Oh dear god I love, Love, absolutely LOOOOVE ToraDora! X3 I finally got enough time to throw a little RyuujixTaiga fic together! I hope you enjoy my first and also hope there are many more to come! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own ToraDora! :'(
No Matter What
"Gah! Why is it so frickin' COLD out?"
"Well, it is Winter, you know."
"Shut up, you perverted dog! There's no way it's Winter! It's hardly September!"
"It's December, genius."
"I thought I told you to shut up."
Taiga and Ryuuji walked side-by-side down the snow-covered sidewalk. The infamous Palmtop Tiger and Yankee delinquent were on their ways home from school together, and after a long week of boring lectures and hectic lunchtimes, it was finally, once again, Friday.
White snowflakes drifted lazily down from a pale gray sky, individually highlighted against the dull clouds like shimmering dragon scales. A gust of wind blew, sending Taiga's long, golden hair flying into the air like wisps of thick honey. She squeezed her coat closer to her small body and made an exaggerated shivering sound and Ryuuji tightened the red scarf around his neck. The two of them had only been walking for about 5 minutes, and they each already felt as though they had endured it for days on end: and they still had another good 15 minutes to endure.
And it was just the two of them: Kitamura had a Student Council meeting, Minori and the softball team had indoor practice for some reason, even though the season had obviously passed, and Ami had made absolutely sure to get a ride home from an acquaintance with a heated car.
And so the Tiger and the Dragon found themselves walking back home together, or rather, to Ryuuji's house. The two of them continued hurriedly, toward their refuge, yet still trying to be cautious about the ice buried underfoot.
"I-I-It's t-too cold!" Taiga wailed. "Let's run!"
Without waiting for his response, and frankly not even caring what it was, the impulsive girl dashed forward as fast as her short legs could carry her.
"W-Wait! Taiga!" Ryuuji took off after her, not taking too long for his longer stride to match hers and catch up. "We shouldn't run! It'll only make us breathe in the cold air faster when we stop!"
"What does it matter?" she shot back. "My lungs are already frozen!"
They ran on, but the bitingly chilled air did not allow them to go for long. Taiga eventually slowed to a stop, hunching over and panting madly and Ryuuji halted beside her. Just as the boy had predicted, the chilling air was horribly numbing and Taiga regretted not obeying his warning. "Oh w-well," she managed to grumble. "At least it warmed me up for a moment."
"Yeah. Me too," he agreed. "But now it'll be even colder the rest of the way back."
"But at least we're almost there now." Taiga gave a small smile that made Ryuuji blush and look away briefly: it was one of those smiles that he just could not resist from her, a genuinely happy one that he had never seen her show to anyone other than himself and Minori. "Come on," the girl straightened up, finally getting her breath back. "Let's keep going."
"Right." The two set a slow pace and took off once more, the snowflakes still steadily coming down from above them as though the clouds had exploded and were raining down on Earth from the heavens. A narrow stream bubbled off to the side, running through a small forest that stood beside the sidewalk with the brown trunks of dead trees standing out painfully against the white snow. Another gust of wind sent the snowflakes whipping against their faces, causing the two of them to turn away, cringing for a moment.
"Gah! No fair! Why can't we get to be driven home in a heated car like the Stupid Chihuahua?" Taiga yowled into the wind. Ryuuji was about to murmur and agreement before he realized just how flattered he was that she had said 'we' instead of 'I'. She really is something else. He thought with a smile.
Just then, the boy and girl heard a creaking sound, like old bones moaning, and looked up quickly. One of the trees that stuck out overhead from the forest was swaying in the violent wind and the burden of snow that laid heavily upon its branches was released like a bomb.
Taiga watched wide-eyed as the scene played out before her in the blink of an eye. The load of snow fell square onto Ryuuji's shoulders and threw him slightly off balance. He shouted from the impact, and mainly the cold, as he hopped to keep his footing.
"Holy crap that's cold!" he shouted, quickly shaking the snow off of him like a madman. He cursed under his breath multiple times, quickly yanking the red scarf from his neck to shake off the chunks of snow from his only source of warmth.
Meanwhile, Taiga was nearly collapsed from laughter. The Palmtop Tiger had both arms crossed over her stomach as she laughed hysterically, struggling to even find enough breath to do so.
"T-That snow…sure showed you who's boss!" she cackled, tears forming in the corners of her eyes.
