Hey, all! Thanks for all the wonderful reviews, favorites, and alerts! I'm so glad you guys enjoy this--hopefully as much as I do writing it.
Anyways, I know my chapters are reaaaaally short, so I tried making this a little longer. So, without further ado, here's chapter 6!
After a fairly uneventful day at school, Yuki, Tohru, and Kyo were stuck on cleaning duty. As the three (along with a few other people) tidied up the classroom with emotions ranging from bliss to disdain, Yuki had something on his mind.
"Honda-san," he began, leaning on the handle of his broom, "I have somewhere to go today, so I won't be walking home with you."
Tohru regarded this with badly hidden curiosity, "Oh, I see. Well, please do your best." She smiled warmly at him, then continued dusting the windowsills. Kyo made a humph-sound.
When everything had been taken care of, Yuki said a sweet goodbye to Tohru and waved politely to the other girls and guys, whom were waving excitedly at him. Content and yet nervous about his little secret, he trotted down the front steps and headed for the nearest train station the next block over.
Tohru practically bounced with each step as she walked with the sauntering Kyo by her side. She was filled with the crisp springtime air and a lust for life. Kyo noticed this, and it deflated him.
She seems so… energetic lately. She keeps going on and on about how glad she is to be going to that stupid dance. He pushed his hands deeper into his pockets and mumbled something at the sidewalk.
But Tohru could also spy a change in Kyo. He seemed more quick to anger, and stiffer, as though something heavy was constantly pressuring him. The girl wondered if he felt bad about something she had said or done, so she tried to contain her happiness and not mention the dance and Yuki so much.
But even as each was thinking of the other, it were as if an invisible wall kept them from opening up their hearts and mouths.
Yuki's hand twitched nervously as he stepped off the train and began the short walk to a particular clothing store.
"Nii-san, I swear, if you try anything…" Yuki sighed, brushing his silver bangs out of his eyes. As he came upon the building, he sucked in a deep breath. It's been awhile since I've been to nii-san's store.
Yuki clenched his fists as the automatic doors slid open. A small gust of cool, air conditioned air enveloped him as he entered the dim, main room.
"Welcome!" A bright, fairly young girl with thick pigtails skipped up to him. She was dressed in a sexy police officer's uniform with a short skirt and a low-cut top. Her thigh-high boots were the same dark shade as her hair.
"Oh! Otouto-san?" she said, bemused, peering at Yuki with wide eyes from behind her round rimmed glasses.
"Mine! This design is all wrong! What do you--" Ayame rushed from behind an isle waving some crinkled papers in front of his nose. Seeing Yuki, he blinked rapidly momentarily before breaking into a huge grin.
"Yuki! My beloved little brother, have you missed me so much already?" Ayame excitedly clasped his hands together and smiled ecstatically.
Yuki had tried to prepare himself for a tiring afternoon, but already his defenses were wearing thin.
With a sigh, he replied, "No, and I'd like to keep this short. Honda-san needs a dress."
Ayame jumped around for a moment cheering, "How sweet! The prince buying a gown for his lovely princess! Well, have you come to the right place!"
Yuki studied his brother's outfit. He was wearing a navy blue and gold trimmed jacket that looked as though it popped right out of the French revolution with a pair of outlandish, gold-and-white vertically striped slacks. His long, white hair was done in a braid and tied with a gold ribbon at the end.
Yuki was nothing short of dubious.
Still, he found himself following his flashy brother as he skipped to the front of the store with Mine bringing up the rear.
"I've got so many ideas! This'll be such a difficult decision, Yuki-chan!"
Yuki's lip twitched. "Never call me 'chan' again, nitwit."
But Ayame, seemingly unfazed, was already caught up in a conversation with Mine. He chuckled and waved his hand, and Mine dashed off to the back of the shop somewhere.
"Now, Yuki, did you have anything in mind?" Yuki was taken aback by his brother's sane remark.
