The Best Day Ever

With a hearty yawn I turn another corner and see my destination just down the hall: Hikarizaka High School's reference room, better known to me as Yukine's coffee house. Nagisa had given me a message earlier that Yukine had wanted to share yet another of her charms with me when time permitted. It was lunchtime now and I had a little time to myself before the next class started, so here I was. This had better be something amusing, like a charm to see Youhei actually come to school wearing a toilet seat cover or something like that.

I slide open the door and peer inside. "Yukine? You here?"

No one answers, so I let myself in. The room is small and it doesn't take me long to realize Yukine's out at the moment. Figures I'd come down when she headed out to get lunch or to the bathroom or something. Looks like she left her charm book open on the table, though. Maybe this is what she wanted to show me.

I look over the actions required for the charm. Odd that it doesn't seem to have a title to it like all the others she's gotten me to do. As I read them I try to replicate them as best I can. Let's see…pat my head and rub my stomach while walking backwards in a circle and say, "Sweet dreams are made of these" five times. Where the hell does she find crap like this and why? I quickly finish the ritual and wait a few moments. As expected, nothing has happened. Yukine will be disappointed for sure.

I head back towards the door only to bump into Yukine just as I'm leaving.

"Oh, hello Tomoya." She says sweetly as always. "Did you come down to see that charm I mentioned to Nagisa?"

I nod to her. "Yeah, I saw it in the book and went ahead and did it already. Nothing happened, though. Sorry."

"I see. I suppose they can't all-"

Yukine wavers for a moment, putting her hand to her head. I quickly put a hand on her shoulder to steady her.

"Hey, you alright?" I ask concernedly.

"Yes, I'm fine." she says, recovering quickly. "I just felt a bit dizzy for a moment. I suppose I should sit down and eat the lunch I went to get at this point."

"Probably a good idea. It's never good to let yourself get too hungry." I say.

As she walks in past me a strong breeze blows into the Reference room from one of its open windows. The breeze whips right past both of us, flipping her skirt up plenty high enough for me to get an eyeful of her choice of underwear for the day. Immediately I look away in embarrassment, though inwardly I can't help but thank the gods of the four winds for the show. White lace is definitely the style I would've guessed for her.

"Sorry! I, uh…I didn't mean to…" I stammer as I try to apologize, but I brace myself for the expected requisite scream from a girl who's just had her underwear exposed to a guy.

"There's nothing to apologize for, Tomoya." She says, smoothing her skirt back out. "Accidents happen after all."

"R-really?"

"Of course. Besides…"

I cock an eyebrow. "Besides?"

She blushes and smiles a bit as she looks away from me slightly. "I don't mind if it's you, after all…"

Oooookay, that came out of nowhere. I think it's time to get back to class.

"I'll, um…see you later Yukine. Class is gonna start back up soon."

She smiles and waves back at me as I head out back towards my classroom. Man that was weird. I didn't think she had interest in any guy here at school, let alone me. But I've got Nagisa, so there's really nothing to be done about it. Still, she's sure a pretty girl. Nice legs too. Wait, what the hell am I thinking!? I shake my head vigorously as I head back to class, not thinking any more about the incident. Just to be safe I think I'll avoid the Reference room for a little while though.

The last thing I want right now is any major misunderstandings.

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Ahh, Sunday. Best day of the week for me. The one day I don't have to wake up early for anything or anyone if I don't want to. I roll over in my quasi-awake state and pull my pillows to my face, enjoying their softness. Their warmth. Their scent.

Hold on a tic. Since when are my pillows this soft? Or this warm? And since when do they smell like Nagisa does after she's taken a bath the previous night? I almost dismiss it until I hear my pillows sigh contentedly. Even in my hazy, not-quite-awake state I can think enough to know pillows don't sigh.

I open my eyes slowly, not moving my body otherwise. It's only now I find out I'm not hugging a couple of pillows. I'm hugging Nagisa, who is wearing one of my school shirts. And it's only half-buttoned. And she's not wearing a bra underneath it. I start to close my eyes again, at first thinking, "Oh, that's all."

