First things first: THIS IS A SESSKIK FIC. IF YOU FIND ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS, HIT THE BACK BUTTON NOW. I appreciate constructive criticisms, but flamers…forget it.
Disclaimer: I do not own the animanga Inuyasha. Rumiko Takahashi, how I envy you... -.- And I don't own Memoirs of a Geisha, which I mentioned in passim as well. Arthur Golden is the author of that amazing literary work.
Important story notes (MUST READ): The environment in this story is set modern-time, and is based (interestingly) on my present high school. I also followed our grading system, and for the grades mentioned in the story, the equivalent in percent goes like this:
1.00 - 96-100
1.25 - 90-95
1.5 - 84-89
2.5 - 60-65 (Beyond this grade is already considered failing)
4.0 - 41-49
5.0 - 0-40 (The ULTIMATE FAILING MARK!)
Of course, there are other in-between grades, but I don't feel like typing them all. Gosh, I guess I am really being choked up by school. I am starting to integrate our own lessons in my fanfics. O.o Pardon me for the crazy concoctions I am brewing in my mind. Now, enough with the ramblings and let's get on with the story!
Just One Night
Thirty heads bent over their respective desks, and hardly a word was spoken between the students as they sat absorbed in their seatwork. It was math class, and their world was bound by the steadfast four-cornered walls with huge panes of glass windows on one side, the only source of sunlight in the room.
As they worked on the complicated formulas and plotted parabolas on a grid, their teacher walked around the room, distributing the results of the quiz they took the day before. Futotta-sensei had always lived up to his name, for he was round no matter what angle you looked at him. But he was probably the best person in the school with numbers, and many students liked him because he was a rather jolly person.
But the person on the leftmost of the farthest row thought otherwise. Futotta-sensei wordlessly laid the quiz paper face down on his desk and went on with the next student. Amber eyes glanced slightly at the folded paper before slender fingers gingerly opened the result.
A number 4 encircled with the red checking ink screamed from the upper right-hand corner of the quiz. Sesshoumaru eyed the mark with a numb gaze before cramming it carelessly in his bag, nearly tearing the paper in the process. Wondering slightly at what was causing the noise, a girl in a low ponytail and sitting a couple of seats in front of him looked back with her peripheral vision. Her hands held a quiz paper marked with a 1.
The school bell rang, signaling the end of the class. At once, the silence of the room was broken; there was an instant rustling of papers and screeching of chairs being pushed against the floor. Youthful voices began to echo as they were finally freed from Math class.
"Let's go to the caf!"
"I need to cram my Chem..."
"Great! Now there are five of us!"
Through the clamor of teenagers' voices, Futotta-sensei's voice reverberated, saying, "I'll see you tomorrow, all of you. I might give you a quiz, so study your lessons tonight!"
After a chorus of respectful goodbyes, the students filed out of the classroom, absorbed in their childish banters and jokes. Futotta-sensei observed the teens with a smile, amused by their lighthearted outlook in life. His grin dimmed, however, when his eyes fell on the last figure about to leave the room.
"Wait, Sesshoumaru; I would like to talk to you for a moment."
Sesshoumaru stopped in his tracks, but he did not turn around and walk back.
Futotta-sensei was used to his student's rather aloof ways, and he did not take the rather rude gesture personally. On the contrary, he said, "Come here, my son. This won't take long."
'Cursed be my Math grade,' Sesshoumaru said in his mind. Inwardly, he couldn't help but curse the teacher of that wretched subject as well. Who invented this thing called arithmetic, anyway? Fencing is way, way better! But desiring to end the matter as quickly as possible, Sesshoumaru acquiesced and walked to the front of the teacher's table, which stood beside the front blackboard.
"I'm sure you took a good look at your quiz," the plump teacher said not unpleasantly. "It seems you might need some help."
'I, Sesshoumaru, will not accept help from anyone!' As always, his strongly independent and proud nature prevailed. But he kept his eyes focused on the pen Futotta-sensei was idly tapping against the tabletop, and said nothing.
"If you are not in favor of hiring a private tutor," Futotta-sensei continued ('Of course I am not!' Sesshoumaru retorted in his brain), "you could perhaps ask one of your able classmates to help. Kikyou, perhaps?"
