Disclaimer: I don't own Flame of Recca or any of its characters.
BLT 6: BLT Sandwich Date
"Hi." With a grace of a cat, Mikagami slid into the booth opposite Fuuko's.
Fuuko almost choked on the cup of coffee she was drinking. She checked her watch. Ten minutes too early. "Hi." She replied once she got her bearings back. "You're early."
Blue eyes gazed intently at her, as if he was trying to read her actions, pierce into her very soul. "I didn't want you to change your mind."
Fuuko suppressed a wince. He obviously wasn't going to make things easier for her. "So, how are things?" She asked conversationally.
"Fuuko," he began. "I'm not here to waste my time with idle chitchat. You said you wanted to talk. So talk."
Fuuko's eyes widened. He was angry. Then she realized another thing. She was too. "Maybe we should talk later when tempers are not flaring," it was not a suggestion. She gathered her things and started to slide out of her seat.
But Mikagami was too quick for her. With amazing speed usually reserved for aggressors, his hand caught her wrist and pulled her down. "Sit. Stay." He commanded.
Fuuko glared at him. "I'm not in the mood to talk," she told him stubbornly as she crossed her arms. She stayed nonetheless.
"So you just expect me to sit back and wait for the next opportunity you would find convenient to talk to me," he glared right back at her. "No, Fuuko." His voice was barely more than a whisper, but Fuuko can feel the waves of anger pulsing beneath it. "We settle this, here and now."
She knew that such declarations were typically Mikagami. A year ago, she would've laughed it off and shrugged it off. But now…Well, let's just say she's been under a lot of pressure. "I'm not in the mood for this," she hissed at him.
Mikagami's mouth was set in a straight, firm line. He didn't say anything.
Fuuko took a deep, calming breath. "I'm leaving." This time she was able to go out the booth without protest from her companion.
"Fuuko," the voice was soft, almost pleading.
Fuuko froze for a moment. But she knew that they both needed to think, to calm down, before they could talk like rational people. She turned to him, her eyes softening. "I'm sorry, Mi-chan," she told him. "I'll talk to you soon, I promise."
She saw Mikagami nod. She gave him a weak smile. Then she walked away.
When the door to the shop closed, indicating to Mikagami that Fuuko had indeed left. He let out a curse, before standing up himself.
Fuuko wandered the streets. She knew she had to talk to her boyfriend and soon. Heck, she wanted to talk. But her mind's a jumbled mass of confusion lately, it was hard enough to come up with one coherent thought, let alone tell Tokiya what she feels, what she's going through. She sighed. She checked her watch. "My mom is going to kill me," she groaned when she realized how late it was. She began to run. She remembered a short-cut around here somewhere…
There! An alley that cut through the busiest sections of their neighborhood straight into the residential area where she lived.
Intent as she was on going home, she realized why she and her friends hadn't been taking that particular shortcut as of late. It was filled with the undesirables of society. One couldn't go through that alley completely unscathed. She and Recca hadn't been taking it not because they were scared, but because if there was one thing they learned in the UBS, it's that one person has to know which battles to fight.
Giving herself a mental shrug, Fuuko continued her fast pace. She was here now, she might as well risk it.
But luck was not with her that afternoon.
She knew what was coming, seeing a posse of three men standing about ten meters from where she was. They were smirking.
Fuuko groaned. Great. Her shortcut had just become a long cut.
"Hello, baby face," one of them leered at her when she came nearer.
"Uh, I'm kinda in a hurry, so if you guys can just step aside and let me through," she told them.
The men laughed as they surrounded her.
"Oh, I'm sure you can spare us even just ten minutes of your time," another said.
"We'll make sure it'll be worth your time," he grinned at her suggestively.
"I'll pass," she wrinkled her nose.
"Kinda prissy, aren't we?" The one on Fuuko's right stepped closer to her and placed a possessive hand on her shoulder.
In a blink of an eye, Fuuko grabbed the arm that was attached to the hand that was touching her, and threw the man over her head. She then let go. The man flew up and about before smashing into the nearby wall where he promptly lost consciousness.
"OK, hurry it up. I've got a schedule to keep here," Fuuko muttered as she glared at the two remaining men.
One of who brandished a short, shiny knife.
Knife man then lunged at her.
Fuuko easily evaded the attack, grabbed the arm holding the knife, her knee connecting with the man's gut. Knife man dropped the knife because of the pain. Fuuko then brought up her fist, knocking out the man with an uppercut.
She then looked at the last man standing.
But to her surprise, he, too, was unconscious on the ground.
