A/N: I express: This story is the product of an experiment that I was pursuing and nontheless, this is the final result. I assure everyone that this story is solely centered on Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru only. *Just a note of warning/spoiler: It is quite a long, draggy and tiring story, and don't expect too much from it. As I have said before this is the product of a tried experiment.
It is indeed set in Fuuka,however this story does not happen in the pre or post of the series. I do hope that confusion is avoided.
Especially written for lil'nutcase, who is one that wondered how romantic I could get.
Then I will not hinder until the end-
This is just a normal love story from the grounds of the prestigious Fuuka Academy, nothing more nothing less. It is nothing incomplete but ironically not completed either. It is just a story, much like other stories, for a listener like you and me.
Should one say on the grounds of the Fuuka Academy were blessed by elegant girls and charming boys, that would be quite true to the eye. However there was always the black sheep that stood out from the flock of white. No one could ever guess that this very image of the Fuuka Academy would be destroyed by none other than what the outside students call the delinquent, the rebel. However, that is what the normal average students call her, students inside the prestigious Academy call her by her sole name of the Ice Princess, that by boys and Ice Prince, that by girls. Yet she would rather be called by her real name other than those ridiculous –or she should say- crappy names.
Her name was one that someone could not easily forget, since it was the epitome stubbornness. Her first name said the most, if it was literally broken down, it would mean Nine Obstinacy, or simply Kuga. Her second name was written in Hiragana, and it was just plain old Natsuki. Yet, the Kuga Natsuki wasn't one to play with. She rode a Ducati to school, came into class dress in clothes other than the school attire, which consisted of same particular dark hooded sweatshirt, the long pants and the baggy vest that looked too big for her size. She didn't care if she was thrown out of class or sent to the principal's office for being dressed as such, she didn't mind it one bit at all. Kuga Natsuki clearly knew that the school had no valid reason for suspending her from school or expelling her in any case. Simply for the simple reasons that Kuga Natsuki arrived in school on time, attended all her classes, finished all her assignment and lastly left her hands clean from any rugged fights.
So simply to say, she was judged by the cover, like every other book would be.
However, Fuuka students always wondered why this Ice Princess or Ice Prince couldn't just turn out from those sloppy clothes that she wore to school. No one dared to ask her, or simply just to hint to her why she was dressed as such. The reason why they never approached this black sheep was for the sole reason that Kuga Natsuki carried the icy and stoic demeanour that apparently froze anyone that came within the line of her vision –which apparently too seemed to stretched forever- Well, that was some reason they believed, or so to have felt. Nonetheless, there were some brave ones that bothered to press those limits to see whether this aura of this Kuga Natsuki was true. Seemingly one out of those brave ones came back smiling saying that this Kuga Natsuki was just a Lone Wolf, yet sadly, this piece of true information was just not heeded and like all true knowledge was thrown into the bin. Hence, gossip took on from there.
Though being uniquely different from the outside, Kuga Natsuki was like the same old love stricken girls, like any young teenager that fell in love at first sight. Yet, her tale had its own unique twist that made students in Fuuka Academy and outside the Academy think that it was so impossible to see such love surface for the black sheep. It was impossible for the fact that Kuga Natsuki had fallen for the all innocent Fujino Shizuru.
Elegant girls of Fuuka Academy, yes; Fujino Shizuru was the perfect example of elegance and grace. The one and only idol that radiated these qualities throughout Fuuka, who could not mistake her for the Crystal Shrine maiden that prayed at the shrine of Fuuka every Tanabata Matsuri of the summer festival. One could only see that this angel was the true all rounded girl that everyone wanted their hearts to be claimed by her. It was Fujino Shizuru who led the Student Council as President, the team captain in the volleyball team, the instructor of the Naginata club and the pure graceful lady that sat down in the seiza fashion in official tea ceremonies held on official events. Fujino Shizuru could handle anything that was passed to her, given to her, held responsibility for; she was the one and only. Not only that, she was the beauty that struck everyone's heart, boy and girl, teacher and student.
So like any true beauty, she was the ignition to any flame, and it included the black sheep that everyone cared less for.
Yet where did the ignition of love for Fujino Shizuru start for this black sheep, Kuga Natsuki?
As, everyone would speculate, if it was asked, that they met at the secret flower garden and every thing from then for Kuga Natsuki was history. Well, that is bullshit, there is no secret garden in Fuuka Academy and if there was one, it was sure that more than just Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru knew about this garden, love does indeed do wonders. Heck, there will be more than one couple there; hence it won't be called a secret garden.
The brave one that had apparently had the guts to talk to the Lone Wolf, Kuga Natsuki, once again revealed the truth about how this black sheep fell into the pit of white love. Yet as usual, the truth was neglected and the odd speculation of the secret garden was sought after. After all it was spicy, and romantic. Then again, the real event that took place, though simple and plain, held more than the feelings of Kuga Natsuki but also of Fujino Shizuru.
After all it went like this:
It was the Tanabata Matsuri, the festival of the Weaver star. Happening at the same time in Fuuka Academy was the annual summer festival and this was always the time were all the couples and those forlorn students desperate of love would tie their destiny ribbons onto the rail of the Crystal shrine that was located in the main domed hall of the Fuuka Academy. The legend was that if one would write the name of the person of whom they love onto the ribbon and tie it onto the rail, their fate would intertwine and the rest would be sweet, passionate history. That was why everyone would litter the rail with different coloured ribbons and make a scene of the shrine like every summer festival.
Yet on this particular summer festival, Kuga Natsuki chose to be a little hostile to the ribbons that had her name written on them. With a grumble and a huff, all she could do was scour the rail and rip those coloured ribbons with her name off the metal and dump them angrily into the nearby bin. She had met with a huge obstacle when she realised that there was apparently this big idiot that tied a huge bunch of ribbons that had her name together on the rail. Further more, this knot that was tied was certainly a tough one to undo. At this she was furious.
'This piece of trash!'
Everyone at the Crystal shrine at this very moment hesitantly walked away from where this Ice Princess or Ice Prince was causing such a scene in ripping out the bunch of ribbons and moved over to somewhere else to tie their own. Kuga Natsuki grew tired after heaving the knot unloose and muttered curses as she grabbed loosely onto the finally tattered ribbons from the bunch previously.
'Why would you be untying someone's love?'
Kuga Natsuki, with those clear sea green eyes turned angrily to meet dark cardinal eyes that stared wonders at her. She looked up at the girl that was dressed simply in a simple wisteria kimono and had her chamois hair down that rushed naturally over her shoulders. The black sheep blinked hard at the question that escaped between those pink luscious lips and she straightened up from her bend to look over to the little innocent white sheep, idol of Fuuka Academy.
'What do you mean by untying someone's love?'
Fujino Shizuru did not just take a bold step over to the black sheep but also traced a daring finger over the vest that Kuga Natsuki insisted on wearing on school grounds.
'Isn't love tied onto the ribbon; between the one who tied the ribbon to the person whose name is on it?'
Clear sea green eyes narrowed dangerously at the moving finger on her chest and scowled at dark cardinal eyes. Kuga Natsuki took a step back against the rail and huffed out in annoyance, it wasn't her day to be the typical quiet lone wolf that people tended not to approach. She growled,
'Don't tell me you believe in this shit!'
'Apparently I do.'
There was a pause and it seemed that no one around the Crystal shrine seem to have notice the very presence of the idol. Fujino Shizuru's dark eyes twinkled in amusement and backed onto her heels, she continued when she realised that there was this weird and ardent tension between this black sheep of Fuuka and her,
'I believe in this shit as you so eloquently label it as such.'
The black sheep, Kuga Natsuki, could only heave a heavy angry breath and tighten the grip on the tattered ribbons that she ripped out ruthlessly. She gave one last nonchalant look at the one and only idol of Fuuka and moved away to the bin to deposit her finds. She turned back later to find that Fujino Shizuru had left where she had been standing by the rail. Glancing around one last time to assure that this white sheep, idol of Fuuka was out of the premise; Kuga Natsuki took off to where she stood to remove any left over ribbons that she forgot to rip away from the rail. As she returned to the spot where she had last been stopped, she found a new violet coloured ribbon that had her name written elegantly from the middle coming down.
It seemingly could not be.
Kuga Natsuki looked at it with a frown on her face and reached over to grasp it tight in her hands,
'Ugh, this is shit.'
Yet the feeling of ripping this particular ribbon drifted away from her fingers and she looked at the colour that matched the wisteria kimono of the idol of Fuuka. The waterfall of chamois coloured hair and the dark cardinal coloured eyes was all Kuga Natsuki could form in her mind. Her face twisted into anger and she forced herself rip it out from the rail. She brought it to her nose and took in the same light scent of camellia. Kuga Natsuki slipped this particular ribbon into her vest and walked away angrily. Little did she notice that the dark cardinal eyes that once looked into her clear sea green eyes were watching her every movement until they saw the black sheep walk out of the Crystal shrine with the violet ribbon close to her heart. Then, both of them smiled to themselves, secretly.
Well, it was the truth that the brave one had told several but as usual, who could believe that the idol of Fuuka had fallen for the black sheep for such a long time, especially if the latter was the Ice Princess or Ice Prince, the Lone Wolf of Fuuka? Further more who could believe that Kuga Natsuki kept that violet ribbon that was said to be written by Fujino Shizuru? Or in fact, was there really a violet ribbon in the first place? All in all, who could ever see that those two held feelings for each other for some time while they were never even seen talking to each other? Hence who could believe that everything started in such a weird moment when Kuga Natsuki was ripping ribbons during the summer festival?
It's a pity that the love between them just ended up fabricated into some nonsensical secret garden tale like that.
Like all love, it would be shared openly whether be it between black and white. However as usual, being astoundingly unique like Kuga Natsuki, it was decided that she showed her love to the idol of Fuuka in a different and unique way, Kuga style. There were moments that were shared between the two, away from the prying eyes of Fujino Shizuru's faithful followers, hence meetings were held as discreetly and as randomly as possible.
There were moments as such:
Like all lunch periods, Kuga Natsuki would be eager to eat her fair sum of her unhealthy obsession which was packed neatly in her Ducati compartment that was parked somewhere near the parking lots of the Fuuka Academy. As usual, her icy and stoic demeanour would chase off anyone that would dare to follow her to her next destination, hence she arrived at her Ducati alone. However, on this particular autumn day, she found out that she had forgetfully left her packed lunch on the counter of her apartment kitchen. Fuelling her anger and disappointment on the nearby stone that she kicked upon, she groaned unnoticeably back to her classroom on a very empty stomach.
As Kuga Natsuki stormed her way back to her classroom little did she take notice of the idol of Fuuka running quickly in her direction. Seemingly both of them did not take notice of each other, as they forcibly slammed into one another to end up wrecked upon on the ground. Already very tried, angry and disappointed that she didn't have her mayonnaise, the black sheep couldn't help but curse a little impolitely at the person she had knocked into. Also on a hurried schedule, the idol of Fuuka, Fujino Shizuru, only could do was offer an offhanded apology. With the both of them as such, they seemingly took notice of each other.
