Alright, another one of my first tries, but this time it's really my pioneer flight in attempting to write a romance driven fiction. This story, however, was also born due to a sudden spur of inspiration as I was listening to the song: Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari, and I was pretty sure I couldn't fall asleep nor do anything else until I finish typing out the whole story, so here you have it!
Don't be shy to rate and review! I really appreciate the efforts of those who really take their time to meticulously pen down their thoughts and reflections after reading my stories, so do keep them rolling in!
Under the Starlit Skies.
Summer rolled in like any other season, with the only difference being the pinch of craving in ice-cream and beach parties. What not a better way to celebrate the dawn of summer by basking oneself under the blazing sun yet being invited by the cool ocean breeze?
This being said, however, was otherwise for a certain brown haired boy who obviously had other plans to celebrate the season, on July 7th. With some of his best friends, of course.
"Let's go stargazing tonight!"
Taiki perched himself onto the low brick walls that lined the pavement, separating the long pristine white pathways from the snow white sand of the neighboring beach, noting to balance himself whilst he tried to walk along the length of the surface.
"Get down now! Honestly, Taiki, you're seventeen already! There's no need for me to constantly watch over you, right?" chastised Akari who was conveniently walking right next to him along the pavement. Noting the fact that the red-head was only a year younger than her male buddy right next to her, it does make one wonder who the older was. Then again, this is so Akari.
"You do get great ideas once in a while, don't you, Taiki?"
Kiriha grinned widely as he trailed behind the pair, resting his head into his arms. He was, however, slowly lagging behind to allow Nene the ample time to catch up with his large strides.
"He certainly does! Well, it's Taiki-kun we're talking about after all!" giggled Nene as she added to the blonde's comment.
Several 'clacks', though, could be heard after them whilst Zenjirou raced up in front to gently noogie the brunette, convincing him that it's time to stop being childish and come down the elevated surface.
"Come on, Kudou Taiki! Akari-sama has already stated her wish, so it's time for you to follow!"
"Aww, Gengorou! It's summer!"
"Tell me you forgot my name again… it's ZENJIROU-SAMA for you!"
The group proceeded to collapse in laughter upon being reminded of the fact that Zenjirou's name has always been forgotten. Not only by Taiki alone, but even Kiriha has a tendency to fail to remember the poor Kendo enthusiast's name.
"That though, I don't think I can make it tonight. Dad's gonna ground me if I go out late for another time!"
"Aww, that's sad. Don't worry, Gengoro-"
"Alright, alright, Zen. Don't fret too much about it, we'll recount everything for you tomorrow, okay?" Taiki made a note to clasp his two hands together in an apologetic manner and pulled a puppy-eyed stare right at the other male.
"…Trying to make me feel guilty for not being able to turn up, huh?"
"I can't make it either, I'm sorry!"
"Ehh, Nene, you too!"
Nene hooked her arm around Kiriha's and gave them a little regretful smile. This, however, prompted several eyebrow raises from the other three teens within the group as the blonde's face slowly flushed into several shades of red, intensifying by the minute whilst he tried to look away.
"We have a little date, you see…"
"Shh…" the young girl raised her finger and placed it onto her male partner's lips in a playful manner, noting to bow before she dragged him away after bidding farewell to the crowd.
"I'll be going too, then!" Zenjirou waved before dashing off once again.
"Right. See you!"
"Hold on, Nene, I don't remember wanting to confess about our relationship so soon. Besides, since when did we have a date today?"
"Can't you understand Akari-chan's feelings for Taiki-kun? She's hopelessly in love with him!"
Kiriha stopped in his tracks and shot his girlfriend a little look of mixed amazement and astonishment.
"You mean the nags and stuff…"
"That's right, they're her way of showing her love for him."
"Honestly," the blonde shook his head and slapped his hand against his forehead before continuing. "If she continues on doing so, I don't see the uncertainty in her becoming an old hag before our dear airheaded friend finally acknowledges her feelings."
"Come on, I didn't withdraw from the stargazing event for nothing!"
"Right, you're trying to play cupid aren't you, my little angel?"
Nene instantly felt a blush creeping up her face. Well, that was unexpected, for Kiriha to actually add in such mushy words into their conversations. She instantaneously looked up, hoping that the sky wouldn't fall down on her just yet.
