Comfort and Calm
By Felflowne aka Espion
Disclaimer - I wish! That will be all. But I want Ken-kun! Can't the company share?
Omi awoke with the sickening feeling he'd just dropped onto his bed from a great height. He gulped at the air around him and sat up, raking his fingers through his dishevelled blonde hair. He glanced at the bedside clock though watery eyes. Even through his tears he could read it - 03:42 AM.
'Oh well,' he sighed quietly to himself, 'at least I didn't scream this time.' He lay back down onto clammy sheets, and tried to remember what he'd been dreaming about.
There had been an accident, the specifics of which were lost in the fog of his brain. Basically, all of Weib had died, but he would've been the last, so he'd seen them all die.
Looking at it like that, it didn't sound as bad as it'd seemed. They all faced death every night, or at least, on every mission they each undertook, but there had been something else. A sadness had gripped him each time one of his friends had died. Not all for their death, for in this dream he hadn't seemed to mind so much about that, strange as it sounded, but primarily for all the things he should have told them, was going to tell them and so on. Now he could never do that.
Omi rolled over. It was very sad, but it was only a dream, and not nearly as graphic as his most frequent dreams…His mind suddenly flew back, unbidden, to his last one…
'Ouka! Ouka I'm sorry! I couldn't protect you…oh Ouka…'
'Oh Omi…I'm so…happy…'
'OUKAAAAAAA!' Omi screamed as he awoke. Tears were running freely down his face. He could feel them even before he opened his eyes.
'Why…' he whispered bitterly, clutching at his sheet, 'why did you die…you were the only family I had left…'
Footsteps padded swiftly along the narrow corridor running between their rooms, and the door opened.
'Oh no…' Omi whispered to himself.
The figure walked slowly across the room. Not wanting to open his eyes, Omi couldn't tell whether it was Aya, Yohji or Ken. Omi could hear the footfalls drawing nearer.
'Why,' he wondered, 'why am I afraid?'
He opened his eyes. Ken was crouching by his bed.
'Ken…I'm sorry if I woke you…' he whispered. He felt his irrational fear evaporating, but he was suddenly fiercely ashamed that Ken, Ken! …was seeing him like this, and attempted to cover his face with his hands.
'You didn't, I was still awake,' said Ken gently, catching one of Omi's smaller hands in his own, 'what's wrong?'
'Just a stupid nightmare,' Omi said, trying to laugh, but failing to stifle a sob. Ken's hand tightened slightly around his.
'They're not stupid,' he said firmly, 'they're frightening. They come to you in the one place you expect to be safe…I know…'
Looking up, Omi saw that Ken had hung his head. He felt he should say something, but before he could, Ken looked up, and releasing his one hand from around Omi's, put both his arms around his smaller friend.
Omi was surprised, but very grateful, as he put his own arms around Ken's neck and snuggled up to him.
'Oh…' he whimpered, and felt Ken's arms tighten around him, holding him closer. It felt wonderful.
Much to Omi's disappointment, however, he'd been so comfortable in Ken's embrace that he'd fallen asleep again, into a dreamless sleep which left him ready, the next morning, to bounce on into the new day as he always did. When he'd awoken, Ken had been gone. That made sense, of course. He could hardly stay all night.
I wish he would though…thought Omi as he rolled over to try and get back to sleep…then he was immensely glad that his red face couldn't be seen as he realised what he'd just implied.
As Ken walked into the shop, later that morning, his own rolled-up apron hit him in the head. Yohji, who'd thrown it, grinned.
'Good Morning, sleeping beauty,' he chuckled, as Ken blinked owlishly in the bright sunlight.
'Whatever,' the dark-haired boy coherently replied, taking refuge in the shadow behind a large potted plant. Yohji would've teased him some more, but at that moment steps pounded in the corridor and Omi exploded out of the same doorway, beaming.
'Yohjiiiii! Found your apron!' He threw it. It was tightly rolled. It hit Yohji in the stomach. He doubled up, wheezing.
'Oh! Yohji…I'm so sorry!' Omi squeaked…it hadn't been that hard, after all…
'Thaaat's all right Omi,' groaned Yohji, craning himself up, stiffly unrolling his now-found-and-delivered-back-to-him-Omi-style apron and throwing it over his head.
He glared into the gloom where Ken was hiding, and even in the shadow he could see Ken was bent up laughing, chewing on his T-shirt so Yohji wouldn't hear.
'Hidaka!' growled Yohji, 'get out here and do some work, lazy idiot!'
'Yes sir!' laughed Ken, not knowing whether Yohji's hurt pride or Omi's look of horror amused him more. As Omi rushed out towards his bike and school, Ken threw him a smile.
