I wokeup for no particular reason. Everything was quiet and I rolled over to look at my clock, which read 11:48. My eyes widened, cursing myself for sleeping so late. I threw the covers off myself and climbed out of bed, yawning and getting dressed at quickly as I could, having just woken up. I rushed to the bathroom to brush my hair.
As soon as Id finished getting ready, I headed downstairs to find it dark and quiet. I didnt bother turning on the lights as I was leaving right then anyway. I wrote a quick note to Jiyu, who would be sleeping till 2:00 or so, and left.
I was on foot because Id left my bike at Akais and luckily it was a nice day. The sun shone brightly on Akai and my little neighborhoods, lighting the high trees. I breathed in the fresh morning air and let it out, smiling. Maybe this is happiness, I thought. Amiboshis question had really made me think about life and happiness. Was there any possible way to achieve it? Whenever I thought of how I could be happy, I always thought of falling in love. But I should have rephrased it, thinking, having love in my life would make it happy. Maybe that was shallow, and something could make me happier, like friendship or acceptance, but even those seemed simple, which made me wonder if happiness had to be complex, or whether it was not at all.
I hardly noticed Id reached Akais house Id been so deeply in thought. I glanced at the side of the house to make sure my bike was still there, then headed up the huge wooden steps.
I opened the front door and walked cautiously in. It was dark and silent. I wonder if theyre even here, I thought, then added wryly, or even awake.
Akai-chan! I called, walking up the stairs and getting major fe ja vo, good morning!
Silence. I looked around the family room, peering on the couch and chairs. Nothing. I crept quietly to Akais room, and peeked in. Nothing. As I walked out, I thought angrily, that little brat! She left without me! Shes out around the town with two gorgeous guys--
And thats when I saw him. Amiboshi lie, fast asleep on the couch in the living room. His hair fell across his eyes and looked almost blondish as the faint rays of sun light hit it. He breathed peacefully, his chest rising and falling rythmically. I smiled and let out a sigh. How adorable! I really didnt want to wake him, but I had to find out where Akai and Tasuki were.
I sat sown beside him on the couch and shook his shoulder gently, Amiboshi. Hey, Amiboshi, wake up. I said softly. He stirred a bit, then opened his eyes. He blinked, as if trying to make them come into focus.
I smiled, Did Tasuki and Akai leave you all by your lonesome?
He looked around sleepily, Are they gone?
Looks like it, I nodded, so you dont know where they are? Amiboshi shook his head. I sighed frustratedly, how irresponsible of them. Going off to make out without telling anyone.
Amiboshis eyes widened and I reassured him, I was joking. Theyll probably be back soon. So, howd you sleep?
He yawned and laid his head back down, Okay. I didnt get much.
I shrunk back guiltily, Im sorry.
No, no, its allright. We didnt know it was so late anyway, he reassured me.
Amiboshi and I both turned to see Akai and Tasuki walk in. They both looked happy. A little too happy...
Where have you two been? I asked suspiously.
Oh ye of little faith, Akai smiled,c oming up and patting me on the head, we were at Kissechis, pervert.
I smirked, All the more reason for me to be suspious.
Ah, but what were you and Amiboshi up to all alone while we were gone? Akai grinned.
I saw Amiboshi redden, and I turned to her and replied self assuredly, Talking. And besides, Im not the one whos all alone with two guys every night.
Oh yeah? Well... she paused then cocked an eyebrow suggestively, I guess you got me there.
Exactly, I nodded, then, hey, what were you doing over at Kissechis? I thought Tasuki was afraid of her.
Tasuki puffed out his chest, Im not afraid of any women.
I cocked an eyebrow, Oh, really? Is it because were weak and helpless? my tone was dry and on the verge of pissed.
Uh, thats not what I meant...
Yes, it is! I narrowed my eyes, you think were all weak, pathetic, fru-fru pansies! Well, I can tell you--
I was cut off, feeling Amiboshi touch my arm, Nishiko...
I blushed, feeling embarrassed, but I finished softly, Just dont assume were weak and useless, Tasuki.
Tasuki was looked down at his feet. I think my words actually hit him, and that was weird to me. I never thought I could actually make someone think about the feminist crap Im always spouting.
Akai suddenly cleared her throat, So, anyone want coffee?
Everyone stared at Akai. I made a face, Ick. Coffee.
What coffee? Amiboshi asked. I looked at him, and hid a smile, realizing that he was still lying next to me.
Its a disgusting drink that wakes you up, I told him.
I think its good! Akai protested.
Tasukill probably like it, I commented, then turned to Amiboshi, I dont know if youll like it though.
