"Because what's worse than knowing you want something,
besides knowing you can never have it?""
— James Patterson
Song: Legend Of Korra Main Theme (Track Team); Nicest Thing (Kate Nash)
Both are quite fitting.
How long have her eyes been following him around? It was already a habit by the time she noticed.
"This place is taken care off," he didn't directly look at her and just kept on wishing the windows with an unreadable expression on his face. "You can go join cleaning the others, Murao."
What did he expect from her? She wished to just stand by his side, so she just kept on wishing the window besides him like the stubborn girl she was. "There are numbers of people there, I will help you out here,"
When she glanced up, she saw him looking at her with that sternly look on his beautiful face. "Murao, you have to be friendlier with other people. If you are going to give me the answer that you're okay with being alone, then tell me If you put enough effort in finding your place."
Shuuko began to blush and grabbed his jacket. "I already put enough effort in it."
"Murao, I'm your teacher and you are not more than just a student," she still looked out of the window, fearing his currently expression.
"I'm not letting go,"
Shuuko glanced upwards and his eyes somewhat had a sad hint in it. "We can't be more than that, I have already told you this, right?" her grip tightened after hearing this. She fought against the pain, tried to look elsewhere, tried to think about other things, but no matter what she trid to think of, he'd always be on her mind.
"Murao!" her eyes widened, he never rose his voice like this before. Suddenly hearing it like this was something really new to her. Why . . . why did it please her so much? She finally looked up to him fully, eyeing his angry expression carefully. "Go to the others,"
Letting go off his shirt, her legs carried her elsewhere.
She loves him, needs him, wants him so damn much and yet he—"We can't be more than that."—breaks her heart.
He has her back against the wall, hands in hands, fingers entangled, foreheads touching, and the laughter on her lips dies away as he looks at her like that. Any other day, she'd tell herself to not fall into his trap, to not interpret to much into it, but today's today, and maybe she isn't so afraid anymore, maybe she's ready, maybe—
He looks at her with this beautiful pair of eyes that resembles his brothers so much; The corners are sharp, the irises tawny and deep, and they leave such an impression that you'd never forget them once you'd looked into them once – but that doesn't mean they were scary or intense.
She closes her eyes, her heart is beating so hard against her chest it feels like dying but it's not dying she knows, it's waiting, it's been waiting far too long.
They meet somewhere in the middle and it's this unexplainable rush, like moving much too fast, thoughts running wild in your head, reckless syncopating heartbeats and his tongue dives over and over again into her mouth, his fingers in her hair, her hands fisted on his shoulders—this is something, that's all she knows.
It's a Tuesday and it shouldn't matter because technically it could be any Tuesday, except it isn't so that's the difference. It's the Tuesday he tells her something which completely would shatter her heart.
"Listen, Murao," he says. "I didn't mean to ... when I kissed you—forget about it."
There's silence, a discomforting silence, during which even a pin drop could probably be heard, but she ignores it, ignores the nagging feeling in her heart to stay strong. It's because she couldn't resist the urge to look up that she feels so insecure now. "Huh?"
"It was an accident," he explains with a sigh. "It wasn't supposed to happen."
She's having a heartache. Feels like her heart's been forced into a box against her will and it'll be squeezed to death if she doesn't think of something quick. She hates the feeling, it's a familiar one. Call it a bad habit but it's always in these moments she feels like getting up and getting away, as fast as her legs can carry her the most. Her heart is bursting to escape. No, no, no. Stop. I don't want to hear the rest, she pleads mentally.
"So please forget about it."
You know that I'm determined, so why do you say such impossible things?
He smiles before turning away and going down the corridor.
She runs, she's not sure where or to who, but she lets her legs guide her wherever they please. That's all she's ever known how to do after all.
It's high school graduation and there is only one question on her mind which answer makes this day either a happy one or a bad one. Now that I'm no longer a student here, what answer will you give me?
There's a sea of people, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters all around them. It's just at the end of the ceremony, when all the kids from the graduating class are supposed to throw their graduation caps into the air.
Shuuko wants to be different from other girls, she wants to be the only one calling him like she would do know. No Sensei anymore, no Tanaka-kun. She tugs on the sleeve of his shirt, her face begins to blush and she immediatly looks to the ground when his bright brown eyes landed on her. "Youichi,"
He cocks his head to the side, shaking it slightly in amusement,"Congratulations to you, Murao."
