Don't Own Oregairu
Chapter 8: H for Hesitance
A sun was setting, leaking rays slowly finding their way back to a safe haven. Shadows loomed and crawled, sinking their cold claws into cemented structures and metal framework. Windows reflected back a dark truth, empty stairways led down a forbidden path and vacant hallways traded secrets for lies. A clock ticked, his heart beat and her heart stopped. Nothing for everything was a price. He paid, she suffered and collecting back fallen pieces was left due. A moment of weakness, a soothing touch, a small comfort and a promise to watch many sunsets together, was their humble beginning. Yet here they were, breaking their promises, coming undone and moments away from confrontation. Everything said today would be remembered forever, nothing once said could be taken back and unfortunately solving problems through talking was never a strong suit for both these individuals. One tried, one failed yet both lost.
Hikigaya Hachiman was moving forward, inching closer and he would have completely reduced this distance between them unless Hiratsuka Shizuka had not stopped him from coming any closer to her by gently placing both of her hands on his chest.
He flinched at her gentle touch and took a couple of steps back yet he did not completely retreat from her side. He was looking at her and waiting for her to justify her actions and he was completely prepared to wait hours upon hours until he had heard a proper reason from her.
"Hikigaya, go away"
When these words had left her mouth Hiratsuka Shizuka had been looking straight at him with an unwavering gaze which bore into him and promised many violent and murderous intentions. Hikigaya Hachiman was upset and shocked but there was no time to be afraid when everything was swiftly slipping away from his grasp. Trying, trying harder, he mustered up his courage and made them churn out from his mouth in a small and pleading voice.
Hikigaya Hachiman took a tentative step and he cursed himself for making her turn into a cornered animal. Trying her utmost best to melt into these growing shadows, Hiratsuka Shizuka had taken a defensive stance and placed him in a situation he was hating more and more but he was already realising he could live with hating himself now but not with hating her forever. Yet she was adamant on making him hate her and she had clearly learned a lot from his very own methods to make this approach more amenable to her own surrounding.
"Stand back Hikigaya! Don't come any closer"
Hearing her voice made him feel extremely guilty and he immediately halted his progress and kept a small, respectable distance between both of them which was slowly becoming a large abyss due to their own respective self destructive tendencies.
"I'm sorry sensei."
"Good. Apology accepted. Now turn around and leave."
Simple instructions like these could have been easy to follow for a rotten person like him but for once he decided to strengthen his resolve and refuse to take a step back. Hikigaya Hachiman was very much aware he was slowly crawling into a dangerous situation and a sudden confrontation with her was becoming rather natural in this turn of events but this time around he wanted to speak his mind. He was scared and afraid but he did not want to call himself a coward on a later date when he regretted his own choices and decision which could be traced back to this particular instance.
"I cannot do that" he stated calmly in a hollow voice, "Not after everything that happened, not after everything I said and everything you saw" his voice was barely audible and she had to strain her ears to listen to him speak, "Not today. Please, not today."
Hiratsuka Shizuka heard his sorrowful pleadings and his grief-stricken begging. Her heart ached for him, she wanted to reach out and comfort him, hold him and relieve him of his despair and misery.
But she was resolute to act solely on principle and she was trying in vain to stop herself from hurting him any further, despite knowing there was no other way to make herself appear cold, heartless and ruthless without making him hate her even more, much to her eternal shame.
Making him feel uncomfortable by throwing blind accusations over his grossly misunderstood and often mistaken personality, proved to be essential in making him reconsider his stance over them and their ever changing relationship, which was about to take a turn for the worst due to her own duplicitous notions and misguided fears.
"Then what do plan to do?" she asked scathingly, "Tell me Hikigaya are you thinking about forcing yourself on me?"
Watching him reel back in complete disbelief upon hearing such lies, seeing him utterly fail in masking his expressionless face and looking at those pair of rotten dead fish eyes, flash with an unspeakable pain, made Hiratsuka Shizuka feel ashamed of herself. This was her lowest moment and sadly it was far from over.
