Kento was determined to do it. Today, as an apology for kissing her (because he still felt pretty dang awful about that), he would show her that place. It would prove to her just how special she was to him and how much her friendship meant to him. He had never shown anyone that place before... this was a huge step, and hopefully in the right direction.
The bell rang, much to his excitement. Nervous butterflies fluttered around in his stomach and he could feel his heart thumping in his throat. He bit his bottom lip and chewed on it for a moment, trying to decide whether he would actually be able to talk with her. Ugh, why was he so awkward?! He slammed his head down on the desk.
"Kento-san?" The brunette looked up in surprise to see Hikaru standing above him.
"Oh, uh, yeah?" he said, sitting up and rubbing the back of his head.
Hikaru smiled that gentle smile of his. "Whatever you're worried about, I'm sure it will be fine. Just face her with confidence and you'll do all right."
Kento flushed at this. "How do you know it's about her?!"
"Well, because it's obvious, of course. You're always upset when you think too much about her," Hikaru said, softly laughing.
Now the other boy was bright red. "Sh- shut it, Hikaru!"
"Oi, Hikaru, are you ready to go?" Alejandro called from the doorway.
Hikaru beamed at this and turned to face him, trailing his fingers over the desks as he made his way over to Alejandro. "Yes! See you later, Kento-san!"
Kento watched as Hikaru automatically intertwined his fingers with Alejandro, asking the other boy how his day went. Hikaru was a good kid, but… but they were so unbearably gay together… well, Kento wasn't sure as to whether Hikaru was gay or not, but he didn't seem to mind Alejandro's stumbling and awkward approaches. If you could call them approaches.
The boy stood up and pulled on his backpack. Hikaru was his only friend in this class, but sometimes he was really hard to be around. The kid was so damn goodnatured… he never really thought ill of anyone and he was always doing this shit where he would fondly touch you and it didn't seem gay but it did make you feel kinda confused and he was always giving a warm smile and he was just so freaking nice! It drove Kento nuts sometimes.
He made his way down the hallway and grinned after seeing that they were waiting for him. The bad thing however, was that he got butterflies again. His throat ran as dry as the Atacama desert. He felt his grin fade and he began instantly scratching the back of his head.
"Hi, idiot," Purin said, grinning as she raised a hand.
"Ah, yo, ugly," Kento said, raising a hand right back.
"Ui, don't start that already!" Ichigo cried, putting both hands on her hips.
Kento's eyes drifted over to Ichigo at this point. She had an adorable pout on, glowering up to him. She didn't look scary at all, just really cute. Her strawberry blond hair was pulled up into pigtails as usual, and her bangs hung slightly in her eyes. Her eyelashes were long, to the point that she had to look up to him through them. And she was short. That was really cute, too.
"Uh…" Kento suddenly couldn't remember what it was he was going to ask her. "Er… uh…"
She tilted her head slightly, blinking. "What?"
Kento's face was up in flames at this point. "Uh… uh… I was… uh…"
"You were what? Kento, what's wrong? Your face is really red, ui," Ichigo said.
"Oh, uh, nothing," the boy managed, face flushing deeper. "I was, I was just gonna… ask you something…"
Purin was instantly paying attention at this. Could it be that Kento was going to ask her out?! Was this really happening? No, no, it wasn't possible… Kento would never be able to ask Ichigo out, he was too much of a wuss. He couldn't possibly be asking her out…
"What is it?" Ichigo asked.
"I was wondering if… you'd… like for me to show you somewhere in the school? Somewhere that nobody else knows about except probably my mom?" He grinned awkwardly, rubbing the back of his head.
"Ehhh?! He did it, no way!" Purin cried, covering her mouth in surprise.
"Did what?" Kento now looked confused.
"I didn't think he had it in him," Nicholai murmured.
"My children are growing up," Jordon sighed, placing his hands on his cheeks.
"What the heck is going on?!" Kento demanded, embarrassed for a reason he didn't quite know yet.
"Isn't it obvious? You two are going on a date!" Purin exclaimed.
"What?!" Kento and Ichigo shrieked at the same time.
The girl turned to him at that point, cheeks flaming. "Sorry, Kento, I suddenly am unable to go with you!"