Then the data finally reaches my brain and gets processed properly.

"WHAT THE HELL!?" I yell, quickly rolling out of the futon. I stand up and rub my eyes, but the scene doesn't change. Nagisa is laying there next to my futon dressed only in one of my shirts that's half-buttoned up and her light blue striped panties. I smack myself in the head after a minute, realizing that I'm standing there ogling my unconscious girlfriend. How did she get in here? And why is she dressed like that?

Suddenly she stirs and raises her head a bit. As she moves, the shirt shifts here and there and it takes every fiber of willpower I have to not stare at her like some kind of pervert.

"Tomoya…don't make me wake up yet." She says sleepily. "We were up way too late last night, after all…"

Oh holy shit, what the hell have I done!? Last night? What did we do last night?? I remember coming back with her quickly from school since she had a dizzy spell just as we met up at the front gate. At first I was worried she was coming down sick again, but she seemed fine by the time we got home. We had dinner, watched something on TV and relaxed. Though as I remember it she seemed a lot more comfortable being close to me last night. After that I took a bath, said goodnight to everyone and went to sleep. Did something happen after that? I honestly don't remember!

"Though it was fun…" she says sleepily with a giggle. "I wouldn't mind doing that again soon…maybe even tonight…"

OH HOLY SHIT, WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE!? If the old man finds me in here with her like this I don't wanna know what he'll do with that baseball bat! I grab whatever clothes I can find that are quickly available and throw them on as I creep out of the room and head out from the Furukawa house as quickly and quietly as possible. It's ridiculously early for me to be up on a Sunday, but maybe the extra time will help me figure out what happened last night.

Still, seeing Nagisa like that…man that was hot. I knew she was cute, but she hides those proportions a little too well. Hey, you can't blame me for thinking like this. I am a teenage guy, after all, and she is my girlfriend.

I start wandering the city, half-trying to remember what Nagisa and I could have done last night for her to end up like that, half-trying to imagine if she'd had one or two fewer of the buttons on that shirt undone.

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I didn't wander for too long before remembering I had promised Kotomi I'd stop by her place for a while today. The weeds were threatening the flower bed in her yard again and after everything I went through to get that place back in shape I wasn't about to just let it go to waste. I make my way into the yard and start looking the bed over. Sure enough, there are a few weeds poking up. This shouldn't take too long to handle.

"Oh my, hello Tomoya." I hear her call from above. I look up over my shoulder and see the curtains of her bedroom shift slightly. She must've seen me from up there.

"Heya." I call back. "Hope I'm not here too early. I, uh…just needed to get out and get some fresh air."

"Not at all." She calls back. "I'll be down shortly, I'm just getting dressed for the day. There is a lot to get done after all."

"That so?" I ask as I start pulling weeds.

"The house is a bit of a mess, so I thought I would clean it up today. There is dust all over mother and father's books, and I should probably sweep the floors as well."

"If you'd like I can try to help with that." I call out. She doesn't respond. She must be headed downstairs now. I'll ask again when she gets here. I continue pulling a few more weeds until I hear the door slide open.

"I'm sorry, Tomoya, did you say something?" she asks.

I stand up and turn around, about to repeat myself only to freeze in place. There's Kotomi, the girl I knew as a kid, the girl who I befriended twice…wearing a French Maid outfit. Where in God's name did she find something like that and, moreover, WHY IS SHE WEARING IT NOW!?

"Is something the matter, Tomoya?" she asks, completely oblivious to the effect her outfit is having on me. I mean, I have a hard time maintaining eye contact with Kotomi on a normal day, but God damn…the neckline on that maid outfit isn't leaving much to the imagination.

I force myself out of my daze and quickly whirl back around, weeding the flower bed more fervently now. "Uh, is there any reason you're dressed like that, Kotomi?" I bite my lip, my voice having cracked on me when I spoke.

