Staring down at the paper crumpled and tattered from the numerous spasms of her fist clenching and unclenching, Yukari vaguely remembered the cliché lines that every adult seems to find appropriate when advising a high schooler.

"High school is the best days of your youth, cherish them!"

Right now, she wanted to hunt down the original liar and karate chop them over their thick idiot skull. Cherish? Here was a list of about fifty items that were oh-so-desperately-needed-for-the-festival and she was the poor sap who had been chosen to get them all.

"Best days of my youth my fanny!"

Grumbling with increasing volume, she didn't even want to be involved in the stupid thing anyway, Yukari tried to get the hair out of her eyes by smushing the silky mid neck length strands into a sloppy ink colored bun.

Glancing out the window her stomach dropped in despair when not even her reflection showed back, the glass clouded by what appeared to be gigantic raindrops. She was suppose to walk out in that?!

With a resigned sigh, she began to reach for her coat when the sound of several pairs of feet were heard coming down the hall.

"There you are!"

Looking up, Yukari blinked grumpily at the group that was trying to crowd through the door at once. Idiots, her friends were complete idiots.

Shoving her arms through the sleeves of her black raincoat she tried to push away thoughts of sloshing around in sneakers and umbrella-less. Damn, she hated school.

Or maybe it was just the people who were at the school. Chiemi and Hirata were the worse of the lot, throwing large cow eyes at each other every other second and causing a hazardously violent ruckus the next, it would drive anyone to drinking. Maki was sweet, no complaints there. And Hirata's friends, well, she tried not to think about them.

It was infuriating as hell to think about them, or specifically, a stupid half-irish jerk that couldn't spot a crush if it were to bite him the ass. Not that she was going to crouch behind him to try anytime soon.

"Yukari, you have the supplies list right?"

Finishing up the last few buttons she looked at Chiemi and scowled. The girl's eyes widen in surprise and she felt a small jolt of guilt; it wasn't her friend's fault that she was moody.

"If you want to add something, it's too late, the deadline is over and if I have to wait any longer I'll have to get a rowboat."

This caused the five teens to swivel their heads in sync to try and look out the window, to see the dangerously growing puddles down below in the courtyard. Yukari grinned when they swiveled back; like creepy puppet dolls.

"Uh, it really is getting worse, maybe we should go tell the council members, people should be getting home before it's impassable."

Relief washed over the usual pang of irritation that always occurred when Hirata spoke, she didn't dislike the guy he just tended to make things worse; but now his rare show of common sense overrode the constant urge to blackmail him. Of course, she thought cynically as she watched his concerned eyes trail over to Chiemi, it must be nice to have someone to worry about. Or have someone worry about you.

Shaking these rather cruel thoughts away, the weather must have really killed her mood, Yukari shrugged and followed the group as they went back towards the home economy classroom to discuss the situation with the others.

Maybe, with a more optimistic attitude, they would just hold off on everything all together until the whole bad weather passed! The thought of going home to a hot bath and more importantly, hot food considerably brightened her outlook on life.

It seemed that fate was against her today.

The other students all gathered in group and soon were in full discussion.

"I think they're right, we should call it a day."

Yukari nodded in rapt agreement with Maki until another kid broke in.

"But we really need to be able to finish this stuff by Thursday!"

This caused another onslaught of opinions that she, personally, didn't think were needed. Really, would it really kill the group to just wait for the stupid supplies? A headache was growing behind her eyes, and in a moment, Yukari understood Chiemi's violent nature. Things probably would get done a lot faster with physical threats looming over their heads.

That wouldn't work though, and so with a sigh and pinching the bridge of her nose, Yukari raised her voice over the dull roar.

"Oh alright! Alright! I'll go and get the supplies on my way home and bring it tomorrow, that satisfy everyone?"

There was a pause as varying degrees of contemplation went on, but she knew the verdict before they spoke. Outside the walls there was an unmistakable sound of a growing storm, and the mood of the crowd was the want to go home, and to go home fast. Except for her of course. Jerks.

Finally, the head of the class spoke.

"Well if you're okay with it but I think everyone should pair up with someone else that lives close by and go together. Just in case."

