A boy was walking towards an apartment block as he sighed a bit unhappily, his breath showing in the cold spring air. He then looked up and checked in a window if his hairclip was sitting appropriately. His name was Makoto, and a bit over a year and a half ago from this day, he had been invited to this one of his classmate, Minami Chiaki's home to do their homework together with some other of their classmates. And he had blown that out the window by 'being too familiar' with Chiaki's older sister, Haruka. But he had really just helped her with cooking. Which had make Chiaki quite jealous and angry at him, believing that he was trying to hog her for himself.
Not that he would Dislike that either, he thought Haruka was a nice person and amazingly beautiful. And she was in fact his first love, though he was way too embarrassed to admit that to just about anyone, yet he always did subconsciously.
He then saw himself in another window; his light, auburn hair was set back and he was dressed in a dark green coat over a pink, frilly blouse and a blue skirt. He sighed as he looked at it. How had it come to this? He had been cross dressing in order to visit the household for about a year and a half, as the middle sister, Kana's underclassman, going by the alias of Mako-chan. He had since long had trouble hiding all the girl clothes from his parents. And had in his mothers' eyes, matured a lot in the aspect that he insisted on cleaning his own room, doing his own laundry and he spent a lot of time studying, which depending on how you saw it was true, as he did it out of necessarily rather than willingness. He could not explain to his parents why he had a couple of skirts, and he had some months ago realized that if he were to appear as a middle school sophomore, he could just not be about as smart as an elementary school senior.
He looked at the door in front of him and shook his head a bit 'This is it, it ends today.' He thought before he opened it and called out:
"Hello, excuse my intrusion!" as he walked into the Minami residence. And as he was taking off his shoes, a dark brown haired head stuck out and looked at him
"Ah, Mako-chan hello, why are you here today?" The girl smiled as she took a bite from a cookie she held onto before she continued "neither Chiaki nor Haruka are in." A slight frown appeared on her face as she asked "Actually, shouldn't you be there too? At that outdoor activity thing Chiaki mentioned, you're still in the same class after all." She smiled as she finished the cookie and took a new one from a plastic bag to her right. This was Kana, the middle sister in the Minami family, an energetic, happy girl who was known as an idiot to most people who knew her.
"I decided to skip on that, Kana." Makoto said as he walked into the room and sat down, he smiled a bit as he saw the manga on the table and the occasional bit of trash. "I have something that I need to talk about, and I figure you're the only one I can discuss this with." Kana sat up straight and looked at him with a leer on her face
"Oh, what could Mako-chan possibly be so serious about? Have you fallen in love? perhaps and you want some advice from Kana-sama? "She asked with a mocking tone, as Makoto took off the hairclip in his hair and looked straight at her.
"Kana, I've decided to put this disguise in the closet and forget it." He said bluntly, making Kana drop her cookie from her hand and tilt her head
"Huh?" She seemed shocked at first, but then shrugged as she said "It's your call, but you know Chiaki won't let you inside here as yourself." And smiled a bit towards him.
He lowered his head a bit and looked at the floor. "I am aware of that, and I'm willing to live that way too. I'd lose my most common free time activities, and most of my friends. But I've realized that it's a better idea than to go on like this. I would lose so much more if I was found out!" he said to her.
Kana then took up her cookie from the floor and put it in the waste bin as she sighed. "What a waste…" she muttered and then looked back towards him "You know, they would ask why I never have Mako-chan over after awhile." Kana said as she tapped her chin and looked up. "And I just might slip out the truth to them. Would you like that instead?" She asked with a slightly bothered tone, Makoto then tilted his head and shrugged as he replied
"Not really, but at least I'd know I've done the right thing in the end." He said. a bitter smile on his lips. "And I would save myself from a doubtlessly embarrassing reveal by Chiaki or Haruka."
"Makoto, I don't like this at all." Kana said suddenly, he looked up at her and noticed she had turned away from him, facing towards the balcony with her hands on her hips. "After all, the only way this could work would be if I've gotten into a major fight with Mako-chan." She took a little pause, if for breathing or for dramatic effect he didn't know. "And if that were to happen Haruka would doubtlessly make me make up with you… her." She snickered a bit and turned back towards him, a smile decorating her face as she said. "So unfortunately for you, I can't really do anything, you're kind of stuck as Mako-chan right now." She sat down and picked up another cookie "Unless of course you want me to tell them the truth." She continued as she picked up another cookie from her plastic bag on the table, flipping the page in her manga.
