Pairing: SetsunaxKuu, KyoshiroxJin, KaonxHimiko
Warning: Shounen-ai and Shoujo-ai
AN: Written for SlaughterChichi's birthday.
Disclaimer: I own nothing in connection with the characters used in this non-profit fanfiction. All similarities to real events are purely coincidence.
Chewing nervously on her bottom lip and clutching the wicker case containing a carefully prepared lunch, Kuu looked around her once again. But she still didn't see even the smallest hint of the bobbing blonde hair or hear the soft tinkling of bells she was so hoping for.
"Kuu, please relax," Kyoshiro said from where he leaned against a bench, which was beside the tree Kuu was standing beneath. "Setsuna will be along soon."
"Setsuna-san is never late," Kuu replied in a worried tone, still continuing to glance around her. The park was full of so many people; couples strolling, children playing their ball games or scrambling over the equipment in play areas as mothers chatted with each other on nearby benches. But what Kuu looked for wasn't amongst any of them.
Kyoshiro opened his mouth to attempt some more comforting phrases and started to reach out his hand. But his actions were stopped when Jin, who was sat on the bench, reached up to take hold of Kyoshiro's wrist and pull him down so that he could speak softly into his ear.
"She'll worry whatever you say," he said. "You know she will."
"I should still try."
"Setsuna has never let anybody down before," Jin reasoned. "She would never miss the date that was Kuu's idea in the first place."
Kyoshiro frowned through knowing that what he was being told was correct, whether he liked it or not.
They didn't have long to wait for soon the gentle breeze brought the soft sound of bells jingling. As soon as the sound reached her ears, Kuu perked up and spun around the direction of the noise. She immediately spotted Setsuna jogging up the pathway towards them, her hair swinging behind her and the long skirt of her dress swaying around her ankles. One of her hands was hidden behind her back.
Within the blink of an eye, Kuu had launched herself away from where she stood to hurry towards Setsuna and wrap her arms around her in a tight hug so forcefully the two girls nearly fell back onto the concrete pathway.
"Setsuna-san!" Kuu squealed in delight, completely oblivious to the tumble they had nearly taken, as she was too busy with holding her girlfriend as tightly as she could and burying her nose into Setsuna's hair. "I was so worried you wouldn't show up!"
"I'm sorry," said Setsuna, as she steadied them both. "I was coming then I thought of something to bring."
"Oh?" Kuu was curious enough to detach herself from Setsuna. "What?"
"Come on," Setsuna smiled, taking Kuu's hand and leading her back to where she had been standing with Kyoshiro and Jin. They had both moved to stand underneath the tree and had been watching the scene with some amusement and relief that Kuu had now cheered up. As she reached them, Setsuna took her hidden hand from behind her back, revealing three large red roses clutched gently in her fingers.
"For you," Setsuna smiled as she handed Kuu the largest rose. "People do bring each other little gifts on their first date sometimes, right? That's what I heard."
"I-I think so. Sometimes." Kuu blushed furiously as she accepted the rose and inhaled the sweet scent from its centre. "Thank you so much, Setsuna-san."
"And one for Kyoshiro too. And Jin, as he's Kyoshiro's special person." Setsuna beamed as she held out the remaining two roses.
Jin immediately went redder than Kuu and appeared to be wishing that his hair covered both his eyes. He was, however, smiling, if somewhat awkwardly.
"Where did you get these, Setsuna?" Kyoshiro asked, smiling as he took both roses and slid one into Jin's hand. As far as he knew, Setsuna didn't yet have a source of income.
"They're from the garden," said Setsuna.
"So the very best, then." Kyoshiro smiled. He knew very well about all the hard work both Setsuna and Kuu put into taking care of the garden.
"Thank you, Setsuna-san," Jin said, bowing his head. He appeared to have composed himself and had tucked the rose into the front pocket of his jacket, having the red petals poke out.
Setsuna turned to Kuu once more, but her smile dropped when she saw the very worried expression on her face.
"You don't like it?" she asked, also taking on a concerned look.
"No, no! I really love it. The rose is absolutely beautiful!" Kuu cried, waving one hand frantically in the air as she did so. "It's just..." She withdrew her hand to clutch awkwardly at her skirt. "I didn't get you anything."
"I don't mind," Setsuna said, resting a hand upon Kuu's shoulder. She was sincere about it. Kuu could tell that through her voice and the gentle gesture. The rose was indeed very beautiful, but looking at it still gave her the feeling that she should have brought a small token as well. She did have the perfect double date set up after all; the weather was gorgeous, the park wasn't too crowded and carried a pleasant atmosphere, she had worked hard the previous afternoon preparing a lunch and knew the perfect spot for eating it. Right by the lake, where the swans were. She hadn't even ithought/i of bring some sort of token, and it seemed completely unfair to her that Setsuna should be without one.
There was only one thing for it.
"Please wait here, I'll be right back," Kuu suddenly cried, causing those around her to become momentarily startled. "Setsuna-san, can you please watch the lunch?"
Upon receiving a puzzled nod from Setsuna, Kuu turned and ran down the pathway.
Setsuna watched her go, then turned to Kyoshiro. Her stomach fluttered with worry. "Kyoshiro, did I do something wrong?"
