haul: (THE SPECIALIST.)
YAMAZAKI SOUSUKE / 山崎 宗介 ([personal profile] haul) wrote in [community profile] fares2015-03-03 06:32 pm

*hackneyed sitcom laugh track!*

[ after no less than two weeks of makeshift study sessions bordering on some form of passive-aggression, his appointments with nagisa hazuki came to an abrupt (but no less anticlimactic) end. it'd been a cut-and-dry affair for the most part, culminating in summarily indolent afternoons where he'd tap a pen against the homework packet and detachedly text either of the mikoshiba brothers while nagisa gradually went catatonic in front and center position of the living room's television display. (eyes glazing over like an overwound kewpie doll, shoulders bent and vibrating, fingers clenched obdurately around the remote in a chokehold tableau of self-preservation unknown to most 7 year olds: the hallmark of a steady progression from hyperactive pipsqueak to clinically deranged fruitcake in the making. eventually his parents caught on when he'd attempted to emulate one of the superheroes he'd seen on the big screen and soundly fell off the monkey bars, busting his left arm as well as a good portion of his pride over an outcropping of playground tanbark and dithering gaggles of juvenile onlookers. needless to say, that had been a hit-and-miss, but dishonorable expulsion was propped up on a non sequitur. nothing sousuke could've done that would've prevented the inevitability of mindless pratfalls in proportion to the imagination of the young and easily swayed.

seriously.

he'd shuffled on the mortal coil of children after that on less than minimal wage and a good deal of expended patience. being out of touch with the mentality of immature children pretty much entailed a state of sempiternal exasperation. there'd been the one time he'd waited outside the bathroom for several hours while tachibana cried his tinny, palpitating heart out over a saturday night pg-rated horror flick whose main premise centered solely upon the most moronic aliens known to man. no hack-and-slash, no gory splatter of visceral disembowelment, but he'd still gotten the bum rap from the parents later that night when makoto adamantly refused to leave the washroom for fear of second-rate galactic invaders hungering after his measly brain. yamazaki hadn't fared any better with nitori when he made the mistake of leaving that one measly tray of orange cupcakes out unattended and came back to the kid legitimately fritzing out on the carpet, neck-deep in the throes of sugar overdose and human compunction. looking back, ai might've also been allergic to citrus, a snap-judgment conclusion taken on from that wan complexion he effected after they pumped his stomach free of pastries in the operating room.

to be fair, it hadn't all been bad. his main staple client over the duration of successive months had been the matsuoka siblings, which knocked the rest of the past child contenders out of the ball park, and effectively out of the universe in resounding showmanship. gou had enough social prerogative to plan out her day and trump her meandering issues (from brother-sister arguments to snack plans to perfecting her cursive) to a point of virtual faultlessness thus heretical in any elementary student under the age of ten. interference was never necessary when she already resolved the issue in half the time it took to get the altercations going in the first place. and rin, while snarky and indubitably precocious in literally every encounter so far, was surprisingly good at belting out impromptu toilet humor and shoehorning in a bit of earnest sincerity for honesty's sake. sharp grins. lung-bursting laughter. a household built on sentiment and more else besides.

of course, that all came to a standstill with the surprise announcement of a work-related cross-country transfer to australia, of all conceivable places to form a working profession as sportswear spokesperson. he'd taken his resignation with only a smidgen of anything like empathy when their mother waved him off at the airport, and that had been that. shit outta' luck. it wasn't like he missed them.

not at all.

but his father apparently deduced, by way of amateur psychology and the nauseatingly maudlin proclivity of a parent with ulterior motives on the cerebrum, that sousuke needed a new distraction. somehow, that fell in-line with the chronological date of his parents' upcoming honeymoon, and he found himself on the receiving end of yet another sniveling kid on a bucket list of pathetic and untimely decisions made in post-haste ennui. at the tail end of final terms and a rapidly encroaching summer break vacation, there weren't many other options in mind. but as with all arrangements made on such short notice, he was apparently stuck chaperoning a kid who purportedly took out seven different babysitters over the course of one week, which was an olympic feat in and of itself, although not for reasons he bothered contemplating at any feasible length. they offered to quadruple his usual pay and in a manner not governed primarily by monetary surplus or actual greed, he all too willingly capitulated.

