Hi everyone! This is probably my fourth story so far. As you know, I placed my Falling White Threads piece in hiatus until I get some better ideas for the ending. So, to make up for that, I'm adding another quirky story on Yui and (drumroll) another Suzaku Sei that I've been crushing on for a long long long time. I hope you like the piece. Contrary to Just Play the Melody, everything happened after the incident in the book, so there's some sort of background drama and "talk about the past" stuff.
Disclaimer: For the hundredth time, I do not own FY and its characters belong solely to the great Yuu Watase. I do own the plot, though. I always do anyway. Hope you enjoy this story and don't forget to leave a review! :)
Chapter 1: Why should I do that?
"Yui-chan, why are you hurrying to leave? Aren't you going with us to the movies?" A voice called behind me and I found Miaka, barely fixing her things. I'm already near the door, I should have walked faster. I sighed, walking slightly closer to the exit.
"I'm sorry, Miaka. I won't be able to go with you. I know I promised but Mikagi-sensei asked me to attend practice today." I said, my heart racing. It always hammers hard when I'm lying.
"But you're always in that skating rink Yui. Can't you have at least one day off?"
I shook my head. "I'm sorry." I walked toward my bestfriend and held her hand. "I'll make up next time. I promise."
Miaka pouted. "Fine. But you're treating me a chocolate cake."
I let out a laugh. Miaka loved sweets, she will never resist one. "Fine by me." I turned around and headed for the door. I was about to leave when a thought struck me. I turned around to find her still watching me. "Aren't you meeting Taka?"
"He'll be late so I'm taking my time," Miaka said. I nodded and waved at her, mouthing 'Bye.' That's the reason why I'm rushing to go. The truth is, I don't have skating practice, my trainer will attend a party tonight. But I'm going to the rink anyway. It wouldn't hurt to do the jumps again.
Miaka and Taka were going out today. It was supposed to be a movie-day with my bestfriend but she unconsciously invited her dear boyfriend. Of course Taka said yes. How could he not? He was head over heels in love with Miaka. I don't always lie to her but I can't tell her straight that I'm not comfortable having her boyfriend around. It's not that I like him (as I used to) and I'm jealous (I really am not), it's because when he's around I remember things I don't want to remember. Like Shin Jin Ten Sho.
It's been three years since the book happened. I've moved on. Miaka moved on. We're high school seniors now. But when Taka appeared last year, the whole event started to take shape again. My nightmares came back and I frequently find myself thinking of my seishis. Tamahome came back in the form of Taka but none of my seishis were given a second life. Not that I wanted them roaming around Tokyo, I simply wanted to see them. If the situation would have been different, like the present, would they love me? Would Nakago love me?
I shook the thoughts away. I told you, those things get into my head without my consent. I easily get carried away. I sighed as I enter the stadium. I didn't have my practice suit and my skates. It's a wonder Miaka never noticed I didn't have my duffel bag. Well, she's always been like that—unless it has anything to do with Taka. She never even noticed her seishis were falling in love with her. See, I'm mumbling again.
I rented a pair of skates and the girl at the counter looked at me. "Shut up Yui, why are you renting? Didn't you bring yours?" Aya teased, her green eyes glimmering under the lights of the stadium. I never wore skates everyone else used. Until now.
"I forgot mine. Actually I don't have practice today, I'm just hanging around." She laughed.
"What's your size? I should record this on cam, the day the great Yui Hongo used someone else's skates. Let me get the ugliest one."
"Shut up." I gave my size and Aya handed me a pair of white skates. The blades shone under the light and the leather smelled fresh.
"Those are new," she told me. I looked up at her, surprised. "You don't have to pay. I'm renting those out for free."
"You're crazy…" I stammered. What else was there to say? I was elated. Maybe renting wasn't so bad at all. Aya laughed heartily. She managed the shoe rentals. Her father owned the stadium and she's my age. Of course she can rent out skates for free.
"Nobody wanted to rent new ones, if you know what I mean. I'd be really glad if you let it sink in."
"Thank you." I smiled and bit my lower lip. "I…"
"Don't go dramatic on me Hongo. Why don't you win so I can ask Dad to place your picture here somewhere. That's good publicity, you know." She shooed me away and I walked away laughing, only to be called again. "Aki wanted to tell you something. Just meet him after an hour or so." Aki, Aya's twin brother, managed the food counter. They both work at the stadium their family owned. It was not a way of saving money, but their father's way of training them for bigger roles.
