CHAPTER 7

Title: Something Rhetorical

Summary: For truth, justice and nightmare free slumber. AU Shinji/Takako; set after The Kinky Music Party

Genre: Humor/General

Rating: T (for language)

00.

Shogo Kawada woke up at 3: 40: 21 am, JST.

He was very much happy to be alive.

He thought of Keiko, and her serene smile, her pretty face, that birdcall he gave her and—

Actually he just slept again because that had no connection to the story whatsoever.

01.

"Tell me exactly what you feel."

Shuuya felt the clogging of his nose at the words. He had been telling this person for the past few hours what he was feeling and had actually hello, clogged his nose in the process—blame it on the damn cooler, he was so not crying (or weeping, or wailing for that matter)—and yet that was the only thing this person managed to say to him.

He had no idea whatsoever—of course he was that dense, of course—that the person was just experiencing some major technical difficulty in her brain and the fact that Shuuya Nanahara, Shiroiwa Junior High's hot (pet) dog was counseling was just not registering in her brain.

Shuuya, very unladylike, got a ply from the frivolous pink box called the tissue box. Somehow, the scenario was not exactly contradicting the former statement.

"He was my friend. We've been friends for years! And then here comes a bitch named Takako Chigusa who keeps on screwing with him AND me AND our friendship!! Our friendship is invincible, it's made of stone, of steel, of everything sturdy and strong in this goddamned universe and yet—"

"—Nanahara, I don't really see the problem in here. You are not Mimura's mother—"

"BUT I AM HIS BEST FRIEND!!!"

The words stung into the air that the guidance counselor pursed her lips in the process. She did not know exactly whether to feel pity or to laugh or to be annoyed. She leaned back in her chair.

She tried forming neutral sentences in her mind to calm the pitiful (okay, so she settled for pitiful) boy despite her assessment of the matter—she found nothing really wrong about the issue of Shinji Mimura and Takako Chigusa screwing each other except that it was against school rules, if it were about physical screwing.

But that was the least of the problems (there were problems in the first place?!) to solve in here. Desperation bordered the sound of Shuuya's voice that the words best friend somewhat registered in her brain dictionary as something synonymous to the word—hmm, God.

Oh at least it was back registering and that was one problem solved.

Shuuya's chest was pounding very hard at the intensity of his declaration (trust Shuuya to over over exaggerate, really). His eyebrows were twitching and the hairs of his nose were blowing in all directions.

What was so hard to understand on that anyway?! I AM THE BEST FRIEND, and the world should pass through me first before they get to MIM!!! MIM…why…

"First, the walls of this office is not soundproof, and we do not want the principal barging on here and asking me why you are wailing—"

"—like a thousand hyenas combined?? Hey, I heard this before—but I am not WAILING, I AM NOT!!!—"

"Hush, Nanahara or you will get detention."

That silenced him. There was no way he would get detention, especially if he finally asked Yukie Utsumi on a date that afternoon. At the thought he blushed—and the counselor concluded that the instability of Nanahara Shuuya and his emotions were far worse than a pregnant woman on her first semester.

Shuuya came back to his seat.

"What Mimura needs from you is support, not protection. He's a big guy now. He can make important decisions for himself, and that includes finding a girl. Do you doubt his ability to choose, is that what you're worrying for?"

He could no longer stop himself, "This is Takako Chigusa we are talking about, sensei. I don't know what planet are you living in but that girl is fucking insane—so insane and evil that Satan feared her himself."

"Do you even know her that personally to deem that true?"

"No, but Satan just messaged me about it last night," Shuuya fished out his phone, "oh look, here's another text—he says I need to buy him ointment because he burned himself when Takako passed his place."

"Don't go smartass on me, Nanahara, I'm not the one to play with your jokes."

"And you are not the one to play on my emotions either, sensei."

Shuuya Nanahara dismissed himself. He never dismissed himself—that was Mimura's job. But his emotions had been clouding him as of late that no other laws created in this school or in this place or in this planet could make him stop from walking away.

WHY CAN'T PEOPLE TAKE ME SERIOUSLYYYY?!?!?! …. Oh, I tripped to something soft. Is this…boobs?! YUCKKKK…I mean, oh NICE…

"Watch it."

