Disclaimer: I don't own Hana-Kimi or any of it's characters. But I wanna have as much fun with Izumi, Mizuki, Nakastu and the others as possible.
A/N: While Hana-Kimi has a very satisfying ending, all the while I was reading it, I kept coming up with 'what-if's' about Mizuki, when she would be discovered, if she was discovered school wide, when Sano would tell her he knew, etc., etc., etc. I had many ideas run through my head, and after reading what was supposed to be the first chapter of a Hana-Kimi fanfic (which are seriously lacking, WE NEED MORE HANA-KIMI PEOPLE!) I was given part of this idea. While it really goes against canon, I liked playing with it and personalizing my own way of the gang and Mizuki getting back together, and her finding out that Sano knew, and he loves her. So I hope you enjoy, this will probably just be a long one-shot, but if I find it is going longer than I thought, I'll split it up. This what if is based on Mizuki not finding out that Sano knows while in High School, and Sano not revealing his feelings towards Mizuki to her.
"Aaahhh, I am so glad High School is finally over. We have graduated and are moving on to the next level. You did finalize things with your college in Japan, right Mizuki?"
Mizuki Ashiya looked up at her best friend Julia from the list of classes she had signed up for at Hokkaido University. "Yeah, I am enrolled, and scheduled to start this fall. Now all that's left is buy textbooks and find a roommate."
She stopped in her talking to contemplate that word. Roommate. She had only had one roommate. While at Ohsaka High, Sano Izumi had been her roommate. She had been disguised as a boy to get in to the all boy's high school, just so she could become friends with Sano. She had been elated and nervous to find out she would be rooming with him. She had also been surprised to find out he had quit the high jump. Upon watching his reaction to others participating in it though, she found out he really missed it, and she made 'getting Sano to high jump again' her reason for staying. While going about that task, she just HAD to go and fall in love with him, didn't she? Sure she had liked him when she came over, but she had wanted to be a friend, like 2 guys are friends, she hadn't had romantic ideas about coming. If she had wanted to present herself as a possible girlfriend, she could have enrolled herself in St. Blossom's all girls high school. But she wanted to be his friend, so she became a guy and enrolled in Ohsaka High for boys.
After being there for 2 years, living in the same room as Sano, eating with him, studying with him, watching him, and encouraging him in all the ways she could, she had fallen for him hard. She decided at the end of their sophomore year that since he had made it to nationals in the high jump, beating Kagurazaka, and was being spotted for several scholarships, that staying just because she was in love with him was not reason enough anymore. At least not a good reason. Sure she had helped him repair his family relationships, but that just meant he was more prone to choose the scholarship that Hokkaido University was offering him. She was his friend, but she knew that if she wanted him to like her, she would have to be female. He had said he wasn't 'that' type of person the first day she had been there. So she made a decision. She left Osaka and Japan, and came home to Berkeley, CA for her last year of High School. But she had a plan. She had kept up with news of Sano, and as she had suspected, he accepted the HU Scholarship. So now she would go to HU as well to become a dog trainer, and she would once again become Sano's friend. The only difference was she was going as a girl this time. She wanted to be near him, but most of all, she wanted to tell him the truth. She wanted him to know what she had done in High School, why, and why she left.
"Hello, Mizuki...I'm going on a date with Nakastu Suuichi..."
"You spaced out on me, what were you thinking about? Oh wait let me guess. Tall, handsome, dark hair, beautiful eyes, goes by the name Namba Minami..."
At Mizuki's look of horror, Julia fell over on the bed in laughter.
"JUST KIDDING! Sano, right? Don't worry, I'm sure everything will be fine. You know that he is going to HU, and you will probably even have some of the same classes, you'll get to see him."
"I know, but I can't help but worry that not only will he not ever return any of my feelings, but that he will hate me for lying to him like that. And for so long too. I can't bear the thought of hurting him like that, and yet I already have."
"Well, try not to worry about it too much, and let's just work on getting your books, and searching the local Hokkaido papers for 'Roommate Wanted' ads. Maybe you should try to share an apartment with one or more people, it would help with expenses, and might be better than staying in a dorm..."
With that the girls got back to work, but Julia was secretly smiling. She knew exactly what was going to happen, and she already knew where her dear friend was going to be staying. It was all going according to her plan. Well her and Nakastu's plan. Yes he was loud and brash, but then so was she. And she had to admit, he was a good friend to Mizuki. And once he had relinquished Mizuki to Sano, he had decided that he actually liked her blonde American friend, and had asked Mizuki for her address, saying he was going to work on his English by writing to her. Kamashiya Taiki had then said he had the aura of a schemer, though not a malicious one, Nakastu was hard pressed to keep him from revealing how he truly was starting to feel towards Julia. Yes, she figured that they always fought because they were so similar, and actually liked each other, though not consciously at first. Well now they were very close, basically a couple. They had never 'gone out' but they had a strong relationship despite the separation of different countries, and with their best friends being in love with each other, they each contemplated possibly being in love themselves.
