MBP: Okay, so I was asked to continue Outside Looking In, so I decided to make a sequel. This will be a chapter story, so I hope you enjoy the first chapter! And you might not get this if you don't read Outside Looking In, so please read that first! And we're accepting OC's for this, so the full information for submitting one is at the bottom!
Rini: Grr... hurry it up!
Kio: Onee-chan, don't be so impatient... MBP owns nothing except her OCs!
I sat in the SA greenhouse with the SA members, and the rest of their friends. Sakura was being loud, screaming about some party that she was planning and that we all needed to go. That included me by the way.
It had been one day since I really talked to the girl, and she had already deemed me her new sister. She even tried dragging me to get a makeover... I was only grateful that Megumi intervened, although that hadn't been her intention.
What was really weird though was that everyone in the SA was attached. Kei was obviously with Hikari, Akira and Tadashi were together, Sakura was like a leech that refused to get off of Jun, Ryuu and Finn were making googly eyes at each other, Yahiro had asked Megumi out, and if I was seeing things right, Alisa had a thing for her caretaker.
I sighed without realizing it, and Akira jumped at me.
"Aiko! Are you alright? Did some jerk bother my poor angel?" Did I mention I was already one of Akira's angels too?
"Uh... no..." I muttered, drinking my tea in a hurry to change the subject. "This is good..."
"Thank you!" Akira completely forgot her interrogation and turned a glare to Tadashi, who was sneaking treats off her plate. "Tadashi..."
"Ack! Devil Woman!" I laughed quietly as Akira sent Tadashi flying with a punch, receiving her food back in the process.
Hikari and Kei were having another competition. I think this was about who could type out a 700,000 word essay first... Who'd even want to do that anyways?
The penalties for losing: Kei had to be at Hikari's mercy for a week if he lost (not likely), and Hikari had to be with Kei for the entire weekend if she lost (much more likely).
"So Aiko, how'd your talk with Yaten go yesterday?" Ah, Ryuu just had to bring up the dreaded topic. I'd fully expected someone to ask earlier, but Sakura had saved me by showing up and going on about her party. I think Ryuu just wanted her to be quiet now.
"Um... he never showed up..." I replied quietly, looking at my feet. I really shouldn't have expected him to actually want to talk, but I'd thought he'd at least meant it when he was acting so desperate. It was a good thing no one else found out about it; I didn't need anything else to be teased about.
"What?" Akira's eyes started blazing, and surprisingly, so did the rest of the girls. They stood as one as the boys watched, wisely remaining silent. I swallowed the lump in my throat and repeated my answer, shocked at the reactions.
"Kill... the lying punk..." Akira muttered, with Sakura laughing evilly in the background, picking up one of the knives she'd used to cut the cake. "Kill... Kill. Kill! KILL!"
The chant was slightly disturbing, as was the instant idea of revenge. No one ever wanted to do that for me, not even before I'd moved in with Aunt Sumi.
"Um... you don't need to kill him," I tried saying, pulling on Megumi's arm. "Trust me, I'm not hurt... not at all." Okay, so I'm a terrible liar. Sue me.
My protests only made them want to kill Yaten more. But while I was hurt and completely pissed at him, there was no way I wanted him to die. No, suffering was a better idea. A much better idea.
I brought that idea up. "I think he should suffer, not get killed easily. I mean, I think he'd expect you all to try killing him. Let him worry about it first." Of course, everyone else would expect the SA to react the way they did. Everyone but me.
"Fine..." The girls gave in unwillingly, but they gave in and started talking about the party again.
"So, it's really important that you all come!" Sakura said to everyone, pointing at me. "Including you!"
"What? Why point at me?" I said after a moment, finally figuring out that she was addressing me.
"Because you're the only one I think would actually hide out to avoid it!" Yeah, that sounds like me. I like my quiet bedroom. I still had to get used these people and their strange ways. They liked being social; I'd spent a lot of time being anti-social. It's a strange little conundrum I was trying to figure out.
"I'll go..." I promised her, eating my cake and dropping my eyes.
"It's a masquerade ball, so everyone needs to wear pretty outfits and masks, okay?" Sakura cheered. Masks are pretty; I like masks. They add to anonymity. I don't like balls; I have to wear dresses.
"Can I not wear a dress?" Finn and I chorused at the same time. I see I was not alone in the dress hating business.
"You're wearing dresses, both of you!"
"I'm out," I muttered, then flinched and drew back at the sudden glare from Sakura. And if you don't know what Sakura's death glare is like, imagine the worst serial killer in the world, combine it with Akira and Hikari's glare, and you're still not even close.