"No," Kyoshiro shook his head and gave her a reassuring smile. "Kuu is just so worried about today going well. She probably feels bad about you not having anything."
"Oh." Setsuna continued to look worried as she looked back in the direction Kuu had taken.
Kyoshiro followed her gaze. "Perhaps we should go after her."
His response came in the form of Jin firmly taking hold of his wrist again. "Don't worry about her not developing within herself then always go to save her." As he spoke, Jin slid his hand down Kyoshiro's writs, into his palm and squeezed. "She worked so hard to arrange this day. You know she won't settle down until she does what she thinks is right for it."
He was right, of course, once again, and Kyoshiro knew it. So he resigned himself to quietly pushing away his concerns again. He closed his fingers around Jin's hand.
"Setsuna-san," Jin turned to her, smiling. "If it'll cheer you up, I could tell you how Kyoshiro reads Hamlet after having a few too many wines."
The look Kyoshiro gave him promised very uncomfortable things.
Hearing somebody call her name in surprise brought her to such an abrupt stop Kuu almost ended up falling down for the second time that day. Recovering herself, Kuu looked over to where the voice had come from. Sat at a table set up outside a tea and coffee shop sat Kaon and Himiko.
"Oh, Kaon-san, Himiko-san," Kuu panted, bowing in greeting. "I'm so sorry but I can't stop now."
"What's the rush for?" Kaon enquired.
"Setsuna-san and I were meant to go on a double date today with Ayanokoji-san and Oogami-san," Kuu explained quickly. Her left foot began to jiggle on the pavement in her haste to keep running. "Setsuna-san brought a rose for everybody from our garden, but she doesn't have anything. So if I run quickly I can get her one as well."
"That's quite a way," Kaon raised an eyebrow, but still smiled, pleased at how Kuu felt she could speak so freely about her relationship. Putting down her cup of tea, she addressed Himiko; "Himiko, I'm going to have to leave you by yourself for a little bit. Do you mind?"
Himiko smiled, immediately understanding Kaon's intentions. "No. Please do help Kuu-san."
"Help me?" Kuu asked, then realised what Kaon had in mind as well. "Oh no, I could never interrupt your date as well."
"Himiko will worry if I don't," Kaon said as she stood up. Behind her, Himiko continued to smile. "And that I can't have."
Kuu didn't protest as Kaon wrapped an arm tightly around her middle.
"Hold on tight," Kaon told her. "And keep a firm hold on that as well," she added, nodding down to the rose still held in Kuu's hand.
"Oh right," Kuu said, tucking the rose carefully between herself and Kaon where it wouldn't get squashed and would be sheltered from the wind. "Tha-Thank you so much, Kaon-san."
Kuu only just managed to catch Himiko's smile and wish of "good luck" before the ground was suddenly many hundreds of feet below them.
There were probably going to be some interesting stories in the newspaper the following morning.
As soon as they touched down in the garden that Setsuna and herself took such pride in taking care of, Kuu hurried towards the rose patch and hunched over the beautiful flowers.
"Which one do you think Setsuna-san would like?" she asked, frowning as she looked from one to another.
"Whatever one you like, so will she."
At first it didn't seem like a very helpful answer. Then Kuu's eyes fell upon a rose which was almost hidden by a clump of others. Pushing the blocking flowers gently aside, wary of the thorns dotted along their stems, she instantly felt herself fall in love with the almost-hidden rose. Despite its position giving it a disadvantage in receiving some nutrients and watering, it had still grown to be just as big and beautiful as the rest. It was a true tribute to the time and devotion Setsuna gave to looking after the garden.
Picking it carefully, Kuu gently plucked off its thorns and tossed them into the nearby compost heap which was being accumulated. Then she turned to Kaon. She could feel a fluttering sensation within her chest, but felt extremely happy all the same.
"I've got it Kaon-san," she said with a radiant smile as she walked to where the other Angel stood, quietly admiring the well-kept garden around her. "I've found the perfect rose for Setsuna-san."
"Let's go then," said Kaon. "You must be in a hurry to get back."
"Yes." Kuu continued to smile widely and tucked Setsuna's rose carefully away with her own to protect it as they rushed back again.
Seeing Setsuna suddenly tense up about something naturally still put Kyoshiro on edge too. Especially when he recognised the rapidly approaching object as Murakumo. He, however, relaxed as he spotted Kuu clinging to her as Kaon came down gently to land.
"Setsuna-san!" Kuu called in greeting and leapt from Kaon's gentle grip when they were still a few inches from the ground. But it appeared she was unable to wait any longer to run up to Setsuna and present her with the rose she had picked whilst both beaming with accomplishment and pride and still trying to catch her breath. "Here, I picked a rose for you too."
Setsuna visibly relaxed as she felt confident there was no threat of any sort of harm.
Still breathing heavily, Kuu turned to Kaon and bowed her head. "Thank you very much."
Kaon smiled as Setsuna and herself exchanged courteous nods. "Any time." Without another word, she turned and walked up the path back to where Himiko would be sitting and waiting for her. She chose to remain oblivious to those who still stared in wonder at the girl who had suddenly dropped from the sky.
"Okay," Kuu said, turning back to Setsuna, Kyoshiro and Jin. "Now we can go and eat lunch by the lake."