Actions

Work Header

The Disappearance of Itsuki Koizumi

Chapter Text

Ever since Haruhi Suzumiya and Itsuki Koizumi started to join Yuki Nagato, Ryoko Asakura, and Kyon in the Literary Club room things definitely started to get more lively with the group. Everywhere Haruhi tends to go strange anomalies and occurrences seem to happen, and this often attracted Haruhi to very interesting people. One morning, Haruhi, Ryoko, and Yuki are chilling in the club room. Yuki was playing her game, and Ryoko and Haruhi were taking turns eating snacks of chocolates on the table. They were neck deep in a conversation, but Yuki herself wasn’t really paying much attention.

 

“Anyways, I wanted to teach them a lesson so I ordered them to go buy some snacks!”, said Haruhi. Ryoko seemed a bit amused by this.

 

“Wow, so you sent them out in this weather for supplies that we don’t even need? It’s pretty cold out there”, said Ryoko with a smile on her face.

 

“Yup, that’s kinda the idea!”, said Haruhi.

 

“I feel bad for Koizumi, poor guy”, said Ryoko.


“What about Kyon?”, said Haruhi. Ryoko laughs, and Yuki raises her head at hearing his name. For awhile now Ryoko has been very helpful at attempting to make Yuki and Kyon a thing. Yuki however has been question for awhile now if she truly does have feelings for Kyon, and if she has been trying only because Ryoko has been pushing her too. Ryoko’s been a little too persistent lately, and Yuki finds this a bit strange, but doesn’t really pay it much mind as she is just being a friend. Yuki did wonder how Kyon and Itsuki were doing however.

 

Kyon and Itsuki were sent out to a local store to get something to eat and drink for the club. Most likely Tsuruya-San and Mikuru Asahina- friends of Ryoko and Yuki- would join them later, so Itsuki thought it would be nice to get snacks for them as well. Kyon and Itsuki arrive at the store and survey the room for things to buy. Kyon went to the back of the store to get drinks, and Itsuki went down the aisles to get snacks and anything else he could grab. Kyon was going to buy a lot of drinks and Itsuki wondered if he could carry it all, however Kyon insisted that he wasn’t feeble. As Kyon walked away towards the back Itsuki turned to look at him as he walked.

 

Itsuki thought to himself, “ Well, he’s wearing a jacket but I can tell that he is pretty fit, so he he should be able to carry all the drinks for me ”. He chucked a bit, and started to analyze his backside. “ He does have broad shoulders… And nice hair…”, he started to work his eyes down lower, ... And a nice ass ”. Suddenly another person nudged Itsuki as he was passing by him and Itsuki brought himself back to reality.

 

“Oh, sorry!”, said Itsuki. The man he bumped into didn’t mind, and grabbed some snacks from down the ways. “ What was I just thinking about?? ”, Itsuki thought to himself. This was one of the first times he was really by himself with Kyon without the girls being around, and he is sitting here thinking of his ass? Itsuki needs to just focus on getting snacks, so he grabs what he wants and goes back up front and waits for Kyon who is paying for it all.

 

“I can’t think about that stuff now…”, Itsuki said to himself. Kyon walks back up carrying more than he should, but he knows Haruhi will bitch at him if he doesn’t get the group a just amount for their ‘punishment’. Kyon walks up to Itsuki and noticeably Kyon sees Itsuki’s expression. Kyon’s hands are tied as he is carrying so much he needs two hands.

 

“Is… Everything alright Koizumi?”, said Kyon. Itsuki starts to laugh covering up his anxiety.

 

“Oh, yes I’m fine. I’m just in my head about something”, said Itsuki.

 

“Well, alright. I’m going to pay for this and we can head back. Hey, can you hold some of this while I get my wallet out my back pocket?”, said Kyon motioning to the soda and whatnot he is holding.

 

“Yea no prob”, said Itsuki. Kyon attempted to unhand some of into Itsuki’s grasp, but fears he will drop it on the floor. If he gives Haruhi a fizzy drink he won’t hear the end of it. Itsuki has stuff in both his hands as well, but not as much as Kyon. Itsuki attempts to grab Kyon’s bags but can’t seem to get a good hold of them. They could put some on the floor, but that would be too much. The person in front of them is about to be done with their transaction, so Kyon is frantic trying to hurry up as there is also people behind them.

 

“Oh crap this isn’t going to work. Hey Koizumi… It’s in my back pocket, could you pay for me?”, said Kyon.

 

“Yea that sounds like a good idea, sure”, said Itsuki. However as he said that he realized what he had to do, and he started to blush. Itsuki had to reach into Kyon’s back pocket to grab the wallet; he would have to touch his nice ass he was just complimenting in his head just a second ago! He went to reach for it- a bit hesitant- and started to place his hand inside his back pocket of his pants. Onlookers watched, but no one really said anything ( as I mean… What else would they have thought to do in this situation?? ). Kyon looked away a bit as he did this blushingly.  Itsuki saw this in the corner of his eye, but tried to ignore it.

 

As he reached into his back pocket he felt a couple of things; rolled up candy wrappers he stuffed in his back pocket from candy he was eating earlier, coins that probably fell out his wallet, his wallet obviously, but most all all- a nice firm behind. Kyon’s pants weren’t that tight, but they weren’t baggy either. So, when Itsuki reached his hand into his back pocket he could feel his right buttcheck very definely through his pant fabric. Itsuki thought to himself, “ It’s so… Firm, but also bubbly. It’s like he sat on a nice fluffy strawberry shortcake that was caressed next to a hard wallet… I could keep my hand here forever… Oh yea the wallet!! ”. Itsuki snapped himself out of his trance and pulled the wallet out of his pocket. It seemed to Itsuki he was inside his pocket for a long time, but it really was a few seconds. As he looked back up to Kyon his face was noticeable redder, and he was a bit anxious as well- like he was trying to cover up angst.

 

“Oh you got it, good. Glad you didn’t get lost back there”, said Kyon trying to make light of the situation. Kyon and Itsuki laughed. As this happened they were next in line, and the clerk told Kyon to put all the stuff on the counter so he didn’t have to hold it. The clerk made room and they set the stuff down. Itsuki handed back Kyon’s wallet.

 

“Guess you went through all that work for nothing, sorry”, said Kyon.

“No! It was fine we were just thinking on our toes”, said Itsuki. Kyon went to go pay for it, and Itsuki set his things he was also buying down. Itsuki stepped to the side to prepare for it all to get bagged and he grabbed the bags as Kyon was paying for it. As Itsuki grabbed the bags he started to clench his fists. As Kyon was done paying he looked to Itsuki once more and he looked bothered. Kyon didn’t know what was up.

 

“Hey, if all of that is too heavy for you I’ll take some in a bit ok?”, said Kyon. Itsuki looked at him and nodded, ‘OK’, as he handed him some of the bags. They walked out and went back to the club room. However, as he walked he walked a little behind Kyon. While doing so he started to look more at him once again. He thought to himself, “ These feelings… They’re coming back now?... ”.

 

The group head back to the club room. As they arrive the group is still overzealous and having fun; Yuki is still playing her PSP game, Mikuru is getting teased by Tsuruya and haruhi voer her boobs, and Ryoko is just smiling laughing. They set down all the snacks, and the girls couldn't be more happy- with the exception of Yuki who looked preoccupied.

 

“Hey! Thanks Kyon! Maybe I’ll give you more punishments more often!”, said Haruhi ecstatically.

 

“Ohhhh no, lets NOT do that”, said Kyon as everyone laughs. Kyon decided to take a seat nexts to Mikuru, and Itsuki stood thinking to himself by the window...

 

Days pass, and things start to get very peculiar between kyon and Itsuki from Itsuki’s perspective.  Kyon and Itsuki randomly get placed alone in interesting scenarios and the tension between them would come out; good but weird tension. Itsuki would go home after the long day and write about his feelings in his journal ( it’s really just a diary ). In this time Ryoko was coaching Yuki about what to do for the upcoming Valentine’s Day with her apparent feelings for Kyon. Yuki started to express dissonance with the idea of doing something for Kyon, but Ryoko took this as her being nervous and trying to back away from doing anything. Ryoko persuaded Yuki to give things more thought, and Ryoko took the initiative to go out shopping for magazines that would give ideas of gifts Yuki could make.

 

The following day, the group is hanging out in the club room per usual. Haruhi, Mikuru, Tsuruya, Ryoko, and Yuki are all there- with Yuki playing her game distracted. Kyon was sitting next to Mikuru like he was days ago, and Itsuki stood there thinking to himself. Itsuki seemed very bothered by whatever he was feeling. After awhile he goes up to Haruhi when everyone else is distracted.

 

“Miss Suzumiya… Later today, could I talk to you about something?”, said Itsuki. Haruhi looked puzzled.

 

“Well, what is it you want to say that you can't say now??”, said Haruhi.

 

“Please Miss Suzumiya… It’s something I feel like I can only mention to you, and it would be easier if I could do it in another setting”, said Itsuki insistently.

 

“Well, Okay. When we leave and head back we can talk along the way if you want”, said Haruhi. Itsuki looked a bit worried as she said that.

 

“... Can I call you on the phone later tonight?”, said Itsuki. Haruhi looked confused.

 

“Well, sure. Just don’t do it too late cause I need to sleep”, said Haruhi.

 

The night comes, and Itsuki is pacing around his room working the nerve to call Haruhi. This is very important to Itsuki in what he wants to tell Haruhi, and is franctic of the outcome. He wanted to tell her over phone as he didn’t want to deal with the physical rejection he feels he might get- because he’s always gotten it. However, in coming to Kouyouen School he has gained a great friend in Haruhi- the only friend really. Haruhi was the only person to not treat him strangely and approached him when no one else would. In truth, Itsuki was very lonely moving to Kouyouen School, but would keep most of his emotions to himself and would write in his journal. He really admired Haruhi, and felt a new surge of life hanging around her as she would do the craziest things. He thought that in a different reality he would even like her, but that reality isn’t this one.

 

He called Haruhi on the phone, and she picked up on the 3rd ring.

 

“Hello? Itsuki?”, said Haruhi. Itsuki’s heart started to pump.

 

“H-Haruhi? Hey, yea it’s me I-Itsuki”, said Itsuki stuttering and nervous.

 

“Well, what’s up? You sound very perplexed right now”, said Itsuki. His heart started to pump even more.

 

“Um… Well, I’m alright… No, I’m kinda going through it… I mean everything is okay but at the same time like it’s not. I-... There is something that I want to tell you, and I can only tell you”, said Itsuki. Haruhi could tell he wanted to say something, but couldn’t put her finger on just what. Deducing it she thought he was going to tell her he liked her, but through his words it had to be someone else.

 

“Okay… Well, you have nothing to fear you can tell me whatever you want Itsuki”, said Haruhi.

 

“...Promise me you won’t hate me after I tell you, Okay? Don’t hate me like everyone has…”, said Itsuki. His heart was practically out his chest at this point. Haruhi was confused as fuck at this point.

 

“Hate you for what? Why would I hate you Itsuki?? You are super cool. Unless you told me you found aliens, espers, and/or time travelers and you didn’t tell me until right now I think there isn’t anything you could tell me I would hate you for”, said Haruhi. Itsuki was getting heat flashes, but seemed more content after Haruhi tried to lighten the mood.

 

“...Promise”, said Itsuki. Haruhi sighs.

 

“I promise Itsuki”, said Haruhi. Itsuki then took a huge inhale, and then exhaled.

 

“Haruhi… I’m gay... And to top it off… I think I like Kyon”, said Itsuki. Itsuki couldn’t tell through the phone but Haruhi’s eyes widened; not because of him saying he was gay, but that he liked Kyon. She was hesitant for a second, but a second too long for Itsuki’s anxiety.

 

“H-Haruhi?? Are you there?? Oh no…”, said Itsuki thinking he just ruined everything.

“It’s-”, said Haruhi before Itsuki hung up the phone too quick to hear her. Itsuki got up from his bed and started pacing around. He started to think Haruhi hated him, and that she didn't’ speak out of her hatred boiling. Itsuki started to cry thinking Haruhi would tell the whole school, and he would have to disappear again. “ What was I thinking actually telling someone?? ”, Itsuki thought. Suddenly, his phone rings again and it’s Haruhi. Itsuki didn’t pick up out of fear. Haruhi then called again, and Itsuki did the same thing. Then, suddenly Itsuki’s phone dings from a message alert, and it’s Haruhi.

 

“It’s okay Itsuki. I don’t hate you. Call me back please”  - Haruhi

 

As Itsuki read this he started to cry hysterically. After putting himself together he called Haruhi back. Itsuki was sniffling on the phone, and Haruhi could tell he was just crying.

 

“...M-Miss Suzumiya?”, said Itsuki as she picked up.

 

“Itsuki, it’s okay. It’s not a big deal to me- I mean it’s a BIG deal, but like who you like isn’t a big thing to me. Love is whatever to me so i don’t really think about it much.  But I wouldn’t think of you any different if you liked men, or women- even aliens!”, said Haruhi. Itsuki started to laugh as he cried.

 

“Thanks Miss Suzumiya… Haruhi”, said Itsuki. Itsuki then started to tell Haruhi about his life before coming to Kouyouen School; a story he hasn’t told anyone. Up until this point Haruhi didn’t even know where Itsuki even lived. He detailed how he lived in another part of Japan with his very homophobic family. His mom was less irritable about it all but thought it was very disappointing and shameful. Itsuki’s father was easily angered. One day, when they found him kissing another boy his father beat him, and his parents collectively decided they were going to kick him out and disown him. Itsuki for a huge chunk of time instead lived with a friend- the only friend he could tell his secret to that didn’t judge him. He attended another school by that time, but then after an incident happened with another male student rumors spread of him being gay. It got to the point he was getting bullied outside school and he would feel deep hatred from many students. It they didn’t hate him they laughed at him for getting bullied. Soon after, Itsuki took it upon himself to relocate once again and leave his friend’s house. The friend generously helped Itsuki pay for a plane and gave him money to live on his own for awhile with; his friend is fairly rich and wanted Itsuki far away from all of that. He got him in touch with an agency that helps emancipated children that no longer are in contact with their parents, homeless and/or runaways. Itsuki relocated, and since then transferred to the same school as Haruhi while his friend studied abroad in America. The Agency helps Itsuki stay on his feet while he finishes school, and as long as his grades stay up he has a place to stay. The Agency however told Itsuki it’s in his best interest to keep his gayness to himself; not that they were bothered or wanted Itsuki to change things like him being gay, but once that info is out there it’s hard to regulate. Itsuki instead decided to keep it to himself as he was mentally tired of always transferring. In this time Itsuki also changed his name; Itsuki Koizumi isn’t his actual name, and his hair is styled different. It’s enough to where no one would know who he really is.

 

Haruhi found all of this extremely interesting, and felt special she knows it all. She tried to ask Itsuki if she could know his actual name, but Itsuki insisted that he wanted to keep some things to himself. He also didn’t want to mention who his friend was as not only Haruhi wouldn’t know who they are, but it’s also in his best interest to not discuss them or anything pertaining The Agency- like his real name. Haruhi understands, and doesn't pray anymore as he already told her so much.

 

“Well, I’m sorry you been through all that, but you can assure yourself that your secret is safe with me- that is if you continue to keep it to yourself. And if anyone tried to hurt you they don’t know what is coming to them! I’m sure the rest of the crew would accept you just the same Itsuki”, said Haruhi. Itsuki believed her as well, but was hesitant to let everyone know respectfully.

 

“Thank you Miss Suzumiya for being so understanding… It really feels good”, said Itsuki. However, Haruhi was more surprised at him liking Kyon and not him being gay.

 

“So, tell me about your feelings for Kyon! Do you really like him? What are you gonna do? Does he know?”, said Haruhi gitty to learn more about this ‘new’ Itsuki. Itsuki started to laugh.

 

“Now now hold on. Honestly, it’s something fairly recent  think I realized. I did a lot to suppress those ‘feelings’ for so long. For awhile I wouldn’t even relevate them even to myself. When I was kissing boys when I was younger I wasn’t sure of what I felt even then, but I know now. And when I’m with Kyon by myself… I feel things that I never even felt with other boys. It’s a lot Miss Suzumiya. But Idk what to do about it”, said Itsuki. Haruhi then pondered to herself.

 

“Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up. You could start by giving him a gift!”, said Haruhi. She laughed and continued, “And maybe if you feel like it just tell him how you feel; confess your love already so you aren’t getting flustered over him”. Itsuki liked the idea, but was a bit nervous to execute it.

 

“Well, besides the love part that does sound like something I could do… But I’m not even sure if he likes men. I only have my inkings, but you can’t tell what someone likes unless you ask you know?”, said Itsuki.

 

“Well I planned to give everyone courtesy chocolate- you know it’s just a thing people do, so just make your courtesy chocolate a little less ‘friendly’ and ‘courtesy’ for Kyon”, said Haruhi. Itsuki laughed, but then got serious.

 

“Miss Suzumiya… You don’t like Kyon too right?”, said Itsuki. Haruhi pondered the thought.

 

“Eh, no. He’s just a cool person like you are. He’s also fun to mess with! Like I said love is just whatever to me. I don’t like anyone”, said Haruhi. This relieved Itsuki as he thought Haruhi liked Kyon; he was hesitant to tell her his feelings as well because of this. Itsuki also had to think of the possibility Kyon might like Haruhi, and the thought that Kyon might think Itsuki likes Haruhi. These things might deter him from his potential feelings for him.

 

“Oh, cool… I wonder is Miss Nagato likes Kyon though… Ryoko has been trying offly hard lately to help her. I don’t want to make anyone mad or compete, but I really like him…”, said Itsuki. Haruhi scoffs.

 

“Well then you just need to make sure you make your feelings known first if so, and make sure your gift to him is big a fuck!”, said Haruhi. Itsuki laughed some more.

 

“Well it might look like I’m giving him a valentine if I make it too different, but okay I’ll do it!”, said Itsuki. They both laughed and stayed on the phone for a bit talking about the plans. Itsuki is finally happy that someone likes him for who he is now- Itsuki Koizumi.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Valentine’s day is approaching, and Yuki is getting encouraged by Ryoko to make chocolates to give to Kyon. However, she is less confident in wanting to make something very extravagant and overcomplicated. Before school starts Ryoko hands Yuki a food magazine that has various desserts in it including chocolates they can make. She instructs Yuki to read it over to get an idea they could do and to pick one. Yuki reluctantly agrees. That day in class , Ryoko is sitting behind Kyon who is dozing off, and Yuki is in class looking at the magazine. She is thinking about how yummy it all looks, but also who she would wanna give it to. She thinks of Kyon, and starts to blush, but then can’t seem to think why she is blushing or why she wants to. It’s almost like she has two separate colliding feelings happening within her. She decides to follow what Ryoko is doing and ponders the thought of making the gifts for Kyon; having a boyfriend isn’t too bad regardless. In Kyon’s class , Ryoko attempts to wake Kyon up to tell him some news, and informs him about about later today.

 

Fast forward to the end of the school day Kyon goes to meet Haruhi at her school and waits at the entrance. When she arrives she is gitty about him meeting him.

 

“Well this is a surprise. Spending your time out here waiting for me? I like the change in your attitude" said Haruhi. Kyon unenthusiastically laughs. He soon notices Itsuki isn’t with him.

 

“Hey, it looks like you are alone. Where’s your shadow?" said Kyon. Haruhi pauses for a second- thinking about their conversation- and responds.


“Couldn’t make it today. He’s busy or something" said Haruhi.

 

“Okay, that works. Turns out Nagato and Asakura had something they needed to do today too. I didn’t wanna sit in the club room by myself so we cancelled today’s meeting, and I came out here to tell you. I thought I would save you the trouble of trespassing on school grounds again" said Kyon. Haruhi looked a bit irritated he did that.

 

“So, you just canceled the club meeting without consulting the executive president ?" said Haruhi. 

 

“You aren’t even a real club member!" yelled Kyon. Suddenly Haruhi connects the dots of why Yuki and Ryoko are busy as well; they must be up to something pertaining Valentine’s Day as it is the 13th. Suddenly, Haruhi glares at Kyon, and Kyon doesn’t like that.

 

“Uhh well I’ll just be on my way then you know I ' m very busy places to go people to see that whole jazz" said Kyon trying to walk away. Haruhi stops him.

 

Not so fast! You are coming with me!" said Haruhi as she dragged Kyon along to wherever she was going to go. She ends up bringing him to a cafe and tell him about her plan to go out searching for mysterious phenomenon, and ropes him into going- and to pay the bill. 

 

While this is happening Yuki and Ryoko are in a kitchen and Ryoko is asking Yuki about her idea of what to make. Yuki had bought a lot of materials and ingredients to make everything per request of Ryoko. Yuki had offered to make just a simply chocolate cupcake, and thought to make some for everyone else as well as it would be nice and perhaps less weird. Ryoko thought to herself if she doesn’t step into her plan that it will go very wrong very quickly. First, she convinced her to only make some for Kyon, and to not chicken out by making courtesy chocolate. Secondly, she thought she needed to boost her idea to the max and not think basic. Ryoko offered the idea of a heart-shaped chocolate cake, but Yuki thought that was way too much. Ryoko pondered how she could help Yuki if she was going to keep it basic, but Yuki didn’t really understand why she was trying so hard. Ryoko however just told Yuki to stop thinking so hard about it all and that they could start by melting chocolate. Ryoko essentially spearheaded the entire thing- as if she was making the chocolate herself for someone she wanted to give it to. Her determination inspired Yuki to finish it with her.

 

Haruhi and Kyon were at the river while Haruhi was attempting to catch water imps in the water. Kyon thought this was dumb as shit so he stayed on the side watching her. However, it was cold out, and Haruhi was playing in the water with no shoes on, so he wanted her to give up and come back to land. She was persistent, so he decides to join her in the water. Haruhi was excited by this and told Kyon to follow her to look when she tripped. Kyon quickly grabbed her getting his shoes and socks wet. 

 

“Wow that was close, thanks" said Haruhi. Kyon sighs.

 

“Don’t mention it. At least you are okay" said Kyon. Haruhi looked to his feet.

 

“Your feet must be pretty cold. I’m sorry" said Haruhi. Kyon pulls her in so she has stable footing.

 

“Don’t be sorry. I’m gonna get you back for this. I’ll put on imp in your shoe or something, just you wait" said Kyon. They both laugh. 

 

The next day…

Yuki overslept a bit playing games all night, and Ryoko was there to wake her up. Ryoko was very stern about getting her up on time as today was the day, Valentine’s Day. They had spent all day making a dessert worthy enough to give to Kyon, and Ryoko wanted to see this through. Yuki held the gift in her hand as she was getting ready to leave contemplating how the day could go down.

 

“What are you doing in there?!" yelled Ryoko. Yuki snapped out of her thought process

 

“C-Coming!!" said Yuki. She gathered the rest of her things and began to walk out, but Yuki also thought to herself, “ I always feel like there is this overseeing presence guiding me to do things… I can’t put my finger on it… I also don’t know about Kyon… I get the feeling he is also hiding things… Well, I can’t worry about things I am not sure of now ”. Yuki and Ryoko left, and headed their way to school. On there way to school they talk about when Yuki is going to give the chocolates to Kyon.

 

“Now,  all you gotta do is give him the chocolate, but when?" said Ryoko. Yuki is a bit confused.

Oh , I don’t know… During club activities would make the most sense…" said Yuki.

 

“Hmm… Well then we’ll have to find a way for you to be alone with him then sometime this afternoon" said Ryoko.

 

“A-Alone? Oh I don’t know… That sounds a bit hard and I am not sure if I really wa-" said Yuki as Ryoko slaps Yuki on the back.

 

Oh suck it up!" Ryoko says smiling, “You already worked up the nerve to give him the chocolate silly, how hard could it be to ask him to talk to you alone??”. Yuki sighed and thought, “ No, you worked up my nerve and now I have to give it to him ”. But then she spoke,

 

“Mmm… I bet it could be pretty hard actually. I’ve never done this before And I’m not sure if I want to ... " said Yuki saying the last part under her breath. Ryoko stops in her tracks.

 

“Hmm? Listen, No matter how difficult it may seem you have to give him those chocolates… Okay?" said Ryoko. Yuki looks up to her, and Ryoko has a worryful look in her eyes. She looks down for a bit, closes her eyes, and then looks back up to Yuki with a smile. Yuki thought this was weird, and thought, “ Well I don’t have to give him the chocolates… But I spent so much time making them with Ryoko- well, Ryoko spent so much time making them with Ryoko… Maybe that’s why she is so persistent ‘cause of all the work… Maybe me and her could just share them or something if that’s the case… But Kyon is special to me, so I should give him something… ”. Yuki stopped thinking so much about it, and continued walking to school.

 

School was about to start, and Kyon was with Taniguchi- Kyon’s friend- at his locker. Taniguchi was very much anticipating getting chocolates left in his locker. As he went to check inside all he say were his shoes.

 

“Hm? Well, where are they? Kyon does it look like something is missing here to you?" said Taniguchi. Kyon sighs.

 

Oh Taniguchi. The higher your hopes the greater your disappointment" said Kyon. They then both went to class . The day goes fine mostly, but while in Class 1-5 all the talk that was going around was who was going to get what from whom. Kyon didn’t have his hopes up he was going to get anything from anyone, so he didn’t think much of anything. In class , Taniguchi was antsy, Kunikida- other one of Kyon’s friends- sat there minding his own business , and Ryoko was deep in thought . She looked heavily at Kyon from the back, but Kyon didn’t realize . Had Kyon known this, he probably would be wondering why she was thinking so hard, and why was she looking at him. At lunch, Taniguchi went to go check his locker once more for any chocolates. Kyon went with him and was standing there as he opened up his locker.

 

“What, still nothing? Kyon, does it look like something’s missing here to you??" said Taniguchi. Kyon sighs.

 

“Taniguchi, practice acceptance. It will help you avoid any unnecessary suffering" said Kyon. 

 

As lunch continues Yuki is heading to the club room where she is supposed to meet Ryoko for lunch. She runs into Tsuruya and Mikuru while walking, and they join her. Tsuruya tells Yuki that a lot of guys try and hound Mikuru today ( due to her nice frame, long orange hair, and giant boobs ) and so they want to eat somewhere secluded. As they head to the club room Yuki goes to open the door. However, hearing Tsuruya talk about the men all wanting to give Mikuru gifts Yuki stops and asks Tsuruya a question.

 

... Is receiving a gift on Valentine’s Day really that important to boys?" said Yuki feeling like she should give Kyon the gift cause he might think she is.

 

“Of course it is! Boys totally  look forward to receiving gifts on Valentine ' s Day. No one can ignore Valentine’s Day. You see Nagato, When it comes to giving gifts it’s all about how the person giving the gift feels not what the person getting the gift feels. So, you gotta do it for you ya’ know?" said Tsuruya. Yuki thought of this greatly.

 

The three sat down in the club room attempting to eat lunch, and Tsuruya left momentarily to go get a drink she left. As time passes Yuki and Mikuru started to eat, and after some silence Mikuru felt the need to speak.

 

“You know Nagato, Tsuruya was just trying to help. She might not come out and say it the right way all the time but she does care" said Mikuru. Yuki smiles, and suddenly the door to the club room creaks open. She continues, “And… I think he would be glad to receive a chocolate from you. And if I was a guy… I definitely would be happy to get something from you”. Yuki started to blush as Mikuru said this. Suddenly Mikuru got flustered as she realized that it sounded like she was trying to confess her love to Yuki. As she said this the door opened to reveal Ryoko and Tsuruya. Tsuruya started to laugh.

 

“Ohhh if I was hearing correctly that totally sounded like a confession of love if I do say so myself. Isn’t that right Ryoko?" said Tsuruya. However, Ryoko’s face looked pretty bothered by this implication.

 

“I-It wasn’t like that I swear I was just giving encouragement" said Mikuru. Tsuruya started to laugh, but Ryoko didn’t find it funny for some reason. As they walked in an got situated they all started to talk about what Mikuru and Yuki were talking about. They all attempted to give Yuki much encouragement about giving her chocolate to Kyon, but Yuki for some reason didn’t feel the same. Ryoko started to talk about the game plan for Yuki to give the chocolate to Kyon; Yuki was going to give the key to the room to her, and she was going to give it to Kyon to wait in the room for her. It was a flawless plan to Ryoko and well thought out. Yuki thought it was sweet, but ultimately she had resistance to the idea. She really could feel the urge to want to do it- for these feelings she felt for Kyon to come out. But, it just wasn’t it for her.

 

“How do you feel now Nagato? About giving him the chocolates. You know we all are behind you" said Ryoko.

 

... I think I don’t want to give Kyon these chocolates" said Yuki. As she says that Ryoko rises up from shock.

 

“Why? After all the time that we spent? Yuki, you have it within you to do this don’t back down now. You can’t keep running from things your whole life. You…" said Ryoko as she sighs at the end.

 

“Ryoko… I’m not sure where this is coming from, and I really appreciate how much work you are doing for me, but I think you think I like Kyon more than I actually do. I… I like Kyon. But I think my friendship with him matters more than anything. And just like Tsuruya said it’s about what I feel giving him the gifts. Not what you or him or anyone else thinks. I feel like I would give him the chocolate as a token of my appreciation. But I think my fondness of him isn’t love. I’m not sure where the affection stems from… I don’t know. But, I think I’m sure I’m not gonna do it" said Yuki. Ryoko instantly got annoyed.

 

“You know what, fine Nagato. If that’s how things are gonna be then that’s just fine. I- ... I just wanted you to be happy. Happy with what I thought would make you happy…." said Ryoko. Suddenly Tsuruya stood up.

 

“Listen, I’m all for love and helping find it and all that jazz . But if she is so unsure and unwilling- don’t force it. She should give those chocolates to who she thinks deserves them. And as long as she has the want and the person accepts it then who cares about the rest?  We can’t spend life living through others or letting others decided our feelings" said Tsuruya. Ryoko sighs as she says this.

 

“Well, I’m still planning to give Kyon the key. If you don’t plan to give him the chocolate then whatever I did all that I could" said Ryoko as she took the key from Yuki and left the room. 

 

“Ryoko! Wait!" said Yuki. She tried to run out the door for her.

 

“Let her go, Yuki" said Tsuruya stopping Yuki.

 

“But Miss Tsuruya…" said Mikuru.

 

“Unless Yuki plans on 100% giving those chocolates to Kyon her emotions won’t change. But even if she said that now I feel like there is more going on… I don’t know… Yuki, Mikuru and I need to get to class . Hopefully everything goes well with your day, and just know whatever choice you make it’s your choice. Not someone else ' s" said Tsuruya. 

 

“Okay… Have a nice day you guys" said Yuki.

 

“Bye Miss Nagato! See you later!" said Mikuru. As they said this, they both left the club room leaving just Yuki there. Yuki started to really ponder her thoughts. As she sat there alone she started to get a pulsing headache- enough to leave her a bit woozy. Before long she could see something before her; something akin to an entity hovering above her. She felt tremendous weight upon her shoulders as if a giant monster was holding down her head and crushing her. Suddenly, she heard a voice.

 

Do not resist… allow me to correct the path… It all will be taken from you

 

As Yuki heard this she started to feel a bit scared. She started to see a bunch of 0’s and 1’s appear around the room as she heard this. This occurred for a couple seconds before Yuki yelled, “Stop!" and suddenly it all dispersed. She looked around the room after it all occurred, and was panting. Yuki had no idea what was going on, and never has been through that before. She felt raddled, but didn’t let it stop her from going on with her day. She decided to leave the room for class - as she was about to be late- and locked the door behind her. 

 

Later, it was after school. Classes were over, and club activities have started. Taniguchi walks to the lockers to see once and for all if he got chocolate left in  his locker. As he opens the locker he see that there still isn’t anything within it.

 

“And still nothing… That’s it, the end. I’m officially giving into despair. Me and women just don’t work. At this point, I might as well go gay maybe I’ll have a better shot then" said Taniguchi. Suddenly, Kunikida walks up to him.

 

“Well if you did I would totally support you" said Kunikida surprising Taniguchi thinking no one heard him. Taniguchi blushed a bit from being flustered, but quickly shook the face off. He then brings out a gift wrapped present from beside him and shows it to Taniguchi. He continues, “Don’t make jokes like that. And hey, If it makes you feel any better all I got was courtesy chocolate”. Taniguchi thought to himself, “ Well at least someone gave you anything… And why was I so flustered when he said he would be okay if I was gay? ”. Taniguchi stares at the box hard seemingly defeated.

 

“Do you want some?" said Kunikida offering the chocolate to Taniguchi. Taniguchi then looks up at Kunikida and smirks as he pushes the chocolate away.

 

“No… That’s fine buddy… It’s… It’s just I’ve been waiting for so long to get a girl to notice me. I feel like everyone around me has someone looking out for them but me. Heck, Kyon’s ass is hanging around a group of girls for crying out loud. Like, I don’t know…" said Taniguchi. Kunikida then hands Taniguchi the chocolate, and patted him on the back.

 

“Don’t worry buddy; you know good things come to those who wait . I understand feeling discouraged in a social setting like school, and seeing how everyone interacts with each other. But think of how long they will last; most people will fall out of their friendships and whatnot once they leave high school. You are an appealing attractive man- you just need to find the right girl to notice that. It might also help if you didn’t make lists ranking the hotness of the women in our class and whatnot too" said Kunikida as Taniguchi chuckes. Kunikida closes Taniguchi’s locker for him and continues, “It might not be this second- it might be when we graduate, but you will be happy. But, happiness isn’t decided by who likes you or how many people like you- it’s about how you feel about yourself. I’m not that confident in myself or self worth but… I’m sure someone out there see what I’m worth. And, as I grow I will see more worth in myself! So, don’t feel unhappy now because you didn’t receive a gift, because in life the gift keeps on giving”. Taniguchi feels a bit inspired by Kunikida’s words. 

 

“Wow, thanks Kunikida. That was really nice of you to say" said Taniguchi as he grips the chocolates Kunikida gives him, “Hey, you know don’t talk down about yourself either you are a really caring friend. Days like these just make you realize how much people care for another, and even if it isn’t from a crush it’s good to get some recognition and love from someone that cares about you. And, if I was gay or a girl, I’d totally date you" said Taniguchi. As he said this it made Kunikida blush.

 

“T-Thanks Taniguchi, hehe " said Kunikida. Taniguchi could tell he was thankful for the remark, but the homosexual vibe coming off was a little weird for him.

 

“Ooookay, well how about we go play some games and eat some chocolate? No need to be bitter the rest of the day!" said Taniguchi. Kunikida smiled.

 

“Yea!" said Kunikida, and they walked off. 

 

As this was going on, Haruhi and Itsuki made it onto North High without much trouble- they practically walked right in. Itsuki was carrying a lot of things with him in bags; items that were things like drinks and candy, and Haruhi wasn’t helping. Love as in the air, and Haruhi was a bit annoyed by everyone carrying so much. 

 

“You have my courtesy chocolate for everyone, right Itsuki?" said Haruhi. Suddenly Itsuki got flustered.

 

Oh no Miss Suzumiya… I must of been so worked up on finishing my gift I forgot to buy yours for everyone! I’m sorry" said Itsuki. Haruhi sighed loudly. Itsuki only had his chocolate for Kyon, but not for anyone else.

 

“Agh, well I guess it’s understandable with all you have been doing. Look, give me the stuff I’ll go to the club room. You go to the store and get me chocolate and they better still have some!" said Haruhi annoyingly. Haruhi then takes all of the stuff itsuki has, and Itsuki leaves the school to go to the store nearby. Haruhi, jokingly, yells to Itsuki as he is running away, “And don’t get lost in someone else ' s back pocket again you pervert!”. Itsuki looks back with an expression that read, “Keep your voice down Miss Suzumiya!" and he kept going; perhaps he regrets now telling her about what happened at the store last time he went…

 

Itsuki went to the store and bought some chocolate bars- thankfully they still had some left despite it being Valentine’s Day in the afternoon. Itsuki hurries back to North High to the club room. Itsuki had spent the latter part of yesterday into the night preparing his chocolate gift to Kyon. Initially , he had no set idea on how he was going to give Kyon, but didn’t let that stop him. Haruhi brought up the idea of attempting to leave the room once they got there to give them some alone time, but this didn’t account for anyone else. If the others were there they wouldn’t know how to take a hint and ‘randomly all leave’ to give Itsuki the means to do it. So, they were banking on a situation where the only person that was in the room was Kyon, and no one was there yet. Luckily for Haruhi, that is exactly what ends up happening.

 

As Itsuki walks through the school to the room he feels nervous. He was essentially about to somewhat reveal his feelings in front of another boy. He had to prepare for anything; rejection, an altercation, anything. In the event Kyon is specifically straight Itsuki didn’t think Kyon was homophobic, so he didn’t think he would hit him or rat him out if he got the hint he liked him. Itsuki had a feeling- similar to a gaydar- that Kyon might feel a ways with men, but you shouldn’t assume anything. It’s also a possibility Kyon identifies as straight, but his sexual identity doesn ' t align with his sexual behavior . All these possibilities run through Itsuki’s head, and makes him way nervous then he needs to be.

 

Itsuki is walking up the stairs to the Literary Club, and is holding a bag of chocolates. He is mumbling to himself about what to say and what to do, and how not to be over the top . He stands outside the door, and breathes. He then opens up the door to see Haruhi and Kyon just chilling, waved to them.

 

Oh , Itsuki I was wondering where you were. It’s just us here for now- I guess everyone is taking their sweet ‘ol time" said Kyon smiling at Itsuki. Itsuki was beyond shocked that it was just Haruhi, and didn’t know what went on to make this situation happen.

 

“Hey there! How’s it goin’?" said Itsuki. As iIsuki walked in he looked to Haruhi like, “ What the fuck did you do?! ”. Haruhi simply just smiled and started to walk out of the room.

 

“I”m going to go to the bathroom, be right back" said Haruhi. She walked past Itsuki and whispered, “ It’s go time ”. Itsuki was a bit taken back by what she was doing, but understood.

 

“Well okay looks like we will enjoy the snacks all by ourselves" said Kyon. itsuki laughed as he said that, and Haruhi walked out the door and closed the door behind her. 

 

As Itsuki looked around the room he saw that Haruhi just set down the bags of stuff Itsuki bought on the table in the back, and some of the other snacks that were inside were taken out. Itsuki’s gift to Kyon was still in the bag - seemingly hidden within it so Kyon had no idea it was there. Itsuki walked over to the pile of bags and set down Haruhi’s chocolate as Kyon sat there looking at the bag.

 

Oh , you bought chocolate?" said Kyon

 

“Actually, it’s Miss Suzumiya’s. Well, I bought it…. But it was per request of her. She planned to give it out to everyone" said Itsuki.

 

Oh ! That’s actually nice of her, I’m surprised" said Kyon. Kyon started to take some candy from a basket in front of him and started to eat it. Itsuki sat on the other side of the desk and watched Kyon. Kyon looked at him after a while seemingly antsy about something, and Kyon swallowed his candy.

 

“Is there something up Koizumi?" said Kyon. Itsuki got flustered.

 

“No no… Well…" said Itsuki. He sighed, “I have something for you”. Itsuki then got up and walked over to the big bag on the table Haruhi brought in. Kyon seemed confused as to what he was doing.

 

“Miss Suzumiya was kind enough to bring this in here for me…" said Itsuki as he brought out the box his chocolate gift was in. it was large, and it was yellow with a red bow on it. He grabbed the box and then handed it to Kyon saying, “ ... This one here is for you. Please accept it!”. As he extends his arms to give it to him he bows. Kyon is a bit taken back; he notices that there are snacks for everyone but Itsuki says this one is just for him. Kyon started to blush a little.

 

“This is for me? Well, thank you very much" said Kyon as he took the gift and bowed. He set the gift on the table, and got up and poured him and Itsuki a drink of soda. He handed Itsuki his cup, and sat down.

 

“Thank you" said Itsuki still blushing and nervous. 

 

“Can I open this now?" said Kyon pointing to the gift. Itsuki nodded his head.

 

“Yea, sure! Please go ahead" said Itsuki. As he said this Kyon opened up the gift, and it revealed multiple chocolate cupcakes that were fairly hurthy. Kyon was amazed.

 

“Wow! These looks delicious. And they are pretty big ones. These almost look store bought! Did you make these?" said Kyon. Itsuki blushed and nodded once more.

 

“Yes I did… I spent a good chunk of yesterday by myself making them from scratch. I’m not that much of a baker, but I think they came out really well" said Itsuki. Kyon, surprised, started to blush.

 

“Wow… You did all this just for me?" said Kyon. He looked down at the cupcakes once more and saw just how good they looked. Itsuki had he have put a lot into them, and it was all for him. Kyon didn’t really get it.

 

“Y-Yea. You know, it’s a holiday, and you should keep up with the holiday spirit. And, I think you should take the time to be considerate of each other, and how much someone means to you. And… I wanted to specifically give you one to show how much you mean to me" said Itsuki barely letting out the last bit. As Kyon heard that he was stunned. He didn’t know what to say. 

 

Kyon thought to himself,  “ Wow. So, is this supposed to be very special because it was specifically for me? But, it came from him… Him. Is this supposed to be anything special? Am I the only one that got something specific? He didn’t seem to give one to Haruhi… But he could have earlier today ”. Kyon looks to the chocolates that Itsuki said he bought per request of Haruhi, and thought, “ Haruhi told him to go to the store and get chocolate there. The chocolates Haruhi intended to give to the rest of are just plane ones- like courtesy chocolate. Would Haruhi just give everyone courtesy while Koizumi made everyone some? Could… Could these just be for me? ”.

 

Itsuki motioned to Kyon to try one. As he took a cupcakes and ate it Itsuki stared at him and blushed. Kyon bit into one, and instantly his mouth was filled with gooey yummy flavor . Kyon spoke, “This is really good Koizumi! Wow… You really can cook. They’re delicious and they look just as good!”. Itsuki looked more than delighted to hear that. However, as Kyon finished eating he started to feel a bit guilty. Kyon continued speaking,  “Wow… I feel kinda bad. I didn’t get you- or anyone for that matter anything" said Kyon. Itsuki put his hand out alerting him to stop.

 

“It’s not about the feelings of the receiver, it’s about how you feel giving it. It’s like giving without expecting something back as long as you understand the gesture. Like agape love, but without all the religious stuff" said Itsuki. However, he just thought about what he said. “ Without all the religious stuff… That’s just love… Oh no! " Itsuki thought. Itsuki lowkey just told Kyon that he did it out of love! 

 

“Agape love?" said Kyon. Kyon blushed a bit not really understanding what he meant.

 

“F-Forget I said anything haha. That sounded stupid sorry" said Itsuki frantically. Kyon shakes his head.

 

“Hehe, no. It’s fine. I sorta get it ... " said Kyon. He thought to himself, “ Haruhi was going to give me chocolates, but his are different. Her’s were like an afterthought- considering she forgot and expected Koizumi to get them. The ones he gave me… They have to mean something… And I didn’t think to get him anything. He’s thinking of me but I wasn’t thinking of him. Some friend I am… ”. Kyon continued, “I just wish I could give you something to is all”. Itsuki kinda feels bad Kyon feels guilty, but also kinda likes it. If Kyon was completely indifferent he wouldn’t care, or that is what Itsuki thought.

 

I -It’s fine, Really … I’m just glad that you like it" said Itsuki. He exhaled like he was giving himself a pat on the back for a job well done. However, he started to think back at a conversation he and Haruhi had earlier today;

 

Remember Itsuki, if you REALLY wanna sell the purpose of the gift you have to confess your love to him. Your feelings for him are covered with a bandaid, and you need to rip that off! Tell him, and then you will know for sure. Today is the perfect day to do it anyways ”.

 

Itsuki wasn’t sure if he could go all the way not knowing if he could be safe afterwards. But, Kyon was very receptive of the gift, so maybe. Kyon started to look down and bit on his lip as he was in deep thought. Itsuki wondered what was on his mind. Suddenly, Kyon looked up.

 

“Well, it’s not much… But would a hug be enough as thanks? It’s the least I could do…" said Kyon. Itsuki’s heart started pumping. Itsuki thought, “ A hug ?! From Kyon?! First I touched his ass, now I get to touch his whole body?? Oh my, what do I do? ”. Itsuki was frantic on what to say back. Kyon could sense his nervousness and said, “If not it’s alri-”.

 

“No! No it’s fine. I- ... I would love a hug - I wouldn’t mind a hug I mean. Yes" said Itsuki nervously. Kyon started to laugh. Kyon then got up from his seat and went around the table to Itsuki. 

 

“Come on, before someone comes in and we have to explain ourselves" said Kyon. Itsuki then got up, and stood there as his heart pumped even more. Kyon then reached out his arms. Itsuki didn’t really know whether to do the over-arm hug , or the under-arm hug . He didn’t have much time to think, but thought that Kyon probably hugs mostly girls when he does. He made the smart choice of choosing under-arm hug . Kyon came in and embraced him, and Itsuki feel straight into his chest. As he did Itsuki inhaled as he was shocked, but as he felt the warmness of Kyon’s chest he exhaled feeling at home there. Itsuki curled his head to the left, and Kyon reached his right hand around Itsuki’s back seemingly bringing him in closer. Itsuki immediately closed his eyes as Kyon hugged him, and Kyon looked down at Itsuki’s head as Itsuki buried his head in his arms. Kyon thought this was a little weird- like a new experience. But it was a good experience. He has had embracive hugs before, but none like this. Kyon started to like it. 

 

By now seconds pass, and they still are hugging. Itsuki attempted to hold Kyon tighter, and Kyon started to reach his right hand higher and started to caress his neck unknowingly. Kyon could feel Itsuki’s heart pumping, which made him blush. To be so close to another man, and to hear his heart… Kyon didn’t know what to do. Kyon’s heart started to beat as well, and Itsuki could feel it on his face. Kyon blushed as he knew his heart was beating. 

 

... You’re beating loud" said Kyon. Itsuki smiled a bit.

 

“I’m sorry" said Itsuki. Kyon exhaled.

 

I -It’s fine" said Kyon. Kyon didn’t know when to let go- or if he wanted to let go. Kyon started to rub Itsuki’s back somewhat nervously like he didn’t know what to do, but felt warm in Itsuki’s arms. Itsuki softly locked his arms around Kyon’s waist bringing them lower. Kyon realized this, but didn’t mind that much; Itsuki spent all that time making him something special, so a a hug he could give anyone should be enough if it’s full of passion. However, this hug started to develop like no other. Over some time Kyon started to rock back and forth, and Itsuki’s hands reached lower. It was almost like they were slow dancing to a song at prom, and they were having fun. Before long, Itsuki was fondling Kyon’s booty once more, and Kyon was blush red as he kept hugging Itsuki. Kyon felt like he was being a good friend by letting Itsuki give him a hug , but didn’t know where this was going to go. 

 

... Are you having fun?" said Kyon wondering what Itsuki thought of all this. Suddenly, The door opens, and It’s Yuki standing there. Kyon and Itsuki look to Yuki in complete shock; Kyon’s arms wrapped around Itsuki, and Itsuki grabbing Kyon’s ass. They quickly let go of each other.

 

I -It’s not what it looks like Nagato!" said Itsuki. Yuki is a bit frozen. But in her head seeing that is all she needed to confirm whatever she felt within her even if it was just an assumption. It was right then and there Yuki’s feelings were solidified that she didn’t want Kyon

 

Oh my, I’m sorry to intrude" said Yuki. She then closed the door as she walked off. Yuki leaves the room believing she intruded on a moment, and Kyon and Itsuki were ecstatic. They run out after her trying to fix the situation, but as they walk out they see Yuki and Ryoko facing each other. Yuki was walking down the stairs and Ryoko was walking up. As they walked out they heard Ryoko say, “You don’t have your gift with you… Did you give it to him?”. As she said this she looked to Kyon, and Yuki looked to Kyon thereafter. Ryoko then looked to Yuki and she stared at her. They seemed to of been looking at each other with angst. Kyon nudges Itsuki for them to go back in the room as it seemed like they shouldn’t be witnessing something. Itsuki looks to Kyon, agrees, and they go back in the room. They closed the door, and then Itsuki sighs as Kyon walks over to his seat. 

 

I -I’m sorry. Thank you for the hug . We can… We can keep this to ourselves- and I don’t think it’s a problem like only Nagato saw ... " said Itsuki. Kyon shakes his head and waves his arms.

 

“N-No! It’s fine Koizumi it wasn’t that bad. Just lasted longer than I thought and stuff. I’ll explain it to Nagato later" said Kyon. Itsuki blushes more.

 

“Well, It lasted cause… Mmm… I… I just hope you enjoyed the gift… And the hug " said Itsuki attempting to say something, but ultimately not. Kyon was a bit confused.

 

“Well, hugs are always nice, and you are a nice hugger actually haha. Maybe next time we can just make it less long Koizumi" said Kyon jokingly.

 

“You can call me Itsuki Kyon… After a hug like that at least. I -I’m gonna open up a window" said Itsuki feeling a bit hot right now.

 

“Yea… Sure Itsuki, good idea" said Kyon. Kyon really only grew the habit of calling people besides Taniguchi and Kunikida by their first names recently - and up to this point it was only Haruhi. Itsuki went over to the window, and Kyon watched him as he turned to the window. As he turned around Kyon started to feel his ass and thought, “ Hm, did he mean to touch my butt? I mean, I was kinda rocking back and forth cause I get antsy… Maybe I nuzzled his hands lower with my body movements and it just sort of happened ... Yea, that makes sense I guess ”. As Itsuki opened up the window Haruhi entered. She looked a bit puzzled.

 

“Hey, what’s up with Yuki and Ryoko? I saw them talking down the hall then they just stormed off together" said Haruhi.

 

“Uh, I don’t know, but whatever it is I think we should stay out of it" said Kyon.

 

“Miss Suzumiya, I put your chocolates over there" said Itsuki pointing to the bag for her. Haruhi walked over to get them and gave Itsuki a wink. As she went to the bag she noticed Itsuki’s cupcakes- she hasn’t seen then at all so she is amazed.

 

“Wow, those looks nice!" said Haruhi.

 

“Yea, Koiz- I mean, Itsuki gave them to me. It’s gonna take me a minute to get used to that" said Kyon. Itsuki laughs. Haruhi reaches over to her chocolate, and gives both Itsuki and Kyon some.

 

“Well, this doesn’t compare to his, but it’s something! Here!" said Haruhi. Itsuki gladly took it despite the fact he really was getting back chocolate he bought with his own money. Kyon accepted it kindly and thought, “ Yea, this is way different than when Koizumi did it… ”.

 

After Kyon and Itsuki both go back in the room- and after Haruhi sees them, Ryoko runs down the stairs and Yuki is following her. They went down some flights of stairs, and Ryoko was walking down the hall. Yuki was trying to catch up to her as much as she can.

 

“I’m sorry!”, said Yuki. She goes to grab Ryoko’s hand, and Ryoko stops and attempts to unhand it.

 

“Agh, I’m not… For all that work we did... It’s just irritating for all I did to help you get out of your funk and for it to blow up in your face. I felt like you were going back into your shell when I saw the chocolates in your hands. Maybe I was trying to force you out… But It's just annoying. I want you to be happy” said Ryoko looking down.



“I am happy Ryoko. Sure, what just happened was a culture shock, and I have my own envy of it... But I realize now that I don’t need to fall into the social norms or someone else to feel any more than I do. And I realized that maybe my feelings were forced by that narrative and status quo- like I needed to like him. But I don’t. I want other things" said Yuki. Ryoko sighs.

 

“Well… It was nice spending time with you making them. It felt fun. I felt like I was helping you do what I can’t. I haven’t received a single gift all day, and I’m class president. Sure, women don’t really get gifts on Valentine’s Day like that but still… I didn’t think I would get one" said Ryoko. This shocks Yuki.

