*FEEL THE POWER!*
I wake up to the loud sound of my Masked Avenger alarm clock. I press the snooze button and slowly drift off back to sleep.
Just five more minutes…
I can feel the warm sunlight seeping through the cracks of my window blinders. I move my hand around my bed to find a pillow or something to shield my face from the brightness.
Where did that pillow go?
It seemed that my pillow had seemingly disappeared. It must have fallen off the bed or something I suppose. I try my best to ignore the sunlight and drift back off to sleep, but the alarm clock begins to ring again, along with the sound of shallow snoring.
Wait a minute…
This weird snoring began to pique my curiosity. It wasn't me, I think. Come to think of it, my room feels different today. I could smell the faint scent of strawberries or something, but I don't ever remember eating candy and leaving the wrappers around. Dr. Mori did mention that the accident may leave some unexpected side effects on my senses, but the smell and noise sounded like it was right next to me.
I must be dreaming or something.
I turn my body away from the light beaming from the window and I see someone lying right next to me, with their back turned towards me. With my eyes half-open, it must have been a girl due to the long black hair draped over my pillow that I couldn't find. For some reason though, that long black hair looked oddly familiar, like I had seen this specific view before somewhere. Yes! I remember now. It seemed like Yuki-san from my class was in my bed right now. I close my eyes and go back to sleep.
"EHHHHHHHHH!" I screamed in disbelief.
I jumped out of my bed immediately and try to find anything I could use as a weapon close by to no avail. I could only see a red stapler on my nightstand.
T-This must be a nightmare or something!
I rub my eyes once more to make sure that I wasn't just seeing things. I feel a dull pain on my arm as I pinch myself. Yep. There is a girl in my tiny bed. This is definitely not a dream.
"Hey…I'm still trying to sleep after last night…" let out the mysterious girl in a raspy voice.
I frantically look for a weapon once more, and all I could see was that red stapler.
"G-Get out of my bed you…you stranger!" as I pointed my measly stapler at it.
That…thing in my bed must've been a succubus or a demon! I inspect myself to see that everything was still in order. It must've tried to suck my life force!
I hoped my words would get a reaction from the girl but it was pointless. She lets out a long sigh and her silhouette rises up from the bed, only for the sunlight to finally reveal what she looked like.
There she was. The school's Ice Witch. It was none other than Akane Yuki in the flesh. There was no mistake - it was the woman I fell for. She was sitting in my bed, wearing my school's white dress shirt loosely enough that I could see the shape of her bosom. My white dress shirt fit her perfectly; showing all the curves of her body almost like it was an extension of her. Her long black hair was flowing down her shoulders, though right now it was rather messy from bed-head. She lets out a small yawn and rubs her eyes with her delicate hands, and I can see the same doll-like hazel eyes that I was enamored with. The sunlight was shining brightly, and it was like I was looking at an angel that just fell from heaven.
"Why are you being so mean to your girlfriend…?" she yawns. "After all we did last night!" she then cutely pouted.
Suddenly I could feel my face was getting warm.
"WHATTTTTTT?!" I screamed in confusion.
D-Did I do something l-lewd with her l-last night?! N-Not that I don't mind if it was Yuki-san!
I rack through my memory and all I could recall was it was my first day back to school. Nothing really notable happened the whole day. I would remember Yuki-san coming to my house, and definitely remember her sleeping with me even if I had a brain injury.
"Why are you being so loud Kazuki-kun? Aren't you tired from studying all night?" she said in a confused tone.
S-Study?! W-What does she mean by "study?!"
I had heard of euphemisms for "studying" from couples around my school. They would say they were studying when in reality they went to secret places to do "it." I just wished I could have at least remembered it.
"S-Study?! You mean that we-" I couldn't finish my sentence.
My embarrassment and shock is at an all-time high. I couldn't believe that Yuki-san was actually this sort of person. There was no way this girl could be the same person I knew.
"You mean what?" said imposter Yuki-san. She was still in a sleepy daze. She rubs her eyes a bit more, until she finally understood what I was talking about.
