Memento Mori: Persimmon Tree Memories

I have no idea what I'm doing anymore… I keep having these dreams about my new friends and people I have never met… My classmate, Ryoji Mochizuki, seems to frequent these dreams… He holds more meaning in them than most… He symbolizes death…

"Hey," The voice laughed lightly, "I don't think taking a nap there is a wise idea." Speak of the devil… I opened my silver eyes to gaze at the male standing before me. I was sitting in the grass, propped up against the persimmon tree in the courtyard of our school. My headphones hung loosely around my neck, blasting their sacred music. "You alright, Arisato-kun?"

"Yeah…" I had looked up at him out of natural instinct. Ryoji was bent slightly forward to become more eye level with me, his arms behind his back. His stance reminded me vaguely of something a girl would do. "You look like a girl standing like that…" His worried blue eyes changed to confusion, but settled into a glare before he fell to the ground beside me, sitting cross-legged.

"That was mean," his glare still present, "at least I don't fall asleep on a tree." I smiled slightly. His odd, child-like behavior was always amusing. I still remember last November, when we first met. I was so emotionless back then… I guess I still am but I am showing more and more each day, however, it's only to one person. The only person that has ever made me display true emotions to the outside world. It all started on November 9th…

"Alright class, he have our third new student… That makes it a hat trick," silence filled the room. "Please introduce yourself." Ms. Toriumi said with a sigh, The tall, dark-haired boy beside her smiled before making his way to the front. His dual-colored blue eyes locked with mine before he spoke.

"Hello, I'm Ryoji Mochizuki. It's a pleasure to meet you." He flashed me a charming smile, which I returned with a slight blush that was hardly noticeable. 'How strange…' I thought to myself. He gripped his yellow scarf out of… nervousness, maybe? The scarf, and the rest of his attire, looked good on him but still held to our school uniform codes. "I'd be grateful if you could show me the ropes."

The class instantly erupted into not-so-quiet whispering, many girls gossiping about 'how hot he is' or 'how they think they just fell in love'… hmm… I remember them doing the same thing to me. Boys mostly noted his slightly feminine gestures and how he looked like he came from a wealthy family. "Settle down class. Ryoji, that will be your seat for the remainder of the year," Ms. Toriumi declared while pointing to the first seat in the second row, "Would anyone like to show him around the school after class?" Now, normally, I wouldn't bother with this considering his new fan base, but… I was curious about him and obviously I wasn't the only one. "My, it seems you're quite popular already." Her gaze settled on me. "Why, Minato, I didn't think you would be eager to show Ryoji around! Since this is rare, why don't you give him a tour of the school?"

I nodded in agreement; my silver eyes met the dark-haired boy's once again. There was an unidentifiable spark within them, and his smile seemed to have grown ever so slightly. I find myself blushing yet again… How did he do it? I've never blushed so much in one day. The boy with speckled blue eyes went to his newly assigned seat shortly after and Ms. Toriumi attempted to start our lesson, without much success… Everyone was too busy gossiping about our new classmate. I, without a care, laid my head down and was asleep within minutes. I felt someone shaking me… I opened my eyes, still half asleep. "'Bout time you woke up, Ryoji here's been waiting all day." A squeak and mutterings of "I wasn't waiting that long" followed.

My gaze shifted to the two males at my desk; one was our new classmate, Ryoji - I could tell from the yellow scarf. The other was my best friend, Junpei Iori; the baseball-cap-wearing male had been the one to wake me up. I glanced around and noticed we were the only ones in class… The sun's not in the right spot for lunch. "You slept through lunch… Junpei-kun said that's normal…"I guess it was, wasn't it? Ryoji seemed so talkative and energetic, yet, he also had a shy, nervous side that I seemed to be on the receiving end of.

