I know what you're going to say, and all I can say is "gomene~"
I was lazy, super lazy, ultra lazy, and had a blockade for a long while *sigh* I'm really sorry...
Anyway, you'll enjoy this, this one has a little more blushes and stuff; drama will start slowly being produced from here~ maybe you see the hidden signs I have put here (I tried not to make them too obvious, and you'll get them, I am sure of it :D )
anyway, as for Himeko, it was tough working on her boyish character, but of course I maintained her shyness, modesty, clumsiness and care for others, and of course - her clueless state! xD
^You'll see that somewhere in her thoughts and plans, they are out of place - lol you'll see what I mean xD
Anyway, read review enjoy ^^

I do not own KnM o:

"Himemiya-san. Himemiya-san. Chikane?"

It was starting to get dark in the nurse's office and Tsukomi-sensei was trying to bring a young Himemiya back down to Earth from her deep thoughts. The girl was like that ever since that hyperactive blonde left the broken branch from the sakura tree to her. She have been staring at it - standing in its vase - for a very, very long time; and all that time Chikane's expression had not changed. Her dazed look have been hanging in her face for far too long for any normal human being. But the nurse understood her, she knew her well; the girl was lost in her thoughts and memories about today, the nurse was sure of it. But, alas, they had to go home sometime, and Tsukomi-sensei had to 'wake her up' before leaving herself; fearing that Chikane will spend the entire night like this. She put her hand on the young girl's shoulder. "I think it's time to go, Himemiya-san. Fortunately, your ride just came to pick you up - I've told your grandfather you were going to be tad late."

Chikane, having felt something on her shoulder, twitched slightly but looked at her sensei with all the calmness she could muster - having been caught off-guard and startled by a sudden contact from behind. She tried to catch her concentration to take in the things sensei have just said. "Ah, sensei... Thank you very much." She turned to the branch again. "Will it be okay to...?"

"Of course it will be okay! Don't you worry about that branch, it will be fine. Just go home and get some rest as well, okay?"

"Yes, sensei. Have a pleasant evening. Goodbye." She left with one last glance at the branch standing near the window. She slightly blushed, thinking about the scene when she got the branch from the clumsy blonde.

"I... I should leave now... my roommate must be worried about me..." Himeko fidgeted.

"Yes, of course, please, don't keep your roommate waiting. Take good care of that arm of yours, okay?" Chikane smiled politely at the blonde. But inwardly, she was praying the blonde won't leave so soon.

"Uhm... Chikane...-chan... I... would you... uhmmmmmm... Here!" The girl gave Chikane the branch she accidentally took from the sakura tree while falling down.

Chikane blushed slightly. "For... for me?

"Y-yes!" Himeko was blushing fiercely, looking away.

Chikane smiled as her insides were screaming from delight. "Thank you very much, Himeko, that is very kind of you." She took the branch in one hand and she insensibly cupped the latter's cheek with the other. "Thank you."

"You... you're welcome..." Himeko mumbled in her chin while looking down, extremely embarrassed. She started going to the door when Chikane suddenly grabbed her hand. Himeko blushed even more as she turned towards the dark-haired girl.

"Himeko... let us meet again at lunch tomorrow near that tree?" The blonde happily nodded. "And our meeting..., it shall be our little secret, okay?" She playfully winked at her and enjoyed the stuttering of the blonde that came after it. "I'll see you tomorrow, Himeko."

The blonde girl was running to her room, thinking about that dark-haired princess she met today, and her own stupid act of showing affection. 'Why did I have to give her that branch with flowers on it? She must have thought that I was weird because of that... How can I face her tomorrow? But no, nevertheless, I shall stand 'tall' and show my face after that stupidity. I should not be that of a coward, it isn't like me to back out...' Wandering around the dorm's hallways, she bumped into someone. "Ouchy... Gomene, I wasn't paying attention..." And she opened her eyes to see...

"Himeko! Finally! I've been worried sick! You dropped your camera outside, and I couldn't find you... I thought you got injured again and got worried even more... And indeed you are injured! What happened? What did sensei say?"

