Written for: HaveYouNoMercy
(sorry for the lateness, Meru... that and I didn't actually give you romance...)
Pairings/Genres/Rating: Yanagi/OC, Friendship, K+
Beta: one of Mercy's conveniently placed ninja spies.
"Asahara-san, please continue."
Asahara Reiko jolted out of her half-dazed state. She hadn't gotten enough sleep last night... and now Kinomoto-sensei seemed to have noticed her lack of attention. Not good. She looked down nervously at the open book in her hands... where were they? Was she even on the correct page?
Any longer and someone was going to start laughing...
Her seatmate suddenly picked up his pencil, and wrote something into his notebook. Reiko glanced at the words, the movement catching her attention, half-hoping for some sort of hint.
Page 63, paragraph 4.
She blinked, then glanced back at her book. So she was on the right page... With a quick apologetic look to the teacher, Reiko started reading.
- a few moments later -
"... and so the cicadas started chirping-"
"Thank you Asahara-san, that's enough. Aoki-kun, if you please."
Reiko sat back down, tugging her notebook toward her and picking up her pencil.
Thank you, Yanagi-kun.
... And so, little messages continued to carry on through their notebooks along the next couple months ...
Do you know which parts of this chapter she said was going to be on the test?
1-4, 7-9. She said the rest weren't relevant.
Ah, alright. Thank you.
That flu bug seemed to have finally passed.
I hope so.
Nice to see you back.
There's something strange smelling in the room today...
That would the food Kimori-san brought today.
He was saying that he had gotten it from a cousin who went to Sweden... I wonder what it is…
Fermented herring seems to be a popular food over there.
...Fermented = rotten, right?
Why did he bring it to school?
I'm not questioning his intelligence.
Neither am I.
Asami-chan is gathering people for a study session. Want to join?
When is it?
Saturday, 2:30, library.
Yanagi got out his notebook as Reiko took her seat. Turning it to a spare page, he wrote a message and turned the book toward her.
Being farsighted, Reiko opened her bag for her glasses case - only to find her glasses missing. That wasn't good, she wouldn't be able to do the readings without them if she was called upon. She reached back into her bag.
Reiko turned around. She frowned slightly in confusion, her glasses were suddenly on the table…huh. Nevertheless, she took them. At least she would be able to read the note now...
Nakazawa-san said you left your glasses behind yesterday. You should be more careful.
She stared with half-lidded eyes for a few moments before taking the pen and writing another message: Thank you for your consideration.
Reiko put down the pen, smiling sweetly before turning to face the board.
May I borrow your notes for next week?
Alright and good luck.
Thank you and I doubt we'll need it.
Reiko grinned at the message before looking back up at the board.
Did anything unusual happen at the tournament?
Why do you ask?
Asami-chan was nearly in hysterics when she called me to 'talk' about it.
The friend who you say insists that Niou and Yagyuu are 'together'?
A stifled laugh.
She'll be disappointed.
Did Kimori-san bring fish to school again?
Why would you ask?
There's something strange-smelling in the room... sourish...
That may be from the juice I got from a friend.
What kind of juice?
I don't know.
... Don't know?
No, but I intend to figure it out.
... Are you going to drink it?
Of course. It's said to be very healthy. Do you want some?
At this point, Reiko decided it would be a very good idea to pay more attention to the lesson.
"Why are your notes only on one side here?" Asami asked, flipping through Reiko's book as they worked on an assignment. "You didn't do that before..."
Reiko glanced up. "It's a habit that I picked up lately." She shrugged.
"The other sides look like half of a conversation," Asami continued, pausing to read one of them. "Are you writing these with Yanagi-kun?"
"Oh, you talk about me too!"
"Sometimes. Do you feel special?"
"I do," Asami looked at the notebook contemplatively. "There are a lot of these though... practically everyday. Hey, do you two ever talk without these books? With voices?"
"Yes..." Reiko replied slowly. "Why not?"
Asami shrugged and looked back at the notebook. "You know, this might be why there's rumours about you and Yanagi-kun being together."
Reiko stared. "… what?"
Asami nodded. "Takada-san asked me about it yesterday." She levelled her gaze at Reiko, mock-reproachful. "I didn't know you were going to take him away from Marui-kun."
Reiko started laughing in disbelief. "No, what? I'm not. " she chuckled. "Why Marui-kun?"
Asami sat up straighter, looking at Reiko seriously and pushing her imaginary glasses up her nose. "Because of-" she stopped as Reiko held up a hand.
