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Dulcet Flying

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"You know, I'm surprised you aren't dating anyone, Deku-kun!" Uraraka-san, a close friend of mine, ponders in confusion. Her head is tilted to one side as if the topic at hand was too much to comprehend. It wasn't, really, but no matter what I say to her, she'd just dismiss me.

"Well, you know how I am... I don't think people would want to deal with this," I chuckle lightly as I continue fixing up the new fairy lights in the shop. I don't think she notices my self-deprecating remark, as she just continues to swing her legs back and forth on the counter. I'm almost compelled to tell her to stop sitting on my counters, but all she'd really do is blow a raspberry and swipe some flower bouquets. 

I'm not in the mood to deal with that, so I keep silent. 

"You're so sweet and kind! How has nobody snagged you, yet?" It's not a rhetorical question, as she answers her own inquiry. "Probably because you don't have a social life." She bluntly states.

"What?" I'm not shocked at her brutal honesty, but more so at her accusation. 

"I have a social life!" I retaliate, my hands stop messing with the lights as I turn my body towards her. Albeit slowly, since I didn't want to fall off the ladder. She senses my movement and only twirls on the counter, her tight-clad legs coming up to move into a criss-cross position. 

"Oh, c'mon. You, a social life? That's like me not being a raging bisexual." Scepticism is laced within her voice and I only roll my eyes. "Just because I'm not as popular as you doesn't mean I don't have a social life." 

She concedes and places her palms up slightly. "Okay, okay. So the problem isn't you being a social outcast, it's you being too shy." I give her my best glare, but I'm sure it looks as intimidating as a cupcake. Uraraka-san sees this, too, and laughs. 

"I'm not—" it's fruitless arguing with her, as she only giggles at my attempts to defend myself. "You are! Being shy is like," here she pauses for a moment, hand clasping her chin in thought, "your defining trait!" 

All I can offer her is a look of scorn. All she does in response is to stick her tongue out at me. Before I can weakly counter her opinion, a ring at the door catches our attention. The transparent door allows us to see who it is, and the smiling face of Iida-kun greets us, although a little poised. He's in his usual cop uniform and he looks happy, energetic. Something good must've happened. 

"Hello, Uraraka-san, Midoriya-kun!" He cheerfully states, a soft tone contrasting with his rigid musculature. We both say pleasantries to him as he sits down nearby Uraraka-san, his navy blue hair gleams in the sunlight and it only accentuates his features. 

"What's got you so happy?" Of course, Uraraka-san is the one to bring it up and Iida-kun's facial expression only conveys anticipation. Out of the three of us, Uraraka-san was the most tenacious, which meant she was the most likely to get in trouble for her words. I always speculated that she was made for the law life, and I frequently told her so. She never believed me until she got an apprenticeship and was convinced I was a seer. I'm not, really, it's just easy pinpointing people's futures when they're an open book. 

"Actually, not only does my happiness concern me, but also you two." I slip off the beige ladder quietly and sneak my way over to them. Uraraka-san's chestnut orbs were focused intently on Iida-kun's figure. "Huh?" I question as Uraraka-san's haze hair only bobs in curiosity with my answer. Iida-kun grins widely and pushes his square glasses up his nose. Does he get tired of wearing glasses? Do they hurt his nose? 

Iida-kun's deep voice brings me back to the current situation. "Eloquently put, Midoriya-kun! But the reason for my happiness is that Class 3-A has decided to host a get-together, this weekend. Although it is short notice, Kirishima-kun organised the hangout since he has been in touch with everybody from our high school class, and they are all coincidentally in Tokyo at the moment." 

"Wow!" Uraraka-san's voice heightened in pitch as she turns to look at me. I don't like the expression on her face as it looks like a mix between scheming and threatening. "Deku-kun, this will be the perfect opportunity to snag a partner!" 

I groan and hide my face within my hands. "What? Midoriya-kun wants to socialise?" Iida-kun seems surprised and that only adds more fuel to Uraraka-san's issue of concern prior to Iida-kun's appearance. I really am that shyhuh? 

