Disclaimer: I don't own Harlem Beat. It belongs to Nishiyama Yuriko-sensei.
Crusty's Note: Finally I made a Harlem Beat fic (yay!). Btw, please bear with the grammatical errors, I'm still learning ;p (d! d!)
Our White Day
Kusuda Mizuki. 16 years old. She took a deep breath before she entered the place that's like her second home.
Lots of people were already at the Three Men's Hoop. Megane was doing some useless defense to prevent Kosuke from dunking the ball in his hand.
Mizuki stared around. She slightly blushed when she saw the person she was looking for. Sakurai Shuuji. The former famous Shuu of Three Men was standing and watching the game.
"Shuu!" Mizuki called cheerfully. She approached the guy in light steps.
"Ah, hi." Sakurai put his usual smile.
"Sorry. I was the one who asked you to meet here, but I made you wait," she said apologetically.
"Hey, it's not your fault. I'm the one who's early. Well, I must say that I miss this hoop. So, I decided to arrive early. Well, the atmosphere hasn't change." Sakurai sighed in his smile.
"Ah, umm… Sakurai…"
"Oh, sorry," Sakurai smirked, "What is it that you want to say?"
"Well, I just… Here, it's for you." Mizuki handed a beautifully wrapped gift to Sakurai. "Happy Valentine's Day. Please except this…"
"Oh! I forgot today is 14th February. Thank you, Mizuki," Sakurai said sincerely and took the chocolate from Mizuki.
"Hey-hey. What are you two doing?" Kosuke was already between them. "Ah? Valentine's Day chocolate? Is it from you, Mizuki?"
"Yea, why?" Mizuki replied carelessly but a bit shy.
"Oh, I left it at home. I thought I'm gonna give it to you guys later. We're planning to meet here at seven, right?"
"Oh, yeah. Waitaminit!" Kosuke knitted his brows, "What do you mean by 'you guys'?"
"Of course you, Narucho, and Sawamura."
"Oh… Waitaminit?" Kosuke was about to protest again.
"Well, I have to go to the library. I'll see you later, okay?" Sakurai smirked and quickly left.
"Mizuki, what do you mean by 'you guys'?" Kosuke repeated his question after Sakurai was gone.
"You didn't hear me? I said you, Narucho—"
"No, I mean… you're giving them chocolate too?"
"Yes… Kosuke, what's with you?" Mizuki chuckled.
"Well, I can understand that you gave one to Shuu," Kosuke frowned a bit, "But… Naruse and Sawamura too?'
"What's wrong with that? We're best friends aren't we?"
"You mean it's only… 'friendship chocolate'?"
"Yes, Kosuke. It's only 'friendship chocolate'." Mizuki emphasized the word 'friendship'. "Okay, I'll see you at seven. Jya!" Mizuki waved and left leaving Kosuke with a single tear drop on the corner of his eye.
"Sob… sob… 'friendship chocolate'…"
Mizuki arrived at the Three Men's Hoop about seven past five. Naruse and Kosuke were already there with other people that use to be at the hoop too.
"Hi, Mizuki!" Naruse waved to her. Kosuke glanced at her direction.
"I wonder why you want us to meet here. Well, it's school night and we usually don't meet at school night."
"I guess you don't remember too, huh Narucho?" Mizuki smiled. "It's Valentine's Day and I wanna give these to you guys!" Mizuki handed both Naruse and Kosuke her home-made chocolate.
"Wow! Valentine's chocolate! Thank you, Mizuki!" Naruse took it happily.
"Thank you," Kosuke took his share. Even though he's still disappointed it's just a friendship chocolate, but it's from Mizuki. He just can't say no.
"Hey, where's our share?" suddenly Megane appeared behind them.
"Sorry…" Mizuki grinned, "I got limited budget."
"Aw, that is so disappointing," Ultraman was there too. "But Kosuke must be happy, right?" he winked to Kosuke.
"Sure! It's a love expression from Mizuki to me—"
"Friendship, baka!" Mizuki cut him.
Megane and Ultraman snickered and that cost them both punches on their heads from Kosuke.
"Hey, where's Sawamura?" Mizuki looked around.
"Uh, he can't make it. You know, he's working right now," Naruse replied.
"What? But yesterday he said to me that he's off for the whole day!"
"Well, I guess it was just some lip-service thinking that he's a gold digger," Kosuke lit his cigarette. "Maybe right now he's at some hoop playing for money."
"Let's just go to his apartment. We meet him there," Naruse offered.
