"Home ec?" Nagisa asked the next morning when she came to the Kurosaki residence. "That sounds nice. You'll have to make me nice cookies, okay?"
"Sure," Rei said with a smile.
"Rei… are you sure?" Shuichi asked hesitantly. "I mean, will you be handling knives?"
"Maybe, but not a lot, I think," Rei said.
"Why don't you try something else?" Shuichi suggested. "Maybe the music club? Or newspaper club?"
Daisuke and Ruka looked at Rei curiously. That was the first time they heard the normally easy-go-lucky girl sound so stern.
"How many times have I told you it's not your fault?" Rei asked angrily. "Even the doctor said it could have been much worse if you hadn't reacted quickly and put me in recovery position!"
"I chose to join the club that day. Let me take responsibility for my own choices!"
"Come on, Nagisa, we're going," Rei said as she grabbed Nagisa's arm and left the house.
"Ah, but Shuu-nii—"
The three watched the two go, and Ruka sighed.
"That girl is too stubborn," she said, then glanced to Shuichi. "She's grown up so fast, hasn't she?"
"Yeah," Shuichi agreed.
"You need to let Rei make her own mistakes," Ruka said softly. "She's her own person now. All we can do is let her choose her own path, and support her from behind."
"I guess you're right," Shuichi said. "I better go apologise to her."
"Wait," Inari called as he walked over to them. "I will protect Rei too, so don't worry."
"Thanks, Inari," Shuichi said. "That means a lot to us."
"Yeah," Daisuke and Ruka agreed.
"I'm home!" Rei called out as she walked into the house and took off her shoes.
"Welcome back," Ruka greeted as she appeared in front of Rei. "Did you talk to Ohtori?"
"Yeah," Rei said. "I was at fault too. I got too upset."
Ruka sighed. "I'm sure he understands."
"Just like you did?" Rei asked with a smile.
"Sometimes no one is at fault," Ruka said, "and I've come to accept that."
"Good," Rei said. "Well, what is Daisuke making for dinner tonight?"
"I'm making your favourite hamburg steak," Daisuke called out from the kitchen. "Oh, but I also made some fried tofu. You'll have to fight Inari for it though."
"Inari-chan, give me one," Rei said as she walked towards the kitchen, followed by Ruka.
Inari huffed. "Just one," he said, "and only because I like you."
"Aw, you flatter me."
"So, did you join the club?" Daisuke asked curiously.
"Yeah, I've told them I'm joining," Rei said, taking a fried tofu from the plate. "The club activity is only on Fridays, so it will be two days from now. I think they're going to bake some cupcakes this time."
"Wah, that's nice. Make sure to bring home some."
"I will," Rei said. "Well, as long as they're edible…"
"Oh… yeah… if they're not, Inari can have it."
"Oi, what is that supposed to mean!?"