"Kikyou?" The name of the class president left the astounded teen's mouth before he can help himself. Sure, it was common knowledge that Kikyou had several of the highest Math grades in the class. But Sesshoumaru seldom spoke to her; not that they were already friends, to begin with. He, in particular, got into her nerves once and vice versa because the class treasurer reported to Kikyou that Sesshoumaru had not paid the weekly class funds for a whole month.
Futotta-sensei raised an eyebrow at Sesshoumaru's reaction. Honestly, he can't see why those two shouldn't get along at all. Kikyou and Sesshoumaru, the two quiet personalities in his class, but clearly full of potential. He was a stubborn one, and so was she. They would do a marvelous job restraining one another. Not to mention they were loners...
"Yes, Kikyou," Futotta-sensei repeated, a strange twinkle appearing in his eyes. "Would you like me to tell her for you?"
"No," Sesshoumaru answered, his tone too emotionless to be considered truly retorting. The nerve of this teacher...what made him think he would even consider such a far-fetched idea?
"Well, you have a way to earn bonus points," his teacher said. "Are you interested?"
"Bonus points?" Sesshoumaru inquired suspiciously. There was something in Futotta-sensei's voice that sounded wrong...that sounded as though he had something up in his sleeve.
"Oh, I'm sure you and your classmates would want to cancel the third long test - oh wait, that's too much - let me see..." Futotta-sensei stopped for a while to think. Finally, he clapped his hands together excitedly. "Ah, I see! An additional five points to the final test, perhaps?"
Sesshoumaru considered the bargain. Sure, he was worried that he might not graduate because of his dangerously dropping Math grade. Every point was crucial.
"How am I to get it?" he asked.
"Oh, it's easy," Futotta-sensei replied, twirling the pen in his hand. "Anyone who has a prom date shall get the bonus."
Sesshoumaru nearly groaned. Easy, huh? Get a date for the upcoming J-S prom, and you'll get five bonus points to the periodical exam? Hey, that doesn't sound like a fair bargain... Sure, he, Sesshoumaru, can practically ask any woman he wants and she (chances are) would probably accept right off the bat. But Sesshoumaru considered it a waste of time to ask females out, let alone go to an overrated prom. But, if he were to attend that prom, he surely wouldn't want to go out with an idiot of a girl. Sad to say, there were hardly any girls who ever passed his standards...
"Well, of course, you can't just rely on that bonus alone," Futotta-sensei said, shattering Sesshoumaru's thoughts. "You have to do well in your other requirements for you to merit at least a passing final grade. That, of course, is entirely up to you..."
Sesshoumaru stepped out of the classroom feeling dejected. It was as though Futotta-sensei was purposely framing him up with Kikyou. What? He, Sesshoumaru, asking out that woman to the prom? No way; he'd rather bite his tongue out! But what about his poor Math...?
"It seems you have a problem," a voice, quiet yet somehow unforgettable, wafted from the corner. Sesshoumaru turned and met a pair of mahogany eyes squarely with his amber orbs. Kikyou looked back at him unflinchingly.
"You do have a habit of spying on other people's business, don't you?" Sesshoumaru retorted, turning his head away sharply and cursing himself for the fix he was in.
"Look, I am not spying on you or anything," Kikyou answered back. "Trust me; I don't know what you're being sore about, but that mere gesture of yours earlier already told me something's wrong."
"You were venting out your anger for your low quiz grade on the paper itself."
Sesshoumaru let out a sarcastic laugh. "Don't be foolish. Why would I care about Math?"
A knowing yet sad smile spread on Kikyou's mouth. "You're only saying that because you wouldn't want to search for help."
Darn, she hit the point right on the mark! A guilty look flashed over the amber eyes for the briefest moment, but a cold and resolute expression immediately took over. With a flip of silver-white hair, Sesshoumaru stepped away from the raven-haired maiden and began to walk down the hallway.
"I can help you, Sesshoumaru," she called back, but she didn't make a move to follow him.
"Mind your own business," he answered back, walking around the corner and out of Kikyou's sight. The young maiden let out a sigh, and she ventured forth to walk on the opposite direction.
'We shall see, Sesshoumaru.'
The next day, Math period...
