I'm back, a week late, but I started school again on Monday and I had to find time (and be in the right sort of mood for typing) to get this prepared. I'm feeling better than I did when I updated Cry of the Gods, but I'm still trying to settle in (see the last two paragraphs of my bio – they're sort).
Thank you everyone who reviewed! I hope I didn't miss replying to anyone, I did it quickly before I left home two weeks ago.
I just want to warn you that updates might be a bit slower from here on. I didn't get as far as I wanted to on the story by now and school is more important. I'll do my absolute best to keep on top of them!
Chichiri sat red in the face before the blazing fire. His mask was uncomfortably warm upon his face and it was not because of the flames in front of him, a reason for which he refused to remove it. All he could do was hope his body would recover quickly from the electrical paralysis so everyone could put their minds back on their traveling and not on the morning's events.
He wasn't so fortunate however. His body had not changed in the slightest since his collapse onto Keara some twenty minutes ago. He was fortunate though to have a friend such as Mitsukake who, unlike Tasuki, had not been locked within a laughing fit and helped him out of his predicament – or rather, off of his predicament.
The whole occurrence was beyond embarrassing for both of them. So much so that neither had spoken to the other since - be it in words or gestures. Tasuki however was having no problem snickering at random intervals when he looked up at either of them.
"Feeling any better Chichiri?" Chiriko asked without warning.
The monk raised a hand from his lap and gazed upon it. No matter how hard he tried the limb still trembled. "Afraid not no da."
"It could remain that way for several hours," Mitsukake warned as he pulled himself up off the ground. "I suggest we find a herb to hasten your recovery."
"What does it look like?" the child of the group asked.
"The leaves on a white tipped purple flower are what we need."
Nodding the small boy climbed to his feet. "Tasuki come help us, another set of eyes might help in finding it faster."
Keara made a gesture to ask if they wanted her to come help – right hand in a soft fist resting on her outstretched palm of her left hand was raised up and away from her chest then downwards in an arc while she raised her brows – but Tasuki only chuckled. "No, we need someone ta baby-sit Chichiri."
"I don't need baby-sitting no da!"
With a soft smile Mitsukake decided to step in, "It would be best to not leave you alone in your current state Chichiri. Should anything happen at least Keara will be here to help."
"Just don' fall on her again," the bandit teased, "I don' think she could handle it."
"Tasuki!" cried the embarrassed monk.
Laughing loudly the bandit leader darted off into the woods with Mitsukake and Chiriko following not far behind. Keara's previously vanishing blush came back in full force and Chichiri's own darkened beneath his mask. Somehow he knew Tasuki would not let him live the accident down anytime soon.
Quietly they sat before the fire, still too embarrassed to confront the other, even on matters that didn't relate to their little incident. Instead they kept their gazes on the dancing flames, but occasionally one would look over to the other, only to look away when their eyes met one another.
This is how they sat for several moments. Each was trying to figure out what to say or do. Chichiri took in a deep breath and looped his fingers together, frowning as his body continued to ignore his will to be steady. Sighing he turned his gaze once more to the mute girl who sat some ways away, only to find her looking through her bag for something.
A faint smile played upon his lips as she pulled out the little trinket she had been playing with several days before. It had been on that day that something extremely strange had become of the girl and had somehow defeated Nakago. No one knew how however.
"How's your pet?" he asked softly, breaking the silence between them. For the life of him he couldn't remember the gadgets name. It was a Tama-whatchamacallit…
Keara looked up half startled by his voice. It took her a moment to process what he had said before she answered with the simple shake of her head. The little critter had died some time ago and was only a floating angle like creature upon the screen, but she wasn't concerned. In all honesty she had only pulled it out in hopes of it helping to calm her nerves. Not that it was working.
"Keara," Chichiri timidly began, "sorry for – earlier."
The teenage girl put her face in her hands as the embarrassing ordeal was once again played through her mind. Her action weren't taken as a simple means to hide by Chichiri however. It made him believe she was upset with him and, possibly, did not want to be around him anymore, something that pained his heart.
In an instant he was in his super deformed self, flailing his arms about madly. "Please forgive me Keara no da." He attempted to run over to her, but only managed a few frantic steps before falling flat onto the ground.
Keara was quickly in motion, crawling to where the now normal sized monk lay. She knew in the back of her mind that he was all right, but that didn't stop her from worrying about his well being. He was struggling to right himself when she wrapped an arm around his chest and helped him into a sitting position.
"Arigato no da," his voice was so soft it was almost a whisper.
A pat to the top of his head brought his gaze up into his helper's eyes. She was smiling softly at him, blush still clinging to her cheeks. He now felt his own blush more than he had before as he looked upon her. His emotions were not foreign to him, but he had not felt them so intensely in what seemed liked ages.
Silently she trailed her hand downward, running the tips of her fingers lightly over his mask until she reached the top of his jawbone. She lingered there for a moment, but before she had the chance to shift them his shaky hand was gingerly placed over her own. His hands were slightly course against her, not that she took much heed of it.
After a moments hesitation he curled his fingers inward, gently forcing hers to do the same, catching the edge of his mask as they did so. Slowly it slipped away from his face and floated to the ground below as if it was but a leaf.
Beneath was his soft face with red still clinging to his cheeks. His amber eye locked upon her blue-gray ones. The world disappear from around them as all their focus rest on each other. Even time seemed to slow, despite their hearts racing onward.
His hand lingered upon hers for a brief moment longer before he brought them forward to place butterfly kisses upon each of her fingertips. The sensation of his lips teasing her skin caused her blush to deepen and her smile to widen. The fact his hand was still shaky was lost to her mind. All it knew was the feather touch of his lips upon her flesh.
With all five of her fingers were accounted for he gently pushed their hands off to the side, eyes still locked on one another. A moment's pause passed between them before Chichiri slowly edged forward. Inch by inch the gap between them closed, their eyes sliding closed when the last few centimeters were coming to a close. Their delicate lips slowly came in contact with one another-
The two of them flew apart in the bat of an eye.
It was a word often used by children when they wanted to try and frighten someone and despite the fact that neither Keara nor Chichiri were children both had been greatly startled. The word had not even been shouted. It had been said in a normal tone of voice, if not slightly quieter. Their fright had been caused simply because neither had expected an interruption.
Both brought their gaze upon the one who nearly gave them a heart attack. "Tasuki!" The poor monk was redder and more flustered than imaginable as he attempted to right himself, having lost his balance when he had retracted.
The bandit leader laughed merrily. He had succeeded in frightening them and he was very proud of himself for it. Teasing the newly made couple was highly entertaining to him and he was going to take any chance he had to embarrass them.
Grabbing hold of his blue hair friend's arm he helped him back up into a sitting position. "Look what I found," he held up the plant Mitsukake had described not long ago.
Chichiri groaned loudly. 'He just had to find it so quickly,' he thought as he picked up his mask and dusted it off before placed it on his face. "Great," the comment was mumbled and could have been called sarcastic. For once he wished things hadn't been so hastened.
"At least with this ya can kiss her without bein' sloppy about it."
Keara fell onto her side and hid her head in her arms, as if she expected them to shield her from further embarrassment. She could only hope Mitsukake would return soon and that Tasuki had not told them of their relationship, as it might incite more teasing.
Not much action, but for those who love fluff I hope you enjoyed. Thankfully I had this written up before school started so I wasn't all depressed, so it's a happy chapter. Lol.
Darn that Tasuki!