Escaflowne: Sakura Drops…

Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Escaflowne! It rightfully belongs to the creators of this very innovative Anime. This also applies to other stuff I used for this story as well.

Summary: V/H: Hitomi thought that her life was perfect, with a great, loving family, great friends, a best friend she can count, and a "handsome knight" boyfriend. Yet, not all things are perfect in as they seem, and her life soon takes an unexpected turn after an incident that tore her heart in pieces. This turmoil only made her rethink if the path she has chosen was the right choice. For Van Fanel, as Hitomi's best friend, he has feelings for her that far exceeds than merely friendship. He wanted to confess to her, yet never did because she loves another. And all he ever wished was for Hitomi be happy. Yet, with time running out, he cannot hold it any longer. With time running out, counting down to graduation fast, will Hitomi find herself again and be able to pick the dream she always wanted deep in her heart? Will she ever realize that her ideal prince is right in front of her nose all this time? Will Van gamble their friendship and confess to her? Time will only tell.

Bad summary. But in time, as the story progresses, it will explain itself.

Author's Note: And here is chapter 1. Before, I wanted to put the first two parts of this story as the prologue. But I changed my mind and decided to put on chapter 1. It will get interesting as the story progresses. Currently, I am still working on the other parts and try to make smoothly. This story will contain details about all the characters other. This chapter somewhat tells about them, but in depth. The song I picked for this version really matches with one of the characters for this story, and there are other elements of this story that I will explain later on. Otherwise, this a starter and it will seep in. And the more you read, the more you understand why I picked a certain thing for this story. I'm sorry for those who are waiting patiently for Together Yoyo to be updated. I'm just happy to see that people are still checking into that story. Apparently, I will get around to it. So please wait a little longer. Otherwise, enjoy the story!

NOTER (Do not read unless you came to the author note that told you to go here): Before going on, I want to note something when you come across a certain part of the story. I don't know really know much about drifting. Really. The only thing I know is that the car goes sideways in a unique and interesting way through the road. Technically, when I was writing this from the beginning, I was observing Initial D and tried to apply to my little knowledge of driving a stick. I think you must put it to second gear to make a turn? But after that, I have to do a little research on drifting and well, I'm confused! For those who know drifting, please email me about it! I would really, and I mean REALLY appreciate it! Otherwise, please be gentle with me about that. I tried the best I can to write it out with my little knowledge. I'm sorry if I got something wrong…hehe. And, DON'T TRY IT AT HOME please, unless you are a professional…dangerous driving right there. Although interesting, but still dangerous…)

(Song: Gamble Rumble by Move

English Lyrics can be foundthe linkin bio)

Thisstory is dedicated to the High School Graduates (Including those who will be soon of course). Good Luck! Don't ever group up and reach for the light

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Night fell quickly in the dying beautiful blue hue as the sun began to descend into the western hemisphere, with the moon gradually rising from the opposite end. Lights begin to turn on one-by-one, from lamppost to the moving cars around the busy streets. Most people at this time are still out, yet, they are enjoying their time walking around the city, eating in local restaurants, drinking in bars, singing in a karaoke lounges, shopping until closing time, finishing up work hours, and simply hanging out with their comrades.

Somewhere in a nearby restaurant, looking out into the streets through a huge clear window, a young girl sat there, gazing at every car passing by, watching people slowly walking through the sidewalks. Near her lay a small, simple pink journal with a small pen in hand, the journal opened to a page already half filled with her small writing. She tapped her pen apathetically against her notebook, with her eyes gazing depressingly outside. With the look of her expression and the way she gazed out into the open, she has been waiting in that restaurant for some time now, waiting for someone that she knows that would perk that sadness in her eyes. The waitress passed by and checked if everything is okay. Again, her face showing great boredom, the girl replied and asked for another drink politely. With a slight nod from the waitress, she went into the back to grab the girl's drink. Sighing, she reached for her half empty drink and stirred playfully with her straw. Drinking what was left of it, she placed it under the coaster and laid against her seat, looking out once more into the open.

Second by second, minute-by-minute, and hour-by-hour has passed and the girl kept on staring, waiting for that particular someone. With one sigh, the girl finally turned away from the window and gazed at her half written entry. With another sad sigh, she began to finish it, trying not to let her tears spill out into the open.

And so, she began to write, writing this in her entry:

For some time, I feel as if we are no longer what we were. I felt it...once I realized that somehow things between us have gone nowhere. Back then, I remembered so clearly of how happy we were back then as a couple in love, filled laughter and priceless memories that can never be replaced. I've always thought that we would always be together...until the end of time.

You were sweet, caring, and always make me laugh. I have always pictured my angel like you...so free spirited and charming, a person I can count on whenever I need someone to lean on.

Yet now, I no longer see that angel. All I see now is a different person, a person that I do not know. Why? Why are treating me like this? Why are you distancing yourself from me? All I know now...is that my life is going downhill now, consumed by the very vulnerable feelings that I do not want to submit myself to. Now that I know that we could never gain what we have...

I've always loved you...no matter what. Yet, now...

Slowly, the girl eased her pen away from the writing and gazed out into the window. No one she recognized was coming in. Tears developed under the rims of her eyes as the girl could no longer stand it. Taking out her wallet, she took out a small picture with her and two guys between her, one with unruly hair and the other, much older looking, with long, blond hair. Carefully, she put her pen on her journal again as she put the picture down next to her journal, her eyes lying on the one young man with the unruly hair in particular, finishing it off with three, little words.

"I hate you..."

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Early Monday, Sunday Night: 1:00am

"Everything is all clear…"

The winds were hideous and bitter as the moon lighted the trees with its pale, luminous light, letting it show the trees' shadow rustle against the harsh wind. Slowly, the cold winds picked up on top of a particular mountain pass, letting stray dry leaves fly by.

"All clear here…whenever you're ready…"

Wistfully, the leaves passed through the dark mountain pass, letting the winds carry them through an empty highway, with street lamps barely highlighting the place. Out afar, contrast to the quietness that mother earth has brought, a loud revving sound came closer to the flying leaves. A pair of bright lights suddenly highlighted the dark road, screeching sounds followed by the revving sound. The leaves continued to aimlessly head straight towards that strange sound as the winds started to weaken.

The revving sound suddenly deepened and more screeching sounds started to come along with it. The lights suddenly turned from its frontal position and quickly highlighted the right gutter with white metal reflectors. Right at that moment, as the leaves where about to lie on the ground, a car passed by fastidiously, zooming noisily through the quiet streets.

Bring it back, hey, Rock and Roll!

Sounds of shifting and stomping were heard inside the car, as a hand shifted a driving stick to a high transmission. A pair of feet with white sneakers worked rhythmically, one stepping on the clutch and the other working with the break and accelerator.

A turn is about to come within only a few seconds. Sending the information throughout the entire nervous system, stirring the mind to spring to action, the hand instinctively shifted the driving stick once more, tapping the brake. The car's weight suddenly shifted to the front wheels as the revving sound begins to churn. With the other foot working on the clutch and shifting the gear from 4th to 2nd, the hand soon joined its partner with the wheel. Quickly, the hands turned the wheel to the right to match the turn, until the tires began to squeal loudly outside. The car was heading into the corner in a dangerous matter until the hands turned the wheel to the left completely, making the car turn sideways.

life goes on manzoku shiteta sukoshi no kibou dake de

mattereba dare ka ga mirai kimete kureteita

(Just get you back and bring it back on)

As if the whole scene was warping in outer space, sounds of engines revving surrounded the atmosphere as the driver's view of the road swayed back and forth from facing the gutters to the road in front, the sounds increasing after the unique turn was completed. As the driver's perspective continued onward, the movement the perspective was following picked up its speed fastidiously through the winding road, looking as though the whole entire scene vanished into the next dimension, with only the lines left of the diminishing scenery as if someone was traveling through time. The perspective continued on its frontal position, zooming through the streets without stopping. Yet, the perspective can no longer keep its frontal position as the road began to turn sharply to the left. Engines started to churn as the speed decreased rapidly at the start of the turn, tires started shrieking as the tires begin to lose its grip from the fast maneuver. Suddenly, as the perspective was running smoothly, it rapidly went straight towards the edge of the side gutters, the headlights lighting the hedge of the trees once again. Soon, the perspective switched and another turn came up, turning suddenly from the left to the right as if it was a roller coaster, making one dizzy from the sudden fast movement.

Outside, the car whirled sideways along the turn. Instantly after the car's tremendous entrance and torturous drift, it made a fine exit from the sharp turn, as the car straightened a bit only to prepare itself to take another unique trip, the brake lights turning on, engines once more churning, and screeches started to be heard within the atmosphere. Soon, the car took this daring trip and did it perfectly, exiting and drifting the other way, nonstop.

nante chiisai jibun nan darou? bust it up!

(here we go, 1, 2) move it up and break it!

ima sugu yume made hashirou

Back inside, the frontal perspective shifted from its view of the guardrails back to the winding downhill road. Immediately, the car quickly moved to the right, skidding as the headlights highlighted another set of guardrails.

Through the rear view mirror, the driver's perspective broke away from the road and slowly spins to a pair of mysterious, masculine eyes, gazing at the reflection from behind, seeing the blurry trees pass by him. Soon, his eyes shifted to the road in front of him, once more the perspective back to the driver's viewpoint. Soon, he straightened his wheel and pressed the accelerator in full throttle, making the car move fast as lightening with another good ending.

