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Ah! I'm going to sneeze! - (3 Parts)


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Ah! I'm going to sneeze!

Author: Niceguy

an Ah! My Goddess! fanfiction

Setting and all non-original characters are property of Kosuke Fujishima

Her name is Sora Hasegawa. During the few times in her life that she's had the courage to engage in self-reflection, she's realized that she is unhappy. She is unhappy with herself – her appearance, her awkwardness, her complete lack of universally accepted personality traits. But mostly with her inability to break out of the timid mindset she has built up within herself over so many years. It is this for this reason that, while she is so profoundly sad on the inside and despite the outwardly cheerful and caring appearance she displays, that fate cannot intervene – she has chosen this misery for herself. While she may blame the lack of a meaningful relationship in her life on her underdeveloped physique, her "little-girl's" face or her overall mousy demeanor, it is her lack of confidence and her own self-perception that makes it so easy to simply shut herself out. In the end she is alone in the world because she chooses to be so. While fate cannot act directly to change this, the fate of one person affects that of another, and the good fortune that shines on her friend, Keiichi Morisato will also cast a light on her…


It was the first day of the new semester and Nekomi Tech's auto club managed to recruit only two new members from the incoming freshman class. Even though this result was actually better than the previous semester, when no new members signed on, and while most of this semester's potential recruits were actually scared away by the antics of Tamiya and Aoyama, the two senior members of the auto cub, Hasegawa was put in charge of this year's membership drive, and while she accepted the job reluctantly, she felt deeply responsible for what she deemed a failure. Making her feel even worse about herself was the fact that when the two new members showed up for their first club meeting, she was too intimidated to even talk to them.

One of them, Asako Watanabe, could have been a model. She had a strikingly beautiful face, raven black hair and a sexy figure – she was so beautiful that Sora wondered why Asako even joined the auto-club. Prior to this year, the club's only full-time female member was Sora herself. While Sora was slightly bothered by the fact that she went unnoticed by every single one of the men in the auto-club, she had to admit that she felt rather comfortable in the company of this rowdy, yet overall rather friendly and accepting group. Compared to the bomb-shell who was now flirting with most of the club members, she felt as though she looked like she could be in middle school. While this was not a feeling she liked, it was one she had grown accustomed to, her measurements were what they were after-all, and did approximate those of a much younger girl. The situation however shortly devolved into a full-fledged train-wreck when the other new member arrived. To Sora's eyes – he was an absolute dream. As she looked at him (stared is more accurate) she was so sure that he'd join the other guys in flirting with Asako that she didn't even notice that the opposite was true: He was coming over to talk to her!

"Hi! My name is Yuichi Asakawa. It's a pleasure to meet you. "

It took a few seconds for Sora to even realize he was speaking to her. "Um… Hi! Uh… I'm Hasegawa. It's… um… nice… to…. Um… yeah." Looking into his face she could barely speak. Stammering away and no doubt blushing profusely, almost every bit of her was desperately searching for some small hole to crawl into and hide. But she was frozen in place but another thought: This gorgeous guy came over to talk to me!

"So… You're one of the senior members then?" Asakawa asked.

"I'm not in middle…!" She began. She was so used to people underestimating her age by several years that it that it took a moment for her to absorb what he said. Now her typical frustration at being treated like a kid was replaced by the thought that he was being sarcastic. "Are you making fun of me?"

While she half expected him to laugh or make some other snide comment, the confused look on his face showed her how far off the mark she had been. Now he was the one who looked embarrassed. Bowing, and speaking very loudly and sincerely he said, "I'm so sorry Hasegawa-san! I didn't mean to offend you! Please don't think I'm saying you look too old! I'm so sorry!" He remained bowed quite low. Sora, not having been in this situation before had no idea how to feel, or how to respond.

"It's OK, really! I'm sorry too! I – I must had misunderstood you! It's OK, really! I'm a sophomore!"

Yuichi looked somewhat relieved. "Well then… I look forward to seeing you around. I've got to get to class, but… will you in the club room later? Around four maybe?"

"Um… yeah. Why?"

"I'd… well… I'd like to see you again… uh... I MEAN… I'd like to talk to you some more! You know… you can show me the ropes… tell me a little more about the club!" Was she actually making him nervous? Sora thought to herself.

"Yeah. Four O'clock. I'll see you then."


Sora was in the clouds most of the morning. No boy had ever sought her out like that. Not just to talk anyway. Usually they wanted to copy her notes from class, or some such thing. And he was so cute! By lunch however she had come back down to earth. When she met her friends Keiichi and Belldandy for lunch, she really needed to talk to someone. She hoped that Keiichi and Belldandy would understand.

"What does he see in me? Why did he come over to me?" She asked them, almost rhetorically.

"Who? You mean Asakawa-san?" Keiichi asked. In truth Yuichi had actually asked Keiichi earlier if Hasegawa was seeing anyone, but he had asked that Keiichi not say anything to her, so he kept that fact to himself.

"I mean he seems really nice, and I like him and all…" Now she was blushing. She hadn't meant to say that quite so bluntly "NO! I mean… He's really cute and all…" She really didn't mean to say that! Now she wanted nothing more than to just disappear. But as she expected, her friends understood how she felt and, as usual, Belldandy knew just what to say.

"It's all right Hasegawa-san. I'm sure that he feels the same way. You said that even he seemed to get nervous. I'm sure he feels the same way you do."

"But… I'm so…I mean… What does he see in me? I have the figure of an eighth grader! I have no sense of style! My hair… my face…" Belldandy thought that Sora sounded a lot like Keiichi did when they first met. Hasegawa was obviously distressed however and seemed on the verge of tears.

"So… these traits you speak of… These are not traits that you think he would find attractive?" Belldandy asked, with her usually innocence that bordered on naivety.

"Who would? Who could like someone with such a plain face, and freckles, and glasses, and such small... I'm just such a nerd! I just wish someone like him could find me attractive! "

"Well then… I call upon the spirits to grant you the traits that Asakawa-san finds most attractive."

Keiichi, who had been quiet up to this point almost choked on his drink. While the gravity of what Belldandy just said was lost on Sora, he knew full well what Belldandy was capable of. And while her intentions were always good, her narrow understating of the human world often led to her "help" going astray. He braced for Hasegawa's hair to turn platinum blonde, or her breasts to increase three cup sizes, or something equally dramatic to occur. He knew that Hasegawa would faint right there on the spot if anything like that happened. Surprisingly… nothing happened

Relieved he said, nervously laughing, "See Hasegawa: He must like you just the way you are!"

It was just the kind of thing Keiichi would say. All the same it still made her feel better that her friends were so supportive. "Ha-ha. Very funny." She was smiling now though.

"I'll see you guys later! I've got to get to class. And Keiichi, Belldandy? Thanks so much."


Sora headed over to the Auto Club room at around 3:30. She felt a little silly, going so early, especially without any work to do, so she was surprised to see that Yuichi was already there. As they looked at each other, all they could do was laugh, knowing they both had come early.

"So I was thinking," Yuichi began, "There's this party later at Takeda-kun's apartment… he's a friend of mine from class… and… if you'd be interested, and, I'll understand if you'd rather not, but I thought you might want to go… with… me."

