A Midori no Hibi Fanfic
(Disclaimer: I own nothing from Midori no Hibi, though if I had a choice I'd totally dress Kouta up everyday.)
That's it. Everything's established now, and I quit all the difficult circles I'd offend by starting work for my family.
This is more than I deserve, but thank you, Seiji. Good luck.
Kiriyama read over his email draft one more time, and smiled. He couldn't believe it. Seiji and Kiriyama had successfully pulled off a massive hoax. It didn't hurt that on two occasions, some knuckleheads thought it would be a good idea to try and challenge Seiji and had gotten completely thrashed for their efforts. That had only been twice, though. Most of the negotiations had been done entirely through talks, mild bribes, subtle, verbal manipulation and many mutual agreements.
When Kiriyama had mentioned the website that archived Midori's days as an idol, he'd offered to track down the website administrator. The moment he'd mentioned it, though, Seiji had spat out the milk coffee he'd been drinking and growled something about 'Takamizawa', and then told Kiriyama he'd take care of it. The next day, Seiji had confidently stated the website issue was resolved, and Kiriyama had been surprised to find no traces remained online of Midori at all, not even in forums. It was mysterious, but Seiji was unwilling to talk about it, so Kiriyama decided to assume Seiji's connections were more useful than he'd thought.
As a result of their efforts, everyone now was too terrified of him and Seiji to do anything more than bow their heads to anything he asked for or demanded. Really, Kiriyama had been most worried that Hanabishi Kyousuke from Shin Sakura might pose a threat, but it turned out that Hanabishi had been fairly traumatised after the incident and even helped further Seiji's Death God status by retiring from his delinquency. It was ridiculous, but Kiriyama couldn't be less grateful for it. He pressed the send button on his new phone, and swivelled in his chair to look at his desk.
Spread out on it were pages full of contact details, addresses, part-time hours and levels of pay. Of the contacts he still had and trusted, many had given him a whole host of work opportunities. He hadn't even thought it would be possible for them to be so eager to help him out. All the jobs he had marked the details down for were clean, normal jobs: furniture mover, parcel deliverer, gasoline stand assistant, coffee shop waiter... He had yet to go and sign up for the jobs, but he was going to start doing that this afternoon.
His phone buzzed with Seiji's reply.
Yeah, yeah. Hope I never see you again. Good luck, Satoshi.
His mouth quirked into a smile, though an ache rended his heart. It would take a long time before things would be fully recovered between himself and Seiji, he knew that. Seiji had known that, too, but he had still worked together with Kiriyama and put his faith in him as a person, even before they were properly reconciled. The least Kiriyama could do, he supposed, was to respond by working to be worthy of that faith. Then maybe one day...
His ring tone began to sound, and he perked up when he saw the name on the screen.
"Hey, Sachiko," He answered, "Of course we're still getting lunch together. I'm headed out, now." He picked up the papers with one hand, keeping the phone to his ear with the other, and shoved the papers into his pocket alongside his keys and wallet. "I had stuff to do, okay? Yeesh. Oh, fine. I'm sorry I'm late..."
He headed outside, where the weather was warmer than yesterday, and the door shut with a snap behind him.
The same instant, miles away in the hospital, Kiriyama's father opened his eyes.
Miyahara was startled to see three students run up to him one morning, even before he had reached the school gates of Sakuradamon.
"What do you want?" He asked, alarmed. On closer inspection, the three students were wearing uniforms from Touka Middle School, which was just a few blocks down the road; Miyahara recognised none of them. However, all three of them stood up straight, their arms by their sides as they exclaimed,
"Good morning, lieutenant!"
"Good morning, sir!"
"We three are third year juniors from Touka Middle School, and we have taken the entrance exams for Sakuradamon High School next year!"
"We have seen you running past our school many times, escaping from big, scary gangs."
"We recently heard that you were a great force to be reckoned with, during the Ogurabashi incident."
"We admire you very much for your strength and your speed!"
"We would like to serve under you when we come to Sakuradamon this spring."
"We want to learn to be a great man like you!"
"Please take good care of us!"
They bowed down low as Miyahara, going crimson, frantically waved his hands at them. "H-hey now, I'm just Mad Dog's-"
"-first lieutenant?" Sawamura himself finished for him, looking amused as he stepped beside Miyahara.
The three boys suddenly snapped to attention, stiffening straight up like rods at the sight of Mad Dog. "G-good morning!" They chorused.
"Almost reminds me of when we became friends," Sawamura said quietly in Miyahara's ear, laughing at the way the middle school students were so terrified they were sweating bullets in the winter air. "Looks like you've got a good set of boys to take care of you this year, eh?"
