A/N: I fixed the grammar and changed the ending. Read it and tell me if you like it better now or not.
I love you, I love you not.
Micchi and Karin had been spending the day together, because Kazune was watching over Himeka who was currently in bed sick with a mild fever. Karin had been acting weird all day and the Brit couldn't figure out why. They were walking down a path next to an empty park in comfortable silence when Micchi continued a conversation that they had previously been engaged in.
"Poor Himeka. I hope she's alright. I wonder why Kazune didn't want us to hang around? He seems to be getting more protective of her each day."
"Hmm...maybe since the fever's not that bad he wanted to take care of her himself. Who knows with him though."
There was a pause and then Micchi smiled taking a deep calming breath. Gazing around the lush green area, he took in the beauty of the scenery around him and forgot about his troubles for the moment.
Turning to the blonde he smiled cheerily, bringing her gaze to him.
"It's beautiful out here."
"Yeah, it really is."
She looked around noticing subtle things such as the dew glistening off the leaves of trees and how the sun shone a warm golden glow down on the world. Karin was actually enjoying herself until that strange feeling from before came back to settle uncomfortably in her gut, and she realized that it was Micchi who was making her feel so weird.
'What's wrong with me? I feel this way when I'm around Kazune too.'
At that thought she stiffened, but then tried to act normal again.
'What am I thinking? It's probably just a coincidence. It couldn't be be THAT...could it?
Naaw, this is Micchi after all. It's definitely not that.'
Noticing her sudden change in mood the boy gave her a curious look and she blushed and glanced away.
His expression became one of worry.
What was wrong with her?
Suddenly a crazy, impossible idea came to him and he had to ask the thing that had been bothering him for awhile now.
The girl turned at the soft voice.
Not knowing how he should voice the question, and feeling hesitant about asking it, he paused for a moment before continuing.
Questioning himself once more, suddenly feeling self doubt, he ran his fingers through his hair almost nervously.
'I'm probably wrong about this. So I might as well ask her.'
"Do you like me?"
"Huh? What do you mean Micchi?"
"I mean, like me, like me. You don't have a crush on me or something, do you?"
'Eh? Why would Micchi ask me something like that? Of course I don't like him, he's just a good friend. Right?'
But suddenly pieces of past memories flashed through her mind.
Of Micchi comforting her when she cried.
Of Micchi trying to help her out when she was confused and worried about her feelings for Kazune.
Of him talking with her when she was upset about the play that Kazune and Himeka were doing together.
Of him telling her that he had no family because they'd died in a car accident.
All of these memories flooded her mind, making her dizzy and dazed.
When she recovered and her head cleared, she realized something that almost made her gasp aloud.
'I really DO like Micchi!'
Shock and disbelief coursed through her and she couldn't think straight.
Micchi for his part, was eyeing her worriedly.
"Are you alright, love?"
Snapping out of it, she looked at him with a weak smile.
"Y-yeah, I m fine. Really. I just felt a little dizzy all of a sudden."
He grinned at that and chuckled a bit rubbing the back of his head.
I'm glad its just that. Sorry for asking you a weird question all of a sudden. Just forget about it, okay?
Micchi patted her head fondly, much to her displeasure, and felt a bit relieved, though half of him felt sad though he didn't know why.
'Just like I thought, I was wrong. Of course she doesn't like me - she couldn't love anyone more than Kazune.'
But then he frowned and stared at the ground with an emotionless expression.
'But she never did answer me, and she's acting kind of strange.'
He glanced at her and she blushed and looked away, a little too fast.
But he'd had enough time to see the expression in her green orbs, and he knew that look too well.
His eyes widened.
'So I was right after all. She really does like me. How very unexpected. I wonder what Kazune will think when he finds out '
At that thought his eyes narrowed, but a mischievous smile spread across his face.
'Oh, this is going to be fun'
Karin, for her part, wasn't taking her knew-found realization so well.
'Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I love Micchi. No way! I'm only supposed to love Kazune!
How did this happen?! More importantly, what will Kazune say if he finds out? This isn't good. This isn't good at all! Ahhhh!!!!!!!!'
She was so upset she nearly fainted. An anime spirit floated out of her mouth, and she moaned sadly.
'Mom, Dad, I'm in love with two men. Forgive me…'
All Micchi could do was stare on awkwardly, sweat-dropping at her actions.
"Uh, Karin…are you sure you're okay?"
Karin replied in a weak, ghostly tone:
"Uh huh, just fine…Micchi."
And then she fainted, leaving Micchi to start panicking.
"Oh crap, she passed out! What should I do?!"
He knelt down next to the unconscious girl and carefully leaned his face close to her's.
