Thank you for the reviews! That'll teach me to post a story without any plans for the next chapter... Anyhoo! If you have any ideas for a better title as the story progresses, feel free to share them; I really don't like the current one. Too bland.
Misaki leaned onto her desk with her hand supporting her face and tugging at her skin. A groan escaped her mouth as she eyed the clock, wondering why this seemed like the longest morning of her life, even though she knew exactly the reason why. After fleeing - with dignity, of course - from the auditorium in the morning, she had made her way to her classroom, prepared for the first day of school. At first she had felt an insatiable desire to simply leave school for the rest of the day, but that was by no means how she handled things. School president skipping school due to a little issue with her personal life? That certainly didn't look good. She needed to remain an upstanding role model for younger students as well as an enforcer of the rules.
Still, she couldn't help but feel miserable as she scanned the room around her, looking at all her classmates who hadn't stopped whispering about her since they entered the room following the assembly. The past three and a half hours of her life had been agonizingly long and the entire time she could feel the other students' eyes on her. Exasperated, she sighed and lay her head down on the desk. Unfortunately, because it was the first day of school, the morning so far had been spent sorting out seating arrangements and giving introductions. Though more school work would be a hassle, at least it would be distracting.
Thankfully for Misaki, the teacher announced lunch just before she was about to tear her hair out. Finally relaxed, she turned around to face Shizuko, the one person in the room who hadn't spent the last few hours of their life gossiping about the school president. It was good to have a friend in class.
"So what do you think's gonna happen?" Shizuko asked politely as she reached for the bento she had packed in her bag. Misaki had her own that she had made in a rush earlier that morning that was scarcely packed.
Misaki thought about the question for a second. "I don't know. I'm going to have to find whoever's responsible for the picture, though."
"Mmmhmm," Shizuko mumbled as a reply while she gazed off, deep in thought. "I think you're handling it very well, considering."
"Considering what? That I could've gone bonkers? I already had an outburst during introductions." Misaki shook her head as she opened up her lunch.
Shizuko smiled kindly. "It was hardly an outburst. They deserved reprimanding."
As Misaki had been standing for her introduction that all the students in the class usually gave, a large amount of whispering had filled the room, more so than the rest of the day. Normally, hers would short, sweet, and only memorable because she was the president - or because she made her feelings toward males quite evident. She had a presence that had a way of stunning people. In her introduction on that particular day, though, a large surge of whispers had filled the room when she stood to speak. So, of course, she "reprimanded" them with a short bout of shouting and scolding.
"Which class is Usui in? I should talk to him about this. After all, he was the only who had the picture," Misaki said thoughtfully.
"I think he's in the same one as Sakura. You don't think he did it, though, right?"
"No, no, I just want to know how someone could've gotten it. Maybe visiting him is a bad idea; it would just encourage rumors and -"
"Ayuzawa?" the teacher, Mr. Kobayashi, called from the front of the room, and Misaki immediately spun around in her seat to address the man.
"Yes?" she replied quizzically. Instead of audibly responding, he casually nodded at the doorway before returning his focus to whatever was in the book he held. During the past few hours, it had become abundantly clear that their teacher was less than enthusiastic about teaching. Well, not necessarily teaching itself, but he seemed completely indifferent to his students. He was smart and had graduated from an excellent college, but he was, frankly, not the kind of man one would desire as a teacher.
In the doorway stood a very, as per usual, pissed off looking Aoi Hyoudou. Casually, he walked into the classroom full of his elders and ignored their questions as to why he was there. "Well? What are you going to do about it?" Came his both vague and angry-sounding greeting. He pulled a chair away from a desk - the guy who was about to sit in it glared at him before Aoi scared him off with daggers from his eyes - and sat down with his arms on Shizuko's desk as he faced Misaki.
"Find the culprit. You're about two minutes late to that conversation. How's your first day?" Misaki said without even looking up until her last question, which she spoke kindly with a soft smile.
"Fine, fine," he mumbled as he averted his eyes and a blush tinged his pale cheeks. Misaki grin widened and, seeing this, Aoi turned his attention back to her. "Anyway, why are you even asking, stupid woman? Don't you have enough to deal with?"
"Yeah, I know, but I was also wondering about Suzuna. She's in your class, isn't she?"
"Hmm? Yeah, she's looks a lot like you," Aoi commented and, after his face reddened just a little more (though it remained unnoticed by Misaki), attempted to return to the actual subject that needed addressing. "Hey, so do you have any idea about who did it? I mean, doesn't this school have some sort of tech room that controls the projector or something?"
"No," said Shizuko, who seemed completely indifferent to the fact that a random underclassmen had just arrived without any sort of introduction, "the projector can be controlled from any computer owned by the school; they all have the software in them, it's just usually protected with a firewall."
"Then shouldn't we check the tech clubs if the person had to have known how to bypass it?" Misaki asked with a casual bite of a rice ball.
"I suppose that would be a good place to start, although I hear that they're really easy to get past. After all, we aren't exactly the highest-budget school," said Shizuko to which Misaki nodded in agreement, though she looked a little confused as to where her friend always seemed to know exactly what was going on at their school, more so than the president herself sometimes.
"Jeez, what's wrong with this place? It can't be a good idea to make all the computers access stuff like that," Aoi complained as he stole a rice ball from Misaki ("I forgot my lunch," was his uncommitted explanation). "And shouldn't you be a little more concerned? After that picture was seen, it's only a matter of time before everyone figures out your other secret."
Misaki, while ignoring Shizuko's questioning glances, replied nonchalantly, "There's no need to worry, I'll fix it."
"It's not like I'm concerned or anything," Aoi snapped as he crossed his arms and turned his head away, concealing slightly flushed cheeks. "It just might affect me badly."
"Oh, that's right. If anyone at school finds out about me, than you, too..."
"Maybe not. Besides, they all already think I'm a freak."
"In only a few hours? How big of an impression do you make?"
"I'm a show-stealer," he said proudly with a flip of his head.
Misaki sighed and put a hand to her head. "At least try to sound a little less boastful about that..." she mumbled with a disbelieving smile. "Anyway, there's no need to worry about your little secret coming out" - by now Shizuko felt entirely confused and decided to just stop trying to decode what they meant - "because no one is going to find out about mine."
"Sure, sure," Aoi said with a slightly tentative glance at the digital clock on the wall. "Eh, I should get back to class," he said, though he paused afterwards as though considering just skipping class. "Bye."
As he turned to leave, Misaki spun around in her chair and called back to him, "By the way, the uniform looks nice on you. It's weird seeing you in something like that."
Aoi whirled around with an incredulous look on his face. "You think so?" he said with a tone that was a mixture of doubt and disdain for Misaki's sense of fashion. He fingered the hem of the green coat with a scowl on his face. "It's not cute at all," he concluded before continuing to walk out the door and close it quite loudly and rudely behind him, causing Mr. Kobayashi to look up from his book.
Misaki sighed and glared at the clock, knowing that each passing second brought her closer and closer to the end of lunch and, therefore, the beginning of three more hours of quiet whispering behind her back with no one to talk to.
She couldn't wait until her nightmare of a first day was over. Even after years of attending Seiko, she felt like a weak first year all over again (well, she had never been weak, not even back then) and a mean girl had spread rumors about her. No matter what, she would find out who projected the picture and how on earth they got their hands on it.
I'd love reviews! Just FYI, this story might not be updated at a very fast pace, seeing as I'm writing it chapter by chapter and have little to no plan for the future plot.