You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
September 23, 2020, 04:44:45 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Platinum Send us your theme!

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]  (Read 1569 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BlyTopic starter

The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« on: September 21, 2019, 02:27:28 PM »
Ito Kazuhiro was a tall young man, and he'd just had his eighteenth birthday about a month ago. He'd had it when exams were ongoing, and it had made his birthday very stressful. He had dark brown hair and warm brown eyes, and he was perhaps just a little too tall and a little too thin. But he had a demeanor that made it easy to ignore those slight oddities. He attended a respected high school--Whitebird Academy--and he attended it with his best friend in all the world, whom he had known since the first day of elementary school, when he'd sat next to him. The friendship had blossomed from there--music, hanging out, teasing about glasses, parties from time to time even though only Ito was particularly good with parties--all of that. Ito felt like he could tell his best friend anything.

Except one thing. The most important thing, really.

I love you, he thought to himself sadly, but the words didn't come out even as he stood in front of his mirror at home trying to practice saying it. He threw his hands up in frustration and said, "Ah, I can't; this is dumb." He got dressed in his school uniform--dark colors and a white shirt underneath--and headed out. The two young men tended to meet up on a particular street corner and walk to school together.

Ito had gotten a text from one of the guys on the swim team--Akagi--who had said that to celebrate exams being over and many students having gotten first pick for their university choices they'd be having a party on the weekend. With unease, Ito wanted to invite his best friend to the party, was sort of a known fact that Ito was the party-goer in the friendship.

It was raining. Ito tried not to swear, but he hadn't brought an umbrella. Or a coat. Crap. He hoped his partner-in-crime was on time; Ito was probably going to have to ask him to jog to school with him. Unless the other guy brought an umbrella. But really only men and women who were dating were supposed to stand under an umbrella together...

There was a gentle rumble of thunder.

Ito sort of hoped his friend had enough foresight to bring an umbrella, onlookers be damned.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 03:06:09 PM by Bly »

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 05:22:01 PM »
Ryuu Fukuyoshi was Ito’s opposite in every way, short where he was tall, round where he was thin, nerdy and quiet and shy with his extra weight, whereas Ito was outgoing enough to attend a party and enjoy himself. Yet, somehow, they were still friends—best friends, in fact—bound together by coincidence, although Ryuu preferred to think of it as fate, since the day he had first sat down next to him. They had shared a desk, school supplies, and later a friend group.

Walking out of his apartment building into the street, Ryuu was displeased to see that it was raining, something he hadn’t noticed in his haste to get ready. It wasn’t hard enough to wet him yet, just little droplets that he barely felt, but by the time he got to their usual meeting spot, it was sure to be pouring.

It was typical of a Monday in Japan. Probably Monday mornings everywhere, actually. It was an unspoken rule.

Ryuu forced himself to turn around and run back inside, up the four flights of steps (because of course the elevator was out of service, it was just that kind of morning), emerging on the fourth floor landing out of breath and clutching a stitch in his side. Not enough exercise left him feeling as if he was going to die. He had to wait a moment or so to catch his breath before he unlocked his door, calling out to his mother that he had forgotten something so she wouldn’t wonder why he was back. He didn’t even take his shoes off, he was in such a hurry to get the umbrella and get to Ito, grabbing his little sister’s which was by the door. It was only as he was jogging down the street that he opened it up to protect himself from the falling rain and saw the pink heart pattern and cutesy little characters. Oops. Still, a girl’s umbrella was better than no umbrella at all, so he used it, ignoring the strange stares he got for it.

He heard the first rumblings of thunder as he was walking to the end of the street, out of breath from jogging as far as he could. He made a mental note to do something about this whole exercise thing. There was no reason for a young man his age to be so out of shape. Or so round. Maybe Ito would do the workouts with him, make it less torturous. Slightly. Exercise was still exercise, though.

“Sorry you got stuck waiting. I’m here.” He panted, catching his second wind, so to speak, and jogging the last few steps to him, face flushed and sweaty, but it was raining anyway so it was hard to tell. It was the one good thing about the rain. “And I grabbed Ayano’s umbrella.” As if he wouldn’t notice for himself, holding the pink monstrosity out as evidence. It was raining hard enough now that Ryuu would have used a rainbow umbrella with flashing, neon lights if he had to. “Shall we?” He thought nothing of sharing it with him, even if it was something couples usually did. No way he was letting his best friend, who didn't have a coat or an umbrella of his own, get soaked and possibly fall ill. Besides, anyone could look at them and know that they weren’t a couple.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 06:56:01 PM by raywrites »

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2019, 05:38:38 PM »
"You're a lifesaver, Ryuu," Ito said happily. One thing that notable about Ito was his desire to go by his own last name, but he was happy to call others just about anything. It was perhaps the only thing about him that didn't immediately read as being open and warm; it made him seem a little formal. But that was mostly because his father had drilled it into his head that all interactions should start from a place of politeness and respect, and if someone was close enough to be calling him Kazuhiro, then that was something that should be private. Ito never really understood his father's formality, but maybe that was why his father was such a successful businessman and Ito was figuring out this whole university thing.

He ducked under the umbrella; the rain was coming down like a torrent. Ito had gotten fairly wet, but it hadn't seeped all the way down, which was helpful. He grinned and said, "I think the sky is mistaken about swim practice for me; I'm not supposed to get drenched until afternoons. And only in pools."

He walked with Ryuu, slightly hunched over since his friend was a bit smaller than him, and he considered how to broach the subject of the party.

