Whew boy, I don't even know where this came from. Literally I wrote this in like 5 days, it was meant to be a cute fluffy one shot, but it just got bigger, and bigger. Also I know that this is kind of a month late, but I actually started writing this right after Valentine's Day and decided posting on White Day would be appropriate.

Anyways, hello to my readers, it has been a long, long time since I posted anything, especially for Corpse Party. To those of you who have read my previous fics Life at the Shinozaki's and Life Together, I hope you all enjoy this. Fair warning this is a tad different, definitely a bit fluffier than that story. But I hope you all enjoy it nonetheless. To any new readers of mine I hope you also enjoy this, and if you're looking for more Corpse Party fanfiction, check out my other two fics. Despite their flaws I'm still pretty proud of them.

Without further delay, enjoy.

Be Mine

It was in the middle of lunch on February 10th, 2009. The air was cool, but the sun was shining making for a rather warm day. A perfect day for the four girls from class 2-9 to eat lunch on the roof.

Shinozaki Ayumi's eyes became doe-like as her brain registered the words that had just been uttered. "...eh?" She found herself unable to speak at hearing such world changing information. 'Maybe that's a bit dramatic...' The class-rep silently decided to herself. 'But still...'

From across her Shinohara Seiko couldn't help but snicker at Ayumi's expression. 'She looks like a cute animal caught by headlights.' The mischievous girl decided that Ayumi's expression was probably one of the cutest things she had seen today. "What?" Grinning ear to ear, Seiko questioned the class-rep knowingly. "You didn't know?"

At the teasing question Ayumi managed to regain her wits and huffed indignantly. "Of course not, because it's ridiculous!" She proclaimed more confidently than she felt. "There's no way that Kishinuma-kun, as you put it, has the hots for me!" She ended the last part of her statement while making air quotations.

Besides the two girls Suzumoto Mayu and Nakashima Naomi exchanged awkward glances. Both of them held their own suspicions that the residential ex-delinquent might have more than friendly feelings for the class-rep. Despite Kishinuma Yoshiki's blunt and rough-around-the-edges manner; the blond was usually pretty quick to crumble when Ayumi asked him to do something.

It shouldn't have been possible, but Seiko's grin grew even wider. "Is that what you really think, Shinozaki-san?" Snickering the curly haired girl spared a glance at their spectating friends. "Who else here thinks that Kishinuma-kun likes the Class-rep?" Seiko smugly asked, already knowing the answers her question would bring forth.

Ayumi followed Seiko's gaze to the other girls who had remained silent amidst this exchange. Her cheeks dusted pink as both girls refused to meet her hopeful gaze. "S-seriously?" She sputtered in disbelief.

Mayu opened her mouth, but found her voice unwilling to come out. On one hand she hadn't planned to out Yoshiki's feelings to Ayumi. 'Kishinuma-kun should be the one who decides when he wants to let Shinozaki-san know.' But at the same time she didn't want to lie to Ayumi, and make her friend think that Yoshiki wasn't interested. "I've noticed some hints..." She finally admitted with a shy smile.

Naomi, marginally more confident in her response, nodded in agreement with Mayu's assessment. Normally she'd curb Seiko's penchant for teasing their friends; however, Ayumi had asked for this confirmation. Valentine's Day was coming up and Ayumi had been the one to claim that no guys were interested in her.

Cue Seiko wanting to prove that notion wrong, which was something Naomi could get behind. 'Even if Seiko could have gone about this differently...' However Naomi could not deny that her best friend's methods often yielded results. "Seiko's probably right." The athletic girl considered how Yoshiki often ended up seated by the class-rep whenever they all hung out. Excluding Satoshi, Ayumi was probably the person of their group Yoshiki interacted with the most. "I could see Kishinuma being interested in you." Naomi told the shorter girl matter-of-factly.

Ayumi's face turned bright red at this new information. She had three people claiming that Yoshiki liked her, how could she keep arguing against that? Not very easily, outside of denial her only recourse was to believe that Kishinuma Yoshiki liked her of all people. "W-wow..." Uh, how should she respond to this? Looking down at her lap she tried to get her racing thoughts in order.

Ayumi had never thought of Yoshiki like that. They had been friends for nearly a year at this point, and he wasn't that trouble-making delinquent she had met during their first year at Kisaragi. Despite her improved opinion of him Ayumi couldn't claim that she had ever thought of Yoshiki as a potential romantic option. 'Even if I've never thought about him like that, I do care about Kishinuma-kun.' And it's not like he's a bad guy or unattractive...

Seiko's grin slowly faded into a tentative smile. A part of her did feel a little bad for outting Yoshiki's badly hidden crush, but she hoped that maybe this could push these two in the right direction. Seiko was well aware that Yoshiki's feelings weren't returned. However she was confident that allowing Ayumi to see how deep Yoshiki's affection for her ran would be enough for the occult-loving girl to consider him.

Ayumi lifted her head back up to meet Seiko's eyes. "So Kishinuma-kun likes me?" The words tasted funny in her mouth, but they were surprisingly easy enough to say.

Seiko nodded sagely. "About as much as Suzume loves Morishige-kun." Her teasing comment had the desired effect of flustering Mayu, which Seiko couldn't help but chuckle at.

Mayu looked down at her hands as she willed the heat to leave her face. Even if she always said that she and Sakutaro were just friends, Mayu knew that she wasn't subtle with how she actually felt.

Naomi blinked at Seiko's boldness. "Seiko, you're just on a roll today aren't you? Should I reel you in?" She raised an eyebrow in threat.

Seiko snickered, not at all deterred by her best friend. "Fufufu, should I make you my next target?" The mischievous girl countered. "Everyone already knows who the object of your affection is." At that Naomi stiffened and backed down in defeat. Seeing her chance Seiko launched herself at Naomi and wrapped her arms around the athletic girl's waist. "It's me! I love you too Naomi-chaaan~!"

Momentarily shocked by Seiko's sneak attack Naomi found herself unable to react. That is until she felt Seiko's face and hands began drifting to places where they shouldn't go. "H-hey!?" She cried while grabbing Seiko's shoulders. "Wh-where do you think you're touching?!" Red-faced, she yelled while shoving the laughing girl.

Despite having been pushed away Seiko couldn't drop her grin. Seeing Naomi's warning glare Seiko decided that was enough poking the bear for today. And turned her attention back to the current matter at hand. "So, Class-rep, what are you going to do?" The playful girl inquired, wondering how her friend would act in regards to Yoshiki.

Ayumi had been watching the scene unfold with a small grin. Seiko, despite her oddness really did know how to lighten the mood. At having the question unexpectedly directed at her she became thoughtful. "I don't know..." Ayumi didn't know what she could or should do with this information.

"On one hand Kishinuma-kun has never said anything, so it's not like I can confront him about this." The blue haired girl paused as she pondered why someone as blunt and straightforward as Yoshiki hadn't said anything if he apparently likes her. "Which is weird..." She muttered out loud.

"Huh?" Mayu tilted her head, wondering what Ayumi meant.

Pausing Ayumi explained her musings. "Kishinuma-kun lacks...delicacy." She elaborated her thoughts on Yoshiki's manner with some hesitation. "I don't feel like he'd be the type of guy who could, or would, hide a crush." Their studious class-rep humorously admitted. In a way it was a compliment to Yoshiki's character. Ayumi viewed Yoshiki as the kind of guy who would cut through the needless filter, and give it straight. Even if what he ended up saying usually grated on her nerves.

Naomi smiled as she thought of their blond friend. She knew that he liked to appear tough, but she also wouldn't be surprised if he had a quiet sweet side to him. She, and a lot of other people, had seen how easy it was for Ayumi to get him to do things he'd rather not. "Maybe he's a big softie on the inside and is actually just shy?" She proposed.

Ayumi blinked at that possiblity. The notion of Yoshiki being shy with feelings for her was odd...but also kind of cute? 'Where did that thought come from?' Again she found herself blushing as her chest tightened in excitement. 'The more I think about it, the more I'm not opposed to Kishinuma-kun liking me...' Ayumi was starting to accept that idea as reality and she'd be lying if she said she didn't like it.

Picking up on the class-rep's shift in demeanor, Seiko went in on the offensive. "Oh? Are you maybe not against the idea of dating Kishinuma-kun?" She asked before placing her hands over her heart. "Is your heart beating faster at the thought of Kishinuma-kun secretly pining over the cute Class-rep who's been unaware of his feelings until now?" She batted her eyelashes quickly for added affect.

At hearing Seiko's deduction Ayumi's breath caught in her throat. "I-I haven't said that..." The cerulean haired girl couldn't even raise her voice in defense, so even she realized how unconvincing she sounded. Also, could her face get any hotter?

Seiko's grin softened at the blushing girl. "It's okay, Class-rep. We all know you can be a bit of a romantic over stuff like this." Her usual brand of teasing was momentarily replaced with gentle understanding.

Ayumi felt her shoulders relax as Yui-sensei's story about her high school boyfriend came to mind. Sweet romances were kind of a weakness for her, and the way Naomi and Seiko described Yoshiki's supposed feelings for her felt similar to that. Ayumi realized that she wanted to see if those feelings really were sweet like that.

"You might be onto something, Shinohara-san." Ayumi admitted after a lengthy pause. "I'm still not sure how I should act now that I know that Kishinuma-kun might like me. But I do want to talk to him about this, because he is important to me." Even if Yoshiki was someone who often riled her up with his blunt personality and thoughtless comments, he was someone she valued.

Naomi found herself in awe at Ayumi's conclusion. "So what are you going to do?" The athletic girl questioned, curious to see how the class-rep would go about this.

'Good question...' Ayumi became thoughtful. "Umm..." She wasn't sure how to go about this. It's not like she could confess to Yoshiki, she wasn't the one pining over him. Not to mention it seemed like the former delinquent currently had no intention of confessing to her. "I want to make Kishinuma-kun understand that I won't reject him." She ultimately decided. "That it's okay for him to ask me out. But just coming out and saying that is kind of..." Resting her chin between her thumb and pointer finger; Ayumi looked away from the group and settled her eyes on a random building.

