didn't know but it was love

* * * * *


Spiral ~Suiri no Kizuna~
: Kanone x Eyes one-shot; pre-series.
by: Ayu Ohseki (theeternalmind.sterlingsylver.net, [email protected])
Disclaimer: I do not own Spiral ~Suiri no Kizuna~ or its characters; they belong to Shirodaira Kyou, Mizuno Eita, Kaneko Shingo, Shounen Gangan and TV Tokyo, among others, and are regrettably used without permission. However, the original ideas, events and words used do belong to me; please do not take them. This fanfic is based off of the anime version of Spiral ~Suiri no Kizuna~, and as such the characters' personalities match that version of them.
A belated birthday present for Chikage Stollen (happy 17th!).

* * * * *




            "Hey, Eyes?"

            There was no reply from his pale companion as they dipped their bare feet in the stream, but Kanone didn't need such a thing. A slight glance, which he received sure enough, was all that was necessary.

            "Why do you suppose people kiss?"

            Eyes blinked, increasing his glance a little more. "What do you mean?"

            Kanone smiled over at Eyes, an eyebrow cocked. "What I said. Why do you think people do something like kiss?"

            Eyes looked away. "Love, probably."

            "What's love, though?"

            "How would I know?"

            "Do you believe in love?"

            It was Eyes' turn to arch an eyebrow at his best friend as he turned fully to him, a late summer breeze rustling through their hair and clothes.

            "Let me put that another way," Kanone said, leaning on one hand as he faced Eyes. "Do you think love exists?"

            "There is a significant difference between believing in love and thinking that it exists," Eyes pointed out.

            Kanone rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "Fine. Do you believe love exists?"

            "What brings this up?" the blue-eyed young boy queried, frowning slightly.

            "I was just wondering," Kanone smiled in return.

            The thirteen-year-old Rutherford deliberated over the question for a few moments before finally replying, "I think so."

            "Why's that?" Kanone questioned immediately.

            "I don't know what love is," Eyes replied, "but it probably exists, because there's heavy evidence in favor of it. Just because I personally am unfamiliar with something doesn't bar its existence—unfortunately for many things."

            "I must agree with you there," the amber-eyed youth mused. "Okay, I'm moving off-topic, but I'll change my question. What would you do if you fell in love?"

            "I already said I don't understand what love is," Eyes frowned. "I don't know how I'd act or what I'd do if I were forced into a situation I don't understand." He paused, thought about his statement. "Let me rephrase that."

            "Go ahead."

            "I don't understand love. Therefore, I don't know how it would influence me if I came to experience it."

            Kanone pondered this, then nodded and said, "Fair enough." A pause; then, "Do you think you'd at least kiss someone you were in love with?"

            Eyes shrugged. "I suppose. I don't think I'll ever have to worry about it, though."

            "Geez, that's a boring answer," Kanone frowned. "Don't you at least wonder?"

            The blue-eyed Blade Child glanced at his companion. "Kanone, we probably don't deserve to fall in love," he replied. "So there's no point in wondering."

            "Falling in love's not exactly something that you can control," Kanone muttered, perhaps as much to himself as to Eyes, glancing away. "Even if we don't deserve it, that doesn't stop me from thinking about it." He looked out at the clear sky through the lazily shifting treetops and, leaning his elbows on his knees, commented, "So you don't think you'll ever fall in love?"

            "Why are you pushing the subject?" Eyes queried, frowning slightly.

            "Who else am I going to talk to about it?" was Kanone's response.

            Eyes sighed, and then replied, completely honestly, "I don't know that I'll live long enough to do so."

            Kanone didn't speak for several seconds; then, he glanced over his shoulder at his childhood friend. "...I guess that's a rational way to look at it, too," he said softly, his expression curiously guarded. Switching over to an easygoing smile, he continued, "How about this, then? What sort of person do you think you'd like enough to say that you love them—your ideal mate, in other words?"

            Eyes pondered the question for several moments, during which Kanone switched his gaze to the clear running stream water and the tiny fish darting about within it.

            Finally, the quarter-Brit replied, "I'm not sure. Someone like you."

            Kanone laughed and leaned back, reached out and tousled his best friend's hair. "Sometimes you say the cutest things, Eyes," he grinned.

