Ichigo had known that it was Purin's birthday well before the other girl had woken her up. In fact, Ichigo had found out during the summer, the girl having informed her entire family that she was going to be ten on October 19th, and she expected them all to get her gifts. In the weeks leading up to Purin's birthday, everyone in the entire school had discovered that Purin's birthday was coming up, considering the fact that she announced it to anybody that happened to pass her by.

Being as such, Ichigo was not surprised at all when Purin jumped on top of Ichigo's bed at midnight, squealing at the top of her lungs that it was her birthday. Of course, just because the younger wasn't surprised doesn't mean she wasn't irritated. Ichigo groaned and threw Kuma at her with all her might. Now, it should be noted, that usually that might was very small. It increases twenty fold, however, when she is woken up from being asleep. Possibly even thirty fold.

Being as such, the raven haired girl was actually smacked back, completely throwing her off balance and causing her to fall off the other girl's bed. Ichigo didn't bother to check if Purin was knocked out or not; the silence was answer enough for her. The strawberry blond fumbled around for her stuffed bear before hugging it to her chest, snuggling up to it. She allowed herself to be lulled into a peaceful sleep.

... which was interrupted at six in the morning by a Purin, who had just gotten out of the shower and was singing loudly. She was very much naked as she looked through her panties to find her blue, frilly ones. Ichigo gave in and sat up, her hair sticking up every which way and dark bags shadowing her eyes. She glowered to the overly perky girl, having hoped that she could get more sleep than she did.

The nude girl turned, holding up red spotted panties and blue lacy ones. "Which do you think are better birthday panties?"

Ichigo gave her best death glare. "It's six in the morning."

Purin blinked. "Yeah, so?"

"I don't want to talk to you at six in the morning," Ichigo hissed.

The blue eyed girl let out an overly dramatic sigh. "Yeah, whatever. Which do you think are better?"

"Blue, now shut up," Ichigo growled.

"That's what I was thinking, too," Purin exclaimed, flinging the red underwear back into her messy drawers. "I mean, gosh, these blue ones match my eyes so much better."

Ichigo grabbed her pillow and shoved it into her face, her face coming out muffled as she responded. "Nobody's gonna see them-!"

"You will, and that counts," Purin stated as she pulled them on.

Ichigo had known in the days coming that this was going to be a hard and long day, but she hasn't expected it to start so early. Purin, by nature, liked to sleep in. She would have expected the girl to sleep in today of all days, but, no. She, of course, wanted to be up at this ungodly hour when dawn hadn't even begun to break. So utterly disgusting.

Ichigo was unable to fall back asleep because Purin turned on some music. She contemplated going to sleep in the same room as Mary, but no... she didn't have the other girl's room key, and she certainly didn't want to wake her. So, she was stuck with having to be awake for the next hour until her alarm went off, informing her it was time to get ready.

Ichigo slinked off her bed and to her dresser, opening it grumpily. She pulled out a clean uniform and pulled her nightie off. She got dressed and slumped down to the bathrooms, combing her hair and putting it up into her usual pigtails. As she walked out, she quite literally bumped into Mary, who let out a tiny squeak of apology.

After a moment of making sure the shorter was all right, she said, "A- any who, did you sleep well?"

Ichigo let out a tiny groan. "Unfortunately, no. Purin woke up way early and wouldn't let me sleep."

"Oh…" Her voice grew quiet. "I thought she might let you sleep better than usual because she likes to sleep so much…"

The shorter girl sighed and shook her head in negation. "No. She was too excited to sleep."

"I am very sorry for your loss," Mary mumbled, fumbling with her braid. "Good luck."

"Thank you. I'm gonna need it."

With that, the strawberry blond sauntered back to her room. It really was going to be a long day. Purin was excitable most days, but… but today was going to be like her on steroids… Ichigo nearly groaned aloud at the thought. She didn't want to deal with this, but, as the girl's best friend, she had certain duties to attend to.

Before Ichigo could grab the doorknob, Purin quite literally kicked the door open, grinning broadly. Ichigo was unfortunate enough to get smacked in the face with the door. She squatted down and held her throbbing forehead, letting out some whines of displeasure.

The raven haired girl, of course, ignored her, grabbing her arm and jerking her up. "Ichigo-chan! This is no time to be laying around! It's my birthday! Do you know what that means?"