'Ugh. What do you want!?'
Unfazed by the remark thrown back at her, Fujino Shizuru looked into the clear sea green eyes that stared hard at her. She gave into a polite smile and eased herself from within the tangle they were in,
'I'm sorry? I do not want anything from you.' there was another uncertain pause, 'I am just rushing off to lunch, that's all.'
Eyes of the black sheep could only scan the Student Council President to find the small lunch box that was loosely in her hold. A light violet coloured cloth it was wrapped in, so much like the violet ribbon that Kuga Natsuki carried in her vest twenty-four seven. Kuga Natsuki gave off a grunt,
'Lunch period is almost over.'
'That is why I must hurry.'
Kuga Natsuki could only watch a small smile form on the idol's face as she pushed herself off the floor. She growled at that excuse and jumped up mumbling curses about people having such luck with remembering to bring lunch. However before she could even leave the sight of the pure white sheep of Fuuka Academy, her hungry and empty stomach let out the loudest gurgle.
'Have you not eaten your lunch Kuga-san?'
A glare was received from clear sea green eyes and what was given back was a tilt of the head and a finger on the chin. Fujino Shizuru could only reply innocently,
'I have…' there was another loud gurgle from her stomach, '…not.'
'You would have gastric pains if you don't…'
A quick rough hand rushed over to grab the idol's free hand and dragged her away from the empty corridor. The ever so Lone Wolf took the petite white sheep off into the back of the school building and pulled both of them to the store shed that was situated near the Track and Field club locker room. Kuga Natsuki dropped herself onto the steps nearby and looked up to find a pair of confused and shock dark cardinal eyes staring back at her. The black sheep slumped back on her hands and said in annoyance,
'Are you just going to stand there all day?' she gestured to space beside her, 'I'm hungry!'
A true smile was passed over to her from Fujino Shizuru and she was daintily joined by the idol. Sitting on the steps as the lunch period bell rung above their heads, both of them shared their first ever indirect kiss. Both of them were secretly happy that there was only one pair of wooden chopsticks.
Another moment went as such:
'Still here?' there was always a pause between the sentences they said to each other, because they was still uncertainty between them, 'What are you, the ever responsible robot of Fuuka?'
'That's not a very nice way to put it.'
Kuga Natsuki could only scowl and threw her bag over her shoulder in digust. She stood at the doorway of the ceremony room and looked at the kimono dressed idol that placed away the cushions in the tea ceremony room. Her clear sea green eyes took in the different kimono her eyes feasted on this time, it was much elaborated than the one she had previously seen on the day of the summer festival. This particular one looked like Fujino Shizuru carried the world on her shoulders. Such a burden shouldn't be carried by one alone –that's some theory for someone calling herself the Lone Wolf-. The sweet voice of the white sheep asked as she realised why was the endearing Kuga Natsuki doing here, especially since it was heard that the black sheep didn't particularly favour tea.
'Ah? Then may I also ask why Kuga-san is here at such a late hour?'
'I have my reasons.'
Dark cardinal eyes levelled with clear sea green and she saw the honesty that spoke in volumes in those crystal eyes. How charming. She gave a small smile at the frown that was plastered onto the smooth face of the black sheep and she turned to move to the entrance. There both of them looked at each other before the soft voice from the idol of Fuuka issued a goodbye. What was returned was out of honesty and the Lone Wolf was brave enough to speak her feelings,
'You shouldn't push yourself.'
There was an indefinite pause between the both and Fujino Shizuru could only close her eyes and walk off solemnly, there was nothing she had wanted to say. She was already happy to set sight onto the black sheep after a long day of hard work and organising. She was happy that she heard something of quality and emotion be offered to her. She was content.
Back to the black sheep that barely left an eye on the retreating figure from the ceremony room, she moved over to the small low cupboard and gently placed her school bag beside it. Hands went to open the cupboard and in she slipped a small tea box from her bag into the wooden furniture and she smiled in the darkness. After that she relished herself by sitting quietly on the smooth bamboo flooring of the ceremony room. Within the embrace of the darkness, she took in the last lingering scent of the camellia and she stood up slowly and hugged the space before her.
That was the way Kuga Natsuki simply said:
'I'm here for you.'
Yet another random moment:
'Could I have a Mocha Frappucinno®?' she peered up at the menu board, 'A large?'
'That will be 540 yen. Please.'
Kuga Natsuki took out her wallet and paid for her ice blended coffee before receiving a receipt and a set of instructions from the cashier; to wait to collect her drink further down the counter. After all, it was on take away, she already told herself that she would not spend too much time outside her apartment. She had an assignment that she had no idea what to do since she was forcibly sent out of the classroom by a new teacher who had not accepted that she wore clothes that were not stated by the school. She had wanted to ask what was to be done, but then again, Kuga Natsuki had her pride to keep. She had taken a break after stressing out in her apartment in trying to find out how to do her assignment; mathematics was something she had not liked since middle school, even if it included two plus two.
Hence a night ride through town would be nice to ease her over worked head. Thus as she rode through town, this particular coffee house caught her eye and she made a little thought that maybe a cup of coffee won't hurt in helping to boost her energy to stay up through the night. Therefore here she was, waiting for her take away. Yet little did she notice the white sheep had stood in queue and had walked up to her with a receipt saying,
Clear sea green eyes shot up from the receipt she was checking and was equally surprised to find dark cardinal staring straight into her. Before she could even utter her usual phrase of fake digust, the white sheep could only ask worriedly,
'You look extremely tired.'
The black sheep turned to the counter to hand over the receipt and in return receive her plastic cup of ice blended coffee. Her hand took hold of the cup and she narrowed her eyes at the idol of Fuuka. She asked nonchalantly,
'What are you doing here?'
'I live nearby.'
Clear sea green eyes looked over the girl's shoulder and took a step forward to stand a little closer, in return she heard a faint whisper of confusion,
'There's a young man staring at you.'
Fujino Shizuru had wanted to turn to look at who this man was, only to be stopped by a hand that landed on her back. The straw that was inserted into the cap of the ice blend neared her lips and the voice of the Lone Wolf spoke quietly to her,
'Take a sip.'
'But I don't…' the idol of Fuuka could only put her attention on protesting the command that was given to her and partially forget what was happening. However the black sheep insisted, persistently,
'Just drink it.'
Saved by her drink, the white sheep turned within the hold of the black sheep and smiled at the serving boy. However before Fujino Shizuru could take the liberty of handing over the receipt of her paid tea to the serving boy behind the counter, her sole white receipt was expertly taken away by deft fingers and handed over personally by Kuga Natsuki. The idol of Fuuka left her mouth slightly agape at the sudden action, and she was even more surprised when she saw that her first sip of green tea was stolen away by the one and only Lone Wolf. She had wanted to stomp her foot angrily on the ground but the sight of watching her cup of hot tea be handed over by a wincing Kuga Natsuki made her flicker of anger vanish. It seemed that the only one that could do that to her was this black sheep that she yearn to be with.
'Ugh, it's hot!'
Fujino Shizuru could only let out a laugh that rendered the Lone Wolf speechless and she took the opportunity to accept and take her tea into her hands. However, feeling the hand on her back still securely fastened, she turned slightly to cautiously peer behind her to indeed find a fine handsome young man staring at her. The gaze that she received wasn't the same that the black sheep would give her and it certainly wasn't one that was welcoming either. It was uncomfortable and scrutinising. At this moment, all the idol of Fuuka could do was whimper the name she daren't call before,
She received a pair of concerned sea green eyes and the hand slipped tighter around to wrap around her waist. Fujino Shizuru did oddly feel comfortable within the hold of this black sheep, but she certainly felt that it somehow wasn't just right just yet to say that it was perfect. Simply to say, that this white sheep wanted to find out the feelings of this black sheep of the Fuuka flock. The sea green eyes moved pass to look up behind her and that uncomfortable gaze left quickly as it had come.
The hand that held her was taken off and Kuga Natsuki could only gesture Fujino Shizuru out of the coffee house with her. Upon doing so, she sent one last glare at that young man. The Lone Wolf stood idly next to her parked Ducati on the side of the road and finally looked somewhat exhausted from everything. She took a quick gulp of her ice blended coffee,
'Need a ride home?'
The black sheep narrowed her eyes on the idol of Fuuka that stood gracefully under the warm street light and lifted her helmet that she had taken out from the compartment, she repeated,
'Need a ride home?'
'Ah, thank you Kuga-san, but I don't think I need a ride home.' Fujino Shizuru had realised that the name she had wanted to slip out was easily replaced with the formal way of addressing, she winced at it and she paused as always, 'My apartment is just down the road.'
'Ugh, suit yourself.'
Mounting her bike, the Lone Wolf finished her large ice blend quickly and gave into an impolite burp. After taking a quick aim to the bin, she placed her helmet on. Taking a quick glance at the idol of Fuuka that stood beside her watching her every moment, the black sheep gave a swift nod and revved her engine. Above the loud sound of her Ducati engine and the muffled cushion vibration of her helmet, Kuga Natsuki could barely hear the sweet voice that said,
'Actually, I would love to take a ride home with you.'
Finally to end another sporadic discreet meeting between the two:
Just as winter days arrived, Kuga Natsuki had forgotten like always that the atmosphere would be too cold to laze outside during free period. Therefore this foolish black sheep could only watch the white winter sky from where she shivered from her sit on one of the stone benches near the Crystal Shrine of Fuuka Academy. A little small warm breath escaped her lips as she looked briefly at the bare trees outside and then to the rail that was still littered with the coloured ribbons that was tied on since summer. It was not until the end of school term then would they be taken off the rail. The clean metal rail awaiting the next summer to be filled with ribbons of love.
The black sheep could only touch her chest where the violet ribbon was always kept close to her heart. Wouldn't all the ribbons be untied in the end, then won't that mean untying all the love that has been tied upon the shrine? She grunted in the cold atmosphere and blew into her hands,
'Who in the world believes in such shit.'
'Haven't I told you, Kuga-san?' there was that pause, 'I do.'
The Lone Wolf could only turn her head to find amused dark cardinal eyes twinkling at her. The space beside her on the stone bench was now occupied and all Kuga Natsuki could do was keep her mouth shut and feel the thumping of her heart beat against the violet ribbon that was always near to her heart. The one and only ribbon she would keep. There was a sigh from the idol sitting beside her and she kept her ears open for the sweet voice that seemingly talked about almost everything to her,
'I came by a few days back to find whether my ribbon was still there.' There was a lengthy pause before Fujino Shizuru continued, 'However I couldn't find it where I had tied it.'
'Maybe it flew away.'
Dark cardinal eyes looked up at clear sea green eyes and she stated firmly,
'I am sure that I tied quite a tight knot.'
'Maybe it is a sign,' now this pause was longer than the previous and the uneasy tension which was built up was finally broken, 'that, your love isn't one that is to come true.'
