title: picture perfect
fandom: Princess Princess
characters/pairings: Yuujirou/Tooru, Arisada, Wataru, Koshino, Tadasu, Akira, Natashou
rating: Teen
warnings: kissing, angst, snuggling
summary: Tooru and Yuujirou's relationship is heating up, but it isn't a clear path.
notes: a sequel to not so innocent, and 4am wakeup call. takes place post anime, but uses more of the manga style for the princess dresses, ie, gothic lolita. ^_^

They burst into the bathroom together, laughing. Morning princess duty was a pain, but it was always a good chance to tease Mikoto, if nothing else.

And now... it gave them more of a chance to flirt with each other.

Yuujirou pushed Tooru up against the wall, grinning wickedly. Tooru's eyes sparkled brilliantly. He was in the mood to be bad, and that was Yuujirou's favorite mood for Tooru to be in. He kissed Tooru hard, and ran his hand down Tooru's side, until his hand felt the soft, silky touch of Tooru's stocking. He slipped his hand up Tooru's skirt, and nibbled on Tooru's bottom lip.

"You're a naughty boy," Tooru accused, his voice sultry and teasing.

Yuujirou smirked, and slipped his fingers up to finger the frills around Tooru's panties. "Have I ever mentioned how much I admire your dedication to being a Princess? Are you going to wear these frilly frilly panties all day long, under your school uniform? That's pretty exciting, Too-chan."

"You think so?" Tooru breathily replied. He reached around and pinched Yuujirou's ass. "I bet you're not even wearing underwear." He pulled Yuujirou's head closer, and kissed him, slipping his tongue into Yuujirou's mouth.

He slipped his hand in under the fabric of Tooru's panties. He squeezed Tooru's beautiful ass, and pulled him closer, and if they didn't have four layers of skirts between them, he could grind his hips...

Tooru broke off the kiss, and pushed Yuujirou back. "Come on. We're already late for class. We can't..." He blushed beautifully, and looked away.

Yuujirou had to kiss that blush. "Like it would matter," he tempted Tooru. "Everyone is in class. We could..." His hands slipped around Tooru's waist, trying to pull him closer, but Tooru slipped away.

"We can't," Tooru looked over his shoulder, and winked at Yuujirou. "Try to contain yourself, Yuu-chan. I know I'm irresistible, but..."

Yuujirou rolled his eyes, and pretended that it wasn't so. "I'm twice as cute. It's ok, though. I'm all right with being the cute one in the relationship." He started to undo the laces on the bodice of his dress, rather nakedly watching Tooru undress. It was understandable like this, after all, since their dresses were so complex, and they needed to help each other.

At least, the laces, zippers, and buttons made for a good excuse, and Tooru had never objected, not even before they had first...

Yuujirou looked over his shoulder, and narrowed his eyes. He thought...

"Yuujirou?" Tooru asked, tugging on Yuujirou's laces.

"Mm?" Yuujirou turned back to Tooru and smiled. Everyone was in class. There was no way he could have heard someone at the door. It was just his imagination.

Harue Wataru frowned slightly over his ledger. The neat and tidy rows of numbers were perfect, of course. To even fathom otherwise was akin to sacrilege.

But there was an obvious discrepancy.

He took a deep breath, and picked up the ledger sheet. The warning bell rang, and the other members of the student council were gathering their books together.

"Arisada-san, if I may have a moment?" To his immense displeasure, Koshino and Tadasu stopped in their tracks. Of course, they had an unspoken agreement that none of them would ever be allowed to monopolize Arisada's time; they'd had that agreement for a few years now. But surely, he could have hoped to have a few minutes alone with the President for school business...?

"What is it, Harue?" Arisada asked, sounding bored.

Harue laid the ledger down in front of Arisada, and pointed to the discrepancy. "It's the figures from the photography club, for the amounts owed to the Princesses. As you can see, in the past few weeks, there's been a huge upsurge in sales, but only for Princess Tooru and Princess Yuujirou. I wasn't aware that Princess Mikoto had suffered a dip in popularity."

The other two council members leaned over to look at his perfect ledger sheet, and, naturally, to move closer to Arisada. Harue glared at them, but they didn't move a millimeter back.

Arisada frowned. "He hasn't. In fact, he looked quite cute in that lace thing with the cape. The way he was blushing in the photos I saw was just perfect for a princess." He looked up at his adoring underlings.

