CHAPTER 4: Permit II

I heard Ren sigh, and as I turned to face him again, he said, "Alright. I like you. There."

I stared at him. Was he serious?

All sane (read: rational and logical) thoughts flew away from me as Ren Tao glared at me like I told him that he was gay and that he was pushing himself onto me.

"You're serious?" I asked inanely. So inane, in fact, I would have congratulated myself if everyone wasn't staring at me like I was some circus act. (Which I probably was).

"No, Horohoro," said Anna. "He's just kidding around."

Something about her expression told me she was being sarcastic.

"You are being such an idiot, Horohoro," said Yoh.

"I take personal affront at being called an idiot," I told Yoh with a huff. Like he had any right to call me an idiot. That idiot!

I saw that Chocolove had something to say to that but was stopped with Ren's, "No matter who's an idiot, I don't care. You people have no respect for privacy."

Something about the way he said that gave the creeps. (Probably because I was guilty of having peeked into my sister's diary, which she found out and raised hell about; of having barged into Yoh's house when I couldn't find anywhere to hide when the bookshop keeper found out I was reading his manga in the store; of having rummaged through Yoh's drawers when I ran out of underwear; of...).

God, I'm an unscrupulous person.

"Leave, you idiots," said Ren more forcefully when no one moved despite his movement-invoking words. (Hasn't Ren said this before? Only with less people?)

Something about his expression told me that I should leave too. (Haven't I thought this just a while back?)

In fact, something about everything told me something that I shouldn't even contemplate on because I'm a blabbering idiot incapable of coherent thoughts.

But still.

As soon as the grumbling group began their exit, I said to Ren, "Maybe I should leave, too, seeing as I've been called an idiot as well by so many people although I personally disagree because I rather think I'm on genius level and those people could just not comprehend my level and all that and..."

Run-on sentences do not make Ren Tao happy. (Oh, and déjà vu!)

"Right. I'll stay then."

"You know, Horohoro," said Ren. "You don't have to force yourself to like me just because you're being pressured by them."

And yet—again—something told me he was just saying that.

"Er—" I said.

I. Am. Brilliant.

I think I might've lost my momentum at this point. There was no more stopping my brain from malfunctioning. Everything that Ren and I have said before our friends left have been completely erased.

"And it's not like I'm telling you I'm gay or anything," said Ren defensively though I haven't uttered a word yet.

"I'm not gay," he repeated.

I stared. There wasn't much left to do while my thoughts were bumping against each other in a frenzied attempt to put themselves in some semblance of order. I could practically map out the crisscrossing path that each (brilliant!) thought has made to find its proper niche in my mind.

(And what the--? Niche?)

Ren Tao was glaring at me now. "You idiot."

I would have glared back or came up with a witty remark about him not being gay but being one just the same except I was utterly lost for words. And Ren looked like he was trying his best to start a conversation which I just could not seem to pick up on.

"I'm not either," I heard myself say.

Ren's mouth parted slightly as he stared at me. He, too, seemed at a lost for words.

"Right," he said. He heaved a deep breath and told me, "So that's good. None of us is gay."

"Right," I agreed. Except I like you.

"Right," Ren said once more. "So let's forget this conversation ever happened." Ren turned his back and started to walk away.

Had the situation been something from the mind of a slightly manic shounen-ai fangirl (Yes, I do know all about shounen-ai.), I would have been shouting, "Don't leave. I really like you. In fact, I'm willing to be gay for you. Let us get married and live happily together!" or something like that.

As it was, the situation wasn't.

So I shouted, 'Oi, you. You just don't walk away like that after you've confessed to the person you like!" instead.

Ren stopped in his tracks.

I gulped. Go on. Say your piece. Tell it to him.

"So I guess… that's how Chinese chickens are, huh?"

My eyes grew round.

WHAT DID I JUST SAY? GOD DAMN IT!

I stared in horror as Ren Tao slowly pivoted and started walking towards me, looking like he'd trade in his soul to the very devil so he could take mine and rip it apart.

Once Ren was right in front of me, I scrunched my face in what I hope was a repentant look and formed a 'V' with my index and middle finger. "Um, sorry?"

"Did you just call me chicken?" Ren Tao growled to my face.

I would have lied and tried to save my ass except I didn't—I said "yes". And I watched Ren's face turn red.

I blame the proximity of his face with mine. Truly, I do.

And without thinking I grabbed the back of his neck and pushed it against me, making our lips meet for the shortest period before Ren pushed me back.

I stumbled to the ground, dazed and amazed at my boldness.

Ren wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and stared at me like I was another asylum escapee.

(I get that look a lot these days.)

"What did you just do?" Ren asked, his hand still against his mouth, a slight blush on his face.

"Er, I think I may have had just kissed you," I replied offhandedly.

Ren looked—well, I couldn't really tell how Ren looked at that point. His expression was some sort of amalgamated version of daze, surprise, shock, and disgust added in with quite a bit of a frown.

Maybe Ren was really just saying that he was gay and in fact wasn't.

"Er, so about being gay—"

"I'm not!" he snapped at me.

I glared at him, getting up from the ground. "As I was saying, we shouldn't give in to our gay instincts."

"I'm not!" said Ren again.

"We should remain as normal and happy heterosexuals," I continued. "I rather think your sister's quite pretty."