With his car's magnificent sound echoing through the streets, the driver sped through the straightway without any hesitation in his mysterious eyes. He continued on the straightway as the speed increased into the next stage with the simple shift of his driving stick. Quickly, the straightway shifted into a sharp left turn. His eyes narrowed the moment he saw the turn, letting his mind submit to his instincts to carry him through. The car's brake lights suddenly flashed on, the engine's vicious howl lowering from its high-pitched, growing speed tone and churned as he tapped on the brake.

(Bring back, you it's the right time, hey boy, rock and roll)

Inside, while he stepped on the brake, he let his left foot press on the clutch. With his left hand, the young driver shifted the gear and downshifted to 2nd gear. Promptly, after he shifted his driving stick, he sharply turned the wheel to the left. Suddenly, the tires began to screech against the black asphalt road. After hearing the squeals outside, he stepped on the acceleration and the brake, using his heel and toes. Swiftly, the driver instantly counter steer to the other direction, making the rear go sideways, the car grabbing the corner and tackling it down to the end.

The car skidded through the turn perfectly. His hands started shaking as he held on to the wheel, trying his best to maintain its perfect drift. Quickly, the road began to straighten. The young driver saw the street lines start to change. He lifted his feet from the accelerator slightly and straightened his wheel. Making his command, the car straightened from its perfect sidelong drift as the tire sounds began to decrease its screech on the black asphalt. The driver shifted to the highest gear and on and on, listening intently to the howl of his car's engine. With his feet on the gas pedal, the car roared down the streets hastily, its engine returning to its high-pitched sound within the hood.

Gamble, you gotta chance to make a Rumble!

GIRI GIRI no SUTEEJI (oh yeah!)

Gamble, you gotta dive in to a scramble!

ichi MIRI mo mayowazu (check it out come on!)

mamoru beki MONO nante jitsu ha sonna ni nai

(give it up yo! give it up yo!)

sukoshi dake tsuyogatte kake mashou zenbu play the game!

Another turn started to appear ½ mile ahead. As he gazed at the road keenly, he pushed the accelerator more, the winding road beginning to look like he was on a roller coaster. Listening to his instincts, he pushed on the accelerator once more at the right moment, making the car go faster than before as the lines began to shift to the turn. Outside, he could hear his hood revving from his commands. When the turn's entrance came into view, he quickly steps on the brakes, the car's weight shifting from its smooth run to almost an abrupt stop. He shifted to 2nd gear and he quickly turned the wheel. The tires began to screech again as he felt the rear begin to sway. Once more, he counter steered, making the car go sideways in full throttle. He sped through, no fear interrupting his concentration, his eyes gaze enthusiastically at the visible street lines through his high beam lights. He closed into the inside of the road from the opposite end, just an inch away from the opposing guardrails. It skidded fast, as if the car was flying through the streets.

let's gamble hey jumbo now shake your bum and do the rumble

surudoku RAIN o sanbon TENSHON agarippa de BANBOO

toujou move sanninjuu minnasama no anminchuu

bakuon de "omaera UZAAi!" toka iwaretatte enen to

I like to move it move it I'll make you move into it

kokusan no EGUi NOIZU kamasu GINGIRAGIN yokubou sarasu

SUTAATO kara GOORU made matomete WAAPU shite

MAHHA gogo de nuki satte ikou

to your next stage

Throughout the whole course, the young driver made all kinds of unique sideway turns for most of the complex turns while doing power slides through simple turns, the car following along the streets lines with great precision. No mistakes were made, no crashes, or anything that would affect the car or the driver as it kept up its momentum. Quickly, the driver straightened his wheel from another crab walk maneuver. His eyes narrowed attentively when he saw another turn only a few seconds away.

boy can't you see? jibun rashisa o kezutte sugoshiteita

daishou ni te ni ireta no ha furukusai MORARU

(just get you back and bring it back on)

Through his eyes, the turn was a strong, u-turn as it circled from where he was, around the trees, and to the end of the difficult turn. Instantly, he shifted gears again and tap the brakes, shifting the weight of the car. After executing the brakes and shifted the gear that is appropriate for the turn, he turned the wheel to oppose the turn, making the car drift sideways once more. Outside, the car drifted, perfectly riding along the white line. The front neared the gutters as the driver tried his best to keep the car drifting sideways smoothly, the tires screeching as if the tires are about to pop any moment from such a risky move. Soon, the difficult turn passed and he quickly straightened his wheel quickly, jolting the car to a high-speed exit after the car straightened.

okubyou na kono mure kara ima bust it up! (here we go, back to)

move it up and break it!

nani mo motanai de tobidasou

(bring back yo it's the right time, hey boy, rock'en roll)

At the end of the mountain pass, standing at the bottom of the pass, two young men, waited patiently, their cars parked right behind the guardrails safely. One of them held a stopwatch in his hands as he gazed at the pass. Suddenly, a screeching sound was heard nearby from that pass, followed by a large revving sound. Leaning up from his position on the guardrails, he walked over to the end of the pass, his finger lying on top of the button. As he looked once more, he could see a pair of bright lights highlighting a faraway guardrail.

Gamble, you gotta chance to make a Rumble!

togi sumasarete iku (oh yeah!)

Gamble, you gotta dive in to a scramble!

chokan o shinjite (check it out come on!)

honmei no kimi no ai igai ha iranakute

(give it up yo! give it up yo!)

sukoshi demo mayou no sute mashou it's gonna feel so fine

Breakdown, come on, hey do the rumble

Come on, hey do the rumble

The bright car made another drift as it neared the end of the mountain pass. Clearly, he could sense the end coming. The young driver narrowed his eyes and pressed on the throttle, zooming through the road without any fear in his eyes.

152! MURAMURA to beat ga chouhatsu suru

MOTSU mc chou TIINEIJAA jinrui saisoku rap geisha

speakeasy e youkoso ooban furu mau doumoto

zenbu hatte SUcchauka? HA! gamble rumble

The two men can hear the sound more loudly. They both looked at each other and smiled. Not too far away, the driver just exited a turn and made his final drift. With a great exit, he quickly shifted to the highest gear, zooming past through the road without stopping. When he saw the end of the mountain pass, he pressed fully on the throttle.

Gamble, you gatta chance to make a Rumble!

afure dasu me mai ga

Suddenly, a sharp turn appeared in front of his eyes. Yet, he did not stop and continued to push forward towards his goal. At the right moment, he started to shift to 2nd gear and stepped on the brakes, the car's tires beginning to screech against the asphalt. Right then, his car began to skid as the result of going too fast on a sharp turn.

Gamble, you gatta dive in to a scramble!

HAJIKE souna last game

Out of the blue, as the car angled towards the corner, going with the turn, he suddenly released the accelerator and moved his wheel, suddenly making the car's behind sway its position from the right to the left, making it in time to move along with the turn sideways, pressing the accelerator carefully to stay close the inside.

Gamble, you gatta chance to make a Rumble!

GIRI GIRI no SUTEEJI

Gamble, you gatta dive in to a scramble!

ichi MIRI mo mayowazu

isshun no sentaku de subete o nakushite mo (give it up yo! give it up yo!)

koukai ha misenai de aruku makete naki mashou Once the curve of the road began to straighten towards the end of the mountain pass, the young driver instantly turned his wheel and straightened the car. After the position was back into frontal view, he stepped on the accelerator hard and zoomed through the straightway in full throttle, its engine screeching loudly under the hood.

bring back hey, one more time

The young man slowly raised his hand, ready to stop the watch as he finally sees the car in view. The car zoomed right passed him in full throttle and he clicked on the button.

"Time!" he hollered.

The car's sound suddenly lowered and with one shift from the driver's part, the car whirled, almost as if it was going to make a drift, and skidded to an impressive halt. Inside, the driver shifted the gear to neutral and put his brake up. He turned off the ignition and started to open the door.

"How did he do?" the other young man said as he approached the timekeeper.

He looked down at the watch's time and smiled. "Sugei...simply, unbelievably incredible…" Slowly, he looked up to see the young driver got out of his car, his eyes gazing at the skies above with a smile on his lips, showing great gratitude in his expression. The man nodded his head and proudly smiled at the younger driver.

"It looks like he is ready to attain his dream…"

The young driver looked up into the trees to see the familiar cherry blossom trees, watching the bare branches sway against the wind.

(A.N.: Please read the part where it says Noter)

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Sakura Drops

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It was a beautiful, semi-cold day as Hitomi Kanzaki walked along the alleys of her neighborhood, wearing a comfortable coat over her school uniform. Swinging her arm with her hand holding her brown messenger bag, she merrily turned around the corner with a huge smile on her face. She didn't like the cold weather, but she managed a smile that made the gloomy day seem unnoticeable with her bright grin. Today, she believed that this would be a great day, no matter what the weather is. Nothing can ruin her day.

"Hito-chan! Matte!" yelled a voice from behind.

Ignoring the voice following her, Hitomi continued to walk until she made it to the to the public streets. After rounding another corner, Hitomi stopped in her tracks. The voice continued to call her. So, with a hefty sigh, Hitomi waited for that voice to catch up. Running footsteps were closing in on her. She slapped her forehead lightly when she could hear the person panting pathetically behind her. "Here it goes again. This always happens every other day." Hitomi sighed and turned around to view the person who is leaning against his knees, trying to catch his breath pathetically.

