Note: There are spoilers for the "Strangling Scarf" arc or chapters 77 and 78. You have been warned!

Disclaimer: I do not, have not, and will not ever own Rin-ne. That is property of Rumiko Takahashi.

R for Rinne

Wrong. That was all Sakura Mamiya could think as she stared at the knitted scarf she was supposed to give her classmate Rinne Rokudo the very next day.

The thing in question was a perfectly average white knitted scarf. Sure there were small errors here and there, missed stitches and whatnot, but it looked pretty good for a first attempt. It was not horrendously ugly nor was it incapable of being worn. It was just another knitted scarf, nothing more but nothing less.

Sakura knew now was not the time to be picky. After the scene in the Handicrafts Club with Igawa-senpai, both her and Rokudo-kun realized they'd have to act quickly. Rokudo-kun had given her the run-down of the plan as he escorted her home and told her to have the scarf ready by after school the next day. Even though Sakura herself had told Rokudo she'd have the scarf done by tomorrow, she slowly realized that may not be possible.

With a sigh, Sakura glanced at the clock. The green numbers seemed to mock her as a bright 12:15 shone out from the plastic contraption. She spent all evening knitting the scarf after Rokudo dropped her off only to make this...thing that sat before her.

Really, she wasn't a perfectionist and the fact that the scarf was done should have made her happy enough. A scarf was all that was needed to give to Rokudo-kun. Nothing else. Besides, even if she started a new scarf now, there was no way she'd be able to finish it in time. Yes, this scarf was perfectly acceptable...

Sakura sighed. For the love of her, she could not figure out where all this reluctance came from. It's just that...that...the scarf didn't feel right to her. The scarf didn't fit Rokudo-kun, it was just too impersonal. She wanted to give him something special that came from the heart. They were friends, right? This starch white scarf looked like a gift from a stranger and was much too detached to be given to a friend.

From the clean white yarn to the precise stitching, something was still missing from it. Until she figured out what, Sakura Mamiya would not be giving Rinne Rokudo this scarf. She would not settle for second best until she was absolutely sure she'd see happiness in her classmate's ruby red eyes.

...wait. Yes! That was it! That was what was missing all along! In retrospect, Sakura felt silly it had taken her this long to figure out what was missing. The answer was obvious if you thought about it. Preparing herself for the long night in front of her, Sakura slowing started unraveling the white scarf to start over.






It had been a few days after the "Strangling Scarf" episode and things were more or less resolved. Unfortunately, Sakura was right and she really wasn't able to finish a new scarf in time. Rokudo-kun looked rather crushed when she told him so and to be honest, she was disappointed as well. Even though she told him she have the scarf ready, Sakura just couldn't get it done. Rokudo must have been depressed they couldn't purify the spirit as quickly as he wanted. Luckily, the strangling scarf came out anyway, and they were able to purify its spirit by giving it to a boy who resembled Igawa-senpai's old love.

This didn't stop Sakura from feeling guilty about not keeping her promise with Rokudo. After all, she had given her word and it was lucky that everything still worked out in spite of her failure. Sakura wanted to make it up to him and promptly decided to finish the scarf and give it to Rokudo-kun anyway. After all, she didn't want all her hard work to go to waste and this would be a perfect way to make up for her mistake. Plus, secretly, a small part of Sakura wanted to cheer Rokudo up. For some reason, he had been slightly moody after the incident and Sakura hoped this gift could raise his spirits if only by a little bit.

As she made her way into the old club building, Sakura felt a bit nervous. She had no reason to be right? This was only one friend giving another a friendly gift, that was all. No reason to get excited or anything. Still, Sakura did hope he would enjoy the scarf at least minimally.

Giving a serene smile, Sakura handed off the wrapped package to Rinne. Only fidgeting a bit, she awaited her classmate's response. Sakura was not disappointed. From the light flush on his cheeks to the gleam in his eyes, Sakura could tell Rinne enjoyed the gift. She could swear she even saw a sparkling aura around him. He seemed to be happy just from receiving the scarf itself, never mind how it looked.

Rokumon was a bit more observant.

"Sakura-chan. Does this initial 'B'...stand for 'broke'?"

"It was supposed to be and 'R' for 'Rinne'..."

Still, Sakura thought, the "R" suited him. One look at Rokudo's blissful face made her confident it was the perfect thing to add after all.

Author's Note:

Yay for my first fanfic! I really loved the scarf arc and really wondered why it took Sakura so long and how she came up with the idea to put the "R" in the first place. And, viola! A plot bunny was formed! I hope you enjoyed this little one shot and please review if you can.