A/N: This was a fanfic idea exchange between my cousin (beyondinfinite) and I. I gave her the idea for her story 'The Perfect Mille Crêpe'. You should go read it, she's awesome. Oh, and if you leave her a review, tell her I sent you. Haha!
Enjoy, and please R&R this chapter!
I do not own Yumeiro Patissiere or any of the characters. I simply own this fanfic, this writing and everything is my own work.
(Edit on April 24, 2014: I've recently decided that I'm going to edit my older stories. The formatting is messy, the descriptions aren't anything special, and frankly they are just quite mediocre. So starting with this story, I'm going to edit my old stories. Thankfully I still have their original documents in my folders. I'd love to know what you guys think of the changes, so please give me some comments and tips in the reviews! Thank you, and enjoy!)
Tears fell onto the skirt of her St. Marie Academy uniform. Rumi clutched her cell phone in her palm, as more and more tears flowed from her eyes. She greedily grabbed the pillow nearest to her, and hugged it tight. Pressing the middle button on her cellphone again, she took another glance at the text message that flashed on the small screen.
Hey Rumi-chan. Remember that job that I was offered a few days ago? I know I said I probably wouldn't take it, but the different in payment is insane and I can't refuse it. I really need the money right now. I know that taking this job doesn't really concern you, nor should it affect you in any way, but it's going to be a lot farther of a distance between the two of us. It's not just Japan and England; it's going to be Japan and America. It will be a even more difficult to visit each other or the see each other. I'll be a lot busier with the new job too, and free time will become a stranger to me. I care about you Rumi-chan. I want you to know that more than anything. But I can't hold onto this anymore with the distance. I hope you understand. Good luck with your dream as a patissiere, I know you'll fufill it. —Takuya
It had been over two years. They had been together for even longer than two years. She thought they were going strong. No, they were going strong. So why did this happen? They loved each other, they were faithful, and she never thought that the sole problem, being apart, would be what would break them. She couldn't believe it, and quite frankly, she refused to.
Ichigo tried her very best to console her best friend and classmate. "Rumi-san, don't cry. Please." She handed the crying girl a tissue. "You didn't do anything wrong. In fact, you were probably the best girlfriend that any guy in a long-distance relationship could ask for! It's just that… I guess he couldn't take it." Ichigo frowned when Rumi looked back at her with big, shiny, and teary eyes.
"If you like," Ichigo continued, trying to stay strong in front of Rumi. "I can make some sweets for you Rumi-san. Sweets always make me feel better when I'm feeling down." She ended with a smile.
"Arigatou, Ichigo-chan. But… I think I'm just going to go out for a couple minutes." And with that, Rumi seized her coat and scarf, walked past Ichigo understandly nodding her head, and turned the doorknob, leaving their dorm room. The door shut behind her with a not-so-subtle 'bang'.
Rumi walked down the stone path from the school. It was cluttered with red, orange, and brown tones of leaves and eventually led to a nearby pond. The pond was her favorite place on campus; watching the sun set above the sparkling water was just so beautiful. The sky would go from blue, to purple, to pink, and swans would swim around in the pond across the water. She always came here to think about things that made her feel emotional— none of which were ever this heartbreaking— because it was the only place on campus that made her feel entirely calm. It was here where she could empty her mind, and occasionally shed a few tears if necessary, in peace and alone.
The strawberry-blonde girl stood at the edge of the water. The flood gates opened up again, and no matter how many times she blinked, the tears still fell into the pond anyway, and created ripple after ripple. She sniffed and wiped her eyes with her sleeves. Little did she know that there was someone else at the pond; but he was somewhat far from her, as he leaned against one of the trees in the shadows. He couldn't stand to watch her cry any longer. The green-haired boy walked up behind her, and placed his hand on her shoulder.
"Are you okay, Katou-san?" He asked. Rumi spun around to see none other than the rose prince, Hanabusa Satsuki. Before she could speak, he twirled and held out a candy art rose. "For you."
She rolled her eyes, but let out a chuckle. She accepted the rose and took it into her hand. She thanked him for it, and placed strands of her hair behind her ear and out of her face. "I'm fine. I just came here to think about some things. I always come here to think. It's kind of like my happy place."
Hanabusa put his right hand in one of the pockets of his pants. "Eh… Seems as if I'm not the only one, huh. Who comes here… to think." He pulled out a glass bottle. It was small, and had a fancily designed cork rather than a proper cap to keep it closed. The liquid inside was almost clear, but had a faint tint of blush in color. A big label was plastered around the bottle, of a big pink beautiful rose. She couldn't read what it said because it was in French, but regardless she knew what it was: rose water. "You know, there's a funny story behind this bottle. It has always given me painful memories." There was something about the way his fingers were wrapped around the bottle that made Rumi think for a moment that he'd just drop the bottle or throw it away. He held it loosely, and didn't handle it with much care.
"Until just recently." His grip on the bottle tightened slightly.
