If you have read my other fanfics, you should have noticed that I always include the character's silent thoughts in first person context. This time, however, I'm not going to do it. It's just too taxing, changing colours, allocating diff. brackets, thinking in each characters point of view etc. In this fanfic, I will still include the character's feelings, but mostly in third person context this time. I promise you, this fanfic will be as fun as the rest.

"HEE YAH!" Fuuko gave a cry of triumph as she executed a high kick, then doubled a snap kick, sending her opponent, a heavy boned young man, sprawling to the ground. As Fuuko calmed herself to reduce the adrenaline level, a burst of applause and cheers greeted her. She knew that compared to the big sized adversary, Fuuko was, although lithe and athletic, considered small and petite. And she defeated him without even using the fuujin. This made the victory even sweeter. But one small fact marred her conquest; he was a martial arts student, and she was the instructor. She was suppose to win.

"Now do you all understand how to deliver a high kick and snap kick ?" Fuuko faced all her students. A chorus of "Yes" echoed back, and Fuuko was inclined to end the lesson. After a long day of boring classes, a session of workout was indeed refreshing, but having to coach and look out for her juniors was tiring, if not exhausting. Taking a peep at the hall clock, Fuuko made a few light quick calculations in her mind, and decided that she had indeed been instructing for 2 whole hours, and declared the lesson over.

After a relaxing shower, Fuuko gathered her perspiration-soaked track suit and dumped the whole pile into her bag, and walked out of the gymnasium. Waving 'good-byes' to a few classmates, Fuuko made her way back to the hostel. She was dead-beat, and she would much prefer a personal training session. She hadn't even eaten since that afternoon, and lunch was only a soggy sandwich. However, coaching the martial arts class was a price she had agreed to pay. Now, she was thoroughly regretting her choice. Fuuko had tried to enroll in Tokyo University, a prestigious Japanese college with a course in meteorology that she was extremely interested in. Her marks, though, were a different story. However, the school had a long history of brilliant sporting achievements, including martial arts, and the administrative board had allowed Fuuko to enlist, on account of her skills. However, not only did she have to join the school's official team, she also had to coach her juniors. 'Well, I can't step-down now, not when it's so late in the term. How I wish I had Mikagami's money and brains.' Fuuko muttered. Tokiya, whose scores were astounding, was welcomed into the university with open arms. The fact that he was rich did not hurt one little bit. Although the school would have liked Mikagami on the martial arts team, his previous 2 qualifications were enough to ensure he could do pretty much as he wanted. As though to prove a point, Tokiya suddenly appeared at the far end of the field, just across Fuuko's path. She waved fervently to her old friend, but he just regarded her with an icy glare, then acknowledged her presence and greeting with a slight nod of his head, and stalked off in the other direction.

'What a way to greet an old buddy. Maybe I should have left him to bleed or burn to death in the Uroubatousatoujin.' Fuuko was rather peeved by Tokiya's cold accosting, and the fact he was headed to the private housing estate, where the wealthier students had their private apartments with their personal housekeepers. Being prosperous, it was obvious Tokiya had property in that section of the campus. Fuuko just shrugged and ignored the retreating figure as she continued her path back to her lodgings. Then, suddenly, by the pale moonlight, Fuuko made out 2 dark shadows, and recognized the tall, muscular one belonging to her boyfriend, Raiha. The latter was not a student in Tokyo University; he attended a nearby private college for business students. 'That sweet Raiha, coming all the way here to see me on the middle of the night.' All of Fuuko's weariness and exhaustion disappeared immediately. She ran the remaining distance towards her boyfriend, but what welcomed her arrival was not at all as she expected. The other shadow morphed into a female figure, and to Fuuko's mirth, saw that it was Yokko Sashima, a rival student from her course. It didn't help that Yokko was beautiful as she was intelligent, and what made matters a whole lot worse was that Yokko was sobbing with all her heart, as she held on to Raiha, preventing him from walking away. Under normal circumstances, Fuuko would have seized the opportunity to make fun of her nemesis, but when Yoko was crying on Raiha, Fuuko had no urge to laugh at all. She had always prided herself as being able to totally trust Raiha, whom she was certain was absolutely faithful to her. But Fuuko was dead certain something was going on now, and she didn't like it one single bit.

Reminding herself to keep her mind open and listen to all explanations, Fuuko ventured nearer to the couple. "Raiha, Yokko? What's going on?". Raiha saw his girlfriend, and he appeared shocked and guilty. He was about to say something, but Yokko beat him to it. She launched herself onto Fuuko, grabbed her arm, and begged, "Fuuko, please, I beg of you. Please let me win this time. I need Raiha, I just can't live without him!" Fuuko directed an angry glare at Raiha, who just reddened and looked away. "Fuuko, you are so popular in the school, and you score so well in meteorology class. I know that I can't compete with you in martial arts, but please, I really, really need Raiha. Please, let me have him. He refused to be with me unless you allow him too. He loves me so much, but he doesn't want to break your heart. Please, I'll do anything for you, just release him." Yokko burst into hysterical sobs once again. Fuuko was stunned. She never expected Raiha to betray her. She was convinced that this crying scene was just another of Yokko's little schemes to upstaged her. So, she put herself directly in front of Raiha, and demanded an explanation.

"Raiha, is Yokko telling the truth?"

"Fuuko. I." Raiha could not continue. But he did not have to. Fuuko could see the truth in his eyes. He loved Yokko, her enemy, not her. Fuuko wanted to scream, to cry, to lash out at someone, but with steel like determination managed to prevent that. Instead, she just waved one hand at the wailing Yokko and said to her ex-boyfriend, "I can see that Yokko really loves you. And since you love her back, I can't keep you anymore. I'll be the third party. It won't be fair to any of us."

"Fuuko, you mean.' Raiha could not believe his ears. He had not expected Fuuko to give in so willingly. For a second, he was upset that he was only worth so little in Fuuko's heart, so low that she could just give away, just with a hand gesture. But Fuuko's next words made his heart burst with sorrow and regret.

"Yes, I mean it. I don't deny that I love you very much, but I believe that loving someone is to ensure that person's happiness. And since I can't give you that, I should, no, I must allow someone else to shoulder that responsibility. Yokko is a rival of mine, but if you, the best person in the world, loves her, then there must be something good about her that I have not noticed. Well, I just wish you all the best. "

"Fuuko, I really don't know what to say." Raiha was stumped for words. He knew that she had many good qualities, but showing sensibility and affection was new to him.

"You don't need to say anything, Raiha. I know you feel guilty, but I give you permission not to. You literally saved my life more that once, and then for 2 years, made me the happiest girl alive. I can't thank you enough. Leaving you is the very least I can do. Bye." Fuuko ended this conversation abruptly, for although her face betrayed no emotion, and she had opted for a calm, cool and collected exterior, her heart was already bursting with sadness and grief. She turned away from the couple, and jogged towards the hostels. She did this so that there would be no witness the her tears, now pouring uncontrollably out of her eyes, and now her face. If she had turned back for a last glimpse at Raiha, the poor girl would definitely have noticed a malicious grin on Yokko's face. Fuuko couldn't believe it. In one split second, her perfect world had crumbled, leaving only debris and rubble for her. She had never known heartache this painful before. "Now I know why Mikagami refused to love again. To go through all this pain another time, would surely tear the heart and mind." Fuuko mused through her misery. Around her, the wind swirled around the buildings, as though mourning for her lost love. The skies darkened as rain clouds gathered; a storm was in the brewing, as the angels cried for Fuuko. Raindrops came in the from of a fine drizzle, but Fuuko didn't care. She just concentrated on blindly running through the rain, as though to wash away all her sorrow and misery.