"Y-You pervert!" as she threw a pillow at my face.
I brush off the attack and ready my stapler to do…something.
Why'd I grab a stapler?!
"A-All we did was go over some math and English you pervert!" Her pale skin really turned red when she blushed. "T-There's no way I would do "t-that" with y-you!"
"At least…not yet…" she mumbles off. She fidgets with her fingers and looks away from me.
"A-And put some pants on Kazuki!" as she points out.
I look down and notice that I was still in my underwear.
What is going on?!
This must be a prank!
Obviously this must be some sort of elaborate joke. Maybe I was on a prank show or a cruel reality TV show. I scan my eyes around my room for some cameras but it didn't seem like there were any. Maybe Daisuke is blackmailing Yuki-san with something and ordered her to play a trick on me.
That knucklehead! He's gone too far this time!
Or maybe it was Dr. Mori?! After all, she's the most obvious choice with all the power she has! This must be part of the rehab or an experiment she was conducting. There's no way that Akane Yuki is sitting across from me right now, in my room, on my floor, wearing my clothes.
"Uh…are you okay Kazuki? I'm starting to get worried about you…" she says with concern.
"W-What?" as I try to snap out of my dazed and confused state.
"Idiot! L-Listen for once!" she pouts.
I got to admit, it is pretty adorable when she pouted. It was exactly how I expected the real Yuki-san to look like. The real one would never do that though, since I only saw her usual cold stare. It was time for me to find out what this imposter was doing in my room.
"Who are you and why do you look like Akane Yuki from my class?" I asked.
She looked at me with confusion, like I was the one acting strange.
"W-What?! I'm your g-girlfriend dummy!" She felt embarrassed stating that. "Of course I look like Akane Yuki, because I AM her idiot!"
T-There's no way…
I extended my hand slowly to touch her, but she leans back and stretches. I grab something soft and warm.
Yep. This is real.
"Kazuki!" as she slaps my hand away.
Her face turns bright red like a tomato and she pouts some more. It seems like she was finally fully awake.
"I-I don't know what's your deal right now Kazuki…but we need to stop fooling around! Today's the date you promised me."
I had zero recollection of ever promising to go on a date with Yuki-san. Everything happening right now was definitely real. There's no way this was a dream. I still couldn't believe that Yuki-san is apparently my girlfriend!
Do I play along…?
I grab my phone. It was the same one I always had, including the small scuffs on the back. There was no way this could be recreated. On the screen was a reminder that today was apparently our date.
This can't be real!
"Oh! I was supposed to help mom with breakfast today too! We'll be ready in ten minutes Kazuki! Until then, wash up!" as she leaves my room.
I peek my head outside of my room and take note of my surroundings. This was definitely my house. I slowly tiptoe to the living room and I see Yuki-san making breakfast along with my mother. Yuki-san was wearing my apron, and even though it's old and a bit embarrassing due to it being based on the Masked Avenger, she wore it with pride.
I'm thinking too much.
Yuki-san notices I finally came and motions me to sit down on the dining table. I can see that my mother was fond of Yuki-san, as she was holding her own, with her skills impressing my mother.
"Dig in!" as Yuki-san handed me a plate of omelet rice with ketchup in the shape of a heart. It even had our initials written on it. It was honestly too cute to eat.
No! I-It must be poisoned!
"Kazuki!" my mother scolds me while brandishing a butter knife. I instinctively feel like I need to take a bite. I'll reluctantly take a bite; if it is poisoned I'll spit it out. My spoon is shaking as I take a spoonful of the omelet. I see that Yuki-san was patiently awaiting my reaction.
"D-Did you like it…?" she asks.
As I place the spoon in my mouth, my taste buds explode. To my surprised, it was absolutely delicious! The omelet melts in my mouth, with the egg and ketchup becoming a tasty combination full of flavor. It single-handedly becomes the most delicious thing I've ever tasted.
I eat more and more, with each bite more flavorful than the last. I hear a quiet sigh of relief from Yuki-san. I still had one pressing issue though.
