I do not own these characters or profit from them.

Dual Episode 15: Decision

Kazuki Yotsuga woke up slowly. The feel of body heat notified him that three people were sitting next to him on the floor. He kept his eyes closed and counted to three under his breath. At two the door of his room opened and an annoyed voice said, "Not again"
"Good morning Mitsuki," the other three girls said cheerfully. "I'll have breakfast ready in a few minutes," the other Mitsuki said. Mitsuki Sanada growled in her throat and said, "Why do you three keep doing this?" She pointed at D. "You're setting a bad example for her. Now all of you get out of here this minute." Yayoi grinned and said, "What a dirty mind you must have Mitsuki, to think we would do anything inappropriate"
Mitsuki's face turned red and she stuttered as she worked out her response. "W... well the fact that you know what I'm talking about means you were thinking it. Now all of you get out of here!" She chased them out and finally Kazuki was able to open his eyes and sighed in relief. Minutes later he was dressed and walking down the stairs. From the kitchen he heard Professor Sanada say, "Mitsuki, as always the food is incredible." "Thank you sir," she said humbly. The other Mitsuki said, "My cooking is good too." "This good?" Mrs. Akane Sanada, formerly the UN rep., asked. "Okay, not this good," she admitted reluctantly. Kazuki entered the room and said, "Good morning everyone." "Good morning Kazuki," they all said simultaneously. He sat down and was instantly accosted by three plates. One from each Mitsuki, and then one from Yayoi. With a sigh he began eating while Professor Sanada spoke about his plans for the day, "With D's help we've discovered things about the artifact that we never understood before in the other world. It's difficult because we all have memories from three versions of ourselves." "Sorry, "Kazuki said. "Not your fault my boy. Even the ancient aliens... what did you say your kind are called D"
"Juraians," she said and took a bite of food.
"Right. Well, even they had only begun to understand what light hawk wings were capable of. By now, if they still exist, I'm sure they know more, but from the information we have they were just getting started. I doubt you could even create another universe in the same situation. "Apparently what allowed you to do it last time is the fact that Zinv and you both came from alien technology. As we found from Zinv's connection to you, in your universe your father took home a piece of the artifact which merged with him and then was reformed into you while in ours he threw it out and it got buried until it built itself back into the original robot. That's why you could see into our old universe. A lot of the alien technology is techno-organic." "What does that mean?" His wife asked. He smiled and said, "It means it's alive in ways we couldn't duplicate before. And not only that, it seems that it can symbiotically link with humanoid organism. If you're connected to either a ship or a mecha made with the technology then you live for as long as it does... possibly indefinitely. If it's destroyed you begin ageing at a normal speed again." "So, I'm immortal?" Kazuki asked in surprise. Sanada nodded and said, "Essentially. We all will be soon since we're all going on the ship and will each have our own mecha. But Rara and I agree that we're saving that information until we're actually on our way and then we'll broadcast it to the entire world. We could be gone for centuries simply traveling the universe so we decided to let Earth work out what to do with the technology without us"
"That seems awfully irresponsible," Akane remarked. "Okay, fine. You can stay here and wait for the Earth to come to mutual peace and understanding over this advanced technology. I'm sure we'll be able to communicate within three decades or so." "No need to be snotty," she said.
"And when he remade the world Kazuki even gave me back my ability to pilot a robot." Yayoi smiled lovingly at Kazuki, making him blush. "He's always saving me from something." "It was nothing," Kazuki said. He was interrupted as Mitsuki gruffly pushed another plate his way. "Any way I'm just sorry my grandmother decided not to come with us"
"Yayoi, you know how she feels. She's going to stay behind to handle things on Earth"
"My parents are staying behind too," Kazuki said. "I can't say I blame them. My dad never liked even taking airplanes. They asked me to stay... but I can't"
"They understand Kazuki. You know how proud they are," Professor Sanada said. "It's been a year since we began working on this project. And even with D's help we've still got so many questions." "Like why Kazuki has that female pilot suit in his closet still," D said with a smile and everyone laughed. Kazuki frowned and said, "It stuck in my mind okay? I don't wear it or anything." "You should," Mitsuki Rara said with a giggle. "You'd look so cute as a girl." "She's right you know," Mitsuki Sanada said with a smirk. "You were so adorable." "Just drop it!" Kazuki said. He glared at them. "You know you should be nicer too me since I'm the one who ended up financing this whole thing. And after you all put on those Miss Rah outfits..." All of the girls blushed and looked down.
Sanada nodded and said, "Kazuki's absolutely right. If we hadn't sold his journal of everything that happened to him we would have never been able to do this without government funding. Though, I do miss being head of the Earth Defense Force. It was such a cool job!" He grinned so wide that it threatened to take the top off of his head. Then he blinked and said, "That reminds me though Kazuki. We're almost ready to go and I need to talk to you about something today so you'll be coming with me when I leave today." "I will?" Kazuki said. "What is it"
"We'll talk about it later." He stood up and stretched. "I'll just get my things and meet you at the car." When he left Kazuki looked at the others. "Do any of you know what he's planning?" They all shook their heads. "Well then I guess I'll find out." "Kazuki, before you go remember to take your lunch I made for you, "Mitsuki Rara said. Mitsuki Sanada said, "I made him one last night." "So did I," Yayoi said. "Me too," D said.
Akane sighed and told them, "If you four don't cut it out you are going to make Kazuki blow up like a balloon." "Then the answer is simple," Mitsuki said. "He just has to pick whose lunch to eat." All four sets of eyes turned directly on him with the intensity of a laser beam. Kazuki sighed and said, "It's okay. I just take a bite at random from each one until I'm full." He got up quickly and picked up his things. "Tell the Professor I'm out in the car." He ran out the door quickly.

