Hello everyone. My first one-shot in a long, long time, but there is no anime so far that moved me more than AnoHana. I guess that's why I felt so much inspiration after the last episode. This is just a little thing I wrote recently, hope you'll like it.
It's written rather from Anaru's point of view, by the way. Oh, well, and it's not Anaru/Yukiatsu, you'll see. Read and review :)
Although a week passed since Menma went away, Jintan still didn't go to school. Naruko concluded he just needed more time.
Lessons just ended and she went out of the school building. Events from the love hotel were an old story, but some people from school were still making stupid jokes about it and Naruko was always relieved when the last bell rang.
She took a deep breath and looked ahead.
What was he doing there? He was a student from one of the best schools in nearby and there he was, standing outside a typical high school. Did he plan another date? Naruko immediately blushed at the thought and even more, when she heard comments about him made by her two "friends" who just showed up.
He sure was handsome, very handsome, in fact, one of the best looking guys she knew, but...
"You're now going to your work, right?"
Oh well, she didn't expect that question. Two girls behind her froze.
"Do you know him, Naruko?"
"Naruko, who's that?"
Yukiatsu ignored them both.
"Can we go together?"
She was feeling intense glares of her friends and she wanted to get rid of them quickly. Still, when it came to Yukiatsu and to what recently happened, she hesitated a little. She looked away and bit her bottom lip, trying to avoid his face with this special inquiring look.
"Sure" she finally gave up, seeing the mentioned look for the third time.
Naruko bid a fast goodbye to friends and left them without answering their questions. Soon, she found herself walking to the game shop next to Yukiatsu.
"Um" she turned to him after few minutes in silence, "why did you want to go with me?"
"I was just passing by your school and I saw you. I still have some time to my train" he replied dispassionately. Strangely, the answer was rather refreshing.
They walked in silence, again, but it was the kind of nice, natural silence, not that strange, heavy one from before Menma returned. I mean, whole band is closer now. We communicate better.
They stopped at an intersection, since the red light was shining brightly.
"Anaru" Yukiatsu said suddenly.
"Eh?" she almost jumped. Oh, right, he was using her nickname again.
"Yadomi wasn't at school?" Yukiatsu asked.
"I-I bet he'll come in days" Naruko replied immediately. Yukiatsu looked at her concerned.
"What are you going to do?"
The girl returned the glare. She knew what he meant.
The light changed and they started walking again. She looked away. What was she going to do? Should she really think of it that quickly, when they just sent Menma to heaven the proper way? When they finally started thinking about her, not themselves?
"Menma..." she started.
"She's in heaven" Yukiatsu cut in.
Naruko was persistently looking at the pavement.
"We met her, she forgave us and we should now settle things" he continued. "She won't come back and help us again."
She helped us, huh...
"She'll always be better than me, anyway" Naruko said quietly.
They stopped again, this time without any particular reason. Yukiatsu looked above the buildings, his eyes narrowed.
"Tsuruko was right" he said and Naruko turned to him, surprised. "Without Menma, I'd choose you."
He looked at her and she blushed, another time this day.
"You know why? Because Tsuruko gave up at the beginning. She decided that you were better and that she had no chances. I don't like such behaviour. You didn't give up Yadomi. We all separated, but you still talked to him from time to time. It's impressive" he stepped closer to her. "Now you're giving up, Anaru?"
"Don't do it."
He was already going further. Naruko almost ran to catch up to him. He confused her, suddenly talking about getting closer to Jintan. It just didn't fit her picture of Yukiatsu, so she didn't know what to say for a while.
"Why you... all of sudden..."
"A caprice, maybe, to be good once" he smiled.
They turned left and their talk changed, leaving matters of love aside. They talked about Poppo and that he decided to stay in Japan and invited everyone to come to the base whenever they wanted. Then they started window shopping. Naruko never paid attention to what was on her way to work. She didn't know about all shops she was passing every day. Today, with Yukiatsu, she found every piece of clothes that would look well on her, they even started joking about which dress would fit him.
It felt like good, old times and Naruko suddenly thought that maybe, with time, it could come back. She didn't even realize when they reached the shop. The way was like... five times shorter... In fact, she didn't expect this walk to be that fun.
"Here we are!" Yukiatsu's voice brought her back to reality.
"Right" she said, looking at him, but Yukiatsu already turned to leave.
"Well, Anaru, have a nice day" he said.
"You too" she replied and waved her hand at him.
As soon as he started walking, Naruko realized she didn't say everything she wanted.
"Yukiatsu" she said quickly, before he disappeared round the corner.
He stopped and turned to her, slightly surprised. She looked at him and opened her mouth to say something. He smiled, probably to encourage her to talk, but it made everything worse, just confusing her. It was already embarrassing, responding to what he said earlier about Jintan.
Naruko took a deep breath.
She was always too nervous about such things, like in that train with him or when she started throwing things at Jintan.
Yukiatsu looked in a weird way at the obstinate expression on Naruko's face and laughed. She narrowed her eyes, as if offended.
"I'm intelligent, that's why I give wise advice" Yukiatsu stated.
Confident, as always. Naruko smiled.
"Give Tsuruko a chance, ok?"
He opened his eyes wide.
"And... take a look at her hair, remember!" a huge grin decorated Naruko's face and she suddenly disappeared behind the door of the shop.
She left her bag in the staff room, put her uniform on and moved towards the cash desks.
She looked at the person calling her to find Jintan.
He went back to his work, putting the newest games on shelves. Naruko silently observed him, thinking about her talk with Yukiatsu.
He turned to her without a word.
"Do you think... I mean, would you like to play Nokemon after the work? We could get some rare ones..."
She didn't know when she started looking at the floor, but now she lifted her head and blushed, seeing a little smile on Jintan's face.
"It could be fun."
Yukiatsu arrived at the station rather quickly, he spent much time with Anaru and didn't know if he wouldn't be late.
Luckily, he noticed Tsuruko, still waiting for the train. She was sitting in one of the chairs and reading a book.
"Waiting for me?" he asked.
Tsuruko closed her book and looked at him dispassionately.
He sat a few chairs away from her, as always, and turned to look at Tsuruko's hair, as Anaru told him to.
She had his hairpin.
It surprised him, but it was a nice surprise. He smiled and almost at the same time the train came. Tsuruko stood up and looked at him, and he still had this special smile on his face.
She didn't expect that, and, half aware of the world around her, she followed him to the train.