Author's Note: No excuses, just an apology. Sorry for yet another long wait. I'll go more into detail at the end of the chapter, Enjoy!
Usual disclaimers apply, blah, blah, blah...
Detention: Boredom and Half-Brothers
1 week: 7 days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds.
It felt longer than that. Misao's crystalline blue eyes darted to the clock mounted on the wall behind Mrs. Ikezawa's desk. The woman's cheeks aflame with a fiery blush, something told the Weasel that it wasn't the 'Feudalism for Fools' book that had her so flustered.
Having actually finished her work, she crumpled a piece of paper just to have an excuse to get up. Sliding out of her seat, Misao slithered through the rows of seats. Pretending to aim for the trashcan, she threw the wad and watched it miss completely, falling near Ikezawa's chair. The woman was too engrossed in her book to notice.
Sidling over innocently, Misao bent down to pick up the ball, glimpsing the real cause of her teacher's sudden case of inflammation of the face. The cover showed a pale skinned beauty clad in a tight red corset in the arms of a 'tall, dark, and handsome' type, the latter of which was going straight for the jugular. The title read 'A Hunger Like No Other'. Stifling a snort, Misao skittered away before the woman could sense her presence.
Sneaking back into her seat, Misao waited out the rest of the class period in boredom. It had become a routine. She would finish her assignments and sit in silence until the bell rang. There was no Saitou to cause distraction and part of her was happy for that. Her grade in that class had suffered because of their constant bickering.
Stupid man…She cursed him silently, yet another recently developed routine.
The bell rang out shrilly and her classmates were up in a flash and out the door, just as eager as she was to escape the suffocating atmosphere. Ikezawa didn't even appear to notice the sudden desertion of her classroom. Smirking evilly, she purposely pushed aside a desk so that it scraped the tiled floor with a shriek causing Ikezawa to emit a shriek of her own. The trashy romance novel slipped from her grasp and fell to the floor. Ikezawa squeaked and fumbled to retrieve it.
Pausing in the doorway, Misao turned, "Oh, Mrs. Ikezawa,"
"No Rest for the Wicked,"
Ikezawa's blush darkened, "I beg your pardon?"
"The sequel," Misao said simply, with a wink before bustling out the door.
Once in the hallway she sighed, dodging students left and right. Now that she thought about it, her life seemed so cliché. It was like one of those silly soap operas Kaoru was always watching. It made her feel even more idiotic. Releasing a frustrated growl she slammed herself against the nearest set of lockers and started banging her head against the metal surface without hesitation.
After having left a decent sized dent she turned to leave. At that moment, the fates decided it'd be funny to have someone heave a door open in her path causing immediate collision. She winced and waited for the pain, closing her eyes. An explosion of stars erupted behind her eyelids as pain shot through her skull. She placed a hand on the wall to steady herself, moaning while trying to knock the twittering little birds encircling her head out of the air.
Her little episode involving the locker was sure to cause a bruise, now this? Blinking back tears of pain, she muttered a string of curses under her breath, ready to throw a few colorful insults at the asshole that was careless enough to chuck a door into her face.
"What kind of moron goes throwing doors open around this place?"
Saitou stepped out from behind the door, eyes searching for whatever unfortunate soul he'd managed to hit. He had half hoped it was some freshmen; he was in an intimidating mood. What he got, however, was the very bane of his existence as of late. He swore he could hear the gods laughing maniacally at him from their perches in the clouds. Hajime had never been more tempted at the idea of converting to atheism.
He heard her breath hitch at the sight of him and he avoided her eyes, waiting for her to say something else, or rather, silently hoping.
If it hadn't been for the burning in her lungs, Misao wouldn't have remembered to breathe. She didn't know what to do. Noticing he was avoiding her gaze, she glared.
She would've voiced her thoughts aloud had it not been for the fact that she had temporarily forgotten how to speak. Pushing a few strands of hair behind her ear, Misao opted for the easiest means of escape. Clearing her throat, she nodded, eyes downcast to the floor, and walked around, continuing her venture down the hall.
Saitou stared after her retreating form in irritation. Why hadn't she done anything? It wasn't in her nature to be so passive. He had wanted for her to yell at him, curse, him, and anything that he could use as an excuse to converse back with her. Her hasty departure had been like a slap in the face, and the little weasel probably knew it, too.
Misao's heart was beating a mile a minute in time with her hurried footsteps. Pushing all thoughts of a certain history teacher aside, she walked into the art classroom for the week's club meeting causing the chatter to fall to a dull roar at her disruption.
"Ah, Ms. Makimachi, thank you for joining us. We were just about to discuss this year's décor for the Fall Festivities."
Sneaking off toward the back of the room, Misao leaned against a table after plopping her bag on the floor. Heart still racing from her earlier encounter, she inhaled shakily in an attempt to calm her frazzled nerves.
"I now open the floor for any ideas on this year's theme."