Ren advanced forward at this. "What did you just say?" he growled.

I backed off a bit (AND IT'S NOT BECAUSE I WAS SCARED OF REN!). "Jun Tao, your sister. I think she likes me?" I said.

Ren snorted. "Yeah?"

I stepped forward. "You're laughing at me, aren't you?" I demanded of him. "I'm rather the girl magnet, if I may say so myself."

Ren smirked at me. "What world have you been living in, Horohoro?"s

Damn but he's just adorable when he smirks like that. I stepped up even closer to Ren, my mind full of evil intentions. Ren stood still.

"Ren," I said.

"What?" he growled as he stepped back.

"Come to think of it," I said, letting my sentence hang to add some drama, "I… might… might… actually like you." I stepped forward once more.

Ren moved away. "Yeah?" he asked as he looked back to check if he had completely backed himself against a tree.

He did. (Victory for me! Seme-mode on!)

"So, what do you say to that?"

Ren looked so uncomfortable that when he asked, "Is this a trick question?" I wound up clutching my stomach in a fit of laughter at the out of character-ness he displayed.

I understood then how much I should admire Yoh.

"I knew it," said Ren, glaring at me from under his brows. "Fine. Make fun of me. But remember Horohoro—"

"Oh, for godssakes!"

We turned around at the same time (well, not exactly the same time, since I was still too busy trying to stop my shoulders from shaking) to find Jun Tao—and practically everyone else we knew who came to the amusement park—standing from behind a bush and brushing leaves and twigs off of their persons.

"Why don't you two just stop going 'round in circles?!" she asked exasperatedly.

I stared. "You like me, remember? You shouldn't be pushing me to Ren."

Jun Tao gave me a look that she should've given me before I opened my mouth to prevent me from being humiliated beyond my life. "Huh?" she said as well to further knock my pride down the ditch of utter mortification.

I smacked my hand against my forehead—said, "Ouch" in a most dignified manner when it hit hard—and muttered, "My life is ruined."

"'s what I've been telling them," said Chocolove. "Since you like Ren and all—"

I saw Yoh glaring at Chocolove.

"—but they said, 'ruined schmuined' and that you're better off with Ren since he likes you a lot and—"

Now Anna was glaring at Chocolove, too.

"—that it's very obvious and you'll be happy together because it's sooo sooo sooo very obvious that—"

Jun Tao raised an eyebrow at Chocolove, daring him to continue. Chocolove (obliviously) took it on.

"—you are both so very, very… gay."

That was the final straw.

I grabbed Chocolove by the neckline of his shirt, and pushed him down. I tried to punch him in the face (on the nose, more particularly for it proved to be quite the target) but he evaded my strikes and was trying to wriggle himself free from under me.

"Help!" he gasped. "Help me."

"You brought that upon yourself you know," said my sister. "But, you know, I think my brother is doing the wrong person."

I stopped. I did not just hear that.

"Ren is looking really furious right now," she continued. "You know what I think?"

I didn't and I don't want to know. But the others apparently did.

"I think we should get away from here so they could decide who's uke and seme and get on with whatever they want to do."

I swear I didn't hear that.

Chocolove stopped wriggling from other me when I paused to not listen to my sister. I grabbed the chance to grab his nose with all five of my fingers and pulled and pinched as hard as I could.

"Ow--ow--ouch!" he cried. "Leggo--!"

Feeling satisfied, I let go and said to my sister, "Oi, you what have you been reading?" I need to set her straight in the right and true path, I did. It is the job of the older brother to.

And plus, asking that way made me sound all cool and smart.

"What have you not been reading?" she replied.

That stumped me.

But Ren (my wonderful, wonderful Ren) seemed to be on top of his game, he scowled at them and said, "When I told you clowns to get away from here, I meant it. When I tell you now to get away from here, I mean it as well. Now understand that if you don't bad consequences shall follow your wake. (Insert evil grin here.) No, scratch that. Bad consequences will follow you even in your wake."

(At this point I feel the need to explain: Ren Tao was equally as bad as Chocolove in making jokes. You know wake as in consequence of, and wake as in a memorial to the dead? Bad pun.)

"Now, Ren," started Jun Tao only to have Ren cut her off.

"Don't 'Now, Ren' me!" he snapped at her. "Whether or not this idiot likes me is our problem. Whether or not he accepts me is our problem. Whether we progress anywhere else is our problem!"

Ren was snapping at everyone.

Which was so unlike him.

So I thought, So, he likes me? He really likes me-likes me?

"Ren," I said.

"And you! How dense are you to—"

"I really like you."

His eyes grew round and he stuttered. "Well, I've heard that before—"

"No, really." I stepped forward, held on to his shoulders and leaned my forehead against his. "I do."

And that was that.

We didn't even notice Jun and her crew of gossips leave.

Later on, when I asked Ren, "So who's seme?", Ren just snorted, smirked, and leaned over to drop a kiss on my lips all in that order but didn't reply.

I took it as, "I don't know the answer" or "Let's not think of it."

(Damn it. But it's more like, "You know already and it isn't you. So why bother ask?" isn't it? Damn that Ren!)

Damn him.


A/N: Ha! Done :3 This took me ages to write. T.T I still had no idea how to end the story but I knew I had to already. So if anyone who'd read the story finds this too blah, do tell. Maybe I could do something else for the ending. :)