The bell for lunch rang and everyone started to get up, ready to have their first meal in a new school. Youko got up, taking out her money while trying to remember where she was told the lunchroom was.
The short-haired brunette looked up from her desk, brought out of her thoughts, “Hm? Yes, Fujino-san?” She replied after seeing who called her.
“I remember you wanting to learn about Sugiura, correct?”
Youko turned around to see if the person in question was still there and was surprised to find her missing. She blinked at the empty space, That was fast… She turned back to the Kyoto-born, “Yes, I did.”
“Then now is a good a time as any,” Fujino smiled pleasantly, “Please follow me to the cafeteria.”
“What is it you would like to know?” Shizuru and Youko walked down the halls of their new school toward the lunchroom. Both boys and girls alike watched them go by and whispered; some stared in awe, others in jealousy. Youko had a distinct feeling they were all staring at the tall albino next to her.
“Well, first of all, I’m rather curious about how you know her,” Youko spoke what was on her mind, which was how she usually dealt with everything. She didn’t think Fujino’s clique and Sugiura’s clique would mesh very well. (She wouldn’t show it on the outside, but she was starting to get antsy with all the stares.)
“She was in my class at my last school too, although we didn’t talk much.” Of course, Fujino being the critical analyzer she was, started to pick up on the signals her acquaintance was giving off. She cocked an eyebrow when Youko subtly narrowed her eye at the crowd of students watching them. “Is something wrong, Sagisawa-han?” She asked, inwardly amused.
Caught. Youko turned back and looked up into red. “I know they’re all staring at you, but still. I’m not use to traveling with people staring in my general direction. Honestly, it’s unnerving.”
Shizuru’s smile grew a tiny bit, “You get use to it after a while,” She said in a jovial, knowing manner, turning her head back to the hall ahead and closing her eyes as she walked.
Youko raised her eyebrow questioning. ‘Get use to it’? “Then I suppose this happens often?”
“Joy…” She then put her hand to her chin and gained a thoughtful expression. “Albinos might be a rare sight, but it’s nothing to gawk over this much at…” She contemplated out loud.
Fujino turned back to her shorter partner and raised both eyebrows, showing her amusement openly now, “Ara!”
Shizuru went back to normal, “I think you’re the first person to guess correctly about my eye color.” That and I’m amused by the fact that you think that’s the only reason people are staring.
Youko frowned, “Seriously?”
The Kyoto-born nodded her head. She then brought her right hand to her mouth and started to giggle, “You wouldn’t believe some of the stories people have come up with.”
“Like?” Youko asked curiously.
“One asked if I was an alien from outer space sent here to procreate and intermingle with the human race so that my race lived on,” Shizuru giggled harder.
Youko chuckled at the absurdity of the suggestion, “Who asked that?”
“Sugiura Midori,” Shizuru smiled down at the going-to-be doctor after she finished her giggle fit. “Imagine her disappointment when I told her I was one-hundred percent human.”
Youko’s chuckling died down after that and she could only give Shizuru a stunned expression. All I’ve learned about Sugiura is that she’s really REALLY eccentric. She shook her head softly before looking back at Shizuru with normal features, “But I thought albinos had more of a pink-red color.”
Shizuru simply shrugged as they neared the cafeteria doors, staying silent.
They both entered the lunchroom and Youko gaped at the scene before her, “This is… larger than I expected.” She finished lamely.
“Didn’t you see this during the orientation?”
The short haired brunette shook her head, “I didn’t get to go to the orientation. I was still moving in. I got here a bit later than every else.”
“I see.” They walked over toward the food lines while they each took out their money.
“E-eh…” Youko inwardly gulped as she stared at the prices. What is this, a five-star restaurant?
“Ara,” Shizuru had to swallowed a smirk as she looked at her classmate’s expression. “What seems to be the matter this time, Sagisawa-han?” She drawled, knowing perfectly well what was wrong.
“Er, the prices are…” Youko’s voice trailed off.
“’A bit expensive’?” Shizuru finished helpfully.
“Well, this is a high quality school,” She said. She frowned faintly when she didn’t receive any recognition from the person who sat behind her in class. “Did you not know this?”
“No,” Sagisawa answered truthfully. “I just applied for and got into the school that was closest to home for convenience’s sake.”
“Mah, that is something else,” Shizuru said, sounding a little interested. Stuff like that doesn’t normally happen at Fuuka Academy. “Usually people have to either study hard or be wealthy.”
“Which are you?”
“Wealthy,” Fujino answered with a wink, making the international hand-sign for money. (Rubbing her thumb against her fingers.)
Somehow, I get the impression that she’s both. Youko kept her thoughts to herself.
“The name Fujino is placed in high regards in some areas of business,” Fujino further explained, sounding modest about the situation, but not obnoxiously so. “Also, there are a lot of the people that come to this school who are talented in one field of study.” She added.
“For example…” The taller brunette trailed off for a moment, trying to think of a couple examples before she started up again. “Minagi Mikoto in a neighboring class: it’s rumored that she can sword-fight with fifth-dans on equal level.”
Youko’s eyes widened at this. A first year against fifth-dans?
“Another example would be Sugiura Midori. She could easily become the captain of any sport club she chose if she felt like it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t stay interested for very long so she quits, causing the teams to grovel on hand-and-foot for her to come back,” The tall brunette chuckled a little at the mental image.
“Most people with an expertise in a certain field come here on scholarships that are active throughout their high school life so long as they participate in school activities, such as clubs,” Fujino finished her explanation.
Youko frowned at the information she gathered. I didn’t know anything about any scholarships. “I suppose with these prices, I’ll have to look for a part-time job.” She said, making it known that she didn’t receive any scholarship applications.
