A/N: This is somewhat a long one!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters of Ghost Hunt, and I'm not Fuyumi Ono. ^^ So, I can't say that the characters will be in-character. However, I believe that in light of certain developments, they may and have to be out of character. I do not wish to make the characters be utterly stagnant.
It was the second Friday of the semester, and Kazuya Shibuya looked up from the computer screen, frowned and clicked.
He couldn't understand himself. He usually dealt with his students as though they were robots━merely there in his class because they were programmed by their schedules. He never felt something that personally makes him inclined to their needs.
So when Mai Taniyama did not ask him a question or answer one of his queries during the second and third sessions, he found himself astonishingly bothered than usual.
He was always staring at her when she's not looking. She always sat on the high-rung back seats, so he could see her perfectly. In fact, she was a welcome distraction from the starry-eyed gazes of her classmates who purposefully sat in front of his desk.
It was hard for him not to notice her. She always isolated herself from the rest. In his dreams of her, she was always outspoken, so her reservation was new to him. But then again, it might be just how she acts in school.
Or in his class.
He would always note what she was wearing in his mind. On Wednesday, she wore some tight-looking blue jeans (which accentuated her lithe legs), some gray sneakers, and a long white cardigan without buttons over a gray tee with some picture of a frog cartoon.
And she looked adorable—which his mind had admitted without further thought—that even the hideous frog on her top was passably...cute.
On Friday, she wore black pants and a white-and-blue-striped and buttoned shirt. She had half the buttons on the top undone so that some black garment could be seen underneath. She'd felt more laidback than ever.
She didn't tie her hair in those days. The ladylike elegance she wore on the first day actually faded away as well as her mother's skirt. (She probably had her mother convinced not to make her wear skirts she might ruin again.)
He didn't actually mind what she wore though. She looked good in anything...Even when she wore those sweatshirts or sweatpants in his dreams. He minded seeing her, hunched over her notebook to write notes without looking up at him.
Her clothing aside, he would also note her expressions. They weren't as different as what he saw of her in his dreams. Instead, they looked more real to him.
She looked more real to him.
It was quite hard to make his mind reconcile with his body at her realness, her tangibleness when he held her arm in that one bleak Monday of their seemingly first meeting. But she existed, and no doubt could plunge his certainty.
Yet though he knew she exists, she, on the other hand, was trying to make her presence unknown. She never spoke again even if he relented to add bonus points to those who answered his questions in class.
But her silence was incomparable to her absences.
At the second week of the first semester, Mai Taniyama dutifully missed all his classes.
Was she going to drop his class now? Then another disconcerting question seeped into his mind; did she find him...repulsive?
He was continually haunted by such queries that even though thoughts of her interfered from time to time, he wasn't less perturbed. She'd been absent for three lessons now. More and she'd be withdrawn...
And he didn't like it. As incomprehensible as it is, Kazuya loathed for such a thing to happen.
He...didn't want to stop seeing her, sitting on the back seats and trying her best not to meet his eyes.
Data, he reminded himself frequently. He needed to gather data about her. Compare her to the her in his dreams, which he'd carefully jotted down in his black notebook. There was no easier access to an oblivious subject than in a natural setting.
But he did feel he was making lame excuses. Of what, he didn't dredge up his ingenious brain to explicate.
As Kazuya shut down the computer on the professor's desk and nodded simply at the eyelash-batting and lip-curving goodbyes his female students sent his way, his thoughts were still of a certain brunette with brown eyes.
Oh, and creamy skin.
Truthfully, his detailed written accounts of his sleepy adventures were full of accurate descriptions of her, as though to compensate for the lack of descriptions he could conjure for the rest of the characters in his "paranormal investigation team."
Though he was far from admitting it, he was always fascinated with her neck in his dreams. Not that the neck was the only creamy part, but because it was the only part he allowed himself to stare at. After all, staring lower than that would be scandalous, and staring higher would entail an explanation.
No, her neck was the best course because she could think he's staring into space when he was actually examining her throat. (If anyone read the contents of his black notebook, one would notice how many times he wrote that he chose to look at her neck to avoid her from nailing him with her doe-eyed stares.)
But if he did stare higher, it would be her kissable lips of—
Uncommonly, Kazuya shivered and shook his head.
