Title: The Writing On The Wall
Rating: G-ish? It's about as G-ish as KaiGaku can get, really
Summary: Of Gaku's misadventures involving the cooking of chocolate. Episode six based. Nagase Kai/Gaku
A/N: . I found this while sifting through my draft pile and figured it was finally time to finish it.
Anime canon (for once, gasp) There was no Kai+Gaku scenes in episode six and thus I figured that tragic and needing to be fixed. I think his characterization here owes a lot to the dramas/games/etc. where he was REALLY bouncing off the walls energetic. (His KAIII RAAABUUUU moments were adorable and hilarious.) He was a bit calmer in the anime, but still retained the well, Gakuness. I can't remember if the anime addressed this, but because they're BFF, Hano calls Gaku 'Manabu-chan' (it's a different reading of the kanji 'Gaku' which means academy; learning for the curious) and Gaku calls him by his first name, Yoshihiro.
The original draft was circa 06.
Preparation for the fourteenth started a week early for Gaku. He was always veering between being far too late and far too early. He was a perpetual motion machine, always skirting back and forth on his own axis. Nagase-buchou always said the nature of science was experimentation, and even through he'd never really cooked before (other than ramen, and that was simple), it wasn't that far off from chemistry. the mixing of ingredients, stirring and heating – and he knew chemistry. Knew it like a brother or a best friend or lover or some odd combination of the three.
Gaku wasn't really sure whether he was supposed to give chocolate Valentine's Day, or White Day but in the end he decided to make chocolate for both just to be on the safe side. A week before he was already buying the finest ingredients his meager allowance could afford, because everyone knows that homemade chocolate is best for professing your true undying love to someone. (He'd read that in several shoujo mangas, thus it obviously was set in stone) The fact that he had never actually cooked chocolate surely wasn't going to get in the way of he and buchou's Destined Future True Love!
He chose the dark chocolate mix, because Nagase-buchou didn't like overly sweet things. He'd even started finding ways to sneak into the chemistry room, the only place he could possibly do the right amount of cooking something of this magnitude could take. Actually attending there and being Nagase-buchou's assistant made this a far easier task, but Gaku was horrible at lying. And keeping surprises. The first time Nagase-buchou had stared him down with that blank, cold, and irresistible stare, Gaku had almost blurted out his plans. (And that he loved Nagase-buchou from the depths of his heart and wanted him to take him now! But he almost blurted that out on a daily basis)
He'd started the night before. The chemistry lab always looked more foreboding, cold and lonely at night, with the light flicking off the glass vials and beakers. Having it all clean and empty with no laughing of friends was sad, somehow. He'd asked (pleaded, really) for Yoshihiro's help, and Fuuta tagged along and Sei and Ren couldn't resist coming either.. With all three of the little ones running errands and Yoshiro sitting by the window it made him feel a lot less nervous about what to say.
Gaku turned the burner up all the way and waited for the brown muddish looking gloop to start to bubble. Wasn't that the first step? He couldn't quite remember. He shrugged and added the milk anyways. After that he forgot what came in next. Was there nutmeg or cinnamon to add? He suddenly couldn't remember if he'd gotten that cinnamon-honey dark chocolate or regular.
"Yoshihiro-kun!" He called over his shoulder. "Do you have the instructions? I could swear they were over here..."
"Over here, Manabu-chan!" Yoshihiro waved him over. Yoshihiro was nibbling on a bit of Strawberry jellies, apparently an early gift from one of the girls he worked with down at his part-time. He worked at a food stand and sold things like Sukiyaki.
Gaku elbowed him and laughed. "Ohhh, you got a girlfriend now? You should've told me!"
Yoshihiro laughed too, but it was held half embarrassment between the actual mirth. "It's not like that, really–"
"Naa, you need to tell me these things. I told you all about liking Nagase-buchou!"
"Repeatedly," Yoshiro said and Gaku elbowed him again.