Awkward. He couldn't imagine Ryuu saying no, but he also hated asking Ryuu to do things he didn't like to do...but this might be their last party this year, given how Ryuu didn't like going to them.

" Akagi texted me. You remember Akagi, right? Swim team captain? Everyone's done with exams, and a lot of people did well," Ito started out. How to word it? How to word it? "Uh, there's a party this Saturday; a lot of people are going. I'd hate to go to a party all about celebrating doing well on exams and not go with my best friend." He perked up and said, "By the way, how well did you do? I did pretty well. I did well enough that my top three university picks are all still options for me; I should get into my number one pick. I think I'm going to get a swim scholarship, too! How about you? I guess we never really talked about university too much; I feel like I've got no idea what's going on with you. Tell me about it!"

Some of that was him trying to make conversation as they headed to school in the rain.

Some of that was Ito being nosy, because...were they even going to the same place after this last year ended? Somehow he felt like they might not, which might be why neither had said anything. They did have differing interests, and that meant divergence as they got older.

It depressed the absolute hell out of Ito, but he hadn't stood in front of a mirror all morning just to box Ryuu and Ryuu's future totally out of his life...even if life might be trying to box him out of it instead.

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 06:53:31 PM »
Ryuu smiled at his friend, handing him the umbrella since it made more sense for the taller person to hold it. He felt bad enough making him stoop. “Don’t hurt your back on my account. You still have swim practice, as you just reminded me.” He said seriously, not one for many jokes, especially not this early in the morning, or while they were doing something as mundane as walking to school. Which wasn’t to say he didn’t find Ito’s jokes amusing, he just… didn’t laugh out loud. He mostly just smiled, and hardly even that when other people were around.

They walked for a short while in silence, Ito evidently thinking something over, and Ryuu was content to let him do it until he was ready to bring up whatever it was. And then, sure enough, he was mentioning Akagi, the swim team captain.

“Is that the one who likes to wear overly tight speedos?” He asked dryly, smirking slightly. Making fun of people was one exception to the joking, and Ito was his only safe place to do so. “Someone should tell him to loosen them before he cuts off his own circulation.” He said, sounding rather serious, but ruining it with his smirk. “But yes, go on, I remember him. Tell me whatever it is you’ve been wrestling with on this lovely rainy morning.”

He had a feeling he knew where this was going. And, sure enough…

A party.

But it wasn’t like he could say no. Not when it very well could be the last one he and Ito attended together. And didn’t that make him sad? Ridiculous, really, considering he didn’t even like parties, but when he went with Ito… they weren’t so bad. Not that he would ever admit that.

“I suppose. I can’t very well let you go alone.”

And that was that. He was going to the party.

At the mention of the exams, he smiled as he mentioned doing well, genuinely happy for him the way only a close friend could be. “I knew you would do well, Ito. You work too hard not to. And you’re one of the fastest swimmers on that team.” Ryuu knew this from experience, as he attended every swim meet, standing on the sidelines as he cheered his best friend on.

“I did okay. Not the best, you know.” He shrugged slightly, affecting an upset expression for a moment, biting his lip on a cheeky grin. “I’m in the top 10% for science. Math was a little lower, but I still passed.” In the top 20%, but there was no need to brag. Besides, he was a little embarrassed by how nerdy he was, glancing down at the wet pavement by their feet and refusing to look at Ito. He was also proud of his achievement, but it was a lot easier to act embarrassed. “I have the pick of my top choices as well. Maybe we could go somewhere together.” He said wistfully, despite knowing that they had different interests. “But… you still want to go for a business degree, right?”
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 06:54:55 PM by raywrites »

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 07:13:50 PM »
He took the umbrella and held it; it really made the whole thing much easier all around. He got a lot less wet, though he did feel a little odd holding a girl's umbrella since Ryuu had grabbed Ayano's by mistake.

Why did he feel so crestfallen hearing about Ryuu's good scores? Ito wondered if that made him feel like a bad person. If Ryuu hadn't done as well, he might not go for one of the more prestigious places...and they would have had a better chance of going to the same place. Ito wasn't dumb by any means, but there was a world of difference in the requirements for business versus the requirements for other things. Ito was a student who hadn't needed to go to cram school for one; his scores were good, and business was more than just academic achievement. Ito had focused instead on extracurricular activities coupled with studying at home.

He shared his own scores. "I did really well in math--I had to for my major. Top 5%! I...didn't do as good in sciences. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you--it's not horrible's not something that I think I can brag about. Thankfully it's not important for my intended career. Still....I really should have studied harder for my sciences with you; you've always been good at those. Oh! I did really well on my scores related to literature and foreign languages!" That was one thing Ito had to focus on--learning more than one language was important for anyone going into business if that business was to have a chance at expanding. He'd opted to learn English and Chinese, in that order. His school had offered English--he had to get Chinese from an extracurricular.

The school was now in sight. A lot of people were hurrying in from the rain; homeroom would start in about five minutes.

"I'm glad you're going to the party with me--thanks. I know you hate them, but I appreciate it. And yeah, Akagi's the one in the too-tight swimwear. He's really intent on being as smooth in the water as possible and says they help. I mean I tried to humor him once and wear one too, but I think I'd rather lose at a swim competition than wear one of those again. I genuinely worry about his ability to find a date if he keeps wearing that thing." Ito said that with a conspiratory grin; he sometimes liked hearing Ryuu cast about a little mockery. He got to see a side of his friend that other people didn't get to see. Ryuu had some bite to him sometimes.

Once they got to the school, he ducked under the nearest awning, folding up the umbrella and handing it to Ryuu.

