Winter is Coming


I remember the first time I proposed to Sakura; I screwed everything up. I had a nice dinner and dance planned out for just the two of us. The restaurant saved us a special seat near the water fountain and I requested the band to play her favorite song. It was all going so smoothly . . . until I choked. Big time, I swallowed up and couldn't chew at all. The words were stuck in my throat and throughout the whole evening I was a nervous wreck. She was calm and collected of course, she always is and for that I envy her.

I was supposed to pop the question when the water show began, but I just stood there like an idiot, cursing myself and acting like a total fool. She enjoyed everything of course, her smile never faltered and every now and then she'd grab my arm when something eye-catching happened. Finally, when we finished dessert I asked her. Well, I actually screamed at her. It was a bit frightening and I know I scared some of the staff. But she didn't seem to mind, because fifty years later we're still together.

"Wait, you have a date?"

I'm ignoring him, I really am.

"The Sabaku Gaara has a date? With a girl?"

My eye twitches and it takes everything in me to not throw something sharp and pointy at his head.

"I have been on plenty of dates before."

Naruto scoffs and continues playing his video game, "Those didn't count. You just went with them to show everyone you aren't gay. Which of course, fueled the rumor even more because you didn't even like them."

I sigh and spray some AXE on me, "I'm not gay."

"Take that zombie bitch!" He nearly falls off the couch as he presses the controller button vigorously, "Of course you aren't, because you like Sakura right? That's why you're taking her out on a date."

"It's not a date." I contemplate whether or not I should do anything with my hair, but seeing as how it'll always resemble that of a wild forest; I leave it alone.

"Sure, and my hair isn't blonde. Look, stop denying the fact that you may have some feelings for her. I mean, all you do is think about her – and don't deny that – because when you aren't playing your drums or locking yourself in your book studying, you're usually sitting in the gardens with her."

Damn it, how could I make myself that obvious? And curse Naruto for being so observant. I guess he isn't really as dumb as he looks. I exit the bathroom and lean against the living room wall.

"I will admit, I do feel something for her."

He grins cheekily, "See what I mean?"

"But it's affection."

There is a loud booming from the T.V. and he flips the screen off, "Keep telling yourself that."

"Look I asked her out to dinner, friends do that. It's not a date and I don't like her in that way." He opens his mouth, but I cut him off, "And don't tell me I'm in denial."

The game pauses and he sets the controller down. He gives me this hard look and it almost makes me feel like he's reading my mind somehow. Naruto may slack when it comes to school, and he's not exactly the most brilliant thing ever, but he's smart and very sly. He's probably knows me better than I know myself. I can't hide anything from him, even if I buried it fifty feet underground he'll still be able to dig it up.

My voice comes out low, but I know he can still hear me."I don't how I feel, but what I do know is that she's important to me. I've never met someone like her. She's weird, and hard to read. She's something else all together."

Naruto smirks and resumes his game, "Most girls are like that, if they aren't; then they aren't worth your time. I can tell she's doing a number on you, she's making you think for once. Just don't mess this up, it'd be a shame if you lose her."

I chuckle, "You haven't spent time with her like I have, if anything, she doesn't care about what happens between us."

"Now you're just making it seem like she's heartless."

"She's anything but heartless, I can't explain it. I don't think she knows how to act like a normal person."

"Normal's overrated, if she really is as strange and unusual as you keep telling me than you should definitely let her stay that way."

I nod, giving his words one last thought, and walk away from the living room and head for the door. My clothing is very casual, just a black shirt, hoodie, and jeans. I don't want to seem like I'm trying too hard, but at the same time I don't want to come off as uncaring. Back when I "dated" girls, I always come off as some insensitive jerk with a frigid personality, and they and their friends would blast me the next day. I don't want Sakura to do that, though I don't think she has any friends, and I'm actually trying my best to be nice to her. I like her.

But not in that way.

And this is not a date.

