Ok, I've written this author's note about three different times now. The first was around Valentines' Day which was a very bad time for me due to getting caught in that snow storm. I didn't like the original story so I decided to revamp/redo and by the time that was done I thought it was too late to post it. I had a change of heart and decided to try and load it but it wouldn't so I gave up again. I thought that was it but the other day I wanted to do a Independence Day story and couldn't come up with anything I liked and then out of the blue another story connected to 'Simple As Snowflakes' so I decided to publish this. As you can tell there is no Fourth of July story…yet. That's coming, the first part will be out hopefully tonight. I'm dividing it into at least two parts just I actually do it and get something out relatively close to the holiday it is centered around.
So yeah, in case you haven't guessed this is a sequel to "Simple as Snowflakes", my Christmas fic. You don't have to read it to get this story but it is recommended. As stated above the only reason this is out is so I can put out my Fourth of July fic. Check that out and enjoy this one!
She tried to ignore the annoyance to her right and concentrate on the question in front of her.
But that was becoming increasingly hard.
"You know it's really hard to concentrate when you are doing that," Kimiko snapped narrowing her eyes but refusing to look in her annoyance's direction.
"Your hair is pretty. Did you know that? Has it always been this shiny? And how do you get it to do this little curl thing on the bottom?"
"I'm so glad you finally noticed!" Kimiko said with fake enthusiasm. "I started using pretty potion the other day!"
"Really? Is that a kind of shampoo?" Rai asked as he curled the end of her pigtail around his finger. He was interrupted in his admirations by a sudden smack upside the head. "What was that for?" he asked rubbing the now sore spot.
"I'm trying to concentrate and you are making it very hard to do," Kimiko said in a low voice noticing the eyes around the library that were now looking in their direction.
"Sorry," Rai said in a sad sounding voice suddenly looking crestfallen. Kimiko felt herself soften and was about to consol Raimundo when a balled up piece of paper bounced off her forehead.
"You're back in the dog house," Kimiko said turning back to her economics' book.
"Don't be mad Kim," Rai said leaning closer.
"Oh man, I can't take this anymore," a new voice said surprising both Rai and Kimiko. They looked across the table to where Clay and Keiko sat forgotten by the two in love teens.
"Don't be hatin Keiko," Rai said dramatically wrapping his arm around Kimiko who rolled her eyes.
"Don't be talkin like you're from da hood Rai," Keiko said in a horrible accent as she packed up her books, "I'm out of here."
"I'm with Keiko on this one," Clay said with a smile and started shoving things into his bag.
"Guys you don't have to leave," Kimiko argued shoving Rai's arm from off her shoulders.
"It's cool," Keiko said with a smile and a wave as she and Clay disappeared from sight. Kimiko frowned as she watched the two go and then turned to glare at Raimundo who was leaning back on his chair and trying to balance a pencil on his fingertip.
"Way to be Rai," Kimiko said unhappily.
"Yeah, me likes, now we're alone," Rai said sidling closer. Kimiko groaned and shoved him away. Unfortunately she forgot that Rai was unbalanced on his chair and the teen boy tumbled over with a loud bang that gained the attention of anyone not already watching the two. Kimiko flinched and froze at the noise, glancing down at her boyfriend who was currently tangled in the legs of the chair.
"Is there a problem Ms. Tohomiko? Mr. Pedrosa?" the chilling voice of the librarian asked. Kimiko immediately sat up straighter and Raimundo somehow managed to make it back into his chair in record time.
"No problem Ms. Wuya," Rai said picking is book up and pretending to read, not noticing it was upside down. Kimiko groaned and buried her face in her text book.
"Be that as it may," Wuya said, "I think you two had better leave." Kimiko bit her tongue and quickly collected her things before she and Rai left silently. Once in the hallway Raimundo began to laugh and Kimiko's eyes narrowed.
"What is so funny?" Kimiko asked angrily.
"Ah lighten up Kim," Rai said stepping closer to her. Kimiko just turned up her nose and began to walk away.
"You aren't seriously mad are you?" Rai asked surprised.
"No," Kimiko admitted stopping to look back as he caught up. "Just annoyed I guess."
Kimiko gave him a look that clearly asked 'are you that stupid?'
"I'm having enough trouble with Economics and it's only like the fourth week of classes," Kimiko said, "I need to concentrate on that. And you, unfortunately, are very distracting."
"I take that as a complement," Rai said grabbing her hand in his and giving it a squeeze. As she had since they'd started going out shortly before Christmas Kimiko melted at Raimundo's every touch and glance. Not that she hadn't before they'd been going out but now he did it often and on purpose, not seeming to be able to get enough of her. After he'd found her in Central Park the day that Winter Break began it seemed that Raimundo couldn't stop himself from kissing her, holding her hand, or touching her in someway. They'd spent three blissful days together at the school before spending Christmas with Jermaine's family and then finally flying to Tokyo to spend New Year's and the rest of the holiday with Kimiko's father. Both Kimiko's father and the Pedrosas seemed more then ecstatic over Raimundo and Kimiko finally getting together. And they had used that term a lot, so had their friends when they told them. It seemed all they ever heard when someone found out was 'it's about time'.
When they'd arrived back at school their friends had of course known and most of the school seemed unsurprised as well. Kimiko would never forget the look on Dyris's face when she'd first seen the two walking hand and hand down the hallway together. It had been strangely satisfying and so far, besides some mean whispers from Dyris and the members of Raimundo's fan club, their time at school had just been continued bliss. So lost in thoughts of the past few weeks Kimiko almost missed what Raimundo asked at they walked through the empty halls of the school, heading for the dorms.
"Sorry Rai, what did you say?" Kimiko asked.
"Lost in lala land?" Rai joked.
"Just thinking about the last few weeks," Kimiko told him with a tiny smile.
"One of my favorite subjects," Rai said with a smirk.
"Oh? And what's your favorite?" Kimiko asked coyly. Rai just smirked again before pulling them to a stop and tugging her hand so she turned to face him. The pull almost threw her off her feet but Rai was ready, his hands on her shoulders to hold her still as his mouth moved onto her for a long, sweet kiss.
"That," he told her pulling away and taking her hand again.
"You could have just said," Kimiko said in a mock grumpy voice, debating whether or not she liked the fact that he could do that to her so easily.
"Yeah but showing is more fun," Rai said with a laugh and then continued, "and I asked why you were even taking economics in the first place."
"I need to be ready to help my day with the company some day and economics seems like a good place to start," Kimiko said with a shrug.
"But if it's boring then why do you do it?" Rai asked.
"Not all of us can be so gifted and lucky that we can do what we want, like you and you're writing," Kimiko said with a laugh.
"I have good inspiration," Raimundo said winking in her direction. He'd been writing like a mad man the past few weeks and he knew that his relationship with Kimiko was to thank for that.
"Stop, you're making me blush," Kimiko said with mock embarrassment.
"You're cute when you're blushing," Raimundo said wagging a finger in her direction.
"You're cute in general," Kimiko said as the entered the lounge area that connected the two dorms.
"We can't escape them anywhere!" a yell snapped Raimundo and Kimiko back to attention. Keiko and Clay were sitting at a couch bent over their work but were now joined by Omi and Jack Spicer. Raimundo and Kimiko blushed in embarrassment but Raimundo recovered first.
"Ahh are you jealous Keiko," Rai said walking over to Keiko and leaning over the back of the couch, "cause there's plenty of love to go around." He started making kissing noises and nearly bit his tongue in two when Kimiko smacked him upside the head for the second time that day. "Girl you're lucky I like you!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Kimiko said unloading her own books and joining the others. "Now Spicer, you're in my economics class. Does any of this make sense to you?"
Kimiko groaned the next morning as she exited that class room.
"That good?" Keiko asked joining her. Kimiko only lifted her quiz paper for Keiko to inspect who looked at Kimiko oddly. "It's a C+, what's wrong with that?"
"That's not good for me," Kimiko snapped, "especially not in this class." Keiko held her hands up defensively.
"Don't take this out on me," Keiko said as they walked on and Kimiko let her head hang down.
"I'm sorry Keiko but I'm trying to prove something here," Kimiko apologized as they reached their lockers. Keiko spun the dial on hers idly.
"Which I don't get. If you hate Economics so much why are you taking it? And I know, know," Keiko cut Kimiko off, "you want to help your Dad at his company someday. But you know you don't have to."
"But I want to," Kimiko said pulling her locker open and began exchanging books, "and world economics will help with that." Kimiko paused and checked to make sure the coast was clear before continuing. "Plus, I didn't tell Rai this but my dad said that if my grades suffer while I'm going out with Rai that he might have to say something about it."
"That's no fair," Keiko said with a frown.
"I know but if I prove that I can do well in a class that I don't like and apparently don't understand then my dad might lay off," Kimiko suddenly looked at Keiko and realize something, "aren't you going to get your books?"
"Nah," the other girl said with a shrug, "I've got calculus next but feel a headache coming on."
"Funny thing those headaches of yours," Kimiko said with a smile, "they always seem to show up right around classes you don't like." Keiko grinned sheepishly before shrugging again.
"You deal with classes you don't like by going to class and diligently taking notes. I deal with them by napping in the nurse's office." Keiko's expression suddenly soured. "Harpy alert." Kimiko turned to where Keiko was looking and saw Dyris and her cronies rounding the corner. Her encounters with Dyris had been limited but they were in the same year together so they were bound to run across each others' paths at some point in time. Dyris glared as she approached the two, flanked on either side by two girls that had been her best friends, and near perfect copies, before she'd stopped having time for them when going out with Rai. Now that Dyris was single again it seemed she'd taken them back on. Kimiko just shut her locker and waited for the girl to pass but was unpleasantly surprised when she stopped behind her. Beside her Kimiko felt Keiko bristle and take a defense step forward as Kimiko turned to face the auburn haired girl. She knew that a meeting like this was inevitable, she'd just hoped it would happen more toward graduation.
Kimiko folded her arms and slightly pursed her lips as she waited for Dyris to speak. As she waited those passing in the hall paused to watch and a few stopped all together. Before Rai was dating Dyris the unspoken animosity that Dyris had for Kimiko was well known throughout the school. Kimiko, for her part, didn't know what she'd done to make Dyris hate her at first but didn't go out of her way to remedy it. When Dyris and Raimundo had started going out Kimiko had sucked it up and Dyris seemed to put up with her. Now that Kimiko was going out with Raimundo and after the "chain incident", Kimiko wasn't sure what to expect. When nothing progressed past their staring match Kimiko just rolled her eyes and turned to walk away.
"Kimiko," Dyris said when Kimiko started to move.
"I've got class Dyris, better make it fast," Kimiko said turning back.
"I just wanted to wish you luck with Raimundo," she said dryly.
"What's that suppose to mean?" Keiko suddenly jumped in defensively. Kimiko grabbed her arm to still her.