Ill go make some, Akai bounded off to the kitchen, chanting, coffee, coffee, coffee.
I raised an eyebrow, but turned to Tasuki and smirked, Did you and Akai have a good time? I knew Akaid had a good time because of how incredibly happy she was.
He gave me a strange look, Uh, we were walking to Kissechis, thats all.
I smirked but kept silent. I got up and went into the kitchen, followed by the guys.
Hi, everyone, announced in a sing-song voice as we walked in.
I cocked an eyebrow, Ok-ay. Just a bit happy, Akai-chan?
Yeah, yeah! Akai replied, Im in a really good mood for some reason. I havent been this happy since... she paused, well, not for a while.
What was the key to Akais happiness? I wondered, what if...
Is it almost ready? Tasuki asked curiously, breaking my thoughts.
Nope. It still has to perk, Akai began to dance around the kitchen, why am I so happy? followed by a giggle.
I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned against the counter, watching her. Alright, I admit it. I was envious of her happiness. It wasnt that I wasnt happy, but I was almost certain something had happened between her and Tasuki. Why else would she be so happy? Maybe I was envious of that.
You all right?
I looked up as Amiboshi came over and leaned against the counter next to me.
Oh, yeah, I forced a smile, then sighed silently, watching Akai enviously once more.
Akai danced around more, then pranced over to the fridge, Soda, Nishi-chan?
I shook my head, No.
Suit yourself, she shrugged, followed by yet another shrill giggle, then going to the coffee, damn, still not ready.
I saw Amiboshi watching me out of the corner of my eye, and turned to him, What? I asked, smiling slightly.
He shrugged, looking down at his feet, You just look upset.
Oh jeez, I thought, Ive only known him two days and he can already read me. I laughed softly, Upset? Uh...no.
Hey, Nishi-chan, what should we do today?
I shrugged and walked to the fridge, checking in it, I dunno. We could just hang out.
We could, she said, tapping her foot. She looked over at the coffee pot, coffees ready!
Uh, are you okay, Akai? Tasuki asked nervously, edging over to her.
Yeah, yeah, just hyper, she replied.
Huh? Tasuki asked.
Ive got a lot of energy, she said, pouring herself a cup of coffee and adding cream and sugar, and Im about to get more.
God help us, I muttered only loud enough for Amiboshi to hear.
Akai sipped the coffee, Ah, perfect, she held the cup to Tasuki, try some. Nishiko hates it and I need someone to be hyper with me.
He took the cup hesitantly, and tried some. His face lit up, Thats pretty damn good!
Ick, was my imput. I turned to Amiboshi, you can try some,you know. Just cause I dont like it doesnt mean its forbidden.
Amiboshi shrugged, but went up to Akai for a sip. He took it from her and took a hesitant taste.
Again, I got to see the disgusted, horrified face. He shoved the cup back to Akai and forced himself to swallow it. Thats awful, he commented, its so bitter!
Yes! I cried triumphantly, pointing at Akai, thats one for my side.
Well, Tasuki likes it so biiiida! she stuck her tounge out at me. I had the urge to start a biiii war, but resisted, reminding myself that I didnt get into that sort of thing.
Is there anything you like? I asked Amiboshi desperatly.
I like Chinese food, he shrugged helplessly.
Who doesnt? I pointed out.
We cant feed you Chinese food all the time. You have to find something you like, Akai sighed and Amiboshi seemed sad that he couldnt eat Chinese food all the time.
Should we taste test? I asked Akai.
Hey, yeah, thats not a bad idea, Akai agreed. I began to pull various things out of the fridge, handing to Akai, who set them on the counter. After that, I wandered over to the cupboard and began pulling out more food.
All right, I said, turning to Amiboshi, where should we start?
I vote for the jello, Akai said, managing to look innocent. I narrowed my eyes at her and stepped closer to Amiboshi, Keep your paws off im! I paused, and besides, Amiboshi doesnt need to eat horse and cow bones.
You eat horse and cow bones here? Amiboshi asked, looking horrified.
I dont, but she does, I pointed at Akai, then added, she likes to do other things with jello too.
Akai grinned wickedly, You have no idea.
And I dont think they want to either, I said and went back to the food, all right, well started with...cheese. Behold the power of cheese.
Amiboshi looked frightened.
It was a couple hours later, and wed gone through almost every food in Akais kitchen. Poor Amiboshi was stuffed and looking sick. But wed found some foods he liked: he liked pasta, mashed potatoes, peanut butter, whipped cream, fruit, and wed found out that he especially liked ice cream. Tasuki had been trying things as he pleased, and liked just about everything he ate. Although, he didnt like whipped cream....
