It's been a while, fandom! /blows dust away

I actually have another TS fic written since...last year around this time, but I never got around to posting it because I keep thinking it could be better. orz

Loss and Gain
By – Hime no Ichigo

Genre: General
Rating: G
Characters: Kasahara, Shibasaki
Story Type: One-shot/Drabble
Summary: Shibasaki isn't about to let this piece of gossip go without a confirmation.

Disclaimer: Toshokan Sensou LOVE & WAR is the property of Arikawa Hiro/Yumi Kiiro.

Spoilers: Er – not much, unless you've never read the shoujo version of the manga?

Notes: Index 9; implied Doujou x Kasahara?

"Kasahara, where's your towel?"

She blinks, looking up from her night snack as if she has absolutely no idea what Shibasaki's talking about. Sometimes Shibasaki just wants to wipe that dazed look off her face.

"The towel you took to the bath house? You didn't come back with it."

"Oh!" She lapses into a (seemingly) thoughtful silence.

"If I recall correctly, that's the one you borrowed." Shibasaki's left eye twitches in annoyance. It's not like she's stingy, but that's one of her favourite towels and she doesn't know if she can get the exact pattern and colour by the time of her next day off.

"...I think it slid off my shoulders when I was walking back..."

"You what?"

"I'm sorry!"

"Honestly, can't you be more careful with things that aren't yours?" Shibasaki sighs exasperatedly. "...Yet you came back with a jacket."


"...Okay, fess up, whose jacket is this."


"Not saying anything won't get you off the hook," Shibasaki sneers, leaning across the table and looking straight into Iku's startled eyes. "...Why is your face still flushed? You've been out of the bath for a good thirty minutes by now!"

The continued silence from a usual blabbermouth is unsettling, setting Shibasaki's radars on high alert. Something must be up. The last time Kasahara was like this, it was because Tezuka asked her out. But she just told me about Tezuka's response to the media mob and I don't think he's as desperate and interested as I initially thought. It should still be a guy though; the poor girl has no immunity. And earlier today—


"It's Doujou-kyoukan, isn't it."

Shibasaki's pleased at the thump underneath the table, meaning that she's managed to get a reaction out of Kasahara – and a bull's eye to boot (though with Iku it's never too difficult).

"W-wh-wh-what are you talking about Shibasaki why would it be that midget it could've been anyone why did you say it was Doujou-kyoukan—"

She laughs loudly at how red Iku's face is turning, possibly due to both a lack of breath and embarrassment. Well – she expects this because Iku is just that predictable, especially whenever Doujou's name comes up. "Just make sure you return it properly, don't lose it like you did mine."

"There's nothing going on between us!" Iku insists, kneeling now to tower over Shibasaki as if to give her some form of leverage in the argument.

She must be referring to the rumour...she can learn a thing or two from this. "It's all right, Kasahara." You're not even aware you just admitted to the owner of the jacket. Oh Kasahara, you've got a long way to go.

Her face visibly relaxes, putting on a relieved thank goodness you believe me air.

Keeping her face straight, she places a hand on Kasahara's shoulder and says calmly, "Good luck tomorrow, the rest of the female fanbase will probably have a bigger field day than today. Oh, and I'd suggest that by my next day off, you should return my towel. Buy me a new one – I don't want the one you lost. It's probably been trampled over so many times by now. If you can't find the exact thing, it's okay to buy five substitutes."

Iku's mouth opens and closes like a goldfish, in disbelief that her wonderful roommate can even think of extorting her at a time like this.

"Don't give me that look," Shibasaki smiles disarmingly. "You owe me."

- Owari -

Authoress' Notes: Doesn't anyone find it suspicious?