Head Over Feet

By: Kagayaki Ame

 

Chapter One: Misunderstood

 

The beautiful blonde walked confidently through the courtyard, schoolbooks clutched protectively against her chest. She was determined not to pay attention to the many couples around her exchanging candy, flowers and kisses, so much so that she didn’t notice the many heads that turned her way.

Not that she ever did. None of them were good enough for her anyway. They were only interested in one thing – and they knew she wasn’t the kind of girl to give it to them.

But, oh, how they dreamed…

 

            “Nanami.”

            She stopped and rolled her eyes exasperatedly before turning to face the sources of the harmonized greeting. As she feared it was the baka-trio that had been annoying her for five years since the beginning of seventh grade.

            “What do you want?” she asked in a flat, annoyed tone.

            “Today is valentines day,” said Suzuki, the first of the baka.

            “And we wanted to give you,” continued Yamada, the second.

            “A token of our affection for you,” finished Tanaka, the last.

            Nanami glanced at their ‘tokens’ with disinterest. They each held a rose: one red, one white, and one pink. She sighed and accepted the roses. “Thanks. Can I go now?” Without waiting for a response, she turned and continued walking.

            Inside the fancy school building she headed toward her locker. On her way she tossed the three roses into a wastebasket. Her action drew looks of contempt and disapproval. She didn’t care if anyone thought she was a bitch – people’s personal feelings about her never really mattered to her. They didn’t understand her anyway. And if she kept those roses, she’d surely suffer for it later at the hands of the overenthusiastic, Suzuki, Yamada and Tanaka.

Besides, nobody could understand her or truly wanted to. It kept her lonely and that got to her sometimes, but she wouldn’t let them see that it did. The only person who came close to understanding her was Touga and she loved her big brother for it. She knew people thought their closeness strange but they had no idea what they’d been through together. He was the only one she could trust. He was the only person she loved…

Lately, though, his attentions had been spread even thinner. The college scene had offered him even more girls to conquer and as a junior, he was running out of time – or so he saw it.

She slammed her locker shut. Where were Keiko, Yuuko and Aiko? Even their annoying company was better than being alone. They soon appeared and they all walked to study hall together. Nanami soon regretted their company. Had she been as shallow as them before? It wasn’t hard to believe. But why hadn’t they all matured together. Nanami knew now there was more to life than vindictiveness and jealousy and plotting. She wondered if this was her doing… No matter what the source, it was annoying. All they talked about were boys and how to get them from the girls they hated. It was disgusting.

She remained silent trying to tune them out.

“I hate valentines day,” she thought.

 

All through study hall the smell of chocolate and roses made her progressively more nauseated. Her friends didn’t help with their mindless chatter about boys and falling in love. They were so shallow and while she did indulge in her own bit of shallow behavior ever now and again, maintaining a shallow existence was not something she intended to do. They weren’t children anymore - they were juniors now – older, wiser. Or so they were meant to be. She’d matured without them. Perhaps that could be attributed to Touga’s going to Ohtori University. Their contact was infrequent and she was forced to depend upon herself, something she’d handled rather well. It forced her to grow up. Something her friends obviously hadn’t done.

“Would you all just shut up, or, if you insist on talking about stupid shit, do it elsewhere,” she snapped slamming her hand on the table causing the other students in the library to look their way.

Keiko, Yuuko and Aiko looked shocked, then annoyed. Then Keiko’s expression turned smug. “Fine, Nanami. We’ll leave.” They all rose and Keiko looked down at her. “You always get like this on valentines day. Don’t take it out on us because you don’t have a guy.”

Nanami narrowed her eyes at the girl. “At least I don’t have one by choice. What’s your sorry excuse?”

Keiko simmered and turned angrily. The two girls followed her faithfully.

Nanami turned back to her books and ignored their snide comments as they left study hall. She didn’t care. They weren’t true friends anyway…

Just as she was getting back into her work, she was interrupted again.

