pairing: [Kusao!verse] Koyama/Yabuko
warnings: There are a lot of problematic elements here due to the main couple having a 5.5 year age difference and dating while still in school, so please read with discretion!
word count: 2,060
author's note: I realized Koyama and Yabuko haven't really had a big part in the past two Kusao fics I've written, so I decided to write a little something about their backstory. Written for shiritori @ writetomyheart!
summary: Koyama felt like everything in his life that had been boring and mediocre was somehow replaced with the most beautiful, glorious day to day experience that he could ever imagine.
The excitement as he nods is overwhelming, but Koyama tries his hardest to keep a straight face and not burst into tears quite yet. It feels as if this is the most important moment of his life, but despite the fact that the morning and the weeks leading up to right now seem to have gone by in a flash, currently, time seems to have almost stopped, as if each breath he takes is a thousand years and each word spoken to him is an eternity of its own, and when he blinks (no matter how much doesn't want to close his eyes, no matter how much he doesn't want to miss a second of this), it feels as if he can see a slideshow of his life playing before his eyes.
He remembers it like it was yesterday, despite the fact that in reality, everything had started more than ten years ago, when he had been in sixth grade in elementary school and had seen a little girl getting picked on on the playground. He can't help but smile at the memory of what felt at the time like the most important and heroic accomplishment of his life, when he'd chased off the bullies and wiped away Yabuko's tears and spent the rest of recess cheering her up, and even though he knew that Yabuko didn't remember it anymore (a fact which he had learned, much to his chagrin, a few years later, when he'd come back to the elementary school as a junior high school student doing a workplace experience project and she hadn't remembered him even in the slightest), it still feels a little bit momentous, as ridiculous as that may be to his adult self. Because that day, Yabuko had given him something more important than just ten minutes of her (not exactly busy, considering she had only been six years old) time, she had given him the sense that he meant something to someone, that he was really capable of making a difference, which, at the time, in the midst of his parents' divorce, had meant a lot.
And so, in his twelve-year-old naïveté and earnestness, he'd decided that he'd watch over her and protect her, as if he were some character in a manga rather than an extremely average pre-teen without any particularly impressive or outstanding skills, and even though she hadn't known it at the time, just the thought that maybe one day he'd be able to help her again got him through his rough junior high school years and the first few years of high school, as well. As Koyama continued on his straight path of mediocrity, Yabuko had blossomed into a social butterfly, the star of the elementary school's chorus club with the voice of an angel and about as many friends and admirers as a celebrity, and even though he wasn't a part of her life even in the slightest, Koyama was happy just knowing how wonderful her life was. It hadn't felt like a romantic attachment at the time, and Koyama thinks, even now, knowing that they'd end up together, looking back, the admiration he felt for her at the time was simpler, more innocent, and the memory feels warm inside his chest.
But then Yabuko had started junior high as Koyama was gearing up for his last year of high school, and that's when things had gone flying off the unexciting but steady track they'd been on until now. Returning to the main school building after P.E. one day, Koyama had discovered the high school gym teacher spying on the junior high school school girls' changing room and had frozen in horror, just out of sight. He'd known he had to do something, but in the midst of his panic and indecision as to just what he should do in the face of a senior teacher who he knew had a lot of sway over the entire high school faculty, he saw a group of girls leaving the dressing room, and his horror was doubled when it was none other than Yabuko and her classmates who were the unknowing victims of the teacher's disgusting behavior.
He'd felt like insides were turned to ice and then shattered into a million pieces for the rest of the day, and all he had been able to think about was how Yabuko was being violated, being victimized by this horrible man who was supposed to be a teacher for god's sake, and perhaps the fact that Yabuko's involvement made the stakes feel so much higher is what led to his making the rash and poorly-thought-out decision to approach the gym teacher himself after school. He hadn't known what he expected to happen, riding high on adrenaline, but he definitely had not been prepared for the whirlwind of systematic problems he was thrown into for the following few weeks. When the dust had settled, enough suspicion had been aroused about the teacher's behavior that he'd been put under probation especially when the junior high school school girls had P.E., but in retaliation, the teacher had used his position of power to make sure that Koyama wouldn't be able to graduate high school with the rest of his class, resulting in him having to redo his third year while all his classmates went on to college.
But while it had felt like an almost insurmountable setback, knowing that Yabuko and all of her friends were safe again was more than worth it, and so despite receiving the snickers and disdain of his new classmates, Koyama set out more determined than ever to keep going… and besides, on the bright side, this meant one more year that he could watch over Yabuko and protect her from potential threats, if nothing else.
