A/N: Hello, those who actually came by this ficcy~
Hope I came up with a catchy title and perhaps a good summary
my friends are gonna be surprised
'cause this is the only happy ending fic EVER
without anyone dying
The teen could only stare at his brunet friend for a few incredulous minutes, registering that the only reason Azuma had been moaning his name for the past 20 minutes was to tell him that single sentence. But heck, he can't even yell. The hot summer day seem to sap the energy right out of him. With a sigh he pulled his forehead away from the lukewarm glass in the front of the shop and turned to the door.
"He said he had a club activity today after school…" Azuma practically whimpered. The blonde couldn't help but snicker at the vision of the dignified Kanmuri's face if they appeared at his school.
"You wanna go see him?"
At Kawachi's suggestion Azuma immediately perked up, eyes giddy and glad despite the horrible heat, nodding furiously like a dog.
"Alright then. Let's go."
Azuma cranked his neck back to see the top of the school. The magnolia building was in a shape of a horseshoe, the main academic structure flanked by two smaller ones. The one on the left seemed like an extension to the center, but the right had a more historical tang about it. Instead of being covered over by plaster the walls were made of polished wood, dark in color, contrasting the main edifice. There was a traditional Japanese house hallway in front of it with even sliding doors behind that. The path turned left reaching the end and turned into the side of the building, leading to a forest-like area behind that. The rest of it was a huge area for exercising and the like, with green tracks painted in circles and baseball diamonds and bleachers stacked to one side. To Azuma, who had never attended official school, everything was so grand and beautiful.
"Wonder where Kanmuri is…" muttered Kawachi, oblivious to his friend's dazzling stupor for the school ground.
"Are you guys friends of Shigeru?" called a female voice to their right, along with the sound of approaching feet mixed with the many of athletes all around.
A group of students appeared; a mix of both boys and girls. The one who had spoke was a tall tan girl with a toned physique, gold-highlighted sepia hair tied up in a ponytail, billowing behind her in the wind. She wore, like the rest of the girls, the school uniform of a white blouse and matte black skirt, fringed with golden edges. A red and blue checkered tie hung open from her neck, obviously stuck there moments ago. A slight sheen of perspiration dotted her forehead and the exposed skin of the neck. From practice, Azuma guessed.
"Y-yeah," Kawachi stammered, awed by her beauty and dignity. "Do you know where we can find him?"
The boy beside the girl gestured to the wooden building with a tilt of his head.
"He was still practicing. We asked if he wanted to hang out with us later on but he said he had work later." At this point he exchanged a disappointing glance with another guy flanking his right; the good-natured smile disappearing briefly, but eyes always twinkling nonetheless.
"We're from his work place," Azuma explained.
The girl was surprised. "Oh! Cool, I guess. Picking him up?"
"Uh…" Azuma grinned guiltily, scratching the back of his head. "He actually doesn't know we were coming…"
The group seemed stunned for a second, then broke out in contagious laughter. Soon, Azuma and Kawachi were laughing along.
"Alright. We can bring you there," the girl said. Then she turned to a girl behind her. "Midori? Didn't you say you forgot your keys in the locker room?"
The girl behind her shrugged, conspicuous smile on her lips giving away everything. She was as tall as the first girl but slightly darker, with large chocolate eyes that seemed somewhat distant at times.
"Yeah. I guess. Alright, I'll take you guys," she said, handing the bag to a boy besides her. "Hold this for me. I'll see you guys at Sync." Her eyes fell on Azuma for a brief moment, taking in the boy's well, everything. Then with a beckon of two fingers Midori turned and started walking towards the building, leaving Azuma and Kawachi to follow her glistening black hair that trailed behind her like a witch's cape.
The trio followed Midori through the hallway to the back, revealing a small clearing before the woods began. At the edge of the clearing, right where it meets the woods, circular targets have been set up; most still have arrows embedded within the area around the red. In fact, only one target held a sole arrow, with absolutely no others besides it. Strangely though, a neat pile of arrows lay beneath the quivering one that struck dead center. It was when another arrow shot out that Azuma realized what really was happening.
The arrow shot out, whipping through the air, soaring through the current like a hawk riding thermals. The tip flicked the tip of the one already implanted within the target, loosening its grip and making it clatter onto the ground; an addition to the pile already underneath. But the tap made the recent arrow unstable as well, and it made to obey gravity. Then quick and invisible, another arrow shot out, this time striking the butt of the first arrow, giving it enough force to pierce through the target; dead center, once more. The second arrow fell along with the others.
"Whoa…" Kawachi whispered, practically summing up all Azuma had to think about this remarkable aim.
"I know…" Midori contributed. Unlike the duo, there was admiration, and a tinge of envy and longing in her eyes. "Shigeru has been at it for hours…"
Then what she said sunk into Azuma's mind.
Shocked, Azuma turned, gaze following the pivoted hallway until he saw the only person on the platform, and no doubt it was his familiar pink-haired friend.
Shigeru turned at Azuma's exclamation, eyes mirroring the shock in his two friends' eyes.
