Right. So I thought I'd do something happy to wash out the bitter taste of my last oneshot, since it got a big response (for a oneshot) and most of the reviews were the same; "it's too sad bro :(". Well for those overly pessimistic types who like to dwell on things, this story is not in the same continuity as the other oneshot.
It's not as fluffy as I was originally thinking, but it's a happy fic nonetheless. Sort of.
This will be told from Iroha's POV, and with that, there's no helping that it will be just a little shoujo-esque (what? guys can dabble in a bit of shoujo, right?). Sorry if it's not your style.
"Sorry, but could you say that again, please?" I request politely.
Hayama-senpai just smiles that dazzling smile that could capture anyone's heart.
"I asked if I could take you out on a date, Iroha-chan."
The second time, he spoke much more clearly, and I'm now sure that I didn't hear him wrong. He definitely asked me on a date, right? There can be no mistaking what he said in the literal sense, but...
"Just to clarify, what do you mean by a 'date', Hayama-senpai?" I ask cautiously, making a humble attempt not to jump to conclusions.
"Oh come on, Iroha-chan. You know what I mean. I want to take you out for the day."
Uh... wow. I really wasn't expecting that. Especially after he shot me down at Destinyland last month. I can't help but feel paranoid that there's some sort of ulterior motive here. Wait, what am I saying!? This is Hayama-senpai we're talking about here! There's no way it could be like that. Idiot Senpai, corrupting my heart with his rotten perspectives.
"Um, if you don't mind me asking, Hayama-senpai... Why?"
His brilliant smiling expression changes to a look of innocent bewilderment. He's so dreamy.
"You don't want to?"
"Ah! Um, of course I do! Forget I asked, hahahaha!" I nervously try to laugh off my own question. Stupid! Don't go questioning a good thing. It's definitely Senpai's fault, corrupting my maiden heart with his cynicism and pessimism and rotten-...ism.
"Great! Shall we get going?"
"Wait, right now?"
I'm as eager as can be, but we just finished school, and we're still in our uniforms.
"Sure. Why not?" He suggests with a smile.
"Well, I kinda want to put on some cute clothes first, you know?" Whoops, I almost dragged my syllable there. Senpai tells me it's uncute when I do that all the time. Well, he says that, but I know he loves it, though.
"Oh, right. Sure thing. Then, shall we meet up later?"
"Um, yeah. Good idea."
"Shall we say, the nearby mall at five?"
"Works for me!" I beam, subtly trying to show off my feminine charm. After all, it would be a shame to blow it now.
"Great! I'll see you then." He says.
I must be dreaming. I don't see any other logical explanation for this. Isn't this what I've wanted since I entered this school? I have to talk to someone about this. Well, there's only one person who I could really talk to about it. Or should I say, there's only one person who will sit there and listen to me while I talk about anything I feel like.
I start backpedalling. "Um, you go on ahead Hayama-senpai. I forgot something in my class."
"Oh, okay. I'll see you at five, then?"
"Yes- I mean, Yeah! Definitely, at five. I'll be there!" I sputter, as I turn and break into a run towards the old school building.
"Senpai!" I shout as I pull the door open. It's only when I stop that I realize I'm out of breath, and I'm wheezing heavily as I stand under the doorframe.
Looking at Senpai, he just sighs, as if I were some bothersome person. How rude! That's a major turnoff, you knooooow?
"What do you want, Isshiki?" He drawls.
"... Okay, first things first, you are going to correct that awful greeting just now." I scold him.
"Hah? It wasn't any worse than yours, idiot. At least I didn't give you a fright."
Haha, is he that easily frightened? What a wimp.
"I'm allowed to be rude because I'm cute, you knoooow."
Muttering to himself, he gives me a disbelieving stare. "You actually said it..."
"Teehee." I poke my tongue at him in a way I know he adores. He can deny it if he wants to, we both know how it is.
Then, I notice my other Senpais. "Ah! Yahallo, Yui-senpai, Yukino-senpai!"