"Yeah, I'm still going for business administration. My father expects it of me; I'm not sure he'd accept me doing anything else."

Iro didn't talk a lot about his parents to Ryuu. Ito's parents were very kind to Ryuu when the friends were visiting, as befitting etiquette, but they were very different to Ito when his friend went home. His father hated that Ito didn't go to cram school. He hated that Ito had opted for Chinese instead of Spanish. He hated that Ito was too thin and had insisted that an 'insufficiently' masculine look would fail to impress fellow businessmen. Ito's mother, on the other hand, had noticed Ito not bringing any girls home for his entire time at school, and as such she had constantly badgered him to meet the daughter or niece or whatever of some of her friends. The more he didn't want to, the more upset his mother became, though she didn't like to show it. The only quiet indicator of her displeasure was a threat about helping to support him financially in college--she had put her foot down and insisted that he have a 'sufficient social life' outside of clubs, and Ito knew that meant she expected him to find a nice woman to date.

He was pretty sure she'd disown him if he told her he wanted to date Ryuu.

"Race you to homeroom?" Ito suggested to his long-time friend, not letting any of those thoughts get him down. He was going to make the most of this last year; he had to.

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 12:35:01 AM »
Ryuu chuckled to himself at the picture his friend made, carrying Ayano’s umbrella, and risked ducking out from under it to get a quick shot on his phone camera.“Blackmail material.” He declared, tucking his phone back into his pocket as he once more retreated under the safety of the umbrella, getting wet entirely worth it, in his opinion.

“You did amazing!” He said as he mentioned scoring in the top 5% for math. “I should have made you study with me.” His somewhat lower score didn’t kill his future plans, but they might make it a little more complicated in the long run. Medical schools were not known for taking anything but the best of the best, after all. He hadn’t even told anyone about his dreams of becoming a surgeon, afraid of being laughed at. They were rather ambitious dreams.

“Come on, tell me your science score, it can’t be that bad.” He wanted to know as they walked along, getting closer and closer to school. It was a shame they still had to go even after finishing their exams and everything. They deserved a break, in his opinion, and he was sure many other students would agree with him. “My foreign language marks were awful.” He groaned, shaking his head slightly. “Why does English have to be so hard? So many rules. And then they break the rules so many times. Why have rules if you aren’t going to follow them?”

And there it was, their school building, half hidden in a blanket of fog, the lights already on inside despite it being morning to compensate for the dark skies. Students were scurrying to and fro, and someone in a yellow rainslicker nearly slipped in a puddle in front of them.

“I don’t… hate them.” That wasn’t exactly a lie. He could never hate spending time with his best friend, even if he had to do it with other people around and music blasting too loud to be able to talk. He snickered at the image of Ito in a speedo to match his captain’s, easily able to recall that swim meet. “I know. I remember.” He declared, smirking. What else were best friends for, but poking fun at each other? “I thought I was going to have to jump in and save you from drowning with that thing on.”

He followed him under the awning, accepting the umbrella and shaking it to rid the plastic of stray droplets. “Do you still have it?” He asked suddenly, leaving him to figure out what he was talking about, still not discussing his ambitious medical career when Ito mentioned business management, as it would only serve as a verbal reminder that they would soon be apart. He already knew that, and he was sure Ito did too. There was no need to bring it up and make it even more real. Even more final. That hideous yellow speedo was a safe topic.

“Race you.” He agreed, and took off running before he had even finished speaking. He needed the extra few seconds’ head start so he didn’t consider it cheating.

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 09:50:36 PM »

Ito answered about his sciences score, "I was in the top fifty percent and I count myself lucky--"

And Ryuu asked if he still had that speedo! Why would he ask that?! Ito's face erupted in a blush that threatened to overtake not just his face but his whole body. It wasn't an inappropriate question, not between two friends who'd been friends for a long time, but given how much he liked Ryuu, to be asked about it out of nowhere! God! Well, not out of nowhere, exactly--

But Ryuu was already off, having taken him up on the offer to race! Ito gave a happy shout; talking could wait until one of the emerged the victor by arriving first at home room! But he was thrown off by how quickly Ryuu had taken off! Maybe he'd just really underestimated his friend; his friend was perhaps a little....fluffy...but Ryuu was always surprising him it seemed! Ito rushed after, and he knew that he was getting water spots all over the hallway. He could hear a few girls shout at them as they ran, irritated that they were being rude.

Ito didn't care. It was amazingly fun, and soon enough both were at homeroom. He was pretty sure Ryuu had just barely gotten there first, but Ito considered it a fair race. Ito was naturally athletic, Ryuu not so much, and the little head start evened things up.

"You got faster," Ito said, puffing away to catch his breath. "And yes, I still have...that thing. Akagi got me to try it and if I throw it away, he'll probably be so upset. I've got no idea what to do with it--"

One of the more popular girls walked by both boys, heading into class. Takada Aoi. Ito didn't dare to think of her as anything other than 'Takada-san'; she was sort of like the resident Queen of the Classroom. While she had the same uniform as anyone else, her long hair was always perfectly styled and had the best accoutrements with it. Her eyes were always bright, her face was always clear, and she always had that ideal 'cute girl' vibe. Ito liked her as a friend but would never like her as anything more--this didn't change his perception of her power as a popular girl.

She cast a glance not at Ito but at Ryuu, saying, "Oh, you! I heard you did well in science. I need my scores to be higher or I can't get into my preferred programs. Can you help me?" The classroom fell silent. She had very notably not invited Ito or even looked at him. Takada-san had never once paid attention to Ryuu before; she had never been mean, but she'd never actually talked to him. Everyone paid attention when she did in that moment; Takada-san didn't talk to people without a good reason. Anyone she wanted to spend time with clearly had to be worthwhile in some way, so this was like her publicly declaring to the class that she thought Ryuu was the smartest in class.