Are you okay? I asked Amiboshi, who was looking rather green. He gazed at me and nodded weakly.
Hey, Nishi-chan? Did we have any homework in Algebra? Akai asked suddenly.
I thought for a moment, then replied, Yeah, but I got it finished in class. I dont think youve got it done yet.
Whats Algebra? Tasuki asked exasperatedly.
Math. Chiriko would know about it, I replied. Tasuki and Amiboshi both gave mne weird looks, and I remembered that neither one of them knew who Chiriko was, but the seventh Suzaku seishi Amiboshi been disguised as. I bit my lip and looked down, the...er, real Chiriko.
There was a really akward silence, and Akai broke it, saying, Its boring. Its the most boring thing you could ever do.
Tasuki thought for a moment, then asked, How come they make ya learn it then?
Cause theyre adults, Akai shrugged.
Tasuki looked disturbed, In my world, wed all be adults.
Things are a lot different here, Akai sighed.
Ya said you were on Spring Break. Whend ya hafta go back?
I thought a moment, Lets see...its Wednesday? We go back Monday, so...five days, I suddenly got the impact of this and stared at Akai with wide eyes, Akai! What are we going to do with them?!
Take us with ya! Tasuki grinned crookedly.
With us? Akai cried, to school?!
I choked out a laugh, Uh, I dont think so...
Why the hell not?
Akai and I exchanged skeptical glances, Teenagers in this world are...different, I said warily.
Akai snorted, Theyre more corrupt than most adults. Its sickening.
I bit my lip, Not nessicarily. But theyre really...judgemental and prejuduce. Unless you know how to handle them, they can make peoples lives hell.
I can handle anyone, Tasuki declared.
I sighed, Such pride, Gen-chan.
Shes right, Akai nodded, theyll rip you apart if you let them.
Tasuki looked half mad that we didnt want him to go, half curious about these teenagers that were so bad. He suddenly looked determined, If you dont take me with you, Ill fight with Amiboshi. I could kill him, you know.
I felt a pang of anger and worry and the tinge of giving in. I think Amiboshi was too sick to notice. I thought, then smirked, What if we take Amiboshi with us and leave you here?
Besides, intejected Akai, the logical one, you said that you wouldnt. You told me youd keep your word.
Tasuki looked stuck, and thought for a moment. As if not finding anyway to talk us into it, he crossed his arms across his broad chest stubbornly, muttering, Cant belive all these God damn bossy women...
I felt bad for him. I think he really wanted to go. I looked at Akai helplessly and asked her softly, It might not hurt...
I suppose youre right, Akai turned back to Tasuki, youll have to get up early. And well have to plan everything perfectly so my parents dont catch us.
Tasuki grinned crookedly, Ya wont regret it.
The thought of Tasuki in school scared me--not so much for his sake, but for everyone elses. Suddenly, I remembered Amiboshi. I looked down at him. Hed crossed his arms onto the table and had laid his head down. His eyes were closed but I wasnt sure he was sleeping.
Amiboshi? I asked, and his eyes flicked open. I smiled, Just checking to see if youre awake. Tasukis going to school with us when we go back. Do you wanna come?
He sat up and nodded quickly.
Then its settled, I shrugged. God only knew what would come of taking two guys from Ancient China to High school.
I absolutely hate getting up early unless I have an exciting reason. This morning, I think it would be safe to call it a safe reason. Id jumped out of bed, barely tired, dressing quickly, rushed downstairs to shovel some breakfast and headed out the door. Id been riding my bike quicker than I thought. I road down Akais street to the corner, almost whistling. Why the hell was I happy? I thought suddenly, then smiled, thinking, maybe its cause I get to show off a really hot guy to all my friends. I took a deep breath. Cool it, Nishiko. Hes not yours yet. I chuckled to myself, realizing Id added the yet to my sentence.
I spotted three figures standing at the corner. I got up to Amiboshi, Akai and Tasuki and murmured a breathless, Morning.
Morning. Been riding awfully fast, have you? Akai smirked at me.
I nodded, then caught myself and gave her a weird look, So?
She continued to smile smuggly, Nothing.
I turned to Tasuki and Amiboshi and nodded at them, Morning. Howd you two do getting up this early?
Amiboshi yawned and shrugged. Tasuki grinned smuggly, Unlike Miss Sunshine here, Im used ta gettin up early.
Akai glared at him, Im used to it too, but that doesnt mean I like it. At least I dont snore loud enough to wake the dead!
