Author's NoteHello again everyone! I hope you liked the first chapter. I won't waste much of your time. I'd just like to thank for the review, favorite and follow. So here is the next chapter. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Hyouka.
Chapter 2: Flashback: The Wedding Week Part 1: Reunion of Classic Club
It is March. It had been sometime now since I had taken a leave from my work. Since I did not take much leave and according to my seniors and boss I was a 'very efficient worker' so I didn't had to go through much trouble to get this little vacation. I had to take a week off from work for Satoshi and Ibara's wedding. They insisted me to take a week off for the wedding as they wanted me to be present in all of their wedding events. I admit it would be a nice vacation but at the same time a lot of energy will be wasted.
It's Sunday today and the wedding is scheduled on Friday but I guess there's going to be a lot of pre-wedding celebrations. However, as planned by Satoshi, tomorrow is going to be a day for only the four of us that is the Classic club of Kamiyama High. We hadn't had a reunion for six years now. So Satoshi had planned this one. Before their wedding and all the pre-wedding rituals began he wanted a reunion. None of us disagreed to it, rather it was taken as a wonderful idea.
Satoshi had taken a week off for his wedding as well. Ibara wasn't working on any manga at present and Chitanda, as I heard, decided to keep her confectionery closed tomorrow and a half day for the next two days and then again closed till the wedding was over.
In these six years I had often met Satoshi and Ibara but I hadn't met Chitanda. To be true to myself I really longed to see her. I am in fact looking forward to see her tomorrow. I wonder how she looks now? Is she the same? Or has she changed? I had only seen a few pictures of her but none were really clear enough to show her properly. I wasn't able to attend Chitanda's confectionery opening and I really regretted it. But hopefully tomorrow I will be able to see her again… after six long years.
We were supposed to go on a small trip to Tokyo. I thought it was an utter waste of my energy to come all the way to Kamiyama just to go back to Tokyo the next day but Satoshi exclaimed that it was the best part of it that the Classic club would be spending a whole day together after six long years. I couldn't disagree to this idea of course. We were all supposed to gather at Satoshi's house early so that we could reach Tokyo fast. He'd be driving us to Tokyo of course.
Surprisingly enough I was the first one to reach there.
"Yo Houtarou! It seems you are the first one. The girls are gonna meet up together and come." Satoshi informed me. "Hmm." "How are you feeling Houtarou?" "Fine." "That's not what I meant." I looked up at Satoshi surprised. "I meant you are going to meet Chitanda-san after quite a long time. How do you feel about that?" I was silent for a few moments. Then I answered. "I don't really know. I am looking forward to it of course but I don't know how she is now. Changed or the same?"
"Houtarou I've known it since our final year at High school. You have been harbouring feelings for Chitanda-san. Your feelings towards her are quite strong. Why don't you just confess to her?" It wasn't really that easy for me. I didn't know how to react in such situations or how would I be able to confess to Chitanda. "Satoshi, I think it's best to put this thought at the back of my mind for now." Satoshi sighed. "Houtarou as a friend I'm telling you something. You know what…" but right at that moment a taxi approached with Ibara calling out of the window.
We turned at the taxi. "There they are." It drew in front of the house. Ibara got down from the side towards us and Chitanda from the opposite side. But when she came in our view I was surprised to see her. It undeniably was Eru Chitanda but she looked so… different. Her eyes remained the same. They were the same big shining purple eyes but she looked much more beautiful since the time I had seen her. Chitanda had turned out to be a stunning beauty. I noticed that she had put on some make up but still the make-up seemed to be just the finishing touch to her beauty. One thing that I knew about her was that she was not the type to wear make-up but I guess she inculcated it while living abroad.
As they came closer I couldn't help but notice her. She had worn a knee length dress with cold shoulder styled sleeves. Her fingernails were long and manicured. They were painted with alternate baby pink and transparent nail polish. She wore bright red lipstick. And kept her hair down. However she wore flat pumps not heels contrary to her dress with which heels would have better suited.
I guess I was staring at her without the knowledge that how awkward I looked because Satoshi nudged me hard. Just as they approached us Chitanda smiled brightly at me and greeted, "Konichiwa Oreki-san. We are meeting after a long time." I smiled and answered, "Yes. Long indeed."