But back to the plan. Upon her leaving, Sano had pulled Nakastu and Taiki aside and told them the truth of Mizuki being a girl. He was at first surprised to find out that Taiki had already known because of the aura difference in genders, but as he thought about it, it made sense, and he was glad to know that Mizuki had had yet another friend and protector while she was here. Nakastu was another matter. After Suuichi had found his voice again, Izumi was positive he had never seen someone so elated to find out that they weren't gay. He literally had a party on the spot. He was jumping up and down shouting something about not being a homo. On the whole, he was the same as usual. Funny. He even went to the vending machines and bought them drinks so they could drink to his 'straight-ness'. Two days later, a letter arrived from Julia saying that Mizuki had returned from Japan, but was planning on going back for college, but this time as a female. She suggested that Sano go along with his plan of accepting the HU scholarship, and she would help get Mizuki to go there as well. Of course, Nakastu was also offered a soccer scholarship, and Sekime a Marathon one, since it was a very sports intense college. And Kamashiya was going to be studying Folk Lore, like he had said, at nearby University of Sukaro, which focused on the Arts. Naturally Noe was studying there as well to work on his manga and anime. Since the 'gang minus one' as Julia had called them, was all going to be studying in the same general area, why not find a local apartment, and then have Mizuki come and live with them. Since she and they were used to it, and were now adults, it shouldn't be a problem. Personally, Sano thought it was a wonderful idea, and he felt relieved knowing that Julia trusted him, and was acknowledging his feelings for her friend, and was ok with them.
So Julia set about setting her plan to work. She got the info from Sano, and when the time was right, handed over the Hokkaido News and Classifieds to Mizuki.
"Now, let's see, somewhere between Sakura Valley Rd. or Takedo St...here's one...oh, but it's a good 30 minute drive...hmm, this ones on Monidu Hwy., but the rent looks to high..."
This chatter went on for several minutes with a few options being written down, but Julia could tell Mizuki wasn't really into any of them. 'Perfect, really, then she will be more open to the ad within the next pages.'
Mizuki turned the page to the paper, and a smaller, colored, sheet caught her eyes. It looked like it was a special ad set apart to help it be noticed over the others. One side was for a local Hokkaido restaurant 'Didn't we eat at that place when we went on the High School Trip?', the other was what caught her attention though.
Roommate Wanted: 3 bedroom flat with room for 6. Currently 5 students, 3 from HU, 2 from US. 1 dog. Someone who doesn't mind animals, sharing a room with a guy, and can stand the differing schedules of 3 sports students. Caring group who will try their hardest to make you feel at home.
As Julia watched her friend read the ad she had typed up and placed in the paper herself, she had to grin to herself. She could tell that something about the ad grabbed Mizuki. Even though it wasn't any different from the other ads, there was a connection there that no one could explain. Well, maybe Taiki would try. The only thing she could think of was fate. It was meant to happen. She let out a sigh as she thought of her friend and the life before her. She just knew it was all going to turn out well. And she was glad she could help her friend in what she was sure Mizuki felt was a hopeless situation.
"I think I want to call this one. What time is it? 7 pm, it should be about early afternoon over there, I'm gonna go call now."
Mizuki ran off leaving a relieved Julia. She knew that Nakastu hadn't arrived at the apartment yet because he was visiting his parents before college, and she figured the others would be able to control themselves enough not to be recognized over the phone.
"Well guys, it's up to ya'll now. Take care of her Sano, or I will personally come over there and skin you alive, or at least break your legs so you can't jump anymore."
2 WEEKS LATER:
Mizuki stood outside the door of the apartment matching the number she had on a paper in her hand. The place seemed really nice, not too expensive, but nice. Almost reminded her of the dorms at Ohsaka. It had a 'Home' feel about it, and she was sure she would want to stay, even if she did have to room with a guy. 'Come on, it's not like I haven't done that before, even if I was supposedly a boy.'
Just as she was about to knock, the door opened, and she was met by her first surprise. There standing in the doorway looking ready to burst he was smiling so big, was Kamashiya Taiki. 'No wonder he knew I was here, he could probably feel my aura approach and stand outside the door.'
"Hey! You must be Ashiya Mizuki! I'm Kamashiya Taiki. Welcome come on in and look around."
Mizuki was speechless. She figured she must have talked to him on the phone. 'That's right, he had said Taiki was his name, but it was a little common, I didn't think anything of it.'
