Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. They are the property of their respective owners.
by samuraiheart


Secret Admirer

Classes were over for the day and Shinobu was walking slowly down the path behind the dorm. He didn't feel like going to his room yet and he knew that Mitsuru had things to do this afternoon so he was looking for a way to relax. As he wandered down the path, he let his mind wander and couldn't help, but think of his room mate. He stopped when he heard Shun's voice. He was talking to Hasakawa under some nearby trees. Shinobu slipped behind one of the trees and listened carefully. He didn't want to interrupt their conversation and it sounded rather interesting.

"Come on, you must have noticed it." Shun said.

"Noticed what?" Hasakawa wished he would just get to the point.

"The way they look at each other. The way they act around each other. It's so obvious!"

This was interesting. Shinobu wondered who they were talking about and why they were being so secretive.

Hasakawa shook his head. "Just get to the point. What are you trying to say?"

"If you knew that Shinobu liked someone or that Mitsuru liked someone, but that person didn't know or was afraid of rejection, wouldn't you want to help?"

"Of course I would. It would be just like when Mitsuru helped me and Mia."

"Exactly. Now what if you found out that two of your friends liked each other. Wouldn't you try to set them up?"

Shinobu waited anxiously. He didn't know who they were talking about, but it was getting a little too close for comfort.

Hasakawa thought about it for a moment. Two friends who liked each other. "I guess so. Yes, I would."

Shun smiled and paused for a moment. He loved to toy with Hasakawa and he had no idea how he was going to react to this. "So, do you want to help me set up Mitsuru and Shinobu?"

"Mitsuru and Shinobu . . . hmmm... " It all seemed to suddenly make sense to Hasakawa and Shun had been right, it was pretty obvious. "I think that could work. What's your plan?"

"Well, you see, I thought we could-"

"Hello." Shinobu said quietly as he stepped into their view. This had gone on far enough and he was starting to feel guilty about eavesdropping.

Hasakawa and Shun froze and looked at each other with wide eyes. They looked quickly at Shinobu and then back at each other before dropping their gazes to the ground.

"Ummm... we were..." Shun didn't know what to say.

"We were just discussing our homework. Right Shun? A human cell has forty-nine chromosomes, right?"

Shinobu smirked. Biology obviously wasn't Hasakawa's strong point. "First of all, it's forty-six and second, I heard everything."

Shun looked over at Shinobu uncertainly. "You're not mad are you?"

"We won't really do it." Hasakawa assured him.

"Oh, why not?" Shinobu said flatly. He was trying not to care one way or the other, but it was more difficult than he imagined. He did love Mitsuru and wanted to be with him more than anything, but he didn't think it could ever work out. If Hasakawa and Shun had seen something between them, then maybe there was hope after all, but he didn't want to set himself up for disappointment.

"Well, it wouldn't work. Now that you know, you'll just interfere." Hasakawa answered.

"Why should I interfere?" Shinobu smiled mischievously, but there was something sincere and honest about the look in his eyes.

Hasakawa and Shun shrugged and leaned closer to Shinobu. "Okay, here's the plan. We're going to convince Mitsuru that you have a secret admirer so he'll get jealous and react."

"Do you really think he'll care?" A touch of bitterness seeped through, but Shinobu tried to hide it.

"Shinobu, of course he will, I know he cares about you just as much as you care about him." Shun said, putting a hand on Shinobu's shoulder.

Shinobu felt his cheeks redden and he put his head down to conceal the blush. His blue-gray bangs fell over his eyes as he said breathlessly, "I hope you're right. Good luck." He slipped away quietly and left Hasakawa and Shun looking at each other in amazement.
They'd never seen Shinobu like that. He seemed so sincere in the way he felt about Mitsuru. Now the two friends were determined to make this work.

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Later that night, Hasakawa, Shun, Mitsuru and Shinobu ate dinner together in the cafeteria as usual. As they sat down, Mitsuru seemed especially excited about something.

"Hey, you guys, guess what!" Mitsuru said enthusiastically.

Hasakawa and Shun looked up half-heartedly. They didn't think Mitsuru would get this excited - at least not after the first gift. How much longer could this go on?

"Shinobu has a secret admirer." Mitsuru said. He smiled happily hoping that no one would realize how he really felt about the situation. It was nice that Shinobu had a secret admirer, but it didn't change the way he felt about his best friend. No secret admirer could ever love him in the say way. Mitsuru continued to overcompensate for the way he was feeling. His eyes were wide with enthusiasm as he talked about the gift. "Yeah. They left him a gift outside the room earlier."

"What was it?" Shun said.

Shinobu opened his mouth to answer, but Mitsuru kept talking. "It was a cute little pink card and a rose. The card said 'To Tezuka Shinobu with love, your secret admirer'."

