The blonde haired boy sat, his expression gloomy, against the railings of the roof of the school. He sighed and dropped his head into his hands.

"This is no good." He sighed tiredly. His eyes opened, and his gaze centered on the red badge, neatly in its place at the top of the circle. He groaned loudly and threw his head up, screaming hysterically.

"Why won't that Day go away! Everyone else has gotten over it! Maria- sama, why can't I?" And indeed, ever since the Day Red Mantle's little sister had ambushed him and removed his mask in front of the whole school, even after the dazzling haze that had caused him to blush whenever he saw the man had worn off, his mind still pulled him back to the beauty of that face, and just as often, the mask was on when that face came to mind. He had never allowed it to show around anyone, though he suspected, somehow, that his unintentional surreptitious glances toward the masked one were not lost on Miss Hanako, who seemed to, in her own way, be encouraging him. All he could hope was that Red Mantle and the others, especially Asahina, were oblivious. He'd never hear the end of it from her.

"Maria- sama, why me? This is not normal for a boy my age!" Tears streamed down his face. "Why can't I live a normal life!? Why can't I like NORMAL girls, instead of a ghost who thinks only of seducing women!?" That's not true. A voice inside told him. There's more to him that that. It's just the type of spirit he is. 'GAAHHH!!! Why MEEEEEEEE!!!!????"

He sat down again, morose, and sighed, picking the badge off his robes and holding it into the sun.

"Asahina-kun has more of a chance with her odd love interests than I do! WAAAA!!!!! Did I just admit he was a love interest! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!"

"Is there something wrong, president?" A silken tone asked gently, and Haruto leapt a mile into the air and looked wildly around. Red Mantle regarded him with a small smile, his long white hair gleaming, red robes drifting in the breeze to allow glimpses of his sleek white suit. Outwardly there was calm. Inwardly there was turmoil. What, besides the priest's son's grievances with Saito High was wrong with the boy lately?

"AH! Uh, Red Mantle! What doing up here?" There was intense discomfort, and the spirit sighed inwardly. He can't stand me because I am a spirit, but he's nice enough. This is nothing new. He replied smoothly,

"Hanako- san mentioned she'd seen you up here by yourself more and more. She was concerned about you, but Kazumi-kun burst in possessed by, something, and since she was busy, I decided to come myself." Hanako- san? So, maybe she really does know... WAIT! THERE IS NOTHING TO KNOW!!! The red- framed gaze shifted to the similarly colored badge in Haruto's hand. "Were you going to summon me, president? Did you need something?" The blonde gulped and hastily re-attached the badge to its place.

"Uh, no, I, uh, it fell off!" he yelped, gulping, his heart pounding. Red Mantle drifted closer, adjusting the folds of his namesake absently.

"Is something wrong, president?" He asked, hiding his frown as the blue eyed boy flinched and turned away, leaning his arms on the railing, his shoulders drooping.

"What's it matter? There's nothing I can do about it." His tone was uncharacteristically bitter. He muttered something else, but all that was discernable was the word "normal". Curse this boy's obsession! He thought angrily. His demeanor still calm, he closed the distance between them and placed what was intended to be a comforting hand on his shoulder. The president jumped, turned and fled, calling back over his shoulder as he ran:

"Gomen nasai, Red Mantle! I, have something I forgot to do! Ja!" The spirit watched him go, his hair and mantle billowing lonesomely.

"Red Mantle?" Miss Hanako appeared beside him, her own scant clothing not moving an inch to reveal what it just barely concealed. She smiled up at him reassuringly. "You should let him in on your little secret." She laughed lightly at his blush and startled look. "Not very much makes you blush, hmmm?" She giggled again. "Go tell him." she urged. "Why you're so good at romancing women. I don't think you'll regret it."

"Are you sure, Hanako- san?" he asked, his voice betraying his uncertainty as he gazed along the path the son of a priest had taken. "You know how badly he wants to be normal. This would hardly be so. And the way he feels about the spirits... about me..." She gave him a light shove towards the stairs of the roof.

"Oh, he's just confused." She floated after him. "Now go in and dazzle him. You're beautiful. Give him a shove in your direction." Her smile lit up her face.

"Hanako- san..."

"Go!" she laughed. "Isogi!"

