Jun felt groggier than usual when he finally began to stir the next morning. He stared at the clock as he slowly fought against the sluggish blanket fogging his mind. The time read 8:26, much later than he usually woke up. All that intensive training from the previous day had really taken a toll on his body.
He sighed, running his fingers through his tousled blond hair. He had lost so much time already; the day had started with out him! He never even saw Hikari and Kouki come back from their trip.
A pit opened up in his stomach as he thought back on the previous day. What had happened while he wasn't there? A headache was already beginning to grow; he flopped over with a groan…and found himself inches away from Hikari's sleeping face
He couldn't recall a time where he had moved faster; he let out a startled cry, tumbling out of the bed.
Hikari was awakened by his shriek. She sat up slowly, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand. "Huh…Jun? What's wrong?"
Jun opened his mouth, struggling to find his voice. "Wha–Wha–What are you doing here?"
She yawned, stretching out her arms. "Huh? Whaddya mean 'what am I doing here?' This is my room."
Jun blinked a few times, looking around frantically in his confusion. The girl was right; he was in her room. His mind whirled as he tried to remember what had happened the day before, but his search came up empty. "…why am I in your room?"
Hikari slid her legs underneath her bottom, still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. "You were asleep when I got back." She pulled the blankets up over her shoulders, snuggling in the warmth. "Even after Kouki and I ate, you were still sleeping…so, I didn't want to wake you up. I figured you probably pushed yourself too hard while you were training, like you always do." She shot him an accusing look.
He scratched his cheek, looking away from her withering glance. Of course she was right on the spot on about the training, but his sheepishness was soon forgotten when images began popping in his head, scenarios of the night running rampart in his mind.
His cheeks blazed, shooting the girl a peevish look. "You should have woken me up!"
"Why?" She patted the bed. "There's plenty of room on the bed. You and all of my Pokémon fit just fine on it."
"You're missing the point! It's not right!"
She tilted her head, confused. "What do you mean? We used to have slumber parties and sleep together all the time when we were little."
"That was different!"
"Well…we were little!"
"And why does that matter?"
Jun sighed, hiding his beet red face in his hands. "It's…well, it just does!" Suddenly, his stomach let out a fierce growl; he had missed dinner the day before.
Hikari covered her mouth with a hand to hide her chuckle. "You're just full of problems this morning, aren't you?"
Jun saw his chance to escape; he jumped up, rushing to the door without a second glance at Hikari. "I–I'll see you at breakfast!"
Hikari watched him slam her door in his mad dash out of her room, then heard him slam his and Kouki's door across the hall a few seconds later. She smiled to herself, giggling mischievously. She had figured that he would probably react like that. It was so worth it. She hummed to herself as she got ready for the day, changing out of her pink pajamas into a pair of dark green corduroys and a brown sweater. Her mood couldn't get any brighter; she was really enjoying this vacation.
"Wow, you guys look like twins today!" Hikari sat down at table, giggling at the two. They were wearing identical black turtlenecks, and jeans.
Kouki sighed, a small smile on his lips. "Don't look at me; he's wearing MY clothes."
Jun poked at his eggs, pouting. "…all my clothes are in the wash…"
Hikari laughed, taking a swig of her milk. "Let me guess: in your mad rush to leave, you didn't pack enough clothes?"
He didn't answer, staring intently at his eggs. They seemed to be quite interesting.
Kouki finished off a piece of bacon, wiping his fingers on a napkin. "Oh, by the way, Hikari…your jacket is in the dryer now. The stain came out completely, thankfully."
Hikari smiled at Kouki. "That's great! Thank you, Kouki!"
Jun perked up for the first time throughout the whole conversation. "Stain?"
A flush crept up Kouki's face; he smiled his sheepish smile at Hikari. "I…ah, I spilt hot chocolate on Hikari's jacket yesterday."
Hikari waved her had dismissively. "Oh, it was just an accident. Don't worry about it! Besides, the stain came out, didn't it? It's all good."
"I'm still really sorry about it, Hikari…I'm such a klutz."
"Don't be so hard on yourself!"
"Stop apologizing, silly!"
Jun interrupted, curiosity getting the better of him. "So…what all did you guys do yesterday?"
Both of them were silent for a moment. Then, the same thought passed through their minds; the mistletoe.
