Written by: kohee
Fandom: Flame of Recca
Disclaimer: I have but pocket lint. Italicized words at the beginning and end of the story taken and (badly) translated from Jacky Cheung's (张学友) By Your Side (在你身边). Yes, I love that man and his songs and his voice.
Author's note: I'm lame. And I'm still having exams; enough said.
walking into my sight
Mikagami could count, on precisely one hand, the amount of times he had asked her to stay. Such a strange thing for a lone wolf like him to do; not to mention also something so completely out of character. The only other person whom he had requested to stay was his sister, and at that time, he was five and having bad dreams. But then again, perhaps, Fuuko, like Mifuyu, was never just anyone. At some level, he knew that very well, which was why Fuuko was the first person, after Mifuyu that he actually uttered that one word to.
The first time, it just came out of no where. He remembered on that day, he was tutoring her in Physics at his apartment on one non-particular day after school. And no, he didn't do it out of any goodness of his heart, thank you very much. It was just difficult to refuse Yanagi when she asked him to do something; in which the favor was to tutor her dear friend Fuuko, who was flunking Physics (and no, he wasn't surprised). Even though the idea of tutoring a violent she-monkey that wouldn't exactly listen to him wasn't very fulfilling (he could think of a million other things he'd rather do; for example, take a bath for the third time that day), he grudgingly agreed to. Although after that first day, he had to give her credit for at least trying to learn although she wasn't the easiest student (then again, she was his first and probably last student).
Anyway, it was probably their third or fourth session. It was getting late that day and she was getting tired, and hungry, and instead of doing the equations she was supposed to, she was prattling on and on about how her mother was not at home and she would probably have to eat instant noodles for dinner, and so on and so on...and the question just slipped out of his mouth, albeit snappily.
"If I ask you to stay for dinner, would you stop your incessant whining?"
She pretended to swoon and faint ("The most sought-after male EVER…asking me to stay for dinner?!"), and then she grinned, making some silly joke about him taking the chance to poison her, but she stayed anyway, and they ended up having a long and rather interesting dinner where she interfered with his cooking and made him burn the chicken.
She was his first dinner guest, ever.
The second time he had asked her to stay was a few months later. Although he still thought of her as a tomboy-ish she-monkey that was too loud for her own good, they had somehow gotten closer and somehow started spending a lot more time together. Tutoring sessions of Physics expanded into other subjects – he was adamant that he would help her pull up her grades (now this was out of the goodness of his heart) and she became his very frequent dinner guest. And no, she still didn't know how to cook and yes, she still ended up ruining dinner at times due to her meddling.
It was strange, that he didn't really mind that.
That night, it had started to rain, and not just any light drizzle, but thunderstorms and lightning and rain that could drown even him, someone who could control the element of water. She muttered about stupid weather-forecasting (it was supposed to be sunny) and how she didn't have an umbrella, and she wasn't exactly dressed for the weather, in a tank top and shorts. He had snorted and remarked that if she had the sense to wear more clothes, say, a long sleeved shirt and jeans, maybe - then it wouldn't be so hard to keep her clothes dry. She threw a pillow at him and called him an unfeeling block of ice, he smirked and the words just came out of his mouth.
"Just stay the night, Kirisawa."
Her eyes widened in surprise and he could feel his own surprise as well – no one, no one had ever stayed over before, rainstorm or not. He would've kicked Recca and Domon out to the rain without an umbrella…and Yanagi, he would have sent her home, but no, he would not have asked her to stay. And he had just asked Fuuko to stay. He tried to cover up his surprise by saying something mean.
"Grab a blanket and make yourself comfortable on the couch. Just don't bloody break it with your weight."
She glared and said that he was a 'sexist pig in a sexist freezer and most definitely not a gentleman for not offering me the bed' and he glared right back and threatened to throw her out in the rain. She then grudgingly thanked him and gave him a grateful little smile that sort of threw him off balance, for some reason.
That night, Fuuko slept on the couch, and in the other nights that eventually followed, she wheedled her way into sleeping on his bed, and Mikagami soon found himself on the couch. And each time, he swore and grumbled but he let her get away with it anyway.
And no, he didn't exactly know why he let her; it was terribly uncharacteristic of him. Or maybe he did know why, but it would be even more uncharacteristic of him to admit why.
If he had his way, the third time wouldn't have counted, but she insisted that it did happen and he damn well wasn't going to wriggle his way out of it.
