Disclaimer- I do not own Hot Gimmick, Hot Gimmick S or its characters.

Author's Notes: So yeah… I'm prolly facing an angry mob? I'm picturing all of you readers with pitch forks and torches – but you don't know whether to hate me for not updating for so long, or love me because I've finally updated! I won't try to make any excuses, I've simply just haven't had the time (and I'll admit, motivation) to continue on with this chapter.

I've had a rather difficult time actually writing this chapter, believe it or not. I've written it about a dozen times and it's gone from one direction to another, I'm not joking. This version of chapter 4 that you're reading, is version 2D. Meaning it's the second direction that I went, and the 4th and final draft. It was really frustrating having to write so many different times, and in all honesty I'm not totally happy with this chapter but I figured "well, it's done and I know I need to update…why not?" Ill eventually go through and edit it again and be sure to update it. For now, you'll just have to make do with what I have up! To clarify, I'm not happy with the mid part of the story, basically with how and why Hatsumi ends up at Shinogu's apartment for the night…but I had to run with it, and it seemed realistic compared to the other ideas I've had. And YES, you will run into A LOT of grammar and spelling errors in this chapter, I just didn't have the patience to deal with it…considering I have about a thousand didn't version of this, I just want it to be over with, haha.

With my long hiatus I've also revamped the story and future chapters, so another mess like this chapter will NOT happen again. I promise.

Anyway, I'm sure many of you are glad for an update and I give my readers my deepest thanks for sticking it out and waiting for the next installment. I can totally promise the next chapters won't take this long! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PATIENCE! So for now, please read, review but most importantly enjoy!


"Hatsumi," her Father's voice was quite solemn, "this wasn't the kind of report I wanted to be getting from your teacher when you're so close to graduating."

Hatsumi couldn't look at her father in the eye; she avoided his gaze and looked out the window in shame. "I know Dad, I'm sorry." The eldest Narita daughter bit her lip, she understood why her father was upset but it wasn't as if she was being held back from graduating. Hatsumi was just having difficulty deciding-

"How is it that you don't know what you want to do for a career?" Father inquired. "You're a month away from graduating and you haven't put any thought into your future?"

"But I have put some thought into it!" Hatsumi proclaimed. "I just, I don't know exactly what it is I want to do."

"Hatsumi, you understand we can't let you go to university if you don't know what it is you want to study…"

"Now Dad," came Hatsumi's mother's voice. She was drying off her hands, done washing the dishes. "You're starting to sound like we won't support Hatsumi."

"I'm not saying we won't," Father countered. "But we can't afford to send her to school if she'd just going to dilly dally around."

"But I'm not fooling around…" Hatsumi mumbled lowly.

"When I first entered university I only had ideas of what I wanted to study," Mother said aloud. "I didn't have a plan or anything; I just took classes that were interesting."

"Yes dear, but at least you had an idea." Father replied. "According to Hatsumi's teacher our daughter doesn't even have an inkling of a plan. Her entire career worksheet was left blank."

The entrance door creaked open and closed, "Hello?" came a voice from the hallway.

Hatsumi's spirits picked up instantly, Shinogu had come to visit. "Hello!" she called out. A moment later a tall, handsome gentlemen filled the door frame of the living room. "Hi Shinogu." Hatsumi greeted him.

He smiled and crossed the room, and placed a light kiss on her cheek. "Hey," he whispered into her ear. "Mom, Dad," he said a second later, greeting his adoptive parents. "How are you?"

"We're doing well dear," mother came over to Shinogu, wrapping him in her embrace. "How is school?"

"Nearly finished for this semester," he told her. "Looks like a family meeting," Shinogu commented after he examined the family gathered in the living space. "What's going on?"

"Maybe you can talk some sense into Hatsumi," Father started. "She's having a problem deciding what to study when she studies university."

Shinogu frowned and looked over at Hatsumi, he wasn't frowning because he was upset with her, but instead frowned because he knew this was something Hatsumi had been stressing about since she entered high school. "Still having difficulty?" he asked kindly.

Hatsumi gave a small shrug, unable to find the words to reply with. The guilt she felt while her father cross examined her had seemed to multiply by the thousands when Shinogu questioned her. Partly because he was her boyfriend, but mainly because they had a similar discussion a few years back- Hatsumi didn't want Shinogu to think that she didn't take his advice to heart back then.

She had just entered high school, it was her first week, and it was tradition for the newest students to fill out a career worksheet. The sheet asked where Hatsumi would like to attend university, what her field of study would be, and why and what she would to do for a future career; Hatsumi left the entire sheet blank. Concerned, her teacher sent Hatsumi home with a note expressing that Hatsumi needed to reevaluate her academic priorities and interests.

At the time, Father was still working out of town and Mother was pilled under a mountain of over time; Hatsumi believed that she escaped from the dreaded lecture but it came in a different form instead. It was one of the rare nights that Shinogu didn't have any work from any of his part time jobs, Hatsumi came home that afternoon to find her at-the-time-brother busy in the kitchen. "Shinogu!" She asked with surprise. It was only the beginning of the many months when she would see Shinogu on the seldom occasion, and she was still adjusting to the idea of her brother always being away from home because of work. It was a pleasant surprise to see him.

Shinogu looked over his shoulder and smiled; "Hey there!" he was busy with something on the stove, and it smelt good. "I made dinner tonight, I figured you and Akane would like to an actual meal every once and while." Shinogu was aware of the fact that Mother was busy with work, so was he, and the parental care at home was lacking. "I made a stir fry," he told her.