By now she expected him to call her a liar but Hikigaya Hachiman never even muttered a word to defend himself. He simply placed both his arms stiffly by his sides for her blatant perusal and allowed himself a small retreat of a single step.
"I'm sorry if I gave you that impression, sensei", he mumbled, "But you have my word, I won't touch you without your permission." he promised, "I just want to talk. I have a lot of things on my chest and if I don't take some of this weight off of me, then I will- I will…" he sighed in defeat, "I am not nearly strong enough to put you behind me as well."
Only at a moment of crisis did Hiratsuka Shizuka get to hear these touching words from Hikigaya Hachiman. There was neither nothing concrete nor any confirmation but like her he was at his wits end and stringing words together was slowly turning into a losing struggle.
But she would not be giving him a chance to make him change her mind and fixing him with a fierce gaze was enough to let him know of this drawn out skirmish where both were destined to never win.
"I'm don't want to talk!" she said, "I have heard enough. You are a masochistic piece of shit that loves to hurt himself and everyone else around you who made the horrible mistake of giving two shits about your sorry excuse of a life" She gave a cruel laugh to hide her own disgust at herself for spewing these lies, "Those three girls loved you, they opened their hearts to you, risked everything for you and what did you do?" she allowed this brutal question to linger for a moment before giving him a nasty reply, "You humiliated them! You stomped on their feelings like a psychotic nut job! You ripped their hearts and spat on their face!" Her breathing had grown ragged but Hiratsuka Shizuka was not yet finished from smearing his seldom mistaken disposition and hence one final nail was needed in this proverbial coffin which might have been another failed relationship, "You disgust me, Hikigaya Hachiman! You are the lowest piece of scum to walk on the face of this earth and I don't give a damn about what you do with your life from here on." She took a step towards him to show-off her false bravado but unfortunately he never took a step back from her. This only proved to lessen their physical distance although mentally she expected him to be scared for life from her venomous vocal assault, "I will say this again Hikigaya." She snarled, "Leave! Leave now! And never come back!" she threatened him but he remained unabashed. Hikigaya Hachiman never even blinked, "From now on I will be just another sensei for you and you will be just another student for me" she gave a deep sigh, "Like it should have been from the very beginning. Nothing changed! Nothing should have changed!" She looked at him from beneath her eyelid which were growing heavy with sorrow, "You hate change right Hikigaya?" she asked dryly but there was no response from him.
Hiratsuka Shizuka hated his silence more than anything.
She wanted him to scream at her but it seemed Hikigaya Hachiman was actually listening to her words and thinking them over like a rational and sensible person.
This was not a time for being logical and reasonable!
Hiratsuka Shizuka was becoming the prime example of being irrational and illogical before his own dead fish eyes but yet he was staring at her like she was reciting a sermon about nothing except the absolute truth about him and his entire existence. She wanted him to hate her yet like always he was not making this easy, neither for him nor for her.
At this rate she would end up on her knees and crying her eyes out. But there was hope for him to change his mind and until then she would continue her verbal assault on him even if she ended up stabbing her own tongue for saying this fake claims to malign his character, "Answer the damn question Hikigaya!" she snapped, "You hate change, right? Yes or no"
"…Yes" he took a step forward, "I hate change"
"Then hate me!" She shouted, "Nothing like this would have happened if you were your old uninvolved self." She took a step forward to emphasis her point, "I forced you into joining the service club." He took a step forward but she ignored his advances, "I pressurized you into solving outrageous requests by bringing students incapable of handling their own stupid problems." Her purple gaze met his dead fish eyes but there was no sign of remorse reflecting back from them. Yet she kept her hope alive on making him repulsed of her hypocritical existence, "I turned a blind eye to the methods you used to get the job done." She said next, "I offered no help, no guidance to any of the requests that came into the service club even when I was the club advisor. I left everything for you and your club mates when I should have been more involved in your club activities" her voice broke, "I watched you hurt yourself. Debase yourself. Not once but twice. And what did I do after watching you suffer?" Her voice sounded hollow, "Nothing! Absolutely nothing!" Her body shook in revulsion over her own indifference, "I am a shitty teacher Hikigaya. I set a bad example for all of my students." Her angry words sounded more like a weak request, "Hate me Hikigaya! Please hate me!"