"About that Kana…" Makoto said as he looked towards her, smiling a bit as he said "it would technically be possible to stop this if you just said that my parents transferred or something. And that's not something that can easily be found out by a third part." He smiled a bit as her face darkened a bit before he continued "Also, we would be the only ones who knew of this, with the exception of Touma and Uchida that is." but then something unexpected happened.
Kana had thrown her manga she had been reading earlier that day at him and hit him in the forehead "Ow! Why did you do that?" he asked as he faced her
"Of course I thought about that, but I didn't want to suggest it!" She said angrily as she pouted, her cheeks were ornamented by a mild blush as she stood up "Fine, if you want to stop socializing with me that much, I can tell them that at least, you idiot!" Kana half shouted at him, and Makoto stood up and stepped towards her worriedly
"K-Kana, what's wrong?" he asked nervously, he had never seen her react like this before, why was she so much against this? "What do you mean by that? Is there any reason for you being like this in the first place?"
"Of course there is a reason!" she said, not looking him in the eyes, instead looking towards the door to the hallway.
Makoto took another step towards her as he raised his hands and held them open in front of him and asked "What's that reason, why are you getting so aggressive?"
"You." Kana said softly as she looked at him, making Makoto tilt his head in confusion.
"What do you mean me? Are you angry because I decided myself, or because you will have to explain all that yourself?" he said as he lowered his hands again, slowly.
"…You may not think so but I always enjoyed having you over, you were the only of Chiaki's of Haruka's… of MY friends who I could relate to, the ditz, the outcast, the stupid child!" Kana said after a slight moment of silence, starting out as almost a whisper, but she shouted out the last words. "Not Uchida, Not Maki, not even Riko! You were the only one of them I could actually be open to" She glared towards him as she grabbed another manga and threw it, hitting him on the jaw as she kept on."And you're about to stop spending time with me and say goodbye because you're afraid what a person who dislikes you already would think about you IF you the truth would be revealed?" Kana continued, blushing slightly and with tears in her eyes as she threw the last manga she had on the table at him, this time hitting him on his throat
"Ouch! Kana calm down!" he called out to her, rubbing his throat 'owie that one hurt.' He stared at her in bewilderment. Shocked by her outburst as she breathed hard to catch her breath, he picked up the manga and put it down on the table again as he smiled weakly 'Also, it's been awhile since I was called stupid child…' he though solemnly as he looked at her "I'm sorry that I didn't know that." He said softly, she caught her breath slowly, and looked away from him "And besides, I never said I'd stop spending time with you at all. I just said that I'd stop pretending to be a female."
Kana then gave him a deadpan look and asked "And how do you propose we should spend time then? Remember that I barely even know of 'Makoto', only 'Mako-chan'" And he then sighed as he sat down again.
"Well, that's true." He pondered a bit as he looked at her 'I would never have expected Kana of all people to be able to act like that. I always figured she would honestly not really care that much about me…'
He didn't have time to continue as the door opened and they heard Haruka and Chiaki call out "We're home" and Kana took on a serious look and sat down in by the table with her hands on her cheeks to hide her obvious embarrassment over her recent statements. Makoto blushed a bit himself and stood up and greeted them
"Welcome home, Haruka-san, Chiaki." He said, smiling at the pair of sisters who were taking of their shoes and outdoor clothes.
"Oh, Welcome Mako-chan," Haruka said with a smile "I didn't know you were here, let me put on some tea." Haruka continued happily, being a senior in high school now she was currently studying a lot, letting Kana, who had gotten better over the last half year, and Chiaki handle most of the cooking and cleaning.
Makoto smiled at her and looked back at Kana as he said "No, I was just talking a little with Kana, I was about to leave."
Kana's face made a slight annoyed expression and she tilted her head little as he said that and looked over at them "Yeah. Goodbye, Mako-chan." Kana then looked towards him dully "But, are you sure you wouldn't mind if I told them about this?"
Makoto gulped, and shivered a bit "No, go ahead and tell them whatever you want after I leave." He said as he looked back at her "Good bye, Kana, Haruka-san." Makoto replied as he walked past Chiaki who was still in the hallway and put on his shoes, and opened the door, he waved towards Chiaki who was watching with a mildly confused look. "Goodbye Chiaki, until we meet again."
