In The Eyes of A Loner, An Ice Queen Is Untouchable
Author's Note: Hello and welcome to my first OreGairu fanfic, honestly, I've been wanting to write a fanfic for this fandom for a long time, since it is one of my all time favorite animes, but never got an idea of what. Then an idea struck to do a somewhat crossover with Rascals Don't Dream of A Bunny Girl Senpai (and a dash of the Monogatari series) and thus this was born. I was always interested in exploring how the Puberty Syndrome would affect characters in other animes and OreGairu was an odd fit.
I hope you guys like this story and stick around till the very end, honestly, I envision this to be at least 3 chapters long and let me know what you think.
Before all else this is an AU, meaning, the canon is non existent or just completely different. This story is unbeta'd so all mistakes are that of my own.
And just in case, I own nothing.
EDIT: Made some edits to the story, a few grammar mistakes nothing serious.
Chapter 1: The Ice Queen is Unexpectedly Cold
Time stopped for a moment before the full weight of the situation had fully dawned on me. I, Hachiman Hikigaya, on this dull morning in middle of April, am holding a girl in my arms, but one thing stood out for me in that moment: Her skin felt so cold.
It was a freak accident, no more than that, could've happen to anybody and a slip on the stairs would've led to a more serious injury than the humiliation of having the infamous loner of 2-F holding you in his arms. But that was what happened this morning, when the sun was shadowed behind darken gray clouds that seemed to be bearing its rain early on the start of the semester.
I climbed up the stairs to the second floor, hands shoved into my pocket and my eyes firmly on the ground, not bothering to look up to see if there's anybody I might run into. But I remember doubting that, since already I was already late to my first class and there wasn't a soul in sight in the halls of Sobu, no, no one could've seen what would happen.
I heard a yelp and I looked up to see a silhouette of a girl coming towards me, immediately I readied myself as I placed my left foot back and my arms raised, at the ready to brace myself for the impact. I caught her immediately, holding her close, almost hugging her as she buried her face into my chest, just so she wouldn't drag us both down the staircase. I remember the sensation hitting me almost immediately and I couldn't help but mutter:
It took a brief moment for the girl to realize what happened before speaking up.
"Once you are done enjoying this I would want to be let go now", she said, her voice cutting into me like a knife.
"So-sorry about that", I apologized as I adjusted my hold on her, getting her back unto her own feet and she immediately backed away from me, holding against the adjacent railing and looking as if something horrific had touched her.
"While you do have my gratitude for catching me…", oh think I know where this is going. "Please refrain from lingering your hold longer than appropriate, I would feel bad for any would-be girl that would cross paths with you in the future".
"That's a strong assumption, almost as if you're already branding me as a pervert", I answered.
She adjusted her top as she spoke, "Believe me, I am being considerate with that label, Unknown-creepy-perverted-schoolmate-kun".
I was about to answer when I glanced at the bottom of the staircase, there laid her bag with a book and couple of notebooks having spilled out. I took the gentleman approach, as I usually should do according to the best imouto in the world and headed down to pick it up the same time she did.
Our hands touched when we both reached for the book and once again, I was stricken by the sensation of it. Her hand felt ice cold, immediately I pulled my hand away, as if something had bitten into it and she gathered all her stuff and placed them in her bag.
"Next, need I reminder you to be more mindful of a girl's belongings unknown-creepy-perverted-schoolmate-kun", she reminded me
"I do have a name you know", I replied.
"But that implies we'll have any more encounters in the future for me to actually use it", she admitted before adjusting her bag and heading up the stairs, not bothering with a goodbye or anything.
As she did I couldn't help but gaze at my hand, the one that had touched hers and the lingering feeling of the cold that was slowly dissipating. I closed my fist, wanting to confirm it for myself that she was certainly cold, ice even.
"Best you forget this ever happened", she suddenly spoke and I looked up to see her on the top of the stairs gazing down at me, but her piercing blue eyes looked as if she was gazing at something lower than dirt.
"Believe me I will", I answered back and she nodded her head and disappeared from my sight.
If I hadn't been foolish enough to pursue, she would've disappeared from my life as a result. Maybe at that moment I wished she had. Somehow, she had reminded me of snow, how beautiful and elegant they can be in the moment but would just disappear as quickly as it came, only to melt away by spring time. Yes, if I hadn't been foolish and leave things just as they are she would've melted away from my mind completely.
But tragically, I had been foolish at that moment, but right then I shook off the encounter altogether and continued my trek to my first period class, which I was already 10 minutes late.
I opened the door, interrupting the teacher's lecture as I walked in, he glared at me, chastising my tardiness as he usually does and the class laughed as I made my way to my seat. Placing my head in my hand as I gazed out the window into the abyss of a gray sunless sky.
