CHAPTER 38 : Memories Under the Snow
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"""Pardon the intrusion~""" the three, Sora, Hina and Takeshi said in unison as they entered Yuu and Aoi's house.

As per agreement post-exam, the three met up and went to Yuu and Aoi's house to, well… spend some time complimentary of rejecting the idea of spending it on Christmas.

"Make yourselves at home, Takeshi, what kind of drink do you like?"

"Eh?! Ah— uhm…" the sudden question just right after entering the house left Takeshi surprised and confused, so he just went ahead and answered, "L-Lemon Tea…"

"Oh… I didn't quite see that coming…" Yuu was honestly surprised at what Takeshi just answered. "Well, I think we have lemons, do we, Aoi?!" Yuu raised his voice a bit to where Aoi is, the kitchen, since he's still leading them to the living room.

"Yeah, we do~!" Aoi replied back immediately.

"Well then—" coming back a few minutes after with 5 cups to the living room, each with different drinks to their different tastes.

"What are we gonna do?" Hina asked

"Yeah, I mean, we can't just stay here all day." Yuu answered.

"Then what? Go to the mall or something? Amusement park? Is that an option, 'cause if it is then I'm in!" Hina enthusiastically suggested them, but all immediately came to an agreement.

"Well, I don't really mind going to an Amusement Park, do you, Aoi?"

"Nope, I'm happy to be with everyone at least~"

"Well then, Amusement Park it is!" Sora exclaimed.

Why do I feel like I'm out of place here…? Takeshi thought to himself.

And so, the five of them went to the Amusement Park, the same Amusement Park that Yuu and Aoi had their first date at. Well, in Takeshi's case, he has been walking behind them, just like a shadow. 

"Well then— let's start!" Yuu exclaimed as he gave the tickets and wristbands to them.

"Then— see you later, Aoi. Take care~" Yuu gave her a slight peck on the cheek before she went ahead to Hina.

"Eh? Why?!" surprised as he could be right after Yuu and Sora just let Hina and Aoi leave in front of them.

"Why, you ask. I mean, why did we even invite you if we're just gonna act like couples?" Sora answered him

"That's right. Besides, this day is to spend it as friends, not couples. That's why— let's go!" and as surprising as it is, Yuu was suddenly filled with enthusiasm as he pulled them.

All 5 of them, even if they were seperated was playing as much as they could and having as much fun as they could have. There are some coincidental times though that they stumble upon each other for the same ride. Although, that would just lead to them doing it together.

Time has passed and the sun slowly sank. The five of them gathered once again at a restaurant immediately right after sending their texts.

"Wah~ that was fun~" Hina, as always, full of energy was skipping when they met up again. Aoi beside her on the other hand was just walking normally with still quite an enthusiastic smile on her face, and also was panting a little. After all, she was practically spoiled into doing nothing for the past few weeks, so running around, going to places to places with someone so full of energy like Hina would leave someone like that really quite tired.

"But, I'm getting quite hungry~" Takeshi squirmed.

"Yeah, let's eat before we go home? Yuu suggested."

"Then, let's go~!" Hina pulled them into the restaurant literally right in front of them.

A few minutes later, all of them had almost finished eating. And as they had sat pretty near the glass on the edge of the restaurant., they can pretty much see everything that's happening outside. So as she was sitting next to it, Hina noticed something immediately.

"Ah— Snow!" Hina exclaimed as she put both palms on the glass as snow slowly fell from the sky.

"Yeah. It's beautiful." Sora beside her said so as well.

"It's nostalgic, isn't it, Sora?"

"Hm?"

"This snow, I mean. It's just like that time…." Hina said as she warmly smiled, as she leans her head to Sora's shoulder.

"That time?" although, only two of them knew what happened on that time she was mentioning, so the other three were practically clueless.

"Ah, right. None of you knows how we got together, right?"

"Yeah. It's been almost a year." Sora gazed to the glass to witness the beautiful snow slowly flowing down as he held Hina's hand.

"It's almost a year, huh…"

"Around 11 months ago…"

"That long, huh…" Yuu put up a wry smile as Sora had begun talking about their past. And he immediately knew that this wouldn't be short.