"It's not a date!" he cried, ears burning the same shade of red as his cheeks. "We're not going out! It's just a friendship type of thing, I swear!"
"Are you sure?" Ichigo asked dubiously.
"Of course I am! I just wanna hang out and do our homework together and eat snacks or something!" Kento exclaimed.
Ichigo folded her arms and closed her eyes, thinking for a moment. She then looked over to Nicholai. "Do you think that you can get Purin to help you with some of your homework today so I can hang out with Kento?"
"I'm on it!" Purin exclaimed, grabbing onto his arm before he was able to respond.
"Thank you, Purin-chan!" Ichigo exclaimed, giving a tiny bow. "I'll be playing with Kento then, if you don't mind!"
"No problem!" Purin exclaimed. "Let's go, Nicholai!" She began pulling the flustered boy down the hallway. Jordon and Mary trailed after, the girl being a bit embarrassed for Nicholai and Purin.
Ichigo looked up to Kento. "What do you wanna do?"
Kento felt very suddenly very nervous. Even more so than when he had been asking her to hang out with him. He was actually alone with the girl that he was in love with. This sweet, innocent, adorable, funny, cute, silly little girl who had fell head over heels in love with… ugh, god, he was starting to sound like a girl with all this romantic crap.
"Well, uh, I- that is, we're gonna go to the main building first…" he mumbled. "Like, at the cafeteria and junk."
"Okay, got it!" Ichigo exclaimed, beginning to make her way down the hall.
Kento followed after, trying his best not to notice too many little qualities about her. Like the way he could smell her strawberry scented shampoo as it wafted from her hair, or the way there was a little bit more of a skip in her step, or the way her pigtails bounced in the air as she walked or… ugh, he was doing it again. He couldn't help it, she was just way too cute! He was completely intoxicated by her…
"So, Kento, what homework do you have?" Ichigo asked, glancing up to him.
"Huh?" he said stupidly.
"Homework? What kind do you have?" she repeated.
"Oh, uh, I've got language, math, and social studies," he mumbled. Damn it, he needed to pay more attention!
"Ui, me too! I hate language so much… who cares if I don't know the kanji for old man?! That's a stupid kanji anyway," Ichigo said with a pout.
"Uh, I can help you if you want," Kento offered.
"Eh?! Really? That would be so nice!" Ichigo exclaimed, her eyes shining.
"No problem," he mumbled, looking down.
Ichigo began chattering about a song she had heard on the radio, saying how she wished that someone would sing it at the Arts Festival. Kento did his best to listen, but he couldn't help but find that watching her lips move was so much more interesting. Her shell pink lips continually moved in appealing shapes… not that he was thinking about kissing her again or anything! They were just… pretty.
They entered the main building and Ichigo cut herself off. "So, where do we go now?"
"Oh, er, uh, up to the the second floor," Kento said. "Actually, let's head up to the third floor so I can grab some snacks."
"Ehh, are you sure it's okay for me to be up there? That floor is specifically for the Sakura family, right?" Ichigo looked nervous now as she began climbing up the steps that led to the second floor.
"It's fine, you're with me," Kento said quickly.
"Are you sure?" She poute as she slowed down, allowing him to get in front of her as they reached the second floor landing.
"Of course I'm sure! It's my house, so I can invite whoever I'd like in," Kento said huffily, overtaking her and hurrying up the steps.
As he reached the top floor, he unslung his backpack from his shoulder. There was a door between them and the third floor which had both a place to slide a key card and a keypad. He opened up his backpack and began fishing through it. Finally, he pulled out a card that was similar to the one that let Ichigo into her dorm house. He slid it in there before pressing a six number key code with his middle finger. The sound of the door unlocked.
"Wow, Sakura-sensei really doesn't want anyone getting in without permission, huh?" Ichigo asked as she entered after him. "Ui, pardon the intrusion..."
"Don't worry about it. You can take off your shoes here, if you'd like," Kento muttered a he kicked off his shoes and shoved the keycard in his pocket.
"Got it," Ichigo said, pulling off her shoes.
"Ah, Kento, are you back, then?" Yuuta stuck his head out of a doorway before smiling warmly. "Oh, look who it is! Hello, Ichigo-chan."
"Ah, hello, Yuuta-sempai!" Ichigo managed, going bright red and bowing rapidly.
