A/N: In light of finishing the anime and currently waiting on Chapter 86, I wanted to start creating a compilation of short story ideas that I had as I watched/read the series. I've seen a few stories in this category already, so I hope this is a worthwhile contribution. Please let me know what you think as well, and thanks again!
A/N: I do not own Nagatoro or any of its affliates.
(Edit): I updated this chapter with a few syntax and grammatical fixes, as well as added in a few more sentences to add in some depth. Please let me know what you think of for this chapter and chapter 2!
The natural lighting of the art room cast favorably on the still life Senpai was illustrating. Specks of dust danced in the rays of light that filtered into the room; the sound of stencil on canvas filled the quietness of the space.
A small smile adorned the artist's lips as he added the finishing touches to his sketched cactus plant and bowl. The plant club was giving away various succulents and cacti as a way to promote their club, Naoto saw it as another inspiration for a sketch.
The artist slowly lowered his stencil to look over his work, eyes partially quivering with uncertainty as he noticed a few errors. Some contrasting lines, as well as partial shading mistakes caught his attention as he slightly grimaced.
However, he was proud of his work overall. His smile persisted as he scanned over the other aspects of his work.
He froze as he felt something brush against ear,
Naoto knocked over his stool as he backed away from his kouhai, clutching his chest to keep his heart from jumping out of his chest.
"Ahaha you have the best reactions, Senpai!" She clapped her hands.
The first year wanted to test out her stealth by slipping in the art room undetected. Of course, Senpai not being the most observant person helped in accomplishing her goal.
Nagatoro began pointing at Naoto,
"Were you so wrapped up in your pervy thoughts you couldn't even hear me come in? Ahaha pervy Senpai!"
"That –that's not true, you simply surprised me… t-that's all.." He stammered, adjusting his glasses as he averted his eyes away from his junior.
"Are you sure about that? Are you absolutely sure about that?" She teased, slowly approaching her senpai with clawed hands.
A certain aura permeated the small girl's frame, one that Naoto could acutely discern due to his familiarity with it. Though, his familiarity didn't bring him any comfort; he knew Nagatoro was going to ask/do something unreasonable once again.
As she drew closer, he reluctantly accepted his fate, knowing that he could not outrun nor overpower her.
"Wha-what is it…?"
"Ju-just spit it out already..!" He closed his eyes as she cornered him.
Calm down… calm down… Naoto breathed in deeply, awaiting the request his kouhai would inevitably ask.
After a few seconds, he peaked one eye to look at Nagatoro, noticing her trademark grin.
"You heard about the school dance coming up, right?" She peered up at him, causing him to scratch his cheek in thought.
"Well.. I think I did see a flyer in the hallway about it… why do you ask?"
Naoto's question elicited an unexpected response from his kouhai, seeing her transition from her usual haughtiness to a timid expression.
"The thing is…" She paused, circling her foot along the floor as she thought of the words she wanted to say. The artist's attention was fully on her now as he found it rare for her to act this way.
"I was wondering if… maybe… you and I could go together?"
Senpai gasped as he frantically adjusted his glasses over and over, eyes darting everywhere Nagatoro wasn't.
"Tha-tha-that's not re-really my thing…" His face beet red with both embarrassment and unease, beads of sweat had formed on his brow. After a few seconds of letting his shock subside, he peered back down at Nagatoro, who now had inflated cheeks and watery eyes.
"…PAHAHAHAHA, you actually believed me! Oh Senpai, when will you learn? It'll be a million years before I'd want to dance with a bean sprout like you!" She taunted as her noodle arm slapped lightly against his chest.
"Gross! Gross! Gross! Me? Dancing with senpai?! Do you even know how to dance?"
"I get it, you don't have to keep going… and I took a couple classes when I was younger…"
"Oh? And what kind of dancing was it? Ballet? It was ballet, wasn't it? But then again, you're not that flexible so maybe not."
Nagatoro deadpanned, her imagination immediately jumped to Naoto wearing loose chains and a backwards hat that elevated her laughter to a new level.
"Hip hop? You? There's no way ahaha, were you part of the Jabbawockees too? Ahahaha! Creepy senpai wriggling all over the dance floor!"
Naoto gritted his teeth and walked back to his fallen stool and canvas, resuming his inspection of his sketch. Noodletoro had emerged, so he knew it would be a few minutes before they could pick up their conversation.
After a few more wriggles, Nagatoro crept up behind her Senpai, once again sending him into a frenzy.
"Hey, Senpai. How about you show me some of those hip hop moves you were telling me about?" Her eyes asymmetrical as her grin grew darker and darker. Senpai straightened up his posture and he felt her breath on the back of his neck.
"I couldn't possibly now… we don't have any music." He muttered, crookedly grinning up at the ceiling as Hayase began to smile wider.
"Oh? Is that the reason? Are you sure that's the only reason you can't do it right now? You're so creepy."
Naoto sighed, while Nagatoro rested her head on his shoulder.
"Putting that aside…"
"Putting that aside –"She imitated.
