A/N: Finally a new story! I hope I didn't make you guys wait too long. Hopefully Kashino wasn't too OOC. It's really hard to make someone who is usually bitter do cutesy or lovey things, since you know, it's not really their character.
You should all know that I do not (as much as I freakishly want to) own Yumeiro Pattisiere. Please enjoy and R&R!
(Edit on April 24, 2014: Alright, so I've edited this story a bit. I've fixed the formatting and a few grammatical mistakes. I've also improved descriptions, and the ending a bit. Hopefully Kashino is less OOC now. And as for the fans of this fan fiction, I've got some great news! This is no longer a one-shot! I've decided that I will write a new chapter. It should be out and published by early/mid May 2014, or possibly even sooner. So stay tuned!)
It was just another day in the cooking classroom. Everyone was quiet; sounds of whisks mixing batter and eggs being cracked against the rim of bowls filled the air. The 'ting' noise that the ovens made when sweets were finished baking would sound out every now and then. Ameya-sensei told the class that to become good pâtissiers and pâtissières, they must be able to portray emotion within their sweets. For the past couple of weeks our favorite group of the class had no problem with the assignment, whether the emotion was happiness, anger, or sadness. This week however, they seem to have a little bit of a problem.
"Love, huh…" Kashino stood at Group A's work station with the other Sweets Princes. Ichigo was absent today, with a high fever. Probably from eating too much sweets. The glutton. Kashino thought. After an almost endless silence, Andoh spoke up.
"Let's think about this for a second. We all know there is more than one kind of love; like the love you feel for family or the love and passion you have for a hobby."
"And there's the love you feel for a significant other." Hanabusa said this with a charming smile.
Andoh chuckled. "Like what the Heiress feels for Maa-kun." Kashino's eyes widened, his face frozen just at the thought alone. Andoh placed his hand on Kashino's shoulder. "I'm just kidding Maa-kun." He apologized with a second chuckle. Kashino slapped his hand away.
"Think about what you say before you say it. Especially if it involves the Heiress." Kashino enunciated the word 'especially' with great emphasis and shuddered.
Hanabusa's smile then turned into a smirk. He brushed his bangs with his fingers to the side. "I'm sure we'll be fine. After all, you yourself know all about the topic of love… don't you Kashino?"
All three princes knew exactly what Hanabusa was referring to. This alone immediately made Kashino's cheeks rosy.
"Hanabusa!" Kashino yelled back. The heads of classmates began to turn. Hanabusa continued to tease him. He found humor in how flustered his group mate got.
"A certain brunette who happens to be absent today, perhaps?"
The raven-haired Sweets Prince agreed with him. "You're always looking at her, Maa-kun."
"Andoh!" Kashino threw flour, aiming for and hitting their faces; spot on. The two of them looked as white as ghosts. Hanabusa returned fire with sugar. Andoh tried to get the two of them to stop.
"Guys! Don't waste the ingredients!" As a result, Andoh gets bombarded by cut-up strawberries and egg yolk. Hanabusa dumped his mixing batter on Kashino's head, and to get revenge, Kashino flicked chocolate in the rose prince's eyes with his tempering tool. Eventually greater chaos ensues to the point where the other groups can no longer concentrate, and Ameya-sensei steps in, after flour hits her face.
"A Group! What do you think you're doing? This is exactly like what happened on your first day! I never would have thought that I would have to scold you about this a second time, especially after you have been here for so long. Because of this, I will have to ask the three of you to clean the whole cooking classroom. This obviously includes the utensils and dishes." With a tone like that, it was more like an order rather than an inquiry. The Sweets Princes went silent, but Hanabusa and Kashino sent vicious glares into each other's eyes. Andoh merely sighed.
"Jeez!" Kashino roughly threw his rag onto the counter of Group C's work station. "I hate punishment."
Hanabusa's green locks peeked out from behind the work station of Group B. He wiped his brow. "This wouldn't have happened if you didn't use baking ingredients as ammo." he snapped.
"Oi, Hanabusa." Café could already see where things were headed. Andoh attempted to step in between, as usual.
"Come on guys, don't start this again." His efforts drew ineffectual. Almost completely ignored his childhood friend, the blonde had something to say back to the remaining Sweets Prince.
"It's your fault for bringing up the cake pig out of nowhere."
"Hurry Ichigo!" Vanilla squeaked into her ear.