Tokiya saw and heard the whole scene through from a short distance away. He didn't have to guess how Fuuko was feeling. In fact, he had passed by Raiha and Yokko on his way home, but they were too engrossed to notice him. He had turned back after seeing Fuuko advancing on the couple. He sighed; Fuuko did not deserve that kind of treatment. She was too kind, and the way she reacted was a surprise to him. He had thought that she would have beaten Raiha up, or at least screamed at him. Tokiya was impressed by Fuuko's self-control and sacrifice. "That Raiha deserves a beating," Tokiya spoke to himself, "Not Fuuko or Yokko. Still, I wonder if Fuuko knows that Yokko planned this whole set-up tonight?" Then, shaking his head, Tokiya decided to mind his own business and pushed this incident to the back of his head. By the time he returned to his own apartment, the weather outside had worsened into a full-blown storm. Putting his damp clothes in the wash, Tokiya slipped on a long sleeve shirt and pants, and heated up the cold dinner awaiting him, prepared by his part time housekeeper, Mrs. Miyuki Taketo, who was also the nanny that brought him up. While waiting for his food, Tokiya wandered towards the full glass doors that opened to the balcony. On a cool and serene day, he would take his meals overlooking the city. On rainy and blustery days such as this night, he would much rather prefer his dinner indoors. It was not that Tokiya disliked water, oh he loved it. After all, it gave 'life' to his ensui, which was the most precious item he owned. But, he much prefer admiring water in a fountain, pond, bath tub, as snow or the means for ice-skating. Rain was only to nurture the surroundings. As he was letting the pale blue French curtains down, he noticed something that made him shudder slightly with distaste. Glancing from a 25th floor elevation, down to a 20 stories high office building, he made an observation. 'That gargoyle on top of that building looks pretty ugly. Why haven't I noticed it before? Oh well, it's not my building, so why should I care?' With a shrug, Tokiya let down the rest of the curtain, obscuring the mysterious figurine, and went to take a rest.

Tokiya woke up suddenly to the roaring of the wind outside his window. Grabbing the alarm clock, and taking a look, he just couldn't believe that it was only 3am in the morning. For no reason at all, he had spent hours turning and tossing in bed, unable to sleep. He did not and never suffered from insomnia, and he usually slept best during cold weather. The worse was yet to come. When he finally managed to sleep, he was plagued with nightmares about Raiha dumping Fuuko, the same picture repeating over and over again in his head. 'This should be Fuuko's nightmare, not mine. And why am I feeling so sorry for that tomboyish brat!?' Tokiya vented his frustration on his pillow. Then, simmering down and realizing it was not the pillow's fault, Tokiya put his headrest away and went to the kitchen for a drink. After taking a dose of hot, cooling tea, Tokiya felt much, much better. However, the weather outside was anther story. The wind was still howling its lungs out, (if it had any), and rain pelted repeatedly against the windows. He walked to the glass door leading to the balcony and raised the French curtains, wanting to see the extent and strength of the wind. Frankly, he was rather amazed at the storm's strength. Wind howled like mad wolves, rain felt like fine needles, trees bent to almost double their height, lightning and thunder raced across the sky, claiming it as their own. 'It's really uncanny that such a big storm occurred when Fuuko was upset. Could that mean that Fuuko's emotions could affect her fuujin without her control? Or is it just a coincidence?' Tokiya was puzzled, but could not come up with any answer. Resolving to speak to Fuuko the next day, or maybe a week after because of that touchy incident, Tokiya let down the curtains once more. Then, something caught his attention. 'I swear that hideous gargoyle was on the left of the building just now. Yet, it's on the right now! How can that be?' Tokiya was again troubled by another perplexity. As though answering his question, a streak of bright lightning lit up the area, giving him a clearer look at the Gothic statue. To his surprise and then shock, he realized that the 'gargoyle' was a person and not a sculpture. Taking in the drenched clothing and colouring, Tokiya just shook his head at the folly of his 'gargoyle'. Suddenly, memories of the previous night flashed before him, and came soaring back. With a frown, he took a closer look at the small figure, and confirmed his suspicions. As though agreeing with Tokiya, the skies then boomed it's approval, which rang out through the night. After the thunder had finally ceased, Tokiya just sighed deeply as he looked through a wet glass plane at the distorted figure of his dear, old, heartbroken friend, Fuuko.

Tokiya was surprised at Fuuko. He knew she would be sad, devastated even, but he knew her to be a sensible, tough and never-mind-that-boyfriend- dumped-me,-I'll just-find-another-one type. Glancing at the clock, then at the small figure of Fuuko, Tokiya contemplated, "She has been drenching herself for 5 hours now. What has got into that thick skull of hers? She will surely freeze herself to death!" Recca, Domon, Yanagi or Koganei would immediately rush to Fuuko, and drag her to shelter if necessary. Then they would most likely go find Raiha and beat the latter up. But Tokiya was different. The one thing that separate him from the other Hokage members was that he always thought things through before acting. He knew he ought to go knock some sense into Fuuko at once, but he knew her temper. Besides, he believed and knew that most heartbroken people preferred to grieve alone. However, Fuuko would certainly gain a deathly cold if she continued to brave the elements, and the other 4 would doubtlessly blame him for not interfering. Just before the term started, Tokiya had went back to his hometown. On learning Fuuko would be in the same college as him, Recca and the others threatened him with bodily harm if he didn't take care of Fuuko. Yanagi wanted to be a teacher, and a degree at a local school would suffice. Not having a head for figures and words, Recca chose to follow Yanagi. Furthermore, Recca wanted to be with her, and perhaps it reasoned that Tokiya threatened the former with bodily harm if he left Yanagi. Domon, forever after Fuuko, wanted to follow her, but even with his skills, he marks were just too low, and he didn't have the cash. Fuuko grades were only just below entry points, she could afford the fees, and contributing her fighting skills paved the way for her access into Tokyo University. Tokiya shook away the past, and concentrated on his present problem. He wanted to leave Fuuko alone; he was never and did not want to start being a busybody, moreover she would surely scream at him for intruding. But on the other hand, she would obviously fall sick if he did not, and the others would be after his head. In the end, Tokiya chose the lesser of the 2 evils. Sighing, (this must be his favourite trait), he reached for an umbrella.

The elevator doors parted at the 20th story and Tokiya walked out. Fuuko was still there, right at the edge of the building, staring mindlessly into space, oblivious of the hard rain beating down, or the wind creating miniature tornadoes around her. Tokiya raised the open umbrella, and walked quietly towards Fuuko. She was just staring, at what, Tokiya didn't know, and Fuuko wasn't so sure herself. Suddenly, water just stop pouring from above, and Fuuko, dazed, looked up into the cool blue eyes of her friend.