"All my regular clothes are in the wash right now, but I needed to find something to wear to clean the house." she says completely matter-of-factly. "I looked through mother's old clothes and found this hanging up towards the back of her closet. I thought it was cute and that it would be fun to dress up for once. Though it is a bit odd, I don't remember her ever wearing this around the house when she was cleaning."

"Yeah, I'll bet not." I mutter. Who knew the Ichinoses were into that sort of stuff?

"Does it not look good on me?" she asks concernedly. "I admit it was a bit difficult to put this on, I seem to have developed fairly different proportions from mother."

"No, no, it looks really good on you." I say hurriedly. Yeah, a little too good.

Kotomi sighs in relief. "Thank goodness. I'm glad you like it."

There are no heterosexual men in the world that wouldn't like to see a girl like you in an outfit like that, Kotomi.

Shaking my head a bit I crawl further into the flower bed, going for some of the hard-to-reach weeds. As I turn back around to make my way out, Kotomi is suddenly standing right at the edge of the flower bed, bending over and looking at the ground. I shouldn't have to tell you where my eyes immediately went.

"This already looks quite a bit better." She says with a smile. "You're quite the capable gardener, Tomoya. Perhaps you could do landscaping for a living after high school."

"Kotomi…I don't think you should be hanging around outside dressed like that." I say, choking on my words as I crawl back out of the flower bed.

"Tomoya, are you feeling alright?" she asks as I stand upright again. My face must be bright red by now I figure. "I wonder if something isn't going around. I remember this morning after I saw you down here I felt a little odd myself."

You, yourself, are a little odd to begin with, Kotomi. "I'm fine, really. It's just already a pretty warm day, and I just finished weeding the flower bed after all."

"I suppose you're right. It is already rather warm." She says, fanning herself with one hand. "Maybe I should find something a bit lighter to wear around the house for cleaning. I seem to remember seeing a couple other things in mother's closet that looked much cooler to wear. Could you possibly come with me and help me pick something better out, Tomoya?"

Okay! Time to go! "Sorry, Kotomi, I just remembered. I, uh…need to pick up some stuff at the store for Nagisa's dad. Let me know if those weeds come back again!"

I briefly see Kotomi wave to me as I jog off further into town. After I've gotten a ways away I stop and catch my breath while going over the events of the day so far. First I had an up-close-and-personal incident with a semi-conscious Nagisa and now I saw Kotomi in a French Maid outfit that filled in most of the blanks I had in my mind regarding her figure. Is there something in the water today that's making everyone crazy? It's not that I don't appreciate the sights, mind you; I'm just really trying to be a good guy for Nagisa's sake. She deserves as much if not more.

I look to the sky and adjust the collar on my t-shirt a bit. I hadn't totally lied to Kotomi, it is getting hot today already. Maybe something refreshing will help me cool down in more ways than one. I continue on into town, once again trying to shove the images of Kotomi in that outfit out of mind.

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Taking another swig of the sports drink I bought from a convenience store, I continue my stroll around town. Nagisa and her folks are up and about by now, no doubt, but I don't want to head back just yet. I still can't recall anything out of the ordinary happening last night between her and me. If it was something really significant, I don't want to just fake my memory of it. I also don't want to admit I might have forgotten something like that. I love Nagisa, after all, and it's not like I haven't thought about doing it with her a few times already. Being in a relationship can be really complicated.

As I pass by yet another house I'm suddenly grabbed by the arm and hauled into someone's yard. I stumble over my steps for a few seconds before I manage to stop myself and pull away from whoever had grabbed me. It doesn't take me long to figure out who, though. The long, purple hair is a dead giveaway.

"What the hell, Kyou?" I ask, straightening my shirt out. Luckily I didn't spill any of my drink on myself when she pulled on me. It's then I notice that Kyou's sister, Ryou, is there as well. What's more, both of them are wearing bath robes. Today just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

"Sorry, Tomoya, but Ryou spotted you coming this way and I wanted to get your attention." Kyou says, folding her arms and smiling like she's satisfied with herself.

