1118 Words?

Disclaimer: I don't own BakaTest. I might go back and smooth this one over a little more later. In contrast to what I normally (attempt to) write, I wanted a fic that captured the warm feelings of friendship (sounds sappy?). It was also written on a prompt, the prompt being "Misfortune".

Akihisa was pathetic as a person, but he was also an endearing friend and that was why Hideyoshi continued with his attempts to help, even if no one thought he deserved it. The reason Akihisa lived off a diet of sugar and water was because he spent all of his money on stupid, childish things – games and manga and anime collectables, magazines, and silly things like that. He still had his apartment because his parents conveniently paid for it while they were overseas, but he would certainly be homeless if they didn't. And he had the ability to do well on tests, but he didn't want to try and didn't want to study. Each and every one of his misfortunes, he'd brought upon himself.

He always nonchalantly shrugged them off and appeared content nonetheless. As he considered himself a friend, Hideyoshi couldn't help but feel worried.

Only infrequently did Hideyoshi have the opportunity to act on his concerns, because anyone who offered Akihisa assistance was immediately rebuked. If he offered to share his lunch, Shimada protested that he didn't deserve it. If he asked Akihisa to stay a few nights at his house, Yuuko objected. Anything else, and it was Akihisa's own stupidity that resulted in his neglect. So if he wanted to talk to his friend about the things that concerned him, it was best to do it alone and be blunt.

"Eat lunch with me?" he asked one day, quietly. It was best not to let anyone else hear – the girls in particular, or the FFF, since they were especially vehement. Hideyoshi could only imagine how they would have reacted, though he knew there would probably be some form of abuse involved.

By the sparkle in Akihisa's eyes, it was easy to see that he had taken it the wrong way also. "I would be happy to-"

"It's not like that," Hideyoshi cut him off curtly. "I'm not asking you on a date. I'm a boy, you know."

"Heh. Whatever you say." Akihisa grinned slightly, but jokingly. At least, Hideyoshi hoped it was jokingly.

If Hideyoshi were any less compassionate, he might hate Akihisa for this reason – it was annoying when he had to remind even his best friend. Thankfully, Hideyoshi was not only compassionate but hard to irritate, and they made it outside without any further comments.

Instead of their normal spot on the roof, they disappeared into the school's courtyard, in one of the less popular corners of the campus. If the girls found them or if anyone asked, Hideyoshi assured him that he'd say they were running errands for the drama club – whether Akihisa was aware of the flimsy excuse or not, he didn't say anything, though even he realized how fallible Hideyoshi's drama obsessed logic was sometimes. Akihisa, for his part, was more concerned about how much he'd be able to eat before anyone found them.

"Where's your lunch today?" It was difficult to miss the pleading look on Akihisa's face. At the same time, he was also worried about what Hideyoshi would eat if he gave up his entire lunch – that was just the kind of person he was, that they both were.

"I brought extra," Hideyoshi replied. He'd been thinking about this for a while.

Easy to please, a happy, grateful expression instantly lit up Akihisa's face. "Hideyoshi, you're the greatest! You'll make a good housewife someday."

Hideyoshi glared at him dryly. "...You're kidding, right?"

"It looks good! ...It's not going to turn out like Himeji's cooking, right?

"Sis made it."

This seemed to take Akihisa by surprise. He recoiled instantly, and inspected the boxed lunch before him like it was about to bite.

Most people would be surprised to find that brash, self-righteous Yuuko could do such a thing.

"It was her turn to cook yesterday," Hideyoshi continued. "These are just leftovers, I'm afraid."

Akihisa sniffed at it cautiously – checking for poison, Hideyoshi imagined, and stifled a giggle. "It still looks good," he concluded. Without another second's hesitation, he dug into the lunch and was pleased to find that it actually tasted edible as well.

He ate much faster than Hideyoshi, and much faster than Hideyoshi had planned. Akihisa seemingly failed to notice that he was almost half done by the time Hideyoshi had managed to pick up his chopsticks.

'That means it's now or never,' Hideyoshi thought wearily, and temporarily put his lunch to the side.

"Do you want mine?" he offered.

Akihisa looked at him eagerly, his eyes clearly stating the obvious – he did want it, he was still hungry – but he politely declined. "I can't do that, Hideyoshi," he replied honestly. "I couldn't take your lunch too, you'll need it to-"

To continue radiating beauty or avoid withering like a prune? He didn't care what Akihisa's idiot excuse was. He was tired of being treated like a girl too, but this wasn't about him.

"Don't you ever get tired of being hungry and treated like a fool?" Hideyoshi demanded, a little more snappily than intended. But Akihisa was his friend and he was worried – he couldn't help it. "Don't you ever feel even a little bit sorry for yourself?"

When he'd started speaking, Akihisa only looked confused. Now the idiot seemed like he was closer to laughing than anything. "Why should I feel sorry for myself?" he asked in a light-hearted tone, making it Hideyoshi's turn to be confused.

"But... you..."

"I could waste all the time in the world feeling sorry for myself, but that only make me even more stupid. Everything that's happened, I bring it on myself – and I've gotten used to that. I'm okay with it."

It wasn't anything fancy – not a big, long speech or anything like that, just a few simple words – but somehow Hideyoshi felt enlightened. Akihisa's smile was sincere, his face was serene even in times of trouble... Now that Hideyoshi thought about it, maybe he was the idiot for thinking Akihisa needed help all the time, because his friend was never really miserable. Just the opposite, in fact. Akihisa was the fortunate one, the one who was always happy with himself and the way things turned out no matter what.

Hideyoshi smiled back at him. "I'm really happy for you, Akihisa."

Someday, Hideyoshi secretly hoped he could be this fortunate as well...

Bonus

"O-oh, but...Hideyoshi? C-can I maybe have your lunch afterall." When Hideyoshi started laughing warmly, his face glowed with anticipation (but he was definitely not drooling, no way).

"No!"