A/N: I do not own La Corda. If I did... I still won't though... So, I should stop dreaming.. *sigh*

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Chapter 3: The Heart that stopped beating

PART 2

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"Yes?" Kahoko faces a man with silky mahogany hair, so like Len's haircut.

From afar, Yukito is watching Kahoko with the man, a sneer etched in his handsome face as his left hand dangled over his company's shoulder's.

"I think you left this.." Hiriko looks down at Kahoko's figure, his startlingly midnight blue eyes gazing at her with intensity.

"Thanks, Le Bouf - san.." bowing low to express her gratitude, Kahoko wondered how in the world Hiriko managed to know her address.

Coughing suddenly, Hiriko looked at the Kahoko in a matter-of-fact way, "I found out from Nami.."

"Oh!" Kahoko's eyes rounded with understanding.

"I should be going now.." Hiriko closed his eyes tiredly for a second before mumbling quietly so that only Kahoko would catch what he's saying, "and besides, your brother seemed less than pleased with my presence.."

Looking at Yukito suddenly, he turned abruptly to his company, feeling the small bones in his neck creak.

"No, you must be mistaken.." Kahoko happily chirps on.

"If you say so.." Hiriko shakes his beautiful head like a dog.

"Bye then.." he opens the door, not waiting for Kahoko to do so and walks down the gate.

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Barely breathing properly as he walked and walked further away from Kahoko's house, Hiriko let out a sigh of relief as soon as he reached the next stoplight.

He looked back, making sure nobody was following him.

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"So, Kahoko, where to next?" Aoi happily pulls Kahoko by the hand as they walked along the brick path filled with cherry blossom petals. A couple of teenager's casting angry glares at the unsuspecting Kahoko.

"Hmm..." Kahoko looks left and right.

"We're in Kishine Park [1].." Kahoko looks down at the map in her left hand, tracing a path with her finger.

"Why don't we go to the Cosmo Clock 21 [2]?" Aoi pulls the map from Kahoko's hands. Paces beyond them, the girls try to catch Aoi's eye.

"But, that's the opposite way.." Kahoko frowns.

"Its okay! I promised you that we'll relax, remember?" Aoi gives Kahoko one of his one-in-a-million smile as he pleads his case. One of the girls from the distance faints with envy at the unaffected Kahoko.

"hm.. Okay.." Kahoko shrugs in answers.

"Ferris wheel, here we come!" Aoi shouts as he pulls Kahoko's hands. This time, the girls cry with outrage.

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A/N: yes, here I am again... Kishine Park and Cosmo clock 21 does exist.. the website I posted on my profile is not Yamashita Park (so sorry for the awful mistake) and is indeed Kishine Park...


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"Where is she?" Yukito glanced at his watch repeatedly, alternating it with the door.

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"WOW!" Kahoko gasped in delight as she watched the bright neon lights, making the entire area light up in fusions of color, making her eye water.

"Isn't it pretty?" Aoi whispered in her ear as he watched her clap in delight, very much like a kid.

"Yes! I love it! I'm so glad you brought me here!" Kahoko smiled dazzlingly at Aoi, still watching the light display as they walked out of the Cosmo Clock 21's area.

"We could do this again some other time.." Aoi playfully suggested, but wanted with all of his heart for Kahoko to say 'yes'.

"Of course! I love hanging out with you Kaji - kun! You're such a wonderful friend!" Kahoko nodded happily back at him.

Not noticing the sudden wry smile painted in his lips, Kahoko walked on.

A friend, I ask you?

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"Where the heck are you!" Yukito snapped, sending a bottle of Pepsi flying through the window.

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"Thanks for today, Kaji - kun.." Kahoko shyly looked down, feeling the apples of her cheek heat up.

"Kaho-... I mean.. Hino - san.." Aoi cleared his throat, taking a step closer towards Kahoko as they stood at her front porch.

"Ye-yes?" Kahoko's blush instantly flared, turning crimson.

"I thought about what you said.." takes another step to her.

"About?" steps back.

"Us.." another step forward.

"What about us?" steps back.

