Withered Petals
By: Aisaki Sumi

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Chapter 2
Emeralds and Ambers

stretching away from above my raised hands, the expanse of blue is endless
within your arms there are only calm days, deep and still like the vastness above

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It was just another day, waiting to be ended. Kyoko-san's words made me think deeper into my relationship with Syaoran, the mysterious boy whom I became so infatuated with, to a point that all I could think about was him.

He was often my source of encouragement and inspiration, whenever I thought about him I would feel an inner strength building up inside of me, giving me the power to go on, especially that special jadestone he gave me as my reward for doing him that simple favor. It indeed got me into a lot of troubles, but strangely enough, I didn't have any regrets.

However, a heavy dread tugged at my heart, forcing me to wonder if Kyoko-san's story applied to me as well. After all, she had fallen in love with that young man around my age, maybe a bit younger, but we both were considered as teenage girls, dreaming away about true love and that special someone.

My heart refused to listen to the cynical voice inside of my head, and stubbornly believed Syaoran was different.

He had a powerful aura around him that gave him the appearance of a samurai, and a true samurai would never break his promises or take back his words. I nodded in agreement with no one in particular and reached out a hand to hold the jadestone around my neck.

Sometimes I would wear it around my neck, and other times, whenever I felt extremely nervous, I would keep it in my sleeves, closer to my hand so I could hold it whenever I need to feel its strength again.

"Sakura-chan? Daijoubu ka?" That sweet voice heaved me out of my thoughts. I whipped my head around, vision lining up with hers and eyes widened, revealing a slight surprise, but quickly recovering from it as I saw the hollowness of her amethyst orbs.

Her smooth, porcelain-like cheeks, tinged slightly pink in certain areas was more creamy white than ever as the soft sunlight cast a pale glow upon her visage, bringing out the gauntness of it, which only served to enhance her goddess-like beauty.

"Daijoubu yo! Shinpai arimasen Tomoyo-chan! (I'm okay, don't worry Tomoyo)" A feigned overly cheerful reply. The concerned look on her face was fading away as her ever-present smile returned to her lips. But the meek smile on my lips slowly vanished as I returned my gaze dropped to the ground, falling back into the deep contemplation which I immersed myself in a moment ago.

Sometimes thinking too much was really not a good idea, even Auntie said that a few times when she saw the worried expression on my face. She called me a worrywart but only if she knew what was bothering me…

Puffing a breathless sigh into the autumn air, I squeezed Tomoyo's hand tighter. "It's getting a bit cold, since late autumn is coming up." I noted without looking at her, knowing what her reply was without having the need to hear it.

"We should try to get to Kyoko-san's apartment a bit faster, she's probably waiting for our arrival and here we are, still rambling down the street like this so lackadaisical." I fastened my pace, pulling Tomoyo along with me.

The truth was, I didn't want to dwell on the feelings any longer, I wanted to keep myself distracted long enough so I could actually focus on the tonight's party. The last thing I needed was going back to my moody, detached, contemplative self again.

Tonight was my one and only shot to impress Kyoko-san and show her the potential and talents I possessed which would make me ideal and perfect candidate for becoming a successful geisha.

The rest of the trip was spent in silence, heavy of suspense and unspeakable secrets. My feelings for Syaoran were a secret, even to Tomoyo. I kept it to myself through all these times. Though she did know about the jadestone and Syaoran asking me for a favor, but that was all she knew.

I never told her of my feelings, or any of the dilemmas I was in. It wasn't that I couldn't trust her; I could probably trust her with my life, but I didn't want her to worry about me when she needs to be worrying about herself. Maybe one day I would tell her all of it… but until that day… these feelings would have to be a burden that I must carry myself…

"Ne Sakura-chan, you seem so distracted and quiet lately… did something happen to you? Or is there something that's troubling you? You can always talk to me about it you know." She muttered softly, stirring the guilt in my heart. I bit my bottom lip, trying to distract myself with the pain, but it was no use. Her innocent face and worried eyes were enough to awaken my guilty conscience.

"Nandemonai. (it's nothing)" I replied quietly, trying to maintain the calmness in my voice without making it too obvious that I was lying. I heard a mild 'souka na' from her, revealing the underlying hurt in her silky tone.

If I didn't know her this well, my ears probably couldn't even pick it up, but I had known her for six years. I could tell by just listening to her voice and interpreting her current mood based on that. That was how well I knew her.