Kuga Natsuki could only stare at her hands and heave a heavy anger breath like on that summer day. Then she felt a light touch on her arm that made her turn to look at the pure white sheep of Fuuka, dark cardinal showed no signs of happiness or sadness, but that of hope. With that she said in the sweet voice like always,
'Sometimes Kuga-san, you should believe in these trivial things too.'
This time there was no pause, there was love filled with hope.
Hence these sporadic meetings and random moments carried on from that particular summer, these shared moments that made both Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru realise that their feelings for each other were much more than just a ribbon love that was tied onto the rail of the Crystal shrine. Well, that is the truth, but yet, one should know that people prefer the juicy gossip and exaggerated moments. Thus all this moments were distorted into the simple fact that the black sheep of Fuuka, Kuga Natsuki was under the heavy spell of infatuation. Furthermore they believed in the purity of the idol of Fuuka, that Fujino Shizuru could never love someone that was a delinquent, the black sheep of the Fuuka flock.
Therefore, this true budding romance between the black and the white sheep was cast away from prying eyes; it was just lousy rumours to them. Just think about the pity that Fujino Shizuru had on Kuga Natsuki, which is what students in and out would say. Then again, it was such a pity to not acknowledge the truth. However as winter finally left and a new spring came along, Fujino Shizuru, the idol of Fuuka decided that if their relationship would be kept in the dull and away from raving fans, then she would bring her emotions for the black sheep to a level much higher than before.
In another case, it just meant, that Fujino Shizuru became bolder.
It happened on a spring day, just a few days after the new school term had started. Some of the students didn't take quite a big notice of it, since it was the usual that Fujino Shizuru was called to lend a helping hand to aid a wounded student to the nurse office. No one thought it ran much deeper than that. Like all true events, it went like this:
She heard her name clearly being called from the hall entrance and Fujino Shizuru could only turn from where she stood from the rest benches and look questioningly at the male student that stood timidly at the doorway. He was dressed in the normal baseball attire of their academy and his blue batting helmet was still on. His quick glances at her made her zip her dark purple gym jacket up to cover her volleyball attire, it was long enough to cover until mid thigh so the idol of Fuuka didn't bother to slip on her sweatpants. He gestured her to come over, his tired and worried face made her uncertain until she heard the second plea,
'We need your help.'
Excusing herself from the resting members of the volleyball club, she walked rather quickly to the young student that stood at the entrance and when she reached within a good hearing distance, the boy stuttered,
'I'm sorry to bother you Fujino-san,' the boy turned to the direction of the dirt courtyard and hesitated, 'but we really need your help.'
The white sheep could only raise an eye brow and look questioningly at him. The young baseball batter could only motion her to follow him to the base ball field. Leaving uncertain steps behind her, and upon reaching the sandy dirt grounds of the baseball courtyard, Fujino Shizuru could not believe the sight that was happening before her eyes. Running madly around the dirt grounds, from base to base was the baseball team. Not only did they look like a herd of wilder beast, but a bunch of fools that apparently couldn't outrun the one and only Kuga Natsuki. Dark cardinal eyes could see that the Lone Wolf was barely tired from running in front of the baseball team. Actually, Fujino Shizuru realised the sight before looked like it needed none of her help, so she asked the weary young batter that had called their coach along.
'My help?' She looked at the old man that had an expression of relief at the mere sight of her, 'they look…fit?'
'They're not exercising Fujino,' the old coach raised his old yet strong looking finger at the sole figure that was running in front of the baseball team, 'they're chasing Kuga!'
The young batter tiredly excused his presence to the benches and the old coach sighed in disappointment,
'One of our freshman readily batted the ball right into Kuga's face right after she pitched the ball,' She watched the board shoulders of coach slump forward, 'Her forehead is bleeding due to the impact caused by the short distance…'
The idol of Fuuka held her breath and jerked her head to find that indeed from where she stood quite far away from where they were all chasing the black sheep, she could see the streak of red running down the face of Kuga Natsuki. She kept her hands close to her body and felt eager to shout at the Lone Wolf to go to the infirmary. Apparently, that was the reason why everyone was chasing the black sheep,
'She won't go to the infirmary,' the coach sighed once more, 'She won't listen to any of us. Everyone is chasing her, hoping to catch her and take her to get her wound treated.'
The coach raised his hand casually into the air to ease his disappoint,
'Look at her! Even with a wound, she can still outrun my boys!'
Fujino Shizuru now understood why they had sought her help. She was the tamer of this beast, or simply because everyone knew she could make everyone listen to her. She spared a glance at the concerned coach and asked,
'So I'm asked to help?' she looked solely at Kuga Natsuki that ran round the bend, 'to help catch her?'
Dark cardinal eyes looked up to find that clear sea green eyes were now looking straight at her and running down the courtyard to her direction. She could see the line of crimson blood that ran fresh down the gnash that was on the forehead. Fujino Shizuru folded her arms and she blew a breath out, how in the world could she stop Kuga Natsuki. Yet before she knew what happened, she watched clear green eyes close briefly and then everything happened to fast as she took in the fall that the black sheep caused upon herself.
Landing flat on her face, Kuga Natsuki felt the dirt and rubble scratch her face before she felt her body land harshly on the ground. That was some trip she caused. The baseball team which she had joined at the start of this year stopped tiredly at her side, some members collapsed onto their knees next to her prone body asking her worriedly whether she was alright. All the Lone Wolf could do was push her faked exhausted body off the ground with the help of some of the members and be lugged slowly back to where the idol of Fuuka stood along side their coach. Her clear sea green eyes met once again with dark cardinal and Kuga Natsuki could only grin stupidly at the white sheep.
'Fujino-san, your presence works like a charm!' the coach beamed, 'Well then, I hope you can help us take her to the infirmary.'
The members left a thought-to-be-fatigued black sheep to the care of the white sheep and retreated to the benches to have a breather from after all that chasing. What was surprising was that they barely noticed how much more energy Kuga Natsuki had at the mere presence of the idol of Fuuka that she could stand straight and upright, and not a single sweat could be seen on the smooth face. Just with the sole exception with the line of red blood that still flowed freely. Fujino Shizuru could only sigh inwardly and walk away into the main building.
'Kuga-san, can you please listen to coach next time?'
'Ugh, and miss the fun of playing baseball?'
The idol could only watch the same frown form upon the dirty brown face of Kuga Natsuki and she dismissed it as both of them walked down the empty cold corridors of Fuuka Academy. Fujino Shizuru could not help but show concern for the Lone Wolf that had captured her heart,
'Your wound could be infected with that dirt from that fall.'
She folded her arms across her chest and watched Kuga Natsuki slide the door open into the infirmary and kept her mouth shut throughout the whole duration where the gnash was stitched up and bandaged neatly with the white tape. The dark hair that the black sheep kept neatly framed around her face was now coming out in awkward places. Groaning, as both of them left the infirmary, Kuga Natsuki could only remark,
'Now it hurts.'
With that, Kuga Natsuki received her very first given kiss from Fujino Shizuru, as the idol of Fuuka placed a chaste kiss on her bandaged forehead. After that, all dark cardinal eyes could see was a blur of red before the ever so endearing Lone Wolf ran away with her tail between her legs, away from the presence of the white sheep. Like that, Fujino Shizuru just became tad a little bolder and it didn't just push her to be bold, but a lot more affectionate to Kuga Natsuki who in turn decided she should do something too.
They were willingly to do it, since students wouldn't bat an eye lid about the silly infatuation Kuga Natsuki had on Fujino Shizuru.
Simply for the fact, that they could not believe the truth that Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru loved each other.
As said before, Kuga Natsuki decided that she should do something too; it took her just a little more time to say to the bold Fujino Shizuru,
'Would you like to dance?'
Which the reply in the sweet voice was,
The events as such proceeded like this:
Night was already spread across the sky and the compounds of the Fuuka Academy were already near to empty, with the poor exception of the loyal security guard that guarded the school after hours. Students who stayed back to help the student council set up the annual spring dance, that was held in the halls of the Fuuka Academy, on the day before spring left and summer was proclaimed to have started even though it was still cool in the atmosphere, streamed out of the hall to get back home before it was deemed late. Kuga Natsuki had also stayed back, not to help but to clean her class homeroom, due to the fact that the same new teacher gave her demerit points for no valid reasons. Three demerit points were given at one go, and that meant cleaning duty. Hence she didn't notice that there were still other students in the campus other than her.
After checking that every single speck of dust was wiped cleaned away from the black board, she made her way to the parking lots, by that she had to pass the hall. As she passed the hall, little did she take notice that the figure that stood locking the entrance of the hall was none other than Fujino Shizuru. Not until the whiff of camellia was caught by the expert nose of the Lone wolf.
Under the dimness of the corridor lights that were toned down to save electricity, clear sea green eyes took in the figure of the idol of Fuuka Academy. The black sheep took a bold step this time and asked,
'What are you doing here?'
'I'm locking up?'
Kuga Natsuki could only give out a grunt as she knew the actions of the president of the student council. The sweet voice that the black sheep always heard near her sounded and clear sea green eyes looked through the slightly ajar doors of the hall that was held by the idol,
'We just finished putting up the last decorations for the annual spring dance. It's actually ready for the big day.'
Dark cardinal could only glance up questioningly at Kuga Natsuki that grunted once more, and she smiled under the security of the darkness,
'You don't like to dance, Kuga-san?'
The black sheep kept her silence and then took hold of the situation. This time it was her turn to be daring, ever though the heart beat that was beating against the violet ribbon in her vest was fast and irregular. It frightened her, but Kuga Natsuki knew she had to face it, if it was the only way to get closer to the one that had caught her senses. Stepping her way in front of Fujino Shizuru, the black sheep threw the doors of the hall open. Her actions caused a noise of shock and surprise to ease out of the white sheep's throat.
The idol of Fuuka Academy was dragged back into the hall by a rough hand and pulled over to stand in the middle of the vast hall. She could hear the sound of a bag being thrown to the floor followed by the touch of prying fingers to get her own school bag off her hands. Dark cardinal looked aimlessly in the dark and soon she could set sight on clear green eyes in front of her,
'Would you like to dance?'
A low growl was heard and the white sheep couldn't help but say,
'I'm sorry, Kuga-san, I didn't hear your question properly.'
'Dammit, just hold my hand!'
Before she could do as she was told, Fujino Shizuru felt her whole body get flushed against a sturdy and solid figure that she guessed as much was Kuga Natsuki. She could feel her own cheeks burn and it was sure the same of the blushing Lone Wolf that held the white sheep close. There was a moment of silence, before, one could hear the movement of slow footsteps on the polished wooden floors of the Fuuka hall. The black sheep held the white sheep close to her and took in the warm fragrance of camellia, while the other just relished in the feeling of being held by the one she had tied her love to. Mutual feelings were slowly being released as they danced, not until the bold Fujino Shizuru took the next step of returning the embrace of the Lone Wolf.