In case of what, she thought uncharitably, in case one gets swept downstream so there'll be someone else to get tagged along to drown too?

This brought a sudden rush of movement as people went to get their stuff, hurrying with the urgency that echoed the thunder of rain and wind.

Maki's kind eyes looked over at her with concern.

"Yukari..are you sure you'll be okay, you live kind of far.."

Waving a dismissive hand at her childhood friend, Yukari smiled reassuringly while trying not to look too daunted at the thought of carrying all of that to her house. She felt eyes on the back of her head, and knew without doubt that the Hirata and them were watching her too.

"Na, I'll be fine, don't worry about me just make sure you get home safe yourself Maki."

Forcing a smile even wider she twirled around with a good-bye wave while heading towards the door. No way was this going to be a walk in the park but she didn't want to cause a fuss, which would only mean a longer time until dinner. And she was hungry.

She was hovering in front of the exit doors, cursing herself for not remembering her cute dog umbrella, when a strong hand wrapped around her arm firmly.


Jumping out of her skin, Yukari turned around so fast that her sneakers slipped on the tile, falling backwards until another hand shot out to catch her. Feeling a bit dizzy, she blinked a few times up at her attacker and savior until her head cleared.

Greenish-gray eyes stayed down at her.


She watched as his widen in surprise before she motioned weakly with her chin to the tight grip he had on her upper arms. Quickly he righted her before letting go, an apologetic grimace on his face. Rubbing her arm she smiled with a tinge of nerves. What the hell was he doing here? They hadn't really spoken at all that day, he had been busy moving stuff around and she had been in charge of hunting down items the school didn't have.

It might have been intentional on her part; he was sore on the eyes and worse for the heart.

"Thanks…was there something you needed?"

She narrowed her eyes suddenly and stopped him before he could speak, a fist rising ominously in the air at him.

"Uh-uh, if it's another freaking item on this stupid list I'll punch you."

Her jumbled stomach lurched and tightened when he quietly laughed, eyes slanting upwards with his smile. He rarely showed that carefree face to anyone, supposedly having to look like a bad ass or whatever punks like him do to stay cool, and the thought that he did it because she was 'easy' to be around sent a rush of heat to her cheeks.

She was serious about the punch though. In love with the jerk or not.

"No, I'm going with you."

Her dumbfounded feeling must have showed on her face because he stared back with a hint of another grin on his lips. She closed her opened mouth before speaking in a politely confused voice that suggested that he was on something that was altering his perception of reality.

"Oh, do you live near me perhaps, and were made my walking partner? Because I'm fine really, so there's no need t-"

He interrupted with an unusual show of anger, his body making a sudden movement forward; Yukari barely stopped herself from taking a step back.

"No, I just don't think a girl should have to carry that much in weather like this. That's totally messed up, so I'll help you."

She must have made a small movement anyway because he instantly eased the tension out of his shoulders. Staring up at him with open wonder, Yukari tried not to go into an euphoric panic. Ohno, blonde punk who was so naïve about girls that it should be a legal handicap, was saying he wanted to walk her home?

Shaking her head as if to clear it she raised a hand to check her own brow. Yukari hoped he couldn't see how it trembled.

"I think I must have a're being unusually nice."

Peeking up to see his uncomfortable frown Yukari couldn't help but laugh. When he looked at her again she continued to giggle, a hand going up unconsciously to touch the necklace underneath her clothes. Two hearts, riding out the waves of time.

Hell, if he wanted too, she wasn't beyond taking the opportunity! Plus it made her cheeks glow even further at the fact that he had been thinking about her. Even if it was because of the injustice of the other students.

"Shut up. I just didn't like how they dumped it all on you."

This caused her to look at him sharply, trying to decipher his expression. The jerk's face was blank as he turned to the door. Why would it bother him so much?

"Let's go, it's getting worse."

Obediently following him out the door, Yukari froze as the onslaught of icy rain slammed against her. Blinking in an attempted to see through the sleet of water, she started with shock when a warm hand grabbed hers.


