Third and final section of my three-part SL involving Hotohori and Nuriko. This one is by far the closest, for me at least, because not only are some of my wishes fulfilled(hehe) but also it takes place in modern times and is filled with great irony! Disclaimer: FY isn't mine if it was…everyone would end up happy!
"I heard you mom!" Nuriko all but yelled into her cell phone as she hurried along the street.
It was a blistering hot day outside and when one was in a big city like Chicago it got even hotter. Tall buildings did nothing as a source of shade but instead seemed to lock in the heat and humidity. The air was oppressive and suffocating, almost as bad as her mother was. Nuriko tightened her hold on the flimsy phone as she juggled her purse in one hand and the keys to her apartment building in the other. She had not meant to answer her phone, and now that she was tortured by her mother's complaints and worries, she seriously wished it were ok to throw her phone off the nearest bridge.
"Yes," Nuriko growled as she unlocked her building and began to press her way inside, "I understand your concerns but really mom I'm a grown woman now!" Nuriko suddenly tripped and dropped her purse, all its contents spilling across the entryway. "Damn you-no not you mom! I dropped my purse is all…mom…mom! Calm down! No one is lurking behind me trying to find a chance to attack!" Nuriko tossed her thick violet hair over her shoulder as she glanced behind just to be sure. "Yes, I'm looking right now and no one is out there."
Nuriko looked back down to her small hands as they hurriedly began to gather up her stuff. "Mom…" Nuriko sighed once she got all her stuff together and made it fully inside the building. "Mom…" Nuriko waved to the desk clerk and managed a slight smile despite her growing annoyance with her mother. "Mom…" Nuriko moved to her mailbox and set her purse on the ground between her feet, not wanting to take another chance. "Mom…" She was not even paying attention anymore, arguing with her mother was merely a reaction now. "Mom…" Nuriko didn't notice that her voice sounded distracted as she flipped through her mail, frowning and flipping a birdie at every bill she found. "What-ow-damn it mom why did you yell at me?"
Nuriko moved the phone away from her ear and rubbed it before switching to the other ear. She bent over and dropped her mail inside her purse before picking it up and moving around the corner towards the elevator and stairs. The desk clerk shot her a sympathetic glance and Nuriko nodded, wishing she could wallow in that pity instead of listening to her mother.
"Yes I was paying attention! You were complaining about my recent refusal to meet up with some stupid guy that you're trying to force on me. Am I right? Oh and, I can't forget, you're complaining about my choice of apartments, saying that it is unseemly for me to be living in the same vicinity as cross dressers and gays." Nuriko stared at the door to the stairs then down at her disheveled purse. "Mom, how many times do I have to tell you that being gay and cross dressing isn't contagious! By associating and living near such people will not make me one of them. And also, just because they have a different preference in partners and clothing doesn't make them any less than the rest of us." Nuriko frowned at the stairs and turned towards the open elevator doors.
Once she stepped in the doors shut and she only faintly noticed that one other man was in the elevator, his face buried behind a newspaper. Nuriko hoped that he wouldn't murder her for arguing with her mother in such a small space, her mother's voice could carry loud and clear even through a telephone. Nuriko shifted from one foot to the other as she silently, but irritated, listened to her mother.
"Mom, not only is every guy that you throw at me too young but they also misunderstand me and my reasons for living on my own, supporting myself, and not with your financial backing." Nuriko pushed a few stray strands of hair away from her pretty face. "Mom please understand me here. I am happy like this, living simply with only my livelihood to support me. So I can't afford all the expensive clothes and accessories that I did while I lived under your financial support, but believe me I'm not running around naked!" Nuriko heard the newspaper rustle a little at her words but she refused to look over her shoulder at the man's expression. "I want a man to like me for who I am and not my money and influential contacts. I want him to be my friend, my companion, my advisor, my lover. I do not want a merger or loveless relationship. I want friendship, passion, respect, and honesty." Nuriko heard more rustling but merely shifted her feet again. "Please allow me these wishes. Please-"
The elevator suddenly jerked to a halt, the violent movement sending Nuriko to her knees on the cold floor. She dropped her phone and her purse and cursed fluently when her phone shattered on the floor and all the contents of her purse spilled again. Nuriko bent further down and began to gather up the items when the lights flickered. She looked up at the ceiling, a ferocious scowl on her face.