According to her, it was a day that he was feeling…feverish. He had gotten caught, ironically, in a rainstorm that day and when she barged into his apartment looking for food, he was bundled in blankets and shivering, just a little. She had looked concerned, and ushered him off to bed while she said she would prepare him some soup. The thought of her in his kitchen, unsupervised, was almost enough to cure him, but not quite. Miraculously, she didn't burn down the kitchen and made some drinkable soup in which he was reluctantly grateful for.
He, however, wasn't grateful for all the jabbing and ribbing she gave him about falling sick due to rain. In fact, she found it hilarious that his element made him sick. He of course retorted that he wasn't sick, he was merely resting. She ignored him and pulled a blanket to cover him, saying that she would just clean up the kitchen before going home.
Fuuko then said, when she popped her head in to say goodbye to him about half an hour later, he had asked her to stay. More precisely, he had taken her hand and asked her not to leave him.
He was mortified to find her slumping next to his bed the next morning, her hand in his. And then there was a huge shouting match about what he did say or didn't say and in the end, it was rectified with her admitting that he did seem delirious when he said it, and as for him…well, he wasn't so sure that he didn't say it.
And so that was that.
The fourth time he asked her to stay was also the first time that he kissed her.
It was a period where he was trying to understand what exactly he felt for her. There was a strange mix of feelings in him that he didn't quite get, the lightness of his heart when he saw her, saw her smile, saw her smile at him, and the heaviness on his head when he didn't. He didn't want to admit that he perhaps may like her, like her in a romantic way. He was Mikagami; Mikagami didn't like anyone.
But as he already knew, Fuuko wasn't just anyone.
So, to the hell with it, he thought – everyone acted without using their brains all the time (Recca and Domon, most obviously) – so would it be so bad if he was to do something completely stupid and brainless for once in his life? That day, when she was going to go home after a day of poking at him and a vague attempt to study, he had grabbed her hand as she was about to leave.
"Not yet, monkey."
She stared at him in an odd way, but she didn't pull her hand out of his. The corner of his mouth lifted a little.
"Stay for a while."
She shook her head and began saying something about how he was a complete weirdo and he was just getting weirder and weirder these days, when he pulled her to him, and kissed her to shut her up.
There was no hesitation from her as she kissed him back; and he soon discovered that he loved kissing her.
Even if he was a freezer, he was still, a male freezer.
The fifth time was after their first fight.
She wanted to see Raiha, who was back in town, and he didn't want her to have anything to do with him at all. Mikagami never liked Raiha, and he certainly did not trust that has-been ninja where Fuuko was concerned. She was adamant; however, that she wanted to catch up with her old friend. He sardonically said something along the lines of how she really meant 'catching up with her old boyfriend' and she got huffy and insulted and called him a jealous boyfriend. To which he replied he was not (god forbid that he'd EVER be a jealous boyfriend) but just a realistic one. No man would want his girlfriend to be seeing an ex-boyfriend (okay, ex-admirer to be fair) in an intimate dinner setting.
She scowled and said that he didn't trust her and before he could say anything else, she left.
Fuuko came back two hours later (not very long, but it felt like an eternity to him) and before she could say anything, he had gotten snippy and sarcastic and being mean when he really didn't have to. She had gotten upset and said that she couldn't talk to him like this. Grabbing her purse, she turned to leave when it hit him that he was being someone that he'd swore never to become: a jealous, possessive and unreasonable boyfriend.
"I'm sorry. Don't go."
His apology had the effect he had hoped for (Mikagami, after all, never apologized); it stopped her dead in her tracks, giving him the opportunity to grab her and hold her close to him, pressing his lips to hers for a long kiss.
She broke off halfway and punched him – hard – and called him a stupid idiotic moron. But before he had a chance to speak, she pulled his head down to hers and kissed him thoroughly, and as he tangled his hands in her hair, he found that he really couldn't be bothered to say anything.
Kissing, after all, was much better than talking.
It was six years later to the day he had first asked her to stay for dinner.
He feigned annoyance as she sat down across him, breathless and late, and full of apologies. Even as he smirked and called her a monkey who couldn't tell the time, and even as she glared and threatened to throw her chopsticks at him, he was aware of the diamond-platinum band nestled in a little black box in his pocket.
Tonight would be the final time that he would ask her to stay; and after that, she would never go.
don't care wherever you go
i just want to stay by your side
No, I didn't know where this came from. I blame the song, yeah. (Although Jacky Cheung intended it for his second daughter but whatever) I kinda hate the ending line but I can't think of a better way to write it. Criticism and feedback appreciated!