Hey, people! I know I dropped off the grid for a while and it's been a hell of a time. And I mean HELL.

So, I'm glad to finally be back on , I've really missed and it I am INCREDIBLY SORRY for the long, long time you had to wait. I hope I never do that again.

And thank you to all the reviewers! I absolutely love reading them all.

Hope you like the chapter!

READ and REVIEW, please!


Men suck.

Case in point: Atobe Keigo.

See, boys who don't suck do not, I'm pretty sure, take their fake-girlfriends out on a chopper to go to a party only to return her near midnight on a school night. (Quite frankly, they're not even supposed to have fake-girlfriends.) Boys who don't suck do not still insist – very, very persistently – on taking an early morning jog after doing just that. Also, boys who don't suck do not have fangirls that put pushpins on said fake-girlfriend's desk chair.

Oh, and I know it was them.

I could understand if there was someone who accidentally dropped a tack or two on my seat but I don't think a dozen tacks can tape themselves onto the side of the chair.

Atobe Keigo sucks, I tell you.

Him being the reason why I was in the school infirmary getting tacks pulled out of my leg.

I was laying on my stomach in one of the infirmary's cots, the doctor carefully prying the tacks out of the back of my leg when the door slid open. I looked up and saw someone I didn't want to see, well, not exactly. And it would seem that he saw me, too.

"Takashina," Shishido said, eyes widening slightly in surprise. It probably wasn't everyday that he saw his captain's supposed girlfriend in the infirmary with a tack in her leg.

Yes, there was a certain bitterness in me about it. If that wasn't obvious already.

"Hey, Shishido," I said coolly, turning my head to the side and propping it up on my palm. "What are you in for?" I hissed as Souma-sensei, the school doctor, dabbed something on my wounds. "Did someone stab you with a tack?"

He cocked an eyebrow at me as he dropped into the next cot. "Is that what happened to you? It's starting, huh?"

There was no use playing dumb. I knew exactly what he was referring to. Unfortunately. "Talk about 'Attack of the Killer Fangirls.'"

He snorted and then threw himself further into the mattress. "Good luck with that."

Souma-sensei had, at this point, gauzed my leg and wheeled her chair over to Shishido's bedside. "Well, Shishido-san, what is it this time?"

"I feel unwell." He said tonelessly, throwing his arm over his eyes and settling further into his pillow.

It was my turn to snort loudly as I pushed myself off the bed and flipped over. "What's new there?"

Shishido's arm lowered slightly so he could look at me. I could see the tell-tale quiver that indicated he was trying hard not to smile. "Watch your back, Takashina."

"Ditto." I said, slipping my shoes on as Souma-sensei cleared me to go back to class. My hand was on the doorway when Shishido started speaking again.

"Hey, Takashina," I turned around to show that I was listening and then cocked my eyebrow at him. "Thanks...you know...for your incredibly late birthday gift."

"You're very welcome, Shishido." I replied, ever-so-politely. "How'd you like it?"

"How'd you know?" He answered instead.

"Oh, you have your own fans, too, Shishido."

I shrugged and stepped into the hall just in time to hear him mutter, "Sadly."


Yuushi was apologetic when I returned from the infirmary. My friends were anxious about my reaction – or apparent lack thereof. I'd stepped into the classroom to be met with an awkward almost-silence. One glance around the room and the culprit was obvious if the quiver of a smirk on her face was any indication. Damn fangirl. The other fangirls seemed to have a similar uncontainable amusement but none of their grins were as feral as hers. She was just a classmate of mine. Well, that was before.

Now, she was the enemy. Or an enemy, I guess.

I sighed to myself as I stepped into the room.

Despite my bitterness, I was still too tired from the previous night's activities to bother being hostile.

So, I settled into my seat and closed my eyes for a second. When I opened them again, Yuushi was standing in front of me, a sheepish look on his face.

"I'm sorry about that, Mai-hime," he said in a heavily accented mutter. His glasses slid down his nose as he looked at me, a careful smile forming. I laughed.

"Damn straight." I muttered back just as Taki made his way over to us as well. He stood next to Yuushi and nodded politely before smiling down at me uneasily.

