A/N: Tabemashou ka, when translated means "shall we eat?" This story
revolves around some of Aya's memories and thoughts on the guys, and their
eating habits. I'm not a summary person, so just read it.
Dedication: To all those who love to eat.
The world had many things that I, Hoshino Aya, could not comprehend. I'd
wondered countless times on how I could feel two conflicting emotions at
the same time, or how I could not bring myself to drop my advanced classes,
despite all that had happened these past few months. I speculated a lot,
but no concrete answers came. But even as I inched closer to knowing these
things, there was still something that I believed would always baffle me
until the end of my days.
Men. Especially when it came to their stomachs.
I had no idea how their minds worked, so being around them made me slightly
nervous. I understood women-it was a gift all females were blessed with.
But men? I hadn't a single clue. Therefore, I did not know how to act
towards them, especially Rei. There was a certain thing that I had noticed
about him these past few days that I found worth my time pondering on, but
I'll save that for later. Nevertheless, I made a promise to myself that I
would learn to grasp men's logic somehow, some way, no matter how minute.
I'd observed numerous males already, but Yuuya was always my favorite case.
He wasn't easy, nor was he difficult to crack. It was a plus that his mind
seemed to be nonplussed by his stomach. However, there was one aspect about
him that I found quite amusing, albeit irritating. And it involved a
I never understood how Ran could shamelessly ask Yuuya to pay for her food
when they weren't even going out with each other, and I could never get it
why every time she asked, he complied. I deemed it inappropriate, but those
who were in love acted stupidly (I could attest to that) and Ran was never
one to be decorous. Today wasn't an exception.
"Yuuya, I-I'm kind of short on cash." Cropped-haired Kotobuki Ran began,
smiling sweetly at the blonde who was beside her. Asuo Yuuya looked up from
the check he was holding, quite bewildered.
"But Ran, I thought you said it was your treat-"
"I am going to pay you back. Isn't that the same thing?" Ran tossed her
hair back, giving him the biggest beam she could muster.
Yuuya, to his credit, didn't seem all that affected, "But I only brought
500 yen.we still lack 700." He took out a silver coin from his pants pocket
"What? I thought you had a 1000 with you?"
"I spent it on your ice cream and movie tickets." He said somberly. Ran
"Oh no.what are we going to do?"
"Don't worry about it," I spoke for the first time. I had gone to lunch
with them on Ran's invitation. I shoved my hand inside my bag and fished
out my purse. "I have a 1000."
"Really? Aya, you're a lifesaver!" Ran turned her full attention to me and
tried to get me into one of her hugs. She failed, and I was glad. The table
was between us-it would have broken my ribs if she had succeeded.
"Here," I handed the paper bill to Yuuya, who seemed to brighten up at the
sight of it. I gave him a small smile, the one I reserved for reassurance.
Poor guy. I returned my purse back into the confines of my handbag, only to
find my mobile phone vibrating. The LCD screen read 'Okaa-san'. I quickly
pressed the receive button and held it to my ear. I couldn't hear her over
the static but I had a general idea of what she was saying.
She wanted me home as soon as possible. Something about a meeting.
As I pushed the abort button, Ran raised an inquiring eyebrow.
"Who was it?"
"Okaa-san. She requests I return now."
"Well, I should be going now," I stood up from my position, and hastened
towards the store door. My parents and Ran didn't exactly get along. "See
you guys around."
"Bye Hoshino-san. Arigato."
I remained sprawled on my bed, my elbows propped against a pillow. The
Trigonometry book that captured my attention earlier now had been discarded
at the edge of the bed. I had returned to letting my thoughts wander.
After I'd come home, Okaa-san and Otou-san left for a dinner engagement,
leaving the house in my care. The deafening silence that followed was
I tried to get some reading in, but my concentration wavered with every
passing second. And that's how I ended up skimming my brain for my
observations on the behaviors of the other guys in our little group. I
called this stage 'assessment'.
Kuroi Tatsukichi was not my first choice for Ran's boyfriend. I always
thought she'd finally see the light in Yuuya, but to no avail. She'd gone
and chosen the dark-skinned individual with a goofy smile that resembled
hers. Nevertheless, I'd grown fond of Tatsukichi. He was not the brightest
bulb on the chandelier, but I saw his dedication for Ran, which stayed my
He was, like Yuuya, willing to pay for Ran and her huge appetite. He was
obliged to anyway for it was one of the 'unwritten' duties of a boyfriend.
He in turn, had the same large craving for excellent cuisine. I'd often
thought they were perfect for each other. Then again, maybe not. They also
spelled trouble, one way or another.