"…I can never hate you sensei" He said firmly
"Why not?" she asked in disbelief
"Because I care about you sensei"
She scoffed and lied "Funny! I don't care about you Hikigaya! Not one bit!"
"I love you"
"I don't lov-"
After everything Hiratsuka Shizuka did, after everything she said, after every venomous words and false accusations, these last few words refused to leave her mouth. Technically speaking, Hikigaya Hachiman had never conveyed his feelings to her in a manner which could be misconstrued by her into sounding like a proper confession.
On one certain occasion he had said to her that he liked her company but apart from that particular piece of uninteresting trivia there had never been any mutual reciprocation of feelings.
Until today, there had never been a need to directly address their implicit attraction for one another.
But desperation was beginning to settle in and even his first admission of love for her was ruined by their miserable circumstances of life.
One more lie, one final lie and her efforts would have finally bore fruit for her hard labour. But she faltered, lost her train of thought and sadly lost to him.
But she made another attempt to redeem herself.
"I don't love you" she said.
He actually smirked at her complete failure to make her claim sound anywhere near believable, "You don't love who?" he asked, "I didn't hear a name." he teased her, "For all I know you could be talking to the wind or an imaginary friend."
"I don't need imaginary friends Hikigaya" she used his comment against him, "Unlike you I didn't lose all my friends in a single day."
"I know" he agreed solemnly, "I lost them today. Maybe forever" he took a step further and this time around she took a step back. He sighed in discomfort but allowed her a modicum of respect and stopped any further advances upon her. His words spoke of his foreseeable regret, "But I am trying my best not to lose anymore" He took a step back and she relaxed, "I don't want to lose you."
She sneered, "You never had me to begin with"
"I know" he said, "And I am trying to change that."
A cruel and unforgiveable allegation spat forcibly from her vile mouth and she wanted nothing but to kill herself for even imagining this perverse scenario, let alone saying this to him, to his face, while knowing far too well that he would never commit such a heinous act on any women despite given countless opportunities. But Hiratsuka Shizuka was not trying to play fair today and now she was trying a different approach by putting words in his mouth and taking advantage of his poor choice of words.
"You never had me and now you are trying to change that" she sneered and gave him an evil smile, "Tell me Hikigaya, how do you plan on changing that?" she asked mockingly while moving further back until her back was braced against the farthest wall. Now she was completely swallowed by these ever growing shadows and he was left alone in this fleeting light, "Are you planning to rape me?" she gasped in farcical horror, "You are, aren't you?" she plastered her body contemptuously against this unyielding wall and narrated an outrageous scenarios, solely to get a rise out of him, "You plan to rape me! Against this wall! Fuck my brains out! Is that your plan Hikigaya?"
Distracted by her disgraceful antics, troubled by her own depiction of tragedy and agitated by her own words, she never noticed him taking a couple of hurried steps which caged her in, between him and this wall, that was making her grow weak and anxious of this visceral outcome.
Hikigaya Hachiman never touched her, both his arms were shaking violently in suppressed agitation but they never left from his sides. Only his eyes showed his inner turmoil, his slipping control, his building rage and yet he refused to resort to any physical acts to defend his tarnished honour by her baseless claims. But he did lower his mouth near her ear to whisper one feeble question.
"Do you really think I will do that?"
Hiratsuka Shizuka looked away, unable to lie yet unable to say the truth. She was making him ask such a question which should never have even entered his mind. All of this was her own fault and she would take full responsibility for it one day. But unfortunately that day was not today. She wanted to tell him to move away from her but then another ploy to make him be repulsed of her formed in her mind and she slowly began her lies with another simple truth.
