“Why? Why are you always with me?”
Yukiko had a faint tint of red forming on her cheeks. She was embarrassed to ask this. She wanted to know. She had to know. If there was even the possibility… that there was something more.
It had been a certain amount of time since Yukiko was saved from her shadow self. Within that period, she had changed herself for the better. She had garnered new friends and with the help of Yu Narukami, she had found what she wanted to do with her life. She has decided to embrace and take-over the family inn when the time came. Lastly, Yukiko herself has experienced something new.
She had fallen in love.
The dashing transfer student who has helped her so far, is also the man of her affections. Every time they would meet to hang out, Yukiko’s heart would beat faster and louder. Even the simplest of things such as going to the super market alone together brings a bright smile to her face. She would slip a little and mention things that others might think would hint at this love. Her heart felt even more reassured of this feeling when her family and staff at the Amagi Inn were supportive of the boy she had secretly chosen.
“Are you meeting up with a boy?” they’d ask. She would deny that there was any “boy” to talk about.
One day, she was caught hanging out with him at the shrine. It was Kasai, one of the waitresses at the inn.
“Oh is that the rumoured boyfriend?”
“I-It’s not like that!” said Yukiko. Her face however was burning red.
Secretly however, she was happy that people thought they were something more. But she had to deny this feeling at first. She was frightened that she would be rejected by him.
“They all have the wrong idea…I’m really sorry…” she would say to Yu. Her face however had a different story. She couldn’t stop blushing.
Some time has past since then. After nights of practicing how to cook properly, and having short rendezvous with him, Yukiko had garnered her courage to see if what she felt wasn’t just her. There was something telling her…to go for it. Be brave and do it.
She prepared for this day. She took twice as long to get ready. Yukiko and Yu were now at the shrine again.
“Are you going to wish for something too?” asked Yukiko.
Yu thought hard on this. He wanted to say he was wishing for Yukiko but he was too embarrassed to say so.”
“It’s a secret.” Yu winks back.
“Aww…okay.” Yukiko wonders what it could be and wanted to ask but decides not to.
“I’m wishing for everyone’s health. For Chie, for you, for the others…And everyone at the inn, too.”
Yu appreciates her honesty and feels touched by her wish. Yukiko then continues.
“And I’m wishing—-“ However, before Yukiko could finish, Yu stops her.
“Wait! Don’t say any further…If you tell me…it might not come true! That’s why it’s a secret.”
Yukiko pauses. She really wanted to say that she wanted to be a woman worthy of him. But since he stopped her, she felt embarrassed all of a sudden.
“Do you really believe that…?” she says shyly.
“Well…what’s important is you really desire and pray for that wish. It doesn’t matter if I get to hear it. I’m sure it’s a good wish.” Yu smiles.
“It really is a good wish.” Yukiko thought.
“Okay…I hope my wish comes true.”
After a conversation of Yukiko announcing her plans to take over the inn, she steeled her resolve and began.
“U-umm, I wanted to ask you this before…” Yukiko paused. Yu himself was wondering where this was leading.
“Wh-Why?…. Why are you always with me?”
It was at this moment that Yu felt was the right moment to tell how he truly felt. What the lovely young lady wasn’t sure of was correct. He was hopelessly in love with her. He saw how beautiful Yukiko was during the first time they met. But his heart was only stolen after getting to know her. After knowing the determined, hard-working, warm, and gentle girl she was, Yu’s heart was hers.
However, like all people, he had a moment of weaknesses. Something within him was speaking to him. It was the fear of rejection he’s been hiding away. He has bested it several times…. but now…at this very crucial moment, a voice whispered into his ear.
“You can’t do it. She doesn’t like you that way. She’s just nice. That’s why she’s with you now. So what’s the point? Don’t confess. You’re happy as it is. Don’t try.”
Yu was getting nervous. He remembers the things he’s heard in school.
*Yeah…the “Amagi challenge” where you confess to Yukiko and then get denied.*
*Yukiko never acknowledges anybody.*
*She shut me down hard last year.*
He then hears all the selective things Yukiko has said in his presence before.
“They all have the wrong idea.”
“We’re just good friends.”
Yu was feeling down. Lastly, he remembers one of the first few things he’s ever heard Yukiko say.
“I don’t need a boyfriend.”
The voice in his head speaks up once more.
“She’ll turn you down and you’ll never be this close again.”
Yu looks at Yukiko. She had this look of anticipation.
“Is it… okay for me to ask?” she said.
Yu finally replies.
“You’re…my friend, Yukiko.” Yu turned away a little to avoid her gaze.
