Kazuki began his trek to the private academy on his own, buttoning up his raincoat. Mitsuki Sanada had already left before his alarm had gone off for the first time and because of this absence, Kazuki almost missed breakfast entirely. Yayoi, who seemed to be one of the few not upset with him in some form or fashion, had not appeared at his windowsill like she normally would that morning. Mitsuki Rara approached Kazuki at one point while he was in the hallway and acted as if she was going to say something, but changed her mind and headed off to culinary school. None of the girls had prepared a separate lunch, or even breakfast for that matter, for Kazuki, so Akane had to throw something together quickly so that he wouldn't starve. The meal was as edible as the sushi/egg roll/hamburger from a couple of days ago, but it was food so Kazuki wouldn't complain.

Despite two years as a housewife, Akane still couldn't get the knack of certain things. Of course, the fact that Yayoi, Mitsuki, and Mitsuki were fighting over the household chores constantly didn't help her learning process either. After yesterday, however, it appeared that things were changing. Kazuki wondered if it was for the better, or for the worse.

And so, there he was: Alone, walking to school. Kazuki hoped that he'd bump into Mitsuki Sanada on the way over. He had a lot to talk about with her.

As he approached the front gates to the school, Kazuki looked for Mitsuki Sanada, finding only unknown faces before him. Pushing through the crowd, Kazuki made his way to his locker.

Placing his out-of-school shoes into the locker, he put the in-school pair that he and all students kept in their lockers on the ground and slid them on. He glanced out of the window at the horrible weather outside not noticing the hushed murmur from his peers surrounding him.

Finally, Mansanari, out of breath, elbowed Kazuki back to the real world. "Hey Kazuki, did you hear?"

Kazuki rubbed his ribcage. Why did everyone think that hitting him there was a good way to get his attention? "Hear what," Kazuki asked, an annoyed tone quite evident.

"Toshihiko and-and-and Mitsuki Sanada!"

Kazuki stopped in his tracks. "What?"

Mansanari nodded, agreeing with Kazuki's disbelief, "Yeah, that's what everyone's saying. I mean, half the school had her and you together and the other half had you as, well... I've said too much. Anyway," Mansanari dragged the word out before continuing on, "Rumor has it the two have been spending a lot of time together since Toshihiko moved out."

"But that was yesterday!" Kazuki was surprised by how fast rumors spread through the Academy.

"I know, the lucky bastard!" Mansanari looked dreamily towards where the crowd was parting, allowing a couple to approach Kazuki and he's location.

Toshihiko, nothing but grins, approached his friends. "Hey guys! How are you?" His words showed no ulterior motives, but his actions said otherwise. He made it abundantly clear that he was with someone, a female someone to be more precise.

Mitsuki Sanada, to be exact.

"I must get to class, honey. Is there anything I can do for you before I go," Mitsuki asked Toshihiko, deliberately ignoring his companions. Her voice sounded sincere to most, but Kazuki swore he heard something hollow in it.

Toshihiko's cheeks reddened "Oh no! You've been so helpful, my dear! Thank you!"

"Not a problem, dear! Have fun with your friends," Mitsuki waived to her 'dear', turning to walk past the other two boys. As she passed Kazuki, she stated with a bow of her head, "Gentlemen," locking eyes with Kazuki only for a second.

"So, my boys, what do you think? Impossible, you say? Ha! Ha to you and your childish envy," Toshihiko was the height of class. Not a gloat escaping his mouth, not even once. "Just look at the lunch she made for me! LOOK AT IT!" He promptly held open the case for both of them, especially Kazuki, to see.

Kazuki hadn't said a word since he'd seen the two approaching together. What could he say? The scene was just too shocking. He needed time to adjust.

Unfortunately, the clock was not willing to accommodate his needs. As it chimed a one-minute warning, Kazuki finished sliding on his school shoes. As if he were a machine, he closed the locker door, spinning the lock, and slowly shuffled into his homeroom.