 

“What? I didn’t know that. I-I wouldn’t expect that because… Well, you are so beautiful. You are really caring… Passionate- sometimes a little too passionate, but that’s good nonetheless. Ryoko don’t feel down at all because of this I didn’t get or give any gifts today" said Yuki. 

 

... Asahina seemed to want gifts from you…" said Ryoko. Yuki was caught off guard by this.

 

“What? Asahina didn’t mean that. Why are you on it still?" said Yuki. Ryoko shook her head.

 

“Nevermind forget it…" said Ryoko. She sighs and says, “ ... Thank you for what you said. It did feel really nice. And, I would feel honored to receive something from you Nagato”. Yuki took note of this.

 

“Well… I still have the chocolate… Maybe I can go get it, and we can just go somewhere to eat? It’s not much of a surprise, but I’ll give the chocolate to you and it will be our thing. My treat. It can be thanks for helping me" said Yuki. Ryoko was surprised.

 

“But, the club meeting today…" said Ryoko. Yuki shrugged her shoulders.

 

“Kyon has the key, so he can lock up. I’m sure Miss Suzumiya saw us run off, so maybe they might think we won’t come back because we looked like we were fighting. Lets go to the cafe, I’ll get my stuff and meet you at the entrance" said Yuki. Ryoko started to blush, and was surprised that Yuki wanted to go out of her way to thank you. This made Ryoko happy. They then left school together, and went to a cafe. Yuki gave Ryoko the chocolate, and they ate food and had a really good time. Ryoko and Yuki took turns eating the cupcakes that Yuki ( Ryoko ) made, and at one point they reached for the same one. As they did their hands touched for a brief moment , and they both backed off nervous. They then looked at each other, and laughed. 

 

Kyon, Itsuki and Haruhi all got the hint Yuki and Ryoko weren’t coming back, and so Kyon took the keys for the day and locked up when Haruhi and Itsuki had to leave. Haruhi left the room first as she wanted to ‘go to the bathroom’ again, and told Itsuki to meet her at the entrance. So, Kyon and Itsuki- after cleaning up the mess and taking the leftovers- they left and started to walk together. Kyon ate almost half Itsuki’s chocolates- he liked them that much. Haruhi drunk most the soda, and Itsuki wanted to save his appetite for later. As Kyon and Itsuki walked together they talked about what Itsuki did to make the chocolate, and laughed a lot. As they went to the entrance to wait for Haruhi Kyon grabbed some of the bags Itsuki was holding so he wasn’t holding everything while he waited. When they could see Haruhi in the distance they then turned to each other, and Kyon gave back Itsuki’s bags.

 

“See you tomorrow?" said Kyon.

 

“You betcha!" said Itsuki. Kyon, impulsively, opened his arms for another hug .

 

“Let's make this one quicker, like a test run of what they can be next time instead" said Kyon. Itsuki was a bit surprised that Kyon wanted to hug again, but didn’t think too hard about it. They hugged briefly this time, and in that short moment they felt a bit like they did when they hugged earlier. Haruhi walked up, patted Itsuki on the back, and looked at Kyon.

 

“Well, see ya later!" said Haruhi. Kyon nodded.

 

“Yea, have a nice day !" said Kyon. Itsuki and Haruhi walk off.

 

As they walk off Haruhi looks maniacally at Itsuki chuckling, and says, “Wow what was that hug about huh? And what happened in the room when I was gone?" said Haruhi. Itsuki rolled his eyes.

 

Oh my… Lemme tell ya…" said Itsuki. They then walked off as he explained the whole thing; from Kyon’s ass, to Yuki walking in, to his heart beating next to his the whole time and loving it. It was safe to say Itsuki couldn’t wait so see Kyon again, and that Kyon truly enjoyed and felt the magic behind Valentine’s Day for the first time.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

The days following Valentine’s Day went pretty normal. Yuki and Kyon had talked about what she saw, but both came to the conclusion that they didn’t understand what really happened and that it wasn’t that big of a deal, and didn’t speak it much after. However, each were greatly impacted by that moment. But, the one that changed the most that day was Ryoko. Ryoko went through major changes herself, as after that day with Yuki she could no longer hold up mental divides between her portrayal of herself to others, and what she thought of herself. She went home that night in agony over her built up feelings. By having Yuki taken by another it would force her to abandon the thought of her having Yuki. It was something she didn’t want to face for so long. She often would talk herself out of her own sexual feelings to Yuki, and thought of them as crazy. Getting her with Kyon was her last way of dealing with her still being the Ryoko she thought she was. But, she never was that version of herself in the first place. After that day she couldn’t keep it from herself; she loved Yuki. She didn’t think she would be someone that likes girls but when she looks at Yuki all she wants is to help her, to hold her, and love her. As she let out all of these feelings she felt more clear than ever. She went home that very night and fantasized about Yuki in ways she never did before . She was spinning around the room thinking of Yuki, and dancing in circles all night over her. She couldn’t even believe she would let Yuki just walk into the arms of Kyon. After Valentine’s Day she had to figure out ways on how to make Yuki hers before it was too late.

 

One fateful day, in Kyon’s class - Class 1-5, a math test was coming up, and Kyon was procrastinating studying as he had time . Kyon, after receiving his Valentine’s Day gift, really wanted to think more about others, and decided the best way to follow up that day was to gift Itsuki with something on White Day- the day where typically the guy gifts the person back from Valentine’s Day. However, Kyon didn’t really know what would be good to get him. The couple of days prior to White Day and his math test slowly took a toll on Kyon. Since that day Kyon and Itsuki bonded more, as did Yuki and Ryoko. Currently , it is the day before White Day, and while in class Kyon and Ryoko were daydreaming not paying attention; Kyon thinking about Itsuki for some reason, and Ryoko thinking about Yuki. Okabe-Sensei tries to get both Kyon’s and Ryoko’s attention.

 

“Ms. Asakura and Kyon! Stop daydreaming and pay attention! You all have a test coming up, and it would be in your best interest to not fail" said Okabe-Sensei. Kyon and Ryoko snapped out of their daydream, and started to pay attention. Kyon and Ryoko should be paying more attention as in comparison to the rest of the class when it comes to math they aren’t that great. 

 

“Sorry Okabe-Sensei" said Ryoko and Kyon. Class ended, and everyone was packing up to leave. Ryoko gets up and turns to Kyon.

 

“Well, it seems like I wasn’t the only one with my head in the clouds today. What’s up Kyon?" said Ryoko. Kyon sighs.

 

“Well, I forget if I mentioned this, but on Valentine’s Day Itsuki gave me this really cool gift, and I’ve been thinking of things I could get him since tomorrow is White Day. I know traditionally men don’t give gifts to other men on that day, but I feel like it’s something I should do" said Kyon. 

 

“Hm… Well, if giving him something is that important… Something from the heart is always good. I’m not sure what he got you, but maybe give him something that you think is of equal value to what he did? Or one up him if you want haha" said Ryoko. As she said this she thought, “ Hmm… Nagato gave me a gift on Valentine’s Day as well… Should I get her something similar to Kyon? ”. Kyon could see that Ryoko was deep in thought about something probably different than his issue , so he just ignored it.

 

“Yea, something like that. I’ll think of something it’s not a big deal. I should also do something about this test…" said Kyon.

 

“Hm? Did you say something?" said Ryoko not even hearing Kyon caught up in her own thoughts.

 

“Agh… Nevermind. Look, I’ll see you in the club room for lunch or something I gotta go" said Kyon as he left the classroom. Ryoko waved goodbye.

 

Oh , okay. See ya" said Ryoko. She then started to think about gifts she could go home later and make for Yuki for White Day. Kyon throughout the day until lunch kept thinking about what to do; he didn’t know what Itsuki liked to eat, what would he like to eat potentially, or what would be a good idea. Kyon didn’t really understand why he was so hellbent on getting Itsuki something, but he knew it mattered. So, Kyon thought of the idea when Haruhi and Itsuki get to the club room later today to ask Itsuki things he likes. 

 

After school is over, the group all meet up in the Literary Club. Since Valentine’s Day Haruhi and Itsuki gained permission for North High administration to enter the school legally without having to sneak in, however no one really realized . Haruhi and Itsuki arrive in uniform and greet Kyon, Yuki, Tsuruya, and Mikuru in the room.

 

“Hey y’all!" said Haruhi. Itsuki walks in behind her waving ‘hi’ to everyone, and then glances over to Kyon. They smile at each other as Itsuki comes in. Haruhi brings up that she and Itsuki got permission to enter North High legally, and shows the pass. Everyone was surprised, as they saw it, but Haruhi and Itsuki have been in uniform for a bit now. Kyon thought, “ You know, I did notice something different about Koizumi’s appearance but couldn’t put my finger on it… ”. Haruhi sat in between Yuki and Itsuki, whom sat across from Kyon. Haruhi, annoyed, then mentions how she told Yuki awhile ago, to which Yuki forgot to mention it to everyone else. Kyon sighs, but ultimately isn’t mad that she did. Kyon was sitting next to Mikuru, and Tsuruya was standing up leaning on the table next to her. Haruhi then gets everyone’s attention.

 

“So, to commemorate us officially being allowed on school grounds and getting the pass I’m scheduling a G.N.O. cafe and game night for tomorrow!" said Haruhi. Kyon was confused, but the rest of the girls -minus Yuki, were excited.

 

Oh my god that sounds like a totally cool idea!" said Tsuruya. 

 

“Can someone explain to me what a G.N.O. is?" said Kyon. Haruhi scoffs.

 

“A Girls Night Out ! Duh. I wanna celebrate Yuki’s club and my executive position in it, so I want us all to go out to celebrate!" said Haruhi. Kyon then gets annoyed.

 

... But a girls night out implies just girls … Me and Itsuki would be left out" said Kyon.

 

“Yea yea , I kinda started to think about the holes in the plan as I meet up with Itsuki. But since the majority are girls I rule that we have a girls night out anyways. All in favor ?" Said Haruhi. There was a slight hesitation in response from the girls .

 

“I!" said Mikuru, and Tsuruya. Mikuru continues, “Sorry Kyon, but it does sound fun. Perhaps we all can do something later!”.

 

“W-What?! You are literally agreeing to leave some of the members out!. Itsuki, are you okay with this?" said Kyon annoyingly.

 

“Well no one is stopping you from having a G.N.O. , it would just be a Guys Night Out and not girls . Duh. And we wouldn’t be there. It wasn’t just me that got a pass Itsuki did as well" said Haruhi. Haruhi was right, but Kyon didn’t think it was cool to just split up the group. Plus it was just Kyon and Itsuki. Sure, Kyon could just invite Taniguchi and Kunikida, but Kyon doesn’t have an idea or feels the need to do all that. Kyon also started to connect the dots that this would be happening the same day as White Day. Kyon thought, “ I guess if I don’t think of a good gift to give Koizumi… I could just spend the day with him. We haven’t really hung out outside school much… ”.

 

“Miss Suzumiya’s idea is fine with me. Guess it would give time for the girls to do their thing, and the guys do their own thing for a change" said Itsuki. Kyon didn’t really like the sound out that.

 

“Mmm… Well, okay" said Kyon. Kyon then looked to Yuki and said, “Nagato, where is Ryoko she’s usually with you?”. 

 

Oh , she told me she wanted to skip out on the meeting today because she wanted to work on something. She said it was… Like something she’s been thinking about since this morning, so it is just me without her today" said Yuki. Suddenly, Kyon thought, “ Wait, Ryoko was in her head earlier today. She started to think heavily to the point where she zoned out of what I was saying when I talked about White Day and the test… Process of elimination she wouldn’t be ‘working’ on homework to study because she did all her homework… I think ... Did she leave early to go work on something for tomorrow? Nagato did tell me the gift she worked on that was for someone she ended up sharing with Ryoko… Maybe Ryoko wanted to return the favor ? ”. Kyon then got shocked.

 

Oh no! Ryoko wanted to spend so much time getting Nagato something that she went home early, and I’m still here without a clue on what Koizumi even likes?? Why am I so flustered over this? What do I do? " Kyon thought as he muttered to himself. Itsuki noticed this and tilted his head in confusion. Kyon then continued thinking, “ Okay Kyon, well he’s right there… Just ask him. But, you can’t be obvious ”. 

 

“Everything alright?" said Itsuki. Kyon got shocked out of his thoughts, and saw Itsuki was trying to talk to him. At the moment the only one really paying attention to him was Itsuki in the room.

 

“Huh? Yea… Hey, Koizumi- or, Itsuki… Can I ask you something?" said Kyon.

 

“Anything, Kyon" said Itsuki. Kyon looked around to see no one was really paying attention to their conversation.

 

“Well… I kinda like to know what my friends have interest in, but out of all of them I feel like I know your traits the least. What are some things you like; hobbies, or cuisine?" said Kyon. Itsuki then got shocked at Kyon wanting to know, and started to blush.

 

“Well… I’m kind of a simple man; I’m not really specific with my likes or interests. Um, like for hobbies I kinda can enjoy any type of like sports or anything. I like to sit and read books, but other times I don’t mind going on adventures- that’s why hanging with Miss Suzumiya is so fun. I also am not picky with food… I like pretty much anything I guess… I like to drink tea and coffee, and I guess I’d rather eat something warm then something cooling. I shouldn’t eat things like sweets, but I cheat myself often haha" said Itsuki. Itsuki then thought, “ Why would he want to know about this stuff all the sudden? Could he be… ”. 

 

Kyon was taking mental notes of everything he said, but he still is falling short, and thinks to himself, “ All I really got out of that is likes hot things and sweets. Agh, trying to get someone something that is vague about what they like cause they apparently like it all is challenging… ”.

 

“And what about you, Kyon?" said Itsuki. Kyon then jerked up.

 

Oh , um… I’m kinda plain I guess. I don’t really gravitate to a lot of fancy or flashy things. But sometimes it’s nice like when you gave me those chocolates. I like baseball a little I guess. I’m kinda boring honestly , sorry hehe " said Kyon.

 

“What? No! You are really fun to be around Kyon, and you have a nice and interesting interests" said Itsuki trying to uplift and compliment Kyon. Kyon blushes a little bit, and looks away from blushing. 

 

Kyon thought, “ Well, I can’t just get him something at the store that’s generic like what Haruhi did. I have to do something special… I should go home and plan something out and maybe go get stuff to make things ”. As he said that he got up from his seat. He then said to the group, “Hey guys, I gotta go do something I’m gonna head out early. You guys take care" said Kyon. 

 

Oh , well okay. Have a nice day " said Haruhi. Itsuki is a bit thrown off by him leaving early, and gets up.

 

“Is everything okay? You usually don’t leave this early" said Itsuki.

 

“Relax, everything is fine. Just got something important to do. Catch ya tomorrow?" said Kyon. Itsuki nods his head.

 

“Yea" said Itsuki. Kyon then leaves, and Yuki watches. In this moment Yuki thinks back to Valentine’s Day when she walked in on Kyon and Itsuki hugging. Yuki thought, “ Kyon said it wasn’t a big deal or whatever, but I think that was a little more than that. Because we aren’t as close I wanna approach Itsuki about it… Maybe it would strengthen stuff between us. Hmm ... I should just mind my business honestly ”. Unknowingly, The day still goes through Itsuki’s head too- who only told Haruhi about it, and knows Yuki seen it. He wants to talk to Yuki formally about it, but feels like it’s too soon to make his sexuality a thing. Luckily, it wasn’t at all awkward around anyone afterwards. 

 

Kyon, after heading to the store to get ingredients to make… something, he returns home to make… something. Kyon doesn’t know what to do, but thinks he should attempt to make a chocolate gift like Itsuki did from hand. However, Kyon cannot cook. Kyon’s Sister watches as he attempts to put stuff together in the kitchen

 

“Hey… I’m gonna try and make this a couple of times. Can you taste test to tell me if it’s good or not?" asks Kyon.

 

“Sure! I love chocolate!" says Kyon’s Sister. Kyon then attempts to make the chocolate a couple of times, each to dismay.

 

“This one is too bitter" “This one is too hard" “This one is burnt" “This one tastes weird what did you put in it?" says Kyon’s Sister each time she is handed a new batch. Kyon can’t seem to get it right and is running out of time and patience. He thinks of a new idea.

 

“I know! I’ll try to call Taniguchi and Kunikida over. Maybe they can help me if they aren’t busy. Kyon calls Taniguchi.

 

“Sorry Kyon, I would help but I can’t cook. I’m having trouble getting chocolate let alone making the dang thing. Sounds like a girl’s job call one of those up I know you’re friends with a bunch" said Taniguchi jealousy. Kyon should have known Taniguchi couldn’t help, and hangs up. He then calls Kunikida.

 

Oh wow you are making chocolate? Is it for White Day tomorrow? Well, I’d love to help Kyon but my family won’t let me leave. I’d ask to see if you could come over and we could try making it here but I’m sure they would say no on a school night. I also am just not good at cooking either. Sorry!" said Kunikida. Kyon was disappointed that neither his friends could help, but nonetheless kept looking for ideas and hung up. Kyon thought of the idea of calling Ryoko, but she probably is doing the same thing and wouldn’t help. Kyon doesn’t even have Haruhi’s number let alone Mikuru’s, and doesn’t want Tsuruya’s. He doesn’t wanna try to hit up Yuki despite her making the chocolate for Ryoko because he think Ryoko made majority of it despite it seeming like Yuki did it. And now that Kyon thinks of it he doesn’t even have Itsuki’s number, so tomorrow he is going to ask for it. 

 

Kyon was running out of time as it was getting to the evening and had to think quickly on his toes. Kyon thought, “Fuck it" and decided to just head to a bakery store and attempt to get a custom made dessert for Itsuki. He ruined the kitchen with ingredients, and his sister liked none of them. With some time to spare Kyon quickly rushes out the house, leaving the kitchen still dirty, and heads to a bakery nearby. He manages to get there on time before it closes, and convinces the bakery guy to make one final request on a set of cupcakes. The guy agrees, and gives them to Kyon in a nice wrapped up box. Kyon pays extra for the extra added detail and inconvenience of the baker as they closed late, and Kyon heads back home. 

 

Back at home Kyon cleans up the leftover mess he made after scrambling to find a gift for Itsuki. As he gets situated he tells his sister to not touch the box. After he finishes cleaning up he goes and lays down in his room, and he somewhat struggles to get to sleep. He starts to wonder if he is putting in too much effort in this. Kyon really never had dated before so he isn’t sure if this is something one would do for just a friend. He ponders greatly about all this, and then look to his phone at the time.

 

“It’s almost midnight" said Kyon. He had been cleaning for a while and was exhausted from it. He then started to think about the gift itself, and wonder if he should have put in more work for it. He thinks it should mean more than just something someone else made. Kyon does realize it matters more about what the person giving it thinks, and not what the person receiving it thinks, but he thinks he should of put in more work. Kyon thought, “ If only I was just more better at things like others were. I half-ass everything. That’s why a lot of things around me don’t flourish and work… It’s probably also why I’m not gonna do well on this test. Shit, I spent all day doing the chocolate I never even studied and it’s coming up. Come on Kyon, why is all your attention on this?? Why does it matter… Agh, I just don’t know… But I do know i wanna do it ”. Kyon ends up thinking himself to sleep, and suddenly it was the next morning.

 

Today was the day- White Day. Also the day of the G.N.O. Kyon made sure the chocolates he got were good, and assumed that they would be still go when he gives them to Itsuki. He gets a bag and takes the box with him to school. North High was full of love once more as boys were out giving gifts back to women that they received gifts from a month prior. Kyon left his box in his locker- it barely fit, and he attended class as regular. There he ran into Ryoko who had a big with her.

 

“Hey good morning Asakura, what ' s that bag for?" said Kyon as he took his seat.

 

“N- Nothing , it’s just something for later. Look Kyon it’s not cool to be meddling in a woman’s business" said Ryoko defensively. Kyon shrugs his shoulders.

 

“Uhh, well okay. I was just wondering is all. It’s White Day, so I was wondering if you were giving chocolates to Yuki or something" said Kyon. As he said Yuki’s name Ryoko jolted up.

 

“W-What?? I mean, so what if I was…. Yuki spent a lot of time making something that ended up being received to me even though it wasn’t intended to, so this is just repaying the favor " said Ryoko.

 

“Um, well if you say so whatever" said Kyon unenthusiastically. Kyon took his seat, and class started shortly after. 

 

Later after school, Kyon went to go get his gift from his locker and proceeded to the Literary Club room. As he approached the door Ryoko was coming down the hall the opposite way and they meet at the door holding bags with similar things within. As Ryoko saw Kyon’s bag she scoffed.

 

“You know, no one likes a copycat Kyon" said Ryoko.

 

“W-What? What are you talking about I had no idea of what you were even doing today. It’s just a coincidence" said Kyon as they realized they planned to both exchange important gifts at the same place- but anyone could have guessed that. They both enter the room together, and Itsuki, Yuki, Haruhi, Mikuru, and Tsuruya were already there.

 

“Hey you guys!" said Mikuru happily as they see Kyon and Ryoko. 

 

“Hello" said Ryoko and Kyon. Ryoko and Kyon both set down their bags on the sides of the room.

 

“Good, now everyone is here. Listen up! The G.N.O. will be underway later today but I’m thinking of making today’s meeting cut short- I think it would be fun if we went shopping before we went to eat and had some fun! What do you think?" said Haruhi. 

 

Oh , I think that sounds pretty cool" said Ryoko. Yuki, and Mikuru nodded after Ryoko spoke agreeing.

 

“Yea! I’ve been dying to get some new threads especially since the weather is getting better out and summer is approaching!" said Tsuruya.

 

“I don’t know what the guys are gonna be up to, but you cannot come. But hopefully you have a game plan for today!" said Haruhi. Kyon and Itsuki look at each other with confusion.

 

“Uh… No not really we don’t have anything planned, but I guess we can find something to do while you guys are away" said Kyon. Itsuki chuckles as he says this as clearly they have no idea what to do as really this event shouldn’t even be happening. 

 

“Well we will report back to each other how the events went! I took the liberty to put posters around the school about the G.N.O. to make it seem like it was an actual club event, but thankfully no one responded- I did the whole thing today last minute!" said Haruhi. This alerts Kyon.

 

“Uhh, well first off you can ' t just hang up stuff without permission, especially since you aren’t from this school. Two, you can get Yuki in trouble as she is the president " said Kyon looking to Haruhi and Yuki.

 

Oh ? This is the first I’m hearing of this… And I didn ' t see any posters or whatever but I guess I was head deep in a book or something to notice…" said Yuki. Ryoko laughs.

 

Oh who cares the point is let’s have fun!" said Haruhi. Kyon sighs, and Mikuru and Tsuruya start to laugh. The group sat around for awhile just talking about what they will do; the girls talking about what they might go try and buy, and having fun about playing dress up. Tsuruya especially has a sweet tooth, so she can’t wait to eat later. Ryoko specifically likes having a chance to potentially have an interesting chance to give Yuki her gift somewhere else than the school. She thinks of all the ways throughout the afternoon and evening she could give it to her in a special way, and thinks about Yuki’s reaction. Meanwhile, Kyon and Itsuki sit there kinda silent. Neither really wanna make the move to suggest a plan, and by long the rest of the girls initiate their plan they thought up and leave the club room leaving Kyon the keys once again. Kyon sighs after they all leave.

 

“I really feel like we were just thrown into something that we didn’t agree to" says Kyon laughing.

 

“Yea, it does seem that way, but perhaps we can make the most of the day" said Itsuki. Kyon then thinks, “ I should just get it over with now… At least everyone is gone ”. 

 

“Hey… I have something for you…" said Kyon. Itsuki gets suprised. Kyon then starts to get up and go to the bag he brought with him.

 

“For me? Really ?" said Itsuki. He started to think about the day, and his gift. Suddenly, Itsuki is blush red; he thought about the possibility of Kyon giving him a gift, but didn’t have his hopes up. Now that it seems like he is getting one he is flustered.

 

“Yea" said Kyon as he brought out the gift wrapped box from the bag and handed it to him. “Here you go. Please accept it" Kyon said nervously as he passes the gift into Itsuki’s hands. Itsuki took the box, admired the styling of it, and began to open it. When he opened it he saw a couple of beautifully done cupcakes that each were very detailed- almost too detailed. Itsuki really liked them and thought the gift was very nice of Kyon considering he didn’t have to.

 

“Wow! Kyon these looks so good! I’m astounded that you thought so much to get me these! Did you make these yourself?" said Itsuki. Kyon got a worried look on his face, and attempting to sell himself he prepared for his lie.

 

“Y-Yea I did. I spent a lot of time on it so it would be good for you. I wanted you to like it…" said Kyon. As he said this Itsuki got a concerned look on his face.

 

“Kyon, you don’t have to lie" said Itsuki. Kyon looked surprised.

 

“W-What? What do you mean?" said Kyon.

 

“I know you didn’t make these, you don’t need to lie to me Kyon" said Itsuki and Kyon started to feel guilty.

 

“Well, how would you know I didn ' t?" said Kyon. Itsuki chuckles.

 

“Because I know you can’t cook" said Itsuki very honestly . Kyon was dumbfounded.

 

“W-Wha- ... " said Kyon in disbelief. Suddenly Kyon’s guilt got to him and he confessed, “ I -I’m sorry! I just wanted to make something I was proud of and give it to you and like it. I really appreciated you going out of your way to get me something for Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to do something equally as special. I tried very hard to make something I really did… But every attempt I tried and tested on my sister turned out bad. I’ve just been so stressed out over it so much I didn’t even study for my test coming up- and it’s not your fault it’s mine I wanted to. I’m just bad at everything ... I couldn’t give you something like that. This was my last resort, I’m sorry”. Itsuki, hearing this, got a very worried look on his face. He felt more flattered than ever at the work Kyon went through for him, but understands the struggle he went through.

 

“Wow, well I really appreciate the effort. I’ll accept them regardless because they came from you, and because it’s you that’s all that matters. It ' s all about how you feel Kyon. Do you feel good about giving me something?" asked Itsuki. Kyon nodded.

 

“Y-Yea, I do" said Kyon nervously. 

 

“Then that’s all that matters" said Itsuki with a smile. Kyon smiled, and sat back down in his seat.

 

“Sit next to me" said Itsuki. Kyon got surprised as he said this, and looked to the seat right next to Itsuki. Kyon then got back up from his seat across the table from him and walked around to the one on his left. When he sat down Itsuki smiled, and grabbed a chocolate.

 

“You get a front row seat to this from all the work you did. May I try one?" said Itsuki. Kyon blushed, and nodded his head.

 

“Yea, go ahead" said Kyon. Itsuki tried the chocolate and instantly loved it.

 

“Wow! These are really good! Where ever you got these they know what they are doing" said Itsuki. Kyon nervously laughed with a little guilt. Itsuki turned to Kyon and said, “ ... But I’m sure the ones you would have made for me if I tasted them would of been ten times better”. Kyon blushed as he heard this. 

 

“Yea maybe… I’m sorry I should have just gave you one of the ones I made" said Kyon. Itsuki chucked some more.

 

“Maybe you can just make me yours another time. My appetite will be waiting" said Itsuki. Kyon laughed as he heard this. Itsuki continued, “And, I can help you study if that is an issue too. I go to an elite school, so I should know something”. Kyon as he says this got excited.

 

Oh ! That would be really helpful Itsuki! Thank you. I was gonna ask Ryoko- but she’ s in the same boat as me even though she won’t admit it. Haruhi is too annoying to ask, and Mikuru and Tsuruya I don’t really know well to ask- I also don’t know their strengths academically. Yuki… I’m not sure why I didn’t ask her I just didn’t" said Kyon. Suddenly, as Kyon’s talking Itsuki got surprised and started to blush.

 

“What?" said Kyon.

 

“Hehe, you said Itsuki this time without a problem" said Itsuki. Kyon didn’t even realize it, but he instinctively called him by his first name instead of his last- meaning he’s getting more familiar with Itsuki. Kyon started to blush.

 

“Uh, y - yea I did. Haha" said Kyon nervously. 

 

“Say, we are gonna be doing a G.N.O. all today why not skip on the fun and get together and study or something? Maybe over one of your chocolates?" said Itsuki.

 

“That sounds cool. Would you wanna ditch the club and come over to my place? I have leftover ingredients, plus I left some of my math books at home today. You can finally see where I live too" said Kyon. Itsuki was delighted to hear Kyon invite him over.

 

Oh I’d love to do that if you would have me. I could meet your sister too" said Itsuki.

 

“Actually she is gonna be hanging with some friends today- I think staying the night too. So, tonight it’s just gonna be me and you if anything" said Kyon. 

 

Oh , well then more alone time with you doesn’t sound too bad" said Itsuki, but started to blush after he said it. Kyon was surprised to hear that too.

 

“Y- yea . There won’t be someone there to constantly tell me my cooking is shit , so that would be cool" said Kyon. Itsuki decided to box up the rest of the chocolates so he would have room for one of Kyon’s. They cleaned up the room a bit, and headed off to Kyon’s house together.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

As they arrived they take off their shoes, set down their bags and things, and proceed to the living room. Kyon’s Sister ended up not being home so it was just Kyon and Itsuki alone in Kyon’s place. Kyon directs Itsuki to take a seat in his living room while he turns on lights and whatnot. Kyon turns on the TV to some random channel so there was some type of noise going on, and as he does so Itsuki admires the place.

 

“Nice place, may I get a tour?”, said Itsuki.

 

“Sure”, said Kyon. He then showed him anywhere interesting; the bathroom, Kyon’s room, his sister’s room, and then back to the kitchen they walked passed. As Kyon finished he remarked, “It’s not that big. I spend most of the time in the living room if anything”. Kyon started to walk towards his drawers in the Kitchen to pull out materials to bake with. He first put on an apron, and then got out some silverware.

 

“You are gonna start it now?”, said Itsuki.

 

“Yea, I thought to maybe get it in the oven, and then while it’s baking we can study if that’s alright”, said Kyon. Itsuki smiled.

 

“Ah, yea that’s fine”, said Itsuki. Kyon, after getting all he needed to make the dessert, attempted to mix all of it together following the recipe sheet accordingly. Itsuki sees him struggling to do it himself and gets up.

 

“Let’s do it together huh?”, said Itsuki. Kyon started to blush.

 

“I wanted to prove I could do it myself”, said Kyon.

 

“But you don’t have anything to prove to me. You still are making it- I’m just here to give you support. Like a white mage in Final Fantasy”, said Itsuki. Kyon thought the Final Fantasy reference was corny, but agreed and laughed.

 

“Okay. Hand me the flour over there?”, said Kyon. Itsuki went to go get it, and as he turned around he saw Kyon’s backside again. Itsuki thought, “ Oh, his ass is so good looking! It’s like two perfectly soft vanilla cupcakes wrapped in designer jeans. Ugh, it’s too much- I need to concentrate ”. Itsuki started to walk back to him, but then noticed his apron he was wearing was a little undone.

 

“Here, let me fix your apron for you. You didn’t tie it well so it’s gonna fall off”, said Itsuki as he grabbed the strings in the back.

 

“Ah, yea I am not good at tying it, thanks. Can you make sure it’s on tight?”, said Kyon. Itsuki nodded his head.

 

“Mhm!”, said Itsuki. He undone the apron, and then began to tie it again. Itsuki, at this moment, was right behind Kyon’s backside almost pressed up against him. Kyon, while he is doing this, is messing with the flour and getting his hands dirty. Itsuki can’t see it but Kyon’s blushing as he does this; Kyon can’t see Itsuki but Itsuki is smiling away as this happens. He pulled it tightly to Kyon’s body, and rubbed his hands together.

 

“There! Is that good?”, said Itsuki. Kyon felt on the knot Itsuki made.

 

“Yea, that should be fi-”, said Kyon before he got alarmed at a knife he had placed on the counter dropping from the counter. Kyon instantly backed up to not get his feet cut, but backed up into Itsuki. Itsuki caught him.

 

“Whoa there!”, said Itsuki as he caught Kyon. He saw the knife hit the floor, and thankfully didn’t his Kyon.

 

“Sorry I didn’t mean to backup into you I didn’t wanna get hurt”, said Kyon.

 

“It’s fine… I’m just glad you are safe. Be more careful okay?”, said Itsuki. Itsuki’s hands were gripping Kyon’s arms, and since Kyon backed up into him there bodies were touching. Itsuki could feel Kyon’s soft butt press around his bulge, and Kyon could feel Itsuki’s heart beating through his back. Itsuki almost didn’t wanna let go, and as Kyon fell into Itsuki’s arms once more Kyon didn’t wanna get up.

 

Itsuki helped Kyon balance himself up off from him. As he did that Kyon said, “Thanks”, and bent over to get the knife on the floor. As he bent over Itsuki couldn’t help but to admire Kyon’s ass more as he bent over in front of him. Kyon then noticed that he put his ass out in front of Itsuki, and then bent his knees as he went down shortly after. Itsuki kinda took that as a hint that Kyon could tell he might be looking at his ass, and as he did so Itsuki then went over to Kyon’s sink.

 

“Here, give it to me I’ll wash it just keep going”, said Itsuki.

 

“Oh, okay, thank you”, said Kyon. Kyon got up and handed him the knife and he kept preparing the batter for the cupcakes.

 

Kyon finished the batter- with Itsuki’s help, and they place it in the oven together. As it cooked Itsuki then brought out some materials from his backpack and instructed Kyon to get out his books and something he wants to study with. For about 30-45 minutes they studied math together; Itsuki attempting to explain everything to Kyon in a way he might understand, but it proved to be difficult. Itsuki didn't give up however; he was determined to aid Kyon. Kyon was noticeably getting a little frustrated at problems he didn't understand, and Itsuki attempted to reassure him. Itsuki, after awhile, placed his left arm around Kyon as he attempted to write down the answer to a problem looking over his shoulder. Kyon either didn’t mind- or didn’t notice, but Kyon did feel more assured knowing Itsuki was there not judging him. Kyon doesn’t seem to always be able to be ‘vulnerable’, so showcasing his struggle in front of Itsuki was a lot. Suddenly, a timer goes, ‘ding!’, and Kyon jumps up.

 

“Oh! They must be done. let's go see”, said Kyon as he gets up with Itsuki and checks the cupcakes. As they open the oven they see that the chocolate looks done so Kyon takes it out and sets it on the counter. Itsuki takes a small wooden stick and places it in one of the cupcake to see if any insides of the cupcakes are raw, and they all seem good to eat. Kyon smiles, and lets the cupcakes sit before he takes them out the tin and places them on a place to be eaten.

 

“Well, you kinda helped me throughout the process, and I kinda didn’t make them myself, but here they are. Please accept them, and I hope they are good”, said Kyon. Itsuki smiles.

 

“Kyon, I just gave you a helping hand. I have no idea what they even taste like so I will gladly taste them”, said Itsuki as he eats one of the cooled down cupcakes. Suddenly, a face of ecstasy sweeps Itsuki’s face.

 

“Mmmm! Kyon these are so good! I mean, if you wanna be a food critic sure the professionally made chocolate will be different… But this comes from the heart… So I like it way more”, said Itsuki. Kyon blushes, and gets antsy and looks away from Itsuki.

 

“T-Thank you Itsuki…”, said Kyon. Itsuki then takes another cupcake and starts to eat it. Kyon looks at Itsuki as he enjoys the cupcake and starts to smile. Itsuki looks at Kyon as he smiles at him, and as they lock eyes Kyon looks away again.

 

“Hm hm, Kyon why don’t you have one too?”, said Itsuki as he hands him one. Kyon shakes his head, and waves his hands.

 

“No no! They are for you. I can’t have them”, said Kyon.

 

“I insist. You already gave me chocolates for me and spent soooo much money to do all of this. The least you can do is eat a cupcake you spent time making. Come on, we can have a snack as we finish studying, okay?”, said Itsuki as he tries to hand Kyon a cupcake again. Kyon reluctantly accepts, and eats them.

 

“Wow, these actually are pretty good”, said Kyon. Itsuki smiles.

 

“See? Dig in”, said Itsuki. Kyon and Itsuki begin to eat the rest of the cupcakes, and Itsuki continued to help Kyon with his homework; joking and getting to know each other each more. The night starts to come to a close, and Kyon felt a bit more content with his academic skills. Itsuki had packed up his belongings and took the chocolate Kyon made him.

 

“I’ll leave the ones you bought me, and take the ones you made. If you don’t end up eating them all I’ll gladly have some more another time. Anyways,  I hope you enjoy them!”, said Itsuki.

 

“Okay. I really appreciate you helping me today Itsuki, really”, said Kyon.

 

“I’d help you whenever you need it Kyon”, said Itsuki. Kyon blushes.

 

“Thanks… Oh! And, I think it would be a good idea for me to have your phone number so if I need any questions and you aren’t with me I can ask you. Is that fine?”, said Kyon. Itsuki instantly blushes and gets shocked; Itsuki thought, “ OH MY GOD Kyon wants my number?? ”.

 

“O-Oh really? You want my number? Sure!”, said Itsuki. Kyon pulls out his phone and gives it to Itsuki.

 

“Here, put your info in my contacts”, said Kyon. Itsuki puts down his name, and his phone number.

 

“I hope I get a text from you soon”, said Itsuki as he hands Kyon’s phone back.

 

“I’ll message you so you have my number”, said Kyon.

 

Kyon then walks Itsuki to his door, and as he opened the door Itsuki turned to Kyon- almost motioning that he wanted a hug goodbye. Kyon took the hint, and they started to hug. Kyon leaned into the hug this time hugging with his right arm around Itsuki’s shoulders and his left around Itsuki’s torso. Itsuki hugged the inverse way. They instantly embraced themselves chest to chest; Kyon’s right cheek barely touching Itsuki’s right cheek. Kyon closed his eyes as he gripped Itsuki harder, and could feel Itsuki’s heart beat faster. He was surprised to feel his own heart beating faster as he kept going, and unknowingly intensifying his grip on Itsuki’s body.

 

“I hope you have a nice night Itsuki”, said Kyon continuing to hug Itsuki as he rubs his back.

 

“I had a nice night because you made it so good”, said Itsuki as he caressed Kyon’s neck.

 

“I’ll text you later”, said Kyon as he brings his hips closer to Itsuki’s.

 

“I kinda feel honored being one of the only other club members to have it”, said Itsuki. Kyon nuzzles his face into the fold of Itsuki’s neck.

 

“Haha, you aren’t really a member, but yea. I only have Yuki’s, but I don’t text her often”, said Itsuki.  Itsuki then lifts his head up joltingly.

 

“Do you like Miss Nagato Kyon?”, said Itsuki as he stares into Kyon’s eyes with angst. Kyon was surprised hearing this at this moment.

 

“Itsuki… N-No not really… Why are you asking me this now?”, wondered Kyon. Itsuki blushed up.

 

“I… I was just wondering if there was anyone you had in your mind in that way…”, said Itsuki.Kyon pondered what he said. As he continued to grip onto Itsuki and ponder these words he started to fill himself with emotions he has never really felt before.

 

“Um, well I never been in a relationship before- with anyone. I mean, there are people I think are attractive if that’s what you mean, but we are humans; we will find lots of people attractive for many reasons. It’s a bit weird for me honestly… All I can really say is since I been making these chocolates and stuff you have been on my mind- but I don’t… Um… Honestly, things are very confusing for me Itsuki… I like spending time with you. You are a really nice friend and you care for me, and I respect that”, said Kyon. Kyon’s true intentions- or what he wanted to display to Itsuki were a bit vague and confusing to Itsuki. Itsuki, deep down, did try and see if Kyon would admit if he had any feelings for him, but what he got kinda was a restatement of his appreciation that they are friends. But… Is there something more? Itsuki pondered these things, but thought that maybe he tried to push Kyon too soon into a territory he wasn’t ready for.

 

“Well, I like spending time with you Kyon. I haven’t dated either. I have tried but… Things don’t always work out the way you want it when it gets outta your own hands. But, hopefully you find clarity in how you feel. And I will be there- along with everyone else- along the way to push you to whatever enjoyment you want”, said Itsuki.

 

“... Well, I do enjoy your hugs a lot Itsuki… So, maybe these can be our thing?”, said Kyon as he instinctively grabbed Itsuki in more. Itsuki was caught off guard by this, and started to grip Kyon harder too.

 

“I’ll hug you as much as I can then”, said Itsuki. Kyon blushed.

 

“... I might like that…”, said Kyon without thinking. Kyon started to rock back and forth as he hugged Itsuki longer, and as he did so things started to feel different for Kyon. Kyon, with all of Itsuki’s embracive heat on him, their abs rubbing against each other, and caring hands massaging away any of the tension between them- started to feel turned on . This was something very new for Kyon; he didn’t quite comprehend where it was coming from. Was he feeling this way because no one has been this intimate with him before? Was it in the moment? Kyon bounces these thoughts in his head as he allows this scene to play while wondering why he hasn’t stopped this yet- or why he likes Itsuki’s hugs so much. Why does he want more? Kyon backed his hips a little away from Itsuki subconsciously as he feared Itsuki would notice just how much he was enjoying it; he started to get blood flow to places he wouldn’t think to get in a situation like this. Kyon didn’t really realize he was feeling a little hot and bothered down below until it was too late. Kyon grabbed the back of Itsuki’s head and pulled it into his right shoulder area holding it gently. Kyon’s mind becoming more clear while also thinking in the moment

 

“G-Go ahead… Just this once you can do it again…”, whispered Kyon. Itsuki was a bit confused. Suddenly Kyon’s left hand started to massage Itsuki’s lower back going up and down his spine.

 

“D-Do what?”, said Itsuki.

 

“... Last time, I thought maybe you did by accident… But, if you didn’t then you will know what I’m talking about… If you wanna do it again… Do it now…”, said Kyon nervously- almost as if he thought he would regret it. He vaguely said that on purpose. Itsuki thought, and then remembered the last time they caressed each other this intensely, and what he did then. Suddenly, he knew. Kyon was inviting Itsuki to touch his soft ass again, but why?

 

“But… Why?”, said Itsuki. However as he said this Kyon looked away- almost feeling nervous and regretful for asking. Itsuki felt a sudden rush of disgust for oneself come off of Kyon, and Itsuki took this was Kyon trying to see something about himself… And was using Itsuki to find it.

 

“Taniguchi did it once... but it was for fun you know…”, said Kyon trying to justify it- really only to himself. This surprised Itsuki, but then again he thought that you would be surprised what interesting things ‘straight’ guys will do with each other. Kyon didn’t really think why Itsuki would wanna touch it again; that isn’t where his mind really was. It was more in a place of, ‘this makes me feel different when he does this, so do it again’. Itsuki took the bate, and felt Kyons ass again. Itsuki moved both his hands to touch both Kyon’s ass cheeks, and squeezed them lightly, massaged them, tapped them a little to see just how jiggly they were, and felt their warmness. Kyon’s face got very red as he did this; this was awkward, but Kyon didn’t mind it and even enjoyed it somewhat.

 

“... Do you like my behind?”, said Kyon. Itsuki paused and was startled. He didn’t know how to respond. He was surprised how sexual things were getting.

 

“U-Um, I’m doing this because you kinda asked… But, If I had to touch someones butt I’d as least it be a nice one like yours”, said Itsuki jokingly. Kyon thought, “ Oh, so he does like it… Why do I like that he likes it?! What am I even doing? ”. Kyon was filled with many emotions, and just as his hands started to reach for Itsuki’s butt he stopped, and backed away from Itsuki completely.

 

“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I requested you do that, but I just… I don’t know… let’s just stop now okay?”, said Kyon urgently. Itsuki was a bit thrown off, but understood.

 

“Okay. Um, thanks Kyon for the gifts. I’ll see you tomorrow?”, said Itsuki.

 

“Goodnight”, said Kyon as he closed the door after he watched Itsuki walk away.

 

Kyon closed the door, and he could feel his heart pumping out his chest. His face was beet red, and he was sweating. Kyon thought, “ What WAS all of that? W-What did I just do? Why did I… ”. Kyon stopped as he looked down at his crotch; he was forming a bulge due to his growing boner. Why did I like that so much? ”, he thought some more. Kyon paced back and forth in his kitchen before he went into his room and locked the doors.

 

Sure Taniguchi did it as a joke and stuff- we were just fooling around, but when Itsuki did it it was… Why did I tell him to do it? I don’t think that’s what friends do- I don’t know if that’s what GUY FRIENDS are supposed to do... We are friends… Right? W-Why was I aroused? I mean, I get hard sometimes in weird situations and in public and stuff… Puberty problems?? Oh, I don’t know! ” pondered Kyon as he laid on his bed and put his hands in his face. Kyon then did some heavy breathing to calm down. “ Does Itsuki… Like me? Do I like… Itsuki? But, I’m straight… I thought he was straight… No, this can’t be right. Guys can touch their guy friends asses in the right situation right?. Guy friends can hug… But do they feel so tender and warm and make you not wanna let go?? Come to think of it… I felt similar with other guy friends I’ve hugged growing up- nothing this strong though… ”, thought Kyon. Suddenly, Kyon got up.

 

“You know what, I’m just so riled up about the test, and the club, and trying to meet expectations I set for myself. II… I’m just stressed out I’m not thinking straight that’s what it is. I need to calm down… Ugh, I mean… It’s night… I’m the only one home… I guess I can…”, said Kyon to himself. Kyon then looks around the room attempting to find something. He then goes into his closet, and finds a shoe box in the back of the closet. He sets the shoe box down on his bed.

 

“Agh… I haven’t done this in awhile… But, this will help me feel less tense…”, said Kyon as he opens the box to a bunch of sexy magazines, and video tapes with x-rated titles on them. The magazines were all of naked women in little to no clothing and sexy positions. Kyon then makes sure his front door is locked to his house, and then locks himself in his own room.  


“I guess I can thank Taniguchi for somethings…”, said Kyon as he started to take off his uniform finally- taking off his jacket and shirt first. Once shirtless he removes his pants and sets them on the chair in his room. With just his boxers on he sits on his bed and opens up the magazine and starts to flip through. As Kyon does this he starts to think of all the sexual pent up angst within him, and the feelings of relieving himself once again. This persuades him to get more erect, and as he imagines himself in sexual positions with these women he starts to grab his penis with his right hand, and slowly jerks it.

 

“Mhm…”, Kyon musters as he relaxes more into it. He starts to grip tighter, however when he notices while looking at the magazine he isn’t sustaining an erection. Surely, a person of his age will have no issue getting hard, so Kyon ponders why now he is. He thinks it’s because he hasn’t looked at porno magazines in awhile- or even jerked off- so he got used to not doing it. Kyon thought maybe he needed more of a stimulus so he decided to close the magazine, and go into his living room and put in a video tape of actual porn videos he has in his possession; around North High men often ‘circulate’ videos so that their friends can jerk off to them. In reality, it’s a quite weird thing when you really think about it, but also an understandable culture that men will create a sexual space like that if the benefit is their own and the exoticism of women. Kyon didn’t want them, but Taniguchi gifted them to him his last birthday. Kyon hasn’t used them pretty much often, but has tried. As Kyon puts in the video he puts the volume to a reasonable setting, and sits on his couch and watches. He looks at a video of a man and woman having sex, and gets aroused by the moaning, the grunting, the sounds of body’s clashing from penetration, and the anticipation of cumming as he jerks off to it. This works a bit more than the magazines- even though Kyon thought he preferred to not use videos to jerk off because he could get caught easier. However, this doesn’t get Kyon really close to anywhere near the edge as if he isn’t really interested at what he is looking at. Kyon finds this weird.

 

Kyon stares at the pussy on the screen and imagines it was his dick fucking it, and while this idea of his dick getting pleasured by pussy excites him ( the sheer thought of any boy getting pleasured at his age would probably excite them ) it isn’t nearly enough to even get him to pre-cum as he has a half hard cock. However, things change as Kyon looks specifically at the dick on the screen. Kyon starts to get a little harder, and he starts to jerk off faster adding more techniques to his jerk style.

 

“Oh yea…”, moaning Kyon. Suddenly, the woman starts to suck the dick in the video. Kyon imagines his dick getting sucked and he lays back on the couch, and uses lotion that is situated near him to ‘lube up’. In his head, he imagines the woman is sucking his dick, but it keeps him stagnant. Usually men imagine themselves in the man’s shoes in sex scenes- pretty typical, but because this wasn’t working Kyon started to use more of his imagination. Kyon then imagined if he was in the woman’s place; himself sucking the dick, as well as himself in the man’s shoes but another man is sucking him off. Suddenly, he is rock solid.

 

“Ohhh! Ooo…”, said Kyon as he licks his lips as they quiver. However at the same time this kinda freaks out Kyon, and he feels a bit distracted by the women loudly moaning in the back. Since he stopped looking at it and could only hear it he turned off the video and the TV, and sat in the living room in darkness as he kept jerking off.

 

“Ahhgh~...” said Kyon as he started to use his mind to imagine him in the perfect scenario- him fucking someone in the ass. Kyon was an ass kinda guy in secret, and loved booty probably like the next guy. The idea of sticking his throbbing cock into a tight ass really aroused him. He started to think of a girl he was fucking, but still it didn’t work as well even when he imagined fucking girls like Mikuru, or Yuki. He then imagine it was a guy he was fucking. It started to work more as he thought, “ Ohhh, yea, I want that ”. He then looks at a textbook on the living room table and realizes he didn’t give it back to Taniguchi. He started to think of guys he knows and replaced the image with them. First it was Taniguchi- which to Kyon he wasn’t that bad looking but, had a bad personality. Kyon then thought of Kunikida- who was cute and gullible, and was very kind. Neither really hit the spot, and so Kyon started to think of Itsuki. Suddenly, the idea of Kyon fucking Itsuki was was hit the spot perfectly.

 

“Fuuuck!”, said Kyon as he started to beat faster and faster, with him starting to generate pre-cum. “Ohhh Itsuki”, he said as he buried his head into a couch pillow. He spread his legs apart and bent them placing his feet on the couch. Kyon started to visualize it clearly; Itsuki moaning, in complete ecstasy because Kyon was satisfying him, Itsuki happy and smiling, And Kyon cumming all over Itsuki. Kyon thinking this couldn’t hold back his urges any longer.

 

“Oh! Oh god! I’m about to-...”, said Kyon as he grunted unaudibly, “Oh! Uh! Ohhhhaghuhhhhh! Fuck! Ooooo! I’m cumming!”, yelled Kyon as he jerked the head of his penis and shot cum all over his abdomen, chest, and some reaching even his chin. The front of his boxers was soaked in cum. Many less powerful pumps comes soon after, and Kyon felt lifeless after he was done cumming.

 

“Oh my god… That felt so good. I haven’t jerked off that good in… Ever”, said Kyon as he wattled to the kitchen to get paper towels to clean him and the couch off. He could barely walk, but manages to throw all the towels away and make it back to his room where he laid down- taking the videos with him so his sister doesn’t see them.

 

“Fuuuck~…”, Kyon muttered as he pulls off his boxers, and throws them quickly in the wash on its own- he didn’t wanna wash his cum soaked boxers with other clothes. At this point Kyon was coming down from the afterglow and said,  “That felt very good but… Why?… Why did I cum... Thinking of Itsuki?...”, said Kyon as he pondered the thought. However, he doesn’t think much of it as he is a little scared as he never ejaculated that strongly before- let alone while thinking of his friend who is a male. Kyon just wants to savor the few minutes he will have tonight that he isn’t pressured by expectations, and did something to really help him stay sane. He then washes his hands, and grabs his phone.