It was amazing how much rain could block from a person's vision, but it wasn't so surprising especially when it was coming down so hard and fast that it seemed more like a wall than simple water. Still, Yukari was sure that the whole world could see her burning cheeks as Ohno towed her along, shouting to be heard over the weather.

"This way you won't get lost, you always need someone to look after you."

Torn between annoyance at the jibe and the fluttering in her chest- in a brave moment that was probably caused by the lack of sight- Yukari shouted back in defiance.

"Well, I guess you'll just have to stick around then, jerk!"

The slick hand tightly holding hers as they ran through the streets jerked at this but he didn't response, simply pulled her towards the store.

It wasn't far, this in which she was vastly grateful, since he had decided that running through ankle deep mud puddles was the way to go to the supply store during what was obviously becoming a huge storm.

Yukari had a sinking suspicion that it was so they couldn't talk anymore.

Slipping and sliding, she decided she didn't care, turning her attention instead to not falling on her face or worse taking him down with her if she fell. The punk wouldn't hesitate to use it against her, or he might even get mad. Despite her resolve to not expect much from Ohno, Yukari still didn't want him to be upset with her.

So instead, she kept her eyes mostly closed against the searing rain and head down, letting his hand guide her.

It was amazing how long a short distance can seem when the circumstances weren't favorable, but eventually Yukari felt their run slow down until they were stopping in front of the common store the school used for supplies.

She was sure the unladylike word that came out of her mouth was dulled in the noise of the rain.

"What the hell!?"

In front of them, the usually neon "open" light was switched off, the windows darkened by the lack of fluorescent light. The son-of-gun had closed with the excuse of bad weather.

She should have guessed as much, it really was terrible out.

Feeling soggy and cold, Yukari straightened her back and closed her eyes, fighting the irrational urge to kick the window in and just take the stuff anyway.

"Well that takes care of that, come on."

Opening her eyes, she watched as the tall blonde vigorously shook himself, as if he was steeling for another mad dash and felt a hot jolt of pain in her chest. His usually spiky hair was hanging in limp sodden strands around his face, giving him an unusually younger look. She almost felt embarrassed to see him in such an abnormal state, but tried to take a mental snapshot anyway.

When his foggy eyes looked over questioning, no doubt at why she was just stupidly standing there and not moving, Yukari smiled awkwardly. A hand coming up to rub the exposed part of her neck, she probably didn't look any better; the bun had all but come down, leaving strands sticking her face.

"That's ok, you can go home Ohno, since I don't need help carrying anything. Thanks for the thought though, I'll just pick it up tomorrow before school."

Turning away before he had the chance to respond, she started to jog down the street. Well, more like sliding.

Maki was right; she did live quite a distance from the school, right on the borderline actually. She wanted to believe that she was leaving him there because she didn't want to trouble him with the distance, she was sure the trains would be overfull – making walking the best.

It was a lie though, she honestly wasn't that nice. If it had been Hirata or even Chiemi, she would have asked them to walk with her for at least part of the way.

She just didn't want to give him the chance of walking away first, silly really, but since it felt as if he was always rejecting her; doing this gave a little bit of comfort.

She was crossing the second street, when again a hand grabbed her arm from behind.


Trying to turn, Yukari's luck apparently ran into empty because her foot did slip, completely pulling her off balance this time. Instead of instinctively trying to push away her attacker, she was now clinging onto him.

Hell, if she was going down into that enormously large and probably deep puddle, then she was going to take whoever it was down with her.

The water was freezing, rain drops splattering mud onto the parts of her that wasn't sprawled in the muckiness. She was entirely ruined in wardrobe and spirit, but that wasn't what had her attention.

Once again, her eyes met multi-colored ones, which were surrounded by brown mud and were doing a fine job of glaring while the mouth cursed beneath them.

"Dammit! I'm soaked!"

Stunned, Yukari watched as he stood up, futilely brushing at his clothes as she sat there in a huge mud puddle like a drown rat. When he finally stopped scrounging in his pockets for his precious cancer-sticks, she spoke.

"Why the hell can't you just come up beside me and speak! Why do you always gotta grab me like a stalker!"