"Being friends.." takes a half-measured step forward, looking down at Kahoko's now bewildered face.

"Yes, we are friends.." Kahoko now takes a cautious step back, but her feet hits the hard-paneled door, making her gulp.

"Uhmm.. What about it again?" trying to sound composed and calm, Kahoko looks at Aoi's nose instead, just to be able to avoid the heated stare she's receiving from the 'Prince' himself.

Placing his face inches from Kahoko's, Aoi's sensual lips formed a seductive smile, forming a word Kahoko barely understood.

Click

Kahoko felt everything turn into slow motion.

She felt her feet give way as she stared at Aoi's closed eyes coming closer to her's.

She felt surprised as she watched Aoi's eyelashes up close, each and every one flecked with gold at the very tip before darkness swallowed her.

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Kahoko stretched luxuriously as the warm sun tickled her ivory skin, making smile widely at its warmth.

Rubbing her eyes childishly, Kahoko smiled blissfully at the wonderful sensation of waking up to the glorious sun god's rays, but stopped suddenly at the raised voices echoing up to her room.

"What's wrong with that?" Kahoko could hear a male voice ring out.

Yukito?

"You haven't fully grasped the situation!" this time a female voice shot back tiredly.

Mom?

"I have!" opening her door a crack, she heard the words now clearly.

"You don't! Is this how we raised you? Forget about what happened! Its not for you to do something as huge mistake like that one!"

"We're of age!"

"No! She's too young and I absolutely forbid you to do it!"

"I don't give a damn!"

*Slap*

Kahoko stifled a gasp as she heard her mother's sudden sob.

"Is this how I made you, Yukito! Did I actually raise a monster!"

"-"

"I want you to tell all this to your father when he gets home!"

Kahoko heard a pair of feet shuffle towards the kitchen, leaving complete silence.

Hurriedly, Kahoko closed the door gently, slipping down the floor.

What have you done, Yuki? tears silently sliding down her cheeks.

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"Tell me? Why did you take Kahoko's address from my desk again?" Nami hissed at Hiriko as they walked towards school, making sure nobody was hearing in on their conversation since dozens of girls were tailing them.

"I didn't!" Hiriko hissed back, unruffled.

"Yeah, like I'll buy that!" Nami frowned.

"She's already your classmate, for goodness sake! Can't you have asked her yourself!" she exasperatedly looked at him.

"I have my reason!"

"-"

"Say, do you know where she hangs out?"

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"I'm truly sorry, Kaji - kun!" Kahoko bowed low as they came face-to-face before classes, careful to hide her pained expression after what she heard yesterday.

"No problem, Kaho - chan.." giving her one of his dazzling smiles, making her blush furiously.

"I-I.." Kahoko stuttered as Aoi stepped closer, making her remember vividly what happened the other day, driving away her worry.

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"I thought about what you said.." takes another step to her.

"About?" steps back.

"Us.." another step forward.

"What about us?" steps back.

"Being friends.." takes a half-measured step forward, looking down at Kahoko's now bewildered face.

"Yes, we are friends.." Kahoko now takes a cautious step back, but her feet hits the hard-paneled door, making her gulp.

"Uhmm.. What about it again?" trying to sound composed and calm, Kahoko looks at Aoi's nose instead, just to be able to avoid the heated stare she's receiving from the 'Prince' himself.

Placing his face inches from Kahoko's, Aoi's sensual lips formed a seductive smile, forming a word Kahoko barely understood.

Click

Kahoko felt everything turn into slow motion.

She felt her feet give way as she stared at Aoi's closed eyes coming closer to her's.

She felt surprised as she watched Aoi's eyelashes up close, each and every one flecked with gold at the very tip before darkness swallowed her.

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"I'm really sorry.. I apologize.." Aoi's voice woke Kahoko.

"What happened?" raising herself up into a sitting position, Kahoko rubbed her painful backside.

"Mister Kaji here decided to plant a kiss on you.." Yukito's voice sounded clipped and tensed, "If i hadn't opened the door, he would've done it!"

"My apologies.." Aoi looked away, blushing, barely denying what Yukito stated.