"Smells delicious" Hatsumi replied, her tummy grumbled, seconding her opinion.

"Sit down," he motioned for her to take a seat at the table, and reached into the cabinet for plates. "How was school?" Shinogu asked.

"Ah, well." Hatsumi hesitated for a moment thinking about the note her teacher wrote. It sat in the pocket of her jacket. "You know the usual."

"Yeah?" Shinogu had plated dinner and put in on the table, sitting opposite of Hatsumi. "Sounds like something happened."

"Not really…" Hatsumi avoided eye contact with Shinogu, if he caught her gaze she knew she would crumble on the spot. She forked over a portion of the stir fry onto her plate, "Pass the rice, please?" He handed her a bowl of rice, aware of the fact that she was avoiding his worried look. "Where's Akane?" Hatsumi asked, desperate to change the topic of discussion.

"No idea," Shinogu said. "I thought you would know, I haven't seen her much lately."

"Probably out with one of her boyfriends," Hatsumi muttered between bites of her dinner.

"Boyfriends?" Shinogu questioned with some astonishment. "She has boyfriends?" he was putting emphasis on the fact that the word was plural.

"Akane is pretty," Hatsumi concluded. "She got all the looks out of the family gene pool."

"I wouldn't say that," Shinogu countered. "You're very pretty too Hatsumi."

She blushed hearing the compliment, but due to their circumstances that point in time Hatsumi didn't think much about it. "You just have to say that because you're my brother."

Shinogu didn't say anything. She'll never really understand what I mean when I say things like that, he thought to himself. It was a bitter but sweet kind of punishment, but it was the deal that he had worked out with God. He would never tell Hatsumi that he wasn't actually her brother, or that he was in love with her…in exchange God would allow Shinogu to keep Hatsumi to himself. Eventually, God did something right and made amends to the bargain that Shinogu had made.

"How's school going?" Hatsumi asked after a moment of silence. "You're a big university student now!"

"Pretty good, I enjoy the classes. But sometimes I feel like I just don't have enough time to get all the homework done. Sleep has to be sacrificed I guess," Shinogu joked.

But Hatsumi didn't find it very funny, she was concerned. "Don't push yourself too hard Shinogu," she said warningly. "Why don't you just quit all those part time jobs you have? Just keep one? That way you can focus on your studies."

Shinogu shook his head, "I can't do that."

"Why not? You're going to burn yourself out!"

"Because, there are things I need to do, things that I have to straighten out, and they all require money." Shinogu answered.

In her naivety, Hatsumi wasn't aware of Shinogu's situation at this point in their lives. She wasn't aware of the inner demons he was fighting with, the desperation he was feeling, how his happiness was slowly dying, or what he truly was planning for. She as only aware that Shinogu was hiding something from her, from his sister, and she felt betrayed. "You're hiding things from me," she retorted. "Tell me what's going on, maybe I can help!"

He only smiled wearily at her, "Don't worry about it Hatsumi."

"Obviously it is something I should be worried about!" She flung back. "You're over working yourself, and it's obvious that something is bothering you Shinogu, don't think I haven't noticed. I'm your sister, I'm here to help. "

The words were supposed to be comforting, Hatsumi meant them to provide support, instead they were like a poison that slowly murdered Shinogu. He knew Hatsumi loved her, cared for him, she made it evident and he appreciated her loyalty…but it was the wrong kind of love, it wasn't what he wanted. Every day he lived with his self disgust, knowing that he was harboring forbidden affections for the one girl that he wasn't allowed to love, but he would do anything, everything, to stay close to her. It didn't matter how much disgust he felt, or how sinful it may have been, he loved Hatsumi as a woman, not a sister. "I'm just trying my best to lessen the burden for Mom and Dad," Shinogu explained. "I'm going to try and pay for my school on my own so they don't have to worry about it. Raising four children isn't cheap…They still have to worry about putting you and Akane through high school, and then university, and then there's Hikaru…" Shinogu shook his head, "I'm old enough to take responsibility to pay for my own education."

At least he wasn't entirely lying to Hatsumi, even if it was just part of his reasoning.

Hatsumi sat there contemplating, pushing around her rice with her chopsticks. "You think it would easier for Mom and Dad if they didn't have to pay for my university?"

"Hatsumi," Shinogu began, "I wasn't trying to scare you about the family's financials." He felt pain staking guilty for making her worry, he only said those things to wiggle out of telling the truth. Of course he wanted to pay for his own intuition, he didn't want his adoptive parents to spend more money on him then they already have. But Hatsumi couldn't know the entire truth; she couldn't know that her brother was having near incestuous thoughts. "Mom and Dad will be able to put you through university, and if things get bad Ill help out too." It sounded like the brotherly thing to say, the brotherly thing to do. Truth be told, he wanted to provide for Hatsumi like a husband would.

"NO!" Hatsumi cried sharply. "You can't!" She looked up with guilt ridden eyes, she couldn't have Shinogu help pay for her college courses, and Hatsumi wasn't even sure what to study. She couldn't have her brother, who was working so hard to pay for his own education, pay for hers. The guild was over whelming. "I don't have to go to university after graduate high school." Hatsumi proclaimed.

"Don't be stupid Hatsumi; you know mom and dad would want you to go." Shinogu told her.

"You and I both know I'm not smart, I don't have the brains like you do Shinogu. Going to university would just be a waste of time and money."