The awkward moment ended as we arrived at Kyoko-san's apartment building once again. I followed the mental map painted by my memories and found her apartment. Before I could even raise my fist and known on the wooden door, it swung open by itself with Yumiko-san greeting us at the door with her apron on.

Her usual warm smile was absent. "Ah you are here finally! I was worried at first since it took you guils such a long time to get here." She clapped her hands together as she sighed in relief.

"Saa, follow me." The usual heart-enlightening smile resumed itself on her naturally pink lips as she waved a hand, gesturing us to follow her into the apartment. I put mine and Tomoyo's wooden slippers away and followed Yumiko-san, perplexed but also curious to see what she had installed for us. I observed the empty living room, feeling something was missing. Yumiko-san probably saw me scouting for something and chuckled.

"Kyoko-san went to get the hairdresser, she'll be back in no time. Meanwhile, she told me to wait for you two and show you the kimonos you will be wearing tonight for the tea party."

"I've laid them out on the tatami already and you guys can go take a look and pick out the one that you think will suit you the best. It's important for a geisha to pick out the right kimono to wear for the occasion and how it will bring out the most attractive part about them." Yumiko advised as she slid the closed doors open, revealing a beautiful large room with a taitaime spread out in the center. On top of the taitaime laid two most beautiful kimonos I had ever seen in my life.

I drew out a sharp breath as I gawked at the beauty of the silky kimonos. They were breathtakingly beautiful. One had a pale rosy color as the background, enhanced by the scattering petals of fallen cherry blossoms. The other one was light violet, covered by tiny indigo colored flowers strewed across the silky fabric, as if they were barely contacting the material while at the same time, firmly attached to it.

"I thought you might like these two." Yumiko-san read my thoughts, her expression brightening as she saw the astounded look plastered across my face. "These two kimonos are Kyoko-san's old ones, she used to wear them to different parties, but she has many new ones now. However these kimonos are still as new as ever and have been in good cares, so you don't need to worry about anything."

"A-arigatou, they are beautiful." I thanked her, stammering a little; an indication that I was still yet to recover from the astonishment. This earned me a quiet giggle from Yukimo-san.

"Saa, pick the one you like and Kyoko-san'll be here at any moment." With that being said, she exited the room, leaving Tomoyo and I gaping at the door. I grabbed Tomoyo's hand and led her to where the kimonos were. I place her hand on the silky material of the kimono, and she gasped as her warm palm contacted the cool fabric. I merely smiled as I watched her hand trailed down the kimono.

"Isn't it beautiful Tomoyo-chan?" I asked her, widening my content grin as I saw her nodding in agreement, excitement sparkling in her dull eyes. "We are going to be wearing these to the tea party, I'll pick out one for you that would match your hair and eyes the best." I scrutinized the two kimonos before me.

The faint violet one was releasing such enigmatic aura into the air, and I thought it was the perfect kimono for Tomoyo. It suited her elegant style and mysterious beauty.

"This one." I picked up the kimono by its hanger and passed it down to Tomoyo, smiling proudly as I saw the color matching her beautiful long hair and eyes.

"It matches you perfectly!" I exclaimed excitedly and Tomoyo smiled gently. She tugged the kimono close to her heart and muttered a quiet 'arigatou, Sakura-chan'.

I ran my finger tip down her pale cheek, smiling serenely. We had been waiting for this moment all our lives – to show the world the kind of geishas we would make.

It was then the closed paper screened doors slid open, I turned around immediately upon hearing the sound and saw a smiling Kyoko-san standing by the door. She was wearing a scarlet red kimono with large white flowers surrounding the brilliant red, creating such strong contrast with its background.

Kyoko-san always knew how to bring out the most attractive side of her. Her full lips were dyed scarlet red, matching the color of her kimono, giving the smile with an almost seductive, enchanting power.

"The hair stylist is here. Sakura-chan, you are going to get your hair done first and Tomoyo-chan will wait a little and get hers done afterwards."

She cocked her head to the side, looking at me expectantly. I snapped back to the real world, a faint blush spread across my cheeks as I realized I was staring at her again.

"In the meanwhile, Tomoyo-chan, you can try on the Kimonos and see if they fit you properly or not. Yumiko will help you with it and if it's a little bigger or smaller, get her to grab you another one."

Tomoyo nodded, bowing respectfully as Kyoko-san lead me out of the room. "Yukito-san, this is Sakura-chan." She stepped aside, holding out a hand to introduce me to the silver haired young man before me.