There was a short silence between the both of them. Yukiko could only feel…sadness and disappointment. What she wanted more than anything right now, were her affections to be reciprocated. “So…it was just me.” she thought.
“I see…” Yukiko said. They were the only words she could say at that moment. She looked down. Trying to avoid his gaze.
“…” she sighed. She herself did not want to lose this friendship though even if her heart was broken. She had to think of something to say.
“Y-Yes, precisely!” Yukiko managed to say.
“Oh, I just remembered… I have an errand to run! I’ll be going now!” Yukiko lied. All she wanted to do was to not see his face for now. She runs away. Yu doesn’t notice the tears starting to form in her eyes.
“He…doesn’t feel that way.”
Yu on the other hand is unsure of what to say or do. He could have been honest. “Was she looking for honesty?” he thought. Yu didn’t want to hear her say she didn’t like him that way. He however feels the awkwardness in the air.
“Maybe she wanted to just make sure we were friends too…”
Yu’s feelings at that moment were complicated. Yukiko meant more to him than she knew. She brightened his day with just her presence. He felt special as well when he received her boxed lunches. Even though they weren’t so good, he felt happy that she was trying harder to make a better one for him all the time. He was happier now that he’s made many friends here in Inaba. But Yukiko was the one who made his heart beat immensely. Now he was here alone with his messed up feelings. He decides to leave the shrine.
While walking home, he decides to stay nearby the flood plain. He stayed by the little gazebo area where Yukiko would ask him to try her boxed lunches for her. His heart was feeling uneasy.
“Why…why didn’t I tell her how I feel?” he said.
Yu turns around to see whose voice that belonged to. It was none other than his little cousin, Nanako. Yu thought of her like a little sister. She had a look of concern.
“Nanako, what are you doing here?”
“I was coming home from my friend’s house. Why are you here? Are you okay?” asked Nanako.
“I’m just resting. I’m fine Nanako. Thanks for asking.” Yu tries to smile a little.
“Really…?” Nanako says sadly.
“You don’t look too good… is something the matter?” she continued to ask.
“Nanako could tell there was something wrong” he thought. He didn’t know where to begin. He tried to explain a little.
“I think…I made a mistake.” said Yu.
Yu decides to change the subject first.
“Nanako…what do you think about my friend, Yukiko?”
“Yuki-chan? I like her. She’s really nice and pretty! You like her too, right?”
“That’s the thing Nanako, I didn’t tell her I liked her. I lied.”
Nanako is a bit confused.
“But why? Why didn’t you tell her?”
“I… was afraid, Nanako.”
“Afraid of what?”
“I was scared that she wouldn’t like me back.”
Nanako looks at Yu. She smiles though.
“Big Bro, I don’t think you should be scared. I think she likes you too!”
Nanako’s smile started to warm Yu’s heart. “She really is a sweet girl.” Yu thought.
“It’s a different kind of “like”. Yu laughed a little.
“Oh! You mean like daddy and mommy before? So you like Yukiko like that!” She started to get excited. It appeared that Nanako was thinking hard.
“I think…you should still tell her how you feel if she asked! It’s not good if you lie. Besides if I like like someone, I tell them! Simple as that! Here I’ll show you!”
Nanako starts to breathe in some air as if to say something loudly. A gasp of air is sucked in by her lungs.
“I love my Daddy and my Big Brother Yu!” she shouts a little. “See! It’s easy! And you feel better when you do!”
Yu likes how Nanako sees everything so simply. He wishes that he could be like that sometimes. He smiles. “Maybe I should take that leap.” he thought.
“You really think I should tell her?”
“Yeah! Besides! Even if she doesn’t “like” like you. I’m sure you two will always be friends.” Nanako gives a reassuring smile.
“Okay…I’m going. Thanks Nanako. I’ll be home later.”
“Bye! Good luck! And see you later!” Nanako waves.
Yu then heads for the Amagi Inn. He has gotten back his resolve. He won’t make the same mistake.
“I hope I can get a second chance.” Yu thinks as he runs to the Inn.
-At the Amagi Inn.
Yukiko is in her room. She’s lying down on her bed. She’s a little depressed. The first boy she ever truly cared for didn’t feel the same way.
“Maybe first loves are never meant to be.” she thought.
Yukiko tried her best to start getting over him. If she tried hard enough, she felt that her feelings would dissipate. Unfortunately, the wound was too fresh. All her thoughts were on him.
“Yuki-chan. Is everything alright?”
It was the waitress, Kasai-san. She heard that Yukiko entered the inn and went straight to her room without saying anything. The others said she looked like she had tears. Kasai was worried.
