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Kuroki's arrived at the conservetoire a bit early today - lucky for him that Chiaki finished up rehearsals early, but it means he doesn't have anything to do until his teacher arrives. He drops off his music and oboe at his normal practice room, and walks out to the postering walls. He's not looking for anything in particular, but maybe he'll find somebody looking for an oboe for a quartet. Maybe an updated poster on the concours he wants to participate in will be up by now. Maybe...

A rush of noise and movement distracts him, and he turns around to see a line up of nervous piano students. Presuming that the scores for the final are up, and a bit curious about how his friends did, Kuroki approaches the wall. He skims the list of scores, looking for familiar names - Megumi, Franck, Yunlong, Lucas, Tanya...

As he'd expected, he doesn't see any of their names until he reaches the far left - the tres bien list. His smile softens into a puzzled expression, and he glances at his watch. He doesn't have a lesson for another ten minutes yet, and she shouldn't have anything left if this is the final examination score...

Resolved, he calls. after three rings, he hears a breathy "Hallo?"

"Tanya? It's Kuroki," he says.

"Yasu? What is it?"

He frowns at her breathless tone. "I hope I'm not calling at a bad time."

"Not exactly. I'm headed to the conservetoire; scores for the piano final should be posted by now."

"Actually, about that..."


"I was around when the scores were posted, so - "

" - aah!" It's nearly a squawk, and Kuroki pulls the phone away from his ear in shock. Even so, he can still hear her shout, "Don't tell me, don't tell me! I want to find out for myself how I did!"

He holds his phone up to his other ear and promises not to tell her. Then, puzzled, "This is your last exam, right, Tanya? The score shouldn't affect your graduation."

She makes a confused sound, saying, "Oh, I forgot to tell you," in an embarrassed tone.

"Forgot to tell me what?"

"I might be able to get into the chamber music class, if I score high enough on this exam. I'll be able to stay in Paris."

The world seems to slow down around him. Unimportant details all but disappear, their colors faded, their sounds muted.

"You'll... stay in Paris?" he repeats dumbly. She affirms it, and something twists in his stomach. "How high a score do you need?"

She sounds taken aback for a moment, but replies, "A tres bien with a commendation."

He's back in front of the wall, staring at the strange thing that had grabbed his attention and made him call her in the first place. "How is the commendation denoted? an asterisk?"

"I think so - Yasu, what - "

The tightness in his stomach loosens as a swell of warmth and giddiness overcomes him. He laughs, unable to keep it in. People around him jump at the sound, and someone taps him on the shoulder. He spins around, smiling widely, to see Tanya holding a phone to her ear, looking at him like he's crazy. He feels like he must be crazy.

Deep down, there's a part of him screaming about decorum and being sensible. Right now, he's not paying that voice any attention. Tanya's here, and she's not going anywhere. The thought makes his smile grow. "Tanya - "

"Now you've ruined it," she says, irritated. "The look on your face, you might as well have told me on the phone." Despite her tone, she's smiling.

He doesn't know whether to hug her or kiss her. That he decides to do both is a sure sign that he's not listening to any logical voice in his head. Oh well; he'll have time to regret being so forward, later.

Though he's pretty sure she doesn't know he knows it, this is their second kiss. Being properly involved in the act greatly improves things, he thinks, and from the pleased sound she makes, he thinks Tanya agrees. He pulls away, and some strange part of him is pleased to see how disoriented and out of breath she is, nevermind that he's much the same.

"Y-Yasu," she breathes, wide-eyed. "Why - "

He pulls her closer to him, rests his chin on her shoulder. "I'm so glad you're staying."

After a moment, she leans into the contact, her cheek against his neck. He can feel her smiling. "So am I."

Some time later - a minute, an hour, Kuroki can't tell - Tanya goes tense in his arms.

Kuroki pulls back a bit to look her in the face. "What is it?"

"I just remembered..." Blushing, she admits, "I'm not the only one who came to see their scores..."

He freezes as a familiar voice says, "See? I told you she'd remember we were here eventually!" He looks past Tanya, prepared for the worst.

Sure enough, standing a reasonable distance away are Yunlong, Franck, and Megumi-chan. And that voice from before? The one that had shouted at him to be sensible and not do this kind of thing in public? Quite a bit louder now. His face must be completely red.

"Wooah! Tanya, Nodame is so jealous! That was five, no, ten times better than Senpai when Nodame told him she was going to Paris!"

He spots a clock on the wall behind the pianists and panics. "My lesson! I'm late!" He steps back, turns to go, and can't help glancing back at Tanya. "I'll, um... I'll see you later, Tanya?"

She's surprised, for a moment, but it quickly slips into her familiar confident expression. The flush in her cheeks makes it look... there's no better word for it, cute. "You'd better."