A/N: So, this fic is centered around An-chan and Yokozawa. You wanna know why? (*´・ｖ・)
Despite everything that has been CLEARLY shown in the manga and the Yokozawa novels, there are still stupid people who still view them as terrible characters.
I've been having trouble working on my "Hostage Situation" fic because I've been seeing this issue getting more and more annoying and I just had get this done...
That's basically my motivation to stay up at three in the morning. Which might explain any errors you see in the fic.
It's also urked me to the point that I have to use an extensive amount of emoticons to convey my emotions! (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ
Just so you know, I consider that all An-chan and Yokozawa haters are... (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:・ﾟ✧ bitches!
I said it!
I don't care if you hate me for saying it.
Some other people probably think the same as well. (*´・ｖ・)
I get it if you don't like them if whatever little personality flaw they have gets under your skin. It's fine.
I don't hate you. (*´・ｖ・)
However, for those fanfic writers who make fics deliberately bashing them...
Solace by Tom Day
"…What now?" Light brown eyes were focused on the ground as Kohinata An had walked down the bricked path. A fresh breeze rustled throughout the trees of the small park and her long brown hair fluttered about as the sun shined on her. Dressed casually in a dark blue hoodie and jeans, Kohinata didn't seem to care much for her appearance to the point where she didn't even bother putting on make-up this morning. However, most people that had crossed paths with her could've sworn that she was some kind of fashion model anyway.
As she approached the center of the park, she heard the sound of running water and looked up to see an elegant fountain in the middle of the plaza. When she sat at the stone bench nearby the fountain, she emptily started to braid her hair until she heard a chirpy voice.
"We have luxury desserts imported from France!" A man had announced. "Anyone who can read off the menu will get a discount!"
Kohinata turned to the source of the call and saw a vendor standing at a fancy food stand. Not too far from the stand was the blackboard that he was probably talking about.
"Chocolate…" A small growl escaped from Kohinata's stomach as sniffed the rich scent of chocolate. Forgetting about her braid, she got up from her seat. She walked up to the board and tried to read the menu written in pink chalk. However, she blinked twice when she noticed that only was the menu of French desserts written with the English alphabet, but it was also written in cursive.
"Hm?" Deep brown eyes looked over at the brunette standing in front of the fancy menu. Her messy half-done braid looked so comical that it took all his power to not laugh. He had to suppress it even more when she walked over to him.
"I'd like the pain au chocolat, sir." She said, holding out her money.
"Oh! You're first the person to read off that board!" He chirped.
"Really?" Kohinata asked in surprise. "What happens if the customer can't read it?"
"I have a translated version of the menu so there's no worries..." He calmly told as he held out a laminated menu to show her. However, in that moment, the breeze had picked up and Kohinata's long brown locks had gotten swept up. The half-done braid had unwound itself in the breeze. The sun had shined down on her flowing hair and gave her skin a light glow. To him, she looked like an angel.
"…?" Kohinata couldn't really understand it when she saw the man's cheeks turn a slight pink. She realized that this man was rather handsome with his curly blond hair and lightly tanned skin but she was so starved for the comfort of chocolate that it didn't really matter to her.
"Here you go. Enjoy!" He hastily held out the baked bread with a chocolate filling along with a wrapper as soon as he snapped out of it. After thanking the vendor, Kohinata had gone back to the bench at the base of the fountain. The thin wrapper crinkled against Kohinata's hands as she held up the sweet smelling snack to her mouth and took a small bite.
"…!" Her eyes sparkled at the rich taste of the snack before she shamelessly devoured the rest of it. "One more, please!" She asked as she went back to the stand and held out her money. As soon as she got the same snack, she headed back to the bench. She eagerly ate away at the chocolate snack as the next customer approached the stand.
"Let's see… she said she was curious about this…" A tall man with short and thick black hair stood in front of the foreign sign for a little bit before he scratched his head. "I can't even read this. The hell…"
"…" Kohinata stared at the man's broad back, waiting to see if he could read the menu. Judging from his suit, Kohinata could tell that the older man was some sort of businessman.
"I have the menu in Japanese, sir…" The vendor held up the plastic sheet but the black-haired businessman waved him off.
