standard disclaimer applies
characters: Houtarou, Mayaka, Satoshi
notes: Ibu, I really hope you like this! And I'm happy you gave me this fandom to write about because it's good for me to write outside my comfort zone of Pokemon and write about characters that I've only known for a few weeks, instead of years. I posted this on my tumblr, and thought that I should post it here, too!
And fanfiction people in general, I uh...I've done nothing productive! You guys should send me requests or something via tumblr- because I respond better there. I'll probably go overboard with Pokemon fanfiction when BW2 comes out.

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Constant
— she's never really changed, he realizes.

.

Ibara Mayaka has sharp eyes, he notices. There is no softness within her, and he wonders how she can be friends with those girls with eyes as scary as those. (They are piercing, those eyes, but he never really realized how kind they can be after seeing her help a young child who tripped— and suddenly he realizes that her eyes are Justice).

Then he understands that she's not scary at all.

She's just a girl.

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Oreki Houtarou doesn't understand many things about Ibara Mayaka, but the one biggest mystery is her crush of Satoshi.

But when he walks by her crying silent tears after confessing to Satoshi, he pretends not to notice. (He is surprised when she mutters thanks to him the next day and thinks it's the first genuine word that she ever directed to him.

A day later and the two of them are filled with sarcastic quips and one-sided glares).

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They started out on the wrong foot; maybe it was his indifference or Ibara's way of judging people who had no drive in life (and how he still managed to beat her on a few exams).

They were partners for a project once— just him, her and Satoshi. He starts to see that she's more efficient than he could ever be, and she's shockingly impressed by the fact that he actually does work. When Satoshi returns with the drinks, he's surprised by the smile on Ibara's face and the serene quiet in which the two are working.

It promptly resumes once he breaks the silence.

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Ibara really liked manga. Her eyes would light up and her words became a bit jumbled thinking about it sometimes and she would re-read the same pages over and over again at times. And he didn't really understand.

But Satoshi would go up to her and ask her about it and make her eyes light up and her words become slightly jumbled and he would never notice.

But a few weeks later Satoshi dragged him to the bookstore to buy manga for her birthday. (And then he realizes that Satoshi did notice, he always noticed).

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Her eyes are the color of amaranth, he learns when Satoshi dragged them both to the sewing club and declares that he wants material the color of her eyes.

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If he was the moon, Ibara would be the sun only because Satoshi is the sky (the only thing holding them together).

And he wonders if she noticed just how dark Satoshi could be.

(And then he notices the occasional sadness within her eyes and realizes that she probably saw that darkness before he did).

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On the last day of middle school, she demands a group picture and shoves the camera in the nearest student's hands and drags Satoshi towards him (because he probably wouldn't get up towards the camera anyway) and he notices the identical smiles on their faces.

A week later a copy of that picture is mailed to his house.

A year later he finds it hidden in his desk and finds himself smiling.

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fin