"How was my performance, Tsukimori-kun?" Kahoko asked warily, easing from her musical stance. She looked over to Len, who was seated in front of her, and noticed—much to her surprise—that he was in a sort of dazed state.
"Don't tell me I was that bad!" Kahoko mentally panicked. "Was I so boring and horrible that he didn't bother giving an ear?!"
"Umm…Tsu-Tsukimori-kun?" Kahoko called out nervously, shifting her feet in worry. She got nothing in reply from the unusually distracted violinist, who continued to look…well, distracted. So she decided to try again, this time, sounding a bit more assertive.
Hugging her violin to her chest (as if to lessen the blow of his harsh criticisms to be doled out), she glanced at him expectantly with a tinge of color in her cheeks. "Err, how was my performance? Was I any good?"
There was silence.
Then, Len blinked.
"Your performance? Oh right, right. Your performance, well, it was…what do I usually say?"
Kahoko blinked. To say that this was a bit off for Len "music is srs bsns" Tsukimori was an understatement.
"Umm…you would usually say that I'd need more practice and"—
"Exactly. You need more practice." Len stood up, brushing off the imaginary dust off his perpetually clean uniform.
"Oh and then, you'd demonstrate how it would be properly done and"—
"No need for that now. You can go." His hands were still tired from last night…and that did not involve violin practice.
Much to Kahoko's curiosity, she noticed that Tsukimori didn't meet her eyes as he spoke to her. In fact, he was doing his absolute best not too look at her at all! He also looked a tad red in his face, neck and ears…
Immediately, Kahoko's concern-for-other's was at work. "Tsukimori-kun, are you okay? Are you sick or something?"
"I'm fine." Len replied tersely while looking out at the window, as if there were something interesting outside. "I said you could go."
"But—well, are you sure?"
"I said you can go."
"Well, his normal grumpiness must mean he's okay…" Kahoko thought, as she properly replaced her violin back to it's case. Tsukimori continued to look out the window, as if a parade were passing by.
"Well, I'll see you in the next practice then, Tsukimori-kun." Kahoko bade goodbye as she started for the door.
As he heard the door open, Len immediately looked over to see Kahoko's back. He then sucked in his breath in shock as he saw the cute fluffy bunny tail on her nicely-shaped backside. "Oh, holy--God, no!" He cried in horror in his head, as he realized that his imagination was still running wild.
When the door shut and Hino was completely out of sight, Len collapsed back into his chair, pinching the bridge of his nose and feeling the heat in his face, neck, ears and…elsewhere.
Since last night, after a…certain male activity, Len had come to the conclusion that someone must have manipulated that incriminating (yet visually satisfying) photo to make Hino look bad, most likely coming from a jealous and spiteful student from the music department.
He had to investigate and get to the bottom of this!
…As well as working on being able to look at Kahoko without imagining her in that skimpy bunny outfit.
Kanazawa raised an amused eyebrow at the snickering Amou.
"Are you sure it was a great idea to send that umm… certain picture to Tsukimori."
Amou composed herself and gave the smoking teacher a mischievous grin. "Hey, it's all for hilarity's sake. It's not as if he's going to spread it around, the same goes for the other two." She rolled her eyes, remembering how Tsuchiura and Kaji insisted on keeping a picture as part of their "investigation". Really, they were just so transparent.
"You should have seen Tsukimori when I asked how he and his practice-buddy were doing! He couldn't even look me in the eye and he was blushing!" At that, Amou started up a laugh again.
Kanazawa snorted, "Well, you better make sure that things don't get too far".
"Eh? Why me?"
"Hino working in a bunny café is one thing, but fanning the flames of the situation is another." He punctuated the air with his cigarette, "You're responsible. I don't want things to get messy as it is already."
Amou sighed. "Fine, fine. It's not like I want her to get expelled or anything."
"Very well then."
"You know, Kanazawa-sensei, you're pretty cool to take all this in stride."
"Well, I'm sure that Hino has her reasons and as you said…I am cool."
"Thank you for all your hard work."
"You didn't turn out as annoying as I thought you'd be."
"Come back—even as just a customer."