"I'm not going to go to his place just to give him a chocolate. What would other say? That I'm falling in love with him?" Mizuki pouted. "Besides that, I'm rather in a hurry. Tonight I'm going to have a dinner with my mother at a restaurant. It's a Valentine's Day for both of us too."
"Well, you can give it to me then," Kosuke grinned.
"Or you can give it to him tomorrow." Kosuke frowned to hear Naruse's suggestion.
"I guess you're right, Narucho. I'll just give it to him at 'The Bar' tomorrow after school." Mizuki sighed staring the chocolate in her hand. "Well, I'll see you guys later okay? Bye!"
"I think Mizuki is good at cooking. This chocolate must be delicious," Naruse said after Mizuki left.
"Yeah… this friendship chocolate," Kosuke sighed.
After her basketball club practice ended that day, Mizuki quickly left her school for Shibuya downtown. She figured Johnan basketball team must've ended their practice period too.
Standing before The Bar's front door, she pushed the door slowly and took a peek inside. She's wearing her school uniform right now and she doesn't wanna be seen in a bar with her uniform. She's planning to see if Sawamura was there. And if he was, she'd straightly give the chocolate and leave the place.
She spotted the guy she's looking for. After observing inside of the bar, she went in casually.
"Ah? Well-well-well… What's a school girl doing in a bar like this?" Sawamura gave his usual mocking grin to see Mizuki in her school uniform.
"Urusai. Here, you forgot something," Mizuki put the chocolate on the bar table. She planned to leave the bar quickly but she can't help it to scold Sawamura. "How could you didn't come to the hoop yesterday? I was planning to give that to the three of you!"
"Money called," Sawamura replied easily. He took the chocolate on the table and observed it, "The wrapping is too simple. Don't you have any creativity inside of you a bit?"
"You ungrateful being… I wrapped every chocolate I made with care, you know! Well, maybe this isn't as beautiful as those you got from your fans, huh?" Mizuki tried to be cynical.
"Well, perhaps not as good as the one you gave to Sakurai…"
"Huh? Urusai!" She slightly blushed.
Sawamura snickered. "Well, thanks anyway. I gratefully partake," he kept the sweets in the drawer. Suddenly he turned to Mizuki, "Did you make it heart-shaped?"
"No way! Why should I make a heart-shaped chocolate for you?"
"No, I mean the one you gave to Sakurai," Sawamura grinned again.
"Huh? Urusai, aho!" Mizuki blushed some more. "I should be going now, and better don't break any glass unless you wanna get fired." She turned and went straight to the exit.
Sawamura snorted, "Who are you? My boss?"
"White Day gift? Why should I bother to that kind of thing?" Kosuke munched his fries. He, Naruse and Ultraman were relaxing at McDonald's.
"Kosuke, if a girl gave you chocolate on Valentine's Day, you have to give her something on White Day in return. It shows that you care for the girl," Naruse explained.
"Maybe this is the first time Kosuke ever received something on Valentine's Day. So he knows nothing about White Day," Ultraman grinned.
"Nani?" Kosuke gave his death stare to Ultraman. "I'm not that lousy, okay?" he growled made Ultraman shrunk to his seat.
"So, why don't we get something special for Mizuki tomorrow? The day after tomorrow is White Day," Naruse said. "Maybe you, me and Sawamura could buy her something cute that girls would like. Maybe a teddy bear or something?' he added.
"Uh… Well… okay," Kosuke replied unsure.
"Nani? A White Day gift?" Sawamura knitted his brows when Naruse and Kosuke went to his apartment that night. "Who's the one you're gonna give a White Day gift?"
"Of course it's Mizuki!" Naruse said, "And it's not 'me', but 'us'. We're going to give her a present."
"Aah? That's a waste of money. Just say thank you and that would be enough. Moreover, we never asked her to give us any chocolate."
"Hey-hey!" Kosuke sounded protesting, "She gave that because we're best friends. Won't cost you that much just to give her some little gift… you cheap." He added muttering.
"I got some crucial expenses this month," Sawamura sipped his coffee. "Could you guys cover me until my next payday?"
"Uh, well maybe I can do that… my uncle gave me some extra money when he visited me last week," Naruse scratched his chin tried to calculate his own budget.
"Negative. This is all I got right now." Kosuke took out some cash from his pocket. "I'm afraid I have to ask your help to cover my part too, Naruse. In that case, you do the shopping okay?" Kosuke smiled and placed his hand on Naruse's shoulder
"But… I have no idea what I should—"
"That's a good idea. Okay, so we'll leave it all to you," Sawamura cut him.
"Make sure it's something cute, alright?" Kosuke put a cheeky grin.
Since last night where Sawamura and Kosuke assigned him to be the one to choose the gift for Mizuki, Naruse couldn't think of any good idea. Firstly he thought a teddy bear would be the best choice. But he's too shy to shop a cuddly teddy because he's a he.
Then he thought jewelry like necklace or bracelet would be nice. But he cannot decide what model that Mizuki would like.
Then a sweater is his next choice. But he couldn't buy Mizuki any clothes before he knew her size.
His choices always failed to reasons like color, model, shape and those things that usually become big matters to girls.
"Maybe I should ask Mizuki for help to choose the present and lie that it's a gift for other girl," Naruse sighed in desperation.
"Hey! What's with your face? We're practicing now," Kanda, his teammate patted his shoulder.
"Well, I'm in some kind of a trouble," Naruse murmured.
"What trouble? Don't say it's about picking the right White Day gift," Kanda grinned.
"Actually it is…"
"Whaat? A White Day gift? For who?"
Kanda's loud voice made the rest of their teammates stared. "Really? Naruse is looking for the right White Day present? He has a girlfriend? No way!" And so on, and so on. Disbelieved and shocked voices here and there.
"Since when there's a girl who's interested in you?" Kiriko, the nasty manager approached Naruse with her scary grin. "I'd like to hear the story."
"N-No, I mean…" Naruse was sweating heavily.
"Aho…" Sawamura sighed.
"Cut the noise! Get back to the court. Now!" Umakure roared to his team. Everyone quickly followed their captain's order.
"Oh, so the White Day gift is for Mizuki…" Gun said while all of them were at the locker room after the practice ended. "Well it shouldn't be hard, right? Girls love cute stuffs, just give her a pink stuffed bunny."
"I'm not going to buy that by myself!" Naruse frowned.
"And it's gonna be useless if you ask Kiriko for help. She might wreck the whole plan," Imagawa smirked.
"And asking Kobayashi an advice is no less useless," Isozaki grinned to Kobayashi on the corner of the room. Kobayashi just glanced carelessly.
"Sakurai," Gun turned to Sakurai," You usually received Valentine's chocolate. What do you usually give to girls on White Day?"
"Huh? Well, actually I never gave one," he grinned, "I just said thank you when they gave the chocolate to me."
"Now that's rational," Sawamura added.
"Sawamura, you're not helping at all. You're in this too, remember?" Naruse pouted.
"Hey, Kosuke and I already leave that business for you to handle."
"It's a present from the three of you. I think you should give some idea too. Wouldn't it be nice if the present resembles your friendship?" Sakurai gave his advice with his usual brotherly smile.
"Yeah, you're right," Sawamura scratched his chin thoughtfully. "I guess I'll ask Shuu. He might have a brilliant idea since he also received a chocolate from Mizuki."
"Who's Shuu?" Gun raised his brows. Sawamura grinned meaningfully, while Sakurai coughed and Naruse hissed.
Kosuke leaned to the fences of the Three Men's Hoop. Although that night the hoop was very crowded as usual, he didn't have the desire to do any game at the time.
"Oi, Kosuke! How about some help here!" Megane shouted.
Kosuke ignored him and suddenly left the place. He went downtown where Ichi-Maru-Kyuu building stands. Walking along the pavement, Kosuke spotted pretty girls with merry faces everywhere. From the conversation he could hear, those girls were wondering about what kind of White Day gift they're going to receive tomorrow. Some were worrying they might end up empty handed.
Kosuke sighed. If the chocolate Mizuki gave her wasn't just some friendship chocolate, he would happily search the whole Shibuya for the perfect White Day present.
Kosuke turned around to see who called him.
"Sawamura? What are you doing here?"
"Nothing important. Just doing some window shopping. So many good stuffs, so little money we have."
"You're right," Kosuke smirked. "Hey!" suddenly he realized something, "You're not here because you're helping Naruse to find any gift for Mizuki, are you?"
"Sad but true, I'm avoiding getting scold by a hysterical girl for not choosing the right present," Sawamura snorted.
"Yeah, you're right. She's been very thoughtful giving us something on Valentine's Day. We should be thankful for her attention," Kosuke grinned. "Moreover, sending Naruse to look for the gift is kinda risky… He might end up picking weird stuff…"
"Speaking of the saru…" Sawamura pointed a direction with his chin.
