It was nearing the end of October, and rather than becoming super cold right off the bat, the weather was one where you might feel just a bit chilly.
Today, we were cheering on our baseball team, which had reached the quarterfinals in the fall tournament.
“Do your best!”
Next to me, Hiiragi-chan sent out an encouraging yell to the high school baseball players.
Hiiragi-chan mentioned that she might not have watched baseball before, so she decided to take this opportunity to watch and cheer them on.
We formed up in battle formation with Hiiragi-chan on my right, and Fujimoto on my left.
“Why is there a match on a Saturday…?”
Fujimoto soon muttered.
“If you don’t like it, then leave. It was your decision to participate in the first place. Your presence isn’t a necessity or anything.”
“You said that you wanted to come, so I—”
“I did say that I wanted to come, but I didn’t invite you.”
Fufufu, Hiiragi-chan held back her laughter from my other side.
“Hiiragi-chan, did you hear that just now? Isn’t it cold? Sanaaada.”
Please don’t call me like you were naming off a new foreign player or something.
“Fujimoto-kun and Sanada-kun always sit next to each other and get along considerably well.”
Having been told in such a straightforward manner, I was a little bit embarrassed so I didn’t give a response.
The students that came this time to give their support numbered around 50. They were all people who had close friends on the baseball team or maybe even their boyfriend or something.
“Sensei, do you know the rules for baseball?”
“I at least know that much. Don’t make fun of me. You hit that ball with the bat, right?”
That’s a pretty lazy way of describing it.
It seems that an explanation will be needed.
Going along with the match that had started, I gave a simple explanation of the rules and of what was currently happening in the game.
Hiiragi-chan was impressed.
While Fujimoto nodded while saying stuff like, “I didn’t know that,” or “I see…”
For people without any interest, it’s expected for them not to know the specifics and the rules about the game.
“Sanada, do you like baseball?”
“I don’t play myself, but I enjoy watching all sports.”
Hiiragi-chan rummaged through her bag.
“Tadah! I made these. Sandwiches.”
She displayed a Tupperware packed with sandwiches.
Looking at the quantity, I did a double take. No matter how you look at it, that’s enough for two people.
There’s no way that Hiiragi-chan and I can eat that together in this situation!
“Is something wrong?”
Hiiragi-chan tilted her head with an innocent expression.
That’s not what you should be saying, and what’s with that face, it’s too damn cute.
“Ooooh, handmade by Hiiragi-chan!”
Well, of course that’s how it will be.
“Then, I’ll help myself to one—”
Hiiragi-chan watched with an expressionless face as Fujimoto opened the Tupperware. The light had disappeared from her eyes.
Fujimoto stuffed the egg salad sandwich into his mouth.
“Delicious. What is this? It’s so good.”
Hiiragi-chan’s expression and voice were both dead.
Since Fujimoto has eaten one, it makes it seem like she didn’t just make it for me, so let’s just leave it at that. However, Hiiragi-chan’s excitement had instantly plummeted, and despite having come here to watch baseball, it seemed like her eyes were staring into the void.
“I hadn’t eaten breakfast so this is perfect.”
I also grabbed one. Yeah, it’s good. The match was supposed to be the first one which started at 9 AM. Hiiragi-chan probably woke up early despite it being a holiday.
“Sensei, when did you wake up to make this?”
“So early. You really worked hard. It’s really good.”
Hiiragi-chan’s expression and voice were revitalized. She seemed to be looking at me with sparkling eyes.
“Looking at someone you know showing up at the field really gives a sense of intimacy. You can’t get bored watching like this.”
“I know right?”
Even if we were from different classes, I at least knew the names and faces of the players that came out, so it really makes me want to support them.
It’s probably the similar feeling that people have when a local becomes a star.
Hiiragi-chan should feel that even more than us. She’s a teacher after all, and probably knows more students than us. Every time someone came up she began talking about them, mentioning what class they were in, and who they were.
Her reactions to the game were refreshing and made it interesting just listening to them.
“Hiiragi-chan’s got to be a sandwich genius.”
Fujimoto was ignoring the match and firmly focused on the sandwiches. I also was focused on eating, so it ended up being me sharing with Fujimoto. It can’t be helped, but I really don’t like it…
Kiin! Along with a high-pitched ringing sound, a hit ball flew in our direction.
“Eh, waah, it’s coming over here!?”
Hiiragi-chan panicked as this was the first time she’s experienced something like this.
“L-leave it to me—!”
I heard that from beside me as he disappeared from my side. Fujimoto? Well, I guess it’s fine.
It’s very common for the ball to fall unexpectedly short of you, or even fly over your head, however, this seems one seems to be heading in our direction.
It’s landing point seemed to be about where Hiiragi-chan was sitting.
When I reached out to cover for her, I ended up firmly catching the ball with my bare hands. Or rather than catching it, I was forced to catch it.
Seeing that, the crowd around me roared and gave an applause.
Umm, thank you thank you, umm excuse me for standing out like that.
Still, it was great that no one got injured. I patted my chest in relief.
“Sensei, are you okay?”
Hiiragi-chan was staring at me with brightly shining eyes. It was as if she was looking at a knight in shining armor that protected her.
“I’m okay. Thank you. Sei… Sanada-kun.”
“That’s great… Where’s Fujimoto…?”
After looking around, I found Fujimoto having fallen down on a passage below us. Fujimoto… you’re a really interesting guy… I’m not exactly jealous of you though.
“Sanada… why is it just you…”
“There are those types of people. The type that forget there are steps or seats around and fall while trying to catch a foul ball. You even said to leave it to you. Haha.”
“D-don’t mention it!”
I returned the ball to the person who came to retrieve it.
“So, you can’t keep it.”
“Well, it’s not like they’re here for fan service anyways.”
In the end, our team ended up losing, but Hiiragi-chan still seemed to have a lot of fun.
When we were finally alone at Hiiragi-chan’s place, she hugged me and had no intention of letting me go.
“You were really cool, Seiji-kun.”
“It’s nothing, that was just pure coincidence.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine ♡”
She kissed me a bunch on the cheek.
“Like this, your performance at the next sports festival will have to be great!”
Hiiragi-chan was looking at me with highly expecting eyes.
“No wait, that really was just a complete coincidence… I really can’t do much! It was like that before after all!” 
I shook my head telling her not to mind it.
“You don’t need to prepare a camera.”
She’s planning on recording again!
I really don’t think I can run away from Hiiragi-chan’s high expectations.
It doesn’t seem like I will be able to pass it off normally.
- Refer to Ch 9