"Mikagami, what are you doing here?" Fuuko blue eyes rounded in surprise.

"Well, what are you doing here? And standing in the rain without an umbrella!"

"I, well. It's just that. Actually. actually it's nothing." Fuuko tried to act nonchalantly.

"You've been soaking up rain water for 5 hours now, and that is nothing?"

"I have?" Fuuko wasn't too sure how much time had passed. "I guess I lost track of time. You actually counted? How do you know?" Fuuko challenged. She was taken aback, since she never thought Mikagami to care about anything or anyone.

"I saw you out of my apartment windows. I live over there." A brief gesture at the tall building answered the question.

"I know you lived around here. But I wasn't so sure where." Fuuko tried her best to avert the main question. Too bad Tokiya was just too smart for her.

"You haven't answered my question, Fuuko. What are you doing out here getting wet in the middle of the night? You might get really sick!" Tokiya waited for a reply.

"It's just that I needed to cool down." Fuuko's curt response lifted Tokiya's eyebrows as he stared down at Fuuko.

"You need to get doused in rain for 5 hours just to cool down?" This evoked a response from Fuuko. She blushed hotly and finally decided to tell the truth.

"I. I mean Raiha and I."Fuuko couldn't bring herself to carry on, and just turned her gaze back to the sleeping city. Tokiya detected a sharp gleam in her eyes that was not rain water and decided to put Fuuko out of her misery.

"I know what happened. I passed them before I met you. When I saw you walking towards them, I retraced my steps." He actually felt embarrassed for eavesdropping, and expected Fuuko to start with "YOU WHAT!?", "How could you?" or the likes. Instead.

"You saw everything? Well, so what do you think? Was I a fool to give Raiha up?"

"You did very well. That was unselfish and I'm proud of you." This comment finally cracked Fuuko's splintered heart. "But I love him so much! I don't blame him for falling in love with Yokko, I blame myself for neglecting him or. or whatever I did wrong!" Fuuko couldn't hold back her tears any longer, and they came gushing out, like a never-ending stream. Tokiya was helpless. He was more confident of defeating a 100 foot giant than dealing successfully with a hysterical female. Luckily, the gale blew itself out.

"I'm being like any other silly, gushy little female aren't I?" Fuuko asked in a small, choked voice as she dried her tears.

"No. Raiha is the stupid one, giving you up. He deserves a good beating."

"NO!" Fuuko stopped him in mid sentence. "It isn't his fault. One cannot order love. He just stopped caring for me, that's all. Promise me you're not going to tell Recca and the others. They'll surely try to kill Raiha. Then Raiha will hurt them in self-defense. I don't know, but either way, someone will get hurt, and I don't want bloodshed just because of me. You're smarter than the others, surely you'll anticipate that. Promise?" Tokiya looked into Fuuko's determined and resolved eyes, and nodded. She let out a relief sigh and then returned to her original position, like a guardian looking over her slumbering domain.

"Fuuko, it's still raining acts and dogs. You'll catch a cold out here. Come on, go back to the hostel now." Tokiya tugged at her sodden sleeve.

"You go back first, Mikagami. I just want to stay here a little longer. It's so calm and peaceful; it really refreshes my mind." Fuuko tired to release his grip on her arm.

"You're soaked through and you still want to stay here?! Don't be stubborn, Fuuko. Recca and the others will kill me if you fall sick!" Tokiya grabbed Fuuko's arm in a gentle but vice-like grip and tried to steer her towards the elevator. She tried to struggle, but hunger, exhaustion, the weather and emotional turmoil took its toil on her, the last of her physical strength faded away, and Fuuko sagged heavily against Tokiya in a dead- faint. It took all of his training and honed reflexes to catch Fuuko as she slid to the ground. Then circling her waist with his arm to support her, Tokiya managed to get both of them to the elevator. A second later, Fuuko eyelids flickered and as she struggled to regain her balance, succeeded with a small laugh, "I blacked out for a moment there. Jeez, I'd never thought I would actually faint into your arms. Oh, did I hurt you?" Tokiya wound his arm tighter around her waist to brace her better, "No, you didn't hurt me. But you sure gave me a fright." Then putting his free hand on her forehead, came up with a diagnosis, "You're running a high fever. Why am I not surprised?" Tokiya couldn't resist a hint of sarcasm. Fuuko, although feverish, had her wits intact and refused to be beaten, "I thought you were a law student, Mikagami. Since when did you change to a medicine course?" Tokiya just shook his head and sighed, "Sick or not, your tongue is still as sharp as ever."

Once on the ground floor, both of them stared into the heavy rainfall, and Fuuko tried once again to release Tokiya's hold on her. "Okay, you win. I'll go straight back to my hostel room now. You happy?!" Tokiya let Fuuko walk 3 steps towards the campus ground before catching her as she slipped and staggered on a puddle of water.

"You can barely walk! See what comes from spending so much time with the elements?" Giving his umbrella to her and then hooking an arm around her waist and another behind her knees, Tokiya lifted a bewildered Fuuko up. Fuuko was never meant to be a weak female, a damsel in distress, and she sure protested loudly and wildly enough, "I'm not a pathetic, sickly and unable-to-walk female. Why don't you try this on Yokko? She'd be a much better subject! And you're walking in the wrong direction. The hostels are that way!" Tokiya just sighed again and replied, rather annoyed, "I know you're a Superwoman. But Superwomen still get sick sometimes. You can't even stand up straight. And am I the sort that will let you find your way back in this condition? Anyway, the rain is much too heavy, and you need some dry clothes before pneumonia sets in. My lodgings are the nearest. This is for your own good, so why don't you cooperate?" Grudgingly, Fuuko agreed with Tokiya's reasoning and kept her mouth shut all the way till they reached the latter's apartment. Once they were inside, Tokiya pushed Fuuko inside the bathroom without hesitation, and gave her some of his clothes, including a long sleeve shirt that he had grown out of a long time ago. At last she emerged, looking like a young girl playing dressing up with her father's clothes. Tokiya, already dried and changed, took charge of her wet things and directed her to the master bedroom, his room.

"This is your room, Tokiya. Where are you going to sleep tonight?" Fuuko eyes were closing and her frame was drooping as exhaustion finally got the best of her.

"I have another bedroom belonging to my housekeeper, who rarely stays here overnight. Don't worry about minor issues. Aunt Yuki will chaperone you tomorrow, and take care of your cold while I'll go get some of your clothes."

"My keys are in the bag... And my roommate." Fuuko fell asleep even before finishing her one sentence, so tired she was and Tokiya got up to leave the room. Suddenly, Fuuko burst out of bed, scaring Tokiya half to death. "I have to conduct a martial arts class tomorrow, I mean today at 8am. I have to go get ready!" She tried to reach the door, but Tokiya was blocking her way and turned her around back to the bed. "I told you I will handle everything. You sleep. End of story." Fuuko wanted to resist, wanted to tell him that it was part of the school board's terms, but Tokiya's stern tone broke down her resistance. Besides, the bed beckoned invitingly to Fuuko, and even as she crawled under the soft down covers, her mind was already in dreamland. Satisfied with his charge, Tokiya switched of the lights and resolved to get what little rest he could.

