Naoto pulled up to the textile shop and parked her bike. It wasn't really quite warm enough to use a motorbike to get around, but Naoto enjoyed the freedom and independence the bike gave her. Naoto knocks on the side door that leads directly into the Tatsumi's home. After waiting a while she knocks again. Naoto sighs and taps her foot. Instead of knocking a third time she walks around to the shop entrance.
The bell rings on the door as Naoto enters the shop. "Naoto-kun!" Tatsumi-san says. "Welcome, Kanji-chan has been expecting you."
Naoto bows slightly, "I knocked on the side door, yet no one came to open it."
"Kanji probably didn't hear it. Rise is over and has been pestering him. Come on in."
Naoto slips off her shoes and steps into the house. "Thank you for your hospitality."
Tatsumi-san smiles at Naoto and leads her into the living room. Before they enter Kanji's and Rise's voices can be heard.
"Really Kanji! If you want to impress Naoto you should-"
"I already told ya it ain't like that! She's just coming over to help me with homework!"
"Yeah yeah sure….. I totally believe that is all you had on your mind when you invited her over."
Tatsumi-san clears her throat and opens the door. "I'm sure you kids will get a lot of homework done today." She says, a smile creeping onto her face. "If you need anything I'm sure Kanji will take good care of you."
Naoto nods to Tatsumi-san as she leaves, closing the door behind her. "Well, I see that Rise-chan has decided to join us as well."
"You know me, I could always use the extra help. Besides it'll be fun. Almost like a party!"
"I believe serious school work was the plan, though there seems to be an abundance of snacks."
Kanji shrugs. "I thought we might get hungry, so I picked up a few things. Didn't know what you'd like so I got several different types of snacks."
Naoto nods. "Alright, shall we get started?" She sits down at the low table and grabs a text book off of the stack. "Should we start with Math?"
An hour later Rise flops onto the cushions with a wail, "You guys are so boring!"
"Entertainment was not the objective of this endeavor." Naoto states.
"Naoto-kun can you show me again how to conjugate this verb?" Kanji asks looking up from his book.
"If I knew that nothing interesting was going to happen with you two I wouldn't have bothered coming over."
"That's what I told ya." Kanji points out, not looking up from his worksheet.
"Did you hear about Yosuke-sempai's idea of all of us going on a ski trip?" Rise asks. "It sounds like a ton of fun!"
Naoto looks up from the book. "I do not know how to ski, therefore I have no idea as to whether the activity would be fun."
"What?!" Rise says appalled. "I'm surprised that you never learned! What about you Kanji? Do you know how to ski?"
Kanji looks up from his book "I learned when I was a kid. My uncle would take us once a year or so. I haven't been for some years now, but it's just like riding a bike, easy to take it back up again."
"See? Kanji could teach you!"
"Rise-san!" Naoto says standing up. "It is impolite for you to just assume that Kanji-kun would be willing to spend his time teaching me."
"I'd…uh be willing…." Kanji says, speaking up.
"See? He wants to teach you!"
"That is not the point, you just assumed that he would be willing without asking him."
"I know!" Rise exclaims ignoring Naoto's point. "We can go shopping for some super cute snow gear!" Rise starts to bounce in the anticipation of a shopping trip.
"I do not believe that will be necessary." Naoto states flatly.
"Oh come on! It'll be tons of fun."
"I already have a heavy winter coat, and any gear I need I can rent at the ski lodge."
Rise pouts. "But that's no fun!"
Naoto sits back down at the table and pulls over a different school book, making a point to ignore Rise. Rise glances between her two friends then says. "I suppose you just want to get rid of me so that you can have your 'private lessons' with Kanji."
Kanji looks up, his face red and stammers unintelligibly. "I uh…. We uh…That's uh…..not…uh.."
Naoto, oblivious to Kanji's embarrassment continues to look at the book while stating. "We could no doubt get more accomplished without distractions. Since you seem to have finished your work before coming over, maybe it would be in your best interests to socialize with other individuals."
