I Kyousuke Kousaka am a 17 year old high-school boy in Chiba. I'm walking home with my childhood friend Manami as today marked the end of the marking period and the beginning of the summer break for us Juniors. As the summer rays beat down on my head, I smile as I think of not having to go to school and deal with the troublesome assignments that our demon teachers forced upon us throughout the year. I walk stuck in those pleasant thoughts I faintly hear some kind of buzzing...buzzing? No, I think its a voice, it seems familiar but, what does it say? Kyou… Kyou-chan? I snap out of my daze. Kyou-chan is a pet name Manami gave me when we were children, and somehow it stuck.

"Kyou-chan? Are you feeling OK?" She tilts her head as she asks with a concerned expression on her face. Typical, she is always so concerned about me. Oh well, I guess that isn't so bad.

I sigh "I'm OK, but maybe the heat's getting to me. Why don't we go to my place and get some drinks?" I mean you might think its strange for a healthy 17 year old guy to just ask a girl to his house randomly, but Manami is different; she's my childhood friend so she's been there a lot and now it's kinda natural.

We finally get to my house after a couple minutes of walking and I'm sweating from the heat. Sure the heat could be expected, I mean it was an asian country but this hot? It's unusual for this time of year.

"Tadaima" I announced as I walk in the door, plopping my bag on the stairs. My bag hits the first step and the zipper opens releasing all of my papers. Great, just great. I kneel to pick up my papers when I hear Kirino from up the stairs.

"Oh, welcome back. Did you buy the ice cream?" She's drying her hair with a towel covering her face, she probably couldn't see manami still in the doorway.

"Oy, Kirino we have a guest," I tell her exasperatedly. I sigh. She needs to pay closer attention to her surroundings.

"Oh?" She turns around and sees Manami in the doorway. "Eh! What's she doing here?!" She didn't even try to mask her disgust as she looked away from Manami. I never knew why, but Kirino had some long time animosity with Manami since a long time ago, when I was still in middle school, I never could figure it out.

"Kirino be nice to her, she's a guest," I try to convince her to treat Manami like a, well actually like a friend, but she just pouts a bit then walks back up the stairs. A couple seconds later we hear a door slam. Damn, what was up with that girl?

With my annoying sister gone, I could finally invite Manami in and close the door preventing any cold air from further leaving the house. I was surprised to see her not at all flustered by my sister's obvious dislike for her, Was she always so calm? We sit down in the living room and I offer her some barley tea that my father makes daily before leaving for the station. "So Kyou-chan, do you have a girlfriend?" Manami asks sipping the tea quietly.

I choke. Why the hell was this girl asking this question now?! What's her plan? Ok in times like these you need to play it cool. Sooo what should I say, what should I say…

"Girlfriend? Nah, I don't have one" AHHHH why did I say that? That makes me sound pathetic!

"Oh, that's a shame," She says still sipping the tea.

Huh? What? Why did she even ask? I'm so confused. I sighed. You can never understand girls, so why try? I give up.

We end up just sitting there talking about random things like school work and colleges we plan to apply for. I take a glance outside the window and think, wow the sun is already setting. Strange, in the summer the days usually last longer. Maybe this is a bad omen. I'm not usually superstitious but with Manami asking me strange questions, and the weather being so strange today, I begun to wonder.

I look back and Manami and we talk for a couple more minutes, then she says that her parents had made dinner plans and that she has to go. We walk towards the door and she puts on her shoes.

"Bye, Kyou-chan," she says as she opens the door. She starts walking down the stone steps and into the driveway.

"Bye, see you tomorrow," I close the door then start heading up the stairs. I'm so tired today, I shouldn't be so exhausted by today. I mean on the last days before break all the homework is assigned but then nothing we just laze around. Maybe today really is a weird day. I'm halfway up the staircase when I hear a soft knock at the door. Did Manami forget something? She probably forgot her bag. I walk back down and open the door. "Manami, did you forget some..?" I say as I reopen the door.

"Onii-chan?" I hear Ayase and take another look. Huh, it really was her. But why was she here? Maybe she wanted to see me. I silently laugh at the impossibility of that happening.

"Hi, whats up Ayase do you need something?"

"Oh, I'm just looking for Kirino. Is she home?" Oh that makes more sense. Ayase was here to see my sister, I guess I got my hopes up for nothing. "Yeah, she's upstairs, I'll go get her… Wait, actually i'll just take you to her room."

We walk in silence up the stairs and through the hallway passing my own bedroom as we walk. This is unbelievably awkward. We stop walking when we reach Kirino's room. I turn towards the door and I'm about to knock on the door my fist just making contact with the wood when I hear "Kyaaa, Megu-chan's so cute! Oooh I got a new ending!" the door muffles the sound but I think it was loud enough that Ayase could hear it 'cause she had a horrified expression on her face.