 

By now at least an hour has passed, so Itsuki should be home. It’s possible he could be asleep, but Kyon wants to text Itsuki to keep his word, and so Itsuki has his number. Kyon does however feel a bit weird texting him now, but ignores his feelings and suppresses the hug he gave him tonight or his thoughts. He goes to the contact Itsuki left, and texts the number.

 

Hey, this is Kyon. This is my number. I had a nice day with you. Let’s do it more often- especially studying. Goodnight Itsuki ” - Kyon

 

Kyon sent that text to Itsuki, and then layed down. He started to recount all that he did the last 24 hours, and suddenly he got a text back from Itsuki.

 

Hey Kyon! I had a fun day with you as well, and yea we can try to regularly study together starting tomorrow if you would like- even make more sweets!. Any help I can be to you I will try what I can. And, I hope I didn’t make things awkward for you today… ” - Itsuki

 

Kyon didn’t wanna face what he had done today- with him or with himself. “ Agh, He didn’t really make me awkward… If anything I made myself awkward ”, thought Kyon. He texted back,

 

Don’t worry, it’s all good. I had fun trust me. Have a good night Itsuki ” - Kyon

 

Kyon sent the text, and prepared for bed. He fell asleep before he could see Itsuki’s reply to his text;

 

Goodnight Kyon ” - Itsuki

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Kyon and Ryoko meet up in class the next day, and Kyon was very interested to find out how the G.N.O. went. Ryoko was somewhat unwilling to divulge all that transpired, but the day went well at least to her. Seeing how Ryoko wasn’t going to budge Kyon took it upon himself to find out what happened, and ran into Mikuru as he was walking to the club room at lunch. Notably, she wasn’t with Tsuruya- whom she tells Kyon that she was finishing up classwork and chose to stay behind and not come to the club. When asked Mikuru confirmed that Haruhi brought the girls to a cafe, a shopping store, a game arcade place, and finally her house to watch movies. Haruhi offered for the girls to sleep over, but Ryoko and Yuki declined and left.  Mikuru also stated that earlier that day- while they were all occupied- Mikuru couldn’t help but peep at what Ryoko and Yuki were doing away from them, and while they were sitting together on a bench it looked like Ryoko gave Yuki something. She didn’t wanna pry, but it looked like a White Day gift, and Yuki was very delighted to receive one. Kyon thought this was very interesting, and went to Yuki to see if she will spill any beans. As Kyon arrived to the room with Mikuru they only saw Yuki inside.

 

“Hello guys”, said Yuki. Kyon and Mikuru waved at Yuki as they entered. Kyon then sat next to Yuki, and began to talk.

 

“So, I hear you and Asakura had an interesting day yesterday”, said Kyon.

 

“Yea, she gave me chocolates! I think it was thanks- or sorry- for all that she did for me and with me a month ago… It was really nice especially since I was feeling a but down on myself- b-but not anymore though. Ryoko was pep talking me alot- she always does, but yesterday, I guess I was feeling a bit unsure. Ryoko cares about our friendship greatly. And the bond we share is special- I just can’t put my finger on it… But, essentially the thought was nice, and it was a cool and cute day with her and the girls. I left because I felt weird about sleeping not in my own bed- I kinda chickened out. Ryoko followed me home to make sure I was safe I guess, but she often comes over anyways. We hugged goodbye, and we probably are gonna hang out more often so I can help her study”, said Yuki. Kyon was amazed at how similar their days were but also how different.

 

“Ah, that sounds cool”, said Kyon. Mikuru laughed a bit as she walked over.

 

“Well Kyon, how was your G.N.O. with Mr. Koizumi?”, said Mikuru as she sat down. Kyon started to blush.

 

“It was… Interesting. He basically helped me study and we ate chocolates I made”, said Kyon.

 

“Oh! That’s cute”, said Mikuru.

 

“Well, at least you had fun right?”, asked Yuki.

 

“Yea, similarly to you we might hang more to study as well”, said Kyon.

 

“Well, why not have a study date? Like a double study date or something”, offered Mikuru. Suddenly, Yuki and Kyon blushed.

 

“Uh, well we can see about that. Me and Asakura are in the same class so it would make sense, but Yuki’s teaching methods are vastly different than Itsuki’s so I feel like it wouldn’t work”, said Kyon.

 

“Yea, I am an acquired taste”, admitted Yuki. Mikuru and Kyon laugh as they could tell Yuki was trying to tell a joke. Suddenly, Yuki got alerted.

 

“Hey… You referred to him as ‘Itsuki’. I don’t think I ever recall you doing that before", said Yuki. It’s true, Kyon has gotten very familiar with Itsuki to call him by his first name- the only other person in the group he does that with is Haruhi.

 

“Yea, I just noticed too!”, said Mikuru.

 

“Huh? Yea… He kinda persuaded me to…  I kind of still prefer Koizumi, but he requested I do so. I-I still will refer to you guys properly though”, said Kyon nervously.

 

“Hehe, It’s fine Kyon”, said Yuki.

 

“Yea it’s fine. Though... Now that I think about it… I don’t think I even know if Kyon even has a last name...”, said Mikuru lost in thought.

 

“Hey, can I ask a question?”, said Kyon as the laughing died down and Mikuru continued mutter to herself, “Do you think it’s weird if two males like... Hug and like be open with each other and stuff?”, He continued. Mikuru and Yuki looked at each other, and laughed.

 

“Well, if you possess a fragile male ego it might be weird, but if girls can do it boys can too. It’s all social norms anyways… Nowadays we thrown them out the window, or at least I think it’s more preferable to not care what others do to show how they feel. You make your own standards for that type of stuff, so only you can answer that for yourself to me”, said Yuki, and Mikuru nodded in agreement.

 

“That makes sense, sorry just wanted a female perspective”, said Kyon. Kyon really started to justify all that happened while still clinging onto what he knew, but the more he did the more he had to throw it away.

 

“... If this is tied to what I saw, it is only something if you believe it’s more than what it appears to be at face value”, said Yuki surprising Kyon. This kinda made something click in him as she said this, and it kinda put more weight on the claim that what is between him and Itsuki is very very unique.

 

“Did you not think that was weird?...”, said Kyon.

 

“Why? It was an act of compassion from a gift. Everyone does so. Like I said, it’s only something if you make it something. But, even if it was something- which I mean I really don’t know- I wouldn’t mind either way Kyon”, said Yuki. This essentially was Yuki’s way of telling Kyon she is okay with the idea that he might like Itsuki, but Kyon didn’t interpret it that way. Mikuru nodded her head agreeing to all that Yuki said showing Mikuru is supportive of anything that might happen as well. Unknowingly, Kyon got support in a way he didn’t think he would.

 

It is now after school, and it’s quite hot out. Yuki, and Kyon were in the room waiting for Haruhi, Itsuki, and Ryoko to arrive. There was a bit of tension in the room for a reason based around misunderstanding. This was due to a conversation he had earlier with Ryoko about studying. Ryoko had teased Kyon about his studying habits, and his lack of motivation to pass. However, Kyon wasn’t going to let Ryoko one-up him like she isn't struggling too- she just isn’t admitting it. Kyon offered the chance for them to study together, and that maybe Ryoko could help him in areas that he needed, but she insisted Kyon not depend on her. Kyon then remembered when he mentioned to Itsuki about not really asking Yuki for help- and not really having a reason why he didn’t- and brought up asking her. However, Ryoko reacted badly to this, and insisted that was a bad idea and to not do it. Kyon didn’t really get it as Yuki helps her with her homework presumably, so Kyon thought to ask Yuki herself. Kyon was persistent about doing so, and so Ryoko grabbed his hand and insisted she actually would help so he wouldn’t have Yuki help him. Kyon didn’t understand why, but then agreed. However, as Ryoko grabbed Kyon’s hand Yuki saw, and Yuki’s face blushed due to misreading the situation. Ryoko got really flustered at the implication Yuki must be thinking and instantly unhanded Kyon.

 

“It’s not what it looks like!” Kyon remembered Ryoko said at that moment as she walked over to Yuki. Kyon didn’t see what was the issue, but in Yuki’s eyes it developed into more than it needed to me. Considering Ryoko spent all this time to get Yuki and Kyon together, and their tight bond, it was a bit of a slap in the face to Yuki for some unique reason when she saw Ryoko and Kyon holding hands and talking. In a sense, she felt betrayed- like if Ryoko secretly liked Kyon but pitied Yuki’s loneliness and tried to pair them up, and reacted by walking away. Ryoko chased after her, and Kyon was left there to ponder what was going on. Ryoko chased Yuki down to explain what really was doing on when she caught up with Yuki- feeling a bit embarrased for walking away.

 

However in that moment of Yuki feeling like Kyon had other interests something snapped in her mind- as if some of her anxiety over Kyon drifted away, and as she returned to the room with Ryoko she had a new air about her. Currently, Yuki now was better than before, and Kyon could tell that there was no hard feelings between them- which shocked him. Yuki could tell that her feelings of uncertainty and loneliness stem from different places and were internalized- but couldn’t put her finger on where and why. Nonetheless, since the quickly resolved misunderstanding was over Kyon asked Yuki to help with studying while they were alone. Yuki didn’t mind helping, but soon after Kyon gave her a problem to solve he soon realized why he never should have asked.

 

“First I made sure that I understood the problem because if I don't have my bearings you don't have your answer. So that's done, then I looked at all the variables and it was easy. That squished right, so then I tossed the lowest common denominator in. That's right, I stuck the quotient under the sum of the answer, and then massaged the digits after the decimal until it was flat. So now the part that was boingy became tightish, so the answer is 3!", said Yuki rambling. As Ryoko walked in she could tell exactly what was happening. As she is talking, Haruhi, Itsuki, and Ryoko walk in- and see Yuki going off in a tangent on math. Suddenly, Ryoko shakes her head from side-to-sie as she chuckles.

 

“Oh my, haha. I told you to not have Yuki do math. She is really good at it, but cannot explain herself to anyone it comes out like she’s speaking an alien language. I got to her for help, but it only helps so much”, said Ryoko.

 

“Ahh, so you been struggling more than me and you have been going to Nagato and keeping her smarts away from us then, haha”, said Kyon.

 

“I-I was not! I was just trying to save you the trouble unless all you want is the answer. You aren’t learning anything if you truly don’t know it or understand how to get there”, said Ryoko. This made sense to Haruhi and Itsuki- whom were smart as well, but Yuki started to feel bad.

 

“I’m sorry…”, said Yuki. Ryoko and Kyon started to feel bad. Ryoko went over and hugged her.

 

“It’s fine, you are just very unique. That’s what I like about you!”, said Ryoko endearingly. Yuki blushed as she said this. Haruhi however scoffed as she seen the homework Kyon had to do.

 

“You are struggling with something this trivial and easy ? Itsuki, didn’t we learn this like a while ago?", said Haruhi as she handed Itsuki his homework.

 

“Yup, it is Miss Suzumiya”, said Itsuki. Kyon scoffed at this.

 

“What?! Well I’m glad you both go to an elite school, please indulge us with your knowledge!”, said Kyon.

 

“I’ve came to help you more with your homework Kyon, I’m trying at least”, said Itsuki.

 

“Yea, unlike her ”, said Kyon looking ar Haruhi. She scoffed, and looked away.

 

“Itsuki has told me what he’s been doing, so I brought some of our stuff here. If you can study our material then you should be great at anything taught here”, said Haruhi as she brought out her math content. As the group looked at it they soon realized the intellectual gap between the two schools. The only one who got the content was Yuki, however she couldn’t explain it to anyone. Haruhi became very dissatisfied with helping and just sat down as they did that.

 

Haruhi then brought out some food to eat, and suddenly Itsuki realized that he had forgot his food he was going to bring. Haruhi looked to Itsuki and scoffed some more.

 

“Itsuki, you are very forgetful”, said Haruhi. Itsuki laughed.

 

“Well, looks like I forgot to pack something to eat- I didn’t eat lunch today too which sucks. I didn’t because I was busy and forgot and ran out of time”, said Itsuki. Among this Ryoko and Yuki shared that they had planned to study some more later, and so they were going to go out to eat together before going to Yuki’s house so they didn’t bring food as well. Haruhi tried all she could to get Itsuki to remember to bring it, but she can only do so much.

 

“Well, we can go out real quick and get you some food. I’ll buy, my treat”, said Kyon. Itsuki blushed.

 

“Oh, you would do that for me? Sure”, said Itsuki.

 

“Yea, we can go real quick; get like an obento from the store of something. Lets go. Guys, we’ll be right back”, said Kyon. Itsuki and Kyon then got up and prepared to leave to go get Itsuki some food. However, as they went to open the door suddenly Mikuru and Tsuruya opened it.

 

“Hey guys! I’m sorry to barge in so sudden but I was wondering if you guys could help me carry some stuff to my Calligraphy Club real quick, and then I can chill with you guys. It’s just boxes of pens and paper- nothing too crazy”, said Tsuruya. Tsuruya- when she isn’t hanging with Mikuru at the Literary Club- is also in another club which prevents her from often going to this club ( also, Mikuru meet the group through Kyon while attending Calligraphy Club ). Ryoko and Yuki had time before they wanted to leave, and Haruhi thought that seeing another club was fun they decided to help while Kyon and Itsuki left real quick to get something for Itsuki to eat. The group then split.

 

Kyon and Itsuki went out to find an obento for Itsuki- which would have an assortment of things for him to snack on. They went to get a pre-made obento out at a food store, and Kyon told Itsuki to pick one he wanted and he would buy it. Itsuki felt very special since Kyon was buying him food. Itsuki went to pick one he wanted, and Kyon leaned over his shoulder.

 

“Is that the one that you want?”, said Kyon.

 

“Yea, is it alright?”, said Itsuki

 

“Get what you want, anything is fine with me”, said Kyon. Itsuki thought about it hard, and made a choice.

 

“... What if what I want cannot be bought?”, said Itsuki. Kyon became puzzled.

 

“Huh?”, said Kyon. Itsuki blushed.

 

“Never mind, I want this one”, said Itsuki as he picked up one of the obento.

 

“Well, okay. I’ll go pay for it. Go get us something to drink and meet me up front”, said Kyon. Itsuki went to the back of the store to get drinks for him and Kyon, and went to meet Kyon up front to pay. Kyon payed for it all, and then they left and headed back to the club room.

 

As they got back they were the only ones there- Haruhi and the others still must be helping Tsuruya move stuff. Kyon has no idea where the club is- nor does Itsuki- so they decide to wait for them to come back, and eat the food. Kyon sat on one side of the table, and Itsuki sat on the other side. Kyon opened up his drink and started to drink it, while Itsuki started to eat his food.

 

“You know, you should try to be less forgetful about trivial things like eating Itsuki. It’s best for a student to be well nourished”, said Kyon.

 

“Thank you for looking out for me, and you are right. I should be more on top of that type of stuff.  But if we are picking straws Kyon you are fairly oblivious to things right in front of you. Maybe it would help you to be more extra sensory to your surroundings”, said Itsuki attempting to kinda convey his slight annoyance to Kyon’s personality.

 

“Hmm, yea, I can see that. Sorry, I am in my head a lot about stuff, and a lot of things don’t make sense to me. Everything is a process, and I’m trying my best to understand all that I can and make the best decisions”, said Kyon. Itsuki smiled a bit.

 

“I know, it’s all a process. Maybe we can help each other”, said Itsuki.

 

“Itsuki, I think you help me well enough you don’t need to be there for everything you know”, said Kyon.

 

“... But what if I want to be? It’s the least a friend should want, and if you care deeply you will be moved to do things you never have done before”, said Itsuki.

 

“Hmm… I guess you have a point. I’m not used to people always being so nice to me. Thank you. I’ll try to be more inviting”, said Kyon. Suddenly, Kyon’s stomach rumbled. Itsuki could tell easily Kyon was actually hungry, and watching him eat.

 

“Kyon, here. Have some of mine”, said Itsuki. Kyon blushed.

 

“N-No! It’s your food I shouldn’t eat it”, said Kyon.

 

“Kyon, you are hungry and you bought it for me. Here, say ‘ahhh’!”, said Itsuki as he tries to mouth feed Kyon. Kyon started to blush as he does this even more.

 

“W-Well… Do you have to do that? I can eat myself I’m not a baby…”, said Kyon. However Itsuki didn’t stop.

 

“Come on it’ll be quick and yummy, ‘Ahh’!”, said Itsuki as Kyon hesitated but then opened his mouth to eat Itsuki’s food. They looked each other in the eyes- Itsuki smiling and endearing, and Kyon nervous and taken over by Itsuki’s affection- as Kyon leaned in as Itsuki feed him. As this happened the door opens, and Ryoko sees this happen. Kyon and Itsuki instantly look to the door, and realized the situation they were in. Ryoko gasped- like she just walked in on two men naked- and proceeded to close the door.

 

“Sorry for interrupting”, said Ryoko, but Itsuki rushed to the door to stop her.

 

“I-I can explain Miss Asakura It’s not what it looks like”, said Itsuki. However, Ryoko had a bit of an annoyed, jealous, look on her face. She rolled her eyes, and looks away. Suddenly, Itsuki ran off- as if he felt Ryoko judging him for some reason.

 

“I-Itsuki! Wait!”, yelled Kyon as he tried to run out the door for him. Kyon grunted.

 

“Why did you look at him like that??”, said Kyon. Ryoko sighed.

 

“...Why is it so easy for you with everything but I am having all the trouble getting to where I want?...”, said Ryoko. Kyon suddenly got confused.

 

“Huh? W-What are you talking about Asakura. All we were doing was eating, and he knew I was hungry and gave me some”, said Kyon. Ryoko stayed cold and annoyed. Kyon thought, “ Is this what he meant by me being oblivious to things around me? But, I don’t get it! ”.

 

“Forget it, I’m sorry”, said Ryoko as she started to walk away. She then continued, “I came back to see if you guys were back as Miss Suzumiya wanted Itsuki to see the room. That’s all”. Kyon then tried to run after Itsuki, and Ryoko walked the other way.

 

Unbeknownst to Kyon, Ryoko began to harbor great jealousy over Kyon’s growing relationship with Itsuki compared to how she has been trying to come onto Yuki. Ryoko has a hunch Itsuki might like Kyon, and this moment solidified it for her. It also annoys her how oblivious but all accepting Kyon is and compares it to Yuki as she is similar in regards to her oblivious tendencies. However, Ryoko fears she is being friendzoned of some sort. As Ryoko makes it back to the room the rest of the group is in she explains how she ran into them, however Itsuki had ran off and Kyon followed him. Haruhi got concerned as did the rest, and she attempted to call him but instantly got a feeling that she shouldn’t. Ryoko then pulled Yuki aside, and then told her in detail of what she saw.

 

Yuki was shocked at how this aligned similarly with when she walked in on them, and shared that with Ryoko. Ryoko and Yuki then came to conclusion they both must be somehow involved in some way, but neither should pry. Haruhi could tell from across the room that Yuki and Ryoko must be starting to piece together the narrative that she already knows, but doesn’t really think it’s a problem- she just doesn’t know what will become of it and worries for Itsuki.

 

Kyon looked everywhere for Itsuki, but theorized that he had left campus. He tried to call him, but he didn’t pick up. Kyon decided that he was going to wait a bit, and text later- much like Haruhi thought. Kyon tried to meet up with the rest of the gang, but by time he returned to the club room it was just Yuki- Ryoko had went home, and Yuki was waiting for Kyon to get his things.

 

“Is everything alright with Koizumi?”, said Yuki.

 

“Honestly, I don’t know. I have to find out. Sorry for making you wait I was looking everywhere for him. But I’ll see you later, okay? I'll let you guys know if everything’s alright”, said Kyon as he hurried home.

 

“Okay, see ya’”, said Yuki as she waved bye to Kyon. Yuki then started to think about Itsuki’s mental state, and also how Ryoko has been acting lately. Yuki almost feels like no one around them really knows what to do. She thinks back to the voice in her head telling her to allow it to put her on the right path of some sort; perhaps Yuki or others haven’t been approaching things in the intended ways. But, maybe because they haven’t things are going in a new direction and everyone is reacting and changing to it. Yuki pondered this- if this was good or wrong-, and began to get her things and leave. Suddenly, she got another pulsing headache and heard the voice she once did once more; the room started to change and get digitized and weird all around her again.

 

He is lost as a result of you not saving him. Allow me to correct the path

 

Yuki heard this and started to groan in pain, and fell to the ground. “Stop!”, yelled Yuki to stop the sensation, but this time it kept going. Yuki continued,  “I don’t know what you mean! Please! I just want everyone to be happy with what they truly want, and it takes time to do that!”.

 

That factor is redundant when possessing the means to ascertain the conviction desired. The schism is worsening. There is little time to correct the path intended for you

 

The voice continued to haunt Yuki’s brain. She was deeply scared, and felt like a presence was trying to overcome her. “No! I intend my own path!” Yuki declared as she stood up, “The only thing getting worse are my headaches, so stop! If something needs to be forcibly changed to get what you want, well, maybe it’s not to be!!”, said Yuki. Suddenly, the haunting dark feeling over Yuki stopped, and Yuki fell to the ground. As she got up she could feel her spine getting untensed, and her neck becoming more free. She then quickly grabbed her stuff and left- thinking the room was haunted whenever she was the only one in it. Yuki attempted to text Ryoko about what had happened, but felt like she- and anyone else she would mention this too- would think she is just as crazy as Haruhi comes off when she talks about aliens, time travelers, and espers. So, she kept it to herself as she felt fine- like nothing had happened- afterward.

 

Later that night, Kyon is home, and is still worried about Itsuki. He waited a while after returning home to think to text him, and he feels like right now is the time. Kyon felt a tension forming from his thoughts about Itsuki- his feelings, and his building attraction to him-, so to destress and attack this situation with a clear mind Kyon thought it might be good to jerk off so he has a level head. Kyon, since White Day, has been jerking off a bit more than usual; almost each time is a result of him thinking of Itsuki, but Kyon still isn’t sure of the real cause or why he wants to more now. He does know it’s been helping with his stress, and after a long day it’s all he looks forward to sometimes. Kyon thought maybe those ‘feelings’ would go away kept doing it as well, but it hasn’t. He goes into his room, takes off his pants and shirt, and starts to jerk off in the dark.

 

Slight moans and heavy breathes escape Kyon’s mouth as he tends to himself delicately, but passionately. However, all Kyon can think of is his day with Itsuki; how happy Itsuki was when he bought him food, and how it made him feel. Itsuki feeding him food- something no one’s ever done like that. Kyon thought it was all interesting, but for some reason itsuki is ashamed of it or something along those lines to run off. Kyon was somewhat annoyed Itsuki would be annoyed about anyone knowing their feelings, and that annoyance he took out on his dick. Kyon felt Itsuki was in stress, and wondered if Itsuki masterbated like he does when he is stressed; he even wondered if Itsuki thought of him like he does of Itsuki. These thoughts swell up in Kyon, and release in the form of a cumshot across Kyon’s chest.

 

“Agghugh!~”, moaned Kyon, fulyl relieving his body. Kyon had a slight spasm in his body as more less powerful shots came out, and as he laid his head down he stared at the ceiling with a clear mind. Minutes later he got up, cleaned himself off, changed underwear, and layed back down on his bed and prepared to text Itsuki. Kyon then texted,

 

Hey, I’m sorry if I did something that caused you to be in a situation like that. Or better yet, I’m sorry I couldn’t be better help for whatever you were feeling. You might not want to talk, but I am concerned about you right now. Please text back - Kyon ” - Kyon

 

Kyon sent that, and waited a couple of minutes. Suddenly, he got a notification from Itsuki- it was a text.

 

Kyon, none of that was your fault- it was all just a lot for me. I’m sorry I might have overreacted in the heat of the moment. ” - Itsuki

 

Kyon kinda felt bad that Itsuki feels guilty for what happened; mostly because he didn’t understand why he would need to be. Kyon texted back.

 

Well, I had a nice time with you today Itsuki. I don’t really get why it’s all a big deal with anyone but just don’t worry about it anymore. And don’t worry about paying me back or anything, just make sure you eat ” - Kyon

 

Not before long, Kyon received a text response from Itsukii. Kyon read Itsuki's next response as his heart started to beat slightly faster.

 

I had a real nice time with you, Kyon. I’ve been enjoying our times together. I appreciate you checking up on me and all that as well and it makes me feel good, but it’s a bit different for me than it is you that’s why I reacted ” - Itsuki

 

Kyon felt very flustered but also confused after reading that. He started to blush, and he laid his head back on his bed and sighed as the ‘feelings’ in him didn’t subside after he jacked off. He then rolled over on his stomach and texted back.

 

What do you mean Itsuki? What’s going on with you?” - Kyon

 

Itsuki felt a shock go through his body as he read this, and struggled to not type too much too soon about his feelings. But, he also felt like if he wants to better his relationship with Kyon he needs to be honest about himself first- especially since Kyon is somewhat clueless to things. He felt like after this moment that it’s getting to a point for him where it’s affecting him more that he is bottling up his feelings. Even if Kyon rejects him it’s more healthier to make steps to get what he feels out than never try- especially when Itsuki has the impression there might be something there. Itsuki decided to take a bold move right now after thinking of all the support he has gotten from Haruhi. Itsuki took a deep breath in, and texted Kyon back.

 

Kyon, there is something that I been wanting to tell you and other members in the group for awhile because of how much you guys mean to me, but also that it is killing me the more that I keep this in. And I trust you to finally tell you that... I am gay ” - Itsuki

 

He finally did it, and this time over text. He felt more assured than he did when talking with Haruhi since last time he felt the need to do it over phone. Itsuki believed the text version is something that could linger on after it is sent, and wanted Kyon to really ponder what he is saying and not react immediately. Itsuki sent that also thinking Kyon might not text back right away, but he probably will out of anxiety.

 

“Oh my god”, said Kyon as he read the text. Seeing those words reassured a lot of things Kyon had been battling with for so long about this situation. Specifically, that the things that were happening between them have a greater chance of not just being done by two platonic straight friends, and that there was a bit more to it- on both sides even. Timewise they haven’t known each other for a whole lot, but for the past few months of spending almost every day together you bond. The idea of Itsuki liking men, and potentially liking him, opened up a door of some sort in the back of Kyon’s conscious; a door that Kyon didn’t even know was there.

 

When Kyon went to see what was through this door it was there he found these ‘weird’ feelings that came up because of Itsuki’s contact with him, but also these feelings when they have ever popped up through his life that Kyon buried away or paid little attention to.  It’s a lot to think that someone’s openness can have such an impact on another, but to Kyon it was what was needed for him to realize that maybe he could identify similarly. Sometimes you don’t have the words to describe yourself until you see someone else close to you use them. In a way, this was what was in Kyon’s mind. However, this still weirded and quite possibly scared Kyon. Nonetheless, he felt a surge of compassion that Itsuki told him. He texted back;

 

I’m really glad you felt comfortable enough to tell me that, and rest assured that I think of you no different than before. I’m thankful I never got the habit of talking about girls all the time from my stupid friends- and by that I mean Taniguchi- so that I didn’t put you in a situation where you felt like you needed to ‘straighten’ up for me. I want you to be as open and comfortable around me as you should be, and I hope you can be with anyone else. But I understand your hesitation ” - Kyon

 

I think of you no different ”, “ I want you to be as open and comfortable around me ”.  These phrases stick out to Itsuki. But just how did Kyon think of Itsuki prior? And does Kyon feel as open and whatnot with him? Itsuki did need to get this off his chest, but it was also in an attempt that Kyon would reciprocate something; not really a reason to go ahead and do so, but it was his. All he wanted to do is text, “ And I also like you, Kyon ”, but he already let out a huge load, and didn’t wanna go through the anxiety of waiting for the response. Itsuki replied.

 

Thank you Kyon it means the world to have your support, and I have had to ‘straighten’ up plenty of times, so even if you did I probably would have forgotten about it. I’m just glad that you still feel as close to me as before, and hopefully our kinship can grow. This is a huge weight off my shoulders.  I’m gonna get some sleep. I’ll talk to you tomorrow okay? Goodnight Kyon; I hope you get a good night’s sleep ” - Itsuki

 

As Kyon read Itsuki's response, he couldn't help but blush; truthfully, he was happy that Itsuki found solace in confiding to him- much like he has been doing subtly for awhile. It made Kyon happy to know he was happy in a sense. Kyon pondered how long Itsuki has been dealing with this issue of telling people he was gay. Gayness really isn’t something on the forefront of people’s conversations at North High, and there really isn’t many ‘out’ gay people; It’s sorta taboo. And especially knowing the nature of high school boys most aren’t even mature enough to have that conversation, so Kyon never really thought about it or what it meant to him. There’s not really any clubs or organized things for people who were gay at the school either- or if there was Kyon wasn’t looking hard enough. Gay, and all that is tied to it is something akin to foreign land to Kyon, and it all was a lot to take in. Kyon thought it was best to not 21 questions Itsuki about mainly things that he is wondering about- not in particular his circumstances but his own issues bounced off of Itsuki- and texted back.

 

I will. Goodnight Itsuki ” - Kyon

 

Kyon texted him goodnight for the second time in a row, and they spend a considerable amount of time together the whole time as well. Kyon reflects on this, puts his phone on lock, and sets it besides him. Kyon rubs his face and face first lays into his bed stretching out the back of his neck releasing tension. He sighs, and then attempts to sleep...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

After Itsuki came out to Kyon, Kyon has been thinking more about his own sexuality, as well as  his sexual behavior over the past few days; puberty, and the human’s curiosity often get the better of Kyon as of late which leads to nights fornicating to his own enjoyment. Kyon understands the desires of man, and what he feels in his heart to be true- for the most part. He knows that essentially he wants sex of some nature to one day befall upon him- despite never having it- but can’t seem to put his finger on why or how. Kyon also ponders the fact that up until recently he’s been less into it, and knows know that he has feelings he needs to release. Perhaps Kyon is lonely, or just stressed. Maybe after all the love being in the air it’s finally getting to him; the ‘Lonely Taniguchi Syndrome’ as Kyon jokingly calls it.

 

Though not medically recognized or diagnosable in any way shape or form typically the symptoms are: male sexual frustration, bitterness, inferiority, ecstasy, too many web searches to porn sites, keeping tissues next to your bed and/or computer desk unnecessarily, Excessive mentioning/nagging about people you secretly want to bang, and on rare cases- minute Carpal Tunnel on the dominate stroking hand. Kyon prays that he doesn’t develop this sickness and venture to explore more into this phenomenon he sees himself in; as if he is his own Medical Doctor on a journey to discover a new illness within himself.

 

At school, Kyon has finally taken his math test and, with help from Itsuki from their past study sessions, it helps him pass the test when he finds out his score the following day. Kyon is excited to see this, and plans to give him a giant hug the next time they see each other. As the day goes on Kyon starts to look at the men in school different; noticing that it isn’t just Itsuki’s booty that reminds him of various desserts and/or snacks, but a lot of men at school have nice behinds. Kyon started to look at Taniguchi and Kunikida similarly, with Kyon actually thinking Taniguchi isn’t as “repulsive” as he once thought- or better yet, Kyon repressed how good looking Taniguchi actually was.

 

Thinking more, Kyon thought Kunikida is fairly cute as well- compared to other men at school. Kyon even thought their homeroom teacher Okabe-Sensei wasn’t so bad looking either. He started to notice things that usually you would pay attention in girls- the things Taniguchi won’t shut up about- like their chest, waistline, hips, legs, cheeks, how they walk, how they talk, etc. Kyon started to pay more attention to these things from everyone around him, and it somewhat aroused him. However, Kyon shook his head shaking away the feeling and thought in his head, and adjusted his penis inside of his pants as it started to chub.

 

“Oh my god, why and I getting a dirty mind now all of the sudden? I didn’t have these before…”, said Kyon to himself as he laid his head into his hands with his elbows on his desk.

 

“What’s wrong, Kyon?”, said Taniguchi walking up to Kyons desk with Kunikida. At this point, class is just about over and it’s time for lunch, and students are free to roam around as they please.

 

“Oh, nothing. Just thinking about stuff that isn’t important. What’s up? You wanna hang at lunch or something?”, said Kyon. Taniguchi shook his head “no”.

 

“Nah, I uh… Actually have to go see an administrator about my test grades; I didn’t do too well I guess… Hehe...”, said Taniguchi rubbing his head.

 

“Taniguchi! We could have studied if I known you were struggling that much”, said Kyon.

 

“Well, you were struggling too Kyon- more than I looked like I was. So, yea I stuck with Kunikida”, said Taniguchi.

 

“Well, how did you do Kunikida?”, said Kyon.

 

“I managed to pass, but not by a lot. I felt bad since I was helping Taniguchi but he only failed by a few points. But because of his past grades it’s a bit of a concern”, said Kunikida.

 

“Yea yea yea, okay. I’m about to get my ass fucked by the administration in a few minutes can we not pregame me right now??”, said Taniguchi. Kyon and Kunikida laughed.

 

“Well, what did you wanna say?”, said Kyon.

 

“Oh right!”, said Taniguchi as he looks side-to-side to see if anyone was near enough to hear them, or if anyone was paying attention to what they were saying, “Well, I wanted to mention that I got some new items for my stash. You remember the stash right? I think you are still borrowing some of my material by the way. Anyways, I’m super stoked because I have been waiting for awhile for this shit. I got it like, imported from across the country or whatever. It’s American porn! I was gonna try it out tonight, and wanted to get the boys together for a little ‘viewing party’ if you know what I mean since it’s the end of the school week”. Kyon was a little shocked and thought to himself, “ He got his hands on American porn? Dang… Guess the North High X-Rated King stands by his title consistently ever so proving why he’s just that ... ”.

 

“Hm… The boys? I mean how many people did you want at your house? How many can you??”, said Kyon.

 

“Just the essentials and lucky ones who can come. But really, just you Kunikida and I; kinda like old times”, said Taniguchi. It is true that the three not to long ago would often have sleepovers at Taniguchi’s house specifically so they can marvel at his stash. Kyon had always wondered how he could not only afford all that he gets in his stash, but how he keeps all it secret. It was rumored that it’s really just his father’s and that he either sneaks them making him think he lost it, or he just claims his father’s stash as his own- honestly either way it’s his stash when he has readied access to it for the rest of the boys. It could also be that his father ( and possibly mother as well, but probably not a chance ) understand Taniguchi’s urges and supports them by giving him a healthy way to air it out. Either way, Kyon and Kunikida both took advantage of this growing up.

 

“Well, it’s funny that you mention this because… Well, Recently I have been watching porn more often… Among other things...”, said Kyon. Taniguchi and Kunikida chuckled to themselves.

 

“Hey! Well then we can kill two birds with one… Nut so to speak. You can watch my new awesome content- never before seen by anyone at North High! And we can have a little wanky panky night like we used to. I mean, we are all bros and we’ve done a lot together so let's go into this new endeavor of video holiness together shall we?!”, said Taniguchi. Kyon reluctantly agrees to relive his younger years in hopes to recapture how he used to feel when he would jerk off to female porn; maybe this was a way to re-spark his want for it by doing what he did when he somewhat started. Or, it could be the answer for him to finally know he needs to stop what he is doing and go about it another way. Either way, It was essential for Kyon to see this syndrome out in anyway possible.

 

The day turned to evening, and by then Kyon had said goodbye to the club members, and told Itsuki he will chat with him later. When inquiring about his plans Kyon told them that he was having somewhat of a G.N.O. of his own with Taniguchi and Kunikida like old times, and it was per request of Taniguchi. Kyon hoped that Itsuki didn’t feel left out, but he understood since he isn’t really familiar with Taniguchi or Kunikida and didn’t wanna make things uneasy for himself if he were able to go anyways. With that, Kyon headed home to gather a few things like Taniguchi’s videos, and headed over to Taniguchi’s house; When Kyon stopped at home he noticed his sister was talking to their parents about something, but ignored it. When he got there it started to feel like they were younger boys sleeping over and having normal fun without the worry of incoming adulthood problems. Taniguchi greeted Kyon wholeheartedly, and showed him to the kitchen where Kunikida was waiting. It was only them three, and was probably only gonna be them for the rest of the night.

 

They did normal boy stuff; play games, chat about school life- that one teacher that grilled them too hard in class down to that cute girl in the frilly skirt-, confide in deep- but not so deep- conversations about what has been on their mental as of late. Kyon felt very comfortable around Taniguchi and Kunikida, but there was feelings he felt that even he didn’t know how to express. Kyon would wanna talk about his little ‘issue’ with Itsuki with them, but that was a bad idea for many reasons. Kyon thought, “ Well, I can’t just mention gay stuff to them because I am not entirely sure how they will react- well... Kunikida probably would be cool with anything, it’s mainly Taniguchi. The idiot just oozes hypermasculinity unrealized. Ugh… But he is a good kid, just not a topic I’m not sure I wanna touch mainly for my own sake and Itsuki’s- don’t wanna like ‘out’ him either… That’s how it works right? ”. Kyon wandered off in his memory too long that Taniguchi scored a goal in the game they were playing.

 

“Kyon, get your head outta your ass! If you are thinking of the videos I will play them later, it’s not the right time, you know?”, said Taniguchi. Kyon scoffed.

 

“No, that’s not it”, said Kyon.

 

“Hm, anything on your mind you wanna talk about Kyon? I mean we were just talking about my issues a bit ago”, said Kunikida; Kunikida himself has been having insecurities about himself pertaining girls as well as his academic future that correlates to his anxiety brought onto him by his parents. This is not a foreign concept to the boys, so it was something they all could lament about, but also find solace in that they all get each other. Kyon understood well what Kunikida was implying- that Kyon should open up if need be- and sighed.

 

“Well.. If it’s anything I feel like I’m getting lost in all the new discoveries I am making, and I’m scared on just what to do is all. Don’t worry, spending time with you guys- reconnecting to feelings and memories- is somewhat calming my restless mind”, said Kyon. Hearing that Taniguchi and Kunikida smiled.

 

As it got closer to midnight for the boys it came time for Taniguchi to whip out the new items for the stash, and so they all huddled into Taniguchi’s room around his flat screen TV, and they all laid on bean bag chairs on the ground. The air was filled with what it would be filled with considering 3 boys were about to watch scandalous women person god knows what in front of them; angst, lust, sweat, and nervous but innocent laughter. Taniguchi sat in the middle, while Kunikida was on his right and Kyon on his left. They all faced the TV ready for what was to happen, but also anticipating getting naked and vulnerable around each other. Sure, this was fine and a ‘guy thing’ to do, but teenage angst and insecurity made them nervous. “ What if he is bigger? ”, “ I have to make sure no eyes are wondering ”, “ Is this okay to be doing with two other dudes? ”. These were thoughts that were going through their heads, but as Taniguchi put in the porn they just relaxed, and made small commentary on what they saw.

At this point, their clothes were still on, but chubs were sure to form as the action got more intense on screen. The volume was up, but not loud enough to alert anyone that could possibly hear in on what was happening. It was always a hurdle to cross on who or how to initiate the point where it was okay to take off your clothes to get into a jerking position.

 

“Listen y’all, this is getting me really hot and bothered. I’m just gonna do it first to break the tension”, said Taniguchi as he raises his body to unzip his pants and pulls them a bit under his butt revealing his blue and orange basketball-themed boxers. He then grabs his dick out and sits comfortably in his chair. Kyon made extra caution to not really peak at Kunikida or Taniguchi- or at least that was his intention- but seeing Taniguchi move around to reveal his junk Kyon just happened to glance over. Harmless really as he wasn’t really ‘hard’. But him seeing Taniguchi do it broke the tension, and so Kyon and Kunikida followed suit.

 

Underneath the moaning and clapping of the porn recording heard are faint breaths, body contortions, and skin rubbing together from the 3 guys. At this time it was getting more intimate in the room- and hot, so Kyon had taken off his pants and had one pant leg still wrapped around his left foot as he sat here shirtless. Kyon felt a bit uneasy- similar to the last time he tried to jerk to porn, but this time it was different. There was men in the room with him, and whether it was the naughty secrecy of the situation turning him on, or the fact it was men jerking off next to him he was weirdly more into it all. Kyon turned his head slightly unintentionally to look over at Taniguchi, and saw him looking at Kyon’s dick. They glanced at each other and soon looked back. Kyon didn’t see his dick, but he was obvious they both knew Taniguchi looked at his dick. Now, this means nothing in reality; men look at other men’s dicks in bathroom stalls all the time unintentionally- or subconsciously- who are straight. It’s a thing that is kinda unspoken but does happen for many reasons; ‘curiosity killed the cat’ as they say they say.

 

“M-My bad”, said Taniguchi. Oddly enough Kyon thought not acknowledging it would of been less weird than doing so.

 

“It’s nothing”, said Kyon.  Kyon didn’t really mind, but now Kyon is wondering what Taniguchi is packing himself. It’s not like he is out seeing how big his friends’ dicks are on a  regular. But, Kyon wants to assume that close male straight friends all know how big their friends’ dicks are and have seen them, but who really knows what will happen when you really are that bored. I mean, at that moment Taniguchi already looked at Kyon’s dick so why not him?

 

It wouldn’t hurt to just peak… ”, Kyon thought as he did this. Taniguchi was holding his dick with his right hand, and unaware of Kyon looking. It was then he started analyzing the differences of his penis compared to his own; whether it was bigger, wider, veiny, well kempt. Taniguchi looked to use a bit of spit as ‘lube’, so every so often he would spit on his jerk hand, and go back to town. Watching Taniguchi do this turned on Kyon very much, and Kyon was very thrown off by this. He couldn't take his eyes off of it. Suddenly, Kunikida leaned forward a bit to coincidentally look at Taniguchi’s dicka s well, and saw Kyon doing the same. They noticed each other and Kyon freaked.

 

“Heh, I guess we both were wondering the same thing huh Kyon?”, said Kunikida.

 

“Huh? What?”, said an oblivious Taniguchi.

 

“I was just curious what size you were Taniguchi; N-not that I was staring for a long time though. Though, I can’t say the same about Kyon”, said Kunikida giggling.

 

“Hey!”, said Kyon. Taniguchi laughed.

 

“Hey, it’s fine. I kinda peaked at Kyon earlier… And, I think I am like around above average… I don’t really measure… Haven’t had a girl really ask to need to measure I just do it for my own sanity. But I wish... Oh, sometimes I just dream of a girl just being mesmerized by my little ‘guchi and drooling and sucking on my cock; oh that would feel great!”, said Taniguchi.

 

“Well I guess keep dreaming, try hard”, said Kyon.

 

“Agh, says the one that hangs around a bunch of girls!”, said Taniguchi. He continues, “And, I think we all might be around the same size… What do you think Kyon?”. Kyon got flustered.

 

“I Uh… Well, when I get a good look at it…”, said Kyon as he looks hard at Taniguchi’s dick. Unknown to Taniguchi, Kyon was getting really horny and hard from doing this, and if it wasn’t for the fact that he was already hard Taniguchi would of been alerted. Kyon continued, “You might be bigger than me… I don’t know”.

 

“Ha! Well, I for sure like being told I am bigger than another man by anyone!”, said Taniguchi laughing in his self-righteousness. Kyon scoffed, but laughed it off.

 

“Hmm… Well since we all are wondering who really has the best egg roll in town let’s have a little contest!”, said Taniguchi.

“W-What?”, said Kyon who thinks this doesn’t sound good at all.


“Well, let’s have a measuring contest, and loser has to get spanked by the winner!” said Taniguchi. “ Spanked?? ”, thought Kyon.

 

“Are you trying to get me roped into your fetishes with women or something?”, said Kyon. Kunikida.

 

“Awe, Kyon are you afraid of being the loser?”, said Kunikida. Now him trying to poke fun and showing his confidence in winning somewhat turns on and scared Kyon.

 

“Lemme guess, loser has the smallest dick right? Isn’t that kinda emasculating?”, said Kyon.

 

“Come on, I mean I think we already determined all our dicks are around the same size, and not small if they are anywhere as big as mine . But one of us realistically is the smallest amongst us- not really meaning any of us are small, you know?”, said Taniguchi. For once, something he said actually made some sense.

 

“You should of used that brain to pass your math test. The teach should of put dick measuring questions on the test”, said Kyon. Kunikida laughed and Taniguchi grunted.

 

“Just shut up, stand up, and stay hard. Imma go find a ruler”, said Taniguchi.

 

He went to go find a school ruler, and he had the 2 gather around him- the porn still played to help keep the mood- and they all huddled while Taniguchi passed the ruler along to them to measure. Each of them could easily see the other’s dick, and Kyon was very overwhelmed; from the pornstar dick on screen to the two dicks in front of him it was a lot that he was nothing but hard- Taniguchi didn’t have to worry about that one bit from him. Taniguchi measured himself, then Kunikida, and then lastly Kyon. Kyon made sure Taniguchi wasn’t choosing a number that isn't accurate, and tried to measure himself as best as possible- even though he also never really does this. Surprisingly, Taniguchi came out on top, and Kunikida was the loser. Surprised, Taniguchi thought, “ Damn! Well if my dick is bigger than fuckin’ Kyon’s why does he have all the women after him and I don’t!? Big dicks should ensure lots of women! ”.

 

Kunikida wasn’t too sad to find this out as while his was the shortest by their standards he also had the widest. Kyon was just in the middle, and he was fine with that. With that Taniguchi had Kunikida bend over. Kyon admired Kunikida’s bare ass- something he has never seen- and was turned on more by seeing a nice bare vanilla ass from another male up close.

 

“Damn Kunikida, do you shave your ass? It’s hairless!”, said Taniguchi as he prepared to spank him.

 

“I just don’t grow much hair... My hole is a bit, but I think that’s it- H-Hey! stop staring and do it already!”, said Kunikida nervously. Taniguchi slapped. “Ahh!”, Kunikida shrieked. A bit loud- but it sounded somewhat like a cat so hopefully Taniguchi’s parents won’t be alarmed.

 

After this debacle the trio returned to their regular jerking off, but soon after the boys were giggling from teen boy angst; they all seemed to somewhat enjoy the shenanigans they partook in, so they all kinda wanted to do more than just sit there. They all wanted it to be interesting for their own reasons, so Taniguchi came up with another idea; a “Reverse-jerk off contest” in his words. Basically, they jerk off nonstop and the first one to cum loses. The winner will be the man with the iron balls, and the loser will show their horniness. Kunikida and Kyon were into the idea- Kyon partly because he believed that he would last the longest- but the question then became what will the loser do? When questioned, it was clear Taniguchi wanted to raise the stakes.

 

“Well… Since the Winner would have to be the one that tries their best to not cum I think the loser should help them ‘ finish’ ”, said Taniguchi. Kyon got instantly red-faced from blushing. “ ‘Finishing?! That means doing something to make them cum! I hope he means just jerking off because… ‘Cause… ”, thought Kyon.

 

“Uh…”, said Kyon out loud.

 

“If you are too chicken to do the loser dare then you can be chicken. Or what? Are you so into this video that you will cum in two seconds? I am the king of North High porn, so I will obviously win! Or what, you turned on by us?”, said Taniguchi. His last comments flustered Kyon even more.

 

“What?! N-No!”, said Kyon. “And plus… You are WAY too confident in yourself”, he continued.

 

“Ha! Well if that is the case, then try and beat me!”, said Taniguchi. Kunikida was into the idea, and believed because he doesn’t really jerk off or cum for that matter he would do fine as well. As this proceeded it kept going  for a couple minutes, and everyone was going strong… Except for Kyon. In fact, he practically had to blue ball himself the entire time to keep going. Kyon had to many influences in the room that were completely turning him on- and having two other men moaning and jerk off next to him was a lot to handle.

 

“Fuck…”, said Taniguchi. Kyon heard this faintly and it turned him on greatly hearing another man making those sounds so close to his ear was a sexual trigger for Kyon.

 

“Are... You about to bust?”, said Kyon. Taniguchi moaned and tilted his head up to the ceiling.

 

“S-Shut up… You are breathing harder than me…”, said Taniguchi. He was right, as Kyon blushed and tried to not stop when that’s all he wanted to do. Kyon tried to slow down his strokes and take breaks, but Kunikida made sure that no one was cheating; he was easily doing the best out of the three. Just when Taniguchi thought he was gonna break Kyon grunted loudly.

 

“F-Fuck… I… I can’t hold it any longer… Shit I am about to-”, said Kyon as he cam intensely all over himself and Taniguchi’s bean bag chair.

 

“Bro! Not on the chair try to aim away from the chair!”, said Taniguchi.

 

“Shit… Sorry, Ugh! Fuuuuck”, said Kyon readjusting from the release.

 

“Well, looks like we have our loser”, said Kunikida completely confident that he will still win. However, the testosterone and adrenaline filling the room unknowingly made all of them more aggressive, so Kunikinda underestimatd how horny he was because he didn’t notice he was pre-cumming.

 

“Well Kyon- Uh!. Looks like one of us will be getting a freebie by you- fuck. Just sit tight”, said Taniguchi as he tried to not cum. Kunikida and Taniguchi continued, but it was a close call who would fall first. Kyon got up, took his pant off his foot, and went and got some tissues to clean up his mess, and tried to clean up the cum that fell on Taniguchi’s chair so it didn’t go deep into it. However, soon after Kyon cam soon did Kunikida.

 

“Ahhh!” said Kunikida in a girlish shriek. Surprised, Kyon gasped and chuckled a bit.

 

“I thought you were gonna last the longest because Taniguchi is such a perv”, said Kyon.

 

“M-Me too…” said Kunikida. Taniguchi stopped jerking, and cheered.

 

“Yes! I won! Well... Now that I think about it I don’t know if that’s a good thing for my manhood… But a win is a win! Ahh!”, said Taniguchi as his balls started to sting. “Fuck! I think I am starting to get blue balls or something! I am like reeeeally close to cumming. K-Kyon, hey can you hurry up? Sorry…”, said Taniguchi. Kyon got flustered.

 

“Wait, n-now?”, said Kyon.

 

“Come on! Don’t chicken out now you went through with this 100%. This hurts me more waiting than you jerking me off… This will be just between us- NOTHING leaves this room ok??”, said Taniguchi. In the back of Kyon’s mind he thought, “ Perhaps he doesn’t want other people to know he took a long time to cum; I mean, with men when it comes to jerking off, you base it on quickness, but with sex it’s how long you last. Weirdly, you have to be able to do both ”.  Kyon was very nervous to do this because he has never touched another man’s dick before- let alone made one cum. But, it was that same thing that made him want to do it the most- even if it was Taniguchi’s. Kyon sighed, and he reached over to grab Taniguchi’s dick; while this happened Kunikida went to get more tissues from Taniguchi’s bathroom as Kyon used them all. Also, Kunikida also said he would knock three times- the third knock after a delay- to let them know that it was him coming in and not his parents or something.

 

Kyon started to jerk Taniguchi. When he touched it it felt so foreign, yet so natural to him- to jerk off a dick, or to want to for that matter. It was warm, throbbing, and ready to burst. Kyon reached with his right hand- the same Taniguchi jerked with, so it fit perfectly around his dick. He started to slowly jerk it.

 

“Oh…”, moaned Taniguchi softly. Kyon tried to pretend like he didn’t hear that, but thinking about it turned him on greatly. Kyon weirdly greatly enjoyed touching one- so much he couldn’t breathe. Excited, he jerked it off more harder and intense.

 

“Oooh, yea… Like that…” said Taniguchi as Kyon hits all his right spots as if it was intuitive. Taniguchi laid back- completely sucomming to Kyon’s hand. Kyon’s face was getting red as he kept going, but not before Taniguchi making a certain request.

 

“S-Spit on it… Too dry”, said Taniguchi. Kyon remembered that Taniguchi would spit on his hand to give some lubrication, and Kyon was reluctant to do the same. But in the heat of the moment as his request Kyon did it; in retrospect the quicker he gets Taniguchi to cum the better Kyon thought. So he gave it a bit of spit and kept going.