Ichigo let out a tired sigh. "Birthday panca-"

"Birthday pancakes!" Purin interrupted, starry eyed with anticipation. "The most brilliant invention ever! Rainbow candy covered chocolate chips that have the perfect amount of sweetness baked into a golden batter! All of this topped with whipped cream, golden syrup, and strawberries and bananas! It's the most delicious breakfast ever! And I can have as many as I want! So come on! We've got to get down to the cafeteria!"

Of course, the girl became so excited that she could no longer hold it in. She grabbed Ichigo's arm and began running down the stairs and out the door of their dorm. Ichigo supposed that they must be really good if Purin was so excited about them, but, at the same time, she wasn't particularly excited about them because of the way her friend reacted to them. Ichigo swore that she would have a bruise on her arm in the shape of the other girl's hand the way she was holding onto it.

The black haired girl zoomed through the school grounds, running as fast as her little legs could carry her. She even ran up the steps to the cafeteria, which is something that most kids don't do, no matter how hungry they are. She dragged her best friend behind her the whole way, who was barely able to keep up. It was only about seven thirty, and class didn't start for another hour, so most kids were still getting ready. Being as such, the line for food was fairly short.

Purin fished around in her backpack for her student ID, which she showed to the cooks as proof that it was her birthday. The cooks gave a small smile and informed her that they'd be ready in a few minutes. Purin disallowed Ichigo from getting her own breakfast, choosing instead to squeeze onto her other arm, which would mean that Ichigo would have matching bruises.

After Purin received her pancakes (which Ichigo begrudgingly admitted looked pretty good), our protagonist was finally allowed to get her food. Ichigo went with oyaku, umeboshi, some salted salmon, and a bit of orange juice, preferring a traditional Japanese breakfast to a more western one. She finally sat down next to Purin, feeling more exhausted than she had in a while.

Purin was busy wolfing down her pancakes, making unintelligible noises that Ichigo really hoped were pleasure. She began nibbling on her own food, only slightly disgusted by her friend's actions. It wasn't every day that it was her friend's birthday, so she should enjoy it. Just… enjoy it in a way that didn't get the crumbs and syrup all over Ichigo's face.

Kento was the next to sit down, glancing with semi-disgust to the black haired girl. "Are you going to eat that or keep letting it explode all over Ichigo's face?"

Purin gulped, her face covered in maple syrup. "Shut up. Birthday pancakes," was her simple response before returning to her food.

"Whatever," Kento mumbled, glancing over to Ichigo. "You look tired."

"She kept me up," Ichigo responded mumblingly.

"I can imagine," was his simple response.

Mary was up next, with a Jordon clinging to her arm. Ichigo was certain that she saw wrong, but she thought that she might have seen a light blush playing on the tall girl's cheeks. After they came (and Purin got more pancakes), the birthday girl suddenly changed her demeanor. She cleaned up her face and ate very properly, making sure to wipe her face. It was as though the fifteen pancakes had finally begun to catch up with her and fill her up or…

She wanted to look presentable when Nicholai came in. He sat down next to her with a shy smile on his face, managing out the words in a whispered tone, "Happy birthday, Purin-chan."

Purin stared at him for a moment before gulping and wrapping her arms around his shoulder, squishing her cheek into his. She let out a tiny, excited squeak, nuzzling him excitedly. He was so soft and squishy and cute and adorable and OMG, Purin just couldn't handle it! Nicholai had to be the cutest boy on earth!

Of course, being as such, he went bright red, eyes huge. "A- ah, um, well, P- Purin-chan! You can, um, you can let go now, if you'd like!"

"Well, I wouldn't like to," she purred, nuzzling him. "You're way too adorable. And since it's my birthday, you have to do what I say!"

The tips of his ears then began to burn. "Um, I don't think-"

"And what I want from you…" Her voice became husky as she whispered in his ears, causing him to go all the brighter red. "A little kiss from you~"

Nicholai decided at that point that living was too much for him to handle. So, at that point, he allowed his eyes to roll back into his head and he fainted. Luckily for him, Purin still had a good grip on him, so even though he did knock himself out, he didn't fall down.

Purin looked to him with sparkling eyes, smiling blissfully. "He's so adorable."

After managing to get Nicholai to the nurse's office, they went to class. Purin burst open the door to her classroom, proclaiming it to be her birthday in her most thunderous voice. Moriyama-sensei told her to shut up offhandedly, but she pretty much ignored him.