"Yeah! Deku-kun's always fettering about his plants that he's never had time to date someone. I don't think he's had a partner before. Our virgin broccoli needs to become an adult!" Uraraka-san's explanation did not have to be that explicit and she didn't need to add that last part in.

"Oh my goodness, Uraraka-san! You didn't need to give your input. There was literally no reason to talk about my virginity, " Iida-kun agrees with me, thank God. I can feel my face erupt shades of crimson and I don't think my face would be able to handle any more embarrassment. 

"Uraraka-kun, I don't think virginity equates to adulthood." 

Is that all he has to say on the matter!? 

"Well, I mean, it kinda is? You can't exactly have sex at a young age, it's illegal. So that coins sex as being something only those legal can do. Meaning it's the peak of your adulthood when you lose your innocence!" 

"I guess, in terms of legality. But in regards to adulthood, it's less of a necessity and more so an additional perk to being old. There are multiple things to adulthood, like taxes, fees, careers, marriage—"

"Which is sex." 

I haven't the foggiest where their conversation is going, and I don't want to know. "Guys, please, let's just focus on the 3-A hangout." 

That seems to spark something in Uraraka-san, as she squeals with delight. 

"Right, right. Didn't you use to have a crush on Bakugou-kun and Todoroki-kun? I get why Todoroki-kun, but Bakugou-kun? Really?" 

My ears turn hot and I'm sure my palms are sweaty. It's a good thing I got off the ladder or else I would've fallen. "I— I didn't have a crush on either of them! I don't like both of them in that way. They're our friends."

Iida-kun inputs his two cents: "Bakugou-kun was more your friend than ours. The number of times he would belittle us." 

"He's always been that way; aggressive, I mean, ever since he was a child." They both look at me with subtle looks, like what I had just said was something they expected. Both Uraraka-san and Iida-kun's hazel and blue orbs mingle together with the same expression.

One of— fondness? And something else, incredulity. I can guess why that but not the soft affection lingering in their eyes. I literally only talked about Kacchan? Whatever it is, I stop in my nostalgia and meet their gazes. They do nothing but smile innocently.

I'm not sure why I get this feeling of terror, but I hope it's only something minor. But looking back at their sweet beams planted across their adoring faces, I'm sure it'll be something major. 

I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

Chapter Text

By the time I had even come to terms with the issue of class 3-A's hangout, it was already the weekend. We were going to meet up tomorrow, at twelve, and catch up with each other. It was tomorrow. Oh God, I have nothing to wear! 

As if sensing my inner turmoil, my phone rings. It's my mom, and before I can contemplate allowing her to hear what a mess I am, I accept immediately. "Hi, mom!" Good thing I'm in my house since mom always has long conversations. Not that I mind, it's just hard to end the talk sometimes. 

"Hello, Izuku! How is everything going? Mom just wanted to check up on you, it's awfully lonely here. Will you come to visit soon?" Her calm voice soothes me, and I relax. 

"Haha, you know I will! I don't want you getting lonely. Everything's okay, but—" I don't know whether I should tell her. She's my mom but I'm an adult; I should be able to make decisions by myself. I shake my head and continue my thought process. She's my mom, she deserves to know. 

"Class 3-A are having a get-together tomorrow." 

Her response is instantaneous. "Oh, that's sweet. How do you feel?" 

I lean further into my bed and put my mom on speaker so my hands can fidget with the pile of clothes on top. 

"I'm anxious? I don't know why. I guess it's because I haven't seen any of them for a long time? Is that stupid?"

She laughs heartily, the sound airy and light. 

"Nonsense, Izu. It's not stupid; you haven't seen each other (sans from the ones still in touch) for two years. It's perfectly normal to be nervous!" 

"I guess so..." I trail off as I weakly pick up a plain t-shirt from my bed. Even if I know, it still doesn't ease my nerves. 

"Don't think too hard about it, honey. It'll be okay, honestly. You just worry too much." 

