Sei: -nailing the door closed- Oh, hey there, everyone. This time, I'm not letting anyone interrupt me from my not-so-important announcement. I don't have any annoying co-hosts! -evil cackle-
Sei: Uh, okay... So I do have a co-host, but he's the perfect one! :D
Sei: So, allow me to say that–
-From outside- Steve: Hell Fire!
Sei: Wh-Why the heck did you blow up the place, Steve?
Steve: Because you're gonna take up so much screen time again! C'mon! Cut the crap and disclaim!
Sei: But I–!
Steve: Don't make me drag you away like what Hwoa did.
Sei: Argh! I... I... Ooh, I am sooo going to kick you out of these oneshots!
Sei: I don't own Tekken! I just own a copy of the game, no more! There, you happy now, boxing idiot?
Now Playing: I Like You, I Love You by Rin Kagamine
Maybe this time, she was going to get it right.
She faithfully waited for him every day. Right there. Always waiting for the perfect timing. She could say that every timing was perfect; she was the one goofing up every attempt she made. She couldn't help it if she always shrunk whenever he came around.
Leo's friends always propped her from behind, whispering words of encouragement before giving her a gentle push towards her object of affection and fear.
Fear wasn't really the right word. She never felt scared when he was around. Perhaps a bit intimidated, but fear? Not quite the right word. Intimidated, yes. His eyes were distant. Sapphire and piercing cold. One reason why she always goofed up every time she attempted to spit it out would have to be his intimidating eyes.
"I... I don't think I can handle the intensity of... of his cold gaze. I think I'm gonna freeze... Or maybe even worse: melt."
It was true, though. His stare may be as cold and blustery as the Arctic, but deep inside her, she felt like melting... Melting into mush.
"Uh-huh... Sometimes I wish I could just melt into a puddle of mush and evaporate."
She had so many impeccable timings already, always ruined by her goofing up and him always (unknowingly) intimidating her. She blamed herself most of the time for being so darn shy. Why can't she just spit it out and get things over with?
She always told herself that there's always gonna be a next time. In truth, after this summer, there won't be a next time for her. After this academic year and start of summer, she, as well as the rest of the graduating class, would be headed to different roads and streets. Oh, yes. She might not be able to see him anymore, let alone talk to him ever again... She made sure that she was gonna accomplish her mission before the start of summer.
"Before everything ends."
Leo told herself that this time, she won't fail. She won't back down this time.
Maybe this time, she was going to get it right.
"Kliesen and Dragunov."
Said girl lifted her head from her text book. Said guy stared blankly at their teacher. Said girl's friends threw knowing giggles at her. Said girl did nothing to retaliate. Against her friends, she was defeated. "Y-Yes, sir?"
"You two will be in charge of feeding Pancake and cleaning the science equipment after this period," their devious silver-haired teacher said. Mister Lee really had a knack for teasing his cute student. He was aware of the crush the petite blond had on the stalwart silent disciplinary prefect.
Dragunov always demanded perfection. She was nowhere near perfect...
And yet that made the whole relationship more interesting.
Leo slowly turned to Dragunov, who was actually looking at her as well. A rush of heat immediately went to her face. Lee saw their wordless interaction and smiled to himself. "You're the only one who can come near Dragunov without being incinerated," he chuckled. "Lucky, lucky."
And like as if it was on cue, the school bell rang, signifying the end of their debonair teacher's period. Dismissal time.
"Now, Sergei," Lee said as he bundled his class records and lessons. "Don't go leaving Miss Kliesen to clean the room all alone."
"B-But, sir! Sergei has a lot of duties as the students' disciplinary committee chairman! I-I can clean the science room‒" the blond girl protested. Little by little, the classroom was emptied.
"Sergei may be the head prefect, but he's still a student of this school just like you, Leo," Lee grinned as he slid his purple-tinted sunglasses on. "Be sure to lock the room before you go."