The famous ice queen of Sobu Highschool, popular to an outrageous degree and in accordance to the Sobu Highschool social hierarchy, stood at the top of almost everyone. I couldn't blame them if they thought so, Yukinoshita practically had it all. Smart, tall and extremely beautiful she would be the prized trophy every boy in our year level, even the upper and lower classmen, would be biding after.
Of course, as humans often are, there was lingering spite and jealousy towards her that people would speak in hush tones behind her back. But she didn't seem to mind them at all, evident when I had another encounter with her the next day.
I was careful this time, going as far as arriving early to school just so I wouldn't have a chance encounter with her again. But as I picked up my prized MAX coffee from the vending machine I could hear the entire noise and chaos of the cafeteria suddenly snuff out and the people began to speak in hush and whispered tones.
I stood up and saw where the gazes of the people were turned to, it was the Ice Queen herself in line at the counter. I was situated in the middle of the crowd that came to gaze and gawk at her as she did, almost like some rare species that would come out at every fortnight, but she wasn't any said creature. I could pick up on the various bits of conversations from the groups who kept stealing glances at her.
"Wow, Yukinoshita-san really is beautiful"
"Look at her skin, its so white like porcelain"
"Dude, I heard her family is super loaded, her Dad's a CEO"
"Don't you know? Her family is on the prefectural diet"
"I heard some people are already calling her to be a model"
"Tch, what a bitch, just looking at her you can tell she doesn't want to be around us"
"What's high and might Yukinoshita going around here?"
"She probably thinks it's peasant food"
"God, just look at her, she always thinks she's better than everybody"
"I heard that she'd do anything to get that 99 percent on a test"
The chorus of subdued laughter soon followed that remark from the group of girls that sat near me. It was an odd thing for us humans, how we can glorify and vilify someone at the same time, the small feeling of inferiority once we are faced with someone who can seemingly do it all and that inferiority turns to jealousy and hatred, next thing we know, we're spitting venom at the said person's back without them ever really doing anything.
Like Sensei often remarked: Humans are petty that way.
I walked off, wanting to head to my usual spot before I wasted my lunch time philosophizing obvious petty jealousy and having already bought what I already needed. But I passed Yukinoshita as I did, our gazes met for a moment before she looked away and decided to sit on an empty table on the far back.
I wanted to move on from it, it was at her own behest anyways, but my gaze lingered as she sat down and noticed what she was having for lunch: it was the ramen set. Which I would just brush off but then she put out a thermos of hot tea, since it was the middle of an unusually hot spring but then she removed her scarf and that was what struck me most of all.
Why would she wear a scarf in the middle of April...I wondered.
"Move it creep", I heard the voice of Yumiko Miura ordered behind me.
Quietly I moved to the side as she continued her walk, glaring at me as she passed by with her two lackeys, a bespectacled girl and one with pink hair who turned and gave me a small bow of apology.
"Sorry, she didn't mean anything by that Hikki"
I knew Yumiko and the glasses girl were my classmate but the pink haired girl seemed to be familiar with me, enough to refer to me as "Hikki" but I cannot for the life of me remember who she is. But I brushed it off before turning back and headed to my lunch spot, wondering what it is about Yukino Yukinoshita I just couldn't help but be drawn to.
"Hey Zaimokuza, what do you know about Yukino Yukinoshita?"
I was given an odd look by the resident creep of the Sobu Highschool's library Yoshiteru Zaimokuza. We were in the library, obviously, burning away the lunch break just merely doing homework for our individual classes we had coming up once the bell rings. That's when I decided to drop the question on Zaimokuza, absentmindedly mind you, seeing as how I didn't even notice it until I looked up to see him give me that look.
"What's the sudden interest in Sobu Highschool's infamous Ice Queen, my partner-in-crime?", Zaimokuza asked, twirling the pen in his hands, as if to play some smug partner in a crime show.
"Not in the matter your thinking of…", I rebuffed. "And don't call me that".
Zaimokuza made a noise as if he was stabbed by an arrow before sighing, I resisted the urge to roll my eyes on his hysterics, already gotten use to them as time went out.
He coughed into his hand and composed himself, "Nothing much really, just that' she's smart, beautiful and pretty athletic to boot".
"Oh? I never took her for the athletic type", I admitted.
"She's not but I've watched her play tennis around last year, she's pretty good", he replied before pausing, taking a moment to come up with more answers.
It was any typical response I've always expected from people who would talk about someone they barely know, you learn from what you've seen and heard that makes its rounds around the hallways. But that was why I needed Zaimokuza most of all, despite his eccentrics', he knows never to hold judgement against people, especially ones he barely knows.