What was happening to him? How could he think of such details of her...physique?!
Not bothering to erase his scribbles on the whiteboard, he filed out of the light gray classroom.
That was insane.
His thoughts were insane.
He was insane.
He kept thinking of her when there was no merit for him.
And even if there was, there should not be.
"Tea," he muttered.
He needed it.
But then thinking of tea just made him think that in his dreams it was her tea he craved and needed often.
And he unavoidably wondered if her tea was as satisfying in reality as in his dreams.
On his way to his black BMW, his cellphone rang. The device was a pretty little thing with white protective casing and a silver bitten peach on the back.
Looking at the caller ID and recognizing Gene's mobile number, he answered directly, "What is it?"
"Oh my," Gene sounded on the other end of the line, so Kazuya frowned.
"What is it?" he repeated.
"You never answer on my first ring, Noll. Indeed, I think it's not just rain that hit you hard last week. I speculate a rainstorm had occurred, and it came as an extremely irresistible female."
Kazuya glared at no one. "Stop with that matchmaking nonsense. Isn't there anything else worthwhile you could say these days?"
"Oh, but you thought I do have something worthwhile to say because you answered me on the first ring," his brother replied cheekily, and unlikely of him, Kazuya sighed.
He never gave up easily, but recently, he felt wrung out.
And someone's absences didn't exactly make him less so.
"What?" was his shortened reply.
"Gene," he warned with a growl forming deep in his throat.
"Would you stop imitating mother, and just get on with it?" Kazuya gritted out.
There was a shuffle and a chuckle. "But, Noll, this is too amusing. I'd never heard you so quickly surrender."
"Shut up," he muttered and then revised, "No, don't. I don't think you'll ever listen to that."
"Heehee~" There went Gene's infuriating giggle.
"If there's something worthwhile for me, just get to the point already. Don't you have anything else better to do?"
"Oh well..." Gene cleared his throat.
Kazuya thought his brother would continue miffing him, but Gene just carried on in a flat tone, "Well, as I've told you on Friday last week, nothing like you described has happened before. I would like to label them as post-cognitive dreams, but those...memories or dreams never happened in the past, hm? I probably wouldn't be talking with you right now on the phone. Precognitive dreams would hit close, but you're not 17 anymore, Noll. Surely, you're not thinking of regressing?"
He shrugged. "Of course."
There was a sigh, and it was Gene who sounded wrung out and defeated. "I don't know, Noll. Your dreams...They could simply be just unconscious desires. You know...like some unfulfilled fantasy of yours when you're 17."
"I do not have fantasies," Kazuya bit out, and Gene chuckled heartily.
"Don't be so shy, brother~ Why, a part of your fantasy has already materialized, hm?"
Kazuya finally growled, and there was no stopping his brother's laughter.
"Oh God, this is rich." His brother was clearly having the time of his life.
"You're atrocious as always."
"You mean lovely and sweet and innocent~ I know you miss me," was Gene's rejoinder.
Kazuya would have snorted if he had the knack for it. "Yes, I miss thinking of ways to throttle you."
Gene feigned a gasp. "Oh my, how intimate you can be."
"Fratricide should be legal when you're with me."
"Now, now, has it ever occurred to you that I enjoy it immensely when you're so close to throttling me?" Gene must have been smiling ridiculously, sweetly on the other side of the globe.
Kazuya sighed again. "You are very much in need of throttling nowadays more than before."
"I believe your absence makes my heart grow fonder and more attentive, Noll~"
It was such a simple word, but it brought to memory someone he shouldn't be thinking about so much.
"Ridiculous," he muttered, more to himself, but Gene thought otherwise because he just laughed.
"I do mean it, you know? Our parents do miss you too." Gene's tone was light, but Kazuya knew his sincerity. He could hear it.
Their parents...Their foster parents, to be exact, were a devoted couple. They never neglected them. They were more parental than anyone he knew with children made of their own fire.
It was annoying, their concern, but he didn't shove them away. He couldn't when they had properly fixed a regal shelter, warm meal, and fine clothing over him and Gene.
So when he inquired, "How are they?" it was not out of filial duty, but of inevitable curiosity.
