Fuji Syuusuke Frozen Carnation
She stared, frustration vented strictly at her keyboard, expecting it to get the message and start typing its own story. When she realized it wasn't going to move anytime soon, she sighed, leaning back onto her chair as she let out a small bitter laugh.
Kaho Rei, known as one of the school's best fiction writers, was stuck. Completely out of ideas. Of course, that would have been fine had it not been for the contest deadline was two days later, and she had not one word on her blank document. She had promised Tezuka that she would enter, and she had intended to keep it.
Another bitter chuckle. Tezuka. That was where she had run into her troubles, and she had known at the beginning of falling for the stoic captain, that she would indeed, end heartbroken from the tight competition for him, she just didn't know it would affect her so much.
----1 week ago ----
"Oi, Tezuka!" falling into step with the tennis captain, she pulled out a few sheets of paper from her bag, "I finished a story for the upcoming contest! Could you proofread it?"
Nodding his usual way, he took the papers from her hands as she gave him a grateful smile.
"Arigato, give them to me before the end of the week!" she shouted, even though she knew it wasn't necessary. He always managed to finish in less than one day. Somehow.
True enough, he had returned the papers to her after school, and she accepted them gratefully as he explained his opinion.
"It's an interesting topic, the language of flowers. You must have done a lot of research," confirming his statement with a nod, he continued, "You have only a few grammatical mistakes, I marked them out. Other than that, it should be fine."
"Thanks again," replied Rei, scanning her story quickly and turned to him with a sheepish smile, "I don't really mean to burden you with all of these errors…"
He simply shook his head, before replying.
"There's a contest held in the district for writing, Ryuuzaki-sensei gave me the flier at practice today," he handed her a blue sheet of paper, "I thought your stories might be able to make the Regional's Levels at least, it might be a nice pace to enter something that competes nationwide instead of the same competitors school wide."
He lightly reframed himself of adding, 'and always winning,' as she scanned over the topic choices before nodding.
"I guess I could try, I'll give you the story…hm, Monday? The deadline's Tuesday, ne?"
He nodded his agreement and she gave him a small wave before turning out of the school gates. She was aware of a call of 'Tezuka-senpai', and out of plain instinct, turned around too. A second-year ran up to the tennis captain, giving him a small smile as she walked alongside him. Then, much to her surprise, and jealousy, he smiled a smile she'd written too-many-times-to-count about. It was then she knew, and no matter how much it hurt, she had to accept the truth. He loved someone else.
Unknown to her, however, a pair of azure eyes watched as she headed home, trying to keep her emotions under control. As much as he had wanted to reach out to her, he prevented himself, heart crumbling at her dejected expression.
Again, she sighed painfully at the memory, abandoning her futile attempts to write the story and decided instead on a walk in the spring Sunday midday temperature. Taking a jacket with her, she strolled aimlessly on the downtown streets, trying to collect her thoughts.
"Kaho-san?" asked a politely pleasant voice.
She looked up from the snow-trekked ground at the smiling tensai of Seigaku.
"Konichiwa, Fuji-san," she greeted, bowing lightly as he chuckled.
Not too familiar with him, she merely recognized him as a classmate. Sure, they had talked once in a while, but they had never really met out of school. They had, however, often worked together for projects; after all, they had been in the same class for three years together.
"I heard of your new story; it was in the school newspaper," Fuji started, motioning for her to walk with him and she followed, "It was really quite intriguing."
A little confused by his choice of words, she gave a small smile. "Thank you; though I should give some credit to Tezuka, he helped me proofread it."
She winced lightly as her memory continued to haunt her, and it didn't go unnoticed by Fuji, whose smile shrunk a millimeter before looking up at the dark grey sky, sighing lightly to himself. Rei turned her attention to him as he turned his head down to look at her.
"Were you going anywhere?" he asked.
"No, not really, just collecting my thoughts," Rei gave an embarrassed smile as he raised an eyebrow, "Well, you see, there's a contest I'm entering on Tuesday and, well, I haven't written anything…"
"I've read the flyer; Taka-san mentioned it a few days ago, it's the national writing competition, right?" he paused for a moment, then suggested, "I know a beautiful park around here, would you like to come too?" he pointed to his camera pouch, "I was going to take a few pictures, but it's always nice to have company."
Rei blinked, then pondered the offer before giving him a small smile, "That's not a bad idea… if you don't mind, I mean."
He chuckled, shaking his head as they continued their way through the snow, their breath making small puffs of air as Rei scanned the surrounding area.
"Kaho-san, would you mind telling me why you were so upset?" asked Fuji innocently at her startled expression.
"W-what? H-how-?" she stuttered out, too confused to bother with full sentences.
"Your smiles," his blue eyes suddenly opened, and Rei felt a familiar squirming in her stomach, "they've been empty," at her puzzled look, his eyes bore into hers, "No matter how well you can hide your emotions, they always show through your eyes."
Rei watched him silently as he turned his head forwards to keep walking, and she barely noticed they had arrived at their destination. She turned her head downwards before calling out to her companion.
"Fuji-san?" she questioned, and his eyes, now closed, turned to her as she continued, "Your eyes," she paused, not quite sure if she should venture so far into someone else's private matters, "Your eyes look sad…"
In a moment of shock, his eyes opened suddenly. Then he chuckled, his eyes closing again. "Yes they are. Somebody I love doesn't share my feelings."
Surprised at his willingness to confess his secrets to her, she blinked in confusion before replying, "I-I'm sorry, I know how you feel. Is there anything I can do to help? Could you tell me who it is?"
He was silent as he leveled his tripod with the ground, adjusting the angles and Rei was almost sure he missed her last sentence when stood up and turned to her, his eyes open, "She's beautiful. I've dreamed of her every second of the day, whether day or night. Everyday, I see her, and everyday, my heart aches more just knowing that she loved someone else. Just knowing she was across the room made my heart never stop racing, and every word she said I would store in my mind clearly. I've wished, despite the selfishness, that she'd be mine. I've waited three years, and not one move I have made, but finally," he paused, taking a step closer as Rei, "I had the chance to confess my feelings."
As if on cue, Rei's heart beat so loud she was surprised he didn't hear it. She waited patiently for him to finish his story, though she already knew how it would end. Watching him pick a red carnation from the snowy fields, her mind reeled to a stop, remembering her last narrative she had written as he gave her a soft smile, holding it out to her.
Her face turned a deep shade of red whose color rivaled that of the carnation. However, she found out through the whole trip, not once had her thoughts wandered to Tezuka, and a new warm fuzzy feeling took over her nervousness and she smiled at him, bending down to brush a few bits of snow away, picking up a hidden white flower. Fuji's eyes followed her every movement as she picked the flower, handing it to him.
"Artubis…" he trailed off as she gave him a warm smile, and his eyes lifted to meet hers.
"Be mine, Syuusuke?"
"A red carnation: my heart aches for you. A white Artubis: only love. Two beautiful flowers can tell a story that can never be portrayed with words."
Tezuka raised an eyebrow at her choice of words as Rei waited with a smile for his comments.
"That's quite an ending," he said, "I thought you told me you were out of ideas."
"I was, but someone was there to refresh my memory," giving him a wave as she collected her document, she ran down the hallway, "Syuusuke, wait up!"
Tezuka watched her retreating figure with an amused glance. Indeed, Fuji Syuusuke was a genius, the irreplaceable tensai of Seigaku… and Kaho's new boyfriend.