This story takes place at the same town, school, and class room as The Love Letter Lovelies, Yumoto High School. As such characters from that story are also in this one. However, this is not a Love Letter Lovelies sequel. This simply exist in the same world. The events in this story vaguely effect those in the Love Letter Lovelies stories, but not overly so. That being said, knowing the characters from the previous story will fill in the blanks to this one. The story is Nobuyuki Takei's adventures, a minor character in the LLL stories, as well as characters barely mentioned in the previous stories. It takes place during the Lovelies' second year of High School, a period of time I haven't written in yet (if you don't count the events in The Secret or Chocolate Crush Cuties, which also take place in the same town but have nothing to do with the Lovelies). I tried to keep the story as self sustained as possible, but this definitely was written more for the people following the Lovelies story-lines over new readers. I guess that's all. Thank you for taking the time to read my little story.


Small Crush

by C. M. Lacey

Part 1.

Chapter 1.

The metal handle felt as if it were digging into Nobuyuki Takei's fingers, as he stood outside Class 3-2, gripping a full bucket of water. He and his partner in crime, Makoto Akiyama, were being punished for playing a Pokémon duel on their 3DSs before class. No one intentionally warned the two that their Homeroom teacher, Jin Hayashi, had walked into the room, as everyone took great pleasure at seeing the two of them get in trouble. He had let them play a good two minutes before announcing his presence. As such, their 3DSs got confiscated and the two of them were now standing outside the classroom holding buckets of water.

"I thought corporal punishment on students was against the law." Makoto whispered through gritted teeth.

"Hayashi-sensei is old school, you know that." Nobuyuki reminded her.

Makoto gave a whine and gripped her bucket handle tighter. The bucket of water itself wasn't all that heavy. In fact if they were moving, it probably wouldn't have been so bad. But it was standing still and letting that weight hang that really did it. It felt as if the thin metal of the handle was slicing through their fingers. Both their arms and their legs were shaking from having to stand so long with that weight. It was a genus torture device, no doubt about that.

"I can't take it anymore." Makoto complained, as she often did when they got themselves into scrapes.

"Then put it down." Nobuyuki suggested. "It's not like he can see us."

"No way. Last time we did that Sensei caught us." Makoto said, remembering the previous incident.

"Then stop being a cry baby." Nobuyuki teased her. In response she stuck out her tongue.

Since the first day of First Year, Makoto and he had formed this kind of friendship. They were both the smallest in the class, and thus were stuck up front with seats next to each other. He sat in front of her all day, so the two had formed a bond. While she had to be the prettiest and most popular girl in their Class, she wasn't the typical school idol in personality. She was extremely childish in someways, loved a laugh, and to cause mischief. That fell in line perfectly with his personality. Since day one the two of them had always gotten lectured at by Hayashi for acting out.

"Hey, Nobu-kun," Makoto broke the silence after a long beat of quiet torture. "do you have someone you like?"

"Eh?"

The truth of the matter was, that question threw him for a loop as it was not a typical exchange he had with her. Nobuyuki might have considered Makoto his best friend, but on Makoto's end, he was just the kind of friend she only saw in school. Their relationship didn't go beyond silly things, so they hardly ever talked about personal lives unless it was Makoto-related. She wasn't involved with his life, while he was somewhat connected with hers. This wasn't because Makoto was a self absorbed person, it was more like she was so popular she had different friends for different things interests. Nobuyuki was her goof-off friend in class. She wasn't just his best friend, she was everyones. It was for this reason that Makoto rarely asked about his personal life. Hell, the only out-of-school contact they had was when they played video games online together.

"I'm wondering if there's a girl you like." Makoto repeated her question.

"Uh… no?" Nobuyuki told her, feeling a bit awkward. He was telling the truth. While he found several girls attractive, it wasn't like he was in love with any of them. "Why do you ask?"

"No reason." Makoto said, playing coy.

"Hey, you can't spring a question like that on me then backtrack."

"Why not?"

"Because you never ask about that stuff."

"I am now."

"That doesn't count."

Makoto give a small giggle. "I just wanted to know."

