I never thought leaves would be the bane of my existence. Damn all leaf collections! BTW, I got the second Shugo Chara book! Hooray!

That was a while ago. This chapter has held me up for quite a while. Note: I don't actually know how to stage kiss, so I made it up.

Again, it's been a while. I got the third book!

OMG, it's been possibly a year, and I have the fourth book now. But the story will obviously still be as if only the first book happened.


Amu seemed determined to ignore everything Kukai had told her. When Monday came around she hung around with Ikuto as usual and acted no different. Little did she know how this hurt him.

'Am I that repellant to her, that she refuses to accept a possibility that someone like me could like someone like her? I know she's perfect for me, and that I could be the best thing that ever happened to her, but why can't she see it?' Ikuto wondered.

"So, we have practice today, huh?" Amu said as they ate lunch. Today they seemed to be strained for conversation.

"And we'll eventually have to learn to stage kiss." Ikuto reminded her.

Amu blushed deeply. "Yeah, there is that." She paused for a moment before saying, "Do you think it's like a real kiss?"

"I don't know. Why do you ask?" Ikuto wondered.

"I was just thinking it wouldn't be so bad if my first kiss was with you." Amu said shyly.

"If we weren't surrounded by people, I might oblige you." Ikuto told her teasingly. He ached to tell her that he was dying to kiss her, and couldn't wait to steal a kiss.

"Don't tease me." Amu said.

"Oh, and it's not teasing to pet me and render me completely helpless while it doesn't mean much to you?" Ikuto asked angrily. He didn't know why he was suddenly so upset, but he suddenly had an urge to shout the truth in her face. It was becoming apparent that he couldn't keep it a secret much longer.

"How do you mean?" Amu asked.

"Nothing. Forget it." Ikuto said in a firm way. He couldn't go there. Soon, but not yet.


After school, they went to their first rehearsal. It was mostly blocking and a read-through, but they got some work done nonetheless.

Kukai insisted on sitting next to Amu, which made Amu blush and made Ikuto want to hit him. He instead pulled Amu into his lap and slipped his arms around her possessively. He stuck his tongue out at Kukai.

"You are such a child Ikuto-kun." Amu said, settling into his lap comfortably.

"So? You know you like it." Ikuto said daringly.

Amu blushed and said, "I suppose it is part of what makes you you."

Ikuto gave her a satisfied smile, like a cat that had just snared itself a bird, and grinned gloatingly at Kukai. Kukai looked on with envy. This little display of enmity was not missed by anyone present.

After practice, Tadase pulled Kukai to one side. "Kukai-san, you're getting really into this."

"It's not for you anymore. I like Amu. I won't let that cat boy have her!" Kukai declared angrily.

"Well, I suppose that's better for me." Tadase said.

Meanwhile, Ikuto was walking Amu home. "No kissing so far." Amu said, strained for conversation.

"First practice. I doubt there would be." Ikuto replied coolly.

Amu examined why she was obsessed over this kiss. The answer kept returning that she wanted it badly. Ikuto was now much dearer to her than just her best friend. But how does a girl express this? Even though she had heard people say that he liked her, it still made it no less awkward to tell your best friend that you liked and possibly loved him.

"Why are you blushing?" Ikuto asked.

"It's nothing!" Amu replied too quickly.

"That's not even proper English to respond to my question." Ikuto pointed out. He sounded suspicious.

"Proper English is overrated." Amu scoffed casually, hoping to cover her indiscretion.

"Uh-huh." Ikuto replied dubiously.


Time went by. Rehearsals came and went, each with their memorable moments and funny inside jokes. It turns out a stage kiss was frustratingly close to a real kiss.

It was getting closer and closer to the production, and they started to get their costumes and props. Amu and Nadeshiko were alone in the girls' dressing room, talking.

"So, what's happening with you and Ikuto-san?" Nadeshiko asked.

"I'm not entirely sure." Amu replied.

"What's that mean?" Nadeshiko asked.

"It means that I like him, but I don't know how to tell him." Amu said.

"Well, practice kissing together. I bet everything would come out into the open after that." Nadeshiko suggested.

Amu blushed. "That kiss is really making me nervous. I'm pretty sure that I'm no good at it."

"That's why you practice with him." Nadeshiko insisted. "I'm telling you, you won't regret it. Five bucks says any practicing you do turns into a heavy-duty make-out session. He's got it bad for you."

"Well, he is supposed to come to my house after we're done here." Amu admitted uncertainly.

"Great. Suggest that you practice then." Nadeshiko instructed.

"Okay." Amu agreed reluctantly.

Outside the dressing room, Ikuto listened, holding his breath. He hardly dared to believe what he heard. His heart was swelling so much and so rapidly that he felt sure his chest would burst. He knew what to do now.


Amu set her bag down in her room. Instead of getting out her homework and doing it, she sagged down onto her bed and sighed. "Long day?" Ikuto asked.

She nodded slowly, and sighed again. "Want to practice instead of work on homework?" Ikuto suggested.

This time she let out a small yet audible gasp. She felt nervous. All their kissing up to this point had been their faces hovering close together. The director said that they could practice until they felt confident to do it onstage. And practicing to Amu translated into real kissing.

Amu nodded again. Ikuto moved in for the kill. He tilted her head back for better access and firmly pressed their lips together. Amu melted underneath him, and, feeling more confident, Ikuto kissed her a bit more actively. Amu hesitantly participated and when Ikuto nipped her lower lip, she gasped. He had been waiting for such an opportunity, and slid his tongue into her mouth. It was hot and wet and she felt wonderful. The kiss was becoming a bit frenzied now as Ikuto gradually lost his cool. Amu whimpered and pulled away, needing air.

"Ikuto, I-" Amu couldn't finish.

"I'm the one who needs to do some explaining." Ikuto insisted. "Listen Amu. Everyone was right about me. I do like you, a lot. I love you. And you have no idea just how long I've been waiting to do that."

"Ikuto…" Amu cooed. She leaned in to kiss him again, but he held her back.

"Amu, concentrate for a second here. Do you understand what I just said?" Ikuto demanded.

"Of course. I've been dreaming of you saying something like that for a while now. I've wanted you to kiss me like that ever since the notion occurred to me." Amu told him.

"Good." Ikuto replied, leaning in for another kiss. This time Amu felt more ready. She explored Ikuto's mouth, and found his texture intoxicating. She loved the way his tongue felt against hers, the way it slid so smoothly past her lips. When they stopped, he said, "I told you so."

"What?" Amu asked in a daze.

"You're beautiful."

"I'm telling!" Ami shouted.

"Crap." Amu said, slapping her hand to her forehead. Ikuto just gave her a Cheshire cat grin.


OMG DONE! Not with the story yet, but hey, I FINALLY finished the chapter. Kthxbai! (Jk, hopefully I'll do some more work before I freaking graduate highschool.)