Carrying Haruno, I ran as fast as I could to Hoshimiya’s apartment.

I left the umbrella behind, but I couldn’t afford to bring it back with me.

“Hoshimiya! Haruno, Haruno is…!”

“Wh, what’s wrong……Haruka-san!?”

Hoshimiya was surprised to see us at the entrance, soaking wet.

“Haruno was near the apartment! And……She was sitting in the rain!”

“I don’t know, but I think it’d be better warm up for now.
Let me get you a towel.”

“Yeah! Please!”

Hoshimiya runs to the bathroom.

I dropped Haruno off at the doorway and leaned her against the wall.

“Haruno, are you okay!?”

“…….hm?”

She opened her eyes.
Her gaze wandered aimlessly, probably due to her inability to grasp the current situation.

“Thank goodness….! I thought you’d never wake up again….!”

“…Where am I?”

“This is Hoshimiya’s house.”

“…Ayana-chan’s house?”

“I brought you a towel.
Ah, you’ve regained consciousness, Haruka-san.”

“…Ayana-chan…”

“You should probably take a bath first.
You need to warm up.”

“Th, that’s right! Haruno, let’s get you out of those clothes!”

“…eh?”

If this continues, Haruno may catch a cold.

I put my hand on the shirt Haruno is wearing and hastily unbutton it.

“Ku, Kuromine-kun!? What are you doing!?”

“Ri, Riku-chan, you perv!”

…Eh?

I heard their panicked voices, and I grasped what I was doing now.

I had already unbuttoned some of the buttons of her shirt, exposing Haruno’s chest.

“You’re the worst! Kuromine-kun, you’re the worst! Doing this to a weakened girl…!”

“Th, that’s wrong! Hoshimiya said you should take a bath!”

“I said that, but there’s no need to undress her here! I mean, in the first place, there’s no need for Kuromine-kun to undress her!”

“I mean, her clothes are wet, so it’s better take them off as soon as…huh…?”

I didn’t know what I was saying or what I was getting impatient about anymore.

“…Riku-chan, you’re too temperamental…”

“…Sorry.”

“You’ve….always been like that.
I’d get a little sick and you’d cry…and act weird…”

“…I’m sorry.”

All I could do was apologize.

All I have is Haruno.

It may be an excuse, but I can’t forget the fear of losing my family.

Like if this time…I’d lose Haruno…

“Can you stand up, Haruka-san?”

“…Yeah.
It’s a little wobbly though.”

“Oh, let me give you a shoulder.”

“Kuromine-kun, wait in the room.
That’s an order.”

“No, wait, Hoshimiya.
I’ll take care of Haruno――――”

“Standby!”

“…Yes.”

Like a dog that has been scolded by its owner, I bowed my head in dejection.

That’s how intimidating the current Hoshimiya was.

I felt kind of dependent on her.

It’s frustrating, but I can’t help Haruno now that I’m in a panic.

I’ll leave it to Hoshimiya.

As Hoshimiya said, I am waiting quietly in the room.

I wiped my head and body with a towel, changed into loungewear, and sat down by the table.
Hoshimiya and Haruno were taking a bath.
They decided to go in together by the flow of things.

“Tomorrow morning….you’ll come pick her, huh.”

I called Haruno’s parents earlier and explained the situation.

That I am staying at Hoshimiya’s house.
That Haruno was sitting near her apartment, etc…… Haruno’s mother said, “I’ll pick her up right away”, but I reflexively said, “Please wait.” It is my desire not to leave Haruno now, and I thought we needed to discuss this alone.

Haruno’s mother was reluctant, but in the end she agreed.
It seems that she sensed something about this situation.
It was decided that Hoshimiya would let Haruno stay at her house.

“I haven’t confirmed what she wants to do.”

Well, okay.
Maybe, but I think they intend to do so.
I have a feeling.

Suddenly, I heard a pleasant conversation by the girls coming from the washroom.
They seemed to have just gotten out of bath.

“Fuu, I feel refreshed~”

Hoshimiya comes into the room, letting out a pleasant sound.

Her face was on fire after a hot bath, and her long hair was unraveling in a ponytail……

Her pink pajamas are the same as usual.

“Riku-chan.
Thank you for the clothes.”

Haruno appeared from behind Hoshimiya, wearing my jersey.

At first she was going to wear Hoshimiya’s clothes, but while they were drying on the balcony, they got wet from the rain.
So Haruno had no choice but to wear my jersey.
…Yes, there’s something goofy about it.
The hands didn’t stick out of the sleeves because they weren’t the right size, and the whole thing was dowdy.

The atmosphere was good.

“”

“Haruno, are you feeling alright?”

“Unn, I’m feeling a little lightheaded, but……I’m not that tired.”

“I see… Take it easy.”

“Unn.”

“If you feel the least bit sick, tell me right away, okay?”

“Unn.”

“Are you sure you’re okay? You’re not pushing yourself, right?”

“You’re too persistant, Riku-chan…”

I was told in dismay.

Hoshimiya, who was beside Haruno, was also twitching a bit.

“Kuromene-kun really likes Haruka-san, huh?”

“No…If you say it so clearly….I wonder.”

Unable to deny it, I scratch my head in embarrassment.

“Ah, right.
I need to call my mom…I’m sure she’s worried.”

“I called her already.
She decided to let you stay here.”

“…You’re unusually one-sided, Riku-chan.”

“I don’t mind it, but I wanted you to say something to me, the owner of the house.”

The girls condemned me.

She naturally got angry.

Even if that was the case, it seemed a little wrong to send Haruno home now.

I didn’t ask why she was here…

“I’ll stay in Chiharu-san’s room today.
You two can sleep here.”

“Is that okay?”

“Nn~, it’s fine.
I’m sure you two have a lot to talk about.
I’m not intruding, am I?”

I don’t think she’s intruding, but I really wanted to calmly talk with Haruno alone.

Hoshimiya comes up to me and tells me.

“Good luck.”

“……Eh?”

When she said those two words, she smiled a slightly meaningful……No, forced smile.

“Then, I’ll let you two be.”

With a light wave of her hand, Hoshimiya leaves the room.

The front door was opened and closed.

“……”

“……”

Left in the room, I and Haruno did not open our mouths.

We look away from each other and stare at the walls, floor, and ceiling.

“Um.
I’ll call mom as well.”

“Ah, yeah, sure.”

Haruno picks up her phone and begins a call.

From the conversation that I can hear, it seemed that Haruno’s mom was pissed off.

She repeatedly bowed her head apologetically, as if her mother was right in front of her.

“Ahahaha…She got really angry.”

Haruno, having finished the phone call, smiles bitterly.

“Of course she is.
Haruno’s mom was going to talk to the police, right?”

“Unn, I think they were on the verge of begining a search… I annoyed a lot of people.”

“……You don’t have to beat yourself up about it.”

“It’s true that I caused trouble, isn’t it?”

Well yes, that’s true.
But it’s not annoyance, it’s worry.
Everyone just cares about Haruno.

“Haruno, why were you in that place?”

“……”

I look into Haruno’s eyes and ask her directly.

“I followed the two of you……”

I knew it.
That was it.

The questions is, why was she following us?

“Why?”

“Because I was getting…very irritated when I saw Riku-chan getting along with Ayana-chan.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“At first, I didn’t know why, and I didn’t even notice that I was irritated.
But you know, I understand now.”

Saying this, Haruno closes the distance between us.

She sat down in front of me as she sat down and said these words clearly.

“”

“I….like Riku-chan.”

“Eh?”

“I don’t mean it as a childhood friend.
I like….Riku-chan as someone of the opposite sex.”

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