H X E 18

Haru

Haru watched her silently clean up his hand. He had forgotten he was bleeding. It was natural she should be the one to help him. After all, she caused the injury. It was a marvel how prepared she was. Her bag didn’t seem the slightest bit bulgy or heavy. Interesting. He looked at her skeptically. His attempted retort cut off by her transition into them moving. He let her lead him towards the expected group hang out. He was organizing his lists of retorts and come backs for future events. Even he was aware that the train stunt was really enough for the night. That was until she brought up the attractive comment. “Eeeeeh.” He let out an exaggerated sigh. He leaned forward and walked her towards the wall of a shop. Haru deciding to flick her forward. “Baka. ” He leaned back and put his hand over his mouth to cover his chuckle. “Reading into a lesson so much.” Haru shaking his head and turning away to walk towards karaoke. Did he find her attractive? Yes. Would he say that out loud? No. He shook his head laughing as he walked towards Karaoke. When he got far enough away from her he turned around to call out to her. “Are you coming?” He shook his head as he continued to walk farther a head of her. A coy smile on his face until she reached him. Haru turning to to her and smiling smugly. ” So how far is this place?” Haru walking along side her until they reached karaoke.

Hana

Hana felt herself being jostled forward and back. One of her hands lifted to rub her eye awake. Blinking a few times she hazily looked at Keiji. “Senpai…” She yawned. Hana barely having time to hear they had missed their stop. Her face flushing red when he pulled her into him. She started to mumble. “Senpai…It’s fine…Awake…” She started to let out, before resigning to just turn her head in a different direction. Now aware of the two old woman staring at her. Baka. She kept her face turned away from Keiji. She said nothing until the doors to the last stop opened. Clumsily, she pushed her away out of his arms and out through the train. She ran as fast as she could until she was outside the station. Placing her hands on her knees, Hana started to take deep breaths. Minako made this look so easy. She stood up straight and stretched. She could hear the little pop of a button under her vest. It was too early for this. Hana reached into her bag and pulled out her phone. Their was fourteen missed messaged from Baka-chan. She quickly shot him a text, apologizing and blaming student council. It technically was not her fault they were an hour late. I mean, they had been the ones to leave ahead of them. However, it was the one liner of Minako and Haru not being there that made her smile. When she turned to see that Keiji had caught up with her, she smiled at him like a cat and showed him her phone. “Any idea were Haru-san and Minako went?” She turned away from him and quickly flagged down a taxi, shoving Keiji into it. Hana giving the driver the directions and putting her phone away. She turned to look at Keiji. “Senpai, am I going to have to worry about Haru-san and Minako? Yuri-san has already made it clear she is attached?” Hana quickly dove into her backpack, pulling out two things of strawberry flavored tofu milk. She held one out for him. “I forgot I had one for Minako and I. You must be thirsty.” Hana choosing to drop it on his lap and start to open hers. Unable to help the Kawaii expression forming on her. “Mhmmm.” She whispered. Hana turning her head to look out the window. “The city really is beautiful.” Her lost in the moment feeling ending as she turned back to look at Keiji. The best serious expression she could manage on her face. The joy of strawberry flavored tofu milk was just too great. She coughed into her hand before continuing. “It’s just, Minako is a little dense and…” Hana letting her thought trail off.

