Yuki felt like one of those stone animal fountains that were in parks or rich people's gardens--except lacking their elegance as she sprayed water from her mouth, gasping for air as her head broke the surface of the water. Eyes wide in shock and horror she swept her hair back from her face with some effort and glared at the 'photographer' angrily--her face scarlet.

"That's what I like about Yuki-chan--she's a blusher." Contrary to the content and pleased grin on Rui's face Yuki was still rather enraged and filled with panic as she tried to hide herself behind the rim of the bathtub--her chests covering her breasts as only her face became visible.

"Hanazawa Rui have you finally lost your mind?! What could have possible compelled you to take a picture of me while I'm in the bath?! What makes you think that isn't violating my privacy and just--ARGH!" Yuki was normally a fairly calm person, except when something, like Makino or a new discovery caused her to become hyper--but her emotions weren't usually as extreme as some of the company she kept. Which is probably one of the reasons people with strong, loud, extreme mood swings and personalities tended to gravitate to her--she balanced them out.

Now, of course, that was not the case.

Moving to sit criss cross on the cold tile floor Rui watched her with his face with his usual calm expression--the sparkle of mischief that was in his eyes moments ago now gone--replaced with only a warmth that was one of the few ways one could tell when he was done being Hanazawa Rui--and just became Rui.

Then he smiled--and it may sound cheesy and cliche but Yuki just couldn't help it--when Rui smiled and his precious mask(which, privately, she theorized was the strongest of all the F4's masks) shattered--Yuki couldn't look at him with any ill will.

"You looked so serene and happy. Like a painting, like you were in your own Wonderland and there was nothing else. It was such a pure and innocent happiness with nothing weighing you down. I think people yearn for that these days. I didn't mean to upset you--I just wanted to capture it." Rui had this annoying way of apologizing that showed he wasn't really sorry, he was just saying that to make you feel better. It wasn't that he thought he was above considering other people's feelings--he just didn't feel the need to apologize for something he thought was necessary.

Yuki had calmed down by this point, though her face was still scarlet as she gave Rui a half-hearted glare, i'Why is he still sitting there?! I know I'm not the picture of serenity bnow/B', and before she could ask another important question as it came into her mind Rui echoed her thoughts--"It was very classy. Don't worry." She relaxed marginally and folded her arms atop the rim of the bathtub that probably cost more than her TV, cell phone, laptop, bed and whole wardrobe combined--which is why she appreciated Rui letting her use his bathtub when Makino's was inconvenient.

"So I think I've come up with a solution to your sleeping problem." Though he and Akira didn't often talk about it--that was one of their favorite aspects of Yuki's personality. She saw a problem, and while she addresed it directly--she did it smoothly, as if not to alarm the person who she was trying to help. Thats how she handled things--she took the safest approach that would bring the least amount of damages and trouble to all parties involved. She could be overly concerned and a tad too dramatic when it came to worrying over her friends at times--but that wasn't usually her first reaction. Her initial panic was over once she realized the aspects of the problem that yes, in fact, there was a way to fix it.

Now if there wasn't a obvious solution--boy Yuki could spazz. But that is another story for a different day.

"Have you now? While you're at it, what make you think you know my sleeping habits so well Yuki-chan?" Yuki heard it there, in a slightly disturbing disturbing undertone of her close friend's voice--he didn't like her figuring out his weakness'. He probably didn't even realize that undercurrent was there--but it was. As much as she hated to admit it--it hurt her feelings some, that he wasn't completely comfortable with her seeing his weakness' and ills.

Head tilted to the side slightly as goosebumps spread down her arms, the water continuing to evaporate off her skin as they talked; her voice was smooth and unassuming. Insistent, but still submissive--"Well lets see, your bed has been systematically made to look messy for the last week or so--I didn't visit much last week but probably then too--all your usual sleeping spots have become dusty from neglect and you have been spacing out more lately, a sure sign you haven't slept well. "--she paused for a moment, and then, looking especially pleased with herself she finished her list--"Oh, and you've been reading your books faster than usual." A gentle laugh fell from her lips after the last statement, pride gleaming in her eyes alongside worry, her eyes searching Rui's face as she awaited an answer.

