Night snuck up on them like a thief, stealing away the comforting warmth of daylight to leave only unspoken words and shadows in its wake. The soft symphony of night-time insects meandered through the partially open window and a blanket of darkness enveloped the room. In the quiet all that could be heard were two sets of breaths, rapid, soft and barely audible, from the pair entwined atop the makeshift bed on the floor.
Kaname tunnelled her hand into his tousled hair while he pressed another soft kiss to her neck. She enjoyed the texture of the strands as they slipped between her fingers and silently mused that he was almost due for another haircut. He shifted closer. The solid weight of his body pressed so intimately against hers set her heart racing.
She hadn't answered his previous question. She'd let it slip by as though he hadn't said a word, but now it quietly echoed in her mind. His question taunted her, vividly reminding her of her ignorance.
She knew how it went in romance novels. The hero swooped in, kissed the girl hard and swept her off her feet into blissful oblivion. Those books were the extent of Kaname Chidori's experience with all things romance related and she felt it more acutely now than ever before.
What will he think if I say I don't know?
Her stomach made an unnerving acrobatic flip.
What if I can't please him?
Her confidence tanked and she worried her bottom lip between her teeth.
What if-what if I'm horrible at it?
She tensed suddenly at his touch and he pulled away.
"Kaname? What is it?"
Tears of frustration welled up in her eyes but she quickly blinked them away. Why does it have to be so hard with him? She blew out a sigh of resignation, already knowing the answer to her own quest. Because he's Sousuke, of course. When were things ever easy with him?
The back of his hand ghosted across her cheek and encouraged a smile to her lips. His cautious touch, the hesitancy in his movements, even his kisses, spoke volumes of his experience (or lack thereof) with women. She found that realization oddly comforting. He wouldn't be comparing her to a multitude of past conquests or judging her abilities against some impossible measure – for tonight, at least, they could finally be on equal ground.
In the prolonged silence his hand moved tentatively across her hip. While her mind whirled away his thumb slipped discreetly beneath her shirt to graze the smooth skin of her stomach. He was being so careful. She pulled in a shaky breath and quickly let it out again.
"It's too dark in here. I-I feel weird not being able to see you. Can we…turn on a light or something?"
She felt him nod and he pulled away from her with a relieved sounding, "Not a problem."
He stood quickly and she followed the sound of his soft footsteps to the far corner of the room. He walked with confidence, never missing a step despite the fact that the dark was almost impenetrable. In his absence the cool night air whispered across her skin and sent a shiver of goose bumps down her arms. She sat up and hugged her knees into her chest to keep warm, noting how the spots where he'd touched her continued to burn.
Warm yellow light flooded the room from a solitary tall lamp in the corner. Sousuke stood next to it, his hand lingering on the switch. Their eyes met across the bed and he managed an odd sort of half smile before glancing away from her to the covered windows. Kaname's gaze followed his and she considered them thoughtfully for a moment.
"It's okay because we're on the floor right?" she asked suddenly, guessing at his train of thought.
He seemed to be thinking it over, considering all the possibilities and measuring the risks. While he was distracted she took the opportunity to let her gaze travel over him. His hair was tousled, sticking upright at interesting angles from where she'd run her fingers through it and his t-shirt clung suggestively to his chest, mapping out each muscle and curve. Her mouth suddenly went dry and her palms felt clammy where they were wrapped around her shins.
Apparently agreeing with her assessment of the window situation Sousuke moved back towards the "bed." His steps were uncharacteristically self-conscious and hesitant. He stopped abruptly at the edge of the blanket and stared down at it as though it was an invisible line he wasn't permitted to cross. He contemplated it in silence, blinked, then slowly and deliberately turned and sat cross-legged in front of her.
"There is no problem."
He sounded unsteady, his voice holding a sort of false confidence. She couldn't be sure if it was for her benefit or his own that he used it now. She really hoped he wasn't having second thoughts. After sharing a kiss like that…it'd be impossible for them to slip back into their old routine now. Too much had been said and even more left unsaid by his touch.
