~Sparks will Fly~
Shugo Chara! remains owned by Peach-Pit, not me.
"-ima-chan? Rima-chan? Hello, anybody there?" My head snapped up from the sound of a hoarse voice.
"I thought you had forgotten about me," he teased lightly. I did anything but that. I was actually mentally screaming about how I had to stay in his house until his mom comes home.
"I wish," I grumbled. I held up the thermometer again. "Now put the stick inside of your stupid mouth before I shove it down your throat."
"I'm fine," he insisted. He closed the thermometer and put it on the table. "It's just the basic symptoms of the flu or a cold. And by the way, girls shouldn't be so violent. They look less pretty when they're that way," he finished with a wink.
"Did you know you're ten times more annoying when you're sick?"
"Thanks, Rima-chan," he replied, leaning back down onto the couch. We were quiet for minute as I tried to reflect on past TV shows of sick people. (It wasn't helping much.)
Nagihiko coughed forcefully, and I could see his body shaking. His breath was rattling as he flopped back onto the couch. His breathing slowed and he closed his eyes, a look of peace overcoming him.
"… Shouldn't he sleep on the bed?" I asked. Temari nodded.
"He might fall off the couch!"
"… That'd be pretty funny, actually," Rhythm said to himself. His reply was a pink fan slapping him in the face. "Ow! What'd I do?"
Kusukusu floated over to me. "Why don't you carry him over there?"
I looked at him, then at the door, then back at him. "I'm sure he'll be fine," I said, waving it off. Then he started coughing again, as if to remind me he was extremely sick.
"Fine, fine," I grumbled. "How am I supposed to do this? He might wake up."
"Nagihiko is knocked cold. He's only sub-conscious, so I don't think he'd really care right now," Rhythm said doubtfully.
I nodded, a bit annoyed. Tentatively, I poked him. I heard them all snort behind me. "Shut up; I don't take care of people, okay?" I hissed.
I slung his arm around my neck and put my hands around his waist. I could feel his warm breath against my face and felt my face turn red. He was too close. Too close, and I was soon regretting having this idea in the first place.
"You're not going to help, are you?" I mumbled as I started to drag him towards his room. His hands slipped lower, and I gritted my teeth. This was a bit humiliating.
"Sorry, but I think you'll be fine."
Kusukusu just giggled.
I furrowed my eyebrows and considered killing them. I shook my head. First, I'll deposit Nagihiko on his bed, then I'll kill them.
I kicked the door open and finally managed to get him on the bed. He looked a bit awkward and uncomfortable in his position. "Why are you still so sweaty?" I asked him, even though I knew he couldn't reply. I was about to move him, until…
"Dunno," he said, his voice muffled by the pillow. I stared at him for a few seconds, my mouth agape. (At least his face was buried in his pillow.)
"… You're awake?" I asked dangerously, and I was tempted to kick him, regardless of him being sick or not.
"Uh," was his eloquent reply. Rhythm came in.
"I told you he was sub-conscious, right? Maybe he heard you for a minute and accidentally replied. There's no way he's fully awake. Nagihiko sleeps like the dead. Besides, Nagihiko talks in his sleep—"
Temari managed to whack him upside the head, but she was too late. "What?" I asked curiously. "He does that a lot?"
They exchanged a nervous look. "Well, not really. It's very disconnected, so it doesn't really matter," Temari said hastily.
"He talked in his sleep at my house too," I commented, looking him over critically. Nagihiko never came off to me as 'psychologically disturbed'.
"What'd he say?" Rhythm asked eagerly, coming towards me. I gave him a weird look.
"All he said was sorry, so I don't see…"
"… Oh," Temari sighed. "Well, I'm sure it'll be fine. Let us go and do something else and allow Nagihiko to rest."
"Er, yeah, sure," I said quietly. "I'll be there in a second." I sat down beside his bed and watched the two leave. I'm sure Kusukusu was just outside the door.
"Y'know, Nagihiko," I told him, "I really don't know too much about you. That's not very fair, is it? Making me play 'Truth or Dare' and finding out secrets, where I didn't get to do anything. You're a cheater," I snapped at him, crossing my arms defiantly.
I took a deep breath. "I really don't know what's bothering you. Lately, you've been really weird. But you've been beating yourself up, since it's obvious your charas are worried and you're talking in your sleep."