He then closed the door and sighed before he headed home. He was going to leave these clothes, along with all the other ones. At some second hand store first thing in the morning tomorrow. And deal with any possible troubles after that. He wondered how he was going to face Chiaki tomorrow or the rest of the world later on. He shivered a bit in the as a wind blew above him. 'I'll deal with that tomorrow' He thought 'At least Chiaki won't have figured it out herself.'
The next day, at the School.
Makoto took a deep breath as he stood in front of the door to the classroom, inside this room, certain doom awaited him, and he wanted to be prepared before he faced it. Beside him stood Touma, who he had met and told an abridged version of yesterday's events too, leaving the part of Kana's behavior out. She had agreed to support him as much as she could should the situation gets out of hand. "So, Makoto, whenever you're ready, you can open the door, you know." She said a bit annoyed. Hoping that she was not needed, which in turn would mean that she could spend the homeroom class sleeping.
"I Know, I know, Touma…" he gave a half hearted grin as he looked at her "It's just that I'm scared of this situation. I've never been this afraid before…" Makoto replied as she looked back at him as she yawned, Touma looked almost the same as she had back when they first had met., only slightly taller. Not that he was one to say anything about that, he had grown taller himself and was apparently the tallest boy in his year right now. Not that it was anything to boast about. He was interrupted from his thinking as he heard a familiar voice ask
"What are you afraid of this time, you idiot?" Makoto snapped directly towards the owner of the voice and over by the hallway stood Chiaki herself. Makoto gulped as he looked down on the floor, not feeling that he could look her in the eyes.
"Ehm, Minami… It's about, 'that'. Sorry." He said towards her, making her tilt her head slightly to the left
"Oh, well whatever." She said with the same indifferent tone as always, before she walked past him and into the classroom.
Touma shrugged and waved towards Makoto as she said "Well, seems like I'm not needed, so I'll leave." And made her way towards her own classroom, Makoto felt a little bad that she had this year too been placed in a different class than the rest of them. But it was not his place to think about, she had told him once. Instead of that he walked in towards the classroom and towards his seat, which ironically still was right next to Chiaki's. 'Just like almost a year ago… or rather, she was taller than me then.' he thought as he sat down and turned to look at her slightly. She looked a bit upset and was reading in a textbook for their math. He didn't know how he that she was upset, but something was just off about her.
"M-Minami… I'm so sorry about that…" He said, to which she looked at him and shrugged before she replied in her normal tone
"It's ok really," Chiaki said as she looked into her book. "Nothing to get hanged up about; if anybody should be bothered it's you."
This made Makoto really confused, he had been expecting some kind of physical assault or at least being called a perverted cross dresser at least. So he took a deep breath and asked "Minami, I'm afraid we may be on different subjects, what's on your mind?" he then prepared himself for the answer
"I would hardly say it bothers me, but I'm kind of disappointed that she didn't tell me the news herself, we were friends after all." Makoto yet again felt confused. What was going on here, he wondered as he asked
"M…Minami, who are we talking about?" Chiaki looked up at him again and hit him on the head with her textbook as she said
"Your cousin who left town because of your uncle's job transfer, you idiot, I obviously mean Mako-chan!" Makoto rubbed his head with a stunned expression he nodded slowly before he asked
"You… ehm… you knew about that?"
She had hit him again, slightly harder this time. And now she was looking at him with an annoyed expression, even by Chiaki standards as she said "Obviously, she came by yesterday and told Kana about it, about at same time as the outdoor activities, that you skipped if I may I add, were coming to an end."she then opened her book again and started reading again as she said "But that's understandable," she yawned a bit and then gave a rare smile "helping your uncle pack his things and saying goodbye is more important than drawing some trees in a forest, I never expected you to be such a good boy, albeit a stupid one."
Makoto nodded slowly again, and wondered why Kana had lied about that even after she had asked if she was allowed to say the truth. He snapped out of his thoughts when he noticed that Chiaki was still talking.
"..So shortly put, I'm sorry that I made you feel like an outsider even among your friends here sometimes, Kana told me that Mako-chan had said you felt that way, and you're free to visit every now and then, if you want to." Chiaki said to finish, a barely noticeable blush on her cheeks as he stared at her "Hey, stop staring, you idiot. It's rude."