"All right, class. Now that we've reviewed the parabolic functions, get a one-half crosswise and let's start with a quiz..."
'My eyes are deceiving me...they must be deceiving me...' But Sesshoumaru knew that it was hopeless trying to transform the big fat 5 on the paper with his mere will. He was used to having a succession of quiz grades ranging from 2.5 to 4, but this was the first 5 he received. Now he was in real trouble...
A few seats in front, Kikyou sighed sadly to herself while taking down some notes in her immaculate handwriting.
'Alas, if you had only allowed me to help you, this could have been avoided...'
It was already afternoon, and all the last subject periods had been dismissed. Now, the students who still remained in the campus either attended their extra-curricular activities or simply hung out with their friends.
There were only a handful of people in the library, excluding the librarian who was absorbed in making new card catalogs on her desk in the main office. Sesshoumaru stopped temporarily before the library door, hesitating. His eyes read the schedule for library hours posted on the glass. There's still time to do something...
Futotta-sensei had officially announced about the bonus to the entire class, and to Sesshoumaru's annoyance, several people had on a smug look on their faces - even if he himself was smug sometimes - as though it was child's play to them, getting a date for the prom. For one amazing moment, he found himself envying them, and he hated himself for it.
But there was something else to worry about. They would take a long test in Math a week from now, and given another week, it would be J-S prom. He had two weeks to find a date, and only seven days to get hold of his arithmetic skills...
Sesshoumaru eyed the people sitting on the library tables. There were two lowerclassmen comparing their Social Science essays, and three of the soccer players in his batch were clustered together in one table reading the latest edition of the sports magazine. Their talk was incomprehensible to Sesshoumaru, but he did not care. His eyes were on the lone figure quietly reading in one of the farthest round tables.
He approached Kikyou quietly, not wishing to disturb her from what she was doing. Though it was certainly a great ego blow to take, Sesshoumaru finally admitted that he did need some help. He would get nowhere with what meager math skills he had now. She was not the only Math whiz in his class, and he could have consulted another person. But all his other options were either in the choir or in the varsity, training. Besides, he doubted if they would be willing to take a time off their respective cliques to tutor him. Kikyou spent most of her time alone even if she was well-liked in school, and Sesshoumaru was thankful to find her there.
"Hi, Kikyou," Sesshoumaru said softly in a rather uncertain voice, keeping his eyes on the ground. He remembered the proud words he told her a day earlier, and he wondered if she took it against him.
Kikyou looked up from the book she was reading. Her eyes widened to see Sesshoumaru; he was no library person and he usually didn't seek her out in any way. But she smiled congenially and said in greeting, "Hi to you as well, Sesshoumaru!"
Sesshoumaru stammered on his words for a while.
"Well...you doing fine?"
"As fine as can be."
"Um...am I taking your time?"
"No, not really."
"What are you reading?"
She held up the cover of the book. It was Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Sesshoumaru had read it as well, and in his mind Sayuri was an ultimate emotional, a person he never wanted to become. But to avoid getting into Kikyou's bad side again, he said, "That's a nice book, that one."
Kikyou nodded, but there was a puzzled look in her face. Finally, Sesshoumaru stopped beating around the bush and went straight to what mattered.
"I was wondering..." he said, tapping at the tabletop with his fingers, "if you could help me with Math."
Kikyou was more perplexed than ever. The events from yesterday were still fresh in her mind, and she hadn't expected him to approach her for help after he refused when she tried to offer it. But she put the matter at the back of her mind and said that she was more than willing to do so. In no time at all, they were sitting at the same table discussing variables and parabolas.
They fell into a steady routine of tutoring classes the next days. It was always in the library after classes, and they stayed there until closing time. Kikyou was very patient and she never showed any outlook of irritation even if Sesshoumaru took an eternity to grasp a concept. He imagined how much trouble she was going through on his behalf; Math was not the only subject in the world, and Kikyou could have used her spare time to do other assignments instead of teaching him about linear functions.
Nor did their actions miss the attention of their classmates. Pretty soon, there was a rumor spreading that Kikyou had become Sesshoumaru's girlfriend. That was certainly a big blow to his pride, and he was so upset about it that on the third day, he can hardly concentrate.