An image of a broke Ran and an equally broke Tatsukichi came to mind. It
had almost gone too far that time. They were almost dragged to the police
station for trying to leave without paying. That was not exactly what the
two intended to do, they informed me later. Ran even went as far as to say
that Yamato might have been glad to see that his sister wasn't hanging
around his post at her own whim.
So that closed the evaluation on Tatsukichi. He was too akin to Ran: Often
swayed by the mention of delicious food. A bottomless pit.
"Some men and women eat too much for their own good. And some," My train of
thought drifted to Rei, "have weird habits." I concluded.
The phone rang in the hallway, breaking my reverie. I left the confines of
my bed slowly, taking in the lazy comfort that I had dwelled in the past
few minutes. The phone continued to ring, and I hurried to pick up the
"Moshi, moshi. How may I help you?"
"Ah, O-Otohata-kun," I stammered, quite surprised. I never thought he would
call here. And when I had been thinking about him!
"Aya," He said, and I noted the usual monotone in his voice.
He seemed to falter before saying, "I have a interview tomorrow, and if-"
He was cut off by Yuuya in the background.
"What he means is he wants to know if you are free tomorrow!"
I blushed, my heart pounding. All those observations of mine about men's
behaviors, all gone the drain. I was hopeless when it went to him. "I'm not
sure. What time?" I knew I shouldn't have stalled like that. But I was
under time pressure.
"We'll be finished around four."
"Okay, I'll be there. Is it at the usual studio?"
"Okay, see you tomorrow then." There was a click on the other line, and I
let out a sigh. I let the realization sink in first, before a very inane
smile crossed my face.
After all, I was hopeless when it came to him.
I'd ended up waiting, like the other times he asked me out. My watch had
almost disintegrated from all the glances I'd given it. It wasn't because
the interview had taken longer than expected. In fact, I didn't mind
waiting. The cause of my unrest was the ever-increasing number of girls
that were also hanging around the back door. Their screaming and incessant
chatter embedded a headache in my cerebrum. But I would not show my
discomfort when I was around.
"Do you think Rei-sama would sign my shirt?"
"I don't know. He'd prefer to sign mine."
A vein almost popped in my head. These females were certainly too enamored
for their own good. Maybe even more than I am.
"The interview's over! He's coming out!" And indeed he was, as I caught a
fleeting glimpse of his black-brown hair before it was fully lost in the
sea of raving fan girls. They were surrounded.
Yuuya's gelled blond hair stood out, as per usual. He looked quite
flattered and was taking the attention well.
"Ladies, ladies," He begged, his voice rising above the crowd, "please calm
down. There is plenty of me to go around." This only made the women
rowdier, if possible.
I stifled a giggle, but was silenced as I felt Rei's eyes on me. They were
very intense, as if the whole world never existed, and there was only he
and I. Which was far from happening.
"Aya," Before my wits had time to register, he was in front of me, his
characteristically nonchalant expression obscuring my vision. How he weaved
out of that mob so fast was beyond me.
"Konnichiwa, Otohata-kun." I smiled nervously. He didn't return it, but I
understood. He rarely did. Just then, I heard a female voice call out, and
I knew it was time to go. No more time to worry about returning smiles. He
seemed to notice this too and he grabbed my hand as he led me out of the
alley in haste.
I'd dreamed of chases like this, but still, reality had certainly more
impact than mere imaginings. Behind us, I heard the hurried footfalls of
"Where are we going Otohata-kun?" I asked, after we had placed significant
distance between the 'hunters' and us.
"...are you hungry?"
"What?" I couldn't hear him clearly. My thoughts were focused on running.
We were rounding a corner sharply when Rei stopped so abruptly, that I
slammed into him. Down we went, into the pavement. I ended up on top of
My cheeks were probably a bright warm color, but the exact hue, I wasn't
sure. My unforeseen proximity to him was unnerving. I could see he was
fairing better, without the slightest tint on his face. He opened his
mouth to speak, but the words that came out were moment shattering.
It was inappropriate, but I guessed he was really famished. I was too, from
all that running.
"Hai," I answered enthusiastically. I was disappointed, yes, but there were
other opportunities. I'd just have to settle with being in the dark when it
came to men and their stomachs once again.
A/N: I know, t'was pointless. But starting from the Amusement Park Episode
between Aya and Rei, I noticed that Rei always asks Aya if she wants to
eat. I found it kind of weird. Hence, tabemashou ka. Oh well. Just review
if you found it worth your time.