This was not happening; she was miserable, wet, and cold; all while the guy who usually treated her like a wallflower was standing in front of her, staring at her like she was a dirty maggot instead. Jumping up from her place in the water with a great splash, Yukari desperately tried to wring some of the grossness out of her skirt and coat before glaring up at him through her filthy hair; trying not to let her eyes fill.

He glared back.

"You can't expect me to just let you walk home in a storm! That monster friend of yours would kill me!"

This was the last straw, so it really was only because of what someone else would have wanted, well Yukari never wanted their help in her personal matters. Her own nosiness not included.

Stamping her foot in the puddle, she ignored the fresh droplets of mud on both of them while she fisted her hands and shouted at him.

"You're wrong! I never expect anything from you! Stupid Boy!"

Whirling around, purposefully making sure to kick up a good splash, she marched onward without a look back. A new kind of water was on her face now, warm and salty as it rolled from her eyes down her cold cheeks.

Slowing down as she furiously wiped at her eyes, she tried to get a hold of herself.

"Stupid girl, always getting her hopes up, stupid, stupid, stupid."

Taking a deep breath, she looked around to get her bearings. The storm, and it was a storm now, was really starting to rage. The rain wasn't cold, but an odd warm temperature that she knew meant thunder and lightning soon. There was no way she was going to be able to make it to her house before dark, if it wasn't dark already. It was so hard to tell with all the water.

The store had been in the opposite direction of the route she would have normally taken from to school to get home, so when the building of the school came back into view Yukari made the quick decision of going back in. Maybe she could use the phone to call her parents to tell them she was stuck, the school probably wouldn't mind.

Really, she just didn't want to walk anymore.

Shivering, she began to jog when she heard the splashing of feet coming from behind her. Not wanting to be caught unawares this time, he had made noise for her to hear. Not that it was very loud with the roar of thunder in the distance to distract her.

Not bothering to turn around, she kept her eyes trained on the building she had left only an hour ago as she spoke.

"What do you want now?"

It took him a minute to respond, as if he was weighing his words before speaking them. A wise choice considering she was still highly emotionally unstable and likely to throw a violent fit. Or worse, start crying in earnest.

"Why are you so pissed?"

The boy was denser than a fence post, she decided as they yanked open the entrance door together. But, she wavered with her anger, a small voice in the back of her head pointing out that he had ran after her three times.

Three is a charm, right?

Finally looking at him, his eyes darker than normal, Yukari dramatically began to wring her clothes out. Again.

"There was no point in even getting the supplies today! Thursday is two days away! It's their fault for not getting the stuff beforehand."

She continued as they began walking towards the classrooms, unable to stop now that he asked.

"Why does someone, every year, want to do a stupid café anyway? I am not dressing up; after all of this they can kiss my butt."

She threw a glare around as if there were other people besides them. Ohno looked faintly annoyed.

"Why don't you just tell them no?"

Walking over to where the lockers were, she searched for hers while deliberately buying time before answering.

"Because everyone was so excited, and I don't care about it, so why not let them have their fun."

Opening up the small locker, she began to rummage for the spare p.e. clothes she had stuffed in the far back. They smelt like moldy school locker, but it was better than staying in sopping wet clothes, at least they were dry.

Shutting the door, she turned to look at him – trying very hard not to think about him- something that's very difficult to accomplish when he was right in front of her.

"I'm going to change out of these; it's too bad out there to go home."

Not waiting for a response, Yukari turned and wetly marched off towards the restroom where she could privately change.

As she peeled off her sodden clothes, she tried to not be too torn between hoping he would get the hint and leave her alone and praying that he wouldn't leave her alone in an empty school. Tough girl to please she supposed but shrugged away any guilt. Being a contradiction was probably some side effect from liking someone like him.

Sighing with relief as she pulled on the dry, if not yet warm clothes, smelling tolerable if not friendly, she took her time using paper towels to try and soak some of the water from her hair.

It was times like these that she was glad so the shorter hair length, nothings grumps her out more than having long strands of hair soaking her shirt.

