Author's Note:

This, guys, is my little New Year's Special.. hehehe... Thank you!

PLEASE ENJOY!

I do not own La Corda D'oro…

I Am Her Shadow

**Sā, call my name!**

.

.

no matter what meaning they may have

those words thrust me away gently

my fingertips that once knew of your warmth are scared of becoming frozen


.

Summary:

Kahoko Hino falls in love with her older sister Nami's boyfriend who is 10 years her senior. 5 years later, she meets him again... as her boss. What will happen to this one-sided relationship?

***Sa is like Japanese for "SIR".. well, you can correct me if you like.. heh... ^_^

.


.

"Hey, have you heard? There's this REALLY cute and hot guy who's going to replace our old and farty boss, Zaiyino - sensei! Finally! An angel heard our prayers!" Mio twirled around as they walked home from work.

"Yeah, at this rate, you also have to pray he doesn't catch you slacking off like you usually do around Zaiyino - sensei!" Nao barked back, laughing as Mio flinched at the fact.

"Aww! I did not slack around him! I was merely..." Mio pondered on the right words.

"..uninspired!" her eyes bright.

"Yeah.. Like that'll work.." Mori and Kahoko giggled as Nao rebuffed Mio's answer.

"No fair! I heard our new boss' SOOO cute, that a lot of the other branches of our company are fighting tooth and nail to have him!" Mio pouted.

"That's why YOU have to make sure you don't scare him off!" Nao scolded her.

Laughing at Mio's face, Kahoko and Mori clutched their stomachs.

"I don't know where you get your news, Mio - chan.. But it won't help you if you always act like you're in cloud9 every time our new boss is around.." Mori joked.

"Just you wait and see! You'll be eating your words!" Mio huffed as she walked on indignantly.

.


.

My first love was my older sister Nami's boyfriend who was 10 years older than me. I first met him when my sister brought him over when I was 10 years old.

Suddenly, when I was 16 years old, I found out that they had broken up.

Without even having the opportunity to tell him how I felt for him, he disappeared.

My very first heartbreak.

And now, 23 years old, the person in front of me, after 2 years of working in ReDesigns...-

"I'm your new Boss, Akihiko Kira.."

..-was my first love.

.


.

"OW! THAT HURTS!" Kahoko screamed as Akihiko bandaged her foot.

"If you can scream like that, I guess you're fine." Akihiko hands her a bottle of water.

"Seriously, I know you're not that bad in sports. I don't even understand why you tripped that badly back there." he stands up and returns the medicine he used at the shelf of the infirmary.

"Because..." Kahoko looks down at her bandaged foot, "...I was staring at you, Sir."

Silence filled the infirmary as Kahoko recalled the incident.

"Hey! There's Mr. Akihiko!" Mio pointed at a jet black haired person leaning against the window of the opposite building.

"Where?" Kahoko looked around her.

"There! In your right!" Mio directs.

"Look out!" Mio finally screams as a ball came flying towards her, making her duct, but accidentally trips over another ball lying around.

Blushing as she recalled her stupidity, Kahoko looks away from Akihiko.

"I guess you're good at getting hurt accidentally." Akihiko turns his back on her.

"ITS NOT LIKE I INTENTIONALLY DID THAT, YOU KNOW!" Kahoko screams out embarrassedly.

"Well anyways, don't do something stupid like that again. Don't get me worried again." at this words, Kahoko felt her heart stop.

Worried...?

Reaching out a hand, she caught Akihiko's hand, pulling him to her.

"Were you..." she looked at Akihiko straight in the eyes, "...worried about me?"

Once more, silence enveloped the room as Akihiko looked down on Kahoko's flushed face.

"...I.." he then clasps Kahoko's hands with his, a huge jolly grin plasters in his face.

"..of course! You're one of my cute team! We boss' get a huge kick out of ordering you around!"

At that words, Kahoko fumes angrily.

