Cliffie: My lovely Ail asks, and I deliver. This one's for you, babe.
My favorite of my HiruMamo fics so far. I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope you all enjoy reading it!
AU in most concerns, and, as usual, the rating is due to Hiruma's language. Reviews, of course, are much appreciated!
Disclaimer: I do not own Eyeshield 21 or any of the characters. This is for entertainment purposes only.
The rain pounds down on the field, heavy and cold. The team trudges through their workouts, shivering in the rain as mud splatters against their uniforms, decorations no one wants.
Mamori sits on the bench and trembles in her raincoat, huddled down to protect herself from the harsh wind and rain.
"What are you doing, fucking manager?"
She looks at Hiruma, standing next to her without protection. He seems to revel in the storm.
"What does it look like?"
He glances at her, just for a second. "Get inside the clubhouse before you catch a fucking cold."
Mamori sets her jaw and presses her lips together. "No. I'm as much of this team as you are."
She wonders when she'll stop being defiant to him.
She thinks she won't ever.
Her ankle hurts. She doesn't know when she hurt it, but it hurts like a demon and she can't quite walk without a limp. It's after practice with a dying sun to light the field, and she slowly hobbles toward home.
She knows immediately when he falls into step with her, looking down at her with that curious spark in his eye.
"How the hell did you hurt your ankle?"
Mamori shrugs. "Your guess is as good as mine."
He doesn't offer to help, and she doesn't ask for it.
He turns down the next corner, and Mamori stumbles home slowly.
When the first boy tells her he loves her, she smiles and tells him sorry, she doesn't want to date anyone at the moment.
When the second boy comes, Monta drives him away while Sena apologizes in the background and Mamori sighs.
When the third boy comes, Hiruma's guns make him flee.
"You didn't have to do that," she says, lightly complaining. She didn't necessarily want to date the boy, but she didn't like having them forced away either.
Hiruma glances at her, all flint and steel. "You're part of the team, fucking manager, and that means you're under my control and do what I say."
She yells and fights, tells him she's no possession, but there's an odd feeling in her too-tight chest, and she wonders if it's really such a bad thing to have potential boyfriends driven away.
The crowd is loud all around them, cheering and stamping and Mamori cheers too, jumping up and down like the ecstatic Suzuna is doing.
Hiruma passes her, and his shoulder brushes hers for a moment. Mamori is suddenly seized with the desire to touch him -- kiss him even, perhaps -- but she doesn't and just stands there grinning like an idiot and listening to her heart pound along with the crowd's roars.
She doesn't remember when she started thinking Hiruma was attractive, nor when she began to be less and less annoyed with him. She's still defiant, but she doesn't care as much about what he does.
She worries about herself, sometimes, because she knows it is beyond stupid to fall for the devil quarterback. She tells herself it is a crush and she will eventually just get over it.
She has never been very good at lying, even to herself.
Mamori hates to cry, and hates even more to let people see her cry. Even Sena hasn't, and he's been around longer than most.
She sits alone in the clubroom, bottom getting cold from the floor, back sore against the wall. She can't stand him, she really can't stand him. How can anyone be that cruel? She hates Agon with all of her power, and she can't help but cry. Not for him, never ever ever ever for him, but because of him. Because she's weak when people get past her steel, weak when it comes to certain things, and she can still see the blood on the road and Agon's demonic grin (nothing like ihis/i demonic grin, because Agon's is beyond simple cruelty).
She doesn't hear the door open, but she does hear the footsteps and the soft breath. She doesn't look up, unable to stand whoever it might be see her cry.
"What are you doing, fucking manager?"
Of course it would be him. That was just the way her life worked.
She doesn't respond, merely tries to quell her sobs (and fails, although they do become quieter).
He comes forward until he's right before her. "You hurt?"
She shakes her head.
He crouches down, probably just wanting to know why she was being so strange and stupid.
The tears are clearly revealed in her voice. Since the charade's already up, Mamori decides to say one more thing.
He grunts softly and rises. Panic flutters in her chest -- she wants comfort, really she does, she just doesn't know how to ask for it -- but the door doesn't creak open again. Instead, there's the soft scrape of a chair, and then the steady clacking of keys as Hiruma begins to work on his laptop.
Mamori smiles through her tears and, probably for the first time, lets someone see her cry.
They've won. They've fucking won, and Mamori screams herself hoarse.
The team is all around her, jumping and hugging and she can't breathe, can't breathe because they've won the fucking Christmas Bowl.
Bodies press all around her as the crowd surges around them, congratulations littering the air like confetti.
And then he's next to her -- perhaps he's always been there -- and the press sends her close to him. He catches her by the shoulders, and she can't stop herself from hugging him, still yelling "We've won!" over and over again. His shirt is damp with sweat and dirt, but she's touching him, holding him like she wanted to last time but didn't.
