Disclaimer: Yeah...I wish. :P

Chapter 8

Kagura gasped in astonishment. Just a few seconds ago they were traveling down an abandoned street, but when they turned the corner, the hustle and bustle of a busy nightmarket greeted them. There were taverns selling all kinds of things lining both sides of the street. As Kyo impatiently pulled her along, Kagura couldn? t stop staring at all the attractions. She was so busy looking at a ring toss booth that she failed to notice that Kyo had abruptly stopped; consequently, she bumped into his back.

"Ow..."she moaned, rubbing her forehead. "Kyo, why did we stop?"

"Idiot. There's an okonomiyaki booth right here,??said Kyo, tugging her into the small stand. Sitting at an outdoor table with him staring at her, the boar blushed and examined the floor, which suddenly seemed incredibly fascinating. After a moment's silence, Kyo ordered two of the Japanese pizzas, along with two bottles of water. As the waiter left, they mutely glanced at each other, then looked away.

The lack of conversation was frustrating Kyo. "Umm...have you ever been to one of these things before?"

Kagura smiled, lost in her memories. "Yup. Once, when I was really little, my dad carried me on his shoulders so no one would bump into me. I had a great time. How about you?"

Kyo shrugged, "Nope. I heard that there was going to be a nightmarket today, so I thought we'd come here."

Kagura managed an intelligent "oh."

Thankfully, the awkward silence was broken when the waiter brought the food. Kyo started to eat, unaware that Kagura had paled at the site of her own dish. Looking up, he saw Kagura listlessly picking at the okonomiyaki.

"What's wrong?"

She jumped, looking slightly guilty under his worried stare. Shaking her head rapidly, she speared a small piece of egg and nibbled at it. "Nothing's wrong!"

Kyo snorted, "Yeah right. What's the matter??When Kagura stayed silent, Kyo choked out, "Don't tell me you're anorexic!"

She was so startled by his conclusion she started laughing. ? No, silly! It's just..." Pointing to the thin strips of pork, she whispered, "I can't eat them. It feels wrong."

The cat wanted to smack himself for being so stupid. Of course the girl cursed with the spirit of the boar wouldn't want to eat pork! Even thinking about what it would feel like to eat one of his kind caused the cat spirit inside him to tremble uncomfortably.

"Ah hell. I forgot! Dammit all, I'm sorry."

Panicking, Kagura blurted out, "N-no! It's okay! I never told you!"

Scratching his head thoughtfully, Kyo said, "Well then, can you eat beef?"

A few minutes later, Kagura was happily eating a beef okonomiyaki while Kyo now had two pork okonomiyakis.

Kyo mused aloud, "I wonder if Haru, Hiro, and Kureno have the same problem as you.?"

Kagura giggled. This thought had never occurred to her. "Hmm...maybe."

After sitting silently for a few minutes, Kyo hesitantly said, "Since we weren't able to eat at that restaurant, let me make it up to you. We can stay a little longer and play some games or something."

Kagura's jaw dropped as she stared at Kyo. Embarrassed for blurting out something like that, he blushed and stammered, "I mean, if you don't want to, forget it."

Snapping out of her surprise, she beamed. "Yes! Of course I want to, silly! Thank you!"

Excited over the idea that they could spend more time together, Kagura shoveled down the rest of her food and washed it down with water. Bouncing around eagerly as she watched Kyo, she urged him to eat faster. Finally, Kyo polished off his two okonomiyakis, took an impossibly long sip of water, and started to pay for the meal. Jumping up, Kagura stammered, "Kyo, I can pay!"

Shaking her off impatiently, Kyo pulled out the needed amount and threw it to the cashier, then pulled her out onto the street. Pouting, Kagura asked, "Why didn't you let me? You've been paying the whole day!"

Kyo snapped, "It's nothing, okay?" Seeing her hurt expression, he softened slightly and said, "Let's go play some games, okay? You were staring at the ring toss booth earlier, right?"