"Don't even-" Nuriko didn't even finish her threat before the lights flickered once more then went out, leaving the small elevator in near darkness with only the small half-working emergency lights lining the floor. "Shit!"
Nuriko threw her purse away from herself and leaned against the wall, blowing her wayward hair out of her face as she did so. Right when she had been in the middle of convincing her mother into letting her stay on as she was, this disaster had to happen. Nuriko did not even bother looking for an emergency telephone, there wasn't one. This was the elevator that fighting couples used to strand themselves in order to deck it out then make-up, and with a telephone there, it was sometimes too tempting to call for help, so it was an unsaid agreement that the telephone would be destroyed beyond use.
"Why did I use the elevator?" Nuriko growled in frustration, crossing her arms over her chest and glared at the faintly illuminated figure across from her.
Hotohori smiled softly, doing his best to hide his amusement. He was amused at Nuriko, yes, but was even more amused with fate. This had not been his plan but he would go with it with all his heart, and silently waved at Suzaku for his imagination.
He had lived in the same building, on the same floor, and worked at the same office as Nuriko but she still did not know who he was. She ran into him a few times and had politely said hello, but no matter how many subtle hints to their past, she didn't know him. Hotohori had tried for a long time to get her to remember, leaving little clues to the past in her office or at her doorstep, but it did no good. She didn't remember a thing! After almost a year of this, Hotohori had given up the aggressive tactics and instead decided to merely exist near her, content to catch glances of her smiling face or hear the sweet quality of her voice.
"Possibly because you didn't want to juggle the stairs with your purse and your mother all at the same time." Hotohori folded up the newspaper and let it drop to the floor as he too sat down and stretched his legs out.
He could see all of Nuriko and knew that she could only see the outline of his body. The lights were all in working order where he sat but where she was there were little to none and the lights behind him kept her from seeing his expressions, but allowed him all the time in the world to stare at her gorgeous body. She wore a tailored skirt suit of beige with comfortable, but professional, shoes on her feet. The skirt was shorter than most professional women would like, almost six inches above her knees, and the shirt beneath the suit jacket was black satin, very flimsy and delicate looking.
She had long legs that made him wonder what it would be like to have them wrapped around him, and her arms were long as well, but she was far from tall and lanky. Her chest was not huge but attractive and full, definitely an improvement from the past. Hotohori smiled at his thoughts but continued to study her in silence. She was average height, a good 5'7 against his 6'3, and average build. He had never been a good weight guesser but he could see from the trimness of her thighs and calves that she was active. At one time he had gotten up extra early on weekend mornings just so he could make it to the park and occasionally see her power-walking or jogging.
Her hair and eyes were just a brilliant as they had been in the past, both a deep violet that made him want to sink his fingers in her silken tresses and gaze for long hours into her intense eyes. He was obsessed, he knew it, but he had a very good excuse. In his last lifetime he'd deprived Nuriko of his love, and in result deprived himself of complete happiness; now in this lifetime, he refused to allow both of them the same mistake. Too much had been sacrificed in the past for that to happen again.
Nuriko blushed in embarrassment, "Oh yah, sorry if I was too loud and personal for you."
"Quite the contrary," Hotohori quickly interjected before she had a chance to feel bad, "I found it both amusing and heart warming. It isn't every day that one meets a woman who wants all those things instead of wealth, as well as average clothing instead of designer." He saw Nuriko smile and quickly added, "I especially liked the part about not running around naked."
Nuriko snorted with laughter, making Hotohori's heart warm. He knew so much and yet so little about her. He knew of her past, more than she knew, and he knew of her now. It had taken him all his youth and early college years to find her and once he had he majored in the same field as her and moved to the same city. He couldn't take any chances that they would merely pass one another on the street, and so had set out studying her every feature. She still had that adorable mole, but this time it was right below her right ear, and a dimple appeared on her cheek. She had a few freckles across her nose from all her travels in South America on Peacecorp missions, but other than that, she had no blemishes on her milky white skin.
"My mother just doesn't seem to understand my need for independence and true happiness," Nuriko sighed, somehow finding it easy to talk to her velvet voiced stranger, "She feels that if I have money then I should immediately be happy. But money itself doesn't make me happy," Nuriko looked over at him for understanding as she continued, "it's the uses for money. There's so much I can do with money, so much happiness I can give others in more need than I…and my mom just doesn't understand that and would constantly complain over how I spent my money. So I decided to leave after my graduation, grabbing the first available job, and never looking back."