"No you can't" she said mockingly and then she gave a cruel "But then what can you do?" she asked with a scoff, "Have you ever been in a relationship before? No you haven't! Have you ever had sex? No you haven't!" she sneered at him "You are just a pervy virgin!" she cursed. She lowered her eyes and looked at her heels while a self depreciating smile appeared on her crestfallen face, "But me? I am a different story altogether" she muttered more to herself than anyone else in particular, "I have had a horrible bad luck when it comes to men, I don't even think I had been in a stable relationship before and if by some twist of fate I do get involved with someone and things start to get serious, I always find a way to screw everything up!" she almost yelled, "It's always my fault! My fault!" she shouted before her voice faded into nothingness, "I am nothing but a two-bit slut!"
"Don't say that!" he protested, "Don't. Just don't say that about yourself."
Hikigaya Hachiman never took any offense to anything Hiratsuka Shizuka said up until now but she was slightly shocked to find him taking offense at her own attempts to insult herself in a self depreciating manner. After everything she did, he still wanted to place her in a higher pedestal than him. He still wanted to stop her from self abuse and mental harm even though she had done nothing except rebuke his every action on this very day. As expected she was always confused by him yet she persisted.
"Why not?" She chuckled drily, "It's the truth!" she stated "Tell me Hikigaya, did you really think I was just a sweet and innocent little girl like Yukinoshita or Yuigahama or Isshiki" she mentioned all their names to provide him with a healthy dose of clarity, "Clearly you are not that stupid!" She mocked him, "Go back to them Hikigaya and leave me like I am. Please!" She looked up at him with pleading eyes, "This is for the best. Believe me."
Hikigaya Hachiman proved to be selfish today and he acted only for his own self interest. He needed to say a few words to convey his feelings and make sure she would believe his faith in her and put her trust in him and his own judgment. After thinking for a moment, he said one word.
Hiratsuka Shizuka looked livid and angry enough to kill him but he never budged from his position. However he was careful enough not to touch her without her permission even though at this moment he wanted nothing but to comfort her with a warm hug. Unfortunately nothing naïve like a hug could ever solve this growing tension between them.
Hiratsuka Shizuka kept her voice low but there was no doubt in both their minds that her question was nothing if not an ultimatum.
Now everything was upto her and she realised if she told him to move, he certainly would, but then the very next day or the day after that or the next week at best, he would be back on her trail and if this chaotic cycle continued any longer, then she would not be capable from stopping herself to let go off her weak resolve and then she would end up showing him a time he would continue to remember for the rest of his mortal life.
However despite how much she wanted that to be her reality that simply could not happen.
Previously he needed a person to show him affection and comfort at his time of need and unwittingly she choose to be that person for him. He was not looking for much and he was always aware of their boundaries. Their so called orthodox 'student-teacher relationship' was always on his mind and he had been more careful of their meetings and interactions than she herself had been at times but most of all he always found a way to keep her from getting into trouble even if that meant putting himself in the shadows for her sake more than once.
But now he could have a stable and healthy relationship with someone his own age which would be far more compatible and functional then whatever they were trying to have at this moment. Hence she mentally patted herself in the back and told herself that she was doing the right thing and one day he would thank her for letting him go before it was too late for him.
There had to be another way to make him be revolted of her, to make him realise she was not the kind of woman he should be with and when she finally realised how low she had to stoop to accomplish her goal, her body gave an involuntary shudder in absolute disgust and shame.
But there was no other way and hence this had to be done.
Only for his sake
"…Kiss me" she said
Hikigaya Hachiman looked at her lips after she had uttered those very words and they indeed looked very inviting and he was almost enticed into fulfilling her request by his newfound curiosity to discover her taste.
But he hesitated for a moment to long and ended up providing Hiratsuka Shizuka with the opportunity to mercilessly taunt him for his inaction.
"What happened Hikigaya?" she asked evilly "Are you chickening out? You have me right where you want, caged in, up against a wall and I even gave you permission to have your way with me. C'mon! Kiss me!" she seethes, "I dare you!" her voice grows poisonously sweet, "Or are you just not man enough to take what you want"
"I am not that kind of man!" he retorts, "I promised I will not force myself on you!"
"Too bad!" she leered, "That's the kind of man I like."
"You are lying!" he snaps.
