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Author Topic: High School Days [4/10 - Chapter 9]  (Read 7406 times)

Offline Estrea

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High School Days [4/10 - Chapter 9]
« on: August 09, 2012, 12:14:44 PM »
Lalala. So. Anyone miss me?

Warning: Gender swap ahead. I was having fun talking with Kuji. Things happened, and so...hurhur. Enjoy!

EDIT: I got Junki to move this out of my sandbox because it was turning into a full fledged story. Rawr. Just like NR did... Anyway, thanks Junki! You're awesome. :D

====================================================

High School Days


The fine tip of his 0.38 sharpie scritched across the sheet, forming elegant lines with the slightest of flourishes whenever pen left paper. Fine penmanship bespoke a fastidious personality, detail oriented. Ordered writing was a sign of an ordered mind.

"If only your fangirls knew how their great Sayashi-sama likes to draw tiny pictures of food along on the margins of his notes..." A voice deadpanned from the side. The boy looked up, a lazy smile playing on his lips. A bunch of fangirls might have fainted at the sight of his sleepy half-squint. That smile looked like something out of a shoujo manga.

"Ah, Ayumin. Well?" One hand was outstretched, the other hand busy propping up one cheek as his head lolled to one side. The fangirls who didn't faint sighed to themselves as they snuck peeks of how the boy's long hair wisped across his elfin face. The teachers had long since given up trying to get him to cut it, ever since he dug out the rulebook and proved that no, there was no injunction in the school rules against long hair for boys. The rules against dyed hair was equally applicable for both sexes, and his hair was most definitely a glossy black. To keep it out of the way, he usually kept it tied up in a high ponytail, and his graceful carriage often reminded one of a samurai from ancient times.

As a matter of fact, one of his many nicknames (that he is blissfully unaware of) was Ushiwakamaru, the childhood name of the famous samurai Minamoto no Yoshitsune. His tennis coach, one Suzuki Airi, affectionately called him Sayamaru as a reflection of that (not that he knew), and he let her get away with it, mostly because there wasn't much he could do about it.

"Hai hai..." Goods exchanged hands. The ever serious girl, one Ishida Ayumi, inspected the neatly handwritten notes while a certain Sayashi Reo happily tucked into the homemade bento with a quick 'itadakimasu!'. Everyone else in the class watched enviously (or with hatred). The girls wanted to hate their class president for being so close to their idol, but grudgingly conceded that she at least was marginally acceptable as a girlfriend candidate for the great Sayashi-sama. The boys just sort of scowled in Sayashi's general direction. The brat didn't even know just what effect he had on girls. He just sat there and half the female population went all gooey inside for him. How unfair is that? Not as much as one would think, really.

Good looks, excellent grades, exceptional sporting ability. Add refined manners and a touch of shyness when dealing with the opposite sex, and it is not difficult to understand why girls squealed over him. It was as if a bishounen had just walked out of a shoujo manga. And let's not forget the dimples when he smiled. Even older women got a bit weak around the knees when the dimples were brought out.

That last ability was something that he, at least, was aware of. He had used it as a weapon of last resort ever since he was a child. Mostly to help cover for his little brother, as well as for a multitude of sins ranging from cookie jar raiding to possible arson. He hadn't quite attempted getting away with murder yet, but there are limits he preferred not to approach.

"I don't get this part." Ayumi leaned down, her own glossy black hair the envy of half the girls in her class. It definitely rivaled Reo's own, though Ayumi's was longer. Reo puffed his cheeks out, disliking the interruption to his meal, but swallowed quickly at the pointed glare from the serious class president. He grinned and leaned back, deliberately inhaling into Ayumi's hair.

"You smell nice." Reo grinned at the annoyed expression on the girl's face. He liked teasing Ayumi. At least she didn't get reduced to a gibbering mess like so many of the girls who tried talking to him. He wasn't sure why they all had meltdowns the moment he smiled at them, so he had had to perfect a poker face at a young age.

"Shut up." Ayumi muttered 'perv' under her breath, a light blush staining her cheeks. She knew Reo wasn't seriously hitting on her. He just liked making her uncomfortable. Damnations, why on earth had she been stuck in the same class throughout middle school? And to think she thought she might have been able to escape him in her high school years. But no, they ended up in the same high school again. Would she never get a chance to shine?

Despite her aloof and serious persona, Ayumi was actually intensely competitive and very passionate about the things she cared for. Her grades were good, among the best really, but a certain Sayashi kept outdoing her. With minimal effort seemingly expended. All her hard work only managed to land her in second spot after the so-called "prince" of the school. The boy spent so much time sleeping and doodling on his notes in class, how did he even do so well?

"Ayumin, the notes didn't wrong you. Please don't crush them." Reo pointed out her increasingly crushing grip on the notes she had exchanged off him. Yes, she was not above asking him for help. The boy had a good head for math and science, while Ayumi had the edge in Japanese literature. The pair had a deal going on; exchange study notes, revise together, and Ayumi had to make him his bentos because he was tutoring her in one extra subject. That amounted to quite a bit of time spent together, which led to everyone assuming that they were dating. Neither did anything to refute those rumors, though for very different reasons.

Ayumi didn't care for wasting her time on boys and dating. She was busy with her extra-curricular activities on top of being a good class president and maintaining her grade average. Not to mention she was planning on running for the student council later in the year. Having Reo around cut down the number of boys who would have otherwise tried to ask her out. Not that most boys would have dared to. In case no one noticed, the girl was a scary overachiever.

Reo, on the other hand, appreciated waking up in one piece with Ayumin around as his own personal alarm clock and nanny, plus guard dog. With the number of rabid fangirls he had, it was amazing he made it through the day without losing more of his things. Or bodyparts. His chronic absentmindedness also meant that he had to keep replacing stationery. Once misplaced, they mysteriously reappeared in the possession of his fanclub. That he was unaware of. Ayumi knew though, which was why she kept an eye on him while he was napping. She might not care much for her rival, but she wanted to beat him fair and square, and not let him get cannibalized by desperate girls.

"Wanna come over to my place to study? Since you don't get that part." Half a dozen girls within earshot hissed, deep furrows dug into tables and chairs as their claws extended upon hearing Reo's easy invitation. Ayumi frowned.

"I have other assignments..."

"So bring them along. Haru will be happy to see you." Reo shot off another rakish grin. He wasn't quite pulling out the big guns yet, but he would if he had to.

"He's cooking by the way." Reo added as an afterthought. Ayumi paused. He waited.

"...alright." Reo smirked. Hook, line and sinker. His smirk grew as he contemplated surprising his baby brother with the unexpected guest. He could be a good older brother and still have his fun.

"After club activities? I'll meet you at the gate." They shook on it as the bell rang, signalling the start of class. Reo smothered a small yawn as he made a valiant attempt to stay awake. He always felt sleepy after food. He always felt sleepy, actually.

The world blurred to a pleasant haze as he dipped lower behind his textbook. Just a while longer...

Ayumi kicked him under the table. He cursed softly and growled at her, but froze when the teacher's stare focused on him. Putting on his most innocent expression, he smiled, flashing his dimples. Five seconds later he was out of trouble, but Ayumi was still glaring at him.

Reo shrugged. Girls. He never understood them.


====================================================


Lololol. I was having way too much fun coming up with boy!Riho in this. Might expand this to become a short series BECAUSE I'M A TROLL. Yes. :D
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 08:03:20 PM by Estrea »

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline Estrea

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Re: Estrea's Sandbox [9/8 - High School Days]
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 05:22:38 PM »
So I'm a roll. Part two of High School Days!

=========================================

HSD part 2


Kudou Haruka hated his brother.

It was more than just the usual sibling rivalry. Though they shared a mother, Haruka (or just Haru for short) was convinced that Sayashi Reo was secretly the spawn of the devil. How else could he explain this travesty otherwise?

Why the different surnames? Well, you see, they had different fathers. Reo's father had passed away when Reo was still sleeping under their mother's heart. Really quite tragic, if one stopped to think about it, but Haru was darkly convinced that Reo's real father probably had horns and a tail. That would explain the silver tongue, good looks (they did say the dark side was good at temptation), and the long shadow the older boy cast over EVERYTHING.

No one would have believed they were brothers. Sure, Haru did well in sports, was above average in school, and was reasonably popular. That is to say, he had friends. But all that paled in comparison next to the utter specimen of perfection that was Sayashi Reo.

While Haru could reasonably live without the squealing of girls that seemed to find constant orbit around his older brother -- girls were generally icky, after all -- why was it that big brother Reo just had to have everything? Namely, the one girl that didn't make him break out in hives at the thought of...you know. Ok, his skin was goosefleshing out again. Not so good.

Ishida Ayumi. When 10 year old Haruka first saw the pouty girl who had the cheek to slap his dear big brother and not squeal over him mindlessly like the swarm of banshees that habitually surrounded them, he was sold. Well, the only other girl who didn't lose her marbles around Reo was probably Maachan, his childhood friend, but then the girl had always been somewhat...overenthusiastic. If the term "eager puppy" ever needed a physical description, Haru would have unerringly volunteered a picture of one Sato Masaki for the purpose.

That was a good 3 years ago. Haru had grown since then (though, annoyingly, was still shorter than Reo). His voice had also broken, a much deeper and huskier timbre than the low purr of that unwitting Casanova of a sibling. Both boys were flush in the middle of youth, though if Reo was a bishounen straight out of shoujo manga, Haru still looked like a gangly little boy who got into street fights and played soccer with his friends all day.

The latter is true by the way. If nothing else, Haru was proud of his position on his school soccer team. He was a key player, and the lads all counted on his quickness and skill to turn the tides of any match.