Koshino leaned down on the table, putting his elbow down next to Arisada's and he smiled at the President. "Leave it to me, Arisada-san. I won't let you down."

Harue frowned. This was his discovery. How hard would it be to talk to the photography club? He shouldn't have said anything until he had investigated a bit more...

Arisada stood up, and patted Koshino's cheek. "You'd better not. Good work, Harue. Now, let's get to class. We must be shining examples, of course."

"It's easy, with your example to follow," Tadasu said quickly. Harue was still glowing from the compliment, so he didn't even feel like being annoyed.

Koshino gave him a sharp look, but he just smiled and winked, and grabbed his bag.

Arisada was pleased with him. Nothing could bring him down.

Koshino cornered Adinasho-senpai at lunch. Adinasho-senpai was the biggest Princess fan at school, so if there was something odd going on, Adinasho-senpai was going to know.

And, he was about half of Koshino's size, and prone to fits of nerves.

Koshino smiled as he headed for the student council office. He was going to get praised by Arisada.

"Do you have princess duty today?" Akira asked. Class had already let out, and the cleaning was almost done, but Tooru and Yuujirou were still in their desks.

Tooru yawned, and stretched out a bit. "Ah. We do, don't we? I don't want to put that dress back on. It was way too complicated, and itchy," he complained, sticking his lower lip out.

Yuujirou laughed, and reached out to grab the lower lip between his thumb and forefinger. "Don't be a brat, or I'll have to start calling you Miko-chan," he teased.

Tooru pulled up, and stuck his tongue out at Yuujirou, looking at him with a strange look in his eyes. Yuujirou had the same look.

Akira looked from one to the other, wondering...

"Excuse me. Would Kuono Tooru and Shihoudani Yuujirou please report to the student council office. I repeat. Would Kuono Tooru and Shihoudani Yuujirou please report to the student council office. Thank you."

Tooru and Yuujirou blinked, and looked at Akira, who could only shrug.

They all got up together, grabbed their bags, and started out. "Did they only call the two of you?" Akira wondered.

"Yeah... that's right," Tooru said, his brow furrowed. As they passed through the halls, a few students called out encouraging words and greetings to the princesses, but Tooru and Yuujirou were locked in their own thoughts.

No. Actually, Tooru was worried, and watching the ground, and Yuujirou was watching Tooru.

Akira wondered about that.

They got to the student council office, and Mikoto was already there, looking pensive. "Did we have a meeting?" he asked as soon as the other three were close enough. He looked fearfully at the student council door.

No one liked being called before Arisada.

The door opened before anyone could reply, however. Koshino was there, smiling brightly. "Ah, Yutaka Mikoto, Sakamoto-sama. It's not necessary for you to be here. Yutaka-kun, you can take a break until your fellow princesses can rejoin you. This shouldn't take long." He held the door open for Tooru and Yuujirou, and then closed it rather determinedly before Akira or Mikoto could get closer, or object.

They blinked, and looked at each other.

"What's... going on?" Mikoto asked, his voice weak.

Akira shrugged, and stared at the door.

What, indeed. Maybe...

Yuujirou sat down gingerly next to Tooru. He had to clamp down hard on the desire to reach out and take Tooru's hand. Tooru looked so afraid... of course, Arisada was smiling brightly, but then, when wasn't he?

Yuujirou didn't trust the man.

"Well! Thank you for coming so promptly, Princesses. I won't keep you; I know you have duties. We just need to discuss a small matter." Arisada tilted his head to the side, and beamed.

Tooru shrunk back. "What is it, Arisada-san? Is something... something wrong?"

"Oh, well. Wrong might be too strict a word. However..." He tossed a photograph on the table between them. "It appears as if some photos of the two of you together have been selling very well. This might be good for you, but I'm afraid we're going to have to censure this sort of thing. The student council will take the profit of these photographs, and I'm going to have to ask you to refrain from such lewd behavior at any time that you are performing your duty as a princess, and also, to try to refrain while you on school grounds. Of course, we won't delve into whatever the two of you might be doing in the comfort of your room. That's not any of our business.

"I'm sure you can understand. While the role of princess brings an air of freshness to this drab male world, the last thing we want is to sexualize the role of princess. That would sully this long and proud tradition, as well as introduce an element of danger to the princess. Do we understand each other?" Arisada continued to smile brightly, as if he was discussing nothing more personal than the weather report.