And that voice sounded very achingly familiar. Shuuya leaped off from the soft thingies and came face to face to an equally annoyed Takako Chigusa, dusting her skirt and recovering from their very nasty fall.

"You know, you have some guts."

He took a step back at the crispness of her voice. Maybe this was the best opportunity to make his point across to that stupid counselor?

"Mimura had not yet smashed his face to my boobs and yet you—"

Shuuya then forgot his fear and scoffed, "Yeah right, locker room, two days ago, 4 pm sounds familiar?"

Takako grinned, "So you were spying."

The rockstar wannabe almost smacked himself at his blip. Well sure, he was caught. It was not like he was spying in the first place—they even played an interesting voice-over just for him—but well, spying sounded really creepy.

Only fangirls did that, and he was neither a fan nor a girl but of course that still remained to be verified.

"Does it matter? You two caught me!!! You even played an act you knew I was so going to loooooooove!" Shuuya retorted, sarcasm reeking all over the place.

One hand rested automatically on Takako's hip, "Did that really bother you?"

Shuuya crossed his arms on his chest, "Where's your…boyfriend?"

His lips shuddered at the word.

The sprinter raised an eyebrow at him, "Are you his mother? Hi Mom!"

Shuuya paused for three seconds and sighed. This girl could really be annoying when she wanted to be. "Yes, Chigusa I am really that bothered. No, I am not his mother so don't say hi to me. Even if I am, I would not accept you for a daughter!"

"Well then I am just as glad you're just his friend."

And that really struck him. He sure was whiny today.

"I am the BEST FRIEND!!! I AM THE BEST FRIEND!!! DO YOU HEAR ME??—"

"Hello Shinji? Yes, I'm with him now—"

"MIMURA DON'T INTERRUPT MY CONVERSATIONS OKAY!!!"

He snapped her phone shut in front of her face and Takako, for the first time in her life, looked at him like he was a normal human being with emotions and feelings. Well, thank God for that could be a good start.

"No other girl, no other girl has made me worry before! Until you came! You know how grade-A girls shatter the whole bros before hoes thing?! IT IS HAPPENING NOW, IT IS and before I KNOW IT, MIMURA'S GOING TO BE ALL PUSSY ON YOU and I WILL BE LONELY! LONELY!!!—"

"Can you calm the fuck down Nanahara?"

That was the second time he was silenced today. Somehow, as much as he wanted to dismiss himself this time around, with much much wanting, he probably could not.

"What do you think is happening between me and Mimura, Shuuya?"

To say that the question caught him by surprise was an understatement. Sure, the question had been backfired to him in all sorts of manner possible in the past—but there was never a direct confrontation about it between the four of them.

Especially a confrontation that had the questioned asking the question back to the questioner.

Shuuya cleared his throat, "Uh, you're dating?"

Takako remained expressionless.

"You're a couple?"

Takako remained expressionless.

"You're…engaged?"

Copy paste did have its advantages.

"You're…married?!!?"

Paste—Takako remained expressionless.

"You're--?"

Takako flashed him a real smile, "I'm actually pregnant with his child. Godfather sounds good to you?"

With the strike of horror on Shuuya's face (Takako was beyond amused that someone could be this gullible), she bit her lip and inwardly sighed. When tears almost formed in his eyes, she spoke to him more seriously this time.

"Look, Nanahara, call it whatever you want to call it—but it's just something of worth that would make me stand the idea of getting along with you…"

Shuuya remained expressionless. (And that was Find and Replace for you.)

"…now cue lightning, please."

In his mind, Shuuya knew that despite her choosing death over them being friends, she was actually being sincere. He pondered at how the progression of this rhetorical obsession had been—how he (and probably Hiroki) had always dodged the little things between Shinji and Takako—the subtle gazes, the secret holds, the exchanged words.

He figured that Mim, his best friend, could do that to any girl anyway—romance her, kiss her, do all sorts of lewd things in all places and moments—that was why he never really believed. Even at the mere sight of them at the locker room two days ago, all hallucinations aside—well, they played him an act!

But Takako in her own little, not to mention insulting, abusive, verbally violent way actually asked for his friendship.

So that, whatever they shared, must have really meant something for the two of them enough to make the impossible a little possible.

This was like what they say on weddings and all sorts of wedding souvenirs, thank you for sharing this moment with us crap; and he figured that blue would be a nice motif for them, or maybe gold, or orange to reflect her hair…but he digressed.

