The La-Iin Series
“Between Best Friends–Part 3”
“San-Kyuuuuung……you know, it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. I’ve missed you so much this Summer. I wish you would have visited me more. It’s sad that one of the few times I’m seeing you this Summer is when we’re being forced to come to school again. I love wearing long sleeves, but this uniform is just too hot, even in its Summer form.”
“Yeah, well….you’re making me hotter….”
San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina had been asked to come to their school, Deatrou Junior High, near the end of their Summer break. The reason given to them was that there were announcements to be made about the future of Deatrou, and the faculty wanted its students to be there for them. Dosa-Mina, who had not seen San-Kyung for a month, felt all the loneliness rushing back to him when he saw his friend, and started to cling to him.
San-Kyung was used to Dosa-Mina’s overly-affectionate displays by now, and though they embarrassed him he would admit–only to himself–that some of them were comforting and soothed him. But the day was hot, and the uniforms retained a lot of heat. Dosa-Mina’s body heat only made this worse, and the day itself was sweltering enough that the air conditioner felt like it barely helped. All of the Deatrou students and faculty being there as well did not help.
It also wasn’t of any help seeing the looks he got from the other students. San-Kyung payed little attention to the other students of Deatrou, but he knew the jokes they made about Dosa-Mina got under his skin at times. He glared back at them, hoping they would stop staring so much.
“He’s making him hotter, huh? Sheesh, get a room…” One student said.
“Watching them makes me sick,” one spat.
“Geez, Dosa-Mina, I almost can’t breathe…” He sighed.
“Sorry. Guess it’s not really smart to cling on during the Summer.”
“You can do that stuff later, can’t you? We’ll be out of these uniforms and into cooler clothes. At least, I will be.”
“I know I can….sorry, San-Kyung. I’ve just really missed you this Summer. Ever since we’ve become friends we’ve spent a lot of time together. I got more than a little lonely for you. So I just…”
Dosa-Mina blinked. Something snapped in his head. He noticed that all around them, students were staring at them. Their expressions were a mixture of scornful and curious. Dosa-Mina looked up at San-Kyung’s own expression. He looked uncomfortable. Dosa-Mina couldn’t tell if it was due to the heat, the stares from other students, or his affection.
The idea that it might be the last one finally convinced Dosa-Mina to let go.
“Sorry, San-Kyung,” he mumbled.
“It’s alright,” he whispered. “Really, it is. Let’s just get going so we can get this over with. I can’t stand this uniform. It’s….chafing my nipples, or something.”
“I didn’t realize Animated Pumpkins even had nipples,” he giggled.
“We’ve got them for the same reason a Normal does, Aesthetically Normal or not….but especially Aesthetically Normal,” he said.
The two were silent as they walked together to the reception room. Most of the Deatrou students had arrived, and the faculty members sat in chairs with microphones nearby. San-Kyung thought the room was too grandiose for a room that was hardly used, but he wasn’t surprised given Deatrou’s architecture. He took a seat near the back. Dosa-Mina followed him to take a seat next to him.
One student looked ready to dash to the seat next to him. Others groaned and walked to seats far away from San-Kyung, while a few sitting nearby him got up. Dosa-Mina took his seat next to San-Kyung and watched as the students had various reactions.
“….we…don’t have the best of reputations here, do we?” Dosa-Mina whispered.
“Deatrou tries to bill itself as a refined place. We’re not exactly the most refined students. There’s a lot of things I can think of that would’ve given us the reputation we have….honestly, I don’t give a damn. I’m just worried about you.”
“Oh, it’s fine!” Dosa-Mina said, the volume of his voice rising slightly. “Really. I don’t need to have any friends in Deatrou aside from you. I just don’t like the looks they give us….”
“Don’t worry about it being just you. I think they’re just weirded out by you ’cause of all the affection you show and the fact that we’re friends. They’ve got more reason to dislike me…”
“Well, not everybody here dislikes you,” Dosa-Mina said. “Speaking of, where is Yukkini?”
