This is a very late Valentines day present for my good buddy MA! I said I'd have this done a week ago unless something went wrong, and then everything went wrong. Whoops. Hopefully the quality of this fic will make up for the lateness... Enjoy.
Most people believe the first thing about his future wife that he fell in love with was the scars on her hands, or some aspect of her personality associated with them. Surely the woman herself believes this.
But it is not true.
Those same mistaken people would think that what he did first notice about her was even more strange.
It was on the tournament floor in the casino when Japan first ran into America and Azuma and Shachihoko had their little stare-down. No one had seemed to notice that he and she were sizing each other up as well.
The very first thing he had noticed about her was the way she carried herself; her posture. He stood head and shoulders above her, not to mention a good three meters away, but she still somehow managed to look down on him and everyone else around. She had a confident strength, grace, and a captivating aura about her... and after a while he realized that the superior glare/smirk combo he had started out with had morphed into an open-mouthed stare. She had smiled at him knowingly and he ended up quickly turning around and walking back to their team station, hoping he looked less shaken than he felt.
It took some retrospective on his part far in the future for him to figure out that he had loved her even then.
The next thing he loved about her was her voice.
He'd started watching her after their first encounter and he did not like what he saw. It was no wonder he thought the way she stood was so attractive, she had a vast amount of practice at it- she did nothing but stand around and... do nothing. Shachihoko did all the work. He began forming an image of her in his mind; a spoiled, shameless, probably wealthy little girl. He grew to despise her, even though everything she was to him at that point was a fabrication. When he found out he would have to fight her he was livid. There's no way he could be satisfied battling such a person.
When he heard from Kuroyanagi how wrong he had been about her, he was furious all over again. At himself for being so foolish, and at her for making him feel this way. He figured the only thing he could do to atone was to come at her with all he had.
Not that he wouldn't have done that regardless.
The first time he hears her voice is just before their match is set to begin, when she destroyed him utterly and thoroughly in front of his comrades and friends. He couldn't remember any time in his life, before or since, where he had acted in such a way.
Her voice is soft silk sliding down his spine, prompting him to do all sorts of things he'd never thought of doing before in his life. He has the insane notion that he would very gladly do anything that voice asked him to.
Obviously, he loves her body. Anyone would.
She's small and slender, but not wiry. Petite is the proper term. Proportionate, soft in all the right places... Just in miniature.
He watched her, during their bout, especially when she walked. Stalking around in those ridiculous boots like she owns the place, even dressed like she was, hips swaying, chin up in complete confidence again. He tries to be sneaky about looking but apparently fails, because she keeps giving him more knowing smiles. Once or twice she would catch him staring and do a little shimmy, further displaying her ample... Everything to him. He doesn't know at what point her ploy to distract him turned into something different.
And then, of course, there are her hands.
It isn't as if he has some sort of fixation on the scars (Not in the beginning at least) it's much more about what they stand for, her dedication, her skills, even the love and piety toward her late father, so many of the things that make her lovely. For a brief, foolish while, he believes that this makes her like him. He, too, is dedicated, skilled, and holds his mentor in great esteem... But she is so much more than that.
He adores her mind. She's brilliant, and soaks up new information like a sponge. It's no wonder she learned so much, enough to defeat him, even, the mere handful of weeks Shachihoko had instructed her. He'll show her only once how to do something new, and she'll re-create it perfectly. She's fascinating to watch, no matter what she does, but seeing her work is something indescribable. She tried to play it off like it's his teaching that did it, but he knew even back then that that couldn't be further from the truth. If either of them is an instructor of any merit, it's her. Somehow she knew exactly what he needed for the most comprehensive learning after knowing him for only hours.
He loves her eyes, the way they sparkle and shine even in the dark, that they're always staring straight at him, filled with all that love that he's sure he hasn't earned in any way, shape, or form.
He loves her nose. It's small and tilts up at the end to make her look like a fairy, even though she's more demonic than fae-like. Kissing it makes her blush prettily, so he does that a lot.
He loves her lips. They're pouty and soft and pliant and he loves more than anything to feel them on his skin.
But the thing he loves the most about her?
The fact that, somehow, they were able to cross the world and find each other. The fact that she's all his.
Or, more appropriately, that he's all hers.