"What was that?" Sakura's voice was overly sweet and I flinched. I was anti-social, but I didn't have a death wish.
"Um... I said that I'd find a dress!" I said, probably saving my life, but risking my sanity, because then the other girls started ranting about helping me, and shopping, and manicures, and I think I might have to go to therapy after this.
"Are we going together, or separately?" Yahiro asked, looking bored out of his mind. I was completely with him on that.
"Together of course!" Well, at least I didn't have to worry about looking like an idiot when we arrived. Just when everyone else was dancing and I was a lone wallflower.
"Hey Aiko, is that Yaten outside?" Jun pointed and five death glares went in the direction he was pointing at. I almost felt bad for the boy when I saw him. Almost.
"So what?" I shrugged, then looked at the time and nearly screamed. "Oh my god, I have to go! Aunt Sumi's going to kill me!"
"I promised her I'd be home because she needed me to meet someone!" I ranted quickly, shoving my stuff in my bag, not worrying about how messy my schoolwork was going to get. "I'm so dead, so dead, so dead dead dead!"
'Ryuu, we can give Aiko a ride, can't we?' Megumi scribbled and Ryuu nodded.
"Yeah, of course," Ryuu stood up and smiled when Finn took his hand to go with him. "Megumi, Jun, ready to go?"
"I'll get a ride with Sakura," Jun said quietly, smiling gently.
"I'll give Megumi a ride." Megumi looked a little green at the thought, but happy at the same time.
"You get in a crash with her on your back, and I will hunt you down," Ryuu's protective statement was accompanied with a glare. He really didn't like the idea of Megumi on the back of Yahiro's motorcycle, but it made her happy, so he couldn't do anything about it.
Finn sighed and tugged Ryuu's hand and grabbing my arm. "Come on, Aiko has to get home," she reminded him, pulling him away.
We exited the greenhouse in a hurry, and Yaten tried to talk to me.
"Sorry, I don't have time right now!" I replied, glaring a little at the nerve of the boy. "And I won't have time for a while now! Yesterday was the only chance you had!"
In the car, I sighed, feeling a little bad. He looked so surprised, and so depressed at what I'd said. "Maybe I should apologize..."
"To him? No way!" Finn said, laughing at me. "Revenge girl, remember? Let him wallow for a bit, and then forgive him!"
Finn probably knew more about that than I did... So I decided to follow her advice, at least for now.
Ryuu didn't say much throughout the ride, though he didn't need to. He was a calming influence just by being there.
We pulled up to my house and I dashed out with a quick thank you. I ran into my house. "Sorry I'm late!"
Aunt Sumi was in the living room, shaking her head slightly. "No, you're just in time. Where were you?"
"Uh..." I really didn't want to tell her. She'd go insane, and I'd never have any time for me left, she'd be too busy kicking me out to go hang out with the SA. But I couldn't lie; Aunt Sumi had gone through a lot when she took me in. "I was with the SA and their friends."
"Really? How are you getting along? I know you ate with them at that party we went to!" Aunt Sumi was excited. She'd probably been sick with worry that I'd end up being an anti-social psychopath the way I'd acted before.
"We... get along really well actually..." I was surprised how much we kinda fit together. I didn't realize it until she asked, but it felt like I was meant to be there. Not just as a pity or sympathy vote, but because they honestly liked me. "I was invited to go to Sakura's masquerade ball with them... ordered actually."
Aunt Sumi was ecstatic. "That's fantastic Aiko! We'll have to get you a gown, and find the perfect mask, and maybe some make-up too! And we can get your hair styled, and..."
"Didn't you say you needed me to meet someone?" I asked, cutting off her listing. I love the woman, but there are some things I just can't handle... like talking about dressing up.
"Oh, yes! He's quite a nice young man..." Now she's trying out matchmaking. I grimaced inwardly at the thought, but let her dream. I just didn't want to date right now... especially after Yaten ruined my image of boys, and for the moment, they were all stuck up jerks with the exception of the people of the greenhouse.
Hey, that sounded pretty cool... People of the Greenhouse... sounded like a horror movie... I'll have to work with that idea...
The doorbell destroyed the images of my horror movie that were forming so nicely in my head. I sighed and sat down where Aunt Sumi told me to: in a seat that conveniently had another empty seat right next to it. She was so obvious.
Of course, I wasn't complaining about the chair. It was extremely comfortable. Soft, nice fluffy pillows, leg room... I just wish I didn't have to sit next to someone.
"Hello Susumu. This must be your son, Manabe," Aunt Sumi rose and bowed delicately as I did the same. Hey, I was rich, I knew how to show manners, especially to a stranger.
