Clannad is a series originally conceived by Key, and the two animes partly belonging to Kyoto Animation.

Authors Note; One shot I came up with in the middle of exam season. That's right, instead of revising, I'm doing this. I'm hopeless. T_T

Nice Guys Finish Last

Hikarizaka was the home of the band of friends for their entire lives, and bore witness to Tomoya's and Nagisa's licence wedding, and the straggle that was Ushio's birth, nearly plunging her mother into a purgatory darkness everyone must eventually face. Ryou and Kyou Fujibayashi were moving on with their lives peacefully, and Kotomi and Tomoyo were abroad in America, studying under University tutelage very few experience from Japanese roots.

But they always forgot about him, their goofy friend, who always seemed to get the short end of the stick. Sunohara had not gotten the attention Tomoya had in their High School years, and his job honestly sucked. He was constantly targeted by them for grilling, or Tomoyo for beatings, which he secretly had allowed, hiding his true strength in the attempt of awkwardly forging a new friendship.

His memories bled through his brain, the happy times such as the Culture Festival, all of his battles with Tomoyo and the soccer club and his tight familial relations with Mei… they came to him in a single flash that day, broken up by fragmented light beaming through his eyes as he roused from his sleep.

He couldn't feel his legs on the ground, so he deduced he must be lying down. Peering down with strain, he saw a blue gown, cascaded with wires that linked to strange machinery he hoped never to see; a pressurizer, an EKG machine and an IV drip. His black, cascade locks concealed his full view, and he felt a bandage when he rummaged at the loose locks.

What happened? He thought with a slight migraine.

"Oh! Doctor, he's awake!" a nurse shouted down the hallway, relief evident on her face as she ran to Yohei and began rifling with his IV drip, the sloop shouldered doctor barging in and tussling his way over with a thick wad of paper in extensive handwriting.

"Well, well. Mr Sunohara, you gave us quite the scare!" he said jovially, etching on the paper with his pocketed fountain pen.

"W-where am I…?"

"Hospital," he said without a moment's deliverance, "you were in a nasty crash earlier while on duty. Seems you hit a telephone pole after you blacked out at the wheel. Your employer said that the extenuating circumstance will grant you leniency, so don't think much of the damage costs."

He inwardly gave a sigh of relief, surging a powerful burning sensation in his ribcage.

"That's the bad news, unfortunately," the doctor morbidly released, skimming through Sunohara's chart, "due to the full on force of the crash, you mildly damaged your pancreas and broke two ribs. Because of the lack of insulin and glucagon your pancreas can now release, you now have a confirmed Type 2 Diabetes condition, which is a permanent fixture, but can be eased with a course of medication and a good diet."

His head couldn't process all of that fancy talk, but he knew what Diabetes was, and he knew that he would probably straggle at work and eventually be written off as a ticking time bomb.

Who'd hire a driver that can easily blackout, anyway.

That brought another thing to him in a fire stricken memory, intensifying his migraine.

"So… if I can blackout at any time now, why'd I blackout in the first place…?" he asked, sitting upright in his hospital wing.

The smile gracing the nurse and doctor seemed to melt away, "You had a high blood-alcohol level… a dangerous level, if you ask me. The amount you'd drink when upset… do you remember what happened that night?"

He strained himself in thought, his face turning beetroot coloured, "…No, I can't recall a thing…" his face quelled as he asked expectantly, "Do I have any visitors?"

The nurse's lip quivered a little, "Well… the boy who reported that you had crashed came in with you, but he had a vacant look in his eyes, so we ejected him. He looked like he had been on some kind of anti-depressant or something, because he said he was going home rather meekly…"

I'm just the refuse of our little group…



Yohei clutched at his bandaged forehead and pretended to be scratching it to hide the searing pain of the familiar voices, That's right… One of them and I had a fight at the last get together… no wonder he wasn't here that long, I bet he hates me because I acted stupid again…but… why can't I remember it at all…? What happened?