I looked at him, faintly amused. "If you keep doing that, you'll never get better. Emotionally speaking, I guess. Trust me, I've been there, done that," I said, a wry look on my face.
"So, basically speaking," I said, about to end this one-sided conversation, "why don't you stop wallowing in your own self-pity and talk to somebody?"
I stood up. "Well, not like you heard me, I suppose. I just wanted to get that out there, since I know the charas are right outside the door, eavesdropping." I walked towards the door and threw it open, giving all three a pointed glare.
"… I'm disappointed. I seriously thought you'd confess or something," Rhythm complained. I noticed that Rhythm's and Temari's faces were both a bit… strange, and both stared at me with a sort of reverence. Even so, I pretended not to notice.
"Confess what, my hate for him? He already knows that," I said haughtily as I marched away.
"Denial," Rhythm coughed loudly.
"I am not," I said firmly. "We're just… friends," I said, letting the word float in the air. I wrinkled my nose with distaste. "… Let me correct that. We're acquaintances."
Temari hummed innocently. "Really? Because what you guys were doing in that classroom when it was raining was not done by acquaintances," she said as innocently as possible. I fumed, but decided I should just ignore them and walk away.
I walked over to my school bag and shuffled through the papers, searching for my history and math homework. I gave up and ended up just dumping everything on the once clean floor. I'd clean it up later.
"Aren't you organized?" Rhythm said sarcastically, gesturing at the crumpled sheets of paper now littering the floor. I scowled at him. Kusukusu giggled happily.
"Rima never cleans her bookbag until the end of the year."
"Kusukusu!" I protested, and only gained a laugh in reply. I ended up shaking my head; she was a lost cause.
"Stupid… history… Huh, here it is," I said a bit triumphantly, smoothing out the wrinkled paper.
"What about math?" Temari asked. I felt the corners of my mouth pull downwards.
"Er… I'll do that later," I said dismissively as I started to search for my pencil. "Crap, where is it?"
"You lost your pencil?" Rhythm asked, a bit incredulously. "I thought girls were supposed to be really neat and all… like Temari, or something?"
"That's stereotypical," I retorted as I stood up and walked towards Nagihiko's room. It opened with a slight creak, making me wince.
"What are you doing?" Kusukusu whispered into my ear.
"I need a pencil," I replied, stepping inside the room lightly. "He'll probably have something in here."
I heard a much louder moan come from behind me, and both Kusukusu and I whirled around. Rhythm rolled his shoulders. "Like I said, Nagihiko sleeps like the dead," Rhythm said simply. "Why don't you just work in here?"
Temari came in too, holding my papers and dropping them on the desk. She patted the desk cheerily, but I could only eye them both suspiciously. "Why do I get the feeling you two are setting me up…?"
"Can we not care for the well-being of Nagihiko's future wife in training?" Rhythm inquired casually, floating by as if he hadn't said something that was more than slightly humiliating.
"I am not his wife in training," I whispered harshly. "I just… have to… take care of him!"
And then, dutifully, I walked towards the desk, and I was prepared to be completely focused on my homework. I sat down on the chair, took out a ponytail holder and tied my long curls up.
"History… Er." I tapped my pencil against the desk, feeling a bit screwed, since I didn't know any of the stuff on the paper. Instead, I surveyed his room again, and eventually eyed the computer evilly.
It was charging in the corner of the room; I got up and walked over, gingerly picked it up, and carried it back over. I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw Nagihiko's still slumbering form. I nodded to myself; it should be fine.
"Hey, what are you doing with that…?" Rhythm asked warningly.
"Anything other than homework," I shot back, opening the laptop and switching it on.
"To play Pacman?" Rhythm asked, and Temari and Kusukusu cracked up.
"Oh, the memories," I said sardonically, flicking his face forcefully. He grunted as he flew backwards, and both Temari and Kusukusu backed away.
"Abuse!" Rhythm shouted, pointing at me. Temari immediately shushed him, clapping her hand over his mouth. He waved her off.
"He won't wake up," he insisted. "Trust me, I've tried. It's even worse now… since he's sick," he added quickly.
I looked up from the chair, where I was waiting impatiently for his laptop to turn on, and raised an eyebrow expectantly. "What do you mean 'now'?"
