CELEBRATION
A possible Margaret #13 and a moment of fanservice from Jen Wand...

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This fic will be obsolete in about a week, but what the heck...
this is what I'd like to see happen in Margaret #13's issue of HYD...
for those who missed, #12 apparently ended with Tsukasa moving in
next door to Tsukushi and then knocking on her door demanding to use
her bath because his apartment didn't have one. If THAT'S not a
setup for fan service, I don't know what is... :

I know I'll be frustrated again when it finally comes out, but in the
meantime, here's this...

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"The bath!?"
Tsukushi stood, dumbfounded, in the doorway. On the other
side of the frame, mirroring her pose but with an expression of cool
detachment, stood a lanky, tall man with a towel slung over his
shoulders, his arms laden with a mad amount of strange toiletries.
"I don't have one," he said.
"And you moved in without knowing this?" Tsukushi tugged at
her collar awkardly, finding it suddenly difficult to breathe. "Are
you a moron?"
"It can't be helped," Tsukasa answered, shrugging. "I'm
moved in now, and there's no bath. Are you going to let me in, or
what?"
Tsukushi stood aside, and Tsukasa swept past her with the air
of a man on a mission. She dared not turn and look back at him...
somehow the idea of Tsukasa in her apartment, about to go into her
bathroom, was too uncomfortable to even imagine. Too familiar. She
felt her shirt choke at her again.
"Look, you're going to have to do something about that," she
lectured, crossing her arms in a defiant position. "You can't just
come over here every time you need to take a shower."
"I KNOW that," growled Tsukasa from behind her. "But I'm
still all sweaty from moving stuff in. You gonna make me call a
plumber now?"
"Of course not," Tsukushi sighed, hanging her head in
defeat. "But just this once." She turned resolutely around.
Tsukasa's face was a half inch from hers. Tsukushi jumped
six feet backwards.
"Moron," he said, his long, dark eyebrows bending into a
single ominous line across his face. "You're still so damned shy."
"Wh-wh-wh-what are you saying?" Tsukushi stuttered, scared
to death. She was too unsettled to deal with his implications right
now. "What do you want?"
Tsukasa's voice was flat. "I don't know where it is," he
deadpanned.

A half-hour later, Tsukasa was happily whistling in the
shower, and Tsukushi was sitting on her bed feeling as if she had
somehow dropped into Wonderland. Everything seemed topsy-turvy
somehow. The man had moved next door, into an apartment without a
bath... the same man who had said of her family's lifestyle, "I'd
rather die." Nothing made any sense. And now he was in her
shower... and she was feeling strangely perplexed.
No, this was his doing, she decided, shaking herself out of
it. He probably really DOES have a bath, but he got some perverted
idea again. Yuuki's voice echoed in the back of her head. "Did you
do anything ecchi with Doumyouji-san yet?" When Yuuki said it,
corruption at the hands of Nishikado Soujirou notwithstanding, it
still seemed like an innocent question. And she had said the same
thing that HE had... "It's natural for a couple in love."
In love...
Tsukushi knew already that she was. She had come to that
conclusion rather painfully, and promptly fainted in a freezing
river right afterwards. She had gone through all the pain and
humiliation she did for him, and now everything had calmed down
somewhat... not entirely, but somewhat. But the threat of normality
was somehow a million times scarier than the continued craziness she
was used to. Now they had plenty of time and room to do whatever it
was normal couples did... but nothing about them seemed like it
could ever be normal. Could they really have decent conversations,
go on dates...
...do ecchi things...
...like a normal couple? The thought made her head hurt,
and she squinted at the clock on the wall to focus.

What the hell!?

He's been in there for an HOUR!