Keiji

Keiji raised a brow at the suspicious smile on her face and leaned forward to get a look at the message Yamato had sent. “Hmm…no.” He let himself settle into the taxi seat. He hadn’t noticed anything between Haru and Minako, but then again he hadn’t even seen them together in the same environment before. Yuri was definitely attached the poor boy though. In fact, Keiji fell more silent around that middle schooler than he probably did around anyone else… Her intensity was too much for him. He was just about to offer his opinion when she handed him a strawberry milk. “Thank you.” Opening his he watched her sip on hers- trying not to chuckle at the face she made. She really was like something out of an otaku’s fantasy. Everything she did had a kawaii flare to it. Once again, he barely had time to think of what to say before she was staring out of the window marveling. She was such an interesting girl. If he remembered correctly he was sure he’d been told she was from the country side, but he couldn’t be sure if it was someone else he was thinking of. When she brought up Minako again he just stared at her. For someone who went off course a lot she always made sure to go back to the root issue. “I’m sure they are only running late because of his temper. Haru-san never shows interest in girls- always irritation. No one even knows what he looks for, so don’t worry Chibi-san.” Keiji replied calmly before taking a moment to finish his strawberry milk in two gulps. “But yes, Yuri-san is fixated, so it’s a good thing Haru-san is asexual.” Was Haru-san asexual? No. Did Keiji have a habit of insinuating Haru was gay or asexual? Yes. When they arrived in front of the karaoke lounge Keiji quickly took care of the fee and stepped out feeling a lot better after all the time spent sitting down. “Did they say what room they were in?” Leading the way inside the building they hadn’t even made it ten feet inside when Tetsuo popped up out of nowhere.

“Where have you guys been?! I had to call in reinforcements!” Tetsuo laughed, wrapping an arm around Keiji’s shoulders. “Oh, hey Chibi-chan. I got some girls to come so you wouldn’t be the only one while we wait for Haru-san and Minako-san to show up.” He pulled Keiji along into a room. Tetsuo had fulfilled his promise getting four girls to show up- mainly to keep himself and Yamato company since he’d been fearful the four late comers might end up pairing off and leave him in the dust. “They’re here guys!” Tetsuo released Keiji and took his spot in the middle of the everyone. “So which song were we doing next?”

Minako

“H-hey!” Minako snapped, rubbing the spot where he flicked her. Calling HER the baka?! What…well, baka!! When he asked if she was coming she allowed herself a small laugh, moving to catch up with him. “It’s right this way.” She smiled and led the way in silence. To be honest, she wasn’t going to bother trying to read into what he had said. If anything, he was just trying to prove his point and had called her attractive to drive his message home- nothing more and nothing less. They arrived at karaoke a short time later with Minako taking Haru straight to the room. Her eyes widened a bit at the amount of people Tetsuo planned to cram in a smaller room. “Eh, hey everyone!”

Tetsuo hopped up and made do of introducing the newcomers to those who had bothered to arrive ON TIME. “This is Misa-san, Sakura-san, Aiko-san, and Kaede-san.”

Minako stepped forward and introduced herself to each of the girls before greeting Hana-san, Keiji-san, and lastly- Baka-chan. She waited until the girls had gone back to talking before she addressed Baka-chan. “Baka-chan. I just wanted to thank you for trying to look out for me earlier. Thank you for not making a scene. I promise not to being curry to school tomorrow.” She gave him a smile and took her seat. Would she ever thank Haru-san? No, but she doubted he would notice anything. “So what song are is next?”

Hana

Hana found her attempt for paying for the taxi shut down when Keiji swiftly took out and payed for the taxi. Hana had only just gotten her wallet out. With a hint of shame, she tucked the wallet back into her bag. Looking at Keiji, in quite an embarassed manner, she stumbled through saying, “Room 12 A…12 C?” She followed Keiji into the building when Tetsuo suddenly appeared in front of them. Hana both relieved and concerned at the sight of him. She quietly followed the obnoxiously loud and insistent Senpai into the room. Other girls. Great…… Hana thinking about why Haru and Minako were not here yet. And why they were not here together? Hana skirted around Tetsuo and Keiji and sat down at the far end next to Yamato. She leaned over into his ear. “Haru-san and Minako?” Yamato shook his head and said in a low voice, “I’ll text you it through the meetup.” Hana shook her head and turned to see Tetsuo and everyone staring at her. “Eh?” She said out loud confused. The third year, Sakura-san, was smiling at her. “We were wondering if you wanted to sing next?” Hana’s face turned completely red as she franticly waved her arms. “Iie. It is much better if someone else goes.” Hana stood up to pull Yamato up and kicked him forward, so he stumbled onto the platform. She sat back down and picked up a menu. “Do they have strawberry tofu milk? or tea?” Hana watching the entire room crack up laughing. It had to be enough….The conversation must change. It did not work. Yamato turned around and grabbed her hand. Hana in defiance twisted his arm behind his back and shook her finger in his face. “No, means no. Baka-chan.” He tapped the wall and she smiled. Yamato ignoring her and shoving a mike into her hands. The song, Pururu ru rururru Dreams, starting to play. Everyone seemed to be leaning forward to watch. Hana wanted to cry. Yamato started the song with a decent singing voice going, “Pururu is my heart. Pururu is my dreams. Pururu is a magical girl. Her magic begins when everyone says” He pointed the mike at the room. A collection of cheerful, “Pururu ru rururu Dreams!” responded to him. Yamato pointing to her when the anime started it’s dance section. Hana making the hand movements much smaller then they were supposed to be made. After only a few short movements, Hana became aware that she should worn a sports bra. Embarrassed, she put the mic down on the table and awkwardly said, “I really should go find drinks first.” Hana clumsly making her way out of the room and against one of the corner’s walls. She fell onto the floor and wiped a few tears from her eyes with her sleeves. “I want to go home.” She whispered.

