Her heart's made of Ice Cream
They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But what about the way to a woman's heart? Well, it was more complicated than that. Some women wanted diamonds, some just wanted a permanent host as a husband, and some just settled for whatever hard working man they could get their hands on.
One thing was clear though.
Tae Shimura was no ordinary woman. And the way to her heart was far beyond any complexity that Isao Kondo had ever faced.
He'd seen others try. They'd offer her jewels, but she said that she couldn't be bought. They offered her their looks, but she wasn't an accessory. And then the men that were hard working, offered security, but they were already "married" and just "seeking to pinch her young and pure skin"- or so she claimed.
Seeing other men fail on a daily basis, the way to her heart seemed like an impossible task. However, as Captain of the Shinsengumi, Kondo wasn't the kind of man to give up. And so, he ventured on his quest to her love in the only way he knew how-
The woman loved it, maybe more than life itself. She'd murder for it, although she'd murder just fine without it. She devoted herself to it, and preferred the company of those cold canisters any day over the company of a warm and broad man.
Rumors went about sometimes. Ones he was quick to silence especially after Otae's failed engagement to Kyuubei Yagyuu who had been later revealed as a woman. Isao knew Otae was a fragile flower of a girl, just waiting for the right person to come along- he just hadn't shown up yet.
Or rather- he'd have to prove to her that Mr. Right was him.
Then again, he'd been trying to prove this for four hundred and twenty seven days, ten hours and five minutes already- not that he was counting. And once again, Otae pulled the usual…
"Oh! The zoo let one of their animals escape again? What is Edo coming down to these days?"
"Otae-san! It's me! Your Isao!"
"Hello? Smiling animal killers? Yes. I have a big, scary gorilla in front of me right now. Do you happen to be missing any?"
"Hmm? Yes. I believe it's very dangerous."
"Wha- I'd never hurt you-"
"Yes. I can defend myself. Should I kill it if I can?"
"Okay," she grinned with the clap of her phone. As she began to raise her fist, Kondo lifted his hands in surrender.
"WAIT! I have something for you!"
Shielding his head, he swiftly offered the bag of ice cream to her, praying that he would avoid the worst to come. Suspicious, she eyed the plastic bag in his hand before she squinted inside for its contents. Lowering her fist, she yanked the bag from his grasp and began to walk away.
The Captain was stupefied, frozen and shocked that she had left without a word. No thank you. No smile. Nothing. Her missing presence had just left him feeling like he'd been deserted in a winter storm.
He almost broke the moment she stopped halfway down the block and turned back in his direction. Unfortunately, it wasn't to say thank you…
"AND I HATE PEANUT BUTTER MINT!"
After that, she was gone. Some of the passerbys who had been exposed to the scene whispered amongst themselves.
"I swear, that woman's a monster."
"I hear she's the ice queen at the night club-"
"And she fights like a bear, too."
Irritated, Kondo turned to them with a menacing glint in his eyes, his thumb brushing against the hilt of his sword. The group of gossipers quickly dispatched, leaving Isao alone in his thoughts.
"Idiot," he cursed himself. He'd been trying to prove his love to her with ice cream and still had the slightest idea which flavors were her favorite.
Looking at his wristwatch, Isao noted that he still had some time left before his lunch break ended.
"Wait for me, Otae-san. I will earn your everlasting love!"
The mission to find Otae's favorite flavor began now…
He had exactly one hour- one hour before he had to return to work. After all, as much as the man loved shadowing Tae's footsteps behind walls and beneath tables where her petite feet would often brush against his shoulder, he did have a job to do, so he couldn't be with her all the time…unfortunately.
He ran between the store and the shopping district, where he knew she'd stroll around until the evening when she'd venture home to prepare dinner and catch her favorite soap opera. Sure, he was bordering thirty and the stubble on his jaw was becoming more of a nuisance than a compliment, but the man was still fit, and he was speedy.
Running between the store and her was no problem- the problem was, he'd have to do so numerous times in an effort to find the right tub of cream that would slap the prettiest smile across her usually menacing face. No point in buying them all, and she'd hate them all, waste all the money and he'd have a lot of melted slop to try to shove into his members later on.
First up was Garlic.
"Works if you like pizza! You like pizza, right?"
That one made his eyes cry because she shoved it up his nose. The smell of this wondrous pizza would stick with him for the rest of the week.
Second up was Charcoal.
In all the time he'd been stalk- ahem, watching over his love, he'd never once seen her raise a stick of nicotine to her sweet, shined lips. Not so much as a stick of straw. But upon offering this flavor, Kondo was in for a surprise.
"I hear this one's kind of smokey."
"Will it smell like a fire? Like the one we're smelling right now?"
"Yeah! Exactly like…that…Oi, what's that smell?"
His jacket somehow caught fire. From what, he still contemplated that. The brunette was quick to point at a lantern swinging from the shop they were under, but the swordsmen barely missed the small silver stem of a lighter as she stuffed it into her kimono.
Coincidence. That was probably a coincidence…
"Hey, I heard you just returned from a weight loss temple not too long ago with the girls, so I picked this up for you," the taller man boasted proudly, thrusting forward the new flavor and sure it would please her this time. Women liked this kind of stuff anyway, right?
