Chapter 1:

First Day

Hope-Colored Spring


"How about this one?" Danzo holds his phone up on Koutarou's face showing him a picture of a girl.

"This is also a new freshman?" Koutarou stares at the phone in awe. "Looks like we have quite a few cute first-years this year! Our spring might finally be near," he adds enthusiastically.

"Right? I also have a picture of the other class' transfer student. She's pretty cute, and she got some nice racks, too," Danzo replies as he pulls back his phone to look for another picture. "But... you know..."

"What's wrong?"

"It's kind of awkward talking about girls when you have a girl latched on you." Danzo looks at Samie who is hugging Koutarou from behind.

"Oh, don't mind me. I'm just here to recharge my Kou-chan energy," Samie answers with a smile.

"I don't mean to make you jealous or anything."

"I'm not jealous at all. I know Kou-chan would be turned down by all of them anyway," Samie tightens her hug.

"Koutarou, you bastard! I'm so jealous of you right now!"

"I keep getting shot down because you're always around me!" Koutarou tries to break away from Samie's hug. "Go away, Sacchi. We've got some guys talk going on here."

"Don't mind me."

"I do mind you!"

"Amayama-san! The homeroom teacher is looking for you!" Samie's classmate calls for her.

"I'll be right there!" Samie lets go of Koutarou and runs away. "I'll see you at lunch break, Kou-chan!"

Koutarou lets out a heavy sigh. "Ugh. Just when I thought this is gonna be a great year because she and I are finally in different classes."

"I still don't understand you, Koutarou. Every guy here would kill to get a girl like Samie-chan. What don't you like about her? Haven't you two been together since birth?" Danzo moves a little close to Koutarou to ask a personal question.

"That's exactly why, Danzo! Our parents have been friends since college. Ending up with her would be more or less an arranged marriage, and there's absolutely nothing romantic about that! Don't you get it?!"

"No, I don't get it," Danzo leans back and scratches his head. "Ah, man. If I were you I'd date Samie-chan in a heartbeat. She's smart, athletic, cute, and busty. I don't get your taste at all."

"Look. I'm not denying that Sacchi is attractive and all, but I want to experience a genuine love story. Something I've earned. I've told her this countless times already."

"You read way too many romance novels, Koutarou."

"Good morning, Yoichi-kun!"
"How are you doing, Yoichi-kun?"
"Kyah! He's so cool as always."
The chatter outside the classroom starts to get loud. Yoichi enters the classroom waving at the girls behind him. He heads toward Koutarou and Danzo.

"And here's another girl magnet," Danzo looks at him pissed.

"What's with that piercing look this early in the morning, Danzo?" Yoichi asks.

"Damn it! Why am I the only one not getting any girls in our group?!"

"Danzo, my friend," Koutarou places his hand on his shoulder. "I am with you through thick and thin. Don't forget that I'm also searching for a sweetheart." He turns to Yoichi who is just getting settled into his seat. "Yoichi, you bastard! Why don't you rub some of those good looks on us so we can get girls, too?!"

"Like I said, I'm not getting any girls." Yoichi gives them a pained smile. "I would if I could. It's not like I have time to worry about those things, anyway. I'm too busy helping my pops out."

"Damn hottie," Koutarou and Danzo grumbles.

"You should be asking Koutarou that, Danzo. After all, he's the one that the school's idol Samie-chan likes."

Danzo diverts his glare towards Koutarou. "Damn Koutarou."

"I just explained this to you literally a minute ago!"

The bell rings and Kan-sensei enters. Danzo hurries to his seat on the other side of the room.

-----

Lunch break arrives.

"Are you ready, Koutarou my friend?" Danzo asks as he walks toward Koutarou.

"You bet I am, Danzo my friend," Koutarou gives him a thumbs up. "Are you coming with us, Yoichi?"

"Lunch? Yes."

"No! Checking out the freshmen girls!"

"Then pass."

"We'll see you after lunch then," Koutarou and Danzo hurry down the cafeteria.

"Those guys," Yoichi shakes his head. Just as he's about to stand up, three girls approach him.

"Yoichi-kun, are you eating alone?"
"Do you mind if we eat with you?"

"I actually have something to do right now."

"Aww, that's too bad."

"Sorry, girls. Maybe next time." He walks out of the room. Why do Koutarou and Danzo envy this?

Yoichi heads to the music room to eat lunch and play the piano. He spends most lunch break and a few minutes after school playing the piano. It's his only hobby because, outside of school, he is busy helping out with his family's diner business that he is determined to succeed in the future.

-----

In the cafeteria, Koutarou and Danzo are sitting alone checking out a group of freshmen girls at a distance.

"Danzo, I'm going to ask her out," Koutarou tells Danzo while staring at a cute freshman.

"Ohh! That's the spirit!"

"One moment. Let me rehearse what I'm gonna say," Koutarou closes his eyes. "Damn it. What do I say first."

"Just ask her if she wants to go out with you."

"It's easier said than done!" Koutarou covers his face with his hands. "Argh. How do I say this."

Suddenly, a voice comes up from behind and gives him a hug. "Kou-chan~"

"Sacchi, don't disturb me! I'm at a crucial moment here right now."

"Crucial?" Samie asks loosening up her hold.

"Oh!" A light bulb sparks in Danzo's mind. "Why don't you ask Samie-chan, Koutarou?"

"Right!" Koutarou turns around to face Samie. "Sacchi, how do guys ask you out?"

Samie stares back at him for a few seconds and shrugs. "No one has ever asked me out."

"What?! You're kidding me!"

Danzo places his hand over his face. "I forgot. Everyone here thinks Samie-chan and Koutarou are dating so no one would dare ask her out."

"You're so useless, Sacchi!"

"How cold!"

"Well," Danzo slowly comes up with another plan. "You can at least practice with Samie-chan, can't you?"

Koutarou gives Danzo a blank stare, then looks at Samie. "Okay... Here it goes..." He takes a deep breath. "Would you-"

"Yes! I would marry you, Kou-chan," Samie answers with a smile before Koutarou could even finish his sentence. Koutarou looks down on the floor defeated.

Danzo bursts out laughing. "I did think this was going to happen, though."

"You're so useless, Sacchi..."

Lunch break ends without Koutarou or Danzo asking any first-year student out.

-----

The bell rings indicating the end of the day. Koutarou stretches his hands up and yawns. Danzo walks toward Koutarou's desk.

Koutarou lets out a sigh. "I didn't even ask anyone out at all. At this rate, this year's not going to be any different."

"We'll try again tomorrow, Koutarou," Danzo cheers him up. "Are you heading home now, Yoichi?"

"Hmm. I'll probably play a piece or two first, then head home."

"I guess I'll hang out with you for a bit in the music room then," Koutarou stands up and grabs his bag. "I'll text Sacchi to meet us there."

The three heads over to the music room listening to Koutarou's gloomy rant about being such a coward today. Yoichi and Danzo laugh it off and cheer him up.

Yoichi opens the door of the music room and sees a girl standing before them. Her hair flies back as the wind gushes into the room. Her serious eyes are staring straight at Yoichi's.

"Ah! The transfer student in Samie-chan's class!" Danzo acclaims. The three guys stare at her.

"Shirosaki Yoichi-san." She suddenly bows down low. "Please accompany me!"

James K.
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Akasabi
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