. . . I am in such denial. I can't think like this, because then I'll end up being all defensive again and she'll be put off by my attitude. I know I said she didn't care, but she wouldn't assault me with her laser beam of emotions if she actually didn't. Which reminds me, I still have to ask her how she does that. I don't think I can take it anymore, it's weird and does funny things to my insides. And I don't like it when fuzzy things are tickling my organs, it gives my body wrong reactions.

Slipping on my converse, I tell Naruto to remember to turn off the kitchen stove this time and lock the door. Seriously, the guy actually left the fire going on well into the early morning. My utility bill went flying over my head I almost killed him right then and there. But anyways, I'm trying not to think of stupid catastrophes like that right now because my stomach is filled with butterflies and this hollow feeling won't leave me alone.

Her dorm is in building A5, that's where all the kids with the rich families stay. I actually forgot Sakura came from a wealthy family, she's so down to earth I would have never guessed. Plus, I know she buys all her clothes from cheap department stores and thrift shops, not to mention her school uniform is a hand-me-down. I remember her telling me once that her parents owned an animal themed café somewhere in Tokyo. Kind of weird, but then again this is Sakura I'm talking about.

I walk through past the B buildings and see a significant change in scenery. There are are tons of elaborate water fountains scattered everywhere. The gardens look for like rainforests with all their exotic flowers, and the ponds and filled to the tee with expensive koi fish. I've only been here once, and that was because I was paired up in my science class with a guy who lived here. He was cool, too bad he graduated with the rest of the seniors. They were all actually bearable, not to mention intellectual. They left behind a legacy that our class will surely not follow, unfortunately.

The school bell tower chimes, it's only 5:30. Maybe I'm too early or maybe I'm too late. I hope she's ready, what if she's not ready? Should I wait a little longer? She's probably already waiting for me. I hope I look away, she probably couldn't care less. It's not as if I'm trying to impress her, or am I? No, I am most certainly not! I just want some sort of reaction from her! She'll probably just give me that apathetic look and call me childish again.

I sigh and rub the bridge of my nose. We haven't even gone to dinner yet and I'm already acting up a storm. The things this girl does to me. Even when she isn't here I'm still getting rattled. I'd hate to imagine what dating her would really be like, just the thought of a pink-haired, stunner shade wearing girlfriend already gave me a raging migraine.

Wait, I shouldn't even be thinking that. I should not imagine Sakura as my girlfriend, I shouldn't imagine her as anyone's girlfriend for that matter. No one would want a girl like her, and I'm not saying that to be mean. I'm quite serious. She's not that kind of person, she wears bracelets made of human teeth for crying out loud! Oh man, I hope those are fake. That's just unsanitary.

I get to the stares and don't even bother greeting some of the people who pass by when I see a familiar pair of shoes come into sight. I mentally groan and try to walk around the person as fast as I can, but as fate would have it; she just loves torturing me.

"What're you doing here Sabaku, shouldn't you be in the commoner's dorm?"

He's blocking my way, that bastard. I have no choice but to play his game for a little bit if I want to get to Sakura's dorm.

"I could ask you the same thing, didn't know lurking in dark hallways was your thing."

Sasuke smirks, "Funny, you're very funny."

His bag is still on him and he's carrying some books, I think he just got out of study hall. Although, there has been rumors that he skips lessons so he can get a blow job from girls in his fanclub. Wouldn't be surprised, It's just funny to know he's actually straight. From the amount of time and care he puts into looking as stunning as he does, I assumed he played for the other team. I think he makes Edward Cullen look manly, and that's saying a lot. But whatever, I can't deal with this moron right now. I have somewhere to be.

"Well, as much as I enjoy our little conversations, I have somewhere to go."

"Taking Sakura out on a date? I didn't know you had it in you. Did you bribe or force her? She didn't look all too happy when she told me."

The hair on my neck stood on it. I brake out into a cold sweat and almost lunged at him. How the hell did he get Sakura to tell him? More importantly, why was he with her?

I growl,"That's none of your business."

"That may be, but I'm just saying you have no chance with her."

I roll my eyes, "And you think you do?"

"Better chance than you."

