Hello, all! I'm Roxy, here posting my first story! And it's about my favourite pairing, Yuki x Machi! Or...Yuchi? XP Well, before we begin, I'd better say that I got the idea for a Yuchi Valentine fic from AnimeNatako's "A 'Maki' Valentine's Day." Don't worry, though, I didn't steal anything. This is very, very different from hers. That being said, on with the ficcy!
Dislaimer: Me no own Furuba.
It was a beautiful day at Kaibara High School that fine afternoon; outside, the birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and all was peaceful. However, inside, that tranquility was broken.
"Kimi wants flowers! Flowers!"
"No way! Chocolates are way more meaningful! Everyone loves chocolates!"
"Idiots! If we had talked about this earlier, we wouldn't have this problem!"
Yuki merely sighed, leaning back in the swivel chair he had grown accustomed to using at the Student Council meetings – a chair that at one point Kakeru had referred to as the 'princess's throne' (although he only made that mistake once) – as he listened to the present members argue it out. The issue?
That year, the Student Defense Corps had been assigned with the task of setting up a stand to sell Valentine's gifts to the student population at the upcoming festival. This had been assigned two weeks ago, plenty of time to come up with something to sell, right? Not so. Not, at least, when the one who had been told about this event was Kakeru, who had so kindly decided to share this information with the others the day before said holiday.
Which led them to where they were now, in the middle of a foolish argument: Kimi thought they should sell flowers and Kakeru thought they should sell chocolates, while Naohito was just pissed that they were having this argument at all, especially at the last minute. And Yuki? He could really care less, though he did agree with Nao: a decision needed to be made, and quickly.
However, he was wondering more where Machi was; it was not out of the norm for her to be tardy to meetings, but she was running later than usual today. He was toying with the idea of going to look for her when -
"Yun-Yun!" Two voices sounded off in unison; almost immediately, Yuki found dual faces invading his line of vision as Kakeru and Kimi fought for precedence in his sight.
"Yun-Yun!" Kimi shouted again, shoving Kakeru roughly out of the way, "You prefer flowers, right? Right! Pretty, nice-smelling flowers!"
"No!" Kakeru hollered, popping up again and shouldering Kimi to the side, "Chocolates are better! You like them, huh, Yun-Yun! Tasty!"
Yuki put a hand to his forehead, closing his eyes and attempting to block them out.
"Which is it!"
"Fine!" Yuki snapped, slamming his hand down on the desk. "You want me to decide!"
"Yes!" both answered excitedly.
"I pick…" The rat paused. Now that it had actually come down to this, he had to think about it. Then again…Tohru's smiling face came to mind, hands extended, contained in them a small, neatly wrapped box of… "Chocolates."
"Ha!" Kakeru crowed, pumping his fist victoriously in the air as Kimi gasped in dismay, "I knew it! Yun-Yun likes me more!"
"Wha –" Yuki began, irritation beginning to gnaw at him, "I never said –"
"That's not true!" Kimi cried, stamping her feet rather childishly, "Yun-Yun didn't mean it! He clearly likes Kimi more!"
"Personally," Nao cut in, still sounding quite irritated but now there was also an air of smugness in his tone, "I think we should go with flowers."
Kimi beamed in delight, bouncing over to the short-tempered boy and clasping one of his hands in hers. "Oh, Nao-chan! Kimi knew you'd be on her side!" Meanwhile, Kakeru and Yuki were both frowning, although for different reasons; Yuki, because he knew Naohito only chose flowers to contradict him, though he said nothing aloud – he found it easier to avoid what would be another pointless argument. However, the former voiced his almost immediately.
"Chibisuke! I'd thought better of you!" Kakeru scolded, bounding over to the small boy and shoving a reprimanding finger in his face.
"Get off me, you fools!" Nao snarled, yanking roughly away from both of them, "This whole affair is completely -"
All antics were completely forgotten for the moment as the three turned to the doorway where Yuki's attention was already focused – about two seconds after Kakeru had begun speaking the rat had grown bored and so had shifted his gaze to stare blindly at the door – and lo and behold, there was Machi, looking as stale(1) as ever.
She locked gazes with Yuki for a mere moment, quickly breaking the contact to step into the room and head towards her usual desk at these meetings. Then the dam broke.
"Machi!" This time it was the aforementioned that Kakeru and Kimi attacked the moment she'd sent down her book bag; startled, she nearly tripped over her desk as they rushed her. Yuki made to object, but the two had already started in – Nao grumbling sulkily in the background about her tardiness.
"Machi likes Kimi, right? Right! Girls stick together!"
