Yuki decides to visit Ayame’s shop. He hasn’t a clue what he got himself into.
Ayame: Listen to this, Gure-san! Yuki! My Yuki! He had tears in his eyes when he implored me to let him drop by my shop!
Yuki: Something’s coming…something not of this earth…!
It turns out the shop isn’t quite as bad as it was made out to be – it’s basically just Ayame making custom-ordered garments (primarily dresses) that cater to “man’s covetous nature”. Like a man who wants to wear a wedding dress. I love how Tohru is entranced by the cute outfits while Yuki is horrified.
We also meet Ayame’s employee, Mine (pronounced ME-nay), who promptly steals Tohru in order to dress her up in one of their outfits (much to Yuki’s dismay).
Mine: This gives the brothers a chance to talk alone. Maybe I’m overstepping here, but they don’t often have this opportunity, so would you work with me?
Tohru: Of course! I just hope they can have a conversation without fighting.
Mine: Oh, a fight would be fine! It’d be proof that they’re acknowledging each other. Bossman is most afraid of “nothingness.”
Mine seems to know an awful lot about Ayame’s personal life…
Ayame: I heard you’re going to be the president of your student council. I must say that it’s obviously because of my influence.
Yuki: Not even close. […] I did it because I didn’t want to!
Ayame: You have me at a loss. Why would you do something like that?
Yuki: I don’t expect you to understand. It’s just like how I don’t get this shop of yours at all. Our perspectives are too dissimilar. In the end, we may be too fundamentally different to get along.
Ayame: You have a point!
Thus begins an argument.
Ayame: I’m sorry. I couldn’t help but be happy just now. You were just so angry with me. You answered me with emotion. (internally) I’m sure you haven’t forgotten how cruel I was, how insensible to your pain. The one and only time you reached out to me, looking to me to save you, with that quivering hand…I shook it off like it was nothing. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten that. I neither liked nor disliked Yuki. For me, it was as if he didn’t exist. So these days, when I meet him, I’m afraid for the first time in my life. Afraid that he’ll meet me with that same attitude.
Ayame: Even if we’re like oil and water, does it matter? I bet I have what you don’t, and you have what I don’t. We were born that way. I think your weakness and your kindness are both invaluable. And by the same token, I’m sure my unparalleled elegant, aristocratic charisma is something you can’t help but admire!
That certainly explains why Aaya’s always so nonchalant in the face of Yuki’s irritation – he’s glad to elicit any emotion from him at this point, positive or negative. It would be really easy to dismiss him as an attention whore or something, only he doesn’t just want attention, he wants connection. And he is getting a little better at the whole big brother thing, actually managing to compliment Yuki in a way that he understands and appreciates. Aaya’s getting better little by little, too.
Yuki: Honda-san, I learned something about my brother. Whatever he does, his words and actions are full of unnecessary exaggerations. I learned that I need to ignore that side of him when I deal with him, or else I’ll only be sucked into his pace, which is even more exhausting. Somehow, even just explaining it makes me sad. But I am glad that I came today. After all, I got to see you in that outfit, Honda-san, and you look awfully cute.
Okay, so Yuki is definitely flirting with Tohru and it’s kind of weird.
Anyway, Yuki’s realization is important if he’s going to have any kind of relationship with Ayame. Sooner or later, you have to acknowledge when a family member will never be a great friend, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have some other kind of meaningful relationship with them.
Until next time…