[Originally written for my drabble section, The Space Between Dream and Reality, but it turned out being longer than my regular drabbles, so…]
Disclaimer: I do not own Gakuen Alice.
Title: The Color of Jealousy was Green
Prompt: #23, "Come drown with me"
Pairing: Sumire x Koko
Dedication: IndigoGrapefruit, Romantically Loveless, Heartbroken Confession and you hardcore SumireKoko fans. :)
"Koko, don't you dare!"
As Sumire watched, Koko threw a wolfish grin over his shoulder before turning to rip the shirt off and over his head. He dropped it to the wooden dock and turned to look at her expectantly. "Well?"
Sumire glared, fighting off the urge to make sure she was completely covered. "We are so not going to do this."
"Huh…" he drew out the word. He turned away from her. "I never figured you for a scaredy-cat. I guess Anna was right about you." Right on cue, Koko looked furtively over his shoulder to see Sumire's twitch at the mention of his pink-haired friend. He grinned almost mockingly. "You are all bark and no bite."
She scoffed, "And Anna is just a snooty little twit who's jealous of me!" Sumire wrinkled her nose. "Jealous that I'm your best… you know, friend."
"I didn't say anything!" he put his hands up innocently, the Cheshire grin still on his face. "Well if you're not going to go…" he said, slowly dragging his sweatpants down his legs. "Then I'll just go in without you." He slipped his sunglasses from his face and his eyes, which had been hidden, reemerged, glittering with playfulness. "But it would be more fun if you came along. Are you sure you don't want to come?"
Sumire growled. "Of course I'm sure. You should know me better than that, you idiot. Swimming involves water and you know I hate getting wet."
"Alright, alright," he acquiesced, walking down the length of the dock with his hands behind his head. "Hm, I guess I should've asked Anna to come with me after all." Sumire scowled at that but was briefly distracted by the morning rays on his exposed skin.
She couldn't help staring.
His body wasn't as pretty as Natsume's or tanned like Ruka's but there was just something about the smooth, pale planes of his chest and the slight ripple of corded muscles down his arms that made a flush start at her ears.
And then he turned, a smirk immediately breaking out across his lips when he saw her. Before he could make a smart remark, Sumire folded her arms, snapping, "Would you stop bringing her up already? So Anna would like swimming with you more than I would. Big flippin' whoop. If you wanted her to come so bad, why didn't you annoy her at the crack of dawn and bother her instead? I bet that little hussy wouldn't have minded one bit."
Koko's grin wavered. "She's not a hussy. She's nice and fun and she bakes the most amazing peanut butter cookies. Plus," he muttered as an afterthought, turning away, "She actually likes me."
"No shit, Sherlock."
Sumire didn't even know why the heck she liked this guy so much. He always said the wrong things at the wrong time and to be honest, he wasn't that great. So he was cute and funny. So what? Ever since she made the mistake of pointing out that he'd be a great catch and that she might like him, Koko started spouting all of the reasons why he liked Anna. If he didn't like her back, fine. He didn't have to shove the fact that he liked Anna in her face.
Sumire scowled. What was up with those pink-haired dolts anyway? First that wench of a senpai and now the Umenomiya girl? Somebody really had to be screwing with her life because if Sumire never saw pink again in her life, it would be too soon. Honestly, somebody was just asking to get a slap in the face because—
"Pink hair is awesome, thanks," Koko pointed out dryly. "You don't have to be so mean about it. Anna's not that bad if you just gave her a chance. She's really smart too so maybe if you just—"
"If I just what?" Sumire snarled angrily. "If I just started acting like her? God, I know you like her—"
"Of course I like her. I—"
"—you go on and on and on about how cool she is and blah blah blah. I know she cooks amazing and I know I suck at it. I know she's nice and I'm not. I know she likes doing all of those things that you like doing that I don't but you don't have to shove it in my face the whole time! God, if you were anybody else, I'd probably scratch your eyes out for being such an ass! I know we're best friends and all but seriously Koko, I get it. You don't have to repeat how much you like her to get the point across. I'll still be your best friend but it would be easier to like you if you could not be such a bastard about it all and—"
"—What are you talking about?"