 

“There… A-Are… you close?”, said Kyon.

 

“Y-Yea shh shh… Don’t talk… Please just-just keep going… Ahh~~...”, said Taniguchi. His breathing got more harder, more intense, more grittier. “Yeaaaa”, Taniguchi continued. Hearing this got Kyon rock hard once more, but with his boxers on Taniguchi wouldn’t be able to tell right away. Kyon- in the moment- started to imagine Itsuki- someone that hadn’t crossed his mind most of the night- as the person he was jerking. This, along with the audible remarks made Kyon extremely turned on. However, Taniguchi started to notice Kyon moving around too. He looked over to see his dick was hard again. Taniguchi wasn’t thinking straight at this point because what he said to Kyon was completely out of his character.

 

“L-Lemme try too…”, said Taniguchi. Kyon almost didn’t even hear him correctly, but he was sure of what he said. Kyon didn’t know what to do, but he was hard. He got out his dick, and they soon mutually jerked each other off.

 

“This is so crazy… And I’m c-close Kyon… Ugh”, muttered Taniguchi. Kyon and Taniguchi kept vigorously jerking eachother off; the room filling with heat and extacy. Taniguchi’s body started to spazz out from the way Kyon was contorting him- as if he was a natural at it.

 

“Ohh! Uh! Y-Yea I’m! Ohhhh~~”, said Taniguchi as he tried to warn Kyon of what was to come. A split second later, Taniguchi cam all over Kyon’s hand. Taniguchi layed there heavily breathing, and Kyon looked at him, and his hand and thought, “ Oh my… ”. Soon after this Kunikida knocked on the door in his coded way, and walked into the room with tissues, and saw what happened.

 

“Oh, good, it already happened. Then we all finished then- thank god. Here, you will need these more than me now”, said Kunikida. He hands Taniguchi the tissues, and he rips some off for Kyon’s hand and passes some off to him.

 

“S-Sorry… You got some on my chair but I got some all over your hand so I guess I did worse… I should've warned you”, said Taniguchi.

 

“N-no it’s fine… Can you pass the tissues?”, said Kyon. As Taniguchi hands him the tissues he gets up and goes to clean off his dick and belly. Kyon wipes up his hand, and looks at the tissue full of cum. He stares at it, and contemplates his feelings in that moment greatly.

 

“No homo right, Guys?”, said Taniguchi alerting Kyon out of his thoughts. “We were just doing ’bro stuff’ after all. It’s all good… But none of this literally will ever leave this room, got it?”. Kunikida laughed out loud, and Kyon snickered to himself and thought, “ Ahh, nothing sets the tone in a clearly sexually fluid environment of homosexual behavior by the declaration of ‘no homo’ ”.

 

“Yea, no homo I guess”, said Kyon. Kyon disposed of the cum-filled tissue and laid back his head looking up at the ceiling Kyon sighed and thought, “ I can’t believe this… But… I think I know for sure now what I want… I think I know what I should do… Dammit man, I have some of the weirdest fucking friends on the planet- and I fit right in ”.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Before Kyon left his house the day prior to go to Taniguchi’s he came home to see that his sister was in conversation with their parents, but initially ignored it. Unknown to him at the time, she was being lectured about getting written up at school for getting into a fight with other students. Kyon finds this out when he returns home from his parents, and he was a bit shocked as Kyon’s Sister is a good child and student- even though Kyon thinks she is highly annoying. Kyon wanted to investigate further on why she gotten into the fight as on both the write up slip and in their parents’ description it wasn’t really clear on her intentions. So, Kyon went to sit down with his sister to find out just that.

 

“Hey, I’d like to talk to you about what happened yesterday? I rushed out before I could learn anything, and I don’t think the old geezers really gave me a good telling of what really happened”, said Kyon. Kyon’s Sister sighed and rolled her eyes.

 

“Are you gonna scold me too?”, said Kyon’s Sister. Kyon got a bit annoyed.

 

“I’m just trying to hear what’s going on with you, and what’s happening at school to make you wanna do something like that?”, said Kyon. Kyon’s Sister sighed.

 

“Agh… Well, I didn’t like start a fight I was defending someone getting picked on when no one else was going to or would have”, said Kyon’ Sister. Kyon was a bit surprised to hear this.

 

“Oh? Okay. So what happened that made you wanna step in like that?”, said Kyon.

 

“Well… I guess this kid- who is a boy- came out to his friends, and one of them went around telling everyone in school”, said Kyon’s Sister. Kyon’s eyes lit up. She continues, “I guess some kids were mocking him and all that at lunch that day and everyone was laughing at him while I was there to witness it. I thought it was wrong and wack, so I stood up and told them to go away. When they didn’t I pushed them ‘cause I was annoyed people would just pick on someone ‘cause they are different than them or weird. I mean I pick on you ‘cause you are the epitome of weird and different, but there’s a difference in intention”. Kyon was a bit thrown off at how sophisticated her intentions and explanation of the situation was- even though she said the snarky comment at the end.

 

“So you pushed a bunch of boys and stuff? Did they hit you back?”, said Kyon.

 

“No, because when I pushed him his group caught him, and said that he would get in big trouble for trying to hit me and that they should leave me alone. They called me a ‘bitch’, and left. Also, it was a mix of boys and girls”, said Kyon’s Sister. Kyon was astounded by this happening and didn’t really know what to think. Kyon also was having a culture shock as this event was almost the same as Itsuki’s situation that lead him to end up here; on where someone that shouldn’t have known he was gay found out and ruined his life.

 

“Wow… Well I’m glad you weren’t hurt… I didn’t know an issue like this would be so troublesome at a Middle School. All of this because he said he was gay and someone didn’t like it?”, said Kyon.

 

“I guess”, said Kyon’ Sister.

 

“Well, was most of the reaction that way from others?”, said Kyon.

 

“Yes. He didn’t come out that day; it was happening throughout the week, and by time I even stood up for him it was a trending thing around school. Everyone either shunned away from him or made fun of him. I heard he did get into a fight prior, but I don’t know”, said Kyon’s Sister. Kyon wasn’t that surprised that was the general reaction to that especially now knowing what he knows now.

 

“How do you feel about it?”, said Kyon.

“Picking on someone in general is wrong if its not done amongst friends or whatever… I don’t really know anyone gay- it’s not really talked about and I don’t really know this kid that well. But, when I found that out about him... It was just me knowing more about what makes him happy I guess. So, it wasn’t much different; if anything I now know he won’t try to flirt with me like the stupid boys always do”, said Kyon’s Sister. Kyon thought that her mental processing on something very complex as sexuality for her age was something to commend. However, Kyon laughed off the end bit of what she said.

 

“Boys actually hit on you ?”, said Kyon jokingly. Kyon’s Sister scoffed.

 

“Shut it Kyon! Boys are stupid. Clearly since most of them wanted to bully a harmless person who confided to people he trusted, and they broke it. I hate non-loyal people, and people who aren’t considerate”, said Kyon’s Sister.

 

“Hm, so how do you even know about all this stuff? Like, coming out and gay stuff if its not talked about?”, said Kyon.

 

“It’s something you kinda pick up from people who care to talk about it. Boys often call each other that when they are doing something crazy or they like disagree with them. Or, they call things ‘gay’. I don’t get it really, but it’s like calling them girls and I guess boys can’t be like us girls”, said Kyon’s Sister.

 

“Yea. Naturally, you just understand what their meaning or intention is in saying that, and it becomes the narrative that if you are called ‘gay’ you are some sort of joke or someone to stay away from”, said Kyon. Kyon’s Sister nodded her head understanding, he continues, “Usually, boys who don’t want to appear ‘gay’ or are raised that way to not be gay always call each other that I feel”, said Kyon.

 

“Oh, yea that makes sense”, said Kyon’s Sister.

“So, Mom and Dad never mentioned any of this when I talked to them. Or in the write up. How come?”, said Kyon.

 

“Because they didn’t wanna make it about the boy being gay- even though it was the root of the fight- and focused on me fighting someone. And I did explain it to them but I think they thought it was a stupid thing to fight over”, said Kyon’s Sister. Kyon was a bit surprised to hear this, that essentially they either undermined or repressed what she was saying as well as her intentions, and watered it down to she just wanted to fight. But why would they do that?

 

“I don’t get why they wouldn’t tell me you fought in defense to a gay boy, but I guess this isn’t a topic you just readily talk about. You seem fairly outspoken about it though”, said Kyon.

 

“A lot of times, what I say or feel is made to seem unimportant because I’m a girl and young. You do it too a lot; the last time you really listened to me or asked my opinion was when you were making those bad tasting desserts!”, said Kyon’s Sister making Kyon get a bit embarrassed, “But It’s not something I really talk about; I just don’t like bullying when the person isn’t doing anything wrong. And, who cares if he likes boys? I do too! After that, he came up to me and thanked me and started to cry as he felt like no one really stuck up for him. And soon after people who were too scared to do what I did joined in and we spent the rest of the lunch together before I was pulled away to get in trouble”, continued Kyon’s Sister. Kyon was surprised to hear this.

 

“Well, at least you got a friend out of it”, said Kyon. Kyon’s Sister smiled.

 

Kyon’s perspective on the knowledge young people have- or should be thought to have- changed quite a bit talking to his sister. In truth, their thought processes will dictate the future as they are the thinkers that will one day be in places of power. And it’s very intriguing to see that even at young ages the same mindsets are in place, and homophobia is already well into his sisters generation. Initially, Kyon wants to blame the parents who most likely are giving them this mindset from home, but it’s way more than that; school curriculum, teachers themselves, social media, and much more. So many outside sources that ultimately will impact and change someone’s view intentionally as well as unintentionally. This is further amplified that older voices choose to undermine or not listen to the voices of the young people- such as Kyon’s parents did essentially to Kyon’s Sister. This also put into perspective Itsuki’s situation, and what could have been different. Would Itsuki had to go through what he did if people stuck up for him? Will this kid go through the same fate ultimately that Itsuki did? Does every kid struggle with this the same way? To Kyon, this wasn’t fair.

 

Especially since when comparing the dynamic of his own school, there is very little ‘non-straight representation’. Kyon couldn’t even say if there was something akin to a ‘safe space’ for them to go there. Who would they go talk to when no one else will? The guidance office is typically were everyone goes with problems, but that isn’t accounting for the bias one might have even in those positions. He wondered how lonely they would feel. It’s a lot to think about; all the simple things that mentally keep people stable that we take for granted that others right next to us wished they had. Kyon wondered if Itsuki was really lonely, and Kyon didn’t want him to feel lonely.

 

“Well, I’m not sure what will become of this but I’m glad that you did what was right, and that you talked to me about it. However, you did get into an altercation so you will have to do what you need to do to relieve that”, said Kyon even though he thinks getting written up for something like that is bogus.

 

“Yea. Well, thanks for talking to me about this Kyon! I didn’t think you would care; most boys don’t wanna talk about gay stuff though...”, said Kyon’ Sister.

 

“Huh? W-Well… I guess it’s just as important for me to learn as much as I can about what I don’t understand as it is for you to express what you think, right?”, said Kyon. Kyon’s Sister nodded.

 

“Yea, I guess. I’m not gonna treat him any different and he is actually a pretty cool guy! I guess not all boys are stupid since we are probably gonna be good friends!”, said Kyon’s Sister. Kyon laughed. Kyon’s Sister got up from where they were in their house, and said “Okay Kyon I have to go do homework, I’ll talk to you a bit later okay?”.

 

“Yea, go do that! No slacking and watching TV!”, said Kyon trying to be a good big brother.

 

“Yea yea, I only get that habit from the one that does it 100% of the time”, said Kyon’s Sister pointing to Kyon. Kyon laughed embarrassed.

 

As she walked away Kyon sighed, and wondered about all that is going on around him, and what it means to him; especially if his feelings are true. He sat for a bit just thinking, and then got up to go make something to eat. He started to think some more about Itsuki being lonely, and not wanting him to be. Sure, he has the whole club to hang with as friends, but he has to leave his whole school to get that. his only friend there is Haruhi; in an entire school that’s really bad. Then again, before Kyon started going to the club, he really only befriended Taniguchi and Kunikida- but it’s a bit different. This topic was just on his mind, so Kyon wanted to find out. He grabbed out his phone, and texted Itsuki.

 

Hey Itsuki :P. What’s up? ” - Kyon


As the text went through he finished his food and went to go put his plate in the sink, and as he did he heard his phone vibrate; Itsuki must have texted back already.

 

Hey, Kyon! I’m alright :). How are you? ” - Itsuki


Kyon read the text as he sat back down, and texted back.

 

I’m good, just got done talking to my sister about something that happened at her school; apparently a kid came out, and was getting picked on. She stuck up for him, and inspired other kids to do the same ” - Kyon


Itsuki read this, and was very shocked; but somewhat glad to hear what happened the way it did.

 

Wow! That’s crazy. I’m glad someone is sticking up for these children, and It’s crazy that it was your own sister! ” - Itsuki


Kyon smiled, and texted back,


Yea, I was very surprised to hear about it myself. But yea, hearing about it made me think of you ” - Kyon


Itsuki, reading the line 'it made me think of you' made his heart start to race; he couldn't hold back his giggling. However, he had to re-focus himself; he could not afford to text Kyon something taht would reveal his feelings. And so, as he smiles from ear-to-ear, as he texted back,


Really? Yea, besides my one friend I sadly didn’t have anyone there for me to lean on, so it’s good it seems to be getting a bit more progressive, but there’s so many layers to it :/ ...” - Itsuki


Reading this, Kyon felt a bit sorry for Itsuki. At the same time Kyon thought, “His one friend?... ”. In truth, Itsuki had just one person in his hatred-filled life prior to their meeting that helped him out in a similar way Kyon’s Sister did. This was an exciting discovery for Kyon. Kyon was going to message Itsuki about it, but he then thought maybe now isn’t the right time to divulge into Itsuki’s past- especially knowing how much it took him just to say he was gay to him. Itsuki would probably want to leave his past in the past for and that concept was the easiest for Kyon to wrap his head around. Kyon texted back.

 

Hey Itsuki, It got me thinking when I imagine that little kid as you… Is he feeling lonely? Did you feel lonely back then Itsuki?? ” - Kyon


Itsuki started to frown as he started to think of the past he tried to forget about.

 

To put it simply, yea. If I was him I would of felt very alone, dark, unwanted. But, the light your sister gave to him might be something he will remember, and enlighten him probably for the rest of his life- whether he has to relocate or not. That ‘light’, is something I wish I gotten profoundly ” - Itsuki

 

Reading this, Kyon got really sad- almost teary-eyed. Kyon hurt knowing Itsuki was hurt before, was really lonely, and probably still is affected by that today. He texted back.

 

You have that ‘light’ now. You have it in me. That is what’s important :) ” - Kyon

 

Itsuki smiled greatly reading Kyon’s text. Itsuki almost shed a tear, and he wiped it away as he texted back.

 

Thank you Kyon, that really means alot coming from you. You are a diamond in the rough! ” - Itsuki

 

Kyon was flattered by what Itsuki said to him, and before he could come up with something to say next another text was coming in from Itsuki.

 

If there is anything within you that needs a ‘light’ of its own, you have one in me Kyon- just know that. ” - Itsuki

 

The tables have flipped. Kyon was a bit taken back by the text. “ A light of my own? ”, Kyon pondered to himself what he really means by that. In truth, there were many times Kyon has held back from really allowing himself to be vulnerable for someone to me there for him- like when he was with Taniguchi and Kunikida. He texted back,

 

It’s good to know you are there for me Itsuki; even when I might not deserve it, thank you. ” - Kyon

 

Kyon was truly glad he had someone like Itsuki in his life, but also understood that he might not act it all the time. Itsuki texted back,


Don’t say that Kyon, you always deserve someone there for you. Even when the world is against you people at least deserve that” - Itsuki

 

Kyon chuckled to himself, and texted back,


Heh, well I can see where you are coming from. Either way, thanks ” - Kyon


Reading this, Itsuki was put at ease- in a sense. Itsuki texted back,

You are welcome. And, thank you for thinking of me once more if it wasn’t clear. It’s nice to know that from people ” - Itsuki


Kyon, reading this, started to blush. Kyon texted back,


Lol, yea I get it. & I always think of people that matter to me ;)” - Kyon

 

Itsuki blushed greatly when he read this. He giggled to himself as he flipped over to the side while he laid on his bed looking at the text. Itsuki could only imagine Kyon saying that to him in person as they lay in bed together- caressing each other; Kyon close enough to feel Itsuki’s breath, and Itsuki close enough to grab Kyon’s nice booty. He started to daydream about Kyon running his hands through his hair, and whispering in his ear “I love you, Itsuki”, as his hands ran down his back to his pants. Suddenly, Itsuki snapped himself out of the daydream. Itsuki was flustered, and thought he might text something he might regret now that he is a bit aroused over Kyon. Regaining his composure, Itsuki texted back,

 

Hehe :D Hey listen I gotta go do something, I’ll text you later? ” - Itsuki

 

Kyon texted back,

 

Yea, that’s fine. Ttyl Itsuki have a nice rest of your day ” - Kyon

 

Itsuki texted back,

 

You too, Kyon <3 ” - Itsuki

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

One day after school , the club did not end up meeting, as Haruhi was planning for something she seemed oddly excited for by herself, and she came- without Itsuki- only to declare it was cancelled . Ironically, Haruhi isn’t even the president of the club, but Yuki thought that a nice break now and then was good. T hus, everyone did whatever they wanted after class. Kyon was hungry, so he decided to go to a nearby store to pick something up to much on. Kyon walked around town wondering what to do with his day, and thinking about his sleepover with Taniguchi and Kunikida. Kyon has not had his mind wonder and contemplate trivial matters as much as he has now with these new and unique thoughts about his friends, and most certainly Itsuki. Even as he walked aimlessly around town he started to look at men and women different; the man whose shirt is on too tight, the woman off to the side checking out the same man’s nice ass as she walks by, and the man doing the same as her frilly dress updrafts in the wind- so on and so forth.

 

Kyon would look towards women who wore very appealing outfits, and that despite them being perfectly fine women- who probably were great people- Kyon didn’t ‘lust’ over them as he feels someone like Taniguchi would. Kyon noticed yet another man; this time a broad shouldered fellow adjusting his package without a care in the world of who really is watching. However, Kyon was fully tentative; to the point they glanced at each other quickly. Looking quickly away and in a blush, Kyon kept walking a bit faster to safety away from the potential judgement of hypermasculinity.

As Kyon got closer to the store he couldn’t help but keep looking at others randomly walking about minding their own business while Kyon tried everything in his being to meddle within it from afar. He noticed that one heterosexual couple caressing each other as they laugh and banter walking down the street; how the woman gazed into the eyes of the un-foreboding man, twirling her hair, and rested deep into his arms. The man looked back at her with the same amount of passion and buried lust. They looked like the world didn’t matter as they showed and radiated a light of love even in broad daylight, and Kyon was caught in their power. In Kyon’s mind, this was similar to how there could be hundreds of people in a crowd, and your lover is only interested and looking at you. Kyon looked at them, and started to feel heavy hearted, and empty- being moved by such average displays of affection and love.

 

“Am I ... That lonely?”, said Kyon softly to himself. Sure, to Kyon, he would love to be happy with someone, but you don’t need someone to be happy. Kyon was fairly content with his life as is, but it’s nowhere near perfect. Someone his age didn’t need to worry about trivial adult life things yet, so what do they worry about? Not having a girlfriend/boyfriend. Not having a date to the dance. Anyone they find attractive not wanting them the same way they want them. Did Kyon lust over wanting a partner as the next dude? No, however it didn’t mean Kyon could easily differentiate being ‘alone’ and being ‘lonely’ as someone twice his age could. Kyon was sometimes alone, and when he was alone he sometimes felt lonely . That’s where his thoughts and feelings for Itsuki would bud its head the most strongest in his heart, and stomach. “ I can’t be… I never really desired someone to have before… What has changed? ”, Kyon thought.

 

Kyon made his way into the store to buy something to eat, and he was reminded of how not too long ago the times he would come into here with Itsuki, and how genuinely happy he was with him, but why? A level-headed male friend that isn’t as annoying as Taniguchi or timid as Kunikida? Kyon loved that, but he battled over and over if a lot of his actions were ‘normal’. Normality, and what it means to be in his situation is a concept he frequently thought of. Kyon wasn’t normal, and neither was anyone around him. As Kyon walked out of the store, this theory was put to the test right in front of him.

 

Walking past him in the distance- completely oblivious to his presence- was Itsuki walking with a woman. Itsuki wasn’t in school clothing attire, and was with a mysterious woman with an attractive ‘business suit-type’ look to Kyon that he thought was alarming and also threatening. “ Itsuki… With a girl? ”, Kyon thought. Why was he with her? Where were they going? What were they about to do? These questions permeated Kyon’s mind. Kyon had not talked to or texted Itsuki in a couple days , so surely it was possible huge developments in his life could have happened since then. “Did someone ask Itsuki out? Or… Did Itsuki ask someone out himself??”, said Kyon. People walking by stared at him funny thinking he was talking to himself. Kyon coughed a bit to himself clearing his throat and kept walking, but in Itsuki’s direction- almost following him from afar.

 

Kyon had a sudden determination to get answers to his questions. He had to know if Itsuki was doing what he thought. It would take Kyon awhile to internally realize this, but he was suffering from a tsunami wave of jealousy . But what would Kyon have to be jealous about? Both of them are straight, single men, who can virtually do whatever they want in this world. It’s completely logical for Itsuki to date . But then what pushed Kyon so much? Why was Kyon’s heart beating faster and faster the more Kyon walked and his mind raced? Kyon stopped suddenly., and thought “ What the fuck am I doing? Why do I care so much about whether he is on a date? He can do that! But, its just… I thought he was single... I’m very curious to how this developed- I can at least admit that. Or, why he didn’t tell me. Has-… Has Itsuki always been dating? Or worse- taken, and I didn’t know? ”.

 

Kyon, compared to Itsuki right now, had no dating life. Itsuki does go to a more refined school, so the ‘taste’ over there could be different. And while Kyon gets asked out almost never it’s not like he is desperate for it, or avidly searching. “ Maybe if I tried more I would get the results wanted. Maybe opportunities pass me by without even realizing it ”, Kyon thought as he reminded himself of the ‘oblivious’ comments made to him earlier. Kyon at this point was so into his head he lost track of Itsuki and this mystery woman.

 

“Fuck! Where did they go!?”, said Kyon frantically out loud startling some folk around him. Kyon shrieked a tad after realizing his public annoyance.  “Sorry!”, said Kyon to anyone who heard and was appalled by his vulgar language. Suddenly, he saw what looked like the back of Itsuki’s head enter a small cafe off the side of the street Kyon was on; so in the cut Kyon could have easily not noticed. Before Kyon could lose sight of Itsuki again he ran into a nearby phone booth near the cafe to peek from afar what Itsuki was really doing meeting with this business suit woman on a day where the club wasn’t going to meet.

 

Itsuki entered the cafe, and sat down with this woman. As they talked Kyon could get the sense she wasn’t an unfamiliar face; this is someone Itsuki has been around multiple times. Almost as if he known her for a very long time. They talked and consumed food and drinks for a couple minutes, and then their expressions changed from a more happy tone to a serious one as she ruffled around with something that was obscured by her body to Kyon point of view. He couldn’t help but wonder and think, “ A breakup? Or, a segway into a conversation about their relationship going more serious?! ”. Kyon didn’t know, and this was messing with him. Like pure coincidence, Itsuki glanced out the window at this moment, and saw Kyon. Itsuki looked- not realizing who he was looking towards at first- and blinked. Suddenly, he realized it was Kyon across the ways, and shot up out of his seat in shock- startling the woman next to him. As soon as this happened Kyon attempted to leave the phone booth immediately and escape from the scene- bumping his head on the phone booth as he fled. The women, alerted by Itsuki’s shock as he rose out of his seat, gotten Itsuki’s attention from his shocked reaction. Kyon ran fast, and Itsuki- glancing back out the window at the last second- looked as he ran out of view.

 

Kyon ran to a nearby park and sat on the bench contemplating what he saw, which was Itsuki talking very familiarly to a women- who could easily be his age with how she looked. Kyon’s heart was beating, and didn’t know what to do. Kyon was already dealing with these weird and strange feelings within himself, and then to see this event unfold- in his mind- was a slap in the face, and he didn’t know why. He felt hurt to an extent. But Kyon didn’t own Itsuki, nor dictate who he can and can’t see or do. Kyon didn’t know why that bothered him so much, but seeing him go off with some strange person despite spending all his time with the club- and recently him- was a bit much.

 

Kyon, snap out of it! I mean, we weren’t supposed to hang out today... But I mean dang it, if he wanted someone to hang with he could have asked...  I thought he would have asked to hang or something- I still need help and stuff… Or, he could have had this date planned out and never told me; he wouldn’t have to tell me something like that... This is what always happens; you can’t just always rely on others or have expectations. Friends are friends- but they are ultimately unreliable. Tsk, like this reminds me of why I can’t trust Taniguchi; he can spend all his time with me then run off with some girl… Why are people so hung up on girls? ”, Kyon thought to himself- almost attempting to psych himself into believe a narrative that will help him deal with what he just saw. While Kyon didn’t wanna have to emotionally ‘depend’ on his friends he also knows the comfort of relying on others. But then he gains expectations of how they should act, and when they don’t act that way- or change- it does affect him; this would to anyone given the right circumstance and reason. Kyon ultimately decided to go home, and forget today even happened.

 

The following day...

 

School had passed by fairly quickly and it was soon after school, and club activities were happening. From what Ryoko said- which she learned from Yuki- Haruhi still wasn’t going to be joining them today, and was up in the air whether Itsuki was coming. Kyon, when finding this out, pretended not to care- as if Itsuki showing up or not didn’t faze him. He adopted this mentality which confused Ryoko and Yuki. Yuki had decided today that the club should be open to not be down two days in a row. Mikuru was also in the room, and was eating lunch. As she turned to look at Kyon- whom had a macabre look on his face- she noticed that his head had a bump on it.

 

“Kyon, when did you get that bump?”, said Mikuru. Kyon looked to her, felt his head, and pain struck him as he tried to feel the bump seeing if it was still there.

 

“Ow!”, Kyon said as he did so, “Agh, I got it yesterday afternoon after I bumped my head on something. I haven’t had it for awhile, but i guess it’s still noticeable and a bit red. I tried my best with what I had when I got back home after it happened, but I guess it didn’t help much. I went to a nurse about it this morning, and all she told me was to put ointment on it and told me to cover it with ice- but all the ice I had melted already. Oh, and to not mess with it obviously. And... To not do any physical activities and whatnot. Thankfully Haruhi isn’t here to do any random activities, or give me a headache with her voice at least”, said Kyon with a bit of a chuckle. Mikuru laughed.

 

“Huh, well, as long as you are okay!”, said Mikuru cheerfully. Kyon couldn’t tell whether to be relieved or annoyed at how fast Mikuru went from being concerned to being indifferent about his situation.

 

“Still, you should probably go back and get some more ice if you haven’t already to keep the swelling down”, said Ryoko. Yuki nodded her head as she said this and Kyoko continued, “And if annoying voices isn’t what you wanna hear I would leave quickly regardless because Miss Tsuruya is joining us”.

 

Oh crap! ”, Kyon thought; realizing her voice might be more lethal than Haruhi’s because she won’t shut up. Kyon soon hurried out the door and in the direction of the nurses office to get more ice.

 

After he left the room he instead walked aimlessly around, and stopped by the courtyard to get some fresh air- as the nurse's office tended to be stuffy. He sat down on a bench, felt his head, and kept thinking some more about everything. He internally blamed Itsuki for him getting a bump on his head, and part of him didn’t even wanna see him- even if the reason was irrational. Kyon didn’t see still how jealous seeing Itsuki with another person in a seemingly intimate setting really made him, and his headache from the bump didn’t help either.

 

“How does your head feel? You need some ice?”

 

Kyon heard someone say this behind him, and as he turned around he saw someone holding a bag of snacks in one hand, and a smaller bag of ice in their other hand in front of him. As he looked up it was Itsuki standing in front of him with a small smile on his face.

 

“Itsuki…”, said Kyon blushing a bit, but then alerting himself to what he said, “Wait what? How did you know my head was hurt to already have ice?? I was literally about to go get some”, continued Kyon.

 

“Eh, let's call it a friends’ intuition. You hit your head pretty badly yesterday, huh? Was it... My fault?...”, said Itsuki as shame struck his face; he knew by now that him glancing at Kyon caused him to startle and hit his head yesterday. Kyon got surprised, as his words solidified that Itsuki did see him- despite how badly he escaped. Kyon then looked down. As he did Itsuki placed the bag of ice on his head. “It might be a bit wet- I carried it here from the convenience store outside school. The school reps at the gate looked at me funny as I was carrying ice in my hand, and wasn’t using it for anything; I was contemplating pretending I was hurt just to not draw eyes, haha”, continued Itsuki. Kyon grabbed the bag, and sighed.

 

“L-Listen Itsuki, I know you are probably wondering what I was doing. I can explain myse-”, said Kyon before getting cut off.

 

“Kyon, I’m already aware the sight you saw startled you, and that you probably jumped to a conclusion by your obvious meddling, and got embarrassed. In retrospect, seeing you run away was kinda funny. Here, let’s go somewhere private and talk. I explained this to Miss Suzumiya, and I think it’s time I explain it to you too”, said Itsuki. Kyon was confused, but got up, and walked with Itsuki to an outside bench; where there was no students around, and that Itsuki had confidence no one would hear whatever he had to say.

 

Itsuki explains The Agency to Kyon, and his backstory; How he was kicked out his house by his family and had to transfer schools after a gay outing, lived with a friend that soon moved abroad to America, and this friend helped him get linked up with The Agency- which helps emancipated kids who are no longer supported by their parents, runaways, or homeless children up on their feet. Kyon then recalled at this moment when he mentioned his friend through texts, and expressed that he was curious about him. Itsuki explained that he actually stays in very little contact with him- mainly due to The Agency, as well as keeping the past as much in the past as possible, but this friendship hopefully hasn’t wavered in the past time. Hearing this, it acknowledges Kyon’s past thought that Itsuki had a lot to hide, and it probably was best to wait to know more- despite the reason he is telling him this now is because Kyon meddled.

 

Continuing, Itsuki told him that The Agency is what pays for Itsuki’s school, and finances the house he stays at; as long as he keeps his ‘gayness’ on the low, causes himself little trouble, and does what he has to do academically he is promised a good life with the resources available to him until he no longer needs the services any longer; this means protection by the school and The Agency on his well being as Itsuki also mentions how Itsuki Koizumi isn’t really his birth name- but the name he shall now go by for protection purposes.

 

However, if Itsuki causes himself trouble by any means that results in his life being in jeopardy again he might have to repeat what happened so long ago. Itsuki however, is confident that won’t happen again as he trusts his new friends. In finding this out Kyon realizes Haruhi knows he is gay- which kills any thought he had still that Haruhi might like him to an extent. But this also complicates Kyon’s feelings as Itsuki opened up to him about info that can potentially put his own life in jeopardy. The weight of what he told him means so much more now; Kyon knew that ‘coming out’ is a big thing, but never thought someone could have so much weight on their shoulders from that simple fact.

 

Knowing Kyon overreacted by the sight of the woman he was with, Itsuki explained about The Agency’s benefactors. In The Agency, Itsuki’s benefactor is the person that to his school administration- or in any setting he would need a parent or guardian present- plays the role of “parent”. This benefactor is always a single mother- in real life and in Itsuki’s life- who is fair skinned and has brown hair. Itsuki always had a benefactor, but the person that is in that position changes every so often due to multiple things; contracts ending, positions moved, people quit or get fired. Because at times this can be an unforeseeable issue that might put strain on Itsuki, Itsuki’s benefactor is ordered to take time to make Itsuki feel secure and familiar with them on a regular basis- like what Kyon saw them to yesterday. Itsuki never really was bothered with the changing of position; he never intended to grow a significant bond with them or The Agency persay. However, he likes to get to know how people think, and a support system is needed of some sort. Thus, Itsuki is eager to get to know them.

 

Hearing all of this, it made Kyon feel very stupid as he jumped to such conclusions about who the lady was- not knowing it basically is his mother figure. It makes sense why Itsuki also never mentioned it as it is such a hard thing to just come out and say- especially if you don’t know if you can trust the person. Itsuki must trust him and Haruhi a great deal to tell them, and Kyon took that to heart.

 

“You can trust me Itsuki, with anything. I’m sorry. I… I wouldn’t wanna mess what you have going for anything. That experience, I think, really snapped into my mind how much you have affected me positively that… I don’t know… I guess I was afraid in the event something would be different or you wouldn’t be around…”, said Kyon. Itsuki was touched as Kyon wanted Itsuki to make sure that his secret was safe with him, and that he can trust him with anything; he did so as he continued to apologize for his actions.

 

Itsuki felt very sentimental about this moment, and reminded him of the clarity and comfort telling Haruhi made him feel. He felt a closeness grow between him and Kyon in this moment, as Kyon now knows Itsuki’s life- the life that he was sworn to keep secret for his own safety. It was both thrilling but also dangerous to think about. Itsuki could feel in this moment his heart beating harder and harder as he gazed at Kyon. Kyon looked deep into his eyes too. Itsuki felt very sure in this moment about his convictions, and wanted to see them through. In the heat of the moment, he tried to grab ahold of Kyon’s hand that was laying next to his on the bench. He laid his hand on top of Kyon’s, and grabbed Kyon’s hand from the backside of Kyon’s palm. They were so locked into each other's eyes that neither noticed that they were holding hands. It was in that moment, subconsciously, that both of them transferred so much info between them that screamed “we like each other”.

 

However, soon as this happened Kyon came to his senses, and realized something was on his hand. He jerked his hand up; partly because he initially thought a bug was on his hand, but also because if it was Itsuki’s hand he was in public, and Itsuki’s story rung in his head; now, Kyon thought of himself as a liability. Itsuki read this as ‘Kyon got scared of the passion between them’, but in reality it was Kyon realizing the implication they were now doing can get Itsuki in serious trouble, and didn’t want that for him. Suddenly, Kyon’s head started to hurt a lot.

 

“Ow… Hey, Itsuki. I think all of this knowledge you are dropping has got my brain fried. I think I should go home and rests this bruise off. Maybe we can talk more in detail about all this later? I think it is best I take this ice with me to go”, said Kyon. Itsuki agreed, and thought Kyon shouldn’t stay out, and should rest.

 

“That’s probably for the best. I would be lying if I said I came to your school just to see you, however”, said Itsuki as he stood up from the bench. “I was also stopping by the club room to say hi to the rest, and give them snacks Miss Suzumiya told me to buy to make up for her absence before running more errands in this side of town. Here, why don’t I escort the wounded back to base”, Itsuki continued as he reached out his hand. With that being said, Kyon and Itsuki walked off from the private area and went back to the club room where Kyon collected his things, and headed home. As Itsuki said his peace with the group after sometime he soon left, and continued on with his day. However, Itsuki couldn’t get the conversation he had with his benefactor out of his head- especially after his interaction with Kyon.

 

Back when Kyon caught Itsuki talking to his benefactor…

 

Itsuki walked into the cafe with his current benefactor, and sat down at a table. This was but one of a series of meetings Itsuki had with her in public outings to build a relationship between them. Internally, Itsuki liked these outings, but knew full well that they were not real ‘mother and son’ bonding moments- but close to it. They sat at a table facing each other from across the table. They ate food and drinks walking about various topics such as commenting on the cafe, their food selection, Itsuki’s day, the weather, and future events and places they should hit up next. This continued for awhile until the woman swallowed her food, and grabbed the briefcase she had with her and set it on her lap. As she opened it she began to pull out an envelope with Itsuki’s transcripts on it and report cards from school. She began to study it as Itsuki sat there.

 

“These are your last few months on paper, boy. I have to always see what you have been doing”, said the woman as she flipped through the papers and eating a piece of bread at the same time. “Just in case you were aloof of it as of late the school not only documents your grades, but also miscellaneous comments or critiques on your behavior patterns to ascertain if you are up to task at what you are suppose to be doing. This is also how The Agency Confidentiality Agreement with the school stays in tact by sharing info that we need about your public affairs”, she continued. Itsuki simply just nodded.

 

As she flipped through pages Itsuki’s face went from joyful, to serious- anticipating her comments on his life. She then spoke, “I see that you are acing all of your classes- per usual, but something I noticed on here seems a bit interesting. I have heard that you have been hanging with one of the star pupils of Kouyouen Academy, and venturing off to another school on legal terms. I just hope you know that with the school agreeing to do this you are technically putting them at a liability; I’m surprised they agreed. But as long as you are causing no trouble…”, said the woman.

 

“I’m not. I have been attending an extracurricular club there with Miss Suzumiya- the lady you had mentioned with the stellar grades. She is not a troublemaker”, said Itsuki with a  sliver of lie tied in.

 

“Hm, well is that the only reason why you go? ‘Cause she tags you along?”, said the women. Itsuki froze in this moment, and he looked down at the table. The women read his face like a book; she knew he went there to see someone as well. “Listen Itsuki, as per your protection we have to know everything that is going on in your life- and in your head. I’m not concerned with what you do after school- especially when your grades are top notch . I’m concerned of someone getting you into unneeded situations that will force you to start over agai-” said the women getting cut off.


“He won’t get me into trouble!”, boasted Itsuki. Suddenly, Itsuki covered his mouth- realizing what he had said. “Shoot…”, said Itsuki under his breath. The woman sighed.

 

“Who is he?”, said the woman.

 

“He’s… Just a guy Miss Suzumiya knows. I help him with studying, so I go over there alot to help- like a tutor. And, the Literary Club- which is what the club is I’m in- is fairly calm and fun. Definitely not a place I would get in trouble at. So, I don’t think you need to worry… Besides, I don’t think anything will happen from it…”, said Itsuki ending that sentence with a bit of sadness. The woman could tell what was happening, and sighed.

 

... Do you like him?”, said the woman. Itsuki looked down at the table- stricken with guilt as if he wasn’t allowed to feel that way- even if he did.

 

“Uh ... ”, said Itsuki letting out a small sound almost inaudible, but one so definitely filled with, “ Oh course I do ” than Itsuki let on. The woman can cut Itsuki’s shame with a knife. The woman sighed once more.

 

“Listen, I understand your situation; I might not understand what it feels like to walk in your shoes- but you are entitled to feel that way; to like someone you like”, said the women. Itsuki lifted his head. She continued, “The Agency is suppose to protect ‘special’ children from poverty, homelessness, or threats that otherwise would cause their lives to be in danger. So, I’m well aware they do not have a handbook on ‘what to do about budding same-sex feelings’. I’m aware they have not treated this topic with you as great as they should; shipping you off to god knows where just for your safety, and all the others that came before me that might have left as a result of who you are. These are hard nuts to crack, but they are the truth. It might have left you with resentment for yourself- and it’s sad that who you normally are is what put you hear. But, if I teach you anything from my time with you Itsuki is that you must not act with a clouded heart, and that you should only let your heart dictate your path . I’m aware that you might have feelings for this kid- whoever you go and see- and I’m not telling you to stop, but I want you to be very careful about your actions concerning this. One misstep and you will lose him- or put more bluntly- he will lose you. And there isn’t anything you or me can do about it. Think carefully if your feelings for him specifically are worth detrimenting your potential future that The Agency has worked so hard to put you on”, Said the woman.

 

As Itsuki listened to this he thought long and hard about his future, and if Kyon should- or would- be in it. As well as if it was worth the hassle of what he might sacrifice to see it through. Itsuki never thought about it much, but he knows that his feelings- whatever they may truly be be it lust of love- are not getting through. Is it worth trying more if he could be in the same situation as before? Itsuki never stopped and thought if it was smart to be letting his honeymoon heart dictate how hard he has been trying to make something happen. From the desserts, to studying, to texting; all things he didn’t do for another person- or man - before Kyon. Thankfully, Itsuki’s grades have not slipped since he has been doing this, but he has let other things slip; doing community service hours, finding suitable schools to transfer to next to keep climbing up the latter, filling out letters of recommendation. But did Itsuki really care? Should he care? Why should a normal teenager looking for love like anyone else hide how they feel or sacrifice in some way just to live ‘normal’? The Agency cared only about things pertaining his ‘future’. But, to Itsuki, if he has to hide half himself- or live life incomplete in some way- why aim higher in the sky when no one can be there with you?

 

Metaphorically, on ground zero is where he met Haruhi- and thus Kyon; in a state of vulnerability and primal thinking- as if he needed to in order to survive. Itsuki confessed himself humbly to Haruhi, and it brought him happiness. He confessed to Kyon and he started to feel love ; something that was always obscured in some way in the past, and most definitely destroyed by the school system and peer pressure. Itsuki pondered what it meant for his future to continue what he is doing, and whether it was worth it- more so after this idea was presented through his benefactor. Itsuki also thought about his friend - the only one that went out of their way to help Itsuki long ago- who helped him get into The Agency. Itsuki thought, “ I wonder what he is doing now... ”. This got Itsuki to contemplate more about his future with The Agency; should he stay in this cycle despite all that his friend did for him- whom he hasn’t seen in years- or find a new path. Itsuki was very lost at what to really do with his life, and with this conversation its clear he has been for some time.

 

Not act with a clouded heart…”, said Itsuki thinking deeply to himself in the process. It was in that moment Itsuki looked out the window- probably in an attempt to find some answer out in the world of what to do or think. Suddenly, he met eyes with Kyon- whom was hiding ever so badly within a phone booth. Itsuki couldn’t believe what he was seeing, and had to double take for a moment. Was that a sign or an answer? Was he the answer? Itsuki soon came to his senses of who he was looking at- truly Kyon in the flesh- and jumped up in shock startling his benefactor.

 

“The hell is wrong with you Itsuki? Did you see something?”, said the woman as Itsuki glanced at her, and then around the cafe realizing what he had done.

 

“H-Huh?”, said Itsuki. Then he looked back over out the window in a hurry to attempt at re-confirming what he saw, but only saw a glimpse of Kyon’s backside as he ran away. Itsuki however, was sure of what he saw. “Oh, nothing. I was just startled by something. I think that coffee went right through me. I need to use the restroom- guess it’s good I’m already up! If you’ll excuse me I’ll be right back”.

 

“Don’t take too long; they are about to bring out our food, and all we had so far were appetisers. If your hamburger starts to get cold I’ll eat it for you!”, said the woman.

 

“Good things come to those who wait, as some say”, said Itsuki as he walked away.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Itsuki returns home after a long day of running around with his benefactor, as well as all the confusion that lead to talking to Kyon, and is tired. While all the chaos in his seemingly double-life can be enjoyable at times it is alot for a high schooler to handle. Itsuki, despite all this, always tries to stay positive about everything that goes on and takes nothing for granted as he has seen before how it all can be taken away with the slightest bias.

 

When Itsuki thinks about things ‘bias’ or being bias, it really rubs him the wrong way; treating two scenarios different based on jaded or narrow-minded ideals is something of a turn-off for him. When he thinks of things bias it is usually always tied to hatred, fear, or ignorance, and attempts to operate throughout life controlling all three emotions. When he thinks of bias he thinks of his parents; his mother who despite her love of her son send him off out of fear and disappointment, and his father whom was filled with so much hatred for who he created and what Itsuki became that he lashed out at him physically. Bias was something Itsuki couldn’t afford to be around, nor project onto others so they can meet a similar fate.  Which is why Kyon telling him what Kyon’s Sister did at school really did cheer him up.

 

Itsuki then looked to all the unbiased people he feels he has surrounded himself with now, and believes he can trust them all. He knows one day he will be as open with his true self as he is with Haruhi and Kyon. Itsuki also thinks back to the very first person who was unbiased and caring towards his true feelings- his friend. Itsuki’s Friend , while he hasn’t seen him or talked with him in years, is someone that is very special to him. He wondered often what has become of him, and tried to keep up in handmade letters he writes overseas that The Agency mails out using their own specific mailing system. However, through their confidentiality regulations he cannot as much as he pleases. Itsuki, so wrapped up in school and his feelings, couldn’t even think the last time he has. He knows however, that his friend sent him a letter last, and that he keeps forgetting to respond. Itsuki thought to himself, “ I hope he thinks I haven’t forgotten about him… I should write one now so I don’t forget! ”.

 

To Itsuki, his friend was like his savior- and was what he considered his first true friend. The last he knew of his friend is that he went overseas to do sports-related stuff; he was really good at running as well as Basketball. Beyond that he doesn’t actually know what he is doing. So, Itsuki made it a point- before even doing his homework- to write a letter to his friend catching him up on his life. Itsuki set down his things, grabbed out his best mailing paper, and sat down at the table in his living room ready to write; however, he didn’t know where to start or how graphic to be. Because of the confidentiality his letters are also restricted on what can be in them to not have unwanted info get out. However, Itsuki wanted to tell him everything he felt like he needed to. With that, Itsuki sighed, and started to write.

 

Dear My meddling savior,

Hey, it’s been awhile. I know that you haven’t gotten a letter from me in some time, and for that I’m sorry. However, even though it’s been awhile since we talked and seen each other the bond I still share with you makes it seem like it was but yesterday we last were together. A lot has happened since the last time you have written me; It wasn’t intentional to take my time to get back to you, however now that I did I have more I am able to tell you.

Where should I start? ”

 

Itsuki paused for a minute- unsure just where he should lead the story. Essentially, since he started hanging with Haruhi he had not wrote him, so all of the little things that have happened since then is ready to be placed in this letter. He ponders this greatly, and scratches his head as he continues to be unsure.


“This is harder than I thought”, said Itsuki. Itsuki gets up, goes to the kitchen and gets a glass of water, and as he pases around his kitchen he just clears his mind. Itsuki then goes back to sit down at the table he was at and stares at the paper.

 

“Ok, well I will just start from the beginning and see where this goes”, said Itsuki. He then continues to write.

 

I’m still attending the same school I was transferred to by The Agency, and while being there I met this girl that became my very first friend there! She is one of a kind- probably the easiest way to describe her. Very energetic as well. She’s also someone I trusted enough to tell my ‘secret’ to, and don’t worry- I know that she will not do me wrong. My past has made it hard for me to trust (as you know) but I am learning through my experiences every day. Currently, she has met up with these other students at another school, and we attend a club there. The people in this club are all people that I know I also can trust, and I even told someone there my ‘secret’ recently as well. He is probably the closest person there to me- besides my friend from my home school that is. And I hope that in me telling them specifically it  leads somewhere.

 

Itsuki sighs, and stretches his back on the back of his chair as he raises his arms in the air. He feels a bit more calm and satisfied now that he has written what he has so far- but he still has more to say. He flips the page over to the back, and thinks on what to write down next. Itsuki continues writing.

 

Ultimately, I am thankful of the position I am in- and it’s because of you my friend. I have plans on what to do next, but that doesn’t mean I have times where my plans don’t work. Or, when I feel like my plans aren’t truly what I wanna do. I have been given some freedom and space to do all of this by The Agency, but they also give me the most amounts of anxiety; stuck between what they expect of me, versus what I feel like I should do. This is the issue I find myself in currently; I try to reach out and figure out ‘myself’ but one misstep and everything that was worked on to get me here can all disappear. This makes me feel trapped, and even more so this when I believe these feelings in my heart might hold the ‘key’ to release me from this trap I’m in. I desperately seek an answer in all of this, and I’m unsure on how I get it.

 

Thinking about all these issues that beckon Itsuki it started to stress him out as the memories of his past he spent so much time in therapy as well as in his own personal endeavors trying to forget keep coming up in his mind. As he slowly sinks into these memories he recalls the very moments that lead to him even meeting his friend that shaped his life forever.

 

Itsuki daydreams to a moment some years ago…

 

In a small town in the upper parts of Japan was where Itsuki ( whom at this time was going by his real name ) was; it was a windy autumn day but was fairly warm. Red and brown leaves were flowing in the air as kids alike are on their way to school. Itsuki was walking to school, but other students were looking at him weird. Itsuki’s school uniform was a bit dirty, and was unkempt- as if he was rolling around on the ground.  Some were laughing- assuming he was rough housing with other kids, while some were a bit disgusted on why he would come to school looking like that- assuming his home was as just as dirty. However, Itsuki walked on as the tormenting continued; face filled with an unsettling expression of embarrassment, coated with a veil of emotionless sorrow that follows him.

 

Throughout the day students started to spread rumors about Itsuki’s attire; teachers noticed the rumors being spread and some payed attention to his clothing, but assumed at his age he was just playing outside. During lunch, this was very prevalent; other students in the lunchroom looked on as Itsuki decided to sit by himself. This was a bit of a weird thing as Itsuki isn’t a mere loner in school, but the few people he was friendly at school with didn’t really try much to find out why he is sitting alone. Itsuki slowly ate his food unknowing that a particular random boy from across the way looks towards him- noticing his clothes. This particular boy then notices a groups of boys walk by Itsuki, and one of the boys in the group looks at Itsuki. He sees them lock eyes, and Itsuki’s face almost lights up. However, the boy walking passed Itsuki turns away and keeps walking with the group. Itsuki then lowers his head and looks saddened. The boy looks at Itsuki as this happens, and ponders to himself.

 

After school, students are released, and Itsuki leaves school. He heads to the park nearby, and goes and sits on a bench- seemingly away from the playground that is there. Itsuki looks around, notices no one is really around, and attempts to take out a cloth-looking object from his bag. As he does this someone walks up to him- unknown to Itsuki.

 

“Hey, what are you doing?”, said a voice heard from the distance. Itsuki jerks up, and looks behind him to see a boy; the same boy that was watching him earlier. Itsuki’s eyes light up as he recognizes him from rumors; a light-brown haired kid that was tall and lean that comes from a wealthy local family, and was somewhat popular in school. As far as Itsuki was concerned, they both were on two opposite sides of the spectrum- socially, physically, and mentally. He walks up to Itsuki, and Itsuki tries to put back what he tried to get out of his bag back within.

 

“Huh? Uh, nothing…”, said Itsuki nervously to the boy still messing with his bag. The boy slightly turned his head to the side in confusion. He looks at Itsuki, and stares at his clothes. As he does this Itsuki gets a bit nervous. “Is there a problem?...”, Itsuki continues.

 

“Your clothes. They have been the talk of the town today”, said the boy. Itsuki gets red in the face from embarrassment and slightly looks away. He didn’t really respond for a second, and then looks back at him.

 

“I was just playing around before school and they got dirty is all. It’s been embarrassing me like all day”, said Itsuki with an unconvincingly nervous laugh. The boy however is sceptical.

 

“Okay, so then how come you won’t go straight home to change? How come you came to the park if you dirtied up your clothing to the point you’re gettin’ teased?”, said the boy. Itsuki is starting to get a bit annoyed at this random boy’s meddling.

 

“... You are very into my business for some rich, popular boy that doesn’t know me at all…”, said Itsuki. The boy chucked a bit.

 

“You are right. Ahem… Hello, nice to meet you. I am ‘some rich, popular boy that’s meddling’; glad we got that outta the way. L-Look, I just know of you that’s all cut me some slack here, I’m just interested into why you decided to stay in this obscure part of the park- in clothes you are embarrassed to be in that aren’t clean?”, said the boy. Itsuki looks down as he says this, and the boy scoffs a bit. He continues, “You know, I saw that boy in the group ignore you in front of your face today at lunch too. He clearly knew you, and acted like he didn’t know you. What’s up with that? Friends don’t let friends sit alone or check up on them”. Itsuki then looks up at him, and gets annoyed.