His kiss had told her something he'd never been able to express before and perhaps never would. She meant something to him – what exactly she couldn't be sure, but there was a part of him that desired her. There was a part of her that desired him too, a very big part now that she thought about it.
She glanced at him discreetly out of the corner of her eye. His back was rigid and his hands were pressed in tight fists atop his knees. Somewhere between the bed and the lamp the spell had broken. Everything about his posture screamed hesitation to her in vibrant technicolour. The sheets beside her were growing cold and the warmth of his touch had all but evaporated from her skin.
Is this it? she wondered, tasting disappointment. Or did she have the courage to make the first move?
Her eyes remained focused on his profile as she slipped a tentative finger inside the top of her sock and pried it off her foot. With a flick of her wrist it was tossed towards the hamper. It fell short, fluttering to the tatami floor in a white, limp heap. A few seconds later it was followed by her other sock. Sousuke's back went rigid.
Her heart raced wildly inside her chest as she snapped open the clasp of her watch. It dropped into her waiting hand and was deposited on her bedside table. The metallic links jingled quietly against the wood grain and the sound resounded between them with a sense of finality.
Feeling Sousuke's probing gaze on her she suddenly felt self-conscious of her movements. Curling her hands into fists, she pressed them against her thighs, mimicking his posture, and concentrated on quieting the blush of embarrassment burning her cheeks.
Why's he staring at me like that? she wondered, not daring to look up.
Her eyes followed the linear pattern of the stitching on her comforter until it disappeared into a fold. The silence stretching between was something of epic proportions. Somehow, she didn't think it was supposed to be this awkward. Where was the romance? Where were the sweet words and gentle touches?
When he didn't appear to be making any moves to follow her lead, she felt her confidence wither. She scratched idly at a wayward itch near her elbow and a defeated sigh fell from her lips. She should've known better – it was Sousuke after all. A chiding voice inside her head reminded her of this fact and she begrudgingly accepted the truth. Like he'd ever actually-
A flash of camouflage green flew silently past her line of sight. She glanced up just in time to watch Sousuke's t-shirt land atop her socks on the floor. Eyes wide, she turned towards him and took in the shirtless sergeant sitting in front of her. It was nothing she hadn't seen before but somehow the fact that they were in her bedroom, sitting atop a makeshift bed, with no one else around, made the whole thing so overtly sexual she didn't know how to respond.
She noted the heavy rise and fall of his chest as her eyes panned over the plains of his torso – chest, stomach and shoulders were all bare before her eyes. She allowed herself, just this once, to shamefully admire his soldier's body. Every muscle was lean and defined, sculpted from years of combat and training. Scars dotted the landscape, some more pronounced than others; each one remnant of a battle or some other dangerous mission.
Her eyes lingered on a jagged scar that cut across the left side of his stomach. It was in the same place where the piece of shrapnel had pierced him during the hi-jacking incident. It was no more than a white snaking line now but seeing it there, prominently standing out against his tanned skin, made her heart squeeze inside her chest.
That scar… He'd received that one from protecting her. If she asked him about it he'd brush it off as something inconsequential. "It was nothing more than a minor flesh wound," he'd say, but she knew better. He'd walked for miles through the forest with that piece of metal sticking out of him and yet he hadn't complained, not even once.
Her eyes tentatively lifted to meet his and she was struck by what she saw. There was vulnerability in them, something she'd never seen from him before, and it unnerved her as much as it comforted her. She offered him a small smile as realization dawned on her. The battlefield he knew – it was this one that was giving him trouble.
Her hands hesitated only a moment before she lifted them, dragging her t-shirt up over her head. The cool air washed instantly against her overheated skin, even more so when she tossed the navy blue jersey tee out of arms reach. It landed with a sense of finality atop Sousuke's discarded shirt and she brought her hands up to cover her naked shoulders.