"Ya-... Good afternoon, Isshiki-san." Yukino-senpai shyly corrects herself.
"So anyway! You guys aren't gonna believe what just happened. Seriously." I announce in a suspenseful way.
"Eh!? What is it?" Yui-senpai reciprocates my enthusiasm.
"Okay. Are you ready?"
"Yeah!" Yui-senpai beams.
"Yukino-senpai? Senpai? Are you guys listening too?"
"Yes, Isshiki-san." Yukino-senpai responds monotonously.
"Mm." Senpai just grunts.
Humph. Spoilsports. This is a big deal you knoooooow.
"Okay so get this. Hayama-senpai..." I pause for effect. "... Just asked me on a date!"
Eh? No reaction? What's with that? Why am I only getting blank stares?
Senpai breaks the silence. "Well, Isshiki, you're right about one thing. I don't believe you."
"Urgh!" I sigh in annoyance. "Do you always have to be so negative? You know, when he asked me, I actually thought he had a hidden agenda, Senpai. I think your rotten attitude is rubbing off on me."
"Good. I've taught you well." He folds his arms and leans back in his chair. Does he seriously think that was a cool thing to say? Gross.
"Take responsibility for corrupting me, stupid!" I whinge in mock annoyance.
"Uum, Iroha-chan. Are you sure you heard right?" Yui-senpai asks politely. You too? I thought you were supposed to be the optimist here.
"I'm sure! I even asked him to clarify and he said he was going to meet me at five and take me out!"
"Yukinoshita, what do you make of this?" Senpai butts in again, rude as ever.
"It's hard to say. It certainly is suspicious, I don't see what he stands to gain from this." Yukino-senpai responds with a pondering tone.
"Um, hello? He gets to date a cute girl." I tell her somewhat aggressively.
Ignoring me, Senpai continues his conversation with Yukino-senpai. "Has he ever done anything like this before?"
"Not to my knowledge, though I wouldn't know for sure."
I'm still here, you know.
"Yuigahama, what about you?"
"Eh? Me?" She responds curiously.
"You're his friend, right? If anyone here would know about him, it'd be you."
"Guys?" I try to join the conversation again, to no success.
"Well, Hayato-kun doesn't really talk about himself much, and he especially doesn't approach girls, or at least not that we know of. So it's like, kinda weird for me too, I guess." Yui-senpai trails off without me.
"Stop ignoring me! I'm right here, you knooooow!" I huff irritably.
"..." I guess I raised my voice a little too much. There's a slightly awkward silence.
"... Apologies, Isshiki-san." Yukino-senpai offers a hollow and meaningless apology, which only emphasize her lack of any actual sympathy. Wait a minute, what? Oh no. Someone help, I'm turning into a rotten person!
"Ah, it's fine. Sorry for shouting." I offer awkwardly.
"I have one theory." Senpai says aloud. "Now, I don't like Hayama, but what I'm about to say isn't meant to be slander, alright?"
He looks to us for confirmation. After a moment, he continues. "Hayama hasn't shown much interest in girls until now, right? So there has to be a reason. Unless someone comes up with something else, I can only thing of one thing that could be on his mind."
It takes a few seconds for us to click. And then...
"Hikki! That's gross!"
Yukino-senpai just sighs.
"What!?" He tries to defend himself. "It makes sense. He is a guy after all. If anyone can think of any other possibilities, I'd like to hear 'em."
Ah. Well, he does have a point there.
"Impossible." Yukino-senpai rebukes him. "Hayama-kun may not be the most sincere person, but he's not the kind of person who would take advantage of a junior."
"Oh? You still have a soft spot for him, Yukinoshita?" Senpai teases.
"Of course not, you imbecile." The firmness of her tone, as well as her slightly offended expression, leaves no doubt that she's telling the truth. Senpai is probably too dense to notice, but to another girl it's obvious that her point was specifically for Senpai. I'm pretty sure Yui-senpai noticed too.
"I'm kidding, calm down. Besides, you might have a point." Senpai answers in a somewhat conceding way.