There wasn't too much time to decide on an answer for Takada-san either; they had very little time left before the start of home room. Ito didn't interfere; this was up to Ryuu to decide. On the one hand, Takada-san talking to Ryuu might mean Ryuu would have an easier time of things socially for the rest of the year...on the other hand, it likely meant he and Ito would spend less time together if Takada needed the smart boy often for tutoring...

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 01:23:31 AM »
Ryuu had paid dearly for his little burst of speed, chest burning like fire as it heaved up and down, fighting to breathe normally. He wasn’t paying attention to his friend as he spoke, leaning against the doorframe to their classroom as he willed his lungs to go back to normal and work properly. He felt dizzy, and thought that he might actually throw up. He never should have run like that, not when he was overweight, and out of shape, and didn’t even have a real reason to do it in the first place! Who would have cared if Ito reached the door before him?

“I…” His breath caught again, causing him to cough as he made a fist and banged it on his chest. Not that it would make much of a difference, shy of maybe making his breathing worse. “Give… it… to… him. If he’s… so upset.” He said, as he finally realized he was talking about the speedo still. Was that his voice coming out so hoarse?

A few more coughs, and a few more bangs, and then he heard a female voice speaking to him. A novel occasion, as it so happened.

“No.” He answered, before his oxygen-starved brain caught up with his mouth and he realized he was being incredibly rude. “I mean, I’m terribly sorry, Takada-san, but I can’t. I still need to focus on my own studies. Medical schools have a separate exam to determine placement.” Plus, calling someone ‘you,’ and completely ignoring them before you needed them was never the way to earn a favor. Especially not someone who wasn’t afraid to say no and ignore social necessities like Ryuu. On top of that, it was time-consuming and rather presumptuous to expect a virtual stranger to pick up one’s academic slack. Maybe it was lack of sleep and general crankiness talking here, but Ryuu rather thought she could have done better if she had spent less time on her flawless appearance and more time actually working.

Takada-san stared at him in shock, as if she had never seen him before. Perhaps she hadn't, since they had been classmates for almost four years and she still didn't know his name. She clearly had no idea what to say, mouth opening and closing before she just gave a helpless little shrug, accompanied by a nod. Ryuu blamed her for the awkward silence that followed. It was bad manners to ask for a favor like that, especially in front of others where it would look even worse if he said no.

“C’mon, Ito. I need to sit down.” With that, he moved past her, and everyone staring at him as if he had grown two heads and found his seat in the back row. Even the teacher seemed to look at him strangely during roll call, as if he had done something unheard of by refusing the Queen of the Classroom. “They’re going to give me hell later, aren’t they?” He wondered, glancing in Ito’s direction as he flipped through his textbook to the exercises they were about to begin. Then he had another thought, and frowned, scrawling out a note on the corner of his notebook and angling it so Ito could see, since the teacher had finished the attendance roster and jumped right into the lesson, chalk making a pleasant tapping sound on the board as he wrote out work for them to do.

'You're not mad at me, are you? We already don't have much time together. And I really don't want to tutor her.'

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 01:46:36 AM »

Ito wasn't sure what he'd expected. Some part of him was so happy that Ryuu had just turned down Takada-san. It wasn't that he wanted to see the girl unhappy; Ito tended to be comfortable among many people. He probably should have been offended at how Takada-san ignored him, but in all honesty, Ito wasn't in her league and didn't expect her to pay attention to him, so it was kind of okay to him. He was more concerned about what this all meant for Ryuu. At least one of Takada's clique was whispering or passing notes during home room. It didn't bode well for Ryuu later, Ito realized.

He sat down when Ryuu did; why not? It was home room, they'd both been running, and standing for too long was probably weird. Ito listened to home room announcements and sort of tuned them out, which was probably a terrible idea, but Ryuu showing him a note written on the corner of his notebook caught his attention. Home room had transitioned into the first lesson very quickly. The day already felt like it was rushing by without him; it was as if the school year was determined to rob him of his time with Ryuu as quickly as possible. If it was possible to be resentful of Time itself, then Ito absolutely was resentful.

Ito opted to scribble back quickly on his own notebook, angling it so Ryuu could see.

'No, I'm not mad. I think I'm worried instead.
I like spending time with you, but I don't want people being mean to you.'

He had to pull the notebook kind of quickly before a fellow student in a nearby chair tried to peek. That was really the only problem with writing notes to show; sometimes people just got nosy and could not mind their own business. Ito was sort of used to it, though, mostly because he was social enough to where people tended to want to know what he was talking about.

The teacher called on Ito to answer a question--it was a math one. Easy enough--they were covering statistics, and that was actually something Ito was good at for once. It was a bit unusual for the day to open with mathematics, but it was welcome for Ito, who felt like at least this gave him one thing he was decent enough at to focus on. Because he didn't feel like he was being a very good friend to Ryuu--though he couldn't pinpoint any one point he'd done anything wrong, Ito still felt like somehow he was failing his best friend. He'd asked him to go to a party, made him do a race, wound up in a situation where Ryuu had to pick not being bullied essentially or spending time with Ito...

It was a rough day already. Ouch.

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 09:38:40 AM »
Ryuu didn’t notice the notes and whispering, or perhaps he didn’t care, far more interested in learning statistics, which he would need for his first semester of university, not to mention for the med school entrance exams.