“Excuse me, where is room 281? I have British Literature there and I’m new and very lost.”

“When you leave the library go left and to the end of the hall. You can’t miss it – unless you’re a blind fool.” Nanami didn’t look up.

Instead of being slighted, the boy was intrigued. His aqua eyes sparked as he smiled. “Well I’m neither blind nor a fool, so I should be fine.”

“I’m so happy for you. Now if you don’t mind I’d like to…” Nanami trailed off as she looked up into the most beautiful eyes she’d ever seen.

“Like to what?” he asked still smiling.

“I’d… um… like to apologize for being rude just now.” She smiled back. A genuine smile.

“It’s fine. If you feel bad, you can make it up to me…”

Nanami looked at him warily. “Like what?”

“Walk me to class. So I don’t get lost.” His smile was brilliant.

Nanami couldn’t help returning the smile. “Okay. I think I can handle that.”

The bell rung and she stood and gathered her books. “I’m Nanami, by the way. Kiryuu Nanami.”

He took her books from her and began walking. “I’m Aiden, Tenryou Aiden.”

Nanami paused for a moment before following him. She didn’t have to ask him to carry her books…

“Thank you… for carrying those. They were kind of heavy.” She smiled.

He held the door open for her and smiled handsomely. “You have a beautiful smile, Nanami.”

She blushed. “Thanks… again.”

As they walked she couldn’t help stealing a few glances at him. He was spectacular. Beautiful eyes, handsome, jet black hair, a great smile and a nice body, as far as she could tell. He wore a different uniform that was deep blue instead of light. He was only more handsome for it.

Her demeanor took a dive as she saw Suzuki, Yamada and Tanaka coming toward her in the hallway.

“Damn,” she said under her breath. She grabbed Aiden’s arm and whispered, “please just go along with me.”

“O-kay…” Aiden said puzzled. He watched her sweet expression turn to one of contempt as she squared herself.

“Who is this person, Nanami?” Suzuki asked.

“Is he bothering you?” Yamada asked.

“We’ve never seen him around before,” Tanaka finished.

Nanami tightened her grip and said evenly, “this, baka-trio, is my boyfriend. He just transferred to our school.”

Suzuki, Yamada and Tanaka gasped, speechless for once. “No…” they mused in unison.

Nanami opened her mouth but Aiden beat her to it. “Actually, yes. Do you have a problem with it?”

Suzuki spoke up. “Actually, we do. Prove it. If you’re really her boyfriend, that is…”

Nanami got nervous but Aiden kept his cool. “Alright then.” Without hesitation he bent toward Nanami and kissed her softly on her lips. Suzuki, Yamada and Tanaka were surprised but no more than Nanami. A blush spread over her cheeks furiously. Aiden pulled away and winked at her before turning to the trio again. “Now, if you don’t mind, we’d like to get to class.” They pushed past the shocked trio and continued ahead.

Nanami was speechless. Aiden had just kissed her. In front of everyone…

“Who were they?” he asked casually.

“Um… just some… boys that like me… um… thanks for… playing along.”

“Sure. Anytime. I hope I wasn’t too forward in kissing you.” He looked at her.

Nanami felt shy under his gaze. She smiled bashfully and averted her eyes. “No. It convinced them.”

They reached his room and Nanami stopped. “Here you are, Aiden.”

He gave her her books back and grinned. “Thanks. I’m glad you walked me here.”

“You would have made it alone,” she replied accepting her books.

“True,” he said lightly. Then he leaned toward her and lowered his voice to a core shaking bass. “But then I’d never have gotten to kiss you.” He winked at her again and entered his classroom.

Nanami stood there for a moment then pulled her books to her chest and smiled happily. He kissed her. He flirted with her. It made her feel good. She turned and headed to her next class feeling better. The day was not so bad after all.