Just before he left his apartment, Tokiya took the sleeping Fuuko's temperature, and discovered it to be a burning 39.7 degree. Gripping his ensui, Tokiya managed to cool the surrounding temperature down, but Fuuko only mumbled something incomprehensible about being cold and snuggled deeper into the blankets. Tokiya did not know how to handle a sick person, he himself rarely fell sick, so he phoned his nanny and asked her to arrive earlier. Satisfied that he tied up all loose ends, Tokiya left for Fuuko's room to pick up her clothes. 'And take charge of her martial arts class she was so worried about.' Tokiya reminded himself.

The roommate was not in a very good mood to be suddenly awaken by a stranger. In fact, she was outraged.

"Who are you? How come you have Fuuko's keys? Where is she? Is she alright?"

"You must be her roommate. Yes, Fuuko's fine. She just sent me to get some clothes of hers. She's sick and spent the night at my house."

"Your house? Fuuko would never do that. She has Raiha. You're lying!"

"In reply to all your questions, I have a private apartment in the campus. As for Raiha, you can ask Fuuko yourself, but according to my speculations, you would most probably hear the whole story from a certain Yokko Sashima and her cronies. "

"Yokko?" her eyes narrowed, "I told Fuuko not to cross paths with her. Oh well, then I guess you're telling the truth. I'll help you pack some of Fuuko's stuff. How sick is she?"

Between packing Fuuko's luggage for a few nights stay and exchanging formalities, Nat was shocked to find out that Tokiya was the Mikagami Fuuko was always talking about.

"You're Mikagami? From Fuuko's high school? Well, she never told me you were this cute." Used to adoring females and ignoring them, Tokiya just coolly nodded back.

"Pity you're not my type. You seem to be the high class type which looks down on everyone else. Fuuko was right, you really are quite a prissy. Ops." Nat looked at the stone cold Tokiya, with solemnity in her face, but laughter in her eyes.

"Yes, Nat, please continue your sentence. I'm sure Fuuko said much more about me."

"Actually, Fuuko didn't say anything else. Here, Fuuko's stuff are all inside. Thank goodness it's the weekends, or else Fuuko's gonna miss classes." Ushering Tokiya out, Nat managed to prevent herself from being forced to dictate Fuuko's list of his faults.

By the time Tokiya arrived at the gym where the classes where conducted, it was already 8.05 am, and a crowd consisting about 20 students were already gathered there.

"Is this the martial arts class?" It was pretty obvious, but Tokiya wanted to make sure.

"Yup," a boy answered, then looking Tokiya up and down, "but I think you've better changed out of that suit of yours."

"You're pretty cute. What's your number?" A girl batting her eyelashes held no qualms about flirting with guys. Other shyer, but just as interested girls started giggling to each other. Then, someone finally recognized him.

"Hey, you're Tokiya Mikagami. The dirt-rich guy from the law faculty."

"He what?." People started whispering to themselves. Here and there, Tokiya could catch snippets of conversations, "Best student.", " Ice cold. never had a girl.", "King of law.", "extremely popular. teacher's pet." and so on and so forth.

"Mikagami, I thought you were good in martial arts? How come you're here?"

"Maybe because he wanted to check out Fuuko. She has a great figure you know, and she's really very pretty." Another voice cracked in. Tokiya decided to stop the nonsense.

"I'm sure many of you guys come here to gawk at Fuuko, but I did not. Fuuko is sick, and I'm standing in for her."

"She is? How is she?" There was genuine concern in her juniors voices that Tokiya was pleased to note.

"She's fine. But can we get started now? I want all of you to run through your drills."

After a long, tiring and strenuous exercise, Tokiya had them gathered before him.

"I would just like to make it clear that Fuuko and mine methods of teaching are different. Okay, someone tell me what has Fuuko taught you so far?"

"Oh, just basic kicks and stuff. That's about it. There are other instructors for different weapons. Fuuko more of training our stamina and defense."

"That's all? Basic moves and defense? That's strange. Have you ever seen her fight?"

"Yes. Fuuko mainly demonstrates defense positions while parrying with an armed opponent. Sometimes, like yesterday, she teaches how to do use a kick or two to injure."

"So you don't know that Fuuko's specialty is unarmed combat?"

"She is? No wonder she's really good in defense without weapons. Mikagami, how do you know all of that? You fought with her before? What's your weapon?"

"Fuuko and I are from the same high school. We also fought as teammates in a martial arts competition before. She is very good. And I am a master of the sword." After clearing up that confusion, Tokiya started an intensive 2 hour training on his students, making them wish he'd never even been born. Surprisingly, Tokiya enjoyed the session.

"Tokiya, I'm so pleased that you've finally got over your sister."

"Huh?!" Tokiya had just returned to his apartment after conducting Fuuko's class, and opened the front door just as an assault was issued on him. Verbal, that is. "Aunt Yuki, what in the world are you saying?"

"Don't be shy, my boy. I watched you grow up. You can't keep secrets from me."

"Aunt Yuki, please tell me properly. I really don't understand what you're talking about."

"I'm talking about that poor, little, sick girlfriend of yours. Such a poor child. You haven't been taking care of her, have you? You really don't know how to treat a girl right, silly."

"Fuuko?!" Tokiya was incredulous, "You think she is my girlfriend? Aunt Yuki, she is the Fuuko Kirisawa from Team Hokage that I always mention. And even if she is the last girl, no, female being, left on Earth, I wouldn't be her boyfriend." Tokiya came up with the time-honored and traditional hate line. Following that, Tokiya explained the entire situation right from the beginning.

"Oh, I see now. Poor child. Men are all scum. As a friend, and a man, Tokiya darling, you must take good care of Fuuko so as to prevent her from losing hope in your species."

"Aunt Yuki, as a friend, I will do my best to take care of Fuuko. But do not expect me to go further than that. You have been taking care of me since I was a baby. You should know better. Here, I brought her some clothes." Miyuki just shook her head at her emotionless god-son and retreated back into master bedroom.

"One more thing, Aunt Yuki," Tokiya added as an afterthought, "Please do not call me darling, dear, honey, sweetie or whatever when Fuuko is around. Please." Miyuki grinned as she declined to answer.

"What the. Where am I? It's cold. What's with the wet cloth?" Fuuko acted like a cat as she awake from her fever-induced slumber to find a damp compress on her forehead. Brushing it away, she struggled for a sitting position.

"Now, dearie, the cold will bring your fever down. I know you're probably feeling slightly chilled right now, but it can't be help. To me, you're still warm and feverish."

Fuuko's eyes focused on a plump, matronly woman with silver streaked grayish-black hair with a concerned expression on her face, eyes filled with worry.

"You're, you're Mikagami's housekeeper, Aunt Yoki, or something. I'm sorry I didn't catch your name, I wasn't feeling very well."

"Don't worry about it. I'm Miyuki Taketo, but you can call me Aunt Yuki, like Tokiya does. I'm not only his house-keeper, I was his nanny since his parents died."