How could mother be okay with a maiden like Yuki-san staying over, and especially sleeping in the same bed?!
I finish the omelet rice and feel stuffed.
"Uh…can someone tell me why is Yuki-san staying here with us?" I nonchalantly asked.
Both of the women looked at each other in confusion. Finally they direct their attention to me with an annoyed face.
"Kazuki, Akane-chan is living with us. Don't you remember? She lives alone and it's not safe for a fair maiden like her to live by herself!" explained my mother.
"Oh mother, I can take care of myself, and as long as I'm with my darling I'll be alright!" Yuki-san started blushing.
They seem like good friends.
"Oh yes! You two have a date today don't you? Head off! I'll clean up. You two don't want to be late!" said my mother.
Mother's encouraging us?!
Yuki-san grabs me and we get ready to head off to our date. Apparently it was at an amusement park. I try my best to get out of it for my own safety since there was no telling what this imposter Yuki-san could do, but my mother smiles and ignores my wishes.
"Let's go Kazuki!" said Yuki-san with a smile.
We finally arrived at the amusement park. The place was called "Felis-land." I haven't been here since I was a kid on a school trip, and it seemed completely different to me now. The mascot, Felis-chan the cat was new. Felis-chan according to the guidebook provided was a "sophisticated feline," sporting a monocle and an adorable top hat. Of course, Yuki-san wanted to take a picture with him. It was packed today, and I could see kids and other couples walking around.
I still can't believe I'm here with Yuki-san on a date.
Yuki-san pulls out a map and notes down all the attractions. Her eyes were beaming with all the various rides and activities this place had.
"I did a little research before coming here, there's so much to do!"
Yuki-san takes out a large planner in the shape of a cat's head. I could see little post-its and papers sticking out of it. She turns to today's date, and it was completely filled out with paragraphs of information.
A "little" research.
"C'mon, I wanna ride the rollercoasters!"
Based on the calm demeanor that Yuki-san gave off, I didn't expect her to be into thrill rides. She grabs my hand suddenly.
"What are you a baby Kazuki?" she teases with laughter.
She's nothing like the Yuki-san I know…
The Yuki-san I knew was a cool beauty. Calm, collected, and sophisticated. She was the ideal woman that oozed maturity. This imposter was almost the complete opposite. Despite my reluctance, I feel comfortable around her. Although it was a different vibe altogether, maybe this was a different side to Yuki-san's personality that no one knows.
"This one!" she stops us.
Just my luck…
I tilt my head high up to see our first ride of the day- "The Purr-ilous Plunge." I felt nauseous just looking at the sign. My stomach was churning from the sight of the many loops and drops this ride had. I look to Yuki-san and her reaction was the complete opposite. Her eyes lit up like a kid seeing candy.
I nearly throw up my breakfast from the ride.
I need a minute…
"Look!" Yuki-san points to a large screen.
This was one of the rides that had cameras to take people's reactions at certain points during the ride. I scan the screen to see the two of us right before a certain heart-attack inducing drop.
"You look so scared!" she teases.
Looking at my photo, I was screaming for dear life. Yuki-san however was all smiles the whole time, so carefree. I could still feel my legs shaking, and my heart was still pounding like a jackhammer.
"Wow Kazuki, you look like you're going to pass out." Yuki-san notices.
"A little." I say back to her.
She tugs my arm and begins to drag me somewhere.
"How about the arcade? We can go back to the rollercoasters later!"
I follow her to the big arcade in the center of the amusement park.
Now this is more my element.
It was probably the biggest arcade I'd ever seen. All around were the various machines, ranging from racing games, to old classics like Pack-man and Space Invasion.
The bright lights and loud sounds were probably over stimulating Yuki-san. She was racking her head around what to do first. Many of the games were occupied by kids and other couples.
Maybe I should follow their example…?
I look around for any available two-player machines but they were all taken.
I notice that Yuki-san had disappeared from my sight.
She was just here a second ago!
I look frantically around the crowded arcade, and finally notice in the corner of my eye that she was standing in front of one of the skill crane games.