He must have had minor amnesia as well, because he couldn't for the life of him remember why he had a fight with Tomoya and possibly the others. Usually it was trivial, but they had matured, and should be beyond that, so it had to be something else.

After another day of staring at a ceiling and feeling little warmth from the sun through the murky windows, Sunohara was released from Hikarizaka General, being dropped off at his apartment in his old dorm, which he reacquired after his work lodgings drove him over the edge, coupled with stagnant company. The Landlord, Misae Sagara, welcomed him back, at a price every month.

She was waiting for him at the front doors, her pink apron making her cat more obvious, in addition to the small, restrained pout on her sour face. As he stepped out of the cab he had caught, a bandage still wrapped around his forehead and a heavy dressing under his shirt, he feigned his usual overreacting to her bemused presence.

It was the middle of the day, and the golden blades of autumn leaves falling as he passed tentatively beside his landlord, who promptly shot a hand to the back of his collar and dragged him before her. Her physical strength amazed him every time.

"And where do you think you've been?" she said violently, "I've been here, worried about you after you crashed, and you come back in such a goofy fashion!"

Yohei swallowed a bubble of air, hoping it would kill him peacefully before she could.

She simply smiled and added, "Well… I guess that since you're alive, that'll get you off of the hook… just this once." She released his collar, picked up the cat and went inside, Yohei shortly following and heading to his old tip of a room, peeling the doorknob down and entering, surprised to see his room cleaned, things placed diligently over the shelves.

He smiled inwardly, That Misae-san… OH GOD NO!

His realization almost made him gag with surprise, as he leaped over the kotatsu table and over to his bed, rummaging the spotless sheets as he lifted the mattress with distress evident on his face.

Beneath the mattress on the bedstead lay a note.

'Yohei Sunohara-san

If I have to clean your room again while you're in the emergency room, then I will personally see to it that your third trip is because of me. :P

P.S. The only reason I let you come in safely was because of the kindling I found under your mattress.

Sincerely, Misae Sagara-sama

Sunohara's eyeballs seemed to shrink, and his black hair may have paled and gone back to blonde naturally. His… male magazines were gone.

A loud scream of terror filled the dormitory, Misae taking a gulp of tea calmly in her living room while the cat juddered. The fire emanating from the fireplace had cinders that were definitely recognisable as females in swimwear and skimpy clothing.

A few days later after intensive bedrest, Sunohara decided to go for a walk in the town, partly to restock on food, and partly to impress chicks with his cool bandaged head. His ribs felt worse than before, probably because of the healing process. He decided that he'd keep the heavy dressing on as well for cushioning and another cool indicator.

He was walking just adjacent to the shop window of 'News Feed', where he usually got his magazines, when he felt himself bump into someone also peering into the window as he strafed past, an elbow sending violent pain shooting through his ribcage.

Clutching at his ribs through his sports jacket and baggy white shirt, he strained his eyes open to spot Nagisa, Tomoya's wife, looking down apologetically.

"S-Sunohara-san! Sorry, are you okay-" she caught a glimpse of his bandage as she went to bow, "W…what happened to you, Sunohara-san…?" she asked, a sceptic, almost rhetorical tune in her throat.

"Car crash last week. Broke two ribs, become a diabetic, you know, the works," he said, still reeling from the elbow before, but lifting himself up, "But I can't remember what happened before that, Nagisa-chan. When I asked the doctor, he said that it'd come back to me with time, so I've just been sat at home. How are things?"

She seemed to quiver a little, which he found a little… odd. He pointed over to a nearby bench, and the two sat on it, him with a little strain, of course, but with his goofy smile to conceal it.

She started rather sparsely, "W-well I and Tomoya-kun are doing well for ourselves, and Ushio-chan said that Kyou-san is a great teacher at her kindergarden, so there isn't really much that's different…"

Yohei imposingly and huskily inserted, "How's Okazaki's old man?"

