"If you touch my laptop, you're dead..."
Inumata's words rung in Nonon Jakuzure's ears as she crept silently along the hallway towards her goal. The dog, as Nonon liked to call him, was constantly tapping away at his confounded keyboard, continuously recording his precious 'data'.
But what was he really recording?
Despite the fact that the clicking of the keys drove her crazy, Nonon kept her snide remarks on the subject to a minimum. She blinked rapidly as she dismissed the voice in her head which told her she had ulterior motives for being soft on the 'doggie'.
Ah! Here it was. Houka Inumata's quarters at the Nudist Beach HQ.
A devious smile spread across Nonon's lips and she cracked her knuckles.
This should be interesting...
The door slid open silently to reveal a neat square shaped room with a set a bunks and a writing desk. In her bare feet, Nonon had no fear of disturbing her fellow Elite Four members, especially with Gamagori snoring loudly on the bottom bunk.
Her eyes drifted of their own accord to the top bunk where she could just see an outline of a motionless and noiseless Houka, deep in sleep.
Everything is going according to plan.
Not quite able to contain her glee, Nonon gave a light chuckle as she settled herself at the desk where Houka's laptop lay defenceless to her whims.
Her fingers tingled as she grasped the cool metallic surface which clasped the cumulative efforts of Inumata's tireless work. Moving with a swiftness and grace peculiar to the tiny pink haired girl, (she wasn't called 'The Snake' for nothing) Nonon opened the laptop to begin her search.
Nonon felt the tiniest urge to cry. How could she forget a vital thing like this? As if a super geek like Inumata would neglect having some kind of security protecting his precious information... Gazing around the room she tried to think of possible passwords Inumata might use, but it wasn't long before she felt entirely hopeless. Knowing him, Houka probably used some intricate code that only he understood.
Stop thinking like that. I've come this far...
With a spark of determination in her eyes, Nonon pressed her fingertips lightly across several keys in anticipation of the guessing game she was now forced to play. But as she did so the keyboard suddenly lit up and the password screen was swiftly replaced by a brief loading icon.
Nonon's jaw dropped as she found herself looking at Inumata's desktop. It wasn't just the pure joy she felt at having succeeded at something she was certain was a lost cause, but it was also the fact that Inumata's background was a picture of himself and the other members of the Elite Four huddled up and pulling silly faces as they posed for a selfie.
Nonon rolled her eyes as a natural defence against the pink on her cheeks as she recalled her face being pressed up against Houka's at the time.
As she had suspected, everything on the laptop was immaculately ordered. Her eyes scanned over the majority of the folders disinterestedly before spotting one simply labelled 'People'. Without hesitation, she clicked the icon and brought up an inexhaustible list of individuals.
This creep has dirt on everyone.
"Eh?" She couldn't hold back her surprise as she saw a file labelled 'Nonon Jakuzure'.
Her heart skipped a beat as her finger paused above the mouse pad. Did she really want to know what he had written about her?
She glanced over her shoulder a caught a glimpse of light blue hair pressed into the white pillow below Inumata's head. Try as she might, Nonon had to admit that she felt excited just knowing he was in the same room as her.
With a gulp she let her finger fall.
The first thing that appeared was a picture of Nonon from last year in her old conductors uniform. Nonon missed being able to wear proper clothes. Even now indoors, this Nudist Beach get up was awfully draughty.
She shook her head and brought her mind back to the task at hand.
Height, weight, date of birth, favourite colour... God, he literally records everything!
Ah. Hold up...
"'Personality Notes', this should be interesting."
"...given to sarcasm as a means of appearing tough and unaffected by emotions, likely in emulation of Satsuki Kiryuin, but could also be linked to inner conflicts or anxieties. In personal interactions enjoys trying to garner a response from myself; possible indication of ulterior motives..."
Nonon felt herself blush. But simultaneously as she realised that Houka was in fact aware of her feelings, she also felt hurt by his earlier conclusions regarding her sarcasm.
Still... Maybe there was some truth in it? Nonon hadn't really premeditated her quirks but subconsciously... Who knows?
Not liking the uneasy feeling growing in her stomach, she decided to press on, her brow knitted over the thought of any further psychoanalysis.
Skills and combat techniques, hobbies... Nonon bit her lip as she read the header 'Personal impressions'.
"Subject is both a friend and colleague and therefore has my highest respect. Very trustworthy and loyal individual with a great potential for accomplishing good... One of the few people whose company I am fond of. If forced to say a word I link strongly with Nonon Jakuzure I would reply 'cute'..."
Nonon stopped reading and found that she had in fact been holding her breath. Her face felt hot as she gulped in air.
The dog thinks I'm... Cute?
A wild grin spread over Nonon's face and she fought the urge to do a dance. The room seemed to grow fuzzy around her.
Houka Inumata likes me!
Wait... Is that what this meant? All he had written was that she was cute...
Nonon was about to resume her reading when she suddenly felt a shiver.
"I believe I had made it quite clear in the past as to how I felt about individuals tampering with my laptop."
Nonon couldn't believe her carelessness. When had he woken up? She sat frozen in the seat with her fingers suspended above the keyboard praying that this wasn't happening.
The clasp of a warm, firm grip on her shoulder told her otherwise.
She glanced hesitantly upwards, her mouth hanging slack. Inumata's eyes rested intensely on her from behind his blue tinted glasses, his collar concealing the firm line of his lips which were likely forming a light frown.
