I'm soooo sorry for the extremely late update. I literally had such bad writers block that it was ridiculous. I didn't quite know what I wanted to do with this chapter while introducing Tatara, so I would write a bit before staring blankly at my screen. In my experience, I've found that forcing yourself to write when you can't isn't a good idea, so I put this chapter away until my muse came back to me. When it did, I ended up writing this chapter with such ease. The new season of K also gave me some inspiration as well.



Haru, Haru

The days and weeks all seemed to blur together in the presence of Anna and Mikoto. The young girl's thirst for knowledge had attracted her to Kana's store almost daily. And although Mikoto was as grumpy as ever, he didn't seem to mind being around Kana anymore. Nor did he no longer out right ignore her very existence. Kana found it easy to talk to him- well, have one sided conversations that is. Mikoto was still not a man of many words, and while Kana blabbered on about anything and everything, he simply laid down on the floor of the bookstore silently. And though he never muttered anything but an occasional grunt during these times, Kana had a feeling he was listening. Either way, she didn't care. She was just glad that she finally had someone to talk to.

It was these rare moments where Anna found herself perched daintily on the armchair with a book in hand, Mikoto napping on the floor, and Kana prattling to a man that she wasn't quite sure was awake half of the time, that the librarian actually felt as if she had friends. Though Kana was aware that 'friends' was the last thing the two thought of her. Anna was simply there because she liked books, and Mikoto- well, because he had to. Even if this 'friendship' was a delusion, Kana didn't mind. As long as it eased the loneliness, she could care less. It was the closest she had been to other humans in a very long time.

Kana had grown so used to having the two enter the shop at 7 o'clock sharp, so when they didn't show up on time that Saturday night she was a little disappointed. When 7:30 rolled around and there was still no sign of the pair, she practically deflated.

'I might as well close the shop early. It's not as if anyone else will come by,' Kana thought glumly as she approached the door to flip the 'open' sign. But before Kana made it to the door, it opened. And to her delight, Anna stepped in, followed by-

Kana blinked, her eyebrows raised in surprise. The young brunette man behind Anna was definitely not Mikoto. He was slim and definitely a lot shorter than the grumpy man who frequented her shop everyday, only standing about an inch above Kana's height of 5'7". His eyes were a soft brown and his left ear was graced by one hooped piercing.

"Sorry I'm late." Anna's shy voice snapped Kana out of her confusion. She hadn't realized that she was practically staring the poor man down.

Kana gave a light laugh, betraying the relief she felt at seeing the familiar face before her. "What are you apologizing for, little Cherry Blossom? I've said this before and I'll say it again, you're welcomed here any time."

Anna's cheeks simply tinted a faint pink in response.

"Ah.." Kana looked hesitantly towards the man, not quite sure how to address him. She had never seen Anna with anyone else besides Mikoto before.

She was met with a blinding smile and kind eyes. "You must be the Oda Kana-san that I've heard so much about. My name's Totsuka Tatara, it's a pleasure to meet you."

Kana was taken aback by his friendly nature- a complete opposite to Mikoto's. What surprised her even more was the fact that anyone had heard about her. "You've heard about me?"

Tatara nodded, placing a hand on Anna's head. "This little one asks about you every chance she gets. 'Mikoto, when are we gonna go see Kana-san again? Mikoto, I need a new book from Kana-san.' I was so surprised to see Anna so excited to be near anyone but Mikoto." He chuckled, "I guess you could say that I was dying to know who could possibly capture our little princess's heart."

By now, Anna refused to look at everything but the floor. Her face burning from the embarrassing teasing.

Kana would never admit that she felt a little more than flattered. Sure Anna had opened up to her as the weeks passed, but Kana never knew that the girl thought of her as more than just a librarian. It was nice to feel wanted. Something that the pinkette hadn't felt in a long time.

"It's nice to meet you," she said kindly. "I wasn't expecting anyone else but Mikoto to come, so forgive my lack of..." she trailed off, unsure of what to say.

Tatara simply smiled brightly. "Oh no, Oda-san. It's perfectly fine. I understand. To be used to Anna coming by with Mikoto for so long and then suddenly being surprised with such an unfamiliar face."

"Ah, just Kana is fine. I'm not too fond of honorifics."

Tatara nodded. "Well I'm glad to finally meet you, Kana. I feel as if we'll be seeing a lot of each other."

His response was met with a questioning look from the women.

