Author's Note: I found a very wonderful website that allows you to read manga online! After onemanga was shut down, I was so distraught that I never looked for other websites like it. So, thanks to manga2U, I was able to re-read Hana Kimi and write this lovely fanfic for you all!
Disclaimer: I don't own Hana Kimi.
If I'd Only Known
I remember very well the day that my older brother came back to visit after completing his third year at Osaka High. It was the first time he had been home since leaving six years before. I felt apprehensive when Mother told me Izumi would be coming home. It had not been very long since Izumi had made up with Father and me. I was afraid someone would start a fight and my brother would abandon me again.
Izumi didn't stay long, but those few summer days he was back were very enjoyable for me. We got to high jump just for fun, something neither of us had done since we were children. Izumi even let Dad give him some advice to improve his jumping.
One night, Izumi stopped by my room after taking his shower. The damp towel was still around his neck.
"Hey, kid," he said. "I want to tell you something."
"Sure," I replied, attempting not to huff at being called a kid.
"You remember my friend and roommate Ashiya Mizuki, right?"
"How could I forget? That little guy who worshipped the ground you walked on. I thought he was a girl the first time I met him." I said, struggling to keep anything weird out of my voice.
"Shin… Mizuki is a girl."
Ba-dum went my heart. I stared uncomprehendingly at my brother for a very long time. I was drawn back to the day when I'd almost given myself away to Ashiya, the day I told him I would be back once I could beat Izumi.
I laughed nervously. "C'mon, Brother, don't joke about stuff like that."
Izumi frowned. "I'm not joking, Shin. She disguised herself as a boy in order to meet me."
I had always known my chances—chances for what?—with Ashiya were slim. He… she… had traveled across the world just to meet my brother. She had never worried how her decision could have gone horribly wrong. She never contemplated the idea that Izumi might not like her once they met. She'd never stopped to think that Osaka is a big school, and she might not have met Izumi at all. She could never have guessed that she and Izumi would become roommates. She could never have predicted he would discover her secret. She could not have foreseen him falling in love with her. All Ashiya had thought was that her idol was in Japan, and she was determined to go to him. It was a great leap of faith on her part.
She also could not have anticipated Izumi's scrawny, bad tempered younger brother would fall for her too. If I'd only known sooner that Ashiya was a girl, I might have had more courage. I would have never had to question myself, constantly wondering if these feelings were right. I wouldn't have felt the need to beat my brother, making myself better for her. Or maybe, I would have felt the need to better myself even more.