Solus: The Pairing of Fate
“About yesterday, when you asked me if I remembered you…”
“Were you perhaps...my dance partner at the gala ball three years ago?”
Despite my question, I was faced with silence. Peaking upwards, I saw Mikase, who now was staring blankly at me, with a tear down her eye.
“What’s wrong?! Are you alright?”
“Ah...I’m fine...Sorry, it’s just...I didn’t think you had remembered…”
To be really honest, I had felt that our meeting wasn’t special in any way. I don’t really recall doing anything special besides what was the norm at the ball. Seeing how Mikase teared up simply by me remembering her, it must have been an important memory.
Wait...That means, what I said yesterday...Wasn’t that really bad?!
“Eh? No, it’s really fine. I’m glad you even remember at all.” She said as she wiped her tears with a napkin.
“Truth be told…”
I truthfully told her how I was with Ikuro and Madoka at my house yesterday and it was thanks to Madoka that I even remember the events at all. As she was listening to me, it seemed as if her face was getting stiffer by the second.
“...and so, I barely remembered the events that night, hence my apologies...Um, Mikase-san?”
“Well, it was partially my fault as well, seeing how I never gave you my name.”
“Well, there’s that. But you changed so much since then that I couldn’t recognize you.”
“Yeah. The current you looked way prettier than I could remember, almost like a different person.”
I wasn’t able to see it, but Mikase was blushing beneath her hair as she faced downwards.
“Then again, if Madoka didn’t point it out, I wouldn’t have recalled it.”
“...You seem pretty close with Nanaho-san too considering she was at your house talking till late at night.”
“Oh yeah, we are childhood friends and she is currently living at…” I closed my mouth shut as I spoke out.
Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that… Looking towards Mikase, her eyes were shut and she was wearing a smile on her face. To the others around her, it must have seemed as if she was having a good time, however…
What was this pressure I was feeling?
“Did I perhaps misheard it? That she was living with you..?”
“A-Ah, well. N-No...That’s right…” Despite my attempt to refute it, it seems that I cracked under the pressure.
“Heh...So Nanaho-san is living with you?”
Oh shit...Did I just screw things up big time?
“W-Well, there is a really good reason for that.”
“Of course there is. There is no way she would be living there for no reason, now would she?”
The pressure was slowly building up as I sank lower down my seat. How she was able to still keep smiling gracefully while being upright terrifying, would be something I could never understand.
What followed next was her very kindly convincing me that she would follow me home to meet Madoka. For once, I was rather glad that I had work tonight, giving me a legitimate excuse to avoid the incoming disaster.
“Well, that can’t be helped I suppose. How about tomor...Ah!”
“Mikase-sama!” A woman who was seated nearby us stood up as she shouted.
She rushed over from her table and helped up Mikase, who was clutching her head in pain.
“Are you alright, Mikase-san?”
“Ah. I’m fine, my head just started to hurt all of a sudden. I think I will head home for the day, see you tomorrow, Izuya-kun.”
The woman slowly escorted Mikase out of the cafe and into their car. Although I was worried about her sudden headache, I was more relieved about the fact that our conversation got cut short.
“Ah! I’m going to be late!.” I paid the bill as I left for work.
Despite my desperate attempt in rushing to work, I inevitably arrived a tad late. Opening the doors to the office, I saw that everyone was already in the room, ready to begin and waiting for me.
“Isn’t that rare? The demonic tutor who is ever so strict about punctuality, being late himself.”
“Affirmative. 10 minutes late. Punishment guaranteed.”
4 girls were seated inside the private room, books on the table with paper scattered all over. The purple-haired girl who selectively mentioned my nickname here was Ayaka Chitose, the band’s lead vocalist, Alvus.
The pale, white-haired one who confirmed my tardiness in a rather monotonous voice was Yusaka Saya, the bassist of the band. Jirou Kana, the orange-haired drummer of the band, and Utsuya Lena, the main guitarist were locked in an argument among themselves as Lena was aggressively pointing to the book she held in her hands while Kana was clutching her head.
“Like - I - Said! What part of this did you not get? You take the formula written here and use it in the equation here!”
“Arghhhh! No more!!!”
It seems as though Lena had taken charge as the tutor while I was not here and was struggling to get the point across to Kana. They were rather engrossed in it to the point they didn’t notice me come in.
“Ah! Izu-chan!!!! Save me from the tyrant!”
“Who’re you calling a tyrant!”
As unbelievable as it may seem, I work as a tutor for these 4 girls from Alvus. It seemed that they were falling behind in their studies due to increasing work and were seeking a tutor. They selected one from the list of available, and capable, tutors their manager gave them and landed on me.
“It seems you finally arrived, Izuya-kun.” A woman’s voice came from behind me.
Ochiai Itsuka, the manager of the popular band, Alvus. She was the one who handpicked the list of tutors from a site and ultimately hired me. She looked to be a force to reckon with a classic suit on and hair tied up in a bun, paired with the round, clear glasses.