Leo blankly stared at the open door. Dragunov stood beside her, staring out into space as well. The petite girl sighed in defeat, rolling up her sleeves. "Well, this room ain't gonna clean itself!" she said with a cheerful smile on her face. "I'll clean the room, Sergei. Go do your prefect duties. Those duties are much more important than cleaning... uh..."
She watched as the pale titan walked towards their caged friend. "..."
"Oh, d-do you want to feed Pancake? We have some fresh carrots here," she said, bustling to the basket under the white rabbit's cage. "Here you go!"
He stared at the held-out carrot, not quite sure what to do with it. She smiled understandingly. "I'll show you."
She opened their furry friend's cage and smiled. "Hello, Pancake. Sergei and I will be the ones to feed you today!" Carefully, she slid in one hand and placed the fresh orange vegetable right in front of the cream-colored rabbit's nose. Its ears twitched, followed by its nose. Its red eyes blinked at her and it finally began nibbling on the carrot.
"Pancake, uh... isn't really much to look at, Sergei," Leo looked up at the stalwart prefect standing beside her. Dragunov always had this air of order wafting around him. Realizing how much of a clumsy little ditz she is made her even more nervous than usual. "I... I have to be careful."
"Uh, right! I'll start cleani‒ whoa!"
She spoke too soon.
Dragunov looked down at the petite blond splayed on the tiled ground, her back against the cold floor. Leo could sense him staring at her, particularly at her thighs. Was there anything wrong?
"Crap. Just my luck."
Her skirt flew up when she fell.
And it only dawned upon her now that she was wearing shorts underneath her skirt. An act prohibited by the school.
"I-I'm gonna be punished!"
The silent prefect reached out for her. Her hands blocked her face on impulse.
He stopped midway.
She was shivering. Bits of liquid crystals formed on the corners of her eyes. Was she going to be punished?
Dragunov saw the rabbit in the same manner as he stared at it; trembling in fear under the intensity of icy gaze, even though it had no apparent reason to be scared.
He bent down on his knee and reached for her lifted-up skirt.
And pulled it down again.
"S-Sergei, I..." Leo sat up, trembling in fear. Seeing her in that state triggered a never-before felt feeling inside him.
He was the disciplinary committee president, following the example of his predecessors. He was void of all his emotions so that he could perform his duty without fail.
And... And yet, this... sheepish little doll trembling before him gave him one look that made him feel close to melting.
"Um... Will I get a punishment for this?..." Leo spoke softly. She innocently turned her opalescent blue eyes to him, expecting some sort of a lashing. Dragunov continued to stare at her with the same icy and expressionless gaze he gave her a while ago.
He shook his head. She brightened up.
"Oh, thank you, Sergei!"
Not that he shook his head because of that. He was... kind of trying to rid himself of the feeling inside his chest. What was it that hammered in his heart so when he laid eyes on this awkwardly adorable girl right before him?
Funny how a withdrawn girl accidentally showing you her ducky boxers and trembling like she was going to die could actually ignite a feeling inside someone.
The silence between them made everything serene again.
Dragunov couldn't take his eyes off her at that moment. His eyes darted at the most unlikely places. His eyes treaded the length of her legs, which were slightly parted at the moment. Slim. Her lithe figure set her apart from her buxom friends. Those girls were pretty well-rounded.
Not that this girl wasn't well-rounded... It's just that she still retained every bit of childlikeness in her body that should have left long ago.
At first he thought of it as ridiculous. Then again, that's what set her apart from the mediocre of girls in their school.
The two of them sat down on the floor, sharing an awkwardly serene silence between then.
"Thank you, Sergei..." once again, the petite blond spoke. Her mass of sunlight tinted strands were tousled up, a curtain of it covering a bit of her eye. "It's, uh... a good thing I wore cute underwear today," she giggled. Sooner, the fit of giggles turned into laughter. "I'm pretty clumsy, aren't I? But I assure you, I know my way around things."
And cue the uncomfortable silence once more.
Maybe this time, she was going to get it right.
"Could... could this be the perfect time to..." Leo perked up. She surveyed their surroundings for a moment and finally breathed in. This time, she was going to get it right. "I'm gonna get it right!"
