The chapter begins with Mio's phone alarm waking her. She looks at the time, mutters that it's still too early, and rolls back over. Then, she bolts back up, thinking, “That's right!” She's meeting Taki today. He joins her at his train stop, and they greet each other. Mio comments that it's early; she fell back to sleep, and almost missed the train. Taki tells her that it would have been all right to catch the next one, and Mio rambles about how morning is coming earlier lately and the earlier train is just right. Taki is a little confused, and responds that it's been getting hot. (Apparently in response to Mio having mentioned that “morning is coming earlier,” he's talking about summer approaching.) Mio thinks about the real reason she wants to avoid the later train: If she had taken her usual train, there was a good chance she would have run into Marui. Mio starts to look around the train; as she expected, she doesn't see Marui at this hour. Taki asks her what she's looking for, and Mio freezes. Taki mimics Mio's expression, and Mio answers, “Um, nothing?” She laughs at his weird face, and thinks that she hasn't said anything to Taki about Marui. If she told him, it would definitely make him feel bad: Marui and Mio are in the same class, they sit next to each other... As she considers the situation, it dawns on Mio – she sits next to Marui, it's impossible to avoid him... How is Marui going to be around her, and what will she do? She's getting nervous... Maybe she can skip going to school... As Mio is thinking that over, the door is opening at the next stop, and Mio is in the way. Taki pulls her away from the door, trying to get her attention, and Mio fails to understand. She pulls away, asking him what he's doing. He says her name again, and she responds, “It's morning, we're on the train, people are looking... I want to hug, too, but not right now...!!” The people trying to get on the train glare at her and tell her she was in the way, and Mio crouches down on the other side of the train in embarrassment. Taki explains that she was blocking the door, so... Mio is thinking she'll die of embarrassment, as Taki feels awkward and wonders if he was doing something unnecessary. He apologizes, and Mio tells him, no, she's the one who should apologize. That confession threw her into disarray... Taki is easily distracted, and notices that Mio attached the keychain he gave her to her bag. She says that she did it at the aquarium, and he tells her he didn't notice. (It was dark.) Mio comments on how cute the dolphin is (thinking that it looks like Taki), and he says, “Dolphin? The label says it's a whale.” Mio is surprised, but the label says it's a “short-finned pilot whale.” It looks like a dolphin... Taki tells her that the person at the aquarium explained that dolphins and whales differ in body length. Taki laughs over the confusion, and Mio smiles. It will be all right when she sees Marui... she should just make her feelings clear...
They arrive at school, and Mio glances over at Marui's chair. Maybe he'll be absent today...? Then, the door opens, and Marui comes in (as his friends tell him he's late). He tells them that the train was late, and Ichii calls from behind, “Whatever, just clear the doorway, you monster.” Marui takes his seat next to Mio, and greets her, “Yo.” Mio stammers a greeting, and Marui asks her to open the window. She does, and he says, “Thank you,” fanning himself (and complaining that there's still no breeze). His friends come over, and Mio thinks that she didn't seem to have a chance to talk to him. (Marui and his friends are talking about summer coming on; it seems that it's supposed to be late June.) Shii asks if she should close the curtains, and Inoji thanks her. Inoji tries to spark a conversation with Shii, and they chat about the temperature differences around the different areas of the classroom. Yuni starts to get jealous again, and squeals over a cute outfit in the magazine they were looking at before Shii went to the window. Inoji seems to be noticing what's going on, and gives her a dirty look. As Mio thinks again about getting a chance to talk to Marui, an eraser bounces over by her feet. Marui asks if she can give it to him, and she drops it into his hand. He thanks her, and she blushes. Like she thought, he seems to be acting completely normal. Mio frets that she may be the only one who's getting worked up over this, and Marui glances back at her from across the room. He feels his cheeks reddening, and reminds himself to keep acting like usual.
Mio is on cleaning duty and is taking out the trash, still wondering what to do. Thinking that Marui seemed to be acting too normal, Mio starts to wonder if he really told her that he liked her. Maybe it was a dream? A very realistic dream... Marui spots her at her shoe locker, and asks her if she's been outside. Caught off guard, she awkwardly answers that she was taking out the trash, and Marui goes on. Seeing how calm he was again, Mio starts to feel more convinced that she must have been dreaming that he confessed to her... Now, she'll just make sure... She tells him that there's something she wanted to ask him, and he stops. She asks him, “Didn't you tell me a joke about something at the aquarium?” He looks back at her, and there's an awkward silence. Mio continues, “Uh... My memory is a little fuzzy... What was it you said...?” After another pause, Mio turns around, saying, “It was probably noth-...” and Marui finally replies, “That I like you? That wasn't a joke, though.” Having it so quickly and easily confirmed that it was no dream, Mio turns red, and says, “But! But, I... I like Ta-...!!” Marui cuts in, telling her, “I know. I won't get in the way. It can be the same as always.” Mio asks if that's true, thinking that certainly, today he seemed entirely normal, so...? He turns back and adds, “But, in the future, if you get sick of Taki and there's an opening for me, let me know.” Mio yells back at him that she isn't [sick of Taki], and he replies, “Hypothetically speaking...” and Mio expresses her dislike of hypotheticals. From the top of the stairs, Marui turns around again and smiles. He says, “But, honestly... I'm here for you, too, Ootaka. Remember that.” Mio can't respond, and stands there a while. He was half joking, but it wasn't said without thought. Mio recalls that he said the same thing about being there for her when she was afraid Taki was still in love with his ex-girlfriend. That was really painful... Why is he able to say things like that to her? Isn't it painful for him? Meanwhile, Marui gets back to the classroom, and he calls Shii out to the hall. She asks him what's going on, and he tells her that she seems to have figured some things out. So, for now, he thought he'd tell her – he confessed to Ootaka. Shii just responds, “Eh...?” Marui explains that he told her things could be the same as usual, but... He might say something strange, and he needs someone to tell him if Mio starts to worry. Shii pauses, then says she understands... Marui tells her he's counting on her, and walks off. After he's gone, Shii freaks out: Marui told Mio that he likes her!? And she's the first to know!?
