Out of context and beyond all consequences.

The title is taken from the 31 Days theme for May 16, 2008.

"Abe~! Abe~!"

One of the very first things that Abe Takaya discovered was that whenever Mizutani Fumiki did that, he had to prepare himself for the worst – doing so would save him from that very distinct chemical reaction his body had at the particular way that Mizutani enunciated his name (read: a sudden spike in his blood pressure leading to one of the veins at the side of his head popping under the pressure). Hence, Abe immediately stopped what he was doing (cross-checking the data he had gathered on some of their rival teams), leaned back in his chair, counted down from ten to one, and then turned to face his teammate. Mizutani, of course, was willfully oblivious to the look on his face.


"What do you think Shinooka is doing over there?"

"Don't point!" Abe growled, pushing Mizutani's arm down. Nonetheless, the catcher followed Mizutani's line of vision over to where their female manager was leaning half her body out of one of the classroom windows, peering intently at something in the distance through her binoculars. Abe snorted.

"You disturbed me for that?"

"I had to! It's suspicious!"

"What's suspicious about it?"

"W-well! Um! She's using team resources for nefarious purposes!"

…Nefarious. Now where had he learned that word? Abe pondered it for a moment, and then shuffled it away. It was probably bad English. Mizutani always had the most tasteless ways of splicing his Japanese with his English after their class.

"Leave it, Mizutani."

"But, but! Aren't you even a little curious?"

"Nope." Abe doubted that anything could be more interesting than what he was doing now, and he was on the brink of telling Mizutani that when he suddenly found himself pulled out of his seat and dragged towards the window.

"O-oi, what are you—"

Abe's words died in his throat the moment he caught sight of what Chiyo seemed to be looking at. Mizutani, of course, ended up voicing out what he was thinking.

"Isn't that the cheerer from Tosei?" Mizutani asked, in a whisper that was actually a little too loud to be a proper whisper.

"Yep. The team we beat."

"You're mean!"

"Well, it's true."

"What's this about Tosei?"

Hanai had materialized out of thin air just at Abe's shoulder. Abe was almost impressed at his team captain's speed – he had made record time, crossing from his table all the way at the other side of the room. It was almost as if he had selective super-sonic hearing.

"That suspicious guy is at the gates and Shinooka is suspiciously watching him!"

Mizutani had immediately latched on to Hanai; the (more than occasionally fail) left-fielder always latched on to the teammate who was less inclined to smack him whenever they were grouped together. Abe ignored Hanai's long-suffering look and returned to watching Nakazawa Rio from where he was leaning against the Nishiura Academy's front gate with his hands in his pockets and his gaze roaming restlessly around the area. He had to admit it: a part of him DID wonder why the guy was lurking around their school like some sort of creepy stalker. He was on the brink of turning around and asking Hanai's take on it when Chiyo let out a surprised squeak.

As one and from separate ends of the classroom, Chiyo and the three boys watched as Tajima came into view, making a mad sprint from the entrance of their building to the gates and shouting a greeting at the top of his lungs. Rio jumped the moment he heard Tajima calling out to him, and straightened up just as the (much) smaller boy reached him. The two of them got down to talking immediately – or more like, Tajima went on like a machine gun and Rio looked like he was making fumbled attempts at following along. Abe, however, felt his eyebrows rise up ever so slowly as he watched the pair from his vantage point. There was something… weird, about the way Rio was looking at Tajima, but he couldn't really tell what it was.


Apparently, Hanai had noticed too, and apparently, it was even more relevant to his interests than they were to Abe. Hanai's actions (read: rather violently shoving open the window they had been looking through and sticking half his body out in order to shout down at Tajima), had caught some attention.

Chiyo stared. Abe and Mizutani stared right back, since Hanai was now too occupied with arguing with Tajima from across the school's front yard to notice what was happening back in their classroom. Mizutani, oddly, was the first one to recover.

"Um. We find it very suspicious too, if it helps!"