A Supernova's Aftermath - Chapter 5 - marjinalias - 推しの子 (2023)

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: First Day/Loyalty

"Where is he!?"

"…Arai Natsumi, Secretary of the Student Council"

"Arghhh…this is so embarrassing! He's missing this!? Of all the times to disappear, he's choosing the opening ceremony?"

"Fujita Maya, Vice President of the Student Council"

From the side of the main stage within Yoto High School's auditorium, Kana impatiently tapped her foot as the members of the Student Council were being introduced to the newest batch of high school students on stage.

While the audience were busy applauding their representatives for the coming school year, she was filled with frustration and rage due to one member of the Student Council failing to show up for his introduction. His absence would definitely not help in raising his stock in the eyes of the rest of the school when his reputation was already stunningly bad.

Dressed in the school's attire, she stayed backstage with a number of stage hands who quickly moved onstage to prepare a lectern for the opening speech. Meanwhile, her thoughts were dominated by Naoto no-showing a majority of the ceremony altogether.

"…Did he suddenly feel sick? Why didn't he show up?"

From her vantage point at the side, she scanned the crowd of students below for any signs of her classmate.

It was to no avail though as he was nowhere to be found. She did, however, managed to spot the Hoshino siblings, Aquamarine and Ruby, making a mental note to speak to them once the ceremony was done with.

"E-Eh? Wha-"

Suddenly, she noticed the front entrance of the auditorium opening steadily and a head peeping through.

She instantly recognized the brown-haired boy who sneakily slipped in amongst the sea of students, blending in seamlessly in an instant.

Enraged that Naoto had arrived so late on such an important day, Kana clenched her fists. Seeing him mingle with the other students without a care in the world made her seethe even more due to the simple fact that she had been worried for his sake and he didn't even seem bothered by his lateness.

"The nerve of that idiot! He's not even thinking about apologizing to his fellow Student Council members, is he?"

Wanting to give him a piece of her mind, she took a route at the side of the building, allowing her to secretly walk to the back of the audience without anyone noticing.

In just a matter of seconds, she found herself standing directly behind Naoto who was to be aware of her presence despite a small space being created between them by their schoolmates.

Fixing a glare on her face, she stared daggers at him, waiting for him to realize she was behind him.

Before long, he managed to turn around after sensing a foreboding presence.

A look of surprise would follow his goofy smile.

"Oh! Kana-chan…" he said in a casual tone as he recognized the face confronting him.


Kana nearly raised her voice before understanding that they were still in the middle of the entrance ceremony and that it would be unwise for her to attract unwanted attention when most of the students would want the event to go through without any hitches.

Still, she wanted to give him a piece of her mind.

With one hand, she grabbed hold of the sleeve of his blazer and forcibly tugged on it while she backed away in the direction of the half-opened entrance to the auditorium.


"Are you in trouble again?"

"What's going on?"

Kana tried to ignore their classmates wondering what was going on as she continued literally dragging him out of the auditorium.

"Pray for me" Naoto said jokingly before he was made to exit the hall.

The sun was beaming down upon the entire world, creating a beautiful and clear school day. The temperature was just perfect as the transition from the cold grasps of winter to the warm embrace of spring continued to proceed smoothly.

On the school grounds of Yoto High School, many weren't around to enjoy the comfortable rays of sunlight lighting up every part of the institution; the main reason being the entrance ceremony for the first year high school students taking place in the forenoon hours of the day.

Only a handful of individuals were outside, two of them being classmates, Arima Kana and Yamasaki Naoto.

Having isolated him from the rest of the students, Kana quickly moved onto questioning Naoto for his absence at the introductions.

"Yamasaki!" she yelled after letting go of him, "Where were you?"

An angry gaze was firmly locked on the boy.

"I…uh…" he slowly pointed at the auditorium, "I was inside there."

The glare on Kana's face intensified as she understood he was being stubbornly difficult once again.

"Why were you late?" she changed the question, "Why weren't you part of the Student Council introductions?"

Luckily, the boy didn't seem to be insistent upon dodging that inquiry.

"Oh! I forgot my tie" he pointed to the collar of his shirt.

Kana was caught off guard by his answer, not fully expecting something as trivial as that to be his reasoning.

It was a detail she had failed to notice earlier inside the auditorium but as he mentioned his lack of one crucial accessory, she could clearly see that he didn't have a red necktie around his collar which every other male student had.

