Chapter 7: The Unsung Birthday Song

As I got up from bed and stretched my arms out, falling, fluttering sakura were what greeted me on the day that I would become one year older. Although a little late in blooming this year, the flower petals still managed to fall on my birthday.

One by one, I unbuttoned my wrinkled pajamas while going over what was to be done today. I needed to go buy some groceries and send Tamaki off to her friend's house.

I sighed while holding up my hand that I'd used to help number off the errands that needed to be done. As always, there wasn't anybody to celebrate this occasion with. Maybe Okaa-san will bring back a cake.

I put on a loose tank-top and skirt since it was warm today and departed for the grocery market.

After returning home from sending Tamaki off after shopping, I plunged onto the sofa as I heaved a sigh of exhaustion.

"Gubaah!"

Underneath me, on the sofa, I felt something moving. My back hit something hard.

"Oww...what is this?"

I glanced behind and, to my utter surprise, there sat Kirino, with her face against my back and her hand underneath my thigh.

"W-What are you doing here?"

I jumped off the sofa in dismay and subconsciously (or rather, instinctively) held my skirt down.

"I should be asking that to you! What were you doing, launching yourself onto me?"

"I didn't see you there! And seriously, who would expect you to be lounging around in my house?"

I calmed down my nerves and held my hand up to my forehead.

"Anyway, it's your birthday, right? And someone like you, who has practically no social life, wouldn't have any plans, right? Let's go somewhere."

Kirino sat with her legs together and was straightening out her hair while glancing around at the ground.

"Is Saori coming?"

"She says that she's busy at her boyfriend's house.

"Oh, I see. She's at her boyf-…"

I paused mid-sentence. So even Saori has a boyfriend now…And to think that after a year, I still haven't told Kirino about my feelings. Well, my situation is different. There's no chance that Kirino will return my feelings. We are, after all, both girls.

While I was in the middle of mentally stabbing myself, Kirino stared at me with questioning eyes.

"Well? Have you decided, or do you just want me to keep sitting here while having to stare at your face all day?"

"Ah. Sure, let's go. Where are we going?"

"You'll see."

It was four in the afternoon, and the blazing sun made my tank-top drenched in sweat. Kirino decided for us to go climbing up a nearby mountain. Whatever her reasons are, I don't know.

"Kirino..hahh…let's stop..hahh…I can't walk any more…"

My legs collapsed under my weight, and I sat there on the ground trying to regain my breath.

"Well, we're already here, so you can rest."

She took a seat next to me and placed her bag at her side.

"Why are we even here? What was so important that you had to take me up a mountain for?"

I leaned my head against her bare, cool shoulder.

"You'll see when it gets dark. And hey, who said that you could lie on my shoulder?"

"I-I'm hot right now, and your shoulder's cold. There's no other reason."

I looked away but still felt her gaze burning into my skin.

Finally, a few hours after when the sun's rays went under the horizon in the West, Kirino poked my cheek.

"Hey, wake up. It's about to start."

"I was already awake, idiot. It's too hot to fall asleep anyway."

I raised my head and caught a glimpse of something moving in the sky.

One, two ,three, dozens of lights flew across the jet-black sky. Each one budded, bloomed, and withered away, all the while, running across the sky in an amazing display of lights.

I see, so Kirino wanted to show me a meteor shower. She must have found out that there was going to be one on my birthday.

A light blush came over my cheeks along with a smile.

"Here. No one else got you a present yet, right? I'll be the first one."

A cat-like smile spread across the idiot model's face as she held out a pink box.

I reached over and grabbed it. With my heart palpitating rapidly, I slowly opened the box. Inside was a silver necklace in the shape of a cat.

"Look, I have one too."

Kirino pulled out a pendent very similar to mine with the exception that her cat was golden.

"Happy Birthday, Ruri."

"Idiot, you forgot to sing me the birthday song before I opened the present."

My voice was soft and even cracked a little bit. I hope Kirino didn't find out how happy I am…

"Thanks…"

I held the pendent tightly and leaned my head back onto her shoulder.

Although it was my first birthday without a birthday song, it might have been the best.

Author's Note: And, finally, after many, many months, the new chapter is here! I hope I didn't make anyone assume that it ended already. I'm planning to finish this story, so you won't be left with an unfinished fanfic. I apologize for the long wait. Next chapter will bring more drama than the few recent chapters, so please look forward to it!