As he dragged towards his desk, Kazuki didn't even notice that his teacher, Yayoi, was not present. The substitute teacher said something about her being ill, but Kazuki did not process the information. He only stared at the board, lost in thoughts thousands of miles from school or four classrooms over, to be exact.

It was going to be a long day.

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After class, Kazuki drew the unlucky lot that meant he had to clean the men's bathroom before he could leave school. Thankfully, no one had left too many unpleasant surprises for him to discover.

Kazuki placed the mop and bucket back into the closet, leaving it unlocked for the other students who were still cleaning. He glanced at the lockers belonging to his two friends, focusing on Toshihiko's. Both students had apparently finished their chores and were already out. Putting on his raincoat and out-of-school shoes, Kazuki grabbed his books and exited through the front entrance.

As he watched the cars drive past, Kazuki wondered where Mitsuki Sanada was. She normally walked home with him at this time, but was nowhere to be found. It was an unusually cold and bitter rain that was beating down upon him and Kazuki pulled the coat closer to him, as if he were trying to hide his soul from the frigidness assailing it from all directions.

The long freezing walk seemed to last for a small eternity. Kazuki finally reached the gates of the Sanada family home, pausing to take in the house from the street.

It felt empty.

He pushed open the cold metal gate, letting it slide back into place under its own power. Kazuki fumbled for the key to the house with his numb fingers, eventually finding the proper key and unlocking the door.

Akane and the rest of the adults were going to be away for another evening at the laboratory and so the house was empty again. Kicking off his shoes at the front door, Kazuki slid on his house slippers and continued upstairs to his room.

A small note on his desk informed him that someone had been in the house at one point. The name, 'Kazuki' in neat handwriting informed the recipient that it was from Mitsuki Rara. Placing his books down on the desk, he carefully opened the letter and read the single line.

"Dear Kazuki, I wish you two the best. Mitsuki Rara."

Kazuki dropped the letter as if it contained the black plague itself. He slowly backed away from it, as if distance would somehow grant him immunity. How did she know? She must have overheard the conversation last night, but why hadn't she approach him sooner?

Kazuki sat on the mat across from his desk and stared at the paper on the floor before him. His decision was now much easier to make. He just wished it had not come to this, but it was too late for that.

Zinv: "I am here."

He quickly rose, running down the stairs and past Dee, who was removing her shoes at the front door.

"Hello, Kazuki! How was your day," Dee smiled warmly at her 'cousin' as she slid on her house slippers.

"Dee! Do you know where Mitsuki Sanada is," Kazuki grabbed Dee by the shoulders, trying to contain himself so that he wouldn't shake the poor girl to death.

"N-n-no, I haven't seen her all day today. Now that you mention it, it was quite odd that she wasn't here for brea--," Dee was interrupted mid- sentence.

"Thanks Dee!" Kazuki threw on his shoes and unlocked the door, sprinting out into the pouring rain.

Dee called out, "Kazuki! Your coat! You'll get sick," but it was too late. The gate had already been thrown open and Kazuki was half a block away.

He wasn't sure where to go first, but Kazuki knew he needed to find Mitsuki Sanada, he needed to tell her how he felt, even if she didn't return those feelings, and it had to be tonight. Since he had no clue where to start, Kazuki's first act would be to find Toshihiko, who was probably the last person to see her after school.

The only problem was that he had no idea where Toshihiko's apartment was. Toshihiko was too busy gloating about Mitsuki to mention the location. Perhaps Mansanari knew?

Passing the school as he ran through the freezing rain, Kazuki continued to the nearest location he was sure of: Mansanari 's apartment. As he reached the call box, he quickly hit Four-B and awaited a response.

The scratchy voice emanated from the small speaker. "Hello?"

"Mansanari!"

"Uh, yeah. Is that Kazuki?"

"It is! Where is Toshihiko's new apartment?"

"Kazuki? What are you doing out in weather like this? Come up here and relax a little, man! That new sho--"

Kazuki interrupted his friend, "Dammit tell me where he's living, now!"

The speaker was silent for a moment, obviously shocked by the response. Mansanari replied after this long pause, "I don't know. He was too busy gloating..."