The three girls wore pensive expressions as they considered the predicament Ayumi had found herself in. Their class-rep was a usually straight forward person, especially when it came to meddling in other people's business. But with matters of the heart she was not quite as direct. Case in point she had never confessed to Satoshi, and probably the only people who had actually noticed her crush on the timid boy were Seiko and Yoshiki. The former because she was perceptive to a insane degree, and the latter because he paid the most attention to Ayumi.

Seiko was the first one to offer up an idea. "Well Valentine's Day is coming up." She said before snapping her fingers. "You could try giving him homemade chocolate."

Mayu pressed her hands together at hearing Seiko's suggestion. "That's a great idea!" She spoke excitedly, emerald eyes shining brightly. The tiny girl could already imagine Yoshiki's surprised red face at receiving homemade chocolate from his crush.

Ayumi put her hands up in defense to Mayu's enthusiasm. "W-wait a minute...Make chocolate for Kishinuma-kun...that's..." Not a bad idea, but unbelievably embarrassing.

Seiko seeing Ayumi hesitate jumped in. "Class-rep, think about it. With this you can perfectly convey what you want to say to him. And you can also gauge Kishinuma-kun's reaction." She pointed out knowingly.

Hands clasped together a dreamy eye Mayu added. "Just imagine it, Shinozaki-san. Kishinuma-kun's surprise expression when he receives homemade chocolate from the girl he likes." She couldn't help but swoon as she imagined herself in that situation with her own crush.

Seiko smirked at Mayu's cloud nine expression before focusing on Ayumi. "I bet Kishinuma-kun would completely lose his tough guy persona and become a stuttering mess. Fufufu." Seiko snickered as she pictured a flustered Yoshiki.

Ayumi looked between the girls as they slowly convinced her on this. Closing her eyes she imagined Yoshiki, his usual cocky smirk being replaced by surprise and his face becoming red at her offering him something sweet. Her heart missed a beat as the image took form. 'I want to see that.' Ayumi thought with a warm smile. Opening her eyes she met the expectant gazes of her friends. "I'll do it." Unable to contain the wide smile that graced her face she agreed. "I'll give Kishinuma-kun homemade chocolate on Valentine's Day and tell him I acknowledge his feelings." The three girls smiled back at her encouragingly.

That day after school and preforming her usual class-rep duties Ayumi decided to use one of the computers in the library to look up some recipes for homemade chocolate. She had given friends sweets before on Valentine's Day, but those had always been store bought. Ayumi had never actually made chocolate for anyone.

'Funny that the first person I'd do this kind of thing for would be Kishinuma-kun.' Ayumi thought to herself with no small amount of humor. While she didn't feel giddy or in love, she was looking forward to this. Yoshiki would be surprised and she couldn't wait to see his expression. 'Maybe it'll almost be as cute as Mochida-kun's when I scare him?' The studious class-rep laughed at that thought.

Writing down the ingredients she needed Ayumi reread them and double checked on the screen to make sure she hasn't missed anything.

1 1/2 cup of milk powder

1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of water

1/3 cup of butter

A cup of chopped nuts, cashew, hazelnuts, and/or almonds. (Optional)

Tapping her pen against her cheek, Ayumi contemplated. "Does Kishinuma-kun even like nuts? I don't think he's allergic to anything..." Deciding it was better to be safe than sorry, she crossed that last one out. Ayumi did not want to risk it, nor did she want to ask him for fear of possibily tipping Yoshiki off to her intentions.

Finished with her task Ayumi exited the web browser, logged off the computer, and powered it down. Slipping the list into her pocket she grabbed her bag and made for the exit to the library before bumping into someone. "Ah, Shinozaki-san, you are still here." A familiar voice greeted her.

Recognizing that voice Ayumi stared up into the warm violet eyes of her homeroom's Assistant Teacher and smiled. "Shishido-Sensei! Sorry about that, I wasn't paying attention." The occult-loving girl admitted sheepishly.

Shishido Yui wore an understanding smile in response. "It's alright, Shinozaki-san. I'm glad I bumped into you, though. You forgot to return the key for the classroom after cleaning up." She informed Ayumi.

Eyes widening in puzzlement Ayumi's hand darted into her skirt pocket. After a second her fingers curled around two metal objects. Slipping out of her pocket she found two keys in her hand, one for her house and the other for her homeroom. "I'm so sorry, Sensei!" She apologized before quickly offering the school key to her teacher. "I was in a rush to get down here, and it slipped my mind." The blue haired girl explained lamely.

Yui laughed at Ayumi's apologetic tone while accepting the key. "It's alright, Shinozaki-san. Even if you went home with it, you would have remembered tomorrow and returned it before class." She assured her precious student. "Incidentally, why were you in a rush to come here? It's a little too early to start studying for finals."

Ayumi lightly pinched her chin as she considered telling her favorite teacher about what she was up to. 'Sensei won't tell the guys, so there should be no problem with telling her.' Besides, talking about this with her favorite teacher could be fun, she decided. "Don't tell anyone, but I was looking up a recipe for homemade chocolates." Ayumi admitted with a bright yet nervous smile.

Yui blinked at the unexpected answer. Of course she knew that Valentine's Day was coming up, but she didn't think Ayumi would go through the trouble of making any for her friends. 'Unless she's planning on confessing?' Yui smiled at the blue haired girl. "Planning on making chocolate for Mochida-kun?" She questioned, well aware of Ayumi's crush on the timid boy.

Ayumi hesitated at the mention of her favorite scary story victim. Sure, Satoshi had been the object of her affections for a couple years now. 'But, he likes Nakashima-san...' Truth be told it did still hurt a little to know that Satoshi would never look at her like that, but Ayumi was happy for her friends. Even if they weren't together yet, she could see it happening before long and had been preparing herself for the inevitable day that Satoshi and Naomi become a couple.

"Actually they're for Kishinuma-kun." Ayumi admitted with a nervous chuckle.

Lips parting Yui stared at the studious girl for a moment before recovering from the surprise she felt. "I didn't know you liked Kishinuma-kun like that." But she definitely wasn't against it, considering how often she saw Yoshiki try to go out of his way for the occult-loving girl

Twin tails swaying behind her, Ayumi shook her head. "I don't. But..." Hesitating Ayumi internally weighed whether or not she should tell Yui about the conversation with her friends at lunch. "I may have found out that he sorta, kinda, likes me..." She explained vaguely.

From Yui's unsurprised face Ayumi figured that this probably wasn't news to her teacher. "Did Kishinuma-kun tell you that?" Yui asked, prompting Ayumi to shake her head again. The young teacher made a pensive expression as she pondered how Ayumi had found out about Yoshiki's crush on her.

"You don't seem very surprised at hearing that Kishinuma-kun likes me..." Ayumi prodded with a slight pout. Is it really possible that she was the only one who had no idea about Yoshiki's supposed feelings for her?

Blinking owlishly at her student's accusation Yui tried to cover her laughter. "Not really." She admitted with a wry grin. "I've been around many students, and it wasn't too long ago that I graduated from this school. It's pretty easy to see that someone is smitten when you're looking on the outside." Yui's eyes became wistful as she thought about her old love.

Face turning red Ayumi averted her gaze as she considered the words spoken by her favorite teacher. 'That does make a lot sense. Nakashima-san and Mochida-kun are so oblivious, yet everyone knows they like each other. Same for Suzumoto-san with Morishige-kun...' Ayumi sighed as she realized that everyone in her friend group was oblivious. "Well, maybe everyone except for Shinohara-san." She muttered in addendum.

"Hmm?" Ayumi, realizing she had said that last part out loud, explained her musings to Yui. "Oh." The young woman chuckled as she shared Ayumi's amusement. "Don't feel too bad, Shinozaki-san. Love makes everyone blind, even I had to deal with it when I was a student." Yui smiled while recalling her school days with Tsukasa.

Ayumi felt such warmth from her teacher's expression. This was why she loved Yui above all the other teachers. Most the teachers at Kisaragi didn't care too much for their students or become overly personal with them outside of matters relating to classwork or in serious incidents such as bullying. Shishido Yui was one of the few teachers who didn't treat her students as an obligation, but rather as people precious to her.

"Well, it's getting late Shinozaki-san, and I need to get home and finish grading papers. By the way, you scored very well on yesterday's test." Ayumi beamed at hearing the praise in her teacher's voice.

With that said they both left the library and made for the front gate, only stopping when Yui went by the facility office to drop off the key she had gotten from Ayumi. The two exchanged parting words at the school entrance punctuated with Yui wishing Ayumi luck in making her chocolate for Yoshiki. Ignoring her burning face Ayumi waved bye before heading off in the direction of her house.

The next day during class Ayumi found herself studying Yoshiki as discreetly as she could manage. He hadn't been at school yesterday, probably skipping Ayumi assumed. So she hadn't been able to observe him with the newfound knowledge that he liked her till now.

Now that he was here Ayumi was free to study and try to discover what her friends had seen that she didn't. To her surprise she caught his eyes drifting to her a number of times during class. 'You should be focusing on the board...geeze.' She turned her eyes forward just before a pair of gray eyes landed on her again. 'That makes four times this period.' Ayumi made a mental tally.

Ayumi focused her attention on the teacher for about forty-five seconds, which felt like an eternity in her mind, before glancing behind her again. Yoshiki's eyes had moved from her to the clock, before transitioning to looking outside the window. Cerulean orbs narrowed as Ayumi observed his features, his face was a mask of boredom but there was an emotion in his eyes that she couldn't quite decipher.

Either way, Ayumi was picking up little details that did lend credence to Seiko's claim of Yoshiki having feelings for her. Ayumi peered down at her desk, her notes mostly untouched saved for a few doodles she had been idly drawing. Ayumi wasn't too worried about her lack of focus today, she rarely had trouble understanding the material taught in their classes. Still, she best at least make it look like she was paying attention, lest the teacher single her out.

Today was a little colder than the day prior, so the girls opted to eat lunch in the classroom while the boys went to the cafeteria to buy food for themselves.

Moving their desks together the four girls were seated and pulled out their lunches. Seiko's eyes held a gleam as the three girls started eating.

Yesterday Ayumi had been Seiko's target; today the mischievous girl had decided to be brave and go after her two other friends. "So, the Class-rep is doing something special for our favorite ruffian, what are the two of you planning on doing for the boys you like?"