"They- they should be idolising you, not me!" Miyahara whispered, flustered, and Sawamura clapped him on the shoulder.
"Why not? You're a great guy, Miyahara." He waved and went on through the gates, leaving the students from Touka jelly-legged with relief. They immediately began chirruping their thoughts at Miyahara, their eyes sparkling with adoration.
"You really are so amazing, lieutenant!"
"You are on such close terms with a terrifying person like M-Mad Dog!"
"You are a strong guy like him, but you are so much more approachable! You're so cool!"
Miyahara finally let out a booming laugh, and gave them a thumbs-up as he grinned at them. "Alright, I'll initiate you three if you really are willing to be my underlings. Hope you're prepared for it!"
Ayase rolled her eyes extravagantly as she passed by the spectacle, and upon seeing Narushima entering the gates just ahead of her, a sunny smile lit her face and she ran to catch up.
"Don't look now, but Yamanishi-kun is at the classroom door."
Iwasaki nearly spat her milk out; swallowing with difficulty, she whispered, "Has he seen me yet? Can I hide?"
Chika and Midori exchanged glances before shaking their heads.
"He's already here," Chika said in a voice used to express condolences, and Iwasaki could only inwardly groan before a very insistent series of pokes landed on her shoulder.
"Iwasaki. You got a minute?" Yamanishi drawled, and Iwasaki turned around and mustered up a polite smile.
"Erm, hello senpai. I'm having lunch with my friends at the moment." She shot Chika and Midori a pleading glance out of the corner of her eye, and the two girls immediately looked gravely at Yamanishi, nodding their solemn agreement that this was a sacred ceremony not to be interrupted.
"I'm only askin' for a minute," He said with a grin, "You gotta eat that badly? C'mon, don't be so stingy with me."
Ughhhh, Iwasaki thought. Yamanishi was a super annoying upperclassman from the boy's football club, and he was well-known for being a playboy. His next target had been Iwasaki for quite a while, and her increasingly cold attitude towards him seemed to only fuel his drive to win her over.
"If you have something to say, you can tell it to me now," Iwasaki said coolly, but Yamanishi looked undeterred.
"Well, if you really want your friends to witness this event, I'll be glad to oblige." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively at her, and for a moment she wondered if punching him now would count as self-defense.
"Go ahead, senpai," She said with a perfect tone of indifference.
"Fine. I got a couple free tickets to the amusement park for this Saturday. Y'know how they got a new aquarium and everythin'?" Oh crap, Iwasaki thought. She'd hoped he wouldn't ever make a bold move, but clearly she'd hoped wrong. "Anyway, the friend I asked told me this mornin' it's his grandma's birthday that day so he can't make it. He'd forgotten! Can you believe it?"
He paused here, giving her an abandoned puppy dog look, and Iwasaki felt glad that he wasn't asking Chika because she was looking genuinely sympathetic. Yamanishi's tricks were older than dirt to Iwasaki, so she didn't even bother responding. He only kept his smug smile on, however, as though he knew she was playing hard to get. He was infuriating. Leaning close to her, he said smoothly,
"So I was thinkin', if you're free this Saturday-"
Everyone turned to see Kouta standing behind Yamanishi, but no one looked more surprised than Iwasaki.
"D'you mind? I'm talking to her at the moment, kid." Yamanishi said irritably, but Kouta narrowed his eyes at him.
"Sorry to interrupt," Kouta said, his tone utterly unapologetic, "But Kurogane-sensei is looking for Beniko-san urgently." He stressed the syllables to her name very particularly.
"Oh, I better go then- sorry senpai," Iwasaki said hastily, and she quickly got up and walked alongside Kouta. As they left the classroom, Yamanishi called after her,
"I'll be waitin' right here!"
As soon as they were ten paces out the classroom, Iwasaki let out a loud sigh.
"What does Kurogane-sensei want?" She asked Kouta, "Talk about good timing, I hope it lasts all lunch break."
"Actually..." Kouta looked sheepish. "I made that up. He isn't really looking for you."
"Well- your expression just looked like you were saying, 'get me out of here!' so I just made up something on the spot," Kouta's words tumbled out of his mouth in a rush. "I'm sorry if I misread you."
"No! It's totally fine," Iwasaki exclaimed, letting out a laugh, "Thank you for saving me. Seriously, that guy doesn't know when to quit."
"There are some bad rumours about him going around," Kouta said a little nervously, "Please be careful around him, Iwasaki-san."
Iwasaki stopped walking, and Kouta looked around, surprised.
"Why are you calling me 'Iwasaki' again?" She asked curtly, her annoyance masking an unprecedented level of disappointment. He turned a little red.