The hour that followed was so adorable (and consequently, perfect blackmail material), Shigure would have drowned in his own tears if he knew what he missed. At the end of the night, their arms were loaded down with so many stuffed animals and prizes that they didn? t know what to do with them all. Kagura was clutching on to a large plush panda, a stuffed orange cat, and a cell phone case in one arm, a half-eaten sausage in the other. Kyo was holding on to even more toys, including bunnies, a large tiger, a fluffy puppy, a stuffed pink pig, a wooly lamb, and a water-filled plastic bag with three goldfish swimming inside. A brown plush monkey that had Velcro hands was hanging around his neck. To Kyo? s amusement, she had won the large plush panda at the "Test Your Strength" game. Smiling sweetly, she had picked up the heavy mallet and smashed the object all the way on the top of the strength board. Dumbfounded, the owner handed Kagura her prize, then gaped at her as she skipped away, squealing happily at Kyo to "lookie lookie!" Later, they had bought all kinds of treats, from cotton candy to oden, Japanese stew. Kyo had discovered his latent talent of catching fish with a paper scoop. Kagura had teased him, saying it was all because of the cat spirit. As the minutes ticked by, the street started to get more crowded.

Looking around worriedly, Kagura stated, "It seems like the later it gets, the more people come."

Nodding, Kyo said, "We should start going home." Maneuvering around clusters of people and using their stuffed animals as protection, they managed to avoid serious disasters. As they reached the end of the street, Kagura cheered, "We made it!"

While Kyo was hailing a taxi, he asked, ? Do you want to go home or come back to Shigure's with me?"

Surprised, Kagura thought about it. Before, Kyo would'e dropped her in front of her house without a second thought, but now he was actually asking for her opinion! Nibbling at her bottom lip, she grinned weakly. "ah. I better get home soon. My parents will be wondering where I am!?"

Kyo stared, surprised at her unusual behavior. "Well, if you're sure..."

Nodding energetically as she climbed into the taxi, she piped up, "Yup! Positive!"

Shrugging as he climbed in after her, he gave directions to drop off Kagura first, then go to Shigure's house. As the taxi rumbled down the deserted streets, Kyo snuck a glance at an unusually quiet Kagura. Worried that she might be upset or something, he ran a hand through his vivid hair impatiently. Why couldn't girls be as easy to read, as, well...him? If he was hungry, everybody in the immediate vicinity would know. When he felt like fighting, usually Yuki would be the first to know by a loud declaration of how Kyo was going to mop the floor with his face. Women are such difficult creatures, he concluded with a sigh.

Kagura sat stiffly in the silence, wondering where their easy-going companionship had gone. Weren't they just laughing and talking a moment ago? Staring out the tinted windows, she was startled when she realized they were there. Jumping out of the car hurriedly, she murmured, "Well...thanks for the date."

Kyo stared at her. "Yeah. I had a...nice time."

Lifting her head up, she smiled softly and so un-Kagura like he blinked a few times. "Me too!"

As she was turning to leave, Kyo muttered profanities under his breath and climbed out of the taxi. "Wait!"

Surprised, she turned around, staring blankly at him. Shuffling his feet awkwardly, Kyo blurted out, "Are you mad at me?"

Smiling brightly, she said, "Now why would I be mad at my dar--you?"

Nodding a bit, he turned around and reached into the loitering taxi.

"Here." Even with her arms full of stuffed animals, Kagura managed to catch the pink blob that he threw to her. On closer inspection, she realized it was the squishy pig he had won. Gasping, she squeezed it tightly to prevent her tears from falling. "Thank you."

"Hmm." With that, Kyo crawled back into the taxi, leaving behind a silently crying Kagura. The taxi driver threw an anxious glance at the girl crying on the side of the street, then stared at Kyo. Snorting impatiently, he snapped, "Just drive."

As the car rumbled away from the side of the curb, Kagura realized she had--once again--forgotten to pay.


"Yuki-chan!" Emi exclaimed. "Er? I mean, Yuki-kun."

There was an awkward silence for a while, then they blurted out "I'm sorry" simultaneously. Pausing for a moment, they started to laugh.

"I'm sorry that I lied to you, Emi-san. I should have told you I wasn't a girl in the first place."

Ceasing her giggles, Emi shook her head violently, forgetting that Yuki couldn? t see her action. "No! I'm sorry. I shouldn't have freaked out so much. Besides, if you told me, I would have probably run away screaming bloody murder."

Yuki didn't really understand the foreign expression, but he presumed she forgave him. "Thank you. I'm glad we're still friends. We are, right?"

Nodding eagerly once again, Emi exclaimed, "Of course! Great friends! But still..." Here she heaved a great sigh.

"What?" Yuki's worried tone floated through the receiver, making her chuckle some more.