"You opened the door?" Kahoko turned to her brother, frowning.

"Yeah.. uh.. that's why you're in the floor.." massaging his temples, Yukito gave her one of his weary smiles.

"Oh!"

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"Is your brother still mad at me?" Yukito scratched his head embarrassedly.

"He hasn't spoken about it..yet.." Kahoko nodded thoughtfully, knowing full well why her brother hadn't brought up the topic yesterday.

"Say, are you oka-"

"Class, settle down!" came a voice from the doorway, their History teacher walked in clutching papers, which by the looks of it, were reviewers.

"Today, we'll be preparing for your upcoming exams before you reach your junior year.."

Later.. Aoi mouthed to Kahoko who nodded blankly back.

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"Hino - chan!" Ryoutaro hailed her down as soon as Kahoko stepped out of their room after their Math class.

"Tsuchiura - kun!" smiling in return, Kahoko walked towards him with Aoi behind her.

"Hey!" Ryoutaro squeezed a constipated smile at Aoi, who also did the same behind Kahoko's back.

"Want to eat lunch with us?" Ryoutaro pointed behind him where Nami and Kazuki is standing.

"Nami!" came a male voice behind Aoi, making him jump in surprise.

"And who are YOU?" Ryoutaro swept his verdant hair with his long muscular hand.

"Her cousin." he pointed at Nami's stern face.

"And her friend/classmate and his classmate." he now pointed at Kahoko and Aoi.

Shrugging in answer as he verified the truth from Kahoko, Nami and Aoi's face, Ryoutaro motioned for him to follow them.

"Say, have you heard there's a visitor coming?" Nami lost all sterness at the new topic.

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"Obaa-sama.. You called for me?" Azuma kneeled respectfully in front of his stern grandmother, carefully rearranging his face into a respectful and unmoved one.

"Yes, I did." his grandmother answered in her usual tone.

Waiting for her to continue, Azuma looked at the bridge of her nose to distract himself as she carefully arranged a bunch of flowers.

"I want you to do something important.." his grandmother looked sternly down at her youngest grandson's handsome face.

"Whatever it is, I will do it." Azuma bowed once more respectfully.

Especially since you dragged me in such a hurry out of my lunch break for this! It must be pretty important for YOU!

"I want you to perform at your very best in your annual theater festival. I heard you will be a part of it."

As if you didn't know it full well! You of all people!

"Of course, Obaa-sama! I will do my best if that is your wish." Azuma smiled respectfully.

"That is not only my wish." his grandmother looked at Azuma in a very hard manner.

"I want you to do something more important than that..."

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"WRONG AGAIN! I KEEP TELLING YOU THAT I WANT IT PRECISELY THE WAY I ASKED YOU TO!" the director presiding over them for almost a month and-a-half now, Mr. Kuraido Akihiko, shrieked angrily at Kahoko, pointing his finger yet again.

"WE'VE ONLY GOT 2 WEEKS LEFT AND YOU DARE TO MAKE A MISTAKE NOW!" he jumped up and down in frustration.

"Gomen-" Kahoko bowed low, hiding her face about to burst into tears. She felt herself burn with guilt. Her thoughts have been a jumble lately. Her brother and mother started a game of "avoid-me-at-all-cost" which made her guilty.

Then Yukito started picking her up, creating another chaos when he collided with Aoi once more.

And to top it off, she's been slacking off in her classes.

"BREAK-TIME!" a familiar male voice called over from the darkness behind their director.

"KIRA! YOU AGAIN!" their director rounded up on him, eyes bulging in anger.

Pointing a hasty finger towards the exit, Kira signaled for every one of them to start leaving.

"Get a grip, Ouji - sama!" Kahoko heard Kira sighed exasperatedly at their director before she closed the door.

"They're doing fine!"

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"Wow! That was REALLY scary!" Kazuki wiped a sweat from his forehead as they walked towards the bright afternoon.

"Tell me about it!" Ryoutaro nodded in agreement.

"Only Mr. Ice Cube here managed to perfect every scene!"

