Warnings: Sort of an insane thing, but cute.
Disclaimers: Ouran High School Host Club belongs to Bisuko Hatori and affiliates, of which I am not one. Written for Megsy42's 50 Art of Words Challenge (table 3) and Cheeri-Owl's "Let's Dress Up As Fruit!" Challenge on the Harry Potter Fanfiction Challenges Forum.
On Her Left Shoulder
It all began fairly simply. With the losing – or, in Fujioka Haruhi's case, the finding – of one cursed Voodoo doll known as Berezenef. Not that Nekozawa Umehito saw it from her perspective as, at the time, he could be found wondering what had happened to his idol.
Berezenef had the nasty habit of vanishing on him at the oddest of times, but this always brought something important to Umehito's notice or brought something to pass. Indeed, the cat puppet was more than just a puppet. In a way, it was more the puppeteer when Umehito thought of it. It had brought Suou Tamaki to his attention – Tamaki being Umehito's first man-crush (not in a romantic sense, but rather in the intense desire for a friend) – and the sheer amusement of terrorizing that same boy who was only a year younger than he. Berezenef had cured Kirimi's fear of cats, helped him cause chaos (and apparently inspire emotional growth) within Ouran's Host Club, and generally wreak havoc that could not be pointed at him.
Which was a plus.
However, it must be said that Umehito really did love Berezenef. He gave the best advice, helped him study, and knew all sorts of dark rituals passed down through the Nekozawa family that his father hadn't the time to teach him. This did not, however, mean that Nekozawa wouldn't go insane when the puppet went missing. He trusted Berezenef, but the hand puppet's frequent disappearances were worrying.
When Nekozawa had been without his possessed cloth-buddy for a couple of weeks, the emotional conflict between trusting the spirit-in-puppet that was his friend and worrying for the thing had him at his wits end.
It was ten minutes before he learned the fate of Berezenef that Umehito wondered if the puppet hadn't been stolen instead. The Black Magic Club had been canceled for the day (at the suggestion of the resident first year, Kanazuki Reiko) because of Nekozawa's nerves. So he had the entire club room in the basement of the North Building to figure out what revenge he could exact upon the thief.
He was interrupted by a polite knock on the door. A "customer" to his club? And on an off day too...
"We're closed, come back on Thursday," he informed whoever was on the other side. The fact that he didn't hear a startled squeal at the sound of his voice was rather surprising, but he let it slide. He hadn't added the usual creepy-tone to it, so it was almost understandable that he should go unremembered by whoever this person was.
"Nekozawa-senpai," the voice was a bit high pitched for a boy, unless they were off the middle school, but the distinct feminine lilt made it apparently not so. "I think I found something of yours..." The door was opened and Nekozawa straightened himself from his plans to see who had entered the room; Fujioka Haruhi from class 1-A, and the "Natural Type" Host from Suou's club. Though it was what the student clutched that drew his eye.
"Berezenef!" He couldn't help the cry that burst from his throat as he crossed the room and swiped the puppet. "You've been gone for a full week and I've been worried..." he realized suddenly how strange it must seem that he was talking to a puppet at all and straightened up. Thankfully, Umehito was physically incapable of blushing from embarrassment (1). The stare that Fujioka was giving him...
"Sorry, it's just... sometimes I forget that you're naturally a blond," came the apology. He must have forgotten to put his wig back on, the soft light of the candles lulling him into a sense of security that his light allergy would not be acting up. Fujioka had been the same when the Host Club had been helping Umehito with Kirimi, but the entire Club – minus Suou and Ootori – had seen him without his protective get-up when they stayed at his beach house...
"And sometimes I forget you are a girl, Fujioka-kun," Umehito stated, remembering suddenly that Fujioka was a girl and that she had first seen him out of his darkness the same time that he had seen her as a female (a female wearing a pink silk night-gown at that). "But that doesn't make it any less true." And he really had forgotten that Fujioka was a girl, he hadn't even thought of her as such when the Hosts tried to get rid of his allergy (futile, painful, and partially successful, he supposed).
Unlike Umehito, Fujioka was fully capable of blushing, and she did. Not the full on tomato-face blush that plagued Suou from time to time, but a rater cute flush crossed her cheeks and turned her nose a strange shade of pink. Not that Umehito would admit that the sight was at all endearing.
Berezenef was slipped onto his hand like a glove, and while Umehito was expecting some great expounding of everything that had happened, all he got was a single message. I like her, the spirit in the puppet informed him.
