It was rare to find some quiet time at the Mankai dorms, but Juza was able to have some free time to himself as he sat in the lounge, reading a manga Muku had let him borrow. It was an interesting one - a boy and a girl, who had known each other since they were babies, were destined to be with each other as pictured by the red string tied around their pinky finger.
It wasn’t the red string trope that brought Juza in, though. It was the characters and their shared love of sweets that kept him reading. As the story progressed, their “regular outings” to the candy shop developed into more than just an outing, and slowly but surely he was able to see the blossoming feelings the two had for each other. He noticed how, as the chapters went on, the string tied to each of them became thicker and stronger.
Omi snuck in at some point without him noticing, the older man quietly making his way to the kitchen, smiling softly at Juza as he decided to make some sweet buns for him to munch on while he was reading the manga. Juza’s nose twitched as he smelled the fresh buns in the oven, turning momentarily to nod a greeting to Omi before returning his focus back on the manga.
Three chapters later was when he had noticed the steaming buns in front of him on the coffee table. He turned to say thanks to Omi, but he wasn’t there. He felt a bit guilty, making a mental note to look for him later to say his thanks. He took one of the buns and began his final stretch to finish the series.
The ending was perfect, the two main characters eventually confessing their love to each other, the red string between them turning into a beautiful silk red ribbon that encompassed the couple in the final panel. They both looked genuinely happy, each complementing the other. Juza closed the manga and set it on the coffee table.
He brought his left hand up, staring at it then wiggling his pinky finger. He wondered if Muku believed in any of this, then wondered if he had a string tied to his own pinky. He shook his head with a soft chuckle, thinking no one would want to be tied to someone like him.
He picked up the remaining sweet bun and left the lounge, wiggling his pinky every now and then as he thought about that little red string.