"No! Don't listen to her! We're closer than that! Listen to me!"
"No way! Kimi is the one you should agree with, not a stupid boy!"
"Hey! That's not fair! Machi and I have a special relationship, so she'll be on my side!"
Machi – feeling more aggravated, confused and like a cornered animal by the second – grew more and more irritated even as the two shifted their target from her to each other, and finally shouted, "What are you two going on about!"
Focus snapped back to Machi once more.
"Tomorrow!" Kimi shouted, hurrying forward towards Machi, "It's-"
"Valentine's Day!" Kakeru yelled, pushing past Kimi, "And we were -"
"Assigned to make a sales stand!" Kimi clamoured, shoving down Kakeru's head and leapfrogging over him. "And I want to sell -"
"Chocolates! Pick chocolates, Machi!"
"No! Flowers! Flowers are better!"
"It's all down to you, Machi! Make the right choice! Which is -"
"Flowers! Pick -"
As the two continued to rally against one another, Machi had become still. Very still. Slowly, ever so slowly, she raised her head to look Kakeru in the eye. Her hands were trembling. "Tomorrow…" her voice was quiet, but it caused the both of them to fall silent and all attention to be focused on Machi. "Tomorrow is…is it Valentine's…?"
Kakeru blinked several times at his half-sister's inquiry, a bit puzzled. "Well, yeah. Haven't you looked at your calendar?" After several more moments of silence, realization dawned on his face and he smirked. "Ah, forgot to get something for Yun-Yun, huh, Machi?"
"…shut…up!" Quite abruptly, Machi – now red-faced – had grabbed her book bag and shoved past Kakeru, rushing out of the room angrily.
Almost immediately, Yuki was up and heading after her; however, he came back to his senses enough to pause at the door and look back at his questioning council members. "Ah…as president, I'm making the executive decision that we're selling chocolate. Go to work on it." With that, he hurried out of the classroom.
Kakeru – who had been busy gloating over his victory to a pouting Kimi – suddenly froze as his short-term memory caught up with him. "Hey!" He bounded towards the door and yelled after Yuki. "Yun-Yun! Don't you dare make any moves on her, you closet pervert!"
Yuki, however, was already down the hallway and disappearing around the corner by the time Kakeru had pieced things together – finally catching up to Machi, who had slowed to a brisk walk. Still embarrassed – thoroughly more so now that Yuki had come pursuing her – she kept her gaze straight ahead of her as Yuki slowed also to match her pace.
"Machi…are you alright? I'm sorry about back there; Kakeru can be an idiot sometimes. Though I'm sure you realize that more than any -"
"I'm fine," Machi snapped, not missing a step; if anything, she had sped up a bit. "Forget it."
Though he looked uncertain for a moment, Yuki accepted. "Alright…but are you sure you don't want to come back? We do have a lot of work to do…Kakeru just sprung this on us today, and so -"
"No." Realizing how ill-natured this sounded, Machi quickly tried to come up with a reasonable explanation. "…I've…got things to be taken care of."
"Ah…okay, if you're really sure." An unsure silence fell over the two of them, until -
"You should go back…" muttered Machi, stubbornly keeping her gaze away from him. "They're - I mean…kind of hopeless without…" She let the unfinished sentence trail off into nothing; Yuki smiled.
"Okay. So…I'll see you tomorrow?"
Yuki nodded once; then, after a moment of hesitation, he lifted his hand to drop it affectionately onto her head. "Goodbye, then."
Machi's face turned crimson; ducking away from his hand, she fled down the hallway with a mumbled 'bye.'
Once she was sure he was gone, she came to a stop, leaning heavily back against a row of lockers; her cheeks were still burning. However, her fluster subsided sooner than usual as she thought of the matter at hand.
Damn it, how could she have forgotten the upcoming Valentine's Day! She'd started marking off the days on the calendar she'd managed to dig up two weeks ago – then again, said calendar had fallen off her wall and into her mess just last week, and she hadn't bothered to rifle around for it.
But that was no excuse! She'd been thinking of nothing but the moment she'd hung that calendar – a first, for her to actually concern herself with a holiday. But this was different. Despite the fact that she kept telling herself that she felt nothing more than a friendly kinship for her president, she hadn't been able to talk herself out of making him chocolates for said day.
However, this wasn't when she had planned on making them; rushed, and at the last minute. She'd wanted them to be…well, special. She'd wanted to make them at least two or three days ahead of time, so she would have the privilege of doing them in her own style, at her own pace.
