Name: Yuki Akiko

Age: 16

School Occupation: Cheer leading

Personality: Bubbly and Upbeat; nice to pretty much anyone

Appearance: Honey colored hair with braids, rosy cheeks.

Submitted by: ninetailedfox63


Name: Serene Akame

Age: 17

School Occupation: Student Council President

Personality: Calm, cold, and distrustful. She barely trusts anyone, keeping herself inside a metaphorical shell of ice, staying away from everyone. She's a loner who secretly wants friends, but the combination of her low social skills and her distrust of everyone obstructs that wish. She's quite popular, but everyone who tried to get close to her failed miserably. She's also pretty snarky.

Appearance: Long black hair tied as a ponytail that reached her waist, and red eyes.

Submitted by: imran102


Chapter 8

I stuffed the last of my things into the suitcase. This was for the better; people would be better off without me in the way. I'm just one big problem. I hoisted the suitcase onto my shoulder, and walked out the door.

I subconsciously drifted over to Aki's house. I wonder why… But I saw the door open, and Aki stepped out. I continued walking, pretending she wasn't there.

"Hiromu!" she protested.

I kept on walking. I can't face her like this… I heard steps, and then a grab of my sleeve.

"What're you doing, just leaving a girl like that?" Aki asked.

I shrugged off her grip, and went on walking. "Leave me alone. I don't want to cause you trouble."

"Trouble? What kind of trouble?"

I stopped. "I'm a selfish bastard. I only visited the stables because I could get money. Otherwise, we'd have remained nothing but complete strangers to one another."

"But—" she began.

"But what? It's the truth; you should be hating me now. Don't you remember?" I asked. "You ran away when I told you."

She was quiet. I turned my back on her.

"Glad you're feeling better," I said. "Nice to see that you're safe before I leave."

"W-Wait, Hiromu!" Aki exclaimed suddenly.

"What is it now? I don't have all day," I said harshly.

She twiddled her fingers. "B-Before you go… S-Some friends and I were gonna h-have lunch t-together…"

She was inviting me to go, I could already tell. Well, why not?

"Okay," I said. "Where're you meeting?"

The mall. The f***ing mall. Why? Why the f*** were we at the mall? I hate the mall. It's every guy's worse nightmare, save for the two game shops that were on opposite sides of this hell. I glanced down at Aki, who smiled sweetly at me.

"Why am I here?" I asked.

"Because you agreed…?" Aki replied.

I sighed. That's right. I had agreed. Why?! Aki began to wave to the left. I peered over, and saw Amu and some other girl. While Amu had that downing vibe all around her, the other girl practically radiated sunshine and rainbows.

"Hey, Amu, Hikari, Yuki! Over here!" she called.

Amu looked at me, and I swear I saw a glint of vengeance in her eyes. The other girl, Yuki, waved enthusiastically at me.

Meanwhile, the only other guy Hikari trudged behind them. I sighed in relief. At least there'd be one guy…

"Hiya, guy! What's your name?" she asked, approaching me and standing two inches away.

She's never heard of personal space…

"I'm Hiromu Azakawa. Nice to meet you," I said, stepping back uneasily.

"I'm Hikari Akiko…" Hikari muttered.

"So you're Yuki's brother?" I asked him.

"Yeah…"

For a guy who's name meant "light" in Japanese, this guy seemed pretty depressed. I shrugged.

"How about we go eat?" I suggested.

Yuki grinned, and took my arm. "Okay! Let's go!"

She dragged me like some rag doll to the food court, and I looked pleadingly at Aki. She smiled, waving at me. Why won't she save me?!

Later, we were enjoying our lunch rather quietly. Yuki had placed me and Aki next to each other, while she was in between Amu and Hikari.

"Aki-chan, you're sure Hiromu-kun's not your boyfriend?" Yuki asked innocently.

"I'm positive!" Aki burst out for the thousandth time.

I sighed, internally sobbing because the outburst was killing my poor ears. Aki avoided all means of contact with me after that.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw another girl. Man, I seemed to have a record-breaking streak for spotting them. Yuki noticed me staring at the girl.

"Hii-kun…" she said teasingly.

"Hm?" I responded absentmindedly.

"You into the Student Council President Serene?"

I rolled my eyes. "For once, I'm aiming to strike up a friendship, not for that godforsaken bet."

"Oh, that's right… Mai-san hasn't been to school in a while, has she?"