When he found he couldn't tell if she was breathing he placed his hand under her nose and waited a moment before freaking out.
"Oh no, she's not breathing! Now what am I going to do?!"
Not knowing any other options he did the first thing that came to mind.
"I'll have to use CPR to revive her."
He leaned close to her face, his own turning a light shade of pink, but stopped when she groaned and opened her eyes.
As soon as she spotted his too-close-for-comfort face she shrieked loudly and jumped away from him.
Instantly assuming the worst she glared at him in shock and anger.
"Micchi you pervert! What did you think you were doing?!"
Poor Micchi could only stutter uselessly, trying to explain the situation.
"T-this isn't what it looks like! Please, let me explain. You f-fainted and I was just trying to-"
"To what? Get in a kiss while I was unconscious?! That's low, even for you!"
"N-no, wait, you don't get it!"
At that, Karin raised an eyebrow.
"Oh? What's to get? I already know what you were trying to do. Couldn't you think of a better way to help me?"
He sweat-dropped again.
At that, Karin snapped.
"Urrhg!!! Why do you always have to act like such a pervert?"
"I was trying to give you CPR. I honestly didn't know what else to do."
Karin deflated at those words, fiddling with her hands nervously.
"Oh, is that so? Uh well sorry for yelling at you, and accusing you of being a pervert then."
"Haha, it's cool. I do act that way sometimes, after all."
Karin's aura darkened ominously.
"Yeah you really do."
At her words, and actions, Micchi laughed nervously.
"Well I'm still a gentleman at times, aren't I? I mean I help you out a lot, right?"
At that, Karin smiled.
"That's true, you do behave yourself sometimes. But mostly, your just a pervert."
Micchi anime fell, and Karin giggled wickedly.
Just kidding Micchi-kun. Honestly, I know when you act like that, you re just playing
around. I never think your serious when you do weird things like hug me all the time."
He stood up and gave her a strange look.
"You think that's weird? I do that when I m being friendly with you. That's not being perverted."
She gulped seeing the hurt expression on his face. She didn't mean to make him upset over that. She was just telling the truth.
"Sorry, Micchi. It's just that, you do that a lot, and it's not normal to hug someone so much. Truthfully, I'd be glad if you stopped doing that."
'I don't know. Maybe because it's uncomfortable, because it's annoying, because I just don't like it, the list goes on, and on.'
She could think of a million reasons, but she just couldn't say them to his face. He was looking down-trodden enough as it was.
Still, she had to say something.
"Umm…uh well, because, because…"
He saw her struggle to come up with a lie and he frowned, putting a finger on her lips to stop her from continuing.
"That's alright. If you really don't like it, I'll refrain from doing it anymore. I really didn't know it bothered you so much."
'Oh great, now he looks down-right miserable. What should I do? Think, Karin, think!!! Aha! I've got it!'
"Hey, Micchi. You can hug me only don't do it so much. I don't mind, as long as you keep it to one or two a day. Okay?"
She would still be fine with him not hugging her at all, but seeing the way his face lit up when she said that made it almost worth it.
Almost. She didn't like the way he grabbed her out of the blue like he did, wrapping his arms around her and nearly sending her flying to the ground.
But she tried to convince herself it was worth it all the same.
After all, that's what you do for the ones you l-
Okay, so that word was a little hard for her to think. Maybe she'd settle for something more subtle, like, care about. Yeah, that'd work just fine.
"Hey, can I hug you one more time?"
"What? Oh, sure."
Just one more wouldn't matter, right?
"Yay! Arigato Karin-chan!"
And then he embraced her tightly, catching her off-guard though she had expected it.
Feeling her face burning from the contact, she noted dimly through her foggy brain that something was different this time.
Micchi's hug was warm and inviting. She could smell the scent of Irish Spring soap that lingered on his skin, and a wild, spicy scent that she couldn't identify, along with the musky male scent that was his own.
Being in his arms wasn't the same as before. Something was off, something was new.
She...liked being held by him. Actually enjoyed it.
Why had she never felt like this until now? All of a sudden she wished he would never stop hugging her. That the moment would never end.
To her dismay, it was over far too fast.
He pulled himself away from her and chuckled at her crushed expression.
"What's the matter? Wasn't that long enough for you? Maybe I should hug you again…"
"Ah! No Micchi, don't even think about it!"
She ran a safe distance away from him and glared at him warily.
That only made him laugh more.
"Hahaha, oh Karin, you're just too much! So cute, and funny. How did I ever get lucky enough to be able to meet you? You're so amusing, hehe."
She blushed again.
"Geeze, Micchi, stop fooling around."
He grinned again.
"Okay, okay. How about I buy you an icecream, love?"
