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As promised


Part 2 Rejection

"Man…" After taking some much needed medication we found ourselves back on the streets running amongst the people. "They're still going at it."

"Sure are." Kei answered immediately. Whether she knew it or not I noticed. She had been watching a tad more closely than ever before. When I mentioned this she shouted that I had hit my head and should be at home resting.

Which I wasn't going to do because Christmas Eve was still here and I wanted to enjoy it with her for as long as I possibly was allowed to.

"Kei…why did you decide to spend Christmas Eve out with me?" I asked as we walked no such destination in mind. We were just walking to enjoy the lights that were everywhere. "I mean you have friends and your sister…"

"Because I wanted to. Is that so bad?" Kei asked glancing at me.

Clearly not the answer that I was looking for. I decided to not ask about that anymore. Instead Kei occupied me by dragging me to where people were holding a high sculpture contest. They were sculpting animals.

I had been here before. In fact just last year I had filmed a bit of this. Not much about it interested me. It was something so beautiful and yet it could be gone by tomorrow due to it melting.

Kei was kind of like ice. Beautiful, dangerous, but most of all she was fragile. The way she had reacted when she saw Izumi in my house must have reminded her of Hiro. There was absolutely no way that she had seen us as just friends before I had explained it all to her.

Which was alright with me. She was worth all the effort I was putting in just so that I could be with her a little bit longer. Kei was…

Well she was just Kei.

"You spend Christmas Eve with someone you care about right?" Kei asked as we watched a man began to hack away in high hopes that it would turn into a dolphin.

"That's what people keep telling me." The spirit of Christmas. It drove people to do all sorts of things. Some even went into bankruptcy just to see that smile on a child's face. I couldn't imagine doing such a thing for someone like that.

And yet there was that box in my left pocket.

"Let's go in there!" Kei changed the topic in a matter of seconds at the sight of one of the couple of toy stores we had on this street. This one contained stuffed animals.

I hadn't booked her as someone who liked such things.

Besides novelty toy stores were expensive.

"Chihiro really likes cats. I want to get her one from this store. Since they won't let her have a real cat I'll get her a stuffed animal!" Course of action decided she walked into the store not bothering to check if I was following or not.

After a moment of venting, I did follow. The store worker looked at my video camera for a moment before deeming it harmless.

Thank goodness. I've had businesses be rather fussy about it before.

"Kei!" I searched. The store was rather large and filled with nothing but stuffed animals. Big ones, small ones, ugly ones, and cute ones, if you wanted one you could find it here.

Clearly Kei had figured this out. She was in the cat section looking at all of her choices. Stripes, patches, and odd colors. There were a few too many to choose from so much so that I didn't know if she would be able to in less than an hour or so.

She was looking with a rather determined look on face. I had no doubt that she would be buying a cat even if it did take an insane amount of time.

"Grah! This is so confusing. I mean why can't they just have one cat? I just want a cat. One." Kei grabbed her hair in vain.

I had never shopped for a cat so…"Meh…they're cats."

"I know but there's so many…Kyosuke help me! I want to take them all home!"

I didn't have enough pocket money to come even close to that! "How about…hmmm…" Greta now she had me rather interested in this cat search.

So we spent a good hour with me pointing one out and her finding something wrong with it and shaking her head.

I couldn't blame her though. It was for her sister after all so I didn't mind as much as I should have.

"What about that one?" I pointed to a purple one. One of its eyes was missing but I was sure if we looked we could find one with its eyes still there.

Kei beamed though. "Oh wow its perfect! Get it! I can't reach."

Did she seriously want this one?

Women.

I got it down, she checked the price, and went to check out. As odd as I found this to be, I wasn't really that inclined to speak my opinion for once.

"Oh honey he's damaged." The store lady insisted.

Kei shrugged. "He's the one that I want. The fact that he's a little different is why I want him!"

She called him 'different' now that I think about it…I don't think I've ever met her sister.

After a few minutes of her arguing with the store lady, she eventually rang up the cat and took a whooping %10 percent off the ugly/cute thing.

Pleased beyond belief, Kei announced that she was willing and ready to go along with whatever plan I was supposed to have.

Even though it was she who had invited me.

"…" I gave her a look which she returned with a teasing smile. She was going to get it alright if she didn't stop teasing me.

"We could go and sing beneath the tree." Kei suggested.

Another look.

More laughing.

"How about we go ice skating."

Ice…skating. Oh wonderful, yet another activity where I can potentially crack my skull open.

"We don't have skates." I pointed out.

This didn't seem to be a feasible problem to her. For down near the lake was a rental place.

Now was probably a terrible time to mention that the only time I had ever stepped out on the ice…I had fallen right on my ass.

"Come on Kysouke…" She beckoned from the ice. Of course, she would have perfect form. I didn't even attempt to keep my camera out in fear of falling and breaking it.

With the help of a nearby tree was I was able to at least get out on the ice.

"The trick is to get going." Kei instructed. She showed me how to do said thing by moving my feet like I was gliding not walking.

Walking would get me quite possibly nowhere.

"No, no, no!" She chastised. Showing me another time I tried to mimic.

And felt myself once again falling.

So naturally I flailed my arms out like a duck and tried desperately to keep myself up.

Yeah okay.

"You goof!" Kei grabbed my hand to keep me upright. I was thankful until I noticed my camera in her other hand. By the way that she had been giggling told me that yes she had caught that entire fiasco on film and why yes she was going view it later.

"Kei…" I sighed.

"Fine, fine. You're always filming me so I don't see the problem." Nonetheless she snapped my camera shut, closed the lens, and transferred it into her bag. "Here I'll help you." Without warning she took my gloved hands and began to skate backwards, pretty much pulling me along.

"…"

"Come one, you won't learn anything if you don't try!" More of that teasing voice.

I decided to give it another go.

It felt like we were swaying back and forth by the time that I had got it right. It as a nice feeling…her hands in my own. As cute as she was I really did enjoy the sight of her cold bitten cheeks.

"I'm going to let go of one of your hands alright?"

She shouldn't have even asked. I had been starring into her eyes for quite some time now, so much so that when she said this I didn't even notice. She swiveled to my side using the pull of my arm. We skated side-by-side with our hands still together.

I laced our fingers together as we skated.

"Kyosuke?" Kei asked after I had done this.

I looked at her once more in the eyes. "Why did you want to spend Christmas Eve with me?"

"I already told you!" She objected just as I had predicted.

"Kei…I think," I bit my bottom lip for a moment. Keeping my mouth shut could do me a world of good. It could make things stay the exact same way it was now. With her by my side skating and me by her side sticking my camera in her face whenever she told me to go away. We could stay like that and perhaps someday we would learn to move forward. Or I could say exactly what my heart was telling me to say.

Things could change. They could change like that, just a few little words was all that it would take for us to move forward.

Or it could take me a huge step back with her.

Rejection would leave me wide open for all sorts of assaults. I had been so sure with Izumi that she liked me that the risk had been next to nothing.

But Kei was different. She was in love with Hiro and has been for years. Who was I to ask her to give all that up for me? Besides I had doubt for myself that I would even be able to take care of her.

"Ah…never mind. It was nothing really." I scratched the back of my head nervously.

And hit the ground.

Granted this time I fell on my butt, looking up at a furious warrior goddess.


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