It seemed he would have to wait to find out just what the importance of that particular disappearance was.
"Is there someone you would like me to curse? I must repay you for returning Berezenef to me," Umehito offered. He knew she wouldn't take it – commoners had pride like that – but he had to offer. Either way, he was honor bound to help her at some point in the future. Maybe he could scare someone into keeping her secret if it was found out. Yes, if she didn't ask anything of him at some point beforehand, he could do that.
"No thank you, Nekozawa-senpai," Fujioka waved her hands quickly in denial. He hadn't been terribly serious about the offer to begin with, but apparently Fujioka didn't know that. How could Umehito expect her to? They'd had all of half a conversation, and this was basically it. The odd comment in the very rare encounters between them.
Somehow, he still felt bitter for it. Why, he could not say.
The next encounter, oddly enough, happened at a wedding. Umehito really didn't want to go, but it was his cousin's wedding (not that he had ever met that particular cousin), and his father had said that he had to go. So there was really no arguing. All the Nekozawa family looked as though they were attending a funeral rather than a wedding, but it was expected and no one really commented on their dark attire. Umehito wasn't too happy about not being allowed to wear his cloak and wig, and Berezenef had to stay at home. Lucky puppet.
Mother's side of the family was a bit more conventional than Father's.
There was no reason for Fujioka to be there, as far as Nekozawa knew, but there she was with a very tan girl wearing too much make-up – the bride's third cousin, he thought. Fujioka was... well, she was beautiful, strangely. The wine red dress matched her nicely (funny, since he knew the Hosts always wanted to see her in lighter colors), and while he knew her hair managed to be so long because of extensions, it wasn't obvious.
The make-over was so different from the usual that Kirimi didn't even seem to recognize the "nerd" when the Nekozawa family found themselves seated directly across from the girl at the reception. It surprised Umehito, since Kirimi like the "nerd" who read her shoujo manga during the... light fiasco. Umehito didn't really say anything to her, though he sent a nod at the first year.
His mother, however, noticed. "Umehito, do you know those girls?" she asked quietly as she laid a white napkin over the lap of her black satin dress, the stark contrast more than a little obvious to anyone who looked down properly.
"The one in the red dress," he replied just as quietly, the sound of his voice drowned out by the more boisterous groups. "Fujioka Haruhi, a first year student in the high school section. She is a commoner." He paused a moment. "I think the girl she is with is from another school, also a commoner. I saw her at the sports festival a couple of months ago." Another pause. "Fujioka-kun returned Berezenef to me earlier this week."
"You should ask her to dance when dinner has ended," was all his mother said before she was engaged in a conversation with one of the bride's maids about something to do with that side of the family. She did, however, raise an eyebrow at his use of "-kun" at the end of Fujioka's name. It was a habit to refer to any boy at Ouran as their family name with "-kun" at the end, and even knowing Fujioka was a girl hadn't really changed that for her. He also called Kanazuki "-kun", but she was a friend and club member (and therefore categorized as asexual).
Umehito shook off those thoughts, not commenting on his mother's suggestion, and instead tried to hide a bit in the shady corner his family had been placed in. It was nice to have been seated away from the lights, but he still couldn't stand to be in too much light for too long. Having his new allergy medication delivered that morning helped, and Berezenef tended to only exacerbate the matter, so having him at home made it a bit better as well.
Dinner ended and the dance hall was opened. The bride and groom took their first dance and most everyone danced. Kirimi took Umehito about the floor for a few dances before he retired to a dark corner with a champagne flute of sparkling cider to recoup. In the time spent hiding, a dancing competition was announced.
A look from his mother told him to participate, though who with he didn't know. Kirimi had paired up with their mother's brother, and Umehito couldn't really think of anyone to dance with. Then he saw a flash of deep, purplish red and recalled that Fujioka was there. He found her quickly, without a partner, and decided that he could ask her. Mother was the one to make the suggestion after all.
"Fujioka-kun," he said calmly, not bothering with the creepy tone (it was a family occasion, not a silly moment at school where he could make someone freak out without repercussions) when he addressed her. Fujioka turned around and gave him a curious look.
"Yes, Nekozawa-senpai? Did you want something?" She was terribly naïve, and perhaps a bit too accepting. Most anyone else would be quaking in their boots so to speak, but Fujioka not only looked him in the eyes, but she seemed to not even notice that he was out of his comfort zone. She also seemed to have no idea that he intended to ask her to dance.
