Price of a Hug

Michiyo Ichimaru


A/N: Okay, I REALLY wanted to try writing for this pairing, since I find it extremely cute and I can't shake it, no matter how hard I try. This is just a little one shot to give any other fans out there some fluff. And I really want reviews, because I want to know how I did and make sure I kept them in character. Thanks, and enjoy!

P r i c e o f a H u g

For Watanuki, cooking wasn't a problem. It was one of his natural talents. He actually started to enjoy cooking for Yuuko and company. It also gave him a chance to test it on others and see if it was something he should try making for Himawari some time.

Himawari… He thought to himself. Surprisingly, this was the first time he thought of her today. Watanuki's first thought was that maybe he was sick or something. But he felt fine.

"What a strange face for Watanuki-kun to make…" Yuuko said, looming in the doorway. Her delicate frame hung loosely without actually looking like her guard was down. Most girl's would look helpless standing there like that. She just looked mysterious and timeless. If anything, the weight of gravity seemed to hang on her more tightly than most.

That's what made him all the more suspicious. Anything could make Watanuki jump. He was just that sporadic kind of person. However, few things could make him jump like Yuuko could. From the moment he met her, she had been shocking and surprising him all the way.

"EH! Don't scare me like that when I'm so close to the burner!" He shouted, leaping back when he realized how close he was to the uncovered flame. A little late for him, he realized whey it was uncovered and that he was dangerously close to showering them all with cooked vegetables. Yuuko chuckled delightfully.

It didn't take her but a few seconds to clear the room in her wide, sweeping and graceful steps. She took the pot from his thin white hands and put it back on the burner, where it wouldn't hurt anyone. "There." She said.

Whenever she did that, she leaned in close to him as if she was trying to suck the life out of him with her eyes, her mouth, her face… he should have been used to her strange desire to creep in to his personal space, but every time she did it, air escaped him as well as words.

Usually he got some sort of awkward glance or trespassing gesture, as her hands like to touch his face. Watanuki wondered what she got out of these strange moments. It almost felt like some sort of test. But who was she testing and why? It was difficult to tell when there wasn't much at all he understood about the circumstances.

He just knew that today, it felt… different. The gaze wasn't awkward on his part. Her eyes held the same shade of intrigue, but they looked darker, almost alluring. Watanuki vaguely accused her of playing some sort of trick on his mind.

That half-lidded stare was inviting… First, being so late to think of Himawari and now this!? Watanuki knew that there had to be something wrong with him today, because this was just not like him. Not about Yuuko… not about ANYBODY but Himawari! Maybe he had finally snapped for good. Suddenly, Watanuki noticed that Yuuko was laughing again, more freely.

"So CUTE!" She squealed, throwing her arms around him and squeezing him tightly. Watanuki's first thought was to panic; to fight back and break free. But that thought didn't last long. It wasn't the same kind of light hug he was used to getting from friends and acquaintances. No…

It felt like she was holding on to him like a lifeline. At the same time, she didn't let it show. When she pulled back, she had a vicious grin on her face and winked. "You don't get something for nothing! There's a price for everything." Watanuki's face drained to a complete pale and in the next second, he raged, cheeks burning a bright red color.

"BUT I DIDN'T ASK YOU FOR YOUR STUPID AFFECTION!" He shouted angrily, turning to the stove to finish his vegetables. But Yuuko didn't miss a step, she already stole the vegetables from him and mixed them with the finished rice, humming merrily to herself as she poured the seasoning on top.

"Oh, but it's such a small gift, so it's only a small price." Yuuko reasoned, portioning the food equally. "But you'll have to take some initiative! You can't just keep waiting for the opportune moment! I'll teach you a little lesson as well, about life." She smirked, taking four of the bowls and leaving one for him on the counter.

Take… initiative?

Many times he had been put in situations where a moment was all he had and there were many more times when he could have seized possibilities that he didn't. Was she really just being difficult, or was she serious about him learning something from it?

He decided he'd play her game. There had always been one situation he had been curious to see played out till the end…

What was this strange new feeling? …Courage?

Yuuko was sitting at the main dining hall, eating with Maru, Moro and Mokona. She was eating at an unusually slow pace that was unlike her. However, the others didn't seem to notice, and she said she loved it many times throughout the meal. Maru, Moro and Mokona excused themselves to playing outside in the dark.

It seemed too perfect to be coincidence. After she was finished, Yuuko laid back and groaned. "So… delicious! I'm full! Now, bring on the sake!" Her cheeks were already tinted pink. Watanuki had the impression that she had already had plenty to drink already.

"You'll pass out one of these days." He sighed, feeling her temperature. She swatted his hand away and giggled. "You're hopeless." He grunted, feeling his temperature rise quicker than his temper but trying to ignore it. Her skin was like porceline, white and smooth but a little colder than he would have. "And you're freezing!"

With as much grace and poise as he could manage, trying to act in the same fashion as she did when she pulled the same stunts on him, he brought up both of his hands and lightly yet firmly grasped her face.

He leaned in and whispered, just above her lips. "We can't have that, now can we?"

Yuuko's one eyebrow rose, in a moment of skepticism that quickly evolved into a face that looked quite impressed. But it wasn't over until he followed through…

Gently he leaned in all the way and pressed his lips against her colder ones, heating them up quickly. She looked ecstatically pleased, even though his doubt returned much too quickly, he still managed to do it. "I didn't think you had it in you!" Yuuko beamed proudly. "Way to go! Now you can be fully prepared to kiss any girl you like and not lose the chance!"

Watanuki blinked. He hadn't considered it that way. The whole time it had been about kissing Yuuko… not using it as a life skill later! He felt silly for taking it so seriously about HER. "KAWAII!" She giggled, hugging him again, knocking him over with the force of her body.

"NOT AGAIN!" He shouted, feeling the way her arms entangled around him. This time, he tried to fight back. But this time… he was weighed down not only by gravity, but by her body.

Yuuko laughed genuinely. "I think that kiss was price enough for an extra hug." She smiled innocently, although her eyes said different things. As soon as it was out of her mouth, Watanuki stopped struggling and sighed.

Maybe he didn't ask for it, but it was still worth it…

A/N: Okay, I'm actually really looking forward to your reviews on this one, because I thought it was good. So, review, please-k-thanks!

Michiyo Ichimaru