“Budo-nii, what do you do when you have a crush?”
All together, he was having a pretty good day. He’d only been told to “tone it down” once today in class. He recruited a new member to his club today-a spirited girl named Shima Shita. Club today was extra exciting and full of good attitude until it was late. He came home, ate his dinner with his wonderful family. He did his after dinner workout, took a nice cold shower, and sat on the couch with his wonderful sister until it was time for homework.
To sum up, it was a good day that he could be content about. That is until his little sister looked over to him and asked him that question. This was the very last thing he’d ever expect to hear from her, he didn’t expect this until after she graduated college and introduced them all to her fiance. Afterall, she was his little - kid sister. Children shouldn’t be wondering about those things! They’re supposed to be playing with dolls or watching Disney movies… ok all ages did that but still !
It didn’t help that she was practically the shortest person at their school, and she was more petite than any other girl. She was also probably the girliest, not feminine, girliest . All her clothes and trinkets were either pastel, frilly, had cute animals on them, or mixes and matches of each other. With her high voice and tiny frame, many mistook her for a first-year middle schooler rather than a first-year high schooler. Not to mention her name was Usagi! She was named after a small-fluffy-creature. How could he even imagine his cute little sister even thinking she had a crush?!
However, he was still the big brother here, the older sibling. He was supposed to be mature about this, and give her great advice but warn her that she was still too young to do anything like dating… Or at least that’s what Budo thought, but he was still paralyzed by the question that he just kept smiling at Usagi with a blank-dead look. At this point his mind was going in a frenzy trying to comprehend what the little doe-eyed girl just asked him.
Usagi kept staring up at him curiously, and finally sighed and got up from the couch. Budo could barely comprehend that she was walking out of the living room, and he almost missed her yelling “Masuta-san! Budo-nii broke!” across the house.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Budo would agree that freezing up was not the most “big-brotherly-thing” he could have done, but he was still at a lost of what to do. He couldn’t even concentrate on his homework as it sat in front of his face… and that meant right on his face. He face planted right onto his desk and his math paper was where his face rested. ‘How did this happen?’ He thought utterly confused.
Usagi was his adopted sister, but she was his sister no less. She was the apitamly of childish innocence. She had light orange hair that wasn’t exactly curly, but it was very frizzy and wild; big dark brown eyes; and freckles that ran across the bridge of her nose. She was a friendly girl, and he didn’t want that ruined. So, as her brother he felt it was his duty to protect her from whoever she’s trying to give her heart to.
Now filled with a purpose, he sat up straight with a confident smile on his face-and his homework still stuck to his forehead. ‘I’ll find this boy and give him a good one-on-one talk about the value of girls!’ Just as he was planning out exactly what he’d say, he realized he was missing one important piece of information… ‘Who is he again?’
Realizing he was too lost in just the idea that Usagi liked someone, Budo hadn’t even thought to ask who she has a crush on. He finally took the work paper off his forehead and placed it back on his desk, and he tried to think closely about this. School had just started just a little over three months ago, and this was her first year there, so it could be someone she didn’t know back in middle school… which was everyone at the highschool. Could it be someone in her class? It could be an upperclassman…
The thought occurred to ask her, but he thought he heard something about a “maiden’s pride” that meant she wouldn’t tell him. So, if he wanted to find out who it was, he’d have to figure it out himself. He didn’t know much about detective work, but he was determined he could do it if it was for Usagi!
. . . . . . . . . . . .
‘Could it be him? He’s a little too tall, and I don’t know if she likes tall boys. What about him? I don’t think Usagi would like an Occult boy, but who really knows. What about-’
“Budo-nii?” Usagi asked.
Snapped out of his searching, he looked back down at the small girl with an immediate smile on his face. She had her fluffy hair up in pigtails with pink ribbons, and her bangs clipped to the side with a little bunny clip. “Yes Usagi?” He said a little loud.
She raised an orange brow at him. “Whatcha doing?”
Now, Budo had no real experience at lying, nor did he really believe that lying was ever a good thing. However, he was taught a thing or two about changing the subject from his female classmates. So, he thought carefully over the perfect thing to say in order to get her off his tracks. “Nothing what are you doing?” He said with a big smile that twitched at the corners.
