Hey, it's my first Suzuka fanfic. I watched the anime a while ago and I couldn't help thinking that Yamato and Miki would make a really good couple. I mean, she's the one whose always helping Yamato through stuff and keeping Hatori from getting him down too much. She also puts her feelings before others, something that Suzuka and Honoka both have trouble doing, even if the latter is a shy considerate girl at heart. Honoka still likes to yell at him as much as Suzuka does. It's not that Yamato wasn't compatible with either of these two, he is, it just felt like the circumstances were never right for there to be anything between them. Even when he and Suzuka do get together in the anime and the manga it seems like Suzuka's personality did an immediate flip. Anyway, this is probably the only Miki/Yamato fic on the internet. I want it to be multi-chaptered, but only if I get enough reviews. So please let me know if you like it and maybe I'll write some more for it.

"C'mon Akitsuki. We have to get out of this rain. My hair's getting soaked."

"Alright, fine" Yamato answered with a sheepish expression. "I just wanted to try practicing with the baton one more time."

"Akitsuki!" Miki was upfront with her indignation. "We have to get inside before it starts pouring."

They were in the same park where Miki Hashiba had taken Yamato before to practice his relay for track and field. It had started out as such a promising sunny day, but had quickly turned to rain once the afternoon set in.

Miki's long brown hair flapped behind her as both she and Yamato made a run for the nearest building, which was an rather old looking shrine. The shrine was made of solid wood and seemingly overgrown with plants. The surrounding statues resembled lions and tigers, carved neatly into the dull stone. Once they were safely under the archway of the shrine, Miki shook herself, put back on her school uniform that she had removed so she could practice in the track uniform she sometimes wore underneath, and then set about wringing out her large brown ponytail.

All the while Yamato watched her with some apprehension.

Miki Hashiba like Yamato, was a first year student at the Tokyo high school that they both attended. She was also the only girl Yamato currently felt completely at ease interacting with. His feelings for Suzuka Asahina and subsequently Honoka Sakurai had been both trying and awkward. Yamato had jumped into a relationship with Honoka, a shy girl with a caring personality whose family ran the local Shinto shrine, and used it to cover up his lingering feelings for Suzuka who had rejected him shortly before school began. Both Yamato and Suzuka lived in the same dormitory run by Yamato's aunt, Ayano Fujikawa. He and Suzuka quickly became friends and spent time together shopping downtown. However, when Yamato confessed to having a crush on Suzuka, she swiftly rejected him. It wasn't until later that Yamato found out about Suzuka's first love Tsuda Kazuki and his resemblance to Yamato as well as his tragic death before Suzuka could confess her feelings for him. After hearing about Tsuda from the track captain and former classmate of both Tsuda and Suzuka, Sōichi Miyamoto, Yamato knew that he couldn't complete with Tsuda's memory. He then gave up on having any more romantic entanglements during his first year of high school and contented himself with making friends and bettering his track skills with Hashiba's help.

"So have you made up with Suzuka yet?" Miki asked as she turned to look at him.

Yamato sat down and put a hand to his head.

"No" he sighed "and I don't think I'm going to."

"What? Why not?" Miki wanted to know.

"I just don't think I'm ready," Yamato said as droplets fell from his wet hair and landed on his pants "I'm just going to let her cool down for now and then try to get back in her good graces during the summer. Maybe we can start off being friends again."

"That seems a bit odd coming from you" Miki stated as she sat down beside him. "It seemed like you were ready to do anything to get along with her. I mean, you still like her don't you? Everyone can see it. Even Miyamoto."

Yamato smiled awkwardly as he raked a hand through his hair moving it toward back of his neck. He felt slightly ashamed for giving up on Suzuka so quickly, but he understood that now was not the time to try and win her back. He really hadn't had much luck with women in the past and he doubted that would change anytime soon.

"I've tried and I just can't do it" Yamato said thoughtfully "it just seems like every time I try to do something to impress her that I always fail. We end up having these awkward conversations and then she ends up hating me even more. I need to just do things on my own and put my full effort into it."