"Its not my fault you perform at a less satisfactory level!" Len huffed.

"Yeah, its not our fault Mr. Ice Cube here with the Artic snow caps literally dripping from his hair has a role suited to his personality!" Ryoutaro shot back, earning himself one of Len's famous icy glares.

With everyone laughing, Len bared his fangs at him.

"I can't blame you if-"

"Stop it!" Kahoko spoke up wearily, everyone falling silent.

"I'm sorry I had to drag you all with my incompetency. Please excuse me!" turning around to hide the tears about to burst, Kahoko ran all the way back into the music building, leaving everyone of them dumbfounded.

"Nice going, Tsukimori!" Ryoutaro muttered under his breath.

"Kaho - chan.." Nami whispered strickened.

"Kaho - senpai.." Fuyummi whispered.

"Kaho - chan.." Kazuki looked at her disappearing figure.

"I'll follow her.." Azuma volunteered suddenly, making Ryoutaro's brows arc in suspicion.

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Reaching the rooftop, Kahoko breathed in and out and walked towards one of the seats.

"Why can't I just get that scene right!" Kahoko dropped the script she's holding beside her, wiping away the tears that graced her eyes.

Looking hopelessly up at the heaven's, as if asking for some help, Kahoko closed her eyes.

"Maybe I should do my best!" Kahoko mumbled to herself, eyes still closed.

"Yeah! That's right! There's no point mulling over stuff like that when you know you can improve!" she nodded in agreement to her statement.

"I should practice even harder! Like the way I practiced with my violin!" this time, she opened her eyes and blinked once and twice before recognition came to her.

"AAHHH!" toppling backward, made a mad grab for support, only to come into contact with the person lapel.

Clutching Kahoko in the waist before she fell, he was sorely reminded by the way he had treated her in the same occasion previously. Thankful that it was pitch black, making face recognition impossible.

Now, as he held Kahoko in his arms, he can clearly see the red speck tinting her golden eyes.

The soft pink lips opened rather invitingly in front of him.

He can even smell the faint sweet strawberry scent mingling with the honey scent of the afternoon breeze.

"My apologies.. I surprised you.." Hiriko abruptly snapped into his senses as he righted Kahoko's position.

"I should be the one apologizing.. I was such a klutz.." Kahoko blushed at their close contact, her nose still smelling the woodsy scent of his cologne and the minty smell of his shampoo.

"Its okay.. I heard you rambling a while back.." Hiriko sat down beside her.

"Yeah.. Well.. I'm having a hard time doing this scene in our annual theater festival.." Kahoko shook the script under his eyes, trying to rid herself of Hiriko's impression on her.

Looking down at the script intently, Hiriko nodded a few times and finally smiled as he faced Kahoko.

"This is easy.."

"Huh?" Kahoko looked dumbfounded.

"Did I forgot to mention that I used to be part of the Complicite [3]?"

"Compli-what?" Kahoko shook her head.

"Complicite or Théâtre de Complicité in French.. It is a British experimental theater company in London.. I became a part of them as one of their young actors during my summer years.. You can say its been a lot of help.." Hiriko gave Kahoko one of his knock-out smiles, secretly hoping for something.

"Really?" Kahoko smiled back, unaware of Hiriko's intention.

Frowning slightly at Kahoko's all-too innocent response, Hiriko shook his head mentally before sighing.

"So, maybe I can help you out?"

"That would be great!" Kahoko leaped with joy before stopping abruptly.

"But I didn't bring my violin with me.." she bit her lower lip.

"Its okay.. We can act without it.."

"Say, which part are you having a hard time in?" Hiriko gave the paper back to Kahoko.

Shuffling the script to the right page, Kahoko handed it back to Hiriko before making a face.

"I can't seem to get the right 'emotion' for this one, Director Akihiko said.."

"Hmm..." studying the script, Hiriko walked over to Kahoko suddenly and held her in in his thumb and forefinger and rubbed her chin gently.

"What are you doing?" Kahoko jumped back in shock.

Sighing, Hiriko shook the script in her face.

"If you have the right elements, you would be able to relate to the story.."