Then again, compared to Mr. Made It To Youth Tennis Championships, his small achievement was just that: small. Reo might not have won, but placing third at prefecture level while being an amateur player at age 14 was still impressive in itself. The older boy had not competed in the following year, citing the high school entrance exams, but had picked up on the gruelling training again after making it into the high school of his choice. Not that he ever slacked off to begin with.

Haru had to give his big brother that much at least. It wasn't like he didn't put in any effort to achieve his goals. He just made it look effortless while doing it. Haru was pretty sure he was the only one that saw how devastated Reo had been at only making third place in the championships. His older brother might have put on a good face at his final position, but Haru knew how deeply offended Reo was about his perceived failure. If there was anything uniting the brothers, it was their intensely competitive nature. Reo might not have competed the previous year, but he had not neglected his training, and Haru was willing to bet his entire year's allowance that Reo would compete this year with the intention of winning.

So while Haru could grudgingly respect his elder brother when said sibling wasn't being a complete spaz -- amazing what cider could do to a person really -- he most certainly couldn't forgive Reo for springing unexpected surprises on him in the worst way possible.

Namely, bringing his first (and only) crush back home to see him dressed in a frilly pink apron in the kitchen. They didn't give him any warning either, so he had been singing to himself while chopping up some leeks, when muffled snickers behind his back had clued him into the situation.

If burrowing into a hole twenty feet underground had been an option, he would have taken it there and then. His ears went red and he tightened his grip on the knife before yelling at both of them to get out of his kitchen. Yes, his kitchen, because Reo couldn't be trusted with anything more complicated than a sandwich. He still wasn't sure what his older brother did to that salad to render it so completely inedible. He shuddered at the memory. Those poor vegetables!

Sulking in the kitchen seemed like a good idea for now. Haru stared at the pot like it had done him some mortal wrong. He was going to hurt his brother. And probably serve dinner at some point. His ears burned at the memory of Ayumi giggling at him. Maybe he could combine the earlier two options somehow...

"Oi."

Followed by the usual grunt from his brother. A standard greeting between them. Reo scratched idly at his stomach as he grabbed a couple of drinks from the fridge. He had taken off his school blazer, leaving him with just a white shirt with the first few buttons undone. Both boys were slender and wiry, neither given to an overly muscular physique. Haru glowered vaguely at the nonchalant Reo, before asking.

"Is this why you volunteered to do the laundry yesterday?" Haru prodded the offending apron lying so innocuously where Haru had thrown it off earlier. Reo grinned.

"I wonder too~" Haru swung at his older brother, who saw it coming and dodged, before hooking one arm around his shorter sibling's neck and ruffling his hair.

"You were the one whining about not seeing Ayumin just a few days ago, so quit complaining and thank me already!"

Haru hissed and elbowed Reo in the side. "Not so loud, she's just out there!"

Reo smirked. "Aww poor widdle Haru has a crush~~~"

"One more word from you and you will be waking up bald one day!" Haru growled at his annoying brother, who let go immediately, raising both hands in surrender.

"Whoa man, chill, anything but the hair." Reo leaned against the counter, eyeing his fuming little brother. "Why don't you just tell her already? She does like you, you know."

"She likes me...like a little brother." Haru said gloomily. "It'll never work out."

"Eh, keep at it. You never know with girls. I could always just ask her, though..."

Haru raised a pair of scissors, and Reo raised both hands in surrender again, backpedaling out of the kitchen. Before he retreated out of sight, Haru tossed both canned drinks at his idiot brother, who caught it on reflex before disappearing into the next room.

Haru sighed. He was never going to get anywhere with this. Why were girls so damn difficult? Who needs girls anyway?

As if on cue, the familiar sound of Ayumi's laugh trickled in from the other room, making Haru knock his forehead against the nearest wall in frustration. Why couldn't he be more like Reo and just talk to her or something? He usually managed a few syllables and became all sullen afterwards. If not for Reo's attempts to draw him into conversation, Haru knew he would have been sulking at his own incompetence the whole time.

Annoying his older brother might be, but Haru knew Reo was always looking out for him. Even if Reo did steal Ayumi's first kiss that one time. Damnations. He had not spoken to his older brother for a whole week after that, but granted, Reo hadn't known then that Haru liked the girl. In fact, it was more of a prank on Ayumi on Reo's part. He got slapped for it too, but he still thought it was worth seeing the bossy girl go from pale to fire engine red in less than 0.5 seconds.

Reo figured out pretty quickly after that fiasco that his precocious little brother had a thing for the older girl, though it did take a brawl and lots of bruises before Haru would even admit it. It took Reo weeks to heal up from that too. That split lip had been painful. Haru smiled at the memory. Despite Reo's teasing and attempts to embarrass him in front of Ayumi, the older boy did try his best to create opportunities for the girl to hang out with them. For that at least, Haru was grateful for his big brother's consideration.

That didn't mean he was off the hook for that stunt with the apron though. Haru chuckled evilly to himself as he rolled up his sleeves. Vengeance would be his!

====================================================


Excuse me while I go curl up in a ball somewhere. Not feeling so good...

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline Estrea

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Re: Estrea's Sandbox [10/8 - High School Days pt II]
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 07:22:19 PM »
@Kuji: I love the fanart. You and your shotacon ways. :D But Haru-kun is adorableeeeeee. I don't blame you. :P

@Shiawase: I'll see what I can do with the Kuduu x Maachan. Will be in the future. :P I've got a few ideas...


Phweeeeeee. I got derailed halfway in this chapter. Lots of unrelated crack mashed together. I wasn't thinking clearly. Ohwells.


======================================================================================


HSD part 3


There are some days when Michishige Sayumi hated her job. This was not one of those days.

Sure, for today of all days, she had more work to do than in a whole month. But what glorious work it was!

The last two weeks had been devoted to the upper years, and it was always such a pleasure to witness the progress of their growth. Sayumi lovingly took measurements and recorded all the numbers as required, but where for others it would be a chore, it was a labour of love out of the goodness of her own dear heart.

And now, today! The ickle firsties were here for their routine medical checkup! Fresh meat! She couldn't wait already!

So it was that Michishige Sayumi, school nurse extraordinaire, prepared to open her doors for a full day of health inspections.

It was probably a cosmic joke that the day dawned bright and clear, with no hint of what was to come...

~*~*~*~

Ishida Ayumi was praying.

Whatever for, you might wonder? Even in the best of times, Ayumi had never been much to rely on misty ideas of spiritual help, preferring to rely on her own hard work to get ahead. Of course, if someone got a lucky charm for her, she wouldn't turn it down either. It was only common good sense to not turn down whatever source of help one could get. Even if you didn't believe in it.

But today was the moment of truth! Her entire year of hard work hung in the balance! The new diet, the exercise routine, even the more exotic methods said to give results, she had tried them all. All for this one moment!

"Ishida?" A bored voice. "Here are your results."

This was more nerve wracking than her end of year test scores. No matter what she had to say about Reo, there was something oddly comforting about the fact that he was the only one who could beat her. It was a constant humiliation, but a consistent one. Something she had almost gotten used to. Not that she would ever admit it, of course. She did have her pride after all.

One more last-minute muttered prayer, and Ishida Ayumi cracked open one eye to look at the numbers scribbled on the cream colored slip of paper. There was a pause.

A long, dramatic exclaimation echoed off walls and corridors, and mildly disturbed the slumber of one Sayashi Reo, who scratched his nose, sucked in some drool subconsciously, and then rolled over to face the other side of the room. It was a fortunate thing that the only other people in the room with him were boys, since the girls were separated into a different room for their routine physical health check. Those same girls would probably have been disappointed that their Reo-sama snored ever so slightly in his sleep. And drooled like any other normal person. Or perhaps not. Who knew the mind of fangirls? At least they were not there to do him harm.

Or not. They might not be there in person, but they certainly were there in spirit. Or by proxy.

Ikuta Erio was an entrepreneur. He needed to be, to fund his expensive habit of collecting the merchandise of various idols. He was quite the connoisseur, and limited his interests to very specific criteria, but the costs did add up eventually. He had part-time jobs, but had to balance between working and actually attending events, so there were limits there.

So he improvised. Banking on his extensive experience in the idol industry (on the consumer side, mind you), he was well aware of the irrationality of the wota mind, and while knowledge of his own particular irrationality did not succeed in him breaking free of his condition, it did leave him in a position of totally understanding how best to profit from it.

Thus he found himself once more, camera in hand, in perfect position to take a picture of the dozing Sayashi Reo. Being a semi-professional, he knew about lighting and angles. Even if his current position was uncomfortable, the picture taken would totally be worth it. Erio mentally did the sums. He would make a limited amount of this "special" shot of Reo, and then market it as "limited edition". As a bonus, he zoomed in on the sleeping boy's face that had so conveniently turned to face him. That would go to the "ultra rare" collection. Open to the highest bidder!

Erio could feel the yen falling into his pocket already. He sighed and settled back into a comfortable spot under the nearest table. Being a paparazzi at his own school saved a great deal of time, since he had to be here anyway. Why not make money out of it? It harmed no one, not even Reo, who knew nothing of the enterprise, and if it satisfied the puerile fantasies of his female schoolmates while bankrolling his own fandom, Erio thought it was a win-win situation.

That is, until he got almost trampled by the rampaging bull of a class president (why was she in the boys room again?!), managed to somehow save his camera and keep himself from faceplanting in the process, and wondered how in the world such a tiny human being could charge over and above the table he had been taking cover under and still manage to trample him. As a matter of fact, why was the table no longer above him? Did he move or was the table moved?

Erio did not know. What he did learn though, was this: never ever mess with Ishida Ayumi.

"Reooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!"

Lower than a banshee, shriekier than a lion's roar, Ayumi managed to triple the number of syllables present in Reo's name. She grabbed the sleeping boy's shirt collar, and with impressive strength unbecoming of her waif-ish frame, hauled Reo up to a sitting position and proceeded to slap him awake. Vigorously.