"Are you playing with Kento today?" he asked, making his way fully into the hallway and over to her.
"Y- yes, I am!" she cried. "We're going to do our homework together and stuff!"
"Sounds fun." Yuuta smiled encouragingly.
"I'm gonna go grab some snacks," Kento mumbled, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "You two chat or whatever."
"Okay!" Ichigo said easily, beaming up to Yuuta.
"Ah ha, you're so adorable, Ichigo-chan," Yuuta said, beaming.
Kento shuffled down the hall, making gagging noises at their sickening lovey dovey crap. He entered the kitchen, scratching the back of his head. How could Ichigo like that guy? He was out for her downfall!… not that she really knew that, but… but it still pissed him off!
Kento opened up the fridge and stared at its contents. It was true… Yuuta was trying to kill her. He, of course, wouldn't do it until after she confessed, but… but hopefully that was a long time in the future. He didn't want to even think about what would happen if she did confess sooner rather than later. They were still kids, anyway, so it's not like she would really be dating him, right… ? Oh, god, he hated this.
The brunette boy pulled out a sweet roll and shoved it in his backpack. He hoped that Ichigo would like it. Crap, there he was, thinking about her again! Just why couldn't he get her off his mind? It wasn't any fair… he just wanted to be a normal kid, not one in love… stupid, stupid, stupid idiot! He just had to fall for a girl, didn't he? God, how stupid was he?
He slammed the fridge shut, jumped up on the nearby counter, opened up a cupboard, and pulled out some chips. He jumped off and slung his backpack on properly again. He peeked out the kitchen to see what they were doing way down on the other end of the hallway. His heart sunk into his stomach.
Ichigo was blushing and smiling warmly. But not just warmly, affectionately. No, no, not just affectionately, but sweetly. It was a smile filled with joy and happiness and love and so many things Kento knew that she only felt for Yuuta. He felt like he had just gotten punched in the stomach because of that smile. She really, really cared about him and… and definitely not the same way she cared about Kento. It was such a certainty, such a sad, sad certainty…
Kento slowly stepped out into the hall. "Hey, I've got the snacks."
Ichigo looked over to him, the smile fading (which further caused him to feel pain in his heart). "Oh, already? I was having so much fun with Yuuta-sempai…" She pouted slightly, looking to him with those beautiful green eyes.
"Yes, well, we have to do our homework," he grumbled, grabbing onto her wrist and pulling her out.
"Ah! Okay, okay, jeez, stop pulling me! Goodbye, Yuuta-sempai!" Ichigo cried as she was dragged out.
Yuuta laughed slightly and waved from the door. "Goodbye, Ichigo-chan, Kento." He closed it slowly, giving her a special "prince smile."
Kento rolled his eyes as he tugged her down the stairs to the landing between the third and second floor. Honestly, he had no idea how people could buy that "princely" crap. It was completely disgusting, nobody really acted like that or had sparkles around their head or whatever. He was a complete disgrace upon the word "prince." A real prince would take care of the girl and hold her close and tell her she's beautiful all the time and GDI, he was doing it again.
Kento stopped in front of the large painting. He finally released her wrist, now moving to the side. He ran his finger down the left side of the frame, searching for the button. His fingers ran across the bump and he clicked it. He stepped back and watched as the painting silently slid off to the right.
"Holy crap!" Ichigo whisper-shouted. "What was that?!"
"Shh," Kento murmured as he looked up to the new opening that had been created. Kento had gotten through this little hole and up the stairs to the secret spot many times, but he imagined that it must be something really interesting and perhaps slightly weird to someone unused to this. "Come on, just climb up."
"No way!" Ichigo squeaked.
Kento rolled his eyes and climbed up into hole, crouching down as he turned to face her. He held his hand out to her. "Come on. Trust me."
Ichigo looked up to him with wide eyes before she gave the tiniest of nods, her cheeks getting slightly more pink. She reached out and took his hand before Kento pulled her up. She scooted up into the small hole. Kento reached over and flicked on the small light.
Ichigo made her way back a bit further and was pleased to find that it opened up into a higher ceiling. Well, Kento assumed she was pleased because she had a look of wonder on her face. Underneath the light switch, he flicked the switch that would close it up behind them. That way nobody could bother them…
"What's up there?!" Ichigo demanded, pointing up the stairs.