At least I dont hafta eat every five minutes!
At least I can swim!
Okay, okay, lets stop this now, I intervened, holding up my palms to them, lets make this peaceful...no fighting...
Both of them glared at me, but kept silent.
Okay then, I sighed.
We all looked up suddenly to see the bus coming. Id just realized how extremely frightening a huge, yellow, noisy vehicle coming towards them would be. Amiboshis eyes widened and he stumbled back a little, his hand near his flute. Tasuki swore.
What the fuck it that thing?! he exclaimed.
Its a bus, Akai reassured him, its like a car, only bigger and more...yellow.
Were going to ride in it to school, I explained, then turned to the flame haired boy, all right, Tasuki, heres your first experience with high schoolers.
Why just him? Amiboshi asked, and I could hear a bit of hurt in his voice.
I felt bad and said, Well, its just...I think youll get along better with them.
What the hell?! Tasuki exploded, but I didnt have time to answer him. The bus stopped in front of us and the doors opened. I guestured for Amiboshi to get on, and he (cautiously) did. I followed, then Akai, then Tasuki. We were the first ones on the bus, so we went to the back. Amiboshi sat in a seat with me and Akai with Tasuki. Being so close to Amiboshi, I could smell his subtle scent of...I couldnt even describe it. It was just Amiboshi. I breathed it in and leaned back against the seat with a dreamy sigh.
I suddenly noticed Amiboshi gazing excitedly out the window.
Pretty different, I spoke suddenly and he turned his gaze to me. He nodded and was content to stare out the window again. I watched him, how his eyes, and unusual light purple, sparkled with excitement.
Akai nudged me suddenly, Hey, Spacey, wake up. I can see the H-rays youre emmitting from over there.
Oh ho ho! I laughed coldly and smacked her upside the head roughly, dont even say that to me, girl, I pulled her closer, at least my guys modest.
Pacifest, I heard Tasuki snort.
That, she said matter-o-factly, is your loss.
I gave her a glare and snorted, Loss? Forgive me if I like guys who arent full of themselves. I dont consider it a loss.
Now we were talking lous enough and Tasuki and Amiboshi were listening. We didnt particularly care, I think.
Akai shrugged, To each her own, she leaned forward and whispered, I think its kinda sexy.
I shrugged and leaned back, Whatever. I-- I didnt get to finish my sentence as a girl who rides our bus got on. I was silent, remembering what a guy-addict she was. She eyed Amiboshi and Tasuki suggestively before sitting down and asking, New guys?
Akai nodded, Yeah. Shina, this is Tasuki and thats Amiboshi. Guys, this is Shina.
Amiboshi nodded his head and said a polite, Nice to meet you.
Tasuki, still gazing abstractly, muttered, Nice ta meet ya.
Akai elbowed him and hissed, Dont be rude!
Damned women, he muttered, but turned to Shina, Nice ya meet ya, and he shook her hand.
Theyre your boyfriends? Shina asked causally. I reddened and looked away, murmuring a soft, Uh-uh.
Akai smiled and replied, Just friends, eh, Fang Boy?
Uh huh, he murmured. Shina nodded and smiled knowingly, Ah.
We were to the next stop: Kissechi, Miyuki, and Kankyous stop. I suddenly leaned over to Akai, Akai! Miyuki will know who they are!
Akais eyes widened and she nodded. Miyuki was in the Anime club at school. And she was a Tasuki fan.
She was the first one on, then Kankyou, then Kissechi. Miyuki sat in her seat tiredly, looked and Tasuki, and blinked slowly. She turned to face in front of her and muttered, I really didnt get enough sleep last night.
Kankyou didnt say anything as he sat down, just gave us weird looks. Kissechi raised an eyebrow in an oh expression and turned her back to us grumpily. I do believe she was tired.
Miyuki, Kankyou, this is Amiboshi and Tasuki, Akai introduced once more, this is Miyuki and Kankyou.
Both the seishi said hello, and Kankyou did also. Miyuki was now staring at them frightenedly. Akai leaned over and whispered something to her. After a moment, Miyuki swallowed and choked out a hello.
We had to pick up the middle schoolers, then we got to school. We went past all the middle schoolers to get off the bus, Tasuki giving them what are those? looks.
We began walking to the front door of the school, accompanied by all the other high schoolers. Amiboshi and Tasuki looked at them strangely, probably because of their clothes and the masses of them. I leaned over and said softly to Amiboshi, Just act like you know what youre doing and youre in.
