Chapter 8 – Izuhara Ayame

"Please I require your assistance," Ayame pleaded to Mamoru who was in the middle of reading a book next to Yusuke.

"Why me?" Mamoru asked in confusion. "Why not ask Arima-kun instead?"

"For two reasons, first is that he is too strict and—" She immediately pointed to Yusuke shaking tensely as he was in the middle of writing something on his notebook. "I think he is in the middle of a caffeine overdose."

Mamoru sighed, it was common for them to see Yusuke in such a state with his strange obsession for Coffee they would find him shaking while being wracked with fatigue. Iori and Takuya constantly expressed their concern over it but he constantly ignores them for some reason and continues doing so.

"Fine, let's go." He said standing up and grabbing his notes. "Where to Instructor?" Ayame smiled at him. "To the library, we're going to study somewhere more privately," Mamoru responded with an exasperated sigh. "Just so you know I don't like to repeat what I said."

"Yes sir!" She said enthusiastically. The main reason why she needed his help in studying for an upcoming quiz soon and she forgot to study it after binge-reading last night, and there are only two people who are qualified to help her at the moment, which is Yusuke and Mamoru. The two remained within the Library for within at least an hour after Classes have ended, they managed to stick around long enough to help her study and focus more.

"You need to work on a proper work ethic in regards to studying Izuhara-san," Mamoru said looking at an exhausted-looking Ayame after finishing all of the questions that Mamoru had prepared for her. "From what I can tell you managed to understand the situation very well but you lack the focus on it."

"Well, that is because I was distracted with a Light Novel Last night and as a result, I forgot to study," Ayame said plating her face on the table, that was a half-lie, she had spent the entire night helping her mother work on the latest chapter on her manga but both of them didn't realize what time is it until her alarm went off.

"Consider this a learning experience then," She heard Mamoru's voice but she was surprised that she felt a hand run through her hair, she immediately looked up and saw that Mamoru was in-fact giving her a head pat but she immediately recoiled in surprise realizing what he was doing.

"Sorry I did that on impulse," Mamoru said as he began to reorganize his things again earning an embarrassed look from Ayame. "No it's fine, I wasn't used to being on the receiving end on that either," Ayame said she wasn't used to being on the receiving end on something. Truth be told it helped reminded her of—

She quickly shook the memory out of her head, she and her mother had left that man and for good, she doesn't need to remember or even think about that terrible man. For her and her mother, it was a new beginning for them.

"If you think about it, summer is coming soon," Ayame said changing the subject. "What shall be your itinerary for the festivities of the Season?"

"Not really," Mamoru shook his head as the two of them finished up and began to grab their things before heading home. "I might just read or stay at home."

"Well that is hardly fun, summer is meant to be enjoyed with your dearest companions," Ayame said extending both of her hands as they left the Library. But then an idea came to her faster than Mamoru can answer questions.

"That's it, I know what to do!" Ayame said as she immediately sprinted home leaving a confused Mamoru in her wake. "Alright then." Mamoru shrugged as he walked home.

Ayame got to her home and immediately ran inside, but she immediately stopped in her tracks as she found her mother eating dinner with a man around her age but for some reason he reminded her of someone.

"M-Mother?" Ayame asked in surprise, both her mother, Ayako and the man shared the same look of surprise from her arrival.

"Oh uh Ayame, you're uh you're early" her mother nervously standing up to greet her while the man remained in position in shock like a dear in headlights. Ayako immediately turned between her and the man.

"Well allow me to introduce you Hyosuke-san, he's a friend of mine since Middle School," Ayako said as Hyosuke nodded with an awkward smile.

"Nice to meet you," Ayame said faking a smile and nodded, she had mixed feelings towards the situation. It was plainly obvious that Hyosuke was more than just a friend to her, that much is true but she didn't trust him as the last time her mother introduced a man in their lives was the abusive monster that is her father.

But at the same time, she was glad that her mother was okay to open up to other men in her life.

Ayako offered if she wanted to eat dinner with them, but Ayame faked a smile and told her that she wasn't hungry yet and went up to her room and ignored both her and Hyosuke. As soon as she was alone in her room she let out a sigh and lay down on her bed, and opened up her phone where a conversation between Haruki and Ryoko is going underway.

Ryoko: They're literally Dogs YCC_Haruki, they're not left-handed or right-handed. :facepalm_emoji:

Haruki: YCC_Ryoko Come on, you're not at the very least curious?

Ayame: Everyone 13t'S g0 0N 4 tRiP tHiS sUmM3R!

Ryoko: YCC_Ayame What do you have in mind?

Haruki: YCC_Ayame I'm down with a Club Trip! Where to?

Yusuke: YCC_Ryoko, YCC_Haruki How the fuck did you two managed to figure out her speech patterns?!

