Chapter 14:

Episode 14- Sports Day

My Friend is a Harem Protagonist [Short]

September 9th, Slightly Overcast.

I had become a regular in the student council room on account of my meetings with Himiko. The rest of the student council, while not aware of what was going on, welcomed me openly. It was because of this that somehow I got roped into helping them set up for Sports Day on that particular noon.

“Just put that hurdle over there.” Himiko said, pointing where I was supposed to go.

We all wore our gym uniforms, most of us with a red bandana wrapped around our heads. The school was split into two teams, red and white. My class, as well as Toshi's, were a part of the red team, meaning Aoi and Saki were stuck on white team. It was kinda funny if I was being honest.

It had been almost a week since Ren’s confession, and things felt kind of strange with everyone. It was clear that our group was going through a shift, but they would get past it soon.

I set the hurdle up and returned to Himiko. She looked stern in front of everyone, her usual president look.

“Thanks for the help Riku.” Himiko said.

“Not a problem.” I said with a wave of my hand.

“What events are you doing today?” Himiko asked.

“Well, the teams wanted Ren and I to do the three legged race, but now Toshi is doing it with him.” I began to explain. “Now I am down a partner but I'll figure something out. I know I am doing the team relay, and the Lit club wanted me a part of the club relay. Oh and of course I am doing the Cavalry Battle.”

“Everyone is doing the Cavalry battle I hear.” Himiko laughed. “Seems like your doing a lot, I am guessing that isn't counting the other events everyone participates in?”

“Yeah, but might as well go all out, it is our last year after all.” I said.

Himiko smiled warmly. “Starting on monday I would like to work on that new project I had discussed with you if that is alright.”

The project in question was trying out different careers, seeing if something felt right to me. We both would be participating in different jobs that would allow us to intern for a day, it was quite nice of her to offer it.

“Sure, just let me know.” I said.

“Oh looks like everyone is coming up, lets get ready to have some fun okay?” Himiko said running off to meet with her class.

I approached my group who had just reached the track field. The parents were starting to file in all around, something to add stress onto us. As I approached, Ren tackled me. Her rushed me and wrapped his arm around my shoulder, pulling me into a huddle.

Ren was all smiles, a strange thing to witness on his face.

“It went well huh?” I said.

“First date a success!” Ren said happily. “It was amazing!”

“Please don't kiss and tell, seems a little rude with her behind us.” I laughed.

“We did not!” Ren said quickly. “We just went out for a good dinner and karaoke.”

“Lame.” I said with a sarcastic laugh.

“Don't say that!” Ren said too loud, the rest reaching us.

“You are lame Ren.” Toshi laughed.

“What, how dare you!” Ren said, faking an injury.

Toshi pushed his shoulder, then grabbed his hand in hers. They had progressed quickly.

“This sucks.” Aoi said, pouting.

“Sorry, it just worked out that your class was on white team.” Daichi said, trying to cheer the two outcasts up.

“Well at least we will kick your butts in the cavalry battle!” Aoi said, perking up.

“I heard a rumor that you two were also on the cheer squad.” Toshi said.

Saki’s face turned the brightest red. “Wh-what we are?”

“What did you think all that practice was for?” Aoi said to Saki.

“I didn't think we would actually be cheering.” Saki said, beginning to turn around in circles.

“You'll do great Saki.” Daichi comforted.

Saki stopped and gave a sheepish look to Daichi.

“So, who is running the Relay for white team?” Aoi asked. “I heard a rumor.”

“Yep, Ren, Riku, and I are.” Daichi said with a chuckle. “Plus this guy from Ren's class, Hondo?”

“Wow I'm surprised they managed that.” Aoi said.

“The Dai-ku fan club was very vocal this year.” Toshi said.

“Dai-ku?” Ren asked. He was unaware of it.

“The Daichi and Riku fan club.” Maeko stated.

“Yaoi fangirls.” I said, a chill going up my spine.

“Don't talk about me like that!” Maeko stated.

“That is even creepier.” I said, holding my shoulders like a security blanket.

“Oh come on, it's all in good fun.” Maeko laughed.

“I have seen that smut you have been putting out, its not fun. Also why am I the sub? I think it should be changed to Ri-chi.” I said angrily.

“But Daichi does seem like the perfect top.” Toshi explained.

“Not you too!” I yelled out. “Come on, I am a way better top!”

“Riku, don't yell your fetishes out loud.” Aoi said casually.

“I have no shame.” I said calmly.

“So are you two doing the three legged race?” Aoi asked.

“Actually the Re-ku fan club spoke up for that one.” Toshi said.

“But I let Toshi cover for me.” I said. “Daichi and Maeko were paired up, I currently don't have a partner. Also why am I always the sub?”

“I'm a power top Riku.” Ren stated firmly.

“I can't deny that.” I said.

“Wait, people are shipping us?” Daichi asked.

“Oh, sweet child. I have so much smut to show you later.” I said to him, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Wait till you see DaiRen, it is a mess.”