And behind him…
"A year ago, none of these thugs would have been able to put a finger on you," an almost amused voice commented.
Fuuko snorted. "Well, a year ago, none of these thugs would've paid me any attention."
"Fuuko," Mikagami stepped forward from the shadows. "I missed you," the longing was now evident in his voice.
Fuuko bit her lip. "Um, wanna have dinner at our place? I'm sure mom won't mind,"
Fuuko, gone to the movies with Ganko and Kaoru to celebrate the start of summer vacation. Tried waiting for you, but you know how kids are. There's stuff in the fridge, I'm sure you could manage. Mom
"Are you sure that's from your mom and not some doppelganger?" Mikagami asked.
Fuuko turned around and saw a smirk on his face. "Ha ha." She said sarcastically. "I could—"
"We want the kitchen to be in once piece when your mom gets back, right?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Well, if you're so smart, why don't you make dinner?" Fuuko glared at him.
He smiled. Not a smirk, but a smile. He was no doubt remembering those times they spent in this very kitchen before he went off to the Uni, before Fuuko got very weird.
"Alright," he opened the fridge and looked critically at the things inside.
But Fuuko's stomach grumbled in protest.
"I'll make you a sandwich," he said without looking up. "I could make that fast enough for whatever it is you got in there," he stuck out his head and motioned to Fuuko's tummy.
Fuuko stuck out a tongue at him.
He took out tomatoes and tossed them over his shoulders.
Fuuko easily caught them and placed them at the counter. "BLT?"
Mikagami nodded as he shut the fridge, bringing out a pack of bacon and a head of lettuce.
Fuuko took out the knife and chopping board while Mikagami busied himself with the pan and the stove.
The two worked in silence, with Mikagami frying bacon and Fuuko chopping the bacon and lettuce.
After a while, all that was left was to make the sandwich.
Mikagami turned his back to her as he took a loaf of bread from the bread basket. He then started to slice the loaf with the precision of a surgeon.
Suddenly, a flash appeared in Fuuko's mind. A voice spoke in her head.
Do you see yourself growing old and gray with me? Can you picture yourself having a family with me? Do you want to spend the rest of my life with me, Fuuko? Can you live with all my faults?
In her mind's eye, Fuuko saw herself and Tokiya in lazy evenings like this, just the two of them, comfortable, happy, content. The only difference was, they were older.
"Fuuko?" Tokiya saw Fuuko spacing out. "Are you alright?" He put down the knife and walked towards her in worry. "Fuu-chan?"
Can you stay with me, Fuuko, even if I'm bald and wrinkled? Will you take care of me when I can't take care of myself?
"Fuuko?" Tokiya started to guide her to a chair. "You look pale. What's wrong?"
Then Fuuko realized how close she come to losing all of these just because she was doubting Tokiya, she was doubting herself, and worst of all, she was doubting their love.
That snapped her out of her reverie.
"Mi-chan!" She cried out as she launched herself at a surprised Mikagami. "I'm sorry!" Her arms snaked their way around his shoulders, unwilling to let go. "I'm so, so sorry."
Not that Tokiya was to let go of her any time soon. His arms automatically wrapped themselves around her waist. "Shh," he soothed her. "It's gonna be OK," and it felt good to finally hold her in his arms again. He took a deep breath, inhaling the scent that was distinctively Fuuko's. "Don't worry. It's going to be fine,"
"I got into Tokyo U."
He read the letter she had handed to him after dinner. He reread it. Thrice. It was indeen an acceptance letter to the country's state university. Mikagami's jaw dropped open. Literally.
Fuuko glared at him. "Shut that trap of yours or I'll shut it for you,"
Mikagami did what he was told, but glared back. "You got into Tokyo U?" He asked incredulously.
"Hey, just because I'm loud and boyish doesn't mean I'm stupid!" She snapped at him.
"I'm not saying that you're stupid, but Tokyo U?"
Fuuko sighed as she crossed her arms defiantly. "I consistently make high grades," she said defensively. "I'm a whiz in math and science. The only reason I don't make it to the honor roll is because of my conduct and Home Ec."
"Home Ec?" Mikagami smirked. He knew Fuuko was smart. It was apparent with the way she fights. She's like him, a strategist. But Tokyo U? Damn, but he needed to get to know more about the mystery that was Fuuko Kirisawa. "Can't cook, huh?"
Fuuko's eyes narrowed. "I'm sorry I can't be perfect like some people I know,"
Mikagami sighed as he placed his hands grasped Fuuko's. "I'm sorry," he said finally. "I'm sorry for underestimating you. But still, that doesn't explain why are you trying to drive me away. It doesn't make sense."
