Disclaimer: Same as now, same it will always be.
Author's Notes: Same excuses as always I hate my job and I hate most everything else, but hell no one reads these things, hope you stick around. This chapter could be considered almost out of its own continuity, but it was something I wanted to write, so here it is.
History and Her
Chapter Seven: No Idea
The future isn't for guys who think only of girls and history, or of the history of girls.
I keep going; here I am back in school. I think graduation is coming up, for me too I guess. Ah hell, I take a little sneak peek around and I see even Ichigo is a little hyped for it. Mizuiro, of course, is more hyped for grad night…he's probably had so many girls by now…wonder if I'm the only virgin in the group. I take a look at Orihime and Tatsuki, and I have to realize the only male virgin.
"Keigo." I feel something like a cinderblock touch my shoulder.
"Huh? Wha?" nice response doofus come see the evolving spectacle of failure known far and wide as Keigo Asano!
"You alright man, you seem kind of out of it." Chad said. Come to think of it that's more than he usually says to me…or pretty much anyone else. Well I guess me slacking in the pervert department has caused a bit of concern in the male crowd and more than likely some relief in the female crowd.
"…Yeah dude I'm good, just a little beat that's all." I already knew Chad didn't buy that, like Ichigo, or Orihime or every and or any other damn genius that seems to gravitate towards me. Whether he bought or not quickly turned out to be irrelevant as a girl…of course a girl…asked Chad to sign her yearbook. I take another look around, Ichigo is signing, Mizuiro has a backed up pile of books to sign, hell, and even Rukia has her fair share.
"Bullshit." I mutter before I can think to stop myself.
"What is?" Ishida, good ears psychopath.
"Huh, oh sorry, just thinking out loud, my old dumbass self?" I say. Ishida just leave me the hell alone I don't feel like being psychoanalyzed.
"Where is your yearbook?" I'll tell you where I want it to be you albino-
"At home, too much of a hassle to lug it with all my shit, you know?" maybe in all my lower genetic glory I could turn the tables. "Where's yours?"
"At home as well, the whole ritual of book signing with phone numbers and meaningless little messages like "never change" or "stay cool" is just not for me." Maybe if I had something vaguely witty to that, or just laughed it off, than maybe the rest of the day wouldn't have gone the way it had gone.
"Huh…wish I could say that with a straight face." I mutter the last part, he heard.
"I take it you received no signatures in your-" I get up.
"Nail on the head genius, ain't no fun being inferior genetic stock." Funny thing is I know the exact meaning behind that, but based on things like first impressions and people refusals to actually look a little into the actions of prime target and lovable main character Keigo Asano, no one else will think I will.
"Asano, I meant no-" I love being rude, it really rocks harder than Audioslave that's for damn sure.
"I know you didn't but I'm just a crazy idiot…later." Class bell won't ring for another thirty minutes or so, but it's the end of the year and the teachers usually pretty lax on letting kids go.
"Where do you think you're going?" not for me though, being a lesser human being, destined for whatever the hell else everyone turns down, with a love for history that just really means nothing.
"Well uh…I have to go…to the bathroom?" please teacher, buy what I am selling, buy what I am selling…
"Why do you need your book bag to go to the bathroom?" damn, got me there, I see Ishida about to get up…is he about to help me…I don't help from one of my superiors…
"Cause ol' Keigo is a skirt chasing pervert retard!" I yell out a little louder than I thought. So shocked was she I imagine that she didn't give chase for a good minute and a half. Bolting down the hallways, I found one of the blind spots of the school. An abandoned set of rooms along a panel of windows, leading to one of the roofs, teachers don't come here.
"Man, what the hells up with me? I'm like that douche character on that American show about the plastic surgeons…" my thoughts on the one bad character of a certain show aside, I really do have an unusual amount of crap on my mind. Summer is coming up and everything else is coming down like gravity…wait that's not funny...okay whatever. My yearbook, the subject of shoujo type angst between Ishida and I (on my part anyway) is at home, propping up my bookshelf. My Mom suggested that I use my stack of American comics…naturally I rebelled like any small threatened country would.