in the wake of two receding vehicles and entire month left to his own devices, he's not too keen about the current state of affairs. it might've been the fact they'd done nothing but stare blankly at each other for the past ten minutes straight when his parents ditched him without another word, or that the kid's soul-sucking, depthless eyes were at a distinct contrast to the rest of his physical body wilting to death at the bottom of the stone steps, rivulets of sweat streaming from every pore, jacket stubbornly plastered to his skin in defiance of the broiling heat. he'd sooner swelter out in heatstroke than maybe ask to be taken indoors, or even the nearest fan, so sousuke attributes the boy's lack of actual audible talking to shyness and peremptorily jumps the gun. ]


Nanase Haruka, right? What do you want me to call you?

[ he's a scrawny kid, sousuke decides. a tiny and near-intangible presence. a kind of translucent invisibility accrued from the lack of any receptivity.

other related but no less relevant aspects: haruka retains his spindly muteness and thinning eyes at the question, even as he blinks back at him in record-breaking silence, registering the inquiry before promptly ducking his head sideways, staring at nothing in particular. he strikes yamazaki as solitary, even in the midst of that desiccant, sweltering heat — a kid that wouldn't be remotely assuaged by saturday cartoons or the promise of wrapped sweets if sousuke decided to take off halfway through and neglect for a arbitrary jaunt downtown in the intercity shopping districts one town over. he grasps for another conversational straw. ]


Did your parents tell you who I am? I'll be watching you for a month while they're away.

[ out of off-beat impulse, he retracts one of his hands to tokenly ruffle haruka's hair.

unaffected as ever by the proceedings, sousuke provides no allowances with the movement — no squatting down, no cheap grins or forcibly wrenched laughs — and his impassiveness tends to scare off most of the kids under his jurisdiction to reacting. usually shock, anxiety, or fear, respectively speaking. there's no real reason to present himself as some insurmountable force to be reckoned with, but yamazaki figures there's no harm in messing with him.

nanase probably needs it. ]
freestyles: ([ distance ])

I HOPE THIS IS OKAY? IM NOT SURE? PLEA..S.......

[personal profile] freestyles 2015-03-08 02:15 pm (UTC)(link)
[haruka nanase wonders just who this yamazaki sousuke thinks he is; then decides he doesn't care. he'll be gone soon just like the rest and that's fine with haruka. it really is.

...

the hand in his hair stifles him, offends him, because these things are more easily tangoed with than a feeling such as confusion, no less addled by a sharp shot of want -- the reluctant flower inherently turning to a bit of sun. and truly haru is no flower, but his movements belong to a small animal moreso than a small child, in that cagey period of not-quite childhood and not-quite adolescence, that gap of non-land and non-water where his legs arms and heart fail to serve him how they ought to. haruka's eyes don't widen or narrow, though they do travel upward as if scrutinizing the ruffling hand, identifying it: fingers, palm, wrist, forearm, follow that to...

yamazaki.

well.

in haruka's house there is a small and well-kept shrine.

it occurs to him he needs to light the incense. it does not occur to him to say anything to this yamazaki character, though his gaze does flicker with passing and dying interest as he makes his way back to his home. if this person is supposed to watch him, he guesses he's staying there too, or if not that he will be promptly corrected (though no telling how long he'll listen) and dragged in some other insignificant direction. haruka moves with a fragility undermined by strength undue for a person his age, a silence so thick it unnerves all the adults he knows -- knew.

his grandmother was the exception.

he supposes though through no fault of her own, she was no exception in the obvious: the nanase house stands empty.

yamazaki thinks he'll be watching him for a month but haru knows better. it's the same every time: a week, a month, a day; they all leave and they all call apologizing to the nanases who cannot seem to stay put for more than 12 hours themselves. they don't call; though they send postcards on occasion. haru has a computer but whether he uses it or not has yet to be proven to anyone. and maybe if he had a friend things would be a touch different, but haru is a closed room and children don't trust him while adults want to fix him.

his verdict largely on this is plain enough: stupid.

