Although Taiki had the reputation as the bookworm, Seiya and Yaten also enjoyed a good read. Sometimes, Yaten would disguise himself (big sunglasses a must) and stroll down the street and into a local bookshop, just to check out the latest titles. He already had some favourite authors, a mixture of nationalities, and preferred to have his copies in their original language if possible. This meant he often paid more, but like he cared about that. He was an international superstar, money was no objection.
The problem with these expeditions was that he risked bumping into a fan, which would mean pandemonium. So far, he had managed to avoid this by pretending not to hear people or just walking out of the store. Rude but necessary. Most of the time, he just had to pick up a certain book and look extremely absorbed, and people wouldn't dare approach him. Yaten loved this. Bookshops were such... civilised places.
Of course, you could never tell who you'd find in them. The voice was familiar but he didn't want to answer it just yet. He turned his head to his side. Two bright blue eyes looked back at him, framed by long blonde hair
"Oh, it's you," he said, rolling his eyes behind the sunglasses. "What do you want?"
"You remember me?" she asked, eyes brightening.
Privately, Yaten thought that she was unforgettable, and not necessarily in a good way. "What do you want?" he repeated.
"What are you reading?" Minako asked, peering to see the spine of his book. "Those letters are funny."
"War and Peace," he answered, turning away. "Now, if you don't mind..."
"It's very thick," she observed.
"It's about life and death and religion, of course it's 'thick'," Yaten said, thinking that Minako lived up to every negative stereotype of blondes he'd ever encountered (and he'd encountered a lot in his short stay on this planet).
Minako wrinkled her nose. "Why don't you just get the manga version?" she asked. "I bet that's not half so thick and it's probably cheaper."
"Because I don't read things for pictures, I read for the prose," Yaten retorted. "Tolstoy wrote amazing prose, this is his masterpiece, I prefer to read it in the original language."
Minako looked offended. "Manga isn't just pictures! It's a... a dance between pictures and words! A partnership!" she added, pleased with the image. "The pictures help the words and the words help the pictures. And then there's the symbolism..."
"Spare me," Yaten muttered. "I prefer proper literature."
Now Minako looked furious. "You think just because I read it, it's not proper literature?!"
Yaten shut the book and pulled down his sunglasses to peer at her. She was endearingly red. He could see that teasing her would be a lot of fun. "You find me a manga series that is classic - not just love triangles and squares and heptagons. I'll read it. But in return, you have to read a proper book."
"And what do I get out of it?" Minako demanded, putting her hands on her shapely hips.
"You can say you've read a book without pictures," Yaten replied, smiling now at her indignation.
Minako narrowed her eyes. "Deal. But you'd better find me something interesting." She turned on her heel and hurried off towards the manga section, her head held high, her back very straight.
Yaten smirked to himself. This was going to be fun.