No Paperback Ending
By Yavie Aelinel
Summary: A late-night discussion between two characters fated to remain ever loveless.
A/N: A simple one-shot. Been turning this one over in my mind for a couple of days, now, so I finally decided to put pencil to paper (or rather my fingers to the keys). I simply had to write something with Shizuru in it, seeing as she's my absolute favorite character. Also toyed around with the layout of the story.
"But… but why me?"
"I have loved you since the moment I laid eyes on you. Anyone can see that you are a beautiful, ki--"
"Maybe someday, someone will love me, t--"
"How could you? After all of the love we shared?"
"You are an absolute horror to watch television with, you know."
A brief smile lifted the corner of the young woman's mouth. "Why don't you flip the stations, then? Just don't have us watching any botany shows." With a flick of her wrist, she sent the television remote sailing into her crimson-haired companion's lap.
"No guarantees, there, I'm afraid," the other chuckled. "Care to share some of that popcorn, Shizuru?" He began flicking through the station guide, the words on the screen reflected in jade eyes.
Shizuru pushed the bowl toward him. She'd never really liked popcorn. It just seemed essential for watching television. Sort of like butter on toast. "Knock yourself out." She turned her own eyes to the guide, nose wrinkling as she observed the redhead's current selection. "Press enter, and the TV goes off. I refuse to watch that."
The young man chuckled quietly and closed the guide.
"But… There's no guarantee we'll survive!"
"Do you trust me?"
"Then prove it to me, now."
"And so, the gallant hero and the beautiful dame survive the train-wreck and live happily ever after," Shizuru remarked dryly. "Kurama, change the channel."
"Someone seems a bit testy, tonight." Kurama arched one scarlet brow. "Is something bothering you, Shizuru?"
Shizuru waved a hand, shrugging off the question. "I don't particularly care for romance flicks." She grabbed a handful of butter-soaked popcorn and promptly filled her mouth, informing Kurama that no more questions would be willingly answered.
The statement hung on the air, seemingly echoing about the confines of the living room.
"Yeah." Shizuru had never been much of a liar.
The pair sat in silence for a moment, eyes glued unseeingly upon the television screen, from which the screech of a rather violent car-crash sounded.
"Forever. I'll wait forever. Promise."
"Seems pretty easy in books, doesn't it?" Shizuru murmured softly, twining a strand of dishwater-hued hair around one finger. "Of course, they break up a couple of times, but everything always turns out right in the end."
"You forgot the spontaneous one-night stand, in which they first become acquainted," Kurama pointed out.
Shizuru chewed thoughtfully on another kernel of popcorn. "And when she catches him with another woman, which really just turns out to be a long-lost relative."
"No super-human abilities."
Shizuru smiled dully. "No suicidal tendencies, collapsing stadiums, or egotistical gamblers." The fabric of a cushion was clenched tight in her fist.
"Shizuru." A hand was placed comfortingly atop her own.
"Don't, Kurama." Shizuru's slight smile actually held a rare bit of warmth. "You don't even have to try. I probably won't get over it. I won't lie to you. It's like a cut, though. The pain always stops after a while."
Kurama returned her smile with one of his own, withdrawing his hand. "The scar tissue will remain though, will it not?" At Shizuru's nod, he once again lapsed into quiet thought.
"They always share one last passionate kiss in the rain." Shizuru had reclaimed the remote control, and was now changing to yet another channel.
"And from behind a bush, the girl's secret admirer and best friend watches with a mixture of both grief and joy. Grief for the love they have lost, grief for the life that is now going to change. Joy for the happiness that their friend has found,"
Shizuru smirked. "Very poetic."
"Hardly," Kurama snorted. "I'm just downsizing an entire chapter into a few words. They do seem to spend an awful lot of time contemplating their broken heart. It gets rather repetitive after a while."
"Such is love," Shizuru replied dryly. "For not being of the romantic sort, you seem to have thought it all out fairly carefully."
"Simply because I cannot permit myself to fall in love doesn't mean I can't understand it." Kurama shrugged. "I prefer to know exactly what it is that is happening around me."
"Can't permit yourself?" Shizuru mused. "I suppose I can see some logic in that. I don't suppose that anyone would enjoy being told that they are in harm's way just being near you."
"And I can't exactly picture any love interest of mine smiling happily when I inform them that I was a bloodthirsty demon in a previous life, and that I will likely outlive them by several millennia," Kurama added.
Shizuru turned her gaze back to the television. "You're gonna be watching from behind a bush for the rest of your life, then, hmm? I hope they have a good bunch of chapters reserved for you and your contemplative mental dialogue."
"Bushes are rather uncomfortable to sit in. And besides, I don't believe that I've ever been in love with either Keiko or Yusuke. Or Yukina or your brother, for that matter. Perhaps I'll just write myself out of this book," Kurama laughed. "And yourself?"
"Mushy angst isn't my cup of tea," Shizuru replied, pulling a pack of cigarettes from her pants pocket.
"Well, in that case, I suppose we could go find ourselves a couple of lasers and fight the alien menace."
Shizuru turned her eyes to the heavens, as if in a plea for sanity. "How about we just sit here and watch TV, alright?" she muttered. "It's better for your health."
"No reading involved." Kurama nodded sagely.
The young woman at his side crossed her legs and took a drag on the newly lit cigarette. "No," she agreed. "No words. No bad love poetry. No broken hearts."
"No happily ever after for us, eh?"
"No paperback ending."
"Give me back the remote."
Let Yavie know what you thought! How else would I improve, after all? Constructive criticism is always loved.