Hey everyone! I'm sorry for being so out of commission. I've just been busy with high school, and with life (which is going eh). I really do want to update more chapters! I do, but with writer's block and life in the way, it's just been hard. So even though I want to up date more often, I can't promise you guys that I will. I'm sorry. :( But I will whenever I can, so be on the lookout!

Chapter Three

Everybody Has a Reason for Something

I didn't want to go to Yukimura's house that night and eat dinner with his family. I then understood why Asami never invited us to her house. It was because she shared a house with Yukimura, and she didn't want any of us to find out. Nana would have been ecstatic and would have asked to come over every day in the hopes of seeing all of the regulars, Takei would've been supportive, but in a Takei way, the twins, Hiro and Ryoki, wouldn't have cared at all, and me, I would have probably done nothing.

It was hurting her though, to be the unwanted sister in Yukimura's family. He didn't want her as a sister, and even if his family wanted her, they mostly did it out of charity in the beginning. Yukimura was cruel, and after years of just ignoring her as his adopted sister, he came out and told everyone just to hurt her. Just when she was finally feeling okay about being the unwanted one, he comes out and acts as if he's always wanted a sister.

I had decided to walk home with Nana. She was talking nonstop about all of the regulars that she was just so "in love with".

"Nana," I stopped and called her name.

"What is it Yori? Can't you see I was ranting there?" she replied.

"I'm having dinner with Yukimura tonight."

". . ." Silence filled the street as the information slowly sank into Nana's mind. When she finally processed what I said, she let out an ear-splitting scream that scared all of the neighborhood pets away.

"Tell me you are not joking. Please tell me that." Nana said.

"I'm not joking. He invited me today so that Asami would feel better about being his sister or some crap like that," I sighed.

"You don't believe him? How can you not? Yukimura is just so. . . wonderful."

"Well first off . . . he's a liar. And second, he's a sadistic bastard."

"Don't talk about Yukimura that way!" Nana scolded. "He's just stressed from tennis. You should talk to him though. Then you'd understand. You have to somehow get me invited tonight."

"What about the guys?"

"Who? You mean the regulars?"

". . . our guy friends! Takei, Ryoki, and Hiro! We're suppose to hang out tonight. I would, and I hate to cancel, but I have to be there for Asami tonight. She's separated herself, and it's just not good for her."

"Well, I'll hang with the guys, you just go do your thing okay?"

I raised her eyebrows in astonishment. I didn't think Nana would be so calm about the situation.

Nana turned her head to me with a sly smile on her face. "I'll definitely do it, but I want you to get me Yukimura-sempai's autograph! Please? I can't ask myself because I'm the captain of the girls' tennis team. What will he think of me then? Of the rest of the girls? It just won't be good for the tennis teams' relationship."

"You want me to do what?" The expression on my face must have been priceless.

"Please please please? I need you to dooooo that! It's not fair at all, Yoriko. You're being a total meanie right now."

I sighed in exasperation. Only Nana could make a serious situation about Yukimura into a funny one in two seconds. It did make me feel better though. I could always think about Nana wanting Yukimura's autograph if I got nervous at dinner.

"I believe in you though," Nana said with a smile. "Even if you are a nobody."

"Wow, thanks," I replied sarcastically.

"Come on, Yori. We both know that you don't do anything. You're not passionate about anything. And you just don't have a real hobby."

"I play the piano."

"Not like super-serious-five-hours-a-day playing the piano."


"Good luck tonight, and don't forget, please get me the autograph! Thanks! Bye!"

Nana ran off suddenly, probably to the boys' house. I decided to walk home by myself. I needed to freshen up for dinner that night, and I needed to tell my parents where I would be. I came home feeling anxious. My parents were surprised when I told them I'd be eating dinner at Asami's house, since I never went to Asami's house, but they were fine with it. I tried to sleep when I got home, just to calm my nerves, but that didn't work. So I paced around my room. Everything I did just worsened my anxiety, so I just stopped and stared into my bedroom mirror, trying to give myself a pep talk.

"Okay, Yori, you can do this. This is for your best friend Asami. You can do anything if it's to help her, even stand up against her terribly mean older brother. Just ignore him at dinner, talk to Asami, and act as if everything is fine. Okay, I can do this. Got it."

At exactly five o' clock I left my house to walk to Asami's. Her house was sort of far away, but that didn't bother me. I liked walking. I found that it helped clear my head even more. In 45 minutes I reached Asami's house, with 15 minutes to spare before the time I had to be there. I braced myself before ringing the doorbell.

As soon as I pushed the button, Yukimura opened the door with his usual smile on his face. His eyes were kind, but deep within the pupils I saw that they were cold. His blue eyes were deep, almost indigo, and that caused him to have a faraway look. One that people couldn't distinguish between kindness or coldness.

"Yoriko-san, you made it," he stated, leading me into the house. It was a traditional Japanese house with tatami mats, so I slipped my shoes off before following him into the living room.

"Where's Asami?" I asked.

"She's sleeping right now. I think it would be best if we didn't wake her up until later. For the past few weeks she's been sleeping really badly, and she just started sleeping on a normal pattern recently. So I'd rather not wake her up right when she's starting to get healthy again. I was hoping that by bringing you to dinner tonight, she would actually eat something. My parents have been worried that about her because she hasn't been eating regularly. She'll eat maybe one small meal a day, and that's it. I make her sit with me during lunch because I hope that by sitting with me she'll eat, but she doesn't."

