A still-life of what should have been a normal if not slightly provocative bedroom scene. The sheets appropriately crinkled and messed; beautiful examples of shadowing and shading that any art teacher would have loved to death, hidden in their folds. The evening's light from the bedroom windows illuminated only half of their faces; half bright, eerie white, the other half as the dark side of the moon. And of course, the two lovers so proverbially entwined.
Touko knew, however, that this was anything but your average still-life of a bedroom scene. This was a still-life in which Amon was a subject—and anything that involved Amon was never, ever normal or average. She shifted her head slightly so that it was further fitted into the space between his shoulder and his neck, felt his fingers in her hair shift in response. For a few moments afterward, his fingers continued to shift through her hair, running along her scalp, and then they fell to their previous dormant position.
They said nothing. They usually didn't. If they did, it was Touko teasing a silent Amon, or making some sort of little remark. He rarely, rarely ever said anything. He was much the same in bed as he was in real life; intense, in control, and silent.
A small, slow grin spread over Touko's face, and she couldn't stop it. How typically woman of me, she couldn't help but think. Amon and her were partners in a carefully choreographed dance. No matter how many times she kept telling herself that she was going to sit the next dance out, she kept going around and around. She kept calling him, kept thinking about him, and when he called her and asked if perhaps they could see each other, kept letting him come back even though by now they both knew full well what was going to happen. Touko was not a stupid woman, but she was a woman nevertheless—still susceptible to the weaknesses that almost all women seemed to have. Touko was just better at hiding hers with smart-mouthed little comments and dry logic than most women were.
And even though every logical cell in her body was saying no, no, no, BAD IDEA when she'd first met Amon, every female cell was busy paying attention to the way his shoulders and back had moved under his shirt. The feeling of his hand (large and powerful) as he'd shook her own (small and damnably feminine). The way his eyes had, even with the simplest, most fleeting of glances, bored into whatever they lit upon. The width of his shoulders, his neck, his jawline—Amon was a damned fine specimen of a man; Touko had thought that from the very first. She'd since amended her thought slightly, but still held her lover in high regard—too secretive, a bit damaged, possibly somewhat off in the head, but a good man nonetheless.
He was whip-smart and amusing, to boot; at least amusing in his own dry, sarcastic right. That was right up Touko's alley, because that's how she was, and she assumed that her mouth may have had quite a bit to do with how it had all started between herself and Amon.
"You're a real smiley kind of guy, I see," she'd said to him immediately after shaking his hand at their first meeting, so busy devouring every detail of him that she'd almost forgotten that her father was standing on the other side of him.
"I've been told that my sparkling wit and chaming personality do all the smiling for me," Amon had replied in deadpan. His eyes were smiling, even if his face had not moved.
And that had started it all. In the beginning, there was dry, wit-ridden banter; wars of words, keeping each other on the other's toes with sarcasm. Then there was the going out for a drink (just one date, during which they'd perhaps drank a bit more than they should have, and Amon had become the most loose lipped that she'd ever seen him); Touko acting the bit of the seductress the best she ever had, Amon playing his part of the whole play so effortlessly that she'd wondered if he even knew that he was walking sex. Then: Amon, appearing out of nowhere one day, standing in the lobby of the office building where she'd just met with several SOLOMON members and her father. She'd spotted him as soon as she'd exited the elevator (hips swinging, coat draped over one arm), he was standing near the revolving door at the lobby's entrance (back against the pillar, feet placed unevenly, hips slightly cocked), waiting. He'd straightened up once he saw her, walked up to her, asked her if she'd like a ride. She'd been somewhat dumbfounded that he knew where she was, but she'd agreed. Something had been different between them that day, the air between them had gone from slightly interested in each other to a charged force-field. Walking to the elevator to the parking garage, they'd walked so close that they'd bumped a few times; in the elevator, Touko stood so close to Amon that she could feel the warmth of his body; exiting the elevator; his hand lingered a bit too long on her lower back as he ushered her out of the lift first.
