Author's Note: A little one-shot, possibly but not probably two-shot that I did. The basic premise is that it's post-series, and Amon and Robin live on the run, accompanied by Nagira and Doujima.
Disclaimer: I don't own WHR or any of the characters.
"Scotch on the rocks," Amon told the waitress. She smiled and went off to fetch his drink.
"You see, you've got it all wrong. You're focusing on all the wrong things."
He and Nagira were deeply engrossed in another one of their heart-to-hearts, which seemed like they were steadily becoming more and more frequent.
"Is her age going to change the fact that you love her?" Nagira pointed out, lighting a cigarette. Amon glanced across the room at the lovely figure in green, before turning his gaze back to his drink.
"Then you might as well tell her. I mean, how would you feel if one day she decided she wasn't putting up with this anymore and went off to find some other guy?" Amon sighed, nodding, feeling more defeated than anything. The waitress returned to serve their beverages. The brothers sat in silence for several moments while Nagira smoked and Amon sipped his drink.
Amon rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands, straightening up some. "I can't help but feel like a complete fool, though. I've spent all this time pushing her away because I knew things would be easier if she hated me. But she wouldn't give up, damn it, she wouldn't. You have to admit I'm going to be making a jackass out of myself."
"Not at all. It's more like you already have." Amon snorted.
"Don't mention it." Nagira took a drag on his cigarette, smirking. After an interval of silence, he sighed. "Look, I don't see what's so hard about all this. You don't think you deserve her, I get it." He paused. "Sometimes I think you wear your guilt like some kind of badge," he remarked.
Amon's eyes narrowed. "Don't you even dare --"
"Yeah, yeah, I know," Nagira interrupted, waving his hand dismissively. The tendrils of smoke from the cigarette in his hand mimicked his movement as they dissipated into the surrounding air. "The point is, you love her, and she loves you, and you can't come up with one decent excuse why the hell you won't just tell her already, and stop making the both of you miserable."
"Excuse me for not being a social butterfly like you."
Nagira sneered, growing irritated. "You know what it is? You're afraid." He pointed a finger in Amon's direction, eliciting little more than a bored expression, as though he was a parent lecturing a child on an oft-discussed subject. "You're afraid to let her in, afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to give her the potential to hurt you, even though you know full well she's never done anything to break your trust and never will." Amon was quiet, staring at his drink as though it had suddenly grown quite interesting. Nagira took an annoyed drag and exhaled in a grey puff. "I have half a mind to march right over there and tell her for you." Amon's gaze immediately met and searched his, as if to deduce whether he was serious or not.
"Don't be ridiculous," Amon retorted, grinding his teeth.
"I'm not. In fact," Nagira paused to take another drag, gaining momentum, "I bet you're so absorbed in your own selfish thoughts you've never once even thought about what she wants."
"That's not true," Amon protested angrily.
"Really. Don't you think she would love it if you finally swallowed up your pride and admitted you care for her? She'd be floored to know she's the slightest bit appreciated or even acknowledged. But you're too busy thinking of yourself." His brother was once again silent, glaring at the scotch and ice in his glass as if he thought they would provide a solution if he scared them enough.
A few more moments passed, and Nagira noticed Doujima making her way across the crowded room towards them.
"Look, buddy, just tell her the truth. With all the shit you've given her over the past few years, the least she deserves is a little honesty." He punctuated his words by extinguishing his cigarette in the ashtray, and then walked away, patting his little brother on the shoulder.
There were very few times in Amon's life that he had ever felt scared.
He had experienced the rush of adrenaline in battle, to be sure, but he was hard pressed to think of an occasion when he had been afraid in a situation that merited no threat of immediate physical danger.
Robin was out on one of the balconies that overlooked the garden outside their hotel. She was by herself, leaning against the railing, enjoying a solitary moment in the sweet warmth of early summer.
Oblivious of Amon, standing in the doorway.
He placed a hand on the curved knob of one of the French doors.
This is it. It's all or nothing.
He realized rather abruptly that his palms were sweating, and he took a deep breath before opening the door. He didn't look directly at her until he had shut it behind him, but when he did, he found his breath taken away by how beautiful she looked. She simply smiled at him, completely unaware of his inner struggle.
"Hi," she greeted, cheerfully.
"Hi," was his response. A great start, his mind jeered. He cleared his throat and walked over to her side, joining her in admiring the scenery. He said nothing. Fortunately for him, Robin was used to his being quiet by nature, so it wasn't all that awkward. After a moment, Robin spoke.
"It's a beautiful night, isn't it?" she mused, softly.