Makoto then tilted on his chair a bit and looked the other way, before he had realized it he had started blushing himself. 'Being invited just like that, I don't know what to say about it.' He thought "Yeah, sorry. And thanks, I'll drop by sometime if you allow me too…" he then said, she smiled at him a bit and called him stupid again, not that he minded really, he was used to it. And then the teacher walked in and homeroom started…
Later on, after school, a bit outside the school grounds…
The rest of the day was spent in relative silence between the two. Outside a bit of talking during lunch, and Makoto had recently said goodbye to Shuuichi and was walking home when he saw something inside a restaurant by the road, 'Isn't that…' he thought before he walked into the restaurant. And as he had though, there by a table in the corner sat Kana, looking slightly bothered by something, he walked up to her and greeted her "H…hello, Kana…san." He said, adding the honorific later on; when he remembered that 'he' did not really know her. She looked up at him slightly taken off guard when she nodded towards him
"Hi there, Makoto-kun, what are you doing here?" She asked as she smiled, putting her menu down onto the table before she started resting her head against her hand
"I was walking home and I saw you in through the window her, I was wondering what you were… doing here." He said before he eyed the chair on the opposite side of her "would you mind if I sat down?"
She smiled again and shook her head "Not at all. Do sit." She said as she motioned towards the chair in front of her "It's more fun to eat with company even if you don't 'know' the company." She said, emphasizing the word know, she was still in a bit of bad mood after yesterday it seemed.
Makoto then proceeded to sit down by the table and picking up a menu himself, before he looked over at her, feeling her gaze on him "Ehm, Kana-san, About yesterday's events, I'm sorry." He then said.
"No, Makoto-kun, I'm the one who should apologize." She said, laughing a bit to herself "I overreacted; I did say that you were the only one I know I can really relate to." She paused a bit and looked away "and I got scared that I was going to be left alone in that matter." She then said, making Makoto smile a bit himself too
"Yeah, I guess us stupid people should stick togethe-"
She had hit him over the head with a menu. And then said "Don't make me spill the beans, Mako-chan" then she grinned towards him as an oddly dressed waiter walked up towards them and asked:
"Can I take your orders?" He asked before he wiped his forehead with his arm, looking down towards them.
Kana nodded towards the man and said "I'll take a serving of Fried rice." Before she turned towards Makoto again and then said "What about you, Makoto-kun?"
He blushed a bit and looked in the opposite direction before he asked "What do you recommend?" to the waiter, who looked down on him before he ran his hand through his hair and pondered
"I… think I would recommend the lamb chop with French béarnaise and rice. It is put on a grill until the meat is ready and is served directly with rice of highest grade and béarnaise sauce." He said after thinking a bit, and Makoto couldn't help but notice that the man had unbuttoned part of his shirt during his explanation. Then Kana interrupted
"Hey, I didn't see that on the menu!" Then she frowned and said "Change my order to that, and his too." Before Makoto could protest she said "I'll pay for you, take it as an apology."
Makoto then shook his head and said "There is no way I can allow you to pay for all that, it sounds really expensive!" The waiter, who had now fully unbuttoned his shirt then said
"Actually, it's not that expensive, it's 1050 Yen each. I have some contacts which in turn lets me buy the ingredients at a relatively cheap price. Besides, since you're such a honest, caring young man towards your girlfriend, I'll give you a discount and hers for free." He said as he flashed a grin towards him, which made him feel uncomfortably strange. Kana laughed at him and said
"Then, pay the man, Ma-ko-to-Kun." And she laughed some more, a blush upon her cheeks as Makoto slowly pulled out a 1000 yen bill and handed it to the man, who gave him two 100 Yen coins back. Before he smiled towards Makoto again and said
"Kid, it's good that you are like this. Few men in our world know how to properly treat a woman, let alone let her know how he feels for her." He scoffed at himself as he said "I have yet to let my beloved know how I feel for her… I am still awaiting the perfect situation…" he then started laughing to himself silently as he looked towards the window, when they heard a middle aged man from the kitchen yell:
"Hey, stop doing the waiters work and get in here! We don't pay you for fooling around, kid!"
The waiter turned chef looked around and smiled as he said "No problem!" he proceeded to turn around and give a dazzling smile against the door as he said "I'll make their dish myself!" and he started laughing a really uncomfortable laugh as he walked towards the kitchen, holding his arms away from his body. Makoto couldn't help but say
"That was, kind of…"
"Disgusting, right?" Kana Finished for him, as they were looking towards the door the young man had walked through as he left the room. Then Makoto looked towards Kana again and said
"Wait, why the heck didn't you tell him you weren't my girlfriend? Now he'll think that and… gah it's so embarrassing!" He said which made her tilt her head and smile
"Well, he said we would get a discount, and I'll get my meal free this way. Besides, what harm is it to let some weirdo think we're seeing each other?" she said with a shrug.
