Author's Notes

The Japanese custom is for women to give "Valentines" to the men on Valentine's Day, like family members, bosses, colleagues and friends as well as romantic interests (though they're supposed to be shy at doing that) and the men return the favour on White Day (March 14) which is like the day of return. However seeing as Western Culture is impacting Japan and the way they conduct weddings and such, I would suppose it's impinging on the traditional way of "celebrating" Valentine's day as well. So we'll go with the modern era Western Style, where males give to females too. This story just won't work unless males give females Valentines. Funny thing is, I grew up thinking guys gave flowers and chocolates to the girls on Valentine's Day…not the other way around.

I'm not much of a romance person, so this is more a friendship fic.

Enjoy, and tell me what you think.

My Special Valentine

V-day fic. Last year, she only got a single valentine. This year she got a truckload, but out of them only six really meant something special...

Izumi O/Zoe

Genre/s: Friendship/Humour

Rating: T

Hasegaya Airi laughed as her disgruntled friend walked in.

'You have petals stuck in her hair,' the brunette pointed out, slipping out of her chair to coax the red out of the blonde hair. It actually gave the other's face a nice effect, especially with the morning sun streaming through the windows, but having the petals stuck in the two ponytails going down her back (in accordance with school guidelines) once the wind began casting its magic on the strands meant that it would be a headache getting them out. Worse would be if there was dirt or (she gave an involuntary shiver as she pulled out one with a black dot) some insect or disease. The longer they were there, the worse it was. 'Too many Valentines?'

'I'll say,' Orimoto Izumi replied, resisting the urge to grapple at her plaits herself. She'd probably make a mess of them, especially seeing as she wouldn't be able to get them back to their original state. The last time she had tried, she had wound up with two wobbly counterparts that looked nothing like each other, one hanging behind her ear and the other on the top of her head. Worse, the latter had almost immediately unravelled and the hairband had dropped somewhere along the way to school, so she had to endure an earbashing from her homeroom teacher because she had realised how stupid she looked and pulled the other out. From that day on she surrendered her ponytails to her mother.

Airi managed to get the last petal onto her desk. 'How did they wind up in your hair anyway?'

The blonde threaded her fingers carefully through her twin ponytails (she'd much rather have one but her hair unravelled from that too) before answering as she sat at her own desk and started picking at her inside shoes…also with rose petals on them.

'They put roses and chocolate in my genken cubby. So when I pulled my shoes out…' The rest was rather self-explanatory.

Obsidian eyes followed the movement and their owner started giggling again.

'You haven't checked your locker, have you?' Airi asked.

The lockers at the back of the room were normally for PE uniforms and little else, seeing as they didn't have locks on them and thus couldn't be used to store valuables. Books and stationary were stored in the tubs under the desk for easy access, and they were normally jam packed and in various levels of messiness by the middle of the final term of the school year. Valentine's Day normally prompted a cleanout, namely because girls didn't want to find their books covered in month old chocolate and ants by the end of term.

Izumi grimaced at that prospect. She wasn't exactly a neat freak. Far from it. But when she opened it, she realised she had overestimated her mess, because the small boxes of chocolate were on top of her English books, which were on top of some magazines in Italian and then some Japanese work books.

Good thing there weren't any more roses…though they wouldn't have fit.

'Who gave them to you?' Airi was evidently enjoying this way too much.

'Don't you have your own Valentines' to look at?'

She shrugged. 'I chucked all mine in my bag. Didn't get roses though.'

'Lucky. I have to worry about thorns.' Izumi straightened up before sweeping the petals off her friend's desk and dumping them in the bin. She felt a little guilty doing that, but there wasn't much she could do about the fallen rose and its crushed stem. It had looked like a really pretty rose too, but that hadn't been the brightest place to leave a well-meant gift.

'I'd tease you about all your admirers now but that's probably not a good idea.'

'Admirers?' The green eyes blinked in confusion. 'Why can't they be from friends?'

