Volume 1 Episode 3 - From the Past

Rune Lake, New Berengaria, Adell's House

Adell woke up with a start. The alarm clock seemed to go off painfully early. He squinted at the light pouring through the curtains. It wasn't as early as it felt. He had slept a long time, but it still didn't feel like enough.

He staggered out of bed and began to get ready for school that day. Breakfast... check. Shower... check. Clothes... check. Wait, socks first, then shoes. He was still sleepy indeed. Okay, now... check. Adell walked out the door and began the short walk to school.

He was still thinking about Mitani when he fell asleep the previous evening. As he walked to the school, still in a daze but better than the day before, he resolved that he would ask Mitani directly what the problem is and put this problem behind him once and for all.

Rune Lake High School

He arrived at school and met Jaze walking up the path to the door. He looked at Adell with concern on his face.

Jaze: You still seem awfully sleepy.

Adell tried but failed to stifle a yawn.

Adell: I'm better than I was yesterday, at least. It's not just the flight, but the time. I'm not used to 25-hour days. I crashed as soon as I got home, then I was awake for six hours and then fell asleep again about an hour before my alarm clock went off.

Jaze: And you spent too much time thinking about Mitani, too.

Adell: Yeah.

Jaze smiled devilishly.

Jaze: Hee hee. Thought so!

Adell: What... I didn't mean... That's not what I meant!

Jaze: I have to stop by the teacher's office. I'll see you in class!

Jaze trotted off triumphantly, leaving Adell standing where he was feeling silly. He grumbled to himself and continued to his classroom.

Once he arrived at his classroom, he looked around for Mitani. With his bright, red hair and terrible fashion sense, Adell figured that Mitani would be easy to spot. It didn't take long to scan the classroom and realize that he wasn't there.

Adell heard Kaoru's voice from the other side of the classroom.

Kaoru: I'll be right back. I want to get some water before the class starts.

Kaoru walked briskly towards the classroom door as Adell called to him.

Adell: Kaoru, wait!

Kaoru stopped in the middle of the classroom doorway and turned.

Adell: Have you seen Mitani?

Kaoru: I have. He left the room not long ago. I'm sure he'll be back soon.

Adell grimaced and looked down at the floor.

Adell: I see.

Kaoru: Ooohh! You like him, don't you? That explains why you were asking so many questions about him at lunch yesterday!

Adell: What? No! I just...

Adell stopped suddenly when he saw Mitani walk up behind Kaoru in the classroom doorway. Kaoru did not seem to notice him.

Kaoru: Look, I know Mitani has a hot body and all, but...

Just then, Mitani grabbed Kaoru's ear and pulled it close to his mouth. He spoke in a whisper, but loud enough for Adell to hear.

Mitani: What's that you were saying, Kaoru?

Mitani blew seductively into Kaoru's ear. Kaoru started turning a bright shade of red.

Mitani: About my "hot body?"

Mitani released Kaoru's ear and he immediately jumped out of the doorway. Mitani sneered at him as he walked into the classroom.

Mitani: Idiot! Think before you say something so...

Mitani froze. He was suddenly face to face with Adell, their eyes locked into each other's gaze. Unlike the previous day, Adell looked at him and Mitani's green eyes didn't stare back in malice. Mitani unexpectedly found himself blushing.

Without a word, Mitani turned and walked out of the classroom as casually as he could.

Adell: Wait...

Adell was about to follow Mitani through the door, but suddenly the teacher showed up.

Mr. McFadden: Okay, everyone, take your seats and we'll get started.

Adell gave up hope of talking to Mitani for the moment, as it seemed he wasn't coming back. He took his seat and awaited the beginning of homeroom.

Later that day

The class before lunchtime ended and Adell still hadn't been able to talk to Mitani. During the one class before lunch they had together, Mitani arrived late and left quickly as soon as the class ended. There was no question that he was evading Adell on purpose. Jaze walked towards him as Adell thought about where he might look for Mitani.

Jaze: Hey. Kaoru and I are going to get sushi again. Wanna come?

Adell: Thanks, but no. I want to find Mitani and get this resolved. Do you know where he usually gets lunch?

Jaze lowered his head and thought for a moment.

Jaze: Hmmm... I don't know. On sunny days, most people go to the food carts behind the school. You could try there.

Adell: Thanks. I'll give it a try.

Jaze: Good luck. If I see him, I'll let you know.

Jaze smiled and patted Adell on the shoulder before he left. Adell grabbed his backpack and exited the classroom. He made his way slowly down the hall, making sure to scan for redheads as he went. The hallway was alive with people, both singly and in groups, walking in all directions making their lunch plans. There were, luckily, few redheads in the school and far fewer with a similar hairstyle to Mitani.

Soon, Adell was passing a nondescript door as he meandered down the hallway. It wasn't a classroom door. All the classroom doors were the same, and this one was different, with a much smaller window. As he walked by, the door suddenly slid open. Adell stepped back to make sure nobody bumped into him as they left and there, in the doorway, he saw Mitani.

Mitani: Looking for me?

Adell: Yeah, I am.

Adell looked around to see if there might be a more private place to talk. Being that the school was still unfamiliar with him, he wasn't sure where to go. The hallway may be an option, he thought, as the crowd was thinning out rapidly as everyone made their way to their lunch destination.

Mitani: Well, get in here.

Adell missed the obvious choice for a private space, which was right in front of him. He went into the room, which turned out to be a deserted storage room. It was small and the walls were lined with shelves with boxes. As he entered, Mitani slid the door shut and locked it.

Mitani: There. Now we have a little privacy.

Adell wasn't entirely comfortable with the fact that Mitani locked the door. He was, however, confident that he would be strong enough to fight past Mitani and unlock the door himself if he had to.

Adell: Well, you got me here, so go ahead and tell me what your deal is with me.

Mitani inched closer to Adell.

Mitani: You didn't notice me then. At least I have your attention now.

Adell: When is then? Did we go to the same elementary school or something?

Adell looked down at the ground, unable to keep eye contact any longer. Mitani came very close and put his hand on the back of Adell's neck.

Mitani: I see. You really don't remember.

Adell: I'm sorry. I don't.

Adell didn't have time to think more. Mitani pulled on the back of his neck, drawing him closer. He licked Adell seductively on the lips once and then quickly proceeded to kiss him in full.

For awhile, Adell felt lost, caught up in enjoying the moment. However, the sudden feeling of a hand on his crotch snapped him back to reality. He pushed Mitani away.

Adell: Mitani, you're just messing with me to get into my pants, aren't you?

Mitani narrowed his eyes and stared at the ground. For a split second, Adell was sure he was going to cry. Instead, Neige looked back at him with all the malice he remembered from when he met him yesterday.

Mitani: Yeah, that's right. I'm just messing with you. Good guess!

Mitani pulled a pen out of his pocket and took a scrap of paper from a dusty desk. Adell couldn't see what he scribbled on it. When he finished, he put his pen back into his pocket and folded the paper. Before Adell realized what was happening, Mitani pulled on the waist of Adell's pants and tucked the paper inside.

Mitani: There. Let me know when you've picked the crust out of your brain.

Mitani stomped to the door and unlocked it. With great force, he flung it open and it bounced hard with a loud thunk against the inner wall when it reached the end of the slide track. Without turning to look back, Mitani left, leaving behind a very confused Adell.

Commissioned art in this episode from:
Atomic Clover

All city images from SimCity 4.

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