The face staring back at her from the sink mirror was pale against the inky wet lank of hair. Narrow eyes that were a shade lighter than the hair stared back, seeming like endless holes. Ugh, she looked like she was from a horror movie!

Well, it wasn't like she was ever 'cute' anyway. Tossing the wet paper towels away, she gingerly picked up her damp clothes and walked out of the bathroom.

He was waiting for her.

If he wasn't careful, she really would start to think he was stalking her, not that she would mind..much.

Not pausing, Yukari let him fall into step with her as they made their way back to the classroom. She noticed he had changed too, but really, who kept an entire change of casual clothes at school?

Now she just felt like the lochness monster and wanted nothing more than to go crawl back to her swamp.

"I guess we should call our parents so they don't worry."

When he didn't respond, just stepping in front to open the door for her, Yukari was officially freaked out. First, he insisted, insisted that he help her go get the supplies, then he wanted to walk her home, and now he was opening the door for her as if she was an actual girl! Yukari couldn't even count how many alarms were going off in her head now.

Unceremoniously dumping the wet pile of clothes by the door, she turned to stare him down with hands high up on her sweatpants hips.

"Okay mister, you are completely creeping me out. Why are you being so nice to me, and don't just say it is because Chiemi will beat you up, we both remember the haunting house fiasco."

It wasn't surprising that he met her eyes straight on, Ohno wasn't one for games. He was blunt, straightforward to cruelty, and was an honest guy who didn't take crap from no one. The tall bleach blonde in front of her was the direct result of reverse childhood bullying. He didn't get sad, he got even.

In some ways, they were alike like that.

Now though, his unique eyes penetrated hers with mysterious intentions, as if he was contemplating what to say to her and Yukari, well she was fighting to keep the blush from making its embarrassing way up to her face. People never looked at her like that, like they really saw her.

When he didn't answer, she motioned impatiently with a hand.

"Well? Who's paying you?"

This got a reaction, albeit a negative one, his thin eyebrows furrowed with irritation.

"No one, we aren't all like you, going around blackmailing people for petty cash."

She let the insult slide, it was mostly true anyway except the targets she locked onto were mostly Hirata, the ass-wipe deserved it. And was foolish enough to fall for it.

Rubbing her hair absently, leaving it sticking up, she waved away his comment and fixed a grim determined eye on him.

"Okay then, so what is it?"

Yukari had expected a lot of things. Like a snarky remark before him abruptly leaving in the wake of realizing just how out of personality he had been, him pulling out a pack of cigarettes to irritate her health conscious mind, or maybe even him just blowing her question off again.

That's what he would have usually done; Ohno and her had a good way of hanging out without actually seeming like they were hanging out. He found her easy to talk too and she found him frustrating and irresistible.

All of this was a good excuse for why she nearly jumped out of her skin when his hand brushed her cheek. A feather touch that led a heat trail as his fingertips lazily traced her cheekbone.

And she thought she had been creeped out before, now she was borderline hyperventilating.

Sometime between his movement and her racing heart, Yukari had forgotten to breathe. She didn't dare try to restart now, instead holding still like a mouse trapped in front of a cat. A surge of sore hope began to leech into her veins despite her cynical hold.

No, he was just going to build her up and then drop her like it was hot.

She must have been colder than she originally thought because his palm was like fire as it spread over the side of her face. Was he getting closer?

They both blinked when a thin high wheeze made its way from her mouth. Nice, Yukari, very attractive. Old windbag.


His hand dropped away, freeing her to regain her senses, and her temper. What the hell? Stepping back she crossed her arms over her chest in defense and glared.

"What was that for? What is your problem Ohno? You've been acting really weird and it's freaking me out."

Not like she hadn't been obvious. A wheeze? Come on!

His eyes looked greener now as they flickered away from her face, a puzzled expression crossing his face as he turned toward the windows. Oh sure, that was encouraging, see she knew he was going to go from hot to cold. Sighing with sudden exhaustion, Yukari walked away to go sit on the desk by the window farthest from him.

Stupid storm.

The silence lingered like static, raising the hairs on her arms as it lengthened from a few minutes to half an hour. Outside, the rain and wind roared on.