Naruse was standing in front of a huge window of an accessories store. He seemed to be confused. He murmured something while he stared at the jewelries behind the glass.
"Can we help you, sir?"
"Uh, no… I mean, yes! I mean… well…"
"Snap out of it! It's just us!" Sawamura tapped Naruse's head.
"What? What are you guys doing here?"
"Need help?" Kosuke asked.
"Well, I think I'm gonna buy Mizuki that necklace with the blue pendant, but I can't afford that. The other one is cheaper, but it's not as pretty as the one with the blue pendant. And…"
"Okay, we'll take that one with the blue pendant…" Sawamura pushed the entrance and went in.
"But, Sawamura… I don't think my money is enough…"
"Hey, it's a gift from the three of us, right? Don't worry, we'll patch it up," Kosuke dragged Naruse in.
"Irasshaimase. Can I help you?" a woman approached them.
"Yes. My friend here would like to buy his girlfriend a present," Sawamura glanced at Naruse. "Can we see that necklace over there?"
"Remember, Naruse. This is just pretending. You're not really Mizuki's boyfriend," Kosuke whispered to Naruse in threatening tone.
"I know! I know!" Naruse frowned.
Mizuki walked to a McDonald's restaurant in a hurry. She went inside and looked around. At a table, Naruse, Sawamura and Kosuke were chattering.
"Okay, what's the occasion? I'm in a hurry," Mizuki said rather panting after she seated herself.
"What's the rush? Wondering if Sakurai went to the hoop looking for you? Just so you know, he never gave any girl a White Day gift," Sawamura said lightly.
"I said before on the phone that I have to help at my aunt's, didn't I?" Mizuki pouted.
"Sorry we forced you to come here, Mizuki. But we got something for you." Naruse took out a small wrapping from his bag. "Happy White Day, Mizuki. This is from the three of us."
"What…?" Mizuki stared at the small box disbelieved.
"I chose that gift, Mizuki," Kosuke smiled pointing his chest, "Actually Naruse already chose a model, but his choice was lame. So we decided to go with mine."
"I wrapped the box. See? Way way better than your work," Sawamura crossed his arms.
"I chose the card and we worked on the words together. It's inside, you can read it later. Well, we got the gift yesterday, but we did the wrapping today. So, it was rather in a hurry…" Naruse grinned a bit ashamed.
"Guys…" Mizuki said softly. She gave the boys chocolates because they're her best friends and she wasn't expecting anything in return. She's very touched by the appreciation.
"The chocolate was delicious, Mizuki," Naruse smiled sincerely, "Thank you very much."
"Yeah. It's… the best friendship chocolate I ever tasted," Kosuke pouted, but then he smiled too.
"You put too much sugar. I'm not that skinny that I need to gain some weight," Sawamura snorted.
"Baka!" Mizuki stuck his tongue out. But then she smiled. "Arigatou, minna. You're the best… Really…"
"You're the best too, Mizuki! So, do you wanna go out with me tomorrow?" Kosuke leaned forward to her.
"Urusai," Mizuki chuckled. Oh! I must go now!" She looked at her wristwatch. Actually she wished to stay longer, but she promised her aunt. "See you tomorrow at the hoop, okay? We'll play a great game tomorrow!" Mizuki winked and exited the restaurant after waving to the boys.
"I bet she'll love the present." Kosuke said proudly.
"I don't really know…" Sawamura stood up, "Well, I have to go to work now. Later."
"Okay," Naruse stood up too, "Hey, what's this?" He felt something inside his pocket and pulled it out.
"What? Isn't that the necklace we should give to Mizuki?" Kosuke stared at the jewelry in Naruse's hand.
"Hey! What's that doing in your pocket?" Sawamura was surprised too.
"Uh-oh… could it be…" Naruse looked pale
"What do you mean uh-oh?" Kosuke got impatience.
"Actually… before I gave it to Sawamura so he could wrap the gift… I was staring at the necklace… I was just admiring the beauty and imagining how it's gonna look good on Mizuki…. But I'm sure I've put it back to its box! But… how come this…"
"Baka saruu!" Kosuke and Sawamura chased Naruse outside the restaurant and gave him a special White Day punches and kicks.
Crusty's endnote: I was planning this going to be some romance between Sawamura and Mizuki but then I ended up making a friendship fic. I guess Sawamura and Mizuki have to wait, huh? (grins)