Ha! So I was right all along, he does have something for her. But I let that revelation slide and all I want to do is wipe that stupid expression clean off his face. This is perfect, simply wonderful. I was fine and happy not having to compete with anyone to get her attention since everyone was weirded out by her, but now that the school's heartthrob has his eyes set on her I don't know what do to. Murder isn't an option, though it's looking like a good idea right about now. But I know she'll never want a slime ball like him. And that's the only thing I have going for me.

"Get real Uchiha, she doesn't want you - she doesn't anyone."

He chuckles, "And that must break your heart, right? Too bad really, I know she could have had a real good time with me, I know exactly what to do to please a woman. Even one as annoying as her."

Just as I'm about to slam my fist into his face, something whizzes right by us and glides up the stairs. A flurry of pink hair and flashing red lights rolls across the bridge and into the dormitories. I don't hesitate for a second and climb up the stairs as quickly as I can.

"If you're wondering, Sakura and I have study hall together. Everything Tuesday and Thursday, for two hours." He says this all too smugly and continues walking down the first floor hallway.

I block out his words. They shouldn't bother me as much as they have, but they do. There's no point in denying it, I am slightly jealous. It is an ugly and disturbing feeling and I don't like it at all. I hardly get jealous over anything, but this is different. I only have one class with her, for one hour and we hardly speak to each other because we're so busy taking notes and doing work. The only real chances I get to be with her is during lunch and our ten minute breaks, and we're hardly ever alone during those times.

But Uchiha gets to be alone with her, he gets to study with her and spend time with her. I should be in his place, I should be the one studying with her. I know I sound possessive, and I have no right to be feeling this way, but I can't help it. This goes way beyond the level of friendship, I'm treading in unknown territory without a map and I feel completely helpless. I don't want to go to dinner mad, hell I don't want to be mad at all. But at this point I feel like our evening is completely ruined.

Sakura's probably really tired, she must be after spending that many hours with Sasuke. I wonder if she still wants to go out, I wouldn't blame her if she didn't. I walk past a couple more doors before I finally stop at hers. I don't hear anything coming from the inside, so I knock three times. I stand there for a few seconds before the door slightly opens. I can hardly see Sakura through the crack.

"Oh, it's you."

"Uh yeah," I know I sound agitated, it probably wouldn't do any good if we went out together while I'm still feeling down, "Hey listen - "

"Do you want to come in?"

I forget that I'm angry all together and just stare at her with wide eyes, "W-what?"

"I spent my afternoon in study hall and had no time to clean myself, would you like to come in and wait as I get ready?"

I'm pretty sure my mouth is hanging open, but I nod and watch as she steps aside and opens the door wider. I take my shoes off with shaky fingers and hesitantly take my first step inside. She quickly closes the door and walks away. I assume she's going to use the bathroom so I try and make myself as comfortable as possible and sit in her living room.

Her dorm is plain and simple. Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing extravagant, it looks almost new in a way because of how few furniture and decorations she has. This is totally different from what I would have imagined, well, not that I have ever imagined coming into Sakura's room or anything. The walls are a creamy white, the couch is a dark turquoise and the she only has a few framed pictures hanging on her wall. The only thing that really stands out is the plasma TV and it's stand. She appears to be an avid gamer, because all the game systems I could imagine are neatly packed into the cabinets under the stand.

From what it looks like, she's living alone. I only saw two other pair of shoes, not including myself, and I've already seen her wear them. It makes me a little uneasy to know shes here all by herself, what if someone tried to break it? It's a good thing I live so close, that way I can come check up on her if anything were to happen. But at the same time, Sasuke lives in the same complex and if he finds out she doesn't have a roommate, he'll probably make some lewd suggestion like asking if he could move in with her. And knowing how oblivious she is, she'll probably just say yes.

Great, now I'm angry again. My thoughts always go back to that chicken-haired dick and it pisses me off every time. I try flipping through some of the magazines stacked neatly on her coffee table, but that doesn't help. I get up and walk around her makeshift house. I go to the first picture on the wall and it nearly softens my mood. It's Sakura as a baby. She's laying on top of her mother, who is making a kissy face at her. Her eyes are so big and doll like, it's such a contrast to how she is now. I wonder if she'll look as innocent as this if she actually opened her eyes all the way, instead of leaving them half lid.

