As You Like It

Chapter 2: Full House (Song of inspiration: Eyes on Me)

"So you've been all alone in your boat?" Sayaka commented, bringing in a tray of tea things from the kitchen to the living room. She set them down on the table and sat on the floor. Shinta nodded and grinned a bit. "The whole team's been pretty busy, so I was left to take care of the yacht."

"Oh... you must've been pretty lonely."

Shinta's eyes widened slightly at the comment. "I wouldn't put it that way, I'm just not used to being without company." he said as he helped Sayaka with the teacups. Hajime held back a laugh at what he just heard. After hearing the brunette so distressed over the phone, he wasn't convinced that the younger man wasn't affected of the sudden disappearance of all of the members in his team. He definitely felt lonely.

Shinta noticed the small offending smile that formed in Hajime's face and pouted. "What?" he asked the taller man who sat beside him on the floor. From the looks of the smug expression on the other's face, it was given that his rival was laughing at him. Hajime waved a hand in front of his face dismissing the thought and shook his head.

"Nothing." he replied, reaching out for the rice crackers from the plate on the table. "Don't mind me." Shinta frowned and muttered something that sounded like "phone falling" as soon as he turned his head away from the guy sitting next to him. Hajime choked on his rice cracker... this time, it was his turn to frown. 'iHe really had to remind me about the phone...'/i

Sayaka looked at the two men who were having a silent fight in front of her and giggled. "Come on, let's just enjoy the snacks and chat along." she chirped, "we don't really get that many visitors often here in the HQ."

Shinta grinned shyly at the girl; Sayaka was such a kind person to him. Unlike the other members of the Ouendan Squad, she didn't really care about "The Great Clash" between the two groups. Though speaking about the others... where are they?

"Amemiya-senpai, where are the others?"

Sayaka looked up at Shinta and smiled. "Hmm... well, Anna and Aoi went out grocery shopping. It's their turn for the month, so I kind of kicked them out of the house."

"Oh, I see. But... what about Ippongi-senpai and Kai-buchou?"

Hajime closed his eyes as he heard the names of his seniors. "Those two were drinking like idiots last night so now they have to suffer the consequences." he said as he took a sip from his cup of tea. "I can't blame them though, they needed the distraction."

Distraction? What in the world do they need it for anyway?

Shinta felt the urge to ask but he left his question hanging in his mind. It wasn't his place to dip in on their personal matters after all.

"I heard hangovers are pretty bad." he commented. "That's why I avoid going out with the others when they go out to the pubs."

"You don't drink, Shinta-kun?" Sayaka rested her head on her hands as she placed an interested gaze at the brunette. "Come to think of it, you really don't seem like the type that does."

A blush krept on Shinta's cheeks. "Yeah, I actually can't hold any kind of liquor..." he replied, laughing nervously. Sayaka giggled a little bit. "Then Haji-chan and Shinta-kun are opposites," the Cheergirl nodded her head towards her teammate. "Hajime here can drink pretty well! He drains every bottle down to the last drop."

"Hey, don't make it sound like I'm a drunkard." the said man snapped at the girl in front of him and turned his head to Shinta. "I drink but I don't chug it down like she says."

Shinta went silent.

"... You don't believe her, do you?"

A few more moments of silence and the brunette decided to avoid answering the question. Sayaka started to laugh heartily while Hajime eyed the man beside him, a look of disbelief in his dark gray orbs. "Thanks a lot, Kikuchi."

As they were having fun they suddenly heard the front door push open. "We're home! Anyone here?" A voice that sounded like Aoi exclaimed from outside the house. Anna emerged from behind the door carrying a few plastic bags that looked like it weighed a ton. "If someone in there cares, could'ya help me out?" the blonde managed to say in between huffs of breath. Shinta quickly stood up from the floor and ran towards the entrance. "Thanks for the hard work Anna-san, leave them to me." With an 'oof' Anna let go of the troublesome bags.

"Ow, my back..." she muttered, clutching her sides. She looked up at the person who went to help her, trying to remember the unfamiliar face. "Oh hey, aren't you one of those blue dudes from the other side of the city?" Shinta nodded at her and smiled despite the slightly rude comment. "I came to visit."