Nagisa seemed a little starstruck; no one touched on that subject, ever, "W… w-well… Tomoya-kun doesn't really like talking about him all that much… he says they made up, which is a start…"

"He should respect his old man a lot more. I've never said it aloud before, but didn't he take notice of how his room and the rest of the house differed? It was obvious that all of his dad's money was invested in him, I hope he gets that now." Yohei finished, a little surprised at his sudden spite. For some reason, insulting his old friend seemed… familiar.

Maybe that's what he couldn't remember?

It'd come to him, so he dropped the matter and changed the subject.

"Um… Nagisa-chan… did I… do something last week? I can remember your voice and Okazaki's, and then Kyou's voice came to mind… Oh! And Kotomi-chan's face came to mind when I thought on it… I want to know what was wrong with me when I crashed."

Nagisa stared at him, but her eyes were glassy, "Well… what happened when you crashed?" she deviated.

Now he stared with glassy eyes, "Well, the doctor said I had been drinking a lot before the crash, but he said that I must have been upset or something when it happened, and I'd like to remember why."

She straightened up against the bench, giving a cough before standing and giving her usual, tranquil smile, "I'm sorry, Sunohara-san, but I've got to pick up Ushio-chan now…" she mumbled as she pivoted and vanished into the crowd.

Sunohara scratched his head. That cough… sounded a lot like a stifled sob.

He leaned back and stared at the sky, That bad, was it…

Kyou Fujibayashi, the old friend of the group and current teacher to kindergardeners, including Ushio Okazaki, was waving to a small bunching of kids and their mothers as they wandered in their own directions, Ushio playing with the pet boar, Botan, while Kyou waited for Nagisa.

She came a few moments later, Kyou sat on a school bench with Ushio, who jumped into her mother's arms. Kyou went to greet her, but noticed a certain unease in her eyes as she came face to face.

"Are you okay, Furukawa-san?" she asked, offering her bench seat to her, which she took after telling Ushio to play with Botan, to which she happily agreed.

"I met with Sunohara-san in the shopping district a little while ago," she weakly said, Kyou growing tense, "He was pretty badly injured… he had a bandage on his head and he look horrid when I bumped into him…"

Kyou scoffed, "Serves him right, going off like that… I mean, sure, he hasn't exactly been listened to the most, but that doesn't mean that we don't like him… did he apologize for making a scene at Kotomi's birthday party?"

"No, he said that he can't remember what happened before he had that crash. He also said he's got diabetes now, so he's probably going to be in a foul mood when he remembers…"

"Leave it to me, I'll go see him tonight with Tomoyo-san and sort him out. He needs to apologize before we help him. It's all his fault that Tomoya is in a bad way."

Yohei just stared at his ceiling, trying his best to remember what had happened. But no matter what, he got to seeing Kotomi's face full of a panicked alarm, and then it went blank.

He was disrupted by a rapping at his door, making him straighten up in bed, "Who's there?" he asked, cushioning his ribs as he peeled away from the bed.

"It's me." Came Misae's muffled voice.

"Here to burn more of my precious possessions?" he doggedly chided as he opened the door, "What's wrong?"

"You're what's wrong." Tomoyo said, right up into his face through the door she burst open. This had to be a bad dream, he thought that he was safe from her annoying royal highness, "How could you even think of talking to Furukawa-san without apologizing to Kotomi-san?"

There was a definite violent rasp in her voice; one he didn't like.

It was made worse as Kyou also burst forth, getting in his face and forcing him back onto the bed as the two loomed over demonically, Misae simply laughing as she firmly shut the door.

"What the hell are you two talking about?" he inquired, eyeballing both faces, "Kotomi-chan? What did I do to her?" he was clueless, and his eyes, although arched, were that of a scared puppy.

Kyou leaned over and got right in his face, hers full of contempt, "You went berserk at her birthday party! Her 23rd, and you ruined the one time she could celebrate it here with us!"

