The Shingeki movie rolled its credits, and I lay back in satisfaction. "That…was freaking great!" I said.

"Wait, there's more," Okubo said, shifting in my lap and increasing my uncomfortable feeling.

It showed a view of the cracked wall that was broken earlier in the movie. A large chip removed itself, revealing the giant and making me leap out of my seat and throwing Okubo onto the floor.

"THE HELL'S THAT DOING IN THERE?!" I yelled with a big head, pointing at it.

"Ow…" the redhead below me whispered.

Chapter 5

It was morning. I was snoring on something…uneven. Opening my eyes, I found that it was Suzukima's lap. Okay, that's cool. Girls' laps are always fun. But what was with all the pressure around the other parts of my body…?

"What the…HELL?!" I yelled.

Alright, let me describe this to the best of my ability. I'm facing the ceiling, head on Suzukima's lap. She's resting her head on the arm of my tiny-ass couch. Yusa's sitting in front of me, resting the back of her head on my side. And then there's Okubo, who's using my midsection as a pillow. I was filled by a rage (and guilty pleasure) that was over 9000.

"GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!" I shouted, grabbing their collars and kicking them out.

When I had finished pulling up my skirt, I shouldered my bag and then stood in the doorway. This was always the hardest part of the day. I trembled before the concrete floor of the complex, gulping. I took deep breaths, and put one step forward.

It was like an explosion. Rainbows flew everywhere, and flying magical ponies cheered me on. I roared with achievement, jumping with joy. I took my first step outside out of my own will. I WIN, LIFE! TAKE THAT! TAKE—

Suzukima suddenly dashed by, swiped the back of my collar, and practically choked me to death as she dashed down the steps, me flying like a rag doll.

I swear, I felt life slap me in the face.

Today was a scary day. Okubo had an emergency track meeting, Yusa was training her ass off, and Suzukima was being Suzukima. So naturally, I was at 'our table' all alone. My eyes darted around, on high security for anyone who'd try to sit and try to talk to me. I shook in my seat, and twiddled my thumbs. Please, please…

DAMN IT! No-Twin-Sisters-Suminoe is here! I put my hands over my mouth, emitting a silent scream. He was still smiling, the bastard…Quick, what would Hideyoshi do in this situation?! Think like a trap, think like a trap…Maybe I can get up and walk away? No, he'll think I'm rude…Oh, how about the ol' bathroom excuse, and then just never come back? Yeah, that sounds—

"Um, you alright, Hime-chan?" Suminoe asked, not smiling for the first time.

I must've been drooling or something. I straightened up nervously. "Yeah! Everything's fine! All sunshine and rainbows here!"

He sat down, and I stood up. He looked up at me curiously. A sweating me said, "Just gotta drop some waste, ahaha!"

I bolted out of there faster than a hedgehog (which isn't that fast). I had finished my disposable lunch (I'm always ready for this kind of thing), and was out of there before anyone could say 'Heartfilia.'

"Hime Atsuki, what did you just do back in the lunchroom?" Suzukima's voice asked, and I took a camera lens to the face.

"Dude! What was that?!" I asked angrily, before seeing her face pop up from behind the camera.

"It's my new thing; I'm trying out interviewing!" she said happily. "Whaddya think of my first shot?"

I wiped my nose on my sleeve, checking for blood. "Well, first off, you don't come outta nowhere and stick the camera in PEOPLE'S FACES! At least announce your entrance…"

She put the camera down, nodding. "Okay!"

It was then focused on my face. "So, Hime Atsuki-chan, whaddya think of Noriko Suminoe? Spill the beans!"

I recoiled. "The dude's alright…Just needs to stop advancing on me like some sort of predator…"

"'Advance,' huh?" she said with a lewd face. "So, is there someone else you want, Hime-chan?"

My face lit up with red like one of those lava lamps. "Wh-what?!"

"How about—"

"We're done here," I interrupted, putting my palm over the lens. She turned off the recording, grinning at me.

"Just wait 'til the newspaper heard about this!" she said, and dashed off.

"Hey, wait a—"

Oh no. This is bad. This is REAL bad…I began chasing after her. "SUZUKIMA!"

The next day confirmed my fears. This school I'm going to is notorious for using simple phrases and twisting them into something horrid. Guess what? My blushing face was smack dab on the front cover, with pieces of my answer pieces together.

"He's…advancing on me like some sort of predator," it read.

I stared at the newspaper in my hands, a deathly expression on my face. I was still at home when Okubo dropped it off (she gets copies a day early). I heard her open the door to find me curle up in a corner, shaking uncontrollably.

"Hime-chan? You okay?" she asked.

I looked at her, tears pouring down my face. "Do I look okay?"

She began sweating, biting her lip. "Uh, well—"

"I can't go back to school…Not with those rumors…" I muttered, a depressing hurricane storming around my body.

"Oh, come now, you can't do that! You're Hime-chan, aren't you?" Okubo said.

"But, Okubo, I thought you hated boys…" I said.

"Ah, well, I guess you're an exception," she said, twirling a lock of red hair sheepishly.

I looked up, feeling my cheeks heat up. "R-really?"

"I know those rumors aren't true. Besides, it's all—" she began, when the door opened again.

"Yo, Hime-chan! I fixed the newspaper!" Suzukima said, sliding through the door and handing me another stack of paper. "Whaddya think?"

I looked at it, and my jaw dropped. They had removed the entire article (minus the picture), and replaced it with 'Expression of the Month!' It was supposedly a new column where they took pictures featuring various types of expressions, and I just happened to inspire it at the last second.

"Is this legit?" I asked after finishing.

"Yup!" Suzukima said with a grin.

"Really?" I said skeptically.

"Only one way to find out, right?"