The Mikagis were one of the richest families in Japan. They're into hotels but this stadium, a not-so-big skating rink at the east side of Tokyo was the only recreational facility they owned. It was started by Ayama, Aya and Aki's mother. She's a former champion figure skater. She wanted to train Aya but the girl doesn't want to skate. She wanted a different life.
I glided on the ice and my feet moved on its own. Rush of cold wind blew against my face and I let my thoughts wander. People have started to leave and the rink was closing for private practices. I'm the only one who practiced here after five in the afternoon. Ayama wouldn't let another skater when she took me under her wing.
After junior high and after Taka appeared, I was devastated and found myself in this part of the city. It was not fair, Miaka got the love of her life back and all I got was a broken heart. During one of the days when my head was in the clouds, I chanced upon this rink and skated the whole night—until it closed.
Skating was never new to me, I used to skate even before I began to study hard. I only stopped when I decided to become a doctor. I still wanted to be a doctor, I haven't forgotten that. I'm just killing time before I take the plunge. I could not forget the night I met Ayama. Aki couldn't close the rink because I was still skating and he said I looked too serene, he doesn't want to disturb me.
When Ayama saw me, she asked me if I'm a figure skater. Of course I said no, I don't have the money to build a career on skating, I told her. I just do it when I'm down and I can afford it. She blinked and suddenly asked me if I wanted to be her skater. She said I could use the rink for free, I just needed to buy a pair of good skates. She also gave me a discount on her professional fee on the condition that I help out when I can. Did I mention I work here during the weekends?
I winced. The boots sank deeper into my feet, I can feel my flesh trembling while I skate around the rink. Everyone hates new skates, it hurt. I did some jumps and routines, for warm up, and hastily went to the bleachers. The pain was unbearable. Maybe it's a bad idea to use someone else's skates after all. I took off the skates and put on my school shoes. I slowly walked toward the food counter. Great, my feet hurt and I'm starved.
"That was an awful jump," Aki, the exact replica of Aya—light brown hair and green eyes—told me. I smiled in response. "What will you have?"
"Just salad," I replied. I needed to maintain my figure. Skaters almost don't eat.
"Just salad?" His brow creased and I laughed.
"With cheese. Lots and lots of melted cheese!" Okay, I'm pigging out tonight. Was that so bad?
"Salad with lots and lots of cheese coming right up." He immediately turned away to prepare my order. The twins were the nicest richest people I've met. They've been very supportive, urging me to compete. I was reluctant at first but what's the use of training if I don't join competitions? Besides, my parents don't care much on what happens to me as long as I'm alive.
"Aya had me rent out new skates. God it hurts," I told him over the counter. He laughed.
"You rented those? I thought you bought new ones. What happened to your things?" he asked, his back still on me.
"I'm not supposed to be here today. I just popped in." He didn't say anything but I heard him mumbling. I remembered what his sister told me earlier. "Aya said you're supposed to tell me something." Aki stirred. "What is it?"
He turned around. "Here's your salad, overflowing with melted cheese." He handed me the paper plate. "The food's on me, no need to pay."
I laughed. "This must me my lucky day! I'm getting things for free." I said, not caring if anyone else heard us. The rink was deserted, I think. "Maybe it's not such a bad idea, ditching movies for skating."
Aki laughed. "You're crazy Yui." He knew what I mean. I told him about the movies days ago, how I don't want to be the third wheel but I can't tell my friend about it. Aki haven't met Miaka yet—she's not the type who like hanging out in such places—but he knew her from my stories. I loved talking to Aki, he's always listening and giving good advices. Makes me feel like I have a brother.
I looked down at my salad and smiled, it's full of cheese alright and it's still warm. "So what are you going to tell me?" He sniggered and glanced briefly at his side, checking our surroundings, as if sharing a matter of life and death secret.
"I'll tell you later. Finish your salad and be sure to burn those tomorrow morning." I was about to say something when he winked. I blushed. He never did that before. It made me realize that he was cute. He turned around and I carried the plate with two hands. The cheese was overflowing, really overflowing.