"I did… wha-?" he was lost now.

And then his mind was alight. It started bleeding back to him, piece by piece.

They were all at the Okazaki residence…

'Happy Birthday!' the group cried, Kotomi blowing the candles of her cake. The table was small, but 7 people, Ushio and Ryou included, squabbled and clamoured to get some space, some sharing a single chair with another.

'Thank you very much, everybody! This is the best birthday I've ever had!' the main attraction cried jovially, proceeding to cut the cake.

Sunohara was squished on a single seat beside Kyou and Ryou, which got on his nerves. Work had been demanding he did the graveyard shift for a week straight because he had the 'audacity' to move from the bigoted dorms. His mind was a wreck, and he was on the verge of going insane.

'Kyou, could you please move? I need some air…' said weakly, a faint liquor stench on his breath. He had needed some relief after that week of late nights, after all.

'Don't be a stick in the mud,' she snapped thoroughly, 'You should be more like Tomoya; he isn't complaining.'

'Probably because he hasn't done all nighters with a crappy pay bonus for a week. Now, seriously, I need some air.' He repeated, standing up without confirmation and walking to the door, placing his shoes on quickly as he went outside and leaned against the railing.

The door opened after him, Kyou as red as a beetroot, but whether she was embarrassed or angry, he was too tired to care, 'What do you think you're doing, jerk! Don't make a scene-!'

'Me, making a scene? Have you had to go a week with only an hour's sleep per day? No, because you guys were all set with your fancy jobs; even Okazaki, the delinquent equal of mine, became a respected electrician. I have nothing, so I have to work hard for little money throughout the night and day!' He vilely unveiled, the everyday stresses of his life bursting forth.

'W-what's wrong with you? You usually aren't so angry! I always thought you were the goofy clown, just like Tomoya-"

'I am not like Okazaki.' He firmly assured, "'I am the refuse of our little group; the one with no prospects. You people always- ALWAYS comparing me to him is not helping, it's driving me insane; and just to ask, why did you guys interfere in my life and make me out as a bad big brother for no reason? Was I the source of all your enjoyment? Is that what I was in school; the kid you could take all of your anger out on?'

Kyou was frozen, unsure of what to say.

'Thought so, so don't talk to me about making a scene. Whether it be you and Ryou at the tennis court, Kotomi at her birthday party all those years ago, Tomoyo being an outcast or Nagisa crying at the culture festival," he had ditched honorifics… hell, screw honorifics, "I always stood by you, but whenever I had a problem, I had to stay quiet, because you all doted on Okazaki, and you thought I was a bother! All the goofy crap I did to entertain you bastards… to make you SEE me… I even let you people think you could beat me up in a funny way, like Tomoyo seemed to enjoy; you all always rejected me. Well, I say that enough is enough.'

'Yohei!' Kyou barked as he sauntered away, rain beginning to fall.

'Goodbye, make sure you have good lives, and at least remember that I used to be your friend.' He whispered as he entered the rain, crossed the road and entered his company car, driving around bingo halls, bars and later the telephone pole.

Yohei came to back in the room, the girls staring at him still as his navy blue eyes became as vivid and hazy as an oceanic mist, "I… remember…"

Tomoyo didn't let up, "How did you think we felt when Fujibayashi-san came to us with this little sob story, and then we hear about your crash? We came to visit you, but Tomoya was hit hard by what you had said, and he fell into a depression! He's still at home, moving like a zombie!" she shrieked, the threat of a hit seemingly seconds away, but Sunohara still didn't move.

Kyou softened her gaze a little and sat next to him on his bed, "Listen, we know you were a little… tipsy, and upset because you were overworked, but you shouldn't have said all of those things, they really hurt all of us."