"Oh nothing...but you're too pretty to be a guy! Now, if you were a girl..."

"Emi-san!"

"Kidding, kidding!" she reassured her irritated friend. "I'm really happy with it, either way. See you on Monday, okay?"

"Mm. Of course."

Beaming brightly, Emi bade him good night, hung up the phone, and in her joyful bliss, tripped over her own feet, and landed flat on her face.

"EMI!"

"Ow? don't worry Mom, I'm all right!"

I think.

Epilogue

"Yuuuuki-kun!" Emi screamed, launching herself at her first friend. Carefully sidestepping her, Yuki stared at the prone figure lying in the grass.

"Emi-san?"

Bouncing up, she replied cheerfully, "I'm all right! But I shall make an oath right here, right now!"

"And what would that be?" asked Haru, sitting on the ground and looking at the suddenly solemn girl. They had become quite good friends now, but whether Haru liked her or her ridiculous antics, it was hard to say.

"That one day, I, Emi Matsushita, shall hug a Sohma!"

"Keep dreaming, girl," snapped Kyo. Sometimes her weirdness freaks me out, thought the boy who was cursed by the cat spirit of the Jyuunishi.

Yuki just smiled lightly while making a mental note to himself never to leave Momiji alone with her.

"Ooh! To-ru! Look!" shouted the rabbit, bouncing around excitedly. "There's an ice cream truck! Can we get one?"

Tohru slowly stood up, brushing the stray strands of grass from her school skirt. "Of course, Momiji-kun! Does anyone else want one?" The rest of the gang refused, and watched as the two of them skipped over and place their order. When they returned, Momiji was happily licking on a strawberry cone while Tohru smiled, content with the world.

Kyo growled, "Brat. Don't make Tohru pay for you."

Grinning widely, Momiji said, "Actually, you're paying for me!"

"What? You little--! Did you steal my wallet?" Kyo frantically patted his pockets, relieved when he felt the familiar lump of leather.

"No, silly! I won!" cheered the rabbit, holding up a wad of yen. "Ayame and Shigure set up a betting pool on who would last the longest! Kyo won by two hours."

Yuki and Kyo stared, uncomprehending. "You mean, this was just a game to them?!"

"Yup." Everyone turned to Haru, who advised Yuki to "run, because a few people who lost some money are looking for you."

Veins popping, Yuki and Kyo growled simultaneously, "I am going to kill them."

"Err...about that." They glared at Haru, but blanched when he whipped out pictures. "You can? t. They have blackmail material."

Snatching the photos from the ox, Emi squealed, "Look! It? s Yuki-chan and me! And this one's Kyo-san with a pretty girl!"

Nodding, Haru montoned, "100 yen for a photo, or buy the entire set for a special set price. There's the Yuki set or the Kyo set, your choice. Ayame-san and Shigure-sensei are taking orders now."

"WHAT?!" While Emi was looking for her wallet, Kyo grabbed a photo and burst into hysterical laughter. "T-the damn rat's tripping over his high heels!" he choked out. Frowning, Yuki picked up the other photo and started chuckling.

"Kyo, looks like you had a good time with Kagura."

"WHAT?" Snatching the photo of the two of them at the beach, he growled and ripped it to shreds.

"Kyo, that's not nice. You owe me 100 yen," reprimanded Haru.

After saying a string of totally inappropriate words, the cat jumped up and screamed, "You damn snake, perverted dog, I'M GONNA GET YOU!"

Laughing, Emi picked up her school bag and exclaimed, "Let's go! I wanna order some pictures too!"

Sweatdropping, the rest of the gang sighed.

Emi...just don't.


A/N: Yay! This is the first multi-chapter fic I finished! :D

I want to thank all of my reviews for reading and reviewing this fic! My goodness, when this was first written, it was my most popular one. This has been a great roller-coaster of revising, rewritting, writer's block, late updates, and inspiration. Thanks to the power of a billion to my readers who were patient enough to wait. I hoped that my writing style has improved over the course of these 8 chapters.

If you liked Dares, try reading To Cast A Curse, okay? Also, to all Ouran High School Host Club lovers!! I am writing a crossover fic between OHSHC and Furuba. Check it out! It's called Operation Host! and it's my best fic so far, with 100 reviews!

Please drop a review on the way out!

It's been real. :)

ja ne!

mimi-chan
xxfirebubblesxx