The bustling life of the city of Tokyo poured through the subway station, as thousands upon thousands of men, women, and kids went about their daily lives. Adults began their commute to work as the kids all made their way to their respective schools, all except for one tall young man, sporting icy blue eyes. He stood in the center of the main hub, a backpack on his shoulder, dressed in the uniform of Matsurbara high school, albit with his shirt untucked and tie loosened.
"Where the hell am I even going?" He said to himself as he held two items in his hand. One was his phone, listing the directions he needed to take to get on the right trains to get to his new school. The other was an English to Japanese dictionary that he was frantically flipping through. Daniel Robert was beginning the next chapter of his life today as an exchange student of sorts. His family recently moved to Japan due to his father's work, but were just as quickly called back home when things fell through with the plans.
That left Daniel in a tough situation. His family moved to Japan during the middle of April, just as the new term was starting and Daniel was already enrolled for his second year, which left him in an odd position. Thankfully, a family friend of his father's who he made during his short work here, offered to let Daniel stay with him and his family until Daniel finished his year and he could choose what to do then, stay in Japan and finish, or return home.
"Uh….I think that means I go this way?" Daniel said scratching his shaggy brown hair, piercing blue eyes, peering out from underneath it, as he took a guess on which way he needed to go. He was thankful he was smart enough to leave much earlier than he probably needed to, because he knew he was gonna get lost. While his spoken Japanese was okay enough to be understood, albeit with a lot of errors, his written and reading of Japanese was still extremely rocky. He finally had enough and made his way up to a police officer. "Um...excuse me. Do you know where I should go for this train?" He asked slowly, showing the cop his directions.
The cop looked at the phone, nodding as he pointed the way. "Head down this direction, make a left at the end, go up the stairs, and it's right there." He said, speaking shockingly fast. Daniel internally had a full blown panic attack as the one flaw he had was an inability to understand Japanese when spoken fast. Feeling too self conscious to ask him to slow down, Daniel nodded his head and slowly made his way down the pathway. Thankfully, he was able to find his train much easier than he expected. He quickly got on and sat down, sighing in relief as that stress was at least over.
The train ride went much smoother than it started. Everyone was quiet and stared either out the window or at the ground. The adults all looked like they lost their souls and were just going through motions.
Then again maybe the tales of the overworked Salaryman are true.
Once Daniel reached his stop, it was an easy short walk to the school. The backstreets soon began filling with other students. All wearing the same uniform as him. It was then he was beginning to realize how much he was going to be standing out. Daniel was much taller than his age would suggest, already breaking the 6 foot 2 inches barrier by the time he turned 16. Now at 17, he was often being mistaken as someone in their 20s, even back home in America. Here, he looked like a giant among the others and it didn't take long before he was being noticed by the other students, who all began gossiping amongst themselves.
"Who is that? One of the student's older brother?"
"He's kinda cute. I wonder if he's in college."
Daniel tried his best to ignore the chattering, but it was hard when it was literally all around you. The gods were forgiving to him though, as the massive high school soon loomed over everyone. Daniel couldn't help but marvel at the size as his old high school was a 1 story building that housed maybe 500 kids at most. This school made that place look like a mud shack. He pulled his phone back out as he switched from the directions for his trains, to what he needed to do once he arrived at school. "Looks like I gotta report to the faculty office."
Pulling out his dictionary again, he quickly looked up the translation for the Faculty Office. He made his way inside, marveling at how clean and modern this building looked. Everything was perfectly organized and laid out in an easy to understand way, in fact, Daniel had no issue finding the faculty office once inside. He knocked on the door and slowly slid it open, stepping inside. There one of the teachers sat at her desk, reading through some papers. She was an older woman, mid to late 30s Daniel figured, who wore her hair in a bob cut. She noticed Daniel and stood up to greet him. "Hello, can I help you?"
"Oh yes sorry. Today's my first day here and I was told to report to a….Ms. Isare?" He said, looking at the phone, squinting his eyes as he tried to read the name right. He could tell he read the name wrong as the woman chuckled softly.
"It's Iseri. And you must be the American student. Daniel Roberts." She said calmly.
