Sagisawa paused for a moment before closing her eyes, shrugging, “It doesn’t affect me, so why should it matter?”
“… You’re a very open-minded, down-to-Earth person, aren’t you?”
“So I get told.”
“I can imagine why,” Shizuru smiled.
Youko blinked as she looked at Shizuru’s smile. For some reason, it seemed a bit more sincere than the others before it. She seemed a bit more relaxed.
“Oh yes, Sagisawa-hanr12;“
Youko cut Shizuru off, “Call me Youko.” She said, after a brief contemplation of considering Fujino her first friend in high school.
Shizuru’s eyes widened for a passing moment before she went back to her normal placid expression, “Then please call me Shizuru, Youko-han.” She continued after a nod from the person across from her, “I believe you wanted to discuss about Sugiura?”
Oh, right. We still haven’t gotten around to talking about that yet. Youko nodded once more.
“Ara, then why don’t you ask her personally?” Shizuru drawled, a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she pointed over Youko’s shoulder with her chopsticks.
“Hiya, Shi-chan!” A cheery voice came bounding over. The owner of the voice reached her hand over toward Shizuru’s dish and picked up a piece of gyoza with her fingers and quickly brought it to her mouth. She chewed with gusto and swallowed before continuing, “How’ve you been?”
I see you haven’t lost your habit of taking things at random. “Hello,” Shizuru said to the redhead standing at their table. “I’m doing well, how’ve you been, Sugiura?”
Midori frowned at the tall brunette, “How many times do I have to tell you to call me Midori?”
“Forgive me, Midori-han. Old habits die hard, I’m afraid,” Shizuru said with an apologetic smile.
“Don’t worry ‘bout it!” Midori’s large grin was back on her face in no time as she waved her hand over her shoulder. “Oh! And how’s… Veranda?... Violin?... Violet?...”
“Viola,” Shizuru corrected their classmate.
“Yeah! Viola! How is she?”
“She’s doing very well. She’s adapting to her new home nicely. Thank you for asking,” Fujino bowed her head a bit in thanks.
“’Viola’?” Youko asked Shizuru, not able to keep her curiosity at bay.
“My pet snake,” Fujino clarified.
Youko’s curious frown furrowed deeper into a skeptic stare, “You own a pet snake?”
“Yes. Right here on campus.”
I read that pets aren’t allowed to be kept on campus. “How?”
Shizuru smiled knowingly, “Almost anything can be bought with money, Youko-han. And with about two-hundred thousand more yen added to my boarding bills, I’m mysteriously allowed my own room and my pet snake can live with me on campus.”
Sagisawa stared blankly at the albino. I believe that’s called ‘abusing power’, Shizuru-san…
“Viola is my pet snake that my father purchased from a ‘rare pet’ store for my birthday a couple years back. She’s about a meter long with purple scales and red eyes,” Fujino seemed proud to talk about her snake.
The future doctor blinked, “Purple?” … Their eye colors match. Like owner, like pet?
“I suppose she’s from an exotic area of the world. The first name that came to me was ‘Viola’ because her scale color is violet. The words were similar, and the name Viola is very pretty. Lame, I know, but I like it.”
“Is she poisonous?” Youko asked, thinking the snake might be if it’s from an ‘exotic’ part of the world.
“Yes.” Didn’t even hesitate to answer.
Before Youko could exclaimed a response, the redhead but into the conversation again. “Hey!”
Youko turned her head in the direction of the interjection, looking at the athletic first-year that sat behind her in class, “Yes?”
“Whoa!” Midori exclaimed, her cheeks flushing slightly as she looked at Youko. She calmed down after a bit and smiled, “You’re that person that sits in front of me, right? Yeah, I recognized the back of your head!”
Youko blinked, … Okay…
“But…” Midori looked the smaller brunette up and down, making Sagisawa uneasy. “Now that I look at you, you look really pretty!” She said sincerely.
Youko’s unease was quickly replaced with confusion and embarrassment. She stared incredulously at Sugiura; her cheeks pinked a tiny bit from the sudden compliment. “T-Thanks?...” That was from nowhere…
Ara? Shizuru silently stared back and forth between Midori’s sincere grin and Youko’s awkward stare, noticing they both had blush-tinted cheeks. Her smile grew ever-so slightly as she came up with a decision. Time to play cupid!
“No problem, Youko-chan!”
Hm? Youko blinked before she realized how familiar Midori called her name. She frowned, “I didn’t give you permission to call me that,” She stated bluntly, the blush completely gone and replaced with a stern gaze.
Midori frowned back, although, her frown was showing her confusion instead of irritation, “Then just Youko?”
Sagisawa’s blue eyes widened before furrowing farther than last time, “I didn’t give permission to call me that either!” That’s even more familiar!
“So you do want Youko-chan?”
“No, I don’t want you to call me ‘Youko-chan’!”
Midori’s confused gaze turned into a scowl, showing that she herself was starting to get ticked off, “Geez, you should really learn to make decisions, Youko.”
“Argh!” Youko face-palmed, “I give up!” She glanced up to find Shizuru giving her a sympathetic stare and gave a dull glare back. Fortunately, the well-off brunette didn’t take the glare to heart.
“What brings you here, Midori-han? I don’t normally see you in a cafeteria,” Shizuru moved the conversation along, much to the shorter brunette’s relief.