"You know, Van, for a person who is athletic in most of the sports in school, you sure are out of shape," Hitomi jokingly said, leaning down to gaze at his reddish-brown eyes.

Wiping his messy black top from his sweating face, Van Fanel stood up and gazed at Hitomi sleepily. "Give me a break! I haven't gotten a good night's sleep…"

"Why? Because of your brother's loud snore?" Hitomi asked, trying to restrain herself from laughing too loudly.

"Huh? Oh…yeah that…and I was playing video games all night," Van pointed as he straightened his school uniform with a guilty look on his face.

Hitomi blinked a few times. "Again!"

Van frowned. "What's with that look! It's not my fault that I was so caught up in that plot," he said. "And I was pretty damn pissed at the stupid boss with those huge thorns! God, it took me three hours to level up just to beat that idiot!"

"Still, that does NOT give you an excuse why you are always late!" retorted Hitomi. "I swear, you are such a video game freak, just like Folken-oniisan…"

"Hey, Oniichan was the one who first introduced me to video games. What do you expect? I have a smart brother who happens to love video games. SO! It's not my fault that I was into it too…"

"Van, you are simply clueless. I think you spend too much time with Folken-oniisan. Then again, maybe the reason you resort to video games is because you can't sleep with Folken-oniisan's rather loud snoring." Hitomi snickered, trying to contain her laugh. Just thinking about Van with that sleepy expression of his, staring at the television screen with Folken sleeping on his bed, snoring his head off is something that Hitomi couldn't help but imagine and laugh about that funny scene.

Van simply growled as Hitomi tried many attempts to stop herself from laughing, although it failed miserably when she looked at Van's sleepy, irritated face. They began through the sidewalks after Van straightened his suit. "I still can't believe you have been sleeping in the same room with your older brother," Hitomi said with a surprise tone in her voice after finally containing her giggles. "I can't believe you are still able to handle it."

"Why? It's no big deal…" Van stated casually, putting his hands behind his head with his hand still holding his messenger bag. "It's not like the end of the world or something. I'm only in there temporarily…"

Hitomi sighed frustratingly. "But still…if I were in your shoes, I would be so furious about it! I mean, I would be half screaming, half whining about it until your ears bleed."

"But…I don't whine…" he stated coolly.

"So?" asked Hitomi, raising an eyebrow, pointing a finger at him. "At least you have the patients while I don't. No…wait…on the other hand, maybe you don't, but that doesn't matter. And didn't you say you haven't slept so well because you kept on thinking about your scores on the exams? Van, we took those yesterday and teachers need time to grade them you know…"

"But this is different! This exam determines your life!" Van said. "Besides…with my sleepy state…I tend to… forget to put my name on my tests…so I'm kind of worried…"

"Van, you're hopeless," Hitomi sighed and walked ahead of him. She slowly looked at him and stopped in midair when she noticed something about his attire. "Umm…Van…aren't you cold?"

Van stopped a few centimeters in front of Hitomi with a clueless expression on his face. His uniform was perfectly fit for school, yet, he was only wearing a short sleeved white collared shirt with a single dark blue tie under the collar. His shirt was untucked and covered a pair of dark pants, his feet wearing a pair of white sneakers.

He looked at Hitomi, frowning questioningly at her, blinking a few times. Out of nowhere, a cold wind came between them. Goosebumps started to form in Van's arm.

"AHH! IT'S COLD!" Van screamed as he crossed his arms over his chest tightly.

"Van! Baka!" Hitomi yelled, smacking him right on the head with her messenger bag.

"And you say you don't whine?" Hitomi asked with a mischievous smile.

"Shut up…" Van muttered and dashed quickly back home to retrieve his forgotten coat. Hitomi watched him run like a maniac around the corner and smiled.

Hitomi couldn't help but giggle. "No matter what, I'll never get tired of him…"


Forty minutes have passed on and there was only twenty minutes left before school is about to begin. Students were coming into the gates in all directions. Among the group of young, eager, weary students, Van and Hitomi entered through the open gates of their huge high school, trying their best to avoid any groups in their way.

Van passed by a group of girls and they all stared at him, giggling as his presence made them shudder with glee.

"Oh my god, it's him…" one girl whispered to another. Van only sighed when he managed to get some parts of their conversation.

"He is soo fine!"

"Do you think he will smile and hang around with us this time…?"

"I certainly hope so!"

Once more, Van sighed frustratingly and looked at his fingers. "Here it comes in three…two…"

"Ohayo Van-sama…" the giggling girls said together sheepishly.

"Bingo!" "Ohayo…" Van said indifferently, raising his hand and waving lightly. He abruptly turned away from them and tried to keep his distance. Realizing his sudden quick steps, Hitomi tried catching up to him.

"Kuso, why can't those girls stop looking at me?" Van moaned. "Every single day those girls are there...in that same corner…in their same greeting and giggles. Look how many times I have to count?" He showed three fingers in front of Hitomi's face. "Countless times! Shimatta, I'm better off failing a test rather than facing those girls! They always know when I'll appear. It's as if they're stalking me or something…"

"No I don't think so," Hitomi disagreed. "I think they won't go that low…"

Suddenly, a flash came into Van's sleepy eyes. "Look! I got his picture!" said one girl, squealing as she held a picture in her hands. All the girls ran to that girl looked at his picture, their screams echoing across the halls. Sweat dropping, Van turned to Hitomi with an annoyed look on his face. Hitomi laughed nervously and started walking to class.

"I-I take that back," said Hitomi. "I guess girls completely have fallen for you."

Van sighed. "Can't do anything about it," he said disappointedly, knowing that those girls would put a shrine of him at their homes with his picture, worshiping him as if he was God. "I can't help that I have a natural attractiveness…" He paused for a moment and thought about what he said. After a while, he suddenly slapped his forehead and sighed. "But still, that's no excuse…damn it…"

Hitomi rolled her eyes, but smiled at him. It's true all the girls in school have eyes on him. It's a typical ordinary day for Van and her, even with the weird situation with the females in school. Somehow, he always manages to stay away from their preying eyes, even though he is always sleepy whenever he comes to school.

"I thought you said you don't whine," Hitomi said once more.

"Shut up!"

They climbed the stairs up to the third floor where their senior classroom is. Upon reaching the stairs, a girl with red-brown hair started waving to them. "Hitomi! Van!" hollered the girl as she ran to them.

"Hey, Yukari!" Hitomi called, waving back.

"Hey, Hitomi! Hey, Van, looking sleepy as usual." Van muttered her to be quiet in the background, covering his mouth from his yawn. "Where have you been! You were supposed to be here about 40 minutes ago!" Yukari scolded, folding her arms and tapping her foot on the floor. "And we were suppose to practice one last time for our presentations before school starts?"

"Gomen, Yukari, it's just that it was Van's fault," Hitomi said, pointing at a rather droopy Van who raised his head when his name was mentioned after taking in another huge yawn. "It took him a while to get his jacket. He was so dense that he didn't realize it was still wintertime. So he ran back to his house, tripping over a trash can by the way, almost tripped over cat, ducked over a low clothes line, got into his house, grabbed his jacket, got a noggie by his brother from his little prank that morning, forgotten his lunch that his mother solely told him, but somehow did not hear her, crashed into a pole, and practically that explains why we are late."

"Hey! That only took a whole 20…wait…I have a lunch?"

Hitomi growled and smacked Van behind her head. "Hey, what was that for!"

Yukari laughed as she watched the two argue with each other. She did not mind a little entertainment before class starts. She simply smiled and enjoyed herself for a change.

The first bell rang through the entire school area. Everyone's conversation was cut short and every single person started walking into his or her designated class. Hitomi stopped when she noticed that everyone is leaving. Van stopped as well and he heaved a sigh tiredly, putting his arms behind his back.

"Come on, sleepy head, let's go to class," said Hitomi, taking his arm and dragging him with her.

"But…Hito-chan…"

The clock, hanging on the wall of the front of class and just above the blackboard, started to tick. It was near 10:00 and Hitomi sat there, tapping her pencil against her written notebook. She sat there with a bored expression, watching as the little, red hand ticked its way to 45 seconds. She could hear her sensei talking about English, saying how to use past tense and present tense in the English language. "I already know this stuff…how come she repeats herself every time?" Hitomi thought impatiently as she let her gaze wonder to a little note on the right side of the black board. To the right, the little note read:

This week's lecture: Review

Graduation…coming soon…

Good Luck!

Hitomi smiled at that thought. "That's right…we're seniors now…we are going to graduate soon," Hitomi wondered fondly, letting her gaze linger to the window outside. "It seems like it was just yesterday…since we were little kids…having a fun experience through a never ending, changing process of our lives." Slowly, she let her gaze wonder to her friend Yukari, who was unaware of the fact that she was biting on the end of pencil with a bored look on her face.

Yukari was the first friend that joined into Hitomi's small group of friends during their younger years. When they met in junior high school, Hitomi could remember those times they shared when they were just becoming friends. They shared the same ambition, the same interests, and the same experiences. They soon became fast friends and they always did everything together. Hitomi was happy to meet a friend like her.

"Psst! Yo, Hitomi…" said a voice from behind her. Hitomi dazed out of her dream and looked behind to see a young boy with silver hair smiling widely at her with closed eyes. "Can I copy your notes?" he asked.