he leaves the door open behind him in case yamazaki is there and heads directly for his grandmother's shrine, places his palms gently together and inclines his head -- the hair still unceremoniously mussed from yamazaki's ruffling. his scraped knees touch the floor and he mumbles more words than he's said in the past 48 hours, something which if yamazaki listens closely would be:

it's another one.

right.

well.

possibly from their interaction so far, no less or more would be expected; in any case, haruka reaches and produces from Nowhere a match for the incense which smokes softly into the corner of the room. it has a heady quality to it which might be worrying if haru was the type to worry about such things, but he simply bows once more before standing and, presumably looking at his new (soon to be late) babysitter. it's strange; he isn't a baby, has been able to feed and clothe and care for himself for years now. the bricks laid out in the yard are his doing. as is the carefully kept kettle in the kitchen, as is the stockpile of canned mackerel and pineapple respectively, as is the immaculately clean nature of the bathroom, so on and so forth.

so on.

so forth.

haru stares with wide blue eyes and they're dark: daylight trapped in a nighttime setting as he susses out yamazaki's teal gaze and strong brow, the stubborn set of his jaw which haru isn't certain what to make of. he's not like his others; he supposes that doesn't mean much though, and stuffs his hands into his pockets.]
freestyles: ([ time ])

polwkfsdipoklewfdsojlkewfds

[personal profile] freestyles 2015-03-16 12:04 pm (UTC)(link)
[what's wrong with fish and pineapple? he asks but only in his head and in this life there is no one there to speak for him such simple but overly verbal thoughts. so all yamazaki will receive for his pains is a set of blinking eyes and a half-turn of an annoyed head. the older boy claims he won't leave until he wants to but haru thinks that's a stupid thing to say. the others also only left when they wanted to but the point is obvious: they still left. and haru is prepared, has been ready for a while now, to say he will be fine on his own. part of him does not doubt that the disappearing point of his parents' automobile could very well be the last he'll see of them.

i won't leave until i want to.

a foreign tickle in his throat, a scramble in his chest, it's not a laugh but a confused huff of air even as haru shrugs as his answer.

oyakodon or nothing at all; he doesn't care, though he pads on silent small feet to where the refrigerator is. packed to the gills with water bottles, haru ignores the proffered one in yamazaki's hand, wondering why he's offering him water in his own house, dismissing the thought in favor of reaching for a carton of milk. it's not for haru, though this is probably made clear by the way he goes for a saucer and not a glass. he pours some with a deftness reserved for finer movements and then, after putting the milk back, strands yamazaki in the kitchen, nudging one of the sliding screens open with a small, scraped up elbow. since he doesn't bother to close it behind him, it's obvious what he's up to: a white kitten ventures forth from no place, butts against the back of haruka's hand, and takes tiny lap after tiny lap of the offering here. the saucer is periwinkle blue, at polar odds with the orange-clad afternoon, descending into some reddening dusk.

when haru glances back at yamazaki it is a split second's worth. for some reason, he thought the other boy would not be looking his way, but he finds that yamazaki is and so haru turns his head so quickly it might hurt -- an animal caught when it did not mean to be caught. words crawl painfully in his lungs in the shapes of small breaths. a doctor once diagnosed him with asthma but the only thing haru remembers about it otherwise is being told that swimming is a good choice for people who suffer as such; an alternative to the more orthodox choices in athletic pursuits. haru had only thought: well of course it's swimming. the water loves haru the way no one else ever has. not even his grandmother. he's certain of it. once: he went to the beach on his own, stayed there all day, and when he came home his father told him not to drip in the foyer. the house was old and should be treated better. haru supposed he was right and ducked back outside until he was drier.

why his parents insist on slotting him with another babysitter, haru doesn't know with the unknowing of a child who doesn't perceive himself as such. he can take care of himself; has proven it. at school a boy a year younger than him once asked, timid but worried with the openness of their age and -- probably -- what amounted to a very sweet nature (lost on haru, who only found him annoying for prying), i've never seen -- ah i'm sorry i just...um....are you okay? he could hear what was meant even if it wasn't said, turned his blue and drowning look on the silver-haired boy and shrugged. i guess because even if he was annoyed, he saw no real reason to lie.