Before I can counter her statement about her excessive worrying being as bad as mine, she changes the topic. 

"So what are you going to wear? Is it a formal event? It's a hangout, so I don't suppose so. Something casual, yet classy? It's summer and the weather forecast was sunny and humid for tomorrow. Casual but comfortable!" 

She doesn't even spare me a minute to interject, but I'm thankful she's sorted it out. My problem, I mean. 

"Okay," I quickly survey the clothes on my bed. They're all so plain, with one-word phrases on the majority of the shirts and a cacophony of shorts in every colour imaginable. Maybe I should go out shopping. 

"My clothes are so normal, though. Should I wear something different?" 

"Hmm, check through your clothes again?"

Her intention is of a questionable nature, but it ends up being an imperative statement. 

I agree and start assessing my clothes, piling them up on the bed as I get up to reach into my wardrobe. 

"Oh, I didn't know I had this." 

My mom questions me and I stupidly hold the item of clothing towards the phone, before I realise she can't see. 

"Oh, uh— it's a pair of overalls." 

"Overalls are cute! Not too tight and not too baggy. Perfect." 

"But, won't they make me look like a kid?"

"That's your charm, sweetie. Pick out a nice top and wear it with your overalls. Oh, what about a green one? Since you look nice in green— or maybe a red one, as you're always wearing those red shoes of yours." 

"I could wear different shoes tomorrow? I have a pair of green Converse." 

"There you go, then. Wear those and your overalls. Have you found a top?" 

"Yeah!" The article of clothing is lying neatly amongst all my scattered clothes. It's just a simple, short-sleeved green top that has the words 'green tea' and a little picture of a cup of tea on it. Nothing special but I like it. 

"It's that green tea top you bought me."

"Oh, I remember. That was a cute top. Wear it, you'll look nice!" 

"Thanks, mom, I feel a little bit at ease now. Not by much, though, but we're getting there." 

"In due time, Izu. Are you taking your meds appropriately? You know you can't neglect your health." 

"I am, don't worry. But make sure you're taking care of yourself, too!" 

"I will. I need to go now, Toshi-san wants to go on a date." 

"Have fun! Love you, and say hi to Toshi-san for me!"

"I will! Love you." 

Her and Toshi-san have been dating for about three years now, ever since I met Toshi-san coincidentally in a comic store and introduced my mom to him. He's an ex-actor now, as he obtained a severe injury that was too detrimental to his career and now he helps my mom out in her bakery. It's nice seeing those two so happy, I wouldn't want to wish it away. 

Before I know it, I've ironed my clothes and hung them up on my wardrobe for tomorrow. I have nothing else to do, so I make my way to my shop. It was originally supposed to be a day off for me but I like working and the thought of relaxation causes me to become anxious. I'm not doing anything, so it leaves me uneasy. 

I slump against the counter as I open the shop; all that's on my to-do list is to welcome customers as I've gotten all my store improvements finished— the fairy lights have been placed, painting has been redone, waterbutts and flower pots were in numbers, the interior matched nicely and was decorated and there are more things I've upgraded. I'm proud of my work. 

Scanning my gaze across the shop, a blur of ash-blonde and midnight-black slaps itself across the window. It could be anyone, and I try to squint to see farther. It's useless, so I just continue scrolling through my catalogue about home improvements. I wanted to start on my chicken coop as fresh eggs would be more beneficial. Not that there's anything wrong with store-bought but it would be cheaper and easier, considering I live out of the city. I should ask tomorrow if anybody has any farming pointers. 

The bell rings and when I look up my field of vision is pervaded by the sweet scent of caramel and a masculine figure. 

"I need a bouquet. Doesn't matter what the fuck's in it but I need one pronto. Asap. Other shitty florists keep delaying my time." 

I know that voice. It's Kacchan! My childhood friend; he looks the same but he's matured more, his face is sharper, more handsome— and he seems even more muscular than when we were together at school. I wonder what he's been up to. He hasn't said anything about me yet so I should keep my mouth shut. His physique may have changed but there's no telling about his personality. It seems the same, judging by his impoliteness. 