"Give me a minute. I got this…" He answered.
"Hmph…" The vendor just smirked at the businessman along with the pooling group of customers that stood in front of the fancy menu.
"So that's his tactic…" Kohinata murmured. She watched as a few of the people had given up on reading the menu and asked for the translated version. Soon enough, it was the businessman who was the last person trying to decipher the menu.
"Ga…na…?" He tilted his head as he tried to pronounce one of the words.
"Eh?" The businessman turned to Kohinata, who had walked up to him without him noticing. The first thing she noticed about him was his piercing blue eyes. He had the type of face that would intimidate anybody if he had so much as twitched an eyebrow. Yokozawa Takafumi, Marukawa's Wild Bear, was completely aware of that fact.
However, Kohinata didn't feel intimidated by him in the least.
"That's the word you're trying to read, sir. It's basically a chocolate filling." She pointed out. "If you'd like, I can translate the menu for you."
"Ah, really?" As soon as Kohinata had explained everything that was written down, she headed over to the distant bench so the vendor wouldn't realize what had happened. She watched Yokozawa make his order and he walked over to her as soon as he got everything. Since he had ordered a large amount, he had gotten a white box filled with Kirishima Hiyori's favorite snack, macarons, and a couple of the pain au chocolat that Kohinata had recommended.
"So she's taken…" The vendor had mumbled as he looked at the distant duo. "Hmph…" He pouted in defeat before he noticed some other people walking nearby and he made the same announcement.
"Thank you so much." Yokozawa said with a soft smile. However, he had gotten confused when Kohinata pointed her finger towards the path that led to the park's exit.
"In return, I want to have a drink with you." She bluntly stated.
"What?" Yokozawa furrowed his brow. "You never said anything about a condition."
"I have the really strong urge to drown my sorrows in alcohol and vent to a complete stranger." Kohinata said without even blinking.
"…That's going to get you in a pretty awkward situation in the morning if you're not careful." Yokozawa murmured with a deep furrow in his brow. Except for having the urge to vent to a complete stranger, Yokozawa did have a strong urge to drown his sorrows in alcohol in the past and he did get into an awkward situation as a result. However, he did manage to benefit from that incident. But he knew that it was twice as dangerous if an innocent looking girl were to pull the same stunt he did.
"There are extra points if the stranger is a bear-like man that looks older than he probably is." She said, giving him a thumbs up.
"One more, please!" Kohinata had called out as she held up an empty glass. Yokozawa could only frown at Kohinata's urge to get drunk as they sat at the counter of the bar.
"…So why exactly am I here?" Yokozawa wasn't entirely sure how the girl managed to convince him to go for drinks. He had every intention of convincing her to just head home during the thirty minute walk but it failed. He didn't want to leave her walking around on the off chance that she might blindly approach somebody else for comfort. At one point, Kohinata had lured him to this hidden bar, The Happy Apple, and he knew that he had to give up.
He had no idea what kind of people would be in the bar but it wouldn't be good on his conscience if he left her in a den of potential wolves. However, when he walked inside the bar, he was seriously taken aback when he spotted a few politicians sitting at some of the tables. There were even some celebrities that he would occasionally spot on TV that were nonchalantly sipping at cocktails. However, there were also some working class people in the bar that were completely unfazed by the presence of the elite.
He looked around the strange bar to see that it was about three quarters full of diverse customers. The only sources of light in the dim bar seemed to be from the lights looming over the counter where he sat at and the couple of lanterns that stuck out of the wall on the second floor. Yokozawa was pretty sure that this was the only bar he's ever been to that had this odd set up.
There were two sets of wooden staircases that led up to the second floor. Since they were set widely apart, there was room for the stage that was in the center. It looked like there would be some performances on certain nights, except for this night it seems.
"Yesterday, my engagement with my fiancé was broken off…" She inhaled the entirety of the drink in her glass and pounded it down on the counter. "Another!"
"Shut up. I'm not your bitch." The bartender spat.
"…" Yokozawa couldn't help but flinch at the remark coming from the female bartender. He turned to see her coming over with another glass of some kind of alcoholic drink for Kohinata. In the warm light, Yokozawa saw that the bartender had steel gray eyes and tan colored skin. Her long black hair was swept back in a tight ponytail. Despite being female, she had worn the male bartender uniform. Even though it was meant for men, she definitely managed to pull it off with her model-like figure.
