If I see any reviews with the word finally written in them…I will scream…

By the way, um, a lot of reviews kept asking how old everyone was and I stated IT IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER THAT THEY ARE OVER TWENTY!!! And if I remember Risa wanted to be a designer or a stylist right…? In my story she's interning for a fashion company but still has her job at the restaurant for spending cash.


All The Sweet Things
Chapter Two: Make Her Smile

"Why are you giving me that look Otani?" Risa asked nearly five minutes after she forcefully made him let go of her hand. The whole incident had drained from her system and she was ready to move on to the next round of arguments or romance. It all deepened on Atsushi mood towards her.

"Do you realize that every time I try to do something nice for you, you FREAK OUT ON ME!" He shouted, his face fallen. He sighed and turned away from her, walking away and giving up on her just in general until his mood lifted.

"I do not." She retorted, chasing after him. It was amazing how Heikichi and Nobuko could just ignore them all together…they just must have been used to it by now considering Risa and Atsushi have been fighting like that for years.

"You do." He told her, his anger calming and being replaced by the emotion he had come to know as annoyance.

"I do not." She said again.

"You do."

"Do not!"

"Do to!"

"Do not!"

"Are you guys kidding me?" Nobuko finally spoke, sighing. "This is a conversation for children! Not two adults who love each other!" She shook her head sadly and grabbed onto Heikichi's arm.

Was there anyway he could possible get this done? Atsushi thought bitterly to himself as he looked up at his girlfriend. Her face had mellowed out and it looked like she was off in a daydream somewhere…perfect.

This was going to be really, really hard…

Atsushi spent that entire day trying to make things better but he failed…and days passed, long and slow days and still that bet with Heikichi made absolutely no progress. He had never felt so pathetic in his entire life. And it wasn't that he wasn't putting in any effort or something along those lines…it was more like every single time he tried to be sweet…which was, now that he was thinking about it, completely random, Risa got extremely questionable about his character, for she was not used to it in the least!

Falling back onto his bed and he looked at his clock which hung on the wall. It was near ten and there was no way he was getting to sleep anytime soon. Reaching for his phone he was surprised it rang before he picked it up.

"Hello?" He greeted with a curious voice. With just one tearful sniff he knew who was on the other end. "Koizumi? What's wrong?" He didn't like it when she cried; he got a real uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.

"Otani…they…it…I…" It was all a jumble of sentences, her blubbering getting in the way of actual words. Finally she spoke clearly: "Can I come over?" She asked and of course without even thinking her boyfriend replied…

"Of course." His voice was soft as he said it and she wailed her thanks on the other side of the phone before hanging up.

He waited patiently for her to knock on the front door of his apartment. Maybe now he could actually start on his list. Recalling number one, one of the few he memorized, "Know how to make her smile when she is down…" it didn't seem that hard, it was something he'd done lots of times before.

When she arrived her knock was light and even from the other side of the door he could hear her sobs. Whatever happened made her whole-heartedly upset and he sincerely hoped it wasn't anything serious. Opening the door, Risa threw herself into his arms and slumped down and he quietly laughed, patting her back.

"O-o-otani!" She wailed as she let her body hang low so she could cry into his chest. It was an interesting position considering their height difference.

"What happened?" He wondered as he looked down at his depressed girlfriend. She sniffed and looked up at him, a rare thing indeed but her low spot called for it.

"I…I…" She started but her eyes welled up with monstrous tears and she began to cry again. Eventually he decided it was best to just sit on the floor. Moving down she followed him and when his bottom reached the ground he resourcefully moved his foot and shut the door behind her.

"S'okay." He soothed her as she let her tears continue to fall. His shirt was now practically soaked through but he didn't really pay any mind to it.

"I…it was for you…and they…not fair…why…life sucks." She mumbled and let out unfinished, strange sentences. She sobbed again and he ran his hand through her hair, soothing her.

Looking around his apartment he tried to find something that would make her smile, something to cheer her up. Finally his eyes landed on something that might do the trick. Moving back just slightly, he felt Risa move along with him, not wanting to let go of him. Finally, getting to the coffee table he pulled off the desired object.

"Look Koizumi." He grinned. She looked up her moist eyes completely red. Staring at the thing he held in her hands…only made her cry harder.

Complete failure.

His face dropped as he looked at the magazine he held in his hands, hoping it wasn't one of the dirty ones Heikichi left out. Turning it round he sighed in relief, seeing a picture of Umibozu there.

But it was Umibozu! Why the hell was she crying?

"Koizumi! It's Umibozu…you know, why is this sad?" He stared at it long and hard and then looked down at Risa who still kept her face in his chest; he could see all the water stains now…

Ah, so he was there to be the boyfriend/tissue? He took a mental note of that.

"Koizumi would you please tell me what's wrong?" He tried to pry her shoulders back so she could look at him but she wasn't having it. She had made herself way to comfortable and was starting to get sleepy. She was sleepy and she was crying and she unmovable. This was just friggin' perfect.

"KOIZUMI!" He shouted her name which forced her up, her tear soaked face looked only as good as the snot that was forcing its way from her nose. He didn't even want to look at his shirt now.

"T-tissue?" She asked with a loud sniff. Atsushi rose from the floor and grabbed the box from his desk, returning and handing it off to her. She took it gladly and went about wiping her face.

"So, will you tell me what happened all ready?" He wondered, sitting down in front of her. Taking a few moments to loudly blow her nose she looked down at her lap and took a deep breath.

"For…for a long while I've been trying to get Umibozu tickets." She stopped as if that were the end of the story.

His shoulders tensed as the silent moment lingered for more then a few minutes. "And…?" He questioned her to say more, that just couldn't be it.

"Oh!" Her voice held a tone of surprise, she was obviously spacing out. He sighed but inwardly refused to yell at her.

"Please don't zone out when you're telling a story!" He said it softly but one could hear the sharpness to his tone, all but Risa herself.

She laughed, "Ha-ha, yeah….anyway. I had been planning to buy them for months and I had a raise coming today too…but she wouldn't give it to me! She said I wasn't being one hundred percent there….whatever that means! I showed up to work on time, every time!" She pouted and crossed her arms over her chest. "I just don't get it." Sighing she sniffed again, "So I didn't have enough to buy them and now they're off sale…"

Atsushi shook his head and placed a hand on her head. "You're crazy, you know?"

"Oh but Otani it was for you!" She told him with a little too much passion then needed. She grabbed his hand and held it to her face. "I wanted to take you for you're twenty-second birthday! But now we can't go…so I cried and called you."

Atsushi's smile got brighter and Risa's eyes widened with the look. "You're so stupid Koizumi…" He shook his head and her face dropped as she let his hand fall.

"Why is that?" She shouted in anger, "I did it all for you."

"And I appreciate that…but just having you around on my birthday would have been enough, you know? I don't need tickets or anything fancy. Don't make yourself cry for my sake…" He smiled again, "I like it best when you're happy…yeah?" He patted the top of her head again and brought his hand down to her face, cupping her cheek.

"But…" She tried to argue with him but he shook his head slowly and placed his lips softly on hers, kissing her gently…just enough to let him know that he was serious about what he said.

As he pulled away he saw her glowing smile and the fact that there were no more tears.

He grinned to himself proudly as she beamed at him.

One down…he thought to himself happily…

Just about one million to go...