"It's pronounced like Row-Bear." Daniel said, correcting her this time. The two shared a laugh.
"Well I appreciate the correction. I'm Ms. Iseri, I'll be your homeroom teacher. You'll be in Class C. Homeroom is about to start so I'll go introduce you now. Please follow me." She said leaving the office, with Daniel in tow. "So I was told of your current situation, I hope it wasn't too much stress. I can't imagine having to stay behind when your parents have to go home." She said in a soft voice. Daniel was already liking Ms. Iseri. It didn't sound like she was just making small talk. She was sincere in her concern, a mark of a great teacher.
"It's been rough, but thankfully the Tamashiros have been awfully kind to me and have been a big help in getting me more accustomed to the culture and language changes." Daniel said as they stopped in front of the classroom, already full of students. He could hear the mushed together conversations as they all talked about things teenagers talked about.
"Just wait here until I announce you." Ms. Iseri said, sliding the door open and walking in. "Alright class, settle down." She said getting the class attention. She ran through the attendance real quick, and gave a few quick notes about things going on in the school. Then it was his turn. "Alright, and lastly, we have a new student joining us today. He's come all the way from America to spend the year with us, so I hope you can help him feel more welcomed. Daniel." She said, calling him in.
Daniel gulped as his nervousness took over him as he slowly slid the door open. The class began murmuring to each other as he stood in front of the group, feeling like a piece of meat being sold. "Hello. I'm Daniel Robert. I apologize in advance if my Japanese isn't that good. I hope we can be friends." He said giving the courtesy bow he was told about from his host family.
"Splendid. Alright, there's a seat right back there." Ms. Iseri said, pointing to the last seat in the row next to the wall. Daniel took his backpack off and slowly made his way down the row, students whispering again as he took his seat, feeling his knees hit the bottom of the desk. His legs were too long for it, but he quietly shifted himself to try and get a better angle. He just started, he wasn't about to complain about something.
"He can't even fit in his desk. How tall is he even?"
"There's no way he's a second year. I swear he has a beard already."
"I wonder why he had to come all the way out to Japan. Maybe no American school would take him!"
"Alright, that's enough. Focus kids, let's begin today's lesson." Ms. Iseri said as Daniel's high school life officially began. Much to Daniel's relief, the lessons were just like they were back home. Not that he was expecting much else, it was still nice to see the same structure, as that helped him figure things out much easier, even with his difficulty with reading kanjis. The morning classes were all straight forward from there for Daniel, he found himself excelling at math, a subject he was always good at. Talent translated across borders it seems.
When the lunch bell rang, everyone got up and began splitting off into their groups to begin eating their lunch. Daniel put his backpack on his desk and began digging through it, looking for his lunch, and it was at that moment that in his nervous excitement, he forgot his lunch at home. He quickly pulled his wallet out and checked but alas, he had very little money on him. Only a few singles. He sighed heavily as he placed his hand on his stomach, feeling it rumble.
"Hey new kid! What's the matter, forget your lunch?" A voice behind Daniel called out. He turned around to see one of his classmates, a young man with spiky silver hair that had to have been a dye job and a big goofy grin on his face.
"Oh...Yeah I did." Daniel said softly almost like a whisper. Why was he feeling so self conscious about this? Everyone forgets their lunch sometimes. Just none do it on their first day of class in a brand new school.
"Ah, no sweat. Here." The kid said digging into his own bag and pulling something out before tossing it to Daniel. He caught the item and looked down. It was a piece of bread that was shaped like a melon. He heard about this Melon Bread before. He was curious to try it. "Come eat with me. I'm sure you don't have anyone else to."
Daniel was a bit shocked at how friendly this guy was. He couldn't help but smile and nod his head. "Sure why not?"
"Awesome, come with me. I know a sweet place to eat. Name is Kataoka Yuji, but you can call me Yuji." He said as he led Daniel through the halls. "And it's Robbers right?"
"It's pronounced Row-bear. But call me Daniel, or Danny." Daniel said as Yuji was leading him up to the roof. "I thought this thing only happened in animes. They actually let you guys on the roof?"
