Chapter One: The New Girl
Kuroko stared at the sleeping figure of his friend. He glanced at the front of the classroom, noticing the teacher had yet to arrive. Class did not start for another five minutes, after all. The blue haired teenager turned his attention back to his friend and reached out, poking the taller boy's cheek. "Kagami-kun,"
Kagami let out a muffled groan as he shifted in his seat, burying his head deeper into his jersey top he used as a pillow. Kuroko sighed and gave the jersey quite a yank, watching with mild satisfaction as Kagami's head smacked against the cold, hard surface of the desk. "WHAT!?" Kagami blurted out, drool streaking down his chin.
Kuroko smiled. "Kagami-kun, the teacher will be here soon and I don't think being caught asleep on our first day of our second year is a good thing. You don't want detention, do you?"
Kagami stared at Kuroko for a moment before he wiped away the dry saliva. "No, we need to get to the gym and wait for the new members." He smiled tiredly, blinking his red-tinged eyes.
"Kagami-kun, did you stay up all night because you were excited for today?"
"No." Kagami scoffed, avoiding eye contact with his shadow. "I got plenty of sleep."
Kuroko only smiled, "If you say so, Kagami-kun." The light blue haired second year shifted his attention to the door as the teacher finally entered, papers piled up in her arms.
"Uhm, okay. Everyone, please take a seat." The teacher rambled out, dumping the pile of papers and such on her desk. She brushed her hair from her face and looked around, eyeing the new set of students. She smiled and adjusted her glasses before turning to the board. "I know many of you have been here since your first year – congratulations of becoming second years, by the way – but today you'll have a new classmate joining you for the rest of the school year." As she spoke, she began to write the newest editions name on the board.
As the teacher did so, the door slid open and a girl walked in.
Kagami tore his eyes away from the board and glanced in the direction of the girl. His eyes widened slightly, watching as the girl moved with ease and grace in her every step. She stopped next to the teacher's desk, her hands behind her back as she offered everyone a polite smile.
The new girl has wavy, shoulder-length soft brown hair that seemed to curl over her shoulders with eyes that were the color of soft amethyst, framed by dark, long lashes. She has pale skin and soft rosy lips. As she stood there, appearing timid but happy, the teacher turned around.
"I almost forgot to introduce myself, I'm your new homeroom teacher, Fujisaki Rumi and I'll be teaching you all English." The silver haired teacher adjusted her glasses before turning back to the new student. "And this is Usagi Naoko, she–"
"U- Usagi ja nai…" The girl whispered, her pale cheeks suddenly taking on a rosy-pink color.
"Huh?" The teacher blinked, looking down at the girl. "Sorry, what?"
"My name…" The girl said quietly, her cheeks darkening. "It's Usami, not Usagi." As she corrected the teacher, said woman's face contorting into one of shock and the teacher covered her face suddenly.
"I'm so sorry, Usami-san. That was my mistake; I did not mean to call you a bunny!" At her wavering voice, a majority of the students all burst out laughing.
Naoko pursed her lips, eyes glued to the ground as everyone giggled at the teacher. "I- It's fine." She said. Naoko looked around, wondering where she would sit. As she glanced around the room, she noticed there was only one seat and it was behind a rather tall looking guy.
Her heart fluttered briefly as she stared at him. He had two-toned red hair and dark, red eyes. His skin was more tanned than her skin and he had quite the odd pair of eyebrows. He appeared to be into some kind of sport and overall looked rough and 'wild'. She frowned.
They made eye contact and Naoko quickly averted her gaze, focusing on the ceiling instead. The teacher, Fujisaki-sensei, spoke, "Usami-san, if you'll please take a seat behind Kagami-kun, then we could get started." She smiled down at Naoko as she pointed to the red haired teenager. Naoko in turn nodded her head.
The brunette walked past her fellow students and sat in her appointed desk. She organized her things on her desk and made to look up at the board, only to frown a second later. 'I can't see the board…' Naoko thought, her lips forming a small pout.
