Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from the series Maburaho, I'm just borrowing them for a while. Also, this story is based off a chapter of the manga, and may contradict some elements of the anime series.

Maburaho: Love trouble

"This is getting very annoying," Rin Kamishiro scowled as the pink letters fell in a wave around the dark violet haired girl's feet.

Despite her not being interested in them at all, every day Rin found her shoe locker stuffed with love letters sent by female fans. Seniors from the Literature club, Kendoists, girls from her own grade and even juniors all put their feelings of love and admiration to paper and left them for her to read.

"I would have thought you'd like being popular," Kuriko Katetsubaki purred mockingly, the busty blonde girl looking on with amusement.

"Not popular this way," Rin shot back crossly.

"Well," Yuna Miyama said brightly as the pink haired girl continued, "maybe we can convince them to leave you alone, somehow."

"And how are you going to do that?" Kuriko asked archly.

"Hmm," Yuna frowned thoughtfully as they walked to classes together. With some reluctance she offered to Rin, "Maybe we could spread around school that you're committed to Kazuki? If they know you're taken, they might stop bothering you."

"Wouldn't work," Kazuki Shikimori surprised them all by saying firmly, the brown haired boy following close behind.

"Why not?" Kuriko asked him curiously, silently wondering if his thoughts echoed hers in this matter.

"The girls chasing after Rin already know about me," Kazuki said, "that hasn't stopped them yet." He sighed, "I'm not a powerful enough of a figure that they'll respect my being betrothed to Rin."

'Exactly,' Kuriko thought, nodding.

"So how do we get them to leave Rin alone?" Yuna asked, pouting cutely.

"I don't know," Kazuki admitted as they reached their classroom, "but maybe if we all think about it today, we can come up with something."

"We'll do that," Kuriko agreed,

Rin moved to walk off, then stopped as she said, "Shikimori?"

"Yes?" Kazuki asked a bit nervously, wondering if he had gotten her mad somehow.

"Thank you for taking this seriously," Rin said before striding off.

The day dragged that morning, even with the usual chaos of a class full of powerful magic users. Yuna got into another fight defending Kazuki's honor, destroying much of the wing in the process, and both of them had to linger a bit doing repairs and cleaning before they could join the others for lunch.

"I think I have an idea," Kazuki admitted as they unpacked their lunches, "but please don't kill me." With that out of the way he proceeded to explain.

"Shikimori!!" Rin growled out, clutching the katana that she always carried at her side as she glared at him.

"Calm down," Kuriko put a hand on Rin's arm, "you're not Yuna, remember?"

"Hey!" Yuna pouted.

Rin got her temper under control with effort. "You had best explain how agreeing to date one of those girls will help me," Rin asked as she sat down, scowling.

"They aren't going to accept you're dating a guy for whatever reason," Kazuki said nervously, "but they might accept it if you're dating one of them. That should at least slow down if not stop the love letters..."

"Pervert," Rin growled.

"Actually, he has a point," Kuriko admitted. As the two girls look at her in surprise she continued, "That's pretty much the same conclusion I came to."

Rin switched her glare to Kuriko, "You can't be serious."

"Rin, you know how determined they are," Kuriko said, and calmly reminded them all of the muffin incident.

The last time Rin took cooking class, she burned and otherwise mis-cooked a batch of cocoa muffins, but still a delegation from both the Literary club girls and the kendo girls all tried to steal them. In the end to avoid having to pick which of the seven girls to poison she forced the muffins on the long suffering Kazuki, who promptly collapsed due to food poisoning.

Rin sighed, but clearly she could see their point. "So," she said grimly, "even assuming I go along with this, how do I do it?"

"Are there any of them you like?" Yuna asked innocently.

"Or at least can tolerate?" Kazuki added wryly.

Rin rose with dignity as she said, "I'll consider what you've said."

There was a moment of quiet as they watched Rin walk off then Yuna asked, "Do you think she'll try it?"

"I don't know," Kuriko admitted, "but it'll be interesting to see what happens."

Rin frowned as she walked, silently wrestling with the problem. There really wasn't anyone she thought she could stand to date even in pretend, and the amorous girls pursuing her frightened her a bit. 'Of course,' she mused, 'the fact I've never actually dated might have something to do with that too.'

Unthinkingly her steps had taken Rin to the literature classes, where a familiar figure was giving a speech. The redhead was taller than Rin, her round glasses giving her a scholarly look, but that intellectual quality was countered by her full figure, breasts that rivaled Kuriko's pressing against her school uniform top.

Kotone Hatsuseno deemed to sense she was being watched, the girl's eyes shifting to see Rin, widening slightly. She finished her presentation then hurried out into the hallway just as Rin was about to flee. "Hello, Rin," she smiled a bit sheepishly.

"Upperclassman Hatswuseno," Rin answered a bit nervously.

"Please," she smiled, "Kotone."

"Kotone," Rin echoed reluctantly.

Kotone pushed up her glasses, a surprisingly shy gesture for the normally brash upperclassman. "We don't often see you around here," she said diplomatically, "is there something I can do for you?"

Rin wrestled with her thoughts for a moment then sighed in resignation. "I have a favor to ask," she said. With that she sketched in her problem, as well as the possible solution that her friends had come up with.

Kotone looked faintly ashamed once Rin finished. "I hadn't realized our attentions were so hard on you," she confessed.

Rin was surprised to feel a flash of sympathy for the other woman. 'I wonder if she really thought I was like that,' she mused, 'or if she was just too attracted to care?'

"All right," Kotone said wit a nod, "I'll help."

"Good," Rin smiled, but Kotone wasn't done.

"I should warn you," Kotone added with a impish little smile, "I still intend to try and convert you."

"I should have known," Rin sighed. "Just don't go too far," she warned, hefting her ever-present katana warningly.

Kotone gave a charming smile as she offered her arm and said, "I'll be the perfect gentleman."

"I hope so," Rin answered as she put her hand on the other girl's arm. "And who knows," she added softly, "stranger things have happened." Mentally she continued, 'Like my growing to like someone like Kazuki.'

"I suppose stealing a kiss might be a bit much?" Kotona asked as they set out together.

"You're asking for it..." Rin warned, but her companion just laughed.


Notes: There really is a chapter of the Maburaho manga where Rin is troubled by being too popular with the girls. The character of "Kotone Hatsuseno" is based off one of those girls in the manga, but since she wasn't named I had to make something up.