 

 

To Be Continued…

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

Head Over Feet

by Kagayaki Ame

 

Chapter Two: Falling

 

            Nanami was in a good mood. She walked into the café and chose a seat at an empty table by the balcony. She didn’t even bother to search for Keiko, Yuuko and Aiko. She wanted to remain in a good mood and they would surely bring her down.

            Besides, she smiled to herself, Aiden would probably have this lunch and maybe she could sit with him…

            She looked up and her heart sunk. Aiko, Yuuko and Keiko were headed her way with their lunches. Great… now she’d have to endure their snide remarks again. She’d rather sit alone.

She didn’t have to worry about that, though. The three passed her not once glancing in her direction. They kept their noses high and chose a table deliberately close to hers.

“I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders,” Keiko said pointedly.

“Yes I feel freer and without burden,” Yuuko added and Aiko nodded glancing in Nanami’s direction.

Nanami ignored them but couldn’t help feeling a bit hurt. She’d always known they weren’t true friends but at least they’d always been there. She sighed and tuned them out. She pulled a chicken salad and a V8 splash from her lunch bag and opened her notebook. She had a French quiz next period anyway…

“Study, study, study… is that all the fair Nanami does?” She looked up to find Aiden standing next to her. She smiled at him.

“Hi, Aiden.”

“Hi. May I?” he touched the seat next to her.

“Sure.” She felt so good. Not only had Aiden joined her at lunch, but also those snobs had full view and could hear every word. That was a dig worth exploiting.

“So, you must have excellent grades seeing as how you study so profusely.” He set down his bag and brought out his lunch.

Nanami smiled. Well, I try. I must admit, though, the crowd I used to hang with was a bad influence. They didn’t think grades were important. But now that I’ve cut them loose, I’ve been doing quite well. 98th percentile, actually.” Nanami sipped her drink. It was sweet. But not as sweet as the effect her words had on the three girls. She didn’t even have to raise her voice for them to hear. She knew they were doubly stung because she had Aiden’s company too.

She pretended not to notice them.

“Wow. That’s great. So you’re smart and beautiful and independent.”

Nanami forgot the girls and blushed. “Flattery will get you everywhere.”

Aiden grinned and sipped his Pepsi. “Lucky for me.”

Nanami laughed lightly.

Aiden noticed the three angry females glaring at Nanami and leaned forward whispering, “I have to tell you, it looks like you’ve got another trio after you. Those girls at that table look like they want to kill you.”

Nanami looked at them directly and intentionally and turned away from them laughing casually. “They’re the girls I used to go about with. I guess they’re jealous.”

Keiko rose angrily and grabbed her things. “In your dreams, Nanami!” She stalked off Aiko and Yuuko following swiftly.

Aiden laughed. “I can’t help thinking you did that on purpose.”

Nanami smiled and raised her eyebrows, shrugging slightly. “Maybe.”

Aiden nodded. “That’s cool. They looked like jerks anyway.”

Nanami sighed. “I hope I didn’t look like that when I hung out with them. I know I did. I was their leader.”

“You couldn’t ever look like a jerk, Nan.”

Nanami blushed lightly and took a bite of her salad. “You’re a charmer, Aiden, that’s for sure.”

He laughed. “So tell me about yourself. What do you do besides studying? What kind of things do you like?”

They spent the rest of lunch talking and finding out they had a lot in common. Aiden was a good student who’d just moved from Kyoto. He played soccer and basketball and planned to join the school’s varsity teams. They liked the same kinds of music and they were both sort of loners. His parents had died seven years ago when he was ten, leaving him an empty and broken heart, a big and empty mansion and a big, big fortune. She told him about her foster parents and her brother.

By the end of lunch she knew she liked him a lot. He was easy to talk to and he made her laugh. They started to get ready to go when she asked casually, “So do you think you can make it to your next class, or will I have to take you again?”

Aiden grinned. I know where it is, but if it’s not terribly out of your way, I’d enjoy your escort there.”