She leaned to the side, tilting her head as she did so. She could see just over his hunched shoulder, so she began to write down the notes the teacher presented to them in an organized fashion in her notebook.
About halfway through class, Naoko noticed the guy in front of her, Kagami, was beginning to nod off. His head bobbed once, then twice, and finally he moved to rest his head in his arms folded across his desk. Naoko straightened, smiling because she could now properly see the board.
She rubbed her sore neck with one hand and continued to work on the English problems Fujisaki-sensei handed out to them. Naoko jumped when the bell rang, the sudden loud ring startling her from her focused state.
"Kagami-kun," She blinked and looked at the occupied desk next to Kagami. A shorter guy with light blue hair and matching blue eyes gently shook Kagami's arm, waking the slumbering student. "It's time for our next class." With that, the blue haired boy stood up.
Kagami followed suit, yawning and giving a big stretch. Naoko noticed everyone was getting up and she suddenly remembered that the next class was Physical Education. Naoko thought, 'I almost forgot.' She quickly placed all her belongings in her bag and followed her class.
Once they arrived at the gymnasium, Naoko felt an unpleasant feeling settle in her stomach. She frowned slightly and watched as all the students pooled into the changing rooms with their gym uniform. The purple eyed girl brushed strands of hair from her face as she approached who she assumed was the physical education teacher, "Uhm, sensei?"
The teacher, a male, turned and peered down at her, raising an eyebrow. "Yes? Oh, are you the new student?" Naoko nodded, wetting her lips about to say something else, but the man continued speaking, "Just a moment, I'll get you a set of gym clothes. I nearly forgot because everyone was just using their set from first year."
As the teacher rambled on, Naoko followed after him, trying to cut him off, but she had no such luck. Finally, when he turned to her with her new gym uniform in hand, she cleared her throat. "Uhm!" She paused, lowering her voice because she saw the surprise splayed across the teachers face from her raised voice. "C- Can I maybe… not participate in gym class? I just–"
The man narrowed his eyes slightly, "Do you have a doctor's note?" He asked. Naoko shook her head. "Then I'm sorry, miss. But you'll have to participate like everyone else. If you have a serious illness or something then you should get a doctor's note." With that, he handed Naoko the gym uniform before stalking off.
The shorter girl pursed her lips in a pout and stared at the uniform before heading into the changing room. A few girls still lingered in there, talking among themselves. One of them paused and turned to Naoko, smiling. "Hey!" She greeted in a chipper voice.
Naoko looked up and smiled, "Hello." She replied politely. "Uhm, this may be a weird question, but do any of you have a hair tie I could borrow?" The brunette asked shyly, her cheeks tinting red.
"I do," The one who spoke to her stood up, walking over and handing her a pink hair tie. "Your name is Usami, right?" Naoko nodded.
"You could call me Naoko, if you want. I don't mind." In all honesty, Naoko really did not mind. "B- But you don't have to!" She quickly added, flushing despite herself.
The girl laughed, putting an arm around Naoko's shoulders, "You're adorable." She commented, ruffling Naoko's light brown hair. "You really are like a usagi."
"Usagi ja nai." Naoko gave her immediate response. She paused and looked up at the girl, who started giggling.
"I'm sorry, but you really are adorable." She outright started laughing, clutching her stomach as she did so. "I- I'm sorry," The girl stuttered out. "I'm really not making fun of you in a mean way, I swear." She tried to stifle her giggles, a wide smile on her face.
Naoko just watched the girl as she slowly pulled her brown hair back into a small ponytail. "It's all right." She responded with flushed cheeks. Naoko decided she did not mind anyone saying usagi to her if it was in a friendly, teasing kind of way.
The amethyst eyed girl decided to change the subject, "What is your name?" Naoko turned to look at the other girls, but quickly realized that they were gone. 'Must have left when we were talking…'
"I'm Himeyori Makoto!" Himeyori introduced herself, poking both her cheeks as she smiled widely. "Everyone just calls me Hime-chan, though." She flipped her long, rose-gold hair over her shoulder, puffing out her chest.