"And as far as I can see, the ONLY way I can make you act the way your dear director wants you to act is by producing something close to what the character in the story is going through.." he explained at the round-eyed Kahoko.

"Oh!" was all Kahoko can say, "okay.."

"Right.. So.. hmm.." Hiriko once more caught Kahoko's chin in his finger, raising her face to look at him.

"Can't you see I still love you? That I will always love you?" Hiriko softly whispers as he lowers his lips to Kahoko's ears.

Instantly shivering at those words, despite knowing that its all part of the script, Kahoko plants her hands on Hiriko's chest.

"I-" Kahoko looks away.

"I.."

"You better say it!" Hiriko muses, gazing as Kahoko turn shades deeper than red as she locked gazes with him.

"Its so complicated.." Kahoko mumbles to him, tearing her eyes away from him.

"Why? Don't you see what's in front of you?" he can't help but avoid the pleading in his voice.

"You left me for such a long time.. And now you're here, its not making my decision any easier..." Kahoko closed her eyes, praying that she got everything in that particular scene right. This was crucial for the play.

Opening her eyes finally, she saw Hiriko's midnight blue eyes focusing intensely on her, making her face heat up.

"Le Bouf - kun.." Kahoko took a step back, only to come into contact with the rooftop railing.

"I-"

"Cat got your tongue?" Hiriko teased as he inhaled Kahoko's feminine smell, making him long even for a day with her.

"I-"

*BANG!*

Turning their gazes, Kahoko and Hiriko looked guiltily at the sudden bang from the door of the rooftop.

"There you are my darling, Hino - san.." Azuma smiled serenely at the pair, making Kahoko shiver in fear.

"We've been looking everywhere for you..."

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"Where have you been? We were worried!" Mori wagged a finger at Kahoko and Azuma as Kazuki gave whoops of joy at their return.

"My apologies.." Azuma smiled apologetically at his kouhai, making her blush in the process, at the same time giving Kahoko a discreet warning look.

"Sorry." Kahoko did not bother to look up, sure that the blush tainting her cheeks would give her away.

"What took you so long anyways?" Ryoutaro looked suspiciously from Kahoko to Azuma.

"Never mind that.. Let's just return to the auditorium, shall we? Break's almost over.." Azuma tactfully steered the question away as one by one, they picked up their stuff and mumbled words of longing for a longer lunch break.

"What really happened, Hino - san?" Ryoutaro instantly walked beside her as soon as she picked up her things.

"Az- Yunoki - senpai already said it.. Nothing.." Kahoko hurriedly walked away, picking her way towards Mori and Nami.

Watching as Kahoko pretended to be unperturbed by his question, Ryoutaro followed suit, unaware of the dark look Azuma was giving him.

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BEFORE

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Azuma hurriedly followed Kahoko as she ran amongst the throng of Music Students littering the Music Building.

(A/N: So redundant, isn't it? Music Student and THEN Music Building.. Don't know how I came up with such crap like that! Hahaha! Continue!)

He watched as her flaming red hair waded its way across the hallways packed with boys and girls in white uniform, making her stand out in her Gen-Ed one's.

"Yunoki - senpai!"

"Good afternoon, Yunoki - senpai!"

"Pleased to see you today, Yunoki - senpai!"

"Great job in the practical demo a while ago, Yunoki - senpai!"

Azuma gave one of his dazzling and blinding smiles as he greeted students who personally came up to him as he hurriedly followed Kahoko.

Curses! Azuma wanted to freeze a particular girl as she bowed low in front of him in respect, but decided against it when she recognized it as one of the girls Kazuki was acquainted with in the Orchestra Club, so instead gave him a serened smile.

Speeding past that girl and nearly running across the students milling about the hallway, Azuma saw the fiery red hair turn in a corner he knew led to the rooftop.

Rushing even more, he followed her noisy steps as she hurriedly ran up the stairs, albeit quietly and watched her hair dance as she ran up the 3rd floor staircase while he was just in the 1st.

"I want you to do something more important than that..." he can still hear the ringing tones of his grandmother during their conversation days ago.