“Tardiness wasn’t part of your contract, the girls are rather busy and have a limited time to undergo your tutoring. I hope you understand what I mean.”
Her glasses seemed to glimmer as she looked down towards me.
“Sigh...then again, you had been doing a great job for the past 9 months and was punctual the whole time. I will let you off just this once.”
“T-Thanks. It won’t happen again.”
“It had better not.” She said with a devious grin on her face.
I breathed a sigh of relief as she left the room and closed the door behind her. Placing down my bag, I took out the materials I had prepared the previous night after talking with Madoka and sat down.
“Ah~Ah. Izuya got scolded” Lena seemed to be having a fun time poking at where it hurts.
“Well~ Seeing that I’m late and all, I guess I should increase the intensity today.” I said irritably
“Warning. Sensing danger. Escape?”
“H-Hey, Lena! Why would you go and poke at it!” Chitose panicked and shouted at Lena.
“Ah...Even Izu-chan is being a tyrant today.” Kana slumped back into her chair as she commented.
I was only able to work before high school after getting help from Ikuro and getting a special permit. To think that the four of them, who were a year younger than me were busier than the average adult didn’t sink in that well.
Despite their busy schedule, they were making an attempt to study in between as they wanted to further their studies as well. Teaching them wasn’t as hard as I initially thought due to the fact that they were rather adept at picking up what I teach them.
The job wasn’t particularly new to me either as I had to tutor Ikuro and my other classmates during middle school. I had simply thought that it would be an efficient way to earn my keep.
Had they been normal students instead of a famous band, they might have swiped the top spots during exams. Although, not every one of them could pick things up fast. Lena was the smartest among the four, understanding what I teach immediately and studying on her own. Chitose and Saya were both similar in terms of studies, they are able to understand the topics but were not really strong in applying them.
The problem among those four was Kana. I could tell Kana was eager to learn as she pays attention the most whenever I say anything. She was slower than the other 3 but by no means any less smart. It just seems that Kana feels as if she was below the rest, resulting in her falling behind.
Although I would like to seclude her out and teach her slower or in another method, out of the fear that she might feel even more down if I had done that, I felt that teaching them as a group would work better.
“...and that should be it. It’s getting rather late, so let’s call it a day. Try your best on the topics I mentioned, the 9th Grade is usually testing the same topics all year round, so use this to your advantage.”
“It's...finally over…” Chitose had laid her head flat on the table as she sighed.
“Head, in circles. Need, rest.”
“Awawawa…” Kana was still scrambling around her notes as she slowly
Ochiai was waiting outside as I left through the door. She seemed to have been waiting for us after finishing her own work. Looking at the time again, it was almost eight in the evening after all. The time went by rather quickly, considering I started at five.
“The girls will be sent home via our drivers, do you need a lift as well?”
My phone’s screen lit up as Ochiai had offered me a ride. It was a text from Madoka, ‘Ikuro’s in the hospital, XXXX Hospital, nothing serious, don’t worry.’
No no, saying that all of a sudden would worry me even more! The hospital doesn’t seem too far from here, I could probably get there within half an hour.
“Ah, nothing at all. I think I will pass on the ride, I have somewhere to head after this.”
I rushed out the door as I said my goodbyes to them. Ikuro won’t just go to the hospital for nothing serious, something must have happened.
Arriving at the hospital, I immediately went to the reception counter, asking for directions to where Ikuro was. Luckily, it seemed that Ikuro was on the floor treatment area, meaning that he wasn’t admitted.
If he is there, he probably won't be injured too badly.
As I opened the curtains in the Hospital, after being guided by a nurse to Ikuro. Madoka was sitting beside him, while Ikuro’s head was being bandaged up by another nurse.
“W-Woah! Izuya, what are you doing here?”
“Told you he would come.”
“A-hem!” An angry-sounding voice sounded from behind me.
The nurse who had guided me here was looking at me furiously. That was to be expected, running in the hospital and opening a curtain without a care in the world was rather disrespectful.
“So, what happened today?”
“As Madoka told you, man, nothing seriously bad happened. I was shopping with Madoka after lunch and was on the way to your house. As we were nearing, a neighbor’s potted plant fell on me.”
“It was hilarious. The pot wasn’t that high so it wasn’t anything serious. When Ikuro told his sister about it, she was rather adamant in coming over and driving him to the hospital.”
“Ayane-san is here? Where?” I looked around, trying to find her.
Amagami Ayane, Ikuro’s older sister. She was a rather exceptional beauty as well and was very competent in her work for the company, despite still being a college student.
“And why do you seem to be more curious about my sister while I am the one here with an injury?” Ikuro squinted his eyes at me.
“Didn’t you say it yourself? That it wasn’t anything serious.”
I could hear Ikuro clicking his tongue while Madoka was holding in her laughter.
“So, when did you hit your head?”
“Sometime after school, we went shopping after lunch, so maybe around four to five in the afternoon.”
“I’m more surprised Ayane only took you here this late.”