But somehow, that extra year had turned out to be a blessing rather than a curse, had turned into the best year of his life when, through some odd luck, he'd become friends with Kusao, a social outcast who had no other friends, just like Koyama. At first, Koyama hadn't understood Kusao, in all of his annoying chattering and lack of any social awareness whatsoever, but he'd learned to see that underneath the exterior deficiencies, which were, Koyama found out, the product of a rough upbringing, Kusao was a warm, caring, and loyal best friend, and on top of it all, it was thanks to Kusao's ridiculous scheme to broadcast Koyama's crush through the school newspaper that Koyama ended up dating Yabuko in the autumn of his second-third year of high school.
And things had only gotten better from there; though at that point, he hadn't known much about Yabuko past her many accomplishments and her reputation as a popular, social, friendly person, as their relationship got more serious, he learned more about her personality and her feelings and grew out of his childhood crush and into more mature feelings of love and attraction. Things had been a little bumpy with miscommunications and misunderstandings in the first few months, but when, in March, Yabuko had cut class and invited herself to Koyama's graduation ceremony completely on her own initiative, Koyama knew that their feelings for one another were the only thing that mattered. Yabuko was still only going into her third year of junior high when Koyama finally graduated from high school, and so Koyama knew not to push her boundaries and understood that she still had a lot of growing and changing to do, but even just the chance to help her study for her exams and take her out for coffee and snacks after school was more than enough to make Koyama happy. And then somehow, Kusao had managed to start dating the girl he liked, as well (and no one can ever make Koyama believe that miracles don't exist, truly), and then they'd been able to go on double dates and to the movies and to karaoke, and Koyama felt like everything in his life that had been boring and mediocre was somehow replaced with the most beautiful, glorious day to day experience that he could ever imagine.
Time went by in a blur of happy memories; Koyama had continued with his studies and Yabuko had graduated junior high and moved up to high school, but despite their increased loads of homework and assignments, they continued to make time for one another, as well. Koyama's mother and sister hadn't been too thrilled by the fact that he was dating a junior high school student when he himself was in college, but as time went on, they seemed to ease up a little, if not with understanding, then at least with the knowledge that Koyama clearly cared about Yabuko with all his heart. Yabuko's family, on the other hand, had always been welcoming of Koyama, and so it was with excitement rather than fear that, five years after they had started dating and a few months before Yabuko graduated high school, that they informed their parents that they were planning on getting married sometime in the following year.
And so now here they are, standing at the altar in the little wedding chapel in the suburbs of Tokyo that Koyama had chosen and Yabuko had approved, and Koyama hardly believes that this is reality. Part of him thinks that he's going to wake up and still be the same boring high schooler repeating his third year of high school that he was five years ago, but no matter how many times he's pinched himself (and been pinched by Kusao, who doesn't seem to understand reasoning behind the pinching but enjoys taking Koyama up on his requests to be pinched nonetheless), he doesn't seem to be in a dream, no matter how how dreamlike his surroundings may be. Beside him, Yabuko grins radiantly in her white gown and veil, and Koyama recognizes the lopsided smile as the face she makes when she's so happy that she can't contain the feelings inside her and they sneak out into her expression, which, in his opinion, is more beautiful than all the wedding adornments in the world, though he can't deny the fact that his jaw did drop when she first showed off her dress and hair and makeup to him earlier that day.
"Do you, Koyama Keiichiro, take this woman, Yabu Yabuko, to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in heath, for richer or poorer…" the minister is saying, and Koyama can't help but look back on the past five years, which simultaneously feel like they went by in the blink of an eye and also as if they were a lifetime ago, and he nods, because set words of a set ceremony as they may be, he can't help but feel as if the meaning of each clause is already engraved in his heart.
Because after this, they'll go to their reception, where Kusao will be the MC and undoubtedly cry and screw up his speech about a hundred times, and they'll dance, and eat, and talk to all of their relatives, and watch a cheesy slideshow of their relationship that they'd put together with a little help from their friends, and then they'll go home to the little apartment they've just leased together in Akabane, and then they'll pack up and go on their honeymoon to Hawaii for a week before Koyama comes back to the job he'd landed out of college working for a major news program and Yabuko comes back to setting up and decorating their apartment in her own messy but endearing way, and then they'll start their new life together, no matter what life throws at them, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer… it doesn't matter, Koyama thinks, as long as they're together.
And he's sure that it'll all feel like it goes by in the blink of an eye, just like everything up until now, but as the minister finishes, "…as long as you both shall live?" he knows that he's looking forward to savoring every moment.
And so, excitement bubbling inside of him so intensely that he can't help but grin just a little as he takes Yabuko's hand in his own, he nods and says, "I do."