“Then I suppose all I can say to that is, ‘Good luck and try not to get caught’.”
“Gee, thanks…” Youko rolled her blue eyes before stepping into line.
They both sat down across from each other at a table that was surprisingly empty in the noisy, filled room. (Sagisawa guessed that the previous group had just left.) Youko watched curiously as Shizuru took out a notebook and started to write between bites of her meal.
“This?” Shizuru asked when she caught the stare of inquisitive blue eyes. “I figured I’d start to jot things down that could be handled in class, such as who can be assigned to what job. I know a lot of people in our class and have a pretty good idea what their strengths are.”
Youko furrowed her eyebrows in confusion, “Isn’t that the class representative’s job?”
Shizuru smiled patently as she looked at the shorter brunette, “Ara, and just who do you think will be voted as class representative, I wonder?” She stayed silent and watched as Sagisawa mulled it over.
“I see you point,” Youko mumbled when she finally came up with an answer.
“Thank you.” Fujino went back to work.
“You like taking on work?” Youko eyed the thick backpack Shizuru lugged around.
“It’s not that I like it, it’s just that it’s good to be well-rounded and have many skills under my belt for when I’m older. In fact, if it was up to me, I’d much rather throw it all aside and start looking for my long-time friend,” Shizuru’s eyes seemed to sparkle pleasantly when she said this, as if bringing up a fond memory.
Youko smiled, amused at the unexpected reply, “How lazy of you!”
Shizuru smiled knowingly and wagged her finger, “One shouldn’t judge by appearances, Sagisawa-han.”
“I’ll be sure to keep that in mind,” Youko ended with a smaller smile, feeling much more at ease around Fujino than when they first met. “Oh yeah, your friend, who is the person, if you don’t mind me asking?” Youko asked, trying to keep the conversation going.
“Kuga Natsuki, a second year,” Shizuru smiled brightly, showing more emotion now that she was on a topic she particularly liked. “Perhaps you’ll hear of her, being labeled as the ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Ice Princess’,” Shizuru giggled softly finding these titles silly. If only they really knew Natsuki…
Youko smiled at Shizuru’s expression. This Kuga must be really important to Fujino-san. She then turned her eyes downcast to the ground, biting her lip. I wonder if it’s okay to ask about the promise. It might be personal… “… And about the promise you mentioned in class?” She asked tentatively, wondering if she was pushing her limits.
“The promise?” Youko let out a silent sigh of relief when she saw the tall brunette practically beam at the mention of it. “Why, to marry her and always be by her side!” Shizuru responded, her cheeks slightly flushed.
Youko’s eyes widened for a good fifteen seconds as she wrapped her mind around it before slowly falling back down to Earth, thinking about it with a level head. She gave Fujino a helpless smile, “You really are something, Fujino-san.”
“You don’t know the half of it,” Shizuru smiled back after calming down considerably.
They both turned when the voice of a stuttering girl caught their attention. “Yes?” Shizuru asked when she looked at the shaking, flushed girl standing right next to her seat.
“P-please accept this letter, Fujino-sama! I worked really hard on it!” The girl held out a pink letter to Fujino, her cheeks gaining more color (if at all possible.)
Shizuru blinked before smiling placidly, kindly taking the letter, “Thank you for the letter, but I’m sorry. I can’t return your feelings. The best I can do is wish you the best of luck in your future relationships.” Shizuru spoke serenely, rejecting the girl softly.
“Ah-um. Th-thank you for taking the letter anyway!” The girl bowed low, still beat-red, quickly shuffling away afterward.
Shizuru took out another piece of paper, after setting the letter down on the table, and started to write a rejection letter.
“Why write a rejection letter when you just put her down?” Youko asked. She hasn’t even opened the letter she just received.
“Well, she made her own stationary and envelope just for one love letter. I think I should at least explain myself as a thank you for going through all that hard work, don’t you think?” The red-eyed beauty explained, not even looking up from her writing.
Youko thought it over. I suppose if someone went through all that work for me, I’d feel a little guilty if I simply rejected the person. She watched as a boy a year older than themselves walked up with a cocky smile on his face. Another one? And only on the first day of school too…
“Hey, Fujino-san,” He smiled. “How about you and me go on a date tomorrow night at the movie theater?”
Fujino turned her head to the side to see her sempai, “I’m not interested, sorry.” Blunt. Her voice wasn’t any different than when she dealt with other things, but something hidden in the tone told Youko that Fujino didn’t want to deal with the boy. She turned back to her work, giving the boy a cue to not try again through her body language.
Youko almost flinched at how unreadable Shizuru’s tone of voice was. Ouch. That must be a blow of his ego. “Must be fun, being popular,” Youko lightly teased, watching the dejected boy walk away while glaring over at his friends who were laughing at his complete and total failure.
Shizuru smiled, looking up from her work from the top of her eyes, her head still bent downward. “Jealous?”
“Darn, and here I was hoping we could switch for a day or two,” The red-eyed, first-year joked back.
“Well, if you told me what kind of make-up you use…” Youko responded hopefully, although her tone didn’t give her away.
Shizuru smiled wickedly, “I don’t use make-up.”
There was a brief silence. “… Okay, that just ticks me off,” Youko frowned in mock anger.
They both chuckled at their little play banter and went back to eating. The doctor-in-the-making smiled; all her uneasiness from earlier was all but gone. But as the conversation paused for a moment, her mind started to wander. After a bit, she voiced her thoughts, putting two and two together: “You’re a lesbian.” It was more of a statement than a question.
“I am.” Shizuru looked up from her work and food, lifting her head, “Is that a problem?” She almost looked at if she anticipated something, like someone waiting for a prey to take the bait of the trap they set out.