A ruler snapped down inches from Omi's right hand, which had been expertly twirling a pencil, causing him to start and drop it with a clatter. He peered up guiltily into the annoyed face of the sensei.
'This universe, if you would be so kind,' he snapped, referring to Omi previous state of attentiveness. I.e. Non-existent.
Omi sighed and bent down to retrieve the pencil. What had he been thinking about? Just like a dream, he couldn't quite remember, and to his bemusement, he could feel that he was blushing.
'Ken! Can you give me a hand?' Aya's voice seemed to simply pass over the throngs of girls who had materialised during the after-school rush.
'Sure thing!' he replied, walking over to where the older man was at the cash register. Aya, if it was possible, looked stressed.
'I'm telling you, in England they're called daffodils, daffodils. I don't know what you call them over here,' the woman standing before the till was moaning, 'so do you have any or not?'
'I'm off on a fifteen minute break,' mouthed Aya to Ken, 'please help this lady with her purchases.'
He fled, unobtrusively, leaving the bewildered and always just that little bit too ready to help Ken blinking dumbly as he wondered what 'daffodils' were, and whether they stocked them or not.
'Umm,' he said helpfully, thumbing through the well worn-out catalogue, with the impatient tourist looking on.
Why do I always get lumbered with customers like these,he thought miserably. The neat kanji of the catalogue was no help.
'Well! I shall just have to…' began the customer angrily, but trailed off as another florist appeared.
Omi, having raced home from school, was slightly out of breath, and as he hopped onto the chair behind the cash register to look over Ken's shoulder and see what he was doing, Ken felt his warm breath down his neck, and quivered slightly.
Omi didn't notice, and seeing the customer, smiled his most dazzling smile and enquired jovially if he could help them.
'Daffodils, Omi,' muttered Ken, acutely aware that the seventeen-year-old was still leaning over his shoulder, his hands on his back, 'do we sell them?'
The customer looked expectantly at the new arrival, who thought for a moment, then shook his head slightly.
'We would have them if you came to see us in the springtime, but they're out of season just at the moment. I'm sorry, can I help you with anything else?'
Ken watched with a mix of regret and relief as Omi jumped down and led the previously unmanageable customer away to see some of the other flowers that they had.
Five minutes later, the tourist had gone away, pleased with the violets she had purchased. In a rare lull, Ken and Omi busied themselves with irrelevant menial tasks. Aya still wasn't back and Yohji was nowhere to be found. A kind of busy deliberate silence fell over the two workers.
Omi had long since recovered from his exertion. His bike was old, and sometimes needed more than a little nudge in the right direction to start at all. He wondered why he'd been in such a big hurry, as his shift still didn't actually start for another half an hour.
He looked up as Ken finished wiping the leaves of a dark, rubbery looking houseplant, and put down his own cloth.
'Phew,' said Ken, rubbing his eyes, 'what with Yohji disappearing halfway through the day and Aya not being on till two, I've pretty much had to work all day while you were slumming it at school, you know.'
'Yohji disappeared?' Omi suddenly found that his eyes itched too.
'Yeah, probably recovering from a night on the town, but quite honestly he's more help when he's not here.'
'So anyway, why were you back early? Did school finish sooner than you thought?'
Omi was embarrassed, as he hadn't realised he'd been hurrying that much.
'Uhhh no, I just wanted to be back here in plenty of time, you know…'
He stopped. Ken was looking at him again. He laughed quietly.
'Well, whatever reason, you turned up just in time to save me from that tourist. My English is rubbish.'
'Awww, Ken, she wasn't that bad. She wanted to buy the daffodils for her husband. He's in hospital over here because the care is better for his condition. Apparently, daffodils were what were growing in their garden when he had to leave to come here. That was why…'
Omi stopped again. Usually when he spoke to Yohji or Aya, they said they were listening and then carried on with what they were doing, leaving him having to follow them or not tell them whatever he wanted to say. Ken, however, (and he'd noticed this before) stopped whatever he'd been doing to listen.
He always seems so interested in me…Omi thought, and a warm feeling spread all through him, but then…I mean…I mean what I have to say! Not me! Not me! Don't blush, don't blush…
Omi repeated that over and over in his head while he recounted the rest of the story.
'I guess I just pre-judged her, but you see the best in everyone,' said Ken, when he'd finished.
'I try to,' sighed Omi, picking up the cloth again, 'and you're a lovely person, but yes, your English is rubbish, Ken.'
His shift over, Ken threw his apron in a corner of his room and then exited to take a shower. Upon returning, and much to his surprise, he didn't much feel like going down to the lower room to watch TV. He grabbed his personal stereo from a drawer and fell onto the bed. It wasn't deliberate. He was hopelessly clumsy. He'd tripped over his lampshade on the floor and slipped on the hard polished wooden floor. He'd taken the cabinet away because he'd kept bashing his knee on it.