Usagi gave him a blank stare that slowly carved away at Budo’s will. Eventually-when Budo was shaking and turning paper white-Usagi just dropped her stare and looked on ahead. “Whatever you say.”
Budo kept himself from letting out a sigh of relief as they walked through the gate of the school. They said their cheerful hellos to Taiso-Sensei and made their way to the building. While they both changed out of their shoes, Budo went back to scoping over every face that surrounded them.
He watched Usagi wave and smile at friends and classmates until they reached his club room, and she waved off to him too as she made her way to her friends. He didn’t see her when it was time to head to class, and by the time class started he was no closer to figuring out who she had a crush on.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
It was finally lunch, and the Martial Arts club was getting set up. Budo was, of course, ready to go for some quick training. While the other members were getting ready, Budo was waiting for Usagi to come by and eat her lunch in the club room with him-as she did every Wednesday. He was prepared to try continuing the investigation to figuring this out. Last night he checked through the internet to figure out how to tell if a girl has a crush someone, and it said: red faced, change in stance, and overall giddiness.
Now, there were plenty of options in the school for possibly crushes, but if Budo had to pick from the very best his first choice would of course be someone from the Martial Arts club! So, once Usagi came in, it would be time to test his theory.
“Is something funny Senpai?”
Budo snapped out of his daze and looked down at Mina-possibly his best pupil so far-who looked at him with a confused look. “What do you mean?” He asked, returning her confusion.
She just raised her brow up at him. “You’re grinning an awful lot. I was wondering if it was something we did.”
He smiled proudly at his pupil. “I’m just extra excited for Usagi’s visit today!” He was determined to figure out who in the club was the lucky guy-that he would have to give a whole line of questioning to.
At that Mina stared at him for a moment before giving him a small smile in response. “I see. You really do care about your sister Senpai.”
Just as Budo was about to go off and say how true that was, the newest member piped up. “Usagi-san? I think she said she was going to eat in the classroom.” Shima said calmly.
. . . ‘What?’ Budo’s smile was still intact, but his face went pale and lifeless… Then it took him a moment to regain back color. “I think you must have misheard.” He reached into his pocket to pull out his phone. “If she wasn’t coming today she would have tex-”
“something came up
wont be able to go to the dojo today
Budo was once again pale and lifeless.
Suspect 1: Martial Arts member… DISPROVEN
. . . . . . . . . . . .
'That didn't go as planned.' Budo thought to himself.
He had left the dojo-but didn't change out-and left Mina in charge as he walked over to Usagi's class. It's not that she cancelled on him, it's the fact that she was so last minute about it that made him curious and concerned. So, as the older brother that he is, he decided to go and figure out why she did-now putting thoughts about the "boy" aside.
Once he reached the classroom, he opened the door in the way that he did-that makes the teachers worry he'll break the door-and looked at all the confused faces. "Does anyone know where Usagi is?"
With that the room was filled with a sudden wave of realization. Budo was unaware to the reputation he had-even with the first-years-as a sort of "siscon," but almost all took it with a light heart. Almost everyone on in class 1-1 had a fond smile as they looked to their senpai.
"She went to the class 1-2 to see Mantaro Sashimasu." Someone finally piped up, who it was Budo didn't notice.
As soon as he heard the name-recognizing it as a boy he'd seen before-thoughts poured into his head. He didn't notice that the class looked at him concerned as he went pale all over again.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Within a minute, Budo had opened the door to classroom 1-2, and quickly scanned for the black haired boy. Once he found him-with said person’s eyes wide-Budo quickly walked over to him. He smiled down at the first-year, but his smile was slightly strained. “Hello, you’re Sashimasu-san, right?”
The boy nervously looked up at the “strongest” person at school. “Y-Yes. Did you need something Masuta-Senpai?”
‘He’s polite enough to address a senor properly, but he looks nervous. Why is he nervous? Is he usually nervous? Is someone like that good for Usagi?’ Budo panicked in his head. The strain in his smile was due to this panic, but from an onlooker it looked like it was strained out of anger. “Yes, I was just wondering a bit about you. After all we’re both in clubs that focus on pushing ourselves physically, and you are new to this school. So, what kind of person are you?” Budo had no idea what he was doing, but he was doing it.
Sashimasu looked up at Budo with a confused look-that went completely over the older boy’s head. “Um… I like sports.”
