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it all started at zero - On Hiatus

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Everyone had a soulmate.

It was a given, it was predetermined, but not everyone on this Earth were blessed with meeting their Soulmate.

She stared at her wrist, staring at the numbers dancing on her skin.

She swore they were taunting her, those zeros glaringly obvious.

She knew some that met their soulmate early in life, Moca and Ran for example, but some were not so lucky. Say, her mother and father, both without their soulmate but they found love in one another.

She really didn't know what she wanted.

Himari and her had made a pact, that if neither were to meet their soulmate by age thirty, they'd stay together. Whether it was platonic or...

Well...something else.

Tomoe sighed as she walked up the steps of Haneoka Girls Academy, shifting her bag slightly and shuffling towards her locker. She was running a bit late, having to make sure Ako wasn't going to be late, and so she missed the walk with Tsugumi and the others. Thereby making herself late instead of her little sister.

But... 

She looked around the lockers, the girls all talking and laughing, and she still found it so weird being in high school now. At least she had Moca and the others in her class. Ran was once again separated from them, but they knew that she would fair better than she did in middle school.

Because if she decided to pull a stunt like that again, her and Moca both threatened to beat her over the head repeatedly. 

A friendly beating, mind you. Ran huffed at that when the two threatened her initially. Tsugumi and Himari only smiled. 

"To~mo~e~!" 

She stumbled back at the force of the hug, and she pried one arm out to ruffle the hair attached to her, "Aha, hey, Himari." 

"Tomoe! You didn't walk with us!" Himari pouted and Tomoe smiled and rubbed the back of her head, "Yeah, I know, my bad. Ako was running late-" 

"But it was our first day of high school!" Himari interrupted with her bottom lip protruding out, "Our only first day of high school walk!" 

"I'll walk with y'all everyday, Himari. I'm sorry I couldn't today though." She laughed though at the pout, "Oh, c'mon, it's not that bad." 

"But you weren't there to protect me from Moca!" 

"Moca will tease you regardless, whether or not I'm there." She pointed out. Himari huffed and crossed her arms, "Still!"

"KAORU-SENPAI~!"

Both girls jerked their heads backwards, Himari's head cocked and Tomoe's eyebrows quirked, "What...?" 

"Is it...?" Himari's eyes began to sparkle and Tomoe honestly began to worry for her mental state, "Uh, Himari?" 

"Is it the Seta Kaoru?!"

"The who now?" 

"Oh, come on Tomoe!" Himari hit her on the arm but Tomoe stayed perplexed. Who was this... Seta Kaoru? Some actress? Model? World-renowned surgeon that just randomly goes to this school? Her confusion stayed on her face and Himari pouted again and hit her harder. "Tomoe! It's Seta Kaoru. You know, the one in that Hamlet play a year ago that we all went to? The one with the purple hair?" 

"You mean the one you went too." Tomoe pointed out, "The one you dragged Tsugu to." 

Himari cocked her head, "You didn't go...?" Upon receiving the confused look still in the taller girls eyes, Himari just shook her head with a wave of her hand, "Nevermind that. She. Was. Amazing. Like, amazing amazing-" 

"Great use of words there, Himari." 

"Shut up! Anyway, she has this... I don't know... presence about her that is so..." Himari squealed, "Amazing! She's the ultimate prince! With the nicest and smoothest personality I've ever seen! And she is so beautiful! Like, amazing purple hair and just these warm and sparkling crimson eyes! Just... AH! Everyone loves her! I'm surprised you don't know who she is." 

"I guess that's cause I never bothered with that stuff." Tomoe shrugged, putting on her slippers and ignoring the amount of chatter coming from outside. She set her shoes in her locker, "You know, that popularity-type stuff." 

"And that's why you just don't know how many heads turn when you walk by." The redhead shot her an incredulous look before laughing it off, "Ahaha, you sound like Moca." 

"Oh, come on, Tomoe! You seriously don't know how popular you were in middle school?" 

"Nope." She re-situated her school bag, "I was just nice to everyone, and they were nice to me. It was no big deal." 

"No big-! Tomoe, I can't even count on my fingers the amount of girls that had a crush on you. Like, especially when you had your growth spurt and grew your hair out-" 

"My 'growth spurt' was not that much-" Tomoe tried to interject but Himari glared, "I was the tallest in our group, Tomoe. That says something." 

Tomoe blushed. Himari continued, "Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Kaoru-senpai is just so cool. I wish I could be as cool as her and be her soulmate."

The redhead just leaned against the lockers as Himari kept going, "I mean, how amazing would it be if I were her soulmate? It would be like out of a romance novel, where the prince comes and sweeps me off my feet-" 

"That would be something, huh?" 

"And then we would live happily ever after in a large mansion-" 

"Oh~ Is Hii-chan is getting all hot and bothered again~?" 

"...! MOCA!" Himari screeched and whipped around to the lazy grin, Ran a couple of steps behind with her arms crossed. Both Ran and Tomoe rolled their eyes. Tsugumi walks up with her purity practically radiating off of her. Especially when she cocked her head with wide eyes, "Is everything okay? I heard yelling." 

"I said Hii-chan-"

"Nothing!" Ran smacked her hand over Moca's mouth, the girl glaring at the blinking grey eyes, "You will not, Moca, I repeat, will not destroy Tsugumi's precious purity." 

