Heading home on her usual path, Hikari found herself a little distracted. As she walked along the street, she came to the dip under an overpass. She stopped and looked up, blinking. Stone walls bordered the rise up with railing on the top, and sitting on that wall, legs dangling through the rails, was Daisuke. "What are you doing?" she called up to him.
He shrugged, leaning against one of the rails and smiling down at her. "Just sitting up here. It's a nice view. What are you doing?"
"Walking home from cheerleading. Know what I had to listen to? Gossip. About who the hottest guy in school is, among other things. Your name got brought up several times."
"Cheerleaders think I'm hot? Yuck!" he grinned. "You in a hurry?"
"No, not really," she put her hands on her hips.
"Put your bag down by mine," he pointed down at the ground. She followed his hand and flung her pink feathery backpack down next to his bag, dark blue and littered with buttons and patches, then turned back and put her hands on her hips again. "Good," he smiled. "Now, are you scared?"
"Scared of what?" Hikari asked, then shook her head. "I'm not scared of anything."
"Good! Then come here." Daisuke held a hand down to her and grinned.
Hikari tilted her head to the side and stared blankly at his hand. "Huh?" she voiced her confusion.
He only grinned wider, his eyes dancing with amusement as he looked down on her from his spot up on the wall. "Come on. Up here, with me."
She bit her lip and glanced around. "I don't know, Daisuke, it's a little... dangerous."
"You said you weren't scared of anything! C'mon, the stones are old and you got plenty of footholds. I'll help you."
Scowling, Hikari reached up and took hold of his hand. It closed tightly over her hand and he grabbed her wrist with the other. Taking a deep breath, she stepped up on the stones. He smiled encouragingly as she took another step, moving her foot a little until she found a good foothold. 'I can do this,' she mentally whispered to herself, lifting her other foot and stepping away from the ground. Her grip tightened on his hand and she whimpered a little, glancing back.
"Don't look down, silly," he winked. "Look at me. Come on."
She blew out a breath and nodded slightly. His grip was strong on her arm as she slowly climbed the short wall, then he tugged at her as she scrambled over the railing. "Oosh!" she gasped, falling onto the ground and gasping slightly. "Freaky."
"It wasn't even that far," Daisuke snickered, then turned and pointed behind her. "Now. Look."
She rolled over in the grass and peered behind her. Her jaw dropped and she scrambled up to her feet. "Whoa."
"Pity they covered this view up with a wall, hmm?"
Hikari glanced up at Daisuke, then stepped away from the railing to stare at the view before her. "Wow. This is... fantastic!" Stretching before her was the Yodo River, shining brilliantly with the reflection of the sunset on the horizon. It was alive with colour and light.
"Now you know what I was doing here!" he grinned, hopping up to sit on the railing.
She nodded, folding her arms over her stomach and watching the lights and colours dance on the water. Finally, she turned back towards her friend. "How'd you find this place?"
He shrugged and hopped off the railing. "Just driving one day and I saw the view. Not many people are drivin' around here this time of year, considering this overpass is the road to the beach... so it's quiet up here." Daisuke set one foot on the bottom rail, then his other on the second, top rail. He balanced carefully, holding the railing with one hand. "I come by here every now and then when I need to think about stuff. It's nice to relax and all, you know?"
Hikari pushed her hair back from her eyes, tucking it carefully behind her ears. "Be careful, Dais. What are you thinking about?"
He shrugged, bringing his foot up from the bottom to the top rail, then let go and stood up, balancing precariously. "Just stuff. Had a big fight with my parents so I ditched the house for a while."
"You fight with your parents a lot, don't you? Be careful!" she shifted uncomfortably. "It's a big drop down to the pavement off the wall, you know, and there are cars down there... don't do that, Daisuke, it's dangerous."
"I'm fine," he shrugged, then started pacing along the rail slowly. "Yeah, I guess we do fight a lot, but not more than any other kid and his parents. Maybe you just don't fight enough with your parents, you know?"
"Daisuke, please don't do that," Hikari begged. "I don't know; why should I fight with my parents? We get along just fine."
"Well, see, that's what I'm saying," he slowly turned around on the rail, ignoring her cries to step down, and headed back the other direction. "My parents and I... we just don't. See, when you're the youngest you can turn out one of two ways. The first way," he began, pausing on the rail to adjust his balance as the winds began to pick up, "is to turn out like you. You get spoiled and lots of affection, thus you're... well, you're the baby."
The girl frowned and hugged her arms around her to warm herself up. "I'm not spoiled."
"Not really spoiled, no. But you are kind of..." he tossed her a look, then shook his head, starting to walk on the rail again. "The other way would be like me. The oldest is the one to get all the love and affection and becomes the spoiled brat, the favorite. And the youngest, in an attempt to get a little attention over here, turns into the rebel."
"So you're... a rebel?"
"With a rebel yell, baby," he grinned, then scowled as she blankly missed the Billy Idol reference. "Yeah, I guess you could put it that way. I mean, I get picked on for everything. If it isn't my clothes, it's my room, or my music is too loud, or I eat too much... I don't know. I can't seem to do anything right. It's not like I really care... I'm used to it. I just like to get out and breathe sometimes."