The blonde stared at him for a while before smiling back. "You seem like a good kid... I wouldn't mind you staying here."

She strut towards the living room and waved a hand in the air. "Thanks for the help, boy. Just leave 'em in the kitchen for me."

"Anna!" Aoi called out. She shook her head and frowned. "Don't mind her. She's just pretty tactless by nature." Shinta shrugged lightly and payed it no mind. "It's alright." He looked down on the plastic bags on the floor and proceeded to lift them up with his hands.

Or at least he tried to.

With a little more effort, he tried once again. i'What in the world is making these so heavy..? And how did Anna carry them all the way here?!' /iThe brunette resorted into dragging them to kitchen, struggling with the weight he was carrying along with him.

"Hey... do you need help with that?" Hajime offered as he watched the boy desperately trying to finish his task.

Shinta wanted to say yes... he really wanted to. But there was one problem; Hajime was his rival! Even after saving the sun together with the other man, he still thought of him that way. i'But he's just being nice...' /ihe thought, Hajime isn't going to laugh at him at all.

...

'iWhat the hell am I saying?' /iShinta mentally slapped himself. 'Don't give in, don't give in!'

"Haha, I'm doing perfectly well. I can manage this on my own!" with a flashing smile, he once again made an attempt to lift the mysteriously heavy grocery bags. "Seriously Shinta-kun, don't strain yourself!" Sayaka snapped at him. She turned her head to Hajime and gave him a desperate stare. "Go help him, please."

Hajime stood up from the floor and rushed to where his rival stood immobilized. He placed a hand on top of the Shinta's own, coaxing him to let go of his grip. "Come on idiot, give it up and let me help you."

"But I-" Shinta looked up at Hajime to protest, only to notice how close their faces were. (Blame the height differences for that.)

The two locked eyes at the sudden contact, staring at their reflections in the eyes of the other. Shinta leaned in closer and continued gazing at the pair of shiny gray orbs in front of him. i'I've never seen such a shade of gray... they don't look as dull as it should be at all...'/i

Funny how he could still see them perfectly even with Hajime's glasses in the way.

The staring continued for what seemed like ages when suddenly a hand blocked their view, breaking their moment of endearment. "How long are you guys going to stare at each other?!" An angry Aoi huffed. "Get a move on will you?"

Hajime shook his head in confusion. i'What was that just now?' /ihe thought to himself. He swore he had just locked eyes with the other man longer than he could've liked. Though he couldn't deny it; the brown eyes of the other man were very beautiful...

But that was beside the point!

"Y-Yeah, the bags! Let's take them to the kitchen!" Shinta exclaimed, trying to keep himself from blushing at the unusual moment they shared. "Here, carry these with you Tanaka-san." He quickly let go of a couple of plastic bags from one hand and with a speed (and strength) he never knew he possessed, the brunette ran away from the living room out of embarassment.

"Hey, where are you going? The kitchen's to the left!" Hajime called out to his rival as he ran to the same direction Shinta had gone to in a hurry.

Once they were gone, Sayaka glanced at the pink-haired Cheergirl standing in the middle of the living room for a few seconds before she playfully twisted a lock of brown hair in her fingers. "... Are you jealous of them?"

"There's no reason to feel that way, is there?" Aoi replied.

"I should be asking you that question."

Aoi's hands formed into small fists at the sudden remark from her comrade; Sayaka did have a point. She hated it when the truth was actually shoved right in front of her face... it hurt to know of something you didn't want to think about.

"Tch!" She shut her eyes closed and stormed out of the room, her long pink hair flying freely behind her.

Sayaka let out a sigh and looked up at the ceiling.

"I wonder how this love triangle would end up?"

And as if she hadn't said anything, she turned the television on, switched to her favorite channel and watched what was being shown on its screen contently.

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A/N: And that's the end of chapter 2~

I'm so sorry about the crappy ending, I didn't know what to do. I promise I'll do better with the next one. :o