Disclaimer: I still yet to own Azumanga Daioh. If I did I would have to congratulate myself extensively on the hilarity of my own manga…but I don't so, I won't. Oh, and the title is the title of the first Simon & Garfunkel album. I think it's a neato title and it seems to work for the fic so ya….here ya go!
Author's Note: So Tomo might seem a little OOC but I honestly believe she would act like this mainly 'cause I've met quite a few masochistic people who are, to everyone else, the happiest people in the world…it's a defense mechanism.
Wednesday Morning, 3 am
Yomi never understood how she ended up with a best friend like Tomo. Whenever the hyper child was around her, she wished she had never met the girl in the first place. But then again, whenever she was away from her for extended periods of time (which was usually vacations because Tomo would unexpectedly show up at her house), she longed to hear the obnoxious banter of her best friend. As much as she hated to admit it, life was not quite as enjoyable with out Tomo's spontaneity.
Tomo's parents split when Yomi and Tomo were finishing middle school. Neither parent really cared too much for their only child. In their eyes she was their ultimate failure. Tomo could always hear their fights.
"It's your fault we're stuck in this position!"
"Oh! So it's my fault YOU got fired!"
"If you hadn't gotten pregnant…"
"Back to this is it?! Maybe if you took a look at whoever you were fucking when you were drunk!"
"Maybe if you weren't a sleazy whore!"
"Who you ended up fucking and getting pregnant! Anyway, I gave birth to her! You were the one who failed to turn her into anything useful!"
"You coulda found time to teach the girl something useful…like sewing!"
"She's as lazy as her father! You alcoholic!"
"Useless like her whoreish mother!"
Tomo would just sigh. By age 14 she had gotten use to her parents fighting. All the fights were the same, eventually swinging back to the fact that Tomo was a failure in their eyes. At this point Tomo would simply hop out her back window and take a walk outside, sometimes she even went over to visit her best friend. Yomi never really knew why the wildcat would randomly show up at her window, but she always let her in, even though she knew she would be annoyed until she kicked Tomo out of her house.
High school had not been much different than either elementary school and middle school for Yomi except for their growth, maturity (for Yomi at least), and Yomi's attempts at numerous diets. Everyday she would wake up, get ready for school, head off towards school. About quarter way from her house, Tomo would run up from behind and the Tomo chatter would start and the Tomo chatter would continue for the entire day till they reached were they had to go in different directions to get home. Sometimes, Tomo chatter would end up in room when the hyper child appeared in her window.
"Good morning morning glory!" came the call from the wildcat. Yomi sighed. Could she go one day without either the annoying greeting or the incessant Tomo chatter. Turning to rebuke the girl when she gasped. Tomo had rather large bruise on the left side of her cheek. "You ok there Tomo?" Yomi asked staring at the purplish welt, fighting the urge to reach out and stroke the injury. "Oh this?" Tomo laughed out loud. "Pretty nice battle wound uhn? I fell outta tree and landed mostly on my face!" Tomo strode off looking immensely proud of herself. When Tomo felt confident that Yomi was behind her and couldn't see her face, she winced at the memory of the incident. "I fell out of a tree." Tomo murmured to herself pasting her fake smile back on her face. "Come on Yomi! I'll race ya to the school, or are you getting too weak from all those diets!" Tomo didn't wait to see the angry glare she got when she mentioned Yomi's diets, she had already started running towards school, with Yomi chasing after her.
One day, an entire day came and went without any Tomo chatter. The wildcat had been absent from school. Yomi had gone about her normal routine. On her way to school, she noticed the unusual silence that accompanied her. Stopping, perplexed at the lack of Tomo chatter, she realized that she had been without Tomo for a while. Assuming she had only slept in, Yomi continued on her way without another thought, grateful for the lack of babbling. When she got to school, class went on for about an hour till someone asked, "Why is it so quite?" Looking around, the class finally noticed the lack of Tomo in class. There was an audible sigh of relief from everyone at not having to put up with the wildcat's antics. Everyone, that is, except Yomi. She was worried about her friend so she decided to visit Tomo. It was not like her house was too far away from Yomi's.
Yomi stopped at the stoop of Tomo's one story, small house where only she and her father lived. Yomi hesitated, she hadn't been to Tomo's house in a very long time. Usually Tomo came over, not vice versa. She tentatively knocked on the door. No answer. Waiting a few minutes she knocked again. Still no answer. "Tomo?" Yomi called out, worry starting to eat away at her. If Tomo hadn't been in school then surely she must be home. After a few more minutes of standing there, she left.