Despite his somewhat coherent alibi, Kana wasn't about to let him off the hook easily.

"So what!? You can't go up on stage because of that? You need to apologize to the others!"

"Well, I had a good reason…I…err…actually…err…I wanted to look nice…"

"That's not important! I don't care if you're wearing a clown's costume! You should've been up there for the Student Council introductions!"

"Ah! I just couldn't risk not looking up to standard in front of all my lovely kouhais" he declared in an annoyingly casual way.

"Your way of thinking is absolutely atrocious, Yamasaki" she crossed her arms, fed up.

"I agree, Kana-chan" he winked, "I agree."

With that, Naoto prepared to walk back into the auditorium leaving Kana behind, his smile unwavering and obnoxious as always. The girl was taken aback by his sudden decision to return to the hall but she soon realized he was simply trying to avoid her.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she yelled before grabbing his shoulder to stop him, "And what's the point of heading back in there? They're about to wrap everything up, you know."

"Uhhh…I just wanted to get a closer look at our kouhais" he chuckled.

Kana facepalmed instantly.

"What? Are you trying to find "true love" on the first day!? What kind of idiot does that?"

Slowly, Naoto raised his hand.

"Put that down at once!" she shouted.

Hastily, removing his hand from view, Naoto let out a nervous chuckle.s

"I actually think I got a glimpse of that blonde girl I told you about" he revealed, "I was thinking about getting close to her but you yanked me outta there before I could…hehe…"

"Huh? What blonde girl?"

"You know…" he shrugged, "The one I told you about. The one I saw on the day of the interviews?"


Kana had to take a moment to quell her frustration over the current situation with Naoto to try and recall what exactly it was he had mentioned to her regarding someone from the first year high schoolers.

It wouldn't take long for her to remember who he was talking about.

"Ruby?" she raised an eyebrow.

"Eh? Is that her name?" Naoto narrowed his eyes at her and grinned, "How come you know her name?"

"Why does it matter?" she glared at him once again.

"Well…" he leaned close to her ear and nudged her, "You could always put a good word in for me…hehe…"

"Hmph! As if that'll ever happen!"

"Eh? Why not?"

"I already said your love life is your problem, not mine" she asserted.

A huge ovation could be heard echoing within the confines of the auditorium. Even though they were quite a distance away from the structure, they could feel the reverberations of the din inside rocking their bodies ever so slightly.

As the noise decreased in its intensity, it was replaced by the distinct sound of students moving around and their incoherent words mixed together into a familiar auditory amalgam. Kana could tell that the ceremony had reached its conclusion and in just a matter of seconds, the entrance to the auditorium would be opened, allowing for a flood of students to exit.

"Maybe I could borrow some sweet moves from that show you just did" Naoto grinned, "What if I pick up a few things of note from the character that was your love interest in "Sweet Today"? That'll work, right?"

"What!?" Kana exclaimed, "Are you purposely trying to embarrass me?"

"I wouldn't dream of it!" the boy hastily shook his head, "…by the way, are you doing another season of that?"

Although she was prepared to respond in her usual prickly way towards him, Kana found the question to be coming from a genuine place of curiosity. Lowering her tone a bit, she made the decision to speak to him in a normal voice.

"I'm not sure" she replied, "There's no talk about that yet."

"Oh…you're making it sound like it'll be a while for a second season to be made if it gets made" he chuckled, "But at least you can use the time in between to act in some other film or something, right? I mean, you were so good in that final episode. Surely, you've got directors and producers chasing after you."

"Uhh…I…I suppose so."

Kana wasn't exactly sure how she should answer his assumption that she had people clamouring for her to be a part of their productions.

Naoto wasn't nearly as well versed with the inner workings of the entertainment industry and he never understood the obstacles that stood in the way of landing even a tiny role in upcoming projects. To consistently have major roles in well-known productions, one needed to be a once-in-a-generation talent or have the necessary connections.

While she recognized her talents and had a couple of connections within the industry, she was slowly being overtaken for important roles by people who had a bit more of the necessary qualities than her. Her accolades as a child actress was longer enough to carry her to jobs she had her eyes on as with the advent of time, even those who lagged behind in their pre-teens had begun effectively competing with her.

And since she had never mentioned how difficult it was to nail down work in recent times, Naoto had a disillusioned image of her still being an A-lister resulting in him holding a firm belief that she'd be on screen before long, playing a major role in a film or in a TV series again.

