“Ma’am, if you would please-ow-please stop that--if you would only come down from there so we can talk--please stop throwing pinecones at me ma’am.”
If he had not known better, Kouen would have thought that he was drunk. But no, he was definitely not drunk, because he did not drink when he had school the next day, and it was definitely still only Tuesday.
But the scene he was witnessing was just so absurd.
There was a woman on top of a big, upside-down boat. He knew that the boat had fallen off its transportation truck a few hours earlier because he had passed the site not shortly after it had happened, on his way to a friend’s house after school, but the woman had not been on top of it, howling the strangest pop song about fake eyelashes at the top of her lungs, and she was hurling pinecones at the poor police officer who was trying to help her down.
Said police officer was, surprisingly, one Mu Alexius.
He didn’t think that the next time he saw him, it would be like this. Instead, he had intended to go to his house, one of these days after the midterms were over and he wasn’t occupied with cramming with friends or taking tests.
It was in silence that he watched the police officer that he had met only a month ago. Mu was still trying to talk to the woman, who was most definitely drunk, and he was unsuccessful. Kouen decided to never drink so much that he got that drunk. He didn’t want to make a fool out of himself. Or throw anything at cops, for that matter.
He let out a startled noise when he was suddenly hit by a pinecone, right on his nose. He pressed a hand to it, because the throw had been shockingly hard, and his nose hurt like hell.
Mu spun around to see what had happened, and his eyes widened. “Kouen-kun--ow!” He had been hit by another pinecone at the back of his head. “Give me a couple moments,” he said to Kouen, and he turned back to the woman. Kouen saw the eye he could see as he turned away widen, and Kouen looked up. Mu caught the woman as she tumbled down from the boat, and let out a sigh of relief. He rubbed his face with a hand. “She clocked out,” he muttered, and Kouen noticed that the woman was asleep. He picked her up, and made a motion with his head toward the next street over, where a koban was located. “I need to bring her over to sleep the fuddle out of her. Do you mind coming accompanying me?”
“So you could tell I wanted to talk to you,” Kouen said, falling into step with the other man. It wasn’t far to the koban. “I had a feeling,” Mu said with a smile. “But did you want to talk about anything specific, or just overall?” Kouen shrugged. “Just overall. But since you’re available, would you mind if I stayed at your place tonight? I don’t get a moment’s peace at home right now, I’m constantly being hammered about tests and cramming.”
Mu raised an eyebrow in his direction, and huffed. The huff sounded like of of long suffering, but there was a slight smile playing on his lips. “You’re not going to take no for an answer anyway, right? Fine, but I still have some hours left of work so you’ll have to either wait or go on ahead.”
Kouen nodded, and debated his options. He didn’t know Mu’s family very well, but at the same time, he still didn’t know Mu very well. They had only met a couple times since that time at the bar. “Is this the sort of work you do then?” Mu made a confused noise. “What?”
“You stop drunks from being a menace and you stop minors from going home with strange people who’re just looking for sex.” Mu made a grimace and Kouen watched him, gaze unwavering. “Well, it’s part of it,” Mu said after a while. “I’m still a rookie anyway, so I get to do a lot of this.” He shook his head. “I don’t really mind, honestly, it keeps my busy. When nothing happens it gets really dull, being a cop.”
“Then why are you one?”
“Why?” Mu smiled at him. “Because I want to help. And I saw my parents do it and thought, oh, this is what I want to do, too.” He shouldered open the door to the koban. “Well, mom is in traffic and dad is in another of these boxes since forever, but they still get a chance to help a lot of people, like that.” He put down the woman, and went to fill out some papers regarding her, though from his mumbling Kouen could guess that not all information was possible to fill in right away.
Kouen lingered in the doorway, then jumped a little when somebody appeared behind him, and he stepped aside to let another police officer inside. “Good afternoon,” he greeted. The older man nodded and returned his greeting. He listened as Mu and the other man exchanged words, and then he was gently steered away from the koban by Mu. “What will you do?” he asked, and Kouen searched the area. He nodded toward a small coffee shop a few buildings down. “I’ll go read, you pick me up there once you’re done for the day?”
“Alright,” Mu said in agreement, and as if he could read Kouen’s thoughts he put his hands on his shoulders to stop him from rising up on his toes. “I’ve told you no,” he said, and Kouen took half a step back, shrugging casually. “I’m still definitely going to ask you out again once I’m older,” he said.
Mu shook his head and sighed. “You’ve already asked me out four times. Just take it easy and wait and see if you feel the same once you’re actually there.” Kouen sighed too but agreed, and he gave Mu his parting greetings. He watched him go for a few moments. No, he was sure he would want to ask him again, even a couple years down the road. Even a lot of years down the road. Kouen turned around and headed for the coffee shop. And maybe one day, Mu would even say yes.