Misao listened from the back of the room as ideas came pouring forth from left and right. Hearing someone mention "famous couples throughout history" as a theme made her eyes roll. Talk about unoriginality, they totally stole that out of 'Never Been Kissed'. There was also that bet to consider. Since they weren't exactly on speaking terms, did that still mean the deal was on? A funny thought occurred to her, she could've been the Playboy Bunny to Saitou's Hugh Hefner.
Why the hell not?
"I like that idea," she interrupted.
All eyes were on her again, prompting her to continue.
Clearing her throat, she did, "the whole 'famous couples' thing, I mean."
Murmurs erupted throughout the classroom.
"Any other suggestions," The art club president asked.
The room fell silent.
"All in favor?" He continued.
Eyes darted around the room seeing who would be the first brave soul to lift their hand. Seeing as how she had been the one to back the idea up, Misao raised her hand. Followed by a few other members in the classroom and then, eventually, everyone else.
"Alright, famous couples it is. Meeting adjourned."
With that said everyone rose from their seats and began congregating amongst each other chattering excitedly about the upcoming dance. Misao passed them by and headed out the door. The afterschool silence was foreign to her, which is why she was thankful when the idleness was shattered by the sound of grunts coming from the courtyard.
Curiosity took control of her feet and dragged her over to investigate only to discover Aoshi sparring with some black-haired freshmen. Aoshi, distracted momentarily by her presence, was able to block a swing from the underclassmen just in time. Misao smiled and leaned against the trunk of a tree to watch, signaling that he should disregard her and continue. He smiled lightly and went back to sparring with the brat. The match didn't last much longer than ten minutes before Aoshi had managed to successfully disarm the younger boy, sending him into a fit of curse while he ran to retrieve his weapon which had flown a good twenty feet away and into some bushes.
Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Aoshi stalked over to the petite woman perched under the shade of the oak tree. Sensing a gloomy air around her, he settled down on the grass, his eyes suggesting she follow suit. Misao sighed heavily before agreeing.
His simple command caught her off guard.
"I don't particularly care for the woes of woman, but for some reason, I can't stand to see your blue eyes so dull. They lack their familiar spark."
Said blue eyes widened, blinking rapidly while the skin below it tinged pink.
"IranintoSaitouinthehall." She mumbled swiftly.
"And...?" Aoshi pressed, surprising even himself that he was able to decipher her gibberish.
Misao breathed in deeply, "He stared at me like he expected me to do something, but I didn't, I couldn't. I just walked away."
The wind caused the leaves to rustle overhead.
"I couldn't, I can't...do this. Damn it!" She punched the trunk of the tree with one hand while wiping her tears with the other.
She was going in for another punch when Aoshi caught her fist in his hand, and pulled her to his chest, encircling her small frame with his arms. Misao was silent for a while before she broke down sobbing. Yahiko chose that moment to return, but was quickly shooed away by Aoshi's cold gaze. Misao clung to Aoshi's form like it was a lifeline. Since when had life gotten so complicated? What had she done? What deity has she offended to deserve such a curse?
"I hate this! In the span of a few months that man was capable of totally destroying me!" She sobbed, pulling herself gently away, "And I hate him for it."
Aoshi chuckled at her overly dramatic statement while catching sight of a certain History teacher glaring daggers down at him from the second story window of the History and Government building.
Fire shot back into her gaze, "What's so friggin' funny?" She sniffled.
"When you said that you hated Saitou, the expression you made reminded me so much of him."
Misao's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "Reminded you of whom? Hajime?"
For a second she panicked, oh hell, first I fall for the asshole, now I'm turning into him, what more could go wrong?
Aoshi turned away to stare across the expanse of the school, his eyes held a far-away look.
"No...of our father..."
Saitou was on auto-pilot, shuffling test papers into his briefcase and locking up his desk drawers robotically, debating whether or not to skip out on the monthly faculty meeting. His mind was uncharacteristically blank other than that, however, he though nothing and felt nothing, he was numb as he wiped the dry-erase board clean and went to shut the window blinds. He'd never felt more devoid of emotion, at least not since...
A pair of forms situated beneath a tree in the courtyard caused his gold eyes to screech to a halt in their survey. Venom seemed to course through his veins at the sight of Misao in the arms of none other than the self-appointed matchmaker himself. Judging by her shaking shoulders, she was crying and Aoshi was playing the part of the honorable gentlemen and was consoling her.
He growled savagely when the younger man caught sight of him. Jerking the blinds closed he turned sharply away on his heel, tugging his briefcase off the surface of his desk, and stalked off to the meeting.
"Um, what...?" Misao's tears had completely dried up and now she was staring at Aoshi.
Shinomori's gaze shifted back onto her, "If you recall, I mentioned I was from Tokyo."
Shuffling her legs so as to get more comfortable, Misao nodded, "Yes, but I don't see how that has anything to do with..."
He put his palm up to silence her, "Allow me to finish,"
Misao was immediately silenced by the seriousness in his tone.
