Nagatoro relaxed on the sofa, one arm behind her head for support as she tapped her phone with her other hand. She was searching the internet, not really looking for anything, just occupying some time. Her connection was dodgy for a few seconds, so she shot a sidelong glance at her Senpai.
Despite her presence, his focus was intent, fervent even. While his back was turned towards her, she could practically see how his eyes flicked back and forth between the bowl of fruit on the table afore him and his canvas, his hand similarly flicking his pencil swiftly and precisely to capture every detail.
A smile crept across her face, simultaneously happy to see him so enraptured and desiring to interrupt. They often came together.
She opened her mouth, ready to call to him, but stopped, her smile growing as the fingers behind her head flexed. Nagatoro scratched gently against her scalp, her eyes tracking upwards to Senpai’s hair. She wasn't really sure if she was imitating what she wanted him to do or what she wanted to do with that scruffy mess. She opened her mouth again, ready to chastise him about combing, but stopped again.
Why was she hesitating? Nagatoro couldn't explain it to herself. She just liked how this moment felt. The quiet simplicity of it as she flopped onto her side and watched him sketch. It was something she'd learned to appreciate, even if he wasn't sketching her. He’d sketched her before while she was awake and probably also when she’d napped. That was gross, but endearing in a ‘Senpai’ sort of way.
They did have an odd relationship. With all her teasing, with all his patience. Nagatoro could hardly blame him for indulging a bit in some creepiness. It wasn't like he was just taking a pic with his phone to jack off to. No, Senpai would take the time, the effort, to sketch a picture-perfect drawing of her just to admire, though maybe missing a few particular details.
Or possibly including them, and then maybe he'd jack-off to it. Or maybe a memory of it after he, embarrassed, destroyed it. He was such a creep, she knew he'd do that sort of thing. That he'd done that sort of thing.
Nagatoro blushed, now grinning wildly at the idea of her Senpai doing such a roundabout act just to get his rocks off. What if he drew her nude? She could just see him: Red-faced, awkward grin, weak eyes. Adjusting his glasses with one hand while his other shivered as he drew her naked despite her fully-clothed inspiration.
She held her hand to her face, feeling the heat radiating off of it just as shame hit her heart. Those thoughts… were bad. Just because she sort of wanted them to be true didn't mean they were. Maybe that was why she liked Senpai. That he made her want him to be bad because he was so good. Well, that and that the teasing was fun.
Nagatoro scratched her cheek, still staring at his back as her grin fell into a grim frown of introspection. Why did this nerd put up with her with all that teasing? Why didn't he tell her to fuck off? Why wasn't he making a move if he was willing to let it happen? She'd back off if he'd ever sounded really serious about it.
Yeah, she bullied him. And people often have trouble dealing with bullies. But… didn't she bully him in kind of an obvious way? Like, not that she didn't enjoy teasing him, but wasn’t it clear that she wanted it to be HER doing the teasing? A sort of understandable bullying because she didn't really mean it. Different from how her friends did it: Their words, their actions, filled with a more malicious mockery hers never carried.
That was probably it, she knew, scratching her cheek more irritably. She sighed deeply, closing her eyes as she accepted the fact that her Senpai probably couldn't tell the difference between her teasing and her friends. How could he? What, from his perspective, was the difference?
Really, when it came down to it, what was the difference between Senpai’s brand of creepiness and her own? Method, certainly, but the end result was the same: Creepy. He was weird in his way and she was weird in hers. Her lips warbled as she continued to stare at him.
“Um,” Senpai muttered, tilting his head away from his canvas, though not enough to see her. He hesitated, then whispered, “Are you awake?”
“Yeah,” Nagatoro answered, instantly annoyed by her own annoyance.
He'd probably heard her sigh few seconds ago. Then probably worked his courage up to check on her. She rolled her eyes, frustrated that she couldn't keep her own complicated feelings to herself. He might not know what was bothering her, but he was of course going to ask:
“Is everything alright? Or, um, I mean, is anything wrong?”
Nagatoro narrowed her eyes, now annoyed by his concern. Not because she didn't like it in particular. More that she didn't like the distance his questions had.
There was an irritating caution in his voice. A hesistance that spoke to the gap her method of affection created. Her gaze shifted to the side, staring at the fabric of the couch while she grumbled incoherent words to herself. Gibberish that let out some of her frustration.
He was looking at her now. A fact she sensed, her eyes turning accordingly. He immediately looked away, a typical blush spreading across his cheeks. She harrumphed quietly, her gaze falling to his lips since he wasn't looking at her. She felt some heat of her own and grumbled again.
Sitting up quickly, Nagatoro grinned when her Senpai snapped his attention back due to the motion. His eyes immediately wandered away again, but she felt his concern in that brief moment. It might have even grown from before, what with her bizarre actions.
He adjusted his glasses. “Er, uh… are you okay?”
Nagatoro regarded him silently. She cocked her head, thinking about her own thoughts the last few minutes. She could tell this was a chance to say something snarky. A chance to mock his concern, knowing it wouldn't stop him from showing it again, unlike if her friends did the same. It was that knowledge that made her say something different instead.
