It's been such a long time since I've written something for FFnet. Like two years. *headbang* But between that time I was reading a gazillion fics (particularly Drrr! and Kurobasu lol) and I just got my writing mood back! Yay!

...But honestly, I wanted to cry at the measly number of fics of the couple, so I just had to put in my addiction. :D And above all, I want to thank lunaryu for getting me addicted to AkaFuri while I was reading Signal. So lunaryu, I dedicate this to you!

Disclaimer: Please. Me? Never...

A fly buzzed past his right ear as Furihata stared at the tumultuous mansion that awaited him. Mansion couldn't even sum up the grandiose beauty the estate held. It comprised of a sukiya-zukuri that was noticeably renovated to add a touch of modernism as it was created out of metal and tinted glass, and several smaller constructions of the same style surrounding the main building. Between those edifices, well kept flora and fauna adorned the courtyards and the slate tiled paths.

Don't just stare aimlessly like a dork! You have a job to do! A voice at the back of his head sounding suspiciously like his mother reminded him of his work for the fifth time. Furihata heaved his largest sigh yet and plodded to the entrance of the center of the estate.

He would've gone to the annual Seirin summer camp if it were not for the fact that he didn't have the money for lodgings and food. Asking his mother just led to an ear deafening tirade about how useless he was and how he should be studying diligently for exams instead of going to 'the stupid good-for-nothing basketball thing' (And in front of Eri too!) Unfortunately for him, his easily swayed father was out on a business trip in Korea and wouldn't be back until the day after the payment deadline, leaving Furihata to explain pathetically to his seniors how couldn't join them plus an undeviating route to summer studying hell.

Luckily for the basketball player, his longtime crush, friend, and neighbor Eri helpfully offered him a way out of studying.

"Furihata-san, my friend's dad works as a cook in this estate around the outskirts of Kyoto and he says that they need a part-time gardener to help tend the gardens. I think it would be a great learning experience and beneficial to his future," the auburn haired girl tentatively pushed up her tortoise shaped glasses and glanced up calmly at Furihata's mother, who was still fuming.

"I don't see how being a gardener would get him a well paying job in the future," the older woman retorted.

"You see, Furihata-san, your son has average grades-"the said person coughed, "but it is enough to get into most of the universities in Japan. However, the thing that will certainly guarantee him into the best colleges is his excellent record of extra-curricular activities. If he gets to go to basketball camp, or the gardening job, the admissions officers would see him as a well rounded individual and accept him. After all, activities also play a large role in considering a student for admittance into university these days. I got into M University because of my contributions in drama." Eri carefully explained to his mother.

The housewife pursed her lips and stared at the floor, and she looked as if she were contemplating. Furihata glanced at Eri, sending off mental waves of gratitude and hope. That was one reason why he liked her so much; she helped him out of many tight situations.

"That seems to be a splendid idea," his mother grinned widely (a bit too wide, he noted later) "I think I will have Kouki spend the summer as a part-time gardener in Kyoto. It pays well, doesn't it?"

"I believe around 1500 yen each d-"

"Then what about basketball camp?! Why can't I go to summer camp?" Furihata all but shouted at his mother.

"You've had enough basketball in school, and it's time for you to do something else. You heard Eri, the job pays very well. Maybe you can pay for basketball camp by working there?" the older woman kept up her unsettling smile.

"That's impossible! The deadline is on Thursday and they're leaving later that night!"

"Too bad for you dear. Or unless you choose studying at home for the whole summer." In a flash of frustration, Furihata stormed out of the house with Eri hurriedly trailing behind him.

A warm hand settled upon his shoulder. The basketball player spun around to see Eri looking concerned at him; her eyes drooped to settle on the asphalt ground.

"I'm sorry. I couldn't get your mother to let you go to basketball camp, and I even forced a job that you don't want on you."

Furihata's lips curved halfway, reminiscent of a smile, "You already did a lot for me. And you got me out of studying hell."

"Thanks for raising my spirits, although I can't do the same to you." Eri chuckled half-heartedly and ruffled the younger person's hair.

"I have to go back to the university tomorrow morning, so I'll be leaving now. Now, don't look so dejected, it makes me sad too. At least you're going to have a lot of money to spend by the beginning of the school year. I promise I'll make the gardening job easy for you. Oh, and-"she lowered her volume, "the owners of the place you're working at own this big company, so they're really rich and stuff, and they provide a lot of services for their employees. You won't have to go and spend money on paying rent for a place in Kyoto because you'll be allowed to stay in the estate. …I hope what I told you has made you feel better." After embracing him and saying goodbye, the girl walked past the silent boy back home.

Her thoughts wandering, Eri worried for Furihata. He was easily nervous and dependent, but maybe the gardening job would change that for him.

Furihata blinked rapidly as he bumped into the column right of the entrance. He stepped back, rapping twice upon the dyed wood door. It slid open to reveal a stately elder man, ready to welcome him.

"How may I help you, young man?" The butler scrutinized the younger boy's stricken expression.

