Hullo everyone and welcome to my the sequel to my first fanfic, "Blossoming of the Rose". I welcome reviews and comments but please be gentle! The first chapter is small and I apologize but I promise it will get better, so enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from Whisper of the Heart, that honor goes to Studio Ghibli.



Blooming of the Heart: By Lady Starlyra

Chapter 1: Memories

Work was slow and with the sun shinning and the temperature pleasant, she wasn't surprised. Leaning on the counter with a sigh, she stared out the many windows in the café that was above the library. It wasn't that long ago that she sat in this very place after seeing the Baron and meeting Grandpa. It was also one of her first encounters with Seiji. Could it really have been just three years ago? Three years ago when she followed Moon to the antique shop…when she met her first and only love…when she almost lost him. But here it was, they both made it into the same prestigious high school, working on their senior year together. But just like that time three years ago, their futures together were up in the air. He was still planning to go back to Italy while she now had dreams of college and becoming a writer. Maybe they just weren't meant to be. But if that was the case, would they have lasted three years together? She straightened up when she heard the soft tinkle of the bell that announced customers.

"Hello and welcome to Yume Kissa* where we help your dreams from the library continue. What can I get for you today?" Finally a customer! Smiling, she stood behind the counter and got her pad and pen ready. "Oh hey Yuko, how are you?" Her friend frequently came to visit her and she always ordered the same thing. A small hot cocoa and an almond biscotti.

"I'm alright. Sugimura has practice this afternoon so I thought I'd come and see you." She glances around with a grin. "Apparently it's a good thing I did or you'd be bored to death."

Shizuku looked over her shoulder as she got the order ready. "Well with such a nice day, I'm not too surprised at the turn out. Even the employees from the library didn't show up today. More then likely having a picnic outside or something." She grumbled slightly, not that she minded all that much. The free time gave her a chance to do homework or work on her stories. Placing the order on the counter, she took the money and gestured for Yuko to sit down. Grabbing her iced tea, she brought Yuko's order to the corner table and sat down. "So why aren't you watching him practice? Most girlfriends love to watch their boyfriends in action." She passed Yuko her items.

"Ugh, you know how I feel about getting more freckles! Besides, I had a craving for an almond biscotti." Dunking it a few times into the cocoa, she took a bite and smiled. "If you guys ever get rid of these I'm in trouble!"

"But I thought he loved your freckles?" Shizuku grinned, she loved to tease her friend.

Yuko turned a deep red as she focused on sipping her hot cocoa. She had been accepted to the same high school as Shizuku and Seiji but Sugimura went to a different one. A school where sports was a big focus. So any chance when she could see him, she took it. But today was different. Today she needed to talk.

"What's wrong?" Normally, Yuko would have a quick come back to her teasing.

She sighed and played with her cup. "Sugimura plans to go to college in Kyoto, Ritsumeikan University I believe. He said they have a great baseball team and wants to major in Communications." Tears flowed down her cheeks and into her drink.

"Oh Yuko, I'm sorry to hear that! Are your parents still insisting that you stay here and take over the family business?" She felt sorry for her friend. As hard as they tried to make their relationship work, everything seemed to be against them. At the end of their 9th grade year, Sugimura finally asked Yuko out. And just when their relationship began to ripen, he found out that he had been accepted to Hongo while the rest of them were going to Shiba high school. The large distance between the two made it hard for them to see each other, but they somehow managed. Then during their junior year when everyone was debating on what college to go to, he announced that he was going to try for one that was heavy in sports. Unfortunately, the one he liked the best was in Kyoto. Yuko had started to look for a college in that area to be with him but her parents objected. They wanted to her to marry and have their son-in-law take over the family karaoke bar.

"He still wants me to go with him to Ritsumeikan U but I can't just leave my parents. I don't know what to do.!" She wiped the tears that seemed to be flowing more rapidly. "Maybe it's better if we just end the relationship before things get any worse."

"No! You can't let them win!" Shizuku slammed her hands on the table as she looks to Yuko. "After everything life has thrown at you, your relationship still stands. He really cares for you Yuko, don't give up on it. Things may seem bad now, but it would be worse if you ended the relationship."

Yuko looked up in surprise, then smiled a bit. "You're right. I knew if I came, you'd talk me out of it if I was making the wrong choice." Finishing her biscotti and hot cocoa, she stood up with a determined look on her face. "I'm going to try and catch the last half of his practice." She smiled as she gave Shizuku a hug. "Thanks for everything, I don't know what I'd do without you."

She returned the hug and laughed softly. "You'd be lost, searching the world over for a cure for your freckles. Now go and tell that benchwarmer I say hi." She stood and gently pushed her friend to the door. Sighing, she walked back to the counter and dug out her literature homework. "Now back to work…"


*Note--In Japanese, "Yume" means Dream and "Kissa" means Café.