Rain pitter-pattered against the window, hiding any view of the school's front grounds from the students in room 2-B. Those who sat closest to the windows had taken to either staring out into the rain, staring at the board, with its collection of notes, or had simply fallen into a light sleep, heads on their desks or held up by their hands.

In the row closest to the window, in the very last seat, one boy was dreaming...

The figure spun around, swinging its shining blade in a vicious arc that would have cleaved a man in half with little effort. The boy jumped to the side, and the blade buried itself in the dirt with a metallic crunching noise.

The boy saw his chance.

Planting his foot on the side of his foe's blade, he pressed it to the ground, the blade bending into an ungainly, useless shape.

The boy brought his own sword up, snarling-


The boy jumped in his seat, his head shooting up from his desk. His brown hair, now partly out of its ponytail, was sticking up in places, and his brown eyes were slightly red from sleeping.

The teacher glared down at the boy, a book in one hand, a pointer in the other. He was dressed in his usual green suit, his glasses perched on the tip of his nose.

"Takahata, I swear, if I have to wake you up one more time, I'm going to be using this pointer to do it!" the teacher said, joined a second later by the laughter of several students.

Kairu rubbed his eyes. He hadn't meant to fall asleep...

"Do you understand, or do I need to remind you what'll happen if you do it again?"

Kairu nodded quietly. The teacher sighed irritably and made his way back to the front of the room, where he had been giving the class notes.

Kairu, still trying to adjust to being awake, took his hair out of its ponytail to attempt to straighten it. As he smoothed out his hair, he thought about his dream, about the mysterious figure who had been trying to kill him.

'How do you know he was trying to kill you?' Kairu thought to himself, as he pulled his hair back into a ponytail.

Kairu sighed and decided to drop the subject. He never really liked thinking about his dreams. They were all too confusing, and many were simply too deep for him to understand.

As Kairu opened up his notebook and started taking notes, a pair of light blue eyes watched him from across the room.

The girl they belonged to was pretty, with light brown hair that just barely touched her shoulders. If she stood next to Kairu, one would notice that they were built similarly, with lean bodies and calloused hands, though the girl's were slightly smoother, softer, and they would note the ten inch difference in height.

In her hand she held a pink pen. Before she had turned to watch Kairu get yelled at by their teacher, she had been doodling in her notebook.

Within a neatly drawn heart, written in elegant kanji:

Kairu Takahata

Ronii Yamanaka

School couldn't have ended quickly enough for Kairu. He didn't waste time in changing shoes and leaving the school grounds before anyone had a chance to comment on his incident earlier.

Kairu sighed. He was just glad to be out of that place...Despite the gray clouds hanging over the outer edges of the city, Kairu was happy to be outside, where he was free to do whatever he felt like doing.

As Kairu reached the park, he unbuttoned his school jacket and reached down his shirt. He pulled his hand out, and a pendant, shaped like a flame, with a single red ruby set in the middle, hung from its silver chain. As Kairu wrapped his fingers around the warmed metal, it slowly began to heat up.

"Salamander? You in there?" Kairu asked the pendant. He let the pendant go as it shed a soft red glow, the heat from the pendant increasing. In a small flash of light, a red blur shot from the pendant's ruby, swirling in the air before Kairu.

The blur solidified into a small, elongated dragon, with scales the shade of a red apple, and a pair of glowing yellow eyes. A pair of horns, short yet pointy, adorned the dragon's brow, and it's tail seemed to continuously smoke and turn into a wispy cloud as it moved.

The dragon yawned, almost human-like.

"I hate being locked up in that thing! It's cramped, and boring. Oh, the boredom..." the dragon said, stretching and flying slowly in a circle above Kairu's head.

"You know I can't let you out. Remember last time? You almost torched the teacher's desk!" Kairu said, throwing his school bag over his shoulder and continuing his walk down the park's walking path.

Salamander grinned, his teeth showing themselves to a pair of younger girls, who ran off screaming.

"Oh yeah, I totally forgot that! Talk about fun..." he said, floating along on his back, his clawed feet folded behind his head, almost as if he were relaxed.