"Then I'll just tutor you if you're so concerned about grades," insisted Shinogu.

"I can't ask you to do that Shinogu! You're already so busy, and I know you're just going to get busier the further you get into your studies." She replied

Shinogu let out a long sigh, "Alright Hatsumi, what is this all about? What's the real reason you're so worked up about college?" He looked thoughtfully at her, examining her facial expression, her body language. He knew that when she was nervous Hatsumi twiddled her thumbs. When she was hiding something or anxious, she would sigh out loud or take deep breaths- Hatsumi had taken several since she sat down for dinner. "I know you're upset about something, you came home gloomy and at the single mention of university you freak out. What happened?"

Hatsumi looked sheepishly away.

"I know you well enough to know that you're hiding something too," Shinogu teased. "So tell me what's bothering you. I may not be home all the time, but when I am let me play big brother." What Shinogu really wanted to say was: Let me be the man who supports you.

She looked at Shinogu, and hesitantly, debating, took the note out of her jacket pocket. She slid the note across the table, clearly embarrassed about what was written on it. Shinogu picked it up and read the message, "So this is what is stressing you out?"

"You make it sound like it isn't a big deal!" Hatsumi exclaimed.

Shinogu smiled and reached out to pat Hatsumi's hand, "It isn't."

"Yes it IS Shinogu! What do you think Mom is going to say when she sees that! What about DAD?" Hatsumi was clearly working herself up into a frenzy.

"They won't," he replied nonchalantly. Shinogu stood up from his seat, crumpled the paper into a tight ball and threw it into the trash in.

Hatsumi stared at him, eyes wide. "What are you doing!" It was the last thing she thought Shinogu would do.

"Taking care of your problems," he told her.

"That isn't taking care of it! That's just hiding it!" She declared.

He shrugged, "Maybe."

"Shinogu take this seriously!"

"I am," the tone in his voice was so solemn. Shinogu crossed the kitchen and squatted next to Hatsumi, the expression on his face earnest. "Listen to me Hatsumi, you just entered high school, you shouldn't be so stressed over college- it's your first week! You have three whole years to figure out what you want to study."

"But Shinogu, there's kids in my class that already know what they want to major in, what they want to do for a career! They know where they want to attend for university, where to intern…"Hatusmi's voice trailed away.

"And how many of them are going to change their minds?" Shinogu asked. Hatsumi had no answer. "A lot of them are," he told her. "Nearly everyone I graduated high school with had changed their career or schools several times in the three years we were there. Some wanted to be doctors, and then lawyers, dentist, teachers, veterinarians- some didn't know anything at all. Some people will stick with their plan, others will change their plans. My point being is that time and experience changes the future decisions you make Hatsumi. Just because you don't know what you want to do now, doesn't mean you won't by the time you graduate."

She was quiet for a moment and the asked, "What about you Shinogu? What did you know what you wanted to be?"

"Kind of," he replied with a smirk. "I changed my mind several times actually. First I wanted to be teacher, but then I found out I wasn't very good with kids…" While Shinogu attended high school, Hikaru was born. Shinogu was an excellent big brother, he was very patient and very caring for the youngest sibling, but soon found out that that patience and care was only reserved for Hikaru not other people's children. This was partly due to the housing complex the Narita's lived in; when a certain person in the complex was being scrutinized their entire family would be ostracized, something that bothered Shinogu amply. "But you see what I mean Hatsumi?" Shinogu continued on, "I changed my mind many times. Hell, I changed my mind after graduating. I wanted to be doctor but now I'm studying to be lawyer."

"But being a lawyer wasn't your first choice," Hatsumi corrected him. Shinogu really did want to be a doctor; she remembered how excited he was when he read his biology book, how captivated he was learning how the body worked. But going to medical school was expensive, and Shinogu had earned scholarships and grant money to Hitsotsubashi University.

"Well, in my case you take what you can get." Shinogu laughed. "Being a lawyer isn't a bad back up plan, I was quite satisfied knowing that I was accepted to Hitsotsubashi. I still get to help people, just like I wanted, only in a different way."

"So is that what you put down on your career worksheet? That you wanted to help people? Be a doctor?" Hatsumi inquired.

"Actually, no," Shinogu replied, a small snigger escaping from his mouth. "I had to fill out the worksheet my first year too, and I still had no idea what I wanted to do. So I lied."

"You're kidding!" Hatsumi uttered, she could never imagine Shinogu lying.

He shrugged, "Yeah I did. I didn't want to teacher on my back or giving me a hard time, so I did the next best thing…I said I wanted to be a chef."

"A chef?" Hatsumi echoed in disbelief. On occasion she would see Shinogu in the kitchen tinkering around, but never particularly enjoying the fact that he was slaving over the stove.

"Told you people changed their minds!" Shinogu said with a laugh. "Just be patient Hatsumi, something will happen in your life and it will help you decide."

"Shinogu, you're almost done with your studies," Father said, "Do you have any scholarly wisdom to pass onto Hatsumi?"

"There's nothing for you to be upset about Dad," it was hard for Shinogu to call his adoptive father by any other name other then "dad." Even if the adoption was going to be annulled, Shinogu knew that his adoptive father was the only dad he ever had. It was only right to keep calling Narita Toru what he was: a dad. Shinogu looked over at Hatsumi who was plainly in anguish over what Father would say, and it was possible (at that exact same moment) that she was thinking of telling her family that she didn't need to attend an university. "Hatsumi can take little more time deciding what she wants her specific major to be," Shinogu explained, "the first two years at university they make you take general education. She won't even see a specific area of study till she's done with the generals."