Hitomi's eyes narrowed and shook her head. "You have a brain right?"

"Umm…yeah…"

"And…you have ears and eyes too right?"

"Yup…"

"Then you should be listening and jotting those notes down on the board, Dilandau. This is our last month here. You best do this on your own."

"Aww…but Hitomi…"

"Na-ah."

All Hitomi could do is sigh happily the way Dilandau pouted like a child. Dilandau Albatou, a crazy kid with crazy ambitions. Lazy, a slacker in school, and a class clown, Hitomi known him ever since he moved into their class on the second year of their junior high school life. She met him through Van, who swiftly became one of his best friends. She would never forget his crazy pranks. It was quite a miracle that he made it to a prestigious school like this with his poor scores and bad reports on his permanent record. But, from all those crazy antics he has, Hitomi was also glad that he was part of her group of friends. And, like Van, he too is popular amongst the females in school. Hitomi wondered why are they so popular?

With a huge sigh from her lips, Hitomi let her eyes wonder to the girl with blonde hair in the front. Hitomi smiled and straighten herself from her slouching position and tapped on the girl. The girl turned around and gave a smile to Hitomi. "Hey, Millerna, where do you want to hang out at lunch?"

"Hmm…well…let's sit under that cherry blossom tree…you know the one where we all first met each other," Millerna smiled. "Let's hang out there for the last remaining time we have here. You're not busy right?"

"Okay, that's fine with me. And I'm not busy today," Hitomi smiled back fondly.

Millerna Aston, a pretty, rich, and great personality girl who recently just moved in during their first year in high school. Her father, currently, is the current mayor of their hometown and her older sisters, Marlene and Eries, are currently in college, majoring in politics. Before, Hitomi and Millerna used to be rivals since they used to like the same person back then. Yet, that childish dispute stopped when they realized how stupid they were to fight over a simple thing like love. Now, they are close friends. Hitomi could always rely on her on when it comes to the problems she has in her life.

"Just let me check with Van if he agrees," Hitomi said with another smile.

Hitomi turned away from Millerna to view the person to her right. With his black mop covering his eyes and his body against the back of his chair, Van Fanel tried his best to keep himself awake to the daily lecture. Hitomi could see his reddish-brown eyes droop down and up, and down and up again, once in a while jerking his head to open his eyes compulsorily. Finally, he let his sleeping side win and he fell asleep, a slight snore coming out of his mouth from complete boredom. Hitomi simply smiled and watched him sleep there for a while.

Van Fanel is one person that Hitomi can always count on. Ever since they were little, they have been best friends forever. Van was a new kid when he moved into her neighborhood. At first, she was nervous to talk to him since Van was kind of shy and very much quiet. But, as time passed, Van opened up little by little, got to know each other very well, and they became best friends. Van was always there for her whenever she needs someone to talk to. He was always there making her day bright as ever. Since then, they were inseparable. Everyone would always see them together, talking and laughing happily. Hitomi could never ask for anything from God. She was thankful that she met Van.

After a few moments, Hitomi grew annoyed. Although Hitomi agrees that it is boring, sleeping in class is not option and getting into trouble is the last thing Hitomi wanted Van to do. With a sigh, Hitomi smacked him behind his head. His limp head went straight into his desk and he yelled in utter pain. People instantly stared at him as he massaged his face. It was a good thing the bell rang at that time and their teacher did not hear his cries.

Slowly, the sensei closed her book and looked at the class. "Okay, minna-san, be sure to copy down the homework. Remember, we will begin our finals on the 3rd week of March. Until tomorrow, have a pleasant lunch."

The students took a huge stretch from their long lecture. They instantly filled the silence with their unfinished conversation from before and began to head out for a quick break.

"I-itai. Why did you do that Hito-chan!" Van retorted. "I was having a good sleep!"

"Well, I just couldn't get you into trouble when Haruno-sensei was looking in our direction. Besides, I needed to tell you something anyways."

Van grumbled annoyingly. "Hehe, Van you look like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer," Dilandau laughed as he noticed Van. "Serves you right for sleeping in class."

"Shut up, Dilandau! You slept in class too! Why do I get all the bad luck?" Van said.

Hitomi giggled and patted Van's slumping body. "I'm sorry, Van. It's just that it's the only way I can wake you up. I know how much of a sound sleeper you are."

"Well, I know how much of a light sleeper you are? But why me and not him?"

"For one, I can see you easily more than Dilandau. Besides, how would I know that he is sleeping behind me?"

"You can turn your head around?" pointed Van.

"Yeah, but I don't want to get into trouble. I am directly in sensei's view after all. And besides, it wouldn't be fun seeing Dilandau's face went straight behind another's desk. I find teasing you is funnier…"

"Tch, sechi…"

Hitomi simply giggled. Yukari and Millerna joined in the group and laughed at Van's rather red face. "What happened to you?"

"Urm…don't ask," Van said bluntly. "So, what's up Hitomi?"

"Hmm? Oh yeah, is it all right if we all hang out near the cherry blossom tree?" she asked. "Since this is our last year here, we could at least hang out there. After all, this is were we all became really close…so I hope you are not busy with school stuff and all."

Van thought for a moment as he gazed at the ceiling thoughtfully. With a smile, he looked at Hitomi. "Sure, why not?"

"Then it's agreed!" Yukari declared, with Millerna cheering and Dilandau smiling, even though he does not know what is going on. Soon, the four were talking about recent events that happened until the bell for their next period has come. Everyone went back into their assigned seats and waited patiently for their sensei to come.

"Do you think he's going to let us have a free period, Van?" whispered Hitomi to Van who was leaning against his hand on his desk.

"Oi, oi, don't ask me. He never mentions his plans for class to me," Van said. "He never does unless he's too lazy to grade papers…"

Few minutes have passed on after the bell rang and everyone grew restless. After another minute passed by, everyone started talking again.

"What's going on? I thought he'd be here by now," Yukari said frustratingly as she tapped her pencil against her notebook. "Sensei said we have a quiz today. I want to get this over with!"

Van sighed and leaned against his seat, his head looking at the ceiling with a frustrated look. "What the hell is he thinking! He should very well know that being late is bad. Someone might write him up one of these days."

Dilandau groaned, leaning against his desk. "Let's hope we can eat in class. I skipped breakfast. I'm STARVIN'…"

Twenty minutes have passed on and everyone were still talking amongst each other without any worry for their missing sensei. However, unlike the rest of the class, both Van and Hitomi were growing more and more impatient and concerned each second has passed on. Van wanted to go to sleep, yet did not manage to because of his growing anger.

"If he doesn't show up, then I'll certainly yell at him and beat him to a pulp for making us wait with a quiz at stake," Van retorted, clenching his fist.

"Van, that's being disrespectful," Millerna stated with an angry look on her face.

"It doesn't matter, Millerna," said Hitomi grudgingly. "Because sensei is…"

Just as Hitomi was about to finish her sentence, the door suddenly slid open to reveal a young man (in his early 20's) with a white dress shirt and blue tie coming in, his unruly silver-bluish hair bobbing up and down as he walked to the podium.

"Yo!" he simply greeted with a tiny wave, smiling unwavering with closed eyes.

Instantly, after his remark, both Van and Hitomi got up from their seats and pointed at their sensei with an angry look on their faces. "YOU'RE LATE!" both shouted loudly as everyone in the classroom snickered. Once again, for who knows how many times, their sensei is being scolded.

"Gomen, gomen. I was simply driving by when a black cat crossed my way…"

"That's no excuse!" Van retorted. "Didn't I wake you up with my prank, Oniichan!"

People started laughing as their sensei, referred to Oniichan by Van, put his books on the podium, blushing. He scratched his head nervously. "Van-chan…can we talk…about this later…? Before 'kassan finds out?"

"Nope, I'd rather talk it here, with our class hearing it. After all, you have to solve problems in front. That's what you always said, Folken-sensei," Van snickered as he sank back down on his seat, stressing the word "sensei."

"Oh, come on Van-chan. I feel too lazy to yell at you right now," Folken said as he flipped his roll book open, marking tardy under his brother's name. "That should teach him. Heh heh…"

"Nope, right now."

"I can give you less homework and I also buy the whole class lunch in the deal…" taunted Folken with a sneaky smile.

"You think I'll fall for that? Yada!"

Folken sighed and scratched his head. "How about driving my car?"

"Tempting…but no means no!"

"Tch, sechi!"

Everyone laughed as the two started to argue, with Folken losing. "All right, all right, since it is review time, no homework for this class." Everyone in class started cheering and instantly went back to their seats. Van laughed as Folken approached him, with an annoyed look on his face. Rounding his arms around Van's neck, he started to give him another noggie. "Grr, damn you, Van-chan. Why do you always mock me whenever I am late for class?"

"Because you deserve it. You shouldn't be late to class, especially since you are our teacher. What kind of role model are you setting?" Van laughed.

"I'll beat you to a pulp if you don't shut up!" Folken stated jokingly as he began tickling Van relentlessly. Hitomi watched the scene unfold, laughing at the two's little entertainment for the class. She can never get tired of this period since this always happens.