"Uh, sure. I could go for one of those right now. Thanks Micchi."
He grasped her hand, and they walked to the store together.
They entered the store and ordered their individual cones. Karin got chocolate and Micchi got vanilla.
Afterwards they went to the park and sat on a bench to eat their ice cream's.
There was a comfortable silence for a few minutes and then Micchi broke it by asking a question.
"So what if you were in love with me? How would you tell Kazune that?"
Caught off guard by the question, Karin didn't answer right away, and instead tried to come up with an answer.
Finally she answered.
"I-I don t know. I love Kazune and he loves me. I don't think he'd handle it well, and I would be too scared to tell him anyway."
He went into deep thought at her reply.
"I see so that's how it would be, huh?"
In anger Karin jumped up almost dropping her icecream.
"Well it's not my fault! I can't control my feelings, and I also can't control who I love. It would be too difficult to love two people - I just can't do it. That's why…that's why…"
She paused, stopping herself just in time.
She had been about to say, 'I can't love you,' but that would have been admitting she had feelings for him at all. Still, Karin could tell from the look in his eyes that he already knew how she felt, so it was pointless either way.
Sitting down once more, the troubled girl decided to make one thing perfectly clear right then and there.
"Micchi I'm sorry, but because I'm really in love with Kazune, I can never love you. Gomen. This is really hard for me to say, so I hope you don't take it the wrong way. I still want to be friends, so…so…"
She stopped right there, not being able to continue.
But Micchi didn't look troubled by her words at all. If anything he was as easy-going as ever.
"That's fine with me. To be honest, it would feel really weird having you love me. I worked too hard to get you and Kazune together to have your relationship fall apart because of me."
"Oh thank you Micchi! I'm so glad you-wait-what?!"
She stared in disbelief and Micchi's expression turned completely innocent. Too innocent.
"Well, since you guys were obviously not capable of getting together on your own, I helped out a little. By hugging you all the time, pretending to like your cooking, and being extra nice to you, I made Kazune so jealous that he finally had to admit his feelings towards you."
"Eh? So it was because of you Kazune admitted that he loved me? And what do you mean pretended to like my cooking?!"
"Of course it was. He was too stubborn and prideful to tell you himself, so I had to, uh, how should I put this, give him a little mental shove."
He purposely ignored her other comment, which ticked her off a little.
It took Karin awhile to fully digest that information, but when at last she did she found it calmed her, as well as made her feel she was eternally indebted to him.
She smiled brightly and looked him right in his different colored eyes.
He blinked in surprise.
"For bringing me and Kazune together. If it wasn't for you, he might not have realized that he loved me."
"He knew that much alright, he just couldn't say it. I'm glad you guys are a couple now. You're so cute together!"
Forgetting himself, he tossed his finished cone to the ground and threw his arms around her making her drop her own unfinished icecream. Holding on to her he fully expected her to push him away.
To his surprise, she did nothing of the sort. In fact, she did the exact opposite.
Leaning against him, she closed her eyes slightly, allowing his warmth to consume her.
As soon as she realized what she was doing, however, she yanked herself away from him, her face beet-red.
Micchi's grin was huge, and she gave him such a hard glare that his mouth, which had opened to say something witty, snapped shut instantly.
Standing up and turning away from him Karin took a deep breath and rubbed her arms hard to shake away the feeling of his arms on her sides.
Thinking that he'd done something wrong, Micchi s face turned serious. Rising from the bench, he took a hesitant step towards her.
"Karin, are you alright? I didn't mean to make you mad. I just forgot myself for a moment. I didn't mean to, honest! I m sorry I-"
She cut him off, her voice striving to sound calm. But when she looked at him he could see the uneasiness in her eyes.
"It's f-fine. It's my fault, I should have expected that. You got excited, and you always do that when you get too happy."
"Heh, that's true."
There was a short, awkward silence after that, and then:
"Well, since your not mad I just have to ask you something. If your going to try to not like me you should really learn to reject my hugs, instead of what you just did."
That was definitely the wrong thing to say.
In a moment, Micchi found himself flying through the air due to a hard punch from Karin's fist, blood flowing from his nose, only to land painfully on the rough ground.
Groaning painfully, he sat up and rubbed his abused face.
"Geeze, Karin, you should really learn to take a joke."
"Yeah, well you should really learn not to make comments like that."
Still seething, Karin stomped over to him and knelt down next to where he was.
Examining his face, she noted that blood was still dripping out of his nose.
With a sigh, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a handkerchief.
Leaning close to him, she started wiping the blood away and he turned pink at their uncomfortably close proximity.
