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School Daze! [RP thread for Satoru Nanase and Azusa Ishihara]

CrayonsToChaos

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Satoru looked around slowly. Why was Azusa volunteering to be his student buddy? Did she really like him that much or was he just some kind of experiment to her? Was she toying with him because she thought once she got an ice cream out of him it meant she could get anything she wanted? Nobody was usually this enthusiastic when it came to spending time with him and he was deeply suspicious. He frowned a little, unable to guess her motives. The class however seemed delighted with Azusa taking on the responsibility, some of them quietly congratulating her. “My ‘cool friend’ huh? Thanks, I guess…” he said warily, turning back to face the front as she whispered in his ear. What did she think? That he was her property now? He wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

Luckily for him, the class began and although it wasn’t his favourite, mathematics, at least it was a distraction from Azusa sitting behind him. He had managed to catch up on what he was supposed to learn over summer, so at this point he was able to answer the teacher’s questions and follow most of what was going on. He might as well make a decent head start, knowing that his currency with the teachers would begin to slip as his absences and bad excuses for not doing homework accrued throughout the year.

The bell rang and signalled the start of lunch. Satoru stood up. “I’m going to the bathroom. You don’t have to come, Ishihara-san,” he said to Azusa, and he made his way to the door of the classroom. Some of the class were unpacking lunch boxes from home while others were beginning to mill about and leave the room for the canteen or outside. He made it to the corridor when a hand touched him on the elbow. “Hey,” said the voice from behind him. He turned around to see Murasaki Shikon looking up at him with something of an angry squint. “Hm?” replied Satoru, facing him coolly.

“Um, Nanase-kun. Since you’re maybe going to join basketball club and everything, I want to give you a bit of advice.” Satoru waited for the advice, an eyebrow raising questioningly. “People around here really don’t like the aloof thing. You don’t need to try so hard to be cool. We more prefer team players, you know? Especially with Ishihara-san, she’s kind of our class mascot…” Shikon looked a little embarrassed but it was clear he felt the need to say these things despite that.

Satoru blinked. “What? What ‘aloof thing’? You’re fond of Ishihara-san even though she threw away your flyer… you’re not in love with her are you?” Murasaki looked as though he was trying not to get mad, which hadn’t been Satoru’s intent and yet somehow, there it was. “She’s our beloved eccentric!” he replied. “Please don’t cause her any trouble.” Satoru released a deep breath that was almost a sigh. If anyone was causing trouble for anyone it was going to be the other way around. “I’ll do my best not to ruffle any feathers,” he said without much conviction, seeing as he had no idea how he had managed to ruffle them so far. He opened his hands in a consoling gesture to Murasaki, who responded with a wary nod. “Is it okay to go to the bathroom on my own or is that a team sport too?” Satoru asked. It was meant to be a joke but Murasaki just pointed out the way.
 
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"You're welcome, Nanase-kun. You need one to teach you the inns and outs of things right?" she replied and giggled slightly. His aloof and slightly arrogant seeming bheavior had likely not been to his credit but as it was still early days there was much still to be done to improve his image. As they did math Azusa started taking focus off Satoru sighing as all this math stuff had been thoroughly washed out of her brain by park trips, drawing, theater and ice cream from strangers. She briefly wondered if she should poke Satoru on the shoulder to ask him as he seemed to have been diligent in his studies and shoved no signs of having trouble in the slightest. However it would likely not look very good if Azusa and Satoru started whispering while the teacher had her back to them.

As the bell signalled lunch break Satoru seemed in a hurry.
"Oh..." Azusa said said feeling there was more rejection behind the words than was spoken and after a short pause she added with a careful smile. "Then let's meet at the canteen if you already know where that is too. I'll reserve a seat for you, Nanase-san." Azusa said with a slightly more colorless voice than usually and started packing her books and papers trying to look busy until Satoru had left the classroom.

The hallway was bustling with activity and the nearest restrooms were a few corridors down and in the opposite direction of the canteen prompting Satoru to make his way against the waves of cheerful and bubbly students on the way to lunch. They were all expectant for a new year and some enjoying seeing old friends again while others were new to each other wriggling around for social positions with a few loners going alone on the hallway. However just before Satoru would reach the toilets an arm suddenly reached from the crowd to grab his shirt at the shoulder as it dragged him towards the wall pinning him towards it. Everything would happen in a split second and whether by luck or skill he would dodge it, he would be face to face with someone both older and taller than himself with well kept spiky black hair an athletic body and frown on his - otherwise quite handsome - face.

