XXXHolic: Hitsuzen

Cotton Tail

{Lunchtime at Tsuji Academy…}

Suzume glanced around as she roamed the school, searching for Watanuki and Doumeki. Since that first day of school can sometimes be awkward if you have no one to sit with at lunchtime, they had invited her to eat with them and another friend of theirs. Somehow she had successfully managed to find the school canteen and purchase a croquette sandwich without getting lost. Now, if only she could find her new friends…

"Suzume-chan!" Watanuki called out, grabbing her attention. She looked over to see him sitting on a patch of grass across the yard with Doumeki, who had already begun to raid Watanuki's handmade bentos behind his back. Suzume couldn't help the giggle that escaped her lips.

"Ha-Hi, Watanuki-kun… is that good, Doumeki-kun?" She asked, trying not to smile or laugh too much at her new talented new friend's expense. After tasting Watanuki's cooking the previous evening, she couldn't say she blamed him for wanting to steal a bite.

"Ah! Hey!" Watanuki shouted in disbelief and annoyance. "I know half of it's supposed to be yours, but don't just start taking food without permission!" He scolded Doumeki, hissing like an angry cat. He had started making Doumeki lunches to pay him back for his help with 'Angel-san' until he was enough to participate in his archery club again, but it didn't mean he had to like it! Besides, didn't he just prove he was better when he fired that spiritual energy arrow during Suzume's exorcism the other day—So, why was he still stuck making this guy's lunch!?

"Oh." Doumeki said simply as he proceeded to take another bite without skipping a beat, completely unaffected.

"Don't just say 'oh' and then keep eating!!" Watanuki shouted indignantly, snatching the bento away so he could divide the dishes up evenly before Doumeki ended up eating all of the best parts by himself.

'Haha, these guys are great!' Suzume thought, enjoying how amusing the two boys were. 'I think they should seriously consider a starting career in comedy together…'

"So, Suzume-chan. How do you like school so far?" Watanuki asked, once he had finished ranting and calmed down.

"Hmm… So far, so good, I guess?" She said thoughtfully, considering the events of the day so far. "I was a little worried about how the school staff would react to my white hair, but I brought a baby picture as proof that I was born this way, so they eventually decided to just let it slide. My classmates seem to have gotten a kick out of it, because they've already nicknamed me 'Usagi-chan'."

"Why 'Usagi-chan'?" Watanuki asked, tilting his head slightly, trying to figure out why her classmates seemed to think she resembled a rabbit.

"Bun." Doumeki deadpanned in between bites.

"There aren't any!" Watanuki snapped, vein mark throbbing on his forehead. Was food all this guy ever thought about!?

"I meant the one in her hair." Doumeki clarified calmly, using two fingers to prop up the tiny, floppy half-bun just behind the top of her head, bouncing it up and down. It was kind of entertaining to play with, and her white hair was silky and soft. The small bun looked and felt a lot like a little bunny-rabbit's tail.

"Oh…" Watanuki said, forming an 'O' with his mouth. Yeah, that would make a bit more sense… He could definitely see where her classmates were coming from now…

"Yeah, I thought that might be the case." Suzume said, smiling wryly.

"Watanuki-Kuuun~! Doumeki-kun~!" A pretty girl with dark hair pulled up in long, curly pigtails called out, smiling brightly, as she waved and made her way over to join them.

"Ah, Himawari-chaaaan~!" Watanuki sang joyfully, suddenly as radiant as the sun itself and bursting with energy. "This is Inoue Suzume, the girl I was telling you about earlier. Suzume-chan, this is Kunogi Himawari-chan~!" Watanuki announced happily, introducing them.

"Oh, nice to meet you, Himawari-san." Suzume said, smiling politely, as she bowed her head in greeting.

"Likewise, Suzume-san. But you can just call me '-chan' if you like." Himawari said, smiling brightly, as she sat down and returned the gesture. She didn't seem to notice at all when Watanuki began to swoon over her dazzling smile and ramble on to himself about what a cute and nice girl she was.

"Okay, Himawari-chan. In that case, feel free to call me '-chan', too. I'm actually younger than you guys, anyway." Suzume said, glad to have made another new friend so easily, though she had to stifle a laugh at how funny a love-struck Watanuki looked. 'Yeah, I guess it's pretty obvious someone has a crush…' she thought, smiling wryly in amusement. It was kind of cute… a little weird… but cute, in a charmingly eccentric kind of way. And Himawari seemed like a nice girl, but... it felt like there was something a little… 'different' about her...

Suzume gave a mental shrug.

'Whatever. I'm still new to this whole 'spiritually sensitive' thing. If Watanuki-kun has no problem with whatever it is, then it can't be anything too bad, right?' She thought, deciding not to worry about it. Everyone has their own situation and circumstances, after all. It was probably nothing… right?

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