Author's Note: So according to the answers I could find on Murasakibara, he likes tall girls and (as an alternate job other than basketball) wants to be a pastry chef. With these prompts, this story was born. I apologize in advance if at any point he verges OOC. I figure the lack of his presence in the manga (as in his appearances are considerably scarce other than his match with Seiren) gives me a bit of wiggle room for interpretation. At any rate, OC x Murasakibara stories are in short supply so I thought I'd give it a shot. Hope you enjoy!


One

Her cheek stings as she presses her fingers against the swollen area. "Really," she mumbles under her breath, "Isn't it usually the cheating boyfriend that gets slapped? This situation is all wrong." Although she cannot contest being fully deserving of the slap she has just received. Perhaps this is the price of infidelity – even if she is wrongly accused. She lets out a self-deprecating chuckle as she turns to leave.

Although the street is bustling full of people, it is in front of a convenience store that this sudden event has transpired. And by some stroke of terrible luck, the moment she pivots on her heel to distance herself from this whole horrible memory, she comes face to face with one of the last people she wants to be caught by.

"M-Murasakibara?" The freakishly tall basketball player is easily recognizable if not because of his height then at least by the odd lavendar color of his hair. However, the first question on her mind is – why? But the moment her gaze wanders to the sacks in his arms, she realizes that he must live around here.

While she frets about how much he might have seen, he stuffs another chip into his mouth. "Who are you?" he responds back belatedly once he has swallowed.

Her eye twitches in annoyance. Here she is worried that he might start rumors around Yosen about what just transpired and he seems completely unaware of who she even is. Although she certainly does not occupy quite as much popularity as the members of their renowned sports team, surely he should at least be able to know who she is on the basis that she is one of the tallest girls in school. A trait that the two of them, oddly, share in common.

At any rate, she is not willing to suffer the embarrassment of being forgotten a second time. "Ogawa," she tells him, drawling out the letters slowly in hopes that he can more easily digest them. "Ogawa Reira. You should at least know the names of your classmates."

"Ah, you're a classmate," he nods, as though he understands. Clearly the complete opposite is true. And he is stuffing his mouth full of more potato chips before she can even point this out. Then his eyes seem to widen a fraction as he stares at her from beneath that wild, unkempt hair of his. "Your cheek is swollen."

"Ha? You just now noticed?" Reira sighs a little in relief. That at least means that he must not have witnessed the whole event. Fortunate enough for her. She does not need him spreading unnecessary information at school. Although, frankly, he seems too airheaded to really have a mind for gossip in the first place. Maybe there is no need to worry.

All of a sudden he rummages through his convenience store sacks and withdraws something that he then holds out toward her. "Here," he says.

His actions earn a quirked brow as she reaches over and gingerly takes hold of the proffered package. Upon inspection, she realizes it to be a bar of dark chocolate. A particularly odd thing to just casually pass off. But by the time she lifts her gaze, he has already started off in the opposite direction.

She is a little awestruck at his abrupt departure, if only because it makes the whole experience feel rather... odd. School has barely started and summer is rapidly approaching. In the wake of it all, she finds herself dumped in the middle of the city, cheek swollen, with her only consolation a bar of bitter chocolate.

All the same, she rips open the package and starts one bite at a time. And while the flavor rolls across her taste buds, she can feel the tears welling up in her eyes. Reira is not entirely sure how she should feel, but she knows how she does feel – grateful.

"You weren't doing drugs last night or something, right? You aren't high, right? Are you sick? Do you have a fever?"

"Hitomi, that's kind of cruel." Reira sighs in response to her friend's probing. Opening the compact in her hand, she eyes the mirror momentarily. One glance gives the impression of a young woman who is fairly attractive to begin with, although her make-up is applied a layer heavier than perhaps needed. And her hair is a bleached blonde, contrasting with her dark eyebrows. For however other people may see her, Reira seems satisfied enough with how she looks. She gives a smile of satisfaction.

"Well, he's here now, but you have got to be kidding me. That's not even your type. What are you doing? Do you have a few screws loose?"

Ignoring the pessimistic griping, Reira straightens herself and stuffs the compact away in her school bag. She has come to school especially early just for the chance to be able to speak with him before their classes start for the day. Not out of superficial interest in something like a relationship. Even she is not quite so shallow.

"You are overdramatizing," she chides her friend before turning on her heel to approach Murasakibara's desk, where he has settled in and is actively snacking away at a freshly opened box – of pocky, no less.

Reira stops just short of his desk, shifting uncomfortably as she reaches in the depths of her school bag for a small package that she then promptly slaps down on his desk. "Here," she says timidly – something unusual for her usual straightforward nature. "My mom owns a bakery and you seem to like to snack on stuff. Anyways, if you don't like it then you can just throw it away. Consider it my gratitude for the other day."

"Hm?" His head seems to tilt as crunches down on another stick of pocky. Then his eyes wander up to her but there is no recognition in them – no sign that he has any of awareness of who she is. In fact, his cluelessness almost gives her the impression that he has already entirely forgotten her again. All the same he does not seem the type to refuse something like this.

