Chapter 1: Dilemma
Josuke lifted his pompadoured head up to admire Morioh’s yellow sky. It was around 3 pm and he was enjoying the weekend with his father by his side on a park bench. In Joseph’s arms was little Shizuka. Joseph wiggled his finger at her.
“Hello Shizuka~ Enjoying the sun, sweet pea?” Joseph asked the infant with a smile. Shizuka simply giggled and open and closed her tiny hands. Despite the sun shining down brightly on them, Joseph still wore his large scarlet coat with his signature spotted ushanka on his head.
Josuke looked down at his sister and smiled, as well. He popped open the coca cola he had bought from the convenience store a few minutes ago. Joseph had went on and on about how cola was best cold. Josuke simply nodded at his nearly senile old man.
After taking a large gulp, Josuke opened his eyes to see Yukako walking across the street… but was it her? She looked kinda different. It was definitely her uniform, but? Either way he called out to her, “Yukako-san! Hey, how are ya?” Josuke waved his open hand.
Yukako was heading in the opposite direction when she turned her head, revealing those piercing eyes of hers. Once she realized who was calling her, she waved back and crossed the street over to where Josuke was seated.
“Hello, Josuke. Mr. Joestar.” Yukako bowed.
“Hey, did you get something done? You look a bit different.” Josuke tilted his head.
Yukako smoothed her hair in her hand. “I just left Cinderella. I got my hair straightened.” She flicked it back behind her. “Just felt like trying something new.”
“Oh, so that’s it! I could barely recognize you without your curls,” Josuke said.
“With your hair straight like that,” Joseph spoke up. “Well, it reminds me of my mother.” He smiled warmly at the thought. “Hmm… You look very pretty, Yukako-san.”
Her lips curled into a smile as a light shade of rose crept onto her cheeks. “Thank you, Mr. Joestar. That’s very sweet of you to say.”
“You’re very welcome.”
There was a lull in the conversation. Josuke continued to slurp his soda while Shizuka cooed aloud. The chirping of cicadas could also be heard faintly alongside the whizzing of cars driving by.
“Hm! Josuke-kun,” Joseph turned to his son.
“Yeah?” Josuke took another sip of his cola.
“Yukako-san is a pretty girl, isn’t she? Why haven’t you taken her on a date?” Joseph shot his son a wink while elbowing his arm lightly.
Josuke spat out his cola and crushed the soda can in his fist. Yukako stepped backwards clutching her bag closely to her. Both teenagers felt their faces become very hot and it was not a result of the beaming sun. “WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING, YOU GEEZER?” Josuke leaned in towards his father, “Yukako-san is dating Koichi? Remember? My friend?” He turned away from both his father and Yukako, refusing to make eye contact with her from the embarrassment. Us? A couple? No way!
“Oh, is that right?” Joseph chuckled as he stroked his beard. “Well that’s too bad. Either way, I hope one day Josuke will find someone that is nearly half as nice a girl as you.” Josuke, mortified, looked at his father again.
Stop talking! He thought to himself, sweat beading on his forehead.
Yukako ran her hand over head and through her thick dark locks. She nodded, “Right. It was nice to see you all. I’ve… got to head home now. Bye everyone. Bye Shizuka,” she gave the baby a small wave. Shizuka gurgled happily. “I’ll see you Monday, okay?” Yukako looked worriedly at Josuke. Her blue eyes lingered on him perhaps too long before she finally turned away from the family. Her dark hair shined under the bright rays of the sun as it swayed behind her.
“Y-Yeah, bye!” Josuke still blushing terribly turned to his father. “What the hell was that about?!”
“What do you mean?” Joseph pulled a teething ring out of Shizuka’s pastel yellow baby bag adorned with little duckies. Joseph placed it near her mouth. Shizuka suckled on the pink ring. “I just think she’s a nice girl is all. Very pretty. Very respectful. You know, you can’t wait on girls like her. As you can see, they aren’t single for long.”
“Oh, whatever! Because you’re an expert on women, right?” Josuke rolled his eyes then sunk into the bench. “This is so embarrassing…”
Yukako felt confused and mildly embarrassed as she walked home. “What was Mr. Joestar trying to do?” she thought. Yukako stopped in her tracks and clutched her chest. She would never betray her dear Koichi’s trust. She closed her eyes as she thought lovingly of his cute boyish features. His short stature, big baby blue eyes, his strong chest and muscled arms— W-wait! That’s not right! The thoughts of Josuke crept into her mind and she immediately shook her head in an effort to shake them away. Yukako soothed her hair again, “In his dreams…” she mumbled.
It wouldn’t be until Monday when Josuke would see Yukako again. The classroom was clouded with chatter. Josuke sat with his face in his hand as he played back the events of that Friday afternoon. His dad’s cringeworthy behavior, him spitting out his coke, and his dad trying to set him on a date with his friend’s girlfriend? He continued to redden as the events got progressively worse. Josuke let out a groan before hiding in his arms.
Okuyasu was seated on the windowsill and he obliviously gazed out of it. He turned only to see his friend trying to disappear into his desk. “Oi! Come on, Josuke! It wasn’t that bad!”
Muffled, “You’re right. It’s worse.”
“She probably forgot about it already! Trust me, I may not know a lot about anything, but Yukako barely pays attention to us as it is.” He nodded with reassurance, “Yep. Some lame shit your old man said to her without thinkin’? Totally gone. Poof.”
“You think so, dude?” Josuke peered out.
“I know so!” He hopped down from the windowsill. “Anyways, I could always try wiping her mind using The Hand!” He lifted his hand triumphantly. “But seriously,” he hurriedly sat in the seat in front of Josuke’s desk. “Tell me how she looked again! Did she really look hot with her hair straightened?” Okuyasu asked with an excited grin.
Josuke looked away, blush gathering on his cheeks again. “Well…” Josuke didn’t really think about it when he had initially saw her that afternoon, but she really did look pretty. The sun made her dark hair glow and her lips looked so plump. Was she wearing a lip gloss to make them look even more kissable? He remembers her lips being glossy and plum colored. He wondered if her lips tasted like plum too—
“Uh, dude? Hello?” Okuyasu waved his hand in front of Josuke’s stare. Josuke’s eyes lit back up as he was brought out of his haze.
“What? O-oh, yeah. She just looked pretty, like she usually does. It’s whatever,” Josuke waved his hand.
“Okay, sure,” Okuyasu laughed before turning around.
The class concluded and the duo emerged from the classroom alongside the shuffle of their peers.
“I failed my English test again! My mom is totally going to kick my ass when she sees this,” Josuke crumpled the paper in his hands, defeated.
“Don’t worry, bro!” Okuyasu held up his test, “I failed too!” His test stained with red ink had a big “60” on it. He grinned, “I’m just going to have my dad eat it later. He eats anything. I can have him eat your test too, if you want.”
“Destroying the evidence will have to do, for now,” he stared blankly away from Okuyasu after handing him the disheveled paper. It’s then when Josuke’s eyes locked with Yukako’s, as she squeezed her way pass bodies congesting the hallway.
“Oh, there goes your girl!” Okuyasu wrapped his arm around Josuke’s shoulder.
“Dude, shut up!” Josuke pushed his friend away. Yukako approached the two boys.
“Good afternoon, you two,” she said plainly. Yukako’s hair was back to it’s curly state.
She must’ve washed it again, Josuke thought.
“Hey, your hair—It’s curly again. Looks good.” Josuke said quickly without really knowing what to say. He still felt somewhat anxious, because of their exchange on Friday.
Yukako looked at Josuke dubiously. “Right. I never noticed how attentive you were, Josuke.” This drew a laugh out of Okuyasu.
He patted Josuke on the back, “I’ll leave you guys be.” He leaned in close to Josuke’s ear, “Chill out, bro.” He smiled goofily before walking away. Okuyasu was right, he needed to relax.
He took a deep breath and walked with Yukako to his locker. “So, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry for my dad saying all that weird shit. He’s really old, so don’t mind him,” he finished his combination and then looked at her.
“It’s fine. Mr. Joestar is really sweet and he obviously forgot about Koichi. You don’t need to apologize,” Yukako put her hand on his arm. “It was a bit embarrassing at the time, but it’s pretty funny to think about now.” She smiled.
Josuke’s heart thumped. What the fuck is wrong with me? he thought to himself. “Yeah, you’re right,” he managed to get the words out as he opened his locker. Before he could say anymore, a note slipped out of his locker. The little pink note fell onto Yukako’s shoes.
“What’s this?” She reached down to pick it up. Yukako inspected the dainty letter decorated with hearts. “Josuke, I think you have an admirer,” she laughed. She turned to look around for any conspicuous characters nearby, before looking back at the letter. “Love, Adachi Haruhi?”
Yukako handed the note over to Josuke. He was used to getting love letters from classmates, so this was nothing new. “Let’s see what Haruhi-san has to say,” Josuke stuck his finger underneath the flap to get the letter open. The note detailed how when she first saw Josuke’s “gorgeous blue eyes” she “fell madly in love.” While Josuke was flattered, he did not feel the same. “No matter how many of these I get, I always feel kinda bad afterwards.” He unceremoniously stuffed the note back into the clutter of his locker.
“Bad?” Yukako cocked her head. “Why bad? I thought the letter was sweet and romantic,” she clutched at her heart with a smile as she rested her back on the lockers.
“More like sappy and embarrassing,” Josuke said as he packed some books in his bag. “Besides she’s not really my type.”
“What’s wrong with Haruhi-san?” Yukako smirked as she attempted to mimic Joseph’s voice, “She’s a pretty girl, Josuke-kun!” She covered her mouth as she laughed.
Josuke couldn’t help but laugh too. “Hey, that was pretty good,” he shut his locker. “Has anyone ever told you that you have a real future in imitating old men?”
Yukako laughed before hitting his arm lightly, “Shut up!”
They both laughed.
“So… If Haruhi-san isn’t your type… What kind of girl is?” Her eyes became serious again, which made a shiver roll down Josuke’s spine.
Shit! he thought. How can she go from adorable to scary so quick?! And why does she even want to know?!
Josuke took a deep breath, “Well, I guess, I just—”
“Yukako-san!” Koichi ran up to the two. Josuke felt a wave a relief wash over him. Saved by the Koichi. The small teen grabbed her hand, “I was looking for you.” He smiled at the both of them, “Hi! What were you two talking about?”
Josuke became panicked again, “N-nothing, really!” He cursed himself for acting as if he was guilty of something. He pulled out the love letter, “We were just talking about another admirer that I have.”
Koichi’s eyes grew wide, “Another?” he then laughed softly. “Josuke-kun, you really have a pick of any girl you want don’t you?” Koichi scratched the back of his head.
Josuke’s eyes lingered back to Yukako, eyeing the curves of her lips, not even realizing she had caught him staring. Her brow became furrowed at his gaze. “Josuke, Koichi-kun asked you a question,” she spoke sharply.
He shook his head and returned his eyes back to Koichi. “Right, um, I guess you could say I have a small harem or something,” he tried to laugh convincingly. “But, I don’t think that I’m really interested in a relationship right now.”
“Hey,” Koichi placed his hand on Josuke’s arm. “You’ll know when you find the right one, right?” He said reassuringly. “Well, we’ll be on our way now. See you later, Josuke-kun.”
“Bye, Josuke,” Yukako said before walking hand in hand with Koichi.
“Yeah… Bye,” Josuke watched them walk away. Yukako turned her head back to meet his eyes again. She stared at him. Her eyes told him nothing, only mystery. He gulped, “That girl…” Josuke felt his face turn warm again.
Chapter 2: In Too Deep
The weird feeling in his gut keeps getting worse. Josuke figures he needs to address it, before he goes insane. However, will his plan backfire?
“Why…? Why did she stare at me?” Josuke quietly asked the ceiling of his bedroom that night. He peered over at his alarm clock giving off a dull glow in his otherwise dark room. “2:00 AM?” Josuke groaned before rolling to the opposite side of his bed. He had went to bed hours ago, but still he tossed and turned. The thoughts of the girl with the threatening eyes and rosy lips continued to invade his thoughts and as a result forbade him from dreaming. Josuke had always known Yukako was pretty, but he never thought much about it. Not until then—
Josuke’s thoughts were interrupted by the notification. “You’ve got mail!” chirped his desktop. He lifted his head when he heard the sound.
“An e-mail?” He sat at the edge of his bed briefly before making his way to his computer. He rubbed his eyes at the illumination of the screen. He opened up the forgotten tab and AOL’s homepage stretched across the screen. He cringed upon reading her name. Yamagishi Yukako. “Why is she emailing me so late? Had… She been thinking of me too?” he wondered hazily.
Josuke noticed the message lacked a subject. He felt his stomach turn, yet he clicked on the ominous e-mail anyway.
Did you finish the homework for English class today? I figured you would have finished it by now since Mr. Joestar would have helped you with it. I know it’s late, so if you don’t see this until the morning, don’t worry about it.
Have a good night - I’ll see you tomorrow.
“I don’t know what I expected,” Josuke sighed while relief washed over him. He rubbed the back of his neck, “Okuyasu wasn’t lying when he said Yukako doesn’t pay attention to us…” He thought of the failing grade on his test. “She’s totally asking the wrong person. Why did she even think to e-mail me?” He looked over the message again, “Well, I’ll send her what I’ve got anyway.”
I’m sending you a file of my answers. English isn’t my best subject though! So take my answers with a grain of salt. That’s a good idea, though. I should be getting my dad to help me. Hell, even Jotaro could tutor me. Either way, I hope this helps.
Right back at ya.
“That should be fine,” Josuke said as he pressed send. He retreated to his bed. “Yep,” he yawned. He curled in his blanket and closed his eyes, “Good night, Yukako-san.” Josuke was asleep, if only momentarily when reality dawned on him. “Yukako-san e-mailed me, because she was thinking about me.”
There was no doubt about it. Yukako wouldn’t need help with homework, at least not from Josuke. “She’s way smarter than me, anyway,” he thought while styling his hair the next morning. He put his comb down after perfecting his pompadour. “It doesn’t make any sense,” he sighed. His face crumpled in the mirror, “So what does this even mean?” He looked into the sink for answers to all the questions he had.
“Josuke!” Tomoko called from the kitchen. “If you don’t hurry up you’ll be late for school!”
He lifted his head. “Alright, mom!” He glanced back at himself once more before leaving the bathroom.
His eyes glossed over the hallway and landed on the telephone. “That’s it!” Josuke clamored over to the phone and dialed the number. Ring. Ring. Ring. Josuke twirled the cord of the phone around his finger as he held it to his ear.
“Hello?” A husky voice spoke on the other line.
“Jotaro!” Josuke tightened his grip on the phone and spoke excitedly. “I need your help with something important!”
“What is it? An enemy stand user?” Jotaro quickly set down his cup of coffee and placed his hat on his head. “I’ll be there as soon as I can—” He hurriedly grabbed his jacket of the coat rack.
“Wait, it’s nothing like that,” Josuke sputtered out. He forgot the only times he’s ever called Jotaro was if he was in trouble. “I was hoping you, uh, could tutor me.” He was now smiling nervously to himself.
“…” Jotaro blinked before taking his coat off. “Tutor you?” He asked slowly.
“A-and a friend of mine! You speak English, right?” Josuke waited for a response. “Pleeeease, Jotaro, I really need your help.”
Jotaro closed his eyes as he pinched the bridge of his nose. He sighed before turning over his shoulder to see the stack of books and papers he needed to read cluttering the otherwise immaculate hotel room. “I suppose… I could make time to help you—”
“Great! We’ll be there after school today. Thanks! Bye!” Josuke ended the call with a click. “Yes!” He pumped his fists over his head. “Now, I’ll be able to get her alone for sure,” he thought. “Okay, Mom, I’m leaving now!” he grabbed his bag before leaving.
Jotaro pulled the phone away from his ear. His face was void of an expression. “Good grief. What did I get myself into?”
In class, Josuke decided against telling Okuyasu about the e-mails for two reasons. One, they were about homework. At least, on the surface they were. Josuke still needed to figure that out for sure. Two, he didn’t want to draw attention to something that was otherwise ordinary. Why does it matter if Yukako e-mailed him at 2 AM when she should’ve been sleeping and not sending a bullshit e-mail about homework help that she obviously didn’t need?
The notes Josuke was supposed to be taking turned into scribble at that final thought. She was supposed to be sleeping… his mind echoed. She chose e-mailing me over sleeping. The corners of his lips slowly curled upwards.
The teacher’s lecture was interrupted by the bell, alerting the conclusion of the class. “Before you make a dash for the door, students,” she pointed to a message circled in white on the board behind her, “Our next test is in two weeks. Please, make sure to study hard!” She shot a glare in Okuyasu and Josuke’s direction, nearly making Okuyasu fall out of his chair. “Enjoy the rest of your day. Class is dismissed,” she said as she returned to her cheerful state.
Okuyasu put his hands behind his head as he left the classroom, “Geez, what was her problem, right?” He looked over to his right for his pompadoured pal to find no one next to him. “Josuke? Dude? Where’d you go!” He looked around, confused.
Josuke had sprinted out the door as soon as the class had been dismissed. He wanted to make sure he would be able to ask Yukako to study with him without any distractions. He squeezed between idiot girls hugging and giggling in the center of the hallway and exhibitionist couples in order to get to her locker quickly.
He turned the corner of the hallway and there he saw her. She had her back to him as she packed the necessities into her bag. She paused to look into the magnetic mirror hanging in her locker. Yukako brushed a stray hair behind her ear, “You know,” she jumped when she heard Josuke’s voice. He had been leaning on the wall with his arms folded. “You don’t need a mirror in there,” he said as he closed her locker. “You always look great,” he said with a wink.
Yukako released the tension in her stance upon seeing it was Josuke. She put her hand behind her ear, blush lightly dusting her cheeks. “Oh, is that right?” She laughed lightly. Yukako brushed her bag off before picking it up, “How are you this afternoon, Josuke? Ready to go home and play Mario Kart?” She nudged his arm playfully.
“Actually, no,” Josuke chuckled. “Uh, I was hoping, that we could go get, um…” The simple words tied his tongue once he came in contact with those eyes. She wasn’t staring, only casually looking at someone who was speaking to her. Yet, Josuke couldn’t help but feel weak.
Yukako raised her index finger to her chin, while her lush brows shaped a confused expression. “Is something wrong, Josuke?” She blinked at him. “You’re sweating.”
“N-not at all!” He waved his arms in front of his face. Yukako’s expression relaxed. Josuke took a deep breath, for support. “Yukako-san,” he looked her in the eyes. “I wanted to know if you’d join me tonight for some tutoring. I thought about your e-mail and I think if you’re struggling with English too, we could get tutored together from Jotaro. You met my nephew right?” He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.
Yukako tilted her head upon hearing the offer. “Tutoring?”
Is anxiety contagious? she wondered, slightly irritated with herself. This is what I get for sending that silly e-mail. She twirled one of her curls with her finger as she thought this over, Is it more suspicious for me to blow him off or for me to go with him? Does… Does he know the e-mail was an excuse just to see if he was awake? I’m beyond overthinking this! Just give him an answer!
She cleared her throat, “Okay. I’ll… go with you to study.” Her lips twitched into what she tried to make a smile.
The three were seated on the floor around a chestnut table in Jotaro’s room at the Morioh Grand Hotel. Josuke became annoyed and he fiddled with his pen as Jotaro went on and on about sentence structure. Josuke had expected some studying to occur, but this was torture. It was nearly 5 o’clock and Jotaro hadn’t given them a break yet. He needed an excuse to talk to Yukako about the e-mail. For now, all he could do was steal glances at Yukako. She tucked her hair behind her ear as she jotted down Jotaro’s notes. She was effortlessly alluring.
“When speaking in English, you use an adjective before the noun in a sentence,” Jotaro lifted his finger up as he spoke. “For example, ‘the red car went down the narrow street.’ See? Now you try—”
“Jotaro!” Josuke lifted his hand eagerly.
“Yes, Josuke?” Jotaro answered patiently. Yukako looked over at Josuke too, quizzically.
“It’s five, don’t you think it’s about time for us to have a break?” Josuke briefly looked at Yukako before looking back at his nephew. “Besides, I’m getting hungry! How about we order a pizza from the room service?”
Without a word, Jotaro left the table and approached the phone. He figured it was better to humor his uncle, rather than argue with him. “Hello, could I order a large pizza? I’m Kujo Jotaro in room 324.”
“Thanks, Jotaro,” Josuke called. He rubbed his stomach and thought to himself, I should’ve said something 30 minutes ago. He winced at his rumbling belly.
Jotaro merely grunted as he sat into an armchair. He took refuge in the cigarette between his lips.
“Hey,” Yukako spoke. “Good call asking for pizza. All this studying is turning my brain to mush,” she sighed as she hunched over the table.
Josuke cocked an eyebrow at her. “You know,” he grinned. “You can cut the act now... I know you didn’t need homework help.” He folded his arms smugly on the table.
Yukako’s eyes cracked open at his accusation before hurriedly sitting upright. “What are you talking about? I-I’m really struggling in my class, actually!” She shouted at him in a hushed tone. Her cheeks were flushed. She had been found out by someone she had underestimated.
“Pfft! No way, I don’t believe you,” Josuke continued to accuse in a borrowed tone. His expression softened, since he knew he had her. Josuke gently placed his finger on the tip of her nose. “Admit it. You wanted to spend some time with me. Right?”
“J-Just why would I want to spend time with you?!” Yukako got up from the table, now actually shouting at him. “I have a boyfriend, you know! Hirose Koichi? You remember him don't you?!” Yukako started collecting her things and violently tossing them in her bag.
Josuke’s face twisted in horror as he reached his arm to her, “Yukako-san, wait, I wasn’t—I didn’t mean—!” He nearly fell over his own feet trying to follow after her as she leapt at the door. “Don’t go!”