As shocked as she was that this cute guy was asking her out, she was also acutely aware of something else – he was wearing some kind of cologne, and it was tickling her nose. She was pretty sure he was wearing it that morning, but now it was bothering her nose something fierce.

"Yeah, I'd love too." At least that's what she wanted to say. What come out was "Yeah… I… Ahhh… Hup-*chew*!" Doubled over and mortally embarrassed by her girly, high pitched squeak of a sneeze, Sora remained in that position, hands firmly clamped over her mouth and nose, face burning red from blushing, eyes as big as dinner plates, even without being magnified by her glasses. She was very shy, and didn't like sneezing in front of other people, but it was rarely a concern as she almost never got sick, and had no allergies that she knew of. When she finally looked up, Yuichi was looking down at her with what looked light a slightly amused grin. "Bless you."

"I'm so sorry! Thank you. I… uh… Oh no! Hang on…Hup-*chew*!" Again came the mousy squeak. As she doubled over again, not sure why it was making her sneeze, she was mortified to look up to find a small dot of moisture on the front of his shirt. "OH MY GOD!" she thought to herself, "I just sneezed ON HIM!" Now she knew would just die, right there on the spot. When she looked up again he was still smiling, and holding out a tissue.

"Are you OK?"

"Yeah... Thanks again. I'm so sor… sorr…" The tickle seemed to spread all over the inside of her face. She turned away and sneezed three more times, doubling over with each one. She took a step away from him and held her hand up signaling him not to come any closer. She felt almost out of breath at this point.

"Hey… When you pick me up tonight… Could you uh… NOT wear any of that cologne?"

At first he almost looked the slightest bit disappointed, but he agreed and perked right. "So that means you want to go then? With me, I mean?" In her fit she'd forgotten that never actually given him an answer!

"Yes! Yes, I want to go! What time will you come by?"

"Eight O'clock… And yeah, I'll leave the cheap after-shave at home. Sorry it bothered you, Hasegawa-san"

"Oh it's OK. I'm kind of surprised myself. It does smell nice…" But as she took a step closer, the tickle flared up almost immediately. "Oh! I've gotta go!" She sneezed twice more as she ran from the room. She waited until she was at a safe distance – in other words: out of an earshot, to blow her rather runny nose.

Yuichi sighed. "She's so cute." he thought to himself.


At seven thirty there was a knock on the door. Not having been on many dates, Sora did not immediately realize the significance of his arriving almost half an hour early. As she was presently sitting on the toilet however, she was shrewdly aware that his timing overall was monumentally bad. "Be right there!" she called, being uncharacteristically loud, for her.

When she opened the door she was struck by just how cool and casual he looked. A comfortable pair of jeans, hip tee-shirt and the same black jacket he had on earlier. Not very high on fashion herself, Sora appreciated the practically of his apparel. The she noticed that he had brought flowers. Roses even!

"Wow! Are those for me?" She blurted out. "Sorry, I mean, 'Hello, come on in. Make yourself at home.'" She felt so happy. She couldn't stop smiling.

"Sorry I'm so early… I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time?"

If you had any idea, Sora thought to herself. "Not at all! Let me take those… And go put them is some water."

As Yuichi settled down on the couch in the den, Sora went into the kitchen to find a vase. Once she'd properly dealt with the roses, she suddenly felt the tickle in her nose return. 'What the heck?!' she thought. Then she bent over and tentatively took a sniff of the rose. This was a mistake. The burning tickle flared up inside her skull like she had sniffed wasabe.

"Hup-*chew* (squeak) ah… *chew* (squeak) … uh… ah… Hup-*chew* (squeak)." She felt so embarrassed.

"Are you all right?" Yuichi called from the other room.

"Yeah… ah… I'm… ah… I'm OK!" She said, vigorously rubbing her itchy nose with her finger. "What the heck is going on me today?" she thought as stepped away from the vase. She blew her nose as quietly as she could manage and, feeling better, went back to the den. "Do you want to head out then?"


The party was not exactly what most people would call rocking, but the crowd was a bit bigger than Sora was used to. While she did feel just the slightest bit uncomfortable, everyone was very friendly, even the ones who wanted to whose 'kid sister' she was. Tonight though she was on a date, and she felt like nothing could dampen her spirits. Then that itchy, tickly feeling in her nose came back.

She spent most of the first hour or so just talking to Yuichi. He introduced her to some of the other people he'd met in class. Some of them she had seen around campus before but, being as shy as she was, she'd never actually met any of them. But the entire time, through all of the introductions, and casual conversation with Yuichi about almost nothing at all, she couldn't shake the growing, sneezy feeling she had. At some point she realized that she was no longer even listening to Yuichi, or anyone else for that matter, and she spending almost all of her mental energy trying not to sneeze.

"Are you OK? You seem sort of… I don't know… Nervous, maybe? We don't have to stay if you're not having a good time." Yuichi seemed genuinely concerned but she could swear just the slightest but amused as well. She shook her head to reassure him, as she rubbed her nose, which unbeknownst to her was turning pink.

"No… I'm having… a… great… ah… Oh! No, I'm f-fine. Real… Real… lee… ah… Hup-*squeak*." She knew, without any doubt, she would be sneezing a lot more.

"Bless you."


"And again!" As her eyes were closed, and she was bent over, Sora could not see the broad smile spreading across Yuichi's face.

"I don't… ah… I don't… hup-*chew*… know wha… aht-*chew* what's making me hat-*shoo* snee…ah… sneeze like this!"

Just then Takeda, who was hosting the party, came by. "Are you OK Hasagawa-san? You're not allergic to cats, are you? Neko-chan was bothering some of the others earlier… so I put him in the bedroom."

She could barely hear him, as she searched around in desperation. "Where's your bathroom, Takeda-kun?" she pleaded.

"Just down the hall," he pointed.

By the time she made her way through the crowd her nose was running so badly, she was almost surprised she didn't have it all over her shirt. Once inside she grabbed a wad of toilet paper to blow her nose. Do to it being so runny her blow came out a lot louder than she'd intended. Just then there was a knock at the door. It was Yuichi – showing his keen sense of timing once again.

"Are you feeling OK Hasegawa-chan? You uh… didn't sound so good just now."

'Oh my god, he heard that?!' Sora thought to herself, feeling incredibly self-conscious and un-ladylike. (Not that she usually cared about being ladylike but she was on a date, wasn't she?)

"So we can go… You know… If you want…" he offered.

Sora, feeling a little better, opened the door. "Don't be silly," she smiled, though her nose was now red and her eyes were starting to get just the slightest bit puffy. "I'm fine. I just need some fresh air."

The walk back through the apartment almost started to get her nose going once again when she reached the door to the balcony. Outside it was rather crowded. Takeda himself did not smoke, and as he didn't let people smoke in his apartment, right about now all of the guests who did smoke, which is to say about three quarters of them, crammed onto the balcony not smoking so much as chain-smoking. While Sora considered it a rather nasty habit, and didn't smoke herself, it generally didn't bother her if other people did. However luck was not on her side tonight and she could not have picked a worse venue for getting some "fresh air."

