Chapter Four: Reassurance

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"Tadashi, I don't want to hear it. You're going to do fantastic on your finals," you tell him for the millionth time. "I have no doubt about it. You are brilliant!"

"Thanks, ___," the almost nineteen year old replies, the exhaustion heavy in his voice. "The stress just gets to me, you know?"

"I know," you tell him, smiling softly as you scrub the table in front of you. It was just around four in the afternoon, and you were working at Lucky Cat Cafe. You've been working here for almost a year now, coming straight from school to work your short shift. You're a junior now. Halfway through sophomore year, the principal realized that you had enough credits to skip straight to your second semester of junior year. And here you are, barely seventeen and one of the smartest kids in school.

"I just have to pass. If I don't, I won't get into SFIT, and if I don't get in, I will lose my mind!" You can hear the panic in his voice.

You stand up and smile. "You're losing your mind right now, Tadashi." You make your way back to the counter. Tadashi follows, leaning over it.

"Can I get another black coffee?" A man calls from across the cafe.

You nod. "Just a moment." You look at Tadashi as you grab a mug from the stack beside the coffee beans. "Tadashi, how about I make you some green tea?" You ask, knowing that he likes to drink it when he's really stressed. "And when my shift is over, I can help you study."

Tadashi nods. "That sounds great. How did I get so lucky to have you?" He asks, leaning in to kiss you. You hold your finger up to his lips.

"I'm working," you say, grabbing the cup of coffee and walking around Tadashi.

He groans. "You can't just kiss me once?"

"No way," you tell him, setting the coffee on the man's table. "I've got a job to do."

Tadashi sighs.

Aunt Cass walks in from the back of the cafe, two cans of whipped cream in her hands. She hands them to you. "I told you we weren't out," she says, smiling. She turns around and sees Tadashi. "What are you pouting for?" She asks.

"Nothing," he mumbles. His fingers massage his temples.

You sigh and walk to his side. "He's stessing over finals," you explain, you hand on his shoulder. You squeeze it gently. "You don't have anything to worry about, 'Dashi."

"She's right," Aunt Cass says.

"See?" You smile and kiss Tadashi's cheek quickly. "I'm always right."

"___, you can go ahead and take the rest of the night off," Aunt Cass says.

"Really?" You ask.

"Yeah. It's not too busy today, and I know you have finals to study for, too." She smiles, "Plan on staying for dinner?"

Tadashi's eyes light up. "Sure," you reply. "Thanks, Cass." Tadashi takes your hand and leads you up the stairs and into the living room. You go to grab your laptop out of your backpack, but you're pulled back. "What-"

Tadashi silences you by wrapping his arms tightly around you. His lips find yours and you wrap your arms around his waist. When he pulls away, he explains, "You owed me a kiss."

You smile. "Okay, well, we have work to do." Tadashi kisses you again, his hands gently cradling your face. When he pulls away, he strokes your cheeks. "Literally ten minutes ago you were complaining about not having enough time to study in a day, and now you're wasting more time."

Tadashi laughs. "It's not wasting when it's time spent with you," he says.

You look up into his big chocolate brown eyes and smile again. "You are seriously the most wonderful guy on earth."

"Thanks," he says, laughing softly. "You're the most wonderful girl ever." You step away, keeping your hand in his. He leads you to the couch, where you help him study for his tests.

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