"I'm not—" She started to deny, but gave a defeated sigh upon seeing the look on his face. "I'm sorry, too," she said. "But you've got me so confused I react the only way I know how to."
"You mean violently."
Fuuko nodded. "Yeah." She admitted sheepishly.
"But, Fuuko, you're still not making sense." Mikagami released one of his hands to run it through his smooth, perfect hair. "Why are you running away from me? Wouldn't this news be something you would like to share with your boyfriend?"
"That's not the whole story." Fuuko said as she took her hand away from Tokiya and rummaged through her bag. Wordlessly, she slid over a white piece of envelop towards him.
Mikagami raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything as he took the sheets of paper and read its content.
"My dad was a world-renowned meteorologist. He was an alumnae of Yale University in the US." Fuuko started. "Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of following his footsteps," she sighed. "I guess that was the driving force in my studies. I wanted to get high marks so that I can go to America to study."
"So you applied to Yale?"
Mikagami reread the letter. "And you got accepted."
"The reason I was avoiding you was because I wanted to make a decision by myself."
"Fuuko, you know I would never stand between you and your dreams,"
Fuuko nodded. "I know that. It's just that it was hard enough with you being miles away. What would happen to us when we become oceans apart?"
"Fuuko," he sighed. Now it all makes sense.
"I want this decision to be all about me," she said. "But I'm scared. I'm scared I'm choosing Tokyo U because of you and I'm scared of choosing Yale because of my dad. So I guess that I just took the coward's way out and started avoiding you, because I knew if I saw you, I'd realize that I missed you and I can't spend four more years of my life without you and choose Tokyo U." She sighed. "That was the most idiotic thing to do, I guess. It didn't help me come closer to making a decision. It just made me miserable."
Mikagami sighed as he pulled Fuuko to his side. He was scared of the decision Fuuko was going to make. But he meant what he said. He was not going to stand in the way of her dreams. "I know I'm biased about this, Fuuko, but I want you to know that the past year, nothing had changed."
Fuuko snuggled closer to him and looked up in his eyes.
"Even if we're apart, nothing had changed the way I felt about you," Mikagami whispered.
"And I know you think that you're some kind of Yanagi substitute," he continued. "But you're not."
"Sorry about that." Fuuko said sheepishly. "I guess I'm more jealous that I care to admit,"
Mikagami smiled tenderly at her. "You're not Yanagi." He said firmly. "She's like a sister to me. But you," he paused. "Fuuko, you know I'm not very good at telling people what I feel."
Fuuko snorted. That was, to put it mildly, an understatement.
"Fuuko," he threatened her.
"I love you, Fuuko." He said simply. "Get that through your thick skull. I love you and no distance could change that."
Fuuko nodded. "I guess I was listening to what everyone is saying about you and me," she sighed. "I mean, have you tried talking to the fans you've left behind? They were whispering behind me that as soon that you see someone prettier or smarter or sexier, you'll leave me in a heartbeat."
"So that's why you started to grow your hair," he said as he twirled a lock of purple around his fingers. "They're great, don't get me wrong, but that's not what hooked me in you in the first place."
"I know. I was just being stupid." She shrugged. "That, and I'm getting tired of being mistaken for the guy in this relationship."
"I'm really, really sorry." Fuuko said as she wrapped her arms more tightly against his waist. But when she looked up at him, there was a hint of fear and uncertainty on his face. Fuuko frowned. "What's wrong?"
Tokiya cleared his throat. He looked uncomfortable. "Uh, Fuuko," he began. "Aren't you going to say you love me back?"
Fuuko screamed in frustration as she hurled her bag to the wall.
Tokiya, who was on the couch, looked up in amusement. "I take it the afternoon didn't go well,"
Fuuko glared at him. Mrs. Kirisawa entered the door.
"Good morning, Tokiya-kun," she said. "I'll be upstairs if you need me." There was a smile on her face as she started to go up.
"Ganko's asleep now." Tokiya said.
"Thank you for baby-sitting," she waved before disappearing upstairs.
Tokiya pulled Fuuko down to the sofa beside him.
"They rejected my visa." Fuuko growled. "I can't believe they rejected my visa!"
Tokiya let out a breath that he didn't realize he was holding. He buried his face in her hair in relief. They weren't going to be torn apart after all!
"I just wasted one week of our vacation in order to make this stupid decision, and it turned out I can't go to America because I don't have a stupid Visa!"
"Why did they reject your application?"
