Title: the price for a date
Author: mysterio-san
Pairing: touyaxnakuru
Fandom: CCS
Theme: #4, sunset
Disclaimer: apply standard CCS disclaimer.

dedicated to cass-san, for having waited nearly eternity for this 5th update. this is for you! XD


Touya stared at Nakuru with wide eyes. "What..." He had difficulty forming the words in his mind. He was all too aware of the few money notes that she had offered him. Finally snapping back into his normal state, he blinked, "What's this for?"

Her eyes were innocently bright and cheerful, not least normal for the genki guardian of a powerful mage. "I'm offering a price!"

"Huh?" He shot her a quizzical look that said I-have-no-idea-what-you're-talking-about.

She took his hand, and pressed the notes into his palm. "Is this enough?"

He did not understood. "But Akizuki--"


"Fine," he blew his fringe out of his eyes, irritably, but stared back at her soon enough, "Nakuru. I don't need money, why are you--"

"Oh, sure, you don't need them!" Her eyes were shining. She was bouncing on her feet.

An arched eyebrow, as he held the notes in his hand. "So...why?"

"Because..." She trailed off suddenly, before her eyes uncomfortably meeting with the ground. "Anou...This is kind of dumb, Touya-kun."

Noting the uneasiness displayed on her facial features, Touya felt awkward, and shifted on his feet. He didn't like it when a usually cheery Nakuru would look like this. When she hadn't looked up, he finally lifted a finger to her chin, and made her do so.

"Well?" He pressed, his voice not harsh.

"Well..." Nakuru grinned sheepishly, running a finger through her hair. (To this, Touya swallowed. He hated how her hair could look like silk and still be all nice and silky after a hard long day of school. It wasn't fair sometimes.) "Do you want to hear my reason?"

Touya looked at the money notes in his hands. "Yes..." He sniffed in the scent of her strawberry shampoo. Her hair tickled his face when the wind blew.

He tried not to be distracted. Focus, he told himself, listen to what she has got to say.

"Anou..." Her voice was cheery, again. But even Touya could tell that she was a little nervous, despite this being Nakuru, and Nakuru was never uncertain in many issues...Perhaps this was the exceptional case.

Touya did not press furthur. He merely looked at her expectantly.

He saw hope in her eyes.

And she suddenly giggled, rubbing the back of her head. "Er...I asked if you were busy tonight, remember?"

"Well, yeah...I remember." He recalled their phonecall conversation last night.

"You said you were." She told him. "And that was because you have work at the ice cream parlor this evening, right?"

"...Right." He wasn't sure where this was getting.

She beamed, though he was sure she looked more and more dejected, as if she knew he would reject her immediately once he knew her reason. "Well, I wanted to ask you out for a date, to watch the sunset with me."

"...But I--" He wanted to tell her that that would mean losing a day's income of work, when she chirped in, almost too nonchalantly--

"That's why I thought of buying your time." She was referring to the money notes. Her eyes met his, grinning. "So that if I pay you back what you could have earn when you're working, then maybe you'll watch the sunset with me tonight without having to worry about your docked pay."

The world shook beneath his feet.

Touya Kinomoto promptly forgot every other thing.

Except the small, small request she had just asked. And the hope and eagerness in her eyes.

His mind went blank for a minute, until he saw a hand waved before his vision, snatching him back to reality. "Earth to Touya!"

His eyes met hers, all over again. He was only half-conscious of the money notes in his hands.

"So..." She laughed abit. "Is it okay? If I buy your time so that you can watch the sunset with me?"

Time froze to nothing.

Touya stood staring blankly at the same spot, until he nodded slowly, a slow, rare smile slowly touching the edges of his lips.

"Sure, you can."

Her eyes immediately lit up. "Really?"

He nodded again, this time, firmer. "Except for one thing."

"Which is?" She was bouncing on her feet eagerly again.

And he was only partially aware of the words that escaped his lips as she leant in to kiss him on the cheek.

"If I buy you back your time, that is."