"That wasn't funny! If I hadn't locked you up when I did, I wouldn't be in school right now, and you would likely be in some government facility being Stoned." Kairu said.

Salamander shivered. When someone mentioned being Stoned, they were referring to the act of sealing a spirit away inside a stone representation of itself. For good. It was a spirit's worst nightmare.

"Okay, I'm glad that I'm not a statue. Can we stop talking about it?" Salamander asked. Kairu rounded the bend in the path, and the park's soccer field came into view.

"Soccer team's out today." Kairu said, as he walked off of the path and across the grass towards the bleachers that ran along the side of the field. Salamander's head turned to look in the direction of the players.

"Boys' or girls'? If it's boys', forget it. If it's girls, then find a place to park it." Salamander said, his eyes narrowing and his tongue tasting the air around him.

Kairu rolled his eyes. Salamander was a bit of a perv...

The girls' soccer team was practicing today, which made Salamander happy. Kairu found a spot higher in the bleachers to watch the players practice.

As his eyes went from one player to the next, searching for a familiar face in the crowd of students on the field, he noticed one of the players walking back towards the bleachers, a bag of gear in her arms.

Kairu recognized Ronii Yamanaka almost instantly. Her light brown hair was unmistakable, and she wore her silver, fox-etched suppression bracer on her right wrist. Kairu had known that she was on one of the sports teams, but he didn't know which one it had been. He thought it might have been tennis, but seeing her here...

Kairu hadn't spoken much to Ronii. At one point, when Ronii had just transferred from a school out in the 'middle of nowhere', as she put it, Kairu had been asked to take Ronii around the campus and show her where the classes were, where the clubs met, the basics. Ronii had remained quiet most of the time , eyes focused more on what Kairu was showing her than on Kairu himself, but she seemed friendly enough.

It wasn't until he had asked if she had any questions about what he shown her that she finally seemed to open up a bit more.

The first time Kairu had heard her speak, it was almost inaudible. Her voice was soft, quiet. Very rarely did she speak up about something in front of just the students. In class, however, she was intelligent, placing in the top five in their class, and spoke clearly, though it seemed forced sometimes. Still, the voice matched her appearance rather well.

"She gets cuter every passing day," Salamander said, snickering. Kairu clenched his teeth. He sometimes hated having someone else living in his head.

"Stay the hell out of my head," Kairu hissed, as Ronii made her way up the bleachers.

Ronii didn't see Kairu until she was almost right next to him. She had been so zoned out that she had no idea as to what was going on around her, at least not immediately.

Ronii's heart beat a little faster as she looked in the direction of Kairu and his dragon-like spirit.

Ronii was, to say the least, infatuated. She had no idea why, nor could she even attempt to think about it. All she knew was that she felt attracted to him. If she had to choose just one thing about him that she loved the most, it had to be his friendly nature. He tried not to cause trouble, not like the sleeping incident earlier in the day, and he was kind to her when she first moved to the school district. He was also fairly good-looking, something she had noted when they had first met.

Kairu gave her a small smile and waved. She could only smile shyly and wave back as she continued up the bleachers to the announcer's booth.

'I can't even look at him...Why is it so hard to be normal around him?' Ronii thought, as she reached for the doorknob. She twisted the knob, but it didn't seem to want to move. She knew that it wasn't locked...

"Oh, come on..." she said quietly, dropping the bag of sports gear and grabbing the doorknob with both hands, twisting and pulling on it. It wasn't the first time she had wrestled with the doorknob. No amount of complaining seemed to get anyone to fix it, either, which was irritating. Ronii gripped the knob with both hands, twisted it, and pulled, hoping to at least make it budge.

With a loud clang and the splintering of wood, the knob came loose from the door, and Ronii found herself falling backwards, a small sound leaving Ronii's mouth as the air rushed by her.

The falling sensation abruptly stopped as she felt a pair of arms catch her, wrapping around her stomach.

Ronii squeaked in surprise, her heart pounding.

"Nice catch!" someone said beside Ronii. Ronii turned to look at Salamander, Kairu's spirit.

