"What'cha got there, Haruhi?" I ask my best friend, looking over her shoulder.
She looks back at me, "Oh, hey Emi. It's Nekozawa's puppet, Beelzenef. I found it in the hallway on my way up here. I was just about to go return it to him, but Tamaki freaked out and won't let me leave."
I look over at the blonde, "Oh. That would explain why he was ranting about curses and the like when I walked past him." I look back at Haruhi. "Well, I can go give it to him. He's probably in the Black Magic Club's room, right?" I suggest.
She smiles, "Yeah, most likely. That's a good idea, just don't let Tamaki see-"
"See what?" Of course, he pops up right when she says his name.
I grab the puppet from Haruhi and dash out the door and down the hall, giggling madly the entire time. I turn a corner and stop to breathe. 'That was fun...' I think, still smiling softly. Once I've caught my breath, I look down at the little cat-puppet in my hands. "I don't get why Tamaki freaked out over this thing... I think it's kind of cute," I muse aloud. Now, people have called me crazy before, but I swear the doll blushed when I said that. I shake my head and start walking in the direction of the Black Magic Club.
After about five wrong turns, I finally find myself at the right door. Holding Beelzenef safely in my left hand, I knock lightly.
Only seconds later, it creaks open slightly, revealing the half-visible face of Umehito Nekozawa. "Yes?"
I smile and hold the cat-puppet up in front of him. "I believe this is yours."
His eyes seem to light up when he sees it. "Beelzenef!" He reaches out and I hand it over to him. "Thank-you, Emiko. I was beginning to worry," he says, slipping the puppet over his left hand.
I just continue to smile, "You're welcome, Nekozawa, but Haruhi was the one who found him; I just brought him down here."
He smiles back at me, "Nonetheless, I am grateful."
I nod. "Well, the Host Club opens soon, so I'd better get going; today's my day to help out. I'll see you around?"
He nods as well, "Of course. Again, thank-you."
I laugh quietly and reply, "Don't mention it." I bow slightly, then practically run back the way I came, hoping to get there before the customers arrive.
After that, things go on pretty much as usual; same old love-struck girls swooning over the hosts, me chatting with them once in a while as I clear the tables. Same old, same old. Well, it would be if I didn't feel like I was being watched the ENTIRE time. I must be paranoid, losing it, or some combination of both, because I think I looked over my shoulder every 10 minutes.
As I'm coming out of the back room, Haruhi pulls me aside.
"What's up, Haruhi?"
"Look, I didn't want to say anything back there because Tamaki would've freaked out again, but have you noticed that Nekozawa's been looking through the door since you came back?"
I blink at her, a blank expression on my face. "Uhh... no."
She glances behind her, signaling me to look. Lo and behold, there's the Dark Prince, peering almost unnoticeably through the double-doors to the Host Club.
I quirk one eyebrow, "What could he be doing?"
Haruhi shrugs, "I have no idea, but he's been there for a while."
"...I think I'd better go see what's up. If he stays there for too long, chances are someone'll see him and tell Tamaki." She and I both involuntarily shudder at what his reaction would be. I shuffle past Haruhi towards the door, glancing behind me to make sure no one's looking, and slip out, coming face-to-face with Nekozawa for the second time today.
"Nekozawa? Is there something you need?" I ask, confusion obvious in my tone. Even under his shaggy wig and black hood, I can make out the faintest shade of red sweeping across his pale face.
"Not particularly, Emiko. Why do you ask?"
I look at him like he's mental, which he very well may be at this point. "I dunno, maybe because you've been looking through the door for about half an hour now? Just a thought," I say, my love of sarcasm coating my words, yet not in a mean way. He doesn't respond and a thought comes to me. 'I felt like I was being watched before... Was it...' "Nekozawa... You weren't looking at me by any chance, were you?" I ask, confident I already knew the answer since his cheeks turned a brighter red at the question.
I sigh, "Nekozawa..."
He chuckles and smiles, the same smile that scares Tamaki into shrieking like a little girl. "I suppose I was. I was waiting for you to take a break or something of that sort."
I arch one eyebrow, "Whyyyy?"
He holds out his right hand. Resting in his palm is my charm bracelet.
My eyes practically pop out of my head as they dart to my own wrist. No bracelet. "Woah, how did I not notice that?"
He chuckles again, "It fell from your wrist when you ran off after returning Beelzenef. Speaking of which, it seems Beelzenef has taken a liking to you."
I smile as he hands me my bracelet back. "Well I like him, too. But why did you stand out here this whole time? You could have asked one of the hosts to give it to me or something," I suggest, snapping the hook on the accessory and looking back up at him.
"I didn't want to interrupt your work. Also..." he kinda trails off.
I tilt my head, "Also what?"
"...I wanted to ask you something... without the Host Club listening, as it might cause trouble for you."
Okay, now I'm REALLY curious. "Hm, well, ask away," I goad him.
"If you have time over lunch break tomorrow, would you... like to come pay us a visit?"
My head tilts again, slightly less this time. "You mean, come to the Black Magic Club?"
He nods. "It's just a suggestion; I will understand if you are busy or do not wish to come."
I laugh, "I'm never busy except when I'm here," I point to the Host Club Room. "And I'd love to come see you, and Beelzenef, of course," I add as an afterthought. Again, the cat doll BLUSHES. I can't be crazy if it happened twice. Can I? I shove that thought away; questioning my sanity is NOT a good idea. I hear Nekozawa laugh and focus again. "What?" I ask, totally lost for what feels like the millionth time in the past 2 hours.
"Nothing. You just look so cute when you're confused."
Are my cheeks burning? Feels like it. "Err, thank-you, I think."
He nods, "Then I'll see you tomorrow?"
I smile brightly, "Of course, Nekozawa."
He smiles back at me, "Good."
I blink once and swear I've fallen asleep or something; started dreaming, maybe. I can't still be awake, because Nekozawa's lips are touching mine. The second I realize what's going on, he's pulled away and disappeared down the hall. I stare after him, eyes wide, before going back into the club room in a daze. I shut the door behind me robotically, staring ahead of me, but not really seeing anything. I reached my right hand to my left arm. *Pinch* 'Ow. So I'm awake? That... really happened?' Once I came to this conclusion, I did what any girl in my place would have done.