A/N: This fic is dedicated to Moroi Mikomi, Tora-chan. It's a late B-day gift. Even if Aaya X Tori's not her favorite couple. Sorry 'bout that!
Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket or the song "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough"; I'm not making any money off this either.
Ratings: PG-13 for language and mild violence…
Main Characters: Ayame, Hatori, Shigure, and Yuki
Additional Notes: Heh…takes place before Tohru comes to live with Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure cuz I forgot all about Tohru and Kyo…and I'm too lazy to change the whole thing now.
Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough
Chapter Three: Itsumo
The steam rose from the heated water and a small smile curled on Ayame's lips; Shigure had always been good to his word. He quickly undid the obi holding his kimono on and closed his golden eyes as he savored the feeling of the old silk falling off his smooth skin. He sighed as he lowered himself into the hot water, the liquid soothing his frazzled nerves as he leaned back until his body, from the nose down, was submerged.
His silver hair floated around him like some strange new seaweed before he smoothed it down into the water. He closed his eyes again, just sitting, letting the water ripple around his chest as it rose and fell in time with his steady breathing; it was calming, just being. He tried to keep his mind clear as he sat, but it was impossible and soon enough the thoughts of Hatori broke through his barriers; he groaned.
"Tori-san," he whispered to himself, squeezing his eyes shut, trying to keep the hated tears at bay. "Why…why wouldn't you even think about it?" The ryuu hadn't even given them a chance, that's what had hurt so much; it would have been different if they had tried and failed, at least then it would have been proven. He sighed.
"Tori-chan! Wait up!" cried the eight-year-old hebi as he scrambled, slipping on the loose rocks as he ran. The dark-haired, nine-year-old stopped, waiting patiently as his silver-haired friend tried to climb up the hill after him. It would have been easy to climb the hill, but it was raining and the smooth rocks were wet and slippery.
Ayame tried desperately, he really did, and he had almost reached the ryuu when suddenly his feet found a loose rock and he began to tumble backwards, his arms pin-wheeling and his golden eyes wide in surprise and fear. He slammed his eyes shut, bracing himself to feel hard rocks.
It never came. He tentatively opened his eyes to see Hatori holding him steady, a small smile on his lips. "Careful," he said quietly as he pulled the hebi up next to him on the rock.
Ayame grinned, brushing back his long wet hair embarrassedly. "Arigatou Tori-chan," he answered.
They moved to the small overhanging they knew was nearby and sat in silence for some time. After a while, the ryuu noticed his silver-haired friend shivering; he frowned, moving closer to the hebi. Ayame stared at him with wide eyes, surprised by the other boy's concern.
Hatori merely smiled. "Is that better?" he asked.
The silver-haired boy looked away, a blush gracing his round cheeks as he muttered, "Aa, a-arigatou…mata…"
They settled into a comfortable silence after that with only the sound of the rain and their little hearts to interrupt their thoughts. Ayame soon began to fiddle with the hem of his small black kimono distractedly; Hatori watched him silently, concern in his emerald eyes. A single crystal tear made its way slowly down the curvature of the hebi's porcelain cheek and the ryuu frowned.
The hebi blinked and looked at Hatori and the other boy saw, for a moment, that the barriers were gone from the golden eyes and inside was flooding torrent of confusion and anguish that he could scarcely believe Ayame's small body could hold.
"Daijoubu ka?" he asked. "What's wrong?"
The silver-haired boy looked away again, carefully avoiding the ryuu's gaze. "Why…why didn't Oba-san wake up?" he asked quietly, hugging his knees to his chest, resting his chin on top of them. "She was so cold when I touched her hand…and why was she in that box? I didn't like that box…it was creepy…"
Hatori watched the hebi, a sad look in his eyes. "Oba-san died," he said gently. "They put her in the box so they could bury her."
"Iya!" Ayame cried, burying his face in his knees, his small shoulders shaking as he cried openly. "Iya! She's not dead! She can't be!"
Hatori didn't say anything as he hugged his silver-haired friend, stroking his moon-spun hair until he calmed. It took almost ten minutes for the hebi's tears to slow but the ryuu waited patiently until Ayame's shoulders stopped shaking. "Daijoubu ka?"
Ayame sniffed. "She left," he whispered, "She left and didn't even say goodbye…"
"She didn't mean to," reassured Hatori as his friend wiped his nose on his kimono sleeve. "She had to." Ayame was quiet for a moment.
