Disclaimer: I don't own Gakuen Alice or any of its characters.
Summary: A seemingly fine afternoon is perfect for a date at the park, right? Sprinkle some blackmailing affairs, embarrassing songs and unique confessions, and the day will be perfect. (HotaruxRuka)
"Give me that back, Imai!" Nogi Ruka did his best to grasp the CD a raven-haired girl held in one hand. But her reflexes were just too quick, almost impossible. He swung his hands around frantically to get the object, but Hotaru always ended up clinging it to the opposite side of where he was reaching out. They were making quite a scene in the sidewalk, he thought.
The boy in his late teens dawned blond hair and steel-gray eyes and wore a casual polo shirt and baggy pants. Every girl passing by glued their eyes on the charming blonde as he looked so handsome in his features and attire, but little did they know that a girl was bullying him at the moment.
"In one condition," she replied unemotionally, still not allowing the poor guy lay a finger on the item.
"W-What?" he asked apprehensively, panting slightly after his futile attempts.
"Go with me at the park," she pinned her violet stoic eyes onto his steel ones, her voice rather serious. She wore a peach sleeveless top beneath a baby-blue jacket and denim pants, where a belt was fastened, and there, a pink toy-like handgun resided, the one she referred as the Baka Gun.
"That's it? Fine, it's a deal then. Now give it back," he stated in relief, expecting the raven-haired to give him a more difficult task. It had been her hobby taking pictures and other stuff from him which always served as a blackmail material afterwards, and now it is a CD where he recorded his songs--- a project his music teacher gave him years ago… And he couldn't afford to let the whole world hear his horrible singing.
"Not yet," she said, stuffing the CD inside her jacket.
"Take me there first. I promise to give it afterwards."
"This is TOTAL humiliation!!!"
"You asked for it, didn't you?"
Ruka stood sheepishly at the center of the park, wearing a disgustingly oversized chick costume. Hotaru, in the other hand, simply sat in one of the surrounding benches, watching him in amusement while taking a sip of her canned cola.
"Stay like that for some solid thirty minutes, and the deal is over."
"...Why did I even bother."
"Oh, and wait…" the one with jet-black hair stood up and marched across the way, then disappeared along the crowd.
The blond one was left there, standing rooted on the spot. Children went to him, jumping up and down and eager to catch the attention of the silly mascot. He smiled… more to himself. Imai Hotaru had always blackmailed him and made fun of him through the years--- since they met in their fourth-grade in elementary, up until now that they had graduated in the infamous Alice Academy. Though he hated to admit it, he liked the idea of him being bullied around by the girl.
"Here," a soft warm hand held his shoulder. He whirled around to see the dark-haired handing him multicolored balloons which he assumed were a dozen in number.
"And what am I gonna do with these?" he asked, seizing them dubiously.
"I want all of those sold, got it?" she then trotted back to the bench where she was sitting earlier.
"No fair! Having this thing on is humiliation enough!"
Her confident tap on her jacket breast pocket--- probably where she put the blackmail item--- was the only reply.
"I guess I don't have other options then," Ruka let out an exasperated sigh. Instead, he turned to the crowd and put on his trademark smile, which unexpectedly attracted his fangirls' attention. Thus, instead of the poor children, they bought the balloons.
"There. Mission accomplished. Happy?" he walked his way to Hotaru and gave her the money he attained. He then motioned her to give back the CD, but she just smiled… A rare smile he had always loved.
"Take that costume off first. You look like an idiot with that, in fact."
Ruka raised an eyebrow and grudgingly marched off to the men's dressing room to take off the outfit. And before setting off to the square once again, he decided to buy ice creams for the two of them.
"Here," he gave her one, and she accepted it without even bothering to say thanks. He then took the seat beside his companion.
"Tell me," Hotaru asked, breaking the silence between them, "do you ever feel irritated when I make fun of you?" her eyes gazed at the ice cream intently as if wanting to melt them with those violet orbs.
"To tell you the truth… No," he responded, thinking that lying would lead to nonsense.
"Imai, I believe you know so much of me… That's why you have the guts to blackmail me, right?"
The raven-haired nodded her head slightly, licking her ice cream.
"Now I want to know about you…"
Hotaru looked at him immediately, obviously struck by his words.
"Do you… like someone?"
Another deafening silence. The cold air breezed softly, her silky tresses moved swiftly with the wind. He held her gaze for some time… Her pink lips were glossy and seductive... After some tense seconds of unconsciously scrutinizing the perfect face of the girl of his dreams, he shook silliness off his head and forced a smile. "Sorry, I just thought---"
"Yes, I like someone," she answered abruptly while looking back to her cookies-and-cream flavored ice cream. This made the blonde one's heart pump faster, hesitating if he was eager to hear it or not.
"Who… Who is it?"
"That guy… He's a perfect gentleman. Girls go head over heels on him, you see. He may seem tough to others, but I can make him do whatever I want. I really like him… Oh, I'm sorry I had to tell you that. I feel awkward," she murmured, her cheeks flushing. Quite a rare sight, he mused.
"Er… Do I… Do I know him?" he asked expectantly, hoping that the mystery person would be worthy enough to have her. If he finds out that the fortunate man would play with her precious little heart, he'll go hunt him down to his grave.
"Yeah. He's also from the Alice Academy…" she said, still blushing. He could feel his blood boiling incredibly; he sensed Hotaru liked the guy so much. It was obvious she tried so hard to suppress the heated blush on her cheeks. But since she liked him so much… then he couldn't do anything else but accept the cruel truth.
She will never be his.
"So… Who is it?"
Instead of answering, she stood up and turned her back to him.
"Song number seven," she said as she tossed the CD to his arms and walked away.
Feeling terrible that he wasn't able to know the name, he looked at the title of song number seven in the front cover of his CD.