Sumire didn't bother feeling embarrassed about her outburst. Instead she turned, crossed her arms across her chest and raised an eyebrow at his expression of astonishment. "I'm talking about how much of an oblivious jerk you are."
He blinked with a dopey look on his face.
Sumire rolled her eyes.
"Whatever, go ahead and jump into that freezing lake water and drown for all I care. I'll call Anna on my way back up and you guys can make peanut butter cookies and swim into your perfect flippin' oasis."
She turned on her heel, almost feeling the steam coming out of her ears. And though she tried to keep her cool, Sumire couldn't help but think, I hope the pink-haired tramp dies.
Die die die—
The mantra repeated again in her head. Her flip flops made a rhythmic slapping patter against the dock as she walked away, only to be stopped, in annoyance, at the statement that Koko muttered next.
"You know I can hear you, right?"
"Of course I know you can hear me!" She rounded on him, digging her heels into the sturdy wood. "I know all of the little, annoying details about you because, in case you've forgotten, I was the first friend you had coming here. I know every little stupid facet of your Alice as well as you know mine, which," she laughed bitterly, "—makes me wonder how the hell you could expect me to want to swim when you know my Alice is more cat than dog—!" Abruptly she cut herself off and glared into his startled brown eyes. "You know what? Forget it. I'm probably going to say some more things I'll regret in the morning." She paused, an almost wry grin appearing on her face, "Or tonight."
She shook herself and turned, walking down the dock to the hill and heading towards the outside of the Northern Forest. Everyone used to be afraid of the Northern Forest but after Mikan made it out alive and well that first week she came here, the class seemed to realize the Northern Forest was cooler than they'd originally thought.
It was Saturday, which meant there was no school and Sumire remembered Mikan running up to her after class the other day to invite her to the lake.
"Everyone's going to be there! It'll be warm and sunny," she clapped her hands excitedly, her eyes glowing. "And Natsume's actually coming! He promised, so make sure you bring your bathing suit and meet us down by the lake at noon and we'll go swimming! Anna's going to be making a picnic. Oh! I have to remember to help her prepare everything tonight… but yeah—"
"I'll come," Sumire had said, cutting off Mikan's tirade. "I probably won't be swimming, but I'll come."
So much for that plan, Sumire inwardly snorted, grumbling her way up the hill.
Sumire was busy glaring at the glow in the dark stars Koko had pasted onto her ceiling a long time ago when three, loud knocks interrupted. She rolled onto all fours before pouncing off the bed, staring at the door suspiciously.
"Maybe she's in the cafeteria?" she heard Mikan's voice.
"She's not you, Mikan. No, Sumire's in there," Wakako's voice was close. "Sumire! Open up!"
She threw the door open and put her hands on her hips. "What are you three doing here? Shouldn't you guys be heading to the lake?"
"We could ask you the same thing," Wakako riposted smoothly. "Get your things and we'll walk together."
"You have two minutes," Hotaru added, looking through one of the bags tied onto her duck scooter.
Sumire scowled. "And what makes you think I want to go swimming at the lake?"
Mikan started to squeak in protest but Wakako cut in smoothly. "No one said anything about swimming. Just come to the lake. We can sunbathe and play volleyball and get your mind off of whatever you're moping about. Plus," Wakako sent her a cool, mischievous grin. "A little bird told me Natsume-sama will be there. What do you say to taking up an age-old hobby for the day?" She wiggled her eyebrows. "Six packed abs, smooth tanned skin and glistening boys in water, what more could a girl ask for?"
Sumire couldn't hold down the grin for long before she rolled her eyes. "Okay. Wait a minute. I'll change into my bathing suit now."
"Negative three minutes now."
Sumire rolled her eyes.
"A little bird told you? I thought I did!"
Sumire didn't bother.