Hotohori smiled and nodded his understanding. He understood more than she knew but made no comment on his knowledge. This was the most he'd heard her speak in all the time he'd known her and it was doing wonders for him. His whole being was relaxed, like finally arriving home after a long journey. Now if only he could pull her into his arms without scaring her then everything would be as it should.
"I congratulate you on your independence and sincerity towards you ideals." He raised an imaginary glass towards her with a bright grin.
Nuriko blushed slightly and glanced down at her lap, suddenly a little shy. She hadn't meant to speak so much, and reveal so much about herself, but it had all been so easy and somehow right with him. A certain familiarity about him made her relax and feel instantly at ease. She had encountered this only once before and that had been in passing. A new partner had been introduced to her at the firm, they had had a few moments to talk, and in those few moments, she had been more relaxed than ever before in her life. Now here she was again, very relaxed and babbling about herself to a perfect stranger.
Nuriko blushed furiously when she suddenly realized a serious blunder on her part, "I am so sorry! My name is Kourin Jeong, but my friends just call me Nuriko." Nuriko held out her hand and leaned forward slightly.
"Hotohori Na," Hotohori clasped her hand in his own and smiled warmly at her, "A pleasure to meet you once again."
Nuriko recognized a lot about this man, his touch, his name, and his demeanor but she could not place where and why. Nuriko shook his hand quietly while she thought back over the years in attempts to figure out how she knew him, not realizing that she still held onto him. Only when he cleared his throat and gave her an amused smile did she realize she still had his hand.
"Sorry," Nuriko blushed again and dropped his hand, "I feel like I've met you before so I was trying to come up with where and when."
Hotohori smiled, wishing she knew the full extent of their history together, "I was just recently hired as a new partner at your firm. We met almost a year ago at the Christmas party, given we didn't talk for long but we did exchange names and smiles."
"Oh yes! Now I remember," Nuriko blushed again, remembering her earlier thoughts, "I thought I recognized you!"
Hotohori smiled another mysterious smile and nodded, refraining from the desire to grab her and kiss her passionately until she did not have enough breath to talk. Though she didn't know it she continued to throw out double-edged phrases; words that struck his heart and memories with their potency. Each barb made a direct hit on his heart but he said nothing of his pain, he did not deserve the chance to voice it. After all that Nuriko had been through…a little pain in this lifetime was much less than what he deserved.
"I didn't know you lived in my building!" Nuriko had been thinking of all the times she might have seen him but came up with a blank. "In fact I haven't seen you since that party. Are you ever here or does Smith have your running around the country on errands and meetings?"
"A little bit of the latter but most of the time I'm here. I just work late and get up early. Workaholics run in my family." Hotohori grinned at Nuriko and shrugged his shoulders.
Nuriko nodded her understanding, using the moment to further study him. She remembered when she first met him that she had found him attractive, beautiful even, but had not acted on her interest. At that time, she had been much more ambitious and focused on her position than on a social life and gorgeous men. Now, sitting in the ever-warming elevator, she had all the time in the world to study and admire the specimen of hunkish man sprawled next to her. Even though she could not see the specific details of his face she knew he had broad, and muscular, shoulders, the muscle showed through even his dress shirt. He had a trim waist, but not too narrow, and very strong thighs. He was the perfect shape, both broad and muscular, but not overly so. His hair was longer than what she would expect for a professional, almost down past his shoulders, but he had it tied back with a single leather string.
When she had met him before he had had the most gorgeous brown hair, dark chocolaty looking, and warm brown eyes with flecks of gold in them. Everything about this man was warm and inviting. Just the thought of him made Nuriko want to curl up in his lap and purr herself to sleep. He was very masculine complimenting her extreme femininity, even the smell of him was masculine. It was spicy and tickled her nose, making her want to bury her nose in his neck and inhale for hours on end until she became giddy from it. When they had shaken hands, she found his skin delightfully soft but not as a woman's, he at least took care of his skin. He was both hard and soft, his body firm and muscular, and his smile and touch warm and tender. He would be a wonderful lover…
Nuriko blushed fiercely at her wandering thoughts and dropped her eyes down into her lap. She couldn't believe she had just ogled a man, obviously at that, and allowed her mind to wander in the direction it had. What was wrong with her! Was she going mad?
"My family is what you would call middle-class but we're very happy," Nuriko was jerked out of her self-pity by Hotohori's soothing voice, "I have two older siblings and three younger, three girls and three boys in my family. All of us are ambitious in our professions but we never stop calling each other up just to talk and see how things are. Despite how far apart we live, the farthest living one is in Japan, we always keep a sense of family and obligation." Nuriko knew that he was trying to distract her from her embarrassment and she didn't take offense, like she might've in a different situation, but found herself drawn into his description of what was in her mind a perfect family. "We were taught as children to hold integrity and honesty as two of fundamentals with business and dealing with others, but I added to it kindness and generosity. But none of us are pushovers mind you, we are all made out of iron. Our mother made sure of that," Hotohori chuckled and Nuriko was mesmerized. "She taught us and raised us with a metal coated heart, making sure we understood proper decorum and all the rules and regulations of society and royalty. She would always tell us, 'Even though you weren't born into royalty, doesn't mean you can't act like royalty.'" Hotohori winked at Nuriko and she found herself falling deep into his gaze. "Suzaku blessed me greatly in this lifetime with a large family, who love each other for who they are and where they are."
Nuriko found it odd that Hotohori mentioned Suzaku. As a child, she had always been obsessed with Chinese gods and their symbols, chiefly because she had a birthmark that resembled the "Nuriko" constellation. She wondered if Hotohori had a similar birthmark, thus rendering his given name. As it was, she was both enchanted and envious of his family life.
She knew that she need not tell him of her family, he had already heard a great portion of it. Misunderstanding, coldness, family honor, propriety, and politeness marked her childhood. She could rarely come up with a complete happy memory, and this trend carried on into her present. She loved her mother, her father had passed away some years ago, but that didn't stop her from resenting and sometimes not liking her. She was a tyrant, Nuriko knew this, and she didn't stop herself from manipulating and using her own daughter as a tool for a merger in the business empire.
"I wish I could have a small portion of your happiness," Nuriko remarked, instantly surprised that she'd even said the private thought aloud.
Hotohori was suddenly beside her and cupped her face. Nuriko wasn't at all frightened of him, she felt that she'd known him for a lifetime already and so she didn't try to move out of his grasp. He smoothed his thumb across the crest of her cheek, bringing shivers to her skin. His touch was gentle and faint but in it, she felt such tender care that she knew she would melt if he continued for long.
"You can have whatever happiness you desire, Nuriko." Hotohori spoke huskily, his breath gently caressing her face.
Nuriko snorted most unladylike, "How do you suppose I get this happiness that you hold? It is that, YOUR happiness. You were born with people who loved you even with your faults and didn't try to correct you like a malfunctioned machine. You have grown up with laughter and smiles, with love and acceptance. How do you suppose I get even a small portion of this?"
Hotohori grinned and winked at her, "You could always marry me…" Nuriko was quiet for a second then giggled and looked down at her lap.
If only she knew that he was serious. Hotohori smiled along with her laughter and let his hand drop back down. Thus far he had spoken complete truths and each time she'd either found him amusing or odd. How would it be if he came out with the entire truth? Hotohori shook his head and focused back on the giggling woman beside him. He wouldn't think about that possible pain. He smiled down at her again and waited for her to look up from her lap.
When she looked up at him with a bright smile, he was suddenly overwhelmed with the desire to kiss her. She must have sensed this, for the smile fell off her face and her gaze instantly shifted to his lips then back to his eyes. He reached up again, pressed his hand against her cheek, and stroked the soft skin below her eye with his thumb. Maybe on purpose, maybe not, her face immediately leaned into his hand. Hotohori was amazed at how quickly she responded to his touch, despite the fact that she, in this lifetime, didn't know him. Her eyes began to slide close and he saw the warm violet deepen in color and intensity. In that moment, he almost lost all control, as he looked at her fiery, half-lidded eyes. He began to pull her face towards his and she willingly came with him. They both closed their eyes at the same time and Hotohori could feel her warm breath against his mouth. He could sense the passion inside her through the touch of his hand against her cheek and he could almost imagine what a kiss with her would hold in this lifetime. Would it be as intense and out of control like that day by the pillar? Would it hold soft tears of pain and sadness? Or would it merely be a brush with heaven?
"I'm sorry," Nuriko suddenly jerked away from him and scrambled back up against the wall.
Hotohori let his arm fall down into his lap, aware that her eyes watched his every movement. They had been so close…so very close. He was almost sure that a kiss would be the key to unlocking her memories. For him it had been a tumble down into a well and hours of darkness with only a peacock staring at him from above to jar the memories in his mind. Hotohori sighed and leaned back as well, making no move towards her as he allowed his eyes to close.
Nuriko gulped and edged a little closer, "It's not you, Hotohori, its me. I just don't know you very well and I'm not the type of girl to just jump into the arms of a near stranger." Nuriko felt as if her words were barbs but knew of no reason why they should be. "I know nothing about you, and you know next to nothing about me. We are two strangers trapped inside an elevator. After those doors open what will happen? I'll be living one life and you another." Nuriko found herself inching a little closer, needing to be near for some reason, but closed her eyes. "I'm sorry, Hotohori, but I just can't."
"Nuriko," Nuriko kept her eyes closed, not wanting to come back to reality, "I know you better than you think, and guess what?" Nuriko opened her eyes to see a faint gleam of humor in his smoky eyes. "Those doors aren't open yet."
Nuriko knew he was teasing her and she immediately grinned back at him. Hotohori's expression changed almost as soon as she smiled at him and became unreadable to her. If it was at all possible, his eyes gleamed more brightly at her. Nuriko, overcome with a desire to run her fingers through his thick mane, and without thinking, reached forward and buried one of her hands into his hair, relishing the feeling of having his soft hair encase her hand in its thickness.
"You like my hair?" Hotohori's voice brought her out of her reverie and Nuriko jumped, almost dropping her hand to her side but Hotohori caught it by the wrist, his strong fingers wrapping around her skin.
Nuriko nodded with a blush, unsure of what was happening. Hotohori smiled softly and used his other hand to untie the strap holding his hair behind him. As soon as it was free, the thick tresses fell about his shoulders in a luscious mass of beauty. Nuriko didn't need his bidding to continue her exploration of the silken strands. She smiled as she now used both hands to weave through his hair, weighing it in her hands as she allowed it to slide smoothly through her fingers. When she looked back to Hotohori, she found him watching her with another unreadable expression. Nuriko blushed again but continued to play with his hair.
"You have beautiful hair as well," he commented softly, reaching out and burying his hand into her hair, "So soft and beautiful," Nuriko didn't know if he was talking about her hair or her as he combed his fingers through her tresses, "A man could grow old loving the feel of it in his hands, its silk caressing his skin."
Nuriko was completely lost, seduced just as quickly as she had unknowingly seduced. His voice soothed all wariness from her nerves and his touch relaxed all her being. Her eyes drifted shut and her lips parted slightly as she breathed slowly, relishing the tumbling feelings in her body and mind. She was tranquil and at peace here, more than she had ever been, and yet she didn't even know the source of her happiness as well as she would like.
"Nuriko…" Her name sounded like a prayer to heaven on his lips and Nuriko couldn't help but open her eyes and stare into the depths of his own.
They lingered there longer then she knew. They both sat unmoving, staring. Nuriko's were wide in fear, mostly of herself than him. He suddenly reached out and cupped her face, rendering Nuriko immobile. His fingers absently began to stroke her skin, bringing shivers of pleasure to her body. She tried to keep her sigh of contentment from her lips but it escaped non-the-less. She knew she should not have done that when his eyes turned even darker and he moved slightly closer.
Their bodies were now mere millimeters from each other; there was barely a space between them. She could feel the great warmth emitting from his body and she desperately wanted to give into her desire and lean against him. Hotohori pushed his hand into her hair and began to pull her face towards his. Nuriko again went willingly, although her mind screamed at her the reasons why she should not. She could feel his breath fan her face and she closed her eyes, waiting for the moment.
"This is my happiness," she faintly heard Hotohori whisper but she was given no time to wonder at it.
Nothing prepared her for what happened next. Hotohori made no sound when he moved again. One moment Nuriko was drifting in a hazy world of confusion and relaxation, the next Hotohori's mouth clamped firmly against hers and his arms crushed her close to his body. Nuriko only stiffened for a moment, trying to let the shock of the sudden change leave her. When it did, Nuriko wrapped her arms around Hotohori's neck and pulled herself into his lap, wrapping her legs around his waist. It felt so right, sitting there in his arms, as if she had finally come home after so many years.
The world blanked out and all Nuriko was aware of was Hotohori. His strong arms enclosing around her, crushing her against his firm body. His hand possessively stroking her back and tangling up in her hair. His lips blazing a line down her neck to her pulse. Nuriko sighed and pulled his head closer when he licked the skin above her pulse, slowly rubbing his teeth against her skin.
