I can never take these two seriously.

Kuranosuke knew his goal of getting a kiss from Tsukimi was something that would be impossible to complete. Well, impossible in the several months since they've been together. Their—he and Tsukimi—relationship dynamic hadn't changed at all.

Since he was young, he hadn't had any trouble getting kisses from his pretty girlfriends. He hadn't ever had trouble being introduced to the new bed sheets his pretty girlfriends just bought. Or the new shower curtains. Or the new dress his girlfriends had stored in the back of their closets. Or—well, the point was that he had no trouble hitting a home run (as his father would say, disturbingly enough).

He was, at most, mildly amused when Tsukimi refused a simple kiss to the cheek. She refused holding hands at the privacy of a completely abandoned living room. She refused sitting in close proximity, having said something about feeling his aura on her arm or something like that.

What he was most surprised about was how okay he was with all of that. How okay he was without any touching or kissing or sex. How comfortable he felt sitting by her bed, the soft and slightly worn out sheets cushioning his back as he fingered through boxes of clothes. How much more comfortable he felt with watching Tsukimi feverishly draw up new designs, cut out their basic layouts, obsess over her jellyfishes.

He had said it too many times—to his family, the girls that hovered around him like desperate moths, and the Nuns who were always expressing a combination of worry, curiosity and disturbance—he was comfortable. He had no intentions of breaking that comfort.

Kuranosuke, however, had one more grand surprise he would never have expected. Ever.

It was a rainy evening—really, rainy was a euphemism. It was literally a raging typhoon slamming against his bedroom wall. They had finished another dress, and it hung comfortably on his classic mannequin ready for him to try on, ready for the world to see and admire.

He hugged her, something that she normally never really accepted without some sort of resistance, but he didn't notice her unusually docile acceptance and continued to admire her handy work.

"Good thing you asked Chieko to teach you how to sew. And, well, also good thing I bought you a sewing machine, too." Kuranosuke said as he looked at the dress from a distance. "It just looks amazing up close and from afar. You did great work, Tsukimi."

"W-What? Oh, right, yes."

Kuranosuke had at least caught on her strangely quiet response. "Hello, earth to Tsukimi?" He sang and elbowed her gently. "Isn't this the part where you gush about the type of jellyfish you based the dress on or something? Like a moon jellyfish or another Clara clone."

Tsukimi noisily responded, something like a sigh and a disheartened hum at once. She was acting unusually nervous. That is to say, even more nervous than usual which would mean that she was practically shaking as if she was in the middle of a crazy earthquake. Her face was also scary red and maybe even sweating a little.

Kuranosuke wasn't an idiot. How she acted reminded him of his first kiss (and first time with another girlfriend a few years later, though that was a completely different story). The prettiest girl in his class and he were holding hands on their way back home after he managed to dodge the chauffer, dragging her behind him as he decided the best place to be alone was someplace by the river.

It was something straight out of a drama, or something like that. Those shoujo manga? Whatever—but he kissed the pretty girl, or rather she kissed him after he accidentally kissed her eyelid. He remembered how red her face was and how hot his face felt, and how the ground beneath him shook like as if there was an earthquake.

Kuranosuke swallowed, or at least tried. His face was getting hot and he was shaking like crazy. First love? That was a ridiculous notion, especially at his age with his experience. "Tsukimi," Great, it was getting hard just to say her name. "C-Can you tell me what kind of jellyfish this is?" He asked and turned his head to look at her.

And again, he remembered back to his first kiss and how terrible it was but just how wonderful it felt. The weird tingling sensation of someone else on his lips, how weirdly dry and crackled they felt, and just how incredibly awkward it all was.

Tsukimi nearly jumped and crashed her forehead into his eye, but she managed to not miss and pressed her lips against his. He couldn't really call it a kiss, because it was more like she just smashed her mouth against his and thought this was what kisses were supposed to be. He could admit that that was the basic premise of a kiss.

He would definitely call what was happening to him a terrible and extremely awkward "kiss". And he absolutely loved it.

He pulled back first, because goodness she was shaking terribly on the very tips of her toes.

Tsukimi crumpled to the ground and drew her knees into her chest. "I'm a failure of a human being." Was all he managed to hear among her depressed grumbles.

Kuranosuke knew there were much better ways to approach the situation. He could have proved to her that she wasn't a failure of a human being by, well, kissing her again. He could have consoled her, hugged her and maybe showed her the pleasures of what a man and woman could do together (okay, that was pushing it). Among all of these options he chose none. He laughed.

He laughed. Laughed a bit too hard.

Tsukimi noisily squealed, groaned, and moaned—a strange combination of all.

"No, no, I'm not laughing because of you." A blatant lie, but it was better than outright saying she was the greatest source of entertainment in his life. "It's just…funny."




"I dunno I just didn't expect you to kiss me. Especially since you can barely handle me touching your shoulder."

Tsukimi groaned.

Kuranosuke bent down over Tsukimi and patted her arm gently. "Now, now, Tsukimi. It was just the first kiss." Suddenly, it was hard to speak again. Damn it, it was suddenly really hard to even say the word kiss. "Um, th-there's plenty of times to, well, practice and—how can I say this—improve."

Tsukimi turned into stone. One of many instances.

"Of course, we don't have to today. Of course not!" Even though there was no one home with a storm raging outside. There was nowhere else to go. So it was just them. Alone. Together. Alone. He made a point not to mention this fact, as hard as it was to emphasize those points.

"This might be weird to say," Tsukimi began as she pushed herself off the floor. "B-But I didn't notice anyone else at your home." She ended quietly, quickly realizing the implications of her statement. Her face turned bright red.

