He couldn't stop staring at the new boy.
Part of his brain was occupied with damage control; it was
alright to stare when the new student was still introducing himself at
the front of the classroom even if most of the other students had
already gone back to looking out the window or doodling or whatever
they did when they weren't supposed to talk, but watching the boy as
he took his seat or once the lecture started could be attention-drawing.
Another part was trying to figure out what the boy *was* - not a spirit
but certainly not human. Another was irritated at himself for being so
The rest of him was... falling. Or soaring. He couldn't tell
The new boy (Touya had missed his name - something to do
with snow.) seemed harmless enough despite being not-really mortal;
short and pale with big eyes made even bigger by his glasses. He
fidgeted slightly with his backpack as he talked in a soft, dusky-sky
voice about moving here to live with his grandparents. He looked
familiar in an odd sort of way. Maybe the glasses just reminded Touya
He could hear the creasing of paper and muffled giggling of the
girls behind him passing notes, and rolled his eyes. He might have
turned around and glared them into silence if he was able to move his
head away from the new student. Touya sometimes worried when he
watched Sakura play with her friends or swoon over the newest pop-
idol that she would grow up to be as vapid and catty as some of the
girls in his class. But Kaijuu was special; had depths to her soul as
intangible and lovely as the air that these girls could never attain.
The boy had stopped talking. He was now walking to the seat
one row in front and to the left of Touya, who was mildly surprised his
heartbeat wasn't shaking the classroom floor. The lecture began;
Touya divided the time between taking notes and studying the boy out
of the corner of his eye.
He didn't really need to *look* at the boy the way he was.
Touya had never felt anyone like this before - the boy was light, made
only of light, but it wasn't a pure light. There were two... layers to
him. The outside was golden, drenching, warm, extending to the
corners of the room. The second was pale, sharp, self-contained, like
the core of a flame. He would be able to recognize him from three
So, why was it so hard to stop staring at the boy?
Because, Touya realized with his usual honestly, he *liked*
looking at him. A blush started in the bottom of his belly, and Touya
snapped his eyes to the teacher.
Or maybe it was just because the boy seemed familiar. That
could be it too.
But his gaze kept creeping back without his permission, and
Touya finally gave it up as a lost cause for the remainder of the period,
pretending to scribble notes, pretending not to stare.
Then the object of his scrutiny turned around and looked back.
It was a simple glance around the classroom at first. Then it flickered
back to Touya almost before it had fully passed him. Eyes widening
slightly behind the frames of his glasses, the boy tilted his head and
lightly bit his lip in a way that made Touya's heart try to climb up his
And then, gently, the boy smiled at him.
*Sakura*, Touya thought, then wondered why before realizing
that was why the boy reminded him of someone. He didn't look like
Sakura by any means, but their smiles, at least, were identical. It was a
smile of intense but quiet joy, of innocence born not from naivety but
from some inherent, unalterable kindness.
And Touya suddenly felt dizzy as falling turned into soaring
and soaring turned into falling, and it didn't matter because they both
carried him across the sky. Drowning and gliding had become the
same movement and the movement was holy.
Touya settled down to his work.
There would time for introductions later.