|How Things Were
Author: Fading Grace PM
RinHaru. Haru always had a shoulder to cry on, until faced with this problem. To whom may he turn now? Oneshot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Rin S. & Hatsuharu S. - Words: 3,373 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-17-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2849223
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The phone rang, annoyingly high-pitched and persistent. A dark-haired, fair-skinned girl sat in a comfortable leather armchair, glaring at the black, wireless, handheld phone on the wooden table three feet from her. She knew who it was, and sat with her arms crossed, visibly making herself sit as uncomfortably as possible on the comfy chair. The phone stopped ringing, and she closed her eyes, the only sign of her relief.
The door opened in time to catch the first grating ring as the caller tried again. An older, more naïve girl rushed into the room and picked up the black handheld. As the dark-haired girl lunged to grab it from her, the newcomer clicked the button and set it to her ear. She listened for only a moment before turning around and holding out the hated machine. "Isuzu, it's for you."
Rin crossed her arms again, defiant, and turned away. "I'm not going to talk to him."
"It's not who you think it is." The older girl pushed the earpiece to the side of Isuzu's head and let her hear. Reluctantly, she took hold of it herself.
In a thin, telephone-altered voice, her cousin Yuki said, "I need to speak with you, Rin, to ask a few necessary questions. I understand that you won't answer most of them, but I need to speak with you nonetheless. Will you please pay me a visit?"
"Is the Haru with you, on the property, or within three miles?" she asked coldly.
"He was supposed to be headed home, but who knows where he ended up. Rest assured that he couldn't find you if you wore even more revealing clothes than usual, though I'm sure he would try."
"You've grown a sense of humor. Cute. It's pissing me off."
"More's the pity. Will you come? Shigure is the only one here; Kyo is at Shihan's and Honda-kun is at work. Please."
"Fine, but I promise nothing, and I won't answer any questions." Rin said, preparing to hang up.
"Thank you." The other end clicked as Yuki hung up, and she threw the despicable phone at the wall, where its component parts suddenly developed an enforced sense of self-sufficiency.
She growled, "Bastard."
"Isuzu? What's wrong?" Kagura asked timidly.
"Why don't you pay Shihan a visit, little pest? Kyonkichi's there. We all know how eager you must be to see him," Rin sneered. She watched, mildly interested, as Kagura's face glacially turned to a completely forced, glassy smile. "Oh? What, did he finally break up with you?"
"We weren't going out. He doesn't like me, and he never did."
"Good to know. Will you please go somewhere that isn't here? Haru's probably at Shihan's, actually. Keep him there or make sure he goes back to the Main House instead of Gure-nii's." Rin brushed past Kagura, headed toward the bathroom to get ready to go.
"This is my house, Isuzu…" Kagura started timidly. "Will you at least tell me what's going on?"
"No. Leave. I have to take a bath."
Kagura bowed and made her way outside.
Rin was wearing a dark red, silk corset, with ribbons that laced from the top to the bottom in the back, crossed just above her bellybutton in the front, and attached to the hem of her short, matching skirt. She wore high-heeled, dark red sandals that had ties going up to her knees. True to form, she had done nothing with her hair but brushed it, and it blew around her in the finicky wind, totally contrasted by her porcelain skin.
"Do you wear that sort of thing to impress anyone I know?" Rin knew he meant Haru, her ex. "Or do you just want to feel pretty?"
Rin spat, "Did you invite me here to criticize my clothes, you bastard?"
Yuki sighed, resigned. "Do you hate Haru?"
"Of course, idiot, that's why I dumped him," she responded automatically, crossing her arms in front of her breasts and setting her jaw defiantly. "Anything else?"
"Are you aware of how he feels about you?"
"Yes." She knew that Haru, in all his famous stupidity, still loved her.
"Do you hate him enough to leave him lost and alone when he needs, at the very least, his best friend?"
This gave Rin pause. "What's happened to him?" Yuki looked carefully at her, trying to gauge her reaction. Whatever conclusions he drew weren't mirrored on his face. "Damn it, what's happened to," she fought back the urge to say 'my', "Haru?"
"He's too nice for his own good. He always gives everyone else support, even you," he ignored a glare that could - and probably had - killed small rodents, "But now, when he himself needs someone to lean on, where does he go? To his mother? No, she's not exactly reliable. To Hatori? Not likely, the man lacks a good bedside manner. To Akito? Don't make me laugh. Shigure? Probably worse. Where can he find, in effect, a shoulder to cry on?"
"You're his friend."
"Too true, but I'm in no position to comfort anyone until I can stand on my own two feet. Who did he used to go to, Rin? Be honest, because I know that you two have been close since you were kids. This isn't his first dilemma, but it is certainly his first that he can't seem to deal with."
