Author: The S PM
As Hatori's relationship with Mayuko begins to develop, Ayame tells Hatori that his silence does not mean he no longer loves the Dragon. Unfortunately, Mayu overhears and violence follows. [unrequited AyaTori, MayuTori, vaguely implied MayuGure]Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Hatori S. & Ayame S. - Words: 1,753 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 2 - Published: 07-14-05 - id: 2485247
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Characters: Mayuko, Hatori, Ayame, Shigure
Pairings: Ayatori, some Mayutori, and perhaps some very vaguely implied MayuGure
Author's Note: I think Mayuko goes a bit out of character in this, but it's enjoyable anyway.
When Mayu went to get the tea, Hatori was left behind to enjoy a moment of awkwardness with his best friend. Ayame was smiling brightly, eyes closed to hide his real expression as he so often did these days. At the moment, Hatori was glad for it. He didn't have to attempt to hide the conflicted look in his own eyes, though it was something only Shigure or Ayame would have noticed anyway. He just wasn't sure what to say, how to take this bit of news his cousin had just dropped like the proverbial bombshell. "Do you...plan on proposing to Miine?" He was thinking of Akito, how to get around her. Ayame was...delicate. He wouldn't survive an onslaught like the one Hatori had taken over Kana.
Ayame laughed. "Whyever would I do a thing like that, Tori-san?"
"..." If it had been Shigure, his temper would have flared immediately. In the Dog's case, he would have been 100 sure his best friend was pulling his leg. But with Ayame...the Snake just didn't connect the dots the way others did. So instead, Hatori explained, slowly, "You just told us she's the woman you love most in the world..."
The Snake gestured grandly. "Sou! She's the best best-girlfriend a boy could ever have!"
Now Hatori was just confused. Sometimes it seemed as though his cousin shifted into a foreign language; one the Dragon did not speak a word of. "Best...girlfriend?"
Ayame opened his eyes at last and looked earnestly into the ice-chip blue eyes staring at him. "Oh, Tori-san. You didn't think...I had romantic feelings for her?"
Now Hatori was REALLY confused. What else could Ayame have meant? And wasn't that natural? Miine was his constant companion. They'd worked together for over two years, now. It made sense that they would have formed a deeper bond. Hatori couldn't understand why the idea bothered him so much. Miine was a nice girl, a bit manic, but then so was Ayame. They were a perfect match...sort of…
He was jolted out of his reverie as the Snake came to kneel in front of him and took his hand. "Tori-san. You know you're the only one for me."
The Dragon's ire was kindled. This was just not funny. Had Shigure put him up to this? And yet…Ayame looked so sincere. Hatori had never fallen to the hypnotic effect of those green-gold eyes. Not really. But he found it difficult to look away from them just now. "Ayame. Let go of my hand."
As always, the Snake did as Hatori commanded. "I've been trying to give you your space. I know you wanted to see what would happen with Mayu-kun, and... I didn't want to get in the way of your happiness. That's the last thing I want, Tori-san. But that holding my peace could make you doubt my feelings..." He looked as if he were about to cry.
Oh God. Hatori just wanted to vanish down a deep dark hole and never resurface. Instead, he leaned forward, knowing he had to calm his friend because no one else could. He patted Ayame's shoulder, awkwardly. Hatori had never been good with physical comfort. "It's...it's all right. I know. Don't cry."
The words seemed to be all the encouragement the Snake needed. "Oh, Tori-san!" He flung himself at the Dragon, nearly knocking him over.
"Ayame!" he hissed. "Stop! That's enough!" But his cousin was crying on his shoulder, and Hatori's arms seemed to go around the slender waist so easily... He sighed, feeling frustrated, put-upon, and somehow relieved, all at once. The feeling of holding Ayame took him back...years.
It was a mistake. His best friend sighed blissfully in his arms, and the next thing Hatori knew, the Snake was kissing him, holding the Dragon's face in his hands so that he could not pull away. Hatori's eyes went wide with surprise, his pupils dilating in shock. What the hell did Ayame think he was doing? And why was it that the silk of his lips was like that of no other?
The moment was shattered by an enormous crash of china from behind them. Both men turned to see Mayu standing in the doorway, the mangled tray of tea at her feet. "What the HELL is going on here!" Her face went crimson, and for a moment it seemed uncertain whether she would scream or cry. Then she was storming across the room, grabbing Ayame by the hair and dragging him off of Hatori's lap. "How DARE you?"