"Pfttt!" Naomi had been in the middle of drinking her tea which she then nearly spat out at Seiko's unexpected question. Coughing she looked over at her best friend with a withering glare. "Seiko, you can't just ask stuff like that out of the blue!" She scolded as Mayu fumbled for a response of her own.

"Wh-what are you ta-talking about?!" Mayu, also caught off guard stuttered out not able to meet the teasing girl's grinning face.

Ayumi frowned, normally it'd be Naomi's job to keep Seiko in check. However the class-rep could try and do something about this. But considering yesterday, and the fact that she didn't wish to be teased again today; Ayumi decided to remain an observer for now.

"I'm just saying, Shinozaki-san's brave enough to decide to make chocolate for the guy she likes. Surely you two might be inspired to follow her example?"

Ayumi raised a questioning eyebrow at Seiko's choice of words. "I don't like Kishinuma-kun like that." She flatly reminded the curly haired girl.

Snickering Seiko waved her comment off dismissively. "Give it time, Class-rep. I get the feeling you won't be able to say that for much longer." Seiko was having way too much fun with her friends as of late.

Face heating up Ayumi had no counter for this and wisely choose to remain silent. "Bu-but I don't have a-anyone that I like..." Her attention shifted to Mayu, the brown haired girl looked like a cornered mouse.

"N-neither do I." Cheeks pink, Naomi chimed in as she tried not to think about Satoshi.

Seiko laughed while wiping a tear away. Their responses only made this easier. "Okay, now try saying that without lying." Seiko challenged with a wide grin. Pointing at Naomi she winked before saying. "Naomi-chan, everyone in this entire classroom, save for one person, knows who you like."

Naomi pouted at Seiko. "Seiko-chan you're so vicious as of late..." The tomboy girl sighed, not being able to stand up to her best friend when being teased about her crush.

'I'm not even close to done yet.' Seiko thought to herself. "You're not very subtle when you sit by him during the Class-rep's ghost stories." She then made a playful grab for Naomi. "Gah, save me Naomi, I'm such a scaredy cat!" Seiko cried out, doing her best Satoshi impression.

Naomi's docileness faded enough for her to glare at Seiko before pushing her away. "He does not sound like that." She cried out as Ayumi and even Mayu found themselves laughing at Seiko's obvious imitation of Satoshi.

"So you admit that there's a he?" The curly haired girl said with a victorious look.

"Tch!" Realizing that Seiko had played her Naomi threw her arms up in defeat. "Fine, Seiko you win!" She admitted defeat in a huff.

Seiko pumped her fist up in victory. "Woo! What do I win?" She asked jokingly.

Naomi's frown couldn't remain for long. Even when Seiko was being like this, she couldn't stay annoyed at her zany best friend. "Depends." Naomi smiled before weakly asking. "What do you want?"

Normally this would be the part where Seiko would say something funny, like Naomi professing her undying love for her. The words were even on the tip of her tongue, but she put them aside. "Let Mochida-kun know that you like him."

Biting the inside of her cheek Naomi felt herself unable to make a compelling argument. "I want to..." Admitting it out loud the short haired girl made herself appear smaller when she hugged herself. "But I'm afraid of being rejected..." Rejection was a scary prospect; what could it do to their friendship?

Seiko smiled sadly at her friend's unfounded fear. "Naomi-chan, I wouldn't tell you to confess if I wasn't absolutely, positively certain that he liked you back." Naomi looked even more bashful at Seiko's tonal shift.

Seiko switched her gaze to the other two girls. Deciding to take a page from yesterday's lunch she casted a quick survey. "Who here thinks Mochida-kun won't reject Naomi?"

Naomi whipped her head at the other two girls who looked away from her. Ayumi winced upon feeling Naomi's eyes on her. Tentatively she raised her hand, followed by Mayu. "You guys..." Naomi looked down as unshed tears shimmered in her eyes.

Suddenly a warm hand was placed on top of her own. Naomi looked up to see Seiko grinning at her. Glancing back at the other two, they also wore encouraging looks. Moved by the friends who believed things would work out for her, Naomi nodded resolutely as her courage flared to life. "Alright then, I'll confess to Satoshi." Her heart was beating in anticipation.

Ayumi watched her short haired friend build her resolve. Before she had figured something like this would have left her fuming jealous at the prospect of Naomi confessing to Satoshi. Ayumi already knew what his response would be to Naomi's feelings. Despite this, seeing Naomi's determined look all she could feel was happiness for the other girl.

Having accomplished her mission of getting Naomi to agree Seiko, like a predator on the hunt, turned her sights on Mayu, ready to attack. The girl in question immediately sensed danger as her shoulders became tense. Seeing Seiko looking at her she knew that her demise would be swift.

However Mayu was saved by the door to their class sliding open, signaling the return of the guys of their group. Yoshiki was laughing at Satoshi, for he had managed to get the last pork cutlet sandwich instead. Sakutaro could only sigh at the antics of the other two boys as he caught sight of Mayu waving them over. His usually stoic expression softened ever so slightly.

Seiko, having caught that exchange, grinned before quickly whispering to Mayu. "Don't think that you're off the hook, Suzume-chaaan~." She sang song softly before pulling back and chuckling at the blushing Mayu.

Turning away from Satoshi's tears of defeat Yoshiki looked at the other half of his friend group. Smirking he walked over to them and took the seat that was across from Ayumi. "You guys seem to be having fun, what are you all talking about?" He questioned, wondering why Seiko looked so smug.

Seiko grinned like a cat who had the canary in its paws. "Oh, just boring girl stuff." She told him with a secretive smile.

Sensing there was more to it than that Yoshiki raised an eyebrow. "Really?" The blond turned his gaze to Ayumi for any sort of explanation. Ayumi fought the urge to avert her eyes from his searching look.

Meeting Yoshiki's smirk head on Ayumi found herself putting her index finger over lips and smiled. "We'll tell you later." She promised with a disarming wink.

Not expecting that response Yoshiki blinked before quickly regaining his cocky smirk. "I'll hold you to that, Shinozaki." He said before tearing the plastic off his sandwich and taking a bite.

Now that the entire group was present the rest of lunch passed by pretty quickly. Seiko refrained from further teasing as she felt that she had her fill for the day. Satoshi licked his wounds from his loss against Yoshiki. Ayumi and Mayu found themselves discussing some cheesey TV show that they were both watching, resulting in an exasperated sigh from Yoshiki.

Ayumi glared at her blond friend. "I didn't say anything." Teasing smirk in place, he made sure to make his tone as defusing as possible. Ayumi could tell he was poking fun at her current obsession, but was wisely not saying anything so she'd let him off the hook.

Satisfied with his response Ayumi retracted her glare. "Smart idea, Kishinuma-kun." She told him before resuming her conversation with Mayu. Normally at this point Ayumi would have diverted her attention completely away from Yoshiki. But now having already gotten used to being more observant of him she saw the telling things she normally missed.

First his eyes remained on her for a few seconds after she scolded him. His expression first subdued, before softening with obvious affection. And then he finally turned his gaze away from her, his lips curled into a small smile. Not a smirk like he usually presented to her and everyone else, but a genuine smile that she could scarcely remember seeing on his face. Probably because she never bothered to look for it.

Filing that image safety into the back of her mind for later Ayumi tore her focus completely away from Yoshiki and gave Mayu her full attention.

When the final bell rang Ayumi thanked her lucky stars that for once she'd be able to leave school immediately. There was no student council business or cleaning duty. Her friends dispersed as usual, exchanging good-byes. Naomi and Seiko were heading off together, they often walked home with each other since they lived in the same area. Today Seiko was happily leading Naomi out in a hurry.

Satoshi, having to go pick up his younger sister had been one of the first ones out the door. Yoshiki was taking his time as he looked at his phone. "Work tonight and tomorrow, off the next two days..." She heard him murmur and immediately realized he was going over his work schedule.

Ayumi knew about his part-time job at a small little shop in the middle of town. Despite how critical she could be on Yoshiki at times Ayumi had admitted to herself that it was impressive how he managed to fend for himself while keeping his head above the water in school. Even if his attendance and grades could stand to see some more improvements, she had no doubt that he would graduate.

Out of the corner of her eye she watched the blond leave the classroom before releasing a sigh. Sensing someone next to her Ayumi turned her head and looked up to see Mayu right beside her desk. The brown haired girl smiled sweetly at Ayumi.

"Hey, Suzumoto-san." She greeted before raising an eye brow and looking around. Sakutaro seemed to have also left the room. 'Today's Wednesday, don't they usually have club today?' Ayumi wondered why Mayu had hung back.

Mayu's smile became stilted as she tried to work up her courage. "Shinozaki-san..." She scratched her cheek before swallowing the lump in her throat. "D-do you think I-I should confess too?" She finally managed to get the words out.

Lips parting Ayumi stared at the brunette for a moment before clicking her mouth shut. "I-I mean, do you want to?" She questioned unsurely, not having expected Mayu to seek her counsel for this.

The usually cheerful girl sighed. "I-I think...I mean Nakashima-san is confessing to Mochida-kun, and then the thing with you and Kishinuma-kun...and I get the feeling that Shinohara-san will probably tease me tomorrow too." She explained and looked away for a moment.

Doing her best to ignore the mention of her and Yoshiki, Ayumi frowned at Mayu's dilemma. "Shinohara-san has been ruthless as of late." She jokingly said, prompting a small smile from the other girl. Seeing Mayu at ease, Ayumi decided to give her opinion. "Morishige-kun obviously cares a lot about you, and you feel the same way about him."

Mayu smiled sweetly as she thought about Shige-nii. "I do love him. He can be stiff at times, but he's always so sweet to me." She was the only one who ever got to see that side of him.

Ayumi nodded, it was plain to even people who didn't know Sakutaro that he treated Mayu differently than anyone else. "Like Nakashima-san, if you're ready to put your feelings out there for him to answer to, then I say go for it. The way he is with you, there's no way he'd ever react badly to your feelings." In her eyes Mayu had much more to gain than to lose.