"Mai-chan," he started. Taki was essentially my back-up nanny. That is, he was second in line after Shishido when it came to babysitting me during practice. He'd be the one taking Shishido's spot whenever it was the drama queen's turn to train. It seemed to have rekindled our friendship a bit, not that we were distant prior to this, but we were getting on a little better since I've been attending tennis practice. But he still didn't know what was going on with me and Atobe. Not like I intended on telling him. "Are you all right?"

Shrugging nonchalantly, I rested my head in my palm, looking up at the two of them tiredly. "I'm fine, I'm fine." I assured them just as the teacher slid the door open and ordered everyone into their seats.

The both of them looked at me dubiously before making their way back to their seats.

Things were going to be tough from hereon in.

Damn you and your freako fangirls, Atobe Keigo.


"Ah!" I heard a familiar voice shout. "Mai-chin!" Eiji came barrelling around the corner to come up behind me as he took me by the shoulders and steered me towards the courts.

"Yo, Eiji." I greeted, chuckling. I'd just finished my Thursday practice with Akazawa-sensei and, as always, I was on my way to Seigaku practice. Being at Seigaku had recently become a very welcome change of pace in my life seeing as it was one of the only places where I was relatively sure that I wasn't going to be attacked my rabid, misguided fangirls. 'Recently' being only two or three days ago when the attacks started. So far, the worst one still had to be the tacks taped to my seat. After that, they'd been comparatively mild. 'Mild' simply being raucous teasing(easily ignored); even more grating mocking(still easily ignored); a propensity to hiss and glare whenever I passed(laughable); and other petty attempts at torturing me excepting the occasional wayward leg in my path. I suspected that Yuushi had something to do with the decrease in ferociousness. I was pretty sure, however, that they were doing all those things to meet an end that would favour them and their...err...relationship with one Atobe Keigo. And that they wouldn't stop anytime soon. I sighed at the annoying situation I was in but perked up quickly as Eiji led me to my usual bench where Syuu-kun was already waiting.

He greeted me with his usual smile. "Ne, Mai, I have something for you."

I cocked an eyebrow at him as I lowered myself onto the bench. "Yeah? Did I miss my birthday or something?" I grinned as he handed me a paper bag. "But I didn't get you anything."

Syuu-kun shook his head. "That's alright." He told me as I opened the bag to find a stack of books. My eyes widened as they processed the titles. Laughing, I flipped through Tennis for Beginners Vol. 1. Underneath it were the next two volumes in the set. "Syuu-kun, I'm speechless."

He chuckled lightly in response and took the second book from my lap. "I figured that it would be easier if your tennis lessons weren't so sporadic. With these, you can learn even when I'm not around." He explained, leafing through the pages as well.

All throughout practice that day, Fuji was directing me to the pages that corresponded to the training Inui was giving in real time.

When Fuji left for a while to go into the courts, Horio, that freshman kid, and his friends came over. Tomoka leaned over my shoulder to glance at what I was reading.

"Syuu-kun is taking up the task of mentoring me in the complicated ways of tennis," I replied to her inquiry of why I was reading tennis manuals.

After saying this, Horio once again dominated the conversation with how I should have come to him so he could teach me all his tennis genius. After he said that, the conversation was dominated by his friends trying to shut him up while I laughed in the sidelines, absently reading along until Syuu-kun came over and took his seat again. The first-years, not including Tomoka, quieted at his presence. Just as they were herding themselves away, Tomoka turned around and grinned at me.

"Mai-san, Mai-san," she called and I lifted my head up from the book to look at her. "Are you coming this Sunday?"

"This Sunday?" I repeated.

Syuu-kun made a noise of realization next to me just as Eiji and Momo came over. "That's right!" Eiji exclaimed, bouncing over. "We almost forgot!"

I still looked on with confusion and vaguely registered Tomoka being trundled away by the other first years. Apparently, they did not want to be caught shirking their duties. "It's our School Festival." Momo supplied.

As far as I could remember, I didn't make any plans for the weekend so it didn't take much for me to agree.