 

“He’s not my friend!”, yelled Itsuki. Itsuki then gets startled at his angered response and covers his mouth. He then looks up to the boy. “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you…” continued Itsuki. The boy is a bit startled by his response, and at this moment he realizes it’s deeper than he thought.

 

“Listen, I get the impression I’m meddling in some deep stuff right now. And if I’m being honest I don’t really have a place- nor have a real reason to do this. But, I’d be lying if I said I haven't noticed what I think is an issue, and I am the type to solve issues when I think they are there”, said the boy. Itsuki looks at the boy a bit dumbfounded at his response. The boy continues, “So, are you gonna answer my question, or should I just walk away and mind my business??”. Itsuki is a bit confused as to what his goal is, or if he should talk. However, unknown to the boy, Itsuki doesn't really have much option and is drowning in paralyzing embarrassment. Itsuki sighs.

 

“... The reason why I haven’t went home is because I cannot. I’ve came to this park- to this remote place within- because it's the one place I feel like I can go where I won’t get judged and don’t have to worry about people deceiving me or not believing me”, said Itsuki. Alerted, the boy then sits next to Itsuki on the bench.

 

“A-Are you… Homeless??”, said the boy. Itsuki then starts to cry, and the boy covers his face with his arms. “Hey hey! Shh it’s alright. Hey- talk to me. What’s going on??”, the boy continues. As Itsuki wipes his eyes and sniffs his mucus that started to form in his nose up he looks back up to the boy.

 

“I-I’m sorry… I… I got into a bit of trouble with my parents and… They kicked me out… Disowned me… I… I don’t have anywhere to go because no one else in my immediate family will take me in. This was a few days ago And, I don’t know any of my other friends to ask them something like that like to live with them… I've tried to keep going like everything was the same and I’ve been living how I can ever since”, said Itsuki.

 

“What?? Why?! Go see the administration! You can’t be abandoned by your family at your age! You have to seek help now!”, said the boy as he grabs Itsuki’s wrist to attempt to take him back to school. Itsuki hesitates, and then jerks his arm away from the boy releasing it from his grasp.

 

“No… They can’t help. I shouldn’t, I-I just can’t, no”, said Itsuki.

 

“What are you talking about?? What is so bad that you think they won’t help you? You’re a kid!”, said the kid. Itsuki took a deep breathe, and decided to let out what he had been holding in.

 

“Okay, listen… I was caught... At my house with... A boy”, said itsuki. The boy’s eyes light up,  “T-The same one that passed me in the lunchroom. and we were… Doing things that normal friends do… My father b-beat me while my mom watched; not interfering out of fear and guilt. And, at the end… I don’t know what else to do,they decided they wanted nothing to do with me and kicked me out soon after. The boy- the one you saw at lunch- probably is ignoring me because he doesn’t want anything to do with what I’m going through; my parents didn’t know him- and might want to keep it that way. I don’t have many bruises on my face, but they are elsewhere”, continued Itsuki as he grabs at his sleeve bringing attention to the problem area. The boy is shocked to hear all of this, and now understands the graveness. His eyes light up, and can see why he wouldn’t go to the school for that.

 

“Oh wow… Okay okay I see. Wow, and you just told me all that wow- shit. Y-Your hurt, nowhere to go, probably cold and hungry… Okay, so you are just gonna have to come with me then”, said the boy. Itsuki is a bit confused.

 

“Huh? What are you talking about??”, said Itsuki. However, the boy grabs his wrists again- this time he tugs him towards him and doesn’t let go. However, he grabs a bit too hard. “Ow!”, said Itsuki as he grabs at his bruises.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry. But, you need help. Come with me now; you are heading to my house!”, said the boy. Itsuki blushes a bit.

 

“W-What?”, said Itsuki. The boy looks to Itsuki, and then has a thought pop into his head.

 

“Oh, and before I forget; what is in your bag? Show me”, said the boy. Itsuki gets startled and then looks to his bag that wasn’t fully zipped up.

 

“Oh… Well, I would get too many looks if I let my clothes get too dirty, so what I was taking out if you saw was just a cloth I planned to use as a rag to clean my clothes. Look, I also have like soaps and stuff in my bag as well I stole from school”, said Itsuki showing the boy the insides of his bag, “Not much planning went into all of this… But, I didn’t know what to do. And you know if I approached people with my issue it wouldn’t help much…”. The boy looks saddened as he sees the inside of his back; filled with some school supplies, and certain toiletries like the cloth, soap, pairs of underwear, another dirty shirt, a toothbrush, and a few cents. He also gets more of the weight that he is going through and why he is hesitant.

 

“Listen, you are coming with me. You can stay with me. Come on we aren’t staying here anymore”, said the boy. He attempts to walk away with Itsuki, and then Itsuki tries to stop.

 

“W-Why? What are you helping me?? I’m… I’m gay… Why are you helping me??”, said Itsuki teary-eyed. The boy looks back at Itsuki annoyed.

 

“Listen, I don’t give a frick about that.  This is hate, and you are suffering because you feel and know people will judge you before helping you ‘cause of something they can’t deal with that has nothing to do with them. And I’m helping you and not judging you. Who cares who you kiss? I’m helping you because it’s been clear since I seen you at lunch that if I don’t help you no one else will; and you might seclude yourself and make it so no one can after. And, you must feel some type of comfortable with me since you told me. You told me and disregarded I could also hurt you, or tell someone. I’m not sure if you felt like you had nothing to lose, but I ‘meddled’ it all out of you”, said the boy. Hearing all this, Itsuki started to cry- falling into the boys arms.

 

“It’s okay”, said the boy. However, Itsuki tries to get away from him in shock.

 

“No, I don’t want people to think you are gay- other guys don’t get close to people they think are gay. Students don’t wanna be associated with that! You heard of the last student that came out at this school? Do you know where he is now? Not there anymore. There’s a reason for that”, said Itsuki. This puts a lot into perspective for the boy, and he almost is at a loss at what to say.

 

“You are right, I remember that happened. There is a lot of ignorance in this school- even within me. I don’t care if people think that about me nor am I scared to hug someone that I think can be a friend to me; I’m straight, but I know that I don’t have to worry about my liking being a hinderance on myself, or someone else like some others do. L-Listen dude, I’m not gonna act like I know all the answers to that stuff, but what I do know is you are berated and left homeless over an illogical reason, and I’m not cool with it. You are not staying here another minute!”, said the boy.

 

“But… What makes you think your parents will allow me to just… Like stay with you?”, said Itsuki. The boy scoffs.

 

“Not every person is homophobic, bro. I know it's not a concept you would just roll with and I totally get it. But I am not- or at least with my comprehension of like gay stuff I don’t think so… My parents raised me this way. Look; would you rather deal with that potential issue, or stay here ‘n talk to the birds and the bees? Get your stuff, and come on we are leaving ”, said the boy as he took Itsuki’s hand again and walked again. Itsuki still was a bit hesitant to go, but he went along with the boy to his house.

 

Itsuki is then brought to the boy’s house; a manor out in the distance that he was brought there by a private driver that was waiting out in the distance while the boy talked to Itsuki at the park. Having talked to the boy’s parents about his issue they set him up in a guest room, washed his clothes, and made him feel right at home. Unwilling to meddle in his family issue- feeling like it’s a lost cause- they instead focus on keeping Itsuki on the right academic path and give him a place to sleep. However, the legal applications of this make it hard; the school will go through a lot of stuff if they are informed that Itsuki is gonna live there. They would have to go through all of that, and also the parents could just mess stuff up with them. But ultimately, Itsuki needs to emancipate himself. For now, they are gonna lay low on that fact as most likely Itsuki’s family isn’t going to be looking for them.

 

This continued for a year or so, and in this time this boy becomes Itsuki’s Friend wholeheartedly; he becomes Itsuki’s one and only lifeline and a person he can talk to about the issues he deals with. Itsuki’s Friend also learns to become more progressive about the issues Itsuki and alike face, and greatly shapes his perspective on life. This was a very surreal experience for Itsuki; living with a wealthy family, and having a straight boy as a best friend was something he wouldn’t of thought he would have. Through this time Itsuki tried to learn and not be held down by the trauma that was impacting him still. However, this didn’t last long after he found some type of comfort.

 

In the beginning of Itsuki’s second year in High School he made a mistake; one that would change his life course permanently. Itsuki had meet another man in school- whom was not public with his feelings along with Itsuki. Itsuki then tried to make a move on this boy at school, and was caught. Frantic, the other boy tried to spin the story that Itsuki came onto him without him wanting anything like that- claiming Itsuki ‘tried to turn him Gay’. This rumor spread like wildfire around the school, and impacted Itsuki so hard that he was teased, bullied, and in the grand scheme outed as this was someone that was a eye witness to his homosexuality. This ruined Itsuki’s self-esteem, mental durability, and his trust in love as a boy he trusted to not only tell this secret to but to come onto is the very person that has caused him this current trauma. This problem was so big that it trickled into Itsuki’s Friend’s life- which made Itsuki feel more guilty than ever.

 

Essentially, the school started to find out that Itsuki actually lived with him and not his parents, and the school started to think that he was gay as well, or at the very least harboring someone that was gay as many assumed his family disowned him- which was true when the school finally confirmed it. This didn’t move Itsuki’s Friend- as at the time he had a girlfriend and the girlfriend campaigned that he wasn’t gay- but he wasn’t focused on proving anything. He was concerned about Itsuki’s mental state. Itsuki, after all of this commotion, informed him that he thought that it would be best for all of them for him to not only leave his friends’ house, but to leave their current school. Itsuki’s Friend was very against this- feeling that the school is driving Itsuki out of school, his house, and ultimately his life; he felt this way especially because he was unfazed by the controversy that is trickling to him. However, Itsuki wasn’t moved.

 

So, the end result they came up with is Itsuki’s Friend helped him do just that; his family set him up with The Agency- Itsuki’s Friends’ father was familiar with this agency through business connections, and they intended to relocate him to another region of Japan per Itsuki’s request. Also, around this time Itsuki’s Friend transfer to an American School; part of this was planned and was always going to transfer, but also he transfers partly due to the controversy as well. While he didn’t really care about what people thought he somewhat changed when he was to transfer when he realized Itsuki was leaving him- seeing no reason to stay longer than he had to when basically the school won in kicking Itsuki out. He also didn’t wanna stay due to anger- that this much hate exists. He didn’t wanna live in Japan anymore, and wanted Itsuki to come along with; however Itsuki didn’t know English like he did. With that, Itsuki moved down the country, and Itsuki’s Friend moved to America; they kept in contact through letters ever since…

 

Back in real-time...

 

Itsuki gets out of his daydream of the past, but as he now has a fresh mind of the past- and a face full of tears- he now knows how to fully complete the letter- and ending full of wishful thinking, and hope.

 

In the end, I need to have faith that I was placed in this situation for a reason. I have to see this through, and live happily. And I hope that your time in America has brought you much happiness. Sometimes, I think that you were rushed across the world because of me. But we both are trying to chase paths that make us happy. One day, we will see each other again. But, until then I will remember to write back to you timely. I will not let my anxiety hold me back any longer, and I will take the chance I feel like I have by the bull and ride it wherever it goes. Thank you for being there- even when I didn’t even have clean clothes, and no one would of taken the chance. Thank you for reading my late letter whenever you get it. Thank you.

Sincerely, The one who didn’t stay to talk to the birds and the bees .”

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

It was the next day after school, and Haruhi, Yuki, Ryoko, Kyon, and Itsuki were all in the club room. Kyon was playing a chess game with Itsuki, Ryoko was studying reading a math book, Yuki was playing a game, while Haruhi was writing something on the board. Kyon and Itsuki were smiling away as they had fun playing the game together, but for some reason as Ryoko was studying she started to grow bothered by their ‘fun’. She began to side eye them casually; glaring at Kyon innocently laugh with Itsuki’s remarks, and panning over to see Itsuki smile back with a slight blush-red face. She then looks over to Yuki- who’s full attention was on her game. “ On top of the fact that I actually can’t concentrate on barely concentrating on homework I kinda also want Yuki to distract me from this boring homework like Itsuki is doing stupid Kyon… What’s up with that game anyways... ”, thought Ryoko.

 

Ryoko was indeed having issues concentrating on homework, however it was less about Kyon and Itsuki’s noise, but more on her focus on their bond together. It also annoyed her when comparing their bond to the one she wishes for her to have currently with Yuki, however to Ryoko Yuki has been fairly neutral- almost indifferent to how she feels lately. She finds this odd, and troublesome; not that their friendship is fading or something is wrong, but that she lusts more. This whole internal issue Ryoko has can be summed up in one word; jealousy. As she looks back at her math book she quietly scoffs- but not quiet enough for Kyon to not notice.

 

“Huh? Ryoko did you say something?”, said Kyon.

 

“No Kyon”, said Ryoko as she scoffs again.

 

“Hm?”, said Itsuki puzzled by her response.

 

“Are we making too much noise that you can’t study? We are sorry if that’s the case”, said Kyon and Itsuki nods agreeing to his sentiment.

 

“No, that’s not it. Although, you should be studying and not playing games. Itsuki aren’t you supposed to be helping him pass?”, said Ryoko.

 

“A relaxed and rejuvenated mind is the best mind to tackle hearty tasks. As such, I thought taking a break to unwind would help. Perhaps you should try too”, said Itsuki.

 

“Attention!”, said Haruhi as she finishes writing on the board ‘ Golden Week Training Camp ’ and ‘ Hot Spring! ’, “The club is going to a hot spring! That’s where our training camp is gonna be!”.

 

“Wait, what’s going on?”, said Kyon puzzled. Haruhi then laughs

 

“Here!”, said Haruhi as she set down a stack of journals on the table.

 

“And this is?...”, said Kyon. Itsuki then picks up one of the journals.

 

“The North High Literary Club and Kouyouen Academy joint training camp. This says it’s a trip journal”, said Itsuki.

 

“What is this? Like a guidebook?”, said Yuki as she reads the cover of the journey she is holding. Soon the group starts to read the journals- which are all pre-written journals of the trip Haruhi is talking about. Kyon especially marvels at the info inside.

 

“Man, look at this. It’s really elaborate!”, said Kyon.

 

“Looks like it’s even got a step-by-step description of our route”, said Itsuki as he continues to flip the pages of the  journal.

 

“A hot spring sounds nice”, said Yuki. Ryoko looks on to the journal with a bit of doubt however.

 

“But look at the price though. Don’t know if I trust someplace so inexpensive…”, said Ryoko.

 

“Oh that”, says Haruhi laughing, “Tsuruya-San’s family has rooms at the inn they rent throughout the year, so we got ‘em on the cheap!”.

 

“I got a question”, said Kyon.

 

“Now what?”, said Haruhi.

 

“This is suppose to be like a guidebook right”, said Kyon as he turns the book around to the pages face Haruhi, “What’s this? ‘Cause it looks like a  report on how the trip went”. Itsuki then takes a closer look on the pages in the journal.

 

“Well would you look at that… You’re right”, said Itsuki.

 

“Wow! It’s got my thoughts in it!”, said Yuki. Ryoko starts to become more sceptical.

 

“Hey, what’s goin’ on here?”, said Ryoko. Haruhi laugh some more.

 

“It’s not my fault you got the wrong idea; I never said it was a guidebook”, said Haruhi.

 

“Well… Tell us what it really is then”, said Kyon.

 

“It’s the report on our camp. The one we will submit to our respective schools. We can’t just say we went on a trip, and it was great- things don’t work like that. We’re the Literary Club, right? So it’s only appropriate that we create a written report to turn in when we are done! It’ll prove how much we’ve grown as a result of our trip! Academic growth is the point of this little getaway after all!”, said Haruhi leaving everyone puzzled without words to say, “At least that is what I told our schools when I was getting permission anyway. I thought my arm was gonna fall off making all those for everyone”, she continues cranking her arm. Suddenly, Kyon realized that while they were not meeting up for club meetings the past few times per result of Haruhi canceling for unknown reasons she was actually working on these reports for everyone.

 

“Only you…”, said Kyon sighing with a bit of a smile on his face. Ryoko then sighs.

 

“If we have to submit a report shouldn’t we all work together to write it after the training camp?”, said Ryoko.

 

“You don’t get it do you? Alright, lemme see if I can make this clearer”, said Haruhi as she starts to pace around, “Take summer homework for example; you end up dreading it over your whole vacation which totally ruins your fun! However, take of it first and the problem’s solved! So that’s precisely what I did! So now this trip can be all about having fun! You got that? F-U-N!”.

 

“You have so much energy… Have you ever thought about doing something productive with it?”, said Kyon.

 

“That’s Miss Suzumiya”, said Itsuki laughing, “All apart of what makes her so charming you know?”, said itsuki.

 

“I feel bad…”, said Yuki- causing everyone to get shocked, “You did everything; plan the whole trip, fill out reports for everybody… I’m suppose to be the president, but what did I do?...”.

 

“Hmm…”, said Haruhi. Ryoko looks onto Yuki in dismay that she feels down about herself, but doesn't know what to say. Then, she gets up and goes over to Yuki and squeezes her cheeks.

 

“Oh Yuki, you don’t always have to be a downer all the time. Miss Suzumiya did this ‘cause she wanted to I would assume; so we could all focus on having a good time with all that has been going on with school and whatnot. She surely didn’t have to, so I think we should marvel in that”, said Ryoko smiling to Yuki snapping Yuki out of her funk.

 

“Yea! Totally what she said; I wanted to do this and that’s that. So we’re good now, right?”, said Haruhi.

 

“I’d listen her her if I were you; if she didn’t feel like doing it she would have no problem dumping it on the rest of us!”, said Kyon.

 

“Wait a minute! That’s enough! Anyway, There’s a good chance our teacher will ask us about what’s in the reports later, so make sure you read them so you know what you wrote! Well, I’m gonna go give these ones to Asahina and Tsuruya-San”, said Haruhi.

 

“I’ll go with you! I wanna thank Tsuruya-San for helping out in this”, said Ryoko.

 

“Should all of us go?”, said Kyon.

 

“Nah, she is in the middle of club activity; she doesn’t need a whole parade just to say ‘thank you’. Plus, she is coming with us too!”, said Haruhi.

 

“Hm, right. Well we will wait here then”, said Kyon.

 

Ryoko and Haruhi soon leave to go give the last two journals meant for Mikuru and Tsuruya. They walk down a flight of stairs and continue to talk; Ryoko continuing to give praise for Haruhi working so very hard on the journals the past few days. Suddenly, Ryoko thinks to ask Haruhi something

 

“Miss Suzumiya… Can I ask you something?”, said Ryoko.

 

“Huh? Sure.”, said Haruhi.

 

“Mr. Koizumi and Kyon… What do you know of them?”, said Ryoko. Suddenly, Haruhi’s expression got very serious.

 

“... What do you mean?”, said Haruhi skeptical trying to keep face; she can tell this is tricky water to wade through in saying something to Ryoko about Itsuki that might be controversial.

 

“Well…”, said Ryoko. She then tells Haruhi about what she and Yuki had witnessed the past couple days with Kyon and Itsuki’s unique interactions. These interaction have left Ryoko questioning the state of Kyon and Itsuki’s relationship with each other, and how that impacts Yuki whom Ryoko still believes ‘likes’ Kyon. Up until this point, Haruhi has been kept mostly out of the loop on a lot of the conversations pertaining this, and has only heard about it from Itsuki’s perspective. Thinking to herself, Haruhi recalls often how she would talk on the phone with Itsuki about specific things about Kyon, but never bothered to talk about it with any of the others. So, it comes with a little shock to hear Ryoko talk about Itsuki to her with the intention of learning Haruhi’s side; Ryoko possibly only walked with haruhi to get info out of her. However, Haruhi isn’t interested in telling her anything.

 

“I don’t know much about Itsuki’s personal life, but anything that might be going on I think it might be best to wait for Itsuki to approach us all collectively about it, you know?”, said Haruhi trying to deflect the situation.

 

“Hm… I suppose. I just worry about Yuki… I feel like she likes Kyon, and deflects her true feelings ‘cause he isn’t interested in her like that. I don’t want her heart broken on the trip; I want her to be in a nice healthy relationship with someone that loves her one day...”, said Ryoko. Haruhi rolls her eyes a bit.

 

“Well, I don’t know- nor care- about who Kyon likes. But, if that’s what Yuki truly feels she will just have to get over it, and be there for her when she falls. Perhaps, across the board, people have a bad way of dealing with their own feelings, and not making them known I suppose…”, said Haruhi cunningly.

 

“Yea… Oh well, hopefully she will get her chance to over this trip. It does sound fairly romantic on paper with the co-ed bathrooms and scenery. I’ll make sure of it!”, said Ryoko with a less-than powerful laugh.

 

“Yea, let’s hope all goes well I guess...”, said Haruhi as she continues to walk. As she says this Ryoko starts walking away in another direction, “Hey, where are you going?! The classroom is this way!”.

 

“I have newfound determination to use this opportunity you given us in the most useful way, and I realized I have to prepare! I will see you later Miss Suzumiya have a nice day!”, said Ryoko as she runs off. Haruhi scoffs.

 

“Well... I guess for some this might be a different kind of training camp, hehe”, said Haruhi as she continues on.

 

Days later…

 

The group all plan to round up at Kitaguchi Station to take a train that will bring them to the hot spring. Currently, Haruhi, Yuki, and Itsuki all wait at the station outside for everyone else. Haruhi distributes the train tickets she has for Itsuki and Yuki, and itsuki starts to look around the outside area.

 

“So, where is everybody else?”, said Itsuki. Suddenly, running footsteps make their way towards them, and they hear a sudden yelled reply.

 

“I’m back!”, said Ryoko as she approaches Haruhi, Yuki, and Itsuki causing them to turn here way, “Good! Looks like more people have joined us!”.

 

“What did you run to the store for? What did you get, some snacks?”, said Haruhi.

 

“Better than that! Antibacterial wipes!”, said Ryoko.

 

“Is that all? Agh…”, said Haruhi as she starts to frown from disappointment thinking she actually got snacks for them all.

 

“Hey y’all!”, said Tsuruya off in the distance. She waves joyfully to the group as she walks with Mikuru.

 

“Looks like all the ladies are here now”, said Itsuki.

 

“I’m so sorry we are late. Have you been waiting for very long?”, said Mikuru.

 

“Nah, you guys are fine- nothing to worry about. Kyon’s still not here of course”, said Haruhi. As she says this itsuki starts to think about Kyon, and starts blushing. Mikuru sees this, and approaches Itsuki.

 

“Mr. Koizumi, are you hot? Your face is all red. Do you want some ice for the long train ride?”, said Mikuru. Itsuki suddenly snaps out of his daydreaming.

 

“Huh? N-No, I am fine. Hehe. Just lost in thought- I’m not hot”, said Itsuki.

 

“Oh, okay!”, said Mikuru smiling. Haruhi looks over to Itsuki, and sighs.

 

Some time passes, and the group is still waiting around for Kyon. Not long after Kyon pulls up to the side of the street riding his bicycle and parks it in a ‘No Bicycle Parking’ spot. He parks the bicycle, grabs his bag, and hurries over.

 

“Hey!!”, said Kyon panting.

 

“You’re late! Pay the price”, said Haruhi annoyed.

 

“Come on I’m sorry…It took me forever to shake off my little sister…”, said Kyon.

 

“No excuses! You can’t get away without a penalty!”, said Haruhi.

 

“N-Now Miss Suzumiya, I’m sure Kyon would have been here earlier if he could have”, said Itsuki trying to defend Kyon. Kyon then looks to Itsuki, and blushes a bit.

 

“Nope. Come on guys I’m a little worn out from waiting for Kyon, aren’t you? Lets go over to that coffee shop- Kyon’s treat!”, said Haruhi pointing over to shop across the way.

“Agh…”, groaned Kyon as he feels defeated. The group all go with the flow and start walking to the shop. Kyon then goes to pick up his bag, and Itsuki instead picks it up for him.

 

“You already did enough trying to get here on Haruhi’s time; let me at least carry your stuff to the shop if you are paying, hehe”, said Itsuki with a smile. Kyon, a little tired from the pedaling, thankfully agrees.

 

They sit down at a booth in the coffee shop; Haruhi, Itsuki, and Tsuruya all get coffee, while Yuki, Mikuru, and Ryoko get soda. Haruhi, quick to drink her coffee, burns here tongue a bit, and as kyon antagonizes her Itsuki switches his slightly colder coffee with hers so she can drink it. She drink a cold glass of water to calm her mouth in the meantime.

 

“So anyways, besides Kyon paying his price the reason why we came here was to discuss the route. Our destination is in the middle of the mountains. We’re going to be spending a long time on the train. So we need to think through one important detail... Who is sitting with who! That kinda thinking can really affect how good the trip will be!”, said Haruhi. Suddenly, she brings out sticks. “We will draw sticks to determine our seating!”, she continued. The sticks were color-coded, so the person will sit next to the person with the corresponding color. Kyon and itsuki go to pick their sticks first, and as they do Ryoko is suddenly lost in thought.

 

This may appear to be just about seating arrangements… But, for a girl in love…  It’s so much more!… Yuki could be sitting just mere inches from Kyon and finally she will get her chance… But… Would I rather her sit next to me?...   ”, thought Ryoko.  As she was lost in thought everyone ended up picking seats besides here, and she was left with the last stick...

 

The train takes off, and as Haruhi sits in a row with Yuki, and both of them sit in front of Ryoko. To her side, Tsuruya and Mikuru sit, and together are Itsuki and Kyon. Haruhi look onto them with a slight smile- as if she did this to organize them to sit together.

 

“Well, I guess the randomness is the whole point of drawings, huh? Hehe”, said Ryoko trying to butter up the situation. Haruhi smirks to herself as she says this.

 

“Yea, trying to pick a certain one doesn’t really work I’m afraid”, said Haruhi looking towards Ryoko.

 

“Huh? And what are you trying to say Miss Suzumiya?”, said Ryoko.

 

“Oh, nothing… Just stating facts is all”, said Haruhi.

 

“Well I wasn’t doing that! I’m not thinking like there was anyone specific people should of been sitting with, or jealous that everyone has a buddy but me”, said Ryoko as she opens up a bag of chips and starts to eat them, and continues to talk with her mouth full, “I perswonally wike the shpace and I have shome pwlace to pwace my tshings and swuch”, said Ryoko. Yuki started to laugh nervously.

 

Emotional eating? Geese… Talk about butt hurt… ”, thought Haruhi.

 

“Hey, Asakura. Asakura!”, said Kyon trying to get her attention, “Those look tasty, mind if I have some?”.

 

“Huh? Hm… Sure”, said Ryoko as she hands the bag over the aisle to Kyon, and he reaches inside to grab some chips. Itsuki leans over Kyons shoulder.

 

“Mind if I have some too? All the drinking went right through me and I’m not noticeably hungry”, said Itsuki.

 

“TMI much?”, said Kyon to Itsuki whom just laughed it off. Ryoko scoffed.

 

“J-Just have it. You guys can share the rest; I have more snacks anyways”, said Ryoko somewhat jealously.

 

“Hm? Well, if you say so. Itsuki, you hear that? Chips for us!”, said Kyon. Itsuki smiles.

 

“Hehe. Don’t go eating them all Kyon you actually have to share them”, said Itsuki being a bit flirty.

 

“What do you mean? I share stuff sometimes…”, said Kyon groaning a bit, “Here, you can have the biggest chip in the bag!”, continued Kyon as he reaches into the bag, pulls out the chip, and goes to hand feed it to Itsuki. Blushingly, Itsuki bits into it- but doesn't bite all of the chip.

 

“T-Thanks”, said Itsuki, who is a bit flustered Kyon fed him in front of everybody after all that has happened- however to Kyon he could simply be normalizing the act.

 

“Well you didn’t bite all of it so the rest of it is for me”, said Kyon as he finished the chip he meant to give all to Itsuki. Itsuki blushed- taking that as them in some ways ‘kissing’ as his lips met on the leftover chip that Kyon now ate. As he face got red he turned to face the window.

 

“Hm? Hey, you aren’t mad I ate it are you? Come on, there is plenty more I’m sorry”, said Kyon a bit confused. Seeing all this causes Ryoko to sigh to herself.

 

I wanted to share those with Yuki… I wished she at least sat next to me if she didn’t even end up sitting next to Kyon… What my luck ”, thought Ryoko. Still, Yuki looks happy, so Ryoko is calmed by this. As Yuki locks eyes with Ryoko she smiles at her- acknowledging that everything is fine even if they didn’t go her way- and Ryoko is calmed even moreso. “ Well, I guess we are sorta sitting next to each other in the greater scheme of things… Hehe ”, thought Ryoko some more.

 

The gang all wait out the rest of the train ride; Mikuru and Tsuruya chatting about, Haruhi getting taught by Yuki on how to play her game, and Ryoko watching Yuki as she is having fun. Across the way, Kyon is sitting there in his own thoughts when he feels a slight presence on his right shoulder; Itsuki fell asleep on his shoulder and is leaned on him. Kyon gets flustered when he notices this, and doesn't know whether to wake him due to the awkwardness of being around their friends, or to let him be out of kindness. Kyon looks around, sees that everyone is essentially preoccupied with their own thing, and thinks, “ Letting him rest for a bit won’t hurt anyone… We have been on the train for a while anyways… And he is kinda warm... ”. Kyon then relaxes into his seat, slightly rests his head on Itsuki’s, and doses off as well. Haruhi, looking up from the game, cracks a smile from the side of her face, and goes back to playing with Yuki.


-CHAPTER END-

 

Chapter Text

The gang all get off the train after a long but soothing ride, and take all their luggage to the outside area of the station. Itsuki, sighfully, then walks over to Haruhi as he brings her bags to her from the train while also carrying his own.

 

“Here is your bags Miss Suzumiya. It’s nice to be outta that train, huh?" said Itsuki. Haruhi stretches her limbs- releasing a sound that expressed her joy in releasing her tension.

 

“Feels good to stretch! And yea totally. Hope you enjoyed your nap " said Haruhi to Itsuki causing him to blush.

 

“Y-Yea… Hehe" said Ituski.

 

“What are y’all talking about?" said Kyon.

 

“Nothing" said itsuki getting alert.

 

“Okay okay! Time to have fun!" said Haruhi.

 

“Okay… Well, we are here… So now what? Do we go straight to the hot spring? How far is the inn from here?" said Kyon.

 

“Geese… Did you even look at the guidebook?" said Ryoko to Kyon annoyed at his failure to read into their trip.

 

“The inn is set deep into the heart of the mountains, so we’ll switch to a van for this leg!" said Tsuruya.

 

“Awe really? More traveling?" groaned Haruhi.

 

You wrote that thing, so why are you surprised?" said Kyon.

 

“I’m not surprised, I’m just really tired of traveling" said Haruhi.

 

“Well, we have some time before the shuttle that will take us to the inn gets here. Anyone wanna explore?" said Tsuruya to the group.

 

“Well… If we do, what are we gonna do with our bags while we walk around?" said Kyon.


“Already ahead of you on that! Look over there~" said Tsuruya pointing to a place where there is multiple lockers perfect for tourists like themselves to lock away belongings. The group all go there to put away their materials in the lockers, with Itsuki doing all the work for Haruhi. Kyon, seeing this, goes over to Itsuki once he is done with his own bags and helps put Itsuki’s bags away- causing Itsuki to blush.

 

“Alright. We are all set, all the lockers are locked up!" said Kyon. Wanting to get a bit to eat the group all head to a nearby restaurant to eat some food. While they are there the group ponder what to do next.

 

“So the van is coming to pick us up around dusk? What do we do until then?" said Mikuru.

 

“Well according to the journal- which I read after being accused of not reading it- we are suppose to visit a nearby temple until then" said Kyon causing Ryoko to scoff to herself.

 

“Wow, I’ll give you an A+ for effort, F for delivery" said Ryoko.

 

“It’s not the most exciting thing, but yea; that’s what everybody does" said Haruhi.

 

“Take a look; the nearby temple- the Zenkoji Temple- is one people call ‘power spots’; they are spiritual, and give you energy if you visit them.

 

“You get some kind of mystical power just by going there? That’s so totally ridiculous… But I bet it’s true right? We gotta go now!" said Haruhi.

 

“Sure, it might be fun- especially since by the journal’s sake we already were there. Wouldn’t hurt to go in person" said Itsuki.

 

“Agh, it’s always something with you…" said Kyon.

 

“Alright guys, then we are off!" said Haruhi.

 

As they leave the restaurant Haruhi hurries along ahead of everyone else to Zenkoji Temple; Ryoko getting annoyed by the fact that Haruhi is going off ahead.

 

“Does she know what it means to travel in a group?" said Ryoko. Kyon sighs.

 

“At this point, just accept all that comes to you; at least we know where she is headed" said Kyon. 

 

“Yea. While on the way let’s do some sight seeing!" said Tsuruya.

 

“Yea, that sounds like fun!" said Yuki. The gang- minus Haruhi- visited many interesting places along the way to the temple; looking at the local buses, antique shops, and points of interest in the local area until the all reached the temple where Haruhi stood gazing at the statues at the front gate of the temple with a face of conviction to track down this ‘power’.

 

“Geese, do those statues freak out anyone else or is it just me?" said Mikuru.

 

“Hmm… I guess they are impressive lookin’ all fierce like that I suppose. But those guys got nothing’ of me!" said Haruhi boasting herself up.

 

“Hehe. Those statues got nothing on you" Itsuki said cheering on Haruhi’s statement.

 

“You are competing with statues… Wonder how low you must already be to have to claim statues are above you" said Kyon.

 

“You’re right, what am I thinking! I shouldn’t be spending time proclaiming my obvious superior standing towards these statues- I need to find this power! Come on, where is it? Power spot power spot power spot!" said Haruhi. Kyon sighed once more.

 

“But you already got your wish! This entire temple is suppose to be a power spot. So-" said Itsuki before getting cut off.

 

“We're goin’ in! Don’t fall behind!" said Haruhi as she rushed into the temple grounds.

 

“Godspeed…" said Kyon praying.

 

With that, the gang entered Zenkoji Temple; admiring the architecture and historical significance this place has to display for the joyful ones that happen to visit. The streets were filled to the brim with onlookers who were also admiring the tapestries and old merchandise on display on window sills as they pass by. 

 

“Well, you sure can tell who here is a tourist and who is a local by the difference in clothing attire" said Kyon as he points over to a random dude walking, “Look, that guy is wearing a straight up office suit in this weather- total tourist" said Kyon. Suddenly, Itsuki nudges his side. 

 

“Kyon, it’s rude to point. And are you tourist shaming? We aren’t dressed the most local either" said Itsuki.

 

“Ah! Yea that’s rude my bad. And well, I guess we stick out like a sore thumb then too, hehe" said Kyon looking at his clothing.

 

“There is also a lot of shops around here too" said Itsuki.

 

“Yea. Where should we visit?" said Ryoko.

 

“Mmm… Well there is some food stalls- we could eat something if anyone is hungry" said Kyon. The gang stop by a nearby food cart where they gaze at a shop owner preparing a dish behind the counter.

 

“Hm, but we kinda just ate guys we can save up our money and time and eat once we arrive at the hot spring" said Itsuki.

 

“Yea… You do have a point" said Ryoko.

“Plus, I feel like there is a thing where you subconsciously feel more hungry where you are around food stalls or places where you can eat. You just get the feeling to when in reality you aren’t actually hungry" said Itsuki.

 

“You’re hitting us with some deep stuff right now Itsuki, I never would have thought about that" said Kyon causing Itsuki to laugh.

 

“I’m a people watcher when I’m off on walks on my own- you pick up on things" said Itsuki. However, as they were bantering none of them noticed Yuki freaking out over all the delicious food she could buy- her eyes in a dizzy as she confuses herself on a decision.

 

“Hehe, looks like Miss Nagato wants more to eat though!" said Itsuki.

 

“Mmm… May I have the Nozowana Vegetable Oyaki Buns, Azuki Beans, Pumpkin Ayaki Buns, and a Soba Bun please??" said Yuki with unwavering conviction.

 

“You want all four ?!" said Ryoko, Kyon, and the store chef in a surprised tandem. Surprised, the store chef prepares Yuki’s order to perfection, and hands her a bag of delectable goodies. 

 

“Well, while you eat that I’m gonna go find drinks. Anyone that’s wanna come with can but I’ll be right back" said Kyon. 

 

“We’ll go! No need to rush to Miss ‘need-to-find-a-power-spot’ so soon!" said Tsuruya. MIkuru nods her head agreeing with Tsuruya.

 

“I’ll go" said Itsuki.

 

“Hey, Ryoko. You wanna stay and sit here with me?" said Yuki. 

 

“Sure!" said Ryoko. As Kyon, Itsuki, Tsuruya and Mikuru walk off to go get drinks Yuki sits on a bench with Ryoko as she opens into one of the items, and admires it’s savory taste.

 

“You like it, Nagato?" said Ryoko onlooking.

 

“Mmm... It’s so hot but, so yummy~" said Yuki smiling as Yuki breaks apart the food in her hand holding it with a napkin. Ryoko smiles.

 

“I’ll take that as a yes" said Ryoko. Yuki smiles back at her.

 

“Here, try some!" said Yuki as she hands Ryoko the bit she ate off of.

 

“B-But you are eating that!" said Ryoko. 

 

“So? Do you want something else? I am not sick or anything" lamented Yuki. Suddenly, Ryoko started to blush.

 

“N-No, this is fine- sorry. I’ll take it thank you" said Ryoko as she goes to grab the food in Yuki’s hand. However, it’s still hot and so Ryoko almost burns her hands. “Ow!" Ryoko yells.

 

“Watch out it’s still hot. Here, let me feed you it!" said Yuki causing Ryoko to blush heavily.

 

“Huh? Wha- No! You don’t have to do that Nagato it’s fine I’ll just eat later" confessed Ryoko. Yuki giggled, and help out the food to Ryoko’s mouth.

 

“Here, say ‘Ah!~’" said Yuki as she opened her mouth as well mimicking what Ryoko should be doing. Giving into the pressure, Ryoko opened her mouth and bit down softly on the bun Yuki was holding for her- her cheeks filling with the oozing sauce, and beaming bright red from the taste as well as the moment. The umami of the food almost captulazes her as she gazes into Yuki’s eyes as she feeds her.

 

“Mwow! it’s weally good!- I can shee why you wanted thish sho bad!" said Ryoko with her mouth filled. Yuki smiled some more watching Ryoko fall head-over-heels for the food.

 

“See?" said Yuki giggling. She noticed a bit left on Ryoko’s cheek and so Yuki used her finger to wipe it off, “You had a bit on your face”. Ryoko held her cheek after Yuki wiped it- imagining still Yuki touching her, and her face got everso redder.

 

“Thanks…" said Ryoko unsure of how to go about the situation next. 

 

“Hm? You are awfully red, Ryoko. Are you okay? Was it too hot? I can go get water" said Yuki worried about Ryoko’s state.

 

“No, it’s fine- I’m fine. Thank you though, Nagato" said Ryoko.

 

“Come on, you can just call me Yuki, Ryoko. At this point what’s the need for the formality?" said Yuki.

 

What? I’ve always addressed ehr as such as far as i can remember… Is this like… A step forward in our relationship budding?? Agh… I’m just really nervous is all…! " thought Ryoko. She then shook her head to clear her thoughts, “Sorry, Y-Yuki" said Ryoko.

 

“Hey! We went off and got some drinks, you guys thirsty?" said Kyon running back to Yuki and Ryoko. Tsuruya, Mikuru, and itsuki are all holding drinks of their own as well as a few more.

 

“We got a bunch of juices, but if you didn’t want that we also have water" said Itsuki tailing behind him.

 

“I’ll have juice!”. Said Yuki.

 

“I’ll just have a water at the moment. I seriously need to chill out" said Ryoko. Kyon chuckles to himself.

 

“Gosh, you look worn out. If you need a recharge we can always find you a power spot!" said Kyon. Ryoko cocks her head unimpressed by Kyon’s bad pun.

 

“Wow. You must have stayed up all night thinking of that one" said Ryoko. Itsuki laughs.

 

“Come on guys, let’s keep going- we don’t wanna keep Miss Suzumiya waiting too lon- wait. Isn’t that her right there?" said Itsuki. As he says that all the group looks over to Haruhi walking towards them holding two ice cream cones.

 

“Heya! I only have one extra arm so I could only get one more ice cream. Here, Itsuki- it’s yours" said Haruhi.

 

“W-Wait what? How come him?!" said Kyon.

 

“Kyon, now is not the time to be jealous. Itsuki is always carrying my bags and stuff, so I’m just showing gratitude for that in a vanilla-flavor!" said Haruhi with a smile. 

 

“Wow, hehe. Is that so? Thank you Miss Suzumiya I will humbly accept" said Itsuki. 

 

“What happened to the power spot?" said Kyon.

 

“Well, it’s not going anywhere. Hey! Lets try that next!" said Haruhi pointing to another dessert stand to get some shaved ice- this time some for all of the group. As they muddle off their brain freezes Kyon and Ryoko head into a souvenir shop. Inside are various clothing items, fans, nick-knacks, paintings, and trinkets. 

 

“Hey, Kyon. Are you gonna get anything as a souvenir for your family?" said Ryoko up an item off the counter in front of her.

 

“Heh, yea. I kinda have to or else my little sister will freak out. How about you?" said Kyon.

 

“I’m not sure yet. Just because my parents live overseas" said Ryoko.

 

“Hm, well. You can always pick up something later if you change your mind" said Kyon.

 

“Yea. That’s a good idea" said Ryoko.

 

Over in another store, Yuki Mikuru, and Tsuruya are shopping around in a clothing store. Tsuruya had just got done buying a mess ton of things- making Yuki and Mikuru uneasy on the weight load of her bags. While Tsuruya continues to parade around the store buying more things Kyon and Ryoko admire a unique looking stick- one that Ryoko sees in stores often being sold. Mikuru takes a liking to one and picks it up, and admires it’s design.

 

“Wow, this one even has a back massager on the tip! Pretty useful if you ask me" said Mikuru making Yuki laugh, and Kyon and Ryoko stare on blankly. Yuki gets inspired, and starts to look, try on, and by other various things- following in Tsuruya’s image; things like hats, remote-controlled toys, and stuffed toy pigs. As Mikuru chases after the remote-controlled toy Yuki controls on the floor Tsuruya follow them. Ryoko shakes her head, and sighs.

 

“Well, she’s special alright. But, that is why I like her" said Ryoko.

 

“Hehe, careful now- with the way you been actin’ I might think you are being serious" said Kyon jokingly with an oblivious face. Suddenly, Ryoko tenses up and gets red.

 

“W-What did you just say?! I have no idea why you would think or joke about that. I-I’m just saying that her demeanor is unique and likeable" said Ryoko nervously.

 

“Huh… O-Kay then" said Kyon confused. 

 

Afterwards, the group leaves the store and head out around. Itsuki pulls out a camera, and starts to document the fun they are having via taking pictures of the cool things they are doing, or catching his friends in cool poses, landscapes, or situations. As Kyon looks out to the distance- while standing next to Yuki- Itsuki takes a pic of Kyon as he is focused on the scenery. As he takes the pic the light flashes- alerting Kyon to what he was doing.

 

“H-Hey! I wasn’t paying attention- don’t have me looking weird or anything please??" said Kyon. Itsuki blushed.

 

“Kyon- there isn’t a way you would look bad in any photo taken. And I’ll make sure I take the best photos of you" said Itsuki causing Kyon to blush and turn away to hid his face. Yuki saw Kyon’s reaction, and smiled silently to herself.

 

By then, Haruhi had ran off ahead once more- eager to find a power spot. The group all walk past a wall of wooden amulets on display- each with a different persons wish on it. As they pass by it peaks Yuki and Itsuki’s interest. The group walks up to Haruhi bathing in the smoke emanating from a statue with her arms extended outward, and totally catching looks from onlookers. Ryoko looks on annoyingly.

 

“What are you doing Miss Suzumiya?" said Ryoko.

 

“Can’t you see? I’m gettin’ mystical power from the power spot!" said Haruhi.

 

“So… This is the power spot you keep talking about?" said Ryoko. Itsuki sighs and goes to speak.

 

“But I said the power spot is the entire tem-”

 

“Yes! Apparently, when you bathe yourself in this mystical smoke you physical strength goes up one level!" said Haruhi cutting Itsuki off. 

 

“It’s best to just let her live in her own fantasy…" said Kyon to Itsuki. As the smoke spreads Ryoko coughs.

 

“Well, I did hear that the smoke can her parts of the body it touches. But I think it’s a bundle of incense per body part- I don’t know if using one prolonged will do you much good" said Ryoko.

 

“Don’t worry- every minute I’m gonna throw another bundle of them inside! Actually- Itsuki can you do that?" said Haruhi. Itsuki sighs once more.

 

“I guess Miss Suzumiya…" said Itsuki as he grabs the bundles and stands near the smoky statue.

 

“Agh, okay that’s enough!" said Ryoko as she grabs Haruhi.

 

“Hey! What are you doing!?" said Haruhi.

 

“I am dragging you away from this power spot- It's doing nothing that you want and you know it" said Ryoko struggling to keep Haruhi away.

 

“Yes it is! I only got up to my right bicep it’s still working it’s magic!" said Haruhi.

 

“Haha. You two sure are having fun- totally jealous" said Tsuruya laughing.

 

“Knowing her, I can’t tell if she is being sarcastic or serious" said Kyon out loud to himself.

 

“... Do you think we should go and help?" said Yuki.

 

“No. I would leave them be. Come on, let’s just go pray the regular way" said Kyon. Mikuru, and Itsuki all agree, but Yuki shook her head ‘no’.

 

“I’ll stay with Ryoko and Haruhi- you guys go" said Yuki. Kyon shrugged his shoulders, and they head off to the praying station nearby. Once there, they each through coins down the slots in front of them and they start to pray. After some time Mikuru and Itsuki stand in silence- deep in their own prayer, Kyon speaks.

 

“You know, I saw this on TV once that when praying to the Gods it’s best to include as much detail as possible. LIke who you are wishing about, or what you want to happen… At least I think that applies to this place at least I’m not too sure what specific type of praying spot it pertained to" said Kyon. Itsuki smiled, and went back to praying.

 

Hm… Who am I wishing about… Who do I want it to happen with?... " thought Itsuki.

 

Back down the stairway- where Haruhi and Ryoko still wrestle about- Tsuruya has joined in Haruhi’s fun, and wants to try the power sot smoke too. Haruhi desperately tries to get back to the power spot as well, and while this goes on Yuki stands there as Ryoko struggles to contain both of them. She goes to approach Ryoko, Tsuruya, and Haruhi, however she suddenly gets a stinging headache pain. She holds her head as she stumbles a bit; no one else noticing her doing so.

 

“W-What? Why does my head hurt so much all of the sudden?..." said Yuki. Suddenly, the area starts to digitize; numbers align the area around her, and she starts sinking more and more into her head trauma, “No… Not this again” she moans.

 

There is little to no time left to correct the path; against my calculations, the mystical energy of the altar is not reversing the schism as I had planned- in fact, it is the opposite; the powers of the temple mixed with Miss Suzumiya’s is causing the schism to worsen. By my calculations, you have until the trip is over to correct the path. Please...

 

The mysterious voice inside Yuki’s head spoke to her like a ghost whispering inside your eardrum; heavy, damp, and daunting. It rattled her insides as this time the words were more cold and desperate than past times. More so, it talked to Yuki as if they were pleading towards her- not specifically ordering her like all other times. It also seems to be communicating with her- and not talking towards her. Yuki, having enough of this, regained her footing and rose.

 

“I’m so sick and tired of this… I create my own path to walk- no one else! Whatever ‘schism’ talk you mention doesn’t concern me, and I will no longer allow you to govern over me!" said Yuki.

 

My intentions are for you to live the life you always wanted. I am helping you; by stopping the schism and following the path I am giving you it helps me in return. He is the only way- Kyon

 

“Kyon??... Who even are you? How can you talk to me? Wait- I can’t even believe I’m considering what I’m hearing is even a thing ! But, I have no way to explain what I am hearing… Am I the only one that hears this??" said Yuki to herself.

 

I am nothing more than a-

 

“Guys! Do you hear that??" yelled Yuki to Ryoko, Haruhi, and Tsuruya alerting their attention.

 

“Huh?" said Tsuruya.

 

“All I’m hearing is Haruhi’s bickering- can someone please help?!" yelled Ryoko- catching Kyon, Mikuru, and Itsuki’s attention too. 

 

“Come on- if she can get a power-up why can’t I??" proclaimed Tsuruya.

 

Please don’t encourage her Tsuruya!" said Ryoko. Kyon sighs.

 

“Looks like I should go help- you guys can stay here I’ll be right back" said Kyon to Mikuru and Itsuki.

 

“Well, okay" said Itsuki.

 

“Sorry I am not much help with them both Miss Asakura! I don’t know if I could hold them off any better than you" said Mikuru. As Kyon goes to help Yuki still sands there- lost in thought.

 

... But… So, they didn’t hear? No one?? No one even noticed? This is the first time that has happened in a public space like this but… It always happens when no one is around me. Perhaps it stopped because they started to! " thought Yuki. She then got a determined look on her face, “I’m just going to focus on my friends and not some illusion in my head- plus, no one would believe me if I told them… Agh… Well my headache stopped so maybe whoever that was is leaving me alone…" said Yuki.

 

“Yuki, are you talking to yourself?" sadi Ryoko puzzled.

 

“Huh? N-No! I’m coming sorry I was lost in thought!’, said Yuki as she rushes over too. Back at the shrine, Mikuru turns her head to Itsuki.

 

“So, did you make you wish, Koizumi?" said Mikuru.

 

“Huh? Yea, I did. Hehe" said Itsuki.

 

“Good! Well then, why not go check out that shop- I think they sell amulets. I was thinking of getting one maybe as a good luck charm for my entrance exams" said Mikuru.

 

“Well, doesn’t hurt to explore it at least" said Itsuki. And so, Mikuru and Itsuki make their way to the shop where they browsed various amlets on displace. Itsuki struggled to find one that he thought he should get, and suddenly, Mikuru picks one up.

 

“Hey! I think this one might be one you want" said Mikuru. Itsuki walks over to see the one Mikuru is holding, and it’s a ‘matchmaking amulet’. Ituski blushes.

 

“W-Why would you think I would want that Miss Asahina??" said Itsuki nervously.

 

“Well, in case you just wanted an extra good luck energy to help you in making decisions in your love life- or, getting someone else to come around to you is all" said Mikuru. Itsuki’s face go shocked.

 

Does she… Does she suspect me and my feelings for Kyon? N-No there is no way she of all people would know that. Could the girls really have been talking about what happened? B-But Miss Suzumiya hasn’t told me anything of the sort... " thought Itsuki as he began to panic inside.

 

“Look- it’s best to do so now while no one is watching. Hold on-" said Mikuru as she closes her eyes, “Look, now really no one is watching!”. Itsuki smiles, and blushes.

 

“... Thank you Mikuru. You are very sweet. I… Just, things with me and love are complicated- let’s just say that" said Itsuki.

 

“Hm? Well, I just assumed you might wanna based off your reaction, but I’m sure this will help you in the long run" said Mikuru. Itsuki got alerted.

 

What? So, does she really suspect me? Or is she just reeeeally dead on the money? " thought Itsuki. However, Itsuki shook off the thought, grabbed the amulet from Mikuru’s hands, and bought it. 

 

“Hello. I would like to buy this amulet please" said Itsuki causing- Mikuru to smile as she overhears this. However, they are not the only ones there. Yuki, who also peered at the amulets walking in the temple, also was eyeing the store from afar. 