"Come on, we've got class," Kimiko told her giving her arm a little tug. Keiko shot Dyris a look that said everything Kimiko wanted to verbalize but would probably be suspended for, before turning away.
"See you in class Keiko," Dyris called as they walked away and Kimiko felt her best friend stiffen.
"Come on," Kimiko encouraged dragging the girl along faster.
"You should have let me knocked her out," Keiko complained not seeming to care if they were out of earshot or not.
"She's not worth it," Kimiko said with a roll of her eyes.
"Don't let her get to you," Keiko cautioned.
"I don't, she's not even worth my time," Kimiko said with a smile because it was completely true. She'd put up with Dyris when she and Raimundo had been dating but now the girl didn't need to be in her life at all and it was very liberating thought.
"Good girl," Keiko said mirroring Kimiko's smile.
"Didn't you have a headache coming on?" Kimiko asked as they prepared to part ways.
"You know, you're right, I think I do feel a headache coming on," Keiko said with a laugh, "see you later." Kimiko laughed as well and then turned away thinking, foolishly, that life might be pretty damn close to perfect.
"I HATE THAT GIRL!" a voice suddenly screamed sending Kimiko, Raimundo, and Clay scrambling for cover.
Keiko!" Clay swore out of character. "What wrong with you?"
"I hate that girl," Keiko repeated in a very controlled voice though her whole body was shaking with pent up rage.
"We got that," Raimundo said not moving from his hiding spot.
"Keiko? What happened?" Kimiko asked rushing from where she'd been sitting on Raimundo's bed to where Keiko stood fuming in doorway.
"That, that, that girl, if you can even call her that," Keiko fumed walking in the room, seemingly unaware of anyone or anything in her way, "went out of her way to tell my calc teacher and the principal about me faking headaches to get out of class." She suddenly stopped speaking in English and switched to fast paced Japanese. Clay and Raimundo's eyes widened at this and Kimiko's mouth dropped open in shock.
"What did she say?" Clay asked Kimiko just shook her head, mouth still opened in shock.
"What is all the noise about?" a new voice asked and the others turned their attention to the newly arrived Omi. Kimiko suddenly gasped and rushed to clap her hands over the young boy's ears.
"He doesn't understand Japanese," Rai observed but Kimiko didn't seem to care.
"Just shut her up," Kimiko said desperately. Keiko seemed to come back to herself at that moment and resumed speaking in English.
"And now I have detention for a week!" she cried as she fell onto Clay's bed.
"Ahh what?" Clay asked.
"That thing, that Dyris, is such an evil monster," Keiko lamented.
"Is that where you've been all afternoon?" Kimiko asked suddenly putting two and two together. "Dyris ratted you out about going to the nurse's office and you got detention?"
"Yes! What the hell did you ever see in her?" Keiko asked suddenly turning on Raimundo who looked a little shell shocked over the question.
"I ah, you see, here, now," Rai stuttered looking to Kimiko for help who only smirked and folded her arms.
"I'd like to hear this explanation as well," Kimiko said.
"You've got to be kidding me!" Rai cried out.
"I can answer that question quite easily," Omi suddenly said.
"This should be interesting," Keiko muttered.
"You see, she is very, very pretty," Omi said as if it were a very simple and obvious answer, which it was. No one responded, just blinked rapidly, staring at the boy. "What?"
"I suppose that's a good enough answer," Clay said slowly.
"You honestly think that is a good answer?" Keiko growled out and the three boys cowered.
"Is that not correct?" Omi asked looking over at Raimundo who looked like he was about to exploded.
"Why is this turning around on me? Keiko is the one with the problem here, not me."
"True," Keiko agreed and then soured again, "I've never had detention before! This is insanity."
"Keiko," Kimiko suddenly interjected, "how long is this sob fest going to go on for?"
Keiko glanced at the alarm clock on Clay's nightstand and shrugged, "another hour here and then crying on the phone to Mom and Dad."
"Mind if I bail? I have a test in French tomorrow," Kimiko asked.
"Yeah, go, we'll plot later," Keiko said with a wave of her hand before turning her attention to Clay and Omi, "what about you two? Any detentions to your names?"
"Of course not," Omi said proudly, "such a thing would surely shame me." Keiko looked close to tears at his response and Clay worked to consol her. Meanwhile Raimundo turned to Kimiko."
"I've said it before and probably will again, you and Keiko have a really odd relationship."
"I think we
work out well enough," Kimiko said with a shrug. "I was serious about the
French test though. If we can't study here and Keiko's going to move to our
room in an hour then I'm heading to the library. Wanna
"My, my, aren't we a diligent student," Rai teased.
it hard to be so I'm doubling my efforts," she said slipping her coat on and
grabbing her book bag. "In or out?"
"In," Rai said mimicking her actions, "I don't feel like being around for a sob fest."
"I don't sob!" Keiko suddenly said tearfully after overhearing Raimundo's words.
"My point exactly," Rai said following his girlfriend out of the room.
"You don't have to come to the library with me you know," Kimiko said when they reached the street, fighting against the winter cold.
"I'm cool," Rai said taking her hand, "anything to spend time with you."
"Well aren't you a romantic," Kimiko laughed.
"Only with you," he said seriously and when she laughed he frowned, "I'm serious." His tone caught her off guard and caused her to look at him suddenly. "I'm serious Kimiko," he repeated also stopping, "you're the only one I've ever been like this with. The only person I've ever wanted to be like this with." Kimiko felt her cheeks glow and struggled for an answer. Before she could muster one though they were interrupted.
"Raimundo! Kimiko!" someone called their name and they turned to find Jermaine jogging toward them.
"Hey Jermaine, what's up?" Rai asked catching his hand in a shake when the boy caught up.
"Glad I ran in to you two. I was looking for Keiko. We were supposed to meet to work on that Chem lab but she didn't show. I was kind of worried," Jermaine explained straight faced, a little too straight faced for Kimiko to buy and she smiled knowingly.
"She's up in my room with Clay and Omi," Rai said, "she got a detention and was freaking out."
"What did she get detention for?" Jermaine asked with a curious raise of his eyebrows.
"The headache excuse caught up with her," Kimiko explained simply and again, wasn't surprised when Jermaine gave a knowing nod.
"Knew that would get her in trouble one of these days," Jermaine said shaking his head, "do you guys mind letting me in?" As a day student Jermaine didn't have keys to get let into the dorms and had to hope someone would be around to let him in. Raimundo glanced down at Kimiko who gave a tiny shiver as the wind picked up again.
you in Jermaine, you go ahead to the library Kimiko."
"You sure Rai?" Kimiko asked.
"No problem," he said nonchalantly.
"See you there then, later Jermaine," Kimiko said her goodbyes before scurrying off.
"Clay and Keiko are spending an awful lot of time together lately," Jermaine observed as he Raimundo headed back toward the dorm.
"No more then usual," Rai said with a shrug, missing the worried look on Jermaine's face, "you just see it more cause they're alone more often now."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, if I'm hanging out with Kimiko in her and Keiko's room a lot of times she'll just go to my room hang out instead and vice versa with Clay."
"Oh," Jermaine said not sure of what to make of that answer. Meanwhile Kimiko had made it to the library and was settling at her favorite cluster of desks in a secluded corner. She loved the spot because she could study without being distracted by the flow of traffic in the library but was still out in the public. She'd just cracked the spine of her French book when a shadow loomed over her. Not really focused, and thinking it was Raimundo, Kimiko snapped at the shadow's owner to sit down and stop blocking her light.
"If you insist," a voice that was very much not Raimundo's said, pulling out a chair. Kimiko gasped in surprise when she realized who it was. Chase Young sat very still and straight across the table from her. Kimiko hadn't seen much of Chase since she'd been back at school, after all she was busy with Raimundo and he was busy with senior activities that he had to be a part of as president of the class. She knew that he must know about her going out with Raimundo, hell most of the school did by the time they'd returned for classes, courtesy of Keiko and her gossiping skills, but had no idea what he actually thought of it. When she was single Chase's subtle flirting was one thing but now that she was with Raimundo she wasn't sure. She watched him, watching her, for a moment more, trying to figure out something to say. He smirked his usual smirk, noting her difficulties and started things off.
"Did you have a good break?" he asked lounging back slightly.
"Yes, I did. What about you?"
"Nothing much new," he said with a shrug before looking toward her bag and noticed her economics book peeking out. He leaned forward and grabbed it, inspecting it. "Economics? With Hatler?"
"Yeah," Kimiko said slightly nervous.
"I took that last year, it was hell."
"Isn't it?" Kimiko said suddenly excited to share. "I just don't get any of it."
"Yeah, I thought so too. And then I had some sort of economics epiphany and my grade went from a D to an A+."
"The great Chase Young getting anything less then an A? I'm shocked," Kimiko said with mock horror that caused Chase to smile.
"Shocking I know but I pulled it around," Chase said.
"What clicked?" Kimiko wondered hoping to get some hint.
"I don't know," Chase admitted with a shrug, "just sorta did."
"Oh," Kimiko replied slightly disappointed.
"Maybe first half of term is just harder then first," Chase suggested noticing her disappointment.
"Hopefully," Kimiko answered with a sigh before looking up again and noticing Chase's eyes boring hard into her. She wanted to turn away, break his gaze, do anything but couldn't for a moment or two. When she finally did she cleared her throat with a blush, eyes going downward.
"If it doesn't get better," Chase continued apparently unaware of her discomfort, "I can always tutor you." Kimiko brightened at this.
"Really?" she asked immediately perky again. "Cause that would be great." Her suddenly change in demeanor caught Chase off guard for a second but when he recollected himself he laughed. It was Kimiko's turn to be caught off guard when she suddenly realized she'd never heard Chase really laugh, at least not like this. A few mocking laughs that were actually closer to barks or sarcastic scoffs, but never a carefree laugh like this. For some reason it made Kimiko smile. Chase stopped when he realized that Kimiko was studying him.
"Yes?" he asked noticing her stare.
"You have a nice laugh," was all she observed.
"Hmm," Chase drawled out, "I don't give it out often." His smile and eyes were steamy and Kimiko frowned slightly.
"You can't do that to me," she scolded.
"Do what?" Chase inquired though his eyes were knowing.
"I have a boyfriend," Kimiko said blushing and turning her eyes toward her book.
"I know," he said simply.
"You don't act it," Kimiko snapped back.
"Don't worry Kimiko," Chase assured her, "it is all harmless."
"I wanna be your friend," Kimiko said softly looking back up at him.
"We can," Chase said with a reassuring smile.
"Good," Kimiko said returning the smile.
"Hey," a new voice said interrupting the two. Kimiko turned to face the newly arrived, sour looking Raimundo.