"I'm not talking about that! Its more like..." Kahoko blurts out.

...

Our age difference is 10 years. And its not like he'll be interested in my love interest over him.

OBSTACLES: 1. Boss and Employee

2. Younger sister of old lover

3. Age gap

...

Kyahhh! Kahoko shouted inside her head as this facts landed hard and painful on her.

"I wonder if I should be happy that I didn't hear he's got a girlfriend or got married already.." Kahoko whispers to herself.

BAM! both Kahoko and Akihiko turns around as the door opens, the company doctor entering.

"Sorry I wasn't around!..." she suddenly stops, "...huh? You already treated it, Mr. Akihiko?" she looks up at him wonderingly.

"Uh.. yes, Dr. Mizue.." Akihiko nods.

"How is your condition then?" Mizue asks Kahoko.

"Ah.. I'm okay now.."

"Well, we can't risk it swelling up, so you should immediately go to a hospital to have it further checked on.."

"...and Mr. Akihiko, please take her home.."

"What?"

"Ehh!"

"Ehh?" Kahoko repeats Akihiko's line as he looks away, red coloring his pale skin.

"Ehh- I'll gladly give her a ride home..." he runs a hand over his jet black hair.

"You're face say's something else, boss..." Kahoko dryly commented as Akihiko smiled innocently at her.

"I wonder what.." he smiled still.

"Seeesh! There's no helping it, I suppose.." Kahoko looked down for her shoes.

A tap on the back made Kahoko turn around.

"Wait for me down at the lockers. I'll bring the car around.." he jingled the car keys as he said so and left.

"His manner..." Mizue shook her head, "..he usually is a great helper, but I wonder by his manners.. Its like he's got something dark underneath.."

"No..." Kahoko smiled at the retreating back of Akihiko, "..his manners are perfect. He's perfect..."

.

"Why so quiet?" Akihiko spoke suddenly as he drove through the busy intersection.

"Penny for your thoughts?"

"Its nothing.." Kahoko shook her head, returning to where she was looking at, "..actually, I'm very happy..."

A faint blush painted her cheeks, not unnoticed by Akihiko.

"And why would that be?" he asked as he revved his car forward.

"I've never sat in the front seat before.." and as soon as the words escaped her mouth, Kahoko's face turned different shades of pink.

"Ha ha!" Akihiko burst out, "...you haven't?"

"Don't laugh! I've never had the opportunity to do so!" Kahoko's cheeks swelled indignantly.

"Ha ha! Still.." he wiped the tears forming in his eyes due o excessive laughter, "..you must still be pretty young to be let into the front seat.."

"Don't ruin my moment!" Kahoko faced him, pouting, "..I'm already happy!"

"Ha ha! Okay then.." Akihiko returned to the wheels, a smirk forming in his lips.

...

I never got the chance to seat in the front seat with you, Akihiko.. Its always been my sister, Nami who gets to seat with him up front.

Always ending up at the backseat.

Only seeing your back..

...

"Here we are then!" Akihiko killed the engine as Kahoko looked around, not noticing the time fly past.

"Kahoko..." straining her ears, Kahoko swore she heard Akihiko call her softly by her given name.

"Ne-?" feigning ignorance, Kahoko looked at him expectantly.

Acting casually, Akihiko grabbed a bottle of water from the back seat.

"You should rest home now, Hino." he spoke casually at her.

Shaking her head, Kahoko nodded weakly and gathered her things and left.

She watched as Akihiko's car started to life once more and backed off before finally driving away.

A small tear started forming in Kahoko's eyes as she walked home.

...

Knowing the route to our house without having me direct him.

Stopping the car blocks away from our house.

These small actions...

To some, they might go unnoticed... but to me..

It makes me think.. no.. it is.. it still is painful for him..

Memories he shared with my sister is still there, buried underneath all the cool and unfazed face of him...

Is it that painful, Akihiko?

I can understand even if you don't say a word...

