Haru watched Minako stroll over to Hana. He thought he could see a little swing in her step. When the rest of them headed over there he saw that she was still intending to carry the bags home to what seemed like a distance. He sighed and grabbed the bags.
He started to head in the opposite direction as Hana. The bags really were heavy. How many was she buying for? He turned his head to see if Minako was going to catch up. Yamato and Yuri looking stunned. He really didn’t have time for this.
“Yuri take care of Baka-chan tonight.”
He said loud enough for them to hear them. She smiled and nodded her head. Yamato glaring. Haru started to laugh to himself. Yamato was just too serious. He turned and started to head towards the train station laughing as he walked. Minako would catch up eventually. She seemed the athletic type.
Minako hadn’t truly thought Hana was serious in needing help to write her speech, but obviously this was not the case.
She nodded, resting her finger against her cheek in thought.
“We can work on it tomorrow after class when Asuna won’t be lurking around.”
She decided before casting a glance at Baka-chan.
“Don’t be late Baka-chan or else I’ll bring curry for lunch again.”
When Haru-san took her bags for the second time, Minako merely froze. //WHAT?!//
She ran after him, grabbing his arm to pull him back.
“What do you think you’re doing with my bags!?”
Glancing up she realized they were in front of the station she needed to use. //How did he know this was where I was going?// She straightened up.
“Ah- thank you for bringing them here. I can take them the rest of the way though.”
Holding out her hand she waited for him to hand them over only to be rejected.
“Fine. It’s this way.”
With a not so subtle huff she turned and lead the way. Even this late in the afternoon the station was crowded and buzzing with people hell bent on getting to their destinations. Not wanting her bags to be separated from hers she glanced back to see what looked like people moving out of his way of their own accord. Was he that intimidating to others? She personally didn’t see it. Turning back to the crowd she climbed onto the train in an attempt to find a spot with room. One moment she thought she might have actually found some breathing room and the next she was squished between some older men and Haru-san. Typical. Looking up at Haru-san it immediately became clear she had nothing to talk about with him- mainly stemming from the slight irritation she had towards him. In the reflection of the metal paneling she realized one of the men behind her was staring down intently. //He must be in deep thought.//
“Do you live this way or…?”
Unbeknownst to her the geezer was trying to angle the camera of his phone under her skirt for some pictures. When they arrived at her stop, she stepped onto the platform none the wiser.
“It’s this way.”
By the time they were back on the street the sun had already set.
“I can carry a bag, you know? Everyone is going to think I made you my servant.”
She teased softly.
An older woman called as they passed.
“Kon bon wa!”
Minako waved back. The crowd had continued to thin out the further into her neighborhood they ventured. A few more people hollered for her to hear and she referred to each in kind before turning back to Haru-chan.
“Alright that’s my home.”
She pointed to a gated off traditional estate.
“Just kidding! I live there.”
Her free hand gestured to a rather average set of apartments. Up the steps they went to the third floor, last door down.
“Thank you for the he-”
The key wasn’t even in the lock before the door flew open to reveal a small old woman.
“Minako-chan! I made dinner to celebrate your first day. How was it?”
The old woman beamed up at Minako before catching a glimpse of the boy holding the bags. Her expression immediately turned skeptical. She shuffled over to peer up at the stranger.
“Who is this Minako-chan? Is he from one of your sports clubs?”
Her voice was very soft and subdued, yet sharp.
“Ah- Kon bon wa obasaan. This is Haru-san. He goes to the same school, but I don’t know if he’s in any sports clubs. My bags were too heavy and he insisted on carrying them.”
Insisted was the only polite way she could think to frame it. Obasaan simply stared at Haru as if she were decided whether the painting she was looking at was good or not.
“I didn’t think this was your type Minako-chan.”
The elderly woman looked at Minako and then back to Haru.
“Would you like to come in for tea?”
Minako opened her mouth to attempt to get him out of it, but was immediately cut off.
“I got some from the market. It’ll relax you after carrying that all this way.”