Nonon pulled herself together quickly enough.
"Now Doggie, if you really didn't want anybody snooping about then you shouldn't have made accessing all your precious data quite so easy..."
Nonon could hear her heart beating in her ears as she tried her best to remain smug under his icy gaze after such exciting reading material.
She swore under her breath as she saw Houka's gaze transfer to the open document on the screen. To her surprise he said nothing about it, only tapping the power button and pressing the screen down into its original closed position.
Nonon felt suddenly cold as his hand left her shoulder to pick up his lap top and transfer it onto his bunk. Disconcerted by Houka's calmness Nonon couldn't resist a quip to clear the air. Crossing her arms tightly across her nearly bare chest she snapped;
"What's the matter doggie, afraid the snake will bite you?"
She smiled contentedly as she heard Inumata chuckle behind his collar. "I'm willing to make concessions for certain individuals." He said coolly.
"Eh?!" Nonon felt some heat across her nose.
Inumata laughed again and unzipped his collar to speak more freely with the girl. "Either the snake can't read or she is terrible at interpreting data. Which is it?"
Nonon grimaced and leapt out of her chair, poking her index finger into her associates chest. "Now listen here, I may not be a geek like some people but I understood pretty well that you think I have something to..."
"Hide?" Inumata's lips curled slightly upwards as Nonon's rage turned to embarrassment, her face turning bright red. "Well, do you?" He asked casually.
Nonon gulped. The words in that document returned to her. Emblazoned in her memory was the usage of that term 'cute'.
She felt her heart pumping steadily below her breast while she gazed blankly at the tall male before her. She wondered if it was true. Did he really like her? How could she be sure...
"W... Why didn't I need a password to get on your laptop?" The smugness in her voice had disappeared. Somehow she had become bashful.
Inumata took a moment to respond and Nonon wondered if perhaps this rare helplessness she was currently unable to hold back was evidence of truth in Inumata's words. Was she hiding something?
"Ah, that. It's an old security bypass I set up in the event that something should happen to me. I had figured that my only allies would only attempt to access my data in case of emergencies so I loaded it to respond to any of our fingerprints. It seemed I misjudged your honesty..."
Nonon spluttered. What could she say in response to that?! She wasn't feeling herself as it was right now. She was however, interrupted by Houka who was laughing at her again. She was about to yell at him once more when he suddenly leaned in towards her making her forget all about her previous rage.
"Just between you and I, I think you're really cute when you're mad."
Nonon's jaw dropped and she felt a sudden urge to get as far away from this situation as possible. Had he seriously just said that?
"Now," she felt like her heart might leap out of her throat as she felt his warm breath on her ear, "are you going to answer my question from before?"
"Q-question?" Nonon wanted to slap herself in the face as she realised how much Inumata was enjoying her discomfort.
Inumata grinned in an almost sinister way. "Come on Jakuzure, what are you hiding?"
She tensed up as she felt him slide a surprisingly strong finger under her chin, lifting her face so that their eyes met.
Pulling together her final shreds of dignity, Nonon decided to ignore the racing of her heart and the intense heat radiating from her face and turned her nose up stubbornly, her arms clamping defensively over her chest again.
"I have no idea what you're talking about, I don't have anything to..."
Inumata rolled his eyes, "you talk to much Nonon..." He muttered in an almost irritated tone before closing his fingers around her still blabbering jaw and pulling her towards him.
Nonon's eyes flew open as she realised what was happening. Looking as calm as ever, Inumata was... Kissing her!
Her arms flew out from her chest and sprawled in the air as she automatically accepted the gesture, her eyes hesitantly fluttering closed and her arms finally coming to rest on Inumata's shoulders as she felt his wrap around her waist.
Just as suddenly as it had begun, Inumata made the decision to discontinue.
If Nonon hasn't known him better she would have thought he had been unimpressed. But as Houka relinquished his hold on her she registered the slight curve of his lips and a softly amused look in his eyes.
"Was that so hard?" He asked, still leaning over her.
Nonon wasn't sure she could reply in her current state of dazed amazement, so she remained silent while she gazed up at him her cheeks still flushed.
"Not speaking, hm? Interesting. I'll have to write this down for future reference."
Nonon felt her shock and bliss rapidly be replaced by rage, her eyes narrowing on the man she had been kissing mere seconds ago. "Write it down? You and you're stupid data!" She pushed her palms forcefully against his chest pushing him backwards. "If it hadn't been for your idiotic... Waaaah!"
Nonon was rendered speechless as Houka clasped his long arms around her once again. "Inumata..." She said unsurely catching a strange look in his eyes.
"Yes?" He asked nonchalantly.
"Nonon's cheeks turned pink for the hundredth time this evening. "You... You said that to make me angry on purpose, didn't you?"
His lips curled upwards again. "The snake learns quickly enough I see. This should also make for an interesting observation."
Nonon slammed her fists into his chest and writhed in his grip. "You're horrible!" She cried.
Inumata pressed his forehead against hers stilling the irascible female, "But you like me anyway?"
Nonon tried to pull her face away from his and she felt herself becoming a swooning mess again.
"That's not your secret, but its a part of it, right?" Houka asked.
Nonon pouted. "Shut up doggie. I don't want to talk to you anymore."
"Hm, I don't think I want to talk to you anymore either."
"Well then... Mmpf!" Nonon was silenced once again as Inumata pressed his lips against hers.
Thank you for reading, reviews are welcome and all that jazz. :D