I brushed my sapphire hair out of my face, but it just fell back a second later. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to make you wait for so long." I saw a light blush cover his cheeks, probably out of embarrassment. Before he had the chance to object, I spoke softly. "Do you still want me to show you around?" He nodded with slight hesitation. "Then let's go, shall we?" I smiled lightly to encourage him to just be himself and not worry about nervousness. The scarf-wearing boy returned it with his own charming smile. "Will you be joining us, Junpei?"

Ryoji and I turned our gaze to the youngest male, dual blue eyes full of newfound curiosity, my own as blank as pure snow… only silver. Junpei joined his hands together behind his head in thought. "Nah… I think I'm going babe hunting," his voice lowered to a whisper, only meant to be heard by him, "I wonder if Chidori's around today…" I nod blankly; I wished the best for him and this Chidori he always talks about. "Hey, since Ryoji's new, you should show him around town."

Leave it to Junpei to give me even more work. "That's alright; I wouldn't want to be any trouble." I didn't mind, I had nothing to do today, so I might as well. I nodded then started for the door; the dark haired boy followed a few steps behind. That was my first meeting with the mysterious flirt, Ryoji Mochizuki.

"Arisato-kun, you spaced out again." I realized I was still sitting with Ryoji near the Persimmon Tree. I guess I got caught up in the memory. I smiled softly-the blue-eyed boy had me doing that more often than I used to. "Thinking about something? You're smiling, you know."

"It's your fault… You amuse me." I slightly teased. The elder boy smiled fondly before nodding, accepting that it was his fault. Lately, I've felt an odd spark every time I see that smile. I'm the only one he ever gives it to, I've noticed.

"Hey, do you remember the proposing game?" How could I forget? That was the first time I showed real emotion in class. It was December 3rd…

Ms. Toriumi wanted us to participate in this weird game she had seen on television. This was the third round. The class was split into groups, and one group would randomly pick an individual from the second group and preform the action for said round. This round was titled 'strange ways to propose.' I was in group two with friend and fellow classmate, Yukari Takeba. Junpei and Ryoji were part of group one. Iori had already made his sarcastic and comical proposal to the pink-clad girl, much to the cap-wearing male's dismay; she tried to murder him afterwards.

"Alright Ryoji, show us your talent." A light laugh echoed through the class. We all knew the blue-eyed teen was a flirt and knew how to use his words to make the girls swoon. Strange or not, the girl he chose would accept with a blush and shining eyes. The dark-haired boy made his way to the center of the room. "Who will you propose to?"

The elder male cleared his throat; he looked over group two with searching eyes before meeting with my silver ones. "Minato Arisato," he declared. I'll admit, that surprised me, I thought he would choose one of the lovely young ladies… or more. A gasp of surprise erupted from the entire class at his selection. I made my way to the center of the class when Ms. Toriumi beckoned me to Ryoji's side. The English composition teacher motioned for him to begin his skit. "Minato Arisato, I am but a shadow upon this world and you are my guiding light, my dearest, I just wanted to say…" he trailed off, an amused grin overtaking his features momentarily as he looked at the floor before regaining his serious expression as his eyes found mine again. "I want to have your babies!" He shouted and dropped to his knees in a begging position. "Please, stay with me forever!"

I could tell the scarfed boy was having a hard time taking this seriously; his grin was enough proof of that. His declaration left me at a loss for words. The class roared into a fit of laughter and giggles at the unusual exclamation; I, however, could only find flaws with his logic. Our classmates silenced themselves when the brunette instructor made it known that I still needed to respond to his proposal. Once the room was quiet, I hesitantly spoke my thoughts, "Ryoji-kun…" My blank silver gaze met his waiting blue pools. "You're not a girl… You can't have babies." I found it interesting how everyone either fell over or slapped themselves in the face at my answer.