"Well, Nagihiko has a lot of dance practices because… traditional dancing is very popular around this time of year," Temari supplied.
"You're lying," I said, turning away from them to try and attempt to crack his password. I could tell they were exchanging nervous glances behind me. "Not that I care, or anything," I said, sighing a bit. "Nagihiko's always seemed a bit off to me anyways; he never says much about himself."
"What do you mean?" Kusukusu asked quietly. I could tell she was worried about her friends.
"As in, I wouldn't be surprised that Nagihiko's secretive about his stuff. Cross-dressing as a girl for the majority of his life; that's mentally scarring, and to tell you the truth, it's almost tragically humorous," I said bluntly as I typed 'Nagihiko' into the blinking box.
"Besides that, he seems to keep a lot of things personal," I continued, typing in 'Nadeshiko'. "And then he just cares about everybody else, figuring them out," I snapped my fingers, "just like that. It's a bit unfair."
"And why do you say that?" Nagihiko asked softly from his bed. I didn't notice, sadly, which shows just how concentrated I was on cracking his potentially gay password. I typed in 'Rhythm' and 'Temari'. Failure each time.
"I mean, it's frustrating. Obviously, other people care about him. Obviously, they do. I just don't see why he doesn't tell anybody about his problems. I suppose keeping his 'cross-dressing' thing for years has now become a habit, but… It's really just… weird," I said, a tinge of anger entering my voice.
I stopped talking for a second, thinking. All of a sudden, I smiled, if only a little. "Even worse, he somehow, indirectly or accidentally, knows a couple of my secrets. I know next to nothing about him. He's pretty clever, isn't he?" I snorted to myself.
"A compliment mixed with complaints and insults? Thank you, Rima-chan." I blinked and looked at the bed. He was staring at the ceiling, a sort of distant and resigned expression on his face.
"Nagihiko, you were awake?" I demanded. He makes it easy to get pissed off at him. The one time I say relatively good things about him in the company of something other than an imaginary audience in my mind, he hears it.
"It's nice to know you care," he said off-handedly, his eyelids fluttering sleepily. He sounded exhausted, even though he had just been sleeping.
"You were awake?" I repeated the question, crossing my arms.
He nodded. "You were being loud." I narrowed my eyes at Rhythm, who shrunk into the shadows.
"Sleeps like the dead, huh?"
"… Oops?" Rhythm said, as if trying to look cute. (He didn't pull it off.)
"Yeah, 'oops'," I muttered darkly. I took one step forward, and Nagihiko shifted in the bed. I narrowed my eyes and ripped the covers off of him.
"One," I began as calmly as possible, "when, exactly, did you take off your pants," I asked, trying to avoid looking at his boxers as much as possible, "and second, why do you have a book in the bed?"
Nagihiko grabbed his blanket and tugged it back over him while showing me the front cover of the book. "We have a book report, and I'm behind. I thought that I might as well be productive…"
"Nagihiko!" We both froze at the ear-splitting screech.
"Hah. You're screwed," I said, stepping aside, letting Temari fly forward.
"Fujisaki Nagihiko!" she shrieked. "You had better rest before I make you," she threatened. "You're already exhausted from getting up, character changing, and even worse, you actually went to early morning practice!"
I stopped snickering with Rhythm, who had just slapped his face while trying to signal to Temari to shut up. Nagihiko let loose a heavy breath tiredly. Kusukusu landed on top of Nagihiko's head, patting him gently. He smiled a bit at the tiny clown.
"You actually went to morning practice, even though you were sick?" I asked him through gritted teeth. I sat on his bed next to him and slowly advanced, glaring at him slightly. He squinted at me, but he was slowly inching backwards, but not enough.
"And now you're reading?"
"Rima-chan, please calm down…?" he stopped momentarily to cough raucously, but he still watched my cautiously.
I stopped and crossed my arms, sitting directly across from him. I could've sworn he sighed in relief. "Nagihiko, sweetie," I said with a sickly sweet smile, to which he returned with a slightly stunned look, "As your wife, of course I'm worried!"
He chuckled nervously.
"Nagihiko, I'm not wildly out of control; that's Yaya. No, there is a solid difference between 'not calm' and 'pissed'."
"What'd I do?" he asked wearily, settling back down onto his pillow.
