A/N: This is the sequel for Subtle and Blunt, but i've tried to write it so it's stand alone since when I went and reread S&B I kinda didn't like it all that much (mainly cos of the style i wrote for Shizuru's portion but since it was deliberate to show for state of mind I'm not gona redo it)
Sori to reviewer and readers tht was waiting for this fic (esp the ones i replied that i'll write this asap... turn out asap wasn't so soon)
N thnx to my poll takers, im glad it ended up how it did cos i fink i wuda been in a stump as to what to write if it turn out differently.
What do your actions mean?
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon when the abrupt sound of knocking rapped at my door.
I had been sitting peacefully and comfortably in my living room reading a good book when my tranquil state was disturbed, not expecting visitors that day, I took my time to mark my place in the novel and gently rest it down onto the glass coffee table in front of me.
By the time I had reached the door I took a moment to ensure I was presentable before I opened it and reveal to myself who my surprise guest was.
I had opened the door to see the one I least expected: Natsuki.
The sight of the blunette cause memories of the last few months to come rushing through my mind; the cleverly laid plans to have Natsuki distance herself from me; the time spent on slowly phasing myself out of her life; the struggles I endured to forget my love for her... Memories. They were only memories.
In the few months that we have been apart I had forgotten my undying love for this girl before me – I am not so bold to say that I have rid myself of those feelings, I know that deep within the abyss in my heart - my love for the blue hair delinquent still exists, they were just hidden.
Hidden - even from myself, that is why seeing Natsuki right now has only brought back memories, it did not strike a chord in my heart nor brightens up my day – right now, I feel nothing for this pale-skinned, blue-haired, emerald eyed girl…
None-the-less I was shocked to see her, it's been months since we've last seen each other, I expected Natsuki to look for me at some point in life but not now - it's all too soon and abrupt – all I've have expected, at most, was a phone call to organize a meeting or something – not a surprise visit. And the most curious thing was: the shocked and disappointed look on her face, it looked as though she went knocking at the wrong door and ended up seeing someone she didn't want to see instead.
'Why are you looking at me like that?' I asked myself and soon chose to ignore that question and her expression. instead I tried to seek out a reason for her presence.
"Natsuki? What are you doing here?" I asked in concern.
'Even my voice holds no lingering feelings in it' I noted to myself as I internally I smiled at my own achievement.
Yet my question seemed to only agitate the biker girl; her face contorted, morphing it into a scowl, her eyes broke contact from mine and looked past me.
'Did I do something wrong?'
It was a surprisingly rude reaction I honestly did not expect from Natsuki, but once again I chose to ignore it.
"Would Natsuki like to sit down? I'll prepare some tea for us." Inviting her in was an integrated habit of mine – showing your guest hospitality regardless of whether or not you wish for their company is something I've been taught to do since I was young, and because of this I invited her in even though I didn't want her here.
I understand my feelings well enough to know it's still too early to be around her, and if she stays all my efforts for the past months will have been for naught.
She brushed pasted me without saying a word, straight to the two seater couch and sat down in a huff; it didn't take a genius to sense that the blunette was acting hostile. Walking into the kitchen to prepare the tea I watched Natsuki and judging from her body language she had something plaguing her mind - she was fidgeting a lot, constantly looking around the room not focusing on anything for any significant amount of time.
'Natsuki is definitely irritated by something.'
"Here you go Natsuki" I handed her the teacup and held onto my own as I returned to the seat I was occupying before – the one seater on the other side of the coffee table Natsuki sat in front of. I glanced at Natsuki, whose eye darted around the furnishing, then I focused on my tea – closing my eyes to deeply inhale the aroma, my body instinctively relaxed and the cogs of my mind began to move.
In those few peaceful moments I reminded my self the reasons I left Natsuki:
I left… because I could not bear the thought of caging her in the suffocative friendship I put the two of us into, I freed her from my heavy burden, I did everything for her even though it killed me inside all in the name of selfless love but… in truth…
I opened my eyes and stared pensively into the tea in my hands.
I did it for myself… our relationship was slowly eating at me, it was suffocating not only for her but for me as well; to know she will never return my feelings and to have her presence with me all the time, made forgetting her so much harder and so much more painful.