Airi sighed, before remembering the other still wasn't used to all their customs. 'Red is the colour of love,' she explained. 'Friendship flowers are normally yellow. It's not all that common to get flowers at all actually. A few years ago it would only be the girls giving to the boys but times are changing now.'

After school she carefully put the chocolates into her book-bag and carried the few books she couldn't fit with them, along with one of the other roses which had managed to survive. This one was white, and she was glad it survived, because the ribbon tied to it told her it was from Junpei. Once she got home, it joined the pink one from her father in the vase in her room by the windowsill where she could look at them and be thankful for her friends and family. The previous year, it had only been the latter, with a single Valentine to count. She had left the rest at school, joining the much larger vase in their classroom and assortment of flowers that frequented it.

She never did figure out who the red ones were from. There might have been something on the ribbon, but for some reason it hadn't occurred to her to check. The chocolate were all labelled though. Names she knew, along with a couple she didn't, but she took down the names anyway, just in case she was socially obliged to return the favour on White Day.

By the time she got through her English homework (by far the easiest) and started on the math, the doorbell rang. She let it, knowing her mother was home to answer it, but she was only halfway done with the next question when heavy footsteps pounded up the stairs and then her door flew open.

Even though she was fully clothed, she squeaked and threw her math text. There was an answering yell as it struck something hard and a few curses from the same voice, then a burst of laughter from a different one.

'You're supposed to knock before you go barging into a girl's room,' she shot at the partially opened door, mollified as Tomoki tentatively poked his head inside.

'Is it safe?' he asked, before poking his head back out. 'Takuya, it just chipped your shoulder.'

'Yeah, don't act like such a baby.' That was Kouji's voice, still sounding rather amused.

'Yeah,' Takuya grumbled. 'Laugh it up.'

Izumi stifled a laugh, sighing instead as she closed her notebook (she had to make sure they wouldn't repeat that incident when she wasn't decent). 'Come in.'

The door opened fully and Tomoki, Kouji and Takuya trooped in, the latter two both looking rather disgruntled…although Kouji's amusement at the other's predicament mollified his expression slightly. Takuya was as bouncy as usual. Nothing kept him down for too long.

'Valentines?' Izumi asked, now slightly amused herself.

'Who invented that stupid holiday anyway?' Kouji grumbled, before immediately thrusting two roses at her, one yellow and the other yellow with pink tips. When she took them, she realised the latter was actually artificial and she gave the younger twin a questioning look.

'That's from Kouichi,' he explained, turning away and pretending to survey the room. 'He said he couldn't give a real rose because he left them with me the last time he visited and they would have dried out.'

'It's still pretty.' She decided to put that one on top of her Digital World hat, while the real one joined the vase. She accepted the chocolate too, leaving it on her desk for the time being. Later, they'd go in the fridge.

Takuya followed her gaze, before pouting a little. 'You didn't get my flower?'

'It wasn't red, was it?' she asked. There had been two which hadn't been accounted for. At his nod, she winced in guilt. 'They fell from my cubby,' she confessed. 'Both were a mess so I tossed them in the bin.'

'Next time I'm getting you a teddy bear,' the brunette declared after a full minute of silence, surprisingly causing Tomoki to blush. 'Huh?'

When everyone was staring at him, he quickly thrust a little teddy bear into her hands. Chibi-Chakkmon went next to the hat.

Looking at the pink and yellow rose beside it suddenly reminded her of something.

'Hold on, Airi said red roses-'

'It's nothing like that,' Takuya yelped quickly, but she didn't turn around fast enough to see the blush. 'Red, fire, you know…'

'…right.' She paused for a moment. 'I had chocolate for you guys downstairs-'

'Your mum already gave it to us.'

'But that's my job.'

Kouji shrugged, leaning against her bedpost. 'It's the thought that counts,' he pointed out. 'Aren't we watching that movie?'

'What movie?' Izumi asked, before remembering. 'Oh, that movie. Oops.' She really should have been expecting the guys. They'd planned the cinema trip for ages.

'Is that a sorry?'

'No you baka. You're still supposed to knock.'