The second picture is of her and a tall, platinum blond man. I'm going to assume that's her father, even though his feminine features say other ways. She's wearing a soft, yellow dress and he's dressed in an all black suit. I guess it must be at a wedding of some sort, but she's holding some balloons so I can't really tell. She looks happy and she's actually smiling. I resist the urge to coo at the picture, despite how cute it is and move on to the next one. There are two people in it whom I don't know, I assume they are her friends. A girl with light green hair is making the peace sign, Sakura's in the middle with puckering up her lips like a fish, and a boy with black hair at her side. On the bottom, it says 'Not Today,' whatever that means.

I hear the shower go on and I know I'll be here for a while, not that I mind or anything. It's still a little early. The rest of the pictures are of her and her parents and some with friends. Well, at least it's nice to know she's an actual human being. For a while I thought she was an alien or something, how crazy is that? I know she's weird, very strange and totally abnormal, but she's still a person.

I hear a beeping and realize that's my phone. I take it out of my back pocket and touch the screen. It's from Naruto. I growl out loud. That moron, why the hell would I be buried deep in her panties? I send him a rather curt remark, something I know he'll laugh at regardless of my threat to maim him alive. How Hinata could possibly stand a pervert like him is beyond me. I've been bestfriends with that kid since preschool and I can't be around him for two seconds without choking him.

There is a rather impressive bookshelf in her den, and it's filled to the brim with books of all sorts. I walk over and examine it with a curious eye. They're mostly classic literature and some fiction here and there. Most are in Latin or English, but I can spot a few Japanese ones. She only has a small section for her Korean books, but they're thick and look quite heavy. And the thing that gets to me is that they aren't new, they're old. All of the books are old and worn out. I don't think they're for show either, I solemnly believe she has read each and every one of these.

My heart soared at the thought.

I've never told anyone but Naruto; smart girls are a huge turn on for me, especially the ones who actually read. I eagerly grab a random book, I don't know or care what it says but I want to see what's in it and why Sakura has read it. As I flip through the delicate pages, something slips out and falls to my feet. I look over and see that it's a folded paper. I probably shouldn't read it, but I do it anyways so I grab and open it. It's just a picture of some kind of weird looking triton. At first I don't recognize what it is, but then I remember seeing it in one of Sakura's books.

She said it was a royal crest of armor, but it doesn't look any coat of arms to me. I've never seen anything like it and I have no idea which country it comes from. And that's when I notice it, I look around her den and see the symbol everywhere. It's on a flag hanging on the wall, a small bronze statue sitting on the shelf, it's even engraved onto some of the furniture. I find this a little creepy so I put the book back and slowly back out of the room.

"What're you doing in there?"

I nearly jump out of my skin. I lay my hand over my pounding heart and calm myself. How the hell does she stay so silent? I have half a mind to yell at her, and spin around to do so, but it is a gave mistake and I pay for it dearly. Blood rushes out of my nose before I can stop myself. I back into the wall and point an accusing finger at her.

"W-why the hell are you naked!"

She looks down at herself and then back at me, "I'm not naked, I am wearing a towel."

Her hair is still wet, and I can see her cheeks are still red after stepping out of the shower. I don't know if I'm breathing or not, hell, I don't even know I'm alive. But as I watch a single drop of water fall from her bangs and land on her chest, sliding into the valley of her breasts I know I am a dead man.

I am not getting aroused, I am not getting aroused, I am not . . .

Her face is still blank and she cocks and eyebrow as I try to control the bleeding. She turns and walks to the kitchen, taking out a roll of towels, and throwing them at me. Then she brush right past me and disappears into her room, shutting the door silently.