 

Isuki is buying an amulet… I wonder if it’s for something pertaining relationships… Hm… That- voice in my head… Keeps talking about what I should be doing… And specifically mentioned Kyon… Just like Ryoko, this- thing- wants me with Kyon… Is this like my inner conscious? I do value him greatly and adore Kyon, but... I’m content with us being friends… No, more specifically- I want to be… But… Perhaps… I should buy one too just in case?... " thought Yuki.

 

After all the commotion dies down the gang all finally board the van that will take them to the hot spring- killing off all the time they had to waste. Along the way, Haruhi had ate all the snacks that were in Ryoko’s snack bag, and they momentarily stopped at a giant store ironically called ‘ Tsuruya ’ to re-load on things. During this time Itsuki explains to Haruhi about his purchase by Mikuru’s persuasion, and his intentions moving forward. To Itsuki, this trip truly is his ‘go big or go home’ moment with everything- especially after he bought it and his thoughts about it changed. While en route, Itsuki is admiring the photos he taken with his camera throughout the day, Haruhi becomes restless about awaiting to be at the hot spring- shouting “I want to be in a hot spring now!” over and over, Ryoko and Kyon sit there annoyed by Haruhi’s antics, and the rest just mind their own business. As they ride up the mountainside Yuki takes one look back at the amulet wall in the distance. On the wooden wall filled with amulets Yuki in fact placed a matchmaking amulet there to solidify her wish; it read:

 

I hope to stay really good friend’s with everybody forever - Yuki Nagato

 

Itsuki, whom also placed one, looks onto the wall as well. His read: 

 

I hope to be with Kyon forever, and never disappear from his life - Itsuki Koizumi

 

Itsuki turns to look at Kyon- dozing off in the window beside him- and smiles. He takes one last pic; Kyon’s soft and gently nature as he is fast asleep right beside him. Haruhi takes a break from her tantrum of wanting to be at the hot spring so bad to look towards Itsuki, and smile.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

The group continued to ride in the van for some time as the day turned closer to the evening, but they all finally got to the hot spring. As Kyon looks out the window he sees the rural tapestries of the springs exterior; old lanterns that glow a golden yellow that radiates the trees and greenery in the background complimenting as the light shines on stained wood of the greeting post of the spring. It reads, ‘ Kakuju-kan ’ on the front in giant kanji. As the group gets out of the van and stretches Haruhi lets out a giant sigh as she reaches out her arms to the sky.

 

“We’re here!" she says joyfully with a smile beaming across her face. Then, the front door of the building opens up, and three people one out; one woman wearing a burgundy-colored kimono, and two men wearing blue-colored suits. They greet the group with grins on their faces.

 

“Welcome, welcome. It’s a pleasure to have you all here!" said the older looking man who stood in front of the man and woman.

 

“You must be tired from the long trip here" said the younger man in the back.

 

“Please. If you follow me we will guide you inside to get you guys situated" said the older man.

 

“Hehe, bath time~" Haruhi said as she walked in glee for what she anticipates.

 

“It would be nice to wash that useless smoke off…" said Ryoko still annoyed by Haruhi’s antics in the car.

 

“Lighten up Ryoko, we are at a hot spring!" said Tsuruya with a smile on her face. She grabs her bag out of the trunk of the van, and walks around the car. “But you know, taking a bath sounds soooo good right now I might just drop all my luggage off at my room and head straight there and not even unpack!" Tsuruya continues. The lady dressed in burgundy then walks over to Tsuruya.

 

“My, you guys must be tired from the trip- let me take it to you room for you" said the lad as she grabbed Tsuruya’s bag for her- the younger male heading over behind her to aid as well.. Kyon looks from the distance as the lady and man help Tsuruya as he himself has a fistfull of bags, and just stares at them for a minute. Itsuki, unsure of what is so captivating about their luggage conversation stares at KYon staring at the two of them, and looks puzzled.

 

I wonder… Is he fantasising about that woman? He couldn’t be with Tsuruya- he’s never showed any type of interest in her... Or… Is he fantasising about the man?? " thought Itsuki jealously. Kyon then cocked his head to the right, and placed his hand on his chin in a thinking position.

 

Hm… Are you supposed to eat before or after you jump in a hot spring?... Never mind that, I wish they would help ME with my bags... ” Kyon thought- in reality. He then looks over to Itsuki- whom has a blushy face. “Hey, are you okay Itsuki? Your face is all red" said Kyon.

 

“H-Huh? Y-Yea, I’m fine- sorry hehe. I think the smoke was getting to me as well" said Itsuki with a nervous laugh.

 

“Oh, well okay. Well, lets get inside then" said Kyon.

 

As they are escorted inside the main lobby they are breath taken by the interior design and decor; pristine and glossy checker-patterned floors, various incense, dry food items, and teas aligning the walls in the back, a nice comfy seating area with velvet-like seats, a golden bird statue in the back, and a color combination that leaves the room feeling bright, wide, homey, and new- but still keeping that  retro flair. 

 

“Wow, talk about perfect! It’s an old timey country inn!" said Haruhi. Tsuruya then walks up to the front desk where the older man is standing behind the counter. Tsuruya then turns around to the group.

 

“Hey, you guys go on ahead; I’ll take care of all the things at the front desk" said Tsuruya.

 

‘Hey, thanks so much- don't mind if we do!" said Haruhi as she, and the rest all walk past the front desk. As they are walking Yuki gets distracted by a golden bird statue in the lobby, and anxiously wants to touch it. As she does this Itsuki walks past with Kyon in front of him.

 

“Hey, would like some help with your bags, Kyon?" said Itsuki.

 

“Well you could of asked sooner ‘ya know- kinda carrying the load here; this isn’t even all my stuff it’s Haruhi’s!" said Kyon exhaustedly.

 

“I apologize- I’ll be more wary of things next time. But you could of asked me too Kyon, I’ll help whenever you call me" said Itsuki as he leaned over Kyon’s backside to grab the bags in Kyon’s left hand- causing Kyon to blush.

 

“Oh, o-okay…" said Kyon as he blushed. They all continued to walk on as Yuki stayed eye-locked to the statue.

 

“Hmm…" mumbled Yuki.

 

“... Hey Yuki!" said Ryoko startling Yuki, “We are heading to our rooms- come on" said Ryoko.  

 

The crew split into their rooms- one for Haruhi, Yuki, and Ryoko, another for Mikuru and Tsuruya, and one for Itsuki and Kyon. Haruhi- along with Yuki and Ryoko- opens up the bird patterned sliding door to the room. Immediately inside, there is a table with a tea set on it, a closet, and shelves with towels and baskets on it. As Haruhi walks in she goes to the window that overlooks the garden outside, and the woman helper walks in to situate some things off to the side.

 

“Wow, the view from here is pretty nice" said Haruhi as she turns around, “The room is kinda small though…”. 

 

“Yea, well I think it’s big enough for the three of us at least" said Ryoko and she and Yuki take seats at the table. 

 

“Okay I’ll be getting out of your guys’ hair. I hope you guys enjoy your stay- fill free to make yourselves at home! You will find the bath on the ground floor" said the woman as she closes the door behind her.

 

“Oh, you guys hear that?! Now we can go and wash off this smoke, lets go!~" cheered Haruhi.

 

“Oh really- you wanna go right now? I thought it might be nice to rest a little first" said Ryoko.

 

“Don’t be a party pooper…" said Haruhi disappointedly. Ryoko then looks over to Yuki- who has gotten out shower supplies from her bag. Ryoko sighs.

 

“Oh my… Well, I guess I’m out numbered…" said Ryoko giving in. Suddenly, a knock is heard at the door, and as it opens it is the woman once more.

 

“I’m sorry, but I forgot to mention; he open air string is a matchmaking bath. We hope you enjoy it!" the woman said as she closes the door again. This tickles all the girls’ fancy in the room.

 

“A matchmaking bath?..." said Yuki. As she says this Ryoko looks over to Yuki, and starts to frown. Haruhi catches her frown before she changes it back to a smiling expression. 

 

“Well, this might be your last chance to seal the deal if you had any lingering feelings Yuki- maybe a certain someone will be there too" said Ryoko. Yuki looks over, and is shocked by her comments.

 

“A certain someone? Oh… Um…" said Yuki nervous. Haruhi starts to focus in on Ryoko’s intentions.

 

“And, I did see that you put an amulet on the amulet wall back at the temple. I know they had matchmaking ones back there too because I asked Miss Asahina about it" said Ryoko causing Haruhi’s eyes to light up.

 

Haruhi thought, “ Really? Wait, isn’t that what Itsuki told me he did before we left the store?… Agh, I was too busy recovering from the smoke that I forgot exactly the conversation we had... ”.

 

“Wait, what?" said Yuki puzzled, “I put an amulet, but… Not for that”.

 

“So, you didn’t think to put one there to wish luck on you and Kyon?" asked Ryoko.

 

“W-Well, I did think that to be honest- but I choose not to" said Yuki. Haruhi looked to Yuki shockingly.

 

“So, there was in fact matchmaking amulets" pondered Ryoko.

 

“Well, they did have them there Ryoko, but t-that’s not what I-" Yuki said.

 

“Look, if we stay here and chat the bath water might get cold! Come on, let’s let the hot springs do all the talking~" said Haruhi with a smile trying to brighten the mood. Yuki and Ryoko agreed, and they started to prepare to go. As they started to talk, Haruhi thought to herself, “ She is planning something… When I think back to the last conversation I had with just her… She definitely is planning something with this trip… I gotta make sure what is supposed to happen stays on track! ”. Haruhi in honesty, broke the tension to not dwell into Ryoko’s attempts to manipulate the situation- at least in ways she thought she was doing to Yuki. It was then that she needed to talk to Itsuki; not to tell him of what Ryoko might be doing, but to warn and encourage him to follow in his attempts as stakes are raised. Haruhi then runs out of the room- filling Yuki and Ryoko with somewhat fake ‘cumbaya’ energy as they make way. As Haruhi opens the door she runs out, and almost runs right into Tsuruya’s face! Alerted, Haruhi tries to stop her movement- but it is too late. She collides with Tsuruya- accidentally kissing her.

 

“Oh my- I’m sorry Tsuruya I didn’t mean to do that!" yelped Haruhi. Tsuruya blushed a bit from the shock, and shook her head.

 

“N-No, it was an accident- you ran into me at high speed. I didn’t think you would open you door so quickly like that- you practically ran me over, hehe" said Tsuruya not bothered by the kiss. Yuki and Ryoko, who onlook from the door, are astounded by what they just witnessed.

 


“Hehe, well okay" Haruhi said laughing it off. 

 

“So, where are you guys off to in such a hurry? The bath I presume??" asked Tsuruya.

 

“Yea. Grab your stuff we’ll meet you down there!" said Haruhi.

 

“They have something called a ‘matchmaking bath’ that we are checking out" said Ryoko. 

 

“Yea, it’s hot spring time!" said Yuki.

 

“Well, see you soon Tsuruya" said Ryoko.

 

“Hehe, enjoy yourselves!" said Tsuruya as she continued onto her room.


In the boys room...

 

Itsuki and Kyon sit down at their table- Kyon with an unsatisfied look on him. As Itsuki pours him tea they overhear Haruhi yelling something in the hall.

 

“What was that Miss Suzumiya said?" said Itsuki.

 

“Something about she forgot her towel or something I believe… We just got here and she’s already yelling about something. I should of packed earplugs for when I sleep- lord knows how loud she will be then" said Kyon. Itsuki chuckles a bit.

 

“Well, at least this is a little exciting don’t you think? It’s vacation, and the first time we have taken a trip together" said Itsuki as he finishes pouring Kyon’s tea and places the cup in front of him, “Here you go!”.

 

“Great, thanks" said Kyon as he takes the cup. Kyon takes a slow savory slip of the cup, and as he finishes his face gets red from satisfaction.

 

“God dammit, where is that stupid towel?!" yelled Haruhi as she walked past the boys door- causing Kyon to tense up. Itsuki notices this, and sets his cup down.

 

“You stressed, Kyon?" said Itsuki. 

 

“No, it’s just Haruhi’s loud obnoxious voice this late would make anyone wanna jump off a cliff you know? I just…" said Kyon as he sighs, “I just need to unwind right now after the long car ride and whatnot”.

 

“Then why not us head down to the baths as well? That would sure help" said Itsuki. He then picks his cup back up and goes to drink it.

 

“Yea… But I’ll still hear them. I’d rather stay here with you" said Kyon. Itsuki blushed- causing Itsuki to choke on his drink. “Wow there, one sip at a time”.

 

“S-Sorry" said Itsuki as he coughs, “That just threw me off a bit. But, I think we should take advantage of the bath while we still have it, right?" said Itsuki. 

 

“Yea… Agh, my neck is killin’ me- that van was not relaxing" said Kyon.

 

“Here, want me to give you a massage? Come here" said Itsuki lifting his hands. Kyon blushed a bit from nervousness.

 

“Huh? Y-You don’t have to you know…" said Kyon as he looks away from Itsuki from nervousness.

 

“Do you want one, or not?" asked Itsuki. Kyon looked back over, and sighed.

 

“Y-Yea… It might help if you did that- just for a bit you know. Then we can head down" said Kyon blushingly. 

 

“Come come" said Itsuki waving his hands at Kyon to come his way. Kyon then slid on the floor over to where Itsuki was, and put his back to him. He then took off his jacket, and set it next to his side. Itsuki then started to gently massage his shoulders and neck area- being ever so tender to Kyon’s tense muscles. Itsuki could feel- in this moment- all the stress Kyon was building up; not just from this trip, but in general. As Itsuki massaged the tension away Kyon’s face started to drift in glee- ever so smiling when Itsuki managed to catch a glimpse of his face past his hair. Kyon would moan ever so silently- showcasing that Itsuki was hitting his spots right and truly making him feel better. Kyon started to slightly roll his neck around, and as he did so small crack sounds came out as he cracked his neck around. 

 

“You know that’s not good for your body, Kyon" said Itsuki.

 

“Yea, I know. But, who can help it? If I’m like 60 with joint issues then you have permission to tell me ‘I told you so’, okay?" said Kyon with a slight chuckle. Itsuki rolled his eyes and giggled.

 

“Well, okay then. Are you enjoying this?" said Itsuki. Kyon chuckled a bit.

 

“Yea- quite much. Your hands feel really nice, and this is really helping thank you. Hmmm…" said Kyon with a grin as he laid his back onto Itsuki’s chest relaxing into the massage.

 

“Hehe, you comfy?" asked Itsuki. Kyon got a little tense as he asked this and attempted to lean forward once more.

 

“I-I can get up- sorry, I was just so into the massage that I-" 

 

“Come back here" Itsuki said cutting off Kyon. Itsuki grabbed Kyon’s shoulders and guided him back down to him. Kyon untensed as he continued to feel Itsuki’s strong hands against his sore spots relieving his pain. 

 

“Mmm... Right there…" said Kyon.

 

“...I could get to it better if you… Took this off" said Itsuki to Kyon. In that moment, Itsuki felt like Kyon fully was in his hands- and Kyon felt safe being there. Itsuki mustered the nerve to ask this due to his hidden determination, the bond they already have, as well as his horniness building from that moment. Kyon, hearing this, was surprised by his suggestion.

 

“... You… Y-Ya’ think so?..." said Kyon nervously as he blushingly looks back at Itsuki. As he does he peers into Itsuki’s eyes; ones that look towards him with love, care, acceptance, and trust. Kyon felt each one of these feelings emanate off Itsuki, and as he was subconsciously interested in feeling all those things from Itsuki more, he turned back around and started to lift up his shirt to take it off. “Just… Be gentle…" Kyon said in a whispered tone- as if he thought what he was allowing Itsuki to do was something scandalous. Itsuki positioned Kyon off of his chest, and continued to massage Kyon’s neck and shoulder area, but started to work to his shoulder blades and spine- other places Kyon was giving cues as to where else felt arry. Itsuki started to notice Kyon’s posture was a bit off- perhaps something he himself didn’t pay much attention to- and would often place his hand on his spine to correct it.

 

“You need to sit straight Kyon; part of the reason you might have consistent back pains is due to how you carry yourself- literally" said Itsuki. Kyon nodded his head ‘yes’, and fixed his posture himself. Kyon’s ‘non-rebutting’ listening was also a sign to Itsuki, that Kyon fully was receptive of Itsuki’s intentions to help him, and was accepting them without question.

 

“Itsuki…" Kyon said suddenly alerting Itsuki, “I… I know I might be a little slow on the uptake of things sometimes, but… If it wasn’t clear to you, I really do appreciate you being around me- a lot , even though you can be a bit much. You are a good person and are always helpful, and I have valued the months we have been in the club together- even if they sometimes are crazy" said Kyon. Hearing this, Itsuki almost wanted to break out into tears; nothing huge like a proclamation of love was said, but those words in that moment really touched Itsuki. Kyon, someone whom he believes is slowly opening up to him, and whatever they have between this, saying this to him was something to remember and revel in. As he was told this, all Itsuki could think to do was lean into Kyon, and hug him from behind.

 


“I’m so glad to hear that Kyon… Me too" said Itsuki as he blushes. Kyon then goes to place his hand on Itsuki’s. However, just as he started to touch his palms they heard a knock on the door!

 

“It’s the man from the desk; I noticed there was a lack of towels going around so I brought some more. May I enter?" said the older man aid. In a quick rush- as if they were moments from getting caught having sex, Kyon got up and put his shirt on.

 

“J-Just a sec!" said Kyon. Itsuki started to giggle at Kyon as he got really flustered. Kyon put his shirt on, and opened the door for the man. “Sorry, I was- trying on clothes to see how they would fit for after I take a bath, and didn’t want someone unfamiliar walking in on me" said Kyon making up a lie.

 

“Oh, I understand- guess that means that fella’ over there is pretty close to ‘ya to change in front of him! Anyways, Here you go!" said the older man handing the towels to Kyon. Itsuki in the background starts to blush.

 

“H-Huh?!" said Kyon shocked.

 

Oh my… He can deduce so much just from a lie Kyon told?... " thought Itsuki as Kyon looked back at him in shock. Itsuki simply shrugged his shoulders, as if to tell Kyon ‘ don’t read into it too much- he wouldn’t know what we were doing ’. Kyon turned back around and sighed.

 

“Thank you" said Kyon. As he closes the door Kyon sighed even heavier and sits down, “ That was close…”.

 

“I mean, it was just a massage" said Itsuki.

 

“Yea but… My shirt was off… And we were hugging…" said Kyon as he started to blush. Itsuki understood however Kyon’s nervousness about it; he shared it too. Perhaps if this was the Itsuki before he set his determination after talking with his benefactor he would of ran out the room once more- this Itsuki has a bit of confidence. 

 

“I understand. Come, let’s go down to the bath now- I’m sure the girls are already there having fun without us" said Itsuki.

 

“Yea…" said Kyon as he sighed. Kyon and Itsuki then proceeded to collect what they needed, and headed down to the main floor where the bath was.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Yuki, Haruhi, and Ryoko eventually made it downstairs and prepare to get into the bath. As they go to their changing room they undress from their smoke-stained clothes, and get naked. As they get undressed, Tsuruya walks into the changing room blooming with energy holding supplies including towels.

.

“Hey guys, I’m finally here- time to start the party!" said Tsuruya joyfully.

 

“Huh? But you are alone; what happened to Mikuru??" asked Haruhi.

 

“Oh her? She said she would come down later" said Tsuruya.

 

“Oh, well okay" said Haurhi as she pulled her red shirt off of her head. Tsuruya hands a towel to Haruhi after she sets down her shirt.

 

“Here, I think this one is for you!" said Tsuruya. Haruhi smiled.

 

“Thanks! I was looking for mine all over the place" chuckled Haruhi.

 

“Yea, I could hear ‘ya!" joked Tsuruya. She then undone her dress- moving the straps off of her shoulders- and let her dress hit the floor, and tied her long green hair into a half-done ponytail. “Okay, I’m ready! See y’all in the bath!" said Tsuruya as she walked off holding her chest with one arm covering her boobs. Haruhi followed suit, after tying up her hair in a high ponytail as well. Ryoko and Yuki- getting undressed next to each other- look on.

 

“Alright, we will be out there soon as well!" said Ryoko as she fastens a towel around her body. Yuki, putting a towel around her body as well, looks down as she tries to tie a towel around her. Seeing this, Ryoko looks onto her. “Want some help?” Asked Ryoko to Yuki.

 

“Huh? Y-Yea, that would be nice- this towel isn’t staying right" said Yuki. As Ryoko observed however, she could tell that the towel seemed to be on her just fine- wasn’t really loose or tight, but she could tell Yuki had been fidgeting with it. Yuki had taken off her glasses, so she couldn’t really see very well, but as she peered into Yuki’s face more she could tell more was up. Ryoko tilted her head in confusion, and as she looked onto Yuki’s eyes- who would constantly be looked toward the ground- she could tell the real issue; Yuki felt anxious getting in the bath with the girls ! Ryoko, realizing this, she grabbed Yuki’s hand.

 

“Come on, we will go in together!" said Ryoko with a smile- one that as Yuki looked up at her brightened Yuki’s face. 

 

“Okay!" said Yuki as she nodded her head. 

 

Yuki let Ryoko lead her into the bath room; it was big, had multiple small small bathtubs that got filled with hot water from a man-made waterfall overlooking them all.  Haruhi and Tsuruya were adrift in one of the tubs together relaxing away. Next to Haruhi and Tsuruya were glass doors that lead to the special matchmaking bath, and to the other side of the room were shower handles and seats to clean yourself with. As Ryoko and Yuki walk in they pass by single cubby showers to their left. Yuki, not knowing where to walk, starts to freak out- almost slipping on the wet ground!

 

“Don’t freak out- I got your hand don’t worry. I’ll hold your hand the entire time just go slowly and carefully and you will be fine" said Ryoko- who is secretly loving the fact she is holding Yuki’s hand.

 

“Thank you, Ryoko. I’m sorry that you have to do this- I am kinda blind without my glasses is all and I don’t wanna bring them in her and get damaged. Also, they will just get foggy and make my vision even worse" said Yuki. Ryoko nods her head in disagreement.

 

“No, you are fine I understand. Just know that I got you" said Ryoko as she squeezes Yuki’s hand tighter. Yuki nods her head ‘yes’ as Ryoko, and they walk in. 

 

Yuki and Ryoko go to sit down at the shower handles on the other side of the room, and while they do that Haruhi and Tsuruya move onto another smaller one- one in the shape of a square. It was an herbal bath, and had very brown water due to the  ingredients inside of it. Haruhi smells her wrists- smelling strongly of mint- and then looks over to Yuki with Ryoko.

 

“I’m sure wearing glasses gets tiring all the time- have you ever thought of switching to contacts, Yuki?" asked Haruhi as Yuki sits down at the seat in front of the shower.

 

“I mean, do they not get all foggy like glasses do?" asked Yuki as she lathers soap in her hands. Ryoko, standing next to ehr ponders the question.

 

“Huh, you know I don’t think I know the answer to that question. I guess I can find someone with contacts and ask though" said Ryoko.

 

“Huh? Hehe, nah don’t bother; the idea of wearing them scares me anyways, and It’s not much of a hindrance on me to keep wearing glasses. I mean, you can easily take them off, I don’t need to carry other stuff with me to maintain them, most of the time you don’t even need your glasses case ‘cause they stay on your face all day. Sure, they sometimes irritate the creases of my ears where the legs rest, and sometimes if they are tight they give you headaches, but they can come in nice colors, shapes and siz-”

 

“Oookay, we don’t need you to sell us to all start wearing glasses now, Yuki" said Haruhi cutting Yuki off from her monologue. Tsuruya starts to laugh.

 

“Hey look! They have a sauna over there!" said Tsuruya. 

 

“Really?? Let’s try it! Anyone that can’t stand the head can get outta the kitchen!" boasted Haruhi as she ran to it with Tsuruya.

 

“You know, running on a wet floor probably isn’t a good idea Miss Suzumiya" said Ryoko warning Haruhi.

 

“You have to be willing to risk anything to get what you want party pooper!" said Haruhi making Ryoko scoff as she sat down next to Yuki. With them now being the only two in the room, Ryoko lavishes in this.

 

“Ahh… It’s finally quiet here now that the two loudest people on the trip are in another room, hehe" said Ryoko. Yuki, looking into the mirror chuckled slightly. Ryoko, then turned to Yuki. “And, you know Yuki… You are cute without glasses- it really brings out your eyes” Ryoko added in blushingly. Yuki looked deeper into the mirror.

 

“Hmm… You think so?" asked Yuki.

 

“Well, if my word means anything to you- yes. I mean, what you wear is insignificant to what’s real and true in you. But I like your eyes" said Ryoko. 

 

“Wow, thanks Ryoko! Had I known any better, I would have thought you were trying to flirt with me, hehe" said Yuki jokingly. Suddenly, Ryoko’s eyes widened from shock, and her body froze a bit. “Hmm? Something up?" pondered Yuki as she noticed this.

 

“Huh? O-Oh nothing, I thought I left my favorite shampoo at home, but I just forgot to bring it down- can I use yours?" asked Ryoko.

 

“Sure!" said Yuki as she hands Ryoko her shampoo. 

 

Gosh… A bit perceptive… But is she as clueless to advances as Kyon is? N-No, comparing Yuki’s intellect to Kyon is an insult- even in just my mind! But, I’m not joking… But she needs to be with Kyon! But… I don’t know if that will happen… Gosh, I wish I could tell her… " thought Ryoko. In truth, she was really enjoying her time with Yuki alone in the bath as she both relaxed and could forget about school and life for a moment and have fun with friends. But, the more Ryoko relaxed the more irritable she became inside due to her suppressed feelings- ones she didn’t know where they stemmed from. But, she believed she could truly be there for Yuki, but her own attempts to block her feelings have placed her in this weird situation. 

 

“Agh, I can’t take it- it’s too hot in there!” said Haruhi as she runs out of the sauna and back into the bathtub where they once were.

 

“Another minute, and I’m just gonna be skin and bones!” said Tsuruya as she follows suit. 

 

“Well, I guess they are back” said Ryoko as she lathers her hair with shampoo, “And besides, you probably would fall asleep with the contacts in while playing a game- I know leaving those in your eyes is not a good thing to do”.

 

“Yea”, replies Yuki.

 

“What do you guys think? Would you guys ever get or have tried contacts?” asked Ryoko to Haruhi and Tsuruya as she turned around to face them, but not long after she saw them getting up from the bathtub and out the glass doors.

 

“Huh? Who cares- we are gonna go here and check out this special bath!” said Haruhi as she and Tsuruya closed the door behind them.

 

“Gosh, they have one-track minds or something?” asked Ryoko out loud annoyingly.

 

“Don’t mind them: they are just trying to experience all that this has to offer. It was really nice of Tsuruya to do all of this for us” said Yuki.

 

As Haruhi and Tsuruya enter the matchmaking bath they notice its small size; rocks cutting out a small circular bathtub, with boulders lying next to it. In between them is a nozzle for the spring water to enter the bath, and to the wall is a small ceremonial-designed gate. Both Haruhi and Tsuruya both got in. As they lavished in the warm soothing water haruhi peered over to the gate on the wall.

 

“Huh, I wonder what the gate is fore?” pondered Haruhi. She then leaned in close to see that there was a string next to it, ”I think this string opens it!” she let out as she grabbed it.

 

“Oh that? That’s the matchmaking shrine!”, said Tsuruya.

 

“Really? So this is the bath we’ve been hearing about. Huh, then it’s time to see if this thing really works!” said Haruhi as she leaned in closer to the gate and began to open it, “Matchmaking time!’, she yelled. As she lowered the string the gate’s door opened- revealing a heart-shaped opening in the frame to the other side’s bath, with the intention of revealing whoever was on the other side as your ‘match’. However, as Haruhi lifted the gate’s doors- standing fully up looking into the opening, and inadvertently showing off her whole naked body to whatever man happens to be over there- she suddenly frowns.

 

“Huh? There’s no one over there!”, said Haruhi a bit peeved.

 

“Awe”, chuckled Tsuruya. Haruhi kneeled down- sticking her head through the opening.

 

“And what is with this window? Kinda small don’t you think?”, asked Haruhi.

 

“Eh, whatever the case- this bath is my fav so far” Tsuruya said as she relaxed further into the water. As they bicker Ryoko and Yuki finally walk in- hand in hand.

 

“Hey! So, this is the matchmaking bath that they have been talking about, correct? How is it?”, asked Ryoko. However, Haruhi just lifts open and closes the matchmaking shrines doors- which signifies to Ryoko that it’s merely a means for the girls to look at whoever happens to pass by the window on the other side. She suddenly gets a revelation. “ Hmm… So it’s only a match between opposite sexes… That means certain interactions are bound to happen for sure! Kyon and Yuki… Might still have a chance if fate is on our side. But, does that mean me and Yuki… N-No, let’s not think about that right now ” thought Ryoko. As Ryoko was thinking to herself, Yuki managed to find her own way into the bath, and started to lavish in the warm water as well. Ryoko soon got into the water, and finally experienced the tender and warm touch of the spring water against her skin- and fell in love. However, as the four of them lounged in the water Yuki started to question something.

 

“We have been here for awhile, but where is Miss Asahina?” asked Yuki.

 

“She’s probably just taking her time- she will be here soon. Actually, from the shadow I see behind the door that must be here- I mean who can be alluded by those breasts!” said Tsuruya. The group turn, and sure enough Mikuru walked into the bath. Haruhi, Ryoko, and Yuki’s jaws dropped as they look at Mikuru’s giant breasts snuggled inside the tight towel she wore around her.

 

“Sorry I’m late, I took longer than I thought getting ready!”, said Mikuru.

 

Well, I can see why… ” thought Ryoko as she glared at Mikuru’s body.

 

“Well, all that matters is that you are here- get in!” said Tsuruy as she goes over and pulls Mikuru into the bath- flinging her towel to the side.

 

“Ahh!” yelled Mikuru as she hit the water. However, her surprised expression soon turned to pleasure as she hit the water. Soon after, Haruhi and Tsuruya started to tease Mikuru on her floating breasts in the water- to which Ryoko and Yuki secluded themselves near the boulder on the other side as they relaxed in the water. The evening got more docile and calming as Ryoko looks off at the moon in the sky shining bright, as she huddles near Yuki drifting away in the water with a hot towel on her head. For a few minutes after, the girls just chill out, and have fun.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

 During the whole exchange and laughter of the girls, none of the girls could tell that Kyon and Itsuki have entered the boys side of the matchmaking bathtub- curious themselves to see what it’s about as well. They each sat in the male side of the matchmaking hot spring as they silently listened to the girls bicker.

 

“They sure are having a nice time, aren’t they?” said Itsuki.

 

“Yea, I guess so…” said Kyon as he lowered his body into the water, “Ahh~...” Kyon said with ecstasy. 

 

“Hehehe” Itsuki chuckled.

 

“What?” asked Kyon.

 

“Nothing, just watching you enjoy yourself is nice to do” said Itsuki. Kyon blushed, and turned his face away from Itsuki’s to hide his red face.

 

“T-Then don’t look, agh…” said Kyon embarrassed.

 

“Oh, by the way,” Ryoko’s voice echoed from the other side of the wall, “What do you guys wanna do once we are finished with our baths?”

 

“I guess we could do our own thing until it’s time to eat,” said Yuki as she rubs the water on her back.

 

“I wanna play a game or something” said Haruhi as pouts.

 

“Hm, well I do think there is a ping-pong table in the back lounge- how about that?” said Tsuruya. Suddenly, Haruhi’s face lights up.

 

“That’s it then! After this we are gonna play ping-pong!” yelled Haruhi as she got up from the bath- loud enough for Kyon and Itsuki to hear.

 

“Miss Suzumiya- cover yourself!” said Ryoko looking very shocked at viewing Haruhi’s complete naked body above the water.

 

“What? They’re just my boobs and my vagina- we all have one over here” said Haruhi. However, Ryoko couldn’t get her eyes off of Haruhi’s body. Suddenly, Ryoko looked away- face beat red.

 

“Ryoko, is the water too hot? Why is your face so red?” asked Mikuru.

 

“I-I’m fine…” said Ryoko as she tries to hide her face.

 

“Anyways, when we are done soakin up- we are gonna have a full on ping-pong tournament!” said Haruhi with joy.

 

“Seriously, cover up…” said Ryoko with her hands covering her eyes.

 

“Oh whatever” said Haruhi as she ignores Ryoko’s sentiment. Over on the boys side, things couldn’t be any better for them; essentially, they are being forced into the game, and they know they cannot back out.

 

“Looks like we are gonna be playin’ some ping-pong. Are you good at hittin’ balls Kyon?” asked Itsuki causing Kyon to jump.

 

“W-What?! Don’t word it like that. Listen- keep your voice down. If they find out that we heard all that girl-talk we are done for” said Kyon in a whispered tone. Itsuki giggled, and then got close to Kyon in the water.

 

“So, what do you think of the spring so far? Is it meeting expectations?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Hmm… Well besides being forced into a ping-pong deathmatch- sure” said Kyon. Itsuki then looks at Kyon’s arm as it rests outside the pool on the rock, and starts to run his finger along his forearm.

 

“Hmm… Your skin is really smooth- guess the water does do something after all” said Itsuki. Kyon, then smacks his hand away.

 

“H-Hey! Cut it out!...” said Kyon as he starts to blush. He then notices Itsuki’s face somewhat close to his, and suddenly craves his own personal bubble. “And you don’t need to be so close to me either…” said Kyon as he pushes Itsuki away from him.

 

“Hehe, oh come on Kyon. We are all friends here- no need to be shy” said Itsuki with his weird grin on his face.

 

“Agh, what is with you guys- you are all insane I swear” said Kyon.

 

“Would you have me any other way?” asked Itsuki.

 

“W-What? You always say things that I don’t have good answers to…” said Kyon blushingly.

 

“Sometimes, the best answer is the silence after Kyon” said Itsuki as he starts to stare deep into Kyon’s eyes, “Sometimes, a look is all one needs for an answer”. Suddenly, Kyon and Itsuki’s faces start to get increasingly close to each other as Itsuki tries to lean in.

 

W-What is he doing?... He’s getting so close to me and looking at me- like he is looking deep into my soul… What is he after?... Why does he look at me so intensely?.. ” thought Kyon as his lip quivers.

 

Kyon… If only I could show you just how soft you are right now. I wish I could caress your body all night under the pale moonlight. I know it’s dirty of me to think of this, but my mind can’t stop thinking of all the dessert that is just resting in this water so close to me… I should just tell him right now- is this the right moment? He’s not backing me away this time… ” thought Itsuki.

 

“Itsuki… Come on, we can hug and stuff later if that’s what you want right now. It’s just hot- and I’m wet. We can give each other a hug before bed- when its cool and dry, okay?” said Kyon trying to come to an agreement on what he thinks is happening. Itsuki rolls his eyes a bit, and backs off from Kyon.

 

“Sure, Kyon” said Itsuki unenthusiastically. Kyon then tilts his head to the side.

 

“... Did I just say something wrong? I’m saying we can- I’m not saying we can’t” said Kyon.

 

“N-No, it’s not that… Come on, we should get out before we get too prunny” said Itsuki as he goes to get up and reach for his towel. However, as he makes a step he suddenly slips!

 

“Itsuki!” said Kyon as he leaps up to break Itsuki’s fall. They both land- Kyon hitting the side of his back on the basin of the spring, and they land back in the pool with Itsuki wrapped in Kyon’s arms.

 

“Agh…” moaned Kyon.

 

“Kyon, I’m so sorry! I’m so clumsy- are you hurt?” asked Itsuki.

 

“No… I just hit the are below my shoulder blade. These rocks are smooth, so it doesn’t hurt much” said Kyon. 

 

“Thank god…” said Itsuki as he sighs,

 

“... Are you okay??” asked Kyon as he looks at Itsuki’ face.

 

“Huh? Y-Yea. Just lost my balance- shouldn’ stand up in a bath I guess- hehe” said Itsuki.

 

“Good…” said Kyon. However, Itsuki couldn’t help but notice how tightly Kyon is caressing him; Itsuki’s body enveloped in Kyon’s, and his legs spread wide open as Itsuki’s body presses on Kyon’s chest.

 

“You… Reacted and grabbed me so spontaneous…” said Itsuki as he slowly sunk into Kyon’s arms.

 

“I didn’t want you to get hurt... “ said Kyon. Itsuki looks into Kyon;s eyes once more.

 

“... Thank you” said Itsuki as he leans in and rests his head on Kyon’s chest. 

 

“!!!” gasped Kyon as he did so blushing so brightly from the closeness of Itsuki’s naked body. Noticing Kyon’s tenseness, Itsuki attempts to comfort Kyon- innocently placing his hand on his leg to calm him down. 

 

“Hey, it’s fine Kyon this is all an accident anyway-” said Itsuki as he cut himself off. Itsuki’s face turns to that of pure shock as he realizes what he is actually touching. Itsuki had thought he was grabbing onto Kyon’s leg, but unknowingly started grabbing on something different; something thick, hard and moving underneath the water around Itsuki’s hand. Unknowingly to Itsuki, Kyon got extremely excited due to the situation, and unintentionally got aroused from the sudden rush he felt. Both Itsuki and Kyon were struck with a sudden feeling of embarrassment as Itsuki looks down at the water.

 

“K-Kyon!?” said a shocked Itsuki.

 

“OKAY! TIME TO GET OUT OF THE WATER RIGHT?! HAHA” said Kyon in a maniacal and uneasy laughing tone as he quickly escaped the water, grabbed a much needed towel, and headed out the room as quickly as possible. Itsuki watched flabbergasted as Kyon woddles away- only covering his front side as he runs revealing his wet booty jiggling in the steamy air. 

 

“Hey, did you guys hear something?” asked Ryoko on the other side.

“Huh? Like what?” asked Haruhi.

 

“I don’t know, sounded like animals outside wrestling around or something. Is someone in the bath on the other side?” asked Ryoko. Hearing this, Itsuki quickly darts out of the bath- not wanting to be caught in any more unwanted situations. Yuki then goes to open up the matchmaking gate once more to peer into the other side.

 

“Hmm, no. There isn’t anyone over there. Maybe you were just hearing something” said Yuki. Ryoko hums to herself.

 

“Hmm… Maybe so…” said Ryoko as she touches her chin with her hand. She then began to think, “ Well… If Kyon and Yuki have not yet meet under the matchmaking shrine… There’s still time ”. Haruhi then got out of the water.

 

“Okay guys! Lets round up the boys! Time for ping-pong!” said Haruhi as she marches out.

 

*****

 

The girls all change into some formal attire provided by the hot spring staff, and head to the room where the ping-pong table is; the outfits were of blue shades, and very comfort fitting. They had gotten Kyon and Itsuki to come down as well- unaware they already knew they were going to get roped into it. The room itself was spacious- enough floor space to sit the whole group and then some. There was a washing unit, a vending machine, and a TV in the room as well. They all sit across from tables as Haruhi stands- boisterous as well- as she goes to explain what will be happening next.

 

“Okay guys! We are gathered here to take part in the Literary Clubs’ extra special super make-up ping-pong tournament!!” said Haruhi. Mikuru and Itsuki clap slowly but enthusiastically as she says this. “First prize will be milk from the vending machine!” Haruhi then turns around to draw something on a piece of paper.

 

“If anyone’s wondering, I like fruit milk!” said Mikuru with a smile.

 

“Hope you brought some spare change, Kyon” said Tsruya tauntingly.

 

“Agh, this better not be rigged!” said Kyon as he ties up his sleeves near the armpits to free up his arms.

 

“Honestly, as long as Miss Suzumiya is having a good time I wouldn’t mind if it’s rigged” said Itsuki.

 

“What?! Shouldn’t the rest of us have fun too??” said Kyon confused by Itsuki’s response. 

 

“Tadah!” said Haruhi has she turns back around and shows the group the paper she drew. On it was a tournament bracket system, with the winner winning the Fruit Milk in the vending machine. The matchups are as followed: Itsuki VS Kyon, Mikuru VS Yuki, Ryoko VS Tsuruya, with the winner of Ryoko and Tsuruya’s match fighting Haruhi herself.

 

“Oh! I’m against Miss Tsuruya? Interesting” said Ryoko.

 

“Aha! Prepare to eat my dust Ryoko!” said Tsuruya excitedly.

 

“Well I guess it’s the best we can do with how many people we have…” said Kyon as he looks slightly to his left to look at Itsuki- who was staring at the paper Haruhi drew. He started to think, “ First THAT happens, now we are paired to go against each other? I mean- we are the only dudes but still… ”. Suddenly, Itsuki looks at Kyon- who nervously looks away to not make it seem as if he was staring at him the whole time. Itsuki however, realizing he was, turns to him.

 

“Let’s have fun, ‘kay?” suggested Itsuki, as he gives him a soft smile. Kyon blushes, and turns to face Haruhi.

 

“Y-Yea. Good luck” said Kyon. Itsuki, at this moment, can easily tell Kyon is tensed up from what happened moments prior, and so to Itsuki he hopes that Kyon can just forget about it for a second and just have fun with the rest of them.

 

“I wonder why Miss Suzimiya paired Kyon up with me and not someone like Yuki… Hmmm… ” thought Itsuki. 

 

“Okay! Well if there are no objections- Kyon and Itsuki get to the table!” said Haruhi as she hands Kyon and Itsuki there pattles. As they walk up Itsuki gives Kyon another cute smile, and Kyon blushes.

 

“Don’t do that to distract me…” said Kyon under his breath.

 

“Wha-!” said Itsuki taken back from his remark. Itsuki was amazed for Kyon to even admit that Itsuki’s charms could deter him so.

 

“What are you guys mumbling about? Kyon- you serve!” said Haruhi; unknowingly to Kyon, Haruhi was actually paying attention to his words.

 

“But why me?” asked Kyon.

 

“Well if you wanna decide who serves you can- I don’t care” said Haruhi.

 

“I’m fine with you serving Kyon, just don’t mess up- hehe” said Itsuki with a chuckle. Kyon then smirked.

 

“Oh- I’ll show you!” said Kyon as he served the ball across the net to Itsuki’s side. Itsuki hit the ball back with a force, and suddenly they were deadlocked in this exchange for a couple of seconds. The group looks on intensely as they battle it out, but in the end Kyon could not overtake Itsuki’s strong serveback of the ball- and loses.

 

“No!...” said Kyon disappointedly as he misses the ball. Itsuki smiles, and goes over to Kyon to shake his hand.

 

“And the victor of the first game is Itsuki! With Kyon the obvious loser!” said Haruhi with a cheer.

 

“Hey!…” said Kyon as he heard that.

 

“Good game” said Itsuki. Kyon looks at Itsuki, and then calms himself- choosing to not get worked up by the loss as it was from Itsuki. Kyon then smiles.

 

“Yea. We are gonna do this again sometime- can’t go out like that!” said Kyon with a smirk.

 

“Yea, I would love to” said Itsuki as he blushes. Haruhi, watching from afar, smiles herself.

 

“Okay! Next one up!” said Haruhi. Soon, Yuki and Mikuru battle it out, but this match is over before it starts as Mikuru- quite frankly- sucks at ping-pong. Yuki serves a moderate hit, but Mikuru gets so nervous as the balls comes heading straight towards her that she chickens out on hitting it. 

 

“Second match; Mikuru’s hopeless, and Yuki wins! Better luck next time Mikuru- maybe the winner will share their milk with you” said Haruhi.

 

“I’m sorry- I got scared when you hit the ball…” said Mikuru with tears in her eyes.

 

“It’s fine Mikuru. Come on, we can play a less thrilling game for you later so you don’t get too startled” said Yuki. Mikuru smiles.

 

“Really? That sounds like fun!” said Mikuru as she walks over to Yuki.

 

“Okay- Ryoko and Tsuruya, you’re up!” said Haruhi. 

 

Tsuruya and Ryoko walk up to start match three, and as Tsuruya serves the ball Ryoko hits it back like a champ. Surprisingly, both Ryoko and Tsuruya were good at ping-pong. However, Tsuruya is very athletic, and often excels in many sports. Ryoko couldn’t keep up and fails to serveback a hit coming her way- causing her loss. She falls to the floor as she admits defeat.

 

“You are too good Tsuruya, wow…” said Ryoko.

 

“And that is the third game. Ryoko is defeated by the dance of the crane- Tsuruya wins!” said Haruhi.

 

The next up is Itsuki and Yuki- the first two winners of the beginning rounds. As Itsuki and Yuki attempt to commence their game to play Itsuki suddenly drops the pattle as he serves. Kyon and Haruhi get alarmed.

 

“Ah! I think I actually over extended my arm in the last game with Kyon” said Itsuki.

 

“What??” said Kyon.

 

“Well, if you are injured then you cannot compete- therefore, Yuki wins the fourth game by default!” said Haruhi.

 

“Huh?! How is any of that fair!? Foul- I call foul!” said Kyon campaigning for Itsuki. Itsuki looks to Kyon, and blushes.

 

“Sorry- tournament rules!’ said Haruhi.

 

“The ones you made up?!” proclaimed Kyon. Itsuki walks over to Kyon, and sits beside him.

 

“It’s fine Kyon, better luck next time right? Though, it is embarrassing...” said Itsuki as he pets his hand. Kyon sighs, and grbas Itsuki’s wrist.

 

“... Here lemme see you hand” said Kyon. Itsuki tenses up a bit from the sting.

 

“Sorry- that angle hurts a bit” said Kyon.

 

“How did you not notice this whole time it was hurt?” asked Kyon.

 

“Well, I just wasn't moving it around much after our battle” said Itsuki. Kyon sighs once more.

 

“I’ll get you some ice” said Kyon as he gets up. As he does this, Tsuruya and Haruhi walk up to the table. However, Haruhi pulls Tsuruya to the side and they have a small conversation. Kyon walks back with some ice from the vending machine wrapped in a napkin.

 

“Thank you Kyon” said Itsuki with a smile as he goes to grab the ice.

 

“Here- I’ll apply pressure, you don’t move” said Kyon as he places the ice on his hand for him. Itsuki blushes as their hands meet in this chilling embrace. Before he even has a chance to speak, suddenly Haruhi gets everyone’s attention.

 

“The fifth match has been decided! Tsuruya offers to be the judge, so she’s disqualified and I win by default!” said Haruhi. 

 

“It’s good to always play fair, hehe” said Tsuruya totally okay with it all. Kyon then leans his head forward with a flabbergasted look.

 

“Okay- now you are just rigging this. We got by without a judge until now !” said Kyon. Itsuki then places his other hand on top of Kyon’s.

 

“It’s fine Kyon- don’t worry” said Itsuki. Kyon looks over to Itsuki, and then sighs. 

 

“Alright, whatever…” said Kyon as he looks back to Haruhi- unbothered by both his hands sandwiching with Itsuki’s. Itsuki smiles slightly as this happens, and scouches closer to Kyon when no one notices.

 

“Okay! The final game! Yuki versus me!” said Haruhi as she goes around to her side of the table. Yuki gets up, and goes to her side as well. The rest of the group line up on the other side of the table watching intensely to see what unfolds.

 

“I’ll do my best!” said Yuki preparing herself.

 

“For the record- I object to this!” said Kyon somewhat envious of the situation.

 

“Agh, Kyon- just watch as Nagato wins- ‘kay?”exclaimed Ryoko.

 

“Your money is on Miss Nagato? Mine is on Miss Suzumiya” said Itsuki.

 

“Hey! No betting on this tournament!” yelled the newly approved judge Tsuruya.

 

“See? Already more fair than before!” said Haruhi as she grabs a ping-pong ball. “Ready?” asked Haruhi to Yuki.

 

“I’m prepared for anything!” said Yuki determined and confidently. Suddenly, Haruhi’s demeanor changes; one from an innocent joyful girl playing with her friends to assassin out for blood. As she throws the ball into the air she attempts a jump serve- one that has the force of a raging tsunami. Kyon’s face turns to shock!



“What?!” shouted Kyon- completely surprised by Haruhi’s style of playing. Haruhi then serves the ball at Yuki with full force and tenacity, and Yuki braces herself for what might be the most challenging game of ping-pong of her life.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

After they finish playing Ping-Pong, Haruhi gets the uncanny idea that they all should do some Karaoke. With the idea being unanimously agreed upon they all move to another room next to it- a room with a bathtub- to set up the karaoke machine. Haruhi sets up the machine, and begins to speak into the mic.

 

“Hello? Is this thing on? Is this thing recording? Well I hope you guys had a chance to warm up your voice because we gonna have a Karaoke Contest!” said Haruhi. Tsuruya, Itsuki, and Mikuru clap on.

 

“Okay but what’s with this room? What’s the point of the tub?” asked Kyon. However, has he said this, Itsuki unwraped himself and got in.

 

“Come on it, the water’s nice~” said Itsuki in glee.

 

“Huh? What are you doing in there?!” exclaimed Kyon.

 

“Nevermind that- lets talk about who is going first. I think the first contestant should be… Mikuru!” said Haruhi as she points to Mikuru. Suddenly, Mikuru gets super anxious and surprised. 

 

“Ahh! M-Me?? Oh I don’t know…” said Mikuru as she panics. Tsuruya smiles next her her, and pats her back.

 

“It will be fun. Come on- no one here will judge you!” said Mikuru. Mikuru looks around, and then sighs.

 

“Okay…” said Mikuru. She gets up and goes to Haruhi- who hands her the mic in hand. “What song should I do?” asked Mikuru.

 

“Any- find one on the machine. It has a variety of popular songs. I think there is some American artists on there as well!” said Haruhi. Mikuru then flips through the Cd booklet to find one Cd that has a song that she wants to do. 

 

“This one!” she says. She puts a CD in, and flips to the track of the song she wants. As she presses play, the song starts, and those in the room automatically recognize it.

 

“ ”Just Dance” by Lady Gaga? That’s my jam right now!” said Tsuruya as she starts to groove in her seat as the beat kicks in. Mikuru reads the prompt on the screen to follow along to the lyrics of the song- as there is a language barrier. However, most of them understand English for the most part.

 

“R-R-RedOne!” said Mikuru nervously.

 

“Yea, you go Mikuru!” said Kyon cheering her on.

 

“Konvict~” said Itsuki in the back jamming out in the bath.

 

“Ga-g-ga” said Mikuru out of pitch as she started to sway sporadically, “I had a little bit too much” 

 

“Oh, oh oh-oh” said Haruhi providing backing vocals.

 

“All of the people s-start to rush!” belts Mikuru.

 

“Start to rush by~” Tsuruya chimes in.

 

“What are they listening to in there?” asked Ryoko as she and Yuki sit outside the room they all are in reading manga with Yuki.

 

“That sounds like that one artist who is popular in the states right now... What is her name? Madonna? N-No, something- Gaga?” said Yuki unaware of who the artist is.

 

“Miss Gaga?” replied Ryoko.

 

“That sounds right” said Yuki as she buries her head back into her manga book.

 

“W-What’s… Go… -ing on on the f-floor?” Mikuru sings.

 

“I love this record baby but I can’t see straight anymore~” replied Kyon a mumbled tone.

 

“Wow, Kyon. Didn’t know you knew this song- says a lot about you” Itsuki said being surprised Kyon knows the words. Kyon then blushes.

 

“It’s on the radio a lot! My sister listens to it all the time! I don’t like this song!...” Kyon bolstered embarrassingly, however Itsuki just smiles.

 

“J-J-Just dance, Wish I can shut my pl- wait, I’m not saying that!” said Mikuru as she blushes. Haruhi laughs as she dodges the profocative lyric. “How- How’d I turn my shirt inside out? Wait she really says that?!” asked Mikuru. 

 

“Control your poison, babe. Roses have thorns they say~” mutters Kyon.

 

“And we are gettin’ hosed tonight!~” says Itsuki as he leans over to Kyon making him blush as he sings along to the song.