Yukako clutched the door handle in her fist, before she turned around to face Josuke. Her glare cut through him like a knife. She said nothing as she slammed the door.
Her glare momentarily paralyzed Josuke, but he couldn’t leave things like this. Josuke followed her out the door, “Yukako-san, please wait, let me explain!” She stood in front of the elevator, mashing the buttons carelessly. She was going to make a run for it once she heard him approaching, but Josuke grabbed her wrist before she could. “Listen to me, will ya’?!”
“Let me go of me, you idiot!” Yukako barked as she instinctively jerked her wrist back close to her, only bringing their bodies closer together. Her movement beckoned Josuke to wrap her in his arms. “What are you doing now!” Her face became even more heated.
“Listen to me…” Josuke spoke softly. He stared down at the flustered girl in his arms. Her forehead was furrowed, her eyes to ready to kill, but she had lips meant for touch. The final piece to the puzzle Josuke had been trying to solve was in place now. “My ideal girl... She’s you, Yukako-san.”
Hello! I'm hoping to be able to stay on schedule and keep updating on Tuesdays from now on. I think that's a decent enough wait and enough time for me to get these chapters up. Hope that's ok!!
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Chapter 3: Tongue Tied
What is to follow in the aftermath of Josuke's confession?
Yukako’s lips fell open in response to Josuke’s confession. Her eyes, once angry, were now filled with confusion. He simply stared back deeply into her eyes. She noticed the pink glow on his cheeks and the sweat on his forehead that accompanied his worried expression. Her fists once gripped at his chest tightly, now grew limp. From the front to the back of her brain, Yukako looked for an answer to Josuke’s confession. What was she supposed to say to that anyway?
Josuke brought the back of his hand to Yukako’s face, allowing it to lightly brush her cheek. She remained still, locked in thought or his stare, he was unsure. He rested his hand in the crook of her neck and lowered his other hand from the middle of her back to her waist. Josuke could feel his stomach turning, but even so, he let his eyes flutter close as he leaned in close for a kiss.
Before she could react, she felt his lips on top of hers. Her body felt electrified, while her mind was running a mile a minute. What is he thinking? What about Koichi? W-what are we doing? What is going to happen now? What about Koichi? What about Koichi? What about Koichi- Finally, she snapped. Love Deluxe rose from its place and wrapped itself around Josuke’s throat. His eyes flew open at the pressure on his neck to see Yukako’s eyes glaring back at him.
“Y-Yukako!” Josuke choked. His hands flung to the hair tangled around his neck. He tried to wriggle his fingers underneath her grip. “Y-you’re,” he hacked. “Suffocating.. Me…!” With a swift motion she threw him against the wall. Josuke let out a loud yell when his back met the surface. He took shallow breaths as he held his freed throat in pain.
“How dare you!” Yukako screamed at him while her hair still towered over her head. “You’re vile…!” Her voice had started as a yell, but trailed off into a whisper. Josuke looked up at her, once he heard the change in her voice. Yukako placed her hand over her lips as her hair slowly cascaded down around her. “Josuke…” Yukako spoke with glossy eyes, “I never want to speak to you ever again!” She turned on her heel and ran for the stairs, leaving behind glimmers of tears.
Josuke felt his stomach drop. Her denouncing their relationship or friendship, or whatever they had, felt worse than when she had her hair around his neck. “She’s still dating Koichi. Why did I even think she would want to…” his thoughts trailed off as he stood up. His mind flashed back to her face and how quickly she had turned from furious to broken. He broke not only his trust to Koichi, but potentially ruined any friendship he could have had with Yukako. He rested his hand over his lips. “I guess I know how she feels about me now,” he sighed. Josuke returned to Jotaro’s room. He felt that going after her would be a lost cause at this point.
“That was quite the scene,” Jotaro said without looking up from his textbook. Josuke frowned as he stood in front of the door. “Want to tell me what that was about?” He shut the book and met Josuke’s sad eyes.
Josuke figured that telling Jotaro couldn’t hurt, so he plopped down in front of the table again. “It all started last Friday when I was with the old man…”
“So you’re in love with her—”
“Well, I’m not sure I love her or if I like her or—” Josuke piped up.
“Alright, you like her, but she’s dating your friend, Koichi?”
“Basically… Yeah,” Josuke said before taking a bite of his slice of pizza.
“Good grief.” Jotaro took a puff from his cigarette.
“But, I’ve really fucked everything up now,” Josuke spoke with his mouth full. The cheese stuck to his chin. “I kissed her, she kicked my ass, and then I made her cry.” He finally swallowed and wiped the grease off his mouth. “Jotaro, I’ve never liked a girl before, I-I don’t know what to do. I don’t want her to hate me…” He stared down at his plate, then looked back at him. “What do I do?”
Jotaro remained silent for a moment. He wasn’t sure how to make a woman not hate him either, even when he knew his actions had good intentions. He responded with the only solution he knew of, “Considering how angry she was, giving her time to herself could help…” Josuke’s mouth scrunched downwards, unsatisfied. “… You should also apologize. Try giving her a thoughtful gift too. That… Always helps.”
Josuke nodded. “That makes sense.” He looked over at the alarm clock on the night table. It read 7:00 PM. Josuke stood up. “Thanks Jotaro, for talking to me and helping us study, and y’know everything. I should head home now.” He slid his books in his bag.
Jotaro gave Josuke a small smile. “It’s nothing. Make sure to say hi to the old man before leaving. He’ll be happy to see you.” Jotaro opened his textbook again and began looking for his place.
“Yeah,” he laughed. “I will. Bye, bye." He left with a click of the door.
Jotaro couldn't help, but think Josuke couldn't have picked a worse candidate to him give advice on women. Though between himself and Joseph, Josuke didn't really have many options. "Good grief," he thought between puffs and textbook pages.
When Yukako had arrived home, she had returned to an empty house. The only evidence of life was a note on the dining room table. Her eyes had stung and she couldn’t be bothered to read the usual from her parents. We’ll be working late. There’s food in the fridge. Blah, fucking, blah. Instead she went to her room where she would collapse on her bed and its sea of stuffed bears.
“Who the hell does he think he is…?” she sobbed into her pillow. Yukako rolled onto her side to see her treasured photograph of her beloved Koichi. She rubbed her nose on the back of her hand before clutching the frame to her chest. “Koichi-kun…” she stared up to the ceiling. Yukako thought of the day in Kameyu when she had gotten to kiss Koichi for the first time. The fond moment was interrupted with the memory of today. Even though she didn’t kiss Josuke back, her heart still ached with guilt. “How could I do this to you?” she cried. Her thoughts swirled of anger, betrayal, affliction and confusion. She spent the evening in that position until sleep swallowed her mind.
The sun peeked through the delicate lace curtains in Yukako’s room. She remained still asleep, photograph tucked in her bosom. Yukako’s mother was downstairs putting her earrings on in front of the mirror when she realized she hadn’t heard a stir in their home, besides her husband leaving earlier. “Yukako?” She called from the bottom of the stairs. Upon hearing no reply, she went to her knock on her door, “Yukako?” She opened the door to see her daughter fast asleep. She sighed, and sat next to her slumbering daughter. She brushed Yukako’s hair out of her face. “Honey, you have to wake up,” she said softly.
“Mmm... Mom?” Yukako rubbed her eyes. “Sorry, I overslept…” She sat upright.
“Wait, dear, why are you still in your uniform?” She put her hand on her daughter’s cheek, taking a closer look. “Your eyes are so red… Were you crying last night?”
Yukako whipped her head away. “Don’t be ridiculous, Mom, I just…” She placed her picture frame back onto her nightstand. “I was really tired when I got home, so I just went to bed.” Yukako forced a smile, “Honest.”
Yukako’s mother looked at her daughter doubtingly. “Well alright, dear,” she stood up from the bed. “If something is wrong, you can always talk to me.” She went to leave for the door. “Okay?”
“Okay, mom, I know.” Yukako nodded. Her mother smiled and left without another word. She was all alone again. She peered over at Koichi’s photo and felt sick. Yukako shook her head and undressed for the shower.
Under the flow of the water, she felt cleansed and hidden within the steam. If she scrubbed enough, then it didn’t happen, she thought. Much like her bathroom, her mind was clouded. If I never asked him what his type was… If I never followed him to that hotel… If I never straightened my fucking hair, none of this—I wouldn’t have these—I wouldn’t be feeling this way! Yukako felt her vision blurring from the water. She turned away from the shower head and dragged her forearm across her eyes, “Oh… It’s me…” she touched her eyes. “I’m crying again.”
“There’s something bothering her…” Koichi sat with Okuyasu and Josuke in the empty classroom. Koichi picked at his boxed lunch absentmindedly. “She didn’t meet me this morning like we always do. She didn’t want to eat lunch together and she said she can’t walk home either. I want to know if I did something wrong, but I don’t want to upset her even more…” Koichi sighed.
Josuke had been worried that Yukako would tell Koichi about what happened. While he felt relieved that she hadn’t, he felt like shit about her isolating herself.
Okuyasu cupped his hand around his mouth and said lowly, “Do you think that maybe Yukako is, you know, on her period?”
“That’s not it!” Koichi tossed his napkin at Okuyasu.
Okuyasu attempted to block the napkin, but it bonked him lightly on the head, “O-Oi! It could be a possibility!” He smoothed his hair, before digging in to his lunch.
Josuke simply rolled his eyes. “It’s my fault…” he mumbled.
“Huh?” Both Koichi and Okuyasu said in unison.
Josuke raised his head. “Oh, it’s nothing. Maybe she’s just upset about something going on at home? Her parents are always really busy, right?” Lying like this was becoming easier for Josuke and deep in his gut lied concern about that.
“Yeah… Maybe that’s it,” Koichi frowned.
Josuke decided against seeing her right away. Obviously, he knew he needed to apologize. He all, but accepted that she wasn’t into him and he completely misread the situation for something else. But, just how was he supposed to apologize? It became nearly crystal clear he knew almost nothing about her.
“Girls like roses right?” he thought on his way home. “But, Jotaro said a thoughtful gift. Are roses thoughtful?” He groaned. “At this rate, she’s going to hate me forever…” Josuke kicked a can laying in front of him. The can tumbled ahead too far to be kicked again from his range, but it was then when he spotted Yukako walking ahead of him. “There she is…!” He hid behind a phone booth. He then peered out, “But, she’s going the wrong way? Why is she at this part of town?”
Yukako walked down the street hazily. She looked to her left at each of the storefronts, before finally stopping at one. “Ah, here it is,” she said as she walked into the store.
Josuke quickly ran down the sidewalk to stop in front of the store she seemingly wandered into. “Lavender Books?” he read the sign aloud. He peered from the corner of the store’s window. “I didn’t even know she liked reading…” Josuke squinted and bobbed his head in an attempt to see her mixed in with the other people inside the bookstore. Her voluminous locks gave her away in the shuffle. He saw her looking around, before asking an associate for help. The associate led her away from Josuke’s view and into a forest of bookcases. Josuke slipped into the store after her.
Yukako was found in the children’s section. Josuke watched her from behind a tall bookcase. “Why is she looking at children’s books…?” She was scanning the bookshelves and displays for something in particular, he could tell. She stopped when she found a book with a green cover. Yukako read the book silently by herself. Once she got to the very end, Josuke saw her rubbing the corners of her eyes. “She’s crying? Just from a kid’s book?” He became even more confused by her behavior. She closed the book with a sigh and walked away from the section. Josuke didn’t move until she left his sight. Once she had gone, he went to investigate this book. “Which one was she looking at though…?” At the corner of his eye, he saw the meek book. “The Giving Tree?” he questioned the book as he held it in his hands. Josuke flipped through its pages and read the story of the boy and the tree. “After all he took from the tree, she was still happy…?” The ending bewildered Josuke, but he knew that the book would be the thoughtful gift he needed.
The rest of the week went on the same. Yukako avoided Koichi and Koichi, powerless, gave her the space she asked for. Yukako did the same thing each night, punish herself by locking herself in her room with her thoughts of remorse. That Friday night she stayed faithful to that routine and was, again, sulking in her room. Until she heard the doorbell ringing.
She rose from her place on her bed. “Could it be Koichi-kun?” She sat on the edge of the bed, as she put her slippers on. She went downstairs to hear the doorbell ring again. “I’m coming! I’m coming!” she called, now annoyed. Yukako opened the door, “Hello—” Upon seeing Josuke in front of the door she instinctively went to shut it.
“H-hey!” Josuke used Crazy Diamond to pry the door open. Yukako released the door and rolled her eyes. “Can you hear me out first, please?” Josuke implored.
“Why should I?” she folded her arms angrily. “I told you that I never wanted to see you again.” Her mouth turned into a snarl.
“Actually,” Josuke smirked. “You said to never speak to you again heh-,” Yukako went to slam the door again when Josuke used his arm this time to keep it open. “Okay, okay! Bad joke.” He held the present in front of him. “Listen, I’m just here to say I’m sorry.” Josuke rubbed the back of his neck. “I… Seriously crossed the line on Tuesday. I wanted to give you this too,” he said with a small smile. “To make up for being a huge dumb ass.”
She hesitantly took the present from his hands. Yukako tore at the purple wrapping paper at its edge to reveal that striking green cover. Her eyes widened. No way. How could he have known? She tore anxiously at the paper until the book was fully exposed. “The Giving Tree?” She said as she stared at the cover, she then looked up at him. “How did you know this book was my favorite?” Her cheeks turned rosy.
“I-I have my ways!” Josuke nervously winked. He didn’t want to admit he had been following her the other day. She sighed but still held the book closely to her. “But, what is it about The Giving Tree that you like so much?” Josuke stuffed his hands in his pockets.
“What isn’t to like? The book tells a story about the unconditional love from a selfless tree that never asks for anything in return, but love from the boy…” Josuke noticed how her eyes sparkled when she spoke about the book, he felt his heart throbbing watching her speak so passionately. “To love someone unconditionally… that is true love.” Yukako’s heart felt warm as she held the book, lovingly.
Josuke nodded while staring at her. She was glowing all because of that book. There was nothing more he wanted to do, but to hold her in his arms and kiss her again. “Yukako...” he said.
“Hmmm,” she hummed while in a daze. “Yes?” she quickly looked up at Josuke. His eyes looked so soft and sincere. She felt her heart flutter.
“I have to head home now, but,” he shot her that beautiful smile of his. “I’m so happy to see you smile… We all miss you at school. Come hang out with us again. Okay?” He walked to sidewalk.
Yukako felt a tinge of a sadness when Josuke went so far away, but all she did was nod like a little girl being told what to do.
“Great.” Josuke said as he began walking away.
“W-wait! Josuke!” She called to him.
He turned around questionably.
“I-I forgive you!” She felt as if her chest was about to burst.
Josuke’s eyes widened and he blushed again. “I’ll see you later, Yukako,” Josuke said as he gave Yukako a knowing smile.
Chapter 4: What You Know
Josuke throws a party.
The gentle spring breeze blew upon Yukako as she stood on her porch frozen. She had watched Josuke walk away up until she couldn’t see him anymore. Yukako then retreated back into her house. She looked down at the book in her arms. “Why…?” Yukako put one of her hands to her cheeks, the warmth radiated into her palm. “Why is he doing this to me?”
She climbed the stairs and returned to her room. Along the wall near her desk was a bookcase lined with her collection of manga and fashion magazines. A stack of Seventeen Japan was displayed at the center of the bookcase. She slid the stack to the edge of the row, to delicately prop up The Giving Tree in its place. She brushed her fingers along the cover as she thought aloud, “I thought… I knew how I felt about this, but now I…” Yukako turned around to gaze over at Koichi’s photograph. “I’m not so sure…” She held the picture frame in her hands and looked at the boy in it wistfully. Suddenly, her phone rang. The unexpected noise made Yukako jump, causing her to drop the picture frame. The frame shattered once it met the floor, scattering shards of glass on the wooden floor.
“No!” She shrieked as she fell to her knees. She held her fingers out towards the glass, but exchanged looks between the frame and the ringing phone. Eventually, she leapt towards her phone and answered in a slightly distressed tone. “Hello?”
“Yukako-san!” Koichi called. He sighed with relief, “I’m so glad you picked up!” Yukako felt strange. She didn’t think it would be Koichi calling her or was she disappointed it was him calling her? She tried to push the thoughts out of her head.
“Y-yeah, I’m feeling a little better now,” she said sheepishly. The phone’s cord trailed behind her as she began dusting the flecks of glass into her palm. “What’s going on? Just felt like talking, darling?”
“No, well, yeah,” he stumbled. “But I was wondering if you wanted to come to Josuke’s party tomorrow night?” Yukako’s brow furrowed. A party…? “He said his mom needs to go to S-City for something and he’s going to have the house to himself.”
She stopped gathering the glass and held the phone up to her ear, instead of having it sandwiched in her shoulder. Why wouldn’t he tell me this when he was here earlier? “When did Josuke tell you he was throwing this party, Koichi-kun?” she questioned sternly.
“Uh… He told me during lunch today. Why?”
“No reason!” she said cheerily through her teeth. Yukako felt agitated. Was he trying to hide this from me or something?
“So, will you go?” Koichi rolled the phone wire around his fingers, hopefully.
“Absolutely. Pick me up around 7. Okay?”
Click. Yukako glared at her phone when she dropped it back in its place. “What is he planning now?” she thought as she scooped the rest of the glass in to her palm. In her free hand she placed what was left of the fragmented frame back onto the nightstand.
That evening Yukako could be found in front of the mirror in her bathroom, her makeup scattered all over the marble counter. She had decided on wearing a black slip dress. Underneath the dress she wore a short sleeved white crop top. She applied blush to her her cheeks lightly. She was still frustrated Josuke hadn’t told her about the party, but still longed to see him. Yukako finished the look with a glossy merlot lip. As she packed her makeup back into its pouch she heard the doorbell ringing. Quickly, she grabbed her oversized jean jacket and her black suede cross body purse and headed down the stairs.
She opened the door to see Koichi. “Hey!” he said happily. “You look…” he stopped to admire her, “Beautiful.” Yukako smiled as she dug her feet into her navy crushed velvet heels.
“Thank you, Koichi-kun.”
The sun had dropped behind the sea, by the time the couple had reached Josuke’s house. The music poured out the windows and into the street. She opened the door to see teens up against the walls of the foyer with red cups in their hands. Yukako pursed her lips at the sight. She wasn’t a fan of drinking. She saw it as an excuse for people to act to degenerative.
Koichi followed in behind her, as she looked around. “Koichi-kun!” Rohan called. He nearly ran Yukako over as he hunched over Koichi. She fell into the side table by the door, but quickly regained her balance. “I was waiting for you to show up! Josuke has terrible taste in music, you know.” She clenched her fist.
This fucking guy, she thought. God, wherever Koichi-kun is he somehow appears. She stood upright again. She noticed Rohan had his camera with him. Did he ever do things for fun and not for his stupid manga?
Koichi laughed nervously. “Haha! Rohan-sensei, it’s good to see you. How are you?” Rohan wrapped his arm around Koichi. He could smell the alcohol on his breath.
“Great, great,” he said. “Here lets find somewhere to talk— I gotta show you something!” Rohan started to drag Koichi toward the end of the hallway near the kitchen.
“W-wait!” Koichi looked to Yukako worriedly.
“No, it’s fine!” she yelled over the music. “Go on, I’ll see you later!” Koichi nodded and went along with Rohan. That mangaka may be a nuisance, but he proved to be helpful this time. Yukako needed to find Josuke. She turned left into the living room to see Josuke seated with his arms up resting on the back of the couch with a girl next to him giggling in his ear. Yukako gulped hard. Was that Adachi… Haruhi? What happened to her not being your type, asshole!
Josuke could see Yukako standing in the doorframe between dancing bodies from the corner of his eye. He grinned at her and brought his arm around Haruhi’s shoulder, bringing her closer. Her lips nearly brushed his ear. Yukako was fuming at the circus in front of her. Haruhi giggled some more, “Josuke-kun! What you doing~?”
“I just want to be close to you that’s all,” Josuke hummed in her ear as he rested his hand on her exposed thigh. Haruhi squealed at the sudden touch.
That was the final straw for Yukako. She stepped in front of the pair. “Excuse me, can I steal Josuke for a minute?” she yanked his arm off Haruhi’s leg. It took everything within Yukako to not just choke the girl right then.
“Awww!” Haruhi whined. Josuke stood up. “Okay, I’ll be right here waiting for you, Josuke-kun!” she called as Yukako continued to yank him out of the room.
“Yukako, if you keep pulling my arm like that it’s going to fall off! I can’t fix myself, you know!” She released his arm and shoved him against the wall near the doorway.
“What the hell was that back there!” she shouted at him. “I thought she wasn’t your type?! Liar!” Yukako raised her hand to strike Josuke, when he quickly grabbed her wrist.
He pulled her wrist downwards and spoke in her ear, “Not here. Lets talk in my room.” Josuke lead her upstairs into his bedroom. He found an amorous couple on his bed and promptly shooed them out. He locked the door behind them. “That’s better… We won’t have to yell now.” He sat on his computer chair.
She held her arms out in annoyed confusion. “Don’t act normal now! Why were you with her like that?!” Yukako screamed.
Josuke played dumb by tilting his head. “Like what?”
Yukako scrunched her fists in her hair and moaned. “Are you kidding me?! You don’t know what I’m talking about?!” she put her hands on his knees and leaned in. “You had your hands all over her!” Josuke smiled coyly. Yukako backed away, embarrassed.
“So…?” Josuke got up from his chair and Yukako turned around. “I was just taking your advice.” My advice? What is he talking about? “You told me she was a nice girl, didn’t you?”