"Well, no we're not supposed to. That's why it's a sweet spot. No one ever comes up here. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy the spring air." Yuji said opening the door to the roof, propping it open with a cinder block that was left up there.
"How much trouble will we get in if we're caught? I don't want my first day to be my last…" Daniel said, getting nervous. How bad would it look if he got a mark on his record before the first day was even finished? Would have to be a new record probably.
"Oh don't worry, if anything happens, I'll take the heat on it. Say I forced you up and you didn't know any better." Yuji said, sitting down against the wall, stretching. Daniel shrugged as he sat down next to him, opening his bread, taking a bite, marveling at the sweet taste of it.
"So, I gotta ask, what possessed you to come all the way out to Japan?" He asked suddenly, Daniel expecting that question though. It would be the first one he'd ask.
"Nothing interesting. Dad's work asked him to come to Japan for a project that involved his job and a bank here. Was supposed to spend the year here, then go back home. However, only a few weeks in, the project fell through and he was called back home. Only issue, I was already enrolled in high school here and it would've been a total nightmare getting me out of this school and then enrolled at school back home." Daniel said simply, shrugging.
"Where are you staying?" Yuji asked, showing interest in his new friend.
"A friend my dad made at the bank offered to let me finish the year with him and his family. It's just for the year." Daniel said, taking another huge bite of his melon bread.
"Well that's good. Don't be afraid to ask if you need any help. I'm like the unofficial king of this school. I know all the details about everyone here. If you ever need help hooking up with a girl, I'm your man." Yuji said proudly, earning a small laugh from Daniel. Yuji seemed like kind of an idiot, but a good idiot who always looked on the bright side.
"You know students are forbidden from coming up here, Kataoka." A voice suddenly interrupted. The two turned their heads to look up at the girl that was glaring down at them, fists on her hips. She had a stern look on her face, long purple hair tied up in a ponytail. Her brown eyes pierced the two. Her uniform, completely cleaned, pressed, and free of any irregularities, seemed to be tailor made for her. It hugged her body in a way that seemed to boast her figure, whether she intended that or not. Standing in the sunlight, it almost seemed like she was glowing to Daniel.
"Again, only thought this kind of thing happens in anime." Daniel said, pointing a thumb at this random girl's hair, earning a laugh from Yuji and a glare from the girl.
"Come on, Tabata-chan, it's the new kid. I was just showing him around the school and figured this was a nice place to unwind. You can't expect him to get everything on the first day, or else his brain fries." Yuji defended their actions. The girl, Tabata, didn't seem to buy it for a second.
"It's the rules and for your own safety. The school can't have students falling off or getting hurt. I won't report you this time, just don't do it again." She said coldly before turning to Daniel. "Try to not let him influence you. The last thing we need is two delinquents running around." She added before turning away and walking off, but stopped before facing them again. "Also your uniform is disheveled and your tie is loose. I know you are new, but please respect our school's rules" WIth that she was gone.
"Tabata-Chan is so cruel." Yuji said, leaning his head back against the wall.
"Who was that anyway?" Daniel said looking down the stairs that the girl walked down.
"Tabata Kasumi. She's the class rep of class two. Smartest girl in the entire year. She's also a stickler for rules and regulations. Doesn't let anyone get away with anything." Yuji said, sighing as he rubbed the top of his head.
"Should we worry about this then?" Daniel asked, concerned about getting tattled on.
"Nah, if she said she wasn't going to, she won't. She's obsessed with rules, but her word is her word. Just don't let her catch you again." Yuji said, waving his hand.
"She's kinda cute." Daniel said, turning his attention back to his food, feeling the energy of the grin Yuji was wearing.
"Oh is that so? Does the new kid already have a crush? The transfer and the class rep. Straight out of shojo." Yuji said, teasing Daniel as he quickly went on the defensive.
"I'm not saying that. I'm simply admitting to the fact that she appeared attractive." He said simply as Yuji just laughed.
"Well even if you were, I'd tell you to put a stop to that idea. Tabata-Chan rejects every guy and the occasional girl that ever asked her out. She's a dead end of love." He began standing up and stretching as the bell rang for lunch being over. "Come on, we can't be late for class."