"They're well. Missing you too, but well. Mother was quite exultant when I told her you met your match."
"WHAT?" He'd raised his voice, but Gene didn't even falter. His brother always elicited an uproar in the base of his throat.
Gene's response was just a "Pfft!"
"I should throttle you to a sea of sharks." He scowled. Gene had always irritated him. His brother was full of emotions. He was open to showing them, but Kazuya wasn't.
And when Gene succeeded in making him irritated, feel emotions he'd wanted to rein in, he thought of his brother as a menace to his life.
He wanted to remain indifferent and composed. He didn't want to be emotional.
Gene just carried on playfully, "Touché, brother. I'm doing you a favor, you know? If I didn't say it, mother would do her best to find a way to teleport you back to our Queen."
More misunderstandings. His brother was a founder of them.
So the professor ground out, "You are irredeemable."
Kazuya withdrew a breath. "I should be cutting you off. Hang your noise."
"But you don't feel like it?" If he'd seen his brother, he was sure the menace sported a diabolical grin.
"No, I feel like silence suits you well."
"Oh no." Gene's tone was mocking. "Bye, then. Heehee~"
So Kazuya held his silence but relented by cutting him off the phone line.
Really, it was unlike him. He didn't usually warn Gene that he'd hung up. His brother was used to his randomness when it comes to phone communication.
Turning on his heel, he arrived by his car in less time.
By then his thoughts had wandered.
Where was he going again?
I knew I shouldn't be here.
I shouldn't be sitting in a tea shop every class time of his. I should have regretted wasting my scholarship like this.
But I couldn't...I couldn't face him...
He didn't...stalk me for the rest of last week. He didn't insist he saw me in his dreams. Instead, I felt countless prickling sensations every time I had my eyes directed away from his handsome face.
Even though I wouldn't look at him, he was never gone from my mind.
The dreams I have of him were repetitive. Every night, I found myself with him, who'd be running on white corridors and taking a shot for me.
They always ended the same. He always...always sacrificed himself for me.
And every time I recalled it, worry and then warmth would rush to my cheeks.
It was a fantasy, a horrifying yet heart-warming fantasy. I convinced myself that, but I couldn't shake it.
I couldn't...possibly be dreaming about my professor...even if he's still young.
And he'd said he'd dreamt of me.
My cheeks felt warm again, and I scooped the sweet, frothy and creamy stuff on top of my chai tea and plunged icy goodness in my mouth. I didn't swallow and hoped for the cold to restrain my blush.
For one moment, the seat before me was empty, and the next it wasn't.
I blinked, and my eyes met with deep bluish, purplish, or whatever-ish eyes.
And I felt the slackening of my jaws as I most likely gaped at my youngest professor.
He found me!
His face was calm, unwrinkled, and devoid of any emotion, but his eyes pierced me in a way like arrows with fire. I felt my body burn—incinerating under his gaze.
Then in a low and deep-pitched sound that both chilled and heated me, he uttered, "How's your tea, Taniyama-san?"
And then fumbled for a tissue as I covered my mouth and chin.
His eyes lit up in unmistakable amusement (though the rest of his face remained unmoved), and all I could think about was, OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.
I thought I was going to die.
He handed me a brown tissue, and I took it with a coy bow of thanks.
What was he doing here?!
I didn't tell anyone where I am!
I couldn't find my voice, and when he frowned and stared lower than my face, it was as though he was speaking to air when he said, "Am I disturbing you?"
Yes. "N-no, Oc—sir."
I almost called him by the nickname I gave him.
Yet he still stared at space when he continued, "You were absent."
I skipped, and you weren't supposed to find me!
I gulped. "E-er, yeah."
"Are you ill, Taniyama-san?"
Look at me, dang it! "I believe not, O—sir."
He did look up, and I realized my mistake.
"I see. My lectures have bored you then."
"No!" I exclaimed, and felt heat rush to my cheeks as my skin pricked with the feeling of thousands of eyes in that cozy tea shop.
Why was he here? Could he be torturing me for skipping?!
"I...I..." Now that he was staring back at my face, I wished he'd look away. Letters couldn't form words, and words wouldn't become sounds when his eyes struck me.
I knew that, Captain Obvious. "No━Yes."