"This is the only place I can raise my voice so I want to enjoy it…" Kohinata happily sighed. When the bartender placed the drink in front of the brunette, Kohinata held out her phone to and lightly waved it around. Yokozawa had to hold back a laugh when he saw the large penguin sticker on the back of Kohinata's pink phone case. It seemed like the sticker was meant for a first grader. "I can recommend you a song as an apology…"
"Hmph…" The bartender gave a small huff as she took Kohinata's phone for a moment. She crouched down behind the counter and soon enough, a melodic tune had filled the bar. When the song started, the bartender handed Kohinata's phone back. As the song carried on, many of the customers closed their eyes as they listened. Even Yokozawa had closed his eyes for a little bit. Despite not used to listening to music all that much, he had to admit that the brunette had good taste.
"Engagement…" Yokozawa softly murmured as the song ended and another one started. "Did the guy chicken out or something?"
"No, nothing like that. It was an arranged marriage." She shook her head. "You know those dramas that center around arranged marriages and illicit affairs? In that world, when a woman is caught in an arranged marriage nobody ever listens to her complaints. That's how it was like with him."
"Nobody ever listened to him when he was asking to end the arrangement when we were teenagers. I realized that I had some say but… I never wanted to break the arrangement. I could only suggest to him that it was best to ignore it in the end, to see other people and hope that our parents would get the message…" There was a pained look in Kohinata's small face as she slowly shook her head. "I didn't really…"
"Sounds like you loved this guy."
"Nn…" She did a light nod and quickly inhaled all of the contents of her drink. For a little while, they proceeded in silence where Yokozawa would just watch Kohinata drink to her heart's content. He knew that it'd be best to stop her before she gets too far but he felt that if he tried to stop her, the cracks that he sees all over weakened appearance would break open.
"You have quite the tolerance for alcohol…" Yokozawa said as he looked at the pile of glasses before them with wonder. He was still on his first glass but the beautiful woman sitting right next to him was already on her seventh glass. She smirked at his comment as she finished her glass.
"Hmph… unlike my ex-fiancé, it doesn't take a few swigs to take me down. It's one of the few traits I pride myself in."
"I wonder if that pride is going to stick around when you get the bill…" Yokozawa murmured. Kohinata had already said firsthand that she was going to pay for her own drinks. It seemed that she was aware that Yokozawa was the gentlemanly type that would pay for a woman's meal, despite his gruff appearance.
"Don't worry, I have plenty of money so I can drink to my heart's content." She calmly stated with no sign of gloating in her voice. "I'll pay for yours since I pretty much dragged you in here."
"No, that's alright. It'd be rude of me to let you pay for my own drinks." Yokozawa told before he took a sip of his beer. "But rather, I want to know why you approached me. Most people are too afraid to go near me…"
"You seemed like you had a similar pain. That's pretty much the only reason." She took a sip. Sharp blue eyes widened at the statement before the next set of words just fell out of his lips.
"…Did he have someone else?"
"Yes. It was a love that lasted for over ten years. I never even stood a chance." Kohinata solemnly narrowed her eyes before she downed the rest of her drink. "I could only cling on and hope that he would one day love me. However, I knew that wasn't going to be the case since I was only seen as a friend…"
"All I can say is that it sucks when you're in that position…"
"I know, right?"
"…What's so special about him that you'd cling on to him for so long?" Yokozawa asked. He felt that it was an important question to ask, despite how personal it was. He had found himself asking the same question to his ex-lover, Takano Masamune, repeatedly in the past. Yokozawa remembered asking that question mostly throughout college when the brown-eyed man was going through a low point.
"…He was the first person who had ever seen me." She murmured.
"What do you mean by that?"
"That's exactly what I mean." Kohinata shrugged. "When I was little, I was just a child who wandered around the city during the day. My birth parents didn't really care about me. Not enough to even sign me up for school. None of the people I ran into on the streets cared about me either. He was the first person who ever did."