"Who else Sumi?" Okay, my aunt's on first name basis with someone male? Maybe this wasn't matchmaking after all... Future step-cousin maybe?
Looking up, I instantly diverted my eyes to my shoes. Manabe was definitely not a candidate for my future step-cousin... and even if he was, I'd feel a disappointed about it. He was a god, or at least a demi-god, in human form and in my living room.
I'm the first to admit I'm not boy-crazy, but this boy was pure eye candy. Really nice eye candy. Yum... bet he's got abs too... No! Bad, bad, bad!
I risked a glance back up to examine Manabe more carefully. His brown hair fell carelessly into laughing gray eyes, and he didn't seem to be looking at me, so I continued to look at him.
He was wearing dark jeans, showing off long legs. Mmm... soccer, track build... Ack! Oh, white looks good on him... A white button-up shirt...
I shook away the ideas about how extremely good looking he was and nodded in response to this Susumu guy talking to me. We all sat down, and I refused to talk. If I did, I might just babble on and on continuously about things that don't matter.
"Manabe, why don't you talk to Aiko while Sumi and I go look at the paintings?" Wait, when did they decide they were leaving?
"That's really not necessary..." I shut up at the stares and bit into the cookies Aunt Sumi had served. Manabe made a sound suspiciously like a laugh as he waved the adults away.
There was silence as I continued to nibble on the cookie. It was a bit dry... I should have Akira train our cooks. "Hey." I stared in shock at Manabe, wondering if I was hearing things. He hadn't spoken once since he entered the house, so it wasn't that strange of a thought.
Manabe chuckled and shook his head. "You don't want to be here, do you?"
Smart boy. "Uh..."
"Let me guess..." Manabe leaned towards me. "Socially awkward, recently hurt, not feeling ready to talk to people, right?"
"Are you a mind-reader?" I asked incredulously, wondering how he'd gotten it all right.
"No, I just had an older sister who acted the same way when her boyfriends broke up with her," Manabe smiled reassuringly at me and I relaxed partially. I was always awkward around guys. Like really, really awkward. I was nervous around the SA, and they were all taken!
"Oh..." I shuffled my feet nervously as silence came back over the two of us.
"So, did your boyfriend break up with you?" Manabe suddenly asked and I choked on my cookie.
Coughing a little, I shook my head. "I've never had a boyfriend," I admitted, not worried about how embarrassing that the information might be.
"So what happened?" I frowned. The hot boy was nosy. Irritating, and flattering that a hot boy would actually want to know something about me. Manabe seemed to realize that and sighed at himself. "Sorry, that's none of my business."
"Huh? Oh, no, don't worry about it... It's just..." I sighed heavily, feeling a little bad for getting annoyed at him for prying. If there was one thing I learned from the SA, it's that people like prying into people's business. "This one guy wanted to talk to me after school yesterday, and I was irritated at him before, but decided to give him a shot, you know? But then, I'm waiting outside the school for three hours, and he never showed up! And then he tried to talk to me today, after not bothering to show up to school until after it was over!" I hadn't realized exactly how much I needed to vent until I had actually done so. And now that I think about it, that was the case with the bullies too...
"This one guy?" Manabe smiled at me, teasing me gently. "So specific."
"No names given," I replied, fighting the urge to smile back. I was trying not to trust guys. Remember Aiko, they're all jerks! Except for the guys in the SA!
"Well, don't worry about him. He's an idiot if he ditches a girl like that." I wasn't sure I agreed with Manabe there... if I was a guy, I'd probably not be interested in me either.
"It doesn't matter," I shrugged, taking another cookie. "I'm not that interesting anyways, so..."
Manabe shook his head, interrupting me. "I've talked to you maybe five minutes, and I think you're interesting."
"All I've done is complain," I protested, dropping the cookie on my plate and sitting up straighter.
Manabe laughed quietly, which was strange since I was sending him my worst death glare. Maybe I needed to work on that... I'll ask Akira or Sakura to coach me. "What?" I asked.
"You realize I had to practically pry those complaints out of you?" I froze, having not thought about that. I normally try not to tell people when I've got issues.
"So, how does that make me interesting?" I was pretty sure that made me seem withdrawn and untrusting. Both words sounded pretty true.
"There's something about you," Manabe thought about it, looking serious. "People can just tell there's something in you that wants to get out. When you talk, you're always honest, though people have to get you to talk first. You're quiet, but you like talking to people. You're not used to getting attention, so you're awkward when you do."
Okay, that's a bit creepy at how accurate he is...
"You think I'm good looking and how lucky you are to have me in your living room..."
"What?" I literally squeaked the word out. Manabe started laughing openly, not even reacting to my glare. Yeah, I'm going to work on that death glare.