Tsukushi fumed. "I PAY for hot water, you moron," she
grumbled, leaping to her feet. "That's it, he's out, and he's out
now." Striding in long steps, she frowned. Time to get this damned
nightmare over with and this man out of her hair, at least for now.
She raised her fist, and was just about to knock when the wood of
the door swung forward to meet her hand.
"Huh?" said a deep voice from the other side of the door.
Tsukushi didn't speak.
The door opened wider.
Tsukushi lost her ability to speak altogether.
Hair tangled long and straight over his forehead, Tsukasa
stood in open-mouthed surprise, rivulets of water running down his
face from his soaked bangs. A pale bathrobe was wrapped loosely
around him, and its top hung open enough to reveal the smooth surface
of his chest, glistening slightly with the hazy dewdrops that hadn't
quite been wiped clean. His eyes blinked once, huge brown globes
with deep black centers, and his face flushed just slightly.
Tsukushi was utterly shot through. She felt heat rising to
the surface in all parts of her, and an utter lack of coherent
thought reduce her head to a void. All at once she was aware of a
million things, but couldn't articulate a single one of them, even
to herself. Her eyes were locked on him.
Without saying a word, without knowing what she was doing,
she moved forward. Some instinct or heat she'd never been aware of
was drawing her closer, its song too high-pitched to hear but too
loud to bear. With half-closed eyes, she moved right up to Tsukasa's
still frame and leaned against him, her cheek pressing hotly against
that hard chest, profile tilted up toward his shoulder and neck. Her
hands clutched at his robe, then pressed earnestly against his back.
Her eyes slitted closed.
The thudding of his heartbeat quickened against her inclined
ear, and her thoughts flickered back to life. Now she was aware of a
deep flushing heat welling up from beneath her and suffocating her
like shower steam. Now she could feel all the confused, longing
jumbles of sensation and emotion that clouded instinct, and she felt
the tugging of its leash. But now, unlike so many other times, it
wasn't enough to pull her away.
A pair of unsteady hands touched her shoulders gingerly at
first before finding a more secure hold. Tsukasa's head dropped
forward, and she felt a strand of his wet hair touch her face. It
made her shiver. But then he tightened his hold on her, burying his
face in her hair, not breathing, and she succumbed to his embrace.
Something was different, she realized then, amidst hot and
cold streams of feeling like mingled tears and laughter. The truth
was, she wasn't succumbing to anything, wasn't letting him do
anything, wasn't giving in to him. She wanted to be here. She
wanted him to be holding her. Her arms snaked further around him,
and she sighed. She felt lost, but not scared.
Tsukasa's hands lingered over her shoulders before coming
forward to cradle her face, gently, running through her hair,
touching her cheek, tracing the outline of her lips as he raised her
face to meet his gaze. In her eyes he saw the same glazed, mindless
passion he'd felt so many times himself when he couldn't bear not to
hold her for a moment more. And yet there was her sparkle, the
resolve that he never wanted to see disappear behind her bright
eyes. The real Makino Tsukushi, pride, power, and all, was in his
arms willingly, was tilting her head upward for a kiss, her arms
around him, her body against his. He couldn't stand to just look
any longer.
The kiss they shared was just barely there... light as the
touch of a feather, tentative, like the first rays of dawn. Their
lips parted as soon as they came together, and two faces, not even
an inch apart, stared at each other. The heat hung tangible in the
air.
Tsukasa pulled her to him again, and this time he kissed
her hungrily, deeply, parting her lips and tasting them at length.
Her hands rose to meet at the back of his neck, and she let her
weight crash against him, letting him support her as she moved to
deepen the kiss. There was a profound joy welling up inside her
along with the heat. Something true and certain. She was lost
and dizzy, but at the same time surer than she had ever been.
There was no shame in this, not in kissing him or being held by
him, not in the desire or the madness she felt. And when she was
too lightheaded to stand, there was no pride lost when he held her
up, or when he lifted her into his arms and started to move away
from the bathroom door into the room, kissing her thoroughly the
whole time.
Tsukushi felt her world move, and when it became solid
again, she was lying on the couch, that huge soft couch Shigeru
had insisted she keep, though she felt she might melt into it
every time she sat down. Now, the feeling multiplied as she
looked up into a mess of damp, dark hair, and felt earnest lips
touch her cheeks, her nose, her jaw, and oh, dear God, her neck...
she was melting, she was sure of it! "Chotto..." she whispered,
her voice all but gone. She tugged on his hair weakly. "Wait a
minute, Doumyouji..."
The assault of his lips stopped all too abruptly, and her
skin stung with regret. He lifted his head and stared down at
her. The sincerity in his eyes was enough to make her forget what
she wanted to say. His happiness shone through, and when he was
happy, he was contagious, he was irresistible. She felt words
rising up through the fog of her chest and stopped herself just
short of saying them.
"Wh.. what are you planning?" she said instead. "I don't
know... that we should..."
("...I love you!...")
"...that is, I know we're together and all now, but I don't
know if that means..."
He smiled then, and she lost her words altogether. His
smile was so full of understanding, so simply eloquent, that it
defied all answers. He touched the side of her face gently with
one hand. "I just want to kiss you for a little while," he said
in an even voice. "Can I?"

(...I love you! Doumyouji...)


She couldn't help but smile then. How many of her questions
had he just answered, just by saying that? How many of her worries
vanished, like shadows in sunshine? Her eyes, clouded with mingled
tears and passion, felt clear and alive. She felt she needed to
touch his face, and when she did, he pressed his lips earnestly
to her fingers, frowning slightly, then turning his eyes back to
her for an answer. "Can I?" he repeated.
Her smile widened, and tears flowed over her cheeks.
Something changed between them forever at that moment, something
a long time in coming. And, in celebration, she pulled him down
to her and answered him without words. Daylight shifted over the
carpet in the quiet room.

--kanpai!--