Daniel quickly finished the last of his lunch as the two headed back downstairs into the school. He sat himself back in his tiny desk as the classes resumed. The rest of Daniel's first day was just as uneventful as it could be.
"I still don't know why they put me on the very bottom." Daniel said, sighing as he knelt down to get his shoes out of the locker by the front doors. Being over six feet, kneeling down like this was not exactly the most comfortable position for him to be in. He pulled his shoes out and swapped them with his school shoes as he stood up and stretched his back.
"Hey Danny, heading home?" He heard Yuji say as he appeared to be waiting for Daniel outside the school.
"Yup, what about you?" He asked, slinging his backpack over his shoulder.
"Not just yet." Yuji said, paying more attention to the door than he was Daniel.
"Waiting for someone?" Daniel asked, looking back at the door with visible confusion.
"You can say that." Yuji said, his smile growing as he saw who he was waiting for. They were two girls that Daniel recognized from their class. He laughed alittle as he patted Yuji on the shoulder, beginning his walk towards the station. "Good luck with that."
Yuji nodded as he quickly ran up to the two girls and began chatting them up. Daniel didn't hear what they were saying, but he knew what Yuji was trying. Flirting was flirting no matter what country you were in. And he had a feeling Yuji flirted a lot. As he climbed down the steps into the subway station. He stopped at the ticket gate though when he saw another familiar face. It was that purple haired girl from earlier.
"Hey, Tabata Kasumi right?" He asked, walking up to the girl, who was staring intently at the ticket gate, like she was trying to figure out what it was. The girl snapped out of her trance-like state and looked over at him with wide eyes, almost like she was surprised to see him standing there. "You okay?"
"You're….the transfer student Rubbers. You still never fixed your tie." She said, quickly returning to that cold demeanor she had when she confronted him and Yuji on the roof. "What do you want?"
Wow so cruel.
"First; it's Row-bear. Daniel Robert. Second; I was just seeing what was wrong. You're staring at the ticket gate like it wronged your family and you were figuring out ways to torture it." He said, raising an eyebrow to the sudden change in tone. She stared at everything but him, as she fiddled with the hem of her skirt, like she was embarrassed to admit to something.
"I forgot my train pass." She said, so quietly Daniel couldn't even hear what she was saying.
"What was that?" He asked, wanting her to speak up. Why was she acting like he was asking for intimate details about her?
"I forgot my train pass!" She said much louder this time, almost shouting it for all to hear. A few passing folks even stopped and turned their heads at the sudden outburst. Daniel suddenly felt embarrassed for the both of them.
"That's all?" He asked surprised. From what he heard about Kasumi Tabata from Yuji and other classmates, she never forgets something like this. She's as close to perfect as a human can be according to them.
"Well, without my pass I can not get on the trains. I'm also short a few yen to buy a ticket currently, and my home is too far away to walk." She said, puffing her cheeks as she stared sideways at him.
"Relax, I get the picture." Daniel said, pulling out his wallet and taking the last few yen he had left and handing it to her. "Will this cover the rest?"
Tabata looked at the money with bewilderment. Was she expecting him to not offer some form of help? If so, why would she expect that? That just seemed cruel. She reached up and slowly took the money and counted it, before slowly nodding her head. "This will suffice." She said taking the money and walking up to the ticket booth to purchase a one time ticket. Daniel scanned his pass and waited on the other side of the gate for Tabata, who seemed surprised to see him waiting for her.
"You don't have to wait...I can get home myself." She said coldly, walking past Daniel who just shook his head.
"I gotta get on this train myself, so wouldn't it be the kind thing to wait?" He asked, walking a few steps behind her. Hearing that he was on the same train made Tabata's ears perk up.
"You live in Hiroo too?" She asked, stopping at the platform, giving him a side look, her expression seemed to have lightened up alittle as she no longer had that cold demanour from earlier.
"That's where my host family lives, yeah." He said standing next to her, towering over the small woman. She must've been only 5'1. The two probably were one of the oddest sights these people have ever seen. Like a gorilla and a small kitten.