'That would mean...'

Ronii slowly lifted her head to peer sheepishly up at Kairu who looked genuinely worried, as well as out of breath.

"Are you okay?" he asked, helping Ronii stand up. Ronii shivered as his hands touched her hips, but found the strength to right herself. Shaking off the butterflies, she turned and nodded.

"Yeah...yeah, I'm fine..." she said, her voice coming out as a small, almost whisper-like sound. It bugged her when it happened...

"You sure? You were this close to smashing your head in the steps." Kairu said, indicating with his thumb and forefingers that she was about an inch away from smacking into the hard stone steps of the bleachers.

Ronii nodded quickly, trying to force herself not to blush. She could still feel his arms around her...

"I'm fine. Thanks..." Ronii said, giving Kairu a small, respectful bow. Kairu grinned, scratching the back of his head.

"Yeah, don't mention it. Anyway, why's the team practicing today? The field's gotta be pretty muddy." Kairu said, looking down at Ronii's mud-spattered shoes and legs.

"Yeah...Well, our manager wants us to play in mud because...something about leg strength...I don't know, it just seems dumb," Ronii said, sitting down on one of the seats and resting her head in her hands, willing her heart to calm down.

Kairu sat down next to her. Her heart only sped up.

"See why I didn't join a sports team? Ken-do is almost always inside, and I'm in my element with a weapon in my hands." Kairu said, making sword-swinging motions with his hands.

Ronii smiled. He was always willing to talk, willing to listen...


One of the first-year soccer players ran up the steps towards Ronii and Kairu. On the field, the rest of the team had stopped practicing, watching Ronii as she turned to her teammate.

"Yeah?" Ronii asked, glancing quickly over at Kairu, who was busy fixing his school jacket.

"We saw you fall! Are you okay?" the girl asked, her short pigtails bobbing as she looked Ronii over, looking for a wound or a scratch. Ronii smiled.

"I'm fine." Ronii said. The first-year sighed.

"That's good. Well, the manager wants us to head home. There's more rain heading this way, so..."

Ronii nodded and stood up, glad to find that her balance had returned.

"Okay. I'll see you next week." Ronii said to the student. The first-year nodded and started back towards the field.

Ronii sighed, and looked down at the beaten doorknob in her hands. She'd held onto it the whole time.

"Well, if rain's on the way, then that would be my cue to split." Kairu said, standing and picking up his school bag.

"And that's my cue to go back to prison..." Salamander said, and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Ronii started for the storage room again.

"I guess I'll see you later then...?" Ronii asked, turning toward Kairu. Kairu looked back over Ronii from the sky, watching the clouds as they began to move in.

"You sure you don't need some help?" Kairu asked, taking a few steps toward her, a look of genuine worry on his face.

Ronii smiled.

"I'll be fine..." she said. But...

"On second thought, I could use some help with the door...it's not opening for me anytime soon." Ronii said, holding up the doorknob. Kairu smiled, laughing.

"Right, right. I'll see what I can do"

Kairu wound up having to pull the door open, almost yanking it right off of its hinges. Ronii left a note explaining what happened, and that she was more than willing to help fix it.

Now they were walking along the side of the road, making their way home.

"What a day...first I destroy school property, then I almost kill myself afterward. You really didn't have to walk me home, Takahata-san..." Ronii said, looking over at Kairu.

Kairu smiled.

"Hey, you looked like you needed the company. And I wouldn't want you to get hit by a bus or something, now would I?" Kairu said. In his mind, he was kicking himself for the lame jokes.

But Ronii smiled, and a hint of color graced her cheeks.

"Well...thanks. For walking me home I mean. And keeping me from hitting the ground. And helping me pry open a door..." she said.

Kairu smiled just as a cold, fat drop of water hit him on the nose. Kairu wiped at it, only to find that more droplets were raining from the sky again.

"Oh, man..." Kairu groaned, holding his school bag over his head. Ronii looked up into the rain. It didn't affect her like it affected others, Kairu noticed. In fact, as he watched, the rain began to bounce off of the area around Ronii, almost like there was something standing between her and getting soaked.