"And you figured kidnapping was the best route to go." I comment back.

"You'll thank me soon enough, we have a job for you." She says, walking back towards her sister. Ryou waves at me, though is clearly embarrassed by the situation.

"Great. Work. Exactly what I wanted to be doing on my Sunday." I say unenthusiastically.

"Here, catch." Kyou said, lobbing something over at me. I manage to grab it out of the air at the last second and look at what she tossed me. It's a bottle of sunscreen?

"What am I supposed to do with this?"

"Ryou and I want to sunbathe and we need someone to put lotion on us." Kyou says plainly.

Wait…what? "Um, why can't you do it yourselves?"

"Because we don't want greasy hands from handling that stuff." Kyou replies. "Besides, twin sisters rubbing lotion all over each other is way too embarrassing."

So instead of doing something like this with someone familiar like a family member you're drafting some guy you know from school who just happened to walk by your house. Yeah, that's typical Kyou-brand logic there.

"I'm sorry to impose on you like this, Tomoya." Ryou says apologetically. "I told Sis we should just stay inside today since it's so hot, but she insisted we sunbathe since it's so sunny today."

"It's not like we weren't planning on relaxing today anyway, Ryou." Kyou says as she steps over by her lawn chair. "We both felt a little funky this morning, after all."

"Funky?" I ask, looking at Kyou oddly now.

"Yeah. After Ryou pointed you out we both kinda felt weird, like a head rush or something." Kyou said.

"It is very hot out today, Sis. That's why I wanted to stay inside with the fan on." Ryou added.

Kyou just shrugs at her sister and then looks back at me again. "Well whatever, we're here and all set. You ready to get to work, cabana boy?"

"I have a choice?" I ask, stepping between the two sisters. Kyou smiles back at me.

"You learn quickly." She says as she undoes her robe. Ryou does likewise and suddenly the situation hits me. I've been asked to rub sunscreen on two girls, twins no less, who're wearing rather revealing bikinis. Since when did my life turn into a harem anime?

Ryou's bikini is white whereas Kyou's is red. Somehow the colors are rather fitting given the girls' personalities. Also, since it's impossible not to notice at this point, who knew Ryou was the more well-endowed of the two? And not by a little, mind you.

"You gonna ogle my sister all day or get to work?" Kyou says sounding slightly irritated. I grind my teeth a bit and start with Ryou, doing my best to not let my hands wander. For her part, Ryou seems to enjoy the experience while I, meanwhile, am half-expecting Kyou to hurl a copy of Webster's dictionary at me at any moment. After several minutes Ryou thanks me and then lays down on her back as I turn and start the same process on Kyou. It turns out to be a fair bit trickier on account of her crazy long hair. Usually I must admit I prefer long hair on girls, but in this instance it's all I can do to not gum hers up with sunscreen. Still, like her sister, Kyou certainly seems to take some amount of pleasure in the experience. I, meanwhile, am praying no one else I know sees me doing this.

"Not a bad job." Kyou says, laying down on her stomach. "You would make a good cabana boy, Tomoya."

"You're about the last person I want to be getting career advice from." I reply flatly. I put the bottle down between the two and turn to head out, assuming I'm done.

"Hey, could you hold on a sec? There's one more thing I need you to do." Kyou says. I growl inwardly and turn to give Kyou a piece of my mind until I see her undoing the back strap of her bikini top. My head just about explodes.

"I need a little more on my back, especially where the strap was." She says, being careful to keep her top pinned to her as she stretches out. "I don't want tanlines, you know."

Somebody just kill me now, please.

I kneel beside Kyou and go to work, making sure to cover her entire back as best I can. After about a minute of this I suddenly realize she's moaning and groaning as I work the lotion into her back. Oh good God.

"Man, you'd make a good masseuse too." She says a bit sleepily now. "Such strong hands…"

"I told you I don't want career advice from you." I say, now utterly embarrassed. Kyou, however, doesn't respond and after another moment I realize she's sound asleep. Ryou also seems to have fallen asleep in her chair. Finally, an escape opportunity! I put the bottle down again and quietly make my way away from the sunbathing twins, only to break into a full-on sprint once I'm a bit away from their house.