"But, I've heard she's a textbook loner", he continued after the pause. "Doesn't have much friends, barely talk to anyone and is mostly alone, I don't think she even talks to her classmates but that doesn't stop people from speaking nasty stuff at her back".
"Tell me about it", I sighed, remembering the cafeteria incident from yesterday. "You should've heard the crap they spew at her just by showing up at the cafeteria".
Zaimokuza grinned at that mention, before pointing at me with his metallic pen, almost accusingly before monologuing once again.
"What'd I say about mortals Hachiman? Petty as they always seem to be, hell, I'd say they'll run if the sun's ray would expose their ugliness…."
As strange and oddball this guy can be, he does make some pretty valid points.
"And so that's why this the perfect opportunity to finally call upon the Gods! And wage our war with – "
His rantings were cut short by the bell, which was a blessing in disguise as I packed my things and thanked Zaimokuza for practically hanging out with me in his sacred "loner" spot. And as one loner to another, it's a rite of passage to respect a fellow loner's "loner spots" and as accordingly be treated with respect and dignity as one may expect from a loner and…maybe I've been hanging out with Zaimokuza too much.
I shook myself from those thoughts and began to make my way out of the library.
"Can I ask Hachiman?"
I turned my head to look at him as he looked at me, in his eyes didn't blaze the same intensity as he would often have but instead just mere curiosity.
"Why the sudden interest in Yukinoshita?"
My mind drew a blank for a proper answer, no really, I had no other explanation on why I was suddenly intrigued by the Ice Queen herself. She even reminded me herself, to forget our encounter and her and move on with our lives. But right now, I can't seem to get her off of my mind and all I could was merely shrug.
"Wait – ", he then stood up, scraping the chair as he did that got the attention of the other students. "You think she's been afflicted with that",
I merely shrugged, "Maybe, but I won't know until I find out more about it".
He then gave me an agonized look, "Hachiman, even after…".
"Yes", I replied, a bit tensed and angry then I realized and gave a short bow of apology. "I'll keep you posted the best I can".
With that I turned my heel and left the library in silence, not bothering to hear what Zaimokuza wanted to say next. I walked back to my classroom, wondering to myself why I am going to the trouble on learning more about her when I can just simply walk away, but there was something there, just something about the entirety of what was going on with her that I can't help but find myself getting pulled into.
"Komachi maybe right", I admitted quietly. "I do seem to enjoy looking for trouble".
That's when a memory of a time that seemed like a lifetime ago flashed.
"Hachi…", the soft voice from the silhouette that sat on the edge of bed said. "Its okay, there was nothing you could've done but…promise…me… that you'll -".
I stopped in the middle of the hallway, the sensation I've long since forgotten from that time seemingly bubbled up inside me once again and I couldn't help but grab a hold of my head. Almost laughing to myself at the memory.
"Maybe I just need to sleep better", I decided.
As I neared the staircase, speak of the Devil, it was Yukino Yukinoshita herself climbing up the stairs. I stopped to marvel at the sight of her, she still wore her scarf from the day before but now she was wearing…a coat? She might've noticed my gaze to as she stopped before she reached the first step.
"Oh, its unknown-creepy-perverted-schoolmate-kun", she said and I got hit back hard, I forgot how harsh she can be with her words.
"I told you before that's not my name", I replied.
"And like I've said before, I don't care about it", she made known to me. "This is merely a chance encounter, unless…"
I raised my brow at that, "Unless what?"
"You plan this encounter in order for you to chance on me again", she replied and I visibly grimaced. "Seeing as no girl would come near you, especially with the way your rotten eyes look, they are practically volatile".
"I don't particularly see anything inherently wrong with my eyes thank you very much", I answered back. "Maybe I'm just marveling at the fact your wearing a coat and scarf in the middle of April".
Somehow that jab tensed her up, enough to take a step back, as if I was peeking into something deeply intimate about her and she reacted on instinct. But that merely flashed by in a second before she was back to her stone cold self once more.
"This is merely a precaution", she said. "Seeing as perverts like you roam around the school, a girl can never be too prepared".
Knowing this verbal sparring would take us nowhere, I decided to take lead and head up the stairs and she did too. We were silent the whole way up and parted with no words spoken as she broke off.
But as I was about to head to the classroom, I couldn't help but turn and watch her retreating form once again and I managed to see how she stopped and blew out air from her mouth into her cupped hand, that was definitely smoke and finally, it seemed for the longest time, I felt I like I had an answer.
"I think it's the Puberty Syndrome"
Hiratsuka-sensei merely stared me before her faced morphed into one of boredom and disappointment, she sighed as she placed the cup of coffee that she was about to take a sip from down on the table. Leaning in and clasping her fingers in front of her as she looked at me, a critical glare in her eyes.
