Tobias Toshia lounged lazily against the wall, eyeing the crowd as it dispersed from the huddled rabble in front of the marks list. As per custom, the results for the recent examinations were posted there, names listed in order – and as usual, everyone was desperate to find out how they went. Any student who failed to pass more than three subjects would risk expulsion. Wakato was only reserved for the best.
His eyes following as the last student left the hall, Tobias casually strolled up to the list, mask of absolute coolness pinned upon his face. If there were to be an inkling of suspicion that Tobias actually cared about his results, the façade he had worked to built up in the past years of his life would fall.
His eyes moved up the list, breath catching at every name written vaguely similar to his. It was not until he reached the top that he finally allowed himself to breathe. First in all subjects again. He paused, obsidian eyes scrutinizing the mark. Damn it…father'll be lecturing me about the difference between 99 average and 100 average tonight – again…
He sighed, closing his eyes for a moment before slipping back on the mask of composure. It was never enough. Even if he worked a steady six chapters ahead of the class, attended "extension" lectures to make up for the ones he did not attend at Uni and began studying weeks beforehand…At least this time the result will keep him talking about my friends and music effecting my work…
Pausing, Tobias allowed himself to relax and moved his eyes back down the list, lips twisting in a tiny smirk as he viewed Michael's name at second rank. Michael Jiriku was the only scholarship in Wakato's history, who, as far as Tobias was concerned was not scum. Michael was an excellent musician. They had been best friends since junior high – and it was Tobias who had begged his father to sponsor Michael in. 98.5 average – one less thing for father to be complaining about…
As his eyes roved down the list, Tobias found, to his surprise that he was searching for Anya's name – and for some reason it wasn't there. A slight frown adorning his lips as he scanned the list again, Tobias felt unreasonable curiosity welling up within him. Why should he be interested in some scholarship girl's marks? Just because he had a personal interest, did not mean that this interest would pass on to school… With a slight shrug, he straightened. There was no point musing over it. On some days, there were more important things than attending lessons. Whistling, he sauntered towards the dean's office.
"Tobias Toshia! I suppose you decided that you were too good to join us mere mortals in class today?" Her voice screeched above the 100 decibels of heavy guitar music blaring from the amplifiers. The music did not stop. "TOBIAS! I DEMAND AN-"
"Miss Mitsuki?" A sheepish voice emerged from the corner of the music room and suddenly all sounds were cut. Ebony hair smoothed back into a 'tail bobbed up from the corner of the room.
"Aww Bryan!" One of the performers in the music room's stage jumped down. "What was that for?"
Proffessor Bryan Kimura, Dean of Wakato's music department held up a power point apologetically. "Too loud, Jamie. I couldn't hear what Mikki here wanted…."
"But Bryan!" A freckeled hand raked tousled blonde hair. "We were at a really good bit! That was our best –"
"Shut up Jamie." Grinning, another of those on stage jumped off, rapping the blonde on the head with his drum sticks. "Can't you see that there's a young lady here who wants to say something?"
The blonde turned to his friend, rubbing his head sheepishly. "Geeze Damien…"
Mikki took a deep breath. From the looks of things Tobias wasn't here. She had not come to make a fool out of herself. "Where the hell is Tobias?"
"Toby? I dunno…" Damien turned back to the stage. Hands cupped to his mouth he hollered, "Oi! Mike! Know where Toby's gone off to?"
There was another thump. Sapphire eyes looked questioningly at Mikki. "You are…?
"Oh." With a shrug, he extended his hand. "I'm Michael – Mike."
Eyeing it with some suspicion, Mikki shook it. "Would you know where…"
"Toby?" He raised an arm to scratch the back of his head. "I think he said he had something important to take care of."
Tobias stared at the letter in his hand, and then glared at the door before him. Unit 5, 56 Sakura Lane Tokyo…this would be Anya's apartment.
His palms felt as if they were encased in some wet, sticky substance. Absently he brushed them against his jeans, an effort to get some of the sweat off. The smooth texture of the envelope seemed ingrained into his very fingertips. He checked the address again. It was undoubtedly Anya's apartment.
With a sigh, he raised a fist to knock. There was no reason for him to be here. Whatever had possessed him to volunteer to deliver the letter after the descussion with the dean…whatever had possessed him start the discussion with the dean in the first place had left him now. He lowered his fist. His palms had began to sweat again.
Tobias did not know what was happening to him. His stomach felt as if an entire flock of migratory birds had been set loose to fly in there. For some reason even the very thought of seeing Anya through that white painted wooden doorframe before him made him want to run away and hide. It was different when they had met outside. There were people about. He knew how to behave then. Here…here it was her territory.
He raised his fist again, and rapped on the door. Twice. And before he could gather up the strength to take a step back, there was a smooth sliding of locks and the door opened.
"YOU." Violet eyes narrowed. "What are you doing here?"
Tobias grinned coolly, the muscles of his face moving so that the mask was fully in place. "A letter for you."
Scowling, Anya grabbed at the white envelope. Her eyes skimmed over it. No mistake, it was addressed to her. She raised an eyebrow. "It is a criminal offence to root through someone's mail. I could have a court order against you."