Father drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair. "Still," he said after a pause, "I would like for Hatsumi to know her options. Get a better idea of what's available to her."

"I can take her to see a guidance counselor," Shinogu suggested.

"You're able to have her see a Hitsotsubashi counselor?" Father asked.

"No, not a Hitsotsubashi counselor, but I have a friend that graduated not too long ago. He's a guidance counselor at a nearby cram school. I can take Hatsumi to see him, and he'll be able to help her out. Give her career books; make her take a questionnaire, figure out what kind of occupations play to her strengths."

Father hummed at the suggestion. "I like the sound of that; I'll leave it to you Shinogu. Thank you."

"It isn't a problem," Shinogu said. He stole a glance at Hatsumi; she smiled gratefully at him and let out a breath of relief. Having Shinogu there was a life line, he was able to defuse a potentially explosive situation with Father. Shinogu returned Hatsumi's grateful smile with an apologetic one, what he was about to do was going to send her heart into over drive.

Before Father could excuse himself Shinogu spoke, "But there is some complication, Dad."

"What's the matter Shinogu?" Father asked.

"You see my friend's cram school is about an hour's travel from where I live, and it takes about an hour to get from home to my apartment," Shinogu explained. "It's entrance exam season, and naturally my friend will provide his service to his cram school students before he sees any walk ins. I'm afraid his only available hour for Hatsumi is before classes start in the morning."

"Hatsumi will have to leave home early in the morning then."

"Father, classes start 7 am, much earlier than usual to compensate for the traffic and amount of students the cram school has. I don't think it's wise for Hatsumi to be up by 4 and traveling alone that early in the morning, just so she can make a 6am appointment."

"I understand," Father nodded his head. "Then you suggest what, Shinogu?"

"Hatsumi should stay the night with me." Shinogu said candidly.

Hatsumi's heart stopped, she couldn't believe what she heard. Shinogu was asking Father if she could spend the night. She looked at Shinogu with astonishment; he returned her look with a cunning, confident smile. Was Shinogu relying on the fact that Father was still having issues viewing Shinogu and Hatsumi as a couple, but still as his children? And as his children they would never do something so scandalous…The look on Father's face told a much different story. The lines in his forehead creased so dramatically, his mouth in a permanent frown, there was no way he was going to let his little girl spend the night at another man's house…

Sending the deliberation Shinogu quickly added, "I can promise you Hatsumi wouldn't be sleeping with me. I can sleep on the couch in the living room, she can have my bedroom. The door has a lock on it, so if she wanted to (rather if Father wanted Hatsumi to) lock the door, she could. My roommate is in town, so there will be another person at home."

What is Shinogu thinking? The question repeated itself over and over again in Hatsumi's head, and her heart was beating so fast, so nervously. Spend the night at Shinogu's? What a crazy, irresponsible, irrational, yet thrilling and romantic idea. Say yes, say yes, and say yes! Hatsumi chanted in her head.

Dad was quiet for several moments, all eyes on him, and waiting for his decision…

"Hatsumi..." Dad began.

She snapped her neck in her father's direction, her heart beat entirely out of control. "Yes, Dad?"

"Be sure to lock the bedroom door."

"Let me use my key!" Hatsumi said excitedly.

"You know, you can use the key when you come visit by yourself." Shinogu told her.

Hatsumi bit her lip, she had Shinogu's spare key since Christmas but never really used it. She had used it for the common occasions when she would walk to Shinogu's apartment and he was with her. Hatsumi would open the door if his hands were full, or if she got there first, or if she was coming back from the corner store; but every time she had used the key she was with Shinogu or he was already home. She had never used when he was away, and Hatsumi was aware that was the point of having the spare key: to not have to wait for Shinogu and to let herself in. But she felt like she was intruding and just being a bother. "We talked about this before…" Hatsumi said with a hushed voice. She began to open the door, but felt Shinogu move behind her.

Stopping her from turning the key and opening the door, Shinogu stood behind Hatsumi, his breath caressing the back of her neck. She felt his free hand slip around her waist, his lips softly pressed against her ear, "Do you not want to visit me Hatsumi?" he whispered

Hatsumi didn't turn to look at him; she faced the door to hide the deep shade of red on her cheeks. It was an innocent question, but how he said…it sent quivers up and down her spine. "You know it isn't like that," she replied. "I'd be with you everyday if I could."

"Then why do I come home and you're not here?" He questioned. Hatsumi had to remind herself to breathe; she had to remember to think which was even harder. She had no answer to his questions; she only could manage a shrug. "Then the only reasonable thing for you to do is be her every day." Shinogu told her.

"It feels like the reasonable thing for me to is…" Hatsumi turned around and faced Shinogu, her eyes glazed with desire. What were innocent questions turned into sexual encounters; she kissed him. Hatsumi's lips locked onto Shinogu's, her passion made clear. Since their December romantic escapade, the couple had seemed to demolish the shyness factor when it came to public displays of affections, other than holding hands. Hatsumi freely kissed Shinogu, and he freely kissed her; unafraid of her pushing him away. Shinogu knew that she wouldn't.

Hatsumi pulled herself closer to Shinogu's body, gripping onto his shirt. She could feel his lips tenderly working her's open, Hatsumi followed the gentle command and parted her lips slightly. She could taste Shinogu's breath; feel his tongue sliding into her mouth.