"Oh. I don't know much about Mikagami, except he's an orphan whose sister died protecting the ensui. Turns out that it was Mikagami's teacher who was the murderer he felt that Mikagami could reach his fullest potential if he had a goal. And who's very rich and smart, but is extremely hostile.

"Yes, Tokiya has been pretty much alone since his Mifuyu died. It was a great blow to him. I mean which 10 year old can watch his sister die and still live as though nothing has happened?" Then Miyuki's mood changed, and she added with a chuckle," But you're right, Tokiya's pretty cold. Even I have to admit that much."

"The other Hokage team members used to call him Ice man behind his back you know."

"Tokiya never mentioned much about the Hokage. But I heard lately that he has a team mate who is a tomboyish and hot tempered girl studying in the same university."

"Really? And speak of the devil, Aunt Yuki, the grouchy tomboy's friend is here."

Right at that point, Tokiya sauntered into the room, and with an air of ennuyé, inquired, "Hi, Fuuko. Are you feeling better?"

"Much, actually. And as the only other female besides Yanagi and Aunt Yuki in your life, we've been comparing notes. So, you think I'm a tomboyish brat with a short temper?"

"Well," Tokiya retorted coolly, "It seems like your room mate knows a lot about me. Like how prissy or high-class I am. Or."

"At least everything that I've told is the truth. What you said had no substance at all."

"Oh really? If I've known you would be this ungrateful, I would have left you standing in the rain all night, and then let you kill yourself in the cold."

"Well, I most definitely didn't call you to come fetch me, or bring me back to your house."

"Tokiya, Fuuko is a guest, and she is sick. So mind your manners." Miyuki interrupted.

"If Fuuko can insult me, then I don't think that she can be that sick." Mikagami retorted.

"Oh, so you really did change courses. Well, Doctor Mikagami, can you tell me what else am I sick with? Except the obvious, which is, you!" With that, Fuuko and Mikagami started glaring angrily at each other, willing each other to step down. For the first time that day, Fuuko felt perfectly fine and Tokiya felt something. The staring game would have gone on for eons if Miyuki had not cut in.

"Children, stop this now. Tokiya, as I've said, Fuuko is sick. She needs rest. I have a list of instructions I want you to carry out and I want you to boil some herbal soup for her."

"You can cook?" Fuuko was surprised.

"Yes. What so strange about that?" Mikagami frosty tone had returned.

"Nothing." Fuuko had to stifle a giggle. She knew Mikagami was practically perfect, but she never knew he could cook. Tokiya, on the other hand, kicked himself mentally for ever getting involved with Fuuko. In fact, he had kicked himself frequently over his decision to join the Hokage. Revenge could have been done alone, and with less hassle. Fuuko was a pain who kept contradicting him, even when she was at her lowest. Females normally acted stupid, doe-eyed and drooled over him; Tokiya knew that Fuuko would rather slash her throat and be piranha feed than be a fawning admirer. 'Well, look on the bright side. Fuuko would be a fresh change from all those bimbos with 2 digit I.Qs.' Tokiya tried to cheer himself up. Boy was he wrong.

"Urgh!" Fuuko struggled to swallow the vile tasting soup, "What did you put in this?! Poison? Hey, if you wanted to kill me, couldn't you at least choose a painless way?"

"If I wanted to kill my enemy, I would use the most painful means of death. Drink the whole bowl of soup. Don't blame me Fuuko, Aunt Yuki asked me to make it."

"Yeah, and you probably slipped in rat poison, pesticide or something like that."

"Well, don't tempt me, Fuuko. You're real lucky I ran out of pesticide today."

"Oh!" Fuuko exclaimed with mock surprise, "You ran out of pesticide. No wonder I see this giant roach standing right in front of me now. Do you think detergent might work?"

"Ah, Fuuko dear, you have just blessed me with a wonderful idea." Tokiya played along with Fuuko's little game, "I just hope you won't live to regret it."

"Fancy giving brilliant, smart and utterly perfect Tokiya Mikagami inspiration. It should me my honour instead." Tokiya was angry, but like his other emotions, was surpressed. Fuuko managed to get the last say. Tokiya just stared at the conqueror of his bed with cold, steely eyes, contempt clearly visible. 'Fuuko's too smart for her own good.' At that moment, Tokiya really wished that Fuuko was a bimbo. Those, at least he could handle. Having a civil conversation was getting more and more difficult by the minute, as Fuuko got better, and her brain, more functional. Or so Tokiya thought. Fuuko, likewise, was really sick and tired of Mikagami and his little innuendoes. Recca, Domon and the other boys in her class were either too busy trying to get her phone number or just naturally polite and nice. Mikagami was different and difficult. It didn't help that he was also very intelligent and the equal, if not better of Fuuko's brain cells. Fuuko didn't deny she really admired Mikagami's calmness at a crisis, but she wished that he would loosen up a bit. He was much too icy for her. In fact, Fuuko always felt that Mikagami always brought his unique chill factor with him, with the ability to freeze a party's mood to sub-zero.

2 days passed, and Fuuko got over her fever. She was after all a very healthy girl, and with some TLC (tender loving care) from Miyuki, was back on her feet by Tuesday. During this short period, Fuuko still managed to charm Miyuki with her bubbly ways and quick tongue. Privately, Miyuki also enjoyed the verbal debates that frequently occurred between Fuuko and Tokiya. In fact, Miyuki thought that it was good to let Tokiya vent some anger, let loose some frustration, show some, even though little, emotions. Miyuki had years of experience and knew exactly how to lay her plans.

"Tokiya, honey, you're home."

"Yes, Aunt Yuki. And I brought Fuuko's class notes as you asked."

"A little exercise would do you fine, Tokiya."

"I run every morning and you know it, Aunt Yuki."

"Tokiya, you know I have been raising you like my very own son, since I do not have any children. But do you know what a married woman want most?"

"Aunt Yuki, you want something. Get to the point." Tokiya was irked.

"A daughter to take care off. Buy her clothes, play doll with her, dress her up, match make her etc. I'll get to the point. I want Fuuko to move in with you."

"NO WAY!" Tokiya was so flabbergasted at his nanny's proposal, his voice went up a few decibels and he actually jumped from the couch. "Fuuko is NOT going to move in."

"Fuuko is really emotionally unstable now, and with her own mother away, has no one to go for advice. I'm attached to that girl and I want to take care of her."

"Fine. Go ahead and be her housekeeper."

"I'm your nanny Tokiya, and that always come first. But surely you won't deny me a small favour. Besides Fuuko is your friend."

"Fuuko isn't a close friend. Besides, a girl and a boy living together. People might talk. "

"You're giving excuses Tokiya. Fuuko nearly died with you. If she isn't a close friend, I don't know what is. And you never care what others might say or gossip. Ever."

"Aunt Yuki." Tokiya groaned. Miyuki smiled slyly and went to break the news to Fuuko, who readily enough, though at first with a bit of reluctance, agreed to make Tokiya's life a living hell. Miyuki knew all along that she would triumph. Sure, Tokiya might be a fantastic law student, an unbeatable fighter, but when it came to Miyuki's manipulations, he was putty in her hands. To others, Tokiya might seem cold and emotionless, but to the woman who brought him and his sister up, he was simply a frozen child waiting to be thawed. And even frozen children needed TLC. And that was what Miyuki gave him. She knew all of Tokiya's weak points and his fears, she had seen him through difficult times, and most of all, she knew what he was really like underneath, and loved him for that.