Yukako whipped around, shocked. “You’re blaming me now?! God, what is wrong with you?” her voiced began to crack. “Don’t you get it, idiot?” Yukako wrapped her arms around herself. “I thought that you…” she hid her face in her hands. She wished the floor would cave in and swallow her up. The last thing she wanted was for Josuke to see her crying again, but there she was. Crying in his room, because he was paying attention to another girl. I’m such a fucking idiot…
Josuke quickly held her tightly. He ran his hand over her head, “Shh…” She sniffled as she looked up at him. Seeing her reddened eyes peeking at him innocently urged him to kiss her, but he took a breath and spoke instead. “You caught me, Yukako. I guess, I wanted to make you jealous,” he bashfully admitted.
“But, why?” She quietly questioned him. “Y-you don’t have to do that, because I…” Her eyes lingered away from his. His stare mixed with her refusal to admit what she was feeling made her stomach curl.
He brought his hand under her chin and lightly guided it back to face him. “Because, what, Yukako?” His brow furrowed at her. Josuke felt dread at what she could be thinking, but he decided to tell his brain to relax and trust his heart with this one.
“That I-I could, possibly, maybe…” she trailed off as she stared in his eyes. Yukako swore she could see glitter in them. “I think I like you too, Josuke-kun,” she fumbled.
The tightness around his heart finally subsided. “You… what?” he asked blissfully, still in denial he heard her right. He caressed her cheek with his thumb.
“Y-you heard what I said, idiot…” she rubbed her eyes again. “Don’t make me repeat m-myself, Josuke-kun…”
“Sorry, I’m just so happy to hear you say that. I can’t help it.” And he really couldn’t help it. Yukako was just too cute and when she was embarrassed. When her cheeks are as rosy as her lips, she’s irresistible to Josuke. He felt his willpower faltering. “Yukako, is it okay if I kiss you?”
Yukako’s heart skipped like a scratched record. Can I? S-should I? She mulled over her options quickly.
Josuke saw her face twisted in thought and sighed. He laid his hand over her head again. “It’s okay. We don’t have to do that now if you’re not-” and just like that she threw her arms around his neck and kissed the boy. Josuke was taken off guard, but it didn’t take long for his eyes to flutter close.
I have finals to study for so I wrote chapter 4 instead. Naturally.
Chapter 5: What Do You Mean?
Yukako says one thing, but does another. Josuke just wants her all to himself.
Their lips smacked feverishly in the bedroom. It was nothing like their first kiss; awkward, one sided and short. Yukako was responsive this time and she kissed him back with the same amount of longing. Feeling confident, Josuke decided to lightly poke his tongue inside. Yukako welcomed his slippery appendage as she moaned into his mouth. He felt his mind fogging up when her tongue flicked his. Symbiotically, Josuke lifted Yukako up while she wrapped her legs around his waist.
They broke the kiss when Josuke delicately lowered Yukako onto his bed. Her lips remained ajar as she dreamily gazed up at him. She reached her hand out to brush his cheek. “Josuke-kun…” she said softly. This vulnerability in her was so new to him. It was intoxicating. Josuke could feel an ache growing in his gut. He crashed his lips against hers once more. The two became tangled together like a twig caught on a vine. They both knew they were treading on thin ice, but would falling into the freezing water be so bad?
Yukako felt Josuke’s hands shift from her waist to down her outer thighs. “Wait…” she mumbled through kisses. Josuke began laying kisses on her neck. She pressed her hand against his shoulder. “Josuke-kun, please,” she whimpered.
Hearing the resistance in her voice, Josuke lifted his head. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I-I’m not…” she stuttered. “I can’t do that… I haven’t even done that with—”
There was rumbling outside of the room. With a loud clank the door handle twisted and fell off causing the door swing open. “Hic… This isn’t the bathroom?” Okuyasu stumbled in. A lampshade made its home on his head.
Yukako instinctively wrapped herself in her jacket. “Get out, you idiot!” She shrieked.
Josuke hopped off of her and began turning Okuyasu around and out of the room. “Dude, you know the bathroom is downstairs!” He turned back to Yukako and mouthed “sorry.”
Okuyasu dragged his feet out the door, “Dude! Do you have a girl in here?” He lifted the lampshade off his eyes to see a blurry figure. “Haha! Those squiggles look like Yukako…”
Yukako threw one of her heels at the doorframe, “Get the hell out!”
“Sounds like her too.”
Josuke closed the door behind him and put his bumbling friend against the wall for support. He quickly used Crazy Diamond to fix the door handle. While he was relieved it was only Okuyasu that saw them, he realized going forward they would need to be extremely cautious. If it was anyone else or if he wasn’t already wasted… It would’ve been a disaster. He threw Okuyasu’s arm over his shoulder and brought him to the bathroom downstairs.
Yukako sighed before laying back down. “Things are moving so fast…” Images of Josuke’s hands on her thighs and breath on her neck flashed in her mind. She laid her hand on her neck where his lips once were. She huffed at the thought. Yukako would be lying if there wasn’t a part of her that wanted to with Josuke, but it was too soon and… There was Koichi. “So, where do we go from here?” She stuck her face in his pillow.
There was a knock at the door. Yukako sat upright. “Josuke-kuuun~?” Haruhi called from the other side of the door.
Yukako dug her fingernails into the bed. That bitch again. What the hell does she even want?
“Are you in there?”
There was a pause.
“I’m coming in!” Quickly, Yukako rolled herself underneath Josuke’s bed. “Huh… I thought I heard someone in here…” Yukako could see her feet next the bed.
It would be so easy for Love Deluxe to wrap itself around Haruhi’s ankles and drag her, but Yukako restrained herself. At one point she will give up and go away. Haruhi sat upon the bed. She laid on her side and rested her elbow on her hip. What the hell is she doing—Is… Is this bitch waiting for him to come back?
After helping Okuyasu to the bathroom, Josuke brought him to the living room. He was barely awake at this point, so he sat Okuyasu in the recliner to just relax for now. He also returned the shade to the lamp. “Together at last,” he nodded.
“Josuke-kun!” Koichi called. Josuke turned around to see Koichi along with Rohan. “Guess what!” He held up a stapled stack of papers. “Rohan-Sensei just showed me the new rough draft of Pink Dark Boy!” He flipped through the stack. “Look! We’re in it too!” Koichi excitedly pointed to sketches of Crazy Diamond, The Hand and Echoes alongside Heaven’s Door. “Well, our stands are anyway,” he smiled.
Josuke took a closer look at the stack of papers. “Heh, look at that!” He grinned. “Will we be getting a cut of the pie too, Rohan? Since you are using our stands, anyway.”
Rohan scoffed as he crossed his arms. “In your dreams. You should just be honored I’m including you of all people in my manga.”
“Oh, whatever,” Josuke chuckled. “Just don’t change its name to Shining Diamond or something stupid like that.” Rohan only rolled his eyes in response. “Well, I gotta go. I’ll see you guys in a few!” Josuke said as he squeezed past them.
“Wait, Josuke-kun!” Josuke froze at the doorframe. “Have you seen Yukako-san? I haven’t seen her since we got here,” he asked.
Josuke turned back around. “Ah, no, I haven’t!” He spilled out. Rohan cocked an eyebrow at his strange behavior. “If I do see her, I’ll let you know!” He jogged up the stairs.
“Hmm…” Rohan hummed.
“This is the first opportunity I’ve had to be alone with her, and now I can’t find her!” Koichi deflated. “Do you think she’s still mad at me?”
Rohan became curious. He recalled how easy it was to get Koichi away from Yukako. Usually she would whine, but not this time. “I don’t think that’s it, Koichi-kun.”
“Nothing, here,” he grabbed the packet. “Let me tell you about some ideas I have about the new arc I was planning…”
Josuke quickly went inside and closed the door, “Okay, I think we will be okay for now—” he said as he turned to see Haruhi on his bed. He jumped at the sight of her. “Haruhi-san, what are you doing?”
“You never came back,” she pouted as she crawled to the edge of the bed. “So, I came here to find you!” She held onto his hand before pulling him on top of her.
Yukako felt the shift in movement. That fucking bitch! Don’t touch him!
Josuke’s face landed buried in her chest. “H-Haruhi-san!” He gasped. He tried adjusting himself on his elbows.
She wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him down onto her chest again. “I’ve wanted this for a long time, Josuke-kun,” she gushed.
Josuke lifted his head and broke the hold she had on his neck. He held her wrists down near her head. “Haruhi-san, I can’t do this,” he told her sternly.
“Why not, Josuke-kun?” Haruhi rolled against his hips, which caused a groan to escape Josuke’s lips. “You were all over me downstairs… What’s the problem now?” She smirked.
Josuke released her wrists and sat at the edge of the bed away from her. He hid his face in his hand uncomfortably. Her forwardness embarrassed him. “Because you’re very obviously drunk…” He looked in her direction, but refused to make eye contact when he spoke, “Please leave, Haruhi-san.”
Haruhi wrapped her arms around herself as she spat, “You’re a real jerk!” Josuke finally looked at the girl and immediately came into contact with her hand. “It’s wrong to lead people on, you know!” Haruhi caught a glimpse of a certain blue heel discarded by the door when she left the room.
Josuke held his swollen cheek in his palm. “I guess I deserved that.”
“I thought she was never going to leave,” Yukako said as she crawled out from under the bed. She frowned at the sight of his reddened face. She held her fingertips out to brush Josuke’s cheek. He flinched at her touch. She let out a sigh as she sat next to him. “So much for her being a nice girl, huh?” Yukako rested her head on his shoulder. “I’m so sorry, Josuke-kun.”
“Why are you sorry?” He turned to her. Josuke then smiled and began tickling her. “Sorry for…? Being so cute!” Yukako squealed and fell onto her back.
“N-no!” she wailed. “Haha! P-please stop! Josuke-kun!” She laughed as she desperately tried to cover her stomach from Josuke’s fingers. It only became harder to wiggle away when he got on top of her kicking legs. She lightly hit his shoulders and chest, “C-come on! I said please!”
Slowly, Josuke stopped tickling her and instead admired the carefree look on her face. He held her face in his hand and brought their lips together again.
Yukako felt relieved at the familiar touch. How can a sensation this pure be so forbidden at the same time? She sighed into his mouth when the two went in for another kiss. Her fingers curled around the shoulders of his shirt.
The warmth in her mouth was becoming too much for Josuke. His pants were feeling tight again. He wanted melt into Yukako, but he remembered how she pulled away before. Her words stung at his heart. “I’ve never even done that with—” Koichi he finished her interrupted thought. It all goes back to him, doesn’t it? Josuke lingered his lips away for a moment before he spoke, “Yukako…” He smoothed his hand over the fluff atop of her head.
“Yes?” she answered. Her eyes were sugar. Sweet like her kiss.
“Leave Koichi,” Josuke spoke earnestly.
All the color drained from Yukako’s face upon hearing Josuke’s demand. She swallowed hard before she shakily asked, “What?”
“Leave Koichi for me, Yukako.” He cradled her face in his hands as he hungrily kissed her. “We…” He pulled back to let his eyes scan over her body. “… can make this work. I can make you happy.” He leaned in as he whispered into her neck.
Yukako only shivered at his words. Again, Josuke left her without anything to say. He remained at her neck, but decided to swirl his tongue against it. He sucked lightly at the soft skin, which caused Yukako to moan. First, he had me speechless, and now he’s stealing the words straight out of my mouth. Ugnh…
Chapter 6: Irresistible
Yukako takes a bite out of Josuke.
Josuke hadn’t forgotten the question he had asked her, but focused on her receptivity to his advances instead. “You have no idea,” he grasped her legs suddenly to wrap them up and around him as he spoke lowly, “What you do to me, huh?” His voice was gravelly. It made Yukako feel so small.
“Josuke—!” she gasped before he kissed her hard. She could feel his erection pressed against her crotch while they kissed. She slowly traced her fingers along the ridges in his back until she finally wrapped her arms around him. Yukako felt some shame in the warmth gathering in between her own legs.
“So…?” he asked as he pulled away. “What do you say?” A small smile appeared on his lips.
Yukako was hoping that they would just kiss some more and that would be the end of the discussion. She only just realized her feelings for Josuke last night and now he was asking her to leave her boyfriend… While she didn’t doubt that his feelings for her were genuine, she couldn’t just abandon Koichi. Not after all they’ve been through… Or could I? She remained in silence as she considered the doomed situation. If she picks Josuke that would mean breaking Koichi’s heart, but if she picks Koichi… What happens then? She still… cheated on him. Will we just brush this under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen?
“Yukako?” Josuke whispered as he rested his forehead on hers. “Talk to me…” His voice was soft, but felt like a punch to the gut.
It was all too overwhelming. Her face crumbled as she began to sob. “I-I can’t,” she choked out. Yukako turned her face away, making Josuke’s head dip into it the pillow from the sudden jerk. He adjusted himself before he held his thumbs on her trembling cheeks.
“Look at me,” Josuke spoke as he lightly brought her gaze back to meet his. “Why are you crying?” He caught her tears with the ends of his thumbs. He bit his lip anxiously. Josuke knew what was coming.
Why is he so nice to me? Yukako thought helplessly. His kindness only made her feel even worse. She sucked in a breath and spoke, “I can’t l-leave him, J-Josuke-kun.” His somber eyes only stared back at her. The glow that was once illuminated his eyes was nowhere to be found. “I… like you, b-but I l-love him.” God, why does that feel so wrong to say?
He released a sigh from his lips and held her closely. Yukako was caught off guard, but felt comfort in the embrace. He smelled the hush of rose on her hair as his heart sank. How did we get here? She was happy, but now… He thought hopelessly. Josuke peered over at her flushed face. Please, Yukako… He brushed his lips onto hers before finally committing to a kiss.
N-no… Yukako thought as he started pushing his tongue in her mouth again. I can’t do this. Not here. Not now! and without thinking she bit him. She flinched when Josuke jumped away from her clutching his bleeding mouth. He gagged at the stinging feeling from his tongue. Yukako reflected the same look of horror Josuke gave her. “I-I’m sorry! I d-didn’t mean to!” she sat upright as she sputtered out the words.
Josuke now sat at the edge of his bed as he stared at the blood on his fingertips. His patience for the situation wore thin. “Yukako, you should leave,” Josuke said before wiping the blood on his comforter.
“No!” she cried as she lunged at his arm. “Don’t be like this—I panicked! I-I’m sorry!” He got up and opened the door. She shook her head. “Stop, Josuke!”
Thoughts of anger and manipulation were clouding his mind. She’s just toying with me for her own fun…? He felt it was better for both of them if they were to get away from each other before they did anything else they would regret. He grabbed her arm to pull her from the bed, while Yukako went down like an anchor, refusing to leave. Now she wants to stay? What does she even want? He let go of her arm and opted to have Crazy Diamond carry her out instead.
She whined as she twisted in its arms. Josuke ignored her and simply allowed his stand to put her outside of the door so he could shut it behind him. Yukako turned back to the door once Crazy Diamond dematerialized and banged on the door.
For a split second, she considered having Love Deluxe crash through the door and having it be bursted right open. But she knew better than that so she knocked on the door and pleaded for Josuke to open the door, but he said nothing as he sat with his back against it. Other partygoers noticed her frantically banging the door and started to laugh. “Give it up, Yamagishi!” A boy called to her with his hand cupped around his mouth. The group around him joined in on the laughter. Yukako sniffed whatever pride and tears she had left and charged downstairs.
Koichi stood with his hands in his pockets next to a nonchalant Rohan by the door. He called out to Yukako upon seeing her stumble on the last step. “Yukako-san!” she walked up to him clumsily. He held his arms out to her, as she fell to her knees and into them. His short curls of hair atop of his head tickled her nose. “What’s the matter? I’m so sorry, I’ve been looking for you everywhere!” He rambled. There was always some piece of comfort to be found in Koichi. Just then he reminded her of very much of a teddy bear.
“I’m fine,” she closed her eyes she took a deep breath, breathing in the scent of his hair. “This party really sucks… Can we just go home?” Yukako tried to pout convincingly. While she really wasn’t feeling her best, she tried to conceal how upset she actually was. Rohan could only turn his nose at the sight of her. The feeling of annoyance was mutual.
Koichi nodded ardently, “O-of course we can!” He petted her hair softly. He looked up at Rohan as he asked, “Do you mind driving us home?” Koichi peered over at Yukako’s feet. “I don’t think we’ll be able to really walk home… Yukako-san is missing one of her shoes,” he frowned.
Sweat formed on Yukako’s forehead when she saw the suspicion painted on Rohan’s face. Why the hell is he looking at me like that? she thought as she glared back at him.
He eventually shrugged and grinned at Koichi. “Only for you, Koichi-kun.”
It was around 12 pm on Sunday and Yukako was laying on her bed trying to cram as much schoolwork as she possibly could before tomorrow. She slumped over her biology book with her mechanical pencil in her hand. The tip of it was shaped like a daisy. She bounced the plastic flower on her head as she pretended to be reading. “Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, huh…?” She scribbled a raincloud on the page and sighed.
She sat up and looked over at the splash of green on her bookcase. Thoughts of last night poured into her mind. I’m not even hungover and I still feel sick… God, there’s something wrong with me… I fucking bit him. She pushed her scattered school supplies to the end of the bed as she flung her face into her pillow. I even had the audacity to go back to Koichi-kun after all of that. He’s going to hate me… Just like Josuke does.
Plick. Plick. Plick.
Yukako heard the noise tap against her window. She turned her head over to see pebbles bounce off the glass. Her heart jumped along with her body as she leapt from the bed to open the window. On the grass she could see him. “Josuke-kun!” she called.
“Cinderella, Cinderella, let down your hair!” Josuke sung as he held her shoe in his hand and pebbles in the other.
“It’s Rapunzel, dummy,” she rolled her eyes as she giggled softly.
“Eh! Cinderella, Rapunzel, close enough!” The two laughed. Josuke then rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m not only here to return your shoe though… Can we talk?” he peered up at her.
“Of course!” nodded Yukako probably a little too enthusiastically.
“Great. Should I go through the front door or maybe up the tree—” before he could finish his question, Yukako already had Love Deluxe grow down to Josuke for him to climb on. “Heh! You really are Rapunzel, huh?” he held onto her hair carefully as he climbed up. “Phew! Nothing wakes someone up more than a work out, right?” Josuke joked once he stepped into the room.
She only threw her arms around him and inhaled in his chest. It felt as if a weight had been lifted off of her heart. He came… Josuke slowly wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled his nose on top of her head.
“Mmm,” he hummed. They parted for their eyes to meet in an awkward glance. Yukako sheepishly sat on the edge of her bed while Josuke stayed with his back to the window.
Yukako soothed her hair over her shoulder as she spoke, “Thank you for bringing back my shoe. I was worried that you…” she looked at him for a moment then returned her eyes back to her hair. “… that you were mad at me or are still mad at me…”
He put her shoe down by her nightstand before sighing. “I’m not mad at you,” he smiled with a furrowed expression. “I think I put too much on you all at once.” Josuke kneeled in front of her and laid his head on her knees. “It was wrong of me to put you on the spot like that…” he looked at her wistfully. “I’ll give you as much time as you need, Yukako.” His fingers roamed the back of her t-shirt, as Yukako placed her hand on his neck. “I want you to be happy… No matter what you decide,” he said as he rested his chin in her lap.
“Josuke-kun…” Yukako said as she cradled his face in her hands. She leaned in towards him and he pressed down on her bed to meet her for a kiss. Here we go again…
I had a little more planned at the end of this chapter, but I decided it would go better in a chapter of its own.
Chapter 7: My Favorite Part
A day trip for two.
Josuke held one of her hands against his cheek before kissing it. “Do you trust me?” he asked with a grin.
“Yes,” Yukako eagerly replied. “Of course, I do.” Her eyes were full with enchantment.
“Great,” he said as he pulled her up to stand with him. “Lets go somewhere.”
“What?” she shook her head. “No, I can’t,” she slumped back onto her bed and grabbed her biology book. “I have to get some studying done before school tomorrow and—” her thoughts froze in place when Josuke placed his hands in the crook of her neck and leaned his forehead onto hers.
“Hey…” he spoke slowly. “Do you trust me?”
Yukako lowered her eyes away from his as she mumbled, “Uh-huh.” She used to leave him a stuttering and embarrassed mess, yet now the shoe’s on the other foot. Oh how times change.
“Okay, so then lets go!” Again, Yukako was on her feet. “But, as adorable as you look now,” he gestured to her old t-shirt and pajama pants. “You’ve got to change.”
“Yeah, I know,” she scoffed playfully. “But, could you give me some privacy first?” Yukako crossed her arms over her chest.
“Without me?” Josuke questioned with a pout. He held her against him by her waist. “What’s the point?” He winked.
Yukako laughed. “Go on and get out before I change my mind,” she hit his shoulder lightly. “You big pervert.”
“You love me,” he hummed before kissing her neck. Her curls tickled his nose while the flowery scent of her shampoo kissed him back.
“Maybe,” she said with a small smile before placing her arms around his neck.
Yukako tried to hide her face underneath her large sunhat while on the train with Josuke. She insisted they sit on opposite sides of the aisle. Just to be safe. A few things were keeping her from being at ease on this train ride. One, what if her parents were to realize she was gone? Sneaking out was something she did often, but rarely if her parents were actually home. I don’t think they’ll be too understanding of “My kinda sorta not boyfriend convinced me to go S-City so we could be alone even though I’m supposed to be studying.”
Two, what if someone they knew somehow saw them together? She tugged extra hard at her hat at the thought. Yukako looked under her hat to see Josuke whistling. He shot her a cheesy grin. How is he so nonchalant? Though…
She supposed that she should relax. His suggestion to go to S-City made a lot of sense. There was a slim chance anyone from Morioh would also be there and there were plenty of things they could do. Relief crept over her slowly. She did trust him after all, so there was really nothing to worry about. Right? A fly whizzed passed her nose, causing Yukako instinctively to swat at it. “Stupid fly,” she grumbled.
The train came to gradual halt with a chime signaling the end of the ride. “Now arriving in S-City… Please enjoy your trip and watch your step when exiting the cart…” the overhead spoke in a cheerful yet stiff tone.