"Huaah…so, in other words…this means that…and that means this and…whatever this word means means this other word here…and…huuuaaah…I ran out words to say…" Folken muttered sleepily as he read the book in front of his nose without even realizing he is spouting nonsense. He looked at his class to see them looking at him with a weird, confused look on their faces as if he was from a strange planet with a strange language. Frowning at his class groggily, Folken suddenly tossed his book annoyingly to the floor. "What the hell! I'm too lazy to teach, and you guys already know this material, so you guys can have free time now."

Everyone cheered as they put their stuff in their bags and started talking insistently. Hitomi looked at Folken as he yawned, walking back to his podium with sleepy eyes. Slowly, a sweat drop formed on the side of her face, flinching a bit. "It's so surprising that they both act soo alike." Slowly, she looked at Van who was yawning as well. He felt eyes prying on him and looked in Hitomi's way to see a weird look on her face.

"Nada?" he asked suspiciously.

"Hmm? Betsuni…"

The lunch bell finally came as everyone started heading out to lunch. Immediately, Folken's sleepy eyes lightened and quickly ran out of the classroom before anyone else, relieved that lunch has finally come. With one "see ya" greeting, he made a mad rush to the door.

"Where does Folken-oniisan get the energy from?" Hitomi asked. "He's never like this…actually, he never was like this…"

Van shrugged as he gave a nice stretch. "Must be because he needed to use the restroom." An evil look appeared on his face. "Hehe, I put some prunes in his breakfast before I left."

Hitomi sighed frustratingly. They always joke around. Brotherly love, she assumes. Then again, Van may have done that as a revenge for making him sleep late until his snores calm down. Hitomi snickered as the memory of that image returned once more.

Yukari and Millerna both cheered on as they grabbed their lunch and dragged a sleepy Dilandau along with them. "Come on, you two, you don't want to be left behind?" called Yukari.

Hitomi smiled and grabbed her lunch from her bag. "Come on, Van, you don't want to be left behind."

Van was rummaging through his messenger bag. "Hmm…that's strange…"

"What is?" Hitomi asked.

"I know I have it here…"

"Have what?"

Van scratched his head and stood next to Hitomi. "My lunch…"

"Yeah…and?"

"And…I can't find it…"

Hitomi blinked a few times. How sleepy is he? "Your mom told you not to forget it, but obviously, that's what happens when you are so absentminded Van. Besides, that's nothing new," said Hitomi. "You always forget your lunch…"

"Oh well," Van sighed as he grabbed his coat. "At least I have you…"

"What? What do you mean?" asked Hitomi incredulously.

"Yeah, you have lunch, so I can get to pick from yours," Van smiled. "Can I? Pleeaasse…?"

"Oh, whatever, Van," said Hitomi. "I knew you would be asking me. Besides, it's not the first…maybe…like hundred thousand times you asked me? And you always pick at my food without asking…"

Van tapped a finger on his chin and smiled. "Well, I guess your right…" he said innocently.

The students around the school are already eating lunch at their specific area when Van and Hitomi went out of the classroom. There are already a lot of conversations going on while the students munch on their delicious lunches.

"Oh, I hope no one took our spot," Hitomi said worriedly. "Look how many people are outside..."

Hitomi could see a lot of the seniors going outside, the courtyard filled with noisy students from all over the third floor classrooms.

"It's strange to see that a lot of people are outside on this kind of weather," Van pointed as he gazed out in the window. "But then again, this is our last year here, so I guess they want to relive those days back when we were only in the 10th grade, you know, trying to catch up with their friends…"

Hitomi smiled and stood beside her best friend, gazing out into the window. "Yes, I suppose your right…"

Students passed by their turned backs, one after another. Van and Hitomi remain there, gazing out into the open to see how everyone is enjoying their company with each other. From afar, loud shouts were heard down the hallway as a particular blond hair teacher passed by them.

"Onizuka-sensei! Give that back!" yelled a squeaky-voiced teacher with a white lab coat, holding a mannequin of a human being. "That's not a costume! How am I supposed to teach the class the anatomy of the human body! Come back!"

Rushing passed the majority of students who were gawking and laughing at the teacher with one side of his body donned with the inner organs of the human body, the blond haired teacher laughed nervously and passed by Hitomi and Van, who were not apparently paying attention to the commotion.

After the teacher passed by them and the commotion has calmed down, Hitomi slowly turned around from the group of people outside and heaved a sigh. It would not be the same anymore once they get out of high school, as everyone will be busy with the next stage of their lives. She opened her eyes and looked across the hall. Her eyes soon filled with joy when she spotted a young man walking her way, with his long, blonde hair flowing gorgeously through the halls.

Girls instantly gawked at him when he passed by them, almost fainting at the fascinating aroma he spreads. "Hello ladies," he said in a playful matter, winking sexily at them. The girls instantly melted by his move and heaved sighs of admiration when they gazed at his back.

Hitomi smiled and waved to the man. "Allen!" she called.

"Aww, my sweet, sweet, girlfriend, there you are!" called Allen as he ran up to her and gave her a big hug. Hitomi giggled when he scooped her into his arms, blushing as everyone looked at the couple.

Allen Schezar, a senior from class 3-F, the most popular guy in school, and also Hitomi's boyfriend. They became a couple after a little mishap at the school's annual Sports festival when he accidentally hit her with a baseball on the face while she was running in track. Soon, they fell in love and became a couple within a week. Everyone always envied Hitomi that she dated such a chivalrous person like Allen. Hitomi would be so proud and glut all she wants how Allen is such a great person. They were always lovey-dovey which made some people sick at the sight of them.

"How are you my dear?" said Allen as he broke the hug, holding her hand.

"Hehe, Allen, stop being so polite. You know how embarrassed I am when you always do that to me," said Hitomi, trying to hold the blush. Allen simply laughed and cuddled to her once more.

Behind the laughing couple, Van turned around when Hitomi called out Allen's name. He watched them as they talked happily to each other, once in a while hugging and giving each other a kiss. After watching the two talk for a couple of minutes, Van's face suddenly grown sullen, almost as if he was angry. With an irritated sigh, Van turned away from the couple, his long, black bangs covering his reddish-brown eyes.

Dilandau, Yukari, and Millerna appeared after Van turned away to meet up with the three. "Okay, you two, stop being so lovey-dovey," said Yukari, crossing her arms. "We have a spot to eat lunch in? So let's get our horses down there!"

"Okay, okay, Yukari, you don't need to rush us," Hitomi said, breaking out of the hug. "Allen, would you like to join us?"

"Tch!" Something snapped in Van's mind and he gritted his teeth angrily.

"Why, sure! I wouldn't miss the opportunity to hang out with my Hitomi and her four friends," said Allen with a smile.

"Actually…I have something to do," Van said suddenly, gazing at everyone. As Van made his remark, all attention directed to him. He said it rather quickly, but he didn't care. "I just remembered now. Sorry minna..."

"Oh, really? Oh well, too bad. I guess it's only the five of us then," said Allen happily.

"Van…I would really want you to be there," said Hitomi pleadingly, gazing at Van's emotionless eyes.

"No, it's okay, you can have fun without me," said Van coldly as he turned around. "Go ahead and spend time with your boyfriend. I'll see you around, Hitomi." With that, he started walking off without looking back at his friends.

"Van, wait!" Hitomi called.

"Leave him be, Hitomi dear. That nerd probably has more to study to do, since that is all he ever does," said Allen, luring Hitomi to walk with them. A darker look appeared on Van's face as he hastily, yet calmly walks away. Hitomi sighed and reluctantly went with him and her friends, turning around once more to see Van's back disappear into the other side of the hall. Slowly, she looked down, with an upset expression on her face.

"What happened to him suddenly? He was so excited to hang out on our spot for almost a year now…since we were so committed into school events, projects, and such…"

Unaware by the group, Dilandau slacked behind them, looking disgustingly at Allen's back.


Thirty minutes has passed since Van left his friends. He now stood on the rooftop of the school, gazing at the city before him. He let the winds ruffle against his raven hair with a thoughtful expression on his face. Thoughts about the time with Allen before flooded through his mind. He couldn't help but feel so frustrated over the man that Hitomi calls her "knight-in-shining-armor." He heaved a sigh and continued to gaze out into the scenery.

Behind him, the squeaky door opened to reveal Dilandau coming out. "Yo," called Dilandau to Van. "So this is were you've been staying…"

"…"

"…"

"Yeah," Van coldly said, his face never leaving the scenery. Silence fell between them as Van continued to gaze sternly out into the open, seeing Allen's noticeable long hair with Hitomi by his side, under the very spot they were supposed to eat lunch under. Dilandau continued to look at his friend, noting his tense stance, with his fingers clenching the metal fence.

"…"

"…"

"So…how did you find me?" Van finally asked, his tone did not change.

Dilandau looked up and slightly smiled. "I know you Van. You always come up here whenever you need some time alone. Otherwise, Hitomi wanted me to give you her lunch," said Dilandau, putting down a small, pink bentou next to Van's books. "Even though she's with that idiot, she still worries for you, you know Van?"

Once more, silence sat between them. Van continued to look on without turning to Dilandau while Dilandau remained in his spot, observing Van in a safe distance. "Damn, cold as ice…as usual…"

"How was it with everyone?" Van asked.

"Well, it would be better if you were around. It's not as lively," his friend said, tucking his hands into his pocket. "Besides, I came up here to see how you were doin'…and I wanted to get away from Allen's continuous, annoying talk about stupid things."

