God, It's been a long time since I've written a fanfic… This one is one I'm actually going to finish though! It's my first chapter-fic (I usually write oneshots), but I've got a pretty good idea of where the plot will be going from here on out, so I most definitely accomplish the feat of completing a story! Yay! I really want to be correct about everything on this subject, so if I make a mistake, please tell me about it. I've been doing research, but I could always be wrong. Well, enough with my rambling, on with the story!
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, ESPECIALLY not Hetalia. It belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya.
Talking on Paper
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read." ~ Mark Twain
Kiku stepped into a silent hallway. Thin arms wrapped tightly around several new textbooks in his arms as the soles of his shoes chaffed the tile beneath them. Two students leaned on the lockers to his left, their mouths moving wildly. No words.
His head jerked up as a shoulder collided with his. The student walked on by, not giving Kiku a second glance. Kiku would have said "I'm sorry", but his hands were full. He wouldn't be able to sign it correctly.
He continued down the hall, narrowly avoiding the other Juniors. They didn't notice the small asian boy, with their attention focused on their own conversation. Kiku was left out, as usual. But he didn't care too much, they wouldn't be able to communicate with each other anyway. The dark haired boy focused on finding his way to his next class.
The first day of school was always the hardest. Once again, Kiku had to use a map to find his classes, and re-write his new schedule into his calendar, as to not to forget anything. His teachers hadn't yet gotten used to him, or his interpreter, in their class yet. And introductions were the worst.
Kiku neatly piled the new textbooks into his locker, each softly vibrating as they slid over the metal shelf. He lifted himself off the floor, brushing dirt off his jeans as he stood. His attention turned to the small slip of paper in his hand, a class schedule. Thumb brushing over the parchment, his finger landed on the line balancing the name of his eighth hour class neatly on top of it.
8th Hour: Drawing & Painting II
Kiku smiled to himself. The best was saved for last.
Without even a glance at the school map, an animated Kiku strolled off to his favorite place on earth.
Despite having been cleaned over the summer, the art room still retained the same distinct smell that Kiku had come to love. Drawing charcoal, mixed with the soft scent of paper and the sharp one of paint.
The floors were a cool grey shade of concrete, smooth to the point where Kiku barely noticed any friction between his shoes an the floor. White desks ridden with smudges of paint and charcoal were positioned in a semi- circle, forming one big smile in the center of the room.
Kiku, taking notice that his interpreter was already seated in a chair by the chalkboard, made his way to an empty seat in the second row of desks, between a blonde boy whose jaw seemed to constantly move, and a wavy-haired brunette with his head resting on his arms, sleeping.
The asian boy's eyes drifted to the walls of the classroom. Like most teachers, his art teacher had inspirational posters taped onto the walls, telling people to 'Do Their Best', and 'Reach For The Stars', but side by side with them was artwork from past students, paintings and drawings, even a few of his own- the ones he was proud enough of to give away, but didn't like enough to keep for himself.
It was always interesting to look at how the pictures on the walls were slowly added over the course of the year, sprouting up like little flowers in sidewalk cracks and slowly adding color to the dull room. He imagined there would be at least five more pictures up by the end of the quarter.
He'd already seen the paintings on the walls and quickly became bored, so Kiku placed his class schedule facedown on the table as he retrieved a pencil from his pocket. Slowly, he began making marks on the page, first a circle to mark where the head would go, before attaching it to a small stick figure skeleton. Carefully, he drew the contour of the body, now recognizably female, with her hands on her hips. It wasn't his best work, not even close, just a fun piece of fanart that he probably wouldn't finish. He gave the girl a pointed chin and a wide smile, with a face framed with short dark hair and ribbons.
Around him, the students in the room stopped moving their mouths, slowly finding their way to their seats. Even the hyper blonde boy beside him had brought his jaw to a close. Kiku took this as his cue to put his drawing away.
The teacher, a young blonde lady with hair pulled into a messy bun, danced her way to the front of the room. As she opened her mouth, Kiku turned his attention to an older lady in the corner, who now stood facing him with her hands in front of her.
Her hands moved in sync with the teacher's lips as she spoke.
Hello, she signed, 'My name is Mrs. Tanner, and welcome to Drawing and Painting Two! I'll be your teacher for this semester. I've already had all of you before, so I think I already know your names, but so you guys can all get to know each other, let's go around the room and introduce everybody. Just say your name and one interesting fact about yourself.'
Looking back to the teacher, she pointed at a ponytailed boy in the right corner of the room, who began moving his lips. Kiku's eyes quickly darted to the older woman in the corner, showing him what the ponytailed boy was saying.
'Hello, my name is Wang Yao and I'm originally from China.'
Kiku squirmed in his seat. He hated introductions, they were always embarrassing. He got too many stares, his hands got shaky, he started blushing. Nothing good came from it.
After a while, the blonde boy beside him stood up, opening his mouth wide. According to the woman at the front of the room, he said 'My name is Alfred F. Jones, and I'm a hero!' He gained several odd looks from the class.
Now it was Kiku's turn. Taking a deep breath, he brought his right hand up to his ear, before pulling it away, forming a motion much like a traditional wave. 'Hello.' He brought the hand to his chest. Then, bringing both hands up, he tapped two fingers from each hand together. 'My name is.' Finally, he finger-spelled out his name, 'K-I-K-U H-O-N-D-A.'
Almost as an afterthought, he added 'And I am deaf.'
The woman at the front of the room, who he had earlier been told was named Mrs. Lacy, had mouthed the words along with him as he signed them, interpreting them for the rest of the class to understand. Several students stared. Kiku hunched his shoulders as he slipped back into his seat, as if his shoulders could hide him from his classmates gazes.