“Really? Do you have anything you dislike? Are you particularly nice? What do you think about kids? What about-?” Budo then began to come pouring out with questions that were too many, and that were coming out too fast to even understand what he was saying anymore.
The younger boy was vigorously sweating at the pressure of all of it, and his eyes began to practically be just swirls in his face.
“Mantaro-kun, did Usagi-chan give you back your notes?” A voice cut in, and it caught both Budo’s and Sashimasu’s attention.
“Oh right, hold on.” The first year said as he grabbed out a notebook from his desk, and handed it over to the fellow first year. “I just need it back by tomorrow.”
“Sure thing, thanks.”
Budo was left confused at what just happened. Was Usagi just returning notes? Was that a thing girls did when they liked someone? He was pretty sure not, but he’s heard girl classmates of his come up with tactics to get closer to their crush. ‘But would Usagi do that? If she did, wouldn’t she have at least stayed-’
… Budo looked back over to the younger boy, and his smile was gone and replaced with a serious look. “Where’s Usagi?”
Suspect 2: Mantaro Sashimasu… DISPROVEN
. . . . . . . . . . . .
“I-I think she was heading somewhere outside?”
‘What was she doing there?’ Budo wondered to himself as he went over to the exit next to the Occult club. However, his question was answered as soon as it was opened.
He found Usagi-his precious little sister-as she was standing outside the gym with someone. What caught Budo’s attention was that Usagi was smiling with big eyes and her face a light shade of red. A cold chill ran down Budo’s spine as she realized what that meant-through his internet searching.
With this realization, he looked over to the person she was sitting with, and he realized it was Riku Soma.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Budo finally went back to the martial arts club, but his mind was clouded.
He was sure that Usagi had the look of a girl in love, and she had this look while she was chatting with Soma. What other conclusion was there other than Soma was the boy Usagi was talking about. Usagi had a crush!... Well, Budo knew that, but to actually see it was another thing. Plus, he didn’t even know much about Soma. He wanted to talk to the boy, but Usagi was already with him, and he couldn’t leave Mina in charge all lunch period. So, he just left the two alone-much to his discomfort.
Well, now he knew who it was, but now what was he supposed to do ?
… Well… Usagi looked happy. And, from what he understood, Soma was a nice guy. Maybe as a brother, he should just be happy for Usagi… Ok he can’t be completely happy, Usagi is still a child in his eyes. However, he could at least accept that she likes a boy… Yes, accept. That’s an easy enough to work with.
With this thought in mind Budo smiled broadly-much like his usual self-and decided to just go through club normally. “Juku, you need to put more spirit into your kicks!”
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Usagi raised a brow as she looked up at Budo, but Budo just continued to smile at her fondly. “Watcha doing here Budo-nii?” She asked curiously.
Budo could see why it was odd for him to be there. Classes had just ended, so it was time for the students to clean up their classrooms. However, instead of cleaning his own classroom, Budo was down in class 1-1 helping them clean. Odd, yes; but it was also for the sake of his little sister. After all, he wanted to prove that he was supportive here.
In response, he smiled down at her as he cleaned up the chalkboard. “I just wanted to make up for some lost time together.” With that he vigorously wiped away the marks on the board.
“Oh, is it because I didn’t eat lunch at the dojo?” She spoke up. When Budo looked down at her he saw she wiping down a desk.
“Something like that.”
“Well sorry about it being so last minute. I needed to return some notes, and then I needed to talk to someone.”
‘Oh, I know little sister.’ “Oh, I know little sister.” He said with a smile.
Usagi looked up at him confused. “What do you mean-? ...Budo-nii, did you follow me?” Her confusion was replaced with a deadpan stare.
With that Budo immediately shook his head. “Of course not! I was looking for you, and I went to class 1-2, but then I was told you went outside. So, I went to check and I saw you chatting with So-Mm!”
Before he could finish talking, his mouth was quickly covered by the rag Usagi had just used to clean the desk. He looked down at his sister in shock and saw that she was smiling pleasantly. “Hahaha! Budo-nii, you’re so weird!” She spoke loudly.
Then she quickly looked from side to side and then back up at him with a more serious look. “Budo-nii, I know that you’re very carefree sometimes, but you have to be careful with what you say out loud.” She said quietly. With that she pulled back her hand, and placed the rag back on the desk. “If word got out that I was talking to an upperclassman I’d have too many questions to answer, and I don’t feel like dealing with misunderstandings right now.”