The thick fog engulfing the balcony burned her eyes and set her set her sinuses on fire. The balcony was so crowded that no one even noticed her, bent over the railing, practically sneezing her head off. Someone bumped into her from behind. Every sneeze had her practically grinding into them. Whoever it was, she thought sarcastically to herself that she hoped they were enjoying the semi-lap dance they were getting. A hand landed gently on her shoulder. It was Yuichi.

"Hat-choo! Hat-choo! Oh Yuichi… Hat-choo! I'm so… Hat-choo! sorry! Hat-choo! I don't… Hat-choo! know what's… Hat-choo! wrong with me tonight! I re… really… Hat-choo! think I ne… ne... Hat-choo! need to get out of here!" She looked up, expecting to see disappointment, and was struck by how happy he looked.

"It's OK" He said, his sympathetic smile not dimming in the slightest. "We can go. Come on… I'll walk you home. Let me just grab a few tissues."


'A few tissues' turned out to be another wad of toilet paper, but Sora was grateful nevertheless. Lacking any pretense at this point, she blew her nose loudly and heartily several times as they walked home in relative silence. By the time they reached her apartment, she did feel almost completely better.

"I'm sorry you didn't have such a good time tonight…" Yuichi started.

"No! I should apologize! I'm the one who ruined everything!" Sora interrupted, sounding almost on the verge of tears.

Yuichi laughed for almost a minute strait. "Are you kidding? I had a great time! Actually I…" He stopped abruptly, still smiling, but whatever else he was going to say he kept to himself. He looked directly into her eyes. His gaze was intense. Sora had never seen anyone look at her like that before. He put his hand to her cheek.

"What…" but she could finish her question. He leaned forward and their lips met. Her eyes closed and, as if on auto-pilot, her hands found their way to his back. For a moment she could feel nothing else in the entire world except for the warmth that was filling up inside of her. The she became aware of something else. Her eyes shot open.

"Wait…" she whispered.

"Why?" He asked.

"I have… to… snee… HAAAAT-SHOOO! (*squeak*)"


Story is continued in Ah! We Really Screwed Up!. Enjoy!


Thank you for reading.

If you enjoyed this fanfic, click the link below for more...


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Likes interesting but is difficult to make the download.... :rolleyes:

Ah what the heck... I'll just post the text...

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Very cute! I have a feeling Belldandy's spell did do something:

"She was very shy, and didn't like sneezing in front of other people, but it was rarely a concern as she almost never got sick, and had no allergies that she knew of."

Yet a ton of things were making Hasegawa sneeze after Belldandy said the incantation, yes? Am I crazy, or did Belldandy give Hasegawa a ton of new allergies to make her more attractive to Asakawa? He's one of us, isn't he!

Or maybe I'm nuts.

I really did enjoy this though :lol:; It was adorable!

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Very cute! I have a feeling Belldandy's spell did do something:

"She was very shy, and didn't like sneezing in front of other people, but it was rarely a concern as she almost never got sick, and had no allergies that she knew of."

Yet a ton of things were making Hasegawa sneeze after Belldandy said the incantation, yes? Am I crazy, or did Belldandy give Hasegawa a ton of new allergies to make her more attractive to Asakawa? He's one of us, isn't he!

Or maybe I'm nuts.

I really did enjoy this though ^_^ ; It was adorable!

Nope you're not nuts - you nailed it right on the head!

There's a little blurb about [what you just said] in my blog. I was kind of curious if people would pick up on it or not. I didn't want to just say it explicitly - I thought that would ruin the fun!

But yeah, Asakawa is totally one of us. That's actually what he considered telling her right at the end, but decided instead to keep it to himself, and just kiss her. (Who of us could resist at that point anyway, right? :laugh: )

Did anyone else pick up on this / or miss this? Just curious.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Author's Note: This is a continuation of Ah! I'm Going to Sneeze!. If you haven't read that yet, go check it out first! – Niceguy.


"I'm sorry you didn't have such a good time tonight…" Yuichi started.

"No! I should apologize! I'm the one who ruined everything!" Sora interrupted, sounding almost on the verge of tears.

Yuichi laughed for almost a minute strait. "Are you kidding? I had a great time! Actually I…" He stopped abruptly, still smiling, but whatever else he was going to say he kept to himself. He looked directly into her eyes. His gaze was intense. Sora had never seen anyone look at her like that before. He put his hand to her cheek.

"What…" but she could finish her question. He leaned forward and their lips met. Her eyes closed and, as if on auto-pilot, her hands found their way to his back. For a moment she could feel nothing else in the entire world except for the warmth that was filling up inside of her. The she became aware of something else. Her eyes shot open.

"Wait…" she whispered.

"Why?" He asked.

"I have… to… snee… HAAAAT-SHOOO! (*squeak*)"


Sora opened her eyes. Her face was cradled in Yuichi's gentle hand. Her hands, which she had intended to cover up with, were pressed against the outside of his. The realization of what she'd done horrified her - 'I. just. Sneezed. Into. His. Hand.' The thought made her wish she could vanish into thin air on the spot. She waited and braced herself for his disgust… his rejection. In a few seconds she knew she would start to cry. But that disgust never came.

Yuichi gently raised her face up, so she was looking into his kind and loving eyes. She was lost for a moment in those eyes. They grew bigger, as he leaned forward and their lips met again. Inside her it felt like that sad, frightened girl was now only a distant memory. She was filled body and soul by a warmth that felt as foreign to her as confidence. Her hand found its way to the back of his head. She had no idea how. She was holding him so tightly she was almost afraid she'd crush him. Then she held him even tighter as she fumbled for the doorknob with her other hand.

Of course the door was locked and they had to stop kissing so the she could fish the key out of her purse and unlock the door. Neither said a word, each looking at the other with shy smiles and nervous laughter. She took him by the hand and led him inside.

Once they were inside, her nervousness returned. She felt so good just second ago, what had happened? She didn't know what to say, or how to get back to where they just were; where she so much wanted to return to. She turned to say something… What? She didn't know. Offer him a cup of coffee, maybe? Did she even have any? It didn't matter. As she turned, he was right there and she was in his arms. He kissed her again, and the nervousness vanished. In her entire life she had never felt this happy. She had never felt this loved.

Somehow she found herself sitting on the sofa. Their lips pressed against one another. She could feel his hands, one on the back of her head, the other on her side. She could feel its warmth against her ribcage. Her heart was pounding. His hand moved ever so slightly. His thumb and index finger pressed against her, just beneath one of her small breasts. Voices of insecurity tried to speak, but only in whispers now. She wasn't even aware of where her hands were. She wanted him to touch her. She wanted him to take her. But she was brought back to awkward reality as a now familiar tickle crept into her nose.

"Wait…" She whispered. He was still kissing her.

"huh…?" He stopped, looking into her eyes through the glasses that magnified them.

"Hafta… sn… eeze… hup-*chew*!" She hated that high-pitched squeak. But when she looked back he was smiling, almost laughing, so she did the same. "I'm sorry. Must still be some cat hair or something from the party."

"It's OK," he whispered back. "You look so cute that way. I… I think you're really beautiful."

