Notes: Typical opening, but this REALLY is my first FoR fic, so please look kindly on me. Characters tend to be a tad OOC. Haven't really watched the whole series anyway.

I just had this sudden burst of inspiration after 'eavesdropping' at a teenage couple drinking, of all things, TEA at Starbucks. Now I haven't come across anything that odd in many years. They're about 15 or 16 or something. But really, TEA?! What happened to the Frapuccino??? Anyway, I patterned the 'tea talk' after the bits and pieces I heard from their conversation. I hope they didn't mind! Eep!

I'm not sure about this, but it does hint slightly on ToFuu. I don't know… Guess it's up to the readers to judge.

Disclaimer: I'm only using FoR and its characters for the fun of it! It doesn't belong to me.

A Cup of Tea

Chapter 1

Man is a proud being.

iPerhaps the proudest, most conceited animal there is.

With his entire constant craving for change- political change, environmental transition, fashion trends, cellphone models, digital junk, pop icons- all provide man with newer grounds to bloat his perpetually expanding ego. A sad truth? A felicitous lie? It varies still, for man, along with his profound knowledge of what-nots and what-is for the mere purpose of again feeding his famished individuality, holds in himself his own belief and intent to why he and his fellow brethren act like the savage animals they are. /i

'What ARE you trying to prove here Mikagami? That you can cram an essay that holds half of your class standing during lunch period?'

An hour has passed and Tokiya Mikagami, in all his glorious comeliness and ennui, sat at what could definitely be called as not the most comfortable nook in the library. He was trying to get a move on with his essay for literature, which is conveniently due in the next class. It was a futile cause, as more or less half the female population of the school, if not all, have stationed themselves all throughout the library, much to the delight of the old lady librarian, who wouldn't know a thing about what really was going on since she was too in to her crochet centerpiece.

Having had enough of being treated as a rare, century-old artifact in a museum, Mikagami gathered his things and quickly made his way out of the library.

Yes, man truly is a proud being. He was trying to prove that. And he did prove it enough when he walked out on the mere thought of him being stared at like one does a mummified camel in a zoo. There's always more than meets the eye, and he felt completely repulsed by the idea that those girls only see through his pristine looks.


iPride is a confusing matter. Wholly intangible but very much perceivable, just as time is deemed to be seemingly eternal yet surely ephemeral. It forms a beautiful and powerful irony, capable of paving the way to one's custom built Canaan as well as paying for his one-way trip to perdition. /i

He now found himself inside the classroom still struggling with his essay, which was highly unusual for someone reputed to be perfect as him. Lunch was to end in 15 minutes and he decided to find solace and, if luck would have it, inspiration, in the empty classroom. Sadly, luck wouldn't have it in any other way.

And so the ever-efficient Tokiya Mikagami admitted to himself defeat. He was stuck in a pinch. The dreaded writer's block has come to haunt him. At such a bad time, even. The present reality that he woke up to has taken a drastic turn.

This, he knew, was his pride paying for that one-way trip to perdition.


"You seem to have an interesting start, Mikagami-kun," his teacher commented after she scanned the paper which evidently was the beginning of Tokiya Mikagami's essay. "And where is the continuation?"

"There is no continuation."

If Ms. Takuno was surprised, if not shocked, that her star student couldn't comply with the requirements, she certainly didn't show it. Instead, a fine eyebrow was raised in an unspoken question. Then she smiled and handed the paper back to him. "We all have our days Mikagami-kun."

He looked at the unfinished composition with contempt, as if to touch it would mark the beginning of another hour of sinuous torture around the world of the theoretical yet true.

"Continue it, Mikagami-kun. I'm giving you until Monday next week."

The paper lay on the desk, seemingly innocent and harmless. He knew otherwise.

"You've tackled an interesting topic," Ms. Takuno went on. "It's natural for someone to get a headache trying to find the right words for something as obscure as man's nature, particularly his pride. Usually, tea would help."

Mikagami looked at her with a questioning look in his eyes.

"Yes, tea… And a friend. Invite someone over, have tea, and talk. Not only about pride, but about anything that comes into play. You will learn a lot, a hopefully, you'll get enough ideas for your composition.

He nodded and placed the paper in his satchel.

'Tea. And a friend.'

A friend.

Never did any phrase sound so foreign to him. Right now, he was willing to do anything. Even have tea… With a friend.

A friend.

What friend?