Finally, after what felt like a thousand heartbeats Rui shrugged his shoulders, "I suppose I have been napping less. What is your idea Yuki?" He was calling her Yuki--his not-so-secret way of saying he was giving up in whatever kind of battle they were having.

A smile lit up her face that made him conceding his pride all worth it, "Come to school with me tomorrow, be a guest teacher for the whole day--including after school cooking lessons with the high schoolers." At that, she smiled at him again and as if to insure that no argument would ensue she ducked down into the water again and drifted backwards so that she was partially hidden--essentially ending their conversation completely. Rui continued to watch her bare legs in the water, her toes playing idly with the flower petals he had bought for her baths for several minutes. His mind off in place he wasn't even completely sure of--before finally standing to take his leave of the pretty young lady who practially lived at his and his best friend's house. Before he could completely make his exit though her voice drifted back to him--serene but sharp in a way that only Yuki could manage--"Oh and Rui--if I get word that picture has left your hands a lack of sleep will be the least of your worry. The power of the almighty F4 won't even come close to saving your ass."

There were times that Hanazawa Rui feared that their Yuki-chan was spending a bit too much time with the Mimasaka family.

------------

There was nothing particularly remarkable about Matsuoka Yuki--physically anyway. From her inky long black hair to her almond shaped hazel eyes and cheeks with the slightest amount of baby fat in them still--Yuki just didn't stick out. She was pretty, and attractive enough--but there was nothing that set her apart at first glance

This worked very well for both her and Akira in many ways. She knows that Akira has, without any enthusiasm, slowly brought her into his buisness. She has been asked to talk to a few of the more tenative clients who were new to the kind of buisness his family was submerged in--or just particularly paranoid. She carried things, and she watched people and places for Akira when necessary. There were even times that he asked her opinion on matters that were troubling him.

This would surprise many people, certaintly Sojiro, Makino, and Tsukasa--all who had been kept in the dark as too Yuki's involvement in the Underground world. Even though Akira went out of his way to secure her safety and anonymity in ever possible way--and had in no possible shape or form forced Yuki into helping him--it would still alarm them far too much.

Rui and Akira though, saw her usefulness when everyone else didn't. Makino still saw her as the Yuki she grew up with, her calming from that knew all of her secrets and loved to gossip with and offered the best didn't truly see who Yuki had grown up to be--and how versatile her talents were.

The young woman had a way with people, had a way of worming information--secrets, plans, and innermost thoughts--without the person she was talking too ever been the wiser. People just talked to Yuki--and slowly, as she grew older and became more independent and driven--she learned to use this talent to her advantage. People calmed and relaxed around her--and would never suspect her of anything, she just had that kind of personality and appearance that said 'I am completely predictable and isafe/i.

Along those same lines came a gift of being naturally intuitive--she read emotions and body language very well. That was one of the reasons Sojiro always made her so morose and why she was so overly cheerful--she could see in every little movement every emotion he didn't want to convey--always had and she tried to over compensate for it--not very well but hey, she was young. Even if she couldn't gleam a person's exact secrets they were hiding, she knew the nature of what was hidden; sometimes that was enough.

Lastly, the last two--which Akira sometimes amused himself by referring to them as her 'spy skills'--because had she been born in another time and place they would have helped her with some profression along those lines. Yuki, in contrast to her social, active and outgoing personality could be a very good people watcher when she wanted too. She could stand in a crowd of people and watch them--within minutes figuring out who most likely had weapons hidden on their person and the ways they were probably goign to use them, along with the amoutn of possible casualties/damages. Akira and Rui weren't sure if this talent of figuring situations out with very little obvious information was natural--or if she had been doing reading into it--but the fact itself was indisputable. The second talent is rather obvious--Yuki just blends in; no one notices her. Even if they did, as was stated earlier; they wouldn't think anything of her.

The accumulation of all these gifts is what brought Yuki is what brought a rather meek looking eating ice cream and 'studying' insidethe coffee shop of a bookstore while Akira and his part-time buisness partner full-time rival walked into the store--supposedly unarmed and alone.