Author's Note: This is the first part in a two-parter that is interwoven with the events of Ascalon and Elementary, hence the odd, but meaningful, chapter title. Some dialogue will repeat but from a different perspective.
Chapter Thirty-Two: Intertextuality
The weekend creeps up on us faster than I expect. The days upon days of classes pass by quicker than Emi round running laps. Compared to the lazy days of summer, our first week of the new semester is over before we know it, the class breathing a collective sigh of relief as Saturday’s lessons are over and our weekend can begin in earnest.
Mutou collects his papers and hastily moves towards the door, wishing us a good weekend and to make sure we study as hard as we play. I stretch out my braced arms and jump across to Taro, wrapping my arms around his neck as I perch on his knee.
“I think I need another wrist massage…” I groan quietly.
“I think I’m there with you.” Taro gives a pained expression as he rotates his wrist with the faintest of clicks.
“Damn, that sounds almost as bad as mine!” I giggle. Our eyes follow a muted moan and we both look at Molly, whose head is lolling backwards off her chair to look at us. I smile and gesture for her to join us and she gives an upside down grin, her braids swinging in wide arcs with her rapid movements. Hisao and Sweet & Sour headed out of the door soon after Mutou so Molly takes Hisao’s seat.
“Hey, what’re you guys up to?” She asks, resting her back against the wall.
“Not a lot really. We were probably going to go for a drink at the Shanghai and maybe pick up some snacks. Want to come along?” I say with a smile, resting against my boyfriend.
“Sure, I’ve got nothing on. What about Hanakio?” Who? Hana… Akio… Oh
“Looks like they’ll be busy.” Taro shrugs, looking past me at the pair talking to the Newspaper Club heads.
“Where’d ‘Hanakio’ come from?” I giggle, it’s pretty clever. Surprised Taro didn’t come up with it.
“Don’t you lot do that? Combine a couple’s names to refer to them as a unit?” Molly explains, Taro and I share a slight smirk with one another.
“Tarits.” Taro offers.
“Ritsuro.” I counter.
“I think Ritsuro is the winner…” Molly nods and I grins widely. I poke Taro’s cheek to tease him a little. “In your face!”
He grabs my wrist and leans in for a quick peck on the lips. “In your
I smile coyly at his counter-attack, completely forgetting Molly’s presence until she speaks up again.
I give a wave to Taro, Ritsu and Molly as they leave then turn my attention back to the Newspaper Club.
“Sorry, Hanako… It’s the first week back, there’s not a lot to cover at the moment so we’re not meeting until next week.” Natsume explains, throwing her arms up in an exaggerated shrug.
“Awww…” Hana bemoans, a little dejected. I rub her back supportively.
“You’re not running a piece on Misha’s new hair? Thought you girls would be all over that.” I ask with a laugh, Hana looking back at me with a slight furrow in her brow.
“Why? Because we’re girls? Sexist…” Naomi smirks, crossing her arms.
“No, because you love a scandal. Thought you’d be spinning it into some perverse angle. Plus you mispronounced sexiest
.” I smirk and Hana titters.
“Pretty sure I didn’t
.” She huffs with a pout, Natsume shaking her head.
“We’ll have our usual meeting next week and talk about the new edition then.” Natsume says and Hanako nods excitedly.
“O-okay! I’ll see you then. Have a g-good weekend, guys!” She calls cheerily as she drags me out of the classroom.
“I guess we’ve got the day to ourselves. What do you wanna do?” I ask and Hanako looks down at the floor, idly tile-hopping.
“Ummm… Well there is one thing
…” She looks at me from behind her hair and smiles demurely. Oh god, is she saying… Are we there yet?
“Um, I, wh-what is it? I stutter, my cheeks burning red. She leans in, placing her free hand on my chest and breathing in my ear.
“I want you to help me study Biology
.” Hot damn.
“God damn sonuva
…” I groan quietly as I stretch out my arms. I narrow my eyes at the girl sitting across the table from me, happily scribbling notes down while looking at her science text book. I smile a little to myself and idly stroke her foot with my mine.
