Chapter Three: Confidential Information

 

The morning brought no end to the tension between the residents of room 211. Mitsuru had left for his morning jog before Shinobu left the bath, and they had avoided each other until breakfast. They probably would have continued to do so, but they were both too stubborn to find a different table to eat at. Hasukawa and Shun felt like they were in the middle of a war zone as the two upperclassmen silently devoured their food.

Shun cleared his throat. "Mitsuru-sempai?"

Mitsuru looked up coldly at the pink-haired boy. "Hmm?"

"Suka-chan and I were wondering if you would help us study for our history test next week. We’re both a little behind."

Hasukawa’s face reddened angrily. "Shun! I never said I needed his help! I can do fine on my own. Maybe you can’t catch up, but I can."

"You did too! Yesterday when I asked you who the first Triumvirate of Rome was, and you didn’t know, you said: ‘I bet Mitsuru would know that.’ Then you called him a-"

"Shun!"

The violet-eyed boy smiled in spite of himself. "Calling me names, eh? Better be nice or you really will be on your own." He took a bite of rice from the younger boy’s plate. "By the way, the First Triumvirate was Caesar, Pompeii, and Krassus." He smiled smugly and returned to his own breakfast, ignoring the glare from the opposite side of the table.

Shun looked eagerly at Mitsuru. "So can you help us? Please?"

"I suppose. I’m a little pressed for time though. I have brass band and tutoring in the afternoon. You could come over after dinner. I mean, if Shinobu doesn’t mind." He sent a challenging glance at his friend.

Shinobu shrugged, avoiding his roommate’s gaze. "It wouldn’t bother me. I probably won’t be back until late anyway. I have work to do tonight."

"That’s great! Thanks a lot Sempai." Shun swallowed the last of his food. "Come on Suka-chan, we don’t want to be late." He grabbed his roommate by his collar and began dragging him from the room.

"Hey! I wasn’t done yet!" Sadly, Hasukawa’s protests were useless, and once again he went off to school hungry. No wonder he was so scrawny.

 

Suka was still whining as he walked to school. "Shun, why did you do that? I wasn’t done with breakfast yet. Now I’ll be hungry all day."

"I’m sorry Suka-chan, but I just couldn’t stand to sit there with Mitsuru-sempai and Shinobu-sempai being so grumpy." His eyes widened. "What if they stay fighting forever?! I don’t think I could stand it!"

"Oh, it won’t last. They’re best friends, right? I’m sure they’ll forget about it as soon as Mitsuru finishes tutoring that guy." He adjusted the book-bag on his shoulder. "What did that guy do, anyway? I mean, you said he tried to sabotage Shinobu, but that isn’t very detailed."

Shun paused in walking. He looked very concerned. "I...I can’t talk about it Suka-chan. I’m sorry."

Hasukawa stopped. His eyebrows raised incredulously. "What do you mean you can’t talk about it? Are you saying you’re never going to tell me?"

Shun looked on the verge of tears. "I want to Suka-chan, really, but I..."

"You what?!"

The long-haired boy looked around nervously. "I promised Shinobu-sempai I wouldn’t talk about it. Everyone did." His brows furrowed. "All that matters is that it wasn’t true. Hiroku made it all up, and when he admitted it we agreed never to mention any of it again."

The red-haired boy looked horrified. "But...I have to know! You have to tell me, Shun, I can’t stand all this uncertainty! Can’t you just give me a hint or something?"

"I’m sorry Suka-chan. Come on, we really will be late if we don’t hurry." He recaptured Hasukawa’s collar and headed toward the school building. He managed to drag the other boy so quickly that he could utter no more pleas for the information Shun couldn’t bear to give him. After all, he had promised.

 

Mitsuru yawned and began packing up his trombone. He couldn’t believe it was only 3:30. It felt like he should be going to bed already. He stowed the instrument in his locker and slipped his blazer back on. I guess I won’t have time to change. Damn. It’s so hot in this thing. He was supposed to meet Hiroku in the library again. He rubbed his arm irritably. How could anyone mess up that much? Even Suka isn’t that bad. My arm is killing me.

The tired student was shocked from his thoughts by the sound of footsteps in the hallway. He looked up and was shocked to see his pupil staring at him. "Eh? Hiroku! I thought we were meeting in the library."

Hiroku grinned. "I know. I just thought that you might not want to stay cooped up in there all afternoon. It’s so hot today. Why don’t we go get some ice cream and study while we eat?"

The smile remained plastered to Hirose’s face, which Mitsuru found quite unnerving. "Well, I suppose we could work at an ice cream parlor. I’d have to swing by the dorm, though. I don’t have any money on me."

"Don’t worry about it. I’d be happy to buy you some. After all, I owe you for tutoring me."

Mitsuru was more than a little confused, but decided not to worry about it. After all, he’d get some free ice cream. "Well, alright," his eyes narrowed wickedly. "But don’t think I’ll go easy on you just because you bought me food."

Mitsuru wouldn’t have thought it possible, but Hiroku managed to widen his smile. "Of course not. I wouldn’t dream of manipulating you." He stifled a maniacal laugh and thanked the gods that Mitsuru was too tired to be suspicious. The sedatives on his trombone mouthpiece had been a good idea. Hiroku silently praised himself for his cunning and led his sleepy tutor toward the ice cream parlor.