"…!" Yokozawa couldn't help but gasp when he saw Kohinata raise her petite hand to her soft bangs. Sweeping her hair back, she revealed a gash like scar that went across her forehead. As soon as she was sure Yokozawa got a good look, she slipped her hand away and let her brown locks cover up the scar.
"One day, I wound up getting hit by a car. I still remember every single second that happened before that moment. It was the day that my life changed for the better after all…"
"H…" Yokozawa had the very strong urge to ask her just how would getting hit by a car would change everything for the better but he stopped himself when he realized she was going to answer that question anyway.
"I was contemplating running away from home before he stepped in and told me that he would save me. I was so used to people not caring about me that it completely threw me off guard. Without thinking, I ran away from him and right into open traffic..."
"…" Yokozawa solemnly looked down at his glass of beer. He momentarily heard the familiar sound of rain pounding down on the pavement. He recalled the familiar sight of lights of rushing towards him. However, his quick flashback ended when Kohinata's calm voice broke through.
"My parents wound up disappearing while I was in the hospital. I guess it would've looked bad for them if everyone knew who let their child wander the city…"
"…What happened after?" Yokozawa asked. He was surprised that he didn't start yelling after hearing that. He couldn't believe that those kinds of parents would actually exist.
"I was adopted by a couple that was friends with my ex-fiancé's parents. I looked a lot like that couple's late daughter and that became my ticket into the upper class…"
"…" Yokozawa could tell that Kohinata wasn't comfortable giving that last statement. No matter how he looked at it, he felt that Kohinata only saw herself as a replacement. However, he didn't want to voice this thought since he wasn't close enough to Kohinata to give that kind of statement. Despite that decision, one look from Kohinata had let him know that she knew what he was thinking.
"Uh…hic…" A deep blush filled Kohinata's round cheeks as she rested her head on the counter. Squeaky hiccups escaped her throat and long eyelashes brushed against her cheeks as she kept her eyes shut.
"Looks like she finally lost…" Yokozawa looked at the larger pile of empty glasses and counted them out to twenty one. He wouldn't have believed that a petite woman was able to drink all of those glasses if he wasn't there witnessing it. After Kohinata had finished discussing her past, she started drinking with more gusto and pretty much left Yokozawa in the dust. Considering the rate that she was drinking at, Yokozawa lost the little thirst he had for alcohol and instead had some tea that the bartender had offered.
"Marga nee-san… can I have your special fruit drink that you haven't named yet?" She moaned.
"You still want more?!" Yokozawa hissed in surprise.
"Don't worry, it's the type of drink that's meant for sobering." Marga the bartender had pointed out. Marga had crouched down to her mini fridge that rested beneath the counter and pulled out a bottle with an orange liquid along with some blueberries. A light fruity scent had filled the air as she opened the bottle and poured it into a new glass for Kohinata. There was a slight fizz in the drink but it settled down quickly and Marga plopped a few blueberries in afterwards.
"My parents would be mad if I came home in this state…" Kohinata moaned.
"Eat ice cream like normal heartbroken girls, dammit." The bartender sighed as she set the sobering drink in front of Kohinata.
"I did…" She pouted. "I ate six gallons of cookie dough and mint chocolate chip ice cream last night and I regret nothing!"
"Aren't you worried about getting fat? You seem like the type." Marga asked.
"Heh… not really. High metabolism, you know?" Kohinata pointed out as she sniffed the fruity drink before downing it, berries and all. "Mmm…"
"…" Yokozawa couldn't help but feel a little envious of Kohinata. She's only a few years younger than him and obviously weighs a lot less and yet she drinks like a fish and can eat as much as she pleases without any worry. Kohinata had even told him a little while ago that there was the occasional drinking contest in the bar where even the politicians would get involved and she had won every one so far. Needless to say, Yokozawa kinda felt like a chump after learning all of this.
"So how did your unrequited love work out?" Kohinata started to stack the empty glasses on top of each other. "I'm curious about how you managed to move on. Maybe I can borrow the same method to get this rock out of my chest."