"Don't tell me Hikigaya-kun", she started. "You tricked me into thinking you were having a problem with the essay assignment just so you can corner me with that shit about Puberty Syndrome again, didn't you?".
I nodded my head, almost proudly as I did, "You catch on fast Sensei".
Sure it was cruel to play on Hiratsuka-sensei's kindness and concerned nature over her students, but after witnessing what Yukinoshita did the other day I decided to take this chance and bring it up with her. Since she was the only other person I can tell about this.
"I have to when I'm dealing with the likes of you", she replied as she sat back, throwing an arm on the couch and crossing her legs, giving the aura of an authoritative adult. "Well then, get on with it, who is it you think got stricken by the whatever you call it-Syndrome".
"It's called Puberty Syndrome and don't disregard just like that", I retorted to her initial dismay.
"I would take it more serious if I could, but internet rumors don't necessarily count as something serious", she replied.
I sighed, "Did you at least read that article I sent you?".
She merely shrugged, giving the answer that she obviously didn't. I wouldn't have blamed her if she did, if I had heard about something as ridiculous as the Puberty Syndrome. But I doubted that so many people that posted about it online and forums would lie, or like Sensei always said, the shared delusions intensified because of internet mass hysteria.
But Puberty Syndrome has to be real…it has to be…or else I'll-
I shook myself of thoughts and refocused to what my agenda truly was.
"Anyways, its Yukino Yukinoshita, I think she's been afflicted by said syndrome", I stated.
"That's a bold assumption Hikigaya-kun, got anything to back that up?", she asked.
"If you haven't noticed she's been wearing a frequent amount of winter clothes lately", I answered, wracking my brain for all possible clues. "And she's eating an abundant amount of hot food such as ramen and hot tea".
"Your judging a girl based on what she eats? Shame on you Hikigaya and I thought you were better than that", I couldn't help but glare at her chiding but she continued. "And she's been wearing a coat and a scarf, so what? Maybe she's just trying some foreign fashion trend, girls tend to do that you know".
I sighed as my eyes drifted somewhere as I spoke, "She also has a habit of avoiding people".
I looked to see Sensei merely shrug it off.
"She's a lot like you, you know", she replied as she grabbed her cup of coffee from the table. "A classic loner Yukinoshita", she took a long sip, seemingly reveling on the taste longer than necessary. "So is that it?".
"She's also cold…", I replied.
Sensei gave me knowing look before grinning, almost laughing but held herself back.
"Ah, I see you've gotten to know her already", she understood as she stirred the cup in her hands. "Yukinoshita is bad at people, smart girl all around, just daft with people".
"That's not what I meant", I replied as Sensei raised a brow at my reply and so I explained myself. "Her skin its so cold, even just when I had her in my arms its like…she's made of ice…".
There was a brief moment of silence, which I found to be awkward and odd for Hiratsuka-sensei to do. I looked up at her to see she was affixed with a shocked look, cup of coffee still in her hands and her body suddenly tensed, I couldn't help but be confused at her reaction.
"Hikigaya-kun…", she quietly said before placing the cup back on the table. "…. I've always had a degree of respect for you but to do such a thing and to a girl nonetheless…".
If I was any normal guy I would've immediately blushed, stuttered and said "It-its not what you think honest!", as some poor defense and in the end still get a gut punch or something worse, giving the sad impression of a 17 year old virgin who acts like he hasn't seen a naked woman's body before in his life. Yes, if I was normal guy I would've done that, luckily, I wasn't and merely sighed at her obvious misunderstanding.
"Its nothing like that, I'm not some pervert you know", I replied as I saw her relax at my explanation, I decided to move on and continued. "Anyways that's that, what do you think Sensei?".
Hiratsuka-sensei took her time processing everything that I had just said, I might as well, trying to pick out if everything I had said so far made any sense at all. It might as well sound like some insane ranting brought on by an overactive imagination and boredom, wouldn't hold it against her if she did.
"Even if I do believe it might be because of that Puberty Syndrome, which I still have a hard time doing by the way", she began, leaning forward in her seat, placing her hands on her knees and sitting upright. "What're you plan on doing then, Hikigaya-kun?".
"Huh?", I couldn't help but blurt out.
Hiratsuka-sensei titled her head as she looked at me, "I mean, you've been sitting there talking about Yukinoshita this and Puberty Syndrome that, surely you have a plan on doing something about it".
And just like that my mind drew a blank, I've been doing nothing but ask and wonder about what could be happening to Yukino Yukinoshita but never really thought about what I could do, no, what I should do. I was learning everything I could and, in the end, what was I going to do with this information? Write about it? Post it and have it lost and buried on the forums?