"Hey Rai," Kimiko greeted without batting an eyelash, seemingly unaware of Rai's bad mood. Chase nodded a greeting that Rai barely returned as he sat in the chair next to Kimiko, his arm wrapped possessively around her shoulders. Kimiko noticed this and frowned slightly. She was about to shrug his arm off of her when Chase suddenly stood.
"I'll leave you alone," Chase said his eyes flashing to Kimiko before turning and hardening on Raimundo. The two held a short lived staring contest before Chase turned on his heel and left silently.
"I don't like that guy," Raimundo said as soon as he thought that Chase was out of hearing range.
"I don't see why," Kimiko said moodily glaring at him before looking down at her book, "he never did anything to you and don't be so rude to him next time."
"Next time?" Raimundo asked surprised. Kimiko looked up from her book to send him an annoyed and questioning look. "I just said I don't like that guy Kimiko and if I can manage it I won't have to see him again…ever."
"And I repeat- what did he ever do to you?"
"That's little obvious don't you think?"
"Raimundo I don't have time for this," Kimiko said suddenly frustrated, her eyes going to her book again.
"He likes you," Raimundo said slowly as his thumb began to rub on her collarbone and then added, "a lot."
"I've heard that from Keiko before and I'll tell you what I told her, I don't like him," Kimiko replied not looking up.
"That doesn't the change the fact that likes you," Raimundo leaned closer to her.
"Jealous?" Kimiko asked slyly not expecting him to answer or to be so close as to whisper in her ears when he did.
"If I am?" he whispered his arm tightening around her. As much as it sent a thrill through her it was also slightly annoying to have him leaning so possessively on her.
"It wouldn't matter," Kimiko said slightly bitter, "Chase is my friend and you are just going to have to deal with that."
"I don't like the way he looks at you," Rai said leaning away from her slightly but still staying close. Kimiko sighed heavily.
"Jealously doesn't suit you Raimundo," she said looking at him. "And you don't have to worry," she said smiling slightly, "I waited a long time to be with you. I wouldn't ruin this by being interested in someone like Chase Young."
"I know that and I trust you," he said as his frown turned into an all out pout, "it's him I don't trust." Kimiko laughed and shook her head.
"I'm not going to stop being friends with him, the little bit of friends that we are," Kimiko told him, "especially since he offered to tutor me in Economics if I needed it."
"I could tutor you," Raimundo offered sincerely making Kimiko laugh.
"Have you even taken the class?" she asked.
"Well no but I'm sure that there is a way around that."
"No offense Rai," Kimiko said trying to sound serious, "but you're kind of annoying. I could use a break from you." She gave a tiny yelp that she managed to stifle, not wanting to be thrown out of the library again, when Raimundo grabbed her in a hug.
"You love me," he said trying to pull her into his lap, "admit it."
"Rai," Kimiko protested, "you're going to get us in trouble again."
"Just admit it," Rai said still trying to get her off her chair.
"Mr. Pedrosa? Mr. Tohomiko?" the voice of the librarian asked chillingly making Kimiko groan.
"You're back early," Keiko said looking up from her computer when Kimiko walked in grumbling. Raimundo, looking pleased with himself, followed a few steps behind.
"Banned for two weeks," he said almost dreamily, "that must be some kind of record."
"Banned from what?" Keiko asked curiously.
"Well," Raimundo started sounded excited before a pillow to his face cut him off.
"You need to leave," Kimiko said angry.
"Didn't we go over this in the library, before we got thrown out, you love me no matter what?" Raimundo said with a grin.
"You guys got thrown out of the library?" Keiko laughed.
"Out!" Kimiko yelled at Rai again.
"I'll be back," he said with a wink before ducking another pillow and dashing out of the room.
"Alright what happened?" Keiko asked as soon as Raimundo was gone. Kimiko angrily blew hair out of her face as she sank to her bed.
"Rai was goofing off again and Ms. Wuya banned us for two weeks."
"Bravo," Keiko said grinning from ear to ear.
"You're in a better mood," Kimiko observed.
"Yeah, Mom and Dad weren't that angry about the detention thing so I feel better now."
"That's good," Kimiko said with nod and then remembered something, "did Jermaine ever find you?"
"Yeah," Keiko said with a shrug trying to look like it didn't matter at all, "I completely forgot about the chem lab after being imprisoned in detention."
"Dramatic much?" Kimiko asked. "What did he want?"
"Just to set up a new time to meet."
"Over dinner and a movie?" Kimiko teased.
"He doesn't like me that way," Keiko assured and Kimiko grinned.
"Look who's in denial now," Kimiko said knowing it would press her buttons.
"Don't you have a French test to study for?"
"You will never guess what!" Keiko exclaimed when she ran up to the group at lunch the next day. Nearly everyone in the cafeteria looked over at her exclamation but Keiko ignored them and focused on her friends.
"What Keiko?" Clay asked humoring the girl. Keiko immediately took the seat next to him that was also across from where Kimiko and Raimundo sat. Raimundo had successfully graveled enough to earn Kimiko's forgiveness.
"It's so awesome, you'll never guess," Keiko repeated.
"Then why don't you save us the trouble and just tell us," Raimundo practically grumbled earning a glare from both girls. "What?" he asked confused.
"Anyway," Keiko went on, "the seniors just announced that they have enough extra funding that they are throwing a dance for all of the underclassmen! And it's going to be a Red, white, and black ball on Valentines' Day!" Keiko looked disappointed when silence was all that greeted her. "No one else is excited?" Keiko questioned.
"I'm just not a big fan of Valentines' Day is all," Clay said with a shrug.
"Agreed," Raimundo said and Kimiko sent him a glance that he scrambled to answer, "except for this year when I can share it with you!"
"Nice cover," Kimiko said rolling her eyes and going back to her salad.
"Well I know Jermaine and Omi will be excited!" Keiko assured the others.
"What am I excited about?" Jermaine asked as he and Omi joined them at the table.
"There is going to be a formal Valentines' Day for the underclassman," Keiko informed them.
"Very exciting," Omi beamed, "maybe I will ask Ashley to accompany me."
"Hmm," both Kimiko and Keiko mused. Both girls had grown slightly fonder of the girl after she'd defended Kimiko to Dyris but old feelings still ran deep.
"That's weird to me for a guy to be the one giving gifts and stuff on Valentines' Day," Keiko said thoughtfully. She'd had this same conversation around this time every year reminding her friends of how Valentines' Day was celebrated differently in Japan, where only girls gave gifts to the men in their lives and those gifts were reciprocated on White Day the next month.
"So does that mean that a girl should ask a guy to a Valentines' Day dance?" Jermaine asked nonchalantly after Keiko explained the cultural differences again. Keiko blushed lightly and didn't answer.
"Theoretically I guess you're right," Clay said thoughtfully when Keiko didn't answer.
"Does that mean I don't have to get you a gift on Valentines' Day?" Raimundo asked Kimiko playfully and Kimiko soured slightly.
"You know I don't like Valentines' Day," she reminded.
"You just don't want to give me a gift," Rai said with a grin.
"You caught me," Kimiko said sarcastically.
"Oi," Jermaine complained, "would you two knock it off. We're in a public place."
"That didn't stop them yesterday," Keiko said mysteriously and immediately Kimiko looked ready to kill.
"Really?" Omi said naively. "What do you mean?"
"Well," Keiko started but Raimundo cut her off.
"That's rated R, not suitable for minors," he grinned and everyone including Kimiko stared at him in shock.
"I do not understand," Omi said confused.
"Nothing to understand Omi," Kimiko assured him, "Rai is just joking. Right Raimundo?"
"I don't kiss and tell," Rai said with a wink.
"Were you this bad with Dyris?" Kimiko asked half serious.
"Ooo, below the belt Kim," Rai answered
"Didn't need to be," Clay answered for Raimundo. "Dyris didn't hide a thing and told anyone who would listen." Everyone looked surprised at the cowboy's answer but he seemed to ignore them and turned to Raimundo. "Did I ever mention that I hated you dating her?"
"Well this is fun time lunch conversation," Keiko said with a roll of her eyes.
"And speak of the devil," Jermaine added and all at the table turned to see Dyris and her clones walking across the cafeteria. She glanced ever so subtly at the table and Rai's hand went to cover Kimiko's on the table.
"Don't let that siren get to you," Keiko said to no on in particular.
"I've got that down," Rai assured them as the bell rang. Everyone stood and dumped their trash in cans and placed their trays in the right spot.
"I'm going to get a water," Kimiko said as an after thought, "anyone want anything?" When everyone shook their heads no Kimiko waved them away and promised to see them later. With the food lines shut down Kimiko was forced to walk to the other end of the dining hall in search of the drink machines. She was just pulling out her wallet when a familiar voice fell on her ears. Kimiko wouldn't have thought of anything of it but it was a second voice that joined the first in a low mummer that caught Kimiko's attention. Cautiously Kimiko stuck her head around the corner where the drink machines sat and saw what she considered the oddest pair in the whole world. 'What the heck,' Kimiko wondered, 'do Dyris and Chase Young have to talk about?'
"What are you looking at?" a voice whispered behind Kimiko causing her to nearly jump out of her skin.
"Keiko!" she hissed and motioned to the girl to be quiet and to look around the corner with her.
"What the heck?" Keiko whispered when she saw the two who were now going their separate ways.
"My thoughts exactly," Kimiko said looking back at her best friend.
"What do they have to talk to about?" Keiko wondered. "I thought Chase pretty much hated Dyris and anyone like her."
"Me too," Kimiko agreed. "But at the same time who really cares? I mean it's got nothing to do with us."
A week later Kimiko was grimacing at another bad Economics grade as she sat on her bed. The feeling in the room was sober at best. It was Keiko's first day free of detention but the girl was in a bad mood and the two seemed to feed of one another. Kimiko had asked Keiko what was wrong when the girl sulked into the room but she'd mumbled 'nothing' and rolled over to take a nap. Kimiko was confident to that it had something to do with the fact that the Valentines' Day dance Saturday night and Jermaine hadn't asked her out yet but Kimiko didn't feel the need to pry.
"I'm going out for a little while," Kimiko told her roommate, assuming that she wasn't actually asleep- just sulking. Keiko weakly waved a hand in response and Kimiko slipped out of the room. She wasn't really sure where she was going, she was still banned from the library for another week or so and the common room wasn't holding much appeal at the moment for some reason. Raimundo was at soccer practice so there was no fun to be had there. She could always just go visit Clay or maybe Jermaine was still on campus or even Omi.
"You look lost Tohomiko, and this is your dorm," a voice broke into her thoughts. Whirling around was surprised to Chase standing smirking in the hallway behind her.
"What are you doing in the girls' dorm?" was her first gut reaction but she felt bad as soon as she said it, wondering if it was too rude.
"The senior class vice president lives on your floor," Chase explained simply.
"Oh," Kimiko responded feeling foolish since it was such a reasonable explanation.