"Yeah. Hayato-kun's totally not like that." Yui-senpai joins the conversation seamlessly.
Senpai, being the moron he is sometimes, tries the same lame joke again.
"Oh? You have a soft spot for him, Yuigahama?"
Senpai is the only one grinning at his stupid joke. Yui-senpai is staring at him with the face of death itself. He quickly gets the message, and forces himself to stop grinning. Straightening his posture, he awkwardly clears his throat.
"Sorry." He offers.
"You'd better be." Yui-senpai chastises him. I don't think I've ever seen her mad before.
I take a look at Yukino-senpai, to see her reaction to this. Somehow, she looks... amused? I don't know, it's hard to read her expressions in any sort of context.
"Anyway, none of us know what Hayama's upto. I don't want to demonize him but I'm not giving him the benefit of doubt."
"Um, okay. So what does that mean?" I ask.
"It means I want you to have me on speed dial."
"Oh dear. I'm sorry, Senpai, but this really is the worst time to try. I've just been asked out by a guy I've liked for a while now, so your chances today were lower than ever. Sorry." I bow formally, as if I were rejecting him for real.
I know it's stupid, but I find a great deal of amusement in this lame gag. I think, the first couple of times, I really did think he was hitting on me. But now, it's just an inside joke that affirms the strange dynamic we've built together.
"Yeah, yeah. Just do it, okay?"
Then, a thought occurs to me. If what Senpai said turns out to be true, then wouldn't that mean Hayama-senpai chose me?
"... but Senpai, what if I want him to try something?"
Without missing a beat, he answers. "No, I won't allow it."
His tone is very protective, and I wonder if there's any jealousy in his words. Still, his aggressiveness catches me off guard, and maybe I feel just a little flustered.
"Wait. Senpai, could it be that you actually-"
"Don't get the wrong idea, idiot. I'm just looking out for you. He's never shown particular interest in you until now, right? So if I'm right -and I'm not saying for sure that I am-, then he would just be using you. Since your judgement is obviously clouded, there's no way you'd see that on your own."
"Mmhm. That's a really good excuse, Senpai." I tease him with a cheeky smile.
He rolls his eyes as if he were sick of me, but I know that could never be true. "Whatever. You need to work on that ego, young lady."
"Look who's talking!" I quip.
That one gets him, and he's unable to force away a small grin on his face. It's oddly satisfying to get a grouch like him to smile.
Then, I catch a glimpse of the other two girls in the room, and my amusement quickly fades. If me and Hayama-senpai really become a thing, then I'll have to stop... this. This cheeky banter which might also be seen as flirting. I don't know if Senpai has ever taken me seriously before, but it doesn't matter. I can't have Senpai to myself if I already have Hayama-senpai. It would be unfair to everyone.
"I'm gonna go now." I announce. "I have to get ready, after all."
"Right. Bye, Iroha-chan! Good luck on your date!"
"Yeah, I hope things go well for you, Isshiki-san."
"Isshiki, speed dial. Alright?"
"Yeah, I'll do it I promise." I answer. It almost feels like he's more of a parent when he speaks to me like this.
"Okay. Have fun, then." He says. Yeah, just like a parent.
There's something of a disappointed feeling with that thought. Ignoring it, I promptly take my leave.
This is probably for the best. In the first place, Yui-senpai or Yukino-senpai would probably be a better fit for him anyway. They're both so cute too, maybe I just wanted to prove to myself that I could be more charming than them. Or maybe, I just wanted to stir things up, since at the rate they're going they'd probably graduate before anything happens. Either way, it's probably for the best that I stop interfering. Things would only get complicated if I kept messing around.
I sigh. What is this? Am I having doubts? My dream guy asked me on a date today. This is what I wanted, it's far too late to be having second thoughts now. I lightly slap my cheeks for motivation, and quickly take off home to get changed.
"Hayama-senpai!" I shout across the open space between us whilst waving my arm in the air.
"Ah, Iroha-chan. There you are." He gets up from his seat on the bench and approaches me.
"Um, hey." I greet him somewhat shyly.