He raised an eyebrow, and his eyes shone again. He was definitely enjoying my discomfiture.
He straightened, and I didn't even realize he was leaning while talking to me.
"I got free money then."
"Um...What?" I asked absentmindedly.
"I had less students to teach, but more money to pocket in," he explained smoothly without moving his mouth too much.
Really, he would probably excel as a ventriloquist.
What the devil was he on about?! "Uh...that's good, isn't it?"
He leaned and steepled his hands on the white marble table, and I unconsciously leaned backwards.
"Are you avoiding me, Taniyama-san?"
I opened and closed my mouth. His bluntness was breath-taking.
What was I supposed to say?!
"I...I wasn't avoiding you, Octa—sir," I responded as evenly as I could.
My heart was pounding quickly, and his gaze never left my face.
"But you simply wanted to skip," he supplied, and I slowly narrowed my eyes at him.
If he was somebody else, I should find it...annoying. Why...should he care? Wasn't he just my professor? He'd implied himself; it was my financial and educational loss to skip his class.
But then a gnawing feeling inside me was telling me it's ordinary.
Everything he did felt...ordinary.
And such ordinariness shouldn't be present.
I didn't know the man deeply, for heaven's sake.
I stared at the sky outside the window, where I settled near. Distractions were a key to subdue any panic in my failing heart. Octagon-sensei was not supposed to see me in that tea shop. He wasn't supposed to be sitting before me as though I knew him so well that I didn't mind drinking with him.
That situation shouldn't feel ordinary...
But I didn't feel uneasy at all, and that made me feel uneasy nevertheless.
Anyway, there was no hope of rain from the cloudless expanse of light blue above. I couldn't run away from him even if it rained and I'd gotten wet though...
He'd probably have the eight-sided canopy of his umbrella over me once more...
And I would melt like before, and it would all feel wonderfully ordinary.
"Umm...Ho-how was your lecture then?" I glimpsed at him obliquely.
"I believe you should ask your classmates," he said with a smirk.
Gahh! He was so frustrating and handsome!
I swallowed and tried not to turn back to him.
"A-are you here to tell me you dreamt about me again?" I was trying not to croak while I joked. Somehow, I thought I failed. It took me a lot of courage to even jest...
Help me, Kami-sama.
There was silence for a while, and before I could stop myself, I gazed at his deep-colored eyes. He was always emotionless, even in class, but his eyes always held something for me. At that moment, light played on them, and I speculated that they were flashing with gratification. His lips twitched, and I couldn't help but think he was trying not to smile.
"Perhaps," he finally replied coolly, "but that would be redundant of me."
I felt my blush pan out on my cheeks. I harrumphed and shunted my head again. "I-Indeed!"
"Why did you skip, Taniyama-san?"
Boy, he was persistent.
"Do-does it really matter, Octag—sir? Isn't it already obvious?" Why did I keep forgetting not to call him by my nickname for him?
He briefly leered and shrugged. "I believe I want some confirmation."
What the heck?!
I gritted my teeth. "Fine. I just wanted to skip, that's all."
He loured, and it pained me that he would look so unconvinced.
Why? Why should he care?
I sighed. "Do you enjoy tormenting skipping students like me? Finding them and verbally sparring with them like this?"
He raised an eyebrow. "I do not seek my students out."
Then why were you here?! "Right..." I managed.
His eyes still pressed me—making me waver and reveal the reason of my skipping. Sighing, I nodded.
"I'll tell you the truth then," I said without thought, but that got his attention since he straightened and regarded me with an inscrutable expression.
And I couldn't take it back.
"Ah...umm..." There was no escaping my slipping tongue. So I added, "Why I skipped, that is..."
Silently, he scrutinized me, and I him. Somehow, there was nothing in my mind but the truth.
So even if I could feel my cheeks burn, I spoke.
"I'd been dreaming of you too."
Kazuya Shibuya didn't expect her to be seated there.
Nor did he expect himself to cut through the line before the cashier and saunter towards her.
Screw his tea.
There was a surge of something pleasant at the sight of her, which he soon realized as satisfaction. She had her long brown hair tied up high into a ponytail. She wore a plain red tee and some cropped black-and-white-striped pants. Red-strapped sandals adorn her dainty feet, which she swayed while sitting on a rather tall stool.
