You stared blankly at your failed test, your elbow rested on the rim of the table and your chin in the palm of your hand, a confused look on your face. you turned your gaze down to your history textbook, which was opened in front of you on the table, and studied it carefully before you lifted your gaze back up to look at your test, frowning in confusion and frustration.
This doesn’t make any sense! You let out an annoyed sigh before you closed your eyes and set your test down on top of the textbook, rubbing your forehead with your fingers. How did I get any of those questions wrong?
You made sure to wake up earlier than usual that morning, not because you had a lot of homework to complete—there were some things you had to finish, but that wasn't the reason you had woken up early—but because you wanted to arrive at the school and get to the library before Arthur did. You honestly had no idea whether he came there often or when he even got there, but you certainly didn’t want to run into him again, and you figured that he didn’t arrive at the school at six in the morning just to go to the library.
And even if he did come, you would've just shooed him away and hoped that he would've listened. After all, since you were already sitting at the table where the both of you were yesterday, he would've figured out that you were already occupying it and would've left for good, right? That was what you hoped for, anyway.
You sighed as you rested your cheek on top of your textbook and slowly closed your eyes, tiredness suddenly taking over you so quickly that you thought you would've fallen asleep. You suddenly realized how exhausted you were. After all, you had only gotten a few hours of sleep last night, and days where you got more than 7 hours of sleep were rare. Maybe if I just take a short nap I’ll be more focused on doing my homework when I wake up...
You were about to fall asleep, tempted under the quiet, still atmosphere, when you heard the creaking of the door opening and footsteps as they cautiously stepped inside the room. You were too lazy to open your eyes to see who entered, and you figured that it was probably one of the people who worked in the library. But after the sound of the footsteps gradually getting louder and the sound of someone sitting down in the chair across the table from you and taking out their stuff and placing it on the table, you opened your eyes and wearily lifted your head to look at who was sitting across from you.
Your gaze instantly settled on Arthur, who seemed to be unaware of your movement, but as soon as he realized that you were awake and partially alert, he lifted his gaze from one of his books to look up at you and almost jumped, his eyes slightly widening in surprise.
“O-Oh, I'm sorry,” he said a bit apologetically. “I thought you were asleep.”
You sat in an upright position and blearily rubbed your eyes with one hand. As soon as you took in the situation, you felt frustration build up inside you. “So if I was asleep, you would've just sat here and watched me like some kind of a creepy stalker?”
“No!” Arthur said hastily as he glared at you, his eyes filling slightly with irritation. “Of course not.”
You crossed your arms and stared at him, eyes narrowed in disbelief. “Then why did you come here if you thought I was sleeping?”
“I...Well, I just...” The annoyance in Arthur’s gaze was quickly replaced with discomfort, and he rubbed the back of his neck with his hand as he lowered his gaze down to the floor, unable to come up with a good response.
“Hmm?” you asked impatiently. “You just what?”
After a few more seconds passed, Arthur let out a sigh before he removed his hand from his neck and lifted his gaze so that it was able to meet yours. “I just come here often, and this is the place where I usually sit.”
You raised an eyebrow. “Can't you just find somewhere else to go?”
He shook his head. “Most of the other rooms have one or more person in them, and this is the only place in the library that has an available seat.”
You felt irritation swirl inside you as you continued to glare at him. “Well, if the presence of someone else bothers you, why did you come here if I was already here?”
“Well, I thought you were asleep,” Arthur replied quietly.
“And what about now?” you asked, placing your elbows on the rim of the table and putting your chin in the palms of your hands. “I'm awake, so since I already arrived here first, aren’t you going to leave?”
He blinked in confusion. “Why should I?”
You let out a loud, irritated sigh before you leaned back against the seat and closed your eyes. “You just said that you don’t go into rooms that have one or more person in them. So why are you still here?”
“Well, your presence doesn’t bother me as much as others do,” Arthur replied, lowering his gaze and fixing it on the table.
You blinked, your eyes slightly widening in surprise as you stared at him. “Why?” you asked, a bit of curiosity in your voice. “I bet if you go into a room with somebody else in it, they won't yell at you for irritating them like I do.”
Arthur only shrugged in reply, and a rather long, slightly awkward moment of silence passed between the both of you. Your eyes were starting to feel like heavyweights, and you wished you could've just fallen asleep until school officially started. You were starting to have thoughts of going to the bathroom and sleeping there when your stomach gave off an abnormally loud growl, making you remember that you had once again skipped breakfast just to arrive at school as early as possible.
Almost instantly, Arthur lifted his gaze from the table so that he was able to look at you, frowning in confusion. You felt your face turn a significant shade of red, partly from embarrassment and irritation, and you dropped your gaze down to your open textbook.
“Are you hungry?” he asked after a few awkward seconds of silence.
You lifted your gaze to look up at Arthur in annoyance. “It’s none of your business,” you said bitterly.
But instead, he replied calmly, “If you're hungry I can give you something to eat.”
You scoffed and rolled your eyes. “You're not my mother. And besides, what can you give me anyway?”
Arthur reached into his backpack and pulled out a banana a few seconds later, extending his hand out towards you. “I can give you this.”
You stared down at the banana, your stomach giving off another growl. Finally, you sighed and reluctantly took it from him, refusing to look up and meet his gaze. “Um...thanks,” you mumbled as you kept your gaze fixed on the table.
