a study in shocking pink

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With his cheek in his hand, Satoshi Fukube studies Mayaka Ibara. He's slightly amused and she's glaring hard at her laptop screen.

Mayaka presses the keys with an angry force. She's typing – or maybe that's not the right word because it didn't feel like Mayaka was typing. By the weight of her tiny fingers pressing down on the keyboard, it felt like she was punching the laptop to spill all of its secrets to her.

In truth, Satoshi Fukube didn't know why Mayaka Ibara was working so hard. Actually, no. That was a lie. He knows why she's was going to extra mile. Mayaka was doing everything in her power to look for large amounts of research on the university Satoshi has applied for. She wants to make sure her grades are good enough and she's extracurricular is on point.

She's putting in her all because she wants to end up studying in the same place as him. She doesn't want to part ways. She doesn't want all her effort of chasing after him to go down the drain. She doesn't want to surrender him over because Mayaka is Mayaka and she's always been a stubborn one.

Satoshi's by her side today because she had asked him to help her double check her reliable sources and to give her advice on the matter. She wants to match his acceptance rate. She wants him to tell her if she's doing everything she can and beyond.

She's got a word document open for all her notes – it's at least five pages full. Saved websites and little facts typed out. It's completely unnecessary.

"Mayaka?"

"Hm?"

Satoshi knows that when Mayaka's all focused and serious, she doesn't pay attention to anything else. She has tunnel vision, blocking everything else out. She wants to fully concentrate with the task at hand. Satoshi's gotten a few funny responses from Mayaka as a result. She's so absorbed in her task that even her conversation skills has dumb-downed, it's worse than Oreki's level of small talk. He hopes she never learns that he had compared her to Oreki. She'd yell at him for sure if she found out.

"Mayaka?"

"Hmm?" She hums longer this time, fingers mashing loudly.

Satoshi realizes there's no way he could ever walk away from Mayaka because she's determined to be with him no matter what. She followed him to Kamiyama High School from Kaburaya Middle School and she's following him to university soon too.

Mayaka really is a persistent one.

And currently, very distracted.

"Mayaka, I know you never did like reading Sherlock so I'm assuming you never read all the books. You liked Christie better, right?"

"Hmm," Mayaka replies.

"Do you want me to enlighten you with some facts? I am a database after all."

"Sure,"

"Did you know –" Satoshi says, pausing for effect. "– that Sherlock isn't as glorious as he sounds?"

"Uh-huh,"

"It was said in the books, during long periods where there were no mysteries to be solve, Sherlock would be driven to do cocaine just because he couldn't stomach the idea of boredom."

"Really?" Mayaka asks though she's merely sleepwalking through the conversation, not even paying attention.

Satoshi nods, adding enthusiasm into his voice. "Yup! He didn't solve mysteries for the money either, he mostly did it for the thrill! Can you imagine having someone as brilliant as Sherlock solving mysteries just because of boredom?" He asks. "If I wasn't mistaken, despite his strange habits that could arguably make him the worse tenant in all of London, he pays less rent. His landlady, Mrs. Hudson, agreed to it after he helped by ensuring the conviction and execution of her husband after he murdered a couple of people,"

"Interesting,"

"Would you say Sherlock's brilliant, Mayaka? I know I said it a second ago but many people say he's a little mad. He usually gets away with these crazy schemes but sometimes it's so concerning that his own brother has to check up on him just to make sure he's okay."

"Okay." Mayaka says but Satoshi isn't sure if she's replying to him or simply echoing his last word.

She's very much distracted. She hasn't even reacted to the dark things he's told her about Sherlock.

He tells her useless database facts because it's who Satoshi is as a person. Even now when they're so close to living out of Kamiyama and venturing off, Satoshi refuses to change. Or maybe, at least, not yet. Not at right now. But he knows he wants to make the first step because he can't keep letting Mayaka take the lead.

"Okay," Mayaka says again despite him not saying anything before pressing the backspace button like he had just side-tracked her and she has to cover up his mistakes now.

Satoshi lets out a small sigh. If she won't even react to such interesting facts that usually leaves people going 'whoa, really?' or 'wait, what?' then she probably won't even react to obvious facts. He wonders …

It's a gamble but he may just take it. No, he's going to take it.

"Mayaka?" He calls her one more time. Though, now that he thinks about it, maybe he's said her name too many times. Just how many times has he called out to her throughout this conversation?

It takes her a moment to respond. "… Yeah?"

"I love you," Satoshi declares.

"Ah," She replies, eyes flitting at the words.

He repeats, a little bit bolder now, Satoshi says with more feeling, "I love you,"

"A – Eh?"

"Did you just hear what I said?" Satoshi questions her like it's something funny. Like she had just missed a well-thought-of joke.

Mayaka stops typing, she raises her eyes – the colour of shocking pink staring right at him. And he studies it for a good second before she blinks and asks, "What did you say, Fuku-chan?"

Satoshi's automatic smile hides any traces of his confession. "I said," He licks his lips. "I said, did you know that hippos are the only animals to secrete pink milk? Shocking, right? Isn't that fascinating?"

"Weren't you talking about Sherlock a minute ago?" Mayaka asks.

Satoshi's lips quirk into a smile. He tells himself, I can't say it again. No, not yet. Not just yet.

"Yup," He says.

"The why did you – You changed the topic –" Mayaka frowns in return, familiar sharp lines and hard edges. She lets out an angry grunt, "Fuku-chan, stop distracting me!"

;;

end

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Notes

Correct my Sherlock facts if I'm wrong. Also, did I corrupt Sherlock for mentioning his cocaine addiction? I think I might have. I'm sorry.

Also, did I overdo using Mayaka's name? I feel like I did.

Also also, kinda for Thundercow (?) She's been inspiring me a lot with her work and her stories have rubbed off a lot on me. So much so that they've recently been giving me Satoshi X Mayaka feels. I'm not really going to tag her or anything, I'll just let her stumble upon this story, like, surprise!

21 October 2017