I don't stop running for several minutes, finally collapsing under a tree in the city's park. What the hell is going on today? I get a facefull of Nagisa's breasts, an eyeful of Kotomi's body in costume and now I've all but felt up the Fujibayashi twins. To be sure I wouldn't call any of these incidents unpleasant, but none of this feels right at all.

I feel a bit exhausted, mentally and physically. The day's just getting hotter as it goes on, and I did just run top speed for a good long while. I slowly close my eyes under the shade of the tree. Maybe if I just sleep for a while this nonsensical day will work itself out somehow. It sure can't get any worse.

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I have no idea how long I was asleep, but when I started waking up I knew someone was looking over me. I blink my eyes a few times as they open and see a familiar face with stunning blue eyes and long, grey hair looking down at me.

"I wouldn't have pegged you for one to sleep outdoors, Tomoya." Tomoyo says as I look up at her.

"With the kind of day I'm having, I'll take a little respite wherever I can find it." I say, sitting up slowly. She's sitting beside me dressed in a light t-shirt and spandex shorts with tennis shoes on. "What're you up to dressed like that?"

"Just a jog around the park a couple times." She says, wiping her forehead with a towel. "I hate being idle on days off like this."

"I shouldn't expect any less from the student council president. You're really just on a different level from a guy like me."

She laughs a bit at my compliment. "You say that like I'm some kind of alien."

"You mean you aren't?" I say in my best, facetious tone. "And here I was going to try and turn you in to the government since I figured only an alien could be so great at everything she does."

Tomoyo can't help but laugh at the comment, and for my part I can't help but join her in laughing. I have to admit, part of me almost regrets making Nagisa my girlfriend. Tomoyo is really an amazing girl, and far cuter than she'll ever admit. Maybe in another life we would have gotten together, but Nagisa has my heart and I have no intentions of betraying her. Not now, not ever.

"Nagisa is really lucky to have someone like you to make her smile and laugh every day." Tomoyo says. I'm about to follow her comment up as she stands when she winces a bit and holds her leg.

"Hey, you alright?" I ask, suddenly a bit worried.

"I should've stretched a bit when I stopped running." She says, grimacing a bit. "It's so hot today I ended up getting a dizzy spell due to dehydration right about when I spotted you. I decided to take a break until you woke up. My leg's all tensed up now."

I get up and stand nearby, trying to think of ways to help. "Is there anything I can do to help? Maybe get you a drink real quick or something?"

"Actually, there is something you could do, but I'm a little embarrassed to ask." She says, slowly sitting back down.

"Just ask. I feel like it's my fault this happened to you now." I tell her.

"Well…could you help me stretch my leg out a bit? Normally I can do it myself, but with it acting like this I don't think I could manage it on my own."

Wow. Yeah. I ran head-on into that one. "I, uh…er…sure, I guess."

Tomoyo thanks me and slowly lays down on the ground, looking up at me. "Don't worry about being gentle with me, okay?"

Talk about a loaded statement. "R-right."

I take hold of her tensed-up leg and slowly lift it up. I keep her ankle in my hand as I stretch it up as far as it'll go and look down. She seems to be relaxing a bit now.

"Wow, that feels a lot better already." She says. "Put some more weight into it though."

"There's not much more I can do like this though." I say, pushing her leg with my hand.

"Try this, then." She says. She quickly slips her leg out of my hand and onto my shoulder. "Now push forward like that."

Just what I was hoping to avoid: an indescribably compromising position. I silently comply and push with my legs now, stretching her leg out to the point that it's almost back up to her now. She closes her eyes and moans a bit as I continue.

"Yeah…that's great, Tomoya…" she says, her voice sounding a bit breathy. I swallow hard and continue stretching her leg for her. My eyes look down over her as I do so, realizing that Youhei was right that one time. She's really got a crazy nice body. God, I should kick myself into the stratosphere for thinking that.