Josuke held her hand first, being that he could sense the tension between them. She was nervous like a child before giving their crush their valentine. Adorable… He thought with blushed cheeks. His hand cradled hers while they walked silently towards the buzzing city. Were her hands always this small? Josuke peered from the corner of his eye to find Yukako rosy and quiet. He cleared his throat before he spoke. “We picked a great day to come here, huh?” he grinned. The clouds hazily rolled above them allowing the sun to shine through.
Her expression softened. “Well, more like you picked a good day to kidnap me and take me here,” she smirked.
“Details, details,” he waved his hand as he laughed.
“Oh, of course,” Yukako giggled. “Hey, you never told me. Didn’t your mom have to come here yesterday? What for anyway?”
Josuke shrugged. “Oh, she had to—” he was interrupted when a fly bumped into his pompadour stopping the two in their tracks. The flow of people continued around them. “Hey!” he spat at the irritating little bug. The fly wonkily flew away from Josuke’s swatting arms.
Yukako grabbed one of Josuke’s flailing arms, while staring at the buzzing fly. “Lets keep moving…”
Josuke held the base of his hair up before he relaxed and gave a mildly embarrassed expression to Yukako. “Yeah, you’re right.” They continued on their stroll down the city sidewalk.
Eventually they stopped in front a large building at the end of the street. “Ah! Great! It’s still here,” Josuke said. Her eyes rose to read the letters on the tall building in front of them.
“Kinokuniya?” she questioned. She noticed the lit storefront had stacks of books with small figurines of Totoro and Moomin then looked back to him.
“Yeah! I’ve wanted to bring you here ever since I realized you liked reading,” he smiled and squeezed her hand causing Yukako’s heart to thump. “I remember coming here with my mom and my grandpa when I was little. Lets go inside.” She nodded happily before they walked inside.
The bright lights within the store revealed display after display of colorful books and magazines. Dark wood bookcases worked to shelve books while at the same time working as dividers for the different departments. Yukako wasn’t sure what to focus on so her eyes roamed the vast store in awe.
“Heh,” he chuckled upon seeing her allured face. “You haven’t seen anything yet.” Yukako’s brows jumped at her hairline at his statement. “Come on.” Between bustling bodies Josuke led her to the back of the store, revealing a glass staircase to a second floor. The staircase glittered under the florescent glow of the lights above.
At the top of the stairs was a sign welcoming the two to the store’s manga and children’s department. At the left of the room were aisles stacked after each other like dominoes ranging from manga to movies to CDs of soundtracks from popular dramas to collectibles behind glass. While on the right was an exposed display of vivid children’s books with bookcases lining the walls. In the back on the right was a small café, which left the smell of coffee lingering in the air mixed in with the scent of paper. A smell Yukako indulged in with a deep inhale. She exhaled quietly through her mouth. With closed eyes, she smiled.
Josuke’s eyes followed her fine movements from her eyes scanning and syncing all the details of the room into her brain to her final breath of all the scents occupying the air. He rubbed his thumb on her the back of her hand, “Do you want to look at the picture books first?” Yukako nodded meekly before walking ahead to the geometric display. She always gets like this… Josuke thought. The fierce lioness, she melts into a shy British Blue just for him.
“Hey, look what they’ve got,” Yukako spoke. She partially turned around to reveal The Giving Tree. A small smile remained on her lips as she exchanged looks between the book and Josuke.
He grinned upon seeing that famous cover. “Your favorite!” Josuke approached the display to get a better look. She smoothed her fingers over the glossy cover before setting it back down.
“I love this story so much,” Yukako murmured. She continued to browse the many different best sellers circling the table in front of them.
Josuke nodded remembering the sweet exchange they had on Friday. His eyes lit up when he happened upon Where The Wild Things Are. “Oh, you know what story I always loved?” he asked as he held the book.
“Where The Wild Things Are,” Yukako read the cover aloud as she stepped back over to him.
“Mhm,” he flipped open the book, showing the pages with the drawings of the charming creatures known as the Wild Things and the little boy that ruled over them. “I remember when I was little,” he spoke as he slowly turned the pages. “My mom would read this to me to help me fall asleep.” He laughed softly, “But I’d just wind up trying to act like a wild thing in the end.”
“Oh?” Yukako grinned as she read the words of the page. “So you would roar your terrible roars and gnash your terrible teeth?” she laughed.
“Yeah,” Josuke chuckled. “I would jump on my bed and stomp around waving my arms—”
“Show you what?” he asked as he turned the page.
“Show me how to be a wild thing,” she bumped his arm playfully.
The surprise soon disappeared from Josuke’s face to form a bold gaze. “Hm. Well first you have to hunch your back like this,” he hunched his shoulders to his ears. “Then you want to hold out your arms as far as you can,” he directed her as he stretched his arms out over his head. “Perfect. Finally, heres the important part, you have to bear your teeth and roar!”
“Roar!” She growled loudly earning confused looks from other shoppers, which caused her roar to devolve into giggles. Both eventually lowered their arms and went on laughing at their silly display.
“That was great. You’re a true wild thing now,” Josuke held her hand as he bowed. “My queen of all wild things,” he announced as he laid a kiss on her hand.
Yukako happily curtseyed at her new title. She forgot that they were meant to be hidden for a moment and was able to give herself this tiny piece of happiness. The king and queen of all wild things embraced in a sweet kiss in the middle of the busy bookstore.
After the two were done sealing their public coronation, they sat at the store’s cafe. Yukako ordered a bubble tea while Josuke opted for a coffee. She swished her straw in her drink watching the bubbles jiggle at the base of the cup before taking a sip. Josuke pointed at something behind her, “We can never really get away from Morioh. Can we?” He chuckled before drinking some coffee. She turned her head to see copies of Pink Dark Boy discarded on the table behind them.
Yukako scoffed as she set her cup down. “He’s so overrated,” she rolled her eyes at the thought of Rohan. “He swears he’s going to be in the Louvre someday or something,” she plucked at her straw.
Josuke laughed, “He wishes.”
The book sat in the middle of them. “So, how does it end?” Yukako thoughtfully inquired.
Josuke nodded. “That’s right, we never finished the story!” He opened the book and flipped towards the end. “We left off around here,” Josuke stopped to read the book aloud. “‘And now cried Max let the wild rumpus start…’”
“'And the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go we’ll eat you up. We love you so,” and Max said no,'” Josuke peered up to see Yukako sniffling, but he kept on reading. “The Wild Things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws. But Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye and sailed over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him. And it was still hot.” He concluded with a close of the book.
The table was still for a moment, but she finally spoke up. “That was a really sweet story,” Yukako wiped the corner of her eyes. “Sorry, I always cry at books. It’s stupid,” she placed her hand on cheek with embarrassment in the form of pink on her face.
Josuke shook his head before laying his hand on hers. “No it’s not,” he spoke. “You look beyond what’s on the pages and really understand what the author’s trying to say.” He rubbed her hand with his thumb while her face softened. “You’re really smart is basically what I’m trying to say,” he smiled earnestly.
“Thank you, Josuke-kun,” she said in hushed tone.
“Greetings shoppers! Kinokuniya will be closing in ten minutes. Please make sure to finalize all transactions and thank you for shopping at Kinokuniya!” a voice called cheerfully on the overhead.
Yukako shook her empty cup before they both stood up from the table. Josuke walked ahead tossing his coffee in the trash. “I think, I’m going to buy it,” she said when she picked up the book. She followed behind and tossed her cup in the trash too.
“Adding it to the collection?” he asked as he held her hand.
“Yep,” she confirmed with a small smile and she didn’t even flinch when that stupid fly intruded on her personal space again.
On the train ride home, Yukako caved and let Josuke sit next to her. He sat on the aisle while she got the window seat. For a “wild thing” he’s a real gentleman, she noted. She held her bagged book in her lap while happily gazing down at it.
Josuke noticed her daydreamy look at the book. “Whatcha’ smiling about?” he wondered.
“You already know,” she said as she rolled her eyes at him. Yukako smiled faintly, “I love the story.”
“Yeah, I know,” Josuke leaned back in train seat. “I’m curious to know your thoughts on it.”
“Oh,” Yukako took her finger to her lips to while she thought about it. “I suppose that I really relate to Max in a way.”
“The little boy?” Josuke furrowed his brow. “How?”
“Well, the whole reason he goes to where the wild things are is because he was sent to his room without supper,” she rubbed her elbow while she spoke. “Then when he got there he missed the place where he was loved most. Even though the wild things loved him, he still missed his parents and I feel like that too.” Her eyes lowered as she held the book closely. “Before I became friends with all of you, I felt really isolated at school and at home… I guess you guys are my wild things,” Yukako concluded with a smile.
Josuke stared at her momentarily while her words sunk deeply into his brain. What have you been dealing with alone all this time? he thought sadly.
“Josuke-ku—,” she was interrupted when Josuke suddenly held her close. Her eyes simply fluttered close when she held him too.
“No matter what happens,” Josuke whispered. “I’ll be there for you.” He pulled away to gaze into her eyes. He tenderly placed his hand on her cheek. “I promise.”
Yukako dreamily blinked at him, before placing her lips on his. I think I love him…
Eventually, the two made their way back to Yukako’s house. They exchanged one last kiss before she went back up the window she had snuck out of earlier. From the windowsill Yukako looked down lovingly at the pompadoured boy. “Get home safe, okay?” she called down. The sun had long disappeared and the walk home was quite the trek from where she lived.
“Don’t worry about me.” Josuke winked as Crazy Diamond’s arm flashed over his to give her a thumbs up. “I’ll see you tomorrow, wild thing.”
Yukako blew him a kiss. “Goodnight, wild thing.” She could feel her heart racing around and around her chest as she watched Josuke fade into the night.
I'm so sorry I've been MIA ;o; I hope the chapter is good enough to make up for the wait!! I promise from now on everything should be back on schedule! (Side Note: Kinokuniya is an actual bookstore! There's a few locations in the USA and in other parts of the world besides Japan. If you ever get a chance try to go to one near you!)
Chapter 8: Wrecking Ball
Everything is going great... or is it?
Yukako’s alarm clock began chirping the tune of Morioh Radio awaking her in a sleepy daze. “Mmm,” she murmured against her pillow before hitting the off button. She rose into a stretch in her bed. Yukako never was much of a morning person, but the light of the sun brought an unusually pleasant warmth today. Memories of the night before brought a smile to her face. “Today will be a good day,” she thought happily through a yawn.
On her way to school, Yukako met Koichi at Angelo’s Rock. He went on about the biology test coming up, while she only nodded. Yukako could feel Koichi’s hand uncomfortably gripping hers. She could hear his voice speaking aloud, but it was different. Being together was different.
“Yukako-san?” Koichi asked.
Yukako’s focus was pulled from her mind and back into reality. “Yes?” She looked over at him.
“Uh, what do you think about it?” he sheepishly scratched the back of his head.
Her eye twitched in annoyance at herself. “What do I think about what?” her brow furrowed while she scolded herself internally. Can I drift off into outer space later please? Koichi squirmed momentarily. Yukako only arched an eyebrow at him in thought. What’s on his mind?
“I asked,” he cleared his throat. “What you thought about going on a trip together…” his cheeks began to flush as he noticed Yukako was staring at him. “O-Only if you want to though!”
A trip together…? She looked away from him and back at the sidewalk ahead. Yukako mulled over the suggestion. There is a long weekend coming up, but? She peered back at him to see him especially reddened. What is so embarrassing about— Her heart at sank at the realization. Oh. He’s talking about having sex. Yukako felt her insides knot at the base of her gut. It’s not like it’s something she hasn’t thought about before. In fact, Yukako had thought of over a dozen scenarios of her and Koichi being intimate together. However, those visions of love are no longer clear.
Quiet persisted between the dubious couple as the ingenue considered the weight of the preposition in front of her. While behind her, a pair of boys emerged from the convenience store. This trip he planned is exactly what I needed. After this trip together, I will finally be able to pick who I want to be with. She looked down at Koichi as she began to speak, “We should go on the trip, Koichi-kun.” A pained smile tugged at her lips. “It should be fun—”
“A trip?!” Okuyasu interrupted as he gave Koichi a playful noogie, wetting the boys hair with the condensation left behind by Calpis Water that had swapped hands a mere few seconds ago. “Where are we going, huh?” he cluelessly asked as Koichi hastily tried to fix his now unkempt hair. Josuke approached them casually in tow.
“Oh hey guys,” Koichi spoke in a reserved tone. “Yukako-san and I were talking about going on a trip together during the long weekend coming up. I was thinking we would rent a house at the beach.” He peered up at her and she agreed with a nod.
Josuke pursed his lips in envy. He knew Yukako wasn’t his, at least not yet. Not entirely, but I’m pretty damn close. For now, he has to pretend seeing them talking about taking trips together doesn’t piss him off. Though, based on how things are going, Okuyasu might just get us on this trip. Josuke smirked at the thought.
Okuyasu’s eyes were lit with excitement. “I’ve never been to the beach here! … or any beach actually, but,” he babbled. “That’s a great idea, Koichi!” He held up his fist giddily. “Josuke, your old man can help us find a beach house!” Okuyasu gripped Josuke’s arm. “He’s into real estate right? And he’s got boatloads of cash, right? Right?!”
“I was actually thinking it would just be us—” Koichi tried piping up, but Okuyasu’s mouth was already racing listing all things he’d planned for them to do.
“We can go surfing and snorkeling—Wait, dude, I don’t really know how to swim!” Okuyasu rambled on.
Koichi sighed, defeated. “Alright, lets all go,” he mumbled.
Jackpot, Josuke smugly thought.
The students continued on the route to the school while Okuyasu continued to pitch ideas about their weekend plans. Yukako tried to assure Koichi that they could still make time for each other while stealing glances at Josuke. She wanted to take this opportunity to try to give Koichi a chance to compete, to see if a spark was still there. I do still love him after all. The inclusion of Josuke throws a wrench in that, but she supposed it shouldn’t matter if he’s there or not. Koichi should be able to keep her to himself and if he can’t… I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
“Hey,” Okuyasu started. “Do you think we should invite anyone else?”
“Like who?” Josuke asked with his arms folded behind his head.
“Um, what about Rohan?” Okuyasu suggested.
Yukako cringed upon hearing his name. Absolutely not.
Josuke laughed, “Guess that’s a no.”
Eventually the four of them reached the schoolyard where they would then split off into separate groups to their respective classes.
“Hey Higashikata! Awesome party Saturday!” called a student to Josuke as he walked out of his class. The bell had rung and the students were left to their school duties or to their own devices.
“Thanks, man!” Josuke flew a thumbs up at him as headed over to his locker with Okuyasu.
Okuyasu held his back up to the locker. “That was a really awesome party! And we are going to have an even BETTER one next weekend at the beach!” he clenched his fist excitedly.
Josuke shook his head while he opened up his locker. “Heh,” he chuckled. “You sure are excited. Aren’t you?” He began organizing his bag, swapping books and binders for the ones he needed.
“Uh, yeah, bro!” Okuyasu threw his hands up. Josuke chuckled. “And by the way, my memory may be hazy, but,” he grinned mischievously. “I’m pretty sure there was a girl in your room at one point.”
Shit! I thought he would have forgotten about that! He closed his locker before Okuyasu threw his arm around Josuke’s shoulder to to give his face a poke.
“Who was she?” he playfully mocked him. “Oh, I think I know who it was!”
Fuck, Fuck, Fuck…!
“It was, uh, what’s-her-face…” Okuyasu trailed off.
“Who’s what’s-her-face?” Yukako questioned with a hand on her hip. Koichi followed after close behind with a small wave.
“I DON’T REMEMBER!” Okuyasu obliviously exclaimed. She only rolled her eyes at the well meaning buffoon. “That’s what I’m trying to figure out, right now.”
“What are you guys even talking about?” Koichi piped up.
Okuyasu’s ridiculous smirk appeared again, while Josuke glowered. “He,” Okuyasu sung. “Had a girl in his room on Saturday! Now he won’t tell me who it was!” Okuyasu pointed at his pal’s chest. A single drop of sweat pearled on Yukako’s forehead, but she remained her composure. The smaller boy’s eyes widened.
“Josuke-kun, I thought you weren’t interested in having a girlfriend!” Koichi similarly smirked. “Who was it?”
He looked over at his friends’ eager stares and over at Yukako’s poker face. Josuke’s gaze lingered on Yukako’s momentarily until he painted on a satisfied grin. “Well, Haruhi, of course.”
Both of the boys’ jaws had dropped upon hearing the girl’s name. “Did you go all the way with her?” Okuyasu gave him a nudge and wink.
While simultaneously Koichi asked, “Does this mean Haruhi-san’s your girlfriend now?”
An aura of anger loomed over Yukako's head. “Look at the time,” she said while her eye flickered. “We’ve got to get move on to our weekly duties, don’t we?”
Josuke shivered. He recalled how violent Yukako can get when she’s upset and his hand instinctively went to brace his throat. “She’s right. We’ve all got duties this week. So, we’ll see each other later,” Josuke said. I thought picking Haruhi would be good for our cover, but maybe it’s too close for comfort.
Yukako grimaced at the chalk board before blowing a stray hair out of her face. Her school duty for the week was cleaning the chalkboard erasers and she resented it. Her eye twitched before she let out a sigh. Yukako contemplated using Love Deluxe to clean them faster as she curled her hair around one of the erasers. She lifted the eraser up to inspect it. Chalk dust bloomed in the air and onto her hair. Upon seeing the mess she dropped the eraser in her palm. She grabbed the other eraser and began slamming them together. “It’s not worth it,” Yukako coughed through puffs of white clouds.
The bassy hum of a horsefly crept in through a crack between the sliding doors of the classroom. Moments later, the doors slid completely open. “Yamagishi,” called a voice from the back of the room.
Yukako tensed before turning to see Haruhi standing at the sliding door on the other side of the classroom. Her face cast an air of smug confidence over the room. Yukako’s eyes sharpened as she lowered the erasers to her sides.
“Hm,” Haruhi snickered as she closed her dark eyes. She stepped into the dull sunlight flowing into the classroom. “Yamagishi,” she spoke again. “Did you know that there’s over 100,000 species of flies on Earth?” She slowly slinked closer towards Yukako while the fly lingered down. Yukako remained silent, but watched her movements suspiciously. “Huh?” She paused to throw her head to the side. “Not interesting enough for you, Yamagishi?” Haruhi questioned in an exaggerated voice. She ran her one hand over her short brown hair and with the other poised at her lips, she then playfully pointed to the fly circling Yukako’s head, “Flies are attracted to shit, you know.”
“What?” Yukako asked before lifting her head to come face to face with the stand that had been stalking her since the day before. “You…” Her glare returned to Haruhi as she spoke, “Are a stand user?”
“A stand,” she repeated as she held her finger out for the fly to land on. “So that’s what my ability is called.” Haruhi slid her sleeve down to reveal a hole in her arm the size of a coin. “Awhile ago, I was hit by an arrow some purple-haired freak flung at me,” she looked lovingly at her stand. “Then I gained this little guy!” Yukako scrunched her face in disgust as the other girl nuzzled her nose on the insect. “I’ve named it Fly On The Wall. Isn’t it adorable?” Haruhi ogled at the fly as it flew back in the air.
Yukako blankly stared at the buzzing fly above and then back at hubris filled Haruhi. Yukako felt a rumbling in her throat before she started to laugh. The shorthaired girl cocked a brow at Yukako. “W-why are you laughing!” she began to resemble a ripe tomato. “Y-you’re just jealous of my ability!”
Haruhi becoming further in enraged only worsened the laughter Yukako tried to maintain inside. She lost her grip on the erasers and held her pounding gut as continued to cackle at her opposition. “You call that a stand?!” she obnoxiously snorted. Yukako wiped a single tear from the corner of her eye once she regained her composure. “No,” she shook her head before returning her scowl at Haruhi. “This is a stand.”
In the blink of an eye, Love Deluxe had wrapped itself around the girl’s throat tightly. The girl gagged as the stand brought her forward and then against the chalkboard. She heaved desperately for air while attempting to claw at the hair closing her airway.
“Listen closely, Adachi, because I’m going to say this once,” Yukako spoke coldly. Haruhi nodded as much as she possibly could, while having her eyes fixed on her stand. “Don’t fuck with me. You can’t beat me with that piece of shit stand of yours, got that?” Haruhi focused every bit of energy she had in order to have Fly On The Wall unsteadily fly down onto the back of Yukako’s exposed neck and imbed itself inside. Yukako slammed Haruhi’s head back onto the chalkboard with a snap of her hair. “I SAID, do you got that, Adachi?”
Haruhi hacked up a throaty cough that colored her bottom lip with flecks of blood. Despite the pain she was in, Haruhi managed to force herself to spit out a “yes” for Yukako. Promptly, Love Deluxe unraveled from the girl’s neck and returned to its dormant state. Haruhi’s knees met the floor first followed by her hands as she gasped for air. Yukako stepped away from the beaten girl and to the sliding door. She left, but not before giving the girl one last laugh.
“You… fucking idiot…” Haruhi mumbled through haggard breaths. She lifted her trembling neck as she stared where the dark-haired girl once stood. “Now… I’ll always… be with you.
Chapter 9: Undercover Martyn
The gang goes forward with planning their vacation while two unlikely allies meet.
Haruhi’s breaths were harsh as she laid on her hands and knees in the abandoned classroom in respite. She may have lost the battle, but she intended on winning the war she’s waged on the illegitimate couple. She lifted her hand to the top of a desk in order to regain her balance. Haruhi sucked in a deep breath as her feet wobbled beneath her. “Heh,” she wheezed out a laugh before wiping her bottom lip. “A storm’s coming, Yamagishi…”
Outside in the schoolyard, Josuke and Okuyasu waited for the other half of their group to show up. They had all agreed to head to the hotel to see Joseph and Jotaro about funding their vacation. The two boys were in their signature squatting-position. Josuke had his hand cupped over his forehead, in an attempt to block the sun’s bright rays from his eyes. Okuyasu was gleefully rambling about the beach again.