Mayu looked down at her indoor shoes for a brief moment before nodding. "You're right Shinozaki-san..." She answered, feeling her confidence build from Ayumi's words. "I think after drama practice today I'm...I'm going to confess."

Ayumi was surprised at Mayu deciding not to put it off. Smiling widely she stood up and hugged the other girl. "I'm rooting for you Suzumoto-san. Text me when you get the good news."

Mayu beamed in response as she returned Ayumi's hug and stepped back. "Thanks, Class-rep. I will." The brown haired girl promised as she grabbed her bag from her desk. "I should get to drama practice, I'm already late." She said with a slight chuckle before leaving the classroom.

Ayumi watched her friend leave before sighing. 'Hopefully tomorrow when Shinohara-san decides to take aim at Suzumoto-san, she'll be able to stop her in her tracks.' Surely, that would be a sight to see.

On the way home Ayumi made sure to stop by the market and pick up the ingredients she'd need for making the homemade chocolate for Yoshiki. Namely milk powder and the unsweetened cocoa powder. She also made sure to purchase some nicely priced sweets for the rest of her friends.

Her parents were planning on taking a weekend trip for Valentine's Day, they'd be gone Friday night. 'Perfect time to make Kishinuma-kun's chocolate.' Last thing she wanted was her parents seeing her making homemade chocolate for a boy. Too many questions she wasn't prepared to answer.

Arriving home she slipped off her shoes and quickly stashed her purchases in her room. With everything put away Ayumi approached her dresser with the intent to change out of her school uniform. Pulling out a light green T-shirt she paused when she heard her phone vibrate.

'Maybe that's Suzumoto-san.' She tossed the shirt onto her bed and picked her phone up from her desk.

{We're going on a date tomorrow after school! :)}

Ayumi almost squealed in excitement for her friend. Quickly she texted back.

{Congrats! I'm so happy for you! :)}

Mayu's reply was almost instantly.

{thanks Class-rep. I'm so happy rn. And I feel so relieved too 33}

{I bet. Also, imagine Shinohara-san's face tomorrow when you tell her how you beat her to the punch. XD}

Ayumi wiped away tears of laughter at the all caps response Mayu sent her.


{Shinohara-san won't get to play with anyone tomorrow ;)}

{Poor Shinohara-san. Lol}

Ayumi giggled as she put her phone down and changed out of her school uniform. The rest of the evening passed by peacefully as Ayumi worked on homework, drew in her sketchbook a little bit, and enjoyed a quiet dinner with her family.

The next morning as Ayumi approached the school entrance she spotted Seiko lying in wait. Raising an eyebrow the twin tailed class-rep approached the curly haired girl. "Shinohara-san, good morning!" The class-rep greeted cheerfully.

Seiko grinned ear to ear at seeing of her friends. "Morning, Shinozaki-san!" She looked at Ayumi before whipping her head back to observe the other approaching students.

"You're here rather early." Ayumi observed out loud as she stood next to the other girl.

Not taking her eyes away from the crowd Seiko snickered. "I'm waiting for Suzumoto-san." She stated, explaining her early arrival. "I told her yesterday she wasn't off the hook, and you know what they say about early birds and worms." The curly haired girl giggled.

Ayumi smirked as she placed her hands on her hips. "Now if only you could put that much dedication into your schoolwork." She teased lightly.

Seiko wore a tight smile at that. "Class-rep, you know I couldn't do that. I have my priorities." Ayumi opened her mouth to counter but was interrupted. "Speaking of which." Seiko rubbed her hands together as she spotted today's target.

Ayumi closed her mouth with an audible click as she watched her friend approach Mayu.

"Good morning, Suzume-chaaan!" Seiko bubbly greeted the shorter girl.

Mayu paused in her approach upon seeing the other girl. Her facial features displayed surprise before becoming confident, causing Seiko to slow her approach. "Good morning, Shinohara-san, Shinozaki-san." A smug smile was shared between Ayumi and Mayu, much to Seiko's confusion.

Feeling out of the loop Seiko found herself unsure as to what she was missing. "Why do I feel like I've been beaten?" The mischievous girl asked mostly to herself.

Ayumi walked up and patted Seiko's shoulder. "Because you have."

Seiko was at a loss for words until a familiar blue haired boy came into sight. 'I can still turn this around.' She quickly planned her next move. Waving at the boy in question she drew attention to him. "Good morning, Morishige-kun!" She grinned, there was no way she could lose. She'd make Mayu a blushing mess one way or another.

Mayu whipped her head to see her favorite person. "Shige-nii!" She cried out happily before running up to meet him.

As if having an out of body experience Seiko watched the two lovebirds exchange words for a brief moment. Then to her utter shock, horror, and delight Sakutaro claimed Mayu's hand and they both walked past the other two girls while offering brief good mornings.

All was quiet for a moment before Seiko grabbed her head and looked up to the sky. "WHAT IS THIS WORLD I'M LIVING IN?!" She cried out in mock-horror, causing the nearby students to turn and gawk at her.

Ayumi burst out laughing at the rare sight of Seiko being so utterly bested. Off in the distance she caught sight of Naomi, Satoshi, and Yoshiki approaching the school.

The three new arrivals were wearing confused expressions at Seiko's tears of defeat. Naomi approached and rubbed the usually playful girl's back while offering soothing words. Seiko buried her face into Naomi's shoulder, and for once didn't make for any inappropriate grabs, she needed her best friend's comfort.

Satoshi and Yoshiki looked to the class-rep for explanation. Ayumi's grin grew wider as she found Yoshiki's humored expression to her liking. "Shinohara-san was unable to eat the canary today." Ayumi giggled as the two boys looked at each other in confusion, then Seiko who was still being comforted by Naomi, before sharing an awkward shrug. Maybe it was for the best that they don't pry too much into it.

Shortly after that the first warning bell rang and the remaining friend group of 2-9 quickly changed their shoes and raced to class.

Thankfully as the day proceeded Seiko managed to bounce back from her defeat that morning and regained her usual bubbly self. The rest of Ayumi's friends noticed the altered dynamic between Mayu and Sakutaro, and after some questions, congratulated the two.

As the group kept their attention on the new relationship between the drama students, Naomi discreetly glanced at Satoshi, finding her own resolve to confess growing stronger. 'Today, after school.' She decided. If Mayu could be brave enough to go for her crush, than surely she could too!

"So are you two doing anything for Valentine's Day? Something spicy?" Seiko grinned at the matching blushes she elicited from her friends. She might not to have gotten to Mayu this morning, but this might be even better. She now had two people to openly tease; however, Sakutaro was proving to be a tough nut to crack.

Pushing his glasses up the blue haired boy recovered swiftly. "I don't think that's any of your business, Shinohara. Surely you should focus on your own love life?" He pointedly suggested.

Not at all deterred by Sakutaro's cool demeanor Seiko fluttered her eyes before grinning. "But I love you guys, and want to share in the happiness."

Not expecting this sort of answer from her, Sakutaro found himself lacking a response; however Mayu was able to answer in his stead. "We love you too, Shinohara-san." She smiled warmly at the other girl.

Seiko's grin became relaxed as she found herself unable to tease Mayu. "Shucks guys, I guess with Valentine's coming up, love is in the air." She joked, before discreetly focusing on Ayumi and Naomi, prompting light blushes from the two girls.

Thankfully the rest of the group didn't seem to notice, too focused on Sakutaro and Mayu. Not much later the bell rang and they were back to their school work.

The final bell, signaling the end of the school day came surprisingly quick for Naomi. Despite her nervousness she was determined not to give up. She had already told Seiko that she would try walking home with Satoshi, so please go on without her.

Seiko had simply grinned. "Be sure to text me about all the steamy bits later." She whispered to a blushing Naomi who sputtered in response.

Satoshi was in the middle of packing his things up. He didn't have much to do today, but he'd have to pick up Yuka from school in a little bit. However Yuka was on classroom cleaning duty today, so he didn't have to rush for once.

"Hey, Satoshi?"

Hearing his longtime friend/crush calling out to him he looked up. "Oh, hey Naomi." His heart sped up slightly as he noticed the nervous look in her eyes. "Is everything ok?" He asked with some concern.

Naomi bit her lip before nodding slowly. "Yeah...it's just..." Twiddling her thumbs she steeled her resolve. "D-Do you have a moment? Can you co-come with m-me?" She couldn't help but stutter, her heart was racing a mile a minute.

Satoshi, very aware of her nervousness, smiled in attempt to put Naomi at ease. "Sure Naomi," Whatever was up must be serious.

"W-would it be alright if we go somewhere pr-private?" The two brunettes wore matching blushes at her request. Satoshi managed to stutter out an agreement.

Yoshiki watched his best friend being led out by the brown haired girl. Smirking the blond winked at Satoshi, who gave him a weak glare before following his crush.

Yoshiki slung his bag over his shoulder before glancing over at Ayumi. He didn't know exactly what Naomi was up to, but he could hazard a guess based on what he picked up. And to no surprise, Ayumi had also been watching the interaction between their friends.

He monitored the way her gaze followed the pair out of the classroom. Yoshiki waited for the face he feared she would make, the heartbroken one that he'd rather not see, but would be ready to wipe away in the only way he knew how.

Kishinuma Yoshiki often liked to tease Ayumi and rile her up, because it was the most effective way to sway her attention from Satoshi to him. 'Even if only for a moment.' Not to mention her expressions were cute.

To his surprise the occult-loving class-rep didn't look on in despair. In fact he swore she looked pleased, unexpected but definitely not unwelcomed. He liked that expression best. Warm smile, bright happy eyes, it made him smile too...

As if sensing his gaze on her, Ayumi turned her attention to him. Smile still in place she tilted her head. "What?" Ayumi asked as if she was aware of something that he wasn't.

Yoshiki's smile faltered before morphing into his usual smirk. "Nothing, nothing."

Ayumi placed her hands on her hips and met his cool expression head on, clearly not believing him. "So you say..." She then became thoughtful before turning and packing the rest of her things.

Figuring that was probably the end of that Yoshiki made to leave. He had to work tonight, but he had ample time to get home, change, and eat something. He was almost to the door when Ayumi's crystal clear voice shattered all thought process.

