Last day is "risk" - enjoy!
The end of the week came too quickly for Kuon, too slowly for Kanae, and both for Kyoko. Before they knew it, it was the last night before the girls could move back into their apartment. Kuon was doing his best not to pout externally. He had always known that this would end after just a week - and Kyoko had suggested that once her lease with Kanae was up, she might be able to move in with him. Which, admittedly, was risky. Very few people knew they were together: Kotonami-san (because Kyoko could keep nothing from her), Yashiro-san (for ease of date night arrangements), his parents (because she had been the one who gave him the strength to call them), Amamiya-san (because she overheard a phone call that could not be denied), and the taisho and okami-san of Darumaya (because they were basically her parents). Lory did not know, a feat achieved by Julie restraining Kuu from telling him (because "the kidnapper" deserved to suffer a bit). Kyoko was trying to figure out the best way to tell Maria-chan without Lory finding out, but so far had no ideas. So, them living together would be risky, because Lory would find out.
But even riskier was the threat of the press. He knew that there were some paparazzi that skulked around his building, hoping for a news story. They had even caught a picture of Kyoko once, but she had fortunately been disguised enough to not be recognized. But there had been a few close calls - including the one that led to her having to move out of the Darumaya. He had thought taisho was going to carve him up for stir-fry when he arrived to help Kyoko move her things. He was sure the only reason he survived was Kyoko's explanation that she would be moving in with Moko, not him. But if she did move in, then they would be at a much higher risk of being caught… and that would not be good for her career. No matter how fantastically she was doing in the industry, the fact remained that the media was horrifically sexist.
But that didn't stop him from wanting her near him - from wanting to see her every morning before work and confirm with his own eyes that she was home safely at the end of the day. He wanted to have more time to spend with the love of his life. They hadn't talked about the sleeping situation yet. He assumed that she would want her own room, so she would take the guest room. It was practically her room anyway - all that was missing was her. Granted, he would not complain if she wanted to make his room their room… but that could be risky in its own way.
Then there were the risks that only existed in his mind - the unlikely ones, but also the ones that kept him up at night, the ones that made him hesitate to ask for as long as he had. The ones of her getting tired of him, of changing her mind, of falling out of love with him after living with him. To his credit, he knew that these were unlikely. He knew firsthand how deeply Kyoko loved - and how much it took to break her trust. She still managed to have some form of love for her mother; she even managed to reconcile with Fuwa as something of a sibling, once the brat had grown up a bit. So the risk that something could happen between them to break them was almost nonexistent. Especially since she already knew all of his secrets. Well, there was one secret in a little box in his underwear drawer - but he didn't think she would begrudge him that one, since he wasn't exactly subtle about wanting to spend the rest of his life with her.
But there was also the risk that when her lease was up, she would decide to renew with Kotonami-san. Which was entirely her decision and he would have to be alright with, since they were both adults. But that did not mean he couldn't be jealous of Kotonami-san for getting to see Kyoko every day. Hence, the internal pouting at her leaving: He had gotten a week's taste of what living with her would be like (even if it did include her protective, possessive best friend) and now had to go without once more. It was like trying to get used to life post-Cain and Setsu, except worse, because this time she was herself, and they were truly together. A young Kuon might have found it pathetic how much he already missed her, even as she was packing in the other room. The Tsuruga Ren that existed before they met again would have felt like he was betraying Rick's memory. His current self just knew that he was in love.
Kanae stared in disbelief at the boxes she had just found in the guest bathroom's cupboard. There was no way Kyoko had bought those. But there was also no trace of anyone other than Kyoko or the apartment's owner in the entire place. So the only conclusion she could come to was that Tsuruga Ren had, in fact, purchased those for Kyoko. He had to have bought them online, because the media would have had a field day if he had been caught buying those in person. Sure, he could have worn a disguise, but there was only so much that could be done to cloak a man that damn tall. But the fact remained that he had bought them for Kyoko. And, given that she hadn't even known that he had bought shampoo, Kanae doubted that Kyoko was aware of these boxes.