The hebi sniffed again. "You…you won't leave me, ne?" he asked softly, his voice trembling as his small hands tightened their grip on his kimono hem. "Ne?"
Hatori smiled a little. "Iya," he said. "I won't leave."
"Promise?" he whispered, his large golden eyes fixed on his friend.
The ryuu nodded. "Promise," he answered. "We'll always be friends Ayame; itsumo."
Ayame smiled, a true smile, and his golden eyes shown, the innocence bright beneath the grief. "Itsumo…"
Ayame sighed, wiping the bangs from his eyes as he opened them to stare at the ceiling. Why was he remembering this now? It had been his aunt Mae who'd died; she'd been the nezumi before Yuki and Ayame had been quite fond of her and her warm smiles and funny stories. He'd been crushed and depressed when she'd died. Hatori's promise had helped though and he soon returned to his old self, but he never forgot Mae-san and he knew he never would.
He smiled bitterly. "Ah, but you've lied to me Tori-san," he whispered. "Itsumo is a lie…"
He closed his eyes and sank down into the warm water, the tears finally escaping their prison.
Hatori didn't bother to knock as he walked into Shigure's house, a determined look in his emerald eye; he would not be denied this time. Shigure was the first to the scene as he poked his head out of the open shoji to the living room. As soon as the inu caught sight of Hatori, his chocolate eyes turned stormy.
"What are you doing here?" he growled, moving to block Hatori's path.
The ryuu's eyes narrowed. "I came to see Ayame," he answered calmly. "I need to speak to him but when I called, Yuki hung up."
"And you damn well deserved it," retorted Shigure, crossing his arms across his chest. "Just leave him alone already; you've done enough damage."
"Shigure." Whispered; pleading. "I need to talk to Ayame; Shigure, you know that. He needs to see a doctor!"
"He's fine," snapped Yuki from the stairs. "He's relaxing now, trying to forget about you, so just turn and go…before I fucking make you."
Hatori's eyes widened and he stared at the nezumi; he could hear the sound of running water upstairs, he figured that's where Ayame was. "Onegai, I just want to talk to him…"
"Iie," hissed Shigure. "Now get out of my house."
"Five minutes," said Hatori, ignoring the inu's demand. "That's all I ask…onegai…"
Yuki came to stand next to the inu, violet eyes searching the ryuu. "And if we do?" he asked quietly. "How much more pain will it bring him? It's not worth it."
Emerald eyes narrowed and he turned without a word and made his way to the door, calling over his shoulder, "Tell Ayame…tell him I'm sorry…"
Shigure and Yuki traded a glance before going back to their daily routines.
Hatori, meanwhile, hadn't left. He was hiding at the edge of the woods, just out of sight of the house as he sat dejectedly on an old log, his head in his hands. What now, he asked himself. How am I going to talk to him? Those two will never let me near him…
A light seemed to dawn on the ryuu as he realized the bathroom, where Ayame most likely was, was near the back door of the house, on the opposite side of the house from the other two juunishi. Perfect…
He crept, as quietly as he could, past the front door and the windows until he stood feet away from his goal. He swallowed the lump in throat and strengthened his resolve silently before slipping into the house, undetected.
Ayame sighed as he gave up trying to relax, getting to his feet and stepping out of the furo, the water sliding down his milky white skin in rivulets before he dried himself with the fluffy blue towel Shigure had left on the counter for him. The soft material was comforting as it caressed him before he threw it aside and pulled on his cheongsam, thankful that he'd left it in Shigure's closet on one of his previous visits, closing the many clasps as quickly and as deftly as his trembling fingers would allow.
He adjusted the collar and turned to inspect himself in the mirror; his eyes widened in shock and the brush he had been holding in his hands clattered to the tile as he spun to face the intruder. "T-Tori…san…"
Hatori came the rest of the way in, shutting the door behind him, his emerald eyes never leaving the hebi. He studied the silver-haired man…he looked, the only word that came to mind was ethereal, but even that didn't do the man justice. "Ayame," he whispered quietly, coming to stand in front of the hebi. "Onegai, sumimasen…"
Ayame shook his head, back stepping until his back hit the wall, his arms wrapped around the width of his thin frame, as though he was trying to hide himself from the ryuu's steady gaze. "Yamete Tori-san," he hissed. "Just go…onegai-shimasu… I can't stand to see you, to hear try to fix this with hollow words; it hurts Tori-san!"