Fuuko groaned. "Apparently, the guy who interviewed me had watched the UBS. He recognized me because of the hair and the name." She groaned. "He thought I was a threat to US security. Good thing my mom wasn't there," she sighed. "I am such an idiot." Fuuko punctuated each word by hitting her head on Tokiya's shoulder.
Tokiya winced. "Stop that." He then tilted her face up by placing a firm hand on her chin. He smiled. "Don't worry about the wasted week. We have four years of making up for that in Tokyo U."
Fuuko smiled. "Have I ever told you that you're the best boyfriend in the world?" She asked. "Well, you are. I love you, Mi-chan."
"Same here, Kirisawa." Tokiya smirked. "But remember, we're going to Tokya U to study. So don't expect me to be at your beck and call the whole time. You're gonna have to learn to cook, to clean, and to wash your dishes."
Fuuko made a face. "Well, if you're not going to do those, maybe I ought to find myself a boyfriend who would be willing to," she mused.
"Fuuko," Tokiya growled.
The doorbell rang.
"I'll get it," Fuuko shot up beforeher boyfriend could react.
Tokiya nodded as he turned back to the book he was reading before Fuuko arrived home.
Fuuko opened the door and was pleasantly surprised when she saw Recca standing there. "Hey, stranger."
"Fuuko!" He grinned. "So, how did the interview go?"
Fuuko made a face. "I failed. I'm doomed to spend the rest of eternity here in Tokyo."
Fuuko playfully punched him on the shoulders. "Not funny."
"Sorry." He said, clearly not.
Recca shrugged. "Alright. We were dorm-hopping earlier." He said.
Apparently, there was a miscommunication between Recca and Yanagi. The once-healer of Team Hokage did not get into Tokyo U as originally thought, she was wait-listed. Apparently, a second letter came, regretfully informing her that no slots were available for her in the prestigious university.
Yanagi was crushed. But, like Fuuko, saw a bright side to it. At least she and Recca doesn't have to be torn apart.
They were both accepted at the local college where she would be taking up education and Recca business.
"So I guess we'll still be seeing you around," Recca said.
Fuuko nodded. "Thanks, Recca." She said as she stepped forward and threw her arms around her friend.
"Fuuko?" A voice called from inside. "What's taking you so long?" Mikagami then saw his girlfriend hugging the sea-monkey. A year ago, he would've seen red and wrench Fuuko away from him before beating him up. Now he saw the gesture for what it truly was—a friendly hug.
Fuuko stepped back. "I was just telling Recca about what happened at the embassy,"
Mikagami grinned as he placed a possessive arm around the purple-haired woman. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to remind Recca once in a while that Fuuko was with him.
Recca grinned back. "Yeah," he shrugged. "Too bad. But I don't see what the big deal about going to the US is," he said. "I mean Japanese schools are just as great as the western ones."
"That's what I have been telling her," Tokiya agreed.
"Fine, fine, gang up on me," Fuuko rolled her eyes.
"Well, I better get going," Recca said. "Dad and Kaoru's probably wondering where I am," he waved and walked away.
"Hey, Fuuko," Tokiya said. "When are we going to look at the dorms?"
"It's up to my brother, I guess." She replied. Like Tokiya, her elder brother was a student of Tokyo U. He had offered Tokiya his apartment because one of his housemates had just graduated, and probably to make sure that no hanky-panky (his words, not Fuuko's) would go on between his imouto and her boyfriend. "Oh, and can I go to a coed dorm?"
"I'm not rooming with Shoji to let him keep an eye on me so that you can go out and have some fun," he said in mock-sternness.
Fuuko laughed. "You know what? I guess on some level, I'm glad that my visa got rejected."
"Me too, Kirisawa. Me too."
I don't know whether or not Yale offers meteorology as a course, but in this world they do. )
Sorry for the OOC-ness. I honestly didn't know how to make the story work if I didn't do that.
JamJam-Chan – hey! Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for the encouragement! And it's finally done.
Damouse – Tofuu, just like the good doctor ordered. and look, Yanagi doesn't go with them to Tokyo U! Yey! Wait. What are you doing reading and not writing your fics? Get on with it snaps an imaginary whip looking forward to reading more tofuus from you, too.
Pratz – I reread the last few chapters and you're right. There's more Recca than Mikagami. And we can't have that, can we? So here's to make up for the last chapter. Tofuu all the way.
Shiroi-Jyuujika – it is nice to hear from you again. and that's it. I'm done. I did it!
Xabie –and the torture is over. They kissed an made up. Thanks for the compliments and hope you enjoy this fic as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Se ya'll soon!