"What's wrong with the rain?" Ronii asked, looking back over at Kairu, who was huddled beneath his bag and his jacket. Kairu gave her a meek grin.

"I'm used to warm things. Rain and I never really...get along. Well, that, and I can't pull off whatever you're doing," Kairu said, motioning towards his bag and pointing to the safe zone around Ronii.

Ronii giggled.

"You look ridiculous. There's a cafe not far from here, so, if you want, we can just duck in there until it lightens up. Okay?" Ronii said, her smile getting bigger with each second that Kairu huddled under his school bag and jacket.

Kairu sighed.

"Yeah, please..." he said.

Ronii smiled and, hesitantly, took his arm. He could feel something odd about the touch. It was gentle, but unsure.

Just get out of the rain before you melt...Kairu thought.

Ronii pulled Kairu into a small, neat shop, with mostly two-seater tables set along the walls and a couple of larger four-seaters placed in the middle for the larger groups. Students and adults took up almost all of the wall seats.

"Wow, this place is crowded..." Kairu said, letting his jacket and bag drop from the top of his head to hang wet and limp by his side. Ronii nodded.

"It usually is. They have some of the best herbal tea in the neighborhood. Mom and I used to come here a lot when I first moved here, so it's always been one of my favorite places to go." Ronii said. She led the way to a window seat, one with booths instead of chairs. Kairu sighed as he let his jacket and bag drop into the space next to him. Ronii set her things down next to her feet as she sat down.

"It's kind of cozy..." Kairu said, looking around him. The majority of the students around him seemed to be couples...though he did remember hearing about a group date happening today with some second-year students. Maybe that was why there were so many of his classmates here...

Ronii slipped her jacket off. She was still wearing her soccer jersey, and she had slipped away while at the sports field to change into her school skirt. It was an odd combo, but Ronii didn't seem to mind.

An older girl walked up to the table and took Kairu's and Ronii's orders. Ronii asked for lemon herbal tea, warm, and Kairu asked for water, chilled. The girl left them. Ronii was staring off into the rain.

'I wonder what she's thinking...?' Kairu thought.

Ronii was panicking.

Oh my god...What am I doing here?! I shouldn't have asked for his help...I don't know what I'm supposed to say to him, and what am I supposed to do? And why didn't I change my shirt...?

Ronii looked away from the window, glancing over at Kairu. His eyes were studying her, likely wondering what she was thinking.

Just talk to him...you were doing well when you got here, so just keep it up!

Ronii turned to face Kairu.

"So...how are your classes?" she asked, mentally face-palming herself. They shared the same classes, the same teachers, heck, even the same room...

Kairu grinned.

"Eh. I guess I'm okay with most of the stuff. I suck at math, though. Numbers and I do not get along." Kairu said, sitting up and resting his chin on his hand.

Ronii nodded.

"I'm not too bad at math. Maybe I could teach you a few things to make it easier...?" Ronii said, trying to keep herself from stuttering.

Kairu smiled, much to her delight.

"Yeah! Man, if you could just help me pass the exams this semester, I would owe you one!" he said, his eyes brightening. Kairu had been struggling with his work for a while...Maybe he really was worried about what was going to happen to him this summer?

The waitress returned with their drinks. Ronii took hers and wrapped her hands around the cup, letting the warmth seep in. She used to imagine that it was Kairu's hands holding hers sometimes...

"Man, it's coming down out there...We might have to walk home in this." Kairu said, sipping from his glass. Ronii smiled a little. She honestly didn't mind the rain. Being a water elementalist, she was used to it. She loved the rain, she had for many years now. She didn't think it would ever change.

Silence fell over the table. Ronii stared out into the rain. Kairu kept studying Ronii, trying to figure out what was going on in her head...

Without warning, there was a loud popping sound that made Ronii jump, a squeaking sound escaping her throat. A thick blue mist covered the table. Kairu jumped up, one of his hands clenched into a fist, the other reaching for his pocket. Through the mist, Ronii made out the shape of something familiar.