He had a gentle smile on his face, and startlingly beautiful blue grey eyes filled with grace and kindness. He bowed at me respectfully, causing the tinge on my cheeks to darken and spread further apart on my pale skin.

"He will be styling your hair into the popular Peach-Split style which most apprentice geishas have." Kyoko-san informed as she pulled me to the tea table, seating me down.

"Remember not to move. It's going to be a bit painful, but it's worth it, and Yukito-san will try his best to make it as less painful as possible." Puzzled, my curious mind wondered on the thought of how hairstyling could be painful. After all it was just brushing hair and tying it into a more elegant knot… right? But I soon found the answer to my question as Yukito-san started styling my hair.

It was the most painful experience ever! He took a handful of my auburn hair and started pulling it while spilling some of the wax he had in the bottle. His other hand smoothing out the wax until my hair was perfectly straightened out.

He then grabbed the wooden comb he had with him and brushed through the sticky hair, slowly and painfully. I felt the skin of my scalp being torn off. I kept on moving to his way as he pulled the comb through, but his strong hand exerted a strong force to keep me where I was.

The tears were swelling up in my eyelids as I suppressed a sob that was threatening to come out. I let the jadestone slid through the opening of my kimono and onto my warm palm. The coolness of the jadestone and its smoothness had a soothing affect on me.

I squeezed it tighter until my fingers started to hurt, it provided me the distraction I needed to forget about the painful process of straightening out my hair.

I closed my eyes, feeling the dampness of my wet eyelashes against my skin. My mind concentrated hard to create an image of Syaoran. He was still a young boy in my mind, his eyes around and full of innocence. I wondered if he had changed just as much as I did…

"Sorry Sakura-chan, I know this is painful. I'm trying my best to be gentle as possible but even though it will still hurt a lot. The waxing process is almost over, and then all I need to do is fold it into the split peach hairstyle and we are done." Yukito-san reassured me, pulling me out of my own thoughts. He probably saw the tears in my eyes.

Moments later, the pain stopped as he folded the hair into the split peach style. His talented hands twisted the strand of hair, wrapping them around another to create a little hump.

Smoothing out another strand, repeating the same motion until the hair started to assume the peach shape. He perforated a beautiful pin with handmade cherry blossoms dangling on the other end of it into my hair, and along with other decorations to add onto the already beautiful hairstyle.

Yukito-san turned my head to Kyoko-san's way for inspection and Kyoko-san smiled satisfactorily. "The talented Yukito-san always knows how to make the most beautiful geisha hairstyles." She complimented, eyes winkling a smile as she glanced at Yukito-san's way.

I wiped the corners of my eyes to brush off the tears that wetted my dark lashes. I didn't want Kyoko-san to see my weak side. Standing up, I bowed gratefully to Yukito-san to show my gratitude.

"Sakura-chan, go to my room and Yumiko will teach you how to put on the geisha make up and help you get into the kimono. We don't have much time left and the preparation is taking a bit longer than I expected it to be." Kyoko-san pointed at the direction of her room and I bowed slightly to show that I had fully comprehended her instruction.

I headed for the bedroom, stuffing the jadestone back into my pocket.

"Oh and call Tomoyo over." She added.

My head felt heavier than before, and the ends of the hair throbbed as I tried to move my head around. It felt like someone was pulling my hair upward, restraining me from any sort of natural movement. Sighing almost breathlessly, I propelled the sliding door open and I saw Tomoyo chatting with Yumiko-san.

The conversation faded as they heard the intruding sound made by the sliding doors. "Sakura-chan…" Yumiko gasped, her left hand covering her mouth as her eyes revealed her bewilderment.

I simply stared at her, puzzled, I didn't even know what a split peach hairstyle looked like, but the name of it sort of gave me a vague image of what I looked like. Feeling the warmth crawling to my cheeks from the ends of my ears, I lowered my head in embarrassment. I probably look like a weirdo right now. The depressing thought settled in my mind as I slowly made my way to the futon.

"Kyoko-san called for Tomoyo-chan." I muttered meekly, sitting myself down beside the mirror on the futon. I didn't have enough courage to look at my reflection in the mirror. Yumiko-san helped Tomoyo up and led her to where Yukito-san was.

Their footsteps caused the wooden floor to squeak quietly as they shifted their weight from one spot to another. Kyoko-san greeted Tomoyo and introduced her to Yukito-san with equal enthusiasm.