The day's dogged humidity seemed to have evaporated completely with the night, as though it'd never been there at all. She glanced hesitantly at her sergeant. His hands were still fisted against his thighs and his eyes refused to look in her direction. She noticed the way he swallowed thickly and the beads of sweat that gathered along his brow despite the cool night air meandering about the room.
She self-consciously hugged her knees into her chest and rested her cheek atop them. The vibrant chicken clock ticked noisily in her ear, counting the seconds of silence. The light in the corner flickered and dimmed, a subtle reminder that it was almost time to replace the bulb.
"Kaname…I-," he muttered in a low voice.
It was all he could manage before his throat constricted and sealed shut. He hadn't expected her to make the first move. He swallowed down the lump in his throat, but his words remained trapped there and refused to rise to the surface. His eyes lifted to meet hers. Those twin calming seas were so trusting and vibrant that he easily lost himself as they pulled him beneath their swift undertow.
She gave him a curious look and smiled hesitantly. "Me too," she confessed and hugged her knees tighter.
"Do you think…"
"That maybe we could figure it out together?" she prompted, finishing his thought for him.
He nodded once and breathed a grateful sigh at having been spared the awkwardness of confessing such a thing. Her eyes never left his as she lifted her head from her knees. The rest of her body followed, slowly unwinding itself limb by limb. There was a sort of half smile on her lips as she crawled towards him across the floor. The breath stuck in his throat and his eyes widened.
How should I respond?
The soft press of her lips came as an unexpected, yet welcome, relief. Her touch was gentle, pliant, delicious; it intoxicated his senses enough to make his head swim. That single fleeting touch left him with an unrelenting craving for more. He wanted to explore her and feel the softness of her skin beneath his fingertips. He wanted all of these things and more, but his body remained paralyzed.
He'd dedicated his entire life to training and battle. Every piece of equipment he used came with a manual. Every mission had a plan of action with a specific target and escape route. He'd prepared himself for every possible situation, trained for every scenario – except this one. Now that they were alone he hadn't a clue what to do or where to begin. What was acceptable? What wasn't? What did she want him to say? What did she expect him to know? His mind reeled with unanswered questions, each one stealing away another shred of his confidence.
When she pulled away from the kiss he slowly opened his eyes and swallowed. She must've been able to read the fear in his gaze because she offered him an encouraging smile and shimmied backwards across the blankets. He pulled in a shaky breath and followed her, his movements slow and clumsy compared to hers.
His hands stopped on either side of her head next to the pillow and he peered down at her, his gaze silently asking her to guide him. Wordlessly, her fingers slipped around his forearms and her thumb caressed the inside of his wrist. It brushed delicately overtop the staccato rhythm of his pulse in silent acknowledgement. She cast a relieved smile up at him, a secret understanding passing from her eyes to his. He bent his head low and pressed his lips to hers.
The feeling of her hands drifting across his naked chest was an unexpected shock to his senses. Her delicate touch slipped easily over his exposed skin, leaving a trail of tingling flesh in its wake. Her fingers explored every muscle, every curve, as though she were trying to map his body through touch alone.
Her hand lingered near one scar in particular, fingertips dabbling across the white line of scar tissue in hesitant strokes. It was the one he'd received during the hi-jacking incident. He'd been lucky that time – the shrapnel hadn't pierced any major organs or arteries, but he couldn't understand why she was so fixated on it. His body was covered in scars – why did that one matter so much more than the others?
He abandoned her lips and kissed an exploratory trail down her cheek to her jaw and then the soft skin of her neck. She let out a near-silent gasp and her hands slipped round his back to pull him closer. Her breaths were hot and desperate against his neck and she lifted her hips to graze her center against his thigh. He hadn't expected that move either and felt his stomach somersault with anticipation.