"Are you listening, Sesshoumaru?" Kikyou asked, noticing that he was looking at the direction of several of their batchmates tittering among themselves instead of the paper on which she had written several formulas. She frowned slightly as well, for the two girls and their boyfriends were giving them mischievous smiles. Seeing the flaming look in Sesshoumaru's eyes, she said, "We don't have to continue this if you don't want to."
"No, I think I still need it," Sesshoumaru said hastily, tearing his gaze away from their naughty classmates. "I just wish they'd leave."
Kikyou smiled. "We don't need to be stuck in the library either. We can go somewhere else."
"Where can we go?"
"I know of a place."
So they went out of the library, and he followed her to a place he had never been before. It was behind the school gym, which functions as some sort of junkyard to the school. There were many old rusting cars in the area, their tires piled in disorderly mounds. Scrap metal and glass bottles were also in abundance, but it was quite shady in the area, and certainly without people.
It was rather strange at first, studying with tires as your chair and table; but pretty soon, Sesshoumaru began to enjoy it. He politely listened to Kikyou throughout the lesson, and did his best to understand what she taught. They finished quite early with Math, but they did not leave the place.
"You're good in Chemistry, aren't you?" she asked.
Sesshoumaru was taken aback at first, but he grinned slightly. "What's the big deal if I am?"
It was Kikyou's turn to laugh. "Trying to act humble, I pray? It doesn't suit you, Sesshoumaru." Her tone then modulated into something more serious. "Honestly, I think I need your help in Chem. I already tried consulting Shizuno-sensei about the lesson, but it seems no matter how hard I try, I can't understand it!"
It was now Sesshoumaru's turn to become the teacher. From variables and linear graphs, they shifted to Lewis structures and other bonding laws between elements. Kikyou was a very attentive pupil, and Sesshoumaru could not help but be amused at her transformation. He hadn't considered helping another with their lessons before, but somehow, helping Kikyou...it made him happy to do so.
At the end of their session, he could not help but smile at her while they expressed their thanks to one another, and to his delight, she smiled back.
Kikyou was extraordinarily happy, though she couldn't quite understand why. Sesshoumaru was listening to her, and he helped her understand Chemistry...that wasn't exactly something everyone was privileged to experience. Not that Kikyou was bent on overpowering him; she became his Math tutor for the purpose of helping him learn and she didn't flaunt her superiority in arithmetic to humble him. In fact, they were beginning to enjoy one another's presence, even if they stayed in the silent junkyard in the company of useless trash.
It was lunch break, and Kikyou was humming to herself as she walked to the cafeteria to buy her lunch. On her way, she passed several couples, obviously in a steady relationship. She normally didn't pay attention to such pairs before, but now she found herself stopping in her tracks and gazing at them for a long time. Kikyou was well-aware of the oncoming prom, and she had no date yet. She knew of the bonus at stake in Math, but since she can live without an extra five points to the final test, she had other reasons of wishing that she won't go to the prom alone.
It was her first time to attend a dance, and she hardly knew what to expect. She wouldn't mind going alone, but Kikyou knew that she might feel some sort of heartache if she saw all those people hand in hand. They looked so happy...so in love with each other. Kikyou was smart, but she was rather lonely. Although she devoted herself to care for children, there was an invisible wall between her and most of her classmates.
"I know what you're thinking, and it's true. You can never find a date," a spiteful voice of her fellow teenager said behind her. Kikyou turned and her neutral gaze met Tsubaki's teal eyes. Since they entered the same school, Tsubaki and Kikyou had been the worst of rivals, competing neck-and-neck in Math class and even in the most recent class presidency. Kikyou had won because she was better-liked than Tsubaki, but she knew that her rival had been skulking since then.
With a malevolent grin, Tsubaki pointed an imperious finger at Kikyou whilst saying, "You will never find love. You will grow up to be an old maid, Kikyou. I'm sure you'd have a grand time dancing with the dinner table at the prom."
"Sure, and I'll make sure you won't get anything from the table all night," Kikyou replied sarcastically, choosing to keep her expressionless gaze and to walk away.