“Where is it?” she asked.

Aiden looked at his schedule printout. “French four in room…”

“315?” Nanami asked hopefully.

He looked at her. “Yes. How did you know?”

She grinned and began walking. “That’s my class too.”

Aiden smiled and watched her for a moment. There was something kind of wonderful about her. The littlest things she did totally enchanted him.

He caught her up and stopped her. When she looked puzzled, he took her books. He nodded. “Now we can go.”

Nanami smiled. She liked him. She liked him a lot.

 

They made a habit of sitting together in study hall from then on. She walked him to his Brit Lit classes afterward and they met for lunch, after which they walked to French together. She even came to a few of his soccer practices after school. She got to know the athletes and felt terrible for treating them with such loath in the past. They weren’t stupid and they were really nice and fun to hang around. More fun than certain other people that now held her in even more contempt for the company she kept with Aiden – the hot new target for all the girls.

Everyone had taken notice of the two and rumors began flying in no time. Nanami didn’t pay it any attention, though. Everyday she got to know Aiden a little better and she liked him even more. The feelings were more than mutual.

One day after school a few weeks later, Nanami went to her locker as usual. She was a little let down because she hadn’t seen Aiden for lunch and didn’t see him in French. She planned to check by his dorm when she left school. Maybe one of the guys would know where he was or if he was sick or heaven forbid hurt from soccer.

She opened her locker and gasped. Inside were a dozen long stemmed roses, six white and six red. She looked around. The hallway was nearly empty. Who had done this?

She opened the attached card only to find it blank. “What the…?” she said confused.

“It asks, dear Nanami, if you’ll go to the Spring Ball with me on Saturday.”

Nanami turned around to find herself almost pressed against Aiden who stood there, smiling sweetly. A brilliant smile broke over her face.

“Aiden, I…”

“Shhh…” he said putting a finger to her lips. “Before you answer…” he moved his finger to replace it with his lips. He kissed her softly. Nanami felt weak. She’d never been kissed like this before.

He parted from her and caressed her cheek. “Say yes, Nan,” he said calling her by the pet name he gave her. Then he added, “please?”

Nanami smiled and blushed delicately. “Yes. I will.”

Aiden smiled back and said, “good. I didn’t want to have to beg… but I would have.” She giggled and he kissed her again.

 

*           *           *           *           *

Head Over Feet

By Kagayaki Ame

 

Chapter Three: Resolve

 

            Nanami lie on her bed reading over her European History notes. She knew the material but she had nothing else to do and it was nearly curfew, so she couldn’t visit Aiden. She smiled when she thought of him, glancing at her roses on her desk. It would be really fun to hang out with him but even on Friday evenings curfew was 9:00 and would be that way forever. She looked at her clock and sighed, belabored and bored.

            “Damn that curfew,” she said. “It’s Friday for goodness sake. I’m seventeen, I should be able to leave campus for a while if I want to.”

            Just then she heard a tap at her window and then another. She got up to investigate and found Aiden below her window surrounded by a few of his soccer buddies and their girlfriends. She smiled and leaned on the windowsill. “What are you guys doing? It’s almost curfew.”

            Aiden smiled his little smile and opened his arms. “We’ve decided to live on the edge today. We’re old enough to hang out on a Friday, aren’t we? Come on with us, we’re going into Tokyo,” he whispered loud enough for her to hear.

            Excitement ran though her. She’d never done anything totally fun and spontaneous before. But… “Won’t we get caught?”

            Aiden maintained his charming smile and said, “maybe. That’s the fun of it. We’re not staying very long. We’ll come back by, what guys, maybe eleven?” His friends nodded and they all started to coax her into joining them. Nanami mused and then smiled, eyes twinkling.

            “Oh, okay. Give me a minute to get dressed.”

            Aiden clapped his hands in triumph and turned to his friends as Nanami re-entered her room. “You’ll love her guys. She’s nothing like what people say.”

