Kano hated going by the bridge. It was as simple as the grimace her small face darkened into when her friends gently slipped it into their conversation as a harmless suggestion.
They would never know why either. She herself sometimes wondered why, but when she stared out of the clinic's window, the twilight lazily deepening into a glowing black and Potato sleeping beside her on the cushions, she would content herself by pouting and waiting.
It was terrible and she hated it. It was also boring and somewhat lonely without him by her side, where she felt utterly at ease; nothing that escaped from her clumsy lips was ever deemed stupid or ignorant. She appreciated that and as she slouched down into the ottoman, her cheek pressed against the leather covering, she would feel a surge of hate once again.
It had been days after she had held his hand and watched the bright yellow ribbon flutter away in the wind. The sky had been as blue as her hair, he had teased, but not as beautiful as his hair, she secretly thought, silver and radiant and tousled, tossed carelessly over one eye.
Even thinking of that now made her remember, and she snorted in irritation. Then she had no choice but to satisfy her urge to stalk out of the house and simply inhale the night breeze.
There were also those occurrences, back when she had consented to crossing the bridge. She hated seeing the boys, shirts off and socks drenched, as they waded in the stream, splashing water at each other with laughs and biting jests. She had once stepped away from her friends, who were huddled with blushing whispers and smiles, to yell at them for dirtying the water. One of them had flicked a few droplets at her but their laughs soon subsided and they simply grinned at her, eyes taking in her frowning brows and pinched mouth. It didn't help after all that she was above them on the bridge and they were below, where she had found him, his black shirt clinging to his slim frame, his moist hand brushing her large ribbon.
Of course no one would understand, she mused, her fingers already in the hatch of the sliding door and tingling as she remembered holding his neck. It was beyond herself as well, and taking a moment to reconsider, if she could not really get it, who could?
It was warm, a cool draft easing into the clinic as she called out to her sister before heading down the street. Kano loved this one time of the day, when the sun had already set but the light had not escaped, and the paleness of the stars gleamed in the darkening sky.
It was silent as she walked, feet skipping slightly to a tune running through her head, the path already traced for her. But it was still a surprise to find herself there, the curve of the bridge just ahead, the stone edges as cool as when she had leaned over, eyes wide in wonder, to watch him for the first time.
Kano suddenly stopped, her breath caught behind her teeth as she closed her mouth and brought her hands to her chest.
A man stood there, but he seemed hardly older than the seniors at her school. There was something that made her eyes sting as she peered into the approaching shadows and feel an invisible ribbon flap back around her wrist.
He turned and she let out a small gasp, her hands clenching. But still, impulsively, she walked forwards, her steps echoing as she passed by him, not daring to sneak a look at his face.
She had moved only a few paces away from him when she spoke, trying not to turn around.
"You know it's late and really dark outside. What are you doing here right now?"
"Nothing, and that's really none of your business."
Her heart pounded a steady tattoo and she was sure that if she let go of her hold on the stone bricks, she would fall.
"What if I say I owned the bridge?"
"Do you really?"
His relaxed drawl, scented over with a sigh, made her finally pivot on the spot. She started when she realized it was quite dark now and she had no chance of seeing his face.
"Yup, but I can let some people share. They have to be free planets."
"You know, why not simply be a bird?"
"They can fly, but they're not free."
He had never quite responded like this, and she had never talked this way either, as if he was slowly melting away into the night itself and she was still there, desperately grasping at his fading remains. It sounded horrible, just like the idea of crossing on the bridge.
"Do you still believe in magic?"
"Why think about something that will never happen when you can try and make the things that can happen come true?"
Her last statement was quite long and she paused to see if she made any sense.
"What if it doesn't come true? What if, you know, it's just all going to end the way it's supposed to."
His voice was lower, softer now.
"What if it's a happy end?"
He had moved closer and she was finding it difficult to maintain her steady breathing rate, but she confidently tipped her chin up.
"If it's with Yukito-kun though, it's going to be a bad ending."
His voice was tinged with remorse and the little dry humor that she knew would still be flickering in his candle flame eyes.
"Yukito-kun, where did you go?"
"I didn't go anywhere."
"You never came to the clinic for a while and I never got to see you, and I even came back to the bridge."
She knew her bright voice was finally faltering and there was the slightest tremor of a worried whisper lurking in her throat.
"Sorry Kano, I was held up."
"Obviously. Or maybe you just didn't want to see me again."
"I'm not that bad."
He had drawn even closer, so that he leaned against the stones. She could smell salt and sun on him and she could still sense the frayed patches on his jeans where he had fallen or tripped or in his telltale excitement, dropped onto the ground, his eyes glinting dangerously.
He was kind of dangerous, she reflected, her eyes fixed on a spot next to her sandal, the wind sifting through her blue strands of hair. He seemed too much of a stranger though he was the easiest person she knew to laugh around and laugh at; his simple remarks made her flustered inside but she thought it was all due to the way he smirked and the way he seemed completely abnormal, someone who actually accepted her odd ways and was a friend and a very handsome stranger at that.
"Yukito-kun, I don't want you to leave again like that."
There was no more demand in her voice, simply a request. She was softening too much, so horribly, it was all very strange and dangerous; he shifted his stance and she swallowed hard.
"If I promise to come back, will you let me go?"
"Yukito-kun keeps his promises?"
The streetlights at last glinted on, the neon green shine dulling the flow of the fireflies and his breathing muting the hiss of the insects perched on the dancing blades of grass.
He reached out and rested his hand on her head and Kano suddenly realized her face was a deep red and she wanted to pull away to hide the color but he had seen it after all hadn't he?
"Ah, what's the matter?"
Her small hands pushed on his chest and he flipped over as she realized he felt as light as a feather under her touch. There was a spray of water as he fell into the current and an annoyed groan as he looked up, his eyes the same as when she had seen him last. She hadn't meant to shove him, she tried to explain mentally as she stared back at him, mortified and exhilarated.
"Kano, you come down here now." His hair was dripping but she saw his smile grow.
She giggled and shook her head though she clambered down the slope and extended her hand.
"Sorry Yukito-kun," she mumbled in between her small fits of laughter. He took her hand and stood, leaning over her so that she felt him press towards her.
"Kano, I promise."
Her eyes widened and he carefully kissed the corner of her mouth, his dry lips murmuring against her burning skin.
"You'll just have to wait."
A/N: Yet another challenge in the tournament Nayuki-Bunny and I are in. This was supposed to be under the category of "fluff." I would say this takes place right before we see Yukito waiting for a bus and then changing his mind to return to Misuzu. I hope you enjoyed this short fic, please leave a review if you did!