A/N. People like me really shouldn't eat Cocoa Puffs and vanilla ice cream together... it DOES things to you. Anyways, this fanfiction is in honor of Michael
Phelps. Congrats for winning 8 gold medals and not being a stuck-up ass while doing it. Cheers!
Rhyme Over Reason
In the chaos of party plans, cherry tomatoes pie, blood phobias and sliding glass doors there emerges a teacher, a nurse, and a really cute pairing. Who said watching the Olympics couldn't be fun? JoshuaxRhyme, slight NekuxShiki.
Thank god the Summer Olympics only came every 4 years. They were such a pain.
Such were the thoughts of a violet eyed, ash haired 16 year old boy as he tried his very best to cook for his friends. Beat and Shiki had been adamant that they were going to have a party at Joshua's 'pad', as Beat put it. Of course, there was only one proper term for it: Mansion.
You would think that someone so obscenely rich would have hordes of maids at his disposal. You were right: he did. But by some 'divine force' (also known as the two girls), all of his people had been given the day off. So Joshua was stuck in the house trying desperately to keep the smoke alarm going off again. Beat, Neku and Shiki were out shopping, leaving him there, much to his dismay. At least he had Rhyme. The 13 year old was invaluable, working quickly, quietly and diligently. Without her, Joshua would have gone ahead and put cherry TOMATOES in the pie, not cherries.
Cute kid, he mused, chopping potatoes into long wedges for frying. He was never around her when the other's personalities were overpowering hers- it was rather... enlightening, as he mentally put it. Of course, one had to be damn near a patron saint to put up with her brother for any REAL length of time.
Chop chop chop.
It was still uncomfortable for Joshua to be around the other 3 in their little 'gang'. He could feel their mistrustful gazes on him constantly, and knew for a fact the 'boys' still hated him for hurting their 'girls'. That was a year ago- couldn't they just let it go? A lot had changed since then...
Chop chop chop.
Rhyme bumped lightly against him on her way to the sink, murmuring an absent but heart-felt "sorry, Joshua". He shrugged as he lost himself in his thoughts again, moving onto the next potato. They probably left her here with me just to make sure they didn't poison them, he thought darkly, chopping viciously. I wouldn't poison them, anyway... far too traceable. No, I'd-
The knife slipped slightly, and the razor-keen edge cut two of his fingers to the bone.
With a curse, he dropped the knife, shooting it a death glance. (glaring daggers at a dagger, hahahahah.) He shook his hand, feeling liquid running down his shirt sleeve.
A scarlet red drop landed on the counter, and Joshua froze, feeling bile rise in his throat. Don't look at your hand, don't look at your hand, don't look at-
Quickly, he clapped his uninjured hand over his mouth as vomit rose in his throat, feet squeaking on the floor as he tore towards the bathrooms. Moment later he was tossing his cookies in the toilet, small thin frame wracked in spasms.
The smell of blood filled his nose, images of a red tide swarming in his mind. Nausea threatened to overwhelm him even as he raged against it. His one weakness- the only thing he couldn't live without. Blood.
Spitting out the last of the bile, Joshua stiffened at movement out of the corner of his eye, followed by a gentle touch on his injured hand. Rhyme was kneeling beside him, wordlessly wrapping up his bleeding-
"Oh, shit, " he gasped before he was vomiting again, despite there being little left in his stomach but acid. At last, the spasms ceased, and he snatched a towel from the counter and wiped off his mouth. Suddenly, he remembered who was still sitting beside him.
"You're hemophobic, right? "
Joshua's mouth was framing a sarcastic comment along the lines of, 'no, I just randomly puke like mad for the fun of it', but his violet eyes were caught in her gaze. She was concerned, curious, and so innocent about the whole thing he didn't have the heart to be a grade-A jerk for once.
"Yeah, " he muttered instead. For not the first time that day, he was glad Rhyme had stayed behind with him. Beat and Neku didn't trust him, and if Shiki stayed with him her boyfriend would be doubly distrustful of him. Plus, she was pretty good at bandaging, apparently.
"Thanks for, ah... " he gestured in the general direction of the toilet and his hand. She shrugged lightly. "My dream right now is to be a nurse, or maybe a veterinarian. "
He scowled slightly at that. "Is that a jab at me? "
"N-not intentionally, " she stuttered slightly, and he nodded once in silent forgiveness. She continued. "I don't know if that was a dream of mine from before, or if that is new. "
Sting. Right. That was his fault. Still, he soothed himself, if it wasn't for my Game, she would be dead. A fair price, I'd say.