She could feel her face getting flushed. "You must say th-that a… lot… th-then… hup-*chew*!" She had turned away in time and when she faced him again, he dabbed the sides of her nose with a tissue.

"Now, now," he continued in a whisper. "I don't say that a lot and I do mean it. I don't know what you think about yourself, but I think you are beautiful."

"Even wh-when… hang on…" her eyes narrowed and she turned to the side again taking in a long sharp breath. "hup-*chew*! Even when I can't stop sneezing, and my nose is running like a faucet? Thanks, by the way." She nodded at the tissue in his hand.

"Especially when…" He cut himself off in mid sentence and remained silent for a moment longer. "Hasegawa… I really want to tell you something, but I don't know how you'll take it."

"*sniff* What is it?" She whispered, concerned that he was about to tell her something dreadful. Did he already have a girlfriend? Was he just not interested in her that way? The whispers of insecurity were screaming now. She sat up, and looked at him intently.

"I… ah… Oh boy, this is awkward." Cleary something was really bothering him.

Sora was as much surprised that she could even make such a great guy feel awkward as she was nervous about what he was about to tell her. She felt cold. She could no longer feel any trace of the warmth that had filled her just moments ago. She braced herself for the worst, leaned forward and whispered "You can tell me. It's OK."

He took a deep breath. "When I said 'especially' just now… Well… you see, I really meant that. When I said you were beautiful I really meant that and… when I said you were cute when you sneezed… well… I meant that too. In particular… I really like the way the way you look, and sound… when you… sneeze."

She sat bolt upright and stared at him, clearly confused. "Wait… What are you talking about? What do you mean? Like you have some kind of a sneezing fetish or something?" She wasn't sure where this voice was coming from. Was she angry? She wasn't sure. Didn't she really like him? Didn't he make her happy? Does what he just said really change anything?

"Well… yeah." He wasn't looking at her anymore.

She didn't feel so good now. Her old voice was back, filled with rejection and disappointment. If she had been flying before, she was clearly on the ground now. "So… that's the reason you came home with me? That really why you're here, isn't it?" She sounded ashamed.

"No! No, that's not it at all! I really like you, I…" But he could tell she didn't believe him.

She wanted to believe him, but how could she? She didn't believe in herself. She had been bothered by a single thought all night, the only imperfection aside from these mysterious allergies that kept bothering her: Why? Why did he pick me? How could he like someone like me? How could he possibly find someone like me attractive? And now she thought she had her answer. It wasn't her at all; just her sneezing. "I think you should go now." She said in sad whisper, fighting back the inevitable tears.

Now his heart raced. He wasn't sure how she would take it, but he hadn't expected it to go nearly this badly. "Hasegawa… I…" But he really had no idea what to say.

"Just *sniff* go." She could feel the tickle creeping up her nose again, and was determined not to sneeze in front of him again - ever, if she could manage it. In her long, pathetic life, she had never felt this humiliated.

"OK… I'm going… I'm… I'm so sorry." He walked out, with his head hung low.

Sora felt like crying, but the tears wouldn't come. She had just thrown the only guy that ever liked her out of her apartment. But, she thought, he didn't like her. Not really. She'd tried to remember if she'd been sneezing when they first met. She must have been, she thought. That's the only reason he asked me to go to that party. She walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water before going to bed. She'd forgotten about the roses on the table.

"hup-*chew*! AAAAAAAH!" She was furious now. At him. At herself. She threw the roses in the trash, sunk to the floor beside the trash can and the tears finally came. She sobbed openly for a long while. She couldn't even remember getting into bed.


Sora woke up the next day feeling completely miserable. Her eyes were puffy from crying the night before and her nose had still not stopped running. Her clock-radio turned on at eight O'clock and she only heard the newsman say "…POLLEN COUNT…" before her hand hitting the snooze button.

"*sniiiiifff* Ugh. I don't even want to know." It was Saturday and, while she didn't have any classes, the auto club was still meeting. There was a big race coming up and they needed to draw up a work schedule for what they had left to do on the car. She got dressed and dragged her feet to the door. As soon as she'd opened it, she knew she'd forgotten something.

"hup-*chew*! *sniiiiiif* Ugh. Tissues. Need tissues."

She sneezed several times waiting for the bus. She looked a wreck and was vaguely aware of the other people trying not to get too close to her. The bus ride was uneventful, but the walk across campus was too much. She'd sneezed so many times that the single pocket pack of tissues was almost gone by the time she reached the club room. Thankfully, the air conditioning was working. She sat and put her head down on the table.

"Hey, Hasegawa," A deep booming voice called from above her. "You look terrible!"

Well at least some men can be honest, she thought. She looked up into Tamiya's hulking silhouette. "*sniiiif* ugh. I have bad allergies today."

"Oh. I thought you were sick or something. It looks like Asakawa-san's sick anyway – he didn't show! You heard from him?"

Thank god for small favors, she thought. "I have… hang on… haaaahp-*chew*! …no idea where he is."

"Well… if you want to, you should go get some rest. You look like you really need it."

So the big lug did care, she thought to herself. Of course she was only being noticed for looking particularly awful this morning, but at least he noticed. "Yeah, I might." On the way out the door, she bumped into Megumi, her friend Keichi's younger sister.

"Hasegawa – you look…"

"Terrible, I know. I… hang on… hup-*chew*! I'm having bad allergies today."

"Wow. You must have it really bad! Do you need any more tissues? I have a spare pack in my purse."

"*sniiif* Thanks, Megumi. Hey… can I… talk to you for a minute… in private?" She'd never confided in Megumi before, but if she was anything like Keichi, Sora knew she'd understand. Plus, being a girl, she would be easier to talk to about something like this.

Sora told her everything that had happened, leaving out the bit about Yuichi's fetish. As angry as she was, she didn't think it would be right to share what he obviously considered a secret. She just said he told her something that made her feel a bit used, but refused to tell Megumi anymore.

"Wow." Megumi sat quiet for a moment while she absorbed what had happened. "Well… first off you two really need to talk. Guys can say dumb things sometimes (just look at Keichi) and you may have just taken it wrong. Besides – he did say you were pretty didn't he?"

"No – beautiful." She answered, sarcastically. "So… I mean, come on… how…"

"Hasegawa," Megumi took her hand up in both of her own. "You are a cute girl. You…" But she could see Sora wasn't with her.

"*sniff* Do I looked attractive to you at all right now?"

"OK. No. Not right now. Right now you look a wreck!" Megumi laughed a little, and Hasegawa cracked a smiled, before blowing her nose. "You know what? You might be surprised to learn this, but guys don't all go for the same thing, you know! Those guys that are always hanging off of Sayoko? Or the ones chasing the new freshman girl? What's her name… Asako? Would even want any of them? I mean they obviously have no taste!" Now Hasegawa was laughing a little, feeling glad that she decided to open up to Megumi. "Look at me? Do you think I'm ugly? Well all those guys aren't chasing me around, but do I care? No way. I know there's a guy or two out there who can't take his eyes off me, and Sora – there's a few out there for you too. You really are cute. Just not in the same was as all those girls you think are so hot are! Talk it out with him. I bet this is just a misunderstanding. The way you said he looked at you at the club meeting yesterday... there was something there. If you weren't so down on yourself all the time you'd have realized that." Seeing that Sora was still down on herself, Megumi had one other idea. "All right, I'll tell you what… If you don't want to take my advice, why don't you talk to Belldandy? I won't be offended. And you know she's not going to lie to you. But if she says the same thing I did, promise me you'll take our advice."

