Art by @KeouChuu on Twitter
With all of the stress that had plagued me since I moved here together with Tsumu, all of the assignments and the pushing deadlines, it felt like a moment of quiet talking to Sakusa.
Tsumu had already mentioned him, from what I could tell he was a lot more mellow from the outside, but had the same insane passion for volleyball as my brother does. Still, with everything that had been going on, especially with my brother giving me the silent treatment I hadn’t had the time to actually converse with people outside of my classes.
I met Asami from the library and the beta committee, and that caramel girl who I knew now was called Mikoto, but all of those were instances that were way too short and stressful as well. Searching for books and stressing because of a baking assignment wasn’t really the ideal way to spend time.
The business class was over, the presentation was fulfilled and for a brief moment I realised that I had the rest of the day pretty much free.
What a feeling.
It felt nice to wind down for a change, and the place I selected to hang out with Sakusa was just what we apparently both needed: quiet.
It was the back side of the college campus cafeteria, and a little farther away from most of the tables outside where the majority of the students resided. To get to this place, one needed to take a detour over the students parking space and walk about 10 minutes to find a couple of stray tables next to a park.
Except for the very distant murmuring of people and the occasional car zooming past, it felt very serene and calm, which made the time fly by as we sat opposite each other with packed lunches from the cafeteria.
Getting those was a bit of a hassle, since the crowded place didn’t seem to be enjoyable for Sakusa at all. His grimace said it all, as he took a lot of time to settle into the line in the cafeteria and groaned whenever someone was only close to bumping into him.
Before I could even ask or type into the notes app if I should order for him, he waved to one of the workers behind the counter who just so happened to be none other than Mikoto.
“Oh, yer everywhere huh?”, I asked her and she smiled widely before quickly jumping around from place to place to assemble the lunch boxes.
“I just help out when I can! It’s actually kinda fun!”, she bellowed over the counter as she took in another order and I realised she was probably too stressed to converse right now.
When she rang up our lunches she took a longer look at Sakusa and handed him the cardboard box that was steaming from the sides.
She looked a little worried, but masked it quickly with a laugh and a wave when Sakusa nodded his head in appreciation.
“Okay! Here’s yours Osamu, enjoy your meal!”, she slid over another small boy and my mouth started watering at the thought of the food.
“Thanks, hav a good one!”, I replied and I looked around as I saw that Sakusa had already moved out of the line and walked outside of the cafeteria.
Now as we sat down to actually eat, a sort of mix of a relaxing yet kind of awkward atmosphere settled over us, so I continued to eat, since it would be a bit weird to communicate through the phone while eating.
And also, the food was way too distracting.
The rice was extremely fluffy and basically melted in my mouth, and the grilled veggies had some form of sauce on them that just made their flavours pop. I wondered if it was handmade by Mikoto or if she had no part in it. Anyways, it was delicious.
I munched on it happily until I caught the judging glare of Sakusa as I devoured my food, and I slowed down a little.
‘Ya eat like a pig Samu!’
Not really a good impression hm…
Having almost inhaled my food, I put down the chopsticks and took a deep breath in, relishing in the feeling of a full belly.
As I closed the box to dispose of it later, Sakusa slid over a tiny notebook with a pen.
[You’re nothing like your brother]
Well, he wasn’t wrong. But not quite right either.
I took the pen and quickly wrote back.
[What, cuz I’m nice?]
He nodded with squinted eyes.
I dipped my head back down to write something but could only hear a disgruntled noise from the beta in front of me as he pushed one headphone behind his ear.
“I can hear you now if you don’t mumble too much”, he informed me and I nodded.
“UHM”, I cleared my throat as he winced because I talked too loudly and turned it down a notch, “Sorry ya didn’t have ta do that I’m fine with the notes”
Sakusa shook his head slightly, “No, it’s pretty annoying if I actually for once want to talk to someone. I’m wearing these for my headaches but it’s pretty quiet.”
“Yes. I noticed you have an accent?”
“Yea, mnot really from here”, I replied.
“Oh right I forget your Miyas’ twin of course you have the same accent”
“I’m Miya too, remember?”
At that, Sakusa held his own head in his hands, “I apologize, I’m fully through the loop today. It’s a bit irritating”
I waved my hands to dismiss it,” Nah yer fine, it’s quite nice to not talk to someone about an assignment or a deadline”
“Seconded, but I’m not much of a people person anyway”
The conversation died down again, and as much as I wanted to ignite it again by saying something it was more bothersome to me that the empty lunch boxes were still on the table.
“Wait here a minute alright? I’ll throw these in the trash aight?”
Sakusa tilted his head to the side quickly but then nodded, “Okay, I have to revise something for my next lecture anyway. It’s getting late”.
With a quick movement, I scooped up the boxes and used chopsticks and jogged towards the next trash can, which was a little farther away than I expected. It took me a while to get there and after throwing the trash away, I found myself speeding back as a little feeling of dread crawled over me as I heard distant shouting.
The closer I came to the hidden location we were at before, the louder the sounds became until I was able to decipher the slurred speech.
“WHAT ARE YOU THERE FOR IF NOT TO CALM US DOWN HUH? FREAKING USELESS PILES OF SHIT”
The dread turned to a full blown panic as I started to run as fast as I could towards the screaming, which was now accompanied by sounds of feet crushing in the dirt and someone grunting loudly while seemingly unable to talk much.
No, no, no, no!
I knew what it meant for a beta to be in their high sensitivity cycle. I was raised around betas, even my mother was one. I knew of the oversensitivity to light and sound, and the way the reactions of normal things turned into unbearable sensations like the scents that we picked up each day.
I saw my mom break down once because someone had accidentally touched her arm while we were outside. It’s the small things that can blow out of proportion.
I skidded to a halt as I saw something in front of me, an image that burned into my retinas that I would probably never be able to forget.
I saw two, by their raging scent, presumably alphas cowering over a hunched figure that I dreaded to recognize as Sakusa from the distance, his nose bleeding and his arms desperately trying to shield his ears and his stomach at the same time.
His headphones were knocked off on the floor close to him, as the other alpha was about to grab him by his leg.
I didn’t quite know what happened in the next ten seconds, but I felt an overwhelming sharp in my fist as my knuckles became constant with a bone that shattered immediately, and then my knee as I held the torso of the other scrawny guy to make contact with his gut.
The slightly bigger guy, also the one who kept screaming and almost foaming at the mouth, tried to stand up again, but my fist landed on his temple which made his stagger to the side fall over.
I expected more resistance, but it seemed that both of them were either drunk or on drugs as they knocked out immediately.
With my breath going way too heavy and my head starting to feel fuzzy, I scrambled down to check for the beta on the ground but as I came closer, he only crawled away from me, his eyes displaying a fear I couldn’t push against as he grabbed for his headphones.
“Don’t come any closer, he spat, his eyes a little unfocused and his lip popped open,” Alpha”.