“I have a feeling I am going to a dark, dark place.” Daichi said, afraid.

“You have no clue how deep this abyss goes.” I stated, the abyss reflected in my eyes.

The opening ceremony was short, a little speech and what not. After that, we got ready for the events. First came the ball toss. Basically balls were spread all across the field and everyone had to run and get them, then throw them into their goal. More balls would be thrown in as the time went by to keep it fun. White team took the victory there.

Tug of war came next. We took it easy. We had the two superhuman sport stars on the team, white team stood no chance. Sack Races came up, I didnt participate. It was funny to see Maeko struggle, but even funnier to see Izumi dominate the competition.

“I am a master of all the athletic arts!” Izumi said to me afterwards.

“Or you just used to practice with pillow cases as a kid.” I stated.

“Perhaps!” Izumi laughed. “Riku, I think we should consider a truce for today and work as a unit. Together, with our strength we can destroy the competition!”

“Oh you mean for the three legged race?” I said, ignoring the Chunni statement.

“Yes, exactly.” Izumi stated proudly.

“Sure that is fine.” I said.

The race was interesting, three pairs per team. Maeko and Daichi, Ren and Toshi, and Izumi and Me. we were tied at the ankles, her left to my right. We stood shoulder to shoulder, arms around the other.

“We got this great Dark king!” Izumi stated.

“Please give me a consistent title at least.” I sighed.

Aoi and Saki were tied together on the white team, a fun competition. A starting gun rang out, and we were off. Aoi and Saki were friends, but they both beat to a different drum, Saki trying to be cautious and Aoi being assertive. It wasnt much better with Daichi and Maeko. Maeko tried to lead, but Daichi kept breaking the stride they were taking.

Toshi and Ren bolted off, so pretty much this was a race for second. Which somehow Izumi and I got. We didn't really plan anything, we just did the old ‘1-2-1-2’ strategy.

The scavenger hunt was next. I sat this one out, yet I was popular.

“Hey Riku can I get your head band?” Izumi said quickly. Her item was something red.

“Sawai, I need your shoelace,” Himiko said. Her item was a string.

“Riku, can I get you?” Izumi said, coming back for a second item.

“What why?” I asked.

“It says I need something hot.” Izumi said, holding up the card.

I waited a moment. “Sure, let's go.”

We dominated white team. I just sat near the turn-in area as I was slowly stripped of anything of value on my person.

The team relay was next. I was the anchor leg, aka the last runner. There were six teams for this. Three for each team, one for each grade.

The cheer squads did their shows, Saki was given a front position and was nervous the whole time. To my surprise though she didn't mess it up and did very well. I think that alone made her the winner for today.

Ren was our second runner, Daichi our third. Luckily the first runner was a part of the track team. We gained a huge lead because of him and Ren, then lost it from Daichi.

He was trying, but damn he was not athletic in the slightest. I watched as the other anchor’s were taking off. All the while, the crowd was yelling support. Even Aoi and Saki were cheering Daichi on.

Finally, the baton hit my palm. I was off. I had a huge handicap, I was well behind the others. However, I was a sore loser. This was a moment for me to shine, I wouldn't disappoint them even if I was just a side character.

They were keeping a lead, why was my pace slowing? My head was getting hazy, why now?

“Go Riku go!” I heard from the side lines. The girls were all cheering me on, even Aoi and Saki. it reminded me of what Toshi had told me, they cared about me didn't they. They valued me, they had no reason to cheer for me, yet they were.

I was gaining. My head was clear, I was focused. I wouldn't disappoint. I was still dead last, and the finish line was coming up close. I had to put it all into this last push.

What would they say if I won it? Would I get cheers? I didn't know if I wanted that. Would they tell Kioko? Would Kioko have cheered for me if she could have come today?

The image of Kioko cheering me on in the crowd was amazing. I could see her, like she was there with the others. Why was I thinking about her right now?

When had I passed four of the runners? I was on the heels of the fifth, I pushed harder and harder. I could see it, the end, I had to push to cross the line. I would win, I would win!

“Second isnt bad at all.” Daichi said.

I sat on the ground, water poured over my head. “I know.” I said honestly. It was fine, I surprised everyone who was watching.

“You deserve mad props.” Ren said, standing proudly. “You turned it in our favor. Where did you get that energy from?”

I remained quiet. I knew, but what did it mean?

The cavalry battle was next. It was a simple game, there were two people, the rider and the horse. The goal was to take the headband from the opponents team before yours was removed. Only the rider's headband mattered. It was a cooperative event, the rider needed to be strong enough to lift the rider and move. The rider needed to be agile enough to dodge and attack at once.

“Sawai.” Himiko said, approaching me. “Do you have a partner?”

“Huh? No, not yet.” I said.

“I'll partner with you.” Daichi said, walking over to me.

“Daichi. Once you read the fanfictions you will understand why I don't want your crotch anywhere near my head.” I stated. “Team with Maeko.”

“Me?” Maeko called out.

“It will work better that way, though you are a little top heavy.” I said the last part more quietly.