"For starters he might tell his friends, which in turn may tell their friends, who might be our friends. Wouldn't you be embarrassed if your friends thought you were… going out with an elementary student?" Makoto said as he looked away again.
"Ah, sorry, I didn't think that far." Kana said, scratching the back of her head embarrassedly as she too looked away, imagining the looks on Keiko's and Riko's faces in case they found out she was dating someone three years younger. She shivered at the thought. Riko would have a field day of making fun of her, if she doesn't get too disgusted to go near her.
Soon after, another waiter, this one properly clad walked to them with their food, which they eagerly dug into. "Hey, this is delicious!" Makoto said happily as he looked up towards Kana, who in turn was smiling widely and holding her hand on her cheek
"Yup, best part is that it's free!" She replied as they kept on eating the food cooked by the weird man.
Soon they were finished, and went out of the restaurant and Makoto stretched his arms as they walked a bit, he then looked to his left and noticed that he, in fact, was almost as tall as Kana was. The last months had really been kind to him on that matter. He smiled as he noticed that she was looking back at him "Hey Makoto-kun. What are you thinking about?" She asked with a mild blush on her face, from embarrassment or from the cold air he did not know.
"Eh, I just noticed that I've grown, compared to all that time ago." He said as he shrugged "Don't fall in love with me now, but soon I'll be taller than you too." Makoto then proceeded to tilt his head in advance
As he had presumed, Kana had hit him over the head with her school bag, her face flushed as she said "Not in a million years kiddo." Before she stomped off towards the apartment block she lived in. Makoto couldn't help but smile to himself as he watched her leave thinking about how these recent 24 hours had been really interesting. And how he had gotten to know Kana on a completely new level, and how he had finally put the disguise he had carried for over a year. 'I know first loves don't usually work out, in fact I don't think they ever do.' He thought as he turned around and started walking in the other direction, his schoolbag hanging on one shoulder and holding onto the rim of it with his hand, and his other arm in his pocket
He looked back as he rubbed the back of his head, it was Kana again, "Did you forget something, Kana-san?" he asked as she just stood there and smiled at him with rosy cheeks, and said;
"Haruka and Chiaki want you to come over and visit sometime soon. So do I for that matter." she then looked away towards the distance; he followed her eyes and looked directly to the left. "By the way, Makoto-kun…" He felt her peck him on his cheek and then looked back at her, as red in his face as hers was "You've really grown quite a bit since back then. A bit more and I might consider you!" She then took off again, running with her twin tails fluttering in the wind.
Makoto stood there and watched her grow smaller and soon round off the corner as he held his hand against his cheek, blushing madly as he thought 'But… the second can work out, right?'
He slept very well that night.
Well, that's that, my very first one shot, I wrote all of this in one go. It took perhaps 5 hours. Editing and adjustments counted. And I have to say that it's nothing like I intended it to be, neither do I know if it was good at all. I don' think it was at, but depending on the reception it gets, I just might write a sequel.
It was largely inspired by Hieronym's stories 'Advice' and 'Patterns of love'. I recommend them both, obviously in that order.
As a side note, in this story, each of the sisters are in their last years in their respective schools, meaning that Makoto is around 12-13 and that Kana is 15-16 years old, being in their last term before graduation.
I also didn't intend this story to have this pairing at all; it was supposed to be just a general story about how Makoto threw of his disguise as Mako-chan. Not that I mind Makoto/Kana, in fact I honestly am the kind of guy who can see how just about any pairing would happen in Minami-ke.
Also, I wrote about the later 2/3rd of this with a headache and while I was tired. So I don't think it's that understandable, and they may have some OOC reactions and stuff. I blame that on me being tired, and on not having watched, or read minami-ke for so long. But do tell what you thought about this.
PS. Bonus cookies to you if you can't figure out who the mysterious waiter/Chef was, I tried to make it so not obvious as possible. Once again thanks to Hieronym for inspiring me on how to write him. although I don't think I did him justice at all…
*EDIT NOTE: After I talked a bit with Hieronym¸ I revisited this story and changed some of the faults in it that were bothering me the most.*