Chapter 7:

Year 1-7: The fireworks festival

Is it ok?

“Where did you say Nozomi was waiting?” Riku looked around. He and Satsuki were walking through a mall, they wanted to buy yukatas. Riku didn´t own one and with Satsukis insistence he relented. Apparently Nozomi also didn´t own one so Satsuki invited her to come with them.
“She´s at the book shop, I think she was going to pick up some books for Sani-san.” Satsuki looked around.
Nozomi was standing in front of the shop a big bag in her hands. She waved when she saw Riku and Satsuki.
“That´s a lot of books.” Riku pointed at the bag.
Nozomi smiled. “Sani needed some reference books and I thought if I´m already here I could pick them up from him.” She blushed slightly, which was very apparent with how pale she had become. Riku was feeling conflicted, he had wanted to tell someone for a while but he also wanted to respect Nozomis decision to keep it a secret.
They made their way to the yukata shop. “Do you also need one?” Nozomi asked Satsuki, she was already looking through the racks of yukata in front of her.
Satsuki picked up an orange one with butterflies on it. “Yeah I gave my old ones to Tatsuya.”
Riku was a bit confused, why would a boy want his older sister’s yukata? He decided to not ask, he didn´t know her brother anyway.
“I think a dark blue would suit you well.” Satsuki was now standing next to him. Riku startled a bit, he had not expected her to be standing there.
“Where´s Nozomi-san?”
Satsuki pointed at the changing room. “She fell in love at first sight with this pink yukata.”
“Not the only thing she fell in love with.” He mumbled, thinking Satsuki wouldn´t hear it. He had thought wrong.
“Do you know about her crush?” Satsuki asked him.
“I do, she told me. How do you know about it?”
“I´m her best friend, of course I would know who she´s crushing on.”
Riku looked her in the eyes. “Is that why you were ok with me inviting her?”
Satsuki nodded. “I was planning on getting her and Sani-san to have some romantic moments anyway.”
“I feel a bit weird though. What if Sani-san doesn´t like her in that way?” That was the biggest problem in Rikus mind right now. If Sani didn´t have feelings for Nozomi it would break her heart and Riku didn´t want to do that.
Satsuki smiled. “I wouldn´t worry about that.”

All of them found yukatas pretty fast; Nozomi had shown off the pink one she fell in love with. Riku thought she looked cute in it. Satsuki in her black one ornate with big red roses made her instantly look more mature. Riku on the other side chose a simple dark blue one, like Satsuki had recommended.
He was getting excited about the next day, everyone was going to be there and they had promised to all come in yukatas. He had practiced all the little games they could be encountering with Hitomi. Riku had a plan; he was going to win something for Satsuki, preferably a big stuffed animal.
Just as they were about to leave they ran into Hayato. “Oh, hi.” He said surprised.
“I´ll be waiting in the car.” A brown-haired woman with eyes as green as his told him.
“Ok.” He told her then turned to the others. “I didn’t know you were going to be here.”
Nozomi showed her yukata.
“Oh you went together?” He asked. Nozomi nodded.
“Whatcha got there?” She pointed at his many bags.
He smiled. “I´m getting a puppy.”
Nozomis eyes lit up. “A puppy? Why didn´t you tell us? Do you have a picture?”
“It was a spontaneous decision and of course I have a picture.” They all huddled around his phone. “I went to the pet shelter with my family; Ami and Rin wanted to get cats, and then I saw that little one I just had to take her home. Well she´s actually coming home with me the day after tomorrow.” The puppy was a black Shiba inu with big brown eyes, it reminded Riku of someone.
“Do you have a name?” Satsuki asked.
“Shuna.” He blushed, apparently the similarity between the puppy and Shu weren´t lost on him. “I have to leave Ami is going to get mad if I take much longer. We´ll see each other tomorrow, Shu´s already so excited, we haven´t been to a fireworks festival in years.”

