This is my first La Corda d'Oro oneshot. I was inspired after reading a bit of the fanfictions already on here, and I thought, "Why the hell not?" and then proceeded to get mauled by rabid plot bunnies. Warning, this is pointless Yunoki/Hino fluff, and its sole purpose is to make people grin like idiots from the sheer fluffiness.
Oh yes, this particular story is dedicated to my friend Aynako, who was there with me every step of the way, unleashing plot bunnies with knives on me and plowing down any writer's blocks that presented themselves. Hope you like!
When he saw her at the annual Seisou Academy Ball, she was beautiful, radiant, and glowing. Then again, thought Azuma Yunoki, even a whale would look splendid under all this lighting. None of his rabid fangirls saw his smile slip for a moment, just a moment, when he saw his best friend, Kazuki Hihara ask Kahoko to dance, which she agreed to.
The first time Azuma connected jealousy to Kahoko Hino, it was when she placed above him in the concurs. Before that, she was nobody important, merely another contestant, cheerful and a bit ditzy, but nothing more. True, he had been intrigued when he had first heard that she had only been playing violin for a short while, but that had quickly turned to annoyance when she placed near the top in the concurs after that. Soon, he had started taunting her, teasing her, flustering her, and he'd found that he quite enjoyed it. It felt good to unwind, to let go and not have to worry about damaging his family's reputation. After all, she certainly would never tell.
Keeping an eye on Hihara and Kahoko, who were still dancing on the floor beside the rest of the couples, he maintained his faux smile and continued to chatter with the girls from his fanclub. This was one of those many times when he wished that he didn't seem as perfect as he usually did. It was so difficult to even attempt to approach her under these circumstances. After all, he might innadvertedly sic his fangirls on the poor girl, and while Azuma enjoyed teasing the red-headed prodigy, death by being mauled by the Yunoki Fan Club was something he wouldn't wish on anyone. So he bided his time, and when he saw an opening, he excused himself, threw Kazuki to the wolves by leading him to his fangirls, then proceeded to go after his prey. He found her sitting in a chair away from the commotion, her head tilted back and her eyes closed, resting. He paused for a moment to observe her before speaking.
"Tired so soon, Kahoko? The ball has barely begun." His voice dripped honey and venom, and he used her first name as he usually did when they were alone. Her eyes flew open as she recognized the voice she'd learned to love and hate, flinching inwardly when she realized there wasn't anyone else around and that he could irritate her to his heart's content.
"Y-Yunoki-sempai!" she blurted, immediately sitting up straighter and blushing like she always did whenever he was around. Ever since the first day he'd begun mercilessly intimidating her, she'd learned to jump into the defensive as soon as she spotted him. Azuma smirked slightly, holding out his hand.
"If you're not too exhausted, would you care to dance, Princess?" he asked charmingly in the same patronizing voice, and Kahoko's blush deepened. Every word that came out of his mouth was to poke fun at her, make her uncomfortable, or intimidate her. Just once, just once, she wished he would act like the prince everyone else thought he was. She knew he wasn't as horrible as he made himself seem around her, but even still, she couldn't help but feel nervous whenever she and him were alone together.
"B-but your fangirls…" She knew what the Yunoki Fan Club was capable of. And so did he.
"They wouldn't dare." he merely replied as he took her hand and pulled a mildly terrified Kahoko out of her seat. As the orchestra began to play Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata, Azuma placed a hand around her waist and took the lead.
Dancing with Yunoki wasn't entirely the most awful thing Kahoko had ever experienced. Actually, it was downright nice. He was graceful and a good leader, and Kahoko noted that his whole demeanor seemed to change as he danced. He wasn't smirking anymore, but truly smiling, perhaps in answer to her own bewildered expression.
Azuma was thoroughly enjoying himself for once, loving the fact that Kahoko seemed to be enjoying herself as well. He discovered that making her smile gave him just as good a feeling as annoying the hell out of her did. Perhaps he'd try that more often. As the final chords resonated in the hall, Azuma held on to her hand and led her back to her seat. When she sat down, Kahoko realized that one of her high heels had slipped off on the way, causing her to panic momentarily.
Azuma looked at her quizzically. "Something wrong, Kahoko?"
"U-um, I think one of my shoes slipped off…" she muttered, glancing around to see if she could spot it. Azuma immediately located it next to a chair a few tables away and returned with it. Suddenly, an idea occurred to him and he kneeled down in front of the red-head, gently placing the shoe on her foot.
Kahoko was reminded of the fairy tale, Cinderella, where the prince places the glass slipper on Cinderella's foot and then marries her, sealing a happy ending for her.
Azuma stood up and took her hand, placing a light kiss on it, his lips turned up slightly. "It was a pleasure dancing with you, Princess." he said softly, and Kahoko couldn't tell whether he was mocking her this time or not. She found that she didn't want him to go, not just yet.
"Um, A-Azuma-sempai…" she intoned, startling the older boy quite a bit. This was the first time she'd ever called him by his first name willingly. She then proceeded to stand up and whisper something to him, which startled him even more, but which he agreed to with a nod and a smile. Taking her hand once more, he led her to the dance floor, where they remained for the rest of the evening.
After all, what's a princess without her prince?