Ichigo really had really hoped that today might go all right. That Purin wouldn't be too terribly annoying. That the girl would figure out when to shut up. Of course, none of those things would actually happen, but the girl could hope. After all, she didn't really have anything to lose at this point other than her patience at this point.

The day went by slowly, draggingly slowly in fact, but Ichigo did her best to press through it. Finally, after school came, much to her delight. And horror. Putting up with even more Purin would be… difficult to say the least, but she had a surprise for the girl. A good one, too.

Nicholai, of course, was the one that was sent to distract her. Her crush on him was so glaringly obvious that it was impossible to not see it… unless you were apparently Nicholai. Purin was obviously a little bit thicker when it came to people liking her as well because of his huge crush on her as well. They'd have to figure it out sooner or later, but later was preferred considering how… cute Nicholai was, and how easily he fainted.

The lavender eyed boy sat beside her on a bench under the cherry blossom trees, which had already lost most of their leaves. He wore a light jacket, same as she. She was yammering on about something or other, obviously excited to be in his company, for reasons beyond him.

To be honest, Nicholai couldn't help but notice how forgettable he was. It made sense, really. He was quiet and soft spoken and shy and generally didn't like to be noticed. Of course, around Purin, that was entirely different. He ached to be noticed every moment of her time, wished that she would gently brush her fingers along his pale arm, begged her within his mind just to always stay near him… perhaps it was pathetic. He didn't mind, though. It was entirely her fault that he was so desperately and irrevocably in love with him.

"So, Nicholai, what are you distracting me for?" The sudden question caught him completely off guard and he jumped.

"What?" He laughed nervously. "I'm not distracting you."

"Please," she snorted, folding her arms. "They would never send you off alone with me unless they were trying to distract me from something. Now what is it?"

"It's nothing!" he insisted, eyes huge.

"You say that…" Her face was suddenly very close to him, making his face burn and heart beat a lot faster. Her eyes were burning blue, her fingertips lightly touching his upper thigh. He wasn't sure if he was uncomfortable with this situation or not. "But I won't believe you unless you kiss me."

It took all of Nicholai's willpower not to faint again as she said those words. He squeezed the bench tightly, trying to calm his heartbeat. But those eyes… those burning, fiery, intense eyes… he couldn't look away. He gulped, feeling the heat traveling down his neck and up his ears. He had to give her a response. He couldn't just sit there.

It had to be a secret. It absolutely did. Ichigo had insisted that it had to be. This was all her idea. This was all her fault! He couldn't possibly do this! He couldn't kiss her to sedate those ideas! That was… it was way too embarrassing! He would faint before he made it.

Purin pulled back, a faint smirk on her face. It was very nearly painful to the young boy. He yearned for her touch to return once more, a small flame burning still from where her fingers and breath had just been on him. His breath caught in his throat and he wished that she would return to him soon.

She looked to him with an almost condescending look on her face. "Just as I thought. Something was going on."

In that moment, Nicholai prayed. It had been a while since he earnestly prayed, and not just repeated the same words over and over again, like he did each night while on his knees in front of his bed. He looked heaven word as he thought the words with all his might. Despite his best efforts to pray properly, it kind of came out like a letter.

Dear God,

Please please please help me out here. I don't think I could manage to kiss her on the lips. I don't even know why she wants me to kiss her! Please, you just… you gotta help me! I need to make sure she doesn't find out about that sort of thing, because, if she does, then Ichigo will kill me!

Lots of love and also please help me,

Nicholai Deveraux

The blond haired boy felt slightly more reassured at that point. He turned to face Purin once more, gulping again. He bit on his bottom lip for a second or so before welling up all of the courage within his soul. He had invited her to, after all! If she had been the one insisting, then she must be okay with it! He… he didn't need to worry! He had this in the bag!

And so, with those self encouraging thoughts whirling through his mind, he leaned in close and kissed her cheek, pale rose, soft, and pursed lips meeting light olive skin, with just a tinge of pink now. The violet eyed boy pulled away almost as quickly as he had done the action, face flaming and eyes huge. He could feel his heart pounding throughout every inch of his body and he felt dizzy, almost like he was about to faint again. With any luck, he'd be able to so he might be able to escape this embarrassment.