"ummm, Onii-chan I don't think this would be the best time to bother KIrino now, So i'll just walk home. Can you tell Kirino to text me after she finishes with...that?" Her expression turns stony and she turns around silently then in an ominous voice she says "bye, onii-chan". I grimace, the words were innocent, but her tone sent shivers down my spine. Ayase always did have issues with Kirino playing certain "games". She starts walking down the staircase and I follow her to the door keeping a very specific distance from her. "Be careful on the way home ayase, its getting dark" I warn as she puts on her jacket. "I will onii-chan, than.." BOOOOMMMM. The lights abruptly go out. "Kyaaaaaa" I hear Ayase scream but I can't see her. It must be a power outage, but what was with the boom. It couldn't have been thunder, that would require a storm and last time I checked it was sunny and veryyy hot outside. "Ayase, calm down its just a power outage, ill just go check the fuse, stay here." I hear a small "m'kay" from my left after I say that. When the lights went out we were in the small hallway where the front door was so I had to get to the fusebox in the kitchen. I start my journey to the kitchen. I put my hands on the wall, when *Crash* My hand slips and my face falls flat on the floor knocking over god-knows-what. I feel a wetness on my hand as I pick myself up. What is this? Its some sort of a liquid, I hear a dripping sound a couple inches from where my head is. Great, just great the ceiling's leaking. I sigh and move on taking note on where the water is dripping. After at least five minutes of tedious crawling/slipping I finally find my way to the kitchen and I stand up. I feel around and I find the sink. Yes! if I found the sink then I found the drawers under the sink. My father being the policeman he is always keeps a emergency kit below the kitchen sink in a marked drawer. I open the kit and grope inside the bag until I feel the handle of the crank flashlight. I then give the handle a couple whirls and turn on the light, success now I have light. I have to hurry up, just thinking of cute little Ayase sitting on the floor waiting for the lights to turn on makes me anxious. I shine the flashlight around and find the box. Then I check all the switches, but all of them are already on. Huh, thats strange. That means the problem has to be a power line fell or got cut. Not strange with all the massive gusts of wind outside. Now that I think about it the weather is very strange, an hour ago the skies were clear and I thought it was pretty obvious that it would be a clear night. Now it looks like a storms gunna be raging for a long time. That being said it still doesn't help the fact that now there is no way to get power until the electric company goes out and fixes the line, so I guess we'll have to wait out the storm.

I walk back to the sink, crank the flashlight a couple more times, cover the kit again and started walking back to the hallway. Shining the flashlight around the hallway i'm relieved to see Ayase in the corner, unharmed. Her heads in her arms and she's whispering something. I go up to her and shake her gently as if she were fine china. "Ayase, hey Ayase I checked and it seems like we won't be getting any lights, I think a line got cut." I look outside the window and see another flash. BOOOOMMM. I cover my ears, that sounded close. Following the thunder, I see Ayase shaking slightly. Was this girl scared of thunder? I better take her to the living room. I kneel down and take her hand slowly, so as not the frighten her. "Ayase-chan," I whisper quietly "Lets go to the living room, its warmer in there," I look at her and I see her nod slowly. Then I stood up, still holding her hand, and gently lifted her to her feet. I look down and I see the ceiling drip on the spot she was sitting. I gasp, why didn't she say something? I feel the sleeve of her jacket, Soaking wet! I have to get her warmed up. I retake her hand and slowly guide her to the living room. We find the couch and I let her sit down. "Ayase, wait here a bit i'll go get a towel." I run to the bathroom and grab a couple of towels and an extra blanket just in case. The floor is slippery so I walk slowly on the way back. I push open the door to the living room and walk towards the wall with the couch. Ayase has her eyes closed and I think she dozed off. I drop off the blankets quietly on the opposite end of the couch as to not startle her. I kneel in front of her, catching a glimpse of her sleeping face. Oh man, how can a girl be so cute just by sleeping. I stare for a few more seconds and then come to my senses. How could I possibly stare at my little sister's best friend while she is sleeping, it's just plain creepy.

I gently grab Ayase's shoulders and shake her slowly while whispering, "Ayase, Ayase you're clothes are wet, I just grabbed some towels," She yawns and whispers so softly I can hardly hear it "Onii-chan?". Ahhh stop it Ayase if you keep on doing this I might just die of a cuteness overloaddddd. She slowly sits up straight, looks at me and where my hands are and shakes me away blushing furiously. "You didn't do anything did you," Her voice was steely it was more of a statement rather than a question wasn't it but fine "No I didn't. Ayase, here I got you a towel" I reply as I hand her one of the towels I grabbed from the bathroom. She then takes the towel and thanks me. I sit on the opposite end of the couch where the blanket was and we just sit there for what seems like eternity while listening to the storm rage outside.