So here it is, Chapter 2 of act 2. It feels strange not having to apologize for the wait. A massive thank you for Byrthain, who proof read this. Without further ado.
Act 2 chapter 2: Kamikaze
Oh comet come down, Kamikaze over me.
Analyse the results of his experiment.
Well clearly it shows that he conducted the experiment unfairly.
Describe the role of meristems.
Aha, unspecialised cells, similar to embryonic stem cells.
Biology is by far my worst science. Chemistry? Yeah, easy as all hell. Physics? Even easier, what’s not to love about the universe? But pig hearts and chicken legs? I can’t say I find that thrilling. It’s not nearly as interesting as building rockets.
I’ve also never seen Noichi almost burn his stubble off in Biology, so I’d have to deduct cool points for that.
Unlike the sleek, awkwardness of Mutou, our biology teacher is jumpy and unfashionable. Noichi is a short man, bulky but not quite fat. I’ve had the delight of seeing his hair recede over the three years I’ve been here. He’s a fair guy, and doesn’t press too much if you don’t know an answer. But he’s a right slack jaw for homework.
What are the roles of auxins in plant growth?
Huh, I was sure I knew this. Looks like the cramming I did last night wasn’t enough to save me after all, and it was going so well.
Scribbling down whatever crap comes into my head for the last three questions, I sigh a breath of relief. I might not have aced the test, but I must have at least
passed it. Although, apparently I fared about as well as the rest of the class, since only two students put their hand up for the additional question sheet.
Surprise, surprise, its Shizune and Hisao, duking it out for the title of mega nerd.
Well the kid’s got moxie, I’ll give him that.
Well I’d also give that he’s really quite handsome.
Hisao looks up to see me staring and sticks the thumb of his unraised hand up, before cocking his head in prompt for me to do the same-to which I flash an eager smile and a right thumb, maybe that was a bit too keen, because he opens his mouth about to laugh out loud- but remembering where we are, lets out only a snicker. Which happens to be enough to draw the attention of Suzu, who sees us both covering our mouths to supress our laughter.
Contorting her body almost all the way around, Suzu points at Hisao, and then to me, and then to Hisao again, and then back to me. Very deliberately, she then raises a finger on her left hand, and an oval made from her thumb and first finger on her right. With the majority of students watching, she proceeds to push her finger in and out of the oval multiple times. Sending the class into booming laughter.
“Can I remind the class that this is supposed to be under, exam
conditions,” Noichi shouts over the billowing laughter, attempting to regain some control of the room. But the ringing of the lunch bell eliminates any hope he has of reining them in. “At least leave your papers on my desk as you go out,” He says to himself more than anyone. “Oh, and Nakai, can I have a minute of your time please? Don’t worry, you’re not in any kind of trouble.”
Noichi’s last sentence leaves me pretty surprised, and from the look on his face, Hisao’s even more confused. His cheeks are of course, bright red now, and I can feel mine glowing equally. Though at least I don’t have half the class trying to fist bump me on the way out and saying things like ‘get in there’. As awkward as all of that is, it doesn’t really feel all that bad to be talked about. In fact, it’s kind of a warm feeling. And what’s better is that he isn’t telling a single one of them it’s not like that, maybe there’s a chance, maybe.
A tugging on my sleeve draws my eyes away from Hisao, and onto to Suzu, who is now pulling me with all her sleepy might.
“Molls…” she says, looking into my eyes with enough intensity to bore through them, “We have that thing,
remember?” I uh. I don’t exactly know what she’s talki-
Oh yeah we have that.
“We’ll see you guys later, have a fun lunch together!” Hisao looks up from his conversation with Noichi, completely oblivious, and Taro splutters a ‘wait a minute’, just in time for me and Suzu to completely ignore him and round the corner.
Having received a panicked text in the early hours of the morning from Suzu, we make our way through the beige and white halls of Yamaku, headed for probably the single funniest man on campus. Though Suzu would have him as second after the stunt she just pulled. Scratch that, she’s a girl.
The door is closed when we arrive, which happens to be universal doctors code for, ‘don’t come in.’ The magnificent Suzu has no time for manners though, so with two knocks and no reply, she enters the room, with me in tow.
“Ah, Miss Suzuki, you know it’s typically common courtesy to wait for a response before entering,” Nurse says, mid-bite of his sandwich, “Oh and Miss Kapur, very nice to see you, I trust you’re still doing the leg exercises I gave you.”
“Of course I am, what do you take me for?” I lie, well aware that he knows I’m not.
“A lying teenager, do I need to give you the speech on the importance of those exercises? Tell me you’ve at least been checking the skin for breakdown.”