“… And after the sun sets, we can head to the boardwalk and get some grub,” Okuyasu mused aloud. “Maybe I’ll finally find a cute girl too,” he gushed while his eyes began to twinkle with imagination. “I’ll win Sachiko a big bear in a game and she’ll fall right in love with me!” He proclaimed with a pout and clenched fist.
Josuke’s hand left his forehead as he shook his head at his friend with a laugh. “Bro, who the hell is Sachiko?”
“Oh,” Okuyasu was suddenly ripped from his daydream. “She’s… I-it’s nothing,” he mumbled as he dragged his finger in the dirt in between the cracks in the pavement. Pink skirted his tan ears.
“Alright then, bro,” Josuke arched a dubious brow at him. Okuyasu went back to being engrossed in the pavement once again. Josuke turned his head away to see Yukako and Koichi approaching them prompting him to give his flustered friend a nudge on his shoulder before standing up. “It’s about time you two showed up,” he teased the couple.
Yukako threw her neck to the side as she gave her eyes a roll. “Sorry I was caught up with something—Lets just get a move on,” she said as she waved her hand. “We’re burning daylight.” Koichi agreed with a nod.
Not too far behind hid an anemic Haruhi, watching the group from behind the school doors. The door’s glass gave off a glare obstructing Haruhi’s vision for the most part, but her targets were unmistakable. “How can she just pretend that she’s not the whore that she is?” she grumbled through clenched teeth. “Disgusting.”
“Good point,” Josuke said as he turned on his heel. The foursome strolled out of the schoolyard and down the sidewalk. Haruhi stalked closely behind, ever so often she would shift herself behind a tree or lamp post to remain unseen. Still flustered and out of breath, the uneven movements she made left her frustrated.
“So, I was telling Josuke that we could all play volleyball on the beach,” Okuyasu spoke. “I have a mean spike, y’know.” He grinned as he swooped his arm up into a spiking motion.
“Hey!” Koichi called as he pointed at Okuyasu. “You better not use The Hand to cheat!”
Yukako smirked as Okuyasu laughed. “It’s okay, Koichi-kun,” she said while lightly brushing his hair. “If he uses his stand then that means we get use ours too.” Love Deluxe began glowing faintly while an evil sparkle glittered in her eye.
“It doesn’t matter if you use your stand or not, Yukako,” Josuke chimed in with a shrug. “You’re going to lose anyway.” This drew an “ooo” out of Okuyasu as he gave Josuke a high-five.
“Ohoho,” she laughed. Yukako gave Josuke a tiny nudge on his shoulder getting a laugh out of him. “You better put your money where your mouth is, Josuke-kun.”
As they walked passed OWSON, a red Nissan 300ZX pulled up beside them. The polished windows gleaned the sun into everyone’s eyes as they rolled down. As the high schoolers lowered their arms, the driver’s window did as well.
“Hey Koichi,” Rohan took his hand away from the wheel in a wave. “I saw you walking down the street so I pulled over.” He leaned out the window towards the boy. “What are you up to?”
Koichi stepped closer to the parked vehicle before he spoke, “Ah, Rohan-sensei!”
Josuke and Yukako exchanged grimaces.
“We’re heading to the Hotel to see Mr. Joestar and Jotaro-san.” Unsure, Koichi turned his head to look back at his friends before looking back into the car. “A-about our beach trip.”
“A beach trip?” He repeated. “That sounds like fun. When are we going?” He dug into his messenger bag for his schedule before flipping through the little book. Highlighted tabs spilled out of it. “I’m available all next week,” he spoke as he licked his fingers before turning each page. He closed it with a smile and sat it back on the passenger seat.
“Tell him no, Koichi-kun,” Yukako tried to verbalize through a very audible sigh, but the message failed to reach him as he carried on worriedly staring at Rohan.
It’s written all over her face, Josuke thought as he saw from the corner of his eye her twisted face. Thinking quickly, Josuke went to cup his hand around his ear. “Huh. Do you hear that, bro?” Josuke placed his other hand on Okuyasu’s shoulder. Rohan and Koichi’s eyes diverted to him. “The wind sounds like Rohan’s voice!” His eyes grew wide as he played up the schtick.
Okuyasu exploded into laughter while Yukako’s firm frown began cracking into giggles with Josuke joining in. The mangaka’s eyes dropped into a glare at the other three students. Koichi began nervously laughing as he scratched the back of his head. “H-haha, that’s the thing, Rohan-sensei,” he spoke to his feet. “It’s just going to be us four. Sorry.” Koichi knew how much of a distraction the addition of Okuyasu and Josuke already were. As much as he finds Rohan… Endearing, he couldn’t risk adding another hurdle keeping him from his girlfriend he was already drifting apart from.
Josuke stifled another laugh as he saw the disappointment bloom on Rohan’s face. “Hm,” Rohan snickered. Koichi stepped back as Rohan got out of his car. He gave the door a slam. “That’s fine,” he spoke with a shrug. “I have a lot of work to get done anyway,” he opened his eyes only to lower them at Josuke. “I have an actual job and responsibilities unlike you.”
“Well shit, Rohan,” Josuke said as he stepped out of his way. “Don’t cry about it.” Okuyasu giggled while Yukako gave Josuke’s arm a light smack. She mouthed a silent “stop” through a smile.
“Bite me,” the mangaka hissed before walking into the convenience store behind them.
Koichi had a look of disenfranchisement mangled on his sad face. It seemed that for the boy he could do nothing right without disappointing someone. It was always a catch-22 for him. Yukako laid her hand on his shoulder while she leaned down closer to the small boy. “Cheer up, Koichi-kun,” she tried to soothe him as she rubbed his shoulders. “Rohan’s a big boy. He’ll get over it.” He peered up at his girlfriend’s face before reluctantly nodding.
The high schoolers carried on towards the Morioh Grand Hotel. The fifth student lingered behind. Keeping a healthy distance, Haruhi crouched behind Rohan’s parked Nissan. Her neck craned in order to keep an eye on them.
Moments later, Rohan emerged from the convenience store with a plastic bag in hand. “I’d expect such from the likes of Josuke, but from Koichi-kun—,” his train of thought was derailed once he had realized someone was touching his car. Cooly, Rohan approached the girl behind his car. “Excuse me, miss.” Haruhi’s eyes darted up to the man addressing her. She was an utter mess to look upon. Hues of purple splayed across her throat while her hair was a frizz. “Sorry, that’s my car you’re… doing whatever it is you’re doing behind.” He turned his nose at her. “Do you mind not touching it?”
Haruhi slowly stood up and limped back from the car and onto the sidewalk. “Thanks.” Rohan went on to load his car with his bag filled with menial items, such as Folger’s and a jug of milk. She remained silent, as she tried to remember where she’d seen this man before.
The party… Haruhi was actually surprised she hadn’t immediately recognized him. The way this guy dresses makes him stick out like a sore thumb. She eyed him as he hunched in the back seat securing the bag. He’s a friend of Koichi’s… Rohan shut the back seat of his car to see that the disheveled girl was still there.
“Right… Goodbye, I suppose.” He gave the odd girl a slight nod as he went to open the door to the driver’s seat.
“Wait!” Haruhi screeched as she leapt and put her weight on the door. Rohan looked down at her, puzzled by her actions. “Y-You wouldn’t happen to have an ability, I mean, a stand would y—”
“Heaven’s Door!” Haruhi lost consciousness, and her body went limp as her face fluttered open like a book. “Stand, huh? Are you an enemy, young lady?” Not wanting to draw anymore attention to them, he hoisted the girl up and sat her in the driver’s seat as he inspected the pages of her face. “Adachi Haruhi,” he read aloud. “Sixteen years old… Ah, so she goes to the same school Koichi does…” He looked down at her school uniform. “Duh,” he scoffed as he flipped ahead. “Average. Boring.” Rohan read memories from Haruhi’s youth such as when she lost her first tooth to when she got her first period with nothing straying from the ordinary. “Hm?” He raised his dark brow. “Why are these pages being filled out as I read them? It’s as if I was getting a real time radio broadcast from where Koichi and the others are… What’s this? ‘Fly On The Wall?’ A stand…?” He paused to write “Cannot attack Kishibe Rohan” on her cheek before continuing. “… ‘Works as a third eye of sorts. Allows the user to see whatever the stand can.’”
“‘When imbedded into one’s skin, the user can no longer see, but can hear what the stand can. It can also track the host’s whereabouts.’ What a bizarre little stand,” he thought. “This stand must be embedded into one of them at the moment… This explains the ‘radio’ effect.” He turned to the next page. Rohan tilted his head at what he saw written on the girl’s face. “It’s as if she has someone else’s memories… She remembers a date that she wasn’t even on? Whose date is so important to warrant using stand abilities on?” He curiously held up the next page to see written in bold print, “‘Yamagishi Yukako is cheating on Hirose Koichi with Higashikata Josuke?!’
Elsewhere, the foursome reached the Hotel and were now seated together in Joseph’s hotel room joined by Jotaro. Joseph had his jacket and ushanka off in the warm room as he placed Shizuka in her bouncer. Her little invisible feet pattered on the wooden floor as she hopped happily in the chair. Every so often Shizuka would palm at the buttons on the bar in front of her causing the contraption to make sproing-ing noises, while in return making her giggle.
“Dad, could you turn the A.C. on? It’s like 80 degrees outside,” Josuke fanned himself while seated by the open window. His friends were similarly sweaty from having to walk to the long distance from the school to the hotel. The three boys had ditched their jackets while Yukako gave in and styled her hair in a ponytail to avoid having her curls stick to the back of her neck or forehead.
Cluelessly, Joseph plopped down into cream-colored chaise in front of his king-sized bed. “Oh, don’t exaggerate, Josuke-kun,” he ran his gloved hand through his grey hair. “We get a plenty nice breeze coming in through the window.” He held his hand out toward the window before leaning down towards Shizuka. “Don’t we?” He asked while he tickled her chin earning squeaky laughs from the baby.
Wishing to guide the conversation back on topic, Jotaro cleared his throat. “Josuke, what did you need to talk to us about?”
“Right,” Josuke nodded. “There’s a long weekend coming up and we were hoping you guys could help us get a beach house for us to stay in,” he said as he gestured to his friends. The three teenagers nodded in unison.
Twice, Jotaro blinked before blankly asking, “And your parents are all okay with you going on this vacation?”
“My dad doesn’t really mind anything actually. I’ll just make sure he has a bunch of meals and snacks while I’m away,” Okuyasu answered.
“My parents probably won’t even realize I’m gone,” Yukako spoke as she dug her sock into the floor, causing her toes to crack. She felt a bit uncomfortable in front of Jotaro, considering the last time she saw him she had screamed bloody murder at Josuke. She hoped he already forgot about that by now.
“A-and my parents,” Koichi included. “Um, well, my mom is a bit protective of me... But if I press her a bit, she’ll let me go!” He beamed.
Jotaro crossed his arms, still unsatisfied with their answers.
“Well, it’s settled then,” Joseph clasped his hands together. “The arrangements should be no problem! I may be old, but,” he knocked his knuckle on his temple. “I still got something ticking up here,” he said with a wink.
“Hold your horses, gramps,” Jotaro protested. “Have you all forgotten why Joseph and I are here? We’re not here to set up vacations or fool around. There’s an unknown danger looming around this town that we need to exterminate,” he pointed at Josuke with low eyes. “Until then there’s no time for silly vacations.”
“But Jotaro—!” Josuke argued only to be interrupted by his father.
“Jotaro, one weekend they spend at the beach won’t hurt anyone,” Joseph said. “They’ve taken care of plenty of stand users already. They deserve a break.” He nodded at his son with a smile.
The third Joestar silently contemplated the situation while all eyes were trained on him. “... Alright, you all can go,” he decides.
Okuyasu and Josuke bursted out a simultaneous “Yes!” before giddily bumping each other.
“Thank you, Jotaro-san!” Koichi sighed.
Jotaro held his finger up. “But,” he continued, causing face cracks to appear upon the teenagers’ faces. “You’re all too young to take care of a house by yourselves, so I’m coming too.”
The four all similarly deflated. “W-wait! Come on! We're responsible!” Josuke sputtered out. “Dad, tell him! We don’t need a babysitter!”
“Hm,” Joseph scratched the chin of his beard. “No, he’s right, Josuke-kun. It’s safer to have an adult with you.”
The betrayal caused Josuke to shrink in his chair. “Great,” he mumbled under his breath.
“That’s why she didn’t care that she wasn’t with Koichi-kun the entire night…” Rohan pieced his memories of the party together. Josuke’s words rang in his head. “What a liar… They were probably together the whole time.” He kneeled back down to Haruhi, still unconscious from Heaven’s Door’s attack, and closed her face in order to wake her up. Haruhi stirred in the driver’s seat before letting her eyes gradually open. “Adachi-san,” Rohan hummed as he leaned uncomfortably close to her face.
“Uh…?” she murmured before her eyes focused on the blurry figure in front of her. Feeling not only caught off guard, but disoriented Haruhi jumped back, hitting her head on the head rest behind her. “Ah!”
“Calm down,” Rohan said with sweat pilling on his forehead. Haruhi held the back of her head as she stared back at him. “Tell me what you know about Josuke and Yukako.”
An evil smirk curved on the corners of Haruhi’s lips.
Hello! I've been a bit preoccupied with familial events and whatnot so I'm sorry for going on hiatus again! Chapter 10 will be up soon.
Also, I hope no one thinks I hate Rohan or dislike him. I actually think he's really funny and he just works perfectly as a foil to Josuke and Yukako. (Also I'm not saying there's going to be a sex scene soon but IF there was one *wink* what are yall's thoughts on how explicit it should be? Just wondering for scientific reasons...)
Chapter 10: The Beach is for Lovers...
(Not Lonely Losers)
The week before passed just like the summer’s breeze that was currently blowing through the open windows of Jotaro’s car. They were on their way to Morioh’s port and beach so the teenagers could start their vacation. Josuke, Yukako and Koichi were left in the back seat after Okuyasu called “shotgun” on the passenger seat. There was an awkward aura swirling in Yukako’s gut thanks to the seating arrangements. Josuke avoided making too much contact with her besides letting their knees and shoulders occasionally brush. He mostly stared out his window, watching all the colorful houses as they whizzed passed them. Koichi laid his slightly clammy hand on Yukako’s. He’d squeeze it when he saw pelicans flying over ocean, prompting her to look over too. Her eyes would sometimes let their gaze wander onto the rearview mirror where she could see Jotaro’s.
Jotaro is always so serious… I wonder if he knows about… She looked at Josuke from the corner of her eye. Did you tell him, Josuke? When she looked back at the mirror, her eyes met Jotaro’s causing her to tense up as she quickly looked down at the radio.
“We’re here,” Jotaro announced as he pulled into the driveway of the sunflower-colored beach house. The house sat on a busy road that separated itself from the beach. Around it were other happy pastel houses lining up the block. They all exited the car. Jotaro went to the trunk to get their bags and the cooler, when Okuyasu noticed a familiar red car in the driveway.
“Oi, Jotaro?” he called. The other three teenagers gathered on the lawn to get a better look at the house they would be staying in. “Whose car is that parked ahead of yours?” Josuke, Yukako and Koichi all broke their necks snapping their heads towards the driveway to see the parked car.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Josuke mumbled. His eyes searched the windows of the house to see a figure already inside.
Jotaro shut the trunk of the car and stepped onto the grass as he set the bags down. “That’s right. I forgot to tell you,” he spoke casually as he adjusted his cap. “It came to my attention that it would be safer if I stayed in Morioh while the four of you went on your trip. So, I asked Rohan if he could stay with you in my place.”
“Jotaro! What the hell?!” Josuke yelled as he stomped over to his nephew.
Koichi slumped a bit. While he felt somewhat relieved now that Rohan wouldn’t be excluded, he now had an added distraction. Yukako feigned neutrality with a blank face.
Jotaro remained still and stared back at his uncle to say, “I told you you were not going alone.” He jutted his hand into his coat pocket for his cigarettes, because the way this was going, he was going to need one. “Besides, Rohan seemed pretty excited to come. I’m not some shitty person who’d deprive someone of a good time.”
Yukako looked on as Josuke argued with Jotaro while the latter remained adamant that Rohan had to watch them. She shifted her sights back onto the house. He could be seen through the window with his back turned. What’s he doing in there anyway?
Rohan stood in the kitchen as he used the house’s phone. “I got here twenty minutes ago,” he spoke into the receiver. “Are they still on their way?”
“They actually just got there,” Haruhi said on the other line. “Before you go, remember to keep an eye on them. Especially that snake Yamagishi,” she hissed. “If you don’t get the proof then it’s all for nothing.”
Rohan looked over his shoulder to see everyone in the front yard. “I know that already,” he assured. He held his camera in front of him on the kitchen counter. “I’ll talk to you tonight. Bye.”
“Bye, bye,” Haruhi said before hanging up. She felt quite pleased with herself. Thanks to Jotaro inviting Rohan, she would be able to have her agent on the inside! She continued on leisurely painting her toes in her bedroom back in Morioh. “What are you going to do now, Yamagishi?” she thought evilly.
Back outside, Yukako approached the two Joestars with Okuyasu and Koichi following. She placed her hand on Josuke’s arm stopping him mid-complaint. “Josuke-kun, it’s not a big deal if he’s here.” She traced her fingers on his arm lightly before awkwardly glancing over to Jotaro. Yukako let her hand drop back to her side. “I mean, someone has to keep an eye out for stand users in Morioh. Right?”
Josuke let out a sigh as he ran his hand over his pompadour. “Well, I guess…” he gave in. Jotaro’s expression bore a faint smile.
Yukako bent down and grabbed the handle of her magenta luggage.
Okuyasu agreed, “Yeah. That is a good point.” Both he and Koichi grabbed their bags, as well. “Y’know what they say, ‘while the mice are away, the cat will play!’” He walked toward the house.
“I… don’t think that’s how the saying goes…” Koichi commented, while following his lead.
Josuke looked over at his nephew, still a bit annoyed. Yukako rolled her eyes before giving him a nudge, “Hey! What happened to ‘not crying’ about it?” She slowly began smiling. “Lighten up already… Okay?”
Blush found its way onto his cheeks as he smiled at the ground. “Ha. You’re right,” he pulled his bag onto his shoulder as they began walking towards the house themselves.
“Well, I’m glad you two got passed that fight you had,” Jotaro said. “It was pretty ugly.”
“Haha, yeah,” Josuke rubbed the back of his neck. “That’s behind us now…”
Yukako only looked ahead, embarrassed. I guess he didn’t forget about my episode, she reeled.
Jotaro arched a dark eyebrow at the two. He recalled Josuke explaining the pickle of a situation he placed himself in. He’s in love with a girl who’s dating someone else, and that someone happens to be his friend. But, Jotaro has been a bit out of the loop. He momentarily wondered about the status of their relationship before dismissing the petty teenage drama.
The house had a full porch with enough room for the five of them to stand on before Rohan came to answer the door. “It’s about time you showed up,” he semi-jokingly greeted them. This drew sarcastic chuckles out of Josuke, while he and the others took off their shoes.
Upon entering, the teenagers found themselves charmed by the extravagance of the home that seemed a bit too expensive for them to be staying in. The light, peach-colored walls were complimented prettily by the dark wood floors and doors. A staircase would stand in the middle of the foyer leading to a second floor. Above was a shimmering chandelier dangling from the ceiling.
“Hey, there’s a pool table in this room!” Okuyasu called as he peeked into the doorway leading to the game room. Accompanying the pool table in the front of the room were dark leather couches. In the back of the room was a bar with shiny crimson cushioned stools.
“Jotaro, you really outdid yourself,” Josuke exclaimed as he and his friends planted themselves on the couch. “This is crazy!”
“Don’t thank me,” Jotaro replied as he slouched against the wall. “All of this was the old man. ‘Only the best for Josuke-kun,’ was what he said.”
“Well, thank you, Dad!” he cheered with a fist in the air.
“Mr. Joestar really came through with this house!” Koichi commented happily.
“It’s truly beautiful,” Yukako agreed quietly.
The teenagers continued to fill the room with their celebratory chatter. Jotaro stepped away from the wall and tapped Rohan in order to signal him to follow. Both men stepped out of the room.
“As I’m sure you already know, there’s five bedrooms. One for each of you. The master is the one in the middle upstairs. I’m sure you’ve already helped yourself to that one though, right?”
Rohan chuckled as he nodded. “That’s right.”
“Hm. Well, I’ll be leaving then.” He stood by the door as he slipped back on his shoes. “Don’t hesitate to call. I can trust you to keep an eye them, can’t I?” he held up his finger as he spoke.
“Of course, Jotaro…” he smiled inconspicuously. “You can trust me to take good care of them.”
Later that day, Yukako stood on the banks with her toes brushing the ocean. The boys were behind her, setting up their beach towels side to side. She left her beach bag on her towel, right beside her flip flops. She looked down at the clear water to see her feet through her white dress ruffling in the breeze. Her eyes looked onto the horizon, getting lost inside the vastness of the deep sea. Gloomily, she thought about her circumstances. I can only ignore the inevitable for so long… How did I ever think I would be able to even enjoy this vacation? She sighed.
Rohan sat underneath his umbrella while slathering on a generous amount of sunscreen on his pale skin. Always a creature of habit, he began drawing the seascape.
Josuke grabbed his beach ball and Okuyasu followed to start up a game of volleyball. While the smallest teen stayed behind applying his own sunscreen, heeding his mother’s order.
“Hey, Koichi, come on! Lets play!” Josuke called, as he tossed the colorful ball over his head.