 

“Mmm… Mmm, Mhmm…” hummed Yuki outside the room as she flips through the book with Ryoko.

 

“Looks like you like this song too- why not go on in?” asked Ryoko.

 

“Nah- it’s one of those songs that you just hear and it sounds nice, but I don’t need to go in there and sing along with it. Plus, I’m having fun reading with you!” said Yuki causing Ryoko to blush. 

 

“O-Oh… Hehe, well then that’s nice” said Ryoko as she smiled, “Though, I wish they could be a bit quieter…”

 

“Asking karaoke singers to singer quiet is like asking the moon to shine brighter than the sun- good luck doing that and making it happen” Yuki said with a chuckle. She then nudged Ryoko’s side as she continued, “Let’s just focus on this, ‘kay?”

 

“Yea” responded Ryoko. They then focused more intently on reading the book together as the Lady Gaga song became nothing more than background noise to them. The song went on for another minute or so, and Ryoko would often lift her head up from the book to hear Haruhi or Tsuruya yelling at the top of their lungs.

 

“... Just… Just… Just dance!” said Mikuru as she waved her hands in the air as she finishes the song. The crows inside cheers her on with roaring applause congratulating her on her job well done. Kyon was so proud of Mikuru that he started to shed tears. Haruhi, noticing this, gets up.

 

“Stop crying Kyon- you’re next!” she demanded.

 

“H-Huh?? You didn’t tell me I was singing!” yelled Kyon.

 

“But that’s what your up means. Are you gonna forfeit??” asked Haruhi. Kyon grumbles to himself.

 

“Agh… I’ll show you. I’m gonna crush this karaoke contest!” shouted Kyon as he stood up and went to take the mic from Mikuru. Itsuki, seeing Kyon get up, started to smile. Kyon takes his time choosing the song he wants to sing. He settles on “Right Round” by Flo Rida. As the song plays through the karaoke machine Itsuki picks up on the beat.

 

“Oh- I love this song!” said Itsuki gleefully.

 

“Hm, but isn’t this technically a duet?” asked Haruhi. Itsuki then turned to her.

 

“Oh, you are right.. Hey Kyon- I’ll be the Kesha to your Flo Rida if you want!” said Itsuki somewhat excited. Kyon laughs.

 

“Sure- get up here!” said Kyon. Itsuki then redressed, and joined Kyon in the front of the room. 

 

“Wait- that’s how to say it? Her name is weird when you look at it- it has a dollar sign in it! I thought it was Ke- dollar sign-ha!” exclaimed Tsuruya- causing Haruhi to laugh.

 

“I think it’s an aesthetic choice” said Mikuru as she sits next to Tsuruya. As they talk,. Kyon begins to sing.

 

“You spin my head right round, right round when you go down, when you go down down” said Kyon as he spins around on the floor, and almost slips! Itsuki then catches Kyon- regaining his balance, and chuckles as he sings into the mic Kyon’s holding.

 

“Hehe- You spin my head right round, right round when you go down, when you go down down” says Itsuki singing his rebuttal. 

 

“Thanks” said Kyon as he starts singing the first verse of the song. Kyon starts dancing and moving around some more, and Itsuki stays close- almost dancing with him- to get into the mood of the song. Kyon is in his own zone at this moment, and as Kyon dances Itsuki gets lost in thought looking at him.

 

Hmm… I wish I could spin his head right round right about now… Us just dancing together like this… Only wearing a robe… Agh… I need to not think about this in front of the girls before they see something peek out from under this cloth… ” thought Itsuki to himself. Haruhi, seeing how much fun Ituski and Kyon are having smirks to herself, and then turns to Mikuru and Tsuruya. 

 

“Hey, this is boring- let’s go while they don’t notice us!” whispered Haruhi. They both laughed, and started to walk out of the room together.

 

*****

 

After regrouping, the girls all head down to the dining room while Itsuki and Kyon both continue to sing in the bath room- unaware they left. 

 

“Well, I hope you guys all had fun in there with your contest- that didn’t take long. But isn’t Kyon and Itsuki still inside?” asked Ryoko.

 

“Yeah, and we’re outside ‘cause it got boring. Anywho- how were you guys- hope we didn’t keep you waiting too long” said Haruhi.

 

“No, you guys were fine. We were just reading, and I drank some milk so I’m feeling pretty fine myself” said Yuki as she pats her stomach.

 

“Awesome, but now I don’t know what else to do! We did like- everything I feel like. Agh, I feel like I have an empty stomach from all the competitions we did” said Haruhi as she rubs her own stomach as well.

 

“Now that you mention it...I’m kinda hungry…” said Ryoko.

 

“Yea, me too. My stomach is empty!” said Mikuru.

 

“It is around dinner time, so we should go get something to eat!” said Tsuruya. Suddenly, a lady worker comes into the room.

 

“Hey, sorry to intrude, but I just wanted to let you all know that dinner is ready in the other room! Feel free to proceed in whenever you all are ready!” said the lady.

 

“Ahh! Perfect timing!” said Haruhi. All of them were indeed pretty hungry by this point in the activities, so they went on ahead- the lady showing them to the dining room- while a cleaning lady entered to bath room where Kyon and Itsuki were. Itsuki and Kyon sing the song in pure joy and fun as they grove out together smiling. The lady cleaning couldn’t help but be mesmerized by their performance and energy they share between the two of them- so much that she started to cry. As their song ends, Itsuki and Kyon both avert their attention to the lady in the room they haven’t noticed the whole time.

 

‘Wha- where did everyone go?” asked Itsuki. 

 

“Oh! I’m sorry- you guys were so into it that I couldn’t help but not stop you. Dinner is ready in the dining room, and your friends all went there to eat- I’m sure they didn’t wanna disrupt your fun! Though, I gotta say- the passion you guys shared singing that song was somethin’ else!’ said the lady. Hearing this, Itsuki and Kyon started to blush.

 

“P-P-Passion??” blurted out Kyon.

 

“Hehe, yea- you guys really looked like you both wanted each other the whole time! You guys must be really good actors like Tsuruya-San; you captured the sexual tension in the song perfectly!” said the lady causing Itsuki’s face to deepen in a blush red. Kuon looks at itsuki, and  suddenly Kyon starts to dash towards the door- embarrassed at what is happening.

 

“OKAY! Well let's go eat- haha!’ said Kyon as he darts out of the door.

 

“Wow, you friend must really be hungry! And you are pretty hot- your face is all red. Want some ice?” asked the lady.

 

“N-No, I think the steam is getting to me- I’ll make my leave with haste as well” said Itsuki as he leaves the room as well.

 

*****

 

The group all finally converges in the dining room. Kyon and Itsuki walk in together, with the lady that told the girls about the food prior. The lady opens a box, and gets out an assortment of food related items as she sets silverware in front of all of them. 

 

“Okay! I think because this trip has gone on this long- with all the stops we made along the way- I think it’s time the Literary Club made a toast! Usually you toast with beer- but I made a vow to never touch alcohol! So we have apple juice right here!” said Haurhi holding the bottle of apple juice. Kyon scoffed.

 

“Sure, you wanna be a club now , but when me and Itsuki were singing away you all abandoned us… And you can’t drink ‘cause you and all of us are underaged to drink!” said Kyon.

 

“I mean, there’s not much stopping us” said Itsuki being a realist.

 

“D-Don’t encourage her mind! The people working here would never give us alcohol!” responded Kyon. 

 

“As long as Tsuruya-San’s family is okay with it- our paychecks can be hush money” said the lady in the room.

 

“What?!” exclaimed Kyon.

 

“Anyways!’ Haruhi yelled as she slammed the apple juice on the table, “Let's make a toast! May the Literary Club continue to grow and us have many outing like this in the future! And conquer the world! To the club!” 

 

“To the club!” they all cheered.

 

*****

 

After dinner, they say their thanks and all start to lounge around in the main lobby of the building. They all sit and stand around looking at the artifacts around the room. Suddenly, Tsuruya gets up.

 

“Well- all this eating has be pretty pooped. I’m gonna go back to my room and relax- you coming Mikuru?” asked Tsuruya.

 

“Yea~” yawned Mikuru as she got up, and walked with Tsuruya back upstairs. Itsuki then turns to Kyon.

 

“Anything specific you wanna do Kyon? We could visit the gift shop” said Ituski. Kyon then groaned to himself.

 

“Nah, I already picked up some souvenirs at the temple so I think I’m fine for now” said Kyon.

 

“Alright. Well, how about some after dinner coffee then?” suggested itsuki.

 

“Hmmm.. Well that’s fine I guess- sure” said Kyon. Itsuki and Kyon then walked off together to another part of the main floor to fetch some coffee. Itsuki himself poured him and Kyon some coffee as Kyon relaxes in a booth seat- reading a book he happened to get his hands on. He looks out the window to see how dark it got out. He then refocuses his vision to stare at his own reflection in the window- eying himself up and down.

 

I look pretty drained… So much has happened today… I hope Itsuki doesn’t think I’m not really interested in hanging with him- I just wanted to find some peace and relax the whole time I’ve been here and every time something tenses me…” thought Kyon. Suddenly, he is alarmed by the sound of a cup hitting the table beside him.

 

“Here you go!” said Itsuki handing Kyon his coffee.

 

“Oh, thank you Itsuki”, said Kyon as he peers into Itsuki’s eyes. Itsuki then sits on the other side of the booth Kyon sits at with his cup in hand. A few seconds roll by as Kyon sips his coffee, and continues to read his book; the only sounds leaving between them consisting of pages turning, the grabbing and setting down of their cups, the swallowing of hot coffee, and the angst-filled breaths that escape Itsuki’s lips. Itsuki sets his elbows on the table as he folds his hands underneath his chin and subtly leans in- watching Kyon read. Kyon, noticing this, looks up with a blush.

 

“Is there… Something you want?” asked Kyon.

 

You… ” thought Itsuki. He then faked a smile and started to unfold his robe to take out a board game. “I wanted to know if you wanted to play this game with me?”

 

“You just keep that nuzzled inside your robe like that? For how long? N-Never mind that, I’m find for now- I kinda just wanna soak in this peace I have right now if that’s fine. But maybe later?” said Kyon 

 

“That’s fine- I’ll play a round by myself to pass some time” said Itsuki as he unfolds the board game on the table, sets up the pieces, and starts to play with himself. 

 

“This has been so nice; I haven’t been to a hot spring in a long time” said Itsuki as he sips his drink.

 

“Yea, the bath was nice and dinner was delicious. And we have Tsuruya to thank, don’t we?” said Kyon as he sipped his drink as well.

 

“Yea we do. I mean- the accommodations alone. This inn is run by one of her relatives right? And that store that we stopped by on the way here that was named after her” Itsuki pointed out.

 

“Yea- she may not act it, but she’s from a pretty wealthy family” said Kyon.

 

“Huh, I didn’t know that” said Itsuki with surprise. Kyon sips more of his drink and sets it down on the table.

 

“It’s good to have some peace and quiet sometimes- right?” asked Kyon.

 

“Yea it is. I like how the whole world seems so at peace and calm at night. It’s so relaxing ‘ya know?’ said itsuki as he smiled.

 

“Absolutely~” said Kyon as he leaned against the window.

 

Some time passes as they both preoccupy themselves in their own thing; by then, Tsuruya and Mikuru have made it back to their own rooms, and Haruhi, Ryoko, and Yuki have as well. Haruhi got more and more bored which contrasted Kyon’s growing comfort.  Ryoko is glued to the TV in the room, while Yuki plays a game. Haruhi, chilling with the girls, starts to formulate this plan in her head- one that would bring about some entertainment and cure her boredom. 

 

“I bet there is some crazy places hidden amongst the spring grounds- bet it might be fun to explore them!’ said Haruhi.

 

“Well, by all means go ahead- I’m staying here for the night if all you are gonna do is wander around aimlessly” said Ryoko.

 

“Agh, again the party pooper shows off her greatest skillset. Okay- Yuki, you down to explore?” asked Haruhi.

 

“I’m kinda into the game I’m playing right now” said Yuki.

 

“But you can play that anytime- you been playing it off and on since we started this trip! But okay, I’ll go find someone else to go along with me!” said Haruhi as she leaves the room.

 

“Have fun” said Ryoko as she waves Haruhi goodbye, “ Oh Haruhi, she just needs to learn to relax sometimes”

 

“To her credit- had she not gotten us out of this room in the first place look at how much we would have missed out on. Today was pretty fun!” said Yuki.

 

“Eh… I suppose…” ponders Ryoko. 

 

Some time passes, and Yuki is fully isolated in her game while Ryoko eats snacks and watches TV. Yuki starts to ponder to herself all that has been going on with her; the voices, Kyon, and Ryoko’s intentions concerning him. “ They all push me to him… It… It talked as if it was some worldly crisis if I don’t get with him, but why?… Maybe all that ‘power spot’ talk Haruhi was talking about was actually real, and that’s why that happened there. But, what about all the other times like in the club room? There can’t be a power spot in our club room… Agh, why am I thinking of this now? ” thought Yuki. She drowns herself out from the outside world for a moment with the game’s music playing in her headphones. However, she was distracted too long, and dies in the game she is also playing. She grunts- having lost focus- and then gets up as she takes her headphones out.

 

“I’m gonna go take a bath” said Yuki to Ryoko.

 

“Huh? Okay. Yea the bath was pretty nice when we went. I might join you later down there myself” said Ryoko as Yuki prepares to leave for the bath.

 

*****

 

“LET’S EXPLORE!” yelled Haruhi as she enters the room where Kyon and Itsuki were silently enjoying themselves in their own activities. Suddenly, Kyon gets tense again.

 

Here we go again… ” thought Kyon.

 

“They have a lot of suspicious rooms to this inn, and I wanna try to find some ghosts or something! Itsuki! You are gonna come with right?” asked Haruhi ecstatically.

 

“Yea, sure!” said Itsuki. 

 

“You too Kyon!” said Haruhi. Kyon, however stares Haruhi down with disinterest.

 

“No thank you. Not tonight, I’m content in basking in the peace and tranquility that this place is offering me right now” said Kyon. Haruhi suddenly gets a bit annoyed, as she wanted Kyon to come along with Itsuki.

 

“Oh whatever, suit yourself- it will be more fun without you anyways. Come on Itsuki!” said Haruhi.

 

“Well, I’ll see you later, okay?” said Itsuki to Kyon.

 

“Yes” said Kyon as Itsuki walks away with Haruhi. Kyon for a minute sits in silence- wondering what to do next now that he is alone by himself for the first time during this trip. He sighs, and cracks his neck. “I guess I’ll go take a bath” says Kyon out loud to himself. He then proceeds back to the matchmaking hot spring to relax by himself. 

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

As the night gets closer to it’s peak Itsuki and Haruhi went around the inn grounds exploring various rooms that they could come across; Itsuki always finds interest in appeasing Haruhi’s ideas and wants- even if they are a bit silly at times. This was due to Itsuki’s own feelings for Haruhi- respecting greatly the bond he has with her and her charisma for their friends. Being the first person he told in their group, and one of the first people he has been able to trust with that information was a great and powerful thing to Itsuki- much so, that he forwent his urge to spend time with Kyon just to be with her; little did he know her own intentions. Itsuki and Haruhi made it outside to a little creek after they explored what they could of around the premise of the inn. Tired, Haruhi sits down on the side of the building, takes off her shoes, and sets her feet in the water.

 

“Ahh~, that feels great after all the walking we did” said Haruhi.

 

“Really? Well I’m glad that you are enjoying it, Miss Suzimiya” said Itsuki. 

 

“Come sit- the water is nice” said Haruhi.

 

“Nah, I’m fine just standing here and taking in the cool breeze of the night” said Itsuki. Haruhi then looks into the water with a somber face as she sighs- watching as a little frog wins close up to her feet.

 

“You know, I wanted Kyon to come along to give you guys more of a chance to do things together…” said Haruhi. Itsuki looked over surprised.

 

“R-Really??” said Itsuki shocked.

 

“Yea. In fact… This whole trip was calculated with activities to get you two to do things together” said Haruhi.

 

“Huh, well I had my assumptions but… I didn’t think you did all of that. Why?” asked Itsuki.

 

“To help out. Itsuki- I’m gonna cut to the chase. I don’t know when is the ‘right’ time to break the news to him, but I don’t know how good or healthy it is for either of you for you to tip-toe around with your feelings. I say that to say that it might be in your best interest to let him know that you like him a lot. When we were walking, you informed me some more on all the stuff you guys have done together the past weeks and whatnot- but that’s subtle. Kyon’s an idiot sometimes so he might not get it- or if he is trying to the nuances make it hard” said Haruhi as she looks to Itsuki. 

 

“Huh…” said Itsuki as he sighs with embarrassment.

 

“The subtle stuff you have told me about that might cut it- if you expect him to come into realization light years from now. But you might need to tell him straight up for things to click. Whether he feels the same… I don’t know, but you both look tense and I can tell you both are thinking of the same things. And I think you should before this trip is over specifically ‘cause of Ryoko.

 

“Miss Asakura?? Why would she matter?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Even before we left for this trip she had asked me about you in school like around when we were delivering the travel guides to everyone. She wanted to know what I knew of you and Kyon. I don’t know what her real agenda is concerning Yuki, but if anyone here stands in your way of you being with Kyon it is her. She wonders about you… You know, and somehow loops that in with Kyon’s feelings being I guess averted from Yuki to you. She wants them together” said Haruhi.

 

“But… Miss Nagato doesn’t like Kyon, right? She saw us first… Me and Kyon doing questionable things… I freaked out ‘cause we were hugging. And then Ryoko saw me feeding Kyon…  But Miss Nagato has never expressed to me any type of feeling like she's jealous or envious of me… But I can’t say if she has or hasn’t with Kyon…” said Itsuki full of doubt.

 

“But see instead of focusing on stuff you don’t nor will ever know for sure focus on your feelings and your ability to make them known- those are for real and provable things you can do! Personally, I don’t know Yuki’s true feelings, and I feel like only Ryoko would know. How the end result fares really isn’t up to me nor do I have some type of preference, but if Ryoko has been coaching Yuki on what to do about this since basically Valentine’s Day to me, it’s about time I do so for you!” said Haruhi as she stands up prepared to take more initiative.

 

“So, you have been calculating your own efforts as well… Wow… Thank you” said Itsuki as he hugs Haruhi tight- causing her to smile, “I feel filled with moxy now with this.. I should try now before my potential man is taken!”

 

“Yea Itsuki- you don’t need to hug so hard, hehe. look- my efforts will run short if you don’t take the chance now. I left the girls in their room but if there is any powers within me- I’m thinking that the night is still young and the hot springs are still hot if you catch my drift” said Haruhi. Suddenly, itsuki gasps.

 

“The matchmaking shrine! Should I use that to help me with my confession then?” asked Itsuki.

 

“I feel like that was placed there for a reason- like the stars have aligned to help you with your dilemma. But, the issue is that the shrine connects the girls side to the mens… I’m sure whoever built the hot spring didn’t think about same-sex relationships. So, you might need to make your ‘own’ shrine gate!” said Haruhi. Ituski smiled.

 

“That’s kinda corny… But I think it’s perfect! Hey- I think in the gift shop there was some arts and craft supplies- probably for kids that come and draw. I bet I could make some ‘heart’ sign or something and bring it to the bath and invite to go down there with him!” said Itsuki with hope.

 

“Yea! Come on- I’ll help you craft one out of some paper or whatever’s there! This will be fun- like some covert love mission!” said Haruhi as she grabs Itsuki’s hand, “Come on! Let’s go make the makeshift matchmaking shrine now!”

 

*****

 

Itsuki and Haruhi walk over to the gift shop, buy some supplies that they needed to make the makeshift matchmaking shrine, and go back to where they were sitting. These supplies include markers, paper, and a laminator- just in case the heart gets wet. They spend time cutting out different pieces of paper and coloring them accordingly, cutting out parts of the laminated plastic in the shape of a heart, and then laminating it all together. It looks similar to a shrine that a boy with pent up romantic feelings could muster on a Hot Spring night out; what was more important to Itsuki wasn’t the look, but the intention. When they finish, Itsuki looks at it with excitement.

 

“It looks really nice!- well, for what we could do on a budget” said Itsuki.

 

“I’m surprised the shop had a laminator- kind of a coincidence don’t you think?” pondered Haruhi.

 

“Hm, yea. Well, thank god” said Itsuki. Haruhi then smiles. 

 

“Well what are you waiting for? Go use this shrine!” said Haruhi. Itsuki then perks up.

 

“O-Okay!” said Itsuki. He gets up, and heads to the place he assumes Kyon is at- their room- since he wasn’t still reading in the room they are in now. Haruhi smiles silently as Itsuki hurries off in glee.

 

“Good luck, Itsuki… We have been on this since earlier this year and now it’s time… The rest is on you” said Haruhi to herself.

 

*****

 

“Kyon! I have something to-” shouted Itsuki with confidence as he opened the door to his room. However, as he did so he noticed that there was no one inside. “Huh?” said Itsuki as he walked around the room- finding no sign of Kyon there. 

 

“Agh… I just worked up the courage to do it- I had a whole thing set up… Where could he be?” ponderd Itsuki as he sighed- loosely holding onto his artcraft in dismay. Prior to entering the room, he was marching about the hallways mustering up what might he had to open his room door, and confess to Kyon. Filled with disappointment of feeling like this will all go to nothing- suddenly he has a thought.

 

The bath! ” Itsuki perked up. “That’s the only other place I could think he could be. But oh no!” said Itsuki as he soon gather’s bathing equipment, and rushes out of the room. He marched down the wooden hallway of the inn with hard stomps; so dire to reach their goal that others could hear.

 

“Who is stopping so viciously outside? Is someone mad?” questioned Ryoko, as the sound of the footsteps were so noticeable that she was alerted away from the show she was watching. The footsteps headed in the direction of her room.

 

“I gotta get to the bath!” said Itsuki as he passed Ryoko’s room. 

 

“Itsuki?...” said Ryoko as she sat up straighter in her kneeled position on the floor, “Where is he off to?”


“I’ve gotta hurry! If what she told me is true… Then if Miss Nagato is there then I need to make my move now! I need to confess!” said Itsuki. Ryoko, catching the tail end of his comment, got shocked and her eyes opened widely.

 

“Huh? Confess? Y-Yuki? Where is he going that he is wondering about her?... Does he have to confess something to her?... But from what he said he is in a hurry to get to her location as soon as possible… ” said Ryoko as she pondered the thought. Suddenly, it all clicked.

 

“Oh my god!” Ryoko shouted as she got up. “He doesn’t need to confess to her- no, he wouldn’t have anything of importance to say to her realistically. Someone else is there who is; someone of importance to both of them. He must want to confess before her… If he needs to confess something before her… Then that means Kyon must be taking a bath at the same time as Yuki! He’s heading to the bath to confess! If that happens before Yuki… I need to go see this for myself!” said Ryoko as she quickly go together her bathing things, and headed out of her room to the bath as well.

 

*****

In the matchmaking bath, on the girls side rests Yuki- relaxing in the bath on her own accord. Now that she was in isolation and relaxation, she can finally tend to the built up and neglected stress that she has been under. She lowers her body in the heated water as she places a hot towel on her head, and sighs. 

 

“Why am I so tense when everything around me is so lax?...” said Yuki to herself in a tired tone. She closes her eyes, and lowers herself more into the water. She then continues to think more about all the events that happened since Valentine’s Day, and why it all beckons her- despite her also being so sure of herself; as if two forces inside her are at war with each other. She then opens her eyes, looks over to the matchmaking shrine gate on the wall, and rises up from the water.

 

“What is the big deal with ‘love’ anyways? Why do people go above and beyond for it? What really is love anyways?... Do people really come here and find love? I mean, does this gate thing even work?...” said Yuki as she pondered the thought of opening the gate. Suddenly, a pain strikes her head; one that is everso familiar for her. And as she looks around the room walls, rocks, and the bath water around her all starts to digitize. 

 

“Oh no… Why here… I just want it all to stop...” groans Yuki as she holds her head. The water glistening off her skin starts to digitize as well as the numbers reflecting off the water ride up her skin, and as a voice creeps into her mind the back of her neck tenses up.

 

Through that gate is the solution to the schism. And through that gate will relieve you of your suspicions. It’s a befitting parallel for a gate that aligns wanting individuals with perfect strangers. Opening that game will in turn close the schism

 

“W-What? What would opening that gate even d-do?!” said Yuki as she moves about in the water. Unknown to her, Kyon has just entered the male’s side, and is doing the same. Kyon, who was relaxing himself, suddenly perks up as he hears noises that he cannot recognize- unsure of where their origin was.

 

“W-What was that?... Is someone outside the door?” asked Kyon to himself. He looks to the bath door he walked out of- assuming someone might be moving around in there. Unsure, he then looks to the matchmaking gate, and starts to tense up. “ Is there… Someone on the other side? ” thought Kyon as he further tensed up as the thought of someone over there opening the gate with just him in the bath made him nervous.

 

Back on Yuki’s side she sinks into the water- not wanting to make too much noise to alert the inn staff, but wanting to scream having been fed up with the pain.

 

“I don’t understand this… This has been happening for so long… Schisms, demands, love- why me?! Who cares?! I’m… I-I’m so tired of people dictating what I should do” mutters Yuki as she takes off her glasses, takes the towel off her head, and plants it into her face.

 

I’m only guiding you to your purpose; your true desire, the reason this was all initiated. I need to fix my mistake… For you case

 

“Mistake? My case? What did you mess up?” asked Yuki to the voice in her mind.

 

I cannot reveal too much that supersedes you. Not to hide the truth- but to not risk the schism ripping humanity apart. This is your lAST chance before fixing the schism will become further irreversible… I cannot fight back the powers going against me if you do not cooperate

 

“W-What?... Cooperate? I’ll cooperate if I open the gate? What will that cause? Who is-... I don’t have to do anything!” said Yuki standing her ground.

 

Correct. So, for your safety- and the world’s- I will make you

 

Suddenly, Yuki’s arms start to digitize! Her right arm lifts themselves up- in the direction on the gate. Her arm spasms- as Yuki tries to gain control, but cannot. Her inner desires start to rush into her head; feelings of loss, emptiness, insecurity, sadness, lust, and angst swell up in her. With this feeling, Yuki somewhat gives in- believing slightly that perhaps these inner feelings might be qwelled if she obeys, that maybe if she just listens that her stress will go away. Yuki wades in the water as she approaches the gate- almost ready to open the gate. And as Kyon hears this walking pattern, he starts to believe that someone is about to open the gate. Anxious to see just what will happen, Kyon eyes the gate even harder and waits to see. Yuki, as she grabs the string that will open the game, suddenly stops. 

 

“... These feelings… Swelling up inside me… You are just amplifying them… Of course I would want love, and to not be sad. Who would not want to lust over someone. But there is no such thing as following what’s fated for me if you are just choosing my future! You seem to have set things up for me… And it isn’t going to your plan. Maybe that should tell you should not mess with people’s lives!” said Yuki. She then unhands the string. 

 

Please, I beg you… This is all for your desires. All of this was for you, Yuki Nagato.

 

“And what Yuki Nagato wants… Is to choose her own destiny. This shrine- it’s so frivolous- yet so filled with despair. People wanting someone to happen for them so bad that they think a glance at a stranger will fix that? What connection will be authentic if it’s forced, or believed to be so by some stupid gate? No!” said Yuki. Suddenly, the digital numbers slowly rush down off her body, and start to fade away in the water and area around her. 

 

D-D-D-D-Don’t shut me out Yuki-i-i-i. I am- zzzzzz- doing this for you-ou-ou-ou...

 

“If you want to do anything for me- disappear!” said Yuki. As she demands this, the power and conviction she now has forced all the digital distortion to fade completely. Yuki pants heavily, and walks away from the gate and sits on the side of the bath pool. 

 

“The voices… the tension… It’s gone… Typically, it’s always there- but lingering in the back of my mind and neck; it had to of been that way for awhile as I gotten so used to it. But now- it seems to be gone… I won” said Yuki as she sighs in relief. However, unknown to Yuki, there was someone poking their head through the door to the women’s bath- Ryoko. Ryoko, in disarray from what she just saw, contemplates to herself.

 

“... Was Yuki just talking to herself? Did I see… Numbers? She almost opened the gate on her own conviction- but didn’t… Does that mean…. Honestly, thank god…” said Ryoko as she sighed with a smile. In Ryoko’s head, Yuki opening the gate and seeing Kyon would validate the idea that Yuki and Kyon can and will be a thing as she made herself believe that Yuki wanted Kyon- more so than reality would say. However, as she didn’t this was stripped; leaving Ryoko’s blocks to her own feelings opened- as the gate remained closed. Now, Ryoko sees an opportunity one that she should of went with the entire time; Ryoko could potentially be with Yuki if she wouldn’t get Kyon when Yuki had the perfect setup! 

 

Ryoko didn’t have much time to process this however; as she stood there in the doorway in the bathroom she then heard noises of her own. The door in the male bathroom she heard open clearly as there was no other sounds in the bathroom, and the sounds reverberated off- and through- the walls. “ Is that… ” thought Ryoko as she looked to the wall. Suddenly, she walked out of the bathroom, and made the bold decision to enter the male bathroom. Kyon, still in the hot spring bath, heard more sounds around him- which tensed him further. But, he could tell that they were in the direction of the bathroom this time as he heard bare feet pattering on the bathroom floor surface. Suddenly, as the door opens, Itsuki- bare chested, one towel wrapped around his waist while another is in his hand- stands there red-faced, but with unwavering confidence.

 

“Kyon, I’ve been looking for you” said Itsuki to Kyon- looking at him with conviction that made Kyon’s attention be undivided on him.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Itsuki, hey. You were looking for me you said?” asked Kyon. Itsuki then set down the towel he was holding, and entered the water as he took off the towel around his waist. 

 

“Yea, I went to our room- but you were not there. I wanted to see you” said Itsuki. Kyon then blushes and looks away.

 

“Oh?... Well, I just came here to get my money’s worth ‘ya know? And wind down” said Kyon. As Itsuki and Kyon sit there in silence for a bit Kyon looks at the shrine- and Itsuki notices this.

 

“Kyon… What do you think about the shrine?” asked Itsuki. Kyon looks back to Itsuki.

 

“Hm? The shrine? Well… I think it’s silly, but- you wonder sometimes. Like, are people fated to each other for real. Is any of that really like legit. Would that person even like you, or want you. Would they just open the shrine out of curiosity. Did they wanna see you or someone else? It’s interesting to say the least, but… Eh” said Kyon. Itsuki then sighs as he collects his thoughts.

 

“So, do you want someone to open that gate on you?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Why do you ask?” pondered Kyon. Itsuki then blushes and looks away at him.

 

“I just-... I’m just wondering” said Itsuki.

 

“I mean, the thought gets me nervous- I mean, I’m kinda exposed, and someone can just look at you whenever they want by opening that gate. Kinda makes me feel like a ‘thing’. But… I don’t know…” said Kyon as he wanders into thought.

 

“Kyon?” said Itsuki alerted by his seemed uncertainty.

 

“It’s nothing” said Kyon.

 

“Hm…” Itsuki mutters as he looks over to the towel he placed next to the bath pool, “Do you want someone, Kyon?” asked Itsuki. 

 

“H-Huh?” Kyon said alerted.

 

“You heard me…” said Itsuki.

 

“Do I want someone?... I mean, I don’t really lust for someone to open that gate and then I meet my soulmate or something if that's what you mean-”

 

“So do you not want someone??” pressured itsuki cutting off Kyon.

 

“I-... I mean, having someone would be nice… I just…” said Kyon as he rubs the back of his neck and looks down. Itsuki then gets closer to Kyon.

 

“Kyon?” Itsuki said as he leans into Kyon.

 

“Um… Well.... If I’m being honest- I think I’m lonely” said Kyon. Itsuki, shocked, then leans off of him.

 

“You’re… Lonely?” said Itsuki in surprise.

 

“Yea… I wonder... Sometimes, if I should be doing something or have something because others do and I don’t. I wonder if I’ll be happier if I had someone- but I should be happy on my own. N-Not saying I’m not happy, but it’s just thoughts” said Kyon.

 

“But, you have everyone around you. And a family that seems stable and fine…” said Itsuki as he looks down. Kyon looks over and looks at him.

 

“Itsuki?...” said Kyon. Unknowingly, that triggered a thought in Itsuki’s head; one where he started to think about all the people that he himself did not have in his life- wishes were- that caused him true unhappiness and loneliness. And to hear someone he believed had it all also lonely; it made him jealous, but also sad for him. Kyon, only recognizing parts of this, was unsure of what he caused. “Itsuki, I’m so thankful for everyone, but you know- sometimes you can have people around you and still feel lonely. I know it sounds somewhat vain or whatever, but it’s a true feeling. It’s something that is kinda embarrassing to admit… And I’ve done and thought some stupid stuff ‘cause of it… Honestly, I’ve been stressing myself with it all- trying to figure it all out. Maybe if someone would pop up on the other side of the gate- this all would just be solved…” Kyon continued. Hearing this, Itsuki blushes, and looks over to his towel he brought.

 

“... Kyon, I’ve been holding on this for awhile- and I’ve thought of the right way to say this for a while, but there is no way… Kyon, perhaps there is someone akin to a ‘soul mate’ that can meet you somewhere mutual and work through this all together…” said itsuki as he starts to unwrap the towel.

 

“What? What do you mean Itsuki?...” asked Kyon. Itsuki then unravels the towel- showing the makeshift shrine- and holds it out in front of Kyon. As he does so, Kyon’s face shows through the heart-shaped opening, and as Kyon observes what’s happening he starts to blush.

 

“I-Itsuki?!...” Kyon said flabbergasted as he backs up, “What is that?...”

 

“You wanted someone to look through the gate to you… N-Now someone has…” mustered Itsuki as he shakingly holds the shrine gate. Kyon, looking at the gate he is holding, realizes fully all that has been happening. As every gear clicks in place, it all is clear to him.

 

“I-Itsuki… Do you like me?” asked Kyon.

 

“Yes! I like you so so much Kyon! I wish I could of told you sooner so I could make you happy, but… I was scared… I was told to not… But I want to take my chance. I want to make you happy while you make me happy. We spend so much time together, and- to me, I felt like the tension was there for a while…” said Itsuki.

 

“The tension…” muttered Kyon. He then flashed back to all the random scenarios he found himself in with Itsuki; with him running around the town chasing him, to Kyon hugging him and enjoying it so. He enjoyed it- not ‘cause it was a friendly encounter- but that it was Itsuki. He knew, deep down, he didn’t want those things to stop, and wanted it to keep going more so in the future. Deep down, he always knew this- but the fact that Itsuki was a man through him off. It also through him off as he didn’t know how other man friends truly act- or if Itsuki’s actions were that far off.  But as Itsuki confesses this, it was all clear. “Itsuki… I don’t know what to say...” Kyon continued nervously.

 

“Kyon… I want you. I want to be with you. I-I don’t want anyone else to have you! I wish during Valentine’s Day I had you the way that you deserved; Those chocolates I have you… I wanted you to be my valentine! And I somewhat knew Miss Nagato was doing the same… I wanted to show my love the most best and safe way I knew how to then! T-That’s why i didn’t care that you didn’t give me anything because I just wanted you to know how I felt! Kyon, do you want me?” asked Itsuki baring it all with teary eyes. Hearing this, and looking at Itsuki’s puppy dog face as he confesses Kyon is speechless- caught off completely by it. But at the same time, in complete comfort as he feels like all his tension slowly lifts from his body looking at Itsuki encumbered by his feelings of Kyon.

 

“Itsuki… I…” said Kyon as he was frozen by Itsuki’s warm words. Suddenly, Kyon starts to approach Itsuki, and lowers the shrine he is still holding up. “Yes… Yes I do! I like you Itsuki! A  lot! I’ve been battling my demons for so long that I almost didn’t let someone as good as you be there for me- even though you clearly were! I thought that it was wrong... That I shouldn’t… That I had this weird obsession ‘cause I was lonely- like Taniguchi… But no, every answer I had lead back to you. Everytime… God, I’m so stupid! I… I ran so far to try to find the thing I lacked, but... It was there inside me… I ran from it to something that I wanted to last- and here you are.  I want you, Itsuki Koizumi!!” said Kyon with certainty and love. Itsuki, starstruck and hit with cupid’s arrow, leans into Kyon, and kisses him embracingly. They lock lips, and close their eyes as they stand there in the bath kissing nakedly. In this brief angst-filled moment all their body parts rub together; frotting and rubbing each other closer as Kyon places his hand on the back of Itsuki’s head to pull his own tongue farther down Itsuki’s throat.

 

“Mmmm~...” moaned Itsuki through Kyon’s mouth. They share each others saliva in a dance of lust; Itsuki reaching his hands lower to Kyon’s ass feeling on his wet ample butt cheeks with lasciviousness. Kyon runs his hands through Itsuki’s hair, and starts to grip tighter on Itsuki’s back- scratching him. “Ohh! Please be gentle with me…” mutters Itsuki into Kyon’s ear softly. Seemingly, he liked the pain, but craved sensuality.

 

“I’m sorry…” Kyons aid with fervor. Their heartbeats were in a delicate dance of intensity and lust, that were strung together by the vehemence as they waded in the water together. Their zestful exchange was brought up by their own attempts to bury their primal desires of man; not just for each other, but their systematic requirement to stay afloat in this oppressive word that would otherwise shun their activity. Because in life, you get so close to death incarnate, that by the time that you realize it- you are at peace with it all; a hideaway from the grief of man. Now that all gears are moving- in love, this was each man’s chance to finally let the water flow through them as it should have; water that flew from the deepest parts of their passion outward that was dammed up, and demeaned by society subconsciously in their eyes their whole lives. This moment was more than just Kyon and Itsuki prowling each other indeed, it was their first times experiencing a taste of ‘love’. 

 

Unknown to them however, was that Ryoko was viewing this exchange for the first time unfold through the peaked door of the bathroom. To her, she saw Kyon and Itsuki confess to each other fully, and are currently embraced in each other; seeing this was all she needed to clear up any doubt in her mind of what she already knew was the case- for her and for them.

 

“So… Kyon and Itsuki do like each other… Heh, Yuki never stood a chance did she… What was I doing all this time… When I could of been…” Ryoko said to herself. Suddenly, a light turns on in her head; while Yuki and Kyon’s chance was done- her’s was not; in fact, her chance just opened up - in her eyes. She then began to think, “ Kyon… I always was envious of you… Many would say the center of the group is Miss Suzumiya- but if you ask me, he is the glue that kept us all together honestly… I mean, the club is only a thing because of Kyon keeping Yuki going- which inspired me to help her with the feelings I thought she had. I just wanted her to be happy… And that compromised my own. But, seeing Kyon actually be happy indifferent of whether Yuki was with him or not somewhat inspired me- but also made em scared. Like, how could he be so fine and Yuki not? But in reality, Yuki always was… And for not the vitality of our club, MIkuru and Tsuruya would not have stuck around either...  If our life was a story, and their needed to be a main character- it would be Kyon for sure… I know what to do! ”. 

 

Ryoko, filled with a mixture of emotions, runs off out of the men’s bathroom in the direction of the women’s bath- back to Yuki. However, as she ran off Kyon and Itsuki were still developing their own issues…

 

“Oh Kyon, I’ve always wanted this…” whispered Itsuki as Kyon knocks Itsuki to the water and climbs on top of him.

 

“Yea? How bad?” asked Kyon lustfully.

 

“I want all of you…” replied itsuki with grit in his voice. Kyon, aroused, holds Itsuki’s head as he leans in once more to make out with him. He slides his hand down his chest.

 

“Itsuki…” said Kyon as he gets infatuated with itsuki’s expression as he kisses on him.Kyon lifts his head up from Itsuki’s and looks at his face in pure extacy. However, in hearing the door to the women’s side slide wide open Kyon got alerted- and all his senses came back into alignment of fear. In that moment, he started to recall the anxiety he had from experiencing and expressing these feelings he had buried deep within- and instantaneously wanted to grab a shovel and dig it back down. He suddenly got up from Itsuki, and started to run out of the bath.

 

“K-Kyon!?” said Itsuki as he turned back to watch Kyon’s ass sway in the air. Horny and confused, Itsuki continued, “W-What’s? Wrong? Please, talk to me!”. 

 

“I’m sorry- I can’t keep doing this; this is a lot for me. I g-got to go, I’m so sorry…” said Kyon as he shut the bath door behind him- leaving Itsuki in the bathroom alone. Itsuki was left to make his own conclusion of why Kyon acted that way; was it him? His feelings? Did Itsuki go too far sexually? Was Kyon scared? All Itsuki wanted was Kyon- and he left. Teary eyed, Itsuki buries his head in the water...


“Yuki! I have something to-” shouted Ryoko with confidence as she opened the door to the girl’s bath. However, as she did so she noticed that there not just Yuki within the hot spring like before. “Huh?” said  Ryoko as she walked into the room- noticing an extra Haruhi, Mikuru, and Tsuruya beating her to the punch and ruining her shot right then and there.

 

“Hey! Ryoko, Mikuru wanted to take another dip in the bath, so I got Haruhi and we all came back down. Didn’t know Yuki was already here!” said Tsuruya with a chuckle. 

 

“Ryoko, you finally came down. Guess it was perfect timing” said Yuki smiling.

 

“Yea- perfect timing …” muttered Ryoko with a groaning glare. She joins the girls in the water reluctantly. Haruhi, looking at Ryoko’s expression, smiles slightly. 

 

“Gosh, you know I’m very curious about that shrine gate. Yuki- open the dang thing why don’t you! I want to see if it works!” said Haruhi surprising everyone.

 

“Wha-...!” Yuki said surprised. With what just happened, Yuki was not that excited to do so.

 

“B-But, Haruhi… These things are so silly- and I’m not interested in the result, honestly” said Yuki with conviction. 

 

“Awe. But it would be a waste to not at least try right? I don’t care about results or who gets with what- but just the idea is interesting. This superficial wall that draws people to open it- I wonder if there is power to it!” said Haruhi as she smirks. Yuki, as she thinks about pulling it, doesn’t feel a tension or hear a voice as she considers this. In a twist of fate, she goes to pull it- alerting Ryoko. 

 

Wait- what?! B-But she just didn’t! Did I miss my chance because of I was fucking snooping!? B-But wait!! Kyon and Itsuki are-.... ” thought Ryoko. She wanted to say something out loud to stop her, but then she knew they all would question why Yuki couldn’t. So, she sat in agony as she pulls the string to the gate. As the gate door rises, all the girls peak through- but to everyone’s surprise, there was no one on the other side!

 

“There’s no one there… Huh…” said Yuki- pondering why she was pulled to do this so minutes ago. Ryoko, seeing no one there, was relieved- but also shocked. She had many questions in that moment; where was Kyon and Itsuki?? Did Yuki or Haruhi expect Kyon to be there? Why did Haruhi want Yuki to open the gate and not just herself?...

 

“Well, maybe the gate was just that- a frivolous pipe dream” said Ryoko.

 

“Huh, guess you can’t depend on fate being how you want it then…” said Haruhi as she placed her hand on her chin. Hearing this alerted Ryoko and Yuki for different reasons; Ryoko as she wanted the gate closed- yet Yuki opened it anyways, while to Yuki a mysterious voice tried to change her fate to open it, but when she did no one was even there. Haruhi then chuckled to herself. “ If you try and you believe- you can change fate and make your own journey, right? Hehe…Good luck Itsuki... ” thought Haruhi.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

After the events that transpired in the bath, Kyon, feeling a bit, distraught, choses to seclude himself in one of the lounge areas of the inn- alone sitting at a booth. Peeking out the window beside him, he sips some tea as he contemplates everything that just happened.  He sets the tea cup back down on the table in front of him, and sighs. Feeling a bit lost at what to do, he looks ahead of him to the empty seat on the other side of the table he is sitting at- and imagines Itsuki sitting there; for had he not had that blowout, he would of probably joined him back to this lounge area with him.

Kyon then starts to think, “ Gosh.. With the nice accommodations and the awesome dinner- you would think right now I would be in high spirits… With everything that has happened, I guess I have Tsuruya to thank… ” thought Kyon as he attempts to reason out the series of unfortunate events.  He leans his head towards the window to rest it on as he rubbed his temples. “ Well… At least I have some quiet right now- ” he thought until his thinking process was cut off as he heard rapid feet pattering on the wooden floor approach him quickly. As the door to the lounge opened up, out came a chipper Haruhi; smiling ear-to-ear.

 

“Gosh! Took me a minute to find ‘ya! Of course you would be here” said Haruhi.

 

“Agh… I wish these doors locked…” muttered Kyon. Haruhi then looks at Kyon’s face, and lowers his frown.

 

“Well why are you so mopey? The night is just getting started!” questioned Haruhi.

 

“Oh- nothing, I was just thinking about something. I’m fine. W-What is it that you wanted?” asked Kyon.

 

“Well I wanna play some card games so I’m rounding everybody up! Come on!” said Haruhi. Kyon then starts to get a bit nervous internally- not really wanting to be in the same room as Ituski.

 

“Um… Can’t I just sit here?...” questioned Kyon.

“And waste this perfect night to go out and have fun? Hell no! Come on!” said Haruhi as he grabs Kyon by the hand.

 

“O-Ouch! I can walk myself! Agh…” said Kyon as he gives in, and follows Haruhi out of the room. As Haruhi is guiding Kyon out of the room she starts to wonder something, and turns to Kyon.

 

“Hey, where is Itsuki?” asked Haruhi to Kyon. She then starts to think, “ Last time I checked he was on his way to see him at the bath… I knew they both left- but I assumed they both would be together right now ”.

 

“I… I don’t know” said Kyon.

 

“Hm… Oh well- I will go find him soon enough. Let’s go- we are keeping people waiting!” said Haruhi.

 

“O-Okay!” said Kyon as he hurries along…

 

*****

 

They arrive at the meeting location for Haruhi’s game- which is another room with enough space to fit them all. As Haruhi enters the room with Kyon he sees that Yuki and Ryoko are already inside sitting down and idle chatting. They both turn over to wave to Kyon.

 

“Hello, Kyon” said Yuki.

 

“Hello” said Kyon somewhat unenthusiastically. Seeing Kyon, Ryoko starts to get a bit uneasy in herself.

 

Okay, Ryoko- Just play it cool for now; it's just that all of your hard earned work just fell out of the drain since Kyon basically has Itsuki and Yuki doesn’t want Kyon… But that doesn’t mean that Kyon doesn’t want Yuki!... Agh, how should I go about this now? I just have to ride out the rest of this trip and figure that out… ” thought Ryoko.  

 

Internally, Ryoko is still processing the events with Itsuki and Kyon as well- as they affect her more so than Haruhi or even Yuki; because she has been so emotionally invested in trying to make Kyon and Yuki happen- and now for that to change- it has shifted her mindset greatly, and allowed herself to think more internally as she finds her way out of her mental cage.  As Ryoko loses herself in thought, Kyon goes to sit down.

 

“Where’s Miss Asahina and Tsuruya?” asked Kyon.

 

“Mikuru feels a bit light-headed after her last trip to the bath, so Tsuruya took her back to their room- so they will not be joining us at the moment,” said Yuki.

 

“I see…” said Kyon.

 

“Speaking of people who are no here- where is Koizumi?’” asked Yuki.

 

“I’m about to figure that out because Kyon doesn't know where he is” said Haruhi

 

“He’s probably just in our room,” said Kyon.

 

“I checked there before I found you. Don’t worry; my sleuth skills are number 1! I will find him” responded Haruhi.

 

“Well, good luck!” said Yuki. Haruhi then rushes out of the room, and closes the door behind her- leaving Yuki, Ryoko, and Kyon to sit and wait. In this moment, an unusual tension plagues the room as it becomes silent; Kyon not really wanting to speak to either of them at the moment, Ryoko not really wanting to speak to Kyon nor wanting Kyon to speak to Yuki, and Yuki unsure as to why Ryoko and Kyon are behaving weirdly. Suddenly, Yuki gets up.

 

“Well , I guess while we wait we should go and dig for this card game Miss Susuzimya said was in her bag over there” said Yuki as she walks over to Haruhi’s bag, “Let’s clear some space for Haruhi and Itsuki”.

 

“Oh- that is what we will be doing?...” asked Kyon.

 

“I believe so. At least that is what she mentioned before she left to find you” responded Yuki. She then looks over to Ryoko. “Could you find some pillows to sit on?”.

 

“Me? S-Sure, I’ll try and find some...” said Ryoko as she gets out to help. Ryoko then opens a cabinet to find some pink pillows, and starts to smirk.”Hm… These looks fine to use…” she continues.

 

“Well… While you two are doing that- If anyone wants some snacks, I can get some” said Kyon- attempting to find any reason to leave the room.

 

“Perhaps we should wait for everyone to get back so we don’t have to make multiple trips if someone wants something that was not brought” said Ryoko.

 

“Y-Yea… That does make sense…” said Kyon as he sighs, and just continues to sit while the girls get the games ready. He then starts to think to himself- drowning out Yuki and Ryoko’s chatter as they set up. “ Agh… What should I do when he sees me? I mean- I ran out on him!... He probably is so mad at me… I… I just was so overwhelmed with it all that I needed a breather. With all that steam in the room I practically could have passed out! But, I don’t really want him to think that I regret doing that…I suppose… We will talk about it when the time is right… Agh… Love is so complicated… ” Kyon thinks as he starts to contemplate exactly how to handle this situation...

 

*****

 

Haruhi makes her way back outside in an attempt to see if Itsuki might be hanging outside. So, she goes to check the outside creek that she and Itsuki visited earlier. Sure enough, Haruhi finds Itsuki sitting down by himself as he looks down at the pond. Haruhi steadily approached, and as Itsuki looks up to see who was coming in a panic Haruhi looks at Itsuki’s face.

 

“Itsuki, I found you- hey…” said Haruhi as she is started by what she is seeing.

 

“M-Miss Suzumiya… S-Sorry, I didn’t think anyone would come out here to find me…” said Itsuki as he hides his face, and wipes around his eyes. Haruhi then goes over to sit down with itsuki.

 

“Itsuki… Your eyes are red… Have you been crying?” asked Haruhi. Itsuki then sniffs his nose, and further turns away.

 

“I-...” said Itsuki- unsure of what to say.

 

“... What happened?” asked Haruhi.

 

“... When I went to see Kyon… I confessed to him… And, we kissed...” said Itsuki.

 

“Okay? But that is great! Why are you so sad?” asked Haruhi.

 

“Because… Kyon got startled afterwards for some reason- and ran off!” said Itsuki as he started to cry once more.

 

“Oh no…” responded Haruhi.

 

“He said such endearing things to me when I confessed… He told me he liked me too. He’s going to tell me he wants me- but then runs away?... “ said Itsuki as he starts to vent.

 

“... I don’t know what to say…” said Haruhi.

 

“I-I’m sorry… I know I am just going off right now… I just… I felt like I finally did it- and got to a place I always dreamed of… And I didn’t expect this outcome” said Itsuki.

 

“I understand… Well, from what I think- I am sure Kyon meant all of those endearing words that he told you… I’m sure that he got caught up in the moment with all of those new feelings and testosterone flying around. Maybe, it just got too much for him and he got freaked out” suggested Haruhi.

 

“You think so?” asked Itsuki.

 

“It is at least a fair deduction… Perhaps he just needs time. He admitted his feelings; he didn’t take them back. It sounds like he just wanted to stop kissing you at the moment” said Haruhi.

 

“I-I see… That… Very well might be the case then…” said Itsuki.

 

“Just give him time to adjust; for now, let it slide under the rug for now- and let’s go have some fun! I’m rounding everyone up to play some games” said Haruhi.