He came back, angrily, "But it is all true. I'm the one without a future, and none of you cared. All of you just focused on Okazaki. After he stuck his nose into my family business, my sister revered him as a god, and I finally knew what he really was; he thinks he can get away from his own failures with respecting his dad and interfere in my life; make me separate from someone I care about so that I'm the same as him. He's a jackass, and nothing will change that."

Tomoyo reeled back and readied a punch, "Don't talk about him," she shrieked, throwing the fist at him, "like THAT!"

But her fist was caught in a flashy haze by Sunohara, who wasn't even looking at her. As he turned to do so, dread and warning beamed through his narrowed eyes.

"I'm injured, and we're talking on a sensitive subject. I don't feel like letting you think you're actually a threat to me today, so back off." he hissed venomously.

She seemed surprised. She had defeated entire throngs of gang members with ease, and yet he stopped her without looking, with his palm alone. He was actually much stronger than he looked, she deduced as she pulled her hand back.

Kyou, also surprised at the display, slowly scanned the current situation. Why was it that Sunohara was being such a downer? As she thought over the entirety of her relations with him, she recalled several memories, such as Tomoya introducing Nagisa, Tomoya introducing Kotomi and Tomoyo and Tomoya fighting with Sunohara in their classroom and Tomoya… Tomoya…

She began to see his frustrations, all from simply mulling it over in the span of a 20 second silence, a deathly, violent purr coming from Tomoyo's constricted features; just her berserk rage a minute over, you guessed it, TOMOYA OKAZAKI, proved that Yohei had every right to be distressed, even self-loathing.

Kyou struggled to imagine what it'd be like for her to be as ignored and as uninvolved as Yohei was in those fun school years… every turn, he got hurt while they had fun, even having the nerve to use his wisdom in their time of need, refuting him completely when situations were reversed.

The embarrassment after her breakdown in the tennis court with her sister in front of everyone made her feel vulnerable and, as you can imagine, her presence dulled the day after. Tomoya sure as hell didn't fend for her, he was too busy doting on Nagisa to notice. It was Yohei who had gone about repairing her impervious reputation through his friendly annoyances that day, letting her 'pummel' him in a corridor. His goofy smile all those years ago as she looked down at the prey told her it all, and yet she still laid into him with everyone else; never saying a simple 'thank you'.

She flushed a little as she came to, "Um… Yohei, listen… you don't need to be angry, it's not like we haven't-"

He thrust a hand before her face immaturely.

"Don't want to hear it, I like things the way they are…" he mumbled something else as he stood, put on his shoes and opened the door, indicating to the two that they should leave, "Please go. I'm going to fix this; I don't care about being a fifth wheel or being ignored anymore, just- leave it to me."

The two girls riled an argument, but since he just closed his eyes and ignored them with his hand placed outside the archway of the door, they left, Tomoyo bemused and her friend confused as he followed out, walking away without a word up the road towards the Eastern District of Hikarizaka- the Okazaki residence.

Nagisa was busy at the kitchen unit in her apartment home while Ushio sang a melody like rendition of 'Dango Daikazoku', her favourite song from her youth, that she apparently passed on through her genes in her own physics defying way.

Tomoya, almost juxtaposing to her cheery atmosphere in the same room, watched the TV, blaring out the hysteria on this newly adopted British comedy panel, Mock The Week. From what the magazines said, it lived up to the original article in the translating process. He, however, had a dreary look on his sheepish face, which he held in his hand before the screen.

Nagisa was about to announce the dinner (not that her husband would have touched it since last week) when a rapping strummed on the door, a familiar, upbeat rapping in the comic styling of another imported thing, a movie called 'Men in Black', with it's main theme strumming on the door. Her husband seemed in suspense as she went and peeled it open, revealing Sunohara, the bandage making him even more distinct against his funny smile, "H-hey, Nagisa-chan… is Okazaki in?"

He knew that he was, full and well, but it was best to approach with peaceful reproaches, which was answered as his old best friend poked his head out like a nervous Ushio… who was doing the same, making two heads, several feet apart, hover behind the wall, not blinking.