Kazuki had already begun running away as he heard the words 'I don't know'. His next best bet would be the Izawa residence, Toshihiko's former home. Running the miles in the rain with surprising speed, he reached his destination quickly.

Kazuki rang the bell and waited for a reply. A small crack opened in the door and a young child poked his head out to look at the person standing at the door. Smiling widely as he recognized the face, he shouted, "Yea! Uncle Kazuki has come to play with us!"

Kazuki quickly replied, "No, I can't today. I am looking for your brother, Toshihiko. Do you know where he moved to?"

The child, frowning slightly, nodded and pointed to the small apartment complex two blocks over. "He's there now. He doesn't play with us anymore either."

"What apartment number is he in," Kazuki was rushing the child, rubbing his fingers together to keep them warm.

"I don't know. He's on the second level."

Kazuki spun around and ran straight for the complex, dodging traffic as he ran through the road without looking.

He was close. He knew it.

Kazuki ran up to the main entrance, scanning the list of names on the second floor until he found that Izawa was not listed at all. There were, however, two blank apartments.

As luck would have it, a couple exited the building and left the door open long enough for Kazuki to slide in without contacting either of the open apartments. Punching the elevator button, Kazuki tapped his foot as it slowly descended, becoming disgusted with it after a few seconds, and ran up the stairwell.

Kazuki slammed into the door separating the stairwell from the hall and stumbled down the corridor, the cold and wetness beginning to mix with his exhaustion as he approached the first open room. Ringing the bell, he waited, catching his breath in the process.

After no one responded, he ran towards the other apartment. Ringing the bell, Kazuki heard some shifting around inside. He began knocking on the door with greater and greater intensity until finally the door swung open and he almost stumbled into the apartment.

Mitsuki Sanada stood before him, a small scowl on her face. "You moron, you went out in the rain without your coat! You're going to catch a cold!"

Kazuki, not quite hearing the words she had uttered, inhaled deeply and paused. He noted a very familiar scent on the air around them. It was curry.

Mitsuki Sanada making curry? She never made curry, not even when he asked for it. 'If you eat too much curry, you'll turn yellow,' she'd always reply. This was usually followed with a spaghetti dinner that she had always enjoyed prior to this moment. Secretly, Kazuki had enjoyed the spaghetti more as well.

His lips, still slightly blue from the cold, stuttered, "I-I-Is th-th-that curry?"

Mitsuki sighed and nodded, "Yes it is. Toshihiko likes it and who am I to tell him he can't have it?"

Upon hearing this, Kazuki straightened, a warmth returning to his body that the frigid weather had attempted to remove. "That is not Mitsuki Sanada talking. The Mitsuki I know would never just cave like that. What's wrong with you, Mitsuki? Why are you doing this?"

Mitsuki gave Kazuki a solemn look as she responded, "Why are you here, Kazuki? Don't you have somewhere else to be?"

"No. Right here is where I need to be. Right by your side, like I should have been to begin with. If I had not wavered, you would not be here and acting as someone you are not."

Kazuki stepped toward Mitsuki, the distance between them not much more than a foot. He stared into Mitsuki's eyes with a fire that had never seemed to exist there before. Taking her hand, Kazuki continued, "I want you to come home with me, Mitsuki Sanada. I want you to be my girlfriend. Not Rara, not Yayoi, not Dee. You. You asked me what I wanted? I want you to choose. Which will it be, Mitsuki: Spaghetti or curry?"

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Dr. Sanada and Dr. Rara stared in awe at Zinv.

"If you two don't stop gawking at it and get to work, our great- grandchildren will still be stuck on this rock," Akane chided them both for the hundredth time, knowing that it was no use.

Suddenly, Zinv's eyes lit up.

It began struggling against the restraints that held it in place, snapping the hoses attached to his body for measuring purposes.

"What is it? Is Kazuki in trouble?" Akane ran up to where the two scientists stood, taking her husband's arm.

Dr. Sanada looked up the giant robot, realizing no force on this planet could truly hold it. "I don't know, dear. I hope not."