Haru glided through the train station gate. Clearly ignoring the fact Minako was expecting information from him. It was pretty obvious what he was doing- being a mannered guy. In fact, he was more upset about the fact that Yamato didn’t offer then Minako’s questions. He was the one who knew her more. He snapped back into focus when she asked him to hand them back. Haru simply raised an eyebrow at her and started to walk off in the direction she pointed. He slowed down his steps. This would get even more annoying if he had to find her in a busy crowd. At least he was someone who created a bubble. When they got on the train Haru noticed a few of the office workers looking at Minako. He wanted to roll his eyes or punch them. He hadn’t decided what yet. The girls were clearly jealous of Minako’s figure. Silently making a mental note that he himself appreciated it as well. However, he did appreciate old Japanese men looking at her. When the train started to fill up more and wiggle Haru took the chance to lean forward and move between an office worker and Minako. The creepy pervert had been looking down at her and she didn’t even notice! Haru effectively having Minako against the wall and him in front of her. The groceries helping to form an even better barrier. Old men were such a pain. When he saw the geezer pull out his phone Haru freaked out. Trying his best not to let the dense girl in front of him know, he “naturally” slammed one of his feet down on the man’s. The old pervert dropping his phone. A high school girl clumsily “tripping” over it. Haru smiling to himself since in reality he nudged her over it. He looked back at Minako.
The rest of the ride silent as they approached her station. He quietly followed her from the station to the outside of her house. The setting sun was nice. Haru smiling at her.
“With arms like those?”
He pointed with one of his fingers, lifting the bag up, to her tiny arms. They reminded him of the branches kids you to gather to put bugs on. Not that he would ever say that out loud. When an older woman started waving at him he walked past her quickly. Way too much attention from a neighborhood for his sake. When they reached her house he looked from the traditional house to the apartment complex. He preferred the house. Haru shocked when a small old woman popped out from her door.
He said in shock. When the woman turned to look at him he started to curse Yamato in his head. The stupid idiot.
“My Jiji always taught me to help a lady out.”
Haru praying that answer would work. Thankfully she turned back to Minako. Tea. Tea sounded nice. He did just carry this atrociously heavy bags to her house. Haru nodded his head and walked into the house past them. He took his shoes off and went to sit down at the living room table. Haru ignoring the fact the two were still talking at the door. Instead, he started to look around the very bare apartment. He turned his head back to Minako.
“Minako-san, are you in Baka-chan’s year?”
“Hai. We’re in the same class as a matter of fact.”
Peeking down from the cupboard she was met with Obasaan’s questioning look.
“Baka-chan is a friend of Haru-san’s.”
She murmured while handing her the tea cups. Obasaan shooed Minako away once the groceries were put away and went to work on her new tea. It wouldn’t do to have Minako knowing what brand it was.
Obasaan’s voice filled the room as she shuffled into the living room with a traditional tea set. Honestly, she didn’t think this boy was unattractive…He certainly seemed rough, but many girls seem to like that plus he was well mannered enough to carry Minako-chan’s bags. But then again, if the manga she’d been reading were any indicator then he was probably just a halfuu trying to get with another halfuu for a little fun!
“How far do you live from here?”
She poured them both a steaming cup before pouring one for herself.
“Not nearby at all.”
Minako commented off handily before taking a sip of her tea. Obasaan’s gaze shot form Minako-chan to this Haru-san without missing a beat. // Not nearby at all eh?//
“Well we won’t keep you too long then. Minako-chan, you’ll take him to the station. Won’t you?”
Her soft lines defining her features were set in the seemingly permanent soft smile as she looked at her granddaughter.
Minako bowed her head slightly with a smile. The rest of tea time was marked by Obasaan asking about Minako-chan’s first day to then quickly Segway into her daily dose of local gossip for the day. Over thirty minutes passed before Minako managed to get a word in.
“O-obasaan. Haru-san might miss dinner.”
Obasaan glanced up at the clock.
“Oh my! I’m so sorry for keeping you this late!”
She took another sip of her tea.
“Go, go. Get him off to the station while I clean up.”
She waved them off while pouring herself another cup. It was good tea.
“Thank you for the delicious tea.”
Afterwards he left the apartment and started heading towards the station. A part of him hoping Minako would not run to catch up. He hated the idea of her having to walk back by herself. He had already gone out of his way to be a gentleman and carry her groceries. It some way the sight of Minako running to catch up to him defeated the entire purpose. He continued to walk forward towards the station not saying anything until he reached the sandwich stand in the entrance.
