Hey guys, it's Lene! You missed me? I hope so, because I missed you. So some of you may be thinking "Where is the update of 'Close up the Hole in my Vein'"? Well that story won't be updated in a while, about the end of January or the start of February I believe, since my beta-reader is having a lot on her hands, and that story is our baby, so it has to be perfect when it comes out again. - This story is without beta-reader, so give it a chance, since I took the honor of editing it, myself. Hope you'll like it! Disclaimer: NO! *gets slapped* fine... I don't own SiH; damn..
It's was just another October day for Takano Masamune, walking home from work in the pouring rain, on the way to another lonely day in his warm fancy apartment. Takano was a man of simplicity. He would walk the same way too the subway that leaded too his home as always, and he would spend the rest of the day editing his employees work as always. Some days were of course not the same. Some days the authors were late with their work. Some days the editors couldn't come with other than half-assed work, and someday would end up sitting in a bar with his good friend, Takafumi Yokozawa drinking beer and enlighten each other about the horrible jobs either their employees or authors could come up with… This was not one of those days.
The rain had taken a liking to switch between pathetic drops that could barely soak your hair enough, so that shampoo could wash it, or it would switch into pouring strings of rain that would soak you to the bone. Masamune had decided at that point that he had had enough with switching between fetching his umbrella too just hiding it away when the pathetic drops came back. Instead he had decided to walk into a bookstore he had never taken a notice too.
What was it that had especially caught his eye on the bookstore? Was it the old design of the store? Brown wood, that looked older than 200 years, the old but cozy aura it gave off. Whatever it was… it did in fact have an effect of him now having his hand on the doorknob and walking into the warmth it gave off; both physically but also aurally.
He looked around in the bookstore and took in the old style. It looked like something that was meant to be in Europe in the early 1800. The bookshelves were old and brown, and they even had one of those swing latters attached to them. If he didn't know any better he would have tried it out.
He looked around for a while, thinking 'What will I look for? What kind of book is it today'? His eyes caught a shelf in the back and he made his way towards it. He picked up a random book up and started reading, just giving it a chance. After two pages he made his mind up and decided to buy it. When he made his way towards the counter, he remembered that he had been looking for a specific book for a while now. It was called "The Flowers and the Leafs" by Sumi Ryouichi. It had been a decade he believed he last had read it, and ever since he had made that mistake of placing the book back on its rightful place in the library, he hadn't been able to find it. He decided to ask the owner of the bookstore since it seemed like he was the only one at work, there wasn't one employee in sight.
When Masamune arrived at the cashier he was met by a young man who looked around the age of 25. The young man was standing at the cashier reading a book that looked slightly new, and his question was answered when he saw the plastic the book had been wrapped in, lying beside it. The young man was fairly tall for a Japanese man, though if he would stand next to Masamune, the young man would look fairly petit. The young man had a light brown mop of hair on his head that looked like it was straight out of a shampoo-commercial. It defined every gravity rule, with its strong volume.
The young man must have taken a notice to him, since he looked up from the book and smiled. Masamune wasn't intruded by the smile, but the eyes. He was met by the most brilliant green he had ever met. The young man's smile was only an accessory to the smile, since the eyes said everything.
"Yes"? The young man asked, but he wasn't answered.
The only thing Masamune could think of was 'wow… he's so young'. Masamune was then luckily snapped out of his train of thought, when the young man raised his brows and asked "Can I help you with anything"?
"Oh yes, do you have "The Flowers and the Leafs" by Sumi Ryouichi"? Masamune asked with a little smile of his own.
"Oh, no I'm sorry; it got sold out last week"... he answered with an apologetic smile. Masamune was about to say thank you, in a defeated way, since it was again out of his reach, until - "… but I ordered 30 new ones which will arrive tomorrow morning, so I can safe one for you if you would like that"? – The young man had just made Masamune's day.
"Yes that would be great if you could do that, thank you very much". He couldn't believe how kind it was of the young man to do that for him, but it's only normal kindness of a shop owner.
"Oh it's nothing, but if I could just get you to write your name down on…" - the young man bowed down and picked up a paper pad that was laying on one of the boxes – "… on this piece of paper, I'll make sure too put it away for you", he said with another brilliant smile.
Masamune took the paper and wrote in fancy writing – Takano Masamune – on the little piece of paper. He gave it back to the young man with a nod of appreciation and his trademark smirk. When the young man took the piece of paper, their fingers barely brushed, but the feeling of the small fibers of the other man's fingers, was enough to redden his small cheeks. The blush was hastily hidden for Masamune, since his eyes took a notice to the book the young man had been reading earlier.
"Is there anything else I can help yo…" – the young man's words were deaf to Masamune, since he had already picked the book up and was reading in it.
