“Alright, before the lesson begins, I want to ask a few questions about our potion of the day. For the first question, I want… Himuro Tatsuya to answer.”
Furihata winced, his plan of helping Himuro hadn’t even begun yet, but the first hurdle was already presenting itself, in the form of his Potions Professor, Hyuuga Junpei.
Himuro raised his eyebrows at Furihata, “Oh, you have a plan? Do share.”
“Well, it’s simple really,” Furihata shrugged, “You just need Kagami to listen to your rejection properly, right? Then, talk to him, but with a barrier between you two.”
Himuro gave Furihata a questioning look, “A barrier?”
Furihata nodded, “Yeah, something… like a door?”
Himuro crossed his arms on his chest and leaned back on his chair, seemed to be considering what Furihata was suggesting. After a while, he nodded to himself, “I see now… you want either Taiga or myself to be inside a room and the other outside, so the conversation is happening with a door separating us.”
Furihata nodded again, “Exactly... there’s this empty room near our common room, the door’s not as thick as other rooms too if I recall, so you don’t have to, you know, scream, for the words to be heard on the other side,” Furihata paused, “I think we could use that.”
“We could try yeah,” For the first time that day, Himuro sounded hopeful… but then, he frowned, “but how do we convince Taiga to go there?”
This time, it was Takao who answered, “Leave it to me!” he pointed his thumb to his chest and grinned.
Furihata smiled and gave Himuro a thumbs up, silently telling him that this plan would work and after that, there would be nothing for him to worry about anymore.
Himuro was stunned. Here he was, with two people who couldn’t even be considered his friends, willingly gave him a helping hand when he needed it the most. He didn’t know what to say or do or even feel about the whole situation.
He supposed he was grateful. Very much so.
So he said what a grateful people usually say, but rather than speaking the words from his head, he’d like to think that he actually speaks from his heart,
“Thank you guys. I really, really appreciate the help.”
Hearing that, Furihata and Takao patted his back at the same time.
“Save it for when the plan actually worked,” Takao said cheerfully.
Himuro just smiled at that.
“I do think you need to skip Potions this afternoon though, I don’t think we could execute the plan if Kagami saw you before we could lead him to the empty room... is that okay?” Furihata asked worriedly.
Himuro hummed, “I’m feeling rebellious today... so yeah I’d skip it,” he grinned.
Furihata chuckled, “We call you when it’s your turn to act, be ready!”
“Roger that,” This time, it was Himuro’s turn to give his two companions an enthusiastic thumbs up.
“Himuro Tatsuya? Is Himuro Tatsuya here or is he skipping my class?” Hyuuga-sensei’s cold voice set Furihata in panic, “I usually don’t care about students skipping my class, as long as I didn’t notice, but since I knew about this one, well... I’d take 20 points from-”
Furihata’s voice rang through the silent classroom, his hand raised. All eyes were instantly on him. He slowly lowered his hand, purposely taking the time to calm his nerves. He was never good at being the center of attention.
But Himuro (and his own house) was at danger of becoming victims of Hyuuga-sensei’s wrath right now, and he just couldn’t let that happen.
“Yes Furihata? Anything you want to say?” Hyuuga-sensei said, a slight annoyance could be heard in his voice
Furihata swallowed nervously, “Himuro is... ill, Sir,” he lied through his teeth.
“Yeah? What sort of illness? He seemed fine to me when I met him earlier today,” Hyuuga-sensei said, looking straight at Furihata’s eyes, as if challenging him.
Furihata cursed himself for stuttering. This was not good. He must think of something, fast.
Furihata’s eyes widened at the sudden answer that was coming from his side, being spoken at the same time as his own answer. Talk about Takao and his perfect timing...
Though this time, he was able to recover quickly.
“... which was caused by food poisoning,” Furihata nodded, covering the lie with another lie, which thankfully still made sense (at least that was he thought). He took a chance to take a glance at his professor before regretting his decision (Hyuuga-sensei was totally staring at him!) and lowering his gaze again.
“His stomach is very upset, Sir,” Takao also nodded, more enthusiastically, hoping it could convince Hyuuga-sensei about the lie even more.