"W-wha?" Reo lolled limply in the slightly lunatic class president's grip. In his half-awake state he didn't even notice the multiple camera flashes. Then again, with the amount of force Ayumi was putting into the slaps, he could have mixed it up with the stars spinning in front of his eyes.

"I GREW TALLER!!!" Half bellow, half cheer, Ayumi jumped around in a very un-ladylike fashion. All around her, jaws gaped as the boys saw a very different side of their usually serious class president.

"You woke me up for this?" Reo sounded incredulous. His cheeks were still red from the slapping. The previously unfocused eyes were now alert, and dangerous. It was the last look most people saw before their inevitable demise (or defeat). Erio felt a moment of fear behind his lenses, and wondered if the camera would not spontaneously melt if that gaze had been directed at him.

Reo stood up, dragging the still-hanging-on-to-his-lapels Ayumi with him. She eeped and wrapped her arms around his neck to keep from falling. Her feet did not touch the ground with Reo at full height. The boy had to have grown at least 2 inches taller over the year. His eyes were blazing orbs of incandescent fury.

If not for the girl dangling from his neck, Erio would have taken the opportunity for more shots. With the girl in the way, it ruined the dramatic effect of the picture. Photoshop could only do so much.

"A-yu-mi!" Reo roared (fittingly enough). His eyes spoke death. Everyone, man and boy alike, cowered at the aura of fearful death emanating from the slim bishounen figure.

Erio learned another lesson that day: do not mess with Sayashi Reo. Do not, under any circumstance, wake him up for no good reason. Not even if you are supposedly his girlfriend. Erio didn't know, and didn't care, if they were actually dating (the odds looked good for those in favor though), but even if they weren't, Ishida was still a girl, and no girl, no one really, should have had to suffer that.

It didn't stop him from taking photo evidence though. Somewhere in Akihabara there had to be someone who would pay for such pictures. Some hardcore fetishist maybe?

And then someone called his name, and Erio packed up for his turn with the nurse. Rumor said that she was hot, but Erio would believe nothing until he saw it for himself. He whistled a cheerful tune as he went. Maybe if he asked nicely she would pose for him? Hot school nurses were hard to come by in real life, after all!


========================================================


Eripon is awesome. Even as a boy. And managed to totally derail any and all plans I might have had. Oh, Eripon. :lol:

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline Estrea

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Re: High School Days
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 09:04:09 PM »
So since I decided to move it into its own thread, the chapters are likely to become more substantial. XD Well, in this case it certainly was, mostly because PLOT DEVELOPMENT. :D I'm trying to keep it at the right pacing, really. Not too slow, and just fast enough to be believable. I sure hope it works!

Well, enjoy. :D


======================================================================


Chapter 4

June. A time of heat, a time of preparing for midterms. And finally, the time to change from winter uniforms to summer ones. Wearing that blazer and long sleeved white shirt to school in the heat had been pure torture. It was a relief to finally switch to the short-sleeved buttoned shirt made of much lighter material. It didn't make it any cooler, but at least Reo wouldn't drown in his own sweat anymore.

Never mind that those sweaty photos of him at practice probably fetched more than the regular ones, but he didn't know that. It was just a relief to be dressed more practically at last. Whose bright idea was it to fix the date for the changing of uniforms at the middle of June? It got hot way before that! Well, granted, maybe 10 years ago it would have still been tolerable, but global warming didn't help at all. Reo grumbled under his breath, then sniffled loudly.

Ah, with summer came the good old flu bug. Haru had gotten it first, as always, and then promptly spread it to Reo, who now felt justified in wanting to nap in class (not that he ever needed an excuse to do so). His head felt unbearably heavy, and his throat tickled in irritation. Glugging down water earlier had helped a wee bit, but he still felt dazed by the heat and his own pounding head. His head lowered slowly...

A sharp kick to his chair leg almost made him fall to the ground. He shook his head blearily, too groggy to actually be angry at the perpetrator. And there was only one person who would do something like that anyway.

"Oi Reo, are you ok?" Ayumi's concerned voice wafted over to him. Reo blinked slowly, trying to keep up appearances. He was fine, damnit. He wasn't going to keel over because of some damn summer cold.

"You're really pale, you know..." Ayumi snuck a peek at the teacher, who was still droning on about quadratic equations. She stealthily put the back of her hand to Reo's clammy forehead, biting back a startled exclamation at the temperature.

"You're burning up! Why are you even in school?" The girl hissed at him, but Reo was barely paying attention. He took another swig from his bottle, rubbing stubbornly at his eyes to clear the spots forming in his vision.

"I'm fine." He all but growled back at her, proving his point by picking up his pencil to make more notes. The material the teacher was covering was mostly for revision, so he was passing familiar with them already. He doodled along the margins idly, determined not to let a little illness get him down. He'd just get some juice later to help boost his immune system later. Reo disliked taking pills or medicine of any kind. He was naturally quite sturdy, quite unlike Haru, who was sickly as a child and was still prone to catching whatever bug in season. Reo didn't get sick often, but when he did he got over them fairly quickly, and he hated having to bother anyone while he was unwell.

It felt a little nice to have Ayumi shoot worrying little glances at him every few seconds, though Reo would never admit it. Most times no one even really noticed when he was sick. Haru might have, but then his little brother usually was too busy being sick at the same time to actually show any kind of concern. Speaking of which, he had to buy some food back for him. Haru was holed up at home sick, and while he was getting better, Reo had forbidden him from doing anything strenuous until the doctor said that the worst was over.

It was just the two of them at home now, given that Father (Reo always referred to the man formally, since they weren't actually blood-related, but he showed respect towards the man who raised him) was busy running company business in another prefecture, having expanded operations there recently. Their mother was off on her yearly vacation, which meant that they wouldn't see her for the next couple of months at least. Her last postcard had come from Sweden, along with a box of chocolates. Reo shrugged imperceptibly to himself. He was fairly independent and Father trusted him to be sensible with the household allowance he wired over monthly for all their expenses.

With Haru sick as well, Reo felt that he couldn't afford to fall seriously ill until the younger boy was back on his feet. He had responsibilities. The boy shook his head furiously, setting his jaw against the drill-like sensation the headache was giving him. He would just take more water, maybe nap during break. That should do it.

The bell rang after what felt like an age, and Reo took the opportunity to flop face first into the desk, resting his forehead against the edge of the table. Ayumi was by his side almost at the same moment, placing a tentative hand on his shoulder.

"You don't look so good. Come on, I'll take you to the infirmary."

At the word 'infirmary', Reo jerked upright in an instant, his eyes wide and wild like a cornered animal.

"N-no thanks. I'll be fine!" Reo pulled out of Ayumi's grasp, looking vaguely terrified by the idea of going to the infirmary. Ayumi frowned, putting her hands on her hips.

"Don't be stubborn! You look awful and you're burning up! You need rest and some medicine! Come on!" Small as she was, she tried really hard to drag Reo out of his seat, but to no avail. The boy dug his heels in and looked more energetic than he had a few minutes ago.

"Anywhere but the infirmary! Please Ayumin!" Reo all but begged, giving his best puppy eyes. The serious class president might have a good resistance against those, but even she was not completely immune to that look. She sighed.

"One day you will tell me why you have such a big reaction whenever I mention the infirmary..."

As if on cue, Reo shuddered. He still had nightmares about that time when that nurse...no! Reo rubbed at his face convulsively. Never again. He would never voluntarily step foot in that accursed place ever again. Reo didn't think of himself as a prude, but it was still kind of shocking to have someone that much older come on to him. Even if she was hot. He shivered again despite the heat. He would never look at latex gloves the same way ever again.

"Stay put. I'll go and get some medicine for you." Ayumi quizzed him on a few of his symptoms before marching out of the classroom like a woman on a mission. Reo let out a sigh of relief, slumping onto his desk. A couple of girls in the class whispered to each other, wondering if they should go up to him and offer some kind of help, but they spent so much time arguing over what to actually do that Ayumi actually had time to come back from the infirmary with some pills and a cup of hot tea.

"Come on Reo, chin up. There you go, open your mouth..." Ayumi coaxed gently. Reo was at least obedient, if a bit slow to react. He gave her a sleepy half-smile as he sipped at the tea she got for him.

"Thanks...hope it wasn't too much trouble..."

Ayumi rolled her eyes. "You're welcome. Get some rest, I'll wake you when break is over, and you better NOT be grumpy when I do." She mock threatened, and Reo chuckled softly, a soft "no promises" emerging from his lips as he pillowed his head on his folded arms.

Ayumi smiled as Reo dozed off almost immediately. The boy was kind of cute when he wasn't busy being annoying. She could almost see why he was so popular. Speaking of which...she turned around and glared right back at all the venomous glances she had been getting from the other girls in the class. Despite her denials regarding the relationship between her and Reo, none of the fangirls seemed very convinced. Ayumi sighed. Couldn't a girl be friends with a boy without being mistaken for being in a romantic relationship? She liked Reo, yes, but not in that way. He annoyed her too much on a regular basis to be anything more than a friendly rival.

The girl sighed again as she pulled out her chair and sat down. She was right next to Reo, who had the window seat. It made kicking him awake a lot more convenient that way. Ayumi had discovered the hard way that waking a deeply asleep Reo was a hazardous activity, but preventing him from dozing off was less of consequence. It was for his own good anyway! Never mind that she might have a better chance at beating him if he paid less attention in classes, but Ayumi had a fair streak in her that was a mile wide. She would beat him fair and square, not because he was slacking off. There was no point in winning that way!

With that in mind, she cracked open her notebook even as she tucked into her bento. She had time yet before break was over. No reason not to get a little more studying in...

Oblivious, Reo snored on, snuffling like a little animal in his sleep. Not that anyone was close enough to hear.