“Is that so.” Himiko said, turning back to the previous question. “Well if that is the case.”

She was cut off as Izumi came running up.

“Riku Riku.” Izumi said excitedly. “This is the perfect moment for us! Let us join forces and teach these mortals about our powers! I have a cool name for it too! Dark King and Eternal Queen Finisher! Sounds cool right!” Her eyes were so full of energy.

“Sure thing Izumi.” I laughed. I turned to Himiko. “What were you going to say?”

“I was going to help you find a teammate, though it seems it is of no issue. I should go meet with mine.” Himiko said, moving away.

We all got ready to go, I squatted down and let Izumi climb on my neck. When a heave I was standing up right.

“Hey Izumi.” I said staring forward.

“What is it?” Izumi asked.

“Are your parents here?” I asked.

“Yeah, right over there.” Izumi pointed somewhere I could not see.

“Remind me when this is over to thank them.” I said confidently.

“Thank them for what?” Izumi questioned.

“This moment mostly.” I said.

“You're not making sense.” Izumi said.

“You see.” I began. “I am a refined man. I believe all areas are quality. Boobs, Butt, all of them. However, after this I feel I must declare myself a thigh man.”

“Please don't say that in this position.” Izumi said sharply.

“They are like pillows. Not too soft but not too firm. I feel like I could die.” I said in bliss.

“Hm. well I am glad you enjoy but please don't make me ask for a partner switch.” Izumi said.

“Could this be what it means to fall in love?” I questioned.

Izumi laughed. “If this is what makes you fall for me I don't want it.”

I laughed, though I wasn't completely joking. I knew Izumi didn't have the answer for me, but it was on my mind recently. How does one know if they are in love?

The firing gun went off, and we were ago. We got five whole headbands before we were taken out. It was fun, plus we got the second highest amount. Surprisingly some couple from white team took over ten, including ours.

I moved out of the main venue. Himiko had vanished and the student council asked me to help find her, the club relay was coming up. I had wormed my way out of the Lit club team so I had some time to kill. I found her where I expected, just near enough to keep an eye on everything, but far enough to get some air.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

Himiko looked at me annoyed. She sat with her back to the school building, her knees to her face. “Just getting air.”

“Liar.” I said, plopping my butt next to her. “You good?”

“Just fine, a little overwhelmed with the heat.” Himiko stated.

“Sure sure.” I said with a nod. “Your club is going to be running soon, dont you want to watch?”

“I can watch just fine from here.” Himiko said.

“Then mind if I keep you company?” I asked.

“You're already sitting so sure.” Himiko said.

We sat together for a moment. “You know, you could just tell me what's on your mind.”

“I just wanted to step back and look at it all.” Himiko said. “Just, look at everyone having fun. Isn't it great to see all those happy faces.”

“You worked so hard this morning. You must be happy to see the results huh.” I stated.

“Yeah, we all laid the groundwork for everyone to be happy. Even the parents seem happy. Is there anything more precious in this world?” Himiko asked.

I stared at the event happening, and had to answer honestly. “I used to think that it was. But not anymore.”

Himiko looked at me, a little confused.

“I have spent almost three years on the sideline, working to set up other people's happiness.” I stated.

“I'm sorry to hear that Riku.” Himiko said.

“Don't be.” I said with a smile. “For the longest time, I thought it would all go unnoticed, but recently it was revealed to me just how much I mean to people. Even today helped show that. Things are changing, I am changing, and I like it.”

Himiko sat in silence for a moment. I am sure I sound cringy, I was being dramatic, but still. I just wanted her to know.

“Hey Himiko.” I said.

“Yeah?” She replied.

“Do you love someone?” I asked, watching the events nearby.

Himiko hesitated. “I don't know, maybe.”

I nodded. “I don't know either. I can't figure it out, how do you know if you're in love?”

“Riku.” Himiko said, touching my shoulder. “I'm sorry, I am no expert on the subject. This stuff is hard on me, how people just know, it's so foreign to me.”

“Well once I figure it out I will tell you.” I laughed.

Himiko smiled. “Thanks Riku.”

“You're calling me by my first name more often.” I stated.

“Oh-Oh you noticed?” Himiko said, looking flustered.

“I noticed you do it in private more often than not.” I said. “It's because you have an image you're trying to uphold isn't it?”

Himiko nodded. “Sorry. Your friends just made it seem like I didn't appreciate you.”

“Sorry I didn't speak up.” I said. “I had a talk with them, they were a little harsh on you for no reason.”

“I know why they are.” Himiko laughed.

“I wish I did, they still didn't tell me.” I said.

“Once you figure it out, tell me.” Himiko said, getting to her feet. “Come on, lets go watch the last events.”

I got to my feet and followed her. It was a good day. Once that made me think a lot harder than before.

O-Oh I get to do this again? Okay I am Saki Yoshikawa, here for the next episode Preview. It's Halloween, and we are helping Saki with a school fundraiser. Wait, we all have to wear costumes? Wait, why do I have to wear this! Riku wait! Next time, Halloween.