Saying they were alert is an understatement; it was as if all those two could think about is this new girl that was apparently a part of Nozaki’s unknown life. Of course, they both had different reasons. The one reason Mikoshiba and Sakura had in common was that they were practically offended at the fact that they didn’t know this about Nozaki- that is until they figured out why. It was because, it’s Nozaki. Also because no one really talks about their childhood peers.
They calmed down a bit, but Sakura was too uncomfortable being all silent. She needed to somehow extract information; operation “Get close to Rei to find out if she has a secret crush on Nozaki, her childhood friend!”
How would she begin her mission? As usual, being the nice person she always is!
“Hi! My name is Sakura Chiyo! We haven’t properly talked before.” She smiled brightly.
“Ah yea, I’m Rei Fuyumaki. You can call me Rei.”
Is she angry..? Sakura thought to herself nervously, judging by Rei’s expression.
Unfortunately for Rei, it was just her normal expression. It wasn’t the first time someone misunderstood.
Mikoshiba was on the other side of the table, sweating profusely at the thought of making conversation. On one hand, he was really excited to see the figurines; on the other he was too embarrassed that he’d make a fool of himself. Especially after seeing the new girl’s overall behaviour. She did not seem like someone who would be too keen on his usual playboy pickup lines. Rei pulled out two boxes from the bag she brought. Mikoshiba saw the figurines inside and had a weirdly prideful expression. Ah i see...those are from a fairly underrated series. She has good taste; haven’t met anyone who watched that show. The character is also one of my favourites. Mikoshiba was lost in his internal monologue of figurine appreciation.
Rei got up and went to Nozaki ,who was sitting at his desk, with the figurines. She placed them on the table, a bit mire forcefully than she intended. The thud broke everyone’s concentration, and now Rei felt awkward. Well shit.
”Hey, i got the figurines. Don’t you dare damage them in any way or I’ll actually beat you up.” Rei said in a flat yet threatening tone.
Nozaki seemed pretty unfazed and simply said thanks and handed her some manga pages to fill.
She went back to the table and sat down to start her work. She noticed Mikoshiba’s flowers and thought to herself that they were very pretty. Mikoshiba caught her looking and he cleared his throat. She must be in awe looking at my beautiful flowers. He dramatically cackled internally. He was about to try and strike up a conversation with Rei but was interrupted by Sakura.
“So Rei, you’re Nozaki’s childhood friend?”
“Uh kinda. We were neighbours growing up and since we’re the same age group our parents made us hang out.”
“I see. So what are your interests?”
”Music, anime and manga. You?”
”Noz- uhh well i love art!” Sakura laughed nervously.
The conversation went on for a while until it eventually died down; and Mikoshiba still wasn’t able to ask her about the figurines. Sakura got quite a clear answer to her aforementioned questions- Rei was overall very uninterested in Nozaki. Either that or she was very good at hiding it.
After finishing work, Sakura left and Mikoshiba and Rei stayed behind. Mikoshiba was planning on hanging out with Nozaki, but his plans were gonna be put on hold because Rei stayed demanding repayment for the day. “Okok I’ll treat you. We’ll order pizza.” Nozaki offered. “Sure whatever. What games do you have btw? I’ll play while i wait.” Rei noticed Mikoshiba fidgeting nervously. She figured he felt left out so she went out of her way and did something she usually doesn’t. “You wanna play too?” Mikoshiba was caught off guard and stumbled on his words. “Uhh yea sure.” He stuttered quietly. He was nervous for a completely different reason. Fuck i hope Nozaki doesn’t give us that otome game! A few seconds after that thought, Nozaki came and handed them exactly that.
“So this is the stuff you play...makes sense.” Rei said nonchalantly.
W-why does it make sense?!
They both sat down in front of the tv to play it. Mikoshiba was still in a panicked state. He was hellbent on not letting out his game junkie side out, especially considering he already played this game before. But once again, things don’t really go as planned for him.