"Hey, Sergei, I have something to tell you‒"
"Ah, DC Chairman, there you are!" A certain braided brunette beauty poked her head in the science room. "And Leo's there, too!"
"H-Hi, Jules..." Leo's lips formed a lopsided smile. "Ah... Attempt foiled again."
"Sergei, you're needed in the student council office," Julia said with a smile. "You're on cleaning duty?"
"Um... um... yeah," the blond fidgeted in her place. "But it's okay! Sergei is the disciplinary committee chairman. It's only natural that he should be there since he works hand in hand with the other chairman."
Leo smiled at the irresponsive disciplinary chairman, yet he only stared at her. His stare was rather a questioning one. Like he was asking...
What were you going to tell me?
"I-It's all right, Sergei," she waved her hand at him. "It's... nothing important, really."
The prefect gave her one last look and turned down. He got up on his feet and walked out of the room.
The room just felt even quieter and emptier now. The girl left alone could only stare at the door as if she was in a dreamy trance. Her eyes welled up with tears again, but she didn't seem to mind it at all. She whispered to herself, or maybe to the air.
"DC Chairman... I like you."
He once walked in on her while she was tidying up their classroom. Just as soon as his figure reached her line of sight, her knees turned to jelly. "S-Sergei! I... Uh, good afternoon," she said with a lopsided smile. Her voice went out the wrong pipe. Her greeting sounded more of a squeak.
Leo tried to ignore her voice slip-up by smiling at him. Dragunov, on the other hand, simply stared at her curved-up lips, oblivious to the warmth emanating from her. She couldn't even look at him straight, and then her eyes fell on his unbuttoned collar. His scarlet necktie was loose and hanging languidly over his broad chest.
Ah, that warmth. Strangely, he found her warmth to be quite alluring. Why was it that he was the only one enticed by such an awkward pheromone?
Today was their graduation photo shoot. Since the girls were already done with their shots and picture taking, it was the boys' turn to have their pictures taken. "You must be looking for the guys. They just headed down to the photo studio."
Heeding her words, he turned back and made his way to the door.
"Oh, y-your tie is, um..."
Her voice made him pause on his track. He turned around and fiddled with the clothing article to no avail. Seemed like all he was good at was destroying stuff. She stepped up and smiled nervously. "May I?"
He held her gaze for a moment, the feeling of melting invading her thoughts again. His hands dropped to his side. Her gaze shifted from his eyes to his lips, his scar, then to his sloppily-knotted necktie. She lifted her hands to his collar and delicately untangled the knot he made. His scarlet necktie had such a smooth and silky texture. She felt like she was actually touching heaven.
"Your necktie is lovely," she said in an attempt to start a conversation. "Where did you buy it?... O-Or maybe it's from your hometown..."
Dragunov only stared at the petite blond, watching her fingers as they carefully twined a fitting knot on his necktie. He took note that her fingers were quite short and slim, like her legs. Little scars of dedication were visible on her small hands. He made a slight comparison of her hands with his own. His hands were long. He also had rigid fingers with a stale touch. His palms were callous, stiffened by hard work and disciplining his fellow students.
As much as he was tempted to touch her hands, she just finished knotting his tie. Her hands met behind her. She gave him another uneasy smile. "There you go. Um... good luck with your pictorial."
Dragunov raised his hand and ruffled her hair, something she wasn't prepared for. They stood there for a good half-minute, his hand entangled in her messy short hair, her face slowly and steadily warming up. It must have been a dizzy spell that caused her to actually think that he was leaning down toward her.
"Ah, Serg! There you are!" Hwoarang's cheerful voice lightened up the atmosphere. When they heard their classmate's voice cut through the solid air, the disciplinary prefect's hand left the wallflower's blond hair and took a step back. The two of them stared at the slowly-opening door and was greeted by the boisterous redhead and the pragmatic Lars.
"Was he... about to kiss me?..."
"Hey, disciplinary committee president! It's your turn to hit the spotlight!" the redhead went on until his eyes rested on the tiny figure standing behind the disciplinary committee president. "Oh, it's you, Koori-hime."