Sora blew her nose again and though itchy eyes looked back at Megumi's encouraging smile. "Thanks Megumi. OK. I don't know what I'd say… But maybe I will try to talk it out with him. I don't know. Maybe talking to Belldandy first would still be a good idea… But, thanks. You really we're a big help"

Just clean yourself up a little and take a pill before you go talk to him, Megumi thought to herself, waving to Sora as she left.


Sora made the trip over to the temple where Keichi and Belldandy lived in relative misery. The bus was running behind, and waiting at the bus stop she was helpless to suppress her sneezing or do anything about her runny nose. By the time the bus came she was glad for the extra pack of tissues Megumi gave her. Her's were all gone and the air conditioning on the bus was broken, so all the windows were open. About the only saving grace, Sora thought to herself, was that, as much as she was sneezing and sniffling, no one wanted to sit near her so she had most of the bench to herself. The closest bus stop was only to blocks from the temple, but for Sora it was a long trek anyway. She never noticed how much landscaping the residents and businesses in this part of town had done, but her nose was painfully aware it as every fragrant hedge she passed seemed to set her off in force. At last she reached the temple, and knocked on the door. She was met by Keichi.

"Hasegawa, you look terrible!"

It was the third time she'd been told that that day, but she barely noticed. She said that to herself almost every day, so why should today be any different? "Kei! How come you're not down at the club house?"

"Uh… yeah… my bike's acting up today, so I'm running behind. I'd take the bus but at this point I'm pretty sure I'd miss the meeting anyway. But hey! Please, come on in! Sit down. Can I get you some tea, or something? Maybe… some… tissues?"

"That would be great, thanks. Listen, I'm sorry to come over out of the blue like this but… hang on…hup-*CHEW*! Oooh… My nose! Anyway, is Belldandy around? I really need to talk to her."

"Sure, I'll get her… Are you… OK?"

"N-no…" She started, but her breath suddenly stopped cooperating. "hup-*CHEW*! *sniff* No, not really. I talked to Megumi earlier, and she thought Belldandy might be able to give me some advice." Sora tried wait for Keichi to leave before blowing her nose but, of course, he poked his head in to ask how she wanted her tea just as she was in mid blow. "Just plain, please."

Belldandy came in shortly, bringing a couple of cups of tea with her. "Oh Hasegawa, you poor thing! Is there anything I can do for you?"

At least she didn't feel the need to comment on my horrid appearance, Sora thought. She told Belldandy what had happened the night before, stopping short of revealing Asakawa's secret, just as she had with Megumi. She had hoped that Belldandy would know exactly what to tell her, but instead she just looked Confused.

"Well… I'm not really sure what to say. It sounded like you were having such a wonderful time, until whatever it was that he said to you. But, if it was something really awful… Are you sure you can't tell me?"

"It wasn't awful. Not really. I just couldn't figure out why he was interested in me, and then… well… what he said kind of explained it and… I felt like he didn't really like me at all… hang on… excuse me… hup-*CHEW*!"

"I still can't imagine what he could have told you…" Belldandy fell silent for a moment, then continued. "Hasegawa, do you really want me to help you?"

"*sniff* Yes, but…"

"Well, I won't make you tell me something you shouldn't, but… would you close your eyes?"

"*sniff* OK."

Belldandy gazed deeply into Sora's thoughts, replaying the memories of the night before. When Sora felt happy, it filled Belldandy with happiness but soon she heard what it was that Yuichi told her and Sora's own sadness filled her with a cold empty feeling like none she had ever experienced. Making this feeling worse was Belldandy's realization of what she had done to contribute to the situation. She held Sora firmly by the arms and stared directly into her eyes.

"Hasegawa… When did you start getting these allergies? Do you remember?" her tone suggested that this was a point of utmost importance.

"*sniff* Right… *sniff* right after I met you and Kei for lunch, why?"

Belldandy embraced her. Hasegawa felt the slightest bit awkward about this, but Belldandy sounded like she was on the verge of tears, so she hugged her back. "Oh Hasegawa, I am so sorry!" Sora had no idea why her story had such an effect of Belldandy.

"Hasegawa, can you stay for dinner?"

"Uh… Well, no… not… *sniff* not really, I…"

"OK, then!" Belldandy stood up quickly and brought Sora to her feet as well. "In that case I want you to go strait home. Right away! Get some rest, and I promise I will sort this out! Everything will be fine, just go… home… right away. OK?" Belldandy was practically pushing her down the hallway, and seemed desperate that Sora leave immediately. Before she knew it, Sora was standing on the front step, the temple doors closed behind her.

'That was weird.' She thought, just as another sneeze overtook her. She blew her nose and started to make her way home.


"Mister Keichi! Mister Keichi!" Belldandy sounded frantic.

"What is it Belldandy?"

"Oh, Mister Keichi! I think I've done something really horrible!"

"Come on Belldandy. You couldn't have done anything that bad… Uh… did you just throw Hasegawa out of the house?"

"Keichi, I think I'm the one who's made Hasegawa so sick! And that's why her heart is breaking!"

"Whoa, whoa… Just… slow down a second. Who's breaking what now? Why don't you start form the beginning?"

But Belldandy already knew that he wouldn't understand unless she revealed to him what Yuichi and Sora both wanted kept secret. "Mister Keichi… can you keep a secret?"

"Sure Bell…"

"I mean really keep it. If you tell anyone you won't just be betraying me, but you will make Hasegawa look like a liar as well. You have to promise me… you have to give me your word you won't ever tell another soul!"

"Uh… OK. I'm promise."

Belldandy told Keichi the entire story, and while he was a bit surprised when she got to the part about Yuichi's admission, he still didn't seem to understand Belldandy's part. "Don't you remember what I said when we met Hasegawa for lunch? The incantation?"

"Well… you said you wanted Hasegawa to have traits that Asakawa… would… find…" Realization hit Keichi like a brick. "Wow. Ha-ha. Yeah, I guess things did go little wrong there…" He had been afraid of something going awry at the time, but when nothing immediately happened, he let it slip from his mind. "Wait… Did Hasegawa tell you all that?" He was now eyeing her a bit suspiciously.

"I'm so sorry Mister Keichi. No. She didn't. In order to try and help I looked into her thoughts."

"Aaaaah. That explains a lot…"

"She really thinks that the only reason he wanted to go out with her was because he was enjoying her sneezing so much! But, even as hurt as she was, she really likes him! And I don't know how he feels about her! I mean… I could reverse the spell in no time at all but…"

"But you're not sure how that might change things."


"And you don't want to make things worse for her. To leave her wondering if it would have mattered, before they even have a chance to work things out for themselves."

"Oh Mister Keichi, you understand perfectly!"

"Oh boy. I don't really know what to do either. You're sure that Hasegawa really likes him?"