"For the longest time, I was the only one who lived that far out from our school. All my usual friends live the other direction." She said simply as Daniel stood there.
"Well, now you have someone else who has to make the long trek like you." Daniel said nodding his head.
"How….how long are you staying?" She asked in a nervous voice. Daniel looked at her with a raised eyebrow. Was she shy about making small talk?
"Until next year officially. But I can choose to remain and finish my last year or move back home." Daniel said, keeping his eyes on the wall the track ahead of him.
"I see. It must be tough adjusting to such a different culture. Trying to make friends with people you have so little in common with." She said calmly.
"High school is high school." Daniel said, shrugging. "I wasn't fitting in back home, so this is nothing new to me." This made Tabata look up at him in piqued interest. The train rolled into the station, speeding past them for a moment, kicking up a wind that blew her hair all around.
"What do you mean?" She asked as the two stepped into the train. Tabata quickly claimed a seat as Daniel stood in front of her, holding the safety strap.
"It's a long story. Maybe I'll tell you some time." Daniel said.
"Well if you won't tell me, maybe I'm not that interested " She said, turning her head to the side in a huff, puffing her cheeks up. Which earned a small laugh from Daniel.
"Uh huh, sure you aren't." He said as Tabata glared at him.
"I can see Kataoka is already becoming a bad influence on you." She said side eyeing him again.
"Nope, I was like this before he got to me." Daniel said smiling, genuinely enjoying the conversation. This was actually the first one he was having that didn't fully revolve around him being a transfer.
"I will admit to one thing. Your Japanese is much better than I expected." Tabata said, this time, earning a surprised look from Daniel. No one ever complimented him on his Japanese before, except his host family.
"You don't need to be kind. I know I'm butchering it." Daniel laughed a little, embarrassed. Tabata quickly shook her head.
"I mean it. It can't be easy learning a new language, whatever it is, and to do it while going to school in that country must make it even more difficult. I feel like if the roles were reversed not many students would put in the work like you are." She said giving him a smile, the first time she did in front of him.
"Well I guess, I have to work even harder on it to be worthy of such praise." He said with a smile, as her eyes went wide. He couldn't explain why, but watching Tabata eyes go wide in surprise was quickly becoming one of Daniel's favorite things.
The train soon pulled to a stop as both Daniel and Tabata gathered their bags and walked off the train. They went to say their goodbyes, expecting the other to walk in the different direction once at the station, but when they both started walking the same way. They both stopped and looked at each other.
"This is getting weird. Are you stalking me now?" Daniel asked, breaking the silence. Tabata laughed alittle, a success for Daniel.
"My house is just a few blocks from here." She said calmly.
"So is mine. Mind if I walk you home?" He asked, trying to be a gentleman.
"As long as it doesn't inconvenience you. I'd hate to make you walk out of your way." Tabata said as the two resumed their walk.
"It's no problem. Besides, it'll let me see more of the neighborhood. Haven't had a chance to really walk around yet." Daniel said, adjusting his backpack on his shoulder.
"Why's that? Have you been that busy moving in?" Tabata asked, cranking her head back to look up at him.
"No…...I just don't want to get lost again…." He said sheepishly as Tabata laughed.
"Wait again?" She asked, picking out the one word he hoped she didn't.
"It was my first day here. I was living in a hotel when we first came over and suddenly I had to figure out where I was going in a totally new neighborhood." Daniel said as Tabata continued to laugh.
"That's so adorable. Like a lost puppy." She said, teasing Daniel. So she was capable of teasing too. This girl was much different than the picture Yuji painted into his head at lunch.
"Yeah, yeah yeah laugh it up." Daniel said, letting Tabata have the moment.
"How did you find your way?" She asked, her laughing turning to small quiet little giggles.
"I finally found someone who could understand my broken Japanese and they managed to get me on the right way." Daniel said, shaking his head.
"Well that's good." She began to say, then began to realize where she was. "Looks like this is my stop." She said as she stopped in front of a house. It was a modestly sized one, the same as all the others in this area.
"Oh you live here?" Daniel said as he just made a certain discovery.