Yuujirou felt completely frozen. The picture was of the two of them in the bathroom. From the angle of the shot, one could tell that Yuujirou had his hand up Tooru's skirt, but how far up was hard to tell. Tooru's eyes were slack with pleasure, and his posture was most erotic. Yuujirou was leaning in for a kiss.

It was actually a rather beautiful picture, and Yuujirou wondered if he could sneak the photo away when they left, but.

Tooru was shaking.

He looked over at Tooru, and then at Arisada, who was calmly ignoring Tooru's distress. That might be considered a kindness on his part, but Yuujirou was still left in the middle, tongue-tied.

"Well. Obviously, Arisada-san, we're terribly sorry for..."

"Who took this picture?" Tooru jumped in, pointing at it with a shaking hand. "Who... who took that?"

"We can't confirm that," sighed Koshino. "However, it was sold through the photography club."

"Sold!?" Tooru jumped to his feet. "Sold? Sold, to... to everyone? Everyone has seen this?"

"T-Tooru..." Yuujirou said, his heart pounding. Tooru was...

"That's not right! How can they do that? That's... that's... dirty!" Tooru yelled, still pointing accusingly at the photo.

"Tooru..." Yuujirou sighed under his breath.

Arisada and his cohorts looked nervously between each other, and then Arisada turned back to them and smiled brightly. "Well, it's not important, really, as long as we know this won't continue. You can't unring a bell, as they say, but we can be more careful for the future. Right?"

Yuujirou was nodding, but Tooru's face was bright red. "It's important! Of course it's important! When I agreed to be a princess, I never agreed to anything... anything like that!" He pointed more furiously at the photo. "Pictures of a pornographic nature... that's obscene!"

Yuujirou's eyes went wide.

Arisada grinned, and leaned casually back in the chair. "Oh? Well, Kuono-kun, if you didn't want things like that to happen, you probably shouldn't have engaged in such activities at school, mm?" The other student council members smiled privately to themselves as well.

Tooru was even more enraged, though. He picked up the photo and tore it to pieces, and then stormed out of the office. Yuujirou stood up shakily and grabbed Tooru's bag and his own.

"Sorry if we've caused you trouble, Shihoudani-kun," Arisada said slyly.

Yuujirou hurriedly bowed to the student council, and then ran after Tooru.

Just what was wrong? Clearly, seeing that photo was a shock. And Yuujirou wasn't any more pleased than Tooru that other students had bought such a photo. But... it wasn't like the photo was doctored.

Was there no part of Tooru at all that was pleased to see such a photo of them together?

Tooru was running straight for the photography club's office. As usual, after school, they were busy selling photos. Tooru burst in right in the middle of a throng of admirers, and marched right up to the desk.

"Princess Tooru!" the student managing the store smiled brightly. "And Princess Yuujirou. What a delight! Is there something we can do for you?"

"Are there more of them?" Tooru demanded angrily. "How many have you sold today? How many did you print?"

"Tooru..." Yuujirou sighed. Some students, figuring out what was going on, were slipping out the door. Others were gathering in small clumps, talking amongst themselves. Some looked afraid. Some looked angry.

Tooru wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to any of them. He was busy ripping apart the photography club's display.

"P-Princess Tooru!" the club's member jumped to his feet, trying to preserve their merchandise. He looked around frantically for help. From behind the screen, other members were coming out, but none seemed anxious to confront an angry princess.

Tooru threw a stack of photos of them three of them together on the floor. He spun around, glaring at all the students. "How many of you bought it? Well? How many perverts are here in this room?"

Many started to shake their heads, piping up to assure Princess Tooru that they would never buy such a thing. Some hung their heads down, or blushed, or tried to look away.

Tooru was just becoming more and more incensed.

"What's the matter here?" the photography club president came out, all smiles. "About, er, that matter, Arisada-san has already spoken to us. I admit, we showed poor judgment, and I'm deeply sorry, but I can assure you, all of those photos we still have were destroyed, as well as all the negatives and files, and it won't happen again."

There was a weak chorus from the crowd, also assuring Tooru that their copy had been destroyed.

Tooru just narrowed his eyes, and balled his hands into fists, glaring at the president. "Who took that photo?" he asked, his voice deadly serious.

The president paled, and stammered. "Ah, ah, Princess Tooru, this matter is over and done with, isn't it? Arisada-san was satisfied, so I don't think..."