"Well, I am not the one in need of a roommate, I already have one. I think everyone was here last I checked, probably eating lunch, so come on and meet them. Smells like okonomiyaki, my roommate makes some of the best, he was raised in Osaka."
"Oh." Was all that would come out of her mouth. 'Taiki, your roommate at Ohsaka was from Osaka and made good okonomiyaki too! Why does it sound like your roommate then and now are both Nakastu?'
When they walked into the kitchen, Mizuki had to sit down. There sitting around the table chatting away were 3 guys, with a 4th at a griddle on the bar. Smiling hugely and holding the spatulas up, Suuichi Nakastu was in full swing. When he turned to Mizuki, he put down the spatulas and came over and swung his arm over her shoulder like he used to. 'Honestly Nakastu, if I didn't know you, I would be freaked.'
"OH, YOUR SO CUTE! I THINK I'LL LIKE YOU, LET'S BE FRIENDS!"
It was then that the 3 others stood and turned towards her, and Mizuki wanted to cry. Noe, Sekime, and Sano all looked at her, and she swore they looked happy to see her. Almost relieved. There was no awkwardness of feeling like she was new to the group. It was as if they recognized her as one of them. 'Though they can't! I'm a girl now, and they knew me as a boy!'
Sekime and Noe came over and greeted her, and while trying to be polite, she, as usual, only had eyes for Sano. She was hooked on him like a radar. And he seemed to be infatuated with her as well. She saw a little grin crossed his lips, and she melted. She loved that grin, she had seen it so many times, especially when he was ruffling her hair. And then he started to walk towards her. Female hormones and feelings in full swing, she wanted to talk to him, and be swallowed by the floor at the same time. 'Does he recognize me? Does he recognize me? He can't, right. I was a boy, I was a boy, ne?'
"Well, I think you will make a good roommate, want to come and see the room? And then we can eat."
Sano grabbed her arm, and had to stop himself from hugging her. He was so happy to see her. She hadn't really changed, except for the length of her hair, and her more feminine wardrobe. Though really she still dressed on the tomboy side. 'I'm so used to her in guys clothes, it's almost weird seeing her in girl's clothes.' Though as he thought about it, he had preferred the times he had seen her in dresses, like the school festival and the Christmas Ball. 'And let's not forget the nosebleed because of the dance uniform from St. Blossom's.' Yup, he had definitely liked the times she wore girl's clothes.
Mizuki was still dazed when she realized they were standing in the hallway looking at 3 rooms, each with a number on the door. 201, 203, and 205. She just knew which room Sano was going to take her to, and she had to stifle a small chuckle and cry at the same time. 'To think things would end up like this.'
As she walked into the room, she was pounced by a very excited Yuujiro, and she had to sit down and hug him for a minute. She had to hide her face and get her emotions under control, or she would cry in front of Sano within 5 minutes of 'meeting' him. She didn't want to leave that kind of first impression on him. So she once again turned to Yuujiro for comfort. 'Your good at that Yuujiro. I can't wait to take you for a walk again.'
"Well, what do you think of the room? It's not as spacious as the rooms from my high school because there we had bunks, but here there are 2 separate beds, but otherwise they are very similar."
Mizuki nodded her head and stood up. "It's a very good set up, and I like the feel very much. You all seem like a close group of friends, how long have you known each other?" 'Gotta act like I don't know, otherwise they will guess, but is that a bad thing, I mean I'm gonna tell them eventually anyway. AH DAMMIT, I am so confused.'
Sano seemed surprised by her answer, but quickly recovered. "Since High School, we all wen to the same all boy's school. We are most of a group that was really close. The other was my roommate, but she left at the end of our second year."
Sano was watching Mizuki's face while he talked, and sure enough, a look of pure shock crossed her features. She tried to calm down, but Sano could tell she was struggling. 'Your face has always been an open book, for me at least.'
"Eh!, uh, how, how could your room, roommate have been a, a gi, girl? Even if you went to a Co-ed school, I didn't think they would allow a boy and girl to room together?"
Sano chuckled. "Well, they don't. But I was at an all-boy's High School, and because she was a fan of my high jumping, she wanted to be my friend, so she cut her hair and wore a tight vest to make her self look more like a guy. It worked too, most of the time."
"So I take it you found out when she left that she was a girl, I mean, she must have been found out, that was why she left, ne?"
"No, actually, I found out the second day she was there."
"Hai, She had been playing soccer with Nakastu, when he accidentally bumped her on the head and she fainted. I sent Nakastu ahead to the doctor, and I, uh, carried her...uh, yeah, that's when I found out."
