SP: Chapter 60. War

BATTLE ROYALE AT ST. CATHERINE’S

An anonymous tip came in to authorities that a group of a dozen students all duked it out at St. Catherine’s Boarding School on Wednesday afternoon.

Police reports confirm that 11 students were injured and 1 was critically injured from an apparent stab wound, who was promptly admitted to a local hospital. No names were given to the press due the ages of the students.

“I saw the whole thing,” reported one student. “He jabbed the blade right into the side of [unnamed] and he squealed like a stuck pig. There was blood everywhere.”

Another student commented, “The jerk got what was coming to him.”

The headmaster could not be reached for comment. This is a very rare glimpse into the typically closed doors of St. Catherine’s.

More details on back page.

—Newspaper clipping

 

“Good evening,” Takahashi greeted.

Kato was dumbstruck. He stood there in complete shock. His heart was beating hard.

Takahashi gave a small smile, “Um, can I come in?”

Kato snapped out of it and rushed Takahashi and hugged him tightly. He couldn’t speak. All he could do was start crying anew into Takahashi’s chest.

“Hey, hey,” Takahashi said. “What’s all this?” He put one arm around Kato and the other he patted Kato’s head.

Kato could hardly speak between the sobbing. “I—thought you were in—segregation.”

Takahashi spoke soothingly, “No, I’m not in segregation. I’m right here.”

Kato started sobbing harder again and squeezing harder. He didn’t know why but he was so sad and yet so happy at the same time. His heart really felt like it was being shredded.

“Okay, okay, ease up a little. I can’t breathe. And besides, we’re still standing in the doorway. Can I come in?”

Kato stopped sobbing and laughed a little. He let go and motioned Takahashi to come in.

Takahashi closed the door behind then looked at Kato. Kato made eye contact. Takahashi came over to him and gently cupped Kato’s face with both of his hands, using his thumbs to wipe away Kato’s tears. “When you cry, you really go all out, don’t you?” he said with a smile.

Kato nodded then blurted out, “Yeah.”

Takahashi let go. “Sit for a minute, please.”

Kato obediently sat. He looked up at Takahashi who sat on the desk and faced him. He was still sniffling and wiping a stray tear every now and again.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell what was going to happen today, but I was sworn to secrecy.” Takahashi sighed. “I don’t like lying to you or keeping things from you. But it had to be this way.”

Kato didn’t know what this was about, so he listened quietly.

“This afternoon, us semes all decided that it was time to confront Handa-san. Maybe you know, or maybe you don’t, but Handa-san has a group of semes on his side too. It was war.”

Takahashi broke eye contact and looked down at his hands. “None of us told our ukes what was going to happen; those of us who had ukes anyways. We skipped class and met out behind one of the buildings. It was me and 6 other semes and Handa-san with 6 of his semes, facing off. I was ready for some blood.”

Takahashi paused for a bit. Then he looked up at Kato. “Silly things that come to your mind at such moments—” he trailed off. “I suddenly thought of you. I remembered what you said, about Ahab.”

Kato looked down and apologized, “I shouldn’t have said that.”

“Yeah, well, you were right.” Takahashi paused. “I realized that if I beat up Handa-san, in a way I would be hurting you by ending up in segregation for a month. And I swore to myself and to you that I would never hurt you.”

“So, what happened?” Kato asked.

Takahashi looked down at his hands again. “I looked Handa-san in the eye and said, ‘I can’t do this. I’ve got an uke to take care of.’”

Kato felt his heart ache and more tears fall. He looked down at his hands too and then wiped his cheeks.

“Handa-san began to laugh and so did his sycophantic friends. Tachibana-san put his hand on my shoulder and told me, ‘This isn’t your fight anymore. Go take care of your uke. We got this.’ Then he shoved me away and so I left.”

“I felt really bad about leaving,” Takahashi said. “I went back to my room to cool off. Then some staff came and got me. I was grilled by the headmaster. He kept accusing me of lying and trying to cover my own ass. After half an hour, I finally yelled back at him and said, ‘I didn’t fight with him because I was trying to protect my goddamn uke!’”

Takahashi looked up with a puzzled look. “And, for some strange reason, the headmaster stopped interrogating me. He simply stared at me for like a solid minute and then said, ‘Looks like it’s working.’” He scratched the back of his head, “I have no idea what the fuck that meant, but whatever, I guess.”

Kato wanted to smile but he didn’t want to let Takahashi see it.

“He then told me Handa-san was taken to a local hospital from a stab wound. Apparently Aizawa-san took this too seriously and brought a concealed weapon that he stabbed Handa-san with. It’s a shame, I really liked Aizawa-san but he’s now being expelled. He may face criminal charges.” Takahashi breathed deeply. “I really will miss him. What a waste.”

“What about Tachibana-san?” Kato asked eagerly.

“He, as well as everyone else were put in segregation for a month. When Handa-san returns, he’ll go to segregation too.”

Kato was saddened. He didn’t want to see that happen to Tachibana who has always been kind to him, even if he was unappreciative sometimes.

“Some staff will likely come in the next few days, or sometime next week, and collect all of Tachibana’s things. You’ll be given another roommate and Tachibana-san will be assigned a different room when he returns. So, make sure you have all your stuff separated from his.”

Kato nodded and said, “Okay.”

Takahashi stood up, stretched and yawned. “I’m beat. I think I will go back and retire for the evening.”

Kato shot up out of his chair. “I’m really glad you didn’t go to segregation.” He quickly offered.

Takahashi stood in front of Kato and put his arms around him and hugged him. “Me too. Thanks for caring enough to not give up on me.”

Kato hugged Takahashi back. He could smell Takahashi’s warm and wonderful scent. Takahashi let go and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow. Try to get some rest and don’t worry about Tachibana-san. He’ll be fine.”

“Alright.” Kato let go.

“See you.” Takahashi turned and left the room.

Kato felt so happy in his heart that Takahashi was alright. He decided to get up on his bunk and try to read more that detestable book.

As he was perpetually reading the same paragraph over and over again, he was wondering at the strange feelings he’s been having lately, and how much more intense they are getting. He couldn’t believe that he would rush up to hug Takahashi. He didn’t understand why he liked the smell of Takahashi. Why did he ache to spend all of his time with Takahashi? And why did he now think about nothing else? He was a bit frightened too. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answers to these questions.


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One thought on “SP: Chapter 60. War

  1. Jeongipoom Deer

    I’m so glad some other semes finally had Takahashi’s back and that he stayed out of trouble for Kato’s sake. Ah, Kato, still a little dense…

    I liked the line about how he might not want to know the true answers. I can relate to that. I think one reason I like this story is specifically because of the feelings I can relate to, because even if they are uncomfortable sometimes, they are true to life.

    Liked by 1 person

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