She may have avoided trouble with Tsubaki now, but her rival's words did not fail to have an impact on her. Will she truly be a wall flower in the dance? Will she be alone while people looked so radiant around her? Maybe she would indeed end up like a geisha who could never marry? It gave her pain to even think about it, and inwardly she wished that she won't be alone for at least that time in her life. Just one night.
Sesshoumaru can sense that something was troubling Kikyou. She had given him a couple of exercises to solve, and he spared glances at her when she was not looking. Kikyou seems to have a far-off look in her eyes, and her gaze was fixed on a rusty car nearby, as though there was something of interest there.
"A vertical line has an undefined slope, right?" he asked, frowning at Kikyou's direction.
"Huh?" she answered, blinking once and tearing her gaze from the car. Sesshoumaru's question barely registered itself in her.
Sesshoumaru repeated the question, and Kikyou automatically answered it. The day was pretty cloudy, and the air smelled of oncoming rain. Pretty soon, they would have no choice but to move back to the library to escape the rain. Though weekend starts the next day, the Math long test would be on the first school day after that. Since they couldn't exactly meet during the weekend, they had decided to do a little overtime to wrap up everything.
For his sake, Kikyou tried her best to shake off her glum thoughts. She felt lonelier than ever after Tsubaki taunted her earlier during the day. But somehow, being with Sesshoumaru...she felt more at home in his presence than she had ever been with their other classmates.
Eventually, the rain began to fall, and they hastily went out of the gym to get back to the library. Kikyou jokingly told Sesshoumaru to brace himself just in case they encountered any of their classmates, but to her surprise he said that he didn't care anymore. At that very moment, their eyes unexpectedly met one another. But before they could fully discern each other's expressions, a lightning flash caused them to quicken their steps, breaking eye contact.
Thankfully, the library was deserted except for the librarian in her horn-rimmed glasses reading a book. They had a whole room to themselves, but Sesshoumaru and Kikyou chose to sit near an inconspicuous corner to discuss their lessons. Time went by without them knowing, and outside the rain steadily increased in intensity. The wind was howling ferociously, but it was warm in the library. At one point, her fingertips accidentally touched the back of his hand while she explained a problem of maxima and minima that he couldn't solve. Sesshoumaru felt as though he had been grazed by live wire; but when he looked at Kikyou she appeared to not notice anything at all, not even the strange look that appeared in his amber eyes at her touch.
Finally, the librarian rose from her seat and told them to go. The library is about to be closed, she said. They have no choice but to go home.
But when they got out of the main building, the rain was pouring in torrents, and the wind's screeches were terrible. It was already very late in the afternoon, already near nightfall. But the dark rain clouds were merciless and the sky had turned as black as midnight.
"What a nice time to walk home," Kikyou said, squinting up at the fingers of lightning. Her voice was nearly drowned by the thunder that followed after. Neither of them had an umbrella, but the rain showed no sign that it will cease soon. Even then, they could not walk on flooded streets. They might have to catch a taxi cab to get home.
"Maybe we can walk to the stop together," Sesshoumaru suggested, and Kikyou agreed. Together, they walked to the school gate via the covered walkways, their clothes and hair billowing in the gusts of wind. Nearly horizontal raindrops lashed at their faces, and by the time they reached the roofed taxi stop outside the school, they were drenched as though they had not bothered to walk under the covered walkways in the first place.
Even then, it was some time before a cab passed by. Though they tried to exchange a few words, they could hardly hear their voices over the sound of the elements, and so they just remained silent, simply enjoying one another's presence. Kikyou was shivering slightly, and to her surprise Sesshoumaru took off the black jacket he wore over his school uniform and put it around her shoulders.
Such loving gesture undid Kikyou completely, but all that she could stammer out was, "Thank you." Sesshoumaru grunted slightly in reply, keeping an eye out for a sign of any vehicle that would pass by. But the street was deserted, and rivulets of rainwater flowed on the gutter.
Kikyou pulled his jacket closer about her form, and the warm layers made her feel better. But there was something else as well...another kind of warmth...that seemed to reach beyond the skin-deep kind of heat and burrowing deeper into her heart...
"Oh look, there's one," Sesshoumaru said, motioning for the cab that appeared round the corner. Kikyou squinted as the headlights blared through the fingers of rain, and the car halted beside the stop. Her companion opened the door to the back seats. "Well, aren't you getting in?"