I heard Yukito-san complimenting Tomoyo's eyes, the corners of my mouth curving upward into a small yet sad smile. Tomoyo was always the beautiful one around here… it would be great if she could see it too…

"What are you doing staring at the floor Sakura-chan? You should be putting on the make up and stuff. We don't have much time left and Tomoyo-chan's only getting her hair done." Yumiko gently chided as she rushed to my side, opening the stacked container that was lying abandoned beside the futon a moment ago. She took out a few smaller containers, opening up each one of them. The first one revealed to be a white power container.

"Saa, look this way please." She requested, her reverent fingers directed my chin to face her. I stared into her raven colored eyes, noticing how focused they were. I felt the soft furriness touching my cheeks, leaving a layer of powder on the area that came into contact.

She continued to sprinkle the dusky white powder onto my face, until all the exposed areas were covered in a thick layer of rich whiteness.

She then pulled my kimono down slightly to reveal the back of my neck and some parts of my shoulders, repeating the same thing she did to my face. I remembered Auntie telling me the other day about the reason why geishas cover their faces with such white foundation that unmatched their natural skin. She said it was because: the whiteness of the foundation represented purity and innocence, it gave them the appearance of a pale beauty, capturing countless pairs of admiring eyes.

Yumiko-san put away the powdery substances and sealed the container up with its lid. She then tilted the upper part of her body slightly to put it back into the drawers and took out another smaller container.

It was probably only one fifth of the other container's volume. Unscrewing the lid, she grabbed a brush and dipped the tip of it into the scarlet paint. I watched her graceful movement carefully as she covered the brush with scarlet liquid, trying not to waste anything.

She turned to my way as she was done mixing things up and drawn a line on my bottom lip. The coolness of the wet brush removed some of the unbearable dryness of my lips.

Yumiko-san reminded me of an artist; the care she took into putting those things on my face reminded me of a brilliant painter, adding colors onto the dull paper to make it beautiful. After she had done painting my bottom lip, she moved onto the top one, however, only to draw a dot in the middle, leaving the rest of my upper lip unpainted.

Geishas at that time often left their upper lip unpainted, so their lips could assume the shape of a small and delicate cherry. It was a style that most loved and a tradition that passed down from generations to generations.

Yumiko-san then rinsed the dye off the tip of the brush in the water she had prepared a moment ago while she took Tomoyo out to get her hair done. Using the tips of her thumb and index finger to rinse the brush clean.

She selected another brush, but this time, thinner and smaller and soaked it into another container which contained the thick, black satin-like liquid she was looking for.

This time, she only immersed the tip of the brush into the liquid and started to trace the shape of my eyebrows, but making it more beautiful by bring out its fine crescent figure. I closed my eyes, giving myself into the refreshing coolness of the wet brush. It made me relax.

Yumiko-san tilted my face upward again as she started to apply some blushes to my cheeks, reddening it just slightly.

"Done." She suddenly announced. My eyes reopened, and what came into view was a beautiful smile.

"Saa, ready to see how beautiful you are?" She teased me playfully as she picked up the mirror that I avoided earlier. My eyes gave away the doubtful and hesitant flicker which earned me another encouragement from Yumiko-san.

"Don't worry Sakura-chan, there isn't any other apprentice geisha in Gion that can rival your beauty."

My face flushed in embarrassment, different shades of red adding onto my already tinged cheeks. Yumiko-san giggled as she brought the mirror to my face, and what I saw made my heart skip a beat.

I was taken aback by the beauty of the girl inside the mirror. She was breathtakingly beautiful, the brilliant emerald eyes stood out greatly against the white background. Her cheeks had a natural rosy color and her lips had the shape of a delicate scarlet, fruity cherry. The bright scarlet, ink-color and white contrast literally blown me away, I was speechless.

"See, I wasn't exaggerating!" She giggled, placing a hand on my shoulder.

"It's time to get you into that Kimono, and you'll look even more beautiful with that on."

Bending down, she whispered to my ears, her scented breath tickling my ears, leaving a tingly sensation behind. She stood up and culled the right kimono for me.

"There are many layers to this kimono, put on the first one while I go get Tomoyo." With that, she exited the room, leaving me gaping at my own reflection and the kimono beside me.

My hand landed on the silky fabric of the kimono, and carefully opened up the layers until the innermost layer was revealed. I loosened the obi tied around my waist, pulling down my cotton kimono and slipped into the silky layer of Kyoko-san's kimono.