The first reaction was the stiffening of the black sheep's body, followed by the slight loose in the embrace and finally the wash of the same calm atmosphere. They were back to where they enjoyed each other's presence. Pressing her face into the vest of Kuga Natsuki, Fujino Shizuru slowly eased her question out, hoping not to break the serene atmosphere,
'Could you not wait until the spring dance?'
'I hate dancing.'
A huff was heard above her and the white sheep could only hold the Lone Wolf a little tighter,
'Aren't you dancing now?'
'Shut up. You're making me sound like a fool.'
At this moment, it was also the time the ever so bold Fujino Shizuru become possessive and claimed what she always wanted, even if it was still considered a one-sided love to her. To both their blind eyes, a true believer could clearly see how their feelings were mutual. The white sheep tightened her embrace and kissed the vest of Kuga Natsuki,
Furthermore it was also the time, Kuga Natsuki allowed her mouth to slip the name she had wanted so long to,
Finally when they had broken the boundaries of calling each other by their first name, one could sparsely hear one call,
And the other,
Yet, still no one could believe that Fujino Shizuru and Kuga Natsuki were in a relationship. Besides, no one ever saw the black sheep ever approach or step in the line of sight of the idol of Fuuka Academy. No one even ever saw a conversation take place between the both of them, until one surprising hot summer day when the faithful followers of Fujino Shizuru saw the first ever open interaction between the black and the white sheep.
As the gossip goes:
It was still a long way to the first bell of school and everyone had noticed that the sunshine of the school had arrived with the air of elegance and grace. Who could have not set sight onto the idol of Fuuka Academy, the one and only Fujino Shizuru. As usual, everyone would give their greetings to the white sheep, hoping in return, she would flash a breathtaking smile at them and deliver a sense of utter satisfaction and approval. However, little did the students know that this breathtaking smile was only reserved for one person and that very special person today was the one the students had thought less about. It was none other than, Kuga Natsuki.
Who would have guessed that the black sheep of the Fuuka flock would appear walking by the idol's class homeroom, it must have been an omen or bad luck, some students would have thought. Therefore, as the dark cardinal eyes looked up to turn to into her class homeroom, she was greeted by clear sea green eyes. Some students said that Fujino Shizuru took pity on Kuga Natsuki's infatuation on her, that she was compassionate enough to say,
'Good morning, Natsuki.'
That was returned by a gruff voice, that went,
However as usual, the students would take hint on the insignificant things like,
'Fujino-sama called Kuga by her name!'
Things then started to spread that Kuga Natsuki, the black sheep of Fuuka was in vain of trying to taint the purity of their one and only white sheep of Fuuka Academy, the signature of grace and elegance. They started to spread rumours that Kuga Natsuki placed a curse on Fujino Shizuru to call her by her name and give her that special breathtaking morning greeting. It soon sparked into a little battle between the framed black sheep and the exceptionally big clan of the idol's fans. Jealousy was a weird thing, but it seemed to prick Kuga Natsuki on the wrong nerve.
Hence anything that was brought about the topic of the silly infatuation of Kuga Natsuki, it would be sadly crumpled and stomped on, turning every true detail into bad news and sayings that the black sheep used dirty tactics to try to steal the very heart of Fujino Shizuru. However like always, wasn't the heart of Fujino Shizuru already stolen by the Lone Wolf so long ago, like on that particular summer day? No one bother to think about that, it was already a parable, who in the world believes in things like that? They rather believe in some terrible story of some secret garden meeting.
With this significant battle happening on the grounds of Fuuka Academy, the idol of Fuuka had her time stolen away from her, simply for the fact that her faithful fan stayed around her for almost two-four-seven, desperately in vain to dispel the evil that they thought the black sheep had bestowed into her. This had caused Fujino Shizuru to see her chances to meet up with her Lone Wolf to just slip away. This also bothered Kuga Natsuki that she could barely get near to the presence of the person that had strung her love along like a ribbon. They were both bothered, but this bravado from the fan club didn't stop until Kuga Natsuki decided to show that things were meant to be her way, the truth and in the one and only Kuga style.
Yet, it didn't really come out in the truth as she had wanted to plan. Sadly, she slipped up –just a bit too much- and hence she became the laughing stock of her own true romance.
It went embarrassingly like this:
'What are you doing here, Kuga?'
Clear sea green eyes looked into the class homeroom at the doorway and was captured instantly by surprised that turned into lovingly dark cardinal. All Kuga Natsuki wanted was to just pass a silly grin that Fujino Shizuru loved to see… Yet her vision was blocked from seeing the white sheep the graced her dreams by one of the ever so faithful supporters of Fujino Shizuru. Kuga Natsuki could only grit her teeth and step back to avoid hitting the student that had daringly stepped up in front of her. The question went pass her ears but the boy didn't heed the movement that the black sheep had said that she had already heard it. Saying it the second time, the Lone Wolf glared dangerously at the boy, it seemed that she had won, not until a hand full of followers stepped up to confront her.
'What are you trying to do Kuga?'
'Don't try getting close to Fujino-sama.'
While another spoke with venom,
'It's useless Kuga! Who in the world would like a black sheep like you!?'
A comment tagged along,
'You should be lucky Fujino-sama has already graced you with her grace and compassion.'
Then another followed,
'Kuga, shake your head to get hold of your senses! Fujino-sama won't even come to like you.'
'You've got nothing to prove!'
This set Kuga Natsuki on the wrong road home. Growling at the bunch that had gathered around her and the attention of other students, the black sheep declared in her brain that this was the day that she would show the whole of Fuuka who Fujino Shizuru had fallen for and it was the truth. It was the day that Kuga Natsuki decided that all the hearsay about her would be wrapped up as nonsense. However, she forgot to remember that who could believe in a violet ribbon that had her name written down.
Reaching for the ribbon that she always kept close to her heart, she brought it out and shoved it into the faces of whiny supporters. Then and there, Kuga Natsuki daringly said it aloud for everyone to hear,
'This is proof! Shizuru wrote this!'
Everyone was engulfed in silence before the group before the Lone Wolf broke out into a great fit of laughter. The boy who stood in front of her, snatched it from the Lone Wolf's grasp and raised it up for everyone to see,
'This? A destiny ribbon from the Crystal shrine?'
Everyone around the lone Kuga Natsuki could only burst into a louder echo of laughter. The boy just pushed on, soon did the black sheep realise what she had done –terribly- wrong,
'Kuga-san? Are you sure that Fujino-sama wrote this?'
The black sheep had wanted desperately to take back the violet ribbon from the boy's grasp and bite off his head, but something inside her told her that this was her own cause. A student behind the boy threw out a comment,
'Or it is that you simply wrote it to trick everyone!'
'Or she just ripped one that had her name on it and declared that Fujino-sama wrote it!'
Everyone just laughed along at Kuga Natsuki's foolishness and stupidity, that they barely took notice of the downtrodden expression on the black sheep. It was a great deal of laughter that rang down the corridor and class room that it seemed that practically the whole school had heard about this very embarrassing and stupid declaration of love from Kuga Natsuki. The black sheep had just thrown herself into the gutter, after all she had hoped for. Then she remembered the words that were said to her that particular summer day,
'Why would you be untying someone's love?'
Angry sea green eyes looked at the violet ribbon that was passed around to everyone to laugh and scorn at, and Kuga Natsuki clenched her teeth and cursed to herself,
'Believing in shit gets me no where.'
Behind the glass windows that looked out onto the commotion of the corridor, Fujino Shizuru could only cry inwardly and feel that the world had crushed her shoulders. Was it that the truth was just so hard to accept, or was it that the truth was just something that need not always to be mentioned. This time the violet ribbon was ripped away from being tied to the black sheep's heart and left to wander within the grasp of other people. Kuga Natsuki knew as much that she should have kept it close to heart…
It was said that after the mockery that was made out of Kuga Natsuki, the black sheep retreated back to her very own classroom. In addition, the violet ribbon was shown to the idol of Fuuka, to the surprise of the whole group of students that had witness the event, insisted that she would keep the ribbon. The battle between the fan club of Fujino Shizuru and Kuga Natsuki simmered down into something less hectic, yet it became more of a laughing matter. The lone black sheep was now made the butt of all the jokes; Kuga Natsuki was not even offered a say in this matter that she had solely wished to be forgotten off.
Fujino Shizuru couldn't stand to hear anything crude and brash be it about her Lone Wolf or anything related to the ribbon incident. The idol couldn't tolerate one bit since it tore into the fact that she no longer saw the presence of Kuga Natsuki, set sight onto clear sea green eyes or even relish in the care-free air of the person she had tied her love to. She had wondered why she had not stepped in to help her Lone Wolf, but then again, she realised if she did, wouldn't it make things even worse. Since her image was already so perfectly constructed, no one could ever see that she had really fallen in love with the black sheep of Fuuka.
It was not until the both of them met, like previous meetings, so random it was:
The hydrangeas were still looking beautiful as ever in the torrent of rain and the sky didn't look like it was going to clear anytime. The summer rain wasn't something that the Lone Wolf enjoyed, especially if she forgot that she had left her school bag under the tree when she had lazed around during the last free period of school. Everyone had already rushed home after their after-school activities and here Kuga Natsuki was standing in the rain all muddy and soaked after baseball practice. Her bag was no where to be found were she had left it and she realised she better find it, or else there went her homework, assignments and her pack of unhealthy obsession which she had remembered to pack extra for eating after practice.
Returning back to stand under the shelter that ran from the hall to the main building, the black sheep wrung her baseball attire in vain to get most of the water out of her clothes. The heavy pour of rain onto the metal shelter above her deafened her hearing and she almost didn't pickup the sweet voice that she had longed to hear,
Clear sea green eyes turned to find dark cardinal eyes looking as equally surprised at the sight of each other, how long has it been since they last settled their gazes on each other like that? The black sheep could only lower her head in shame and release her hands from her crumpled dirty attire and reply like always,
'What are you doing here?'
'I left my towel in the hall.'
The idol's hand raised her right hand to show the said towel and she moved quickly to Lone Wolf that stood drenched in the middle of the pathway. As the white sheep neared, Kuga Natsuki could only take in the camellia scent that had drafted around her figure, like it was always meant to be there. Coming within the range of each other, Fujino Shizuru, as always, took notice of the state that her Lone Wolf was in,
'I had to find my school bag.'
The idol could only reach up and drape the soaked head of Kuga Natsuki with her towel and rub the wet hair dry. The black sheep complied obediently and the deafening roar above engulfed them once again as the white sheep dried her black sheep's hair. No words were passed between them until the ever so bold Fujino Shizuru took the step forward,
'Can I hold you?'
'You want to get dirty!?'
Before Kuga Natsuki could move back to avoid getting the white sheep wet and dirty by holding her mud-soaked baseball attire, she felt the same body she had held on the day they shared that secret dance lean into her. The black sheep could feel the warmth seep through her cold attire and onto her skin and all she could do was relax, like always, with the idol of Fuuka. Then something unexpected came out from Fujino Shizuru, it sounded much more like a plea,
'Can you grunt?'