He nodded unsurely and we went into the school. I thought for a moment, then turned to Amiboshi, Hey, I said Id show you some of todays music. Well, the jazz bands practicing right now. Im sure youll love it. Wanna come?
He nodded and I turned to Akai and Tasuki, Were going to the band room. You guys wanna come?
Akai shook her head, Nah, you two go ahead, she gave me a knowing look and I dismissed it, besides, we have to introduce them to the anime club. Might as well get it over with all at one time.
My eyes grew wide. Oh jeez, the anime club. Theyd go nuts. I smiled, glad that Amiboshi and I werent going.
Kay, see ya third period. I guess Ill just take Amiboshi to all my classes with me, I grabbed Amiboshi arm gently, walking off. I took him to my locker and while opening it, I asked, How are you doing?
He had been watching all the kids passing us in the hall nervously and turned to me, Oh...fine.
I smiled, grabbing my geography book for my first period, You look a little nervous.
He chuckled softly, Is it that obvious?
I smiled again and closed my locker softly, Thats okay. Its really normal, especially since youre not even from anywhere around here.
He smiled and we began walking to the band room. I saw some girls looking at Amiboshi with a ooh, hes cute expression, but Amiboshi, of course, was ablivious to it all. I smiled, feeling so lucky that it was me walking down the hall with him, and worried too, that one of these girls could and might take him from me.
We reached the band room, and before we went in, I blocked the door and said quietly, Okay, these people are nuts. Theyre totally into music and very, very crazy. Theyre out going and blunt, so if they say something to you that no one would ever say in Ancient China, dont take it to heart.
He nodded unsurely and we went in. The jazz band was still in practice, but Mr. Genkun, the band teacher, was talking to the trumpet section. A couple heads turned as we walked in, and I silently lead Amiboshi over to the couch and we sat down.
I think youll like jazz, I whispered to Amiboshi as Mr. Genkun began to conduct, and the band started to play.
Heres the thing about our jazz band: theyre excellent. Theyre, like, really, really good. They went to nationals and placed third best jazz band in the country. They wow a lot of people. Amiboshi stared at the band, wide eyed, his mouth open a little. I could imagine how this must sound to someone whos never heard more than four people playing instruments together.
Amazing...! he murmured under his breath. I smiled and nodded. I felt so much affection for him then, I wanted so badly to hold his hand, to reach out and take it and have him hold mine warmly in his. The thought of doing something that daring and risky made me tremble and I turned back to the band, trying to dismiss it from my thoughts.
Suddenly, to my absolute shock, I felt him take my hand and entwine his fingers with mine. I looked at him, startled, and he blushed a little, You...you were shaking. I thought you might be cold.
I let out a surprised breath and smiled shyly, I...I was. Thank you.
He nodded, smiling a little and turned back to the band. I glanced at our hands for a moment, biting my lip in happiness. His hand was so big and warm. I let out a silent sigh and turned back to the band.
They finished practice and everyone began packing up and getting ready for first period while talking. Amiboshi and I got up from the couch, letting go of each others hands, and I took him over to meet the band people. I introduced him to the saxaphonists, then the trombones, and lingered a little there, deciding the trumpeters might scare him because theyre absolutely nuts. He was talking to one of the trombonist when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see Akio.
Hey, hows it goin? he asked, smiling.
Good, I felt butterflies in my stomach.
Cool. I just thought Id say hi cause I havent talked to you in a while, he said. Amiboshi suddenly turned around next to me. Akio and him stared at each other a moment, then Akio smiled, Hey, Im Akio. Are you new here?
Im Amiboshi, he replied, Im...I...Nishiko..?
He looked at me helplessly and I filled in, Yeah, hes new here. Hes a friend of mine, I struggled to think of more to say, uh...he plays the flute!
Akio looked surprised, Really? Ive never known a guy who plays the glute before.
An idea suddenly struck me, Hey, Akio, you have band second period, right the handsome dark haired boy nodded, well, do you think Amiboshi could stay with you during band? Ive got nutrition, and I dont think hed enjoy it very much.
Akio looked at me strangely, Doesnt he have a schedule?
Oh crap, I thought, Uh...he and his family came here so abruptly they didnt have a schedule for him, and since his family and my family are friends, they said he could come to my classes with me for the first few days till they fit him into classes. And hes gonna join band anyway, so I figured he might as well start now, right?
Akio looked skeptical. I hoped he wouldnt be smart enough to figure out that they didnt really do that. But he shrugged, Yeah, sure.
I sighed in relief, Great, thanks so much. Ill send him back here second period, I said, and we started to leave.
Arent you in band? Amiboshi asked me as we went through the door.