Although, he shifted his attention to Ito as he watched him write a note back, eyes squinted behind his slightly dirty glasses in an effort to read it. The rain droplets had dried and he probably should have cleaned them off before sitting down, but this teacher didn’t like people getting up during the lesson, so he took them off and polished them on his uniform shirt. Shoving them back in place, he had to lean nearly all the way out of his seat to read the note, which defeated the purpose when it came to subtlety.

‘I don’t care,’ He wrote, realized how it sounded, which was that he was being rude again, then hastily shook his head and kept writing, ‘if they’re mean. They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again.’ Being chubby even after everyone else had lost their baby fat and grown taller seemed to be tantamount to a crime to these people. Throw in the glasses, the sharp tongue, and basically everyone else about him, and it was a given that they would have things to say. Ryuu was past caring about them, for the most part. He had his best friend, he had his family, his relatively decent health, and he was going off to university without any of them soon.

There was only one person he wanted to bring, and he was sitting next to him.

He was glad to see that the rain had slowed to a light drizzle as they left the building for their afternoon meal, which was good because he had left Ayano’s umbrella back in the classroom. No need to carry that around for longer than he had to. As upperclassmen they were permitted outside for the forty minutes or so that they had as a midday break, and he was already contemplating McDonalds. If he could talk healthy, swim team champion Ito into it.

“You could order a salad.” He offered as they walked, ambling in that general direction, but there were other things as well if he still didn’t want to go. “I think I saw grilled chicken on the menu last time too. Plus, you’re going to practice later and burn it all off anyway, so c'mon, please?”

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2019, 10:51:05 PM »
"Ahhh, McDonalds?" Ito whined a little, but he didn't whine too much. He supposed that getting some food from the rather infamous American food chain was a bit...warranted...after today. He'd asked Ryuu to go to a party with him and knew Ryuu would be getting some serious flak for refusing Takada-san. If there was ever a time for a little comfort food, this seemed like the time. Of course, Ito had to be very careful what he chose to eat. His weight mattered for the swim team, and Ito generally tended to focus a lot on keeping himself in shape.

"Well...just this once," he conceded regarding the McDonalds. "You're right that I can get a salad. My high-calorie treat today can be a soda!"

It didn't take too long for them to get to McDonalds; it was not too terribly crowded in the drive-through, but there were a few people inside. It was a clean restaurant and mostly decorated in whites, reds, silvers, and brown colors; it had that very 'corporate' look to it, that standardized look that most fast-food places had. There were mostly tables for everyone to sit at, but there were a few booths too.

That was fine; it gave Ito a chance to figure out what on earth types of salads were in this place. He wasn't used to this type of fast food joint; he never really memorized the menu beyond remembering that this was the place famous for 'Big Macs' and 'McNuggets.'

Though just because he wasn't a fan of the place didn't mean he wasn't kind. He grinned at Ryuu as they went inside and he said, "Whatever you want. My treat. May as well!" He did still have a decent enough little bit of money to splurge on things like this; he knew his mother would be miffed he'd spent it on hanging out with Ryuu, but it wasn't as though there were going to be any women in Ito's future. And he didn't really want there to be.

His phone buzzed while they were in line; Ito looked down to check it.

A text from his father.

Since you aren't in cram school, I expect you home early every night this week to study.
You do not have the luxury of slacking off since you aren't trying as hard as the rest.

Ito rolled his eyes and shoved his phone back in his pocket, groaning and saying to Ryuu, "My dad just refuses to understand that I don't need cram school. He probably saw my science scores and thinks it's somehow the end of the world. I hope he doesn't put his foot down about Akagi's party..."

He dug around in his wallet for cash and said to Ryuu, "Can you order for me? I have no idea what salads are good here--I'll get the cash for it--"
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 10:52:13 PM by Bly »

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2019, 01:42:42 PM »
Ryuu nodded as he whined, waiting patiently to see how he would ultimately respond. He always could find something elsewhere if his friend really hated the idea. But there was just something about the greasy food that he loved. He grinned as he finally gave in, filled with a sudden excitement for food that he knew was not healthy. “You could always get diet soda.” He murmured; eyes squinted as he waited for the familiar argument over the evils of diet soda. He drank it for taste, at this point. And because he really did not need any extra calories or sugar. “Save your high-calorie treat for, well, a treat.”

He polished his glasses on his shirt and peered up at the menu as they stood there, shaking his head at the salad selection. “I’ve tried those once while I was on a diet. They have more calories than the burgers. You’re better off with grilled chicken. Or lightening up for once and having a burger.” He teased. He was visibly excited while they waited for their turn to order, smile a little brighter as he all but hopped on the balls of his feet. It was terrible, he knew, but he loved junk food.

When their turn came, he ordered a double cheeseburger, a large fries, and a large soda combination meal, feeling a bit embarrassed to do so with his slim best friend next to him. He thought the girl behind the counter might have been making fun of him for his order and shifted awkwardly while he dug in his uniform pocket for his wallet.

“No, I can’t let you do that, I’m the one who wanted to eat here.” He protested at the mention of Ito paying, digging for his debit card faster so he could set it on the counter for the girl to ring up their meal. She smiled as she saw Ito, of course, which did not endear her to Ryuu in the slightest.

But he forgot about her when Ito’s phone buzzed, his friend clearly not happy with whatever message he saw. His father, it had to be.  “Tell him I’ll help you study. Whatever gets him off your back.” His eyes had narrowed in displeasure. He didn’t like the man, even if he was Ito’s father, and it was difficult to hide that. At least, when they were alone. When he was over at Ito's house, he made him nervous, truth be told.