"Umm…I'm the new part-time gardener for this place. If you're not sure, here's the contract!" He fished out a crumpled word document and handed it to the other person hastily. The man adjusted his glasses, eyes skimming over the typed words before resting at the bottom of the page where it lay upon the messy signature of agreement.

"I see. Please follow me." The elderly butler gestured Furihata to come in.

Furihata stepped into the mansion only to gape at the simple and elegant foyer, which looked like it came out of an interior design magazine. At the center of the room, there was a square spiral staircase with floating steel steps that ended at an open concept balcony. A soft forest-like smell assaulted his nose, and he looked to the left to see a small fragrance oil burner perched upon the ground. How wealthy the owners of the estate are anyways, the point guard wondered as he followed the man through the maze-like hallways, brushing his finger on the plain white walls and looking out windows to view the gardens.

The man led him outside of the main house and through the gardens near a small house. An unkempt person wearing a large straw hat and overalls waved as the two people approached.

"Hello!" he bowed respectfully to the butler and Furihata, in which they returned, "Is this about the gardening job?"

"Yes, and here is the new replacement," he replied, gesturing to the boy.

"Hello. My name is Furihata Kouki, and I hope we can get along very well!"

The butler adjusted his glasses, "Well then, I will leave you two to sort out the details in the work."

Furihata watched as the person left, and turned to give a nervous smile at the other.

"People say that I'm a good judge of character, and by looking at you, I can tell that you're a nice boy. My name's Ishida Saburo; it's nice to meet you!" Ishida-san held out a hand that Furihata politely shook. His coworker didn't seem too uncooperative, which was a very good attribute in his eyes.

"Thank you for the compliment, Ishida-san. I only know how to do the basics of gardening, though."

"It's fine! The work isn't too difficult here, so you don't have anything to worry about. I'm not really a good teacher but I can guide you by having you working alongside me." The person went inside the little building for a moment and came out holding a pair of overalls and a box filled with gardening tools. He held it out to Furihata, who took them and almost collapsed from the bulk of the box.

"The box is really heavy. As for the tools, will we be using them everyday?"

"Unfortunately yes, we will be. However, we're not going to use all of them at once, and you'll get used to the weight of the box in no time!"

The words sounded strangely comforting in Furihata's head. At least, gardening didn't seem as strenuous as basketball practice.

Ishida-san pointed to a line of bushes, "So the part we work on is from this end to the other!" he trailed his finger along the line to the other end of the estate, "Not too much!"

A bead of sweat trickled down Furihata's cheek. Basketball practice seemed a like playtime now.

After 2 hours working outside in the gardens, Furihata felt like a puddle of goo already. Luckily for him, the job he was required to do was pretty easy to grasp. His work generally consisted of pruning out weeds and trimming the bushes, but he hadn't expected that such mundane tasks would drive him into the brinks of exhaustion. Damn the stupid sun and Ishida-san's misleading words.

In the midst of the tranquil silence only found in a secluded summer estate, the sound of a car's engine pierced the air. Furihata's head popped up from the rose bush he was trimming. Ishida turned to the source of the sound and grinned.

"The masters of the house are back! Want to see who they are, Furihata-kun?"

The younger boy blinked. He had forgotten about the fact that he had no idea what the owners of the mansion looked like. They most likely looked as if they were the epitome of the aristocratic class today, designer clothes, fancy car, snobby attitude and all, he thought as he followed Ishida-san to the main entrance of the place.

As he reached the familiar gateway of the grand estate, Furihata noted that his guess that the owners had a fancy car was correct. Actually, more than correct. The car was absolutely amazing! He had seen this model on the front covers of various car magazines every time he visited the convenience store. So preoccupied was he over the details of the car that he almost forgot the people riding in it. The basketball player jumped as a man and a woman exited the vehicle and instantly flanked by bodyguards. Both people were within their middle ages, but were still very physically attractive and each carried a powerful yet charismatic aura that Furihata was immediately attracted to.

"They're the holders of the most powerful electronics corporation in Japan!" Ishida-san helpfully supplied, "And they have a son that's going to inherit it all rightfully. Such a dear young lad he is."

"So who is he?"

"He's around the same age as you and goes to the high school nearby here, which is also famous for- Oh look, he's getting out of the car now!"

Furihata craned his head to look closer at the mystery heir emerging from the car. Crimson hair, Rakuzan uniform, intimidating aura, and heterochromatic eyes. His blood went cold. This was someone he would never be able to disregard for the entire expense of his life.

Akashi Seijuurou.

This was really turning out to be a great summer.

First chapter done! How was it? I hope it was interesting for you all, and I hope I haven't turned you all off with the horrendous writing lol.

So I just wanted to make a warning for all of you before you scream at me to update: I MAY NOT BE UPDATING THIS AS FREQUENTLY AS YOU HOPE. Exams (aka SAT and AP) are coming up for me, and I really need to use these months to study really hard. So it might not be surprising if my next update would be after AP exams or at the beginning of summer. But don't worry, I'll still write as much as I can between those times. AkaFuri FTW!