"Sure! I'm sorry to hear that, but it's okay now. Who is the bouquet for?" I smile brightly up at him as I stand up and move towards a certain section of flowers. If my assumptions are correct, then these are most likely for his mother — or a female friend, I guess, but Kacchan's never done something as nice as that before — and his mother's personality is a spitting mirror image of his. It's where he gets his charm from. 

"If you laugh, I'll murder you. It's for my mom. It's her birthday tomorrow and this will please the old hag." He's standing around awkwardly, with his hands in his pockets. He's blushing, too, which is cute. I probably shouldn't say that to his face. 

"That's nice! Well, for mothers, incidentally, a good flower arrangement would be the carnations; as they are used as a tradition for Mother's Day. Also, they represent love, purity, and admiration. Of course, there are multiple colours, too, and sometimes the wrong colour combination results in negative connotations. But, you don't have to use just carnations. A cute combo that many of my customers like is one with white lilies (which symbolise purity), pink roses (for elegance and gratitude), white chrysanthemums (loyalty) and red and pink carnations (which means to always be thinking about them and to show admiration). It's pretty popular and I think your mother would like it. I just need to know if it's okay with you and I'll have it done in a couple of minutes!" 

Crap. I went on a rant! I told myself to stop doing this since some of my clients were taken aback at my mumbling. And I just did it in front of him. I should just hide somewhere. 

"I'm— uh, I'm so sorry! I really should stop rambling but it's a habit? It's really hard to get rid of so I'm sorry for creeping you out!" 

My face flushes as I let out profuse apologies. Kacchan doesn't smile but he laughs. The sound is deep, mellow and I find myself going red even more. 

"Same as always, huh, Deku?"

Chapter Text

"What's that supposed to mean?" I weakly let out, as I wring my hands together. Kacchan just stares at me— with that smoldering gaze of his. It's more than enough to make me feel squeamish. 

"You've always been a nerd." The expression on his face dares me to challenge his words. I don't, as I want to keep my face intact. "But that sounds good, so I'll have it." 

I smile shyly and try to ignore the heat on my cheeks. Kacchan seems more mellow, and maybe he's matured mentally. I wouldn't put it past him since Kacchan is capable of achieving amazing feats ever since we were children. 

"Of course! Bulky or thin?"

"Bulky."

I turn around and begin to gather my tools from my drawers. Kacchan sits down, I notice from the corner of my eye, and I begin to work. Kacchan starts speaking as I check the lilies for tight buds and check the stems and leaves. 

"Didn't expect you to get into something so girly." 

I laugh lightly, the majority of people I've talked to all consider this a profession of femininity. They're wrong, however, as flowers are a universal aspect of nature and gender doesn't define it. 

"It's really not.." I don't want to trigger his anger; not when he seems so subdued at the moment. Back when we were in school, just the slightest glimpse of my face could have him screaming. 

I start cutting the stems and de-thorn the lilies. After that's done I get started on the roses and chrysanthemums. I think I should make the centrepiece the pink carnation, but it really depends on the arrangement. I think I'll just wait and see how it turns out. Kacchan doesn't talk after my timid response and I don't know what's running through his mind, but I hope it's nothing disconcerting. 

I try to engage in conversation. "How are you, Kacchan? It's been ages— I haven't seen you since grad. What have you been up to?—"

He replies instantaneously. "'M fine, nerd. It hasn't been that long, you're exaggerating like usual. Maybe I should give you a tat to shut you up." 

He's as nice as always. 

I finish cleaning up the flowers and dunk the stems into a bucket full of bleached water. Since the water's been purified it'll kill any bacteria and prolong the lives of the flowers. 

Wait. "Tat?" I look over at him; he seems unfazed and is inspecting his cuticles, his crimson orbs glance upwards at my figure before he rolls his eyes. 

"Tat, as in tattoo." He didn't say anything else, and he didn't need to. Already I could feel waves of embarrassment flock over me. Kacchan could make me flustered in .5 seconds with just one look. Guess some things never really change. 