“Moment of truth, Ito. Burger or salad?” He teased, waiting for him to respond so he could put the other half of their order in, along with an ice cream for dessert. He had picked up the disgusting habit of dunking his fries in it, thanks to Ayano.

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2019, 06:34:38 PM »
Ito grimaced and said, “I’ll text him back after we eat. Maybe he’ll be okay if you help me; I can only hope he will be.” What Ito left out was that he knew his mother wouldn’t be...but she wouldn’t say anything. Urgh, trying to navigate his parents being this way was a pain.

He waved for Ryuu to order for them and pay then—he wouldn’t insist if Ryuu truly did want to pay for the meal. “Grilled chicken for me and diet soda then—I don’t think you could win me over to a burger if it were the last thing on earth. If I wanted beef, I’d probably eat some shabu shabu since I always like how thinly it’s sliced in that sort of dish and it’s a lot healthier.

He let Ryuu finish the order—they could probably afford a small amount of time to sit inside and eat, so Ito went to claim a table for them. This was easier said than done, because Ito’s height meant that he didn’t like having his legs squished in booths, and he certainly didn’t like tables that were too close to other tables. Something near a window…

He found a spot and set his bookbag there, laying claim to it and waving at Ryuu so his friend would see they got a nice spot near a window, despite the dreary weather of the day. He had other stuff to talk to Ryuu about, fun stuff or just normal friend stuff, he just didn't want to shout it across the restaurant. Ito was at times a private person for all his extroversion.

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2019, 12:45:33 AM »
Hopefully he would be. Besides the fact that they already struggled to find time together, Ito did not deserve to have to deal with his father’s nonsense on top of everything else, Ryuu thought. Maybe they could swing this to their advantage and they could go over one or the other’s house. “I hope so too.” Is all he said in response though, not wanting to upset his friend by talking badly about his father. That was his family, after all.

Plus, they were here to enjoy their much-needed reprieve from school, not to stress more about things that were outside of their control. Which, of course, was easier said than done.

He made a face at the mention of grilled chicken, teasing his friend, but ordering it all the same. He would have ordered anything Ito wanted. “You and your health food. I prefer sukiyaki. It’s sweeter.” He said with a grin. He had quite the sweet tooth.

He collected their food after it was made, looking around the room for Ito once he was holding the tray. Aha, there he was, waving to him and sitting at a table in the middle of a relatively empty spot, given that it was lunchtime and rather crowded. He hurried over, conscious of not tripping with the tray in his hands. That would be the end of their food, and Ryuu might just cry in disappointment if that happened.

But he made it to the table without incident, setting it down in the middle and dropping down across from his friend. “Here’s your cardboard—sorry, grilled chicken,” He announced, removing the wrapped sandwich from the tray and sliding it across the table to Ito. “And here’s my deliciousness.” He grinned, obviously quite pleased as he unwrapped his own burger and took a healthy bite. “Mmm. That’s so good. You have no clue what you’re missing.” He said, washing it down with a long sip of soda and grabbing a handful of fries.

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2019, 04:45:19 PM »
Ito let his face break into a goofy grin at the mention of sukiyaki. “I used to like sukiyaki. Remember last year though? When we were on that field trip and we all had sukiyaki at that little place in Yokohama? And maybe it was just that the teacher knew the guy operating the restaurant, but that guy just kept loading everyone up with more sukiyaki as soon as we finished our servings? I ate enough to be sick on it because it was my cheat day since I knew I wasn’t swimming during a field trip. I think someone in class even accidentally got served sake on accident. I want to say that was Yagi-san? He always looks a lot older than he is; I think the restaurant owner thought he was an adult!”

He nibbled at the grilled chicken; Ito was actually very hungry, but his weight was something that always got monitored. He remembered Akagi really reaming him about eating all the sukiyaki last year, so nowadays Ito tried to eat slow to reduce the risk of overeating. He didn’t find the self-control fun, and he always felt like he was missing out compared to other people like Ryuu. But Ito almost never got what he wanted anyways; that was life, really! But today was another cheat day, and if Akagi wanted to complain about it to him later, so be it!

He bonked Ryuu on the head with his chicken sandwich instead.

“Hey, hey, I think I know what I’m eating, thanks!” He was laughing when he bonked Ryuu, though, showing that his teasing wasn’t mean but instead in good fun. He was always careful about that. Ryuu got enough trouble from other students. He didn’t need Ito making things worse, so Ito was always careful to measure his words around his friend so that he could always be a source of support rather than stress.

He nibbled a bit more on the chicken. It wasn’t too bad for a McDonald’s chicken.

“I might have to admit you were right to come here. This is actually pretty good,” Ito admitted shyly, relishing having cheap fast food for once.

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2019, 04:26:20 PM »
Ryuu remembered that field trip all too well, as he had been the one to eat the most sukiyaki and rice, and consequently became the sickest from it. He and Ito had taken turns throwing up in the bushes in the parking lot outside the restaurant. Unpleasant at the time, it was nothing but amusing now. Though, he had definitely slowed down his consumption of his favorite food. “It’s a good thing you got sick or you might have sank when you tried to swim afterwards.” He teased, laughing heartily. “I gained two kilograms that weekend. My mom was not impressed.”

He watched him nibble at the grilled chicken, eating so neatly that he had to roll his eyes. “You’re not on a date, you know.” He commented, taking his sandwich back as he bonked him on the head. “Hey! You can’t waste good food.” He finished off his sandwich and most of the fries before he got up to take their tray over to the garbage, their time just about up.