            “Maybe if she’s cool with it we can talk her into joining varsity cheer this year,” Kaika, Touma’s girlfriend, said. The other girls agreed.

            “You can ask. I don’t see why she wouldn’t,” Aiden said liking the idea of Nanami bouncing around in a little skirt and top.

            “Psst!” Nanami got their attention. “I can’t go through the front, our dorm mother is standing guard,” she whispered.

            Aiden held out his arms and smiled. “Jump.”

            Nanami looked at him like he was crazy. “I know it’s only two stories up, Aiden, but are you serious?”

            “Come on, I won’t let you fall.”

            Nanami sighed and got up on the windowsill. She swung her legs around. “I can’t believe I’m doing this…” she mused. She took a deep breath and let herself go. Before she knew it she was in Aiden’s arms.

            “You can open your eyes, Nan.” She opened one cautiously and saw his smiling face. Then she opened the other and let out a heavy sigh.

            “I’m alive.”

            His friends laughed and he put her down. “Real quick. This is Kaika and Touma, Ken and Jin’a, and Trevor and Yume.” They all greeted her. “And this, everyone, is my girl Nanami.” Her heart leapt. It was nice to hear him refer to her in that way.

            “Come on, guys. The car is around the corner,” Trevor said and led the way. Aiden grabbed her hand and gave her a meaningful look before taking off after his friends.

 

            Nanami had never had so much fun in her life. They took her to a great teen club called Tenth Apex where they danced, played pool and even did a little roller-skating. The girls watched the guys show off their board skills on the ramps. Trevor was the best skateboarder and then Aiden was next. They cheered the guys on and had a great time. The girls made her feel welcome and seemed to really like her. She liked them and wished she’d gotten to know them sooner. She never had this much fun with the witch-trio before…

Around ten, they turned in their skates and went back to the dance floor for a few more songs before they had to go. At the skate return desk, Kaika stopped her. “Hey, Nanami, I don’t know if you’re interested, but we were wondering if you’d like to try out for varsity cheer. I think you’d make a great addition to the team and we get into all the games free when basketball season starts.”

Nanami smiled. She’d always wanted to join but her old friends thought it was un-cool to be involved in sports in any way. So she’d let it go. Now she had her chance. “I’ve actually wanted to join for awhile but I didn’t… have the confidence,” she half lied.

Kaika looked at her in disbelief. “Really? I never pegged you for shy. Anyway, please think about it. We wont embarrass you. You don’t even have to have anything ready just come on Monday after school and we’ll show you some moves and see what you’ve got.”

“Sure! I’ll definitely be there.” Kaika nodded and followed Touma onto the floor.

 

“Having a good time?” She turned and hugged Aiden. He hugged her back warmly.

“I’m having a blast! I’m not even worried about breaking curfew.”

Aiden laughed. “Oh, no. I’ve turned you into a rebel.”

“What makes you think I wasn’t already?” she asked smiling slyly.

“Oh, Nan, you’re a good girl. A very good girl. That’s what drives me crazy about you.” He kissed her.

“I’m not that innocent,” she said despite her blush. She kissed him this time, deeply.

Aiden was breathless. “Wow. I guess I had you all wrong then.”

She smiled and rested her head on his shoulder as they danced to a slow song. “As long as you have me, I’ll be fine.” Aiden’s grip on her tightened in response.

 

They got her back at a quarter to eleven. They all split after they parked and Aiden walked Nanami to her dorm.

“I had so much fun, Aiden. Thank you so much.”

“No problem. I’m glad you had fun.”

“I have no idea how I’m going to get back inside, though.” She looked up at her window. It was still as she left it; open. But how would she get up there?

“I have an idea.” Aiden crouched down and told her to get on his shoulders. When she was secure, he stood up and she was just high enough to reach the windowsill and pull herself inside. “Thank you,” she whispered from her window.