"Here, I've eaten too much anyways," Yoshiro poured a bit from the bag into Gaku's outstretched hands. It was juicy, sweet, almost a little tart and fresh. Gaku took them with gladness, but made sure not to eat down the whole bag. It was Yoshiro's gift anyways.
He squinted at the box and the instructions. And ingredients, stir carefully and constantly in case it burns—. Burns.
"Huh What's that smell? I think it's something burning–" Yoshiro said.
"AHHH! The chocolate!"
Gaku rushed over. He hadn't meant to trip and knock into the beaker and he hadn't meant to knock flammables so close to the open flame either. He fell to the ground with an oof as glass and brown peppered everything in its colors. Gaku could just stare up and gasp at the dripping brown mess that was now over the ceilings, floors, counters and walls.
"I can fix this!" Fuuta said. He whispered something to the other two and they giggled and ran to a particularly large spot of brown on the wall. Gaku loves Nagase-buchou was now written crookedly by tiny fingers and encircled in a lopsided heart.. All three of the little ones giggled. Gaku could've sworn Matsuri put them up to this.
Gaku was so busy gaping at the sheer destruction of everything that he missed the panicked look on Yoshiro's face, or that all three of the little trio had ceased their cheering and grown silent.
"What are you doing?" Nagase-buchou said. He didn't look angry, so much as the blank indifference that made him look just like some romantic hero from a shoujo manga. Really, just a glance like that could make Gaku iswoon/i.
Yoshiro chuckled nervously. "It was a s-science project, buchou, homework."
"I don't remember such a thing," Nagase-buchou said. His voice was cold, sardonic and biting. Gaku found it utterly irrestible, but then Nagase-buchou would be irresistible reading a phonebook.
"Nagase-buchou!" Gaku said.
"Do you have an explanation for this, Gaku?"
It was Gaku's turn to chuckle nervously under Nagase-buchou's gaze. The difference was his had a tinge of a blush as well. "Well I was cooking something– An experiment! And it went awry.... You said I could use the lab if I needed it."
Nagase-buchou surveyed the mess until his gaze had fell to the Fuuta's addition to the wall.
"Ah, Nagase-buchou, about that— You seee, I–Eheh–"
Nagase-buchou seemed to have not heard the comment, or if he did, he summarily ignored it. He turned back to the trio and Yoshiro. Yoshiro seemed to shrink under Nagase-buchou's gaze.
"You are dismissed," Nagase said.
They walked out as fast as possible without breaking into a run. Gaku thought of calling out a goodbye, but they were already too far off to say
"Clean this up, the lab will be needed tomorrow," Nagase said.
Gaku hung his head. "Yes, buchou."
"Meet me in my office later," Nagase said. Gaku stared up, hopeful and eager at this. He thought he saw a trace of a smile, a smirk really across Nagase-buchou's lips. The look he gave was as if Gaku was the one covered in chocolate and Nagase-buchou was starving. Especially for chocolate.
Gaku brightened. "Sure thing, Nagase-buchou! I'll have it all— ll done so quick you won't even believe–!"
Nagase-buchou Hmmed and surveyed Gaku's progress for a short while before he left to attend to his paperwork. Gaku whistled as he scrubbed off the chocolate and glass confection. It wasn't quite the way he'd imagined, not with with Nagase being so wowed by his chocolate that he finally swept him off his feet into a field of shoujo bubbles and rainbows and passionate clothes ripping love but Gaku didn't mind. He had a good feeling about this. Nagase-buchou wanted to talk to him later! Nagase-buchou had smiled at him! Ok, smirked, leered really, but still. He'd gotten a response out of his buchou and even if everything had gone wrong Gaku felt like gravity was optional and he just might float up onto the ceiling or some cloud high up there.
He did a spin and swirled his mop about with him. Who really needed the cards and chocolate anyways? Red wasn't nearly as pretty as green in Gaku's eyes. Not that he really minded a day to excuse eating junk food. And cards weren't bad, he guessed. Gaku fell into his shoujo tinted imaginings while he worked. He felt giddy. A few more steps and reality just might reflect those daydreams, even if only slightly.