Title: Pertinence, His Mother Said
Summary: He's just a guy, preparing himself for humiliation. Of course, the fact that she's clueless doesn't help. 1/5.
Warnings: First one-shot out of a five-part series dealing with the characters of TnT (- an abbreviation, not a twisted emoticon. Those come later.) Also, I'm planning on buying a goldfish.
'Tenacity' is a fun word to say. When it is experienced, though, the enjoyment factor seems to slip away. Rather considerably.
Joe is here. Again. The red-head seems to have that uncanny ability to teleport from one place to another (not unlike Kuronama). The trouble is, Shota doesn't mind when Kuronama does it. Truth be told, there's all kinds of places he wouldn't mind her teleporting to (his arms being a primary competitor, his lips being another [and at this point his is either a) too flustered to continue previous train of thought, or b) in public, thereby saving enjoyable thought to be continued in the privacy of his own room]). And that's all well and good, so when the doorbell rings after school, and just as he's getting all excited and sweaty-palmed and so damn thirteen year old girl its plain embarrassing, he opens his front door and its Joe standing there, smiling blithely, muddy shoes all over the welcome mat.
(Even the mat knows he is not welcome.)
And no matter how hard Shota squints, he can't even pretend its Kuronama to save what's left of his seriously depleting sanity.
So. Once an appropriate list of expletives has raced through his mind, the first proper word forms in the haze. Tenacity.
Shota resists the urge to slam the door shut in Joe's face, turn to the nearest wall, and start bashing his head against it repetitively.
Joe, being Joe, in all his endearing unawareness, only succeeds in smiling wider.
Shota manages to smile confusedly. It takes effort. He's fairly certain at any moment he'll need to excuse himself for a ten-minute nap and several energy bars.
"It's a school night." It's a poor excuse, he'll admit. But even so.
Mysteriously, five more faces emerge behind Joe. Smiling eerily. He can smell poker chips.
"All the more reason," Ryu speaks up. There's a private smile curled above his chin. As if he's enjoying his friend's pain immensely.
Somehow, Shota knows he's not going to get the chance to find an excuse to invade Kuronama's life tonight.
His life, dear friends, sucks.
Mornings at high school have never caused for any monumental happenings.
In all likelihood, this is because students often file into their respective classrooms with a sort of zombie-stalk. This unbeatable haze lasts generally for an hour or so, by which time the students and faculty alike regain their senses, and finally roll out of their metaphysical beds. The first hour of school is not school at all; only an extended period of breakfast time, only relocated. Friends greet one another, but only mechanically. Snippets of the previous night's dream hangs above their heads. Nothing exciting happens. Nothing wonderful happens. In short, nothing happens at all.
That is, except for Shota Kazehaya.
Who, each and every day, enters the classroom with an energy rivalling a tornado.
The door slides open with a definitive bang! and everyone in the class jumps a little. And then they smile. Some grin at him.
Simply because Shota is like that.
And it is at this moment every day that Sawako finally realises that the sun is, indeed, arisen and shining.
Simply because Shota is like that.
Sawako stumbles slightly down the stairs on the way to her third period class. She pauses, looks out the window, adjusts the book cradled in her arms, smiles to herself, blinks, and walks on.
And as Shota watches this, he realises that it has gotten harder for himself.
How long has he loved her now? He couldn't say. The first day under the cherry blossoms seemed like years ago. It was years ago. Time has taken on an elusive quality for him, and all concepts of measurement are now connected to her. Three smiles today. Six unsuspecting glances. One daydream. Two point five sighs.
And just one kiss.
It's harder to hold back. He was kissing her palm before he realised he even wanted to.
Earlier that day, she had held her hand out during first period with Pin. She needed her eraser back.
Instead, he brought it closer and kissed it in the middle of class, much to the surprise of their classmates and Pin. (Who dropped his chalk, swore, blinked then gave them both detention for flirting during Intermediate Maths.)
(Which was odd, as Shota had thought the class was Historical Literature.)
(It was at this point he realised that sitting next to Sawako did strange things to his academic performance.)
(Let alone sanity.)
(And dear Lord, did he just call her Sawako?)