She knew a problem would arise before long if she continued not having the heart to reveal the truth of her situation to him.

But she couldn't do that.

His blind admiration for her as a performer meant too much to risk revealing the truth.

"Whatever you're doing next, I'm sure you'll slay it!"

The boy's confident statement released her from her train of thought.

Kana maintained a subtle smile, choosing to appreciate the unconditional support he gave her instead of focusing on her decision to withhold the unsteady path her career was taking.

"Thank you for that, Yamasaki-san" she replied.

"Man! I wish I was an actor or a singer or a star or something" he laughed.

The doors to the auditorium were finally opened and Kana instantly noted the innumerable number of students pouring out from the exit as the ceremony held inside was formally concluded.

Quickly, she hid the smile on her face with an annoyed expression, trying to maintain the dynamic that everyone thought she had with Naoto. She simply could not allow anyone to assume that she was on friendly terms with him as that might lead him to be picked on by less tolerant classmates.

"That way I'd catch the eye of the ladies even more" he added.

Kana was close to letting out a giggle but she kept her emotions in check and instead, glared at the boy.

"Do something about your tie first, Yamasaki" she said in a commanding voice, "Find a spare one at least."

"Okay! I'll head over to our classroom" he nodded, "I'll see you later, Kana-chan~"

Before she could scold him for intentionally saying her name in a cutesy way to annoy her, Naoto ran off and joined the crowd of students spilling out from the auditorium. There was no trace of him in just a couple of seconds and Kana was left alone as her fellow students began walking past her without interacting with her.

It was becoming a habit for Naoto to end their conversations in that way. She necessarily didn't hate it but she was slightly afraid that others might notice their interaction and take offence in her stead, and since she was already certain her classmates would have no problem rallying against a "normal" high school student like him, there was no telling what they'd do.

Even his status as part of the Student Council wouldn't be able to save him if that situation ever came to life.

As she began to see a couple of unfamiliar, newer faces heading to different parts of the school, she dispelled those thoughts of concern immediately.

She had found that one way of getting rid of the underlying discrimination against those uninvolved with the entertainment industry was to make sure the freshmen weren't fed the narrative they had been exposed to in the previous years.

That would entail speaking to her kouhais and making sure that the institution was not a haven for talented and famous people, but instead, it was just a normal school where talented and famous people happened to go to.

"Is that them?..."

In the distance, Kana's eyes spotted two kouhais she was already familiar with.

As space opened up between her and the duo, she could easily make out their appearances and without a shadow of a doubt, their identities were crystal clear in her mind.

"Heh…well, time to be a good senpai to those two!"

Making sure that she was satisfied with her own appearance, Kana prepared to step forward to act as a guide to the Hoshino twins.

"S-So cool!"

"I-Is he part of the mafia?"

"He's scary…"

Those murmurs from behind her would stop her right before she could move from her spot.

Puzzled and curious, Kana too turned around and found the students around her glancing over to one direction; surprise, confusion and shock being the major expressions showed amongst a myriad of other reactions.

"What're they looking at?"

Wanting to find out the cause for such a commotion, she glanced over in the same direction where everyone else was staring, expecting to discover that they were all just gawking at a new student. What her eyes witnessed would be a person she had not expected to see again so soon.

"G-Gah! I-It's him!?"

With a leather jacket and messy silver-colored hair, the person in question was walking with his hands in his pockets, his disinterested gaze fixated right at her. A chain with a cross was visible on top of his chest, moving with every step he took towards her.

The sea of students seemed to part as they looked at the stranger incredulously. There was a palpable air of coolness around his every action and a number of girls were already fawning over how laidback his demeanour was. No one had any clue as to who the young man was nor did they know of his purpose for being there.

Kana, however, was aware of one thing.

"…T-That's Naoto's brother, isn't it?"

Although the last time she saw her classmate's older brother, he was dressed like a try-hard cosplayer, she had to admit that his appearance right at that moment seemed genuine and while she wasn't sure what he was like, she could already tell he was nothing like Naoto.

Lost in a brief moment of thinking, Kana failed to realize that Naoto's brother was heading straight for her.

By the time she noticed the direction he was going in, it was too late for her to move out of the way.

"A-Ah! H-He's coming my way? W-Why is he looking at me?...Oh no…I…I don't remember his name…What was his name again?"