On her way to basketball practice, Akane is thinking it's finally time. She chuckles to herself; very soon, she'll get to see that idiot's flustered look... The boy who's always bothering Akane – finally identified in this chapter as “Arakawa” - butts in, and asks her what she's mewling about. Akane jumps back, and he suggests that she's thinking how happy she is the second years will be at basketball today. Is he right? He tells her that she's getting shallow – is she coming down to Kohashi's level? She snarls, “Arikawa...!” then stomps off to the gym, thinking, “Ignore him, ignore him...” He follows her, and as she tries to slam the door, he pulls on it. He's yelling, “Don't close it, idiot!” and she's responding, “You don't have any reason to be here, do you!?” He wants to see who she's doing this useless manager's job for. Akane throws her dust cloth in his face, and asks him if he's a complete moron. He has no reason to be there. It would be embarrassing to have some noisy idiot at her club. Akane thinks that, besides that, she has to launch her counterattack. She has her hands on the secret Marui least wants anyone to know! Akane remembers that she threw her cloth at Arakawa, and asks him to give it back. He tells her he'll give it back when she lets him in to the building. He'll leave after he sees what odd jobs she does! Akane narrows her eyes and grabs his wrist (while comparing him to those people who would tease Nao). He blushes, and says that it hurts. How is she so strong!? She demands he return the cloth, and he continues to refuse. At that point, Marui shows up, and takes the cloth out of Arakawa's hand. He tells him that it's all right to fool around, but not in the doorway. They'll block people's way. (Arakawa is thinking: “So tall!”) He smiles and drops Akane's cloth into her hands, and she yells back at him that knows that!! Arakawa mutters that he guesses he would be tall, in the basketball club... He notices that Akane is blushing, and it dawns on him that Marui must be who she's there to see. Akane is vexed by Marui's composure, and remembers that she knows his weakness. She starts to yell at him to wait, and sees that Arakawa is approaching him. Marui assumes that he must be there to observe the club; he should come in and watch to see if it's a good fit. Akane protests that Arakawa is just there to screw around. He tells her that it's none of her business, and ends up watching the practice.
Inside the gym, Akane goes about her managerial duties, keeping an eye on Arakawa. That eyesore... though it's good that he's being unusually quiet. Looking over at Marui, she thinks that she wants to hurry up and get a chance to tell him that his secret has been exposed. But, she goes through the whole practice, and never gets the opportunity to talk to him at all! She stomps to the train station, picturing how it would have gone. She imagines ordering him to do the sweeping and lock up, if he doesn't want his secret to get out. Then, he can get her some tea. He agrees, looking frazzled. Right about now, she should be lording her authority over him! She swings her bag around in anger, and hits someone. As she turns to apologize, she realizes that it's Marui. (He comments that her bag felt really heavy.) She asks him why he's there, and he tells her he's going home. She asks where he went with the rest of the team, and Marui explains that they're all basically broke. They just went to the convenience store. Akane perks up, seeing her chance. She teases that she knows something, and he asks her what. She points at him and says, “You like Ootaka-san!” Seeing his surprise, she presses on, asking if Oootaka-san knows? She wouldn't, since she's with Nao, but what would she do if she found out? Marui takes a breath, and answers, “She knows. I already confessed to her.” Akane moves from surprise to anger, grabbing him by the shirt and yelling, “Did you say you confessed!?” He tells her she's yelling, but she continues, “What are you planning!? No way; are you stealing her from Nao!? Do you think it's all right to do something like that!?” Marui asks if she knows: Around him, Taki's expression is always tinged with loneliness. (Note: I'm not too confident with my translation of this line, but think he's hinting that Taki already knows about his feelings for Mio. The line doesn't seem hugely important to the plot, at least.) The train arrives, and Marui asks Akane if she's getting on. She stomps down the platform and boards a different section. The train leaves, and Marui leans back and sighs. The chapter ends with Akane repeating, “No way!” in her head.