I stared at him long and hard after what he said. According to his little speech, it seemed like he really cared about her, but the small smile on his face said otherwise. One would think that after years of being brother and sister he would finally accept her into his family, but maybe not. Yukimura was never good at sharing or losing in any way, and having his parents attention on another child must have driven him crazy.

"Okay then," I replied. I wanted him to know that I didn't believe him. He must have caught it in my voice because he raised an eyebrow, but he didn't comment on it. He just reclined more into the sofa as we waited for dinner to be ready. At 6 o' clock he stood up to go and wake Asami, as we would be having dinner at 6:15 he said.

Asami stumbled out of her bedroom with Yukimura supporting her. Her face looked healthier. It wasn't sallow or pale anymore. It was almost full, and her cheeks were a beautiful rosy color. Fixing her sleeping pattern really helped her health. The only thing wrong with her was how thin she was under her clothes. She really must not have been eating. Though she did look a lot healthier, her bony body betrayed weakness and frailty.

I got up to hug her, trying to give her some of my strength.

Soon, we were called to dinner. Yukimura's parents treated me kindly, and they said they were glad to finally meet one of Asami's friends. When they said her name, their eyes clouded over with worry. They truly loved her like a daughter they said, and would do anything for her. Yukimura ate silently while his parents talked of the love they felt for Asami, and Asami just stared embarrassingly at them. She seemed almost normal then, and she ate everything on her plate, even asking for seconds. During the whole ordeal Yukimura kept a smile on his face, but didn't say anything. Asami looked over at Yukimura several times to make sure he was okay. Even though they didn't like each other much, it seemed that Asami genuinely cared for Yukimura and his feelings. She probably did really like him, as a person and a brother. Too bad the same couldn't be said of Yukimura. He did look at me several times though during the dinner. Not a word was uttered from him as his family talked. I often joined in on the conversation, but my eye was always focused on Yukimura.

After dinner, I hung out with Asami a bit, and we caught up.

"How are you?" I asked.

"I'm good, a lot better now thank you."

"And Yukimura?"

"He's been very kind to me, very decent. He doesn't speak much to me, which is to be expected, but his actions are very caring."

I looked at her surprised, she had a tiny smile on her face as she said that.

"I feel like I'm finally accepted by his family," she continued. "I know that his parents have actually loved me like a daughter for a long time, but I always felt like the outcast because the perfect Yukimura didn't accept me. I don't know if he accepts me now, but he's been very kind."

I couldn't believe what she was saying. He was actually being decent to her. The fact though that he still didn't talk to her bugged me a bit. He still didn't accept her fully, even though it had been years. It bothered me how much he didn't care for her. Even being decent to someone doesn't mean you care for them.

"Don't say anything to him please," Asami begged. She looked me in the eyes, and for a second, she looked like herself again; cool, confident, and beautiful Asami. She closed her eyes though, and she was once again fragile and unresponsive Asami. She was nothing like how she was before.

I glanced at the clock and saw that it was 7:30. It would take me 45 minutes to walk home, and by then it would already past eight.

"Asami, I'm sorry for leaving early, but I have to go home now," I gently told her.

"Oh." She finally seemed to focus back on me after blanking out for a few minutes. "Let me just ask Yukimura if he would walk you home. It's dangerous for a girl to walk home alone at this time." She left the room and quickly came back with Yukimura. He had on his jacket and he led me to the door.

I felt uncomfortable with him so I tried to do everything as quickly as possible. I slipped on my shoes and we were out the door in seconds. About halfway home, I glanced at him for the first time. We hadn't exchanged any words at all.

"Yes?" he asked without looking at me.

I thought for a moment. "What were your real reasons asking me to come to dinner? I don't believe you when you said it was for Asami. You don't care about her, she cares about you though. At least she's the bigger person."

"You're wrong," he stated quickly. "I do care for her. I help her every day, and I take care of her when I can."

"Are you doing that because you want to or because you're forced to."

"I'm not forced to do anything, Yoriko-san. I do it because Asami being sad causes my parents to be in grief, and Asami is in grief too. I don't want anyone who lives in my house to be unhappy."

"So I guess that everything just goes back to what you want, Yukimura-sempai."

He didn't say anything to my last statement. So I just took it to be true. He might care for Asami a little bit, but it wasn't for her that he was being kind. It was for him, and for the happiness that he would feel if his whole family was happy. We didn't talk the rest of the way home, and when we reached my door, I bid him goodbye.

Yukimura hesitated for a moment before grabbing my arm and saying, "I care about them, I really do, but you have no idea what it's like for me to see someone so sad and sick in my house like how Asami is. I can now only imagine what my parents and Asami felt when I was in the hospital during middle school. I need them to be happy because I need to be happy, and there's nothing wrong with that, Yoriko-san. So just understand that. I know you have a habit of picking fights with me."

I didn't say anything in reply to him, just gave him a disapproving look, and he left soon afterwards. I unlocked my door and slipped into my house. I had never had a passion for anything before in my life, but I felt with a burning in my heart that I needed to help Asami, and Yukimura too.