Kahoko stepped outside the establishment she had been working for a while with a sense of accomplishment. She inhaled, and thought that the air had never felt invigorating. She looked up to the sky, smiling like an idiot. But what the heck—she deserved to!
"I did it, mom, sis! I'm finally done!" All of Kahoko's hard work had paid off and she could now send her mom off to her much-deserved resort and spa trip. "I thought it would never end—but it did!"
In her glee, she started humming a random tune while waiting for Kira to pick her up. He couldn't come to her last day because of an important meeting that popped up but he had promised to come and drive her home.
Life couldn't get any sweeter.
Unbeknownst to the smiling redhead, a car was driving by with tinted windows, and the driver riding it recognized who she was, standing outside the bunny café—and that person could not believe what he was seeing.
"It feels so good walking to school, having only school and violin-related problems!" Kahoko cheerfully said to herself.
Although she still had secretarial duties to that annoying rijichou, it didn't seem like such a nuisance anymore. It wasn't like something she couldn't handle. She was just glad she no longer had to put on that skimpy bunny suit.
"Hmm, maybe I should call up Hihara-senpai. I feel bad for last time…" She thought, tapping a finger to her chin. As she continued thinking, she failed to notice the presence that managed to strategically place itself beside her.
ASHGHDGWHGHASBJKAGS!!1! Kahoko managed to balance herself after staggering a bit. Heaving a sigh, she then glared at the unexpected happy-mood-killer.
"Etou-kun, don't just pop out of nowhere like that!" She huffed at the younger man, who merely shrugged, completely unfazed, which miffed the lesser violinist. Kahoko also did not appreciate how Etou just casually used her first name like that.
"There's no need to snap at me." Etou pointed out.
"I didn't snap at you! You just took me by surprise while"—
"Anyway," Etou held up a hand at Kahoko, stopping what would have become excessive blabber. There was only a small amount of time before his classes would start and he did not have any time to waste. "I'm here because I'd like to ask a favor from you."
"Oh, so I guess that explains why you're taking a route that isn't to your school, which"—
"Anyway," Etou pressed, "there's this party that my batch is throwing. It's semi-formal and the venue is pretty great." He ran a hand through his hair. It was a cool move and girls fawned over such a bishie action (as observed in those shoujo mangas). He played as if it were nothing to him. "Caterers are first-class too. Oh, and you have to—bring a date." He paused a bit, watching if Kahoko was absorbing this information before going on.
"So I was thinking"—
"Oh, Etou-kun, I'd love to!" Kahoko chirped, clasping her hands together with girly-glee lighting her eyes. She even jumped a bit in excitement.
Etou blinked, very much surprised that the residential dense-ditz was able to read through his intention right away.
Despite himself, he couldn't help but blush lightly at Kahoko's eagerness to be his—
"I'd love to help you find a date!"
"Kahoko, tell me…are you really such an idiot?"
"Eh?! Of all the rude"—!!
"I want you to be my date."
"Haha, good one, Etou-kun."
"I'm not joking, Kahoko."
When Kahoko only gaped at him like a goldfish, Etou seized the chance to elaborate.
"Look, it's not because you're special to me—umm, I mean, you're special to me—but not special in a romantic way! I just want all those annoying girls to back off when they see me with a girlfriend"—
"I'm your girlfriend?"
"Of course not!" Etou interjected. "You'll just be playing the part. You being an older woman will make it more effective too."
"Oh I see…" Kahoko dawned with understanding—but she seriously doubted any girl being intimidated by her. "Err, but Etou-kun, why me?" She scratched her cheek sheepishly, while giving out a watery chuckle, "can't you find someone else?"
Etou stiffened at that, his hands clenching at his sides. He threw his gaze over at something else, muttering in a small voice, "Well, why can't it be you?"
"Huh? I'm sorry, I didn't catch that."
"Look, can you just be my date or not? I'd really appreciate it. Besides, you're my senpai and you did much worse pretending to be that Yunoki guy's fiancée."
"Well, I—hey, wait a minute! Where did you hear that"—
"It's a yes or no answer."
Kahoko sighed, one thing in her head...
"Why do I always manage to find myself in such situations?"