The feeling of silk sliding pass my skin felt extremely different from the cotton fabric. It was a sensation that could not be described by words. I prudently tied the red silky obi around my waist, afraid I would snatch the expensive fabric.

It was then Tomoyo and Yumiko-san entered the room. I turned around and saw Tomoyo's split peach hairstyle. She reminded me of Kyoko-san the first time I had seen her. Kyoko-san had similar hairstyle as hers, but it was different, since Kyoko-san had already passed the apprentice geisha stage when I met her for the first time on that street.

Anyone could have this kind of hairstyle but they could never resemble Kyoko-san because of their lacked elegancy and enigmatic beauty that Kyoko-san had. However Tomoyo was different. She had all the qualities a successful geisha like Kyoko-san had, and the blossoming shy beautifulness that could make anyone awe in amazement.

"I'll help Tomoyo-chan put on her make up and get into her kimono while you get yourself dressed." Yumiko-san glanced briefly at my way as she seated Tomoyo on the taitaime pad a meter away from me, taking out the make up box and performed her magical transformation on Tomoyo.

I slipped into the second layer of the kimono, experiencing the significant weight of that layer. It was much more heavy that the first layer.

The last outermost layer was the hardest one to put on, it was adorned with lovely decorations, but it was also the heaviest one of all three. I felt my body being pulled downward.

I wondered how Kyoko-san and Mother could wear such attires all day long. The thought of surviving a night in this kimono was horrifying enough, let alone spending a whole day in this armor-like kimono.

Yumiko-san probably saw me struggling with the kimono and came to my rescue. "Here, I'll help you with the last layer. It must be straightened out and perfectly folded, especially the obi." Yumiko-san murmured, extending out my arms as she tied the dark red obi around my waist.

I choked as she tightened the straps. The obi was half as heavy as the kimono itself, and it felt as if someone had tied me to a tree, the tautness of it was depriving me of the air in excess.

After a few more moments of smoothing the fabric out, she nodded at me, giving me the signal that it was done and that I was free to move around again. But I felt my body being bound by silk.

The tiny opening of my kimono at the end only allowed such small movement, and I felt awkward walking in them.

"You have to get used to taking smaller steps from now on. If you try taking a larger step, you would fall on your butt, and it would be very embarrassing and disgraceful if that happens to you." Yumiko-san advised as she put the finishing touches on Tomoyo's face.

"Now let's put you into that lovely violet kimono." She clapped her hands together and exclaimed excitedly, as she organized the makeup kit.

"Ah Sakura-chan, you can wait outside with Kyoko-san while I help Tomoyo with her kimono. Kyoko-san probably wants to go over a few things quickly with you, as to how to walk and stand and sit in that kimono so you don't make a fool out of yourself at the party."

"Hai." I bowed to Yumiko-san, thanking her for all she had done for me before I left the room. I still felt awkward taking such little step once a time. My hips swayed uncomfortably as I stepped outside of the room, sliding the door closed behind me.

"Wow Sakura-chan, you look exactly like a geisha." Kyoko-san's cheerful voice grabbed my attention. I glanced at her way, and saw her smiling brightly with her hands cupped together.

"You're going to take their breath away at the party." She said with such confidents that almost made me believe in her words. Her eyes sparkled with such serenity and sincerity, stirring the heat underneath my skin, for a moment there, I was really thankful that I had this much make up on.

"Yukito-san left a moment ago, it's a pity that he left so soon without seeing you get ready. He would've been proud of how his split peach hairstyle had brought out the beautiful geisha in you." She sighed as she shook her head.

Kyoko-san then waved her fan at me, signaling me to sit down and wait for Tomoyo to get ready. "The tea Yumiko made earlier is still warm." She murmured, the tip of her closed fan pointed at the teapot on the table; misty steams were swirling out of the tiny opening of the teapot's mouth.

"It's okay," I muttered, eyes kept on my folded hands.

"Nervous?" Kyoko-san saw through me, my eyes widened slightly as I nodded.

"I was nervous the first time I went to a tea party with my older sister too. But don't worry you'll be fine, as long as you remember what I had taught you the other day about tea parties, you'll do just fine."

I gulped at the mentioning of that. I was so preoccupied by thoughts of Syaoran that I didn't even pay attention when she taught us the basic rules a geisha must follow when she is at a party.

"H-hai." Smiling meekly, I blamed myself inwardly for being so easily distracted. Just then, Tomoyo and Yumiko entered the living room. Kyoko-san looked at, her dark eyes revealing her surprise.