Kiriha attempting to be romantic? It's the end of the world.
"That aside, it's up to Akari-chan to impress Taiki-kun tonight then! Besides, Kiriha, the date!"
"I-I thought it was only an excuse!"
"It is an impromptu decision, Kiriha. Now, make it quick!"
"To be honest, wasn't Kiriha's face hilarious just now? It's as if he was trying to hide his deepest, darkest secret, only for it to be leaked out!" Taiki sniggered, exerting as much force as he could muster to stop his impulse of rolling over the ground, laughing. He's still a child, apparently, taking life as it takes him through his life in a carefree manner.
Akari, nodded in agreement. About to giggle, however, what stopped her was a certain disturbing fact that soon hit her hard.
She's going to stargaze with Taiki. Only the two of them.
In their own world.
And on Tanabata!
"Akari, what's wrong?"
The two continued their slow stroll through the neighborhoods before finally arriving at the red-headed girl's home, one that bore the wafting scent of sunflowers, the fresh green grass and not forgetting, the aromatic scent of cream-based pasta that extended its way towards the pair.
Akari raised her head to meet the gaze of her male counterpart, inadvertently blushing as she did, her feelings unmistakably true for him. That, though, was a little too light for the oblivious brunette to truly get the message.
"I'll see you later, yeah?"
"This isn't good… THAT ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH EITHER!"
Frustrated by the dissatisfaction she had with the yukatas that she possessed, the girl simply tossed down the bundles of cloths onto the ground in her rage and flung herself onto the bed, face down. Judging from the mess in the room, it isn't exactly hard to guess what the girl had been doing.
"Akari dear, what's wrong with you today? You seem extra short-fused today."
"I CAN'T FIND THE SUITABLE OUTFIT TO MEET TAIKI LATER! What if I don't look good enough?" wailed the red-head, still slumped onto her bed unwilling to budge.
"Now, now, sweetheart. I'm pretty sure that Taiki doesn't really mind what you wear when you go out with him! You could go out in an afro for a date with him and be convinced that he won't even leave your side for a second!"
"I know," grinning, Mrs Hinomoto proceeded to pick up a sweet soft pink yukata patterned with soft white cherry blossoms that strewn itself throughout the whole cloth. A crimson red obi was soon picked to accompany the smooth pink cloth and before one could blink, the young girl that sprawled herself on her bed was swiftly converted into a pleasant, gentle looking lady that now took her place in the middle of the room.
"Now, for the final touch…"
Gently brushing her hopelessly in love daughter's hair, the mother could hardly hold back her growing smile as she was fondly reminded of the first time she felt the same way as her daughter did. The warm, growing fluffy feeling of love.
The precious spring of youth.
She slowly bundled the soft red hair of her younger counterpart's into a small, loose little bun, making sure to check for any signs of parts that she had missed out.
"That's right! The geta…"
Akari watched her mom hustle out of the room in amazement. That is her mother all right, meticulous and caring as always. Sometimes, Akari thought to herself, she wanted to become just like her mom, being able to bring up such a warm and happy family.
With the male that she loves…
Another shade of red soon proceeded to creep up her face, as if attempting to dust her face with scarlet-coloured rouge.
Shaking her thoughts out of her head, however, we have the young girl trying her best to smile in front of the mirror, convincing herself that everything would be fine. She just has to act like herself. That's all.
That's right! Taiki likes her the way she is. She should be fine.
"Akari, Taiki's here to fetch you!"
"WOAH! Akari, you look fantastic! Did you specially doll yourself up just for stargazing?"
The brunette excitedly held onto the hand of the girl and squeezed it tight, much to her surprise. To Taiki, it probably was his way of showing his appreciation for her efforts in dolling up. To Akari, well, let's just say it's a totally different story.
"Come on, we're going to miss the peak of where the stars shine the brightest if we keep on dilly-dallying here!"
The girl returned a smile at the hyped-up boy before offering a hand for him to tug. That's Taiki all right, passionate, hot-blooded and all.
