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It's the Fries

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Akaza had spent the first half of his day in a rather good mood, and he couldn't even imagine that things would not always be peaceful and quiet. Well, figuratively, because he had been teaching his students some new moves, and kids and ‘peaceful and quiet’ don't belong in the same sentence. Especially excited kids.

Kokushibo's arrival didn't help, as children just had to show their newly learned skills off: some of them were students of both, learning both hand-to-hand combat and swordsmanship. That was how these two learned of each other's existence: through the kids who could not stop bragging, or even having heated debates on who's better — or stronger.

Both happened to be rather odd looking, and not in a bad way: Akaza had tattoos all over his body and brightly dyed hair, while Kokushibo's face displayed some eye-catching scars and a strange birthmark. Some kids even joked about those scars looking like extra eyes — but, of course, that was nothing but a mere extreme of youth's fantasy, as there was absolutely no way a person could have more than two eyes, right?

The two teachers had exchanged pleasantries and let the students be free and cause any mischief their heart might desire, which included, but was not limited to: playful fighting, not-so-playful fighting to solve any problem that might arise, and, of course, screaming at the top of their lungs for absolutely no reason at all. Basically, nothing out of the ordinary — although it is a miracle how their eardrums can withstand almost unstoppable screaming for the whole day, even with breaks.

Speaking of which, it was time for dinner, and Akaza found himself craving the most forbidden food of them all: fast food. Not that he couldn't eat it... He shouldn't, especially not when he's already trying to be such a good role model, but the desire was a bit too strong to ignore, and Kokushibo didn't seem to mind it...

So fast food it was.

To their disappointment, the place they both favored was a bit away from their current destination, but Akaza has always found that short walks rouse the appetite even more, along with the dreams of delicious food that was to grace his tongue with its delightful flavor.

... Except the fact that those dreams were utterly ruined, leaving naught of those sweet expectations. The reason was simple: Akaza and Kokushibo had run into Douma on their way. Out of all people in that huge city, on that wide street, it just had to be Douma, the person who Akaza absolutely cannot stand (but puts up with for personal reasons). It just had to be his punishment for even considering fast food as an option, for dreaming about treating himself to it once in a month or two, so he could walk past it without drooling internally and being lured in by those deceiving flavors.

Douma had indeed invited himself with no objections accepted, as if he had belonged in this now trio of ‘friends’. Or acquaintances. Akaza really wanted to rest in peace after the busy morning, and definitely not listen to Douma talk about whatever and however — it's as if that man didn't have to breathe because he just talked. And talked. And talked, and there seemed to be no ending to his speech. That's why Akaza liked Kokushibo: the man was rather quiet and never talked in circles, preferring to get straight to the point. Definitely the complete opposite of that walking disaster whose company Akaza was forced in.

Thankfully he got a bit of a breathing window when Douma had to still wait for his order while Akaza and Kokushibo got theirs relatively quick: a burger, fries and iced tea for the former and a salad and a shot of espresso for the latter. As for the other... The two had pleasure of watching him approach their table with three whole paper bags and a delighted smile on his face.

“Three bags?” were the only words that escaped Akaza's mouth with an ‘are you kidding me?’ tone.

“Yes,” was the ‘absolutely not’ reply said with the air of a man whose hubris (and hunger) clouded his judgment.

“You always got two.”

“I didn't have lunch.”

At that point Akaza was almost grateful that he wouldn't have to endure Douma's speech since thankfully that annoyance knew that talking with mouth full was bad manners. It didn't apply to the mouth half-full though, but still was a bargain nice enough. Less Douma is always good.

It was at the moment he caught Douma shoot a suggestive look towards his own fries after rustling through his paper bags... Akaza knew the real hell had just begun.

“No.” He didn't even want to give Douma a chance to open his mouth; it was as if Akaza was telling off a pet for looking at something and plotting an evil plan.

“But I forgot fries,” whined (almost) Douma, still eyeing those delicious Akaza's fries that were charming him with their alluring smell.

“That's still a no. You got three bags, you can do without fries,” Akaza was indomitable. No way his dear beautiful fries are getting eaten by that glutton, he will not let it happen! After all, he paid his own money for them!

“Akaza, please, just one fry! We are friends, are we not?” Douma wasn't going to back off either. Yeah, sure, he really forgot fries and that was the worst mistake he has ever made, but only one thing could soothe the pain caused by it: and that was annoying Akaza to no end, just because.

“Just one fry?! You say that every time, and if I turn away for even one second all the fries end up being gone! I know you, Douma. You can live a day without fries.” Much to Akaza's disappointment, this has happened. A few times... No, a lot of times, and he kept falling into this trap: hell, he even saw his fries, nuggets, onion rings disappear and end up in a certain somebody's mouth. And what's worse is that no way in hell would Douma share his own food, it's his precious treasure — Akaza knows, Akaza had tried after becoming a victim of stolen fries yet again.

“Why don't you try asking Kokushibo to share his salad? I heard it was amazing — and much healthier anyway,” Akaza suggested in a nonchalant manner, trying to divert the attention to his acquaintance. Wasn't the greatest move, but he wanted to at least start eating!

Kokushibo, who had been silently eating salad leaves and providing ambient crunching, stopped and looked up. He might not have been paying attention to the conversation, but no way he was going to share his salad (or what was left of it) — so he calmly pulled the bowl towards him and had the nerve to point the plastic fork at the troublemaker across him... Who was already finishing off a burger. Kokushibo might have been a swordsman, but those skills weren't going to help him when his weapon of choice was a fork, and his rival was a professional food stealer. Honestly, he didn't care about this fries war between Akaza and Douma, he just wanted to eat his salad in peace, and they were doing it right there, right in front of his salad — although sometimes, deep down, he wished this place served whiskey in the coffee.

“Nah, he isn't gonna share,” Douma brushes Akaza's generous offer off while shooting a glance at Kokushibo, who was ready to defend his salad. “And I'm flattered you think about my health!” A smile spreads on his lips as he wipes a fake tear off. “I didn't know you cared about me! Why, you act as if you hate me!”

Of course I hate you, you idiot, is what Akaza almost said in response to that bold statement, but decided to be wise about it and bite into the burger that was getting cold, intent on finishing it in a timely manner so his fries end up in his stomach, not Douma's.

Thankfully for him, the hunger won over Douma's desire to tease Akaza even further, and the man proceeded to eat burger after a burger, occasionally getting weird stares from passing people due to the sheer amount of empty containers.

No fries found their demise in Douma's stomach that afternoon; Akaza, despite his soured mood, found the fast food dinner rather refreshing and tried to keep his spirits lifted throughout the evening; and Kokushibo simply accepted everything — he was a bit too used to this. The salad though, unlike Akaza's claim, was mediocre.