“Good, maybe you'll think of that next time I want Mcdonald's. But we better get back, we were already almost late once.”

Thankfully, it hadn't started raining again while they had been eating. In fact, the walk back was refreshing, and as a bonus they didn’t run into any of their fellow classmates, especially not Takada.

“So it’s settled? You’re coming over tonight?” He asked, just before they sat down in their classroom and the rest of the day’s lessons began.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 04:27:57 PM by raywrites »

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2019, 11:46:29 PM »
Ito texted his father back once they were done eating, just before classes resumed.

Father, it's fine.
I am going to a friend's house to study.

He didn't actually hear anything back. That was...good. Probably good. Well, it wasn't horrible, at least. If his father was going to punish him, it wouldn't be soon, so Ito counted his blessings. He gave it one more minute before putting his phone on silent and then away for class.

Ito smiled at Ryuu and said, "Yeah, I'll come over tonight. I didn't get a 'no' so I'm going to interpret it as a yes." He didn't say anything about his parents; he would deal with them later. Ito's parents being pushy didn't have to be a Ryuu problem, and Ito's parents were far too polite to ever actually be unkind in front of Ryuu. They would be unpleasant about it later with Ito, but he would figure it out.

Class was agonizingly long and boring. If Ito was being honest with himself, he was falling asleep a little in class. He would never admit it, but his father was probably right that he needed to buckle down, if only a little. Or maybe it was just that this being the final year of his life remaining the same comfortable thing it always was had made him a little...distracted. Once classes were over, he collected his things. He kept a lookout for Takada; he wasn't exactly looking for things to get any weirder and didn't want her trying to steal Ryuu away.

...steal? Ito had to sort of stop himself. Ryuu was a person. He couldn't be 'stolen.' Well, he could, but that was kidnapping technically and Ito knew that wasn't what this was about. No, Ryuu's friendship could not be stolen. Yeah. That sounded more right in his head.

Once he got his things together, he met up with Ryuu outside the school.

"Don't forget the umbrella," he said, grinning. It wasn't raining any more, though the sky still had a murky sort of look to it.

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 06:33:57 PM »
Ryuu was pleased to hear that his friend was coming over. They didn’t get to spend all that much time together outside of school as of late, and it wasn’t like they could hang out during classes.  Their time together consisted mostly of stolen moments which were going to slowly taper off even more the closer they got to graduation.

He wasn’t looking forward to that at all.

“Sounds good.” He replied with a small smile. “Though he probably just didn’t check his phone and it’s actually a no.” He hoped not. The last thing he wanted was for his friend to get in trouble over him. “I’ll let my mom know you’re coming so she can prepare enough food later.” He sent her a quick message, his mother responding with a smiley face a few minutes later. She never minded feeding Ito. In fact, she was always talking about him being too thin.

He caught his friend all but falling asleep as the lessons went on, causing him to elbow him awake when the teacher had his back turned.
“Hey, Sleeping Beauty, wake up.” He whispered as quietly as possible, hopefully saving them both from getting in any trouble.
Classes seemed to go on forever, their teachers doing their best to fill their heads with even more pointless information. Pointless now that they had gotten into university.

After class, he gathered his books and jacket, along with the umbrella, and joined Ito outside.

He waved it at him as he mentioned it. “Got it. Let’s go, before it starts raining again. My mother’s waiting to fatten you up anyway.”
The ten minute walk was made in no time at all, the rain holding back until they were able to get inside. His mother was indeed waiting for them both, the smell of cooking food hitting Ryuu the moment they walked in the door.

“Welcome home! I’m making your favorite tonight, Ryuu, but it won't be ready for a while so just go and relax for now, boys.”

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2019, 08:07:48 PM »
Ito sighed happily when the scent of home-cooking met his nose upon entering the Fukuyoshi household. There was something really warm and inviting about the place. Ito's own house wasn't bad or anything, but Ryuu's felt a bit more like home. Maybe it was because Ryuu's mom was so nice to him? Although oh god she was going to try to make him overeat again! He loved this place but Ryuu's family had never quite gotten it through their heads that Ito had to watch his weight for his swim lessons; if he went outside the acceptable weight limit they might ask him to leave the team. So he was always being careful.

...he could cheat twice in one day, though, right? This wasn't McDonald's, this was Fukuyoshi-san's cooking! Ryuu's mother really knew how to whip up a beautiful meal.

Ito went to Ryuu's room with him and said with a bright look in his eyes, "So are we actually going to study? I mean, I probably should. I did say I was going to study with a friend but..."

But man, what a waste. I already tanked my Science score; it's not going to get better. I just want to chill with my bestie, Ito thought.

"...we could play videogames instead," Ito said, beaming. He couldn't quite remember which ones Ryuu had; he never seemed to recall, just that whenever he came over and if they did game, it was always fun.

Ito pondered. "I mean, I guess we could do both, but I don't know if any amount of studying is going to actually improve my scores at this point. Some subjects just don't mesh with me. Shame I can't have all those smarts in your brain, Ryuu," he said, grinning widely.

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2019, 01:37:35 AM »
After breathing in the delicious scent of his mom's cooking, Ryuu led Ito into his room, closing the door and setting down his bag. The room was small, but it was all his, and that was all that mattered.

"We could." He mused. "It isn't like we have all the time in the world, anymore." But that was a depressing thought, and not one he was keen on allowing to ruin their time together. "Pfft. Smarts. I just studied more." He waved that off, then got up to get his controllers, handing one to his friend. "Games it is. Maybe afterwards we can go over a few things if you want. Just so you're not technically lying." He flashed him a grin while they waited for the game to start.