"You're not going to tell me?" Tooru cut in icily. "Someone was spying on us when we were in the bathroom getting changed and you won't tell us who it was?" There was deafening silence. Tooru snarled. "Fine, then, just fine. I won't consent to any pictures of me being taken until you tell me who the stalker was!"

There was a loud gasp, quickly followed by the pleas of his fans to calm down and reconsider. The president of the photography club looked shell-shocked, and he tried to laugh it off. "Pr-Princess Tooru-sama, pl-please, let's not be hasty, mm? It's part of your duty as a princess to have photographs..."

"I DON’T CARE!" Tooru roared. "Let them remove me from the role of Princess, then! But there will be no more pictures of me until the person who was spying on me is identified!" He turned on his heel sharply, and stormed out.

Frozen to his bones, Yuujirou followed him slowly, hanging his head down.

Was... was a picture of them together really so offensive?

Tooru got into his dress, and went to the clubs, but he was decidedly in a foul mood, and stayed sullenly behind Yuujirou and Mikoto. Yuujirou wasn't in much of a mood for princess duty, either, and since Mikoto was never in the mood, they were a pretty sad group of princesses. As soon as their allotted time was done, Tooru bolted off on his own. He didn't go immediately back to the dorm, either. It was after dinner when Tooru returned to the room, looking no less glum.

Yuujirou had wanted to figure out how to talk to Tooru about what had happened, but when he saw Tooru's stormy face, he realized that he had nothing to say.

That night, he crawled into his own bed over Tooru's, and he stared at the wall, listening to Tooru breathe.

Stupidly hoping that Tooru would want him to come down and sleep with him again.

Mikoto heard about what was going on the next morning, just before class. He spent the whole morning in shock. His thought kept spinning around. Something felt wrong about it all. Someone in his class had actually had the picture. Seeing it, he couldn't deny that it was absolutely true. In fact, it made perfect sense, really. Tooru and Shihoudani got along so well. It was the least surprising thing he could hear.

He wanted to dress up with Megumi-san like that. He wanted to dress up in boyish clothes with her (though, he'd never really say that to her, all things considered). He wanted to be closer to Tooru, so that he didn't have to learn about something like this from his classmate long after everything had blown up.

He wanted to feel comfortable calling Shihoudani 'Yuujirou,' and he wanted the three of them to be as close as Tooru, Sakamoto-sama, and Shihoudani were.

As soon as the bell rang for lunch, he went off in search of Tooru.

Tooru skipped part of class that morning. He couldn't help it. He kept thinking that any one of them could be the one who had spied on him and Yuujirou. He couldn't help thinking that any one of them could have bought that picture. He couldn't help thinking that any one of them could be judging him right then.

It was going to drive him crazy.

He didn't go to the roof, because that's where they always went. Instead, he went out to the campus, to sit down on the small ridge where he and Sayaka had fallen. A problem like Sayaka seemed simple now.

Maybe he should have left school after all.

Yuujirou didn't go looking for Tooru at lunch. He went up to the roof, knowing that Tooru definitely wouldn't be there. He had a pretty good idea of where Tooru had gone, but he didn't want to push his luck.

He wasn't surprised that Akira had followed him. After all, Akira was friends with Tooru, and he'd be worried. Everyone was worried, of course. And naturally, Akira would think that Yuujirou should be able to make things better.

Yuujirou wanted to be able to make things better, but Tooru didn't really want him to, did he?

"Yuujirou. Have you talked to Tooru about what happened yesterday?" Akira got right to the point. Just as well.

Yuujirou just shrugged. "Tooru hasn't been much in the mood for talking."

"That picture is for real, right?" Akira asked calmly.

Yuujirou grinned, and crossed his arms over his belly, turning his head to the side. "Does it disgust you?"

Akira came to stand right in front of Yuujirou. "Should it?" He smiled, but that didn't really put Yuujirou's mind at ease.

He wanted to see Tooru smiling.

"What are you going to do?" Akira asked softly.

That was a good question. Yuujirou had been pondering that ever since Arisada-san had shown them the picture. Unfortunately, he had only one answer. He smiled bitterly. "What can I do? I'll just have to wait and... see what Tooru wants."

"That doesn't sound like you," Akira said quickly. He was watching Yuujirou far too closely. "Aren't you going to fight for him?"