Arms that held the black sheep tightened and she in return raised her arms to hold the white sheep and sighed out noisily before giving into her infamous grunt. Picking up that noise from her Lone Wolf, Fujino Shizuru pressed herself closer to the cold figure that she embraced and kissed lightly on the same spot that she had kissed on that night. She didn't care if her lips would be smudged by mud, or get wet by the soaked shirt, she was already extremely happy to be standing within the embrace of her love. Kuga Natsuki couldn't be any happier either, for she took this time to plant a chaste kiss on the smooth chamois hair that flowed down the back of the idol. Time seemed to have stopped for the two as they had thought they had been standing there for hours just relishing in the sound of the heavy rain and in the presence of each other.
It was to them, simply the notion of a reunion. One that had been longed for.
One that they loved.
Kuga Natsuki being the laughing stock of Fuuka Academy had been toned down a lot more after the rainy season of summer had pass. Now the faithful fan club had other problems to face and that was the up and coming summer festival that was held with the Weaver star festival. This year round the Tanabata Festival was the main event for the student council since it was last year for their one and only Student council president, Fujino Shizuru. Therefore they were looking forward to put up great festival that would leave everyone and especially their idol breathless. That meant, the white sheep would not be participating in any of the preparations.
Being the graduating batch from Fuuka Academy, Fujino Shizuru realised she had more free time on her hands, other than studying which she had all planned out. She had noticed that the student council members were not allowing her to do anything that involved organising, hence all she usually did in the student council room was sign policy papers. Furthermore, the volleyball team rather she just supervise their routine then play with them and the Naginata club members say that they only needed her comments. Tea ceremonies were finally taken over by another girl, and the idol of Fuuka found that she had nothing better to do than look at her books all day and watch the sunset in the library.
It was boring for her and she realised that her Lone Wolf was the total opposite.
Kuga Natsuki, though also graduating from the Fuuka Academy, realised she had not even the decent amount of time to laze around and rest. First and foremost, she had to catch up on her studies which had been slipping due to the fact that her new home room teacher sent her out every class, based on the fact that he still couldn't take –might as well say accept- the way she was dressed. Secondly, the baseball team was placing all their hopes on her for the coming interschool season, which they apparently lost three times in the row for their members simply just left to join the ever so growing student council. In addition the track team had approached her to join and practice with the long distance team, in order to have a complete team for the summer competition held a few days after the summer festival. Pressure was on her, and if she were to decline, she already knew the black mail that was in stored for her. The black sheep had already given up on being the laughing stock of Fuuka, there was no way she was going to lose the chance to show the truth of her love.
However, the Lone Wolf realised that getting into a decent university came first. Trivial things could come later. Yet thinking again, confirming her love with the idol of Fuuka was something she had to get over with. Kuga Natsuki could not keep on living in the fact of destiny ribbons and love that was destined to intertwine. After all, all the legends and myths were just –as eloquently as she would say- shit.
Thus time flew quite quickly and here arrived the popular summer festival of Fuuka Academy. This year as the student council would put, would be spectacular. Sweeping the grounds and courtyards of the Fuuka Academy were stalls and carnival games that ranged from the olden games of spinning wooden tops, catching gold fish with paper nets and hanging paper strips to the modern cork rifle shoot outs and throwing plastic quoits. More than a thousand decorations for the Tanabata festival hung from the entrance of Fuuka to throughout the whole campus. From above, it did seemingly look like the Milky Way, within the embrace of the night sky; it was really dazzling.
The Crystal Shrine was out of bounds in the early evening due to the fact that the drama club was preparing for the annual Tanabata play that showcased the love between Orihime, the weaver princess and Hikoboshi, the cow herder star. They had promised the student council that it was a play that the idol of Fuuka would not look down upon. However, as quick as a snake and as sly as a fox, the Fujino Shizuru managed to ease her way away from her enthusiastic group of followers among the large crowd of students and welcomed people from all around. The white sheep hurried away along the rows of stalls, and like all random moments, bumped into the one and only Kuga Natsuki:
'Ugh! Watch it lady.'
It was like any fast exchange between anyone who had bumped into one another. However, upon hearing the sweet voice and that particular grunt, both of them were pulled to each other like magnets.
'Ugh! Must you squeal my name?'
Little did anyone notice the black and the white sheep disappear into the back of the stalls that neared the bushes and trees. Though there were limitations of their privacy, Fujino Shizuru could not hold back the urge to cling onto the arm of her Lone Wolf and as stiff as always, Kuga Natsuki could only shove her hands into her pockets and lead the idol of her life away from the crowd. They needed no destination, they needed no path. They simply needed each other, to tell each other that they love each other. However, like all couple, it was sure they needed some confirmation.
'Shizuru? Are you going to force me to drink tea?'
'No, not really?'
There was a grunt,
'Then why are we here?'
There was something always special for moments like these, therefore when things become all mushy and romantic, it is most likely that people will like to listen to the truth. Sadly, like always, this truth was never leaked out and no one particularly knew about what happened on this particular summer day. It was only shared between Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru, and it was what they would like to call…
Their secret? How typical, but, oh well.
Hence, it went along like this:
Sliding the bamboo door open, dark cardinal eyes swept the tea ceremony room thoroughly before slipping out of her wooden sandals and excusing herself in. Being the epitome of stubbornness like always, Kuga Natsuki stood, slightly annoyed, at the side entrance of the building. Clear sea green eyes watched the white sheep move about in the darkness, until she focused on the dark cardinal that sought her out in the dimness of the summer moonlight that filtered into the room. The sweet voice followed as always,
'Just what, exactly, are you planning to do?'
Dark cardinal eyes twinkled in mischief and a finger came over her pink lips. The black sheep of Fuuka could growl lowly at the action and reluctantly kick off her slippers and step onto the veranda of the tea room. Shuffling to where her white sheep had gracefully sat down, she eyed the dark green cushion that had been arranged. Plopping down with a heavy sigh, the Lone Wolf crossed her legs and grabbed her feet. Her nose tickled with the whiff of light camellia and she let out yet another sigh. Watching clear sea green eyes turn to look over her shoulder from time to time, Fujino Shizuru could only look on in hilarity. This time the idol of Fuuka initiated the conversation.
'Nowadays, hardly anyone comes here.'
Clear sea green eyes narrowed on her, and the black sheep grunted,
'It's because now you aren't the one that prepares the tea.'
Fujino Shizuru could only give a small smile and shift closer to her Lone Wolf. She leaned into the honeysuckled scent that she had taken noticed from the black sheep and wondered how rare it was for a person to carry such a scent. The sweet-scented smell of this flower, one that had used to grow in the back of her family house garden. The one flower that her mother had told her that it was to represent generosity. Was this the generous Kuga Natsuki that had stepped into her life and showed her that a book was not to be judged by the cover? Or was it simply the generous opportunity that was shone onto the both of them, that love could come even in most awkward ways?
The idol of Fuuka could only close her eyes and let herself fall to her Lone Wolf.
'Ugh, what did you eat during summer vacation!?'
Another grunt followed,
'You forgot the tea.'
Both of them shared the same laughter and the Lone Wolf could only reach out and hold the frame that had fallen softly on her chest. She gave out a breath and inhaled deeply to bring along the smell of camellia. Leaning into the strong arms of Kuga Natsuki, the white sheep looked at the Tanabata lights that glowed in the night sky, not too far from where they were. She wrapped her own hands around the huge ones that held her and slid them over to find how rough they were.
'What did you do during summer vacation?'
'I went to check out Waseda University.'
The idol of Fuuka glanced over her shoulder to look into the clear sea green eyes that were closed. She watched the black sheep smooth her chamois hair with her cheek before giving out a breath,
'Studying literature sounds studious.'
Deft fingers pinched the rough skin on the Lone Wolf's hand and Kuga Natsuki could only wince and bite back,
'Ugh! It's true!'
'I plan to get into Tokyo University of Fine arts.'
The black sheep of the Fuuka flock adjusted her footing and leaned forward into the figure in front of her. Like all wolves, her sharp ears picked up the continuation,
'I always wanted to be a director.'
'Ugh, sounds pathetic.'
Clear sea green eyes could only close at the impact that her white sheep had sent onto her head. Grimacing in the after pain of the soft thud on her head, Kuga Natsuki felt the graceful body leave her embrace and looked up to find Fujino Shizuru towering over her. Dark cardinal eyes sent a look at her Lone Wolf that all she could see was the shiver that had braced the skin of Kuga Natsuki. The idol of Fuuka breathed in deeply to state her confidence, but she was shortly cut out by the sceptical rough voice of the black sheep,
'Alright. Let's see how good your directing is.'
'Natsuki, being a director isn't all about…'
There was an unreadable glint in the clear sea green eyes of Kuga Natsuki that made a sharp intangible pulse run through the idol. There she stood looking down at the girl that stole her heart, also facing the fact that she had to put up a show just to please. Fujino Shizuru closed her eyes briefly and breathed in that sweet honeysuckled scent, and she thought about how generous this Kuga Natsuki was. How generous she was. Taking a bold step to stand inches away from her seated partner, the idol folded her arms across her chest and brought her eyes down to send a look to the black sheep. With that, Fujino Shizuru started:
Tracing a smooth finger on the head of Kuga Natsuki, the idol walked around her prey,
'I'm taking that you will be my subject?'
Clear green eyes looked up at darkening red and gave into a shrug,
'I might as well be.'
'Then let's play.'
Kuga Natsuki literally jumped up from her seat when she heard those tempting words come out from the white sheep. She had wanted to stutter out a time out but she realised that her pride would go if she would to turn down the challenge she had stupidly put up. The black sheep shut her eyes tight; if not for her stupid mouth to leak out things, she would not be facing the problem of keeping her blushes from washing her face. She hoped she would not be embarrassed like before. However, little did Kuga Natsuki know that the idol of hers had something unexpected up her sleeves.
'You my dear Natsuki, the Ice Prince.'
'Prince? Why not Princess!?'
The finger that traced her head stopped and she felt fabric brush against fabric. Kuga Natsuki felt, what she presumably thought was the leg of Fujino Shizuru, run up her back. With that, she heard the innocent sweet voice turn into something alluring and enthralling,
'Did you not say that I am the Director?' the voice so hot and enticing paused briefly in contemplation, 'I am the one that directs who becomes who.'
The Lone Wolf could only gulp deeply and hold her the quick breath, she knew that she shouldn't have gotten this game of hers out of her mouth. The black sheep just didn't expect how her innocent idol of Fuuka could change into something more than she could expect. It wasn't bad in any way, it was just that, Kuga Natsuki did not know how to handle it. Feeling her heart beat a little faster than usual, she knew she was in for something surreal. Hence the black sheep could only nod at the voice behind her and wait for the story to unfold.
'Kuga Natsuki, the Ice Prince of Fuuka Academy, expert pitcher of the baseball team,' though clear sea green eyes were closed, she knew that Fujino Shizuru had come to the front and was breathing right into her face, 'has been the golden star of many students.'