I’m actually glad she actually meant studying. I’m not sure I’m ready for… I still want to ask the Nurse some stuff anyway, my biggest concern is my condition. God knows I don’t want to inadvertently break something during the act and scar Hanako… For… Life
… Heh, I bet she’d appreciate the irony of that thought.
A knock at the door brings me out of my thoughts and into the room again as Hanako answers to Molly's question through the door.
“C-Could you come b-back later please?” Her timid voice calls back, looking between the door and her text books. She was making good progress too. She’s always had a bunch of work to catch up on when she was suffering with anxiety more. Before I brought her out of her shell. Now, because of the Newspaper Club and spending time with me, I’m the sole reason for her falling behind. That’s why I’m here. The dutiful boyfriend trying to assist one of the class’s smartest students.
“But I have a problem that only Yamaku’s best news-hound can help me with!” Molly responds.
“I’m a little b-busy…” She’s getting flustered, she doesn’t want to break her stride.
“C’mon, Hana! I need yo--” Well, I might as well help in the only way I know how…
“She’s a little tied up right now, Molly! Literally
, in fact.” I call out with a wide grin to Hana, hoping it’ll send Molly running. It gets the desired result but I didn’t expect the barrage of cursing and being pummelled by a pillow. Hana’s beautiful laughter accompanying my punishment makes it worth it.
After returning my books into my dorm room, I hobble back out onto the grounds. I guess I’m flying solo now that Hana’s gone in search of Molly. You’d think Taro could add a few more dudes to this little Sentai he’s inadvertently created, maybe then Suzu wouldn’t think he’s building a harem. Oh shit, Suzu! I still need to talk to her about the Literature Club…
From what I’ve heard, it’s been going down the tubes since I’ve stopped attending to spend time with Hana. Without me acting as her proxy, I bet the members just leave Suzy to sleep and eventually got tired with the lack of direction… Damn
I flashback to the summer break when I went to the club room to find Suzu. She was splayed out in the bean bag I often frequented. I took the Bleach manga off her sleeping face and she shifted violently in her spot, becoming more dishevelled. Not sure if it was cute or lewd, to be honest… Especially since I couldn’t tell if she was just murmuring or moaning… The thought of Suzu in any sexual context sent shivers down my spine. It just felt… Wrong.
I didn’t feel great about leaving her with her stomach exposed and her skirt dangerously close to revealing something either but I really didn’t feel great about man-handling a sleeping Club President. Especially when she seemed to be having a nice dream. The least I could do was lock the place down until she woke up. I’d fished her key from out of her purse and locked the door on my way out, sliding the key under the door and sending her a text about it.
I figured I’d catch her another day but I completely forgot… I guess I can always go find her in a bit.
I make my way to a nearby vending machine and grab a cherry soda, taking a seat and basking in the late afternoon sun. Man, this place is peaceful… I look at the various students milling about and spot a few familiar faces. Naomi is talking to that guy who sits in front of her, whatsisname… Shin? She seems to be flirting with him, given her body language, and ‘Shin’ doesn’t seem interested. I see a shock of long blue hair under a tree behind them, observing the same scene with a camera. Misaki would come off as creepy if she didn’t take such amazing photos. I raise my drink to the shutterbug on the off-chance I’m in shot but I don’t think she noticed me.
The girls’ dorm doors swing open and my girlfriend appears in her casual wear alongside Molly. Looks like they’re off on their own little adventure. I deposit my drink in the trash and slip back into the girls’ dorms. Luckily I don’t have to look far to find Suzu, who is napping peacefully on one of the couches in the common room.
“Hey, Miki. How’s it going?” I ask, perching on the arm of the couch she is lounging on.
“Not bad, man. Just watching TV. How about you?” She nods with a smile.
“Eh, wandering about while my girlfriend is on a date with Molly Poppins.” I smirk and Miki laughs.
“I thought I saw them go out just now. ‘Molly Poppins’, eh? That’s a good one!”
“You should tell Hana that, she said it needed work…” I shrug. “How long has Sleeping Beauty been out?” I tilt my head towards Club Prez.