He shifted uncomfortably, and turned his face away from Akira as much as he could. Fight for him... because in his place, there would be someone else, even the very second he gave up. He knew that. "When we... the night that we..." He coughed discreetly. "He told me. At his old school, he... he never said no to anyone. If anyone asked him out... he always said yes, even... even to a guy. Maybe..." He swallowed hard.

"Is that really what you think?" Akira asked sharply. "That he only went along with what you wanted?"

"I'm not saying that he's weak," Yuujirou sighed. "Only that... it's really ingrained into him. The desire to please others. Even... even when we convinced him to stay here. It was because everyone wanted him to, right?"

"And so did he," Akira countered.

"I know," Yuujirou closed his eyes. "However. That doesn't mean..."

"You think he's just trying to please you. But maybe it's because he really likes you. You can't know, because you won't ask him," Akira accused, a hint of bitterness in his voice. Yuujirou looked him in the eye. "In the meantime, he's also suffering, but you can't do anything for each other if you don't talk to each other. If you value his friendship as well as his love, or his lust, then you'd try to bridge the gap."

"What about him?" Yuujirou hotly replied. He didn't like being reproached, especially when there was good cause. "Why doesn't he try to talk to me? Why... why is he so ashamed of me?"

Akira shook his head. "I could tell you that I don't think that he is, but you won't believe me unless you hear it from him, will you?"

"Well, he's not that interested in talking to me about it." It sounded petulant, even to him. But why was it that he had to be the mature one, after all?

"Have faith, Yuujirou," Akira smiled, and Yuujirou blinked. Akira reached out, and squeezed Yuujirou's arm. "I don't believe he was just going along with what you wanted. There's only one person I can think of who was surprised by that picture." He winked, and for a moment, Yuujirou didn't know what he meant, and then it clicked.

Despite himself, he smiled.

"There you are!"

Tooru nearly jumped. Mikoto burst through the trees, and practically fell at Tooru's side, grabbing him by the arm and shaking him.

"How long have you been hiding all the way up here? What are you doing here, anyway? And why didn't you tell me about you and Shihoudani? He's a devil. I don't understand. Why is it him, and not me?" Mikoto took a breath, long enough to hear what he had said. He turned bright red. "Not! Not that I mean... not like... I want, with you, not that... I mean, it's ok, but I have a girlfriend, and maybe that's why you two don't mind being princesses so much, or something, I don't know, but. You've always liked him better, right?" Mikoto's hands fell away from Tooru, and he slumped down.

Tooru couldn't help smiling a bit. "It's not like that, Mikoto. It's not... you two are both my friends. With Yuujirou..." He sighed, and shrugged, smiling.

Mikoto pulled his legs up to his chest and hugged them, partially hiding his face behind his knees. "Are you in love with him?"

Tooru couldn't keep looking at Mikoto, so he let his gaze fall away, and turned his face to the school. "Does it disgust you? I... I didn't choose it..."

Mikoto was unusually quiet. Tooru wasn't sure if that meant that he was disgusted, or if it mean that he was fine with it. Finally he sighed heavily. "Megumi... Megumi wasn't always a girl. Well, she was, but... she's... she's a girl, and all, but... physically... she used to be a boy. It's confusing! Anyway, none of that matters!" Mikoto's cheeks were bright, bright red. "If you love someone... that's all that matters!"

Tooru just stared at Mikoto. He was being completely serious. Really, really serious. And yet.

It started slowly. Just a snicker. And then, Tooru thought about what Yuujirou would say if he ever found out. When he found out. And then, he started laughing so loudly, he rolled over to his side.

It felt good.

"Stop laughing at me!" Mikoto yelled. "I'm being nice!"

"I know! I'm sorry, Mikoto! It's just... it's just..." He wiped the tears off his face, and looked up at Mikoto from between his fingers. "You're the last person I'd expect to say something like that."

Mikoto stuck out his lower lip. "J-just because I don't like to dress up like a girl... It's just. All my life, everyone has made a big fuss about how girly I am. But that doesn't mean I'd turn my back on a friend..."

Tooru stopped laughing, and took a long, deep breath. "I'm sorry, Mikoto. I mean that, really. It's not that I thought you were a bad friend. I'm the bad friend. I. I just can't seem to do anything right." He laughed manically, and turned his head, so his forehead was resting on the dirt. "I tried so hard to be the perfect son and brother, but that didn't really work. Even now... Sayaka doesn't see me as her brother. My uncle and aunt... don't see me as a son. It's to be expected, I suppose. I wanted to be a model student, and a model princess. But somehow, I... I... I end up disappointing everyone, right?"