"Would you like to be my partner for the competition?" He asked. She blinked slowly before blushing. In Umehito's opinion, there was no reason to blush, unless she...?
"I only know how to waltz... and I've only ever led before..." she admitted, reaching up a hand in what was obviously a nervous gesture to ruffle the back of her hair before she touched the longer tresses and stopped herself. So she didn't like him like that. Good; the idea was... strange.
"It's easier to follow, and I do not mind if we are bumped out early," he sent a speculative glance at the chandeliers that brightened the room. He wouldn't mind at all if they were bumped out earlier.
"Oh, your photophobia..." she trailed off before nodding. "Alright, I suppose I can try."
"It's an allergy... but thank you," Umehito bowed shortly, holding out his hand for Fujioka to take, which she did. He supposed she had seen Suou make the same motions at one of those ridiculous Host balls since Fujioka certainly wouldn't have made the motions herself.
They stepped onto the dance floor and the first dance was a simple waltz. Considering Fujioka had been taught to dance the lead of it, she did an admirable job in Umehito's point of view. It was entertaining to see her fight the instinct to lead him around the dance floor.
"You know," Fujioka said after a moment, almost to herself but not quite. "You remind me of an Edgar Allen Poe character."
Umehito wasn't sure whether he should be flattered or insulted by that statement. Insulted that she saw him as one of the Poe narrators – who were mainly monomaniacs with a necrophilia fetish – or pleased that she had actually read Poe and maybe found it more tasteful than some.
"Oh?" He asked, being careful to lead the girl around a couple of children who were giggling in the middle of the floor as they tried to dance.
"Sure," she shrugged (an interesting prospect in a strapless dress, to be sure). "You fit the dark romantic position completely. I can't exactly see you staring at a corpse and finding that beautiful like in Annabell-Lee, or killing someone like the Cask of Amontillado, but you still seem like one of his characters. It's all about imagination, isn't it? Under your cloak is you. Really, without it you make me think even more of reading Poe in the library when I was a kid."
She let out a small laugh that was like the tinkling of bells (Silver Bells, he thought ironically), and the waltz ended. Several couples were retired and – for some reason – some American swing music came on. Umehito had no idea how to swing dance, and he had no idea what the singer was saying since he didn't speak English (he took Latin and spoke Russian, but English was as good as Greek to him).
Neither did anyone but the girl whom Haruhi had come with apparently. Know how to swing dance that is; English was a popular language in Japan... but that wasn't exactly the point, was it? Aside from the one girl and her partner, everyone just sort of stood there not knowing what to do.
"Your friend knows an... interesting way to dance," Umehito observed as the band died down only a minute into the song. He couldn't really think of anything else to say, and since he was paired with Fujioka it would be rude to ignore her.
"Mei-chan is a bit energetic," Fujioka replied evenly. As if nothing was strange. A new tune was struck up, a tango, and the conversation ended as Umehito tried – and failed – to lead Fujioka through the steps. They were knocked out of the competition and Umehito took care to be courteous before disappearing to his corner again. He was feeling a bit woozy.
When Kirimi came to find him, she was being coy as usual and said something that confused him. After all, why would Fujioka flirt with him?
The strangest thing happened one late January afternoon. When Umehito was at the dark alter for mass, Berezenef did not send him the usual visions of curses, darkness, and other things that would make a normal person scream. It could almost be called a day dream... but that wasn't right, was it? Umehito's daydreams were not like that.
His daydreams were not peaceful. They did not feature sunny beaches, blue oceans, puffy white clouds, or a girl in a white bikini. Moreover, they did not feature Fujioka in a white bikini. His daydreams did not focus on Fujioka's completely flat stomach or how her eyes sparkled under the sun.
He pulled quickly out of his prayers for the day and stared at Berezenef, who remained silent. Why would the puppet send him such a vision? It was too bright, too full of sunshine, and the sight of Fujioka in a bikini was not one Umehito had ever contemplated before.
What was the cursed voodoo doll playing at?
"The one I want is Shinigami Lovers (2)!" Kirimi reminded Umehito as he got into the waiting car. Kirimi was on her last shoujo manga and he had decided that it would help build the bond with his sister to go buy her some more. The small blonde that was Umehito's three-year-old sister had requested more volumes of all the series that had been part of the last set (which the butler knew the names of, so Umehito didn't need to think of it) and one new one called Shinigami Lovers.