When Sanada got to the car he didn't say anything. He simply got in and started it up without even looking at Kazuki. They drove to the research facility and pulled in. Getting out of the car Kazuki followed the older man through the security check points until they reached an enormous hangar where Rara was ordering people around the huge spaceship that was mostly covered by a huge tarp. The whole thing stretched out almost endlessly for what must have been ten miles or more. "No you idiots! That connects to the main engines! Put it there with the red one! That's it!" He noticed the other two and smiled. "Ah, you're finally here. I tell you Sanada, those matter-reconfiguring devices are miracles. They're easy to build and with them we can replicate anything from simple dust; alien technology, food, water, and even fuel. I tell you, I'm almost sorry we aren't going to be here to see what Earth is like when we distribute these world-wide"
"You made sure to make the blocking mechanisms a permanent part of the whole thing didn't you?" Sanada asked. "We don't want people to use them to make anything illegal." :"Of course! I'm not an idiot." He said a little miffed. "Though my wife has been making huge diamonds and things. Honestly it's a good thing we're leaving soon. There is almost no room left at my house." "So it's almost ready to go?" Kazuki asked. "You'd better believe it Kazuki my boy." Rara said happily.
Sanada nodded, "Which brings us to why you're here today Kazuki." With a very serious expression on his face he said, "As I told you at breakfast this trip will take a very long time. We're going to be together that entire time. The crew and us. Mostly the crew will be made up of people with memories of being in my army in the other world who volunteered, but the command staff will be our original group. We'll be working together for a long time and as such it's best to get certain matters out of the way before we leave"
Rara nodded. "I'm in total agreement. Follow me gentlemen." He moved towards the ship. Automatically a door opened in the side. Nervously Kazuki walked in behind the two scientists. The hallway inside was well lit and incredibly clean. He followed them through several other doors. They only paused for a moment in the hangar. Rows and rows of mecha stretched out into the distance. They were each different. "None of them look like Zinv," Kazuki said. "I thought you were using him for the basis." "We are. It turns out that using metal to make them was entirely the wrong idea. But since the techno-organic material is alive each one is as different as people." "Oh, I see!" He said. "And each one will bond with a different pilot?" "Yes. While I pilot the ship everyone on board is to have their own mecha, not merely for any possible battle but to maintain the ship and incase we have to evacuate," Rara said.
"But what about you?" Kazuki asked.
"As captain I would go down with the ship. Why do you think Sanada let me be the one to pilot it"
"I have a wife and daughter to think of," Sanada said. "So do I"
"I meant a wife I can stand"
Rara paused. "Good point. Anyway, this way Kazuki." They stepped into an elevator. Kazuki followed and was surprised by how quickly it moved compared to the gravity he felt. In seconds they were in an entirely different part of the ship. "These are the living quarters. Your room is right down here." Sanada opened the door by pressing on a thumb pad outside. Kazuki looked inside and whistled. It looked a lot like his room at home, but with more space. A full entertainment system and one of the replicaters had already been set up. "With the replicater you can make whatever food you want as well as anything else. Books, computers, DVDs, clothes, or whatever else. We've programmed all of the possible information from Earth into it. Plus Rara and I will probably invent a few things while we're in space just to keep our hand in." "We are geniuses after all," Rara put in. "It's great!" Kazuki said. "But why did I have to come all the way here to see it now? Why