Comics. Huh. Maybe that's why I'm feeling this way, left behind like a kid amongst growing men and women. Ichigo, Chad, Mizuiro, they've all grown out of them that's for damn sure…and I'm pretty sure Ishida never even liked the damn things. Yet here I am with stacks of them around my room, in my closet, gathering dust, or not do to constant re-reading.
"Wonder what Mizuiro and Strawberry did to get the way they are…damn, I'm starting to talk to myself!" I say out loud, bad sign. Then again I've heard from someone that talking out loud is fine enough, it's when you start answering, that's the problem. Opening the door I am now one level below the roof of the school and now my head can run nice and wild. Observing, gazing, whatever-ing into the smog filled skies of Tokyo, least I think it was Tokyo…I suddenly start flashing back, having images and emotions and feelings to go along with those images. Portraits of everything, shows I've watched, stories I've read, people I've met, conversations I've had, feelings that everyone and everything has gone to some greater and brighter future while I'm just the joking guy handing out popcorn and bad jokes with tears and shit.
"Whoopee fucking doo…graduation day at last." I take out my lunch…oddly enough I have a bag of popcorn in my bag, don't ask, lets just say it was the result of a bad movie and a bad night. Tossing chunks of the movie food over the roof, I begin to realize something.
"Frikkin hell I've actually become a whiny, complaining Kurt Cobain fan…I uh er mean a teenager." I snort and laugh a bit. The great Keigo Asano, feeling sorry and sad about himself? The same Keigo Asano who once bet Ichigo Kurosaki he'd have lost his virginity enough times to make it his college major? The same Keigo Asano who had talked and discussed with Mizuiro about the need and the absolute necessity of having as many girls phone numbers as a little black book (or ten) could hold? Is this Keigo Asano, who once flirted so shamelessly with one Tatsuki Arisawa that a punch to the face and kick to the groin weren't enough to stop me; rather Chad had drag me away?
"Do you mean the American band "Nirvana"? I happen to like most of their work, a sad thing about Kurt Cobain though." What the ninth level of hell staring Johnny Depp!
"Huh? Oh hey Ishida, what's up?" I really cannot begin to express my surprise…or my terror. The albino terror is probably reading my mind now so I best not think too loudly, or, geez I need a girlfriend.
"Hello Asano. I notice you like to come up here relatively often anyways." He stands next to me; I wonder if he even wonders just why people get so freaked out next to him.
"Heh, what? Are you spying on me or something?"
"Not at all I just…lack for a better term, I observe. And you seem to favor spots like these." I don't like where this is going, so I'll change the subject to something I claim to know best: chicks.
"Do you know about the…uh…make out habits of Tatsuki and Orihime?" hey, why not so subtly confess every boys (some girls I suspect too) fantasy at this particular high school? Ishida adjusts his glasses with his middle finger, and I swear I saw almost a hint of a blush, this guy reminds too much of Strawberry.
"While I'm sure most people in this school would love to know that, I do not, sad to say." Wait a tick…I heard that last part, did you hear that last part? Damn, if only I had supra-hearing like that Usui guy from Watsuki's…
"So what brings you to this particular hidden away part of the roof aside the joy of my company?" funny, despite the crap in my mind I can still muster enough words to sound like an idiotic pervert, you think it's even under my control anymore?
"Your behavior." Ishida said nonchalantly, yeah 'nonchalantly' I know I used that word write…er…right. Where the hell did I go wrong oh Buddha to get led into this situation, where Ishida is acting like my damn mother?
"My…behavior, are you taking a psychology class at the community college or something?" Ishida continued to stand, still looking out towards the city, most definitely looking at something that most people (that would be me) couldn't see. Heh, maybe Ishida's a superhero, would make sense. I could be the Jimmy to his Clark, the Jamie to his Coop, everyone in Greece to his Hercules.
"No Asano. I have just been observing…poor choice of words, my apologies, I have been watching you and your behavior…your tone as of late has been, somewhat different from your usual." Great, ladies and gentlemen behold the first and so far only stalker of Keigo Asano and of course it's a guy, damn my own mind.