To the outside observer, Makoto might have seemed like she was flirting, but if anyone knew the situation of Class 3-2, they'd be completely wrong. Makoto was a lesbian. In fact, she had a girlfriend, collected a group of lesbians as friends, christened them The Love Letter Lovelies, and even went as far as to start a Girls Kendo Club that served as a front for the lesbians of the school to meet. She was the Tokugawa of Lesbians in Yumoto High School, the shogun of a clan. Any flirtations this girl gave was strictly part of her cuteness. She definitely was into girls.

"For your information, it's tough getting a girl in this school." Nobuyuki decided to poke fun at her. "There's only three straight girl in our class."

"That's not true." Makoto pouted, but she was mistaken. Nobuyuki, as one of the few boys in Class 3-2, was all to aware of the straight/gay ratio. "There's Nagisa Okita… Yumi Kiriyama… Ren Tsukino… uh…"

"That's three." Nokuyuki smirked.

"No, there's more!" Makoto struggled to think.

"Okay there are 13 girls in class. Out of those 13 who's in that Girls Kendo Club?"

Makoto blushed. "Not everyone in Kendo club is a lesbian!"

"Riiigghhhttt."

"I'm telling the truth!" Makoto raised her voice a bit, but doubted herself. "I think."

Nobuyuki went on. "So 10 girls are in the Kendo Club which leaves three girls for the eight guys in class to fight over. You see my problem now?"

"Ughhh. Okay fine, I get it. But it's not like there isn't any other classes in our school. What about other second year classes like Class 2-2? Or… some school club?"

Makoto had a point there. And this is where the uncomfortable part of their conversation led too. The problem wasn't that Nobuyuki didn't have options. It was true that he had landed himself in a strange situation of being in "The Lesbian Class" of Yumoto High School, but he was also using that as an excuse. What he wasn't telling Makoto was that he secretly was intimidated by the idea of dating a girl. Even if all 13 girls in Class 3-2 were straight, Nobuyuki doubted that he'd have the confidence to ask any of them out.

"Ugh, it's too much work. I don't feel like stalking other class rooms trying find a girl. I'm not like Miura."

Ichiro Muira was renown for being a ladies man. He was one of the few classmates in Class 3-2 who was openly vocal against Makoto's lesbian alliance. He was handsome enough, and had this charming personality that girls seemed to like. But all the boys Nobuyuki knew hated his guts because he was two-faced. He acted sweet in front of the girls he was seducing, but was an arrogant jerk to everyone else.

"It's not stalking." Makoto said, but paused to think. "Are you telling me that there's no one in the school that you like at all. Not even a little?"

"I hadn't really thought about it, Mako-chan." Nobuyuki told her. "I can't be bothered with a girlfriend anyway."

"Hmm…"

"Why do you care anyway?"

"Oh. It's just that I think you're a really great guy and I want to see you happy." Makoto told him sweetly.

It was kind of touching to hear that. Sometimes he wondered where he stood on Makoto's list of friends. He would have thought it would be rather low since he wasn't part of her lesbian clique. But hearing that made his heart feel a bit warmer. Maybe their friendship wasn't as one-sided as he thought.

"I don't need a girl to be happy, you know."

"Yeah, but I know what it's like to have someone you love. There's really no comparison. Since dating Kaede-chan-"

But she stopped talking. Whatever she was going to say about her girlfriend was put on hold as a new thought seemed to creep in her head. Nobuyuki wondered what it could be, but on looking at her saw the reason. Her legs were shaking and she was slightly bent over, stooping under the weight of the bucket.

"Here, gimme that." Nobuyuki offered his other hand, though he didn't think he was fairing all that well with his own bucket either.

"I… can't." Makoto moaned, gripping the thing with both of her hands. "It hurts!"

Forcefully Nobuyuki reached for her bucket, but she pulled away, unwilling to give him our load. But she did so a bit to quickly as the water inside her bucket started to slosh. Squeaking loudly, she braced herself and tried to steady the water inside by swaying the bucket to-and-fro in an attempt to prevent the water from spilling. Nobuyuki had to do something similar for his own bucket, but no where near as complex as what Makoto was doing. Finally she got her water under control, only having spilled a few small splashes on the floor.

"That was close." Makoto looked down at the water by her feet. "I nearly got my shoe."

"That's what you get for fooling around."

"I wasn't fooling-" Makoto began to argue, but was interrupted by a clearing of a throat. She turned around and both she and Nobuyuki saw a pale middle aged man looking directly at them. "Sensei!"

