... And here's story number two. Ryoji comes off as a bit of a flirt here. I dunno if that's a bad thing but I hope you like it anyway. :)

Many thanks to darklinks, cloaked-kelpie and Deidara'sgirl19 for reviewing the KenxFemC short story.

To darklinks, who requested a yuri: I'll see what I can do? What pairing did you have in mind? AigisxFemC, ElizabethxFemC, oooor...?

And to Deidara'sgirl19: Thank you so much for clarifying if Theo counts or not! I'll start typing up a fifth story for that pairing, ASAP. :) Oh, and btw the end result of the KenxFemC story was a little different from how I originally wrote it; I had to edit the end bit as it felt too similar with how I ended another story. I'll admit I had a bit of trouble with it, but thank you for pointing it out! I'll bear that in mind next time I write a KenxFemC story. :'D

Disclaimer: ME NO OWN. :D


Short Story #2: Under the Mistletoe (RyojixFemC)

It was a very busy morning at the Iwatodai Dorm. After all, this was the first time in months where everyone didn't have to worry about Tartarus and the Dark Hour; They spent a lot of time fighting shadows over the school year. Their leader, Kaori, had decided to spend their well-earned break wisely. Tonight was going to be special; It was going to be the first Christmas she'd spend with the people she had come to know as her friends.

Even though Kaori was deemed as 'the leader' in Tartarus, it had always felt as though Mitsuru was still in charge. (Not that Kaori particularly minded, as she knew from experience that being in charge wasn't exactly a picnic.)

Mitsuru had given small tasks for everyone to do in order to help out with the preparations for Christmas—Junpei and Akihiko were outside hanging the Christmas lights (Junpei was very disappointed that Mitsuru didn't pair him up with a girl, so he could hold the ladder and stare). Fuuka and Shinjiro were in the kitchen, preparing breakfast for everyone else (though they had started a lot earlier than they usually would have, as Shinjiro was also teaching Fuuka the basics at the same time). Yukari and Ken were instructed to go to Iwatodai Strip Mall and buy the groceries. Which left Kaori, Koromaru and Aigis (who insisted to be by Kaori's side over and over) to hang the decorations on the Christmas Tree.

"Good boy, Koro-chan!" Kaori smiled, and slightly bent down from the ladder she was standing on to pat the shiba-inu (who had just handed her a small angel figurine with his mouth) on the head.

"Woof! Woof!" Koromaru barked pleasantly.

"Koromaru-san. says. 'You. are. welcome.'" Aigis replied monotonously, while holding onto the sides of the ladder in order to help Kaori keep her balance.

"Kaori-san. Is. there. anything. else. I. am. able. to. help. with?" Aigis asked after a while.

"Well..." Kaori smiled, sensing that Aigis was feeling a little competitive with Koromaru; and decided to think of something to humour the mechanical maiden. "I guess I am feeling a little thirsty, would you mind bringing me a glass of water?"

"Certainly." Aigis smiled happily, letting go of the ladder and making her way to the kitchen. "I. will. arrive. with. your. beverage. shortly."

"Okay, thank you, Aigis!" Kaori said with a smile, waving at Aigis enthusiastically.

"I guess it's just you and me now. Right, Koro-chan?"

There was no audible response.

"Koro-chan?" Kaori asked with concern.

Kaori heard the shiba-inu growl ferociously. She looked at what was happening below her and saw him taking a predatorial stance. After following the canine's line of vision—Kaori spotted a small rodent chewing on one of the ornaments which was supposed to be hung on the Christmas Tree. Then, her red eyes widened after piecing the situation together when she realised how close the rat was sitting to the ladder and what Koromaru was planning to do.

"Koro-chan! Easy boy! Stay!" Kaori yelled in a panic.

"Woof! Woof!" Koromaru barked, chasing after said rat—and slightly collided with the ladder Kaori was standing on.

"Wh-Whoooaaa!" yelled Kaori as her legs began to wobble, "Uuaaahhh!" She yelped as she lost her footing on the ladder. She closed her eyes instinctively out of fear that she may have had a rough landing—but then felt strong arms protectively wrapping her legs and the back of her neck. Slowly, she opened her auburn eyes, and found a small image of herself mirrored behind familiar, raven eyes.

"Ah, I didn't realise it was raining beautiful women today." Ryoji smirked charismatically.

After Ryoji had let her down, Kaori rolled her eyes meaningfully, already used to his flirtatious antics.

"Thanks, Ryoji-kun." Kaori said with as much gratitude as possible, while dusting herself off. "How lovely to see you. What brings you here?"

"Haha, well it's always lovely to see you, Kaori-chan." Ryoji laughed, "Junpei said I could come. I hope it's no trouble."

"No, not at all." Kaori smiled, "It's always a pleasure to have a guest."

"The pleasure is all mine." Ryoji said with a wink, and then took her hand in his, kissing it gently.

"I. apologise. for. the. delay, Kaori-san. I. have. brought. you. 1.89 litres. of. water—" Aigis entered the room, precariously holding eight glasses of water. Though, not too soon after that, all of them fell to the floor with a loud shatter; while at the same time, Aigis dangerously narrowed her eyes at their guest.

"Stay. away. from. Kaori-san!" Aigis threatened, mechanically raising an arm as if she were holding a machine gun, (which she technically was) in his direction. "Ryoji. Mochizuki. You. are. dangerous!"

"T-take it easy, Aigis!" Ryoji took a defensive stance, as if he was being attacked by a mugger. "H-Have I done something wrong?"

"Aigis, it's okay!" Kaori waved her arms, and yelled pleadingly. "Everything's fine! Don't hurt him!"

"You. are. dangerous! You. must. be. eliminated!" Aigis repeated, slapping Ryoji hard across the face.

