His first kiss isn't quite as romantic as he would have liked.

They're two awkward teenagers, fumbling with unsatisfactory test grades and clumsy words and unresolved feelings when he dives into the lake. The impulsive motion awakes his animalistic instincts, is as natural as breathing; all he knows is the pounding in his ears and thumping of his heart and the inexplicable desire to protect.

Ringo's drifting, pale skin illuminated by the muted sunlight that shines through the calm waves. Almost ghostly as she sinks, back arched and tresses of chocolate brown rippling like silk.

It's the first time he realizes how beautiful she is.

Time halted, he tugs at her hands, enfolds her into his arms. She's like a feather, he notices, soft in all the right places and warmth radiating from her fingertips and sweet like fresh baby powder. He pulls her closer for a moment, unsure of what he is doing. It is with strange reluctance that he kicks back to the surface, breaking through with a splash and a wheezy gasp for air.

Yuri is in tears, Tabuki looks like he isn't sure what to say, and there are black spots dancing in front of his eyes.

Dizzy and fatigued and sopping wet (he'll have to borrow a spare uniform sometime), Shoma clambers out, tugging Ringo after him. Ignoring protests from Yuri and Tabuki, he presses an ear to her chest, only hears her heart beating faintly, barely audible. Without hesitation, he moves upward, pressing his mouth to hers.

He breathes her breaths, pushes air into her lungs, and for one undefinable moment, they are one.

Her lips are like rose petals, and their kiss crackles with electricity.

It's the first time he's ever been in love.