"Kairu-san, wait, it's okay!" she said, trying not to squeak out her sentence. Kairu's eyes went from alarmed to confused as the mist disappeared.

Sitting on the table was a small blue fox, a single white droplet-shaped patch of fur between its eyes. Its tails split into three at the base, and each waved in a different pattern.

Ronii sighed.

"Undine...You scared us! And you gave Kairu a heart attack!" Ronii said, pointing at Kairu as he sat back down, his face pale. All around them, people were looking over at them, wondering what was going on. Some shook their heads, laughing. A few rolled their eyes. Others seemed to shrug. It wasn't an uncommon ocurrence these days, having spirits pop into existence nearby.

The fox yawned.

"Don't snap, Ronii, I only came out to remind you that you're late." the fox said, its furry lips moving as it spoke.

Ronii was confused. Late...?

"What am I late for? I had soccer practice after school, and it's raining, so we ducked in here to get out of that. I don't remember anything besides that!" Ronii said, lowering her voice to a whisper.

The fox shook its head.

"You were supposed to be home by now because you need to watch Jeimii! Remember?" it said, standing and circling the table impatiently.

A sudden panic hit Ronii. She had promised to be home right after practice...

"Oh, no...Mom isn't mad is she...?" Ronii asked, her voice higher-pitched.

"Livid. Now get back home!" the fox said, before disappearing with another pop and another cloud of blue mist. Ronii was already gathering her things.

"I'm so sorry, Takahata-san...I was supposed to be back home by now, I forgot all about it," Ronii said, standing. Kairu stood.

"Hey, it's okay. I understand. But...yeah, if you could help me with math, I'd really appreciate it." Kairu said. Ronii felt herself blushing. She felt like a nervous wreck, having everything hitting her all at once...

"Yeah...Yeah, I'll see what I can do. I'm sorry, but I have to go!"

Ronii left the cafe quickly, before breaking out into a run as the rain intensified.

Kairu raised his arm to wave and opened his mouth to say goodbye as Ronii ran out into the pouring rain. Kairu sighed and dropped his arm to the side. Ronii was...unusual today.

'And she left you with the check,' Salamander said, his voice a faint echo as he spoke inside Kairu's mind. Kairu turned too look at Ronii's tea. It was almost gone. Kairu had barely touched his water.

Kairu sat down and picked up his glass, the droplets of water clinging to it making his fingers go cold.

"I really need to find another job..." Kairu said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out what little money he had. As he counted it out, something caught his eye.

Lying on the floor was a pink and white notebook, worn from where it had been used to take notes and from being squeezed into Ronii's crammed schoolbag.

Kairu picked it up. He was tempted to take a look inside, see what she had written.

'Nah...It's probably nothing but notes,'Kairu thought. He slipped the notebook into his bag and stood, placing his money next to his glass and looking out into the rain.

"Man, I don't want to go out there..."

Kiyone Yamanaka glanced up at the clock again. She was supposed to be on her way to work by now. Instead, she was sitting here waiting for her daughter to come home. She had reminded Ronii that she was supposed to be home after practice three times before she had left for school, and yet she still seemed to forget...

As Kiyone sighed, the front door flew open, and in came Ronii, water dripping from her clothes and hair. She was breathing heavily, a sign that she had practically raced home. She was dressed in her soccer jersey and school skirt, which was...interesting.

"There you are! What kept you?" Kiyone asked, as Ronii shut the door and dropped her things, slipping her shoes off onto the mat next to the door. Ronii gave her mother a small, apologetic bow. Always so formal...

"I'm sorry...I got held up at practice, and we decided to duck into Matane's on the way home, and-"

Kiyone's eyebrow went up at the word 'we'.

"We? Who was with you?" she asked, folding her arms over her chest. Ronii looked up from her feet, a hint of red creeping over her cheeks.

"Um...a friend..." Ronii said sheepishly.

"Uh huh. And what would the name of this friend be?" Kiyone asked.

Ronii's face turned a deeper shade of red.

"...K-Kairu Takahata..." she said, her voice hushed. Kiyone sighed, shaking her head.