"Oh yes. That's why it hurt her so much. She didn't know why he was interested in her, and so she grabbed on to the first explanation that made sense to her. Oh, poor Hasegawa."

"And poor Asakawa, if he really likes her. I think I'll try and have a talk with him.

"Oh no, but you mustn't! You can't say anything about…" Belldandy trusted Keichi, but feared that this path was far too risky.

"Don't worry Belldandy. I won't say anything about… you know. I just want to find out how he really feels. Who knows? Maybe he'll tell me about it himself."

"OK. Just please be careful what you say. He'll think it was Hasegawa who told…"

"Don't worry. I'll be careful."


With a little help from Skuld, Keichi got his motorcycle running again, and went to the auto club room to find Asakawa. He was surprised to run into him on the edge of campus instead.

"Asakawa-san?" Keichi called out.

"Morisato-senpai? How are you? Sorry about skipping the club meeting… I didn't know if I should go… I thought it might upset…"

"Hasegawa? Yeah, I know. She came by our place earlier. I didn't get a chance to talk to her, but she was really torn up about something."

"It's all my fault." Yuichi said in a subdued voice with his head hung low. "Everything was going great, and I said something I guess I shouldn't have and screwed everything up."

"Well… what did you tell her?" Keichi didn't really think it would be that easy.

"Uh… ha-ha. I'd rather not say, but let's just say it gave her the totally wrong idea about why I asked her to go out with me."

"Well… if you don't mind me asking… why did you ask her?"

"You too, huh? I know she's really down on herself, and that she's not really popular with the guys, but I can't for the life of me understand why. From the moment I first caught a glimpse of her I was crazy about her. And every word of every conversation we had last night reinforced that feeling. She's so smart, and so interesting, and so… deep. I don't know… I guess that sounds pretty silly. But she's this amazing girl and it's like she just has no idea. I guess that's why she took what I said so badly. She just couldn't understand what I really saw in her. But I… I really care about her."

Keichi looked at the man in front of him and saw a lot of himself, as he was a few years ago, before he met Belldandy. "Look, I can't really tell you how this will all turn out, but if you really like her, you need to tell her. Go to her. Be patient, but don't just let her go. If she wants to reject you that's her business, but it should be for the right reasons and not some misunderstanding. Just go to her."

"Really? I don't know… she was pretty upset…"

"But how else can you make things right? Staying away will only reinforce what she's feeling now. She'll accept that she was rejected, and keep believing that she's no good; that nobody could ever like her."

"You've got a point…"

"So go! Apologize… or whatever. Bring her some flow…" They both started laughing at the same time. "OK… maybe not. But if you really care about her, she needs to know it!"

"Thanks Senpai! I'll give it another try!" With that he was off and Keichi raced back to the temple to tell Belldandy to lift the spell.


Evening was falling when Yuichi finally knocked on Sora's door. He heard the knob rattle, but a second after the light in the peep-hole went dark he heard the low thump of what sounded like someone putting their head against the door. "Go away." came the quiet voice from the other side.

"No Hasegawa-senpai. I'm not going anywhere. I want you to know that whatever you think happened last night, I never lied to you. I never misled you. From the first moment we met I was crazy about you. Maybe I just let my head get away from me last night, I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't have told you that when I did. But I can't let you go on thinking that was the reason I asked you out. I… I care about you too much to let you think that. You're a great girl, Hasegawa-senpai. You're cute, and intelligent and interesting... You like cars as much as I do (not many girls you can say that about.) But don't you see? There are a thousand things I like about you! I don't know why you are so hard on yourself, and I'm sure I don't see the same thing as you when I look at you… When I look at you all I see is this painfully cute girl that gets me all tongue-tied and nervous. I don't care… if you want me to go away I will. I'll even quit the club if that will make you happy. I just… need you to know… how I feel."

She cracked the door open. "But why? How? There's nothing special about me. If I hadn't sneezed around you the first time we met, how do I know you still would have…" He started laughing. "Hey! What's so funny now?! I thought you were coming here to apologize or something!"

"Ha-ha. I'm sorry Hasegawa… Ha… it's just that you didn't sneeze the first time we met. Don't you remember? You didn't… until I asked you out, after lunch, in the afternoon. I remember because… well I remember that being the first time I saw you… you know… But we met in the morning? Remember?"

Suddenly Sore felt as if she'd been splashed with cold water. She opened the door the rest of the way. "Oh my God… You're right! Oh my God! Asakawa-san, I'm so sorry! Oh man! Now I'm the one who messed everything up! I'm so stu…"

"Hey… hey… It's OK." He reached up and brushed a tear off of her cheek with his thumb. He could not believe how beautiful she was. "You… uh… seem to be feeling better, by the way."

Now it was Sora's turn to laugh a little. "Yeah. Ha-ha. Well… whatever came over me yesterday seems to have left as mysteriously as it came. So yeah… all… all cleared up now. Do you… still want… to…"

"Hasegawa, I told you before that had nothing to do with it! Of course I still want to go out with you!" He wanted to kiss her but stopped short as he was struck by an unfamiliar glint in her eye.

Sora had no idea where her confidence was coming from and was positive the sly voice she was hearing her couldn't be her own. "You know…I might be feeling better but… if you wanted to… we could still… maybe… experiment a little…?" Asakawa saw that she was rolling a small vial of white powder between her fingers. He didn't recognize it at first, but was hit with a wave of profound embarrassment once it registered what she was holding.

"Where… uh… where did you get that?" He asked, smiling nervously.

"Oh… I found it between the cushions of the couch. I assume it fell out of your jacket pocket last night. Is this… what I… think it is?"

"Ha-ha… yeah… uh… it is, but… well… you see… uh… someone gave me that a long time ago…. I mean I didn't even know I still… please don't think…."

"Shhhhhhh…." She put her index finger on his mouth as took him by the hand and slowly led him inside, eager to pick up where they'd left off.

TO BE CONCLUDED: Ah! Now I Understand!


Thank you for reading.

If you enjoyed this fanfic, click the link below for more...


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Woohoo ^.^= first off, you nailed her character ( ... and it reminds me of my inner geek :dribble: ). Secondly, yeay for Belldandy's goddess mojo! haha :drool: that was a really good pillar for the plot, felt rather natural to the story. All in all, good job, I really liked it even though it's starring a secondary character, it was sweet :dribble:

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Woohoo ^.^= first off, you nailed her character ( ... and it reminds me of my inner geek :bleh: ). Secondly, yeay for Belldandy's goddess mojo! haha :P that was a really good pillar for the plot, felt rather natural to the story. All in all, good job, I really liked it even though it's starring a secondary character, it was sweet :innocent:

Glad you liked it. Just in case you are interested, there is a continuation. (Ah! we Really Screwed Up!) I hope you'll like that one as well. Thanks again.

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  • 4 months later...

Ah! Now I Understand!

An Ah! My Goddess! Fanfic by Niceguy

Setting and all non-original characters are property of Kosuke Fujishima

NOTE: This is the third (and final) part of a story arc that includes Ah! I'm Going to Sneeze! and Ah! We Really Screwed Up!. So if you haven't read those yet, please go check them out first!

