My first chapter of my first story! Yaaaaaaayyyyy~ Well, I'm calling this a 30-Day Challenge because I'm writing 30 chapters, but it's really more of a story about the lives of Kano and Kido as they grow up together and *cough* fall in love *cough*.

It was inspired by the 30-Day Challenge by NekuSakuraba101, but I'm going to try to make this as different as possible. The chapters are chronological, so anything that happens in a chapter is relatable to future chapters. Please enjoy ^^

1. Meeting

Tsubomi stared at her reflection with discontent. She pulled at the ribbon around her neck, which had been tied too tightly by her butler. She sighed and tugged at her skirt before finally turning away from the mirror and approaching her room door. She really didn't want to leave the safety of her room, but she was hungry, and figured she might not be too late to get some breakfast. She clutches the doorknob for several seconds before her growling stomach motivates her to open the door and step into the hallway.

However, as soon as she shut the door behind her, she regretted it. She had been woken up late, and the staff of the estate were now busily roaming the house in pursuit of their chores. There was no way she could avoid their detection now… She immediately felt exposed to the harsh judgments and glares of her aggressors.

Her eyes never leaving the ground, Tsubomi slinks her shoulder against the wall and slowly makes her way down the hallway. However, halfway to the dining hall, she finds herself shaking—like the walls were beginning to close in around her. Her hand closed into a fist along the wall as her footsteps grow more rapid. Did they always have this many servants? It seemed like the amount of gossipy whispers had increased recently… Once again, Tsubomi found herself wishing she could just… Disappear.

No longer hungry, she walks right past the dining room, and towards the staircase leading to the main hall. Still leaning against the wall and looking downwards, she didn't notice the presence of someone approaching until a hand touched her shoulder. Tsubomi looks up to see the warm, gentle face of her sister, passing by with her personal maid, apparently on the way to another private lesson. However, the comfort and relief Tsubomi felt from seeing the kind face of someone who actually cared about her lasted only a moment. The maid hurried her sister along up the staircase, and Tsubomi was once again alone.

She continued her way down the stairs in a hurry. She passes through the main hall and into the west wing of the mansion, finding herself nearly running to her destination. Reaching the room at the farthest area of the mansion, she hurriedly pushes the door open and rushes in, trying not to slam it shut behind her.

Taking a deep breath and sighing out, she walks through the room—an abandoned sunroom that used to be used for elegant tea-drinking meetings, but was now used for storage. It was the one room in the entire estate where Tsubomi knew she wouldn't be bothered. Two walls were made completely of glass, and showed a beautiful view of the well-manicured garden outside.

Crossing the room, she approaches and uncovers something that had been her closest friend for as long as she could remember: An old Grand Piano she had taught herself to play in her abundant free time. Pulling out the bench and lifting up the glossy cover over the keys, she sits down and sighs. Lifting her hands, she gingerly sets her fingers on the keys, and presses down a single chord, checking the tuning of the piano.

Satisfied with the sound, Tsubomi continues into a secession of repeating chords, followed by 12-note melody—a song she composed on her own. Halfway through the song, she feels comfortable enough to look away from the keys and out towards the garden. However, her fingers come to a complete stop when she sees a face sticking up over the back fence.

Standing up in surprise, her eyes widen as she stares at the face, which quickly ducks back behind the fence and disappears. Without thinking, she stands up and runs to the glass door leading outside, pushing it open and hurrying down the steps into the garden.

"What am I doing?" she wondered to herself, "Why am I so eager to see who that was? It's like I'm not in control of myself… Besides, whoever it was probably won't even be there by the time I…" Her thought was interrupted by her approaching the short white fence. Placing her hands on top of it, she leans forward and barely manages to peek over the edge…

The first thing her eyes see is white. A white flower, to be exact. Her nose almost touches it as it's brought up to her face suddenly. Her eyes widen, and her head flinches back a bit. As she recovers, her eyes follow the figure of the one holding the flower as it rises up from the ground. Her eyes meet those of a young boy, whom she instantly guessed was about her age, based on his similar height.

His eyes were big and yellow, and they reminded her of the eyes of a mischievous cat. His light blonde hair is messy, and mostly covered by a black hood he wore. He smiles at her happily as he holds out the flower to her.

Tsubomi simply stares at him for a few moments, confused. She takes a step back, eyeing him.

"Hi!" he begins casually, "My name's Shuuya. Kano Shuuya! What's yours?"

Tsubomi knew better than to speak with strangers, but she had a strange feeling that she could trust the boy—that he was good-hearted, despite his rough and strange appearance. So she responded, "Kido… Tsubomi…"

"Oh! That's a pretty name! I like it!" Shuuya beams brightly at Tsubomi, once again holding out the flower to her.

Tsubomi had never heard that before: That her name was "pretty". She felt her cheeks heat up a bit at the compliment, and fiddled with her fingers for a bit before taking the flower from him. At a loss for words, she found herself asking the first question that came to her mind: "Why… are you here?"

"Hm? Oh, I come by here a lot, actually! I see you in that room all the time, and I love hearing you play." He smiles again, resting his elbows on the fence and his head on his hands, gazing at Tsubomi. She thought it was strange that she had never noticed him out there before, let alone the fact that a boy as young as he was allowed to go out on his own without supervision. But, she still found herself blushing at his words, as much as she tried to hide it.

The two of them stood there in silence for a while, Tsubomi staring shyly at her feet and Shuuya staring at Tsubomi. But suddenly, Shuuya's head perks up and looks behind her in surprise, and he quickly leans away from the fence. "Oops. Guess it's time to go!"

Tsubomi turned her head to see a very angry gardener approaching the two kids in a rage. She swivels back and looks at the retreating Shuuya's back desperately. "W-Wait! Will you come back?"

Shuuya stops briefly in his movement, and turns back, grinning back at her. "Oh, Tsubomi. I'll never leave you!"

Tsubomi felt her cheeks heat up again as he turned away again, quickly trotting out of sight. But, as the gardener stormed up to her, demanding to know what was going on, she finally realized something… Were those bandages on his neck and hands? She gazed back in the direction that he had disappeared, shaking the thought from her head.

Even though she knew that this confrontation would only raise more rumors and judgments against her, she silently prayed that she would see Kano Shuuya again…


WOW, that went waaaaaayyyy longer than I thought it would be. But this is an idea I've had for a long time now, and I just HAD to have it be the first chapter. The idea is based off of a picture I saw of young Kano holding out a white flower to young Kido, so I just had to… Anyway, the past tense I used in this chapter was weird, I know, and I might have accidentally switched tenses a few times, but it was a long chapter, so sorry about that ^^; Anyway, thanks for reading!