The sandwich vendor handed him a very cheap undelicious looking sandwich. Haru sighing at the sight of it. He took a bite and turned to Minako.
“I hear you have a thing about stealing others’ food.”
The following morning Minako woke up early to an empty house. Once again she went through her somewhat extensive morning routine and grabbed her bento. Her Obasaan had prepared her a snack for after sports clubs. //Too bad I don’t start until next week when they say who made the teams…// She packed away the snack and made her way to the train amongst a sea of patrons.
Hana stood waiting at the school gate. This past week they had started to develop their routine. Tuesdays and Thursdays she had earlier morning archery practice. She would wait for Minako at the gate entrance. Wednesday she met Minako at the intersection by the Takoyaki stand. Hana pleased with the image of the two of them walking into school laughing under the flowers. Ideally, Hana would be by the intersection for Minako today as well, but she had been running late from a meeting with the Judo Club members and stood awkwardly at the entrance gate. Worrying that Minako may have already gone inside. Hopeful, that the ever late and clingy Yamato would be the reason she hadn’t. When she saw Minako turn the corner with a slouching Yamato she started to wave. Happy to see the two of them. A small crowd had started to form to watch her. Everyone knew the expected friend group had a thing starting. A voice forcing her to turn away from her friends. Otonari Sensei and Asuna standing besides her. Eh. When did they get there. Asuna turning to look at the incoming Minako and Yamato. She was sneering. Eh. Hana really didn’t like her.
Hana said while slightly bowing to her awkwardly baby faced teacher. He rubbed his hands behind his back nervously.
She tilted her head at him in confusion. What was the problem? Asuna began to tap her foot impatiently.
“If you had time to stand there you could of met us at Otonari Sensei’s office.”
Hana looked shocked.
“I didn’t know I was supposed too?”
Otonari gave a quick side glance at Asuna and then smiled again.
“Aaah. The message must have been lost on route. Why don’t we all go now.”
Hana looked back at her friends and made an exaggerated NOOOOOOO! face, before turning around to follow Otonari Sensei inside. The trio silently walking to his desk in the teachers room. Hana’s stomach starting to twist in knots. She was expecting to have Minako for a pep talk. In order to calm down she started to count in her head all the students that she could remember passed through the gate before Minako and Yamato appeared. The answer was forty eight. Numbers could be very relaxing. Though the thought of forty eight kids coming to school early gave her even more nervousness. Her entire grade in her other school had less then forty eight kids. Yet, this school had this large of a crowd early in the morning. Hana coming to when she realized the school’s English teacher was awkwardly staring at their Sensei. What. Was Marie Sensei interested in their baby face Sensei? Hana began to struggle with herself to hide her neko like smile. Otonari Sensei turning to look at her.
“No matter what happend, Kobayashi-san, let’s all remain friends.”
Hana turned back to her Sensei. She kept forgetting she was supposed to be paying attention to him. Hana offered her hand to Asuna. The two shook hands and she smiled.
Sensei stood up and led the trip back to their class. When they entered they saw the entire class stand up and greet their Sensei. Hana doing her best to stay calm by flashing a V sign at Minako. Following it with sticking her tongue out at Yamato. She turned to look at Otonari Sensei. Surprised by the weirdly uncute expectant smile he had. Doing her best to ignore the fact that Hiro had turned immediately to flash her an eager smile. Hana had no need to be “aware” of that.
“Let’s give them a respectful audience, class.”
Hana’s classmates clapped and Otonari Sensei smiled at Asuna. Hana wanted to gag as she watched Asuna swish her hair before walking up the podium. Hana looked down at her feet and zoned out. She had zero interest in what Asuna had to say. Especially, since there would probably be a few jabs at her in there. Worst comes to worst Minako or Yamato would mention something about it late. She looked up when Asuna called her name. Hana smiled at her nervously and walked up to the podium.
“Minna, our goal as students is to try our hardest to create a place where we can all have fun together. My idea is to make sure this happens by having the classroom be a relaxing place. Also, a place where everyone can shine as an individual. Yamato-san suggested on day one we create a set of common rules we all agree too.”