"Akiyama… Takei, even in the hallway you're causing this much of a ruckus?" Their teacher rebuked them.

"No!" Makoto quickly went into defensive mode. "See, I just moved a bit too fast and the water nearly spilled out-"

"What were you doing moving in the first place?"

"My arms were tired." Makoto told him, then gave him the cutest kitty-cat eyes imaginable. "This thing is really heavy, it hurts!"

Hayashi's face was stone, but his eyes gave him away. He was a sucker for Makoto's cuteness. Like everyone else in Class 3-2, she had him wrapped around her little finger. Nobuyuki was sure that she wasn't aware of her power, and if that day ever came where she discovered her gift, no one would be safe. It was her innocents and good looks that made people crumble before her. And even a grumpy old fart like Hayashi gave in to her way too much.

"Fine. Perhaps the two of you will be more quiet in class."

"Yes, Sensei!" Makoto beamed, and placed her bucket down.

Nobuyuki did the same and shook his hands out, trying to get feeling back into his fingers. After grunting and gesturing for them to come inside, the two of them returned back into the class room, amidst a series of muffled laugher and points in their direction. This was the kind of attention he was used too. Class 3-2 enjoyed the daily show he and Makoto seemed to be putting on. He passed the class representative, who was standing in front of the blackboard, and reached his seat, feeling a sense of relief from having been standing still so long.

"Enough." Hayashi ordered and the laughter immediately stopped, as if one was pulling the plug on a stereo. He then pointed at the girl by the board. "Continue Akai-san."

Subaru Akai, the class representative he passed on the way to his seat, gave Nobuyuki a look. He often got the impression she got tired of he and Makoto's goofing off, thus the snooty attitude. Nevertheless, the small girl then went back to whatever class announcement she was on before. Because she was continuing from where she left off, Nobuyuki had no clue what she was talking about, It took a few minutes before he realized that she was talking about the upcoming Culture Festival.

"-so I'd like a sheet of some suggestions from all of you by the end of the day. Then tomorrow we can take a vote on our Class Theme and go on from there."

"Thank you Akai-san." Hayashi gave the girl a nod. "Everyone got that? You two as well?" He looked in Makoto and his direction.

"Yeah yeah." Nobuyuki muttered. "Come up with ideas for the Class to do for the Culture Festival. Got it."

"Curb that attitude, Takei." Hayashi told him, but moved on. "When we met at the end of the day, I expect all of you to follow Akai-san's request. Last year our Class's presentation at Culture Festival was dreadful. So no more plays. There isn't an actor among you. That's all."

With that he started to gather his things. Homeroom still had some time before the bell rang, but Hayashi often left the class early when he did all that was expected of him. It was one of the things that Class 3-2 loved about him. So when he left, everyone went to their groups to discuss the Culture Festival.

Nobuyuki turned around in his seat and saw that Makoto was already talking to her girls. Kaede Ozawa, her girlfriend, Shiho Inoue, and Yui Hino were already in a circle amongst themselves. They were Makoto's Love Letter Lovelies, and while Nobuyuki could claim that he sometimes was included in their discussions, he was only a guest star. They lived in their own world at times, and a for everyone else, they weren't invited.

Sighing a bit, he turned back around. It was rather pathetic that his best friend was someone like Makoto. She was a great person, but he needed someone who wasn't so popular… someone he could hang out with. Then all at once he thought of the conversation he and Makoto were having in the hallway. Did he want someone more than just a friend? Could it be that finding a girlfriend might be just what the doctor ordered?

But the idea of that scared him. A girlfriend? How was he supposed to get one? Even if he somehow managed that, how was he supposed to act? There were only two girls he ever talked too: Mio Harima, an unpopular tomboy who just liked bitching about her problems to him because he let her, and Makoto. With Mio, he was just someone who would listen to her crap. But Makoto, he never considered her as girl. She was a geeky gamer, a playful prankster, a goof ball. Then again, in a lot of ways she was a girl. No one could doubt her beauty and her girly nature.

Now a seed was forming in his mind, planted by the cute girl herself. If he could get along with her, and put up with Mio's long boring rants, did that mean he could with get along other girls? And if that were the case… if that were the case...