Hatori didn't leave; instead he came closer still, trapping the hebi between his arms. "Iya Ayame," he whispered. "I can't do that…and you know it."
Ayame shook his head, his wet silver hair sending drops of crystal flying; the ryuu smiled slightly. "Ayame, you're beautiful," he said softly, pulling the hebi to him gently, despite the silver-haired man's weak protests. "And I'm so sorry I didn't even listen to you when you came to me yesterday." Ayame pulled back a little, his golden eyes wide and searching. "I'm afraid I didn't hear what you said; can you please tell me?"
The hebi looked down, his hands balled into fists against the ryuu's crisp cotton shirt, as tears fell from the gold suns. "Onegai Tori-san," he whispered, his voice trembling and pleading. "Onegai, don't make me say it…not again…onegai-shimasu…don't do this…"
Hatori ignored the hebi's pleas, shaking his head. "Iya, what did you say?"
Ayame's shoulders were shaking in silent sobs as he whispered, "I…I love you…I love you Tori-san…sumimasen…"
Hatori chuckled. He gently hooked a finger under the hebi's chin and forced Ayame to look at him, golden eyes wet and cracked. The ryuu shook his head. "I was hoping that was what you said," he whispered. "And now, my turn for a confession."
Ayame swallowed. "T-Tori-san…"
Before the hebi could say anything else, Hatori pressed his lips to Ayame's, pulling the smaller man to him, stroking the hebi's soft cheek gently with the pad of his thumb as he did. Ayame stiffened, eyes wide in shock, before relaxing and surrendering to Hatori's tender kiss, melting into the embrace, warmth flooding his thin frame.
All too soon for Ayame, however, the ryuu pulled away, his emerald eyes full of something akin to…no, it couldn't be…could it? The hebi looked away, bringing his hand to his lips, brushing the place where the ryuu's lips had been only moments before, golden eyes wide and confused.
"I love you Ayame…"
The hebi's eyes snapped back to Hatori's, wide and disbelieving, unsure. "N-nani…?"
"I love you," repeated Hatori patiently. "And I'll never leave you…"
"Tori-san," whispered Ayame, crystal tears welling in his eyes, sliding down his alabaster cheeks; there was hope in the golden orbs, and Hatori knew what this was to him, finally. "Tori-san, onegai…promise?"
Hatori smiled softly, pulling the hebi to him again. "Hai," he whispered into the silver moon-spun hair. "I promise…itsumo…"
Itsumo… Ayame smiled, tears falling openly now, as he buried his face in Hatori's shirtfront. He closed his eyes, breathing in the doctor's sweet scent of camellia and soap. "I love you Hatori…I love you." It seemed to the hebi that he could hear the lonely strains of music fading, the lines coming clearly to him through a receding fog.
"But there's a danger in lovin' somebody too much,
And it's sad when you know it's your heart they can't touch.
There's a reason why people don't stay where they are,
Baby, sometimes love just ain't enough…"
His smile only widened as he tighten his grip on the ryuu's thin waist, Hatori sprinkling the top of his head with light kisses. Aa…but sometimes love is enough…sometimes it is…
A/N: Yay! It's finally done! I hope you enjoyed "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough", I know I had fun writing it. I swear, Hatori and Ayame make such a cute couple, don't they? Anyway…it's done! Thanks to all my reviewers! PLEASE REVIEW!
Obi- the sash that holds the kimono, gi, and haori on
Aa- another form of yes; only used by men
Mata- again; therefore, "arigatou mata" would mean, "thanks again".
Daijoubu ka- means "are you okay?"
Oba-san- means "aunt"
Iya- the informal version of "no"
Itsumo- means "always"
Juunishi- Chinese Zodiac
Cheongsam- I know, not really a foreign word, but I thought it merited attention. A cheongsam is something like a long full-body jacket with a mandarin collar and a slit in the side (What the dictionary says: an oriental dress with a slit skirt and a mandarin collar)
Sumimasen- another form of "gomen ne"; "sumimasen" denotes extreme politeness. In this case, Hatori uses it to basically say "I'm really, really, REALLY sorry".
Yamete- standard form of the request form of "stop" (yameru); "Yamero" is the male-speech form.
Nani- means "what?"
There ya go! The lastglossary! Please, don't forget to review! PLEASE!