Hana quickly looked at Minako. Please, don’t think this about curry. Hana quickly turning back to everyone else.
“Shizu-san told me on the second day the room is often stuffy in the mid day classes and cold in the afternoon. Her deskmate, Azumamaro-san, laughed that we should leave a window open around noon and make sure they are closed for the evening classes.”
Hana smiled at them before turning to look at another classmate. She didn’t know why they looked shocked.
“Not many of you know this, but our classmate, Koto-san, has a very weak body. She has just been allowed to return to school. The classroom wouldn’t be much fun with out her. All of us love her lunch time jokes!”
She paused for a moment as some of the boys laughed at Koto-san.
“And Kosami-san is aspiring to be a mangaka! How many times does he fall asleep in class.”
She paused again as two girls looked at him and nodded. His desk mate shaking awake the half drowsy student.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a way to help all of us? So many things are meant to challenge us right now. Why not try to become a family that can support each other? Help those around us find time for fun…Maybe.. Maybe I could be of help for people like that.”
Hana looked down towards Otonari Sensei. She was done. Hoping, Minako wouldn’t be too mad for bumbling her way through what she had coached her on. Otonari-sensei standing their smiling. Unlike Asuna, the entire classroom was silent. Hana starting to worry. Asuna standing their smirking. She thought her speech on uniform adjustments, after school get togethers and organized study groups was much more impressive. In a way it was… but Hana thought it didn’t have heart. And what did overwork kids need more then heart? Chikafusa-san stood up.
“Kobayashi-san, you barely talk to most of us. How do you know these things about all of us?”
Asuna’s smirk got wider. Eh. Asuna really did stink as a person.
“I try to listen.”
She mumbled nervously. Chikafusa-san cracking up laughing. He turned to Koto-san.
“Koto-san, Isn’t it better for us to have someone who likes our ideas better then her own?”
A few students nodded their heads in their seats. A classmate, Akari-san, stood up and pointed at Yamato.
“She even tamed the Red Scorpion!”
Hana looked at the girl shocked. She had done what now? A few girls started to nod their heads in their seats. Asuna beginning to look slightly unnerved. Yamato standing up.
“She did not-“
Otonari Sensi clapping his hands and cutting him off. Poor Baka-chan. Everyone standing sat back down in their seats.
“I think it is time we vote. All those who prefer Kagurazaka-san’s candidacy.”
Six people, somewhat reluctantly, raised their hands.
Eighteen hands raised up. Yamato smiling at Asuna like an idiot. Hana looking at everyone shocked. She was not actually expecting her speech to work. The speech itself was not very great. Plus, she jumbled up almost everything Minako had gave her. Hana sheepishly looked at Otonari Sensei before returning to her seat. Trying her best to ignore the students clapping and Asuna’s glares. Once she sat down, Hana dropped her head on her desk. She took a deep breath and turned to look at Minako. How mad would she be about the speech? Yabai.
“You did great!”
While her speech hadn’t been perfectly executed, it really didn’t matter. All that mattered was that her approach had ended with her beating out Asuna! Asuna has moved on from glaring to a more ‘pretty’ approach of talking amongst her friends as if nothing bothered her. Too bad Minako caught a glimpse of the cold stare she’d cast over in their direction every now and again. Finally, as if on cue, Asuna made her way over to them with a pageant worthy smile.
The smile on her lips never reached her eyes which were pinned on Hana-chan like a hawk. Asuna was already moving on to new exit strategies.
“So when is your first meeting with the student council?”
Minako asked quite suddenly as they were making their way up the stairs in between classes. After meeting Haru-chan last night, Obasaan had insisted that Minako bring him a treat as a thank you for his hard work. Of course she hadn’t really explained to Hana-chan why she was going to the higher level but then again… Hana-chan hadn’t asked yet. Asuna had just finished talking up to the third years and was making her way down the stairs when she spotted that no good Kobayashi-san walking up the stairs with her even worse friend who could never stop eating. She gave a quick smirk to one of her minions before ‘accidentally’ bumping into Kobayashi-san so that she went tumbling down the stairwell. People needed to know their place. Keiji Ito was making his way up the stairs with his friend Tetsuo who was yammering away about his latest karaoke blind date when a body came flying in his direction. All he saw was a flash of blonde and the tan flutter of a skirt before the impact hit him.
