Disclaimer: Unowned, unpermission'd, unprofited. Etc.

This is not going to be a fluffy happy gushy lovey KxK lovefest. Heck, it's not going to be fluffy happy gushy lovey lovefest of any sort. If a little angst makes your head implode or you cannot live with the thought of breaking up KxK's "won twu wub," please hit the back button. Now.

Also, this whole fic is a big style experiment for me. I'm going to post individual scenes, not chapters. Some of these scenes might be long. Most of them won't. If you want, you can think of it as a drabble series, sans size restrictions, strung together with a (hopefully) semi-coherent plot. With all that said, on to the fic!

...fixed a bit of awkward wording that Jupe-san pointed out. Whoops.

Fragmentary Image
by misaoshiru

Fragment 1

The first thing he'd noticed about her was her attire. Dressed in a short-sleeved turtleneck and a pair of old jeans – form-fitting but not revealing – she stood out amidst a sea of scantily-clad girls beneath a haze of cigarette smoke fog. Even Kaoru's dress showed much skin, with its low neckline, spaghetti straps, and a skirt that ended just above the knees. He'd suggested a change of clothes when he went to pick her up, to which she laughed, said that everyone at the bar would be dressed like this, and called him a perv.

He sighed. Since when did having Kaoru's best interests at heart make him a pervert? In any case, he found the woman's clothing more pleasing to the eye than the abundance of bare flesh that threatened to suffocate him because hers intrigued the mind, made him wonder...

But that was neither here nor there. He was with Kaoru now, and he might as well try to enjoy himself even though this was more for Kaoru's sake than anything, and he knew it and she knew it and, damn it, he needed some fresh air, some freedom from the smoke, the heat, the closeness that made it hard to breathe, let alone think. "I'm going outside."

"Your drink hasn't arrived yet."

"I know. I'll be back." Maybe. No. He was lying to himself, lying to her...it seemed that was all he ever did these days – telling her lies. It hurt him, and it probably hurt her, but it was better to lie than to tell her the truth and break her heart. Better to pretend than to be real and break her heart. Better to avoid her for a few days and let her figure it out for herself than to tell her you're breaking up and break her heart.

Who the hell made women's hearts so fragile?

As he turned toward the exit, his eyes met hers for a moment. Huh. Her eyes were black – truly black, not just the pupil, and not dark brown masquerading as black. Why were her eyes intriguing? They weren't the ones that he was supposed to find intriguing. He was supposed to find Kaoru's eyes intriguing.

Damn it. His head hurt.