Tomo heard the knocking at the door. Ignoring it, she pulled herself tighter into a ball. The last thing she wanted to do was to see anyone. She knew if she stayed home she would be subjected to her father's wrath, but at this time, he was passed out, stone drunk on their kitchen floor. "Tomo?" she could hear Yomi call out for her. Tomo wished she could go off to see her best friend but she couldn't bare to face her. Tears rolled down the normally perky girl's face. She didn't know how long she sat there but she heard her father start to stir. She knew she needed to leave but for the life of her she couldn't find the energy to leave the house.
Yomi sat in her room trying to figure out how much she could have to eat tonight. It always seemed like her diets never worked. All they managed to do was to leave Yomi more hungry than before eating and feeling like a failure. Her attention was diverted from her calculations when she heard the light rap of someone at her window. Normally she would have been exasperated with Tomo for not giving her a moment's peace but she was worried about the hyper child.
"Heya numbnut…." but a soft sob caused Yomi to turn to look at Tomo. Usually her best friend never reacted to any of her insults. A gasp escaped Yomi's lips as she rushed over to her friend standing dazedly, crying and blood dripping down her face. "Jesus Tomo! What in the name of god happened to you?" Tomo wiped the tears off her face the best she could. "….dadbeatme" she said in one mumbled breath. "Just, sit down Tomo." Yomi ordered as she ran to her bathroom and came back with a towel. She proceeded to dap the blood off of Tomo's face. The blood originated from a cut above her eye and the side of her mouth. With all the blood gone, Yomi finally noticed Tomo's black eye on the other side of her face. "Christ…" Yomi cursed as she left Tomo to go get a cold compression for her eye.
After bandaging up her best friend she sat next to her. "I didn't catch the first thing you said. What happened?" "Well, there was this gang of boys that I didn't see and I accidentally walked into their turf." Tomo started, getting worked up. "And they were like, 'hey move or we'll kick your ass!' and I was like, 'I'd like to see you try!'. They managed to do this to me but you should see how they ended up!" Tomo tried to put a triumphant grin but the cuts and pain stopped her from and simply ended up wincing. "Tomo…do you really think I'm gunna buy that story?" Yomi asked looking at her. Tomo refused to make any sort of eye contact. "Well ya….."
Tomo wasn't stupid enough to honestly believe Yomi would believe her made up story. Still, she had to try since telling anyone, even Yomi about what was going on in her life, was difficult. Sighing she actually answered Yomi's question. "My dad he, uh…..beat…me." Tomo braced herself for Yomi's explosion of emotion, whatever form it took. She felt Yomi's arm embrace her and she couldn't hold back her tears any longer. She simply cried into Yomi's arm.
After Tomo's cry Yomi decided that it would be a good time to get some questions out of Tomo since she was never open with her. "This isn't the first time he's hit you, is it?" Tomo shook head. Yomi sighed. "You know he gets like this, so why'd you stay long enough to let him do this to you?" Tomo opened her mouth, then closed it. Looking slightly afraid, she hung her head. "You can tell me anything Tomo." Tomo looked back up at her best friend. "I…He…I think" she began. "I think, since I'm scared of hurting myself, I can let him do it for me." She cringed expecting a lecture from Yomi. Yomi on the other hand was shocked. "People care about you Tomo. Why would you feel the need to hurt yourself?" Tomo turned on her. "No one cares. Everyone was probably glad that I wasn't in class." Yomi couldn't bare to confirm Tomo's suspicion. "Plus, people care about you the way you are. Why do you feel the need to go on these horrible diets, starving yourself, when people like you the way you are?" Yomi sat, jaw clenched, refusing to justify herself. "It's getting late Tomo. You can sleep here for the night."
Afraid to go home for the night and feeling worn out, Tomo took Yomi up on her offer to stay at her house. In the back of Tomo's mind there was a nagging fear at staying at her best friends house. What if she figured out? Assuming that they would sleep on opposite sides of the bed, she pushed her fear away and fell asleep.
Yomi woke up to see she had fallen asleep with Tomo in her arms. Quietly sliding away from her grasp Yomi felt strange. Shaking off the feeling, she went about changing into her school uniform for school. She heard Tomo roll over and mumble her name. Suddenly Tomo shot up in bed looking distressed. "Yomi?" she glanced around the room and saw her best friend putting on her glasses. "Ya?" Yomi didn't expect Tomo to have reacted so violently to her leaving the bed. The bespeckled girl winced a little at seeing Tomo's face. If it was at all possible, it looked worse than last night. Tomo's eye had pretty much swollen shut and the cuts looked worse scabbed over. Looking very frightened, Tomo jumped out of the bed and quickly left Yomi's house. "TOMO!" Yomi called but the girl ignored her and kept at a dead sprint. Yomi, against her better judgment, let the girl go hoping she would turn up at school today.