Always a perfect gentleman; always so quiet, always opening doors for a lady, always letting the lady go first. Almost the kind of boy a girl would bring home to mother—with the exception of the look, which right off the bad screamed heartbreak.
The first kiss was charged and frantic, pressed against the side of the car, and it had somewhat caught Touko off guard. One moment he'd been going to open her door for her, the next moment she was sandwiched between him and the car, momentarily suffocated as her air intake was replaced by his mouth. She'd gotten used to it quickly enough, however.
The first sexual encounter had shortly followed the kiss, inside the same car, inside the same parking garage. It was like they were sixteen years old again, except that it had been a lot hotter and a hell of a lot less nervous than anything Touko had ever done when she was sixteen.
Touko, against her better judgement, had let herself be sucked in on an infatuation, an infatuation that had blossomed into something more. At least on her end, it had. Amon still seemed the same; aloof, distant, mysterious, very like a cat that would disappear for days and then randomly reappear to be fed. Touko berated herself for being the idiot that kept feeding the cat. And now look, silly, now you've gone and fallen in love with the man. Of course, you had to pick the ONE guy who's way too freaked out in his own head to even consider bringing anyone in any closer than arm's length. Yes, Touko would admit to herself, she had fallen in love with Amon. She knew full well that he did not love her back; but then again, nor did he dislike her. If she had to guess, Touko would probably have assumed that the relationship between Amon and herself highly resembled any relationship that Amon may have had with any woman. He was just…Amon.
And yet, somehow… Touko sighed and shifted her head again, wrapping her arm around his torso more firmly. …Somehow he seemed unsettled around her as of late. Well, not somehow. He was unsettled. It was probably because she'd learned, over the last six months, to read him a lot better than he probably figured that she ever would. Touko had a gift for that sort of thing, she liked to think. She seemed to be pretty good at telling what was going on in someone's head, what they were thinking, what was unspoken (which was a lot, with Amon). And unless her instincts were wrong, the look in his eyes when he looked at her watching him said that he knew that she was on to him, in more ways than one. For as much as she should have been angry at the way they interacted, at how he treated her (which wasn't bad, it just wasn't very befitting the way a man should treat the woman he was…seeing), at how little they knew each other, at how he scorned her love without saying a word—she couldn't do it. She couldn't bring herself to be angry.
Because sometimes she looked in Amon's eyes, catching him off guard as he looked at her, and she saw rampant sorrow and guilt there. Touko had come to realize that he couldn't help himself. Something was not right in Nagira Amon's head (and perhaps his heart, for that matter); and he would have to admit it to himself before he would ever let anyone else help him with it. Acknowledging that one has a problem is the first step to fixing the problem. Touko knew that Amon was going to have to clean his own head out right before he'd ever stop being the way he was. Another smile crept across her face as she stifled a snicker. He's damaged goods. He comes with excess baggage. Whatever stupid cliché you want to use—they're all true.
And yet, knowing all this, she couldn't stop being in love with the poor, fucked-up man. And that was definitely none of his fault, considering he'd given her very little to nothing to go on for this long. That had been all her, pouring salt in her own wounds.
She should have been angry. She should have been furious, as a matter of fact, and a bit repulsed, as well.
Because Touko had recently realized that Amon was developing an (depending on whose opinion one asked) unhealthy fixation on his partner. His fifteen-year-old partner. The fifteen-year-old partner that lived in Touko's apartment, the same partner that Touko had been assigned by SOLOMON to keep an eye on. She wasn't sure if Amon even knew that, or if he knew that Robin was actually on her own mission from SOLOMON, but she suspected that it would make little difference. Oh, the tangled web of lies we weave. She couldn't be angry with Robin—Touko wondered how anyone could be angry with Robin, and she couldn't be angry at Amon—how could she lose a man she'd never completely had? Any other female probably would have been positively incensed at losing the man they loved to a fifteen-year-old child of a rival, but Touko realized that Amon couldn't help it. Robin, whom, as luck would have it, was completely infatuated with Amon as well, had no idea as to Amon's growing obsession—while almost everyone seemed to be aware, at least to some degree, of her feelings for her older partner. When it came to emotions, Robin was completely unable to disguise what she felt. Touko had noticed this.
