The clock was being stubborn again. Tenma Tsukamoto glared at it, causing the bright red display to flicker momentarily in nervousness. Throwing back her head, Tenma closed her eyes and tried once again to relax.
Imagine something relaxing… Karasuma at the beach with me. Karasuma in class looking cool as usual… Karasuma in a bathing suit…
Tenma tentatively opened one eye and peered at the clock.
Once again subject to the full force of the boisterous student's glare, the clock shuddered; as much as a clock could shudder. When the intimidating gaze of The Master finally left its form, the clock relaxed only slightly.
Tenma scowled and shook her head, raising her petite body from the uncomfortable depths of their living room couch. Sitting on the only remaining cushion not plagued by loose springs, Tenma curled into a ball and wished for the thousandth time that she had agreed when Yakumo suggested replacing the aging piece of furniture.
"Nothing I can do. Little sis deserves this." Tenma nodded to herself and recalled the events earlier in the day…
"But sis… Where will you sleep?" Yakumo said, wringing her hands with apprehension.
"Oh don't you worry about me Yakumo!" Tenma said happily, "I can sleep on the couch! You enjoy your sleepover with your friends okay?" She beamed at her younger sister, proud that Yakumo had finally worked up enough courage to invite her classmates over for a sleepover. Normally a social butterfly, Tenma had decreed in her best Royal Voice that this night was for Yakumo and her friends alone. With both bedrooms occupied by giggling first year students, the elder sister had volunteered to take the couch in the living room.
"If… if that's alright…" Yakumo hesitated. She knew her sister was just being nice because she wanted her to make friends on her own. She smiled as words of encouragement floated into existence in the air above Tenma's head.
Yakumo sighed in defeat and went to gather blankets and sheets. As she opened the linen closet, an idea suddenly popped into her head.
Peering over her shoulder to see her sister was otherwise occupied; Yakumo snuck into her bedroom and picked up the phone.
"Sis will be so happy … she deserves this" Yakumo smiled to herself and began dialing the Karasuma household. If she had been asked, the shy girl would not have been able to give a good excuse as to how she knew this particular phone number. In truth, she had spotted it weeks ago when gathering permission forms for a school trip. Ever the dutiful sister, Yakumo had shamelessly memorized the digits in the hopes of using them in a situation just like this.
Miss Tsukamoto… let me hold you. I need you, Miss Tsukamoto.
Tenma rolled onto her side and squealed, hugging herself as she fantasized about her crush.
"I am here Miss Tsukamoto."
I can even hear his voice!
"Oh…Yes, hold me Karasuma-kun…"
Oh Karasuma I love you so much!
Suddenly the couch dipped and Tenma felt warmth surrounding her, holding her gently as if she was made of the finest china. Eyes shooting open, she froze as she realized Karasuma cradling her in his arms.
"This must be a dream" She sadly, relaxing into his chest.
"Sleep." Karasuma muttered, slowing his rapid heartbeat to match hers. Not being one for words, the quiet boy decided this was an ideal opportunity to convey his feelings through actions. He had always felt a distain for words – so transient and ineffectual. Verbal communication lead inevitably to misunderstanding. Karasuma smiled down at the girl nestled against his body and reached out his hand to smooth her bangs from her face.
Oh I love this dream already! Tenma smiled and decided to see how far she could take this. Her dreams were rarely this realistic, after all.
"Karasuma…" She whispered, hoping it would not shatter the moment.
"Yes, Miss Tsukamoto?" Karasuma replied.
Tenma swallowed nervously and peered up into the eyes of her crush, coyly worrying her bottom lip between her teeth.
Karasuma's heart skipped a beat.
"It's really cold…"
Tenma shivered and Karasuma settled his hand against the base of her spine, effectively tucking her against his chest.
"Yes." He blinked, and noticed a pink polar fleece blanket draped across the back of the couch. Karasuma reached up to grab it; in the process pressing Tenma tightly against his chest… she nearly swooned in pleasure.
He pulled the blanket down and over them, sliding the edges into the sides of the cushions.
"That's better." Tenma said, and cuddled up next to the warm expanse of boy lying next to her. The heavy thump…thump…thump of his heart soothed her into drowsiness, a slightly spicy scent that could only come from him engulfing her senses.
I hope I never wake up from this dream! She thought, eyelids drooping dangerously.
Karasuma stealthily slid his palm underneath Tenma's pajama top and stroked the soft skin of her back. She shivered lightly as goose bumps puckered everywhere his hand passed.
A corner of his mouth tilting upwards, Karasuma rested his chin on Tenma's head and sighed deeply.
"Thank you for inviting me-" Karasuma began.
Tenma opened her eyes and frowned.
This is a strange dream, she thought
"-For a sleep over with you, Miss Tsukamoto" Karasuma finished.
Tenma froze, reality crashing down on her like ocean waves.
Real. He's real. Not a dream. Fragmented thoughts filled her head as all the blood in her body rushed to her cheeks.
Karasuma noticed her sudden stiffness and tilted her head upwards to peer into her face. He nearly broke his stoic mask with mirth at what he saw.
"Karasuma?" Tenma said, her voice catching and finishing with a tight squeak.
"Yes?" The boy in question said, in his usual monotone voice.
She abruptly fainted.
"Sleepover?" Karasuma repeated, furrowing his brow. He had not heard of any such event taking place this weekend. And he was quite observant in class.
"Yeah… um… its last minute but… Tenma would really like it… I think a lot of people… um… cancelled" Yakumo sounded quite flustered.
"Miss Tsukamoto wanted me to come?" Karasuma's eyes flashed.
"Ah… yeah. She was too …embarrassed to call herself… so… um… I called" She finished lamely.
"…I will come." Karasuma said, looking at the clock on his wall, "…I will be late"
Karasuma hung up the phone and slowly curled his hand into a fist.
"A rare chance"