Galle

Disclaimer: I don't own CCS or its' characters.

Description: And by that simple gesture induced by innocent, curious lust, I had no idea how much trouble I'd caused myself. Touya x Tomoyo

Chapter Twelve

***

I have an annex in Galle just outside of town. It's on a hill called Rumassala, dotted with tiny houses. It's a bit of a jungle, but it's perfect for me. There are looming jak trees, their trunks burdened with heavy fruit, all olive-green and covered in dull spikes. You also find teak, durian, banana, and tall, tall banyans, with drooping snake-vines that leave your palms itching with the desire to play Tarzan. Rumassala leads down to a secluded cove that's only recently become popular amongst traveling students.

"It's great to be back," I said, slipping Tomoyo's bag off my shoulder and onto the cement floor of the tiny verandah.

We had just reached Galle, and Tomoyo had brought enough luggage to last until the apocalypse. The sun was rising placidly in the sky, which was a lovely, velvety shade of blue. The timid twittering of birds around us was the only audible sound aside from our voices.

"Phew!" panted Tomoyo, "what a walk!"

She was wearing well-creased beige trousers and a white shirt. Her hair was tried back. She eased herself gently into a chair.

"It's good for you," I said cheekily.

"Oh, hush. Not everyone's as fit and outdoors-y as you, Kinomoto!"

Her face was slightly flushed and lips lightly parted. Some strands of hair fell into her eyes, which she pushed away using the back of her hand. She looked entirely too enticing, like she was out of a porno. Not like Kaho, who was both fit and graceful and outdoorsy and indoorsy all at the same time.

Kaho.

My chest throbbed dully. I did my best to block it out with laughter that sounded hollow to my ears. So long as I distracted myself with Tomoyo, there was less of a chance of dwelling on issues that I didn't want to dwell on. Like Kaho. And her stupid ponce of a husband.

"Have you anything to drink?" she asked.

"Erm. Sunquick?"

"I don't care, so long as it has alcohol in it."

"Sorry, Daidouji. It's only orange cordial."

She glared at me. "Do you never entertain?"

"I don't, actually. I've only ever brought three people to this house."

"An assortment of lovers?"

"Yuki wishes."

She laughed.

"And the other two?"

"None of your business, you nosy woman!"

I led her to the bathroom then, to take a shower. I was in a considerably good mood. Tomoyo was far more agreeable than I'd given her credit for – and far less stiff and uppity than she'd been the last time I'd met her. She had only complained in jest, if at all, about my clothes ("Frightful things, those jeans. They look old enough to be a family heirloom."). And she'd smiled at me – not quite as openly as that night on the beach, but it was certainly a lot less guarded than before.

Our also conversation flowed a lot easier, and ranged from philosophy ("Am I smoking this cigarette or is the cigarette smoking me?") to fashion ("I'll burn those jeans, if you give me a chance") to wildlife ("I'm telling you, those skinny little leggy girls you find at nightclubs nowadays who are all sleeping with each other and pretending to be lesbians are all underage!").

She'd even insisted that she didn't need to stay at a fancy hotel; that she'd be just as comfortable roughing it out the spare room.

"I can manage without my air conditioning and stuffed peacock for lunch, you know."

"We're just by the sea. Believe me, it's better than any air conditioning."

I had no idea what had spurred this change in her attitude towards me, but I decided that I liked it.

"Kinomoto?"

I spun round and almost knocked her flat. She'd stepped out from the bathroom, slipped comically on the rug, and been unable to stop herself until she was too close.

"Whoa!" I said, grabbing her arms so she wouldn't fall.

"Oof!"

"Are you alright?" I asked, my voice oddly low and husky.

"I think so," she laughed nervously, leaning her forehead against my chest in relief.

Then the mood changed. We both stiffened.

I was suddenly incredibly aware of her. I could feel the heat emanating from her body, could smell her sweat mingled with the scent of her shampoo. I involuntarily found myself inhaling deeper. The air around us was charged. She uncurled her fists and placed both palms, spread open, on my chest. It was as if they burned me. I wanted to touch her. My hands moved down the length of her arms, brushing against the sides of her breasts, making her shiver.

She looked up, then, into my eyes. I felt my face grow warm. I wondered what she was thinking. My brain was shutting down. Now would be a great moment to kiss her, I thought.

But I couldn't. Because Kaho's weary, smiling face suddenly popped into my mind's eye.

I steeled my resolve. I cleared my throat and forced myself to take a step back.

It was as if she suddenly remembered herself. I could see the shock in her eyes, her disbelief at her own actions.

For a long moment, there was silence. When she finally spoke, her voice quivered a little.

"Um. I wanted to ask you…um. For some…soap."

"Oh." I said. "Of course. Sure. Hang on."

We avoided each others' eyes for the rest of the morning.