I clutch the towels for dear life and wipe my nose. I don't know what came over me, I've never had such a strong reaction before. Perhaps Naruto was right, I really do need to get laid. No, no! I'm only sixteen! I should be thinking like this, especially about Sakura. What just happened was a normal response and male would have when in the vicinity of an attractive young woman. And I'm not just calling Sakura attractive because she was standing in front of me naked.

I have to control myself, I have to! This cannot be happening, oh hell no. I refuse to stoop so low as to have a hard on when Sakura is around. But . . . why did she have to be naked? She probably thinks I'm a pervert now, I can just imagine all the things she's thinking about me. She probably doesn't want to go get dinner now, I bet she's calling the cops. What have I done to our friendship? I have tainted the only true friendship I'll ever have with a girl!

My nose has finally stopped bleeding and my heart has gone back to normal, but that image of a wet and naked Sakura standing before me in all her innocent glory will forever be burned into my head. I can't look at her the same anymore, damn it! Now that I know what a fine, fine behind she's hiding underneath those horrid school uniform, it's probably the only thing I'm going to be thinking about until the day I die. Cursed these blasted hormones! For once in my life I actually hate being born with a dick.

Speaking of dicks, I dare not move from my spot until mine as come down from its high. I have to apologize to her, I have to make things absolutely clear that I do not in anyway wish to jump her. Oh god, if Naruto finds out about this I will never hear the end of it. She's been in her room an awfully long time, I wonder what she's doing. Probably crying over my indecency, hoping I'll leave and never return.

I throw the towels away and slowly, quietly make my way down the hall. I pass by some more hanging pictures, but I can't bring myself to look at them. I have shamed myself so perversely, I should not be forgiven. But I have to make amends somehow, even though it will probably mean nothing to her.

I stop at her door. There is a white board with a calender on it and I can see she has written many things down, all in hangul. I raise my hand and make to knock, but the door swings open and we're met face to chest. She's unbelievably tiny that it makes me all the more guilty.

She steps around me and closes the door. I hear her walk through the hallway and stop at the front where she starts putting on her shoes.

"Well, are you coming or what?"

I go to the front and attempt to speak, but she cuts me off.

"Save it, I care not. Trust me, there's been worse."

I don't know if that's supposed to make me feel better, because it doesn't, but Sakura seems more or less uninterested and finishes lacing her shoes. She isn't affected by the situation at all, it's only me. I just need to calm the fuck down and move on, put all of this behind me. Better said than done, there will always be a part of be wondering what if. I slip my shoes on and we're out the door.

The sun is partially set, so the skies are now purple-ish pink. I think it's really pretty, and Sakura must think the same too because she's taking out her camera for a quick picture. I've noticed lately she's been taking quite a lot of pictures with her new camera. Her dad bought it for her after her last one died, she's already decorated it with tons of jewels and beads.

"Do you always have to do that?"

"Only if it's nice."

We make our way pass the buildings and head toward the shops. It's a thursday night, I don't think there's going to be a lot of people out. As we wait for the light to turn red for us to cross, I notice something I haven't seen before. There is a small dent on her eyebrows. It's a curved line of hair, then it stops before continuing on, leaving a small hairless area on her brow.

"What's up with this?" I make a hand motion to my own brow.

She looks up at me, "I had a small accident as a child."

"Did you fall or something?"

"Someone hit me."

I'm shocked to say the least, who could ever do such a thing?

But before I can ask, the light flashes and we're already moving. We get to the restaurants and shops, and all that's left is to find a nice place to eat. I'm trying to decide if it should be something fancy or casual. If we go to a fine dining place, I'll have to pay more and it would really look like a date. Plus I don't even think they'll take us in, I mean look at how we're dressed. I'm not saying we're sloppy, but Sakura is wearing neon green shorts and a grey tank top. Her bows have nyan cat on them, that's saying enough. We'll be kicked out before we even reach the front door.

Casual it is.

After looking around, we decide to eat at Minamori's Pastry House. I open the door for her and we walk in. The smell of strawberries and crème overwhelms me, I can already feel my taste buds dying inside my mouth. However, Sakura doesn't seem to mind, her face is already pressed against the glass counter and looking at all the sweet delicacies this place has to offer.