"Mhmm. I've got to go, get home safely Daniel." Tabata said as she quickly ran inside her house.
"I will." Daniel said, waving goodbye. "She remembered my name." He said smiling to himself as he made the long walk back to his house. A whole 12 feet away as he walked up to the house right next door to Tabata's. "Tabata Kasumi. Interesting." Daniel said, opening his front door, unleashing the chaos that waited for him inside.
"BIG BROTHER!" A small voice yelled as a tiny mass collided with his waist, tiny arms wrapping around him in a tight vice grip like hug.
"Hey Rumi. Happy to see you too." Daniel said as he looked down at the young girl who was hugging him like she hadn't seen him in forever. The Tamashiros had two children when they welcomed Daniel into their home. There was Rumi, the youngest at 10. She had jet black hair held up in little pigtails by panda barrettes. She also had an obsession with Daniel ever since he first met her, always clinging to him every chance she got. Daniel wasn't overly mad about it. Rumi was cute in the little sis kind of way. Growing up an only child, he welcomed the affection.
"I'm so glad you're home! How was school today? Did you make it there on time? Did you get lost? What was it like? You make any friends? What did you eat for lunch?" Rumi began asking a thousand questions a minute as she wanted to hear about his day.
"Rumi, can't you at least give him a chance to get his shoes off before you annoy him?" Another voice said as an older girl came in and helped Daniel pry Rumi's death grip off him.
"Thanks Ayame." Daniel said as the girl nodded, smiling herself.
"No problem." Ayame was the other daughter of the Tamashiros. She was older than Daniel, 20 years old and in her second year of university, where she was studying to become a lawyer. Ayame at first glance was the opposite of her sister. She was on the taller side, being only about half a foot shorter than Daniel. Her jet black hair was cut in a shorter style and had blonde accents all throughout it. Her ears were also covered in piercings. She was also extremely beautiful. So much so, that for the first week he moved in, Daniel had a hard time even looking at her, something she took a sick joy in teasing him about. Hugging him herself, pressing her curvy bust against him, just to see his reactions. She was a demon disguised as a woman.
"I just want to hear about Big Brother's day." Rumi said sadly, her big round eyes watering up a little.
"And you will. Just let the boy relax first." Ayame said, kneeling down and wiping the tears that were forming under her eyes. It was obvious to anyone that these two really loved one another.
"I promise I will later, okay?" Daniel said, patting Rumi on the head. This almost instantly cheered her up as she nodded her head and quickly ran back into the living room, Ayame following, shaking her head.
Kicking his shoes off, Daniel stepped up into the hall, heading for his room when he passed the kitchen where the girl's mom, Mizuki Tamashiro was busy cooking. Mrs. Tamashiro was a stay at home mom in her late 40s, who probably worked harder than everyone in this house. The home was always sparkling clean, well stocked, and she always made sure there was a hot cooked meal for them. She had shoulder length black hair and a beauty that Daniel could only describe as timeless. She was also the nicest woman he ever met.
"Oh hi Daniel. Welcome back. How was school?" She asked from the kitchen as she was busy chopping up vegetables.
"It was good. Mr. Tamashiro working late again?" He asked leaning on the breakfast nook. Ryuu Tamashiro was the man who made all this possible. A gentleman in his 50s, it was his suggestion to Daniel's father that he let Daniel stay with him and his family while going to Matsurbara. He owed everything to that man.
"Sadly yes. He said he would try to be home for dinner. So hopefully soon." Mrs. Tamashiro said, continuing her cooking.
"Smells good, what are we having?" Daniel asked.
"We're having your favorite. The stir fried pork, rice, and Miso soup with onions, potatoes, and negi." Mrs. Tamashiro said, as just hearing that made Daniel's mouth water. Mrs. Tamashiro was the best cook in the world according to Daniel and her food could make grown men cry tears of joy.
"Can't wait." Daniel said as he went into his room and placed his bag on his bed. He went back out into the living room and sat down on the ground at the table as Rumi quickly ran over and took her usual seat on his lap.
"I swear, you're more like a puppy than a sister." Ayame said, shaking her head as she drank her can of beer from the couch behind the two.
