OHMIGOSH, SIR SLEEPS-A-LOT IS ALIVE!?
As luck would have it, yeah... I am still alive... honestly, I've kinda been silent on here for a while, save for reviews, but that is mostly because I haven't really been writing... partially due to lack of time, and partially because my brain keeps flipping from idea to idea, and I know a lot of people will have my head, but... I still haven't gotten any further with DMT and Overboard *squeezes eyes shut*
I'm so sorry! :'(
Though this actually doesn't mean that I haven't written anything over the last year... I just write whatever I'm in the mood for, and that does change... for instance, I have 2 longer projects and a couple of one-shots, which I hope to post here over time. I'll talk more about that in the ending author's note, if anyone wants to read that.
This one you've opened now is one of them, which is a birthday present for a friend and fellow Kaminomi writer, Xellos540. I'm pretty sure no one is surprised after looking at the pairing for this story :P
That being said, this was actually supposed to be a one-shot, which, as usual, was overblown by my brain, and now is actually seven chapters (plus an epilogue)... I say this because I've finally completed this, about half a year later than his actual birthday... which I'd also apologise for, if I didn't have enough to apologise for already.
Though nevermind... onto the story.
The girl featured in this story is Tooru Amami, one of the heroines from the light novel, and probably one of the most underrated heroines of this series...
I was honestly very reluctant to read the light novels, due to their crappy English translation, but it was Xellos who convinced me to give it a try, and I discovered that I really did like it... Tooru and Asami from the first novel were very deep and nuanced girls, who deserve the love the girls from the manga get... so I figured I'd try spreading the love and make a precious friend happy at the same time...
That being said, I don't think you actually have to have read the novel to enjoy this story... I definitely thinks it helps, and you'll probably appreciate some of the references, but even outside that, it doesn't require prior knowledge, as I'll explain anything when it happens... I just hope I do it better than Season 3 did with the other Goddess Hosts...
but yeah... the fact that this was supposed to be a one-shot just kind of speaks of the restraint I have while writing *sweatdrops*
In any case, thank you to anyone who checks this out and reads my rambling. I hope you enjoy this story, and hopefully give the novels a try.
The world is a big place… white candy floss clouds partially obscure deep blue seas and green-brown continents, and it's honestly beautiful…
But this story isn't about the world… it's about a girl and a boy… as you can imagine, it requires a lot of zooming… first over to Asia, the largest continent… then to the little batch of islands on the east… then over the small city of Maijima… then to a lesser known park with a reputation so small that it barely crops up on GPS… then under the second biggest tree in the park, where our girl is sitting, certainly gaining a few looks from the people around her.
Though that might be from the jester hat she had on her head… though she knew well enough that even if she hadn't been wearing that, she would have gotten looks.
For Amami Tooru, stares were the order of the day… between her platinum blonde hair and rocking body, she would gain looks regardless… at least the fluffy, four-pronged jester hat meant that the looks were more from amazement, rather than from lecherous perverts.
It was the strategy she'd devised… her strange appearance would deter any guys from approaching her, and if they did, she always had a character she could fall to so she could be even more of a turn-off for that one persistent guy who wouldn't take a hint.
But that thought wasn't really on her mind… she'd almost forgotten about her ridiculous headgear, and was lost in this book she was reading. She couldn't explain it, considering it was a kid's book… and it was in English, nonetheless… normally something like this would never appeal to her, but somehow, the simplistic stories and wise but short lessons were really to her liking.
She let out a delighted squeal as she finished the next story, hugging the book to her chest.
Man, who would have thought that Aesop's Fables would be so good! Suddenly, something occurred to her.
Oh shit, she lost her page…
As she hastily threw the book open, trying to look for the pages which might look disturbed, a set of eyes rose from a screen and fell on her. He was just a passer-by who had been alarmed by her voice… till recognition hit him.
It was Tooru…
The boy, Katsuragi Keima, had known her some eight months ago… the reason he could say with certainty that she wouldn't recognise him was because she'd forgotten about that time period that the Loose Spirit had possessed her. It was pretty rare for him to come across his old conquests, even at school… and it was probably the second time for him to meet any of the girls who didn't actually go to the same high school as him.
But never mind that… she looked well… definitely more cheerful than the last time he'd encountered her… she hadn't been depressed, but rather, bemused at the fact that he'd randomly showed up in her room and kissed her.