Nuriko buried her hands in his hair and pulled his head back in order to kiss him. She drove her tongue deep into his mouth, mentally smiling when his tongue just as possessively tangled up with hers. She had never felt anything like this before, never experienced such passion, and she relished the cascading emotions in her mind.
Suddenly, bright flashes of memories not her own assaulted her mind and she had to stop kissing and lean her head in the crook of his neck for stability. A young girl run over by a cart, a small boy cross-dressing with tears streaming down his cheeks, a fierce love for another, a young woman from another world, Suzaku, seishi, fights, and finally, death filled with horrific pain. Nuriko was sobbing by the time the memories stopped flashing and began to settle themselves properly in her mind.
All this time she had lived as a woman, that made her extremely happy, and been in the same world with Hotohori without even realizing it, this time he'd been the one in love and her the unknowing. Nuriko opened her teary eyes and pulled back to look at Hotohori. He smiled softly and smoothed the hair away from her face. The tenderness of his actions mixed with the obvious love on his face made fresh tears stream down Nuriko's cheeks.
"How long have you known?" Nuriko asked in a shaky voice.
Hotohori chuckled and continued to smooth the hair away from her face and caress her flushed skin, "Every since I fell into a well at ten," Nuriko closed her eyes and groaned in despair but Hotohori lifted her chin and smiled at her, "But I haven't regretted knowing and you not knowing. I would have been content to stay as we were for years still. In the Universe of the Four Gods I ignored you and your obvious love; it was only fair that Suzaku pay me back by showing me a small portion of the pain I put you through."
"Suzaku had a hand in this?" Nuriko tilted her head to the side in wonder.
"Don't you find it ironic that in this life you are the one with power and an empire at your fingertips and I am the middleclass man? That I am the one to find out sooner and you not? Only Suzaku could create such bittersweet irony." Hotohori chuckled as he tweaked the tip of Nuriko's nose.
Nuriko nodded slowly, all her thoughts and memories quickly forming themselves into coherency. She could hardly believe half of the ironic situation. In her other lifetime, she had fervently wished not only for Hotohori's love but to be a woman as well. Now, she had both. Nuriko shook her head then grinned at Hotohori, finding peace from all her worry and regret.
"How did Suzaku know to do this?" She asked with curiosity.
Hotohori failed in hiding a smile, "I'll have to tell you about my vow later," Hotohori pressed a small kiss on the tip of her red nose, "But right now I want to dance with you."
Nuriko lifted her brows, "Now? I finally have a female body, and realize it fully, and we finally find each other, and you want to dance…without music?"
Hotohori stood up, lifting her up as if she weighed nothing, and set her on the ground beside him. He kicked the various articles out of the middle of the elevator then immediately pulled her close against his body. Nuriko sighed at the comfort of his warmth, not caring anymore about the suddenness of their situation. He began to sway ever so slightly back and forth, rocking her body against his in slow motions. Nuriko let her head roll forward and rest on his shoulder as they moved, completely content.
"When marimba rhythms start to play, dance with me, make me sway." Hotohori pulled her up close against him; their bodies flush against each other as he ground his hips into her. "Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore, hold me close, sway me more." Hotohori was singing one of her favorite Dean Martin songs close to her ear as he led her in the slow swaying dance. "Like a flower bending in the breeze, bend with me, sway with ease." Hotohori dipped her and spun her about, all the while singing in tune and rhythm. "When we dance you have a way with me, stay with me, sway with me." He pulled her close again, kissing her firmly on the mouth before spinning her out again.
Nuriko giggled as they continued to dance around the littered and heated elevator, Hotohori singing various songs and Nuriko adding in harmony and a chorus line from time to time. Even when the electricity came back on, they hit the stop button and continued to dance in their blissful world. Nuriko and Hotohori both felt at peace. After running through two lifetimes and being deprived of true happiness and contentment in parts of both, they were together and at home in each other's arms.
When they did emerge from the elevator, hours later, they called their families and made immediate plans for a wedding then worked for hours until she was successfully moved into his apartment. As they lay together on his bed, a tangle of sheets and bodies, they talked quietly of their future. And there would be a future, they'd both make sure of that.
Fini! Well? Hope you liked it-I know I loved it myself! Please review and I will write even more fics because I'll be inspired. Thanks!