Tomo ran until she no longer could breathe. She collapsed onto the swing of the nearby playground. "You slept the entire night at Yomi's?" she asked herself. "Jesus. I'm just asking to be hated more than I already am." She felt the need to hit herself or something, but her father took care of that for her so she did not need to hurt herself. Sitting on the swing reminded Tomo of back when Yomi and she were in elementary school. It was where they met in fact. Yomi had been swinging on a swing when some jerk pushed her off. Her glasses had been knocked off in the process and the boy just laughed. For some reason this angered Tomo. She strode over to the mean boy and pushed him off the swing then helped up the sniffling Yomi.
Another day went by without Tomo in class. The fact that Tomo had missed school days in a row started to worry her other friends, namely Kagura and Chiyo-chan. "Yomi-san. Have you seen Tomo-chan at all?" the adorable ten year old asked. "I mean, Tomo-chan annoys me so much but I hope there isn't anything wrong with her." Yomi did not want to tell the others about Tomo's confession about being abused so she simply said she hadn't really seen her. Something about Tomo's behavior perturbed her though but after Tomo's lack of answering the door yesterday, decided the girl just needed some time to herself.
When Yomi got home, she went about her daily routine at home. She ate a bit, watched some tv, did research on universities, ate dinner, started the massive pile of homework on her desk. Yukari-sensei had been hung-over today so much of the lesson she attempted to re-teach herself. By the time she checked her clock, it was nearing 2:30 am. Gasping at the lateness of the hour, she decided to head off to bed immediately, that is after checking her diet calculations. Checking her calculations, she suddenly blanched. She had eaten WAY too much today. Sighing, she decided the only good way to make up for it was to either starve for a day or just throw it back up. Not relishing the idea of starving for an entire day, Yomi headed off to her bathroom.
"YOMI!" the tall girl jerked back from the sink and turned to see Tomo who was staring shocked at her. "Tomo…." Yomi started but Tomo cut her off. "I don't care what you have to say. There's no way you can explain to me that a diet is more important than your health! Seriously, I don't want you dieting if it means you have to harm yourself." For some reason this made Yomi angry. "Who says you can have any word in what I do in my life! You don't even have the will power to leave your house when your dad is drinking 'cause you know he'll hit you so you won't have to hurt yourself!" Tomo glared and turned to leave. "I liked you the way you were." With that she again ran out of the room. Yomi, still fuming, didn't bother going after her again. Wondering what she had been doing in her room she glanced around. Spotting a note on her desk she sat to read it since it might explain the reason she ran out the first time.
People are stupid sometimes. Don't listen to them. I've always liked you for who you are. But then again, what's my opinion against everyone else? What you said has kinda stuck with me and I think it's best for everyone if I just leave. No more shit with dad, no more annoyingness at school, and no more worry. Worry about what you ask. Well, since I'm leaving I can say something that would have probably destroyed our friendship, I love you Koyomi Mizuhara.
You know….that was a pretty damn good love letter thingy I think I wrote. Go me!
Reading the note Yomi's face changed from anger, it interest, to shock, to relieved humor at the last bit. Remembering how she yelled at Tomo before the girl left her room, she felt the pressing need to go after her. Grabbing a jacket, she hurried out of her house. Getting out of her house, she tried to think of where Tomo would go. Frankly the girl had no where to go. Worry started to overcome Yomi. Tomo may be a little numbnutish but she was hard headed. Once she got an idea, there was no letting go without a fight. It suddenly dawned on her where to go. Smiling she headed off.
Tomo heard footsteps coming closer to her home but she chose to ignore them. Probably some random person. "Hello there Tomo" came the greeting in Tomo's ear. Jumping up she saw Yomi crouched down right where she was sitting seconds ago. Yomi smiled up at her. "er….how'd you know I would be here?" Yomi chuckled. "You aren't always the brightest of people. You have no where else to go so I assumed, after your note, that you would come here." She motioned at the playground where they first met. Tomo laughed weakly. "Ya….some note uhn?" She fiddled with her zipper. It seemed like forever before Yomi spoke again. "You were wrong. What you told me wouldn't ruin our friendship." "What?" Tomo looked up to see Yomi standing in front of her. Bending down slightly, Yomi brought her lips to Tomo's, kissing her gently. Tomo didn't know what emotions to feel. She was shocked that Yomi was kissing her, she was confused, and enjoying the immense pleasure she got out of kissing her.
"Good morning morning glory!" the obnoxious greeting hit Yomi's ears. Groaning, she felt Tomo run and jump on her back. "WAUGH!" (the sound that came outta Yomi's mouth as Tomo jumped on her). The Tomo chatter started. Yomi didn't really mind it all that much, at least not today. Today, she was glad to have her best friend…her love…back. That's all that really mattered.