It finally occurred to her that she was wasting valuable chocolate-making time standing here lamenting over the loss of time; hurriedly, she pushed herself off from her position on the wall and sped towards the double-door leading to the outside, to head home. She only hoped that the chocolate-making recipe in the cookbook she'd unearthed was as easy to make as they'd said it to be…
"Chocolates! Homemade chocolates cheap! The proceeds go to the funding for this year's class trip!"
Valentine's Day had finally arrived, and the chocolate stand – though hastily thrown together – was a huge success. Their purveyance was a lie, of course – it would have been nearly impossible for them to whip up that much chocolate from scratch in so short an amount of time – but hey, what they didn't know wouldn't hurt them. Store-bought chocolates worked just as well.
Yuki was currently running the stand, as Kimi had run off with a boy from class 1-A who had bought her some chocolate and also flowers from the gardening club's stand, Naohito had flat-out refused the position, Kakeru was God-knows-where – though Yuki suspected he was somewhere sleeping, since he had wandered off a short time after the stand was opened – and Machi had yet to show up. This didn't surprise Yuki in the least – she had a tendency to shy away from large crowds, and he expected her to show up sometime after the excitement had died down quite a bit.
He was thinking these thoughts as he smiled and handed change and a prettily done up bag of chocolates tied with a pink ribbon – Kimi's idea, of course – to a starry-eyed admirer who was sure to deposit them into his very own locker. Yes, the stand was indeed popular – he was sure he'd seen every student in his class and many, many more, while he himself had even purchased a bag to give to Tohru. She had been overwhelmed with gratitude, promising to deliver hers (homemade this time, as they'd made her swear not to spend any money on it this year) as soon as they got home, and he smiled warmly at the memory – causing another fangirl customer of his to swoon as she walked away with her buy.
Of course, he reflected, some of the popularity – a great deal, in fact – was due to the fact that he himself was running the stand, but it was a positive thing anyway. The only thing that really mattered was making the money, and if he was an advantage, then so be it.
His sales now beginning to reach a lull – it was running close to lunchtime – Yuki allowed his thoughts to wander to Machi. He was rather curious about the "things to be taken care of" she'd spoken of yesterday, and filed the incident away to ask her about later, when she arrived. She had said she would, after all.
Nonetheless, he was quite thoroughly surprised when he felt a light – almost uncertain – tap on his shoulder and turned around to find Machi, cheeks red from the somewhat strong wind that had picked up, bundled up in a windbreaker and carrying a red gift bag.
"Machi!" he exclaimed, looking her over. "I hadn't expected you until later…I'm glad that you came!" He smiled.
She didn't return any of his niceties; merely stared up at him intensely – clutching her bag firmly in her hands – before finally bringing herself to speak. "…I need to talk to you."
Yuki blinked, a bit taken aback at her sudden forwardness. "Alright…I'll close the stand for lunch and we can -"
"Not here." She shook her head, willing down her blush as she continued. "Somewhere…somewhere private."
Yuki blinked again, now a bit confused and quite curious as to just what she wanted to talk about, but he nodded. "Yes, okay…hold on a moment." Turning away from her, he rummaged under the stand and pulled out a rather hastily scribbled 'out for lunch' sign, stuck it on the front of the stand, and turned back to face Machi. "Is the Student Council Room alright? We should have some quiet there."
Machi nodded once, before swiftly pivoting and walking off without looking back to see if he was following so she wouldn't have the chance to back out; Yuki soon followed, after grabbing a yellow gift bag near the stand.
No words were exchanged as the two strode towards the staircase, up the stairs, then down the hall towards the Student Council Room – Machi because she was busy trying to build up her nerve, Yuki because he could think of nothing to say.
Finally, they had arrived, and Yuki was walking in with Machi behind him, and Machi was shutting the door behind the both of them; she faced the door for a long time, hand trembling on the doorknob, heartbeat increasing very quickly. Yuki leaned against the teacher's desk and quietly and patiently watched and waited.
When she finally turned, it was not to look at Yuki, but to cross the room and sit at her usual desk – now clutching the red bag tightly to her chest; she stared down at it, refusing to chance a glance at him.
After several long moments, Yuki finally broke the silence. "…so…erm…what did you want to talk to me about, Machi?"
It was then that Machi finally looked; up at Yuki, his inquisitive face, to the yellow bag she had noted in his hands on the way up and wondered about – probably for someone else – and finally back down to her own package. At that moment, she realized how feeble her own efforts were. Yuki would never accept her chocolates – he would never want something from so plain a girl as she. He probably had someone else he loved, like that Honda Tohru she saw him with so often. She was a kind girl, a pretty girl, a giving girl…in a word, perfect. Machi hated perfection, but he…he wasn't like her. She was sure of it.