"Hai! Arigato!" He turned and vanished with a swirl of red. Miss Hanako watched him go, a good feeling inside her.

"Hanako- san! Where did you go!?" Kazumi's voice floated towards her. She rolled her eyes good-naturedly and vanished to go tease her own interest.

The president of the Holy Student Council sat in his usual place at the head of the table, a cup of tea Nino had kindly brought him before Asahina dragged him off somewhere in his hands. He sipped slowly and closed his eyes.

"President...I..." he looked up tiredly from the cup. Red Mantle had appropriated the left side of the table and was sitting there with his legs crossed, arms folded, a slightly sad expression on his face discernable even with the mask.

"Gomen nasai, I shouldn't have run away like that. It was rude."

"It's fine, don't worry about it." They sat there, gazes trained on each other as an uncomfortable silence pervaded the room, suspiciously free of interfering ghosts and ghouls. Why did he follow me? Every time he's near me the feelings are harder to push away.... Haruto broke the stillness abruptly by putting his cup down and dropping his head onto folded arms, which upset the teacup, which sent it reeling to the floor, cracking into pieces. Thoroughly embarrassed, he leapt up from his seat with a cry and fell on his knees to the floor, attempting to clean up the mess.

"Let me get that, president,"

"No no, it's fine, I've got it," A white gloved hand covered the frantic president's as they each reached for a shard at the same time. In a purely typical moment, their eyes raised to each other's, startling blue to silver- screened red. Both blushed and looked away, standing quickly, wondering why the other had reacted likewise.

"Haruto- san..." The blonde haired boy stiffened and turned around, thinking his name had never sounded so wonderful on another's lips. "Haruto- san.." he repeated, and he took another step forward, the teacup forgotten, tempted to ask him to say it again. The tall spirit stood before him uncomfortably, a hand coming up to rest on the back of his neck as he looked down to the side, uncertainty coloring his face. The other watched this with confusion.

"Is something the matter, Red Mantle- sama? San! I mean san!" Mortified, tears threatened. A look of surprise answered the outburst, and almost unintentionally, he reached out and rested a hand on the human's cheek, moving closer and tilting his head up so he could look at those eyes.

"Don't cry, Haruto- san" he said softly, brushing his thumb where the tears would have run. The boy went slightly limp at the words, and then the tears did fall, quickly and silently. Torn inside, the spirit did the only thing he could think of. He drew the boy close, bringing him down to the floor and enfolding him in the folds of his robes and arms. His chin rested lightly on the soft hair, his own draping around them, and a hand escaped the cloth to soothingly pet the small tail smoothed over his neck. Red Mantle held him like that until the tears abated, then, with a corner of his mantle, wiped away the tear-tracks from his face. Haruto looked up at him, the remnants of tears still shining in crystalline eyes.

"Why are you doing this for me? I'm a boy. I thought," The spirit put a finger against his lips, quieting him. He smiled a heart-stopping smile and leaned in, replacing the finger with a long, wondering kiss. The son of a priest melted into his arms with surprisingly little resistance, even responding shyly, his own arms coming up to encircle the white-haired ones neck and pull him closer in a gesture of desperate need. The kiss deepened. Though he didn't need to breathe, he knew his new love would, so he separated them unwillingly and contented himself in watching the handsome president watching him in return as he caught his breath, staring back at him with a quiet kind of joy. "But... all your girls..." came the whisper, as if he was afraid of reminding him. He laughed warmly, and stole another quick kiss, making Haruto's blush deepen attractively.

"The reason I'm so good with them is because I never try to take it any farther than charm. I'm not interested in them as more than a game, so to speak. But you..." He cupped Haruto's face again. A collective "awwww" coupled with a loud wolf- whistle startled the two young men into looking up and only now noticing the room full of spirits and the other two members of the Holy Student Council.

"HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!" came from all, as the Chairman snapped pictures crazily of their expressions, Miss Hanako giggled and Kazumi, hanging on her, gave Haruto a thumbs-up and a wink. Asahina cackled knowingly.

"I knew it!" she boasted triumphantly. Frozen in their embrace, multiple sweatdrops appeared.

"Oh... my... God..."


~Arashi oh, and "isogi" means "hurry" "gomen nasai" means "so sorry" "san" is a respectful title, and "sama" is a title given to the highest of the high, godlike, almost.