Midori’s mood suddenly dropped and she sighed, dejected, “Well, I was looking out for any clubs to join so I could get my scholarship started, but none of them interested me.” She pointed over her shoulder to a huge crowd of people that just barged in. Youko stared wide-eyed at the large mob. Now I know what Shizuru-san meant before…
“There she is!” One of the pointed and they all ran toward the table of three. Youko and Shizuru watched as they all started to gather around Midori:
“Please join our club!” “Join the archery club!” “The tennis club could really use your help!” “You’d make captain of the volleyball team in no time!” “You’re the fastest swimmer we’ve ever seen! Please join our club!”
“Oh my, even the boys teams are asking for her help,” Shizuru stated calmly as she watched the scene unfold in front of her.
Youko turned to Shizuru, her mouth gaping at her words, You call this ‘asking’?! I’m just waiting for them to trample her over!
“Please join the boy’s soccer team!” One of the boy’s soccer players asked. “No! Join the boy’s baseball team! With your pitching, we’d be unstoppable!” Another boy chimed in afterward.
This has gone on long enough. Youko frowned, her normally long fuse running short, she abruptly stood up, “Quiet!” She yelled just loud enough to calm everyone else down and turn toward her, wide-eyed. Even Shizuru was surprised from the uncharacteristic holler.
The blue-eyed, first year took in a deep breath to calm herself down before slowly letting it out. She leveled her voice back to room volume before continuing, “I understand your enthusiasm to recruit Sugiura-san to your teamr12;“
“Call me Midori, Youko!” She heard a random, familiar yell from the crowd and rolled her eyes.
“However,“ She continued to address the crowd, ignoring the shouted request. “I don’t think you remember where you are. This is a school cafeteria where people gather to socialize and have a good time with friends- not get mobbed by club recruiters. Now, I don’t hate the fact that you’re doing this, because I know this is your job on the team, but please continue somewhere else where students aren’t trying to relax in peace?” She sat down.
The club members suddenly looked very guilty as they looked about the room at all the stares they were getting. Some of them simply walked out afterward while others bowed, asking for forgiveness to Youko before walking out.
“You handled that rather well. I’m impressed,” Shizuru commented.
“Yeah, you’re a life-saver!” Midori grinned broadly as she sat down next to Youko at the table. “I thought they’d never leave me alone!”
“Even with all those options, none of them interest you, Midori-han?” Shizuru asked.
Green eyes lost a little of their spark, “Nope. I tried them, but none of them really got me wishing I could do this for the rest of the school year. I tried a hand at other kinds of clubs, but… those didn’t exactly work out.” A nervous grin crossed her face as she scratched the back of her head.
I don’t think I want to know what happened in those clubs. “Then why not make your own club?”
“Huh?” Midori blinked and looked down to Youko.
“I said, ‘Why not make your own club’? It could contain the kind of activities you want to do; if you’re the president, you could set dates and times to your whim and you wouldn’t have to be worried about if you’re interested or not, because you’re the one who made the club based on what you want it to be,” Youko explained, unaware of the world of trouble she just unlocked.
Midori gasped excitedly as she imagined it, pulling Youko into a bear hug, “That’s an awesome idea, Youko!”
Crushing back… can’t breath… Youko didn’t have much on her mind at the moment.
As Midori let go of the shorter brunette, Sagisawa inhaled sharply, regaining color in her face. “Let’s go create our club right now!” Midori exclaimed cheerfully, standing up.
Youko frowned a bit, Wait, did she just say ‘our’?...
“Upsa-daisy!” The pony-tailed, redhead grin broadly as she picked Youko up from her sitting position and started to carry her bridal-style.
“H-Huh?!” Youko froze in shock, her cheeks flushed deeply from embarrassment as she was carried away from her table. As soon as she came back to her senses, she started to wriggle, trying to get free, “P-put me down! Let me go!” She demanded.
Of course, Sugiura wasn’t paying attention. She was excitedly saying to Youko aout what the club would be like and what it would consist of. She was talking too fast that poor Youko couldn’t keep up. The wanna-be doctor turned back to look at her table, looking for some help from a certain albino, only to find the said albino waving good-bye to the unfortunate soon-to-be club member. Youko glared back, only causing the humored smile on Shizuru’s face to grow a little more. And here I was actually considering you my friend! Youko growled in her thoughts before she went back to protesting toward Midori.
Ara, am I fortunate enough to watch the slowly blooming blossom of love grow right before my eyes? Shizuru’s infamous “gay-dar” detected small traces from the two right in front of her (even if they weren’t aware of it themselves.) Her expression grew mock-sad, Poor Midori-san, Youko-san seems to be a tad reluctant. She suddenly beamed and clasped her hands together. Well! That’s nothing a few pushes in the right direction can’t help! Shizuru was ‘willing’ to become Match-Maker for her new friend.
(Whether she decided to do this to actually help Youko or for her own entertainment, we don’t know.)
Speaking of love… She calmed down and started to look around the cafeteria, looking both inside the building and outside the large windows that overlooked the garden. It was high-time she got to doing what she originally planned to do during her first lunch at Fuuka Academy. “If I were a ‘Lone Wolf’, where on campus would I hide?…”