Bracing himself on one arm he slowly explored her body with his free hand. His first few touches were cautious and shy. His eyes studied her intently, watching for any signs that he was doing something wrong. He half expected her dreaded harisan to whap him over the head at any moment, but she looked content while her hands continued their own quiet exploration.
The skin on her arms was soft to the touch, delicate and unblemished. This is what a woman's body is supposed to feel like, he thought appreciatively while skimming the tips of his fingers along her inner arm. His touch elicited a bevy of goose bumps across her skin which he smoothed away with a reverent kiss placed against her shoulder.
Her body responded to his touch, shifting and arching closer as quiet gasps and exhales escaped her lips. He'd never known it could be like this. A sort of giddy eagerness took hold of him and his touches became more exploratory, tentatively probing into uncharted territory.
As he navigated the gentle curve of her breast her hand slipped unseen between them. She hooked one finger into the waistband of his pants and made a teasing pass across the bottom of his stomach. He leaned into her touch despite himself and took a moment to catch his breath. He felt like a complete novice, fumbling blindly with uncertain, awkward movements and yet she seemed so at ease. Her touch felt confident against his skin, reassuring even, and yet it did nothing to stop the blood from rushing in his ears or the constricted feeling in his chest.
"Kaname…," he whispered her name against her skin but she paid him no mind. Her hands, those hands that were far bolder than he could ever hope to be, unhooked his belt and the top button of his pants. The zipper buzzed loudly as it was pulled apart and her hands delved tentatively into the open space, exploring with the newly exposed skin of his stomach and hips with a cautious touch.
Her hands trembled with nervous excitement as they slipped overtop his hips and along the slight curve at the small of his back. This was completely unknown territory. Her mind was still reeling over the fact that she'd so brazenly undone his pants. Just like that. And he'd let her. She swallowed hard, realizing with a grimace that her mouth felt uncomfortably dry again.
Her fingertips accidentally brushed against the top of his boxers and she hastily pulled away. A cold, nervous sweat broke out across her brow and the blood pounded in her ears. Is it always this terrifying? All she had to do was reach a little bit lower and it would be there. She gulped loudly. For the life of her she couldn't understand what she was so afraid of but her hand hesitated just the same.
He whispered her name gently, almost as though he was pleading with her. She loved the way it sounded when he said it. It filled her with a warm sensation that flooded outwards from the very pit of her stomach until it tingled at the tips of her toes. She pulled in a calming breath and indulged in a few more kisses.
A little more confident than before, her fingertips brushed along the waistband of his boxers. They followed it across the width of his body until it curved round his hips. The gentle touch of his hands against her skin and the playfulness of his tongue in her mouth gave her the last bit of encouragement she needed.
Following the taught muscles of his stomach, she slipped her fingers past the seam of his underwear and delved into uncharted territory. She swallowed hard as the tell-tale hardness hidden inside his boxers suddenly slipped beneath her fingers. She explored its smooth length tentatively with her fingertips, just once, before she lost her nerve and pulled away.
Above her Sousuke sucked in a sharp gasp and she bit her lip worriedly. Every muscle in his body seemed tense, as though he were a guitar string that'd been wound too tight. With an apologetic frown she moved her hands to safer territory. It took a few seconds, but he eventually opened his eyes and she felt herself blushing crimson beneath his gaze.
"I'm sorry," he apologized abruptly and she started, her eyes blinking wide at him.
"I wasn't expecting...You can…I mean, it's okay if you…" his words died a quiet death and he nervously looked away from her.
It took a moment of staring up at him to realize that he wasn't going to say any more on the matter. He remained mute, his words stuck in his throat just as hers were. Watching him carefully, she slid her hand slowly down his stomach once more. His body was tense and his breaths seemed rapid and unsteady. The hand that'd been caressing her body now clutched the sheets next to her in a near-death grip. He didn't close his eyes until her fingertips brushed over top that same hard spot. A nearly-silent gasp escaped him and a tiny shudder shivered across his shoulders.