“Welcome. Goodnight, Nan. I’ll pick you up at 8:30 tomorrow night before the dance.”

“Okay. Goodnight.” She smiled.

Aiden turned and then turned back getting down on one knee. He held his right hand over his heart and his left hand up to her. “Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I should say goodnight till it be morrow,” he said in a British accent.

Nanami giggled. “That’s Juliet’s line, you know, dear Romeo.”

Aiden grinned and stood up, turning again to leave. Then suddenly he turned back around again, sprinted to the wall and leapt so high, he grabbed the windowsill. He pulled himself up and kissed the startled Nanami swiftly before falling back to the ground and turning away for the last time.

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

The following night, Nanami was getting ready for the dance. She’d chosen a daring dress she’d never had the courage to wear before. Now it felt appropriate. It was spun gold and fastened behind her neck in a halter style then fell all the way to the floor. There were two splits up the side that came very high and all of the back was out. She knew she looked fabulous. She also knew she would create a stir. She smiled at her reflection. She hadn’t seen a genuine smile on her own face before Aiden entered her life. Now it was a regular thing. She checked her makeup and hair, which she’d put in Shirley Temple curls, and piled on the top of her head. Then she pulled on some long, matching gold gloves and a diamond bracelet and necklace. Satisfied, she checked her clock. 8:25. She looked at herself one more time and left her room.

Aiden, Trevor, Touma, Kaika and Yume were all waiting downstairs for Nanami. She was the last in the group to pick up since Ken and Jin’a weren’t going. Trevor was in the middle of saying something to Aiden when he noticed his best friend’s expression. He followed his gaze and froze when he saw Nanami. She looked amazing. Everyone in the foyer had eyes on her. “Man, I love Yume and all, but damn, Nanami is fine,” Trevor whispered to Aiden.

Aiden was speechless. He met her at the bottom of the stairs and gave her the corsage he’d bought for her. “You look incredible,” he said, awestruck.

Nanami blushed at the attention. She felt everyone watching her, even Keiko, Yuuko and Aiko. She held out her hand and Aiden slipped on the corsage. She smiled and leaned forward kissing his cheek. “Thank you,” she said softly. Aiden smiled dreamily and offered his arm to her; even more proud she was his date. She accepted it and he led her out followed by Trevor and Yume and Kaika and Touma.

Keiko watched the group leave and was livid. She was so angry that Nanami wasn’t miserable without her. She narrowed her eyes. “You think your life is so perfect now, you little bitch. Wait until later and see if you feel the same.”

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

Nanami was having fun at the dance with Aiden and the group. So much that she didn’t notice Keiko eyeing her poisonously all night. She was at the refreshment table with Kaika and Yume when Keiko confronted her.

“You make me sick!” Keiko said, hands on her hips. Yuuko and Aiko stood behind her looking as if they wished they were somewhere else.

Nanami was changed now but she could still turn on the ice-princess within her if she had to. She looked at Keiko like she was a bothersome pest and coolly replied, “Do you want something?”

“I want you to know how sorry you’ll be for ignoring and abandoning us for these… these… peasants.”

Nanami looked her up and down and snootily countered, “To whom are you referring? These girls are not peasants, they’re my friends and I’d appreciate it if you left us alone.

“Friends?! The only friends you had were Yuuko, Aiko and myself. What? Do you think you’re better than us now?”

“Honestly, Keiko, who cares about who’s ‘better’ or worse? People are people and I’ll tell you what, they’ve accepted me as a true friend and they treat me like a true friend, which is more than I can say for you. All you do is worry about whom you can bring down next. You’re so concerned with being the best that you constantly bring out the worst in yourself.”

Keiko gasped and turned beet red. “Don’t fool yourself, Nanami. You were just like me and you still are and you always will be. You can’t change overnight. You’ll still be as much of a vindictive bitch as you always were. Don’t forget that.”