Arthur watched as you ate the banana somewhat slowly, trying to shield how hungry you actually were, and as soon as you had finished, he asked, “Didn’t you eat any breakfast?”
You lifted your gaze so that it was able to meet his. You were about to give him a bitter, angry reply, but when you saw the concern that was in his eyes, you realized that it would've been rude to treat him with coldness when he clearly showed some worry for you. “W-Well, not really...” you muttered. “I wanted to get here early, so I didn’t have any.”
Arthur frowned. “So you believe that skipping breakfast and having an empty stomach for half of the day just to get to school earlier is better than eating an actual breakfast and getting to school a little bit later?”
You dropped your gaze down to your hands, shifting slightly in discomfort. “Well...kind of.”
“Do you skip breakfast often?” Arthur asked as he kept his gaze fixed on you.
You wanted more than anything to tell him to get out of your business, but you were able to detect the concern in his voice, and didn’t stop yourself from quietly replying, “Y-Yeah...”
“It’s no wonder why you find it hard to concentrate,” Arthur said with a sigh. He shifted his gaze over to the history textbook and the test that lay in front of you before he asked, “Do you have homework to finish?”
You nodded as you stared down at your test. “Yeah, but I have to go over my test first. The teacher said I need to correct all of my mistakes by the end of the week, but it’s hard when I don’t even know what I did wrong.” You ran your hands through your hair and stared down at the test in frustration.
“What was the test about?” Arthur asked as he leaned forward and extended his hand to grasp it and examine it once again. To your surprise, you didn’t try to snatch it away from him.
Instead, you kept your gaze fixed on the textbook in front of you. “Just some stuff about World War I,” you muttered as if you didn’t really care.
A few more seconds passed before Arthur lifted his gaze from the test to look at you. “_____, if you want, I could still help you correct certain things on the test.”
You removed your hands from your hair and lifted your head so that you were able to look up at him, surprise quickly taking over you. A part of you wanted to harshly decline, but another, smaller part of you knew that there was no way on earth you would've been able to correct the errors by yourself. Besides, teachers never helped you anymore after you told them countless times not to, so unless Arthur wouldn’t have been there to help you fix your mistakes, you were on your own.
After a few seconds of silence, you finally stammered, “S-Sure.”
You noticed that Arthur seemed to be a bit surprised by your quiet reply, and you figured that he had also been expecting you to snatch the test away from him and harshly turn him down. He lowered his gaze back to the test before he flipped through it, examining certain parts. It was taking him a rather long time to finally speak up, and you still had homework to finish, but you remained silent, watching him with your chin rested in the palms of your hands.
“Well,” Arthur finally said after about a minute passed as he lifted his gaze so that it was able to meet yours, “first of all, the Treaty of Versailles didn’t have a positive effect on Germany.”
Your gaze instantly filled with confusion and you frowned. “Wait, but wasn't the Treaty of Versailles supposed to have a—”
“See, you don’t even pronounce it right,” Arthur interrupted, a tiny, amused smile coming to his face. When all you gave him was a blank stare, he continued. “It’s pronounced ver-sigh¬, not ver-sigh-less.”
You scoffed and rolled your eyes. “Well excuse me for not knowing French.”
Arthur let out a tiny chuckle. “You don’t have to know French to know how to pronounce it. I'm sure your history teacher said it plenty of times.” His eyes narrowed as he looked at you, and after a few seconds of silence, he asked, “_____, do you even pay attention in class?”
“W-What? Of course I do!” you lied. “Why would you even ask me something like that?”
The serious expression on Arthur’s face didn’t change as he replied, “Well, if you did pay attention, I'm sure you would've known how to pronounce Versailles, and you would've gotten a fairly decent grade on your test.”
You lowered your gaze down to your hands. “Oh,” you murmured quietly. “I guess I don’t pay attention that much, after all.”
An awkward silence passed between the both of you before you lifted your gaze to look up at the clock, your eyes widening and your heart racing when you realized that it was almost 7 am. “Oh!” you said with a gasp as you stood up from your seat and began to gather your things together, Arthur watching you with a slight look of confusion. “I have to go and finish my homework. I need to have it done by the time school starts.”
He frowned as he continued to watch you. “Aren't you going to stay here and complete it?”
You hastily shook your head, not even bothering to lift your gaze to look up at him. “I can't do it with someone else in the same room as me.” You took the test from Arthur’s hands before you shoved it in your backpack. “We can go over the test tomorrow. Right now I just have to find some place to finish my homework.”
Without even giving him the change to reply, you flung your backpack over one shoulder and hurried out of the room, closing the door to the library behind you.
As you walked down the hallway, searching for an empty room to do your homework, you recollected the conversation that occurred between you and Arthur in your head. We can go over the test tomorrow. It was almost as if you were saying you were already going to be meeting him in the library tomorrow, as if you already knew he was going to be there, as if everything was already planned. You were actually able to have a conversation with him without yelling too much at him or feeling too uncomfortable, and this surprised you. Even though this was the third time you talked to him, it seemed like you felt that it was becoming easier for you to have some kind of discussion with him. Still, you felt uneasy around the fact that you were interacting with him way too frequently than necessary, even though it wasn't especially frequent.
I’ll just have him help me correct my test and hopefully after that I won't talk to or see him anymore, you thought as you continued walking down the hallway.