Knowing shoujo though, it would likely be very flowery and not the least bit morbid. Thankfully, Umehito wasn't the one who read to Kirimi.
He had learned his lesson on that when he had to write Kirimi's love letter to the artist of Hana Yori Dango, which had contained mostly a long series of "xoxo" for hugs and kisses and doodles of hearts for love. He was traumatized by the experience. It would take more than a little bribery to get him to be around Kirimi when she was in a shoujo mood, even if she was his sister.
That night, Umehito was in one of his "rainbow moods" as his father called them. Berezenef had persisted in sending the strange visions of Fujioka, seeming to be hoping for a certain type of reaction that Umehito simply wasn't going to give, even if he knew what it was. Because of this, he was in a bad mood in a good way, if that made any sense. He was annoyed with the puppet, which made the puppet angry, which made Umehito happy because the puppet seemed just as annoyed as he was.
The word "schadenfreude" came to mind.
The trip to the book store itself was relatively uneventful. If one discounts the way that everyone in the shop avoided Umehito and the strange looks he received for picking up so much shoujo. He didn't care; they were petty people. It didn't matter if they were commoners or people who had business with his family; judging him for his dark disposition and possession of a possessed puppet was stupid and annoying of them.
No, nothing of particular note happened until Umehito was on his way back home. A train shot out of its station and he couldn't help but notice that a figure was running after it futilely, finally coming to a stop ten feet away from the covered area. The figure turned back around and headed back to the stop, but not before Umehito noticed who it was. The rain did not stop him from calling the car to pull over, nor did Berezenef's dark chuckles. A dark umbrella was pulled from the seat beside him in the Bentley and Umehito stepped out.
Fujioka didn't even notice him until he was standing beside her, the edge of the umbrella letting fall a drip on the dry concrete of the covered area. She looked up, surprised, and just sort of... looked at him. The water slid from the hair that was just out of her eyes as if they were tears.
"I noticed you missed your train," he mentioned as casually as he could. "Would you like a ride?"
"Wha-? Uh... yes, thank you," Fujioka stood quickly from the train-stop bench.
Umehito situated his umbrella over them both before leading her to the car. She slid over the seat, leaving a small trail of wet on the leather upholstery from the seat of her pants and the back of her jacket, and being careful to pick up Berezenef instead of sit on him (as a cat idol, he could not be taken in the rain). Umehito removed his cloak and handed it to her so that she could have some extra warmth; while he thought nothing of it, Berezenef cackled.
Haruhi told the driver where to go and the drive was silent thereafter. Umehito got out before her and gestured she come out on his side to get under the umbrella, which she did, albeit reluctantly.
"I don't need to be walked up to my apartment," she muttered, not looking at him.
With a shrug, Umehito continued escorting her up to the small gate in front of the apartment building. "You would get a cold if you got anymore wet," he stated. It was true. And while he did feel a bit naked without his cloak, she needed it more than he at the moment. Besides, with the sky as dark as it was, he hadn't really needed to extra protection. "And you said I was a Poe character, didn't you? They are all gentlemen."
Fujioka might have blushed then; Umehito wouldn't know as he suddenly slipped in a puddle and went flying into the small gate. It was certainly one way to gate crash. The umbrella had been caught by Fujioka in her attempt to catch him, but he really didn't mind that so much. He was more concerned that he might have hurt his arm and the fact that, for an instant, he had seen stars. He stood up, using the crashed-into gate as a support, and found that the muscle was a bit sore, but he doubted anything really bad had happened.
"Are you okay?" Fujioka didn't hesitate to ask. It almost sounded as though she cared; then again, Fujioka cared about everyone it seemed.
"I'm fine," he got back under the protection of the umbrella and held it again. "Just a little sore. That gate isn't too bad to fall on."
"Alright..." the girl glanced under the umbrella's brim at the stormy sky. "You don't think there's going to be any lightning, do you?" A curious question. Umehito sniffed lightly at the air before shaking his head.
"No, it smells like rain, but no storm," he stated. "Come along Fujioka-kun; you should dry off soon."
Fujioka continued to give him worried looks as he walked her up to her door, but really it wasn't so bad. When she had safely unlocked her door, Umehito gave her a small bow and returned to his car.
It was only when Berezenef pointed it out that he realized she still had his favorite casual-wear cloak. He could get it back at school.