Van did not reply. He continued on, looking into the open with a dark look in his eyes. "What's the deal with your attitude, man?" asked Dilandau, stepping slowly away just to be safe. "I've never seen you like that for a while now…"

Van flinched when his friend mentioned his foul behavior. He heaved a sigh. "You know how it is." he simply said.

"…"

"…"

"Want to beat Allen to a pulp?" Dilandau dared.

Van flinched, a darker expression formed on his face. He crunched the can he held for a while and surprisingly threw it to the nearest recycling reciprocal. "Kuso!" He slammed the pavement with his bare fists fervently, almost leaving a dent into the hard, cold ground. Dilandau did not flinch and sighed, finally walking close to his ill-tempered friend.

"What's new about that?" asked Dilandau, knowing exactly Van's feelings. "You've always dislike the guy ever since the beginning of our first year."

Calmed a bit, Van turned back to the scenery, his fists still tight as a ball. Van and Allen, during his high school years, weren't the pleasant ones. When the two met one day during a brief match in Kendo Club, Allen somehow cheated his way and won the match. Since then, Van had a bad impression of the long, blonde hair man. You could say Van dislikes himin a way. However, it was not because of that moment that Van gave Van a bad impression. But, because of the darker side that Van knew existed within him. Van could easily sense through the mask Allen is wearing whenever he is out in public. No one knows, but only himself and others with great observant skills. He could feel such negative vibes coming from him and Van feels that he cannot be trusted. When he started dating Hitomi, Van felt even more distrust towards him. Yet, he is not sure why.

"…"

"Yeah, I know you have an eternal grudge against oh so "Prince Charming," but tone down the temper, man. Hitomi was hurt when you suddenly became cold as ice," said Dilandau.

"…"

"I know, you didn't mean to be cold to her. But still, that's a bad habit of yours..."

"…"

"Really…though. I haven't seen you like this for a while. Somehow, mentioning that son of a…you know…is taboo…"

"…….."

"I know, but, I can't help it," Van retorted as he finally turned around to his friend. "When Allen's there, I just…feel…as if something is bad will happen to Hito-chan…"

"Hey, it's cool, man. It's understandable. You're not the only one who has a fit with that idiot. To tell ya the truth, I really I wanted to punch that pretty boy bastard until his face is all bruised up too. Damn it! He keeps on talking this and that with a weird tone in his damn voice around everyone. Somehow, with that one of his, it's as if he is hiding somethin'. Just somethin' about that is freakin' me out! He is such a two-faced baka. I just don't understand what Hitomi sees in him. He is nothing more than a no good knick. Maybe because it was his charm that put a spell on Hitomi."

"That is what I am worried," said Van, his voice gentler than before as he sat down and grabbed for Hitomi's bentou from the ground, opening it to find all sorts of goods that Hitomi's mother must have made. "Hito-chan has a habit to trust people too easily. But that's her so there's nothing I can do about it. I remember Hito-chan did say that you should give people a chance. For Allen…it's a…different story. I-I just…don't want to see her hurt…"

Dilandau watched as Van's expression turned from anger to sad when he mentioned Hitomi into their conversation. A small smile appeared on his face and he shook his head knowingly.


The bell rang, telling students that it was time for class. People started to pack up their lunches and walked into their own classrooms.

"Well, I'll be seeing you later, right?" asked Hitomi, holding on to Allen's hands. "We are going on our date to Nihonbashi, right? After school?"

"Umm…I-I-can't," Allen said reluctantly. "I have…something… important… to do after school, but, I'll call you later tonight okay? Promise!"

Hitomi smiled and nodded her head. Allen smiled back and kissed her on the cheek and rushed to his class without looking back. Hitomi seemed a bit disappointed by the way Allen showed his affection, but waved it away when she walked with her two friends.

"Hey, Hitomi, what's with the long face?" asked Yukari, noticing the expression on Hitomi's face.

"I don't know…Allen seems a bit…distant," Hitomi said, looking down to the ground. "He's not that affectionate these days…"

"Hey, don't worry," Millerna assured her, patting her back. "I'm sure that he is too busy with school since it is near the end of the year."

"Yeah, Hitomi. Don't stress over something that is nothing," Yukari said. "I know how it feels when Amano is too busy to show his affection to me. But, we can still work it out because we understand that we are going through a lot of busy times. I wonder how is he doing in America…? Tonikaku, understand where Allen is coming from okay?"

Hitomi just sighed and went into the classroom. Upon sitting down on her desk and grabbing her notebook material, she looked to her side to see that Van has not returned to his desk. At that moment, all feelings about Allen was easily dismissed as she thought about her missing best friend. Worried, Hitomi turned behind her to see Dilandau with a bored expression on his face.

"Where's Van?" asked Hitomi with worry.

Dilandau perked when he heard Hitomi's voice cut through his thoughts. "Huh? Van? Oh yeah, he just went in the restroom really quick."

As if on cue, Van opened the door to the classroom with a slight tired look on his face, taking his own seat without saying anything. He put down his books and grabbed inside his messenger bag for his advance math notebook. He quietly turned to the next blank page and waited patiently for the math teacher to come.

Hitomi watched him silently preparing for the next class. She was curious to know the deal with his silent behavior at this moment. "Umm…Van?" Hitomi asked, uncertain to say something to him with his mood somewhat fouled. Van turned when he heard her voice and looked at Hitomi. With a gentle smile, he finally turned to her.

"What is it, Hito-chan?" he asked softly. "Are you wondering if I ate the other half of your lunch?" Hitomi nodded at his response. Van sighed once more and put her empty bentou in her hands. "Here, I guess this would explain your answer." With another small smile, he turned to his desk and got up when he spotted the sensei coming into the now silent classroom.

A clueless expression ran through her face when he gave her her small, light pink bentou. She looked in it to see that the contents are no longer there. "I don't know what has been troubling him, but whatever it is, I guess he's back to normal…" Putting the plastic tube into her lunch pouch, she stood with the rest of the class to greet their sensei respectfully.


"Alright, class is adjourn," said the track teacher. "Have a good weekend."

It was a relief for Hitomi that the weekend has finally come after a long hard week from homework, classwork, and excessive review lectures. She heaved a sigh after putting on her school uniform and crammed her track clothes inside her duffel bag. "Half day on Saturdays are always great," Hitomi sighed.

"Hehe, at least I don't have to do work like you guys except jotting down the times and organizing stuff," said Yukari. "But, you did incredible, Hitomi. Every time you always beat your own record. You beat your own fourteen second sprint. What's next? 10 seconds?"

"Maybe," Hitomi said with a smile. "But I'll think about it until Monday. Right now, I just want a relaxing weekend."

They exited the girl's locker room to the other side of the campus, where the gymnasium was located, north from where the track field was. Hitomi climbed the stairs from the track field and into the Gym. She opened the door to reveal many young men in their black Hakama pants and white kimono shirts. They were all in a sword stance position, with their kendo sticks extended in front of them. Slowly, they started to lift their wooden sticks up in the air. With one mighty yell in unison, they swung down at the same time.

"Alright, that's it for today!" yelled the sensei in front of them. "Be sure to practice every day!"

"Hai!" they all yelled and they all went into the boy's locker room.

"Our sensei is great, huh Kenji?" said one student to his friend.

"Yeah, he is. Although he works us hard, he really is understandable because he is in our generation. He even would cancel classes whenever he is needed at that good restaurant down in Shinagawa and he would even treat us! Thinking about leaving this place really is sad. There's no teacher like ours."

"Hey, maybe we should stop by and say hi to his brother. He went off an hour early to help out."

Amongst the mass of young men, Hitomi searched for one in particular, jumping up and down from the crowd. Something bright caught Hitomi's eyes and spotted the familiar person in the front of the gym, talking with his students. With a smile, Hitomi made her way to the tall, older person with aqua hair.

"Folken-oniisan!" called Hitomi from the noise. The man with aqua hair looked up from the call to see Hitomi waving to him.

"Let's discuss this another time, alright guys?" he told his students. "You must have plans ahead for the weekend." The two students nodded and scurried away, leaving Folken to meet Hitomi halfway. "Hey there, Hitomi-chan, what brings you here?"

Folken Fanel, Van's older brother. He is 22 years old, single for 22 years, and a high school coach for the Kendo club. As a prodigy in college and with Folken's high intellectual brain, Folken graduated early with honors, with teaching credentials not only as a Kendo teacher, but also a teacher for Japanese, even though he is, at times lazy to teach depending on his mood, which no one knows why. Technically, he is unpredictable. No one knows what he'll do next except for his younger brother Van. He is Van and Hitomi's teacher during Hitomi's favorite period. It is obvious why Hitomi loved that class. There is never a day when those two would either tease each other or argue about stupid things. However, despite all that, Van truly looked up to his older brother as a mentor, but also as an idol. Folken would always do everything for him, as a respectable older brother, regardless how absurd the situation is.

Hitomi smiled. "Well, I was wondering where Van is," she said. "I was hoping he would go with me to your parent's little Japanese restaurant down in Shinagawa for dinner."

"Hmm, really? Usually you wouldn't come anymore and visit. It's been…I think a year or so since you haven't set foot into this gym…you know, since you have a boyfriend," said Folken thoughtfully.

"Oh come on Folken-oniisan, I do come there whenever I have time. You probably haven't seen me walk with Van. I was just…hoping to see Van. He didn't hang with us today since he had something to do. I was kind of surprise since he never did this before. I was sort of worried that I might of upset him in some way."