If circumstances were different, this could have been extremely romantic.

"You really suck you know?"

Her head whipped around so fast she felt a pop as she glared at him. He had moved closer sometime when she was sulking, standing a few feet from her. The classroom was growing darker with the storm, and colder.

She shivered.

"Not really, you're the one who sucks Ohno. You won't even answer my questions."

It might have been the slight surreal feeling to the situation, after all only something like a raging rain storm and inches of water outside could get them stuck alone like this with him being all nice and annoyingly mysterious. She felt bold though, or possibly Yukari had just reached her limit with him, past the point of no return and all that. Where answers were more important than torn feelings.

"You're the only girl I've ever know who gets freaked out when a guy starts being nice to her."

Rolling her eyes, Yukari idly scratched her head while shivering lightly. If they were really going to be stuck here for a while, she was going to have to go hunt for some blankets.

"Whatever, I'm not the type of girl that inspire niceness..or guys for that matter."

She could be honest with Ohno like that, since he was so oblivious to her attentions. She probably could have worn an "I love Ohno" t-shirt and he wouldn't have noticed. Or at least that's what she had thought, but the cheek thing hadn't been forgotten and was probably why she feeling edgy.

"Well, the first part I can agree with, there is nothing cute about you."

She half-heartedly kicked her leg out at him, not expecting his hand to shoot out to grab her ankle. With a squeal she braced herself when he tugged with a grin.

"Ohno, let go!"

They both paused at that, his eyes narrowing at her as she fought the laughter. Ohno, let go, what a ..rhyme. Nope, helpless laughter bubbled out as he threw away her leg in disgust.

Wiping her eyes, she waved her hand at him with a careless gesture.

"Oh come on, that was funny and you know it. No, wait! Don't go!"

She was off the desk and clutching the back of his shirt before Yukari even had time to think of what she was doing. He had stopped just by the door, and she had halted inches from his surprisingly broad back. When had he gotten so, big?

Her nose was practically in his shirt, and she could smell his spicy deodorant or something that was distinctively …punkish. Completely Ohno. Her hand tightened in his shirt before letting go. Backing up she blushed as he turned to look at her with a raised brow.

"Don't go, it's weird being here alone."

Scaredy cat was the truth, but Ohno was one of those rare birds that didn't make fun of people. Sure he picked on them, but never about serious fears or insecurities. He had had enough of that from growing up as a half-Irish half-Japanese kid.

Turning away, she started back towards the window when a hand slowly wrapped around her arm. Looking over her shoulder, she met his eyes with a question look of her own.

"You do inspire guys."

His frown deepened before she could get herself to speak.

"You're a frickin' ice cube."

And then there goes that little moment, as usual. She tried shrugging him off but his hand only slid down her arm, creating an uncomfortable sensation of awareness. Touchy tonight wasn't he.

"I can't help it; I fell into the small lake remember?"

Again she tried to remove herself from his hand, but instead was pulled around to fully face him as he stared down at her seriously. She kept her own scowl on her face as she met his. She would thoroughly freak out about how his hand wrapped over her own later when she was in the safe privacy of her bedroom.

"Why are you so difficult?"

Open-mouth, Yukari stared at him. Abruptly yanking her hand out of his, nice feeling be damned, she pointed her finger at him with venom.

"You, Ohno-the-oh-so-oblivious, dare speak to me about being difficult? Let me tell you about difficult. It would be a cigarette smoking, bleach hair, piercing covered punk who doesn't notice what's in front of him and acts all cool. He'll treat you like one of the boys and then suddenly because of other people's insensitivity he'll throw you a bone by being attentive and nice. Nice, isn't even in his vocabulary!"

His grin was sharp as he tried to reach for her hand, but Yukari wasn't done. Stepping back until there was a desk between them, she continued her rant; unable to stop the flood as the damn came crashing down. Silent suffering be dammed.

"He treats every girl with the same indifference, not aware of what he does to them when he decides to toss that occasional bone. Who learns to make jewelry for someone who doesn't even realize why she's doing it!? Who gets knocked out by her best friend, who dresses her up in a humiliating kimono, and then wakes up in some random school yard just because her friend was trying to get two people together?! Who was almost forced to kiss her best friend's boyfriend who happened to be the guy she likes best friend?! Difficult Ohno! You…BA!"

