Ichigo stared at the cookies with all of her might. Just as Alejandro had promised, they turned out well. You could read them quite easily, and (according to the couple extras that Alejandro made just for fun) they tasted quite good. Ichigo had wrapped them up carefully, and now was working up the courage to ask Kento to give them to his older brother. It was quite a daunting task, considering the fact that she had never asked anybody to a dance before.

Kento sat down across from her, his plate filled with doughnuts of varying shapes and flavors. She looked to the brunette seriously. It was now or never. She had to ask him to give these to Yuuta. Otherwise, Rin might get to him before her. And if that happened… oh gosh, she would kick that girl's butt from here to Okinawa.

Kento, meanwhile, continued to glance towards his backpack. Inside, there was a teddy bear. On the hand, it had a "squeeze me" button. He had recorded a message on it for Ichigo. He was going to ask her to go to the dance today, after school. Hopefully before she asked someone else or got asked by someone else. Most namely, Yuuta. Kento would not allow her to go with Yuuta.

His heart was pounding in his chest and he was quite certain he was going to faint. Asking a cute girl to a dance when you know that she's in love with your brother is one of the most horrible things that a young boy could go through. He was fairly certain he would get rejected, but, heck, he had to try.

Jordon was eerily quiet as he ate his eggs. His eyes kept darting back and forth between Mary and Kento. Neither of them would probably end up having a date, so which one could he ask? On the one hand, it might be awkward for Kento to get asked to go to a dance with a boy. One the other, it might be awkward for Mary to get asked to a dance by a non Christian. So, either way, he knew that he was pretty much screwed.

His eyes came to rest upon Mary, who had been staring at him. Her cheeks turned slightly pink and she went back to eating her waffles, looking at anywhere but the boy. He felt a slight smile playing on his lips. Mary truly was adorable. He might just end up asking her. Despite the fact that she might reject him because they were too young.

Mary ate her waffles silently, chewing on them ever so slowly as her face turned more and more pink the longer Jordon stared at her. She liked him, oh, she liked him very much. She couldn't help but think that he was handsome and cute and silly and funny and strange. She honestly didn't know why she liked him because he seemed to be everything that she disliked, but… somehow… he had managed to break through and make her feel romantic feelings, despite how young they were.

She was sincerely hoping with all of her might that he would end up asking her to the Crystal Ball. Not just because there was supposedly going to be beautiful plants hanging from the ceiling, which was probably the most surprising part for her. She wanted to go with him so they could go together and dance together and hold hands and… and… oh goodness, she was turning quite a shade of red once again… she couldn't help it! Her yearnings were becoming more and more irresistible as time was going on. She needed to be with him.

Purin was going crazy with anger towards Olivier. The girl was always clinging to him and always sat next to him and was always touching him… that boy was hers! She had been working fairly hard for quite a long time now to get him to like her, and she wasn't about to give it up now. However, with the way things were looking, it seemed that Olivier didn't care about Purin's feelings. She was a selfish little… gah! Purin couldn't even think of a word that could properly explain the extreme hate that she felt for the other girl. Part of her just wanted to go up to her, punch her in the face, and then be done with it.

The only good part was that she had a couple things over the other girl: time she's known Nicholai, and the ball. Every chance Purin could get, she would make hints to Nicholai that she was planning on asking him. He generally didn't seem to get it, but when he did, his face would turn a lovely shade of red. Olivier would always get huffy at that point, quite displeased with the fact that the younger girl could make him feel like that, and there was absolutely nothing she could do about it.

Nicholai was wondering what he should do. First of all, shouldn't he be the one to ask Purin to the dance? You know, since he was the guy and all? To be honest, however, he knew that he wasn't the guy in the relationship at all. He was extremely aware that he was going to be the uke, the bottom, the submissive… really, just… not the guy in the relationship. It kind of downed him a little bit, but… at the same time… he just felt so warm and safe with her. Part of him really didn't mind.

Still, would she even ask him? What if he waited for her to ask him and she never did? What if his feelings were actually one sided? What if, despite all of those times that she blatantly flirted with him, she didn't mean it? What if she actually was just making fun of him? What if she thought he was stupid? What if… what if… ! Oh gosh, it was too scary to even think about! Maybe he would ask her… no… yes… no… ah! It was too confusing!

Ichigo couldn't take it anymore. Not the silence, not the waiting, none of it! "Kento! I need you to give these cookies to Yuuta-sempai for me!"

