Disclaimer: I do not own La Corda D'Oro. Yuki Kure does. I simply own the original idea and anything non-canonical.
Author's Notes: I have no idea where this idea came from.
She was reaching up to grab a CD from his shelf when he noticed it. A flash of light caught his eye, and he actually stopped playing in the middle of his piece out of shock.
Hino Kahoko had a naval piercing.
"Tsukimori-kun?" she asked, turning towards him. "Everything all right?"
"Hino… when did you get that?"
She glanced down in the direction of his pointing bow, lifting her shirt just a little higher to give herself (him) a better view. "Oh, this? Right after the final concours, though I just changed it from the original barbell to the ring a few weeks ago."
Len wondered how he managed to miss it for almost a year, and barely tore his gaze away from the silver ring to look at her face.
"May I inquire as to what inspired such a bold move?"
"I went with Nami-san and the other girls out to celebrate, and it just sort of happened."
"I imagine alcohol was undoubtedly involved."
"No, no," she laughed. "We all did something like this. I'll bet you didn't notice that Shouko-chan now has pierced ears."
He actually had. He even noticed the tiny diamond in Amou's nose, but filed it away as unimportant, irrelevant information because he had no interest in either girl's body parts. Hino's, on the other hand….
"My choice to become part of the concours had been… well, impulsive, for lack of a better word. But it changed me; made me different, made me a better person. I just wanted to show that being bold and unafraid of change is good."
He slowly nodded. Regardless of her reason for doing it, Len was thoroughly approving of the action. He brought his instrument up to play, slightly annoyed that he managed to get so distracted in the first place, and began the song all over again.
"I have to admit, you're one of the first people outside of my family and the girls who's seen it. Do you like it?"
And his bow bounced off the strings with a horrid screech, causing both of them to wince.
"Sorry," he muttered, mind whirling with possible answers and discarding every one of them until finally he coolly answered, "It's nice."
She looked a little disappointed at his answer, but simply slid her shirt back down and dropped the CD of choice into the stereo. They played together for another hour before they called it a night and Hino went home.
Len hit the bathroom so fast he left scorch marks on the floor.
She had been wearing a slightly smaller shirt than usual that day, so when Hino brought her violin up to play, Ryoutarou saw it.
A tiny silver ring dangling from her belly button.
And he completely missed his cue into the song. Hino gave him the oddest look at his ineptitude, though she looked more concerned than anything. "Everything all right?"
"Uh, yeah," Ryoutarou said. "Uhm… that's new."
She blinked, and he gestured feebly towards her stomach. "Oh, this? Not really. I've had it for about a year now."
He viciously cursed the girls' uniform, knowing that the long jacket had effectively kept him from finding this little treasure sooner. Though if he had seen it earlier, he would have been an utterly useless accompanist – staring at the soloist's belly jewelry wasn't particularly professional.
Then she asked, in a tone of barely restrained curiosity, "Do you like it?"
"Uh, yeah," he said as casually as possible, looking anywhere but her stomach. "Real nice."
She gave him a sweet little smile, lifting her violin (along with her shirt good god don't look up or you'll never play a note) and waiting for his signal. They got through two songs before she had to head off to Amou's house. When she was gone, he brought the keyboard cover down and collapsed onto it, letting out a groan of despair.
His grandfather poked out from around the corner and gave him a knowing smile. "Such a lovely girl, Ryou, and you weren't going to walk with her?"
He didn't want to admit it but he said, in a muffled voice, "I couldn't. I can't walk."
The old man laughed so hard he had to grab the counter for support.
He had been resting his head on her lap – her reading, him napping – when Keiichi turned and brushed his nose against something hard where everything soft should be. He knew there were no buttons or zippers in the area, and the puzzle was enough to jolt him awake.
"What is this?" and he poked the hard object.
"Nothing. Just… nothing," she said curtly.
Something in her tone (a broken diminished chord) told him that she was lying, and wanted to know what would make Kaho-sempai sound so frustrated. So before she could say anything, Keiichi grabbed the bottom of her uniform jacket and quickly lifted it.
It easily revealed a tiny piercing against the ivory expanse of her stomach. It was a simple silver ring, but it drew his attention like a newly polished cello.
"Shimizu-kun!" she hissed, trying to slap his hands away, though her heart wasn't really in it.
Though he wanted to touch the ring, tease it between his fingers, he didn't want to hurt Kaho-sempai by accident.
Reaching out with his free hand, he lightly drew a circle around her belly button.
Everything stopped. He felt her tense beneath his touch, her breath suddenly catch in her throat, her hands hover motionless above his head.
He continued the spiral, and Kaho-sempai came to life again. She leaned backwards on her hands, apparently enjoying the sensation because she was making the nicest little sighing sounds (feathers brushing over harp strings) and not telling him to stop.
"Pretty," he murmured, watching the play of her stomach as he moved around and around the metal ring. "I like how it looks on Kaho-sempai."
"Thank you," she said, and he could hear the smile in her voice (a playful jig). "You're the first one who said they liked it."
"Can I touch it?"
She giggled (water running down wind chimes). "Just be careful, all right? It's sensitive."
He liked the idea of Kaho-sempai being sensitive. It gave him a most enjoyable tingling feeling, as if he were playing a wonderful melody with more than his fingers. He propped himself up on his elbow for a better look, his upper body straddling her legs.
Gazing at her, haloed by the afternoon sunlight, Keiichi could only think of one thing.