"I confessed to her. At that time, she was like an Ice Queen to me, I couldn't faze her, and she isn't like the other girls. But that alone was the reason why I fell for her. The way she treated me differently, not falling for my charms was quite sad though. But that alone made me sure that… I wanted her…"

"Eh? Seriously? You seriously thought something like that?" Hina exclaimed with a surprised face and half open mouth, seems like she as well didn't know how Sora even fell for her.

"That's right. Ah— did I not tell you that?"

You didn't! Besides, you literally just told me that I'm cute and wanted to date me for that single reason. That's why I immediately rejected you!"

"Ehh—...." Sora replied with a poor act of shock. "But, you didn't really just leave me immediately, right?"

"I know that, idiot. Don't remind me, it's too embarrassing…."

"Haha— is it? If I remember correctly, you asked me—"

"Why did you want me….? Right?" Hina cut his words off.

"Y-Yeah… and my answer was and is correct."

"Yeah, I didn't expect it either, you know."

"It was 'Because I want you, and I fell that— no, I know that whenever I'm with you, I'll always feel my best! Besides, if you do accept me, I'll make sure to make you fall for me!' or something like that."

"And he really did make me fall for him."

"Eh? I did?" Sora asked, but now, he was genuinely surprised.

"Yeah. Even weirder is that… you didn't even do anything yet I fell for you…"

"Really? I did?"

"Yeah— why do you think I can easily say 'I love you' to you now?" as highly as she think she was when she exclaimed that, her face immediately turned bright red. "...or not…."

"Haha— then good! Thank goodness… I really thought I wasn't good enough for you… but still, the snow that time was the best I seen though."

"It was just the usual snow, but yeah, for me, it felt different too."

"When it suddenly snowed, I lent you my jersey because I felt you'd be too cold."

"I know… and I remember the warmth of that… as if I'm being hugged by you…"

"Is that so? Actually, you haven't actually returned that, you know?"

"..." Hina averted her gaze to the side to feign ignorance to it.

"And here I finally thought nothing like this will happen…" Takeshi frowned from the side. "Whatever— I'm going home. This snow might get stronger, and my parents might get worried."

"Sorry you had to witness that, Takeshi-kun. Take care—" Yuu warmly said to him as he waved him goodbye.,

"Well then, you two. As Takeshi hsd said, this snow might get stronger, so let's go home?"

"Ah— right."

"Well then, goodbye—" the four bid themselves farewell, as Sora held Hina's hand tightly as they left.

"Hey, Sora…"

"What, Hina?"

"I'll finally get to say it to you… I'm sorry for taking so long…."

"What do you mean…."

"I love you, Sora… that's why, let's do this dating thing seriously from now on!"

"I don't really mind if we stay as it is, but… I love you too, Hina…" Sora held her hand tighter yet more gentler and warmly.

"Ah, but—"

"Mm?" Hina gently pulled Sora from his shoulder to lever her face. "Chu~" and landed a quick peck to his cheek.

"..." caught by surprise, Sora placed his hand where Hina kissed him and pouted a little, "Yuu really did tell you my greatest weakness…"

"Hehe—" Hina smirked, but Sora wasn't done yet.

"But—" and in a swift and clean motion, Sora leaned downwards as he gently turned her face towards his and gave her a kiss to the lips, not a peck.

"..." the two stared at each other for a few seconds after pulling away 

"We have the same weakness—"

"That was unfair, idiot." Hina shyly said as she tried to hide her face that showed so much embarrassment, but it wasn't enough. Her face was so red that it even reached her ears.

"And that was quite embarrassing… is Yuu seriously doing things like this…?" he just can't help but wonder, after all, the two of them, despite not dating with mutual feelings, were still together for a longer time, but despite that, Yuu and Aoi was even more than them. And more than that, it wasn't just Hina who was embarrassed, Sora's face as well was bright red.

Although, on the other hand, as the two, Yuu and Aoi were going home, Yuu immediately realized something.

"I… I was— we were supposed to have hot pot, right…?"

"Haha— don't mind it— there's still New Year~"

"Haa— I just hope I don't forget it that time."

That ended their day with the most fun as possible, even for the single dude with them.

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