"You know…I might be feeling better but… if you wanted to… we could still… maybe… experiment a little…?" Asakawa saw that she was rolling a small vial of white powder between her fingers. He didn't recognize it at first, but was hit with a wave of profound embarrassment once it registered what she was holding.

"Where… uh… where did you get that?" He asked, smiling nervously.

"Oh… I found it between the cushions of the couch. I assume it fell out of your jacket pocket last night. Is this… what I… think it is?"

"Ha-ha… yeah… uh… it is, but… well… you see… uh… someone gave me that a long time ago…. I mean I didn't even know I still… please don't think…."

"Shhhhhhh…." She put her index finger on his mouth as took him by the hand and slowly led him inside, eager to pick up where they'd left off.


He was lying on his back, looking up with an almost silly anticipation.

She was on her knees, straddling his waist, looking down at him with a nervous smile on her face. Although this moment had been a long, awkward and exasperating time in coming, she could still hardly believe it had arrived.

He kept looking up at her, content to watch as events unfolded. He could feel Hasegawa’s weight on him, even though she felt as light as feather. They looked at each other a moment longer before that mischievous look returned to Hasegawa’s eyes. A million thoughts raced through her head as she raised the small vial to her nose and began to remove the stopper.

Where was this reckless abandon coming from? When had she gotten so bold? She was overwhelmed by it, but decided to continue to embrace it. What would he do? How would he react? What would the contents of this vial do to her? Would it feel like the other day? That was awful, but she thought she could deal with it, since she thought she knew what it would do to him. What if they…? What would that feel like? She pulled the stopper and took the slightest sniff of the vial’s contents.

Nothing. She laughed nervously, as did he.

“Be careful.” He smiled.


She inhaled a little deeper. She could feel a slight tingling in her nose, but nowhere near how she felt the other day, and definitely not enough to make her sneeze. He smiled a little wider as he looked at her.

A few more sniffs and not much was happening. Anticipation was quickly turning into frustration. And that was leading to fear: Was this frustrating to him as well? He didn’t seem to mind. He kept smiling; but there was anticipation in that smile. What if this didn’t work? Part of what motivated her to do this was that she didn’t really know what she doing when it came to “making out.” She never really had a boyfriend, and thus had practically no experience in the matter. She thought this might make things go more smoothly, but now things weren’t going smoothly at all.

She put her finger over the neck of the vial to plug the hole and shook it gently. “Yeah, this’ll work for sure!” she thought. When she sniffed it this time there was a fairly intense reaction. Her nose burned slightly, but really started to tickle rather strongly. It still didn’t feel like the other day, but she knew that it was only a matter of time. She put the vial down on the nightstand, to avoid spilling it, and started to breathe deeply through her nose.

“That’s it!” she thought. It was fanning the coals of a fire. The glow in ember would get brighter and brighter until finally erupting in flame. She could visualize the same thing happening in her nose. She took a very deep breath, let it out and then felt the fire finally ignite.

Her eyes, which had started to tear a little, narrowed as her nose quivered slightly. She opened her mouth in kind of upside-down smile, drawing her lower lip down and showing the tops of her teeth as she inhaled sharply.


She had not intended to cover up, but did so anyway out of habit. All she could think was: “I did it! It worked!” She lowered her hands so that she could see his reaction. She was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t seem to react at all. He kept looking up at her with that same, silly grin. His smile may have widened a little, but nothing really happened. She didn’t know what to expect, she probably would have peed herself in fright if one sneeze had turned him into a ravaging animal, but she had hoped for something. He just kept looking at her.

Figuring the “embers” needed a little more “fanning” and feeling both a little bit self-conscious and a little bit impatient; she grabbed the vial from the nightstand, covered the top again and shook it violently.

Anticipating what she was about to do, Asakawa tried to caution her, “Be careful now, don’t inhale too much…” But it was too late.

Hasegawa put the vial right up to her nose and inhaled fiercely, as if it was her intention to snort up the entire contents. She realized her mistake before she was even done making it. The tickle in her nose was gone, replaced with a painfully intense burning as the fiery particles ripped into the delicate tissues inside her nose and sinuses, irritating them to a torturous degree. The pain reached up into her eyes, which now welled up like faucets.

“Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!” She grabbed at her nose, unable to do anything about the blinding pain within. She could feel the irritation starting to creep down her throat. “Oh my god! Ow! Oh… it burns!”

“Water, get some water! Quickly!” Asakawa didn’t really know if that would help, but he figured it couldn’t hurt. As Hasegawa ran to the bathroom, he picked up the discarded and now empty vial from the floor and read the label: Ingredients: Finely ground white pepper. He went over to see if there was anything he could do for her.

She was over the sink, splashing water on her face, trying to get some into her nose. At the same time she was blowing her nose, trying to rid herself of the irritants she had inhaled. He felt like such a heel. He had never told anyone about his fetish before and now because he had told her, she may have really hurt herself. That she was in pain was more than he could bear, but there was nothing he could really do. He wondered what was he supposed to do? Stand here and watch? Go back to the bed? Leave? Apologize? He wished he had the power to just make her stop hurting. He was sure she would be furious with him. He braced himself for the worst and started to apologize.

“Hasa….” but that was as far as got before she interrupted him.

She turned to face him. She looked awful; almost worse than she did the day before. But even thought her face and hair were soaked and her nose and eyes were red and puffy, she didn’t seem angry. It seemed more like she was the one on the verge of tears

“Yuichi… *sniff* I’m so sorry!”

Now he really felt horrible. She’s the one who gets hurt trying to please him, and now she ends up apologizing. He never felt so low. “No Hasegawa. I’m sorry. You… you didn’t have to do that. I… I really shouldn’t have let you. I’m…so sorry.” By the time he finished, he could barely look at her.

Each looking up, they stared at each other for a moment before Hasegawa finally broke down and started to cry. She fell into his arms, and he held her tightly. He kept whispering that he was sorry, and all she could do was shake her head and try to stop crying. Things had really not worked out at all for either of them. He felt horrible about having caused her pain, and she felt as if this was the second time that a potential make-out session was ruined by her inadequacy. They shared the embrace for several minutes before he suggested that maybe he should go.

“*sniff* Hm-mmm. *sniff*” was all she could manage. As he left, she wondered if he’d ever come back. This was the second time things had ended badly. Would there even be a third?


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The next time they met up was at the auto-club meeting after class. The turnout was pretty good that day. Keichi Morisato and Belldandy were both there and so was Asako Watanabe, this year's other new recruit. Hasegawa had to admit she didn't care for Asako that much. It wasn't just that Asako was so much prettier than her – she had become accustomed to thinking of everyone else as being in a league well above her own; but she had noticed that Asako was not particularly friendly. She didn't seem to know her way around engines, and yet every time Hasegawa had tried to talk to her she'd get the cold shoulder; only to see her talking to one of the upper classmen about the vary same thing only a minute later. But she didn't seem too interested in either Keichi or Yuichi, so Hasegawa figured that, even if she's wasn't very friendly, she's wasn't someone she really needed to concern herself with one way or the other. But when she joined the club meeting this day, she said something that made Hasegawa seriously reconsider that judgment:

"*sniff* Oh man! *sniff* My allergies are really bothering me today!"