“Senpai,” she started, her voice low and even. He jolted nervously, his spine straightening from the usual slouch, almost like he knew what she was about to say. “I have a ticket.”
“T-ticket?” He adjusted his glasses again, even though they hadn't moved.
“The do-anything-you-say ticket. Remember?”
Senpai looked confused. Nagatoro could feel her own eyes widen, steady and unblinking, locked on his and seeing every flick they made to her before the inevitable and instant flick away.
“From the nipple-poke game. I won. And I got the ticket. Remember?”
His flush grew and he adjusted his glasses unnecessarily yet again. She knew he remembered before her reminder, sometime during those flicks. She also knew he was wary of what she'd ask.
Nagatoro opened her mouth, but found her voice failing her. She closed it and looked down. Her fingers rolled into her palms, scratching the couch as she formed fists. She was nervous. Nervous like he was. Being honest with herself, she'd probably never felt closer to him, at least in mood. She could make them closer in another way with just a sentence, though.
She looked back up, a forced smirk on her face and ready to slyly command him. But she faltered since he was watching her. Likely for just a moment, but it was the moment she'd looked up. She mouthed her demand without any sound.
“Wh-what?” he asked, confused.
Her mind fritzed, any prior confidence gone. A myriad of other requests span through her mind. Coverups for her embarrassingly honest desire. All feeling inadequate even as she knew them convincing, simply because she only wanted to admit what she really wanted.
The room stilled, like a vacuum had sucked away all the air. She saw in his eyes that he flinched, but his body didn't move. He was too shocked to react physically. His mind was quickly running into overdrive and Nagatoro realized he was going to think this was a prank.
It wasn't though. She opened her mouth again, panic spreading across her face. She had no idea what to say. She was suddenly terrified at the fact she'd asked what she asked and she had an out by pretending it was a prank. But it wasn't though.
“A-are you s-scared?” she stuttered, instinctively falling back into teasing as the burning sensation spread up to her ears. “Never k-kissed a girl, have you? Virgin-Senpai…”
Nagatoro noticed she was shivering. She tried to take a deep breath to calm herself, but it was hard with all the shuddering. Senpai’s eyebrows had furrowed. He looked angry, frustrated. It was cute in a way, but frustrating for her as well since she had no idea what he would do. She wanted to say something more, something to push him over the edge she couldn’t pass herself.
Senpai stood stiffly, turned his body to her and took an equally stiff step in her direction. Another followed. Then another. Nagatoro looked up as he approached, the false-arrogance on her face falling as her heart thumped loudly.
Senpai’s lips wiggled tensely, as did his hands at his sides. She couldn't see them at the moment, but Nagatoro knew they would be doing that. It was a helpful thought, distracting from the painful wait as he slowly and jerkily bent over. His eyes were closed, so of course he bonked her forehead with his like an idiot. She could’ve moved back to dodge it, or held a hand between them to block it, but she kind of wanted it to happen.
It made her giggle, her eyes closing as she held a hand to her mouth. Just that little bit of ineptitude was exactly what made this moment so perfect. She heard her Senpai flinch with a slight shuffle of his feet and she knew he was going to pull away. So she grabbed his collar before he could.
Tempted as she was to pull him to her, Nagatoro instead leaned up and kissed him. She missed his lips, of course, since her eyes were closed, hitting his chin by accident. Her nose bumped his mouth, which gave her a direction for her second kiss.
They were soft, albeit dry. He could have at least licked them to moisten up a bit. He didn't even kiss back really, his lips meekly flexing against hers.
Still, Nagatoro felt herself lingering a second or two longer than she intended. It was nice. Relieving really. She finally moved away, sighing contentedly as she released his shirt. It wasn't an ideal kiss by any means, and yet that somehow made it exactly such.
Senpai wasn’t perfect. He was far from perfect. Very, very far from perfect. And that was what she liked about him.
Because even though he was so far away from what society considered perfect, he shone in his own particularly imperfect way. His awkwardness, his art, his earnestness in both (the former so cutely comical), it was what made him him. And that kiss was exactly what she'd expected knowing all that.j
Senpai fell forward, his hands landing on the couch to support himself. Nagatoro twitched backward, suddenly alarmed at the prospect that they were about to kiss again. He didn’t, which should have been obvious considering her prior thoughts. Instead his knees gave out and he fell back onto his shins, his head down and a hand to his glasses, keeping them in place as his butt settled between his feet.
She noticed her breath had quickened, though it was slowing now as she watched him. She was simultaneously relaxed and stiff, everything about what just happened swirling in her mind in both good ways and stressful ones. She nibbled her lip, unsure how to proceed in all this confusion.
Then she realized her legs were open, and Senpai was kneeling between them. He wouldn't look up her skirt, but teasing him that he would was a way out of the growing awkward silence. A sly grin appeared on her face, the drop of sweat on her temple evidence it wasn't sincere.
“I-” Senpai said, interrupting her before she could speak. “I… didn't, um… kiss you… you kissed me…”
“...what?” Nagatoro asked, staring at the top of his head. In a way, she was relieved he wasn't looking up since she wasn't sure how to react to whatever expression he had.