"Alright, alright, I'll let it slide..." Kiyone said, giving her daughter a small smile. Ronii nodded and picked up her things.

"I'll be down in a minute...gotta change..." she said quietly, and ran upstairs. Kiyone heard her daughter's door slam shut.

Kiyone sighed.

"Poor girl. She's so in love with that kid it's unreal..."

Ronii leaned against her door, trying to keep her heart from beating its way out of her chest. She wasn't sure if it was beating from her run through the rain, or if it had been the fact she had just spent the longest time with Kairu Takahata. Or both...

"...Kairu-kun..." she whispered, her mind racing. It was the longest she had spent with Kairu in a long time. She had spent maybe an hour with him on her first day at her high school, though he was only showing her around because the student body president had been out that day.

Ronii sighed as she undressed, tossing her wet clothes into the hamper and putting on warmer, cleaner clothes. By the time she was brushing her hair, staring into the mirror, she was dressed in jeans and a pink and white t-shirt with a small cartoon-style dragon on the shoulder.

I shouldn't have just ran out like that...I should have asked if he needed me to cover part of the check...Ronii thought, as she pulled her hair up into a ponytail. She studied herself in the mirror for a few seconds before going over to her bag and opening it. She searched for her notebook, hoping to at least knock out part of her assignment before picking a book and...

"Where...?" Ronii started pulling out everything in her bag, a feeling of panic slowly growing in her mind.

"No...Oh, no..." she groaned, upending her bag onto her futon, searching the books and papers for her notebook.

"No!" Ronii threw her bag against the wall and buried her face in her hands. What if Kairu had found it? What if someone else that wasn't so friendly found it...?

Ronii felt herself tearing up. She would be made fun of by everyone...

"Ronii? You have someone here to see you." Ronii's mother said, speaking through the door. Ronii wiped at her eyes.

"Okay..." she said. She stood and went over to her door, hoping that no one had found the notebook.

Ronii started down the stairs. As she neared the bottom, a familiar voice reached her ears.

"...left it at the cafe, yeah."

"I'm glad you brought it back. She's been studying hard for the exams this semester, and I'm sure she's got almost every note she's taken so far this year in here."

Ronii's heart leapt. Could it be...?

Ronii entered the living room.

Kairu was standing at the door, speaking with Ronii's mother. Kiyone turned to look at her, a small smile playing at her lips.

Ronii looked back over at Kairu.

In his hand was her notebook, dry and safe.

"My notebook..." Ronii said, her heart beating faster. What if he had read it?

Kairu smiled and held her notebook up.

"Yeah, you dropped it when you were leaving. I figured I would drop it off on my way home. You probably have-"

Ronii couldn't stop herself from crossing the room and throwing her arms around him. He was still wet, she noticed, as the chill from his wet clothes touched her.

Kairu seemed to go rigid, not expecting the hug. Ronii herself was surprised that she had done it.

"Thank you..." she said, smiling.

"Um...yeah, no problem..." Kairu said, confused. Ronii let Kairu go, and Kairu handed her the notebook.

"I didn't read it or anything. It's all notes, right? Notes make me drowsy." Kairu said. Ronii studied his face for a moment. No blushing, no darting eyes...He seemed to be telling the truth.

"Yeah, notes. But, really, thank you so much...Takahata-san..." Ronii said, smiling brightly, a sense of relief spreading through her. Kairu never seemed like one to lie, and Ronii felt that he was being honest with her.

Kairu smiled back.

"Well, I should be going. I have to get home before-"

A shrill, excited scream filled the room as another person ran past Ronii and hit Kairu with enough force to knock him back a few steps.

"KAIRU-SAN!" said the pink-haired girl that had almost knocked Kairu through the front door.

Ronii sighed.

"Jeimii, ease up on him!" Ronii's mother said, smiling despite her tone. Jeimii let go of Kairu and looked up at him.