Kento looked at the girl who was holding out the small package of cookies, which were elegantly wrapped into a small gift bag. His heart sunk thoroughly. Was she… going to ask Yuuta? Was that what these were for? That was kind of horrible. He hadn't made it in time…

"Sure thing," he mumbled glumly, taking it. "Should I tell him who it's from?"

The girl's cheeks were pink as she shyly shook her head. "N- no. The answer is in the cookies, s- so… I mean… eek! So embarrassing!"

"Got it," Kento mumbled. "I'll give it to him."

The boy, all of his hopes crushed within the last twenty seconds, stood up. He slouched over to his older brother as though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. However, Ichigo was pretending to nonchalantly eat her omelet so the older boy wouldn't suspect her. It would be way too embarrassing if he caught her before he actually even opened the bag.

"Was that you asking Yuuta?" Purin asked curiously, one eyebrow cocked.

Ichigo blushed even more and she, giggling somewhat, fidgeted in her chair. "Yeah… I really hope he likes it! I hope he says yes! Oh, gosh, I'm so nervous!"

"Good luck," Purin said, taking a glance over her shoulder to Yuuta. "He'll probably say yes."

"I certainly hope so!"

Nicholai sleepily opened the window. He had heard somebody throwing rocks at it just before he went to bed. Alejandro had opened it and, with a slightly mysterious smile, had stated that it was for the young boy. The blond stuck his head out of the window and saw, on the ground, in a beautiful black dress, Purin. She was holding onto her cello with a big grin on her face. Being that he was on the first floor, he was probably only a couple feet above her head.

"I'd like to dedicate this song to a certain Nicholai Deveraux. The name of the song is 'Dance With Me,' and it was written in specific for this certain boy," Purin announced.

Before Nicholai could protest, she began playing the most beautiful song that he was certain he'd ever heard. It took his breath away and he looked down at her with wide eyes, face reddening quickly. At a certain point, he had to cover his mouth and try to force the tears back in. To think that she had written that song for him… he was just so shocked. And utterly overjoyed.

His heart was swept away by crescendos, his entire being forced into a trance. Her sweet chords made him dizzy with excitement. He wanted nothing but this moment to last forever. Of course, nothing could last forever, much to his disappointment. She played the last note, pulling it out sweetly until it faded away into nothingness.

Slowly the girl looked up to him. He felt his heart skip a beat as he looked down to the gorgeous girl. She smiled gently to him, and he felt his face become all the more flushed. He attempted to look at anywhere besides her, but her deep blue eyes had him caught in some sort of trance. He felt… like he was locked in a gaze for her that would last all of eternity, lest she broke it.

"Nicholai," she said, her voice clear. Even so, her hands shook ever so slightly and her cheeks were quite pink. "Would you do me the honor of going to the Crystal Ball with me?"

It took all of Nicholai's possible willpower not to faint at that point. He gulped noisily and looked down to her with the hugest of eyes. He gripped the windowsill with all of his might in order to not fall over. His knees shook and he probably looked a bit like a fish out of water.

Finally, despite himself, he broke down into tears. Even while he was sobbing, he nodded. He had never… never thought that she would go out of her way to ask him like that… it was too much. Way too much. He was completely and utterly overjoyed.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Purin exclaimed, stepping into the garden to grab the windowsill. "Are you okay? I didn't mean to make you cry! Gosh, I'm sorry, I just-"

Nicholai gently grabbed onto her hands and gave a small, embarrassed smile through his tears. "I'm happy. I want to go."

Her face turned a bit pink at this. "Eh- you do?"

He nodded again, cheeks reddening further. "I want to very much so."

Purin slowly broke out in a grin. "Awesome!"

Nicholai nodded slowly. "… thank you, thank you so much."

"Of course," she whispered. "Let's discuss details in the morning, though, because, even in my coat, it's kinda chilly out here and I'd really quite rather go to sleep."

He nodded quickly. "Um, goodbye, Purin."

"Goodnight, my cutie," Purin whispered before pulling her hands away.

Jordon stared long and hard at the camera. He had to do this. He was going to do this. There was no way that he could not do this. Yet, even so, why was he still sitting there, all alone now? It wouldn't be that hard. It would just seem like a random facts video. It would be great.

"Okay," he whispered. "Just as the sky has kittens, so shall I." And with that, he pressed play on the video recorder.

He sat down on the bed and gave a little wave before holding up the first sign, which said, "Hello! This is a did you know sort of video by Jordon Smith. I figure since I know lots of random facts, why not share them?"

He put that one down and picked up another. "It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear."

"The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in jelly."

"There are twice as many kangaroos in Australia as there are people. The kangaroo population is estimated at about 40 million."