By the time they made it to the lake, Sumire was trying to force a look of nonchalance as her stomach filled with butterflies. She shouldn't have bothered. Honestly, it was almost disgusting, the reaction her body had knowing he was there.
She found him in the water, of course, tossing a beach ball around with—
Oh, right. The little pink haired bi—
"Jesus!" Wakako's gasp brought her out of her thoughts. "We are totally moving over there!"
Sumire followed Wakako's pointing finger and almost reddened.
"Yeah, Natsume saved a spot for us," Mikan bounced, pulling her bag along with her to lead the way. "C'mon, we'll start the volleyball game soon!"
Sumire didn't have a problem following when that body was waiting there. She was almost immediately reminded of why she'd created that fan club for him just four years ago. Of course, it had started out as her completely shallow way of worshipping his sinfully good looks… and that body—
Sumire wasn't going to lie. Looking at him made her get a little hot under the collar.
She felt something brush her sleeve and heard Wakako's whistle. "Well throw me over a cliff and call yourself Wakako, he is hot." She groaned, "Life is so unfair."
Sumire hissed an agreement when Mikan bounced over to his side and linked her arm with his, calling out to everyone that they were going to start playing volleyball as soon as the net was set up. Natsume walked over to Ruka and Sumire almost swore.
His muscles were rippling everywhere—
"You know what?" Wakako's voice was slightly strangled. "Let's find another spot to sunbathe. I swear, if I look up to see him there the whole time, I might just die of blood loss from all of the nosebleeds." Wakako hefted her bag further along the length of her shoulder. "We'll find somebody hotter to gawk at."
Lies, Sumire thought immediately, but she followed Wakako anyway because, as much as she liked seeing Natsume's body, she respected him enough to know that he'd want to spend time hanging out with Mikan more than worrying about being eye-raped.
Graphic, but true.
"We'll take that spot there," Sumire pointed. "It's perfect." Wakako nodded and started setting up while Sumire smoothed her beach towel onto the grass and put her sunglasses on. The spot had ample sun and a great view of the sparkling water, and though Sumire hated water, she had to admit, when the sun hit the surface just right, the scenery was beautiful.
A shadow chose then to distort the view and Sumire grumbled before looking up.
"Need help putting sun block on your back?"
Sumire almost dropped the bottle of sun block and hid her surprise with a well placed glare. It only intensified when she glimpsed Anna standing in her cute blue two piece bikini. Sumire wanted to tell her she looked fat and blotchy—because blue totally clashed with pink—but she'd be lying.
Damn her for actually making it work.
If possible, Sumire felt her dislike for the girl increase by the tens.
"Hey Koko, Anna," Wakako chirped smoothly. "Are you guys playing volleyball later?"
Koko shrugged, looking back at Sumire. "I don't know. Depends what I feel like doing."
Anna nodded in agreement, displaying a row of pearly white teeth. There was even that one dimple in her left cheek. That little-
Sumire's fist clenched. "Shouldn't you two be (dying) in the lake or something?"
"We just got out," said Anna, wringing out her wet hair. "You should come in too, Sumire-chan. The water's actually warm."
It was only then that Sumire noticed Koko was wet. She couldn't believe she hadn't noticed earlier, especially when there was just this one droplet that was slowly making its trek down from his neck to his navel.
She swallowed. "I'll pass, thanks."
Koko laughed. "She doesn't like water much."
"Wha—? Oh!" Anna's laughter was like an annoying alarm clock's ring in Sumire's ears. "You really are what your Alice makes you," Anna smiled, putting a hand on Koko's shoulder for support as she giggled again.
It was a kind smile and her actions looked purely innocent.
Sumire still wanted to bare her teeth and hiss at the girl.
"So," Koko blinked, turning the effect of his warm brown eyes back to her, "You didn't answer my question. Need help putting that sun block on?"
Sumire's heart sped up just the slightest at the mischievous look on his face. "No."
His grin wavered but before the two could say anything more, Wakako stepped in. "Sumire and I have a little routine to sunbathing. It's almost tradition. We'll manage here."
