title: enigma
fandom: anohana
rating: K+
summary: She thinks she can know him, and then she thinks she does. Yukiatsu/Tsuruko.
warnings: spoilers
additional notes: this is dedicated to the lovely koa-chan, for her amazing fics and dealing with my horrible time-management skills as a beta. speaking of which i am still beta-ing that chapter but this story popped into my head and im sorry, but i had to write it.


When she is 10, they meet.

Short and slender, with a cute bob and tiny pigtail fashioned out of her dark-blue hair, Tsuruko finds the brown-haired boy intriguing. He is quiet, but not shy; a subordinate, but with authority. An enigma to be deciphered, like the puzzles her father constantly brings home for her to wrestle with.

She watches him for months but never quite solves him.

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When she is 12, they are in the same class together for the first time.

A slight tap on her shoulder, and she lifts her face out of the book to see the stoic, drawn face of a brown-haired boy. She turns back to her book, watching out of the corner of her eye as he sits down in the desk next to hers.

She spends the entire morning absentmindedly doodling in the margins of her math textbook. A faceless boy, and a girl in a white dress.

The moment class ends she snaps it shut and throws it in the deep recesses of her bookbag.

The next day, there are only pencil smudges and the faint outline of a blue ribbon on a white dress.

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When she is 14, she gets her first pair of glasses.

She stumbles into class, weary after the ill-fated meeting with the overly-friendly optometrist who calls her face lovely and her glasses lovelier.

He turns around, takes one look at her, and snickers, just barely.

She glares and nearly trips over a desk she could have sworn wasn't there.

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When she is 16, she gives him her first box of chocolate.

It is Valentine's day, and she is nervous. They were never the kind of friends to send chocolates to each other, to buy gifts or in any other way demonstrate emotion.

Halfway out the door she turns back, grabs a pen off the desk and quickly scrawls "for a friend" on the top of the box.

Yukiatsu makes no indication of seeing it, and Tsuruko wonders if she's relieved or disapoointed.

When White Day rolls around, she finds a box of chocolates in her shoe locker. "For a friend."

As she eats them later that night, she wonders how something so sweet can taste so bitter.

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When she is 17, the boy in the white dress emerges.

First the girl in the white dress returned, and then came the boy.

As she stands there overlooking the ridge, Jintan giving chase and Poppo and Anaru trailing her, she realizes more than the identity of Yukiatsu's Menma.

When she yells out his name, and the sardonic comment about his legs (she knows later it was bitterness, pure and simple), she cements it into reality.

It's simple.

She's too selfish to let him go, but she loves him too much to let him be.

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When she is 18, she confesses.

It's an accident, a spur-of-the-moment emotional breakdown.

She can't even bear to look at his reaction, simply choosing to stay hunched down on the ground, tears like rain falling onto the lenses of her now-beloved glasses. Orange stains the corner of her vision and she covers her eyes, wishing it all away.

A few days later, Yukiatsu sits right next to her on the train, an unprecedented occurrence.

He holds out his palm, and in it is a tiny flower hairclip, the clean and unblemished version of the one in her dresser that she retrieved deep in the forest seven years ago.

She looks at him, really looks, and he avoids her eyes, biting his lip.

"I… I thought you'd look nice in it," he manages, speaking slowly, nervously, an emotion she knew Yukiatsu rarely felt, and only then for the sake of the girl in the white dress.

She looks at it, and back at him, before leading his hand up to her now-short bangs.

As he looks at her in surprise before awkwardly attempting to fasten it properly, she smiles at him just barely.

Maybe she can afford to let this enigma go unsolved for a little longer.

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fin.


A/N: I haven't written something in so long, but I love these two. I really see myself in Tsuruko, so I just want her to be happy, I guess. :)