She's too nice for him. He's so very cold like ice, even when he doesn't mean to. But she says there're moments where he drifts out of his cold exterior into a nicer, warmer one, so he analyzes every moment he's spent with her, trying to figure out what kind of action he's made that makes her believe that he could adopt this so-called 'nice' trait. He suspects that it's a subconscious thing, like he doesn't realize what's happening until it is actually happening--like what happened with when he fell for her.

Oh, he fell hard like a slap to the face, which made him slap her in the face. He likes his personality now. It's caused him to be protected, 'cause when he changed a little the first time, he practically lost it, almost losing her. So he kept his personality, so he wouldn't lose her, and in keeping his personality, he had to hurt her. After all, it is his thing--hurting people that is.

There is some underlying care in all that hurt he causes. You know, Ryoki Tachibana isn't all like his mother.

"I'm thinking of inviting Azusa. Would that be alright?" Hatsumi smiles.

Ryoki's face hardens as Hatsumi starts scribbling down names. The thought of Azusa coming is almost as bad as Shinogu coming--

"… and Shinogu. I haven't seen him since… you know…." Hatsumi trails off.

Ryoki's face contorts into a countenance somewhat like pain. Pain, because along with Azusa, Hatsumi wants to invite Shinogu, and because he can't help but sympathize with her because he knows how broken up she was when … when she found out he was avoiding her by becoming a monk. And that was stupid Azusa's fault, blurting it out to her like it was such a casual topic.

"No." It is simple, concise, and of course a fool like Hatsumi would understand.

"Um, please, Ryoki. I really … uh, I really want them to come. I haven't seen Azusa in awhile, and … and it would be really unfair if we invite everyone else at the complex to our New Year's party, but not him. And … the same with Shinogu."

She's blushing. She always blushes when she's flustered … or afraid that Ryoki's going to burst out in anger. Her blushing has become sort of, kind of, maybe, a little, not that he would admit, a soft spot for him. It reminds him of her in bed, doing things, blushing like that.


"Please, Ryoki," she asks. She's trying not to ask desperate, so that she'll grow some feet to stand on. Ryoki knows that she knows she can't keep acting helpless. Then she'll never get what she wants.

And since she never really gets what she wants, then maybe Ryoki will allow it. Let her invite those stupid assholes. It's not like at the end of the night she'll go running off with them. After all, he's got her wrapped tightly around his finger. Each time she gets loose, he'll pull the string even tighter.

By the end of New Year's, she'll be wrapped up so tight, she'll turn blue.

It's very weird for Azusa to be invited to a party hosted by Ryoki, but it's very believable that Hatsumi invited him. However, it's very unusual to see Ryoki allow Hatsumi to invite him.

Or see Hatsumi do anything without Ryoki's consent. It pretty much sickens him how 'in love' Hatsumi is with Ryoki. She's, like, willing to do anything for him. Azusa's distaste could be factored in from the fact that he, indeed, hates anything Tachibana. But really, she'll do anything for him, if he asks enough.

It's not only because he hates Ryoki's family--not necessarily Ryoki, but it's equally close--that Azusa hates Hatsumi's relationship with Ryoki. It's just that they're not compatible. Unless Hatsumi's a masochist, she's going to be torn down shred by shred by every insult and every slap that Ryoki puts down on her. He's seen it before.

Shinogu's better. He won't hurt Hatsumi. He's proved it a many number of times. Hell, he was even considering becoming a monk for her--until Azusa talked him out of it. (Though Hatsumi doesn't know. It's gonna be surprise.)

Azusa talks Shinogu into and out of a lot of things. Out of monk-hood. To tell Hatsumi he loves her. And to come to Hatsumi and Ryoki's New Year's party, at unfortunately, a loft that the couple resides in. So standing next to Shinogu, ringing the doorbell for the hundredth time this evening, Azusa feels good. Maybe this time, he'll manage to drive the wedge that is Shinogu between Hatsumi and Ryoki.

The door cracks open and Ryoki appears. Much to Shinogu's dismay. And weirdly Azusa's. Azusa will admit--he was hoping that Hatsumi would open the door, because Hatsumi, you know, might get Shinogu to take initiative to stop the madness.

Still, Azusa can't get rid of this feeling at the pit of his stomach that that wasn't the only reason.

"Get in," is Ryoki's only answer as he slams the door open.

Azusa surreptitiously smiles as he enters the loft crammed with fifty-something people with Shinogu in tow to which Shinogu replies, "What're you thinking?"

"Nothing, really. Hey! Is that Hatsumi by Subaru and Akane! Goddamn, I thought they broke up!"

Shinogu turns, and for a change, Azusa is right. Subaru and Akane are together, and Hatsumi's there, and for the second that Hatsumi glances around the room, Shinogu waves to her shyly. And to his delight, she grins bigger than before, and goddamn if he didn't hear her squeal.

While Shinogu is entertaining Hatsumi--and please, God, let that be the naughty way--Azusa sidles up to Ryoki, who's sitting on the couch, sulking at the sight of Shinogu and Hatsumi. Not actually sulking, really. He's mainly just glaring really, really hard, while playing with some box in his hand. It's like he's murdering the box.

"Hiya," Azusa greets, flashing that model smile.

"What d'you want?" Ryoki spits out. "And why the fuck did you show?"

"Nice to see you, too, after six months."

"Why the hell are you so against us together?" Ryoki snaps, ignoring Azusa's former greeting.

Azusa rolls his eyes playfully, "Hah, 'cause I want to."

"You're so infuriating," Ryoki mumbles through his teeth as he turns forward. "I can't believe I let her invite you."

"So, what's the big occasion?" Azusa laughs.

"New Year's, you jackass."

"Knowing you, you'd lock Hatsumi up in a room and ravish her for New Year's, not have a big party."

"Dunno. Hatsumi wanted to."

"Yeah, and you let Hatsumi do whatever she wants!"

"Y'know, I'm not that possessive." Ryoki jabs an elbow in Azusa's rib.

As he's coughing, Azusa steals a glance at Shinogu and Hatsumi. Their faces are blushing a deep scarlet red, and anyone with eyes can see how flustered they are, and as Azusa's looking, Ryoki's looking, and as Shinogu and Hatsumi get closer, Ryoki's feet hit the ground as he speeds ever, so fast toward Hatsumi and Shinogu, the box hitting the seat next to Azusa, and Azusa's chest beats with laughter.

Breathlessly, Shinogu's talking, and breathlessly, Hatsumi's answering,

"Hatsumi, I still love you, you know that, right?"

"Yeah, I know."

And like that, Azusa folds over, laughing his heart out as he opens up the little box, entombed with a diamond ring.

Goddamn, this shit is funny!

Oh, God, I hate the beginning, but I love the ending. I hate how textbook-style my writing sort of seems towards the middle. Ugh, I couldn't get that right. But, nevertheless, I thought this was a hilarious ending. I could be sadistic. Ha, ha, ha.