Keima found himself smiling fondly… her issue was fairly complex, but it had been easier than some of the other romances he'd experienced since then… he'd actually been a little worried about her, considering he couldn't really do anything about her overbearing parents… still, by the looks of it, the gap he'd filled with love hadn't emptied since then, even if she didn't love him anymore.
Still, to see her all the way out here… she was in her school uniform, which was a rich private school on the other side of Maijima, so this was definitely odd and unexpected…
And reading, nonetheless… that felt more like a Shiori thing to do.
Keima continued walking and playing, but his thoughts weren't in the game anymore… he usually got like that after running into a conquest he hadn't seen in a while… especially because he had no reason to talk to the girl, even though a small part of him wanted to…
Just, the chances of him walking into her like this was almost certainly not going to happen again… if he wanted to talk to her, he should do it now…
But he wasn't supposed to involve himself in those girls' lives again…
And getting himself needlessly involved would just end up becoming annoying for him…
But he was still wanted to know why she was wearing that hat…
After making three circles around the inner part of the park, while only having moved through a couple of screens of dialogue, Keima put his foot down and left, feeling more socially awkward than he had in a long time… he'd say that the real was a shitty game, but this was a new low, even by those standards.
Tooru raised an eyebrow… she'd only noticed Keima following his second rotation and she was pretty certain that the boy was acting weird… she usually had pretty good instincts of what the people around her were like, but weird truly felt like the only word which worked… honestly, she wouldn't have actually minded if he'd come to talk with her, but no mind… she slipped her bookmark into her copy of Aesop's Fables in the page she assumed to be her place, and brought out a little book, something new on her mind now.
They didn't meet this time…
Keima was walking through that same park about three days later, this time with a purpose in mind… it was Thursday, which meant all the new games (including the long awaited sequel of Bake it with Love) would have reached his favourite shop on Wai Wai Street… as always, power walking through the park was the quickest way there…
"Ichigo-chan, Ichigo-chan, Ichigo-chan…" he muttered his mantra over and over as his chibi self scuttled over the grass. Suddenly, he paused mid-step, returning back to his normal self.
Tooru was here again. There was no mistaking the pale blonde girl who was seated at the same tree as before… this time, her head was leaning back against the bark, tapping her pen against her lips as she looked up through the trees, a notebook pressed against her raised knees… she'd be breathtakingly beautiful, if it wasn't for the comically large glasses and nose she was wearing over her face. Keima snorted, but he was close enough this time that Tooru heard him, and looked back down.
For a moment, the two teens looked at each other, the world slowing as they took each other's appearances in… the boy tall but inelegant… attractive brown eyes set in behind oval frames… the girl small but gorgeous… gold eyes widened behind her fake plastic spectacles…
'W-what was with this?' her thoughts and heart stuttered at his beautiful eyes… it was that same boy from a few days back, but he was actually looking at her, his eyes a pool of warm chocolate. She hadn't noticed that before.
Meanwhile Keima… started laughing again… the glasses were even more ridiculous than the jester hat from the last time he'd seen her. Tooru felt herself go red from the embarrassment.
"W-why are you laughing!?" she tried to snap. She knew that it was most likely the glasses she'd been wearing to detract any males who might be paying attention to her… to be laughed at was honestly the reaction she would have wanted, but her brain seemed to have stopped working all of a sudden. She flinched back as Keima started moving toward her, raising a hand as if he'd meant no harm.
"It's just…" he swallowed his laughter and tried to catch his breath, "those glasses are ridiculous."
"I know…" Tooru retorted, folding her arms over her chest, "that's why I'm wearing them!"
Tooru scrambled back into a more decent sitting position while Keima stood there… he'd talked to her… he wasn't supposed to talk to her…
Still, seeing her blushing face brought a nostalgic feeling to his heart… considering how much shit the real had been responsible of, seeing her was almost a reminder of easier times… of him being able to tell her about devils because she'd never believe it… of her acting like a Denpakei to ward off unsuspecting suiters…
Come to think of it, it was quite possible that the hat from two days ago and the glasses now were her continuing that tradition. She'd just agreed that she considered them ridiculous as well, after all…
"Ah…" Keima let the thought sink in, "they're so men don't try asking you out, aren't they?"
