“Man, Kuchinashi though… I must’ve jerked to her tits a million times…”
Kuchinashi Tsubaki waited around a corner, listening to the disgusting little perverts and trying to figure out which class they were in so she could get them suspended, at the very least.
“You! How dare you say things like that, do you have no morals?” Kiritsu Tadashi had a way of appearing like an angry hurricane whenever school morals were being tarnished. “She does not deserve this kind of talk, and you should reconsider your lewd thinking about your classmates! How low of you to use someone in your fantasies when they have not given consent to do so!”
“Dammit, it’s Kiritsu. Let’s get out of here before he makes us write-“
“ESSAYS. From both of you, about how your disgraceful words and actions are something that should never be said and can harm the person you supposedly praise!” The two perverts took off with Kiritsu and his whistle hot on their heels.
Tsubaki rested her back against the wall, flushed from even the brief encounter with the over-zealous public morals rep. She could never keep a cool head around him, unlike when confronted with yet another idiot who saw nothing past her breasts. It seemed like there were more of them every day, despite her reputation for ruining anyone who leered at her. But Kiritsu never seemed to so much as glance downwards, no matter how desperately she wanted him to.
To get him expelled, obviously.
Sighing and resigned, Tsubaki drifted back to class. Where she payed absolutely no attention, because something was tickling the back of her mind.
Tsubaki lay in bed later that evening staring at her ceiling. Something had been bothering her all day. She still hadn’t managed to put her finger on it, and it was driving her slowly insane. Tossing her sheets aside, she got up to pace her room, restless and agitated. Going through her day from the beginning, she tried to find exactly what had bothered her. She had felt fine in the morning, right up until lunch when she had a near run in with Kiritsu.
“How low of you to use someone in your fantasies when they have not given consent to do so!”
Like she had done with Kiritsu too many times to count. She’d even masturbated to thoughts of him touching her. More than once, in fact. Thoughts of strong hands holding her hips and hothotsweaty-
No. Oh god. So much nope. How the hell was she going to face him tomorrow? Or ever again. She had no idea how she’d gotten to this point. She wanted him gone, right? Except that thought filled her with dread and dropped her heart through the floor.
Standing stock still at the end of her bed, she could barely breathe. What the hell was she going to do. Even shocked to her core, she still had the memory of Kiritsu when she video called him and his surprisingly toned shoulders dripped fresh from his bath playing though her head. She couldn’t move. Couldn’t think.
She had to do something but what. She knew how to play seductress, barely. She never had to do more than brush up against someone for them to do what she needed. Be it some pig teacher she needed gone, or her fan guard surrounding her to keep her safe from the pigs who licked their lips at her as they dreamed of being wolves. But how did she apologise for becoming everything she hated. How did she even admit to it. Should she? Dare she?
Sitting slowly on her bed, she decided to sleep on it, and decide in the morning. The revelation that she no longer wanted him gone was enough to process for tonight. In a moment of inspiration or madness, she sent a message to the kitchen staff that she felt like mackerel sushi in her bento tomorrow. Then she tossed and turned all night, dreams of strong hands that pulled her close and pushed her away the next moment tormenting what little sleep she got.
“Kiritsu-san.” She sounded pathetic in her own ears. Weak not in a way to make him lower his guard, but in a truly defeated way. She’d decided as soon as she put her hand on the front door this morning that she had to apologise. She couldn’t be like those that made her feel like she needed a shower when they looked at her. She had more pride than that. So here she was, talking to him as he inspected the students as they came in the gates. Before she could lose her nerve.
Kiritsu knitted his brows and stared her down, clipboard in hand. “Good morning Kuchinashi-san. Did you need something?” He’d stopped yelling as soon as he saw her, but he was still very wary. She had given him too many reasons to be wary.
Sucking in a deep breath, she found she couldn’t meet his eyes. “I… I need to talk to you privately. Please. You can pick the place, anywhere that makes you feel… safe. I don’t… I just… Please…” Trailing off, Tsubaki couldn’t lift her eyes. She stared at her left shoe and hunched her shoulders.
“Are you feeling unwell? I can take you to the nurse?”