Koichi gave the boys a nod before looking over to his melancholic girlfriend. “In a second,” he replied. Josuke watched as he trotted over to Yukako with a cornflower pail in hand. It irked him so badly. Of course, he would rather be done with the sneaking around and just claim Yukako as his girlfriend. I’m the one that should be comforting her… I know her better than you do anyway. His jealousy burned like coals in his mind. While his face could no longer hide it as a scowl formed on his lips.
The mangaka followed Josuke’s eyes as they followed Koichi down the sand to the girl by the shore. “Interesting…” he mused while he curled a line into a wave on the page.
“Oi, Josuke!” Okuyasu called. “Serve the ball already!”
Josuke turned his head back onto his pal. “Ah, you’re ready to get your ass kicked, huh?” He smirked as he hit ball upwards and over to him.
Okuyasu reacted by smacking the ball back. “Shut up!”
“Yukako-san,” Koichi spoke softly, just barely being heard over the sounds of the waves. She turned to see him shyly standing with the pail behind his back. “What are you doing all by yourself?”
“Oh, I was just thinking about maybe wanting to swim,” Yukako trailed off to look back at the water and then at him. “But it’s… a bit too cold,” She lied as she kicked up some water.
“Well, maybe later we’ll dive in!”
She nodded and there was a brief pause between the two.
“But, for now,” Koichi held the pail out in front of him. “Would you.. want to collect seashells with me?” The boy looked so adorable standing there. The strawberry hue on his cheeks was heightened by the blue of his eyes while he looked up at her sweetly.
“I’d love to,” she replied. A big smile appeared on his face that left flutters in her belly. He set the pail down securely in the sand as he squatted down to search for shells. Yukako crouched to her knees to join him.
There was a comfortable silence between the two. The sounds of the waves and the other beach goers mixed with the plopping sound of the shells getting dropped into the pail was oddly relaxing. Yukako and Koichi gathered shells that were on their sides of the bucket without much of an overlap. Until the shore washed up a pearlescent cowry shell that caught both of their attention. Her hand reached it first while Koichi’s small hand landed on top of hers. The brush of their hands brought their eyes together.
Yukako froze at the sudden contact. “Sorry,” Koichi chuckled and drew his hand back from hers, allowing her to relax. She smiled nervously before picking up the shiny shell and placing it delicately in the pail. Yukako returned her attention to the sand and swiping her hands through it to uncover shells, when Koichi leaned over to give her a peck on her cheek. “I love you,” he whispered.
Shivers shot up Yukako’s spine, heavily contrasting the sweat rolling down her neck. Her eyes widened as she glanced at Josuke before returning to Koichi’s serious gaze. Will he be angry if I…?
Josuke’s back was turned to them and he was laughing. Okuyasu was picking up the ball after not being able to return the volley. Josuke was teasing him about his supposed “killer spike.”
Keenly, Rohan watched as the girl stiffened. In his lap beneath his art book laid his camera, ready to capture any strange behaviors. “Go on…” Rohan quietly dared. “Prove me wrong, Yukako…”
“I…” Her lips parted to speak, yet no words were coming out. Frustration settled into her mind as she cursed her heart. I love him don’t I? Then spit it out already!
“I love—” she tried again, only to be interrupted by a volley ball hurling towards them. Okuyasu had overshot the ball with The Hand, away from Josuke’s reach. Swiftly, Love Deluxe rose from its place to shield the two from impact. The crack of the ball against her stand shattered the tension, at least for now.
After the day was over and the moon had rose in the sky, Yukako retired to her room to shower. She had taken the room at the eastern side of the second floor. Beneath the shower head, she scrubbed the flecks of sand off her skin and out of her head. Today wasn’t so bad… she thought as she massaged her fingers into her scalp. I think I can do this for three more days… she paused as she ran her hands over her head and onto her neck. The stand hidden deep in her neck vibrated every so often, forcing her to itch at the skin. “O-ow,” she groaned. Yukako continued on washing her hair, after dismissing the odd sensation.
Once Yukako completed her shower, she made sure to take the shower head over every inch of the shower cleaning it of any sand or hair. “So much sand…” she murmured at the debris circling the drain. She wiped the fog off the mirror to see her reflection looking back at her. Yukako began combing her wet locks as she stared into her own blue eyes. Why couldn’t I tell Koichi-kun that I loved him earlier? She hung her head to the side while she dragged the comb along her hair. I was about to but then that stupid ball— The brush suddenly snapped when Yukako tried to comb over a thick knot. She pulled the base of the brush away while the top dangled from her hair. “Seriously?”
She pulled the remnant of the comb out of her hair and tossed it in the trash. “I’ll just ask Koichi-kun if he has a comb that I can borrow…” she dug through her suitcase for her blush nightgown. Yukako hung her towel and slipped the gown over her head. Its lacy trim fell right above her knee. The silk fabric felt cold against her warm skin.
Yukako left her bedroom and headed to the opposite side of the hallway, passed Rohan’s room to Koichi’s. The house was mostly still, besides what sounded like televisions being on. Regardless, she stood at the door but knocked lightly. There were a few steps and the door finally opened.
“Rohan-sensei, I’m feeling really sleepy right now. Could we talk later—” Koichi opened the door while rubbing his eyes. “Oh, Yukako-san! How are you?” He opened the door (and his eyes) some more and took a better look at the girl before him. He eyed her long, smooth legs all the way up until they ended at the length of her dress. “You look beautiful…”
“Thank you,” she flashed him a shy smile. “Can I come in?” He nodded and stepped out of the way. She entered the room to see the television on playing some variety show she wasn’t familiar with. She turned back to Koichi as he closed the door behind him. He was in his pajamas too. “I hope I’m not bothering you… but I broke my brush while combing my hair.” She separated part of her damp hair over her shoulder to smooth it in her hands. “Do you happen to have one I can borrow?”
“Yeah,” he answered before scurrying into his bathroom. Yukako followed to find him opening a ziplock baggy filled with toiletries along with a comb. “Here you go!” He placed the comb into her hand.
“Thank you, darling.” Koichi’s hand lingered on top of Yukako’s momentarily before he left her alone to finish brushing her hair in the bathroom.
She opened the door back into the bedroom. “Thanks again, Koichi-kun.” She paused once she realized the television had been turned off. She peered back over to see Koichi seated on the bed near the pillows. Silently, he stared at her with faraway eyes.
“Come sit down next to me,” Koichi said as he tapped lightly on the space next to him. Yukako could feel sweat pooling in the middle of her back joining the leftover water from her shower. She nodded weakly before making her a way over to the bed. The mattress made a faint springing sound as she sat on it.
“Yes?” she placed her hands in her lap as she demurely peeked over at him.
His face reddened as he struggled to keep eye contact with his girlfriend. “I uh… I was thinking t-that maybe…”
“Yes, Koichi-kun?” Koichi placed his small hand on her inner thigh, tenderly dancing his fingertips atop her supple, moist skin. Her heart pace quickened at his touch.
“I was thinking that maybe t-tonight,” he finally looked into her eyes. “We could be together, Yukako-san.” The boy moved her hair aside he as laid a kiss on her shoulder.
Her heart fell into her stomach. Oh God…!
Chapter 11: Glass Heart
Everything was so clear.
Rohan paced the master bedroom as he half-spoke, half-shouted into the phone. “You told me that Josuke and Yukako were fooling around behind Koichi-kun’s back, yet Yukako has been spending all her time with Koichi-kun!” He poised his hand on his hip. “Are you sure that stand of yours even works?”
“Fuck you! Of course it works!” Haruhi huffed, offended anyone would doubt her precious Fly On The Wall.
“Oh?” He rolled his eyes. “Then what’s she up to right now since you can hear her?” The phone went silent for a moment, only to severely irritate him further. A vein in the center of his forehead began to swell as he gripped the phone. “Hello? I’m talking to you—!”
“She’s with him right now…” Haruhi interrupted as she thought aloud.
Rohan’s shoulders, once hunched, relaxed. “With… Josuke?”
“No,” she reluctantly mumbled. “It’s Koichi’s voice I hear… He’s… He just kissed her, I think.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose as he sighed. “How very suspicious of her, Adachi-san. I’m so glad we have that valuable nugget of information!”
“You know what,” Haruhi snapped. “Since you don’t trust me or my stand—you come up with a fucking better idea! You’re the genius mangaka, right?” Click.
The sound of the dial tone rung in Rohan’s ears as he considered her words. He placed the phone back onto the console. He returned to his seat upon the bed, before he laid down with his arms sprawled across the mattress. What a brat that girl is… He scoffed. It’s not like I, Kishibe Rohan, haven’t already thought of different ways to get it out of them… There were two ways he knew he could use Heaven’s Door on Yukako, Josuke, or both of them. One, he could read their faces to unearth any secrets they may have been keeping. Or two, he could be much more bold, and go ahead and assume Haruhi is right by forcing them into confessing through writing it on either of their faces. But… he thought while he rolled on his side to stare out the window. Illuminated in the window was his reflection, as he pondered if taking the “easy” route would be satisfying for his readers if this were his manga. “Probably not,” he sighed as he turned onto his back. Though it’s not like he was familiar with popular tropes or proper narrative styles concerning the romance genre. Regardless of that, Rohan proposed an idea to himself: remain patient, yet vigilant. It’s not enough to simply know the truth, but there also needs to be undeniable physical facts regarding this predicament.
Rohan nodded before he switched his nightside light off. He sunk his head into the pillow. Subconsciously, he hoped it wasn’t true. He thought about Koichi, furthermore his happiness. Even if Rohan found both Yukako and Josuke irksome, they both gave his dear friend joy. He found that Koichi’s joy was also his joy and he longed to protect that. The realization of his girlfriend and close friend having an affair would crush him, and in return crush Rohan. “Heaven’s Door’s ability is based entirely on one’s perception of reality… Could it be that she is mistaken?” He reasoned quietly before slipping into sleep.
Yukako gulped down the lump in her throat as Koichi left the tiniest of pecks on her lips. His light eyes were nervous, yet confidence was painted on his face. She felt uneasy, seeing through him so easily like this. She watched him close his eyes once more to kiss her. “Koichi-kun?”
Koichi opened his eyes. “Y-yes?”
She tugged at the edge of her nightgown and gnawed at her bottom lip. “What do you like about me?” Yukako questioned as she placed her hand on her rosy cheek.
“What do I like about you?” Koichi repeated.
“Yes.” She watched as he stared at her unsure of what to say.
Yukako sighed, before pretending to perk up. “It’s just that I remember the day I first talked to you and I told you how I felt about you… You didn’t say anything about me. I know now that I put you on the spot, since you didn’t know me very well at the time…” She gave the hem of her nightgown one last tug. “So, I’m curious to know what you think about me now,” she smiled halfheartedly.
“Yukako-san, why are you—?”
“Please,” she squeezed his hand while her stare bored into his eyes with despair. “I just need to know.”
Koichi’s mouth remained ajar as he blinked at her. He shifted his eyes from Yukako to the wall ahead of him as he contemplated her question. Koichi loved her. He knew that for sure. He wouldn’t have forgiven her for kidnapping him and nearly killing him, if he didn’t love her. But why do I love her?
“I… I’m not really sure…” He answered his own question aloud. Koichi’s eyes followed the molding on the walls of his room as he recalled the day when everything changed. “It was something about the way you looked at me…” The words flowed out of him unsteadily. “When… When I finally got to be near you again, there was this overwhelming sensation you made me feel. And you seemed so much softer and more approachable… As if I were seeing you for the first time… You looked beautiful. Radiant, even.”
Her eyes along with her heart sank as she listened. The harsh reality concerning their relationship was finally surfacing, even after Yukako had been trying so hard drown it all this time. Her doubts were no longer irrational, but instead unknowingly validated by the one her fears were stemming from.
Without a word, she stood and approached the door. The sound of the turning handle pulled Koichi out of his trance. He called, “W-wait! Why are you leaving…? Was it something I said?” The boy’s heart was being forced to speak a truth he never had any control over. Koichi was still so unaware of all the pieces of this chess game moving around and without him.
Solemnly, Yukako turned and shook her head. “No, you didn’t say anything wrong. What you said was from the heart.” Her lips formed a pained smile. “I need time to think before we take the next step…” she said. “You understand, don’t you?”
“B-but, I,” Koichi stammered, before surrendering with a sigh. “Yes,” his eyes lowered to his feet. “Goodnight then, Yukako-san.”
“Goodnight, Koichi-kun,” she replied before closing the door behind her.
Finally, she could exhale and along with her breath went her eyes as they shed the tears she had been so desperately trying to keep inside. She silently wept as she lamented the day she ever stepped foot into that salon. “This is w-what I wanted… T-that’s the depth of o-our r-relationship,” she whispered. “H-he ‘l-loves’ me b-b-because of a st-stupid stand…” She wiped her dripping nose on the back of her hand.
As Yukako stepped away from the door, she realized she could see her reflection in a mirror hanging on the wall of the dark hallway. Yukako leaned into her unsightly appearance to lightly tap her puffy, reddened eyes. “I projected what I wanted onto him,” she sniffed, as she tilted her neck to see herself from different angles. She was developing a pimple on the left of her chin. “‘Created a version of him in my head that could fix all my problems and make me happy, because I was so desperate to be loved… By anyone.” She sighed, before placing her hand over her reflection’s eyes.
In his bedroom, Josuke laid up on the phone. He wore a loose fitting tank top and pajama pants as he snuggled in his duvet. “Finally! I can talk to you. Rohan was clogging up the line talking to his editor or something.”
“Well, Josuke, he does have to keep himself available to his editor,” Jotaro replied flatly while sipping his tea back in his suite in Morioh.
“I guess,” he said while rolling his eyes.
“Anyway,” Jotaro took a breath before laying back into his armchair. “What’s your reason for calling?”
“I think Yukako is avoiding me and I’m—”
“I thought she forgave you for the kissing situation.”
“Oh, no, she did. That’s not the issue.”
“Then what is?” Jotaro soothed his forehead with his fingers while listening to his uncle’s drivel.
“Well, we’ve been sorta secretly dating,” he smiled cheekily to himself at the admission. “So, I was expecting to be able to spend more time with her since we’ve been here, but I can’t seem to get her alone…” His smile soon disappeared before being replaced with a frown. “I’m worried she’s having doubts about us.”
Jotaro could not help but feel the entire scenario was incredibly petty and unimportant. Considering that at Josuke’s age, Jotaro had traveled to Egypt to kill a vampiric stand user to save his mother’s life and lost three friends in the process. While Josuke’s biggest concern at the moment is not the highly dangerous stand user threatening his hometown, but rather a girl. Regardless, he played along with the conversation with a sigh at his uncle’s naïveté. “Did she express to you that she’s feeling doubtful?”
“Well, no, but—”
“Then it sounds rather paranoid to be even worrying about this,” Jotaro stated matter of factly. “If she’s willing to risk her relationship for you, then I think you should have a little more faith in her.”
“Uh, I guess you’re right.” Josuke peered to his left at the door. “Someone’s at the door. I’ll call you back in the morning?”
“Okay. Goodnight, Josuke,” he spoke as dial tone filled his ears. He shook his head as he set the phone down. “Give me a break… It’s like he called me to not even listen to what I had to say.” The feeling of annoyance passed as a smile crept on his lips. Jotaro chuckled, “He’ll learn eventually.”
Josuke opened the door to find Yukako red-eyed and sullen. “Good evening, Josuke-kun,” she said, a lot quieter than she intended to. She smiled weakly. “May I come in?”
He blinked before nodding and stepping aside to let her in. Something was the matter, he could tell that much… Yukako walked over to his bed and plopped herself upon it. Her smile disappeared once she began staring at the ceiling. Josuke closed the door behind him and joined her side on the bed. He propped his head up on his arms while giving the ceiling a stare as well. His eyes roamed aimlessly as he waited for her to say something, but from his peripherals he could see her eyes locked in place.
“…” He turned his face to hers.
“Yukako, is something wrong…?” He laid on his side, while tracing his fingertips along her hairline and the loose, wet curls around it. “I can tell that you’ve been crying. Your eyes—they’re red…”
“Koichi tried to have sex with me just now,” she spoke in monotone. His fingers jerked to halt suddenly. “If… this was a month ago I’d be so happy, Josuke-kun…” She finally rolled her head to meet his wide eyes. “During the entire exchange, I couldn’t stop thinking about something. Something was bothering me. This thing I’ve been smothering in my mind and hoping would die if I ignored it long enough.”
Josuke sunk his teeth into his bottom lip as she spoke. None of this was making any sense. Is she trying to tell me she’s breaking up with me? But then why would she reject Koichi? W-what is she talking about!
“Yukako, I,” he shook his head as he spoke, “don’t know what you mean.” Yukako sighed before sitting up. She leaned in closely, looking deeply into Josuke’s eyes. “Y-Yukako,” he shuddered as she straddled his hips.
“How many people do you think you really know, Josuke-kun?” she asked him bluntly while placing her hands on his chest for support.
More questions on this test, huh…? He slipped his hands onto her thighs resting atop of his legs. “I don’t know… I guess there’s no way to tell if you really know someone,” he answered cautiously. Considering how cryptic she was behaving, he figured a response like that was what she was probably looking for.
Yukako nodded. “Exactly.” Her hardened expression eventually faded into a lost one. “Sometimes we build people up in our minds by placing them on pedestals they can’t live up to in real life… He wasn’t who… I pictured him to be…” Her hands slid away from Josuke’s chest and back to her sides. “Everyone’s uglier up close… Even me,” she whispered.
“That’s not possible for you,” Josuke spoke in earnest.
Her face became rigid once more as she focused her eyes on Josuke. “Oh, am I beautiful?” She wondered sarcastically.
“Yukako, of course you’re beautiful…” His eyes dropped while he rubbed her thighs, in an attempt to soothe her. “I think you know that already.”
“Hmm! So I’ve been told!” Yukako replied with a burst of energy. Her chest was engulfed in flames while her eyes were pricked by tears. “It’s meaningless! Is that all I am?!” she covered her face. She felt as if she were going mad. Is that… all there is to me?
Josuke stared back at her in horror, then down and around for an answer.
Finally, he nodded. “Yes,” he said, causing her to flinch. “You are beautiful, Yukako.” He held himself up on his arms. “Completely, fully, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, knowledgeably, and any other -aly’s or -ably’s I can’t think of right now…” He held her wrists as he moved her hands away from her face. Josuke searched her glassy eyes. “I love you entirely.”
I hope you guys like this. ;w;
Chapter 12: Moonlight
"He knows just what he does when he's holding me tight and he calls me moonlight too."
This chapter is named after my favorite song, Ariana Grande's "Moonlight." It's a beautiful song and I'd recommend giving it a listen to help capture the mood of the chapter. (Another great song I listened to while writing was "Secret Valentine" by We the Kings.)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Yukako felt herself let go completely. Every wall she ever held up was suddenly crumbling once and for all. She tearfully asked, “You do?”
A smile bloomed on Josuke’s lips before he laughed lightly. “Of course, I do,” he said as he pressed his lips upon hers. The kiss put her at ease. Like a freed bird, her heart was light. Feeling eager, Josuke pulled her close and then down on the bed below them. He kissed her once again, hard. “I’m so in love with you, Yukako…” He mumbled as he left a trail of kisses up her neck.
Her hands slid up the back of his neck, bringing their eyes together. “And I’m so in love with you too,” Yukako spoke softly before meeting Josuke for a kiss. He nibbled at her bottom lip, causing a slight groan to escape her mouth. He took the opportunity to slip his tongue in between those lips from his dreams. Their tongues swirled without a cause with the taste of peppermint filling Yukako’s mouth. Is this how love is supposed to be? I’m so happy…
Josuke could feel her smiling while her tongue slowly moved against his. He pulled away to see the apples of her cheeks glowing, while the droplets of water left behind in her raven hair glimmered like stars. “You…”
“Yes?” she blinked at him sweetly.
“You have the night sky in your hair,” he whispered into her temple before leaving a kiss upon it. Yukako’s eyes lit up before she giggled softly.
“How Shakespearian,” she replied with arms snuggled around his neck.
Josuke still felt a bit hazy, despite Yukako’s nonchalance. Her chest pressed against his through her sheer nightgown while her body smelled of rose. As always, Yukako remained utterly ravishing. He sighed against her moist hair, while a rush of blood flooded through him.
Noticing the awakening of a certain body part, Yukako quietly asked, “Ah, Josuke-kun?”
“Hmm, yeah?” he obliviously hummed while inhaling the fragrant scent of her hair.
“Please don’t think this is corny but I,” Yukako paused as she wondered if she should dare say what has crossed her mind. Josuke pulled back to stare at her. Her eyes lingered away before she decided to confront those pools of blue. “I want you to be my first.”
Josuke’s thick brows rose. “Are… Are you sure?” He sat back on his feet while Yukako sat up, as well. The last thing he wanted was for her to think she had to want to.
Yukako’s eyes reflected confusion. “Yes, I know I’m sure…” she said as her face softened. “Look,” she grabbed his hand and held it to her chest. “Can you feel it? My heart can’t stop talking about you.” The thin strap of her nightgown slipped off her shoulder. “I want to listen to it… A-and it’s telling me, my heart is telling me it’s you.”
Josuke gulped, but then sheepishly grinned. “Okay, Yukako…” She slowly let go of his hand, allowing him to lean into her shoulder for a kiss. He placed his right hand on her waist while the left slipped down the other strap of her nightgown. Yukako sucked in a breath as her nipples came in contact with the room’s cool air, perking them up. Josuke’s hands soon shifted to gingerly fondle her full breasts. He drew back to eye her figure. “Yukako, you have a beauty mark on your boob… It’s so cute.” He admired the pretty birthmark, before kissing it.
“D-don’t say that,” she choked a moan when he rolled his fingertip atop one of her nipples. Her face managing to flush even darker somehow. “You’re embarrassing me…”
“But, why?” Josuke cheekily questioned before taking one her hardened buds into his mouth. Yukako letting out a squeak thanks to the slickness of his mouth. He sucked lightly until he let go with an obnoxious popping sound. “It’s true… You’re adorable.”