"Nagihiko, you… Holy crap, Nagihiko, you overdid things. You need to rest, or you'll never get better, and… are you listening to me?" I ended, looking at him as his eyes closed.
"You're a completely overly compulsive liar," I told him as I dropped the covers on top of him, and to be truthful, I was a bit frustrated how he managed to just slide out of things with absolutely zero effort.
"By the way, I'm confiscating this," I added as I pried the book from his hands. I looked at it and raised an eyebrow.
"How's he going to write a book report on a photo album?" I asked nobody in particular. The charas, who had been completely silent previously, came over.
"Ah, Mashiro-san!" Temari cried out, "Uh, the computer is about to turn off!"
"It's fine," I said, settling down beside his bedside, observing it carefully. I flipped through a single page, but then I tilted my head, looking backwards at the hovering Rhythm and Temari, who looked like they were about to wake Nagihiko up.
"This is private, isn't it?" I said, taking a guess, holding up the album. They slowly nodded.
"More like, Nagihiko really… treasures it," Temari said carefully. "They hold precious memories."
"… I see," I said, and I didn't say this out loud, but upon taking the small glimpse inside, I had seen Akane again. Although, she had looked slightly different; in the picture, she had seemed very reserved, and almost unhappy.
I'm guessing that Akane is either a girl he likes, or a very good childhood friend. I ignored a distinct feeling of discomfort that pierced my heart and stomach as I slipped the book onto a bookshelf.
"Even though this guy is nosy and gets all into other people's personal things, I'll respect his privacy," I said simply, and I heard both Rhythm and Temari exhale happily.
"That's just Rima saying 'thank you' to Nagihiko, in her own way," Kusukusu said in a hushed tone to them.
"No, it's just me being respectful and showing that I had proper upbringing," I said, throwing a look at Kusukusu.
"And Nagihiko didn't?" Temari inquired.
"He had to cross-dress," I said, pointing out the obvious. "Obviously, his upbringing was… disturbing."
I walked back over to the desk, tapping the computer impatiently. "Do you two know his password?" I asked, getting annoyed.
I typed in 'Kukai', since Nagihiko's potentially a homosexual. Then I tried 'Tadase', then 'Kairi', and then 'the cosplaying cat'.
I typed in 'Yaya', then 'Akane' (I felt slightly relieved that it was denied, much to my repulsion), and then, I even tried 'Amu', all to no avail.
"Er, I think it's… 'Mashiro Rima is hot'," Rhythm said easily, after he thought about it for a few minutes.
"I'm not kidding," Rhythm defended.
Reluctantly, I typed in the password, and nearly groaned out loud when it accepted. I swallowed down the heat threatening to take over and ignored the loud laughing from above.
When it finally logged me in, there were so many things open, and all of them included pictures. "What, is Girly-Boy a photography nut?"
"Actually, Nagihiko has to send pictures, videos, et cetera to his relatives and others who would be interested in his talents," Temari explained expertly.
"Then explain… this," I said, gesturing towards a picture of two people holding hands. One had long, curly blonde hair, the other had silky purple hair. "Yes, he's very talented in capturing a girl's heart."
"Crap, you sent that to Nagi?" Rhythm whispered to Temari.
"It was an accident," Temari said defiantly.
"By the way," Rhythm said, obviously trying to divert the conversation, "are you saying he's captured your heart? I mean, since you said he was very talented at it, and…"
I paused as I inspected the picture and eyed the delete button. I was very tempted to just take it off of Girly-Boy's hard-drive. "It was sarcasm."
"Or, your in denial," Rhythm said, putting extra strength on the last word.
I heard somebody sneeze loudly. "You guys are," sneeze, "so loud."
"Rhythm, you liar," Kusukusu pouted, but then she giggled loudly, smacking Rhythm playfully. Rhythm made a face.
I watched Nagihiko as he sat up, taking in his surroundings. He frowned suddenly. "I thought I was on the couch in the living room."
"Nagihiko, you've been in this room for awhile," I said, turning back to the much more interesting computer.
"Oh, really?" he said sleepily, dragging the words. "It's really hot…" We all exchanged a look.
I furrowed my eyebrows, walking over to him. "Nagihiko? What's wrong with you?" I snapped my fingers in front of his face, and he looked up at me.