"Like you're doing now?"
"Yeah, exactly." Daisuke stretched up on the railing and yawned.
"Christ, Daisuke," Hikari whined. "Please come down."
He tossed her a look and grinned, almost evilly, and kept walking. He sauntered his way out towards the overpass, balance nearly perfect on the rail as he kept talking. "It's funny, though. I'm seventeen years old, I'm almost out of the house forever. And yet all they do is bother me more and more. You'd think they'd be nice to me so I'd hang around longer."
"Daisuke, please come down from there. You're really freaking me out."
"It's not dangerous or anything. Come on up here, you'll see."
She shook her head and stepped back. "Up there? With you? Nuh-uh! It's too high."
He held out his hand. "I'll prove to you it isn't. Come on." She shook her head again. "You said you weren't afraid of anything," Daisuke reminded her.
She scowled. With a sigh, Hikari reached over and took his hand once more, then lightly began climbing up onto the rails. She moved slowly, trying to gain balance. It wasn't as hard as she thought it would be, but she got the eerie feeling that she was floating. "I don't like this."
"If you don't want to, don't come up here," he warned her.
Shifting her feet carefully until she was balanced on the top rail, she lifted her eyes to glare at him. "I'm not afraid."
"Suit yourself," Daisuke shrugged. "Now stand up."
She stood shakily, then tossed her head to get the hair from her eyes. "See? I told you I could do it."
"Then let go," he grinned.
Hikari grinned nervously. "Um, maybe I'm not that ready yet."
Smirking, Daisuke took a step backwards. "Come on, just walk. It's really not that big of a deal."
The girl took a slow step forward, remembering all kinds of balancing acts she'd done when she was younger - although when she was a child balancing on a log, she'd been maybe six inches from the ground. She was now standing almost 10 feet from concrete pavement below her, and cars were using the street that stretched under their overpass. "I don't know about this," she breathed, setting her foot down in front of the other in a careful step.
"Look, step one. Come on, keep walking. Don't look down, just look at me," the boy backed up along the rail, grinning encouragingly.
"Don't walk backwards, that makes me nervous," she whispered, but kept walking. Slowly, her feet got used to the balance and the feel of the railing beneath her and her steps became a little more confident. "Okay... I'm all right now. You can let go of me."
"You sure?" Daisuke raised an eyebrow at her.
"Absolutely. Now let go."
He slowly released his grip on her and pulled his arm away, leaving her balanced on the rail. She grinned triumphantly, throwing her arms out in celebration. "You see? I can do anything!" She took a step and looked down at the railing below her feet. She froze in mid-step, realizing she and Daisuke had walked along the railing and followed the path out onto the overpass. The street was directly below her. "Oh my God!" she squealed, stumbling on the rail.
She fell forwards and panicked, but she found herself caught as Daisuke grabbed her around the middle and held her up. He slipped slightly, balance thrown off by her jolt of weight, but kept his footing as he held her up. "I told you not to look down, dammit! Don't you ever watch those stupid movies? You should learn something from that!" he scowled.
She shivered and peered up at him. "I do, but... I didn't know we were over the street..."
He was frowning down at her, his eyes dark and intense. His dark red hair was blown back away from his face by the winds that continued to blow. The sun was setting behind her and Hikari found the light against his skin dazzling.
She sucked in a deep breath and righted herself slowly, trying to pull herself out of his grip. "Sorry," she mumbled. He didn't let go of her.
"It's no big deal. Come on, get down."
Sighing, Hikari carefully lowered herself from the railing to the street of the overpass. Only when she was safely on the ground would Daisuke let up. He jumped to the ground after her and shook his head, running one hand through his hair. He pointed to the other end of the overpass. "There are stairs down to the street below over there."
She grumbled quietly. He wouldn't even let her climb back down the way she'd come. 'Oh well, Daisuke knows best,' she thought, heading down the stairs.
He followed and retrieved both of their bags, handing hers over and slinging his own over his shoulder. "I'll walk you home if you want. It's getting late."
"Sure," she shrugged. "Sorry I interrupted your thinking time."
"It's okay, I wasn't really thinking anyway. I was distracted and daydreaming and all." He pushed his hands into the pouch of his sweatshirt and yawned. "It's getting cold."
"Yeah," she nodded. "Too bad. It was warm for a while there."
"Well, you know. It's fall weather and all, it acts this way."
Hikari frowned and stopped. "Daisuke... why are we talking about the weather?"
"...I have no clue," he stopped and turned to face her.
She put one hand on her hip and eyed him critically. "That's something old people talk about... not us. Talk about stuff you usually talk about."
"Like what?" he took a step towards her.
"I don't know... Your bass. Video games. Your job. Sex! I don't know, Daisuke, just..."
She was cut off as he pulled one hand from his sweatshirt and softly tilted her head to the side, leaning in to kiss her. She shut her eyes and kissed him back, her hand drifting up from her hip to rest on his own against her face.
The kiss broke and he stepped back, studying her face carefully in the fading sunlight. He smiled slightly. "I'll walk you home... if you want..." he whispered.
She smiled back and grabbed him by the hand. "Sure."