~*~*~

Reo stretched as the last bell rang. He felt much better after the short nap and the medicine earlier, and even though lessons were sort of a blur in between, he managed to sort of process what was going on anyway. He made a mental note to make a call to the nice old lady at the family restaurant near their place so he could just pick up the food on his way back without the waiting time. Checking the time, Reo roughly shoved a couple of things into his bag, leaving most of his textbooks at school since he could never remember which ones to bring on any given day. It exasperated Ayumi to no end, but Reo was unrepentant. He had his notebook and his stationery, that was really all he needed to bring home.

He would need to come back for tennis practice later on. He had begged time off earlier to tend to his little brother, but he knew he needed to keep his form up if he intended to compete later in the season. Reo licked parched lips as he waved goodbye hastily to Ayumi. No way was he going to take it easy even if he wasn't exactly 100% today.

Haru seemed fine when he swung by home. A little groggy from sleeping the whole morning away, but starving and bored to death apparently. Other than a blotchy complexion and a runny nose, his little brother seemed well on the way to recovery. After extracting a stern promise from Haru to stay put and take his medicine on time, Reo changed quickly and started jogging back to campus. It was a good mile away, but he could use the exercise. Reo was of the belief that if he worked hard and sweated it out, his illness would burn away with the activity.

He was huffing a little when he approached the school gates, and his nose was dripping. Stopping by at the taps, he washed his face vigorously and scrubbed it with the towel around his neck. He felt much better, even if he still felt a little slow in the head. Undoing his ponytail, he smoothed back his hair and tied it back neatly again. The heat made it sticky and uncomfortable, but Reo liked his hair too much to cut it short. He trimmed the ends every now and then, but he was generally proud of its silky texture. It was the envy of many girls. He was the envy of many girls, but as usual, he was oblivious to it all.

"Oh~ Sayamaru~ You made it~" His coach, the advisor to the tennis club, one Suzuki Airi, waved at him as he made his way onto the courts. The rest of the club was already paired up practicing.

"How's your brother?" Reo answered all her questions earnestly, earning a smile of approval. Suzuki-sensei was one of his favorite people. Hell, she'd signed up to coach this high school team after finding out where Reo had applied for. "No point letting a talent like you go to waste~" was her nonchalant answer. She was quite determined to groom him to become a professional, just like she was. She used to play competitively until an injury took her off the national circuits, but she still kept herself sharp and devoted to the sport.

In fact, one of the reasons why Reo had been so ashamed of his third place spot in the nationals was at least partially because of how he felt he hadn't been able to live up to his coach's expectations. It was a blow to his pride and he felt like he had let her down somehow. He wanted to make her proud of him, which was why come rain or shine, sickness or health, he would train until he was good enough to take the championship and prove to her that all her effort had not been wasted. She was one of the people who really believed in him and his potential, not just the facade he had come to put on for the world.

To be honest, he still had a minor crush on her, though it was mostly over by now. It was just a mixture of admiration and respect, and he still actively sought her approval. It helped that she was beautiful too, with long dark hair and the brightest eyes he had ever seen. Cute dimples too. Ok, maybe still not quite over it.

Hey he was 16 and entitled to teenage hormones! His eyes closed to mere slits as Suzuki-sensei patted him fondly on the head, a peculiarly cat-like impression as he basked under her attention. Then he had his marching orders, which saw him trotting onto the courts, racquet in hand.

He was not completely focused, he knew. His head felt dull, though his reflexes were excellent as always. He bit the inside of his lip as he attempted to process the instructions on form that Suzuki-sensei called out to him. The rest of the club had packed up an hour ago, but Suzuki-sensei stayed back with him as usual to run drills. She might be kind to him, but she was also a slave driver. Not that Reo minded. It showed that she cared, after all.

She halted practice early, coming up to him and eyeing him closely. Reo rubbed at his temples, cricking his neck as he tried to get the ache out of his stiff muscles. Stupid cold.

"Get some rest, Sayamaru. You don't look so good." She laid a hand on his shoulder, reminding him that rest was part of the athletic routine. He smiled and nodded, waiting for her to leave first as he made to tidy up the rest of the equipment, but the moment she was out of sight, he picked his racquet back up.

He was a little angry with himself, truth be told. He hated being off form, hated having his control being messed up by his rebelling body. Just a few more sets, he promised himself. He wanted to get the most out of training.

Smack. Thud. Smack. Thud. Smack.

There was something soothing about those rhythms, the machine shooting balls at him as he ran himself ragged to intercept every shot. His breath came heavily after another 15 minutes, and after he missed another ball he almost threw the racquet down in frustration. Only gritted determination made him slog on through the last few balls, most of which he got flawlessly. It was still not good enough for him, however.

Reo felt a little lightheaded as he went to reload the machine. The sun hung low on the horizon, ready to set soon. He didn't have much time left, but he could manage maybe one more round. With that in mind, his body moved mechanically, having done this over and over for the past few years. In his exhausted state he didn't even notice the strange humming of the machine he was reloading.

He definitely noticed a minute later though, when the bloody thing overheated and practically exploded on him, a heavy metal part clanking right against his head, the force of the impact sending him skidding backwards into the fence. Mercifully, he had blacked out at the moment of impact, but the rest of the pain set in by the time he had finished skidding up against the fence.

Red trickled down from one side of his face, blending into the clay court. Opposite the fence, a dog barked racuously. Reo didn't know anything. He drifted in and out of consciousness, the warm heat of the evening oddly comfortable. He felt sleepy. Sleep sounded like a good idea.

A soft hand brushed against his face. His half-lidded eyes fluttered open briefly. The setting sun silhouetted the kneeling figure in front of him, a human-shaped blob of pink. He blinked vaguely as the hand held something soft against the side of his head. A gentle voice, saying something. His ears buzzed, not quite processing sound properly.

The Voice was concerned. Worried. Feminine and...motherly? Reo's chest tightened at the association, and his hand twitched forward spasmodically to grab at the figure.

"Mama?" He murmured, almost inaudible even to himself. More sound, he wasn't paying attention. The hand he held was so soft...he wanted to cry, almost. "So tired..."

"Shh. Good boy." Did he really hear that? Reo smiled to himself, dropping off between one thought to the next, the touch of soft hands on him....

=============================================================================


Tadaaaa~ Drama~ :3

I must take pains to reassure everyone that angst will not be a major component in this story. THERE SHALT BE NO ANGST. Other than the garden variety teenage angst. Cos, you know, high school. But I'll cut that to a minimum, I promise.

Boobipdeedum~ Mystery girl~ Will Reo be alright? What happens next? :3

You can stop refreshing now, Kuji

:P

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline Kuji

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Re: High School Days [21/8 - Chapter 4]
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 09:32:26 PM »
;akjdsfkasjdf HIGH SCHOOL ANGST IS THE BEST ANGST, OKAY?
Because it's the safest and least harmful. Not like car accidents and terminal diseases and things like that. T___T

Lots of inner Reo in this chap. HE'S SUCH A GOOD BIG BROTHER OMG. ;w; But I bet sick Haru is still the cutest thing ever.

I can totally understand why all those girs are convinced Ayumi and Reo are an item though. Really, because neither really give anyone else the time of day anyway. Plus, at their age, I bet most of them really do believe a guy and a girl can't just be friends, they're so hormone ridden. >____>

...or you know, one friend ALWAYS falls for the other and the other likes someone else and HIGH SCHOOL ANGST :panic:

But yeah, you're a star, dood! Coulda taken 5 days, this could have. :3 APPLAUSE.

Offline gracula

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Re: High School Days [21/8 - Chapter 4]
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 09:18:43 PM »
"Mama?"


"I'm still blaming Sayu for my lolicon tendencies now." ~Essy

Offline Estrea

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Re: High School Days [21/8 - Chapter 4]
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 08:54:40 PM »
@Kuji: dood, this is for you. I'mma shut down after this @_@

@grac: AGGGGHHHH MY EYES!!!!


======================================================


Chapter 5


Sayashi Reo was a little fuzzy about how he opened his eyes to the front door of his house. Wasn't he supposed to be training? He felt like he was forgetting something. Shrugging, he pushed the door open with a quiet "Tadaima"...

..and was greeted by a cheerful "okaeri". Reo blinked.

"Mother? I thought you were in Europe?" Reo was confused. He remembered the postcards. He found himself walking towards his strangely cheerful mother, who beckoned him to sit down in her lap. Bemused, Reo complied...

"So cute..."

That voice...

Reo turned back. Sparkling eyes and dark wavy tresses greeted him, along with the creepiest grin in his life. This was not his mother. Nurse Michishige pursed her lips together and leaned forward...

"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

~*~*~

Reo jerked awake, lathered in cold sweat. Antiseptic and a dull throb in his head. Oh right, he got brained by the exploding machine. His head ached. He made to reach for the bump on his head, but found that his arms were not obeying him. He checked. Why was he restrained to the bed and why were the sheets pink?

"Reo-kun~ :heart: "

Gulp. Reo turned his head slowly, his eyes narrowed to slits, almost fearful of taking in the sight of whatever awaited him. His fears was not unfounded.

Leporiphobia now had new meaning.

~*~*~

Reo couldn't breathe. Everything hurt. His head felt like someone had nailed him with a sledgehammer. He burrowed deeper into the soft warmth he seemed to be surrounded by, trying to banish the vestigial terror of Nurse Michishige from his mind. The nightmares were too much!

The whirling sensation in his head subsided slightly, allowing the boy to tentatively crack open one eye. He couldn't really make out any detail, and he felt groggy all over. Residual shivers still plagued him, an aftereffect of the nightmares he went through. He sighed into the soft pillow he appeared to be clutching, tightening his hold subconsciously.