“It´s rare for you to be the first one.” Riku laughed. Shu was staring at his phone, he looked angry.
“Well I thought I could surprise my boyfriend but apparently work´s more important than me.” Yep, he was angry; he was practically fuming with anger.
“What does that mean?” Riku asked carefully.
“He has to work late today.” Shu said, he seemed to try and calm himself when speaking to Riku.
“What does he even do for work?”
“He´s a waiter at a restaurant.” Sani answered taking Shus phone out of his hands. “You´re not going to angrily call him now. We wanted to have fun.”
“Fine.” Shu got his phone back and hid it in his green yukata. “I even wore this yukata for him.” He mumbled.
Sani was dressed in a beige one. He waved as soon as he saw the girls arrive. “You came together?” He asked taking Nozomis handbag without thinking.
“We got ready at Nozomis place.” Satsuki answered.
“Yuu drove you?”
“Of course.” Nozomi said, already on her way to the cotton candy stall.
The group decided to first get something to eat. Riku, Sani and Shu were sitting down, the girls insisted on getting the food. Shu had pulled out his phone again, probably hoping to see some kind of activity from Hayato. He put his phone on the table. “Still nothing.” He mumbled disappointed.
“So Riku I have a bone to pick with you.” Sani leaned on one of his hands.
“Oh drama!” Shu suddenly looked excited.
Riku was scared, what could he have done? Did the twins mess something up again?
“Why didn´t you tell me that Nozomi is receiving treatment?”
Riku stared blankly at him. “She told me not to tell anyone.”
Shu looked from Riku to Sani seemingly confused about what they were talking about. Then it seemed to have dawned on him. He jumped up. “No-chan has cancer?!” He called out shocked.
Sani pulled him back on his seat. “How about you yell a bit louder? I think the people in Canada haven´t heard it yet.”
Shu mumbled an apology. “Is it true?”
Riku didn´t know what to say. He had promised Nozomi not to say anything, but Sani seemed to know already. “How did you find out?”
“Please, I´ve seen her when she received treatment for the first time, I know how she looks when she´s receiving chemo.”
Before the situation could get any more heated the girls returned, takoyaki, tayaki and fries in hand. “I hope that´s ok for now.” Satsuki sat down next to Riku while Nozomi squeezed in between Sani and Shu.
“Sure.” Riku took a tayaki, trying to avoid Nozomis gaze. He felt awkward around her, no he felt more guilty than awkward. He couldn´t shake off the feeling that he had just gave away her secret. Sani was looking at her the whole time. His eyes filled with worry. Satsuki seemed to have noticed the weird atmosphere. “Shu-san did you know that Hayato-san is getting a puppy?”
Shus eyes flared up. “No. I didn´t know. Seems like my boyfriend doesn´t care to tell me such things anymore.” He sounded hurt.
“I´m sure he just forgot. He´s been busy lately.” Sani tried to calm Shu down.
Shu didn´t say anything anymore. The mood became weird again.

Riku managed to get away from the awful mood at the table. He and Satsuki were out hunting from stuffed animals, Riku had trained for this after all. He quickly realized that he wasn´t so great at the games. His plan was going to fall apart at this rate, he looked at Satsuki, she seemed to enjoy herself nonetheless. “We kinda suck at this, don´t we?” She was laughing.
Riku nodded awkwardly.
He was standing at the shooting gallery; this was his last chance to impress Satsuki. In front of him was a stuffed bunny toy, Satsuki loved bunnies, so naturally he had to get it.
He took a deep breath and took aim. The small toy fell over. Riku couldn´t believe it, he handed it to Satsuki. “For you, you like bunnies, right?”
She smiled brightly. “It´s so cute! Thank you.”

The group had agreed to find a spot to watch the fireworks. Before that Riku and Satsuki wanted to try out one last game: Katanuki. Shu was also at the stall. He turned around. “Hi.” He mumbled.
“Where are Nozomi-san and Sani-san?” Riku asked sitting next to him. Shu had apparently already won quite a few times; the booth owner was staring to look angry.
“They went somewhere to talk.”
Riku just nodded. So Sani was going to ask her about her chemo.
“Oh, I think I won again.” He showed his piece.
Riku wasn´t as successful, but neither was Satsuki.

The three made their way to the meeting spot. Sani and Nozomi were already waiting, Nozomi looked like she had cried.
“Where should we sit?” Sani asked.
“How about over there?” Nozomi pointed at a spot on the grass nearby. She didn´t sound as sad as her appearance could make you belief. She sounded relieved, like some heavy weight was taken off her shoulders.
Satsuki pulled a big blanked out of her bag.
“Is that why you needed to bring your big bag?” Nozomi laughed.
Satsuki nodded. “We needed somewhere to sit on.” She was also laughing.
“Did it already start?” A voice asked next to them.
Shu jumped up and hugged Hayato. “You made it!”
“My boss closed the restaurant a bit earlier.” He said. They shared a quick kiss then sat down next to each other. Shu laid his head on Hayatos shoulder, they were holding hands.
Nozomi and Sani also seemed to have grown closer.
Riku sat next to Satsuki. He felt awkward surrounded by all the lovey-doveyness around him. Satsuki took his hand; she came closer to his ear. “You know I like you, right?” She whispered.
He didn´t quite register what she had said at the moment. In what way did she mean it? Rikus thoughts were racing so much he almost didn´t notice the fireworks. Satsukis eyes shone brightly in the light of the fireworks.