"My usual? You mean as opposed to the extroverted perverted invalid that everyone seems to identify me as without even looking at me?" damn, where the hell did that come from, why the hell did I ever see 'The Breakfast Club'? Ishida looks surprised too, but not because he can read my mind (he probably needs more experience points to boost up his mana…yeah) but probably because he doesn't expect me able to string together too many words together at once.
"Well…no I was just going to say that you are usually a great deal more talkative, just lately you haven't been as much."
"And this concerns you…why?"
"…you're not very trusting of other people are you Asano?" this makes me stop. Not trusting? Me? Jeez, when did that happen?
"Not trusting? No, it's not that I'm not trusting or some shit like that it's just…uh…damn it man why the hell are you here?"
"Honestly?" Ishida asks me. Funny, when this year started I never in a million years thought that I would ever talk to Ishida, let alone converse with him. Then again when the year began I was assuring myself daily of the impending loss of my virginity. So, because of empty yearbooks, and a grade F pissed off mind I indulge this guy.
"Yeah, honestly." Hear that sound? That's me throwing a bone to someone who apparently needs it.
"I'm not very content, not very happy with myself…at this particular junction in my life." Hell, I got nothing to say to that, just assume my jaw has drilled towards the ninth level of hell and eyes have retracted into the speech center of my brain. Ishida looks at me, yet even with the angle it seems like for once in my eyes I'm not being looked down on; maybe it's just illusory again. Damn Paranoia agent, where are you Shonen Bat, have you already smacked me upside the head, or is this really happening?
"Uh…you gonna sit or…" Ishida must have taken that as an invitation, and he did, which was good because that's what it was.
For the longest time the two of us were just sitting, just staring and spacing out. I had no idea where to take the conversation, if that's what it was, from that point. I guess it was silly up until now to assume that a genius like Ishida was too smart to get sad?
"I gotta tell you Ishida, you not being 'content' as you put it, comes as a bit of a surprise." Ishida looks over at me, the barest hints of a smile playing on his lips, damn this guy suddenly reminds me of that scowling redhead Strawberry.
"It surprises you that I feel less than confident with where I am in life considering-" he cuts himself off, his eyes bulged slightly. Was he hiding something? Suddenly he adjusts his glasses and that cross charm bracelet on his arm jangles a bit. Okay buddy, what is it? Green Goblin kidnapped your aunt? Your girlfriend? Sky-tram of kids and forcing you to choose? I'll let it drop, like it matters.
"A little yeah, this may sound stupid but I figure since it's just us here on 'solitary rooftop for Beatles reunions number five' I'll be honest. Ishida, I guess I just figure with guys like you, like Ichigo, like Chad, even Mizuiro and damn me for forgetting the girls, Tatsuki, Orihime…you guys are-"now I have to stop myself, did Ishida suddenly become my freaking shrink? I look at him, damn he's listening…well the school year's ending anyway so why not see where this goes? I guess for once I'll tell my instincts 'I'm politely telling you to go fornicate yourself'.
"Oh, sorry for stopping there, choked a bit from the air, I think we're near a pocky factory or something."
"You were saying, about all those people you know?"
"You're all on a plateau."
"You're all just so damn, superior. You're all made to be so much better than everyone else. No one else seems to mind or care, I don't know why I do, or why the hell even the trivial insignificant stuff you all do bothers the fuck out of me. I guess, maybe, it all boils down to the fact that you guys have such horribly bright futures ahead of you, and well, all I have is the future of Keigo Asano."
"'Of Keigo Asano'? This is how you feel?" I'll tell Ishida, and let him mock the hell out of me, hell I used to make fun of and plagiarize people just like how I am right now as quitters and whiners or over actors…man I have changed that's as sure as Pepsi is better than Coke.
"Yeah I guess."
"And this is why you stormed out earlier." I can see the leaves beginning to fall; the sky is a beautiful summer blue. The kind of blue that gives almost every kid that feeling of being giant and the summer being this great and incredible world to play and experience. For some, I feel these leaves and that endless blue are just a challenge, a challenge that's really meant as a joke, a joke to amuse the big one at the highest and all his blessed children below. All the others have to sit back and watch their happiness and destructive manipulation from a distance with either a forced smile on their lips or a fist in their jaw. Naturally I could convey this all in a single statement.