Naoko smiled, "Like a princess?" She asked as she stared at Himeyori's crystal-silver eyes.
Himeyori laughed, "Yup. Apparently I'm a royal pain." She winked, making Naoko smile.
"If Hime-chan is what you want me to call you, then I- I guess I can." Naoko stuttered out shyly, casting her gaze to the ground. She looked through her dark lashes, blinking as Himeyori cooed at her.
"You're seriously adorable, Nao-chan." Himeyori said as she pulled the shorter girl into a hug.
"N- Nao-chan?" Naoko flushed a darker shade of red as she cupped her cheeks from sudden the embarrassment. "Do- Does this make us f- friends?"
Himeyori squealed in adoration as she squeezed Naoko in her arms, nuzzling her head with her cheek. "A thousand times yes!" She replied, laughing happily.
Naoko's first day of her second year at a new school was a success, she thought. Aside from having to participate in gym, the rest of her classes proceeded with ease. She did not get called on by the teacher; most of the students cast her looks but otherwise ignored her, which she was grateful for. Naoko even managed to make a friend who she ate lunch with.
The second year quickly learned that Himeyori was a part of the choir club. Her loud voice was put to good use during club activities after school. She found that her friend had a beautiful voice and that she was not afraid to let it be heard. Himeyori tried to get Naoko to join, but Naoko refused because she did not have the courage to sing so openly in front of others.
It was simply in her nature to be shy and reserved. She was quiet; she liked to be alone as she hated big groups, and she hated conflict and cried fairly easily. Naoko grew up in solitude, her parents always busy with work and with no siblings to be around.
She lived by herself now, but when she was younger, she stayed with her grandparents who were proper and respectful. They rubbed off on her when she was a child, always being polite and using her manners, she never went outside much to play like most children did. Naoko preferred to stay indoors and read, paint, and make stories. Now older and not wanting to trouble her grandparents any further, she moved to the city and got her own place.
With the help of her parents who were currently in Russia for business, of course. However, Naoko was determined to find a job and be able to support herself. She wanted to be more independent, and her parents were proud of her for it.
This brought Naoko to her current location, after school.
The light brown haired girl stood outside of a fast-food restaurant, a small frown on her face. The fast-food place was definitely not on her choice of places she would like to work, but every other place she visited were either not hiring at the moment or they turned her away because she was too young or inexperienced for the job.
So when Naoko saw the big sign with the word 'Hiring Part-timer!' on it, she stopped in her tracks. She weighed her options and debated on the job. Eventually, her determination won her over so Naoko stepped through the doors and felt her eye twitch from the sudden waft of burgers and fries. She held back a shudder and walked up to the counter, putting her best smile on.
"Excuse me," She called the attention of the woman on the other side of the till. The woman turned to her and smiled.
"Welcome to Maji Burger! Would you like to try our new special?"
Naoko, suddenly overwhelmed by the woman's enthusiasm, took a step back. "U- Uhm, no thank you." She spoke, stuttering slightly. "I was wondering if I could talk to your manager because I saw that you were hiring." She changed the subject, revealing her true objective.
The knowing look on the worker's face dawned and she nodded after a moment, the same cheery smile back on her face, "Yes, of course! I'll be right back." The worker left and Naoko stood there patiently, taking slow, deep breaths in.
She nearly jumped from her skin when the door slammed open, a rowdy group of college students coming inside. Naoko looked away and chose to stand off to the side as they neared the counter. Another worker greeted them and they all began to order in loud, obnoxious voices. Naoko resisted the urge to roll her eyes and she was glad she did because the woman came back, with who Naoko assumed was the manager, in tow.
"Hello, I'm Fukatomi Natsuki, the manager." The older man had a glint in his eyes that made the hairs on Naoko's neck rise. She smiled despite herself and bowed politely to the middle-aged man.
