Feelings Unexpressed

Chapter 4

The early morning sun peeked through the windows of Yui's apartment. It was Saturday, the perfect day for someone to sleep in. Not Yui, though. She was already awake, staring through one of the ceiling's skylights from her futon. She just wasn't able to sleep all that well the past couple of nights. Her mind was too busy thinking about one thing: Kyouko. Since straightening things out with her after she confessed, she couldn't help dwelling on things still. It was as if Kyouko's confession had slowly changed her.

Yui sighed as thoughts of the previous school day lingered in her mind. Kyouko was acting no different than she usually did. Despite what she set in motion, she still acted like the fun-loving and goofy girl that everyone knew her as. Her bright personality, her glistening blue eyes, her shining smile...

A blush appeared on Yui's cheeks as she felt a tingle in her chest. She had never reacted this way when it came to Kyouko! Her body tensed up, clenching her fingers and toes in embarrassment even though there wasn't a single person around to witness it. What was going on with her? Thinking about her friend was making her feel funny. He cheeks would flush, she'd feel a bit weaker as her body would feel all fuzzy, she'd stutter a bit more...it made no sense to her. Unless...

"Is this...what love is supposed to feel like?"

She placed a hand on her chest. The thumping of her heart felt slightly faster than it normally did. This just made her feel even weirder. She couldn't help but think of Akari and Chinatsu. Is this how they felt when they first got together? Yui groaned and covered her face, turning over to the side in the process. She felt confused and unsure. She may be considered the Amusement Club's most responsible and mature member, but not even she could stand up to the strange powers of love so easily.

"What should I do...It's not like this is some kind of passing phase..." She curled up a bit, a look of concern on her face. Perhaps it was time she and Kyouko have a serious talk.

As time progressed closer to the afternoon, Chitose found her happily making her way back to Ayano's house. Today was going to be an entire day spent out with Ayano, just as she'd promised. She was going to try her best to get her to smile again and hopefully regain her delusional abilities in the process. After returning home from Ayano's the previous night she tested herself to see if the current state of things really was the cause of her problem. She quickly got her answer when not even a picture of Ayano and Kyouko together was enough to cause even the slightest nosebleed.

"I'm sure once Ayano-chan starts feeling better, everything will go back to normal...Though with Toshino-san in love with someone else, I wonder if it would still be alright..." Chitose tapped her chin as she thought about it, before long arriving at her destination. After ringing her doorbell, Chitose patiently waited for Ayano to come out. She figured it might take a little longer for Ayano to answer this time around, given her current situation. After a couple of minutes, though, Ayano finally emerged from her home. She wore her favorite blouse coupled with her light blue dress shirt, the sleeves folded up to her elbows. Chitose remembered this outfit from when the two of them first went to Comiket with Kyouko and Yui. She always did think it looked cute on her.

Ayano fidgeted slightly. "W-Well?...Do I look okay?"

"I think you look wonderful, Ayano-chan. Are you all ready to go?" Chitose smiled. She knew Ayano was trying her best. Ayano nodded, turning around and locking the door before hoisting her bag up over her shoulder. Chitose stood close to her as they began their journey into town, thinking of what they should do together that could be relaxing or fun. Perhaps some conversation could start lightening her mood.

"This'll be fun. We can take a look around the shopping district and have lunch around there, too. Oh! And isn't the arcade in that area as well? We can play there!" Chitose beamed. She was rather proud that she came up with a plan right on the spot like that. Ayano wasn't as enthusiastic. Still, she managed to put on a small smile. "Yeah. I guess that's a pretty sound plan."

Even though Chitose smiled back, she could tell Ayano wasn't feeling at one hundred percent. Her face said everything. Ayano's eyes stuck to the path before her, her face solemn and glum. Hearing Kyouko's confession had obviously struck her right down to the core. Chitose was in for an uphill battle. After spending a minute trying to think of a way to reassure her friend, Chitose reached over.

"Chitose?...What are you-..." Ayano watched as Chitose took a hold of her hand, her grasp firm and tight. She looked up to see her smiling kindly at her, almost as if she were silently saying "Don't worry. I'm here for you for as long as you need." Ayano felt a little bit of her sadness lift, her face becoming just a tiny bit brighter. It was a tiny improvement, but easily noticeable. The two continued their journey into town hand in hand, Chitose feeling a bit more determined than before.

"Don't worry Ayano-chan. I'll do whatever I can to make you happy again. I promise."

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