Soon, he was happily drifting in the point between sleep and awareness, where any half-dreams seem real. He smiled faintly… he liked this. He let his mind wander. He had absolutely no doubts where it would wander off to…and he let it.
At half past eight, Omi's shift was finished. Aya had returned as Ken had left, and had asked a few questions about his day, how his assignments were and so on. Although Omi respected Aya greatly, there was a distinct difference between him and Ken, and there was no doubt in Omi's mind as to which he'd rather have spent his evening shift with.
Flicking his long fringe out of his eyes, he trudged up the stairs, sleep beckoning. It was early, sure, but he wasn't going to pass up the opportunity of an early night. On the way to his room, he passed Ken's. The door was wide open.
Unable to resist even this the simplest of temptations, Omi glanced inside, and had to smile. The nineteen year old boy was sprawled half-on half-off his bed, his hair all messed.
You came back early because you wanted some time with him.
The thought was so sudden, so unexpected, that Omi nearly gasped aloud. Was that himself saying that?
Ken slowly became aware of the figure in his doorway, but he was still drowsy. He tried to reach behind him to turn off the music, but this caused him to begin to slide off the bed he'd been only just balanced on.
He was falling! In his half-awake state, he didn't realise that it wasn't far to the ground, but he did remember the floor was hard.
Omi ran the length of the room, snatched a pillow from the other end of the bed and threw it to where Ken was going to fall. He'd've tried to catch him, but he knew he wasn't strong enough.
Ken landed on the pillow with a flop. Omi caught his head and stopped it from hitting the ground. For a moment there was utter silence. Ken was now lying on his back, and his head was in Omi's lap.
Ken blinked a couple of times.
'I'm… fine,' he said quietly.
What would've happened then, they never found out, because at that moment, Yohji walked into the room, rubbing sleep from his eyes. He winked at Omi.
'Knew you two'd get there eventually…you seen Aya?'
'Downstairs,' said Omi faintly, but Yohji wasn't done.
'Nice one Hidaka, he's very cute,' he called as he left the room.
'Wh-what was Yohji talking about?' asked Omi, even though he knew perfectly well, and it made him feel all tight inside to think about the ramifications of it. They were still sat how they'd been when Yohji had entered. Ken was surprised about this. He'd thought that the smaller boy would've leapt away from him as soon as Yohji had come in, but he'd stayed precisely where he was.
'I don't know,' Ken lied. Omi blinked at him. Almost of their own accord, his fingers gently brushed Ken's hair away from his face. He watched in amazement as Ken closed his eyes and sighed.
Does he enjoy this? What are we doing? Oh he looks so cute and innocent, just lying there…
'I'd better go to bed,' whispered Omi, later on, upon glancing at the clock. Ken agreed. Stiffly, he rolled over and got up, his muscles protesting, and his head and heart protesting even more.
Yes, I know what you want…he groaned inwardly to himself, as Omi wished him a good night and left.
Ken raised his hand to his face. He could still feel Omi's fingers on it. He sighed quietly, told himself to get over it, Omi was a fellow assassin… and fell into bed again. This time, it was deliberate.
Later that night, the house was shaken by a blood-chilling scream. The assassins were awake and alert at once, except one.
Omi, whose scream it'd been, thrashed around in his bed, but the nightmare just wouldn't release him. Again and again rotting hands grabbed at him, and dead voices shrieked at him.
Come with us, Come with us Omi, we are your family…
'No,' he whimpered, 'No, no, no, no, no…'
Ken met Aya and Yohji on the landing. Ken could see that Aya had his katana.
'It's just Omi,' he explained breathlessly, moving quickly towards the room Omi slept in, 'He has nightmares…I'll sort him out.'
He shot a pleading look at Aya, who nodded, and dragged Yohji away.
Who else do you have…? All you have is us… we're all dead… Most of us you killed yourself…
'I had no choice!' Omi wept.
Come with us…
Where else can you go… Not one of was left alive to care for you… You are alone… Come with us…
'No…' Omi was tiring.
You'll never be alone if you come with us…
Omi couldn't see the new speaker, but the dead monstrosities began to retreat. He felt himself begin to calm down, but it felt odd, as if someone else was controlling him.
Remember what we told you… Alone… Forever…
We're all here for you Omi, especially me…
'I'm not alone, not here.'
That's right, come on… wake up Omi…
Suddenly he awoke, so fast that he frightened himself. He was still in his bed, but Ken was there too, and he had his arms wrapped tightly around him.