"Am I…doing it right?" she asked hesitantly, moving her hand over in him with slow, rhythmic strokes. He breathed a heavy sigh before nodding and opening his eyes. When he looked at her a quirky sort of half-smile was on his lips again.
Kaname smiled in spite of herself and slipped her free hand around his neck to pull his lips down to hers. The moment they met a soft moan escaped him and his hips pressed needily against her hand. His reaction to her touch, the way he seemed so desperate for it, made the heat pool between her thighs.
When he pulled away from their kiss her eyes wandered appreciatively over the features of his face, studying his frown of concentration with interest. She'd never seen him like this before. He seemed so different in this state. He was so completely at her mercy that she almost felt sorry for him.
Reaching down, he gently pulled her hand away and pressed it against the bed spread next to her head. She smiled tentatively, unsure why he'd stopped her.
"Did I do something wrong?" she asked, nibbling worriedly at her bottom lip.
He shook his head and his lips brushed her cheek. "It's…not a problem."
She was looking at him with a dubious frown when he opened his eyes, her gaze swimming with worry and doubt. How could he reassure her? How could he explain that her touch had set him on fire and shocked his senses to the point where he could barely tolerate it? His body was still throbbing, aching, and twitching in spite of his attempts to control it. With one hand she'd disarmed him and brought him to his knees. And now that he was there, he was more than willing to be her prisoner a little while longer.
Following the lines of her body, he mapped out her curves with his lips, his hands moving steadily closer to their goal. They stopped at the hem of her shorts and he glanced up at her questioningly. She nodded her head after a second, giving him permission to proceed. With hands that trembled slightly, he undid the button on her shorts and slowly pulled them down her body. Slipping them off her feet, he folded them perfunctorily and laid them to the side.
He could feel her eyes on him as he removed what was left of his clothes. Being aware of the fact that he was in prime physical condition, he'd never found cause to be insecure about his body before but that didn't mean he was overconfident about it either. There was a significant difference between stripping down in the locker room after a mission and disrobing before a girl like Kaname. His face felt hot when he crawled back toward her and he knew he had to be blushing something fierce.
Positioning himself overtop of her like before, he caressed the side of her cheek with his thumb and ghosted his fingers along her hairline. She was breathtaking. The delicate pink blush of her skin and intimate way she laid so trustingly beneath him made his mouth run dry. How could she want someone like him? She'd said it herself – he was the last person in the world any girl would want as a boyfriend. His thumb brushed over her full lips and she kissed it absently.
Holding her gaze, he slid his hand slowly up the length of one of her toned thighs. He moved cautiously, determined not to rush. Her hand unexpectedly joined his, resting overtop of it to guide his movements with a gentle pressure. When he reached the top of her leg where the skin was softest, he bent his head and captured her lips.
She responded to him almost instantly, arching her hips against him while her tongue darting out to tease his. Reassured by her acceptance, he hooked his hands beneath her knees and pulled her toward him until he was nestled at her naked entrance. There he stopped to catch his breath, the gravity of their positions suddenly making his head reel. He pulled away from her comforting touch and sucked in a shaky breath.
"Are you ready?" he prodded her quietly, though it felt more like he was asking himself that question. He'd realized quite suddenly that there was no going back after this. Things would change between them. It was the question of whether they would be good changes or bad that had him worried.
Kaname slid her hand up his forearm and gently grasped hold.
"Yeah," she confided. Seeming to sense his anxiety she added, "Are you?"
He nodded unsteadily.
"I trust you Sousuke," she said with a sense of finality and gave him an encouraging smile.
What is this feeling?
He gazed down at her smile and the trust in her eyes. The look she was giving him…his stomach twisted at the thought of her bestowing it upon anyone else. He wanted her for himself. He'd never felt this tension before, this feeling of…was it jealousy?