"Oh, so you think that's funny, huh?" the navy-haired boy wrapped his scarf back around his neck and bent forward, scooping up a big handful of snow. Packing it quickly, he chucked it at his unsuspecting companion who was still weak from laughter. The snowball hit her between the eyes with such force that the small girl stumbled backward and landed on the cold sidewalk.
"W-W-W-WHAT WAS THAT FOR?" she screamed, leaping up immediately. "That was just plain cruel, you big, stupid jerk! NOT ALL OF US ARE WEARING PANTS, YOU KNOW!" Ryuuji's smug smirk fell from his face when he realized she was right. She stood rigidly, wiping snow off of her skirt and socks.
"Ah, I totally forgot." He mumbled to himself before calling out to her. "S-Sorry, Taiga! I-mmph!" His sentence of apology cut off as a massive chunk of snow collided with his face. "O-Oi! That's dangerous, you moron! Don't put ice in snowballs you're intended to throw at people! Especially their faces!"
"Ah, there was ice? Sorry, I didn't notice. MY HANDS WERE TO NUMB TO FEEL ANYTHING!" She cried, throwing another huge snowball toward him. Ryuuji blinked in utter shock at her brute strength before moving out of the way at the last second. The snowball hit a street pole which shuddered for a moment. Dear God! What did she put it them? Rocks?
"Oi! Fight me, you perverted dog!" Taiga shouted, throwing another snowball his way. Ryuuji dodged as though his life depended on it, which it just may have. He then looked up at his opponent to see the fire burning in her eyes and a smile on her lips: she was having fun, just like a little kid. Ryuuji chortled to himself. I guess I should humor her. He decided. I mean, after running all that way, we definitely could've been home by now but…
"Alright! Bring it on!"
"That's the spirit! I've raised you well, my stupid dog!"
The two of them tossed snowball after snowball at one another as the flakes continued to fall. All sense of cold had vanished from their bodies and all they felt now was the heat of battle. There were no other passerby to stop and stare at them, and so the two continued to brawl like little kids.
They continued for several moments before at last, Ryuuji was exhausted and could see that Taiga was as well.
"Oi, Taiga! This is gonna be my last one, then I'm heading home!"
"What? Running away already, stupid dog?"
"Yeah, before I get frostbite." With his final warning, he threw the snowball he was packing in his hand. Taiga was so preoccupied with forming her own that she did not see his coming until it was too late. It hit her on the forehead, just where she had first struck him and Ryuuji smirked triumphantly.
But then he realized that something was wrong.
Taiga lost her balance completely, tripping over a mound of snow and falling backward, down the small slope off of the sidewalk and fell into the small river beside it with a shriek from the pure, freezing cold. Crap! I didn't think I threw it that hard! Ryuuji cursed to himself and quickly skidded down onto the snow beside the river. Taiga was shaking violently, her arms crossed over her chest and her knees curled up under her body.
"Taiga! Are you okay?" He reached out his hand to her.
"S-S-S-St-Stupid d-dog!" her teeth chattered as she slowly raised her hand to rest it in his. "W-Weren't you th-the one who said n-n-not to put i-ice in them?" She gave him a small glare which was all she could manage at the moment, but he knew that had she been able to move properly, she probably would have literally kicked his butt.
"What? Really?" He asked in dismay. "I'm sorry, Taiga." He pulled her to her feet and looked over her, realizing in just what bad shape she was in now. Her entire body was soaked, the water had seeped into her clothes and jacket and her nose was bleeding slightly. He led her onto solid ground to stand beside him. "Aw crap. Taiga, I'm really sorry-"
"J-J-Just t-take me home." She stuttered, not even realizing just how flushed her face was or just how tightly she was gripping his jacket. He smiled slightly.
"Of course." He took both of her hands in his to keep them as warm as possible and began to walk her back up to the sidewalk. But Taiga did not follow when he pulled her. "Oi, come on. Let's get you home."
"I-It's not like I'm trying not to move!" she cried, panic flashing in her eyes. "I can't!"
"What?" the boy glanced at her to find that her legs would not move and she fell forward, collapsing against him. "Dammit. You're probably too numb. Then there's no other choice." Without warning of what he was doing, he quickly turned around and hoisted the girl up onto his back, locking her legs in place with his arms.
"R-Ryuuji? What are you-?"