"Hey. You look nice." He compliments. The way he said it was incredibly smooth, even by my standards.
This is really happening, isn't it? I'm finally going on a date with Hayama-senpai. I have to focus.
"Shall we get going?"
"Yeah!" I beam with slightly forced enthusiasm.
And so, Hayama-senpai took me on a date. He's every bit the gentleman I imagined he would be. He holds doors open, he asks questions about myself, he even pays for everything. It's the date I dreamed we would have since I first met him. We went all sorts of places, we tried all sorts of fun stuff, and I even learned a little more about Hayama-senpai himself. He really knows how to look after a girl.
It's when we go to watch a movie that I realize I'm not as immersed in the atmosphere as I should be. It's a romance movie, and I can't help but cringe at how exaggerated and cheesy it is. Senpai would have a field day ripping into the script with his twisted analogies. Yukino-senpai probably would have enjoyed listening to him do it, too. As much as she doesn't express it, she obviously finds Senpai's rotten perspectives to be pretty amusing when they're not creepy or flatout disgusting.
The thought bothers me more than I want it to.
I chance a look at Hayama-senpai. He must have seen me out of the corner of his eye, because he turns to me and smiles. Senpai was surely wrong about him. How can such a disarming smile possibly hide any sort of foul intentions?
I return the smile, then try to immerse myself in the movie. But I can't. My mind is wandering. I wonder what Senpai is doing?
Things continued in the same fashion for the rest of the day. Hayama-senpai; perfect as always, and myself; distracted by that rotten Senpai. Everything Hayama-senpai said or did, I would be comparing it to how Senpai would do it. Every time, Hayama-senpai's way would be better, obviously.
I need to get my head out of my butt. What I'm doing is an insult to Hayama-senpai, and he's been nothing but wonderful to me today.
Finally, it's nearly eight o'clock, and Hayama-senpai decides we should get something to eat. We're standing outside a McDonalds restaurant, which is... a surprising choice, to say the least.
"McDonalds?" I ask him quizzically.
"You don't like McDonalds?" He asks innocently.
"Ah, it's not that. It's just an interesting choice, is all."
He shrugs. "Well, this place is pretty carefree. I find classy restaurants to be rather suffocating, and I can't enjoy myself when I'm there."
"Huh." I mutter.
That kinda sounds like...
"Shall we go in?"
We enter the building, and I suppose we're lucky it's a slow day today. We get to make our orders immediately, and we're seated with our meals in no time. Hayama-senpai's right, this carefree mood is better after all. Hayama-senpai really knows how to handle a date. Today has been a dream come true. In fact, Hayama-senpai has exceeded my expectations in almost every way.
... So what's wrong with me? I'm supposed to be having the time of my life, and all I can think of is... Urgh! Maybe it's just because things are finally changing. Even Senpai, as repulsive as he can be, might end up getting a girlfriend eventually. In fact, it seems pretty likely that he will. I won't be able to tease him, and he would definitely become busier and less available with a girl to look after. He's the kind of guy who takes care of a girl, after all. Even if he denies it with all his being.
We would drift apart for sure.
I can't stand the thought.
I want to go home.
I want to talk to Senpai.
"You're thinking about him, aren't you?" Hayama-senpai interrupts my internal dilemma with an odd question.
"N-no I'm not! I-I mean uh, who?" I sputter lamely.
He just laughs. Wait, does he know?
"It's fine, Iroha-chan."
"Um, Hayama-senpai? Who might you be referring to?" I ask carefully.
"Who else?" He says with a smile.
... Hold on. What?
"Hayama-senpai. Could it be that you..."
He waits for me to finish my question, whilst I doubt whether I should ask in the first place. It's an absurd question, after all.
"Can read minds?"
He gives me a blank stare in response. Then, he burst into laughter. It's different to his usual friendly chuckle. It seems more authentic.
"Hahahaha! Read minds!? That's what you figured!?" He mutters, still laughing his butt off.
I'm not really sure how to respond to what I'm seeing, so I just wait for him to laugh it out.
