AN: This is actually a spin-off to my one-shot fic Zenith's Arising which is not really necessary to read first before reading this. This is just an idea that was stewing in my head after I wrote ZA and kept bothering me so here I am trying to write something where the main pairing isn't Tohru and someone else although she and other couples will definitely make an appearance.

I'm not as interested in writing this fic as my others so I'm not sure how long it will be between updates but I'll do what I can. Really, I wasn't even going to post this except for the decided lack in Hana fics out there so I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. There's not much to this yet, but enjoy what's up so far. (^^)

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CHAPTER 1: Falling Rain


Standing before one of the hallway windows looking out upon the school grounds outside as the rain poured down heavily from darkened gray skies, he turned at the cry of his name to the girl running towards him. Despite the anxiety clearly written across her pretty features, she was always a welcome sight to him and he couldn't help but smile. Especially when she came to a stop in front of him, clearly out of breath. It was a cute sight, he thought, to watch her gasping for breath. Though he always enjoyed looking at her, he thought she'd become even prettier lately. Perhaps it was the newer cloak of maturity that seemed to surround her lately but he supposed that was only natural for all of them to acquire as they neared their graduation from high school.

"What is it, Honda-san?" he asked.

"Well," she said a little breathlessly, "do you have plans after school?"

"No," he said, intrigued by her question. "Why?"

She smiled at him nervously. "If it's not too much of a bother, could you do me a favor?"

"Of course," he answered easily. "What kind of favor?"

"Well, to stay after school and help explain some of the homework." She looked at him hopefully. "For a tutoring session."

"But, Honda-san," his gaze was puzzled, "why after school? We usually have study sessions any back at home."

"Oh!" she exclaimed, distressed that he had misunderstood. "It's not for me. It's for Hana-chan."

Yuki froze. "Hanajima-san?"

"Yes." Her expression was anxious again. "Is that a problem?"

"No, of course not." His smile was stiff but she didn't notice.

"I'm glad," she said with a sigh of relief. Then she smiled brightly at him. "Thank you very much," she said with a little bow. "I'll go tell Hana- chan. Is the classroom after school alright?"

"That's fine."

"Then I'll tell her to meet you there after school." She gave him another smile. "I'll see you later then."

Then, with a little wave, she was gone.


Yuki sighed when the bell rang, signaling the end of the school day and the school week as well. He'd found himself becoming increasingly nervous as time dragged on since Tohru had asked, near the end of the lunch period, for him to tutor her friend. He always found himself intimidated by the denpa who was only seen wearing the color black when she went without her blue school uniform. Her accurate insights about people, aided by her ability to read them with denpa, made him fearful of getting too close and discovering the secrets he took such pains to conceal. That's why he made sure they were rarely alone together; usually someone else, particularly Tohru, was with them. Still, she was Tohru's friend and because it was her who had asked, he couldn't refuse.

But he couldn't help being disappointed. He had thought to walk home with Tohru when school was finally over since he knew she didn't have to go to her part-time job today. He enjoyed spending time alone with her, even if it was just walking back home on a day like this, which wasn't something they seemed to be able to do as frequently lately. It was odd because he thought the opposite would be true now that he didn't have to worry about competing with Kyou for her attention anymore. Ever since Kagura and Kyou had started dating months ago, the cat was usually out of the house and spending time with her. But, still, it was a relief to know that the cat was out of the picture.

And with their graduation from high school coming up shortly in just a few weeks, Yuki was more than eager to get it over with. Because when school was out of the way, he'd have one less thing to tie him down. And also, he had promised himself that he would finally work up the courage to confess to Tohru about how he felt.


He turned to see Tohru standing by his school desk. Surprised, he noted that, while he'd been lost in his thoughts, the classroom had already emptied and only the two of them were left. He frowned in puzzlement, looking around because the girl he had to tutor was nowhere in sight.

"Honda-san," Yuki acknowledged. "Where's Hanajima-san?"

"Hana-chan went to the restroom for a little bit." She smiled at him warmly. "I just stopped by to tell you so you wouldn't worry."

"I see." He smiled at her. "Are you leaving now?"

"Yes," she replied, nodding.

"Be careful walking home," he warned her. "It's still raining."

"Don't worry. I'll be okay." She frowned a bit. "Unless you want me to stay? I know it was short notice to ask you to tutor Hana-chan but she only just told me how bad she was doing lately and with tests and graduation coming up soon-"

"It's okay," Yuki broke in. "She's your friend and it's natural for you to worry about her. And I don't mind, really."

"Good." She was relieved. "If anyone will be able to help Hana-chan, it's you." She smiled at him. "Thank you."

"You don't have to thank me," he said, blushing a bit under the warmth of her regard. "Just go and I'll see you back at home."

She turned but hesitated. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," he replied, nodding. He made a shooing motion. "Go. I'll be back soon after I finish tutoring Hanajima-san."

