Fundraiser: Part Two
Hello boys and girls! I finally finished Part 2. Despite being pressed for time, I think this one turned out better than part one. Just so you know, Part 3 may take a while. Enjoy!
* * * *
Hasukawa clanged a knife against his water glass, trying to get everyoneís attention. Reluctantly, the occupants of the Greenwood Cafeteria turned towards him. "Everybody, I have some news. Iím not going to go into details, but the dorm has lost some money, and Iím going to need all of your help in a fundraiser to make up for it."
A confused murmur filled the room. Someone in the back shouted, "How much?"
"Not too much," Suka said nervously. "A few hundred thousand yen." The murmur grew louder, and more troubled. Instinctively, dorm members looked to Mitsuru and Shinobu, opposite the room from Hasukawa, who had moved from his usual spot to avoid Mitsuru. Seeing that they had the groupís attention, Shinobu politely gestured back to Hasukawa. This was his show.
"What do you want us to do, Suka?"
Hasukawa shot an angry glance at Mitsuru and Shinobu, then turned back to his audience. "Iíve thought about this a lot, and I decided that we will have," he paused dramatically, "a bachelor auction."
With those words, the uneasy murmur came to a crashing halt. For a moment, there was silence. Then, predictably, eyes turned back to the residents of room 211. "Mitsuru-sempai, Shinobu-sempai, are you going to do it?"
"Shinobu is!" Hasukawa yelled hopefully. The murmur resumed.
Mitsuru smiled at the troubled students around him, not bothering to stand up. "I decided not to participate." He turned back to his dinner, which he was finding woefully inadequate without Sukaís dinner to supplement it, and resumed eating.
At this point, Hasukawa had lost all control over the group. Without a clear mandate from their most respected students, none were sure what to do. Mitsuru and Shinobu rarely disagreed about anything, and when they did it was because Mitsuru was meddling in something and Shinobu didnít want to waste his time on it. This reversal left them utterly baffled as to their next course of action. There would obviously be no resolution that evening.
Worried, Suka sat back down across from Shun, whom he had convinced to sit with him away from Mitsuru and Shinobu. "Do you think theyíll help, Shun?
The perky boy shrugged his shoulders. "I donít know Suka-chan. I guess weíll have to wait and see."
"I guess," he said unenthusiastically. With a sigh, he turned back to his dinner, which, much to his annoyance, seemed to be more food than he could eat. At first he had felt guilty about his fight with Mitsuru, but that had quickly given way to a festering anger, which seemed to be increasing exponentially. If he didnít resolve this soon, heíd probably get another ulcer.
* * * *
Entering their room after dinner, Shinobu sat down on his bed, while Mitsuru began rooting through desk drawers for a box of crackers he had hidden somewhere. "Well," the former dorm-head said absently, "that was a rather sad spectacle."
Shinobu looked up from the novel he had extracted from his shelf. "That it was. Your crackers are in the middle drawer on the right."
Mitsuru immediately moved to that drawer and pulled out the box. "Thanks, Iím starving."
For a moment, Shinobu simply stared at his roommate, who instantly began devouring the food. He considered mocking his friendís oversized appetite, but decided against it. For now. "Exactly what is the point of all this?"
"Eh? Point of what?"
Shinobu rolled his eyes. "Hasukawa. Why go on with this when we both know youíre going to help? Why waste your time fighting with him?"
Mitsuru looked thoughtful for a moment. "Well, even though Iím not dorm-head anymore, I see myself as sort of a surrogate older brother here, particularly to Hasukawa, since he lost a brother when he came here."
"And as an elder brother you see it as your duty to torment him?"
"Iím not tormenting him. Iím teaching him a valuable life lesson."
"Is that so?" Shinobu asked sarcastically. "What lesson is that?"
Mitsuru flashed his most wicked smile. "Never to take me for granted."
Shinobu smiled sadly. "Mitsuru, you desperately need a new hobby."
* * * *
Shun looked on worriedly as Hasukawa pored over a sheet full of figures. Occasionally he would mumble something about impending doom, then lapse back into silence. After about ten minutes, Shun just couldnít take it anymore.
"Suka-chan," he said timidly. The other boy failed to respond. "Suka-chan!" Still he was faced with silence. "SUKA-CHAN!!!!!!" This time, Shunís voice was at full volume. On the other side of the wall, Shinobu narrowed his eyes irritably. Finally, Hasukawa looked up.
"What is it, Shun?"
"Youíre getting too worked up about this. You need to calm down."
Sukaís face was disturbingly blank. "I canít. Iím the dorm-head now. Itís my responsibility to make up this money. My responsibilityÖ." His head dropped back to the sheet of numbers, and the mumbling resumed.
With a horrified look, Shun began shaking his friend, again shouting at the top of his voice. "Suka-chan, whatís wrong with you?"
Again, the red-haired boy turned to Shun, eyes slightly glazed over. "Didnít I tell you?" he asked in a rather frightening monotone. "After dinner, a bunch of people came to tell me that they couldnít agree to help with the fundraiser. They felt uneasy about it. I guess because Mitsuru isnít helping. Now I have no way to get the money." His head slowly sank down and rested on the table in front of him.