wouldn't I wait until we were on our way?" "Kazuki, what do you notice about the bed?" Rara asked. Kazuki looked. "Well, it's big. Even bigger than king-size. And... are those silk sheets?" "Yes, they are. We're going all out since we got the replicaters working." Sanada said. Kazuki shrugged. "It's nice. Much bigger than what I'm used to." "We designed them that way on purpose. After all, if people have relationships we can't expect them to enjoy being cramped together." Sanada took his glasses off and cleaned them. "In fact that was the point we were trying to make." "Huh?" Kazuki asked. "Kazuki... it can't have escaped your attention that the girls in our house are rather fond of you"
"And who could blame them," Rara asked. He and Sanada suddenly both hugged him from both sides and said in unison, "You feel so good"
"Get off me you perverts!" Kazuki yelled. They backed off and Sanada continued. "Not only that, but you've saved the world, you're well mannered, handsome, and a war hero. You've saved all their lives at one point or another." "I know," Kazuki admitted. "Then you also noticed how each one keeps trying to outdo the others for your attention. It's been over a year now and it seems to have settled into a rather predictable pattern." "So what does that have to do with the ship"
:"We've decided that unless you pick one of the girls and settle this once and for all, you aren't going," both men said.
"What?" Kazuki stared at them. "But that's not fair!" "No, what wouldn't be fair is to have to put up with this sort of thing every day for the rest of eternity. You'll each get your own robots still. After all, you have Zinv already and the girls deserve that much at least, but that's it if you don't make up your mind Kazuki"
"But... why"
"Kazuki, can you imagine the kind of stress this situation would cause even on a ship this big? Not only with us, but with other crew members or their family members who find the girls attractive." Kazuki frowned remembering how the boys at school had reacted back when he was playing Mitsuki's brother. Or even when he was back in his world and they had thought she liked him. "I see what you mean." "We're sorry to put you on the spot like this, but it has to be done." Rara smiled pleasantly. "And might I add that I think my little Mitsuki would make the perfect girlfriend for you." He blushed and looked away. "I..." Sanada laughed and hit him on the back, "He's such a player! I'm so proud of the boy. Just like me at that age." He frowned suddenly. "Still, think of it this way. You're not the only one involved in this Kazuki. Do you really think it's fair to keep them waiting either?" "No, it isn't. And I feel really guilty about it. It's just that they're all really great and I still have trouble believing any of them would want me. I spent the first sixteen years as the kid everyone thought was nuts. In school Mitsuki was the most popular girl around and until this all started I didn't think she knew I was alive." "So it's Mitsuki then?" Sanada asked. "Don't push the boy," Rara said. "He should be free to choose MY Mitsuki on his own. Not that overly violent tom-boy of yours." "Oh, so it's personal remarks now? What about your daughter and how she acted as Miss Rah!" Both of them pressed face to face. "Hey you two cut it out!" Kazuki said. "Look, this is a surprise. I get why you're doing it, but I need time to think! And I think we should tell the girls too. Like you said, they're involved." Sanada smiled and shrugged. "Oh, that's already taken care of"
"It is?" "Sure. I left them a note before we left." He noticed the looks they gave him. "Or would one of you brave men have been the one to explain things to them?" All three shared a brief mental image involving a lot of blood and shivered. "Well then, that's all settled. It's Sunday, so Kazuki why don't you head out someplace for the rest of the day and come home in time for dinner. That way they'll have time to calm down first"
Kazuki nodded numbly and took another look around the large room. "Oh boy..."