No, I just play piano and violin, I replied.
Pee-an-o and vy-o-lynn?
I chuckled, Yeah, do you remember that big thing Akio was sitting at, playing? That was a piano. I play that. Violin is a stringed instrument. Ill show it to you sometime.
He nodded and I led him to my geography class. I decided I didnt really have to come up with an excuse for my geography teacher. He was pretty ablivious to things. I could almost bet he wouldnt even notice Amiboshi.
We got into the classroom and I instructed Amiboshi to sit at the desk next to me, towards the back. There was a kid who sits there, but he was barely ever there. I smiled at him encouragingly and said, Youre doing great. This class is pretty easy, but its boring. Well probably just watch a video or something.
Class started and sure enough, the teacher didnt even notice an extra kid sitting in class. He made us turn our desks around, and sure enough, we watched a video on Mt. St. Helens. With the lights turned off, the girl who sits in front of me, Tori, mouth to me, Is he your boyfriend?
I shook my head quickly, and I was glad Amiboshi didnt see her mouth that.
During the video, Amiboshi was captivated. The shots of the volcano and its eruption made his eyes widen and during one of the scenes of the eruption, he turned to me and whispered, Why do such horrible monsters live in this world? What do you do about them?
I smiled softly at him, Theyre not monsters. Theyre volcanos. Theyre a natural disaters. See, theyre moutains that are formed by melted rock, or lava, that pushes its way up thru the crust, which is--
Miss Kanjoteki, I suggest you pay attention to the video.
I jerked my head up to the teacher, who rocked back in his chair and frowned at me.
Y-yes, sir, I murmured, a little startled.
The teacher leaned back further and sighed, muttering under his breath, Slackers.
The rest of the movie I really didnt pay attention. I mostly would glance over at Amiboshi then turn away shyly when he caught me staring at him. I kept thinking about when hed held my hand in the band room. Hed only meant it as a comforting friendly guesture, I knew, but I couldnt help but wish itd been more.
After class, I lead Amiboshi to the band room. He looked a little distant, a little deep in thought. I wondered what he was thinking. Do you miss your home? I asked softly.
He looked at me, Not really. I dont really miss my life. I miss my brother.
I felt so bad. It must be awful for him, both the brothers. Each other was all they had, and now they were seperated between worlds, between years.
Well find a way to get you home, I told him softly. He didnt reply.
We reached the band room and I smiled encouragingly, There you go. You can just sit over by the trumpets with Akio. Look for him in there and just stick with him the whole period. Dont say anything about Ancient China.
Okay, he took a nervous breath, but went through the doors. I watched him go, but then hurried away to my nutritions class.
I rushed as fast as I could from my nutritions class back to the bandroom. I prayed to Suzaku hed been all right, and the band people hadnt scared him too badly. I pushed my way through the doors to see a large crowd gathering around something. Suddenly, I could hear excellent flute music coming from the crowd.
Oh, God, I muttered, hurrying to the crowd. I gently pushed my way through the shocked band people to see Amiboshi in the center of the crowd, playing a beautiful song. All the band people were in complete awe.
Amiboshi suddenly saw me and stopped immediatly. The crowd erupted into applause. Amiboshi stared at them in shock.
How long have you been playing?!
Oh my God, that was good. Geez, I wish...
Questions and comments and all around jubily flooded in towards Amiboshi and he began to look a little overwhelmed and frightened. I grabbed his hand to pull him out of the crowd, and the band people parted, some following with more comments and questions. I felt the urge to shout, My client will not take any more questions at this time! but then reminded myself I wasnt Amiboshis lawyer=.).
Ayameko, a trumpeter and friend of mine, came up to us and asked, Where did you get him?! We want him in our band now !
Uh, I dont know when he can start band, I replied uneasily. Akio came up beside Ayameko and stopped me, You never told me he was that good!
Amiboshi blushed at this.
Hey, can I see your flute? Akio asked, staring at Amiboshis old flute. I had just remembered Amiboshi had his Ancient China flute with him. Amiboshi handed it to Akio, who examined it with wide eyes, This is amazing! Ive never seen any kind of instrument like this at all, except in museums.... It almost looks like an ancient one from the east or something... I stiffened, getting a little nervous. Akio looked at Amiboshi, where did you get this? How old is it?
Amiboshi answered, It was made for me, when I was about nine.
Akio regarded him with a disbelieving look. He blinked, then seemed to dismiss it. He suddenly looked at both of us more clearly and smiled a little, Are you two going out?