The young man would predictably stop his stride as he was within talking distance. Kana's heart was pounding against her chest erratically as it was clear that everyone around them was watching him and her. Sweat began to form on her brow as she struggled to stay composed.


Kana made an attempt to speak but her voice was too shaky from the anxiety to form a single sentence.

The stoic look on the young man's face would morph into a passive smile as he narrowed his eyes at her, his orange-tinted eyes glinting all the while.

"You're Nao-kun's classmate, right?" he asked in a low and calm voice, "I saw you last week with him. You're his classmate, correct?"

That was a confirmation that she didn't necessarily need but it also brought with it realization that he had a hunch she was a friend of his brother. While she had thought that he hadn't noticed her when he waited for Naoto the other day, it was clear that he had, indeed, presumed her to be a classmate of his.

"Y-Yes…I am" she replied.


He nodded and then glanced at the nearest group of students who were watching the interaction closely.

In an instant, they all backed away, clearly intimidated by the commanding aura he seemed to possess. Amongst the well-dressed bunch of handsome boys and beautiful girls, Naoto's older brother stood out with his mysterious gaze as well as with his thuggish appearance.

Steadily, he turned his attention back to Kana who wasn't sure whether or not she should speak to him like he was a relative of her classmate or as someone seemingly out to cause trouble.

Before she could make the decision to speak or run away, he asked her a question again.

"Do you know where he is?"

The poor girl wasn't able to answer instantly. Instead, she was briefly wrecked by a bout of nervousness and panic as thoughts of accidentally displeasing the daunting person raced in her mind.

"H-He looks like he could destroy me if I-I make a mistake! I-I don't remember him being this scary the last time I saw him…"

His cold and lax gaze was still on her while Kana tried to muster the courage to answer him in a way that wouldn't earn her his wrath.

Thankfully, she had a chance to escape such a fate since she was more than aware of where Naoto was, owing to the boy having the wherewithal to inform her of where he would be at the present moment.

"H-He's in our classroom" she managed to answer without slipping up.

Quickly, she pointed towards the building within the school grounds where the second year students enrolled under the Performing Arts Program had their classes.

After replying, she held her breath, watching his eyes follow the direction she pointed at.

Following a couple of tense seconds, he nodded his head once more.

"Thank you."

And with that, the older Yamasaki sibling confidently strolled in the direction of the building in question. The sounds of his footsteps were clear and emphatic, more or less due to the stunned silence and quiet anxiety that had gripped the crowd of students around him.

He didn't even need to ask them to give him way as no one dared to stand in his path. A clear route was created for him and with his hands in his pockets and his eyes focused upon the short walk to his destination, Naoto's older brother left the immediate area near Kana, allowing her and several other students a chance to catch their breaths once more.

"Phew…he's actually going away…"

"Wow! He's so cool! I bet he's actually part of the yakuza or some criminal organization!"

"I-I almost fainted when he looked my way! I thought he was about to kill me!"

"Who let someone that suspicious into our school?"

"I think I just saw someone with a personality I can copy…hehe…"

"Wha-…what are they talking about?"

Kana was confused by titbits of the chatter she was hearing around her.

While like her, many were still flabbergasted and a bit scared by the person's sudden appearance and the menacing sensation he had with him, the girl could not believe that some of her fellow students were actually staring at him with admiration…with some even admitting that they'd emulate his behaviour.

"…are they crazy?"she thought before she recalled an important detail.

Curling her hand into a fist and closing her eyes, she shook her head, unable to accept that she had made a huge blunder by not remembering the name of Naoto's older brother earlier.

"Yamasaki Takuma…that's your full name, isn't it?" she mumbled quietly to herself.

Once again, she let out a short breath to compose herself.

"I suppose I can't say I'll ever forget you…"she watched as Takuma entered the building on his way, "Between him and Naoto…their family seems like a weird bunch…"

As the word "family" formed in her head, she recalled something else rather important.

In an instant, she scanned her surroundings, trying to make sure she hadn't lost sight of her main targets. It would definitely prove to be quite bothersome if she had to spend a significant amount of her precious time searching for them again, all because she had an abrupt confrontation with someone she had never thought she'd be meeting face to face.

Unfortunately, she couldn't locate them from her current spot.

Putting a hand to her face and pouting a bit, she let out a tired sigh.

"Where did Aqua and Ruby head off to?"