I refuse to return to that, I will not allow ourselves to go back to how things were and live in a life in limbo – where my heart is neither dead nor alive – I steadied my wavering heart for both our sakes.
My gaze moved from the teacup back to Natsuki and with my renewed resolve to keep our lives separate and our friendship absolutely platonic, I once again tried to start a conversation:
"So, how do I owe the pleasure of Natsuki visiting me so spontaneously? I hope everything is alright" I had kept my voice friendly and concerned – I didn't want her to think I didn't want her company, even though a part of me didn't, and I kept a friendly smile on.
"Shizuru…" She growled through her teeth, eyes and face looking at the teacup in her hands.
'The first thing she said today and it had to sound so angry. She won't even look at me… I wonder what is wrong…'
I kept my gaze at the top of the blunette's head, staring with concern when she lifted up her head once again, I noticed the emotions that changed from one to another cross her face – from annoyance to loss to sadness and unhappiness, then finally to anger.
'Why is she so angry?'
I myself was at a lost for words – I didn't understand why those emotions crossed her face but a distinct feeling in me says somehow it was all my dong.
'But what have I done? Wasn't everything I did for you, Natsuki? Aren't you happy where you are now?'
"Let's go for a ride. It's a good day and it has been a while." Natsuki commanded, standing up to be in an even more superior position she looked at me and I looked at her.
My mind froze at her words, no, I froze at her tone and the demand it carried, it left me even more confused and disorientated.
'Natsuki is ignoring my question again, why does she want to take a ride now of all times?'
"You might want to get changed. I'll take care of these for you" Natsuki had continued, then snatching away my cup and walking away to the kitchen before I could answer or question her.
'She came to me yet she doesn't want to talk to me? Natsuki why are you making me worry so much?'
I stared worriedly at her retreating form, knowing full well it was not the time to disagree with the short-tempered girl who's already a bit testy; I stood up and made my way to my bedroom.
Closing the door behind me and I discarded my clothing onto my bed and took out my rarely used pair of jeans and a top, searching through my wardrobe to find a suitable jacket I came across a familiar black and red one, I took it off the hanger and in my hands I felt the leather texture once more.
It was the jacket Natsuki had "permanently lent" me a few years back – it was just another winter day where we were going to go out shopping after school and when I found her by her bike she handed me the leather jacket:
"I guess you can borrow this" is what she said but I never asked. It was just another occasion where she showed her sweet and caring side
I took the garment in my hand and lift it to my face, inhaling its scent -
'It didn't smell like Natsuki anymore.'
I left my room wearing the jacket; Natsuki having finished cleaning up the cups turned to look at me and gave me a smile – one I haven't seen in so long.
"Still fits huh?" She said in a calm and gentle voice.
I hadn't realized it but from our short exchange before where her tone and demeanor was so unfamiliar - my heart was uneasy - but with just a small smile my heart settled once more.
"Actually, the chest portion feels a lot tighter then I remember." I jested, hoping we could keep up her sudden good mood.
'I still prefer a happy Natsuki, over a grumpy one.'
"Baka! Come on let's just go!" she yelled, storming off like a child having a tantrum.
I smiled to myself at her antics.
'Just like old times…'
My smile slowly turned to a slight frown.
When we reached Natsuki's bike, the sight of the vehicle brought back memories – old memories that warmed my heart.
She handed me a helmet, I noticed it wasn't her one, in fact it was new helmet I had never when before… in my time with Natsuki.
"Ara? Natsuki finally invested in a spare helmet for her passenger I see? I'm glad that Tokiha-san was able to do what I could not."
Only after those words left my mouth did I realise how it holds true to more than just once meaning.
'I don't think it is a good idea to go with her.' I told myself as I resisted the urge to clutch at my own chest.
It was getting difficult to ignore the growing pain. It was getting uncovered, bit by bit; my heart is starting to remember how it feels for the person in front of me.
"Yeah… Just put it on, already." Her voice sounded grim, but not at grim as my face was underneath the helmet she gave me. Despite my warning, I proceeded to mount the bike.