Suzukima and the others had gone ahead, leaving me to walk to school alone. I sighed when I heard Suminoe's footsteps (and almost his smile) catch up next to me. "Hey," he said. "Good morning."

"M-mornin'," I mumbled, taking note of how close he was.

"So, I was wondering—" He put his hand on my shoulder. "—If you'd like to—"

I scooted away from him, shivering. "Yeah, I'll have to get back to you on that one."

"Well, then how about you and I just have lunch together? As friends."


"Of course, you can bring Suzukima and Okubo with you," he said, laughing.

"What about Yusa?"

"…If she wants to. I'll also be bringing a friend or two."


I sped walked towards the approaching school building, making sure to kick up some dust on the way. Crap, crap, crap! What do I do?! What would Arikawa do in this situation?! As my heels skidded across the dirt turned tile, I found Yusa's swaying blue hair.

"Yusa! I need some help!" I yelled, catching up to her.

"Hm? Who's that?" The blue hair turned, and I was faced with Konata Izumi.

"S-sorry!" I apologized loudly, and sped off to the next head of blue. "Yusa! Help me!"

This time, it was the spitting image of…Ryoto Asakura?! I screamed unintentionally, and ran past her. I prayed she wasn't real, and that it was just my imagination. I finally found the real Yusa, and got on my knees.

"Suminoe invited you to lunch with me and the others! I dunno what to do!" I wailed tearfully and humorously, and then latched onto her skirt like a koala. "Please, help! I'm too nice!"

All I received was a knee to the face. And then a punch in the jaw. And then I was left for dead in the hallway. "Damn it…" I mumbled.

Suzukima, Okubo, and myself sat at our usual table, awkwardly staring at an angry Yusa, who was devouring her lunch and not speaking. Okubo twiddled her thumbs. "So, uhm…How was class, everyone?"

Suzukima and I gave similar response. "Eh…yeah…It was good…"

"Didja take any cool photos for the Expression column, Haruhi?" Okubo asked nervously.

"W-well, I need to capture a pissed expression, and—Ah! Here's one now!" Suzukima replied with a laugh, fumbling with her camera. She took a shot of Yusa's face, chuckling airily.

Awkward silence. I scooted closer to Suzukima, and she leaned an ear in. "Hey, I told her she didn't have to come here. Why'd she still show up?"

"Probably wants to kick Suminoe's ass," she said.

"That's reasonable," I said, nodding.

Yusa must've heard us, because her fingers closed around my neck (and only mine). "What the hell'd you say?"

"J-just wondering—ack!—why you're here if Suminoe's gonna be here!" I choked out, and was brought back a few steps from death's door.

"Well, I gotta make sure he doesn't try anything funny on you," she responded as I massaged my throat.

"And why would I do that, Aoi?" Suminoe appeared out of nowhere, sitting down. I swear, the dude's some sort of ninja.

"S-S-Suminoe!" I said, my voice cracking.

I beckoned Okubo and Suzukima over, noticing Yusa's enraged expression. "Maybe you should watch from somewhere safely, and make sure she's with you. I don't want someone do die here," I told them, and they agreed.

They managed to drag Yusa away from the lunchroom, ignoring her loud protests. It was then just me and Suminoe. I was wincing. How could I be so stupid?

"So, are you liking the school?" he asked with a wide smile.

That smile's so creepy…But I answered the question anyway. "Yeah, it's cool," I said with a false smile of my own.

"Found any interesting guys?"

I sweatdropped, but kept up my expression. "Uh, not…really…"


Well, I'm a straight male…More sweatdrops appeared on my face. "S-sure…"

"So there is someone you're interested in. Who?"

Anyone but you. "Well, I wouldn't say 'interested…'"

"Is that so?" he said, clearly amused by my verbal answers.

This shouldn't be happening…Wait, something's off…

"Um, where're your friends?" I asked, a bit weirded out.

"Oh, them? They said they didn't wanna come. Weird, right?" he said with a smile.

"Yeah…Weird…" I can tell he's lying; he just wanted to talk to me or some real woman. I managed to laugh it off. "Oh, well! Haha…"

As I did, I stood up and left. I met up with the others, who had tied up and gagged a struggling Yusa. I looked at them. "What the fuck is this?"

"She wouldn't sit still!" Suzukima said. "She looked like she was ready to kill someone!"

"We didn't have a choice…" Okubo said with a sigh.

"This looks like something out of a hentai! Untie her!" I shouted. "Besides, she's always ready to kill someone!"

Yusa emitted a protesting grunt. I took off the gag, and immediately retreated in case she tried biting me. I couldn't help but notice her smooth legs. "So, er, how's it going?" I asked awkwardly, trying to keep my eyes focused on her face.

"Tch, fine. Get the rope off!" she commanded.

"Yes, ma'am!" I did so with fumbling fingers.

Me and the girls were at my place, playing video games. Yusa was unnaturally focused as she and I played Smash Sisters.

"So, you doing alright?" I began, rolling my character.

"Yeah, I'm good," she answered, using a Smash move right as I recovered.

"What was up with you acting like that today? Y'know, all violent and stuff." I dodged and then grabbed her character.

"I was making sure Noriko didn't try anything funny. I told you, didn't I?" She broke free of the grip and landed a smash attack.

"Why protect me? Aren't you the ironic boy-hating yaoi-lover?" I used my Counter move, sending her character flying.

"I guess…I don't think all guys are total asses. You'd probably count as a not-ass," she said as her character was K.O'd, ending the match.

"Gee, I feel so lucky," I said sarcastically.

I felt her arm wrap around my shoulder, making me go rigid. She smiled at me. "You should."

"Th-thanks?" I stared at her blankly. Was this really happening?

Seriously. I thought this was a comedy, not a romance.