It wasn't until Umehito tried finding Fujioka that he realized how little he really saw of her. The only time he did see her was during lunch, but the Host Club had all seated themselves under a sunbeam. The cloak that Umehito was wearing that day didn't keep out the light as well as his usual cloak – the one Fujioka still had – and while the new medication worked fairly well he didn't want to press his luck.
He decided to visit her during the Club hours; the Black Magic Club wasn't meeting that day since it was a Monday, and he knew that Fujioka's usual table was not too close to any of the windows. When the last period of the day let out, he was out the door and scanning other rooms hoping that he wouldn't have to make his visit during club hours, much as he would love to torture Suou.
His arrival was... stranger than usual, when he thought of it.
The Hosts had decorated the room in an odd manner. Each table had an array of fruit, the table clothes were a variety of colorsand decorated with fruit, and stranger still were the costumes.
Suou was wearing a peach-tone suit that had a subtle shine alluding to a lightly furry texture.
Haninozuka Mitsukuni, the top student in Umehito's class (Umehito himself was third) was wearing what could only be described as a child's costume that was definitely a strawberry.
Morinozuka Takashi, the second student in Umehito's class, wore a deep purple toga and could be seen rolling a peach around in his hand.
Ootori was wearing a deep red suit in the same style as Suou, though a different fabric, and it was shaded oddly.
The Hitachiin twins each wore pale orange man-skirts and were topless but for simple green sashes slung over their shoulders.
It was Fujioka, however, who caught Umehito's attention, and not just because he had to ask if she could return his cloak. She was dressed as a girl today, yet in a way that made it seem she could be a boy dressed as a girl. A bright red gown fell from her shoulders, almost Gothic (3) in style but for the fact that it was made to fit a boy rather than a girl. Her hair was done up almost identically to the way it had been at the wedding, though the hair ornament was sort of like an apple stem.
For some reason, he recalled an old curse his mother had told him about. She had handed him an apple and had him spin it around with the stem stationary while reciting the alphabet. "A, I, U, E, O, Ka, Ki, Ku, Ke, Ko" and so on. It was supposed to tell him what the name of the person he would marry would begin with.
He distinctly remembered the apple dropping when he got to "Ha."
Shaking the thought off, he crept over to Fujioka's table. She was biting in an apple at that moment (more apples?) and there was a small plate in front of her with orange peels curling on it, releasing a slight odor of citrus. Suddenly, she seemed to notice him and tore her attention away from the trio of customers she was serving at the time.
"Nekozawa-senpai," did she really sound excited to see him? "I was looking for you earlier. You forgot your cloak yesterday." She stood up, seeming to have completely forgotten that, not only were they in a room full of people who did not like him, but that she had three girls to tend to. "It's in my bag. I'll be back in just a moment."
With that she scurried off to the curtained area of the room, the dress twisting about her just so. The rest of the room turned their gazes to Umehito, who just wanted to melt into the shadows that weren't there. Suou was looking ready to spaz. For a moment, Umehito wondered just what sort of gossip would be sparked by this, but he didn't much care what people said about him anymore.
It's a nice dress on her, Berezenef observed. Umehito requested his silence and the puppet submitted, but only because Umehito had noticed.
Fujioka returned with the bundle of black in her arms. She seemed completely undisturbed by the awkward waves of conversation passing through the room. It was kind of nice.
"Thank you, Fujioka-kun," Umehito nodded when the cloak was back in his hands. Berezenef buried his face in the cloth and let out a contented sigh that only his human could hear. This was the favored cloak because Berezenef preferred it to the others.
"You can call me Haruhi," she stated. Umehito stopped for a moment and stared. Thankfully, the cowl of his cloak and the dark wig on his head his the expression from everyone but Fu- no. Haruhi.
"And you may call me Umehito," he stated after a moment. She nodded seriously and Umehito took the opportunity to flee before Suou or the Hitachiin twins could register what had just happened. Those three were notoriously protective of their "princess."
What he did not notice was that Haruhi had completely forgotten her half-eaten apple. Something highly abnormal for a commoner who loved food as much as she did.
It was two days after Valentines Day – not the fake Valentines Day that was celebrated a couple weeks before the first summer break, but the real Valentines Day – when Umehito saw her again. Not that he hadn't had his mind full of other thoughts.
On Valentines Day, Umehito had entered his classroom as usual. It was just another day to him. No girl liked him enough to give him chocolate, and any who might were scared away by his creepy exterior. But quite a few students were clustered around his desk in the back corner of the room, just behind the windows so that he wouldn't get any direct sun. Well, he couldn't have that; class was about to start!
