Notes and Disclaimers: The following is an original work by me, freely using the creative genius of Tachiwaka Megumi, to whom I am indebted. The characters of Saint Tail, Asuka Jr., et al are owned by Kodansha and TMS.
By Stirling Twilight
Meimi looked around for the fifth time, checked her watch and sighed...again. She wasnt sure how he had managed it, and she wasnt too sure he hadnt done it on purpose, but somehow Sawatari had gotten her to agree to a date. She frowned and clenched her fists, no, not a date. She would never go on a date with him! She rose to her feet with a small stamp of indignation, but then sank back down again. She should give him a few minutes. Well, a few more anyway.
Brightening, she looked up...into the smiling eyes of Asuka Jr.!
She gasped in surprise as he joined her on the edge of the fountain. Panic flooded her being as she wondered what to do. If Sawatari chose to show now he would be angry, and she glanced at her silent classmate. But in her heart she wished he would come. With luck it would put an end to his advances.
"Are you meeting someone?" Asuka Jr. asked, turning to face her, a disarming smile on his face.
She squirmed under his easy manner. What to say?!
"Uh, yes," she stammered. "Sawatari-san. He he offered to help me with my math." She giggled nervously, "You know how bad I am at it."
"I wonder where he is," he said looking around. "Its not nice to make people wait."
She giggled again, blushing. This was getting worse and worse.
"Have you been waiting long?"
Meimi dropped her eyes. She didnt like defending Sawatari, but she had been waiting for almost half an hour. If she told the truth she would practically be admitting to being stood up. She decided to avoid the question.
"Did you finish the math?" she asked with a smile.
He laughed. "I did it before I left school. What were you having a problem with? Maybe I can help, since Sawatari isnt here yet."
She brightened at the thought and produced her math book and a pad.
"Why dont we move to a table?" he asked gesturing to some nearby picnic tables. "Youll be able to see him from there when he arrives."
She saw the truth in it and together they moved her things to a free table. With no hesitation he began explaining the exercises and she fell into watching him as he moved swiftly through the work, talking the while. Occasionally he looked up at her, as if to be sure she understood. She smiled and nodded with each glance, never once hearing what he was saying, so lost in her own happy thoughts. Just having him to herself was a pleasure that she could almost thank Sawatari for. He passed the pencil to her and gestured to the pad.
"Now you do it."
Meimi blanched, then blushed. She had no idea how to do it! "Umm "
Asuka Jr. took the pencil back from her limp fingers. "You havent heard I word Ive said," he said smiling. "I know this because I was telling you all about penguins and how they swim."
Meimi hung her head. "Im sorry," she whispered.
He laughed and began putting her books away, "Come on, Ill buy you some ice cream to cheer you up."
Asuka Jr. sat Meimi at a bench near the ice cream vendor and asked her to wait while he went to treat her. She offered a flavor suggestion and watched him trot off.
As Asuka Jr. accepted the two crepes from the vendor, Sawatari caught up to him. Asuka Jr. did his best to ignore the tall photographer, turning back toward Meimi and striding away.
"You lied to me!" Sawatari raged, his arms flaring wildly as he moved to stop Asuka Jr. "You lied!"
Asuka Jr. turned his nose up and moved around him. "I never lie. If you didn't see the prisoner transfer take place it was because the police chose a different route. I cant help that."
"You sent me on a fools errand to keep me away from Haneoka! Admit it!"
Asuka Jr. stopped and turned on him, "I was doing you the favor of keeping her company while you were after your Nobel Prize winning scoop. You just ran off, leaving her all alone. What was I suppose to do?"
Sawatari looked daggers at Asuka Jr. "You never told her where I was."
"No," he agreed. "Not yet."
Before Asuka Jr. could say anything, Sawatari turned and ran in Meimis direction. With an oath, Asuka Jr. followed and arrived in time to see Meimi leap to her feet, her face livid with fury. With a sigh, he relaxed. He should have known better than to worry. Drawing closer, he selfishly enjoyed the show.
She was angry, she raged, for him leaving her alone for so long, for not telling her where he was going, for making her wait, and for a million other things she didnt care to list right now. He should leave her alone so she could eat her ice cream, thank you very much, good bye.
Asuka Jr. closed his mouth and passed the melting ice cream to her. She smiled dazzelingly at him, took the crepe and moved off. Both young men regarded each other for a charged moment, until Asuka Jr. smiled and turned to follow her.