Cataracta's Notes: Hey all! This little ficlet hit me when I was mulling over s-CRY-ed relationships, and I decided that it would make a great fic. Advance warning; Kazuma may seem a little OOC, but considering the changes he went through in the show, I think he would eventually have to reach a point like this. For example, am I the only one who remembers Ryuhou pointing out that Kazuma "Wanted to find a place and settle down with that girl (Kanami)"? I hope not. I thought that was a good thing to point out. Anyway, Emotion, a oneshot, Kazuma X Kanami fic.

Disclaimer: Oh woe is me, I don't own s-CRY-ed. I think I shall go cry.

It unnerved him to think that she had become his everything. Kazuma lay staring up at the sky, his eyes unfocused as he thought about Kanami. She had become everything to him, and she had done it without his permission or his immediate awareness. For some reason, though, Kazuma found that he couldn't care.

And as he lay there, staring up at the stars and breathing in the cold night air, he really did try. He tried to blame Kanami for so suddenly taking over his world, and he found that he couldn't. That he didn't want to. Instead he decided his time would be better spent just thinking about her.

But first, he thought, he needed to find someone, something, to blame. Kazuma pondered for a moment, then decided he'd found the perfect one. Emotion. It was a simple word, when one thought about it. Three syllables, seven letters, and one of the most annoying words in the English vocabulary.

That wasn't true, he amended. It was annoying at times, like when he fought with Ryuhou (he grinned as he thought of their last fight – it still hadn't been decided) and when friends died. Though he was loath to admit it, Kazuma enjoyed the feelings of warmth and happiness that he felt whenever around Kanami.

He raised his right arm and studied the lines that marked it. While he did, he thought about the time when Kanami had been kidnapped, taken from him, and used as a tool. His hand clenched as he thought about his emotions then.

There had been rage, so much rage that Kazuma thought he might explode with the force of it. But there had also been worry, worry for Kanami's safety, worried that that bastard Mujo was going to hurt her, or worse. His emotions then had helped him take down Mujo and save Kanami.

"Guess they ain't all bad," He mused quietly to himself.

Kazuma winced as he remembered other such times. The best example, he supposed, was the immense self-hatred he had harbored after the Upheaval, the self-hatred that had led him to nearly kill himself. He had abandoned Kanami then, thinking that if he left her alone she would be safe.

He snorted. Ryuhou had told him later, during one of their more intense fights, about what Kanami had gone through while he, quote, "wallowed in self-pity". He had yelled at him for deserting her, all the while attacking him, and though he would never admit it, Ryuhou had made Kazuma feel like such a dirty bastard that he was almost willing to stop fighting. Almost.

But he had come back with just as strong of an argument about Ryuhou doing the same thing to Mimori. He pointed out, with his fists as well as his words, that Ryuhou had abandoned Mimori just as much as he, Kazuma, had abandoned Kanami by pushing her away and acting so cold to her. It had actually caused Ryuhou to stumble backwards, hearing that, and Kazuma used the advantage and attacked.

The fight had ended like always, with both lying on their backs. They were both too exhausted to move, but they could still talk. And talk they did. Ryuhou talked about Mimori, and how he had been so surprised to see her at HOLY (the name still caused both of them to bristle) and how worried he'd been about her. Kazuma talked about Kanami, and about how insanely angry he had been when Mujo had kidnapped her. They had talked for hours, until some of their strength returned and they were able to get up and leave, thought not without adding some biting comments about the other's ability to take care of someone precious to them.

The talk with Ryuhou was what had led him here, Kazuma knew. He knew that talking about Kanami had made him wonder just what he did feel towards her, now that she was older and it didn't seem so…wrong, to feel something towards her.

And that led him to the topic which he had been so studiously trying to avoid, and the topic that he was actually out in the open to think about. Kanami. Even her name was enough to invoke a reaction from him, one of possessiveness, one of longing. She had taken over his world, and he still wasn't quite sure when it had happened.

Rolling his shoulders to keep them from falling asleep, Kazuma readjusted his position on the ground and took a deep breath. He thought about her, thought about how incredibly loyal she was to him, and how much he wanted to find her and hold her, and never let go. He thought about all the things he liked about her, and decided that he should list them.

Kanami was innocent. In a world that had been abandoned by just about everyone, in a land ravished by crime and hunger and slaughter, Kanami remained innocent. It wasn't ignorance; it was just the purity of her soul. Instead of lingering on the bad things, she concentrated on the good and helped heal the bad where she could.

She was also trusting. Kanami trusted people automatically, and she always gave them the benefit of the doubt. Kazuma thought that it was the perfect balance to his constant suspicion of everyone.

Kanami was loving. She cared about everyone, which had been perfectly shown when she helped Ryuhou even though she knew that he had hurt her 'Kazu-kun'. Above all, she was willing to put herself into danger to help others, no matter who it was.

And last but most certainly not least (Kazuma realized that there were many more traits that he loved about Kanami, but he risked being out all night if he tried to list them all) Kanami was beautiful. She was beautiful physically, Kazuma would have to be blind to not see that, but she was also beautiful in other ways. Her spirit, her personality, were both beautiful. They shone with her innocence and her love, her trust and her kindness. Kanami was beautiful in every possible sense of the word.

He sighed and propped his head on his hands, thinking back to just how much Kanami had changed sense Mujo's defeat. She had grown older, of course. Mimori had as well, as had Tachibana and the others, when he and Ryuhou finally came back to them. She had gotten taller, only a few inches shorter than he was, and had developed the curves of a grown woman.

