Categories > Anime/Manga > Here Is Greenwood > Tourism

One-way ticket

by miskatonic 0 reviews

Here Is Cherrywood! "Michiru" reaches an understanding with his temporary roommate. (Mitsuru x Shinobu)

Category: Here Is Greenwood - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor, Romance - Characters: Mitsuru Ikeda, Shinobu Tezuka - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2005-05-31 - Updated: 2005-05-31 - 2614 words


Disclaimer: Here Is Greenwood (koko wa guriin-uddo), created by Nasu Yukie and published by Hana to Yume Comics (Hakusensha), comprises 11 tankouban and 6 anime OAVs. Spoilers for volume 5, "Ameyadori." Mega spoilers for volume 10; Cherrywood is one of the canon alternate universes from the manga.

See end of this fanfic for the manga story summary, if needed.

Note: Contains slash themes -- if that alarms you, please do not read it. Written for Torch, who had requested Mitsuru x Shinobu. See the 2003 Yuletide "obscure fandom" secret santa challenge for details. (Two-day wonder, no beta.)





"Michiru. Time to get up."

"Go 'way," Mitsuru mumbled, curling up tighter under the blankets. "No classes today, why the hell do I have to get up?"

"To go shopping," his roommate said.

"The hell?" Mitsuru moaned, rolling over. His bed-curtains were open? He stuck his head out from under the blankets and stared muzzily into a set of eyes just visible over the edge of his top bunk.

"My, what short hair you have," their owner commented.

Mitsuru blinked back in sleepy confusion.

"Not Michiru," the voice concluded. The eyes lowered from view.

Mitsuru tossed off the covers and leaned over the edge of the bunk. "Shinobu, what the hell are you--?"

His roommate, Tezuka Shinobu, awake and fully dressed, stood in the center of the room, arms crossed, gazing back at him with a patient expression. His roommate, Tezuka Shinobu, with her waist-length hair, grey mohair sweater, calf-length, pleated, maroon skirt, and brightly patterned indoor slippers. Dangling from her fingers were the sensible, low-heeled pumps that complemented her ensemble.

"Ohhhh, shit," Mitsuru groaned, as grim reality reasserted itself. This time, it hadn't been Hasukawa Kazuya but Ikeda Mitsuru who'd had a sudden public-spirited impulse to change a burned out light-tube. Some pranking moron in the Greenwood dorm had taken the warning sign off that ladder, so how the hell was he supposed to have known it was that one?

Idiots deserved the idiotic things that resulted, including all-expenses-paid trips to Ourinryou Girls Dorm, aka Cherrywood.

"Shopping," Shinobu repeated. She tapped a finger on her cheek, thoughtful. "Or would Michiru prefer that we report the damage and wait for the dorm manager to deal with it after all? That may take another month."

The ladder had tumbled down after him, right into the mirror -- and shattered it. He'd sat up, dazed, in a glittering pile of shards, to find himself surrounded by shrieking girls. Behind the commotion, as usual arriving on the scene at a more stately pace, had been his roommate.

Only not. She'd studied him gravely for a moment, then said simply, "Maa. 'Mitsuru,' isn't it?"

He tossed himself back into the bunk with a sigh. "Just stop calling me Michiru. You're as annoying as Shinobu, you know that?"

"I am Shinobu," she pointed out.

She is Shinobu, Mitsuru was forced to agree, as he watched her walk down the street before him, skirt gently swaying with each step. Or a scarily reasonable feminine facsimile. The same economy of motion, the quiet refinement, the chilly intelligence, and the desert dry humor. The same distant, grey regard of the world, as though she were waiting for something to surprise her at last, with no expectation that anything ever would.

She'd made the suggestion herself that he bunk in Michiru's bed, and hadn't turned a hair at the scandalized gasps of the other girls on the floor. Mitsuru had made gentlemanly protests, only to discover that she had no intentions of giving up her own room for his sole use that evening; she'd simply changed clothes in Shun and Hasukawa's room next-door, then padded back to slip into her own bunk with a murmured oyasuminasai.

"But your roommate," he'd started to ask.

"They are the ones who should be worried," she'd said serenely. "Michiru will have no problems."

Rooming overnight with a man in the bunk above her hadn't bothered her at all. She looked obscenely well rested.

Mitsuru couldn't make the same claim. He'd spent half the night trying to decide whether she was awake as well, before he'd finally passed out. He figured if he wanted to get enough sleep before classes began again, they'd better find a replacement mirror as soon as possible.

"Ano, Michi-, er, Mitsuru-sempai. . ."

"Hmm?" Shun was saying something. Just then, the wind lifted Shinobu's skirt, affording him a rare glimpse of the full length of her calves.

"Ah! Mitsuru-sempai!" Shun shrieked.

Mitsuru walked, face-first, into the cement lamp-post.

"Maa," Shinobu said softly, walking back to where Mitsuru had collapsed on the sidewalk, nursing his nose. She handed him her handkerchief. "I begin to understand at least one side of that accident with the ladder."

