“Mr. Tanaka, if you would please follow the music?” Dr. Stevens called out across the mass of musicians as he motioned for everyone to pause in what they were playing. A little song had come from the saxophone section, and that lovely little sound had come from one of the students sitting there.
There were many snickers as Kaito Tanaka, Kai to most people, gave a charmingly sheepish grin in response. He couldn’t help it. When he got into the music, he had to make it better.
“Sorry, Dr. Stevens,” he replied, not even bothering to say he wouldn’t do it again - they all knew he would. No one really minded, though.
Sure it threw a few people off, but he did that even when he wasn’t playing his own thing. He just had one of those talents. One of the flutists noticed the time and brought it to Dr. Stevens’s attention. Giving a sigh, he dismissed them.
Shaking his head, he watched as Kai politely listened to those who swarmed around him as he put the saxophone away. It was one of the school's saxophones, but why he needed to borrow an instrument, Dr. Stevens had no idea. The college freshman had more skill than anyone he had ever seen before. He should have had his own sax, and a professional one at that.
In the meantime, Kai had to rush to get to work on time. Today he was supposed to clean all the bathrooms in the science building. That would take a couple hours, especially if any serious labs had happened. Some students simply couldn’t stomach the results of science.
Plugging in his earbuds, he began his usual rounds, glad to finally be away from all those people.
Just shut up already. Ash rolled his eyes, ignoring his friends talking yet again about the onyx-haired musician who had somehow managed to catch up to himself in academics. Not only were they now battling for top student, but his quiet mannerisms and mysterious past seemed to entice everyone into becoming his best friend.
Ash wasn’t fooled, though. There was something off about the new guy. He just hadn’t figured out what.
In the meantime, Ash carefully made sure that everything was as it should be with his experiment. His lab partner hadn’t shown up today, but that was no matter. He would have found the classmate more of a nuisance than a help; they always were. No one was able to do things the right way.
Calling the supervisor over, Ash proved the experiment went according to plan before getting the approval to clean up and leave. That was when his supposed ‘partner’ decided to show up. After talking to the professor for a moment, he wandered over.
“Sorry, I lost track of time,” he grinned at him as if he expected Ash to have waited for him, “So, what are we doing?”
“I’m cleaning up. You can talk to the professor about missing the entire experiment,” Ash retorted before completely ignoring his peer to finish cleaning the work space. Once done, he grabbed his backpack and left, brushing aside the looks of complete and utter betrayal.
He needed to refill his water bottle, so he headed towards the bathrooms. There was a water filtration system hooked up to the water fountains between the male and female restrooms. It may not have been as good as purified bottled water, but it was definitely better than the tap.
He stepped up to the fountain before noticing the janitorial cart blocking access to the female side of the restrooms. Poor soul, he thought as the water began to spill into the container, I pity whoever has to spend their time cleaning toilets all day.
He turned back to the spout and pulled it away as it reached the top. He was going to take a step back when he heard a couple of girls approaching. They looked at the cart as if it were an alien object.
“Ugh. Why can’t the bathrooms be cleaned after the building is closed? I don’t have time to go somewhere else.”
“I know, right?”
Ash rolled his eyes as he recognized them as daughters of some of the richest businessmen in the city. The second continued on, totally disregarding his presence since he didn’t bother to interject. Let them gossip all they wanted. That wouldn’t change the situation.
“My father would never stand for his daughter to have to wait to use the restroom just because some low-life janitor has to clean the toilettes now. I mean, come on! Are they really that eager to clean up others’ shit?”
“I bet that new hotty wouldn’t stand for this. After all, he has to be from a wealthy family. Where else could someone like him come from?”
“Mind if I get through? Wouldn’t want to be in your way any longer. Besides, there’s no more shit in there for me to clean.” Ash nearly choked on his laughter as the girls looked up to see the “new hotty” in a janitor’s coveralls, obviously trying to continue on with his job.
They turned beat red and their jaws seesawed between words and no words, though nothing ever came out. They jumped out of the way when he started to push the cart forward.
They watched as he disappeared down the halls towards the next set of restrooms. The entire time Ash struggled to keep from bursting into hysterics. That man had some balls, and he knew how to work people.
Even if he didn’t come from a wealthy family, which Ash suspected and his current doings seemed to suggest, he certainly would be able to fit in with the snooty ‘know-it-alls’. He probably wouldn’t be terrible at one of the parties. Not once had he cracked anything more than a slight mocking upturn of his lips.
Maybe he wasn’t such a troublesome person, after all. Plus, he would likely be a better choice than one of the empty-headed girls Ash was usually forced to invite.