Ayame gasped and stumbled after, not wanting any harm to come to his flowing tresses. Hatori quickly got to his feet. "Mayu..."
But she was already swatting at Ayame, landing random hits as she shouted, "Do you think I waited two years for a chance with him just to let his femmy cousin take him away? I don't think so, bitch!"
Hatori had seen Ayame get angry perhaps three times in all the years they'd known each other. It was not a pretty sight. "Madam! Do not strike me in the face!"
"Why not, pretty boy? What are you gonna do about it? You think you can make me?" She gave his braid a hard yank, and the scuffle started in earnest. Hatori tried to stop it, but his bad eye gave a twinge and he stepped back out of range, instinctively. What was with women and the need to use their nails when they fought? Though to be fair, Ayame was doing more of that, while Mayu seemed to have adopted something akin to a barroom brawl approach.
An amused voice at his elbow made him turn. "Aren't cat-fights magnificent?" Shigure had returned from having a smoke outside and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the scene. "I told you it was great fun to have women fighting over you, Haa-san."
The Dragon felt the need to point out, "One of those 'women' is our cousin."
The Dog's sly grin just broadened. "Yes. And I think he's doing a great job, don't you?"
Hatori quirked an angry eyebrow at Shigure's lack of concern. He was practically leering as he watched. "Shigure. This is not funny."
"Oh, Haa-san, don't be such a stick-in-the-mud. You can tell this story to your grandchildren." Hatori was about to point out that, at the rate things were going, the chances of his having grandchildren were decreasing exponentially, when Mayu won the fight by delivering a well-timed knee to the groin. Ayame gasped and doubled over, collapsing onto the couch.
Hatori was next on her hit list. She marched right over to shriek, up close and personal, "I'm not speaking to you!"
Shigure made the mistake of giggling. Mayu was quite a sight, her hair going every which way, clothes disheveled, and she was sporting several unsightly gouges on her neck and cheek from Ayame's long nails. She whirled on the Dog. "And YOU! I don't know how yet, but this is all your fault! You conniving, manipulative sonofabitch! You just can't stand to see anyone else happy, can you?" She was on the verge of tears, and Hatori stepped close, placing a hand on her shoulder. But Mayu quickly shrugged him off, not yet finished with Shigure. "You think that was funny? I'll give you something to laugh about!" She slammed her heel down on the Dog's foot hard enough to break a few bones. When he yelped and hopped up and down on his good foot, she gave him a hard shove, sending him sprawling over the low table. With a parting growl of rage, Mayu stormed out of the house.
Hatori sighed. Shigure had been right. Mayu was...quite something. He just wasn't sure it was quite something he wanted to wake up to every morning for the rest of his life. The Dragon turned his attention to Ayame, who was panting hard enough that Hatori was afraid he might be having an asthma attack. "Breathe, Ayame." He stroked wild strands of silver back from the pale face and spoke calmly as he took Ayame's wrist between his fingers in order to take his pulse. From behind them, he heard Shigure whimpering on the floor, self-pityingly. "You just got what you deserved, as far as I'm concerned. I keep telling you your actions have consequences." When he looked over to see why the Dog had not whined some excuse in response, Shigure was gone. So he focused on Ayame. Perhaps it was better if Shigure were the one to pursue Mayu right now. She could take out the remainder of her frustrations on the man she seemed to hate more than anything else in the world, and Hatori would call her in a few days when she'd calmed down.
When the Snake finally got his breath back and could move again, limpid, green-gold pools of apology shone up at him tearfully. "Tori-san, I'm sorry. I've ruined everything, haven't I?"
Hatori shushed him, sounding more cranky than he felt. "Don't think any more about it." He smoothed the Snake's hair, more concerned about his delicate cousin's health at the moment than his slowly budding relationship with Kana's best friend. "How do you feel?"
Ayame answered him by slumping forward to rest his head against the Dragon's shoulder. Hatori sighed, but he allowed it this time. When would Ayame outgrow this adolescent crush? And did he really want him to? It had been a part of their friendship, their lives for so long, Hatori wasn't sure how things would be without it. He wasn't sure he wanted to find out.
"I love you, Tori-san."
And all he could summon up the strength to say in response to those three devastating words was, "I know."