“Not long, you might be able to wa--”
Miki and I both turn to look at the small, sleeping girl who just whispered my name. Is this a cataplexy attack and she knows I’m here? I look back to Miki who shrugs and I lift myself off the arm, kneeling down next to the couch Suzu is on.
“Suzu?” I ask curiously, tilting my head to gauge her reaction. She murmurs something before I say her name again. She scrunches up her face and I look back at Miki who sighs.
“Yo, Suzu!” She calls and, almost immediately, I hear an ear-splitting “WHAT
!?” screamed directly into my left ear. It scares the shit out of me and I scoot backwards on my ass, Suzu waking from her slumber looking more than a little bemused.
“Ummm, hey?” I chuckle nervously as I lean back on my hands, my cane at my side.
“You okay there, short-stuff?” Miki asks from behind me.
“M’fine… Whasgoin’on?” She slurs, still in a daze.
“I came over to ask about the club?” I say in a soft, reassuring tone. “Figured I’d try again since we missed each other during the summer.”
. You stayin’ in the club or what?” She frowns a little, finally focusing on me.
“Ummm, sure. Can’t leave you alone with that sex-pest Lezard, can I?” I chuckle a little, rubbing the back of my head.
“Good man. Report to the club room at the usual time next week. Dismissed!” She gives me a two-finger salute and drops back onto the sofa again. I smile and ease myself up onto my feet. I offer a salute of my own before leaving.
“Sure thing. See you around, Club Prez. See ya, Miki!”
I hobble my way outside and see to see Hanako leaning against a metal rail overlooking the main courtyard. I tilt my head a little as I gaze longingly at her cute butt sticking out a little towards me. I walk towards her and spot Molly talking to some dude a little ways away.
is the important thing she needed your help with? Chasing boys?” I ask, a little annoyed. I lean against the grey stone and slide my hand into hers.
“I must be good at it… Caught you
, didn’t I?” She elbows me playfully with a coy smile. That you did
“Touché. So is that the guy? Pretty cute but I’ve never been a fan of blondes. I much prefer violet.” I throw her a wink and the corner of her mouth tugs into a smirk back at me.
“Cute. I said the same thing but about red heads…” She says and I smile a little.
“But I hope they get along. I found out he’s trilingual, like she is.” She beams, she must be feeling pretty good about playing cupid for our new friend.
“Tall, blonde and
a cunning linguist? Molly certainly is a lucky girl
.” She elbows me a littler harder for my snark but giggles.
“D-don’t go getting ideas, Akio… Besides, you wouldn’t like him, he doesn’t backchat
.” Given his note-passing, he must be deaf or mute. Yeah, that would be a tough hurdle to surpass, especially with my humour.
“You’re right. Where’d be the fun in that
?” I laugh and our eyes lock. I give a suave smile and lean in for a tender kiss.
“It’d be no fun at all, I imagine. Peaceful though.” I pout playfully at the sudden, but funny, barb.
ako, we’ve got a date with a math assignment.” I tug on her hand and she follows my lead.
“All work and no play…” She groans in a sarcastic tone. Oh, you want to play, huh? You’re gonna have to earn it.
“Work first, play later
…” I purr in her ear and she blushes, squeezing my hand a little tighter. Heh, I’m glad I can still fluster her like that. It wasn’t until we got to my room that we realised that she didn’t have her text books.
“I guess we can always tackle those math problems tomorrow…” I say suavely, tossing my cane on the bed and pulling Hana close by her hips.
“Like you didn’t plan this.” She giggles, resting her hands on my chest and nuzzling my nose.
“I didn’t but you know you old saying; If a boy wants to spend time with a girl, life finds a way.” I smirk.
an old saying, that’s half a line from Jurassic Park
.” She jabs derisively and I snort with amusement.
“Just kiss me already. It’s the only sure way to shut me up.” I grin, daring her to do so and she gladly accepts the challenge, her arms winding around the back of my head to run her fingers through my hair.
I guess we can always go over some Biology cliff-notes…