During the period Mahiru was being the waitress, what worried Amane most was not her captivating looks.
Neither was it when people would harass her for her beauty and try to converse.
The most worrying was when someone would try to impose one of Man’s three great desires upon her.
It happened at noon, ten minutes before their shift ended.
A male customer had been eyeing the female workers the moment he entered. It was not uncommon as there were pretty girls serving them.
However, Amane saw that the customer was sizing them up, and had a feeling that he had to keep an eye out.
He served the dish, took the tray, and was about to head for the counter…when the customer reached out for Mahiru.
Mahiru had just served the man some food, and turned back. It happened right at that moment, and of course, she could not see what went on behind him.
The customer reached for the waist beneath the skirt, no, the buttocks. Amane took a step forward.
Amane had been nearby, and the customer was slow, which was why Amane had a chance to reach out.
“Dear customer, please do not casually touch our staff.”
He slid the tray between Mahiru and the customer’s hand, before the latter could touch, and reminded with a calm expression.
Calm as he might appear, it was the opposite within. He was a little miffed that his cute girlfriend was being wooed, and he was further incensed about this act of sexual harassment.
Mahiru turned around once she heard that. She determined what the customer intended to do as the tray blocked the hand, and her cheeks shuddered as she took a step back.
Amane strafed to protect Mahiru, and did his best to show a tender smile.
The shop quietened down unwittingly. Amane sensed the stares upon him, but he was so furious, he did not care.
At the same time, he remained calm.
The customer failed in his attempt, and could possibly excuse himself.
The surrounding customers might have noticed so, for they were staring at the hand. The customer however did not do anything, and Amane could only let it be if he said it was a coincidence.
The customer did not commit the cardinal sin of touching Mahiru, but Amane noticed something the former could not absolve himself of.
“Dear customer, may I know where your entrance permit is?”
The sudden change of topic caused the man to widen his eyes.
“And also…how did you enter? You are not wearing the band indicating your entrance permit.”
All visitors entering this school had to wear a band indicating that they were allowed into the school. It was a one time use, but was extremely sturdy.
There were dangerous cases and thefts in recent years. Thus, the students needed to wear a band indicating their names on their necks during this cultural festival, colors differing by year. Ordinary visitors had to wear a band.
The school imposed restricted access to certain areas, a measure to prevent visitors from entering.
U-uh, it caught water, and broke, the man was speechless once this was pointed out, and Amane chuckled.
“How strange. The band is waterproof since there is a likelihood of sweat. The pamphlet did mention that if you lost your band, you may register at the main office. Which student from which class requested for your permit? You should be able to answer so, no?”
Amane stopped smiling, and turned towards the staff that was observing.
“Sorry, may someone please call for the student council or a teacher? I don’t think it’s good to have an unwelcomed outsider loitering around.”
“Already done. Our patrolling homeroom teacher is coming here.”
Amane heaved a sigh of relief as Kadowaki had quickly responded and acted swiftly. He shrugged, sorted his attitude, and turned to smile at the man who failed to molest.
Naturally, Amane knew that his eyes were not smiling.
“Dear customer, the issue at hand is not the act, but the matter of an outsider entering without permit. Apologies, but the people at the main office shall question you.”
Amane calmly narrated what would happen to this man, and the homeroom teacher arrived, and went to the man. Amane pulled Mahiru back by the arm, and sighed.
The pervert’s failed attempt might be reported too, and he probably would be expulled. It was amazing that he did not know why a permit had to be requested.
There would be records of which student invited whom during the request phase, and thus they would invite those whose identities were ascertained. They could trace someone if the matter was out of hand, and the student who invited the man might be slightly punished; hardly anyone would do anything illogical.
Wooing was still a grey area, and they would not be warned if they were not harrassed.
Amane was curious as to how the man got in, but the main office probably would interrogate further. Perhaps in the coming year, or even tomorrow, all personnels had to wear a band before entering.
The man said something, but it had nothing to do with Amane, so the latter ignored it.
Amane saw the man leave the classroom with the homeroom teacher, and acted as though nothing happened as he smiled at the customers looking at him.
“Dear customers, apologies for the disturbance. Please continue to enjoy your meals.”
He bowed gracefully, and the other staff members followed soon, clearly indicating that the ruckus ended at this point.
Once he heard chatter like before, he quietly held Mahiru’s hand next to him, and pulled her to the back.
“Our shift’s ending soon, so go a rest. Wait inside. I’ll get changed with you later.”
Amane felt it was fine as he had a look at the surrounding classmates, who waved their hands, basically shooing him away. He lowered his head slightly, brought Mahiru to the back, and had her sit on the chair.
She remained a little dumbfounded, probably still shocked by the prior events, so Amane patted her head. Nevertheless, it was not good for two to leave their positions, even though it was near the end of their shift, so he returned to the shop once again.
He went to the back once it was time for a changeover. Mahiru silently waited as she sat on the chair formally, holding a paper cup of coffee. A concerned student probably served this to soothe her.
She seemed relieved once she noticed Amane’s return, and her eyes softened. Once he saw that, Amane too eased his expression.
“I’m back. You feeling better?’