"What's that in your hand?" it was Chase's turn to be blunt. Kimiko glanced down at her hand realizing that she was still holding her quiz. Sheepishly she held it up for him to see.
"B-, not terrible," he observed but noted her face, "why so down then?"
be better," she shrugged. "That's the highest grade that I've gotten in the
class and to pull up my grade from all those C's I need some A's."
"How about a tutor?" he offered and Kimiko smiled.
"I feel like I'm taking advantage of you," Kimiko grimaced not wanting to take advantage of his generosity.
"You aren't taking advantage of me," Chase corrected her. "If anything it is the other way around." Kimiko's eyes narrowed at his comment.
"Ok, then no, I don't need a tutor," Kimiko had already told him that he couldn't be like that around her.
"Sorry," he grinned his usually cool grin that always had Kimiko thinking he was hiding something sinister, "old habits die hard." (AN: Is Chase just way too OOC in this story? I think he might be but at the same time all of the characters are a little OOC but for some reason I've got a feeling that Chase would be cocky like this in high school)
"Well thanks but no thanks," Kimiko snapped rolling her eyes.
"Don't be stupid Tohomiko," Chase said, "let me tutor you. I'll behave." Kimiko sighed feeling defeated.
"Do I have
"Do you want an A in the class?"
"I'll get my coat."
"Why are we meeting a coffee shop?" Chase asked a half an hour later. Kimiko looked sheepish as she placed her notebook on the table.
"I got banned from the library," Kimiko explained.
"Or do you just not want your boyfriend to see us?" Chase inquired.
"That would be ironic since he's the one that got me banned from the library," Kimiko grumbled.
"That sounds like a story," Chase said taking a sip of his drink.
"That I don't' really feel like sharing," Kimiko answered. "Now, economics, please?"
"Sure," Chase complied. "What areas are you having trouble in?"
"What don't' I get?" Kimiko answered with a sigh. "It's like I read the words and grasp what they are saying but can't process it."
"Ok then," Chase said sympathetically, "let's start at the beginning."
The two remained bent over Kimiko's books along with her notes and Chase's old notebook for nearly an hour, processing terms and economic theory.
"I think the problem is that I just really don't care," Kimiko said stretching her arms over her head.
"That could be a problem," Chase agreed. "Do you want something else to drink?" he asked noticing how they were both out of their choice of beverages.
"Sure," she said with a smile reminding him of what she was drinking and then handing over some money, insisting on paying for both of their drinks. Chase hadn't been away more then a minute when her phone vibrating in her pocket caught her attention. Flipping it open she saw the screen glowing with Rai's name and answered cheerfully.
"I can barely hear you," came his reply, "where are you?" Kimiko looked overhead at the speaking beating steadily above her.
"Hang on," she
told him getting up and stepping away from her table figuring that with Chase
in the line she wouldn't need to worry about their things.
"Is that better?" Kimiko asked glancing at the table just to be safe.
"Yeah," Rai agreed and then asked again. "Where are you?"
"In a coffee shop," she said purposely being vague.
"With Keiko?" he questioned.
"Honestly?" Kimiko answered back.
"Well you what they say about the honesty policy," Rai answered and Kimiko smiled.
"With Chase Young," she answered waiting for an explosion.
"Pardon?" came Rai quiet response after a moment's pause.
"Chase Young," Kimiko repeated, "he's tutoring me in Economics and since I'm banned from the library and the common room was too crowded we came to a coffee shop." Kimiko could see Raimundo in her mind's eyes mulling this all over in his head.
"You almost done?" he practically chocked out. Kimiko glanced at the watch on her wrist.
"Yeah, after we finish our drinks we'll head out," Kimiko promised. "Half an hour, forty five minutes tops."
"Ok, I'll see you then," Rai said sounding a little sad.
"Hey? You ok?" Kimiko inquired.
"Yeah," Rai anwered, "just kinda tired I guess and everyone seems a little, I don't know, melancholy around here."
"I'll be back soon," Kimiko promised, "and don't forget I love you," she reminded him.
"Love you too," he answered and the two hung up.
"Raimundo waiting for you?" Chase questioned from behind her. Kimiko spun around in surprise not liking the way he always seemed to catch her off guard.
"Yeah, he was just wondering where I was," Kimiko explained.
"And what did you tell him?" Chase asked with a raised eyebrow as the two sat back down.
"That you were tutoring me in a coffee shop and that I'd be back soon," Kimiko's voice trailed off when she notice the two heart shaped cookies waiting on the table with there drinks. It was Kimiko's turn to raise her eyebrows.
"I promise you," Chase said defensively, "girl at the counter gave me them for free cause of the holiday."
"Oh," Kimiko said simply thinking it sounded believable enough.
"And Raimundo was ok with you being alone at a coffee shop with me?" Chase questioned.
"Why wouldn't he be?" Kimiko wondered aloud.
"I over heard him the other day in the library," Chase said and Kimiko's face darkened slightly.
"It's not polite to eavesdrop," she scolded trying to forget that the fact that she'd been spying on him and Dyris. Chase didn't have an answer for that but just took a sip of his drink, amber eyes locked on her.
"Shall we get back to work?" he asked a second later. Kimiko sighed and turned back to her books.
"I feel like we put Clay out too often," Kimiko said later that night. Darkness came earlier during the winter months and even though it was only seven or so, with only his nightstand light on, Raimundo's room was covered in shadows that were making Kimiko sleepy. That sleepiness also probably had something to do with the fact that she was lying wrapped up in Raimundo's arms on top of his down quilt causing her to feel unbelievably warm.
"He could stay if he wanted to," Rai answered not sounding sorry that his roommate had the habit of leaving to give to two some privacy. Though there wasn't much privacy to be had. As dorm rules went, whenever a member of the opposite sex was in a room the door needed to be open.
"But still," Kimiko protested.
"If it makes you feel any better I don't mind Keiko leaving," Rai said impishly and received a poke in the side for his joke. "So," he said after a second or two of silence, "how did tutoring go."
"Good," Kimiko murmured snuggling in closer. "It was good to hear everything in lemans terms.
"So was this a one time thing?" Rai questioned trying to sound nonchalantly.
"Hopefully," Kimiko said her eyes feeling heavy.
"We should try to get some work done," Rai said knowing she was drifting off to sleep.
"Who's the diligent student now?" Kimiko teased.
"Yeah well, I try," he laughed.
"Fine," Kimiko conceded and pushed herself up, pausing when she realized she was hovering over Raimundo. Grinningly slightly wickedly she leaned down and kissed him lightly.
"Don't be a tease girl," Raimundo complained.
"Is there something you want?" Kimiko asked flirtatiously while batting her eyes playfully.
"Don't tempt me," Rai practically growled. Kimiko ducked her head again, this time for a deeper kiss that Raimundo encouraged by bringing a hand up to tangle in her hair. Kimiko broke the kiss and smiled sweetly.
"As nice as this is, you said it yourself," Kimiko reminded him, "we should get some work done." Rai protested by draping his free hand across her back and trying to pull her back down.
"Five more minutes," he murmured pouting like a school boy.
"Nah ah," Kimiko scolded, "You said we need to get some work done and work we shall do."
"I take it back," Rai grumbled as Kimiko laughed and bounced off the bed.
"I need to use the ladies' room," Kimiko said heading out the door, "I'll be right back."
"Kay," he murmured watching her go with a smile on his face. Still smiling Rai also climbed off his bed and began to pull the boots and notebooks he needed from a pile on his desk, and then deciding to be polite he grabbed Kimiko's bag as well. He'd just pulled her lone notebook out when something stuck in it caught his eyes. Normally Raimundo wouldn't have given the stray piece of paper another thought but her noticed its material was decidedly different from a class handout. Feeling slightly bad for being so nosy Raimundo pulled the folded stationary paper from where it was tucked in between seemingly random pages. Setting the notebook down Raimundo hesitated before unfolding the paper and his eyes widened at the content before narrowing furiously. That was the unfortunate moment that Kimiko choose to reenter the room.
"Hey Rai," she greeted before stopping at the sight of him standing apparently randomly by his bed with a piece of paper clutched in his hands. "What's that?" she questioned.
"You should know," he said almost bitterly. Kimiko was taken aback by his tone.
"Apparently I don't since I just asked you what it was," she said slowly walking toward him. He practically shoved the paper in her face and after sending him another questioning look took the unfamiliar paper from him. The thick, textured stationary paper was not one that she'd seen before and the words on it were hard to read do to the unfamiliar calligraphy used.
"Read," Rai urged and Kimiko sent him an annoyed glare.
Everyday is growing worse, every moment I see you with him. It sickens me to see you two together since he is so undeserving of your beauty, charms, and all that makes you wonderful. He doesn't appreciate you the way I could, the way that I do. Will you continue to deny what is between us? I know you felt it when I kissed you, I could sense it then and I see it now when you look at me. How much longer must I wait Kimiko for you to understand and realize how much better I am for you then him? I write this letter to remind you of all that we shared in that one moment and all that we can share in the future. Don't turn me down Kimiko, I plead with you to realize what we could be and how little future you have with him. Do you feel sorry for him? Is that why you are with him? Pity? Think of yourself Kimiko and do what is best you. I love you too much to remain silent any longer. I wait for you answer but I am confident I know what it is.
The owner of your first kiss.
When she finished reading the overly dramatic love letter Kimiko looked back at Raimundo questioningly.
"Is this some sort of joke Raimudno cause I know you can write better then this?"
"You know I didn't write that Kimiko," he spat back surprising her once again.
"Then what are you doing with it?" Kimiko asked confused as to just what was going on.
"I found it in your notebook Kimiko," Rai explained hotly, "you could have at least hidden it better."
"My notebook?" Kimiko repeated confused. "Ok, first off what the hell are you talking about and secondly why are you going through my things?"
your things out of your bag to be nice and the note was there practically
staring me in the face."
"Well I've never seen it before in my life," she said refolding the paper and handing it back to him but Raimundo refused to take it.
matter? It's obviously intended for you and its obvious who it's from."
"You?" Kimiko questioned. The letter was signed by 'the owner of your first kiss' and Kimiko had given that title to Raimundo for the quick peck on the cheek he'd given her in the seventh grade.
"I was your
first kiss? You honestly expect me to believe that your first kiss was when I
kissed you in Central Park?"
"No," Kimiko said blushing and looking uncomfortably at the floor, "I consider the peck you gave me on the cheek when my Dad went back to Japan my first kiss."
"Really?" Rai asked suddenly pleased with himself but then quickly reminded himself of his anger. "Even if you haven't seen this letter it doesn't change the fact that you have it."
really get what is going on here Raimundo," Kimiko said annoyed. "Maybe you
could explain it to me?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Raimundo snapped and Kimiko narrowed her eyes at his tone. "Chase Young sent you this love letter and you seem completely unfazed by it!"
