His reaction was immediate.
"That can’t be good for anyone’s eyes!"
Even if it wasn’t physical sparkles that would burn and make someone tear up and need to flush their eyes out… flickering and possibly blinding light could also be a problem.
…At least, Shinta felt this would be a legitimate problem.
"Awww, but it would have been so cool, too~" she said, laughing at his reaction. She was beginning to take the whole thing less seriously then before… Not that she was being too serious in the first place.
"Although… I’ve always thought you looked just fine the way you are. That’s just me, though." Rin gently patted his cheek. "But I doubt you’ll keep those youthful looks forever, so how about you wait it out and see where age takes you?"
Awkward laughter. “I suppose it’s worth saying to get rid of the idea…”
No doubt a lot of work went into maintaining hair as magnificent as that. And Shinta knew just about nothing about it. Except how to use a comb.
"I don’t think I could do eyebrows like that anyway…"
"Yeeeah, I think it’s best not to try," she said, quickly scrubbing the mental image from her brain.
"Something else, then? If not your face, then maybe some sort of accessory like danchou has…" She framed his face, attempting to capture an idea of what he needed. "Maybe somehow use your energy to create an aura of sparkles!"
"Shades…? I don’t want to look like an Elite Beat Agent…" Their tier of ‘cool’ was displaced far off to the left compared to conventional Japanese standards of cool. They were pretty cool, but in a distinctly different flavor.
"Do you think… if I grow out my hair…?"
That was an actual idea that he had.
"Good point…" She put a hand to her chin, trying to actually imagine it. With the more dignified air their squad had, an accessory like that would only look out of place.
Imagining Shinta’s suggestion, she immediately shook her head. “Nope. No good. I get that you wanna try being more like Hayato, but it just won’t work like that.”
"R-right… Shiro—…. Rin-san. A-ah…"
'Cool act', she said. Made it even worse. Just trying to act like a prospective squad leader should. Just an act. And now he was blubbering about and couldn't get his words straight. He'd gone in the complete opposite direction.
"Like I said, Shinta-kun. You’ll figure it out one day. Probably not today, but one day." She did feel pretty sorry for him, and while he lacked the natural aura Saionji had when he was serious, she couldn’t deny that he had potential and drive.
"Maybe change up your look for a bit. Buy some shades or something to give you that mysterious edge!"
The startled yelling, followed by a red, flushed face. Caught in the act — how embarrassing.
Almost immediately he turned towards the Cheergirls’ Leader, thrusting his whole upper body forward into a stiff and respectful bow.
She couldn’t help but chuckle at the squad rookie, still as awkward as ever after all this time.
"I keep telling you, there’s no need to be so formal around me. I mean, even if we are on duty right now, it’s not like we can’t let loose around each other, right?"
"Keep up the good work, though. You’ll get the hang of that cool act soon enough."