“That’s because he only contacted Ayane about an hour or two ago.” Madoka responded.
Wait...around four to five in the afternoon? That would be around the time I left the cafe…
Recalling the events from this afternoon, I definitely remember Mikase suddenly felt a rather severe headache, before leaving with her guard. The more I thought about it, the more definite it seemed.
Mikase was definitely Ikuro’s Solus… Problem was, how would I break the news to him? I knew that his wish was that he would never find his Solus, hoping that it would last till he turns 18. But seeing as their Solus Synchronisation is increasing, it will definitely hint to Mikase’s family that her Solus pairing had appeared and was rather close by.
“Oh. Who do we have here?” Ayane appeared behind me after handing in the necessary documents to the receptionist.
“Isn’t this Izuya! It’s been a long while!” She ruffled my hair as she spoke out.
As a kid, I had a one-sided crush on Ayane a whole lot, following her everywhere and trying to mimic her actions. She was essentially my first love. As I grew up and started to see her less, those feelings started to dissipate, and now I simply admired her very much for her capabilities.
“Come on, Ikuro. We are going home. You two hop on as well, I will give you a lift.”
As expected of a child of the Amagami house. Ayane had been very particular about having someone do her tasks for her. As soon as she got her license, she decided to drive herself everywhere.
“So Izuya is going back to your house and Madoka to the Nanaho household right?”
“Um...Both to Izuya's place…” Madoka quietly whispered.
We had totally forgotten about the fact that no one else besides Madoka’s Grandfather and parents knew where she was currently residing.
“Both to Izuyas’? What, are you guys living together now? Did our poor Ikuro get rejected?”
“...Eh? DON’T TELL ME IT’S TRUE?!” Ayane had turned her head around, looking in shock.
“Ah! Aya-nee! In front, in front!”
Barely swerving out of the way of another vehicle, we avoided a collision. Ayane then proceeds to drive into a gas station before coming to a stop.
“So...mind telling me what was going on?”
“C-Calm down, Aya-nee.”
“Does the Nanaho family have a screw loose?! Why would they even allow her to stay at a guy’s house, with no parents around to boot.”
“G-Grandfather did give permission.”
“And Society doesn’t!” It looked as if Ayane had fumes steaming out as she complained.
“But we won’t want her at the Nanaho household currently, and she was fine with staying at mine.”
“Sigh...What.Are.You.Doing.With.That.Brain.Of.Yours! It’s times like these that you rely on the adults. Get in the car, we are going to Izuya’s house.” Ayane had hit my head while shouting.
“Am I...going home?” Madoka seemed to cower in front of Ayane.
“No. You have your reasons for not going home. That said, you can’t just stay at Izuyas’ either.”
“We can’t make her stay at a hotel, Aya-nee.” Ikuro tried to plead
“Sigh...How are you this dumb? Use your family connections! We are packing Madoka’s stuff and moving it to the Amagami Household.”
“~Eh!~” The three of us said as she told us her idea.
Come to think of it...It does make more sense for Madoka to stay at the Amagami Household. They would have better security there, a guest room for Madoka, and possibly provide the same level of service as the Nanaho household, or even better.
Why didn’t we think of that in the first place? Why didn’t I think of sending Madoka to Ikuro’s place anyways? Was I too preoccupied with finding a way to get her out of the elite Nanaho family? I just needed to get her out of the Nanaho’s house, but not necessarily into my place.
“I’m all in support of the idea of Madoka moving into the Amagami household, but could we do that tomorrow?”
“Well...It’s a Wednesday, and it’s almost midnight.”
“Ah. Right...You guys are still in high school…Fine, but Madoka will grab her bare minimum of belongings and head home with me.”
I had thought the idea of Madoka staying with the Amagami would have Ikuro in joy, jumping about, but he seemed surprisingly calm. Taking another look, he was in fact blushing behind his ears.
Didn’t it just get harder to tell Ikuro about it? He will think that with Madoka at the Amagami Household, he would be able to somewhat prevent her from finding her Solus and possibly getting closer with her.
“Oh~ What’s this? Is our dear Ikuro blushing behind his ears?”
“S-Shut it! It’s nothing to do with you!”
“Ah~ Youth, how I miss it.”
“You are pretty young yourself too, Ayane-san” I tried to retort
“Well, don’t you have a way with words? But too bad, you can’t fall for me, Izuya-kun.”
I wondered how Madoka was feeling about this.
If I wasn’t wrong, Madoka was also in love with Ikuro. Looking over, I could see her slightly blushing as well, although she didn’t make a fuss or was as obvious as Ikuro. I guess she wasn’t happy about the news of her Solus as well.
It was rather obvious that they had liked each other, but to think that they would be denied this due to their Solus. Three years...Just three years and they could be true to themselves. I will try my best to slow down the search for Madoka’s Solus in any way I can. I feel sorry for Mikase, but regarding her Solus, Ikuro, I can’t afford to break their relationship.
I guess I will keep it to myself, for now…