Disclaimer- I don't own s-CRY-ed

"Kaza-kun! Please!"

Kazuma grumbled slightly, hands in his pockets and shoulders slumped, as usual. He really didn't have much to do, but there was always a chance Kimishima would have some crazy and possibly lucrative job for him.

The little girl had been smart enough to wake up earlier than normal, to try and catch the Alter user before he could escape.

"Kanami..." he made the mistake of turning slightly, and was subjected to two pleading puppy dog eyes.

"Please..." the brown haired girl begged, "I really need your help today. There's so much that needs doing..." her tone was so pleading, and he felt himself giving in...

Resist, resist damn it! Kazuma ordered himself, but it was no good. Cursing under his breath, he nodded and sighed. "What do you need me to do?"

The look of untold happiness on Kanami's face seemed worth a day of doing nothing. That was of course, until she began to dole out chores.

Kazuma was an excellent, if untrained fighter. He knew how to fight in the way of the streets, knew how to take an opponent down. He could take out a highly trained and determined member of Holy (except Ryuho) in a straight up fight.

However, he was not a handyman.

Which was what he was quickly realizing as he doggedly continued to repair the door in his own way.

First he had to replace the hinges on the door. Sounded simple, but was really a nightmare.

Kazuma wasn't weak. He could easily hold the door up, even without his Alter. He could quite possibly attach the new hinges on without any trouble at all.

Having to hold up the door and attach the hinges however, was a far different story.

"Damn it!" he swore loudly, cursing vehemently under his breath as the door, once more, hit the ground, crushing his hand.

As he waved his hand in the air in an attempt to rid himself of the pain, a voice called out.

"Kazuma! Hey! Kazuma!"

The Alter user jerked his head up, glancing out the window. "Kimishima! In here!" he shouted, then gritted his teeth, trying to lift the door once more.

His friend's telltale spiked hair poked through the door, a bemused expression on his face. "I never though you'd ever stick around long enough to actually help Kanami."

Kazuma scowled at his friend. "Are you saying I'm lazy!" he snarled irritably, nearly dropping the door again.

Kimishima placed his hands in the air placatingly, shaking his head. "Well... no, of course not." He said, forcing a laugh.

With a scowl still on his face, the Alter user continued to lift the door. "Are you going to stand around there making jokes all day, or are you going to help me?" he growled.

With a chuckle, Kimishima grabbed the doorframe, grunting a bit with the weight.

"Thanks." And Kazuma let go, nearly crushing his friend's fingers.

"Asshole." Kimishima muttered, renewed his efforts.

With help, Kazuma managed to attach the new hinges, and afterwards, the two plopped down onto the floor, panting.

"Oh man... how has Kanami been getting on without your help?" Kimishima asked breathlessly, his hands burning from holding the door up.

The Alter user frowned a bit, an odd feeling of self recrimination in his gut. He always justified his excursions with the fact that they needed the money.

But... he was leaving a little girl alone in a dirty, barely held together house to fend for herself. If she needed him, she couldn't reach him. She might as well have been alone.

And he called himself her protector?

"I don't know..." Kazuma muttered guiltily.

Noticing the tone, Kimishima offered lightly, "Ah well, Kanami's very self sufficient. I'm sure she gets along fine."

"Right..." the Alter user said distractedly, barely noticing his friend sighing and saying he was going to take off for the day.

Did Kanami resent him, he wondered? Was she angry that he was never around?

Did she hate him?

The thought chilled Kazuma to the bone.

With a renewed sense of determination, the Alter user began to work once more, trying to make amends for all the broken promises and absences.

Of course, self recrimination and guilt can only make a boring chore endurable for so long

"I think fighting Holy would be better than this." Kazuma grumbled, hammering in another board onto the roof. If only his Alter could help him...

Farther away, the other residents of the area, who just loved to gossip and the little girl and her seemingly older warden, began chatting amongst thesmelves.

"I say, isn't that-"

"Well, I'll be damned! That lazy loafer finally decided to help out that poor little girl!"

"About time... you know, you'd think he'd help out his wife every now and then."

Kazuma's head jerked up wildly, and, dropping the hammer, nearly crushing his fingers. "What the Hell! Kanami's not my wife!" he shouted angrily, shaking his fist.

Noticing that the volatile young man had heard them, they scattered like flowers in a breeze. Still caught up in his passion, the dark haired teen leapt off the roof with ease, landing with a soft thump, and sprinting inside the house.

"Kanami, just what the heck are they talking about, saying you're my wife?" he asked, now more annoyed than angry.

The brown haired girl looked over at him, from where she was dusting the window. "Oh, that." She stated, sounding only the slightest bit miffed. "They say that sometimes." She said airily, unaffected save for the very light blush staining her cheeks.

"Well tell them not to!" Kazuma replied, irritation creeping into his voice. "That makes me sound like a pedophile or something!"

"Oh Kaza-kun, its just words." Kanami murmured, shaking her head as she wiped off another bit of dust. "You really shouldn't let people get to you like that. They do it just to bait you."

The teen huffed and crossed his arms, looking away. "I know, I know." He ruffled the back of his dark red hair. "But... I just can't stop myself sometimes."

He was surprised when the girl jumped off her stool and looked up, meeting his brown eyes with her emerald ones. Hesitantly, he just stood there, watching her.

"Kazuma," Kanami began, the use of his full name indicating a more serious tone, "I know that's the way you are. But sometimes... I worry it'll get you in trouble... get you hurt, or even killed."

For a moment, Kazuma was very guilty. He never really told Kanami about his... "adventures" away from her, or the jobs he took to keep them alive. He much rather she thought him lazy than have her worry.

"I... I wouldn't want you to worry." That at least, was the truth.

Kanami smiled brightly. "Just be careful. That's all I want."

Kazuma swallowed, and smiled back. But there was one more nagging question at the back of his mind. "Kanami... are you... angry at me?" he questioned hesitantly.

"Angry? Why would I be angry?" the girl asked, confused.

"Well... y'know. I always leave you here alone." The Alter user said uncomfortably. "Aren't you angry with me?" he asked desperately.

Kanami smiled reassuringly. "Of course not, Kaza-kun. I know that you only leave so you can get money for us." At his amazed look, she giggled. "Kaza-kun, I'm not stupid. You wouldn't leave me alone just because you were lazy. Besides," she added, "That extra money comes from somewhere."

"But, everyone else-"

Once again, the girl merely smiled. "Kazuma, I told you, what everyone else says doesn't matter to me, and it shouldn't matter to you. All that matters is that both of us are fine and together."

Kazuma smiled back, happier than he had been in a while.

Maybe a day spent doing chores wasn't so bad.

Author's Notes

This takes place... heck, I don't know. Just somewhere. I kept the Kaza-kun mostly because Kanami continuously calls him that in the English version. As I do like to keep it in the spirit of the show, I used the dialogue. The "wife" comment was inspired by Episode 11, where the villagers are crowding around Kanami, saying Kazuma is "her husband".