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Can I take you home?

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Hana had been crying since they woke up at four that morning and Miki had tried absolutely everything. She’d stopped crying for a few moments the two times Miki had given her something to eat since then but nothing seemed to distract her long enough. Had she been younger Miki would have blamed teething but Hana was almost two now and was normally quite a talkative kid. It had been ages since the last time she had cried for any length of time without being able to articulate what she was upset about. Eventually Miki just got on a bus hoping that she could distract her with the moving scenery or that the motion might put her to sleep. Which nearly worked for about two minutes. After twenty minutes of this Miki was resigned to just getting off at the next stop and walking home. That way at least she could give everyone on the bus a break from the crying when all of a sudden Hana stopped crying. Not went from crying to whimpering like she’d been doing on and off all morning but actually stopped crying. In fact when Miki looked at her she had her head tilted and looked almost amused.

Miki turned around trying to figure out what miracle had distracted her daughter from screaming and found herself face to face with another girl. Short brown hair and brown eyes who was smiling at her daughter. Not even pulling faces just smiling.

“Oh my god can I take you home with me?” Miki felt a blush creep up her cheeks as she realized she’d spoken aloud. She kept speaking in a rush hoping the other wouldn’t be offended. “Sorry, it’s just she’s been screaming all morning and you must be magik or something if just your smile can make her stop.”

“Pretty!” Hana piped up waving her hands towards the girl now apparently deciding that the whole speaking thing was better than screaming endlessly.

“Why thank you little one.” The girl leaned over the back of Miki’s seat to smile at Hana again.

“Her name is Hana, I’m Kanzaki Miki.” Miki smiled as Hana continued reaching towards the other girl.

“Tachibana Aya.” She reached over the seat to shake one of Hana’s hands smiling at the both of them. “Nice to meet you Hana-Chan. You too Kanazki-San.”

“Are you busy today or could I buy you a coffee? It’s the least I can do to thank you for calming her down.”

“Nah I’m not busy. I was just heading home from tennis practice.” Aya gestured towards her bag. “I didn’t have any big plans for the rest of the day.”


“Well now my big plans are to go for coffee with you.” Aya grinned and Miki couldn’t help but grin back. She thought maybe she understood now why Hana had stopped crying when Aya smiled at her.

They got off a few stops later and went to a little cafe Aya knew of. They spent a lot longer there than Miki had really intended to but talking with Aya was so much nicer than anything Miki had done is weeks. Aya for her part managed to include Hana in all of their conversations without seeming to need to put any extra efforts forth to do so. They talked about Aya’s love of tennis and how much Miki loved bikes. Despite laughing at her Aya seemed quite happy to listen to Miki go on and on about different bike brands and about how they worked and the best ways to ride them. Miki talked about working with her brother in the family bike shop and Aya talked about her plans for the future and how far she hoped to go with tennis.

By the time they started getting ready to go Hana was back to her happy chatty self and Miki felt better than she had in weeks. Aya insisted on exchanging phone numbers, just in case Hana needed someone to smile at her again. She put herself in Miki’s phone as Aya-Chan and Miki smiled the whole way home.