"Excuse me," he made sure to add the creepy undertone to his voice. "But could I interest you in a curse?" It came out as more a threat than an offer, as he intended, and parted the sea of his classmates. It soon became obvious as to what they were looking at: a box sat on his desk, with a small envelope and his name written on the front.
What was more, it was a box of chocolates; home-made chocolates at that. (4)
As previously stated, he did not run into Haruhi for two days after this... event. In that time there had been more talk than he felt was necessary about the anonymous chocolate-giver. Some thought it was a prank, others said it was Kanazuki (it wasn't; she liked Haninozuka).
Only Umehito had any inkling that it might be Haruhi.
The encounter was almost on purpose. Umehito went to the Host Club to bother Suou since Kanazuki was visiting with her favored Host that day. It was sheer coincidence that Haruhi was running late.
She ended up running into him – literally – at the door of the third music room, scattering the bag of groceries that she had been bringing. Instant coffee containers and other commoner snacks that had become common fair among the Hosts fell to the ground. As it just so happened, so did Umehito.
Haruhi, however, did not fall to the floor. She fell on the person she had knocked over, much to her obvious embarrassment as her cheeks shown red.
"Sorry! I wasn't looking where I was going and I was in a hurry," she scurried off on him before realizing who she had just bowled over. "Oh! Umehito-senpai, I'm really sorry." She was obviously more used to calling him Umehito already than he was calling her Haruhi. "Here, let me help you up."
"No need, Haruhi-kun," it had taken three days of thinking before he decided to stick with "-kun" for Haruhi. Three long days. He pushed himself to his feet and started collecting the coffee canisters. The paper bag was ripped, so he would help her bring in the supplies (that would make Suou mad, certainly). He only realized she was doing the same when both their hands fell on the final item – a container of green tea.
He tried to take the moment in stride, really he did. He collected the tin and set it on the stack in his arms. He had never really cared before, but suddenly, Umehito was glad that he didn't blush.
"Why are people afraid of you?" Haruhi asked suddenly.
"They're afraid of what curses can do," he stated after a moment of thought. "People want to live."
"No, they just don't want to die. There's a difference."
That was the first inkling that Umehito had that maybe he liked Haruhi. That one statement flipped his world completely upside-down. Berezenef's calls for his attention to Haruhi clicked to make sense –
And he smiled at her.
Quiet as a shadow, he slipped onto the veranda. A small white box was set on the door mat of a certain apartment belonging to a certain cross-dresser, and he vanished just as quickly as he appeared.
I hope she likes my present, he thought to the puppet on his hand. With any luck, Nekozawa Umehito would have his first date with the perfect girl on Friday.
Inside that small white box was a silver necklace, a fine chain with tiny interlocking rings, holding an ornate butterfly of some multicolored metal.
Hopefully, she would like it.
Author's Note: The title is an allusion to the whole "devil on one shoulder, angel on the other" thing; the devil is always on the left. And dang it! The one time I have the chance to actually write from a female perspective... and I go for the male anyway. I must be the weirdest female-author; I never write from a girl's perspective. I'm sure it will happen eventually... maybe.
Okay... so the Hosts weren't dressed up quite as fruit... but it was my take on the challenge. I was going for more an aesthetic approach with underlying meaning since it's a Host theme. Since this story is centered sort of around the surreal (kinda), I used fruits that had certain meanings if they are seen in dreams. They are as follows:
Tamaki – Peach (trivial pleasure) Kyouya – Raspberry (business) Mori – Plum (acknowledgment for a job well done) Hani – Strawberries (happiness) Hitachiin Twins – Mango (seduction) Haruhi – Apple (drastic change)
(1) Yes, it's possible. Example: I don't get flushed unless I'm exhausted. You'd think with my penchant for making Harry blush in HPatHC that I would blush a lot, but I don't. Strange, isn't it? But I really can't imagine Neko-neko being a blusher.
(2) This is a real manga. I read the first three chapters; it's pretty stupid in my opinion.
(3) I mean the era, not the modern meaning.
(4) In Japan, girls give the boy they like chocolate on Valentines Day. If it is home-made, she is basically stating that the boy is the only one for her. On White Day (March 14) boys give gifts to the girl that they like.
And, so that I can get ALL fifty words in without spoiling the cuteness of this story, a mini-omake:
Umehito really wished he had worn his cloak.
"Wow... whoever that guy is, I hope he brought a condom. He'll have to beat his date off with a stick!"