"Mikagami, I need to use the computer. Now." It had been a week since Fuuko moved in, but the unspoken competition of wits between the 2 adults had never ceased. Putting 2 people of totally different character together would surely result in friction, as it did in this household. Sure, water and wind weren't enemies like water and fire, and although both supported life, both could also take it away just as easily.

"I'm writing a paper for the Dean. He wants it by Friday, and it's a long paper."

"My needs are more urgent, Law-King, my paper is due tomorrow."

"Is it ever my fault that Fuuko Kirisawa is the world's greatest procrastinator?"

"Is it my fault then, oh distinguished herald of snails, turtle and sloths, that my professor issued the paper today?" Fuuko refused to be defeated.

"Well, I can't say much, Ms. Issuer of Nicknames. After all, you chose the course."

"Please, Mikagami, I need the computer urgently. Dr. Makira will kill me." Fuuko calculated that finishing the paper took priority over insulting Mikagami.

"He has my support and best wishes. He is ridding the world of pests!"

"Mikagami, you know I enrolled into the college only by promising my work will be always on time and done well. If I don't hand up my paper, I'll get kicked out!"

"Really?" Tokiya went on typing, "Good. Then I can have the whole house back."

"If you really wanted me out, you should have said so earlier!" Fuuko was deeply hurt, "I shouldn't have stayed here anyway, at least I could use Nat's computer." 2 jerks had made her really upset in less that a fortnight, and Fuuko was fuming mad. Raiha had broke her heart, but Fuuko knew it was more of a mutual thing. Mikagami had insulted her, this was personal, and she really needed to cool down before blood flowed. Slamming the door as she went out, Fuuko left Tokiya to the much desired computer.

Tokiya massaged his fingers to remove the cramps. He had been working on his thesis for over an hour now, after the whirlwind had passed through. He knew he had acted like a total jerk and was annoyed at himself, but Fuuko somehow always manage to shatter his care-less demeanor and bring out the worse in him. 'Raiha just hurt her, how could I have done the same? I am such an idiot. If I don't apologize, Aunt Yuki will kill me. Besides, Fuuko really needs the computer. I've better go find her.' Tokiya walked out of the study and searched the rooms, but he couldn't find Fuuko. Tokiya sighed, Fuuko must have gone out. She always disappeared after a fight to, he guessed, cool down. Where, he had a vague idea, although never tested. A chilled breeze wafted through the open balcony doors, and the skies were overcast. It was going to pour again. Tokiya remembered his resolution to ask Fuuko about her mood apparently influencing the weather. Well, he had to put if off again since another fool had come along and created a sticky situation. He walked over to the doors to close it, and suddenly saw something. He frowned but closed the balcony doors, then picked up an umbrella on his way out.

"Déjà vu all over again." Tokiya muttered to himself as he stepped out of the elevator. Fuuko was there all right, standing at the edge of the building, but there was a slight difference this time. She was holding and umbrella, and the one responsible was different. Tokiya silently walked up to Fuuko.

"What is it this time, Mikagami? I did bring an umbrella along."

"I just wanted to say I'm sorry."

"Accepted." Tokiya turned his head sharply at the easily obtainable forgiveness.

"Hey look, "Fuuko answered his queries, "I may be a good quarreler but that doesn't mean I'm a bad forgiver. Besides, I guess it was partially my fault. I just couldn't stand your care-less attitude. I've been mean, and this is your house after all.

"So have I, Fuuko. I was bullied by Aunt Yuki into letting you stay."

Apologies and explanations exchanged, both stared at the large expanse of land covered in rain, a soft gray mist enveloping the planes for miles around, till the horizon. Tokiya noticed Fuuko's eyes were glazed, and although she was theoretically staring at the scenery, he felt her spirit had gone, he assumed, back into the past. Fuuko snapped out of her trance, and felt Tokiya eyes on her. Raising her face, she saw the question in his eyes and softly, almost regretfully, answered it for him.

"My element is wind, and my name actually means 'Wind Child'; Raiha's namesake was thunder. The only time wind and thunder goes together is during a storm. Raiha and I loved watching storms birthing, rising and then falling. Every time it threatened to rain, we would race to the top floor of the nearest building and admire the spectacular picture from up there. To others, a storm is violent, but to me, it is so beautiful. First annoyed, thunder rumbling, wind howling; then furious, thunder and lightning, minute after minute, rain sweeping, wind roaring; what happens next it's my favourite time. Th thunder and lighting are slight, rain is a drizzle, wind is a moan. Just like now. A picturesque look at nature's more dazzling wonder. It makes me so calm, so gentle, so peaceful. It's as though it mirrors and influences my emotions. I get to vent my anger but it also dissipates after that. This way, whenever I'm angry, I cool down pretty fast."

Tokiya had remained silent throughout Fuuko speech. "That's why I found you here, isn't it? Then why don't I frequently see you from my balcony?"

"Raiha and I seldom come here anymore for our viewing. It's just that this place holds a special place in my heart. You might think it's a little silly, but I don't. It's the first place where Raiha and I watched a storm dance in the skies." Both of them spoke no more after that, it wasn't necessary. They both understood that the hatchet was buried. Finally,

"Fuuko, we ought to go home now. You have to work on your paper."

"But I thought you wanted to work on yours."

"I fully intend to, Fuuko."

"How? Sharing would just take too long."

"I guess I'll just have to dig up my laptop from some where."

"Mikagami, you mean you had a laptop all along? Why didn't you tell me?"

"You never asked."

Fuuko and Tokiya might be at logger heads, but they were perfectly sensible people who could really work and live together once they forgave each other. Of course, they still had quarrels and skirmishes, but they were always minor and apologies were also always made. Since Tokiya and Fuuko were living together, with a chaperone mostly present only in the day, it was inevitable that the tongues would start wagging. Many rumours flew around campus, mostly about Fuuko, but a few on Tokiya. As Tokiya was well- respected by the teachers, rich and with a couldn't-care-less attitude, Fuuko had to bear the grunt of the gossips. She wasn't really bothered by the those of bystanders, but Yokko and her friends came up with some especially meaningless and horrid ones, which hurt Fuuko a lot. Tokiya may be emotionless, but he only chose not to display his feelings, but he sure noticed Fuuko's mood swings. Tokiya felt that Fuuko had been hurt enough and without telling the latter, decided to put an end to the tormenting. Yokko's clique had boyfriends with whom Tokiya was familiar with, and he met up with them to talk things through. The guys respected him and told their girlfriends to stop acting like kids. Tokiya was reluctant to talk to Raiha, as their relationship was still sore, since his loyalty laid with Fuuko. But after a particularly malevolent and spiteful comment delivered right into Fuuko's face, Tokiya went to Raiha's hostel and told him about the whole mess. Needless to say, Raiha was deeply shocked that Yokko was capable of such actions, but listened through and agreed to help Tokiya. And so, the rumours and teasing stopped, to Fuuko's surprise, not ever guessing why. However, Yokko was angry at being thwarted and rebuked by Raiha and swore to get her revenge. Tokiya might have protected Fuuko for that period, but there was no way he could shield Fuuko forever. Sooner or later, Fuuko would be ambushed again. At least it happened only a year and a half later.