That was also why no one really took him seriously.

His silence kind of unnerved Takako that she almost wanted to take back what she said. Confessing (she wished there was a better word) to Shinji was never this hard. All she had to do was kiss him back and we would be left at that.

Of course she could not do the same to Shuuya. More specifically, she WOULD not.

She almost took it back when the boy optimism answered, almost inaudibly, "…that sounds nice."

Takako felt relieved (but she would not let him have that satisfaction), "Yes, it does so much that it merits you a happy pretty sandwich. Toast to our budding friendship, that is."

Well, girl could get creative; Shuuya mused and accepted the gift. It was certainly a pair of toasted bread and an ugly looking one at that. He was sure he could place the tomato, the lettuces and the cabbage more beautiful than she could ever try.

Takako would never ever change. Just when you thought she was being nice, well you better think again.

Too much for a toast to friendship, but plus points for the effort, alright—and for that Shuuya Nanahara was at the very least, glad.

02.

"What did you do to him?"

Slurping sounds in the background and a flip of a page was heard. "Him who?"

"Shuu?"

More slurping sounds. "What, is he dead?"

A snort. "Takako. No, he's not dead."

"Then that means I did nothing to him."

Shinji stood up from his seat that was opposite Takako's. He went to her side and showed her the basis of his question. She moved closer to him when he got comfortable and the first thing that registered to him was her smell—ah fuck, maybe we could rest Shuu's issue for a while…

But then her eyes were concentrated on the screen of his laptop that read;

Dear Mim,

You know how much I called you insane for actually liking someone like Chigusa? Well, I think I really nailed that.

She's beyond fucking insane Mim, she actually asked me to be her friend. I mean, what the fuck?

She must really love you beyond comprehension, huh, to ask something as preposterous as that? And you two are seriously crazy. I don't know how you put with each other, but I guess you suit each other fine.

You should just know that when things get bloody, you have my back. My arms, my body, my heart, my mind, my soul, my life and everything else of me. You have all my support and blessings.

Not that it mattered but whatever.

Your good ol' buddy,

Shuu

P.S. She kind of told me you had never touched/ nor smashed your face to her boobs. You haven't yet, really? Because you know, you'd kill me for this but it's soft. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT. I DID NOT LIKE IT OKAY.

Of course, normally that offhand postscript comment would send Shinji Mimura to a rage. But what conclusion could be derived from his reaction of non-rage?

Choices were;

a) He already had.

b) He already had and he was friends with Shuuya;

c) He already had and that was not an accident either;

d) All of the above.

This question was rendered right minus wrong.

On the other hand, Takako was busy clicking the options of replying to Shuuya's heartfelt mail. She typed a few words and clicked Send. Among all the other moments that Shinji was proud to be hers, this moment and what she had done automatically topped that list.

"It matters Shuu, thanks buddy."

They both settled into a comfortable silence wrapped in each other's warmth without actually hugging or cuddling or whatever, sometimes what really mattered to them was that they were together.

Together with the smell of pizzas, the hiss of their drinks, the people chatting, and oh even the Wifi—because that was how they normally spent their little afternoons that had been going on for a while now.

Most of the time senseless banter coming from senseless questions like this one would occur;

"Do you think he used thesaurus?"

"Well, preposterous was probably hard even to just spell for him."

After all that has been said and done, they were happy…

For truth, justice and nightmare free slumber…

…and still kicking everyone's asses while they were at it.

It Really Is THE END.

A/N: Oh my goodness, I finished this story! My elation is off the charts right now!

To my ever faithful readers;

imjuzakyd, of course especially for you;

Myahra, for sending that little letter that you were waiting, you are so sweet, I hope I did it justice and worth the wait;

SkyLilies, for the endless support and love for all things Mim and Taka;

Jenizaki, for the LOLS, the inspiration and the conversion of all things Mim and Taka (BR WTF UPDATE PLZ KTHXBYE)

And for all the lurkers, THANK YOU.

Pardon all that needs pardoning (OOC-ness, grammar because un-beta'ed), you guys know the drill, and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Shameless plugging on my part: GO read Count to Ten GO GO GO!

And since this is the last time, (for now) do give me your review, rants and ramblings. Much love for everyone and Mim and Taka is CANON, believe it!!! LAWL.