"No, actually," he mumbled. Yuki knew what he didn't want; namely, something very eccentric or sexy. Of course, the thought of Tohru in a sexy dress…
Ayame clapped his hand around Yuki's shoulder and laughed, noticing the deep blush on his brother's face. "I can tell, Yuki! You do have an idea! I command you to spill!"
Yuki tried to wiggle out of the odd embrace, still blushing. "No! I wasn't--"
"Nonsense!" But Ayame's teasing ended when he saw Mine running back toward them, arms piled high with dresses of all sorts.
"Oh, good, Mine-chan! Yes, these are lovely." Ayame nodded approvingly and began taking a few from her and laying them on the couch behind Yuki, who was tensely waiting for the bomb to drop.
It came too quickly for him.
"Otouto-san, what do you think of this color?"
"Isn't this style fabulous? Fit for a princess!"
"Gorgeous! This'll make all the boys jealous of your date!"
Yuki's mind was muddled and his eyes clouded with the endless colors and patterns of the many dresses Mine and his brother were shoving in his face.
"Hold on!" he commanded at last, rubbing the side of his head, for it was starting to ache from the excitement. Surprisingly, Ayame and Mine paused. "Can I just… Look through them myself? If I see anything, or have to ask anything, I will. But just…" Yuki sighed, and Ayame grinned.
"Of course, little brother. Take your time." Again, Ayame's normality struck Yuki as odd, but he was grateful to be left alone.
This is a big deal for Yuki. I just want him to get it right, since members of the Zodiac don't usually get these sweet, rare opportunities, thought Ayame as he retreated to the other side of the shop with Mine to finish the design they had been working on.
Yuki felt apprehensive, but gritted his teeth and approached the pile of dresses. For quite awhile, he dug through, picking out dress after dress and trying to picture Tohru wearing it. With her innocent smile pervading his mind, even the oddest of dresses seemed acceptable. Yuki blushed.
Unbeknownst to him, Ayame and Mine were actually hiding around the corner, watching the expressions playing on his face with interest. The giggled and smiled at his blushes and worried eyes, and tried not to burst out laughing when he held up a scanty dress, blushed, and shook his head in disgust as he chucked it to the side.
Finding the perfect dress was proving difficult for Yuki. He knew that he could go to a more conventional dress shop any time he wanted, but the cursed boy feared going to an unknown shop with an unknown desire. He was quite uncertain about what Tohru would prefer.
But as his hands lifted a dress from more the bottom of the pile, his eyes widened slightly. It was a rose pink and made of a silky, soft material that seemed to flow like water. The dress was elegant, with gently rolling ruffles making the skirt part that reminded him of petals sprouting from the bodice. The straps were off the shoulder and also a little ruffled.
Overall, the design was simple, but picturing Tohru in it made him smile softly. The plainness of the garment would accentuate her simple, benign face. Yuki was almost picturing an angel.
Honda-san… You really are like an angel, aren't you?
Ayame giggled to himself and grinned proudly as he abandoned his hiding place. "Ah! A fine choice! Tohru-chan will most definitely be a princess!"
Yuki blushed slightly and said, "Yes, but will it fit?"
Ayame cocked his head thoughtfully. "It should. Mine found all the ones that should be in her size range. Have her try it on, and if it doesn't fit, we can adjust!" The man rested his hand on his chin and nodded reassuringly.
"Right. How much?" Yuki fingered the fabric, letting it slide smoothly off his hand. It felt expensive.
Ayame shook his head. "Normally, I would refuse to charge my little brother, however I do need to make a living! That fabric is expensive!" He laughed, then looked lost in a daze as he pondered. "I'll give you a discount. Come right this way!"
Yuki was surprised at the generosity and pulled his wallet out of his back pocket. He followed Ayame to the register and paid the reduced price, smiling happily.
Honda-san will be so surprised.
"Take care, little brother!" Ayame called, waving with Mine as Yuki left.
Yuki paused before the automatic doors and turned on his heel. The sunlight flooding the doorframe made he himself seem angelic. "Nii-san? Thanks for everything."
Yuki left Ayame sniffling in his shop, crying exuberant tears of joy from hearing such words from his brother.