Tooru gasped slightly at being seen through so completely by a stranger… a fairly handsome one as well… it was like his eyes had seen through her soul.
"How would you know that?" she asked coolly, "I wear them because I like them…"
"Sure sure…" Keima smirked, "because you 'like' them…"
"Of course," Tooru responded brightly, "just like how you 'like' walking around this park in circles…"
Keima shut his mouth, looking appropriately abashed at his idiocy from before.
"You noticed that, huh?"
"I did…" she smiled at the fact that she had something over him, "and if you ask me, that was even more embarrassing that my fabulous glasses…" she tossed her long hair (with some difficulty, considering some was trapped between her and the base of the tree).
Keima sighed… she had him there.
"Okay, I'll stop if you do," he scratched his head. She paused to think about it for a moment, before agreeing.
"Deal," she pushed out her hand, which Keima took… it was warm and delicate, just as he'd expect… just like any time he got to hold a girl's hand.
"Katsuragi Keima…" he greeted. He knew he was still a stranger to this girl, even if she wasn't to him. She smiled as she let go, patting the ground next to her. He cautiously settled down to her right.
"So are you going to tell me why you were acting so creepy before?" she asked energetically, Keima looked aside awkwardly… he couldn't really tell her what was happening in his brain at that time, could he?
Well, he probably could… he had blurted the truth to her once before, but that was before he learnt that she was faking being a Denpakei… he wouldn't really risk it now though… as a reminder to himself, he wasn't supposed to get involved, and now he's sitting next to her.
"I-I'd just been curious about your hat…" he replied. Tooru brought her head closer to his, nearly bumping him with her ridiculously large nose.
"Eeeeh… you already knew what it was for," she teased, before suddenly realising she was nearly nose to nose with him, and he was blushing… she pulled her head back, as both of them looked away awkwardly…
Tooru really couldn't explain it… she hated guys who approached her, yet she felt she'd wanted to talk to him… she'd never care if anyone laughed at her disguises, yet she was a little offended when he did… she'd never let anyone come so close that they could kiss her, yet she totally invaded his personal space… even now, she could feel her guard slip around this Keima…
Normally, she'd be concerned if any guy was staring at her… he certainly wasn't doing so, and in a way, he was actually scarier than some of the creeps she'd encountered, just because she couldn't exercise her normal level of self-control around him… Seriously, what the hell was up with that? She'd known him for five minutes and she was already being this weird…
"You don't have to tell me," Tooru laughed, scratching her head, "in any case, I'm glad to meet you, Katsuragi-kun…" she gave him a dazzling smile.
"I still haven't gotten your name…" Keima reminded, but Tooru laughed it off, picking up her notebook off the floor and dusting it.
"You know, Katsuragi-kun… I'm trying to write a story now…" she showed him the few lines that she'd crossed out, "I really don't know how, though…"
Keima paused… so the Shiori thing from two days ago hadn't actually been a coincidence… in fact, if he was to accept the flag she'd just set up, this would actually be something he had done in the past.
He internally groaned… why did they have to set up flags? And why did he want to follow through with them? He didn't even have to! She didn't even know that he knew her already.
"So… what kind of story are you writing?" he reluctantly asked. It wouldn't make much of a difference in the kind of cheerleading he'd be doing, but Shiori did read enough books to know how to write… he couldn't be sure if Tooru had that level of knowledge.
Though with the amount of games he played, he was certain that he could write a halfway decent story… if it was romance… though he probably wouldn't be bad in a different genre either…
"I want to write an Aesop's fable," Tooru said brightly, and Keima's thoughts stalled. The blonde brought out her large book and plopped it open on his lap to a page… with one eyebrow raised, he started reading.
"THE CROW AND THE PITCHER
A crow, ready to die with thirst, flew with joy to a Pitcher, which he beheld at some distance. When he came, he found water in it indeed, but so near the bottom that with all his stooping and straining he was not able to reach it. The he tried to overturn the Pitcher, that so at least he might be able to get a little of it. But his strength was not sufficient for this. At last, seeing some pebbles near the place, her cast, one by one into the Pitcher, and thus, by degrees, raised the water up to the very brim, and satisfied his thirst.
AN END CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED IN MORE THAN ONE WAY."