A broad evil grin comes over Rise's face. "Well then in that case I'll leave. I'll be sure to let people know you're having 'private lessons' so that you don't get interrupted."
Naoto, still looking intently at the book just says. "Whatever you deem necessary."
Rise looks over at Kanji, who is still having trouble even making a clear sentence. "No uh…. That's ah….. but….." Rise winks at Kanji and picks up her bag and practically prances out of the room with a wave goodbye.
With a sigh Naoto sets down the book and leans back. "At last."
"She's gunna… you said…. But that's…."
Naoto looks over at the red faced Kanji, with a confused look on her face. "What is the trouble?"
"She said…. You know what she said?" Kanji manages to ask.
"That I'll be giving you lessons….. so?"
"Does that mean something?"
Kanji face palms then drops his forehead to the table. Naoto leans over to try and see Kanji's face, only for him to sit back up again after a moment. Kanji takes a deep breath and looks straight ahead his face redder than ever. "Naoto…. 'Private lessons' means something dirty is going on between us."
A blush starts to rise to Naoto's cheeks. "You mean that has a sexual connotation?"
Kanji nods and hides his face in his hands. "Rise! Why do you have to be such a pain?!" Kanji yells into his hands.
Naoto sighs and face palms. "I suppose it would be fruitless to try and stop her now."
Naoto stand up and stretches out. "What are the chances that anyone would believe her?"
Kanji shrugs, "I dunno."
"I would think those people who know us would disregard any rumor of that nature." Naoto says, starting to pace in front of the table.
"Everyone knows I'm dumb as rocks. So people'll just think you're helpin' me with homework."
"Don't say that!" Naoto says, looking Kanji in the eye.
"You're not dumb. You need to give yourself more credit. You may need longer to think things through, but that doesn't mean you're dumb."
"Thanks for saying that. Even if…. If ya don't mean it…. Thanks for saying it." Kanji says, while running his hand through his hair and looking away.
Naoto shakes her head. "I do mean it though."
"Ya want a snack?" Kanji asks, lifting up a box of Pocky. He shakes it to find it is empty. He reaches over and grabs the bag of shrimp chips, only to discover that it is empty as well. "Looks like Rise ate most of the snacks." Kanji remarks as he looks through the pile trying to find something that Rise overlooked.
Naoto shakes her head and sits down on the couch. "No, it's ok. So do you mind teaching me to ski?"
"Not at all!" Kanji assures her. "I'm sure I'll have a great time."
"Wouldn't you much rather be going down the mountain rather than be stuck on the bunny hill teaching me?"
Kanji shakes his head. "Naw, it's all about who ya with. Not what ya doin'. I can have a good time doing school work if it means I get to be with you."
"So you had fun today?"
"Wouldn't exactly call it fun, but yeah I enjoyed it. Ya know what?"
"What?" Naoto ask, a slight smile on her face.
"I got thinking that I uh… well I wanna make ya…. Make something for ya. Not exactly sure what yet. But I just want to make ya somethin'"
"You already made me that stuffed bear." Naoto points out.
"Well…. That was for Christmas. This is…. It is differ'nt."
"How so? You really don't need to make me anything."
"Yeah I do… I uh…" Kanji shifts his position. "I need to thank you for… all you've done. And are gunna do….to ah… help me with school and all…"
"There is really no need for that."
Kanji moves so that he is right next to Naoto and looks her in the eye. "Naoto I want to kiss you!"
Naoto is so shocked by that statement that she opens and closes her mouth several times without making any sound come out. But before she can gather her wits Kanji continues.
"But I know you ain't ready for that. Or if you'll ever be ready, or wantin' me to do that." Kanji swallows the lump in his throat and looks away before he continues. "I just…. I just have all these feelings inside me that I…. that I can't express. And I wanna… I wanna find a way to show you how I feel. So I wanna make you something. If that's alright by you."
Kanji looks at the floor between his feet, not daring to look at Naoto. Is she mad? Is she gunna leave? At last when Kanji thinks he is about ready to sink into the floor in shame Naoto speaks up.