Her brow furrowed while her lips were turned in a shy pout, only proving his statement true. He kissed her, bringing her down on her back. Yukako moaned softly as his lips tenderly caressed hers. His hands travelled down her hips to lift up her nightgown, only to find smooth skin, rather than the waistband of an underwear. “You’re not wearing any…?” Josuke’s eyes widened at the discovery.
Yukako bashfully hid her face in her hand. “S-sorry. I guess I forgot to put some on after my shower…” She peeked at him with shy eyes.
“No, it’s fine,” he smiled while cocking a brow. “Just wasn’t expecting that.” Yukako nodded coyly. This girl is truly a mystery… Josuke focused his eyes back in between her legs to see her neatly trimmed sex. He moved his knees apart as he pulled down his pajama pants and boxers down exposing his long, swollen shaft. Her eyes widened, alit with curiosity. Josuke gave himself a few pumps before angling himself in front of her entrance. Suddenly, he paused when he realized he hadn’t put on a condom.
The teenager lunged toward the nightstand’s drawers, while haphazardly rummaging through its contents of… literally nothing. “Shit.”
Still on her back, Yukako watched her paramour scramble above her. “What are you doing? What’s wrong?”
Now, searching the left-side nightstand, he spoke as he sifted through batteries and other useless items. “I forgot, er, I didn’t pack condoms,” he answered as he opened the last drawer only to slam it shut upon seeing nothing. “Damn it!”
A laugh left her mouth. “Is that it? Today’s a safe day for me bizarrely enough.” She reached up to pull on his arm to bring him back down toward her again. His other arm caught himself as he sat inches from her face. “So, it should be fine for you to—”
“Are you sure?” Josuke asked. His eyes were full of worry with sweat glued on his forehead. “Because if it’s going to be weird or uncomfortable for you we can stop. We can just keep making out if that’s cool—”
His rambling stopped when Yukako squished his already plump lips. “I’m telling you it’s okay,” she let go of his mouth to grin at him. “Who’s the cute one now, huh?”
Josuke smirked before he pressed his lips onto hers. “Heh, still you.” He breathed in as he sturdied himself on his knees. Slowly, he pressed the tip to her opening. The pressure caused Yukako to draw back, wincing. “Here,” he crudely spit in his hand and slathered the thick liquid on his cock. Yukako cringed at the sight of his saliva. The action seemed unsanitary, despite probably being necessary. “It should go in a little easier this way…” he finally eased himself in slowly.
In unison, both let out gasps at the contact. Her wet walls were so warm around Josuke’s throbbing cock. Yukako tensed around him, her shaking legs draped over his hips. “H-How is it?”
Her mind was melting all the words she thought of to describe the feeling of being filled by the one she adored. It felt as if she would be split painfully in half, but a pain that made her curious and welcomed more of. “B-big,” she spoke breathily.
Flattered, Josuke laughed while slicking his hair back, “Well, thank you.”
“D-dumb ass,” Yukako squirmed as her cheeks burned. “Don’t make fun of me.”
“Sorry. You’re an easy target,” he said before lovingly kissing her forehead. He always felt comfort in her vulnerability. It wasn’t the tough exterior she always had up in front of everyone else. It was private and intimate. It was… Yukako. “I’m going to start moving now. Is that okay?”
Yukako only nodded meekly. There he goes again being so cavalier. Josuke has this way about him… His eyes are so light and sincere, and his voice is so soft. Like velvet. He could talk me into anything if he wanted to. And I would say yes. Every time.
“Great,” Josuke whispered. Yukako’s lip became wedged in between her teeth to keep her from moaning, as he pulled his hips back to drive into her center. Over and over again.
The sounds of their bodies connecting, the smell of the ocean still lingering on his skin, and the feeling of unashamed, true love was quickly overwhelming the girl. “Y-y-yes, J-Josuke-kun…”
Josuke watched as each thrust made her chest blossom into roses. It was beautiful sight he couldn’t get enough of. He wished he could make their love so loud that it couldn’t be ignored. He was so tired of being hidden. The world should know that she’s mine, he thought before he swirled his finger over her clitoris.
Her eyes squeezed close tighter and so did she around him. “No, n-not thereee… If you do thaat I’ll…” she mewled as she rolled her head side to side, feeling her orgasm trill through her body. “Jo-Josuke-kun…!”
“Open your eyes.” He sucked in a breath as he grazed his thumb over her open lips. “I-I want to look into your eyes as I—” he watched those blue almost violet half-lidded eyes, as he filled her up with his love.
Josuke eased himself out. A crimson smudge stained the inner corner of her beautiful alabaster thigh to now be joined by his spilt seed. “I said I would give you time, but, Yukako, now…” he heaved before laying down beside her. Her head now cradled against his drumming heart. “I’m not giving you back to him. I can’t. Not anymore.” Yukako lifted her head to stare into her lover’s eyes. “You’re my girl…” He pressed an eager kiss onto her lips.
You’re my girl. The words sent her heart aflutter. She nodded. “There’s nothing more in the world that I want than to be yours. I’ll tell him… I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Yukako,” he whispered while his thumb rubbed her cheek.
She smoothed the loose strands of his pompadour back into place. The gel just barely holding his hairdo together at this point. “You look like an old Hollywood movie star… Like Elvis,” she smiled lovingly. “You’re so handsome.”
“Thank you,” he chuckled.
“Is he who you modeled your hair after?” Her fingers were playing with the spiky strands at the back of his neck now. “I never knew you were into that specific aesthetic.”
“No, that’s not it.”
“Oh? Then what is?”
Josuke paused before thinking of how to explain the odd tale. “It’s a long story, but, when I was four, my dad and Jotaro went to Egypt to fight this guy, Dio, or whatever. His awakening was what gave me my stand,” he cleared his throat. “But, my stand gave me this terrible fever. It was actually killing me. So, my mom was trying to take me to the hospital, but we were caught in a snowstorm. Until this teenager appeared out of nowhere and gave us a boost out of the snow.” He lifted his finger to his hair. “He had this very same hairstyle and ever since I’ve modeled my hair the same way.”
“Did you ever see that guy again?”
“No,” Josuke sighed. “I hope though wherever he is, he knows he’s a hero.”
“I never would’ve guessed…” Yukako mused while Josuke traced his fingertips on her pale back. “… Can I ask you a weird question?”
“Only if I can give you a weird answer,” he tickled her cheek.
“Shut up.” The two laughed. “Do you… Ever feel resentful toward your dad?”
“No... Why would I?” He asked with a raised brow.
“It’s just that he missed out on a lot of your life.”
“Yeah, but I mean to be fair, he had no idea I existed.”
“And he’s a really great guy…” He nodded with reassurance. “I thought he was annoying at first but I really like, uh, love my dad.”
“Hm,” she hummed.
“I envy you,” she sighed as she laid her head on his broad chest.
“How come?” Josuke ran his hand over her head.
“You’re so laid back. You’re not one to dwell or hold a grudge. You are kind and forgiving…” She looked up at him dreamily. “It’s why so many people are drawn to you.”
“Well, that and I’m a stand user.”
“Dummy,” she bopped her fist softly on his chest. Her finger pointed to his left pectoral. “It’s your heart of gold.”
Josuke chuckled. “Come here and kiss me, you cute analyzer.” And as obedient as ever, Yukako crawled close and met Josuke for a kiss. “Let me love you with my golden heart,” his hand was in the crook of her neck as he kissed her again.
I hope this was alright. This would be my first time writing a sex scene. I didn't want it to be vulgar, but more romantic...
Cheers, guys it's my birthday~
Chapter 13: Mr. Brightside
The sun would have been filtering in through the slivers of the curtains in Josuke’s room, had it not been for the rain and clouds shutting her out. The hush of thunder woke him up first. He blinked to find the girl from the night before tucked peacefully on his chest.
“Ah,” Josuke sighed. He laid his hand on her cheek. “It wasn’t a dream after all.”
She lifted her head as her fluffy hair bounced forward. Her hair was finally dry and resembled a lion’s untamed mane. Josuke thought it was cute.
“Morning, love,” Yukako yawned.
“Hello sleepyhead. Thank you for joining me on this rainy morning.”
“It’s raining?” Yukako blinked toward the windows to see the sky a muted blue. “Ew. There’s not supposed to be rain on vacation,” she groaned as she slumped back onto his chest.
“You don’t like the rain?”
“No,” she pouted while lightly kicking her feet. “How are we supposed to have fun if it’s raining outside?”
“That’s a good point,” Josuke agreed with a nod. “Too bad there aren’t things we can do inside…” He abruptly flipped himself on top of her. “Huh?” He leaned down to pepper her chest with kisses.
She giggled. “I forgot. I’m in good company of a pervert.” She drew him in for a kiss while she hooked her arms and legs around him. “Don’t you ever get tired?”
He looked down at her heavy eyes and half-smile. “It’s hard to,” Josuke whispered before sloppily kissing at her neck. “You drive me crazy.”
“I can tell.” She wiggled against his groin, feeling him harden against her. “Is this your way of asking for round two?”
“Uh huh,” he chuckled, while using one of his hands to reach over and give himself a stroke. “Are you a mind reader or something?”
“M-maybe,” she choked out as he slid back inside her slickness. Her legs spread apart for him needily yet unconsciously. “A-ah, Jooosuke-kun…”
“Mm, Yukako, you got all nice and clean, but I’m going to dirty you up again,” he smirked before leaning down to suckle her earlobe. His warm breath nearly burned a hole through her ear while simultaneously making her toes curl. “I can feel your heart beating from inside of you, did you know?”
“N-nahn, no,” she barely replied. And Yukako could barely focus on speaking, let alone think of responses. His words were a blur in her ecstasy. Her unpainted nails dug into his shoulders as he fucked into her harder. With every snap of Josuke’s hips there was only one word falling from her heavenly lips. “J-Josuke-kun,” she would beg him in an almost melodic manner. Josuke found her voice mesmerizing and when accompanied by the oasis between her thighs, he slowly drowned inside of her.
His thrusts were getting lazier and sloppier now. But, with every jerk he was still hitting her sweet spot. “Are you gonna cum again, Yukako? You’re so pretty when you do.”
“S-shut up, Josuke-k-kun,” she whined beneath him while avoiding his eyes. Her face nearly flushing to her ears.
Josuke lifted his hand and placed it above Yukako’s head, while resting his knitted brow onto hers. “Please, babe,” he pleaded while he stared deeply into her ocean eyes. “Look at me,” he whispered before slipping his tongue between her lips.
His pace only quickened as he finally drove her and himself over the edge, with his mouth catching every squeak and every moan she made.
Josuke pulled away, a trail of shimmering saliva still connecting their lips. Yukako heaved quietly below him, until she sweetly whispered, “I love you, Josuke-kun.” She held herself up unsteadily on her elbows to place a kiss lightly on his lips. “So much, I do.”
“I love you too,” he smiled as he laid back down beside her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder bringing her back onto his chest. “See?” he winked. “Rainy days are important too.”
“Thanks, Mister Brightside,” Yukako rolled her eyes with a laugh before she crawled away and stood shakily. You could barely call what she did walking, but more so a limp as she made her way to Josuke’s bathroom.
“Hey, where’re you going?” Josuke hopped up and followed behind her.
The rushing water from the shower head could be heard faintly.
“I’m showering.” Yukako placed her hand in the shower to gauge its temperature before flicking her wrist of the water. She turned to see Josuke crossing his arms in the doorframe. Her mouth subtly watering, now finally being able to get a proper look at his exposed figure. His skin shined, still sticky with sweat. Josuke wasn’t as muscular as Jotaro, as he was much more slender. Though his body was still very much statuesque with his toned abs and strong, muscled arms. She swallowed hard, before asking, “C-care to join me?”
He grinned and he followed in behind her. “You don’t have to ask me twice.”
Yukako stood ahead of him. Quietly, she fixed her hair up in a makeshift bun before peeking back to see Josuke soaping himself up. “Pass me some too?”
“Of course,” he replied as he placed the slippery bar in her hands. His hand lingering on top of hers, staring coyly at her.
“Thank you,” she finally said taking her hand back as she scrubbed between her thighs. Yukako jumped when she felt his nose nuzzle onto her neck while his arms slowly curled around her.
“I love you…” he said as he laid a kiss on her shoulder, causing her to sigh.
Yukako smiled as she looked at him from the corner of her eye, “I love you too.”
This was nice. No, lovely. Lovely to be in a love you didn’t have to question was sincere. Lovely to finally… Not be alone.
And they weren’t alone.
Not even a little.
Not even at all.
Back in Morioh, Haruhi finally woke up on this rainy Saturday morning after tossing and turning all night. “Fuck…” she mumbled as she lifted her head from slightly damp pillow. The brunette wiped the slobber from her mouth. “Eugh, I barely got any kind of slee—”
“You look so different with your hair down.”
What? Haruhi held her hand to her ear while her eyes widened.
“I didn’t even realize how long your hair is.”
Haruhi could hear a chuckle… and was that water running?
“Yeah, I have to keep my hair kinda long in order to get my pompadour as massive and full as it is,” Josuke said. “It ain’t easy being this good lookin’!”
I-it’s them! Those fuckers! Haruhi bolted out her door, racing to her house phone to finally order her coconspirator to catch the two in the act. “Pick up! Pick up! Pick up!” she repeated while tapping her foot incessantly. “That fucking idiot mangaka! Fucking wake up, Rohan!”
The trilling of the phone finally stopped.
“Hey! Wake up! IT’S TIME. They’re together right now—Go get them!”
“Who,” he yawned. “… Is?”
Haruhi’s patience was starting to crack as she blurted out, “Josuke and Yukako, idiot! Who else!”
“Hello? Hello? Rohan, are you still there? Rohan!”
Chapter 14: Landlocked Blues
As I'm leaving she wakes up and says,
"I dreamt you were carried away on the crest of a wave.
Baby, don't go away, come here."
After their shower, Yukako sat on Josuke’s bed. She kicked her legs while waiting for him to finish up brushing his teeth. He had let her borrow one of the robes in the bathroom’s cupboard. It felt plushy and smelled faintly of clean laundry. She glanced at the rain rolling down the windows accompanied by the thick fog. There was an air of peace to be found in the sound of the rain despite the loud thundering coming from outside. Pretty…
Josuke closed the bathroom door behind him when he stepped into the room. He had a towel draped over his bare shoulders and a new pair of pajama pants on. His hair was down and leaving drops of water behind on his eyebrows and shoulders. He blinked the droplets away as his eyes met hers. “Hey,” he smiled. “I forgot to show you something.”
“Oh?” Yukako bounced towards him. “What is it?”
Josuke grinned before pulling the towel off his shoulders and tossing it onto a nearby armchair. “I got you something I thought you might like…” Yukako watched him intently, as he bent down behind the chair to pull out a conspicuously rectangle-shaped present. He walked over and held it out to her. “Here. Open it.”
“Hmmm,” she hummed sarcastically when she took the gift in her hands. “I wonder what it could be…” She tilted the gift before smirking at him.
Josuke winked before tapping the tip of her nose. “It’s a secret.”
“Oh, okay,” Yukako giggled. She tore at the wrapping paper to uncover what she expected. A book. Though it was not the kind she was used to. “What’s this?” She asked as she tugged across the wrapping paper to reveal its title. “Persuasion…?” Yukako eyed the cover of the book. It was mostly red with a 19th century girl looking off somewhere with her hair styled up in complicated braids. “… By Jane Austen.”
Josuke laughed. “Yeah, I just figured you might want to read something actually within your reading level for once,” he teased.
“Fuck you,” she snorted hard as they both broke out into laughter. She coughed in order to clear her throat. “So, what’s it about?” Yukako flipped the book over to inspect its back.
“Well, the lady at Lavender’s told me—”
“Wait,” Yukako picked up her head as she asked. “You go to Lavender’s?”
“Yeah,” Josuke nodded. “It’s on my way home so I go in there sometimes.”
“Oh… Okay, sorry, keep going,” she peered back at the book.
“It’s cool. So, yeah, the lady told me it’s a story about this girl, Anne, and she was engaged to this guy years ago. He’s like a naval soldier, but she like called off the wedding for one reason or another. I think—I think she was unsure about her feelings about him, but,” he shook his head. “He missed her the entire time he was away from her and the story is basically them falling back in love…”
Yukako slowly raised her head to look up at him. She silently blinked at him, her eyes glowing lightly in the dim room. Her lips were apart almost as if there were words edging on the tip of her tongue waiting for her to string them together. Her look struck him like the lightning running wild outside.
“A-at least I think that was it!” He smiled at his feet while running his fingers through his hair.
He looked back up at her.
“Fell in love at second sight?” Yukako asked barely above a whisper.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Josuke said while rubbing his neck.
“Thank you,” she said warmly. Her fingers grazed the indents of the letters on the cover as she stared at him.
“You’re welcome, Yukako,” Josuke said with a relieved grin. “I’m glad you like it.”
Yukako tapped the empty space next to her on the bed and like a fly to lamp, Josuke went and sat next to her. She took a deep breath before suddenly pulling him closely to her. He jumped before placing his arms around her waist.
“I feel like so much in me has changed in such a short amount of time,” she sighed against his cheek. “And it’s all because of you…” Her voice began to tremble as she spoke. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
“Yukako…” he said as he pulled away to look into her glossy eyes.
“Please, Josuke-kun, if this is a dream, never wake me,” she sniffed as she placed her hand on his cheek. “I want to stay here… Because when I’m with you, it feels like I’m home.”
Images of Yukako all alone and misunderstood continued to haunt him. Her obsessive and violent behaviors were all cries for help. Somehow he could understand all the pain she had been carrying by herself. Why…? Why didn’t I put it together before?
“Of course, Yukako…” He placed his forehead onto hers as a tear left his own eye. “We’ll always be together now… Always.”
She laid her lips softly on his to verbalize not only her love for him, but gratitude as well. There was silence as they embraced after their kiss. Only to be shattered by light laughter from her.
“Hey,” he pulled away to give her a curious look. “What are you gigglin’ about?”
“Sorry, it’s just that…” she smiled. “I never knew Crazy Diamond could fix broken hearts.”
Haruhi still clutched the phone expectantly waiting for a response. “Rohan…?”
The phone remained silent. It felt almost as if an eternity had passed while she listened to the radio silence. She rolled her eyes as she took the phone away from her ear right before a voice could be heard.
“Hello? Who’s calling at this hour…?” A voice asked slightly hoarse from having just woke up.
“Rohan?” She asked as she held the phone back to her ear. “What the fuck are you doing! Didn’t you hear me? I told you already—!”
“Stop yelling, damn it!” Rohan placed his hand on his forehead. He was beginning to regret ever wasting his time using his stand on this girl. “I just picked up the line,” he sighed, in an attempt to collect himself. “What’s going on?”
Haruhi shook her head, tired of repeating herself. “Yukako and Josuke are—” she paused. “Wait, that wasn’t you before? O-on the phone just now?”
“No?” He sat up, hanging his long legs off the bed. “Like I just told you, I just got on the line now.” His voice was dripping with irritation.
“Then who was,” Haruhi covered her mouth as she realized that this could mean only one thing. She laughed hard, almost hyena-like at this new development.
Rohan pulled the phone away from his ear as he stared at it, disturbed by her laughter.
“O-oh, Rohan, this is just perfect!” She wiped her eye of a tear. “Turns out I never needed you after all.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“I spoke with someone on the phone before you picked up,” she said, while cheesing evilly. “Now that could mean two things. Koichi could’ve picked up and he’s the one off to catch Josuke and Yukako in the act. Or the idiot Okuyasu was the one that answered.” She laughed again. “Though I’m hoping, no, I’m praying it was Koichi!”
Rohan’s heart dropped into his stomach. This was probably the worst possible scenario of what could happen right now. The last thing he wanted was for Koichi to be hurt. If Koichi was going to be broken up with, Rohan wanted him to be let down gently. If he was going to be cheated on, Rohan wanted to be the one to lessen the blow by telling him! It wasn’t supposed to be like this! Anything but this…!
Rohan threw the phone down and ran out the door to see Koichi nearly flying down the steps of the stairs and turning down the hall towards Josuke’s room. “Wait! Koichi-kun, w-where you going?” His voice cracked while he called out to him. “K-kitchen’s this way!”
But it was useless. Koichi kept trudging forward down the east hall to Josuke’s room. It can’t be true. It can’t be true. It can’t be true…!
Rohan was right behind him as Koichi finally turned the handle and opened the door to see his girlfriend in the arms of another. Rohan remained behind him, not wanting to believe what he was seeing either. He may have hated Josuke and Yukako for his own reasons, but he could have never imagined that they could actually be capable of hurting Koichi like this. It made him furious, in a way that manifested itself as an ache in his chest.
Betrayal like this was previously unfathomable to Koichi, but suddenly everything was beginning to make sense.
“I see…” Koichi said lowly with all eyes trained on him. “So, last night after you left me behind… You went here…” Her plush robe, the discarded nightie and shirtless Josuke gave him a clear picture of the events that had unfolded within the walls of the room. “And those days you were ignoring me…? Then too? And at Josuke’s party too, huh?”
Yukako said nothing. She only stared at him with horrified eyes and an open mouth.
Josuke took one look at her and then flicked his gaze over to Koichi. “Koichi, it’s not like how it looks—We’re a lot more than—!”
“I’M NOT TALKING TO YOU!” Koichi pointed at Josuke then at Yukako. His hair suddenly flew upwards into spikes. “I’m talking to her! You had the audacity to practically interrogate me last night about whether or not I love you when you’re doing this to me?!”
“I’m… so sorry…!” Her shoulders shook as she sobbed. “T-the l-last thing… The last thing I wanted was for anyone to get hurt…!”
“You didn’t want hurt anyone? Did I hear that right?” Koichi started to shake, after hearing her poor excuse of an apology.