He could see her neck, especially her nape when she whirls her head to the opposite side. With her short hair in his slumber, he could always see it when she bends down or stretches or rolls, but reality was different.
Reality made dreams pale in comparison.
Just the way little stray hairs, released from her tie, came to rest on her nape made his fingers itch to touch them.
And that was the most bizarre thought that ever crossed his mind.
He, Kazuya Shibuya, had his fingers itch to touch someone's nape when his fingers usually, only itches to touch the infrared cameras during his ghost hunts with Lin and Madoka in England.
Kazuya had shaken his head from his ludicrous thoughts again before he slipped on the seat in front of her.
And it didn't make sense.
He noted her bewildered expression, her slacked jaw, and her briefly annoyed look.
He'd thought, Close your mouth, idiot, and was about to voice it. But he stopped himself.
Again he found himself teasing her, and he found himself madly invasive as he asked those damning questions that coaxed her to tell him why she'd been hanging out somewhere else rather than his classroom.
And when she finally told him why, all he could do was stare. Nary a blink too.
When he finally gathered his wits—strange that, he'd never gathered his wits with anyone; he'd fancied others have their wits trailing them but never himself—he elaborated, "Do you mean to say that you dreamt of me long enough that you overslept?"
Her cheeks turned a pleasant hue of light pink.
It didn't seem he was quite right, but her mouth seemed to be ahead of her when she returned, "Yes."
His eyes glinted again.
She scrunched her face and shunted her head. She appeared like she'd swallowed a frog (like the one on her shirt last week) after her confession to him.
Not liking her...uneasiness towards him, he started in a low voice, "What kind of dreams?"
Wrong move. She fidgeted on her seat.
But she answered, "It's the same thing...over and over. We...kept on running."
For someone who seemed to have swallowed her bile, she was readily opening to him...
"Running? For what reason?" Something danced inside him as he absorbed her revelation. She dreamt of him. She said she dreamt of him. There was reciprocation after all.
"Yes...I don't know."
Maybe not readily. Trust was still an issue. Still...
Kazuya didn't ask anything else. He'd dreamt of running in the cases they had in his slumber, so it could be one of those instances.
"So you skipped classes because I was in your dreams," he concluded bluntly and she paled.
"No!" Again, she sounded contrary. Not looking at him, she said, "It's hard to explain..."
Maybe it was him making a comeback from his conversation with his brother...Maybe it was because he suddenly didn't feel wrung out anymore...
Maybe, maybe...her unnerved presence just made him revert back to his control.
So when his lips curved into a sly smile, there was nothing else but the satisfaction of vexing her.
"Do enlighten me, Taniyama-san."
I glared at him, but his eyes had a certain twinkle that was both irritating...and charming.
No freaking way.
He was already haunting my dreams, my every waking moment.
He would not, should not, haunt me with his presence.
What were we talking about again?
I was silent for a while and then rewinded our conversation in my head.
"I..." What should I say? "I..."
He waited, but by the minute, his eyebrow was raising and vanishing under his fringe—probably even to his hairline since I couldn't see them in the gaps of his hair on his forehead.
Again, I didn't know what came to me, but it was hard not being honest when he trapped me with those eyes of his.
So when I rushed out, "I feel the need to avoid you," I must have been demented.
My cheeks were warmer, and my lips were parched. Why couldn't I lie properly in front of him?!
"You detest me then?" He leaned forward and rested his elbows on the table while twining his hands.
I blinked. Odd, but..."No...It's not that..."
He shrugged and leaned back on his chair, so I released air.
But...in all honesty...Octagon-sensei wasn't threatening. He wasn't scary...
The uneasiness within me wasn't because of fear... It's because...
"You feel normal," I blurted and widened my eyes in surprise.
How many times would I blurt things out?!
It was his turn to blink at me, and I felt some sweet and warm sensation in my chest, as though I won over him for the first time.
I made him speechless for the first time.
But that discovery didn't feel right. Saying 'for the first time' would seem as though I'd known him for a long time...and it didn't quite wash.
"I feel normal," he enunciated, and I just bobbed my head like that explained everything.
