A/N: A Valentine's Day fic in July? Maybe my upcoming eleventh wedding anniversary is messing with my head and has me seeing hearts and flowers! Anyway, the semi-serious part of this fic (with the discussion of awareness of sexuality vis-a-vis chocolate-giving customs) was something that came to me in reference to my Ame no Murakumo ga Miteru series, but the problem is, that series is still nine months away from Valentine's Day in "story time"! So, instead, it gets inserted into this short, flirty, fluffy, completely AU fic.

~X X X~

"You owe me chocolates, Himemiya-san."

"Himemiya Chikane looked up in surprise from the documents she was poring over.

"And I'm not talking about a box, either. More like ten pounds' worth, or more."

Chikane blinked.

"Hanada-san, what are you talking about?"

Hanada Satomi pushed herself away from the doorjamb where she'd been leaning.

"Valentine's Day, kaichou, and the chocolate I'm not going to be getting this year because of you."

Hanada had been Chikane's mirror image throughout most of their school years; where the Himemiya heiress was the "princess" of the school, Hanada was the "prince." Chikane was elegant and feminine, while Hanada was tall, rangy, with close-cut hair, a face that was more handsome than beautiful, and indeed when inevitably she got to play the male leads in class plays could hardly be told from a boy.

Not surprisingly, both girls had been idolized by their classmates throughout junior high and high school. They weren't really rivals in any sense (although their fans sometimes were), being more like complementary parts.

At least until a couple of months ago.

~X X X~

"So, is that homemade love-love chocolate for Miya-sama?" Saotome Makoto asked her best friend, wiggling her eyebrows at the red foil bag in Kurusugawa Himeko's hand.

"Mako-chan, you know I can't cook," Himeko protested.

"Well, yeah, but I figured maybe that rock you're lugging around gave you inspiration."

Himeko glanced down at her engagement ring and blushed. She still wasn't used to any of it, the idea that her relationship with Chikane was not only no longer secret but positively official. She'd been so certain that she was going to be kicked out when her parents had returned early from their weekend trip to find the girls in an unmistakably compromising position. Her father had been furious and her mother distraught, which was nothing compared to how scary Chikane's grandparents and parents had been—the Himemiyas were a thousand-year-old family, after all, steeped not only in wealth but in tradition.

But, Himeko had found the courage to stand firm in the face of it all, and her refusal to back down had given Chikane the chance to turn on her charm and somehow by the end of it the lovers were officially engaged. The details of the wedding planning were still up in the air due to the legal questions (the current plan being for a ceremony followed by Himeko being adopted by Chikane's uncle so that she'd legally be part of the Himemiya family but still legally far enough apart to be able to properly wed if Japan finally allowed homosexual marriage), but it was something real and exciting all the same.

"I'd have liked to," she admitted. "But...I did try, two years ago, remember?"

Makoto thought for a second, then burst out laughing.

"Oh, yeah, I remember that one, all right. How long did it take you to get the chocolate out of the fan in the oven hood?"

"I didn't," Himeko sighed. "We had to buy a completely new one."

"Ouch. So you bought something for her instead? Well, edibles are always good to give the Girl Who Has Everything, since she has to eat every day and stuff. What is it?"

Himeko held open the bag and let Makoto peek inside.

"Damn, girl, are you sure about that one?"

"Chikane-chan likes raspberry-flavored dark chocolate," Himeko defended her choice.

"I was thinking more about the presentation."

~X X X~

"Hanada-san, how am I costing you chocolates?"

"Uh, hello, kaichou, you decided to get engaged to another girl? None of this schoolgirl-crush, Class S, romantic friendship stuff but we're-going-to-spend-our-lives-together-as-a-married-lesbian-couple."

Chikane smiled.

"Of course I did. I love Himeko very much."

"That is completely not the point."

"Personally, I think it's the entire point."

Hanada shrugged.

"Well, yes, as far as the engagement goes, but I'm concentrating on my lack of chocolate rather than your future happiness."

Chikane nodded.

"I'm trying to follow."

"Well, the problem is that Miya-sama is a lesbian. So the whole school is buzzing about the idea of two girls together. Serious, honest, no-holds-barred romance between women."

"And?"

"How many chocolates did you get last year?"