As he broke free, Zinv stood and turned towards the other core robots being assembled behind him. Taking a wobbly step forward, he approached Unit Two, Katana. Stopping a few feet away from the other core robot, Zinv held his hand up to her, a gesture of the bond he and his master shared with Katana and her master.

Unit Two, despite its incomplete form, activated. It lifted its head and looked at Zinv momentarily. Moving its one complete arm, it lifted it up towards Zinv's hand.

The scientist stared in shock as Unit Two slapped Zinv's hand away. Zinv let out a roar and fell to his knees, deactivating himself immediately.

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Mitsuki stared at Kazuki for a moment before removing her hand from his.

"Go home, Kazuki." With this said, Mitsuki turned and shut the door on a spurned Kazuki.

"Who was that," Toshihiko asked, exiting the bathroom.

As Mitsuki slumped against the door, she sighed and responded, "No one. It was no one."

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Kazuki trudged through the pouring rain, not even attempting to avoid it. He kept his head focused on the ground, kicking at the occasional puddle he would pass. He wasn't sure what he was going to do. His desire to please everyone ended up causing him more misery and grief than making anyone truly happy. Now, he was all alone with no one beside him.

The gates outside the Sanada home had never felt colder. Everything felt gray, frigid. Kazuki entered the home, kicking off his shoes and climbing the staircase. He ignored the fact that he and his clothes were dripping water in his wake as he reached the top of the stairs.

Kazuki passed Dee without saying a word, her concerned look following him down the hall. He thought he saw an eye peeping through the crack in Mitsuki's door, but the crack quickly closed once Kazuki noticed it. Opening the door to his room, Kazuki entered and locked the door behind him.

The phone rang and Kazuki could hear Dee running to answer it. After a minute, he heard the soft footsteps come back upstairs and stop at his door. She knocked and waited for a response, receiving silence.

"Kazuki? Kazuki, it's Dad. He says he needs you to come to the lab immediately. Something's wrong with Zinv. He won't move and no matter how many cranes they bring in, his weight just seems to increase. Dad hopes that maybe your presence will wake him up, or at least lighten the load a little bit so that he can be moved. Kazuki, can you hear me?"

Kazuki's depressed tone replied softly, "My presence will not move Zinv. Tell Dr. Sanada that. Go now." He didn't care any more. If only he had acted sooner, things could have been different. If only...

If...

Kazuki sneezed loudly.

It appeared Mitsuki was correct, again. Kazuki apparently was beginning to catch a cold. He tossed the wet clothes he was wearing into a corner, putting on his bed clothing before lying on his mat and crawling under the sheets. Kazuki drew the sheet over his head, hoping that it would shield him from the cruel world he was living in.

He lay like this for hours. The rain had continued into the evening and seemed relentless. No matter how he tried, Kazuki could not stop loathing his indecisiveness and poor luck. Dee would try every few hours to get Kazuki to open the door to no avail. Mitsuki Rara even attempted to coax him out at one point, but met with no success.

Finally, the rain stopped.

Kazuki heard a soft tap on the door. Annoyed with their persistence, he moaned, "Go away!"

The violator of his privacy merely tapped again.

"Can't you listen? I said go away!"

Another knock.

Rising from his mat, Kazuki turned on his desk lamp, allowing his eyes to adjust to the light before getting off his mat. He put on his slippers and staggered towards the door, muttering about how all he needed was a little peace and quiet. Unlocking it, he slowly cracked the door.

No one was standing in front of his room.

Kazuki opened the door, continuing to stare at the floor in front of him with a sad look on his face.

Slowly, something stepped into view. Whatever it was, it was dripping water all over the hallway. Ms. Sanada was not going to be happy when she got home and saw that mess waiting for her.

Kazuki looked up at the intruder slowly at first, but he quickly looked into her eyes once he recognizing the figure standing before him.

In the laboratory, Zinv's eyes lit up as Unit Two's hand touched his shoulder.

The soaked young woman standing before Kazuki smiled, her cheeks slightly red, and stated simply, "Spaghetti."