Kazuki spent the rest of the day wandering through the park trying to think, but his mind remained stubbornly blank, refusing to even consider anything besides the idea of staying on Earth instead of going into space. It wasn't that he had a bad life. If necessary he could go on forever the way things were. But the thought of how the girls would feel if he was the reason they missed out on the trip kept eating at him. At sunset he found himself wandering up the street to the house. He walked up to the door and went inside. Almost immediately he could hear the sound of Mitsuki's voice from the dining room. "I can't believe you would interfere like this dad! It's unfair and I can't believe you would"
"Mitsuki that is it. I hardly ever put my foot down about anything, but Rara and I both agree. We can't go on like this indefinitely and I won't risk the mission over it"
Akane said, "As much as I hate to be on Rara's side, I agree completely as does my sister." "Mother is in on it too?" The other Mitsuki asked. "Of course. We care about you girls and Kazuki very much and we believe this is what's best." Kazuki looked down and took a deep breath. Well... better get it over with. He pushed open the door and walked in. Dead silence greeted him as he made his way to the table and sat down. Not looking up he picked up his food and began eating. From the side he heard D start to say something, but she stopped and dinner continued with the only sound being the dishes. When the meal ended Kazuki went upstairs and straight to his room, not even bothering to shower. Laying down on his cot he stared up at the ceiling, trying to think again. Suddenly there was a quiet knock on his door. "Kazuki? Can I come in?" "Sure D, come in." The door opened and D stepped into the room, closing it behind her. "Kazuki, are you alright"
"You know D, I'm not really sure. Are you okay?" "I'm fine." She smiled and sat down on her knees at the foot of his cot. "After all, I'm not really one of the choices am I"
"What do you mean D?" He asked. She laughed. "Kazuki, you're always so comfortable around me. You don't get nervous like you do with the other girls. I would say you see me as more of a kid sister than a romantic interest." Kazuki bit his lip and then said, "I'm sorry D." "It's all right. I care for you in any way you like and I am very happy. But I thought I should tell you that I'll still be here for you, no matter what you choose. I am your friend and little sister, just like Ryla, Mena, and Alice are to Mitsuki Rara." "Thanks D, I appreciate that." He paused and asked, "D, who do you think I should pick?" "I do not know. I cannot read your mind Kazuki"
"Then what do you suggest I do?" She stood up and walked to the door. "I believe that you should let your heart decide. Or maybe it would be best for you to simply weigh the positive and negative aspects of each girl." With that she left. Staring up at the ceiling Kazuki sighed and thought about what she had said until sleep claimed him.