"Oh."

"Yeah, 'oh.' It's pretty ordinary, really, for girls who don't have a specific boy they like—even here, in a co-ed school—to give chocolates to other girls they admire, whether it's a case of pure idolization for a sempai or whatever. I bet when you and Kurusugawa-san were still keeping your relationship secret she used that so she could give you chocolate without it seeming unusual."

"She did," Chikane agreed. "Are you saying that this year it's different? Because Himeko and I are open in our relationship?"

"Yep. I know you're not much for listening to gossip, so I doubt you've heard, but it boils down to things like, 'I want to give chocolate to sempai, but I don't want her to think I'm like Kurusugawa-san!' Stuff like that. The girls who think you're some kind of pervert for being gay are the loudest, of course, but even the ones who support you are thinking twice. I've even heard some girls asking each other if dressing up their feelings of admiration like they were romantic might be demeaning to actual lesbian girls who are coming to terms with their sexuality. Let's face it, when one of the"—she grinned—"two most popular girls in school outs herself, it makes people start thinking about things they otherwise wouldn't."

"I see," Chikane said. She supposed that mixed reactions were only to be expected, ranging from outright bigotry through ignorance and curiosity to respect.

"So basically, thanks to the two of you, this year if a girl gives chocolate to another girl it's because she means it as a love confession, just like with a guy. Maybe more so, since there's no giri-choco for other females. So instead of getting a bag full of chocolates from all my fans—one of the few times, I may add, that I ever actually get anything out of them—"

"Please, Hanada-san, I know that you love playing to the crowd and being 'the prince' that the boys try to live up to."

Hanada chuckled.

"All right, that's true," she admitted. "But even so, instead of that I figure I'll get maybe two or three which I'll have to figure out how to refuse politely instead of keeping because I'm not going to play games with their feelings. Ergo, you owe me chocolate."

Chikane smiled at her.

"But Hanada-san, I can't give you chocolate. It's not appropriate for an engaged girl to be giving Valentine's Day chocolate to someone other than her fiancee."

"Oh, that's all right. You can wait until Monday to pay up," the vice president volleyed easily. Chikane's laughter cost her the opportunity for a quick counter as a knock on the door cut in.

"Come in!"

The door opened and Himeko peeked around the edge.

"Um...am I interrupting?"

"No, Hanada-san was just leaving. She seems to be suffering from a sugar deficiency this morning, so you can ignore her."

"Er, um..."

Hanada laughed.

"Don't think too much about it, Kurusugawa-san. Your fiancee's feeling sassy. Hey, Saotome-san, is that you back there?"

"Uh huh. What say we leave the lovebirds alone, fukukaichou?"

"Suits me."

"Oh, by the way, Himeko, if clothes are going to start coming off, lock the door first."

"Mako-chan!"

"Don't tell me you didn't think it. Bye, now!"

Hanada went out and closed the door behind her, leaving Chikane and Himeko alone. Himeko walked towards the desk, but Chikane got up and met her halfway.

"Happy Valentine's Day," Chikane said, slipping her arms around her love's waist, savoring the feel of the other girl's softness against her body. They kissed, a gentle brushing of lips, before she let Himeko step back.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Chikane-chan."

Himeko held out the red foil bag decorated with silver hearts. Chikane took it and eagerly looked inside. When she did, she felt a slow smile start to creep over her face.

"Oh, now I see what Saotome-san meant."

"Um, it's okay, isn't it?" Himeko asked nervously.

"Of course it is! Well...except for the part where you're giving it to me in the morning, at school, and I'm going to be thinking about it all day."

Himeko's blush went from rosy pink to cherry red.

"That's what I was hoping," she said in a very small voice.

"Minx!" Chikane kissed her again, warmly. "Still, you know, there is one problem with getting me body chocolate for Valentine's Day." Her imagination twitched as she thought of ways in which she'd apply it to Himeko's skin.

"What's that?"

"Even though it's my favorite flavor of chocolate, I'm always going to think the serving dish tastes better."

~X X X~

Japanese translations:

kaichou: president (in this case, student council president)

fukukaichou: vice president

sempai: senior or upperclassman

giri-choco: "obligation chocolate," given out of respect for social position rather than for romantic reasons