“…There is no need for everyone to worry.”
“Normally speaking, we will be.”
Amane pulled her here given that she looked a little rattled. He felt he made the right decision.
He patted her head once again after seeing her look a little displeased. She lowered her eyes bashfully, and tried to brush it off by drinking coffee.
Once he was sure the paper cup was empty, Amane took his parka, which he had placed at the back, and put it on Mahiru’s lap.
The school’s air conditioning regulated the temperature, but many wore coats as it was getting a little chilly. He brought it for Mahiru to wear, however.
“Put it on. You’ll stand out too much in those clothes.”
There would be stares on her if she wore a maid uniform, and photos were allowed outside. Amane prepared this so as to not cause unnecessary mayhem.
Considering the difference in height, the clothes could reach the thighs, and she would not stand out if she removed her apron and headpiece. She already stood out to begin with, and it was to be expected that her beautiful face would attract many gazes.
She removed her apron, obediently put on the parka that was handed to her, and buttoned the front. One could sense that she was feeling better.
She frantically rolled her overly long sleeves, and even pulled her nose towards it, blew her nose, and smiled. Amane hoped she would stop. That dazzling smile was bad for his heart.
Itsuki, who was working the afternoon shift, seemed to have noticed it, for he sorted his tie and leered away. Amane frowned hard, and the leer grew.
Amane felt that he lost something, and was increasingly displeased. Mahiru blinked away, and smiled. Left with no choice, Amane could only take their stares.
However, Amane did not want to be basking under their stares, so he took his bag containing his uniform from the locker in the back. All he had to do was to remove his jacket and waistcoat, put them into the locker, and he would not stand out even if he walked down the corridor.
Mahiru too knew that he was going to change, so she stood up, stored the apron and headdress into the locker, and took out her school uniform.
“We’re out. Leaving the rest to you guys.”
“Alrighty, flirt all you want.”
“Shut up. Don’t flirt around in the shop.”
Amane frowned again once he heard this casual answer, but Mahiru held his hand, and it would be bad on him to give an ugly look. He gave an indescribably contorted look as he left the classroom along with Mahiru.
They walked down the corridor, and saw that it was buzzing out there. Even though visitors had to request for entry, there were a lot of them. The corridor was usually not this noisy, and it felt so jarring, but that was to be expected.
“There’s a lot of them.”
“I heard there are more visitors compared to past years.”
“It’s no wonder suspicious people got past the security when there’s so many people here.”
The cultural festival of this school was a lot fancier and grander in scale compared to others, which was why many external parties wanted to visit.
Suspicious people, Mahiru lowered her eyes once she heard so. Amane realized that he misspoke, and he exerted a little more strength in his palm.
“I-I am fine. It shocked me, but luckily he failed.”
It seemed Mahiru had noticed Amane’s worry, for she hastily shook her head. She would not give such a look however if she was really fine.
“Sorry, I should have been more careful.”
“But you were busy. It was simply because I was too careless…”
“Careless or not, such guys will always be on the prowl. That’s why we have to pay attention and stop these guys.”
She might be more wary, but there were some instances that would simply occur. After all, there was no stopping these molesters.
She seemed to be blaming herself for being careless, but anyone could have done it if they wanted to. She did not do anything wrong.
“You didn’t go anything wrong. The weird ones are those who think that those with pretty faces and nice bodies deserve it for being too attractive. Anyone should be respected, no matter their genders.”
“So don’t say it like it’s your fault.”
Amane muttered, and Mahiru lowered her eyes, looking a little perturbed, before she leaned onto his arm.
“…You never touched me much, Amane-kun. I do not wish to be touched by anyone else.”
Mahiru shivered as she whispered, and Amane held her hand again to encourage her.
They did this while walking, so the surrounding stares were vexing, but everyone in school knew that the Angel was dating, so it did not matter. Amane was uncomfortable to be looked at, but he started to get used to it.
“Not much? I don’t remember doing anything like that.”
“You do occasionally cling onto me when I wake you up.”
“Can you please don’t remind me now? I’m not a pervert, you know?”
Amane inadvertently looked towards Mahiru when the shocking truth was revealed, and sensed that some life was creeping back onto her devastated face, for she gave an impish smile.
“I do not think you are a pervert to touch your girlfriend’s body.”
“So you say…”
“I do not mind.”
“Don’t pamper me. I’ll do it.”
“Are you not wanting to now?”
“I’m a guy. Of course I’ll want to, but it’s too early.”
Of course, Amane had his own desire to touch, but he knew how fragile a male’s sanity was, so he made sure not to touch too much.
He also knew very well that Mahiru would not dislike it, and instead would like to be touched. She said that sharing the warmth was a comfortable feeling, and said that she would feel blissful to be touched.
But if he really could do so, he might overdo it, so he had to endure.
Mahiru might have noticed what Amane was thinking while the latter looked aside, for she giggled, and firmly latched onto his arm.
“Please understand that I do not mind.”
“…I know that.”
He knew she was agreeable to this as she liked him, but his heart was besiege as she said so once again.
He quietly swore to himself to touch all he want when he could bear responsibility. He saw her smiling happily next to him, and rubbed his palm upon hers.