Prompt: 041 ~ Hero May 2011©
Fandom: Antic Cafe
Focus: Bou x Kanon & Akira x Takuya
Word Count: 2,772
Fandom: Antic Cafe
Focus: Bou x Kanon & Akira x Takuya
Word Count: 2,772
It was no secret that Bou was pretty.
In fact Kazuhiro Saito was probably the prettiest person, male or female, to have ever graced the halls of the school he was currently attending.
It was no secret that Bou was pretty, or that it got him into trouble with his classmates. And because he wasn’t the most attentive student, or the most regularly attending, it was no secret that most of his teachers let a significant bit of the antagonism his fellow students enacted slide without reprimand.
Antagonism that frequently turned into outright bullying. It was no secret that Bou had no one to protect him from the bullies, he had no friends to speak of at his new school. He didn’t even have the occasional comrade in class. Even if the person he sat next to on a given didn’t detest him, he made it clear that he was not at school to make friends. It isolated him, making him even more defenseless for the lack of people coming to his rescue.
What was a secret was that Bou had people who wanted more than anything in the world to come save him. Bou did have friends, people closer to him than his family had ever been. His bandmates, the fantastic, fiercely loyal members of An Café would have trespassed in an instant if doing so meant that they could help Bou. However, doing so would have gotten them in more trouble with Bou himself than even with the local police.
When Bou had come back after quitting An Café, he’d wanted a fresh start. He’d wanted to completely start over, by going back to where he’d first screwed up. School had been a bore to him the first time through; he’d slept through nearly all of his classes and hadn’t even finished properly. The moment he could get out he had run for it.
Now he wanted to try again. He could miss most of his classes and still be okay in terms of grades, seeing as this was the second time he’d had to learn it all. It was a fortunate thing too, because with An Café slowly transitioning back into being an active group, he needed to miss a lot. And aside from that, if he didn’t prove to Kanon every single day that he was in fact alive, his boyfriend would never let him come back. The point of going to this particular, exclusive, no-questions-asked academy was that he could do so anonymously.
Having his members burst in for the rescue would have blown his cover for sure.
Alone he was just some pretty fag for the student population to terrorize. With An Café, he was one of the most beloved and renowned guitarists in the world. If they blew his cover, the whole thing would go to waste. All the strife he’d caused his friends and fans, all the disapproval he’d faced for joining An Café and then for leaving, all of it would suddenly mean nothing. And that was not acceptable.
He didn’t need a hero.
Really, he was fine on his own.
Bou could just ignore the teasing. That was easy.
He could ignore the sabotage. Working around it was easy enough.
He couldn’t ignore the physical attacks, but he could defend himself enough to prevent permanent damage, and even most of the superficial stuff could be avoided or covered up. It hurt like hell, but he didn’t need a hero to come save him.
Bou really didn’t need a hero.
But that didn’t mean he didn’t want one.
In the most particularly awful boughts of antagonism, Bou definitely wanted a hero. He couldn’t help wanting a hero when he felt like he was literally being beaten to a pulp. At times like that he could barely stop himself from openly crying out for Kanon. Biting his lip to keep from shouting, Bou squeezed his eyes shut to keep the tears in and pictured the sour expression of Kanon’s ‘happy’ face.
As he protected his face and stomach from the blows on one such occasion, he felt his phone buzz in his uniform pocket. It was Kanon, Bou knew that without a doubt. It was that stupid talent of his, that stupidly brilliant almost-psychic talent of his, kicking in to ruin everything.
Not answering his phone would make Kanon worry.
If Kanon worried, Bou knew there was no limit to what his boyfriend would do.
He redoubled his efforts to escape, but even in a half fair fight he would have had problems. Submitting to his fate, Bou curled up more tightly to protect himself and prayed that Takuya and Teruki would be able to control Kanon somehow.
And then suddenly, the rain of blows stopped.
For a moment Bout didn’t open his eyes. Either the fight wouldn’t be over and they were waiting for him to drop his guard, or it was Kanon and everything was over.
“What gives you the right to ever treat anyone like that?”
At the voice, the feminine, definitely-not-Kanon voice, Bou peeked up curiously.
His attackers were now on the other side of the hall from him; and to see them, he had to look through the legs of a girl he was sure he didn’t know. Or at least, he was sure that she didn’t know him. She was poised with her brief case slung over her shoulder, standing over him in a way that couldn’t be anything but protective.
But that couldn’t possibly be right.
The bullies were still on the other side of the hall. The leader of the gang stepped forward, well more like his cohorts pushed him forward, and he stammered, “Ge-get out of the way, girlie.”
