N/A: Okay, I know it could never happen (or could it? ending of School Rumble Z manga! *hint*), but I just had to write this.
Disclaimer: I don't own School Rumble...or Harima. Damn.
Just for a moment
"Why, why do I always have to end up in this situation with you?" yelled Eri, shooting Harima an exasperated look.
That's what I'm saying, but...
The little blonde devil that appeared besides her whispered tentatively in her ear: But you like these situations, don't you? You want to be alone with him...
"Just shut the hell up, Ojou. Do you think I'm enjoying this?" Harima grunted, still looking for something to keep them warm in the abandoned shrine.
Eri's brows knitted and she turned her back to him, crushing the devil-Eri in her mind.
It was freezing outside and the snow was still pouring, making Harima's motorcycle useless. Eri's cell phone had been dead for some time now and she didn't know her butler's number by heart.
Tenma-chan! This was all for you! When I heard you were coming back from the airport, I just had to greet you first. Too bad this I ran into this stupid girl. He thought, throwing Eri a spiteful look.
And it had to snow like that out of the blue! Am I being cursed?!
"Stop moping around, Hige and find me a blanket! I'm freezing over here!" Eri's sharp voice interrupted his inner monologue.
"Just who the hell do you think you're ordering around, you spoiled brat?" Harima yelled.
"Now." came her swift reply.
"You fucking rich people think everyone's your servant." he muttered, looking through the cabinets in the old furniture. "Here." he tossed her his jacket.
Eri stared at him wide-eyed. He had nothing but a sweat-shirt underneath and his muscles were clearly visible through the thin fabric.
He has such strong arms.
"What the hell are you going all red for?" He spoke, kneeling in front of her and putting his hand on her forehead. "Do you have a fever?"
"D..don't touch me!" she backed away, blushing even more.
Why? Because if he touches you, you feel those strange emotions again? Are you afraid? the little Eri-devil smirked in her mind, all-knowingly.
"Like I'd wanna touch you." Harima tossed back, but he reached over and put his jacked on her shoulders. "You'll catch a cold like that and I'll never hear the end of it."
He got back to rummaging inside the drawers.
"They gotta have some ceremonial blanket in here somewhere..." he muttered, more to himself.
Eri enveloped herself in his jacket. It was so big and warm...
Just go for it! Go for it now! The Eri-devil screamed maniacally inside her head.
No! He loves Tenma! He doesn't care about me. Eri thought.
But Tenma studies in America now, to be close to Karasuma, the Eri-Devil mentally winked at her.
Shut up! Isn't there supposed to be an angel here too? she frowned, exasperated.
Well, she's right...Tenma's not here, she's made her choice. I say you should go for it! the Eri-Angel appeared.
Oh shut up both of you!
Having silenced the voices inside her head, Eri cuddled into Harima's jacket, trying to keep warm. It's not like my family would care if they threw away tons of money on some expensive shrink. Maybe I need therapy.
While she was questioning her sanity, Harima gave a cry of victory.
"You found blankets?" Eri jumped.
"No. But this is good too." He turned around, holding three bottles of ceremonial sake. "They must've forgotten about this when they cleared the shrine."
"Sake?" she asked, as he sat down close to her holding three bottles.
"Ceremonial sake. It's tougher than the regular stuff. It'll warm us up." he said, opening a bottle for her.
Eri tried not to think about how right the "us" sounded to her ears as she took the bottle to her mouth and gulped down the liquor.
"Hey, easy there Ojou!" Harima put his hand on the bottle, stopping her from drinking again. "Wouldn't want you falling asleep in your own puke. Jeez, have you even had liquor before?"
Eri pulled the bottle from his grasp.
"Of course I have, you monkey!" she snapped. "My house has a bar with every expensive beverage there is." She had another drink, letting the alcohol warm her body.
Harima took off his sunglasses and looked at her with a serious expression. Eri stared back, unable to pull away from him.
His features are so ... manly.
"Just how often do you drink, Ojou?" he asked.
"Not th..that often." she stuttered.
"You're a liar. You emptied half a damned bottle in two drinks. A girl shouldn't drink so much."
"Just what the hell do you know about it?" she snapped. "Mind your own fucking business." tears threatened to sting her eyes.
Great, now I cussed too. He probably thinks I'm the worst of women.
She looked away from him, letting her head rest on her knees. Tears were flowing freely down her face and she didn't want him to see.
The strong arm that draped her shoulder made her almost gasp in surprise. She turned to look at him, teary eyed and he had the softest expression she'd ever seen on him.
"Why do you drink, Ojou?" he asked, without a trace of irony.
The words came out frantically, before her logical mind could stop them.
"I never see my family! I sometimes hate that mansion because it's so big and empty! Nakamura and everyone else on the staff respect me, sure, but they don't love me! And no guy ever has real feelings for me...they just think "yeah she's cute" or "cute and rich too, great"....I get to see less and less of my friends since Tenma left...and the only guy I've ever had feelings for..."
Finally in control of her mouth, she stopped the words from forming.
Why the hell am I saying these things to him?! God, I'm so pathetic!
She lowered her eyes, trying to stop the flood of tears, when his arm pulled her close to him in an almost-embrace.
"Don't force yourself, Ojou." she heard his strong, determined voice. "Cry if you need to. You don't have to be strong all the time."
It was so unlike him to say exactly the right words. Eri leaned into him for support and he held her against his chest.
"In this moment..." he spoke "I'll be strong for both of us."
When she finished sobbing, she still felt like a total idiot. Harima slowly released her and took a gulp out of his own bottle.
"So what were you gonna say when you broke off that sentence?" he asked leisurely, looking more like the Harima she knew.
"Just forget what you heard." she said, trying to pull herself together and being horrible at it.
Harima's gaze had a strange spark as it held her eyes.
I always thought Ojou was the worst type of girl. Spoiled, rich and who has everything...but right now she seems so frail and sad...alone.
I'll always love Tenma-chan, even though I'll never be with her...but just for a moment in time...I feel...
Harima lifted his hand and undid the red ribbons tying Eri's hair. It fell down her shoulders in a cascade of golden shades, while she stared at him, blushing and breathless.
The way she looks right now...vulnerable, scared...anxious
He buried his hand in her soft hair and pulled her closer to him, until their lips met and he felt her body shiver at his touch.
This isn't Tenma-chan, but somehow...it's ok.
A/N: A bit OOC at the end you say? IT COULD HAPPEN! I'm all for HarimaXEri!