What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

Chapter Twenty-One

Waking up the next morning, Asaka was confused for sure. For one thing, she wasn't lying in her room, she was in the middle of a vast, empty field. Sniffing the air a little bit, she realized that it faintly smelled of drifting flowers and faded cologne and that her head was slowly being moved up in down by the surface underneath her. As she turned her head to the side, she witnessed Kaoru laying there, one arm under his head as a head rest, his other arm was draped over Asaka's waist in order to keep her right by his side.

She turned back towards the sky, the crystal blue was radiating already with the heat of the sun and it made her wonder just what time it was. Slowly she started to get up, lifting her torso up and letting Kaoru's arm fall into her lap as she stretched a bit, sneezing again as a breeze of pollen hit her.

"You actually managed to wake me up with that one." Kaoru murmured slowly, not even opening his eyes as Asaka snapped her attention to him on the ground.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean-"

"It's fine, what time is it anyway? It's hot as hell out here."

Asaka looked around for her bag that she had brought with her, hoping that her parents just assumed that she went out for a morning walk or something if they did notice her missing. As she spotted the brown parcel about 5 feet away from her, she attempted to move forward to get it but was stopped by Kaoru holding her back.

"No, don't leave! You were comfortable!" Kaoru whined, trying his best to keep his friend within his reach. She laughed a bit as he pulled out the puppy dog eyes, but nevertheless didn't stop resisting the need to check her phone.

"I just need to get my bag, Kaoru." Asaka mumbled, trying her best to pull his arms off of her, but his grip only got stronger with every moment. Eventually, Kaoru stood up, and engulfed Asaka in a hug, his face nuzzling in her neck and planting small kisses on her collarbone, tracing up to her ear.

"Please, just a few more minutes? Let's not ruin this just yet?" Kaoru begged when he made his way up to her ear. The realization that last night happened washed over Asaka, the conversation and the intimacy and the kiss they shared, and in remembering all this, her face heated up and she rocketed into the air right out of his grip.

"Wait, we kissed last night!" Asaka reminisced out loud, leaving Kaoru by himself on the ground, a little annoyed about the sudden lack of contact between them.

"Yes, I remember that fairly well." He pouted, slowly starting to rise up to stretch the soreness from his muscles.

"I-I-" She started stuttering, not sure of where to bring this conversation next, not to mention her lack of knowledge regarding whether or not it was as big of a deal for Kaoru as it was for her. She moved over to her bag and pulled out her cell phone; almost twelve in the afternoon. "Aw shit."


"It's already noon, my parents probably don't think that I'm out for a morning stroll anymore."

"Sometimes the benefits of never seeing your parents outweigh the downsides," Kaoru yawned to himself, thinking about how lucky he is that no one is probably gonna care that he wasn't there early in the morning to almost midday.

"Well nevertheless I have to leave, Kaoru." Asaka groaned, looking around to find the cherry blossom tree that marked the center of the courtyard and eventually the proper walkway to get back to the main street.

"I know how to get you out of any trouble that you're in," He let on, starting to follow her as she made her way over to the giant tree. He couldn't help but smile at how funny her braid looked after she had been sleeping on it all night.

"And how would you do that?"

"Well you could say you dropped by my house to work on a project and then we went out to do something."

Asaka pondered the idea for a moment, it could work but it mostly depended on the mood her parents were in. At that point, she didn't have any ideas anyway so she had nothing to lose.

"Alright, at least if you don't mind helping me out, that would be great." Asaka replied, smiling wider every moment as she felt his fingers intertwine with hers and they got closer and closer to her house.

As they approached the front door, Asaka's stomach started to do front flips as she fully realized that she was about to walk into her room after she had been gone for twelve hours; no amount of preparing to lie was going to secure her from possibly spilling the truth.

"Are you alright?" Kaoru asked her, feeling her get more and more unnerved as time went on.

"Yea, I'm just a little nervous to be honest. I've never sneaked out before let alone lied to my parents." Asaka mumbled. She was surprised to feel Kaoru kiss her cheek, allowing an eventual wave of relief to wash over her.

"It'll be fine, you're with a master." He chuckled, knocking on the door for her before she could even think about protesting. It took about thirty seconds for Asaka's little sister to slowly open the door, sticking her little blonde head from behind the door to see who it was.

"Asaka!" Her sister launched herself from out of the door frame, surrounding her sisters legs with her arms in a giant hug.

"Hana!" Asaka greeted her back, wrapping her arms around her sister's back, eventually feeling her pull away as she noticed the person standing next to her.

"Who are you?"

Kaoru looked down at the tiny girl, she was no more than about six years old but was staring at him accusingly while poking his leg with her index finger.

