Author: Munkii PM
Yui had always been oblivious to romance, but now that high school has ended she finds herself being thrust into the strange world of relationships, ready or not. Yuri.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Yui H. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 28,193 - Reviews: 64 - Favs: 42 - Follows: 56 - Updated: 12-08-12 - Published: 07-05-10 - id: 6114816
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was a bit chilly; winter seemed to have drifted in cold and fast this year. Leaves had been shed already, and the bare branches of deciduous trees could be found wherever one went. Even the palm trees on campus were a little meek looking, their fronds having turned a little darker in preparation for the coming winter, for perhaps the coming snow. Just yesterday it had been pleasant, and today... Certainly it wasn't that far from freezing. It was only December and already winter's grasp gripped the region.
"I'll have to make some tea for Onee-chan, she's probably cold too," Ui said to herself quietly, adjusting her favorite scarf around her neck. The bitter wind coming from the northwest was managing to chill her ears, and lacking any warm knitted hat, the scarf was her best defense. Fortunately she was only a few minutes from home, and soon she would be warming up under the kotatsu, or standing in front of a pan on the stove. "I haven't even thought about dinner yet. Maybe something warm? I'm sure a nice pot of mizutaki would be good. Onee-chan would like that, too. I haven't made it in awhile."
Noticing the street light was red, Ui came to a stop at the intersection and peered around until her eyes came to rest on the little tea shop she had been fond of since she was young. For as long as she could remember it always had a pleasant aroma, one that could be smelled from even half a block away on a clear day. The double wooden doors were still painted the tranquil dark green that Ui remembered from long ago. Through the windows one could see row after row of canisters along the wall, and a collection of small tables towards the front of the store where one could sit and enjoy a pleasant cup of tea.
"You know, I think we're running out of sencha. It wouldn't hurt to buy some," Ui thought to herself, pulling out a small notebook from her coat pocket. It was particularly cute, colored a soft purple and decorated with flourishes and playing kittens. Ui couldn't help but smile as she opened the notebook; at her request Yui had bought it for her only a few months ago. She tended to go through notebooks quickly, especially so when their parents were away.
Peering through the small pages, each bearing small and very legible letters, Ui smiled. "The budget for this month is still pretty flexible, though I imagine we will have a Christmas party so I can't spend too much on odds and ends. But tea is kind of a requirement in the winter, so I definitely should buy some."
The traffic light turned green, and Ui tucked the notebook back away in her pocket. She crossed the street and made her way to the entrance of the tea house. Even with cold weather sniffles she could smell the aromas of the wonderful tea wafting through the cracks of the entrance way. She pushed open the door to the sound of a jingling bell and stepped towards the specials displayed just ahead on a small table. "Oh they have this great pekoe combination again! At this time of the year too, that is pretty amazing."
Peering up from the display, Ui noticed the sales attendant was missing. "Oh, in the backroom maybe?" Ui walked over to the main counter of the establishment and looked towards the far end of the store to find that a light was on in the somewhat mysterious storeroom. The bells of the front door jingled again behind her, and Ui glanced to find a familiar face approaching her.
"Oh, Nodoka-senpai. Good afternoon," Ui called softly, smiling. Nodoka smiled back and made her way up to Ui.
"Ah, Ui-chan. I didn't expect to see you here," Nodoka replied genuinely. "What brings you here?"
"I wanted to buy some sencha for Onee-chan, but I noticed that pekoe on the display table and thought that maybe I should get a little bit of that too. Have you ever tried it before?" Ui replied, politely turning her body to face Nodoka.
"Not yet, I've heard about it though. Perhaps I will have that today," Nodoka said, and she looked behind Ui to find the attendant making her way back to the counter. "Ah, Ui-chan, do you want a cup as well? You aren't in a rush, are you?"
"Not really, I just have to be home in time to start dinner. Onee-chan said she will be home by 6 o'clock, and with this weather I was hoping to have everything done by then. It's so cold, isn't it? I was thinking of making a nice hot pot meal."
"I imagine we have enough time then," Nodoka replied simply as she pondered Ui's reply, and she turned to face the attendant. "Two cups of your pekoe special, please."
"Oh, you don't have to, Nodoka-senpai. I should be buying for you. You take care of Onee-chan while she's at school after all," Ui began sweetly, and she fished around in her pockets for her wallet. Nodoka set a hand on her shoulder and smiled.
"It's on me today. Since you started attending the same school, you seem to look after her more than I ever could. Besides, I wanted to ask your opinion of something anyways," Nodoka reached into her pocket to find a couple small bills and set it them on the counter. "I'm sure you're aware that everyone is graduating soon. The years have gone by fast."