"Okay. What did you want to make?"
Kanji looks up from the floor his face hopeful. "I uh…. Well I'm not really sure…. I was thinking something you could wear, but I don't know what you'd like, or need."
Naoto shrugs. "I really don't need any more clothes. But if Rise is any indication some girls will buy clothes until their closet is bursting."
Kanji smirks. "Yeah, I can see dat."
"I'm sure whatever you end up making will be well made, and sturdy."
"Thanks, but uh… the thing is…." Kanji rubs the back of his neck and looks around the room a blush forming on his cheeks. "Since I'm making clothes I kinda need ta… well… I need to get your measurements."
"What?" Naoto asks, startled.
"Well if that's a problem never mind." Kanji says, starting to ramble. "I'll just make ya something else. Not sure what, but I can figure-"
"Sorry Kanji I didn't mean to say that you should change your idea, I was just startled is all."
"Yes really, though I do ask that you don't let anyone know my measurements."
"Of Course! I'd only use them to figure out size and what all. I'd never tell anyone." Kanji's remembers back to the afternoon at the hospital when Teddie was trying to tell everyone the girls' measurements, and his face starts to blush even worse than before. "In fact I wasn't even thinking about that kinda thing until you mentioned it."
"Alright then…so when do you want to….."
"I'll go get the stuff now," Kanji says, standing up and practically running out of the room. A moment or so later he comes back with a cloth tape measure, and a note pad. "Will ya stand up, please?"
Naoto stands and Kanji measures the length of her arms, the width of her shoulders, from the base of her neck to her waist, around her waist, then from her hip to her ankle. Then he stops. A blush starts to form again, he excuses himself and rushes out of the room, before Naoto and inquire Tatsumi-san comes in with the measuring tape.
"Kanji would like me to get the last few measurements." She then raps the tape around Naoto's chest and notes the numbers. Afterword she hands Naoto one end of the tape. "Will you hold that against your inseam?"
"Inseam?" Naoto inquires.
"Yes dearie, stand with your legs a part a bit and hold it right between your legs."
Naoto does as instructed, doing her best not to blush at the thought of Kanji trying to take these measurements. After writing down the needed numbers Tatsumi-san leaves and Naoto collapses onto the couch, her face only slightly pink.
Kanji comes back into the room, with a slight blush. "Thanks," he mutters before sitting down and opening another text book. "So ya wanna get back to homework?"
Naoto nods. "Yes, there are still a few things you need to finish before school starts again."
With that said, they begin once again to work, with minimal blushing.
Later that afternoon Naoto was driving home her mind kept bringing up the words that Kanji had spoken. "I want to kiss you!" The very idea brought heat to her face. She had never been kissed by anyone other than family before. She hadn't even considered kissing when she agreed to start dating Kanji. Yet he also did say that he knew she wasn't ready for that, which is good, considering that she hadn't even thought of it before. But does that mean that he is willing to wait until I am ready? Naoto thinks. How will he know if I'm ready? How will I know if I'm ready? Naoto parks her bike and walks up to her bedroom, new and scary thoughts running through her head.
Meanwhile Kanji is in his room, trying to draw up ideas for what he can make Naoto. He draws a jacket and pants set, then puts it aside. Then he doodles a skirt and vest outfit, before putting that aside. Maybe another hat or a kimono? Kanji growls and runs his hand through his hair in frustration. Maybe figuring out what to make first is the wrong way to go about this. He thinks. COLORS! What colors does she look good in?
Kanji gets out a new sheet of paper, and starts to make a list: blue, purple, green. Yes she looks best in cool colors. Next to his list of colors he starts another list: plaid, argyle, solid w/trim. Kanji looks at the two lists, deep in thought.
A/N: I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter. Thank you everyone for all the comments, favs and follows. I hope to get the next chapter out before my kids get out of school in late May, remember I work faster if people comment and tell me what they think. Thanks again to all my readers.