Meet Me Halfway

By Dragon's Daughter

Rated G

Warnings: Naru/Mai, Cohabitation, and Naru's attitude. Un-betaed.

Summary: Naru's Motto: "Better to ask for forgiviness rather than for permission."


Mai stared at her closet.

Her clothes were neatly hung up and arranged as normal. Her pants were all together on one side, then skirts, then shirts, and dresses were on the end. Winter clothes were still stored in vacuum-sealed containers on the top shelf and her shoes were all arranged in pairs on a rack at the bottom of the closet with the toes pointing up.

If you only looked at half the closet and ignored the fact that she didn't usually pack her clothing in that tight it would appear that nothing had changed. However if you weren't so forgiving (and Mai wasn't) you'd notice that someone had taken up exactly half the closet with the components for exactly ten outfits, all men's clothing, and all in black.

That same someone had replaced Mai's shoe rack with one that stacked two deep so that Mai's colorful summer sandals, slip on tennies, and sensible loafers were all on the right side while the left side was reserved for polished black men's dress shoes and one pair of black tennis shoes that appeared to have never been used.

Mai closed the closet door and tried very hard not to stomp into the bathroom. She managed it --mostly.

The medicine cabinet revealed much the same story. Mai's pink and yellow toothbrush, toothepaste, face wash, lotions, and vitamins had been carefully moved over to one side to make room for a fine toothed comb, a bottle of expensive looking cologne (a British brand), a blue and white toothbrush, a tube of perscription toothpaste, aftershave, and an electric razor.

She took out that last item and examined it in the light.

"What are you doing?" Came the half-irritable, half-curious question from behind Mai's back and she turned to face the man who'd spoken to her.

"I just think it's interesting that you shave, is all." She replied without guile and was rewarded with a look of skepticism from Naru, who was all of nineteen at that point.

"Not often." He admitted and plucked the razor from her hands. He put it back in the cabinet and closed the door. "Was there something you needed?"

"Not particularly." Mai shrugged and glanced over his shoulder into the main room of her apartment. There were still a few boxes tucked away out of sight by her desk and her bookshelves were half emptied. "Does Lin know that you moved out?" She asked.

"He's a smart person. I'm sure he'll figure it out." Despite his deadpan tone Naru's eyes slid to the left as he spoke, a sign which Mai had come to realize usually meant Naru was trying to get away with something. She cocked her head and -as she often had to do with Naru- had to decide how she felt about it before opening her mouth.

Naru's blue eyes slid back to her and softened by about half a shade. "Are you all right?" He asked, not meaning her health and coming as close to insecurity as he was ever likely to.

Coming to a decision, Mai lifted her arms and placed them around his neck. Ordinarily, she'd have mentioned that she'd like advance warning the next time he decided to move their relationship along, but this once she decided to let it slide and just go along with his current. "I'm fine. I'm just wondering if we should get a bigger bed."

Something that may have once had aspirations to become tension eased in Naru's shoulders and he put a hand on Mai's hip and cupped the back of her head with the other as he was prone to doing when they were alone. He kissed her softly, with more care than she'd ever thought him capable of. When he smiled for her, it made the entire upset worthwhile ... until he opened his mouth and ruined the moment.

"I ordered one yesterday. It's arriving this afternoon."