Himeko blushed at the attention she got from her roommate and chuckled. "It's fine, I've just sprained it a bit, nothing to worry about. I just... have suddenly fell from a tree, a branch had cracked..." She had hoped she was good at lying. Wait, what had Makoto just said? "M-my camera? You found it? Oh, thank you! It seems that I've left it under the tree I fell from... It slipped my mind... How could I ever repay you?"

"Start with not doing dangerous things ever again..."

"But climbing trees isn't dangerous..."

Makoto hugged her. "Fine. We'll see what you can do to make it up to me..."

Himeko smiled in the embrace and hugged her friend back with her healthy hand. "Anything, Mako-chan."

"For now, let's just get some rest, okay? Do you need a shower? Do you want me to help you?"

"Yes, please. Thanks! You really are a life saviour!"

Makoto's hand twitched a bit, but she tried to ignore it and grumbled away. "Let's just get you cleaned..."

"Ne, Mako-chan?" The other girl mumbled a reply after a few moments of silence in their dark room. They had just lain down for sleep a couple of minutes ago. "What if... What would you say... if I said... I... I've met someone today..."

After a few seconds it took for Makoto to accept the last sentence Himeko said into her brain, she jumped out from her bed and landed onto Himeko's, squealing as silently as she could, not to wake everyone else. She sat beside Himeko and tried to shake the answer out of the poor blonde. "And? And? Tell me! Is he handsome?"

Himeko's eyes widened for a second, but Makoto didn't see it, fortunately for Himeko. The blonde stared at her friend with a confused look on her face. "He...?" She started but thankfully snapped back to reality immediately. 'Of course Mako-chan's first thought was that I've met a guy. It seems that everything here revolves around the love between teenagers...' She sighed. 'But, wait! This has to be a secret! Oh, now you've done it, Himeko! Couldn't keep silent? Oh, what to do, what to do...?' She fidgeted a bit and looked very nervous.

"Ah, come one, Himeko, you don't have to tell me his name. Tell me your impression of him."

'She still thinks I'm going to talk about a boy... Hm... I could talk about Chikane-chan without mentioning the gender... Let us hope I am a good liar...' She gulped. "Uhhm... That person... actually helped me when I accidentally fell down. I... I... The person was very nice to me... And is very pretty..."

"Oh, was he handsome, like a prince that can swoon you off your feet?" Makoto teased her a bit there.

"N-no, more like a pr..." Wait a second! She, thankfully, stopped before she could betray herself. "... a person of noble blood. And very polite. The person was very nice to me, and I really like that person..."

"Ah, Himeko! You're all grown up now...!"

'What's that supposed to mean...?' Himeko wondered.

"...That's great! Oh, the possible romance! Have you two kissed?" The blonde's roommate had a goofy grin on her face while slightly jumping on the bed Himeko was lying on.

Himeko blushed at the instant vision of her kissing the dark-haired princess. "N-n-n-no... Why would we?" She tried to calm her breathing. 'And how did I become such a stuttering mess like this?'

"Oh, yes. You must be that kind of a girl. I am glad. That is soooo cute!" Makoto took her in a bone breaking hug. "You want to know him better, and then you'd give him your kiss! So graceful. So cunning. And so cute! You're such a treasure, Himeko. A bit troublesome but..." She winked at Himeko."...that can be taken to exception of course. It's okay, Himeko, this will stay between us. It'll be our little secret! You're such a silly girl." She pinched Himeko's cheek a bit and kissed her goodnight. "Pleasant dreams, Himeko!"

"Goodnight, Mako-chan." Himeko had a huge grin on her face but as the other girl had lain down on her own bed, Himeko's expression saddened. 'I'm such a terrible friend for not telling you the whole truth... And for releasing a bit from my and Chikane-chan's secret. I'm a horrible person. I have to apologize to Chikane-chan tomorrow!' She lay down, looking at the bed above her. 'And to thank her for today again... Oh I wish I could take her picture as well! And I have to ask her in which class she is... And if she likes sports... And what kind of flowers does she like...' She turned to lie on her side, sleepily mumbling something to herself. 'And... what was... her last name again? Hime-something?...' But the next trail of thoughts stopped since she had started falling asleep.