Yamato closed one eye and curled his hand into a fist at his side. The nails digging into his palm.

"I've decided to adopt your philosophy Hashiba. I'm going to make friends here and do my best on the track team because it's what I want to do."

Miki looked thoughtful. Then she smiled brightly at him.

"If you're sure" she said "it's going to be a lot of hard work."

"Don't I know it. The rest of the team is already unhappy with my baton-work. I'm going to need a lot of practice. Would you still be willing to help me with that?"

Miki held up a hand to show her assent.

"You know it." Then. "Just promise me you won't let yourself get distracted. I don't want to see you get hurt out there at an actual meet if you're not paying attention."

"I'll try."

"So, does this shrine seem a little creepy to you?" Miki wondered aloud "I mean, it looks pretty old."

"Look at the Kanji." Yamato pointed at one of the wooden doors. It's color was slightly faded due to its age. "It looks like it was built a little after WWII."

"Well then it is pretty old. I wonder why it's so overgrown, it's like no one takes care of it anymore."

"Maybe they died" Yamato ventured. "Most shrines are cared for by family lines like Honoka's. Maybe everyone just forgot about it. It is in this dreary little corner a few feet from the park. I doubt anyone even notices it when they walk by."

"That's kind of sad when you think about it." Miki supposed "If people just forgot about it like that. I mean a shrine is a place where friends get together on New Years and it certainly meant something to the family that lived here. So I feel kind of bad that it's abandoned now. Even we didn't notice it until we needed to take shelter from the rain."

"I guess that's true." Yamato reiterated. "It's like forgetting about a person just because they're old and don't have anyone around them anymore."

"I don't want to become like this shrine" he concluded "I don't want to be forgotten by everyone either."

"So don't" Miki told him "Just work hard and finish up your freshman year with good grades and a spot on the track team. I want to try to get into Tokyo U. myself eventually."

"Hmm...that might not be a bad idea Hashiba."

"Why, what were you planning to do after high school?" Miki inquired.

"To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I don't even have a real goal in mind." Yamato admitted. "I just wanted to leave home for a while and get out on my own."

"Well, why don't you try to get in to" Miki encouraged "to Tokyo U. I mean. Then we'd both know someone there."

"That might be nice. I'd feel like I'd done something right for once if I got into a University. Then my parents might stop thinking I'm worthless." Yamato concluded.

"What? I doubt they think you're worthless, I mean look at how far you've come."

"You don't know my family" Yamato said discouragingly "they don't think I can do anything right. Ever."

"Oh, now I'm sure that isn't true or they wouldn't have sent you here."

"They only sent me to Tokyo to help out my aunt and cousin in the dormitory for free. That's all really." Yamato hated talking about the situation. He was still embarrassed about it and annoyed at his father's insistence that he was useless.

Miki sighed. She knew she wasn't going to win the argument, but at the very least she wanted to bring up Yamato's self esteem. Right now it was deplorably low and he was her friend. She didn't want him to be down on himself. And she liked him. Really liked him. And even though she had given him up because of his feelings for Asahina that didn't mean she wanted him to feel bad about himself. She still cared for Yamato, even just as a friend.

"Hey, the rain's stopped" Yamato said as he looked out from under the archway. "I think we should leave now. I still have some chores to do back at the dorm."

Miki nodded. She still had to get home and cook dinner. Not to mention do the pile of homework she'd been assigned.

"I'll guess I'll see you in school" she said as the two of them parted ways outside the shrine. "We'll have to work on the baton later."

"Same time tomorrow?" Yamato asked hesitantly.

Miki shook her head.

"I have plans with Suzuka tomorrow. I'll meet you at the park on Friday."

"It's a date." Yamato said cheerfully and Miki blushed slightly. She reminded herself that it was just Yamato talking like he always did. He hadn't meant anything by wording his comment that way. But it didn't stop her from wishing he had.