Waves of emotion washed over Hasegawa. Fear. Anger. Jealousy. Nervousness. A million questions flooded her mind: Did Asakawa hear that? What if she started sneezing? What if he saw that? Asako is so much prettier than me, and she has allergies?! Would she steal him away from her? Asako could have anyone she wanted, and yet Yuichi was the only one that Hasegawa had ever come close to having! Would he change his mind? Would he drop the mousy, insecure, spaz in favor of the beautiful and potentially sneezy model-girl? Why did this have to happen? Why did their only two dates so far have to end so badly? Was she about to lose the only guy that ever showed any interest in her?

In reality she needn't have worried so much. Yuichi had barely noticed Asako, and she really wasn't his type. He would concede that she was attractive, but only in a detached, objective sort of way. As if to say, "Yes, I'm sure that there are a lot of men that find her very attractive;" not in a way that suggested the least bit of interest on his part. And he had seen how she treated people like Morisato and Hasegawa, and he had no patience for anyone could think of other people as being beneath them. To his mind's eye, Asako was not really that attractive at all. And while he had heard her announcement, his only thought was "bothering? Yeah, right." And he thought of Hasegawa a few days earlier and the night before and thought, "THAT'S being bothered. Don't be such a drama queen!"

Hasegawa kept sending nervous glances his way, but she needn't have worried so much. Asakawa just faced front, listening to the briefing being given by president Tamiya. He still felt too awkward about what had happened to return Hasegawa's glance, but hadn't given Asako, or her announcement, a second thought. About halfway through the meeting Hasegawa glanced over at Asako and was mortified by what she saw.

Asako had a look on her face that seemed to simultaneously suggest both concentration and vacancy. He eyes seemed to gloss over, but her brow was furrowed. She started to lightly wave her hand in front of her face. "Here it comes." Hasegawa thought to herself, now feeling thoroughly depressed.

"HaahAAAHHH-HAH-SHOOO-OOO!" Despite her delicate, feminine appearance, her sneeze came out as a near glass-shattering scream. "Oh! Excuse me!"

Although it was dramatic, Asako had sneezed only one time in the entire hour-long club meeting. Asakawa continued to think "That's what she calls being bothered? Pul-lease!" And although she was blessed simultaneously by half a dozen club members, Hasegawa did manage to notice that Asakawa was not among them. Although she couldn't figure out if he was merely putting on a show for her benefit or if it really meant he wasn't interested, she realized that either way meant that they were still together. That he still cared. That this opportunity hadn't slipped away from her. The boldness that had possessed her intermittently since they'd met made yet another a comeback. She resolved to talk to him after the meeting and, no matter what happened, she wouldn't give up until she knew where they stood.

Once the meeting closed and everyone started to leave, Hasegawa said goodbye to Morisato and Belldandy, excused herself after bumping into Asako, and sought out Asakawa.

"Yuichi? Do you have a minute? Can we go somewhere and… talk?"

He looked nervous, as if he was the one who might be getting the bad news. "Um… sure." He followed her to a fairly deserted part of the campus, where they sat on a park bench.

"You think she's pretty… don't you?" Hasegawa had not planned on starting the conversation that way, but at that moment Asako was foremost in her mind. His response made her think he wasn't listening.

"Well… yeah, I guess, but I really only want to be with you. And besides she seems happy with Morisato…"

"Huh? Wha... Who… do you think I'm talking about?"

"Huh? I thought you meant Belldandy. I mean everyone think she's really beautiful, right? I'm not saying I'm blind or anything, but I've really never considered her. I'm a little surprised you brought her up…"

"Not Belldandy! I'm talking about Asako!" Hasegawa wasn't sure if he was teasing her, or hiding something. Why would he bring up Belldandy?

"Asako? Hmmm. I don't really want to say anything bad about someone I don't really know, but… No. Not really. Not my type."

"But she… well, she said she had… allergies."

Yuichi was about to nod in agreement, rather nonchalantly, when he suddenly realized what had been bothering her. "And you think that makes a difference?"

"Well… I…"

"Sora… Asako is not a nice person at all! I've seen how she treats you and Morisato-senpai and some of the other people in the classes we have together. She's conceited and self-centered and… Why on earth do you think I'd like her?!"

"Well, I… oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't know… Please don't…" The momentary boldness she had felt seemed to have left her. Even after everything they had talked about, she still managed to completely misread the situation. She started to apologize again, when he interrupted her.

"It's OK, Hasegawa. I guess I never really did a very good job of explaining it. I've never told anyone else about it, so… I guess I really don't know how I should explain it. The fact that someone sneezes does not make them attractive to me. After all, everyone sneezes. I'm attracted by… I don't know… I just like what I like… I like… people like… you." That sounded a lot lamer out loud than it had in his head, and he looked away momentarily, slightly embarrassed.

"Sora… What happened last night… Well… I was interested in seeing you sneeze mainly because I'm so interested in you. I don't know how to explain it… I guess I'd say that it enhances the feelings that are already there. It's like someone having big…" But he cut off that explanation, not only considering it far too vulgar but also sure that Hasegawa would take it the wrong way. "It's like… well OK, if you'll pardon the rudeness, it's like seeing someone naked. If it's someone you like, then it's really exciting. But if it's someone you don't, well it's… not. I guess."

"So if Asako Watanabe came to class naked you expect to believe that you wouldn't even look at her?" Hasegawa asked cynically.

Yuichi laughed at the thought of it. "Well, of course I'd LOOK. I'd LOOK even if Tamiya & Otaki-senpai came to class naked. And while I seriously hope that never happens… the fact of my looking would amount to about the same thing." A sly, lopsided grin crept onto his face. "I can definitely think of a certain someone that I'd much rather see come to class wearing nothing but their glasses…"

That made Hasegawa blush profusely. "Stop that, you're embarrassing me!" But even through her nervous laughter, she held his hand as if to say that she understood that all was OK again between them. She leaned her head on shoulder and they stayed that way for several minutes before he broke the silence.

"I… uh… get the impression that you don't feel too good about how things have gone so far in our relationship." Just hearing him say "our relationship" filled Hasegawa with a warm, cozy and yet almost completely unfamiliar feeling. "So why don't we try for a fresh start. Why don't we try the old standard: Dinner and a movie? I think I manage that without screwing anything up."

"Wait… You… you think you're the one who screwed everything up?" Hasegawa asked, clearly surprised by what he'd just said.

"Well… to be honest I kind of hoped you didn't think everything had been screwed up, but… yeah. I can't shake the feeling that everything that happened to you… and us… is all my fault."

Hasegawa was stunned by this revelation. "Would it surprise you know that I thought the same thing?" quickly adding, "I mean… that I was the one screwing up? …not you."

He looked at her, and laughed out loud. Then they were laughing together, both feeling a sense of relief. "OK… how about this: Fresh start. Forget about everything that's happened so far, and just go out on a normal, good old-fashioned, first-date?"

"That sounds like a very good idea."

"OK. This Satuday? Dinner? Movie?"

"I'd like that." She answered, feeling for the first time in her life as though everything was going to be all right.


Thank you for reading.

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