Feeling very foolish, she stood, grip on her bag not loosening. She would probably throw it in the trash later; it would be quite pitiful to eat them herself. She wasn't very fond of sweets, anyway…however, as she began to head for the door, no explanations – Yuki probably thought her to be a fool anyway – two things happened.
First, she tripped. Over what, she couldn't say – most likely her own feet. Second, this caused her to lose her grip on her bag, which went sailing through the air to land at Yuki's feet – face up.
Not comprehending the significance of that little detail? Well, you see, on the front of the bag was a label – a heart-shaped label that the bag had come with, to be exact. And written on it in Machi's neat handwriting were the words 'For Yuki.'
He bent down to pick it up, examining the label carefully, eyes filled with astonishment. He was so astonished, in fact, that he didn't even think to extend a hand to Machi to help her up – something he normally would have done, rest assured – and therefore, didn't notice when she got up herself and stalked over to him, until she snatched the bag back from him, clutching the side with the label to her chest, face burning.
"I – I – er –" She turned away from him, towards the door, "Should be going –"
A gentle hand reached out and took Machi by the shoulder. She froze.
"Machi…" Yuki's voice was tender as he walked up to face her, smiling warmly; she kept her gaze fixed on the ground, face still flaming, even as he gently tugged the bag from her grasp.
Removing the plain white box from it, he set the bag to the side; as he did this, it occurred to Machi too late what was happening. Her head shot up, eyes wide, hands reaching to take it back…but she wasn't fast enough,.
He had removed the lid, exposing the dozen, slightly burnt on the bottom – though not noticeably, or so she hoped – homemade chocolates she had baked for him the night before. Quite painstakingly, actually. It was her sixth batch (she was no cook) that had made the cut – but that was only because she had realized it was time to go to school and she still had to dig out the bag she'd chosen.
Smiling still more warmly, he took one of the chocolates out of the box and examined it. "The shape… is it supposed to be a cat?"
"It's Mogeta," she snapped, face burning even more badly; she had found the slightly rusted Mogeta cookie cutter she'd purchased a few years back (not to cook with, of course; merely because it was Mogeta) buried in one of her cupboards when she was searching for more flour to make that particular batch. It had really been a last-minute burst of inspiration; the deformation had obviously occurred somewhere in her cooking of it.
"…cute. Very cute," Yuki praised after a moment, before smiling down at her again. "Just like you."
She was sure her face must've been as red as a ripe tomato now; quickly, she turned her head away from him. "You be quiet - !" she huffed; he chuckled.
"Ah, Machi…" He let his hand rest on her head again, and – though still burning – she didn't flinch away. "Thank you. They're wonderful…oh!" he exclaimed suddenly, removing his hand from her head and setting down the chocolates – she would never admit she missed the contact – then hurrying past her towards the teacher's desk, where the yellow bag sat. "But I haven't given you your gift."
Bewildered, she turned to face him. "…m-…my…?"
He appeared not have heard her quiet inquiry. "It's a bit early for a White Day present(2), but…here you are, Machi." He held it out to her, and after many moments, she took it.
She didn't open it at first; merely stood there for several minutes staring at it, reveling at the feel of Yuki's gift in her hands, still hardly daring to believe it was really intended for her. Then she felt Yuki's expectant gaze on her, and slowly, ever so slowly, she opened it.
It was the latest Mogeta DVD; this too she held for several minutes, just looking at it, starting to make herself accept that he'd really gotten in just for her. Her. Kuragi Machi, regular, boring girl.
"I thought that…" Yuki finally spoke up, now looking somewhat shy himself, "That maybe we could watch it together sometime…at your place."
Silence reigned for several moments, and Yuki was just about to apologize for his forwardness when Machi answered him.
"…I…I'd like…that'd be…y-yes," she mumbled, still not looking at him, cheeks turning pink again as she held the gift tightly against herself. "…alright…"
At this, taking her hand, Yuki smiled; slowly, as she squeezed his hand gently,Machi smiled back.
(1) In this case, "stale" is referring to: Impaired in efficacy, vigor, or spirit, as from inactivity or boredom. Just in case anyone didn't know.
(2) Just in case you were wondering, I do know how Valentine's Day and White Day work. :) We're just saying that neither of them expected the other to get them a gift, so they both got each other gifts.
So whaddya think? This thing just hit me all at once and so...I had to get it down. Hope you like! Please review with positive comments, constructive crit, whatever. :D