"The elephant is the only animal with 4 knees."

"Cats can hear ultrasound."

"Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite."

"Slugs have 4 noses."

"Baby robins eat 14 feet of earthworms every day."

"The human brain uses approximately as much energy as a 10 watt light bulb."

"Non-dairy creamer is flammable."

"Every time it erupts, Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park spurts up to 8,000 gallons of 199-degree water about 140 feet into the air."

"Canadians eat more Kraft macaroni and cheese packaged dinners than any nationality in the world."

"Pandas spend about 12 hours a day eating bamboo."

"The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 10 meters (30 feet)."

The young boy took a deep breath at this point. "My final fact is an extremely important one."

He slowly held up the sign, hands shaking somewhat. Despite the fact that he was fairly certain that she'd say yes, it was still kind of terrifying. He would have to get used to it, however, being that he didn't want to always be so nervous when he was asking someone out. One day, it would be an official date. One day.

"More than anything, I want to go to the Crystal Ball with you, Mary. Consider me?"

Kento was laying face down, his yelling muffled by his pillow. His room was a mess and he really didn't care all that much. He didn't go to school today, but that was mostly because he was depressed. Yuuta was planning on responding now, four days later from when he got the cookies. And the response was not a no.

How could Ichigo be so foolish? Why couldn't she just see what he saw? Kento was starting to get to a point that he didn't care whether or not she liked him back, he just… he just wanted her to be as far away from Yuuta as possible. Yuuta couldn't wait to kill her. If he killed her, then there was no way The Angel would be born. If The Angel wasn't born… well, they were all screwed.

Kento knew the fate of this world. The fate that had been told so many times to him as a story by his father. The story went that there was a masked creature who would bring about the desolation of mankind. And the only way to stop it was to have a certain girl give birth to The Angel, who would change the fate of the world. The girl that would give birth to this child… it was Ichigo. She was… she was the being that the stories had described. The Pure One. The only one who held enough innocence within her to never kill, to never harm another, to never pass judgement…

Ichigo had not yet become The Pure One. She was still on the way to doing that. The instant her soul was released from its confines in a human body and she became transmuted, she would be The Pure One. After that, there would be only two people that could kill her: God and herself.

The golden eyed boy knew his job in the story. The Protector. He would wield a flaming sword and protect The Pure One until she gave birth to The Angel. The Protector was stated to be in love with The Pure One, but… but it was never stated in the story whether she loved him back or not. That was probably the most frustrating part of the whole thing. He could protect her, but… but he didn't ever know if the person that she would end up loving would be the right thing to protect her from. And if he tried to look too far into it, then he would look like a stalker, when, in all actuality, he was just trying to protect her and her future child from harm's way.

This… this dance was the first step. The first step in having to save Ichigo from Yuuta. And he couldn't do it. He couldn't do it. She was going to walk right into the hands of the villain. The fiend who would, most likely, take her away during the night and kill her. The horror that was overcoming him was enormous.

Then again… that wasn't exactly how Yuuta did things. Yuuta liked to kill from behind closed doors, but he also liked to have an audience. He honestly loved it when people watched him torture people. He would want Kento there. He would want The Protector there. He would want Kento to see Ichigo slowly die. And as far as Kento was concerned, he was not going.

The door to his room slowly opened, but the boy did not look up. In fact, he might not even have heard. His brain was too focused on how to kill his big brother before Yuuta could respond to Ichigo. There was way too many good ones that he would have loved to try…

It was when the person began poking his head that he noticed. He groaned in response, letting them know that he really wasn't interested in talking at the moment. The person ignored the protest, choosing instead to continue prodding the back of his head. After a few moments, the young boy let out a long moan before rolling his head to the side to see who it was. To his surprise, it was Rin. The girl was looking down to him emotionlessly, holding a black teddy bear that wore some sort of gothic clothing which was rather similar to what she was wearing.

"What?" he grunted.

"Your would be date has stolen my would be date," Rin stated in a matter of fact tone.

"Yes, why yes she has," Kento agreed.

"Therefore, I believe it would be best if we were to form a team. A team that, during the dance, attempts to steal back our proper dates. Because I will not allow that venomous Oyamada to end up with my Yuuta," she growled, eyes full of more anger than Kento had known was possible for the girl.

"A team?" he questioned, slowly pulling himself up into a sitting sort of position. "Like what? What do you mean?"

"We go together to break them up," she said flatly.

Kento slowly cocked an eyebrow. "As… a date?"

The girl pulled a look that seemed to be a mix of superiority and disgust. "You must be joking to think that I would go as a date with you. We would be going as merely friends together. Because to go as anything more would be…" She shuddered. "Unthinkable."