And, of course, he looked up right as she thought that, sending a shiver through her whole body. Her muscles tightened and heat shot everywhere through her. There wasn't anything especially odd about his gaze, just that typical earnestness
Wait. That was what was odd about it. His awkward earnestness, focused on her as it often was, except those other times she hadn't just kissed him. So, there was something more to it now. Something more, well, earnest.
He, he wanted her. She'd known that for a while now, but, again, that had been before she kissed him. Now, in this moment, he wanted her and he knew she wanted him. Nagatoro was a billion percent not ready for this
She reached up and pressed her hand to his lips. “I ch-changed my mind. I mean, pff, haha, I was joking. I was gonna ask you to…” her brain stopped working, “a-ask you to… um…”
Nagatoro didn't have a backup plan. Because she hadn't had a plan to begin with. Because this was exactly what she wanted. She was just too stubborn and contrary to admit it. She realized she was looking to the side and turned her gaze back to him. Senpai wasn't looking at her either, but that changed when her hand fell.
There was silence. Then a hum. He’d leaned in and given her a peck, then he'd tried to flinch away with embarrassment. Nagatoro was having none of it, following him in a tackle. She even clenched his head, fingers running into his hair as she furiously mashed her lips to his. He didn't respond at all, his own lips stiff.
She shot up straight, suddenly feeling that she'd jumped the gun. “I-I... .”, she started. She had nothing. Nothing but the crazy back and forth this situation was sending through her mind.
“Do you want to see a movie!?” Senpai screamed. “I mean, tomorrow!”
It reset things, returned sanity. Nagatoro let out a heavy breath, feeling herself settle with it. She looked down to see he’d winced an eyed open while the other twitched nervously closed. It was pretty brave by Senpai’s standards, looking at her after he'd asked such a bold thing. Especially after she'd aggressively tackled him.
“As long as we sit in the back,” she said mechanically. She blinked, only realizing she'd spoken after the fact.
“People pick those seats a lot. And tomorrow’s kind of soon-”
Nagatoro grabbed his chin and forced it towards her. She'd already agreed, so she was going to roll with it. She leaned in until her eyes were less than an inch from his, feeling almost dead-looking since her desire ran the full circle of emotions with maddening speed. That might have added to the seriousness of her words.
“Pick the most boring movie you can. With the fewest people.” She paused, a wildly heavy breath going in, then out, of her.
Nagatoro paused again, her eyes spinning while also focused. On his lips, of course. She impatiently pressed her own to them, feeling again that meek return. A better response than the second, at least.
She couldn't help it. Lame as he was at this, she legitimately wanted to make out with dumb, nerdy boy for at least an hour. She'd teach him. She'd teach him and by the end of things she'd want to kiss him because he'd be damn good at it. In addition to all the reasons she was doing it now.
“N-n-nagatoro!” he yelled, shoving her away.
She bounced against the couch, then froze. It'd been a longer kiss than intended and she'd pushed him to his brink. She'd gone a bit… well, honest to herself, completely crazy. Her Senpai wasn't looking at her, but she still felt his attention in every way besides sight.
Craaaaaaaaap… she'd given herself away pretty hardcore just now and there was no getting over the embarrassment blazing through her.
Nagatoro stood as rigidly as Senpai had earlier and ran to the door, throwing it open and racing through it. She jogged all the way home, ignoring her vibrating phone and her parents greetings, diving into bed and swirling the blankets around her. Suitably comfortable, she finally fished out her phone.
There were a bunch of messages, as per usual, though about half of them were from her Senpai. They started apologetic, as if it'd been his fault everything had happened, then they were appreciative, maybe praising her as an apology. He was such a nerd. She squirmed in her cocoon, hoping what she'd read next would progress like she wanted.
A movie time. Midday, and on a Sunday. Not uncommon for their age, but they were in high school. She didn't recognize the movie name, and when she looked it up it had pretty bad ratings. It was a decent enough choice given her parameters. Sheeee was probably going to have to do what she said she'd do.
Saying was easier than even thinking about doing it. Like, she'd surprised herself today, but that day she'd have to hold to a promise that she had plenty of time to think about. Definitely not easy.
Still, she mentally cocked her head. She could just imagine Senpai flustered as he had searched up movie times while he tried to work out when would work. As he worried over whether she'd be busy at the time he picked as if they couldn't work around it. Heat in her cheeks, she grinned and searched the movie times herself.
Sunday was suddenly too far away. There was a matinee showing at 1PM tomorrow. During school hours, which Senpai would obviously oppose. But what was truancy versus making out with her? And when he put his foot down on that idea, she'd be able to talk him down to a less radical meeting on school grounds. Classic bargaining.
With an eager smile, Nagatoro sent the message to her Senpai. It faded, the warmth of her happiness making it less wild. She brought the phone to her chest, a quiet giggle escaping her. It vibrated with his response and she wiggled about, hesitating to look.
She kind of hoped he'd go with her truant plan, because why not go big after all this tension? Nagatoro knew him, though, and that wasn't going to happen. Balling herself around her phone with fangs prominent atop her lip, she settled in to work Senpai down to at least skipping class.