"Hey, Kishinuma-kun, do you want to walk home together?"

Yoshiki swore that he had misheard things. Whirling around he looked at the occult-loving girl as if she had just sprouted a second head. "...Huh?" Was the best he could come up with as the twin tailed girl walked over to him.

Finding the unfamiliar expression on his face rather enjoyable Ayumi filed it away in the back of her mind for later. "Walk home together. You know, leave the school and remain in each other's presence until we have to split off to go to our individual homes?" She explained as though it were a foreign concept.

Yoshiki's mouth parted as he still found himself unable to respond. 'So I wasn't mishearing...' Ayumi had never asked him to walk home, and the few times he had tried to invite her she had refused unless he was with Satoshi.

Realizing that he wasn't going to answer, the blue haired girl's face became hesitant. "Unless you don't want to?" She had never looked that shy before at anyone, not even with Satoshi.

Yoshiki cursed the butterflies in his stomach at that look. He didn't know where this had come from, but he didn't want to ruin it. Regaining his cool he scratched his head and hoped his face wasn't as red as he feared. "I don't mind walking together..." He said slowly to keep his voice from shaking.

Her shy look was replaced with a bright smile. "Let's go then." Ayumi proclaimed cheerfully before walking past him out to the hallway.

Yoshiki was tempted to pinch himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming. 'No. If this is a dream, I'd rather not wake up just yet.' Even if there was a chance of him waking up at the end of class with doodles on his face from a marker, courtesy of one Shinohara Seiko, he would savor this moment.

The walk home was pleasant for them. Not much was said between the pair, but the atmosphere was comfortable enough that they didn't feel the need to fill the air with pointless chatter. Ayumi did tell Yoshiki about how Mayu had gone to her for advice yesterday to confess, and that she was elated to see her friends happy today.

Ayumi thought back to Naomi approaching Satoshi at the end of class. "I hope the same can happen for Nakashima-san..." She let slip out without noticing.

Yoshiki looked at her, gauging her reaction. Today Ayumi just seemed to be going against a lot of his expectations of what he knew about her. Deciding that he didn't want to be caught staring he shifted his gaze forward and tried to keep his expression cool.

Ayumi, however had noticed, but chose not to comment on it. In contrast to the cool weather she felt rather warm on the inside. The occult-loving girl had noticed the soft look on Yoshiki's face that he tried to hide. It had almost become like a game to her to try and catch those looks without being seen. 'Kishinuma-kun is definitely more than meets the eye.' She was beginning to realize. If they did start dating Ayumi knew that she would have to tease him for being a big softie. Covering her mouth the blue haired girl stifled a small giggle.

Yoshiki glanced back upon hearing her laugh. "What?" He questioned, wondering what she found so funny.

All he got in return was a knowing smile followed her saying. "Nothing, nothing." Yoshiki wasn't entirely convinced, but didn't want to shatter the pleasant atmosphere between them.

Shortly after that exchange they arrived at the point where they would have to split. Ayumi could already see Yoshiki's apartment complex so they would part ways here, seeing as she still had about a ten minute walk until she would arrive at her house.

"See you tomorrow, Kishinuma-kun." Yoshiki opened his mouth to respond before hesitating. Ayumi paused upon catching sight of his regretful expression. "Is something wrong?" She inquired in concern.

Scratching his cheek Yoshiki chuckled to himself. "Well, I'd like to say that I'll see you tomorrow, but I won't be able to make it to school." His tone made it obvious that he was expecting a lecture as to why he shouldn't skip.

Ayumi's face fell at Yoshiki's admission and she definitely did have a lecture on the tip of her tongue, but held back just in case. 'He could have a legitimate reason for having to miss school.' She told herself. Maybe there was something urgent that he had to take care of that would result in him being absent.

"Why not?"

Yoshiki bit the inside of his cheek before answering. "Well I'm picking some extra hours up at work, I need the money." He admitted.

Ayumi blinked at his fairly reasonable answer. Considering him working was the difference between survival she couldn't fault him for that. Even if she would rather see him attend class everyday. "I see." She responded begrudgingly nodding her acceptance. "I guess it can't be helped. Just make sure to keep up with your homework, Kishinuma-kun." She pointedly reminded him.

Put at ease by her understanding the blond smirked, not at all surprised by the class-rep's reminder. "Sure, I already told Yui-sensei I'd be out tomorrow. She said she'd be sure to have someone drop off my assignments."

Ayumi perked up at hearing that. "Well then. Maybe if Mochida-kun is busy tomorrow I'll end up dropping them off for you." A teasing grin spread across her face. "Better make sure you clean up, wouldn't want me to find the dirty magazines you keep under your bed." She chuckled before pointing her finger at his chest.

Yoshiki, initially taken aback by her possibly volunteering to deliver his homework, recovered quickly. "As if I'd have stuff like that!" He rolled his eyes, but quietly decided he'd still best tidy up in the unlikely event that Ayumi did come over. He might not have anything incriminating he didn't want her to see, but he'd rather her not see him as a slob.

Finding his response to her liking Ayumi laughed before turning away. "Well then, bye Kishinuma-kun." She called out before heading off in the direction of her neighborhood.

Yoshiki's eyes lingered on her for a few moments. "Later." He muttered before heading off in the other direction.

The next day was the day before Valentine's Day. A humming buzz was felt as Ayumi overheard a number of girls talking about what they wanted to get for their crushes. Which reminded Ayumi that once she got home she would actually be going through with her plan. She'd be making chocolate to give to Yoshiki for Valentine's Day. If asked, Ayumi couldn't even try to deny that she was eagerly looking forward to seeing his reaction tomorrow.

Ayumi was the first of their usual group to arrive. Shortly after her were Mayu and Sakutaro, hand in hand. The brunette looked rather content while Sakutaro's face retained his usual stoic look, though he also seemed to have no issues with the new relationship.

The two greeted Ayumi before separating and going to their desks. Mayu placed her bag on her desk before joining Ayumi, while Sakutaro opted to take his seat and crack open a book.

"So did you see the latest episode last night?" Mayu asked with an eager grin.

Ayumi tapped her pen on her desk, as she remembered that a new episode of their favorite show was supposed to air the previous night. Her mind had been so focused in other things that she forgot to check the tv guide. "No, I forgot it was on last night." She'd have to try watching it online before the next episode.

Mayu sighed in disappointment. "Oh. So I guess I can't talk to you about it..." The usually bubbly girl lamented.

Feeling bad Ayumi smiled apologetically. "Sorry, Suzumoto-san. I'll try to catch up. Maybe you can try talking to Morishige-kun about it." She suggested before pointing at the boy in question.

Mayu immediately shook her head at her suggestion. "Shige-nii doesn't care for shows like that." In fact he almost never watched TV.

Having heard his name come up the boy in question tore his eyes away from his book. "You know Mayu, if you want to talk about whatever show you're watching, I will listen." He might not be able to comprehend what she's talking about, but he didn't want her to think that she wasn't allowed to get excited about her interests with him.

Mayu's heart melted at Sakutaro's offer. "Ok then." Pursing her lips she looked at Ayumi. "Though, probably not now. I wouldn't want to ruin it for you, Shinozaki-san."

Ayumi gave a thankful smile as she endeavored to watch the next episode before another one could air. "Thanks, Suzumoto-san."

Two minutes before the bell a laughing Seiko walked into the classroom. Seconds later trailed in Satoshi and Naomi, both looking beyond embarrassed.

When the final bell rang Ayumi started collecting her things, but paused when she spotted Satoshi going up to the teacher's podium where Yui was standing. Hearing the words Yoshiki, absent, and homework prompted Ayumi to stand up.

Satoshi anxiously rubbed the back of his neck. He wouldn't mind delivering Yoshiki his missed assignments, but he still needed to pick up Yuka, and take her home. Not to mention that he wanted to talk to Naomi about their plans for tomorrow after school. "I'd love to Yui-sensei, but..." He trailed off not wanting to disappoint his homeroom teacher.

Yui was about to ask Satoshi what was wrong, but stoped when she noticed Ayumi approaching them. "Shinozaki-san? Do you need something?" Satoshi turned to look at the class-rep.

Ayumi's eyes went from their teacher's face to the stack of papers Yui had in her hands. "Is that for Kishinuma-kun?" She innocently inquired.

"Yes, I was just asking Mochida-kun if he wouldn't mind delivering these." Yui explained, looking between the two students. "Though I'm getting the distinct impression that he can't." Satoshi could only offer an apologetic grimace in return.

Ayumi hummed as though she were considering this conundrum. "Well then, do you want me to deliver them to him?" Even if she had teased Yoshiki about this yesterday, Ayumi realized that she'd like to see him today.

Satoshi smiled in thanks and looked to see if Yui was okay with this. "That would be very helpful." Wearing a grin of her own their teacher agreed as she handed the assignments to Ayumi. "Do you need me to write down his address?"

"That would be great, I've passed by his apartment before. I just don't know what unit he lives in." Ayumi explained.

Pulling out a sticky note Yui quickly wrote down the apartment number and handed Ayumi the note. "Thanks, Shinozaki-san." Yui said with a small wink.

Noticing her teacher's signal Ayumi's checks tinted slightly as she hummed in response. Looking down at the note Yui had handed her she memorized the address and slip the note into her bag. "No problem, Shishido-sensei. I'm happy to make sure Kishinuma-kun gets his homework." Hopefully by the time she got to his place Yoshiki would be off from work.

The two students said their goodbyes to Yui before heading out into the hallway. "Thanks, Shinozaki. Normally I don't mind bringing Yoshiki his missed work but I kind of have plans after school today." Satoshi said as he checked his watch. Yuka would be getting out in a little bit and he still needed to track down Naomi before she left.

Ayumi hummed in acknowledgement. "It's no problem at all. I don't mind making sure Kishinuma-kun stays on top of his school work." She assured the brunette male.

Satoshi grinned in relief at seeing Ayumi untroubled at doing this in his place. "It's a good thing we have you to make sure all of us stay in line, especially Yoshiki." He joked, knowing how stern Ayumi could be with his best friend.