"No this is who I am!" she shouts, "You are just seeing the real me for the first time" she gave him a mockingly sweet pout, "What happened? Don't you want to kiss me? Am I not slutty enough for you?"
"Stop what? C'mon you stupid brat! This is what you want. Kiss me! Kiss-"
A sloppy set of thin lips dropped hastily upon her plum pair, shunning her words back down her throat and a loud gasp escaped from her tightly sealed mouth. An amateur at work, trying his best and failing miserably, but he exceeded her expectations by every passing second by even allowing himself to act in this reckless fashion upon getting goaded by her provocative words. But now he was a moment too late and he had been made aware of it by his own hesitance and uncertainties. But he was adamant and now there was nothing he could do but embarrass himself further by pressing his inexperienced lips upon her in a presumably passionate kiss which would have made her more responsive to her. He brushed her lower lips gently, almost tickling her by its tentativeness and then he flicked her upper lips in a harsh swat of suppressed fervour. Everything which he could possibly do wrong, he was doing wrong and yet none of them was by design. When he was almost about to give up, it was then that, she overcame her shock or revulsion of him, he did not know, and somehow found it in herself to part her lips and allow him to have his tongue graciously enter her open mouth. Nervous in anticipation and fearing the worst, he was unable to completely appreciate her sweet and tangy taste and savour this small piece of heaven which he never imagined to have in his arms at this moment after everything that happened today. But he was not about to think about that when he felt her suddenly returning his show of amateur affection by kissing him back with equal fervour. He tried to respond in kind but he was out of his depths and he could only duplicate her actions in a very immature manner. Swirling tongues, touching lips and tasting delight for minutes was a fine way to end his day. Even while kissing he was aware of his posture which was very strange indeed. As promised he kept his hands to himself, right by his side, even though they were certainly breaking his promise by every timid exploration of their mouth. She was clearly an expert in this act of kissing and he was just taking a back seat and enjoying himself.
But then he felt a wet sensation on his cheeks and a salty taste near his mouth and suddenly he opened his eyes which had been shut in pure bliss during this intimate act. However upon opening his eyes he saw a horrid truth which made him grow anxious and troubled:
Hiratsuka Shizuka was crying, a steady stream of tears were leaking from her eyes and crawling down her cheeks. Once again he hurt her, he made her cry. He broke their kiss, withdrew his lips and slowly lifted a hand to caress her face.
Hiratsuka Shizuka brought her hands up in front of her and suddenly pushed him back with all her might and taken aback by her action Hikigaya Hachiman could not stop himself from stumbling back. Once again there was an unbearable distance between them which refused to melt away in this lounging sunset. He looked confused at her slowly forming sadistic smile which contrasted horribly with her fresh tears but it was her comments which stunned him the most.
"Fucking amateurs!" she cursed for only him to hear.
Hikigaya Hachiman reached forward to grab hold of her hand and it was then when she was finally proven successful in her tedious efforts. At the end it was quite a harmless accusation which did the trick for him but it had to be uttered in a perfect voice with an overall appalled expression which would reflect on her actions.
Hiratsuka Shizuka swatted his hand away and said one last hurtful thing.
"Get away from me!" She shouted "You hentai!"
As expected Hikigaya Hachiman lowered his hand and took a couple of steps back. Finally he was unable to look at her teary face and bowed as lowly as he could without grovelling before her and replied in a shaky solemn voice.
"You have my humblest of apologies Hiratsuka Shizuka-sensei." He said clearly emphasising every word and paying respect to her title, "I am extremely ashamed of my actions."
A few more rays of the sun glossed away from this empty structure and with those Hikigaya Hachiman turned around and swiftly walked away from this vacant corridor, leaving Hiratsuka Shizuka to congratulate herself on her own on this great victory.
Like she said to him, this was her fault and she was the one who screwed it up but at least this happened now instead of in the future where there would be more lasting regrets. Taking a deep sigh, she started to wipe away her tears.
She knew she would cry when this was over.