Jeez! Why was everyone asking us that?! I looked down, and realized Id still been holding Amiboshis hand. I immediatly let go out it, turning red, No, were just friends.
Akio smiled and nodded, Thats cool. You two seem to have a lot in common.
I bit my lip a little nervously, avoiding Amiboshis gaze. I smiled at Akio, Well, we gotta get to choir. See ya later.
See ya, he called as we turned to walk out of the band room to the choir room. Amiboshi asked quietly, What did he mean, going out?
I bit my lip again, He was asking us if we were romantically involved, basically.
Oh, he said softly.
Hey, Nishiko! I heard someone call my name from the band room. I turned to see Ayameko motioning me to her. I turned to Amiboshi, Ill be right back. Go ahead into the choir room. Ill be right there. Akai should be in there with Tasuki.
He nodded and I went back to Ayameko. She grinned, Man, hes cute ! Is he your boyfriend?
I flushed again, No, were just friends.
Ahh.. Ayameko raised a suggestive eyebrow, whered ya meet him?
Uh... I scanned my brain. I met him when he suddenly appeared in Akais living room and after I fell down the stairs and he used his chi through his mouth to revive me. Thatll sound great! hes a friend of the family.
Cool, she cast a quick glance at the clock, well, I gotta go, Im gonna be late for third period! she smiled, see ya. and hurried off.
Bye! I called after her and turned to go into the choir room. It was an all girls choir and I was curious, perhaps a little worried, at how the girls would react to having two gorgeous guys in the choir room while they sang.
I walked in, seeing Amiboshi, Akai, and Tasuki. I went over to them and smiled, Hello, everyone. Sorry, Ayameko wanted to talk to me.
Ah, one of the much awed band people, Ill assume? Akai asked.
His flute playing wasnt all she was admiring, I replied wryly, cocking an eyebrow. Amiboshi looked confused, but didnt ask (thank Suzaku). Akai chuckled and even Tasuki seemed to get it and snorted.
The bell rang and we took our seats. We told Amiboshi and Tasuki to go sit on the couch on the side of the room. The choir began warming up and both tha guys watched, interested. We began singing, Hotaru Koi, a Japanese childrens song. The seishi seemed to think it was pretty cool. I think they rather liked the sound of a large crowd singing.
We kept singing and I began to drift into my own thoughts. Suddenly, around the middle of the song, out of all the light womens voices came a low, mans voice. I jerked my head to see Tasuki, staring off boredly and resting his chin on his fist, singing along loudly. I choked out loud. I saw Akai had noticed this too, and one by one, the girls voices faded out and stopped to stare and listen to the fire-haired bandit sing about fireflies. They stared at him, eyes wide. Everyone had stopped by now, the choir teacher stopped playing the piano, leaving Tasuki singing acapella by himself. He suddenly seemed to realize he was singing all by himself and looked to the choir, his eyes a little wide.
What;d ya stop for? Ya were doin good! he said loudly. Akai put a hand to her forehead in embarrassment. I laughed out loud, then put a hand over my mouth. I seemed to be the only one to find it amusing.
Tasuki shot a glare at me, What the hell are ya laughin at, Nishiko?
I shook my head, still smiling and trying to hide it, Nothing.
At this, the whole class began chatting about anything but Tasuki.
Kimiko, a friend of ours and in the anime club, turned to Akai, Does he always do things like that?
Akai nodded tiredly, Hes been nothing but trouble since he got here.
Youre loving every minute of it, though.
Kimiko smiled at Akai. I figured then that Akai had already told the anime club about Tasuki and Amiboshi. I glanced over at the two. Amiboshi was giving Tasuki a youre so stupid look, then Tasuki shouted something to the younger boy with a death glare, and Amiboshi looked away innocently. I smiled at this.
Kimiko seemed to notice and said, Oh, thats right. Youve got Amiboshi here.
I looked at her, Huh?
Is he as sweet as he is in the series? Kimiko smiled.
I rolled my eyes dreamily and sighed, replying wistfully, You have no idea.
Akai chuckled, Theyre living in my basement, you know.
I sighed, Yeah, you would know, wouldnt you. Youre probably getting to know him better than I am, I sighed again, more grumpily this time.
Oh, relax, she assured me, Im not after Amiboshi. Maybe I can even put in a good word for you.
I gazed at Amiboshi, taking every line of his face. I thought out loud, Im getting way too in love with him. I then widened my eyes, realizing Id said this aloud. Blushing and trying to cover it up, I hurridly said, I just meant that I like him, thats all.
Akai smiled faintly, Sure...