"Fuuko?! What in the world is going on?!?!?!" Tokiya was genuinely flustered and was actually filled with fear. This was obviously not Tokiya in his normal self, but it was fully understandable. The house was starting to fill with thick dense smoke coming from the kitchen, and any other noraml human would have been screaming and panicking away. Tokiya always acted one level calmer that others, and slight worry was his main feeling.

"Eah, erg, ahh!" came a reply.

"What? I can't understand you!" By this time, Tokiya had thrown all windows open, the fresh clean morning air dispelling the smoke. He wasn't happy at being awaken on a Saturday by a suffocating odour.

"I said I'm sorry. I can't breathe either, you know." Tokiya walked into the kitchen and a impossible mess greeted him. Sinks were filled with dirty plates and bowls, the tables were cluttered with dough, eggs, flour and goodness knew what else. Standing in front on the oven, a tray of blackened whatever in her hands, was Fuuko with an apron tied around her waist, a sheepish gleam in her eyes.

"You tried to cook. I thought you gave up after the last dinner over a year ago?" Tokiya brought up a good example of Fuuko's bad cooking ability. Because of her eagerness to show off her supposedly brilliant culinary skills, both of them ended up having pizza for dinner, and the kitchen utensils burnt black.

"It's not my fault! Nat can't use the oven, and we need to bake cookies for the carnival."

"Fine, then buy them! It's certainly cheaper buying a few boxes of cookies than renovating my entire kitchen." Tokiya was piqued.

"Nat called me only at 4am this morning. The cookies had to be ready by 9am. The shops are all closed, and the nearest 24-hour shop is miles away, and I don't have a car. I remembered watching my mother bake the most fantastic cookies, so I thought."

"You have your mother's cooking skills," Tokiya finished, "But you don't."

"What am I supposed to do, Mikagami?" Fuuko was really, really helpless. "Hey, I can get Nat over here to bake the cookies. It's only 5am now, we can still make it!" Tearing her apron off, Fuuko leaped for the door, but Tokiya just sighed and stopped her.

"You forgot another much more convenient alternative. I guess I'll just have to lend you a hand. Again." Tokiya didn't have to mention the many instances where he helped Fuuko solve her social problems, or stand in for her martial art classes, taking her notes, fetching her supplies, helping her finish an essay etc. Grabbing the apron out off Fuuko's hands, Tokiya instructed Fuuko to sit the living room, read a book or sleep, just as long she exiled herself from the kitchen.

By 7am, a delicious smell wafted in from the kitchen, and Fuuko just had to sprint in, to find Tokiya lifting tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies from the oven. On the table were a nicely packed bags of vanilla, strawberry, blackberry and other flavours. Biting into one cookie, Fuuko exclaimed out loud,

"Where did you learn to cook like that, Mikagami? You should be a cook, not a lawyer, this is simply irresistible!"

"Fuuko, I was born with this ability. I didn't learn. Cooking comes naturally to some people, some have to learn, but other can't. At all." Fuuko was so glad she had somehow managed to get the cookies she ignored the snide comment altogether. Instead, she did the exact opposite. Flinging her arms around a surprised Tokiya, who was so caught off guard he didn't protest, Fuuko hugged him tightly as she thanked him for being such a great friend.

"Mikagami, I thought you are a pain most of the time, but you're really, really great! I love you so much!" Unaware of what she actually said, being so relieved the cookies were baked, Fuuko grabbed the bags and stuffed them into a carrier. "I've really got to go. I'm suppose to meet Nat at 8. Bye. And hey, thanks again, Mikagami. Go back to sleep, you look pretty tired." As Fuuko closed the door, Tokiya was still speechless. He hadn't managed to utter a word ever since Fuuko hugged him. In fact, he was bewildered that he was actually blushing, something he hadn't done since he was 10. Shrugging, and deciding to dismiss this matter, Tokiya took Fuuko's advice and went back to his bed.

That night, Tokiya was reading the newspapers when he heard the front door squeaked open. Fuuko had returned from the carnival to raise money for the university's prom night. Tokiya disliked crowded places and abstained from leaving his house; besides, he helped, no, it should be single-handedly, baked the cookies. He figured he had contributed more than enough.

"Fuuko, you're back. How was the carnival?"

"Um, yeah, I guess it was fun." At that short, sharp and utterly devoid of interest reply, Tokiya looked up from his read and regarded his friend with a icy stare.

"What happened, Fuuko?"

"Nothing much. Just sold cookies the whole day." As mentioned before, Tokiya was only emotionless on the surface, but now he could feel that Fuuko was upset. Walking towards her, Tokiya took in her stooping frame, the absence of that twinkle in her eyes, mouth without a smile and knew immediately that Yokko was involved. For the past year, he had heard first hand from Fuuko and second hand from others, the 2 women long standing rivalry.

"Fuuko, What did Yokko say?"

Mikagami, it's nothing really, just one of her silly comments. Forget it."

"You're upset, this comment must have been different. What did Yokko say?"

"Mikagami, it's really nothing. Ignore her. Please." The last stressed syllable made Tokiya pursue the matter.

"Come on, Fuuko. Even if you don't tell me, I get it from the other students."

Fuuko sighed, but gave in. "If you really want to know, Yokko Shoshima said that I was a conniving little slut that hides behind my boyfriend, you that is, and is a disgrace to womankind. I am also, according to Yokko, a fool that is really pathetique and wretched.

"That's not all, is it?" Tokiya assumed, "And what is with the French terms?"

"I don't know," Fuuko shrugged, "but you're right. She said much more."

"Such as." Tokiya prodded on.

"Such as I am a tomboy with no figure, rough and rude. And that it was no wonder Raiha dumped me. And no guy would ever go to the prom with me, since I am such a stigma, so I needn't have to bother raising money for the prom."

"Yokko is really too much." Tokiya was outraged, but once again, checked his feelings and only presented a bland expression.

"Mikagami, I just want to say," Fuuko sighed, "That Yokko's words doesn't hurt me anymore. You don't have to protect me. I am used to her torments already. They're only words, they can't hurt me."

"But you're obviously upset, Fuuko." Tokiya's eyes narrowed.

"I can't deny that I'm not. I mean who isn't. Except for you, of course. It's just that she brought up Raiha, which she hasn't in a long time. I wasn't used to that, I guess."

"So, you're not going for the prom, are you?"

"I guess not. Yokko was right about 1 point though, nobody has asked me to the prom. And you need a date to go. And I won't be going at all." Walking past Tokiya, Fuko proceeded to her room. She wasn't going to cry, no way! She just needed to calm down. As she walked past, she felt something holding her back. Looking back, she saw that Tokiya was actually holding her hand. Looking into his eyes, Fuuko saw pity, concern and sadness that paralleled her own. If Tokiya had been shocked when Fuuko hugged him, then Fuuko was now 10 times his surprise, stunned and startled. She never knew or suspected Tokiya could care.


