The Coach and The Sensei

Chapter 9

The Bathtub Surprise

When I woke up I was completely confused and extremely on edge. I didn't know where I was, and I was all alone in a foreign bedroom. With my heart in my throat, and an angry punk rock drummer pounding in my head as I climbed out of the bed to take in my surroundings. It was a simply bedroom with a queen-size bed, closet, and an alarm clock.

Running both hands through my hair I tried to calm down and figure out what had happened last night. I remembered going out with the girls, getting picked on by Sara and Ai, and getting horribly embarrassed in front of Makoto. . .

"Makoto-kun," I breathed out.

My hands dropped to my sides as I slowly moved the door with my heart still lodged in my throat. I was pretty sure that we had had an emotional connection at the bar, but that's all I could remember.

I opened the bedroom door just enough to peek out of, and saw a rather average apartment beyond it. Quietly, I stepped outside trying to figure out who's apartment I was in, and froze in my tracks when I saw Makoto asleep on the couch. My first response was to get angry and start yelling, but then I realized that he was covered with a blanket with a pillow under his head. He had clearly spent the night on that couch that was too short to fit his full frame, while I slept comfortably in his bed.

"Clothes?" I thought aloud.

Glancing down I saw that I was still wearing my outfit from last night, every thing in place minus the wrinkles from sleep, and my missing shoes.

'He's not like that. He's better than those jerks,' I reminded myself.

Scanning the apartment layout I searched for the bathroom in a desperate need of cold water on my face to help calm me down. I found the door right next to the bedroom's, so I quietly made my way to it while Makoto continued to snore softly on the couch. The doorknob squeaked slightly as I turned it opening the door. Makoto groaned as I slipped inside closing it before I could wake him up. With a relieved buff I turned to face the rest of the blue tiled room.

"Ugh, Makoto," a voice groaned. "It's too early."

My heart leapt out of fear into my stomach that dropped to the floor as my eyes landed on the head popping out over the edge of the white tub. I recognized the mop of black hair as Haru's, but not before a scream left my throat and I stumbled backwards into the door. All at once Haru jumped upright in the tub, but grabbed his head at the sudden motion, while the surface behind me was removed and I fell to the floor with my head colliding with something painfully firm.

"Sayuri-chan?" Makoto asked. Worry and the grog of sleep covering his usually cheerful tone.

Tilting my head up I saw him standing in the doorway with wide green eyes. I grabbed my chest wishing my heart would slow back to a normal pace as I slid down so I was laying flat against the floor. I was trying to catch my breath from the fright of thinking Haru was dead in Makoto's bathroom tub.

"Haru?" Makoto said confused. "What are you doing here?"

"I couldn't make it to my place," Haru said.

"Oh," Makoto said slowly. His gaze moved back down to me as I just surrendered to my embarrassment. "Are you okay, Sayuri-chan?"

He offered me a hand to help me up, and I wanted to take it but I was still waiting for my strength to return.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just glad you don't keep disembodied heads in your bathroom," I replied. Half joking, and half really serious to know he wasn't actually a psychopath with a sweet disposition.

Makoto chuckled as he knelt down beside me helping me get to my feet while Haru relaxed back into the tub looking ready to go back to sleep. Once I was standing we left the bathroom shutting the door behind us leaving Haru all alone. With a yawn Makoto made his way back to the couch where he pushed the blanket and pillow aside making room for me to sit next to him, and I did.

"Sorry I brought you here without asking, but you had dropped out cold and I don't know where you live. I did ask your friend Sara-chan, but she just handed me your purse and said, "She'll be fine,"" he explained.

I sighed out, "Yeah that sounds like Sara."

"So this was okay?" he inquired.

"You did fine," I nodded. My cheeks warmed as I stared down at my hands that were twisted together in my wrinkled lap. "Also you don't have to keep calling me Sayuri," I added.

"Huh?" Makoto said.

As I glanced over at him my heart clenched, and I said, "Yuri is fine, since well, last night."

"Oh," Makoto said taking a sharp breath in. "Okay Y-Yuri-chan."

I blushed more as I turned my gaze back to my hands. A grin slipped across my face at his use of my nickname, though I was still confused at how we got to this point. It felt like my feelings came out of nowhere, and I wasn't even sure what Makoto really liked about me. All our encounters have been immensely awkward for me with accident after accident, and long boring study sessions with Haru always present.

After a long pause with my name hanging in the air between us Makoto stood making his way across the living room, and to his kitchen. "How about I make us some breakfast," he said as he went.

"S-Sure," I said. "Do you need any help?"

"I can handle the cooking, but can I ask you to wake Haru up? He's going to get sick if he stays in there," he said.

"No problem," I replied.

I could hear the rustle of pots and pans in the kitchen as I approached the bathroom. This time as I opened the door I was prepared for what was on the other side. Haru was still in the tub, but now he was curled up into a ball with his eyes firmly closed.