After about a minute of work I slowly let her leg back down and sit back on the ground nearby. She lays there for a moment and then sits up, wiping more sweat from her forehead.

"That was great…my leg feels a lot better now." She says. "Plus it felt pretty good to boot. You should consider-"

"Please don't give me career advice, Tomoyo." I say, cutting her off. "I've gotten enough of it today and from similarly embarrassing situations."

"Huh?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." I tell her.

"Try me. You helped me out, Tomoya. The least I can do is listen to what's bugging you."

I sigh heavily and start telling her about everything that had happened to me earlier in the day. By the time I'm done I'm not only completely embarrassed but I feel like the worst guy in the world.

"I see…" Tomoyo says, sounding lost in thought. "Had I known all of that I wouldn't have asked you to help me just now. I'm really sorry, Tomoya."

I shake off her attempt at apologizing. This isn't her fault, after all. "No, it's okay. Ultimately I just wanted to help everyone out as usual. It just…got weird today for some reason."

"I don't know what to tell you, though. It's certainly an odd string of occurrences. If you don't mind me saying so they almost a little too coincidental."

"I don't see how they could possibly be…"

I stop myself mid-sentence and suddenly trace everything back in my head. All the way back to the Reference room yesterday. Could that possibly be it?

I jump up and start jogging off. "Sorry, Tomoyo, I have to head to school now. There's something I need to check out!"

I start running towards school, praying that book Yukine had out yesterday is still on the table. If I'm right, that's where this whole string of nonsense started. And, hopefully, it's also where I can bring an end to it and get things back to normal around here.

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By the time I reach the Reference room I'm completely out of breath. I almost want to collapse, but I force myself to push on. As luck would have it, Yukine's book of charms is still on the table. I grab it and start flipping through the pages, searching desperately for the one I did yesterday. It takes a few minutes, but I finally find it. I read further and, thankfully, there's a way to counter it. Let's see…hop on one foot and shake your hands while saying, "I'm gonna make it after all" three times and finish with a bow. At this point I'm not in a position to question the method; I just want this maddening day to be over with. I perform the ritual and, just like yesterday, it doesn't seem like anything has changed. I guess the only way to know for sure is to head back to Nagisa's and see for myself.

I get back to the bakery a while later only to find no one around. I collapse next to the living room table and stare at the ceiling. To be sure, I wouldn't call today a "bad" day by any stretch of the imagination. Being a healthy young man, I certainly didn't mind the sights I was treated to today. I just don't want anyone thinking I'd ever two-time Nagisa. She's a wonderful girl, and she's deserves an equally wonderful guy. Right now, I have to admit that I often feel like I don't qualify for that role. Not with my history. I want to be a good guy for her, so I can always be someone for her to lean on for help, to talk to about anything and to enjoy life with.

Maybe that's what Yukine's charm was supposed to be all about, then. Maybe it was to test me and see if my resolve about being with Nagisa was strong enough. I certainly feel stronger than ever about how much I love her. I'll have to go thank Yukine tomorrow for all of this.

Still, I'm a little uneasy about whatever Nagisa was talking about this morning before I left. I've thought and thought all day and I can't remember us doing anything out of the ordinary last night. I'll just have to clear this up with her later. At least that's what I was thinking, then I heard the front door open and close again. I sit up and lean on the table and, sure, enough, Nagisa appears a few moments later.

"There you are, Tomoya." She says as she sits near me at the table. "I've been looking for you all day. I didn't see you at all this morning."

"Sorry about that. I just needed some time to think on my own was all." I tell her. "I've had a lot on my mind today."

"You know you can talk to me about any of it, right? We're…I mean, you're…well, I am your g-girlfriend. Right?" She got all flustered and nervous towards the end there, which brings a smile to my face.

I put my hand on top of hers on the table. "Yeah, I know. Thanks."