No cameras in the nurses office, that might do. “I-“ Her voice felt thick and dry. “I just need to talk to you, but we can do it there… If that works for you?”
Kiritsu sighed, then handed his clipboard to the boy next to him. “Come on then. Do you need help walking?” Tsubaki fought down temptation to take the offer and mutely shook her head before following him into the school building.
Once they reached the Nurses Office, Yasuoka-sensei smiled at them. “How rare to see you two together!” Tsubaki stared at her helplessly, Yasuoka-sensei always seemed to be in on a joke that no one else was. But she was kind, and often offered advice that seemed bizarre at first, and wise later.
Kiritsu took the initiative. “Kuchinashi-san seems to have something to discuss with me, but she seemed out of sorts so I brought her here.” He glanced at Tsubaki as if to ask if she really didn’t need a check-up.
“Um, is- uh…” Tsubaki drew her tattered courage to her. Yasuoka-sensei was safe, she wouldn’t laugh. “May we use the office to have a talk? Privately?”
“You know, I do believe I have some errands. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Tsubaki felt both relieved and tense when Yasuoka-sensei agreed and headed to the door. She paused and looked back before she shut the door. “I’ll knock before I come in.” Tsubaki had no idea if that was kindness or cheekiness. But she wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
Neither Tsubaki nor Kiritsu moved for a moment. Then Kiritsu crossed his arms and huffed. She started guiltily and realised she had no idea how to even begin. But her mouth had other ideas and just began an absolute torrent of words.
“I know you know I was trying to get you expelled by making you do something inappropriate to me. I know you know I’ve done it before. I have. I had to get rid of those bastards, I was barely twelve when the first teacher was fired because of me, you know? Twelve. He kept talking about how I was developing and brushing against me. And then he was gone because I complained to my family and I was safe and…” Tsubaki drew in a shaky breath and got some sort of control of her mouth. “I just kept doing it. And then I tried to do it to you, and I shouldn’t have. You annoyed me but you didn’t do anything wrong.” Oh god here it comes, now or never, “And then I became worse than those perverts. I did… I’m so, so sorry.”
Kiritsu looked rather taken aback by her outburst. His eyebrows had shot up as far as they could and he seemed at a loss for words.
Tsubaki stared at a point just over his left shoulder and breathed one deep breath to steady herself. “You said yesterday to two idiots that it is low to fantasise about someone without their consent. And I- oh God, Kiritsu. I keep doing that about… To you.” The last bit was too much for her. She buried her face in her hands and tried not to cry.
A beat of silence followed. She had no idea how long it was before Kiritsu spoke.
“What? Is this a trick?” He sounded so incredibly nonplussed. Of course he would be.
“No! No. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t even realise how awful and unfair I was being until last night. There’s no cameras here. Nothing to trap you. I just had to apologise. I can’t be like… them.” She waved a hand weakly, hoping he caught her meaning. After a moment she looked up to see what Kiritsu was doing. He was bright red and obviously trying to figure out what was going on.
Tsubaki couldn’t contain it anymore. Her pride shrivelled and she dropped into a chair and sobbed. Which seemed to galvanise Kiritsu into action. He came and dropped onto his heels in front of her, not touching but trying to see her face. “I’m not sure what to make of this Kuchinashi-san. But thank you for the apology.” He extended a hand towards her, obviously not sure how to comfort her in this situation. “Is there something I can do?”
Tsubakis brain and body apparently weren’t talking at the moment, because before she could ask him for a tissue she’d thrown herself at him and knocked him onto his arse. He threw his hands behind him to stop the fall and Tsubaki held onto his waist with both arms and cried into his chest. After a minute he awkwardly patted the very top of her shoulder and said, of all things, “There, there.”
Which made Tsubaki giggle wetly. Short as it was, her little crying session was quite cathartic. Drawing back off of him, she smoothed her hair and collected herself. But she really didn’t know what to say. What could she even say after that?
Kiritsu was the one who spoke. “So, if I am understanding this, you were trying to get me thrown out by flouting the schools morals. But instead you are… thinking lewd thoughts about me. And that makes you feel guilty?”