"Don't talk anymore or you're lungs'll freeze over." He told her.
"They already have."
"Oh. Sorry to hear that." He chuckled.
"What, that's funny too, huh?"
"Sorry, sorry." He trudged back onto the sidewalk before slowly making his way back to his apartment.
"R-Ryuuji? A-Aren't you cold like this?" Taiga mumbled. "I'm getting the cold water all over your jacket." She sniffed.
"Don't worry about it. Is your nose still bleeding?" he asked.
"Y…yeah. A little…" she pouted.
"Then just use my scarf."
"It's fine. It's red anyway. I'll just wash it."
Coyly, Taiga rested her chin atop his shoulder and pressed her nose against his scarf. The soft material was un-expectantly warm, considering it had previously been buried in snow. It was the only warmth she could remember feeling since they had set off for home, and Taiga could not resist burying her face into his neck like a small animal seeking refuge. She tightened her grip around his neck and got as close to him as possible, taking in his warmth and sharing what little bit she had herself with him.
Ryuuji smiled to himself as she hugged him tighter, and quickly made his way up the steps to his apartment.
As soon as Ryuuji got inside, he dropped his schoolbag and immediately went to his room, lying Taiga down on his bed.
Announcing that he was going to make some dinner, he left her in his room to change out of her cold clothing, never before being so grateful that she had been clumsy enough to leave her own nightgown lying around in his apartment from previous visits.
As the miso soup was warming up, Ryuuji too changed into warmer clothes and slipped a navy blue robe on along with long pants and slippers. Several moments later, he returned to his room to find Taiga sitting up in his bed, dressed in her long nightgown, trying desperately not to nod off.
"Oy." The boy called out to bring her back to the world of the waking. "Don't fall asleep on me now. Dinner's ready." He held back a smirk as she straightened up immediately at his words, wiping her eyes with the back of her fists. "Careful," he warned. "It's hot so don't-O-Oy! Taiga!" She ignored his cautionary words and grabbed the bowl from him, scarfing down spoonfuls like a starved hyena.
"Shut up, you stupid dog!" she snapped. "I'm so cold right now, I might just freeze over! Then, as the ownerless dog, where would that leave you?" The Palmtop Tiger, glared up at him for a fraction of a second before continuing to heedlessly devour her meal.
Ryuuji opened his mouth to argue with her, but soon closed it when he realized her concern for him; even though it was only in her twisted analogy, it was still almost remotely flattering, especially coming from her.
Letting his intended arguments come out as a sigh, he sat down on the floor beside his bed and slowly began sipping his miso as Taiga finished hers.
"Wow. Do you want more?" Did I even have to ask.
"Hold on a sec, I'll go get som-What?" he whipped his head back around to look at her.
"I said I don't want any more." She repeated groggily, suddenly switching personalities from the notorious Palmtop Tiger to the reserved, tired other side she always hid unless inside her own room.
"A-Are you sure?" Ryuuji on the other hand, simply could not fathom the idea that she would be satisfied after only one bowl of soup.
"Yes I'm sure!" she yelled. "Are you deaf, you stupid-id…ACHOO!"
"Woah!" the boy leaped back as the girl exploded into a sneezing fit that was so relentless she did not even have the time to cover her mouth before another sneeze assaulted her throat. "T-Taiga!" Quickly, Ryuuji grabbed a handful of tissues from a box on his bedside table and handed them to her. Through her sneezes, Taiga managed to take them from him and cover her face until she was finally silent, panting wildly before blowing her nose. "T-Taiga…are you alright?" he asked, slowly moving back toward her. As she finally finished crumpling up the dirty tissues and tossing them into the waste bin, Taiga looked up at him with watery, auburn eyes and nodded. "Good." He sighed, relieved.
"Aw great!" she complained. "Now look what you've done! I'm going to get sick because you were throwing snowballs at me, you stupid, disobedient dog!"
"Would you stop calling me a dog?" he mumbled. "And also, who started that snowball fight in the first place?"
"Why are you asking me? It was you who started it, moron!" she reminded him bluntly.
"Ah. Oh that's right. I just assumed that you would have been the one to start-OOf!" His sentence cut off as he was punched in the gut.
"Y-You…trying to place the blame on me. Stupid…" Taiga growled, her voice shaking with anger rather than cold.