Rin looked down at her arms, still crossed, but now only loosely. She could feel the tight bindings of the corset, and knew that she looked stunning, bordering on licentious. Her breasts, in no way her worse feature, were pushed flat by the material, and she could clearly see the graceful curve of her cleavage. Loose strands of hair surrounded her, and she wondered why she bothered with all of it. No one could ever be allowed to love her, and no one would ever appreciate her body. Haru was the first person, and that had only been blushing adventures late at night, never going beyond nudity and the sheer joy of feeling comfortable around each other as only themselves, without clothes to hide them. Even now she could hear his warm breath in her ear as he whispered that she was beautiful.
She looked up as Yuki repeated, "Who did he go to?"
In a hoarse whisper, she answered, "Me." She closed her eyes, trying not to remember what Haru himself had looked like, clearly defined under a thin sheet. Rin said, with more conviction, "He went to me. He always has. I mean…he always did. Before."
Yuki watched her silently, his fingers under his chin. Eventually, he asked thoughtfully, "Why did you leave him alone?"
Rin looked up to meet his eyes, a stinging insult on her lips. It died when she saw only concern and compassion, and she realized that, no matter how distantly they were related by blood, she and Yuki were still family. Held by his gaze, she gasped, "Akito."
Yuki nodded, troubled, and didn't have to ask anymore about it. "Will you go to him? As a friend?
She softly said, "I will."
"…Thank you. Truly, thank you. I am worried about him." As Rin turned to leave, Yuki stepped over to her and dropped his arms awkwardly across her shoulders, blissfully not worrying about his transformation. He pressed an innocent kiss to her forehead, as a cousin, and rubbed her cheek. "I hope you are well soon, Rin."
Rin was ready to step back and slap him, but she let it go this once. It was probably the most they would ever say civilly to one another for a long time. She started to reply when a deep, familiar, instinctively soothing voice spoke right in her ear, "This is what happens when I'm kicked to the curb?"
"Haru," Yuki acknowledged in a neutral tone, letting go immediately and stepping more than three feet away from the shorter girl. He locked eyes with her, gave a small bow to both, and walked inside.
Rin was left staring at the closed screen door, unwilling to speak to the boy behind her. His tone hadn't been threatening, but in fact jovial. She knew that it wasn't him. She knew him better than anyone. Haru was troubled by something, and trying to cover it up. She felt his fingertips, unnaturally warm, lightly tracing her oh-so-visible scar with a sort of reverence. It was making her spine tingle.
"Rin…" he sighed contentedly, and her muscles tensed. She had almost leaned back against him! After months of avoiding him, too many hours trying to work out what to say when he finally cornered her, her resolve was weakened only by a fleeting touch and her spoken name! Haru seemed to read her mind, and sobered immediately. "Can I walk you back to the Main House?"
Rin shrugged noncommittally, and turned to start back without so much as glancing at him. This seemed to suit him fine, and he easily kept pace with her, maintaining the silence. After ten minutes, though, he said solemnly, "So, do you still hate me?"
"Yes," was her clipped answer. It was distracting how every inch of exposed skin tingled when he was near.
"You just don't interest me anymore," she recited by rote.
"After fifteen years, you up and decide that I'm boring?" Gods, she could hear the underlying tones of utter despair.
"Oh." They walked for a few more seconds. "Glad we cleared that up."
Rin was determined not to say anything more. She had dumped him, after all. Even though she had promised Yuki, beginning such a personal conversation was easier said than done. As that very thought came up, she found herself asking in a disinterested voice, "What's wrong?"
God damn it, she cursed to herself, why can't I ever just keep my mouth shut?, she cursed to herself,
Haru was silent for a moment, and Rin could feel his eyes on her. She didn't dare to look at him, now more than ever. She would likely go all the way to the gates of the Main House without looking at him. Soon, he said, "Is that a serious question?"
"I'm always serious, dumbass," Rin shot back, without thinking.
"It's you. You're what's wrong with me. Rin, am I really boring to you? Or are you trying to defend me, like you always do? Let me help you. Please."
She struggled not to look over. "I can obviously manage myself just fine. You're the one that can't cope."
"Then please, help me. I can't live like this. I saw you and touched you and could simply be near you every single day for fifteen years. That, for me, is a lifetime addiction. And now, I'm having withdrawals. You see how my hands shake?" He set his warm hand on her upper arm, to stop her walking. The other went across her body to her other arm, physically turning her to face him.
She stubbornly twisted her head to stare at a tree, but couldn't stop herself from commenting, "They're steady as rocks, Haru." Belatedly, she realized her first mistake. The moment she had said his name, it was all over. His hands left her arms and found her cheeks, pulling her in for a firm, desperate kiss. She kept her eyes open, which was, incidentally, her second mistake. His eyes, dark brown, held every emotion she had ever felt with him.