"Yo punk, I remember you! You're the one who almost threw Ishihara-san to the ground this morning - I cant believe she was even being friendly towards you afterwards. Who do you think you are acting like you own the place huh?!?" he said and clenching his fist he would aim to pull Satoru closer as his fiery gaze locked into Satoru's. "One thing is for certain, if you want to pee, you do it in the lady's restrooms like the other grunts who get on my bad side!" he said with a wry smile.

"Yeaah tell it like it is, Kamiya-san! Pee in the lady's restroom you pervert!" a voice said behind the bully in front of Satoru. If Satoru leaned his head around the bully's broad shoulders and peered downwards, he would see a not so tall round guy with short red hair and a ring in his ear and lip. On the other side of the bully stood a large stocky guy who was even taller than the bully with arms crossed and an expression set in stone as he nodded towards the bully.

"Hey you guys! Quit following me around like I'm somehow your leader, this is my business, understand?" he said and turned his head towards the two guys before looking at Satoru again. "Really this is so annoying, I'm far too popular for those two goons. Can you imagine having such losers following you around just because you once may have beat up a pair of thugs from another school that was giving them a hard time? Sheesh!" the bully said letting Satoru in on his small problem.
 

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Hopefully at least Azusa didn’t think he was putting on some aloof act to be cool. After all he had swallowed all his fears of public humiliation and asked her out in front of everybody. He had bought her an ice cream and admitted his weaknesses, asking her for favours to guide him about the town. Thinking back, she had seemed a bit off with him. He really hadn’t known where the canteen was. “I can ask someone,” he had replied before dashing off, “thanks.” Maybe she had ulterior motives, maybe she didn’t, but he found that he enjoyed her attention regardless and wanted her to think well of him.

Maybe I do put on an aloof act, Satoru thought to himself, his brow furrowing as he navigated the rapidly filling corridors of the school. Is that how I come across? Maybe I should try to be more… but mid-thought Satoru found himself grabbed by a meaty arm and pinned to the wall. Instantly he was back in the moment, alert, where he should have been, when he wasn’t thinking about whether girls thought he was cool or not. He blinked, looking up into the eyes of a tall, dark handsome stranger. He hadn’t anything to worry about. It was still a human, albeit one with a rather aggressive attitude.

He let the older student’s fist drag him closer, not really feeling the correct amount of intimidation that the bully would normally bring to his victims. “Oh yeah, I did notice you were quite steaming mad at the time. These guys must have been holding you back.” He had been quite certain that hardly anyone had noticed his little encounter with Azusa, never mind took it so personally that they felt the need to beat him up over it. Therefore, unlike with Shikon, he was convinced that this was merely some kind of excuse to make trouble rather than any real personal beef that the bully had. Keeping in his characteristic deadpan tone, Satoru listened to the instructions to use the ladies’ bathroom and replied, “So, you feel that I’ve been disrespectful to a female student and your answer to this is that I should be more disrespectful to other female students by using their bathroom? Wouldn’t you rather protect Ishihara-san’s honour with a duel? You and me - alone, no weapons. After school on the roof.”

He nodded, as though deeply understanding the bully’s problem. “I see how they could be a problem. Why not throw them in on the bargain. Winner gets to keep the two goons. I need to ask you to hurry though, I really do need to go for a pee and I may not make it to the bathroom with you holding me up like this.” He put his hand on the fist that was grabbing onto his shirt front and gave it a brief squeeze, enough to give him a mildly painful encouragement and convince him he had no intention of being thrown bodily into the ladies’ toilets.
 
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"Huh? No they didn't hold me back, I just waited for a better time, and when I saw you in the crowd I took it..!" Kamiya said assertively. What was the deal with this 'I'm too good to even be scared' look this Nanase-guy was giving him? "Disrespect..? No not towards Azusa-chan, but towards me!" Kamiya said and clenched his fist around Satoru's collar. "Being the number one kendo fighter in the kendo club it's me and no one else who have permission to date Azusa - and especially a new guy like you should know his place..!" he said coercingly as the small round thug chimed in.

"Yeah, you should show more respect to Kamiya-sama!" he said as Kamiya looked towards him again. "What. Did. I. Say. About. MY BUSINESS?!?" he sneered as the red haired guy cowered. "But you really mean that, new guy? You want to have a duel - on the roof - about who gets those guys?" Kamiya said and casually pointed a thumb in their direction. "But ya know... instead of those trash..." he said when the red haired thug interrupted.