"Rima-chan, why are there three of you…?" he said, slamming his head back against the pillow, but not without banging his head on the bedpost. "Ouch. I'm really… dizzy."
Then he went off into the sea of dreams again, but looking downwards, I realized his once new shirt was now drenched in sweat.
"Somebody, anybody, get me the thermometer," I commanded, and Temari and Kusukusu fluttered off, while Rhythm came closer.
I brushed back his bangs and put my hand on my forehead. I drew back hurriedly. "Why's he so hot?"
"Thanks, Rima-chan," Nagihiko said, his grinning voice sounding forced.
"Nagihiko, don't talk," I growled, standing up again. Temari and Kusukusu threw the thermometer towards me, which I, sadly, didn't catch. I picked it up and stared at it.
"So I just…" I pulled his mouth open and jammed it in there. He hissed in pain, his eyes deglazing for a second.
"Uh, oops," I said, deciding not to mention that I was partially satisfied at his pain.
I stood up, thinking fast. "Uh, a wet cloth, right?" Temari prompted.
I ran for the bathroom, feeling an odd sense of worry rise and fall within me. I took the damp towel and ran back inside, laying it on his forehead.
"He's still out cold," I said as I smoothed his bangs away again. The thermometer beeped loudly, and I ripped it out of his mouth.
"39.5 degrees Celsius… That's high, isn't it?" I said out loud, even though I already knew the answer.
"You should probably change his shirt…" Kusukusu said.
Temari and Rhythm exchanged something of an evil look. "No," I said curtly. "I am not taking off his clothes."
"To tell you the truth, this really does benefit us," Temari mused aloud. "We'll go get the clothes!" she said as all three left me.
"I am not—"
That's when Nagihiko coughed loudly, each of them forcing their way up and out of his throat. He was shuddering, and his breath was low and raspy, as if his body was taunting me, telling me I was so utterly cruel to just leave him like this.
"You suck," I said through gritted teeth. Cautiously, I pulled on the thin yellow shirt and closed my eyes.
"You'll never get anything done if you close your eyes!" I heard Rhythm yell through the door.
"Shut up!" I shouted back, glaring daggers through the door.
"Nagihiko, this is your entire fault," I said as I reclosed my eyes, and tried to tug it over where I thought was his head. I hoped that I was at least a little accurate.
I winced when I heard a dull thud. "Oi, Mashiro-san, don't hurt Nagihiko!" Temari screeched from the other side of the door.
"If you're so worried, why don't you help me?" I suggested as I peeked out of one eye. In one quick movement, I flipped the blanket over his bare chest and forcefully pulled the shirt off of his head.
"It'd be indecent!"
"… Eh. I don't care."
"Whatever. Where's the shirt?" I asked through the door, feeling rather stupid. I flipped the towel and was about to get up and dampen it again, but then I heard a few dreaded words.
"Oh… Oh, right." The door opened a crack, and they threw in a purple t-shirt, and then it closed again.
"Now, could you please clothe him, Mashiro-san?"
I literally slammed my head against the wall. "Screw it all." I walked over and threw open the door.
"Fine, I'll change his retarded shirt," I said, giving myself up to the very obvious setting up. "You guys just… dampen this cloth or something." I threw it at them and quickly walked back over.
"Right after de-clothing you, I have to put your shirt on?" I muttered as I threw the covers off and focused only on his face. His breathing was slow and steady, but I could hear a harsh tinge to it. Gingerly, I pulled the shirt over his face.
"I wish you could at least stand up. This is such a pain." I pulled one arm through the sleeve, and flinched when I heard the fabric rip. "Oops."
Going to the other side, I pulled the other arm through. "Jeez, Nagihiko, making so many people worry," I said, sarcasm dripping, "you're such an attention hog, aren't you?"
I waited for the charas to return impatiently. "It's strange, you know, how innocent and ordinary you look while sleeping. It's really the exact opposite."
Rhythm suddenly appeared, handing me the towel. "We're getting a bowl of water," he told me, "so I'm going back to help them. Make sure not to do anything indecent to him!" he said, and then immediately shut the door when I attempted to throw a nearby slipper at his face. It hit a lamp instead.
"With a chara like that, it is definitely the exact opposite," I said as I rubbed the cloth over his face. "Am I even doing this right?"