He felt completely weak and useless. He couldn't stop laughing, and now he was crying, too. It was stupid. So stupid. He shouldn't be this weak at all.

He just needed...

Mikoto reached out, and patted his shoulder. "Idiot. No one's disappointed in you." Tooru's eyes went wide, and he looked up at Mikoto. Mikoto's cheeks were red, and he was looking away, but he kept his hand on Tooru's shoulder. "Stop worrying so much about what other people want from you. Just be yourself."

Tooru blinked a few times, unable to fully process what Mikoto was saying. "Come on. Every time I'm selfish... It all backfires on me. I wanted to stay here... I wanted to be with you and Akira... and Yuujirou. And. And now look. I've probably ruined Yuujirou's life. Everyone knows..."

"Hm," Mikoto sighed, looking quizzically at Tooru. "I don't know... I can't speak for Shihoudani... but. Isn't he more the type to do what he needs to get what he wants, no matter what the consequences are? I really don't think he thinks his life has been ruined."

Tooru sat up, and pondered that. He heard it echoed all around him, Yuujirou confessing to him his love. Those sweet words... Tooru's heart pounded, and his cheeks got hot. He looked away from Mikoto, and smiled softly. "Maybe... maybe you're right..."

"Well, if you're uncertain, you should talk to him. Be hard on him! He's a selfish brat! So, be strict, and put him under your thumb!" Mikoto pumped his fist in the air, narrowing his eyes and smiling.

Tooru grinned. "Like Megumi has done with you?" he asked, too innocently.

Mikoto started, and then whined.

Laughing, Tooru patted Mikoto on the back. Perhaps... perhaps he should just talk to Yuujirou about it. Maybe everything would be ok.

Tooru was late to class after lunch, so Yuujirou didn't have a chance to talk to him then, and at the end of the day, they had different duties for cleaning. Normally, princesses never had to do things like that, but for some reason, Tooru offered to do the sweeping, so, reluctantly, Yuujirou helped with the blackboards (though, the other students didn't let him do much, because they didn't want him getting dusty). He was just about to go over to Tooru to remind him about princess duty when a number of second years burst into their classroom, pushing someone ahead of them. They shoved the boy in front of Tooru, and demanded that he speak up.

The boy was absolutely shaking. He got down on his hands and knees in front of Tooru, and he started to apologize, speaking way too loudly. "Princess Tooru! I'm the one that took the picture. I-I took a few of you and Princess Yuujirou together, b-b-b-but I wasn't stalking you! I-I-I just happened to see... and and and I didn't mean anything bad by it, I swear! It wasn't that I thought it was... was... bad, anything bad, it was just... really beautiful. T-the two of you together... was just really beautiful. I'm sorry! I'm really sorry! I'll quit the photography club, if that will make you happy. I'll sell my camera! I swear! Please! Please don't be angry any more!" His tears splattered on the floor. The group behind him nodded furiously, and murmured their own apologies.

Beautiful, huh?

Yuujirou stepped forward, and crossed his arms over his chest. He smiled like a queen down on the apologizing man. "That's not necessary, is it, Tooru? He's apologized quite properly, after all. The graceful thing to do is accept his apology, isn't it?" He looked Tooru in the eye, but he felt like his chest was imploding, like he couldn't drag oxygen into his lungs no matter how hard he tried. He really didn't want to confront Tooru...

Tooru smiled his princess smile, too. "Yes. That's enough." He leaned down, and smiled for the boy. "Please take pictures only when we're on duty. I'll retract what I said yesterday, then. Thank you for coming forward."

The boy's eyes went really wide, and he started to shake so much, Yuujirou almost thought he might start seizing. "THANK YOU PRINCESS TOORU! IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN, PRINCESS TOORU! THANK YOU! I'M VERY SORRY! PLEASE DON'T THINK ILL OF ME, PRINCESS TOORU!"

Yuujirou sighed, and covered his mouth to keep from laughing. Tooru's smile became nervous, and he stood up, and backed away a little.

"Shihoudani! Tooru! Come on! We have princess duty!" Mikoto called out from the doorway, looking more than a little nervous. He wasn't going to look at Yuujirou, either. Yuujirou looked over at Akira, winking. It seemed Mikoto was a bit nervous. But still...