What should I do?
"Want my advice Hikigaya-kun?", Hiratsuka-sensei suddenly asked.
"Please…", I replied.
"Don't involve yourself with Yukinoshita", she said and I looked up, with a look of confusion at her advice, normally, she wouldn't say things like that. "Look Hachiman, you're a good kid, I can see that you want to do something about this – ", she struggled with what to say next, gesturing with her hands as she did. "Situation, but in the end, what can you do to help her? Hell, if she even wants help at all".
"I can…no I could – ", any possible answer I could've come up with immediately died before they can ever leave my mouth in the end there was that question: What can I even do to help her?
"Normally I'd advise you to help, and I really would but this is Yukinoshita we're talking about, she's not a normal girl as you could imagine", Sensei continued.
"Tell me about it…", I agreed, which was true, Yukinoshita wasn't just some random girl you would encounter in the street, no, she'll stick out like a sore thumb even in a crowd.
"Besides, even if you try I'm pretty sure this school won't let you do it unscathed", Sensei said and I gave her a questioning look, she waved it off. "Let me explain…".
She then stood up and walked further into the teacher's lounge, coming back having already wheeled back a white board and a black marker on her hands. She went into drawing a stick figure of a girl on the very top.
"Here's Yukinoshita – ", she said pointing at the picture.
"Such artistic accuracy", I sardonically said before she glared at me and I decided to shut up for good.
"Anyways, before your rude comment, here's Yukinoshita – ", she repeated. "And here's – ", she began to draw zigzags as it reached the bottom. "50 miles of shit", before drawing a stick figure of a guy on the bottom. "And here's you…no wait – ", she corrected herself as she added more to "me" and stepped back to see she had drawn angry eyes with beady pupils and an angry frown. "Here's you".
"No way in hell I look like that", I said, crossing my arms as I sat back on the couch.
Hiratsuka-sensei merely shrugged uncaringly, "Artistic accuracy, anyways, that's my point", she capped her marker as she walked back to her seat. "Even if you could help, having to cross that 50 miles of shit isn't going to be easy, people are lot more vicious than you can imagine Hikigaya-kun".
"I thought you said Yukinoshita was lot like me", I rebuffed.
"Only in terms at social interactions and dealing with people, you both are horrible", she remarked as she stood across from me. "You two maybe loners but you're on opposite sides of the spectrum, you may not care about what people say about you but doesn't mean she doesn't".
"So your saying its better for things the way they are?", I said, my eyes facing the ground as I did and I heard Sensei sigh.
"You make it sound bad if you say it like that, but I am", she replied before I felt her pet my head and I looked up to see her warmly smiling down at me as she did. "I know you want to help her I can see it in your eyes, but your taking on a problem you barely know a thing about and with Yukinoshita of all people".
That's when she crouched down, just so she can get to my eye level, I can see the sincerity in her eyes as they glistened, I can even see my reflection in them before Hiratsuka-sensei placed a hand on my shoulder.
"Besides Hikigaya-kun", she said as she squeezed my shoulder. "Yukinoshita, she's not the kind of girl you save".
I couldn't help but admit defeat at that point, it was true, even if I did have some sort of contrived plan in order to help her out there was still the idea of the local Sobu Highschool gossip mill can run amok and drive her reputation more to the ground. That was something I was trying to avoid most of all, maybe Hiratsuka-sensei was true, there was no point going around trying to save her, hell, I don't think she even wants it in the first place.
"I guess you're right", I admitted before she patted my shoulder.
"Glad to see you understand me Hikigaya-kun, I promise you it'll be better", she assured me, even giving me a wide grin. "Spares everyone the heartache".
That's when the awkwardness of the situation came baring down on me.
"Hiratsuka-sensei…", I said. "You're too close".
Her eyes widened before she bolted right up and walked back across the table to her seat, I can see a faint blush on her face as she did. That was unexpectedly cute, if she had been at least 10 years younger I would've considered taking her.
That's when the bell rang and Hiratsuka-sensei pointed at the door.
"That ends my consultation hours", she chided as I stood up.
"Thanks for the advice Sensei", I thanked her as I headed for the door.
"No problem", she replied. "And don't forget, you're on cleaning duty after school so don't bother skipping out".
I closed the door behind me but lingered in the halls for longer than I wanted. I gazed out into the window and sky was blanketed by gray dull clouds once again, not only did it strike me odd since it was sunny earlier this morning but it reminded me of the day she fell into my arms, the coldness of her skin and how defensive she had gotten.
She's not the kind of girl you save…Hiratsuka-sensei's word rang in my head.