the white kitten tries to clamber up haru's side, tries to get at his shoulder, scratches without meaning to scratch along his spindly arm and perches haphazardly at her goal. haru picks up the saucer, stares at the mostly revealed pattern of a dolphin, and heads back inside. the screen shutting behind him re-immerses them in partial dimness and when he looks at yamazaki again he swallows a hard feeling in his throat. this one is different.

he'd had that thought from the beginning.

he's not sure he likes it. ]
freestyles: ([ offchance ])

sweats nervously hopes this is okay facehands uoirwejflsdk

[personal profile] freestyles 2015-04-17 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
[yamazaki pulls him into the washroom and disinfects his arm somehow managing to be methodical but not clinical. haru thinks he would prefer clinical since it is easier to pin down but all in all he's not especially invested either way. he jerks, reflexively trying to tug himself free of yamazaki's hold at the sting of the antibiotic. quick on the heels of the initial discomfort, it soothes, but haru's look remains ruffled -- a stark contrast to his careless impassiveness prior, a look too passive aggressive for someone his age maybe but wholly in line with the circumstances. he doesn't say thank you but he does note that yamazaki waits until his skin has more or less absorbed the ointment to take his cat away. aware he's being led, haru follows anyway; that's his cat. they are all his, in his mind, but that's an entire other subject perhaps not worth breaching. standing beside the stool where the white cat sits, haru's mouth is a thin line again.]

I'm not stupid.

[his tone belies none of his offense which may make it all the more uncanny even as haru proceeds to tend to the rice. he adds, far more mulish than he sounds,]

And you can't kick him out anyway; it's my house.

[and never mind who is the person left in charge (read: not haru, never haru even when he's the only one here.) even the way haru does as he's told -- more or less -- reeks of insubordination, replete with half-attentions and even less actual capitulation despite the fact that he does indeed continue with the rice. if innate dissent was an olympic event, haru would be the youngest gold medalist on all of planet earth. probably in the entire galaxy. but there are no prizes for what essentially amounts to being an ill-raised only-child accustomed to getting his own way since no one has bothered to stop him. it's just bad breeding maybe. but left to its own devices, an animal in this situation will grow only one of a few ways and none of them pan out too nicely.

iwatobi is a place of sun but haru could grow to be a shadow at this rate.

and maybe that's okay.

but it stands to reason that even shadows should be taught they can be otherwise.

at current height, the stove is an awkward affair for haru but he's used it before -- mackerel and pineapple together on the same questionable pan sizzling into some easy and thoughtless culmination. haru still doesn't understand why they should bother with the rice or the chicken or the Anything Else; what's the point? does it make a difference? where others would tire of the same thing every day, haru does not eat much to begin with (once, maybe twice a day) and not a lot. it's this perhaps and a reliability of ease and accessibility that has kept haru in his habits. at school he spends lunch asleep in the grass when it's warm or daydreaming inside.

out the corner of his eye, haru watches sousuke yamazaki. with each of his sitters, haruka nanase has considered what brought them here. his parents are never around long enough to make friends with people so it stands to reason these are outright strangers recommended by some service but because he never asks, haru is never a hundred percent certain. people do tend to be drawn to his parents, he's noticed at least; as if by that curious It factor most people lack and which haru has no word for but is keenly aware of -- how people are hungry for his parents' attention when they are in the same room, how they shine and burn out, come and go. he sees his parents always from a distance, so he views them little more than better known strangers themselves.

the days after his grandmother's death were bad.

haru doesn't remember it clearly.

something in the weeks that followed utters a low, quiet memory of an overflowing bathtub and the warbling lack of clarity from below the water. it was hard to breathe. maybe he fell asleep. black clothes on the flooded tile floor. the shadow of a toy dolphin floated overhead. haru cried until he couldn't but he hasn't cried again since or before. the cats that alight on his porch and in his room and throughout the house in general are his solace though he would never admit to needing it, and the conversation he fails in is substituted by the way the world keeps going on anyway: that not too far away push-pull of the ocean that will always, always welcome him.

none of the sitters seem to understand and haru isn't certain he can explain himself nor that he feels a responsibility to do so. some were nice and some were awful; some ignored him and some were obtrusive; some he made cry and others he made angry and still others he made both at the same time. the incident with the last -- seventh in one week, a record to be sure -- erupted in a way even haru had to pay attention to; it's the first time a sitter went as far as to hit him, all her predecessors having rightfully perceived that as a parent's department to handle.