Kuga Natsuki could feel soft warm fingers trace the small white pale scar that was left on her forehead due to the gnash caused last year, and all she could do was shiver when Fujino Shizuru kissed it lightly. The Lone Wolf could then feel the fingers grace her neck and then her shoulders, playing slowly with her dark hair that was left down to frame her face. With her eyes shut throughout, the black sheep tried her best to picture what she could feel. If she were to open her eyes, she knew she was in for a royal flush of red. That was something she didn't want Fujino Shizuru to take to lightly of.
'However, being the Ice Prince, she didn't bother to find anyone to suit her taste,' her lips were traced with something soft and Kuga Natsuki could help but lean in to taste the sweetness that it somehow seem to bring along. She briefly opened her eyes to find that she had indeed kissed the fingers of her idol. Her smooth face turned slightly red at that, but with luck of the dimness of the tea room, it was gone unnoticed to dark cardinal eyes. She watched the white sheep kneel down in front of her and was pulled into the spell that was cast upon so long ago,
'It was until this particular student did something and it was that, that her eyes were caught.'
There, Kuga Natsuki watched the violet ribbon, which she had kept close to her heart from the last summer festival to the embarrassing incident, appear in front of her eyes. Clear sea green eyes widened at the sight of the proof of Fujino Shizuru's love for her and she dropped all her senses, she stammered,
'You knew all along.'
A quick finger was placed on her lips and the black sheep could only watch the idol smile sincerely. Kuga Natsuki kept her face levelled with the white sheep and looked into the dark cardinal to find those random, sporadic meetings reflect so clearly that it didn't seem that those moments were random at all. They looked like they were destined to happen, like a planned map. Like the destiny ribbon that had tied her love to that of the idol's the moment it was tied down onto the rail. The Lone Wolf, then did she remember,
'You should believe in those trivial things.'
Clear sea green eyes caught onto the lovely glint from the dark cardinal, and she submitted herself to this legend. Even if it was considered shit to her.
'Hence from then on, the Ice Prince fell in love with a simple girl.'
Kuga Natsuki watched Fujino Shizuru slip the violet ribbon behind her and move over to tie her dark hair up into the sleek pony tail that she usually had for baseball practice. As the idol pulled back, the black sheep felt her hands get lifted and be it placed onto the shoulder of the director. Her eyes caught onto a flash of mischief and her own soon hazed with unknown desire. Where this emotion was coming from? The Lone Wolf did not know, but she was sure it was her love for the idol that allowed her to continue. Be it bold or not, it felt right; at this very moment, it did.
'It was until one day that the Ice Prince decided she would show the simple girl how much she loved her.' Sea green eyes looked over to find the idol's hands resting upon her own, 'Being a player on the baseball team, she decided that she would do a home run.'
The Lone Wolf could only allow her face to flush into a shade of deep red at that statement, and glance away from the dark cardinal eyes that showed more amusement than mischief.
'Shizuru! You can't possibly be…!'
A swift kiss was planted onto the dry lips of Kuga Natsuki and with that distraction; Fujino Shizuru, with not a moment of hesitation, pushed her own hands along with that of her Lone Wolf down her arms. Upon doing so, the straps of her one piece summer dress were free from the hold of her shoulders. A baffled and a very red Kuga Natsuki could only reluctantly pull away from those inviting pink lips and stare dizzily at the idol before her.
'Ah? What's wrong Natsuki? I am directing, am I not?', the black sheep tried hard to steady her heavy breathing and stop her face from burning. However the distance between Fujino Shizuru and her was just not helping and especially what had happened earlier. Trying her best to snapped out of the daze, the Lone Wolf grunted, quite weakly,
'Ugh. You are to be directing me, not moving me.' There was a slight slur, 'Instructions! Not a demonstration!'
Kuga Natsuki had not a single clue why she said that instead of protesting. Why was allowing herself to fall further into the trap that she was already well aware of? Clear sea green looked up at the figure that kneeled before her seated figure, and she watched amusement light across the face of her idol. Well, at least it was something she didn't mind, after all, it was a way to show love.
'Instructions?' Fujino Shizuru tapped a finger on her chin and raised her eye brows, 'Alright.'
With her sharp ears all open, the Lone Wolf heard,
Kuga Natsuki felt her ears burn and her cheeks twinge in an uncontrollable wave of heat. She looked at the white sheep that was now leaning to her, pink lips slightly parted. However, the idol stopped her descent and peered at those clear sea green eyes,
'Did I just not give you instructions?'
Clear sea green eyes could only feel her eyes continue to widen and her face and body get unusually hotter by the minute. The skin of the idol was already giving off a gleam that mesmerised her eyes and those wet pink lips were just something to make Kuga Natsuki's throat go dry. The black sheep's hands shivered momentarily and before she could do the given instructions, the idol breathed sensually,
'Must I help in giving a demonstration, Natsuki?'
Before the Lone Wolf could bite her lips to shake her head, she felt a pair of arms snake round her neck and pull her close. She moved uncomfortably into the embrace of the white sheep and was intoxicated instantly by the stronger scent of camellia. Within a blur of brown and blue, Kuga Natsuki felt something wet rub her lips and she then felt a soft pressure get placed onto her lips. Her sea green eyes could only see the serene face of her idol and she knew behind those closed dark cardinal eye held the desire to show how much she loved the Lone Wolf.
As she watched the idol of Fuuka pull back after the swift kiss, Kuga Natsuki could feel the strong impulse to reach over and plant another kiss on those inviting lips. Without a moment's hesitation, the Lone Wolf did just that.
However this time there was the raw desire to savour the white sheep before her. It was exactly what a wolf would do to a prey. Quick predatory skills and the Lone Wolf claimed her prey. The hands that were wound round her neck was tightening by the second and Kuga Natsuki could feel the idol's body get flushed further into her. Soon, she noticed that Fujino Shizuru had straddled her. Not wanting to break the heated kiss, Kuga Natsuki could only part her lips in hope to get a load of air into her lungs, and without much thought, she slipped her own tongue in.
Her own name went unnoticed to her ear, and Kuga Natsuki could only take in as much essence the idol of Fuuka was giving to her at the moment. The black sheep's hands were eager to tug the loose summer dress further down since it was already off the idol's shoulder. However, something at the back of her mind snapped. This was the challenge she posed, she was the subject of Fujino Shizuru's directing; it meant she needed more instructions to push on further. Eager, the Lone Wolf was. Certainly, it was what the idol of Fuuka wanted too. Hence moving her mouth a little away from the soft lips of her Lone Wolf, she breathed out breathlessly, eager to get back to those moving lips that trailed her face,
A smirk formed for the first time on the face of Kuga Natsuki, and the black sheep could not help but correct the vague instructions,
'Isn't it to be said as undress?'
Fujino Shizuru, under her own spell, could only nod weakly and try her best to steady her fast breathing. Her partner was in the same condition and it seemed that everything was a haze of desire and love. The white sheep could feel her body shudder in anticipation, within the arms of her Lone Wolf; she could only tighten her grasp more and move in closer. This was much better than just embracing each other. Captured by the beauty in front of her, Kuga Natsuki followed her instincts and moved along to do the given instructions. This time, she needed no demonstration.
Sliding the summer dress to the hips of her idol, the black sheep took in the well ample chest of the white sheep and heaved a heavy breath of satisfaction. Having a well toned abdomen from all physical activities she took part in, Fujino Shizuru gave in to the blush that rose upon her cheeks when she felt the gaze of those sea green eyes land on her body. Soon she felt a strong hand lift her up gently and slip the dress off her body, out from her legs and onto the bamboo matting of the tea room. The hot summer atmosphere wrapped her body and the idol could feel the heat rise from her legs to her chest. The swelling was tempting to burst through her body and she was having a tough time keeping up with the fervent kisses her Lone Wolf was placing all over her face.
Fujino Shizuru, being the director of this particular story realised that Kuga Natsuki was still fully clothes and without much thought, her hands tugged harshly on the thin sleeveless shirt her partner wore. The idol shivered when she felt a warm hand slip down her naval and near her thighs, at that she moaned deeply at the sensational feeling that touch sent her. She moved closer but… Before Kuga Natsuki could run down further to claim the home run…
A whiny voice was heard. Strike one.
'Hey, there are slippers outside the veranda.'
Jerking back quickly, Kuga Natsuki could only process the simple word: shit.
Life always had a spoiler.
Wrapping her strong arms around the white sheep that realised what possible trouble they were both in, the Lone Wolf picked the idol up and rushed further into the darkness of the tea room and headed straight to the built in bamboo closet at the far end. Opening it quickly with her foot, Kuga Natsuki roughly threw herself and her partner inside, not caring about the contents that fell onto them. Closing like how it was open, the Lone Wolf pressed her body close to the shivering form of the white sheep and tried in vain to calm their rapid and haggard breathing. Clinging tightly onto Kuga Natsuki, Fujino Shizuru strained her ears to pick up the sound of footsteps upon the wooden veranda. Another voice, much lower than the first came muffled through into the closet,
'Do you think Fujino-sama is here?'
The whiny reply was,
'There should be someone inside here; there are two pairs of slippers.'
'It looks like more of a couple is in here.' there was a murmur of protest from the whiny voice, 'Use your brain! That's a pair of formal wooden sandal and that's just a pair of old floppy slippers. Do you see me wear wooden sandals to festivals? Please, only our school girls wear them.'
The Lone Wolf sneered at the comment and within the darkness of the closet, dark cardinal eyes twinkled in amusement. Placing a chaste kiss onto the lips of Kuga Natsuki, Fujino Shizuru could only whisper softly into the chest of her partner,
'That is why I called you the Ice Prince.'
The hushed reply was first said with a grunt and then,
'What? You're blaming my masculinity?'
Kuga Natsuki pulled the white sheep closer to her at that remark that was followed by a silent chuckle, and realised the bareness of the idol. It struck the both of them like a bolt of lighting.
'Why is there a dress in the middle of the room!?'
'Oh, maybe Ayaka forgot her clothes after she changed into her kimono.'
'The underclassman that has taken over Fujino-sama's place in the tea ceremony functions?'
'Alright! Let's go, take the dress and return it to Ayaka when we meet her.'
Fujino Shizuru could only hitch her breath and feel those strong arms around her tighten. It was getting hot inside the closet and furthermore, it was not particularly nice if she was to come out of the tea ceremony house with just her lingerie. It would be a sight, but it would not be a pleasant one for her. She silently prayed that her dress would be left there, and then she thought she wouldn't be in this situation if she hadn't directed Kuga Natsuki in taking off her dress. The idol frowned in the darkness, if only she had controlled her heart's desire at that time.
'What about Fujino-sama?'
'I'm sure she's somewhere else.' There was a pause, 'Ah, why didn't we check the student council room!'