Haru

Haru followed Minako into the Karaoke place. When he saw all the people in the room, Haru wanted to run for the hills. They were all girls from his class. All of them staring at him like meat on a plate. Tetsuo just kept racking up strikes against him. Haru loosing all composure when SHE THANKED YAMATO AND NOT HIM. His only punishment was curry! He watched Yamato rub his head nervously and just smile at her. When he saw Minako being stuck inbetween Yamato and Tetsuo, he did the only thing he could think of. Sit between Minako and Tetsuo. He turned his head on Tetsuo and smiled at Keiji. “So you did actually make it here without Chibi-chan killing you.” He turned to smile at Yamato. “Baka-chan thank you for taking care of Minako-san. She would of ended up in an AWFUL situation if it wasn’t for YOU.” HE leaned back into his seat smug. Not only did he annoy Tetsuo, but he was in arms’ distance to both Yamato and Tetsuo. Plus, he could keep an eye on a very in pain looking Keiji. Haru noticing how close him and Chibi-chan seemed to be. Haru shook his head. It had to be the boobs. He had never seen Keiji with someone flat chested. Why else would he be attracted an attempted killer by means of kawaii overdose. He bent down to pick up the list of songs and smiled at the selection. He turned to Minako and handed her a mike. “Why don’t you sing Lost in the world of Trains, by Yamakaza Hirohito.” Was it an extremely melancholy song about zoning out and riding a train alone, because life sucked? Yes. However, it was a very appropriate jab for her bullshit thank you to Yamato. Go on, Minako. Sing about the world of trains. Haru turned his head to the girls in his class. “You guys won’t mind if we slow things down for a song?” He looked at their blushing faces and he knew he won. Haru winking at Tetsuo. He could struggle all he want. Haru already had so many reasons to not let him win. He noticed Chibi-chan flashing him a thumbs up. Maybe he could be friends with her after all. They seemed to be on the same page of disliking Tetsuo and teasing Minako.

Keiji

Keiji slowly lowered himself down on the far end of the seating so he could be closest to the door and away from the speakers. He took a bottle of water Tetsuo and held it to his head to soak up the cooling effect. He had barely been in the room for five minutes and background music was already starting to get to him. He hadn’t really been paying attention, but once he heard the beginning to Pururu ru rururu Dreams began to play… he wanted to bash his head against the wall and give himself another concussion. He couldn’t stand that song. It was the most grating, irritating song in the entire world and the fact that everyone else in the room seemed so involved made him question his friend choices. The dance was awkward to watch in his opinion- probably because it was an awkward dance to begin with unless you both committed 100% and could pull it off. From the corner of his eye he could see Tetsuo enjoying the show. Pervert. He was just about to say something when Chibi-chan made her way out of the room. Once she was gone he brought his closed fist down upon Tetsuo’s head with medium force.

“Ow!” Tetsuo cradled his head. “What was that for?!” He whacked Keiji hard over the back of head.