"Don't be a bitch," Kento snapped. "I get it. I'll go with you. But you can't wear all black, okay? Add at least one other color."

She sniffed in displeasure. "I do have a red corset and red shoes, I suppose…"

"Thank you, because we can't both be in all black. That would look stupid."

"I am aware. This also means that you must wear some red."

"I have a tie?" he floundered.

"Acceptable, as long as you wear boutonniere."

"No shit, Sherlock."

"Then it's decided? We shall go together. Oh, and you shall shower before."

"I already do shower!"

"Every three days, I believe, according to your stench."

"Screw you."

"How kind. Now, are we in accordance?"

"Sure, whatever."

"Excellent," she murmured, holding out her right hand. "Shake on it."

Kento took it and shook. He wasn't overly found of Rin (partially because she used such big words, mostly because she seemed so utterly in love with Yuuta), but he was willing to work with her. If anyone in his grade was great at scheming things, it would be her. She could easily find out a way to make Ichigo and Yuuta leave each other and be with them.

There was no way he could fail. Especially when one chose to consider what was at stake here. Ichigo's life and the fate of the world. Ha, something so dramatic to come out of him just getting her away from Yuuta seemed a little… eccentric. But, at the same time, he knew that there was no other way. He would save her.

Perhaps a good side thing that came from this was that he wouldn't be alone. Honestly, all of his friends either asked someone or got asked themselves. And that would mean that he couldn't even throw a party for anyone who didn't get asked or asked someone. Even Hikaru, as gay as he was, had asked a girl to the dance. Even Alejandro, who was even gayer, had asked a girl to the dance! The only person besides himself that he couldn't think of being asked or having asked someone was CJ, but that came as a surprise to nobody since she had even fewer friends than Kento did.

"The dance starts at five, so I expect you pick me up at four," Rin stated, pulling her hand away. "If you don't wear a suit jacket, I will personally hit you. And no sneakers or skater shoes or whatever it is that you're always wearing. Hats are acceptable as long as they don't make you look even more homosexual than you already do. No hoodies, especially not that one that goes down to your knees. No skinny jeans. No band bracelets or whatever. Minimal jewelry in general, actually. If you break any of these rules, I will rip it off your body. I don't care if it breaks. I will not have you attempting to look like an emo rocker wannabe while we're going to a formal dance."

Kento felt himself getting more irked with each thing she added on. Finally, with a glower on his face, he responded, "Well, then, your majesty, I've got some rules. No crosses, because hell if I'm going to be going around with somebody who wears Christian symbols. No high heels because I don't want you ending up taller than me, and, because I'm certain you're a terrible dancer, I don't want you stepping on my toes with your stilettos. No white in your dress, because somebody might mistake you for having some form of purity in your soul, and we really don't want that. And none of those bloomers because those things make you look like an old granny. Oh, and you can't wear a bonnet, because clearly you don't want to end up looking like a baby or something."

She glowered at him. "Agreed. If either of us break these rules, then we can rip the clothes off the other person's body. But if you rip any of my clothes, then I will kill you. Especially considering that most of them came from Moi Meme Moitie, and those dresses do not come cheap."

"Whatever," Kento grunted. The boy honestly had no idea what the heck she just said, nor did he care. He would rip her clothes off if he darn well pleased! It was her fault for being so pretentious about every little thing in his life. Besides, who was she to talk about emo and gothic fashion? She wore gothic lolita every day! The instant that she could, she was out of her little blue sailor uniform, and into her other weird dresses.

"Then, I expect to see you later," she said flatly as she began exiting the room.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, see you," Kento said, waving her off.

After she left, he collapsed back onto his bed, pushing his face into the pillow. He really didn't want to go with Rin, but if it meant that he might be able to dance with Ichigo… well, he was really all right with that. She was so cute and precious and wonderful… he didn't want to let Yuuta dance the night away with her. He wanted to steal at least one dance. He wanted to be able to hold her, even if just for a bit. Maybe that way, he could… he could somehow convince her to be with him.

It was a lofty goal, but he intended to reach it. Because the only way he could truly protect her was if he was the one that would always take care of her.

A/N- Been a while gomen Kero was graduating so yeah there's that. Also I think my birthday passed? IDK, I'm too lazy to look as to when the last chapter came out. Here's a slightly more fluffy choppy for you guys be well pleased. Also, that gothic lolita brand I mentioned is real, expensive, and very gothic. I don't like gothic lolita, so I don't even ogle over their stuff, though. ;;;;