Shuichi Minamino leaned back in his desk chair Holding his phone against his ear. The only light in the dorm room other than the moonlight from the window came from the glow of the laptop screen in front of him.
"Mother, please don't worry about me," he begged.
"Of course I worry about you. You're so far away," she said.
"I am only an hour and a half away," the redhead pointed out. "I am fine. Please just look after yourself. Your doctor said that stress is not good for your recovery."
'Recovery' was perhaps the wrong word to use. Shuichi was fully aware that his mother's illness was incurable and would eventually end her life.
"Do you need any money, sweetheart? For new clothes? Books?"
"No, mother. I do not need anything. I have everything taken care of."
After his mother finally hung up the phone after telling him to be sure he got a good night's sleep, Shuichi set the phone down and went back to his laptop. He was doing homework. Not his own, though.
"Why do you always tell her you don't need anything?"
The question came from the other side of the room and he turned to see his roommate's face peeking out from beneath his covers, crimson eyes regarding him with mild contempt.
His roommate continued; "She wants to help you but you won't let her. Instead, you decide to start this ridiculous business writing papers and doing homework for students too lazy or stupid to do it for themselves. Seems like a lot of unnecessary trouble to me."
Shuichi frowned. "What I do is not your business," he told Hiei stiffly. Shuichi was a very private person and preferred that none of his classmates knew that his mother was ill. He had started the business Hiei was referring to because he didn't want her to have to worry about finding money to provide him with books or clothes. He tried to remain as self-sufficient as possible. He operated the business through e-mail using the alias 'Kurama' to protect his identity.
"Suit yourself. Just don't fall asleep at your desk again." Hiei turned away from him, burying himself in the covers once again.
Shuichi turned back to the laptop and started on his work, stifling a yawn as he did so. He knew it would be yet another long night.
Shuichi did fall asleep at his desk and was awakened by a light kick to his ankle. His short spiky haired roommate stood beside him, fully dressed and glaring at him.
"Hurry up or you'll be late," he said grumpily.
Shuichi staggered ungracefully to his feet, massaging his neck and searching for his uniform. He'd already set it out over his dresser the night before so he had no trouble finding it.
"Thank you," he said but his only answer came in the sound of the door shutting after the dark haired boy. Shuichi shook his head. He really didn't know much at all about Hiei, despite the fact that they'd been roommates for months now. The side of the room belonging to Hiei was bare of anything personal. No photos or posters covered the walls. His desk contained only his schoolwork and supplies.
Not that Shuichi was in a position to judge. There were no posters on his side of the room either though he did have a photo of his mother sitting in a frame on his desk. A small bonsai tree sat on his dresser. It had been a present from his mother when he had left to attend the boarding school. Shuichi was very fond of plants.
He finished dressing and grabbed his phone, hastily checking to be sure he'd e-mailed the assignments he'd completed last night to the respective clients. He then tucked his phone into his pocket and hurried out of the room.
Despite the fact that students had the option of remaining in their classrooms or the cafeteria for lunch, Shuichi preferred to sit outside, especially when the weather was pleasant, as it was today. He found the noise of his classmates' chatter distracting. He would often eat his lunch at one of the tables scattered across the school grounds and study at the same time. Today, however, found him slumped over the table, fast asleep.
"Hey, man!" A light tug on his long, red hair brought the teenager out of his slumber.
"Mmmm... Yusuke?" He asked, blinking blearily up at the dark haired boy smirking at him. Instead of the usual blue uniform of the school, Yusuke wore a green jumpsuit. His hair was slicked back with gel. He had the reputation of a delinquent but he had befriended Shuichi last year. Despite his roughness he had a good heart. He was really the only person Shuichi could call a friend. While the other students liked him well enough, he wasn't close to any of them.
"Let me guess." Yusuke placed his finger under his chin and pretended to think. "Wild party, right? Hot girls, booze and strip poker?"
Shuichi laughed. Yusuke often talked as though they were in college, not high school. "No. I was working on homework," he said.
"Aw, man, you need to get a life," Yusuke told him. "Though, speaking of homework..."
Shuichi sighed. "Which one this time?" Yusuke was one of Shuichi's best clients. He was the only client who knew of Shuichi's identity and dealt with him face-to-face. Though Hiei knew of Shuichi's scheme he had never made use of it himself.
Yusuke wrinkled his nose. "Maths," he said.
Shuichi reached into his pocket for his phone to note down the details of Yusuke's request but was puzzled to find it wasn't there. He searched under the papers on the table but found nothing.
"Something wrong?" Yusuke asked.
"I seem to have misplaced my phone," Shuichi said. He was certain he'd had it when he'd sat down.
"It'll turn up," Yusuke said flippantly. "Happens to me all the time."
"But I am sure I had it in my pocket," Shuichi muttered.
The bell that announced class would begin shortly pierced the air. Yusuke clapped Shuichi on the shoulder. "Talk to you later, man," he said before striding away. Shuichi gathered up his papers and the remains of his lunch. His phone was still nowhere to be found.