Akko stared at the girl who was leaning against her shoulder as they rode the bus. So much has happened between the two in a year.

It all started with talking to Mari in the first place. It was Akko's fault that she has gotten so deep in this, but it wasn't really a bad thing. Was it? No. It couldn't be a bad thing at all, Akko assured herself. It was definitely a good thing. She wanted to be Mari's friend anyways, and Mari ended up being Mari's too. They were more than friends. Actually, they were best friends.

Maybe more? Akko mentally asked herself. She continued to stare at the girl's soft black hair. She was very cute when she was asleep. Mari's bangs were in her face, making it difficult to see the girl's expression. Akko frowned and brushed back the bangs, putting them behind Mari's ears. The other girl was smiling which made Akko smile brightly before glancing out of the bus in content.

Mari was happy around Akko. Everyone could see that. Her smiled drooped a little as everything that was passing by outside of the bus became dull.

Nobody saw the faint awkwardness between them though.

Only Akko and Mari could see that, and feel it too. It was there with every word, smile, and movement. It made each other secretly feel nostalgic. They wished for the time before they started feeling different for each other. They wanted to relive the time where it was all fun and games, and not when they had to guess what the other was thinking or feeling.

It wasn't no longer just about finding the next day to hangout or picking cute outfits with their friends, let alone finding photo booths. It was trying to decipher each other's mood, understanding what they were talking to, and, most of all, seeing if the other was feeling the same thing they were feeling.

The unexpected increase in speed of the pounding heartbeat, breath getting stuck in one's throat, and cheeks becoming red as roses and burning hot as a fire. It was now all about trying to figure the other out before the mood passed, and they began faking their roles of perfectly happy best friends. While in all reality they were enduring emotional problems. Which started occurring after Mari practically confessed her feelings to Akko at Akko's house during the firework festival.

Akko returned her gaze to the snoozing girl in shame. Mari was crying that night. It broke Akko's heart in a way she never felt before. It made her feel like to cry too, and she was never the one that would easily cry over things.

But when Mari pinned her down and kissed her, her desire to cry immediately left. It was quickly replaced with surprise, fear, and discomfort.

She didn't know how to explain what she felt. She was surprised at first. Caught off guard with the way how Mari's eyes were glossed over with such warmth, but pain at the same time, being pinned to the ground, and the way she said those words.

Akko is being so cruel

Then fear came over her. It was instinct since she didn't know what was going on. She wanted to run and hide. Akko knew instantly once she was the look in Mari's eyes that that wasn't just a friends only kiss, like that of what she shared with Sugi or Tamamin. This was something beyond that in complexity and feelings of a friend.

This was a kiss that would've been shared between lovers, which sparked the feeling of discomfort. She didn't exactly know what to say at the moment. She was kissing another girl that had feelings for her. She didn't know if she returned them or not. It wasn't that Mari wasn't enough or anything. It was to the contrary, Mari was cute, fun, kind, generous, and very smart. Everything that Akko could ask for in a…girl.

She sighed. She never would've pictured herself with another girl. She always dreamed of a tall, handsome guy sweeping her off her feet, like every other teenager. But, she had Mari here who loved her with all her heart, so Akko believed, and nothing could change that. She brought her hand up to stroke Mari's hair.

She didn't know what to say really. She was too confused to know whether or not she liked Mari more than a best friend. Even if she didn't like Mari more than just a super close friend, couldn't they be best friends with benefits? She would give Mari extra attention so that Mari wouldn't feel that bad about being rejected.

Though, it didn't help that Akko still would feel awkward about it. Akko still dreamed of a guy lifting her off her feet, and not Mari, let alone a girl, and the taller girl couldn't pretend Mari was a boy either.

Akko examined Mari closely. She was too cute to be a boy. She smelled way too nice like that of Tahitian orchids than boy cologne. Mari also had too much of smooth skin to feel like a boy. Her face was the pure definition of a girl. Akko doubted Mari would be able to gather enough strength and sweep her off her feet.

She lifted a wisp of Mari's short hair. It was dark as obsidian and had a healthy glow to it. It felt like silk too. She glanced around curiously, wondering if people were looking before lifting the lock to her nose. It smelled faintly of cucumber melon. Akko let out a soothing breath as she allowed the strand of hair fall back into place.

It was easy to say that Akko didn't want to be more than a best friend either, even if her body was still wondering about the imaginative prince charming she was waiting for.

Mari was Akko's best friend, the person who knew her the best, which would make her the ideal lover. Mari was kind and considerate. She had so many traits that all the girls searched for in guys. She was the icon of the perfect paramour.

Yet, once again, Akko's confusion remained. She couldn't decide whether she loved Mari more than a best friend or not. She bit her lip and glanced at the peaceful Mari who was resting her head on Akko's shoulder.

She loved seeing Mari happy. She also adored Mari's face when sleeping, but also liked her face when she was awake too. She really liked everything about Mari.

But, Mari wasn't a boy. Mari wasn't tall or handsome. She was small and cute, but didn't the teen magazines say that it was the personality that mattered the most and the looks were just a bonus?

Akko couldn't decide. There were too many things uncertain.

The bus slowly was coming to a stop. Akko glanced up. It was their stop.

She averted her gaze back to Mari who was still asleep.

Maybe she felt the obligation to love Mari back since she was her best friend and she never would want to hurt Mari?

Akko shook her head with a small smile. One day, some time, somewhere, they would decide this together.

The bus stopped and instantly people were moving to get off the bus, and on it. Akko glanced about at the different faces in curiosity. She wondered what they would do if they saw Mari and Akko together, as a couple instead of best friends?

Akko knew that she wouldn't know unless she tried it.

She propped Mari up so she could shift around until her head was leveled with Mari's head. Taking a fleeting second to stare at the sleeping girl's closed eyes, and marveling at the other's beautiful facial structure, before placing a soft, warm kiss on the forehead.

Akko allowed her lips to linger before pulling back and trying to decide how she felt. A warmer smile graced her lips.

She felt better, much better than before, but she didn't have much time to savor it because the train was about to leave and they would miss their stop.

"Mari, wake up!" Akko shook Mari lightly with a warm smile.

The other girl's eyes fluttered open as she gazed into Akko's light brown ones.

"Are we at our stop?"

No, we're just beginning.

"Yeah, let's go!"


A/N:

I've been reading this manga for some time and decided, "Why the hell not!? It surely deserves to be praised and definitely deserves a fanfiction!" So I wrote this up regarding Akko's confused state on whether she likes Mari more than a friend or not. I couldn't bring myself to leave it where she remained confused, so I fluffed it up to my liking.

So read and review, please! :D

-Shay