she might have hit him again -- incensed by his oblique stare, by his seeming lack of care for the thin red scratch courtesy of her nail across one stoic cheek -- if the cat hadn't hissed at her, but as it happened, she simply left without so much as a call and never showed up again the next day. which, he supposes, is how more or less he was stuck with the wall-like creature at his side. he's struck with the thought once more: i can take care of myself.

sort of.

one wonders what a brain fed solely by canned mackerel and pineapple looks like by age 20.

he spaces out a little, so by the time he notices the water has come to a proper boil, it's practically spitting. his mother always intended to get a rice-cooker; so she says, but she's never home so, she reasons what's the purpose? a pan is as good, haru feels anyway; why waste the money. something that can only cook rice is significantly less worthwhile than a pan that can cook most anything, a truth which he deems painfully obvious. what's wrong with adults? his eyes lower, half-mast yet somehow with the same air of eyes rolled in long suffering manners. the water clouds and haru stirs it once before letting it sort of settle up, slow to return to its previously simmering state. when he looks down, he focuses on yamazaki's shoes.

babysitters who are also boys are rare by haru's count; he's only had 2 out of maybe 20.

well. 3.

there's a saying: third time's the charm.

but if it's technically 21, haru would point out it doesn't count.

the white cat from before has thieved her way to his ankle and purrs deeply and...

just the smallest bit: haru smiles.

it's both the loudest and the quietest thing he's done so far.]
freestyles: ([ well ])

/adores desperately /;-;\

[personal profile] freestyles 2015-06-10 01:57 am (UTC)(link)
[the meal passes without conversation, haru offering tidbits to the cat from his own bowl rather than getting the actual cat food or canned mackerel to suit. he doesn't know why it feels so peaceful with this stranger in his home, doesn't know why it feels more like home than it does with...his parents. or did. when he finishes his food the dull ache in his chest dissipates in the face of the feline now curled possessively in his lap, and haru himself wavers somewhere hazy between sleep and the stubbornness of being awake. his eyes rest at halfmast and the cat nuzzles his stomach in some child-hearted reminder: you're not alone, nanase haruka.

other stories: the cat even talks. but not this one.

words belong to humans in this universe and haru's escape him in his half-consciousness carelessly.]


You can go.

[i can take care of myself, he thinks even swaying just 3/4 of upright, forcing his slit of vision to focus on the first thing he sees and that's--

--eyes, eyes like the ocean in the stark drenching nature of white sun just before a storm.

yamazaki,

sousuke.

where do his parents find these people anyway?

his brow furrows, a foretelling if there ever was one: the anxious pinch that speaks volumes where haruka's soft voice pales. precocious if he let anyone know it (he doesn't) and talented if he let them know that as well (he also doesn't) it's not lost on haru that teenage boys are not the typical cut of cloth for babysitters. in the past they've been that much easier to get rid of; but it's already been made painstakingly clear sousuke is not the same. haru cannot figure out why though, despite running his mind in circles around the same question over and over this whole evening. outside, the stars are bright pinpricks of hello from far, far away. like cats, stars offer more meaning to him than people; like the water, they are alive.

once, before his grandmother died, she told him a story about a star-climber -- a curious title for a character who swam from constellation to constellation. the boy made friends of each point of destination, remembered their names and the way their personalities scaped the light of them from any given distance. sometimes they went on adventures, following him in whispers across the cosmos.

sometimes they died, and the boy fell with them, each time, only to revive. always climbing.

the last time his grandmother told him the story, haru cried without knowing he cried until his grandmother's wrinkled finger brushed his hair off his forehead to kiss away his sadness. he still doesn't understand why she was so kind to him, and lately it's harder to remember her; she feels less a ghost more a dream, and if he lets himself too close to the thought....haruka is afraid.

i don't want to forget.

in between that land of dreams and reality, staring at his new keeper, something unexpected happens:

haru....smiles. more smirks -- the upward tilt to his mouth lopsided, and as close to a laugh as his silence will let him be. sousuke hasn't noticed: there's some stray rice at the corner of his mouth. in his lap, the cat twists and purrs; and haru's eyes drop shut for a second.]