Now they had everyone’s attention. Nanami had to force herself not to really show Keiko how much of a bitch she could really be. Instead she calmly put down her drink and turned to face her completely. “Take it back, Keiko.”

Keiko knew she’d his a nerve. She smirked and crossed her arms defiantly. “No. The truth hurts doesn’t it?”

“I’m finished speaking to you, Keiko. Leave me alone before you regret it.” She turned her back to her.

Keiko looked appalled. She thought it would have been easy to unnerve Nanami. It always had been. She looked at Nanami’s punch and decided she’d have to resort to more basal tactics. She took the drink and slowly poured it on Nanami’s head making it drip down her back and onto her dress. She smiled satisfied.

Nanami gasped and everyone stopped in shock. Nanami let out her gasp and turned slowly to Keiko. “That was a mistake.”

“Really?” Keiko looked smug. “What are you going to do about it?”

Nanami looked vapid. “Well, one good punch deserves another.” Before Keiko could even process what she said, Nanami had knocked her to the ground in one cold blow. The people around went into a frenzy of calls and cheers. Aiden, who’d been watching a few steps away grinned and cheered. He made his way over to Nanami. She stood there over Keiko, fists clenched just waiting for her to try and get up again. She’d knock her down again and again. For every lie, every person she’d hurt, she’d punch her.

Keiko looked up at Yuuko and Aiko. “Aren’t you going to help me up?!” Her eye was steadily becoming swollen.

Aiko finally spoke up. “No. No we’re not.” She smirked when Keiko looked shocked. Then Yuuko looked at Nanami and said, “Great job.”

Nanami smiled at Yuuko and Aiko who looked like they’d finally been freed from their prison. She winked at them and they left Keiko on the floor.

“Come back, you bitches! Don’t just leave me here!!!” Keiko screamed.

Nanami leaned forward and said, “I don’t think they’ll be back. And neither will I, bitch.” She spat the last word at her vilely and straightened up. She’d finally gotten one on Keiko and it felt really good.

Aiden came and hugged her as the crowd dissolved and Keiko crawled away, no one to help her. “I’m so proud of you, Nan.” He looked her in the eyes and smiled broadly. “Man! You decked her, but good!”

Nanami grinned. “Yeah I did.” Then she whispered sheepishly, “Now my hand is killing me!”

Aiden laughed. “Come on, let me get you home. I’ll put something on those knuckles so they don’t bruise.”

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

“Hey, c’mon Nanami, we’re gonna be late!” Kaika called.

“Coming!” Nanami called. She smoothed her cheerleading skirt and took a final glance at herself in the mirror. The light blue and white uniform looked good. She grabbed her pom-poms and ran out of the locker room just in time to join Kaika in the line.

“Nervous?” Kaika asked holding the megaphone that belonged to the her, the head cheerleader.

Nanami thought for a moment and then smiled. “Nope. Just ready to get out there and cheer the guys on.”

Kaika nodded enthusiastically. “That’s the spirit, Nan!”

The game was about to start. The cheerleaders took to the floor and the crowd went wild. Nanami took her place in the lines they formed to welcome the guys in and saw Aiko and Yuuko cheering for her in the front row. She smiled and gave them a little wave. Then the announcer started calling out the names of the boys’ basketball team.

“… and here’s this year’s rising star, Tenryou Aiden!!”

Aiden made his way between the lines and stopped when he got to Nanami at the head of the second line. She smiled at him and he raised her head with a finger under her chin and kissed her softly.

The crowd went wild. “It seems he’s not only a rising star, but quite the Romeo as well!” the announcer laughed.

“Yeah, my Romeo,” Nanami said to him sweetly.

He winked at her. “Yours forever, Nan.”

She watched him join his teammates on the court and smiled. Forever didn’t seem so long now that he was part of it. He’d helped her find her true self and she was happy, truly happy. And she thanked him for it.

 

*           *           *           *           *