“Did something happen?” asked Kasai.
“Was it…that boy?”
“…” Yukiko went silent.
“Did he do something to you?”
“N-no! I told you. You guys got it all wrong. We never were…anything.”
“Is that… the reason why?” Kasai asked.
Yukiko was silent once again. After a short moment, she decided to answer.
“… I just thought. Maybe there was something.”
Kasai was still on the other side of the door. She felt sad for the young woman behind the door.
“Aww…sweetie. I’m sure… It’s just… things will get better. Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding?”
“He said… I was his friend…. that’s it.”
Kasai went quiet. She decided to leave her be.
“We’ll be right here if you need us.”
“…Thank you.” Yukiko said.
Kasai walks and was headed towards the lobby in case there were any guests. Surprisingly, she finds a young man standing there. He was short of breath. He seemed like he was looking for someone. It was the young boy she saw Yukiko with.
“Oh hello. What brings you here?” Kasai tried to be very stoic and calm. She wasn’t sure what this boy wanted.
“I’m looking for Yukiko. Is she home?”
“Why do you want to talk to her?” Kasai had to make sure he wasn’t going to do something that might hurt Yukiko even more.
“I…I came her to tell her I made a mistake…and tell her how I truly feel about her!”
Kasai was shocked from this announcement. She could see the determination in his eyes. They were the eyes of a man on a mission. Kasai couldn’t help but giggle. “So I was right.” she thought.
“Is that so… Hmm…You wait right here.”
“Thank you…Thank you so much.” Yu bowed deeply to show respect.
Kasai started to walk towards Yukiko’s room. However, she takes a detour and informs several of the other staff about the situation.
“Just wait nearby… Don’t stay too close. Aww… Our Yukiko is growing up!” she said.
The other staff excitedly start to move a little stealthily near the lobby.
“Thank God that today there aren’t that many guests.” one of the chefs said.
Kasai finally arrives outside Yukiko’s room.
“Yukiko. You have a visitor. Someone’s waiting for you at the lobby.”
“A visitor? Who is it?” asked Yukiko.
No reply came anymore from the other side of the door. She was curious. She fixed herself up a little. She was still wearing the nice outfit she prepared for to go out with Yu that afternoon. She exited and headed towards the lobby. There she found none other than Yu Narukami. He seemed anxious. That all changed as soon as he saw her.
“Yu-kun. What are you doing here? Is something wrong?”
“Yes…Yukiko. I made…a huge mistake.”
“W-what do you mean? What mistake?”
Yu starts to move slowly towards her. Yukiko’s heart starts to beat faster as well. “What is he planning to do?” she thought.
Finally, he holds both Yukiko’s hands. She starts to blush.
“Wh-what are you—?”
“I love you, Yukiko.”
Yukiko starts to pull back a little. She however couldn’t move too far off because her hands were still being held by Yu.
“I…really love you. You stole my heart….I didn’t tell you a while ago…because I was afraid. I was afraid of being rejected. You’re the most amazing girl I’ve ever met and I was afraid that if I truly tell you how I feel… I’d never get to be close to you anymore.”
Yukiko was listening intensely. He was just like her. He too was afraid of rejection. But she thought that it was crazy that he thought so highly of her when in fact, she thought he was more amazing than she ever was.
Yu started to get louder.
“That’s why. I lied. I thought I’d be content with just being your friend so I could stay beside you. But I had to tell the truth. Even if it meant my heart breaking! I love you, Yukiko Amagi. I want the world to know! I want to be with you now and always!” Yu started to shout a little.
Yukiko was getting more embarrassed. In the corner of her eye, she could tell there were several of the staff watching the both of them. There were sneakily watching nearby. Some of them were blushing from the intensity. Kasai was one of the people watching. They were all smiles.
“Ahhhh….young love.” said Kasai.
Yukiko was getting redder.
“Yu-kun! Please. You’re so loud! Why are you doing this here? This is so embarrassing.”
He himself was getting so red. But he couldn’t help it. He finally told her how he felt.
“F-follow me!” Yukiko pleaded.
She was finally able to let go of his hand. She grabbed him by the arm and dragged him to look for a place for them to talk privately. She dodged the teasing looks of the staff and went to the only room nearby which was safe from prying eyes, her room.
It was just the two of them. Yukiko’s heart was beating. Only then did she realise what she had just done.
“I brought a boy to my room, alone with me.” She thought.
She was getting extra nervous. “What have I done?! We can’t leave now!” she screamed inside her own head.
“Uhm…Take a seat if you like.” She gestured to her bed. She thanked God that she cleaned a little this morning.