Eiji's eyes sparkled merrily. "Our class is selling manjuu!"

My eyes mirrored his sparkle. "My mouth's already watering." Honestly, it was.

"We're doing a takoyaki stand, Takashina-san." Momo added. Kami, now I was hungry. I wonder if I could get Tezuka-kun to make a quick snack stop with me on the way home.

"What's your class doing, Syuu-kun?" I turned to face him expectantly.

"We're doing a café, aren't we, Tezuka?" He asked suddenly, addressing the stoic buchou who was standing a little to the side, keenly observing practice.

In response, he simply nodded in agreement. Fuji chuckled and then leaned closer to me, presumably to whisper into my ear but he did so loud enough for Momo and Eiji to hear, "Our class managed to persuade Tezuka into participating as one of the waiters." He opened one of his eyes in a semblance of a wink. "You'll come, won't you?"

Momo and Eiji covered their mouths with their hands in an attempt to stifle their snickers. Instead of snickering, I returned the wink. "I'm more certain now than ever."

Later, when I was with Tezuka-kun on the way to the train station home, I managed to convince him to stop by the ice cream shop in the station. I suppose, considering it wasn't much of a hassle, he didn't put up much of a fight. All that talk of food made me ravenous. A rather large dinner was in order. In the train, we talked about the upcoming School Festival and I gleaned that the persuasion methods Fuji had mentioned earlier that were the cause of Tezuka agreeing to wait tables at their cafe weren't entirely ethical. I didn't get anything concrete but something told me Fuji wasn't averse to doing something like that in the first place.


"Are you free this weekend, Mai-hime?" Yuushi asked me after Friday practice as he packed up his things. Atobe had yet to come over and walk me to the gate. He was still with Sakaki-sensei discussing something or other.

"What's up?"

He shrugged and gave me his usual lady-killer smile. "I thought that you might want to watch that new romantic comedy with me. It's been a while since we've gone out and I thought this could be our chance to celebrate my birthday together." He explained. "You know, seeing as we missed our chance last Sunday."

A smile made its way to my face but then I remembered something. I exhaled heavily. "Yuushi," I whined. He raised an eyebrow at my tone. "I'd love to but I actually made arrangements as well."

"Something with the concours?" He asked, eyebrow still raised.

My smile twitched with something akin to amusement. "Not exactly. But I am going there." I said, placing a deliberate emphasis on the last word. He caught on quickly.

"What for?"

Zipping up my own bag, I told him, "School Festival, it's on Sunday. The regulars invited me to go and see them."

He hummed smoothly. "You've been fraternizing with the enemy, I see." He gave me a playful grin and I punched him mockingly on the shoulder. Safe to say that he was not losing out to Atobe in any training.

"I guess you could say that." I teased.

"You're going alone?" He wanted to know.

Shrugging, I took my bag from under the seat and slung it over my shoulder. I could see Atobe begin walking towards us. There was no need to tell Yuushi, he saw it, too. "Well, yeah," I said quickly. "It's not as if I can actually ask just anyone to go there with me."

Glancing at Atobe approaching, he said, just as rapidly, an impish grin beginning to form on his face, "You don't need to ask, I'm offering."

And that was how Yuushi ended up lying on the chaise lounge in my living room come Sunday morning as he waited for me to finish dressing up. When I was through, I ambled down the stairs, comfortable in my flat – thank Kami! – black suede ankle boots, wool-lined leather shorts and the gray cashmere pullover Yuushi got me for Christmas a few years back.

I noticed Yuushi's dark head popping out of the head of the chaise as heard me near him. When he stood, I saw that he had a couple of sticks of Pocky in his mouth, the box in his hand. I snorted and reached over to get some. "I see you haven't gotten over that habit of raiding my pantry."

"Never," he drawled, snapping the stick in half. He looked down at my outfit and smiled. "You still have it." He pointed out.

"Not at all," I said in a pleasantly sarcastic voice. "You're imagining it on me."

He grinned, righting his glasses. "Imagined or not, it still looks great on you."