Purin's face had become a deep shade of pink (not nearly as red as Nicholai's, however) and her mouth became a little "O". She blinked a couple of times, staring at him blankly. The fire that had been in her eyes just a couple minutes ago had been quieted. She suddenly broke out in a huge grin and wrapped her arms around him, letting out a girlish squeal as she nuzzled him.

"Oh my gosh, that was, like, the most adorable thing ever! Your face got so red! And you actually did it! You kissed my cheek! Like, wow, that's so adorable!"

"W- wahhahh, stop that," Nicholai whined, struggling without any real force to get away. "I'm so embarrassed!"

"Don't be!" she giggled out. "You're adorable! So sweet and cute and tiny and precious and soft and ahhhh, you're just the cutest boy in this whole wide world! You're like a little china doll-!"

At that moment, the bell tolled five, causing him to squirm out of her grasp for real. "P- Purin-chan! Let's… um… let's go get your present!"

She blinked several times. "My present?"

He nodded, trying his best to breath and get his face back to its normal pallor instead of the crimson it now was. "Yes, um… I left it up in the art classroom. It was still drying at the end of class, so I just left it there."

Her eyes became large and sparkling at the mention of it being in the art room. They became all the bigger at the mention that it was still drying. She knew that it meant that it was probably some form of artwork, most likely a painting. She jumped up and grabbed his hand, panting with pleasure at the idea that he painted something for her.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that Purin's favorite part of her birthday was getting presents. Of course, eating delicious food was a close second, but presents were definitely first. Honestly, she believed that people should give her presents every day, but it didn't seem likely that it would happen. As of now, anyway. Sometime in the future, she would receive lovely presents every day. Also, she would be rolling in money. And cuddling with a cute little Nicholai. Yes, that sounded good.

Nicholai's thoughts were elsewhere as she dragged him along. He had just managed to get his heart rate down to a somewhat normal pace when she had grabbed his hand and begun dragging the blond to the art room. The action had caused his heart to begin beating at a million miles an hour again, eyes huge as he looked to their interlocked fingers. Today… today had to be a dream. There was no way that any of this was possible. Like, ever. He couldn't… he couldn't… he couldn't even begin to believe that she would grab his hand. Or make him kiss her cheek. Or hug him so much. He couldn't tell whether today had been an amazing day or a horrible one because of all the touching and embarrassment.

The black haired girl threw open the door that lead to the art room. Everyone jumped out at that point, exclaiming, "Surprise!"

Purin stood in a state of shock for a moment before she squealed, "A birthday party?! For me?! I mean, gosh, I deserve it, but it's still nice!" She then turned to Nicholai, grabbing his other hand now. "Thank you, Nicholai! You did a good job distracting me so I'd be surprised! And it was so much fun hanging out with you! I think you deserve a treat for hanging out with me!"

The violet eyed boy was about to insist that he didn't need a treat when she pushed his bangs out of his face. She leaned in and pressed her lips to his forehead, for just maybe five seconds, but it felt like eternal happiness to the young boy. He nearly fainted (how many times would that be today?), but managed to catch himself before he slipped away. As she pulled away, she gave him a huge grin, which made him feel his face heating up all the more.

She leaned in briefly and whispered in his ear, "Thank you for making this an amazing birthday." She pulled away and turned to Ichigo, eagerly beginning to chatter away with her about how excited she was for the presents and cake. Nicholai watched her go dazedly, not entirely sure as to what just happened. He felt happy, though. Very happy.

"Yo, lovah boy," Jordon exclaimed in English, lightly punching his arm before switching back to Japanese. "How did your date with Purin go?"

"It- it wasn't a date!" he managed, face flaming up again.

Kento wrapped an arm around Nicholai's shoulder, giving him a slight smirk. "Oh, it totally was."

"Wahhhah, you guys are so mean," the blond whined, covering his face.

Purin sat down on one of the chairs and clapped her hands, drawing everyone's attention to her. "I require cake or presents! Whichever you chose to come first!"

"Presents," was Ichigo's response.

"Good, because that's what I was hoping for."

Everyone took their seats, Ichigo and Nicholai being on either side of Purin, which she seemed quite pleased about. Ichigo was one of those people that wanted to give their present first, so she reached under her chair and handed it to the other girl. It was wrapped in pink wrapping paper with a sparkly green bow on it. Somehow, it suited the strawberry blond.