Masamune looked up from the book, "No, but thank you", he answered the young man. The young man just shrugged it off and replied with a "just let me know if you need anything", and walked over to a shelf that was at his left, behind the counter. Masamune continued reading, while taking mere glances of the young man who was now arranging the books. After reading only one and a half pages, Masamune had gotten really into the book, and decided to try out small talk with the young owner. He just felt like he would maybe get more out of the book, if he talked about it.
"You can really compromise with the character, can't you… in this one"? He felt after those words that he had just made a huge mistake, but was relieved when the young man answered him.
"Aha yeah", the answer wasn't really what he had hoped to hear, but since the young man was arranging the books, he could understand he wasn't completely into the conversation.
"I think it's really good, though it gives off this lonesome feeling", at those words Masamune looked up from the book so he could see the young owner. "Yeah… but I can relate to the guy", the owner answered, though it sounded like the answer was more aimed for himself than it was for Masamune. Masamune perked a bit up by the reply from the young man, and frowned a bit. 'He can? Wow…' He then noticed that the young man was having trouble with reaching a book, and was standing on his toes. Masamune thought he should be a bit more careful.
"You want me to give you a hand…"? The young man stood again flat on his feet in defeat and looked at Masamune, "O...oh it's okay! You are the customer, and it would be terribly rude of me to make you do that", the young man answered, though there was an obvious message in the reply that just said 'Yes please'!
"I insist", Masamune answered in reply. At that point the young owner sighed in defeat and walked over to the counter to open it up so Masamune could walk in. With a wave with the hand and a little smile, the young man said "Well... If you insist; be my guest". Masamune walked behind the counter and picked down the book for the young man and gave it to him, with a little, "here you go". The young man took the book and put it in its rightful place, stood up again, and with a little bow said, "thank you".
Masamune only replied with a little appreciated smile of his own "You're welcome". The young man stood straight up again and asked "So, can I help you with anything else"? Masamune was about to reply, but before he got to it, he was interrupted by the ring of the door and a huge light brown haired, young (though tall) man. The young man walked over to the young owner with a huge smile on his lips and announced "Sensei!" in a sparkly mode.
"Hello Yukina-kun" – the young owner answered back. "What's my job today?" by now Masamune for some reason felt annoyed by this young man who interrupted their conversation. Of course the kid had by all means his right to ask his Sensei what his job was for the day, but it was more the feeling he got from not talking with the young owner. The more he didn't talk with him, the less cozy and warm the bookstore felt. The young owner turned to Masamune and said, "If you just could excuse me for just a second, I'll be right back", the young owner said with again, an apologetic smile. Masamune just shrugged it off and kept on reading.
After reading about one page (he had always been a fast reader), the young owner came back. "I am so sorry about that, but since there wasn't so much to do today, I just told him he could make a new display for the manga section", he said. Masamune just smiled and held up the two books; the one he found on the shelf, and the one he had been reading from the counter. "Oh it's fine and… I'd like these two please", where he then laid them down on the counter. The young owner tapped the price in one of those old cashiers that looked right out of a Sherlock Holmes book, which rest of the bookstore also did.
"That'll be 2,331*, yen please", the young owner said with a smile. While Masamune was getting his money, the young man took his time to put the books in a simple brown paper bag; simple yet classy. Before Masamune had a chance to give the young owner the money, the young owner announced "Oh yeah, since I'm trying out a new selling thing, you get that book tomorrow for free". Masamune smiled, gave the young owner the money and said "Thank you". The young owner just shrugged it off by saying "it's just a selling thing". The young man took the money and was about to tap them in, so he could find the right amount of change for Masamune but… "Keep the change, okay"? The young owner looked incredulously up from the cashier and said "but you gave me 3,996 yen**"?
Masamune made a fake little surprised voice, since he knew that he had given more than the amount of money that was needed, and shrugged it off with a "Is it? You'll do well then", and smiled. The young man looked down at the money in his hands, looked up again, smiled back, and said "thank you", with more appreciation then Masamune would have expected. He took the brown paper bag from the owners hands, "Nice bags, I'd come here just to receive one", and smirked. The young man smiled back, and had the faintest blush on his cheeks and said "Well… when you are coming in tomorrow to fetch your book, you'll get another one", and laughed slightly. Masamune chuckled under his breath, turned and said "I wish you a nice day". The young owner answered with a "y…yeah, you too and thanks for coming in".
When Masamune walked out of the store he had only one thing on his mind 'What an adorable person, I can't wait to see him tomorrow '. What he didn't know was that inside the store, the young owner was standing at the cashier, holding the little piece of paper that had, Masamune's name on it, and was thinking the exact same thing.
Masamune tucked his jacket closer to him, opened his umbrella, and while he was holding it above his head, he lit a cigarette. He smoked on the flavored stick, puffed some of the smoke out, then turned around again, and looked at the old fancy sign which held the name of his new favorite place in the whole world… 'Onodera's books'.
So what did you guys think? - As always reviewing is appreciated! Love you all, - cigarettesandlatte/Lene :) (hon'ya means bookstore).