Chortling, I snatched the remaining sticks from him and went to throw the empty box in the kitchen trash can. "You still have it, too, Yuu-chan." I remarked in a sing-song voice, referring to his penchant for sweet-talking.

Dressed in dark jeans, sneakers, and a stylish – was Yuushi ever anything but? – graphic tee, he was every fangirl's dream wrapped in a loose bomber jacket as he padded his way to the front door and held it open for me, asking if I was ready. Thank Kami he wasn't my type. I've had enough grief over apparently hot guys in my life.

The trip to Seigaku was as fun as it always was with Yuushi. We stopped at the same ice cream shop that Tezuka-kun and I went to once we arrived at the station and he treated me to an easy three scoops of the stuff while he got a popsicle. It led me to wonder about Atobe for one reason or another and how much enjoyment would I come to experience if this were one of the times he had me go to random places with him. Probably more if he'd just feed me more. Apparently, the way to get more sweets was to say something intelligently mocking. I smirked to myself. Well, now that I knew, that'd be easy to arrange.

Arriving at the gate, the place was filled with people of different shapes and sizes. Female heads turned, as Yuushi slung his arm over my shoulders, as he'd taken to doing more often than not, and led me into the fray. Typical.

"So, Mai-hime," he started, peering into different booths while we walked. "Where to first?"

I thought about it for a second, debating whether I wanted manjuu or takoyaki first. I even heard that Taka-san and Oishi-san's class was doing karaage. "How 'bout we make a stop at the first one I see and then go from there?"

"Sounds good to me."

The first one we came across was the manjuu stall and, conveniently, Eiji was the one manning it along with someone else, probably a classmate of his, that I didn't know. He saw me first and waved enthusiastically. I waved back and held back a laugh when I saw the recognition and then shock that passed through his face when he saw whose arm was around my shoulder. He was still gaping when we stepped in front of him.

"Mai-chin," he breathed slowly before his eyes suddenly turned all wide and catlike as his stare wandered over to Yuushi. "Oshitari." He acknowledged. Yuushi nodded and looked on amusedly as Eiji's wide eyes returned to me as he said in a small, exaggerated whisper, "Is he what I think he is, Mai-chin?"

I cocked an eyebrow at him and then rolled my eyes. Well, there was a slim chance of me being wrong about what he was thinking so I took a chance answering. For one thing, I didn't want to hear him say what he was thinking out loud. "No, he is not what you think he is, Eiji." I said firmly. "He's just a close friend of mine."

Eiji's eyes shrunk back to normal size at my answer but his skittish smile stayed put. "Are you sure, Mai-chin?"

I rolled my eyes again at his question. "Yes, I'm sure." While I said this, I drew my wallet out of my black leather satchel and snapped it open. "Now, are you sure you're not going to ask me if I want to buy something? Because, I'm telling you, I'm pretty sure I'm hungry." He grinned and did his job as I handed him the money for three manjuu buns. "Thank you." I said politely as I took the food from him. Yuushi and I were just getting on our way when he called after us.

"Mai-chin! Oshitari! Glad you made it!" He said loudly, not lacking any of his usual Eiji-ness.

The both of us laughed and I turned around and grinned at him over Yuushi's shoulder as his arm was still around mine. "Me, too, Eiji!"

I waved at him one last time before turning around and shoving my hand into the bag he just handed me and taking out one to give to Yuushi.

"I can tell today is going to be fun." Yuushi remarked as he bit into the savory bun.

I swallowed my own bite. "Isn't it?" And I popped the rest of it into my mouth with a grin.


The regulars' reactions to Yuushi at my side varied. There were differing levels of shock as went and visited all the booths that they had told me about yesterday. So far, we had yet to visit only one more booth, Syuu-kun's cafe. I was purposely saving that for last so we could have some down time from the walking and enjoy the show. Inui was hardly surprised when I showed up at his class' – rather odd – stall. They were selling this crazy looking drink that I wouldn't take my chances on and Yuushi didn't look too keen on doing so either. Although, I couldn't indentify much of his reaction because of those mirrored glasses of his. He simply took out that ubiquitous notebook, gave me that ubiquitous smile and then started jotting stuff down. I scrutinized him warily. He knew something about Atobe, I was sure. But he seemed more disposed to simply observing how that turned out so I wasn't that worried. Well, I hoped he was more disposed to that.