The next morning Kazuki opened his eyes and realized something was different. He was alone in his room. Yayoi and D were nowhere to be seen. Neither of the Mitsukis was there. Sitting up, memory of the day before flooded back to him. With a heavy heart he got up and prepared to go downstairs. When he got there he cautiously entered the dining room, afraid of what he might find. But instead of anything scary the only two people in the room were Akane and D.
"Good morning. Um, where is everybody else?" "They all left early today. They left your lunches on the counter for you," Akane said. "Oh," he said and looked over at the four boxes. "I guess I'll just walk D to school and catch up with them then." "A good idea," Akane said briskly. Kazuki looked at her and waited a moment. She didn't disappoint him. "And I don't want you to neglect your schoolwork while you're making your decision Kazuki." "Yes ma'am." He ate quickly and then he and D left the house. "Boy, the last twelve hours sure have been quiet"
D nodded. "I know. I hope things get better."

When he got to school, Mitsuki Sanada immediately greeted Kazuki. "Hello Miss Sanada." She smiled wide at him and said, "Hello Kazuki. Sorry we left you alone." "It wasn't any big deal," he said.
"It wasn't?" He saw her eyes and flinched. "I mean, I..." "Oh would you look at the time. I'd better get to class." "Me too," he said and turned away. Kazuki was almost to class when he was suddenly dragged into a side hall. Ryla, Mena, and Alice stood there glaring at him. "What is your problem Kazuki?" Ryla asked. Mena snapped, "How could you even think of picking anyone but Mitsuki"
"She's almost perfect and you know it," Alice said. Kazuki gulped and tried to think of something to say, but at that moment the bell rang. "Sorry, got to get to class." Ducking away he made a break for the door and slipped inside. "Mr. Yotsuga, you are late," an icy voice said. Kazuki gulped and only then remembered that his first class of the day was with Yayoi. "Sorry Miss Schwael, I was hung up." "Well don't let it happen again." She turned back to the class stiffly. "Now class today we are going to discuss a serious subject in literature: love triangles." Kazuki slipped into his seat while Yayoi began her lecture. One of the other boys leaned forward and said, "What did you do"
"Huh"
"Usually you're her favorite student. Today she's acting like you might as well be dog dung." "I"
"Mr. Yotsuga, maybe you would care to tell us your thoughts on this subject." Yayoi's sharp voice cut through. "What options do you think someone in a situation where he must choose between three or more women should do"
"I..." He saw a tear in the corner of Yayoi's eye. "I don't know"
"Well then," she said, keeping her face calm. "I suggest you write an essay on the matter starting now. Anyone else"
"I think he should date all of them," one boy said. "Don't be a pig. I think all three of them should dump the two timing loser," a girl in the back suggested. Another girl said, "I don't know. He must have some good points or they wouldn't like him. Maybe the girls should decide among themselves who should get him"
"Nah, if anything he should be a man and decide for himself"
"He should pick the nicest"
"He needs someone who could take care of him"
"The prettiest..." The debate continued on and Kazuki quickly tuned it out. Opening his folder he drew three columns on his paper and labeled them YS, MR, and MS. Then he made another one and labeled them separately "Pro" and "Con". Glancing up at Yayoi he looked at her for a moment and then began writing things down. 'Yayoi is beautiful,' he thought. 'And she can cook, does housework, and she's really kind.' He paused and then began writing in the other column. 'She is older than me... and she is from the other world.' He tapped his pen on his teeth. That was about it really. 'Maybe I'll do MS now. Mitsuki is mean a lot and she never lets me know what she really wants.' He stopped and moved to the other paper. 'But she does care a lot about me and does her best to take care of me and everyone else. And I've known her longer than almost anybody...' Frustrated again he moved to MR. 'Mitsuki is nice, a great cook, and she does everything anyone could ask. The others are always jealous of her...' He tried to think of something for the other paper and came up completely blank. It wasn't for several minutes that he realized that the classroom is empty and that Yayoi was standing next to him. He quickly covered the paper and looked up at her nervously. "It's alright Kazuki. I didn't read it." She reached forward and then drew her hand back. "You know, at first I was really angry. It seemed so unfair of you to be choosing between us like the judge in some beauty contest." "But it wasn't my idea!" He insisted. She smiled and said, "I know. And I'm sorry for blaming you." She sighed and sat back on one of the other desks. "Kazuki, you're young and sometimes I forget that. You're almost seven years younger than me. Compared to you I'm just an old woman." "That isn't true!" Kazuki said. "Besides, what does age matter? According to Professor Sanada we're going to live maybe forever. So seven years is hardly any time at all." Yayoi smiled and leaned back. "Yeah, but really Kazuki, what can I offer you? I'm not as good a cook as either Mitsuki and I am your teacher after all." Kazuki sighed and sat back. "I don't know. I... I just need time to think." "Take all the time you need," Yayoi said and smiled. "Whatever you choose, I'll be there for you Kazuki." "Thanks... I guess I'd better get going." He picked up his things and left.

At lunch Kazuki sat down at one of the back tables. Trying to keep a low profile he suddenly felt something on the back of his neck and turned. Mitsuki Rara was behind the counter passing out food to the students crowding around her. Most of them boys. She caught his eye and looked at him hopefully, a small smile on her lips. He looked down at his food.
When he finished eating he glanced outside and was surprised to see Mitsuki Sanada sitting on the swings outside. A lot of the men outside were staring at her like the ones in the cafeteria were to the other Mitsuki. But she simply stared off into space and a single tear rolled down her cheek. "This is all my fault," Kazuki said. He turned away and saw Yayoi in another corner of the room, also being stared at by adoring boys. Not surprising really. In class she was the kind of teacher every high school boy wanted. With a groan Kazuki stood up and, leaving his things, he ran out of the door.