Ui nodded, looking at Nodoka with an expression of curiosity on her face. Nodoka rarely had anything to talk to her about besides the trouble that her sister got into, however even that had been minimal lately. Yui had become a bit more mature over the course of the last year, Ui believed. Even considering that she would happily praise her sister in front of others for doing nothing at all... Yui had certainly grown up a little. It was something to be proud of.
"Here you are, thank you Nodoka-san," The shop attendant said after returning with two hot cups of tea. "Staying warm I hope."
"Yes, thank you," Nodoka replied casually, taking her tea from the counter, "Ui-chan, let's go have a seat."
There was no one in the cafe, which was strange considering the fact that it was such a cold day outside. Certainly there were city residents with cold fingers and frozen lips that could use a good cup of hot tea. Of course, people would be at home too, enjoying the comforts of a nice tea with the added bonus of their family and a warm blanket. Ui instinctively took her cellphone out of her coat pocket and checked the time.
"You're a good sister, Ui-chan. You're the most punctual person I know, in fact," Nodoka said easily, sipping her tea carefully as she watched the younger girl undo her scarf. It was curious how unassuming Ui appeared to be. How innocent and pure she came across as. Nodoka of course knew better then to think of Ui as simply a cute high schooler, however. She knew better than to gauge Ui as a normal teenage girl with a normal teenage life. Ui was much more than that, more complex than she came across as, and Nodoka knew it well. She had watched the younger girl grow up, after all.
"I have to do my best for Onee-chan. She counts on me, especially when our parents are gone on trips," Ui replied, sipping her own tea after taking a seat. She fidgeted slightly as she undid the upper buttons of her coat.
"I'm glad she has you. Yui is the kind of girl that needs someone to operate smoothly," Nodoka explained, lifting her cup to her mouth again as she glanced out the windows of the tea house. "In her own way, she does her best for you, too."
"Onee-chan definitely has her own way of doing things. Considering how many afternoons you spent with her, you would know that best. Though, those days have kind of faded away since high school started, haven't they?" Ui reminisced thoughtfully, watching on as Nodoka sighed. The older girl turned her attention back to the table.
"I won't be able to keep an eye on her after the school year ends. Everyone is going their different ways," Nodoka said dimly, looking down at the table and the warm cup in her hands. Ui could sense a trace of remorse in Nodoka's voice, and looked down at her cup as well, feeling slightly embarrassed that Nodoka was upset over parting with her sister. Everyone certainly loved Yui, but Nodoka had known her longer than most.
"You aren't going to the same school she's going to?" Ui started, scratching the side of her cup idly with a finger. Several moments slipped by in silence before she looked up to Nodoka. "Of all people, I'd of thought you would want to follow Yui to college. You've been together with her since childhood."
"Well, that's true. I'm not saying that I won't miss her, but I think it might be better for us. She needs to take some responsibility for her life. For the people in her life," Nodoka swirled the contents of her cup, the tea of which she had really barely touched thus far. "Besides, you're following her through college, aren't you?"
Ui gazed at Nodoka for a brief moment, then replied hesitantly, "I haven't really told anyone that. Not even Onee-chan. Why do you ask?"
Nodoka smirked slightly and sighed, habitually taking another sip of her tea and letting the idle seconds drone on. She had expected Ui's answer, and so perhaps the reply had been a relief. She swirled her tea around again, then set the cup down so she could adjust her glasses.
"I guess I'm not really asking, just confirming. I suppose I couldn't live with myself if I knew that Yui was going to a strange campus with no guarantee of kinship or a close friend," Nodoka explained slowly. She took another sip of tea and continued, "But also, when it comes to Yui... Everyone seems to have a habit of wanting to protect her, or be with her, or cherish her. I kind of feel like that there is a time for everything, and college is not that time. Maybe junior high, possibly high school. But not college."
"You're important to her, you know," Ui interjected with a hint of dismay, her cup coming to a rest on the table suddenly. "It's selfish to go to a different school than her just because you think she doesn't need you, or shouldn't need you. Because you think that somehow it is better for her."
"If I went to the same college as her, Ui-chan, you'd be there too wouldn't you? Don't you think that is suffocating her? Don't you think she deserves some space?" Nodoka asked, her tone one of persistent inquiry. "And you're going to be there, aren't you? Even if by some chance of wisdom I am right about this, and we are all just suffocating her, you'll still be there, won't you?"
This is the prologue for a new K-ON! fiction titled: My First
My First is coming August 3rd! Chapters will be released every Tuesday concurrently with Hidamari Sketch: Sunshine.
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