The Lone Wolf strained her ears to hear the movement of the boys that had rushed out of the tea room and then the heavy buzz of the hot summer atmosphere in the closet. She was already sweating from the heat of the stuffed closet and with a partially bare Fujino Shizuru in front of her; she couldn't help but feel a lot warmer. The black sheep shifted her stand slightly and little did she notice that it rubbed the idol in a particular sensitive place.
Oh, how sensuous.
Well, the details can be kept away from prying eyes and open ears. Let's keep it a secret, as they would say, whatever happened in the tea ceremony room after that. Anyway, some students just speculated that Kuga Natsuki was just spotted carrying a tired idol into the baseball team locker room. Furthermore, Kuga Natsuki was later seen wearing her baseball attire and Fujino Shizuru seen wearing a sleeveless shirt too big for her and her volleyball sweatpants. It was an unusual sight for students to see their idol dressed as such. Yet, what mattered most was when they set sight onto a sight they had never seen. Just after the festival had ended, they couldn't help but ask the white sheep of elegance and grace why she radiated with some kind of warm glow. All the bold and loving Fujino Shizuru could say was,
'The festival was just breathtaking.'
Kuga Natsuki could only smirk when she stood quietly on the sideline and the brave admirers of the Lone Wolf could only say that they saw the same glow radiate off the black sheep. Where was the connection? Some people would say. Little would anyone want to listen to their secret, or the simple thing of believing it? Therefore, this little innocent –are so to speak scandalous- affair between the black and white sheep continued after the summer festival. A little bit more random moments between the two, a little more kisses here and there and surely sometimes the notion of asking each other,
'Would you like to stay over?'
Nonetheless, it was all smooth like ice until the black label of Kuga Natsuki broke off her shoulders. It was somewhat unexpected after being labelled the black sheep of Fuuka for so long. To everyone, it was like another idol was born, just that this one didn't hold much elegance and grace like Fujino Shizuru. However, for Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru, it was hell. Therefore, it comes to the case, how exactly did Kuga Natsuki turn from black to white? Quite astonishing to the fact, both the truth and the gossip went line against line.
It went surprisingly like this:
Pitching the ball was an action like throwing a rock at Takeda, which reminded her how many times she had knocked the idiot senseless from such a far distance. Therefore standing from the pitcher's mound and sending in a pitch, it was like sending a ball in to strike Takeda. Just that the Takeda Kuga Natsuki was aiming was the catcher's mitt and not Takeda in person. It was quite sad in a way, since the black sheep had wanted too much to just see what exactly would happen if Takeda's face was really there. Oh, it was quite a disappointment, however at least; she had sent eight members out from the field in their eighth inning. Now this one before her was going to be her ninth…well in any case, the opposing batter did look a little like Takeda. The better.
Before Kuga Natsuki could know what was happening, she was already sitting at the benches waiting for her turn to bat. It was already the ninth inning and their points with the rivalling school was neck to neck. Yet, the black sheep barely noticed that her team players were having a tough time making to bases. Well, if this keeps up, then it would Fuuka Academy's fourth loss, all in one row. Adjusting her shirt, she felt a shadow loom over her and she looked up to meet the hopeful face of her coach. With a worried face, Kuga Natsuki let her shoulder drop at the landing of her coach's hand. The old man spoke,
'Let's show them a Fuuka homerun.' He smiled brightly at her, 'Shall we?'
'But, I can barely even give out a proper batting.'
'If you can pitch so well, then I'm sure you can do the other.'
Hence being the last surviving batter, Kuga Natsuki stood at the batter's box looking quite amused by the fact that the pitcher looked much like Takeda. The black sheep intended to send the ball right into the pitcher's face, but that would only give her a foul. That wasn't what she wanted at the moment, not when the whole team was depending on her. They had already gone so far into the game, there was no way she was going to let this all go. However, what exactly, who exactly was she really doing it for? Then at the back of the Lone Wolf's mind, she remembered those words that were said by that sweet voice…on that breathtaking summer night.
'I'll show you a homerun.' Clear sea green eyes looked into the far blue sky, 'Fujino Style.'
She swung with the love that was to be shown for the one and only Fujino Shizuru, and with that thought in mind, she batted a homerun. Fujino style was what she called it, for the idol and for the love itself. No one bothered really to ask what style it was called, since everyone was bouncing around in utter glee and happiness that their baseball team had finally won after so long. News was spread fast throughout Fuuka Academy that Kuga Natsuki was the one that made all of this happen, with her superb pitching and the very professional swing that made a homerun occur. After some exaggerating like usual, her title of black sheep was just stripped off suddenly and she was now like any other white sheep of the Fuuka flock.
Furthermore, what made it a lot more uncomfortable for Kuga Natsuki was that she had more students claiming to be her number one supporter. Where did all of this come from? She had not a single clue. She only knew that she now had not a single moment of privacy like she did when she was still considered a black sheep. Secondly, she had no chances to see her idol of Fuuka since she apparently found out that her –so called- fan club was rivalling against the one of Fujino Shizuru. That to the Lone Wolf was disgusting. Utterly disgusting.
Now, how desperately, Kuga Natsuki wanted time to rewind, in order to go back to the time when she was still the black sheep of the Fuuka flock.
To the time, when she was considered the black sheep of Fujino Shizuru.
Fujino Shizuru was also not taking it as it was. Her base of faithful followers was causing her even more trouble now that they were going against the supporters of her Lone Wolf. Not only that, her time that was put aside just to meet up with Kuga Natsuki was consumed by the fact that she had to avoid going to near to her partner at the risk of getting mauled. How vivid her imagination could get. Well, it seemed that it was the same with Kuga Natsuki if she neared Fujino Shizuru. In other words, interaction was terribly below the minimum, and both our star sheep were getting a painful experience.
So much for the smooth sailing they wanted in their relationship.
Fujino Shizuru was at her wit's end and Kuga Natsuki was in her own world without her idol. It was much more disturbing than what they had experienced during the ribbon incident; it was…-torture- or something like that to them. Things were going in circles for them; it was as if this endless cycle of hidden love was to stay forever hidden… Little did they both know that they had a tiny secret weapon with them that was able to ease everything and that was…?
It was the nearing the autumn cultural festival that was held annually in Fuuka Academy during the start of autumn. Furthermore, having once last time to hold an event for their school, the graduating classes where given the free time to plan for the activities that they were going to host or put up. Fortunately so, the class of Fujino Shizuru and the class of Kuga Natsuki were brought together to work as one to prepare for a play. It was long decided that they were going to put up a Japanese folktale from the tales of Otogizoushi, it was then agreed upon on the directors that the story of Issun-boushi, the One-Inch Boy would be put into action. The cast was chosen by volunteering individuals with the exception of the female lead that will play the daughter of the lord and the male lead that of Issun-boushi. When it came to that, things went like this:
'By majority vote, the daughter of the lord will be played by Fujino Shizuru.'
The two classes squeezed into one room could only turn to look at the idol of elegance and grace that sat behind, before giving out a cheer and whispers of excitement and anticipation. Fujino Shizuru could only give a small smile and a few words in her sweet voice,
'I'll do my best.'
Next thing was that there was a slight problem in who would take the male lead of Issun-boushi. Tied with the equal amount of votes were the popular Kanzaki Reito and the charming Kurauchi Kazuya; now it was the fact that who was to take the spotlight along with the beauty of Fujino Shizuru? All the students were in a midst of discussing who would be better taken in by the audience of Fuuka and most of them did not notice the small distance interaction the Lone Wolf was having with her idol. It was then that the student at the blackboard finally called out,
'Alright, we have decided. Playing the role of Issun-boushi would be…'
All eyes were looking at the clear sea green eyes that stood tiredly by the doorway, her arms folded across her chest. The whole classroom was engulfed by a certain uneasy silence that was accompanied by a weird tension. It seemed that it was going to carry on forever until a stammering voice came from the front,
'Kuga-san, you can't possibly play the role of Issun-boushi.'
Clear sea green eyes looked up to send a certain glare to the boy that stood in front of the white board with a chalk in hand, who in turn shivered quite visibly to everyone's eye. The now labelled white sheep, grunted like usual and kicked back to rock on her heels,
'Why is that so?'
The answer was,
'Firstly, you were not voted for the role.'
The odd retort was,
'I am shorter than Shizuru.'
'It's Fujino-san to you!'
Kuga Natsuki could only turn and send a chilling glare at that brave boy in the crowd of students that had bother to voice out his unhappiness in calling the idol of Fuuka; it had to be one of the idol's faithful followers, like always. Everyone kept quiet and waited for the response from the student that stood up in front. The Lone Wolf's reasoning was acceptable, she was indeed shorter than Fujino Shizuru and Issun-boushi is to be shorter than the daughter of the lord, since Issun-boushi literally meant One-Inch Boy. This silence was then broken by the smooth voice of Kanzaki Reito,
'It is quite true, Natsuki-san; Issun-boushi must be played be a person shorter than Shizuru-san,' his corn-coloured eyes met her sea green with understanding, 'I am certainly taller than Shizuru-san.'
Kanzaki Reito turned to look at the warm misty eyes of Kurauchi Kazuya, and the charming young fellow could only add with thought,
'I am taller than Fujino-san.'
The student up in front at the black board could only look on in surprise and shock,
'It's settled. Issun-boushi will be played by Kuga Natsuki.'
That last decision was voiced out surprisingly by the one and only Fujino Shizuru that kept her dark cardinal eyes on the boy up front and he could not help but agree when that whole classroom unanimously agreed after hearing that final conclusion from their idol of elegance and grace. Little did anyone notice the small smile plastered on the faces of the Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru. In addition, their eyes shone in glee that the students couldn't help but wonder in awe.
That was one part.
The next part didn't have to wait.
It wasn't long after that the students realised the unusual interaction between the idol of Fuuka and the Lone Wolf; seemingly unusual to the fact that they never saw such interaction between the two. It was outright and obvious to the eye since it was right in the middle of rehearsal that it caught everyone's attention. It was when the cast had just received their costumes for the play and the student directors were eager to see the cast rehearse in full outfit. It was a rushed changing session, and that made everything to Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru a blur. Hence they didn't get to see each other in their respective costumes until they saw each other on centre stage.
It was the scene after the Issun-boushi was given the role of being the lord's daughter playmate and technically 'he' was to meet the girl in her quarters and it went, unusually to everyone, like this:
There was silence, and it flooded the whole vicinity. The awkward tension seemed to build among the backstage crew and the student directors that sat, quite stiffly in the middle row of the circle seats of the Fuuka Academy theatre, could only hope that the two on the stage were just not playing a game. For it was already pass a minute of silence when Kuga Natsuki was suppose to have spoken her introductory line to Fujino Shizuru that she was Issun-boushi. The atmosphere was getting quite choking, simply for the Lone Wolf eyes looked at the white sheep of Fuuka that had the intent of raving her on the spot. While on the other hand, the idol of Fuuka was typically just staring from head to toe at the dashing sight of the Lone Wolf that kneeled before her.
It was quite a romantic scene to say…but it wasn't suppose to happen in the play just yet.