"Oh, how sweet." Shun smiled brightly. He was trying not to laugh. This was getting a little weird. Was it just him or was Mitsuru a little too happy for Shinobu? Hmmmm.

"Who do you think it could be?" Hasakawa asked.

Again, Shinobu started to say something, but was interrupted. Shinobu was starting to think that maybe Mitsuru had had too much sugar at lunch.

"He doesn't know. I don't know. No one knows." Mitsuru seemed very pleased with himself. "So what are you going to do about it?" Hasakawa asked.

Shinobu looked over at Mitsuru and waited for a response, but he was quiet this time. "I don't know. I haven't really thought about it much."

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The next day, Shun came over to talk to Shinobu about the situation.

He knocked at the door and waited patiently as Shinobu opened it and invited him in. "Hi, Shinobu. Are you busy?"

"No, not really." he said as he put his favorite manga back on the shelf. "Do you need something?"

"I wanted to talk to you about the plan." Shun's eyes sparkled in anticipation. "Is it having any effect yet?"

"Well, he keeps talking about it, but as far as I can tell nothing's changed." Shinobu looked down at the floor. He wondered what he was getting himself into. He sat down on the bed and Shun followed.

Shun looked over at Shinobu sincerely. He had never completely understood him, but he had always admired his ability to stay calm and composed in the face of anything. Now, however, he was seeing Shinobu a little differently. He was still calm, but something about the look on his face betrayed a hint of uneasiness - as if there was something important desperately hanging in the balance. Shun finally understood how much all of this meant to Shinobu and felt a little guilty about playing this game. What if it doesn't work? What if we're wrong? Are we just getting Shinobu's hopes up unnecessarily? Shun couldn't even imagine what Shinobu would look like crying, but it was something he didn't want to see.

"Shinobu, can I ask you a question?"

Shinobu blinked and looked at Shun. "Go ahead."

"You've known Mitsuru for quite a while. Why haven't you ever said anything to him?"

Shinobu looked down at his hands. He had asked himself this question many times before, but he had never been able to come up with an answer that satisfied him completely. "I'm not sure exactly. It's just that... I don't know. I guess I've always been afraid of losing a good friend. What if he... what if he doesn't feel the same way?"

Shinobu shifted a little on the bed and clasped his hands together nervously. He had never told anyone this before and he wasn't really sure why he was doing it now. Somehow the prospect of Mitsuru actually caring for him as more than a friend was having an effect on him. He had never prepared for the possibility and now he wasn't sure what to do. A part of him was still horribly afraid of rejection, but a glimmer of hope was beginning to shine through.

Shun put a hand on Shinobu's shoulder. "Don't worry, Shinobu. We'll do everything we can."

Shinobu smiled a little as Shun left and he closed the door behind him. A few moments later, he heard the rustling of paper as Shun put out the next gift.

When Mitsuru came back from practice he proudly opened the door and showed Shinobu the next present. It was a large heart-shaped card that said "I love you, Shinobu". He waved it in front of his face and handed it to Shinobu. Shinobu sighed and read the card. He couldn't help but smile a little at the fact that Mitsuru was handing him a love note. He nodded as Mitsuru continued talking about how lucky he was to have a secret admirer. He was starting to wonder how Mitsuru really felt about the situation. Maybe this was all an act. Maybe he really did care. What other explanation could there be for this much enthusiasm? Shinobu smiled a little and hoped he was right.

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Later that night, Mitsuru was helping Hasakawa study for a biology test in his room. Mitsuru was trying to pay attention to the assignment, but his mind kept wandering off to think about Shinobu. The secret admirer was beginning to bother him more than he cared to admit.

"So, how do you know when to use the formula?" Hasakawa looked up at Mitsuru puzzled. This wasn't making sense and Mitsuru wasn't being much help. He seemed kind of lost tonight. He kept staring off into space or down at the table and he seemed kind of sad. This was certainly a stark contrast to the way he acted when he talked about Shinobu's secret admirer. Hasakawa wondered which attitude to believe.

"Mitsuru! How do you know when to use the formula?"

Mitsuru looked up suddenly. "Oh, I'm sorry... you have to look at the chart on page twenty-one."

Mitsuru put his elbow on the table and rested his chin on his hand. He really was trying to pay attention, but he was finding it difficult to concentrate this evening.

"Mitsuru, is something wrong?" Hasakawa asked sincerely.

"Hmm? Oh. No, nothing's wrong." Mitsuru shook his head and leaned closer to Hasakawa's paper. "No. That's not the answer to number fourteen. Why don't you try it again."

Hasakawa looked over at him curiously. Maybe the plan was working. Maybe all that over-enthusiasm was just an act. Hasakawa looked down at his paper and pretended to concentrate on the answer as a smile briefly graced his lips. Now this was getting interesting.

