This one deserves explanation.
If you've ever visited my profile before, then you've probably seen the small list of couplings that that most people don't think about, and this one's at the top of the list.
Don't ask why, cause I don't know. I just think that Kouji and Juli would be good together under different circumstances. I think how it all ended up was good (Although what happened to Juli in terms of love was kinda vague), but I think about stuff like this.
Anyway, I should warn you of general OOCness from both characters. This is because I originally wrote this for an alternate take for Star Trek: Infinite Ryvius (Where I tweaked thier personalities a bit), but decided just to make it regular IR instead at the last minute.
Alright, that's all I have to say right now. Comments appreciated, as is constructive criticism, but no flames. If people like this, I have a continuation rolling around in my head, so please, let me know what you think.
THE SIMPLEST OF STATEMENTS
He realised it had all begun with the simplest of statements…
"You should get some sleep,"
Kouji looked up from his thoughts at the sound of her voice from across the Bridge, sighing with a tired smile at the Zwei as she watched him.
"I'm too tired to sleep," he said quietly, afraid of waking up Fuu in the Command Chair below, "Besides I want to get these bulletins out," he smiled lightly, "I like to think they help put peoples mind at ease,"
Juli nodded understandingly, before going back to her work, "Only three more days to go,"
The young astronaught watched her for a moment, the only sound between them coming from the clicking of keys and the hum of machinery.
"Help is coming…right?"
He noticed she didn't look him in the eyes when she gave him his answer.
"Is that what you really think? Or are you just trying to make me feel better?"
The clicking stopped, and the elder Aiba found his sky blue eyes locked with her own navy orbs.
She stared at him unblinkingly for several moments, before sitting down in the chair behind her, her gaze never leaving his.
She suddenly glanced down at Fuu below her, making sure he was asleep, before slowly rising from her chair.
"Kouji, could you come with me for a minute?"
"Erm…" he glanced down uncomfortably at his console, then at the sleeping Fina beside him, "Can it wait? I mean I still have these bulletins and…"
The sudden hardness in her voice immediately sent him to his feet, giving only a glance in Fina's direction to insure she would be alright, before following the Zwei into the corridor.
She kept walking, turning left and right at odd intervals until she reached the hallway outside the Conference room, Aiba following in hot pursuit.
She came to a stop outside the room, remaining motionless as she stared up the corridor, before leaning against the nearby bulkhead, one foot against the wall, folding her arms across her chest.
Kouji stood motionless in the middle of the passageway, watching her as she stared at the connections between bulkheads, waiting for her to speak.
"I don't know," she said finally.
Kouji blinked, "You don't…know?"
"Yes! I don't know,"
He flinched as she snapped, not relaxing until she resumed her staring contest with the opposite wall, hugging herself a little tighter.
"It's just…We've been out here for so long…and everyone keeps attacking us. Whose to say it won't be the same when we reach Mars?"
He frowned, "It's not good to be so negative you know,"
"Exactly," She looked up at him again, "That's why I keep telling myself that rescuers will be there. I keep my thoughts to myself, wear a mask of feigned cheerfulness and hope for those around me. But deep down inside, I can't help but think that we're just going to find more of the same. More people…trying to kill us,"
He didn't say anything. He simply waited and watched. After all, unlike the Team Blue guys, she was a person he respected, not feared.
"And then I think about what might happen if we don't get rescued," Her hands fell limply to her sides, slowly curling up into fists, "What happens then? Do we spend the rest of our lives flying from here to Pluto trying to evade an enemy we know nothing about?"
He jumped as a fist clanged against the bulkhead.
"It's not fair! Why is this happening to us?" she suddenly looked up fiercely into his eyes, "Can you answer me that? What did we do to deserve this? I never even wanted to go into space!"
He felt it was time to step in, "Juli…"
"I did it all for a scholarship. One stinking scholarship…"
"I should of just stayed at the orphanage. I stayed in a place I knew was safe! I SHOULD NEVER OF COME OUT HERE!!!"
The Zwei was stunned into silence as Kouji grabbed her round the shoulder, holding her tight in his grasp.
"Now isn't the time to go to pieces," He spoke calmly and sternly, something she'd never expect from a young man she'd always known to be hesitant in his speech, "We have to keep believing that their will be help for us at Mars. If we lose sight of that, then we lose all hope,"
"But what there isn't?" Juli stared desperately into his eyes, "What if we get attacked by something bigger? Better?"
"Then we move on," Kouji didn't take his eyes off her, "We go to Earth, we go to the Moon, hell, we go to the Outer Colonies if we have too. We have to keep looking for help. We have to hope for the best. Because if we lose that, the entire ship will fall into anarchy,"
Juli starred at him for the longest time, before her eyes dropped to the floor, His hands falling to his sides a moment later.
"You're…you're right," she folded her arms across her chest again as she a little away from him, "We can't lose sight of the slightest chance that we might be rescued when we reach Mars. But still…" She turned back to him, "Even if we can't find help there, whose to say we won't find the same thing throughout the solar system? What if…What if we never get rescued?"
Kouji tried to resist rolling his eyes, "Juli…"
"I'm just saying it as a possibility," She came up close to him, urgency filling her voice, "What if no one will take us in? what if…we're hunted for the rest of our lives through the solar system like common criminals?" She grabbed the lapels of his jacket, "What if…we spend an eternity roaming the territories, alone, what then?"
"Get a hold of yourself Bahana," he did his best to sound commanding, "It's to early in the voyage to be losing our minds!"
"Just look at it as a possibility,"
"I won't even consider it! Not yet! Not when it's only been a few days, a week at most! Now I know that so far, our lucks been kind of grim, but you have to see, one way or another, we will be rescued…" he paused for a moment, "Even if it means we have to surrender,"
He sighed slightly as he felt her grip lessen slightly on his lapels, before he gently took her hands off his jacket, encasing them in his own.