"I... Um..." Leo struggled for words. They never really came out that easy...
"It's the chairman's turn to have his picture taken, Leo," Lars said with an understanding smile on his face. He was one of the few persons who knew about her long-standing crush on their mysteriously charming committee chairman. "We're here to pick him up. Have you said everything you had to say, Leo?"
"Uh, yeah," she nodded eagerly. She simply hated being under Hwoarang's radar. To get things over with, she just went along and said yes, without even understanding what Lars meant when he asked her.
"Good!" the taller blond smiled kindly at her again. The redhead clamped his hands on the stalwart silent prefect's shoulder and gently shoved him out of their classroom. Lars walked behind them, shaking his head while a knowing smile curved on his lips. He closed the door behind him, leaving Leo alone once again.
"Lars..." she uttered softly, pondering on his words for a moment. Something felt wrong...
"Ah, shoot!" she hurriedly opened the door, only to find the desolate afternoon corridors of their school. "Sergei! I-I forgot to tell you something..."
Messed up again.
"I... like you..."
"Ah! A-Are you all right?"
She found him with a bloodied forearm. On his arm was a long gash, bright scarlet liquid oozing out of the wound. He clutched his wrist tightly, trying to prevent more blood flow. Frantically, she ran to his side and dragged him to the infirmary, despite his silent protests.
"Wh-What happened? Where did you get this wound?" her voice quavered as she fumbled to open the clinic door. As usual, he responded with silence. Seeing how the little blond was struggling to get the door open with one hand, Sergei let go of his wound and opened the door himself. It slid open effortlessly, revealing an immaculately white room, the room of healing, more known as the school infirmary.
"Miss Nina? Aah, where could she be?" Leo panicked when their school nurse was nowhere to be found in the curing shelter. "Aahh what do I do what do I do what will I do?"
She looked around and the reality hit her hard. Their school nurse really wasn't there in the infirmary.
"Okay, okay… calm down, girl," she chided herself out loud. "You've studied how to clean a wound, so this shouldn't be a hard task to accomplish!"
Perking up, she led the still silent disciplinary chairman to the bed, motioning him to sit. "Just remember what Miss Michelle taught you in class last quarter."
Bustling energetically in the clinic, she grabbed all the necessary paraphernalia and placed them on the bedside table. "Let's see… Basin of water, clean towel, a bottle of alcohol, cotton swabs, gauze, tweezers… Ah, right! I'll need a stool, too."
Dragunov eyed the helplessly devoted girl walk around the place. Her giant strides were mere baby steps to him. Those giant strides of hers will take her to faraway places; and even though her steps were small compared to his, there was a high possibility that she was way ahead of him.
Ah, what is this feeling?...
Leo just finished shoving a chair before her patient. "Whew. Okay! Let's get this party started!"
She mentally slapped herself. "Me and my big mouth…"
"Sorry about that," she laughed nervously. "Can I see your arm?"
She reached for his gashed arm. It was slight, but she saw a flicker of pain on his face. She couldn't possibly be imagining things at the moment.
His teeth clenched as her fingertips brushed on his arm. The heat of her small hands amplified the burning sensation from the wound. She bit her lip after seeing the pained expression on his face. At that moment, her energy dissipated; she wasn't even strong enough to examine his wound.
"Um… it's not a very deep wound… but I think it'll take a while to patch up."
Without saying another word, she started cleaning his cut. She dipped the pristine white towel into the cool water and gave it a light wringing before placing it over the wound. She gently wiped the sides of the gash, thinking to herself that it was going to leave a mark on his pale skin.
While she busied herself tending to his wound, Sergei did the same thing he did every time they were near each other. Watch. He had to admit, she was good at this.
This wasn't the first time he's been this close to her, but as he recalled each time they were mere breaths apart from each other, they became reminders of a screwed-up proverbial saying.
What you see is what you get.
No. that wasn't true. Not everything that he saw became his. That wasn't even close enough. He didn't get everything that he wanted.