Well, cat's out of the bag, Yukari made a dash to get past him to the doors. She wasn't sure what hurt worse, him not stopping her or him not following her.

She decided not to care.

Running didn't last long; she was starving, tired, and freezing. Walking along the empty halls, she switched her direction towards the gym with the intention of seeing if the locker or closets there had a blanket. If she was lucky they would unlocked.

Her luck wasn't too good today so she didn't let her hopes get to high for the blanket.

What had he expected? Yukari knew she just did something that would no doubt ruin everything she had worked so hard for, which admittedly wasn't a lot, but still; she had basically confessed. In a really rude, bitchy way.

She didn't even notice the tears until the warm salty liquid slid onto her mouth. Shoot. Yukari didn't bother wiping them around, just sniffed loudly as she entered the large room. It was even colder in here and she shivered at the vast emptiness as her feet echoed on the hard floor.

"Whoa, super spooky."

The lights were off, adding to the horror movie atmosphere. Looking around, Yukari made a beeline for the nearest closet. Really, was stalling hypothermia worth this?

The door was locked.

So were the next three.

Giving in to her inner demon, Yukari let her frustration out on the fourth door, her fist stinging as she banged against the unyielding obstacle.


Her legs gave out, and she didn't fight as her body slid down the wood to the floor. Slumped and shivering with her head against the cold panel, she tried to take some deep breathes. She had screwed up big time, letting her anger out like that. Ohno would definitely know now- even he wasn't that dense- and there wasn't anything she could do to get him to forget. He didn't take bribes.

Her head hurt, her nose was stuffy, and her eyes were probably puffy from crying and for the past ten minutes her stomach had started gurgling violently in neglect.

Carelessly using the bottom of her shirt as a handkerchief, Yukari was trying to find the motivation to get off the freezing floor and head back to try and do some damage control when something settled around her shoulders.

Scratchy wool surrounded her, followed by a strong pair of arms. They tightened when she tried to move, and that was when she realized that he was sitting directly behind her – his arms wrapping around her to keep her from making any sudden movements. Was this romantic or was this a defensive position for him?

Her voice was scratchy when she spoke in a soft voice.

"Let go."

She hadn't really thought he would, he wasn't the kind of guy to run way from problems. Unfortunately for her.

"I'm sorry."

This shocked her to where she started trying to get a look at him from over her blanketed shoulder until she remembered what her face probably looked like. She might not be keen on vanity but well, she had her limits and snot clogged noses and puffy red eyes were it.

Instead she bent her head down to take in his arms keeping her still and the blanket in place. Had the bastard been hording blankets from her all this time!


Something hard, like his head, rested on her bowed back. An admission of emotion that was more to her than being in his arms, but only because she wasn't sure of his real intentions for the position of them, it was most definitely for his own protection.

"For taking so long to figure it out."

Her breathing hitched with panic, but to her credit Yukari's only physical response was having her hands clutch the blanket tighter against her in a weak attempt to hide herself. Part of her wanted to run, flee from embarrassment of rejection. Part of her wanted to slide over until her poor aching body was lying down, it felt sick and the last thing she needed was to vomit. Not that much would come up from an empty stomach, poor thing.

The latter won, and despite the fact that she was being clung to by an attractive, if in a rather bad news kind of way, young man who had pretty eyes, Yukari found her body moving to the side.


It didn't work out too well; Ohno had halted the movement as soon as he figured out where her destination was. Yukari was now half lying half sitting over his leg, his knee jabbing her ribs as she huddled shivering inside the blanket.


It was so cold, and she just wanted to sleep, terrible or great things happening notwithstanding. A hand made its way to her forehead, feeling pleasantly hot against her skin. The reminder made her shiver worse, vibrating their bodies as his arm kept a firm hold on her waist.

Ohno let out a hiss of breathe between his teeth before removing his hand.

"Only you would get like this during a time like this."