            "Don't treat me like a child," Eyes frowned. "We're the same age."

            "Yeah, yeah," Kanone smiled.

            "...What would your ideal be like, Kanone?" Eyes queried, attempting to take the focus away from himself.

            "Hmm?" He turned his gaze thoughtfully to the depths of dark forest before them. "Let's see... I'd like someone dependable—someone I could trust, someone I could count on to cover my back when I'm in trouble. Someone I'd known for a long time...someone I had a lot of things in common with. Someone intelligent, clever, observant, talented, practical, not lacking in strength... Someone I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life with, however short it may end up being. Someone I'd like to hold in my arms and just talk to at night; someone who wouldn't mind if that's what I wanted to do, but wouldn't mind if I wanted to screw around. Someone extraordinary. Someone beautiful. Someone who could..."

            Kanone abruptly cut off.

            "...Who could?" Eyes prompted after a short period of silence.

            "You'll laugh," Kanone replied, smiling abashedly.

            Eyes gave him a look.

            "Okay, okay," Kanone conceded with a grin. They both knew that laughing was something that Eyes just did not do. "Someone who could love me for me; someone who'd love only me."

            "There's nothing wrong with that," Eyes said. "I'd like that, too. Why did you think I'd laugh?"

            Kanone shrugged and looking away, saying nothing. The two of them fell into silence again, listening to the gurgle of the thin stream, the rustling of leaves, the whisper of the wind, the rustle of wild animals passing on their way without paying heed to the two human teenagers...

            Then Kanone spoke up again. "Say, Eyes."

            "What is it now?"

            "D'you ever wonder what being kissed is like?"

            Eyes looked at Kanone with something between a mystified peer and an incredulous stare. "What prompted you to wonder about these things, Kanone?" the blue-eyed youth inquired.

            "I told you, it's been on my mind lately," Kanone said evasively. "Well? Do you?"

            "Not really," Eyes answered.

            "That's no fun," the German-American complained. "I have been."

            "Isn't that just puberty setting in?"

            The brown-haired boy smiled benevolently. "Maybe. Kisses are interesting, though, I think; they can mean a lot of different things. Like, for example, a kiss on the hand is one of respect. A kiss on the cheek is one of friendship. A kiss on the lips is one of love. In different cultures, too, kisses mean different things. In several European countries, people kiss each other as a greeting. In America, kissing is seen as casually sensual; it's important, but not to the degree it is in Japan. And in Japan, it's very sensual, and a lot of importance is placed on the first kiss, for both guys and girls."

            "It's just different viewpoints on the same basic thing," Eyes said. "The act itself is nothing special, probably."

            "You want to try it?"

            Eyes stared, stunned.

            "Kissing," Kanone explained needlessly. "You haven't been kissed before, right? Well, I haven't either. You say it's probably nothing special; want to give it a try and make sure?"

            There were several questions, comments, and exclamations that ran through Eyes' mind at that moment; however, the only one that slipped through was, "With you?"

            The taller youth silently gazed at his friend for a moment before he smiled and patiently said, "Look at it logically: we're Blade Children. We'll never be able to lead normal lives—that includes having girlfriends or whatever. It'd be a shame to die without at least having experienced what kissing is like, and you need two people to kiss. You and I have known and trusted each other for a long time, and let's face it; it would be too embarrassing to ask anyone else. Rio would never agree to do this anyway, and unless I'm horribly mistaken, neither would Kousuke, although I doubt that either of us would pitch this idea on him in any case. So why not?"

            "...We're both boys," Eyes noted, having only collected his thoughts somewhat.

            "Is that that big a problem?" Kanone inquired, frowning slightly.

            Eyes considered for a silent moment, allowing his cool to return, and with some surprise realized, "...No." The idea, now that he'd deliberated on it, actually had a certain appeal... "I don't mind if it's you, Kanone."

            Kanone smiled, gratified. "I'm glad," he said warmly. "Here..." He leaned in, paused, then tilted his head slightly to keep from bumping into Eyes. "Lift your chin a little, okay?"

            Eyes complied, his heart beginning to thump nervously, his expression unchanging.

            Kanone leaned in closer, hesitated again. "Aren't you supposed to close your eyes?"