Keiji blinked a few times. “Lightning the mood.” He opened the door and closed it behind him before looking around. He could hear Tetsuo saying ‘jeeze’, but ignored it when he spotted Chibi-chan on the floor. Closing the distance between them he looked down at her crouching figure. He just stood there for a moment and racked his brain. “…Kobayashi-san.” He didn’t know her first name and he felt Chibi-chan wasn’t what she’d want to hear right now. “Can you help me get ice?” He held out of the bottle of water to her. “These aren’t working very well.” She was a bit blurry if he was being honest with himself and little did he know he was actually holding the bottle out a little too high for her to reach from the floor. He dropped the bottle for her to grab and walked off in the wrong direction. “This way.”

Minako
Minako stared a whole into the side of Haru-san’s head when he went on his pep talk to Baka-chan. Honestly, she didn’t understand this boys issue with her. It wasn’t even as if she was in his face! If anything she was going to have to put more effort into distancing herself from him. The irritation was just brimming below the surface when he brought up some irrelevant song he obviously only chose for the song title. She thought the girls would say no, but she clearly underestimated Haru-san’s appeal with the ladies. Good grief. They obviously hadn’t dealt with him one on one or else they wouldn’t be blushing. She took the mic and stepped onto the platform. She had no idea what the song was, but she refused to back down from the likes of Haru-san. Nodding her head to the beat she gave Haru-san a look before singing out the song. It was so boring and monotonous, but if that’s what he needed to feel better…fine. When the song ended she hopped down took the song book, opening it front of the girls and leaning over to look at it with them. “How about Daia no Hana? It’s from-”

“It’s from Black Cat!” Misa-san jumped up. “I love that show! Let’s do that one.” The other girls laughed at how excited Misa was and nodded to see their friend in action.

Minako smiled and made a move to take a seat only to get dragged back up by Misa-san. EH? She looked over at Hana-chan as if to ask why. WHY wasn’t this happening to the kawaii one in the group!?

“We need to two people!” Misa-san reminded her before firmly planting on her on the platform and grabbing another mic. “Hit it.” She pointed a fingers at Testuo before turning Minako away from the screen. “We don’t need lyrics.”

Tetsuo looked over at Haru and Yamato a bit confused before playing the song. He leaned back and watched as Misa-san immediately got into; even though it was a bit rusty. About four words in and Misa-san had had Minako-san take over while she stuck to vocals and background dancing. It only took a moment for Minako to get into it. You always had to commit.

Hana

Hana looked up Keiji. She had forgotten that being here must be hardest for him. “Sure…” She grabbed his water bottle and allowed him to think he had pulled her up. Her mother had always taught her it was important to make men think they were being manly. When he started to pull her in the direction of the emergency exit she stopped walking and tugged on his sleeve. “Senpai, let’s go this way.” She let her hand drop to grab his. She pulled him towards the opposite direction they had come from. Hana assuming that logically the front desk should be around their. After one missed turn, she got them there. Hana smiling at the host looking man behind the counter. “Two strawberry tofu milks, and….” She turned around to Keiji. “Do you think they will be ok with an apple cider?” Not waiting for a response she turned back around and ordered a round of apple cider. Hana not realizing she had forgotten to add non-alcoholic to the statement. She had thought it was obvious by her age. When the woman besides him disappeared she started to speak again. “Is it okay if we can have a bag of ice for an injury.” She held out her black credit card. “Please put the entire room’s bill on this.” The man looked at the card shocked and nodded his head. He disappeared to grab the ice. She turned back around and grabbed Keiji’s head. She turned it slowly to the right and then slowly to the left. “How bad does that hurt?” She removed her hand to grab the water bottle and surprisingly throw it into the nearby trash can. “It’s already warm.” Hana turning back around to the sound of the man approaching. “Your card has been approved. You may have it back and here is the bag of ice you requested, Kobayashi-san.” Hana tucked her credit card away and thanked the man for the bag of ice. She once again took Keiji’s hand and pulled him back towards the karaoke room. She stopped before the door and pulled out the piece of bumble bee patterned cloth she had been using to wrap her lunches. Now, she used it to wrap the ice. She held it up against his head and used her other hand to put one of his hands on top of it. “You definitely shouldn’t been in a place with loud music and flashing lights. When you get in there keep the ice pack on, one song towards the end max, try to nap AND..” She took a moment to breath, before continuing. “And no dancing or anything of the sort until tomorrow.” She took his hand and pulled him back into the room and towards their seats. She had interrupted Tetsuo and Kaede-san singing a popular anime tittle. When they finished she bowed her head in apologies. “I’m sorry. I’m not very good with this stuff.” She smiled at them nervously. “I bought a round of drinks for everyone to make amends.” Hana leaning back into the cushion to check on a slumping Keiji. Honestly, the Baka may end up dying tonight, because his unruly judgments. She pulled his sleeve down so his head would fall onto her shoulder. She whispered in a low voice. “You are sitting underneath one of the strobe lights. I thought I told you not to hurt yourself further.” She lifted one of her hands to check that the icepack was in place and she turned to watch everyone resume singing……