Momo's reaction was probably the loudest. But it was also the most familiar. Yuushi seemed to share some weird connection with the guy. Admittedly, I was always up for some fun weird connections that involved Yuushi, nowadays.

We were on our way to our final destination, if you will, and Yuushi was asking me about it. "Think about it, Yuushi." I told him coolly when he'd asked who it was going to be this time. "Who haven't we been to yet?"

There was a pause followed by a curt chuckle. "Tezuka and Fuji, huh?"

"That's right," I intoned, sticking my hand into the pockets of my shorts.

There was a girl at the entrance of what I was told to be Syuu-kun's classroom who was supposed to be acting as the maître'd. Currently, the girl was looking at Yuushi like he was the food to be served and she hadn't eaten in days. She didn't even bother acknowledging me despite the arm that was still securely draped around me. His only response to her was to ask for a table for two and smirk that effervescent smirk of his as she nodded with much enthusiasm before almost tripping over herself to get to the table.

Once we'd been settled in, the girl bowed out reluctantly only to be replaced by someone with an all-too-familiar smile who handed us our menus. I took in his white button down and sleek vest and the tie neatly knotted at his neck.

"I see you brought a friend, Mai." He observed mildly as he handed me the laminated sheet. I shrugged, already preoccupied with my order.

"Don't get any ideas, Syuu-kun." I stated blandly before completely tuning them out. I could tell they were talking about something or other but I wanted food. Nevermind that I had actually bought something from all the food stalls that the regulars were taking care of. All that walking can really make a girl hungry. And since I've started jogging in the morning with Atobe, I find myself hungrier than usual. But considerably less tired. And it seems I've been developing some muscle tone. I suppose I should thank him for even that much.

Once we had both given our orders, Syuu-kun disappeared into the kitchen and then came back with a chair that he pulled up next to our table and proceeded to sit on. I raised my eyebrow curiously just as Yuushi did the same.

"Don't you have a job to do?" I asked, smiling.

He tilted his head innocently. "I clocked out. Someone else took my shift already." At his answer, my eyebrows climbed a little higher. I felt sorry for that someone. It probably wasn't so much that someone took his shift as he made them take his shift. As if he could see the gears turning in my head, he chuckled, adding, "I've been working since noon and we're a little less than an hour from closing. They'll be fine." I nodded slowly, carefully. Still suspicious, but I didn't doubt him too much. Syuu-kun was a reliable guy. I smiled and shook my head. There was someone I was dying to see.

"Okay, I can accept that. But on another note, where is he?"

He tilted his head a little more before smiling wider. "He'll be out any second now. He was just getting an order in the kitchen."

As if on cue, the door slid open and in came Tezuka, a tray balanced expertly in one hand. He was dressed similarly to Syuu-kun, only he wasn't wearing a tie, his collar was open and his vest was more of a charcoal gray color. That and the look in his eyes told all that he so did not want to be here right now.

I snickered silently with Syuu and Yuushi as he marched over to a table and served the two dumbstruck girls that sat at it, doing so without so much as any indication that he was even breathing. When he was done with their orders, he turned on his heel and was about to walk straight out the door if it weren't for Syuu-kun sticking his arm out and calling him over. He walked over with a grim expression.

He spotted Oshitari across me and the two exchanged nods of acknowledgement. Men. From the corner of my eye, as I looked up at Tezuka, I could see Yuushi's lips quiver as he tried to keep his amusement at bay.

"Yo, Tezuka-kun," I saluted casually.

"Takashina-san." He replied. Before I could say much else, he turned back around and walked stiffly back to the kitchen.

Rather than feeling insulted, I started laughing and the two other guys joined me. "Well, that was abrupt." I said, leaning back into my seat.