"Let's not waste our time in formal greetings. Remember we are going to Tokyo. Come on get into the car!" Satoshi forced us into the car. While Chitanda and Ibara sat at the back I sat in front with Satoshi. "Alright! The Classic club of Kamiyama High this day belongs to us let's go!" Satoshi yelled excitedly. "Yes!" Chitanda and Ibara choruses. And we set off for Tokyo, for the reunion of the Classic club.
We finally reached Tokyo after a long journey from Kamiyama. It was good we set off early else we would have arrived at afternoon.
"So what's the plan?" I asked Satoshi. "I had booked two rooms in a hotel so that we can stay here tonight. We'll be heading back to Kamiyama tomorrow. At the moment we'll be checking in the hotel first and then go around."
We soon checked in to our hotel. "It's ten right now. How about we meet in half an hour and then go around to the various places here." Satoshi suggested. "Sounds fine to me. What do you say Chi-chan?" Ibara asked Chitanda. "Hai! I think it's a good idea." She replied. "Okay then let's meet at half past ten then." With that Satoshi and I went to our and Ibara and Chitanda went to their respective rooms.
We met up at the appointed time. "So, now where should we go?" "Let's go to some clothing store first. I still have some things left to buy." Ibara answered to my immense displeasure. "Seriously Ibara, your wedding is on Friday and you still have shopping left for wedding. This is insane." I groaned. "No one asked for your expert advice Oreki so just keep your mouth shut!" Ibara retorted. "Why do you look so stressed Oreki-san? We've met after a long time. And I really think it's a good idea to do some shopping." Chitanda beamed. Honestly are all girls same? They get so excited in the name of shopping. Really it's a pain in the neck.
So for the next two hours we went around the different clothing stores, footwear arcades and what not and bought all sort of stuffs. I was basically bored the whole time. The only thing that I was looking forward to was lunch. So finally at around 01:00 p.m we decided to have our lunch at a restaurant. We ordered our lunch and then desserts for afterwards.
"Man it's really good to be working as a journalist. The job really gives me what I want but sometimes it can really be tiring. Seriously, taking a week off is really relieving. I'll be sending another application for another week of holiday for our honeymoon." Satoshi said very brightly. "I'm not working on any manga currently but after our wedding is over I'll start with one. I have a good idea in my mind." Ibara said. "You two really seem to enjoy your work. I had read your manga Mayaka-chan. It was really great. And I have often read your articles Fukube-san, they really are interesting." Chitanda said brightly.
Then as if suddenly remembering my presence, Chitanda turned her attention to me. "By the way, Oreki-san what job do you do?" I looked at her. Then looked at Satoshi and Ibara who gave me a little doubtful look. Then I looked back at Chitanda. "Nothing much. Just a… government job." I answered her hesitantly. "Oh!" was her reaction. I think she wanted to ask me something else when Satoshi interrupted with something that was totally unnecessary to be told.
After a whole lot of more activities we finally came to our hotel in the evening. "We should play some sort of games you know. I really miss playing those games that we used to play in our middle school and high school." Satoshi suggested. "Good idea!" Ibara said. "I'm in." Chitanda beamed. I guess I have no choice. "Fine." I sighed. "Okay then. Let's all get fresh and then meet up in our room." Satoshi said with a fake determination. "Hai!" the girls exclaimed in unison.
After we came back to our room, Satoshi had a bath first and then I followed. After I came out of the bathroom I saw Satoshi looking at me intently. "What's it?" I asked. "You know Houtarou l've been thinking something." "Hmm." "Houtarou I think so you should already confess to Chitanda-san now." "…" Silence followed for a moment. Then Satoshi spoke up again. "How long will you wait Houtarou? Don't you think it's already time that you tell her how you feel for her." I remained silent. "Let me advice you something. You should go for things when you know it's the right time. I tell you Houtarou now is the time you should just tell her how you feel. Don't do something that will make you regret later in life for not doing it."
Another silence followed which was broken by a ping in Satoshi's phone. Satoshi looked at it and said, "You know Houtarou, I'll be back in a moment. Think about what I told you." With that he left the room. I could guess that it must be Ibara who texted him. I sighed and went out into the balcony of our room to sit. The city of Tokyo really looked pretty at night. As I was gazing at the night time Tokyo there was a knock at door. "Come in." I called out.
The door opened and I saw none other than the Eru Chitanda. I saw Chitanda was without make-up but she still looked stunning.
"Oh, it's just you Oreki-san. Where is Fukube-san?" Chitanda asked. "He said he will join in a few minutes. Where is Ibara?" "Oh, Mayaka-chan asked me to join you. She'll be here in a few minutes." Seems like my guess was right. Satoshi indeed had been texted by Ibara.