'Ken?' he whispered, 'Ken, I heard you…I heard you in my dream…'
He couldn't see Ken's face because it was buried in his neck. The way his breath curled down his spine was doing odd things to his head.
'You dream about me?' the dark-eyed boy asked softly.
'Lots…' said Omi, then hastily continued, 'I mean, you weren't actually there (this time, he thought), but I heard your voice…were you speaking to me just now?'
Omi drew back so he could see Ken's face.
'What were you saying?'
Ken thought, then said, 'You were crying, so I tried calling you to wake you up.' He gently used the corner of his nightshirt to dry Omi's tear-streaked face. Omi leant against his hand.
'Then, when that didn't work…' he continued, but Omi shushed him by gently laying a finger to his lips.
'I know, I heard you. You said that Weib were all here for me, especially you.'
'It's true,' Ken told him, and Omi was so happy he thought he might explode. The strange tight excitement that had first struck him when Yohji had made those comments about them was back, and it was better.
Ken was in turmoil. He had to tell him now, and face the consequences. He may never get another private opportunity like this to let Omi know his secret.
'I… appreciate we probably don't feel the same way, Omi,' Ken was suddenly saying, in a slightly sad tone, 'but that's fine, I don't mind as long as I have you as a friend.'
Omi blinked. What?
'What do you mean Ken?'
Omi was hanging on his every next word. Having secretly admired the tall boy in whose arms he was laying for nearly a whole year, he was desperate now to find out whether the admiration would have to remain secret.
He'll always be my closest friend…even if we can't…
Omi had to stop thinking that. His eyes were brimming with tears. With a sob, he clutched tighter at Ken's shirt, almost ripping it.
Ken was astonished.
What's he doing?
He'd been just about to admit to Omi that he loved him, and had been expecting a blank stare or a frosty look, but instead, before he could say a word, Omi had latched himself onto him.
'No…' Omi whispered, barely on the brink of Ken's hearing, not realising what he was saying, 'I'll die without you now…'
'Omi… We're not going anywhere…' This didn't work, and slightly dazed by Omi's behaviour, he continued, 'do you want to hear what I was going to say?'
Omi had his face pressed into Ken's shoulder, and his sobs quietened as he replied, 'All right.'
'It's this… Omi, I'm sorry. I betrayed your trust in me as a friend… I love you.'
Silence. Ken loosened his grip on Omi slightly, to lesson the shock on his arms when Omi pushed him away.
He loves me… HE loves ME!?!!
'Ken…thank you for telling me,' said Omi, knowing that unless he tried very hard to control his voice he'd scream with joy and bring Yohji and Aya and possibly even Momoe-san running.
Ken closed his eyes and hung his head, waiting for something to happen. When it did, it wasn't what he'd been expecting.
He sensed rather than felt Omi leaning forward, and screwed his eyes tighter shut.
You will NOT cry, you will NOT cry…
He was confused. What was Omi doing? Surely he didn't need to be…
He felt Omi's hands on his face, lifting it. He opened his eyes hesitantly, and looked straight into Omi's face. Then Omi leant forward and kissed him softly.
For a moment he was too stunned to do anything, but then he awoke from his daze, slid his arms back around his koi's waist, and their kisses intensified. They probably only lasted for ten seconds, but when Omi leant back again, he was panting and there were fresh tears running down his face.
'So long…' he sobbed, 'why did you do that to me…I wanted you for so long…'
'I'm sorry, I'm sorry…' Ken gasped, knowing that his own tears would start before long.
'Oh it doesn't matter now!' said Omi, running his hand down Ken's face and drawing a strange throaty purr from the boy. He smiled in a way he'd never done before. He liked that sound.
But before he could make any more plans, Ken quickly leant forward himself, pushing Omi down.
'The door…' whispered Omi, when Ken had to pause for breath.
He nodded, and sprang away like a cat. There was no sign of the clumsiness that had become his trademark.
For a couple of seconds, Omi was alone. He watched as Ken swiftly shut and locked the door. Then he sprang up off the bed, and ran over to him. They met in the middle of the room. Ken stooped a little so they could kiss again, long hungry kisses.
'I love you so much,' he whispered, stroking Omi's head with one hand and holding him close with the other. Omi whimpered.
'I know,' he replied, 'I know. I love you too.'
Sunlight streamed through the window in Omi's room, bathing the whole space with gold light. Omi awoke first. Purely out of habit, he tried to roll out of bed and onto the floor, but he was stopped by the fact that Ken had his arm around his waist. He smiled, as all last night's, and this morning's memories, came back to him. He turned over, slid his arms around Ken's neck, and went back to sleep.
Fel – My very first WK fic! What do you all think? My first proper one-shot as well. Please review! Ken and Omi power! ( and Ken fan-girl power *^_^* Waaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!)