Then why do I feel like crap? "Well, thanks for that, anyway. "
"No problem. " She smiled shyly, getting up and offering him a hand despite the fact that he was normally half a head taller than her. He took it lightly, and followed her back the kitchen.
"Oh! " Rhyme bustled quickly over to the oven, yanking it open then shutting it with a sigh of relief. "Phew. I thought the pie was burning. We're good, though. "
Joshua started to finish with the potatoes, stiffening at the drying blood on both counter and floor.
"Not again, " he groaned, turning away and clapping a hand over his mouth. Just breathe...breathe...
"I'm so sorry, I didn't have time to clean that up, I was trying to find the first aid kit, let me get that now, " the blonde girl hastily explained, snatching a dishrag from the sink and setting about to her task.
Moments later she tapped him lightly on the shoulder. "It's done, Joshua. Are you... um... "
He let out a shuddering breath. "I'll be fine. "
Hands lost in the sinkful of hot water and soap, Joshua was distracted by Rhyme again. She looked so serious, tongue just peeking out of the corner on her mouth as she artfully added whipped cream to the top of the cherry pie.
What would I have done without her today, he mused. No wonder Beat worked so hard to protect her. She was so unique, so innocent, so sweet, so-
Oh, crap. He was starting to go down THAT road.
Joshua shook his head so his silver-toned bangs hid his view of the blonde girl, concentrating back on his task. Yoshiya Kiryu was NOT going to fall for a pair of
big blue eyes. Not when her big brother already wanted to break every bone in his body.
Ok, that was an exaggeration. Maybe HALF the bones in his body.
Joshua jumped slightly when Rhyme appeared beside him. "Let me help you; you wash, and I'll rinse, ok? "
He nodded. "You've got whipped cream on your nose, by the way. "
Rhyme looked cross-eyed for a moment before wiping off most of the fluffy white sweetness and popping it in her mouth. "Did I get it? "
"Not all of it. Let me. " He reached out, cleaning off the last traces and leaving behind a mass of bubbles 3 times the size the whipped cream had been. "Oops. " He chuckled lightly.
In a sudden spark of mischief, Rhyme scooped up a handful of bubbles and threw them into Joshua's face. He wiped the bubbles off, violet eyes dancing with comic malice that mirrored hers. Snatching a double handful, he chased her around the counter as she collected 'ammo' herself.
The 16 year old snickered as his target yelped and spat bubbles into the sink. She ducked down only to reappear holding the soap bottle and chase him around the kitchen.
Joshua suddenly slipped on a mass of bubbles that had missed their original target, landing with the breath partly driven out of him but otherwise fine. Rhyme, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) was following right behind him- she tripped, their legs tangled together as she came crashing down, knocking him back down as he tried to get up.
She was gasping for breath between giggles, and tears were falling down his face as they both sat up to face each other. Joshua opened his eyes first, realizing how close they were. Don't do anything stupid, don't do anything stupid, don't...
Blue eyes met violet ones for a long moment, both faces red, but only one from the exercise.
He couldn't help it. He just couldn't.. she was so close...
Impulsively, his lips met hers, and for one brief moment, Joshua was happy. There was no deceit, no anger, nothing that could ruin this rapturous kiss. Her virgin lips were soft and warm to his touch. A shiver of delight ran down his spine.
"Yo, we're back! "
Quickly, he pulled away and got up, brushing bubbles off his shoulder. Rhyme was still sitting frozen on the floor, blue eyes huge. He busied himself with cleaning up the bubble mess and acting nonchalant.
"T-took you long enough. " He took a deep breath to compose himself as the blonde girl got up, avoiding his gaze as Beat, Neku, and Shiki filled in laden with bags.
"Cherry pie! How yummy! " Shiki leaned over the still hot dessert and took in a deep breath, tucking her black hair more securely behind her ears.
"Joshua and I made it, " Rhyme said quietly, still refusing to look him in the eye. To his pleasant surprise, she said nothing about the tomatoes. "The fried potatoes are finished, too. "
Beat snatched one and popped it in his mouth, making a face at the hotness of it. "Good work, guys. Let's get this started! "
The boarding teenager fairly ran into the media room followed by a bouncy Shiki and a Neku whose expression had 'bored' written all over it.
"Dude, your TV's, like, bigger than my whole apartment!! SWEET! "
Rhyme watched them go for a moment before gathering the food, adding the finishing touches and loading herself up with trays. Joshua caught one just as she was about to drop it.
"Listen, Rhyme- "
She quickened her step, and he got the hint, letting the topic drop as he plastered on an expression of indifference. "Let's dig in, shall we? "
I was so. Freaking. Stupid.