Over twelve hours later

Most of the rooms within the Yamasaki household had their lights turned off as the clock struck fifteen minutes past midnight. The residential area where the family lived was quite still and serene once midnight rolled around and being on the outskirts of the city certainly helped in giving off the illusion of a ghost town, owing to the lack of pedestrians and vehicles on the streets at that hour.

Within the walls of the particular residence where three brothers and a mother lived, the living room on the bottom floor was still illuminated with a fluorescent glow. Through the curtained windows, the silhouette of a mother and son sitting opposite to each other could be seen.

Both Naoto and Takuma were sleeping soundly in their respective bedrooms and were completely unaware of the late night meeting between their mother and her oldest son, Shou.

Putting his hands to his head, the young man stayed silent, his mind on a number of things as the ticking of the wall clock resonated through the room. All of the things he had learned from his mother in their discreet conversation had required ample time to process properly.

Just across the room, Yukiyo sat with a smile on her face, her hands on her laps as she finished relaying the intricate relationship their family had with Hoshino Ai, something she had withheld from her children all through their lives.

She patiently waited, looking at her son as he was overwhelmed by what was told to him.

Finally, Shou found his voice.

Lifting his head to face his mother, he asked in a low voice.

"So…Nao-kun and Tak-kun can't know about this?"

"They don't need to" Yukiyo replied, "At least, not yet."

After a couple of seconds of silence, Shou nodded.

"You're right…" he sighed, "I…I can't believe that you and dad had done all this…for them…"

He shook his head and stared at the light in the ceiling.

"They really had a messed up relationship, huh?"

"That's the bane of being young" his mother said in a solemn tone, "You often make bad decisions and that-"

"Mom…" Shou interrupted her.

Puzzled, Yukiyo stared at her son intently.

"Don't say it like that" he said, "You're making it sound like Ruby and Aqua shouldn't even exist."

"Oh… " she smiled, "Well, please excuse my poor choice of words."

Clearing her throat for a second, the woman continued.

"But despite all the wrong choices they made, it's important to remember that they were just kids at the time. And it's never fair to hold their lack of hindsight against either one of them."

"I agree with that…" Shou nodded.

"As for what he did to her later…"

"Have you spoken to him regarding her death?" he quickly asked.

Yukiyo shook her head.

"It was never the right thing to do but I understand how he would've felt at the time…" she replied, "With her telling him that she had a new address and inadvertently reminding him of the past, I understand why he did what he did."

"It's still messed up though" Shou argued, "Mom, is it really okay to keep this to ourselves and not use this somehow to get the police to reopen the case?" his voice got louder, "How would Ruby and Aqua feel about this if they knew we never revealed this to them? They're their children for God's sake!"

Instead of answering immediately, Yukiyo put her hand up slowly. The man realized that he was close to shouting and quickly dissolved his bubbling frustration.

"For the sake of the relationship your father and I had with Ai and him, do not disclose this information to anyone" she said in a calm but firm voice, "She's gone…and I can't afford to have him suffer the same fate."

Shou would keep his cool but the glance he gave to his mother was sharp.

"Let me guess…it's because he was like a son to you?"

"Perhaps that may be the reason" Yukiyo answered without any hesitation, "I cannot let death take him too."

Seeing the conviction in his mother's eyes, Shou let out another heavy sigh and leaned back on his chair.

"I understand your concern for him" he said, "But…one day, I think the truth will come out. It might not be from me but all will be revealed. You know that, don't you?"

Yukiyo stayed silent but she gave a slight nod.

"So…" Shou stood up from his seat, "…if in the future, either one of the twins approached me and asked me about their father…I'm afraid I won't be able to keep my mouth shut. After all the crap surrounding them throughout their lives, they deserve my help at the very least."

"I won't stop you, Shou. But I will never go against him."

Closing his eyes, he breathed in and out.

Despite his best attempts to find a sure, guilt-free solution for the problem he was presented with, Shou instead was faced with a miserable dilemma that had made his budding relationship with Aqua and Ruby much more complicated.

He already knew his mother wouldn't budge on her stance and while he respected her reasons for doing so, he found himself unable to be loyal to her regarding that particular matter.

Slowly, he opened his eyes and faced his mother one final time for the night.

Shelving everything they had discussed and shifting into his normal, cheery self, he gave her a smile.

"It's fine…" he told her, "Good night, mom."

Returning the smile, Yukiyo watched him ascend up the stairs.

"Good night, Shou-kun."

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