"Whatever you wish, I shall do it, Obaa - sama.." he watched as Kahoko's figure ran past the huge number sign "4" and he almost catching up as he sped past "3".

"I have one more equally important matter I wish for you to accomplish..." he saw Kahoko push open the door of the rooftop.

"..that would further glorify the Yunoki company." he was almost there, just a 1 more staircase to go.

"A very influential and rich businessman is here to hand over his entire property to his only granddaughter.." he was almost there now, just a half more.

"..and the person who marries his granddaughter would completely be part of the power, wealth and influence he is a part of.." he can now reach the door.

It felt like slow-motion as the door slowly closed in on his face.

"..I am now.." he can see Hiriko's figure holding Kahoko's feminine body in his arms.

"..willing.." he watched as Hiriko's hands still held her waist.

"..that you.." he can almost see the rooftop door closing in on his face as Hiriko righted Kahoko's position. He stood stock still for what seemed like forever as the door banged close to his face.

"..do..." he can hear voices just beyond the metal door.

"Can't you see I still love you? That I will always love you?" Hiriko's voice came out loud and clear.

"..what..."

"I-" he can hear Kahoko stutter.

"..you.."

"I.."

"..wish.."

"Its so complicated.."

"..to.."

"Why? Don't you see what's in front of you?"

"..do."

"You left me for such a long time.. And now you're here, its not making my decision any easier..."

"And that is.."

"Le Bouf - kun.."

"..to.."

"I-"

"..court.."

"Cat got your tongue?"

"..that.."

"I-"

*BANG!*

"There you are my darling, Hino - san.."

"..girl.."

"We've been looking everywhere for you..."

"...named.."

"You will only be mine, my darling.." Azuma whispered in Kahoko's ears as they were out of earshot of Hiriko's frowning face.

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END

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Kahoko crawled to her bed as soon she arrived home.

Another recklessly tiring day! was all she can think to herself before before she plunged unto a state of deep sleep.

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"Why good morning, my darling Kahoko.." a voice whispered softly behind Kahoko just as she entered the white gates of Seiso.

Instantly feeling the hairs on her neck prickle with unwanted eeriness, she closed her eyes for 3 seconds, hoping she was still in bed, daydreaming and this hideous person (okay, okay.. not really hideous! Just scary!) would vanish into thin-air.

"I am real, you know.." he spoke once more, every drop of his words felt like the most lethal poison in Kahoko's nervous system.

"I would appreciate it if you would open that irritating eyes of your's and look at me when I'm talking!" this time, sounding more impatient to her ears, she opened her eyes and met a pair of lavender one's staring back at her with utmost mocking.

"Good morning, Yunoki - senpai!" Kahoko dropped sarcastically as students with white uniform passed the two of them, looking enviously at her, and some even threw her disgusted looks.

Tolerate it! Tolerate it! Kahoko chanted in her head as she walked on with Azuma.

"It does boggle the mind why I, such a perfect student and a rich one at that, would hang out with YOU, a totally normal girl with no richness to boot... What do you think, Kahoko?" Azuma leaned in closer, making sure only Kahoko would hear him.

"I'm in a hurry, Yunoki - senpai." Kahoko tried to fasten her pace, but failed as soon as Azuma spoke three little words she so despised lately.

"Only be mine.." Azuma smirked at Kahoko's still figure as he walked away.

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"Hino! Kahoko Hino!" the teacher called from the front, with no response from the said person.

"KAHOKO! KAHOKO HINO!" the teacher now shouted, making the other students turn around and look at the person in question.

Completely unaware of the stares she's earning, Kahoko sighed sadly as she gazed at the warm afternoon, thinking too many things.

*BANG!*

Instantly sitting up straighter, Kahoko gulped as she came face to face with an angry tiger, her homeroom teacher.

"WHERE IS YOUR BRAIN MS. HINO KAHOKO?" their teacher hissed so venomously, making the other students shiver with fear.

"Uhh.." Kahoko gulped once more, casting a quick glance at Aoi who actually looked scared to Mio and Nao who wore a definite worried look.

