Title: summer fireworks

A/N: For the Lover's Encounter zine! I got to write Yukari and MC (and Yukari and F!MC), so I wanted to do a little study of contrasts between the two pieces.

Summary: The grass was wet. She'd forgotten her blanket. The fireworks were late and Yukari was hungry. Everything was going wrong on her perfectly planned date, but as Minato held her hand, she didn't think it could get any better than this.

Yukari had never considered herself a stickler for time. She tried her best not to be late, of course, but she also knew that life happened. More than anyone, she knew that there were always things out of your control. None of that changed the fact that she was currently staring at a blank night sky and not at multi-coloured flowers as they exploded and bloomed across the sky. The sun had set twenty minutes ago, it was a cloudless night, and she could see the stars for miles. It was the perfect set of conditions for fireworks.

And these fireworks weren't appearing at all. The wet grass tickled her legs, causing her to wish (yet again) that she had brought a blanket to sit on. Frowning, she glanced at her phone. The screen glowed like a firefly, its light drowning out her surroundings. 9:30pm. The white digits read for a few brief seconds before disappearing back into the darkness.

She looked up at the sky once more. Still nothing but stars. "It's 9:30," she grumbled, turning to Minato. Her boyfriend. Even now, that thought sent a spark of joy up her spine, but it wasn't enough to distract her from her issue. "It's supposed to start now."

For once, Minato had his headphones off, the blue earpads secured snugly around his neck. Somehow, it was impossible to convince him to leave them at home. Whether it was a fancy event, a date, or even class, those headphones stayed on him. Part of her was convinced they were glued to him. Leaning back, he shrugged. "Maybe they're late."

That was not the answer she wanted to hear. She tried not to glare at him.

"Of course they're late," Yukari snorted. Minato's calm demeanor was great in Tartarus or when they were fighting monsters or even just talking about personal issues. It was far less welcome when she was impatiently waiting for the damn fireworks show to start. It was the only reason she was here, sitting in the middle of a field, and risking grass damage for her kimono. She glanced over the shoulder at the festival just meters behind them. Smokey scents and cheerful laughter carried through the air to them, reminders of the place they'd just left.

Part of her wanted to go back; they'd spent the last few hours going from booth to booth, snacking the entire time. Her right hand was slightly sticky, a feeling that didn't go away no matter how many times she washed it. In a plastic bag next to her were an assortment of stuffed animals and children's toys, and she wondered just how many the two of them could win before the night was over.

However, they had to see the fireworks. While Yukari wasn't the most organized person, she had scheduled this date precisely. It was a rare night off, without any homework, monster, or other strange issues. A date, the first proper date in ages. She had a plan and she was going to follow it.

If the fireworks would actually start. Yukari glared at her phone again. 9:33 and still not a single boom. "What's taking them so long?" she growled, daring the last three to change to four. "Don't they have a schedule to follow?" Minato chuckled. She snapped her head to him. Narrowing her eyes, she asked, "What's so funny?"

"Nothing."

She raised a brow. "Didn't sound like 'nothing'."

"Really, it's nothing." Minato chuckled again and despite her best efforts, she smiled. He didn't laugh nearly as much as he should, something she was determined to change. Changing the topic, he asked, "What else do you have in mind?"

She bit her lip, sorely tempted to check her phone. "Well…"

Minato lay down and patted the spot next him. "The view's better this way."

"And ruin my kimono?" she scoffed. Unlike him, she'd actually put in the effort to dress up. Though his t-shirt and jeans did look good on him. He patted the grass again invitingly. Yukari sighed. "Not like I need the view as nothing's happening."

She lay down anyways and knew without looking that he was smiling. It wasn't like her kimono couldn't be washed. However, next time she was definitely bringing a blanket. Sweet smelling wisteria lined the open area, perfectly framing the sky. He was right. The view was much better like this.

"So?" he prodded again, interlacing their fingers. His skin was warm and a tingle ran up her arm.

He had always been more content to listen than to talk. It was a balance that worked for them. Yukari glanced to her side, at his face just millimetres away, before forcing her gaze up. Lying like this, he was far too close. Her heart thundered in her chest and she wondered if he could hear it too.

"So…I…" she mumbled, trying to force her scrambled thoughts into a coherent sentence. "We'll finish off this row—I want to hit every game booth. And win a prize from all of them." Yukari could feel his laugh, the vibrations rippling from his hand to hers. "You can laugh now, but you're doing half of them."

"What are you even going to do with all those prizes?" he asked. His voice was soft, barely audible over the dozens of people sitting around them, all excitedly waiting for the show to start. There was something quiet about Minato, in his appearance, in his behaviour, in his words. Part of her was certain she could always find him in the quiet, that if they ever got separated, she just had to go to the most silent place and he'd be there.

"Donate them, I guess." Yukari shrugged and felt the rough ground beneath her. "Maybe I'll keep a few of the cutest ones, but I don't really need them all. Just want the brag, you know?"

"Maybe I'll keep one too. For the memories."

She didn't know why, but she blushed. It was something she'd been doing more often lately. Clearing her throat, she added, "And then we'll go on the rides—think we'll bump into the others there?"

"Junpei." Minato guessed.

"Oh yeah, definitely him. Maybe we'll even see Akihiko-senpai and Mitsuru-senpai here. They didn't say anything, but they were totally going on a date." There was a sharp intake of air and she could hear the question before he even asked. "Fuuka noticed Akihiko was getting really nervous about today and I saw Mitsuru smiling a lot and…well, just trust me, okay? It's my woman's intuition or something like that."

"Or something like that," Minato agreed. "And he asked us for help."

"WHAT—"

Her indignant roar was cut off as the sky exploded with colour. Yukari stared unblinkingly up at the sky, eyes wide as she watched flowers bloom and small balls of light burst at their zenith. It was late, for sure, but worth it. Minato's hand squeezed hers and she felt both grounded and like she was floating.

And if she turned her head just so, and he happened to turn his, well, everyone's eyes were focused on the sky and not looking at them kissing.