"Well he's my prince and future husband. So it's only right that I get to sit on his lap." Rumi said as Daniel just nervously laughed. Rumi, since day one of meeting, had decided that she was going to marry Daniel. Daniel didn't have the heart to tell her it wasn't going to happen, as she would usually cry if told. So Daniel let's her have her dreams, figuring she'll grow out of it.
"You're completely delusional. He's not going to marry someone so much younger than him. What he wants is someone older. Someone wiser." Ayame said slinking off the couch and getting behind Daniel, wrapping her arms around his neck as his body jumped when he felt her press her soft mounds of flesh against his back. " Someone like me. Isn't that right, Panda?" She teased, running her fingers through his hair, using her nickname for him based off his last name being pronounced like bear.
"Can you not call me that?" Daniel asked, trying to hide his fluster from Ayame. She always knew exactly what buttons to press. She was an evil genius.
"What, you don't like me calling you that? But you're my Panda bear." Ayame said, feigning a sad face as Rumi was pulling on her sister, trying to pull her off Daniel.
"Leave him alone!" Rumi said huffing at her sister.
"Make me twerp." Ayame stuck her tongue out.
"Aren't you supposed to be the older one?" Daniel asked, stuck in her embrace.
"Alright kids, knock it off. Dinner's ready. Go get washed up." Mrs. Tamashiro said, reacting as if this situation was completely normal, and it usually is in this household. Ayame let's go of Daniel, scruffing up his hair playful as she and Rumi went to help their mom set up. Once everyone had their plates and bowls at the dinner table, they all clapped their hands together and said "Thank you for the meal," before digging in. Daniel took a piece of pork and bit into it, marveling at how easily it melted in his mouth. Mrs. Tamashiro knocked it out of the park again.
As they were all eating their meal, the door opened as a thin balding man stepped into the house. "Hi honey, sorry I'm late." Mr. Tamashiro placed his bag and coat by the door as he walked into the dinning room, greeting everyone as he sat down. "This looks delicious dear."
"Oh thank you. Please help yourself. Daniel was just telling us about his first day." Mrs. Tamashiro said, smiling at her husband.
"Oh yes, that IS today. How was it Daniel? Did you have any trouble?" Mr. Tamashiro asked, taking a huge portion of miso soup.
"I had a little trouble finding my train this morning, but thankfully I managed to find it in time. Everything else was okay. Nothing too spectacular." Daniel said, taking a big bite out of his pork.
"There's no way it wasn't. If a forgein kid transferred into my class, that's all we would be talking about. And with you sticking out like a sore thumb, you were definitely the talk of the school." Ayame said, leaning her chin in her hands. "Talk to any girls?" She smiled evilly as she asked that question the moment Daniel was sipping water, causing him to cough and choke alittle.
"W-what?" Daniel asked once his coughing fit subsided.
"It's a simple question. You're a young man in the prime of his life, living in a country completely new to him, where you're the center of gossip. It's only natural that you may find a girl you like." Ayame said not taking her evil eyes off him.
"There was one girl." Daniel started as everyone around the table all leaned in closer, wanting to hear the details. "And she told me my tie wasn't tied right. That is it."
"You're gonna be hopeless bro." Ayame sighed defeatedly.
Thankfully for Daniel, the rest of the meal went by without anymore prodding into his new social life, or lack thereof. Once the meal was finished, the dishes all washed, and a nice relaxing soak in the tub, Daniel sat at his desk, working on his homework, the moonlight creeping into the window over his desk. He looked up out the window, chin in his hand as he looked at the house across the way. Tabata Kasumi's house. He wondered how she'd react when she finds out he lives right next door.
Almost on cue, the room across from him turned on, catching his eye as a figure walked into the room. It was Tabata. Daniel watched her silently as she flipped out her long purple hair and began unbuttoning her top. Daniel felt the blood rush to his face as he realized she didn't realize her windows were open. Every fiber in his being told him to look away, close the curtains to his room, or hide. His body however refused to move as once her top came off, Daniel's mind exploded.