"Low in calories and probably tastes well with Italian- although, personally, I prefer Ranch. Hey, maybe we should go pick up some vegetables sometime-"
"Why, Kondo-san, are you trying to call me fat?"
Catching the vein popping alongside her temple, the Captain was quick to defend himself.
"What? No! Of course, not! Why, your body is rival to the Goddess of love-"
"Hey, what dressing did you say went well with this one?"
He surmised that the women ran out of creative ways to torture him and resorted to just dumping the mixture over his hair. It was a disgusting combination with the garlic up his nose.
Within the last half hour, Kondo had increased his pace and desperately began to clear the store shelves.
He tried everything he possibly could- Ginseng Sorbet, in which she said she'd rather drink the tea, Jalapeno Lime, in which he suffered the spicy flavor down his throat to accompany his already tainted sense of smell and the odor in his hair, Strawberry, which was conventional enough if it weren't for the fact that she claimed to be allergic. The worse experience was the Pepto Bismol, in which her heel shoved into the deepest parts of his abdomen, forcing the man to make a pit stop to the pharmacy to purchase the real deal.
Finally, during the last five minutes of his break, the Shinsengumi Captain was dragging himself into the frozen section of the market, staring blankly through the glass. This was difficult- the most difficult mission he had ever faced. The woman was nearly impossible to please and the scowl on her face only increased his desire to be able to revert the expression.
Pressing his large forehead to the freezer, he whispered to himself.
"What do I have to do to make you smile, Tae-san?"
As the man was about to surrender for the day and give it a go another time, he spotted the very girl who'd viciously stolen his heart passing by the shop. Of course, he instantly spun to lean on the freezer door, taking the moment to appreciate her as she walked by, for once, oblivious to his presence. Isao crossed his arms, trying to comfort the garlic he was whiffing by imagining the sweet scent of her hair that he often found himself taking in whenever she was fresh from a shower and he was hanging from her ceiling. Despite her malicious intent towards him, the officer could not find himself returning that intent, especially with the way she gracefully passed, a curl of hair rolled on her finger and an angelic smile at a random passerby.
"Oh, Otae-san- Oh, shit!"
"Hey, you clumsy idiot! You pick that up right now or I'll call the authorities-"
"I'm so sorry! Right away, sir! And I am the authorities!"
"Shut up and pick it all up!"
While he was lost in his love stricken daze, the bewildered man accidentally contributed to the collapse of an entire row of the fruit section. Scrambling awkwardly, he hurried to return all of the groceries before picking up an orange right in front of the baking aisle. He suddenly lit up with an idea, and pressed for time, he quickly discarded all the fruits in place and darted back to the freezer section.
The woman kept walking.
"Otae-san! I'm over here!"
"Yes, I know that, Isao. Please go away, you friggin' gorilla," the woman sneered venomously to herself, already quickening her pace and fingering something sharp inside her purse.
"Tae-san, my love!"
"Oh, for Christ's sake- what the heck do you want from me, now?"
Out of breath, the man stopped before her, palms on his knees as gathered his words- along with his defense should she react dangerously.
Confused, she looked through the large grocery bag he handed her, scuffling through random variations of fruits and baking supplies?
"Wha- what the hell is this?"
"What do you like? I mean, out of all that?"
"I didn't know if you wanted fruits or something like chocolate, so I bought a bunch- oranges, cherries, melons, chocolate, dark and white. Pick."
"This- this isn't ice cream. Are you stupid?"
Kondo scratched the back of his head awkwardly, fighting back a flush in his cheeks that Otae was beginning to feel guilty for if she was going to be the one to destroy it.
"Well, it's not ice cream, but if you pick a fruit or a sweet that you like, then I can get an idea of what kind of ice cream to get next time, right? So, oranges would be something like orange cream?"
"Otae-san, are you okay?"
"Please, don't hit me."
Tae Shimura lifted a hand, and on instinct, Kondo drew back with a wince. He was surprised to find, that instead of landing on his cheek, it had rested over his shoulder- and in a gentle manner, too. Relaxing from his previous position to protect himself, he met her eyes to find that she was-
"You stink like you came out of Prince Hata's ass…"
Otae released him, turning away to walk home and claiming the bag as her own. Kondo's determination was sapped for the time being and with her recent insult; the man's only thought was a shower and some time to reflect on how he could improve this kind of situation with her next time.
Just before he swiveled to return to work, a few feet away, he heard her speaking out loud, very exaggerated but pretending to converse with herself as she shifted through the bag.
"Hmm, orange cream is okay, but I wonder what raspberries taste like with white chocolate…"
Catching her very obvious gesture, Isao Kondo grinned, chancing one last look to the woman as she disappeared before realizing he was already late to work.
Tae Shimura was no ordinary woman. She was a hard woman to please and there was a possibility that he'd never quite be enough, but that wouldn't keep him from trying.
The key to her heart was in a tub of ice cream, and while he still wasn't quite clear on what exactly she favored, this was only the beginning, and he had plenty of patience.
Tomorrow, Isao Kondo made it his first priority to pick up some Orange Cream and White Chocolate, Raspberry swirl first thing in the morning…
Wow! Can you believe this is the first, the FIRST, KonTae fic on this site? (Or as far as I know of…) Poor gorilla. He needs more love!
And yes, these are or were real ice cream flavors at one time. I didn't make them up.