"Nothing! Nothing at all!" They frantically shook their heads, speaking in unison.
Jun sat up straight, raising an eyebrow at the both of them. "Nothing? At all?"
Hikari covered for them, laughing nervously. "Well, we went shopping and ate some sweets, but that's it! You didn't miss anything!"
Jun was unconvinced. "I know you guys are hiding something from me. What is it?"
Kouki joined Hikari in her protest. "We aren't hiding anything. Why would we lie to you?"
Jun cocked an eyebrow. "Riiight. You guys WILL tell me before this day is over."
Hikari hopped on the chance for a subject change. "Speaking of the day…what are we going to do today?"
Jun shrugged, stuffing his face with food.
Kouki already had his brochure in front of him, scanning the pages. "Well, there's nothing special going on today…we could go skiing again?"
Jun nodded. "I could use the exercise."
Hikari remembered the agony skiing had caused her muscles the last time and shuddered. She really didn't want to repeat the experience. "Um…why don't we just stay in the hotel? There's plenty of stuff to do inside."
The blond boy snorted. "That sound pretty boring, Kari."
Hikari scowled at him. "Why? Just because we aren't running around like idiots outside doesn't make it boring! We could go to the arcade, or play some board games!"
Kouki nodded. "Sounds like fun to me."
Jun flicked remnants of his eggs at the boy. "You always agree with her, Kouki."
"She has a lot of good ideas, unlike some of us."
Jun stared at Kouki, a bit taken aback. There was something to his words, something hidden just underneath the surface that ruffled his feathers. The dark haired boy had been cold and almost verbally hostile to Jun all morning; Kouki had basically ignored him throughout breakfast, only focusing on Hikari.
Kouki met Jun's bewildered gape squarely, another thing that had never occurred. There was a new confidence to his demeanor and a distinct challenge in his calm gaze.
Jun couldn't put his finger on it…but he knew an unspoken challenge between men when he saw it. He scowled, putting down his fork.
Hikari, however, was unaware of the battle brewing right before her eyes. "Well then, it's settled! Let's head to the arcade!"
"Um, guys? Not that this isn't fun and all…but do you think I could have a turn?" Hikari could feel her lips twitch as she tried to keep the smile on her face. They had been at the arcade for two hours and had stopped by every game station…but Hikari hadn't played a game since they arrived.
Jun's tongue peeked out of the corner of his mouth as he shot at the screen with a plastic laser gun, extreme focus etched on his face. "Just…let us finish this game, Kari…"
Kouki was just as focused as Jun, brows furrowed in concentration. The results flashed across the screen, and a triumphant smile lit his face. "Ha! I beat you by three points!"
Jun slammed the gun down in his frustration. "Crap! I will not let it end like this! I demand a rematch!"
Kouki face lit up with a devilish grin, a strange light in his eyes. "Bring it!"
Hikari sighed, thoroughly confused. She took a sip of her soda, mumbling to herself. "I guess it's a guy thing…" It was a shame they never thought to make three player games.
A few moments later another triumphant yell was heard, this time from Jun.
"HA! Take that! Beat you by eight points!"
Kouki scowled, a dark look on his face. "Again. Let's play again."
Jun smirked, the devilish grin now on his face. "Bring it on! I can beat you again!"
"NO!" Hikari almost choked on her drink at the thought of having to sit through another battle between those two. "No. No way." She yanked the gun out of Jun's hands, putting it back in the holster. "Let's go do something else…ANYTHING else. At least something we all can do together."
Kouki flashed her a sheepish smile, a small blush on his cheeks. "Ah ha ha…sorry, Hikari. I guess we just got caught up in the game."
Jun scowled, a sour mood building up inside him. Kouki was perfectly civil and normal when he talked with Hikari, but cold when the conversation was directed toward him. He hadn't done anything to the other boy, so what was the problem? Jun scowled, stomping out of the arcade. "Fine! Let's go do something else, then!"
Hikari watched him go, a small frown on her face. "What's gotten into him?"
Kouki shrugged, smiling sweetly. "I don't know. Anyways, we should probably follow him." The boy headed out of the room, leaving a confused Hikari behind.
"…Both of them are acting strange today…" She scowled, her good mood forgotten. "This is supposed to be a vacation! We're supposed to be relaxing and having fun!" She pouted, stalking after them.