Ayumi hesitated at that. Satoshi probably didn't know about Yoshiki's feelings for her. 'Kishinuma-kun's not the kind of guy to talk to his friends about that kind of stuff. Or is he?' At this point Ayumi couldn't really be one-hundred percent certain. "Someone has to keep our group on track." Ayumi reflected his joking tone.

Smiling Satoshi waved goodbye. "Well, see you tomorrow Shinozaki." He said before running off.

"Bye, Mochida-kun." Ayumi watched him until he was out of sight. She figured that in addition to picking up his sister Satoshi must have something planned with Naomi, which could be a good reason as to why he was hesitant to stop by Yoshiki's place.

Ayumi breathed a freeing sigh. Surprisingly, thinking about Satoshi and Naomi didn't bother her all that much. The class-rep still cared about Satoshi and thought he was cute, but she didn't want to be with him now that he and Naomi were going down that route.

Pulling out her phone Ayumi checked the time. Her phone's display read 3:37 pm. 'I don't know what time Kishinuma-kun gets off work, but it can't be too late.' She figured as she headed down to the school entrance to change her shoes.

A fifteen minute walk later and she was at Yoshiki's apartment. Checking the number she compared it to the door plate and concluded that she had the right door. Raising her fist Ayumi gave two tentative knocks.

Nothing. Ayumi waited for a moment before knocking again. Still no response, not even the sound of someone moving around. 'Is he still at work?' Ayumi wondered as she pulled her phone out. 3:57 pm. Ayumi sighed and opened her contacts before scrolling down to Yoshiki's name.

Just as she was about to press the call button Ayumi had a thought. It had been almost eight months since she had received Yoshiki's number. In that time she never called him, and hardly texted him. Frowning Ayumi shook her head. "There's a first time for everything." She muttered before finally pressing the call button and putting the phone to her ear.

He picked up after the fifth ring. "Hello...Shinozaki?" His voice sounded confused as though he couldn't believe that she had actually called him.

"Hey Kishinuma-kun. I brought your school work. Where are you?" She inquired while looking back and forth down the hall.

Surprised by this Yoshiki took a moment to respond. "Uh, I just got off work. I'll be home in about five minutes."

Finding that acceptable Ayumi nodded. "Okay, then. I'll be waiting here." She informed him before ending the call.

"Shi-." Beep.

Pocketing her phone Ayumi turned her back against the door, before wiping the floor for any dirt, and sitting down.

Seven minutes later she head the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. Seeing that familiar head of blond hair Ayumi breathed a sigh before standing up.

Despite knowing she'd be there Yoshiki looked taken aback to see her waiting in front of his door. His surprise face quickly morphed into a teasing grin. "You know, you didn't have to wait, Shinozaki. You could have just put the work in my mailbox." He pointed to the box on his door.

Lips parting Ayumi looked at the mailbox as though seeing it for the first time. "I-I just wanted to make sure you got your schoolwork." Ayumi puffed out her chest, covering her oversight.

Yoshiki saw right through her lie. "More like you weren't paying attention, Shinozaki." He chuckled as Ayumi puffed her cheeks at him and tried to look annoyed. Laughing even harder Yoshiki passed by her and unlocked his door before entering. "Since you're here, you want anything to drink?" He questioned, figuring that offering her a refreshment would make up for his teasing.

Ayumi's fake anger faded as she watched him. Deciding she'd rather be inside than outside she followed. His apartment was small, the front door led into the living room which was connected by a tiny kitchen. He didn't have much furniture: a single couch, a table, and another table with two chairs in the kitchen. 'At least his apartment is clean.' Ayumi smirked to herself as she imagined an eager Yoshiki going to great lengths to make his living space as presentable as possible.

Hearing said person clearing their throat she met his expectant look and remembered that he had asked her something. "What do you have to drink?" Ayumi slipped her shoes off to the side before walking into the living room.

Smirking Yoshiki answered. "Booze." At Ayumi's less than impressed look Yoshiki raised his hands in defense. "Kidding, I'm kidding, Shinozaki! I have water, soda, juice, milk..." He trailed off waiting for an answer.

Shrugging Ayumi went with the safest option. "I'll just have a glass of water."

Grabbing a cup Yoshiki filled it with water from the tap and handed it over. "Thanks." Ayumi muttered after taking a sip and placing her bag on the kitchen table. Setting her glass down she reached into her school bag and pulled out today's assignments.

"This is what we went through today in class. Shishido-Sensei also made sure to write down all the pages you'd have to read for your other classes." Ayumi informed the blond as she pointed to the notes Yui had included.

Yoshiki nodded as he accepted the work. Looking at the clock on his wall he sighed. He was done with work, but he'd definitely have to focus on schoolwork before and after dinner if he wanted to get a decent grade. "Going to be a long night." He grumbled. That was one of the downsides with skipping to get extra hours, he always ended up paying for it when playing catch up.

Ayumi frowned as she considered Yoshiki's situation. The blue haired girl wondered just how often Yoshiki resigned himself to long nights of school work after being absent so he could make more money. Pretty frequently, she'd bet, if his spotty attendance record was anything to go by.

An idea struck her, Ayumi reached back into her bag and pulled out a couple of her folders. Yoshiki noticed her actions. "What are you doing? Did you forget to give me something?" He asked with a confused look.

Ayumi ignored him as she complied the items she felt would serve him best. About ten sheets of paper in her hands she offered them to Yoshiki. "Here, this might make learning the material a little easier. My notes." Ayumi was known for being a meticulous note taker, surely these would be a boon to Yoshiki.

Wordlessly Yoshiki accepted the notes and looked down at them. Realizing he should offer some gratitude for the unexpected gesture he thanked her.

Ayumi smiled at his appreciation. "Just make sure you give them back before our next big test. If you forget, I know where you live." She jokingly threatened.

"Heh, heh..." Lips curved into a small smile Yoshiki chuckled.

Downing the rest of her water Ayumi moved to place her cup in the sink. "I should get going. See you later Kishinuma-kun." Ayumi said to Yoshiki as she made for the door and slipped her shoes on.

"Later..." His voice followed her out the door.

That night Ayumi stood at her kitchen stove, donned with a cream colored apron over her school uniform. Upon getting home she had found the house empty. Her parents had left for their weekend away, and Ayumi figured her sister was out with a friend. The perfect time to start on her project for tomorrow.

Valentine's Day was on a Saturday this year, so that meant tomorrow would be a half day at school. Ayumi had already set her alarm for the next morning. She intended to get up a little earlier and be at Kisaragi before the rest of her friends. The class-rep had a fair amount of chocolate she wanted to give out, the best time would be before class. She would place the treats on her friend's desks, but Yoshiki's she planned to hand him his personally.

"I can't wait to see his reaction. Heh..." The blue haired girl couldn't even bother to be surprised by how much she was looking forward to this.

Ayumi was in the process of mixing the cocoa and milk powder in when she heard the front door open. "I'm home!" Her dear older sister called out.

Ayumi grinned at hearing her sister's voice, but paused at the task she was currently doing. Her sister would definitely have questions, none that she could deny answers to. Despite that she was happy for her big sister to be home. "Welcome back!" She called out, announcing her presence.

A couple moments passed before Shinozaki Hinoe entered the kitchen. The young woman blinked in surprise at what her little sister was up to. "Making chocolates for Valentine's Day?" She questioned as she glanced at the pot Ayumi was mixing.

Biting her lip Ayumi meekly nodded. "Yeah. But not for who you would think." Hinoe made a curious face at Ayumi. "It's for Kishinuma-kun." Hinoe had never met Yoshiki before, but she had heard the occasional complaint about the ex-delinquent.

At her big sister's curious face Ayumi explained the conversation from the other day she had with her friends. "So you like this Kishinuma boy now?" Hinoe probed as she tried to make sense of the current situation.

Biting the inside of her cheek Ayumi considered her opinion on Yoshiki. After a moment she shook her head. "Not exactly. I like Kishinuma-kun, but not like that." Maybe after awhile she could say differently, but she wasn't ready to say that yet.

This only further confounded Hinoe. "Then why are you making Valentine's Day chocolate for a boy you know likes you?"

Frowning Ayumi turned her attention back to the mixture. Deciding that it had heated enough she turned off the heat and moved it to the side. "I don't like Kishinuma-kun like that; but he's a decent guy and I'm not against trying to date...and I wanted to tell him that..." She trailed off softly as she thought about the blond boy.

Hinoe studied her sister's timid expression for a moment before offering a soothing smile. Walking over to Ayumi she placed a gentle kiss on her little sister's head. "Good luck, Ayumi-chan." She encouraged, happy for her little sister.

Ayumi brightened at her big sister's affection. "Thanks, Onee-chan!" She could always count on Hinoe to lift her spirits.

After Hinoe left the kitchen to return to her room Ayumi went back to focusing on the task at hand. Pouring the heated chocolate into a pan she waited for it to cool before cutting it into small shapes. She could have tried making them into hearts, but she felt that could misconstrue things between her and Yoshiki. 'Maybe next year if we actually date.' She thought with a chuckle.

Taking one piece of chocolate she popped it into her mouth to taste. "Hmm." She hummed approvingly before picking up another piece and heading out of the kitchen.

Knocking on her sister's door she only had to wait for a few seconds for Hinoe to answer. Seeing the offered chocolate Hinoe smiled as she accepted it. Taking a bite Hinoe nodded her endorsement "It's very good, Ayumi-chan. I'm sure Kishinuma-kun will love it."

Cheeks red Ayumi grinned as she spun on her heel and returned to the kitchen. Locating a small container she filled it with the remaining chocolate, 12 pieces in total, and sealed it before wrapping it up in cloth.

She was set for tomorrow, now all that was left to do was finish the rest of her homework. Thankfully she had already done half of it during the school day. Just as she was about to return to her room Ayumi stopped as her stomach growled.

Looking at the clock she sighed, she hadn't eaten since lunch and it was now 8:00 pm. "I definitely don't feel like cooking something after that." The twin tailed girl muttered before grabbing an apple and biting into it.

After eating her apple Ayumi went and gathered her homework before approaching Hinoe's door. Her older sister often allowed her to do her homework in her room if Ayumi wanted company.

