Sunday, 5 July 2015

Chapter two (segment five), 2016, August, Yukio

Yukio felt like a traitor. He trusted Kyoko, and Kyoko promised that if Kuri said something was good for Urufu then it was really good for Urufu. But he still felt like a traitor. Urufu was his most important friend, the man turned boy who had brought out what Yukio believed was the best parts of himself. Urufu had dared him to become a better Yukio, and Urufu had supported him when he was uncertain of his ability to become one.

A full night's sleep hadn't changed his feelings that he should have protested when the others effectively transferred parts of Urufu's control over his business to the Wakayama parents. The others? You coward! You took part of it yourself when you signed that contract.

With those feelings of conflict he made his way down the stairs to the dining hall where breakfast was served Viking style. As in the sign in the doorway stated that it was served Viking style. The irony wasn't lost on him. Sweden had its own era of fame, but from what Urufu had told him a breakfast buffet probably had very little to do with anything Viking.

Two floors above him Urufu was still asleep, or had been when Yukio left their room, and he looked for other familiar faces to share his breakfast with. Between club members grabbing small dishes and walking a few rounds between serving tables and their own seats he saw Ryu and Noriko sitting by a table in a corner. Kyoko headed there with the last of her booty and Yukio quickly got himself some juice and booked a place beside her with his glass.

The adults were seated by the windows at a table pointedly placed a bit apart from the rest. It looked like stratification, but Yukio knew from his conversations with Urufu that it was only a sensible solution to avoid students feeling awkward with a couple of teachers sharing their table. In Urufu's case it had been employees who wanted to avoid being forced into conversation with corporate management.

On his way between getting food and placing it at his place he touched hand and shoulders with Kyoko several times, none of them an accident. Each time he felt his heart jolt and each time he wondered how many of the club members who were watching them.

Less than I think, but more than what's comfortable, he admitted to himself when both of them headed for their table one last time unable to separate their hands. I love you. I'm happy I confessed that second time. I'm happy you love me back. I'm happy.

He understood he was luckier than he deserved, but he also guessed he deserved the luck he had. There was no contradiction as long as he was honest.

“Guess what I'm thinking,” he said to her when they sat down.

“Guess who I love in return,” she replied.

She reads my mind. My fantastic Kyoko!

“Where's Kuri?” Yukio asked, and he made an effort to raise his voice just a little bit.

“Should come down from our room soon. She overslept so we had to shake her awake
just as we went for breakfast.”

Yukio smiled at Kyoko. Good girl. Did I tell you that you're fantastic? No I just thought that. “My fantastic little Kyoko.”

She blushed at that but smiled back a him anyway.

Kuri hadn't overslept, unless she went back to sleep after returning to their room. Most of the night she spent cuddled up with Urufu. Ryu and Yukio moved their futons so Kuri and Urufu could have some space for themselves. After that Kuri cradled her boyfriend like a mother hugs her children when they're afraid to go to sleep.

It's strange, Yukio thought, that it only felt natural having Kuri sleeping beside Urufu in our room. Yukio looked around the dining hall. None of the other members would understand if it became known, so this was a secret between the six of them.

He threw a glance at the adults' table. They were all there. Both Wakayama parents, Principal Nakagawa, Ashiga James and Sato-sensei. And another two middle aged persons he hadn't seen before. They looked like locals, a local couple.

The bedlam slowly abated when more and more club members finished eating and only sat back nursing tea or coffee. At that time, first Kuri and then Urufu arrived as well.

While those who had finished first filed out to prepare for the afternoon's hike Kuri and Urufu started stacking plates with breakfast in a way that made Yukio grateful most club members had left the dining hall. How many nights have you spent at hotels? You're packing food like robots, and you know exactly in what order you have to stack those plates.

Ryu elbowed his sister lightly and Yukio saw them give the two Swedes approving glances. Forgot you're the rich kids. You should know this drill as well.

“Would President Ageruman and Vice President Hamarugen please join our table,” a voice suddenly cut through the hall.

What the hell? Principal Nakagawa? At least you're making a formal invitation.

Yukio watched the pair walk up to the adults' table and take a seat each. Kuri and Urufu were introduced to the two strangers. After a few words Kuri all of a sudden threw her hands to her face. For a moment Urufu woke up from his apathy and rose to protect his girlfriend. She looked at him but shook her head.

What's going on?

Around him the Wakayama twins and Kyoko shared his worried glares. Yukio held Kyoko's hand tightly and felt her squeeze back. When he questioned Ryu with a look he only waved his hand in the negative. Whatever was happening Kuri had to deal with it on her own. Yukio didn't like it, and he definitely didn't like to se a mentally unstable Urufu dragged into it.

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