Sunohara felt his mouth slant at one side, and his expression droop shadily, "W-what are they doing…? Nagisa-chan, please tell me what they're doing…"

"Sizing you up." She put bluntly with a beaming face, like her mother. She was happy that he had come; Tomoyo called a few minutes ago to say he was, after all.

"For… what…?"

"USHIO… STRIKE!" the girl cried, Sunohara looking down to see a small projectile giving him a dropkick with no weight, the girl falling backward with a moan, leaving him with the drooped comic expression as he kneeled and helped her up.

"Ushio-chan, you shouldn't attack Papa's old friends like that!" her mother scolded, her brown eyes sheepish. Not exactly a stern mother look as Ushio stood up and rebuked.

"But Papa's friends don't look like him! He has a wrapping thingy on his head!" she defended, pointing at his head.

"What has that got to do with anything, Ushio-chan? That's Sunohara-san! You saw him at the party, remember?"

The girl froze, pivoted, and scanned up and down, "No he's not! He's a mummy man! He has a wrapping thingy! Fujibayashi-sensei told us that mummies wear stupid clothes and wrapping thingies." she said, a little redder.

Yohei twitched his eyebrow, Stupid clothes…? Even an infant makes fun of my clothes, now?

Her mother rolled her eyes, "I warned Kyou-san about teaching kindergardeners about Egypt," she said, slapping her head and shaking it, "Ushio-chan, please come with Mama to store; Papa's got a lot to talk about, 'kay?"

Not much point asking, as by the time she said it, she had put Ushio's shoes on for her and closed the door before Yohei understood what had happened, allowing him to focus. Walking past the wall that separated the entrance from the main room, he spotted Tomoya, not looking at him, sat in the centre of the room.

It was an awkward, denseness that prevented him from saying anything, until finally, "So, I heard about your crash… diabetes, huh? That's rough." His friend said, relief flowing through his being as he went and sat next to him at the table, the TV still on.

'And the topic is… things you wouldn't hear at the Royal Banquet.'

'And there is our proud Queen Elizabeth, covered in what appears to be brake fluid…'

The rapturous laughter from the screen radiated and caused the two to laugh, albeit a little strangely. Yohei lightened his gaze at the screen and said, "I was a jerk at the party… I wouldn't have blamed you if you were in the position of that British Monarch…"

Tomoya's look broadened, "Listen, what you said surprised us all, but it was true; we did just ignore your problems in school and over these last few years… from the bottom of my heart, Sunohara, I'm sorry about everything." He said, giving a small bow of respect as extra measure.

But he waved his hand and brushed it off, "Don't be. But I don't take back what I said. It's what I thought over all of those years, and nothing can change how I feel… but that doesn't mean that what we all had before was so bad. So I was thinking on the way over here."

"About what?"

"I'll pay for Kotomi-chan to have a make-up birthday party, everyone included. It'll make up for what happened at the last one."

"But you don't make as much as us… are you sure you can afford something like that?"

His glare was evil, a dark stare to the core, "Okazaki, I can afford a simple party; I'm not so petty that I'd go poor from it. This is part of the reasons I went off; I hate that people think less of me."

"Your right, your right…," Tomoya said stagnantly, his usual reprimanding smile on his face, "Well, I guess we're going to have to organize it for later tonight, then. Kotomi leaves in the morning, but I'm sure she'll come; she was more concerned than I was."

Yohei felt warmth rush through his cheeks, "R-really, did she?" he said weakly, What'd you know… this was a lot easier than I thought it would be; just got to make sure I don't blow it again.

While he was thinking this, Tomoya was already on the phone to Ryou, the first in his bunching of friends to invite to the unprecedented 2nd 23rd birthday of Kotomi.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY… AGAIN!" they all cried in a dainty little bar in the dimming hours, not that they or a usually tired Ushio cared around their tiny table situation again.