"My name is Kaoru Hitachiin." He answered, holding out his hand for her to shake which she did cautiously. The little girl looked like she was gonna say something else but was stopped by the sudden approaching of a middle aged woman, presumably Asaka's mom.

"Asaka Noro! Where have you been!" She almost screeched as she pulled her daughter into a tight hug. Asaka quickly put her arms around her mother as she carefully chose her words.

"Um, don't you remember how I was telling you that I had to go work on my project this morning with my..." She started mumbling through her lie as she was stopped dead in her tracks. With her what? She stared over at Kaoru who was standing there watching the situation go by. Even though they had shared a kiss, did that automatically mean that they were now dating? She never got a chance to finish her sentence as her mom beat her to it.

"And who are you?" She asked Kaoru, finally letting go of Asaka and walking up to Kaoru. She was very close to staring him down as she furrowed her eyebrows and plucked her index finger right into the center of his chest. Kaoru in the meanwhile actually looked a bit threatened by the short woman's ruthless poking.

"Kaoru Hitachiin." He answered, bewildered at the amount of fear he could feel from a woman who gave birth to the sweet girl he had just spent the night with.

Upon saying his name, Asaka's mom's face fell white as she automatically recognized his family and took two steps back. She had just gotten up in the face of the Kaoru Hitachiin and she hadn't even realized it.

"I'm sorry sir, if you would please give me a moment." The lady smiled slyly and took hold of Asaka and Hana, dragging them both inside and slamming the door behind her. Kaoru was left to stand there, unsure of whether the scene in front of him had just happened or if he was simply tripping over afternoon drowsiness. Apparently he hadn't been imagining things as he heard high pitched shouting coming from behind the door.

"First you sneak off in the middle of the morning and then you come back with Kaoru Hitachiin and allow me to make a fool out of not just myself, but the entire family! You're in so much trouble when he leaves!"

Ouch. Kaoru stood there, even though he wasn't surrounded by anyone who could have seen his disgruntled and horrified face, he still made one anyway as he felt sorry for the situation he had put Asaka in.

After a few more awkwardly quiet moments passed by, the door opened again and standing there was Asaka's mother, a most noticeably fake smile upon her face as she offered for Kaoru to come in. Standing behind her was Asaka, a giant pout was gracing her lips as she stood behind her mom and silently begged Kaoru not to leave.

"I'd love to come inside," He lied, putting the most fake grin on his face that he could before he stepped inside and waited for Asaka's mother to close the door behind him.

"Would you like any tea, Mr. Hitachiin?"

"If that isn't too much to ask for."

"Nothing is too much to ask for here, especially not for a Hitachiin." She replied politely before disappearing into the kitchen.

Asaka exhaled a breath that she had been holding for what seemed like forever. It's amazing how her mother had managed to find a man as nice as her step-dad when her mother herself was such a maniac.

"Well, I'm not going to lie when I say that this is not what I expected." Kaoru told her, running his fingers through his hair.

"I probably should have warned you about that, but at least you got me out of trouble for this particular moment so thanks for that." Asaka thanked him, but was surprised to feel a smile cross his lips as he took her hands and intertwined his fingers with her's.

"No problem," He replied, swinging their hands back and forth as if he was child.

"Well you're quite touchy feel-y all of a sudden," Asaka laughed, swinging her arms with him while looking up at his lovable face.

"What can I say?" He laughed with her as he wrapped her arms around his waist, pulling them closer. "I don't have too many people that I'm close enough to want to get touchy feel-y around them." Slowly he placed his hands on her cheeks, gently rubbing over them with his thumb before he started to lean in, closing his eyes in time with Asaka as they got closer and closer.

"Alright, tea is read-" Asaka's mother interrupted, stopping dead in her tracks as she caught the two of them in mid-kiss.

Immediately Asaka retreated, pushing Kaoru away from her and leaving him with a slightly confused look upon his face.

"I wasn't aware that was the nature of your relationship." Asaka's mother said slowly, stopping after every two words to change views of the millionaire son standing to her left and her now amazingly useful daughter to her right.

Asaka started messing with her feet instead of looking up to meet her mother's burning glance. Her mom wasn't a very good woman, though she hid all of her meddling behind the premise of only 'doing what's best for her children'. Knowing her, it wasn't very likely that she was gonna be able to go to bed tonight without her devising some amazing plan to trick Kaoru out of some major cash.

The three people stood in an awkward silence for a few moments before the middle aged woman spoke up again.

"So, as I said, tea's ready." She repeated, a giant, slightly evil grin adorning the features of her face as she turned around on the ball of her foot and made her way back into the kitchen.