"No… I wanna drop the bet as soon as possible."

I slowly stood, and walked over to the girl. Up close, she was really pretty with that long ponytailed black hair and scarlet red eyes. She was wearing a casual white top and black skirt. She noticed me coming up to her.

"What do you want?" she asked, acting like some sort of ice queen.

"I just wanted to be friends with you," I said in the most friendly tone I could muster.

She ignored my tone. "Make it quick. Are you trying to persuade me into making a decision for the School Council?"

Scratch ice queen, make that ice goddess. I laughed.

"No, nothing like that. I'm just a normal guy who's here to he your friend," I said, patting my chest lightly. "My name's Hiromu Azakawa."

She raised an eyebrow. "Azakawa, huh? I'm Serene Akame."

I held out my hand. "It's nice to meet you!"

She hesitated for a while, but shook my hand anyway. I grinned at her.

"Some friends and I were just having lunch. Wanna join us?" I offered, pointing over to the group.

She slapped away my hand. "No, thanks."

She walked away with a glare on her face. She wasn't an ice goddess, she was the freaking CREATOR of ice! I frowned.

"I'll see you tomorrow!" I called, hoping to get her to turn back.

She melted into the crowd, not once looking back at me.

"I guess…" I said, but it was more to myself than to her.

I began thinking. What could I do to get her to open up to me? Hmm…

Bingo.

I burst into the Council Office when everyone but Serene had left.

"Hello!" I yelled at the top of my lungs.

I swear I scared her half to death. Judging by the look on her face, she was terrified for a moment.

"What're you doing here, Azakawa?" she asked, recovering from shock.

"Hey, you remembered my name! That's a good start to making friends!" I said happily. "I'm proud of you!"

She flushed a little bit. "W-Well…"

"C'mon, why don't you and I go and do something together?" I offered.

It wasn't intentional that I was working my charm on her; it came naturally now. I suddenly felt guilty.

"I-I mean, you, me, and a few friends—" I tried covering up my mistake.

"N-No!" she shouted.

"H-Huh?"

"Don't bring any friends…" she whispered in a way that made me pity her. "Don't…"

"Okay," I said, backing off. "I won't."

I slowly stepped out of the room, and then turned around. My sleeve was suddenly grabbed. I was jerked back into the room, and then slammed into the desk. Serene picked me up by the collar.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?" she asked me, glaring.

"H-Hey!" I protested. "I was just gonna leave!"

"You don't leave when you haven't even set up what we're doing!" she roared irritably.

"Okay, okay! What did you want to do?!" I yelled back, breaking away from her grip.

Serene stopped for a moment. "U-Um—"

I gave some thought too. What could we do? It hit me. How could I forget?

"The Music Club's having a concert later today! I forgot I was performing! I could get you a free ticket if I tried!" I said, smiling triumphantly.

"A concert? I don't do those," she said coldly.

My face fell. "Do you have anything better to suggest?"

I got her there. She didn't respond. I grinned.

"It's settled. The concert's in the Music club room at 17:00 after school. Don't be late!" I said, and dashed out the door.

I burst into the Music Room, and found Hikari and Utahime.

"Hikari!" I said, surprised. "What're you doing here?"

"He's replacing you for the guitar, if that's okay," Utahime answered. "He's a total natural!"

I grinned. Hikari managed a small smile as he fingered the guitar's strings between his fingers. Utahime grinned at me, and I totally gasped.

"Are you two—" I began, but I was whacked over the head with something oddly heavy.

"Shut up," Utahime said to me, wielding a weaponized bass.

Where the hell did that come from!? I got up, rubbing my newfound injury.

"Hey, I was wondering if I could get two tickets to the concert," I said.

"Oooh, taking a girl out on a date?" Utahime teased, while Hikari chuckled.

"No, I'm breaking off the bet as soon as Mai gets back," I said. "I'm just taking the Student Council President to see a concert is all."

Hikari's jaw dropped. "You got Serene Akame to agree… to a CONCERT!?"

"Yeah, I'm about as surprised as you are," I replied. "I'm apalled she even talked to me."

"She just wants friends," Utahime said suddenly.

I looked at her. "She wants friends? But she's—"

"She's a bit inexperienced in the social field. I'm glad you talked to her."

I nodded slowly. How did Utahime know this? I shrugged it off.

"Utahime-senpai," I said.

"Yeah?" she replied.

"Put on a stellar concert for Serene!" I yelled.