Miki Kaoru was having lunch with his friend Utena Tenjou and her fiance the Rose Bride Anthy Himemiya. “You know, it's such a shame that Juri couldn't make it to our lunch today.” Utena said.
“I agree.” Miki said. “But she has responsibilities as the captain of the fencing team.” Miki smiled to himself; Juri was truly the greatest captain the fencing team had ever had, leading them to illustrious victories and teaching him everything he knew about the art of the blade. “I'm sure next time we'll all all be able to get together.”
“Really?” Anthy said. “That doesn't sound right.”
“What are you talking about there Anthy?” Utena said. Miki leaned in closer. He just wanted to make sure he heard everything, that was all.
“Well, I was watering my flowers in the garden when I happened to overhear Juri talking to a teacher; it seems he offered to transfer her to a prestigious Italian school to serve as the captain for their fencing team, and the deadline is set for tomorrow, so I don't see how she would be able to meet us for lunch tomorrow or any other day.”
“Do you mean that?” Miki had slammed his hands onto the table. “You're sure you heard correctly Miss Anthy? Could Miss Juri really be...?” His fingers clenched on the table top.
“No, you don't have to Miss Anthy.” Miki stood up, put his hands at his side. “You are such an honest and noble person, you wouldn't say anything if you weren't sure of it. Just as Miss Juri is not the kind of person who would overlook an opportunity like this.” Miki bowed to the girls. “Forgive me, but I have to find Miss Juri right away, I need to tell her something, I need to tell her that...”
“Tell her what?” Utena had an idea, but she didn't want to jump the gun; she'd kind of learned a few lessons about making assumptions like that. She wanted to see if she could make it stick.
Miki clicked his stopwatch. “I need to go now!” He ran, ungainly, undignified. Speed came before pride.
“Oh my.” Anthy said, a smile hidden on her face; Miki's buttons were so terribly easy to push. There was no doubt in her mind what he was going to say, and what was going to happen as a result. “Lady Utena, I'm afraid we need to go put Chu-Chu down for his nap.” She pointed to the monkey-mouse, who was rubbing its belly in clear distress.
“That's one troublesome kid we've got there.” Utena said, not quite so resistant to the whole engaged thing she had with Anthy. So they left, the other way from Miki.
“Miss Juri!” He came around the corner and found Miss Juri between the library and the music room. He stopped. He hunched over with his hands on his knees, breathing hard. “Thank goodness I found you straight away.”
“Miki, what in the world has gotten into you?” She looked at him, her eyes tense.
“I'm sorry Miss Juri, I only found out about the transfer offer six minutes and thirty-seven seconds ago.” He'd clicked on his stopwatch when he'd stopped. “To start, I must offer my congratulations, you truly deserve such a prestigious offer.” He bowed deep and proper.
“Offer?” Juri tilted her head.
“Yes, but before you go to Italy and lead their fencing team to glorious victory, I'm afraid that I must be selfish.” Miki stood up straight and stiff, arms down at his side. His determined face brought a smirk to Juri's face. “Miss Juri, I've been keeping something secret from you for some time now, something I've kept secret for the sake of our friendship, but when I think about you leaving and my never telling you this, I cannot allow myself to make such a mistake.” Miki took a deep breath. “Miss Juri, I'm in love with you!” Miki's face was bright red. He pressed on. “I've been in love with you for a long time but I always knew that it was never to be so I've done my utmost to keep these feelings hidden so as not to ruin our friendship, but as you are leaving, taking with you your strength, your will, your vision, your guidance, and your beauty, I have to say something.” He paused. “Please do not misunderstand me Miss Juri, I'm not saying this to try and make you stay, I want to believe I've grown beyond that, at least a little; I just want you to know the truth.” Miki let out a sigh. He had his hand on his heart, it was pounding fast and loud.
“Miki...” Her eyes were wide.
“Thank you for letting me say all that Miss Juri, I promise I won't keep you.” He moved to turn around. Juri put her hand on his shoulder and stopped him. “Miss Juri?”
“You really meant all that Miki? All those things you said about me, and your feelings for me?” Miki nodded. “I could have sworn that you...” Juri shook her head. “Never mind what I thought Miki. What matters is that you seem to have misunderstood something.” Miki blinked. “I'm not going anywhere Miki.”
“No Miki; Mr Fujiyama made the offer but I soundly refused. He simply wanted to have me replaced here with his nephew. The transfer was his excuse.”
“Oh.” Miki's was consumed by a red deeper than any that Juri had ever coaxed out of him before. “I apologize Miss Juri, please forget I said anything, I promise it won't come up again and...” He felt her grip grow stronger on his shoulder. She was pulling him in.
“Miki, have you ever noticed that my happiest moments are with you?” His mouth went dry. “In truth, I did not think that you would return my feelings, yours seemed...entangled.”
“As did yours.” Miki replied. When did Juri's face get so close? He could smell...he felt her lips on his. His stopwatch fell out of his hand and skipped away.