"Shuuduthp," Mitsuru mumbled, grabbing it.

"Mitsuru-sempai, does it hurt?" Shun said, her eyes wide with concern, holding out a handkerchief of her own.

"He'd deserve it, wouldn't he?" Hasukawa snapped. "The pervert only walked into it because he was too busy ogling Shinobu-sempai to look where he was going!" She glared down at him, hands on hips, bristling with righteous indignation.

"Suka-chaaan," Shun said, jumping on her, "Stop, stop!"

"Sou ne." Shinobu said. "If he is enjoying the scenery, why would I mind?"

Hasukawa, Shun, and Mitsuru all gaped at her.

"Se-sempai!" Hasukawa-chan sputtered.

With a half-lidded glance, she turned and strolled away. "The hardware store is on the next street," she said.

"They will deliver and install it on Monday morning," Shinobu told him, settling smoothly down at the kotasu in the middle of the floor, "so that will mean only two more nights."

"You shouldn't have done that on my account," Mitsuru said grumpily, dropping down across from her. "Or spent your entire Saturday finding ways to entertain me."

"It was my New Year's money to spend," she said, pouring herself some tea. "Did you think that I would not want my own roommate back?"

"I,I didn't mean--"

"Today was not a hardship." She waved it away with a graceful hand. "You needn't be concerned about the money. I expect to have it back by the end of the week."

"You didn't?" he said, surprised in spite of himself. "Already?"

"Of course," she said. She patted the notebook that was lying on the tabletop. "How long I would hold out before I left this room to you."

"Those of little faith will be cleaned out?" Mitsuru said.

"Naturally," she said. "That is one of them. Please have some tea."

"Uh, thanks," he said. He sipped it tentatively; it tasted just like the brand Shinobu preferred. "What d'you mean 'one of them'?"

"Well, several pools are currently in progress. Another is who will get the first date with you."

He coughed as the tea went down entirely the wrong hole.

"That one is going quite well. For instance, take Hasukawa's fierceness today a measure of how stunned she is," she added. "She specifically mentioned you were 'so much nicer than Michiru-sempai' after she'd been recovered from your dorm last year."

"Well, she's a cute kid," Mitsuru admitted. He'd been surprised himself at how a small, feminine version of Hasukawa had turned out to be just as sulky, yet somehow more appealing than the original article.

"This is a pleasant vacation for us all from her unrequited obsession with Igarashi-kun."

"Igarashi-kun?" Mitsuru repeated wonderingly.

"/Sou ne/," Shinobu said. "But our Hasukawa will be back to brooding over him as normal, once Michiru has returned to bully her in the proper fashion."

Mitsuru laughed.

"I assume you have many fans at home as well," she continued. "Michiru is the same, although you have expanded her club in this dorm into a new market segment. Which is why I also ordered that new ladder."

He turned over what all of that meant. He felt his face grow warmer. "Oh, I hadn't, uh."

She allowed him a small smile. "The old ladder is to be retired from service."

"Where is it right now?" he asked, a sudden tight sense of panic at the thought of being trapped in Cherrywood with no escape. The shuffling sounds that followed him down the halls, the mysterious piles of food outside the door when they'd returned, and the revolving guard duty of Shinobu, Shun, and Hasukawa outside the bath and the toilet suddenly struck him in an all new light.

"Under my bed," she said, nodding toward the bunks.

He sagged in relief. "You know, if it had been Shun or Watanabe, no one would even have noticed a difference."

"I'm sure Fujikake would be far happier," Shinobu agreed.

Mitsuru briefly contemplated the residents of Cherrywood room 117, pretty Watanabe and her roommate Fujikake, who had, no surprise, turned out to be the world's most angst-ridden, reluctant lesbian.

Shinobu and Mitsuru looked at each other for a long, long moment. It was the first time he'd caught her eye all day.

"No," Shinobu said, with a small smile, "they are fine as they are."

"Absolutely." Mitsuru drank his tea. Strange, how easily he fell in with this version of Shinobu.

A sharp rap of knuckles on the door, and it opened to reveal a scowling Hasukawa armed with her clipboard, with Shun in the hall behind her, bouncing and waving. "Tezuka-sempai, Ikeda-sempai," Hasukawa snarled.

"/Hai/," Shinobu said.

"/Haaai wa/," Mitsuru said, turning to bat his eyelashes at her.

Shun squealed in delight, and Hasukawa blushed deeply. "Shinobu-sempai," the latter stammered, "you know this, this is not--"

"Tell Shun I'll be over in a little while," she said.





"Michiru. Time to get up."

"Go 'way," Mitsuru mumbled, curling up tighter under the blankets. "Still vacation, why the hell do I have to get up?"

"To do homework," his roommate said.

"Gaah," Mitsuru moaned, rolling over, and glaring at the eyes at the edge of the bunk. "You're enjoying this too damn much."

"Yes," she agreed, "I am."

"Rewrite the conclusion," Mitsuru ordered, scrawling a few notes in the margin. Then he rolled up the essay and smacked Hasukawa over the head with it.