Save…was that what I really wanted to do? Do I even do it? Do I really want to go around saving people? People like her? My thoughts were a mess but I sighed, shoved my hands deep into my pocket and walked off to my next class.
Not realizing a pair of blue eyes following me from behind the corner as I did.
I opened the window and began to dust the used blackboard eraser, clouds of chalk smoke emitted from them as they blew into the air. I watched as the cloud of smoke dissipate fully into the clear sky as the wind blew a cool breeze. The weather's been acting up again lately but I merely paid it no mind, as long it doesn't affect my commute to-and-from school I wouldn't care about it anyway.
But strangely, I lingered by the opened window longer than I wanted, somehow my thoughts were drenched with my conversation with Hiratsuka-sensei. I hated this feeling, I couldn't discern if what she had said was something I should inherently listen to or I should be frustrated hearing coming from her of all people.
She was true though, Yukino Yukinoshita looked to be the kind of person who'd rather help themselves than seek it from people. But something nagged inside me incessantly, some forlorn feeling that clawed at me, asking me, begging me to do something, somehow, I felt as if I was already breaking my promise to her already. But I forced myself to bury that feeling, like Hiratsuka-sensei said herself, even if I could there was no possible way for me to help her, not with the way I'm approaching it now.
"I'm all done here", my cleaning duty partner, the pink hair classmate whose name I still cannot remember. "How are things at your end Hikki?".
She still insists on calling me 'Hikki' even though I barely know her…I thought of correcting her, that 'Hikki" was nothing more than an annoying play at my last name, but I restrained myself, that'll just make me an asshole in her eyes.
"Just about done as well", I replied before closing the window and placed the eraser back.
I walked up next to her as she admired our handy work, the classroom looked as average as it was earlier this morning so I couldn't really discern what she would be proud of.
"We did a lot of hard work today, good job Hikki", she praised as she gave me a hearty slap on the back, harder than I anticipated and silently winced at the impact.
"You-you too, it looks cleaner than usual, you're pretty good at this", I replied as she gave me a proud grin.
She then raised a finger, "Its because my Mom always said, 'One of the most important things that girl should know is to clean, cook and do laundry', it sounded important so I took her advice to heart".
"Really now…", I absentmindedly said.
"Yep, its one of the important qualities a girl like me should gain if I want to become a proper wife", she admitted, a little casually for my liking.
The room was soon basked in this awkward silence when none of us spoke, I was just letting my eyes wander all over the place trying to discern her name if my memory could help me. Meanwhile, she merely fidgeted beside me, obviously embarrassed that she just admitted to her dreams of becoming a wife with me of all people, probably, if its not too late to crawl into a fetal position and scream in a fit of humiliation.
But something-Gahama (I'm definitely close in figuring out her name) surprised me by continuing the conversation.
"How-how about you Hikki?", she asked, twirling a strand of hair as she did. "You want to be something like that in the future?".
Honestly, if I could answer, I never really thought about what I wanted to do in the future. Mostly because the enormity of possibilities would be too overwhelming and I would just overthink about it so no, I have no idea what I want to be in the future, but I at least need to come up with answer that would satisfy her.
"Probably just some writer or something", I replied as I saw her eyes light up.
"Writing huh? Never thought you'd be into that, but, you are insanely good at writing essays", she admitted, her face in thought and wonder about my answer. "So you really want to be a writer?".
I shrugged, "Anything really, just as long as I work from home, hell, I'll even become a house husband and live off my wife earnings if I have to".
Something-Gahama immediately recoiled at that, stepping back as she did, as if I had begun to produce something putrid. Her face was a mixed look of shocked and confusion.
"You're-you're certainly not considering being…that", she said, as if she had spoken something horrific and I raised a brow at her reaction.
"What's wrong with becoming a house husband?", I questioned. "Its care-free, easy and I can still be lazy at home and be productive whenever I want".
Truly, the hallmark of man's creation was the idea of being able to sit around and laze at home, that's why the idea of being a house husband intrigued me so…yes, it was truly the pinnacle of man's achievements.
But Something-Gahama merely sighed at that, affixing her face with a tired smile, as if I told her a worn out joke and she's trying her best to still find it funny.
"I thought you'd do something more productive", she said before smiling brightly, the sudden shift of her mood was jarring to say the least as she grabbed her bag and made her way to the door. I caught a glimpsed of her name on the small name tag lopped around one of the zippers.
Yui Yuigahama, somehow that named brought a familiar ring to me and I remembered who she was. She was part of Hayama's "clique", as annoying as the idea of them can be they were one of the most popular people in class and Yui here was the cheerful and supportive one, always happy and brightly smiling. I decided to remember her name for good, lest I fear the wrath of one Yumiko Miura.