“Don’t jinx it,” he muttered.
“A-hem. Students of Deatrou. Thank you all for being generous enough to take the times out your Summer vacations to visit us for our meeting. As you all know, my name is Yeongu Eoundu-Yabseu. All of us part of the Deatrou faculty have recently been discussing various changes we could make to Deatrou Junior High, for the convenience of both you students and us members of the faculty. We hope that you all will agree with these changes….”
“Can we get over the introduction already? Yeongu talks too slow,” he said.
“They’re so horny they can’t stand the introduction,” a student in front of them giggled.
“Maybe they just feel how we do? Molshei did say Yeongu talks too slow…” Another said.
Dosa-Mina bowed his head. San-Kyung glared.
“Among the changes to the school, we have decided to enforce rules more efficiently,” Yeongu said, reading from a paper. “For minor rule breaks, you will be let off with a warning. For medium-level rule breaks, you will receive a fitting punishment. For major rule breaks, you face detention, severe punishment, and potentially being expelled. This is a climbing scale. For instance, if you commit several medium-level breaks, eventually you will become considered a major rule breaker….”
“I’m sure they’ve already broken rules,” the student in front of them said. San-Kyung sighed.
‘He looks upset.’ San-Kyung truly felt that the things the other Deatrou students said got to Dosa-Mina. He worried about him getting stressed out to the point where he broke. As far as San-Kyung was concerned, the things they said about him didn’t bother him, aside from their constant repetition of it. If he wouldn’t get expelled for using his powers, he would gladly burn them to shut them up.
But there was no guarantee Dosa-Mina felt the same way; in fact, he was sure of it. Dosa-Mina was a kinder person than he was. He was willing to let more people into his heart than San-Kyung could ever fathom. He wouldn’t be surprised if that was the reason their criticisms hurt him so much.
“….renovations will be undergone in Deatrou next year, specifically in the classrooms. New teachers will be hired and we will be teaching a new subject, Species Study, which we had formerly avoided due to the banning of student’s powers. Powers are, naturally, still banned in school, that includes flight and sand travel, as those would be nigh impossible with the structure of Deatrou in any event….”
Dosa-Mina’s eyes lit up when Yeongu said ‘species study’. San-Kyung couldn’t help a smile.
“Probably just interested in hearing more about anatomy, and not for any pure reasons,” the girl giggled.
San-Kyung was done.
“Hm? Yes, San-Kyung? Oh, what’s he saying now?”
“I don’t know. I just wanted to say something.”
“Look, if you….if you want to be affectionate, or whatever….I don’t care, alright? If people say things, I mean. I might still get bothered sometimes, and I’ll tell you if I do, but….what I’m trying to say is, go ahead and do what you want to do, okay?”
Dosa-Mina smiled. “Thanks, San-Kyung. I’ll definitely put that in mind.” He rested his head on San-Kyung’s shoulder. San-Kyung noticed the glares from the students ahead of them and payed them no mind.
He listened to Yeongu’s speech in silence with Dosa-Mina.
“Finally, we can get out of these stupid uniforms!”
“I’m looking forward to sitting in front of a fan for two or so hours,” Dosa-Mina breathed.
Dosa-Mina seemed happier than he had earlier. San-Kyung felt pleased. He grabbed Dosa-Mina’s hand.
“What do you say we go and do something after we get out of these uniforms?”
Dosa-Mina nodded. “Sure!”
Hand-in-hand, they walked as fast as they could out of the Deatrou Junior High building.
“…you really do need to cool it on the heavy affection in the Summer,” San-Kyung breathed.
“This is comfortable, though,” Dosa-Mina said.
“Not for me….geez, you really have made yourself into a Dosa-Coat this time.”
“What can I say? I really can’t deny my coat-like status right now.”
“You’re casting a shadow over my book!”
“Oh, come on, I can read that for you. Hey, that’s all stuff you know already! Or at least, you should….”
“Just be quiet, Dosa-Mina!”
The two boys were in cheerful moods as they sat in San-Kyung’s bedroom together.