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22 February 2007 @ 03:39 pm
Who: Mika & Noriko
What: Questionable tutoring
Where: Kyoto
When: Tuesday, 11 January 1991. After school.
Rating: G
Status: Complete

When Maeda Noriko had asked if Mika would tutor her in math, her first instinct was to say no. However, she had not said no, because if she--by some miracle--was allowed to go to college, it'd probably look good to have a few extra curriculars on there aside from her temple duties.

Granted, when Noriko had asked Mika to tutor her, she hadn't actually expected anything to come of it; she had intended to use it as an ice breaker, then treat that as a basis to start a conversation or two and go on with her usual almost-failing-but-not-quite marks. Actually having to learn the math had not been on her agenda, but it was too late for that now.

Noriko sighed and dangled her pencil between two fingers, only half paying attention to the latest lecture on roots and inverses and who knew what else. She had been good at math, once upon a time, until they'd started throwing letters into it.

"We really should have at least left school for this," she mused aloud, not caring that she was interrupting Mika's math babble. "Maybe I'd absorb it better if I wasn't staring at the same wall I stare at during class."

Mika stopped in mid-sentence. She had a sinking feeling that Maeda's request for help was not really directly related to her obviously lacking skills in mathematics.

"Maybe if you weren't busy doing other things during our math lesson, you wouldn't need a tutor," she responded, finishing a notation beside the last problem they'd been assigned for homework. That's what she loved about mathematics: they couldn't lie, they didn't cheat and they always behaved as they were supposed to.

Noriko groaned. "I'm not doing other things," she said. "I'm doing more important things." She offered Mika what she knew to be a winning smile -- she had practiced it many a time in the mirror. "I'm going to be a big star, you know. I've got to prepare for it."

Mika was not impressed. "More important," she returned. "The test tomorrow is more important to me and you're wasting my time."

Noriko scrunched up her nose. "Look, Uesugi-sempai, why worry? You'll get straight marks even if you take the text drunk. We all know that. So how is this wasting your time?"

"I've got other responsibilities Maeda-kohai," Mika said, mustering up the vestiges of her civility and neatly packing her things away. "Responsibilities that I had to make other arrangements for in order to tutor you. You either want to be tutored, or you don't. And it's becoming clear that you don't."

"I never said that," Noriko argued. "I just said we should do it elsewhere."

Mika hesitated. It was getting late and she had to get home to make dinner. "Fine," she agreed. "Tomorrow, I'll meet you at the library."

Noriko beamed. "Really?"

How disconcerting. Mika frowned. If she hadn't meant it, she likely wouldn't have said it. "Yes," she responded instead.

"You're the best. Just for that, I'll even let you call me by my given name. That's an honor, you know." She tucked a loose bit of hair behind her ear and started to get up. "See you tomorrow, Mika-chan~!"

Mika-chan? Were they already so familiar? She kept her thoughts to herself as she slung her bookbag over her shoulder.

"See you tomorrow," she managed, using the informal as opposed to the formal that she was used to.

Noriko beamed again even as she flounced out of the classroom. There, now. Uesugi Mika wasn't so hard. There was some purpose to her mis-intended ice breaker after all!