He was right, she would get like this during such an important time. Still, lying haphazardly in his lap was kind of nice. Twisting her neck, Yukari merely blinked at him. His eyes were dark pools as they stared down at her, no doubt taking in the mess that her appearance was in, but she couldn't find the heart to look away.

Past the point of no return indeed.

"Only you would cause me to get like this…I should sue you."

She smiled when he grimaced at her. He didn't argue though, and that was enough. Closing her eyes, Yukari took this moment for what it was and tried to memorize everything. There was a moment when he joggled her around until he was leaning up against the wall, her body now fully in his lap with head resting back on his torso. The blanket had disappeared briefly before returning to encase both of them.

She had, intelligently, remained inert the entire movement. Letting him do as he pleased so that she didn't do something to screw it up. Not that she was up to moving around a lot quite yet anyway.

"You're a pain in my ass Yukari."

His chin was resting on her temple, letting his warm breathe fan across her face, and Yukari couldn't find the strength to take offense. At least she was a pain in only his ass, and come on, how many ass pains could a guy have? She was pretty sure she was the only one.

"And you're completely unladylike.'

She frowned. Sometime during his little speech, his arms had snaked themselves around her waist, sending new flames up to her cheeks. Biting out, Yukari tried to keep herself together.

"Boy, you sure know how to make a girl feel pretty, and don't think about getting fresh punk. I'm not feeling well, not helpless."

A normal guy would have laughed at her wit and charm, but Ohno simply flung his arms away from her, taking the warm blanket with him. Leaving her exposed to the elements of the freezing gym. Shivering violently forgotten in the shock she turned to glare at him – meeting his bland expression.

"Cruel Ohno! Not nice at all!"

Then because she felt like the situation couldn't get any weirder, or worse for that matter, Yukari took her ice cold hands and placed it against his neck. Triumphantly smiling when his eyes widened with the contact.

It didn't last long though before Yukari found the tables turned on her again. Ohno drew his arms around her again, bringing the blanket to create a warmth cave. She had twisted her legs over one of his legs, bringing her closer to him so that she could put her hands on his neck, but was stopped when she tried to retreat.

Staring at him now, she let the warmth in her stomach grow. He wasn't kidding; no way would Ohno act like this for kicks and giggles. He wasn't that low.

Taking a shallow breathe, Yukari let her hands fall back to her lap as they continued to stare at each other. His face was so close, only inches away, and all trace of humor was gone from it.

"Well, you are a pretty big pain yourself."

He nodded before taking a deep breath and squaring his shoulders. The poor kid looked like he was going in for battle, and the thought cheered her up. So she wasn't the only one who was affected.

It helped her do what she did next, cutting off his sentence with a hand over his lips in a classic gesture. His eyes widened a fraction before melting to a heated half-lidded stare. She didn't know boys could look like that until now, and swallowed thickly.

"If you are willing to try this, then okay, but I'm..not a play toy or a piece to a collection. I'll really punch you if I find out I was a part of either."

When he didn't nod or make any other reaction, Yukari let her hand slip away in disappointment. She wouldn't take back what she said because she wouldn't let herself be used in such a degrading way, but still…rejection still hurt.

Then his lips were on hers, soft and brief, all she could do was to stare at his closed eye lids in unthinking astonishment before she felt him pull back to stare at her with a frown.

"A complete pain in the ass."

A grin made its way to her face. He sure talked gruff for a guy who had kissed her so gently. Funny how he could be rough when she needed it and nice when she least expected it. An annoying roller coaster ride of her emotions and his unpredictable actions.

Now that they were on the same page, if not the same line, it could be a kind of fun. Bringing a hand up to pat his cheek like any granny would do, Yukari let her grin melt into a cat-in-the-cream smile.

"Yes, but you don't really mind."

She almost missed the answering smirk before his face leaned forward to capture her lips again.





A/N: This was almost a multi-chap but I just couldn't thicken any kind of plot to make it work, so another one shot for my lovelies who crave Ohno/Yukari-ness. Fear not, for another few are in the works as we speak. Some are the same innocent tone as the others and one is decidedly wicked.

I apologize for any grammar mistakes.