"That's certainly peculiar," thought Folken observantly. "He never acted that way in front of Hitomi before unless something she did pissed him off like that." "Well, if you don't mind me asking, who were you hanging out with?"

"Well, I was hanging out with the usual gang, you know. Yukari, Millerna, and Dilandau, exclude Van. Amano is on the Foreign Exchange student program in America… Oh, and Allen was able to join us this time around."

"That's what I thought…" Folken thought. "Hmm…Van is not here, actually," said Folken out loud. "He wanted to stay longer, but 'kaasan called that she needs some help down in the restaurant. So he left hours ago. He should be working still."

"Okay, arigatou Folken-oniisan. I'll see you sometime," Hitomi smiled. "Ja ne!"

Folken smiled fondly at his little brother's best friend as she took off to the exit with her red headed friend. He continued to watch them disappear, hearing their little laughters echo through the courtyard. He sighed once their echoes left and sat down, shaking his head. "Hehe, Van-chan, are you truly realizing everything now?"


"One Shio Ramen...two? Okay, and what kind of toppings? Moyashi and for the other? Just green onions? Alright, your orders will be right up."

Swift smells of Ramen, fried rice, and all of sorts of wondrous food enveloped Hitomi and Yukari when they reached a restaurant down in Shinagawa called "Fanelia Inn: Finest Japanese Cuisine, Sushi, and bar".

"Wow, that smells soo good," Yukari said, drooling about the delicious cuisine she would be able to buy and eat out of for a great deal and discount.

"Come on, let's go," Hitomi said as she opened the door.

"Konnichiwa! Welcome to Fanelia Inn!" said a cheery woman with long black hair that was tied into a low ponytail. She was wearing her waitress uniform; a simple, short-sleeved shirt and a dark blue dress with a white apron draped around her waist. When the woman looked up, her eyes softened warmly and smiled. "Ah! Hitomi-chan! I haven't seen you in ages, dear."

"Hi, Varie-san," Hitomi said excitedly as she hugged her best friend's mother. "I haven't seen you in such a while."

"I know, dear, but I was so busy with keeping up the restaurant these days. It so tiring when Goau always go out and do business. Even though he is here, it is still busy as ever."

"Wow, you have a lot of people. You must be tired," Hitomi said sympathetically, noticing how many people are inside the little restaurant.

"Oh well, most people are hungry and lazy these days. And we're really short staff right now. I think I will discuss this with Anata later."

"Okaasan! Order for table 2 are up!" yelled a recognizable voice from behind the Sushi bar.

"Oh great, I'm sorry to break the conversation so soon, dear, but, please, please, have a seat in the Sushi bar. Apparently, that's the only seats that are open. I'll give you the menus in a bit. Oh what kind of drink would you like?"

"Varie-san, you know what kind of drink I like?" Hitomi pointed with a smile. "You know the usual?"

Varie laughed. "I know, I know…how about you, Yukari dear? Coke? Alright, I will be there in a bit."

With that, Varie went back to her own operational business. Hitomi and Yukari made their way to the Sushi Bar and sat on the wooden stools, putting their stuff down next to them. Once after they sat in their seats, Varie came over and handed them the menus and their drinks. Soon, they opened the menus and started scanning the menus for anything to eat.

"Konnichiwa. How may help you?" said a rather sleepy voice that Hitomi instantly recognized. Hitomi smiled and looked into the downcast face of Van from inside the bar, his eyes looking at his hands as he jotted down some notes in his order slips.

"Well, let's see, I want my usual, Van-chan," said Hitomi as she put her menu down on the table.

"I'll have a Tan-tan Ramen with pan fried bean sprouts, Van," said Yukari cheerfully after Hitomi with a smile.

"Okay…one Tan-tan Ramen with pan fried bean sprouts…and a usual…what kind of toppings would you-" Van paused for a moment and looked at the orders he wrote. "Wait, there is no usual on the menu. Excuse me, but can you be more specific?" He looked up to gaze into the sparkling, emerald eyes of Hitomi. Surprised, Van almost dropped his order slips into the watery Sushi rotary, where the sushi would be sent across the bar to reach the customers and back into the cooking area with the use of five wooden boats with flat tops. "Whoa, I didn't expect you two to come this early. Usually you would be here around, almost 6 in the evening."

"Van, remember? It's Saturday. We only get half day. Besides, you didn't get to hang out with us during lunch, so I decided to come over here so we can have lunch/dinner here," Hitomi stated.

"Oh really?" Van said, raising an eyebrow. "But, I am not so sure…the place is packed so I'm kinda busy and…"

"Your mom wouldn't object since you are hanging out with us. A little break wouldn't hurt," Hitomi said. "Besides, you've been working too hard lately."

Van thought for a moment as he gazed at Hitomi thoughtfully. Hitomi's face softened and gave him her pathetic, puppy dog eyes. Van twitched at that look and sighed. "Fine, fine, just let me get your orders down and ready," Van agreed. "You know, I hate it when you give me that look, I always seem to break down on it."

"And it always works," Hitomi laughed heartily.

"Alright, so the usual right?" questioned Van as he looked at the orders. "So, Tan-tan men for Yukari with pan fried bean sprouts as the topping, along with Steamed rice. And for Hito-chan, Gyoza, Fried Calamari, Shio Ramen with Negi and Kakuni, Fried Rice with chicken, and… how can you eat so much?"

Hitomi laughed at his comment. "Well, one, I have a certain friend who has a major appetite…and…to top all off…I know that the orders are both our favorite food."

"Okay, I'll just add in some of my homemade Miso Ramen. Basically, I'll be pigging out because I am the oh-so "out-of-shape" athlete." Hitomi giggled. "Alright, your orders will be up soon."

With that said, Van headed into his cooking area, putting the order list hanging above him on the receipt rack. Washing his hands inside the sink, Van wiped them off from a dishcloth on the towel rack. Coming out of the back, a 39-year-old man came into the cooking area, holding a box full of alcohol in them. "Oh, you're cooking, segare? You need any help?" he asked, putting down the box in the safest place.

"Iie, I'm alright Otou. Go ahead and deal with the bar," said Van to his father as he took out some utensils from the cabinet. And so, Van began to make the food. Hitomi and Yukari watched in awe as he started with the fried wantons first. Putting some oil inside a flaming frying pan, he put in the already boiled wantons, or potstickers, into the pan and started stirring excessively. Within minutes, Van flipped the wantons off the frying pan and into a decorated china plate with immense accuracy. He put the frying pan back down on the stove and handed it to Hitomi and Yukari. People in the bar started clapping after his awestruck performance.

"Don't eat that yet, I'm coming to join you soon," Van warned. Within minutes, he finished up with their orders in no time, once in a while he would receive more applauses from the paying customers. On Hitomi's table, delicious food was placed in an orderly fashion. Hitomi always wandered how Van always knows what she likes and how she wants them. No one could make food so tasty than Van Fanel's. For a man at his age, he sure can cook.

When Van was about to begin to do the last of the orders, with his father now helping him deal with the other customers, Folken came in, with his uniform on which consisted of a simple rolled up sleeved white shirt and blue, denim pants, similar to Van's except Van has a white bandana around his forehead to tame his messy top. He closed the door and greeted his mother with a kiss on the cheek. "Where's Otou?" asked Folken, expecting to see his father hosting the bar.

"He's helping Van with the other orders. The bar is not open until later, so he finished up early to prepare it. So, now, since you are here, you know the drill," Varie stated and scrunched Folken's nose motherly.

"I know, I know, Okaasan, I'll get on it." With that said, Folken grabbed his apron and soon helped with the cooking.

Van, after a while, stirred the fried rice for a bit and professionally put them in a big plate neatly. "There, and here is fried rice. Anything else you would like, ladies?" Van asked with a smile.

"Yes, like, you sitting with us and eat? I can't take any longer with the food placed right here next to me," Hitomi said impatiently, pointing to an empty seat next to her.

"Hehe, alright, alright, I'll be there." He took off his apron and gave it to Folken. "Hey, Oniichan, you take over for me okay?"

"Alright, Van-chan. Just be back after you're done with your break, okay? It's just the four of us working…again…"

Van nodded and hung his apron next to the dishwashing cloth. Carefully, he came out and sat himself next to Hitomi. "So, where shall we begin?" he asked, rubbing his hands together.

"Gyoza!" said Van and Hitomi in unison as they grabbed for the same platter. They looked at each other, surprised at their own actions, and laughed it out.

"God, stop copying me!" Van retorted playfully.

"Unless you stop copying me!" Hitomi played back and laughed. Yukari just sighed and tried not to laugh at their usual antics.


Dusk started to grow as the sun slowly sat against the skies. Hitomi have stayed in her favorite restaurant forever as she watched and helped Van out with the busy customers. Soon, the customers stopped coming since it is near nighttime.

"Van-chan…Folken-chan! We will be going now," said Varie, holding onto Goau's arm lovingly. "I'll see you in the morning!"

Van smiled and waved to them. "Alright, have fun you two!"

"Yeah, spend the whole night having fun if you want to!" Folken called jokingly. "Well, I have to go too, Van-chan. Just be sure to close up, okay?" He raises his hand and ruffled Van's hair.

"I know, since you have papers to grade. You know, you really need to get a girlfriend, Oniichan. It seems like grading papers is your boring life now, hehe."

