A/N: I'm taking a break from my Naruto stories since my fandom for the series and the pairing I love is in dormant mode. Currently, it's my Akihiko x Minako fandom that's overflowing, so I've thought about it and figured that I should write a multi-chaptered series for them - in a way, this is kind of like a drabble. I hope I managed to get them right. This is from Minako's POV, while the next one would be in Akihiko's.

In other words, odd-numbered chapters are Minako's while even-numbered ones are Akihiko's.


Gaze
I tried to read between the lines
I tried to look in your eyes


"Hey, Arisato!"

I halted in my tracks and swiftly turned to see who had yelled out my family name, the call reaching my ears despite the blaring music coming from my clip-on earphones. Yukari had always wondered how I could still hear people calling me despite the music blaring from my earphones, but I just grinned at her and said that I have special hearing.

The person who caught my attention reached my side, and I let him catch his breath first.

"I didn't see you in the train earlier." He said after recovering – he pretty much loved to run whenever he gets the chance.

Realizing that I had to at least say something, I pulled off my red earphones and sent Sanada-senpai a smile. "I thought you went on ahead."

He gave a small grin and a shake of his head. "I just wake up early for a morning jog, and then take the train to get here."

"So you don't travel by foot?"

Hearing him laugh made my heart thump louder, and the fact that some students had turned their attention to us upon hearing senpai's laughter made me flush a little.

"I'm still human Arisato." He gave my head a pat, a typical action which a senior does to a junior they are acquainted with – I think. "Anyway, if you're not doing anything after school, I'm usually free on Mondays and Fridays, I get bored when we don't have any club meetings, so come see me if you've got time." He walked on ahead after lifting one hand up as a form of goodbye, and I couldn't help but stare at his back, at how he had the school's jacket hanging from his right shoulder while his bag was on his left.

Did Sanada-senpai just indirectly asked me to hang out with him?

My thoughts got cut off when the warning bell alerted the arriving students of the time, so I ran all the way to my classroom, the short chat I had with Sanada-senpai still fresh in my mind.

It was hard to understand what he truly meant behind his words, since there were times when he meant things literally, and times when his words held a deeper meaning. Since I got to the dorm a few weeks ago, my life hadn't been completely normal. In fact, I didn't even think I'd actually agree to be a part of SEES, much less accept the role of leader when exploring Tartarus.

No matter, if my two seniors believe I have what it takes, then I'm not about to let them down!

Besides, when Sanada-senpai had looked straight into my eyes upon assigning me the role, I couldn't refuse or protest. His gaze had held mine for a short while, as if daring me to say "no", as if challenging me to back down.

I already know of his role in the Boxing team of Gekkoukan High, so it was without a doubt that he was strong. He unfortunately got injured while fighting a Shadow on his own on the night I had first awoken Orpheus, but despite that wound preventing him from fighting with us just yet, his eyes which held my own already said so much about him.

It was the first time I had felt a sense of security since my parents died, the first time I gained confidence in myself when he believed I was capable to lead a team…

He spoke of words which may or may not mean literally, and his eyes held emotions which he keeps hidden from the people around him.

I want to get to know him better, I want to know the meaning behind each word he speaks of, I want to be able to look back into his eyes someday…