"Oujou-sama seems very happy. I am glad. Did something happen?" The personal maid of the young long dark-haired Himemiya asked her mistress.

Chikane, having her back turned to her maid, blinked a few times looking at the wall in front of her. She regained her composure fast and turned to her maid, half-naked. She was preparing for a bath. "What are you talking about?"

"I just have a hunch for something like this, when it comes to you, oujou-sama. Spending so much time with you all these years does come with some sort of rewards."

"Rewards?" Chikane hid her astonishment. 'What is this girl talking about?'

"It is a truly great gift to be able to read beneath your mask. 'Cause your mask is too thick to get through to your true feelings and thoughts, Himemiya-sama."

"I...see." Chikane frowned slightly. 'So I have to work more on my mask now? Hm, but it's only Otoha, she's loyal to me...' She turned around to continue undressing slowly. "So you say I'm happy now? Was I not before?"

"It's like today's specially happy." The maid tried to avoid directly answering the question. The answer was: yes, she was not happy before. The young mistress's parents were never home, she rarely had visits from her cousins, she did not have any friends, or real ones; and there was her grandfather. He's trying to make her into a very high quality lady ( 'As if she's some merchandise to be high quality!' The maid was grumbling about it), and had trained her since she was very young to become the priestess. For generations the Himemiya family's female children have been trained and brought up to be priestesses, to guard the seal that had been put at the shrine to keep evil forces away from the village.

From the first glance at her, the maid saw that Chikane was never pleased with the burden bestowed upon her. "Why me? Why us? There are so many girls in the village, maybe even some of them would be willing to do this! But I can't ask grandfather why must I do all of this, he's too scary..." The maid remembers the very young Himemiya Chikane saying that. That was before she made her thick mask and hid all of her worries and emotions away.

No, the priestess job was not for the young Himemiya, that girl wanted more; but as she looked at the same Himemiya these few months, she only saw emptiness and small will that kept her alive and sane. She sometimes pitied her, the girl had nobody she loved, nobody to share her worries and likes with, and she literally had no childhood - it was just study-train-study. She had free time of her own, of course, but never to share it with somebody except the maids.

And now, the maid knew something happened. The Himemiya girl was giving off a different kind of aura ever since she got home. She hoped that the young girl found somebody, a friend she could normally talk to, someone to share her time at school with. And she was excited and wanted to hear all about it.

"Oh, I see..." Chikane took the rest of her clothes off and went for the bath. 'I am...it is true... but, should I talk about it...' After a few moments of silence she spoke again. "I can...say... that something happened. I've met someone..." She trailed off, waiting for a reaction from her maid. The young woman smiled happily, urging her to continue with her smile. "This...person...no, blonde girl, see... She accidentally fell on me and hurt her hand. We talked until the bell rang and I accompanied her to the nurse's office. It seems that she did not know about me, which is a huge relief, 'cause it was easier to talk to her as a total stranger like that." She moved a bit in the bath so as to fill the silence needed for her to think about what she had just said and what could she say more. 'And why am I telling her about... Never mind, it had been said.' She turned her head slightly to glance at her maid. "She was such a nice and polite girl. And she is a bit of a klutz." She couldn't hold her mirth and let out a long giggle. "She is nice, I daresay I quite like her...presence." She sighed at all these things she had said. 'I can't tell her that I'm really looking forward to seeing the blonde tomorrow. Ah, I need to... do what exactly? As much as I know, there is no homework or anything of that sort for tomorrow. Perhaps my grandfather asked the teachers to gather the things we've done today while I was away, so I would not be behind. But, at least tonight I'll be able to sleep quieter, so I hope.' Chikane glanced at her maid. "Nothing to say to this? How odd."

"Don't get me wrong, Himemiya-san." The maid giggled. "I'm just letting you enjoy your thoughts. I am really glad you've found a good person to be your friend." She flashed the young Himemiya a bright smile and turned back to look for her mistresses clothes.

