I dedicate this to my mother and my older-younger sister who, together, taught me the evils of year-old Valentine's day hearts.


"Oh yuck, this one's coconut! Ewww! Hey, Hana, you want it?"

"No thank you Arisa. I do not enjoy... coconut."

"Oh sorry, I forgot. You're a strict chocolate fanatic, aren't you?"

"...... I am not a 'fanatic'."

"Uh-huh. Hana?"

"Yes, Arisa?"

"You're a terrible liar."

And so they sat like that, in silence, for what felt like quite a while. It was a comfortable, companionable silence, and there was nothing lost between them, but there seemed a tension fizzling in the air that unnerved Uotani. Together she and Saki were sitting on a bench inside of the gym room, enjoying a moment's peace. The room's only decorations (aside from a rather impressive collection of rusty old lockers) were Prince Yuki's many boxes of holiday chocolates that lay strewn about them; most of them were already empty shells of their former glory.

Don't think that just because it had been Yuki's chocolate meant that they had stolen it. He hadn't minded in the least, to be honest. Every Valentine's it was the same routine of too many sweets for too little Prince. And so, they took it upon their generous selves to deliver him of his burden. Uotani swallowed the last of her caramel chew, absently running her tongue over her many rows of teeth as she assured herself that she could communicate without the sticky hazard obscuring her attention span.

"So where is the Prince anyway? And Orange Top, what about him?"

Hana meticulously savored one of her own candies. Her eyes lowered into waxing slits as she emerged from nirvana. With a meticulously slow turn of the head she looked up at her companion from under her dark eyelashes, her movements causing her to appear tired.

Maybe the sugar was wearing off too fast or something.

"I sense... a meeting... upstairs. Yes." She blinked slowly. "Sohma-san is with the student council." She sighed happily as the chocolate melted away from the grooves in her teeth. Although her voice and expression seemed flat to the world, Uo read through her subtleties. 'Oh yeah... fanatic.' "Kyou is with Tohru-chan." And that was the end of that. Her attention diverted, Hana returned to her faithful duty of clearing yet another box of its delights.

Uotani, however, was not so quick to end it. She wanted to think on this information a little. Later on she would blame it on the sugar in her blood causing her brain to mentally twitch. She would blame it on stress, she would blame it on a head cold (which she did not have at the time, but that is irrelevant) and many other things. But the truth of the matter was that Arisa Uotani, former Yakuza member and prodigy of the famous Red Butterfly Kyoko, the most feared female-- heck the most feared student in school (next to Hana, but hey! Look at what she had to go against here!) felt downright thoughtful.

It was probably the chocolate, but whatever.

"Hana?"

Hanajima had polished off her seventh (eighth- ninth? Uo had long ago lost count) box already. She blinked slowly and carefully, twisting her head around itchingly as if looking for that inevitable stalker around the corner. Minus the fear and hysterical cheerleader screaming sound effects, of course.

"Yes, Arisa?"

"You said she's with Kyou?"

Ahhh. And now it was Hana's turn to raise a brow, for it was quite odd for Arisa to call 'Kyou' anything other than Orange Top… even when in the company of her most trusted friends. Hana felt out with her denpa again, the bells in her mind ringing in congradulations as she locked onto Tohru.

"… Yes. I was not wrong."

"I never said you were."

There was another moment of silence and the tension was ringing louder in than ever before. Something unspoken was building up. In the end it was Uotani who broke the invisible, companionable barriers.

"So… who are you placing your money on?"

Hana stopped in mid-bite, her teeth already halfway into another chocolate. She raised her head but not her gaze, her coal-black eyes taking on a dreamy, lost sort of quality as her thoughts traveled beyond the room. Uotani, equally somber, waited patiently for her friend to gather herself (and her mind) together. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, some unspoken signal snapped Saki out of her reverie. She gave a small, wan smile as she straightened out one of the cuffs on her uniform.

"What, pray tell, are we playing, Arisa?"

Uotani smirked. So that was how she wanted to do this, was it? Word play? Fair enough.

"Rich Man, Poor Man."

Hana reached up to tuck a stray black wave behind her ear. The naughty tress had snuck out of her immaculate braid by some unseen wind. Uo knew better than to blame it on a pesky breeze though. This was Hana's denpa at work.

"In the near future… neither of them will be starting a revolution any time soon…."

Uotani raised a brow.

"And when, eventually, they do?"

Hana smilied as if the answer was the simplest thing in the world; it was a very uncharacteristic and bold move on her part. Were she in anyone else's company (Tohru aside, of course) she would not have expressed herself so blatantly.

"You never know who may have an anti-revolution hidden up their sleeves."

Uotani frowned.

"Hey, that's not fair! You haven't answered my question yet!"

"Oh? And what was your question?"

Uotani huffed indignantly. It was about time!

"Who do you think will have the anti-revolution?"

Saki smiled mischievously, her dark eyes twinkling under the ceiling lights.

"Why…… the winner of course."

'Of course,' Uo mentally sighed.

"Now, enough of this. We have a test to prepare for."

Uo sighed again as she began cleaning up the empty chocolate boxes. Served her right for trying to get a straight answer out of her friend. Just as she was reaching for the broom however a hand on her shoulder stopped her short of the handle.

"Do not bother. We can leave this up to his fans."

"What, you mean the bozos? You expect them to clean up this?!"

"Why wouldn't they? They wouldn't want their darling Prince to see their chocolatemess, would they now?"

Uotani smirked as she swept away the invisible dirt from her school skirt. Giving one last tug on her shirt she stretched, her taught muscles and the springy 'crack' of her bones giving her the appearance of a sleepy cat.

"Hey Hana, do you know why I love Valentine's Day so much?"

Saki turned to her friend, her gaze holding an air of laughter in the irises.

"Why, Arisa?"

Uotani grinned, striking a victory pose as she flashed a peace sign.

"Free chocolate!"

Saki smiled openly now. "And you call me the fanatic."