Koko frowned and Sumire almost wanted to smack Wakako in the head.
Koko knew she hadn't hung out with Wakako in a while, a long while. They weren't that close anymore ever since Wakako started dating around, to be truthful, so this tradition she was talking about wouldn't fly with him.
As if realizing what she'd just said, Wakako added, "Boy, I'm hungry. I can't wait to see what you've cooked up for us this time, Anna."
Anna gasped, a hand flying to her mouth. "Oh, I forgot! I should've started setting up the food half an hour ago!" She turned and pulled Koko by the arm. "You'll help me, right?"
Koko threw a glance over his shoulder before making his way to the tables.
"What did he do this time?"
Sumire readjusted her sunglasses and hunched over as Wakako applied sun block to her back. "I mean, your eyebrow only ever twitches like that when you're really pissed off."
"He's an idiot, that's why."
Sumire looked out onto the water and something inside her stomach flipped. "He's my best friend and he knows everything about me, with or without his Alice. And in times like these, sometimes I wonder why he just doesn't get it."
"What's there to get?"
Sumire weighed the pros and cons of telling her and though the cons outweighed the pros, Sumire decided to throw caution to the wind. She needed to tell someone. "That I like him."
Wakako dropped the sun block. "Really?"
Sumire could tell a thousand mixed emotions were passing over her face. Wakako had always been such an open book. "Bu-but… I thought you liked Natsume!"
"I stopped like-liking him when our fan club disbanded," Sumire stated matter-of-factly. She threw an amused grin over her shoulder, "Though I can't say I'm totally immune to that body of his."
Wakako grinned back, "There's our president."
And even though Wakako couldn't quite grasp how she could move from liking someone like Natsume to Koko, it was good. Talking to Wakako after so long felt really good.
After several hours and more than three quarters of the class was gone, including Koko and Wakako, Sumire pulled down her sunglasses, (the sun had started to set hours ago, which was why Wakako had up and left two hours ago when the ample sunlight had diminished) wrapped her towel over her shoulders and walked closer to the water's edge.
She looked cautiously over her shoulder, only to see Hotaru, Ruka, Natsume and Mikan all sitting around a scatter of food they'd gathered on a towel, talking too far away to notice her.
Biting her lip, Sumire tested the water with her big toe and recoiled.
It was cold!
She scowled. "You should come in too, Sumire-chan. The water's actually warm."
That lying tramp.
"It was warmer earlier."
She whirled around in surprise, pulling her towel closer to her. "Why are you here? Don't you have somewhere else to be?"
Koko shrugged, looking at the water. "Not really. It's hard to have fun when you know your best friend is mad at you."
Sumire rolled her eyes. "Yeah well, bully for you. Go cry somewhere else."
Ignoring her snappy comment, Koko squatted down and touched the water's surface with a finger, wiggling it around before flicking the droplets to create rings of ripples on the surface. "So you were actually going to swim in this? I thought you hated water."
"I do hate water," Sumire sniffed, turning and finding a spot on the ground. She sat and watched his back, clad in a worn beige T-shirt and shorts adorning his lower half. "But you liked it so much, I wanted to see what was so great about it."
Koko turned and blinded her with a smile. "Really? And did you? See, I mean."
"Nope. It's water. I hate water."
"You barely touched it."
"And I already hate it," she turned her nose up, peeking under a lowered lash to see him smirking. "And what's with that expression?"
"Oh, you like it. You were the one that told me to smile way back when, remember?" He smirked and approached her, flopping to sit right beside her. "You're my best friend. You'll always be my best friend."
Sumire resisted the urge to slap something, rip something, claw at something. "Yeah. I know."
"You don't have to make it sound so bad."
She didn't bother warranting the comment with a response. Instead, she pushed her dark green, almost black locks from her face and readjusted her sunglasses on her head. She wrapped her arms around her knees and watched sullenly as the sun set.
"I like this," he murmured quietly.
After a while, Sumire felt her body relax and she watched the sun set more intently. "It's pretty."