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The next afternoon, Mitsuru was trying to study for a test at his desk and Shinobu was sitting on his bed.

"You know it would help if you actually read the book." Shinobu said.

Mitsuru looked up from his desk to glare at Shinobu. "I am reading the book."

"No. You've been on that same page for at least fifteen minutes now. I know you don't read that slowly. What's on your mind?"

Mitsuru turned the page and tried to ignore his room mate. He wasn't in the mood to talk. He had a math test the next day and he had barely gotten any sleep the night before. For some reason he couldn't stop thinking about Shinobu's secret admirer. It was probably some clueless little girl who didn't know anything about Shinobu. Shinobu deserved better than that. He needs someone who understands him and cares about him. Mitsuru closed his eyes and tried to convince himself that this was pointless. It didn't matter how he felt about Shinobu. It could never happen and he could never tell him.

"Now I know you can't study with your eyes closed." Shinobu said standing next to Mitsuru. Mitsuru opened his eyes wide and then glared at Shinobu again. He hadn't even heard his room mate come over to his desk. He closed the book and looked over at his friend. Maybe it would be easier if I just told him now. At least it would be over with and I would know for sure one way or the other. Mitsuru took a deep breath and shook his head. Why did it have to be so difficult?

Just before Mitsuru could say anything, the two room mates heard a rustling noise and the sound of voices outside their door. Shinobu winced. If that was Hasakawa and Shun, they certainly weren't doing a very good job of being quiet. Mitsuru stood and walked over to the door. He was surprised to see Hasakawa and Shun standing there looking guilty and another present waiting by the door. This time it was a teddy bear and a heart-shaped balloon. Mitsuru's heart sank as he saw the gift. He couldn't tell him now. He could never tell Shinobu how he felt. He didn't even bother to try to figure out why his two friends just happened to show up right after the gift or wonder if they had anything to do with it. He was too busy trying to hold back the tears that were starting to blur his vision. He took a few deep breaths and hoped that no one noticed. He really wasn't in the mood to explain.

"Ummm... we... ummm...." Hasakawa stared at Shinobu and Mitsuru with wide eyes. He was sure that Mitsuru would figure it out, but it didn't seem like he had. He looked distracted and a little sad.

"We came to get you for dinner and look Shinobu you got another gift!" Shun bent down to pick up the present and handed it to Shinobu.

Mitsuru shrugged and left the room to head for the cafeteria. Shun and Hasakawa looked over at Shinobu uncertainly. Had something happened? Shinobu only shrugged and put the teddy bear on his desk before they followed Mitsuru to dinner.

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A day went by and nothing really seemed to change. Mitsuru didn't say much and Shinobu was starting to worry about his room mate. As he came back from band practice, Shinobu could tell things hadn't changed.

"How did you do on the math test?" Shinobu said cheerfully hoping to start a conversation.

"Fine. I guess." Mitsuru lowered his gaze and stared at the floor. He wasn't sure he could look at Shinobu right now.

"Is something wrong?" Shinobu said sincerely.

"No." Mitsuru said quietly, but it was obvious from the way he was acting that it wasn't true.

"Does it have anything to do with the secret admirer?"

Mitsuru looked up suddenly. "I'm not jealous if that's what you're implying. I don't want a secret admirer." Shinobu started to say something, but Mitsuru continued. "Have you ever thought about how she feels? You're so cold and indifferent about it, but she's trying to get through to you."

By this time, both of them were standing in the center of the room. Shinobu was trying not to smile as he saw the plan beginning to fall into place. Maybe this could work after all. Mitsuru wasn't giving up. He had to get his point across.

"You don't even care, do you? You don't care if someone is in love with you, if your all they can think about and all they want to do is tell you the truth." Mitsuru paused for a moment and silence filled the room before he completed his though. "But they're afraid that you'll hate them."

Mitsuru looked up at Shinobu dejectedly. He had nothing left to say. he was sure he had said too much already. He started to apologize, but before any words could escape his lips Shinobu leaned forward and kissed him lightly. Then he brought his arms up and held Mitsuru close to him. He kissed him again, more passionately and brushed Mitsuru's bangs away from his face. He looked into those violet eyes and they said more than words ever could. Mitsuru was stunned at first. He had no idea that this was even possible. He had dreamed about it several times, but he always dismissed it as pointless and not likely to ever happen in real life. Shinobu was his room mate and a good friend, but he never imagined that he could be more. Slowly, Mitsuru wrapped his arms around Shinobu's waist and kissed him back. It felt so right - as if it had always been like this and it always would be. Mitsuru closed his eyes. He didn't want this to ever end. Shinobu took his hand and hoped that it never would.

~Owari~

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