“Why do you care if he mess with him?”
“You’re going to get hurt if you stay here, we told you to leave,” he shouted, though Bou thought he sounded a bit . . . worried. He couldn’t be sure though.
The girl just laughed, cold and biting but Bou thought that it sounded genuinely amused as well. He must have suffered a few more blows to the head than he’d thought, the way he was second guessing how people sounded to this extent . . . he might have to get that checked out.
“You lot,” the girl said slowly, still amused, but distinctly dangerous as well, “Are rotten gits.”
With that she lunged forward, swinging her briefcase like it was some sort of weapon. She smacked it, with the full force that physics could provide, against the leader’s shoulder as he tried to duck away from the explosion of movement. The sound of the impact was loud enough to echo and Bou winced out of involuntary empathy.
One blow wasn’t enough to send the bullies running off with their tails between their legs, but the number that it did take was small enough to count off on a single hand.
Watching them flee with a satisfied huff, the girl waited until they had vanished around a corner before she looked down at Bou. She stared at him a long moment, bending at the waist to bring herself eye level to him. “Do I know you?”
Bou didn’t respond, he simply stared back at her.
She straightened up abruptly with a laugh and held out her hand to Bou, saying brightly, “Mitani Akira, at your service!”
“Kazuhiro Saito,” Bou countered, taking her hand warily.
Akira helped him stand, commenting worriedly, “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Bou said chipperly, the false cheer he’d gotten so used to projecting over the years coming back to him in an instant as he tried to brush off Akira’s concerns.
Arching an eyebrow, Akira made it plain that she didn’t believe him in any sense of the word. “Yah. Kazu-chan. I think you should come with me to the nurse’s office.”
Her voice left no room for contest.
And her firm hand on his elbow had him sliding down the halls against his will.
When they reached the nurse’s office they found nothing but a closed door. “Darn,” Akira huffed, “I guess they don’t pay over time here.”
She helped Bou over to a nearby bench, noting worriedly that he seemed a bit dizzy. She dropped her briefcase with a loud thud and moved her hands to checking Bou’s pulse carefully.
Bou eyed the inane object. “What exactly is in that thing?”
Concentrating on her task, Akira didn’t answer for a moment. Once she’d assured herself that Bou’s heart-rate was fine, if a bit fast, she grinned and came to sit next to him. With an affectionate glance at her briefcase, she explained, “Just my Latin dictionary and a chemistry binder.” She added with a laugh, “And I think maybe a pair of headphones. I’m such a geek.”
Bou grinned, countering, “Hey, you’re a geek that kicks ass. I don’t think that’s something to be shy about.”
“I never said I was shy with it,” she replied with a conspiratorial smile.
Bou laughed, but then he winced as he felt the blows he’d received settling into his bones.
Turning instantly back to soft concern, Akira asked, “Is there anyone you can call to get a ride home from?”
“I can get a ride,” Bou said with a sigh. His heart began to sink at the very thought of having to explain it all to Kanon. Slowly, he pulled out his cell phone and texted the An Café bassist. He chose to simply ask for a ride without giving explanation as to the cause of needing one.
Hitting send, he leaned back and left his phone in his lap. He was vaguely surprised to see Akira still sitting beside him, but by now he’d given up on trying to make sense of things. “You don’t have to wait with me,” Bou commented.
Akira shrugged. “Eh, maybe not. Even so, I’m just gonna make sure that you don’t try to walk home in your current condition.”
“Why are you being so nice to me?”
It had finally come to bother Bou more than he could stand.
Akira blinked at him, utterly non-comprehending. “What do you mean?”
“You took on those bullies . . .”
“So? They’re bastards.”
“But to risk yourself for me . . .”
Akira laughed. “You’re new here aren’t you?”
“Not that new, why?”
“Because you haven’t heard of me. I’m apparently quite the psychotic bitch, you know,” Akira informed him. She paused, and then continued with a more sober tone, “Listen, if you want to let them make you feel bad, I’m not going to stop you. But if you really expect me to just stand around when someone is being hurt in front of me, well, you’ve got the wrong girl.”
Akira flashed Bou another bright smile. “Besides, I like you. You’re a nice guy.”
The shout came from the end of the hall, the direction of the school’s main entrance. The vicious yell made Akira jump and her wide eyes landed on a young man with baggy clothes and blonde stripes in his hair and the angriest eyes Akira had ever seen. He charged down the short hall, lunging towards Bou shouting, “Damn it all, Bou, how could you?”