"Yeah, instead of us tra..." he said before stopping himself scratching his head about what he was about to say.

"How about we throw in Azusa? Winner gets to date her and the loser keeps his broken nose out of the other guy's business!" he proposed with a wry smile. "Then I'm in - otherwise I'd just be tempted to lose on purpose, and I hate losing." he said and released his grasp as he felt a sudden jolt of pain from Satoru's squeeze. "Go pee where ever you think you belong - we'll find out where that is after school where I'll be waiting for you to show your arrogant face." he said and grinned. "And if course... failure to be there means losing..!" he said and chuckled as the two others chuckled along with Kamiya as they left Satoru.
 
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“Towards you?” Satoru’s voice took on a tone halfway between surprise and contempt, too taken aback by this new turn of events to keep to his usual cool. Who even was this guy who demanded respect while holding him up against the corridor of the school. What came next even earned a chuckle from Satoru, whose eyes narrowed honestly. “At this point I’d ask you who you think you are, but you’ve already told me in more detail than I want to know. ‘Permission to date Azusa?’ This isn’t the thirteenth century. Ishihara-san can make her own mind up who she chooses to date and who she obviously hasn’t chosen.” Even though the black haired guy was taller, somehow Satoru managed to use his Quincy skills to look down on him anyway.

“The duel isn’t about those two. I only threw them in as a favour to you.” How did a battle for Azusa’s honour get mistaken for one about the two morons that followed Kamiya around? Clearly this guy had been playing at kendo a bit too hard and got his head bashed in more than a few times. His comments about making the duel about getting to date Azusa just made Satoru more indignant. He was practically nose to nose with Kamiya as he decided to not let his grip on the kendo club leader’s fist go so quickly. “The duel is about one thing only now – Ishihara’s freedom to date whoever she wants versus your ridiculous system. Additionally, if I win, I get to decide who you have permission to date. And you can keep those two no matter what, I’ve changed my mind about taking them off your hands.”

Kamiya walked away, and Satoru smoothed down the front of his jacket, looking around slowly to see if anyone noticed that little set-to. Hopefully not… he didn’t want any reputation as a troublemaker. Before he had only cared about not being the kind of guy that bullies thought they could push up against walls, but now it was a matter of principle. He would duel, and he would win.

It didn’t seem as though anyone had paid much attention, so Satoru finally made his way to the boys’ toilets. Primarily it was a reconnaissance mission – since he would be undoubtedly making his way here as an excuse to skip out of class to hunt hollows. After doing the requisite business, he surveyed the bathrooms for windows and the possibilities of sneaking out and back in. He adjusted his uniform in the mirror on the way back out – it wasn’t too scrunched up by the bully’s fist, and ran a hand through his hair. Then he was back out and finding his way to the school canteen, following the flow of pupils and the smells of cooking.
 
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Kamiya put his large palm on the wall right next to Satoru and leaned in.
"I'll tell you who I am... I was voted the third most popular boy in school last year..!" he said and smirked. "I really don't have to care about runts like you, but my position urges me to protect a fine girl like Azusa from creeps like you!" he said in contempt.

It seemed like Satoru wasn't going to let go of Kamiya's fist just yet and without struggling he listened to what Satoru proposed and narrowed his eyes.
"You think you set the rules now?" he asked and frowned yanking his fist out of Satoru's grip. "I'll get rid of those two in some other way and I don't even need a reason to put my boot in the face of someone as insolent as you. When I win you are going to have to do whatever I say anyway - and I guess you can try and motivate yourself by knowing that there would be a slight possibility of the opposite happening too. At least in your dreams!" he said and laughed as the other two echoed Kamiya's laugh not letting Satoru take any more of their precious spare break and headed towards the canteen.

Meanwhile Azusa had packed her school books and had left the classroom about to head for the canteen when she turned around on her heel and walked in the opposite direction - towards the toilets. In a brief moment of clarity she had decided that she would not let Satoru slip away that easily. Walking in the opposite direction she noticed a laughing and boasting Kamiya along with his to friends on tow as usual and she placed herself on the other side of the hallway trying to avoid his gaze - she was really not in the mood to be smiling while dodging his graceless advances.

Luckily by keeping her head down she managed to slip past unnoticed and she positioned herself outside the boys' restrooms hands folded in front of her and the slightest of blushes in her cheeks as it dawned to her that she was waiting to pick up a cute boy - even if it was just from the restrooms to the canteen it was still kind of exciting.
 