There was a barely heard murmur and Chikane turned to her maid. "Did you say something, Otoha?"

The said maid's body flicked as she'd been called out by her name after a few years of formality. She also shivered a bit, like she was holding something back. "No, Himemiya-san, I haven't heard anything."

"It's okay, I must have imagined it..." Chikane leaned back while lying in her bath water. "A friend, you say..." she murmured to herself looking somewhere indefinitely, looking thoughtful. "A friend. It does sound nice. I hope we'll get together nicely. She's quite unique." And with that, they finished the conversation and the younger girl left the bath to put on a bath robe.

The maid looked thoughtful as well as she helped the dark-haired mistress to put on the blue bathrobe. She followed her to her bedroom and bowed. "Do you need something, Himemiya-san?"

Chikane seemed considering something. "Ah, would you tell the cook to make two bentos for tomorrow?" The maid nodded. "Thank you, Otoha. Have a good night."

The maid replied her mistress with a fond smile and went on to her room.

The young Himemiya sighed as she came in her bedroom and sat on her bed. She looked through her window. 'Himeko, I hope the time will go easy on me, and bring me fast to tomorrow's lunch break. I quite wish to talk to you again... soon.'

Himeko was smiling broadly and running towards the sakura tree she had fell from yesterday, with a bento box in her bandaged hand. 'Finally I get to see her again!' She stopped and breathed in. 'Okay, let's go through this again: you're apologizing, you're asking about her class, about what she likes, what kind of flowers she like... well I ruined that yesterday already...' She sighed and started running again. She stopped in the area of the tree she was looking for to catch her breath.

"My, my, such lovely energetic girl running around the Academy's little forest. Do be careful with that hand of yours, Himeko." Somebody giggled behind the blonde.

The said girl blushed at the words, remembering whose voice that is. She turned towards the girl behind her. "Chikane-"

"Ah, you already can recognize my voice... I am quite pleased." Chikane suppressed her own blush at the attention she was getting from the blonde in front of her. She was very flattered by the girl's observation over her voice. "Ah, now, let us sit here and have our lunch, if you don't mind?"

"No-no. Of course not. Let's." The blonde clumsily sat down beneath the tree Chikane pointed at.

"Oh! Please, let me get the tablecloth so we can sit on that. I wouldn't like you getting your uniform dirty because of my neglect of our sitting space."

"No problem there, Chikane...chan. I have six other uniforms, waiting for me at my room. It's because I know to get dirty from exploring this forest and running around..." Himeko blushed a little. "...and how clumsy I can get..." She came to help the dark-haired beauty spread the tablecloth, putting her embarrassment aside.

"Oh, Himeko, please, let me do it. I don't want you to tire your good hand." She just smiled at her sweetly.

"Nee, Chikane-chaan, I'm not made of sugar, I can handle it, I swear. It's not like I've never broken a bone before..."

"Ah yes..." Chikane spread the cloth on the ground before Himeko could try to help. She sat down elegantly and gestured for Himeko to sit beside her. She continued, trying to hide her displeasure of this girl's bone-breaking in her previous years. "I remember you mentioning it yesterday." She grabbed a quite big box and pulled out two bentos. She gave one to Himeko. "I would like to know the stories behind your bone-breaking accidents, if you don't mind sharing."

Himeko blushed at the bento she was given. "I... I... thank you but I already have mine..."

"Oh, but I insist!" Chikane smiled.

"I... I... I..." Himeko gulped. 'What to do, I certainly cannot decline this generous offer coming from this beauty...' She took the bento and bowed her head to Chikane. "T-t-thank you very much."

"You're quite welcome, Himeko." Chikane giggled.

Himeko opened the bento and started drooling at the scene before her. The bento was very diverse. It had a lot of vegetables, a bit of fish and scrambled eggs. She came back from her daze when she heard a giggle.

"I see you are captivated by your bento. I am glad."

"It's... it looks great! Your mother must be a great cook!"