"Stare…" she mumbled quietly.
Her hands were pressed upon the glass of the machine. Inside was a bunch of Felis-chan plushies scattered about. If you wanted to know a secret from someone who wasted quite a few quarters from this as a kid, these games were rigged. It would either be a money sink or sheer luck. Based on what's happened in the last few hours, I could either be the luckiest person alive, or truly drew the short end of the stick.
"I got this!" Yuki-san pumps herself up.
She puts in a token and was determined to get the plushie. She moves the claw directly beneath an open plushie, and presses the grab button. The claw slowly moves down towards the plushie, but Yuki-san looks visibly disappointed when it comes back up empty. She lined up everything perfectly, but the plushie was out of her grasp.
Yuki-san turns to me with her puppy-dog eyes on the verge of tears. She was pulling at my heart strings.
How could I refuse?
"It's impossible though Kazuki!" she pouts.
This was an opportunity for me to redeem my pride as a man from all the screaming on the rollercoaster. Although I still had my reservations at this imposter Yuki-san, I couldn't resist trying to be a hero, even if it was something menial like this.
"Watch this." as I put in a token.
Based on experience, you'd want to get ones that are clear and unobstructed. Additionally, the claw should grab onto the center of mass, or something it could hook onto like a tag. I line up my claw on the one Yuki-san attempted to get. Yuki-san grabs my arm to her side, unable to bear the anxiety and anticipation that I could actually get it. I look down onto the controls and notice that the timer was slowly counting down to zero.
Time runs out and the claw slowly descended onto the plushie. It misses the center of mass!
"Oh no!" Yuki-san quietly shouts.
I'm sorry Yuki-san.
As the claw contracts, it manages to hook onto the Felis-chan! The Felis-chan plushie had a small monocle that could conveniently be enough for a claw to hook onto. I couldn't believe it, and neither did Yuki-san. We both look to each other and realize how much of a small miracle we had just witnessed. Our astonishment is broken when I can feel Yuki-san wrap her arms around me with a hug. I feel her chest pressed on my body.
"I knew you could do it!"
I try to compose myself and reach down to the small door to retrieve the prize. If anything, those hours at the arcade with Daisuke is paying off big time. There's nothing like a feeling you'd get from seeing a smile from the girl you've had a crush on for the past year. I feel a warm sensation in my chest. I could feel the blush rushing to my face, but I try to play it off as cool.
"Y-Yeah! It was totally part of the plan!" I smile.
She raises her eyebrow and scans me up and down.
"Thank you." as Yuki-san smiles back.
Maybe this isn't a dream, and this is the real Akane Yuki…
It was getting late towards the afternoon now. I was having so much fun with Yuki-san that I've lost track of time. At this point I felt like I just wanted to drop on my bed and drift off to sleep but I can't. We still had one more ride to go on according to Yuki-san's schedule. It was the Ferris Wheel. I step forward but then feel a light drag of my arm behind me. Yuki-san's head was low, and she was twirling her hair.
"What's wrong Yuki-san?" I asked her.
"U-Uh…it's getting late, l-let's skip this one and head on home!" said Yuki-san nervously.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The cool, calm, and energetic Akane Yuki was fine riding thrill rides, but was afraid of the most peaceful ride in the whole park.
The tables have turned.
"C'mon, what are you scared? How can you go on the rollercoasters multiple times but be afraid of this?"
"I-I'm not afraid! Fine!" she sighs. "We'll finish the date with this ride."
It was almost closing time for the park, and we were the last two people on the ride. The ride operator made an exception for us, and gave me a subtle "thumbs up" from behind as we entered the passenger car. I can hear Yuki-san mumbling words of encouragement to herself as she was hugging the cat plushie tightly.
Look at this view.
From up here you could see the entire park. I start to recount our whole day, and I wasn't sure what to think of it. Despite the tranquil mood, there was some tension and anxiety in the air.
Is this real?
Is Akane Yuki really sitting across from me?
This can't be a dream…is it?
