Disclaimer: Azumanga Daioh =/= mine. Kiyohiko Azuma's the creator
A few days have passed since that fateful weekend. School had been back in session for only three days. For the usual girls, it was just another day at school. In fact, no one really noticed a difference between Tomo and Yomi. Was there even anything different, at all?
With a hand casually resting on her cheek, Yomi focused on her thoughts. She figured young Chiyo would not notice a thing, but Kagura had carried on with her usual playful antics with Tomo, Sakaki always kept to herself, and Osaka – Osaka of all people had nothing to say. Yomi had worried that girl would have said something by now but…nothing. She was certain the girls would have noticed something by now. Yomi had been mentally preparing the answers to whatever questions their friends would have. She even thought of some outlandish questions that Osaka might even ask…just in case. Hanging out with that girl had its perks, if Yomi could call it as such…She was so sure of it.
There was, indeed, a shift in Yomi and Tomo's dynamic. They were dating. It was plain to see, at least, Yomi thought so. They would hang out on the weekends, going on dates or spending the nights at Yomi's (Tomo's place was always so loud, and her dog was just as hyper as Tomo herself). It would sometimes be a little stressful for Yomi, as she was hiding it from her parents, but, so far, Tomo had been so quiet and gentle. It was uncertain when, or if, Yomi would open up about Tomo to her parents – especially her mother – but that was a problem that could be solved later.
The shift in Tomo was especially startling for Yomi. The days leading up to school were filled with so much love and compassion, it was almost like she was a completely different girl. Not that Yomi did not mind. She reciprocated the feelings wholeheartedly. It was almost a challenge hiding certain "marks" that had not completely faded away by the end of summer break. Despite that, in a way, Yomi did mind the change a little. It was nice, but it was not exactly "Tomo." Does love really make people change that much?
All of this overthinking was causing a headache. Yomi removed her glasses and massaged the bridge of her nose. As she did, she could hear the rushing footsteps of an all-too-familiar girl approach the classroom entrance.
"Good morning everyone! Ha! Made it just in time!" Tomo cheerfully greeted all their friends – a grin here, a tease there. She had a brief, playful tiff with Kagura about school arrival times. Osaka asked her something and responded with something equally nonsensical, and Chiyo got her pigtails tugged. Yomi sighed. This had been the routine since school started. Tomo would usually go to her desk at this point, though, and wait for the day to end so she could have her time with Yomi.
Today was a little different.
"Oi, Yomi!" chirped the cheerful, dark-haired gal. She approached Yomi's desk enthusiastically, nearly startling her. "Say…can I borrow your English homework? I kinda forgot mine."
Yomi blinked. "Eh?" A blush began to creep up on her face. They were together last night. Homework was done, was it not? "But you were…I thought…"
Tomo grinned. "So I lied. I kinda forgot to do it last night. C'mon, Yomi! I got time to copy it real quick! Gimme! Gimme!"
Yomi could feel her body tense up in growing irritation. She had done that homework early on yesterday so they could have time together. Tomo was supposed to copy it before she headed back home. What did the girl do, just hop out the window after hanging out?
"Pleeeeeaasee?" Now Tomo was just getting on her nerves. Still, she pushed on, asking Yomi for the assignment repeatedly like a parrot. It was getting very, very irritating.
"DO THE DAMNED HOMEWORK YOURSELF!" Yomi's voice echoed through the classroom. It was loud, it was angry, and Tomo received the full blast.
She froze. Despite the sudden outburst, their classmates were still minding their own business. To everyone else, it was just another day. Maybe one quick glance from a worried Chiyo, but she then returned to her conversation with Sakaki. Even Tomo seemed unfazed. Sure, she was whining about having to somehow do it before class started, but she showed no signs of hurt. She brushed it off.
Stranger still was how Yomi felt after yelling. It was like a familiar comfort washed over her. This was what she was used to – getting annoyed by that girl, tension building up from all her other ordeals until she finally let it all out in one, swift yell. It certainly felt refreshing to say the least. Yomi returned to her seat slowly and looked down at her notebook. On it was a small, folded piece of paper. She looked for Tomo, but the girl was cheerfully making her way to her own desk.
Should she…? Even with a few minutes until school starts…?
Curiosity got to the best of her.
It was a note. It had just two simple lines:
Hey, after school, do you wanna do some of this stuff together?
The rest of the note consisted of some rather simple doodles with characters that vaguely resembled Tomo and herself. As she looked at each sketch, Yomi's face began to grow shade after shade of darker reds, and her glasses took on a familiar, fogged appearance. She snapped her head back toward Tomo's desk. The girl was looking right at her.
She would not dare cause another commotion, but her visibly shaking body told Tomo all she needed to know. She grinned back at Yomi and winked.
Yomi slammed her head against her desk in a vain attempt to cease the storm of emotions rising within. This time, she had received surprised and confused reactions from the surrounding students, including a cry of concern from Chiyo. She quietly nodded an assurance to the young girl, not once lifting her head off her desk.
Some things may be different now, but Yomi realized some things just would never change. She may view this in a more positive light after school, but, for now, she really wished Tomo would not have pulled all these stops this early in the morning.