His mind screamed in teenage hormonal glory as the full figure of Tabata was now before his eyes. It looked even better than he imagined. She wasn't too curvy, like Ayame, but it was the right amount that fit her body. No wonder she was super popular with guys, even if she always said no. Next came the skirt, as Daniel's mind was doing cartwheels. If there was ever a time to cut it loose and bail out before losing it all, it was now, but Daniel put it all on black and spun the wheel.
As Tabata laid her clothes out to not wrinkle them, she began to reach behind her, clearly undoing her bra. Daniel couldn't believe this was happening. Just before she unhooked it, she stopped as she finally looked up and noticed her open curtains. She froze in place as she looked right across into his room, her eyes locking onto Daniel.
Daniel was caught. No way about it. All he could do was offer an embarrassed wave, hoping to show that this wasn't an intentional creeping, just an accidental creeping. In the court of law that matters. With her windows closed, he couldn't hear her, but he could see her begin to scream as she rushed over and closed her curtains. Daniel quickly did the same. Just a few moments later, a loud banging came at the front door and a voice started yelling. "ROBERT GET OUT HERE!"
"Oh NOW she gets it right." Daniel said, shifting into panic mode, Daniel quickly ran out his room towards the door as everyone looked at the front door, wondering what was going on. Mrs. Tamashiro was already on her way to open the door as Daniel quickly slid past her and stopped her.
"Don't worry Mrs. Tama. I got this." He said in a clear panic as he put his shoes on and quickly left the house, shutting the door behind him. Standing on his front step was a raging Tabata, dressed in her gym uniform, her eyes able to set fire to stone and her cheeks blood red. "I CAN EXPLAIN!" He shouted back before she had a chance to open her mouth.
"You better! What the hell are you doing spying into my room like some perv!?" Tabata asked loudly, Daniel shushing her, looking back at the house to make sure no one was listening or watching.
"I'm sorry, it was an accident I swear! I was in my room, doing homework, looked up, and you walked into your room and began getting naked." Daniel said, only realizing afterwards, that might've been a poor choice of words as her face only grew more red as did her rage.
"SINCE WHEN DID YOU LIVE HERE!?" She asked, more so demanding an answer.
"Since the whole time. This is the Tamashiro's house, they're my host family. I swear I didn't know you lived next door until you literally walked into that house. I had no idea!" Daniel said, pleading his case. Tabata looked at him, wanting to hurt him, but she never does. She inhales deeply and sighs as she starts to calm herself down, still angry though.
"Fine, I'll let this go this time. Only because this is all too crazy to be a plan of yours and not a simple coincidence." She said as Daniel grabbed her hand and held in both of his and bowed to the girl.
"Oh thank you merciful Kasumi." Daniel said as Tabata pulled her hand back, trying to regain her composure from the sudden hand hold.
"You won't speak a word to anyone about this. Ever." She said sternly pointing at him. "If you do. I will make life for the next year so difficult for you, you'll be clinging to the wing of an airplane to get home."
"Understood, you won't regret that!" Daniel said as Tabata sighed as she went to head back to her house. Daniel faintly heard her mumbling and thought she said "Of course HE would have to see them."
Sighing in exhaustion at this whole short ordeal, Daniel went back inside himself, his entire family looking at from the living room.
"So who was that?" Mr. Tamashiro asked calmly.
"She's…..just someone I go to school with. She didn't know I lived next door, so she came over to just say hi." Daniel lied, feeling the heat of their curiosity.
"That was saying hi? Sounded like she was shouting at you." Rumi said, not taking her eyes off the magical girl anime that she was watching.
"It looked like the Tabata girl. She lived next door for years. She was always such a sweet girl. Hope you're nice to her." Mrs. Tamashiro said innocently, like she was ignoring everything.
"She was a cutie. Have you been lying to me, Panda? Seeing another woman on the side? You playboy." Amaye teased.
Daniel groaned in defeat as he lugged his way back into his room and closed the door. He didn't even bother finishing his homework. He threw himself onto the bed and laid his head on the pillow as his eyes grew heavy. He just needed a few hours of sleep and he'll finish everything later. "What a first day…" He mumbled to himself as he quickly fell asleep.