Kimiko smiled but seemed to think of something, Hey, are they gonna be here for Junior Prom?
My eyes widened and I turned to Akai, J-junior Prom?
Yeah, its coming up soon... Kimiko said.
Shit! I said rather loudly.
Kimiko nudged Akai, You should ask them to go.
Akai stared at her, Me?! Ask him?! To...Junior Prom ?!
I felt butterflies in my stomach at the thought of slow dancing with Amiboshi. But suddenly, the bell rang, and I saw all the girls beginning to leave. Was class out already? And it was time for lunch?
I saw the guys get up and start cautiously towards us, being stopped by flirty girls (oh, Tasuki! Youre such a good singer!) (Amiboshi, I didnt know you liked choir! I bet you sing great too!). I rolled my eyes in disgust and started down to them, along with Kimiko and Akai.
When we got to them, it occured to me that Kimiko hadnt met Amiboshi yet.
Oh, Amiboshi, this is Kimiko. Kimiko, this is Amiboshi, I said, and Amiboshi held out his hand. Kimiko shook it and smiled, saying hi, and he said hi back.
We walked to lunch, sat at our table and then the rest of the anime club came. They seemed relatively calm, but would cast disbelieving stares at the seishi every now and then.
So, you guys would know better than me, Akai said, leaning forward, just how long do you think its been in their world?
Months, at least, Kimiko shrugged, Maybe years.
Probably years, Jin, Kimikos sister, agreed, at least ten, Id say.
I heard Amiboshi drop his chopsticks (wed brought some for him) beside me. I turned to him, his face in frozen shock. Oh Suzaku, I thought, I didnt exactly want Amiboshi to know. I guess I was afraid hed be mad at me for the time difference, with Suboshi and all. I dont know why me, exactly.
T...ten years? Amiboshi choked out.
He didnt know? Bishimon asked.
I...I thought... I began, but all sound was cut off from my throat as Amiboshi turned to look at me.
Is that right? he asked in a weak voice. I didnt know why he trusted my answer at all.
I felt my gaze drop, my hair falling over my cheeks, Its right.
There was a silence, then Amiboshi turned away from me and got up abruptly and left, saying shortly, Excuse me.
I jerked my head in his direction to see him walking swiftly out of the cafeteria. Without hardly looking back at the others, I got up and took off after him.
I dont think he even knew where he was going, but I knew how shocked he must have been. I didnt even know why I was following him. When people are upset like this, I usually let them go, not wanting to agrivate them further, giving them time to cool off, but something was pushing me forward. I just didnt want him to have to deal with his pain alone.
I followed him all they way down the empty hall and finally called out, Amiboshi!
He stopped, his back to me. Slowly, he turned and looked at me from far away down the hall. I jogged to him till we were within feet of each other. He stared at me, not with cold or accusing eyes, but with an expression I couldnt read. His gaze fell to the floor and he asked me softly, but I could hear the tinyest bit of coldness in his voice, Why didnt you tell me, Nishi-chan?
I was silent. I think for the most part I didnt want him to be upset, but another part of me didnt want to tell him so he wouldnt be as urgent to go back. After the past week, Id become so attached to him, I didnt even want to let the thought of them going back creep into my head, because it hurt.
I didnt want you to be too worried, I replied sadly, looking at him ashamedly.
Im just...Im really worried about Suboshi. We...were so close. We cant even feel each others chis anymore. I just hope nothings happened to him. he spilled out, his voice painful.
I felt like crying, Thats what I didnt want you to worry about. Id known Amiboshi and Suboshis bond was strong, but I dont think anyone ever really knew how strong. It wasnt just that their chis were linked: they shared an enormous, strong, powerful love for one another, one Id never seen in siblings before.
Suddenly, to my shock, he suddenly put his hand to my cheek, stroking his thumb back and and forth gently. I looked at him with startled eyes, and we were silent as he stared back. As he stared into my eyes, I felt suddenly so vulernable, like he could see straight to my soul, like he could read my every thought and see my every flaw. That he could see my memories, all my intrests, my passions,...and my love for him.
He suddenly took his hand away from my face, looking away, Its okay. Theres not much we can do now.
He began to walk back to the cafeteria, and I shot a hand to my cheek, where hed held it. I could feel myself shaking, my heart pounding furiously in my chest. I tried to shake it from myself, and turned to follow him as the bell rang.
|Prolouge||Chapter One||Chapter Two|
|Chapter Three||Chapter Four||Chapter Five|
|Chapter Six||Chapter Seven||Chapter Eight|
|Chapter Nine||Chapter Ten||Chapter Eleven|