This confused Budo even more… “‘Misunderstanding?’ What would they misunderstand?”
“They’d think that I like him-.” Usagi’s eyes slightly widened, and she looked up at Budo. After a second she smiled and let out a “pfft” as she stared at him. “Did you think I liked him Budo-nii?”
“O-Of course not! Why would I think that?” Budo said proudly-trying to hide his embarrassment that he’d gone through class picturing how he’d tell her he was fine with her dating a drama student. “...But out of curiosity, why were you with him?”
Usagi continued to sweetly smile at him. “I was just asking for advice since I know he likes someone too.”
Suspect 3: Riku Soma… DISPROVEN
Budo sighed as he realized his own mistake… again.
Just as he was about to admit to Usagi about it, a voice cut it; “Usagi-chan, can you go with me to the incinerator again?” Budo looked over to see it was Sukubi Dubidu.
Without hesitation, the small girl said: “Sure thing!” Her eyes were wide and sparkling, she had a broad smile across her face, and her face was tinted bright red.
As the pair walked out the door, Budo was left dumbfounded. Why would a second year come down here just to ask for Usagi? Why did Usagi look so excited-as excited as she looked when she was talking to Soma-just to go throw trash with him? Was she so lost in her own giddiness that she couldn’t even say bye to him? . . .
“Uh, Matsuka-senpai, are you going back to your class or...?”
. . . . . . . . . . . .
“Budo-nii? What’s wrong?”
Budo snapped out of it and looked back down at his sister. They were now walking back home, since club activities ended. However, since clean up he’s been pretty stuck on something. Deciding to just say it, he sighed defeated. “Usagi… Dubidu-san is very lazy.”
She looked at him surprised and confused. “Yeah I know.”
“He’s also disorganized, and him and his friends do nothing but idle about in their club room-all the club presidents know it. Not to mention he’s pretty jumpy and easily scared. I also think that-”
“Where are you going with this?”
Budo stopped and looked his sister in the eyes, and his expression was extremely serious. “I want to be supportive for my little sister, but it’s just… Why do you have to like someone like that? I’m worried that if you ever get married you’ll have to constantly be cleaning the house and he won’t even lift a finger. Plus, what’ll he do if a dangerous person comes up to you? He seems like the type that would just leave you to figure it out by yourself! And if you have kids-!”
“Budo-nii!” Usagi’s shout snapped Budo out of his rant, and he looked down at her to see she was looking at him seriously. Her expression softened and she smiled at him like she usually did-like he was her “silly” older brother. “I don’t like Sukubi-san.”
“...But… You went with him to the incinerator?”
Her smile widened at that. “Just because I go with someone somewhere doesn’t mean I like them. Besides, I just go with him because he’s too scared to go by himself. The delinquents give him the creeps.”
Suspect 4: Sukubi Dubidu… DISPROVEN
“Ah…” Budo thought about that. That did make sense. Dubidu was an easily frightened boy-though he didn’t like that he was using his kid sister as a shield. It’d also explain why he made the long trip just for her.
But, what it didn’t explain was why Usagi looked so excited to go. If not to go with Dubidu, then was it to see who was already there? But, how could she already know who was going to be there? The only ones you can be sure to be at the incinerator were-
“Are you ok now Bu-? Budo-nii!”
Immediately-with his face pale and his eyes wide-Budo let go of his bag to grab Usagi by her shoulders. He leaned down to look at her with the expression of pure panic and worry. “Usagi! Please don’t tell me you like any of the delinquents! I know girls seem to have a thing for bad boys, but do you really think that too?! You’re better than that Usagi! I know you can find anyone better at this school! Anyone would be lucky to have you! So please don’t say you like a delinquent! THEY’RE BAD! I MEAN BAD-BAD! SO PLEASE JUST DON’T-”
“Budo-nii! Calm down!” Usagi shouted as she hit-not too hard-him over the head with one of her books.
Budo fell down to his knees as he held his head in his hands, not because of her hit-it didn’t hurt that much-it was because he tried to calm down the fear that his sweet little sister actually like a delinquent of all people!
Usagi squatted down in front of him and put a hand on his shaking shoulder. He looked at her with pleading eyes, and she returned it with a calm look. “Budo-nii, I don’t like any of the delinquent boys. Ok?”