But then another thought hit me, if she's with the popular crowd then she must know something about Yukinoshita, something I can pick out that would satisfy this craving I had in me that clawed its way to my chest.
"Hey Yuigahama-san, can I ask you something?"
She was already by the door, ready to open when I called out to her, she seemingly smiled at that and turned her towards me as she did.
"What is it Hikki?", she asked.
"You know anything about Yukino Yukinoshita?"
Her bright smile and eyes fell in an instant, a glimpse of a sudden sadness shadowed over her face and as fast as it appeared it was gone and she was smiling brightly once again, but even I could discern it wasn't as a bright of a smile as she had before.
"I-I see…", she muttered under her breathe before shaking her head and bounced back. "You want to know more about Yukinon?".
"Yukinon?", I said, taking me by surprise that she even knew her enough to give her a nickname. "I didn't even know you guys knew each other".
She waved her hand, as if dismissing my thought.
"Technically we do but we aren't friends", she replied, a tad embarrassed by it. "She-she helped me during the first day of my first year, I panicked and almost got lost – ", strangely this girl did have a reputation of being an airhead. "– but Yukinon managed to help me out, gave me a couple of advices and even introduced me to Hayama-san".
"She knows Hayama?", I questioned.
"I heard they were childhood friends and went to the same schools together but that's all I know about her", Yuigahama replied. "I've always wanted to make good friends with her".
"Then why haven't you?", I prodded, knowing Yuigahama here would've done it easily if she had wanted.
"To be honest…", she began to twirl a piece of her hair once again as she did. "I have no idea how to approach her, she seems kind of…"
Scary? Intimidating? Would instantly turn you into stone once you look into her eyes?... I mentally said, wanting to gage a much more honest answer out of Yuigahama, but she wasn't the type to say something bad about someone. At least, she's never said anything bad about me.
"Cold…", she answered, I raised my brow at that, almost seeing the cruel joke the universe was playing. "Something like that…".
I nodded my head, thinking now I had gotten a clearer and bigger picture than I had before. But that didn't mean I understood anything that was going on with her, but she is seemingly as cold as people perceive her to be and I wondered if I should pursue her any further. Especially since I was still adamant that the Puberty Syndrome has something to do with this.
"Hey Hikki, can I ask?", Yuigahama said and I looked at her. "Why the sudden interest in Yukinon? Do-do-do you-you li-li- ".
I can tell she was getting to embarrass to say it fully, probably reeling from the fact that a loner like me would aim for such a high standard of a woman, and it being Yukino Yukinoshita of all people. Oh Yuigahama, you sweet summer child, but it is clear you are misunderstanding it completely.
"I don't, believe me I have no interest in her", I answered, punctuating it with a more authoritative tone just so I can finally put to rest the misunderstanding people have. "Even if I did, there's no way in hell".
"I-I see", she said before opening the door. "Well that's that, I'll see you Monday Hikki, bye-bye".
I merely replied with a casual wave before she closed the door and leaving me now completely alone. I checked the time, it was getting pretty late already and I was sure Komachi was gonna cook up a mean dinner. I began to get hungry just by thinking about it and so I grabbed my bag and headed out for the day.
In my mind I began to wonder what I would do now, I guess the more practical solution was to follow both Hiratsuka-sensei's and Yukinoshita's advice to stay away and forget about her completely. It was not my problem and I'm not going to let it be, though I did feel a pinch of guilt bury myself as I did.
Guess I can start now since I'm never going to see her again…I wistfully thought as I closed the classroom door behind me.
I was about to turn and head to the stairway when suddenly an arm appeared that blocked my way, I turned, about to confront the person when I heard a familiar voice pierce into my ears.
"So, you've taken to stalking me now, aren't you?"
It was Yukino Yukinoshita, the girl who had been running amok in my head the past few days and it didn't help that she seemed to extra scarier this time around. She glared at me from where she stood, I was backed into the wall as she was getting a little close than personal now, even though I was at least an inch or two taller than her.
Yukino Yukinoshita had a special talent of making people fear her.
This time she seemed to be wearing a full blown winter outfit complete with a coat, scarf and even a beanie hat. I considered that I would jokingly compliment that she looked cute but I feared she'd just shove a stapler into my mouth and give me a wicked face piercing.
"What's the matter unknown-creepy-perverted-rotten eyed stalker-kun?", she said as her glare intensified. "Do you have nothing to stay when the object of your stalking confronts you head on? Are you that weak willed? Pathetic, you truly are".
"Who the hell are you calling a stalker? I'm not a stalker", I defended myself.