And as of that moment, there was nothing else he wanted more than her.
Leo was there. Close enough to hold. Close enough to touch. But was never close enough to have for his own.
Wanting. What a strange feeling.
She dabbed an alcohol-soaked cotton swab on the wound. His wound was smoldering.
Dragunov's hand balled up into a fist. He only thought he succeeded in masking his pain, but Leo saw him flinch.
He wondered why she stopped.
Leo bit her lip again in an attempt to compose herself, but her tears got the better of her.
"I-I'm sorry…" she cried. "I-It's just that… you're always hurt like this a-and yet you… you never even speak a single word at all, even if you're in pain!"
Sergei watched her as she wiped her tears and nose with her sleeves. Even as she dried her eyes, tears welled up in them again, overflowing to her cheeks.
"Please, Sergei… When you're in pain, please say something!"
It looked like she was more hurt than him, even though she was unscathed at all. While he, the guy with the five-inch slash on his left arm was unfazed. Well, he only thought that he was. She wasn't really hurt more than him, she was hurt for him. It only dawned upon him when an iridescent tear dropped on his open palm.
This is what makes up an emotion. And a result of… experiencing pain.
It was hot. It was the same warmth that lured him to her. He lifted his hand to her face and gently wiped away her tears. For the much-feared disciplinary chairman to show affection for someone was a serious matter.
Leo. She will be his undoing. She just penetrated his shield.
"Ah… Y-Your wound…" she sputtered all of a sudden. "That's good… The bleeding stopped."
He held her face in his hand, wondering. She was so warm. He wondered if he could keep a bit of her warmth to himself…
"Let's wrap it up so that it won't get infected, mmkay?" Leo sniffed. She unfurled a roll of gauze and started winding it around Dragunov's scarred arm. "Try not to move your arm too much. The bleeding just stopped. If you hold still for a while, it'll give your body time to regenerate and, uh… you know, for your skin to grow and stuff."
"Sergei is something wrong with my face?" she giggled. "You've been touching it for quite a while now…"
She looked down all of a sudden. "You know, I've been meaning to tell you something, but I… um… Sergei?..."
He was drawing her closer to him. "Aah… Um, S-Sergei…"
"What are you doing? I'm gonna melt!"
"But I'm telling you, Nina-sensei! DC Chairman was more wounded than I am!" thundered a voice from outside the infirmary. Not a moment later, the door slid open. "He just staggered away from the scene and‒ Ah! He's here!"
A bewildered Dragunov and an even more bewildered Leo turned to people standing at the doorway.
"DC Chairman!" a pigtailed petite approached the wounded disciplinary chairman. "You disappeared before I could even thank you! Leo-chan, did you help DC Chairmanclean his wound?"
"Ah, yes. He just appeared from out of nowhere with a bloody arm!" the petite blond responded. "What happened, Xiaoyu?"
Xiaoyu crossed her arms over her chest and huffed. "Well, we were replacing a sign in the classroom. I took the liberty to do it myself since I know that I have great balance… it seemed like I settled on one side of the chair too much that I caused it to tip over."
"I thought for sure that I was gonna fall, but DC Chairmansuddenly appeared from who knows where and broke my fall," Xiaoyu bowed down. "Thank you so much, DC Chairman! You even received a wound…"
"Would it be all right if I watch over DC Chairman while he rests up? I'm pretty sure that he needs to recover and stuff… And that's the only thing I can do right now to repay him," Xiaoyu smiled. "So, Leo-chan, I'll take over from here!"
"Oh. Well, um… okay then," Leo forced a grin to grace her lips. She turned to the prefect and smiled at him. "Xiaoyu's gonna take care of you, so be nice to her."
She smiled at him and shook her head. Her hands were reaching for his, but suddenly withdrew. "Don't overexert yourself. Don't do anything reckless anymore."
Leo stood up from the chair and made her way to the door. "I used some of the supplies on Sergei, Miss Nina. I hope you don't mind."
"Good girl," the elder blond nodded at her.
