I think I'll mark my return with some Kanako love. She has to be my favorite side character in the OreImo crew (Kanako is best girl (so is every other girl (besides Manami (not really (yes really (no, she's alright (aren't parenthesis fun?)))))))
Kyousuke woke up with a smile on his face, gently coaxing his body out of bed, letting his senses fire awake at their own pace. Rising to his feet, the dark-haired boy went and opened the curtains to his room, smiling as the beautiful sunlight poured into his room. The teen couldn't help but take a second to enjoy the warmth of the sun's morning essence. He inhaled deeply and slowly, before exhaling in the same fashion. This weekend would be bliss.
Of course one must wonder why the normally mundane and, more recently, overstressed teen would act in such an unusual fashion. The answer was actually quite simple: Kirino was gone.
She wasn't gone in the sense that she had packed up and flew to America – something that Kyousuke could occasionally admit to himself would drive him even more nuts than she normally does – or had spontaneously dissolved into base matter and scattered into the winds. She simply was gone for the weekend, off on some modeling shoot across the country.
As Kyousuke glided down the stairs, he recalled that his parents were out for the day as well. Spending some "spouse time" as his mother put it and "a robbery of his hard earned money" as his dad would whisper to himself occasionally when he thought no one would here. Simply put, his mom was out shopping and his dad was being dragged along, the normally intimidating German Shepherd of a man reduced to a small pup by his mother's whims.
Kyousuke could practically hear Edvard Grieg playing in the background as he glided through the house, absent mindedly humming a particularly happy tune from the soundtrack of one of Kirino's eroges. Fixing himself a light breakfast, Kyousuke gave his thanks for the meal before continuing his morning ritual.
One meal and a dish washing later, Kyousuke was back in his room, dressing himself in some casual wear to head outside with. Making his way back downstairs, Kyousuke pondered his destination. "Maybe I'll check up on Manami, it's been a while since I talked to her," Kyousuke pulled his shoes on. "Or possibly get ahold of Saori and Kuroneko; see if they have anything going on."
Nodding to himself, Kyousuke pulled open the front door, still formulating his plan of action.
When he reached the gate, he continued his planning. "Maybe eve-"
"It's about time you got out here." Came a rather patronizing voice. Kyousuke did a double take at the sound. Finally taking brain cycles out of daydreaming to figure out who was talking, his head pivoted to the source of the words.
"Kanako?!" the boy cried out in surprise. "What are you doing here?" The small girl, leaning on the brickwork walls, gave out a disgruntled huff and folded her arms.
"Well that should be obvious." She stated in her bluntest of tones.
"Ah…" Kyousuke had to think for a second before the light bulb clicked. "Oh, you must be here for Kirino!" He nodded at his surefire logic. "Sorry, but she's out for the weekend on a modeling trip."
"Pfft, that's not what I meant," rising from her relaxed position on the wall, she took a step closer to Kyousuke. "I need help from my manager."
"Your manager?" Kyousuke furrowed his brow. "Then why are you–" The light bulb clicked again. "Wait, from me?" He pointed a finger at his dumbfound expression.
Kanako clicked her tongue. "Geeze, Kirino said you were slow, but I didn't think it was this bad. Yes, from you."
"Eh?" Kyousuke rubbed the back of his head. "Well, I guess I could help, though I'm not sure quite how."
"Well that's easy," Kanako said, closing the distance between them and grabbing his hand. "Just follow me!" She gave him one of those cheery smiles of hers, turned towards the downtown direction and took off, Kyousuke being dragged along.
Kyousuke's balance faltered as another bag was thrown on the stack of packages that he was carrying. Luckily, the boy was able to find his center of gravity with the new weight and continued his designated duties as Kanako's "manager," Not that he'd heard of – in his admittedly limited knowledge of business − a manager ever being a pack mule for their clients.
"Hey, Kanako, what kind of manager carries the bags for their client's shopping sprees?" he asked behind a mountain of boxes, bags and wraps.
"Obviously the manager for the Great Idol: Kanakana~~!" Kanako chimed in.
Truthfully, when Kanako had asked for help, Kyousuke had though it would involve something to do with her job, like helping her secure a contract or something of the like – though he was probably unfit for that sort of thing in all actuality.
Instead, Kyousuke was designated muscle for Kanako's shopping spree, now spanning more than twenty stores. At least that's what Kyousuke assumed. He'd lost count around the seventh one. The unusual duo wandered down a street on the edge of the downtown area, Kanako intent on finding some small 'ma and pa' shops that would have unusual or rare items. "Hmm, I wonder what kind of bonus I should ask for after being such a dutiful manager…" "Great Idol; Kanakana's" manager said out loud to no one in particular, though Kanako replied anyway.
"Oh, don't worry. I already have that covered," she turned at him with a bright smile. "I won't make you pay for this~!" had Kyousuke not been concerned with the consequences of dropping the mountain of clothing and accessories he was carrying, he thought for sure he would have dropped dead from how frank and carefree she was when she answered him.
"Although as manager, it's still your duty to treat me to lunch." She said, suddenly switching to a thoughtful expression, one hand on a hip; the other resting on her chin, gently rubbing it as if in deep thought. Once again, Kyousuke weighed weather or not it was safe to let loose the avalanche of boxes in order to truly express his exasperation.
Still, her carefree and chipper attitude was contagious, and any qualms he might have had were quickly quenched. Nodding indifferently, Kyousuke followed the short girl to an outside vendor. Setting down the mountain he was carrying, Kyousuke pulled out his wallet and ordered for the two.