"Uhm... I- I'm sorry I called you by your first name, back in the classroom. It's just that Yamanishi-senpai was addressing you so familiarly, and I guess I..." Kouta blushed deeper, and Iwasaki felt something inside her melt and bubble excitedly at the words he did not say. Instead, he mumbled, "Never mind... I won't do that again."
"But I didn't mind," She blurted out, "You calling me by my first name, I mean." Iwasaki wished he wouldn't stare at her like that; she felt embarrassed enough already.
"Th-then... may I call you Beniko-san?" Kouta asked, and she nodded.
"O-okay then. Beniko-san."
She had no idea why she felt so incredibly shy all of a sudden; she turned her head to face the wall as they walked, feeling her cheeks grow warm.
"Look..." She realised she was fidgeting with her fingers, and put them behind her back. "Remember you owe me one? For getting you out of the lockers, I mean."
"Oh, of course," Kouta said, sounding surprised, "Is there a favour you would like to ask of me?"
"Yeah." Iwasaki looked at him. At first glance Kouta was so short and neat you could never imagine him to be anything other than a wimpy goody-two-shoes. But she'd seen other sides to him and knew he could yell like a man and fight like one, too. He might look ridiculously cute with a dress and a bow, but Iwasaki had been far more enthralled by his steely expression and the solidity in his voice when he'd shouted at the Crimson Angels to stop. When it came down to it, Kouta was reliable and courageous to the core. "Kouta. Take me out on a date this Saturday."
"What?" Kouta stared at her, open-mouthed, but she wasn't about to repeat her request; she knew she was blushing, but kept her eyes trained on his.
When he realised he hadn't heard wrong, he blushed, too. "Oh! S-sure. Where do you want to go?"
Her heart gave an unexpected swoop and scream of approval, a cheering squad bursting into song and somersaults, but out loud she said casually, "I've heard the amusement park has a new aquarium..."
"Oh, I've heard about that, too! That sounds fun, Beniko-san." Kouta smiled at her, looking genuinely pleased, and Iwasaki found herself smiling happily back.
Back at the classroom, Yamanishi was completely rejected - much to his shock - as Iwasaki told him plainly that she wasn't available on Saturday because, in fact, she had a date.
It was nice to be able to find Midori at the park, and be absolutely unconcerned about whether she would be kidnapped or whether some idiot would try and attack him along the way. The feeling of freedom would take some getting used to, but Seiji and Midori were both quite happy to adjust to it. As they walked, Midori glanced up at the trees, which were no longer looking as stark or bleak; the snow had melted, and there were small buds growing amongst the branches. "The weather is getting warmer."
"Yeah. It'll soon be spring." Seiji agreed. "Time flies, huh?"
"You'll be graduating soon, and I'll be in my senior second year."
"Graduation?" He made a face. "Wow, already?"
"What do you want to do after you graduate?"
He tapped his chin, in thought. "Well, I might start working straightaway. I could work in motorcycle repairs, or something like that."
"Really? Have you never considered college?"
"I don't know, my grades kind of suck. Though I guess they have been improving lately..." Here, he gave her a nudge, and Midori blushed, the corners of her lips turning upwards.
"If I did go to college," he went on, "I guess I could have a better shot at being a normal salaryman. Can you imagine me being an office worker?" He laughed at the image, and though Midori laughed too, it was for a different reason.
"I can imagine it," she said easily, and he blinked.
"Yes." She squeezed his arm. "Whatever you choose to do, I can imagine it being done in your way, Seiji-kun. You are earnest and hardworking when you want to be. I know as long as you want to do it, you'll shine."
His cheeks were scarlet as he scratched his nose, trying to look indifferent as he said, "Oh."
"I really think so." She pressed.
"I know you do. That's what makes it so incredible." He smiled at her. "What about you? You're crazy smart, you know, catching up all the work you missed while you were in hospital."
"Ah, well, I'm still in first year, so that's possible." Midori said, flushing.
"Don't be modest, you're smart." He chuckled. "So, what are you thinking of doing after graduation?"
"I-I don't know," Midori stammered, blushing, and Seiji smirked at her.
"Don't tell me you thought of being a housewife."
Midori just looked red.
"Well- n-no, I did think about o-other options a little," She said hastily, still apple-cheeked, "I've read some books on career orientation, and I think I might be suited to work in research. I do like reading and working with data."
"What kind of research?"
"Scientific research? Perhaps for psychiatry, or bio-engineering..."
Seiji grinned at her. "You'll be a mad scientist? Getting revenge on Makinoha's-" He suddenly bit his tongue, looking slightly flustered, before quickly saying, "Sorry, just got confused with a TV show."