Furthermore it went on to the extent where the Lone Wolf and the idol of Fuuka allowed their faces to turn a little pink before a rough loud cough stopped the flowery scene from prolonging.
The Lone Wolf of Fuuka snapped her head and shot quite a glare at one of the student directors that had rose up from his seat. Not before long realising that everyone was staring at the both of them.
'Your lines Kuga-san.'
The silence ensued, and Fujino Shizuru noticed that her Lone Wolf indeed had really forgotten her lines…or was it really so? It was not long when a sigh was heard from the student directors and a call was heard backstage,
'Then again, once more from the start!'
Kuga Natsuki could only bite back her embarrassment and growl under her breath. However, indeed, did she realise she did really forget her lines from one look at the breathtaking sight before her; it literally stole her breath away. The Lone Wolf pushed herself up from the kneel she was in and was about to turn to back off stage to redo the scene when she heard another student director point out to the graceful white sheep,
'Fujino-san, you could help prompt Kuga-san if she forgets her line again.'
Clear sea green eyes looked to the side to see Fujino Shizuru give into a small nod and her eyes met up instantly with dark cardinal eyes. With that Kuga Natsuki saw a small playful smile tear across the white sheep's face and the Lone Wolf couldn't help grin back. It didn't go unnoticed to the eyes that looked at the figures that took centre stage…it was down right obvious that Fujino Shizuru and Kuga Natsuki were communicating. Not in the usual understanding way, for that smile that Fujino Shizuru gave had much more messages than what a normal smile gave.
Heck, it had more connotations that only Kuga Natsuki could point out.
The students could only keep their mouths shut for now, but they secretly knew that maybe something was really happening.
Then everything was confirmed on the day of the play, on the very last scene, on the very last minutes – seconds to much more precise – that the truth that was neglected all along was damn right true. It was quite a romantic sight to see for the whole school, but to the people working backstage, it was horror. The last scene was somewhere along the lines where Issun-boushi had frightened the ogre that had captured the lord's daughter and in reward; Issun-boushi is magical brought to the height of an average man with the use of the magical Uchide's Mallet.
It was after that; in the last moments of the ending scene where the daughter of the lord is wedded to Issun-boushi…the original screenplay was that the audience was just to see the silhouettes of Fujino Shizuru and Kuga Natsuki behind the shoji doors embracing each other. However, going too far into the play without being able to get enough of each other, both the Lone Wolf and the idol of Fuuka went to the extreme of kissing each other.
Oh, it wasn't just a swift kiss; it was a kiss that lasted so long that it was to the time where the shoji doors were to be slid open to allow the main characters to step up, forward and bow to the audience. That was when truth was unleashed backstage, for the student crew was too stunned to move at the sight of the lip-lock up front.
And that… Yes that; was the idol of Fuuka and her Lone Wolf's little secret weapon.
That was to show their feelings despite anything.
However, it didn't just end like all happy endings…
Much to say that this is the end, very much to a huge disappointment that this was just another normal love story for another listener like you and me. As said before, there is nothing more nothing less. It is nothing incomplete but ironically not completed either. It is how is was told, it ends sadly like that.
Much to the dissatisfaction to all who bothered to listen.
Should one say that the grounds of the Fuuka Academy were blessed by elegant girls and charming boys, that would be quite true to the eye. However, this time, there was nothing else to say for there was no more the black sheep of Fuuka that had graduated from the Fuuka Academy. Neither was there anything to say for any idol of Fuuka for that sole idol of beauty, elegance and grace had too graduated from the Academy. Both far away from Fuuka, one in Waseda University and the other in the Tokyo University of Fine arts.
That story, much to say is also another story, separately, for another time, another day, from another school.
Clear sea green eyes looked up to find dark cardinal eyes looking at her. The stone bench that she sat on looked onto a group of students that sat in a group talking, much absurdly, on the love stories of Fuuka Academy. Natsuki shifted over and gestured her brown haired companion to sit down, much like all random moments. She moved back to stare at the same green fields of the Fuuka Academy and sighed quite loudly when she heard one girl from the group of Fuuka students she listened upon on previously excitedly chirp out,
'You know the story of the tragic Meister Mai!?'
This time she heard a chuckle from the person beside her and she tiredly propped her chin up on her hands. Her brown haired companion couldn't hold back her hilarity,
'It seems that Mai-san is as famous as we are.'
Natsuki blew off a cherry blossom petal that had landed on her nose and waved off her companion's comment, apparently much drawn to the fact that her partner knew what she was thinking about. She growled lowly,
'Shizuru, please, whatever is being told is ridiculous.'
'Ah, is that so Natsuki?'
Her clear green eyes swivelled to her left and eyed Shizuru dangerously, wishing that her partner would just drop that disgustingly romantic topic. It has been years since they last retuned to their old school of Fuuka Academy, and Natsuki wasn't that ready to be greeted by the fact that her relationship with Shizuru in the past had been turned into some cheesy romantic love story -that had no proper ending- among students. That was much to the disappointment of Natsuki, since she had kept her ears open and waited to last part, just to see whether these storytellers knew their facts. However, it seemed that information just got lost along the way and made her love life in Fuuka sound utterly dramatic. Much exaggerated it was.
Natsuki sighed inwardly; this was what always happened when there were gossipers in school.
Shifting her legs on her sit, she noted that Shizuru was looking much happier than before they arrived at the front of the Fuuka Academy gates. She didn't like to pry on the happiness of Shizuru, very well informed that Natsuki knew that she was the source of her partner's happiness. She didn't want to get teased now, not when they were back on the grounds where they shared their old school days together.
However, Shizuru was indeed looking much happier in her life.
'You must have seen something very special that must have made you happier.
'Indeed so, Natsuki.'
Shizuru passed a wide smile to her Lone Wolf and got up gracefully from beside her partner, brushing away the fallen pink petals that had landed on her skirt. She blew a petal of the head of Natsuki, grabbed onto her hand and in the sweet voice of hers,
'I'm sure you'll remember this place.'
'If you're going to bring me to the student council room, I'm not going in there…' there was a slight pause, 'AT ALL!'
Shizuru kept her remarks to herself as she allowed her black sheep groan and moan about where they were going. They were lucky that classes were long over and now were the after school activity hours. Natsuki had gone to the baseball dirt grounds to see how the current baseball team was doing, quite sad to the fact that her previous coach was no more here. Dragging a quite reluctant Natsuki to the place where Shizuru had passed earlier from walking from the tea ceremony room to where her Lone Wolf was waiting for her, Shizuru pulled her black sheep over to the entrance.
'I remember that you shouted: this piece of trash!' Shizuru looked along the rail that was now clean from any ribbons, 'Your voice can be quite enticing even when you're angry.'
'I had no idea that you would even come up to me!'
Shizuru traced Natsuki chest like they had done like always, and purred innocently,
'I am attracted to who I want to be attracted to.'
Clear sea green eyes darted away from those teasing dark cardinal eyes and moved over to the place that she remembered the huge bunch of destiny ribbons that Takeda had tied during the summer festival, apparently with her name written on all of them. She tapped her forehead twice and grimaced,
'You said something to me then.' Natsuki pondered, 'Something that made me think twice of my actions.'
Shizuru looked over to her partner that had her face scrunched up in deep thought. She raised her eyebrows at Natsuki and moved over, the click of her heeled boots echoing within the confines of the Crystal shrine. She traced a spot and sent a questioning look to her Lone Wolf,
'I said something to you?'
'Why would you be untying someone's love?'
Natsuki snapped her head up and looked to meet dark cardinal eyes that took out a simple familiar purple ribbon that had her name written on it. The ink had faded slightly after so many years of being kept somewhere in their household, Natsuki seemingly thought that she had actually misplaced it. Seeing it now within the hands of Shizuru, she was glad much to the fact.
Giving a grin at dark cardinal, Natsuki reached over and took the destiny ribbon within her fingers. Shizuru's voice echoed,
'You cursed about me believing in this…,' this time Shizuru paused as if to recall something, and then in a low voice, tried her best to mimic her Lone Wolf's voice,
'Shit', Shizuru chuckled, 'As you had eloquently said it to me then.'
Natsuki offered a growl as she reached back to use the ribbon to tie her long dark hair into a tail that Shizuru preferred to see, linked to the event when they were both making out in the tea ceremony room during the last summer festival spent in the Fuuka Academy. That was Shizuru's real reason to the fact, much to Natsuki horror upon finding about that specific fact of why her brown haired companion adored that her hair was tied up. However, now, Natsuki tied her hair up not really to please Shizuru, but that the spring winds were making her hair messy.
'Do you still believe in it then?'
'My answer would be the same.'
Natsuki groaned and walked away after hearing her partner's answer, growling quite loudly,
'You were lucky I saw you tying that ribbon!'
'Then I can say that you were lucky that I even dared talked to you after yelling out quite angrily.'
Clear green eyes glared at unfazed dark cardinal that seemed to twinkle in amusement. She moved back to her partner, grabbed her partner's hand and dragged her reluctant partner away from the rail of the Crystal shrine. Natsuki couldn't help but release another growl,
'Believing in those trivial things gets me no where!' Heaving out an angry breath like when she was back then, 'Shit gives me nothing!'
Shizuru smiled sincerely at her clearly irritated partner and circled her arms around her partner's arm. Reaching up to place a swift kiss on that pale thin scar that was left on Natsuki's forehead, Shizuru eased happily,
'Evidently it gave Natsuki…. Me.'
Natsuki could only stop her angry steps and look at Shizuru that seemingly continued comfortably,
'Since you tied the ribbon to yourself.'
With that, Natsuki grinned.
That was how it continued…
A/N: I hope that everyone enjoyed it to the end, though I may feel the same if one feels that the abrupt ending for the love story was too sudden. I had to make it so, that is a reason I can't really explain though. In addition, if one would like to see what exactly my experiment was that gave a product like this, one is free to enter my homepage and look under the post titled 'Autumn.' Sketches do say more than a thousand words.
For the info: Tanabata Matsuri or the Festival of the Weaver star is a well celebrated festival in Japan. It is held yearly in prefectures; schools usually hold a summer festival after summer vacation. The Crystal Shrine mentioned is the place in Fuuka Academy, that I'm sure everyone knows, where Natsuki was kind of exposed in episode 4 of Mai-Hime. The coffee house where the two coincidentally met is none other than a Starbucks outlet. I went to one in Osaka and I noticed that they served differently in comparison to the other outlets. I was tad a bit lost then. I'm not really a huge fan of baseball, but I do enjoy watching it from time to time. So I'm not really sure if what I wrote is ultimately correct. Forgive me if I am wrong. The play of Issun-boushi is also known as One Inch Boy, it is one of the well-known Japanese fables
*This is only but a love story made more jucier to the simple fact that Fuuka students couldn't help but put in more details, quite sad for Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru that their relationships in Fuuka wasn't that dramatic. However, some events that were told, did indeed happen and it included whatever happened in the tea ceremony room. That my friends is another story, maybe, for another time.