Kazuma had been stunned when he had first seen her. Her hair had been down as she helped hang laundry at the farm where to worked, and Kazuma was certain he had never seen her look more beautiful. For long moments he had just stood there watching her, until something (most likely her alter) alerted her that he was watching.

Kanami had turned around and looked at him, then smiled and ran into his arms, nearly knocking him over. She had wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her nose in his chest, laughing and crying at the same time. After that, the woman running the farm had told her to take the rest of the day off, and Kazuma carried her around on his back for the rest of the day as she told him what had happened when he had been gone.

She told him first about Mimori, and how she had waited and waited for Ryuhou, and how ecstatic she was going to be when Ryuhou finally came back. Kazuma had asked her if Ryuhou loved her back, since she so obviously loved him, but Kanami had laughed and said that it wasn't fair for her to use her alter to pry into people's feelings. Kazuma knew it was a yes.

She had then told him about Tachibana, and how much stronger he and his Eternity Eight had gotten. He had been helping the residents of the village to get on their feet, and was really enjoying himself. Kanami told him about Tammy, and how much Tachibana loved her. It was obvious Tammy loved him back.

They had talked about everyone else they knew for a while, then Kazuma finally asked, "And you, Kanami? What were you doing while I was gone?"

Kanami looked shocked for a second, then she smiled and shrugged, "I worked on the farm and talked with Mimori and Tachibana and the others." She paused for a second, "I did miss you, Kazu-kun, a lot."

"I know, Kanami, and I'm sorry, really sorry," Kazuma had answered.

They had lapsed into silence after that. For the next few weeks Kazuma stuck around, helping on the farm and spending time with Kanami. He found that he enjoyed the lifestyle, and was wondering what was going to happen next, when Mimori and Ryuhou had showed up at the door.

Kazuma and Ryuhou had eyed each other warily while Mimori and Kanami greeted each other and laughed. After a while (and some tugging on both women's parts) they relaxed and managed to have a good three hours talk. It had ended when Kanami's eyelids had started to droop, and Mimori's head fell onto Ryuhou's shoulder.

Mimori and Ryuhou left then, Ryuhou carrying her out to the car. Kanami was still sitting where she had been before, and Kazuma smiled as he picked her up and placed her onto the bed, waiting until she fell asleep to sit on the floor and lean against the bedpost. He thought for a while about the evening, and then fell asleep.

Ryuhou had found him the next day while he was out walking, and a fight had inevitably ensued. Now that he thought about it, he couldn't quite remember what the fight had even been about, but it had been rough, and he had the bruises to prove it.

"Kazu-kun?" Kazuma turned his head as Kanami called to him.

She was wrapped in a blanket; she must have woken up and seen that he wasn't there. When she spotted him, she smiled and walked over, sitting down beside him with a thump.

"What are you doing out here so late, Kanami?" Kazuma asked.

"I was going to ask you the same thing," When Kazuma didn't comment, she said, "I woke up and you weren't there. I was afraid you'd left again."

"I'm not goin' anywhere, Kanami," Kazuma grumbled.

"I know," Her voice was still so kind, so gentle, "But I'm still afraid that you are."

In a sudden burst of inspiration, Kazuma sat up and pulled Kanami to him. She was so startled that he easily pulled her into his lap, where he promptly wrapped his arms around her and placed his chin on his shoulder. She was stiff for a moment with surprise, but after a second she relaxed and leaned into him.

"What were you doing, Kazu-kun?" Kanami asked him.

He hesitated before saying, "I was thinking."

"About what?" Kanami turned to look at him, and Kazuma was hard-pressed not to glance away.

"You really wanna know?" He asked, sighing as she nodded, "I was thinking about you."

"Me?" Kanami asked, obviously perplexed.

"I was thinking about how completely you've taken over my world," Kazuma's voice was soft, and he couldn't believe that he was telling Kanami what he was still having trouble admitting to himself, "I was thinking about how much I want to stay here and never leave."

Kanami was silent for a moment, and Kazuma was almost fearful that she had rejected what he said. To his surprise – and delight – she turned so that she was facing him and pressed a quick, chaste kiss to his lips. He was shocked, to say the least, but gleeful. In an instant he had slid his hands into her hair and had deepened the kiss, smiling against her lips as she responded.

For long moments they merely sat there, but then Kanami shivered against him and Kazuma pulled away. He noticed that the blanket, though relatively thick, was not nearly enough to hold off the cold night air. Wrapping his arms around Kanami's waist, he lifted her up and took her back to the house, grinning as she gasped in shock and threw her arms around his neck.

"Kazu-kun!" She protested.

"It's cold outside," Kazuma said, as if that explained everything.

He set Kanami down on the bed, watching as she gazed at him with confused yet happy eyes. Kazuma leaned down to press a kiss to her lips, and had turned to leave when he felt her grab his sleeve.

"Don't go," Kanami pleaded quietly, "Don't."

Kazuma hesitated, thinking back to his earlier musings, then shrugged and lay down beside her, reveling in her warmth. She snuggled into his side, and he smiled as he pulled her closer.

Kazuma decided then that emotions weren't as bad he thought they were.

Cataracta's Notes: Hmm...before I forget, according to my 'sources' (wikipedia) Kazuma was 16 in the show while Kanami was 8. In this fic they're both ten years older. (Please don't ask me where all those years went, I honestly don't know. O.O) As always, please drop a note!