Yuta handed Ayu the camera, explaining that the film was special. Huh, she thought, turning it over in her hands, that's pretty cool. "This way," he said, "you can take a picture of Nina and see if she likes you too."
"What?" Ayu shouted in surprise, face blushing bright red. "I- I don't like Nina, I like Tetsushi!"
"Mmhmm," Yuta said, a smirk firm on his face. "Then there's no harm in me taking your picture is there?" Before Ayu could process what he said, Yuta snatched the camera back from her hands and took a picture of her.
Gaping at him in a mixture of anger and shock, she heard the film process and start feeding out. He handed her the picture and camera, and she took it without thinking about it. How could Yuta be such a jerk! Okay so admittedly Tetsushi wasn't to her liking, but at least he was nice!
He nodded at the photo. "Take a look."
She glanced down at the picture, and sure enough, there was Nina, smiling up at her from the glossy finish. She flushed and held the picture to her chest. She had a picture of Nina now! It would be easy enough to buy a frame for it, and then she'd be able to keep it in her room. And her parents wouldn't even think about it from all the times she'd mentioned her new best friend.
"You're welcome," he said drily, and she glared at him.
She was not going to thank him for this, simply because he had been mean while doing so. "Why do you even care?" she asked with a sniff, tucking the picture ever so carefully in her bag so that it wouldn't bend.
"Nina's my oldest-- not to mention best-- friend." He shrugged carelessly, completely at ease despite the way he was insisting on ruffling up her life. "I want her to be happy, and I think you can do that. You obviously care about her, but I know you're not going to take that step unless you think she'll say yes. So take her picture, you'll see that her crush is you, and then you can start dating and take her off my hands." He rolled his eyes expressively and said under his breath, "She's such a pain."
"God only knows what she sees in a jerk like you," Ayu mumbled right back.
"I'm sure you'll find out by the time of the wedding."
"Ah I can picture it now, both of you in white dresses. I'm thinking Nina's will have ruffles, but you strike me more as the smooth and silky kind."
"You- stop that! I'm going home." She turned to do just that, but Yuta grabbed her arm to stop her.
"I'm sorry. I'll stop, okay? Let's just finish my tour."
"You don't even need a tour."
"That's no reason not to have one," he said with another bright grin.
Ayu was walking around after school, trying to find Nina so she could take her picture. She'd waffled on her decision to use it for a while, but Yuta saying that he thought she could make Nina happy stuck with her. Nina was an optimistic person, no question, but sometimes she had a sad aura about her, and Ayu wanted nothing more than to rid her of it, to be the one to put a smile on her face.
She got stopped in her search by one of their teachers, two classmates, and Tetsushi-- who apparently had a crush on his friend Hiroki on the tennis team-- before she finally found Nina asleep on top of her books in the library.
Her heart was thumping loudly in her chest as she raised the lens and clicked. She held her breath as the camera whirred, and it felt like an eternity as it processed before finally showing her the object of Nina's affections: Ayu. It was her. Heat raised to her cheeks so quickly that she felt light-headed, although maybe that was the knowledge that her affections were returned. Nina liked her! It was a dream come true, and Ayu found herself checking the photo again to make sure it hadn't changed somehow. Nope, that was still her face smiling in the portrait.
"Ayu-chan!" Nina said suddenly, making Ayu jump in surprise. "When'd you take that picture? You look cute." She smiled at Ayu so innocently that she had to swallow before she could make her voice work.
"Uh just now."
Nina's brow furrowed, looking over Ayu's outfit. She was still in her school uniform, which Nina pointed out. "Did you change twice before seeing Nina?"
"No, I meant- uh. Yuta gave me this camera yesterday."
"That's... nice of him," Nina said slowly, confused by the direction this had taken.
"It's from the Magic Kingdom. The film he gave me will show--"
"Oh," Nina said suddenly, the color dropping from her face.
"No, no it's not like that!" Ayu said hurriedly, needing to reassure her. She pressed the camera into Nina's hands. "Here, take a picture of me."
"Trust me Nina."
She paused for a moment, then nodded, raising the camera to her face so she could see. She bit her lip as it processed, and she gasped as soon as she saw the person on it. "Ayu..."
Ayu smiled encouragingly. "I care about you too Nina. I'd... like it if you would go on a date with me."
"I- I would like that too Ayu-chan. I would really like that," Nina said, smiling so wide it looked like it was splitting her face.
"Great," Ayu said, feeling like she was on top of the world.