"Sesshoumaru?" Kikyou asked, tilting her head in confusion.
"Do you want to freeze out there?" he asked in return, motioning for her to come in. "Come on, I don't mind riding the same cab with you. Besides, this one might be the last to pass by the school."
Kikyou stared at him, pondering if she should give in. His silvery hair looked extraordinarily beautiful when damp, and the lightning illuminated his handsome features better than the artificial lights of the library. She doubted if she had ever seen anyone that captivating to her eyes...
When he continued to hold the door open for her, she finally stepped forward and got into the taxi cab. Once she was inside, Sesshoumaru got in with her and shut the door. The driver looked at them from the rearview mirror, wondering if these two were lovers or anything along that line. But of course, he was not to meddle in such matters, and he didn't waste time asking them where they wanted to go.
Sesshoumaru nodded to Kikyou, motivating her to tell the driver where she should go. "Murasaki district, please."
But when the driver heard of the place, he said in consternation, "Alas, miss, that district is currently impassable! The drainage system had failed, and all the roads leading there is up to the waist in floodwater. No one can pass there!"
Seeing the look of dismay in Kikyou's eyes, Sesshoumaru then said, "Then we will go to my place, in the Kinzokuhen district, south of this place." At once, the driver started the engines and they were off to the direction Sesshoumaru told him to go. Kikyou looked desperately at Sesshoumaru.
"How can I go home?" she asked.
"You heard Mister Driver, you have no way of reaching Murasaki district tonight," Sesshoumaru replied flatly. "You have to stay overnight in my place for now."
The fall of rain was loud, but not quite loud enough to hide Kikyou's voice, which had risen a few octaves higher than usual. "But Sesshoumaru..."
"No more buts," Sesshoumaru cut her off. "You have helped me throughout the whole week in my Math. Allow me to help you now, Kikyou." Suddenly, his hand made contact with hers beneath the jacket, effectively silencing Kikyou. Her eyes flitted up and met his amber oculars, but almost at once she lowered her gaze in embarrassment.
"Okay," she muttered, reluctance plain in her voice. Sesshoumaru's hand left hers, and without his warmth, Kikyou felt frozen in the air con of the cab.
The rain was still pouring violently even as they reached Kinzokuhen district, which Kikyou knew to be one of the high-end places in the city. Of course, why should she wonder? Sesshoumaru was probably one of the richest boys in school; his father, a widower, was in the capital holding a high position in the government. He paid their fare with his own allowance, and soon Kikyou found herself in the garden of one of the largest houses she had ever seen. It was only the garden, but to her it was nearly as wide as their football field. It was very beautiful and spacious, and even had a natural stream running through it.
A servant came running out of the house with umbrellas and escorted them inside. Kikyou's first impression of the interior was like a palace of the olden times in Japan, though certainly interspersed with modern sensibilities. Sesshoumaru watched her with amusement as she took in beauty of his home like a child. But the first thing she asked was a request to use the phone so she can tell her family where she was now. After this was granted and done, she smiled at him.
"You have such a wonderful home," Kikyou said, her eyes wide with wonder.
Sesshoumaru snorted, and turning to the servant who had escorted them in, he said, "Jaken, tell the maids to fetch dry clothes for Kikyou and to prepare a warm bath for her." Jaken bowed and went off to carry out his orders
Kikyou shifted her glance from the retreating retainer and back to Sesshoumaru. "You honestly don't have to, Sesshoumaru..."
"Now, Kikyou, this is my place, and it is my duty to give my visitor the best welcome," he said, a slight smirk forming on his lips.
"What would your father think..."
"Father is in the capital, attending a two-day conference. He won't mind you being here, I assure you." At that moment, a maid came and bowed, offering to take Kikyou to the women's baths. Sesshoumaru nodded for her to follow, saying that they will have dinner after she had taken a bath. He kept his eyes on her until she disappeared behind a bend. Then, he shed his paralysis and went off to change his damp clothes himself. He felt as though he had gone home for the first time in his life.