Tetsuo was unable to withhold the pervert in him. When the kami grant such a site you can’t just ignore it!
“Their are introductions today afterschool. But I think the first meeting is Monday.”
As the two climbed the stairs Hana looked up to see Asuna surrounded by upper years on one of the smooth parts. Eh. Even when she walked somewhere entirely new the girl showed. Hana put her head down as she walked past Asuna. She was not in the mood to start trouble. Hana would start up again Monday. To her dismay she found herself falling backwards. She was going to kill Asuna. Hana reaching a hand out towards the startled Minako. Out of nowhere Hana felt arms wrap around. A moment of panic filling her as she had not noticed anyone behind them earlier. As she hit the ground she blanked out for a second. Everything was spinning. She stayed on the ground….the very soft ground? for a few minutes holding her head. Mumbling to herself Minako’s name and Asuna’s. The dizzyness ending when she heard a boy voice mention a Kami. The sound of mumbles beneath her. She realized that she had fallen a top of a second year student. Her boobs suffocating him. Oh no! Hana sat up quickly, not piecing together the fact that everyone was aware that she was still technically straddling him. The Senpai sat up slightly, leaning on his hands. He turned from Tatsuo back to Hana, before laughing.
“The Kami’s indeed.”
Hana covered her chest with her arms.
He put his hand up to stop her and pointed down to his waist. She followed his finger down to realize she was still sitting on top of him. Flushed a bright red, Hana quickly stood up. She covered her face.
Ito-san stood up and brushed himself off. He seemed to reach out for a wall to steady himself when Hana caught his arm.
“Let me take you to the infirmary.”
He looked at her and started to laugh.
“Shouldn’t I be taking you? You are bleeding.”
Hana looked down at her scraped knees. The atmosphere around her seemed more comfortable.
“This happens all the time. Just ask Minako-san.”
She pointed at her annoyingly silent friend. Ito-san looking over to appraise Minako before turning back to Hana.
“If that’s Minako-san then you must be Kobayashi-san.”
Hana took a step back and covered her chest once again. Eh.
His friend Tatsuo walking over. He put his arm around his shoulder.
“Don’t you know it.”
Ito-san pushed him off him and turned back to Hana.
“Let’s get you to the infirmary, Kobayashi-san.”
Hana turned to look at Minako.
“You can go yourself right?”
Haru appearing out of nowhere on the stairs above them.
“Go on, Chibi-chan. I can escort Minako.”
Hana looked at Minako and Haru in surprise. Was Minako heading to Haru’s class? Interesting. The uncharacteristically quiet Asuna choosing to speak up.
“Keiji-san. I’ll escort Hana-san to the infirmary. It seems she tripped on me.”
Yamato seemingly appearing at the base of the stairs.
“Look at the idiot besides Hana-san. He’s got a bump on his head.”
He shooed his hands at her.
“Just go back to gossiping.”
Hana looked at each person in confusion. What just happened. Ito-san turned to Haru.
“Haru, since when do you know so many people?”
He frowned and pointed at Hana.
“You won’t believe the effects her constant falling has.”
Hana took a step towards Haru when Ito-san grabbed her arm.
“Let’s just go, feisty.”
Hana’s face turned bright red. Following him down the stairs in a resigned manner. As she passed Yamato she mouthed the words help me to him. He turned his head. Hana vowing to him back. Yamato walking up the stairs, past Asuna, to Minako and Haru.
“Haru, not even you can handle this one. Instead of one on one why not just settle for a group thing. We are all going to karaoke today after school.”
Well, he had just decided that now. Asuna frustrated, crossed her hans and further inserted herself into the conversation. How could Kobayashi-san and the over eater Minako-san get the attention from the attractive second years. She was a halfuu too! plus, she was rich, popular, well known in the area, smart…It just wasn’t fair. These two were not supposed to be obstacles for her. Tatsuo interupting everyone, all seemingly forgotten he had been there with Ito-san before.
“Karaoke sounds great. Minako-san, can you give me your number.”
He winked at her before turning to Yamato.
“Uh, Insect Warrior, I’ll take yours too.”
“Keiji seriously needs to stop picking up random friends.”