Ryoma's stomach growled.
His eyes furtively scanned the road to see if his mother's car was there, but nothing but empty pavement greeted him. His stomach rumbled again, and he groaned pitifully as he clutched the fabric of his school uniform. Why today of all days did the world want to deprive him of food?
First, he had overslept and missed breakfast, which had been a big enough pitfall of its own. Then, he had so graciously rushed out the door that he had completely forgotten his lunch bag and wallet, leaving him empty-handed in the cafeteria. His senpai-tachi had mysteriously disappeared – in fact, all his friends had mysteriously chosen to disappear – and so he had no one to steal a snack from.
Ravenous, he had hurried home in high hopes for delicious food. Except his parents weren't home yet, and the door was locked. And the damned key hadn't been under the stupid mat like it was supposed to be.
His belly gnarled. This was seriously too much.
"Ryoma-kun," Sakuno trotted across the sidewalk in front of him, and paused when she saw him slumped on the doorstep. They didn't live too far from each other, so he occasionally saw her skipping along with her basket and whatnot.
"Hi," Ryoma said grumpily. He needed food – he craved it, ached for it, yearned for it.
Sakuno usually just waved and scurried past, but today she looked concerned. With hesitance, her bronze eyes flickered over at his hunched, mournful figure. She bit her lower lip, then slowly walked up to his porch steps.
He instantly glared at her. He was hot, tired, and fucking hungry.
"Ryoma-kun?" she asked. She stood above him, her face shiny from the heat. Blatant worry filled her gaze. "Are you okay?"
"Hungry," Ryoma muttered.
Sakuno tilted her hand. Strands of auburn framed her face. "Oh! Did you miss lunch?" she asked.
"Forgot it," he turned his head with a scowl. Why hadn't she been at lunch, anyway? Every time he was hungry, she always offered him some of her own bento. It had been a sign of their friendship, Ryoma thought indignantly, despite that he didn't even glance at her otherwise. Betrayal was not acceptable.
"I was at cheerleading practice," Sakuno apologized. She slid beside Ryoma, and the twelve-year old tried to ignore the fact that their knees were officially touching. Because he was hungry, and when you're hungry, that kind of stuff doesn't matter. Well, it wasn't supposed to matter, but his heart jumped anyway.
"I missed breakfast too." Ryoma dutifully rubbed in the guilt.
Sakuno's eyes widened, and she quickly unlatched her backpack. "Ryoma-kun must be so hungry," she said to herself, and she rummaged through until she found her bento. Luckily, she had left two homemade cupcakes from lunch. Carefully taking a chocolate one out, she turned to Ryoma and held it out. "Here," she offered with a sweet smile.
Ryoma just stared at the cupcake. "You…" a grin twitched at his lips. He pulled his cap down and took the cupcake from her. "Che, and you had this all along."
The braided girl watched as he turned away and promptly started to scarf the cupcake down his throat. She giggled to herself, and took out the second cupcake to take a bite herself. It was kind of nice seeing Ryoma so deliriously happy over something, because he wasn't easily impressed. Ryoma tilted his head mid-scarfing, and Sakuno's laughter rose when she saw how frantically he was eating.
"You must have been hungry!" she exclaimed.
He just nodded, and mumbled through a mouthful, "I love you for this."
Sakuno promptly choked on her cupcake.