"Azuma-kun! Kawachi-san! What are you two doing here?" Then he quickly added, seeing Midori, "Asakura-sempai… I apologize if these two were…"
Midori laughed, waving away the apology.
"Nah. Don't worry about it. I'll just be going then." Her eyes scanned the rack attached to the hallway and then turned. She winked at Shigeru. "Best of luck!"
"Kanmuri! I never knew you did kyudo!" Kawachi yelped, walking around the platform to where Kanmuri was. The pink-haired boy sighed, setting down the bow and the quiver with one more arrow inside it by his feet.
"It wasn't anything to really say anything about, anyways," the genius said in nonchalant, picking a pad off the side and marking some boxes. "Why are you guys here anyway?"
Here, Azuma and Kawachi exchanged a glance. This was the crucial question. If they answered it correctly perhaps Shigeru would let them stay, and save them from their impending doom of the oven back at the store. If he doesn't…
"Azuma needed to tell you something!" Kawachi quickly said before Azuma could say his reason and put the blame, no doubt, on him. Shigeru looked up at this, eyebrow raised quizzically.
"Ah! I'm just going to go… and use the bathroom! See ya!" Kawachi left no room for Azuma's argument, then sprinted out to the yard.
Azuma turned, catching the look Shigeru was giving him. With an awkward laugh, the brunet hastily changed the subject.
"You're so good at kyudo! Where did you learn it?"
The genius's look turned skeptical right then, but decided not to push it. After all, if Azuma wanted to tell him something, he would eventually, right?
"Just a few days ago. I joined the club because it was a requirement of the school to participate in one extracurricular activity. But because of the Yakitate!! 25, I wasn't able to be in club activities for all the time I've joined. So that just now was my test. Actually…" His gaze shot down at the remaining arrow in the quiver. "It still is my test."
Azuma stepped back hurriedly, getting out of the way of Shigeru's shot. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "Didn't mean to bother you."
With a small smile and a shake of his head, Shigeru stood up, picking up the bow and arrow while he was at it.
"Nah. It's alright. I'm closed to finished anyways."
"Good. So let's see the last shot," a gruff voice said from somewhere behind Shigeru. Azuma bent to see the owner of the voice he thought resembled the store manager's very much, and saw a tall man, in his 30's, with tan skin and cropped black hair. He wore a traditional robe for kyudo with a blue plate over the chest as protection, and had a bow slung over a shoulder.
"Hai, Mori-sensei." Shigeru bowed, then turned to carefully position the arrow upon the string. Everything was silent when he pulled it back, and Azuma didn't dare to breathe. Only when the sharp twang of the string against air did he exhale. But the atmosphere was still tense as the three watched the arrow fly seemingly slow motion at the first arrow.
Like the last time, this arrow struck the base of the arrow in the target. But this time, the arrow stayed, tip firmly caught in the wood of the other, so now two overlapped each other over bull's-eye.
"Congrats Kanmuri, there's your A… again." Azuma heard the teacher say. But when he turned to see him again, the teacher disappeared.
Shigeru fell on his knees with a relieved expulsion of breath, the base of the bow caught up on his knee. Azuma laughed. The genius threw him a look, but fell into an identical chorus of laughter. The brunet stopped first.
"What did um…? Midori mean at first? Best of luck?" For some reason, this phrase caught his ear especially, and the way she looked at him.
Shigeru gave Azuma a long look, then stood up and walked over to him, beckoning for the brunet to sit down next to him.
"Before I took the test," he began carefully. "Atsushi-sempai, Asakura-sempai, and Minamoto-sempai made a bet with me, saying that if I can get the last arrow into the second to last one… then I'd have to kiss the one I like."
Azuma was surprised. First, it seemed unlikely that the serious Shigeru would participate in a silly thing such as betting. But more, he never had expressed interest in any girls before. So it came as a shock to know his friend had a crush on somebody and he didn't know about it.
"Well… I said alright, because the alternative… I won't talk about it. So now… Asakura-sempai knows and wants me to fulfill the promise." A red blush was now creeping onto the pink-haired boy's fair cheeks.
"Ah…" Azuma understood… kinda. But he couldn't help but feel this tinge of bitterness and resentment. Towards Shigeru? No… But towards this girl he had never met before. Why?
But before he could think any further, there was the feel of Shigeru's lips against his; cool somehow in the warm air. Surprise froze him at first, but the mellow coolness became the icebreaker. Ironic, somehow. He leaned forward, pressing back. They stayed like that for a while, not going anymore deeper, just touching. Just savoring the delicious taste of their beloved's lips upon theirs. Then slowly, just slowly, the two pulled apart.
"That was nice," Azuma said, smiling softly.
"Yeah," Shigeru answered, also smiling.
Ah. That's why.
A/N: Kinda mushy
nah, not really
But I really love this couple~ I really do~
It's totally different from my usual angst death fic
but well, that's just the way it is
My muse for this hour/minute or something like that is...
I really should give a name to all my muses
Kyudo, for those who are wondering, is the Japanese art of archery
Which Suoh-sama happened to be terrific at~~
Or I swear I'm giving up on happy writing.