...

"Welcome home, Kaho - chan!" Nami happily greeted her as soon as she entered the kitchen.

"Here! I cooked you your favorite meal!" Nami placed a bowl of Kahoko's favorite dishes as she sat down the table.

"Wow! So many, Onee - chan!" Kahoko feigned delight.

"Delicious!" this time, Kahoko did mean it. But her heart was thumping somewhere else.

"Really?" Nami clapped her hands together, "..so happy!"

.

As Kahoko lay in bed that night, her head swirled with thoughts.

Her sister.

Her PERFECT sister.

Akihiko, for you I will try to become a perfect person like my sister.

I will try to become like my sister!

I will do house chores more.

I will study how to cook even better!

Oh, for you, I will be the most perfect and gentle girl!

...

"Onee - chan.. Can I borrow the kitchen for a while?" Kahoko asked during the weekend.

"EH! Why?" Nami asked in surprise.

"Just want to try my hand in baking..." Kahoko answered determinedly.

"But-but you already know how to cook stuff!" Nami protested.

"Is that like a 'no'?" Kahoko's face turned black.

"Eh.. Hehe.. just joking.. Ehrmm.. I'll be going out now.." Nami scooted past Kahoko and closed the door behind her.

Seriously!

.

"Here! Taste it!" Kahoko handed Mio and Nao a pink cupcake.

"Ehrr... And this is supposed to be..?" Nao looked doubtfully at the cake in front of her, casting a wary glance at it before giving Mio and knowing look.

"A cupcake! A strawberry yoghurt cupcake!" Kahoko enthusiastically nudged both of them to taste it.

"So? SO?" Kahoko asked happily as both her friend casted gloomy gazes at each other.

"Kaho..?" Mio started hesitantly.

"Yeah?" she asked obliviously.

"Why is it rock-hard?"

"Eh?"

"You're great with cooking side-dishes, Kaho - chan.. But you're pathetic with baking.." Nao patted her back consolingly.

"AND WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN?" Kahoko shouted, her face red.

"What are you looking at there, Akihiko?" another man's voice suddenly spoke behind him.

"Oh. looking at them..." Akihiko pointed down below, where Kahoko, Mio and Nao are shouting.

"Oh.. Them.." the man spoke, a smile touching her lips.

"them?" Akihiko repeated, confusion etched all over her face.

"ho ho.. To be precise her..."

"Oh.."

"Kahoko Hino.. the brightest person I've ever encountered.. Did you know she's really talented? And so energetic too at that.. Most men would kill to be dating her.." a sad tone perked up Akihiko's ears.

"Past tense?" he looked at the man.

"Well yes... She's been courted by every eligible bachelor here.. But turned everyone down.. Spends the most crucial holiday alone.. I'm planning on promoting her so she can stop worrying too much on-site and go out on dates sometime... " the other man shrugs and walks away.

She's 23...

When we first met.. she was 10 years old...

KYAHH! AM I THAT OLD?..

Looking down once more at Kahoko, who now is smiling, a sense of calm entered him.

"Of course she's all grown up..."

.

"Should I give it to hi- AACK!" Kahoko dropped to the floor as she bumped into a hard body.

"Sorry!" looking up, she saw Akihiko entering the door.

"Ah! Perfect.." Akihiko pins Kahoko to the floor, "..I found you.."

...

"Crap... And this is ONLY what you wanted to ask me to do?" Kahoko mutters dangerously as she separates papers upon papers of requests for the 13th month pay.

"Hm?" Akihiko looks at her, "..where you expecting something else?"

"Ehh.. No.." Kahoko returns to her work, still muttering nasty things.

"Well, I thought since its almost New Year, and you're the only who's finished with all the projects in the Hokkaido area, I can ask for your help. Is something wrong with that?"

"Ahh.." Kahoko stalely answers.

"I always try to finish my work before the deadline.."

Suddenly, a shower of petals fell down, above Kahoko's face.