"Hey Kazuki?" Yuki-san interrupts my train of thought.
"D-Did you have fun today?" she asks.
I definitely did have quite the memorable experience today. For some strange reason I just didn't have the courage to say it aloud. Finally, I muster up my guts and say:
"Yes! It was the most fun I've ever had."
She lets out a sign of relief. Yuki-san smiles brightly, with her fear of the Ferris Wheel overcame by my reply.
"I'm glad." she says.
"But…since we're a couple, why are you sitting across from me dummy!" she pouts.
That is true; couples usually sit next to each other don't they? I couldn't help but feel the sudden romantic atmosphere in the car right now. Yuki-san slowly stands up to try to move over to my side, but she stumbles and falls onto me, with her arms holding the handlebars behind me. Her face is close enough that I can feel her warm breath. I can see deep through her hazel eyes, and we both realize what is to happen.
This is the scene where the couple kisses just like in the movies. The day has come Kazuki! Don't mess this up, but I've never kissed a girl before? What do I-
Before I knew it I can feel her warm lips press upon mine. Her initiative took me by surprise, but I was glad she did. I can feel our hearts racing together, beating together as if we were one. I feel at ease, like all the worries of my life were gone in an instant.
So this is what it feels like…
Yuki-san lets go and falls next to me and rests her head on my shoulder. We didn't talk for the rest of the ride; we didn't need to. We see the sunset from this view, just the two of us.
We came home pretty late, but we managed to make one of the last trains.
Yuki-san however, still had enough energy somehow. The moment she came home she immediately helped my mother prepare dinner. Tonight was hamburg steak, one of my favorite dishes. Usually I was the one making the patties with my mother besides me, but the two women told me to sit out this time.
I can at least set the table.
"Dig in!" as Yuki-san places a big plate of hamburg steak in front of me.
Like the omelet earlier this morning, this was the best hamburg steak I've ever had. The hamburg melted in my mouth, as the ground meat was so juicy and tender. It was probably the same recipe my mother had been using, but for some reason, it just tasted better. Yuki-san patted herself on the back for the effort. I couldn't wait to call it a day and jump into my bed.
"What is it Yuki-san?"
Despite my fatigue, I wasn't exactly feeling that tired now that I was in bed. Yuki-san told me to scoot over to make room for her on my tiny full sized bed. I look up to my familiar ceiling, the one I've known forever as I noticed the small dent I made in a panel when I was a kid. It was kinda weird to have a girl sleeping next to me, but I wasn't going to complain about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Are my parents really okay with this?
I could sense that something was troubling Yuki-san. Neither of us could sleep yet.
"Why did you call me Yuki-san all day? We're a couple now so there's no need to be so formal right?" she asks.
She had a point.
Couples and close friends are on a first name basis aren't they?
"It's because this seems so surreal to me." I tell her truthfully.
Yuki-san was confused and she turns her head to get a closer look at me. Her eyes make contact with mine, and my heart flutters when I see that her eyes were showing only one feeling – concern.
"It's because yesterday you and I barely ever talked. After my incident I never thought this would be possible." I explain.
Yuki-san pauses for a moment to compose her thoughts. She rolls over to be on top of me.
"Face it Kazuki." she points at me. "You and I are together. This has been one of the happiest moments of my life and I love-" until she stopped herself. Her face was turning bright red, and she buries her face into her hands. Yuki-san promptly rolls back to her previous position next to me.
"I-I mean, I'll like it if you would call me by my first name…please?"
She turns her head and gives me a bright smile. I realize how fortunate of a situation I was in. The "Ice Witch" of Kasumigaseki High School was lying right next to me. She was with me, and I was with her.
"I'm sorry…Akane. Maybe I'm just feeling tired from today."
I reach for the light switch and get ready to go to sleep.
"Good night Akane."
"Good night Kazuki…" as I feel her soft lips against my left cheek.
"Sweet dreams." she whispers.
My eyes feel heavy and I slowly drift off to sleep. I'm going to sleep well, knowing that I will wake up next to the girlfriend of my dreams.