 

“... Will he be there?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Yes… If you don’t want to participate then you can stay here; I just think it is a better idea to not focus on it and make yourself sad when we should be happy right now” said Haruhi.

 

“No… You are right…I should go” responded Itsuki.

 

“Plus- he doesn’t seem all to happy either; he didn’t want to say if anything is up, so I am sure that he is going to be doing the same thing as you. So, when the time is right, you guys will talk” said Haruhi.

 

“Wow… I wonder what he is feeling right now… I hope I didn’t rush things…” questioned Itsuki as he rubs his eyes once more- to rid the tears- and stands up, “But I guess I should be focused on my own well being. And to do that- I should not worry about that right now and let it play out naturally” he continued.

 

“Something like that; I highly doubt your friendship is like- ruined . He just needs time. And only time will tell” said Haruhi. Hearing this causes Itsuki to chuckle.

 

“Thank you, Miss Suzumiya… This was what I needed honestly. Come on- let’s go play some games” said Itsuki. 

 

“Right on!” said Haruhi as he takes Itsuki by the hand, and heads inside.

 

*****

 

“We’re back!” shouts Haruhi as she opens the door to where Kyon, Yuki, and Ryoko await for them. As the door opens, they all see that Itsuki was successfully found and is brought in. Itsuki silently waves as he enters the room alongside Haruhi and goes to sit down. As Itsuki sits down he makes a slight glance over to Kyon- who mistakenly chose that same moment to look at him. As they meet glances they immediately look away and blush; each feeling that the other is a bit worked up to speak to the other at the moment. And, they each decide internally that they are gonna play it off to the rest in the room that there isn’t an issue between them. As this happens, Haruhi goes over to Yuki and sees her deck of cards that say ‘Trump’ on them. “Oh! You already found my cards!”.

 

“Yes. And Ryoko found some pillows in the cabinets that we can sit on” said Yuki.

 

“You are welcome” responded Ryoko. Hearing this, Haruhi rolls her eyes. 

 

“Well then… Since we have our contestant, and the battle field prepped,hereby declare the opening of the  ‘Late Night Card-Game Contest’!” shouted Haruhi. Suddenly, Ryoko places her index finger in front of her mouth, and shushes Haruhi.

 

“Keep your voice down! It’s night, and there might be people trying to sleep!” said Ryoko.

 

“Yea yea fine…” said Haruhi.

 

“Okay… So, what should we all play first?” asked Kyon.

 

“Well... Probably something that we all know the rules to?” asked Itsuki.

 

“That sounds like a good idea,” said Ryoko. 

 

“Okay… So, do you all know how to play Crazy 8’s?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Yeah” said Kyon, Yuki and Haruhi as they raised their hands. However, Ryoko didn’t raise her hand. So, Itsuki started to think some more

 

“Okay… Poker?” asked Itsuki. However, this time Haruhi, Kyon and Ryoko raised their hands in response- leaving out Yuki.

 

“... What about Go Fish?” asked Itsuki. Sadly, the same result happens- leaving Yuki out of not knowing how to play.

 

“...Uh, Gin Rummy?” asked Itsuki. However, no one raises their hands. Itsuki then starts to chuckle.

 

“Hm…” Itsuki says as he ponders another choice.

“There’s always solitaire” said Kyon.

 

“Oh! I know how to play that!” said an ecstatic Yuki. Suddenly, Yuki realizes the error in her response as everyone looks at her with confusion.

 

That was a joke, I didn’t think anyone would say anything to that… ” said Kyon.

 

“Oh… Y-Yea, that is a single-player game…” said Yuki as she feels a bit dumb.

 

“I-It’s okay, Yuki!” said Ryoko attempting to cheer her up.

 

“Okay… How about Concentration?” asked Itsuki. Suddenly, all hands raise. Kyon then starts to smile from relief.

 

“Well there we go. So Concentration it is-” 

 

“Okay! So we are all going to play Old Maid!” shouts Haruhi as she cuts Kyon off. Kyon then sighs.

 

“Oh course we are Haruhi…” said Kyon as he gives in.

 

“And I will be the dealer” said Haruhi as she grabs the cards, and begins to shuffle them out.



-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“Okay guys, so this is how it’s going to work; we are going to play a round of the game, and the loser has to do a penalty!” said Haruhi as she finishes shuffling, and starts to deal out the cards to everyone. As Haruhi does this, the group sits on the floor in a circle- like formation, and sits on the pink-colored pillows Ryoko had collected. Haruhi then sets one of the pillows in the middle of them to set the cards onto. “And all penalties are going to be decided by me and me only!” continued Haruhi.

 

“Well that sounds very promising…” said Kyon as she shakes his head.

 

“Just as long as they are not anything too crazy…” said Ryoko.

 

“No one will be at risk of death- so you should all be alright; no worries!” said Haruhi. 

 

“Well that’s not really that hopeful knowing you…” said Kyon.

 

“Well I will try my best to not lose, Miss Suzumiya” said Itsuki.

 

“Good! Okay guys, check your cards!” said Haruhi as she finishes dealing out cards to everyone. They then look between each other as they start to get intimidated by the aroma of competition as they all analyze their hands.

 

“Hm…” says Ryoko as she looks at the cards. Itsuki then folds out his cards like a fan, and starts to hum to himself.

 

“You know- your performance in Old Maid is a reflection of how you live your life” said Itsuki. Kyon then starts to get confused.

 

“Huh? You are gonna have to explain that one to me…” said Kyon.

 

“If you start out with the Joker, that’s just bad luck. But if you still have it at the end, then it probably is because of something you are doing” said Itsuki as he takes two cards out of his hand, and lays them in the middle. Soon, the rest of them follow- stacking more cards on top of each other. Itsuki then looks down at the pile and says, “They say that cards games are microcosms of human life”. Kyon, hearing this, starts to get confused.

 

“Oh… I hope that’s not really the case!” said Kyon as he eyes his cards. 

 

The games continues to unfold as they each start to pick cards from each others hand- one by one going around in a circle. Haruhi, stoic with her game face, is unwavered as she picks a card from someone's hand. This contrast Kyon- who continues to get more nervous. Soon, the game starts winding down to the unavoidable winner and loser, a thought pops into Kyon’s mind...

 

“So… What are the penalties for the loser?...” asked Kyon.

 

“Hm… I haven’t really thought of it yet!” said Haruhi.

 

“Geese… You love your penalties- the least you could do is decide them if you are going to impose them on us…” said Kyon.

 

“You know- we could just skip the penalties…” said Ryoko.

 

“I don’t know; I think it sounds fun!” said Itsuki.

 

“Yea! What is the point of playing a game if you are not going to risk anything?” questioned Haruhi as she leans over to take a card from Yuki’s hand. “What do you think, Yuki?” Haruhi then asks.

 

“About doing a penalty...Hm… I think it can be fun when there is stakes- Ahh!” says Yuki as Harhi takes a card from Yuki’s hand that she didn’t want taken, “... I think- similar to Miss Asakura- that as long as it is not too crazy, then I think it is fine”.

 

“Hm… Then lemme ask you something; what would qualify as crazy by your standard?” asked Haruhi”. Suddenly, Ryoko looks over.

 

“... I would like to know as well; for future references and all” said Ryoko. Suddenly, Yuki gets very blushed in the face- unsure of what to say.

 

“U-Um!...” said Yuki.

 

“Alright, that’s enough the both of you- lay off her…” said kyon as Yuki looks towards him- causing Ryoko to get jealous, ”If we are gonna do a penalty, then let’s just make it easy; how about the loser goes out and buys snacks and drinks for everybody?” asked Kyon.

 

“That’s just what you wanted to do earlier…” said Ryoko with disappointment.

 

“How boring! A snack run is not a penalty! I think it should be something a lot more tougher!” said Haruhi. However, as she says this, she looks over to Yuki- who seems to be freaking out. Haruhi then sighs. “Actually- I will allow it just this once as a warm up penalty since it is only the first round…” she continued. Hearing this causes Yuki to de-tense. Yuki then looks to Kyon, and smiles.

 

Thank god… If I had to do anything crazy, I do not know what I would do… ” said Yuki as she looks at Kyon. Kyon, coincidentally, looks over at Yuki at the same time- and they share a glance as Kyon smiles. Watching this exchange happen, Ryoko starts to get even more jealous. She then pulls her head closer into her hand of cards, and starts to snarl silently. Ryoko then starts to ponders the scenarios that might unfold in her mind.

 

Hm… You know- now that I think about it… If Yuki were to lose, she would not go by herself... And, knowing Kyon- he would definitely volunteer to go with her… ” thought Ryoko. She then gets alerted by another thought popping into her mind. “ They are so comfortable in front of other people- but what might Kyon do when he is alone with her? He clearly is going to keep what he and Itsuki did under wraps… What if he tries to cover up his acts by getting closer with Yuki?! No! That cannot happen! I would have to make sure I request to go! No… I should lose so I can request her to go with me! ” Ryoko continued to think as the game continued... 

 

*****

 

And so, with Ryoko’s game plan set in her mind, the game continues on as Ryoko’s confidence starts to noticeably get worse. As this happens,it starts to alert Haruhi- who is quite thrown off by Ryoko’s sudden demeanor. Intentionally by Ryoko herself, this is to bring attention to Ryoko- and make someone pick her cards so she can lose quicker. However, what was the monkey wrench in her plan was Haruhi seeing through her tricks- ascertaining mid-game that Ryoko was trying to lose so she can somehow use her penalties to her advantage. In a turn of events, Kyon ends up being the loser of the first round as Haruhi pulls Kyon last card away from him- leaving him with the Joker card in his hand.

 

“Ah! Just my luck…” said Kyon. Haruhi then laughs.

 

“You had the Joker card from the beginning- didn’t you?” asked Haruhi.

 

“Yea… How did you know?” said Kyon.

 

“Your poker face is the worst!” said Haruhi. Kyon then starts to sigh as Itsuki looks over to him.

 

“Looks like you have to go and get us some snacks” said Haruhi. Kyon then gets up from his seated position.

 

“Alright- I’m off to go get some snacks; be back in a sec” said Kyon as he goes to open the door. However, in this moment, Itsuki had the increasing urge to ask Kyon if he wanted him to go along with him on his trip; however, he was not only nervous to ask him to be alone with him- but he feared he would just say ‘no’. And so, Itsuki bit his lip as Kyon closed the door behind him- leaving the group to wait for him to return…

 

A Few minutes later...

 

“Okay guys! Now that we are all snacked and refreshed up- let’s start the next round!” said Haruhi as she goes to deal out the cards once more. 

 

“What is the penalty this time?” asked Kyon.

 

“Hm… How about- the loser has to do some squats!” said Haruhi.

 

“Squats?...” said Ryoko.

 

“Well- I guess it is more safe then going out to buy some snacks in the nighttime…” said Kyon. 

 

Hearing this, Itsuki started to think to himself, “ If Kyon has to do those then he will certainly excel at it with all of his vanilla cupcake goodness he has… Oh, get your head outta the gutter Itsuki!... ”. Itsuki, trying to re-focus on the task at hand, started to smack his head. Kyon then looks over.

 

“You… Okay?...” asked Kyon.

 

“H-Huh? Oh, I am fine… I just- uh… I thought a bug landed on my head” said Itsuki.

 

“Oh. Sorry if I might of dragged a fly in here with me from outside” said Kyon.

 

“N-No, you are fine…” said Itsuki as he starts to blush from anxiety. Kyon, feeling Itsuki’s anxiety, starts to look down at the floor- unsure of what to really say to Itsuki further. Haruhi, noticing this awkward exchange, clears her throat.

 

“Okay! Let’s start the round guys!” Haruhy says as she goes to throw two cards into the middle…

 

*****

 

The rest follow suit, and the round commences as they each throw in cards into the middle. They then each start to pick off at each others hands until only one has a card left- and this time it is Yuki as Kyon leaves her with the Joker in her hand this time. Shocked at her loss, Yuki starts to blush and get frantic as she soon realizes that she has to now do squats. Nervously, Yuki attempts them- struggling to do so as she was not the most adept in gym class. She she does them, Ryoko looks onto Yuki’s body in allure- seemingly captivated in the moment of Yuki moving. As Yuki does them, Haruhi also notices Ryoko looking at Yuki more intently than the others- and starts to raise an eyebrow.  

 

Yuki, however, manages to do 15 really good squats before she ultimately gives up- and collapses on the floor from exhaustion. Sweaty and tired, Yuki opts to go take another bath to wash off the gathered sweat accumulated from her doing squats. And so, after the round is over she leaves back for the baths- but alone; Ryoko, wanting to go with her, opts to not out of fear that her gathered tiredness from staying up later than she normally does would cause her to get light-headed or even fall asleep in the baths- despite her want to tag along with Yuki to get her moment Kyon.  This, in of itself, was a tough decision for Ryoko, but felt like she wasn’t exactly set on how she should make her moves from here on out now that she knows that Itsuki and Kyon might come into fruition. Ryoko then makes the decision to sleep on the idea- and nap momentarily as to also re-energize in the meantime Yuki goes to bathe. 

 

She falls asleep in the room with Kyon, Itsuki, and Haruhi as they continue to play games. As it is just the three of them in the space- and the weird tension between them all- the short pauses of awkward silence that would bear its teeth in between chatter would feel like light years as Haruhi attempts to keep the momentum going. After the next round they play is done however, she opts to also take a nap- feeling a bit worn out from her constantly trying to keep morale up in reality for Itsuki’s sake; and also, to force them to be alone since everyone else would either be preoccupied or unavailable at the moment. Itsuki and Kyon, for their own reasons, wishes that she would just stay up- but as she goes to lay next to Ryoko to nap she instantly falls into slumber; leaving Itsuki and Kyon alone in the room awake together…

 

*****

“Hello, Hello!” shouts Tsuruya as she opens the door that Itsuki, Kyon, Haruhi, and Ryoko are in. Alongside her is Mikuru. “Mikuru is all rested up now- so we thought to drop by!”.

 

“Better late than never!” said Mikuru.

 

“Hey there; glad that you are feeling better!” said Kyon as Mikuru and Tsuruya walk into the room.

 

“It’s just the two of you here, then?” asked Mikuru.

 

“Nagato lost a round of Old Maid and had to do some squats. But, she felt sweaty and is taking a bath. As for the other two…” said Kyon as he points to the corner of the room where Ryoko and haruhi sleep, “They I guess were following in your example- and both choose to get some sleep too”. They all then look over to see Ryoko and Haruhi snuggled up next to each other fast asleep. Tsuruya then takes notice that Kyon and Itsuki are playing a card game together.

 

“So you guys are just in here playing a good ‘ol game of Concentration?” asked Tsuruya.

 

“Y-Yea; it gets the mind moving on what could be waiting for you to pick up” responded Itsuki. Unbeknownst to Tsuruya and Mikuru, in the time that Haruhi and Ryoko slept, Kyon attempted to break the ice between them by offering to play the game Itsuki initially picked.

 

“We are just passing some time really” said Kyon. However, Kyon starts to think, “ They couldn’t of come at a better time… All the dead silence between me and Itsuki because we both are CLEARLY ignoring the giant elephant in the room was unbearable… ”.

 

“Oh! So you guys are bored then!” said Tsuruya.

 

“W-Well, I am having a nice time; I can always enjoy a simple quiet time” said Itsuki. However, Itsuki starts to think ,” But not so quiet that I can hear my heart beat a million times a second through my chest because I am too scared to say anything about our kiss to Kyon!... ”. Tsuruya then starts to laugh.

 

“Ah! Well in that case I guess I’ll just have to let you in on a little secret …” says Tsuruya forebodingly as Kyon and Itsuki stare Tsuruya down as she starts to smirk…

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

“...Secret?” asked Kyon- feeling confused. Tsuruya then starts to laugh.

 

“You will find this ‘secret’ if you keep heading up to the top of the mountain! There’s this observatory there that is perfect for stargazing! Why not check it out?” suggests Tsuruya.

 

“Stargazing?...” asked Itsuki.

 

“That’s one of the reasons I suggested this inn; so that we could all go up there!” said Tsuruya as she starts to cutely wink of of her eyes, “Buuut… Someone’s gotta watch those two sleeping beauties- as well as let Yuki know where you two ran off to. But there’s nothing to stop you from going!”. Itsuki and Kyon then share a look together- as if both were contemplating going off with the other alone. Itsuki then turns back over to MIkuru and Tsuruya.

 

“Well, what about you Mikuru? If we went up now would you wanna tag along?” asked Itsuki. 

 

“I would rather stay here and watch the others with Tsuruya so she isn’t alone” said Mikuru.

 

“W-Well, I guess that makes sense… I am a bit curious…” said Itsuki. 


“Then that settles it! You two better have fun while you are up there!” said Tsuruya. 

 

“I-I’m not sure…” said Kyon as he looked down. Seeing this, Itsuki starts to get a bit annoyed. He then starts to think, “ I’ve just been awkwardly playing cards with Kyon as I try to sift through all that has happened… He clearly is avoiding going up there as to not be alone with me… Agh!... Forget it... ”. Suddenly, Itsuki gets up. 

 

“Well, I think it might be best for me to get a bit of fresh air anyways… I’m gonna go by myself then” said Itsuki.

 

“A-Are you sure that you will be alright going by yourself, Mr. Koizumi?” asked Mikuru.

 

“Ah, I lived out in the countryside before; a little walk in the dark won’t scare me” responded Itsuki. He then heads for the door- but momentarily looks back at Kyon. Sighing, he goes to pass the girls, and opens the door to the room. Kyon then starts to get a bit antsy in his seat- as he starts to feel as if he is making the wrong decision. “ He should not go alone… I can tell that he wants me to go with him. I-... I don’t want to leave this trip with any regrets or hostility! Agh, goddammit, Kyon! Make the right move for once! ” thought Kyon. Kyon then slaps his thighs, rises up from his seated position, and stands up more proud than before.

 

“I’m going too,” said Kyon. Itsuki then turns around.

 

“R-Really?...” asked Itsuki.

 

“I don’t want you to go out there in the dark alone, so I will go out there with you if you want to go see the sight” said Kyon. Itsuki, feeling flustered, starts to blush.

 

“O-Okay…” Itsuki responded. Tsuruya then starts to laugh.

 

“Well, I hope you two have fun!” said Tsuruya.

 

“See you guys in a bit! Maybe we will all head up togethr later” said Mikuru. Kyon then walks past the girls as well, and joins Itsuki.

 

“We will try” said Kyon as he turns to face Itsuki. At that moment, Kyon gulps and starts to think, “ Agh… I just need to face my feelings head on… It is the only fair thing for both of us ” said Kyon. Itsuki then at Kyon as he passes him in the doorway.

 

“Let’s go” said Kyon as he blushes, and looks back at Itsuki.

 

“R-Right…” said Itsuki as he closed the door behind him. 

 

At this moment, Itsuki feels a mixture of conflicting emotions that swell up within him; confusion to not only why Kyon wants to suddenly go- but confusion rooted on the fact of how he should feel at this moment. He is also angered, sad, depressed- but also hopeful and lustful in this moment, and each emotion links back to Kyon. And, in Kyon’s case, he feels rising guilt, unease, expectation, insecurity, and fear- but also the sexual desire that he never knew he could feel as overzealous for as when he kissed Itsuki. He now could tell that the feelings that he was missing for so long suddenly were all the more clearer in his mind- in the moments he is not smothering them with the angst and fear in his heart. And as they walk down the hallway- and out of the inn to the path that leads to the observatory- they each attempt to figure out the best ways to go about these feelings that they both share within…

 

*****

 

“It’s up that way?...” asked Itsuki as they stared down the pathway from below.

 

“I assume. It is the only one in this area that seems to head in the direction Tsuruya mentioned…” responded Kyon as he scratched his head. Kyon then starts to wonder, “ Agh… Is it too late to turn back?... ”. Itsuki then looks to Kyon.

 

“It looks kinda steep” said Itsuki.

 

“Yea- I am thinking the same thing. But, it shouldn’t be that bad…” said Kyon.

 

“Y-You think?...” asked Itsuki.

 

“Only one way to find out” said Kyon. Itsuki then nodded his head in agreeance, and the two then venture up the path together.

 

Itsuki and Kyon walk up the very steep pathway in the dim-lit forest up to the observatory above in silence; the only sounds escaping around them are the little woodland creatures that are still wild awake in the night. Despite it being very cool out, both men manage to work up a sweat as they proceed forward due to the underestimated trek that they are now well into. Suddenly, their silence breaks as they both start to slightly pant- attempting to catch their breath. However, it becomes too much for Itsuki at one point, and he stops to catch his breath as he kneels over and lays on the floor. Kyon, seeing Itsuki stop walking.

 

“*Pant* *Pant* H-How you doin’? Are you holding up okay?” asked Kyon.

 

“Yea… I think so. I am gettin’ a tad sweaty though- but I can always take another bath- um…” said Itsuki as he gets anxious about mentioning ‘bath’ in front of Kyon alone. Itsuki then starts to feel on his ankle as he lays down, and Kyon starts to take notice.

 

“R-Right… Hey… Is your ankle hurt? You are rubbing it” asked Kyon.

 

“N-No… It is okay, Kyon” said Itsuki as he stood up.

 

“Still… This is a pretty steep path honestly… I guess that is what we get when we take anything Tsuruya says at face-value” said Kyon as he starts to walk forward. Itsuki, blushing slightly, follows behind him. “And… I don’t know if I am super comfortable wandering around here in the deep of night!” Kyon continued.

 

“Yea…” said Itsuki. Suddenly, Kyon turns around with a slightly beat-red face.

 

“M-Maybe we should hold hands to keep from falling,” said Kyon.

 

“W-What?!...” said Itsuki, who is greatly shocked.

 

“Y-You know, ‘cause of what we are wearing and the steepness- it is fairly difficult to maneuver around. We don’t want to get hurt, so…” said Kyon as he rubs his head in nervousness. “ I’m trying here to make things right… Come on- take the bait!... ” Kyon then thinks. Itsuki then looks down at his hand as he imagines holding Kyon’s hand within it- and he starts to blush hard. Kyon then sighs as he continues to speak; “Or… Maybe we should just give up and head back to the inn…”.

 

“N-No! We have already come this far. And… It should not be that big of a deal if he just went a bit further on. I think we are getting a bit close. By this point, I feel like we should not turn back since we have come so far” said Itsuki.

 

“Well.. If you say so… So, onward and upward it is” said Kyon. Kyon then reaches out his hand to Itsuki. “Take it” he continues. Itsuki then gets nervous and flustered.

 

“H-Huh?!... Um, I- uh… I don’t know if… Agh… O-Okay…” said Itsuki as he grabbed ahold of Kyon’s hand, and they continued to walk…

 

*****

 

Unbeknownst to the two shy lovebirds, they were being tailed by two nosey girls…

 

“A-Are they holding hands? Yes! So they are a thing for sure! You see Miss Suzumiya- don’t you?” asked Ryoko as she turned to Haruhi. Haruhi, looking indifferent as ever, sighs.

 

“Them holding hands doesn’t prove anything . I hold hands with Mikuru and Yuki all the time! Especially if Mikuru is scared!” responded Haruhi.

 

“Hm… I guess so…” said Ryoko as she started to ponder her own thoughts, “Still- when Tsuruya told us when we woke that they had gone off up the mountain I really did not believe it; did you?” asked Ryoko.

 

“I would believe Kyon would do something so idiotic as to head up a mountainside in the dead of night alone- but not Itsuki. So, since both are going, I am going to assume Itsuki is only going to make sure Kyon is alright- or perhaps the other way around... You know, something a friend would do” said Haruhi, as she slick attempts to cover bases- and divert assumption. 

 

“Still…” said Ryoko as she started to hum, “I wonder what will happen…” asked Ryoko.

 

“Is that why you came?” asked Haruhi. Ryoko then starts to laughs

 

“Come on, please don’t say you have been completely oblivious to the peculiar actions that Kyon and Itsuki have been showcasing the past couple months” said Ryoko.

 

“I only care about finding aliens, time travelers, and espers. Oh- and having fun doing so; all things I tend to not find around you” said Haruhi as she sighs.

 

“Then why are you here, Miss Suzumiya? You could have stayed back at the inn with Miss Asahina and Tsuruya. Don’t tell me; you want to protect me and keep me safe now?” questioned Ryoko. Haruhi then snarls as she hears this.

 

“H-Hell no! I am here because I want to stargaze too- and we all happen to be going in the same direction! Tsuruya and Mikuru are getting ready and bringing snacks as stuff- and I didn't wanna stick behind while you hurried up the mountain for your schemes” responded Haruhi. However, Haruhi then starts to think to herself, “ Plus... I am here because I want to see the fruit of my loins come to fruition; I don’t really care about lovey-dovey stuff… But if I try and help set people up then I at least want to know with my own eyes it’s working! Plus… I need to tail this woman! Ryoko has been a thorn in my side in all this since she has tried to set up Yuki with Kyon awhile ago! What… Changed in all that with her?... ”. Hearing Haruhi’s response however causes Ryoko to scoff as she turns her head to look at Kyon and Itsuki.

 

“Well… I have my reasons at least…” said Ryoko. Haruhi then eyes Ryoko down; attempting to read her. Ryoko, as she starts to get very serious about what she is doing, starts to think deeply, “ After my nap… I have a clear head- and a clear conviction on what to do. I… I am convinced that I might have a chance with Yuki now- if she no longer wants Kyon. And… Yuki is who I want! I thought- since I cared so much about her being happy- that guiding her to who I thought she wanted was best. But… I want to make her happy; the same way that kyon seems to make Itsuki happy when Itsuki looks into his eyes. I… I might be jealous of Kyon. There is something mystical about Kyon that draws those to him, and I need to confirm with my two eyes that Kyon will not be getting in my way any further. Even now- he still can get whatever he wants… I-In any case, in the event Kyon might want Yuki- or there is any remnants of feelings that Yuki has for Kyon- confirming Itsuki is dating Kyon will kill both those theories for the time being. That is enough time for me to try and get Yuki; at least, that is the plan… ”. Ryoko sees Kyon and itsuki pass over a bend in the wood out of their field of vision, and as this happens Ryoko moves from their current hiding place.

 

“They're on the move! Let’s go!” said Ryoko as she hurried off. Haruhi then sighs, and gets up herself.

 

“I wonder… Does Ryoko…?” ponders Haruhi as she continues to follow Ryoko further...

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

Kyon and Itsuki- followed by Haruhi and Ryoko- make it further up the path. Soon, they stumble upon the ‘Chausuyama Nature Botanical Garden’, and find its Dinosaur Park entrance. Ironically, this was a place that neither person knew would be along the ways to the stargazing spot. Itsuki and Kyon both head into the park- both very intrigued by what could be within it, and as they enter Ryoko and Haruhi swiftly enter in after them. There, they see many different types of dinosaurs that were in actuality park attractions such as slides and swings. 

 

“Wooow!” shouts Haruhi as she slides down a slide. 

 

“Quit being too loud! We are trying to tail them in secrecy, remember?” said Ryoko.

 

“Oh, stop being so grumpy! Gosh, it’s like your only mode is ‘vibe-killer’! We are here aren’t we? We might as well have some fun while we do it! Come on, slide down!” said Haruhi. Ryoko then sighs as she starts to get annoyed by Haruhi. Haruhi then looks back at Ryoko. “You know, Ryoko… You confuse me” she continued.

 

“Huh?” questioned Ryoko. Haruhi then gets off of the slide.

 

“... It’s as if whenever someone speaks to you- you already have a script planned in your mind. All the while you have an agenda- you always have. All this time, you have been waiting for Kyon to be with Yuki. And now, you are awaiting the moment that Kyon does more with Itsuki than just holding hands. That’s a huge contradiction. And, in both cases- you try so hard to see it happen while keeping that same smile on your face that never hides the desperation in your eyes. Why?” asked Haruhi. Feeling as if Haruhi is starting to read through her like a book, Ryoko starts to don a poker face.

 

“Hehe. Oh, Miss Suzumiya… You are always the one to overanalyze things. I can’t just care about the well-being of my friends. Because by confirming Kyon is with Itsuki then I can break the news to Yuki and let her know that Kyon is playing her” said Ryoko.

 

“... What? Kyon is not playing Yuki. You are” said Haruhi. Ryoko then starts to get annoyed.

 

“On what grounds do you think I would do such a thing?” asked Ryoko.

 

“... Because Ryoko- what I have also noticed is you are kinda conniving; and I think it’s because you are lonely” said Haruhi.

 

“S-Shut up!...” shouted Ryoko- shocking Haruhi. Suddenly, she covered her mouth- realizing she broke her poker face. She then tries to re-compose herself. “I- uh... I just don’t want Kyon to be ‘competition’ for Yuki’s attention anymore; I have noticed that during the time Yuki tried to get with Kyon- she focused less on our friendship. And she should not be focused on a guy that doesn't even want her. She should be focused on her studies and her friends” said Ryoko.

 

“Wow… You really are a manipulator” said Haruhi.

 

“...Excuse me?” questioned Ryoko.

 

“Just looking at you- I can tell that even if they were to ‘date’ you still don’t want them to cross the line…” said Haruhi.

 

“Kyon and Itsuki?...” asked Ryoko.

 

“No, the sun and the moon- yes, the two idiots!” said Haruhi.

 

“W-What makes you think that?” asked Ryoko.

 

“... It’s as if you are in rue over Kyon for him having something you do not possess,” said Haruhi.

 

“I would never be jealous of Kyon!” shouted Ryoko.

 

“FInally- a remark I can sympathize with. But, your tone is veeeery pointed right now. I don’t know…” said Haruhi as she snarkly plays with her words. Attempting to recollect her cool- and pokerface- Ryoko sighs.

 

“I… Agh… I just… Think that the tenacity that our dear friends should have for one another is admirable… And… Maybe sometimes… I would like someone there for me in a way that Yuki wanted Kyon. I guess you could say I am… When Yuki fills herself with Kyon- it leaves little room for our friendship-”

 

“Bullshit!” said Haruhi- cutting off Ryoko, “I’m sorry- I don’t like to cut people off, but bullshit”. Ryoko then gets extremely frustrated.

 

“And how would you know?! You don’t even understand love! And not being able to get what you want because you are brought up to think you will never obtain it!” shouted Ryoko.

 

“Brought… Up?” questioned Haruhi. Ryoko then gasps- realizing what she just said.

 

“I-...” said Ryoko. She then clears her throat. “I apologize that some are not brought up with the freedom to frivolously chase pipe dreams such as yourself; some live lives where the moment you step out of line- you are reminded why you should never do so”.

 

“I am able to focus on such things because I am smart as shit- and when you finally find a balance between what you want to do and need to do you find room for happiness. Perhaps you should be following me ” said Haruhi.

 

“Heh. If I wanted to live life in a fairy tale- perhaps I would consider that” said Ryoko.

 

“... I think the stuff that you say is a lie- and you lie through your teeth too. Honestly, I don’t know enough about you- but what I do know about you leads me to believe that even your ‘struggle’ is a lie” said Haruhi.

 

“Watch your mouth!” said Ryoko.

 

“I mean- you are a straight-A student with everything handed to you- what is wrong with your life?” asked Ryoko.

 

“You are so deep into your own world that you can’t even fathom the grave life others face around you!...” responded Ryoko.

 

“What I pay attention to might be ‘fantasy’ to you, but I like to speak things into existence; you just speak lies” ssiad Haruhi.

 

“Okay- you want me to tell the truth to you?...” said Ryoko as she approached Haruhi, “...I don’t really like you” admitted Haruhi. Haruhi then laughs.

 

“... I bet it feels nice to say that to someone in person, huh? Probably because you are so used to getting it told to you” said Haruhi.

 

“What?!” said Ryoko.

 

“You are Class President, and are so sociable- but it really is all calculated. So many people are jealous of you, and you think people that fall out of your jurisdiction of ‘what should be’ are anomalies; probably why you are so close to a bunch of people like us. You have all of that popularity- but I know your pedestal comes with huge standards and backlash from peers. People who tend to sit high on a pedestal love to watch others below squirm” said Haruhi.

 

“You literally have no idea what you are talking about! Why would I hang around a bunch of people that I wasn’t truthfully friendly with?!” asked Haruhi.

 

“For your agenda! Yuki never liked Kyon like that! You tried to enforce that narrative to happen for god knows why! Maybe if you focused on what will actually make you happy instead of worrying about everyone’ else's shit you would realize that you are your worst saboteur. This whole trip you have been so caught up on whatever Kyon was doing that you were never really having fun!” said Haruhi. 

 

Hearing this, Ryoko then starts to re-count the entire trip, and even the moments before they left, and realized that in actuality she was right; everything she has done for months was dedicated to figuring Kyon’s stuff out- and how that correlated to Yuki which then correlated to herself. Ryoko even started to find Itsuki a hindrance on her plan as he was ‘stealing’ him away from Yuki. Not once has Ryoko truly done something for herself- or put herself first; even in the moments of tailing Kyon and Itsuki her happiness still is dictated by what Kyon is doing or going to do. What made Ryoko the most disrupted was Haruhi of all people seeing through it all.

 

“You… Are right” admitted Ryoko as she slides down the slide to the bottom, and gets up, “I have been projectiong so much energy into Kyon’s dating life as of late because he is so oblivious to the love that is around him. It makes me so angry! Because no matter what he does- whether he dated Yuki or Itsuki- he would be happy with someone and probably living a normal happy life. Others don’t have that luxury. I doubt he would even care about the public backlash of dating a man! Me- on the other hand? I study and get good grades and do all this stuff to get ahead in life- to have a better future- and I’m miserable. The only thing that I found that gave me any happiness was Yuki” she continued. Alerted by her response, Haruhi then gasps.

 

“So… Were you pushing Yuki to Kyon because you thought that if you could not be happy with what you were given you could find happiness in someone else’s happiness?” asked Haruhi.

 

“... She was one of the only people to not be phased by the ‘pedestal’ I was on… In fact, if we wanna use that analogy- she looked up to me; but not with jealousy, envy, lust, angry, or fear- but from awe and happiness. As if she wanted to join me up there- not to have what I own or take me down to where I no longer have it- but to simply enjoy the company I have, or to enjoy the view alongside with me” Ryoko said as her increased blushing causes her to become very embarrassed. Haruhi then starts to sigh.

 

“...I knew it… Ryoko- you cannot live life in someone else's spotlight. You still have a heart. You can still find what you want. And what you want is at the bottom of this mountain while you're chasing around two people who really never stood in your way of finding happiness; you- for whatever reason- thought that you had no better option but do. And, I think you have as many options in life like the stars in the sky” said Haurhi.

 

“Haruhi… That was… Surprisingly nice…” said Ryoko. Haruhi then blushes, and turns away from Ryoko.

 

“But don’t get things twisted- that does not excuse manipulating and stalking people! Don’t bring us all down cause your shit isn’t how you like!” said Haruhi.

 

“... You are right. Heh… To think the one that knows love the least ends up telling me the most helpful thing yet” said Ryoko.

 

“Whatever… So, are you going to keep following Kyon and Itsuki- or are you going to go tell the one you like how you feel? Cause… Perhaps Kyon and Itsuki have already done so- who knows” said Haruhi. Ryoko then sighs, and suddenly remembers something HAruhi said moments prior.

 

“... You were aware of how I felt?” asked Ryoko.

 

“Huh?” asked Haruhi.

 

“You… You said ‘I knew it’... That... I… I like Yuki… Was my feeling that easy to see through?” asked Ryoko as she blushed. Haruhi then sighs.

 

“It’s not like I spent time really thinking about your love life- I just tried to make sense why you have such contrasting feelings pertaining to Yuki and Kyon. Something so complicated often has a simple rooted answer” said Haruhi.

 

“Oh… I wonder if you are the other one that is aware… A-And… You don’t care?” asked Ryoko.

 

“Ryoko- you could love one of these fucking inanimate dinosaurs and I would not care” said Haruhi.

 

“Agh…” said Ryoko as she got annoyed at Haruhi.

 

“I myself am not sure if anyone is aware of your feelings- I am just a good sleuth! And plus… If you thought that I truly would have an issue with it- you would not just say your feelings in front of me. I wonder why me…” ponders Haruhi.

 

“... You are the only one that I could tell that would take me seriously; that I felt comfortable telling…” admitted Ryoko. 

 

I guess I am just the prime person to come out to… ” thought Haruhi.

 

In this moment- despite Haruhi’s nonchalant responses- this was a huge moment for Ryoko; because she has spent a life feeling like no one would ever make her feel like how she felt was valid- and no matter her merit it would never amount to true happiness- just one person validating her feelings was enough. The intriguing part of it however is her want to tell Haruhi first; Ryoko and Haruhi in truth don’t really see eye-to-eye, but often people come out to people who are overflowing with unfettered emotion, and beaming in elation. Haruhi, such a being not bound by human limitations, would essentially be the perfect person to. Tsuruya and Mikuru are not as close to Ryoko, and Ryoko would not feel as comfortable coming out to boys- especially Kyon who she has since admitted her jealousy for. 

 

Her confidence and mental status would have never had her do it with Yuki, and as such- Haruhi was then her only option. This makes Haruhi herself feel a bit nervous only because she, herself, does not like Ryoko that much- but finds ways to put up with her for Ryoko’s sake. However, she couldn’t help but sympathize and want to help her in this moment as this was one of the very few times Ryoko was actually vulnerable. The irony in that the two people that confessed such feelings to Haruhi ended up being polar opposite people to her; one being a close friend, and the other being a far-off nuisance.

 

“... I know that we have had our share of annoyance with each other- but I can at least tell you that I am thankful for this conversation, Miss Suzumiya” said Ryoko.

 

“Sure… Now, what are you gonna do?” asked Haruhi.

 

“I’m going to head back down. I feel… Like I need to not pass up on my moment that I have here” said Ryoko.

 

“And what is that?” asked Haruhi.

 

“If Yuki is still bathing, then perhaps I can speak to her alone and tell her how I feel- and perhaps we can come back up to the top of the mountain together like Kyon!” said Ryoko as she suddenly gets excited.

 

“It is worth a shot. Go get ‘em! And- I am not heading back down with you, so don’t get lost or whatever.” said Haruhi. Ryoko then smiles. 

 

“I won't,” said Ryoko.

 

“And bring Tsuruya and Mikuru back up with you,” said Haruhi.

 

“I will,” said Ryoko as she hurried off down the mountain. As she runs off, Haruhi then starts to laugh to herself.

 

Funny… I don’t think I have ever seen her this happy… Oh well- now that she is outta my hair I can focus on if Itsuki and Kyon really are a thing! ” thought Haruhi as she continues onward.

 

-CHAPTER END-

Chapter Text

 

Itsuki and Kyon continue to walk around the area as they  both aimlessly talk about the things that they were seeing. Without realizing it, they started to walk closer and closer to each other with each passing step; both subconsciously wanting to be as close to the other again as they just were in the bath. Each was holding back their feelings- what they wanted to say to each other during these moments- for their own reasons; guilt, nervousness, angst, but mostly sorrow not only for themselves, but for what their past actions have imposed on someone that they care about. Sooner than later, Itsuki’s head starts to fall. Kyon then looks at him.

 

“... Itsuki?” questions Kyon.

 

“Hm?” Itsuki responds.

 

“You… Were looking at the floor for a while. Is everything alright? Are you cold?” asked Kyon.

 

“N-No! I was just… I don’t know… I was thinking” said Itsuki.

 

“About?... Can I know?” asked Kyon.

 

“Um…” said Itsuki as he started to wander his eyes. “ I don’t know how to talk about us with you… ” Itsuki then thinks.

 

“N-Nevermind, I do not want to press you…” said Kyon as he starts to back away from Itsuki. Hearing this causes itsuki to get angered- unbeknownst to Kyon. 

 

“Then why are you even here…” said Itsuki under his breath- but just enough for Kyon to hear.

 

“... W-What?” questions Kyon.

 

“You just do things, and don’t even stick around long enough to know the outcome. It is… Selfish…” said Itsuki.

 

“I-Itsuki? W-What are you talking about- oh…” said Kyon as he started to look down. The tension then gets heavy as now Kyon is the one looking down while Itsuki stares at him. Seeing Kyon frowning however makes Itsuki even more perplexed and angered; not only because his intention is not to anger Kyon- but him to understand, but that seeing him choose to be sad when he himself believes he is the one hurt is a sight he did not want to see. Due to those balled up emotions, Itsuki then bits his lip- and grabs Kyon’s hand.

 

“N-No…” said Itsuki as they tug on Kyon’s hand.

 

“I-Itsuki?” Kyon asks.

 

“You… You don’t get to be sad right now” said Itsuki.

 

“I… D-Don’t get to? What are you talking about?” Kyon questions. Itsuki then looks up, and looks into Kyon’s eyes.

 

“I confessed to you… Y-You accepted me… And left! You don’t get to be sad right now! It’s me!” shouts Itsuki. 

 

“P-Please don’t shout, Itsuki…” said Kyon as he starts to be filled with tremendous guilt. He then grabs Itsuki’s hand- which he immediately swats away.

 

“D-Don’t touch me! You… Y-You just don’t do that to people! Just reject them, and give them the space to heal. I waited months to do what I did- and you crushed me” confessed Itsuki as he lets go of all of what he wants to say about Kyon. Hearing Itsuki’s painful words strikes every chord in Kyon possible; leaving him in a symphony of shame.

 

“I-I’m sorry! Please, forgive me! Itsuki… I don’t regret what I said, I just…” said Kyon as he tries to find the right words to say, “I-I don’t know what to say to you to make up for what I did. I have never done this before. I have never felt the things I have felt before. I fear that if I explain to you how scared I am that I will be putting my foot farther into my own mouth than it already is” said Kyon. 

 

“You don’t think I’m scared too?” asked Itsuki.

 

“But to undermine my response to something like this isn't fair! You are risking a lot with confessing to me- but so am I!” said Kyon.

 

“T-Then forget I ever said anything!” shouts Itsuki as he walks away. 

 

“No!” shouts Kyon as he grabs Itsuki’s hand, and tugs on him hard to come back.

 

“L-Let go!-” Itsuki said… Before Kyon pulled him in to kiss him. 

 

Kyon then held back his fearful tears as he embraced Itsuki. In that brief moment, Kyon shared with Itsuki two emotions above all others; first, all of his fear that he just now found that dwelled within him from his feelings for Itsuki. The second being the love that he also suppressed, which struck a goldmine in his mind when Itsuki kissed him. Kyon kissed Itsuki in this moment to hopefully show him that while he is scared his willingness to chase the love he feels overtakes it. And every single one of his intentions were felt by Itsuki, and as Itsuki gave into Kyon’s kiss he wrapped his arms around him so. Suddenly, Kyon started to shed a tear.

 

“Itsuki… I-... Please, forgive me...” said Kyon as he hugged Itsuki even harder. Itsuki then started to cry.

 

“K-Kyon~... I… I want you so bad…” Itsuki admitted.

 

“I want you too…” said Kyon as he starts to kiss Itsuki once more. Suddenly, they fall over on the ground as Itsuki falls under Kyon. 

 

“Uh~...” said Itsuki as he feels Kyon’s throbbing bulge on his leg through his thin clothing.

 

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to fall on you. A-And I’m sorry I’m a bit excited right now…” said Kyon as he immediately tries to get up off Itsuki. However, Itsuki grabs him.

 

“Kiss me right here” said Itsuki as he pulled Kyon back down to make out with him. Kyon then started to stick his tongue far into Itsuki’s mouth as Itsuki started to feel on Kyon’s back; slowly sliding his hands towards Kyon’s ass. Kyon notices him doing tis.

 

“Y-You can touch it…” said Kyon as he blushes.

 

“H-Huh? Oh, am I that obvious?... I’m sorry” said Itsuki.

 

“It’s fine. I used to be so oblivious to everything you were doing. But… At this moment… I’m so hyper-aware of what you want” said Kyon. Itsuki, briefly, allowed himself to touch Kyon’s ass upon his request. Suddenly, Itsuki felt guilt.

 

“Kyon… I don’t want us to make actions based on the sexual thoughts we have. I-I don’t want you just for your b-” admits Itsuki before Kyon kissed Itsuki to shut him up.

 

“You are not that kind of person, Itsuki. I believe that… Um… Someone’s intentions the first day will be their intentions the 100th day. I’m… Not the most fit guy at school- and I don’t think I’m that good looking. But, you want me. I would be a fool to think for a second you want me for my body” said Kyon. 

 

“K-Kyon… Hehe. But, for so long you were so unaware. How do you know I’m not like ‘one of those dudes’?’ Itsuki asked.

 

“Because ‘one of those dudes ’ wouldn’t look into my eyes the way you always do” said Kyon as he holds Itsuki’s chin, and looks deep into his eyes.

 

“K-Kyon…” said Itsuki as he is starstruck by Kyon’s words. At that moment Itsuki would have given himself to Kyon if Kyon asked- but he knew he would not do that. Kyon then starts to chickle.

 

“ I… Wished I had looked into yours as clearly as I do now. It’s like… Magical. Like you are some person with supernatural powers or something” said Kyon.

 

“Like… An esper?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Yeah! Or whatever those things Haruhi is always talking about…” said Kyon. 

 

“Well, I think I should take being called an esper as a compliment,” said Itsuki.

 

“Y-Yes! It is! I’m sorry, was that not clear?...” questions Kyon as he starts to get frantic. Itsuki then chuckles, and leans up to kiss Kyon.

 

“You think too much. Don’t right now- even if it is for a couple seconds…” said Itsuki as he rolls Kyon over- so that Kyon is under Itsuki.

 

“I-Itsuki!...” said Kyon as he is smothered by kisses by Itsuki. His bulge pushes harder against Itsuki, and as Itsuki moves his body he starts to feel a massaging feeling against his cock. “Mmm~... I-itsuki… When you do that…” Kyon tried to say. 

 

“Yeah, Kyon?” Itsuki asked.

 

“You are rubbing against me, and… If you keep going I might not want you to stop ButI… I don’t wanna-... c-cum while wearing this outfit. It will be too noticeable…” whispered Kyon, as if mentioning such a thing was forbidden of him to say.

 

“O-Oh… You are right… M-Maybe it would be smart if we stopped while we were ahead?” suggested Itsuki.

 

“That might be the smartest idea we could do tonight,” said Kyon. Itsuki then gets off Kyon, and grabs Kyon’s hand to pull him up. 

 

“Okay. And…. Don’t think that you have to do stuff like this with me Kyon…” said Itsuki.

 

“Huh?” questions Kyon.

 

“I have made a lot of the ‘first steps’ so far; some steps skipping many rocks along the way. If we are going to… S-See where this goes, then we can move at whatever pace you want” said Itsuki.

 

“Thank you, Itsuki,” said Kyon as he kisses Itsuki’s cheek, “I tend to be quite indecisive. So, don’t blame me if one minute I’m going slow and suddenly want to speed up” he continued Kyon. Itsuki then blushes.

 

“Kyon, you are kinda dirty” said Itsuki.l

 

“It’s… The side of me I thought no one would see… B-Be lucky” said Kyon. 

 

“Hehe, kinda makes me want to get to know that part of you even more” said Itsuki as he starts to lean back in for another kiss.. Kyon, seeing Itsuki come in, starts to get ready to embrace him again. Suddenly they hear a loud sound in the distance.

 

“AHHHHH!!!” said a female voice.

 

“W-What? What was that?” asked Itsuki.

 

“That… That sounded like Ryoko! Did that come up after us because they were worried? Agh, they are animals in this forest that could hurt us. Come on Itsuki, let’s go! She might be in trouble!” said Kyon, worried.

 

“R-Right!” shouts Itsuki.

 

*****

 

“Ugh~...” said Ryoko.

 

“Oohh!” said Haruhi.

 

“Harder, M-Miss Suzumiya” pleaded Ryoko.

 

“Omph! * pant * pant *” Haruhi groaned.

 

“I told you we shouldn’t have done this here…” said Ryoko.

 

“Well how was I supposed to know you had to big of a butt for this?” Haruhi replied.

 

“You… Hear something unsettling?” asked Itsuki to Kyon.

 

“Y-Yeah…” Kyon answered. As they turned the bend they saw Ryoko and Haruhi at the dinosaur park, with Haruhi struggling to pull Ryoko out of a hole in the slide. Suddenly, the two looked over to Itsuki and Kyon.

 

“Ahh!” Haruhi and Ryoko screamed. The knee jerk reactions the both did was enough to be able to allow Ryoko the ability to slide herself up, Haruhi enough strength to pull Ryoko out of the hole. Ryoko ends up falling onto Haruhi.

 

“Well, I guess that is the push you guys needed I suppose” said Itsuki.

 

“Quite literally,” said Kyon.

 

“Oh haha …” said Ryoko as she rubs her butt.

 

“Well now that you are free- you mind getting up?” questioned Haruhi.

 

“O-Oh! I am sorry!” said Ryoko as she gets up.

 

“... What are you guys doing out here?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Did you have a nice nap?” questioned Kyon. Ryoko and Haruhi then chuckle nervously. Haruhi then clears her throat as she gets up.

 

“You know, many believe that dinosaurs never even existed, or that many re-creations of them are actually nowhere near what they actually are. The biggest misconception is how big they were” said Haruhi.

 

“Wow, really? W-What, do not change the subject. What are you guys doing here?” asked Kyon.

 

“Oh hey! You guys taking a break?” asked Tsuruya as she walked up to them with Mikuru on her back, and Yuki beside her.

 

“H-Huh?” questioned Kyon.

 

“Is Miss Asahina okay?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Yes, she just got tired as we climbed, so she started to carry her. Though, Mikuru tired out at the bottom!” said Yuki. 

 

She… Carried her all the way up here on her back? How strong is she?! ” thinks Kyon.

 

“I see… Did you all come to go to the observatory?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Yes!” said Tsuruya. Yuki then holds out her arms.

 

“I brought some snacks. You know- just in case we end up getting hungry while we are up there” said Yuki.

 

“Nice! Now we are talking!” said Haruhi.

 

“Here, I will carry those; they look kinda heavy,” said Itsuki.

 

“Me as well” said Kyon as they both grab the bags out of Yuki’s hand.

 

“Oh, thank you” said Yuki.

 

“You too look happy~” said Tsuruya as she smirks.

 

“W-What? What do you mean?” asked Itsuki.

 

“Right” responded Kyon.

 

“Hehe. Nothin’~” said Tsuruya as she continued to walk with Mikuru. Ryoko then starts to frown,

 

They do look happier… What happened while my ass was stuck? They most likely made up… Agh… Well, no use worrying about it any more. I already got called on my shit- perhaps… I could use this opportunity to make my own stance… ” thinks Ryoko in that moment. Haruhi then looks over to Ryoko in deep thought, and sighs.

 

“Well let us stop all of this idle chat and move forward! Quickly!” shouts Haruhi as she leads the way; pushing Itsuki and Kyon

“O-Okay! Watch out, I might drop something!” said Kyon.

 

“Hehe, no need to rush” said Itsuki. They all then continued to walk, and as Yuki starts to walk behind them she is suddenly stopped by a hand on her shoulder.

 

“Y-Yuki…” said Ryoko, with a weary look on her face.

 

“Ryoko? What’s up?” asked Yuki.

 

“Could we… Talk really quickly?” asked Ryoko.

 

“Um, well sure- but everyone is going to leave us if we don’t keep walking” said Yuki.

 

“Don’t worry, it should not take long. I… I have something that I want to tell you. And, I feel like if I leave this mountain without having this conversation then I might regret it” said Ryoko.

 

“O-Okay… Sure. There is a bench over there. Let’s go” said Yuki as they walked off. Haruhi then looks behind her to see Ryoko and Yuki veering in another direction, and starts to smirk; seemingly being the only one to notice those two were not following the pack…

 

-CHAPTER END-