I cough in answer, which causes him to roll his eyes in disappointment, or frustration. Probably a mix of both. Unfortunately, this gets me various gels shoved into my arms and a sticky note pinned to my forehead. ‘I will check my legs twice a day, never lie to the nurse and always brush my teeth.’ Hmmph.
“Right, so might I ask what the purpose of this visit is? Or was my manly allure just too much to resist?”
“Oh shut up and give me the pill.
” Well I, that’s one way to go about it I suppose.
Nurse is equally taken back by this sudden demand, blinking in disbelief, then opening one of the many drawers that adorn the otherwise bleak walls.
“You know Miss Suzuki, there’s a little thing called subtlety
,” He says picking out a particularly small packet and setting it on the side, then continuing to search for something else. “I’ll have to add it to the rapidly growing list of things you’re terrible at.”
“Oh but doc, aren’t you interested in whom my toy boy is?”
“I don’t care about the love lives of my patients.” He smirks, winning the award for biggest lie in Yamaku.
“You absolute liar, you’re always asking me who’s with who!”
“That’s purely for medical safety Suzuki, oh, and since we’re on the subject,” he turns to me and a wicked smile plays on his lips, “Congratulations on pulling the new kid, although I must say, I hadn’t expected you to move so fast.”
I feel my cheeks glow, and my stomach lurch. Seeing Suzu crack up, I narrow my eyes at her, clenching my fists into tight balls.
“You’re a monster, a cold, rude, annoying, lazy, shallow, monster. And I’m only half
She feigns offence, placing the back of her hand against her head as if to exaggerate the point. “I’ll make it up to you,” She laughs, taking the small packet in Nurse’s outstretched hand, deliberately ignoring the pamphlets about safe sex he offers her. “You know, probably,” She punches him in the shoulder, after glancing over one of the leaflets in his grip. “Hitting puberty for pre-pubescent girls?’ What the hell dude?”
“What? Why don’t you kids appreciate a good joke anymore?” He sighs, taking a seat at his desk and beginning to type some document. “Now if you don’t want to be late to class I’d suggest leaving now. It was a pleasure, and I hope I don’t have to have a similar interaction with you Miss Kapur, Miss Suzuki is enough of a handful as it is.”
I carefully put the creams and note he gave me into my bag, as does Suzu with her, um, Items
, and we head out into the hallways. Despite her best protests, we end up arriving in class just shy of being late. I might not be a perfect student, but I’ll try in earnest to be at least on time.
“Molls, I uh should probably thank you, you know, for coming with me.” Suzu stammers, her arm on the bannister of our homeroom door.
“You could thank me, by letting me into our English class,” I state, pushing past her and into the class, “Oh and um, we, we should talk soon.”
She gives me a nod of understanding, before following me into the classroom. She’s kinda cute, when she’s not embarrassing me in front of the rest of the class that is. Placing my bag underneath the desk I flop back into the chair, surprisingly worn out from our run in with the nurse. Although I’m still curious about Hisao’s conversation with Noichi, it’s probably just some extra-curricular, but I can’t help but wonder. Unfortunately, he doesn’t sit behind me like he does in homeroom, and from the look of it, his seat next to Naomi isn’t particularly enjoyable. That girl can quite literally talk your ear off. Well, not literally.
, I’m turning into one of those girls that say ‘literally’ about everything that’s the exact opposite.
Suzu’s corrupting me.
Hisao’s eyes meet with mine, and he smiles, interrupting whatever dumb thought was on my mind.
And then Naomi sees us, and from the redness starting to bloom in his cheeks, gives him a very
“WHA,” I feel myself physically jump, well, hop on my butt, drawing looks from everyone in the library. So basically just the shy girl, um, Hanako, yeah that’s her name, and Yuuko.
“Sorry, Sorry, I didn’t mean to sneak up on you I swear,” Hisao whispers, his teeth gritted in an awkward smile and his back arched to talk to me, you know, because I’m on the floor. Like a normal person. “Can I ask why you’re doing that on the carpet?”
I’ve been bamboozled.
“I uh, it’s comfortable.” I tap the floor adjacent to me, and smile warmly. Or did I just do that thing where I look really eager again, I hope not. That didn’t work out last time. “Sit.”
Hisao complies, crossing his legs and plopping his bag down behind him. “Is that the English work?”
As observed by Hisao, the English assessment lies callously in front of me, taunting me, teasing me. He wastes no time in pulling out his own paper, though it’s considerably more creased then mine.
“You haven’t done it either? It was set yesterday,” I say squinting my left eye at him and smirking. “And I’d begun to think you were a star student.”
He looks at me deadpan for a few seconds, before a smile creeps onto his face. “You haven’t done it either.”
“I had an excuse.” Well if reading science fiction is an excuse that is.
“A lady never tells Hisao, that’s rule one.”