The three found themselves seated at a table in one of the many lounges in the hotel. Hikari had bought a pack of cards at the gift shop, and proceeded to hand the two's butts to them with every game they played. Her irritation had made her fiercely competitive; Jun and Kouki could only huddle before her wrath.
Jun sighed, tossing his cards on the table for the umpteenth time. "I'm out." Kouki repeated the motion silently, staring at the table in embarrassment.
Hikari gathered up the cards, laughing triumphantly. "Ha ha! Don't mess with the master!" Her mood had brightened considerably since her winning streak had begun; she hummed to herself as she shuffled the cards.
Jun huffed, resting his head on the table. "Well, this is no fun. Kari, you have to be cheating!"
Kouki looked away from the blond, speaking nonchalantly. "Have you considered that you're just not good at this kind of thing, Jun?"
Jun glared at him, sitting up. "What's that's supposed to mean?!"
"Guys please…you both suck." Hikari dealt another hand to the boys, grinning. "You're just lucky we aren't playing for money."
Jun took the cards grudgingly, holding them inches from his nose. His foot tapped rapidly underneath the table; he never did well with games that took a lot of strategy and waiting.
Kouki looked at his hand of cards, frowning. It already wasn't looking for him this round. He put his hand down, sighing. "I think I'm out already."
Jun smirked at the other boy. "Aww, giving up already?"
Kouki shrugged, looking away from Jun. "I know my limits."
"Pfft! Limits are for quitters!"
"Or for sane people…"
"Hey! I'm plenty sane!"
"I never mentioned any names."
Hikari hid her face behind her cards as she watched the two fight, completely baffled. Sure, she and Jun butted heads all the time, but she never thought she would see Jun and Kouki argue. Heck, she never thought she see the day when Kouki would argue with anyone, let alone Jun. What had gotten those two riled up?
Jun was standing now, his lanky frame towering over Kouki. "Hey! I'm plenty capable of taking care of myself!"
"Says the guy who's wearing my shirt." Kouki had his chin resting on his hands, still looking away from Jun.
Jun looked down at the shirt he was wearing, a blush rising on his cheeks. "It was an honest mistake, dammit!"
"Guys, please! Stop arguing!" Hikari sat her cards down on the table. "It was just a game! Why don't we do something else for now—" Her voice was cut off by the sound of her stomach growling. She laughed nervously, holding her sides. Time had flown by while everyone was immersed in playing the games; the light outside the windows was completely gone.
Kouki laughed, scratching his cheek. "Sorry about that, Hikari. Would you like something to eat?"
Hikari smiled nervously. "I am kinda hungry."
"What do you want?"
She thought for a moment, tapping her chin. "Well, I have been craving some pizza…"
Kouki stood up, smiling at her. "I'll go get you some then."
Hikari started to stand. "I can get—"
Jun stopped the boy with a hand, a strained smile on his face. "Don't bother yourself with it! I'll get it!" He took a few steps forward, before someone grabbed his shoulder.
"No. I'll get it." A sweeter, equally strained smile was on Kouki's face as he tried to getting in front of Jun. Jun however, wasn't going to let him go without a fight. They both raced away from Hikari, pushing the other one down by the shoulder.
"…it myself…" Hikari sat back down, sighing. There was definitely something wrong here.
After eating their pizza in silence, Hikari was set and determined to lighten the mood. She smiled sweetly at the two. "So, what else do you guys want to do tonight? We could play another card game, or maybe a board game, or head…back down to the…arcade…"
Both of the boys looked away from her, not responding.
She tried again, pleading with the two. "Come on, guys! Let's not fight! We're on vacation at a fancy resort! What do you have to be mad about? Can't we all get along?"
She might as well have been talking to herself; the boys didn't even acknowledge her. Hikari's patience snapped. She stood up, stomping over to the two. "Well, you guys aren't ruing MY vacation! Come on!" Hikari grabbed both of their hands, yanking them up out of their seats and dragging them down the hall.
"Ack! Kari, where are we going?" Jun grimaced at her iron grip on his hand; Kouki's face turned bright red in embarrassment.
"We're going to have some fun!" Hikari dragged the two all the way to the main lounge, where a karaoke contest was being held.
Kouki mouth opened wide, stuttering. "Ka-ka-karaoke? But I can't sing! Especially not in front of all these people!"