"I don't think it'd be appropriate for me to start dancing in the art room. The president or anyone else could walk in at any moment."
"These just sound like more excuses to not show me your dance moves." Hayase pursed her lips in annoyance, while moving to the couch and pulling out her phone. She casually began scrolling through her various social media while Senpai began another sketch.
As his next still life set up had already been in position, his thoughts wandered to the upcoming event.
It may be kind of fun to go the dance though… I know Nagatoro can dance at least…
He glanced over at Hayase who seemed to not really be engaged in anything now, just mindlessly scrolling for anything that might catch her eye. Senpai offhandedly thought it was odd that she always looked disinterested when she did that, but he stored that away for another day.
Wait… the old me would've never thought a school dance would be fun. It's just an excuse for all the popular and rich kids to show up in party buses and fancy clothes.
But… maybe I should ask Nagatoro if she'd like to go… otherwise, why would she bring it up at all…?
Playing the possible scenario in his head:
"Hypothetically speaking… If I were to as-ask you to the dance… would you go wit-with me?"
Her speed surprised him as she encircled Senpai in a microsecond, bopping him on the head with her noodle arm.
"Ahhh he asked! Gross Senpai asked me to dance! Gross! Gross! Gross! Gross!"
Yeah… I don't think that'll work. Plus, I don't think I have enough money for a rental suit.
That thought spurred a different idea however, as he glanced once again at his kouhai.
Immediately, he pictured her in an elegant black dress along with elegant jewelry and makeup and began blushing. His stare ended up a little too long however, as Nagatoro caught his eye contact before he was able to turn away.
"Ew, you're giving extra creepy vibes today, Senpai. What was that stare for, huh?"
"I just thought you'd look really good in a dress." Naoto mentioned offhandedly, before his eyes widened.
Those words left my mouth…!
His lips quivered as he dared look at Hayase's face, which contorted the way he expected. Her eyes had taken on an orange hue with a vibrant blush. She was about to noodle him before she paused and thought for a second.
An embarrassed smile appeared on her face, looking over to the side she muttered,
"Haaa well I guess it can't be helped. If you're not willing to dance here, then you'll just have to do it at the actual event. Poor you, Senpai, but don't worry, I'll be there to help you manage your embarrassment."
"Why do I even have to dance at all?!"
"You think you can say you took hip hop lessons and I'd just let it slide? Someone as wriggly as you? That claim needs validation!"
Naoto simply adjusted his glasses once again, before peering down at the floor.
"Then… would yo-you like to…"
"Go to the dance, with m-me?"
Preparing for the worse, Senpai braced himself by tightly closing his eyes. His hands had balled up into fists on his lap and his feet securely planted on the ground, but he only heard the door to the art room sliding open.
"I need to start dress shopping then! I'll see you later, Senpai! "
With that, Nagatoro was gone, and only a fleeting sense of confusion and delight filled Naoto's being.
He turned back to his canvas, a small smile now adorning his lips.
The walk back home seemed a bit lacking since Nagatoro left earlier than usual, Naoto couldn't help but think the path seemed longer today.
It didn't damper his mood however, he felt somewhat accomplished he successfully asked Nagatoro to the dance, even if she only agreed because of her doubt.
He thought back to his minor dance lessons, and although he only took 5 classes, he surprisingly picked it up rather quickly compared to most things.
Many of the hobbies Naoto had tried before, he never had an innate talent nor interest in them. This led him to believe his talents were limited due to his inability to learn it quickly. Combined with a low self-esteem, he often would give up said hobbies, even if he partially enjoyed them.
Drawing was the one true pastime he devoted himself to sharpening, but he wasn't particularly sure why. Starting out, his sketches were novice at best, but over time they improved, like anything. Perhaps it was the traceability of improvement he witnessed.
Naturally, he retained every sketch and painting he produced, and each time he corrected mistakes that he saw himself would make routinely. More than anything however, he simply enjoyed it.
He liked the versatility of the canvas, the smell of oil paints, and the ambience of the art room in general.
But one of those things had been destroyed, due to the disturber of peace known as Nagatoro. At first, he was dismayed at his kouhai's consistent intrusion into the room, but soon she became a fixture of it.
A foreign object now transformed into a compulsory model, he wasn't sure when that change happened, but he welcomed it all the same.
A sudden weight had clambered onto Naoto's back, causing him to yelp and look back. A smirk had greeted his view, one that he was all too familiar with.
"I was looking up dresses on the phone, but I figured, we should do it together because we need to coordinate."
"Yeah! We need to color coordinate. You're so hopeless, Senpai. Make a left here!"
"Wait, this isn't to either of our houses though."
"Fufu, yes I wonder where I'm steering you." Nagatoro teased as she lightly grabbed two tufts of Naoto's hair and used them as reins.
A/N: And that's it for this installment. A lot of the stories I'm putting into this won't be cohesive, they'll have their own theme but I may at least keep it linear. Let me know what you guys think in terms of character portrayal and just overall plot devices. I'm a bit rusty with my writing so I understand if some parts are choppy/need to be rewritten. Thank you in advance!