Chikane giggled. "Hm, I wonder about that. My apologies, but my mother did not make these. Those were..." Chikane's brain went overdrive. 'If I tell her that I have a family cook, she'll get the picture, and if I tell her it's bought, she'll think...hm, I could say they were bought...' Chikane continued after a second of pause. "... bought for me. My mother is rarely home for such things, so I've never tried her cooking..."

"Oh, I am really sorry..."

"Don't be, it's alright. It's like this for years, so it doesn't bother me at all." Chikane blinked a few times as, thankfully, Himeko was looking down. 'Okay, why am I talking about this again?' She looked at the blonde beside her. 'How did she make me say all these things? Why do I want her so close to me?'

"I... that's... I can't remember my mother, nor her cooking... so it makes us kind of even, ne?" Himeko scratched the behind of her head, laughing nervously.

"No need to be nervous and awkward about this. It's not a sensitive matter to me... Is it to you?"

"A... a bit, I guess... But not that much, though."

"Ah, okay..." They started eating and continued doing so in silence for a few minutes.

"My first bone-breaking moment was when I was ten." Himeko decided to stop the silence and tell the girl she asked for before they started the conversation about the bento. "We were playing in front of the... orphanage. I was running with some of the boys when one of the older ones tripped me and my friend and I fell on my hand." She lifted her, now bandaged hand, towards the dark-haired beauty. "But I didn't cry. In fact, I chased that guy and gave him a beating; unfortunately with my hurt hand, so it took longer to heal. At least after that, he dared not touching me or my friend ever again. Well, that's one of the stories. The rest are similar. I got in small fight with boys, mostly older than me, and got my hand hurt a few times again. The other times, I fell from climbing a tree, and of course hurt my hand again. It has come to be quite fragile... I feel quite sorry for it, I keep breaking her every year." Himeko giggled nervously again. "I am so clumsy."

The dark-haired girl slightly frowned at the stories she heard right now and at the thought of somebody hurting this girl. "But, why would he trip you...?" She asked out loud.

Himeko thought for a moment, adjusting her hair that fell from her place. "I think that our caretaker there said that boys at that age act like that around girls they like..." And then she pouted. "Absolutely not a nice way to show somebody your feelings."

"I couldn't agree more. And what about you? Was there someone you liked, or like?" Chikane had just gotten that idea and blurted it all out. She pretended not to be embarrassed and continued on like she meant to ask that. She even gave Himeko a sly smile.

Himeko's face started heating up, but not enough for the blush to show. Either way, she felt kind of embarrassed, even though she never liked anyone like that so far. She coughed once trying to get her voice back. "I... didn't like anyone, like that, so far." Her blush got a bit visible without her knowledge. "But now, I'm not so sure..."

"Oh, do you want to talk about it?" Chikane felt as if something was eating her insides but tried to get it under control. But she couldn't, it was way out of her control, so she continued on, ignoring the feeling, or at least trying to ignore it.

"I-I'm sorry... not really..."

Chikane's heart clenched. "That is quite alright. I am very sorry for asking it like that, it was very impolite of me..."

"No no no, I just..." Himeko did not want this dark-haired beauty blame herself for anything.

"That must be a fine boy that had gotten in your eyesight. But let us not go astray, we should eat while we have the time to, don't you think so?" Chikane just wanted to make the blond less embarrassed right now. A few moments of silence would help, right?

"H-hai!" Himeko stumbled on her answer but smiled at the girl beside her and they continued their lunch. During the silence, the inside of Himeko was a mess. 'A boy? Why do they always think it's a boy I'm talking about? I don't even get along with them much... It sounds that girls are only thinking of boys these days, but why isn't it same for me...?' She looked at the dark-haired beauty beside her. 'Is it natural to you to think of a boy like that? Do you have someone on your mind? Being so beautiful, she must have a lot of boys waiting for her. Hmph, stupid boys, they don't know how to get to a girl's heart...' She swallowed her spit and took a deep breath. She was now going to ask the questions. "A-ano, Chikane-chan? Do you have someone you like...?"