"Ow!" Ryoji nursed his left cheek, which had been marked with a reddish, metallic hand print.

"Hey! We just heard a loud noise from outside! Is everything okay?" Akihiko yelled, the tone of his voice terminal.

Running behind him were Junpei, Yukari and Ken; all looking very concerned, and entering the lounge to see if everything was indeed okay.

"Ryoji. Mochizuki. is. here." Aigis explained, "He. is. a. threat! I. will. not. allow. him. to. harm. Kaori-san!"

"Oh, brother." Yukari rolled her eyes.

...

"I'm really sorry about what happened..." Kaori apologised once more, as she pressed the ice-pack against his left cheek.

"Agh." Ryoji winced as Kaori pressed the ice-pack much too close.

"Ack, I'm so sorry!" The brunette released the pressure against his damaged skin, after realising the error she had committed.

"You know. For a lovely girl... Aigis is a lot deadlier than she looks," stated Ryoji.

"Mm." Kaori's voice lowered considerably. She was hoping that Mitsuru wasn't being too hard on Aigis downstairs. "Please don't think too badly of her because of what happened. I feel kind of responsible. I don't really know how to explain it, but she's just really really protective of me."

"Oh, I wasn't. It was probably just a misunderstanding," stated Ryoji with a small nod. To which Kaori gave him a warm smile, feeling relieved that he was very understanding about it.

"As for her attachment to you, I guess I can understand why—You just seem to have this amazing ability that draws people to you."

"Oh, you're just saying that." Kaori said with a slight shake of her head, seeing right through his pick-up line which he was trying to coat in a compliment.

"No, I'm not just saying that." Ryoji brought a hand to brush the hair away from her face. "You're such a good friend to Aigis. You didn't even do anything wrong, yet you still feel responsible over what happened. It's really... admirable."

A slight hint of pink was painted across her cheeks, partly because of how close his hand was to her face; and partly because she felt a little surprised that the guy she had thought of as nothing but a huge flirt could actually be so sweet and sincere when it came to words.

"Well... that's, uh, that's... very... sweet of you to say." Kaori finally mumbled. "Thank you, Ryoji-kun."

Ryoji laughed. "There's no need to be shy! Though, I'll admit I kinda like you this way. It's cute." He added with a wink.

Sweet and sincere? Psh, she decided to take back those last thoughts.

"D-Don't tease me!" Kaori puffed her cheeks and narrowed her eyes at him, trying as hard as she could not to give him another injury.

Ryoji laughed once more, amused at how easily rattled she was. "I wasn't!"

It had been a good ten minutes, so Kaori removed the ice-pack from his cheek and lightly touched his bruise to check if the swelling had gone down. From what she could see, it didn't seem like he still needed the ice-pack. Obviously. Though she was still unsure due to her lack of medical expertise, so she decided to ask him directly.

"Does it feel a bit better, Ryoji-kun?" Kaori asked neutrally.

"It's not so bad, anymore." Ryoji explained calmly, which was then replaced with a mischievous smile. "But you know what would help a lot?"

"What?" Kaori asked while rolling her eyes, seeing where this was going.

Ryoji then took a firm grip on her wrists and brought her at a closer distance.

"If you kissed it better." Ryoji cooed, his ivory face dangerously close.

He was almost just as bad as Junpei. Almost. "How is that supposed to help?" Kaori asked with sarcastic laughter; gently retrieving her wrists from his grasp and lightly pushing his hands away.

"A kiss from a beautiful girl is all I need." Ryoji stated with a smile, "As the patient, I know my own symptoms, and the doctor—or in this case nurse—is supposed to make me feel as comfortable as possible."

"Well, the patient is supposed to be a good boy and listen to the doctor—or in this case nurse," Kaori added, humouring him. "Not the other way around."

"So, will you kiss me if I promise to be a good boy?"

"As far as I can see, you've been a very naughty boy." Kaori mockingly put on a strict teacher-like voice. "No kisses for you, Ryoji-kun!"

"Oh, I don't know about that." Ryoji smirked deviously all of a sudden.

Kaori raised an eyebrow, "What do you mean?"

"You see that?" Ryoji's grin grew wider, pointing at the small, tinselled plant which hung above them. "Mistle-toe—You know what that means, don't you?"

"No, I don't." Kaori smiled confidently, pretending to be oblivious.

"Oh, but you do." Ryoji said matter-of-factly. "Don't you see, Kaori-chan? It's fate. The very moment that I want to kiss you, a mistle-toe shows up."

Kaori laughed at his cheezy explanation. "It doesn't mean anything."

"So you don't want to kiss me?" said Ryouji, giving her a puppy-eyed look.

"I didn't mean it like that."

"So that means you will?"

"...I didn't mean it like that, either."

Ryoji drew a breath. "Then, why won't you kiss me?"

"Fine," shrugged Kaori after a while (sensing that he wasn't going to let this go, no matter what), as she rolled her eyes once more and mockingly pouted at him.

Kaori tiptoed, and hovered her face at an angle closer to his. Ryoji closed his eyes with anticipation, waiting for the (presumably) sweet taste of her lips against his—

—only to feel a small, quick pressure on his bruised cheek instead.

Kaori smiled tauntingly at a disappointed and scowling Ryoji. "Merry Christmas, Ryoji-kun."


If you have a problem with Ryoji needing medical treatment over a slap on the face, I'll say this: Aigis' hand is made of metal; Anyone is going to need a lot of medical attention if they got hit/slapped by metal. :3

Right, you know the drill:

- Did you like/dislike this and why:

- The one who is most 'in-character'?:

- The one who is most 'out-of-character'?:

- Favourite scene?:

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