Authoress' Notes: I know I have strayed from my so-called "plans" for the year, but school appears to detest me. I had been busy with quite a number of things and I was not really getting that much of sleep, but I am trying. This is a belated Valentine's story for the Len/Kaho pairing. Done in a span of thirty minutes, I haven't proofread it yet. Be free to point out redundancy and mistakes.

Forewarning: OOC-ness, I guess.

like an airplane

Hino Kahoko was edgy by the time the last of the notes drifted around the cold auditorium. She sat on the front seats, along with Hamai Misa and her husband. Onstage was a world-renowned orchestra, playing the last notes with Tsukimori Len.

Tsukimori Len.

He was the boy who sparked in her a love for music that she never knew was there, the boy who often demeaned her when it came to violins, and the same boy who was now a man. He was the same boy who took her hand one time, pulled her to him, and let his lips linger on hers.

He was the same boy who made her fall head over heels.

A surge of pride swelled in Kahoko's chest when the audience stood up and clapped their hands upon the ending of the performance. It was a must-seen feat. It was a standing ovation.

A hand enfolded hers. She looked up and saw a grinning Hamai Misa, who was just as euphoric as she was. They hugged, expressing their pride on their boy finally reaching his dream.

It was all Kahoko could do before she looked back up the stage and smiled at the blue-haired man standing there in all his glory. Her heart fluttered as Len was staring back.

A ghost of a smile graced his lips.

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A phone was ringing. Reverted from her train of thoughts, Kahoko delved into her handbag and got her mobile phone. On the caller ID was the name of her boyfriend of three years, Tsukimori Len.

Aged twenty-three, Kahoko never thought love would come to her in the most unexpected way, unexpected person, and unexpected turn. She was clueless, naive, and uninterested, but the heavens above simply loved playing games with her.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Len!" she greeted over the phone. She continued walking by the sidewalk that overlooked the sea.

All around were vendors of chocolates, roses, heart-shaped balloons, and other romantic items. The redhead smiled as she peeked inside her still unzipped bag and saw her Valentine's present.

"Hn," the person on the other line grunted. "Look, I need you to follow the directions I will tell you."

"Eh? Where are you?"

"Just follow what I say, OK?"

There was not a moment's hesitation when she unconsciously nodded her head and said, "OK."

She trusted him.

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So standing in front of an ice cream stand in the park with Tsukimori Len as a vendor did not (ever) cross her mind. She blinked, fascinated.

"Len?" she called out, eyebrows raised.

He was complete with a cap, an apron, and a badge. On his right hand was an ice cream, and when a child passed by to look at it, he gave it out without any second thoughts. To say that Kahoko was bewildered was an understatement.

A grin from Kahoko.

"Are you for real?" she asked.

A small smile.

"I won't be giving you chocolates," he responded. Kahoko's heart thudded against her ribs. "I won't be giving you bears. I won't be giving you roses, nor heart-shaped balloons. But I can give you an ice cream."

Len was leaving the stand and approaching her as he said those, and more and more people mobbed around them, staring.

Curious, Kahoko asked, "Why?"

Len shrugged. "You're sweeter than chocolates. You make me smile more than teddy bears. You deserve more than roses, and heart-shaped balloons won't express how big my heart now is for you."

By then, Kahoko's knees were buckling.

"So why ice cream?"

Another smile from him.

Another shrug.

"Why not? After all, I am the ice cube," replied Len, opening his arms. It was a signal. It was a cue.

And right then and there, she fell into his arms, exclaiming in bliss.

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It was fun to watch him sell ice cream—in Kahoko's unbiased opinion. He got to show how different really he was, how gentle he was, and how appreciative he was. He got to show he loved her.

And when the moment came and she was pulled by a number of children and back to the ice cream booth, her head was whirling.

He got down on bended knee.

Tears formed into her eyes. Her ears blocked the chirping of the birds in the ground, the chuckling of the kids, the amusement of the public . . . . She merely stood there and watched him.

He had a ring.

"You're crying," Len pointed out.

Kahoko shook her head. "It's because I know what you're going to do."

Another smile from him.

"Forgive my brash actions before. Forgive me for ever making you cry. For give me that I am kneeling here in front of you, watching tears fall from your eyes."

Her heart skipped a beat.

"And I know it's probably not the best thing right now, but I'll try it anyway."

Silence. More people watched.

"Forgive me that I need you. Forgive me that I love you. Forgive me . . . ," he paused, looking up at Kahoko's face, ". . . that I want to marry you."

Within a blink of an eye, Len was standing, a Hino Kahoko in his arms.

"I can't promise you I'll always be with you," said Len, "but I know you'll always be with me. I can't promise you the happiness, but it's for the best—because when the face is sad, the heart grows wiser."

A smile from Kahoko.

"And I can't promise you that I'd stop loving you," intervened Kahoko, looking up at Len. A huge grin escaped her lips. Len raised an eyebrow. "Because over and over again, you keep me falling for you."

It had never been truer.

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Walking back to home with Len (her fiancé now), Kahoko jumped, remembering something.

"What is it?" asked Len, eyebrows raised.

"Here!" Kahoko cried, exposing to him her present.

It was a heart-shaped box, wrapped in white. By then, Len already knew what it was. Chocolates.

"You know I hate chocolates," said Len, but taking the box from her.

"I know," said Kahoko grinning. "Today, I've given chocolates to Tsuchiura-kun, Hihara-kun, Shimizu-kun, Fuyuumi-chan, Yunoki-kun, Mio, Nao . . . ."

Len waited.

"But that's not a chocolate, you know."

Curiosity pooled in Len's chest and head. When the young man opened the box, ripping the wrapper in the process, his eyes caught pieces of a puzzle.

"When you put those things together, you'd create an airplane," said Kahoko, a sincere look in her eyes.

"Why airplane? Why puzzle?"

It was only half a second before she answered.

"Because you puzzle me."

The couple stared at each other for the next few moments.

"Because like an airplane, you bring me to heaven."

Without a moment's hesitation, he kissed her.

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Happy Valentine's day, Kahoko.

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Authoress' Notes: By the way, belated happy birthday to solusviscus. :) I love you, girl! I failed to greet you then but that's because this whole week, I didn't get the chance to connect to the net. D: