Author: ASlaveToWords PM
Now in China, Kage has to make it on her own this time, without the girls. Thankfully, Lee and the White Tigers are more then willing to help her out. It'll be different, but her new friends are already becoming a big part of her life.-Seq to IncompleteRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Lee/Rai C. & Johnny - Chapters: 9 - Words: 68,137 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-22-12 - Published: 02-14-12 - id: 7837290
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: So! Finally, after FOREVER here's the next one. It's UBER long so I'm hoping this will make up for the ridiculously prolonged update! Lol. However, I shall warn you; many of you may not be pleased with some of the contents. *holds out piece of paper* This is why I must ask you to sign this paper beforehand stating that under no circumstances are you to kill or harm the authoress in any way, shape, or form once you have finished. Thank you. So, without further adieu, on with the story!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my OCs.
PS: Remember, by reading on, you adhere by the rule of not killing me once you have finished! :P
Kage looked up from her beyblade and smiled at the pinkette who had just come through her door.
"I've got a surprise for you!" She said excitedly, holding up a large bag as she closed the door behind her. "Well, more of a birthday present really!"
Kage's smile grew.
"You didn't have to." She replied kindly. Perhaps it was Mariah's enthusiasm, but she had to admit, she was a little excited.
"Oh, but I wanted to!" The pinkette said with a grin.
Kage approached the bed and peered over the lip of the bag when Mariah set it down. She stared blankly when her friend reached inside and pulled out one of the contents.
"Happy Birthday!" She exclaimed with a huge grin. "Now put it on!"
Kage stared at her reflection for a long time, unable to move or say anything.
"So? Whatta ya think?"
Behind her, Mariah was standing with her hands on her hips and a huge grin on her face. But Kage didn't look at her friend, she was too busy trying to decide on how she felt about the outfit the pinkette had all but forced her into.
"I look like a floozy." Kage said eventually, a deep flush on her face. Mariah rolled her eyes, the grin still in place.
"You do not." The Chinese blader argued. "If anything, it's a sort of….burlesque look."
Kage's eyes rolled over her own body. The outfit was all bright purple. Her dress – if it could be called that – was a strapless corset-type top with black designs going down the front, black buttons and black lace trimming the top of the breast area. Stemming from the bottom of the top was a long sash that fell well past her knees on the back, but was bunched up on the sides to come to about her mid-thigh on the front. On her feet were a pair of matching thigh-high purple heeled boots and around her neck was a matching lacy purple and black choker necklace from which hung three black crosses. In her ears were a matching pair of earrings, and on top of her head was a miniature purple top-hat, fastened and tilted slightly to the side. Her hair was straight and swept to her left side, bangs swept backwards in a wind-swept sort of look.
A frown creased Kage's face as she pulled the dress up to hide a little more of her cleavage, earning her a smack on the fingers from Mariah, who promptly fixed it.
"Leave it!" The pinkette scolded. "It doesn't look bad, I promise!"
"Mariah, I'm wearing more make-up right now then I've ever worn in my life." Kage complained. "It's thick and heavy and yucky and I feel awful!"
And it was true. Kage's make-up, though it may have looked very good on someone else, just didn't feel like her. Her eyes were painted heavily to match her outfit, making her amethyst eyes pop and eyelashes look miles long. Her lips were painted a shimmery nude color, and there was so much foundation, blush and powder on her face that she felt it might crack if she smiled too wide.
Mariah sighed heavily.
"Please, just give it a try. You're just not used to it, that's all. I swear, I would never put you in something that makes you look bad. You really do look beautiful and honest, it's doesn't er … give the wrong idea at all."
Kage sighed as well and looked herself over again – something she was getting very tired of doing lately – but eventually decided to drop the matter.
"Alright…" She finally gave in.
Mariah beamed and cheered and it was just then that Kage's cell went off. Moving to pick it up from her dresser, she smiled a little at the name on screen. Flipping the cell open, she read the text inside but blinked in surprise when she was finished.
Hey, pretty lady! Heard there's a party tonight. Still early so I figured U might not have a date yet. How about U do me the honor of being mine?
Kage tilted her head to one side in confusion.
"What?" Mariah questioned, leaning a little closer to her friend curiously. "What's wrong? Who is it? What'd they say?"
Kage looked up at her.
"Johnny just asked me to be his date to a party tonight, but… well, I guess I'm busy, aren't I?"
Mariah slapped her forehead.
"Johnny!" She groaned in annoyance. "He ruined the surprise!"
She sighed, then smiled again and shrugged.
"Oh well, I guess the cats out of the bag. Remember me saying last night that I had something planned for you tonight? Weeeell! A friend of ours who lives out in the country agreed to throw a huge party at his house for your birthday! He has a huge house, and a huge yard, and a huge amount of land, and lots of room! So we've invited a HUGE crowd of people! It's going to be so much fun! Oh and, I called Johnny and invited him this morning. He was supposed to keep it a secret until we told you but, guess he couldn't wait."
That was an excessive use of the word 'huge', Kage thought with a smile.
"You did that for me?" She asked, suddenly feeling a huge wave of affection for the pinkette wash over her. Mariah beamed.
"Of course! I owed you for missing you birthday yesterday. Besides, I would have done something like this anyway. You're my friend, Kage!"
Kage gave the pinkette a grateful smile and thanked her. She then thought of something and looked away from Mariah back down to her phone and stared. After a moment she looked back up at her friend again with a lost expression.
"Well… what should I tell him? I mean, it's true I don't have a date but I was kind of hoping that-"
Kage stopped and bit her lip, staring at the cell in her hands again as she thought. She didn't need to finish, Mariah knew what she was going to say.
"Hmm…." She hummed thoughtfully. "Well, if I know Lee, he'll be too shy to ask you out, at least not yet…."
Suddenly a huge grin split the girl's face again.
"Tell ya what, why don't you say yes to Johnny and go with him. Can't have you showing up alone to your own party and Johnny won't be around much longer for it to matter a whole lot; Lee can make up for it then. Besides, seeing as I DO know my brother – quite well – I happen to know that seeing you with Johnny will make him jealous. And that, girlfriend, is a powerful thing!"
Kage frowned. Mariah was right on one account; jealousy was a powerful thing – powerful and ugly - and it was not something she really cared to play with. Still, Mariah was the expert here, she was the one with a boyfriend and Kage herself had little to no experience at all. Perhaps the pinkette knew what she was doing.
Finally releasing one last sigh, Kage looked back up at Mariah and gave her a small nod, causing the girl to release an excited squeal. The ravenette then looked back to her cell and, a little reluctantly, formed her response.
"Geeze, what's taking so long this time?"
Ray chuckled at his green-haired friend, whom was sitting atop a counter-top with a foot raised beside him and an arm on his raised knee – something Madame Chang would certainly not appreciate had she seen him. From his own spot against the he wall, arms crossed casually, he could see the entire kitchen.
"They'll be finished soon, Kev. Relax. You have got no patience, man."
Kevin sighed and muttered something under his breath but said nothing else.
"How long do you think it'll take to get out into the countryside?" Lee asked conversationally. He was the only one civilly sitting on a chair at the table as he waited for the girls, his own arms crossed as well. Gary was busying himself with a snack for the road – before and after.
Ray considered Lee's question for a moment.
"Hm… it's been a while since we've been out there, but I think last time it took us about-"
Lee blinked at his best questioningly when he stopped mid-sentence. He furrowed his brows in confusion and followed the Captain's surprised gaze until his own eyes fell on the source of interruption. Immediately his jaw dropped .
"Ta-da!" Mariah exclaimed in a proud gesture, waving her hands towards her companion with a flourish.
The kitchen had fallen silent and Kage squirmed slightly, reaching up to nervously rub her arm as she tried to hold the four heavy gazes staring at her. Thankfully, Kevin broke the silence and eased her discomfort – but not, however, her embarrassment.
"Wow!" The greenette exclaimed loudly, leaping gracefully from the counter-top to approach the birthday girl. When he reached her he walked around her, inspecting with an approving look, until he came to her front again, a huge grin on his face. "You look hott!"
Kage felt the hot flush creep up her face but little did she know, thankfully, the multi-layered makeup on her face hid this fact.
"Thank-you." Kage replied, a little dismayed by the slight shake in her hands.
"Very nice." Gary added with a polite smile. Kage noted a slight pinkish tinge to his cheeks as well as he bit into a rather large dumpling and she felt her face heat further. Again she thanked her friend for the comment.
Kage turned to Ray now who looked to be fighting some internal battle, a mix of emotions on his face – which was also tinged pink. However, looking into his eyes, she knew immediately what he was thinking because it had been the same look in her own eyes upon inspecting herself in the mirror earlier.
Ray knew what the outfit said and how it looked, just as well as she did. No matter how nice it looked, it still gave a very wrong impression on the Finnish blader's body and it was painfully clear that unlike the others, Ray was extremely embarrassed that his friend was wearing the outfit, just as much as she was embarrassed to be wearing it.
Eventually, Ray blinked a few times, seemed to regain his control and smiled at the birthday girl.
"You look…. Very pretty, Kage."
Kage forced a swallow, finding the effort much harder than it should have been.
"Thank you." She said again. Feeling much less confident about Mariah's birthday present as time went on.
"So, whatta ya think, Lee?" Mariah asked suggestively.
For the first time, Kage turned in said blader's direction and thought she was going to die. The Chinese blader was staring at her like he never had before, and the longer she stared back at him and his scarlet face, the more her own heated. Any minute, she expected to feel melted makeup running down her face in thick drops.
"Well?" Mariah pressed, hands on her hips and an expression of annoyance on her face.
The tension in the room was thick enough to cut with a knife and everyone seemed to be holding their breaths as they waited for Lee to answer. Finally Lee opened his mouth to speak and everyone save himself and Kage leaned forward slightly in anticipation. But just as the beginning of the first word escaped the ravenette's mouth, the sound of a loud knock at the front door echoed through the house like the boom of thunder, causing every occupant of the small kitchen to jump.
"Oh, what terrible timing!" Mariah fumed, turning towards the door as the knock resounded through the house again. "I'm coming, I'm coming!"
Kage's amethyst eyes were locked unblinkingly on Lee's golden orbs and neither seemed able to pull away from each other. It wasn't until a familiar voice greeted their ears that both teens turned to the archway of the kitchen.
Kage blinked at the redhead standing in the doorway, hands in his pockets as he looked around with a small smirk on his face. When finally his eyes landed on Kage, all expression was wiped from his face to be replaced with a mixture of emotions. Kage felt herself squirm a little again as the redhead's eyes rolled over her body – none too subtly. When eventually they reached her face, there was an ever-so-slight flush on his cheeks as he gave her a confident smile that didn't quite match the rest of his obviously shy expression.
"You look…. Wow." He said simply, approaching her and taking her hand to gently spin her in a circle. When she was facing him again, the redhead's smile turned to a – not entirely unattractive – grin. "Damn, I am one lucky lad!"
Kage swallowed and gave Johnny a small, shy smile as he cupped his hand around hers and lifted his head proudly.
"Well, if everybody's ready, let's go!"
Not actually waiting to see if everyone was, Johnny released Kage's hand to gently place it at the small of her back, guiding her out of the kitchen and towards the front door. On her way out however, Kage couldn't resist looking over her shoulder at the person still in the chair by the table. Her heart dropped into her stomach as she noted the mix of emotions on Lee's face. Hurt, confusion, maybe even a little betrayal. Forcing another hard swallow, Kage gave him a look she hoped expressed all the guilt she felt on the inside before turning forward again and leaving with Johnny.
Amethyst eyes were wide with amazement as the limo Johnny had ordered for them pulled up alongside the massive – not simply huge as Mariah had earlier insisted – countryside house. The house was at least four stories high as far as she could tell and behind it stretched what looked like acres upon acres of land. Even her huge home back in Finland didn't have nearly as much land as this place did.
"Talentia…. Are you seeing this…?" Kage whispered mentally to her bit beast as she pressed her hands and face to the glass in awe. Somewhere inside the confines of her own mind she heard the familiar call of her lifetime friend screech softly in response.
"Well, this is it!" Mariah said excitedly.
Kage blinked and pulled back from the window just as the driver appeared to block her view and open her door for her. As soon as the doors were open, a deafening assault of cheers and music reached Kage's ears, making her wince.
"Happy Birthday!" What seemed like hundreds of people cheered loudly. Kage felt her face flush hotly again as she produced a small, shy smile.
"Nothin' to be nervous about, lass." Johnny was whispering in her ear, his hand once more at the small of her back. "Hold your head high! Be proud. This is your party and you're as good as royalty tonight"
Kage turned her head upwards to look at the redhead. He might not have been the date she'd been hoping for, but she couldn't deny that he was a very welcome comfort just then. So, giving the Scot a grateful smile, Kage did indeed hold her head high – though she felt a little silly for it – and allowed him to lead her into the crowd and towards the house.
Something burned at the back of her head and Kage tried to ignore it as long as she could but eventually, when she reached the threshold of the house and Johnny paused to politely gesture her forward before him, Kage looked over her shoulder for a second time that night and locked eyes with a pair of golden orbs. Lee's face was a mask of darkness and he appeared not to notice the girl looking at him as he paused with his friends outside to talk to someone she didn't know. His eyes were a darker and deeper shade than usual and his mouth was set in something between a grimace and a scowl. Kage had never seen him like this before and she couldn't deny that it intimidated her a little.
Needless to say; when Johnny looked over his shoulder to follow her gaze, he growled lowly in his throat and turned away with a snort. This time, Kage willingly turned away with Johnny as he gently applied a little pressure to her back and encouraged her into the house.
The sound of the music and combination of artificial fog and lights was hypnotic. Kage sipped her water as her heavily-lidded eyes casually scanned the room and her hips swayed lazily back and forth. She had long ago realized that the punch was spiked and she was avoiding it like the plague. But not, of course, before she had already downed a couple cups of the secret blend.
"You are one lucky bastard, McGregor!"
Kage only deftly registered the conversation going on beside her, merely offering the newcomer a polite smile before returning to scanning the room again. Having been at the party for over an hour by now, she was nearly used to all the stares, the whistles, the appreciative glances. She was even used to Johnny's protective, proud-as-a-peacock arm around her waist as if he'd already laid claim to her.
"What a knock-out! You sure are gorgeous babe. Whatcha doin' with a slob like this anyway?"
Resisting a sigh, Kage turned back to the guy Johnny was talking to, knowing he was joking but still a little weary of him. Another thing she was quickly getting used to; being – understandably – mistaken for Johnny's girlfriend.
"He's just lucky I guess." She said with a forced playful expression. After the sixth or seventh time, Kage decided to just go along with it; it was much quicker and easier.
Johnny laughed heartily and relayed the comment to the other guy. Kage once more zoned out of the conversation again, having finally found what she was looking for.
Lee had just entered the room and she watched, frowning as he poured himself a cup of punch, wondering if he knew it had been spiked. Watching him down it in one swift motion, she was a little surprised when he immediately poured himself another one.
"I should go warn him." She thought, nipping at her lip. "He probably doesn't know…"
But looking on as Lee poured himself a third cup, Kage had to admit that he most likely did know what he was drinking because she knew he wasn't that stupid, and most likely, he didn't care. Any why should he? It was his decision and she had little to no part of that. Truthfully, Kage knew that she didn't want to cross the room and approach the ravenette to warn him about the punch. She simply wanted to go talk to him, be with him, hear his voice. She just wanted to be around him. She watched as Lee poured himself yet another cup before finally turning away from the bowl and leaning against the table as he sipped his drink and casually scanned the sea of faces as she'd been doing just previously.
"He's so beautiful…" She thought dreamily, unable to resist a small sigh. She knew what most of her friends would say if she told them that; they'd laugh. 'Beautiful' wasn't exactly a word one would normally describe Lee as. 'Handsome' or 'good-looking' perhaps but not beautiful. Still, the longer Kage looked on, the more she was convinced; Lee Wong was beautiful. His toned body, his attractive coloring, his surprisingly smooth and silky hair and that stunning smile that the world so rarely got to see. In her opinion, the boy was a work of art.
"What was that for?" Johnny asked from beside her, his friend having now disappeared into the crowd. Apparently he had heard her dreamy sigh. "See something you like?"
Without waiting for an answer, Johnny's eyes followed Kage's gaze until he found what she was looking at and a deep frown crossed his face. Something akin to a low growl, very much like the last time this had occurred, rumbled from his throat as he stared at Lee. A moment later, the redhead wiped his expression with great effort and produced as charming a smile as he could muster as he placed a hand on Kage's hip and turned her towards him, forcing her attention back to him.
"How about a dance?" He asked in a suave sort of voice he'd heard Enrique use countless times.
Kage blinked at him.
"I don't- …. I haven't really- ….. I mean, I don't really know how."
Johnny grinned so wide it threatened to crack his face.
"Everyone can dance!" He said with an uncharacteristic air of cheerfulness. "C'mon, it's easy! I'll show ya."
A little reluctantly, Kage paused a minute before finally nodding and taking Johnny's hand, casting one last longing look towards Lee before finally following her date out into the crowd of jiving and swaying bodies.
"Here, like this."
Tawny hands took Kage's considerably pale ones in his and placed them around the Scot's neck. Johnny's own hands then came to rest on her hips, causing the silent teen to flush faintly.
"Don't think about it too much." Johnny said softly, leaning down a little to her ear. "Just feel the music. Just move."
Kage was dumbstruck. Not only was it surprising to hear such words from the redhead – who knew the Scot could dance? – but she was also a little confused by the words. How did one feel music? Did he mean the vibration? The way it made the floor shake and tremble every time the ridiculously loud bass boomed through the speakers? Did he mean-?
The sound of Johnny chuckling cut off her thoughts and made her look into his face again.
"Just move." He said with an oddly extremely handsome smile.
Kage blinked at him for a minute, staring into his face with great fascination for the first time, before finally allowing her body to relax and giving the redhead a small smile.
"Good." Johnny said softly.
Kage watched as he moved and swayed to the music, the hands on her hips encouraging her to allow them to help her. She did, and soon enough, after observing the people around her for a while, Kage felt she had everything under control and allowed herself a small smile as she watched her date and let her body do its own thing.
"This isn't so bad." Kage thought to herself. "I think I just might be able to get used to this…. I wonder if Lee dances.."
Her head had just begun to turn back towards the last spot she'd seen Lee to check, when surprisingly, Johnny's hand reached up and caught her chin between his thumb and forefinger.
"Gotta admit, I'm getting kinda jealous." He almost whispered, the low rumble of his voice sending a delicious shiver down Kage's spine. "Is it so wrong to want my date's attention all to myself?"
Kage felt her face heat hotter than ever. She was speechless. Unable to say anything, she simply shook her head, starring into lavender eyes she hadn't really noticed the full beauty of until that very moment.
"Good." Johnny said softly for a second time, replacing his hand at her side. His voice dropped a little when he spoke again. "Cause I've waited a really long time for this."
Kage felt her heart thundering so loudly in her ears she couldn't distinguish it's pounding from that of the bass. Johnny slipped his arms further around her, fully encircling her waist as he pulled her impossibly close to his body. Kage could feel the heat radiating off of him and it made her own temperature rise considerably, a hot wave crashing over her like a splash of hot tub water. Her gaze was glued to his as Johnny's eyes drooped feverishly, leaning his head down to press his forehead to hers. Kage swallowed, the action being much harder than she knew it should be.
"How do you feel..?" Johnny whispered, amazing Kage that she was able to hear him in over the music.
"I… feel…..amazing." She thought in a slight daze. She wanted to say this to Johnny but through a mixture of not wanting to take her hands from his neck to speak, and a slight embarrassment over wanting to at all, she simply stared at the Scot instead.
However, Johnny surprised her yet again as he smiled handsomely and spoke.
"Me too…" He said softly.
Kage's eyes widened slightly. It was as if he could read her mind. She'd known Johnny for a while and it never ceased to amaze and stun her how well he seemed to know and be able to read her.
She felt the hot wave from earlier crash over her again and this time her own eyelids dropped heavily as she stared at her date in nothing short of a feverish haze. The rest of the room had evaporated and all that existed now were the two of them and the music. Her arms unconsciously slipped further around Johnny's neck, making the Scot's smile widen slightly.
Before either knew what was happening, Johnny's face tilted slightly, dipping down to hover before hers. His lips were mere millimeters from hers, so close she could feel his heated breath tickle her cheeks and smell its minty-freshness. The Scot seemed to be waiting for her permission, his eyes searching hers for any sign of refusal or rejection. After waiting a few moments and not receiving one, Johnny smiled shyly and brushed his lips to hers.
Immediately a tiny shock passed between them and both pulled back a little, looking at each other in surprise. After a few moments, both teens laughed and Johnny gave Kage a small hug.
"Maybe that's a sign." He said, only half-teasing. Reaching a hand up to gently stroke her face, the redhead gazed into his date's eyes, seemingly looking into her very soul. "I don't wanna move too fast and scare you away… I've waited so long just to get here, I don't wanna ruin it now with just one brash moment… screwed up too many things in my life like that and you're way too important to risk."
Kage felt like her insides were on fire and the whirl of feelings and emotions raging inside her were beginning to greatly intimidate her. But when Johnny leaned down into her face again, it made everything worth it.
"I'll wait as long as I have to.." The Scot whispered softly. He then leaned down and pressed a lingering, tender kiss to her temple.
Kage closed her eyes and once again she unconsciously pulled herself close to Johnny. She felt Johnny's body relax and when he pulled away, his forehead once again came to rest against hers. A soft smile adorned Kage's lips as she once again allowed herself to get lost in the music. She'd long ago gotten used to the dancing and felt she was doing a pretty OK job, even though she obviously wasn't the best dancer in the room.
The two teens danced closely for what seemed like hours, their bodies pressed tightly together and moving and dipping with the music with what appeared to be practiced ease. It wasn't provocative like most of the other dancers, but it was still intimate and sensual and both teens found it very easy to forget the rest of the world while in each other's arms.
Eventually a different tempo song came on compared to the others and Kage heard Johnny's voice at her ear again.
"Wanna try something new?"
Kage opened her eyes and looked up at the Scot. Giving him a slight nod, he spoke again.
"Do you trust me?"
Kage blinked at her date for a long moment before eventually giving him a warm smile. Johnny smiled wide before lifting a hand to swirl his finger in a circular motion, gesturing for her to turn around. Kage gave him a confused look and hesitated for a moment only before doing as he said. She waited for further instruction and was a little surprised when Johnny pressed himself to her back and re-wrapped his arms around her waist. When his face came to rest beside hers over her shoulder, Kage felt her face burn hotly again.
"Just do the same thing you've been doing, it's no different."
Kage swallowed before moving again. It was a little awkward at first but she soon got the hang of it. Looking around, she saw that many other couples and pairs were dancing like them and curiously, she watched as some of the girls lifted their arms to snake around their partners necks. Kage stared for a few moments only before deciding to try for herself. She reached her arms up behind her and placed them around Johnny's neck. The position felt a little awkward, like she was doing some kind of stretch exercise, but she had to admit that it wasn't uncomfortable.
In any case, Johnny seemed to like this decision as she felt him pull himself closer and give her waist a gentle squeeze.
"You're a natural." His slightly husky voice spoke in her ear. Kage smiled but felt herself flush for what seemed like the hundredth time that night as Johnny leaned down to press a sweet, tender kiss to her collarbone, her shoulder – which sent another delicious shiver through her body – her neck, and her cheek before finally pressing his cheek to hers again.
Low dips and hip sways quickly became a natural movement and soon enough, Kage didn't even have to think about what she was doing. Her fingers curled into the soft red hair at the base of Johnny's neck, occasionally running through it from time to time. She was sure she felt a rumble through Johnny's throat that sounded oddly like a purr and it made her smile wide. She had to admit, she was having a lot of fun.
"I wonder where the White Tigers are." She thought absently, only half registering the thought in her head.
As if in answer to her question, Kage's lazy gaze landed on a vaguely familiar face. She knew that she knew this person but she couldn't for the life of her figure out who this person was. The longer she stared and observed, the more the person's expression darkened until finally, lips curled back into a snarl to reveal a single sharp fang, causing Kage to freeze and gasp loudly.
"Lee!" She exclaimed in her head. "Oh my- I totally forgot about- How could I-?"
Kage felt her chest contract painfully for a moment as if someone had dropped a heavy two ton weight onto it.
"This is wrong." She thought in a panic. "I- I'm in love with Lee….. aren't I? We shared our first kiss last night – MY first kiss. It was.. it-"
Her thoughts went back to Johnny just a short while ago and the almost-kiss they had shared. It had felt so good, so right, so downright amazing in his arms. There was no way it could be called wrong. But then what about her feelings for Lee? She'd had feelings from him for nearly an entire year, ever since meeting him. But then… Johnny.
Kage felt a sharp pain in her head. She was so confused.
"I need to get out of here." She thought in dismay.
"What's wrong?" Johnny asked worriedly, stepping around her to look into her face. "Are you OK?"
Kage fought to resist a frown. She winced a little against the throbbing in her skull and gave Johnny a small, forced smile and a nod.
"Yes." She replied. "I just….. need a little break."
Johnny frowned in concern.
"OK… that's OK. I'm sorry if I pushed you too much. I'll come with you."
Kage frowned now, hoping the redhead didn't take it the wrong way. She really wanted to be alone just then. Again, as if answering her plea, Kage's eyes looked past Johnny and fell on Mariah, who was now standing where Lee had just been previously. The ravenette was now gone and his sister now stood in his place, looking at the silent blader with a look of concern. As if reading her expression, Mariah approached the two.
"I'll distract him." The pinkette mouthed.
Kage gave her a smile just as she reached them.
"Johnny! Dance with me!"
Johnny jumped slightly and turned to see the pinkette beside him.
"Huh? What?... No, I'm busy." Seemingly realizing how that sounded, he sighed heavily. "I mean, sorry but… I can't right now… Kage's not feeling well and-"
"I'll be alright." Kage interrupted. "I just need a minute… alone. Please, I don't mean to sound horrible and it's not your fault, I promise. I just…. Need a minute."
Johnny frowned deeply, looking about ready to argue, when Mariah gave his arm a light tug and Kage gave him a smile, gesturing towards the pinkette to encourage him to accept. Eventually the Scot sighed heavily again and frowned deeply.
"Fine." He muttered. "But be careful OK…"
Kage smiled and nodded, placing a hand to the side of Johnny's face. He closed his eyes for a moment as if savoring her touch, and opened them again when she pulled away. With one last longing look towards her, he watched as she finally turned and left without another word.
She was getting really tired of seeing her reflection. Sure, she knew she was a good-looking girl, but she'd never been the type who enjoyed looking at themselves every chance they got. And for someone like her, who had been seeing her reflection more than desirable lately, she was really beginning to get annoyed with the idea of mirrors.
Kage sighed heavily and reached down to turn on the tap below her. Sticking her hands under the icy water, she watched it run over and through her fingers until they were nearly numb from it. She then pulled back and reached up to place them around her neck. A soft groan of satisfaction escaped her and Kage stuck her hands under the water again. Once more she waited for the water to numb her hands and this time she turned off the tap before pressing the icy digits to the heated skin of her face, shoulders and the top of her chest. Turning around, Kage leaned against the bathroom counter and closed her eyes as she allowed the icy chill of her own hands to cool her down.
"What's happening to me?" She thought with a deep frown, feeling her stomach knot tightly at the thought. "It's like I'm an entirely different person tonight. I'm wearing something I would never have even considered on my own, I'm at a place filled with all sorts of things I definitely do not condone or agree with, and I'm acting like a stranger in my own body; doing things I have never and would never have imagined myself doing…. What is wrong with me?"
Her thoughts went back to the two boys who both currently had her attention and her frown deepened.
"And what about this love triangle I've got going on? It's not fair for me to be stringing both boys along… though I hadn't realized until tonight that-" Kage bit her lip. "I don't mean to be horrible… I just….. OH, what am I supposed to do? I… feel like… I can't decide- I don't know… who I have feelings for anymore. You're only supposed to like one person aren't you? What happens if you-"
Kage shook her head to force out the thoughts and opened her eyes. She stared at the door for a minute, allowing herself to regain control before finally straightening and pushing herself off the counter.
"I'll need to push this out of my mind for now… Maybe I can ask the girls about it later…"
Deciding to do just that, Kage approached the door she'd been staring at and swung it open. However, the sight that greeted her on the other side, caused her to halt in her tracks and stare dumbfounded. Standing with his fist raised as if ready to knock was none other than the young man who'd caused so much of her grief and confusion in the first place – though it was hardly his fault.
"Hey there." Lee said with a suave smile she'd never seen on his face before. Kage simply blinked at him in stunned surprise. "Mind if I come in?"
Still speechless, Kage blinked again before absently stepping backwards to allow Lee to enter the small bathroom with her. Once inside, she watched in bewilderment as Lee reached behind him without taking his eyes from her and closed the door, locking it with a soft click once it was shut.
"So. Alone at last."
She wasn't sure if it was the tone of his voice or the look in his eyes, but something made Kage back up away from the ravenette. To her dismay, Lee followed her, forcing her backwards until she felt the counter against the back of her legs.
"You surprise me, Kage." Lee said calmly, his voice a little husky. Kage furrowed her brows in confusion. As if in answer to her question, Lee smiled. "I once thought you were a sweet, timid, innocent girl. A girl with little to no experience at all. Imagine my delight when I realized how wrong I was."
Kage felt her face flush hotly but she was too distracted to be annoyed by it this time.
Lee stepped forward again until his body was pressed tightly to hers, much the same as Johnny's had been earlier. Only this time, it didn't feel right – and not, she knew, because she didn't want Lee close to her. Something was different about him, off. If she didn't know better, she would swear it wasn't her Lee at all.
"Though," Lee continued, reaching out to place his hands on her hips. "I have no doubt you're still… sweet."
Kage felt her heartbeat quicken as she lifted her hands to brace herself against the counter. Lee was pressing against her quite firmly and the edge was beginning to dig into her back and hurt a little.
"Just look at you." Lee spoke softly, his thumbs rubbing sensual circles on her hips. "You are stunning. Honestly, I never knew you had it in you…. You little tease."
Kage's eyes widened and before she knew what was happening, Lee moved with astonishing speed and reflexes; grasping the backs of her thighs and hoisting her onto the counter with an astounding speed and force. Amethyst eyes were wide and frightened as she stared into Lee's face, unable to believe the hungry look in his eyes.
"Mmmm… it's like all my deepest, most… entertaining dreams have suddenly come to life in one delicious vision of desire."
Lee grinned and licked his lips before making a playful snapping motion with his jaws as if he couldn't wait to sink his teeth into her. Kage had to admit, had things been a little different and the situation not felt quite the way it did, she knew she would like the idea of Lee's words and advances much more. However, with the combination of the look on Lee's face and the rapid switch in his demeanor, she knew something was very wrong and that she was currently in a very dangerous situation. Unfortunately, she hadn't the slightest idea how to get out of it.
Finally, realizing that she had to at least try and do something, Kage lifted her slightly shaky hands to try and reason with the teen.
"Lee…. What are you doing? What are we doing? ….. You're starting to scare-"
Lee reached up and placed his hands over Kage's halting her words, and lowered them to her lap, his hand resting atop them.
"Shhh…. Don't talk." He said, obviously not having bothered to take in a single word she'd said. "I got the message loud and clear. You don't need to waste any more time with that Scottish moron any more… I'm here now."
Again, before she could respond, Lee moved with scary reflexes and captured her lips in a firey kiss. Kage felt her insides turn to ice. There was something very wrong with the kiss. It was too rough, too forceful. Kage pulled her trapped hand free and lifted both to Lee's chest to try and push him away. But he was too strong. Lee's hands gripped her hips forcefully, so hard she felt a sharp pain as if he'd stuck her with something. She waited to feel blood dripping down her sides but none came, it was only a feeling.
Kage squirmed, a desperate attempt to break free but Lee dug his finger in deeper. A small, pained gasp escaped her, swallowed up by Lee's mouth pressed tightly to hers. His lips formed a smirk against hers as he gave them a little nip she was sure drew blood. Still none came.
"It's not very often I get to hear your voice; only when you laugh. It's nice to know you're not totally incapable of any sounds, that would be tragic."
Kage whimpered as Lee pressed his lips to hers again, and it seemed to please him more. She made a mental note not to make another sound – no matter how hard it might be. Fortunately, this time Lee didn't kiss her for long.
"Do you know what the men of the animal tribes used to do in the old days?" He asked her, obviously a rhetorical question. "When they wanted to take a mate? They'd mark their women; let the world know they had staked their claim."
Kage's stomach knotted sickeningly, knowing what was coming before it even happened. And just as she expected, Lee leaned down to her neck and bit down hard on the juncture between her neck and shoulder. Kage's hand flew up to her mouth and she jammed a fist into it to suppress the gut-wrenching scream that nearly tore from her throat. God it hurt so damn much!
Instantly tears flooded her eyes and her head threw back against the mirror, relishing in the sharp pain that shot through her head. At least it was a pain she had caused herself.
"Lee.." She thought with a sob. "Why are you doing this…?"
Once more as if in answer to her question, Lee lifted his head from her shoulder and looked into her face. This time his expression seemed to soften as he reached a hand up to wipe away a tear that had just escaped its confines with a gentle touch.
"Shh… don't cry." He whispered softly, tenderly. Kage felt a leap of hope jump in her chest. "It'll only hurt for a little while. I promise."
Kage closed her eyes as he brushed a strand of hair from her face and gently caressed her cheek. She leaned into his touch as she resisted the strong urge to cry.
"Why did you do this, Lee?" She lifted her hands to ask, not bothering to open her eyes. "Why did you hurt me like this? If it was something I did, I'm sorry. I swear I never meant to hurt you.."
She wasn't sure if he would even bother to register her words but when he spoke almost immediately, she felt a wave of relief wash over her.
"Kage…" He cooed softly, making her heartbeat slow slightly. Finally, he was back. "I never meant to hurt you. And it was because of what you did, but that's not a bad thing."
Kage furrowed her brows and opened her eyes to give Lee a questioning look.
"I know what you were trying to do. You came with Johnny because you wanted to make me jealous, right?" Kage bit her lip, unable to deny this was true. Lee, having all the confirmation he needed, continued. "I knew that. And it was alright. Of course, it worked. But then I realized what you were trying to tell me."
Now she was confused again. She swallowed hard as Lee's hand trailed delicately from her face, down her neck and the entire length of her body to stop just above her knee. He then trailed back up until he stopped to rest his hand delicately over her heart. There he traced his finger in indistinguishable patters before speaking again.
"You've never dressed like this before; so…. Provocatively. And at first I thought it was because of him. But then I realized; you didn't do this for Johnny, you didn't do anything for Johnny. It was all for me, wasn't it?"
Suddenly the sinking, threatening feeling began to bubble in Kage's stomach again. Still Lee continued.
"I mean, why else would you dress this way?"
Lee's eyes trailed down the length of Kage's body. His hand left her heart and both he placed on her knees. Kage watched, her stomach knotting tighter as they rose, caressing her thighs as they slowly moved upwards.
"Why else would you… move that way." Lee gave her inner thighs a small, sensual squeeze. She wanted to slap him, push him away, make his hands move. But she was too frozen in shock and fear to do anything. Still Lee continued. "I'm sorry it took me so long to realize. But I promise, I fully intend to make up for lost time."
As if something snapped inside her, Kage finally moved and wrapped her hands around Lee's wrists, forcing them away from her. But in that one moment, his lips came down on hers again and in her shock, she released another small gasp. This time Lee took the opportunity and slipped his tongue into her mouth. Kage tried not to gag as he tongued and pressed deep into her mouth. Now, finally, with his tongue inside, Kage understood; she tasted the reason why Lee was acting so different. The metallic, coppery taste on her tongue made her sick.
He was drunk.
Just when she was certain she was going to choke, Lee's tongue pulled back slightly and began sensually tonguing the roof of her mouth, running sensual patterns over her own tongue. Despite herself, Kage felt her eyelids close feverishly. She knew it was wrong, knew she should be trying to escape, but she was in such a mess she couldn't help but give in to him, even just a little. Now that he wasn't trying to choke her, she couldn't deny that Lee's kiss was now heated and sensual, passionate and loving – everything she had always secretly wanted from him. Well, if he was going to force himself on her, she might as well enjoy it. Perhaps if she played along, it wouldn't hurt so much; he wouldn't feel he had to force her and he wouldn't be as rough.
Finally allowing her body to relax, with great effort, Kage resisted a despairing sigh and lifted her arms to place around Lee's neck. For a moment, this seemed to be a good idea because Lee's own body relaxed, his hands loosened their harsh grip on her and slipped around her to hold her gently as he kissed her with much love. Kage sighed, a relieved one this time. But just when she'd allowed herself to enjoy the kiss, the feel of Lee's hands at her back made her freeze.
"Lee!" She screamed in her head, pulling away from him and giving him a panicked look. His hands had begun to untie the strings of her corset.
"What are you doing?" She screamed, though, of course, no sound came out.
Lee smiled at the mouthed words.
"That's a new one." He said playfully. "You know it's much easier to read your lips then try and read all those silly hand gestures."
Kage felt stung at that one. Deep down, she knew this wasn't Lee and that he was acting under the influence. Still, it didn't make the situation any less dire – and in fact, it made it that much more dangerous; a person under the influence of alcohol could be very dangerous indeed.
"Lee stop!" She mouthed desperately. But he seemed to ignore her.
"Damn these things…" He muttered angrily, fumbling at the strings. Kage tried to push him away but he simply chuckled and grabbed her hands, holding both of them in one of his. "Now, now. Don't get ahead of yourself. I'll get it don't worry."
Kage's eyes flew open in horror as she heard and felt the rip down her back. Lee had obviously given up on trying to untie the strings and instead had decided to rip them apart. Kage tore her hands from his grasp and grasped the front of her top desperately before it fell.
"Heh. There we go. Sorry about that, Qíngrén. But all's fair in love and war, right?"
That was it, enough was enough. Kage's chest was rising and falling rapidly. It was obvious that playing along with Lee wasn't a good idea after all.
"Think Kage, think!"
Her eyes then fell on a large vase perched atop the counter. With Lee draped over her, kissing his way across her shoulders and collarbone, working his way downward, it was hard to reach the object. Her arm stretched across the long counter and fingers reached desperately for the large vase. She felt her muscles straining and stretching and even felt something pop but she had to reach it. Finally her fingers brushed the vase, fumbling at it until finally it tipped towards her and she was able to firmly grasp the lip.
Pulling the vase towards her, Kage debated for a moment on smashing it over Lee's head but quickly decided against it. She simply couldn't bring herself to do it. So instead she lifted it above her head and hurled it at the opposite wall with all her strength. Luckily, this caused Lee to jump and pull back from her, whipping his head around to see what had happened. When he saw the broken pieces on the floor, he looked back at the girl across him with a grin.
"Well, aren't we feisty? You never cease to amaze me dear, Kage."
A frown creased Kage's lips as she stared at the door, Lee having gone back to his advances. She'd hoped that someone would have come bursting through the door upon hearing the ruckus. Perhaps she just needed to give it a moment.
So, she waited. She waited for what felt like hours but couldn't have been more than a few seconds, a minute at most. Finally she was forced to admit that no one would hear her over the music and that she was completely on her own. A deep pang throbbed somewhere deep down and Kage felt her eyes flood with tears at the hopelessness of it all.
She had never missed the girls so much.
Eventually, Lee's hands slid around her back again and parted the corset top, his rough, calloused hands caressing the soft skin under them as they moved outwards, trying to peel the garment away from her body and hands, not really realizing that she was resisting him. That was when Kage realized she had no choice.
"I'm sorry Lee..." She thought in her head, only half meaning it.
With as much strength as she could muster, Kage removed one of her hands from her chest and balled it up into a tight fist. After only a slight hesitation, she thrust it forward and planted it into his stomach as hard as she could.
Lee stumbled backward with a loud exclamation, his eyes wide and a look mixed with extreme pain and shock on his face as he stared at her. However, Kage only spared him a fleeting glance before jumping from the counter and bounding towards the door. She had her hand on the door knob when suddenly a hand on her wrist snagged her and pulled her roughly backwards.
"Why did you do that?" Lee asked, one eye closed in a wince. He sounded genuinely confused, as if he honestly could not understand why she had punched him. But Kage was too terrified to be concerned about him.
Not waiting for an answer Lee removed the arm around his stomach and wrapped both around her, pulling her tight to him.
"Please don't do that again." He said softly, a slight edge to his voice. "It's not nice."
Kage felt the tears pour down her cheeks as Lee leaned down and kissed her again. She'd just finally given up when suddenly there was a loud pounding at the door.
"Kage? Kage are you in there?"
Kage felt her heart leap hopefully. It was Johnny! Johnny was so close, just on the other side of the door. If only she could answer him somehow.
"Ignore him." Lee growled, leaning down to kiss her neck.
A sob escaped her and she bit her lip. She had no way to call to Johnny for his help. Inside, she was terrified he would give up and leave. She debated on making another escape attempt but knew she couldn't; Lee had her pressed so tightly to him that there was no where she could hit that would hurt him enough to make him release her. Besides, it had taken everything she had to do it the first time. It was the first time she'd ever struck anyone in her life and to do it to someone who meant so much to her – because even after everything, Lee still meant a lot to her – it was downright painful.
"Oh Johnny…." She thought with another, despairing sob.
"Kage!" The Scot bellowed, sounding nothing short of panic struck. "If you don't make some kinda sound in the next ten seconds to let me know you're OK, I swear I'm coming in there!"
Kage's heart gave another hopeful leap.
Lee snorted indignantly.
"Let him come in. Then you can tell him once and for all who you really belong with."
Outside, Johnny had begun to count.
"Ten! Nine! Eight!"
"Now Johnny!" Kage screamed desperately in her head. "Come now!"
Lee snorted again and this time reached his hands up to cup Kage's face, kissing her passionately.
"Seven! Six! Five!"
"Johnnnnnny!" Kage wailed in her mind, her vision nothing but a blur as she pulled away from Lee and tilted her head back to stare up at the ceiling. Her throat now exposed, Lee leaned down to kiss and nip at it.
"Four! Three- Damn it! I'm coming in!"
There was a loud bang followed by the sound of splintering wood and both Kage and Lee's heads whirled around to stare at the door. In his shock and surprise, Lee had released Kage and, her energy depleted, she sunk to the floor, her legs sprawled around her.
Kage blinked rapidly until her vision cleared enough to see that Johnny had indeed burst through the door. He was standing in the doorway, his chest and shoulders heaving with heavy breaths, the door knob on the floor and a gaping hole in said door where moments ago it had been. For a moment, Johnny stared at the scene before him in a stunned stupor, but after a few moments, he looked at Kage and seemed to really take her in. She watched his expression grow steadily darker until eventually he looked like a savage animal. His gaze shot towards Lee and in nothing short of absolutely terrifying, he scowled at the Chinese blader.
"You sunnovab*tch!" He snarled savagely.
In a blink, Johnny shot towards Lee and plowed into him, catching him by the collar and driving him across the room with ridiculous speed and force, so much so that when they hit the counter, the redhead thrust Lee so hard against it the Tiger's head bounded backwards and struck the mirror, shattering it into dozens of pieces.
Kage watched in paralyzed shock as the redhead drew back his fist and planted it into the ravenette's face. She cringed, sure she heard bones cracking, and watched in horror as he drew back again. However, before Johnny could strike a second time, a pink blur flew past Kage and suddenly Mariah was beside the two, hanging onto Johnny's fist for dear life.
"Johnny!" She screamed in terror. "Please! No!"
Johnny yanked his hand away from her and pushed her aside, ready to strike again when this time a huge, hulking body appeared behind him and wrapped his arms around the Scot, hindering any further movements.
"Enough." Gary's calm voice said, a deep frown on his face.
Johnny kicked and yelled as the tall teen pulled the Scot away from his teammate. Now released, Lee slid to the floor, his chin coming to rest on his chest, obviously unconscious.
"What happened?" Mariah demanded.
"That bastard!" Johnny screamed back savagely. "Look! Just look at what he did to her!"
The redhead gestured towards Kage and all color seemed to drain from the White Tiger's faces. Mariah gasped loudly, her hands lifting to her mouth, her eyes flooded with tears, almost immediately spilling down her cheeks.
"No… Oh Lee…." The pinkette took a step towards her friend. "Kage.. I'm-"
"DON'T touch her!" Johnny screamed, making everyone jump. "Don't any of you touch her!"
Yanking himself forcefully from Gary's powerhouse grip, Johnny stalked over to Kage, shrugging off his jacket as he went. When he reached her, he dropped it down over her shoulders and crouched down beside her. Without hesitation, Johnny scooped Kage up into his arms and stood up. A sob escaped Kage's lips as she wrapped her arms around Johnny's shoulders and buried her face into the crook of his neck. She was too tired and too weak to resist and just then, she more than welcomed Johnny's strong and safe embrace. Feeling her hot tears against his sensitive skin, Johnny's blood boiled so hot he was sure it would evaporate. When he was upright again, he turned a glare on Mariah and Gary, then a savage and feral look on Lee.
"Make no mistake," He hissed venomously. "If I ever catch him alone, I will kill him. If you want that piece of crap to see his next birthday, you'd best keep him out of my sight. And if he EVER so much as looks at her again…"
The redhead trailed off, but the unspoken threat was heard loud and clear and more than understood. That said, the Scot whirled on his heel and headed for the door, glaring a hole through the small greenette and Captain in the doorway before pushing roughly past them and leaving.
As soon as Johnny was gone, Kevin and Ray darted towards Lee and together with Gary, they managed to hoist him to his feet and carry him out as well. Mariah stared after her team, tears still running down her fair face.
"Oh Lee…." She sobbed softly, torn in several different directions at once. "What have you done…"
Kage stared at the cloth in her hands with a grim look. Where once it was white, now it was thick, heavy and pasty with purple, black and beige-colored smudges. It had taken six of the make-up remover cloths Mariah had got for her to get all the thick make-up off her face, and as she stared at the last one, she had to resist the urge not to cry.
"All of this because I allowed myself to pretend to be someone I wasn't…"
Suddenly the tears returned and a sickening feeling clenched Kage's stomach. In one unified motion, Kage threw up the toilet seat and slid from the lip of the tub from where she was sitting, grabbed her hair and thrust her face into the toilet. Not a second too soon it seemed, for as soon as her knees hit the floor, Kage's stomach emptied itself. She wanted to blame it on the alcohol she'd accidentally had but she knew, deep down, that the small amount had nothing to do with it. She'd just reached up and grabbed a couple tissues to wipe her mouth and eyes when a soft knock sounded at the door.
"Hey, you OK?" Johnny's voice spoke softly. "Can I come in?"
Kage lifted a shaky fist and knocked once on the side of the tub. It was a system they'd worked out between them; once for yes, twice for no.
The door knob turned and Johnny entered the room. When he saw her on the floor by the toilet, the redhead's expression turned to one of deep concern as he bounded towards her and dropped beside her.
"Woah! Hey, are you OK?" He asked again, reaching out to gently rub her back and immediately feeling stupid for asking the question. "I mean… besides the obvious?"
Kage sniffled and reached to wipe away the still flowing tears with the back of her hand. She meant to nod her head yes, but instead she shook it, her body not allowing her to tell such a colossal lie. Johnny frowned, looking like he felt almost as bad as she did. He reached out to wrap her into a hug when suddenly another wave of nausea washed over her and she turned back to the toilet. To top everything off, Kage felt her face burn hotly with embarrassment, terribly visible now that her makeup was gone.
"Wonderful!" She thought in dismay. "Just how I want my knight in shining armor to see me!"
But if Johnny was put off at all by her being sick, he didn't show it. Instead, he reached one hand out to gently gather her hair in his fist while the other comfortingly rubbed her back. Kage groaned softly, wanting to thank him but afraid to lift her head.
"You don't have to be embarrassed." Johnny whispered, noting her flushed face and deep groan. "None of this was your fault. And.. I'm glad I was here – there- to be able to… help you."
"So am I…." Kage thought truthfully.
After getting sick twice more, Kage finally felt her nausea beginning to subside. She reached up and wiped her mouth again, then face and flushed the paper down the toilet – even though she knew she shouldn't. When she sat back a little, Johnny released her hair and it fell like a curtain around her shoulders and face.
"Thank you." She said, not looking up at the redhead.
"You're welcome." Johnny said softly.
He then got up, but instead of leaving like she expected, Kage heard him fumbling around for a few moments before he returned and handed her a cup of water. With a grateful look she drank it down before accepting the second, smaller cup he offered her.
"Thought you might like to have that." He said with a half-smile.
Kage lifted it to her nose for a sniff and smiled slightly when she realized it was mouthwash. Johnny watched as she took it, gave her mouth a few good, long swishes, gargled and spit it into the toilet. When she threw the cup away he smiled at her.
"It's kinda funny." He said simply, earning him a questioning look. "You're even graceful and beautiful when you're sick."
Kage's face flushed brightly again, making the redhead chuckle.
"Seriously. Most people kinda grasp the toilet for dear life and make a big show out of it. You're…. different."
He looked her over, making note of her legs curled around her just so, how there wasn't a wrinkle on her PJ's, how not a hair seemed out of place and how her face – aside from a few criminal marks beyond her control, looked as unblemished and perfect as ever. Yes, he'd certainly told the truth.
"Thank you, Johnny." She said again, this time looking into his face and offering him a small smile.
"Welcome." He muttered softly. After enduring a slightly awkward moment of silence, the Scot cleared his throat and stood up again, this time reaching down to offer her his hands. "So, how about we get you to bed and taken care of?"
Kage's smile widened a little and she nodded, allowing Johnny to help her up. The redhead released one of her hands and turned to the side, gently slipping his free arm around her waist. Together, they left the bathroom and headed to Kage's room. No one else was back yet so they didn't have to worry about facing the others. At least that was a plus.
"Can I get you anything?" Johnny asked kindly once inside the bedroom. Kage smiled and shook her head.
Johnny released her at the door and walked over to the bed to peel back the covers. Kage approached the bed and crawled on top of it, patting the spot beside her before reaching up to gather her hair over one shoulder and begin twisting it into a braid. Johnny obliged and sat down facing her.
"You gonna be OK?" He asked softly.
Kage looked away from the redhead long enough to reach for an elastic on her nightstand before meeting his gaze again. She nodded as she turned back to him, tying the end of her hair with the elastic.
"OK… well, goodnight then." Johnny leaned in to give Kage a hug, making her frown as she hugged him back. The redhead pulled away and stood up but the motion of Kage grabbing his wrist made him stop and turn back to look at her. "What's wrong?"
"I….. There's something I never told you before…" She began, biting her lip. "I… sometimes have bad dreams…"
Johnny watched her for a moment before sitting back down beside her.
"I um….I knew that already.." He admitted sheepishly. "I… Victoria told me about them. The… witch dreams or whatever right?"
Kage smiled in spite of herself, only briefly wondering when and/or why they'd been talking about her.
"Hag dreams. Yes…. So then you know that… they can be a little dangerous? Well… My first night here I had a really nasty one. Lee had been walking by my room and decided to check on me. He found me and him and his team managed to wake me up. Anyway, ever since then, he's been spending nights with me…."
Kage watched as Johnny's expression darkened for a fourth time that night no thanks to Lee.
"I see." He said simply. "What d'ya want me to do?"
Kage chewed her cheek for a minute.
"I know it's a lot to ask, and I know it's kinda of, well-"
"I'll stay with you." Johnny interrupted. Kage blinked at him in surprise.
"Yea." He said simply, unbuttoning the button-down he'd been wearing and dropping it on the floor. Next was his t-shirt, pulling it over his head in one smooth, fluid motion. He then sat down and took off his socks. To Kage's slight surprise, however, he didn't take off his jeans.
"I don't want that bas-" He stopped and cleared his throat. "I don't want him sneaking in here in the middle of the night, or whenever his drunk ass waddles home, trying to finish what he started."
Kage blinked at Johnny as he moved to sit beside her at the head of the bed. He surprised her again when he lid atop the sheets instead of getting under them with her as Lee usually did. Apparently the redhead was even more of a gentleman then she'd realized.
"I won't ever let anyone touch you like that again, Kage." He whispered, barely audible. His eyes were closed and there was a deep frown on his face. When he opened his eyes again, he looked down at her and looked deep into her eyes. "Not ever."
Kage stared at the Scot in stunned shock but she said nothing as he turned clicked off the bedside lamp.
"Goodnight." He whispered into the darkness.
Kage stared for another few moments before eventually smiling and settling down under the covers. She reached out and felt for Johnny's hand, giving it a gentle squeeze and smiling again when he squeezed back. She then pulled away, snuggled into her pillow and closed her eyes to make a likely futile attempt at sleep.
Sticky and heavy, it was how one knew they were still tired when their eyes felt as such. Kage reached up to rub the sleep from her eyes, resisting a wide yawn as she awoke the same time as usual. It felt like she'd only just closed her eyes, and indeed her sleep had been restless. Still, she was awake now and she knew there was no point in staying in bed. Hopefully, it just meant she would sleep better that night.
Sitting up with a stretch, Kage looked over at her still sleeping bedmate. Johnny was handsome but she had to admit that he didn't look quite as beautiful as Lee when he slept. She felt a pang at that though, a pain that had nothing to do with her rough night.
With a heavy sigh, Kage gently peeled back the blankets and crawled out of the bed as carefully as she could. After gathering her things, she left the room, quietly closing the door behind her as she went. Out in the hall, as usual, the rest of the house seemed to be asleep. Except, also as usual, for the soft-spoken voices coming from the kitchen. She knew these voices belonged to Madame Chang and Ray but she didn't really feel like facing either of them just yet. Luckily for her, she didn't have to pass the kitchen to reach the bathroom; which happened to be her destination.
The water in her shower was scalding hot, so much so that it was turning her skin lobster-red. But she couldn't help it. She'd gotten a shower the night before, before going to bed, but she still felt dirty, vile, violated. She scrubbed and scrubbed until eventually her skin was raw. With a heavy sigh, she closed her eyes and tipped her head back, allowing the water to cascade down over her body and burn away her sorrow.
"I can't tell the girls." She decided thoughtfully. "It would only upset Victoria and poor Keisha, and Demetra would kill him. I'll just have to… learn to deal with this myself. I know it's not what Breal had in mind when he said we had to hone our independence, but… this is experience and it is my problem. No point really in worrying the girls when there's not really anything they can do…. At least, nothing I want to be done."
Kage opened her eyes and looked down at herself. For the first time in her life, the sight of her own body made her frown. There were black fingerprint-shaped bruises on her hips and upper arms, tiny purplish-yellow marks all across her chest and shoulders and although she couldn't see it, she knew it was there; the dark, horrible mark between her neck and shoulder where Lee and bitten her.
Taking a deep, heavy breath, Kage turned around and shut off the shower. After ringing out her hair, she opened the shower door and reached out to grab the towel she'd left hanging, quickly drying herself off before flipping her head to wrap it around her hair. After getting quickly dressed she moved to the door, peeked out to make sure no one was around and darted for her room – she really wasn't ready to face any of the White Tigers yet.
Inside the room, Johnny was still sleeping. Kage smiled at him as she gently closed the door. Making her way over to her dresser, Kage unwrapped her hair from the towel and had only just finished finger-combing it when she heard a voice from behind her.
"It should be illegal to look that good in the morning." Johnny muttered through a yawn.
Kage smiled as she looked over her shoulder towards the bed. Taking in Johnny's bed-ruffled appearance, she grinned as she had to agree.
"I could say the same thing about you." She thought to herself.
"What are you doing up at this un-Godly hour anyway?" He asked, just finishing a huge, joint-popping stretch.
"I'm always up at this time." She replied before turning back to pick up a brush off her dresser.
Johnny snorted humorlessly as she began brushing her hair but said nothing else. Kage watched in the mirror as he got up from the bed, stretched again and approached her. He was smiling at first but when he was only a few feet away, a deep frown creased his face. Kage lowered the brush and watched him as his eyes rolled over her shoulders and neck. Eventually his gaze lifted to lock with hers.
Without a word, Johnny reached out and placed a hand on her hip, gently turning her to face him. When she flinched, he furrowed his brows in concern. Releasing her hip, he looked down at it. After a slight hesitation, he reached out and took a hold of the hem of her shirt. Before lifting it however, he looked up into her face for confirmation.
"May I?" He whispered, barely audible. Kage hesitated for a minute but eventually gave him a single nod.
Johnny looked back down at her hips and gently lifted her black tank to reveal the marks marring her skin. His expression turned to one of distress as he looked her over. Kage saw his Adam's apple bob slightly as he swallowed hard. His fingers lifted to gently caress the black marks, wincing in her place as she watched him. Johnny lifted the shirt a little further and looked in the mirror, inspecting the ever-so-faint scratches on her back from when Lee had ripped the strings of her top. Looking over her shoulder at said scratches, Kage had to admit that she herself didn't even know those were there.
After observing for some time, Johnny eventually gently pulled the shirt back down into place. Kage turned to the side slightly and grabbed a black turtleneck from her dresser. She slipped it over her head and then slipped on a baggy black jacket over-top, zipping it up most of the way. Johnny frowned as he looked her over. Even her black casual pants were a little baggy. Everything she was wearing that day, right down to the black gloves beside her that she was obviously planning to wear later, was unflattering. It was clear that she had no intention of 'giving the wrong impression' again. This time there would be no distinguishing the shape of her body through her over-sized attire. The thought made Johnny's insides boil with hatred and his vision was red as a certain neko-jin appeared in his minds eye.
Johnny's hands hesitated for a minute before sliding up Kage's sides, fingers barely brushing, until he reached her shoulders. They then slid slowly back down her arms until finally they reached her hands. There Johnny stopped; staring at their linked hands for a very long time until eventually he lifted his gaze to lock with hers. Kage almost gasped to see the shocking amount of emotion in his glassy eyes.
"I would never hurt you like that, Kage." He whispered, his voice hoarse and rough with emotion. Kage blinked at him, absolutely stunned speechless. She stared into his eyes as his hands gently squeezed hers, sure he wasn't even aware he was doing so.
"He looks so sad." She thought, thoroughly startled, and admittedly, greatly touched.
"He doesn't deserve you." Johnny continued, sounding angry as he spoke. Though she knew he wasn't angry at her. "He doesn't know you at all! I'm the one who cares about you the most, I'm the one who's done so much for you! He doesn't even care enough to learn your language, not like me. We've got the most in common, we get along so well. And your friends like me! Hell, even Demetra likes me!"
Kage had to smile at that. She remembered the comment her Captain had made about the redhead once and it almost made her laugh.
"At least he's got a pair!" The brunette had scoffed. "Not like the rest of his snotty, stuck-up lot. Nothing worse than a man with an attitude, but at least his attitude is self-serving. I can't say I don't respect that."
Not really a comment someone would normally get from someone who 'likes' them, but it was a lot coming from the hot-tempered Captain.
Noting her smile, Johnny seemed to calm down a little.
"You know it's true." He added, half-teasingly. "Kage… I know it's kinda early for me to be saying this but honestly, I can't think of a better time…. If you were my girl, I'd protect you from scum bags like that. I'd never let anyone hurt you or touch you like that…. I'd never hurt you like that."
Kage gasped as she registered Johnny's words.
"I know it sounds really cheesy but, I'd make you the happiest girl in the world. Whatever you wanted would be yours, anywhere you wanted to go I'd take you there, anything you wanted to do I'd see to it you could. I could give you the world, Kage. All I ask is that you let me… and let me share it with you."
Kage felt her chest rising and falling rapidly, her heartbeat suddenly racing as she stared into Johnny's face. She felt her eyes flood with tears again but this time they weren't pain induced. She tried to pull her hands free of Johnny's grasp but he held them tightly.
"Please…" He whispered, his voice still a little hoarse. "Don't answer now. Just…. Think about it, OK?"
Kage swallowed hard and blinked a few times to push back the tears before nodding once in confirmation. To her surprise, Johnny released her hands and gently placed his hands on her waist again, turning her back around this time to face him when he leaned against her dresser.
"And one more thing." He whispered softly, lifting a hand to gently cup and caress the side of her face. "I would never make you feel trapped, or like you had no choice."
Once again Kage was shocked. She didn't remember telling the Scot about that but he seemed to have figured it out on his own. Before she really knew what was happening, Johnny's face was once more dipping down to hers. Just like the night before, Kage didn't pull away as she anticipated what was to come. Johnny hesitated again now as his face was mere millimetres from hers. He paused, his lips brushing her lips, waiting for confirmation, letting her know she still had plenty of time and the option to pull away.
But she didn't.
Johnny smiled, a tender expression on his face as he finally closed the distance between them. Kage's eyes slid closed as Johnny slipped his arms around her waist, stepping to her instead of pulling her to him. His kiss was tender and sweet, yet still filled with all the passion she knew he held for her, all the passion she ever wanted from a kiss. He made her insides melt and bubble in a pleasant way, and her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling herself as close to him as possible.
She was still confused, but Kage knew there was no harm in trying something new and seeing where things with Johnny might lead her. So far he hadn't lead her wrong, hurt her or caused her any grief at all. She felt safe with him and for now, with no one else to turn to, she couldn't really bring herself to banish that safety, no matter how independent she thought she was or knew she should be.
Lee groaned loudly as he popped another painkiller. He'd been nursing a hangover and bruised face all morning. Now finally, after feeling he'd took enough medicine and felt alright enough, he hauled himself off his bed where he'd been resting, waited a minute for the dizziness and nausea to pass, and finally got to his feet. Scuffling towards his door, the ravenette reached for the door knob through bleary eyes, weakly twisting and pulling on it before exiting.
With great effort, Lee forced his feet forward, wincing every now and then, and pausing to allow his bout of nausea to pass before continuing.
"I have to get to her." He thought with a deep frown. "I know she won't want to see me, but I have to apologize. I have to say something! Even if it's through a locked and barred door."
It seemed to take forever to reach Kage's room and once he'd finally gotten there, Lee felt more miserable than ever. Still he pushed it aside in favor of what he had to do.
"Alright, Lee! Man up!"
Straightening his back, Lee lifted his hand to knock on the door. However, noticing that it was slightly ajar, he took a long, deep breath before reaching out and gently pushing the door open. Peering cautiously into the room, he opened his mouth to speak but he froze in shock suddenly at the sight that greeted his eyes.
Pressed tightly to Johnny, not the other way around, Kage was fully immersed in the redhead, obviously thoroughly enjoying the deep and intimate kiss they were currently sharing.
Lee felt all the blood drain from his face and suddenly he felt like he was going to be sick. Indeed, he had to swallow the bile that rose in this throat as he quickly ducked back out of the room again and pressed himself up against the wall outside the room. Panting with wide eyes, Lee stared at the wall across him in nothing short of an extreme panic and despair.
"Oh Gods!" He thought sorrowfully. "I'm too late! I've ruined everything!"
His legs finally gave out then and Lee slid down the wall to land on the floor with a soft thump. There he squeezed his eyes shut as he bowed his head and lifted his knees, his head dropping into the arms hands resting on his knees.
"Damn it, I've ruined everything!" He thought again, feeling the bile rise in his throat once more. "What do I do now? Gods… what have I done?"