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As Satoru picked what he believed was the right way to the canteen he headed out of the bathrooms, still thinking about Kamiya and all the nonsense he had been spouting. If he really was the third most popular guy in school, why wasn’t Azusa dating him already? But he didn’t need to brood on that subject for long as almost directly opposite from the boys’ toilets was Ishihara Azusa herself, waiting demurely with her hands folded. So far everyone he’d encountered in the school corridors had a bone to pick with him but thankfully she didn’t appear to look annoyed.

“Ishihara-san, hi,” he said, walking over to her and offering a small smile. “Have you eaten already or have you come to make sure I don’t get lost? Unless you’re here for some other reason.” He looked over his shoulder casually but it appeared that Kamiya and his two delightful friends were definitely gone. “I was going to guess that the canteen is that way.” He pointed to his right, wondering if she would correct him or just let him wander around.
 
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Casually having swung her schoolbag over her shoulder she raised her other hand and waved at Satoru with a smile.
"Oh I thought Nanase-kun had such a talent for knowing everything that he didn't need help... and it seems like I'm right." Azusa said slightly impressed that he seemed to have already figured out the way. "I'm just here because it's my duty to accompany you around - and also I usually find the best seat in the canteen!" she reassured Satoru. "I think you're on the right way then so how about you lead on?" she suggest then and grabbed his hand for a brief moment leading him on.

"Now I know about 'Public Nanase', when do I get to know about 'Secret Satoru' huh?" Azusa asked with a cheeky smirk. It was slightly insolent of her to be pressuring him like that when she was supposed to make him feel comfortable but since they were now officially dating too, she thought he owed her a bit more information. "Like what's your western birth sign? What is your favorite color that isn't a primary color and who means most to you on this earth that isn't family?" Azusa suggested as interesting things to tell her.

As they reached the canteen Azusa pointed out a couple of free seat in front of each other at a table with a few others.
"Oh let's go sit there!" she exclaimed and pulled Satoru over by his sleeve giving him little time to argue. Azusa would sit down and quickly lifted the lid on her bento that looked like a rice and chicken accident laid to rest in a plastic coffin. If there was something she wasn't good it nor spent much time on it was preparing her daily meals - because how could one use more time than absolutely necessary when the world was packed with adventure and people to see?

Azusa popped a large bite into her mouth sticking the straw into the lukewarm carton of juice she had also brought from home.
"So... Have you brought something too or are you risking your stomach with the canteen food?" she asked failing her jesting smirk because of a mouth full of food. It wasn't because the canteen had bad food but someone like Azusa was on a tight budget and liked to think that she was getting the good end of the deal. Azusa slurped her juice along with swallowing the food she had in her mouth her large auburn eyes expectantly hooking onto Satoru trying to guess what kind of lunch type he was.
 
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“Oh, is that why I traded an unknown favour for the location of the stationery store?” he replied, giving her a sidelong glance. “That was the action of a desperate man,” he continued in a dry tone, although he continued to smile, pleased that she seemed at least somewhat happy to see him. He had no reason to disbelieve that she would find the best seat in the canteen, it seemed that she was popular at school. Maybe even the third most popular girl. “Sure, then if I do get lost at least it will provide humour value,” he replied, though Satoru was perfectly convinced he knew the way – partly from the way the corridors were laid out, partly from the flow of students, partly from the cooking smells. He wasn’t expecting her to take hold of his hand, and he almost pulled away from it. She’s holding my hand. In public. Somehow it seemed too much, and he felt a redness creeping up his face again, all too easily with his pinkish European complexion. But regardless, he boldly returned her grip. As he held onto her hand, he took the lead, and a sense something like vertigo took hold of him. Things were moving too quickly to be trusted, and yet… how could he refuse to go along with it?

“Secret Satoru?” he asked curiously. “If I answer your questions, its only fair if you answer the same number of questions I ask you in return.” Whether she agreed to that or not he decided to answer them anyway. They weren’t exactly going to give her any hints to the kind of thing he did outside of school hours. “My star sign is Scorpio. I guess I would pick white as my favourite colour. The person who means most to me on earth aside from family is … Alexander Laun from Fly-By-Night.”

The canteen was busy and buzzing with students’ voices, but Azusa managed to unerring find an empty spot for them, and Satoru gave a small nod to the other people at the table and said “hi,” before he sat down opposite to Ishihara. He had no idea if they were people Azusa knew but given her garrulousness she would probably know them by the end of the lunch break if she didn’t already. She pulled out a Tupperware box and he tried not to make any kind of expression as the contents were revealed. It didn’t look too appetising but at least she’d taken the time to make her own food. He wasn’t exactly in a position to judge on that score.