I decide to forgo the sugary stuff and just look over their dinner menu. Their soups and salads sound nice, I've never had french onion before. I think I'll get that, plus it comes with free bread.

"Have you decided what you want?"


"Welcome my children!"

We both look up and see an elderly man with bright purple hair burst out of the back and greet up in a most flamboyant way. His wig is falling off, and his lolita dress is two sizes two small. My thinking process has just erupted, life is now one giant game. Of all things, a cross dress – the owner is a cross dresser who wears cheap make-up and forces his voice to sound like a girl's. Sakura isn't fazed at all and returns her attention to the pastries.

"My name is Minamori Hanako," He skips over to us, "Is there anything I can help you lovebirds with?"

I cringe at that, "We are not lovebirds."

"Oh?" He feigns shock, "So you two aren't on a date?"


"That's too bad, you both look adorable together!" He says this in a sing-songy way and I want to punch him for that. Elder or not, if he says that one more time I'm going to hit him.

"Can we just order already?"

He gets behind the cash register, "But of course my angels, what will you have?"

"I want the french onion soup, with the salad."

"Any drinks with that?'


He types all that in and looks at Sakura over the counter, "And for you dearest?"

She's quite for a moment before getting off the glass and points to the sweets, "One of everything."

My stomach drops, Minamori claps his hands wildly. "Oh excellent darling! Just excellent, you're my new favorite costumer!"

He grabs a pair of pink gloves and proceeds to grab one of everything and put them on a chine plate. My eyes are bulging out of their sockets. Is this reality? My poor wallet, this is going to cost me more than a new pair of drums. Is that piece of cake seriously 480 yen? No, that is ridiculous. Wow, that cheesecake is 680.30 yen. Looks like I'll be working over time for the next whole year.

As I pull out my wallet, I see Sakura taking out hers and and getting ready to hand the owner her credit card.

"Wait, what are you doing?"

"Paying for my food, obviously."

My left eye twitches, "No you are not."


"Because I'm the one who asked you out for dinner, I'm obviously paying for it."

"Oh, a lover's spat!" Minamori rubs his cheeks.

"Quite old man. Look, I'm paying for everything, that's final." I shove her out of the way and hand him my credit card.

"Is this your way of being chivalrous?" She puts her wallet back into her pocket.

"No, it's because I'm being polite. Plus, guys usually do these things for girls."

Sakura crosses her arms, "And you feel like your masculinity is being put at stake so you pay for my food, right?"

I give her one of my hardest looks, "My masculinity is just fine, thank you very much."

"I don't understand why men do this when women are just as capable at buying their own meals."

Minamori shakes his head, "She has a point you know, we girls don't need your chauvinistic righteousness being forced down our throats."

I snatched my card back, "Shove it and just get us our food."

"Your soup will be ready in five minutes, please help yourself to any seat you would like!" He skips back into the kitchen.

Sakura attempts to grab the plates, but I beat her to it and she gives me a deadpan look, although I can see a spark of irritation in her eyes. I smirk at her and purposely bum into her as I find us a table. We take the one next to the window that looks out into the center of the shops. I set her food down and we take our seats.

"Would you like some?"

I take one sweep of her dinner and blanch, "Hell no, I'll die of diabetes before the night's over."

She shrugs and digs in, very slowly. The first thing she gets is the caramel apple strudel and takes a small bite. Even though her expression is blank, I can see her pupils dilating and know she's enjoying every minute of this.

"So, you never told me you had study hall on tuesdays and thursdays."

She swallows, "You never asked."

My food is delivered and take a spoonful of soup. It's still steaming hot, so I blow on it and take a tentative sip. The flavor is . . . interesting, to say the least. I've never had something quite like it. It's definitely new, but I like it. The parmesan cheese adds a little kick, and I like it. I dip the bread in the soup and when I take a bite, it's almost like heaven.

"Wanna try?"

She puts the cookie and brownie down and looks at my food, "What is it?"