"And you have to realise, that no matter what happens, we can never be alone," He chuckled lightly, "Not with just under five hundred other people on board. Even if something does go wrong, we'll always have our friends. I mean take you for example. You've got the Zwei, you've got Pat…"
Her lips twitched into a sideways smile, "I've got you,"
She looked down to the floor again, a heavy blush gracing her features.
"I was just thinking…more like hoping…that should things go wrong…I could…count on you,"
A stunned silence followed this admission. He just stared at her, his eyes wide.
"I know we've only known each other…properly, for about a week Kouji," She looked up again, locking eyes with him intently, "But from what I have seen of you, you tend to try to be the straight man, an anchor for everyone's sanity,"
He looked away form her, a slight blush falling across his cheeks.
"You make me sound like I'm so sure of myself," he murmured, "But there have been times that I've thought exactly the same as you do. With the pattern of recent events, it's probably more likely that we'll be attacked at Mars, rather then saved. But we have to keep hoping, maybe even praying, that this voyage is coming to it's end,"
She smiled at him, amused at his shyness, before letting her forehead slowly rest against his shoulder.
She felt him stiffen at the gesture, his hands, still clenched over hers now loosening slightly.
"W-what are you doing?"
"Taking comfort in the fact that you're here,"
He stood there quietly, unsure of how to proceed.
She took advantage of this, slipping her hands out of his grasp and under his arms and onto his shoulders, pulling her closer to him, holding him tight.
He stood stock still, not entirely sure what was going on, his hands slowly awkwardly coming around her waist, his breathing becoming shallow at their closeness.
"Don't let me go," she whispered, "Please, don't let me go,"
He didn't say anything for a moment. He just stood there, in the middle of the empty corridor, staring at the dark hair girl in his arms, holding on to him tightly.
Slowly, he began to hug her back, feeling her light hair against his cheek as he bowed his head next to hers, feeling the slight breeze of her breath against his face.
"We have to stay strong Juli," he murmured, "All of us. If not for ourselves, then for each other,"
She looked up from his shoulder, pulling back slightly so she could stare into his eyes, though still close enough that they were almost nose to nose.
Slowly, she inched closer to him again, this time closer to his face, watching carefully to see what his reaction would be, mildly surprised when he didn't even try to move away.
All logic now devoid of her mind, she inched just a little bit closer, her eyelids fluttering closed as the gap between them went from centimetres to millimetres, then to nothing at all.
Their lips bumped together in a clumsy first kiss, then another, and another, their hands shifting awkwardly into better positions as the heat of the moment increased, the innocent kisses quickly giving way to ones more passionate.
"Juli," He muttered as one hand reached up for her hair ribbon, "Are you sure this is the right thing to do?"
"I'm not sure," she admitted against his lips as the pink tie came loose, letting her dark hair casscade down her shoulders like a waterfall of hazel, "I can't think straight I…"
She was suddenly silenced as the two fell against the nearby door, the metallic slab hissing open as the two teens tumbled inside, too caught up in each others embrace to even notice the door mysteriously lock by itself.
Outside, a girl in pink watched the door for several moments, quietly observing the intense colours coming from within the now locked Conference Room.
"How peculiar," she murmured thoughtfully, before turning around and heading down the corridor, slowly absorbed by the shadows.
Ryvius's night cycle returned to day several hours later, and Kouji found himself drumming his fingers against his console, trying, and failing to concentrate on the bulletins in front of him.
Unfortunately, his thoughts kept going back to the night before. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't erase those memories from his mind. What they had done? Was it wrong?
He glanced over at the sleeping Fina in the chair beside him. What on Earth was she going to think if she ever found out. What would anyone think for that matter?
He looked up from his thoughts, only to find the object of them standing before him, her hair still left in it's let down state, an uncomfortable look on her face.
"I've been thinking Kouji…about last night,"
He looked at up at her from his seat, not saying anything in case the still sleeping crew around them may not be as asleep they seemed.
She watched him for a moment, before finally looking away, a deep crimson glossing her cheeks, "I think we went too far,"
"I think so too," he murmured, also looking away.
"It shouldn't of happened,"
"No, of course not,"
"So…" she looked back at him, trying her hardest not to notice how his usually straight hair was ruffled and sticking up in odd places, "What now?"
Kouji leant back in his chair, running a hand through his already messy hair, "I…don't know,"
Juli sighed as she leant against the console edge, her eyes frowned in deep thought.
"Maybe…maybe it's best that we just…forget about it,"
He looked back at her, waiting until she locked eyes with him before finally speaking, "Yeah…maybe your right. Probably for the best,"
She tried to smile assuredly, but he noticed it didn't reach her eyes.
"Still friend though…right?"
He smiled up at her, but found like her it couldn't reach his eyes, "After a voyage like this, how could we not?"
She smiled again, gently taking her hand in his, a formal handshake to seal a deal on a event that now officially never occurred.
"I'll…let you get back to your work," She said quietly as Fuu slowly began to stir in the Command chair, before slipping back over to the console she had been manning a few hours before, as though nothing had happened.
Kouji watched her leave, before going back to his work, his mind put at ease, but a weight in the pit of his stomach causing a wave of unforeseen depression to overcome him.
Unseen by all on the Bridge, the girl in pink, watched the two beings quietly, her face blank, despite her confusion.
"Yes, these events did not occur," she murmured as she faded once more into the shadows.
"At least…for now,"
Good? Bad? Should I continue? Let me know please, but again I ask, no flames.
Alright then, hope you liked.