Kuranosuke could literally feel his blood rushing (to more than one place, crap). "Uh, I-I'm sure there is someone else at home. Maybe." He quickly enforced, when in reality they really were the only two people at home. Oddly enough, it was his stepmother who orchestrated their privacy for the week. Said something about how he was finally dating a quality girl, something or something he wasn't really paying much attention. He appreciated the sentiment (and was pleasantly surprised that she really did care about him), but right now he was cursing her to high heaven and back.

Tsukimi suddenly rose from the floor and ran across the room to the corner across from his bed. She huddled against the walls, still quite red in the face and shaking.

Kuranosuke just watched her, still kneeling in the same spot. He hadn't felt so awkward and weirdly naïve since his early teen years. "Tsukimi, come back. I won't do anything."

Tsukimi shook her head furiously.

"What about the dress?"

"I-I-It's finished."

"Should I try it on?" Kuranosuke joked and immediately regretted making such a stupid joke.

Tsukimi gaped.

"Wait—no, that's not what I meant!"

Tsukimi was…crying? He wasn't exactly sure, but he knew he couldn't fix their odd dilemma from a distance. To her horror, he got up and walked towards her.

"No, no, no, no, no!" She cried out, arms flailing uselessly in front of her. "D-D-D-D-Don't come towards me!" She looked all around to find an escape route. To her left was the bed and it was quite obvious why that place wasn't viable. To her right was furniture covered with expensive looking items. She already broke his super expensive pearl necklace given to him by his mother. Before she could make any sort of decision, Kuranosuke was kneeling before her.

He decided that a good distance from her was smart. She still shivered, but she seemed less nervous than before. He waited a long while before sighing and flopping into a more comfortable seated position.

They watched each other for a long, long, long moment. Kuranosuke had no idea how to approach their weird dilemma. Tsukimi was just Tsukimi.

"Tsukimi, we…don't have to do this."

"D-Do what?" Tsukimi's eyes inadvertently darted towards the bed.

"Us, this, us being together. That thing."

"Oh. Wait—oh."



Kuranosuke hated what he had said. He hated the thought of this being their only option, but she wasn't ready. Hell, he wasn't ready. And overall, they were both too busy with their blossoming business to even try to indulge in any sort of relationship beyond friendship. After a while, there were going to guys who would start liking Tsukimi as her name becomes more and more recognizable in the world. She would be the world famous designer who was also an enigma—dressed horribly but made stunning dresses. And eventually there would probably be a guy much more suited for her than he was and they would get married in the jellyfish museum probably and she would get that stupidly adorable look on her face like whenever she would talk to Clara and—in conclusion, it wasn't going to work out.


Tsukimi's sudden outburst was another unexpected surprise for the night. Kuranosuke nearly fell onto his back.

"I-I don't want to b-b-break this off." Tsukimi said forcefully as she leaned closer towards Kuranosuke. "I don't. I do really like you, I do! You were the one to help me with everything with this business and saving Amamizukan and the Nuns and—and I really do like you. I like you a lot! So, so don't say anything like that, because you don't get to say when anything ends or begins!" She finished with a sharp and oddly pitched cry, her chest heaving as she panted from shouting in one breath.

Kuranosuke could feel his eyes just about ready to pop out of their sockets. He had leaned far, far back as Tsukimi leaned closer and closer toward him. In fact, their noses were just about touching.

Tsukimi then suddenly, grabbed the back of his neck and forcefully kissed him. Again, it was more like smashed her mouth against his and it was painful but really, he wasn't complaining. Her eyes were closed tight, wrinkles sprouting from the corners of her eyes. Ah, her eyebrows were getting thick, too.

He was watching her work her way through a kiss. He helped by tilting his head so their noses wouldn't grind against each other. He kept his mouth shut, kept his tongue from even daring to lick lips that weren't his. He kept his hands to himself. He enjoyed her small hands on the back of his neck, the close proximity of her body to his, and the hilarious noises she made as she held her breathe.

This time, she pulled back. To breathe, of course, she was nearly blue in the face.

Kuranosuke watched her as she gasped for air, pounding her chest as if she was having trouble downing her lunch. Oh how he wanted to laugh until he passed out, but he didn't. He really didn't. He smiled, a bit too slyly for how he wanted it to pass, but it was better than laughing. "If we really are going to do this whole kissing couple thing, you're going to have to learn how to kiss."

Tsukimi glared at him. "There's more to this?" She seemed absolutely horrified that kissing was something one actually had to learn how to do.

"You're definitely not a natural—so, yes."

"Time out."

"This isn't football," Kuranosuke scooted himself closer to Tsukimi. "Just close your eyes."

"T-Time out."

"No time outs, Tsukimi."


"It's harder to kiss if you have glasses on."

"I call a red card!"

"Are you trying to be funny again?"

Tsukimi pursed her lips. "I-I'm not…pretty or anything like that."

Kuranosuke pulled back slightly. "No, you're definitely not at all like any girls I've been with." He smirked when she turned into stone. "You're much better." Deliciously cheesy—straight out of a drama.

Tsukimi blushed, looking straight and gently poked at Kuranosuke's chest. "B-Be gentle."

Kuranosuke made a mental note of the powers of cheesy drama lines. They were potent on both ends. He could feel his entire body tense just from just that one poke and the softness of her voice. "I'm not going to ravish you, Tsukimi." He laughed gently. "Just…one."

It was light and barely a kiss. It felt like fine silk gently gliding against his skin. It was comfortable. That was all he ever wanted.