"I was born in Tokyo to Shinomori Yoshi; she worked as a librarian in Tokyo U., where she met my father, our father, Makimachi Hiroshi."
"You must be confused; you're seventeen years old, am I correct? My parents were married for twenty before they died." Misao explained, trying to reassure herself more than disprove Aoshi's claim.
"Married yes, that doesn't necessarily mean faithful." Aoshi stated bluntly.
Misao shot up off the grass, "I refuse to sit here and listen to you besmirch my father's good name. He loved my mother, he would never dishonor her."
Aoshi's hand shot out and latched onto her hand, tugging her back down.
"Misao, though this may be hard for you to hear, Makimachi Hiroshi was my father as well as yours. He left my mother to return back to Kyoto, back home to your mother, his wife."
Misao's oceanic blue orbs were pierced by his own arctic pair, it was then that she finally looked at him, really looked at him. From the same shade of inky black hair down to their skin pigment, then finally to his face, characteristics similar to her father's were pronounced. She shook her head, trying to obscure the image in her mind.
She wrenched her hand free, "You're wrong!"
Her parents had been happy as far as she could remember. Minako, her mother, had been Hiroshi's entire universe from what she had been told. Aoshi had to have the wrong person, that's all there was to it. Perhaps some other Hiroshi, but certainly not a Makimachi...
Misao started to walk away but not before Aoshi shouted after her, "Ask Okina," making her pause in her trek then she continued on as if she'd never heard him.
Aoshi ran a hand through his hair in exasperation.
Misao didn't want to believe Aoshi, but a niggling voice at the back of her mind deterred her from going home and drowning herself in chocolate. Okina usually vacated the teacher's lounge for an hour or two after hours, with that knowledge, she made a bee-line for the main office. Her footfalls resounded in the empty hallway. She was beginning to question herself. There's no way Okina would withhold the information of a potential sibling from her all these years. It was unthinkable. After years of seeing her alone, crawling her way out of the hole of depression her parents' death had dug. Having someone to bear the pain with her would've eased the pain. No, Okina would never keep something as drastically important as Aoshi hidden from her.
Having no idea as to what exactly she intended to say, she hauled the door open.
"Hey Gramps, I need to talk to you about...something..."
Multiple pairs of eyes were staring at her over coffee mugs. Okina, who was seated at the head faculty's table, gave her a disapproving look. Misao laughed nervously.
"Whatever you need to discuss with me can wait until we get home, Misao. I am in the middle of a faculty meeting."
"So this is where you neo-Nazis plan the destruction of today's youth..." She muttered trying to play the whole situation off.
"Misao," Okina said sternly.
She jumped, "Ah, yes, I'll just be going now."
With that said she grabbed a rice ball off the counter and with a wave, bid the assembly of teachers fair well. Upon her departure, several cliques of teachers started mumbling amongst their respected groups. Okina heaved a heavy sigh and happened to catch Saitou's attention in doing so. Hajime released a sigh of his own and a cloud of smoke billowed forth from his mouth, nicotine permeated the air. Several others around him sent him disgusted looks, but he paid them no mind.
Turning back to his staff, Okina cleared his throat, "Well, all in favor of instituting a lock on the lounge door?"
Almost everyone raised their hand.
Saitou rode out the meeting going through three cigarettes, much to the fellow occupants of his table's dismay. He lit up the forth one on his way to the parking lot, not even making it through ¼ of the thing before throwing it to the ground, crushing it with the tip of his shoes while staring at the person vacating the hood of his car.
"Mr. Shinomori, how may I be of service?"
Aoshi slid off Saitou's car, "She loves you, Saitou."
Ignoring the pang of guilt in his chest, he walked around the younger boy and moved on to his car.
"You speak of things of which you know nothing."
Aoshi followed, "Don't be a fool, Hajime"
The Wolf stopped in his tracks and rounded sharply on him, a feral snarl marred his features.
"She seemed perfectly content in your arms earlier this evening, and you seemed perfectly fine having her there."
"To quote your earlier words, 'you speak of things of which you know nothing'."
Saitou popped the trunk and deposited his briefcase before shutting the thing loudly. He wanted nothing more than to speed out of the parking lot and retreat to the safety of his home, but then again, Saitou was never really one to run away. Lately, however, that little piece of information was being put to the test along with his patience.
"Then please, Mr. Shinomori, enlighten me."
"She's my half-sister, Hajime."
Misao's such a hypocrite...lol.
Hehe...hehehe (nervous laughter) Well, um, I don't really expect any "Welcome backs" seeing as how I left you guys hanging for about 8 months. Yeah, many apologies! Life loves to play tricks on me and someone thought it'd be pretty hilarious to throw in a rather large male wrench into my schedule. Not that I was complaining at the time : (clears throat) HOWEVER, it's summer once again, and I'm back with a vengeance. Hopefully, I won't disappoint you all.
As always, best wishes,