"I highly doubt that Chase would write something that sappy," Kimiko growled back.
"Who else could have put this in your notebook?"
"You're being insane!"
"I just can't believe that you kissed him," Rai said sitting angrily on the bed.
"I've never kissed Chase Young!" Kimiko yelled back. "Are you even listening to what you are saying?"
"I don't care if he sent you this letter Kimiko, but I do care that you are hiding all of this from me," Raimundo said almost sadly.
"What is 'this'?" Kimiko asked.
"Things like this don't come out of nowhere Kimiko," Raimundo explained like he was talking to a three year old. "You've obviously been doing something to encourage him."
"What the hell are you accusing me of?"
"I'm not accusing you of anything," Raimundo said frustrated, "more like making you aware of the fact that you are still flirting with Chase Young."
"I never flirted with him!" Kimiko yelled. "Do you really think that lowly of me?"
"Kimiko this guy is obviously head over heels for you," Rai started to say but Kimiko cut him off.
"It's not Chase Young," she strained, "I've never even kissed Chase Young let alone him being my first kiss."
"Oh great Kimiko, that is just perfect," Rai said jumping to his feet, "you're flirting with other guys to."
"Do you realize how stupid you sound?" Kimiko cried.
"Yes you are! You're saying that I'm some flirt and making me feel like I'm so horrible person for a letter that I have no knowledge of and not even listening to anything I've said!"
"Kimiko I'm not angry at you!" Rai yelled at her.
"You could have fooled me," Kimiko scoffed.
"You are unbelievable," Rai fell back on his bed again.
"I can't talk to you when you are like this," Kimiko said moving to grab her things.
"Stop talking to Chase Young," Rai ordered when Kimiko was close to him. His voice made her pause.
"Did, did you just order me to do something?" Kimiko asked slowly looking over at him.
"Not so much an order as a request without the option of saying no," Rai said sitting up. Kimiko quickly gathered up her remaining things.
"Don't talk to me until you've had an attitude adjustment," Kimiko snapped, "and that is an order."
"And don't talk to me until you've stopped flirting with every guy that walks by," Raimundo yelled back as she walked out of the door. Kimiko paused and turned back at him, her eyes blazing.
"JERK!" was all she could muster before running off so she could have the last word. As she hurried through the common room and back toward her dorm everyone in her path could see she was steaming and moved quickly out of her way. By the time that she reached her room she was still seeing red when her eyes fell on Clay.
"OUT!" she ordered to the cowboy who looked up in surprise.
"Kimiko are you ok?" he questioned.
"I don't want to see anyone with a 'Y' chromosome at the moment! Out!" Kimiko yelled and after a quick and almost fearful glance at Keiko Clay complied and hurried from the room. Kimiko slammed to door shut behind him. "I hate men," Kimiko seethed as she collapsed on the bed.
"Umm I'd ask you to fill me in," Keiko said slowly, "but I'm not sure I want to know."
"I hate men," Kimiko repeated glumly.
"Join the club," Keiko said walking over to Kimiko's side of the room. "Now you mind telling me why this sudden distaste for the opposite sex?"
"Raimundo is being a totally unreasonable jerk," Kimiko answered.
"I might need some more specifics," Keiko ventured daring to sit down on the end of Kimiko's bed. Kimiko turned her blue eyes on Keiko.
"He accused me of being some careless flirt just because he found a love note in my bag."
"You got a love letter?" Keiko inquired and Kimiko handed the paper over to her friend. Keiko read it silently for a moment.
"Little sappy even for a love letter," Keiko observed.
"I thought so too," Kimiko agreed sitting up, "Rai just went crazy saying that I was flirting with every guy that came along and even accused me of kissing Chase."
"Why would he think that?" Keiko said narrowing her eyes. "Or is he just extremely jealous."
"This is no good Keiko," Kimiko said sounding forlorn. "Even if Chase didn't send that letter someone else did and now Rai and I aren't talking."
"That sucks," Keiko said sympathetically, "I'm sorry."
"What a jerk," Kimiko sniffed back a few tears, "practically trying to order me around. I can't believe he doesn't trust me."
"He does, I'm sure he does," Keiko tried to assure her; "he just found this letter and freaked out."
"Yeah well either way he owes me a huge apology," Kimiko said narrowing her eyes.
"Agreed," Keiko nodded, "and he'll come around."
"Of course," Keiko said with a smile, "he's head over heels for you. He'll apologize, probably sooner then you think."
At breakfast the next morning Omi and Jermaine, who'd arrived early to finish some work, were at a loss as to what to do. Instead of sitting together as they normally did Keiko and Kimiko were on one side of the dining hall and Clay and Raimundo on the other side.
"Did I miss something?" Jermaine asked glancing down at his tiny friend.
"I am most confused as well," Omi said glancing between the divided groups.
"Divide and conquer?" Jermaine suggested.
"I do not understand what you mean," Omi said uncertainly making Jermaine sigh.
"You sit with Clay and Raimundo and I'll sit with Keiko and Kimiko and we can both try to figure out what's going on."
"Oh yes, very good idea," Omi agreed practically scampering off. Jermaine watched him go for a minute and then headed to where the girls sat. "Hey," he greeted when he approached them, "what's up?"
"What are you doing here?" Keiko asked and Jermaine took a defense step back.
"I was just saying hi," he explained.
"You're at school kind of early is all," Keiko explained turning her attention back to Kimiko who was staring at her pancakes like they'd done some unforgivable evil.
"Everything ok?" Jermaine dared to ask though he made no move to sit down.
"Dandy," Kimiko said sarcastically.
"Fantastic," Keiko echoed.
"Alright, I'm missing something and I think you guys need to explain," Jermaine said finally sitting but looking uncomfortable under the girls' stares.
"Shouldn't you be sitting with those meat heads across the hall?" Keiko asked glancing at Raimundo and the others.
"Um I wanted to see how you guys were doing," Jermaine explained.
"A likely story," Keiko scoffed as she attacked her breakfast as well.
"Alright I need to know what is going on," Jermaine said when neither talked.
"Men are jerks," Kimiko spat, "that should explain enough."
"Right," Jermaine said nervously. "But besides that what happened?" Both Kimiko and Keiko looked at him questioningly, as if doubting that he actually cared enough to hear. "Listen I want to know that is going on. What is wrong," Jermain explained. "Something obviously isn't right."
"Raimundo is an unreasonable ass," Keiko explained like it was the most reasonable thing in the world.
"We had a fight cause Rai doesn't seem to trust me," Kimiko elaborated narrowing her eyes, "at all."
"Really?" Jermaine questioned surprised and shrank under their glares again. "So you had a fight," Jermaine repeated, "but it seems like there is more." Kimiko sighed and told him all that had happened the night before and then told of the shouting match that had incurred that morning when they'd crossed paths in the common room.
"I'd accept his apology but he can't seem to grasp the idea that he is wrong," Kimiko said frowning.
"He probably doesn't think he is wrong," Jermaine said thoughtfully and then immediately added when both girls looked ready to kill, "even though he is totally wrong."
"Finally an enlightened male," Keiko said thanking the heavens.
"Yeah but too bad it isn't Raimundo," Kimiko said moodily.
"I'm sure he'll apologize soon," Jermaine tried to comfort her. Kimiko didn't look convinced and as if to confirm that idea Omi suddenly appeared at the table looking upset.
"Harlot!" he yelled at the top of his lungs surprising everyone.
"Omi!" Kimiko yelled back. "What are you talking about!"
"How could you do such horrible things to Raimundo?" he questioned loudly again and would have continued if Clay didn't suddenly appear and clap a hand over the boy's mouth.
"Sorry about that," he apologized and started to drag younger boy back.
"What the hell was that about!" Keiko yelled at Clay's retreating back. "What in God's name are you telling him?" When Clay didn't answer Keiko fumed and picked up the cut grapefruit on her tray like she about to beam Clay with it. Luckily Jermaine caught her hand in time.
"Do you want detention again?" he asked when she struggled against him. His warning seemed to hit home so she sank back in her chair and turned her attention to Kimiko.
"You ok?" she asked and was surprised when Kimiko's focus was far away.
"I've got to go," she said grabbing her bag and hurrying away. Keiko seemed to realize what she saw and hurried after her. Jermaine followed half a second later only to be stopped by Keiko.
"You stay," she commanded, "it's a girl thing." Jermaine watched them go with a frown before turning back toward where Clay, Omi, and Raimundo sat, wanting to get both sides of the story.
"Chase!" Kimiko yelled in the empty hallway. Pausing at his name on familiar lips Chase turned around to see a fuming Kimiko flanked by her best friend and roommate stalking toward him.
"Kimiko," he answered in his usual monotone voice.
"You've got a lot of nerve," Kimiko seethed.
"Do I?" he asked amused.
"Don't play dumb," Keiko accused.
"Keiko," Kimiko warned and then turned back on Chase.
"Don't play dumb," Kimiko copied Keiko, "what the hell do you think gives you the right to do what you did?"
"And what did I do?" Chase asked with a smirk. He watched with some amusement as Kimiko's eyes narrowed and she stepped forward, taking him by surprise and shoving him back toward the lockers.
"Listen I don't care if you have some sort of crush on me," Kimiko seethed, "but keep it to yourself and stop making up stories!"
"I assure you Kimiko," Chase answered after a moment, "that I have no idea what you are talking about."
"Yeah right," Keiko said stepping forward and this time Kimiko didn't stop her. "We know you put that letter in Kimiko's notebook yesterday. Who else could it have been?"
"And for the record," Kimiko added, "I've never kissed you so get that demented idea out of your head!"
"I believe I would have remembered if we have ever kissed," Chase said looking annoyed suddenly, "now explain yourself." Kimiko and Keiko exchanged glances.
"You don't have any idea what we are talking about do you?" Kimiko realized slowly.
"Obviously not," Chase confirmed and Kimiko's cheeks reddened in embarrassment.
"Oh man," Kimiko said stepping back.
"How do we know you're telling the truth?" Keiko asked skeptically.
"Perhaps if you explained to be what you are accusing me of I could defend myself?" Chase suggested sounding annoyed.
"Well," Kimiko began and then stated to explain the more important details of what had happened since they'd parted ways the day before.
"And you, and Raimundo apparently, believed that I sent you that letter?" Chase asked and Kimiko nodded sheepishly.
"But if it wasn't you," Keiko said sounding confused, "then who?"
"It has nothing to do with me," Chase said looking bored.
"You don't have to be a jerk about it," Keiko snapped back narrowing her eyes.
"He's right Keiko," Kimiko said suddenly. "Thank you Chase," she said turning her attention to the older boy.
"I did nothing," Chase said walking away.
"Do you believe him?" Keiko asked when he was out of earshot.
"Yes and no," Kimiko admitted, "I believe that he didn't have anything to do with the letter but I feel like there is something we are missing. It's all too convenient if you know what I mean."
