Author's Note: I got this idea out of nowhere and had to write it… Contains SPOILERS for the end of the manga! You have been warned. Read and REVIEW! If I don't get reviews, I just might cry. T_T Not that I'm begging or anything… Oh, and this is Tatsuki POV, in case you can't tell. If you can't, I must be the worst writer ever. XD
Disclaimer: If I owned Hands Off, would I really be writing a fanfic? Think about it… I own nothing! D=
Kotarou's in pain. So am I, of course, but what else is new? My head is killing me, which is a given considering it nearly literally did kill me. I still haven't gotten over Grandpa's death, even if it was due to that bastard Koutari's scheming I still blame myself; I should have seen that he cut the brake lines, dammit! I never should have put him on my bike, and I hate myself for it. But none of that matters. What does matter is Kotarou's pain, because it's all my fault.
He knows about my powers, and he did exactly what I knew he would. He has accepted all of my hate, the rage I spent years bottling up against him but which I was never willing to let show because I couldn't bear to hurt him. He may have given up his powers to save me, but I know that he still feels like some kind of freak; everyone gifted (more like cursed) with ESP seems familiar with that sentiment. I don't know how to help him at this point. I've already told him countless times that I don't hate him, but he won't believe me.
He's such a fool. Anyone with eyes can see that I care for Kotarou. To most, it's just familial affection, but a few people have seen my love for what it is. Among them are Mio (Kota-stealing b***h – and no I'm not jealous, thank you very much) and Yuuto (aura-reading, womanizing bastard). I think even Karen (nosy, amateur photographer) has caught on, but somehow Kotarou remains in the dark, perhaps due to his naivety, perhaps because he just doesn't want to see the truth. The last thing Kotarou needs right now is to become cognizant of romantic feelings from his cousin. Maybe it's better that he think I loathe him, at least that is an acceptable emotion from me in his eyes. That's what stings more than anything – that he would rather I detest him than love him in the way I do. I have to bear with this pain, to protect him and to help him sort through his own feelings about everything that has happened lately.
I had planned for Kotarou to remain in the dark about my feelings for him, anyway. That all blew up in my face yesterday. This is why I try to stay away from him! I cannot properly control my impulses around him, and now he must be more confused than ever! What have I done…?
Two days. Kotarou was unconscious for two days after he saved me by transferring an enormous amount of psychic power into my body. In that short span of time, Udou and Kiba taught me an incredible amount of control over my newly strengthened powers. I should have been thrilled that I could almost entirely block negative pasts from my mind – though places like jails and hospitals would always be somewhat painful and difficult to deal with, according to Kiba – and that I could now hide my aura from Yuuto, whose uncanny ability to see my every emotion was enormously irritating, but I spent the entire time worrying over Kotarou's condition. Had the techniques the developed psychics taught me not been so simple (why Udou hadn't just trained me the first time we met I cannot fathom), I would have been far too preoccupied to master them. As it turns out, I forced myself to focus on the knowledge in order to maintain my sanity as the anxiety increased.
Yesterday morning, as I sat at Kotarou's bedside desperately wishing for him to arise, I got the strangest thought: he looked just like Sleeping Beauty. I knew he would resent the comparison were he awake to hear it, but it was just so evident – his beauty, the peaceful slumber, his effeminacy – all he needed now was a kiss. Acting on impulse and the surety that he would not wake up anytime soon, I leaned in, allowing my eyes to flutter shut as I shamelessly bent to kiss the boy I had spent years hating… and loving a thousand times more.
"Tak-kun?" He murmured, reverting to the childhood nickname in his grogginess. At the sound of his voice, my eyes snapped open and I froze, petrified, my lips mere centimeters from his own. "What are you doing?"
Crap. Not only did I miss my chance to kiss him, I now had to think of some excuse for being so close to him; considering I generally overreacted when he merely brushed up against me, it had to be damn good. I thought frantically, finally settling for "I heard your breathing pattern change. I was listening closer because I figured if it had you would be waking up at any moment. Looks like I was right." What a farce. Had I actually known he was about to awaken, I would not have been anywhere near him.
He seemed to think for a while, and then shrugged. "Whatever. Where am I anyway?"
I averted my eyes. "What's the last thing you remember from before you…fell asleep?" I asked softly.
He sighed, and his eyes filled with insurmountable grief. "I remember all of it. Koutari. Grandpa. Your powers…That they're my fault, and that they ruined your life. That's why you hate me. The last thing I recall is you, on the floor, surrounded by your own blood. That was my fault, too. Everything was my fault. I know I tried to save you, but it's all a blank from there. It looks like I succeeded though. I'm glad." By the time he finished speaking, tears were streaming down his face, and the sadness in his eyes had turned into hate. Hate directed at himself: my biggest fear realized.
I squeezed my eyes shut tight, trying to block out the image of my beloved cousin in so much pain. How was I supposed to fix this?
He took my silence, my unwillingness to meet his gaze, as an affirmation of his previous statement. "So you do hate me. Can't say I blame you. I know I hate myself for it," he whispered the last sentence so quietly I wasn't sure if he had actually been directing the commentary at me or simply thinking aloud. Either way, I knew I had to speak up.
I reached out, gently grasping his chin and turning him to face me. "I don't hate you, Kotarou; don't you dare hate yourself."
His eyes widened in surprise, and he wrenched himself away from my grip. "Don't touch me! That's what caused this whole thing! I know you hate me; how could you not? You're just trying to save me, like you always do. You and your freaking hero complex."
Me? A hero complex? I scoffed at the idea. "Haven't you noticed I only help people because you want me to, because they're close to you and it would hurt you if they were harmed? It's all for you, Kota. Haven't you seen the fury on my face when someone hurts you? How desperately I search for you every time you're kidnapped? I don't have a hero complex, but you could say I have a cousin complex. I understand why you think I hate you; I used to think I hated you, too. The thing is… I don't think I can hate you. Believe me, I've tried. But no matter what, my love always overcomes the hate, and that's the truth. More than anything, I love you." I finished my rant in a rush, and, ignoring the likely repercussions, I leaned towards him again, insanely searching for the kiss I had been deprived of only moments before, but I regained my senses quickly. Having stopped just short of his lips for the second time that day, I examined his face for a reaction to my out of place words and actions. After all, this was probably the longest he had heard me speak sincerely in years.
Kotarou's expression became one of awe, stunned disbelief written across his visage. Somehow, he seemed to realize in that moment that I wasn't talking about simply caring for him. No, I meant something much deeper. I knew he would be disgusted, so I turned away, shamefaced, and moved to escape before I lost what was left of my crumbling composure.
"Tatsuki?" Unthinkingly, I stopped when I felt his fingertips casually brush the back of my hand. I glanced at him, confusion and – dare I believe it? – love now the dominant emotions on his face. I struggled to keep my vain hope suppressed and my own expression blasé but lost that battle as he tugged on my hand, pulling me down to his level, and pressed his lips to mine.
So? How do you feel about the first chapter of my attempt at a "Hands Off!" fic? Did I fail? Is it okay? REVIEW! I'll get the next chapter up as soon as I can. It took me a while to write this, because I wasn't sure where I was going with it…but I know now! Yay! Review this chapter or I'll never bother to write, let alone post, the next one. Mwa ha ha ha. Tatsuki got a kiss; he should be happy now, right? Nope. You'll see... =D