"You cause a lot of trouble sometimes, did you know that? Whether it's this, or it's just being there… it's annoying," I said as I placed it firmly onto his head. I sat down beside his bed and exhaled.
His eyes fluttered open, and he smiled blearily. "Sorry for the trouble, Rima-chan."
I nearly smirked. "No problem, Nagihiko."
He seemed to be in a sleepy haze, but he kept talking. "Rima-chan, I really do cause a lot of trouble, don't I? More than I'm worth," he said, chuckling roughly, mirthlessly.
I agreed, but I just twisted the cloth and reset it back, and was secretly wondering where the charas were. If I was right, they were lingering outside.
"Ne, Rima-chan, I'm really sorry."
I gave him a sidelong glance as I crept towards the door. "For…?"
"Earlier, you told me that I pried into your business, but you know nothing about me… right?" He pushed himself upwards, looking me in the eye.
"You heard that?" I asked calmly, as I threw the door open, revealing three eavesdropping charas with a bowl of water.
Grim faced, I took the bowl, snatched the towel off of his face, and dipped it inside. I tossed it at his face.
"You're welcome," I said sweetly. "Continue the previous train of though, please."
"Well, I'm sorry about that. It's just; I really don't have any secrets… My life's pretty normal," he said, lying back down.
I jostled the bowl and walked over to my homework. "Nagihiko, don't lie to me," I said, giving him a pitying look. "No offense, it doesn't work anymore. If you don't want to tell me your secret, don't. All I'm saying is that you need to tell somebody what's bothering you before it eats you away."
He grinned weakly. "I should have known you'd tell me something like that."
"Yes, well, I'm quite experienced," I said briskly as I started typing on the computer. "I've had my fair share of secrets."
That's when he shot straight up. "Wait a minute, how'd you get on my computer? How'd you figure out the password?"
Rhythm coughed guiltily. "She's secretly a narcissist!" he declared, trying to throw off the suspicious, and failing.
"And you're 'secretly' an idiot," I said back. "Even so, 'Mashiro Rima is hot' is an interesting password, Nagihiko…"
"Kukai dared me to do it, I swear," he said, holding up his hands.
"Hah, and he also didn't delete the holding hands picture," Temari added, clearly enjoying this event.
"What are you talking about…? Oh," he said as I showed him the picture. I looked at him expectantly.
"It's a pretty picture…?" he said, while I just stared at him.
"Absolutely lovely," I drawled. I came back over and dipped the towel in again. I jammed the thermometer back into his mouth. "The reason you didn't want me to take your temperature before was because you thought I'd worry, right?"
"How'd you know, Rima-chan?" he asked, looking curious.
I feigned surprise. "Because I'm your wife, Nagihiko, that's why."
"… A very sarcastic, very short, and… well, you're not much of a wife, are you?" he said a bit of a smile coming onto his face.
"And you're a horrible husband, but guess what, sweetie?"
"What?" he said, opening his amber eyes as he leaned forward. His face, usually porcelain and pale, were flushed red from the fever. His head was tilted inquisitively, and he was smirking slightly.
I laughed humorlessly, crossing my arms. "I suck at being your wife, and you're an absolutely terrible husband, but until this project ends… we're stuck with each other."
What kind of gay ending did I just create? Hah, I'm sorry for leaving you guys for awhile, and then coming back with this. I was utterly stuck, and the characters were (and still are) horribly OOC, and it just pissed the living crap out of me. (Please don't kill me...) ^^'
Besides that... Well, long story short, my computer over-heated and crashed. There are more details on my profile, but I couldn't get in touch with you guys. When I finally could, was screwing around with me. I ended up creating a tumblr so that it would be easier to stay in contact... Er, anyways, sorry. D:
Okay, so I want to thank everybody who reviewed this, read, favorited, or just lurked. Really; I was looking over previous chapters, and I was shocked you guys liked this story. -_- Haha, but still, thanks. :) You guys were really the ones who kinda urged me to keep going.
Er, if they're still OOC, grammar mistakes, etc, sorry. I just... yeah. -head meets keyboard slam- Sorryyyyy. I tried, honestly. (Not enough, apparently.) :P Agh.
... Anyways. I'll shut up now and stop wasting your oh-so-precious time. Thanks again~! :D
Review if ya want. Or do whateverrr.