Super Smash Brothers. A classic, and something they had been playing since the first one came out years ago. "Hey, maybe you'll surprise me and win for once." He teased Ito as the first round began. Actually, they both seemed to be rather rusty, making them almost evenly matched, and even losing spectacularly was just all in good fun.

Eventually, though, he heard his mom calling for him to set the table, so he paused the game and went to do that so they could eat sooner. She had really outdone herself today. "To celebrate the end of exams." She declared as she carried the last dish over to the table and they all sat down together, including Ayano, who tended to get rather quiet around Ito. His mother made up for it by prodding him to eat more. "You're still so skinny, Ito! A growing boy needs food." She said, while her husband, freshly home from work and just sitting down to join them, nodded his agreement. "Pass your plate and we'll fill it up for you."

There was even dessert afterwards, as if they hadn't all eaten more than enough, Ryuu's mother beaming proudly as she uncovered the plate with a flourish. "Not too much, Ryuu." His father said, before he could take seconds. Ryuu went red from the comment, made to no one else at the table despite the second plate of dessert his sister was enjoying. He could see where he was coming from, as his parents just wanted him to be healthy, but was it really necessary to comment in front of Ito?

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2019, 10:43:43 AM »
Ito loved playing Smash Bros. with his friend. He liked to main Richter a lot--in the middle of gaming, he just had to show Ryuu a hilarious video he'd found that summed up so much of the dumb Smash Bros. fandom where they always trashed a person no matter who they mained--CalebCity felt like the perfect level of humor between them. Gaming was one of the few times he didn't mind trash talking a bit with Ryuu; if there was any time a guy could give his best friend hell, it was definitely during a game! When they were done playing and it was time for dinner, Ito left his gaming mood behind him.

The Fukuyoshi household was always trying to feed Ito; the young man always wondered at it. He felt bad when Ryuu's mom offered him extras but Ryuu's dad chastised his own son about weight. Should he stand up for him? Would it make things worse?

"I'm okay, but thank you Fukuyoshi-san," Ito said to Ryuu's mother. He didn't want to offend her, but it felt wrong to take extra when Ryuu was being chastised for it. He cast a quiet look to Ryuu, an almost unspoken request of What do you want me to do here?

If Ryuu wanted him to take a second helping to placate the adults, Ito would, but he also didn't feel right taking extra if Ryuu couldn't have extra as well. He didn't care about Ryuu's weight. The only reason Ito cared about his own was because he was involved in sports, but he tried not to make his own issues about weight someone else's problem--he would have hated to make Ryuu feel bad over it.

He said to Ryuu, hesitating but giving him a verbal way to leave the table if need be, "Actually, we may need to start studying again soon!"

Ryuu would know Ito's scores weren't going to get much better, but studying would be an acceptable reason to leave the table, surely? It would let Ryuu escape the uncomfortable situation...

Offline raywrites

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2020, 07:54:15 PM »
Ryuu started laughing as he saw the video.

"See? I knew there was a reason I made fun of you for playing him." He smirked, and proceeded to win again, Zelda (the first girl he had ever had a crush on) sending Richter sailing off the map to the chorus of the crowd chanting her name. Then it was time for dinner, where his good mood from the win and even having his friend over evaporated under his father's disapproving stare as they ate.

He shook his head ever so slightly as Ito looked at him, at a loss for what he should do himself. It didn't matter whether he took the extra helping or not; in his father's mind, it was fine either way. In his mother's, he was too skinny and needed to be fed until he was nearly as plump as Ryuu. Ryuu's appetite for the second helping had dried up anyway.

"Yeah. Let's go study." He said, and led the way back to his room, feeling his father's eyes on him the entire time he was within his view. How embarrassing, to be chastised at the table like that in front of Ito, who could do no wrong in their eyes.

"Do you actually want to study?" He asked once they were safely back in his room with the door shut. "Or should we go another few rounds in Smash?" It was nice to win at something, since he didn't win at popularity contests at school, or feel like he won much of anything at home either.

Offline BlyTopic starter

Re: The Last Year [Bly & raywrites]
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2020, 01:50:32 PM »
The shut door of the room made it a paradise--no ridiculous lurking parents around to ruin their conversation.

"I probably wouldn't be able to focus much on studying anyways. I know my parents feel I need to. It's not like I want to upset them. I just don't think it's going to change much at this point. I'll get into the university I want, I'm pretty sure, so I don't know why they keep pushing so much," Ito confessed. He hesitated and said, "Sorry if me being here made your parents act weirdly. I don't know why they do that when I come over. I don't mean to be a cause of them bearing down on you more."

He did let a small smile crest his face, and he said, "I do want to play some more Smash at least, if you're still up for it. Remember, according to CalebCity, no matter who we main, we're terrible people." Then a bit of a laugh from Ito--it was easy to make that joke when both young men felt like their parents were criticizing them or bearing down on them too much.

He flopped down on the floor; Ito was the sort of person who liked to sprawl out to play games when he could, and his thin gangly limbs made him look just a tad awkward. Ito never seemed to know how to relax in a way that looked natural; it was as if he just wasn't used to relaxing. In part, that was true--he was always working out, being made to study, going somewhere, working--that sort of thing.

A hint of melancholy overcame him as he booted up another round of Smash and selected his playable character.

"Do you think we'll get many more days like this one, Ryuu? I'm going to miss this."

It was the closest he'd come to really talking about the problem of separate universities. The closest he'd come to hinting at how much he valued this time alone with Ryuu.