Before too long, he sobers up. "Ehehe. Iroha-chan, I don't have to be a mind reader to know you were thinking about Hikitani-kun."
"It was pretty easy to see, actually."
"But... how?" Am I really that obvious?
"I already knew it would be like this before I asked you out today. You've gotten pretty close with him lately, you know."
"Hold on, Hayama-senpai. This doesn't make any sense." I complain.
"Well, like... first of all, how did you know?"
He smiles again. "If there's one thing him and I have in common, it's that we're both good at reading people."
I nod, staring off at nothing in particular. I guess that makes some sense.
Wait a minute, I just realized something dreadful. Doesn't that mean he knows too?
"H-Hayama-senpai, do you think he-"
"Who knows? As smart as he is, he's a real pessimist. I mean, have you seen him in his club?"
Acknowledging some truth in that, My fears are somewhat relieved.
"Okay then. But if you knew, then why would you ask me out?"
"Because the one who didn't realize it was you."
Oh. He's right. I had been circling around the idea for quite a while now, but I didn't really acknowldge it until a few moments ago. Now that I think about it all, it's actually kind of funny, and I can't help chuckle at the absurdity of it all. The most handsome guy in school, and my former crush, takes me out on a date for the sole purpose of making me realize that I'm in love with a creepy weirdo who dotes on me like I were his baby sister. Someone should write a shoujo manga with that setting.
After taking it all in, I have only one question left.
"Hayama-senpai, what do you stand to gain from this?"
He sighs. "To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. I think I'm just sick of how I am, I guess?"
Not quite understanding his answer, I stare at him quizzically. "What does that mean?"
He shrugs. "I don't really know, actually. I just thought it might help me if I did this for you."
"That's a really strange form of selflessness."
He smirks at me. "Sound familiar?"
I think about it, I don't really get what he's referring to, so I move the conversation along.
"So when did you figure it out?"
"Hmm... I guess, when we caught you out during our double date?"
"Oh yeah. Wow, that was so long ago. Who were those girls anyway?"
"I don't even remember their names, to be honest." He quips cheekily.
I giggle at that. "That's terrible, Hayama-senpai!"
Then I realize something.
"Hold on a moment. Wasn't that before my confession?"
"So... I never had a chance in the first place!?"
"Of course not. How could I date a girl who was in love with another guy?"
"Ah. That makes sense."
After that, a short, comfortable silence comes over us, which I appreciate because it allows me a moment to wrap my head around how I feel.
"Hayama-senpai, thanks for today. You've really opened my eyes."
"Don't mention it."
"Senpai!" I yank the door to the service club open, in the same fashion I did yesterday.
"For goodness sake, Isshiki. You have to stop doing that." He groans.
"Teehee, sorry." Looks like I gave him a fright again. Really, what a wimp.
He sighs and slumps back into his chair, focusing back on his weird books he likes to read. He's definitely going to have to cut back on those when I make him mine.
I notice it's particularly quiet today. Seems like my other Senpais are not here right now.
"Ara? Where are the other senpais, Senpai?"
"On a request, I think." He answers offhandedly.
"Yeah. Seems like it's a girl problem this time. Well, I don't really mind."
So it's just us two here, then?
"Ne, Senpai. Since you're here by yourself, wouldn't it be okay to leave early today?"
He looks up from his book with a curious expression. "Hm? Well, it's not to say I can't, bu-"
"Great! Let's go to town, then."
"Haah? What for?" He drones annoyingly.
Hehe, show time. Tilt the head forward, make the eyes pop, purse the lips. "Because I want to go out with you, Senpai."
Perfect execution! I'm adorable as always. And of course, Senpai is...
"Drop the act. What do you need me for?"
Huh? Did I mess up somewhere? No, that's impossible. I was perfect. Then why didn't it work?
Senpai gets up from his seat. tucking his book away, he grabs his stuff and it looks like he's ready to go.
"Let's go then."
"But... I didn't even tell you what we're doing."
"Yeah, but I feel like going for a walk."
Wait... did it work or not?
