"Almost done, Yuka-chan," Tohko said cheerily from behind as she fiddled with the ribbons in her hands.
Yuka had been very patient for the time Tohko and Emi had agreed to style her hair for, but she was growing with anticipation to see the results already. She'd been admiring the cute hairstyles of Tohko and Mitsuki the entire week they had been at Kisaragi Senior High for a school rotation with Yuka's brother's class, and finally after school on Friday the three girls offered to give Yuka a 'grown-up' look.
"Here you go, honey." Emi held up a hand mirror far enough away for Yuka to be able to see her whole head. Admiring their work, Yuka grinned as wide as she could and spun around to hug Emi, catching her senior by surprise.
"Thank you so much, Emi-san, Tohko-san!"
"Awh, do you like it?" Tohko cooed.
"I love it!" Yuka exclaimed, rushing to hug Tohko tightly as well.
Her gaze drifted towards the back tables of the classroom, where a few more of her new friends had decided to stay for a little after school. Yuka let go of Tokho and moved towards them.
"How do I look, Kurosaki-san?" Kurosaki lifted his head up from where he was scrawling the final parts of his project at the desk and pinched Yuka's cheek.
"Ah, so this is the long-awaited work of Kirisaki and Urabe. Looks fantastic, if you ask me," he replied, attempting to ruffle her hair. Yuka swatted him away quickly.
"No, you'll ruin it like that!"
In saying so, Yuka caught the eyes of a taller raven-haired student looming over Kurosaki impatiently, seemingly raring to leave for home. Previously, she had gotten the impression that Kizami was somebody who liked to keep his distance from others, a little like one of her older brother's friends, but over the course of the week she began to feel as if he had gotten used to her presence among the Byakudan students on the occasions that they could talk through the barbed wire fencing separating the junior and senior high schools at lunch. With that in mind, she summed up the courage to ask him the same thing.
"Kizami-san... what do you think?" She asked tentatively.
"Hm?" Kizami's attention was diverted to Yuka's new appearance, and he glanced at her for a while before replying: "It suits you nicely. You look cute, Yuka."
Somewhat caught off guard, Yuka felt herself getting a little embarrassed by the double compliment.
"Y-you really think so? Do you think Onii-chan will like it too, then?"
"Of course. He might even think a grown-up version of his little sister's walked into the room," Kizami chuckled (another thing Yuka was, by all means, not expecting).
"Yay!" Yuka made the decision in that moment to hug Kizami too. "You're really nice, Kizami-san."
"That's... not true."
"Hey," Kurosaki cut in. "You've just shown you have the potential to be. You'll be pulling girls left and right if you had an attitude like that towards them, haha!"
Tohko slapped him lightly on the cheek.
"Yuuya's got more class than that, you pervert."
"Hey - pervert? That almost hurts as much as the slap!"
Yuka giggled at the strange antics of the older students and pushed herself up onto one of the desks, swinging her legs happily. Those movements, however, stopped abruptly when it dawned on her that she wouldn't be able to be part of those antics for a long time. The rotation week at Kisaragi was over, and it would be unlikely that she'd see all of the friends she made together again.
"Something wrong, Yuka-chan?" Her head darted up and she came face to face with Mitsuki, who had somehow made her way into the room without Yuka noticing.
"Um... you guys are going home soon... aren't you?"
"My, are you really worried about that?" Mitsuki laughed lightly before smiling warning at her and grabbing her hand. "Of course we'll make sure to stay in touch with you. Fukuroi was hoping to teach you to play that weird card game so you could join in with him, Kizami and I, so we'll definitely make plans soon, yeah?"
"Hey hey, we should add her to our group chat!" Kurosaki chimed in.
The smiles and nods of those within the classroom signalled approval of the gesture, and it made Yuka's eyes well up with tears.
"Thank you so much... I'll miss you all..."
"You won't need to if Kurosaki doesn't finish his project any time soon," Kizami grumbled, earning a guilty smile from the boy in question.
"Means we get to spend more time here with Yuka-chan, doesn't it? Can't be too shabby a deal."
It wasn't bad at all, Yuka thought to herself, and smiled at the reassurance that there were more fun times ahead of her with her Byakudan friends.