Hikari smiled kindly at him. "Don't worry! It's not that bad!" She deposited the two at a booth, grabbing a book of songs. She sat across from them, smiling devilishly. "Now, who's singing first?"
Jun crossed his arms, glaring at the girl. "Kari, this is stupid! Why do we have to sing karaoke?"
She scowled murderously at the blond. "You guys OWE me. All you've done is argue all day! We're supposed to be having fun, remember?"
They both withered under her glare, looking down in embarrassment.
Kouki looked up at the girl, smiling sheepishly. "Sorry about that, Hikari…"
"Don't be sorry! Just have some fun!" Her smiled brightened up; she slid the book over to the boys. "Now, somebody pick a song and go!"
Kouki began to stand, but Jun was on the outside of the booth. The blond picked up the book, sliding out of the seat. "I'll go first!"
He hopped up on stage, grabbing the microphone and telling the MC what his song was. The music began playing an upbeat tune. Jun started to sing boisterously, his voice pleasant despite its intensity. His body swayed to the music, an excited smile on his face; Jun didn't like to do anything half-heartedly.
The song ended and Jun received a round of applause. He bowed zealously, drunk on adrenaline. Jun rushed back to the table, dragging Kouki out of the seat. "It's your turn, Kouki!"
Kouki stumbled up to the stage, visibly shaking.
Hikari yelled out in encouragement. "Come on, Kouki! You'll do great!"
After review the book for the last time, Kouki whispered his song to the MC, grabbing the microphone. He took a deep breath as the music began, closing his eyes. The song was much more somber than the song Jun had picked, and Kouki sang very quietly. However, his clear tenor resonated throughout the room as people listened in awe; his voice was very soothing.
Whistles and claps filled the room as Kouki rushed back to his sit, his face beat red. Hikari and Jun patted him on the back, compliment him.
Jun looked up at Hikari, a sly smile on his face. "Hey, isn't it your turn next?"
She smiled sweetly back, a devilish glint in her eyes. "I don't think I can do it by myself…does someone want to sing a duet with me?"
The boys looked at each other, the smiles fading from their faces. They both shouted at the same time. "I will!"
Hikari smirked. "Well, I guess you two will have to sing together! And I already picked out your song!" She kicked the two out of the booth, shoving them all the way up to the stage. Hikari whispered the song to the MC before running back to her seat, a wide grin on her face.
The song began to play, causing Jun's jaw to drop. "Hikari! This is a love song!"
She smiled at him, waving a hand. "Now come on, don't be a spoil sport! You OWE me, remember?"
Jun and Kouki exchanged glances. They both sighed, looking away from each other as they started to sing, Kouki singing the part of the man and Jun singing the part of the woman. The crowd burst into hysterics; both of their faces were the same shade of scarlet as they inched away from each other awkwardly.
Hikari only smiled mischievously from her seat. She finally felt relaxed for the first time that day.
Hikari's relaxation didn't last long, however. The three left the lounge soon after Jun and Kouki's romantic duet had ended, both of the boys refusing to sing another song. They retreated into their separate rooms after voicing their good-nights; Hikari was dressed in her pink pajamas and towel drying her hair when the yelling began.
She wrapped her blanket around herself and opened her door just as the door across the hall slammed open, a livid and shirtless Jun stomping down the hall. Kouki appeared in the doorway, holding the black turtleneck Jun had been wearing in his hands.
Hikari rushed over to him. "Kouki? What happened?!"
The cold look on his face slowly melted into one of regret. He sighed long and hard. "Ah…I don't know what came over me…" He leaned against the wall, rubbing his head with his hand. "We just started arguing again, and I…ugh, I said some terrible things to Jun…Ah, I feel horrible…"
Hikari was completely astonished. She touched his arm gently, worried. "Kouki, what's wrong? You've been acting strange all day."
He smiled sadly at her. "I…I can't tell you. I'm sorry, Hikari it's just…" He stopped, sighing again. "Just…Could you just find Jun for me and tell him I'm really sorry?"
"Please, Hikari?" He laid a hand on her shoulder. "I know he won't talk to me now, and I feel horrible about what I've done to him all day. So…please."
Hikari looked up at him, unable to refuse. "…Fine. I'll tell him. But, you have to tell me what's going on. It doesn't have to be right now, but…"
Kouki gave her a small smile. "I know. I'll tell you soon, I promise." He let go of her shoulder, watching her go down the hall, the smile slowly fading. He walked back into the room, shutting the door quietly behind him before sinking against it, resting his head in his hands.