A thoughtful expression crossed the mysterious flirt's face as he got to his feet, "Darn… I didn't think of that…" His curious and thinking tone was replaced with amused sarcasm, "and here I was all excited about giving birth… What a pity." The surrounding group giggled at the eccentric exchange from our abnormal performance, and the intensity of the act eventually hit me like a ton of bricks. Ms. Toriumi laughed lightly before signaling us to rejoin our assigned groups. The raven-haired flirt turned to make his way back to his teammates; he stopped and glanced over his shoulder at the light sound emanating from my lips. The male with a scarf of golden yellow rotated to face me yet again. The curious eyes of everyone around had fallen upon me. I held my pale hand over my mouth, trying to silence the joyous sound escaping me. A spark lit up in Ryoji's eyes as he asked, "Arisato-kun… Are you… Are you laughing?"

Without warning, I ungracefully, and unintentionally, burst into a fit of laughter; the comical aspect of his proposal overriding my naturally distant and emotionless personality. Even through my gasping giggles, I could tell the class was staring at me, wide eyed and in a state of shock, as well as the scarf wearing male that had made this event come to pass. I understand why… They were surprised to see me laugh, especially so openly, and all because of the biggest flirt at Gekkoukan Private High. Said flirt's eyes sparkled with happiness and satisfaction as he watched me. Once my outburst subsided, I looked at the boy in front of me, his dual-colored blue pools staring straight into my steel-colored ones. "You're… strange…" I said between gasps. A bright smile covered the elder's visage, which I returned with my own genuine, bright smile.

Ever since that day, I've started showing more and more emotion, however, it's only around Ryoji. He is the only one able to pull these conflicting feelings out of my closed and reserved mind against my will. "I remember it clearly…" I paused, "for days after that, everyone pestered me to know if something was going on between us." My silver gaze turned to look at his amused blue one; a slight breeze ruffled his hair and made his scarf start flapping with the wind. "It didn't help that when they asked you, you said 'It's a secret'…" The raven haired male beside me snickered with amusement.

"It's not my fault they took it the wrong way." Ryoji continued his habit of staring at me, a look of longing seemed to cloud his eyes but, that could just be a trick of the light. A solemn smile crossed his features, the same look of desire I thought was there remained intact, despite my initial thought. "Though, to tell the truth, I kind of wanted them to think that…" he trailed off as a look of near agony and sadness washed over his visage. He lowered his gaze to the dirt covered floor around us and the persimmon tree. "I... I didn't know why… but… I wanted people to think… You were mine… Minato-Chan…" A surge of surprise coursed through my body, not only had he finally called me by my first name… he also changed the honorific, to one more associated with girls but still it caught me off guard. My shock was also partially fueled by his near confession.

"Ryoji-kun…" I whispered under my breath, I felt an uncomfortable twinge in my stomach; it didn't hurt but left me feeling quite nervous and overwhelmed. I could feel my cheeks flush a light pink as blood rushed to my face, I felt like I was on fire but it didn't bother me. The boy with dual colored blue eyes may not have realized just what those few words told me, just what his confession meant. My silver gaze softened from my usual uncaring, zombie-like state to one of understanding and… I think my newfound affection may have shown as well. "Ryoji-kun… Are you trying to tell me something?"

The raven haired boy kept his eyes on the ground and hid his blushing face in his long golden yellow scarf; I found the act to be very cute. "W-what I'm t-trying to say is…" I watched him and waited patiently, the school bells had long since passed and there was no fear of being caught. "I like you… Minato-chan." He whispered, hoping that I hadn't heard those few, very important and special words that sent an electric shock through my unprepared system. Without realizing it, I had crawled over to the elder boy so I sat directly in front of him. My hand placed itself on his crimson hued cheek, bringing his blushing face away from its safe haven buried within the scarf. His eyes met mine, a look of sadness and genuine admiration clouded his beautiful blue eyes.

"I think… I like you too… Ryo-kun…" I watched his face flush even more, if that was possible, at my whispered words. My hand traveled from his cheek to the back of his neck, and using this new spot to my advantage, I pulled him closer to me. His startled look of surprise and hopefulness was the last thing I saw before I slid my silver pools shut and closed the gap between us.

To Be Continued in Chapter Two:

"Velvet Room Blues"