Sawako, in turn, unwittingly gave the class her best impersonation of a ripe tomato.
Pin rated it seven out of ten.
Now, watching her, he wondered when it had become so hard to hide his ardency. In their first year of high school, he had thought he might have been too bold. He thought he might have scared her off. Or scared himself into running away. But those mundane little catastrophes seemed nothing to things he wanted to do for her now. Or the things he wanted to do to her.
It was likely he had been spending far too much time in the presence of Pin.
His fingers ached and his face tingled.
The worst of it was, she hadn't even realised she loved him, too.
Detention, Shota realised, was the greatest thing to happen to him all week.
Sawako, in turn, looked about as meek as, well, Sawako. Detention was the start of her decline. She would turn a delinquent, she was certain.
Her grades would drop.
Her parents would cry.
Chizuru and Ayane would abandon her out of disgust.
Her flowerbed would be taken away from her.
She would get a tattoo above her ear.
An unruly gang would recruit her as their medium.
And Shota, dear Lord, Shota would-
"Breathe, Kuronama," Shota himself instructed, half concerned, half humoured.
"Detention," she managed to choke out, hands waving around to indicate some form of Armageddon.
"It's only this once."
She shook her mildly. "Detention," she reiterated.
She seemed to be turning slightly blue.
Shota was quiet for a moment, staring down at the Everest-sized stack of forms he had been assigned to sort out for the next hour.
"It was my fault," he reminded her gently, taking the sheet on top and folding it into what might have been an attempted paper airplane. It resembled a Picasso, instead. "Pin knows you did nothing."
As it turns out, Sawako herself received no tedious chores to complete for the next hour. Her only punishment, it seemed, was to sit in the vacant classroom with Shota alone. The uncharacteristically thoughtful act on Pin's part only seemed to further point to her innocence.
With a slightly dry humour, Shota reasoned Pin couldn't have given her a worse punishment, though.
As always, his reasoning turned the slightly blue pallor of her cheeks to a flushed pink.
Shota repressed a smirk. If the eyes were the window to a person's soul, then Sawako's cheeks were the open canvas of her emotions. He knew every colour and varying hue to have adorned that face by heart. He had even decided his favourites.
And Mrs Tsuki, the grouchy art teacher, had the nerve to claim he had no understanding of colour.
If only she knew.
"We graduate next year."
Sawako's voice seemed to come out of nowhere, that is, until he looked up, and discovered she had seated herself across from him and had taken half his stack for herself.
He smiled. How very Sawako-like.
"This is my job," he reminded her, still smiling. Idly, he wondered just how much he had learned from the quiet girl over the years. "You're not the one in trouble."
"I didn't stop what you did, though."
She said it, blinked, blinked again, blushed deeply, and then proceeded to steadfastly avoid looking at him for the next thirty seconds. The right corner of the window pane had never received so much attention from a girl in its life.
Shota had to literally internally berate himself from smiling too widely.
"That's true," he muttered, and proceeded to stare at the left corner of the desk for the next thirty seconds. Said desk, of course, stared back, unperturbed.
Sawako may blush, but her blood had nothing on Shota's.
You see, when he blushed, he made sure to put on a show.
Much to his own dismay.
"You're red," Sawako noted. Tonelessly.
"I'm not," he countered automatically.
She frowned. "But you are."
Why, oh why had the fates given him the stubbornest girl in the world? She had always been perceptive at the wrong times, and clueless at the right.
"Sawako," he told her straight, but then paused.
Pertinence, his mother had always told him. Pertinence.
The girl blushed to her toes.
"One day, you better watch out."
Fair warning was fair warning, after all.
Short and simple.
Only, minus the short and simple part.
I'm thinking Ryu/Chizuru next (2/5). However, if you review with a pair you're eager for instead, I'll probably consider it. Unless it's some weird crap like Joe/Pin. Then I'd call the police on you. Just saying.
I'll probably end up doing this pair again, too.
Subscribe if you want to be informed, don't subscribe if you don't, and overall, just chill. 'Cause that goldfish is a comin.'
(Reviews are like fish food. You send 'em in and they float on the surface of my heart 'till they sink to the core, where they are gobbled up by the Central Fish. Believe it.)