Purin slowly unwrapped it before letting out a high pitched squeal of excitement. "Oh my gosh! Ella Fitzgerald!" Indeed, it was a CD of some of Ella Fitzgerald's greatest works, something that had been difficult to purchase.

Mary handed her the next present. "I hope you like it."

The black haired girl took it and began furiously unwrapping it. She gasped as she pulled out the necklace, which had ornately carved wooden beads on it. There was several other wooden carvings on it, a couple being stars or musical notes. On the end, there was a plastic heart with a flower inside, sealed away forever.

"It's beautiful! I love it!" Purin exclaimed, eyes sparkling.

Mary shyly smiled and leaned back. "I had it specially made. The flower inside is a blue hydrangea. I thought it suited you." She whispered under her breath to Ichigo, "It means vanity." The smaller girl burst into a fit of giggles at that point.

"Mine's next, then," Jordon said, handing over his own present.

Purin took it and unwrapped it eagerly before allowing a huge grin to overtake her face. It was a photo of her in music class, eyes downward as she looked to her cello. She carefully played the notes, her fingers spread apart and the bow halfway off the instrument. Her face was bent down slightly, hair partially covering her face. Her long black eyelashes hid her blue eyes, and her pink lips were softly pursed as she carefully looked down to the instrument.

"It's beautiful! Perfect for hanging up in my room!" she exclaimed.

"Mine's next," Kento grunted, tossing it to her.

Purin let out a slight gasp as she barely caught it, its weight being surprising. She arched an eyebrow at him before unwrapping it. She then let out a squeak of pleasure.

"It's the Disney Real Book! Oh my gosh, I've been wanting it for ages! Thank you so much!" she exclaimed, eyes shining.

During this time, Nicholai had managed to slowly feel more and more inferior. Everyone had given her such great gifts, such lovely gifts, such wonderful gifts… he honestly had no idea how he was supposed to compare. In fact, his weak attempt at giving something heartfelt and beautiful might just get laughed at. He knew that Purin was a more material type of girl, too, so the price might be more important than the gift. Which was bad for him.

Time seemed to slow as she turned to him expectantly. He gulped fiercely as he stood up shakily. He made his way to the back of the large art room, pulling it out behind a counter. He had hid it in hopes of her not seeing it at first, which she didn't, much to his luck. He held it painting side towards him so nobody could see. He heard his heart pounding in his ears.

Really, who was he to compare to? When it came to his friend's, he was the least noticeable. Most people only really did notice him if they thought he was a girl. All of his friends… they were so wonderful… really, he considered himself just trailing around until they got tired of him, which surely wouldn't take that long. He couldn't even hang out with people his own age, considering how forgettable he was. The only person in his class besides his teacher who knew his name was Alejandro, that was because they were roommates. He just… wasn't that special…

"Nicholai!" Purin's word shook him out of his doubtful thoughts. She was smiling up to him, pure excitement swirling in her eyes. "Show it to me already! I'm really excited to see it! This is what I was really looking forward to!"

He blinked in surprise, cheeks going pink. He walked up closer to her so she would probably be the only one who could see it. He finally nodded rather hesitantly and slowly turned it around.

Purin let out a hissing gasp as she looked to the piece. It was clearly her, in a very shoujo anime style. The colors had mostly been done with watercolor paints, much of the art being rather pale. She was seated on a cloud, wearing a plain white dress with straps for sleeves. She was smiling up to the viewer warmly, her black locks cascading over her shoulders. Small, white wings feathered out from her back. She truly looked like an angel.

The girl looked up to him with the hugest grin. "It's beautiful, Nicholai! You did completely and utterly amazing!"

The blond boy felt his cheeks burn up and a well of joy swallow him up. He felt a happy smile overtake his face and he beamed as broadly as he could. "I'm so glad! I was worried!"

Purin burst out laughing at this. "What's there to be worried about? You're amazing, Nicholai." She gave him a cheeky half grin before looking to everyone. "Now who's up for cake?!"

Everyone assented. Ichigo was glad that although today had started out badly, it had ended well. With cake.

A/N- And so, it came to pass that Kero not only updated, but she updated with cute fluff. Very cute fluff. Very kawaii stuff. And so everyone cried pure tears of joy. I don't know what else to say. If you have things you don't understand, then let me know, mmkay? Also, I'm sorry for not responding to your messages and reviews, I was totally going to, but then I kept forgetting, and it just... I'm a fail monster, mmkay? But I really do appreciate them!