"I'm going as fast as I can, Vanil- bwaah!" Ichigo fell head first down the wooden staircase, again.
"Ichigo, are you okay?" Vanila asked, voice full of concern.
Ichigo sits up straight, rubbing her head she replies. "I told you I'm used to this, don't worry about it."
Vanilla questions her actions. "Are you sure you still want to head to the classroom? Your fever just went back down to normal. You probably missed class already anyway!"
Ichigo nods her head, telling Vanilla that she's positive; she still wants to help. "I have to try." She picked herself off the floor and continued to head towards to the cooking classroom.
Andoh was literally separating Kashino from Hanabusa; pushing them in opposite directions. Hanabusa spoke once again.
"You're so defensive when it comes to this topic. Andoh and I have already known for a long time about your feelings for Ichigo."
Kashino's face flushed a scarlet hue. "Sh-shut up!"
Ichigo was at the far end of the hallway, and she hurriedly approached the doors of the cooking classroom. The lights were dimmed; she really did miss class. Her hand went to the doorknob when she saw three familiar faces alone inside through the door's glass window. She stopped herself from turning it. She could see something was being… loudly discussed. Even Vanilla tightly zipped her lips shut. Together they pressed their ears to the door, listening in on what has taking place behind the door. At first the voices were muffled, but among all the clatter she heard one voice, a voice she knows well: Hanabusa Satsuki.
"Admit it Kashino, you like Ichigo." As soon as the sentence hits her eardrums, Ichigo's eyes widened, and her cheeks tinted with a light shade of pink. She twiddled her thumbs, and got redder by the millisecond. She waited impatiently for an answer. Why did she want to know so badly? Was her curiosity that intense?
After an extended silence, Kashino's voice breaks the sudden hush created after Hanabusa's statement. "Alright. Fine. I give in." He sighed. Might as well not keep everything cooped up inside right? Kashino finally admitted to what his friends had been suspecting for months now.
"I like her, alright? I do. Are you happy now?"
Hanabusa smirked and brushed off his baking uniform. "Yes, quite." However, Andoh felt the need to press further.
"Why didn't you tell us, Maa-kun? I mean, we knew already, but why didn't you tell us yourself? We can read you like a book, but unfortunately Ichigo-chan's a little bit more dense than that." The only Sweets' Prince with glasses awkwardly scratched the back of his neck. It took a while for him to reply, but Kashino did eventually respond.
"Because I don't just like her."
"Wait, Maa-kun, you mean you—"
"… I think I'm in love her."
Andoh and Hanabusa stood in shock. The two of them figured Kashino liked Ichigo, but they wouldn't have thought that it was so… serious. They had a lot to say but nothing came out, and it seemed as though Kashino really needed to get some things off his chest, so they allowed him.
"I know. I thought it was impossible too." He grabs the rag off of Group C's station and rolls it up. "But for some reason, all of a sudden, those stupid cheesy love songs and books begin to make sense to me, and I lose focus, during all or any classes… including baking. And it's really, really frustrating. How am I supposed to be a top pâtissier at the rate I'm going?" He angrily throws the rag onto the floor, and begins to pace around the classroom. The heels of his shoes click against the cold, checkered tile.
"I don't know what it is either. I mean, she doesn't do anything! She never taught us anything, she barely has any experience; she's just here! She just laughs and smiles and occasionally screws things up for us and I don't get why it distracts me so much! She has me so confused. I don't know what's happening. Why is everything changing?" The blonde takes off his chef's hat to run his fingers through his hair.
"I can't think of anything else but her. Have I, Kashino Makoto, have fallen for a particular pig-tailed, sweets-obsessed, innocent, chocolate haired, dense but adorable soon-to-be pâtissière?" He turns around to his two best friends.
His words echoed throughout the empty room. They didn't seem to have an answer for him. The sound waves made it through the door to Ichigo. She had heard everything. She was stunned and tongue-tied. She fell to her knees in disbelief.
"Ichigo? A-are you okay?" Vanilla asked.
The heads of the three boys snap in the doors' direction upon hearing the slight thud on the other side of the entrance. They swing the doors open, almost to the point of kicking them down. And there, on the floor of the hallway, was the particular pig-tailed, sweets-obsessed, innocent, chocolate haired, adorably dense, strawberry faced, soon-to-be pâtissière that Kashino felt he had fallen for. Her group mates simply towered above her; their eyes wide and their jaws slack.