"Ow!" she grumbled, and swiped it from his hand. Then she flopped down at the kotatsu and began to study his notes, chewing on her pencil.

Mitsuru glared at her. "Don't you have your own room?"

"It's not your room either," Hasukawa shot back.

"Read mine next," Shun said eagerly.

"No, he's supposed to do mine next!" sounded the chorus.

Mitsuru groaned. It figured that Michiru wasn't the only one who had put off doing her homework until the last minute. But he had a dour suspicion that she hadn't been quite this popular as a tutor. The entire day had been plagued with drop-ins, but the evening's group had apparently decided to move in.

"Actually, it is my room," Shinobu said quietly. "And I long for peace."

"But Shinobu-sempai--!" came the mass protest.

"Run along," she said, with a gentle gesture toward the door. "Now."

Such a rare request would have brooked no arguments in Greenwood. Mitsuru wasn't surprised when, with a general moan of dismay, the assembly rose and filed out the door with a few grudging looks at his roommate, who serenely ignored them all.

Mitsuru was relieved. "Thanks," he muttered.

"Think nothing of it," she said, without looking up. "You haven't finished your own essay, have you?"

"Uh, not just yet," he admitted, declining to point out that, technically, it wasn't his essay.

Although he'd been working on one identical to it before the break.

Mitsuru sighed and returned to his task. Doing Michiru's homework had proven astonishingly easy, for he'd found all of her books and supplies in the same places he left them himself, although her book-covers featured pretty boys rather than girls, and her cache of smutty entertainment was more yaoi than ecchi. Her trombone case sat over in the corner, and all of his notes were here as well, right down to the small "baka!" scrawled on top of one notebook page with the silly doodled face. He'd done that when he'd been bored in class one day, a few weeks ago.

Weird. Eery similarities.

So, in Greenwood, was Ikeda Michiru sitting at his desk, fending off her admirers, and trying to finish his essay?

And at the desk beside her was Shinobu?

Mitsuru frowned.

Her handwriting even looked the exactly same as his own, with a subtle difference that had been gnawing at him. Her characters tended to slope at a different angle. In looking at it now, it stuck him what was it must be. He assumed she was ambidextrous too, but she obviously preferred to write her left hand. A glance at Shinobu, studiously making her own notes at the next desk, confirmed his suspicion: another southpaw.

Weird. Vast differences.

And yet.

"Mitsuru," she said, looking up.

"I've had enough now," he mumbled. Then Mitsuru began to beat his forehead on the desk.

"What is it?"

"Excuse me. I'm freaking out," he announced. "You're left-handed."

She studied her own hand and its pencil. "You're freaking out because I'm left-handed."

"Yes! I mean, no, but yes!"

"/Sou ka/," she said, a humoring tone.

"And that is exactly what I mean," he said, pointing at her accusingly. "Why isn't any of this freaking you out at all?"

"What makes you think that it isn't?" she asked him.

He gaped at her. She looked back at him, composed as ever.

"Do you remember when we first met?" she asked, examining her pencil as she rolled it between her fingers.

"Out in the hall?" Mitsuru said, puzzled. But as soon as he'd said it, Mitsuru knew that wasn't what she meant at all. "The entrance examination," he guessed.

"Then, yes," she agreed. "You were in the seat behind me. First, the clapping, and then you started /praying/. You even wished me luck -- on a competitive exam."


"The good temple child," she continued. "Assigned to be my roommate. You came to understand what a mistake that was, didn't you? I'd explained my reasonable views concerning the election that time, and what was it you called me?" She paused to consider, the pencil rolled. "Oh yes. A villain."

"Shinobu. . ."

"And even then, from you I received charity," she said. "We've never really discussed this."

"We're not even discussing it now," he said. "Because I'm not --"

"Aren't we?"

Mitsuru rubbed the back of his neck, not certain how to respond. A little case of wrong roommate made no difference to her apparently. Shinobu's thought processes moved in mysterious directions no matter what side of the mirror he sat on.

"Long hair is not an advantage in a cat fight," she said, smoothing back the hair in question.

"What?" Mitsuru blinked, unable to follow her train of thought.

"In the library. She grabbed a fistful of my hair and swung me into the bookcase," she said. She flipped her hand over in the air, palm down. "Out for the count. And you?"

"Oh. That," Mitsuru said, uncomfortably. "Decked him, bookcase, same result."

"I see," she said. Then she looked up for the first time, but she had no expression to read. "The same, but not the same. That is why I find this easier to discuss with you, you see."

"Uh, no." He didn't see at all.

"No matter." She shrugged and tossed the pencil onto the desk. "You have admired the scenery for two days. Do you want to sleep with me?"

"What?" Mitsuru's jaw dropped.

"You. Me." She nodded toward the bunks. "Bed."

Mitsuru made an incoherent sound.

"Hmm." She frowned slightly. "Well, nod if that meant yes."

He nodded.

"Fine. Hasukawa will do her bed-check in an hour. After that."
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