As soon as she stepped out of the infirmary, she was in a trance again. She touched her face; her fingertips traced her cold cheek.
"Sergei… I really…" she sighed in defeat. "Darnit, I love you."
The student disciplinary committee chairman was motionless in bed. He languorously gazed outside the window beside him, thinking.
The sunlight was too bright. It was warm, too. But he was looking for a different kind of warmth.
Yes. The kind of warmth only she could offer.
"Oi, DC Chairman," Miss Pigtails called his attention. He turned back to his current guardian, the same expressionless visage painted on his face. "You like her, don't you?"
"It's all right, DC Chairman," she grinned at him. "Your secret's safe with me!"
Dragunov turned back to facing the window. He wanted to bask in the sunlight. He wanted to keep himself warm from the frigid cold slowly freezing his heart. He needed her to thaw it…
The sun really pales in comparison to her warmth.
Not that he ever compared Leo to the sun before, but as he remembered the warm affection that seeped out from every finger of her hands, the sunlight seemed much frostier.
And the rest of the world seemed as dead as he was.
Maybe this time, she was going to get it right.
If only she could find him.
Students poured out of the school building like a raging river. Every face had the same expression, and every heart had the same emotion.
It was the dusk of the final day in school. For the lowerclassmen, it meant freedom. No more waking up early and listening to boring lectures...
But for the senior class, it only meant one thing.
"Haaah... Aw cruds!"
Leo was running.
Step. Step. Leap. Jump. Go!
She circled the entire school looking for someone. This time, she was desperate. Her little feet and short legs gathered all the vigour in her tiny body and frantically circled the school once more.
"I'm not giving up! Not this time!..."
But as each round passed, her legs grew weary and her heart wasn't as strong as it was during the first round.
By the time she passed by the school entrance again, the whole place was drained of the students. The school was empty.
"...I... I didn't even get to..."
She sniffed, holding back a cry. But tears welled up in her eyes with the thought that she failed her one last mission before graduating and leaving this small-town high school.
Wiping her tears with her sleeves, she raised her head to the dusky ginger-tinged sky and shut her eyes.
"I LIKE YOU, SERGEI DRAGUNOV!"
Damn her courage to come out at this time. Where was it when she needed it the most? After screaming her heart's contents, she gave out another wail of desperation, "I love you! I'm so stupid!"
She fell down to her knees and cried. Cry, cry, cry. "Stupid Leo..."
It took her a few minutes to calm down. Leo got up, her legs still wobbly, and dusted the dirt off her. She took a deep breath and faced her beloved school building again.
Her eyes darted to the roof top, where a certain dark-haired figured stood on guard.
Leo ran back inside the school building, her heart racing with her feet. She struggled with the exhaustion and pushed herself to reach the top of the building. Her slim legs carried her as swift as they could, but they were ready to give up any moment. She willed herself to keep on going. "Go! Run!"
Every step she made was important. She stumbled on the last three steps. Willing herself to stand up and take hold of the doorknob, she screamed, "No! I won't give up now!... I KNOW THAT THIS IS WORTH IT!"
The doorknob was warm. It absorbed every ray of the afternoon sun. She was there.
The door swung open.
Dragunov turned around from his nostalgia tripping when he was face-to-face with her.
"It... It is you!" Leo felt tears gather in her eyes once again as she spoke. "Ah, right... why the heck am I crying?" she laughed. "I have something to tell you."
This time, she was going to get it right.
"Did... ah, you must've probably heard me screaming and crying down there a while ago, haven't you?" she gave him a nervous smile. He gave her a small nod.
"Well... that was embarrassing," she giggled. That titter of hers never failed to warm him up.
Yes. That girl has succeeded in something that no other girl ever dared to do.
"She actually got him to warm up to her!" Xiaoyu smiled cheerfully. "Leo actually did it!"
"Well, that's good!" Christie laughed. "Looks like little Leo isn't so little anymore."
"But you know, you guys," Miss Pigtails interrupted the moment of merriment after saying, "She hasn't even told him about her feelings yet!"