"Oh, that's… that's the secret place," he mumbled, making his way to the bottom of the stairs. "Come on, I'll show you."
Ichigo might have done it unconsciously, but she grabbed onto Kento's hand. He looked to her with wide eyes for a moment before turning to face back to the stairs, although his cheeks were now stained with red. He made his way up the stairs, interlocking fingers with her. He pulled her up the stairs to the door, opening it slowly.
It was then that Ichigo gasped and released his hand, pushing in front of the boy to go get a look about. It was almost literally on the roof, just a little outcropping above the third floor. There was a railing around the edge and the way it was positioned, you wouldn't be able to see it if you were looking up at the building.
Kento sucked in a deep breath. "You can… you can come here whenever you want. It's okay with me."
Ichigo turned, her eyes huge although she wore a breathless smile. "Really?!"
He nodded somewhat nervously. "Yeah… I don't mind."
"Amazing!" She laughed and threw her hands up in the air, a gust of wind whipping around her hair and dress. With the bright sunlight dousing her, he couldn't help but think that she looked like an angel. He gave the slightest trace of smiles, feeling a kind of warmth lift him up.
Ichigo looked to him, her face now alight with curiosity. "So, wait, who else knows about this?"
Kento sighed softly and closed the door behind him, leaning up against it. "I'm pretty sure that my mom knows… but… other than that… I think that my dad was the only other person."
Ichigo stared at him for a moment before saying softly in return, "Your… your dad?"
Kento gave a weak smile in return. "Yeah. My dad."
The two were silent for a moment. Kento stared at his feet, finding his socks very interesting, while Ichigo's eyes darted from Kento to off to the side. Kento played with the bottom of his shirt, chewing on his bottom lip and trying to figure out what to say to break the awkward silence.
Finally, Ichigo spoke. "What was your daddy like?"
Kento was slightly surprised at this. He looked up to her and saw that she was now looking unwaveringly at him. Her face was slightly determined, her fists in balls at her sides. Even when she was acting so… so serious, he supposed, she looked adorable.
"He was… he was a really great dad," he mumbled, looking away from her to the sky. "He was always concerned about this, he liked to bake us treats, he always played ball with us… even then, Yuuta hated me, but he put up with me as long as Dad was around, and I did the same for him. I think that… that Dad leaving just ripped apart our family. Mom began to choose her work over her kids more and more often and now… now she won't even look at Momoko and I because we're not as perfect as Yuuta. I just… I don't know. I don't know what to do."
"I'm sorry," Ichigo said softly. She walked closer somewhat hesitantly, then in an even more unsure manner, took his hand. "I know what it's like to lose a great dad. My daddy would always go searching for sea shells with me and bought me too many toys and he liked to play the guitar and sing songs and he… he was really great…"
Kento faintly smiled and squeezed her hand. "Our dads may have disappeared, but that doesn't mean they won't come back. We may miss them a lot, but that doesn't mean too much… we'll be with them very soon. Your dad will come here with all of these funny gifts and pretty dresses and strawberry themed things… and then my dad will come home with a bunch of new CDs for me to listen to from lots of different countries and he'll glue the pieces of my family back together… we'll all be happy again. Things will be okay, I promise."
Ichigo looked up to him with wide eyes. "I… I really hope so because… because I miss my daddy so much… he's been gone for such a long time… I can only remember him a little bit… every day he fades away a bit more… I only know what he looks like 'cause I've got a photo that sits next to my nightstand… I really want him to come home. I'd trade anything in the world to see him again." She smiled wistfully.
Kento rubbed her head, slightly messing up her hair. "As long as Ichigo is a good girl, she'll get to see her daddy again. I promise. And when have I ever broken a promise?"
The small girl smiled brightly at this, giggling slightly. "Never!"
"Exaclty," Kento said, grinning. "So believe me, okay, Ichigo?"
"Got it!" Ichigo nodded quickly. "Let's start working on our homework!"
"Eh? Oh, I was hoping you'd forget," Kento grumbled.
"Nope! Come on!" Ichigo exclaimed, pulling him down to the middle of the balcony and sitting down, pulling him with her. He groaned as he sat down.