"French onion."


I take another spoonful and blow on it, then bring to her mouth. She leans in and slightly wets her glossy, pink lips with the tip of her tongue before taking the whole head in. At then it happens, I'm brought back to the apartment when Sakura is standing right in front of me naked and wet. Except this time I don't think I can come out alive. There is something so sensual and seductive about her innocence it drives me up the wall. This shouldn't be turning me on, but it is and I can feel my pants getting a little tighter.

My breathing has staggered and I know my hand is shaking. I gulp despite how dry my mouth has become. Does she not realize what she's doing to me? This can't be real, she's so doing this on purpose. I bet she's having a real great time making a fool out of me. She let's go with a wet pop and leans back, continuing on with her meal. I bring the spoon back and just stare at it for a while. Her saliva is on it.

If I eat with this spoon, it's like I'm kissing her.

Oh my god, I'm going to be kissing Sakura. I take in deep breaths and exhale through my nose. I carefully wipe my spoon clean and continue eating my soup. It's really not fair how I can be so affected by these things and she can move on without a care in the world. Her face is always clean of emotion and she never bates an eye. It should be the other way around, the girl is always supposed to be the one who gets embarrassed over everything – not the other way around.

"So . . . how's school so far?"

A stupid conversation starter, but I really need a distraction.


"How are classes?"


"Meet anyone new?" At this point I'm just of just playing with my food.

"You and Naruto."

I look up, "That's it?"

"Sasuke, Ino, Karin, Ami, and another girl I don't care about."

"But are you friends with anyone besides me?"

She pops a cherry into her mouth and breaks off the stem, "One or two people."

The soup's starting to get cold so I take a couple more sips, "There's a picture in your dorm of you and two other people; a girl with green hair and a buy with black. Are they your friends?"

Her actions still and suddenly her pupils contract. The grip on her churro nearly breaks it in half and her face isn't so blank anymore, there is this distance and longing. Her lips are now a thin line, she's clenching her jaw and looking far off. A wave of sadness and sorrow assault me, and I drop my spoon. It falls to the floor with a loud clang and I grip my head. I can feel my eyes brim with unshed tears. I have no idea why, but I feel the need to cry and scream. Besides this grief I feel pain, unimaginable and heartbreaking pain.

"S-Sakura, stop, please stop." I grab her hand with squeeze it as hard as I can.

The feeling is gone and I'm left shuddering and gasping for air. A single tear falls from my eye and land on my hand. I look up and see her face buried in her arm. With the hand the isn't grabbing hers, I reach out and stroke her hair. She peeks at me through her bangs and I can see her eyes glowing a very dark green, the golden specks swim across her iris. She lifts her head and her face is back to her normal, languid expression.

"Please excuse me."

She quickly gets up from her seat and walks to the bathroom.

It is not guilt I feel at this very moment, but excruciating suffering I can't put into words. My body is still shaking and I take a chug down my glass of water as if it were my salvation. I wipe my eyes and rub the sides of my head. This wasn't how it was supposed to go, I wanted dinner to be nice and something to look forward to. Once again, I've ruined everything. How many more things can I screw up before I get it right?

I'm about to get up and for some boxes to go when Sakura comes back and sits back down. She picks up a strawberry tart and eats it as if nothing has happened. I look at her in a puzzled manner and wonder what the hell just happened. Her eyes aren't red, which means she wasn't crying, but I can tell from her stiff posture she's still disturbed.

"Hey, are you okay?"

She nods.

"You know we don't have to stay if you want, we can just leave."

Even though she shakes her head, I'm not entirely convinced.

"I don't want you to force yourself, if you're uncomfortable - "

"But I want to stay."

I tilt my head.

"I want to have dinner with you, I wouldn't have left study hall so early if I didn't."

I smile a little and we continue eating. I have to get up for another spoon though, and when I got back she's already done with half her meal. She's looking out the window, her eyes are glazed over and unfocused. It doesn't take a genius to know she's thinking about those people in the picture. I don't know how to comfort people, I've never dealt with a situation like this before, so I'm totally unexperienced. But nonetheless, I touch her arm and bring her a little closer to me.