"Ah sorry, sorry!" Ryuuji threw his hands up in front of him in means of surrender. "Here, give me your bowl and I'll go put this stuff away." With a small 'humph', Taiga let him take the bowls down into the kitchen and return to find her completely asleep in his bed. "Out like a light, huh?" he sighed again. Sauntering over to the sleeping girl curled up into a ball like she always did when she slept, Ryuuji gently shook her shoulder. "Taiga, come on get up."
Mumbling something inaudible, the girl rolled over onto her back and blinked her eyes open wearily.
"Come on." He repeated. "Get up."
"Ryuuji…" she mumbled again, her eyes fully opened now. She then quickly threw herself into a sitting position and stared intently up at him. "Y-You're seriously going to make me go back home in this weather? E-Even though it's so close but still-"
"Idiot." He cut her off. "Like I'd be that much of a jerk to make you do that." She blinked up at him and he smiled. "You're gonna have to get up for a minute so that you can get under the covers, you know."
"Ah…" Taiga fumbled for words as he lifted her up by the arms briefly so he could roll down the covers of his bed. "B-But I-I can sleep on the floor. Th-This is your bed after all…"
"When did you become so considerate?" He jested and she glared up at him. "Anyways, I think it would be less cruel to make you go home rather than letting you stay here and sleep on the floor."
"But…But where are you going to-?" She stopped talking as she felt his warm hand on her shoulder, looking up to see him standing close beside her.
"Come on." He pushed her toward the bed and she timidly slid underneath the blankets. "It's okay. I promise I'm not diseased."
"I know that." She huffed. "I just don't trust that you haven't wet the bed in the past few years." She taunted.
"You can jump out the window and go back home anytime you want to." He replied with a shrug. The girl merely snorted before bundling herself up and curling into a ball again.
Ryuuji let a small smile cross his lips before he turned off the lights and sat down on the floor, leaning his back against his bed and closing his eyes. However, he reopened them a few moments later to find Taiga shivering violently. No longer counting nor caring how many times he had done so already, he sighed and slowly got to his feet.
Carefully, Ryuuji lay down on top of his bed and slid toward the sleeping girl. He instantly found out that she was not really sleeping.
"R-Ryuuji!" Taiga gasped, her eyes flying open as she jumped up into a sitting position. "W-W-W-W-What do you th-think you're doing? Perverted dog! I should have known you were planning on doing something-"
"Would you just be quiet?" He silenced the flustered girl by pulling her into a tight hug. Taiga froze like a deer in the headlights at his touch, her heart pounding like a drum. Time seemed to freeze for a while before Ryuuji finally pulled away. "You were shivering." He mumbled with a slight blush, even though Taiga's face was much more flushed.
A moment ticked by before the girl spoke up in a soft, stuttering voice.
"W-W-Well as long as…you don't do anything perverted…" she trailed off. Ryuuji chuckled with a nod.
Then, together, they slowly slid underneath the blankets but immediately slid as far away from each other as possible. Yet Ryuuji came to his senses quickly and realized that this was the same as being on the floor.
"Oy. Move over here." He told her.
"W-Why? I'm fine like this." She denied.
"There's only one pillow and it's over here. Now come on." He urged.
She was hesitant at first, but after a shudder overcame her, Taiga rolled nearer to the center of the bed, her head resting on half of the pillow there; Ryuuji took the other side. Gently, he slid his arms around her small form, pulling her in closer. He waited for her to smack him or start yelling her lungs out, but she was silent and obedient. Another moment passed before he realized that she was shivering again.
"T-T-This is so embarrassing…" she mumbled.
"Who cares as long as you're not freezing cold and getting sick?"
"S…Shut up." she pouted, pressing closer against him. Ryuuji chuckled again. "What are you laughing at, you perverted dog?"
"Nothing." He responded, closing his eyes, hugging her tighter.
"What is it?"
"If I get sick, I'm blaming you." She informed him.
"You won't get sick." He promised, pulling her closer.
"…Don't let go." She mumbled, shifting closer to him.
Ryuuji was taken aback at her sudden words but then nodded.
He felt her small arms wrap around his shoulders.
Within moments, her breathing was deep and even.
Ryuuji leaned forward and kissed her forehead.
"I won't let you go," he vowed. "No Matter What."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the fluff! 'Tis what I do best! Happy Winter to all! Keep warm! Snuggle! X3