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At first glance, Yozora Mikazuki is seamless. She is 5 feet and 3 inches of bombshell, with a pretty face and shining curtains of swinging midnight hair. She is the picture of traditional Japanese beauty, with thick lashes, long flowing hair and slender, modest figure. She can lie through her teeth and make you think it’s poetry in motion, even while she’s laughing at you. Yozora knows how to twist the knife so it doesn’t hurt, not until later, when she’s alone.

It’s the eyes that give her away. Yozora’s eyes are cats’ eyes, mischievous and unfathomable. But on occasion they will lose their jewel like quality and tell the world things that Yozora herself would never let leave her pretty doll-like mouth. Of course, Sena doesn’t realise this until much later, not until she’s far deeper in and sinking fast. Really, Sena’s all bluster. She’s never ever been good at anything that mattered and exceptionally bad at matters concerning Yozora.

The truth is, there is something horribly wrong with Yozora Mikazuki.

To her credit, Sena senses this from the very first. She knows what mean girls are like and Yozora isn’t even on the chart. Mean girls are supposed to be cowardly dogs that grovel in the face of her authority, playing by the rules and acting proper until they find a technicality to exploit, an opportunity to snap at her in the name of propriety. Yozora, however, is more blunt. She is the first to belittle the heavy golden crown of status she wears wherever she goes, the first to scoff at and insult and mock her as if it weren’t there at all. At first, Sena thinks that Yozora must either be incredibly brave or incredibly stupid to risk expulsion to call her names.

Now she knows it’s neither. Yozora is no hero, nor is she a villain. She recognises the look in her eyes in Photo #54 now, or at least understands it a little better.

Yozora is a completely different breed, a mutt ripped apart and mismatched and stitched back together with clumsy child’s hands and eyes blurry with tears. There are loose ends to Yozora. She kept them tied back before, but it’s harder now, now that she has short hair and no need for hair ties. She’s frayed at the edges when it comes to certain things, certain things like Kodaka.

Kodaka’s a good kid, if kind of plain. She’s comfortable with him, perhaps too comfortable—she’s really told him too much about how she takes her photos of Yozora. She likes him. She’s not exactly in love with him, but she could be. If the situation demanded it, if she were threatened that the Neighbour’s Club would change, if she suspected Yozora was in love with Kodaka—she could be.

And she’s not ready to give it up yet, her place playing games in the Neighbours Club, fighting against her first worthy rival, her best patchwork quilt of a friend.

She hasn’t even won once against her.