A/N: This is an imagined background story for Kyohei, based on hints in the manga up to Volume 10. :D Corrections would be welcome, but I really wrote this without intending to follow strict canon.

Pretty is an Adjective (Best Reserved for Girls)

Kyohei was ten years old when someone first tried to grab his butt. He remembers the traumatic experience quite clearly – he had been on his way out of a convenience store, sucking on a popsicle because that summer had been so damn hot, when the man stacking cup noodles on the shelf suddenly shot out his hand and touched it. Kyohei had spun around and punched him almost reflexively, and the man had reeled backwards and crashed into his goods, although his face held a dreamy, tearful expression. "I'm sorry, young man," he had offered meekly, while sinking to his knees. "It's just that you're a very pretty boy."

The popsicle in his mouth suddenly tasted kinda bitter.

The long line of early morning spectators started not long after that – he opened his windows one day and there was a whole row of girls from his middle school looking at him devotedly, despite the fact that his pajamas were horribly rumpled and his hair had forgotten about gravity. The continuous calls that lasted from lunchtime all the way until midnight began then too, until he resorted to leaving the phone off the hook unless dad was expected to call. His mother grew more spiteful as the crowd outside thickened, and nearly had a heart attack when the first wave of presents kicked in.

"I guess you don't need an allowance anymore," she said smoothly one morning while laying out breakfast. "After all, you get all these things for free. Maybe you don't even need meals anymore." Kyohei thought his eye had twitched a little, considering how broke he was after paying for the broken windows in school, but he didn't want to push the matter further. His mother threw a haggard look outside the heavily tinted window before pouring him orange juice, noting how the growing gaggle of girls had started a cheer.

"Whatever," he said (his voice was starting to break then, he didn't like to talk very much), and ate a mouthful of eggs.

Walking to school became a personal trial – no matter how tall he got, it was still like walking through a hurricane with hands and feet and bodies sticking and clinging and pulling every which way. He'd get trampled underfoot and stomped on before someone realized where he was and they all scrambled for his uniform. It was worse than any of the brawls he'd encountered in school – which was considerably bad, because haters increased with devotees, and he got into fights nearly everyday (mostly from jerks who claimed he was stealing their girlfriends).

It probably wasn't a very good talent, but Kyohei could deliver an excellent uppercut. He went home every afternoon with bruises around his eyes and cuts on his lips, and his mother complained about how they were running out of ice packs and bandages, the bags under her eyes deepening. By the time he was thirteen, the local police had to escort him to and from school everyday. Most officers merely rolled their eyes at the strange job they were tasked to do, but quite a few squeezed his arm a little too tightly as they wrestled through the crowds, and the head officer even cupped his chin suggestively the one time they met.

Not even the police could save him always, though. He got kidnapped on Valentine's day, hiding away in some dark alley after escaping from a fight – not that he couldn't handle those punks, but it wasn't worth the cost of damaging the school's laboratory, and besides that he felt sick from all the chocolate the girls had forced upon him that day. A dark van raced across the road just as he was starting home, and two large men grabbed him by the wrists. He would have beaten them up, but he suddenly couldn't breathe, and they were pushing some strange substance against his nose. He woke up to find a pair of scantily-clad male twins clinging to either side of him, and had never felt grosser yet.

"But you make the perfect Valentine's present!" they cooed, waving bottles of chocolate and cans of whipped cream wildly in the air. "You're so gorgeous, so cute, so pretty!" The chains they had bound him with were plastic, thankfully. Jail sentence or not, he would never renounce satisfaction at punching their faces in. He came home later that day with the police taking care to keep the fangirls from smothering him at the gate. His mother finally broke down. "Kyohei," she sobbed, watching him change out of the netting and leather he had found himself wearing. "I can't take it anymore, it's too much!"

He had taken to sleeping in the living room, because his room had started to overflow with presents – he avoided looking sad as he slipped into his more comfy clothes, and leant his head pitifully against the couch. "If that's all you have to say, then I'll find someplace to stay in. Don't stress about it." Even if the last few part time jobs he tried out had involved the boss' sick fantasies; even if he had no savings and no pocket money to boot.

He left the house the next day – as he waded through the gifts in his room, trying his best to pack, his mother stood at the door and wept, telling him she didn't really want him to go, that she really wanted to care for him, that he shouldn't have to leave, even if she was so, so tired and it was so hard to deal with it all. When he turned to tell her thanks, but things had really gotten out of hand and he had better move for the both of them, she got that sour look on her face again and told him that she wouldn't miss him.

"Take care of yourself too, mom." He saluted then backed out the door, only remembering to take the long way around when he heard a girl whine, "Jeez, how long is it gonna take for him to come out?"

-xx-

The landlady clicked her phone shut with an irritated sigh. "Really, that supervisor, we stopped dating long ago and he still has the nerve to ask favors..." She twirled her umbrella and turned the next corner. "Well, he did say the kid needed help." She walked down the road, craning her head left and right, then tripped over something blocking the road. "What the hell, damn convenience store can't even dispose of their trash...properly..."

A boy was sprawled on the side of the road, eyes closed, long lashes fluttering, a bandage dangling off his neck and his hair a radiant halo around him. She caught herself holding her breath and snorted instead. Then she rolled her eyes and kicked him lightly with her heel. His eyes opened, and for a brief moment, the whole road was illuminated with lightning. When the light dissapated, he rubbed his forehead, then opened his beautiful lips. "Lady, I'm not interested."

She grabbed him by the collar of his sweater. "Takano Kyohei?"

He looked the other way, blushing with anger and shame. "What? Another stalker? Gonna call me pretty again?"

She tightened her grip on his collar and dragged him upward so that they were level. "Don't be so full of yourself, kid. Pretty is an adjective reserved for girls." He blinked at her, awestruck and wide-eyed, and she slackened her grip enough for him to right himself with dignity. Then she dusted herself off and sniffed. "Well, you certainly are what some would call a handsome boy. But I'm not so desperate that I'd go for someone half my age."

He scratched his head and looked at her carefully. "Do I know you?"

No, but that could be fixed. She offered him a gracious smile and a slight toss of the curls. "Nice to meet you. I'm your new landlady."


A/N: I hope you enjoyed reading it, even if Sunako didn't show up (maybe in another fic?) :D Comments would be greatly appreciated.