I grab the flowers—a small mixture ranging from three to nine, with the pink carnation being the sole one and the other flowers (lilies, roses, carnations, and chrysanthemums) followed in the order three, five, seven and nine. Odd numbers have always held some significance within the populace. It was flattering in a bouquet, although steering clear of the number thirteen is always an issue. The centrepiece is going to be the pink carnation, as I only cut one of them off. I start building around the carnation with the other flowers, with lighter colours in the middle and darker ones behind. 

I scramble for an elastic band to keep the bouquet in place. What should've been a sturdy band was instead a calloused hand. I didn't keep any hands in my drawer. Kacchan's face was near mine. I could smell his minty breath ghost over my face. My eyes widen as I step back. 

"What? You needed one, right?" He stalks forward and shoves the band into my hand. I'm too shocked to say anything as Kacchan continues talking. "It'll be quicker if you had another pair of hands. You're taking fucking forever, we'll be dead by the time you finish." 

"I, uh— yeah, I guess so. Sorry. Thanks, Kacchan." 

Swiftly turning around, I hold the bouquet at arm's length to check the height of the blooms. They're evenly aligned and I try to ignore Kacchan's overwhelming presence behind me. "What, er, accents would you like?" 

I feel him shrug his shoulders, his tone nonchalant. "Don't care. You know the hag, so you decide." 

Does he really have to be this difficult? 

I take a couple of lilac ribbons (Kacchan's mom loves the colour purple) and I tie them onto the bouquet. Kacchan passes me a lighter wordlessly. For someone who's not a florist, he sure does know how things work. Or maybe he's just observant. I seal the ends of the ribbons with the lighter.

"Can I have the—" 

He gently pushes the floral wire into my open palm, and I only murmur a quiet thanks in response. I wrap the length in a spiral pattern around the stems and snatch the floral tape from the counter to adjust the wire. I cut off excess wire and tighten it again. I inspect it one last time before I walk around him and open another drawer to the left, this time filled with papers of all kinds. I suppose lilac would do, as this is Kacchan's mom, so I scavenge for the coloured tissue paper. 

Placing the tissue on the counter, I ask Kacchan to hold the bouquet for a minute. He does so, albeit reluctantly, a scowl fixated on his face. I fold the paper diagonally. Kacchan gives me back the bouquet and I place it in the middle of the paper. I wrap the paper around the flowers and secure it with some double-sided tape and a white ribbon when it looks cone-shaped. It's finished and it looks good. I glance at the clock; it's only been twenty minutes. That's a new record for me, especially since it was a large arrangement this time. I speculate it took less time since I already had everything prepared. 

I hand Kacchan over the flowers as I tell him how much it costs. Because it's Kacchan, I charge him for less. About ¥3000. As he slips me the money, I hold onto his hand for a couple of moments longer. I don't want him to leave just yet. My gut is screaming at me to stop, to let go and run but I ignore it in favour of feeling Kacchan's warm, rough hand in my palm. He can probably feel me sweating. 

"What the fu—"

His face is disgruntled but he doesn't pull away.

"Er, sorry. I just wanted to..." I can't tell him I want to talk for long; he'll think I'm creepy! "Ask you for some farming tips..?" I finish off lamely. 

God, can somebody just kill me now?

Kacchan snorts, and the sound is harsh against my ears. "Jesus, Deku. You're desperate for that?" 

"But, Kacchan... It's important." 

"S'not, nerd; and, anyway, I'm a fucking tattoo artist, not a farmer. I know next to shit about that kinda stuff. So let go, Deku." 

I softly let go of him, frowning as I do so. "Sorry, Kacchan." He didn't have to be mean about my aborted attempt to derive advice from him. 

Surprisingly, he ruffles my hair with his free hand and makes his way towards the door. I'm bewildered so I don't say anything and instead watch the defined lines of his back jostle with every movement he makes. 

"See ya tomorrow, Deku. Maybe you can find some farming tips at the shitty hangout." 