In the mean while, Shinogu was able to multitask. Without looking he was able to turn the Hatsumi's key and open the door. She fell back and her lips pulled away from Shinogu, caught off guard that her back support and swung in the opposite direction. Shinogu grabbed Hatsumi's waist to help her regain her balance. "I figured it would be better to continue this inside the house," he told her.

"I'm not complaining."

Shinogu tossed Hatsumi's back pack, with her over night things aside. "Come here," he cooed, grabbing her hand and without any hesitation proceeded to kiss her again. Hatsumi melted against him, wrapping her arms around her neck, her fingers touching loose strands of his hair. Shinogu pressed himself against Hatsumi, he could feel her breathing become shallower, more heated- it was slowly driving him wild.

"Uh, guys? You mind moving, I need to get through the door." A voice came from behind them.

Startled, Hatsumi let go of Shinogu. Shinogu cleared his throat, a tinge of red coming across his cheeks. He wasn't embarrassed that he was doing such amorous acts with Hatsumi, but some things you just had to keep private. "Sorry Kazama." They shuffled down the entrance hall to let Kazama through.

Kazama only grinned, specifically sending Shinogu "way to go!" man signals that Hatsumi couldn't understand. "Hey, no fault man," Kazama said. "Sometimes it's hard just to get through the door," Kazama winked. Hatsumi blushed furiously.

Kazama slipped on his shoes and straightened his tie. It was clear that what Kazama witnessed wasn't that big of a deal, or was something he saw often- either way; he carried on a conversation like nothing happened. "I've got to cover Yume's shift at the club tonight," Kazama informed Shinogu. "I hate working Saturday nights though, the place gets out of control and the tips aren't worth the hassle…"

"Then why did you agree to take her shift? It's not like you needed the extra hours." Shinogu said, he was attempting to move past the awkward feeling of being caught. Bad things about roommates, Shinogu sighed to himself.

"Because, she's cute." Kazama said matter of factly.

"Trying to score a date?"


More man signals were tossed between Kazama and Shinogu, they were subtle though. A lift of the eye brow, widening of the eyes on certain words, the odd hand gesture; they were having a secret conversation and Hatsumi was unaware of it.

"You plan on taking Yume out this week?" Shinogu asked. He tapped on his watch- a man signal Translation: You coming home tonight?

"Dunno, maybe tonight if things aren't busy at work. Guess I'll be out tonight." Kazama threw a thumbs up. Translation: Good luck tonight! "Alright, I'm leaving! Going to be late for work!" Kazama smiled at Hatsumi, bade her farewell, and winked at Shinogu. Translation: Go for it tiger!

"Oh my GOD, Shinogu fast forward it or something! I can't watch this!" Hatsumi squealed, she buried her face in her pillow and hid behind Shinogu.

"It isn't even that scary Hatsumi," Shinogu informed her. "I mean, there's nothing on the screen."

"How did you even con me into watching this!" Hatsumi whined.

Shinogu laughed and reached for the remote, turning the DVD player off. After Kazama left, the couple settled into the living room and decided on watching a movie. Shinogu went through the collection of movies he and Kazama had collected, many of them being Kazama's. Shinogu had heard good reviews on one of the newest movies in the collection and he had yet to see it, Hatsumi had expressed an interest in it. "A lot of my classmates were raving about it!" she said. Half way through the movie Hatsumi was regretting the idea that she ever wanted to see it.

"I'm sure there's something else on to keep us entertained." Shinogu comforted her, turning on the TV and flipping through the channels.

"Ugh, I'm never going to watch a horror movie again." Hatsumi breathed out loud. She gathered herself and sat next to Shinogu on the couch, her legs crossed.

"I was surprised that you even wanted to see it," Shinogu said, "You never did well with horror since you were a kid."

"Yeah, but everyone said it was a really good movie! It peaked my interest."

"And now you're shivering in your pants."

"Shut up," Hatsumi hit him with the pillow playfully.

"You don't want to start that Hatsumi," Shinogu warned.

"Yeah? Why not?" she teased.

Shinogu suddenly grabbed hold of her pillow, thrusting it aside- her shield now gone. He ran his finger tips up her rib cage, Hatsumi giggled and then burst into a loud fit of laughter as Shinogu proceeded to tickle her under her arms. Hatsumi squirmed frantically, trying to break free of Shinogu's hold, but he proved a worthy adversary. She fell on her back, Shinogu continuing with his attack of tickles, "O-okay! O-k-kay!" Hatsumi managed between gasps of breaths, "You win!"

"I do?" Shinogu ceased his tickle barrage, "What do I win?"

Hatsumi shrugged, "What do you want?"

Shinogu smiled, and lay on top of Hatsumi, his head resting on her chest. He listened to her heart, her breathing returning to normal, he could feel her warmth, smell her body wash lingering on her skin… "This is good; I'll take this as my prize."

Hatsumi smiled and ran her hand through Shinogu's hair, they sat there quietly for several minutes; simply enjoying each other's company, savoring the undisturbed peace, savoring one of the countless moments they should share together. How many more times would they lay on the couch together? How many more times would they go out for a walk and hold each other's hand? How many more times would they steal kisses from each other? How many times had they already said I love you? It finally had dawned on Hatsumi: How long exactly have they been together? Did they even have an anniversary date?

"Shinogu," She began.