Gazing at his back, though, led Akari to be reminded about how much the boy had grown throughout these three years. From when they had traversed through the digital world together, till when they helped out with the incident of the Digi-quartz, the boy has certainly grown to become a rather tall, tanned skinned and well-built male. Credits to the sports activities that he had been consistently active in, and also the fact that his father is a sports coach, the boy could never sit still.
Even if it pushes himself to the limits, though that would be another story.
For now, Akari was pretty much enjoying the breeze that followed their little jog towards the park, now lined with beautiful streamers that tasseled from the trees accompanied with several outdoor stalls that lit up the place into a dream-like state. Now that the sky is totally engulfed by a dark blanket, the river was flocked with lit lanterns that now gently bobbed along the river's currents. City skylines simply faded into the backdrop, providing a wonderful complement to the whole scene.
It was a picturesque view.
"It's beautiful…" the girl absentmindedly muttered out. This, though, cued Taiki to slow down and stop right in his tracks, allowing his female counterpart the time to admire the whole scenery.
"It sure is…"
That puppy-like face only Taiki is capable of making never fails to melt her heart. Akari was positive that her knees would soon give way if he hadn't-
"Ahh, we'll be late!"
Gripping onto the girl's hand, he made a dash forward, inadvertently snapping the poor red-head right out of her dreamy trance mode. So much for being romantic, Taiki. You ought to really pick up a book or two to learn about how to treat a girl during a date.
"While I did mention about a date, I didn't exactly state that I wanted to cook my own meal, Kiriha." Nene's deadpanned voice droned right into Kiriha's ears and heart. Well, it wasn't that he was broke or anything, but he felt that it might appeal to Nene a little more.
So much for trying to be a nice boyfriend.
Guess he has to do something to savage this, huh?
"Well, Miss, why don't you take a seat in the couch first whilst I go prepare your dinner? We have the finest chefs in the house, just so you know."
"Really? Let's see… I'd like something cooked by Chef Aonuma, if you please."
"Coming right up, Miss."
Cue a giggle from Nene as she noticed her blonde boyfriend hustling towards the kitchen. It was rather disturbing, though, to see the inheritor of a giant mansion and a transnational corporation who had never stepped into the kitchen before attempting to cook.
And here she is, in the giant lounge twice the size of a ballroom decorated with luxurious draperies that hung from the two chandeliers to the ends of the hall, cloaking the ceiling with wondrous colours of violet, crimson and gold. Curtains tasseled down the sides of every wall-sized windows and, as if it's not yet fully decorated, a red carpet was placed right in front of the door that leads right up to the two staircases facing each other at the other end of the hall.
One word to describe the lounge itself – grand.
"AGHHH! YOU DUMB FISH JUST LET YOURSELF GET SCALED ALREADY!"
Screams and wails could be heard from the kitchen, suggesting the idea that Kiriha was probably at war with the ingredients for dinner, thought Nene as she laughed to herself. Then again, it's not like he could summon Metalgreymon out to exterminate them or something.
"I'm coming to help!"
Though she can't help but feel a little disturbed about what Kiriha wanted to do with the fish.
"I know that you're excited and all, Taiki, but chill! The night's still young!" wailed Akari as she bobbed behind the tanned brunette, now lifting his head to view the skies.
I've been chasing after you the whole time, didn't you know that?
The boy's eyes glistened under the moonlit skies whilst he raised a finger upwards, tracing a triangle right into the sky, now strewn with thousands… no, millions of stars that twinkled and shone brightly, unguarded by the city lights.
"There's Deneb, Altair, and Vega."
His eyes widened in amazement, just like how a child would when offered ice cream during the hottest season of summer, or when a young boy is receiving a present. He just seems so much younger than what he really is now, so much more open, so much more innocent…
This, though, intensified the pain of having to bottle up her love for him. That prickling pain in her chest, now growing every second she looks at him.
She was dying to tell him about her feelings, yet she couldn't find the courage to.
Could this… be love?
If so, she'd been in love with him for so long, and yet he wasn't able to detect anything just yet? After all the hints that she's been dropping?
Akari glanced upwards into the skies, almost instantaneously spotting Orihime brightly shining in the night skies. Hikoboshi, however, was nowhere to be seen.
Maybe this crush might not be working out after all…
"Orihime-sama's there, but where's Hikoboshi-sama…?"