Kikyou bathed and dressed as quickly as possible, not wishing to keep anyone waiting. The sleeping garments they had given her were made of pure silk, and she felt strange having to be garbed in such fine cloths when she was only sleeping there for one night. She left her wet hair hanging loosely down her back, and a maid escorted her to the dining room where Sesshoumaru already sat, waiting. He was only wearing a plain white shirt and black pants, but to Kikyou it set off his fine features quite perfectly.
Though the long table had enough places to fill at least eight people and a whole course of meals, she and Sesshoumaru just sat opposite one another in one end of the table and they were served their dinner as though in a restaurant. Kikyou appeared uncertain at first with the weight of formality, but gradually she began to feel more comfortable as she and Sesshoumaru talked of more familiar things.
"It has been so long since I ate like this, Sesshoumaru," Kikyou said, politely sipping the miso soup which served as their starter. "In this kind of atmosphere, I mean."
"I know it's kind of strange to eat your meal in this setting," Sesshoumaru agreed. "I never got used to it, if you ask me."
"I am quite surprised you still have to commute or walk on foot to school when you could have a driver and a whole entourage to take you there."
Sesshoumaru let out a bitter chuckle, but he did not look unpleasantly at Kikyou. "My father insisted that I do so. Builds some sort of social life, he says." He sighed, and so did Kikyou. They both understood by what it meant as 'social life.' They were two loners, and partly by their own choice. However, not desiring to spoil the dinner, Kikyou shifted the topic.
"Are you planning on going to the prom?"
"Huh?" Sesshoumaru asked, his eyes widening. But his expression turned rather cold as he drank some of the iced fruit juice in his glass. "I originally didn't plan on going, but I need the bonus."
"Oh," Kikyou said, a flicker of a strange emotion going across her eyes. "I see."
Sesshoumaru did not miss it, but he said nothing about it. "You have a date yet?"
"No," Kikyou said, but there was no dejection in her voice. On the contrary, she looked at him with a glimmer in her eyes as she added, "But I will dance with the dinner table, for sure."
"Is that so? It seems I am not alone after all!" They both laughed then, but as Sesshoumaru went over his words in his mind, it left something implied...something that would offer him the most acceptable answer to his prom date dilemma. But he blurted other words from his mouth to divert the topic once again. "Do you want to watch some movies, Kikyou?"
Kikyou appeared delighted. "I'd be glad to."
"Well, let's finish dinner and get on with it."
And so they did. Once dinner was over and the retainers cleared away the plates, Kikyou and Sesshoumaru stayed in the second living room on the upper floor. They took turns choosing movies, and after watching three consecutive horror and action flicks, they were not sleepy yet. They decided to kill time on the PlayStation, and though Sesshoumaru had to teach Kikyou the basic moves in the martial arts game, she became pretty good at it and they enjoyed themselves never as before.
"There you go! Get that!"
"That clean hit won't do!"
"That's five combo points!"
"We'll see, Kikyou! I've still got three life points!"
"You won't have those three life points any longer, Sesshoumaru!"
Eventually, on the tenth time, Kikyou finally won. But Sesshoumaru didn't care in the slightest, losing to her. He said, "You're the first one to ever beat me."
Kikyou twisted her thick hair over her shoulder to get it out of the way, and she smiled. "Are you kidding? You gave me such a hard time, Sesshoumaru." Then, at that moment, she yawned, covering her mouth with her hand. Sesshoumaru checked the time. It was two in the morning. No wonder Kikyou was becoming sleepy. He couldn't help but think, however, that she looked rather charming when she yawned.
"Time to sleep?" he asked.
So they turned off the television and unplugged the controllers. Sesshoumaru led her to one of the guest rooms nearby before going to bed himself. But before Kikyou entered the room, she gently squeezed his arm, saying, "I had a grand time, Sesshoumaru. Thank you so much."
Amber eyes met mahogany. Sesshoumaru smiled slightly, and so did she. How beautiful she was, especially with her long hair flowing freely on her back. He can hardly believe that this ethereal person standing before him was the same Kikyou who was his tutor in math, whom he once taught chemistry behind the gym...
"You're welcome," he replied, and her delicate hand left his arm. Without her touch, he felt strangely empty; but before she closed the door behind her, Kikyou never lost the smile on her face, and that was enough for Sesshoumaru for the time being. The next day was a weekend and the rain had gone. Even though he would have wanted her to stay longer, Kikyou went home by noon, escorted by no other than Sesshoumaru himself.