Joshua kept his face calm as he mentally continued beating up himself. Oh, god. Not only is she probably never going to want to talk to me again, if Beat finds out he'll kill me. Or just graphically maim me.
In the space of two seconds, I simultaneously lost a friend and gave more people incentive to hate my guts. How joyous.
On the opposite couch, Neku and Shiki were curled up together in a quiet but fierce debate. She wanted to watch the Olympics, and he was busy listing all the
things he'd rather be doing. None of them were either worth repeating or PG.
Behind Joshua and to his left, Rhyme and Beat shared a couch as well, but with more distance between them then the other two. This left Joshua all to himself on the last couch, stretched out and physically comfortable.
Asshole. It takes a special effort to loose someone as forgiving as her as a friend, but you went the extra mile.
In the sudden uproar as one of Beat's favorite gymnasts was given a low score, something warm pressed itself against Joshua's side. Rhyme.
"I..I just wanted to say I'm sorry about earlier. I didn't mean to hurt you or anything- you just kind of shocked me and I wasn't sure- "
"How to kiss back? " he finished.
She fidgeted slightly. "Partly. But... I didn't really know if you, you know... meant it. "
A silence stretched between them even as Beat and Neku got in a mild argument and the TV crowd roared. At last, he spoke again.
"I don't really know the answer to the second one, but... " he swallowed slightly, acting casual. "If you don't know how to kiss back... I could teach you. "
With that, he got up and walked into the hallway and left Rhyme sitting on the couch.
Well, that's it then. I've laid my cards all out on the table. Now... I just gotta wait.
Nervously he paced in the hallway. I know better than this. I'm... I'm not one to doubt myself like this. I'm not one to care what other people think about me- or care about other people. So.. why is she so different? So important to me?
Because she's Rhyme. Pure, simple, and clean.
Soft footsteps sounded behind him. The person didn't have to say anything, identify who it was. Joshua knew.
She was standing behind him, blue eyes cast on the ground, flicking up at him only to look away again. "If you're willing to take a chance with me... the least I can do is take a chance with you. "
She smiled slightly at him. He smiled back, feeling his pulse quicken.
"So... how- "
"Just follow my lead, " he whispered, pressing her lightly against the wall. Then their lips met again.
Instantly, Joshua felt his face flush, trying desperately to keep his head. But with every delicious moment and every movement of her lips against his, he felt his composure slipping away. All he needed was her.
Passion was setting his very soul on fire, causing him to kiss her more and more vigorously, she returning his kiss with the shy sweetness he so craved. Her fingers frisked though his hair, and a tremor ran though his body. Damn the consequences, tonight she was his, and he was hers.
His tongue skimmed across her lower lip, and she stiffened with slight shock. Gently, he pushed on her upper lip, and she relented, relaxing. His tongue slid into her mouth, nudging her tongue seductively. She shivered lightly.
He moaned softly into her mouth. God, she tasted like strawberries and cream. She was intoxicating... He couldn't get enough.
The need for air broke them apart, both panting heavily.
"Tha...that was... " Rhyme whispered, and he nodded. Amazing.
How long she had been right under his nose! So much precious time wasted…
Her lips brushed against his lightly, like a breath. He kissed her lightly back. Why hadn't they done this a long time ago?
"WHAT THE FUCKING HELL??"
That was why.
"I still think this is boring, " Neku yawned, smiling as Shiki nestled in closer to him. "When this is over, we can do something you want to do. I promise. "
He kissed the top of her head, sighing into her hair. "Looking forward to it. "
Beat's sudden scream shattered the peaceful atmosphere. Moments later, Joshua was racing across the media room, followed by Beat cursing like a sailor, and last of all Rhyme, pulling back on her brother and saying something about violence not being the answer.
The ash-haired teenager cleared one the couches in a leap, headed straight to the 'open' door.
"Wait- " Shiki called. Too late.
Joshua ran at full speed into the glass door, smacking it with a satisfactory sound before landing flat out on his back. Beat tried to shake of Rhyme as Joshua gingerly touched his nose.
His eyes widened as he caught sight of blood on his fingertips. He stumbled to his feet with one hand clapped over his mouth and Beat in hot pursuit, still swearing. "I swear, you back-stabbing ass, I'm going to- "
His words were drowned out by the distinct sound of someone puking. "I take that back. This isn't boring at all, " Neku commented.
I don't usually do one shots, so.. enjoy this. I know I enjoyed writing it.
You just KNOW you want to review! Go ahead, press that shiny little button. He won't bite!