"Do we have to?" he asked, pouting.
"Of course! That's why you called me up here, right? So let's do it," Ichigo said, pulling her backpack off her shoulders and onto her lap. She pulled out some papers and books, then a mechanical pencil. Kento watched her before sighing and pulling out his own homework, along with the various snacks.
"Ah, you got peach juice!" Ichigo exclaimed, grabbing the juice box. "Yummy!"
"You like peach, then?" Kento asked, grabbing the strawberry milk for himself. "I would have expected you to go for the strawberry stuff."
"I actually like peach juice more than strawberry milk," Ichigo said, sighing.
"Weird," Kento said. "I actually like strawberry milk more, but I'd rather you drink what you want than me."
"Wai, really?" She turned pink. "Thank you…"
"No problem." He pulled out the lightly salted potato chips and the sweet roll next.
Ichigo's mouth dropped open. "That… what is that?!" she cried, pointing to the sweet roll.
"Eh? Have you not had one of these?" Kento asked, blinking in surprise. "It's a sweet roll."
"What's it made of?!" she demanded.
"Oh, uh, you know… sponge cake and creme and fruits," he mumbled. "This one has strawberries and kiwis in it."
"Hehhhh, amazing. I want some!" Ichigo cried, making grabby hands at it.
"Okay, okay," Kento mumbled as he pulled off a piece and handed it to her.
Ichigo took it and eagerly took a bite. She let out a hum of pleasure, shivering slightly. "Ish sho yummy… sho shweet…"
Kento let out a little laugh at this. "Is it really that good?"
She nodded eagerly and swallowed. "It's really good! I really like it!" She quickly at the rest and licked the creme off her fingers, giggling.
The boy couldn't help but notice that some had gotten on her cheek. "Oh, uh, Ichigo you…" Kento swallowed as he realized he had a chance here. He could not, would not lick it off, so he leaned over and brushed it off with his thumb. The girl blinked in surprise before going pink again and shyly smiling at him.
"You had some… uh… creme… creme on your face," he mumbled.
"Yeah," she said shyly.
"So, uh, hey! How about doing our math homework!" Kento exclaimed, opening his math book and blushing bright red.
"Oh, yeah, umm, right!" Ichigo exclaimed, pulling her own out. "Let's do that!"
The two works on their homework together, but Kento couldn't really focus. Sometimes Ichigo would lean over to help him with a problem and she would brush her hand against his… and sometimes their eyes would meet for no apparent reason… and sometimes he could smell the sweet scent of her shampoo… and sometimes she leaned in so close he could feel the warmth of her breath. He felt dizzy and was barely able to keep up with her, unless it came to language. At that point, she could barely keep up with him.
They finished rather quickly, much to his disappointment, but Ichigo decided she wanted to stay up with him for a while longer, at least until dinner. Kento and her chatted about their days, music, and delicious foods. They sat together, hands mere centimeters from touching. Kento was close enough to see the light freckles that made their way across her slightly pudgy nose, close enough to see the blond highlights in her hair, close enough to see just how far her eyelashes reached…
Kento felt a strange sense of joy. He may not be able to show her just how much he loved her, but at least he could do this much. He could make her happy by being the best friend to her he could possibly be… he could do his best to make her see the error of her way through friendship and love… true love, not the false stuff that Yuuta gave away like candy.
Ichigo stood up rather suddenly, catching him off guard. She looked down to him, beaming and holding out her hand. "Let's go to dinner and have fun with the others!"
Kento stared at her for a moment before warmly smiling. "Yeah, let's do that." And with that, he took her hand.
A/N- Stupid ending is stupid but I don't care. I hope that you KentoxIchigo shippers are happy, this was almost too sappy for me to write. Plusalso I'm dying inside from a roleplay I'm having like omg I shouldn't be shipping this this hard but I am jades;kfjasd;lkfj I just can't write anymore of this, I've gotta write more emo crap. Guess what? That's what the next chapter is. EMO CRAAAAP YAY Anyway, thank you all for the continual support I appreciate it so much like omg that's what keeps me motivated i love you guys i'm gonna go now but I LOVE YOUUUUU also slipped in alejandroxhikaru because i love it hehehehehehe