Hello, everyone! Hello again to my past readers, and to any new readers who might be reading this! I just barely watched AIR; both the TV series and the movie. Personally, I like the movie a little bit better, but this fanfiction can probably be placed anywhere in the middle of either one. Enjoy! :D
*I do not own any rights to AIR*
Early one morning, Yukito woke up to the sound of something crashing with a bang into the trashcans outside. Haruko's such a drunk! he thought with a groan, rolling over and trying to go back to sleep; assuming it was just Haruko driving her motorcycle while drunk again.
But when he heard Misuzu muttering dejectedly to herself and the faint jingle of a bell, Yukito pushed himself upright, got dressed, and went outside to see what was going on.
He found Misuzu attempting to ride her bike again, even though Yukito had been driving her around places on the bike. In other words: she didn't need to be trying to learn how to ride the bike.
"Hey, Misuzu!" Yukito called from the doorway, squinting as the morning sunlight fell in his eyes. "What are you doing?!"
The teenage girl looked up, her face flustered. "Trying to learn how to ride the bike!" she replied.
Yukito stepped out of the doorway and walked over to her. "Why?" he asked curiously. "You don't need to."
Misuzu ducked her head down, not looking at him. "I know I don't," she murmured. "But—I want to. I want to learn!" She fumbled around with the bell on the bike, making it ding.
After watching her for a moment, Yukito sighed. "If it matters that much to you, I can help teach you," he told her.
She looked up at him, her eyes shining. "Really?! Thank you, Yukito!" she exclaimed happily.
"Sure, sure," Yukito said with a nod. "Get on the bike again. And don't pedal just yet."
Misuzu did as she was told, and sat obediently with her feet on the ground. "What now?" she asked.
"I think you need to get used to pedaling steady first," Yukito said. He put his right hand next to hers on the right handlebar. "So I'm going to help you for a little bit, okay?" He reached around her back and put his left hand on the left handlebar next to hers.
"O-okay," Misuzu said, blushing at how close he was.
"Now, I want you to start pedaling. Don't go fast. Just keep it nice, slow and steady. I need to be able to walk with you."
Misuzu nodded, then pushed down on the pedals. The bike moved forward slowly as the wheels slowly rotated around and around.
"Just head for the sidewalk outside the house," Yukito said. "You're doing fine."
They reached the sidewalk, and Misuzu pedaled the bike forward for a few more feet before Yukito spoke up again.
"Okay. I'm going to let go for just a second, okay?" he said.
Misuzu jerked her head to look at him, her eyes wide. "No! Why?!"
"It's okay," he said soothingly. "Little by little, the time I let go of you will get longer, and, after a while, you'll be riding the bike on your own. Okay?"
It took a few moments, but Misuzu finally nodded, the bike still going at a slow, steady rate.
"Okay." Yukito let go of the handlebars, and let Misuzu go on her own for a couple feet. It began to wobble, but before she could fall, Yukito caught up and took hold of the handlebars again.
"See? It wasn't so bad," Yukito told her.
Misuzu turned and gave him a smile. "No, it wasn't!"
"I told you." Yukito looked over his shoulder. "Okay. Let's turn around, and we can go that way instead." He guided the bike and turned around to head the other direction.
After about an hour, Misuzu and Yukito headed back inside. Misuzu had a tired smile on her face, and sweat dotted her brow. Yukito hadn't broken a sweat.
"So, did you have fun?" Yukito asked as he pulled out one of Misuzu's peach nectar boxes and handed it to her.
Misuzu took it and sat down, panting. "Yes! Of course I did!" she said, smiling as big as she could in her exhausted state.
"Do you feel like you made any progress?" He joined her at the table with a glass of water. She still couldn't go very far without Yukito holding onto the handlebars, but it was better than she'd been doing by herself.
"Uh-huh!" she replied, sucking at her straw feebly.
Yukito suddenly noticed how exhausted she looked. "Misuzu?" he asked. "Are you feeling okay? You don't look so good."
"It's okay! I'm fine!" she said, trying to sound wide awake. But her heavy eyelids tried to slide closed without her permission.
Yukito was unconvinced. "No, you're not," he said. He stood up and went over to crouch next to her, stretching out his hand to place it against her forehead and cheeks.
Misuzu tried to pull away so he wouldn't feel the fever, but she was too weak. It was more like a twitch than anything.
"Misuzu, you're burning up." Yukito frowned. "When did you start feeling sick?" he demanded.
Misuzu didn't reply. Unable to form coherent thoughts anymore, she just closed her eyes and focused on breathing.
She began to sway, and before she could collapse on the floor, Yukito moved forward so she could lean against him. "Misuzu?" he asked again, shaking her shoulder. She didn't respond. He touched her cheek with the back of his hand again, feeling the skin blaze with heat underneath it. "Dammit!" he muttered.
He took Misuzu up in his arms and headed for her room. Yukito placed her in her bed and came back with a wet washcloth, placing it on her forehead. He took a seat next to her bed, leaning against the desk and closing his eyes. Why didn't she tell me?
Misuzu was all right after a good night's rest. The following days, she followed Yukito around and begged him to help her again. Each time, he said no.
"But why?" she asked sadly after about the 100th time.
"Misuzu," Yukito said hardly, turning to look at her. "You got sick the last time I did."
"So?" she said. Her eyes shone with sad tears, and she bowed her head, letting her hair fall over her eyes. She didn't want Yukito to see her cry.
She didn't look up at him. She couldn't.
She gave a small sniffle, and still didn't look up at him.
Misuzu heard Yukito give a sigh, and then he'd taken her head in between his hands, looking her straight in the eyes. "Misuzu," he said again, slowly. "I don't want you to get sick again. It's not that I don't want to teach you; not at all."
She bit her lip, and tried to look down again. She couldn't. "I just…I really want to learn, Yukito!" she whispered hoarsely.
Yukito sighed in frustration, not knowing what to say.
"I—I promise to tell you if I start feeling sick!" she said, moving her eyes to look at him again. "I swear I'll tell you!"
Yukito studied her eyes for a moment longer, considering, before giving a small sigh. "This means that much to you?" he questioned.
Misuzu gave a small nod. "Please?"
He gave one more sigh, then took his hands from the sides of her head. "Okay. I'll teach you more."
Her eyes shone, and she gave a small laugh before wrapping her arms around Yukito's neck.
It took a couple weeks, and Misuzu did get sick a couple more times, but she finally did it. She was finally ready to try riding on her own again.
"You sure you're ready?" Yukito asked, his hands still on the handlebars.
Misuzu gave a small, determined nod. "Yep."
"Okay." He gave her a slight, soft smile, and then let go of the handlebars. Misuzu pressed down on the pedals, and then she was off, her golden hair waving in the wind behind her. Finally, she was able to ride on her own.
And Misuzu knew that, even though she could ride on her own, Yukito would still come with her. He would still come with her whenever she wanted him to help her with her project. He always would.
Did you like it?! I hope you did! I had fun writing this! Read and review, please! ^-^