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Winds of Love

By Dan Layman

Romance

I like your shirt

Hey there, Layman here, bringing you something a little different!

Yotsuba&! is probably my favorite manga of all time. It's just just so offbeat and oddball that it fits my tastes perfectly! It always cracks me up without fail every time I read it.

So naturally it takes me years after I discover it to get down to writing Fanfiction about it.

For this outing, we'll be focusing on the character of Fuuka Ayase, the middle of the three Ayase sisters for those who don't know. (I kinda have a soft spot for her cause she's usually the butt of a few jokes.)

So enough wasting time, on with the fun!

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

"Crap, I'm so late!" Fuuka muttered to herself as she furiously peddled her bike back to her home. She and her friends had been hanging out in town and had lost track of time; it was now early evening and the sun had sunk quite a bit below the horizon. "If only Suuko hadn't brought those cards," she continued, "but Sachiko insisted we needed four players and Hana-chan did her 'Neko-chan Onegai' thing (they know I can't say no to that), what was I supposed to do?!"

She turned the corner to her street, still engrossed in conversation with herself, "Though it's not like anyone really cares if I'm a little late getting home, they know I'm a responsible young woman, unlike Asagi... I wonder if Dad'll be home tonight? He's been working late nights recently, so if he's there-"

Which is why she didn't notice the person directly in her path until the last second.

"AACK!" she cried, swerving just in time to miss a boy around her age. To his credit he jumped aside just before she ran him over, even managing to keep his balance with the large gym bag he was carrying. Fuuka on the other hand-

CLANG!

-ran into a telephone poll. (Though to her credit she was thrown off her bike and only had a few scratches and a sore bottom to worry about.)

"Owwwwww," she whined, rubbing her sore posterior, "I'll probably feel that in the morning..."

"Hey, you OK?" She turned to see the boy she'd almost ran over fretting over her, "That looked like a nasty spill you took; you didn't break anything did you? It doesn't look like you broke anything, and you don't have any deep cuts, but internal bleeding and a concussion are always a possibility-"

"I'm fine, I'm totally fine!" she reassured him, picking herself up to prove her point, "See? No worse for wear!"

"Are you sure?" the boy persisted, "How many fingers many I holding up?"

He held up his pointer finger and was slowly waving it from side to side.

"Just one. Um...am I being scolded?" Apparently having answered his question sufficiently, the boy sighed in relief.

"Thank God, you really are fine; I don't think I could live with myself if you got hurt on my account."

"Good to know," Fuuka said, sweatdropping a little at the exaggeration. He takes things so seriously... "I'm Fuuka Ayase by the way."

"Nice to meet you," he said politely, having managed to compose himself, "I guess that explains your shirt then."

"Hm?" She looked down at her t-shirt, which had the character Fuu (Wind) on the front. "Oh, this?" He nodded, and she rubbed the back of her head sheepishly, "I know, so corny, right? Everyone says I have a bad fashion sense..."

"No, I think it's cool."

"Oh...really?" This threw Fuuka for a loop, since normally her family wasn't any better (which included Koiwai-san and Yostsuba next door) and her friends just wondered why she never wore anything but t-shirts.

"Yeah," he said as though it were obvious, then did a double take and saw the confusion in Fuuka's face, "Why, you don't think so?"

"It's not that," Fuuka said as she continued to process this new development, "it's just that no one really complimented my t-shirts before; this is kind of a new experience for me..."

"Really?" Now it was the boy's turn to be thrown for a loop, "Not even your family?"

Memories of Asagi bluntly saying her shirts were dumb (sometimes accompanied with a chop to the head), Yotsuba blindly and exuberantly agreeing with her, and Ena gently driving the point home ran through her head.

Needless to say, there was quite an awkward silence between the two teens that seemed to last for an eternity, Fuuka looking gloomy and the boy looking sheepish.

Somewhere in the distance, a bird cried out.

"I...should probably get going," the boy said, reluctantly turning to leave. He looked back at her once more, "It was nice meeting you Fuuka-san, even if it was my fault you crashed."

"Yeah...," Fuuka said absently, unpleasant memories still running through her mind. However, the fact that the boy was leaving somehow managed to break through the fog and register with the middle Ayase daughter. "Wait, you didn't tell me your name!"she called as he walked up the road.

"It's Hibiki Fujisaki," he called back, waving, "See you around sometime, Fuuka-san!"

Fuuka picked up her bike as she watched Hibiki disappear around the corner (the worst that happened to it was a few small dents and some chipped paint).

"Huh, he also has the Wind in his name...," she said to herself, a tiny smile creeping its way onto her face, "And he liked my t-shirt too, bonus!"

She hopped back on her bike and peddled down the street, humming satisfactorily.

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

So, how it is so far? Of course Hibiki doesn't have that much character yet, you only just met him! But rest assured he will not somehow turn into a Mary-Sue! (On that note, it's been a while since I tried my hand at a semi-serious romance fic, hope I don't botch it!) Also, did I get Fuuka's character right? I kinda hope so, since she's going to be the main focus of this story.

Anyways, here's a quick primer for this story. The chapters are most likely going to be short like this, since most of the stories in the manga are fairly self contained and don't last past a single chapter. Also, this is mostly going to focus on Fuuka and Hibiki, though the other characters in the manga will be featured as prominently as the story requires. (In fact, we might see the rest of the Ayase family next chapter!) And lastly, I should be updating this on a fairly regular schedule if I can get enough written beforehand. I'm hoping two weeks between chapters is enough leeway to work with.

So until next chapter, Hasta la Vista!

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