I’m sorry too, Koichi-kun. I couldn’t protect you from this heart ache. But… I know how—I know how I can fix all of this. Rohan thought as Heaven’s Door silently materialized.
“Because that’s literally the opposite effect you would leave had you actually thought of me! Is this what I get?! FOR GIVING YOU ANOTHER CHANCE—!”
Koichi collapsed face first on the floor without another word. His body unfurling into pages of paper. Both of Josuke and Yukako’s eyes darted to Rohan as they realized what he had done.
“Rohan! What are you doing—?!” Yukako suddenly fainted backwards in Josuke’s arms with her face also bursting into paper by the flick of Heaven’s Door’s wrist.
“Yukako?!” Josuke shook the girl in his arms as if his life depended on it before summoning his own stand. Crazy Diamond towered over him, menacingly staring down the artist in the doorway.
“Wait,” Rohan said, approaching him cautiously. “Listen to me… I know how to fix this.”
Josuke grit his teeth while punching the mattress. "Damn it…!" He stared at Yukako, completely lifeless like the paper her skin had turned into. Crazy Diamond began to fade as he glanced in Rohan’s direction. “What… Are you planning?”
Rohan exhaled before kneeling down to Koichi. “Part of Heaven’s Door’s ability is being able to make someone follow any command I choose.” He held out a pen as he flipped through the pages opened on Koichi’s back. Josuke’s eyes followed Rohan’s hand as he wrote something down onto the boy on the floor. “Another ability it has is access to one’s memories. Meaning, I can erase everyone’s memories of this event. I can make it disappear like it never happened.”
Like if it never even happened? But wouldn’t that just mean—
“That would still leave the issue of Koichi being cheated on. Yes,” Rohan continued as he drew closer to the pair on the bed. “That’s why,” he lifted his hand towards Josuke. “I’m going to erase your memories of ever starting this affair with her in the first place.”
Chapter 15: In Bloom
There's nowhere to run now that Rohan knows the truth of Josuke and Yukako's relationship.
If you're here, that means you've made it to the end! It truly has been an interesting and emotional journey for me while writing this. I feel like a new door has opened for me ever since I started writing Crimson and Clover and my life has a new purpose. Sorry if that sounds lame or over the top but this story has been a big part of my life for ten months now and I want to thank all of you for joining me and giving your support whether it has been through comments or kudos.
Thank you all so much and I hope you enjoy the final chapter! <3
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Josuke couldn’t believe the words that had fallen from Rohan’s mouth.
“I’m going to erase your memories of ever starting this affair with her in the first place.”
The lump in Josuke’s throat felt like stone as he gulped it down. Josuke looked down at Yukako’s sleeping face, beautiful even when encapsulated in paper. Her features have translated into delicate origami which urged him to be brave. “Rohan,” he coughed out. “You’ve gotta think this over,” Josuke took a breath before staring him down. “You can’t—you can’t just do that—erase our memories, I mean.”
“Why not?” Rohan remained unmoved as Josuke met his sharp eyes. “If being your friend and her boyfriend makes Koichi-kun happy then I’m willing to do what it takes to protect that.”
He’s fucking lost it… Josuke sighed.
It was as if Rohan was holding Josuke at gunpoint. Any sudden moves, any wrong words and…
He and the other hostages are shot dead by the rogue artist. But rather than die, his memories are stolen. The girl he loves is ripped away from him with neither of them even knowing it. He wondered if that was a fate worse than death.
Is this my punishment for what I’ve done…? Is this what I deserve?
Rohan quietly stalked toward Josuke. He held up his metaphorical gun before he pulled the trigger and blew them all away. The teenager’s face slowly started fluttering open when he said,
“I think I’d rather die.”
His face flew shut as Rohan jumped backward. “Y-you would rather what…?”
“I said, I would rather die than let you take her away from me.”
Rohan felt himself shift from captor to captive as he became entranced watching the boy calmly talk. He cradled the girl’s cheek in his hand, not once looking up from her face.
“I’ve been a shitty friend—a fucking terrible friend, actually,” Josuke chuckled as he shook his head. His bitter tears fell from his eyes and onto her face below. “I think I thought about his feelings maybe once this entire time. I honestly don’t deserve to have a friend like him,” Josuke laughed again. “I almost fucking hate him for being so unhateable, y’know? It’s no wonder she fell in love with him first… Right?” He stared up at Rohan’s face. Josuke’s forced smile fractured into a sob as he placed his forehead onto hers. “This is so fucked…”
Rohan fell to his knees as he watched the boy cry. The boy whose memories he came prepared to wipe clean. The boy he resented for beating him to a pulp over a comment about his stupid hairstyle. The boy he absolutely fucking hated. That same boy was crying and crying over that girl.
How could that girl have the ability within her to make these boys act completely beyond themselves? It bewildered Rohan. From what he understood, Yamagishi Yukako was utterly insane. Besides her tendency to be violent, she was brash, insecure, jealous, and a laundry list of other unpleasant character traits a person could have. So what was it about this shrew of a girl that made these boys lose themselves over her?
Could it be that she has changed?
He tried to connect the dots between the scribbled lines of the unfinished sketch Josuke left in front of him. The undone line work needed color, something so this picture could come to life. Something so this could all make sense.
His eyes focused when he heard the boy sniffling as he lifted his head to look at him. “Rohan, I know,” he inhaled deeply before continuing. “I know I don’t deserve it, but, please, please don’t take her from me.”
Higashikata Josuke has actually matured?
Josuke’s eyes burned as he rubbed the tears from them. When he looked again at Rohan his face was blank. Josuke had his heart, his entire soul out there on the line bleeding as his body trembled with dread. In return, he’s given nothing. Just a meaningless stare in his direction.
Are you two really in love?
“I-I,” he stumbled desperate for feedback, desperate for anything. “I love her!” he choked out as eyes started welling with tears once more. “Goddamn it not again…!” he said underneath his breath. Again there was something so precious to him, that couldn’t be fixed with the swing of a fist.
Rohan stood up silently, before dusting off his pants. Josuke watched his cold eyes while the artist raised his hand…
… and shot him dead.
“They’re draped over each other like some kind of modern Romeo and Juliet,” Rohan murmured as he sat besides the unconscious couple. If you didn’t know any better you would assume they were just sleeping while tangled in each other’s arms. “I suppose that makes me the poison.”
He glanced at Josuke then at Yukako. He had the pen in his hand, ready to fulfill the job he had assigned it. But when the girl’s face became open, he became overwhelmed with curiosity. How did Yukako go from psychotic stalker hellbent on being Koichi’s girlfriend to cheating on him with his best friend? He had heard Josuke’s side, so it only made sense to hear hers as well.
So, he flipped through the pages of her face to unleash the unfiltered sequence of events that had been going on over the span of a few weeks.
Pages and pages detailed her early life with seemingly meaningless events, like learning how to ride a bicycle on her own, to finally now as a teenager being socially isolated and terribly insecure. Rohan paused when he came to the page about a certain stand user, Tsuji Aya, owner of the Cinderella Beauty Salon in Morioh.
“‘My fairy godmother Aya granted me my “wish” and fixed my face so Koichi-kun would fall in love with me,’” Rohan raised a brow as he read the entry aloud. “‘He even stayed after I became ugly and promised to be blinded if he couldn’t find my actual face. But he did find my actual face, because of course he would! True love always conquers all.’”
How immature… ‘True love.’ He scoffed.
“‘I’m so happy Koichi-kun and I are finally together… But sometimes I wonder if it were not for Cinderella would Koichi-kun have ever been able to grow to love me on his own. If I were to ever approach him, would he have been willing to forgive me? We’ve been through a lot, of course, but how much of our relationship is Cinderella and how much is him? I just wonder if now he sees the real me.’”
“‘I feel so confused. I should be happy. Koichi-kun and I are together like I’ve always wanted, but I can’t help but feel like there’s something wrong about this.’”
Rohan flipped forward a few pages.
“‘I only agreed to studying with Josuke because I wanted to quash this curiosity about him and then he had to go and kiss me. Who the hell does he think he is doing that?! What will I do now? I can’t even bare to look Koichi-kun now… This is all my fault for giving into this stupid curiosity of mine.’”
“‘Ever since Josuke gave me The Giving Tree, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. I feel terrible, but wonderful all at once. It’s like a rollercoaster my heart can’t get off of. One day, I think Josuke is repulsive and I love Koichi with all my heart, then the next day I feel like I know nothing about Koichi or even about me at all. Koichi, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.’”
“‘Josuke-kun brought me to the most lovely place today, a bookstore in S-City. Where the Wild Things Are is one of my most favorite stories now. He told me on the way home that he’ll always be there for me regardless of what happens with our relationship. I think I may really be falling for him… I wish I could go back and tell myself what I know now. Never go crazy or go to Cinderella. I wish I could just start all over, and let love happen to me naturally… I never knew it could, but it can and I’m finally so happy.’”
‘I’m finally so happy…’
She’s finally so happy to be in love?
Rohan mulled over that thought for what felt to him like centuries. He glanced at Josuke before writing something down on Yukako’s and Koichi’s faces. He picked up the small boy and hoisted him over his shoulder before walking out the door. “You’re not so bad, Josuke…” he said before closing the door behind him.
Heaven’s Door wore off the two as Rohan got further and further away from the room. The girl stirred in his arms before her eyes fluttered open. She rolled on her side to see him starting to wake up. “Jo… Josuke-kun…?”
Josuke sat up, straightening his back into a stretch as he yawned. “My… My head hurts like hell.”
“Josuke-kun!” She wrapped him desperately in her arms as she asked, “Oh, what just happened? I feel so uneasy for some reason… As if you were going to go away,” her voice started to falter at that final word. “F-far away from me.”
His body felt the same tension she had described, but like Yukako he had no idea why. Josuke shook his head as he tucked her head tenderly to his chest. “I don’t know why you do, maybe it was just a bad dream you had, but what I do know is,” he paused so she could meet his eyes. “I’m not going anywhere. I’d die before—”
I would rather die than let you take her away from me.
The words and the memories from his exchange with Rohan flooded his mind validating the fear and the nerves he had felt before. Yukako was right—he was about to be forced away from her, but something had made Rohan change his mind. The last thing I remember was begging him not to do it… But why put me under Heaven’s Door if he was going to let us go—
“Josuke-kun?” Yukako asked with a hint of worry in her soft voice. “You were in the middle of saying something?”
“S-sorry…” He could tell she was on the verge of crying as he watched all the shades of blue swirl together in her eyes. “I just wanted you to know that you’re so precious to me.” He laid a kiss on her forehead before setting his chin atop of her head. “I’ll never leave you alone. I would rather die than allow someone to come between us again.”
It was as if Josuke had a talent in setting her fears away with his words. “Oh, Josuke-kun.” She smiled to herself with closed eyes. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” he said as he soothed her hair as if she were a purring cat in his arms.
“Wait a second,” she breathed softly before continuing. “What did you mean by ‘again’?”
“Huh?” he peered down at her.
“You said you would rather die than allow someone to come between us again?” she asked without a hint of irony. “So, who was between us a first time?”
Was she joking? Did she somehow manage to forget the circumstances that were currently plaguing them or?
“Yukako, um,” Josuke started. “There’s still a big thing we need to take care of. Y’know, the whole deal with a certain Hirose Koichi we know.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Uhhh, he’s kinda still your boyfriend?”
“W-what!” her eyes nearly fell out of her head. “No, he’s not! Did you h-hit your head or something because him and I were never together! M-maybe I would’ve wanted that before, but,” she looked away while fidgeting the sleeves of her robe. “Ever since we started dating I’ve told you that I only had eyes for you! You know this!”
Koichi and her were never together? Ever since we started dating? But that would mean…
Josuke’s eyes grew large as he realized what he had done. He still had no idea how to react to this new reality they were in, so he only held her close. “Thank you,” he mumbled as his eyes watered again. “Thank you so much…”
“A-ah! Josuke-kun, don’t cry!” she squeezed him close. “I’m still working on managing my anger, if I was too harsh I’m very sorry. The last thing I want is for you to cry.”
“N-no, Yukako, that’s not it at all,” Josuke laughed softly while patting his eyes. “I’m just so happy,” he placed his hand on her cheek and looked at her in order to drink in her radiance. “Everything’s fine now, because we’re free.”
“Free?” she tilted her head like a confused puppy.
“Yes,” he laughed before kissing her. “Like flowers growing in an empty field… I can see it now, Yukako.” He paused while her face shed its confusion in exchange for faith. “Can you?”
It was as if the sun had finally come out watching her smile.
“Yes, yes I can, Josuke-kun.”
As always I can be found on Tumblr under the same name: http://erunapendleton.tumblr.com/
I have some ideas for stories in the future, but I'm open for suggestions!
Chapter 16: House of the Rising Sun
Rohan ponders the weight of his actions.
My boyfriend gave me the idea to have a one-shot starring Rohan, because is it really Jojo without a Rohan OVA? (#VentoAureoWhen lol)
I wasn't sure about how to write it, so I gave him some ideas and suggestions and he came up this one-shot!
I'm really pleased with it and I hope everyone that enjoyed Crimson and Clover will find this to be a treat!
Our tumblrs are linked below if you ever feel like dropping by:
mine: http://bit.ly/2rIBQ4e (shit posts and memes)
his: http://bit.ly/2DMuphc (tiddies are afoot, jsyk)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
As the sunlight sliced through the darkness of the night, the soft glow of a summer’s morning ebbed through linen curtains.
“I wonder if I made the right choice…” a conflicted artist inquired. The weight of this unconscious boy piggybacking him peacefully was much heavier than any numerical value could ever imply. Rohan’s heavy footsteps thundered raspy creaks out of every dry, wooden stair. “Playing with his emotions like this, someone whom I consider my best friend, someone whose genuineness was something I held so dear; dear God, what have I done.” The hallway atop the staircase was still coated in black; there were no windows.
The humidity of a Morioh summer was exasperated by the house’s proximity to the ocean. The mugginess of the room was worsened by both of the burdens Rohan had to bear. Palming the walls and brushing his free arm widely across, he groped and prodded through the darkness, hoping to feel the familiar coolness of brass. After wafting his hands over nothing for a few seconds, he’d finally tok’d his knuckle on Koichi’s doorknob, and grasped it. The texture of the tarnished metal, the moistness of the condensed droplets of water on the shiny, pure alloy, the slickness of his clammy hands against the quickly warming metal; this sensory cocktail was downed like a shot. The burning in his chest, the heaviness in his stomach, the looming pain wrapped around his shoulders and buckled around his waist; this drink was psychology given form.
The room was softly illuminated by the encroaching sunlight behind thick, rayon curtains. He heaved the boy into his arms, and gently laid his head on the pillow, puffing out softly and scrunching as he sunk slowly into it. He looked peaceful laying there – not an air of concern, not a single wrinkle across his brow to signal the grotesque situation that had just unfolded before him not more than an hour before. The anger of seeing his love ripped from him, ardent pangs of contempt aimed directly towards his best friend-
All gone. This gilded peace; gold plated lead achieved through a farce- the dregs of genuine emotion, reality- all swirling down gently as the faucet’s deluge rendered the granules of truth imperceptible, flowing wistfully down into the drain’s abyss. Sitting beside the sleeping boy, the artist had mulled over what he’d wrought.
RING! RING! RI-CLICK
Rohan quickly answered the phone on the nightstand before it could interrupt Koichi’s rest.
“Hello?” sighed Kishibe Rohan, channeling Aya’s drained demeanor. Who could this possibly be, he groaned to himself internally. Why would anyone call at this hour of the mor-
“HEY ASSHOLE! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?” Shocked from his existential dread, Rohan scrambled to dial the volume button down to reduce the dreadful assault on his ears. Once the noise induced tinnitus had cleared, he heard the huffing and puffing of an out of breath and audibly upset Haruhi Adachi. “That wasn’t the plan at all! What happened to ruining their lives? Not only did you not do that, but you let them get away with it?! WHY DIDN’T YOU LET ME KNOW YOU HAD HEAVEN’S DOOR WE COULD’VE USED THAT! YOU FUCKING MORON YOU-◆ ♐&♌⬧”!”
Rohan kindly tuned her out once the content of her rant went off the deep end. The girl continued her barrage of profanity and slurs that not even the famed Kishibe Rohan would care to experience. Tasting spiders were one thing, and endangering the lives of high school students was another, but the insolence of a bratty teen? What a bitch, he thought, with a firm and newfound resolve. How would I go about getting out of this situation I find myself in? How would I write this? Rohan was deep in thought while the Haruhi shouting ASMR droned on in the background. After a few “FUCKS,” a handful of “BAD ARTIST,” and a dash of “SHIT MANGAKA,” the lightbulb above the writer’s head flickered on.
He remembered how he treated his friends these past few days. Yukako is just a girl with conflicted emotion. Josuke, as bad a guy as he is, was just responding to the reciprocal bond between him and Yukako; a bond that had burned so furiously, he was compelled to betray one of his closest friends. Worst of all, he risked damaging Koichi, the one he cherished most. Everyone here was a victim of circumstance, and though he knew both Yukako and Josuke made some scummy moves, he could’ve helped them fix their mess instead of actively seeking their destruction hand-in-hand with the brat prattling on in the background. Some friend I was, he thought, I guess it’s time for a redemption arc. With a quick glance at Koichi to reaffirm his thought, he took a deep breath, and spoke thusly:
“Haruhi,” Rohan started. Taken by surprise, the artist’s calm, yet authoritative demeanor quelled the storm escaping her mouth. Holding court like a king, he continued: “I thought I was sure of what I wanted to do, but when the opportunity to achieve this goal of mine, of ours, I couldn’t. At the end of the day, these guys, as much as we bicker and quarrel...they’re…” Rohan exhaled and inhaled to strengthen his tone amidst overflowing emotion, “they’re my friends. I couldn’t live with myself if I went through with ruining their lives. Yamagishi Yukako and Josuke – I’ve seen her heart. The way she loves that guy with the stupid hair, the big dumb smile that gets slapped on her face every moment she’s with him, the way her soul churns passionately at the mere mention of his name. That is true love. Whether it will last or not is something that remains to be seen, but the force that echoes throughout every throb of that girl’s heart is something that just never existed with Koichi. And that’s the truth. That’s why I did what I did. They’re my friends. This bond that we have, this sometimes painfully artificial but still entirely natural connection postulated by circumstance, but also seemingly by fate. It’s something I want to protect. I hope you can understand, and I hope, maybe you and Yukako ought to start over.”
There was a long pause. It was if time itself had stopped. But only for a momen-
“REALLY!? THAT’S WHY YOU RUINED MY PLAN? FUCK YOU! You’re telling me you’re fucking up this whole operation for some Kumbaya bullshit!?” The light static on the phone transmitted Haruhi’s seething rage oddly well. “You’d do your best to avoid making an enemy of me, you piece of shit mangaka!”
“Oh?” Rohan perked up and crossed his legs as if he were seated on a throne. The tone of his voice, the candor of his poise - it was as if his body had declared victory. “And what would you do, little girl? You gonna spy on me with your glorified camera? You gonna watch me in the shower? Oh no! Some high schooler is watching me!” Only sheer smugness emanated from Rohan’s voice. “Listen here, Haruhi. Your stand’s capabilities are a minor annoyance at best. It’s a one trick pony, and that’s the truth. If I ever come across that gross stand of yours, I’d have no conniptions about writing that stand out of the history books. You’d do well to not make an enemy of ME. Do-you-un-der-stand, Haruhi-chan?”
Haruhi could only respond with silence – her breaths hastened, and her lips audibly quivered over her phone’s sensitive mouthpiece. Before Rohan could fire another salvo of condescension-
-the line had disconnected.
Just as I was getting into it… the artist thought to himself. After all that’s happened, a little indulgence in destroying the brat’s ego wouldn’t hurt. He wasn’t sure if she had matured, nor did he really care. At least everything seems to have been resolved. A good ending is all he could’ve hoped for this novella length adventure. He placed the phone into its dock, producing a thick clatter. The sheets behind him rustled gently. The rubbing of cloth-on-cloth, a sharp inhale – it was instantly dismissed with the return of calm, soft breaths. The boy had awoken.
“Ugh… Rohan-sensei? What are you doing here?” He sounded like there were a frog in his throat, escaping as the words left his. Now sitting up and rubbing his eyes with his palm, he looked less like a young adult and more like someone straight out of elementary school. He was fragile, but sturdy in his own unique way. His bedhead flicked cowlicks up, left, and right. Doubtlessly, this was someone without a single care in the world; the betrayals, the anger, the sadness, all erased from the annals of his mind.
Rohan silently observed the situation before him. This is what I wanted to preserve…Koichi-kun; I think… I know I made the right choice, he thought to himself. He felt a great weight had been lifted from his chest. Rohan’s body, maudlin from the day’s events, moved on its own. He pulled the boy in and gently wrapped his arms around him. Squeezing him firmly in sincere embrace. “I’m just looking out for you is all, Koichi-kun. I’m glad that everything is okay.”
“Uhhh… Thanks Rohan-sensei…? Could you please get off of me?” Koichi wriggled around to loosen Rohan’s grip. “This is getting kind of weird!”
“Heh – I guess you’re right!” Rohan let the boy scrunch back up into bed as he made his way to the door. He opened it, crossed to the other side, and poked his head inside to say: “Sleep well, Koichi-kun.” He twisted the knob as he shut the door to subdue the mechanical sounds produced by the knob’s action. The hallway glowed a dull yellow – the pale walls bounced the embers of light that emerged from the first floor.
Keeping everyone in mind, Rohan made sure to take feather-light steps. Still, the floors softly groaned as he made his way down. The humidity must’ve pervaded the porous wood and dampened his weight. As he reached the last stair, the relative brightness made Rohan wince. Once his eyes had adjusted, he appreciated the serenity of the scene before him: the blissful radiance of a summer’s morning had cast itself throughout the room, bathing it in light.
Okie so Crimson and Clover is wrapped with a lil bow for real this time hehe