It had just about peaked at noon as 'manager' and client searched for a place of momentary rest to properly enjoy their meals. They found it in the form of a bench sitting atop a particularly high over crop of a park. It undoubtedly offered a great view to enjoy. Setting down their luggage (Kanako her handbag and Kyousuke everything else), the two said their thanks and promptly dug into their meals. Kyousuke was delightedly surprised to see that Kanako had no qualms matching him in speed bite for bite. Someone like his sister or Ayase would purposely take time with their food, eating it in dainty bites. Kanako was a nice change of pace.
Finishing quickly, Kyousuke offered to take her garbage and disposed of them in a nearby trash can. Now clear of any burdens, he was finally free to collect his thoughts. 'I wonder why she would enlist my help for something like this.' It was certainly strange; the girl just showed up and dragged him along. His earlier assumptions about what he would be doing becoming less and less likely to happen, as they spent more and more of the day shopping. Rather, she shopped and he followed along like an obedient puppy. The irony in his earlier musings about his father was not lost to the teen.
"Hey, Kanako, not that I'm not willing but is this all you needed my help for?" he said whilst casually making his way back to his seat.
Kanako looked up at him, a split second fracture of surprise on her face before she resumed her carefree attitude. "Oh, that? Yep!" she swung her feet back and forth like a child on a swing. That momentary lapse in her bright attitude piqued his interest though. She was probably just surprised that he was okay with the situation, but he felt the urge to prod a bit more regardless.
"You sure?" he adopted his typical 'big brother' face (not that he could have said it was typical for him until not too long ago) and gave Kanako a pat on the head. "As your manager it's my duty to look after the wellbeing of my clients." Kanako's surprise returned. She slowly slouched, her eyes staring intently in the dirt.
"People are stupid." She grumbled.
"Oh?" Kyousuke asked, surprised by her sudden shift in demeanor. "How so?"
"They're just dumb. You have filthy people, mean people; everywhere you look there are all kinds of bad people." Kyousuke couldn't begin to imagine what had brought on this pessimism, but he sat quiet and let the redhead idol vent to him. "Sometimes I just hate them." She finished in a way that almost sounded as if she was directing her spite at someone in particular.
"Yeah," Kyousuke sighed. "We can be pretty dumb sometimes, huh?" he let out a small laugh. "Dad sometimes lets out about some of the cases he's dealt with. From that kind of view, I guess it can be said that we're all pretty bad."
"Right!?" She rebounded off of his statement. "It's like–"
"But people are also pretty amazing too."
"Eh?" Kanako couldn't even muster up the brain function to yell at him for interrupting her.
"Yeah, there are bad parts of us, parts where if you look, you'd see the rough spots. But at the same time, a second look will show all the cool parts of people too." He nodded to himself. His otaku friends were a prime example of his statement, though he left them out. "After all, it'd be boring if we all fit into the same mold, right?"
Not waiting for her response, he shifted his gaze to the city. "Sure, at first glance someone may seem like a person you wouldn't associate with, but it's surprising what you can find out if you give them a chance." He grinned at her. "Like a friend of my little sister who thinks of me as a boring older brother.
"At first I didn't feel the need to associate with her if she though ill of me, but now I know more about her and know what a great person she is. Trying her best at being an idol – a damn good one at that – taking up life skills by getting tutoring, all for someone else's sake, not to mention every time I see her she has a great attitude. I wouldn't know about any of this had I not been given a second chance at getting to know her."
Kanako stared dumbfounded as Kyousuke's normal indifference was replaced by a rather deep and somewhat philosophical speech.
"At least," he reeled it in, suddenly becoming aware of how personal that ramble was. "That's another way of looking at it." Kyousuke hoped he hadn't scared her too much with his weird attitude. He truly did enjoy Kanako's company. It was similarly taxing like his time with Kirino, but it was rewarding in its own right.
"You're amazing, Kyousuke." Kanako whispered, although unintentionally loud enough that he heard. "You know," she said, looking up at him. "I have this friend with an older brother. At first he seemed like a stereotypical sibling, but the more I got to know him, the more I found out that I was wrong." A light blush formed across her face.
"I found out that even though he may seem boring and lack motivation, he won't hesitate for a moment to help others." Her truly honest expression, unlike the 'speak my mind' mentality that she usually had, was so cute it was almost too much for Kyousuke. Were she not his sister's friend, he would probably fall for her.
"Well, whoever he is, he's pretty lucky to have such a great idol think so highly of him." He gave her head another pat and then rose to his feet, gathering up the pile of Kanako's new possessions. "Come on; let's get this stuff where it needs to go."
Kanako shook her head out of its blissful stupor and nodded, hopping off the bench and leading him onward.
Dropping the stuff off at her job place, the two exited the building. Looking at his phone, Kyousuke was surprised to see it was nearly 6:00. He should get heading home soon, before his parents wonder where he went off to.
"I had fun today," Kyousuke admitted to his rather short walking companion. "Thanks for letting me tag along." He was about to turn to head home, but Kanako spoke before he could.
"It's decided then," she folded her arms. "We're going to have to hang out more often, alright Manager?" her mischievous grin as she spoke made him scared but warmed his heart at the same time.
Kyousuke smiled back at her. "Sure thing, Ms. Kanakana."
Kyousuke in life counseling mode is surprisingly fun to write. It's a refreshing change from his normal laid back or submissive attitudes.
I may have taken some liberties with Kanako's character. I've only read a couple of the novels, so my knowledge of her character is limited to the anime and what I've heard of her character in the original material. I'll make an effort to get farther into them to further improve my characterization of the OreImo cast. Drop a review to tell me if there's anything that would benefit from some editing, or just drop a review for any reason (please?).
This may or may not become a series depending on a few factors like reception and my own personal motivation. Of course it wouldn't happen until I got far enough in the novels to get a more focused view of Kanako.
So that's about it, I think. As I said, drop a review and tell me how awful I am for even trying to write and all that jazz. Peace.