Fandom: Shinesman (manga)
Time: no idea, since I wrote this at work and kept getting distracted
Disclaimer: Shinesman is copyright Tachibana Kaimu.
Notes: Takes place early in the manga, with no spoilers as long as you know what Shinesman is. I know Japan doesn't have an April Fool's Day, but for the sake of this fic let's pretend it does. Comments/crit gladly welcomed.
Sasaki knew this was going to be a horrible day the instant he woke up.
His radio alarm had been going off for at least ten minutes, and after a sleepy moment of listening he bolted upright in bed.
“Run for your lives!” the radio announcer screamed. “We’re under attack from giant ants! The mandibles – they’re coming for me – noooooo!”
Sasaki clutched his moon-and-star print pajamas. The Earth was under attack by other aliens?! He listened in horror to the sounds of screaming and chewing coming from the radio. His eyes grew wide, his forehead damp with sweat.
Slowly, cautiously, he crept out of bed and snuck to the window. His heart pounded in his chest. His hands shaking, he drew back the curtains on his bedroom window.
Outside Tokyo peaceably went about its business. Men and women in business suits briskly walked down the street; teenagers in their uniforms chased one another to school. Gritting his teeth, Sasaki whirled back to face the radio.
“What’s the idea of playing a trick like that?! There’s no ants! Only I’m conquering the Earth! Me! Get that through your heads, you stupid humans!”
The radio announcer just chuckled. “It’s no 'War of the Worlds,' but we hope this helped wake some of you up. Have a happy April Fool’s Day!”
Sasaki scowled. What the hell was April Fool’s Day? Hmph. It didn’t matter. Once he took over the Earth, he’d have that radio station playing children’s programs. Backwards. Satisfied with that, he went to dress for work.
He arrived at Science Electronics, surly as usual, his tie askew and knotted haphazardly. Seki waved at him from his desk, then clucked and rose to meet him halfway.
“One of these days I hope you’ll learn to tie your necktie properly,” he said.
Sasaki grunted. “Stupid human customs. We don’t have torture anywhere near this bad on Voice. That’s what these things are, you know. Torture devices.”
Seki nodded and smiled, obviously humoring his prince. He drew the knot of Sasaki’s purple tie up to his collar. “There,” he said, smoothing it down. “Oh, but wait, what’s this--?”
Sasaki looked down to see what Seki was pointing to. His jaw dropped in horror. Spreading over his tie was a giant blue ink stain.
“Where did that come from?! What did you do, Seki? Ahh! I’ll look like an idiot if I wear this all day.” Frantically he tugged at the knot, but Seki had tied it too well, and he couldn’t get it off.
Smiling, completely unconcerned, Seki pointed to the hallway. “You better run to the bathroom and try to wash it off,” he said.
Muttering angrily about unhelpful servants, Sasaki stormed away.
The lunch hour found Sasaki sitting in a park, alone, swearing under his breath at the cloudy sky. His shirt was still damp from his frenzied splashing in the bathroom – which had turned out to be the women’s restroom, since someone thought it was cute to change the signs on the doors – and the stupid sun wasn’t out which meant his stupid tie was damp and his stupid shirt was drying wrinkled. At least the ink stain was gone. After scrubbing the tie and soaking himself, to no avail, the blot mysteriously disappeared. When he confronted Seki on it, wondering if this was his idea of how to test a new weapon or something, Seki had only laughed, said “Happy April Fool’s Day,” and walked away. An hour later he’d found a bottle of something labeled “Disappearing Ink” on Seki’s desk. After flinging it down, it splashed up and all over his pants. Another round of futile washing meant he’d had to endure remarks about “losing control” all the long morning.
This day couldn’t possibly get any worse.
“Sasaki-san?” a horribly familiar voice asked behind him. “Why are you all… wet?”
Matsumoto rounded the park bench Sasaki sat on, and the prince slouched down further, trying to hide his miserable state. It wasn't fair; he was royalty. But Matsumoto was dressed better than he, cheerful red tie perfectly knotted, his blue suit looking freshly pressed. Mentally he turned his swearing from the sky to the cheerful salaryman in front of him. “I decided to go swimming,” he said, “in all my clothes.”
Matsumoto nodded, making an ‘aah’ noise of comprehension. Sasaki frowned. That made sense to him?
Then Matsumoto said those three little words Sasaki just loved to hear. “April Fool’s Day?”
He jumped up from his park bench and stalked over to Matsumoto. Ignoring the other man’s protests and the curious stares of passers-by, he dragged him further into the park.
Under the shadow of an elm tree Sasaki released his grip on Matsumoto’s elbow. “You,” he said, pointing his finger like it was a weapon, “are going to explain all this April Fool’s Day nonsense.”
Matsumoto stared at him. “You mean… you don’t know?”
Sasaki swore under his breath, realizing he’d almost given himself away. It was all right, though. Matsumoto was a simple guy. Gullible, too. He'd just make something up.
“That’s right,” he responded. “Never heard of it before. I always, uh, visit my cousins. In the countryside. So I’ve never heard of it.”
Matsumoto smiled, that disgustingly cheerful smile Sasaki hated precisely because he actually liked it. He wasn’t supposed to like the humans.
“Well, you see,” Matsumoto began, “when a man and a woman love each other very much—”
Sasaki felt his face grow way too warm, and it only got worse when Matsumoto started laughing. “Fine,” he huffed, rubbing his cheeks to hide the blush, “Forget it. I’ll ask someone else.”
Matsumoto recovered enough from his fit of laughing to wave Sasaki back. “No, no, I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. See, everyone always pranks me. It was kinda nice being able to do it to someone else.”
“Oh, so that’s what this holiday is all about? Fooling people? Tricking them? Making them feel like morons?”
At the venom in Sasaki’s voice Matsumoto sobered. “It’s not meant like that, Sasaki-san. It’s just a chance to have fun.”
“It’s a stupid way to do it.”
Matsumoto sighed. “I don’t think--well, see, winter just ended right? And everyone's relieved because the sun is out, and flowers are blooming, and you don’t have to be so serious all the time. I think that’s what it’s about. Celebrating that, and giving people a chance to let loose.” On cue the clouds broke apart, warm spring sunshine flooding over them. Sasaki groaned at the cheesiness of it all. This really was his worst day ever.
“You should give it a try,” Matsumoto finished. “Here, I’ll give you this.” He opened his briefcase and dug through it, before handing Sasaki a pink rubber thing.
He held it arm’s length away. “A… whoopee cushion?” he asked, reading the text on it.
“Yep. You blow it up like a balloon, then when someone sits on it…” He gestured around his hips. "It makes an embarrassing noise."
“Really now?” Sasaki said, a small, wicked smile, tugging at the corners of his mouth. “And you’ll let me borrow this?”
“Sure! Just, uh, don’t use it on me, okay?” Matsumoto scratched the back of his head, his laugh nervous.
“No, I have a much better target,” Sasaki said. “Thanks,” he added after a moment.
Matsumoto looked at his watch. “No problem. I’ve gotta get back to work, so you can just return it next time we see each other.”
Sasaki nodded, accepting the fact that they would meet again with aplomb. He’d… he’d gotten used to Matsumoto.
Stupid humans and their stupid holidays, he thought, but without rancor. Grinning evilly, he headed back to his office building.
“Oh, Sekitooooo!” he called.
It was time for revenge.