Jeimii was Ronii's little sister. It would have been tough to tell if you didn't know them. Jeimii's hair was a few shades darker than Ronii's, with a few pink streaks here and there and at the tips. Her green eyes always had that energetic light in them. She was dressed in a blue t-shirt and jean shorts, her hair in pigtails that bounced and swayed with even the smallest movement. She was highly energetic. Even Kairu himself had problems keeping up with her...

"Hey, Jeimii-chan. You been doing okay?" Kairu asked, placing his hand on her head and mussing up her hair. Jeimii giggled.

"Stop that! Yeah, I've been okay." she said, smiling. She acted like a kid, but many didn't know that she was a year younger than Ronii. Kairu had always liked Jeimii for her energy, and she was cute to boot.

"I should be going. Ronii, remember, nothing stupid. Jeimii, be good." Ronii's mother said. She gave Kairu a look, one that Kairu knew all too well.

"I should be going, too. I'll come back sometime and we'll hang out, 'kay?" Kairu said, smiling at Jeimii. Jeimii gave him another of her smiles and hugged him.

"Alright! I'll see you then!"

Jeimii, without warning, leaned in and kissed Kairu on the cheek. It was a soft kiss, friendly...

"Bye!" Jeimii said, and went back upstairs. Kairu felt himself blushing as he turned to Ronii.

For a moment, she seemed shocked. But it was replaced with a small smile. Had he been seeing things...?

"I'd better get. Your mom's giving another look." Kairu said, smirking. Ronii smiled.

"Okay. And...thanks again. I thought I had lost this for good..." Ronii said, holding up her notebook.

"Yeah, that'd be kinda bad. I'll see you tomorrow?" Ronii nodded.

"Yeah. Tomorrow."

Kairu gave Ronii another smile and left, laughing to himself.

Jeimii shut her door and sighed, smiling. It had been a while since she had seen Kairu. It had been even longer since she had hugged him.

"And I kissed him...!" she whispered, her heart beating quickly. She'd always had a crush on Kairu. He was good-looking, kind...

Jeimii's smile faded. But he was an elementalist...

Jeimii walked over to her bed and sat down, drawing her knees to her chin and holding her legs to her chest. She couldn't be like that...

They'll find out eventually...a voice in her head said to her. Jeimii shook her head.

"They won't...I just have to keep hiding it..." she whispered. She closed her eyes, and pictured Kairu's face, smiling and warm. It made her smile. It made her happy.

But even so, she felt that sadness that she always felt inside, something that others didn't, couldn't, know...

Ronii shut her door behind her and sighed, hugging her notebook to her chest. She was glad to have it back. She was still worried that Kairu might have looked inside, had seen what several of the pages held, but she was sure he hadn't looked...

Ronii's heart beat faster. She had never Kairu in her home before. It was a new feeling. But that kiss Jeimii had given him...He seemed flustered. She'd never seen him blush like that, either...Was there something she was missing?

Ronii shook her head. She wasn't going to let it get to her. She was glad to have her notebook back, and she had gotten to spend time with Kairu. She had always wanted that...

Kairu kept his eyes looking straight ahead of him. He was still trying to sort out what had happened to him, what he had felt...Why did that kiss affect like this?

Kairu sighed and slung his bag and his jacket over his shoulder, stuffing his free hand in his pocket.

"Some day...Sooome day." he said, grinning. As he stopped at a crosswalk, he looked up into the rain. Somehow, it didn't bother him anymore. It felt nice, really. It was like being...hugged? Was that the word he was looking for? No, like being showered with...freshness...really wet...freshness...

'I'm not even going to ask why you're calling it that,' Salamander said.

The clouds seemed to part quickly as Kairu watched the clouds, and the bright sunlight shed itself on the wet streets around Kairu. The heat felt comforting to Kairu, and he closed his eyes, taking it in for a moment as he reflected on the day he had had.

"Maybe...maybe today hasn't been so bad after all." Kairu said to himself. As he continued on his way home, the sun drove the clouds off, and sunlight beamed down on the city, warm and comforting.

This chapter has been edited fairly heavily from its original form. Lots of corrections, changes, and additions that allow it to fit better with the later chapters. I'm hoping to have more chapters up this weekend, so keep an eye out for those!