A soft gasp penetrated his bleary state. Reo squinted dizzily, not quite certain what was going on. He felt like shit. Grumpy and in need of rest, he buried his face into the warm pillow, nuzzling like a great cat as he tried to banish the buzzing ache in his head. Something not unlike a yelp and a moan resulted. Reo stilled abruptly, cold dread suddenly banishing the fog around his mind. Surely this couldn't be another bad dream...?

Slowly (and fearfully), Reo raised his head. He was met with full, pouty lips and an angelic face, slightly flushed. Good, not Michishige, Reo managed to squeak in a thought, before his brain nearly shut down. His eyes went quite round, though they did flicker briefly downwards along an elegant neck that dipped dangerously into a low neckline...whoa there.

Silence. Reo swallowed uncertainly, confused and wondering if he had either died and gone to Heaven or if this was a very evil dream that would soon unleash yet another horrible incarnation of Nurse Michishige on him. He shuddered involuntarily at that, prompting the mystery girl in his arms (why was he still clinging to her?!) to frown in concern and lean forward, touching their foreheads together. Reo turned a fire-engine red, suddenly acutely aware of her body flush against his, and realized with growing horror that he was getting a little too worked up over this...

"Are you alright? Feeling better?" The angel's voice was feminine and melodic, not grating on his nerves like a certain old woman's (somewhere, Michishige's hand mirror cracked). Slowly, as his tongue unknotted, Reo rasped a low reply.

"Wha? How? Why am I here?" The girl smiled, and he was captivated once more.

"Well I brought you back to get you patched up, but then you started thrashing about after Ogawa-sensei bandaged you up, so I tried to comfort you by holding your hand...and then you wouldn't let go." A slightly self-conscious giggle. Reo had the decency to flush, looking downwards --- bad move. Suddenly remembering that he was in bed with a girl he didn't know -- and why was he shirtless again? -- Reo freaked out slightly and quickly let go, trying to scoot backwards, before a sharp pain to the side of his head made him wince and clutch his bandaged head with one hand.

"Are you in pain? Should I call someone?" The girl sounded worried. Now that she was freed from Riho's bear hug, she rolled over and up to kneel on all fours on the gigantic four poster bed, which Reo now noticed was in a huge room with opulent decor. He gulped again when he noticed the girl in front of him. He was glad he was only shirtless. His shorts were getting uncomfortably tight though...

"N-no, I'm fine." Reo stuttered briefly, averting his eyes as he took long, slow breaths to try and calm down. How was it possible for anyone to exude that many pheromenones? Reo might have been a teenage boy, but by and large had good control over his reactions to females. He appreciated them well enough and fantasized about some of them, but no one has ever gotten under his skin this fast.

"I...thank you. For helping me." Reo retreated back to his usual cool facade, determined to try and maintain some modicum of control over his raging hormones. His tone was a bit clipped, but he managed to sound at least a little suave. Somehow.

"You're welcome." The girl smiled brilliantly, if a little shyly, as she continued. "I've seen you before, you know. When I was out walking Kurara, my dog. You practice a lot."

"Ah?" Reo blinked in confusion. The tennis courts were on the edge of school property, fenced off from private property. There was a whole forest beyond the fence, and it was also entirely off limits. Apparently it belonged to some rich man who had his mansion built somewhere on the other side of the extensive grounds. Reo was not first in his level for no reason. He put two and two together.

"You...live in the mansion on the hill?" Reo said slowly, careful to train his eyes on her face and nowhere else. It still hurt too much to make any sudden movements, or even to sit up properly, so he lay half on his side awkwardly to make conversation. "That's the...Fukumura family, isn't it?"

The girl smiled again. "You're smart. My name is Fukumura Mizuki. It's nice to finally meet you, Sayashi-kun."

Reo stared at her. His jaw worked soundlessly for a moment, trying to ask the all-important question:

How did she know him?

Mizuki giggled at the bewildered expression on Reo's face, tilting her head as she scooted a little closer to the pretty boy in her bed. He was more adorable than she thought a boy had any business being. He made such cute noises in his sleep! Just like a kitten! Mizuki always wanted a kitten. Too bad her Mama was allergic to cats. She watched as Reo screwed up his face into a thoughtful frown, making his features seem ever more cat-like. The girl had to resist a sudden urge to hug him and pinch his cheeks. He had the longest eyelashes and such pretty hair! Too pretty to be a boy, really...

"Fukumura-san..." Reo began, but he never got to finish his sentence as the giant oak doors on the other side of the room burst open.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH MY DAUGHTER!"


===================================================


Ok sleep now bye. x_x

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
- Lilium-related things. God save my soul.

On Hold:
- Everything Else. Too many to list.

I'm also on AO3!
http://archiveofourown.org/users/Estrea

Offline Shiawase_Honoo

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Re: High School Days [24/8 - Chapter 5]
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 12:56:35 PM »
Sorry for not leaving any comment on last chap :nervous
Anyway, my imagination rarely betray me :cow:
One person who you can feel like a mother even she's underage is only Mizuki :wub:

Oh~~~~ You make me feel so excited, I blame you this :twisted:
 :bow:

Offline Kuji

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Re: High School Days [24/8 - Chapter 5]
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012, 02:29:25 PM »
I thought I'd go read this one more time before leaving a comment but who knew I'd fall into almost a comatose state wherein I'm chased by zombie monster things and such. D:

Anywhoo, this chapter. :wub: Fukuhime finally makes her appearance. Heh, but the last chapter certainly did seem to lean towards a Michishige assault. lol. Dreams didn't help but ahhh! clicking the Leporiphobia link was creepy.

LMAO... Reo's uh... healthy reaction. I still find that hilarious but I don't really feel that bad for him considering the circumstances.

FUKUPAPA!!! lol, still not feeling bad for him. Come on, any suffering will have been worth it. I mean, it's Fukuhime. :inlove:

Offline Estrea

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Re: High School Days [24/8 - Chapter 5]
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 02:44:06 AM »
I'm back! Whee!

Shiawase_Honoo: Np, at least you commented on this one :D And yes Mizuki does exude a very mature aura despite her age eh? Hehe. Excited? Who? What? Me? >_> :P XD

Kuji: Yay Fukuhime! Fukuhime is awesome! And hehe, I'm glad you like the Leporiphobia link. :P I like Reo's reaction too, can't wait to torment him more in the future. Guys have lower resistance to the Fukuhime appeal. Can't blame him *shrug* And yes lol Fukupapa! I can't wait to bully him more. XDDDD

Okie dokes~ story time~


========================================================================

Chapter 6


This was all very strange, Reo mused as he sank into the genuine leather seats of the obscenely luxurious car he just got ushered into. He rubbed contemplatively at his cheek, face heating up slightly at the memory of soft lips brushing against it only moments ago.

That girl, Fukumura Mizuki. Reo didn't know what to make of her. There was a purity, even a kind of innocence in the way she spoke and held herself. She was obviously very sheltered, because she didn't even seem to find anything amiss with having a boy in her room, a boy she didn't even know, and she seemed naturally affectionate without being overly clingy. Reo flushed slightly at the memory of her pressed against him...granted he had grabbed her while unconscious, but that sensation... let's just say it wasn't something he was going to forget any time soon.

She smelled nice, and Reo recalled with an not-altogether-uncomfortable lurch the sensation of her hands on him as she helped him dress in a borrowed shirt. He had never been shirtless around a girl before. Not like this. Childhood baths with little Maachan and his brother at the public baths didn't count at all. The girl had been so gentle with him, he would have thought she was coming on to him, but a closer look (that nearly sent him into a lust-induced haze...damn you hormones!) verified how this rich ojou-sama was simply earnest in her desire to help him. Her kindness calmed his nerves, and he found himself relaxing into her touch without even noticing at the time. Had he been aware of his own expressions at the time, he too would have been shocked at how much like a cat he looked as his face rearranged itself into a feline smile of contentment.

Still, it made Reo a bit dizzy to be this affected by the girl, and he was mostly sure that it had nothing to do with his head wound. It throbbed a little and he still felt woozy and tired, but that could conceivably be blamed on over-exertion and the last vestiges of his illness. Speaking of that...

"You shouldn't push yourself too hard at training. Take it easy once in a while."

A soft hand brushing against a stray lock of hair falling into his face. Fukumura-san was looking at him with an expression of genuine concern as she brushed the hair from his face, the tips of her fingers, sending electric thrills through his skin as he inhaled deeply, unconsciously making a half-step towards her. He caught himself though, and snapped back to attention as he stared wonderingly at her.

"How do you know so much about me? I don't even know you!"

Fukumura-san smiled at him, her straying fingers dancing delicately along his bandages. Reo shivered as her fingers trailed down the side of his face to his chin. Fukumura-san...no, Mizuki-san (he couldn't help but associate the former term with the hysterical father) had a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she leaned in to whisper.

"Nai~sho~"

Her lips brushed against the side of his face, the puff of her warm breath tickling his ear as she drew back down from tiptoeing up to reach him in the first place. She giggles then, and Reo found himself too stupefied to even try and figure out what the hell just happened, much less anything else.


Truly an enigma. If Reo had a mirror, he would certainly be horrified at the foolish grin adorning his face from ear to ear, just from the one memory where a certain Fukumura Mizuki had kissed him. No, not even kissed. She had barely brushed her lips against his cheek, and he already felt like the cat that got the canary. What on earth was wrong with him?

He didn't even question how she was able to completely divert her irate father -- who totally had reason to freak out about finding a shirtless boy (who was also a total stranger) in bed with his daughter. That sounded more wrong than it actually was, but Reo knew that he had gotten off easy. That tableau would have looked wrong to anyone walking in without proper context.

The older Fukumura patriarch was obviously very protective of his daughter, though Reo still felt slightly intimidated by the amount of insane hatred he had felt directed at his person when the man had burst in. A father's fury...that was swiftly contained by the daughter. Reo didn't even manage to figure out how she had handled him. There seemed to have been some pouting, some teary looks, and a whole lot of coaxing involved. It was all very incomprehensible. He knew that put in her place, he could never have pulled it off. Girls, he would never understand them.