"So suddenly going around asking people what they know about me isn't considered some sort of stalking?", she stated to me calmly. "Besides that, don't think I didn't feel your eyes on me that day in the cafeteria I was disgusted I had to take 3 hot showers when I got home".
This girl and her insults…
"Don't get ahead of yourself Yukino Yukinoshita", I replied, not realizing that I was referring her by her full name. "Besides, my eyes aren't that rotten".
"I apologize for my use of term…", there at least we're getting somewhere. "Deplorable would be a much more fitting".
I sighed, upon the realization I was never going to one up the Ice Queen in wits, I was too underhanded and Yukino Yukinoshita's words can cut into someone too deep. She then eased off the wall and crossed her arms in front of her as she continued to hold her gaze on me.
"And so now unknown-creepy-perverted-rotten eyed stalker-kun – "
"It's Hikigaya", I interjected her immediately.
"Excuse me?", she said.
"Hachiman Hikigaya", I finished myself as I too was keeping my gaze on her. "Just so you can drop that disrespectful nickname".
She huffed, "I have no use for such useless information, for like I said, I don't care. But I shall warn you for the last time", then she stepped up closer to me, close enough that I could feel her breathe on me. "Forget about what has happened before and stay away from me, I have half a mind to call the police and have you arrested", she eased off of me and stepped back, I continued to watch as I saw a wisp of smoke emit from her mouth when she sighed.
"Normally, I would be harsher, especially for remorseless perverts such as yourself but I don't feel much wasting my time with you – "
"Hold on for a second", I interrupted her as I pushed myself off the wall.
She could only let out a small yelp of surprise as I gotten closer to her. Reaching out my hand as she began to step back a few to avoid it, but I pushed back her bangs back, even causing the beanie hat she had been wearing to fall to the ground.
I pressed my forehead against hers, immediately as I did, I felt the excruciating bite of chills run down my body upon contact. It merely confirmed more what I had thought, it was as if Yukino Yukinoshita here was made completely of ice.
Yukinoshita seemingly snapped out of her momentary daze before violently pushing me off.
"What in the world do you think you're doing?", she barked angrily at me as she stepped back further, wrapping her arms around herself as she did. "Pervert. Beast. Hachiman".
"My name is not an insult", I was quick to remind her but she merely huffed, angry and red faced as she grabbed her beanie from the ground.
"It might as well be", she replied as put it on, adjusted her bag and was prepared to leave. "My earlier assessment of you was correct, you are nothing but a perverted hound dog and with rotten eyes to boot. I am glad I warned you to stay away for I – "
"I think I know what's going on with you", I answered.
Silence soon filled the hallway as soon as I said that. Yukinoshita looked at me, her eyes filled with so many conflicting emotions such as surprise, confusion, fear but I saw a recognition of hope but it died out as soon as it did. Closing her eyes for a brief second before opening them again, and back came a cold façade of the Ice Queen.
"I don't know what you mean", she replied. "Your rotten brain of yours is making you delusional, please, seek professional help immediately".
I sighed, knowing I was going to have a hard time getting through to her.
"The coat, the scarf, the hot food and drink…", I began to list as I walked up to her. "The fact your skin feels like I'm touching snow…", I balled my fist, confident now I finally concluded my suspicions from the start. "Yukinoshita, I think you've been afflicted by the Puberty Syndrome".
She looked at me, like really looked at me, as if to scrutinize that what I had just said was actually true before sighing to herself.
"If you are just going to approach me with some baseless internet rumor than you're a bigger waste of my time than I thought", she harshly said before turning and about to walk off.
"Just hear me out please", I told her as I followed her.
"I don't want to waste my time with a creepy stalker like you", she bluntly answered as we both bounded down the stairs.
"But the Puberty Syndrome is the only thing that could cause this", I replied but she merely continued her descent downstairs as I followed her.
"Listen if you don't stop following I'll – "
But before she could finish what she was about to say she took a misstep and her entirety fell forward, my body reacted quickly as I grabbed unto the railing and the other on her arm. I successfully did and she grabbed unto the railing with her free hand.
As soon as she did something happened, a sight I won't even soon forget. Because as soon as Yukinoshita let go of the railing, a small thin layer of ice quickly covered the area where she had grabbed on.
I could only stare at the sight before glancing back at the girl seemingly made of ice, looking down on it with a horrified look of realization as she held unto the said hand. That's when I realized what I had to do.
I deeply apologize Hiratsuka-sensei…I mentally said a prayer of sorts…But I guess it seems I'm involving myself with Yukino Yukinoshita.
Note: How many of ya'll catch the Monogatari reference? But tell me if you liked it by leaving a review and I promise I will do my best to update as fast as I can.