"No, I actually left because I'd much rather spit off the roof than stay in that class."
A few more minutes passed, the sun was going down slightly casting an orange glow across the skyline. The warmth of the color orange spoke of great promise and love for all others, those who either grabbed something and received it or were just given or stole it as remorseless bastards. My head be spinning like that chick from Exorcist.
"So, what haunts a genius?"
"Is that a riddle or
"Neither man, I was just asking what was wrong with you; I mean this is the Breakfast Club, right?"
"I don't follow."
"American Eighties movie with Emilio Estevez, I think Judd Nelson…very 'heartwarming', never mind, you're a better guy for having not seen it." Ishida adjusted his glasses and did his 'smile' thing again. For anyone else it would be a glare, but if you observe the corners of his lips carefully you would find the slightest upturn.
"What makes a 'genius' as you put it feel haunted is…doubt I suppose." Doubt huh? Wonder what part of the world this guy feels like he's holding up, ah to be young and not Keigo! "I doubt who I am, sometimes even what I am, where I am going, what I am doing with my life."
"Heh, how…what's that word? Cliché."
"Cliché, really?" the two of us sat there, in silence, waiting for the school day to just, lack of a better term, go away.
"So…what are you going to do for the summer, Ishida?"
"Train." Sheesh, why did it get cold all of the sudden? "And you, Asano?"
"Work probably. My parents 'recommended' it for me to save up for a car and college shit. Not much of a summer for me, most of my free time has been monopolized like that damn board game." Wonder if I was Moneybags… "I guess I just assumed that the rest of you wouldn't get jobs."
"Hmm?" Ishida asked.
"Look, not to sound like I'm making you guys out to be snobs or anything but it just seems to me that you guys are so far and beyond normal stuff like 'work' and 'wasting time at a place you hate', like everything is just swung to you guys for good times and happy shit." Whoa, unloaded a little much there must have been that late nights trip to seven-eleven last night, low carb burrito my Aunt Fannie. Ishida looked at me, looked hard.
"I apologize Asano."
"You…" Buddha knows I must have misheard that, I had to, I mean come on, Lord of the Rings was three hours without an ending!
"I said I apologize!" Ishida said pretty forcefully, damn, I actually provoked a reaction from this guy.
"For…what?" touching his forehead the albino genius looked up, down, all around, then at me once again, I detect a pattern.
"I always just assumed, assumed that you never thought with depth like this. I can't speak for the others, considering I take steps not to speak with them at all, but aside from certain 'extracurricular activities' my life is relatively normal." If I only had a glass of milk or preferably cheery Pepsi, it'd be coming of my nose, ears, and eyes.
"…what the hell…?" Ishida looks over…looks over….damn it, how can one head turn that damn much!
"It's all there for you Asano."
"What is, what in pop culture crap are you talking about!" suddenly there is no school, only sky and assorted other background.
"The answer, the answers, you're future." Ishida jumps away, a black cape behind him, a horned cowl.
"Damn it Ishida, you're using fear again!" I look up, Kurosaki Strawberry? As Superman? Those two gone, I look behind.
"You're future beyond the falling leaves and desert sands." Orihime said.
"Or-orihime? What are you…sweet lord of lords…?" Orihime is naked, and all I can see is her back, fate be cruel to Asano Keigo.
"Are you sad Asano-Kun?" she called me 'Kun'? Is this that American show, that 'Twilight Zone'? She continues to look over her shoulder, a smile that sends my monkey brain all the wrong signals. Get it together man! Women are no different from you! Oh…okay, that came out very wrong.
"Are you sad, you look hot too?" Orihime said, turning ever so slightly. Her hand, comes ever so close, the view is getting so much more…
"Wait…stop." I take her hand; damn it's the softest thing I've ever felt.
"Yes?" she asks with that smile that many pass off as ditzy, but those who know her know it hides something deeper than a girl this good looking should have.
"Look, I'm not a pervert…at least. Heck, look I'm a guy and…stuff like this…point is I am not like Mizuiro, I wish, wished I was. But-"Orihime gracefully removes her hand.
"I really like you Asano-Kun." She says, then, a scream.