"Okay," she said. She paused at the door to give him another smile. "Good- bye."

"Good-bye," he returned.

Then she left and he was alone in the empty classroom.


"There," Yuki said with a sigh of relief. "I think you've got it now."

"Thank you," Hanajima said, voice devoid of inflection as per usual. "That even my dumb brain could was made able to understand, truly you have a great power."

Yuki sweated a little at her wording. "I'm sure you would have been able to understand it on your own."


She said nothing else, merely looked at him with that blank impenetrable gaze that appeared to possess the ability to peer into a person's soul. It was unnerving and he was grateful that the tutoring session was over.

Despite the anxiety that had overtaken him when she had returned to the classroom, he had hidden it the best he could although he felt oddly certain that he wasn't able to fool her with his calm fa├žade. In fact, now that he thought about it, he had the feeling that she toned her usual needling comments down for his benefit. Often, when they were in the company of others, she'd freely direct statements his way that made him uncomfortable. But this time, when they were alone, their interaction had been more businesslike than it usually was as they had concentrated on his tutoring her in the subject of math. If it was true that she had tamped down her agitating comments to assuage his anxiety, he should express his thanks. That is, were it not for the fact that admitting she made him nervous would be extremely rude to her and he didn't want to insult her, not just because she was Tohru's friend but because it wasn't really her fault she made him like this.

It was his own insecurities.

That was how he felt anyway. Momiji and Hatsuharu interacted with her just as they did with anyone else. Even Kyou had overcome his nervousness around her over the passage of time and reacted to her with less anxiety than Yuki did. Sometimes, Yuki felt that he hadn't changed at all over the past few years. And if that were so, did he really have the right to confess his feelings to Tohru?

"Be careful."

Yuki blinked at Hanajima and her odd choice of words. Had she read his thoughts somehow with her denpa? And, if so, what did she mean by what she'd just said. He looked at her warily, taking in her inscrutable expression as she regarded him silently with that dark gaze of hers.

"What do you mean?" He eyed her cautiously.

Hanajima blinked, then sighed before turning to stare out the window as the rain was pouring down from the darkened skies. The entire mood within the classroom had a depressive air that settled around them as long moments ticked by in silence. Just when it got to be too much for him, she spoke up, startling him.

"No matter how dark it gets," Hanajima said slowly, voice low and empty, "eventually it becomes light again. And no matter how much it rains, that too will halt when the day comes where the rain doesn't fall."

Yuki was perplexed. "What does that have to do with anything?"

Hanajima closed her eyes, sighed and then looked at him. "We haven't talked much alone, you and I, have we?"

"Well," Yuki said warily, "no."

A slight smile gentled her features though her gaze was no less inscrutable. "Many things change with a little time."

Yuki felt a cold chill creep up his spine at the weirdness of the conversation. "That's true," he said a bit nervously, feeling the urge to leave getting stronger. He cleared his throat. "Well, I think that's all for today. You did really well." His smile was a bit weak. "So I guess I'll see you in school next week, right?"

"Yes," she said tonelessly. "Next week."

He started gathering his things as fast as he could, even though he felt guilty at fleeing from her like this, while she began scribbling something in her notebook. But just when he was about to leave, she halted him.

"Wait, Souma-kun." She tore off a piece of notebook paper and handed it to him. "Take this."

He did, albeit warily. "What is it?"

Something he couldn't identify flickered across her blank expression before she told him him quietly, "When the time comes, you'll know."

"A-alright," he stuttered a bit. He smiled stiffly. "Then I'll see you later Hanajima-san."

"Yes." Her dark gaze rested on him. "Take care, Souma-kun."

He gave a brief nod of acknowledgment then quickly took his leave away from the unsettling girl who watched his departure.


Despite the umbrella, he still got soaked.

Yuki sighed as he trudged towards home, feeling in need of a nice warm bath to chase away the chill. Even his coat, worn to ward off the February chill, was completely soaked through in patches that made his clothes stick to his skin. He would be very glad when spring finally made its appearance. He could handle rain much better with the warmth of spring than the chill of winter. Days with the combination of cold and rain were definitely times to stay inside the warmth of home that he was, by his estimation, getting much closer to. With the urge to be indoors riding him, he quickened his pace only to stop when he spotted a familiar car.

Movement had him peering through the sheets of rain falling down which made visibility difficult but he could still make out the two figures standing by the car and huddled under an umbrella. Recognizing them instantly, he smiled and opened his mouth to call out a greeting, only to freeze when he saw them kiss.


At the sound of the doorbell, she opened the door to reveal a hollow-eyed young man, bedraggled and dripping wet, standing outside as the rain continued to pour down. Upon seeing her, he spoke without preamble, voice vibrating with the emotions reflected in his gaze.

"Did you know?" he asked. "About Hatori and Honda-san?"

Hanajima regarded Yuki silently for a moment then stepped aside, clearing the entrance her body had been blocking.

"Please, come in."