"Uhh.." Kahoko inch her head back, knowing full well what's in store for her in the next couple of minutes.

"Where is it?" her teacher lowered her glasses as she looked down at Kahoko in a rather frightening manner.

*BRIINNNGG!*

"Thank the bell for saving you this time, Ms. Hino! Detention for you later!" her teacher glared at her for one last time before sweeping off the room.

The moment their teacher left, buzz filled the air.

"KAHOKO! What were you thinking?" Mio and Nao instantly flopped themselves on her table.

"Sorry.. Just a bit tired.." yawning to state it, Kahoko stretched some more to the left then the right, but caught Hiriko's gaze on her's, making her blush red all over.

"Ehh?" Mio and Nao looked on with surprise at Kahoko's sudden stiff posture and virulent color.

"Nothing!" Kahoko instantly shot her hand towards their head to stop them from catching Hiriko's gaze on her.

"So, uhh.." Kahoko wildly thought up of some excuse when a body blocked his view of Hiriko.

"Hino - chan.. What's wrong?" Aoi's voice spoke just above her, making her gulp all of a sudden.

"Nothing! Nothing!" Kahoko waved a frantic arm above her to state her sincerity.

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As Kahoko walked home, she kept on shaking her head, trying to clear up her thoughts.

Why in he world did I blush a while ago? Was it because I still remember what happened with Hiriko?

"Why? Don't you see what's in front of you?"

The way Hiriko delivered those lines were far too...realistic to ignore.

Its as if he's..he's...he's..

What the heck am I thinking? Kahoko shook her head vigorously as she neared their front door.

She was about to knock out loud on their door when it creaked open, revealing shouting voices inside.

"I TOLD YOU NO! HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU SHE'S TOO YOUNG FOR YOU!" Kahoko's mom bellowed, making Kahoko cringe.

"AND I TOLD YOU SHE'S NOT! SHE'S CAPABLE ENOUGH AND MATURE ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF HERSELF!" Yukito answered back, judging from his tone, he was at wit's end.

"YOU! YOU ARE MY SON AND IN NO CIRCUMSTANCE AM I GOING TO ALLOW YOU TO RUN OFF WITH-"

*BEEP!*

Kahoko covered her ears as a honking car passed by in front of their house.

"AND COMPLETELY RUIN YOUR FUTURE'S!" her mom exhaled angrily.

Cursing slightly at what she might've missed, Kahoko leaned in closer, only finding herself face-to-face with and angry Yukito, breathing down on her.

"Kahoko?" his voice sounded surprised as he caught sight of her.

"Kaho-?" their mom appeared, red coloring her face.

"I'm going outside. See ya later!" Tooya grabbed his jacket at the hook and left the house.

"Okaa-san? What was that?" Kahoko looked bewilderedly at the door Tooya closed.

"Nothing.. Are you hungry?" her mom started guiltily, unable to meet her in the eye.

"Sure.." Kahoko nodded, frown written all over her face.

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"Something's bothering you, Kahoko..." Azuma's voice softly whipped in as Kahoko walked in school during that warm and breezy May.

"EH!" Kahoko stepped back, surprise all over her face.

"You've been jumpy lately too.." Azuma noted dryly as he walked beside her to the music room.

"Its nothing.." Kahoko shook her head.

"Tell." Azuma ordered in his most strict and bossy voice.

"You just wouldn't understand, Senpai.." Kahoko bowed low, feeling dejected.

"I would..." Azuma paused as something red caught his eyes.

"Especially if it looks like your brother is making a habit of following you.." Azuma pointed at the window facing the white gates of Seisou.

"AACCK!" Kahoko shouted as blood rushed to her face.

"How did you know he's my brother?"

"Well, I can see you have the same red hair.. "he whispered in her ears as he held up her hair and tucked it behind her ears.

"Ehh!" Kahoko bypassed pink and turned red.

Indeed, Yukito was there, standing there at the gates, looking left and right for something.

Just watching Yukito made Kahoko's blood rise.

And to match her horror, a head of gold was unconsciously entering Yukito's perimeter.