Hisao just sighs, placing both of his hands behind him and arching his spine. The tie around his neck drapes down, with the thinner backing slightly longer than the thick bit. The dishevelled look suits him.
“How did you know I’d be in here anyway?” I say with as much as curiosity, as intent to continue our conversation.
“I didn’t, I was just coming here to read, but it’s good you’re here. I’m God-awful at English.”
I can’t help but laugh at that, “You think I can do it? I’ve got no idea what a hyperbole
I expect some witty reply from him, something funny like I’ve gotten used too. But he says nothing, instead lying back on the thick library carpet and closing his eyes.
“Um, Hisao? Are you alright?” I’ve never seen him like this. Granted I haven’t known him long, but I’ve spent the last couple of days playing catch-up with his wit. Something’s wrong.
He chuckles lightly, like a bitter old man recalling an unfunny joke, “I’m fine, sorry, I’m just shattered, I haven’t gotten much sleep recently.”
He hasn’t been sleeping? Why not. He looks completely fine, if a little messy. “Stressed?” I ask, real concern in my voice. And from the tiny smile that dances across his lips, he knows it.
“Nah, it’s actually my, my medication, I think,” Medication? He’s on drugs? “Well that and the extra assignment Noichi gave me.”
Deciding it’s best not to push the subject of his condition, I scoot closer to him, so that I can maintain eye contact whilst we talk. “So that’s why he wanted to talk to you yesterday, huh? Well, I’d be happy to help you out with it if you’d like, I’m not great at the subject but two minds are better than one right?”
He opens his eyes slowly, like the opening of some top secret bunker from a cheesy film. Sitting up, he pulls his bag close. He slides the still blank English work into it, and pinches the top of another piece with his fingers. Well, let’s get this star-
That’s the second time today somebody has snuck up on me, and the second time today that I’ve hopped on my butt in surprise.
“Oh hi Yuuko, whats up?” Hisao asks, apparently familiar with the skittish librarian.
“Well it’s just, I have to lock up the-“
“Oh.” My mouth says before my brain can chastise me with the rudeness of it.
Yuuko looks lost for a moment, like I just disrespected her family, before swallowing hard. “I c-could leave the library open a little longer, if you- if you would like?”
Feeling bad for interrupting her and most likely scaring her, I think up a different plan. “No that’s okay, Hisao why don’t we start this in my room? There’s still a couple of hours before curfew, and if you’re gonna collapse of exhaustion, it would be much safer there then in the common room.”
His eyes a little bit brighter, he laughs. Was my Idea that dumb? “There are already
rumours about us Molly.”
Ah. He’s got a point, but yesterday when Suzu made that stupid joke…
“Do you really mind
them?” I ask, the thought having been playing on my mind quite a lot in the last day.
He laughs again, with a bit more awkward thrown into it, “Heh, I, I suppose not. Let’s go.”
Despite how strange that whole conversation was, I feel quite relieved. It may have been odd and obstinate. But it confirmed something for me, at the very least, Hisao doesn’t care about rumours. Which I suppose is good, but if he meant it the same way I meant it then, well, the stars don’t seem so distant.
Leaving Yuuko in peace to lock up, Hisao and I walk the halls of Yamaku to its exit, the spring breeze greeting us like a cold kiss on the cheek. Immediately thankful for my jumper, I tighten my fingers around the handle of my bag as what I’ve just done begins to dawn on me
I’m taking a boy whom I like, and whom I think likes me, back to my room, for some biology.
When I say it like that it sounds like…
“You know, I think you’re the only girl here that wears the school jumper.”
Is that seriously all he’s thinking of? I invite him back to my room and the thing on his mind is my stupid jumper? How do I even respond to that? It’s a conversation stopper, and we weren’t even talking.
Hisao Nakai, star student and conversation killer.
Still not James Bond.
Okay, I’m officially nervous. This is a suicide mission. Repeat, this is a Kamikaze
With the chill still holding my hand, we arrive at the girl’s dorms, the feeling of dread stirring inside of me. What if he doesn’t like my room? What if he finds something he shouldn’t? I mean there’s nothing there I’m particularly ashamed of, except…
We walk through the common room, with me a little ahead of him. Some second years watching TV look at us and whisper to one another, and we pass Miki Miura, the class track star, who says something about moving fast to Hisao as she slides between us.
Stopping on the first floor I press my ear to Suzu’s door. Silence
“They’re in Taro’s room, thankfully.”
“They were yesterday as well. I knocked on his for some help with the biology, and, well. It was pretty awkward when he answered half naked.”
I can’t help but laugh at that. I’ve been friends with them for much longer than Hisao, and yet I haven’t seen them doing stu-
Oh wait. I saw something worse, never mind.