Budo searched her eyes to make sure she wasn’t lying, and when he saw she wasn’t he let out a sigh of relief.
Suspect 5: Any of the delinquent boys… DISPROVEN… Thankfully
He didn’t know what he’d do if he found out his sister liked someone of a bad crowd.
“Is this about last night?” He looked his sister in the eyes as he saw she realized what he’s been doing. “Have you been trying to figure out who I like?”
Usagi’s voice was soft, but Budo felt embarrassed that he’d been discovered. He sighed and scratched the back of his neck. “Yeah. I’ve just been so worried about who you could possibly like. After everything that’s happened since you moved into our family, I’ve been worried that something will happen after we finally got everything under control. Not to mention, you are my little sister. So, as your big brother, all I wanted was to make sure you were ok.”
Silence took over for a moment, and when he looked back at Usagi he saw she was smiling at him fondly. “Budo-nii, if this was stressing you out so much, you could have just asked. I would have been happy to give you the answer.”
...Budo felt himself smile as he looked to his little angel of a sister. Feeling relief finally swell up in his chest, he looked her straight in her big-brown eyes. “Ok, Usagi, who do you like?”
“None of your business.” She didn’t wait a second to answer, and she kept smiling as she looked at him.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Budo found himself once again face planted into his homework sheet as he thought about today. He’d spent the entire day trying to figure out who Usagi liked, and all five times he was wrong. Not to mention his-not so much of an angel but still precious to him-sister told him he needed to mind his own business-all with a smile on her face.
...He supposed that was fair. Even though she was younger and shorter-by a lot-than him, didn’t mean she didn’t know how to take care of herself. Budo couldn’t stop worrying about her for the life of him, but he did think he ought to try letting her handle her own stuff on her own.
It’s just… she has been through a lot, and he was worried if she made the wrong move now, it’ll all just come back all over again.
‘...No.’ Budo pulled himself up and off his homework-that didn’t stick to his face this time. ‘Usagi may not be an adult, but she still knows how to take care of herself. She’s not the same as when she first got here. She’s grown since then-maybe not physically but still-and she’s learned how to handle herself… I’ll just have to put some faith into her for now… But if anyone tries to hurt her again, I’ll make sure to help her with all my might!’ Budo thought confidently as he did his homework.
A new found-but possibly temporary-relief took over him that night.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Usagi sighed as she fell down on top of her bed. Feeling the soft cushion of the mattress made her feel her own sense of relief after a somewhat long day. This whole crush ordeal was new to her, so much so that she’d forgotten to bring her own notes from home and had to borrow from someone in a different class. She tried to ask for advice from Soma-senpai, but she was as unsure as she was since yesterday.
She supposed the way to handle a crush depended from person to person, so she’ll just have to figure out her own way to deal with it…
She also knew she got Budo worried over it, but she doesn’t need him to be worried in the first place. It was her thing, and she didn’t need him getting involved. He was like her older brother, and no one wanted their older brother involved in their romantic life. It was common sense!
...Though, she still felt guilty. He had all rights to be worried. She had a few issues going on when she showed up at the Masuta house, and she needed his help to sort through them… But, those issues were resolved and gone now. So there was no need to worry about it all. Therefore, there was no reason for him to know who she liked.
Not to mention, Usagi knew he’d only be even more worried if he did know who it was…
Needed some stress relief, Usagi took her phone from on top of her side-dresser table. She searched through her pictures for the one she was looking for. Once she found it, she couldn’t stop herself from smiling-or her cheeks from getting warm.
...Usagi didn’t know how she was going to handle this crush of hers. Not only was she new to feelings like this, but she knew that this specific crush could cause some trouble. But, in the end, she knew one thing for certain. She wanted to confess in the very least, so the real question was how was she going to do it.
Feeling like there’s been enough craziness for one day, Usagi just decided to go to sleep and think over this stuff in the morning. So, she gave her phone one last smile. “Goodnight, Oso-chan.” She cooed quietly as she stared at the picture of the infamous Osoro Shidesu.
She put her phone back on the dresser and as she was falling asleep, she thought back to when Budo asked her is she liked any of the delinquents. She couldn’t help but grin at that. ‘I did say I didn’t like any of the delinquent boys .’