Disclaimers: No copyright infringement intended. Some scenes from the game were slightly changed, call it the fanfic author's privilege. =p

Kouichi's Merry-Go-Round

"What's your favorite ride in the amusement park?... Ah… Really? That's too bad… Hmm… Oh, me? Why of course, it's the merry-go-round! I'm also afraid of heights, so there are only a limited number of rides I can go to. Plus, there's just something so magical about the ride to me, that it truly can't be topped by anything else. You know, there's just a princess-like feeling that I can't explain. And, there's one more reason…

"Kouichi Sakurai. My tall, absolutely intimidating, gorgeous hunk of a childhood friend.

"Why, you ask? He doesn't look like the type to ride it, you say? I actually agree. There were the delinquent rumors about the Sakurai brothers a long time ago. You've seen him, too, haven't you? Feels like a glare could kill you. That's how I felt, too, when I first saw him again after a few years apart.

"Kou, his younger brother Ruka, and I used to play a lot when we were young. I had to leave with family for a few years, and then I returned to the town where we grew up when I was about to start high school. I unknowingly met Ruka first, near the church were we used to play, and I thought, 'This guy has stunningly beautiful eyes…' That day, he escorted me home, and all that time I was wondering how he knew where I lived.

"The day of the entrance ceremony came and in my hurry I bumped into this huge man standing in front of my house who glared at me and said, 'Oi, that's dangerous.' Looking up at his face, his expression really scared me at first. Then I realized he was supporting my elbow, preventing me from bouncing off of him and falling on my butt. A little panicked, I found myself stepping back. My worries were unnecessary though, because I got myself a nice surprise when both siblings welcomed me home, and escorted me to school. I was so shocked I didn't even notice we had the same uniform.

"I actually thought I'd like Ruka more, I was a sucker for prince-like, boy-next-door types back then. But there was something about Kou's aloofness that certainly pulled me in. So I decided to test it by asking him for a date…

"You guessed it! We went to the amusement park. I haven't gone in ages, and I was so excited that when he asked me which ride I wanted to go to, I went for the merry-go-round right off the bat. I had a hard time holding my laughter in when he acted all haughty and said, 'Who the hell's gonna ride that?'

"Should I say he was actually angry? I don't really know anymore, but I still snicker every time I remember it. You see, he rode it anyway. And he was acting sooo depressed about it. I had to act all embarrassed afterwards just to appease him. And you know what? He smiled for my effort. Smiled, I tell you. That scary guy just lifted a corner of his lips, and I felt all my uneasiness about making him angry go away. I still took him to the go-kart afterwards for good measure though. He loves speedy rides.

"Months went by. Kou and I had gone on a lot of dates since then. We returned to the amusement park, and I was honestly trying my best to avoid the merry-go-round but my feet kept straying to its location.

"'Do you really want to make me ride that again? Keh, it can't be helped.'

"And he rode the pumpkin carriage with me, although he closed his eyes, ignored everything around him and sat with his arms crossed, silently giving the message 'say anything about this and you're dead.' It actually felt like he gave in too easily. To this day, I still wonder if I imagined the almost unnoticeable light pink dusting his cheeks… The Almighty Kouichi blushed… Shh! Don't tell him I said that! Anyway, it endeared him to me all the more.

"Summertime in my 2nd year, we came back to see the night parade. However, Kou had other plans. He dragged me to the haunted house, where he proceeded to scare the living daylights out of me, and then later on the ghosts because I was already about to cry.

"Realizing that 'sorry, my bad' wasn't enough to calm me down, he took my hand and led me to my favorite ride. I was about to sit inside the carriage when he suddenly pulled me over to his side, and I ended up being hugged while sitting on his lap. I remember he was rubbing my back in an attempt to comfort me, even mumbled 'troublesome' in my ear. But I was too busy being a tomato in full view of park visitors to totally notice what he was doing then.

"All I got after that was, 'Hmm… That wasn't so bad.' That sneaky rat was facing away the entire time! Well, it was an effective way to make me forget about the haunted house…

"However, in all our visits to the amusement park after that, he always, always brings me to the merry-go-round without complaint. Somehow, I learned to like our sitting arrangements, as long as he comes with me to the ride.

"There was one time where he insisted that I ride the horse instead, he even lifted me on it. I was looking at him with my right brow raised, questioning his actions. My expression changed to incredulous when he suddenly started to kneel on one… Ah, I'm keeping that a secret. He'll flay me alive if I said anything about it…

"What do you think of him now? He's a nice guy, not like the rumors, right? Ah, speak of the devil. No, don't run, he doesn't bite! Well, he actually does, but… Seriously, that glare is normal! Here, meet Kouichi Sakurai. My tall, absolutely intimidating, gorgeous hunk of a husband. Eh, didn't I tell you? My last name is Sakurai..."

"Uncle Ruka, Uncle Ruka, let's ride the roller coaster next!"

"Nuh-uh, we've left your mommy alone for too long, your daddy wants to take her to the merry-go-round."

"Nee, Uncle Ruka, why can't we go in the carriage with them?"

"Hmm… See, the carriage is reserved for the king and queen. We princes protect them outside the carriage, so we ride the horses, okay?... Huh?..."

"Ah, Ruka, welcome back. This girl here was also left behind because she's scared of heights like me, let me introduce you… Hello?... Ruka? Earth to Ruka… Kou… I think he's lovestruck."

"… Oi, wake up!" Whack!

"Ouch! My head!"

"Kouichi, no violence in front of the kids!"

"My bad…"

"Mou… Hmm… Hey, why don't you come with us? Ruka, you'll escort her, won't you? Who knows, you guys might like the merry-go-round yourselves…"


Author's note: This was based off of my experience playing Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side: 3rd Story, specifically, the first date. It was the result of dating via eeny-meeny-miny-moe, with very minimal Japanese knowledge. I was literally ROFLing, it was so hilarious. I don't think I'll ever want to forget it, so I decided to write this fanfic as the theme for Lovablepunk and Ponytale's Lucky Bag Contest (I won it, was mine the only entry?). I hope you have fun with it as well. XD -みゆき