He doesn't push her away.
Their eyes meet for a second when she raises her head. He's smiling, crazy and white and black, and electricity shoots through her.
His arms tighten suddenly, bringing her even closer as, for the first time ever (she thinks), Hiruma returns an embrace.
He still doesn't kiss her, but it's okay this time.
The elation doesn't fade for months, and the American Football team basks in their glory. Everyone's changed since they first started playing, Mamori thinks as she watches them around a table, chattering and laughing and being guys.
She sits back, smiles, and glances at Hiruma next to her. Even though he isn't looking at her, he smirks in response.
The glass shatters as Mamori's fingers go lifeless.
She stares at Kurita, horror on her face. "What?" she gasps. She feels dizzy, so she sinks into a chair. "What did you say?"
It's spring, and she'll be entering Todai in four days.
Kurita shifts uncomfortable, tears in his eyes. "He's leaving, Mamori-chan," he says, hands trembling. "He's going to America to train. He said not to tell you, but I just ca-can't." He break down into sobs, and Mamori feels her soul break just a little more.
She's standing before she realizes it, fumbling for the door and grabbing her car keys (thank God she finally got her license). She's out the door just as Kurita gives her the airport information and prays that she makes it.
The airport is loud and uncomfortable. Mamori runs through the people, dodging with a grace she never knew she possessed. The more she runs, the harder her breath comes, and she knows it's not just because of exertion.
If she doesn't see Hiruma again, she knows she'll break.
Blonde hair, a shock of it, and a black shirt and pants that always make her wonder if he wears any other colors.
"Hiruma, you bastard!"
No honorific, and she can't stop panting as she slides to a halt in front of him. It's the first time she's seen him so surprised.
"What the hell--"
She slaps him as he rises, another first. He slips back a little, eyes wide and anger quickly coming to color his face.
She moves to hit him again, but he catches her arm this time, holding her still. "You bastard," she says between pants, only now it's because she's crying harder than she ever had before.
"What are you doing, fuckin' manager?"
She looks up, gasping for air and trembling. "I'm telling you that you're despicable for not fucking telling me that you were leaving!" She's never said that word aloud before.
He blinks, staring down at her with an expression she can't quite read.
"What's it to you?"
Fury rises, hot and cold at the same time. Her tears slow. "What is it to me?" she repeats, the outrage clear in her voice. "I thought we were friends!" Her voice cracks. "I thought you trusted me enough to tell me something like this!"
The other soon-to-be passengers are looking at them, but Mamori doesn't care.
Hiruma glances away. "I didn't want you to be upset." The words are almost too quiet to hear, but Mamori catches them all the same.
"Damn right I'm upset!"
His eyes are back on her, penetrating and beautiful. "Why?"
She stutters, blinking and unable to say anything. He says something, or perhaps just grunts, and then he's kissing her.
It isn't anything like what Mamori envisioned her first kiss to be. It's not sweet or tender, but rough and hard and dominating. His lips press against hers so hard it hurts. Her first instinct is to fight back, to stand up to him and not let him do this to her.
That lasts only a second, and Mamori stops fighting both him and herself.
When they pull away, both panting and with spots of color in their cheeks (hers from embarrassment, his from her slap), her tears have dried completely. Her fists hold bunches of his shirt, and she can feel his powerful muscles beneath her fingers.
"I know you're not going to stay," she says. Her voice shakes, but that's to be expected. "So I'll just say this: I'll never forgive you if you don't come back."
Hiruma laughs and pulls away just as the airport personnel announces the last call for boarding (she never heard the first one). He kisses her once more, hot and quick, and gives her that wicked grin that turns her insides out.
"You better wait for me, fucking manager."
And she smiles. "I will."
They talk on the phone and send emails, and that's enough of a change for Mamori. They rarely talk about them or whatever they are, and instead talk about sports and football and classes (she's going to be a physical therapist, and, really, it's all his fault that she fell in love with sports). She tells him everything about Deimon, because she still goes to see every game, and he tells her about college and football in America.
Two years after he's been gone (with no visits, but she never really expected him to come back until he was done), Mamori says she loves him in an email.
He tells her to stop being so sentimental and yes, he fucking loves her too.
The email contains only one line.
Tuesday, June 7th, four o'clock at Terminal B.
Of course he would send it only a day before.
At four o'clock on the 7th of June, Mamori stands at the gate of Terminal B.
He looks nearly the same when he comes out, only older and harder. But, upon spotting her, he gives his crazy grin, and Mamori knows that everything's okay and will stay that way.
He's still the craziest man she's ever known, and the only one she's ever loved, even after four years of only hearing his voice and seeing his too-brief emails.
And when he kisses her, hard and fast and unexpected, and says that she better have something good to eat when they get home, she knows she's not a fucking manager anymore.
She's his fucking angel, and she never would have had it any other way.