"I doubt it. My lawyers would – "
Tobias grimaced. She had slammed the door in his face.
Anya threw the letter on the table, muttering under her breath. It was not as if her day could get any worse. She had thought he was bad – but looking through another person's mail! The nerve of some people…
Resisting the urge to slam a fist against the wall, she picked up the white envelope. Wakato University…School of Law and Commerce…oh shit… She the blood drain away from her face. The distant pounding of her heart echoed in her ears. Shakily, she sat down, fingers fumbling to open the envelope. She couldn't breathe. This one piece of paper could determine her future.
Dear Ms Mitsuki…you have been scheduled for a re-examination on…
Anya felt the world around her spin. She wasn't going to lose her degree! Slowly, she let out the breath she had been holding, looking up from the letter with a wide grin plastered on her face. Reading the contents again, she noted the date. Fifth of November - wait…that's today… So Tobias had not rifled through the contents of her mail. He had delivered this from Wakato. Why...?
Chewing, her lip in thought, Anya suddenly remembered, with a bright flush, that she had left Tobias on her doorstep. And I slammed the door in his face too… She winced slightly. The guy may be a worm, but that was not reason to be as rude as she was – especially when he had brought her such good news…
With a sigh of resignition, Anya stood. Perhaps he had left – but if out of some impossible chance he was still at her door, she had better go apologise. Hesitantly she turned the doorknob.
She cringed. He just had to be there, waiting for her.
"What are you doing, still here? I thought any guy with some sense would leave after a girl slammed the door in her face." Anya winced again, inwardly. Some apology…
"I was waiting for you to come to your senses."
What feelings of regret Anya had evaporated at that single statement. How dare he! He must think that the entire world revolves around him…the arrogant bastard… Through clenched teeth she glared at him. He brought me the letter…He brought me the letter… "And what makes you think –"
"You do realise, that in the civilised world, we tend to invite those who are standing at the door, in."
Anya growled. He had her trapped. She had to invite him inside now. Still glaring at him, she moved to the side, rod straight arm pointing into the room within.
"Thankyou." Whistling, he waltzed in, settling down cross legged at the low table at the centre of room.
Anya gritted her teeth. "And I suppose you would like some tea too?"
He looked up. For a moment obsidian met violet. There was a flash of - something – the muscles of his face distorted…into sympathy? His eyes shone – before he resumed his usual arrogant demeanour, a smirk plastered on his face. Obsidian eyes remained blank. "You shouldn't do things you don't want to do."
Anya bit her lip, all previous anger rushing out of her at his cryptic response. With a sigh, she sat down opposite him, legs swung to the side. "Why?"
"Why…" she motioned at the envelope, one eyebrow raised. "It was dated today. You didn't have to…"
Tobias shrugged. "I was there at the right time. And besides I had business in this neighbourhood."
Anya snorted. "Huh! I'm not stupid Tobias Toshia."
He smiled cooly, a flashing of white pearls. "And why do you not believe me?"
"First of all why would you – Mr. Heir-to-wealthiest-family-in-all-of-Japan bother with this neighbourhood – after all, we are just common civilians struggling to make a livelihood." Her sarcasm was tinged with bitterness. "And secondly – if you had business, I doubt you would have waited so patiently."
Tobias shrugged again. "Fine. If you want the truth, the dean and I had a little discussion.
Anya stared. "A discussion? About what?"
He sighed. "Don't think that Wakato is as biased as the rumours come. Sandy was also suspended indefinitely. The dean was going to organise an interview – but I thought a re-test would be more appropriate. After all, if you did well once, you should be able to do fairly well again."
"You…" She bit her lip, violet orbs focusing intently on wood grain. "W-why?"
There was a sudden crash behind them.
"Oh shit." Motioning for him to stay seated, Anya ran to the sink at the side of the room, filling a glass of water. She opened the screen door, closing it behind her.
"Daddy? Daddy I told you! You haven't slept off the alcohol yet…here – drink this."
There was a few moments of silence and Anya reappeared, red tinged in her cheeks. "Sorry."
"That was your tousan?"
She looked up. There was no denying it now. He had heard everything. "H-hai."
"It sounds as if you get a lot of freedom living here."
Anya shrugged, prepared to make the most of a bad situation. It's not as if I could avoid having this stuff spread for any longer anyway… "That might not always be a good thing."
"Really?" His voice had taken on a strained note. "It's even worse when your father watches every single little thing you do. When even if you are twenty-"
He looked up, eyes full of bitterness. "You're luckier than you think."
"Oh?" The anger in her voice made him want to take a step back. "At least you can be sure that you'll always have roof over your head. At least you know that whatever happens your father will take care of the little things for you. I don't even know where I'm going to get the money for –" Her mouth clamped shut. Hand over her mouth, her violet orbs radiating horror at was she was about to say. She sat down. "Sorry. I was rambling."
"You…you need a job?"
She looked up again, shoulders slumped in defeat. "Hai."
There was a pause as he fumbled at his pocked, pulling out a crisp white card. "Here. My friend's a solicitor. They've been looking for a part time receptionist for their firm."
"I don't need your charity."
"It's not charity. Consider it a favour-"
Again, obsidian met violet. A corner of his lips quirked up in a smile. "From a friend."