She doesn't seem to mind and allows this simple skin on skin contact.

Dinner is finished in silence and we bid Minamori farewell. He must have sensed the change in atmosphere and gave Sakura and I a bag of cookies. When we exit the pastry house, I give my bag to her and we head back to the dorms. It's already night time and the air is a bit chilly, so I slip my hoodie off and wrap it around her. She zips the jacket up and for some reason, it pleases me greatly to see her wearing something of mine. I think I've finally lost it. And yet I still stand a little closer to her.

The walk back is also in silence, but it is a comfortable quite that does not need to be disturbed by any form of talking. The gardens are lit up by hanging lanterns and fireflies, it looks like a scene straight out of a Miyazaki movie and it's beautiful. The flowers look alive, they sway with the gentle breeze of the wind and glow like nightlights of the forest. The koi fish are particularly active right now, some are even jumping out of the water and making quite a commotion.

Sakura stops at the stairs and I nearly run into her back.

"What is it?"

"Will you walk with me?"


She turns around and leads the way into the dense thicket of the forest like garden. I know these bamboo trees aren't local, they're only grown in the mountains. They actually plucked up bamboo trees from that far north just to put them in a school garden? I shake my head at the audacity. The path we're taking winds and twirls at odd ends, it's like a trail drawn out by a five year old.

We stop in the heart of it all. At the center is a marble statue of the founding father of our academy. He looks like a greek god, except with clothes. I don't really care for these sort of things, because they're such a waste of money. They could have at least put him in front of our school or something, I doubt anyone comes this deep into the garden. I also know that this center connects all the dormitories together. If you follow the east trail, you'll be lead straight back to my dorm.

"It looks kind of creepy, huh? As a kid I was always afraid these things would come alive and get me."

She doesn't say anything, but turns to face me.

I remember saying once that I wanted to see some emotion on Sakura's face, that I wanted to see her feel something besides indifference. When I said this, I had always imagined her smiling or laughing, maybe even anger. Anything but the somber look she's giving me know. Her eyes are half-lid anymore, they're squeezed together to keep the tears from falling. She's no longer slouching, but I can tell she's about to crumble.

"They're dead."

Her voice is so soft I can barely hear.

"Sakura - "

"They died in a prison camp."

A prison camp? That didn't make any sense, there wasn't any sort of war going on.

"This bump," She touched her eyebrow, "I was hit on the head with gun."

"I don't understand, what prison camp?"

I move towards her, but she's already running at me and flinging herself into me arms. She clings to me so tightly I can't free myself. I can feel wetness on my shirt and I know she's crying. I warp my arms around her and pull her even closer. She's so small her head barely reaches my shoulder, but I rest my chin on top of hers and let her sob into me. I don't need those emotion signals to feel how much pain she's in. Her body is convulsing and I catch her before she hits the ground.

I don't know what to do, so I say the only thing that really matters at this moment, "I'm here."

She slowly lifts her head and looks at me with a red face and light, green eyes. The tears keep rolling down her cheeks and I gently wipe them away with my thumb.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to end the evening like this."

I shake my head, "It's okay, it's fine."

She rests her head on my chest and I hear her take in a shaky breath.

"Sakura," I whisper into her ear and I'm please to feel a shudder roll down her back, "Don't be afraid to trust me."

"I've never been this open with anyone before."

"I've never hugged a girl before."

She makes a small noise, probably the closest thing to a laugh I'll ever get from her. But I'll always savor it and stow it away in the back of my head.

"Let's go inside and get you something warm to drink."


I help her to feet and keep my arm wrapped around her.

The fireflies follow us all the way to her dorm.



If you can't tell, I made some Game of Thrones references. I love the show. HOMG I love that show. I feel so bad for Arya, she's my favorite besides Jon Snow. Watch the show, do it. You'll fall in love like I did.

Anyways, was this long enough? Was it dramatical?

If you see any mistakes, please kindly let me know.