Two days later…
The wind was blowing softly, and Sesshoumaru tucked several stray silver hairs behind his ear as he folded the test paper neatly and put it away. Futotta-sensei was a quick checker, for he was able to give out the results of their long test the same day they took it. Sesshoumaru can hardly believe the 1.5 score marked on his paper, but it was no mistake. He had passed, and he had so much to thank someone...
"You made it to the uno level; I'm very happy for you," a musical voice reached his ears. He turned and smiled at Kikyou, who had walked up behind him. Her hair was down again, and he wondered if he can find anyone more beautiful.
"This is nothing compared to your 1.25," Sesshoumaru replied. "I don't know how I would have made it without you."
Kikyou let out a chuckle, saying, "No, you don't have to thank me. My efforts would have been wasted if you didn't do your part, and that is the important one."
They walked together on the same covered path they took during the storm, leading to the same stop. Sesshoumaru knew it was the time.
"Kikyou, I would like to ask you something..."
JS Prom Night…
Everything looked lovely. The lamps gave off a soft romantic glow to the surroundings and the beautiful tones of violins and a piano reverberated clearly throughout the hall. People had started to arrive, young men in their formal wear and their female counterparts in elegant gowns. In one table, Tsubaki sat alone, giving every couple who passed a dagger look. She hadn't managed to find a date, and so before any of those annoying twosomes leave her standing against the wall, Tsubaki got a table all to herself where she would be undisturbed for the whole night. Oh well, at least she would not be alone. Trust that Kikyou to find a date...
Surprised and delighted gasps from the crowd made Tsubaki look up from the glass of punch she was drinking. Her teal eyes widened, and she thought she was only seeing things because of her drink.
At the entrance, wearing a stunning red gown and a silken shawl of white was Kikyou. Her arm was looped around Sesshoumaru's arm, and they looked incredibly radiant indeed. Tsubaki nearly dropped her glass.
Kikyou smiled nervously at the people around her, squeezing Sesshoumaru's arm for assurance. He whispered to her that she was beautiful, and they went to the tables to get a seat for themselves. They passed by Tsubaki, and Kikyou stopped to check on how her self-proclaimed rival was going.
"I'm sorry, Tsubaki," Kikyou said, "but I am not going to dance with the dinner table tonight. You can have it all to yourself." Tsubaki grabbed her glass of punch and went off in a huff, nearly spilling the drink on several people she bumped. Neither Sesshoumaru nor Kikyou encountered more of her that lovely night.
Realizing that Tsubaki wasn't coming back, they sat on the table she had vacated. Kikyou was admiring the bouquet centerpiece of the table when her peripheral vision caught sight of a plump figure laughing with several formally-garbed students nearby.
"Look, Sesshoumaru, it's Futotta-sensei!" she said, pointing in his direction.
Sesshoumaru glanced in their teacher's way for a while, but he did not appear interested, which puzzled Kikyou.
"Well, you've got to tell him that you are now qualified to get the bonus," Kikyou said, but Sesshoumaru cut her off, holding her hands over the table.
"I did not invite you to come with me for a mere five points to the final test," he said softly. "I asked you to come because I want to be with you." With that, he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. Kikyou was speechless, but she understood, and she smiled. She taught him more than just arithmetic; he taught her more than chemistry. They taught each other about love.
And when the music started and everyone stood up to dance, she knew that she was not alone. He took in the soft features of her milky face, and the ebony glow of her flowing hair that had several small flowers pinned on one side. She was soon lost in the glow of his amber eyes and in the shine of his silvery locks. It was perfect.
Previously locked feelings blossomed and reached for each other.
All in just one night.
Yay, it's done! I know it's not normal to meh to write one-shots, but expect a whole lot of them now! I'm afraid I will go mad if I don't write anything to keep my crazy ways under control. O.o Gosh, I can oh so relate with Sesshy. I am darn having a difficult time with math; thank goodness I am doing well on the subject for the time being...but I am not that good in Chem either, take note. I based Futotta-sensei on a real person, by the way. -.- Anyway, I know it won't be much to ask to press that little review button down there, so see you around, my beanies!