|Lovers Absent Speak
Author: no longer a fanfiction writer PM
A look at Doumyouji & Makino's correspondence during their college years. Will distance (6000 miles of sea waters!) prove a more devastating rival for Tsukasa than the watchful Rui who remains at Tsukushi's side? A continuation fanfic.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,753 - Reviews: 59 - Favs: 37 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 08-01-04 - Published: 07-22-04 - id: 1977068
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey, thanks for all the encouragement, guys! To tell the truth I was a bit taken aback; I didn't think people would appreciate my odd sense of humor. I guess that's what beta-readers are for, eh?
Drina: Yup! I've read The Chronicles of Lucius Malfoy. I haven't yet found the time to finish the last half of that story, though. And I didn't really have that fanfic in mind as I drafted the last chapter, so if you saw any similarities, it's probably because I've been influenced by Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones, as has Fyrie. ;) At least, that's the only reason I can think of.
Itsumo Hitori: You're one step ahead of me! I had planned to deal with Tsukushi's cell phone mystery in this chapter.
More comment replies to come.
Lovers Absent Speak
Chapter II: In Which Tsukasa is Missed, as well as Tsukushi's Skirt
Disclamers: I totally own HYD.
Some one invented the telephone,
And interrupted a nation's slumbers,
Ringing wrong but similar numbers.
How do other couples do it? She didn't think she could last the month, much less four more years. Why did New York have to be so far away? It was maddening. It was insufferable. It was almost enough to drive her insane--to only see that familiar face behind closed lids, and that agonizing drop in her stomach and in her spirits every time she answers her phone only to find that it isn't him.
One month and twenty-eight days after bickering with him in writing, Tsukushi finally, finally, finally received that highly anticipated call. She didn't think one could be so ecstatic just to hear a voice on the phone.
"I found another plot hole," he said, sans preamble or greeting. "If you don't have electricity, then how do you recharge the batteries for your cell phone?"
"Why, I'm fine, thank you, and I've missed you too," she said dryly. She could scarcely believe it--after nearly two months of not speaking to one another, his foremost concern is not her health, her life, nor her well-being in general, but a stupid, nonexistent "plot hole"!
"What time is it over there?"
"Seven in the morning. And school is starting in precisely one hour and ten minutes so I am trying madly to put on my Eitoku skirt with only one arm."
"So use both arms you klutz." He sounded very proud of himself to have come up with so fabulous a solution.
"I would, except that--and I know this is a little hard to believe, but--I'm on the phone with you right now you idiot."
He chuckled. She felt her heart leap and she reveled in the sound.
"How dare you speak to Doumyouji Tsukasa in that tone!"
"Well you deserve it, it took you long enough to call." Tsukushi stuck out her tongue, as though he could see her.
"It was all your fault!" was his unsurprising comeback. "You didn't tell me that you don't even have a phone. How can you not have a phone? That's like the Titanic not having a radar."
"You always blame me for everything."
"And whose fault is that?"
She giggled. In her mirth, she absently tangled her right foot in the pulling-skirt-up process and promptly toppled over onto her brother's futon. Having ninety-pound of flesh fall upon oneself was enough to wake anyone, and it was not a surprise Tsukushi found her brother in a very irritable state. On the other end of the line, some six thousand miles of salt waters away, this is what the young master Doumyouji heard through his end of the receiver:
"I'm sorry, Susumu!"
"Get off me!"
"Wait, my hair--"
"Wow, sis, you're really heavy."
"Shut up! Stop squirming so I can untangle my hair from your button."
Then there was silence. It did not last.
"EWWWW! You're not dressed!"
"What are you talking about? And shut up, I'm on the phone with Doumyouji!"
"Put your skirt on! Put your skirt on! Why don't you have your skirt on?!"
"STOP SCREAMING!" (Doumyouji grimaced, instinctively distancing the screaming device from his throbbing eardrum.) "I already told you I'm on the ph--"
"You're half naked because you're on the phone with Doumyouji-san?"