"Yeah, you're right," Keiko agreed, "like how perfect was it that that letter just happened to show up when you were with Chase."
"There is only one moment when I can think someone could have slipped that note into my things," Kimiko looked thoughtful, "and that was when I was on the phone and Chase was getting drinks."
"Then basically," Keiko said looking around as the halls began to fill before the first classes, "it could have been anyone."
"I feel like I should apologize," Kimiko said later that night in her room.
"No," Keiko insisted, "you are in the right here."
"But I feel like I should at least tell him about what Chase said," Kimiko argued. Keiko shrugged in response.
"I'm not going to stop you," she said, "but he said some pretty rotten things and I don't think that you should cave."
"We're both too stubborn for our own good," Kimiko observed hugging a pillow for comfort. Keiko laughed.
"I could have told you that," she said still laughing.
"If I won't break first, and he won't cave either," Kimiko wondered, "then where does that leave us?"
"Stuck in the middle?" Keiko observed and then began to hum the tune of the song.
"Some best friend you are," Kimiko scoffed.
"Yes I am, I am an amazing friend," Keiko said back confidently. "I almost beamed Clay with a grapefruit for you. If that isn't friendship I don't know what is."
"Pardon?" a voice and knock at the door interrupted.
"Speak of the devil," Keiko muttered when Clay's head peeked in.
"And what do the devil and I have in common?" Clay asked.
"It's an expression cowboy," Keiko said with a wave of her hand. "I thought you would have known that."
"Anyway," Kimiko said, "what do you want Clay?"
"To talk to you," he answered still in the doorway. "Can I come in?"
"Sure," Kimiko answered unsure why he was suddenly so keen on asking permission.
"Well," he started uncomfortably, "I just want to say this whole thing is getting out of hand."
"I started to suspect that when Omi accused me of being harlot," Kimiko said not amused with the memory.
"Sorry about that," Clay apologized, "Rai kind of flew off the handle when Omi asked what was wrong and I couldn't get a word in edgewise."
"And?" Keiko asked wanting to know where any of this was going.
"And we need to fix this up," Clay concluded frowning when Kimiko started shaking her head.
"No way," she said narrowing her eyes, "he needs to apologize to me."
"I agree," Clay said surprising them. "I totally agree that Rai is in the wrong here."
"Really?" Keiko asked suspiciously.
"Yeah, even before Jermaine told me what you two said I was thinking that Rai was being a little insane. There's no way that you could have prevented Chase from giving you a love letter."
"Chase didn't," Kimiko informed the surprised Texan and then told him of what she and Keiko had learned when talking to Chase.
"You believe him?" Clay wondered.
"I've got no reason not to, and a love letter isn't exactly his style," Kimiko shrugged.
"No idea," Keiko answered, "it could be anyone."
"I think Rai realizes that too," Clay admitted and then answered the questioning looks, "he accused me of writing the letter before he left for soccer practice."
"Really?" both girls cried in surprise. Clay nodded glumly.
"I've never seen him like this," Clay continued, "he's depressed and angry about everything and anything. To put it plainly he's miserable."
"I've been better," Kimiko admitted hugging her knees to her chest, "I don't like fighting with him but he was so unreasonable last night that I just can't stand it."
"So how do we fix this?" Clay asked sitting in Kimiko's desk chair.
"Ideally Rai would realize he's being an ass and come apologize," Keiko said dryly.
"I think he wants to but his pride is getting in the way," Clay smiled.
"Well," Kimiko said thoughtfully, "we could just find out who sent the letter."
"Probably have a better chance of finding a needle in a haystack the size of Texas," Clay said doubtfully.
"It's a place to start," Keiko said hopefully.
"There are countless people who could have sent that," Kimiko said doubting her own plan. "Honestly," she said moving to pull the letter from its hiding place in the drawer of her nightstand, "it really is a piece of crap."
"Can I see it?" Clay asked and Kimiko handed it over to him. After reading it for a minute Clay frowned. "Who was your first kiss?" Clay asked.
"Well," Kimiko admitted blushing slightly, "Rai gave me a kiss in seventh grade that I consider my first kiss."
"But that was only on the cheek," Keiko argued, "what was your first, you know, real kiss?" Kimiko was thoughtful for a minute.
"Let me see," Kimiko paused thoughtfully, "I think that was Ryan Meier in the ninth grade. He took me on a date and kissed me then." Kimiko frowned suddenly. "It couldn't be him though, he moved later that year."
"I remember that night," Clay said grinning from ear to ear, "it was my first year as Raimundo's roommate. He was in such a bad mood that night and I knew it was because you were on a date. I joked with him about it and he got all defensive, saying things like he didn't trust Ryan and wanting me to go spy with him on your date."
"You aren't serious?" Kimiko asked laughing.
"Completely," Clay grinned.
"I remember that too!" Keiko suddenly said happily. "He came by the room pretty much every half an hour on the dot looking for you." By now all three were laughing hard at the revealed memory. Their present problem brought Kimiko back when she suddenly sobered.
"So, it can't be Ryan Meier," she said snapping the other two back to the task on hand.
"Yeah," Keiko said rubbing her laugh weary eyes.
"Maybe it's a hoax?" Clay suggested.
"Like a practical joke?" Kimiko wondered. "Cause that's more of Rai's department."
"Not a practical joke," Keiko said thoughtfully, "but this was meant to be mean."
"Someone knew that this would cause trouble," Clay continued Keiko's thought.
"Someone who wanted to cause trouble," Keiko added.
"But who is that cruel?" Clay wondered. Kimiko and Keiko exchanged knowing glances, both fuming.
"I vote for the tar and feathers method," Keiko said grumpily the next afternoon at lunch. Everyone in their group of friends, minus Raimundo, were gathered in the cafeteria to discuss what Clay, Keiko and Kimiko had concluded the night before.
"I cannot believe that a person would go to such lengths just to hurt others for such petty reasons," Omi said. The boy hadn't wanted anything to do with Kimiko until Keiko, Jermaine, and Clay practically force fed him the information.
"I like the concept of tar and feathers," Jermaine agreed, "but it's a little messy."
"I don't care about getting back at that witch," Kimiko seethed, "I just was to figure out a way to convince Raimundo that it was her all along."
"I still don't understand why we cannot just tell him," Omi wondered. Clay, Jermaine, Keiko, and Kimiko exchanged glances. After returning from soccer practice Rai had stopped talking to Clay and then this morning had asked Jermaine if he had anything to do with the letter.
"We need proof," Kimiko insisted.
"I don't see how we can get any, its just speculation after all," Clay sighed.
"Short of a confession from the Wicked Witch," Keiko agreed, "I don't see any answer either."
"So where does that leave us?" Kimiko asked.
"Not sure," Jermaine admitted as the bell rang.
"Guess we're going to have to resume this later," Kimiko sighed. She had a plan in her head but didn't want to mention it to the others just yet.
Kimiko had never been very fond of the cold despite her love of snow. In the winter months she'd scurry from building to building hoping to avoid the bite of the winter wind. But now, against her better judgment she was pacing out in front of the one of the city's many indoor sports complexes that the school used during the winter months. She'd been inside earlier, secretly watching the soccer practice but when it seemed to be winding down she'd gone to wait outside, hoping to catch Raimundo off guard. But apparently she'd been wrong about the practice being close to done because thus far Raimundo hadn't emerged yet. She was considering going back inside for a moment to warm up but changed her mind when members of the soccer team started to exit the building.
Kimiko sent small smiles to those who sent greetings her way but kept her attention on the doors waiting for Rai to appear. It seemed that she was to be disappointed however because for many long minutes no activity seemed to come from around the doors. And then, just as she dreaded the lights inside began to dim and a janitor appeared to lock the front doors. Giving a great sigh Kimiko turned to walk back to the dorm when someone saying her name caught her attention.
"Kimiko?" the voice questioned. Kimiko spun in surprise seeing Rai standing there, appearing seemingly out of nowhere on the sidewalk behind her, gym bag slung over her shoulder. Kimiko didn't respond, just stared at him like it had been years, not days since they'd last spoken. "Kimiko what are you doing out here?" he asked again when she didn't respond.
"I," she started but Rai cut her off, stepping forward and dropping the bag.
"Christ Kimiko your lips are almost blue! How long have you been out here?" he questioned moving closer to inspect her.
"Not very long," she admitted and then gave a surprise gasp when his arms wrapped around her and began to rub in an attempt to bring warmth back into her body. As much as she was enjoying this Kimiko knew that she couldn't do this so she sighed, breathed in the moment for a second more and then pulled back.
"Raimundo," she protested when he didn't let go. He finally conceded and then watched her for a moment as she watched him, both pairs of eyes sad. "I just came here to tell you something," she said breaking eye contact.
"And that is?" Raimundo asked somberly.
"Chase didn't write that letter," she said in a matter of fact manner.
"Why should I believe that?" Rai asked bitterly.
"Why shouldn't you?" Kimiko challenged. "I do think I know who did it though."
"This should be interesting," Rai said sarcastically and Kimiko could practically see the bad blood brewing in him.
"I believe Dyris did it," Kimiko said simply. Rai snorted in response. "That's all I have to say," Kimiko finished and turned to walk away.
"Why do you think it is her?" Rai's question stopped her. Kimiko just shook her head and kept walking not sure if the fact that he didn't follow was good or not.
"Pretty," Kimko agreed the next night as she watched Keiko show off the halter style white dress she'd picked up that afternoon for the dance the next night. For a Friday night Keiko and Kimiko were keeping things very low key. Normally they'd be out with their friends and although it seemed Rai had resolved his issues with Clay and Jermaine he'd had yet to approach Kimiko.
"Let's see yours Kimiko," Keiko urged but Kimiko didn't make a move. "Come on," Keiko ordered, "you didn't buy a dress this afternoon because you said you already had one and I want to see it."
"I don't think I'm going so why not just save it as a surprise for prom," Kimiko suggested though she silently wondered if she'd get there at this right. Keiko frowned.
"If I have to drag you to that dance in your sweats you're going," Keiko promised carefully putting her dress away.
"What a friend," Kimiko laughed.
"I know, you don't deserve me!" Keiko said happily as he phone pinged in a new text message.
"What is it?" Kimiko questioned watching her roommate frown.
"Clay says he needs to show me something but not to bring you," Keiko answered and then grinned. "Maybe it's a giant Valentine for you and he's going to declare his undying love for you and admit he did actually write that letter."
"Or maybe he's going to declare his undying love for you and doesn't want me around to interrupt the romantic moment," Kimiko shot back.