He was quiet, and I was sighing inwardly.
I prayed he wouldn't delve further. I prayed he wouldn't ask more questions. I prayed I could resist answering him honestly.
I prayed that normalcy I feel with him would vanish.
I didn't know why, but inside me...I felt that the more we know each other, the more normal yet wrong everything would be.
The more complicated it would be.
It was just a feeling, but it was strong.
Kazuya knew he was being intrusive, but there was something...strange.
And now, he was acting strange.
So it wasn't only Mai he surprised when he'd drawled evenly, "If I tell you I knew you before I saw you, would you trust me?"
He'd never acted like that. He wasn't someone who would beg for trust.
He didn't know why he wanted her trust, but it was very important at that moment. So important that he thought he'd held his breath.
Her doe-like eyes blinked at him. There was incredulity in them. And something else.
Some kind of anchor that fastened his eyes to hers as he waited for her answer.
Then she opened her mouth, and out came a soft murmur. "Why?"
Her brows furrowed, and her eyes crinkled.
He shrugged and gracefully eased himself on the ground. He almost held out his hand to help her down her stool, but he slid them into the pockets of his black blazer.
"There's a place I want you to see."
It should have been a romantic statement.
A beginning of an elopement.
An invitation to an escapade.
But with his emotionless face, I could think of no sentiments. Wherever he'd take me would probably be in no way romantic.
Neither would he elope nor escape with me somewhere.
He's my professor, for Kami's sake.
No other reason would suffice.
But even if there was no promise of paradise, sitting in his black BMW was nothing short of heaven.
He'd opened the front door of his car for me like he did when we exited the tea shop. I sat on the back though, but he still voicelessly double-checked if I had my seat-belt clasped around me securely.
I shouldn't go with him.
I shouldn't be with him.
My mother had always warned me not to trust men who asked to be trusted.
But I couldn't be not with him.
I just...It's inexplicable.
"Whe-where are we going?" I asked when he halted before a stoplight.
Tersely, he said, "Shibuya."
"Yo-your house?!" I flustered. There were quite some luxurious residences there, and he felt like the sort to live in such places. If his car wasn't an indication...
He gazed at me through the rear-view mirror. If I could see his mouth, he must have been smirking when he said, "The city."
I harrumphed and jutted my lip. "I know that."
What else did he think I was referring?
His Japanese name is Kazuya Shibuya, my mother's voice just resurfaced in my mind.
There were so many Shibuyas in Japan. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a legion of them hanging around the corner.
It was a place my mother never took me to.
Too crowded, she'd complained. Too many garish outfits. Too much noise.
And I couldn't blame her.
At what was probably after school time and working hours, people of different ages roved the sidewalks. Some students and workers wore their uniforms askew or blended with meant-to-be fashionable additions. Hit songs blared all around and were mixed with varying voices promoting products and enthusing customers. There was too much life in Shibuya that peace was an alien thing.
I'd always wanted to go to Shibuya—just to catch a glimpse of it.
It was too ironic to live in Tokyo and yet never wander the six-way pedestrian crossing. My mother would always find something for me to do in my spare time. From reading new horror novels to watching rented movies; from doing essays to cooking lime pies...
I now realized how absorbed my life is by my mother's plans.
And I'd never felt trapped.
But why...did I feel so...light when I first spotted Shibuya's attractions, which I usually saw on TV? Just like Octagon-sensei, there was something comfortable about the place.
A welcoming feeling.
Like I finally came home.
His car halted at a corner of a cafe with a fountain. The cafe was a part of a plaza, which was a part of an old-looking brick building.
We got out of his car simultaneously. Octagon-sensei clicked everything shut in the car and slipped his keys in his blazer.
Wordlessly we wended to the cafe. An escalator was on the side, and further was an elevator.
Following simply, I entered the elevator after Octagon-sensei.
When we arrived on the second floor, we turned to a blue-gray door on a corner. There was a frosted glass on the top center part of it, and somehow, I stood and ogled at it as my professor took out and twisted a key in the hole.
There's something missing, an inner voice informed, but for the life of me, I couldn't finger it.
Besides, I'd never been there before, so how could I know that?
How could I think that?
When Octagon-sensei had the door opened, he stepped aside and held it ajar for me.