I perk up at his words and yell goodbye to him. It was supposed to be a yell, yet it came out more as an excited squeak. The sound of crumpling brings my attention to the notes in my hand. It was way more than I charged him for! At least over ¥5000. I need to give him back his change when I see him. 

He really has changed, huh?

Chapter Text

Today I have to go meet my old classmates; it’s not usually such a big problem for me, as I’m friends with all my classmates. It’s just the issue of Kacchan that has me in a bind. 

I don’t think I can face him again after yesterday. I can’t believe I held his hand! What am I, a high school girl? I’m an adult, I should handle a problem as small as a crush in a mature manner. 

... A crush? Is this a crush? Do I like Kacchan that way? What if he finds out? 

Before I can wring my hair in frustration, I hear my bell ring. Trotting down the stairs, I walk into the living room to get to the main hallway. I open the door with a swift gait; normally Uraraka-san pops in around this time, and Iida-kun a little later. 

“Uraraka-san, I don’t need to date someone!” I expel, my tone huffy as I glance up at the person in the door. 

“Would you even be able to date someone?” A low, masculine voice states; their tone amused. 

Kacchan!? 

“Uh, oh, um! What are you doing here, Kacchan?” I stutter, my face blushing as I avert my gaze from him. 

I did it again! I’m sure at this point in time Kacchan thinks very little of me, and to be honest, I’m not surprised. 

“Checking out your place. Round Face gave me your address, said to check up on you.” 

Kacchan wanted to check up on me? Maybe he does like me after all. Otherwise he wouldn’t do that. 

“Anyway, you gonna let me in or what, nerd?” His rough voice makes me jolt and I open the door fully to allow him inside. 

“Would you like coffee?” I ask when Kacchan slips off his shoes and shoves his feet into a pair of guest slippers. 

“Yeah, sure,” he distantly replies, his gaze focused on the things inside my house. 

I bet he lives somewhere extravagant; in an apartment complex or something. Whereas I just live in this little house near the countryside. 

“Black and no sugar, right?” I let my voice filter through the house and Kacchan responds with a despondent ‘yeah, whatever.’ 

He’s a real charmer. 

By the time I’m finished making his coffee, Kacchan strolls into the kitchen, his hands in his pockets. 

I haven’t had the time to observe him so when I hand him his coffee, I do so quietly. Kacchan’s wearing black, ripped jeans, a wine-red shirt and a form-fitting black blazer. 

Is that what he’s wearing to the meet-up? Are we supposed to dress like that? Did I choose my outfit of choice incorrectly? 

“Like what you see?” Kacchan’s husky voice permeates the air and I stumble over my words whilst blushing. He caught me staring! 

“Yes, no— I mean—“ Kacchan lets loose a teasing smirk as he arches a blond eyebrow at me. 

“With the way you were drooling like a dog, you sure you weren’t checking me out?” He states matter-of-factly, and my hand zips out to swipe my chin to get rid of any excess drool. 

I find none, however, and instead interlock eyes with the mischievous orbs of Kacchan. 

“Damn, Deku, you’re as hopeless as ever,” it’s said in a laughing tone but the words don’t carry the same meaning they held years ago. 

Kacchan sounds... fond? Is that it? I don’t want to look too deeply into this. 

“You didn’t have to lie, Kacchan...” I whine. He’s always teasing me. 

Changing the topic before he could say something inappropriate, I fumble with the tie of my apron. “Did you come here just to check out my house?” 

“Nah,” he replied in a matter of seconds. He tips his head back to finish off the rest of the coffee. “I came to pick you up.” 

What!? “What!?” I’m incredulous; he seriously did that for me? 

Kacchan rolled his eyes, his expression deadpan. “You live the furthest away from everyone, and you’re clumsy as hell, so it’s no surprise your nerdy friends told me to come collect you.” 

I may be clumsy at times but I can get to the bar we’re heading to for the hangout relatively easy enough. It’s not the transport that Kacchan is worried about. 

He came to see how I was doing! 