To our surprise, though, Tezuka started marching towards our table only two minutes later carrying a tray that contained what appeared to be our drinks. He set it down on the table just as Syuu-kun dragged up another chair for him to sit on. "I had Hasegawa cover for you, come sit with us."

"Ah." He distributed the drinks before taking a seat in between Syuu-kun and me.

While I was preoccupied with draining my glass of milk tea, I barely noticed Tezuka reaching into his vest until he placed a flash drive in front of me on the table.

I looked at him, straw still sticking out of the side of my mouth. "I don't remember ordering this."

Yuushi and Syuu-kun chuckled, cutting their conversation short. Tezuka just nodded but I think I saw his eyebrows kind of loosen.

"Akazawa-sensei gave it to me this morning. He wanted me to hand that to you in case you came today." He told me promptly.

I picked the flash drive off the tabletop and slipped them into my shorts pocket. "Thanks, Tezuka-kun. I'm so sorry sensei dragged you into this."

He shook his head. "Not at all."

Fuji turned to Yuushi and I could've sworn that both their eyes flashed something ominous. It made me regret that I wasn't paying more attention to what they were talking about earlier.


"That was fun," Yuushi said. We were on our way back to the train station and his arm was around my shoulder again. "I'm glad I invited myself." He grinned.

I grinned back. "I am, too."

"Admittedly, that was almost as good as watching a nice romcom together." He added with a smirk.

Snorting, I punched him a little in ribs. But I missed and hit his abs instead. Still as awesomely rock solid as ever.

We'd stayed at the café until closing time and even helped Syuu-kun and his class tidy up a bit before the other regulars came and made a mess of things again. Yuushi and I decided that it was time to bow out and said our goodbyes. The responses were typical for each person but I could've sworn that Yuushi and Syuu-kun shared a look again. Though, in retrospect, I suppose that was a typical response for Syuu-kun anyway.

So, here we were on the train, and all I could do was pester Yuushi about what the hell went on in that look. That evil, evil look. Of course, he didn't answer me.

"I'm pretty sure I always look like that, Mai-hime." He tried to reason with me, looking down as he leaned on the pole. It was rush hour. Yuushi, being the gentleman he was, procured a seat from a very eager young man for me and then opted to lean against the pole next to my seat so that he was standing directly in front of me. Incidentally, he was also standing directly diagonal to two very smitten junior high girls. They giggle. Constantly.

Ignoring another round of giggling, I tilted my head to look up at him and indeed he always looks like that. But that's beside the point. "I know that, Yuushi. The problem was that Syuu-kun looked something like that, too, while looking at you." I narrowed my eyes at him to emphasize my point.

As if timing was on his side – hell, who wouldn't be on his side if they had a choice anyway – the train came to our stop. He took my hand and pulled me from my seat. "Would you look at that?" He said evenly as he slid his arm around my waist this time. "It's our stop."

Oh, it wasn't over yet. "Yuushi, just tell me already. I am not going to let up on you." I ground out.

"Do you want ice cream again?" Damn it. I thought.

"Damn it." I said out loud. He got me. For now.

"Is that a no?"

"No." I sighed and let him lead me to the Haagen-Dazs around the corner.

Once I was finished with my ice cream and we were on my street. I chanced asking him again. I intended to do it while we were at the ice cream place but he was very good with words and we talked about tennis instead. "Yuushi, come on."

He laughed and leaned into me more. "You're still on that?" I cocked an eyebrow at him. "Of course you are."

We stopped in front of my building and he sighed. Still, I could see the tell-tale upward pull of his mouth as he did so. I stared out at the street behind him and snorted, smiling as well.

And then something weird happened. Well, not really weird, I guess, just unsuspected. A familiar black Benz parked in front of my building, just about eight metres behind Yuushi. My eyebrows met, incredulous.

At that point, I wasn't particularly paying attention when Yuushi slipped his arm around my waist and pulled me closer to him. I only snapped out of it when he started talking again.

"Do you really want to know?" He said, the light of the building casting a shadow over half his face but the smirk was still there. He leaned even closer.

My eyebrows were still mashed together. "I do." I nodded slowly. "I also want to know why I'm breathing your carbon dioxide."