Takuya: YCC_Yusuke it's fairly easy once if you don't treat Coffee as a substitute for Coffee.

Yusuke: YCC_Takuya NEVER

Eire: YCC_Yusuke you really need to stop drinking that much coffee, it's really not healthy. YCC_Ayame that's a great idea, we could go on a beach trip.

Mamoru: YCC_Eire, YCC_Takuya Can I decline?

Yusuke: YCC_Eire, YCC_Takuya, Likewise.

Iori: How about we put it to a vote, who wants to join or not :Smilely_Emoji:

Takuya: YCC_Eire that's a great idea, let's vote on everyone is coming or not.

YCC_Takuya started a Poll

Attend the trip as a Group: 6/8

Not attending but let the Trip Proceed: 2/8

Yusuke: Fuck…

Mamoru: Welp, there goes my study plans.

It was immediately settled, as such the entire Club began planning on their trip. Ayame provided all sorts of places for them to go, but they managed to agree on going instead to Iori's Vacation Home once Summer Break begins, much to the chagrin of both Mamoru and Yusuke, but the two eventually got around and decided to join them either way.

On the night before the Trip, Ayame was helping out her mother in her work. Being the aspiring Manga Artist known as Sawano Shino, Ayame made a habit of helping her out in her art as a result became fond of drawing as well.

"Have you got your thinks ready before the trip?" Ayako asked her. "Yup, everything is ready for tomorrow." Ayame smiled but then it slowly disappeared as she recalled Hyosuke. Most likely she'll meet up with him again tomorrow.

"Are you…dating him?" Ayame asked innocently, causing Ayako to stop drawing in surprise. "Yes…I understand that you have mixed feelings about this and was hoping that I can properly introduce you to him." She explained looking at Ayame.

"I'm just worried that…" Ayame continued unable to finish the sentence as she felt her hand slightly shake in fear. "He'll end up like your father?" She asked Ayame nodded quietly.

"He's not like that, I promise you." She said with a reassuring smile at her. "I heard that he even has a son around your age, maybe you two will get along."

"He's married?" Ayame asked, slightly confused. Does that mean that…mother is—

"Was," Ayako said with a sad smile. "His wife died after his son was born, he told me that while he did everything he can in raising his son. He feels like his relationship with him is…distant, to say the least."

"I see," Ayame trailed off. "If, if he's different from him like you said I'll trust you for now."

[True Bonds]

"I can't believe you had forgotten my existence!" Ayame said running towards both Eire and Takuya as they waited for her at the Entrance to the Shishido Vacation Home. Their trip consists of a Train Ride and a Bus ride to her home, unfortunately, on the way, Ayame fell asleep and woke up to find out that she missed their stop an hour ago causing her to walk her way there.

"Sorry about that," Takuya said as he offered her a bottle of water as they entered the Estate. "At least wake me from my slumber if we are here." Ayame pouted as she placed her bag on a table as the rest waited for her to arrive.

"Look at it this way," Ryoko smiled. "You managed to get a chance to go sight-seeing around here."

"In this heat?" Haruki chuckled as he helped Iori prepare drinks for all of them. "I doubt that."

"You're more likely to get a stroke than enjoy the scenery," Mamoru said as fanning the Paper Fan of Dope Slapping to cope from the heat, meanwhile Yusuke passed out from the heat on as he faceplanted on the sofa.

"So what's on our agenda first?" Iori asked placing glasses on the table. "Well, we can always go and have lunch?" Eire suggested as Ayame placed her bags next to the others as well.

"That's a great idea, I'm starving!" Ayame smiled. "Hmmmrph," Yusuke said still on the sofa.

"Well, in that case, let's go have lunch then," Takuya said excitedly with the others agreeing. After some discussion it was agreed that both Ayame and Haruki are in charge of cooking lunch, meanwhile, Ryoko and Yusuke are off setting the tables while Mamoru and Eire sort out their stuff while Takuya and Iori go off to buy ingredients.

"You cook at home?" Haruki asked Ayame as they began to prepare lunch.

"That's right, my mother is overly fixated on her work as a result I would go and prepare our meals." Ayame smiled almost proudly at him.

"Yeah I know that feeling, while my father can cook he's a bit of a workaholic so I have to cook for both of us," Haruki explained with a shrug. "What about your mother?" Ayame inquired, he gave her a sad smile and ran a finger across his neck.

"Oh…apologies for that." Ayame apologized. "It's fine, though it kind of sucks since I never got the chance to meet her since she died when I was born." Haruki nodded with a reassuring smile.

Could he be? No that's too much of a coincidence though it would be hilarious if he really was the son of Hyosuke-san though. She thought as the two of them cooked in silence.

[True Bonds]

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