Hyuuga-sensei frowned, “Where is he right now? Hospital wing?”
An idea formed in Furihata’s mind suddenly. He almost thank Hyuuga-sensei for his perfect question.
Furihata answered, making sure his voice was loud enough to be heard by the entire class. After all, he needed someone to hear what he was about to say next. His eyes roamed the class, searching for a combination of red eyes, red hair, and weird eyebrows.
“No Sir, Himuro is currently resting at-”
Furihata felt his heart stopped. He found red eyes but it was... the wrong shade. Like it was almost pink. Like... like...
The color was magenta and they were staring back at him. And at that moment, Furihata started questioning his life’s decisions. Pointless ones like, why was green his favorite color?
Because after making eye contact with Akashi for the first time ever, he realized that his crush’s eye color was the most beautiful one. And It was hypnotizing, this moment. And it was so very perf-
“Furihata?” Hyuuga-sensei called.
Furihata’s attempt at creating a poem from a simple eye contact was interrupted suddenly. He snapped from his daze with a jolt and turned his head to the one who called his name. His heartbeat slowly returned to its normal rhythm.
“Where is Himuro right now?” Hyuuga-sensei asked again, clearly exasperated.
Furihata bowed his head a bit to his professor, as a gesture of apology for not paying attention, and said, “I believe he is now resting at the common room, Sir.”
He silently prayed no one noticed about how he was a little lost there, because of Akashi’s eyes...
Though to be fair, he found himself not minding it. At all.
Hyuuga-sensei stared at him for another long moment before he finally sighed, “Well, okay if that’s the case. Let’s just continue our lesson. I have so many things I need to explain today and I don’t want to waste anymore time than I already did.”
Furihata breathed a sigh of relief. Hyuuga-sensei seemed to buy his lie. He pushed his thought about magenta eyes and how they affected him to the corner of his mind and returned his focus to the task at hand. He thought about what he just said and hoped the word “common room” actually reached Kagami’s ear.
He looked at Takao who was already smirking at him on his side and found himself mirroring that expression.
First step of the Operation: Rejecting Kagami Taiga was officially done.
Furihata was not surprised to see Kagami rushed to the direction of Slytherin Common Room as soon as Potions Class was dismissed. He was quite surprised however, about the fact that Kagami actually knew the location of his common room. Maybe this is what people called the power of love, he mused.
Furihata and Takao began to follow Kagami. When the Slytherin duo almost reached their destination, they spotted the redhead standing awkwardly in front of their common room. Probably waiting for Himuro to come out... or any Slytherin really, to call his friend for him.
Tough luck though, almost everyone was at the dining hall at the moment, since it was dinner time.
So Furihata and Takao came up to him, trying to be as casual as possible, like they didn’t have a plan to break his heart or anything.
“Excuse me, is there something you need? You’re kinda blocking the door,” Takao asked the redhead.
Kagami saw the two Slytherin and gave them a sheepish smile, “Ah sorry about that,” he hesitated for a moment before continued, “and yes, I need your help actually. Um... you two are first years right? Are you two going to go inside?”
Furihata and Takao nodded.
“Could you tell Himuro Tatsuya, to come outside, if it’s not too much trouble? Tell him a friend is very worried about him and... and um, want to see him very much,” Kagami said, blushing a bit.
“And what is the name of ‘this friend’?” Takao asked nonchalantly.
“Ah... I don’t think it would be necessary, he’ll understand,”
Takao raised his eyebrows at that and commented, “Is that so? What a beautiful friendship you have there,” he then grinned, “alright, I’ll give him your message if I found him inside,” he shifted his attention to Furihata and frowned, “what are you doing, Furi?”
Furihata was rummaging through his bag as if he was looking for something, and said, “I think I left my book at Potions classroom, you go inside first, I’m going to go back and retrieve it.”
Takao just shrugged and processed to go inside the common room.
Kagami saw the brown haired boy walked away but then stopped abruptly in front of a door in the middle of the hallway, he turned around and looked at Kagami, his expression one of... horror?
It was more of a reflex than anything but Kagami approached him instantly.
“I think... I hear a scream from- from there,” Furihata said nervously, his finger pointed at the door in front of him.
