five reasons Kyo loves Yuya

1. Because while she is not tall, nor graceful, nor truly, shockingly beautiful he can stand to look at her. And there is something in the way her smile blooms, her eyes dance, and her laughter builds that makes it very hard to stop looking.

2. She can fight, when the situation calls for it. She can stand up tall and whip out her gun and throw her needles and come alive.

3. Yuya is brave. There is no hesitation as she throws herself into danger or certain death. No pause nor second of terror (which is truly ironic, because in all his life, Kyo has only ever been scared for her). Moreover, no matter how he glares or threatens or pokes or prods, there is never anything like fear in her eyes when they fall on him.

4. He is a warrior and she understands this. Even though he suspects, really, that she cannot stand the way he is always fighting, always reaching for that goal of best, she never stops him. Never begs him to change, never asks him to choose between her and who he is.

(He is especially grateful for this, because he is not sure what his decision would be.)

5. Because she cares about him. In a loud, obvious, obnoxious way, she declares him – Kyo, slayer of one-thousand men, spawn of demons – to be her most important person. Even though it is annoying and difficult and terrifying, there is something extraordinary, breathtaking even, if Kyo was one for such words, in the way she tells him, over and over, no matter what, "I believe in you." Because it isn't so simple as believing in Kyo the fighter, Kyo the samurai, Kyo the killer – he, after all, is as certain of that self. It is that she, who is kind and good and still sparkling new, believes in him, Kyo-just-Kyo, as a protector and a hero and a man. If it wouldn't sound silly and trite and utterly spineless, he would agree that he needs that.

That he needs her.

note: Dedicated to Becca, without whom I would not know the wonders of Samurai Deeper Kyo.