"Hrmm…shut up. Oh, yeah, and Van, remember, we're going to meet up at the usual place, got it? You know, to eat and hang out with the gang."

"Yes, Oniichan, I know, I know…"

"Ja ne..." Folken gave one final wave and closed the door, leaving the three of them to clean up the rest of the restaurant. After a good twenty minutes, Yukari heaved a sigh.

"Oh, god, my mom is going to kill me for being late," said Yukari, glancing at the clock. "Are you sure you guys will be alright without me around to help?"

"Yukari, don't worry, I'm sure Van and I can manage," said Hitomi with a smile and glared at Van, who is innocently cleaning the tables, whistling. "Somehow…"

Yukari giggled and grabbed for her stuff. With a gentle wave, Yukari left the two to finish up cleaning the restaurant.

As Hitomi turned around, a sudden squirt of water splashed onto Hitomi's face. "Agh! Van!" screamed Hitomi as she looked into the direction behind the Sushi bar, to see Van holding a sink squirter in his hands, laughing his head off. "I'm gonna get you for that, Van!" She ran into the Sushi Bar, trying to avoid the continuous spray and grabbed another squirter. With an evil laugh, Hitomi sprayed back Van.

"Hey, no fair! I'm supposed to be the one with the squirter!" Van laughed, wiping the water from his face. "Take this!"

This continued on for a while until their laughter died down. The two friends now lay on the floor, laughing at their own little war. "Hehe, come on, Van, let's clean up and go home," Hitomi suggested. Reluctantly, they cleaned up the mess they made during their little war and after a while, they finally tossed the wet rags into the little laundry area in the back. Hunching to her knees, Hitomi grabbed down for her stuff and slung it over her shoulder. Walking up to the door, Hitomi waited for Van. She heard beeping sounds in the background. With one final beep, Van emerged from the backroom, scurrying to Hitomi. They went outside and shut the door, Van locking it with his keys.

"Alright, let's go," Van said. "We'll use my bike to get home easily."

"Since when did you get your bike? Usually you'd bring your car, since you got your license now," asked Hitomi as she followed him to the alley where his bike was set.

"There is barely any parking space here," Van said as he sat himself on the seat. "So what's the point? Usually, Oniichan would drop me off here before he has to go deal with school meetings." Hitomi followed suit and put her feet on the metal standers on the back wheels of his bike, with her hands holding on to his board shoulders.

"Hang on tight," Van said. With one mighty push, he paddled to the right.

Hitomi felt a gentle breeze when Van began to paddle faster, her smile inching every second she passed by the buildings. She let her medium length hair flow against the wind as she giggled happily into the afternoon. Slowly, her arms timidly wrapped around Van's waist, putting her head against his shoulder so she could talk to him. "You know, it's been a while since we rode like this," Hitomi said. "I wondered why we stopped."

"Well, maybe because we are growing up," Van said, lifting his gaze momentarily at Hitomi. "I guess we never had time to do fun things like this…we stopped during our Sophomore year when things suddenly have booked our schedule, like friends, extra curricular activities, clubs, and part-time jobs. I guess you can say that we don't really have much time for the young self in us."

"Maybe you're right, but now, we do, since school is about to end," said Hitomi sadly. "Even Allen didn't want to do this. He said bikes are too childish. He said I act like a baby sometimes."

"Eh, don't worry about that, as long as he loves you for who you are, then it's okay," said Van reluctantly. "But, don't change yourself just because someone wants you to change. I, personally, like the way you are."

A blush formed in Hitomi's cheek as she leaned against his back. A smile appeared from her blushing state and snuggled into Van's back more. "Thank you…I'm just…glad that it's coming from you…."

"Hehe, Hitomi, I've known you forever, and I will always accept you for who are you, even if you do have flaws," Van said, smiling at the last sentence.

Hitomi smiled more and watched as each block pass by them. A sudden idea struck her mind when she saw a pair of trees near the corner. "Say, Van, is it okay if we stop by at the park we used to play in?" she asked.

"Hehe, what for? Want to go down that small slide?"

"No, silly, I just want to go there, you know…to think…"

"Okay, no problem." Hitomi squealed when Van increased his paddling on his bicycle as they sped through the sidewalks.


Van abruptly stopped when he made it to the park near their house. Hitomi slowly got off from the bike and started running around the area, with a childish smile on her face. She twirled around, remembering the familiar swings, playground, and sandbox. "It has been such a while since I've been here. We only took your little sister Merle here and my brother to this place once in a while. Gosh, it feels so comfortable being here."

Following behind her, Van watched as Hitomi enjoyed the atmosphere around her, smiling as she continued to marvel the place. Slowly, he sat himself on a pair of swings, his eyes never leaving her. After a while, Hitomi soon joined him and sat on another swing next to him. They fell silent as they gazed up into the sky, watching as the stars begin to appear on the night sky.

"At times, I wish I was kid," Hitomi sighed.

Van looked at her, interested. "Why?"

"Because…we don't have to deal with these problems in our lives…like setting our dreams into goals, school, emotional problems, and relationships…sometimes I wish I was carefree as a kid…" Hitomi looked up into the sky and smile. "Or maybe an angel. That way I can have wings and be from it all…"

Van chuckled. "Hito-chan, you are such a dreamer," he said as he closed his eyes. "But, a determined dreamer…"

"You know me, Van, I guess that is why I am still into those cartoonish stuff," she said. Slowly, she lifted her to head and viewed the sky above. "Every time I see this beautiful princess being swept into the arms of a handsome prince, I feel such warmth coming into my heart. I wondered…everyday… how that princess felt. That's why I wanted a guy who would match that "knight-in-shining armor." She slowly lifted her hands above her heart. "I wanted a man who would accept me for who I am...who is not selfish. He must be the kind of guy who is willing to take care of me…not taking of him only or taking care of me only. Like taking care of each other, you know."

Slowly, Van sat up from his seat on the swings and stood behind Hitomi, putting his hands on the iron strings. "And so, you found Allen, right?"

Hitomi looked down to the ground. "I…I guess you can say that…"

Silence came in between them again. Van gently swung the swing with his hands grasping the reins. Hitomi didn't mind and let the swing gently swing her back and forth, once in a while feeling his strong stomach against her back.

"What happened to Allen anyways?" Van asked. "Don't you guys have a date today? You were excited about it today…"

Hitomi's clasped hands clenched together tightly, her head still looking at the floor. "Well…he said that he had something important to do today. So…he wasn't able to hang out with me today…"

"Not again," Van said, disappointment crossing his voice. "That's the twentieth time this month."

"I know," Hitomi said. She fell silent for a moment. She lifted her head gazed up into the sky. "To tell you the truth, we haven't gone anywhere in our relationship," Hitomi confessed, gazing into Van's reddish-brown eyes. "For a while now, I noticed that Allen seems a bit…distant you know. I mean, sure, we may look lovey-dovey in public, but deep inside, we don't feel as if we are connected anymore…like…as if we don't really love each other as much as before." Van listened intently to Hitomi's words carefully. "I'm kind of scared…I'm scared that this relationship will end soon…after all, he is my first."

Van could easily see her shaking when she mentioned her fear. He knew where this shaking could lead to and only meant that Hitomi was depressed. Hurt at this little scene, Van let go of the reins and grabbed Hitomi from behind, holding her against him. "Don't worry, Hitomi. This is what everyone has gone through, you know. You are probably in some stalemate right now in your relationship…maybe because of school is keeping you guys apart. I'm sure that everything will work out for you guys. Trust me, okay?"

"I'm…I'm just afraid that I will lose him…he means so much to me," Hitomi said as she leaned against him, tears forming in her eyes.

"I know…I know…you won't lose him…don't cry, okay? Everything will be alright," Van comforted her, wiping the tears away from her eyes.

"I hope you are right, Van, I hope you are…"

Slowly, as the Van comforted Hitomi as much as possible, a cold, gentle wind passes by them, hitting the bare cherry trees around the park, with small green buds starting to appear in the sleeping trees.

Later that night, Hitomi sat on her bed, looking at her phone for some time now. It has been an hour now since she arrived home from the park with Van. She told Van that she wanted to get home so she can talk to Allen about the whole relationship, just as Van suggested. So now, she sat there, waiting for his call.

Tick…tick…tick…tick…

The clock on her nightstand struck midnight. No rang came from her phone or her cell phone. Yet, she still waited.

Tick…tick…tick…

Two hours since midnight has passed. Hitomi lay there on her pillow, watching as the clock ticked every minute. Her light was now off and she laid herself there, looking at her cell phone. She flipped it open to see if she had any reception. On her phone, she had good reception. She closed once more and gazed at her clock.

2:55am

He still hadn't call.

Her eyes began to blur as the time struck 4am in the morning. Tears gushed out of her eyes. She could feel her heart ache.

He didn't call. He didn't call her at all.


End of Part 1 of Sakura Drops…

Well, I hope you guys like it. Tell me what you think and please, Please review! I really want to know what you think, although it may be confusing. Chapter 2 will be up soon. The chapters for this story will be up quickly since I have already written it. Supposedly, this story is supposed to be a one shot, but I got overly descriptive and decided to put in multiple parts. If you want to know how does drifting look like…watch Initial D. Pretty good anime. Otherwise, thank you for reading! Until next time, ja!