Chitanda shut the door behind her and came up to the balcony and took a seat beside me. I felt a little awkward. It's not like I've never been alone with Chitanda but times are different. It was back in high school when we would sometimes be alone the club room. But six years have passed since then.
There was an awkward silence for a moment then Chitanda spoke up. "So Oreki-san how are you?" "Fine. Ok I guess." "You know Oreki-san you've changed a little since I last saw you." Have I really? "I mean you've grown a little taller since high school." I knew that. I am 5 feet 11 inches now. I grew up 2 inches since high school. "And…" I looked at her with a little curiosity. "And what?" "Well… please don't take any offence Oreki-san, I don't mean bad but you…" I saw her cheeks go a little red. "…you've become a little more handsome." "…" I felt my cheeks going hot. I didn't expect to hear that from Chitanda.
Surely Satoshi had often told me this that if wasn't so lazy I'd be popular for my looks. But it never really interested me. Nevertheless, I remember back in university I was asked out thrice, every time by a different girl. I, being who I was, of course 'very courteously' turned them down. I remember one of the girls' was even annoyingly bothersome. She kept on stalking me and continuously asking me , almost to the extent forcing me, to be her boyfriend. It wasn't until I lost my temper (which I normally did not lose) did she stopped annoying me. But of course, I wouldn't tell these things to Chitanda.
Instead I told her, "You too have somewhat changed Chitanda." But I wasn't too confident to tell her she had turned out to be a beauty. So I changed the subject. "By the way, I'm sorry Chitanda. I could not attend the opening of your confectionery. You know I really had a lot of work load that time. So please forgive me. Gomen nesai." "Oh! Please don't apologise Oreki-san. I understand. It really isn't your fault so please don't apologise."
Then I saw Chitanda's expression turning a little solemn and sad. "Rather I should be the one apologising. Oreki-san… I'm really… really very sorry about your oka-san." I saw Chitanda's expression turning even more sad.
When I was in the second year of my college, my mother suddenly died in a road accident. It came up as a big blow to me. My sister and father grieved like anything. I couldn't keep my emotions in control either. I remember how I and aneki cried embracing each other firmly. Satoshi and Mayaka had been there too. But Chitanda hadn't. She was abroad. I never wanted to think of that day or any of those unpleasant memories. Because whenever I remember it… I could feel my heart becoming heavy and eyes filling up with tears.
"I'm really sorry Oreki-san. I really felt so guilty. So selfish at that time. I couldn't be by your side when you needed us." Chitanda apologised. "Don't apologise. You couldn't do anything anyways." She gave me a strange look. Did I sound a little harsh? "I mean it wasn't your fault. You couldn't come back at any time of your college life to Kamiyama. So of course it was impossible for you to come at that time. Don't blame yourself." I said. There was another moment of silence. Then I spoke up. "Anyway, how is your business running?"
"Oh! It's running really well. I didn't really expect it to be successful in such a short time." Chitanda answered. "That's really good." "Oreki-san." "Hm." "Would you like to come to my confectionery one day after the wedding is over?" Chitanda asked. "Sure. Why not? And anyways I should have been the one going over myself and not you asking me."
There was a silence for a moment. Suddenly I started thinking what Satoshi told me. Should I tell Chitanda how I feel for her? I felt the atmosphere growing tense around us. I mustered up my courage and asked her, "So… are you in some sort of a… you know relationship with anyone?"
Upon being asked such a question I noticed how surprised Chitanda looked. Damn! I made a bad decision. For a few seconds she just looked at me then answered, "No. Not yet. I didn't really find anyone who could actually understand me." I see. "What about you Oreki-san?" "Huh?" "I mean are you going out with someone?" "No, I'm not. I'm not really into these sort of stuffs." I answered. Chitanda nodded.
"Why do you think Mayaka-chan and Fukube-san are still not coming?" Chitanda asked. "Maybe they have something to talk in private which they can't talk in our presence." I explained. Chitanda giggled. "That's so cute." I don't think so.
After a while the duo came back. "Sorry if we are late. Apologies my friends." Satoshi said in his usual cheery tone.
Soon we were talking about our old high school days and classic club and how we solved all sorts of mysteries in our high school days. After a while we were talking nothing but rubbish and it really started to bore the life out of me.