“Really? But I can drive just fine, and it’s not that far away.” I refute, just to see the look on Kacchan’s face. 

He clicks his tongue and tells me to shut up. 

I pout but continue to press further anyway. “Did you want to see how I was fairing, because if so, thank you Kacchan!” I smile brightly. 

Kacchan’s face turns an adorable shade of red. “Shut up, dumbass nerd. I didn’t come here for you, I just had to make sure you weren’t gonna get in a car accident or whatever.” 

That’s Kacchan speak for: ‘I was worried about you but I’ll never admit it so instead I’m going to layer my concern for you through directed insults at varying degrees.’ 

I decided to not push it, and instead willed the courage to ask Kacchan a question. 

“Hey, Kacchan, can you show me your tattoo parlour one day?” 

He scoffs at me immediately. “Can you even handle being in one of them, Deku?” 

“Yeah,” I argue, “it’ll be my first time and I’m curious to see how you work.” 

“Hm.” Kacchan leans in closer towards me, his expression alight. Oh no, whatever he’s thinking is probably bad. 

“If I allow you to watch me work, you have to promise to get a tattoo.” 

His proposal shocks me. I have to get a tattoo!? 

“But aren’t they painful?” I nervously state. 

Kacchan laughs again, his chuckles on the verge of mocking. 

“They sure are, but you can take it, can’t you?” He’s egging me on, I just know it. 

But I really want to see where he works. And I also, maybe, kinda, want to see him in action. 

“Fine.” I agree, and Kacchan’s grin widens even further. “I’ll get a tattoo done.” 

“Great,” Kacchan affirms, shoving his seat back and standing up. “Get dressed. We’re going.” 

“Now?” I hesitantly ask. It’s still early in the morning. The meet-up isn’t until the evening. 

“Yeah, now.” Kacchan stalks out of the kitchen and makes his way out the front door, slipping his boots on. “Come outside when you’re done. I’ll be in my car. Take longer than five minutes and I’ll leave.” 

“Okay, bye!” I yell as the door closes shut behind him. I best get dressed quickly, then. 

I have no time to worry about my clothes since Kacchan only gave me a limited time amount of five minutes. I suck up my worry and put on my overalls and top, running downstairs I slip my phone, wallet and gum into my pockets and shrug into my Converse. 

I turn off all the lights and make sure everyone is okay before taking the keys and locking the door behind me. 

Kacchan’s car is the sleek, black sports car with gold lining. It really stands out from my white mini Cooper. I shake my head and walk around the car to the passenger side. I knock on the door just in case Kacchan has locked it, and open the car door when Kacchan gives me an exhausted look. Whoops. 

“What are you, a little kid?” Is the first thing he says to me when I strap my seatbelt on. His eyes hover in on my tee and overalls. I can see him judging me but I’m going to be the bigger person and ignore it. 

“It said casual wear... This is casual, right? And, anyway,” I add on before Kacchan can speak, “your outfit is too formal. A blazer! We're just hanging out at a bar.” 

“I’m not gonna wear broke shit. We’re meeting our class since three years or somethin’, so it’s natural to want to show off how well you’re doin’.” Kacchan feigns a piteous look at me. “It’ll be clear to them that you’re a farm-boy or something.” 

“I didn’t have anything else. You’ve seen my wardrobe.” I weakly counter. He’s right. Kacchan looks more well-put than I do. Everybody else is probably following the same line of thought. 

“I know,” Kacchan starts the car and presses his foot on the pedal, careful to move out of the parking space. “Which is why we’re going to my place first, and then we’ll go to my parlour.” 

“Okay, Kacchan.” There’s no use in arguing against him. I might as well just follow his lead, like when we were younger. 

The trip to Kacchan’s didn’t take that long, and throughout the ride I attempted to make some form of smalltalk but it was mostly just Kacchan’s vulgar taste in music and him cussing out any drivers. 

“We’re here,” Kacchan gets out of the car and pulls my door open as I’m unbuckling the seatbelt. I thank him and he locks the car, dragging me along with him towards a tall, picturesque building that rich people live in. It’s the complete opposite of me. 