At the Sanada house the four girls sat in the living room expectantly even after the sun had set. Kazuki hadn't come home and none of them had seen him since lunch. "I'm worried," Mitsuki Rara said. D nodded and said, "Kazuki is never this late getting home." "I'm sure he's just loafing around somewhere," Mitsuki replied. "Probably afraid to face us." But she turned away from them and bit her thumbnail. "Well, I'm tired of waiting. I don't know about you two, but I'm going to look for him," Yayoi said. "I think that would be very wise," Professor Sanada said from his chair. "In fact, it might help him make his decision. After all, it all depends on who knows him best doesn't it"
"I don't know..." Akane began. "Of course it does," he insisted. "Now what you should do is each think of the place you think Kazuki is most likely to be." "I'll wait here incase he comes home," D said.
The other three sat for a moment and thought hard. Finally they all looked up and slammed their fists into their palms. "I've got it!" Then as one they ran outside before splitting off into three directions.
"Was that really a good idea?" Akane asked. Sanada nodded and crossed his arms. "I think so. Besides, I wasn't joking when I told you I'm sick of all this angst and hormones. The sooner we get this over with the better"
"I suppose you're right." She looked over her shoulder. "D, would you like some ice cream?" "Yes please," D said meekly. At her feet Kumu yawned and barked. "Can Kumu have some"
"No, but I picked up some dog treats at the store."

Mitsuki Rara made her way into the city as quickly as possible. She was sure she knew where Kazuki would go. It would be the first place he thought of! The place where he had first saved her life when he was piloting Hartzenen. Now where... "There it is!" She smiled as the building came into view. But as she circled the block several times, she didn't see any sign of Kazuki anywhere. "Maybe... oh of course. How silly of me. This wouldn't be the place." Still light hearted she went to the bus stop and waited patiently. When the bus arrived she bought a ticket and rode expectantly to the hill where she had found him when he was injured. When it arrived she got off and began hiking into the woods. She was so sure that he would be there this time that she barely noticed the dark. The moon above was full and she was able to see well enough to keep from hitting any trees. But as she came upon the hill she realized that she was completely alone. With a soft sob she sat down on the grass and stared up at the sky. "He isn't here. And I doubt he's at the old Rara headquarters." No, he wouldn't be there. It was hard to admit, but she had no idea where he could be. She realized she had picked places where she would have gone. Maybe it was best this way. Kazuki was cute and polite and everything, but what did she really know about him? When she had been nursing him back to health he hadn't even hinted that he was really an enemy pilot. Besides, what if he had picked her? Did she really think she could do anything about it if he did? She still blushed whenever he looked at her. Resigned she went back to the bus stop and prepared to go home. One of the other two would find him, she was sure.

Mitsuki Sanada arrived at the town square and sat down with her fists clenched. She should have known he wouldn't be here. "That ungrateful bastard! The one place he should have remembered!" She could still remember the first time Kazuki had appeared and she had tracked him down here with a group of soldiers. She screamed and punched her hand into the concrete. "That idiot! How could he do this to me? I'm obviously supposed to get him. We're from the same world and I've known him longer than anybody." When she eventually calmed down she grasped her hand, which had begun to throb, and looked up at the sky. The truth was she'd never really been sure she and Kazuki were meant for each other. That was why she always got so jealous of the other girls. She probably would have never even talked to him if her father hadn't told her to. And on top of that it wasn't as if she had never had her chance with him. She'd been alone with him time and again and every time it had looked like something might happen she had pulled away. "Like some sort of stupid kid. What is wrong with me?" It came to her in that moment that was the most likely to find Kazuki, "Stubborn old bitch." Tears falling down her cheeks Mitsuki turned and began to walk back home. There was no point in waiting here any more.