He leaned in and gave her belly button a tiny kiss, lips barely brushing the ring and her skin at the same time. He felt her stomach flutter like rose petals in the wind, and she breathed a word of exultation (the lowest note on a flute). His hand came around her back; he had never realized how small she was in comparison to him, nor how easy it was to hold her in place as his fingers and lips composed a duet against her skin.
When her hand came to rest on his head, caressing his hair and face with delicate amour, he was certain that nothing else in the world mattered than this moment. Not even the promise of Kaho-sempai's violin was going to make him stop.
He could already hear the most perfect music in her voice.
With some unsubtle nudging – for all his easygoing mannerisms, Keiichi was intensely single-minded when he wanted something – he made her lie back on the stone bench. He knelt between her legs, fully aware of the fact that she was letting him do as he pleased, and hearing his heartbeat set a finger-breaking tempo. Pushing her jacket just a little higher and the top of her skirt a little lower, he brushed his fingers and lips against her body, reveling in the expanse laid before him. He had never known how smooth skin could be, how much space his hands could cover when he set them upon the task of memorizing her curves.
When he licked his lips, his tongue brushed the curve of her hip.
She tasted like peaches and cotton.
When she said his name – not his family name, but his name – she sounded like heaven (a fully tuned orchestra in a cathedral).
He wanted to hear it over and over again because no instrument in the world could make such a perfect sound. He wanted to play her like a cello, to make her sing and cry in ways that were only meant for their ears. He wanted to know the different notes that her body would make when he touched it, testing where and how with increasing fervor.
And he wanted to do it right now.
But he heard the door to the balcony roof being opened, and his concern for honor – hers, not his – made him stop in mid-kiss. Instead, he wrapped his arms underneath her back and quickly pulled her into a sitting position. She let out a little shout of surprise (squeaks from a young clarinet) at the sudden movement, but didn't argue. His arms stayed possessively around her waist, his eyes snapped shut, and he laid his head in her lap.
The best disguise was the one that everyone recognized – and ignored.
Tsukimori-sempai's voice (a violin string too tightly wound).
"Ah, good afternoon," Kaho-sempai greeted, and Keiichi felt oddly proud at how he could make her sound so breathless.
"I need the book – oh, Shimizu-kun?"
Kaho-sempai laid a hand on the back of Keiichi's neck, and he quietly marveled at how she could play him like her violin. When they traced a melody along his hairline and under his collar, he was tempted to damn the consequences and rip off her skirt to mimic the music in her movements.
"He's sleeping," she said, as if that was the answer to everything.
"What can I do for you?"
"I want the Mozart duet book."
"Can you wait until tomorrow? I don't have it right now."
He heard a hesitation in Tsukimori-sempai's voice (holding out a solo note too long), that perhaps the older boy had something else he wanted to ask her, but nothing else came out. Soon enough, Keiichi heard footsteps retreating and the door closing more loudly than necessary.
"You can get up now, Shimizu-kun," Kaho-sempai said warmly, fingers still stroking him.
He lifted her shirt up again and began the song anew.
"Kaho-chan!" Amou said excitedly, barging into the room just as the trio finished their piece. She had been hovering outside the door, waiting for the right moment, and Kahoko had ignored the excitable blonde as best she could. Now, however, it was less possible.
Especially when she burst out, "Let me see it!"
Tsukimori looked annoyed and Tsuchiura a little puzzled, but Kahoko blushed and knew exactly what Amou was referring to.
"Not now, Amou-san."
"Oh, come on! If they know about it, there's no harm in showing them again."
Green and blue heads snapped in their direction, and Kahoko touched the bridge of her nose in exasperation. "Amou-san, this isn't really the time or place…."
"Tsukimori-kun, stand in front of the door. Tsuchiura-kun, stand in front of the window."
It worried Kahoko that the two immediately listened to her, though they tried to put on expressions of pained reluctance. When they were in place, Amou raised her eyebrow in Kahoko's direction.
With a sigh, she lifted up the bottom of her jacket. A pair of tiny topaz hearts loosely dangled from a golden K, in turn connected to a small barbell. The chains hovered just over the top of her skirt, and brilliant yellow light reflected from the gemstones.
"Oh my!" Amou breathed, bending down for a better look. Kahoko pretended not to notice the big red blush on the boys' faces, though from Amou's pose or the jewelry she didn't know. "Wow, that's gorgeous. Is it real gold?"
"Yeah," Kahoko said, sliding the jacket back down, and the duo moved back into their performance positions.
"Please take your leave, Amou-san. We have practice," Tsukimori said icily, bringing up his violin in a move that screamed impatience.
"You're so lucky," Amou grinned before sliding out the door. Kahoko couldn't hide a little smile of amusement at her friend's canniness.
" 'K' for Kahoko, right?" Tsuchiura asked, stretching his fingers to play.
"Of course. What else would it be?" Tsukimori dryly answered for him. "Can we continue now?"
Kahoko placed her violin in the ready position, a secret smile on her face. Just before either one could play a note, she spoke with serene confidence.
" 'K' for Keiichi."
Piano keys and violin strings made a very discordant noise when randomly smashed like that, she happily mused.
Author's Notes (10/15/07): I've never tried to write Keiichi before, mostly because he doesn't so a whole lot besides sleep and play cello. Still, I figured that with a little incentive, he could be a lot of fun. And he was.