He laughed. And I was serious about the carbon dioxide thing. I could feel his breath on my mouth.

Smiling even wider, he just pulled me closer as the door to the backseat of the Benz opened and a very familiar figure stepped outside. "That's the reason." He said, finally, after we had exchanged a few rounds of air. This definitely wasn't as romantic as it's made out to be. Not that Yuushi wasn't hot or anything. But again, not my type.

My eyes flitted over to where Atobe had leaned on the car, arms folded in front of his chest. The inscrutable expression on his face was illuminated by the same building lights that were casting shadows on Yuushi's. I drew my gaze back towards the latter.

The tensai moved again. One more inch and we wouldn't just be breathing the same air, we'd be breathing into each other. He tilted his head and I closed my eyes, stifling a sigh because it would be gross to sigh at this proximity.

When did his hand make its way to the back of my neck?

"He thinks you're kissing me, doesn't he?" I managed to mumble as his hand at my neck emphatically made its way into my hair.

I don't know how but Yuushi smirked audibly. "That's the idea."

This time, I really did sigh. I cracked open the eye that would be less visible to the obnoxious buchou just a crack and stared blankly at my surroundings. This wasn't exactly surprising when it came to Yuushi. If he was fond of something, it was nice legs and playing with people. He did tell me my legs were nice. So this fell under both categories, presumably. It would seem as though that sigh was misinterpret if both of Atobe's eyebrows rising was any indication. Yuushi really played this game well. Of course, angling yourself perfectly to look like you were kissing somebody was a piece of cake for a genius such as him.

Placing a hand on his shoulder, I closed my eyes again. "I have a bad feeling about this. I have a bad feeling that this is another one of your freaky social experiments and I'm your guinea pig."

He leaned to the other side and put one of his legs in between mine. He was really playing this up. "Mai-hime, you know me better than that."

I didn't have to open my eyes to see the stupid grin on his face as he said that. "You're right. I have a horrible feeling about this."

"How does he look?"

Opening both my eyes, I saw the smirk that I knew was on his face, shuddered inwardly and then turned towards the glass behind him. Atobe was slumped on the side of his car, in contrast to his usual perfect posture, head slightly forward so that his hair brushed over his eyes. His eyes. They were like the crystal on my chandelier upstairs. Cue shudder. "I dunno, the way he always does. Just kind of in a more pissed off way."

He began to pull away, slowly, just like he would if he was seriously kissing a girl. I've seen it happen. Yuushi's really good at PDA when he wants to be. "That's my girl."

"Am I now?" I told him flatly, running a hand through my hair. "Honestly, I am not quite sure where you've put me and what you are trying to achieve."

He slung his arm around me again and turned me towards the doors to my building. In the reflective glass, I could see Atobe straighten. "I'll bring you up." Yuushi said a little louder than necessary.

The third party to all of this turned back towards his car and slid back in. There was a nudge on my shoulder and I moved forward, hearing the sound of an expensive – you know, that really nice whirring sound – car driving away.

In the elevator, I turned on Yuushi. "To what end?"

"That end." He laughed.

"Why?" I growled up at him. Probably in a rather comedic manner.

"I'm just moving your relationship along."

"What part of this relationship needs moving along?" I exclaimed in exasperation. "It's not even real!"

He gave me a secretive smile as the elevator doors opened and started down the short hallway to my door.

"Yuu. Shi." I clipped when he still didn't answer me. He just took my key from my hand and unlocked my door while I watched him, eye twitching testily.

"Hey," he finally said once my flat door was open, motioning with one arm for me to get inside. I did so slowly, assessing him carefully as I settled into one of the loveseats. He leaned casually on the doorjamb. "When it comes to you two," he started with his extra-heavy, doubly sexy, voice. "I know what I'm doing." He finished with a wink as he set my keys down on the side table and turned to leave.

I gaped after him and the implications of what he just said. "Are you trying to set me up?"

He didn't even flinch as he looked over his shoulder at me and smiled. "Wouldn't dare, hime. I'll see you at school tomorrow."


I hope to be posting the next chapter soon!

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