“If… it’s alright. I’ll stand a little first.” said Yu.
“Oh okay.” she said shyly.
It was quiet. Both of them were looking away from each other. Finally, Yukiko spoke.
“Is it true…do you truly… LOVE me?” Yukiko suddenly got embarrassed from asking.
“Y-yes. I do.”
Yukiko’s heart was rejoicing. “He likes me…not only that. He loves me!” she was shouting in her head.
“Uh, ummm….” she stammered. “You aren’t just saying that…?” Yu was shaking his head.
“Yu-kun…I-I feel the same way…so…” she said it. But it wasn’t enough. It didn't feel like she truly brought out what she felt. Especially not after Yu’s loud declaration.
“I…love you. I love you too!” She says with a face fully red.
Yu starts to approach her. She herself is stuck in place. Her eyes and his were locked to one another. He holds her by her waist. She gets shocked a little. She starts to lean in a little on to his chest. She looks up. He was staring at her face. Both of them were wearing big smiles.
“Sh-sheesh… Don’t stare so much at me…” Yukiko was so flustered. But her body was moving on it’s own. Yu himself couldn’t control himself. He’s so glad he told her how he felt. Now here he was with the girl he fell for. Both of them were now embracing one another.
“I’m…I’m sorry Yukiko. I’m sorry I lied. I was afraid.”
“N-no…I kind of understand. I was afraid too. I never thought you’d like me that way…but my heart told me to move forward. I was sad a while ago…but now I’m glad that you were able to tell me how you truly felt. I’m so happy that we feel the same way.”
Yu and Yukiko smiled even wider. Everything felt right. It was the perfect moment.
“Uh-mmm…Is this where we’re supposed to—?” asked Yukiko quietly.
“Uhm…I mean…well…sometimes… but for other people it might be later—“
Yukiko giggles. Both of them were closing in to each other.
As their faces approach, their hearts beat faster. In fact, they were in sync. As they close their eyes, they're greeted by the warm feeling of each other’s lips on theirs. It was bliss. A true connection. One moment they were worried whether their partner liked them and now, they were kissing each other as young lovers do. They let go and laugh a little.
“Can we…do that again?” asked Yu.
“I think…we should…we need more practice…until we get it perfectly.” said Yukiko with a bit of a tease.
They felt full from the happiness of the moment. It was interrupted however from a sound coming from the door.
“Yuki-chan!!! I know it’s great and all that you have a boyfriend now, but it’s time for dinner! He’s invited too! So when you’re done with your special moment, meet us at the dining area! See you both!” said Kasai.
Yukiko was embarrassed once again.
“I’m really sorry about them!” Yukiko said.
“Well…They’re not mistaken.” Yu laughs.
Yukiko mumbles a little. She then has a thought.
“Hey, since you made a mistake a while ago. You have to make it up to me.”
“Okay?…what is it? I’ll do whatever I can to make it up to you.”
“Okay…I want you to say it… to make it official.”
“Ask me…to be your girlfriend.”
Yu was a little surprised. He didn’t say it but that’s what he wanted. He smiled. He was more than willing to do so. Yu starts to kneel down.
“You don’t need to kneel! That looks like something else!” Yukiko giggled.
“Yukiko Amagi, Will you be my girlfriend? I’d like to be your boyfriend.”
Yukiko’s heart soared once more. She replies however with a bit of a tease.
“Hmmm…I’m sorry. Who are you?”
“Ahh. I failed the Amagi Challenge!” said Yu with an exaggerated and funny tone.
“Hey!…Pfft. Whatever.” she laughed before she continued speaking.
“Yes. I’d like you to be my boyfriend and I want to be your girlfriend.” Yukiko said with rose coloured cheeks.
Yu and Yukiko hug once more. It was a deep warm embrace. They weren’t letting go. Yukiko whispers a little into Yu’s ear.
“Now I want you to announce it to the staff.”
“Are you serious? Alright then.”
“No! No! I was kidding. I’d die!…Why do these things not phase you?”
Yu laughs. They let go of their embrace and decide to leave the room for dinner. Yukiko however sneakily grabs Yu’s hand. Yu reciprocates by interlocking his fingers with hers.
“Hey…I want to tell you what I wished for.”
“I wished that I’d become a woman worthy of you.”
Yu is surprised once more.
“How can you say something like that? You’re more than worthy. I’m the one who wants to be worthy of you, Yukiko.”
“Haha. Well that’s what makes us perfect. We’re both trying our best to constantly be worthy of one another.”
“”Hmm… I think that’s fair. I like the sound of that.”
They head off to the dining area, ready to embrace this new step of their relationship happily.