"Things will fall into place, Xiao," Christie assured her bubbly-bursting friend. "I know that she'll find the right timing soon."
"I don't want to take up much of your time..." Leo said softly. The speed of her heartbeat got amplified all of a sudden. Her legs were ready to give away at any moment. "Not yet... don't give me away yet..."
She looked up at him. "I have something to tell you. Well, I already said it a while ago... Lemme just say it again."
This time, she was going to get it right.
Courage. Courage. There it was, perched gently on her shoulder. It told her to smile, let go of every other thought in her mind and listen to what her heart has been saying for a very long time now. A very long time.
"I like you, Sergei!"
Her blue eyes never left contact from his icy blue stare. She only looked up at him and he just looked down at her. Neither said a thing. Neither moved an inch.
It was silly of Leo to actually expect a response from him, the stalwart silent student disciplinary committee chairman. "Heh. Silly me."
He won't answer. "Not to me." It was ridiculous enough to think that he would answer her.
So why did she feel so crushed at that moment? That very moment should have set her free from everything that kept her tied down to this school.
"I... I've always admired your composure," she stuttered. "I've always your strength and your diligence. I've always liked you."
She beamed at him. The sincerity and tenderness of her affections emanated from that smile of hers.
And for him, the warmth of the setting sun paled in comparison. Over and over.
"Scratch that," she told him with a rueful laugh. "I love you, Sergei!"
"From the start," she looked up at him again with her wide and naive blue eyes. "From the very, very start."
Dragunov still stared back at her. It was his usual reaction to everything that happened everyday at school. She had tripped over her own two feet, accidentally exposed her underwear in front of him, fixed his necktie for him and cleaned his wound. In response to everything was his solid gaze.
She had laughed, cried, smiled and wailed. She just showed him every emotion she had, every expression she could make with her lips and every voice that came out of her mouth.
Now it was his turn.
He took a step closer to her and tipped her chin to face him. He wordlessly took her slim wrist in his hand and lifted her palm to his lips. Her slender fingers brushed over his scar, caressing his lips. Tears filled her eyes as he placed her palm flat on his chest, right above his heart.
"S-Sergei..." Leo whimpered. The thumping she was hearing and feeling against her palm was just too good to be true. "Th-This isn't happening now, is it?..."
Dragunov drew her closer to him, step by step, inch by inch, little by little, until they were merely a breath apart. He wrapped his long arms around her lithe figure. She didn't squirm or pull apart from him. She didn't have the strength to do it. He immersed himself in her warmth; pleasant, soothing and calming. His heartbeat slowed down as he drew in a breath, inhaling the pleasant and familiar scent of bluebells swirling around them.
As his heart calmed down, hers began to race for its life.
"Uh, S-Sergei..." Leo squeaked against his chest. "Y-You do know what you're doing to me, right?"
"Sergeiiiiii?..." Leo wailed weakly. She looked up from his chest and swore that she saw the corners of his lips gently curve up.
He leaned down even closer to her, until the tips of their noses touched.
"I'm gonna melt I'm gonna melt I'm gonna melt‒"
He whispered something in her ear. It was as soft as a kitten's breath and gentle as the sun's first caress on her skin at morning.
Ya tebya lyublyu. Hachu, chtoby ty byla moyey.
I love you. I want you to be mine.
She had to admit, hearing him whisper those words to her...
Leo laughed. As she closed her eyes, warm tears rolled down her cheeks. "I can die now, thank you."
She smoothly pulled away from him. He held her face in his hands and wiped away her tears. Not a moment later, he was pulling her near again; just when her heart was finally settled.
"Ah... Sergei..." she mumbled against his chest, obviously defeated. "You really have no idea what you do to me now, do you?..."
Dragunov didn't respond again, although he could feel her heart in hysterics again. All he could do in reply was brush a soft and pleasingly warm kiss on her forehead. Perhaps that could calm her down. Leo sighed in defeat and relief. She just gathered enough might to wrap her arms around his neck.
"I knew that it was worth it."
It looks like she finally got it right this time.