Her face was so near his he could count every one of her eyelashes. And her breath gently hit his face, smelling like chocolate because of the icecream she'd had.
He could usually keep his cool pretty well, but if she didn't pull back soon he didn't think he could stand it.
He shifted, and Karin stopped what she was doing to stare at him.
"Ano, what's wrong, Micchi?"
"N-nothing. You know, you really don't need to do that. I'm kind of used to it."
Karin gave him a weird look.
"What do you mean by that?"
He sighed mock-sorrowfully.
"Well, you do hit me a lot, so I'm used to getting bloody noses."
Karin looked downwards sadly.
Micchi could have smacked himself for making her feel bad, even if it was unintentionally.
"No, it's okay. I'm over it, really."
That didn't seem to make her feel any better.
He put his hand under her chin, forcing her to look at him.
"Hey, Karin, I know I deserve it when you do that. And, anyway, it really doesn't bother me. Actually, I think it's one of the ways that you show you're affection towards me."
She looked at him like he was crazy.
"Uh it is, isn't it? Nevermind, it doesn't matter. I'm just saying that if you didn't hit me all the time I'd be able to get away with the naughty things that I do-"
A slow, evil smile spread across his face.
"Actually, I think I'd like that."
Karin growled at him warningly.
"Alright, alright. Sorry, love. You know what I'm trying to say."
"Actually, I think I do. You're trying to make me feel better for what I did. Arigato!"
In a reversal of roles, Karin hugged him warmly, leaving him shocked for a minute before he smiled and hugged her back.
When they pulled away Karin gazed at him with a wistful expression.
'Maybe I could try to feel for Micchi the way I feel for Kazune-kun. He's always there for me, and I know he cares for me genuinely. He definitely deserves a fair chance with me. I won't give him my heart completely. But I will find a place for him right next to Kazune. Kazune-kun is my first real love...but Micchi is something more than a friend. I just know it.'
One day she would figure out who she cared for most. And when that day came she would declare her undying love for the special person in her heart. She dreaded and feared losing a dear friend when the time came for her to choose. Surely her blonde guardian wouldn't take defeat and rejection very well. But though Micchi seemed strong...would he also be terribly disappointed?
She shook her head. Now was not the time to be thinking about that. She would cross that bridge when she came to it. In the meantime nothing would change. Micchi couldn't know what she was feeling. Not yet. She needed time to sort things out. And to calm her confused heart.
Soon she would make a major decision. The most important one of her life. She needed to be ready for it.
Seeing Micchi's questioning gaze on her she pushed those ominous thoughts aside, smiled brightly, and finished cleaning his injured nose.
"All done. Now we can go back. I'm sure Himeka's fever has gone down by now."
"Yeah, and when she sees me she'll feel even better."
"I'll have to make her some nice warm tea." Karin said thoughtfully. "If Kazune hasn't already."
The goddess stood up, offering the Brit her hand.
He took it and got to his feet.
Karin bit her lip nervously.
"Um...Micchi? Let's just keep what was said between us today quiet alright? There's no reason for Kazune-kun to know and I don't want you telling him anything unnecessary. Okay?"
"That's fine with me. Your right - there is no reason to tell him. Because there's nothing between us, right love?"
She gulped hard and replied with some difficulty.
Either he didn't notice her uncertain response or chose to ignore it. He continued as easily as before.
"We're just friends. Good friends. And I wouldn't change that for anything."
"Neither would I." She said weakly.
He lowered his head and smirked, but his eyes hid his expression.
"At any rate we better get going. Come on."
He grasped her hand gently and they began walking to Kazune's house.
She didn't notice when his hand squeezed hers softly almost reassuringly. And she paid no heed to the soothing look he gave her. But when they reached their destination, just as they were about to go inside he turned to her and placed a feather-light kiss on her cheek.
As he slowly pulled away he whispered in her ear:
"Don't despair love, there's still time. It will come to you."
He swiftly entered the house without another glance at her.
She trembled violently remembering the way his breath had tickled her ear when he spoke.
What did he mean, 'It will come to you?' Had he read her mind?
The thought left her uneasy and her foggy brain couldn't work properly.
He was so hard to understand sometimes. It was frustrating! Why did he have to be so friggin' mysterious?
She took a deep shuddering breath. It didn't matter. All she cared about now was keeping
Kazune from noticing her ever increasing affection towards the brit.
If she could just keep him from doing stupid things like hugging her...
She sighed deeply and stepped inside the doorway closing the strong wooden barrier behind her.
She'd pull it off. Somehow.
After all Kazune was painfully easy to fool.
A/N: I changed the ending to make it longer and more meaningful. I think I succeeded but I'm not quite sure. Let me know what you think about the changes.