Tooru smiled at Mikoto, and motioned for Yuujirou to follow. He got his bag, and followed Tooru and Mikoto. They had a fitting that afternoon, so Yuujirou didn't get any chance to talk to Tooru alone. The student council was in the home ec room, ostensibly just lazing about, but as always, Arisada's gaze was as sharp as ever. The new costumes they were having fitted consisted of several parts, with lots of long lace bits and embroidered skirts. They went to separate corners to change so they could have some of the pieces pinned to fit. When he was wearing his full outfit, held together entirely by pins, he went out to have Natashou-senpai look it over. Mikoto was still in his corner whining to the person putting the pins on his clothes, but Yuujirou was surprised that Tooru wasn't done yet.

As always, Natashou-senpai had a few minor adjustments to make, and plenty of gushing to do over his beautiful creation. Yuujirou smiled politely while he kept a sharp eye out for Tooru to come out of his corner. Finally, he did, but first, he called out, "Natashou-senpai, I'm not so sure about this..."

That caused Natashou-senpai to look decidedly displeased. "What are you talking about, Princess Tooru? Come out and let me look at it."

Arisada was watching Tooru's corner, too, with narrowed eyes. Yuujirou balled his hands into fists at his side, which was less effective with the satin gloves he was wearing. Tooru emerged from behind his screen, and Yuujirou's jaw went slack.

The outfit was styled much like his own, but the skirt was straighter, and the jacket had sleeves, so he didn't get gloves.

The jacket and the skirt, however, didn't meet. At least three inches of Tooru's midriff were bared.

Yuujirou took a step forward, but just as he opened his mouth, but then Mikoto emerged from his corner, complaining, of course. "Why does there have to be so many parts to this? I'm going to tear the lace here, I just know it. And this skirt is too tight! I have to be bound way too much! It hurts! Hey... Is it really ok for Tooru to be showing off so much skin?" He pointed childishly at Tooru's stomach, staring.

Yuujirou narrowed his eyes.

Tooru blushed, and laughed nervously, wrapping his arms around his waist. "I-It is a little... embarrassing, Natashou-senpai."

"What?" Natashou-senpai furrowed his brow. "It's not indecent!" Clucking his tongue, he went over to Tooru, tossing his hair around. "See, the allure of the satin and lace is best emphasized by the sense of femininity. Princess Tooru is perfectly suited for this, because his waist is so slim and smooth!"

"Natashou-senpai," Tooru nervously laughed. "I can't really take that as a compliment."

"See? See? The line of the jacket implies a sense of coquettishness that is belied by the innocent exposure. And then the skirt is demure and sensual, but at the same time fashionable! It's the perfect combination!" He demonstrated this by pushing Tooru's hands out of the way, and running his hands down Tooru's sides, to his hips.

Yuujirou snarled, and leapt to Tooru's side, pushing Natashou-senpai aside. "Don't touch him!" he growled. He placed himself between Natashou-senpai and Tooru, and turned to Arisada-san. "Isn't this just what you were talking about yesterday, President? Princesses are supposed to be pure symbols in order to uphold the school's tradition?"

Arisada smiled blandly at the offended Natashou-senpai. "Mm, well, I can't quite match Shihoudani-kun's fervor, but I must agree, Natashou-senpai. Perhaps if you could add a bit of lace to cover the... alluring portion of Kuono-kun's body?" He fluttered his eyelashes to the delight of his lackeys, and tilted his head to the side.

Natashou-senpai exhaled loudly. "Fine, fine." He sighed, and went over to the pile of lace on the side table, grumbling to himself as he sorted through it. Yuujirou realized that he was still shielding Tooru... and that Tooru had his hand on Yuujirou's arm. He could tell that everyone was watching them, except Natashou-senpai. He looked at Tooru fearfully, wondering... would he be angry? But when their eyes met, Tooru smiled for him.

His heart thumped.

"Ok, here, let's see... It's not quite my original vision, but..." He grabbed a pincushion, and got to his knees next to Tooru. "Yes, yes, this could work. If I bunch it like this... yes, that will have a nice look, yes..." He had picked a black lace, with triangular edging. He started to pin it to the bottom of Tooru's jacket, so that it hung down to the top of Tooru's skirt. Yuujirou backed up to give Natashou-senpai room to work. He looked up at Tooru...