Koko hummed. "I like it when the sky turns pink."
With a growl, Sumire was back on her feet and stomping away. Her flip flops made loud slaps against the ground and it was only when Sumire blinked angrily and realized she was on the dock that she turned around to walk off.
Koko blocked her path.
She turned and resumed her walk along the dock, closer and closer to the end where wood met with water.
She really did hate him sometimes.
"Only if you shut up for once."
"Could you just—ugh, you don't make any sense!" Sumire whirled around to find him closer than she'd expected. She stepped back unexpectedly and growled at him. Koko continued, undeterred, "Why are you getting mad at the stupidest things? I don't even understand. I'll say something and you completely blow up and walk away. Stop walking away and just tell me what I'm doing that's so wrong!"
"Anna this and Anna that," she snarled angrily. "That's all you ever talk about, isn't it?! Oh, Anna bakes the best cookies and oh! Wasn't it nice that Anna made all of us lunch today with her wonderful Alice? Oh gee, Anna was so fun playing in the lake today, she totally looked cute in her blue swimsuit and—how could I forget—pink is such a nice color, I really, really like it when the sky turns pink! And—"
"She likes me and—"
"—I get it already! She likes you, you like her and you guys live happily ever after. Whoop-dee-do! I'll start being happy for you when you stop mouthing off about her every time you're talking to m—"
"—it's better than liking some girl that doesn't like me back."
Sumire threw her hands up. "I really, really don't like you right now," she hissed.
Koko shrugged. "What's new? You never like anything I do and like anyway because you're too busy being unreasonable and prissy—"
"I'm being unreasonable? Why you—"
"—and I'm always the one that has to do the things you like because you never give the things I like a chance. It's always, always about you. Is it so wrong for me to want to do the things that I want sometimes? God, you're so—"
"—oh, because drowning has always been at the top of my list of "to-do's" hasn't it? Obviously you know me very well! Why are we even best friends? I hate being your best frie—"
She was about to finish off her scathing comment when she found herself being crushed into his arms and being thoroughly kissed by her best friend. It was hard and demanding and Sumire didn't know what to do with herself but throw all of her anger and frustration back at him until there was nothing left but her legs almost giving way and the fact that her control was no longer with her.
And then it hit her.
"No, what are you doin—ACK!"
And then she was enveloped in cold, wetness—a surprise, right after being held in such a warm embrace—and water immediately gushed into her mouth. Gross, lake water.
She swam to the surface and spat the water out of her mouth.
Koko's legs were dangling off the dock and he was grinning with triumph. "Feels good, huh?"
She didn't know whether he was talking about the kiss or the water. Instead, she pushed her wet hair away from her face and hissed, "I really, really don't like you right now."
"But the water isn't as bad as you thought, right?" Koko pressed, flicking water at her with one of his toes.
Sumire scrunched up her face. "I'd still rather be on the dock than down here," she grumbled, wading over to the dock. "It's cold."
Koko raised an eyebrow and the next thing she knew, he'd cannonball-ed into the water, causing a mini tide to wash over her.
"What are you doin—" She stopped talking and swallowed hard.
"Are you cold now?"
Not if you're pressed up against me like that, you idiot.
She couldn't say that out loud and she knew he could hear it anyway.
"I'd still rather be on the dock rather than her—"
And then he kissed her again, one of those toe-curling kisses that locked her legs and almost made her go under if Koko didn't have an arm around her waist and was treading water enough to keep both of them afloat. She didn't know what to think and honestly, it was really, really hard to care about the consequences and what all of this meant when he was coaxing her lips apart and—
"What now?" his breaths were uneven and his voice was slightly strangled. "Would you rather be on the dock now?"
Sumire didn't bother answering. He could hear exactly what she thought about being in the water with him, like this.
That little pisswad—
"Get your hand off my ass."
Wakako smiled and pushed off from against the tree, whistling with delight.
SumireKoko owns my soul. Just… you know… throwing that out there. =]
My Hopeless Romantic