"Hm?" he purred contently.

"When's our anniversary?" Hatsumi asked. She could Shinogu shift, his gaze locked on her; he didn't seem surprised that she had asked the question.

"I was thinking about that not too long ago myself," Shinogu confessed. "But we started off in a bit of a…" He let his sentence trail away. He wasn't sure how to say it without hurting Hatsumi, but Shinogu wasn't quite aware when they became "official." It wasn't due to common lack of boyfriend's attention span- he knew and remembered dates far better than Hatsumi did- but when he was released from the hospital he didn't want to push Hatsumi into a relationship, even if he was ready for it. As a result Shinogu was also in a fog about an anniversary date.

"It's hard to come up with a formal date," Shinogu concluded. "We've been together for such a long time, and the transition from being sibling to…well, a romantic pair, I knew would be hard for you. As much as I would like to say our anniversary date is when I gave you the ring, I think it would be inaccurate." He had to be extraordinarily cautious saying the rest, afraid that he would upset Hatsumi, but he had to be honest: "I don't think your heart was ready, or even there yet, for that to be our anniversary date."

As much as it pained Hatsumi to hear it, she knew Shinogu was right. When he gave her the ring, she was still confused on exactly where she stood relationship wise, with Shinogu. Was he still a brother? Or was he a lover? Their relationship had started long before it had become romantic one, and for the longest time Shinogu held onto an unrequited love; even after he exposed himself to be an adoptive son in love with his adoptive sister. How long did Hatsumi run away from him? How long had she pushed him away? Even after she agreed to walk down this path with Shinogu, how long did it take her to full accept him as a man? How long did it take her to finally accept that they were no longer kin, but lovers?

The guilt was eating at her alive, her eyes began to water, the tears threatening spill over.

"Hey…" Shinogu lifted himself off of Hatsumi and sat up. "Hey, there's no reason to cry Hatsumi." He pulled her body to his own, her crying face buried in his chest. He wrapped his arms around Hatsumi, trying to comfort her. "It doesn't matter now," he told her, "we're happy, we're together, and we love each other. It doesn't matter how long it took us, it just matters that we got here."

Hatsumi continued to sob, her tears soaking the front of his shirt. She thought about how long Shinogu suffered by himself, thought about all those years he lived with something so unbearable…And when he was finally freed from it, she still took her time, slowly dragging her feet. That must have hurt Shinogu even more...he was able to have everything that he wanted and he was forced to wait even longer. "I'm so sorry Shinogu," she wept.

Shinogu stroked her hair, tried to draw her closer to him. "Hatsumi, there's nothing to be sorry about." He planted several kisses on her forehead, "I have you now and that's all that matters. I don't care about anything else." He let her cry, feeling criminal for causing Hatsumi to react in such a manner. It seemed as if the tears wouldn't stop. Between the gasps for breath and wiping tears away, Hatsumi managed to compose herself, but still clung to Shinogu helplessly. "Listen," Shinogu said after a while, "Why don't you go take a shower or something? Till make you feel better, and I'll make us some tea, order pizza, forget that this all happened. Tonight is a rare occasion and I want to make sure its memorable one for us."

Hatsumi shook her head, "You go take your shower," she managed to croak. "Ill make the tea and stuff. I feel like I need to keep occupied."

"Hatsumi…" he began to argue.

"No, no!" Hatsumi cut him off before he could start, and put on a brave smile. "Seriously, I'll be fine. I don't want to ruin tonight! Go take a shower and by the time you're out I'll be just fine!"

"Why don't you-"

"Nope," Hatsumi knew what he was going to say. "Your house, you shower first. I'll take one before we go to bed tonight." Hatsumi withdrew from Shinogu's hold and stood up. "Thank you Shinogu." And she vanished into the kitchen, ready to make tea.

He sighed, there was no use arguing with her. He knew that smile and the hurried walk, she made up her mind. He went to go take his shower.

She heard the shower turn on from the other end of the apartment. Letting out a deep breath of relief Hatsumi leaned against a kitchen counter. How embarrassing, she thought to herself, I won't ruin the mood tonight! Hatsumi put the kettle on the stove, and looked at it blankly. "We do need an anniversary date…" Hatsumi mumbled to herself. But before she could decide on a date, she had to make up for what she did earlier this evening…

Shinogu turned the shower on, making sure to let it heat up before he stepped in. His clothes lay in a pile in the corner of the bathroom. He stuck his hand into the shower, testing the water and decided it was warm enough. He sighed as he felt the water hit his body, his muscles loosening up after a few seconds. "What a mess," he mumbled to himself. Even though he knew by the time he got out of the shower Hatsumi would have bounced back, trying to act as if nothing happened- but Shinogu knew her better than anyone else, even if she felt better… somewhere in the back of her mind Hatsumi would still be blaming herself. "What a stupid thing to say…" He should have kept his mouth shut and just asked Hatsumi what she thought their anniversary date should be.

He put his hand against the wall and balled it into a fist, he was frustrated with himself. Shinogu placed his head under the running water, his ears filled with the crashing sound of liquid. The water was hot enough that steam plagued the bathroom, Shinogu couldn't see out of the glass shower doors. Not that it mattered; he stood in the shower looking away from the bathroom and shower entrance. He wouldn't hear the soft clicking of the door handle, or it closing. He didn't hear the shuffle of clothes, or how they fell to the ground. He didn't hear the shower door pull open; all Shinogu heard was the pounding of water against his ears. But he did feel the draft that crept into shower stall, and he did feel the pair of trembling hand as they encircled his waist.