She pursed her lips and shut the cupboard door with a little more force than necessary. Damn it, fine. I can share. The man had passed every test she had thrown at him this week, and even a few she hadn't. The boxes in the cupboard were a testament to that. Because, even if they were a stupidly expensive brand, the fact remained that the man had bought tampons, pads, and panty liners for her best friend. Sharing her with him - trusting him enough to give her begrudging blessing - was a safe enough risk. So she was going to share, even if she didn't like it. Because this was what would make Kyoko happy, and if anyone deserved happiness, it was Kyoko. And I'm not going to be the one to make her cry, damn it.
Kyoko was stuck. Not physically, fortunately, but stuck on how to thank Kuon for his hospitality. Normally, she thanked people with food, but Kuon wasn't the biggest eater. She did have some of her craft supplies with her, but just her doll-making ones - and it wasn't like he needed anything to ward off evil spirits. She worried her bottom lip between her teeth. What to do?
Kanae snapped her fingers in front of Kyoko's face, pulling her attention back to the outside world. "What are you thinking about?"
"I'm wondering how to thank Ren for letting us stay. I'd normally make food, but…." She gestured helplessly.
I can't believe I'm going to suggest this. "Why not make him a charm like that first one you made me?"
"But… but that was a charm of me!" Kyoko's cheeks went pink.
"And you have how many creepily accurate dolls of him?" Kanae flopped down next to her on the guest bed. "Look, I don't know what else to suggest. I barely know the guy - all that I know he likes is acting and you."
"It isn't too… presumptuous of me to make him one?" she asked, twisting her fingers together.
"No more presumptuous than having over a dozen of him." A terrifying thought struck her. "Wait, do you have any of anyone else? I mean, aside from bastards one and two."
"No. I never had a reason to curse anyone else like that - even if his are more scolding tools than curse dolls nowadays." She blinked down at Kanae. "Why?"
"Just making sure. But yeah, it'd be fine to make him one of you. I'm sure he'd love it." Thank the gods she doesn't have a creepy miniature of me. "Just… maybe make it more like my charm than the dolls of him."
Kyoko hopped off the bed to rummage in her bag for supplies. "What do you mean?"
"Make sure her clothes don't come off."
Before Kuon knew it, it was the next evening and he was helping the girls pack up their plants for transportation. It was dark enough outside that him helping them shouldn't be too risky. He didn't want to be doing this - didn't want to help Kyoko leave - but he wasn't going to make them carry everything themselves. That just wasn't an option. So he was left trying to keep a pout off of his face while he knelt on the floor, organizing plants.
"Corn?" Kyoko's voice interrupted his internal grumbling.
He looked up at her with a smile. "Yes, princess?"
She fidgeted, hiding something behind her back. "So, um, I was trying to figure out a way to thank you for letting Moko and me stay this week, and was asking her for suggestions, and this was the only thing that we could come up with. And I know it's a little weird, so you're welcome to throw it away if you want, but… here." She held out a little bag to him.
"You didn't have to," he started, but was struck dumb when he saw what was inside. It was a little Kyoko doll, similar to the version she had made for Kanae, but wearing one of her typical date night outfits (dark jeans and a cute, flowery top) instead of her LoveMe uniform. And this one seemed distinctly less cursed, as it contained one of her angels instead of one of her grudges. It was small - easily held in one of his hands - and absolutely perfect. He stared at it in awe for two solid minutes before he realized that Kyoko was panicking and rambling.
"- so I'm really sorry, I know it was a stupid idea so I'll take it back and figure something else out -"
"I love it," he breathed, only half-surprised to find that she had wound up kneeling next to him. "Thank you, Kyoko."
"You're… welcome?" Her gaze flicked back and forth between his eyes, and when she found no lie, she smiled. "It was kind of a rush job, so if you'd like me to change anything, let me know."
He shook his head and held the doll over his heart. "It's perfect. Now I can have a mini version of my omamori with me when we're apart." And sure, it might be risky to have a Kyoko doll in his bag when he was working, but that was not going to stop him. Not even Yashiro's gloating when he inevitably found it would stop him. And that night, after he had dropped the girls off at their now-cockroach-free apartment, he placed the doll on his nightstand, so his omamori could watch over his dreams. It was the first night in a long time that he was not plagued by nightmares. Her smiling face was the first thing he saw when he woke up, and that made him decide to take another risk. Within a month, Kyoko would know what was inside the little black box in his underwear drawer - and within a month, she would make a small ring to go on his doll's finger.
And that's it, y'all! What did you think? I hope you enjoyed this!