Shirogane rubbed his eyes and opened them lazily. As soon as he opened one of his eyes, he caught a glimpse of pink. Flower petals have been falling from above and landed on him silently. "Has it been spring already?" He wondered. His hand reached for his face to remove the pink blossoms that fell from grace. Shirogane looked at the fragility in his hand and played with them. The sensation from the petals told him that he is no longer in a dream. "How nostalgic," he whispered to himself, and he was reminded that he fell asleep under a cherry blossom tree.
"Come on, get up now!" The voice urged Shirogane once again. Shirogane moved his head towards the direction where the voice came from – it was his best friend, Kazuki Shiranui, and his hand is pointed at the huge clock mounted on the school building. He sat up slowly with a puzzled look on his face. He thought that he could enjoy a little timeout until the 6th period, perhaps today is not the day – he forgot about the exam that will be taking place in the 5th period. "Ah, so that's why he is here."
"Hahaha, look at your hair, it's all messed up!" Shiranui commented with a hint of mischievousness in his voice while Shirogane was adjusting his goggles. "Here, let me help you with it," the gray haired president of the student council offered. "We've got 15 minutes until we're late for the exam." Shirogane agreed. "Was it a pleasant dream?" Shiranui asked. Actually, Shiranui was not particularly interested in what his friend saw in the dream, he was asking for the sake of…asking. Had Shirogane been a girl, this scene would look like a shot from a romance film, unfortunately, he is not, which would have made any passerby look the opposite direction for the shear amount of embarrassment. In other words, Shiranui started the conversation just to ease the atmosphere.
"It was," Shirogane replied plainly while he was trying to concentrate on getting rid of the knots in his hair. "It has been awhile since I've had that dream," he paused to get his fingers through the locks of hair that were tangled together and continued, "what about you, Kazuki, I know you skipped the 3rd and the 4th period, that's how you could be here."
Shiranui didn't expect his friend would tease him about skipping classes. After all, they were both guilty of skipping classes. "Well…" Shiranui sounded as though he got a hard time answering the question. "Um, you see," he stopped working on Shirogane's hair, "just when I thought I could chill in the student council room, Hayato came outta nowhere, and then…well, you know how it goes, haha." Of course, Shirogane knew what would've happened if Aozora caught Shiranui "taking a break" – the blackboard. Shirogane recalled the times when he was also a victim of it and laughed bitterly at Shiranui's predicament. "Then he lectured me and said that if I don't go to class, I will be stuck in the 3rd year for another year! Of course I know that! It's just that today is such a nice day to take a nap, so I thought-"
Shirogane finished the lock of hair that he was working on and he turned around to Shiranui, "I get it, Kazuki, I really do get it." He patted on Shiranui's shoulder to convey an understanding of his sentiment and took the unfinished lock of hair from Shiranui's hands. Shiranui was reminded of his unfinished work, but Shirogane thanked him and told him that he could finish the remaining on his own. "You should hurry, Mr. President," Shirogane jested, "it would be a disappointment all the students in the exam if you could not be present on time."
Shiranui replied with "oh stop it" and followed it with a laugh. He brushed off the petals and grass on his uniform, stood up and prepared to head to the direction of the school building.
"Um-hmm?" Shirogane was caught off guard since he thought Shiranui would be on his way already.
"We're friends, right?" Shiranui's tone was firm and serious. It was as though he is asking for confirmation on something that is so important that the matter of life and death depends on it.
Shirogane knew the meaning of Shiranui's tone, but he didn't know how he should respond to it. He knew that the silence would only get worse the longer he contemplated on it. Without much thought, Shirogane replied with the "obvious" answer, "Of course we are." He didn't do much to conceal the empty and forced words.
"Then all is well!" Shiranui replied cheerfully after he heard Shirogane's response. He took several steps toward to the school's direction, and he turned around facing Shirogane who had his back towards him. "You know you can come to me if you've got any problems, 'kay?" He knew Shirogane wouldn't turn around. Rather than saying this "knowledge" came from his Hoshiyomi powers, it was more of an instinct as a friend.
"Yeah…" Shirogane stopped and tried to fish for the words to say before he replied with a simple, "Thanks, Kazuki." As though this conversation has happened between the two many times, Shiranui replied automatically, "Anytime, Oushiro, anytime." He waved casually to his friend as he left despite knowing his friend would not be seeing it.
Shirogane did a final check to make sure his hair looks okay, it would've been futile if he spent all that time fixing his hair and uniform for nothing. "Hmm?" He touched his face, "How did I miss this earlier? I should've brushed them off." His hand landed on a tiny piece of material that does not belong to his face – it was a petal from the cherry blossom tree. Shirogane removed it and he realized it was held attached by a drop of water. The voice of Shiranui and his question lingered in Shirogane's mind.
"It must've been the afternoon dew."
He concluded quietly to himself holding onto the petal that betrayed his emotions.
Author's note: Thank you very much for taking your time to read the first chapter! I wrote this fic purely for my own satisfaction, so if you have enjoyed reading it I will be much honoured! I think this fic is more than just romance and friendship, but I will leave the decision up to the readers. Reviews are greatly appreciated! Please feel free to provide comments/suggestions/constructive criticism. Once again, thanks for reading this chapter!
P.S. Special thanks to merope who suggested "yureru" (ゆれる) as the name for this chapter. It means to shake/sway in Japanese.