Kagami looked at the closed door, confused.
“The voice sounded like Himuro’s.”
It was all it took for Kagami to open the door forcefully. He entered the dark room, not at all cautious, Furihata followed him closely behind.
“Tatsuya!?” Kagami called frantically. He took out his wand and mumbled a spell, and the room was lightened up in an instant.
But it was empty.
Kagami surveyed the entire room one more time but still, there was nothing. He turned around to ask Furihata about the sound again when he noticed something strange.
Furihata was closing the door... and locking it.
When Furihata turned to face Kagami, the redhead was already in front of him, with his wand pointing dangerously at his throat.
“What is the meaning of this?” Kagami almost snarled.
Furihata raised his hands shakily, as a gesture of surrender, and spoke, “Please wa-wait, Kagami-kun... I-”
Furihata couldn’t help but thought that Himuro’s voice that came from the other side at this moment was the very definition of ‘saved by the bell’. He breathed a sigh of relief, again, for the second time today. This was it. This was the moment they’ve been waiting for.
Kagami, who also heard Himuro’s voice outside, lowered his wand and reached for the doorknob.
“Do not open the door,” Himuro warned.
The redhead froze for a moment before he managed to ask, “What exactly is happening here, Tatsuya?”
Furihata decided to walk some distance away from Kagami, to give him and Himuro some privacy. He stood still and watched the scene in front of him began to unfold.
“I want to speak to you,” Himuro answered through the door.
“Then let’s do it face to face... literally.”
“I don’t think you can think straight if you see my face.”
Furihata swore he could heard Takao whistled–all the way from the other side–at that cheesy line. He chuckled. Classic Takao.
Though to be fair, he would’ve done the same, had he not known the circumstances.
It turned out, Kagami was a bit stubborn, “How do I know I’m speaking with the real Himuro Tatsuya right now?”
“You have a thing with ponytails, all of your crushes have that,” Himuro answered quickly.
Kagami was silent, a blush started creeping up his cheeks.
Furihata almost choked at that. He wanted to laugh so bad. Oh, how glorious.
It was silent for a while, before Himuro started speaking again.
“I’m sorry, Taiga. I love you, you’re like a brother to me, but not in that way. Please understand this,” Himuro said, getting straight to the point.
Kagami’s eyes widened in shock, as if he genuinely didn’t see the rejection coming, at all.
“What are you... what are you saying, Tatsuya?” Kagami looked like he was about to collapse any moment now.
“I don’t love you the same way you love me,” Himuro’s tone was even. Furihata doubted he would be this calm if he saw the state of his friend right now though.
Because after that, Kagami did collapse, and now sitting on the floor, leaning his forehead on the door.
And then, he started to sob.
“Taiga... are you alright?”
Himuro’s concern seemed to have the opposite effect on Kagami, because his sobs were getting even louder.
Furihata knew it was all love potion doing, but he couldn’t help feeling sorry for the redhead. It must be really painful, to be rejected by someone you love so dearly.
He thought about how bad he would crumble if he was in Kagami’s position. He thought about how painful it would be to be rejected by... Akashi, if he ever knew about his feelings.
Because it was exactly what would happen. Because Akashi and Furihata did not belong in the same world... and they never will.
An image of bloody hands and scared eyes flashed through Furihata’s mind. He suddenly found himself out of breath.
Furihata closed his eyes and tried to breath normally.
The image slowly disappeared from his mind and his breathing returned to its normal pattern again.
It was nothing, Furihata told himself. He opened his eyes, trying to wipe out whatever just happened from his mind completely.
Furihata sighed. He grabbed his tie and tried to loosen it, in an attempt to distract himself.
Then, he saw Kagami, now standing up and facing him. He realized the redhead was no longer crying, his tears and snots were still present but his expression was one of legit confusion.
Furihata just stared at him. And waited.
And then, Kagami’s expression changed to one of absolute horror.
“Oh my- what have I- what the hell?!” He gasped, his memory slowly returning.
Furihata found what he just witnessed very amusing and couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. He walked up to the redhead and smiled.
“Welcome back, Kagami-kun.”