"Listen, Kaoru, you don't understand," Asaka started, making her way back to the ginger who's face was showing obvious signs of confusion. "I'm not even making this up when I say this but it isn't a good idea for my mom to know about... us."

Kaoru's face fell for a moment, his eyes falling in disappointment and the edges of his mouth curving to form a frown, an admittedly cute face but still a sad one.

"But why?" He mumbled quietly, making eye contact with Asaka's green eyes. He could see a little bit of pollen still attached to the side of her face and it took all of his willpower to not make this the moment that he was going to wipe it off.

"Because... after you leave, she is going to be telling me to use you and I don't want that. You're worth so much more to me than the money that your family makes." Asaka answered, the corners of her mouth forming a lovely smile as she picked up Kaoru's hands again and started swinging. On the inside of Kaoru's mind, his mind was doing back flips as he realized that the sentence that he had been waiting for someone to say had finally left the lips of someone he actually cared about. On the outside though, Kaoru didn't even want to imagine the face he was making from the shock he felt go through out his body.

"I would like to stay seeing that I may as well make myself comfortable with your family anyway; It's better to start now than later." Kaoru replied, leaning down and attaching his lips to Asaka's cheek for one quick moment.

"Are you absolutely sure? Don't feel obliged just because of me and I can't promise that you won't be asked any intense questions regarding your background." Asaka warned. She wasn't looking at Kaoru but rather at their fingers still laced together as they kept swinging at a slow tempo side to side.

"I wouldn't have come in the first place if I wasn't willing to go through things for you." He replied, smiling graciously at her once she lifted her head back up to lock gazes.

"Well then what are we waiting for?"

"So Kyo-Kyo, did you ever count up the tallies for our little bet?" Annabelle asked him one morning, prancing through the classroom and up to his desk before plopping down right on the top of it. Kyoya looked at her, slightly annoyed but also vaguely happy that the answer turned out positive in her favor.

"Well, according to my chart, even with your almost non existent understanding of the Japanese language, you did manage to win the bet." Kyoya answered, trying his hardest not to smile by just readjusting his glasses up the bridge of his nose. Annabelle in the meanwhile, jumped off the desk in a fiery explosion of excitement, nearly hitting her foot on the desk in front of her.

"Ha, now you owe me an outing!" Annabelle exclaimed in glee, already thinking of all the possible places they could go.

"Yes yes, I remember the conditions of this contract."

At this point Tamaki had walked into the room and was looking at them, quite confused as to what they were speaking about that made Kyoya look so stoic and Annabelle energetic.

"Am I interrupting something?" Tamaki asked as he put his books down on the desk that was seated to the left of Kyoya.

"No, not at all in fact. I was just basking in the glory." Annabelle winked at Kyoya, slowly sliding off of the desk and instead sitting in the chair attached to it.

Tamaki looked over at Kyoya, and then back to the chestnut haired girl. Obviously there was something going on with the two but Tamaki being the idiot he was, he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

After class, Annabelle and Kyoya met each other again in the hallway. She was still ecstatic for a free meal while he was just happy to see the smile on her face.

"You know Kyoya, there is an unoccupied bedroom in my house," Annabelle mentioned as she walked to their next class. No response left Kyoya's mouth so she took it as a sign of continuing. "So if you would like to occupy one, my parents are rarely home and even if, I'm sure they would be okay with it,"

"I can't, that wasn't part of the contract." Kyoya finally spoke up, turning his head to the side to see Annabelle looking kind of hurt by that, but nevertheless, she kept going.

"It's not a matter of being part of the contract, it's that you can't keep staying at Mori's house and I'm offering you a place to stay in exchange for you actually being a good friend to me." She finished, convinced that she had won the argument.

Well, she wasn't wrong, Kyoya thought, looking back over at the brown haired girl, but just how okay would it be to accept her offer?

"I promise that I won't mention it to anyone if that's what is bothering you," Annabelle muttered, more to herself than actually to Kyoya but was thankful when he still heard her.

"I'll accept your offer." He answered, giving a small smile to the girl next to him as her face lit up.

"That's great! Um, when do you wanna... move in?" She said, slowing down her words in an effort to act more casual.

"Whenever is good with you, but for now, how about we worry about that date?" Kyoya asked, actually letting the sides of his mouth trail up into a bigger smile. He felt so free without feeling like he had some sort of persona to uphold.

"Of course," Annabelle replied, making small talk all the way to their next class.


So, I'm hoping the answer was good otherwise this would be depressing.

Anywhosie, I'm back once again with another chapter and I'm really hoping that you guys liked it, because I have school tomorrow but I'm staying up doing anything other than sleeping lmao

So yea, read and review if you so choose, and I hope you, once again, did indeed enjoy this chapter!