"A-Anyways... thanks, Murasakibara-kun." At the end of that muttered sentence, spoken in such a low whisper so as to be imperceptible, she gives a short bow of the head before stalking off to her seat on the other end of the room.

Before she can escape earshot, however, he manages to say, "Ah, thank you." She glances back just long enough to see that he has paused in his pocky consumption to inspect her offered gift. Those lips of his seem to curl into a small smile.

And before she can stifle the reaction, her face lights up like a Christmas tree and she finds her legs to be unusually tense as she stiffly shuffles the rest of the way to her own desk where she quite literally collapses upon it. The girl that had been berating and interrogating her earlier immediately rushes to her side with probing curiosity.

"So how did it go?" Hitomi – a chubby girl whose face is littered with freckles – inquires with such gravity so as to infer that the experience must have been like approaching a gangster. "You're blushing! He must have accepted it then, right?"

Reira can barely tamp down her own embarrassment as she sinks into her chair. "Nothing like that, you are overthinking things. I just broke up with my boyfriend, remember? So don't make up unnecessary rumors."

In response, Hitomi peers back over at Murasakibara who has returned to busily munching away at his bag full of snacks. "But really, it's just like I said earlier. Him? Are you in your right mind? He's a basketball junkie. I really can't picture the two of you together at all."

The erratic beating of her own heart at the brief interaction seems to be slowing at least. For that much, Reira is grateful. Although she is not sure what has inspired such an odd reaction to someone that she has never before considered to be appealing. And yet she can still feel her cheeks burning a rosy red.

By the time the teacher arrives and the bell rings, all Reira can tell is that her head has drifted so far into the clouds that she can scarcely focus. And this is a feat in itself if only because her academic performance is impressively underwhelming to begin with.

"Murasakibara, please save the snacking for lunch," the teacher sighs, although Reira is hardly paying attention.

In fact, it is not until the lunch bell rubgs that she is finally able to climb down from her high. And by such point, she is so certain that all the odd things that have started happening to her since her encounter with Murasakibara yesterday have come to an end, that she does not expect the wall himself to be blocking her from getting out of her desk.

It is only as she is grabbing her bag and starting to get up that she comes within a mere inch of his chest. At which point she jolts back, falling awkwardly into her desk while staring quizzically up at the monstrously tall basketball player, who is characteristically munching away at some new assortment of sweets.

"M-Murasakibara-kun?" she blurts back in surprise, hazel eyes blinking furiously as she tries to recompose herself under the intensity of his gaze.

But he just leisurely takes another bite, chewing languidly before swallowing. "It's lunch time," he tells her, as though this is not the most obviously thing in the world. As a result of his presence, Reira's friend has made herself scarce, peeking out from the doorway with a knowing grin before heading off to her usual spot in the cafeteria.

"What? You want me to buy you lunch?" she asks with a hint of consternation.

He pauses in bringing his snack toward his lips and actually lowers his hand from his mouth. "You want to buy me lunch?" Somehow he manages to turn the question completely around on her.

"No," Reira answers glumly. "I wasn't offering. I thought that was what you meant. You don't mean that you want to... eat together, right?"

"You don't want to?"

Flabbergasted at his approach, she rubs at the back of her head in frustration. "Really, you throw me off. Why are you asking me? Don't you know that I don't have such a good reputation around the school? Maybe you should just hang out with your teammates. You're pretty close to them, right?"

His brows lift a fraction and then he abruptly turns to leave. Yet before he disappears out the door completely, he pauses to cock his head back and look at her. "Coming?"

Somehow this strange guy is completely disrupting her rhythm. Her heart is pounding again and despite the fact that she thinks there can be nothing in common between the two of them, she finds herself falling behind his lead. Reira sighs to herself before putting on a smile. Maybe Murasakibara is just someone she cannot win against. And maybe she does not care to try.

"You know, if you keep snacking like that, you won't have any appetite for lunch," she tells him as she gets out of her chair and follows along.

"I still have an appetite," he protests, taking another bite.

"Is there anything you don't eat?"

That question actually seems to render him completely silent. Although she can tell by the expression on his face that he is giving it an honest evaluation. There does not seem to be any indication that he is very picky about his intake.

Although he is significantly taller than her, Reira finds that he does not tower over her nearly as much as the other people that they pass by as they are walking down the hallway. Perhaps that has something to do with her own unnatural height, that she has always cursed for making her abnormal. And yet for once she finds herself grateful. With a pair of heels, she might actually be able to stare someone like Murasakibara in the eyes without craning her neck.

"After school," she blurts out suddenly, not even thinking her words through, "You want to come to my mom's bakery? I mean... if you liked that stuff earlier. She makes a lot of pastries and stuff. Things you might like." Vaguely, she babbles on as though to try to convince him without sounding too awkward – although, despite her attempts to extend a casual offer, it seems unneeded.

"Sure," Murasakibara replies automatically. No doubt the promise of previously unexperienced sweets is enough allure to hook him. Although, almost as an afterthought, he tags on, "After basketball practice."

Reira grins unabashed. "Sure, sure. I don't mind waiting."