Well, he had time to figure it out. Reo did not doubt he would see her again. He had to return this shirt after all, if nothing else. And to make a return visit to formally thank her for her care. Yes. Sayashi Reo was a properly raised young gentleman who knew his manners and suchlike about protocol. He had greeted Daddy Fukumura (from now on to be shortened to Fukupapa for convenience's sake) with as much dignity as he could have spared while shirtless in the man's daughter's room, and endured his rage before Mizuki-san had stepped in to intervene. It was the least he could do in the face of such misunderstanding.

Reo hummed happily to himself at the thought of seeing Mizuki again. She had definitely made an impression on him, though he barely knew her. He wanted to know more. She intrigued him. And was beautiful to boot. What more could he ask for?

The limousine rolled smoothly to a stop in front of his house. It was late, but he hoped that Haru was alright. There should have been enough in the fridge for emergencies if Haru needed more food. His thoughts turning to his brother at last, Reo frowned slightly, feeling a twinge of guilt. He had almost forgotten about Haru being sick. What kind of a brother was he? He could only hope Haru wasn't too worried about him being back late...

Unlocking the door, Reo nudged it open slowly as he stumbled in, yelling a quick "Tadaima!" to announce his return. He had not expected any reply, given how Haru should have been in bed and knocked out by the medicine most likely.

He didn't get a reply, not at all, yes. But it was for another reason entirely.

For one thing, Haru was awake and sitting at the living room couch. He looked a little pale still, but there was more color to his cheeks and he looked stronger than he did yesterday. A towel hung around his neck, and his hair still had a slick look to it from after a shower. The hair had been roughly tousled, spiking up in strange places and giving the boy a strangely windblown look.

Reo wasn't staring at his little brother's hair though. That wasn't really the point. The point was...Haru wasn't alone. Reo blinked again, trying to figure out what was going on.

Why is Ayumin here and why does she look like she has something stuck in her throat?

He hadn't expected to see his friend/class president. He had mentioned that Haru was sick to her of course, and on reflection it made sense that she would come visit. But to think she stayed that long without him around...it was odd. Something didn't make sense with this whole picture. Reo frowned. He would have to figure it out.

Reo cleared his throat loudly, startling his brother out of whatever daze he had been in. Haru leapt to his feet, ears starting to turn red as he turned to face his older brother.

"Where the hell have you been? I thought something hap-- eh, your head?" Haru blinked rapidly, then swayed on his feet slightly as he clutched at the sofa. Behind him, Ayumi also sprang up, crossing the space between them in two steps to steady Haru on his feet.

"Ah, um, there was an accident." Reo said vaguely, gesturing in the direction of his head wound. He stepped forward to take a closer look at his brother, but paused halfway as his eyes widened in contemplation.

Haru was slightly flushed, and Reo suspected that it had less to do with not feeling well and more to do with the fact that a certain girl was holding on to him and coaxing him to sit down again. His gaze shifted briefly to the table, where the remains of porridge were clearly visible despite the bowl being by-and-large scraped clean. And was Ayumin blushing or was he seeing things?

Reo smirked slowly as the pieces started falling in place together. Haru caught his expression and scowled, but that only made the elder smirk wider. This looked promising. Both brothers exchanged a long, meaningful look that Ayumi missed entirely (to Haru's probable relief).

"Did you get that looked at already?" Ayumi's annoyed voice cut through to Reo, who blinked owlishly before returning his attention to her.

"Uh yeah." Reo fingered the borrowed shirt absently. "I feel better already."

"Fine then. I'll see you at school." Nodding at the brothers -- and, Reo noticed, deliberately not looking straight at Haru -- Ayumi picked up her things and left in what seemed like too much of a haste. Reo even managed to bite back any teasing comments as he shut the door behind her.

"So..." Reo drawled slowly, leaning against the wall to look at his younger brother through lidded eyes. "Got lucky while I was away?"

"...shuddap." Haru growled, half tempted to chuck the bowl at his smug elder brother's head. If he hadn't still felt weak, he would have, but as it was he wasn't sure if his aim would be accurate right now. No point in wasting a perfectly good bowl.

Reo grinned like a Cheshire cat. Oh, he was going to have so much fun with this!


=============================================================


There. Kuji, happy now? :P

Both brothers getting lucky hurhurrrr. XD
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 06:25:13 PM by Estrea »

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

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Offline Kuji

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Re: High School Days [31/8 - Chapter 6]
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 10:15:25 AM »
Oh you and your torturous ways. Poor Reo already been through so much thanks to you and Nurse Sayu. But at least now...

...they both got lucky but Reo definitely got luckier. XP

Fukuhime is a perfect person. I love how she's written in this, basically unaware of the effect she has on people and boys in particular. And yes, out of context, the scene Fukupapa walked in on was bad! Thank goodness for gun laws.

Reo's stupid face and stupid smile and overall stupid lovestruck expressions. lol. Good thing he was alone.
Gotta love the small Maachan mention too because she's awesomesauce.

Finally, back at the Sayashi-Kudo household. Since I was just sick, I can attest to the power of porridge, haha. Good job, Daishi! omg, did she feed him? But yes, I need to know more about this awkward atmostphere.

Do you heaaaar me? I need to know.

Offline Shiawase_Honoo

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Re: High School Days [31/8 - Chapter 6]
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 03:24:35 PM »
Oh~~~~ To the Kami of all Idol I love......

Reo, you luckiest boy!!!! :inlove:
I also understand how Mizuki had affection to Reo....
I'm almost going to be a Hentai to her (even I'm a girl) :bow:

However, you knocked me with IshiDuu!!! :bleed eyes:
How torture you are!! :doh:

Anyway, please bring Maachan in person, you mention to her almost every chap XD

Offline Estrea

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Re: High School Days [31/8 - Chapter 6]
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2012, 07:17:51 AM »
I'll comment reply when I'm not on my phone. :P

=============================

Chapter 7


 This was not going away, Ishida Ayumi thought with grimly increasing dread as she stared blankly at the piece of paper in front of her. Her grip on the pen was unreasonably tight, the only outward sign of her inner conflict.

Pop quizzes were never fun, but Ayumi revised regularly and did reasonably well for them by sheer dint of effort. With some effort of will, the serious class president refocused on the paper, resisting the resurgent childhood urge to gnaw on the tip of her pen.

Involuntarily, her eyes drifted vaguely to the person sitting next to her. Reo wasn't sleepy for once -- it's hard to be sleepy when focusing during a test -- but he did seem rather distracted by his standards. She had caught him staring out of the window more than once in the earlier periods. It was odd. Reo usually fell asleep if he was bored, but this time he was most definitely awake, and spacing out. Probably had something on his mind, Ayumi decided, and shrugged it off. He was not her concern, and staring at him for too long only reminded her of things she desperately wanted to forget...

Right, test. Ayumi yanked her eyes away from her friend and refocused on the question.

Q: What does aerobic activity promote in the muscles?

Ayumi frowned, struggling to remember what it was the textbook said. Some kind of acid, she thought. What kind of acid? And muscles...?

The sudden memory of sculpted muscles in wetly sharp relief against a white shirt sprang to mind, and the girl flushed suddenly, almost dropping her pen in the process. Her involuntary action left an untidy pen mark scrawled down the side of the test paper, and Ayumi scowled at her own clumsiness. She was not going to be a silly, hormonal girl like the gaggle of geese her female classmates most undoubtedly resembled. She was not going to be distracted by...

Roughly tousled hair, still gleaming in reflected drops of liquid where he missed toweling off, face still pale but scrubbed flush fresh from the shower. His t-shirt clung to his lean, muscular form, sticking in spots where he hadn't dried off completely, the white adding subtle definition to the muscles she had never noticed were there...

 Ayumi froze, her mouth going dry as her face heated up shamefully again. Her pen quivered in her grasp. Her heart gave a loud double thump in her ears. She shot a furtive glance around her. Everyone was busy scritching away on the quiz. Even Reo was idly penning something in, his entire posture relaxed. Ayumi scowled at him for no particular reason, if only because he was linked to the object of her...distress.

Distractedly, she scribbled 'lactic acid' to the previous question, and unconsciously starting chewing on the tip of her pen as her thoughts wandered off a most unseeming fashion.

She had never noticed Haru before. She had never been alone with Haru before. Belatedly, she realized that she had only ever seen the younger boy when Reo was around, and she usually spent most of her time with the older brother, seeing how Haru never seemed to hang around when she dropped by. She knew he was a good cook, that he played soccer, and was Reo's little brother. That was the extent of his presence in her world.

When she dropped by to return Reo's notes to him, she hadn't expected Reo to not be home (despite tennis practice having to have ended by that time, she knew), but it still hadn't been too strange to see Haru stagger to the door looking like someone dragged him through the dust. She knew he was sick, and had brought something over as a thoughtful gesture. It was the polite thing to do since she was coming over anyway.

Seeing the younger boy in that state, she could not have in good conscience left him like that, especially since Reo wasn't back yet. Before she knew it, she was helping the boy in and starting to take care of him. His face was flushed from fever, and she started to take care of him the way she often did automatically for Reo in school. It was a learned instinct, and both brothers were similar enough in that they both refused care. And since Ayumi had already learned to ignore Reo, dealing with Haru wasn't too difficult.

Things had been normal at first. Fussing over him like a mother hen was no trouble, even if Haru was as stubborn as his mule-headed big brother. She made sure he took his medicine, and then told him to stay put while she whipped something up in the kitchen for him. She might not be the best cook in the world, but she could manage porridge.

She just hadn't anticipated him going off to shower, and then coming out looking like...that. As far as she had been concerned, Kudou Haruka was a little boy and the younger brother of her good friend and rival. She hadn't been prepared to see him as anything beyond that.