“Uh, well, yes…” Tsubaki felt decidedly not herself right now. She’d built a wall around everything that could be vulnerable, and she had no idea what to do without it.
“Hmph. Well, I cannot say I approve of your actions. But you do seem sincere.” Kiritsu paused and stood up, offering a hand to Tsubaki. He hesitated again. “I didn’t realise why you got so fixated on forcing out those who behaved in such a manner towards you. Sorry.”
Tsubaki looked at the offered hand before she took it. Standing facing each other now, the air of the room grew even more awkward when sudden thought occurred to her.
She was still holding his hand.
And he was absently stroking hers with his thumb while he looked anywhere but her.
She couldn’t breathe again. But instead of feeling like her lungs were being crushed, it felt like they were too full. Scared to ruin this moment, but desperate to do something, she rocked slightly on her toes before coming to a decision. She was going to kiss his cheek as thanks. Nothing more than that.
Until he turned to face her before she could move to complete the action.
All the trapped breath flew out of her at once and she felt dizzy and empty. Everything felt unreal. She saw his mouth open to say something and was so certain she was going to be pushed away, scolded for breaking the peace of his morning. For getting his shirt wet. For dreaming of him. For wanting him.
All at once her temper ignited and she was not going to lose this chance. No way in hell was this uptight four-eyes going to scold her like a child. So she firmed her grip on his hand, stepped in, and kissed him.
All told, it was probably a rubbish kiss. Nothing more than her lips pushed to his. But she felt on fire. Her scalp tingled and her spine felt cold, while her cheeks flamed and her belly burned.
Kiritsu didn’t throw her back or scramble away from her. He stood like time had frozen, before he moved his lips, just ever so slightly. That tiny brush of his lips made the burn from before hotter. Tsubaki now felt like her soul was on fire. She slid her empty hand up his arm to just above his elbow and gently squeezed. She tilted her head just a tiny bit more to the side and tried to figure out how to kiss him like her friends talked about. Not hot and full of the fire that burned her, but soft and sweet to invite him in. Kiritsu inclined his head just the smallest bit, which brought their similar heights into perfect harmony. Then his free hand touched her waist. A chaste brush of his fingers, still and quiet, which turned the burn in her soul into a warmth that relaxed her and made her sigh into his lips.
Then he pulled his head back abruptly.
“We shouldn’t be doing this. This is school grounds, we have class soon.” Tsubaki realised he was trying to convince himself as much as her.
“Do… You want to stop?”
Kiritsu looked torn. “I don’t know. But we should.” He still hadn’t stepped back.
Tsubaki chewed her lip. “How about… we meet for lunch? I have mackerel sushi?”
Kiritsu thought for a moment, before nodding. “Ok. Where?”
“Your usual spot? If you sit to the side of the door, against the wall, you can’t be seen.”
“Of course you know that. Ok, lunch it is.”
Tsubaki leant in like a dreamer and kissed his cheek just shy of his lips. “Yes, I’ll see you there.” She whispered before pulling away and stepping back slightly so she wasn’t tempted to kiss him again.
Then, with the world’s most suspicious timing, Yasuoka-sensei knocked on the door. The two teens dropped their hands and leapt away like they’d been scalded right as she walked in.
“Are you feeling better now, Kuchinashi?” Yasuoka-sensei was looking at her face carefully. Then she smiled “How about you stay and wash your face before class? Kiritsu, do you need anything else?”
“No, no! I’m fine, I shall be going now. Thank you.” Kiritsu started to run out, before he stopped and offered Tsubaki a little smile. “Uh, later then!” And he took off.
Tsubaki walked over to the little sink in the corner of the room, determined not to look directly at Yasuoka-sensei, or the beds a short step from where she’d kissed Kiritsu. She splashed water on her face then dried it with a towel. Turning towards Yasuoka-sensei she mumbled her thanks and walked to the door with as much dignity as she could muster.
“Oh, Kuchinashi? Do feel free to drop by if you need help again. My door is always open.”
Kuchinashi squeaked a thank you this time, and then ran with as much dignity as she could muster out of the door.