"Haha, very funny," Keiko said heading toward the door. "I'll be back." Kimiko laughed and watched her disappear before going to shut the door, planning on slipping into her pajamas and maybe throw in a movie. The door didn't go very far though and Kimiko blinked, looking down to see what the obstruction was. A foot was planted firmly in the doorway to stop the door from closing and Kimiko's eyes trailed up to the face of the foot's owner, half hoping and half knowing who is belonged to. Raimundo's face was downcast but slowly raised as Kimiko's did so their eyes met and they remained frozen like that for a moment before Kimiko forced her voice to work.
She wasn't able to get a word out however as Raimundo suddenly stepped forward, hands reaching out to cup her face and pull her in for a kiss that she protested only momentarily. Very quickly she melted into him and wrapped her arms around his neck. He stepped them back into the room, somehow managing to close the door behind him so they were completely alone. The kiss lasted for a long time and Kimiko was reminded of the near hour they'd spent kissing in Central Park right before Christmas. It was Rai that broke the kiss, his hand sliding from her face to wrap around her waist and pull her in tighter. He sighed and rested his cheek on top of her head.
"I'm sorry," he said finally and Kimiko laughed.
"It's about damn time," she said.
"I'm really sorry, you were right, I was wrong, and I'm sorry," Rai repeated.
"I'm sorry too," Kimiko admitted.
"Why?" Raimundo asked leaning back slightly to see her face.
"I didn't really help the situation any," she explained.
"But there wouldn't have even been a situation if I hadn't made such a big deal over that note."
"Stupid note," Kimiko added.
"Stupid Dyris," Raimundo said and then asked, "can I see that note?"
"Sure but why?" Kimiko said reluctantly breaking out of his hold and moving to where she'd stored the troublesome note.
"I want to see something," he explained pulling similar note out of his back pocket as he followed her closely.
"Where did you get that?" Kimiko asked curiously.
"Um," Rai blushed, "it's one of Dryis's old love notes." Kimiko didn't answer just handed him the note that he opened and then compared to the one he'd brought with him. "Just like I thought," he said a moment later before sitting down beside her on the bed, "look at this." Kimiko looked to where he pointed comparing different spots on each paper. "That calligraphy is almost exactly the same," Rai explained.
"So it seems we were right about Dyris planting the letter. She or one of her little cronies must have done it sometime when I wasn't looking. "
"Or," Rai sighed seeming unsure if he should even say it, "Chase did it for Dyris."
"Rai," Kimiko began to argue but then she remembered seeing the two talking secretively the other day and even though Chase had denied writing the letter that didn't mean that he didn't have something to do with it.
"I can practically see the wheels turning in your head," Rai commented reaching up to tuck a stray strand of black hair back behind Kimiko's ears.
"Remembering something," Kimiko said softly and then explained seeing Chase and Dyris talking and then Chase's denial. "He could have been lying," Kimiko admitted.
"You never know," Rai agreed looking grim but that expression changed to a smile when Kimiko leaned her head on his shoulder.
"I missed you," Kimiko said with a smile.
"Right back at you," Rai said putting an arm around her. "Sorry for being so stupid."
"Its bound to happen," Kimiko smiled as Rai nodded, agreeing with her.
"Hey," he finally protested catching to what she said making Kimiko laugh. "Hey Kimiko?" he questioned a minute after her laughter died down.
"What's up?" Kimiko answered.
"Will you go with me to the Valentines' Day Dance tomorrow?"
"Say yes!" two voices suddenly yelled through the door surprising Kimiko and Raimundo.
"Eavesdropping isn't polite," Rai yelled back.
"Yeah and keeping the door shut is against the rules," Keiko answered walking through followed by Clay who was grinning from ear to ear.
"Bout time you two made up," he grinned.
"Yeah well," Rai murmured looking uncomfortable.
"With that all out of the way," Keiko interrupted, "we can finally get onto figuring out how to make Dyris pay for what she did."
"Are we really going to waste our time on that?" Raimundo questioned. "Seems like a waste of time and energy on something that doesn't really matter in the long run."
"That witch needs to pay for what she did to you two!" Keiko protested.
"Revenge never works out the way a person wants," Clay agreed with Rai.
"What do you think Kimiko?" Keiko questioned and the other girl looked thoughtful before looking suddenly devious.
"I think I've got the perfect idea."
"Kimiko said to tell everyone that she'd be down in a minute," Keiko said as she appeared slightly breathless in the common room. The four boys just stared at her. "What?" Keiko questioned suddenly very worried that she had a giant stain on the front of her dress or that her pink hair had turned some gruesome shade of green.
"Well don't you look nice," Clay smile and tipped his ever present hat toward the girl. Keiko beamed.
"Yes I must agree you look most effeminate," Omi chorused.
"Thanks?" Keiko answered confused.
"Pink and white, very nice choice," Rai added sending a wink her way.
"Festive," Keiko grinned, "and you guys all look great too." She looked each boy up and down in their suits. "You clean up nice." Her eyes traveled to Jermaine who still hadn't said anything. "You ok over there Jermaine?" Keiko asked sweetly. Apparently a little too sweetly because Jermaine could barely babble out a response.
"Yes, fine," he managed and then coughed, "you're very pretty." He stiffened seeming to realize what he'd said and quickly corrected. "I mean you look pretty, you look pretty." The others, including Keiko laughed at Jermaine's apparent troubles. Raimundo laughed as well and then noticed something out of the corner of his eye and his eyes widened when he turned to see what it was. Kimiko had just appeared in the doorway from the girls dorm and Raimundo felt his breath get taken away. She was wearing a fairly simple crimson off the shoulder dress, material flowing from the form fitting empire waist. Her hair remained black and was styled in a French twist, a golden ornament stuck into the hairs' fold with a matching threaded choker wrapped around her neck. Kimiko giggled seeing his reaction.
"I look good then?" she asked walking over to him and it was Rai's turned to stutter.
"I think that's a yes," Clay laughed.
"I take it back," Rai suddenly found his voice, "red is defiantly your color." Kimiko laughed and her eyes suddenly widened.
"I forgot my jacket in my room. You guys go ahead," she said apologetically, "I'll catch up."
"We'll catch up," Rai corrected. "I'll get your coat," Rai offered holding his hand out for Kimiko's keys.
"See you there then," Clay said as the four left leaving Kimiko alone. A minute late she felt Raimundo slip her coat around her shoulders.
"Thanks," she whispered and turned around. Rai's hands went her hips, pulling her closer and he leaned in for a kiss that Kimiko gladly returned.
"Alone at last," Rai grinned happily after the kiss.
"Get your mind out of the gutter Pedrosa," Kimiko scolded but wrapped her arms around him and initiated another kiss. "I've got something for you," she told him after the kiss.
"Ahh you shouldn't have," Rai laughed as Kimiko stepped back dug a tiny box out of her jacket pocket.
"Its early but Happy Valentines' Day."
"That's not until Monday," Rai scolded feeling guilty for not having her gift handy.
"I wanted you to have it tonight," Kimiko smiled watching him open the gift but suddenly got nervous. "I understand if you don't like it or don't want to wear it." Rai ignored her and pushed aside tissue paper to pull out the charm.
"Kimiko," he said with a little bit of wonder.
"Like I said if you don't like it I understand," Kimiko repeated watching him watch the tiny charm catch in the light. "It's the Kanji character for wind," Kimiko explained, "I don't know why but it seemed to suit you when I saw it. And I thought the color matched your other charm."
"I love it," he said quickly stuffing the box into his own coat pocket and pulling his necklace from where it was trapped under his shirt. It was little difficult with the tie so Kimiko helped him free it. Once free Raimundo quickly unclasped the chain and slid the character on so that it clinked into place next to his pendent. "I love it," he repeated observing it and then ducked his head to kiss her again.
"We're going to be late," Kimiko said after the kiss.
"They can wait," Rai murmured against her lips.
"Come on Casanova," Kimiko said slipping her arms into her coat. "Lets get to the dance!"
"Kimiko! Raimundo!" Keiko waved the two over from across the dance floor.
"Its only been like fifteen minutes since I saw you last Keiko," Kimiko said when she reacted the girl and the others, "what could possibly be so exciting?" Keiko laughed and so did the others as Keiko pointed Raimundo and Kimiko in a certain direction. Kimiko's eyes widened and she started laughing too, Raimundo a moment later when they took in the scene across the ballroom. Jack Spicer was trailing Dyris around, bouquet of roses in one hand and a crumpled piece of paper in the other.
"Seems like Jack got Dyris' love note," Keiko giggled. Kimiko's plan for revenge was simple. They had simply copied, to the best of their abilities, Dyris' handwriting, mimicking the letter she'd written for Kimiko and then sent it to Jack. The boy had an odd way of obsessing over things but usually got over them in about a weeks time, well with the exception of his admiration for Chase Young.
"Should we feel bad about bringing Jack into this?" Kimiko asked.
"He's fine, he'll bounce back and he's got the added pleasure of thinking Dyris likes him, though I'm not sure if anyone would really want that. Plus," Keiko looked devious, "the whole school knows about Dyris' love note to Jack and even if people think it's a joke they're still not going to let it go."
"Jack doesn't seem to mind," Rai laughed, "though Dyris seems to."
"Payback is sweet," Kimiko laughed.
"Hopefully that's the end of all this nonsense," Clay said shaking his head.
"Well it is for us!" Kimiko said happily as she gripped Raimundo's hand. "Let's dance!"
The rest of the night passed without any other mention of Dyris, much to Kimiko and Raimundo's delight. The only slight moments of discomfort came from when Raimundo would look up to see Chase Young watching the two of them or just Kimiko when they were separate. He tried hard to ignore it, for Kimiko's sake but as the night progressed he started to find it more and more difficult. Kimiko seemed to notice and tried to keep his attention from it. That became impossible however when toward the end of the dance Chase approached the two on the dance floor. Raimundo's grip tightened on her hand as the senior boy moved closer and despite his best efforts, couldn't keep the frown from his face. Kimiko glanced at Raimundo, slightly worried. They'd never figured out if Chase had anything to do with the note but Kimiko knew Raimundo was convinced of it.
"Mind if I cut in?" Chase asked smugly as he approached the two. Rai was about to open his mouth to tell him that he certainly did mind but Kimiko beat him to it.
"Not right now Chase," she said with a tiny shake of her head. Chase it seemed wasn't going to be deterred and he held out a hand.
"Come on Kimiko," he smirked, "it's our last dance together as schoolmates. Surely you can spare one dance."
"Get lost Chase," Rai practically spat but managed to keep his voice down.
"Hang on a sec Rai," Kimiko suddenly said thoughtfully. Both boys looked at her curiously. "I'll dance with you Chase on one condition."
"I guess that depends on the condition," Chase said looking slightly interested.
"I want the truth," Kimiko said folding her arms across her chest, "about you and Dyris and what you had to do with that note that I found in my bag ever so conveniently after we went out to that coffee shop." Chase smirk grew.
"You are a sharp one Kimiko," Chase told her and Raimundo bristled next to her.
"So you did have something to do with that," he growled.
