Tenma startled awake, unsure of where she was and desperate to find a source of warmth, as the temperature in the room had dropped considerably.

"Ah, jeeze, I hope we don't need a new boiler-thingy…" Tenma mumbled, stretching out her limbs, stiff from sleeping in one position all night. Rubbing her eyes with the back of her arm, Tenma tried to remember the events that led her to be sleeping in such a strange position.


Tenma froze, eyes widening, her breath caught in her throat, as Karasuma shifted beneath her, drawing an arm lazily across her shoulders, nudging her back towards his chest. Tenma went ramrod stiff, her face quickly heating up as memories came into focus. She swallowed repeatedly to stop herself from screaming out her joy as she finally remembered the full events of the night, and bit her cheek to make sure she was really awake.

Shyly glancing up through her lashes, Tenma studied the sleeping face of her not-so-secret love. He was beautiful in his sleep, his hair only slightly rustled, his lips parted a fraction. Karasuma muttered something unintelligible, brow furrowing, lips moving silently. His eyelashes fluttered once before opening to reveal dark pupils, another thing Tenma loved about him. Glancing down, Karasuma's normally stoic expression warmed, his eyes filling with an emotion Tenma had never seen before, and was hesitant to place.

"Sleep." Karasuma whispered, leaning forward and pressing his lips against her brow. Tenma nearly fainted again, as tingles swept through her body from her brow to her toes.

"Mhm!" Tenma replied, her smile large enough to split her face in two. Karasuma blinked once and then reclined back onto the chair, sighing faintly, his arms nudging Tenma closer. Her smile drooped as she hesitated, unsure if she could actually sleep so close to him, embarrassed at how small she was compared to him, and feeling all sorts of confusing emotions swirling through her.

"It's ok." Karasuma said, seeming to understand her turmoil and easily putting her at ease. Tenma smiled broadly once again as she carefully settled herself against Karasuma's chest, resting her head on his shoulder.

Karasuma woke up at 7:00 am sharp, as he always did, and immediately sat up, as he always did. However, something was different this morning.

Looking down, Karasuma remembered the previous night and carefully slipped one arm around Tenma's back and one under her legs, cradling her against him. Rising slowly as not to wake her, he walked to the couch and laid her down. Glaring at the couch as if daring it to disobey him, he walked into the kitchen and drew himself a glass of water, sitting down at the table.

I have many things to consider. He pondered at the implications of confessing, wondering what the next step would be. The couples in their class usually started dating after a confession was accepted. Karasuma sighed as he wondered what dating really was. Being close to the one you care for? Doing things for them? Ensuring they were happy? Karasuma smiled faintly at the thought and vowed to himself that Tenma would henceforth be cherished as much as he was able to.

"Um- …"

Karasuma's head jerked to the source of the sound, his expression relaxing when he realized it was only Tenma, looking adorable in her oversized pajamas, staring down at her toes, her hands behind her back.

"..morning…" She finished quietly, shuffling her feet.

"Good morning." Karasuma responded, rising to his feet and approaching her. Tenma blinked, taking a half step back, but then shook her head. As her expression settled on determination, she looked bravely up into Karasuma's face and searched him for any signs of regret or unhappiness.

Karasuma reached out, tucking a strand of Tenma's hair behind her ear and caressing her cheek with the backs of his fingers. Tenma blushed furiously once again,

"Um – so – last night – " She forced the words out, wanting to confirm her suspicions before letting her emotions loose.

Karasuma turned to the side, glancing out the window stoically.

"I meant it all." He whispered.

"Me too." Tenma gulped, wanting to embrace her crush but unsure of the new bounds of their relationship. She cautiously approached him like a skittish animal, willing to accept his refusal of her advance at any time. Reaching up, she tugged on his lapels, her bangs covering her eyes.

"May I hug -" Tenma started, before she was wrapped in a tight embrace, Karasuma's face burrowed into her neck. She was beginning to really love the feeling of him pressed against her, his lean body so different from her own. She closed her eyes and reveled in his strength, his warmth and exotic scent, wanting the moment to never end.

"Always." Karasuma whispered, before slowly releasing her. Tenma nodded, embarrassed again at the strength of the love coursing through her. She side stepped past him, heading for the door and somewhere she could start to feel remotely normal, when his hand caught hers, their fingers tangling as he gently pulled her back.

Tenma bit her lip, clutching the fabric of her overly large shirt with her other hand. She closed her eyes as Karasuma leaned in, her heart feeling like it was about to explode.

She felt his breath against her cheek, warm and caressing, then soft lips pressed against the tip of her nose and retreated, leaving Tenma somewhat frustrated. She wrinkled her face up at him and was about to make a retort when –

"Tenma! Yakumo! We're home!"

Tenma's head whipped around as her mother and father walked in through the front door, large bags held in both their hands.

"Who –" They both started, dropping the bags heavily on the floor.

Tenma looked from her parents to Karasuma and back again, before sighing, drooping her shoulders and commenting wearily,

"It's a long story…"