"Hatsumi?" he said in disbelief.

She had attached herself to Shinogu's wet body, pressed herself against him, her face buried in his broad chest. Shinogu stood there dumbstruck; he was unable to move, almost unable to think. Hatsumi is in the shower…with me? The thought ran continuously in his mind. After what seemed like hours, Shinogu came to conscience. "Hatsumi?" he asked one more time. "W-what's going on here?"

Hatsumi didn't lift her head away from his chest, "I'm taking a shower with you, isn't it obvious?" she mumbled.

"I-I don't think we can t-take a shower like this." Shinogu managed a chuckle, "I can hardly move with you glued to me."

"I g-guess that's true…" she agreed in a hushed voice. Hatsumi's grip on Shinogu began to ease away, and took a step back holding her arms to her chest; attempting to cover herself up.

Shinogu's eyes wandered for a brief moment on Hatsumi; he saw her slender legs, the curves to her hips and waist, he caught a glimpse of her soft stomach, and dare he look any further…? He stole a glance of the hidden curves of Hatsumi's bosom. Shinogu felt as if his cheeks were on fire, he looked away embarrassed, but hardly ashamed that he surveyed Hatsumi's body.

Since they had grown up together, Shinogu had witnessed Hatsumi walk around the house in a towel, watched her take a stroll from out the bathroom to her bed room after she had finished bathing. As much as he hated himself for it at the time, he took glimpses of Hatsumi in nothing but a towel- occasionally he would be minding his own business, walking down the hall to or from his room, and she would run out in front of him in just her bra and panties trying to get dressed in a hurry. Poisonous images for a poisoned kind of love.

But now- she willingly came to him, naked. Shinogu was free to look, allowed to look. He was permitted to reach out to her, feel her skin, and take in her touch. Shinogu was free from being a brother, free to be man. His instincts were blazing, his body screamed for hers, to do just more then hold her- he wanted more of her, he wanted every part of her. Hatsumi was allowing him that access, but was she ready for that? Shinogu was almost too scared to move. Would she run if he touched her? Would she be disgusted feeling the brush of his finger tips? Shinogu wasn't sure what to do.

I've lost my mind, Hatsumi chanted over and over again in her head as she entered the bathroom. I've gone totally insane, she told herself as she stripped down. I'm crazy, I'm totally crazy, she said over and over again as she opened the shower door; I must be a raging lunatic, Hatsumi concluded as she stepped into the shower and clamped onto Shinogu's wet and naked body. But I'm totally in love, she concluded as she held onto Shinogu. She felt his drenched skin, could feel the heat from the shower glue them together, but the heat from Shinogu's body was unbearable- was he burning up from embarrassment? She had rarely seen Shinogu in a towel, sitting around the house in his boxers, every time she had seen Shinogu growing up he had been nearly or fully clothed, he had taken extra precaution to never show skin around Hatsumi. When they had gone to the beach on a family vacation Shinogu had a shirt on most of the time- but she did recall the one moment where he did take it off for a swim. Hatsumi didn't think about it then, but as she recalled Shinogu had an excellent body. She clearly remembered girls flocking over to him.

But now, they stood so close together naked. Hatsumi's shyness was transparent on her face, it may have been her plan to take a shower with Shinogu but her actions weren't on the same page. What was Shinogu thinking? He had never seen her naked, what was running through his mind? Was he pleased? Was he surprised? Was he just as embarrassed as she was? Was he feeling the same kind of undeniable emotions?

She stood there, exposed, the water dampening her body. "Um…" She said.

"I'm…not sure if I should restrain myself or…" Shinogu's sentence died away. What was he suppose to say? Should I contain myself or ravage you like a beast dying from hunger? How the hell are you even suppose to say something like that, Shinogu argued with himself, I would definitely scare her away if I said something like that…But his desires were so over powering, all he could see was the love of his life perfectly, and beautifully, bare. He reached out for her…

Opposed to Shinogu's wild imagination, Hatsumi didn't convulse at his touch, in fact she leaned into it. Shingo stroked her cheek and softly smile, "Have I told you how beautiful you are?" Hatsumi's face tinted to a shade of pink. She still held her arms against her chest, attempting to cover herself, but with Shinogu's words she let her arms fall to the side- she exposed herself. He reached out for her again, his arms encircling around her small frame, pulling her close, the softness of her breasts brushing against his own skin. They stood holding each other, the water spilling over them.

"You're beautiful Hatsumi," Shinogu whispered over and over again. He kissed her forehead, her cheeks, the tip of her nose, the bottom of her chin, and then he placed his own lips on hers. Gently Shinogu pressed his lips against hers, Hatsumi's responding with a light pressure. She felt his hand journey up her neck and place itself on the back of her head, Shinogu pushing them closer together, kissing her harder. He playfully bit on her lower lip, she moaned into their kiss. Shinogu's other hand travelled up her leg and grasped her hips, his palms pressing against her skin.

Hatsumi felt electricity at the places Shinogu touched, a painless exciting pulse throbbing at her pores. Her heart skipped a beat kissing Shinogu, her blood racing to her head making her feel light headed. She clung to Shinogu for support, what he did to her; how he did it to her, it made her knees buckle- she couldn't think straight, only react.