"No," Chase said with a shake of his head, "but she wanted me to." Taking in their curious looks he shrugged and continued. "Dyris approached me about it. Said she had the perfect plan to split you two up and that it would be a guarantee that Kimiko would come to me. But I didn't want anything to do with her." He glanced pointedly at Kimiko. "I told her I didn't need any help getting you." Kimiko had to physically grab Raimundo at that point to keep him from Chase as she fought her down her blush.
"Pretty confident of yourself there Chase," Rai said after he calmed down, "but I think you better reevaluate things. Kimiko and I are plenty happy together and are going to stay that way."
"He's right," Kimiko agreed and Raimundo smiled happily back at her. Chase merely shrugged again.
"I'm not denying that," he told them both much to their surprise. "I said I didn't need any help getting you because there was no need to even try." Kimiko blinked in surprise.
"Oh," she said feeling foolish. If Chase noticed he didn't say anything.
"Now I believe you owe me a dance," he said extending his hand again.
"That doesn't explain things," Kimiko said with a shake of her head. "I just can't believe it was a coincidence that that letter appeared after studying with you."
"Maybe I should have mentioned that I noticed one of Dyris' clones in the coffee shop as well."
"Probably would have helped," Kimiko answered sarcastically. Chase looked unfazed.
"It had nothing to do with me," he simply replied. Kimiko rolled her eyes in response.
"About that dance," Chase pressed again and Raimundo frowned at Kimiko.
"I did say I would if he told the truth," Kimiko said looking back at him.
"You don't have to though," he assured her.
"It'll be quick," Kimiko said with a nod and stepped toward Chase but made no move to touch his hand. Rai noticed that with a smile.
"I'll wait for you over there by the others," Rai told her and then for good measure he bent slightly and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. Kimiko sent him a small smile and then he walked off and Kimiko turned her attention toward Chase who had his normal smirk on his lips. He reached out and grasped her hand but she immediately pulled it free.
"Most people touch when they dance," Chase told her in a slightly reprimanding tone that struck Kimiko the wrong way. She glared at him.
"That doesn't mean you have to hold my hand," Kimiko assured him.
"Did I tell you look beautiful tonight?" he asked and Kimiko continued to glare.
"Don't change the subject," she said crossing her arms again.
"I'm going to stand here making small talk until you dance with me," he added after a moment's pause, "properly." Kimiko sighed and stepped closer to him, placing her hands on his shoulders and allowing, with a bit of frown, for his hands to go on her hips. Chase grinned at this and led started moving to the slow beat of the song. "Don't look so unhappy," he told her after a minute of silence and then tightened his grip on her hips. Kimiko fought the urge to break out of his grip and storm off.
"You aren't making this easy," she told him.
"I told you I couldn't be friends with you if you acted like this," she reminded him.
"Maybe this is how I act around everyone," he countered and Kimiko gave an unlady like snort.
"If you acted like with everyone you wouldn't be known as the Ice Prince," Kimiko told him and was surprised when he laughed.
"I can't believe they still call me that," he said with a shake of his head.
"This is it Chase," Kimiko told him narrowing her eyes, "any sort of relationship we had ends tonight because you don't know how to act like a decent person and not mess with Raimundo."
"Its fun to get him all riled up," Chase looking over across the room. Kimiko glanced that direction, thinking he was looking at Rai but instead she was surprised to see him looking at Dyris. "I wasn't lying before," he told Kimiko, "I have no intentions of breaking up you and Raimundo. I'm not that foolish. I saw the writing on the wall long before either of you did."
"I really do love him," Kimiko whispered.
"And it is obvious that he loves you," Chase agreed, "but that doesn't mean that I can't keep admiring you." Kimiko shook her head in disagreement.
"I don't care what you do but don't do it around me or Raimundo," she told him. The song came to an end and Kimiko withdrew from Chase, happy when he let her go without a fight. She wasn't sure what to say, not sure if this was goodbye or not, so she settled on a slight bow of her head before turning away. She hadn't walked more then a step before Chase reached out and grasped her hand. Kimiko turned back suddenly to look at him.
"I'm going to NYU in the fall," he informed her.
"Congratulations?" Kimiko answered unsure.
"That means I'll be around," he explained. Kimiko frowned still confused.
"I'm not going to try anything more," he assured her, "but that doesn't mean I won't be watching for the opportunity. If Raimundo ever does anything to hurt you or mistreat you in anyway, or is ever stupid enough to let you go I'm going to be there." His words shocked Kimiko and it took her a moment to reply.
"Don't plan you life around that," she cautioned with a tiny smile that Chase returned before lifting her hand to his lips and planting a kiss there.
"Thank you for the dance Kimiko," he said as he gently dropped her hand and then walked away. Kimiko watched him go for a moment before shaking her head and turning away to walk back to her friend. She nearly burst out laughing at the very controlled expression on Raimundo's face as she approached. Her friends had given him a wide berth and were looking at Kimiko expectantly. Without hesitation Kimiko walked up to Raimundo's side, slipped her hand into his and leaned against him with a sigh.
"Did I ever tell you how lucky I am?" she asked him casually. That seemed to snap him out of the trance like state he'd put himself in as soon as he watched Chase put his hand on Kimiko's waist so he wouldn't storm across the dance floor. He didn't want to be the jealous type and had never been up until he'd started dating Kimiko. But even before that he'd always been secretly jealous when it came to Kimiko and other boys.
"What do you mean?" he asked looking down at her.
"I'm so lucky to be with you," she said simply. "That's all that dance proved," she added, "that I only want to be with you."
"Are you just saying that to pacify me or do you mean it?" he meant it as a joke but her face turned serious.
"Really meant it of course," she said with a tiny nod as she moved slightly away from him so she could get a better look.
"You two done being all lovey dovey?" Keiko asked coming to stand near them.
"No," Rai said with a smug smile as he gave Kimiko a quick kiss, "never."
"Oi," Jermaine said with a roll of his eyes when he joined them, Clay and Omi following a step behind. Keiko glanced hard at him before giving what sounded like a defeated sigh and moving to grab his hand, then dragged him into the dance floor saying,
"Come on boy, let's do this!" A surprised Jermaine followed helplessly after her but didn't seem too upset with the whole situation. The remaining four laughed hard after their own moment of shock.
"Took them long enough," Kimiko laughed.
"They said that about us," Rai told her slipping an arm around her shoulders.
"Jermaine's been waiting for her to ask him to the dance," Clay informed them and looked confused when the other three turned questioning looks his direction. "What?" he asked surprised. "He thought that Keiko making such a big deal about the difference between Valentines' Day and White Day in Japan was her way of saying that she was going to ask him out."
"Interesting logic," Rai said after a moment of consideration, glancing out on the dance floor where the two seemed to be doing just fine. "Come on," he told Kimiko as he smiled over in her direction, "let's show them how it's done!" Kimiko laughed and followed Raimundo out onto the dance floor.
"I believe I see Ashley alone!" Omi said half a second after Rai and Kim were gone and he scampered off without another word. Clay blew at one hair that fell on his forehead from underneath his hat.
"And then there was one," he said glancing out across the room to where all of his friends had paired off. He really couldn't begrudge any of them for being happy with their selected partners but that did mean that he couldn't want one of his own. But the chances of him finding the country girl of his dreams in New York City didn't seem likely.
"Excuse me?" a new voice asked and he glanced behind him to where a red head in a jean skirt and simply blouse looked at him with nervous green eyes. "I'm new at this school and want to head back to the dorms but I forgot what street it was on. Could you tell me so I could get a cab?" Clay blinked in surprise.
"Ah sure," he said and then gave her the address.
"Thanks," she said and then turned to leave.
"Wait," Clay called after her but was unsure why. The girl stopped and looked back at him. "Why are you leaving?" Clay finally managed. "Party's not over yet." She wrinkled her nose.
"Yeah but I just got here and I'm a little under dressed," she said waving a hand at her outfit. "Plus I don't really see anyone I know."
"Well you know me," Clay offered a hand; "I'm Clay Bailey." The new girl glanced questioningly at it before taking it with a small smile.
"Hannah Harbor of just outside Phoenix, Arizona."
From on the dance floor Raimundo and Kimiko watched with interest.
"That looks promising," Kimiko said with a smile and Raimundo nodded in agreement.
"She's new, a sophomore in my Creative Fiction class," he informed her. "She's from out west."
"A match for Clay and everyone else," Kimiko said dreamily as she wrapped her hands around him neck and leaned into his chest, "it's a Valentines' Day miracle." Raimundo laughed at her.
"It's not technically Valentines' Day and I've never heard of Valentines' Day miracle."
"Spoil sport," Kimiko muttered and Raimundo laughed again.
"How did I go for so long without being able to hold you like this everyday?" he asked her as they moved to the motion of a slower song.
"You didn't know what you were missing," Kimiko said softly getting sleepy.
"I knew I was missing something," he told her.
"Did you find it?" Kimiko asked not really understanding the conversation. Her mind was drifting into a wonderfully sleepy state.
"More like recognized it," Rai answered and Kimiko flushed slighted. She felt Raimundo lean back slightly so she moved as well, knowing what was coming and rising slightly to meet his mouth. The kiss was long and deep and Kimiko felt airy and light, glad for his arms around her to keep her close because she was sure she'd float away any moment. Rai broke the kiss but they remained as close as before. "I have no idea how I lived without that everyday," he breathed. Kimiko laughed and shook her head, pushing slightly away from him as the song's pace picked up.
"I like this song," she told him and he took the hint and began to dance a bit more enthusiastically. A moment later Kimiko remembered why she like and a was about to remind him of that moment from the freshman dance but it seemed Raimundo beat her to it and moved to grab her, dipping her in the same manner he had back in the ninth grade. Kimiko laughed and allowed herself to be moved, both taken by surprise when the flash from a camera went off. Rai blinked and tried to regain his composure but it was too late. Kimiko tried to maintain her balance but it was a lost cause and Raimundo came crashing down on her a moment later, pinning her to the floor. Both were frozen with shock and disbelief as another flash went off from the camera and the two burst out laughing.
"Ms Tohomiko? Mr. Pedrosa?" a chilling voice asked and the too looked to where Ms. Wuya, the librarian loomed over them. Rai jumped up a second later and helped Kimiko to stand and kept hold her hand, trying not to burst out laughing as they were lectured on proper behavior and awarded a week of detention a piece. As soon as she finished and left the two teens they burst out laughing, trying to failing to contain their amusement. Rai wrapped Kimiko up in a hug and pressed his lips to her temple.
"Totally worth it," he told her.
"My thoughts exactly," she agreed with a smile.
Do I love this? Sorta. I can't decide if it us just too horribly cliché and cheesy. I try to get that all out of me when I write fanfiction so it doesn't appear in my original fiction. Anyway here's to the most delayed Valentines' Day fic in the history of fics. Read and review please!