His heart thumped hard with anxiety now and that other feeling he had such trouble defining. It was comforting and spread outwards slowly from his center to warm him, like the touch of a fire's glow on a cold night. The sensation grew stronger when she smiled at him like she was doing now and when they touched; when they laid together on her couch and held hands; when he caught her gazing at him when she thought he wasn't looking and vice versa. In all these months he'd spent at her side that feeling had only grown stronger.
This feeling…is it love?
All at once the answer came to him and the invisible weight of ignorance was lifted from his shoulders. Yes. I love her, he admitted quietly to himself for the first time.
She blinked up at him and her fingertips brushed feather light along his jaw. There was tenderness in his gaze as he studied the delicate features of her face. For him, it wasn't simple at all. He loved her, he knew that now, yet the his honest confession would not emerge. The moment her eyes met his, his courage failed him.
Feeling like a coward, he bowed his head and brushed his lips apologetically against hers, all the while thinking I love you, Kaname Chidori. He thought this as their lips touched and as he ran his hand down the smooth skin of her side. He thought it as her lips pressed warm and pliant against his and her hands lightly skimmed his naked chest.
He thought it as he slowly entered her willing body and she gasped and tensed beneath him. He moved inside of her with a gentle rhythm, inwardly cringing at the thought of having caused her any pain. After a moment she relaxed beneath him and began to move as well, arching her body into his embrace.
Her touch felt like fire as her hands moved across his skin, slipping down his ribs, sliding up his back, curling around his shoulders. Her inferno was slowly consuming him - from the sparks of her kisses and the insistent playfulness of her tongue to the scorching, encompassing heat of her core - and he bowed to it, helpless to do anything more.
His body felt overloaded with sensation, her touch, her taste, her smell, the maddening pull of her warm, wet heat; he could feel himself slowly losing control. With a strangled moan he tore his lips from hers and pressed his forehead against her shoulder, panting hard.
It was too overwhelming to try and process all at once. He closed his eyes to fight the sensations, to escape the maddening, dizzy pull, but he couldn't evade it. Even now, the soft skin of her shoulder called to him and he brushed his lips against it. She whispered his name and slipped her fingers through his hair sending electric shivers jetting down his spine.
He opened his eyes and gazed at the girl, the goddess, beneath him and pulled in a shaky breath. His entire body was tense, every muscle tight, coiled in and around itself like a spring. In the pit of his stomach was where he felt it worst of all. Every time he pushed his body into her welcoming embrace, every time he made them one, the coil wound ever tighter. As her lips found his neck he wondered if she felt it too - that same half-maddened anticipation, the same impending loss of control. Though her cheeks were flushed and her gaze was half-lidded she didn't appear to be fighting it like he was.
Terrified that he was doing something wrong, he stopped suddenly, holding himself still inside of her. He was breathing heavily now, like he'd just run a marathon and his muscles were beginning to cramp from the strain of holding back. He was thankful when she pulled away and gazed up at him, a troubled frown on her face.
Robbed of all his words he stared down at her imploringly, his expression communicating his secret fear of failure. After studying his eyes a moment she brought her hand up and brushed the back of her fingers across his cheek. His eyes fluttered closed at the gesture and a moment later it was gone, replaced by the soft touch of her lips.
"Please don't stop," she whispered between kisses and arched her hips against his, pulling him deeper inside.
The breath escaped from his lungs at the unexpected movement and he imitated it, rolling his hips slowly against her until she gasped with pleasure. Her teeth nibbled lightly against his bottom lip and with a quiet moan he slipped back into the rhythm of their lovemaking. Within seconds he could feel it building within him again - the anticipation, the tension, the emotions churning together. Each thrust brought him closer to the edge. The needy press of her fingers into the muscles of his back and her lips on his throat left him fighting desperately against his body's demands for release.