Tooru was still looking at him, watching him... smiling...

"Thank you, Natashou-senpai. Sorry for causing you trouble," Tooru said gently, but Yuujirou felt that Tooru's tone was more meant for him.

Natashou-senpai wasn't even paying attention; he was too busy working and grumbling to himself.

"My skirt is still too tight," Mikoto complained, looking around the room helplessly.

Tooru lay curled up on his bed, watching Yuujirou getting ready for bed. He intended to talk to Yuujirou... he did. Especially after that fitting. But they had princess duty... and dinner... and studying... and there were a million excuses, but the truth was, he just didn't know.

If he really had ruined things for Yuujirou, perhaps he didn't want to hear about it.

Several times, Yuujirou almost started to say something to Tooru, and, afraid, Tooru had changed the subject quickly. It was cowardly, but at least Yuujirou wasn't being quiet and reserved like he was the night before. Seeing him act that way, Tooru couldn't help but think that Yuujirou wasn't pleased with him.

Could he?

"I'll get the light," Yuujirou said, and it took a moment for Tooru's eyes to adjust. Yuujirou was in front of him, putting his foot on the ladder up to the bed above. Tooru reach out impulsively, and grabbed Yuujirou's shirt. Yuujirou looked at him. "Tooru?"

Tooru blushed, and ducked his head down. "You can... sleep here, if you want."

"Can I?" Yuujirou asked, and Tooru couldn't read his tone. But then, Yuujirou was crawling into bed with him. He scooted back, making room for Yuujirou. Yuujirou put his arm around Tooru's waist. "Are you sure?"

Tooru curled up around Yuujirou the best he could, putting his head on Yuujirou's chest. The bed was cramped, but it was fine. He was fine with being wrapped up in Yuujirou.

It felt... comforting, actually.

"Tooru. Is this all right?" Yuujirou asked huskily, kissing the top of Tooru's head.

Tooru closed his eyes. Couldn't Yuujirou tell that for himself? "I'm sorry," he whispered.

"What are you apologizing for, Tooru?" Yuujirou asked, amused.

He pressed closer to Yuujirou. "I... I hope I haven't made things... bad for you."

There was a pause. Tooru could hear Yuujirou's heart beating. The sound filled him with indescribable emotions that made his chest feel compresses. "Bad for me? What do you mean?"

Tooru took a deep breath. "Everyone... everyone at school knows... that you are with another guy. Your family might find out. It. It might cause you trouble..."

Yuujirou's arms tightened around him. "Might it? But. At the same time. How. How do you feel about me, Tooru?"

Tooru lifted his head, startled by the fear in Yuujirou's voice. That wasn't something he was accustomed to at all. "How do I feel? You know..." He trailed off. Maybe Yuujirou really didn't know. The night when he tried to explain things... they were drunk then. And after that... they'd been fooling around a lot, but they just weren't the types to say mushy things. At least, not with a straight face.

Could it be that Yuujirou really didn't...?

He pressed his lips to Yuujirou's softly, and he smiled. "Shihoudani Yuujirou. I love you."

He found himself on his back, being kissed. "Tooru, you're an idiot. Did you really think I'd care about what anyone else, even my family, thought, as long as I could be with you?"

Tooru blushed hard, and turned his head away. "W-well. You doubted that I really cared for you, didn't you? Don't tell me you thought I was just going along with you or something. I'm not stupid enough to spread my legs for just anyone, you know." He looked Yuujirou in the eye, and smirked.

Yuujirou's eyes widened, and then he snickered. "Spread your legs? Have you done that? I forget. Remind me. What's it like when you spread your legs, Too-chan?"

Tooru giggled, and they wrestled a bit. "We have school in nine hours! We should be slee~ping."

"Close, close," Yuujirou said as he pushed Tooru's pants down. "Not sleeping, but close."


"You love it."

"May~be," Tooru grinned, pulling Yuujirou's shirt off. "But if we sleep through class again, Arisada-san won't be pleased."

Yuujirou shivered, and then winked. "We'll have plenty of coffee in the morning."

Tooru pulled Yuujirou close, and kissed him as hard as he could.

He wanted to be able to tell Yuujirou that he felt like he belonged right where they were, together, that for the first time since his parents had died, he really felt like he fit with someone, but he didn't know how to say it so it didn't sound romantic or cheesy, so he said what he had to with his body.

For the moment, at least.