“Anyway, here we are, ‘Darmstadtium
He looks at me with that confused smile, before racking his brain for what I mean. “Element number 110, It’s your room number?”
“Wow I didn’t expect you to get that.” I say in honesty, that’s pretty impressive.
“Expect the unexpected.” He says with a wink, seemingly more awake from our outside excursion. That…that was corny.
“You can stay outside for that” I smirk, turning my key in the lock, opening, entering, and slamming the door behind me.
“W-wait hang o-“
As quickly as possible I pick up the huge heap of letters on my desk, tossing them into the drawers violently.
I want nothing to do with you
anymore. You blew your chance.
I open the door to a rather expressionless boy.
“I was just about to leave.”
“You wouldn’t get far, I told those second years to grab you if you tried to run.” I say moving over to sit on my bed.
“You were too busy hiding your face to do that.”
“They’re intimidating okay?” I laugh, feeling the tightness of my left prosthetic wrapping for the first time today. Which reminds me, I promised Nurse I’d be good.
“Um, do y-you mind if I, I uh, take my legs off for a bit?” It comes out a little awkward, but it’s a pretty strange thing to say anyway I suppose.
“N-No, not at all, feel free.” I uh, jeez, even he’s stuttering.
Undoing the various clips that wrap around my upper thighs, I pull, push and twist both of my prosthetics off, laying them carefully against my bedside table. Making sure to hold my skirt down, I lift both ends of my real legs or, mostly thighs, no breakdown. You hear that nurse? No breakdown. Oh and I brushed my teeth. Jerk
Hisao looks at me and then away, unsure of where he should be looking and still standing in front of the door like some sort of bouncer. Some tired-eyed bouncer.
“W-What’s the matter Hisao,”I say with as much sarcasm as I can muster. “Never seen a gal without her l-legs on before?” Damn it, the stupid stammer ruined it. That would have been funny.
He chuckles a little, not quite forced, but not natural, “Oh y-yeah I’ve seen thousands, maybe even millions.”
“Oh of course you have, you could make a collection.”
“That’s a very Rin thing to say.” What? Which Rin?
“I, I don’t know who Rin is. Anyway, stop standing there like a creep and sit down.”
“I don’t think there’s anything creepy about this majestic pose.” He says mockingly, placing one hand on his hip and running the other through his hair, before hobbling inside and crossing his legs on the carpet.
“Get it out then.” Oh, wait, no I didn’t mea-
“I- uh, I beg your pardon?” His tired eyes widen. No no no.
“YOUR BIOLOGY, BIOLOGY.” I almost shout, the warmth in my cheeks reminding me just how awkward I make things.
He sighs, in what I think’s relief, before reaching into his bag and fishing out a piece of paper, with most of the answers already filled in. In a practised motion I put both my hands on my bed and lower myself to the floor to sit next to him, like some strange gymnast.
We manage to finish the remainder of the sheet within about half an hour, with me mostly watching as he tackles questions I barely understand. Still, I can’t help but feel proud when I point out the mistakes he made in the prior questions, irritated groan or not, he smiles every time. It’s cute.
I should probably get this off my chest.
“I’m sorry about the other day Hisao.” I say, my eyes half closed and my voice quiet.
“F-For what?” I don’t check, but I know he’s looking at me, with those big, brown eyes.
“Shutting you out, about my parents.” I feel the words catch in my throat, like tar. “My, my mum… she… she’s not a perfect woman Hisao. But she’s all I really have left. After…” It hurts to bring this up, but, he’s been so kind to me, I owe him, “My dad… He changed, w-when he found out about…”
“Molly, stop,” His hand snakes behind my neck and he squeezes my shoulder. Taking the cue, I shift across to him, our sides almost touching. The passive contact feels nice, really nice. “We don’t have to talk about this.” Though maybe a little stern, his voice is warm near my ear.
“B-But I owe you.” I feel the urge to protest further, but it subsides. He’s not just doing this for me. He doesn’t want to bring up his past. Neither of us are crying, but the air around us feels tense.
“If anything, I owe you Molly; you, Suzu and Taro took me in,” He’s hurting, there’s loneliness in his voice, “We can do this some other time okay?”
“Okay.” I reply, for his sake.
The silence blankets us. Both emotionally drained we sit unmoving, Hisao’s tired eyes look around my room once more, before locking on a particular poster.
“Einstein huh?” Hisao whispers, his eyelids half shut and his head resting against the board of my bed.
“You’re familiar I take it?” I giggle a little at the absurdity of this all.
“You could say that.” He smiles, he’s okay. So am I. We just need some time.
Even a castle can crumble.
I feel myself begin to drift away, with my head on his shoulder.
Take all the time you need, Hisao- all the time in the world.
Time is relative after all.