Her big sister listened as Ayumi went into further detail about the past week, her interactions with Yoshiki since learning about his feelings, how Seiko had been on the warpath with teasing her friends, and how Mayu and Sakutaro got together.

"Then the next day, Nakashima-san pulled Mochida-kun aside after school." Ayumi said as she worked through another problem on her work sheet. She only had three left, so she was almost done. "I don't know what happened, but I'm pretty sure she confessed."

"Oh, Ayumi-chan." Hinoe knew about her little sister's crush on the timid boy. Even if Ayumi was diverting her attention to another boy it couldn't be easy for her.

Ayumi paused in her schoolwork before looking up at her sister's sympathetic face. Offering a disarming smile Ayumi shook her head. "No, it's okay. I'm...happy for Nakashima-san." And she meant it. Naomi was her good friend, and she shared the other girl's happiness.

Hinoe assessed her sister's face before realizing that Ayumi really wasn't broken up about this. "I'm relieved, Ayumi-chan." She finally said before deciding to tease her little sister. "And who knows, after you give those chocolates to Kishinuma-kun you might have a boyfriend too."

Ayumi pursed her lips and looked down at her homework, face aflame. "Geeze, Onee-chan." She muttered before shifting her attention back to her school work.

Hinoe silently watched her sister's profile. Face red, eyes focused, but her mouth was turned into a small smile. Hinoe was happy to see her little sister like this.

Waking up a half hour early allowed Ayumi ample time to get to school before the rest of her friends. Making sure she had everything she needed Ayumi slipped out of her house and headed off for Kisaragi.

It was weird walking the mostly deserted hallways. Other than a few teachers or one or two students Ayumi hadn't seen anyone on her trek to Class 2-9.

Unsurprisingly she was the only one in the room, not even their homeroom teacher was anywhere to be seen. 'Perfect.' Ayumi thought to herself as she went to all her friends desks, leaving the sweets she had bought earlier this week for them to find. 'Suzumoto-san, Shinohara-san, Morishige-kun, Nakashima-san, Mochida-kun, and of course something for Sensei as well.' Ayumi smiled as she placed the last small box of store bought chocolates on the teacher's podium.

With her first task completed Ayumi sat down at her desk and glanced into her bag at the last item she had to give. "All that's left is Kishinuma-kun's." Of course she could have just placed it in his desk like the others, but since she had gone through the effort to make these for him, she would personally hand them to the blond.

Of course though she'd have to wait till the end of the school day. Giving Yoshiki handmade Valentine's Day chocolates was going to be embarrassing enough as is. With that in mind she'd rather it be done with a little bit of privacy.

About ten minutes after she had sat down the first of her classmates started to file in. Ayumi kept her eyes trained on the entrance until she spotted one of her friends. First to come in was Sakutaro followed by Mayu.

Ayumi took note of the small box in Sakutaro's hand, a Valentine's gift from Mayu no doubt. The blue haired boy looked down at the box before smiling and putting it into his bag before sitting down.

"Oh!" Ayumi's eyes went to Mayu as she pulled out the small box of chocolate she had gotten her. It wasn't anything fancy, but the sweets she had bought her friends weren't cheap either. "Thanks Shinozaki-san."

Ayumi placed her index finger her over lips. At Mayu's confused expression she waved the other girl over. Getting up from her desk she approached the class-rep. Opening her bag Ayumi allowed Mayu to peek inside.

Eyes narrowing Mayu read the name tag attacked to the wrapped container before gasping. Meeting Ayumi's gaze she realized why Ayumi might want her to be subtle. "I hope he likes them, Shinozaki-san." Mayu smiled excitedly.

Not expecting the response Ayumi was taken aback for a second. Allowing a small smile to slip through she nodded. "I think he will." She responded before Mayu headed back to her seat.

The rest of their friends entered the classroom a couple minutes before the bell. A grinning Seiko was the first one to enter the room, followed by a pair of blushing brunettes, with an amused Yoshiki bringing up the rear.

The bell rang and homeroom began, but Ayumi hardly noticed. The moment Yoshiki entered the classroom she was hyper aware of his presence and the gift she intended to give him. She was excited to finally do it, but also nervous.

Strange. 'What do I have to be nervous about?' Ayumi couldn't help but snort in amusement. She already knew Yoshiki liked her, she didn't even have to take Seiko's word for it. Ayumi had seen it over the last few days, the stolen glances, the warm smiles, and all the other little things she had previously ignored about Yoshiki.

The way he always gave her his full undivided attention when she approached him. How he was always the first to go out of his way to offer her help, even if she'd prefer people not go out of their way for her. How, despite the high number of times she refused his help when she didn't want it, he was always ready to give it when she did ask for it. Ayumi had taken Yoshiki for granted, something he didn't deserve.

A part of her wondered why he liked her so much. Something in her observations gave Ayumi the impression that for Yoshiki this wasn't just a simple crush like how she and Naomi felt for Satoshi. 'Kishinuma-kun doesn't just like me. It's more than that...' Why though? What about her could draw Yoshiki in that he'd fall so deep, despite how she often overlooked him? Ayumi resolved to ask the blond about his feelings when she gave him the handmade chocolates later.

Ayumi chewed on her lower lip as she glanced at the clock. Class had only started ten minutes ago, and it felt like she had been sitting for hours. Thankfully class would be dismissed at their usual lunch time. That is when she would confront the blond. With that in mind Ayumi did her best to reel in her running thoughts and focus on class.

After an eternity the final bell of the day rung. "Finally." Ayumi whispered as she grabbed her bag and turned to approach Yoshiki.

The boy in question thankfully had not immediately left upon hearing the bell. Since they had gotten out of school early and he was off work today he wasn't in much of a rush to get going. "Satoshi, you doing anything today?" He asked the brown haired boy. He didn't have any plans today, so maybe Satoshi would want to do something.

At hearing his name Satoshi looked sheepish. "Yeah actually, Naomi and I were going to meet up in an hour. We're going on a date..." Despite being nervous, he was really looking forward to his first real date with Naomi.

Yoshiki smirked at his best friend's nervousness. "Oh well, good luck man." He said before lightly smacking the other boy's shoulder.

The brunette nodded, appreciating his best friend's encouragement. With that Satoshi left the classroom, he still had to pick up his sister and go home to get ready for his date.

Yoshiki shrugged to himself. Seeing as he didn't have anything else to do, and he doubted Ayumi would accept an invitation to hang out after school he started for the door.

"Hold on, Kishinuma-kun." But was stopped by Ayumi calling out to him. Turning to look at her he raised an eyebrow in question. It wasn't often that she requested his attention, despite how often he gave it, so he wondered what she needed. "C-Can you come with me for a minute?"

At the unexpected request Yoshiki was dumbfounded for a moment. That made two times in the last week that Ayumi had requested his presence after school. At his lack of a response Ayumi's expression went from hesitant to impatient. "Well?"

Snapping out of his thoughts Yoshiki nodded. "S-sure." He answered before trailing after the class-rep. Yoshiki did not notice the thumbs up Seiko gave the two as they left the class; Ayumi did.

Ayumi considered leading Yoshiki up to the roof, but decided against that. It really would feel like a confession on her end, and was just too cliche. She instead kept walking until they came to a more secluded part of the school. When she was satisfied that no one was around she spun on her heel and faced Yoshiki.

Not expecting her to stop so abruptly Yoshiki nearly collided with her, but stumbled back at the last second. "H-hey!" His face heated up slightly at the momentary closeness. "Give a heads up or something..." He muttered while tugging his collar.

Ayumi chuckled as she reached into her bag. "Sorry, Kishinuma-kun." The blue haired girl said, even if she didn't sound very apologetic.

Yoshiki's eyes followed her movements as she pulled something out that was wrapped in cloth. "W-what's that?" He questioned, not comprehending Ayumi's actions.

Pursing her lips Ayumi presented the wrapped container. "Open it." She said simply.

Looking apprehensive Yoshiki reached out to accept the presented gift, fingers brushing ever so slightly he ignored the butterflies in his stomach. Pulling the cloth free his breath caught in his throat as he realized what was in the container. Looking back up he took note of Ayumi's guarded expression.

Wringing her hands together Ayumi spoke up. "I made those last night. I think they're turned out pretty well...I hope you like them." She muttered at the end.

Mouth agape Yoshiki stared for a moment longer before snapping out of his stupor. "Sh-Shinozaki?" Ayumi had never shown any indication of seeing him as anything more than a friend, and at times usually just seemed annoyed by him. Why would Ayumi make him chocolate on Valentine's Day? Mind racing he considered the obvious implications and felt his cheeks slowly heating up.

Swallowing her nervousness Ayumi narrowed her eyes in determination. "A few days ago Shinohara-san brought something to my attention. She made me realize that you like me." The occult-loving girl explained.

Yoshiki's face became even redder at hearing that. "L-like y-you?" He echoed.

Ayumi, finding his current state cute, felt her confidence rise. "Surprising, right?" She asked with a cheeky grin.

Yoshiki found himself unable to say anything further. Ayumi was aware of where his affections lied and had just given him something for Valentine's Day, this had to be a dream.

Seeing that Yoshiki wasn't going to add anything more Ayumi continued. "I'll admit, at first I was a little skeptical of what Shinohara-san said." Looking down she bit her lip as she remembered the observations she had made over the last few days. "But because of what she said, I started paying more attention to you. Mainly how you act with me when you thought I wasn't looking."

Her eyes watered slightly. "I think Shinohara-san is off the mark actually." Yoshiki had recovered enough to raise an eyebrow at that. "I think you're in love with me." Ayumi smiled at the fluttering in her chest at saying those words to him.

For a moment Yoshiki forgot how to breathe. It was as though his brain had stopped function and it didn't know how to work. Yet his heart kept beating at an extreme rate, if he hadn't opened his mouth and allowed oxygen to flow back in he might have passed out. "Ah..." Mouth dry Yoshiki swallowed thickly.

Seeing that the ball was in his court Yoshiki tried and failed to regain his cool. "Y-Yeah." He couldn't deny it even if he wanted to. "I-I do love you..." He allowed those words to hang awkwardly between them.

Ayumi made a pensive face at his confession; she believed him completely. Ayumi no longer thought that he was in love with her, she knew he was in love with her. "Why?" Her lips turned into a frown as if she was trying to decipher something foreign. "Why do you love me? What about me would inspire those kinds of feelings?"