His heart was still racing from the brief moment that he had touched her shoulder, her warmth still on his hand. There wasn't a moment in the day that he didn't think of her, that he didn't want to be with her. He lover her. He loved Hikari.
But, if love was supposed to be so wonderful, then why did he feel so miserable?
It was a stupid question to ask himself; he knew why he felt so miserable.
Jun was the reason. And it wasn't Jun's fault that he was the reason.
It was obvious to Kouki what Jun felt for Hikari. He felt it himself. And that's why it was so hard for Kouki to love her. It was like he was betraying his friend, one of his only friends. But…he couldn't help himself! He loved her so much! So much that he couldn't just bring himself to let her go without a fight.
But his opponent was Jun.
Jun, one of the few people who accepted him.
How could he be happy with Hikari knowing that he would be destroying his friend? But, he wanted to be with Hikari. So much that it made him sick.
He didn't want to give her up.
But, could he keep up the fight?
He didn't know what had come over him that day, why this day was so different from any other. He had been fine before now; what had changed? Why was he acting like this?
All the cold words he said to Jun seemed to roll off his tongue so easily when Hikari was on his mind. He had insulted Jun all day…initiating fights, treating him like garbage…Now that he was alone with his thoughts, he felt so ashamed of himself. He had been such an ass. A pompous ass.
Kouki tapped his head with a fist, a rugged sighed ripping through his chest.
He wanted Hikari. He wanted to win. But, what price was he willing to pay?
"Jun?" Hikari stepped into the lounge area, padding quietly through the gloom. The only light came from the fireplaces along the walls. She spotted Jun immediately, his spiky blond hair peaking up from one of the couches lined up in front of the fireplaces. His legs were drawn up to his chest as he watched the fire burn, face shadowed.
Hikari threw the blanket over his bare shoulders, sitting down next to him. "You do realize it's snowing outside, right? This place is drafty."
Jun didn't respond, his gaze unwavering on the flames.
"…Kouki feels really bad about what he said to you. He told me to tell you he's really sorry." She waited for a moment. "I know he meant it, Jun. He looked really sad."
Jun still remained silent.
Hikari reached for him, her worry growing. "Jun, what happened–"
"He didn't tell me anything that I didn't already know myself. Just things I didn't want to admit." If Hikari hadn't heard his voice, she wouldn't even know that he had moved. He continued to stare intently into the flames, eyes hard. "I'm a failure. I can't do anything right, and I can't protect anyone. I know that. I know."
"Jun, you're not a fail—"
"Don't, Kari. Just…don't."
Hikari could feel the tears building in her eyes despite herself. "Jun, please don't do this again…"
His eyes flicked over to her; he sighed, burying his face in his knees. "I'm sorry, Kari. I told myself I wouldn't make you upset again." He didn't even realize he was crying until his tears began to seep through his jeans. "I just…don't know anymore."
Hikari bit her lip; it tore at her to see Jun so broken. She rested her head on his shoulder, staying with him until his silent sobs faded into the calm breaths of slumber.
A/N: First off, OH MY GOD GUYS, I'M SO SORRY I TOOK SO LONG! D8 All you guys do is support me, and I pull a stunt like this on you! ;_; I've just been really busy lately! College Composition is a BITCH, let me tell you. It really takes the love out of writing. D8 But, I'm on winter break now, so maybe I'll get some more of my stories finished!
Second, woah, this chapter started out fun, but ended up really emo. XD Well, it was Kouki's turn for a proper emo moment, ya know. Poor Kouki...I was trying to work up to the romance, since that's what you guys wanted, but instead, I give you emo boys. XD
And third, if you're wondering what Jun and Kouki were singing at the karaoke contest, it was The Phantom of The Opera. XD Just imagine Jun trying to hit those high notes! XD
So, what's the tally now? Jun's got to sleep with Hikari three times, while Kouki's been on top of/touched Hikari's boobs three times? And they've both gotten a kiss, even though Jun wasn't conscious for his. Seems about even.
Once again, I'm sorry for making you guys wait so long! I hope you can forgive me. XP Your reviews always make me so happy!
What's going to happen next?
...Don't look at me. XD I have no clue!