"We'll surely be having a hen party the day before our wedding Chi-chan and we'll have a lot of fun." Ibara cried. "If you're having a hen party then we're having a bachelor's party! I'll never back off from having fun!" Satoshi shouted. Oh heavens! Why are they talking such rubbish?
Suddenly my phone started ringing. Ibara frowned. "Who is this calling you up now Oreki. Don't tell me you are secretly dating someone!" I glared at her. "Stop talking delirious Ibara!" When I caught hold of my phone I saw the name 'Miyazaki Shiori' displayed on the screen. God! Now what does she wants! "Excuse me for a moment."
I went into the room from the balcony. "Moshi Moshi."
"Is that you Oreki?"
"Who else do you expect to answer your call from my phone?"
"You sound sort of disturbed."
"I'm not disturbed. I was just chatting with my friends till you called me up to disturb."
"Oh I forgot! You have gone for your friends wedding. Sorry to disturb you. I'll call you up later then."
"Nah it's all right. I was…"
But she cut me off midway and said in a playful tone, "By the way did you meet your lady love, what was her name again… yes! Eru Chitanda. Did you meet her?"
This question from Shiori made me blush but I answered her in an annoyed manner, "Stop talking rubbish! It's got nothing to do with you."
"Of course it has." She teased me. "I'd really like to meet this lady and see that what is so special in her that made the so-boring-and-so-unromantic Oreki Houtarou fall head over heels for the girl." I heard her giggle.
"If you are done talking rubbish then I'm disconnecting the line."
She laughed. "Okay I am sorry. Anyways enjoy with your friends. I'll call you up later. Oyasumi nasai."
This girl can really be annoying sometimes.
As I went back to the balcony Satoshi asked me, "Who was it Houtarou?" "Shiori." I answered. "Oh her." "Who is that?" Chitanda suddenly asked. "That's Houtarou's colleague. She and Houtarou are actually partners at their work place." Satoshi explained. "I see." Said Chitanda. "That girl is really quirky. But nonetheless she has similarities with you Houtarou." Satoshi said. "You can say that." I merely shrugged. "I love the way she treats you though," Satoshi giggled, "calling you her silly lazy brother." Now this was annoying me.
"Can we just stop talking about this?" I chided him. Satoshi just gave a silly laugh. Ibara on the other hand gave a suspicious look towards Satoshi. "You seem to be quite interested in her, huh?" You are done for it now Satoshi. "Hey, there is nothing like that Mayaka. Why are you suspecting me like that?" "Oh yeah, Mr. Smartypants!"
From the corner of my eyes I saw Chitanda sniggering at the duo. "Ok now, don't quarrel like this Mayaka-chan." She said.
We continued to talk for a long time. By the time we went to bed it was one. Satoshi wanted to stay up a little longer but I insisted we should go to bed partly because I was sleepy and partly because we had to get up early next morning and return to Kamiyama.
Next morning we all got up with a lot of difficulty. In fact, Satoshi was so sleepy that I had to drive the car back to Kamiyama.
While returning, Satoshi and Ibara sat in the back seat while Chitanda sat beside me. I saw through the rear view mirror and saw both Ibara and Satoshi asleep with Ibara 's head resting on Satoshi's shoulder. What a waste of energy! I have to drive the car all the way back to Kamiyama. Chitanda was looking out of the window and enjoying the morning breeze.
I noticed her turning her head back and looking at the duo and giving a smile. "They look so cute together." She said and then looked at me. "It's really nice, isn't it Oreki-san that Mayaka-chan and Fukube-san are getting married?" "We'll yes, but I still think they are getting married too young. They could have waited for another couple of years before getting married." I answered her without looking at her.
"Maybe… but I think that they think in a different way." Chitanda said. I really don't understand what different way do they think about getting married so early.
"When do you plan to get married then, Oreki-san?" This question took me off guard. What sort of a question is this?! "I don't have any such plans at present. Besides…" "Besides, what?" "Besides, if you are to have a family then first you need to be settled in your life properly. We have just started our professional life and it still needs to flourish that's why it isn't very wise to get married at this age." I don't know what Chitanda was thinking but she just nodded. However I heard her whisper in an almost inaudible voice, "In two to three years then…"
So that's it for the second chapter. I thought of making a flashback of Satoshi and Mayaka's wedding from Houtarou's P.O.V. The next two chapters are also going to be flashbacks and then we'll come back to the main story. I hope you enjoyed it.
P.S: Shiori Miyazaki is an O.C introduced in this story and believe me she won't just be a random character.