I couldn't remember much of what happened. But after I turned around, I accidentally (and strongly) hit someone and I slipped. The sudden force sent me and the other person falling to the ground with me on top. You could have guessed where my plate of salad with overflowing cheese landed—between us. I lifted my hands from a chest and I winced, the food (my free dinner) was scattered all over, my hair, my arms and hands, my uniform, his shirt. The realization struck me. I fell on a him. I looked up to see his face.
I gasped. He was gorgeous, no almost beautiful. His long brown hair was flowing lazily behind him and his deep hazel eyes were staring at me, partly annoyed. He looked familiar but I can't remember where I saw him. I frowned, there were marks of cheese on his face, but it didn't make him less appealing. As a matter of fact, he looked sexy under me. Under me?
He cleared his throat. "Oh my God." I blurted out, realizing what just happened between us. I shifted and my knee accidentally brushed his crotch. I couldn't help but blush at the contact.
He made a sound. "Don't do that." He said, his voice deep and full. I knew I blushed harder. I must have looked stupid, how can I not? I'm in the most intimate position in my life. And I'm in it with a beautiful stranger. AND I'm somehow enjoying it. What? Crap that part. I am not enjoying this. Not supposed to.
"Yui, are you okay?" I turned my head to the left and Aki was there, still in his apron and cap. He must have rushed out of the counter when I fell—when we fell. He looked at the man I fell into and his eyes widened. He opened his mouth to apologize.
"Help?" I cut him. I mean, his apology can wait. We should get out of the position first. Aki hurriedly assisted me as I stand. The man stood up as well and I realized he was a head taller than I am. And wow, he was really really really gorgeous. I looked at Aki again. "I'm a mess. How can I go home looking like this?"
Aki laughed heartily. "I said burn the cheese tomorrow, not throw them away tonight," he teased. "That's part of my salary, you know." He was still smiling. He's so cute when he smiles.
I sighed. "I'm sorry…" I turned to the man I bumped into earlier and smiled at him. "Oh, I'm really sorry." I took out my handkerchief and offered it to him. Instead of accepting it, he eyed it in a disgusted manner. "It's clean." I said.
Aki reached for my outstretched hand and dragged it down. "Yui, I don't think he can use that." Aki turned to him and bowed. "I'm really sorry for what happened. Please understand."
I rolled my eyes. "I'm just offering it," I told Aki, who was still bowed down. I looked at the long-haired man and saw him smirk. "You could at least pretend to get it instead of looking disgustingly," I told him. I'd love to wash that smirk off his handsome face. Believe me, it doesn't suit him.
"Yui!" Aki called, surprised. There was a sense of panic on his voice. What's wrong? I wanted to ask him but I never got the chance. The man spoke.
"Why should I do that?" he asked, stressing the words. I frowned. He was such a stiff man, even though he was hot. "If you have been more careful, I, you even, wouldn't be drenched in cheese."
My patience waned and I raised an eyebrow. "If you were not standing too close behind me, I wouldn't have bumped on you." I told him, my voice sharp. "Why are you so arrogant? Who are you any—"
Aki's hand was covering my mouth and I struggled to break free. I wanted to give this man a piece of my mind. "I'm really sorry. Please understand," Aki said again and I rolled my eyes.
The man bowed a little. "I shall be leaving. Thank you for your hospitality." He strode away proudly. A group of men approached him and bowed before him. He glanced back at my direction one last time before he walked out of the swinging doors of the rink.
I pushed Aki away and took some air. "Were you trying to kill me? Why did you do that?"
Aki grabbed his hair, an act he only does when he's tensed. "You're crazy, Yui! Do you have any idea who that guy is?"
I smirked. "Let me guess. Some son of a rich businessman who woke up this morning and said: Hey, I want to skate and pester girls today," I said sarcastically.
Aki made a sound while shaking his head. "Worse. He's a member of the royal family." My eyes widened in shock. "They rented out the place months back. That's what I wanted to tell you earlier. There's a reason you don't have practice today."
"Who is he?" I asked, stupidly. I shouldn't have but I wanted to know. I just wanted to know.
"Seishuku Saihitei, the first Prince of Japan."
A/N: This is my first Yui-Hotohori fic. Please do leave reviews! I'd like to know what you think!