In the face of Kanon’s seeming attack, Bou watched as Akira jumped to his defense, swinging her briefcase wildly at the bassist she perceived to be a threat. She managed to land a blow on his shoulder before Bou was able to shout, “It’s okay, Akira-chan! He’s my friend, he won’t hurt me, I swear.”
“Eh?” Akira let her briefcase drop from its ready position but kept her grip firmly on it as she looked uncertainly at Bou.
This shout also came from the end of the hallway, as the rest of Bou’s friends made their appearance. The four trespassers gathered in a tight group around Bou and Akira, struggling to understand what was happening as Kanon recoiled from Akira’s blow and Bou seemed to be taking her side.
“What the hell is going on?”
The newcomer with bright orange hair demanded to know the situation as he moved to stand between Akira and Kanon and the bassist rubbed his shoulder to dull the pain of having been hit by Akira’s briefcase. Not sure who, if anyone, she was supposed to hit, Akira edged closer to Bou.
Softer, Teruki asked from the other side of Bou from Kanon, “Bou, what happened?”
Bou glared at him. Akira was too busy trying to make sense of Miku’s style choices to notice, but she did notice as Bou yelled, “I thought you said you could handle him!”
“What was I supposed to do?” the drummer countered. “You ignored his phone call, and ten minutes later you need a ride? It was all I could do to keep him from calling the police!”
Takuya added, “You really gave us a scare this time, Bou.”
“Takuya! You aren’t helping.”
Reaching roughly for Bou, Takuya tried to get him to calm down, but he was interrupted by a smack of Akira’s briefcase. “Let go of him!”
“Akira-chan,” Bou jumped in, “Don’t worry. These are my friends. I know they look pretty suspicious, and they are kinda pissed at me, but they won’t hurt me.”
Bou used Takuya’s grip on his arm to pull himself up and hobble closer to Kanon. Warily, Akira lowered her bag as Bou called Kanon’s name almost timidly.
Kanon wouldn’t look at him. “Bou, you bastard,” He growled, still nursing his wounded shoulder, “How could you have scared me like that?”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Kanon lifted his eyes to stare hard at Bou, a pleading edge hidden in his angry and wounded expression. “You have to tell me these things. I can’t help you if you won’t let me, if you won’t let me in.”
Kanon straightened up heavily to wrap his arms tightly around Bou’s shoulders, pinning his arms to his side and ignoring Bou’s protests as he held the guitarist close.
Having long since let go of Bou, Takuya turned to Akira and asked, “Mind telling us what happened?”
Akira went quickly through the story, skimming through to wrap the tale up nicely so that they knew the gist of it and her role seemed minimal.
“I don’t want you to keep coming to school,” Kanon announced the moment Akira had stopped talking. “This isn’t working out.”
Bou sighed. “We’ve been through this before. I’m going to see this through.”
Kanon didn’t budge. “We never agreed to let it go this far.” He loosened his grip and put a gentle hand to Bou’s cheek, “Look at your face. Why didn’t you tell me it was getting so physical?”
“You wouldn’t have let me come back if I had.”
“Ah, Kanon-san?” Akira interrupted timidly. “I know you probably don’t care what I think, but I’ve been a student grader for some of Kazu-chan’s essays, and I think he ought to be taken seriously as a student. He’s got a good head under those blonde locks.”
“And who are you?” Kanon growled.
“Mitani Akira desu.”
“She’s my hero!” Bou chimed in as Kanon frowned. “She saved me,” he said, elaborating the story Akira had told him to show her role in much more esteem.
Kanon sighed. “We’ll talk about this more later. Let’s just go home for now.”
Bou nodded and Kanon helped him limp off towards where he’d illegally parked his car. Miku and Teruki followed quickly after them after giving Akira a sincere thank you, leaving her alone in the hall with Takuya.
She turned to him, looking him over closely. “I definitely know you from somewhere.”
“Really?” Takuya pretended offence. “It’s been what, a month, and you’ve already forgotten me?”
She waved him away. “Yeah, yeah, neighbor, I remember. You’re still smoking, aren’t you?”
“Guilty as charged.”
Akira huffed. “But I know you . . .” she waved in the general direction the others had gone in. “I know you, all of you.”
“Do you want a lift home?”
“Will you tell me who you guys are?”
Takuya began to lead Akira towards his car, the one the rest of An Café had followed Kanon in as the bassist took off like a madman. “But first, Akira-chan, can you keep a secret?”
At her nod, Takuya launched into the second long story of the day. Bou of course, was the main character again. After all, he didn’t need a hero, but he was constantly in need of a little rescuing.