Taiki soon turn to notice the small little tone of hurt lingering inside the voice of her very last resonating sentence. As much as an airhead Kiriha mentioned him to be, he knows for sure whenever someone isn't feeling too happy about something.
"She seems to be lonely…"
"Akari… what's wrong?"
The pangs from her unrequited love, along with the loneliness of Orihime-sama hit her hard, prompting tears that welled up her eyes, forcing her to slowly break into a full blown sob as she threw herself into the boy's arms.
"L-Let me s-stay there for a w-while, o-okay?"
Glancing down, the brunette gave a small smile and raised his free hand, gently stroking the hair of his female counterpart affectionately.
In the meantime, we have a rather unamused Tsurugi Zenjirou now pacing his hall repeatedly, fully dissatisfied with the idea of his friends out there having fun and him having to stay at home.
"Dad isn't at home, so it's time to-"
"ZENJIROU! Don't you dare sneak out!"
Now wrapped in the midst of strong arms that held her tight like a young infant unwilling to let go of its baby blanket, Akari felt herself slowly calming down and pulled herself from Taiki, awkwardly turning away for the blush that soon flushed her cheeks were burning hot.
Heart beating rapidly and all.
It must be love.
"It's alright, there's no need to apologise."
Slightly startled by the curt comment, Akari slowly turned to face to river, unwilling to even glimpse at the face of the boy. Taiki had always been nice, so why? Did she do something wrong?
This, however, was soon dissipated by Taiki's carefree chuckle that resonated the air. Surprising, however, was the fact that the brunette actually made a note to hold up her hand and patted it with his free hand.
"If you have feelings for me, why didn't you say so earlier?"
"… You knew all along…?"
Seems like it's the male's turn to start blushing and all as he tried to find the most appropriate word to use in this touchy topic. Shifting his feet uneasily whilst snapping his fingers to aid his thinking process, he continued,
"I don't really know about you… but… how do I say this…"
"I kind of knew that I had an attachment with you."
"I probably couldn't live a day without you."
Akari could hardly believe her ears. So Taiki have always had a crush on her the whole while, while she had one on him?
To top it all, the both of them refused to admit their liking of each other because of their shyness and pride?
How stupid can they get!
"W-well, now that this is cleared…"
Taiki gently held onto both of Akari's hands and gazed right deep into her soul, brimming with determination, confidence yet with a tinge of nervousness and anxiety. What if she doesn't accept him?
"Do you accept me as your man, Akari?"
"Please don't tell me that you don't, GOSH! THAT WOULD BE SO AGONISING!"
The girl giggled as she saw the slight cringe in the face of her male counterpart. Taiki's reactions could be just so hilarious at times, especially so when he finally loses it during certain circumstances. Well, then again, that's so Taiki.
"I'll accept you." Was soon followed by a heave upwards as the boy proceeded to lift the red-head up into the air, twirling around before letting her down again in aid to show his utmost joy and happiness in finally mustering the courage to profess his love for her.
This too, was accompanied by the arrival of Hikoboshi-sama, the star that soon accompanied the lonely Orihime-sama, now brightly twinkling in the skies along with the other stars and the summer triangle. The carelessly strewn stars, now twinkling brightly in the night skies as they welcomed the arrival of the new pairing.
It was a great night.
And it will forever be remembered.
"Kiriha, remind me to never let you cook alone again!"
"Okay, okay, Nene, rela- OWWWWW!"
"Ah, I'm sorry, did I hurt your wound?"
Guess Kiriha accidentally hurt himself while trying to whip up a scrumptious dinner huh? Then again, it was the perfect time for the duo to finally improve the relationship between each other, for now Kiriha was pretty much preparing a really special surprise for his girl.
Something… well… special.
"Just… stop being so careless oka-"
A small soft peck landed right onto her cheek as she retreated away, blushing whilst holding onto her right cheek. Now that was unexpected. She'd better check the window now.
"Are you going to check if the sky's about to fall?" the blonde responded jokingly, only to get a playful punch right in his stomach by the victim.
"And while everyone is having a good time, I, Zenjirou-sama, has nothing to do but to be cooped up at home."
Poor Gengorou... I mean Zenjirou! Don't worry, you still have your rather stable fanbase rooting for you!