"This.. is for always working hard... a little thank you gift.." Akihiko smiles down at Kahoko, making her blush fiery red.

"THEN THIS IS MY GIFT FOR YOU, SIR!" Kahoko suddenly shoots up, handing a small cupcake.

"And this is?" Akihiko looks at it rather apprehensively.

"STRAWBERRY YOUGHURT CUPCAKE!"

Looking down at it, Akihiko felt a nasty spell coming down his spine.

Strawberry Youghurt... cupcake? And giving it a nudge, he felt it was harder than the usual rock.

Ehh.. his face starts to pale.

"I.. I don't know if its any good..." Kahoko shyly looks down, "..so I'll try very hard to make you like it, Sir.."

A small smile starts to creep at Akihiko's face as Kahoko blushes.

"Then I'll wait.." he lifts the cupcake up to his lips, "..for you to make a better one..."

Your smile...

...

It seemed even more quieter than usual..

I can hear our breaths mingling with the silence all around us..

The noise of the papers seem to fill the deadness between us..

...

"Ah!" Akihiko stretches like a cat as the sun's rays cast an orange glow all around them, "..the sun's setting already.." he smiles.

"Seems like the sun sets much earlier now.." he covered his line of vision with his hand, "...I hope everyday is like this.."

Kahoko looked at Akihiro long and hard before tugging his shirt childishly.

"Sir.. Can I.. Can I sit next to you?"

Looking at Kahoko in surprise, Akihiko gave a slow nod.

"Of course.. You can always sit next to me.."

Kahoko sits next to Akihiko on the desk, and sits shoulder to shoulder with him.

With a small laugh, Kahoko gives a gentle laugh and a blush creeps on her cheeks.

"What is it?" Akihiko looks weirdly at Kahoko's face, "..you can always come near me, you know.."

Shaking her head, "No... This 'place'.. used to be my sister's.."

"Since we first met, the closest I could look at you was your back..."

Akihiko looked at Kahoko, surprised etched all over his face.

"And that never changed, even now that I see you everyday at work.. Everyday, I wanted to run after that back... In the end, I've became a pro at knowing your back.." Kahoko gave an embarrassed laugh at this.

"I wanted to be just like my sister... I wanted to be by your side... I wanted to be the most important person to you... I.. I wanted you to call me by my name.."

Unable to speak, he could only listen to the rest of Kahoko's confession.

"There were plenty of times... So many times I wanted to give up.. but..."

...

The very first person this heart of mine started beating for is now right in front of me...

But this gap between us, that I thought would somewhat lessen if I could get close to you..

This feeling that I feel everyday for you...

...

"It is impossible..." Kahoko can feel the wet and hot tears she's kept for so long flow heedlessly down her pale cheeks.

...

I tried so hard to get your love that it blinded me from seeing anyone else...

Is there anyone out there, who'd shake this feeling I have from you, off?

...

Suddenly, Kahoko felt Akihiko's hand force her face to him.

She felt the heat flaming her cheeks as she can now see the rubies glistening in Akihiko's eyes.

"S-sir?"

Now, she can almost taste the same air between them.

But the moment was snapped into two when Akihiko broke away and turned around.

"Sorry..." he stood up, "..I was mistaken.."

...

You.. you mistook-?

That's-

...

"S-si-!"

*BANG!*door opens*

"Akihiko - sir!" one of the team managers opened the door loudly, other team managers behind him.

"There's a slight mistake in the Fukkaido area!" the man who entered brandished sheafs of paper with a bright red stamp atop it.

"This...-" Akihiko browsed each one of them.

"Yeah..."

"You.." Kahoko clenched her fist.

"It should've been like this-" Akihiko peered closer, intending to explain.

"SIR! I HAVE ARRANGED THE PAYROLL NOW! I'LL BE LEAVING NOW" Kahoko grabbed her things and ran for the door.