Tatara blinked in slight surprise. "Oh, did Mikoto not tell you? Something important has come up so I don't think he'll be able to come by with Anna anymore. Of course, Anna would be upset if she wasn't able to go though, so I volunteered as replacement. I hope you don't mind seeing my face a lot." He rubbed the back of his head.

For a moment Kana was silent and didn't know what to say. Mikoto wouldn't be coming by for awhile? For some inexplicable reason, Kana's heart dropped. How could she describe this feeling? Disappointment? It wasn't as if her and Mikoto were close enough for him to feel obligated to share these kinds of things, but still, Kana wish that the man had informed her himself. Kana wasn't quite sure who she was supposed to prattle on about useless things while Mikoto was gone.

Luckily, the librarian found that her fears were all senseless, because while Anna sat in the chair she had silently claimed as her own, reading yet another fascinating book Kana had suggested, Tatara was all too keen to listen to Kana's prattling. Except this time it wasn't pointless or one sided, because Tatara was a very good listener. He would listen to Kana's words with such intensity as if they held such great importance that he would never forget them. He nodded his head at appropriate moments and smile. And he was all too happy to share his thoughts as well.

Overall, Tatara was a friendly guy who Kana didn't mind seeing at all. His presence was like a breathe of fresh air in her dull, repetitive life. He was charismatic and Kana never found their conversations tiresome. Every time him and Anna came to visit, he had something new to talk about. Tatara had told her that he was a lover of books as well, and that filming and music was a passion of his. He had even brought his guitar once to play a song for her. Music had been something close to Kana's heart when things were easier, but she had given it up so long ago that she wasn't even sure what it felt like to hold a guitar in her hand, or to open her mouth and sing freely. Because the freedom she had felt in the past was chained up and thrown at the bottom of an ocean she couldn't reach.

And it was in these moments with Tatara playing soft melodies, and Anna comfortably reading books that the small smile that graced Kana's lips widened just a little.

"Do you like Mikoto?" Tatara had blurted one day.

Any other girl would have become red in the face at such a question, but Kana did not get flustered or start incoherently stuttering. She simply gazed at Tatara with her soft, blank expression that never seemed to change.

"Ah, I don't mean it like that," Tatara corrected himself. "I mean, as a person. Do you like Mikoto?

She cocked her head to the side. "I find his company quite enjoyable, so I supposed you could say I find find him likable."

For a moment, Tatara just stared with such a perplexed look on his face. And then, he began to laugh loudly. His laughter rang throughout the quiet library.


He attempted to halt his laughter, wiping at the tears that had formed at the corners of his eyes. By now, Anna was watching with a curious expression, her reading disturbed. "I'm sorry, Kana. It's just that I've never heard anyone call Mikoto's company enjoyable besides Anna." He sat up, clearing his throat. "Usually when people see Mikoto on the streets they keep as far away from him as possible."

"He looks like a thug," Kana stated blandly.

"Does he?" Tatara chuckled. "Please don't misunderstand him, though. King is a real softie on the inside. He just doesn't know how to express himself very well.


Tatara scratched the back of his head, something Kana had come to recognize as a habit of his he did when he was nervous. "Eh... it's nothing."

And once again, Kana was reminded of how much she really missed Mikoto. It was stupid of her. She didn't even know anything about him, and yet she could not deny the ache in her heart at his absence. It had been awhile since Kana had felt this ache. She thought that she had became numb to such a feeling a long time ago.

Kana wasn't sure when her world became so dull. Or yet, she wasn't quite sure how she had reached such a bleak point in her life. It was as if one day she woke up to find that she had been glued to the bottom of a dark pit. Then it was like suddenly color was splashed onto her bleak sky, and to be quite frank, Kana wasn't quite sure how to properly handle it. But she wouldn't have it any other way.

If anyone were to ask Kana what had changed everything for her, she would tell them about the window. She would tell them how she had waited, sitting on the windowsill with Tatara by her side. She would tell them how the summer moon had illuminated their figures in such a way that she felt as if the shadows cast upon them were dancing on their skin. She would tell them how with her back pressed against the cool glass, she had closed her eyes and listened with contempt as Tatara talked endlessly with such excitement in his voice- she did all she could do. She waited.

She waited for Mikoto to return.

It was those days he had been gone when she gazed up to the stars with such intensity, connecting constellations, that she thought to herself; 'I'm going to love this person, because even the sky looks different.

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