The foyer was made of dusty floorboards, as well as the platform where socked feet would first step on. Beyond was a floor carpeted in a lighter mocha shade.
There were no furnitures. There was a small kitchen on one side, but it's as empty as the wide spacious room.
There were two more open rooms in the place. One room, looking majestic and domineering, was alight by slanting sunlight passing through the glass windows, which also adorned what appeared to be the lobby outside of it and where we stood.
Glancing at Octagon-sensei, I noted his reaction.
He was frowning at the lobby's windows, and I couldn't help but admire his profile.
The afternoon sun bathed him in a pale yellow glow. His skin was as smooth as a baby's. His straight nose was as sleek as his obsidian slacks. His buttoned shirt was dark gray and tucked in under his sable blazer, and he was like a phantom of midnight disturbing the daylight.
When his head motioned to turn, I immediately diverted my gaze. Somehow, I felt blood boil in my cheeks.
If he noticed my stare, he didn't comment.
"What do you think?" he pierced the silence.
I fluttered my eyes at him and then shrugged.
"I...I don't know..."
"Do you find something missing?"
I goggled at him. He was spot on.
His eyes shone then. Into what, I couldn't decipher. But there was something. His eyes appeared ablaze as they examined me.
"What is it?"
I shrugged again. Why should it matter?
But then again, what's the use of not telling him the truth?
"I...I...think the door lacks something."
One blink from him.
"The door?" he echoed, and I nodded.
He gazed at the door, which had swung back to a close, and I wondered what he saw with his faraway glom.
What could he see?
It was odd. He was still a stranger, yet I felt his view as...important.
"Is that all?" he asked, still distant-sounding.
He just jounced his head. "I see."
Did he, really?
"What about you?" I breathed out and felt my blush.
He glanced at me obliquely, and I felt my blush deepen. He looked so...radiant.
Like some kind of god that deemed this spacious place worthy as a landmark, where he graced this earth.
Anyway, his mouth opened. "I━"
"Oh!" an all-too familiar voice interrupted, and Octagon-sensei and I whipped our heads to the newcomer.
No tinkling bell alerted his presence, and I discovered it was probably one of the things missing on the door...
The man on the doorway knitted his eyebrows after getting a good look at us. We didn't say anything as the familiar stranger shook his head and started exiting while muttering a string of words that included 'lovebirds' and 'trysts.'
I felt my cheeks coloring at what he might have completely thought.
I peered at my professor, and by the halt of footfalls, the man probably ogled at him too. Likewise, Octagon-sensei stared at the newcomer with great intensity.
At that instance, I secretly, though disappointedly, thought their meeting must have been a boy-to-boy plot I'd never expected.
"You..." It was Octagon-sensei, and his eyes were...lighting up...in recognition? (His eyes always had so much to express than the rest of his face.)
Over his shoulder, the man blinked at my professor. He was as stiffened to the spot as I was a few feet away.
Octagon-sensei's eyes narrowed. His eyes were reptilian (plus god-like). "You...were in my dreams too."
The man blinked at him again, and I bit my lip to stifle the wicked me ready to pop out.
And then the newcomer hooted with laughter before I could.
After a while, clutching his stomach and (probably) thinking he'd snickered enough, the tan-haired guy straightened and cleared his throat. His mouth then spread into an affable smile.
"Well, well. This is the first time a young man had hit on me!"
A/N: Oh, Bou-san...^^
Sorry if it took so long! As well as my other stories. I really want to update them all at once, but I've been really occupied. =.= I do have a part of the real chapter 4 of Dreams in the ghost hunt tumblr tag, though! Just scroll down, and you'll see quite a succulent (hopefully) sneak peek! Longer than before, that is.
As for Reminiscence 4, I'd written the parts out but haven't concluded some stuff. For Cloud, I had missing parts to fill out. Infinity 2 has been planned out and has parts written, but I'd have to go over it again. ^^ As for Naru's Moving Castle, chapter 4 was out a few...months(?) earlier. I have a few paragraphs on ch 5, but I haven't gone past that with my hectic sched...=.=
I hope you're all doing well! Thanks for those who reviewed past chapters and my other stories, and thank you for reading! I wish I could update soon. ^^