Rated: K Description:It's Valentine's Day at Mahora and Nodoka has some chocolate's for Negi, but it look's like the matter of actually giving them to him may be more complicated than expected.
Nodoka Miyazaki sat quietly at her desk, trying to avoid being sucked into the lunacy that had engulfed the front of the class. This is exactly the kind of thing she had expected today.
Today was valentines day, and Negi-sensei was probably the most popular professor to ever teach at Mahora Academy. Certainly he was the most popular ten year old with his odd red pony tail and pince-nez spectacles. He was a strange combination of things. Young but mature, fun loving but responsible, intelligent but humble, cute but approachable, and with an English accent to add just a dash of foreign mystique (further exacerbated by his very literal magic).
So in a way his appeal was quite easy to understand. Nodoka absolutely understood his appeal. Just the thought of him brought some color to her cheeks. The package in her hands sent tingles up her fingertips to her spine, and the thought of actually handing it to Negi made her knees weak.
Inside this special package was a handful of simple homemade chocolates, and a few shortbread cookies decorated with chocolate (they had seemed British so she had decided to include them, though a part of her worried she was over thinking things). She had been up late last night fiddling around with pots and spoons and molds trying to make them just perfect. A task made somewhat more difficult on her roommate Haruna's insistence on "taste testing" every chocolate that came out halfway decent.
But at the end of all that work she had a box of chocolates, not as perfect as she had imagined but delicious looking all the same. And she kept that box held close to her, on her lap under the table. Now only the hard part remained. Finding the opportunity and the courage to give them to her crush.
She couldn't right now, too many people trying to push chocolates onto him. Her's might get lost in the pile up, or worse destroyed in the commotion.
Eventually even this bit of crazy mellowed out with some help from Ayaka. But by then class was under way and Nodoka wasn't going to interrupt class and draw attention to herself by standing up now to hand in her chocolate.
Halfway through the class Nodoka felt a gentle tap on her shoulder.
"This could be bad," Haruna whispered.
"Wh... what do you mean?" Nodoka asked, sudden worry gripping her.
"Look under Negi's arm," Yue said next to Nodoka.
Nodoka looked and saw a small store bought box of chocolates under his arm. Not unlike half the boxes stacked on top of his desk. Nodoka was starting to feel uneasy with the atmosphere Yue and Haruna were putting off.
"He's kept it under his arm since things calmed down," Yue said.
"It's possible he's hanging onto it because he likes whoever gave it to him," Haruna speculated.
"What!?" Nodoka almost shrieked, drawing a glance or two from others in the class as Yue and Haruna shushed her in unison.
"Did you see who gave it to him?" Haruna asked her. Nodoka and Yue both shook their heads no.
Nodoka tightened her grip on her little red package as worry tightened its grip in her chest. What if he did like some one else? How was she supposed to handle that? She didn't want to come between Negi and some one that made him happy. But she didn't want to give up on her own feelings either. She felt a tremble starting to spread from her knees out to the rest of her body.
The rest of the days classes passed slowly.
After the final bell of the day the students of class 3-A started tidying the class room. Negi stayed for a moment trying to squeeze his pile of chocolates into the canvas book bag he carried with them. One had to wonder if he needed to use a little magic to make them all fit, but as soon as he had them all packed away he was out the door. Still carrying the small store bought box in his hands.
Nodoka watched him rush out silently, her eyes hidden behind her long bangs. Inside she was struggling not to shake. She was afraid. Afraid Negi liked some one else. He was so protective of those chocolates. They weren't the most expensive chocolates he had received, those had been from Ayaka. They weren't the best looking home made chocolates either, those had been Konoka's. Why else hold onto them so tightly if he didn't like the person who had given them? The thought made her heart sink.
"What are you doing?" She heard the voice of Haruna ask in her ear.
"What?" Nodoka said turning to face the taller girl.
"He just rushed out the door by himself, now's your chance!" Haruna said.
"But what if he doesn't want my chocolates?" she replied meekly, "I mean the other girls chocolates he's got with him... what if he..." she trailed off nervously.
Haruna rolled her eye's, "Are you gonna let that stop you?"
"Well..." she was barely above a whisper.
Haruna suddenly grasped her by the shoulders and shoved her through the door forcefully. "Go now before you lose him. Show him how much better chocolates made with real LOVE are!" she told her before closing the classroom door on her.
For a moment Nodoka just stood there, face bright red. She had made the chocolates herself. Poured her love into the molds with the chocolate. Always with the image of Negi tasting them in her mind. If she didn't make sure he got her chocolates then all that effort was wasted. Was she willing to throw that away now?
She turned and ran down the hall after Professor Springfield.
Negi had always been fast and Nodoka only caught up with him at the entrance to he school in front of the shoe lockers.
"Negi-sensei," she called out to him, catching his attention.
"Ah, Nodoka-san," he said sounding startled and looking just a shade pink. "What the matter?" he asked, noticing her heavy breathing following her chase down the halls after him.
"I wanted... to... give you these," she said stuttering partly from her efforts to regain her breath and partly from nerves. She held out her small box of valentines. Her face was hot with a blush and her heart was racing, as much from her embarrassment as from her run.
Negi stared at it for a moment, his pink cheeks deepening to a red.
Slowly he reached out and gently took the box from Nodoka's hands. "Thank you very much," he said his mouth pulled into a small smile. She watched as he untied the bow keeping the lid on and lifted the lid off. His smile got just a bit wider as he saw the boxes content's and pulled out one of the shortbread cookies.
She watched with her breath caught in her throat.
He quickly ate the small chocolate covered cookie with his eye's closed. "It's delicious," he said once he'd swallowed and opened his eyes again. He bowed deeply before rushing out the doors , his face still red.
She let out her breath as a smile pulled across her face.
Then as he was going out the door she noticed something. Or more accurately noticed the distinct lack of something. The only box of valentine's in his hand was her's. The other box he'd had in hand all day was gone.
Nodoka stood there looking through the glass doors after him until she heard the sounds of foot steps behind her.
She turned to see Yue and Haruna walking into the room followed by a handful of other students from various classes. "So, how'd it go?" Yue asked in her near permanent dead pan.
"He liked them," Nodoka answered with a big smile.
They both smiled at her. "I knew he would," Haruna told her. Yue seemed to think something over for a moment but Nodoka didn't know what.
As Nodoka opened her shoe locker to grab her outdoor shoes Yue voiced a question, "So did he mention who that box of chocolates he had was from?" A long moment passed and Nodoka didn't answer. She just looked inside her locker. As the silence stretched on both Yue and Haruna felt a twitch of concern. "Nodoka?" they said in unison their voices carrying a tone of confusion and concern.
Nodoka reached into her locker and pulled out a small store bot box of chocolates. The small card on it simply read, "From Negi,"
"What?" Haruna asked flatly as Yue's eyes widened with sudden understanding.
"They don't have White Day in Britain," Yue started, "so men give gift's on Valentine's day to." Haruna and Nodoka both looked at Yue, now that she had pointed it out they both vaguely remembered hearing that before somewhere.
Nodoka thought back to how Negi's hands had been empty when she'd met him down here. And how protectively he'd been holding onto the box all day before then. Once she thought over the implications of it her face went red hot and for a moment it looked to Yue and Haruna as if she had passed out standing up.