Kazuki sat in the cockpit of Hartzenen and looked around. It was always amazing to him that he ever got to sit inside one of these things. He'd watched them fight for years and had simply thought he was going mad. Now Hartzenen and the red robot were completely obsolete. His heart ached at the idea leaving them behind. Suddenly the cockpit opened and a figure stood silhouetted against the light. At first whoever it was just stood there, but then a familiar voice said, "I'm going to miss this old thing too." "Oh... hi Yayoi." His eyes focused on her as they got used to the light. She was wearing her old flight suit. The one she had been wearing when he had rescued her during his first robot fight. He smiled, remembering that moment. "You haven't worn that in a while." "I thought it was appropriate. After all, I knew you would be here and this is what I was wearing when I fell in love with you"
Kazuki swallowed and said, "You know... you're the only girl I know who could say something like that." "I am?" She asked. "I thought all the others showed how much they cared all the time." "They do," he admitted. "But none of them can come out and say it, just like me really." Yayoi stepped forward and put her hand on his. "You're young Kazuki. I guess that's what I always thought would make you choose somebody else. I've... I have been in love before. At least twice. And once I even did something about it. I'm not a virgin and I've had a lot more experience than you"
Kazuki looked down at her hand and she started to take it away. Before she could he flipped his hand over and grabbed it. "Yayoi, I would never hold that against you. I mean... you and I didn't even exist together then did we"
"No," she admitted and let her palm go limp against his, enjoying the feel of his hand on hers. "But you always... right from the moment we met... you took care of me Kazuki. You were my prince. The fact that you were younger than me didn't matter. Not for a minute." "That never mattered to me either Yayoi." He started to let go, but at the last second he tightened his grip on her hand. "I never admitted this to anybody, but whenever I fought the only way I could do it even halfway well was by pretending that I was saving you again. Almost every time unless something endangered somebody else for real." Yayoi swallowed and looked at him. Kazuki's face was red and he was obviously using all of his will to keep eye contact with her. Realizing what needed to be done she moved closer to him. "Kazuki, I'm going to do something, so don't be afraid." Gritting his teeth Kazuki nodded and watched mesmerized as Yayoi stepped forward and sat down on his lap. Time seemed to slow down as she released his hand so she could put her arms around his neck and take his head in her hand. She pulled him closer even as her own head moved to meet him. Then suddenly she was kissing him. Warm and soft, her lips pressed against his and in half a heartbeat her tongue was sliding into his mouth. Kazuki stiffened for a moment and then slid his arms around her and began kissing her back. In his mind he briefly flashed on what would have happened if either of the other two had been here instead. He realized that none of this would have happened. It had to be Yayoi. In a way, it always had been.

Kazuki woke up in his bed. As he did he automatically reached over and felt the cooling spot next to him. Then he opened his eyes as he heard giggles. Looking up he saw Yayoi, Mitsuki Rara, and D sitting next to his cot. "Good morning Kazuki!" They said. He sat up and stared at them. Just then the door opened and Mitsuki came in. "Will you three knock it off? Come on, all of you, get out." She hurried the three of them out of the room and slammed the door behind her. "Was... was it all a dream?" He asked himself. In a daze he went through his morning ritual and went downstairs. In the dining room everyone was seated in his or her usual spot and Professor Sanada was discussing his current plans. "We've got everything set up. In one month all of us are out of here. I thought I'd wait until the end of the school year. After all, it would be a shame to deprive everyone of their favorite teacher and their favorite cook." "Not that any of you will get out of school. I intend to make sure all of you study the same as if you were in high school and college." Yayoi looked at Kazuki. "Especially you. Your grades have been sipping lately." "Sorry," Kazuki said and sat down. Breakfast continued on and it was no different than it had ever been. Was it all for nothing? Or maybe it really had been a dream. Then he realized that one thing was different. On the counter was a single lunch box, wrapped up in Yayoi's handkerchief. 'So it did happen,' he thought. He looked at Yayoi who stood up and walked to his side. She leaned down and gave him a kiss on the lips before standing back up. "Well, let's go. We can't be late for school." Mitsuki Sanada sniffed. "Get a room." "That's so romantic," Mitsuki Rara sighed wistfully. D laughed and said, "Look, Kazuki's turning all red again." "I am not," he said irritably and reached for his lunch before picking up his suitcase. "Come on, we have to get to school." Laughing the girls followed his lead and they all left for school. Sanada grinned and looked at his wife. "Well Akane?" She groaned and said, "Fine, I'll say it. You are a genius." "And don't you forget it."

The end

Author's note:

You may be wondering why I picked Yayoi to be with Kazuki. Truth to tell there's a saying that influenced me. "Two virgins in a bed is one too many." I've watched a lot of anime and I have to say that the thing that usually gets in the way of true love is the fact that both of the lovebirds are too embarrassed to do anything more than hold hands. Honestly, Yayoi is the only one who would be willing to do anything with Kazuki. If you wish to comment my email is still