"My eyes! My eyes!"
"I know 4 years is a long time but couldn't you at least wait until I'm out of the room?"
"Stop saying twisted perverted things!"
"You're the one doing twisted perverted things."
"I was not! I was only getting ready for--"
"Ok, never mind, I really don't want any details."
"SHUT UP!" Further sounds of wreckage, fading footsteps, a door slamming, and, finally, a falling silence.
"Hello?" Doumyouji ventured, almost tentatively.
"Sorry," Tuskushi mumbled, sounding a bit flustered. "I just threw a pillow at him and he ran out the door, to the bathroom, most likely."
"You guys have a bathroom?"
"A public one, at the end of the hall."
"So," he drawled, and she could almost hear him leaning back into his leather chair, elbows spread on both armrests in a posture of supreme dominance, chair tipped back and feet positioned indolently on his desk. His voice reeked of smug confidence.
"So," he repeated happily. "You found ways to entertain yourself as I spoke to you on the phone?"
"I did not!" she cried, blushing furiously. "I was only dressing. I already told you."
"MmmmmHmm," he said, clearly enjoying himself a little too much. "It shouldn't be surprising that just my voice alone would be enough to turn women on."
"It wasn't as bad as Susumu made it sound--I had my very opaque underskirt on and everything!"
"So what other articles of clothing are you removing now?"
"I am SO fully clothed!"
"Not in my mind."
She flushed, her face and neck a crimson red. "You dirty...little….."
"Why, yes," he seemed rather pleased that she had finally caught on with the fact. "Yes I am."
"I am going to ignore you and hang up on you now."
"You know, if you had followed me to New York I can entertain you with more than just my voice."
"At your service anytime, anywhere."
. . .
. . .
Without the constant and distracting presence of the F4 on campus, it came as a surprise to Tsukushi that Eitoku students actually do go to class. They even have homework. Without Doumyouji dragging her off with the F4 and without Doumoyji's rivals eternally plotting to kidnap her, Tsukushi at last found the time to focus on her academics and, to her astonishment, discovered that Eitoku's education was actually worth her money. With her Eitoku background, entrance into a respectable university now actually seemed a plausible--and perhaps even likely--possibility. And the prospect excited her to innumerable degrees.
For that reason, she had taken impeccable notes this semester. That is, until a text message was received that afternoon, during her financial accounting lab:
You shouldn't hang up on people, it's not polite. And especially not on your boyfriend.
When the teacher exposed his back to the class in order to scribble additional formulas on the board, Tsukushi set down her pencil and typed quietly into her phone.
Oh you're a fine one to give me a lecture of politeness, Mr. If-Apologies-Work-Then-What-Are-Cops-For.
He let that one slide.
Where are you?
She glanced up. Teaching still faced the board, explaining accounting conventions in tedious detail. Tsukushi typed.
In class. Accounting.
It took him a little longer than usual to reply.
If he were within tangible distance then she would give him another one of her famous flying kicks. But as distance annihilated the option of violence, Tsukushi could only blush and resort to verbal abuse.
YES YOU MORON! Of course I'm dressed!!
He turned sheepish.
Well I wouldn't know!
"Take out your book and all your notes," the teacher announced, now facing his class and pointing to the problem scribbled on the board. "We shall now have an open book oral pop quiz. Finish the quiz on the board. You have five minutes."
You are the epitome of all that is moronic. I have not seen your level of moronity since TImberlake's wardrobe malfunction. If moron-ness converts into yen you would still be the richest guy in all of Japan. And...hey, what are the GAAP rules for inventory estimation?
His proverbial reply:
Hardly surprising...she thought her question was rather out of the blue as well. She cursed herself under her breath for spending so much time sending him messages instead of taking notes and working on her quiz. She glanced at the ticking clock (less than three minutes left!) and hunched down to hide her small form behind the row of students seated in front of her.