"…I fell in love with someone else who loved me for who I am." Yokozawa turned away from Kohinata as he felt the heat rush to his face. He couldn't help but think about Kirishima Zen at this point. He was the one who had managed to save him when he was going through a low point. Even though they've been dating for less than a year, Yokozawa can't possibly imagine his life without Kirishima or his daughter Hiyori. They've managed to give him the warm feeling in his chest that he's yearned for most of his life.
"Tsk." Kohinata and the bartender clicked their tongues in unison. "So cliché… "
"Well, excuse me!" Yokozawa loudly shouted, scaring most of the customers in the bar except for Kohinata and the bartender. Kohinata smirked when Yokozawa turned back in her direction. Noticing how loud he was, Yokozawa lowered his head and clenched his shoulders. "That person just happened to be someone I… fell… so unbelievably hard for…" He murmured, just loud enough for the duo to hear.
"Aww…" Kohinata cooed.
"I bet your lover would trip over their own feet if they heard that…"
"…" Yokozawa lowered his head even more as his face felt unbelievably hot.
"Mister Bear is blushing all the way up to his ears!" Kohinata giggled. "How cute!"
"I'm not!" Yokozawa exclaimed as he cupped his pink ears with his hands. "…Mister Bear?"
"You don't like it? But you remind me of a bear." Kohinata pointed out. Yokozawa couldn't entirely reject that statement since he even had the title of 'Wild Bear' within Marukawa.
"We can call you Bear-chan, if you'd like." Marga offered. Needless to say, Yokozawa cringed at the nickname.
"Hmm…" Kohinata hummed to herself as she grabbed a clean cocktail napkin and pulled out a pen. She started to draw as she happily bobbed her head. "Bear-chan, we're officially going to call you Bear-chan now."
"Eh?" Yokozawa wasn't really sure how to respond.
"Bear-chan, you should tell your lover what you just told us." Marga told with a smirk. "You'll definitely get laid if you do."
"…!" Yokozawa had burst out of his seat with redness in his cheeks. He leaned over the counter and towered over the tall woman. "D-Don't you feel embarrassed saying that?!" He exclaimed and steel gray eyes had immediately narrowed.
"Sit, Bear-chan." She commanded. Without even thinking, Yokozawa had sat back down in his seat.
"…Huh?" Yokozawa just realized that he had followed a command without question. He couldn't believe it. He always fights back. He always yells in retaliation. That's how he got his nickname. He looked back up at the bartender and tried to figure out who or what she is. A witch? A demon? God? Or possibly the devil? Yokozawa's head started to spin as he tried to figure out the reason why he suddenly obeyed a complete stranger.
"Bear-chan, I drew a picture of you. What do you think, Bear-chan?" Kohinata called out, snapping Yokozawa out of his thoughts. He turned to see her happily holding up the napkin with the ink drawing on it.
"…" Yokozawa looked at the napkin and did admit that Kohinata was surprisingly good at drawing. It was basically a little chibi of him with bear ears. The narrowed eyes and frown captured the usual expression that Yokozawa had but he didn't know whether or not to feel offended about it. However, he did feel off about Kohinata drawing little blushes onto his chibi self's cheeks.
"Bear-chan, it's rude if you don't respond." Marga barked.
"Stop. Please." Yokozawa sighed and dejectedly shook his head at the nickname. "Just call me Mister Bear…"
"Pfftt…" The nearby customers who overheard him started to snicker. The snickering carried on for a little bit until there was a thud. Everybody turned to see Kohinata on the ground clutching at her stomach. Her petite body had shook from her contained giggles until she opened her mouth.
"Haha!" Tears escaped the corners of her eyes as she let out a loud laugh. "It hurts! It hurts!"
"God…" The bartender shook her head with a smile.
"Alright! I'll call you Mister Bear from now on!" She announced. She wiped away her little tears with her fingers as she continued to giggle. Yokozawa could feel the heat return to his face as he noticed that nearly all the customers in the bar were cracking up.
"No! Forget what I just said!" Yokozawa reached into his pocket and pulled out his business card, slapping it onto the counter. "I'm Yokozawa Takafumi, a 28 year old man that doesn't like being called Mister Bear!"
"That's some introduction…" The bartender chuckled before a flash of realization went across her gray eyes. "Yokozawa…?"