Instead of being angry, Touko was simply a bit sad at the inevitable—which would more than likely be Amon leaving her and going off on his own to be tormented by Robin without saying anything—but at the same time she couldn't help but be a tad amused at the whole situation. Trying to picture how sweet, quiet little former convent-girl Robin would react to Amon's intensity and actions always brought a smile to her face. Watching Robin make googly eyes at Amon as he tried his damndest to ignore it was always high comedy. Watching Amon stare at Robin with all the fixation of a wolf on its prey as Robin was completely oblivious to the stare was high comedy, as well. And Touko couldn't help but almost give an little chuckle at the irony of it all: the one man in the world who didn't need anything else to make him feel like a monster, who had enough problems as it was, who certainly didn't need anything else to brood about—that one man had just gotten the mother of all hopeless, strange problems dropped right into his lap. Becoming hopelessly enamoured with Robin just seemed to fit Amon so well; it just sounded like something he'd do.
If Touko hadn't known any better, she would have thought that Amon enjoyed being tormented and miserable.
She couldn't be angry, simply couldn't. Even though she was fairly certain that the thoughts in the head of the man she was laying on were mostly centered on the sleeping girl at the other end of the apartment.
"Amon." She felt his hand start to move through her hair again in response. She lifted her head slightly to look at the profile of his face, half-illuminated in the darkness. "Do you regret this?" she asked, feeling compelled to. Although, she knew that even if he really did, he probably never would have said anything about it.
"In what manner?" he replied, and Touko inferred what he had really said from the Amon-speak. Yes, there are some things that I regret, but I'm not going to name anything specific until I know exactly what you're looking for. There's no reason for you to know the whole story, for you to see my whole hand.
"Do you regret starting this?" she clarified. His hand still moved in her hair, soothingly, familiarly—damn him, he could be so gentle when he wanted to be.
"No," he replied simply, and that was that. Touko looked at him for another moment, and decided to try her luck.
"What about work, my father?" She swallowed, almost giggling inside at how badly she was probably going to scare the hell out of Amon with her next statement. "What about Robin?"
He looked at her finally, for the first time since they'd started talking. His face did not move, and his eyes shifted a bit—but only a bit. But in that short flash of emotion, Touko had seen utter bewilderment. Uh-oh, Amon, guilty conscience? "What about work and your father? And what about Robin?" he asked, and Touko could have sworn he'd almost choked on the Italian girl's name.
"Don't you have guilt about being involved with your boss's
daughter?" she queried, innocently. "And
what about hiding everything from Robin, your partner? Wouldn't it just be easier for one of us to
tell her? Don't you think she kind of
suspects something by now?"
Amon seemed to process this all for a moment, and the depths of his grey eyes seemed to calm. "We're both grown adults and so is Zaizen—I'm not worried about your relationship to him. And as for Robin—the affairs of my personal life are of no consequence to her, and I don't feel the need to share them with her. She doesn't need to be informed of anything."
Touko couldn't stop her next comment from escaping her mouth. "Afraid you'd have to give Robin the birds and the bees talk if she found out?" she asked, a smirk on her face. Amon did not seem too terribly amused, and Touko had a pretty good feeling that she knew why.
"I'm just her partner," Amon said, and it seemed to Touko that he was not only informing her of that fact, but trying to convince himself as well. "You're her guardian. The task of explaining such matters would fall on your shoulders." He was frowning at her slightly, brows lowered a bit.
"Ah, I love it when you're surly," she quipped dryly, and, leaning forward, kissed him. She held at it until she felt his hand in her hair tighten slightly, his other arm slip around her back. His teeth caught on her lower lip just enough to cause pleasure acute enough to border on pain. Her fingers twisted in his hair, twisted around the chain of his Orbo pendant, her nails scratched across his skin. His hands pressed her down into the bed heavily; gripping her in way so as not to hurt her, but firmly enough to establish—at least to her—which one of them held the power.
A still-life of what should have been a normal if not slightly provocative bedroom scene.