Accounting pop quiz! Help please. What are the rules for inventory estimation?
There was a long pause. What was taking him so long to type? She flipped through her notes blindly, trying not to look as flustered as she felt. Inventory estimation.....inventory estimation..... She glanced at the clock again. One minute and twenty seconds left.......One minute and ten seconds.......
She willed Tsubaki to storm into her brother's room at that instant and cause him bodily harm.
Haha, who's the moron now?
Hurry up! Inventory estimation!
"Time's up," announced the teacher. "Pencils down." The students rustled in their seats as they applied the finishing touches on their quizzes. "Please stand up and present the answer in a clear and concise fashion when I call your name."
Tsukushi stooped further down in her seat.
"Answer question one, please, Miss Makino."
"Well," Tsukushi mumbled, rising from her seat. She looked down at her blank piece of paper as though the cure for cancer was written on there. "Well," she repeated.
The GAAP demands that either the FIFO or the LIFO be used for inventory estimation.
"The GAAP demands that either FIFO or LIFO be used for inventory estimation," she recited promptly, glancing down at her cell phone screen. She was so relieved she could kiss Tsukasa.
It affects the amount of income taxes paid. The effects are seen on financial statements like the balance sheet…
"It affects the amount of income taxes paid," said Tsukushi. "The effects are also seen on financial statements like the balance sheet."
…the income statement…the statement of cash flows…
"The income statement, the statement of cash flows, and…"
And the GAAP requires me to tell my boyfriend that he is one sexy, gorgeous genius. I love that man to pieces.
"And the GAAP requires........my boyfriend..........sexy........pieces.......?" she trailed off, staring down at her desk. Then her facial colors changed visibly, and she seemed to have considerable difficulty converting oxygen into carbon dioxide.
"I beg your pardon?" The teacher gave her a confused frown over his glasses. The GAAP requires her boyfriend's what? "Are you all right, Miss Makino?"
Tsukasa found it necessary to continue:
I love his curly hair. I also love it when he yells to get attention. Tsukasa totally rocks. Rui doesn't. Tsukasa rocks so much more than Rui. Rui who? Stupid Rui.
"Yes! I am," she gasped, her face red--and then purple. There is nothing as painful as forcibly swallowing down fits of laughter. Asai turned and whispered to a girl at a neighboring desk; they narrowed their eyes at their red-faced nemesis.
"Um....that is correct. I think. Full credit for question one."
Tsukushi bowed, and when she finally returned to her seat, the first thing she did was to turn off her cell phone.
An ocean away, leaning back against a leather chair in a grandly furnished study room, Doumyouji Tsukasa grinned like an idiot to himself.
. . .
. . .
When he next called, she had clocked out of the dango shop and was on her way back to her apartment (although Tsukasa refused to apply that noun when referencing her abode). It was nearing midnight, and although she hated to admit it, she--Makino Tsukushi, the Working Virgin, the Indomitable Weed--was dead tired. She had just begun to climb up the three flights of stairs that led to her flat when her phone rang.
"Hi Doumyouji," she said into her phone, hoping that her voice did not reflect the exhaustion that was so apparent on her face.
"You turned off your phone," he said obviously.
She stifled a yawn. "Magnificent observation."
Reaching her door, she held her phone in place by tilting her head and lifting her right shoulder, and paused to fumble through her purse for her keys, which--as the nature of keys goes--were always conveniently hidden at times of need. So concentrated was she in her undertaking that it was a long moment before she noticed the abnormal lack of squabbling at the other end of the line.
She switched the phone to her other ear. "Hello?"
"I'm here," came his voice.
"How come so quiet?"
"It was your turn to talk. DUH."
She could not help but roll her eyes and smile. Trust Doumyouji Tsukasa to come up with (and abide to) such confounded logic!
"That's how you have a conversation, idiot," he continued. "I talk, and then you do. I just said 'Thank you,' so now it's your turn to lavish gratitude on me."
