About this collection: This is a series of standalone pieces I'm doing for my Aoharaido claim at the LJ community, 24_times. Originally, I had intended to post these separately, but I figured this way makes more sense and less spam. I'll probably be writing short stuff, like missing scenes, character-driven snippets, inserts, and manga reaction bits, as well as covering various characters, POVs, and points in time - all of which will be noted individually with each new addition. This collection is always marked as complete since each addition stands on their own.

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Summary: In time, Youichi knows, she will move on and remember this as just a silly crush she once had as a teenage girl.

Timeline: Inspired by manga chapter 11.5, featuring the side story of Murao and Tanaka-sensei, so expect spoilers for that.


Tomorrow's Wish

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"Ah... that was quite a joke you played the other day, Murao. Perhaps I was too forceful in making you list your future wishes. How about I give you a new form and-"

"I don't want a new form."

"You don't have to fill it out right away. Just think about it a little-"

"Tanaka-sensei. I wasn't joking."

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Youichi still has the form Murao filled out at the beginning of term, more than a year ago.

It sits deep inside the bottom drawer of his desk at home, hidden under a pile of old bills. He doesn't quite know what to do with it.

Mostly, he tries to forget it's there at all.

He chanced upon it once, while looking for something, though he wouldn't be able to say what he was looking for. That drawer holds only inconsequential things to be kept temporarily and then thrown away when he does his New Year cleaning.

The old bills come and go. New Year, too, has come and gone. The form, against his better judgement, is unfortunately still there.

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"Murao, I'm a teacher. I'll never treat you as anything more than a student."

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He hasn't shown anyone else the mole hidden between the folds of his right eyelid. It isn't because of Murao and what she said, of course. It's not like he goes around closing his eyes and pointing out a mole of all things.

Besides, the one time he did, look where it landed him?

Sometimes, though, after he washes his face, Youichi finds himself leaning towards the mirror to try and get a better look at that tiny little dot. He still hasn't managed to do much beyond blinking like a fool in an attempt to close just his right eye.

Until, red-faced, he realizes what he's doing in front of a bathroom mirror and thinks, perhaps, he is a fool.

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"That excuse isn't always going to work, you know. I won't stay a student forever, Sensei."

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High school girls, Youichi knows, are rather impressionable.

She may not realize it yet, but these years are important. Slowly, but surely, she will find a group of friends she can smile with. And in time, she will move on, fall in love with a boy her age, and remember this as a silly crush teenage girls have on young teachers.

It is only a matter of time.

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"My feelings won't change. And when I graduate - when I'm no longer a student here, what answer will you give me then?"

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Youichi doesn't really believe this day will come.

But he doesn't think anyone can fault him for wondering.

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/end


March 31, 2012. Prompt #23 - In time.

Written because I'm rather curious about where Sakisaka plans to go with this whole Murao and Tanaka-sensei thing, and also because I can't help but imagine Murao affecting Youichi more than he realizes (or lets on). There was this feeling I really wanted to capture, but writing Tanaka-sensei turned out to be so much harder than I pictured in my head. :P