"Anyway, I was wondering…" she continues, looking at me hopefully now, "I was wondering if we could pick up where we left off last night?"

Oh boy, here we go. I guess now's as good a time as any. "Um…uh…well…sure. I guess I don't mind."

Nagisa's face lights up and she quickly dashes off, returning moments later with a videotape in hand. I watch curiously as she puts it into the VCR and hits the play button. She sits back down next to me and leans against me as the video starts up. It's the Big Dango Family Christmas special.

Wait…what?

"I rewound it after it was done last night, since you were nodding off around this point in the show." She says. "I've always loved this TV special, and it was really fun watching it last night. After you went to bed I stayed up and watched the rest with mom and dad. I ended up going to bed late last night as a result. I think I must've been really tired, though, because for some reason I woke up in your room instead of mine. When I'm really tired I sometimes fall asleep in weird places, heh.

"Oh, and one more thing." She gets a little red in the face. "I hope you don't mind, but I borrowed one of your shirts to sleep in last night. All my pajamas were still drying on the line yesterday."

Having heard the whole story I simply put my arms around Nagisa and hug her, which she responds to by putting her arms around me as well. I should have known better, I tell myself.

"I guess this means you don't mind me borrowing that shirt, then?" she asks after a moment. I laugh and nod to her as we sit side-by-side again, watching the video. Cautiously, I put an arm around her as the time passes. Upon feeling my hand on her shoulder, Nagisa leans against me, resting her head on my shoulder. We just sit and watch the video. Well, she watches it. I just watch her, my girlfriend. My reason for everything.

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I slide open the door to the Reference room and peek inside, spotting Yukine putting some materials back on their shelf. I step inside and close the door behind me before going to help out a bit. She startles a bit as I suddenly appear with a box full of old 8mm film reels in hand.

"Oh, Tomoya! I wasn't expecting you today." She says. "Let me take that."

"Nah, just tell me where it goes. I can handle this." I reply. She nods and points me to a nearby empty shelf, which I take the films over to and put them down carefully.

"I came by to thank you for that charm, Yukine." I tell her.

"Oh? Did it work after all?" she asks.

I nod in response, stepping back over to her. "Better than I could have ever imagined. It really shone some light on a number of things for me."

"That's wonderful to hear." She says with a smile. "I'm glad it was such a help to you. Hopefully you'll find a good job after high school now."

"Huh? Job? The charm I did was to test my relationship with Nagisa, wasn't it?"

"I don't recall ever looking up a charm like that." Yukine says, taking the book of charms in hand and flipping through the pages. She holds up the page with the ritual I'd performed on Saturday and points to it. "You did this one, right?"

"Yeah…"

She flips it back to the prior page. "The description is on the previous page here. It's the Receive-Divinely-Sublime-Suggestions-About-Possible-Employment-Opportunities-And-Career-Paths charm. I heard from Nagisa that you don't plan on attending college and I remembered that charm and wanted to share it with you."

My jaw hits the floor as I suddenly remember it all. Kotomi saying I should get into landscaping, Kyou saying I could be a cabana boy or a masseuse, and Tomoyo was about to offer some piece of advice as well before I cut her off. But wait, that still doesn't explain…

"Oh, and one more thing." She says, blushing a bit. "I must apologize for what I said just as you were leaving on Saturday. I admit I do find you quite attractive, Tomoya, though I know you and Nagisa are a couple. That's why I said I didn't mind...well, let's just refer to it as an unfortunate incident. I promise I will never mention it again, though."

"That's…fine. Yukine." I say slowly. "I'll just be on my way now."

"Please do stop by again for coffee sometime soon, I do appreciate the company." She says sweetly as I leave.

Job advice. Job advice! I went through all that shit yesterday for job advice! Note to self: Just say "no" to Yukine's ridiculously random charms. Well, I guess it wasn't a total waste though. Even if it didn't do what I thought it did, I got something pretty good out of it all the same. My life hasn't been an easy one, but I would have to say that yesterday was, without a doubt, the best day ever.