Ayumi sniffed as she recalled many of their previous interactions. "I'm always pushing you away. I'm always bossing you around and nagging you to do things. I yell at you a lot." Even if it's usually because he said something to rile her up. "I don't get it. Why would you have feelings for me when I've given you no reason to?" It was at this point that Ayumi realized that she was crying.

Tears streaming down her face she raised her arm and tried to wipe them away. Yoshiki's surprised face had turned into one of heartfelt endearment as his own eyes threatened to water. "That's why I love you." He answered her without any embarrassment. Walking up to her he offered the cloth that had been wrapped around the container she'd given him.

Still trying to stop her crying Ayumi looked at him in confusion, before wordlessly accepting the offered handkerchief. Dabbing her eyes and then blowing her nose she looked back at him silently asking for him to explain.

Yoshiki thought about that day in the bathroom from over a year ago often. It was the biggest turning point of his life after getting kicked out of his childhood home. Seeing Ayumi, eyes still watery and raw he felt those butterflies in his stomach.

"That day, when you stopped me from hitting that stupid teacher and told me off." Ayumi looked at him in surprise as she too vividly remembered that incident. "That was the day you saved me. Not just from getting expelled, but from destroying myself. I thought it was all pointless, that no one would care. But you proved me wrong. You believed I could be better and you even cried over me, a complete stranger."

Yoshiki smiled wistfully as he remembered the grin on her face when she admitted her lie to the teacher. "You inspired me. I started coming to school more, tried to stop smoking, and this year I was actually able to make friends. Because of you." The reason why he had made it this far was because of her.

Ayumi tried to think of something to say to this. Anything that could match the words Yoshiki was telling her, and came up short. Even after having learned about Yoshiki's feelings for her and how deeply they ran, she had not expected this. To her their first meeting had barely been a blip on the radar; however it had been so much more to him.

As if having finally regained his courage Yoshiki continued. "I don't mind you the way you are, when you ask me to do something for you I want to be able to pay you back for the help you gave me. When you remind me to do my school work, I know it's because you care." Seeing that he had her full attention Yoshiki smirked. "And normally when you're yelling at me it's because I'm pushing your buttons. Because I like your reactions, you're cute when you're riled up."

Ayumi could hear the steam coming out of her ears as her face was set aflame. "D-don't say stuff like that so casually! I-idiot!" She cried out, lacking actual anger. She was just embarrassed.

"There it is." Yoshiki chuckled at her cute reaction to his teasing. "Next to the face you make when telling ghost stories, I don't know which I prefer." He admitted with a wistful sigh.

Ayumi grumbled, it seemed the tables really had turned on her. She hadn't expected to be this blindsided by Yoshiki today. "Jerk! Pervert! If you're going to say sweet things like that..." The cerulean haired girl hesitated before shouting what she wanted in that moment. "Then date me already! Be my darling!" She demanded, face still flushed.

Yoshiki's cocky smirk faltered at the unexpected demand. Ayumi seemed too wrapped up in her own embarrassment to even be surprised by the words coming out of her mouth. Her glare remained, alongside that never fading blush. "O-okay. I can do that." He answered lamely.

Ayumi stopped short as she realized what had just been agreed upon between them. Deciding she was satisfied with this turn of events, she nodded before grabbing his collar and pulling him toward her. Planting a quick kiss on his cheek she stepped back and, face still red, grinned at finally seeing Yoshiki's face match her own. "Good, then let's go!"

Yoshiki's hand slowly touched the spot where her lips had made contact. Ayumi had surprised him yet again. Realizing that she had said something he looked confused. "Go where?"

Ayumi rolled her eyes before grabbing his free hand and leading him out of the hallway. "Kishinuma-kun, it's Valentine's Day and we've just agreed to date. Where do you think we're going?"

Yoshiki allowed the short girl to pull him along. "I don't know with you right now, Shinozaki." He quickly answered while effortlessly keeping up with her stride. "You keep pulling out these surprises on me." The blond pointed out accusingly.

"Do you have any complaints?" Ayumi looked at Yoshiki with a deadpanned look. Her new boyfriend looked thoughtful for a second before shaking his head. "Then you'll be fine with wherever we go for our first date." Because admittedly even she didn't know exactly where she was taking them. All Ayumi knew was that Yoshiki loved her and she wanted to date him. The location of their first date hardly mattered to her, as long as they had fun.

Tilting her head in thought, Ayumi remembered a few months ago bumping into Yoshiki at a convenience store late at night. He had tried to invite her to some karaoke place, but she had turned him down because it would have just been them. Deciding to rectify that she nodded to herself. "Hey Kishinuma-kun, how do you feel about a karaoke bar right now?"

Yoshiki looked at her in surprise at her suggestion. He had tried to ask her out to those kinds of places before, but looked like it was her asking him this time. Grinning he nodded. "I'm down with that. I hope you won't be too awed by my amazing singing voice, though."

Rolling her eyes at his cockiness Ayumi scoffed playfully. "Just don't make too much fun of me for my horrible singing." Her talents existed in illustrating not vocals.

Yoshiki laughed at Ayumi's playfulness. "I'll try not to laugh too hard." He promised as they made it to the school entrance.

There weren't many students around, most of them had already left or gone to club activities. Changing their shoes the new couple walked side by side out into the oddly warm February weather.

Their first date went off without a hitch. Ayumi knew, from overhearing his conversations with Satoshi, that Yoshiki was musically inclined. So it was hardly surprising that he knew how to sing, she was actually rather impressed. Ayumi on the other hand, hadn't been a very good singer, and it showed as she tried to get through her lyrics without fumbling. Yoshiki didn't make fun of her, but the wide grin he let slip did earn him a slap on the shoulder.

After spending a couple hours at the karaoke bar they stopped by a small restaurant to get something to eat. Yoshiki had paid for their time at the karaoke bar so Ayumi adamantly stated that she would pay for the meal. When she gave her reasons Yoshiki complied and didn't pull out his wallet when the bill came.

The walk home was very pleasant. The new couple wore small satisfied smiles as they occasionally found something to talk about, but mostly stayed quiet. The atmosphere was surprisingly relaxed around them.

"This was fun." Ayumi said happily when they finally reached her house. The sun was halfway down it's descent and the street lights were coming on.

Yoshiki nodded in agreement, he could hardly believe that he'd gotten to go on a date with Ayumi, on Valentine's Day of all things. "Yeah, I'm glad you approached me today." He commented.

Ayumi hummed in agreement before looking at the bag in Yoshiki's hand. "You know, you never did try those chocolates I gave you." The short statured girl reminded him pointedly. She did still want to see if he liked them.

Yoshiki's cheeks turned slightly pink as he scratched his head. "True...but I was kind of distracted." The blond admitted as he remembered their agreement to date.

Raising an eyebrow Ayumi couldn't help but tease. "Oh, by what exactly?" She asked knowingly. At seeing his cheeks turn an interesting shade of pink Ayumi grinned.

Yoshiki chuckled at her look. "You already know." He answered, promoting a laugh from his new girlfriend. "I guess I should try one now. I don't doubt they're good." He told her before pulling out the container and opening it.

Ayumi silently observed him place a piece of chocolate into his mouth and watched as he savored it. After a moment of waiting she opened her mouth. "So?" She finally questioned eager to hear his verdict.

Yoshiki nodded with an approving smile. "Yeah, it's very good. Thanks Shinozaki." He wasn't even a huge fan of sweets, but he could tell from the taste that Ayumi had put a lot of effort into these. He'd definitely savor them.

Ayumi looked relieved. She knew that she and Hinoe had considered them good, but that would be pointless if Yoshiki himself didn't like them. "I'm glad." She told him before hesitating as a thought struck her.

"Hey, since we've agreed to date...you can probably call me Ayumi now... And I can use your first name?" Ayumi was fairly certain that Yoshiki would have zero issue with that, but it was still a bit difficult to get out.

Yoshiki looked surprised, he had no complaints against that. Though he wanted to make sure Ayumi was really okay with that. "Ar-are you sure?" She nodded tentatively. "Okay then, Ayumi." Her name felt weird coming out of his mouth, but not at all unpleasant.

Ayumi's heart fluttered slightly but she was pleased by this. "Alright then, Ki-Yo-Yoshiki." She finally managed to get out. "I'll see you at school on Monday?" She asked, not knowing if he'd be able to attend.

Yoshiki didn't plan on skipping unless he couldn't help it. "Yeah, I'll be there." The blond answered with a relaxed expression.

Finding his answer to her liking Ayumi smiled happily. "Well then..." Nodding Ayumi prepared to turn away but thought better of it. Impulsively she turned back and stepped towards Yoshiki before rising up on her top toes and planting a soft peck on his lips.

The kiss lasted only a second, but both teenagers swore up and down that it had to have been much longer than that. Yet Yoshiki wasn't able to respond to it until she was already pulling back.

Ayumi hid her mortification with a cheeky grin that only became even more smug at seeing Yoshiki's own embarrassment. "Good night, Yoshiki." With that she turned on her heel and fled into her house. Slipping her shoes off Ayumi rushed into her room, thankfully her parents were still gone and Hinoe was out or else they would have rushed in to ask why Ayumi was screaming excitedly into her pillow.

Yoshiki stood transfixed for a few minutes as he tried to remember how to walk, talk, and breath. Finally after a minute, lips still tingling he turned and started the walk home. About halfway there he smiled fondly and inwardly celebrated.

Having calmed down from her scream fest Ayumi pulled out her cellphone and texted the other girls of their friend group to let them know of how successful she'd been. The responses she got were overwhelmingly positive.

{Congrats Class-rep, I'm so happy for you two. :)}


{So...did you let Kishinuma-kun get to first base? (='w'=)}

Ayumi's face flushed even hotter as she responded to Seiko's message.

{None of your business! :P}

Ayumi knew that Seiko was going to tease her tomorrow, but she was too happy to care.

I honestly did not expect this fic to become this long, but I had a lot of fun writing it. it's been so long since I've gotten to write these characters. I hope you all enjoyed this, and happy White Day.