"Waaahhhh!!! Ritsuka-kun!!!!! Don't leave without me!!!!" Yuiko cried as he left the school building.

Soubi looked on from a distance, sighing as he smiled, thinking that he should know better than to hope for a date alone with Ritsuka, Yuiko always tagged along after school. He satisfied himself with watching the cute way Ritsuka's ears twitched towards Yuiko's shout, and the smile that lit the young boy's face at the sight of her.

"Hey! Hey Soubi! Where are we going today?" Yuiko asked him, tugging Ritsuka along with her arm wrapped around his.

"What?!" Ritsuka asked incredulously, his tail rigidly standing up, "You're here again Soubi?"

Soubi chuckled, Ritsuka had been so wrapped up in the appearance of the girl that he had not even noticed him waiting for him once again after school.

"I always wait for you after school Ritsuka, why are you asking?" He said smiling at the young boy.

Ritsuka glowered at him, "People are going to think we're weird."

Yuiko linked her free arm with Soubi's, "Come on Ritsuka-kun, no one thinks you're weird for hanging out with a college guy! It's cool!" Her bright demeanor immediately erased the glare from Ritsuka's face.

"Where do you want to go?" Soubi asked the two of them, watching Yuiko's bright eyes look at Ritsuka questioningly.

"How about the river? Like we went with Yayoi-san?" Yuiko asked, searching for the acceptance she needed in his face.

Soubi saw Ritsuka's eyes brighten, he had never been with him to the river, and thought, this will be an interesting experience.

Yuiko led the way as they walked; assuring the two males that she knew the shortest route to the river, which, to her credit, she did. Soubi was impressed by the carefree girl who usually had a hard time keeping her mind on what she was doing. He noted that she was more focused when she was trying to please Ritsuka, and was less likely to break down with him around. Soubi remembered the few times he had talked to her without Ritsuka around, emotions bouncing all over the place. It was refreshing seeing someone other than himself try to please Ritsuka, it made him content inside.

In sight of the water, Ritsuka tore away from Yuiko, leaving her behind in his rush to reach the water. Soubi watched curiously as Ritsuka took off his shoes and rolled up his pants, revealing thin legs, and stepped into the shallow water at the edge.

"Hey Ritsuka-kun! Wait up!" Yuiko realized in a delay that he was already in the water, and she was left behind, "Come on Soubi!" She pulled on his arm, causing him to break into a slow jog behind the tall girl.

Soubi sat down on a rounded boulder near where the two kids were playing in the water, the rock warmed by the late spring sun. Summer was coming, and the sun heated his face, Soubi worried momentarily that Ritsuka would get sun burnt, but realized that he had never seen him burnt before. He watched as the two kids played in the water, smiling unconsciously at the joy on Ritsuka's face, Soubi hadn't known that he liked the water so much. I should take Ritsuka to the river more often. He thought, musing to himself as he and Yuiko played.

"Hey Soubi!" Yuiko called, she and Ritsuka as far in the water as they could be without getting their rolled up jeans wet, "Come in the water!"

Ritsuka looked over at him, a smirk on his face, "Soubi doesn't want to get wet Yuiko, leave him alone." He told her, picking a flat rock from the river bottom, the hem of his shirt dragging in the water.

Soubi grinned, looking at Ritsuka, meeting the challenge the boy had issued, "I'll come if you want Yuiko." He said, then removed his shoes and rolled the legs of his pants up past his knees.

He hid his grimace at the less than warm water as he stepped in, but steeled himself to walk over to where Ritsuka and Yuiko were finding rocks to skip, unnecessarily far into the water.

Ritsuka's smirk turned to a glower and he turned his back to Soubi, showing Yuiko how to skip a rock properly again.

He skipped his and it jumped two times, "I still can't get it to skip more than twice though." Ritsuka told Yuiko as Soubi searched for a rock near their feet. The water was clear and not icy cold, but not pleasant enough that he was overly enjoying it, but Soubi stuck it out, Ritsuka's challenging smirk in his mind.

"Here Ritsuka, you have to throw it like this." Soubi said, causing the boy to turn and look at him suspiciously.

"You can skip rocks?" Ritsuka asked, doubt in his voice.

Soubi nodded, smiling, and Yuiko looked over, "Oooh, show us Soubi! Then we can all be better at skipping rocks!" She exclaimed, causing Ritsuka's mouth to twitch reluctantly into a smile.

Soubi tossed the rock like a Frisbee, and watched as the rock glided over the water, amused as Ritsuka watched with wide eyes, and Yuiko counted the jumps.

"Six!!!" She cried out, jumping up and down, the water splashing against their pants.

Ritsuka shook his head, eyes glowing, "No! It was seven, I know!" He looked with bright violet eyes at Soubi, tentatively touching his arm, "Will you show me how to do that?" Ritsuka asked.

Ritsuka grinned, and then bent down to look for a rock to skip. Soubi watched him get his shirt wet again and felt happiness flow through him. He had made Ritsuka smile; it was such a cute, innocent smile too. Soubi wanted to be the cause of that smile more often. Today was a good day, Soubi thought; maybe I can make Ritsuka smile again.

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