Didn't he hear what she said? Saying his name without a honorific, for fudge sake, saying his first name without permission at all! Why doesn't he get angry? Looking him straight in the eyes she says it again, in case he just didn't hear it the first time. "Thanks, Youichi."
He doesn't say anything anymore and she takes this as the chance to say it to him for the last time.
"I love you." She says loud enough for him to hear, "What can I say about love, that hasn't been said? Like most girl's, I can't explain what love is; I can't put my love for you into words. I can just tell you that every time I am near you I feel like I've drank 10 espressos in a row!"
"I know that," he cuts in, sadness dripping from his voice, "Did you put yourself in my shoes? There are some things we do because we convince ourselves it would be better for everyone involved. We tell ourselves that it's the right thing to do, the altruistic thing to do. It's far easier than telling ourselves the tru—"
"Now that I'm not your student anymore, what will your answer be?" She intercedes quietly, getting his point.
There's dead silence.
"Maybe." He finally says, barely above a whisper, creases in his temple, eyes full of regret and helplessness but with a tad hope, arms out by his side. "You shouldn't interpret too much into it; in time, you will move on, fall in love with a boy your age, and remember this as a silly crush you once had as a teenage gi—"
"Don't." She stops him sharply, "Don't even think about saying thinks like that." She looks away in sorrow, just thinking about the words making her sick.
She turns around, not wanting him to see her cry like the little child he already think she is. She hears him mutter a quite sorry, before her legs move on their own.
That's all there is, that's all there can ever be.
It's a Tuesday. He rejects her on a Tuesday.
He re-enters her life but not by her choice, more Futaba's. He's still her best friend's boyfriend's brother after all.
At first it's awkward and she tries to keep away from him whenever they are over at Tanaka's apartment, but planning around him becomes far too difficult and not worth it, at least in Shuuko's opinion.
One day he opens the door to find her on the opposite side of it.
She did wish for them to never encounter each other at any time during her visits to his apartment, and from his unsure expression he never did expect it as well. "Uh, hi." Shuuko waves slightly, nervous smile and yep, a deep bright blush on her face.
"Eh, you still love me that much?" he remarks amusedly, walking towards her casually, as she just stands there like a fool.
She rolls her eyes, "Whatever you say, Tanaka-kun." She tries to push it down as nothing, but she knows better than anyone else, that it's something.
"Hey," He puts a hand on her shoulder before she can completely move it back towards the direction she wants to go, and she doesn't know where he's gotten this newfound confidence, but if it's because of her telling him that she loves him quite often in the past and he wants to play with her, she's got a lot of work to do, because this confidence thing is not going to work, straight up.
"Hm?" She tries to remain indifferent about all this but each second makes it a bit harder, with the way his eyes study her fearlessly.
"You don't fool me, Shuuko." He murmurs it so softly it's almost unspoken. He moves to kiss her cheek but she moves her head on purpose, so his lips find hers instead and she mumbles back against his, "I know."
She finds his hand, needles her fingers through his, like water through sand.
This is them. This is them when no one else notices.
A/N: I really love Ao Haru Ride, I hope that Chapter 18 and following don't go the way I think they'll do, because I really don't want another love rival for Futaba, especically when it's someone that experienced the same pain as Kou. I hope it'll be a guy, but oh well all hints are towards a girl, hopefully she doesn't last long on their high school.
Well, Shuuko x Youichi are one of my fav pairing in Ao Haru Ride, don't know why though, I just think they are cute (especially when she's so determined to not give up on him)
And I really like Yuuri x Aya as a pairing, first noticed when he steals her muffin and she goes in a "I'm-going-to-kill-you" mode.
Last but not least, I really love Touma. He's such a goody-goody and really cute (like Kou in old times, maybe that's why I like him), so I can understand that Kou thinks that Futaba loves him, because she always says that she doesn't like the current Kou *sigh*
Well, hope everything turns out well!
P.s: This is my second story to Ao Haru Ride, got lazy with the end and sorry for maaaaany spelling and grammar errors, I'm tired and it's only my second language.