He was cute. And she didn't mean in the 'aww let's pinch your cheeks you cute widdle boy~' way. She meant in the heart thumping, pulse racing, cheeks flushing 'oh my god he's hot' way.

The last time she had this reaction was for the older brother, back in middle school, during their first Phys.Ed lesson together. That had been the first time she had seen Reo in action, and she barely knew him then. Fortunately or not, she had been rather quickly disabused of that romanticized image of him after they had been placed together for a group project. Ayumi had been quite ashamed of her short-lived crush, and had worked hard since to quash any signs of her having fancied Reo in any shape or form at all. Childish pride, but it was what she had.

Ayumi snapped back to her senses and scowled on reflex. Reo, being used to the unique prickling sensation of Ayumi's death glares, raised a curious eyebrow in her general direction. He was sure he hadn't been sleeping or otherwise doing anything to incur her wrath. She ignored him. Stupid boy.

With a conviction to rival any ten of the fangirls out to snag Reo, Ayumi blazed through the rest of the quiz with a feverish intensity.

As she wrote the last word triumphantly, she hit the paper with a ferocity that, in her mind, said.

I don't need boys. Not now, not ever.

Reo tapped her shoulder. The look she gave him could crack stone. He pulled back uncertainly, confused. Ayumi turned away, well aware that she was being patently unfair to the boy, but she couldn't help but see Haru in Reo, and Haru was...

...younger than you, brother of the boy you used to crush on. OFF LIMITS!

Good sense always had something to say. Unfortunately, so did teenage hormones.

But he's so cute! Imagine him in a soccer jersey! Yum!

Ayumi's face heated up again. She barely noticed when she handed in her paper distractedly, occupied as she was with her internal battles.

Sense smacked Hormones with the Little Boy card. Hormones countered with an Ikemen uppercut. Sense reeled and dished out the Age Gap defense, but Hormones turned it against her with the addition of the Moe! block.

Reo approached Ayumi cautiously, not knowing why the girl was sitting so stiffly while staring with a peculiar vengeance at the board. Her face was oddly flushed. Was she sick? Being somewhat a good friend, he tried tentatively to get her attention.

Five seconds later his cheek was throbbing painfully from a mighty backhand, as Ayumi stormed out of the classroom with the muttered excuse of 'infirmary' to Niigaki-sensei, who looked just as baffled as the rest of the class. The usually composed class president was barely out of the room when the entire class erupted into muffled speculation on whether a lover's quarrel had occurred between the class's golden couple -- ie. Reo and Ayumi.

Reo sat back heavily in his seat, bruised cheek and pride both. He hadn't done anything, so why was she being so mean? He looked around for some sympathy, his gaze resting briefly on Erio, who, to his mild surprise, wasn't looking at photos surreptitiously or fondling his camera for once. Instead, the slightly taller boy seemed to be fully focused on Niigaki-sensei. Well, at least one person was paying attention to class. The rest of them were gossiping fervently, to the exasperation of Niigaki-sensei.

Reo sighed. People. Girls. He didn't understand what was going on anymore!

==============================

Teehee. So much fun~
 

Sent from my LT18i using Tapatalk 2

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
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Offline Kuji

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Re: High School Days [1/9 - Chapter 7]
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2012, 03:36:15 PM »
Pop quizzes aren't fun but seeing Ayumi's thoughts during one sure was.

Her inner conflict was so entertaining. Her hormones had some brilliant moves, I think my favourite was the 'Ikemen uppercut'—sounds pretty deadly.

I'm amused by the fact that Haru obviously complains about not seeing Ayumi but when she's over, obviously avoids hanging out with them for long. "I want to see her!" --> "I can't face her!" Since in an earlier chapter, Haru's food was one of the deciding factors in getting Ayumi to visit though, she must at least have already liked his food quite a bit, if not the boy himself. XD

Ayumi is so amusing. I can imagine her tearing through that pop quiz like a beast. lololol. And her just sitting there stiffly in class while in her head it's pandemonium.

Poor Reo, but I found him wondering why she was "so mean" to be the cutest thing ever.

Erio at the end was priceless because while everyone in class may think he's focused on class, the reader's know otherwise. It IS Niigaki-sensei after all.

Offline maikeatoot

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Re: High School Days [1/9 - Chapter 7]
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2012, 10:35:37 PM »
aww yay ! i like ayumin and haru haha ! so cute ! and erio's hidden desire on niigaki-sensei ! its new.. a story with 9th and 10th gen on it !

Offline Shiawase_Honoo

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Re: High School Days [1/9 - Chapter 7]
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2012, 11:35:19 AM »
IshiDuu is so awesome :rofl: (even I prefer lolicombi) :nervous
Erio, as always :lol:

Offline Estrea

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Re: High School Days [1/9 - Chapter 7]
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2012, 08:19:44 PM »
Yawn. So sleepy. But I promised to post because a certain someone kept whining about it


Kuji: Ayumin is brilliant. Neurotic, but brilliant. I love her. XD And yes Haru is amusing. Glad you noticed the irony in his interactions with Ayumi, wanting to see her but being unable to face her lol. And yes poor Reo, so abused. XD I'm glad you like the Erio and Gaki mention. Fandom jokes are the best kind of jokes!

maikeatoot: Welcome to my threads! :D And yes a new story with 9th and 10th gen! I love these kids ;w;

Shiawase_Honoo: IshiDuu is indeed awesome. XD and yes Erio wins as always! Even when it's not about him! Cos Eripon happens!


Kay time to edit and post. Wow, tired.

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
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Offline Estrea

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Re: High School Days [1/9 - Chapter 7]
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2012, 08:27:01 PM »
Chapter 8


There is a forgotten corner in the school grounds, tucked away behind a copse of trees, the winding path leading up to it obscured by unswept leaves. It is not entirely neglected, merely fallen into disuse. The other, newer tennis courts are closer to the clubhouses, and are less of a walk.

The old courts are not entirely disused now though. The once rusted lock is freshly oiled, and the key turns with nary a squeak as the hinges squeak their opening. The tree-lined avenue is a brief respite from the scorching midday sun, a respite soon over as a cat-faced boy steps onto the sun-beaten courts, the lines demarcating the zones soft and blurred from time and weather. He squints as he shades his eyes from the unrelenting rays. The place was deserted, as expected. No one with any sense would be out in this heat when they didn't have to. The boy sighed. He kind of had good reason to.

Sayashi Reo never knew how much he needed Ayumi around until she just...wasn't. The past two weeks had been hell. Sure, they were in the same class, but after that fateful backhand -- when was the last time she hit him? When they were 12? They hadn't been friends then, but after that slap, they had somehow become best of friends. In any case, since that incident, Reo suddenly found himself inundated by hordes of girls who seemed to have forgotten that Valentine's Day was either 1) 4 months ago, or 2) 8 months away. One of those cup half full/empty moments. Or in his case, the glass had long since cracked and been scattered to the four winds. Things were that bad.

It was as if the rumor that the Sayashi-Ishida couple breaking up (which wasn't even true, they weren't even together! but the rumor mill does not care about such trivialities, no) pretty much gave every Reo-fangirl carte blanche to start confessing their undying love and devotion for the now single and available tennis star -- well he technically had always been single, but Ayumi being always next to him made him appear unavailable. The alleged break-up gave every repressed fangirl the courage to try filling in the gap, and in their enthusiasm they made the distance between Reo and Ayumi, previously only one table away, feel wider than the Atlantic Ocean.

Reo had taken to slinking away during free periods and lunch breaks. He had had to ask Erio for tips (and help!) to avoid the crush of girls eager to talk to him and/or confess to him -- and Erio agreed only because the rarity of Reo-sightings just upped the value of his candid shots. He started throwing away all unidentified notes that kept popping up in his shoe locker, under his desk, wedged in his textbooks...how did they even DO that? Oh right, he left his books at school. But regardless!

He soon found himself hiding out in increasingly unlikely places. The rooftop became swiftly unsafe, he couldn't stay in the boys' washroom forever, and he couldn't even sleep safely in the library. The lack of safe napping time made him irritable, and Ayumi's awkward glances in his direction didn't improve his temper one bit. What was stopping her from just walking up to him and talking like she always did? He refused to approach her first. It might be petty, but he was still offended that she hit him for no good reason. It wasn't like her usual playful smacks or even the serious WAKE UP NOW types. This actually hurt. It was humiliating to have been slapped by a girl in any case, especially in front of the whole class. Reo did have his pride.

It took a while, but it was tennis club that reminded him of one refuge. The old tennis courts.

He had been there before of course. That was where he had been practicing on his own when he had gotten himself injured by the exploding machine. The remains had been cleared away, but the place was still intact, more or less. It was hardly a chore to get a hold of the key. All it took was a quick word with Suzuki-sensei, and the key was his to hold, for whenever he wanted to practice, even out of club time.

The old tennis courts were the last place most people knew to find him. Only the tennis club members knew about it, and Reo was on good terms with his clubmates. They would never tattle on him, so he was safe in that sense. It took a little skulking around to make sure he wasn't followed, but he got used to shaking a tail soon enough, and was able to make his way to his safe haven unmolested.

Despite the fact that it was sunny and ridiculously hot out, Reo liked the peace and quiet of the place. More importantly, there was a small equipment shed in one corner, and that was where Reo gravitated to during his breaks. A large tree loomed over the dilapidated shed, lending it some much needed shade as Reo leaned against the wall of the shadowed side to get some needed shut-eye. It wasn't the most comfortable spot ever, but it was peaceful, and Reo couldn't have been more grateful for the quiet.

He didn't always sleep there though. Even after school was out for the day, Reo found himself drawn back, this time to actually practice. And also...another reason.

