Flashback Looking into her eyes, scenes from his precognition replayed. The distance in between their face shortened.
'Eye contact with you is dangerous. When I look into your eyes, I tend to lose my thoughts, and my entire world flips.'
As if being drawn into her hazel orbs, Kazuki leaned intimately, unintentionally. His gaze shifted to her cherry lips while moving his palm to her cheek.
The harder his heart hammered his caged ribs, the slower his movement was- gently and tenderly.
As if captivated by the Dracula and paralysed by his magic, Asu gazed in awe at the approaching man. The gap between them narrowed bit by bit, so slow that she was unaware of it.
For the first time, she discovered another side of the arrogant president- the soft expression and gentle manner.
She dare not to move a finger, nor take a deep breathe that may calm her frantic heartbeat.
Could it be the short distance of their face? Or perhaps the lack of oxygen from her nervousness? Her vision turned blurry, and her mind dazed as he leaned in.
Asu closed her eyes gradually and involuntarily tilted her head up in slight extend. She could vaguely feel the heat of his breath on her lips and the light touch of his fingertips on her hair.
As if a timer counting down before the spark in 3 seconds, 2 seconds, and 1 second...
A pleasant melody composed of high and low tones, bearing a reminiscent of the constellations, struck through the silence in the room- and pulled them back from drowning in the indescribable feelings.
Their eyes opened wide and fixed their gaze at the singing-and-dancing cellphone.
'Bikkurishita!' Asu yelped in her mind before she returned her gaze to Kazuki- and her body stiffened further.
As if the volcano erupted and the burning lava spread through her nerves, heats from nowhere rose, casting pinkish clouds on her cheeks. 'Too near...!' an inner voice exclaimed in her messy mind.
'... Who is it?' Kazuki questioned in his thought before he sneaked a peek on her flushed face.
As if the cellphone has paused the time, his hand froze in the air while their eyes met- and his brain scrambled. 'Ugh... What the heck am I doing?!' he cursed underneath his skull.
Is embarrassment contagious? His embarrassment arrived late, right after witnessing the blushes on her cheeks.
What made it worst was the random comment spoken by his inner voice, '...Kawaii na.'
However, his conscious self pushed such thought away, 'Nai, nai, nai! What am I thinking?! Ugh...' For a moment, his brain went beyond his control.
Leaning back and straightening his back, Kazuki averted his eyes from the blushing girl and masked his lips with a lightly clenched fist. His froze palm moved and rested on top of her head.
He cleared his throat behind his fist as if such noise could chase away the awkwardness lingering in between them.
"Chotto..." he uttered softly and stepped into the room, leaving Asu behind.
Picking up the illuminated cellphone from the disorganised desk, the name of 'Hayato' appeared on the caller interface.
'Hayato ka?' he thought as he stared at the screen for a moment before sliding the screen to answer.
'Ano saa, Hayato, should I thank you or blame you?' he questioned secretly in thought while pressing the phone against his ear.
"Nanda?" he asked instead of greeting as soon as the call connected.
Dumbfounded, Asu stared at the back of the grey-haired man. The distance in between them finally sufficient to calm her frantic heartbeat.
'What had just happened? Did he just...? Wait! I didn't respond to him, deshou?' she questioned herself, sparing no effort to find the most satisfying answer in every corner of her brain.
"... ... Ah, it is with me. The dateline is tomorrow, darou? I'll check all applications, and you can proceed tomorrow." Kazuki continued the discussion.
The conversation entered into her ears but not her mind. '... ... Am I interrupting him? He seems to have work to deal with... Wait! Why am I being considerate to him now?!' she thought.
While on the other side of the phone, Hayato repeated the daily nags and threats; yet, none of it could break through the invisible barrier of Kazuki's absent mind.
As he listened to his vice president, Kazuki stole a look of the girl over his shoulder- and he caught her staring at him; at the same time, she found him gandering at her.
In a split second, their heart skipped a beat, and the accidental eye contact broke.
'Why is he looking back every time without warning?!' she complained underneath her skull as the pinkish hue darkened.
"Wakatta, I'm not loafing around. I just want a change of scenery." he responded with hints of annoyance before ending the call.
Silencing, locking, and placing down the cellphone on top of the stack of papers, he returned to the balcony where Asu was standing at.
'Calm down, Kazuki. Steady...' he reminded himself before clearing his throat once again.
