A/N: Wow, another story came out quicker then I thought it would, haha. Anyway, the basic background of this story is Irie never told Kotoko his true feelings and Kotoko never decided to not marry Kinnosuke. So it's canon up to about episode 13, excluding the last, maybe, eight to five minutes. Well some where around there. Anyway, you guys get the point. So, I hope you enjoy and please R&R : Also, sorry for the short chapter, it just ended itself, lol.
Disclaimer: I don't own Itazura Na Kiss or any of its characters.
Summary: AU. It's been a year since Kotoko and Kinnosuke got married, and six months since Irie and Chris married. So why can't Kotoko get the certain someone, who isn't her husband, out of her head? And Irie isn't as good at hiding his feelings as he thinks he is.
The Path Not Taken
Do not stare at him. Do not stare at him…. I love Kinnosuke now. I love Kinnosuke. I love Kinnosuke. I love Kinnosuke. I love Kinnosuke! Kotoko repeated the mantra in her head a few more times before her mind wandered to something else, someone else.
What if it could all have been different…? Kotoko took a sharp intake of breath before continuing her thought. How would have life been like…? Kotoko then shook her head. Irie has never loved me, and never will. A life of one sided love would have been bad. I mean—
"Kotoko! Are you ok? You're acting very weird, are you sick? Do you want me to take you to the doctor?" Kinnosuke rushed to her, and put his hand on her forehead and continued to fret while Kotoko felt heat rise up to her cheeks when she realized that someone had noticed her internal battle with herself.
"I'm fine, Kin-Chan, don't worry. I'm just a little tired." Kotoko said, "I'm just going to go sit down for a little."
Kinnosuke stared at her hard, not really reassured that she was completely healthy, "Are you sure you don't want to go to the doctors? I could take you! I wouldn't mind!"
"I'm fine, like I said I'm just a bit tired." Kotoko noticed that her voice did sound tired and that her words were some how laced with exasperation. She brought her hand upward and grabbed his wrist to pull his hand off her forehead.
Kinnosuke's eyes softened, "Well, if you say you're alright… I just don't want anything to happen to you. I love you." He brought his hand back up and it softly curled around her cheek as he glazed deeply into her eyes.
"I love you too, Kin-Chan." Kotoko had to sallow back the same old bitter taste that had been coming into her mouth ever since she first time uttered those words to him. Before Kotoko thought it might have been a sign that she wasn't meant to be with him but now she still figured it would go away soon, and that her mouth won't reject her every time that lie slipped from her lips.
He smiled at her. "Ok, go sit down and rest, I'm going to go talk to your Dad about my restaurant for a little bit, but I'll be back with you soon." His hand dropped from her cheek and with one fleeting look he turned in the opposite direction toward her father.
Kotoko quickly walked to the couch and took a seat. Christmas at the Irie household was a bit too much for her. The people who were attending were Mama Irie, Papa Irie, Yuuki, her father, Chris, Kinnosuke, Irie-kun, and herself. She hadn't seen Irie in about three months, and the last time they saw each other it was only in passing. Even though it had been so long since they last actually reacted with each other Kotoko couldn't stop thinking about him and wondering if he was having a happy life with Chris.
Kotoko sighed, and her eyes closed for a moment but when she opened them up again Irie happened to be directly in her point of vision. By just the sight of him she was pulled back into a vision of right before they had started college.
Tears had started to gather in her eyes. "I've had enough!" Kotoko screamed, "I'm going to stop loving you!" She tried to blink back her eyes but instead they just came rolling down her cheeks instead. She looked away, some how hoping he wouldn't notice them.
Irie looked at her with nothing but disbelief in his eyes, "Can you do something like that?" He asked, but he already knew the real answer to that question.
"I can!" Kotoko brought her tear filled back to his face, "I know your character so well it disgusts me! I'll reset all of my unrequited feelings together with graduation!"
Irie blinked, but the general expression on his face didn't change, although he was shocked with her answer, "So, you're going to forget about me?"
"That's right! I'm going to forget about you and attend college…"
He cut her off, "Then, go ahead and try." The cockiness in his voice wasn't hard to hear as he issued her that challenge.
Kotoko gasped as she tried to breathe and cry at the same time, she closed her eyes and suddenly she was caught off guard when she felt a pair of lips on hers. Her eyes popped open and she stared ahead, not wanting the kiss to stop, yet at the same time knowing it meant nothing to him.
This was the only kiss had with her beloved Irie-Kun.
When Kotoko refocused on the present, Irie was still in her direct line of vision and at that exact moment he turned his head and smirked at her.
It was almost as if he knew exactly what she was thinking, and for some strange reason that scared her. No one could know that she still held feelings for him, that much Kotoko knew. After all, they are both married couples now.