At the Bookstore

By Neko4

(brought on by time at my's just strange, I admit)

Warnings: OOC, shounen-ai/gayness/however you wanna put it :P (Ken+Omi)


Omi walked into the small bookstore, glancing around nervously. He could see two other people in the store, but one was leaving and the other appeared to be on the verge of taking a coffee break. Keeping his head down and trying not to blush, he made his way quickly to the "dating" section. Still just a little in denial of his pathetic behavior, he picked up a copy of a neon pink book covered in red hearts and dashed off to the computer shelves before anyone could see him. Choosing a thin book at random, he slid off its plastic cover and placed it over the pink book's, breathing a sigh of relief. *What are you doing?!* he asked himself for the thousandth time. *Thinking about it is bad enough, but reading a _neon_pink_ book? As if you weren't nerdy and immature enough already...* Omi's shoulders drooped as he sat on the floor of the aisle dejectedly. The wide band of pink along the bottom of his shirt did not help his mood. He really appreciated the old lady's providing for him, and he knew it was just another color, but... Quite honestly, it wasn't, at least not anymore. Pink was the official "girl color," a kindergarten notion that stuck with one all through school... particularly if one was a tad short and "kawaii."

*Honestly, though... couldn't you go read porno magazines or something if you want to read about "dating" and be normal for once?* Sighing resolutely, he dismissed the voices in his head and opened the book.

"Tips," it read. "Flowers or plants..." Well, he _was_ a florist, wasn't he? *You're ALL florists.* What did that prove? After all, Omi had come here, interested and hopeful enough to sit and read this disgusting example of misguided romantic advice. *Then again, just because _you're_ hopelessly messed-up...* Shutting out the nagging voice that heralded insecurity and low self-esteem, he read on. "Sushi," the book said. What was wrong with liking sushi? Pondering this, and yet _not_ pondering his own trust of the flamboyant text in front of him, the confused boy failed to notice another customer enter the store.

Ken walked into the small bookstore, glancing around nervously. He didn't see anyone besides a tired-looking cashier taking a coffee break, and so, without a word, walked back towards a section he usually avoided, at least while other people were around. A step away from turning into the row, he noticed someone sitting on the floor. Flattening himself against the end of the bookshelves and hoping desperately that he hadn't been seen, the eighteen-year-old held his breath. Fortunately, nothing happened, and so he began to breathe again, however quietly.

*Thank heaven...* he thought, uneasily thinking of the embarrassment and ruination that being caught in *that* section would bring. He'd had an excuse to get out of that mess with Yuriko and no-one questioned his upset over Kase, blaming it on his overactive temper, but his luck was bound to run out sometime. Being single sucked in its own way; being single and an outcast wasn't really something he'd wanted to deal with. Just then, a thought occurred it him. If whomever it was reading a book in that aisle, they couldn't really spread rumors about *him,* and he had a chance of scoring a date.

Almost wishing he'd listened to Yohji's so-called "dating instructions" for once, the dark-haired boy snuck another glance around the shelf. His quarry looked young, with light brown hair, and was wearing a highly suspicious T-shirt. A vague feeling of unease tugged at the back of his mind, almost as if he were trying to remember something he'd forgotten... *Oh, well.*

Meanwhile, Omi read on, oblivious.

"Female friends (single)." There were certainly dozens of girls at the Koneko that were close enough to the right age. He himself had gone out with some of them, right? Check that one for suspicious. After all, a year shouldn't make that much difference. "Gym memberships/team sports." Omi frowned. It was hard to believe that so many people could be... Then again, perhaps that kind of devotion to a sport wasn't normal; he certainly didn't find them that interesting.

"Looks at girls' eyes." What else would one- oh. He wondered again at the book's accuracy; not *all* guys were perverts... well... he at least wasn't _that_ bad, and he didn't think his friends were, either... at least sometimes Yohji wasn't... but that wasn't why he was here. He skimmed over the rest of the list, thanking his lucky stars that country music, expensive designer clothes, and purses didn't enter into it. Nearing the end, he stood up and stretched, not entirely sure of his little mission's outcome. It was at that moment Ken started for a second time around the corner. Once again, he got a surprise, but instead of ducking out of sight, he just stood there. Busy flipping through his book, Omi failed to notice the other florist.

"Omi-kun?" Ken asked, incredulous. Of all people, the last he'd have expected to find in this particular part of the bookstore was the surprised seventeen-year-old in front of him.

"Ken-kun, what are you doing in the computer section?" the blue-eyed youth asked innocently.

"Computer section?"

"Hai..." Omi indicated a large blue sign over the shelves. "What else would it..." He shut up quickly as he noticed behind him a tactfully labeled shelf holding books that were anything but. Its sign said, "Alternative Lifestyles." Impossibly, his eyes widened further. "Anou..." In his shock, he let the book he'd been so carefully examining drop out of its extra cover to the floor. Ken pounced on it, lifting it by a pink, heart-covered corner.

"'Is he gay?'" the older man read, raising a suspicious eyebrow. "Looks like you have some explaining to do, Omi-kun." His worst fears realized, the smaller boy could only blush scarlet. "Computer section, ne?" Amused but also trying not to join Omi in his embarrassment, Ken began to flip through the pink book. It suddenly occurred to him that the other florist was being a little *too* quiet... he hadn't even protested. Looking back to his mortified coworker, Ken knew it. "Masaka..."

In a dangerously reckless move, he stepped forward, reached out, and kissed the petrified boy. For a second it almost worked, but then Ken's rather slow sense of... well, SENSE kicked in.

"Gomen ne..." he started, waiting on an angry and probably painful reaction. A strange but attractive grin spread over Omi's face.

"Looks like you have some explaining to do, Ken-kun."


Weird? That's too forgiving. I just had to get it out of my system... freedom in Books-A-Million's "darker side" doesn't help much, I'm afraid. Yes, there really is a book like Omi had; I cracked up reading it. It had "Japanimation" listed as a "sign that he's gay." Have they never heard of hentai or WHAT? My local B.A.M. has its aisles laid out like that, too- go from gay relationships to Windows for Dummies in no time flat! Odd. Oh, well... I hope ya liked it anyway! For saner or worse, review it! ^^; At least then you have a _chance_ to stop the madness.


Every last bit was done today, February 24, 2002