“I thought I’d give it a go here and depending on how it went maybe bring lunch tomorrow?” Satoru replied uncertainly, thinking of his pathetic fridge empty of convenience store onigiri and containing only one convenience store boiled egg which seemed somewhat lacking for a meal. “I will take my chances,” he announced nobly, and stood up, leaving Azusa to her chicken and rice for a few minutes as he queued for whatever the school had on offer.

I need to learn to cook, he thought, looking at the trays of hot food that the canteen ladies were serving, and thinking of granny’s house. When he returned to the table, he had a tray with a partitioned plate containing rice, some kind of croquettes, a nominal salad, and on the side a small pot of ice cream. He passed the ice cream pot to Azusa and placed it next to her chicken carnage. “Here,” he said, making no other comment, before he sat down and took chopsticks to his lunch. “Itadakimasu,” he said, knowing that this food was a hundred times better than what he could make.

“Ishihara-san, do you cook your own lunch every day?” he asked her. Even though it looked messy there was something appealing about the idea that it was home made. He picked up one of the croquettes and took a bite, idly casting a glance around the room and gauging where all the windows and doors were. If Azusa had agreed to answering questions, right now would be the time he would start thinking them up…
 
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Grabbing his hand was only meant to be a quick indication for them to get going before the last seats had been taken - she was good but no miracle maker. But Satoru had been determined to hold hands all the way to the canteen and though she frowned slightly she quickly reworked it into a fresh grin. This was confirmation of a lot of things too and before long she only felt excitement for how it would pan out and what he would reveal in the future. At least he was somewhat sensitive which could not be said for Kamiya who'd likely become a statue when touched by anything more soft than a shinai whack.

Azusa rubbed her chin and theatrically looked upwards while appearing to ponder his proposal deeply.
"Accepted! I'll answer your questions if you answer mine - but they mustn't be boring!" she said and wagged her finger with a wry smile. "Scorpio you say?" and was actually intrigued now. "Well scorpios are said to be brave but stubborn and likes being right. However they can also be jealous... So does that fit on you, Nanase-san?" she asked and inclined her head towards Satoru in an inquiring manner. She had learned a bit about western star signs by looking through the internet and visiting a traveling circus with a wise old lady who - in hindsight - had probably cost her a bit too much money given the accuracy of her predictions. However she had come across an interesting book about both star signs and some add scribbles about spirits and an otherworldly place of protective spirits. She remembered falling asleep many times in her couch before finishing it.

"White?!?" she said and crossed her arms sighing letting go of his hand in the process. "That's really boring, why do you have white for a favorite color? Isn't that the same as considering the blank paper to be the true art?" she said and lifted a brow. "What..? Alexander Laun? Isn't he that serial killer with nazi tendencies from Germany? You aren't like that... are you?" Azusa asked with a disgusted yet slightly curious frown. It would be an interesting glance into someone like that's mind - but perhaps also a bit too risky and she would likely end up having to find a new boy to hang out with. But she already liked this one so she hoped she was wrong in her assumption.

"You... haven't even planned on that..?" she asked with food stuffed in her mouth and raised a brow. He seemed so composed and yet he was like a helpless creature that didn't even know how he would feed himself the next day. However his gesture to pass a bowl of ice cream didn't go unnoticed and she widened her eyes before giving him a surprised smirk. "I didn't expect that - thanks I guess." she said and started tasting the ice cream. First a small bite and then her eyes intensified and she scooped the ice into her mouth with great delight.

"Ummm...! That was great, the vanilla taste is awesome!" she said and wiped her lips returning to the more elegant version of Azusa she normally showed the world. "If I cook it myself?" she asked surprised but figured she actually did. "I wouldn't call it cooking I just stuff somethings together that might taste alright..." she said and looked at the catastrophe she had brought.

"Oh. Ohhhh! Are your jealous my dear scorpio?" Azusa said jestingly before she laid down her chopsticks giving Satoru a sharp look of curiosity. "I feel like I have a responsibility for you as your student buddy. I will bring you a bento tomorrow and I won't take a 'no' for an answer!" she said and lifted her palm towards him as if she didn't want to hear objections on the topic. "I'll make sure you're well fed this week!" she added with a grin thinking this could prove a nice challenge for her - perhaps she might even make it look good. "My dad was a great cook, so let's hope I can power up those genes right?" she said and chuckled.
 
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