"Senpai, I hope you're not getting the wrong idea about-"
"Oh shut up." he interrupts me. "Like I said, I just feel like coming along since I have nothing to do."
I'm not entirely sure how to respond at first. Senpai can be a tsundere sometimes, but I always manage to persuade him one way or another. He's coming with me, so I guess I succeeded? Yet it feels like I didn't do anything.
We leave the clubroom, and Senpai pulls out his phone, probably to tell Yui-senpai that I'm taking him away. As we're walking, I find myself lost in thought. Did my attack have no effect, or was he just good at hiding it? I guess he might have developed an immunity after however long I've been stringing him along, but even just yesterday he was protecting me jealously from Hayama-senpai.
A possibility occurs to me. What if my charms had stopped working long ago? Maybe there's another reason he's always looking after me? Maybe he really does like me!? Or, maybe he's just using me to satisfy his sister complex. If that's the case, then who's stringing along who here? Does Senpai spoil me because I want him to? or because Senpai himself wants to?
Well, it doesn't matter. I'm precious to him, and he's precious to me. I wonder if it's selfish to want him all to myself? He spoils me so much, but I want even more. I always want more. Hehe, I'm so greedy.
"By the way, how did your date go?" Senpai asks casually.
That's interesting. I wonder what it is to him. For him to ask out of the blue, it must have been on his mind, right?
"Oh? Are you jealous, Senpai?"
"Not in the least. He didn't try anything though, right?"
"Senpai, if you're jealous, you can tell me, okay? I won't get mad, I promise." For effect, I smile innocently.
"It's not like that. As long as you're happy, I'm happy."
I stop walking. His words echo and repeat rapidly in my head. He must have noticed me stop, because he stops walking too, and turns back to check on me. I catch his gaze, and hold it firmly with my own. My stare must be pretty intense, because he's unable to look away.
"Do you really mean that, Senpai?" I throw out the question without thinking.
"Uh, yeah. I guess."
Some words come to the tip of my tongue. A simple sentence. A request. Or maybe a suggestion?
Don't say it.
Don't open your mouth, Iroha.
Stop, don't say it!
Too late. I'm saying it.
"Then, make me happy, Senpai."
Yeah. All y'all who thought Hayato had foul intentions, uhhhhh nope lol. I realize he's the antithesis of our hero, but that's not to say he has to be a villain all the time.
But man. Writing stories from the perspective of normal people is weird, and writing from the perspective of a girl is kind of hard. You can't just go into nonsensical monologues when you feel like it, and you have to maintain a certain degree of simplicity. I feel like when I write Hachiman, I can write whatever I please because I feel like I can relate to his character a lot. I'm now certain that Watari was just writing anything he felt like when he wrote the early LN volumes.
Thanks to the PS4 browser's infinite suckiness, I lost about 1500 words off the end, from around the 4k mark. When I went to rewrite what I lost, the ending changed completely. I suppose it's for the best, since the original ending was kind of dragged out and involved Iroha abusing the speed dial and Hayato getting pummelled by the 8ster in McDonalds due to a false testimony by Iroha lol.
Just a heads up, I'll be off in a couple of days to spend a week at my sister's for Christmas. Interestingly enough, she'll be going to her (our?) mother-in-law's place not long after I get there, leaving me there in her big ass house with her (my?) brother-in-law, who I don't really know that well. Let's hope some hard liquor might work as an ice breaker.
Anyway, the reason I mentioned it is because I don't know if I'll get any writing done when I'm there. We'll see what the situation is like when I get there. I had Obsession ch2 almost done, but I put it at the bottom of my to-do-list since apparently some people are flatout ignoring my humble request to stop PMing me begging for updates. If you were looking forward to that, you can thank those guys who PM'd me for no reason other than to nag.
If I see don't see y'all before I get back, then Merry-Happy-Blessed whatever the heck it is you like to celebrate.
P.S: While writing this, I realized something. Something astonishing, and so obvious I can't believe I didn't see it before. What I realized is...
8man best girl. kthxbai