Ruff! An excited bark greeted Reo as a tiny ball of fur all but assaulted him. Reo laughed as he knelt down, letting the affectionate Papillon leap into his arms and lick his face enthusiastically. The dog seemed to like him right off the bat, which helped, since he certainly liked the owner well enough.

"Kurara!" A high, musical voice tinged with exasperation followed the overenthusiastic dog, who had leapt out of Reo's arms and was currently running circles around his legs as Reo straightened, beaming broadly at the newcomer.

The dog's mistress finally managed to get her errant pet to heel, scooping the energetic ball of fluff into her arms before looking up at Reo. The boy just grinned lopsidedly. Fukumura Mizuki, the girl who had rescued him the last time, had accidentally discovered a rip in the fence separating the school from her father's extensive estates while chasing her dog Kurara. Reo wasn't sure if she came by regularly on purpose or not, but somehow or another, he would eventually see her if he stayed in the area long enough. It certainly gave him incentive to come by often, and to train long and hard to pass the time when she had yet to make an appearance. The things he did to see his angel...

"Hi." She tucked a stray hair behind a ear, though the rest of her lustrous black locks cascaded like a raging waterfall past pale skin and onto the pastels of her blouse. Her cheeks were still flushed from chasing after Kurara, who seemed perfectly at peace nestled in the crook of Mizuki's arms. Even with a couple of leaves still caught on her clothes, she still looked breathtakingly perfect to Reo, who continued to grin foolishly. He did manage to say hi back though.

It was fast becoming a routine, if the past few days had been any indication. Mizuki would show up unexpectedly at any time (in some cases actually making it before Reo got there), and then they would sit down in the shade and start talking. Mizuki always seemed interested in his school life, seeing that she had been homeschooled most of her life. Having an overprotective father who could hire the best tutors had its advantages and disadvantages. Reo found himself sharing more of what he thought than he ever thought possible. It was usually such a girl thing to talk about things like that, but he found himself wanting to share stories with Mizuki, to paint pictures of things, events and people that Mizuki did not have a chance to experience or meet. It also helped that she always listened with rapt attention, and it made Reo feel good to have her complete attention.

They didn't always talk. Sometimes Reo would be napping, and when he woke up Mizuki would be by his side, letting him rest on her shoulder. In one case he had even ended up with his head on her lap somehow, with her stroking his hair soothingly. He had been embarrassed the first time it happened, but the girl just giggled and said that it was ok since he was cute while he was sleeping. Reo wasn't sure what to feel about that, so he settled for yet another foolish grin. Those seemed to be in endless supply whenever Mizuki was around, it seemed.

She would watch him practice sometimes, not crossing the fence to disturb him if she came later in the afternoon. She even brought a picnic basket with her once. Having a girl feed him strawberries was a first, Reo reflected later when his brain caught up with the rest of his body, but otherwise he was too busy basking in the attention to care. It made his days in school easier to bear too, just with the thought that he could see his angel later.

Yes, Sayashi Reo was completely infatuated with Fukumura Mizuki. Could you even blame the boy? Even if he did totally forget that he had a best friend named Ishida Ayumi whom he hadn't been paying any attention to for over a week. Love does strange things to the teenage mind. Or would that be hormones?

But Reo was about to be abruptly reminded that yes, his best friend/rumored ex-girlfriend still existed, and that she was PISSED OFF with him. He would not understand why. It would somehow be his fault, because in an argument between a boy and a girl, it somehow is always the boy's fault. Even when it isn't. Who said life was fair?

He had been preoccupied with his princess as usual today, and when he leaned in to brush off a leaf on her shoulder, he was startled by the tortured screech of rusty hinges and a familiar stomp that had accompanied him for the past 4 years. Reo looked up only to receive a kick to the ribs. He doubled over, clutching his wounded side as he looked up at the indignant form of one Ishida Ayumi, who looked like a complete mess.

"You, you IDIOT! I was worried that I'd hurt your feelings somehow and wanted to apologize, but your BLOODY FANCLUB keeps getting in the way and YOU. YOU KEEP DISAPPEARING BEFORE I CAN FIND YOU. I try slipping you notes, BUT YOU NEVER OPEN THEM. Now I find that you're off with some girl while your groupies make my life living hell. You know what, I don't care anymore. Hear that? I DON'T CARE. YOU CAN GO TO HELL. YOU AND YOUR STUPID BROTHER!"

She kicked him again for good measure. For someone so tiny, she sure packed a punch. Or in this case, a terrifying right foot. Reo wheezed, and he could practically feel Mizuki's shock behind him as she reached to hug him, but he slipped out of it before she made contact, without even thinking about it. Ayumi had burst into tears towards the end of her rant, and she never did that. It made Reo more than a little frantic, and a quiet little voice inside his head reminded him that this was his best friend, and that he hadn't been a very good friend either for a while. A guilty twitch crawled up his spine as he ran after her.

"Ayumin! Wait up! Hey!"

Good thing he was taller and faster than her. He caught her just outside the court, in the wooded trail. He grabbed her arm and spun her around, making sure to pin her in place to keep her from lashing out at him or running away again. The normally stolid class president's face was blotchy with tears and...was that a bruise on her arm? Reo frowned, giving his friend a quick once over. Ayumi seemed more ragged than usual, and it wasn't even entirely because of the crying. It wasn't anything immediately obvious, but Reo knew his best friend, and her appearance was always impeccable. The little signs were all there, and Ayumi looked tired and harassed. Reo's mind spun as he rewound the days. He hadn't been paying attention to her then, but the other girls did seem to be isolating her a lot...

"What did they do?" Reo asked, holding Ayumi by the shoulders. The girl seemed to slump in his grasp, her head hanging slightly as she stared at the ground.

"...like you care." She was just being stubborn now. Stubborn and upset. Reo grunted something between a sigh and a growl, shaking her ever so slightly to get her attention.

"Of course I care. You're my friend! My best friend!" Reo pulled one hand back to run through his hair, tugging at it in slight frustration. He was angry. He felt stupid. How could he have failed to notice that Ayumi was having a hard time? For goodness sake, she was one table away! He was an idiot. Frustrated, he kicked the leaves on the ground next to him. Haru was going to kill him if he found out. And Reo would help him, he thought to himself, furious. What sort of a friend was he, to let his best friend get bullied and not do a thing to stop it? To not even notice?

"Damnit." He swore again. Looking up, he saw that Ayumi was crying silently again. The girl was too proud to admit she needed help. His bruised side reminded him snidely that this was a girl who would sooner kick him and call him an idiot rather than ask for his help. On impulse he hugged her -- she just seemed so small and vulnerable, trembling the way she was.

"It's gonna be ok." He promised solemnly. He would do something about it. If nothing else, he thought bleakly, he was sure he could get Erio to find out who was behind the bullying, then he could go straight to the source and put a stop to things.  They were going to regret picking on his friend, that was for sure. Reo narrowed his eyes. He didn't hit girls, but he might make an exception just this once.

Ayumi muttered several things to him -- mostly unprintable and all entirely uncharitable. She seemed to be pulling herself together based on sheer will alone, pushing him away and scowling stubbornly as she folded her arms and turned away. Reo couldn't help the upward twitch of his lip. This was the Ayumi he knew and was comfortable with. Being a well-raised boy with good manners, he knew a gentleman must always apologize first, whether or not it was actually his fault. He put it into practice.

"I'm sorry. I really am." Reo bowed at a perfect 90 degrees, holding that position for much longer than necessary, until she heard a choked sob and a muttered 'baka!'. Reo straightened, and immediately got another slap in the face. "Hey what was that for!"

"Because you're a stupid boy." Ayumi snapped, a hint of a smirk on her face despite her red-rimmed eyes. Her gaze moved past Reo to the figure hanging back awkwardly, not daring to approach them.

"Aren't you going to introduce me to your girlfriend?"

Reo jumped and turned back to see Mizuki standing a few feet away with an unreadable expression on her face. Kurara seemed to be burrowed in her bosom, not showing its usual energetic side for once. The ojou-sama seemed to be looking between Ayumi and Reo, as if drawing some kind of conclusion. Reo twitched.

"Um, Ayumin, this is Fukumura Mizuki, she's the one who helped me when I got injured that time. Yes, that head wound...Fukumura-san, this is Ishida Ayumi, my best friend." He was careful to emphasize the last bit. He had had enough of people mistaking him and Ayumin for a couple. And he definitely didn't want Mizuki to get the wrong idea.

Both girls sized the other up. Reo probably missed 90% of the exchange that happened in the looks that passed between the two, their relative body language, the meaningful glances at the oblivious boy. It is also entirely possible that both girls interpreted the signs from the other girl entirely according to their own biases with no actual basis on what was actually going on. It has been said that this is more common an occurrence than most people would willingly admit. From whence misunderstandings are born. Glorious, really.

For his part, Reo just hoped that the two girls in his life would like each other. Maybe even get along! They were both important to him, and he certainly didn't want to have to be forced to choose between his best friend and his crush.

A man could dream, right?


============================================================


That was a fun chapter to write. dramalamafantagasma~

Sleeeeepppppppp~
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 12:47:04 PM by Estrea »

永遠に咲き続ける花なんていない、すべてはいずれ枯れて朽ち果てしまう。

Currently writing:
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I'm also on AO3!
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Offline maikeatoot

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Re: High School Days [7/9 - Chapter 8]
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2012, 04:56:27 AM »
 :wub: feels like I'm reading a manga here !  :twothumbs better than a manga  :bow: !!! moreeeeeee !!!

Offline Shiawase_Honoo

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Re: High School Days [7/9 - Chapter 8]
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2012, 05:24:04 PM »
Bullying, the worst thing ever :smhid
Hunt they down, Reo! For Ayumin, your best friend :cry:

Oh, don't forget Mizuki and her a little bit(?) misunderstanding :lol:
Now, I want to be Kurara for one day XD

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