"It's okay," Reiko said. "I wasn't serious, you don't have to explain." She pushed the Pocky box across the table. "Here, distraction."
Asami grinned and took a stick. "Nice to know it's still easy to scam food from you."
Reiko chucked an eraser at her.
Reiko didn't think much of it when Yanagi sat down to eat lunch with her and Asami. Instead, she wondered why he had chosen to bring along a black notebook and pen. They weren't in class or anything… it wasn't like they couldn't speak to each other here…
And nothing had happened. … At least, not yet. Asami didn't look like she noticed anything amiss either (other than the occasional hushed whisper from the bushes, even if none of them brought it up). Though… it probably wasn't necessary to think about it so much. He had probably gotten it from someone else who borrowed it or something.
... But why the pen?
"Something on your mind, Reiko-chan?" Asami asked, taking a bite of rice.
Reiko gave a small sigh and mentally shook her head. "No, nothing important." She reached down for her water bottle and took a drink.
And spat it out almost instantly.
"Wh-what.. what is…" she spluttered, staring wide-eyed at the bottle in her hand. What in the world was that? Water didn't taste like…
"Hmm… I wonder what he'll make of that…"
Reiko's head jerked up. The black notebook was open now; Yanagi busy scribbling into it. It didn't take long for her shocked brain deduced what had happened, or for the anger to rush up. She stood up, grip tightening around the bottle, and for some unfathomable reason, decided to be nice and wait until Yanagi was looking in her direction before hurling it at his head.
Asami watched with raised eyebrows as the bottle careened past Yanagi's head and into the bush ("Ouch" they heard the bush say).
"So..." Asami said as Reiko stormed off. "What was that for?"
"An experiment for a friend," Yanagi answered. "He wanted to see the effects it had on different people."
"The initial reaction doesn't vary much from the norm," Yanagi said, closing the book. "Although I want to see how far it can affect anger... it might be beneficial for Akaya-kun..."
"I'm sure he'll appreciate it," Asami replied as they heard the water fountain turn on in the distance.
- later in class -
Still irritated when she returned to the classroom after lunch, Reiko considered ignoring Yanagi for the rest of the day as she made her way to her desk. Stupid juice was disgusting. The jerk. She let out a huff.
There was a box of lemon tea waiting innocently when she got to her desk. She stared at it coolly before turning her gaze at her already seated seatmate. Said seatmate deliberately did not look up as she glared at him. After a few moments, Reiko let out an exasperated sigh and settled into her chair.
I'm still annoyed at you.
She took the drink (although she did checked it warily when she eventually drank it, just in case).
Someone had fun spraying sticky yarn in the regular's locker rooms yesterday.
Really? How did they manage that?
Not going to ask if they got caught?
No, if they were caught, I would have heard of it already.
Any idea who did it?
I have my suspicions.
Care to share?
A longer pause than usual.
Your bag was particularly full a couple days ago.
An amused look.
Are you talking about Tuesday?
I had brought soup that day. Ate with Asami-chan.
So you did. It must have been a bulky container.
It does take up more space than others.
What colour was the yarn?
Purple and green.
Were you able to clean it up?
Yes, Nakazawa-san would have been pleased with the mess, I'm sure.
She would. Kinomoto-sensei is watching again by the way.
And the board was given their full attention again.
Reiko looked up. Class was over for the day, and everyone around them was packing up. She exchanged a glance with her seatmate before quickly finishing and walking up to the teacher's desk.
"I would like to tell you that it is nice to see students working outside of expectations and I hope you both continue the good work."
Reiko blinked. Was there something about her study habits that suddenly stood out somehow?
"I notice the extra notes that both of you make during class," Kinomoto-sensei continued, giving them a small smile. "I hope they will be of good use to you."
... Did she mean those notes? ...
"Thank you, Kinomoto-sensei." she heard Yanagi say.
Reiko gave a polite nod, and walked out the door, Yanagi a couple paces behind her. They walked out of the building in silence. Not quite awkward silence, but still silence.
Halfway down the hallway, Yanagi finally broke the quiet. "So, finals are coming up soon."
Reiko grinned. "Yes. No pressure?"
"No, not more than usual."
"That's not bad." She waved. "See you, Yanagi-kun."
"See you, Asahara-san."
And finals came and went.
Finally, a new year. Reiko walked into the new classroom and sat down into her new seat. It appeared her seatmate had already arrived... She took out a fresh notebook, opening it to the first page.
Let us have another good year, okay?
I look forward to it.