"Would you hold my hand, Tenga?"
The soft demure of Chidori's voice pulled his focus from the sidewalk in front of him to peer down at the girl walking alongside him. His eyebrow perked in surprise at her sudden question, and once their eyes met she twisted her head away as her face began to match her scarlet hair.
"I-I mean you don't have to if you don't want to. It's just an open invitation, in case that's the kind of thing you'd want to do," she rambled as she struggled with her composure.
Tenga wryly grinned, waiting for her face to turn back to meet his. As it did, her expression shifted from embarrased to flustered.
"Look, you don't have to make fun of me, just forget it-," as she spoke her hand moved to shove his arm but instead his hand caught hers before it could hit its mark.
With ease his fingers slipped into place interlocked with hers,engulfing her palm with his much larger one. Chidori gasped in response to his fast reaction, and as her face returned to facing forward once more she smiled.
This would never happen with their other friends around, not even Katsuhira. At least for the moment. These feelings she was experiencing with Tenga were so new to her. Just a few weeks prior she had accepted her best friend's heart would never belong to her, and in a way she felt relief to shed that weight off of her shoulders of pining for him.
Could Tenga and herself be considered dating at this point? They spent more time alone than they ever had before, and he always walked home with her after school. He'd yet to come into her apartment however, and he'd never asked. It would seem he was leaving that decision up to her.
Periodically he gave her hand gentle squeezes, as if to assure himself this was actually reality and that it wasn't a dream. He didn't let go for even a moment their entire walk to her home, only unwillingly doing so when she needed to open her door.
"Good night Tenga, I'll see you at school tomorrow. Don't forget to do the math homework this time-," before she could step into her apartment he grabbed her hand once more and she was forced to turn around and face him again.
Calmly in one swift motion he brought her hand to his lips and laid a gentle kiss on the top of her knuckles. "Good night, Chidori."
Before she could get a word out Tenga turned on his heels and disappeared around the corner leaving her alone in the hallway. She was speechless, only able to stare at the hand he had just kissed. As she closed the door behind her, her face turned bright red again and her mouth twisted into a giddish grin.
"I can't believe I just did that, that was so cheesy," Tenga berated to himself as he walked towards his own home.