"Hey Haru-kun," I said. He didn't react, so I reached inside the tub and shook his shoulder. "You should wake up now, or you're going to get sick."

Haru groaned as he waved me off.

I huffed while crossing my arms over my chest. There had to be something that would motivate Haru to get up, but I hardly knew him. As I stood over him debating whether or not it was a good idea to turn the cold water on him I smelt something waft in from the kitchen.

Sniffing at the air I muttered, "Ew, is that mackerel?"

"Huh?" Haru said.

Out of nowhere Haru climbed out of the bathtub, seemingly full of energy, and made his way out into the other room with bright excited eyes.

As I followed after Haru I said under my breath, "Mackerel did not just work. Did it? It was just the bought of food, right?"

Entering the kitchen behind Haru I was give. My answer quite bluntly. "When's the mackerel going to be done?" he asked.

"Soon, don't worry," Makoto replied.

While Haru and I waited for food we were sent out into the living room where we sat in silence that was neither tense nor awkward. We yawned and stretched and repeatedly peeked towards Makoto who was humming as he cooked. When breakfast was finally served the three of us sat around Makoto's table discussing the past exams, and how each of us did. From what they said the tutoring had helped quite a bit, at least for Haru who seemed to actually need it. We cleaned up together, and when all the dishes were put away Haru took his leave which meant he was just going up two floors to his apartment.

Makoto walked Haru to the door bidding farewell to his friend while I hung back grabbing my purse that Makoto had placed at the foot of his bed.

"Don't forget about your job this afternoon," Makoto said.

"Yeah, I know," Haru replied. "So, are you dating her?" He asked.

I froze as I left Makoto's room. Peeking around the doorway I saw the two men standing at the front door, Makoto's ears bright red.

"Yes," he replied.

"Okay," Haru said. "See ya later."

"Bye Haru," Makoto waved.

After taking a breath Makoto closed the door, and turned around to see me spying on him. Squeaking out of embarrassment I stepped out of his bedroom with my purse clenched to my chest. My heart was sprinting in my chest and my cheeks were still warm from Makoto's words.

"I, um, I should probably get going too," I stuttered.

As he stepped over to me he said, "Oh. Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I have work tonight," I replied.

"So you won't be at the center?" he asked.

"Not today," I said.

We stood in the middle of the room for a while just shifting awkwardly on our feet. Makoto broke the silence when he moved closer to me and took one of my hands. Leading me to the front door he said softly, "If it's okay would you like to have dinner together? After work of course."

"That would be nice," I said. His hand was gentle and warm as it held mine. I really liked it. "Especially after last night," I added with a muttered.

Makoto's smile faltered for a moment as his large hand tightened slightly around mine tiny one. "What was wrong with last night?" he asked.

"I passed out," I said as I adverted my gaze from his face, and to my shoes waiting at the door for me. "At a really important time too. It wasn't his I wanted to do that."

I didn't even know I wanted to go out with him until last night, I mentally added.

Without warming something warm pressed against my forehead, and Makoto's scent became stronger. My heart froze in my chest as Makoto pulled back from his kiss with a lighthearted chuckle.

"It was cute Yuri-chan," he said.

Puffing out my cheeks I pulled my hand out of his and moved for my shoes. "No it wasn't. It was really lame," I said. After I shoved my feet into my sneakers I glanced up to see Makoto trying to hide a grin behind his hand, but his lively green eyes gave him away. "I'll call you when I get off work," I said as I turned my back to him. "Bye-bye Makoto-kun."

I was almost out the door she. I was pulled back, spun around, and embraced tightly. My face was buried in Makoto's chest, my arms pinned between myself and him, and my breath was caught in my throat. A strong emotion swelled in my chest as we stood there, an emotion that I hadn't felt in years. Since probably middle school.

"Makoto-kun," I mumbled I to his chest. "I really do have to get going."

"Okay, sorry," he said.

Once he released me I hopped up on my toes, kissed Makoto on the cheek, then hurried out the door. My heart was like a hummingbird as I scurried down the stairs and away from the apartment building. I pulled my purse onto my shoulder as I put a block between me and Makoto's place.

"He's my boyfriend," I whispered to myself.

I suppressed a grin as I but my bottom lip, the giddiness over flowing as I made my way to the nearest bus stop.

"Makoto Tachibana is my boyfriend," I said.

It didn't sound right, but at the same time I wanted to keep saying it over and over again just for the pleasure it gave me. The buzz lasted until I stepped off of the bus that dropped me off at my apartment building when a single thought crossed my mind.

My boyfriend's best friend has a thing for bathtubs, I thought.

"But he's not a killer with a head fetish," I added out loud.

I received several strange looks from the people around me as I made my way towards the building with a strange spring in my step as I headed up to my apartment.

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