Seeing her expression, I turned around as well and my jaws dropped at the sight of a beautiful geisha standing before me. If someone didn't tell me it was Tomoyo, I would've assumed she was someone else, a young popular geisha in Kyoto, far more renowned than Nanako-san.

I could see how Nanako-san would be so jealous of her now. There was no doubt that Tomoyo will surpass her one day, if not, already surpassed her, and become the new head geisha of our okiya.

I still remembered the day when Tomoyo told me how mother wanted to adopt her instead of Nanako-san and let her run the okiya afterwards. Mother saw the potential Tomoyo had, despite the fact that she couldn't see.

"Saa, it's time for us to go." Kyoko-san announced with finality, getting up gracefully and lead us to the door. Yumiko-san bid us goodbye and wished us the best of luck.

I held Tomoyo's hand firmly into mine as we made our way down the street, my grip tightened as I saw the countless pairs of eyes drawn to us. Most had stopped by to bow at Kyoko-san and some even bowed to us, asking Kyoko-san for our names.

Kyoko-san decided to let us keep our original names, since she wanted to represent us to the world as a pair. According to her, if she changed our names to something else, it would take away our uniqueness, and being successful was all about showing originality.

Most apprentice geishas would take on a new geisha name, and it would have their older sister's name as the prefix of their name to show that they were the apprentices of this particular geisha.

Kyoko-san's name was formed from combining her older sister's name with her own name. Her older sister's geisha name was Kyonaka and her birth name was Keiko, a combination of the two gave her the beautiful name which matched her personality perfectly – Kyoko.

We stopped in front of a palace-like tea house, illuminated by brilliant lights. Kyoko-san told us to watch our steps as we climbed the staircases. My feet slipped and I nearly fell off the staircase but thankfully, I grab onto the handle in time.

It was quiet embarrassing since I still couldn't move well in that kimono while Tomoyo was already getting used to it as if she had been wearing it all her life.

Walking down the broad corridor, Kyoko-san came into a stop in front of the room near the end. There were loud conversations going on inside, and I could hear the laughter of men echoing through the entire tea house.

My heart started to pound faster, arousing the restless nervousness in my heart. One of my hands wandered its way into the sleeves of my kimono and found the jadestone. I felt slightly relieved as I touched it.

"Ready?" Kyoko-san whispered softly, glancing at me and Tomoyo before she pulled the sliding door open, revealing a room crowded with men in all sorts of expensive kimonos.

My gaze swept across the room while my heart thudded with excitement and fear, as if it was playing jumping ropes. But it nearly stopped as my eyes met a familiar pair of passionate amber orbs. I felt my knees weakening and my breathing became uneven.

The endless amber was drawing me in, drowning me in its intensity and fierceness.

Syao-Syaoran… I gasped the name of the boy who took my breath away the first time I saw him silently.

My mind was spinning, racing at the speed of light. This just had to be a dream…

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A/N: Yap, there's the meeting, and yay for thecliffy.

This chapter contains a lot of information on how geishas back then and even today, prepared for a party. It is the way things were done and it is part of the Japanese culture. I loved writing out this chapter, it shows parts of my Asian heritage and the complex process those Asian beauties took to beautify themselves. To the westerners who are reading this story, this should provide you with a pretty insightful look into the world of mysterious Asian beauties :) (YAY ASIAN PRIDE! XD hehe, not my fault that I love my heritage so much, regardless of how crappy my Japanese is at the moment T.T)

I wrote this chapter during the winter break of 2005 and just looking back at it reminded me of how crappy my writting used to be and how it is slowwwwwwwwly improving... key word, slowly.

I won't be able to update as much anymore since ahem, need some decent marks for university XD, unless I wanna be stuck in high school for the rest of my life. So yesh, I'm graduating this year and I need the marrrrrks. I'll probably be able to finish this story before I go into university… I think. Lolz. XD

The next few chapters contain all the SxS interactions you want and the romance. Sorry I took me a while to get into this part since I'm a person who likes a steady-paced story, not too fast and not to slow. I personally liked these chapters better since they were all about growing up and struggling to fit in a new world that is all too foreign and unfamiliar.

Feedbacks are always welcome, and reviews would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, feel free to stab any grammar mistake, spelling mistake, or typo you found on the way, since there are probably an infinity amount of them. My beta-reader is currently busy with some important academic stuff.