Tooru joined along with reading the moral at the end… as Keima processed what he had read, she continued her gushing.
"I just really like how short and concise they are, and how the animals teach you a lesson in the end…" she looked down at her book, "I just don't know about how you can write a short story with a lesson, and what animals I'm even supposed to choose…"
Keima sighed… so this was going to be different… and quite probably annoying… he didn't really have answers for her at this point anyway.
"I'll help you, okay…" he turned to her, "in one week, you will have come up with a story which you will be proud of… and I'll help you with the research required."
A smile stretched on Tooru's face, which Keima tried not to look at.
"Now I'm going to buy games… we can meet over the weekend…" after he had time to research those stories… and explain to himself why he decided to get himself involved with Tooru when there was no Loose Spirit on the line…
He blamed nostalgia… that was the only reason he'd put himself through something like this…
Except he knew that was a lie… whether he liked it or not, he wasn't the same uncaring game-toting guy he knew himself to be at the start of his second year… he'd learnt a lot about real girls and how his actions influenced them… or maybe more correctly, hurt them…
He was offered a chance to do something good here… it would be in his best interest to actually take that opportunity and assist an old conquest… and even if it was for a short time, keep her in his life… not to mention, it was thanks to her that he even had his in the first place, considering their first meeting, where she'd pulled him out of a burning building.
But even if he didn't owe her that much (which he did), there was still that part of him that appreciated the real and all their idiosyncrasies, and which wanted to keep them in his life… granted they didn't eat too much into his gaming time.
In Tooru's head, things were a little different… she was a little confused why he'd want to help, considering she hadn't even asked for it… this was something she'd just wanted to do on whim…
But looking past that, this might be the first time in forever where anyone asked to meet her… there were plenty of guys who wanted to hang out, but after her award-winning display of weirdness, they didn't want to have anything to do with her… and most girls used to gossip about her and her "feminine wiles" which she used to "trap" guys, so she certainly wasn't popular with them either.
But Keima seemed different… more than the weird vibe she'd gotten from him before, he wasn't interested in how she looked… he wanted to help her with her writing task… and he was basically a stranger, considering all she knew about him was his appearance… and that he liked games.
She smiled. This just meant that it was an opportunity to learn more, and possibly make her first friend.
As he was getting up, she grabbed his hand. Keima turned back to her, a little alarmed.
"What is it?" he asked. She gave him a sweet, if not slightly shy, smile.
"My name is Tooru… Amami Tooru."
She was a little bit reluctant sharing her name with strangers. She hated being catcalled, but she'd take that any day to those creeps who would talk to her like they were her friend. Then there was always the one jerk who commented on how she had a boys' name, so she'd learnt that nothing good really came from giving it to people. But if she actually wanted him to be her first friend, she'd have to entrust that to him first.
"Oh," he smiled, "that's a nice name, Tooru…"
As the smile touched his brilliant eyes, the girl felt a squeeze in her heart she'd never felt before, and her fingers unfurled from his palm, suddenly sweaty. Even her ridiculous glasses slipped off her nose, revealing confused gold eyes.
This was the first time they met… or the seventh, depending on the point of view.
Yep, we're here again... time to listen to more of Sir Sleeps-a-lot's ramblings xD
Well, there was the first chapter, where Keima and Tooru meet up again, many months after their original meeting, and now Tooru is writing, and of course, our poor Kami-nii-sama is pulled on board again. The romance is pretty low-key for now, but hey... we have 6 more chapters to do something about that.
As this story is completed on my computer, I hope to update it every 2 or 3 days. After that, I'll probably start posting some other stuff here and there, and hopefully, share my other big romance novel project of the last year, which is about double the size of this story, but still ongoing...
And it isn't Chihiro (for once)... it's everyone!
That being said, if you wanna read it, you may need to change your filter on this site, because it's M-rated... and worthy of its rating, if I can say so myself.
Yep, I wrote a lemon... in fact, I've been getting a fair amount of practice with that, and it's quite possible I'll start posting some of them as well.
However, for my stories rated T, this won't change the content in the slightest... I've just been dabbling in a few stuff lately.
In any case, if you enjoyed this or hated it, please lemme know in a review. But if you just wanna read, I'm happy with that too, and I hope you'll be tuned for the later chapters :)
Hope you are all doing well, and I love you!