"What?" Hearing his last name, Yokozawa looked up at the elegant woman. He felt uneasy when he saw those strong gray eyes looking him over, but he couldn't bring himself to turn away.
"The resemblance…" She murmured in wonder. "Do you have a grandfather that happens to be in the medical field?"
"…" Yokozawa's eyes widened at the question before he looked down at his glass. He narrowed his eyes and was about to speak before he noticed a tan hand waving in front of him. He couldn't help but give a small sigh of relief when he saw her give a light smile. He took a sip of the soothing tea as Marga had made her next statement.
"You don't have to answer if you don't want to. I'm Onodera Marga, it's-"
"…!" Yokozawa started coughing and choking on his tea as soon as he heard the name, 'Onodera'. He pounded his chest as he gasped for air.
"Are you alright?"
"Ah, yeah…" Yokozawa wiped away at the tea dripping from his chin with the back of his hand. Noticing a little splatter on the counter, Yokozawa had grabbed some nearby napkins and started cleaning up. "Just… choked on some tea…"
"…" Marga emptily stared at him for a moment before turning away and holding her hand to her mouth. "Pfft…"
"Huh? This company…" Kohinata said in a slurred tone. After getting up off the floor, she had grabbed the business card and slowly read it over. After cracking up on the floor, Kohinata felt a stronger effect from the alcohol so she couldn't even register the fact that Yokozawa had been choking on tea.
"Hm…?" He turned to Kohinata.
"It's nothing." She shook her head before giving a polite bow. "I'm Kohinata An. It's a pleasure to drink with you…hic…"
"You're supposed to say 'it's a pleasure to meet you'…" Marga told.
"There's alcohol running through my system, therefore I can say whatever I damn well please." Kohinata retorted.
"Try not to move when you're trying to get sober. My drink isn't going to help if you move around too much…" The bartender said.
"Boo…" Kohinata sighed as she sat back down and plopped her head onto the counter.
"…It's getting late. Geh…" Yokozawa felt a vibration in his pocket and pulled out his phone, noticing that it was nearly one in the morning. He couldn't help but blink twice at the time since he didn't realize it going by quickly as it had. However, he had gotten pale as soon as he flipped open his phone to reveal a long string of messages and missed calls from Kirishima.
"Don't worry." Marga told. "If you have to leave, you can just go. I already called her family's driver."
"Ah, thank you." He nodded off to her before grabbing his wallet to pay for his drinks. After paying, he immediately went for the box of desserts sitting on the next seat to make sure he didn't leave them behind. After making sure he had everything with him, Yokozawa turned to Kohinata and saw that she was still resting her head on the counter. "…Are you sure you're going to be alright?"
"Who knows?" She shrugged her thin shoulders. "I have a duty to the family so I can't really refuse if they try to arrange another marriage…"
"…?" Marga raised an eyebrow when she saw the dark look in Yokozawa's face.
"Duty to the family…" He murmured.
"Well, I do feel much better after talking to you." Kohinata happily sighed as she looked up at him. "Thank you very much, Mister Bear."
"Ah, it's no prob-" He stopped himself as he recalled what Kohinata just said. "…You're still going to call me Mister Bear?"
Instead of giving an immediate response, Kohinata pulled out her phone and held up the business card in her other hand. From what it looked like, she was adding his number to her contact list. However, Yokozawa felt a small pit forming in his stomach as the seconds went by.
"What do you think?" She turned the screen over in his direction to show the display of a picture of the chibi drawing she did of him earlier. On the top of the screen was the title, 'Mister Bear', followed by his phone number.
"…" On that night and over the course of the next few days, Yokozawa relearned an important an important lesson that he's been experiencing over the past year.
Most things in life are unexpected.
A/N: So that ends this oneshot. I hope it kind of makes up for my spotty absence...
Just to let you know, Marga is an OC from my Shigofumi fic. She's basically Ritsu's aunt...
While this is a oneshot, if I do get enough positive feedback, I'll consider doing another chapter after I finish Hostage Situation. The hints are already planted in this oneshot though...
Also, I'm still in the middle of job hunting and doing commissions so it'll be a while before my updating schedule will be steady.
A lot has happened in these past couple of months too... ^^;
Please review if you'd like!