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Crystalline

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Clear inspected his arm, watching in horror as the crystal covered his wrist, continuing to trail down his arm. “No… Stop…” he muttered to himself, as if that would change anything. A ray of light from the window finally came in contact with his arm, causing brilliant colors to flood the room. Clear struggled to pull his sleeve over his arm, but it was no use, the sleeve wasn’t long enough to cover it. He remembered the steps. He just had to close his eyes and breathe.

However, the effort was interrupted when the door to the classroom was opened suddenly. Clear’s eyes snapped open and he made eye contact with his Earth Science teacher, Mink. “Clear…” Mink said, his eyes wide, only to grow wider when he turned his attention to his crystallizing arm.

“You’re…”

Mink didn’t look back up at him, keeping his eyes focused on the crystal. Clear didn’t know what to do. He had managed to keep it a secret for so long, and now suddenly his teacher was looking at his biggest secret.

“S-Sir I can expl-”

“How pretty…”

“E-Eh?”

When his teacher started to come closer to him, Clear knew it was time to leave. He stood up quickly, jammed his papers into his bag, and began to speed walk out of the class.

“Clear, wait”

Clear was almost out the door, but he froze and turned around reluctantly. “Y-Yes, Sir?” His voice cracked and his face was completely red out of embarrassment. “…Nothing.” As soon as the reply came, Clear was out the door, almost bursting into a sprint, without saying a word. He needed to get home, fast. He could feel the crystal hit his elbow and his arm locked up, it was starting to hurt. He just needed to forget that this happened. He would go back to school tomorrow, and everything would be fine.

 


 

“There you are. How did I know you were going to be here, Clear?”

His teacher’s deep voice broke the silence as he pulled back the curtain on the bed. Clear stared dumbfounded, clutching his arm that was covered with a brilliant red. His facial expression quickly changed to that of a smile. “Ah, Mink-san!” he cheered, but Mink quickly shut him down. “Mr. Mink” the older man corrected before continuing. “Why haven’t you been coming to class? If you don’t, you’ll get held back again.” His teacher was already starting his lecture before Clear could respond. “Mink-san! How cruel of you! How could you say such things to a student who couldn’t graduate due to an illn-” Once again, cut off swiftly by his teacher. “Stop it with the fake tears, Clear.” He deadpanned, and the smile was back once again.

“Hehe! You could tell?”

“Wasn’t fooled for a second.”

“But… in class, it’s hard to fit in…” Clear finally replied to his short lecture, rubbing the back of his head. “Everyone is the same… Except for me. It’s so uncomfortable.” He admitted, and the crystal make crackling sounds as it began to hike up his arm again. “I-I’m glad you’re my homeroom teacher.” Clear tacked onto the end, and then made an immediate change of subject.

“So! What crystal is it today, Mink-san?” he chimed, and with a shaky motion, lifted up his arm to his teacher. “Stop trying to change the subject.” He deadpanned, but inspected the crystal none the less. “You really like crystal, huh Sir?” Clear smiled softly, and his teacher nodded. “This is Vanadanite. It’s a fiery red color, very easy to recognize.” Mink gingerly put his hand on the smooth surface, and Clear hummed. “Go on, I like hearing your voice.”

“Hm?”

“It’s relaxing.”

Clear managed to say these things to his teacher without hesitation. Ever since last year when his teacher had first discovered his secret, he had been keeping him after class, asking him about it. It had been a while before Clear said anything, but before long he had actually befriended the stoic teacher. He was Clear’s only friend. “Well… Vanadinite is a mineral belonging to the apatite group of phosphates. It-” Clear cut his teacher off with a fake snoring sound, and started giggling when he heard an irritated hum. “I was just kidding, Mink-san. Keep going.”

“…It’s usually found in the form of red hexagonal…”


 

“…and the chemical formula is Pb5(VO4)3Cl.”

Mink had finally finished, but his arm had turned back to normal minutes ago. Clear just enjoyed hearing his teacher talk. “Thank you, Mink-san.” Clear breathed out, and he felt the warmth of Mink’s hand leave his own. “I think I should get back to class, huh.” His teacher nodded to him and he let out a sigh. “Yeah, I have a class to teach.” Mink turned and gave Clear the classic disapproval glare. “I’ll probably be late, because someone skipped again.”

“Oh, who’s that?” Clear batted his lashes and gave an innocent smile. He received nothing but an eye roll and something that looked like a smirk as a goodbye before his teacher left the nurses office. Clear fell back down into bed, covering his face with his hands. He had to admit, his teacher was very attractive. It always made his heart pound when he came in to check on him. Or lecture him. No matter which one it was it always made him flustered. He had to do what he was told, of course, so he made his way out of the office himself.


 

Before he knew it, he was standing in front of his classroom door, and heard the voices of his classmates inside. Clear swallowed and gripped the edge of his shirt. If he walked inside, people would definitely look at him. Then they would talk about him. They all thought he was a lazy bum who skipped class… They all didn’t like him. “Um, pardon me?” a voice behind him caused him to jump and he whipped around, to be face to face with a classmate. His name was… Aoba? Yeah, it was hard to mistake the long blue hair.

“A-Ah, sorry!” Clear stuttered and moved out of the way. His classmate gave him a confused look before going inside, and he heard his friends calling out to Aoba from inside. He wished he had friends like that. But he only knew Mink. And he definitely wasn’t ungrateful, he enjoyed Mink’s company more than anyone. He heard the bell ring, and in a panic he finally ran into class, only to see everyone in their seats, and turning to look at him.

Clear swallowed and gripped his arm as he sped-walked to his seat, and the teacher only gave him a head shake and a few pen marks on the clipboard they were holding. “Look who actually showed up to class.” Clear looked up, startled as the person across the room, unmistakable for his absurd amount of piercings, gave a smug smirk. It only lasted for a few seconds before the person sitting behind him, Koujaku, smacked the back of his head. The two entered a staring contest, and Clear looked back at his desk, ashamed.

He cringed suddenly as he felt a prickling at the back of his neck as a crystal began to form. Already?! Clear panicked and smacked his hand over his nape. He pulled the hood of his jacket over the back of his neck and scrunched up his shoulders.

It was going to be a long class.