With my last bit of my resolve, that remained un-shattered by my blue-haired goddess, I tried to keep a distance between us – placing my hands on her hips instead of wrapping myself around her waist – my last bid to stop myself from falling for her again.
The next thing I knew my hands were pulled forward and wrap around familiar flesh, a muffled voice resounded in front of me.
"You'll fall off if you don't hold on properly"
And then we went speeding off, so fast I had to tighten my hold on the figure in front of me, so fast my heart thumped rapidly, so fast I couldn't even take notice of my surrounding and all that I could think about was the one solid thing that my senses could feel – Natsuki.
I could feel us slowly down, the passing blurs focused into an ocean view, cliff side roads, and a setting sun.
We were at the cape; the cape where Natsuki's mother died, the cape where we used to visit to just spend time together, the cape where the start of my fall began. It was the cape full of our memories – good and bad.
She parked the bike and I hopped off, placing the helmet on the seat I walked over to the barrier to get a better view of the sunset.
The wind swept my hair and I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in.
'I remember those feelings, and the pain that comes along with it. My heart is beating and bleeding for her again. I guess… we're back to square one.'
A sad smile adorned my face.
"It's been so long since I've been here, Natsuki. The sunset is as beautiful as ever."
'I guess I'll have to distance myself again.'
At those thoughts my heart seem to bleed even more but like I always had I ignore the pain, and focused on the blunette in front of me.
"Natsuki?" I spoke in concern at her lack of response, but what happened next shook me to my very core.
She moved closer to me, reducing the already small distance between us, raising her arms on either side like she was going to hug me.
"Natsuki?" This time I said it no more than a whisper – I was scared and confused when she enveloped me in her arms.
I can feel her heart beat against mine.
I took a few moments to fight off the fear and confusion that plagued my mind the moment Natsuki held me, I soon gathered myself and built up whatever flimsy façade I could.
"Natsuki, is something the matter? If you need someone to console you, I'm more than happy to listen to your problems."
My voice was weak. In under an hour too much has happen to me, emotionally, for me to gather myself properly and build a better mask but if I let her hold me any longer I'm afraid I would break down even more.
I tried to push away from her silent form but my struggles went unrewarded.
"Stop doing this to us." I stopped my struggles.
'Stop doing this to us? Has she figured it out?'
I admit her words shocked me but my instinct told me she hasn't fully understood my actions for the past few months, and it wasn't like I actually did anything wrong. However, I didn't like our current situation – being held by her may have been one of my long held dreams but right now it hurts more than it comforts, so I decided to go on the offensive instead.
"Ara, I don't understand what Natsuki means but if Natsuki holding me like this is my own doing, then I guess I'll just have to deal with the consequence when we get back to the apartment." I spoke seductively into her ear, a method that usually results to her jumping as far away from me as possible. A double-sided blade, but it does its job.
"Shizuru, I'm serious!" She grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me away, but still keeping me at arms length.
I was still feeling weak and her stern gaze and scolding tone served to break me down even more on the inside.
I couldn't even look at her; instead I stared at the pavement beside her.
'Isn't this for our own good? Preventing the both of us from future pain, isn't it what we both want? So why are you so angry and unhappy? Why are you questioning my actions to save the both of us?'
"Really Natsuki, I don't understand what you are referring to" All my fighting spirit and resolve has gone, I no longer wanted this, I never did.
"Hmph. Whatever." She pulled me back into a tight embrace. I remained stiff in her arms.
'Why do you do this to me, Natsuki?'
I relaxed my body and gingerly held her back.
'But I guess it's my fault too. For loving you.'
We stood there hugging each other for some time until Natsuki finally pulled away and turned to the sunset – her face held confidence and contentment. She turned smiling at me saying with much confidence and determination:
"I'm not letting you out of my sight, Shizuru. You're not going anywhere."
'What do you mean?'
A/N: dont expect the next chapter anytime soon, im notoriously lazy, so just pray tht i get into an angsy enough mood to continue write the next few chapters.
btw i hope this chapter was long enuf for u guys, i compress shizuru's PoV for Natsuki's Blunt portion of S&B into 1 chapter since u guys dnt like short chapters