"Usami Naoko." She introduced herself, making sure to speak up so he could hear her.
"Ayane-chan told me that you were interested in joining our team!" The manager smiled down at her, making Naoko's skin crawl briefly. She nodded, and he laughed.
One of the college boys from earlier shouted something to another and they all started laughing, making the manager's smile turn into a scowl. "Boys." He shook his head. "Let's head into my office where we can talk in peace and quiet." The man motioned for Naoko to follow. She was hesitant, but looking back at the boys, she nodded.
The worker, whose name was Ayane, spared her a look before she went back to minding the till.
Naoko walked into the manager's office and looked around, seeing it was like any other office, albeit more spacious than what she has seen in movies. Her attention went back to the man as he offered her a seat. She thanked him and sat down, while he took a seat behind his desk. "Now, what are you looking for in this job?" He asked, linking his fingers as he stared at her.
"Well, I want to start working so I can support myself fully. My parents are always travelling because of their work and now I'm living on my own." Naoko briefly wondered if she was giving too much personal information, but pushed the thought aside because it was the truth, after all. "I'm not really sure what position I'd be good at, though." She added in truthfully.
The manager hummed, "Are you good at cooking? I mean, fast-food is easier than making an entire home cooked meal, but the skill is good to have. You could be a dishwasher, it doesn't require much communicating with other people." He smiled.
Naoko flushed, feeling as if the manager has already seen through her problems. "I'm sorry." She apologized. He shook his head. "I'm good with cooking and cleaning." She confirmed.
"Good." He nodded. "As we are looking for someone desperately, since one of our team members left without much word, I could give you a trial run." The man offered, making Naoko's eyes brighten.
"Really?" She asked, sounding hopeful.
The manager laughed, "Really." He responded. "How about now?"
"You're free now?"
"O- Oh, yes." Naoko nodded, standing up as the manager motioned for her to follow him. "Am I doing the trial now?" She winced when he was not looking her way. 'This is so sudden… Now I'm nervous.'
The manager walked into what appeared to be the employee's lounge. There were lockers off to the side and two bathrooms, one for the girls and one for the boys. The middle was a long table with multiple seats surrounding it. Fukatomi turned to Naoko and handed her a clear package which contained the Maji Burger uniform inside. "See how this fits." He smiled down at her.
Naoko looked at the uniform and back at the manager. "O- Okay." She went into the bathroom and changed quickly, making sure everything was in place before coming back out. The manager eyed her while rubbing his chin. She looked away, feeling awkward.
"That'll do." He spoke, offering a smile. "Here is a hair net. You'll need to put your hair up to work in the kitchen, okay?" Naoko nodded. "Now that everything is out of the way, come into the kitchen soon and I'll introduce you to everyone."
Naoko nodded and he left. She looked at her reflection and wrapped her arms around herself, wishing she had not come here. Naoko just wanted to work somewhere better suited to her personality.
She sighed to herself and put her school bag and uniform into an empty locker. She closed it and left the lounge area, walking back through the hall and back into the restaurant. Naoko could still see the rowdy group of students seated in the far corner, but she ignored them as she shyly stepped into the kitchen area located behind the counters.
The manager was talking to the people currently present and she slowly walked up, a wave of shyness washing through her body. "This is Usami Naoko; she's going to be here on a trial basis for today. Please treat her kindly." The manager introduced her and Naoko bowed respectfully.
"It's nice to meet you." She added in. She noticed the woman from before, Ayane. The worker stared at her for a moment before smiling in return. Another guy who worked at the till greeted her as did the three who were working in the kitchen.
"Where is that brat?" Fukatomi asked in a gruff voice as he looked at his staff.
One of the cooks in the back waved his tongs in the air, "That guy said he'd be late today."
"That's right." Fukatomi sighed. "Well, be sure to introduce him to Naoko-chan when he gets here. I want her to learn from him."