"It is," he agreed. Not as beautiful as you. More silence. He hazarded a glance at the long green dress she was wearing, noting that the color made her eyes seem brighter than normal. "Did Doujima pick that dress out for you?" he asked, abnormally conversational. Robin shook her head, her soft golden hair swaying with the movement. Either it was the drink, or it looked even silkier than usual.
"No, I picked it out," she replied proudly.
"It's nice." Not accustomed to compliments from Amon, she beamed at him in response, and it really did seem to him that she looked almost radiant.
It was definitely the drink.
"Thanks," she whispered bashfully. He noticed her blush slightly, and realized that what Nagira had said was true - even his acknowledgment meant a lot to her. He did his best to ignore the sharp stab of guilt that followed, and wondered absentmindedly if he was fated to be tormented with guilt no matter what course of action he chose.
The twilight was fading, and the vibrant colors in the sky were slowly yielding to the dark violet of night. Amon peered up at the star-speckled expanse, wishing he had given more thought to what he would say to her, or how he would approach the topic of them. Robin's delicate voice cut into his chain of thoughts.
"So... Did you and Nagira have an interesting talk?" she asked.
"You could say that," Amon answered. Robin paused, but he chose not to elaborate.
"I really like Nagira," she commented. "He always has a way of knowing what's going on with people, and he's not afraid to let them know." Isn't that the truth, Amon thought, sardonically. He racked his brain to think of something, anything to breach the subject and get it over with. It was like ripping off a bandage, or jumping into a pool of cold water, he decided. You had to do it quickly.
Lovely imagery, his mind mocked.
Amon willed himself to say something, but no words came. All at once, his body seemed to take on a mind of its own, and he moved behind Robin, spooning her against the railing and wrapping his arms around her waist.
Robin craned her neck to look up at him, astonished. Her body stiffened in shock at his invasion of her personal space, but he held her in a manner that was both gentle and firm. Eventually, she relaxed against him, accepting the embrace. He rested his forehead against her hair, the tip of his nose touching the nape of her neck ever so slightly. It occurred to him that she was wearing perfume. She shivered against him, and the action served only to make him hold her closer.
The pair stood there for some time in contented silence, taking in the warmth from each other and the summer night.
Eventually, Robin loosened Amon's grasp on her waist enough to allow her to turn and face him fully. Amon didn't move away in spite of their closeness, instead choosing to relish the proximity. She looked at him questioningly, eyes searching for an explanation for his uncharacteristic behavior. He met her gaze with eyes half-lidded, never breaking the cool exterior to reveal just what a mess he felt like inside. His hands settled on the silk-clad small of her back.
"Amon, what are you --"
"Why don't you ever ask me about myself?" Amon inquired of her, still hesitant about diving into the cold water, as it were. Robin faltered at his interruption.
"What do you mean? I thought you didn't like me asking." It was true; he had made that pretty clear when they still worked at the STN-J.
"I don't." Robin looked at him incredulously. "I was just wondering," he added. Amon mentally asked himself why he picked this of all topics to avoid one that was only slightly worse. Robin contemplated his question for several moments, looking straight ahead at her hands that were positioned on his shirt.
"I... guess I always figured that there's something you don't want to talk about, probably something that has caused you a lot of pain. Trying to pressure you into telling me won't make you want to tell me any more than you do now, so... I suppose I always thought that if I let it be, you'd decide one day that I was trustworthy and would choose to do so of your own volition." The expression she gave him was angelic. Secretly, he had always felt he was a complicated person, and he was immensely bothered at how some teenage girl could essentially lay bare his entire life in a few sentences. He was suddenly overwhelmed by the compulsion to show himself superior, somehow.
Amon cupped her chin in one hand and angled her face up to his, leaning closer to her, until their faces were mere inches apart.
"Is that so?" he asked, coy now that he had the advantage. But given the look in Robin's eyes, she had already forgotten about their conversation at hand. He leaned in closer, allowing for one more moment of hesitation, before finally pressing his lips against hers.
At that instant, he let everything else slip from his mind - the dilemma of whether it was right or wrong, the guilt and the longing, the decisions and the consequences, even the frenzied rate at which his heart was beating. All that mattered was that he was kissing her, whom he had wanted for so, so long.
After several moments of savoring the kiss (which Amon was almost positive was Robin's first kiss), he pulled back somewhat, and their lips parted with a faint click. They both exhaled in humid breaths, lips slightly kiss-swollen.
Amon shifted to cradle Robin against his chest, arms wrapped around her tightly. She smiled, satisfied, and he stood kissing the top of her head.
He realized he didn't have to tell her everything right then, because she didn't need to be told.
Hope you liked it! Feel free to critique and review.