Hana sat watching the whole transition take place. She was happy to have been left out of the whole thing. She enjoyed clapping along to the music as Minako tried her hardest to commit to a song that didn’t seem to be in the wheelhouse of her comfort zone. She glanced down at a still very uncomfortable looking Keji. She sighed loudly. He would be the death of her with all the guilt she felt for falling into him. Stupid idiot just should of died. When everyone was watching the song she pulled the back of his shirt so his head fell on her lap.His face partly covered by the low table. Most of the blaring lights couldn’t reach him like this. She bent down and whispered. “If you die, I would have to commit Seppuku. So just do what you have to do to be well.” She smiled at him and sat back up. After tonight she would no longer be indebted to him. When the song finished the door to the room opened and the man who she had ordered drinks from appeared with the girl and a tray of drinks. He saw the increase in number and looked shock. He turned to Hana. “I’m sorry Miss Kobayashi-san, we are short two drinks.” Hana smiled at him. “It’s alright. Take your time to get the other two.” He smiled and waved the girl to deposit the drinks. She thanked the man once again before waving at everyone. “I told you, I bought a round of drinks. Go on.” She watched the glass of cider that was supposed to be in front of Tetsuo appear in front of Minako. Keiji’s had been slid so Yamato had two. Poor Baka-chan. Everyone really did see him as the entertainment. Hana took a sip of the cider. Her face scrunched up from the taste. “This tastes funny?” Yamato messing up her hair. “Are you sure you ordered actual apple cider.” Hana shook her head fervently. “Of course I did!” Everyone relaxing and drinking theirs down……Of course she did……….

Haru

Haru sat their silent the entire anime song. It was a stupid song. It was a stupid comeback by Minako-san. His entire revenge happiness was leaving his body. When the drinks arrived he instantly noticed these were alcoholic drinks. Haru went to speak when he saw Chibi-s embarrassed face. He shut his mouth. The poor kawaii overdose had already dealt with so much today. Plus, she had clearly announced she was on his side. He couldn’t not help her save some face. He drank his down and leaned back. Just then noticing that Keiji had fallen back onto Hana’s lap. He looked up from him to her a few times. When did this happen!?!?! The idiot didn’t really fall for her boobs? Did he ! He shook his head no. It must of been Chibi-chan and the weird sense of guilt she seemed to have. Besides, it would be better for him to be away from some of the bright strobe lights. He flashed a thumbs up at Chibi-chan and stood up and grabbed the mike. He hit the button for a well known J-rock song and thumbs downed Tetsuo. He really disliked the bastard. HE started to sing and was instantly aware of how perfect his voice sounded. Haru remembering the days he would sit on his mom’s lap and sing with her. Everything was on point. It had been awhile since he had sung. When the anime character reached his arms out in the background, Haru did the same. He reached his hand out towards the space between Yamato and Minako. He winked at Yamato who seemed to jump in his seat. When the song was over he posed like the anime character, realized he did that, and then swiftly returned to his seat. He had committed to be a fool long enough. The door opened and a few more drinks were brought in. Apparently, someone had ordered more then just two. Haru watching Hana move on to her second glass…Her strawberry tofu milk untouched. Oh boy. He turned to see what glass number Minako was on.

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Saigo No Iiwake

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