Standing there retelling the story to the person involved, holding his hands in the position they have been when he carried her, Sano started to blush along with Mizuki, who was completely understanding the implications. Sano had carried her to Umeda-sensai, and he had found out she was a girl, which meant...'HE FELT MY CHEST...CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!' She knew she shouldn't look so embarrassed by the retelling since he didn't know it was her, but IT WAS HER DAMMIT, and she couldn't help it. Her heart was beating a hundred miles a minute, and she wondered if Sano could hear it.
She took a deep breath. "Well, uh, since you knew all along, why didn't you say anything?"
It was Sano's turn to take a deep breath. "At first, I was so confused. I knew she had come there to be my friend, and I knew she idolized me. I was a little awed that she would go so far as to conceal her gender to be close to me. The fact that she didn't even want me to know she was a girl told be she hadn't been there to try to become my girlfriend. She immediately went to work on getting me to high jump again, and before I knew it, I had to protect. I wanted to. I didn't want her to leave my side. I didn't understand what I was feeling for a long time, until her best friend asked me straight out if I knew, and why, when I told her I did, I chose not to say anything. I had fallen in love with her, and couldn't bear to part with her. She was spunky, stubborn, cheerful, she cared about others, meddled in others business, and was generally the nicest person you would ever meet. At first, I was annoyed by her, but I soon realized that she actually understood me better than I did myself, and was trying to make me happy. Even though I told her otherwise, I really started high jumping again for her, and when her brother threatened to take her back to the US if I didn't jump while he was still in Japan, I went to a competition that week so she could stay with me. She even made me go see my father and brother whom I hadn't been getting along with at the time, and we now are a family again. I was a stubborn bastard at the time, and when, after meeting my father, she suggested I talk with him, I yelled at her. Even though she may have not understood everything that had happened, she was just worried about me, and knew that my dad really wanted to reconcile with me. In the end we did. But I still regret yelling at her like that."
Mizuki was now in tears. He had known. He knew and he hadn't told because he didn't want her to leave. He loved her. Her mind skipped through the different times at Osaka that she was almost discovered, and realized that in most cases, Sano had been to one to 'rescue' her. She wondered how she could have missed the signs. 'That must be why he acted so strange at times, and why he didn't say too much when I acted in obviously girly ways. Because he knew, and he wanted to keep it a secret too.'
Sano couldn't take it any longer. He hated it when she cried. Like he had told her once before, when she cried, he didn't know what to do. Though now it would be a little easier to comfort her like he wanted, because she was now a 'girl'. In a few short steps he was next to her. He grabbed her and hugged her like he had wanted to for so long. He tucked her head under his chin and ran one hand through her hair and the other over her back.
"Shh. It's ok. I'm here."
Mizuki grabbed around his waist and hugged a tightly as she could through her tears. When she had calmed down enough, she looked up.
"Sano, I have something to tell you..."
"We all knew who you were when you came here. You haven't changed that much at all really. Actully, to tell the truth, we had Julia plant that ad in the paper that day. It was all a plan to get you back with us where you belong."
"Julia knew! She put the ad there? I can't believe this."
"Apparently, she a Nakastu became pretty close after she went back to America. If you had been around for the 3rd year, you would have heard 'Julia this...Julia that...' it was pretty cute. You can only imagine how relieved he was to find out you were a girl."
Mizuki burst out laughing. She had thought it was a little amusing while at school, knowing that Nakastu really liked the feminine part of her that was showing through, but she had been so stressed over not being found out, that she hadn't been able to enjoy the full humor of the situation. Now added to that, Julia and Nakastu, who when last together, fought worse than cats and dogs, were literally going out by letter standards. It was too much.
Sano laughed too, and hugged her again before letting her go.
"Come on, the others are waiting, and the okonomiyaki is getting cold."
As they sat around the table, catching up on lost time, laughing about old times, and enjoying Nakastu's home cooked dinner. Mizuki felt at home. She also was surprised to find out about Kamashiya knowing because of her aura as well, but felt at peace knowing that they still accepted her despite her little lie, and that they had looked out for her so well. She was after all a bit hopeless at times, and Umeda-sensai had told her she was dense when it came to her own affairs. 'I guess he was right. I didn't even notice the signs right in front of me. Oh well, everything turned out well.'
Yes everything turned out well indeed. Sano's thought's were exactly the same. 'I'll protect you forever. Just stay by my side Mizuki. I love you.'
A/N:Cheers! I finished it, and in one sitting. It's not exactly how I planned, but I had so many different scene possibilities running through my head, it was confusing, so I had to go with what came out first. I almost feel like I could write several other versions, similar, but different. Like who meets her at the door, how Sano tells her he knew all along. Having the others all help with the unveiling of telling Mizuki they know who she is...etc., etc, etc., but this is how it turned out. I'll just store those ideas away for later. I have a feeling I will be writing quite a bit of Hana-Kimi FanFic, So I can definitely use lot's of ideas. Anyway. I hope you all liked.