Kahoko knew that even if she would run, she would not reach the scene in time.

5

Oh no!

4

Incoming! Kahoko closed her eyes as she can imagine the look on Yukito's face as he can see Aoi within his realms of reach.

3

She made a tiny hole in her hands as she peeked in to see what was happening.

2

She closed it once more as she saw Aoi had stopped in his steps, he already saw Yukito.

1

"Oh my! Your brother does seem to have something against Kaji then?" Kahoko heard the faint amusement on Azuma's voice.

Removing her hands from her face, she saw tension rising as electricity seemed to cackle between the equally handsome guys, with the girls around them sighing.

"I'm going there!" Kahoko thumped her chest and made a mad dash when she unexpectedly bumped into something hard on her way out the entrance of the Music Building.

"Do watch where you're going!" the voice coldly reprimanded her.

Not bothering to look up, Kahoko uttered a hasty apology.

"Sorry, Tsukimori-kun!" and left.

"Wait-!" the voice was about to stop Kahoko but chuckled nonetheless as she hurriedly ran off towards the direction of the two equally headstrong men he saw as he walked towards the Music building.

"-I'm not Tsukimori..."

Indeed, the man has a lurid shade of dark violet and purple. He was wearing big earphones and in his arms was a violin.

A smile crept up to his face as he watched Kahoko push the two man away from each other. Now that he's looking at them, the two man looked uncannily alike. Except the hair color that is.

Shrugging his shoulders in an 'i-don't-really-care' way, he made his way towards the building.

"Nii - san!" Kahoko pushed once more as the heavy body of his brother struggled against her small body.

"So we meet again, you hooligan!" Yukito wanted to approach Aoi closer, to see him up close.

"I'm really sorry for the other day.." Aoi bowed low, a sudden thought sparking in his mind.

"Look, nii - san! He IS apologizing!" Kahoko lowered her voice as students were starting to mount up.

Most of the girls nearby were making giggling faces and it irked her more as they made fingers to her beloved brother.

"Look! Why don't you just wait for me home, and we can clean up the misunderstanding!" Kahoko glared up at her brother, surprising her as he nodded.

"But not at HOME! I'll wait at the pastry shop I saw on my way here." and with that, he left abruptly.

"He does change his mind rather quickly, doesn't he?" Aoi remarked stalely.

"Yeah, he does that most of the time.." Kahoko equally remarked.

And so, both of them walked to the Gen-Ed building, unaware of a pair of gray eyes watching them from behind the tree.

"Interesting.."

.

"What are you doing here today?" the chairman, Akihiko Kira looked up from his paperworks at the man in front of him.

"Hey, Uncle! That's not a nice way to greet your beloved nephew!" the man sat opposite him, raising his feet up at the other chair.

"Manners please!" Kira snapped, irked at the man's attitude.

"Oh come now, Uncle Kira! Atleast say you missed me!" the man teased.

"I cannot miss a little boy who continually calls me despite being in Vienna studying!" Kira answers back, dropping the papers at his table, now that he's completely distracted.

"Come on, Uncle!" the man teased once more.

"Stop it, Etou!" Kira finally counters.

"And why are you here anyway? Don't you have classes?" Kira cocks up an eyebrow at Etou.

"Just checking up some stuff.. Anyways," Etou stands up, "..I want to get to know a particular student of this academy. Hope you give me your permission.." and with a wink, he closes the door behind him.

"That kid!" Kira grits his teeth and slams his fist on the table.

"What's he up to this time?"

.

"I see you've met a doppleganger.." a voice sidles up Aoi.

"Mind your business.." Aoi snaps, ignoring the other person.

"Come now, Aoi! We've been pals since way back.. right?" sitting next to the handsome Aoi, Etou leans back and studies Aoi serious face.

"And its the first time I've seen you come face to face with him.." Etou seriously nods at Aoi's confused face.

"I have a terrible feeling it won't be the last.." Aoi murmurs.

.


Okay, okay.. its a bit nonsense... But my head is already ready to pop in the next chapter.. If I made this one even longer, my ideas would go "poof"! hahaha!

till the next chappie!