            Feeling the onset of a blush, Eyes obediently let his eyelids drift shut.

            Kanone smiled an honest smile, and lifted a hand to steady his friend's face. Like Eyes', his heart was also beating far more quickly than usual, and he shivered slightly in spite of the heat as he hesitated one last time, wanting to make the moment last even a little longer.

            Then, never removing his gaze from Eyes, Kanone closed the short gap between their lips.

            They lingered, both of them enjoying their experimental kiss far more than they would dare admit to the other. Kanone's cat-like eyes, obscured partially by half-mast eyelids, watched the shorter youth's face for any changes in expression—there was a slight tinge of pink on the cheeks, slight twitching of snowy eyebrows, slight fluttering of long eyelashes as eyelids fought to remain tightly shut. Kanone blinked but once, wanting to keep those images imprinted in his heart forever, where they would be jealously locked away and possessively treasured until death, not wanting to separate from Eyes, his Eyes, his friend, his equal, his desire, his shame, his passion, his longing, his delight, his hurt, his cherished memories...

            ...before he pulled away.

            Eyes gasped for air, clutching at the fabric at his throat as he blushed, his heart pulsing rapidly. That...was definitely not 'nothing special', and he was alarmed to realize that he couldn't help but feel disappointed that Kanone had ended it so soon. Eyes didn't dare to face the other until his breathing had returned more to normal, and even then only cautiously peeked up at his friend.

            The German-born youth was idly watching the sky, a slight smile on his face, his expression one of satisfaction. Eyes attempted to say something, failed; attempted to mentally form a comment, failed again. In flustered silence, he, too, turned toward the forest, but kept his gaze on the stream, leaning his elbows on his legs, and folded his hands over his mouth. His mouth slightly parted, Eyes rubbed a thumb against his lips, still mentally reeling.

            The two sat there quietly, cool water coursing over their feet, for a moment longer before Kanone decided to break the silence.

            "Well?" he said softly. "What did you think?"

            Eyes continued to trace his lips with his thumb, and his heart continued to beat recklessly quickly. He didn't know what to say.

            "I liked it," Kanone declared with an unabashed smile. Shifting his eyes toward the white-haired youth, he queried, almost shyly, "Did you?"

            Yes.

            That honest answer would have been enough to satisfy him. But Eyes didn't know what he felt, beyond being vaguely frightened at the emotions being stirred up inside of him—and toward his closest friend, no less—so he remained quiet for several seconds longer. Finally, he looked up at the forest, dropping his hands to his lap, and quietly responded, "Kanone. I don't think we should do that again."

            Kanone's smile and expression slowly fell, warmth being replaced by cold. "...Who said we were doing it again?" he finally queried, a new smile of a different variety set firmly in place. "It was just to see what it was like."

            "Why do people kiss, anyway?" Eyes murmured, watching the fish dance.

            "In our case? Because it was something to do, right?" Kanone replied lazily but not without an edge, stretching out his arms behind his head and leaning onto his back.

            Eyes' chest constricted painfully, and somehow he didn't think it had to do with his missing rib.

            "The Japanese are weird," Kanone commented further. "This first kiss stuff is easy. Wouldn't you say, Eyes?"

            He didn't reply. He was too busy staring sightlessly at the stream.

            "I'm glad it was with you, though," Kanone added, an almost desperate edge to his voice.

            Eyes, wrapped up in his thoughts, didn't notice or react, and they both fell into an awkward silence. All around them, the world continued, but they were frozen, already looking back painfully at a moment even now turning into a scar of memory.

            Bitterly, Kanone admitted to himself that he shouldn't have gotten his hopes up; he should probably consider himself lucky to have even gotten that kiss. But the hurt remained, and a wall of liminality, already present, grew a little more between him and Eyes, his desire, his shame, his longing...his wound-filled memories.

            Eyes likewise drew away, unsure of this sudden change and what it meant, what it would do to the two of them. Later, they'd surely pretend to forget about it and act as if it hadn't happened, but right now, the simultaneously thrilling and frightening experience was still vivid in his muddled mind.

            Why do people kiss?

            He didn't know.

            What just happened...?

            He didn't know, but it was love.