When her body suddenly tensed around his, shaking and shivering beneath him, and his name slipped from her lips in a breathy gasp of ecstasy, he realized that he was fighting a losing battle. She'd pushed him to the brink and with her innermost muscles pulsing around him he accepted his fate and threw himself off of it, ready to join her in oblivion.
Kaname's muscles were still limp and her body tingling when he lifted his head from her shoulder, pressed a meaningful kiss against her swollen lips, and lay down beside her. He pulled her into his side with his arm around her body until she was nestled against his chest. With careful movements he pulled the blanket overtop of them both to keep her warm.
Her thumb brushed over the taut peak of one of his nipples before her arm wound round his torso. She rested her cheek against his shoulder and draped one leg over his, curling into him with a contented smile on her lips. A feeling of euphoric calm had overtaken her, leaving her mind blank and her senses dulled. She was quite content to remain entwined with him forever.
Eventually the rhythm of his heart in her ear returned to its usual steady pace and the sounds of the outside world slowly crept back in. The hum of the city streets drifted through the crack in her window where the air conditioner sat silent. It was a calm night, hardly any traffic at all. A whisper of cool air brushed against the tip of her exposed shoulder, the only part of her not covered by the blanket, and she shivered in spite of herself.
"Are you cold?" Sousuke asked attentively, breaking the long-standing silence between them. She nestled closer to his warmth and shimmied further under the blanket before shaking her head.
"No. I'm alright."
She felt him nod and the backs of his fingers traced her spine in an unconscious gesture. Her own hand dragged along the smooth lines of his stomach before coming to a rest next to her cheek, just overtop his heart. His body felt so warm beneath her hands, almost like he was lit from within by a furnace.
For a moment she wondered if she should thank him, but quickly dismissed the idea as stupid and immature.
She could feel his eyes on her and kept her gaze averted. Her old feelings of shyness and self-consciousness slowly returned as the afterglow faded.
"What…what are you thinking about?"
It was a stupid question really. She regretted it the moment it left her lips and yet she waited anxiously for his answer because she didn't know what else to do. She didn't know what was supposed to come next or what you were supposed to say after. Romance novels and movies never went into what happens in those first moments afterwards – everyone simply wakes up the next morning smiling and cheerful, or the story picks up a few days down the road. Her fingers drew tiny circles against his skin as she waited.
"I was just thinking…" he began, sounding as though he was still somewhat lost in his thoughts. Kaname glanced up at him expectantly but his eyes were focused on the ceiling.
"I was thinking that I know what it feels like to have a home now." He met her gaze with a sincere look. "This city, being here with you…this feels like home to me. Is it wrong to think that?"
His eyes darkened with a glimmer of self-doubt and Kaname instantly wanted to dispel it. She liked this Sousuke. He wasn't blowing things up or hunting down terrorists. He wasn't stumbling over his words and annoying her with his antics. He wasn't a soldier or a secret mercenary and she wasn't a Whispered. For now, in this moment at least, he was just a boy and she was just a normal high school girl.
She smiled at him as she shook her head. The warmth in her smile was evident when she spoke, "No. It's not wrong to think that. Being here with you…it feels like home to me too."
He nodded once and relief washed over his features. Pulling her in close, he pressed a fleeting kiss against her forehead. With a quiet understanding they both accepted that nothing else needed to be said.
Curled up at his side and enveloped by his soothing warmth, Kaname's eyes began to flutter and drift closed. The playful touch of her fingertips against his chest gradually halted and her breaths became slow and even. With the comforting weight of Sousuke's arms wrapped around her, she succumbed to the heavy pull of sleep and he followed not long after.
I apologize for taking as long as I did to come out with this chapter! Grad school hasn't been kind to me free time wise. Hopefully you all enjoyed the third and final instalment of 'Breathless'.
I am humbled and honoured by the reception this little ficlet has received. Thank you to everyone for your kind reviews and words of support. Hopefully I didn't let you down! To everyone else who read this, favoured it or recommended it to a friend, you have my sincere gratitude.