"Can you take a guess with me?" Tatsuki comes out, and kicks where I was. Damn it, I thought I was on (relatively, I mean come on, how safe is a guy really around any woman?) safe terms with her.
"Tatsuki, what the hell?" is this one of those indie comics with a subtle yet very annoying message, or worse, a political one? Tatsuki smiles now, except unlike Orihime, her smile is anything but gentle.
"You keep ducking the issue Keigo!" she's kicking me now, fuck! No matter Strawberry keeps his distance.
"Ducking----what----issue?" I ask between kicks and the every odd one prime integer I can dodge.
"You know damn well, come on, do something, fight back, you're a man aren't you?" she yells out, Orihime is clapping.
"Asano-Kun is a nice man, a really nice man!"
"Yeah, and nice don't mean shit!" one kick, Tatsuki cold-cocks me to the ground.
"This is…" I can see Rukia now, doing something, talking with Ichigo, holding hands, kissing…I see Orihime and Tatsuki talking…Chizuru talking with Chad and Ryo…Ichigos little sisters with Chad, all of them there, without me, they don't need me, They're better, superior…
"What the hell is your decision, on this damn issue, Keigo?" Orihime cheering, Tatsuki kicks out again.
"Yes, what?" Ishida.
"Come on bro, what?" Ichigo.
"You want chicks, yeah?" Mizurio.
"You're better than you think." Chad.
"How do you do?" Rukia.
"If only you were a girl Keigo." Chizuru, yeah no prize there.
"Can I go now?" Ryo.
"How the hell do you even see us? We've had almost significant contact with you!" Ichigos loud little sister yelled, the blond one nodded and the dad…posed.
"What the hell is wrong with all of you! Sign my yearbook?" wait a minute that last part was supposed to be a thought. Crap, I'm losing track of my own narrative!
"What kind of guy are you Keigo, huh?" Tatsuki again, kicking and shredding my yearbook. Damn, I wanted to do that.
"What kind of guy,
what kind of question is that?"
"You're dodging the issue again, sorry to say I'll agree." E tu? Ichigo?
"I barely know you, but I can tell you're not all here." Ryo said why the hell is she even here?
"Issue huh? What, that I hate school, that I hate whatever the hell crap job is going to come next? That I feel like the only future for me is already set and is going to be mediocre as shit? Or is it that I am pissed at the whole inevitability? Or that I'm not even pissed at that, just pissed that I'm self aware enough to be tortured by it yet not aware enough to change anything about it?" they all stopped. Except for Tatsuki and Orihime.
"You…tell…us!" more and more kicks from that crazy bitch!
"Keigo-Kun, why are you so sad?"
"But why? Ishida-kun, why?" Ishida came down, puts his arm around Orihime, Ichigo and Rukia hold hands, Mizuiro is flocked by Ichigos sisters, the dad plays with a poster…Chad hugs Tatsuki from behind, Ryo holds Chizuru back from them.
"Why, am I…" I get punched from one, two, and then all of them. I'm on the ground.
"Yeah bitch, genetically inferior little history fuck!" Oshima! I get up and duck the punch. "Run ya skank!" he's dropped from behind.
"Hey beautiful, bet you saw this one coming, eh Mister Pop Culture?" Holy…is that me?
"Wha…what is all this? Who are you, me, parallel, evil, or just a symptom of my insanity?" he laughs, runs his hand through his hair.
"You feel violated, out of place, out dated, destined to die, but death is not suffering, no, it's the waiting for it that makes you want to scream out and say 'Save me! That future of the falling leaves, protect me!'"
"He rushes up and pushes me into the…it is a wall, right?" wait did I just state my own narrative now? He then rushes up and pushes me into the wall.
"You're a sad beast, Keigo. You keep it all locked up, behind a smile and a few lame puns and every now and then brilliant joke. Why, what do you truly fear will happen if you try and-"
"Try and what, give me a straight answer instead of this iambic pentameter bullshit! And yes I know what that means!"
"And that is the reason why this is happening! Do you prefer what you are now? Repressed, frustrated, so afraid of the outside world that even a simple act as smiling is seen as an act of outdated weakness!" I get up.