"I had to lighten the mood somehow," Manabe grinned at me, and I gave in. I smiled at him hesitantly, but relaxed even more, leaning back into the chair. "Did it work?"
"Yeah..." Manabe smirked, pleased with himself.
I was surprised at how relaxed I was, especially since I'd just met him. I guess being around the SA had already affected me; they were so crazy nothing he did would actually disturb me that much.
Now that I thought about it, Manabe would fit right in with the rest of the SA... He's as crazy as them!
"Hey, do you have anything planned for tomorrow after school?" Manabe asked suddenly. I blinked in surprise and shook my head. I didn't have anything planned except another day hanging out with the SA.
"I'm just hanging out with the SA..." I muttered, thinking about it. "They've told me that if I don't have any other plans, I need to be there every day."
"Possessive, aren't they?" I chuckled at his description.
"A little... but I think they're trying to bring me into the group," I replied. "We actually just started talking... four days ago..." Wow, it seemed like forever ago! Had it really only been four days?
"Yeah! They've got the seven best scores in the school, and they've got their other friends there too!" I replied, happy to talk about them. They were an easy subject.
Manabe shook his head. "I meant about befriending you so quickly, but that works too." I blushed unexpectedly at the words. They were surprising, and maybe the nicest semi-compliment I'd ever received.
"Why would it be a good thing?" I muttered quietly, unable to just be happy and take a semi-compliment.
Manabe didn't answer, but tapped the top of my head when I looked down. "Hey, like I asked, you're not doing anything tomorrow, right? Well nothing you can't get out of?"
"No, I'm not..." I replied hesitantly, wondering why he was so curious.
"Want to hang out then?" I stared at Manabe, probably looking completely and utterly stupid. I must have looked like I was confused, because he kept talking. "I'd like to get to know you better. You seem really cool, and I think you'd be a good friend."
Really? A hot guy like him thinks I'm cool and I'd make a good friend? Get real, it would never happen!
Of course, before I could say anything, I accidentally met his eyes and couldn't speak. They were so gray, like mist, but they showed that all his attention was on me. All his attention was honestly on me, and hoping for a positive answer. Not to mention, they were really pretty eyes, and he may have been like a vampire, because I was in a thrall for a moment there.
"S-sure... why not?" Manabe smirked his very sexy smirk at my reply and leaned back in his chair as we heard the voices of the adults approaching.
I sat in shocked silence as Susumu and Manabe left the room, walking up to my empty room in the same state of confused shock. I really needed to talk to someone about this... like, right this moment, because I really couldn't get my head around what I'd just done...
Did I really just accept an invitation to "hang out" with Manabe?
MBP: And that's that chapter! Yaten fans from the prequel, don't kill me! I needed conflict! And Manabe's not bad!
Rini: *sighs* Like we said we're accepting OCs for this, so please send in one in a PM or a review! We have the formatting for it below...
Name: Aiko Satou
Appearance: Short dark brown hair in layers, hanging down with no special treatment. Brown eyes. On the shorter side, and prefers wearing simple clothes. If she doesn't need to dress up, she's normally in her school uniform or pajamas.
Class: Class B. (Please, don't make anyone Class A... I'd like to reserve the special stuff for the SA.)
Hobbies: Reading, writing, movie making.
Extra Information: She hates the color pink with a passion. She owns nothing of that color. She's really quiet, and doesn't like being paid too much attention by anyone. She's more content to wait by the sidelines, but she's also able to laugh and enjoy herself just as much as anyone else. She's not boy-crazy, but she has a hard time talking to them. She trusts people easily, but when that trust is broken, it's difficult to get her to open up to you again. Stubborn and cynical at times, she has her own mind and doesn't give in easily.
Kio: And that's all you need to send in an OC! Cool right?
MBP: Rini, calm him down... Anyways, please only send in one OC, unless you have a romantic interest for him/her. Then send in both so I can write in a little romance for them as well. Also, tell me if you want your OC to befriend someone, so I don't make them the worst enemy of the person you wanted them friends with. I will not write a CharacterxOC romance, so please don't ask.
Rini: Oh, and Yaten's off limits romantically for now, right?
MBP: Yes, just for the moment, and so is Manabe. Sorry, but they're the ones Aiko has to choose between, so I can't have them get with other girls for now... and guy OCs... sorry, they can like Aiko, but they can't actually get with her in the end...
Kio: Okay, that's everything! MBP has to write more now! Right? Right? Right?
Rini: He hasn't had caffeine, so it's not that... I think he's excited...
MBP: I got that... anyways please review! See you next time!
Kio: Jaa nee!