But Shinogu's mind was racing. How far should he go, how far should he take this? This couldn't act according to instinct, to his desires. If he were to act on his lust he would have taken Hatsumi ages ago, but his chivalrous demeanor had kept his lustful beast on a tight leash. But now that the time, the place, and his lover presented themselves- was it okay to take it a step further? Was it alright to go beyond kissing and light groping? He weighed the consequences. If he advanced his sexual actions and Hatsumi didn't wish for it, she could easily turn him away and in the worst possible case…he could lose her. But if he didn't advance, and that was what she was looking for, he knew Hatsumi would think that she had done something wrong. It was a double edged sword.

He had to take a chance.

Shinogu preceded his bombardment of kisses on Hatsumi and suddenly the hand resting on her hips, became an arm entrapping her. Shinogu gently, but command fully, pushed Hatsumi against the shower wall.

She let out a small gasp, the cold of the wall didn't surprise her nearly as much Shinogu's action- it was a delightfully unexpected event. It was Shinogu's primary nature to be kind and passive aggressive- but when an event occurred and it required Shinogu to lead, to take command, to be aggressive…Hatsumi could feel her attraction escalate to new heights. She liked Shinogu being in charge, it aroused her.

That didn't mean Hatsumi was entirely attracted to the alpha male, dominant, type of man. She had made that mistake with Ryoki- over bearing, overly jealous; she was so sick and tired of the alpha dog syndrome, which just wasn't her type of man. Shinogu's gentle nature was clearly the best fit for her Hatsumi thought; but she loved it when he was dominant, that was because Shinogu didn't have the dying need to constantly puff out his chest. The fact that he knew when to be aggressive was the key factor for Hatsumi.

When Shinogu was protective, it was comforting for Hatsumi, but before they were dating she would feel a strange swelling in her heart and a flush of her cheeks whenever she witnessed such an authoritive action come from him. Thinking back on it, Hatsumi realized that her feminine instincts were screaming about how attractive Shinogu was when he did something so masculine, she was just denying how appealing it was.

Shinogu was the perfect balance of a man, every feature – physical, mental, and emotional- a girl could dream of was somehow given to him. He knew how to listen, to speak, how to dominate, when to dominate, when to be gentle, he was protective and yet showed jealousy, patient and supportive… "How did I get so lucky?" Hatsumi whispered between their shared kisses. How was it that such a fine man had only eyes for her?

"I'm sure I can say the same thing," Shinogu replied as he returned her kisses. What Hatsumi felt and thought about Shinogu, he felt and thought the same for her. A perfectly synced couple.

He pressed himself against her, forcing Hatsumi's back against the wall entirely, his arms releasing her hips. Taking both her wrist into one of his hand Shinogu carefully slid Hatsumi's arms above her head, pinning her down easily. He nipped at her ear and trailed down her neck, "We can stop if you're uncomfortable Hatsumi," He breathed against her skin.

Her heart was pounding wildly in her chest, Hatsumi managed to shake her head. "Its okay," she reassured him. He kissed her neck again. His free hand ran through her wet hair, down the back of her neck and over her shoulder, he trailed his fingers over the top of her chest and Hatsumi shuddered with delight at his touch. She wanted to hold onto him, to clutch at his back, but Shinogu's grip kept her hands pinned over her head, she let out a breath of yearning frustration. His finger tips traced the base of Hatsumi's neck and started to move farther down, lightly touching the top of her breast. She let out another breath of excitement, Shinogu was barely touching her and he was able to get such a reaction out of her.

He allowed himself a small smile and traced over the nipple of Hatsumi's breath, he could feel her body stiffen as he did so. Shinogu carefully traced her nipple several more times and the lovingly squeezed it in between two of his fingers, he could feel the inhale and exhale of her breath against his cheek. He cupped a single breast with his hand, she took a sharp intake of air, he took it as a sign that what he was doing was okay. Shinogu planted another kiss on her lips and moved downwards, kissing her collarbone, her chest, and placed his lips on the captive breast. He kissed her tenderly, his lips touching the skin of the breast, the water from the shower hitting the back of his head.

Hatsumi felt a jolt of excitement pass through her body as she felt Shinogu's lips touch her breast, she arched her back in response. His lips spared no part of her breast, kissing the skin above and below, lightly nipping at her nipple. She let out a low moan, "Shinogu," she breathed. He looked up with a mischievous grin; she returned it with a nervous but electrified gaze- Shinogu slipped his tongue over her flesh, playing with her nipple with his teeth and tongue. He lightly rolled his tongue around her, grazing his teeth against his nipple in a teasing manner, the shallow draws of breaths giving him signals of what to do next. Hatsumi let out a small whimper each time Shinogu passed his teeth over her bosom, she wanted to break free of his grip and to grab onto his nearest body part- she felt so exposed being unable to hold onto Shinogu as he sent her body into a tizzy…she tried to move her wrist forcefully, but his hold on her only tightened; he kept her hands and arms above her head, telling her that he was only starting.

YES, I DID END IT THERE. I figured that the chapter was long enough and I seriously could have written another 20 pages of Shinogu and Hatsumi's first time…but I thought that really would have been a total over kill, and it really would have ruin the mood of the chapter and the mood of the couple. So in the next chapter Ill continue on with this wonderful scene and set the correct pace and correct mood for the "loooove scene." Don't worry; I won't leave you hanging for 8 months before my next update…I really want to knock this next chapter out of the ballpark!


"I ain't tryin' to hide my flaws, I'd rather keep them in the light" - Cage the Elephant, In One Ear.