"You don't…you don't know shit about me and apparently neither do I, or them, or anybody else!" now it's me flying at him, he flies, I punch, he kicks. Back and forth, all around wherever the hell this is. The others appear and disappear, Ichigo and Rukia in Black, Ishida in white, all the others in different states of dress I've seen in them in previously. Except for Tatsuki and Orihime…
"You don't know, I don't know, no one knows!" all around me, fists, feet, faces I should know. Images and emotions, passing me by, I can't keep up! That's not fucking fair, it went too fast! What are you telling to me, to grin and bear it as this whatever the hell it is is done to me? Everyone else is doing what they please, passing in and out of paradise, mocking then leaving, I'm the lovable behind curtains puppet that they only occasionally play with? Other Keigo punches me, and I return to the ground.
"All you do is ask, you never even try to answer." He steps back I punch in the dark and…
"Keigo…" my history book in my hand is shredded by Tatsuki's foot and Orihime's tears.
"You just have to wake up."
"Huh, what?" I'm in bed…is was a dream. I feel my own hand slap my forehead like it should. I mean jeez, a dream…of course that crazy…should have known. I get up, check the clock. Only eight? Usually I'm passed out until noon at least. Saturday? No work or anything I have to do? Nice. Huh, I usually think about that old Spiderman cartoon from '97 or so…not so bad.
"Keigo, honey are you up?"
"Yeah Mom, I'm up."
"Son, you feeling okay, you came home and went right to bed yesterday afternoon." Really? Call it 'Big O' syndrome, but I don't remember. Both my parents behind the door, it's unlocked I think.
"Uh yeah, I'm fine," I look out my window, see the blue and white sky, the city so full of opportunities and happiness for those who just stop thinking and do.
"If you're fine honey…" I turn my head. The doorway is empty. I'm really okay.
"You just have to wake up."
To Be Continued
Authors Notes: Wow, not so easy to write this. I know a lot of you out there are wondering: "What the hell…what the hell?" My only explanation is that this is something that I wanted to write for a while now. Ever since graduation I've been thinking…too much as I generally do about every conceivable thing. As stated earlier my job has been shit as well as a few other things on my mind. But whatever, through Keigo and the weirdass but kickass Bleach universe I have said what I wanted to say…or typed, whatever all of you into semantics. The story will continue into the next chapter, hope you enjoyed!
StormBlazer: Heh, glad to see you're enjoying the story. Well, that or you're just being dramatically traumatized because of it, whichever works for you. I know, since when is Keigo such a helpful guy? Call it desperation or an evil plan? As for Keigo's ass being kicked in the near future…oh, wheels and hard ass boots are in motion my friend, hope you stick around.
Foxmagic: Thank you for your comments. Keigos thoughts are a 'tough blast' (my term, patent pending) for me to write, sometimes they hit close to mine but most times they are just random references and assorted crap I've scrounged together. For them being twisted…pop culture will do that to you. As for the 'length' (forgive me, its past midnight and I'm tired), thank you, glad to see you appreciate the extra words. I also prefer longer stories as opposed to drabble but they are a real lady dog bitch to write. Looking forward to your review of this chapter, enjoy.
ColoredBleach: Thank you very much for as always inspiring and kind review for this unworthy story. Keigo's mind has indeed been put through its paces this time huh? The description into the rambling mind of a teenager, my one area of expertise in the entire world. Heh, kidding, I'm good at something else I think. I look forward to your feedback on this chapter hoping you enjoyed it, and by the way, nice new name. (Feeling a little alliterative?)
Gooberific: Hey there, thanks for the positive review. Keigo does have his work cut out, that's for sure, wonder if it'll be a happy ending? For the Tatsuki thing, I figured she was smart but not genius Orihime, Chad, Ichigo, Ishida, or Ryo smart. Maybe I'm too far behind in the manga but she didn't seem to be too high in the rankings, but let's just say she's bad enough in history so that her other grades compensate for it. Plot devices…away! I hope you enjoyed this chapter and I look forward to any feedback you have for it.
Oh, it's finally over and I get to go to bed….and make tomorrow easier, Nah. I'm still here folks and like I intend to do for a while longer I'll just say: "See you when I see you!" Heh, later.