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A Question

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Arima Kana is an honest girl.

 

Or rather, sometimes, she couldn't stop herself from saying  certain  things before they came out of her mouth. That would be a more accurate description given how the meanest words can spill from her lips despite meaning the opposite. Still, it wasn't a surprise she was bound to ask a question to Hoshino Aqua that has been intriguing her ever since the first day of the Tokyo Blade adaptation.

 

Kana discreetly stole glances at the said actor who was conversing with Akane. Even until now, the reality show co-stars were inseparable as if they were still in rehearsals. (And if she felt tiny pinpricks in her heart at the sight of them, she was determined not to show it.)

 

Is she affected by their distance?

 

Maybe, but that wasn't the reason why she kept on trying to catch Aqua with her eyes. She was more concerned with his emotional acting back then. It was great as she would have expected from Aqua, but the way he looked like he was in so much pain? There was something she couldn't quite place. She could be overreading it or not.

 

She just wasn't sure about it.

 


 

"Is there something wrong?"

 

Aqua stared at her with an unreadable expression for god knows how long. She was pretty sure she asked that in the most Arima Kana fashion kind of tone. So, why is he looking at her like that?

 

Could it be she took his acting too literally and blurred the lines between lies and reality?  The thought almost made her shiver. That would be dangerous -  too dangerous . It's best if she tells him to be careful with that because he can never know what could happen if he continues with it.

 

"Arima?" He called out to her again.

 

Was she staring too much? Was it a good time to talk about it now?  The child actress suddenly felt conscious about approaching the topic. Maybe it was better to ignore it? After all, Aqua changed after  that time  the cast went drinking. She could pretend as if her gaze happened to fall on him, and that would easily allow her to escape his questioning gaze.

 

"You've been staring at me too often the past few days." He added when she didn't respond seemingly stuck in her little world.

 

Kana blushed. There was no way around it, given how sharp the teenager can be. "I was thinking..."

 

"What?"

 

"When you were acting on the first day of the stage play, you seemed like you were in pain," she explained as her eyes met his. Instincts kicked in as soon as she saw his eyes slightly widen in surprise, and what left her mouth were words she couldn't control. "Of course, as your senpai, I have to look out for you too! And, to think that we're in the same agency? What kind of person would I be if I didn't?!"

 

While her laugh made it seem like she cared very little, Kana screamed inside and questioned her actions that started this conversation. The (nervous) laughter did fade out when she finally noticed Aqua wordlessly staring at her. It was still unreadable, but it was killing her.

 

She could school her expression and say the opposite of what she was feeling, but her concern for him was something she won't be able to control.

 

Then, he averted his gaze from her and stared at the distance. The breath she was unknowingly holding escaped her, and she tried to follow to where he was focused. There was nothing. So, she went back to looking at him.

 

The usually guarded and cold Aqua was transparent for a quick second. It was short, but Kana could easily commit to memory this sight - his blue eyes warm in contemplation, and his body seemingly relaxed and relieved from tension. This moment was rare itself, and, at that moment, she had so much to say.

 

What's wrong? What happened? Why did you look so wretched and in so much pain before? Why are you struggling? If you don't want to talk about it, it's alright. I'll be here when you're ready.

 

Time continued after a long emotional second for her, and he turned his attention back with a small smile. "I'll tell you next time."

 

And, Kana would hold onto his words on that one.