The guy with tongs laughed, "Why? We not good enough?" He joked, causing the others to laugh along with him.
The manager cracked a smile and shook his head, "You know what I mean, Kenta." With that, Fukatomi excused himself and disappeared, leaving Naoko with the staff members.
She was silent, eyes wide. 'Is this okay? I thought he was going to observe me or something…' The soft, amethyst eyed girl was about to say something but the guy patted her on the back.
"Congratulations," He said with a grin.
Naoko furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "If he's leaving you here with us, then you're probably already hired." He grinned.
"I'm Yukimura Kenta, by the way, a college student who desperately needs to make money to pay for all his school fees." Yukimura sighed, squeezing his tongs. He brushed silvery strands of hair from his face, closing his eyes to hide his crystal grey orbs. Just then, the girl elbowed him playfully, making him yelp.
"You mean, make money for all those outrageous parties you throw." She corrected, smirking as Yukimura pouted at her. The girl, with soft blond hair and gem-like red eyes turned to Naoko and gave her a smile, which Naoko thought looked sadden for a split-second. "I'm Akibara Ayane."
Naoko quickly learned the names of everyone present; Yukimura Kenta, Akibara Ayane, Endo Chisato, Ichihara Matsuda, and Kurisu Junko. They were still waiting on another guy, but she was told that he was going to be late.
Endo, Ichihara, and Kurisu all worked in the back while Yukimura and Akibara attended the registers and took orders. Of course, over time they could all switch if needed, but they preferred to like their current positions.
Kurisu, a young woman with soft purple hair and dazzling sea-green eyes was one of the main workers. She had worked at Maji Burger for a while and enjoyed to be in control over the salads and desserts. Endo, a young man with dark brown hair and matching brown eyes liked to deal mostly with deep frying things. He occasionally worked the grill but he said he preferred the sound of hot oil better.
Naoko made a confused face but nodded either way. Ichihara was just a year older than Naoko herself and he was a dishwasher. He had black hair that almost had a hint of blue in it under the light and blue eyes that looked like the night sky.
Apparently he did not talk much, as well.
As Naoko became accustomed to the way things went at Maji Burger, she discovered that using the deep fryer and managing the grill was quiet easy. On a slow night, that is. She was also good at being a dishwasher since she had a photographic memory of where everything went.
Naoko found that maybe working at a fast-food restaurant would not be so bad, after all. She smiled at the idea but her smile turned into a neutral expression when she felt a tap on her shoulder.
It was Akibara, and she had a smile on her face. "Now that the smart ass is finally here, I shall introduce you to him!" The woman pulled Naoko to the employee's lounge and knocked on the door.
"Are you decent in there?" She asked jokingly.
"Wha- Obviously I am, Akibara-s- San!" The embarrassed reply came. Naoko raised her eyebrow, finding the voice to sound a tad familiar. She shook the thought from her head and followed Akibara inside the lounge.
"Naoko-chan, this is Kagami Taiga!" The smile on Naoko's face dropped as she stared at the familiar red-head from her class. "Kagami, this is Usami Naoko."
Kagami, who was just finishing putting on his apron, turned around and met Naoko's soft colored eyes. He blinked and a look of surprise covered his face, "Ah!" He pointed at her, and Naoko frowned, finding it quite rude.
"You're that new girl, right? Right?"
"Y- Yes." She replied, confirming his demanding question. She looked away with her lips pressed into a frown, and Kagami looked confused.
Kagami looked at Akibara, who looked as confused as he did, and she shrugged. "Anyway, the manager wanted me to introduce you two. He said he wanted Naoko-chan to learn under you, so try to teach her some good stuff, Kagami!"
Kagami nodded slowly, giving Naoko an odd look. "Hey… Wasn't your name Usagi, or something?"
Naoko's annoyance flared as she pouted, "Usagi ja nai."
I don't care; I (already) ship it! They need a couple name… KagaSumi? I kind of like it. 8D Another birthday present to myself, I hope you all enjoy!