Mrs. Tanner opened her mouth. 'Just so you all know,' Mrs. Lacy interpreted, 'since Kiku is deaf, we will also have Mrs. Lacy here to interpret what everyone is saying for him. I expect you all to treat him exactly the same as you would any other classmate. Anyway, next?'
The boy beside Kiku still had his eyes closed, barely having moved a muscle since Kiku walked in. Dark, wavy locks fell over his forehead, gently brushing his eyelids. No one made a move to wake him. He looked so incredibly peaceful… Kiku didn't want to wake him either. But feeling the pressure around him, he moved to nudge the boys shoulder, poking him with his forefinger. The boy stirred, but didn't awaken. Kiku shook his shoulder, no response. Finally, in one final attempt, Kiku shook his shoulder even harder, and luckily, the brunette's eyes fluttered open, revealing beautiful emerald green iris's.
The boy raised his head drowsily, much like a cat just awaking from a nap, and slowly scanned the room, searching for any idea of what was going on. He turned his gaze to Kiku, cocking his head, a question in his eyes. He mouthed words to the smaller boy- something that Kiku couldn't quite place meaning to. He looked to Mrs. Lacey for the answer, but the older woman simply shrugged.
'I couldn't hear him,' she signed.
Kiku looked a the teacher, and as Mrs. Tanner began to move her lips, his attention went back to the older woman in the corner. 'Glad to see you've joined the world of the living.' A quick glance back to the teacher showed that she was smiling. 'Could you please introduce yourself to the rest of us?'
Mrs. Lacy's hands went still, and Kiku let his gaze drift to the tanned boy beside him. The boy nodded, and opened his mouth. Kiku's eyes darted back to the front of the room.
'Hello, My name is Herakles Karpusi and… I like cats.'
As soon as introductions finished, the teacher skipped back to the front of the class room with an overly-happy bounce that Kiku knew would be gone by next week.
'Okay, class!' Mrs. Tanner's smile was huge, and her mouth was moving fast. 'I know it's only the first day of school, but I have an assignment for all of you!' The class notably deflated. 'Oh, don't be like that. It'll be fun I promise.'
Mrs. Tanner explained the class (and Mrs. Lacy told Kiku) that what would they would be doing, for the next month, would be portraits. Oh, but not normal portraits, Mrs. Lacy translated, 'Each of you will have a partner, and I want you to create a portrait that captures both their physical traits and their personality. You're partner will be the person you're sharing a table with.'
Kiku looked to his right, to find his partner to be the sleeping boy from earlier. His name was… Hercules? No- It was Herakles, right? Yes, Herakles Karpusi. The sleeping boy who loved cats.
The teacher then said for everyone to get to know their partners the rest of class, and left the students to themselves, sitting back down at her desk.
Kiku shook the boy awake.
Herakles, with a drowsy expression still remaining on his face, lifted his head from his arms. Green eyes, partially hidden beneath his eyelids, met Kiku's. He spoke- something, but nothing registered in Kiku's mind. Luckily, Mrs. Lacy had appeared right behind him.
'Excuse me, Mr. Karpusi?' Mrs. Lacy signed and spoke at the same time. The older woman explained to the sleepy-eyed boy what was going on, before adding what was probably pretty important. 'And, since you missed the introductions, you'll need to know that Kiku is deaf. I can translate if you want.'
Herakles just waved her away. He dug into the pocket of his jeans, pulling out what was probably his class schedule and a pencil. Flipping the paper over, he scribbled on the back: We can just talk like this. Is that okay with you?
Kiku took his own pencil in hand and wrote, It is fine with me.
So, we're supposed to get to know each other then? Herakles responded.
So, then… Herakles scribbled in lazy handwriting, Tell me about yourself. What's your favorite color?
Kiku thought for a moment. Nobody had really ever asked why he liked a certain color before. Did their even need to be a reason? … Kiku jotted down the first thing that came to mind.
It's calming, I guess. I don't really have a reason. What is your favorite color, Herakles?
Tentatively, he jotted down his next question. Why?
Herakles gave him a lazy smirk. Reminds me of the ocean.
You've been to the ocean before? Kiku questioned. He had lived inland his entire life. The largest body of water he'd ever seen was his neighborhood swimming pool.
No, but I want to.
Where would you go? To see the ocean, I mean.
The taller boy took no time in thinking of his answer. Greece. My mother grew up there. She says it's beautiful.
I've heard the same thing.
Where would you go? Herakles asked. If you could go anywhere in the world.
Anywhere? Kiku thought for a moment. Japan, he answered.
Why? Herakles certainly liked that question, didn't he?
I've heard I have family there, but I've never met them. I would like to get to know them.
Do you have family elsewhere?
My mother grew up in Greece, so most of my family is there. I've only met them when they fly to America for vacation every once in a while.
It must be nice to see them.
In his lazy, chicken-scratch handwriting, Herakles wrote, Yes, but their a little crazy.
Kiku chuckled. I think all family is.
Suddenly, Herakles looked up, and the other students around the two started to gather their things. The bell rang, Herakles wrote. It's time to go. See you tomorrow then?
Yes, see you tomorrow.
The brunette boy gathered his few things, and walked to the door, smiling lazily at Kiku as he walked past. Kiku folded his drawing from earlier in his pocket, and picked up his pencil. For some reason, he was really excited to see the Greek boy tomorrow. He left the classroom with a smile on his face.
And so they met.
Hoped you liked it! R&R and crap! The next chapter will be up soonish, but I can't make any promises. :) Thanks for reading!