"Remember what I'm going to say now. I'm not repeating for another time." he said out of the blue, distracting Asu from her thoughts.
"Say, when is your birthday?" he added his question without explanation.
"17 April." Despite the puzzled expression, she replied briefly without speaking her confusion.
The response from the girl widened his eyes in surprise and slacked his jaw slightly.
He opened his mouth before tightening his lips as if preventing those rushing words from escaping through his mouth.
His brows furrowed as he looked away while reaching his hand to brush his hair on the back.
"First, find the brightest star or planet and aim it with telescope." he said abruptly without making eye contact with her.
"The red one here is Mars." he stated as he released the clutches and aligned the tool with the planet.
"Now, find the planet through the eyepiece, and once you found it, lock the clutches." he said as he transformed his instruction into actions.
"Adjust this ring until the star is in the centre, and..." he twisted the scale ring carefully before moving to the smaller tube.
"... check this smaller tube, we called it Finder. Lastly, adjust this ring until the view is clear." he continued before parting off himself from the telescope.
"Now, have a look." he commanded and gestured the frowning girl. Nodding firmly, Asu took place of Kazuki before bending down slightly and looking through the lens.
The view through the lens wasn't anything like what she expected.
A few pulses of light in birthstone blue, polar white, and molten gold gleamed accompanied with a larger ruby red luminous ball of gas on the dark canvas.
Here she is, expecting for a sky full of diamond dust.
"Can you see the blue one on the left below Mars?" he continued as he locked his eyes on the girl.
Those hazel eyes began to locate the star. "Ah! I saw it. Not so bright though." she replied as soon as the oceanic star entered into her vision.
"That's Mesarthim. It's not easy to notice, but it's a double-star." the stargazer explained briefly.
"Now, look downward slightly and spot the yellow one. Found it?" he guided further.
"Down...tte? Eto..." she murmured as her eyes moved from the blue rays to another.
"Found it! This is dimmer than the first." she commented her thought.
"It's called Sheraton. Another star should be easier to spot. Twice distance of Mersathim and Sheraton, at the bottom. It's white." he described clearly.
"Bottom? Eto..." Asu pondered and continued the 'Find The Star' game. "Mitsuketa! This is brighter!" she responded with hints of victorious.
"That's Hamal, the brightest star of Ram constellation." his silvery voice played next to her ears as she locked her eyes onto the shimmering star.
For a second, the dark brown pupils narrowed gradually. A sense of rising flood surged upwards from her pumping heart to her brain- and a playback filled her mind.
'This happened before! Someone said this to me before!' the inner voice in her mind exclaimed loudly-and-firmly.
Asu lost in her thoughts; she began to search for the memory in the library beneath her skull- a memory that existed-yet-not-existed.
'I... ... It... happened in my dream... before.' she told herself as a vague memory found matching with this very moment.
"Now, imagine what I'm going to say." Not noticing the changes in Asu, the stargazer carried his intensive class forward after a few seconds, "Draw a straight line to connect Mesarthim and Sheraton, and then, Sheraton and Hamal."
Make every effort to push away her deep thought and keep up with his pace, her lips remained shut.
A sequin silver streak brushed across the shady canvas, connecting the stars one after another.
"That's Ram constellation. Mesarthim is the horn." he remarked.
Thanks to her notable imagination, the symbol of Aries instantly formed and overlaid with the linear.
Excitement found in her glinting eyes- if it hasn't distracted much by the recalled memory.
"I see it! So, this is Aries." she cheered contentedly as she turned to the man. Her happiness of the tiny success was all showcased by the constant hops.
'Is that so amazing? She's surprisingly easy to please na...' he thought as he crossed his arms and blinked astonishingly.
"It's Ram, baka. Don't name the constellation with the zodiac." Though the smile on his face was clear to be seen; yet, teasing words couldn't help but run out from his mouth.
Showered with satisfaction and contentment, those teasing words were bounced off right at the entrance of her ears.
"Ne, when is your birthday, then?" she asked with a bright smile on her face.
Was he feeling embarrassed or unbelievable?
The simple question that came from Asu was something he doesn't willing to answer; yet, the pure smile on her face was something that he wished to keep for now.
And so, he averted his eyes and locked them onto the metal balustrade. "... ... 19 April." he murmured with an undertone.
The silence hasn't been beneficial as much as this moment; the brief reply cast a beatific expression on her face.