She laughed, her fatigue forgotten. "My turn to do what?"
"Hey, I just saved your butt today," his protests came with a tinge of annoyance. "The least you could do is tell me how eternally grateful you are and how you're going to do anything I ask to pay me back."
She laughed again. "And by 'thanking' you mean you want me to tell you that you are 'one sexy, gorgeous genius'?"
"Thank you," he said again, missing--or ignoring--her sarcasm.
"You are going to be the death of me yet..." she finally succeeded in her pursuit of her evasive keys, and gained access to the dark interiors within. "I'm grateful you helped me with the answer, but if you hadn't distracted me in the first place then I wouldn't have needed your help at all and almost made a fool out of myself!" She tossed her purse and keys onto the tatami and nearly collapsed in weariness onto her futon.
"Wait....you mean to tell me....you actually said the last part out loud?"
"Of course....not.....you know I never make a fool of myself in public...."
"Oh shut up!"
"It was all your fault!" she cried, sitting straight up. "Good thing I had enough sense to not read the entire thing!"
"Sense! She has sense, the woman says. If you had sense you wouldn't have read that last sentence out in the first place. Now who's the idiot, hmmm?"
She decided now was a good time to change the subject. "By the way.....I received your last letter."
"Well," she echoed. "You cheated."
"I did not. I followed your rules to the letter."
"You quoted Shakespeare. I said no quoting Shakespeare."
"That was only one sentence! And where can you find a sonnet in which the Bard of Avon romanticizes a vegetable?"
She refused to give up. "And I said no linking my face to a thousand ships."
"I linked Darwin to a thousand ships."
"Half the letter are praises of you," she complained. "You get to be a sexy, rich, fabulous vegetarian, and I get to be a cow?"
"A very gorgeous cow, I said," he added hastily. "As opposed to, you know, ugly, fat, smelly stupid cows."
"But I'm still cattle..." she said crossly.
"You said you wanted something unconventional...."
"By 'unconventional' I didn't really mean that I want to read a love letter from my boyfriend to my boyfriend."
"I don't think I need to write you a love letter now, since you already wrote yourself one."
"Don't you dare back out of the deal now! And I did not write that thing for me."
"Did--" she groaned, throwing her hands up. What a couple of idiots we make! "Anyway....all in all, the.....well, it was just..." her tone took a gentler turn. "I guess I mean to say..." she was alone, and in the dark, but that did not prevent a faint blush from developing. "Thank you. It was very sweet."
There was a brief pause at the other end. "It was mostly just a joke, but I meant it," his voice was so earnest, and, for once, in such an unguarded boyish way, that it endeared him to her all the more at that moment. How could someone be so violent, and rash, and yet so tender and innocent all at the same time? It befuddled her mind. "I mean," he added hastily. "Not that I really think of you as a cow, or that you are anything remotely cow-ish, but I really meant it. I mean, I didn't mean it in a way, but then I did..." he rambled on.
"I know," she said quietly, smiling. "Thank you, Doumyouji."
They spent the remaining fifteen minutes of their conversation thus, in soft murmurs, reveling in the tenderness and the warmth of each other's voice, regardless of what was said. Tsukushi thought that he could have said anything at that moment, in that gentle, purring tone of his, and she would feel her interiors melt away like they are doing now. He could even whisper, "You are an ugly, fat, smelly stupid cow," and her heart would probably still flutter just as madly.
Is this what long distance relationships are like? she wondered. This constant longing, this perpetual ache? It seemed like an eternity since he last held her. She savored each present whisper from him like a caress and a kiss.
"Thank you for calling today," her voice was a bare whisper. "And thank you for helping me out in class."
"You already thanked me; once was enough."
"But I'm still really grateful." How odd. Hanazawa Rui was usually the object of her incessant gratitude. Then she smiled teasingly to herself. "And you were right. I guess you are a sexy, gorgeous genius."