He checks in with his ID card and I stumble after him, intent on burning the memory of this building into the back of my eyes. 

“This place is so regal,” I say to Kacchan when we get in the elevator. “I feel uncomfortable.” 

“You don’t spoil yourself, that’s why. Would it kill you to spend a little money on yourself?” Kacchan’s blunt statement doesn’t reside well with me. 

“I give the money to my mom for her bakery. And for the rest, well, I’m just saving it up, in case something happens. I’m fine with how I am, Kacchan.” It’s true; I’m not the type to spend money listlessly. It’s better to keep it for an emergency. 

Kacchan, of course, doesn’t agree with me. “Tch. Whatever.” 

We reach his floor, the 20th, and Kacchan leads the way to his apartment. He’s door number 27th. 

When he unlocks it with his ID card, I expect a pristine, clean apartment. What I get is exactly that; Kacchan’s a tidy person, so it makes sense for his living environment to be like that. There’s fluffy comforters and elegant rooms and a lot of space. It’s kinda large for just one person. 

I take my shoes off and follow after Kacchan who’s gone straight to his room, I think? 

Following him inside, I see him rummaging through his closet. Presumably for something for me to wear. 

He grips a shirt and some jeans and tells me to get into them. The green shirt didn’t need ironing so that was a plus, and the black jeans look the right size for me. 

“Um, bathroom.” I mutter, and Kacchan shrugs his shoulders. “Get changed where you want, but I’ll be seeing you undressed later on.” 

“Wh - what?” I squeak; is he being serious!? 

His face flushes as he gets what I mean. “Not like that, idiot! For your tattoo.” 

Oh. “You should’ve just said that...” I murmur. 

“Get dressed now. Hurry up.” He doesn’t move from his spot and he doesn’t tell me to move. I can only assume he wants me to change in front of him. I might as well get it over with because I will be getting a tattoo with him later on. No use in beating around the bush. 

Still, it doesn’t soothe my nerves. I unclasp my overalls and let them fall down to my waist. I shuffle out of my t-shirt and hastily pick up the green shirt, my fingers sweaty from how anxious I am. I do the buttons up and slowly grab the jeans.

I don’t want Kacchan to see me in my underwear. This is so embarrassing. 

I pull my overalls down and slip out of them. I thrust a leg through one leg of the jeans and I do the same with the other. These jeans are a little... tight. The shirt is the complete opposite, and reaches past my fingertips. I’m struggling, in this point of time, with getting the jeans on. I just need to push them up past my thighs and I’m done. 

So why wasn’t it working? 

Kacchan leers at my predicament and steps behind me, his hands ghosting over my waist before brushing past my thighs. 

“This is the reason why it was better you changed in front of me rather than somewhere else, because you’d get stuck.” His voice is soft and hushed; his breath sweeping down my neck as he presses his front to my back. 

“Th - these are really tight, anyway. Why don’t I just wear some other ones?” My face is as red as a tomato. Kacchan doesn't need to be this close to me. 

“Shut up, you’ll look good like this. Don’t talk back to me.” He clasps the jeans in his hands and tugs, the fabric rises past my thighs and sits snug on my waist. They’re still kinda tight, especially around my— 

Area that Kacchan is now touching. Why is Kacchan touching my butt? 

“Uh, Kacchan? Thanks but what are you doing?” I squeal, he really did touch me down there. 

“Nothin’. Checking to make sure if these fit you properly.” That makes sense. “Turn around.” 

I do up my zipper and turn around. Kacchan has this intense stare on his face; almost as if he’s scrutinising me. He undoes my top three buttons and pushes my shirt into my jeans, his hot palms touching my heated skin absentmindedly. 

When he’s done, he checks me once more, and ushers me outside. 

“Let’s go get a tat, now,” he grins, the phrase punctuated with a slap on my behind. 

“Ka — Kacchan!” I yell. 

I’m not gonna last long with him.