"This bottle has always given me painful memories— until just recently." He smiled. And he didn't smile that flirtatious smile that all the girls at St. Marie Academy fell for. He smiled genuinely, something that Rumi had not seen before. He smiled, and in a way that Rumi just knew that in that moment, he was being himself, and not some kind of fancy, formal, playboy-ish charade.
"Do you remember the pound cake that we made for the Grand Prix?" He asked her. She nodded her head in response quickly, almost immediately, as she remembered it well.
"A color graduation of a rose." It was a personal favorite— maybe even her absolute favorite— sweet that the A group made. The whole idea was just so innovative, so brilliant, so beautiful, and she bet it was delicious. Of course she wasn't able to taste it, but she wished she did. Oh how she wished she was one of the judges at the time.
"Well," Hanabusa scratched the back of his head. He didn't know why he was suddenly being so honest with Rumi even though he didn't know her that well. "I had always planned to make a rose cake for that challenge. Roses, as you know, hold a very special place in my heart. They're like… a symbol of my family." Faint memories flashed in his mind. His family's beautiful rose garden, the warm hugs he had exchanged with his parents, and that feeling he used to have where everything was just perfect back then. He continued with his story.
"But I kept thinking… I blamed this bottle for everything I lost. I felt that if it wasn't for this bottle, my father wouldn't have left, and I would still have everything I loved the most. So I refused to make a rose cake, and I decide that I didn't want this anymore." He laughed, thinking about his past, foolish actions. "I ended up throwing this bottle into the pond."
Rumi's face showed confusion. "Then why do you still have it now?"
"Ichigo-chan and Kashino ended up jumping in to save it." He looked down at the bottle, not noticing Rumi, eyes widened. She could picture Ichigo doing that, yes, the girl was way too nice for her own good, but Kashino? Out of all people? He was generally rather cold and wouldn't bother with anything that didn't affect his future as a professional pâtissier. She wanted to question about it, but she also didn't want to interrupt him, thus she allowed him to continue.
"If it wasn't for them, I can't imagine how confused and lost I would be right now. It... also happened to be the first time where I thought I had found a girl as beautiful as me. No, even more so if that's possible."
She felt the need to smirk and roll her eyes again at the narcissism in his last statement, but what he had said was actually really sweet. Well, on Hanabusa Satsuki terms anyway. He wouldn't just say that about anyone, and her curiosity was much bigger than her ideas for sarcastic remarks. She looked up at him. "Do you mean Ichigo-chan?"
The sweets' prince nodded to confirm. "Yeah. It was the way she smiled with glee, so brightly. It blinded me. It was how persistent she was to show her concern. She wanted to make it clear that she cared about her friends and partners. And... her eyes. They just… glimmered when she looked at you."
His voice was soft, and it sang in honesty. Every word that came from his mouth was true, and if the tone of his voice wasn't enough to prove it, the look on his face had to be. He didn't look at Rumi; he looked out into the pond. His green eyes shone brightly, and it looked almost as if he would break down at any moment— but he didn't. His lips were still curved into that genuine smile. It wasn't as evident as before, but it was still there, and his dimples still showed anyway.
As touched as she was, and as adorable and she thought he was, she couldn't help but poke a bit of fun at him. Yes, she was feeling down, but that wouldn't stop her from being how she was. She was naturally playful; it was her nature. She poked his shoulder in amusement. "Eh… it looks like someone fell in love with our Ichigo." She enunciated "someone" to ensure that he knew exactly who she was referring to. Hanabusa's cheeks blushed instantly, as if on cue, and Rumi burst in laughter.
"S-shut up." He muttered, and pushed her playfully in midst of her laughter. Rumi, being caught off guard, lost her balance.
"Ah, wu-aaah!" She screamed. And with that, she fell into the pond's waters with a splash.
"Rumi-san!" Hanabusa jumped in after her.
"Satsuki!" His sweets' spirit cried.
The water was still for a few moments, but then it begin to bubble at the surface. The two of them emerged from the water together, coughing in unison.
"Are you two okay?" Café asked, momentarily forgetting that Rumi can't hear him anyway.
"Are you okay, Rumi-san? I'm so sorry, I—" They both noticed how close their faces were to one another. Rumi's arms were wrapped around his neck, and he had held her close to him to make sure she was safe underwater. She could feel his chest rise and fall has he tried to catch his breath, as her own breathing came out in heavy pants. They exchanged quick glances before Rumi blushed and slapped him away.
"Jerk! I was just kidding!" She looked away from him and pouted. Her cheeks puffed and turned even more red in irritation. He thought it was rather cute.
"I'm really sorry, Katou-san. My sincerest apologies."
"Rumi." She mumbled.
"I said, call me Rumi." Hanabusa momentarily looked surprised, but then he smiled.
"…Rumi-san." She blushed harder (if that was even possible at this point) upon hearing his voice say her first name.
"Anyway, I'll get the two of you some towels." Café told Hanabusa, before running off.