Sunohara was squeezed this time not by two Fujibayashi's, but Tomoyo's arm around his shoulder, feeling a pressure pushing down on him to prevent another… incident as Kotomi sliced the large strawberry shortcake they ordered, divided now into small but ample sizes 7 ways.

When he got his cake, he nearly spat it out as he heard, "Let's have Yohei buy us all free shortcakes… each!"

"Kyou, for the love of all that's-," he ceased and remembered what he said before, "S-sure," he said dejectedly, raising a loud cheer as they did just that, and his bill suddenly rose to 17,000 yen; it was a fancy place. He just had to be the big man, didn't he?

He felt relief for the third time that night, once at Tomoya's, once when he met up with the group and Kotomi asked him in-depth about his new condition, which he found strange as she never spoke to him before unless it was burdened upon her.

Well, he decided to leave it be, as the party was beginning to wind down into the phase of reminiscing, Sunohara feeling a little woozy, this time because of his diabetic condition. When he asked to go get some air, Tomoyo whispered to him to restrain himself, but Kyou nudged her to cut him some slack, releasing her arm and relieving some of the pressure on his still sore ribs as he stood and strafed away, apparently without anybody noticing.

He did need the air, and luckily there was a complementary bench available just feet away. After planting himself, he stared up to the dusking sky and it's auburn splendours. Hard to imagine that this morning, he had woken up, unable to recall why he was despondent or distant, compared to now, where the power of friendship had made things all peachy with a simple apology.

It was cheesy, cliché and a mundane idea that was driven home by so many ideals that it made him sigh in angst; he never figured himself as the 'peachy' life type. His was always hard, interfered, disrupted and overall unimportant to others.

Until now, where he had sensed by merely being in that little bar that the mood towards him had lightened. He should have taken a drunken stand earlier he thought as he opened his eyes and looked back to the park in front of him and the bar behind him, everything illuminated in gold.

He decided to head back, but felt a small tug at his sleeve as he went to lift himself up. Kotomi had snuck up on him and was now looking up from the bench at him, her eyes large and engulfing.

"AARRGGHH!" he squealed with a choked gag as he took the surprise in, not affecting her dense, omniscient look, "K-Kotomi-chan, how long have you- when did you- I thought you were at your party!"

"I was," she said in a sweet, childlike tone, "But Tomoya-kun and the others told me to come see you for some reason… they said something in English that they wanted me to tell you."

"W-which is?" he asked worriedly.

"'MAN CHECK'. I don't know what it means, to be honest." She mumbled, staring at his comically annoyed face.

"'M-MAN CHECK'…?" he repeated. He knew exactly what it meant in guy talk, "That Okazaki bastard… thinks he can make a mockery of me, does he?" he said, waving a fist toward the bar door.

"What does it mean, Sunohara-kun?"

He froze, taking that in. What an honourific, and he was called it willingly, not in some drama or the like; someone just called him '-kun'!

He flushed, sitting down with a meek expression, staring up at the auburn lit sky, "Well, 'MAN CHECK' is something me and Okazaki found in our spare time… to us, it means that you push a nervous guy into an embarrassing situation to see if he can handle it like a man would."

She still wore a mask like, unchangeable face, but gave a hum of understanding, "I get it… how embarrassing…"

Sure doesn't look like your embarrassed, Yohei thought to himself as she looked back at him.

"A nervous guy? Like a guy that can't talk right?" Yohei felt his face dip; was she really this dim for a genius level girl?

"No, like a nice guy that puts others before himself, and ends up finishing last; kind of like me." Oh good God no.

Did he really just say that? He slapped himself when it came to him that he had.

"Sunohara-kun," he heard, seeing that she was moving across the bench slowly toward his face with hers, "I don't think nice guys finish last."


Just a little something to keep me busy in my limited free time, not to mention to help me keep at my best for my English Exams coming up.

Hope it was good.