"Hey!" Akihiko spun around just in time as Kahoko reached the door, "...Hino, WAIT!"

*BANG!*door closes*

...

You mistook me..

...

"Hey, Kaho - chan, you're late... Went out with friends?" Nami smiled as she welcomed Kahoko at the door.

"Sorry, Onee - chan! I'm going to bed early!" Kahoko sped past Nami, her head bowed low, and closed the door behind her.

"Kaho - chan? What's wrong?" Nami called after her on her closed door.

"Kaho - chan?"

...

..for whom?...

...

"Hey! You look so pretty with your yukata, Kaho - chan!" Nami smiled approvingly as they made to leave.

"Thanks!" Kahoko smiled, the happiness not reaching her eyes.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Nami probed as they walked towards the park where the fireworks display can be seen clearly.

"Yeah..." Kahoko nodded, looking away from Nami.

"Okay.. Wait for me here, okay? I'm going to get drinks.."

Kahoko looked up from the branches of the Cherry Blossoms where she can see the blood red moon.

...

Akihiko...

...

"huff huff! huff huff!" Akihiko ran along the throng, trying to catch a glimpse of her red head.

...FLASHBACK...

"This is the end of the year assessment. I want you to write anything that you think would be for the improvement of this company. Hand it to me after." Akihiko started handing out papers to be filled out.

"I'll be waiting here..." he pointed at the only head desk at the huge conference room.

As everyone sat down and the scratching of papers were heard, Akihiko sat down and raised his feet atop the table.

"If any one of you have question, please approach me.."

Suddenly, he saw Kahoko's figure rise up from the very back and walk towards his direction.

"Anything wro-" but Kahoko slammed the paper down at the table.

"I'M DONE!" Kahoko breathed heavily.

"I don't feel so good! I'm going now!" Kahoko rushed past him and ran for the door.

"Wait! Hino!" Akihiko called after her.

"The rest of you continue!" he motioned with his hands for the rest of the people.

"Hino!" he shouted once more as he ran at the door.

"Crap! What the heck's wrong with her!"

As he looked at the paper Kahoko submitted to him, Akihiko's face changed.

...END OF FLASHBACK...

"Kahoko!" Akihiko ran amongst the many people, until finally catching a glimpse of Kahoko's red mane.

"KAHOKO!" he shouted as he got a few feet from her.

"S-s-sir!" Kahoko spun around, making the beautiful silver and golden butterfly adorning her hair glitter under the bright moon.

"Your assessment paper.." Akihiko clutched a stitch from his chest, "...are recorded..."

"I don't care..." sadness enveloped Kahoko eyes as she turned away from Akihiko, "..it doesn't matter.."

"If you got fired.." Akihiko raised the assessment paper Kahoko had written on, "..I won't be able to see you anymore and call you by your name.." a smile forming in his lips.

CALL MY NAME!

"No-no way.." Kahoko felt the tears forming once more.

...

I want you to call me by my name...

I want to be special for you...

That smile on your face...

I want to be the one who'll only see it!

...

"But- but you said back then that you were mistaken!" Kahoko pulled Akihiko by the lapels of his shirt.

Suddenly, people around Kahoko and Akihiko started countind down for the new year.

"-Sorry I was mistaken- I wasn't supposed to touch you in any way yet.." he dryly answered her.

5!

"By the way, how do you expect me to assess this?" Akihiko showed her her paper.

4!

"S-sir.. Th-that.." Kahoko looked dumbstruck.

3!

"Don't tell me you don't know how to read?" Akihiko murmured as shades of red painted her face.

2!

"This time... I'll be the one to wait..." Akihiko smiles warmly down at Kahoko as tears poured down her face.

1!

When you get promoted, I'll finally marry you...

*BOOM BOOM! BOOM BOOM!*

"Kahoko..."

.

The pattern of love drawing near the heart...

Don't extinguish it..

.

.

THE END


THE END!

Thank you!