"Fuuko, go to the prom. Don't worry about Yokko, I'll come with you."

"You mean."

"Yes," Fuuko saw that Tokiya was fighting to get his words out, "I'm asking for a date."

"You don't have to pity me, Mikagami. I don't need." Fuuko stared at Tokiya and trailed off, as pity vanished from his eyes and something completely different took its place.

"I don't pity you, Fuuko. You deserve to go. You are such a generous, kind, witty, sweet and charming girl. Any guy would be honoured. I care about you and want you to go." Tokiya was dumfounded at himself, he didn't mean his words the way they came out, but to his utmost amazement, he didn't mind the way he presented them, and he actually really, deep down inside, meant them. Fuuko felt her world had been turned upside down. 'I'm can't be falling for Mikagami, can I?' Fuko thought. But all thoughts fell away as she inched nearer to Tokiya, her arms automatically liking around his neck; his at her waist, their faces mere centimetres apart. They struggled to break the trance, but couldn't and their lips touched.

"Ding dong!" The door bell rang. That broke the spell, and the instance their lips touched, making it a kiss, both of them turned away and what happened was nothing more than a touch. Regaining their composure, which was no mean feat, even Tokiya, especially him, in fact.

"Yes, may I help you." Fuuko stood at the threshold, "Raiha?!"

"Can I come in?"

"Um, yeah. Sure." Fuuko was shocked another time for that night. Leading Raiha in, much to the annoyance of Tokiya, Fuuko wore a glazed expression.

"Fuuko, I just want to say that I was at the carnival today, and I heard what Yokko said to you," Raiha didn't beat about the bush, "I always thought that Yokko was such a sweet girl. I was wrong."

"You don't have to be, Raiha. Yokko is a master at acting. And I sincerely thought she liked you."

"No, she didn't. I confronted Yokko and she confessed the whole thing was a ploy to destroy you, Fuuko. I was a pawn in her game. I should have been more careful. In the end, you were hurt the most. I'm sorry."

"I already forgave you right from the start, Raiha. I just can't believe Yokko would go out with you for 1.5 years just to hurt me."

"You have no idea how much she hates you, Fuuko. I'm sorry."

"Raiha." Fuuko couldn't think of what to say. She thought she had fallen for Tokiya, but while Raiha was professing his love, Tokiya wasn't saying anything at all. In fact, he had disappeared to give the former couple some privacy.

"You don't have to say anything, Fuuko. Mikagami, there you are. I just hope you'll take care of Fuuko from now on, for me."

"Raiha, what are you saying? I know Yokko must have said plenty of things, but they aren't true. Mikagami and I aren't a couple."

"Fuuko's right, we are not a couple." Tokiya confirmed, although in both their minds were trying to erase the intimate moments they had shared.

"I know what Yokko said were false, but only her opinions and the rumours. The facts are all true." Raiha shook his head, "Mikagami came to me about a year ago to tell me to ask Yokko to stop harassing you, Fuuko. Now that I can 'see' better, it just goes to show Mikagami is worried about you, Fuuko."

"Don't utter rubbish, Raiha. You should be pledging you undying love for Fuuko now. And I talked to you only because Fuuko is my friend."

"You were going to beat me up! Is that just concern?" Raiha retorted.

"You were?" Fuuko demanded. She had no idea to what extent Tokiya had helped make her otherwise miserable life better.

"Not only that," Raiha chipped in, "He also spoke to the boyfriends of Yokko's cronies. How do you think they managed to stop tormenting you?"

"Raiha, Fuuko still loves you. Take her away now, please. I want my house back." Tokiya's heart suddenly felt constricted and small.

"Mikagami, I never knew you to be so rude!" Fuuko was mad, somehow.

"Well, your lover is back! You don't need me anymore!" Tokiya vented his frustration.

For the first time in 1.5 years, Tokiya and Fuuko started a really serious quarrel. Raiha looked at the debating match, felt it was his fault and decided to put an end to it.

"Quiet!!! Both of you!" There was silence, and Raiha continued, "Fuuko, Not only did Mikagami spoke to all the boys, he did much more for you. Think, all this time, he always fetched notes, solved your problems, helped in your thesis. No other guy would do the same without a price, unless he truly cares for you."

"How did you know?" Fuuko was surprised.

"I told you, Yokko told me some facts, which were the truth." Looking at Tokiya, who just glared back without an excuse for his subtle display of affection, Raiha continued, "Now that I think back, the times I saw both of you in campus, you were always together. Fuuko might be laughing and fooling around, and Mikagami may be solemn and cold, but you showed affection towards each other. Whether it was just handing something over, or saying something, there was always a touch of affection in your ways. Even your cookies, I know you can't cook Fuuko, was done by him."

"But you love Fuuko. Why are you doing this?" Mikagami demanded.

"Because," Raiha looked Fuuko squarely in the eyes, "Fuuko told me once that loving someone is to ensure that person's happiness. I love you, Fuuko, and I know I can give you happiness. But I also know someone who can give you much more happiness, what you deserve. To make you happy, I have to sacrifice my feelings and allow Mikagami to shoulder that responsibility. If I do otherwise, I'm being selfish, and I don't love you.

"Raiha." Fuuko was speechless.

"Don't say anything. Just listen to your heart. And you too, Mikagami. Just now, when you asked me to take Fuuko away, I could see you were upset. But that was good, and it confirmed my opinions. You love Fuuko, but you would sacrifice your feelings for her to be with me. And Fuuko, you were angry because you loved Mikagami and was mad he didn't express his feelings. The fact that both of you started quarreling proved that you love each other, you just have not figured out how or why yet."

Fuuko and Tokiya just stared at each other, no words between them. Raiha took their hands and joined them. Fuuko didn't let go, neither did Tokiya.

"For the first time, I've seen Mikagami displaying some form of feelings. If that isn't because of love, I don't know what is. You 2 belong together. Work it out." Raiha turned and walked to the door.

"Raiha!" He turned towards Fuuko, and was pleased that she and Tokiya were still holding hands. "We just want to thank you."

"Don't mention it. Mikagami, thank you for taking care of Fuuko when she was at her lowest." Tokiya nodded and Raiha smiled a cheeky smile, "And you can continue where you left off when I rang the bell. Silly of me, wasn't it, to disturb?"

"How did you know?"

"How did you know?"

Fuuko and Tokiya phrased the same question, faces red with embarrassment.

"Oh, I somehow had another ability." Raiha answered, "As will both of you. The ability to love."

As Raiha walked away from Tokiya's apartment, he decided to take just one small peek, and was thoroughly satisfied. Locked in a passionate embrace was his former love and her newfound boyfriend. Raiha sighed, his conscience was at peace. Pulling his scarf tighter, since it was getting chilly, the lone figure walked into the night.

Around, snow had begin to swirl in a joyous dance, a tiny breeze lifting the little ballerinas higher and higher in happiness. Wind cannot melt ice, but after days and nights of daily exposure, wind can reduce ice to it's most basic and delicate form, a crystalline snowflake. And all it takes is a little sun, a little light, a little love, to melt frost. This way, even the hardest icicle can be melted, all is needed is wind. and love.