Tsugumi only blinked and Moca brought her hand up in a lazy salute, Ran immediately jerking her hand back with a disgusted look on her face. "Moca, did you just lick me?!"

"Wouldn't be the fir-" 

"Okayyy, Moca, that's enough out of you." Tomoe dragged the girl away from their precious keyboardist (and possibly saving her from her soulmate's wrath). Himari was ignoring them all in exchange for the girl walking across the courtyard, a gaggle of girls in tow. She squealed, "There she is! In the flesh! OhmygodOhmygod I could faint!"

"Who? Seta-senpai?" Tsugumi stayed beside the lockers by Ran, watching Himari about die and go to heaven. Himari whipped her head around to her friend, "You know her?" 

"I mean, kinda?" When Himari's gaze wouldn't leave Tsugumi clarified, "I mean, I met her at that play you made me go to, and Student Council let me sit in on one of their meetings with the other clubs. Seta-senpai was the one representing the Drama Club." 

The gaggle of girls were getting closer, Tomoe barely seeing purple hair above the crowd. Seriously, how could anyone stand having that many people surrounding them on a daily basis? Tomoe would get claustrophobic.

But as the group passed, Himari beginning to follow along with the group's antics, Tomoe made eye contact with this... Seta Kaoru? Himari was right. She was pretty, or morely handsome, with her angular features and tall physique. She was even taller than Tomoe, and that was surprising for her considering the only people taller than her usually were men. 

Her eyes were actually really pretty too. Crimson, like Himari described, and they reminded her of Ako's. Warm and inviting with that hint of an outgoing personality shining through. Hell honestly with those eyes and that long purple hair, this Seta Kaoru could pass off more as Ako's sibling than Tomoe herself. 

That was weird. 

The girl smiled, a small yet charming one, and she walked through the gaggle of girls to appear to the group of them. Tomoe couldn't help but feel uncomfortable under that gaze. 

"Oh? Some of the new first years? Allow me to welcome you to Haneoka Academy. My name is Seta Kaoru, and if you are ever in need of assistance, dear kittens, please, do not hesitate to call upon me!" 

Her speech is weird. Tomoe kept her arms crossed against the lockers, Himari about dying as this Kaoru set a kiss on her hand. Like seriously, kittens? Who calls people kittens?

"Ah, what a momentous day! How fleeting!" Kaoru exclaimed as she smiled at them all, "Such wonderful kittens gracing our presence! Ah, I could only dream!" 

Fleeting...? Himari was having the time of her damn life, and she was fairly certain that the girl was never going to wash her hand. Kaoru kissed Tsugumi's hand, to which was responded with a kind smile that was totally Tsugu, and she was going to approach the couple but Ran's glare kinda turned her away. Moca was only grinning wildly, mainly at Himari's expense. That left only her. 

Oh boy. 

Crimson eyes settled on her, a smile (was it softer? Tomoe was probably hallucinating and dreaming things) and Kaoru grasped her hand and set a kiss on it. Tomoe, with all her might, kept her cool and her face steady with a small, polite smile before tucking her hand back in the crook of her arm. 

"May I know your names?" 

The bell rang at that time and Kaoru sighed. 

"Ah, alas, our time is cut short. I shall see you kittens again around these wandering halls. Until then, I bid you adieu~" 

The girl left, with that crowd of girls, and their little group just stared on.

"That was..." Tomoe started only for Ran to finish, "Fucking weird."

She nodded in agreement. 

Himari only gave an almost insulted gasp, her hand clutching her chest, "Weird? Weird?! That was one of the most authentic and beautiful things I have ever witnessed! I mean, did you hear her?! She sounded so... so..."

"Sophisticated?" Tsugumi chimed in, Himari nodding vigorously. "Yeah, that!"

"I dunno Himari." Tomoe still had her arms crossed, something about that encounter left her feeling weird, and she didn't like it. "I'm kinda more with Ran on this one."

"To~mo~e~! Why are you betraying meeee?"

"Betraying?! H-Hold on now..." Tomoe held her hands up in mock defense, hers and Himari's eyes both shining playfully, but the bassist's eyes soon changed to one of silenced shock.

Better yet, Tsugumi, Ran, and Moca were all looking the same. Tomoe quirked her eyebrows, honestly confused. What did she say? "...was it something I said? Or do I have something in my teeth? I mean, I did have to brush them fast this mor-"

She was cut off as Himari yanked down her right hand, forcing it to face palm up and she thrusted a finger towards it, "Tomoe, look!"

Cerulean eyes tilted down to the finger, and her eyes began to widen as she looked at what Himari was pointing too.

Her counter. It... it wasn't on zero any more.

She watched as it kept going up, different numbers kept blinking at her in the rhythm of her fast heart beat. 

1:46, 1:47.

She had met her soulmate almost 2 minutes ago.

But who was it? There were tons of girls that she made eye contact with. A lot of them accumulating around the time that one girl walked in.

That girl with the crimson eyes.

Could it...? Pfft. No of course not. I mean, it would be weird, wouldn't it? Being soulmates with the one your bestfriend was just fantasizing being soulmates with. 

It would also be breaking serious girl code, and Tomoe just wasn't about that.

But who...

She looked at all the girls walking down the halls away from the lockers they stood at.

Who was her soulmate?