How The Cookie Crumbles

Chapter 2

I'm sorry I've been neglecting this fic. I got all caught up in writing two other fics I have on the go and things got a little out of hand. Anyway, here's Chapter 2 where all hell breaks loose.

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Mannen slouched by the Catholic girl's elementary school miserably, little anticipating the danger of such an activity. As most people know, ten year old girls stand on the brink of leaving childhood filled with handsome princes and happily ever afters and entering teenage life run by hormones. What they end up with is a strange hybrid mix of the two.

Suzuko was an average looking girl. Brown hair in pigtails, blue eyes, little freckles on her cheeks, perfectly ordinary. However, she had a bizarre and sometimes scary habit of becoming infatuated with the first guy she laid eyes on. At that moment she was walking out of the school to go home for lunch. Her latest little crush had ended abruptly when the Art teacher, Mr. Chigusa, ( Suzuko's books were covered with little hearts with 'Suzuko 4 Mr. Chigusa' and 'Mrs Suzuko Chigusa') brought in pictures of his newborn baby daughter. Suzuko was thwarted and consumed with unrequited love when she met Mannen.

Or rather, collided with him. Suzuko was walking with her head down and pressed to her chest, Mannen doing the same, so they were bound to crash into each other. They fell into a heap of tangled limbs on the pavement. Suzuko straightened her hat and was about to scream at the clumsy S.O.B. (she had a rather good vocabulary) when she got a good look at him. Ping! A new crush was born.

Mannen rubbed the rapidly forming bruise on his forehead and was about to berate the lumbering bitch (he'd been spending a lot of time around Goh lately) when said lumbering bitch threw her little arms around him and began declaring her love in words from various pre-teen romance mangas.

" Oh, my sweet, my darling, my burning desire, how miraculous is fate that you have been brought to me this way…"

" …can't breathe…"

" … and now that I have you I shall never let you go again…"

"…wha? Again? What are you on about, you crazy bint?"

Suzuko promptly shut him up by smooching him on the mouth. Poor Mannen's pupils shrank, he pushed the girl off of him and ran off screaming. Suzuko ran after him, still declaring her love in many and varied words.

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Hajime was not only miserable, but he was bloody bored. Without Mannen and Shin around, life was just unbearably dull. Sure, he could try and make his own entertainment, but what was the point if there was no-one around to appreciate it? Hajime stuck his fists in his pockets and stomped off.

As he was walking past the girl's school he thought he heard a scream, but passed it off as a bird or something. Then , in the distance, he spotted the sign for the local park. An idea hit him in the back of the head. Maybe one of the others was at the park! With renewed enthusiasm, he ran off in that direction.

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Watanabe was on cloud nine. It was a novelty for him to have a boyfriend or girlfriend who didn't spend the duration of their dating life screaming or hitting him away. This new flame was quite content to hold his hand, accept all his gifts (especially cookies) and listen to his waxing lyrical about his great passion.

Shin, for his part, was a little bemused by the whole arrangement. The hand holding thing wasn't much of a surprise, almost everyone tried to hold Shin's hand at one point of another. The cookies were a great bonus, he would do almost anything if it involved a cookie. But this guy was using an awful lot of long words and using them in a very loud voice too. And just what was a 'boyfriend' anyway? Hajime and Mannen were boys, and they were friends, but they didn't throw the word around the way Wanabby ( he didn't quite have a handle on the pronunciation of his new friend's name) seemed to do incessantly.

"…and then you can meet my parents, and I'll meet yours, and I can show you off as my boyfriend to everyone at school, and then we…"

" Cookie?"

" …oh, yeah, here. And then we can get married…"

And then he stopped, because he'd realised something. He hadn't even kissed his new boyfriend yet! How could he do anything else without having kissed his new boyfriend? But here was the tricky part. The last time he'd kissed someone that someone had cried loud enough to alert her rather large brother, and what happened next he had banished from his mind. He had to approach this step with caution. Fortunately, he had plenty of practice at it.

" Okay, Shin?"

" Yes, Wanabby?"

" I'm gonna kiss you now. Don't scream or hit me, okay?"

" Okay." Shin wondered briefly if a kiss was a kind of cookie, and then out of nowhere Wanabby put his mouth on top of his! And if he hadn't been so shocked, he probably would have cried. Why would Wanabby want to do something like that? It was really weird!

Shin didn't have much time to dwell on the weirdness of all this. Something flew out of nowhere and tore Watanabe off of him.

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After a hard day at the restaurant, all Goh wanted was to go home, eat and take a shower (not necessarily in that order). But of course thanks to stupid Hayate and stupid Shin and the stupid Leafe Knights he had to collect Shin from the park. Oh well, it wouldn't take more than a minute. Right?

When he finally got to the park, all he wanted to do was run away.

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When Hajime walked into the park and saw some weirdo kissing the object of his affection, he went just a little bit mad. And now the two were rolling around in the grass, screaming at the top of their little lungs and doing their best to beat the crap out of each other. Goh arrived just in time to see the other kid kiss Shin, and he couldn't believe his eyes when Hajime threw himself at the kid. Mannen chose this moment to run into the park, followed closely by Suzuko screaming her loving words. Then Mannen saw Hajime fighting some kid and joined in. Goh finally got in on the act by attempting to separate them. Shin lost interest in the whole shindig and wandered off.

Sasame, who had finished work, heard the racket a mile away and dropped in to investigate. Kei (who had conveniently forgotten he was supposed to have Hajime with him) popped into the park on the way back to pick up attractive joggers (I'll let you decide what gender!) and walked in on the debacle. And Hayate, trying to train Himeno, was about to yell at all the people making so much noise when he realised that he recognised the voices. They all froze when they saw him, even Goh with Watanabe and Hajime dangling from his grip.

" So, does someone want to tell me what's going on?"

They all spoke at once.

" That brat snuck out on me!"

" Some mad bint is after me!"

"These two were fighting!"

" He kissed my Shin!"

" I heard the noise and popped in…"

" I was just kissing my boyfriend and this kid jumped me…"

" I'll kill you!"

" Ow!"

The explanation descended into chaos again. A freezing wind conjured by Hayate shut them up.

" So where is Shin now?"

No-one had an answer. Two hours later, they found Shin being fed cookies by a gaggle of teenage girls.

As epilogues go, this was an okay one, if not a great one. Kei's hair returned to it's original colour. Hayate had to see a doctor about his blood pressure. Sasame went back to being very, very Zen. Goh quit his job at the restaurant, only to beg for it back after he realised he was broke. The plan to keep the younger Leafe knights apart was scrapped when it was decided they got into more trouble apart than they did together. Mannen's obsession with Hajime went unnoticed by Hajime, just as Hajime's on Shin was unnoticed by Shin. Shin had to give up cookies when a trip to the dentist revealed six cavities.

But a happy ending came for Watanabe and Suzuko. She was full of admiration for how he defended his right to kiss someone he had a crush on. He admired her enthusiasm for the whole idea of romance. To this day, I believe they're still together.