"Because I love you." For the hundredth time Souji heard himself answer Naoto in his mind. He sighed as he stared at the sky above the shrine and wondered if Naoto's running off after he told her his feelings was a sign that he had caused irreparable damage to their relationship.

"Sometimes Souji you're an idiot." He scolded himself. "You finally fall for someone and she runs away from you." He chuckled softly as he shook his head; it was too late to do anything about it at the moment. He would have to apologize to Naoto if she would talk to him. He shoved his hands in his pockets and started home noting the overcast skies darkening almost as if mirroring the mood he found himself in.

"Welcome home big bro." Nanako's cheerful voice greeted Souji when he walked through the door. Despite his stormy mood he couldn't help but smile at the unconditional love in his cousin's voice.

"Hey Nanako." He said as he took a seat on the couch. He tilted his head back and sighed as his exhaustion caught up with him.

"Are you okay?" Nanako asked looking at him with a worried expression on her face.

"Yeah I just might have done something stupid today." He smiled at Nanako hoping to relieve her worries.

"Wanna talk about it?" She asked. Souji thought about it for a moment before deciding it mite be good to talk to someone, anyone about what was on his heart.

"I told a girl that I loved her and she ran away from me without saying anything." He admitted to his cousin.

"OH was it Rise-chan?" Nanako asked excitedly.

Despite himself Souji couldn't help but chuckle at this. "No it wasn't Rise-chan," he told her. "It was actually Naoto-kun." If Nanako's eyes got any wider they would've popped out of her head. She was quiet for a moment before she broke into a wide grin.

"Big bro you love Nao-chan?" she asked. She broke out into a high pitched squeal when he nodded." That's almost as cool as if it was Rise-chan."

For the second time Souji found himself smiling despite his mood. "Well it would be even cooler if she felt the same way but right now I don't know if she does"

Nanako looked at him before saying "All your friends love you big bro so Nao-chan must love you to." Souji looked at Nanako's cheerful face before smiling again he pulled his cousin into a hug whispering "thank you" to her.

Souji went to bed feeling a little better then he had when he first got home. He stared at the ceiling thinking to himself that he needed to talk to Naoto tomorrow and find out how she felt and if need be apologize to her.

The next day at lunch Souji was stopped in the hallway by Naoto. "Senpai are free after school there's something I need to discuss with you." She said to him with an unreadable expression on her face.

"I'm free." He managed to choke out.

"Then I'll see you later." Naoto told him before walking off.

Souji couldn't concentrate for the rest of school wondering what Naoto was going to tell him when they met. After what felt like an eternity school finally ended and Souji headed for the main gate. When he met Naoto at the gate she only motioned for him to follow her. She led Souji to the hill overlooking Inaba where a man in a suit was standing off to the side with his back to Souji and Naoto. Naoto walked up to the man and spoke to him quietly before turning around to face Souji as the man followed suit. Souji recognized him as the 'Phantom Thief'.

Naoto began speaking to him but between his own anxiety of what he wanted to say to her and the shock of seeing her standing by the man he thought was going to stab her yesterday all Souji heard was something about the man being a servant of some kind. The man walked of and Naoto began reading a clue the man had given her. Upon hearing the words "what you can't stand to do" and "in a place you enjoy" His eyes were immediately drawn to the nearby trash can. Naoto followed his gaze and she walked over and retrieved a notebook from underneath the trash can.

"Naoto we need to talk." Souji heard himself say, his voice sounded strained to his ears as if he had hands around his throat.

Naoto averted her gaze from her senpai before sighing and saying, "Agreed, yesterday you said something unbelievable to me. But I thought about what you said and my own reactions and I realized that," Naoto began blushing heavily at this point and her voice became even softer, "I love you to senpai." Souji could hardly believe his ears and he slowly reached out to his kohai and drew her into his arms. She didn't fight rather she let herself be drawn into his arms and snuggled up to his chest as his arms tightened around her.

"I love you."

This is my first attempt at anything even close to serious writing please review and let me know if you think I should countinue or give up