"I-I know." He blushed, and she knew it. He doesn't sound as smug now as he did this morning, she suppressed a giggle just in time.
"And I do love that man to pieces." --softly.
In the same quiet, gentle voices the couple bade one another sweet dreams and good night, promising to call again the next day. Naturally, as the famous "fighting couple," they did not include the usual revoltingly syrupy endearments in their farewells that young lovers are so inclined to say. But their tone, albeit mingled with a tinge of melancholy, was sweet enough. Too soon, Tsukushi found herself alone, in the quiet darkness, wrapped up in her blanket like a human cocoon, and staring with drooping lids at the cell phone on the tatami next to her.
I wish I didn't have to wait until morning to hear his voice again.... was her last conscious thought as she drifted off to sleep.
. . .
. . .
She took that wish back.
Not fifteen minutes after she fell asleep, her cell phone rang again.
"Hey you never told me," came his demanding voice. "How do you recharge your cell phone if you don't have electricity?"
"Youqualmmnwjusttoassdat?" she mumbled sleepily.
"You called just to ask me that?"
"Well, this is the conversational version of postscripts. And anyway, I asked before, but you never answered."
"I recharge it at work, all right? I am not making this not-having-electricity thing up, really!" Tsukushi said, exasperated. "The lady of the dango shop is really nice and she knows my current situation, so she helps me out with little things."
"Right. Now go away and let me go back to bed. I need my beauty sleep."
"Yeah, you do."
She was too tired to argue with him. She hung up and snuggled back into her futon.
. . .
. . .
"What?" she yelled rudely into the phone, tossing her blanket aside.
"I found another plot ho--"
"Oh, for the love of all things narcoleptic!"
She turned her phone off, resisting the urge to chuck it across the room. Sleep slowly claimed her once more.
....to be continued!
In the next chapter, the F3 will:
A) Build a sand castle
B) Make their fashionably late appearance
C) Advocate abstinence
D) All fall madly in love with and fight vehemently over an original character named Dora-san!
I'm rather inclined to option D myself.
. . .
. . .
And by popular demand, here is Professor Snape's proposal to the object of his desire, one Makino Tsukushi:
Severus took Tsukushi's hand and she discovered, to her great amazement, that his skin is not as greasy as his raven locks.
"I am not usually given to these sentimental foolishness," he said, lowering one knee to the ground. "But I can no longer withhold these feelings, bubbling within my being like an overheated cauldron of illicit love potion. Give me a chance, Makino, and I will show you how to bottle love, brew affection, and even put a stopper on all your heartaches. I can provide for you the most glorious of dungeons and figuratively the head of any Muggles on a silver platter -- present company excluded -- if you so desire. Merlin, I can even set aside my love for the precise and exquisite art of potion-making to spend time refining the ineffable chemistry in our relationship. I can even wash my hair for you. And that, quite frankly, is saying a lot." He took a firmer grip of her hand. "So, Miss Makino, will you--"
"Get your filthy, greasy hands off her!" bellowed Tsukasa.
"I don't know what they teach you over in Cavemen Anonymous, but over here you don't need to scream for others to know that you lack an entire piece of brain."
"Kiss mine. And stop holding her hand, you oily freak. How old are you anyway? Forty? Fifty? Cradle robber."
"And how old are you, you Neanderthal git? That cracking tone of voice suits you well."
"That wrinkling shade of moronity suits you well."
"At least it didn't take me 36 bloody volumes of manga to get the woman I want."
"At least I didn't let a delusional psycho burn a tattoo onto my flesh. A fugly one, to boot."
"Hey! I resent that! It is an impeccably evil looking tattoo."
"Whatever. And at least I actually bother to wash myself a couple of times a decade."
"Could've fooled me, Medusa."
"All right, I've had enough of you. Outside. NOW."
=) I'll stop here before my A/N gets longer than the chapter itself!