Ayano's feelings for Kurapika. (Cut because it was too romantic)

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"You seem excited," Melody affirmed gently.

"Believe me; I feel nothing but fear. Fear, of all things!" Ayano retorted. Her hands were icy and shaking. "Why is my stomach behaving this way? Kurapika-san shouldn't be responsible for an emotion akin to fear."

The woman's eyes held her in place.

How warm and motherly they were.

"I should have known this would happen!" When the Prodigy pressed for an explanation, Melody giggled. "It must be true love; It always is. I can hear your heart's assonance!"

"True love?"

The fear in Ayano's stomach fell prey to the malice in her throat. "How preposterous. That's far from what I'm feeling at the moment!"

Melody's smile only fueled the spite within her. "You don't think it's true love? Both of you are extremely close; he cares about you."

"This is a friendship we're talking about," The Prodigy snapped. "Not one of your foolish fairytales! Don't you remember what happened last time I mentioned the word 'love' around him? Coming to you for help was a mistake."

Without so much as a glance she stormed off, shaking her head at the idiocy of the idea.

True love.

What a joke. No, it was not something as daft as true love. Ayano should've already recognized the twist of her stomach and the tightening of her throat. This was fear. Anxiety.

From what she'd been taught, love had the opposite effect on the body. She reached her room.

"Please," Ayano fiddled with a doorknob. "Who does she think she's talking to? As if it comes skipping around the bend; the nerve of her to say such a foolish--"

She froze.

The faintest shuffling and murmurs could be heard between the door and the frame. Ayano recognized it immediately. It was Kurapika.

He sounded peeved.  Wasn't he always? This thought elicited a small smile from her. Gently, she pushed open the door.

Kurapika must have sensed her entering, alerted by the fresh air flushing into the room. His mutterings stopped. The shuffling didn't, but his voice indicated that he wasn't paying attention to what he was doing.

"There is a portfolio on the counter-top by the window. Mind if you bring it over, Ayano-chan?"

"Lackadaisical."  Ayano answered, already moving to grab the item.

"Nuisance." The blond replied, the insult lacking insult.

He was smiling. How was it that she knew? Maybe it was how the word he spoke ended in a thin, light closure.

Deftly grabbing the portfolio, (full of that week's six-digit income), Ayano moved. When she came around the corner, she saw him.

Kurapika hunched abstractly over the table; documents spilled beneath him. His suit-jacket lay draped along his left forearm. Shafts of sunlight fell horizontally across his body, highlighting the dust motes in the air. "Over here." He called distractedly.

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