He was the one that kissed her scraped knee when they were four, in lieu of an uncaring mother. He was the one that encouraged her through her first crush, albeit somewhat mechanically, since he was feeling very betrayed at the time. He was the one that took her to her first party, where she got drunk and was nearly raped before he swooped in and raced her home. He was the one that helped her with her first period, going to buy tampons and pads and helping to piece things together on sheer common sense. He was the one that cried himself to sleep on her bed when his father hit him and then left for good. He was the one that laughed with her about the insanely strict maids and the fun they had training. He was the one that turned back to White Haru only when she would hug him and say that everything was alright. He was the one that kissed her hesitantly on her twelfth birthday, and told her he loved her. He was the one that shrugged off being hit with a table when he got too touchy-feely one night. He was the one that had run calloused hands over her stomach and thighs and ignored every flaw she listed off to him, insisting that she was perfect. He was the one who caught her when she stumbled, and came to her for help. He was the one that never asked more of her, and was never disappointed.
And, when she saw every detail of every action that had led up to this kiss, her resolve shattered and she was flush against him, hands tangling in his hair, mouth opening, tongue dancing with his. As her legs failed her and he picked her up, walking her off the road and against a strong tree only a short way into the forest, she pressed her forehead against the taut, shifting muscles in his shoulder and looped her fingers through his necklaces that fell flat against his chest. His tan shirt showed a lot of skin, as it was less than halfway done up, but it wasn't nearly enough. She pressed her hand flat against his unmarred upper body, and felt his heart beating fast and excited. She knew that he would never do something rash like having sex unprepared in a forest, and wasn't that surprised when he merely set her down to lean comfortably against the trunk. He set his head in her lap with a contented sigh, and looked up at her.
She looked down at him, still surprised at how little she could resist him. As her fingers traced lazy patterns through his white-and-black hair, rubbing the scalp absentmindedly, he blinked slowly and turned his face into the warmth of her stomach.
In a muffled voice, Haru asked, "Is this for real, my Rin?" Seemingly worried, he sat up again and inspected her carefully. "I'm not dreaming again, am I?"
Too tired to be irate, Rin shook her head no. "I'm real, Haru. This," she gestured around them, "is real. It's alright now. You don't have to worry."
He sank back gratefully, curling up around her and looping an arm around her back. They lay there, half-hugging, half cuddling, for a time. Before long, Rin felt a tear land on the inside of her thigh and roll toward the ground, and worried about her short skirt. She figured that it was nothing he hadn't seen before, and just ran her fingers through his hair, letting him cry away the fears, pain, and heartbreak of the last few months. She lost count of the tears, but it was almost five in the afternoon when Haru woke up from the catnap his crying had subsided to.
"Rin…" he began, searching for the right words in her liquid eyes. "I love you. I love you too much to bear being away from you."
"That's fine. I'll always be here for you, my Haru." She reached out for his neck, and pulled him closer.
Their breath mixed for a single heartbeat, and then he closed the distance, hungrily exploring her mouth for the first time in too long. She could smell the crushed nutmeg scent of him, and her eyes slid closed. Soon enough, Haru was the one leaning against the tree, and Rin was on her knees, straddling him. She worked to unbutton the rest of his shirt and teasingly ran her fingers just above his belt. They both smiled against the other's lips; they knew that nothing serious would happen.
Deciding that Rin's clothes were too complicated for him to even attempt, Haru set his hands on the sides of his Rin's slim waist and focused only on the kiss that was steadily slowing down. They had been apart for too long, but even happy reunions must end sometime. Haru wanted only to show her how much he had missed this, missed her warmth, missed her hair falling down and tickling him.
Rin wanted to show him her repentance and regret at having caused this strife in the first place. She had forgotten little things about him, how he would always let her take control and followed along, how he would never try anything sneaky or underhanded or ask for anything more. He was the prefect man; he accepted her exactly as she was, because he wouldn't want her any other way. She had remembered other things, though. He always ran his hands through her hair, as if fascinated by it. He kept his eyes closed all the time, as if savoring every moment. With a soft inhalation, she broke the kiss, and he opened his eyes slowly.
"You do, don't you?" Rin asked, surprised. He only leaned his forehead against the front of her shoulder, making a pillow of her bust. She didn't mind much; it was getting colder, and he was keeping her somewhat warm. "You really do love me…"
"More than I ever thought I could. Is that wrong? Even if you don't love me back, I'll stay with you, if you let me."
"I know you will, Haru. I want you to. So please," Rin lifted his right hand and cradled her cheek in it, and Haru raised his head to look into her eyes, "so please, stay with me until I don't need you near me anymore."
"You're not going to have me, Haru, not for a long time yet." Rin contrived to wear a haughty expression, and they both started laughing quietly. Haru shivered distractedly, looking around the room, and Rin pulled the covers back for him to get in, too.
It's amazing how easily things can go back to how they were…
Silently, when Haru was asleep, Rin lifted herself to lean over him, propped up on her elbow. Her fingers ghosted over his chest, along his neck, and rested against his cheek. She leaned down and kissed him softly, then whispered against his lips, "I love you, Haru."
Suddenly, his hand was on the back of her neck, and she was pushed down for a more searing kiss. Haru mumbled, "Love you too…" then seemed to fall back asleep. Rin lay back on her side, head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat, and let her eyes fall shut, as well.