Finally, she decided to relax her tensed nerves and took out her trusty lighter. She was about to light a cigarette and put it between her lips when her dainty fingers brushed across said lips and in an instant she was reminded of the kiss she shared with her one and only dead fished eyed student.
She wanted to be unresponsive to his kiss from the very beginning until he gave up but as expected he persisted and kept latched onto her and slowly but steadily she gave into her own hunger and was moments away from devouring him completely when her inner senses kicked in and she began to silently weep upon realising what she had planned to do next which would completely destroy this small and fleeting moment of absolute pleasure.
But she did what needed to be done and she was finally able to push him away from her much to her ever loving shame and displeasure. Now he would never come back to her and she would be left, forever miserable, wasting her life away on drinks and cigarettes.
But right now she was incapable of smoking anymore.
She wanted to savour his taste into her memory for a bit longer and keep them safe from these toxic fumes which would consume her on a daily basis and on this firm note she tossed away her cigarette without any hesitance whatsoever.
"Ya look like shit"
Hikigaya Hachiman turned around and saw one of his classmates. She had long blueish hair and a beauty spot under her right eye but for the life of him he could not remember her name for some reason. Hence he went with the indifferent approach and acknowledged her statement with a small nod.
"Did something happen to ya?" she asked again "Coz ya look pretty out of it Hikigaya."
"Do I now?" he asked tersely.
"Yah!" she replied coolly, "Ya are kinda in the middle of trying to unlock my bicycle with your keys. I don't know what to think about that. That's why I'm asking." Her voice lowered, "Are ya alright Hikigaya?"
Hikigaya Hachiman looked at the bicycle he was trying to unlock for the past fifteen minutes and suddenly his rotten brain began to function properly and his dead fish eyes began to search for his own bicycle. After a moment he found it a few rows down and he slowly began to move towards it while leaving his classmate to attend to her own bicycle. He should have kept his mouth shut like he usually did to avoid any conversation but his mouth opened on its own accord and slipped pass a small sentence.
"I am fine" he said, "Thank for asking Saki"
After unlocking his bicycle he looked at her and found her cheeks red. If he didn't know any better he would have said she was blushing.
"Are you alright Saki?" this time he was the one to ask.
"I'-I'm f-fine" she stammered, "It's just ya always mess up my name, that's all."
"Oh!" he exclaimed "Did I say your name wrong?" he asked.
"No" Kawasaki Saki shook her head, "Ya just kinda used my first name."
Once again Hikigaya Hachiman bowed his head to apologize.
Today had been a sorry day for him.
He had apologized to his kohai, to his nice service club mate, to his service club president and to his homeroom teacher. He was unsure of even saying their names in his mind at present but safe to say this had been a very bad day for him and now he would be apologizing to one of his classmates for his extremely rude behaviour.
"I am so sorry" he didn't say her name. He couldn't remember it anyway and it was safe to practice caution on his end.
"Ah! No need to apologize" she said, "I don't mind" she paused before adding slowly, "H-H-achiman"
Hikigaya Hachiman knew where this was heading now. He had three examples from today to back him up but compared to those three girls this girl- he would call her Saki in his mind at least until he catches her last name- was not trying to react on his happiness and ruin it but instead she was trying to comfort him from his sadness.
…she was like her, he dared to think.
"Hey, you want to go home together?" he asked aloud. She could refuse him now and save him from his rising hackles but life never took pity on his misery.
"A-alright" Kawasaki Saki replied clumsily.
After having been denied heaven and after getting wrongfully accused of being a hentai, with a heavy heart and a slight bit of hesitance, one Hikigaya Hachiman cursed himself into the deepest pits of hell to enjoy a hungry feast with a monster of logic.
H for Hesitance was provided by Restraint.
Other ideas used include:
Heaven by jam99chgo
Hunger by xTaniko
Heavy by casvalo03o
Hentai by Fanfic Critic
Ok, hope everyone enjoyed the chapter. (Evil smile)
Leave lots and lots of reviews follow and fave.
Might possibly betray your dreams
PS- I'm going on a conquest to vanquish the demons called exams. So wish me luck and please forgive me in advance for not updating any more of my fics.