It was clear that Shun was not going to get anywhere with this tactic. Reluctantly, he left Hasukawa, and headed next-door.
"Come in!" Mitsuru yelled cheerfully. "Oh, hi Shun. Whatís up?"
"Suka-chanís gone all neurotic again! Mitsuru-sempai, canít you talk to him? You always manage to solve these problems."
"Thatís because he creates them," Shinobu said quietly.
Mitsuru resolutely ignored his roommateís comment. "Iím sorry Shun, but thereís nothing I can do. Sukaís just going to have to find a way to make this work."
"But Sempai!" Shun whined, "It wonít work unless you help!" His voice was becoming yet more shrill. "If you donít make up with him soon, we wonít have enough money to pay for the utilities! Weíll be stuck in the dark with no heat, and no water!"
Mitsuru shrugged. "Iím afraid I canít help you, but you might want to remind Suka about all of that." He smiled impishly, and turned back to the video he had been watching. Shun stared at him in horror for a moment, then headed back to his room.
* * * *
Shinobu looked up from his book at his roommate, whose video had just ended. "How was it?"
Mitsuru glanced over at him, mildly surprised that he had Shinobuís attention. "Not bad. Tochizawa lent it to me. He said it was a classic, but I didnít think the plot was very believable. Howís your book?"
"Good, but itís a little hard to concentrate."
Mitsuru frowned slightly, but the expression was soon replaced by a yawn. "Well, you donít have to worry about me distracting you anymore. Iím going to bed."
Shinobu nodded, but didnít look relieved. The video hadnít been the problem. It was the constant distractions from the next room. Shun whining, Hasukawa pacing, and a nearly overwhelming cloud of worry. Normally he could block out just about anything, but Suka had emotions volital enough to seriously annoy Shinobu. With a very unhappy expression, he stood up. If he were ever to be able to relax, heíd have to do something about this.
*knock*knock* The silver haired boy swung his neighborsí door open without waiting for a response.
Hasukawa looked up in surprise. Shun was in bed, but he was still up pacing. "Shinobu-sempai! What are you doing here?" His eyes widened in horror. "Donít tell me. Youíve come to say you wonít participate, havenít you? Iím doomed!"
Shinobu sighed wearily. "No, I still intend to help."
Sukaís posture relaxed slightly. "What then?"
"Would you like Mitsuru to participate in your fundraiser?"
Hasukawaís eyeís popped back open, this time with hope. "Did he say he would?"
"Trust me, he will. Just ask him nicely."
Hope turned instantly to anger. "Why should I be nice to him? Heís the one who said heíd help and then wouldnít! Heís being stubborn, not me!"
Shinobu glared icily at the younger boy. He was clearly not going to put up with this much longer.
"Are you sure heíll help."
Hasukawa nodded. Even he knew better than to second-guess Shinobu. "Alright. Is he still awake?"
"He will be."
* * * *
Mitsuru groggily opened his eyes. He had just been drifting off to sleep when the curtain around his bed was yanked aside, exposing him to what seemed like ridiculously bright light. He turned to see Shinobu staring at him with a rather sadistic smile. "What is it?"
"Hasukawa would like to speak to you."
Mitsuru pulled himself into an upright position, from which he could see a very uncertain looking dorm-head hovering in the doorway. "Hi Suka. Whatís up?"
Hasukawa gave a resigned sigh. "I wanted to say Iím sorry for what happened before, and to ask you to help with the fundraiser. You donít have to, but it would make this a lot easier on me, and the rest of the dorm."
Hasukawa looked exceedingly confused. "Okay? Really?"
Mitsuru shrugged. "Yeah. If you need my help, sure."
The younger boy looked utterly baffled. Seeing that he wasnít doing anything, Shinobu stood up and began ushering him towards the door. "Why donít you go get some rest, Suka, you look tired."
Mitsuru looked curiously at his roommate as he shut the door behind Hasukawa. "Shinobu, did you talk to him about this?"
Shinobu shot him an icy look. "Just go to sleep. We can talk about it in the morning."
Mitsuru shrugged his shoulders and tugged the curtain back into place, almost immediately drifting back off to sleep. Seeing that the overwhelming tension had been resolved, Shinobu began preparing for bed as well.
* * * *
With a slight jerk, Mitsuruís eyeís popped open. Unsure what had woken him, he drew his curtain aside. The weak light filtering into the room indicated he had another hour or so before he needed to get up. Slightly confused, he rolled over onto his back.
"AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" Instinctively, Mitsuruís arms moved to shield his face, as he tried to huddle further from the image that seemed to be hovering above directly above him.
After a moment of terrified panting, but no movement from the figure above, Mitsuru cautiously moved his hand upward, expecting it to disappear within the substance-less being. Slowly, his hand moved upward, until it clacked into the ceiling, and the picture of a grinning Misako that had been taped there. From below, he heard Shinobu say, "Thatís what you get for making me get involved."
It was several more minutes before Mitsuru was able to get back to sleep.
END OF PART 2