"Okay?" She looked curiously at him for a moment, then giggled. "Maybe I will be a mad scientist. For food science, that is. Or maybe a teacher, at a kindergarten or elementary school."
He studied her for a moment, looking as though he was seeing her in a different light. "Yeah," he said after a moment, "I can see that. You'd be great with kids, really gentle."
"Maybe we could teach in the same school. You could do Physical Education," Midori suggested, and Seiji snorted.
"You know Shiori? Oh wait, of course you don't. One day, you'll meet Shiori, this little neighbourhood brat who proves that kids drive me crazy."
"Hmm. But I have a feeling that Seiji-kun is actually very good with children." Midori studied him in the same way he'd studied her. "I think they would warm up to you quickly, and like you a lot."
"Then maybe we really could be teachers together," Seiji laughed.
"I'm not sure I have the confidence to be very disciplinary, though," Midori admitted, and Seiji shrugged.
"I don't think we're supposed to really be that confident in anything yet. It's all stuff we learn after experience, right?"
"Yes, that's true. We still have some time to think about it." Midori leaned lightly against Seiji as they walked, tucking her arm more securely around the crook of his elbow. "The truth is, anything looks exciting to me, Seiji, so long as I'm with you."
In response, he slipped his hand down and webbed her fingers through his own, holding it snugly.
"Me too," he said quietly.
For a few minutes, they walked in companionable silence. They passed by a hot red-bean bun stall crowded with people, and he could tell by the glint in Midori's eyes that she wanted one, so they waited in the long line. He watched her focus on the menu, her usually calm face bright with concentration.
After Midori had started going to school again, there had been times Seiji felt the ache of longing when he was alone at home. With Midori on his hand, he had experienced an intimacy worth cherishing purely through bizarre circumstances caused by a lack of courage and faith on Midori's part. Now she had those things, and Seiji had the privilege of knowing what it was like to be with her all the time already, even if she couldn't remember.
But for now, their commitment to each other had to be based on a gradual building of solid foundations that could stand the test of time and tribulation. It had to be based on what was absolutely real, and nothing forced. Seiji felt he understood that now. So even when pangs of loneliness occasionally hit, he was still content with where they were at the moment. The emptiness had been filled with something bigger and deeper.
This weekend, though, they were finally going to spend some quality time together. Their mid-terms had just ended, and there was a lot they had planned for the weekend. Seiji was going to take Midori out on his sister's motorcycle, just for a short ride to a nature park. They were going to relax in the park a bit, and Midori would bring something home-made for them to lunch on. They might visit the aviary nearby, if they had time. It would be their first date away from the neighbourhood, not to mention Midori's first time on a motorcycle. But Seiji planned to bring her home in time for dinner, so her mother wouldn't worry her socks off.
There were a lot of firsts to go through, with Midori. They had gone through so much together in the past, but with the real Midori, redoing old memories one at a time was incredibly refreshing. And he was pretty sure that soon enough, they would experience things together that would be entirely new to the both of them.
"Midori," He said suddenly, as she bit into her steaming red-bean bun, "You're my first for a lot of things. I really look forward to our times together."
She glanced at him, surprised, then smiled shyly at him. "You've been my first for everything," she said happily, "And I want you to be my last, too."
He stared at her. She looked utterly unembarrassed for having said what she had; she continued to eat her bun like she hadn't just proposed to him.
"I'm sorry, did you want some?" It seemed she had misinterpreted the reason he was gawking at her. She held out her bun, beaming at him. "It's really good."
It occurred to Seiji that with moments like these, he would never be bored around her. As he leaned over to take a bite, he was filled with the blissful premonition that this was only one of the many, many days he would spend with Midori hereonout.
He knew for sure that Midori didn't have to be on his hand for him to know, through and through, that she was with him.
Author's Notes: It's been exactly 7 years! I actually didn't plan this, but when I checked the dates I realised I was completing this fic exactly 7 years after I published. SEVEN YEARS! That's a crazy long time for a measly 20 chapter ordeal. Thank you for bearing with me for 7 years to finish this fanfic.
Midori no Hibi was an awesome read for me from beginnning to end, running not only on the bizarre but hilarious concept of having someone on your hand, but also on the wonderful strength of the main and supporting characters. There were many good things to learn from watching these characters grow, and I felt inspired to continue their story just a little bit further - especially since Midori and Seiji do not exactly get much screen time once they are finally a couple. Writing this fanfic really has been a learning experience for me as well. I hope it has been as fun a ride for you to read as it was for me to write. Thank you, dear readers! Keep up the Midori no Hibi fandom squeals! :)