go on drop us a beat" coaxed Takumi, trying to encourage him to beatbox for them.
The rest of the class piled out of the classroom, Sakuri a tall red haired girl from his class blushed towards the gaze of Dante. 

"Funny and smart, you are an enigma aren't you Dante?" she called towards him.

Dante went red in the face, giggled awkwardly, put his hands in his back pockets and looked down at his feet.

"Oh come on, you wern't this shy with Sensei" giggled Sakuri flicking her hair back as she walked off with the rest of the girls in class.  The girls always hung around in a big group as they were part of the schools choir, Sakuri being the top of the schools musical talent.

"No way! She was blatantly flirting with you then, shes like the hottest girl in the school!" Ryo spat while staring towards the giggling girls who had stopped at the nearby lockers.

"Ah man, you're so lucky, no nice girls ever want to talk to me like that" gasped Takumi who's eyes were fixated on the girls also.

"Aw jeez, well I wouldn't stand a chance with a girl like that, shes too perfect" muttured a still red faced Dante who was attempting to drop his next question as well as take in what just happened.
"Well, you know my Great Uncle Yaga?"

"Dude, course I do, I loved his band, they wern't the same since he died" said a curious Takumi pulling out his phone.

"Well my mother surprised me last night, his drum kit is in my garage"

"Really? Thats why you've been acting strange? And why you only mention it now?" said a puzzled Takumi, looking up from his phone putting it back into his pocket.

Ryo leaned in closer to the conversation after finally taking his eyes off the girls who were now walking towards the bathrooms.

"I dont know, but when I picked up the drum sticks, I felt something, something odd, something changed in me"

"Haha you got a boner from picking up some drum sticks?!" joked Ryo, jabbing Dante in the ribs.
Ryo was the joker of the group and also the oldest, he always saw the funniest side in things so was fairly popular with his classmates.

"Stop it, I'm being serious! Hold my hand" puffed Dante pulling out his hand from his back pocket.

"Hold my hand? Stop babbling nonsense and lets grab some lunch!" croaked Ryo pushing Takumi in the direction of the schools canteen.

"No, I'm telling you, take my hand I need to show you"

Ryo sighed with frustration, "Ok, I'll humour you this once" 
Takumi sniffed and raised his eyebrow as Ryo lifted his hand, Dante instantly grabbed it and squeezed it.

"OWW, what the heck Chops? Let go!" he shouted in a panic.

"See what I mean, that was me barely trying, I feel stronger, somethings different in me" affirmed Dante releasing Ryo's red hand.

Blowing and shaking his hand, Ryo looked at Dante fiercely "Seriously man, you think that because you've been working out, you can show me up and make up some nonsense about receiving strength from picking up some silly drum sticks?"

Takumi looked over at Dante who was puffing up in the chest.

"Silly? You don't believe me? How long have we been friends Ryoko?" spat Dante, obviously angered at his friends dismissal.
Ever since birth the three boys were inseparable as their parents were also friends from school who all had children within 8 months of eachother.  It was like one big family.

"Oh come on bro you know only my mom calls me that, don't try pushing my buttons ok? I'm hungry, lets go Tak" Ryo said to Takumi throwing his bag over his shoulder.

"No, wait. I'm sorry, maybe I've gone about this the wrong way, let me show you what I mean properly"

"No more hand shaking! My hand still hurts!" said Ryo looking down at his throbbing hand.

"No, come to mine after school, I'll give you a proper demonstration" smiled Dante whos heart started pounding, he was both nervous and excited to show his new found skill.

"Fine, whatever, I'll come over after I've had some food, you know what my moms like" 

"You too Tak, you believe me though right?" quizzed Dante pushing Takumi playfully.

"Sure man, I dont really know what you mean by all this to be honest" shrugged Takumi as they all paced towards the canteen.  Dante ushered them both down the corridor and jumped onto Takumi's back.

"Yeah! You'll see, you know i'm not talking out my ass!" he shouted as he leapt back onto the floor and chased them down the hall.

Sakuri came out of the bathroom on her own and peered down towards where the boys were.

"I see you Dante, you've got my attention now" she sighed under her breath. She pushed her long red bangs over her ears and walked down the corridor towards the canteen.

"Wait up Sakuri" called Misty one of the other choir girls, "So, you like that Chops kid now then?" 

Sakuri gasped.

"Well, I guess he is kinda cute yeah".