The blood rushed to my pale cheeks as I sat down at my computer desk, tossing those memories of that summer four years ago around in my head. I'd never forgotten, and every now and again, snapshots of that unforgettable summer would flash through my brain. Nibbling on my lip nervously, I flicked the computer on. The soft hum of the computer tower filled the otherwise silent apartment and eased the tension out of me. I reached over haphazardly, just able to reach the cord over my stacks of various papers and dirty dishes to pull my blinds up, sunlight spilling over my mountainous piles of books.
A warm smile rested on my lips as I heard the ping of an incoming message, happy to see it had come from Kazuma.
KenjiKoiso: Hi, Kazuma-kun! What's going on?
KingKazma: Its summer.
My cheap office chair let out a creak as I leaned back, throwing my damp towel aside. It hadn't been but a day after I left the Jinnouchi manor that I had received my first message from Kazuma. He'd definitely caught me by surprise, but soon enough we'd gotten into a daily rhythm of cyber-communication. He'd tell me about school, through which I'd discovered how severe his social anxieties were, and I told him about college and adult life. I'd finally gotten my own apartment!
KenjiKoiso: Yeah, I know. Feels good to be out of school, huh? :)
KingKazma: I suppose, but that's not what I mean.
KenjiKoiso: Huh? What do you mean?
KingKazma: Its summer. You know what I'm going to say.
KenjiKoiso: Oh...that? Uhhhh...
I brought my legs up onto my chair and sat criss-cross applesauce, biting my lip harshly. Every year Kazuma invited me back to the Jinnouchi manor for their family reunion, and every year I said no. A picture of Natsuki flashed through my mind, her face stricken with grief. Only twice had I seen her cry. The first time was when granny Sanae passed away, and the second was when...
KingKazma: Please come.
KenjiKoiso: I can't...really.
KingKazma: That's a lie and we both know it.
KenjiKoiso: No, no. Really! I have...things...to do...
A nervous laugh escaped my throat as I stared at the annoyed emoticon, trying to figure out how to respond. He'd wanted to see me since the day I left, and the same went for me. However, I knew why I couldn't go to the reunion, why I was avoiding it like the plague. What had happened that last day at the Jinnouchi manor wasn't something I wanted to face.
KingKazma: She forgave you, you know.
I read the message slowly, sighing. The weight of those fond memories was too much.
KenjiKoiso: But what I did...I can't face her, Kazuma. I just can't.
KingKazma: Stop being a baby.
This made me smile. He's four years younger than me, but plenty of years more mature. It hadn't always been like that, though. For quite a while, Kazuma had been as childish as they came. Somewhere along the lines, though, he'd grown out of it and become a man. I blushed red at that thought, fiddling with a loose key on my keyboard.
KenjiKoiso: I guess you're right...
There was a pause, as if Kazuma was thinking about what to say.
KingKazma: You can't avoid her forever.
KenjiKoiso: Yeah, I know...haha, when did you become so mature?
KingKazma: When I hit puberty...?
My face was instantly burning at the thought. Kazuma really lacked any finesse, but then again, so did I. I sighed, ruffling my hair before tapping out my reply.
KenjiKoiso: I-I suppose... /
KingKazma: So I can tell the family you're coming?
I hesitated for a moment. Was I really going to go through with this...? How would they even treat me after what happened? My fingers hovered over the keys, slowly typing in the word "Yes.", but unable to hit the send button. Fear racked my mind, making me a slave to its whims.
KingKazma: I wouldn't be asking if I thought you'd be harmed by attending.
Kazuma added this a few minutes later, desperate to get me to agree.
KingKazma: I really miss you, Kenji. Okay?
Even through the silent instant messaging, I could hear the annoyed inflection on his words and see a soft blush on his dark skin. I held down the backspace and typed quickly.
KenjiKoiso: You do...?
KingKazma: Yeah, why wouldn't I?
KenjiKoiso: I dunno...
Even during those hectic times, I could still clearly remember the wide, awe-filled eyes of the small Kazuma as he watched me solve code after code. It made me blush, as did many things, but he truly looked up to me. Many times I have thought to myself, "If he hadn't been there, depending on me, looking at me like that, I'm not sure I could have done it..."
Kazuma had been the only one unamused by my attempts at romance with Natsuki; something I silently noted after I'd taken care of my bloody nose for the second time.
That night had been so confusing, for a lot of people. I had been sitting on the wrap around porch of the Jinnouchi manor under the darkening, post-sunset sky when Natsuki came to join me. We could hear the bustling of the children inside and the hearty laughter of the adults in conversation, the warm air around us comforting. Our eyes locked, Natsuki's hand reaching for mine. Instantly I was scooting away from the girl who had once been my childhood crush but now brought fear to my heart.
I had realized something that day. Or maybe I'd realized it a long time ago, and simply wouldn't admit it. Any way I looked at it, her touch was burdening to me.
She stared at me, eyebrows knitted in confusion with only the dim light leaking from the windows to illuminate our features. I bowed my head, a horrible guilt burning in my racing blood.
"I'm gay!" I had unintentionally shouted, my hands balled up tight. The children stopped their running, the adults stopped their laughter, all became quiet as if to ask; did we really hear that? My head jerked up to meet Natsuki's tear filled eyes.
"What...?" her voice had cracked, it felt like my heart was breaking. Her beautiful face was stained with tears once more, because of me. My eyes fell to my feet, I couldn't look at her.
"...I-I...I'm gay...Natsuki." I repeated. The entire house was silent that entire night. Not a sound had been uttered, aside from the soft conversations in the dark with Kazuma, until I was off on a train back to my old life. That time felt so far away from me now.
A hand ran through my mostly dry hair as I slouched over my keyboard.
KenjiKoiso: Tell them I'll be there.
KingKazma: Be ready to leave in a week.
I gulped as I approached the train station where Kazuma said he'd meet me. The day was hot, bright as Sanae's smile. My eyes looked to the sky, smiling back at the late grandmother. Surely she was up there, looking down on me, wishing me well. There was no question in my mind that Granny would have, and probably did, understand my predicament.
My eyes fell back to the earth when I heard the scratch of shoes on gravel, my heart fluttering in my chest. "Kazuma!" I smiled, recognizing his tanned face instantly. He walked with the same indifference and stoic expression as he had when I'd first met him, but, as he came closer, it was apparent he was no longer that same small boy.
In his place was a man four inches taller than myself. His dark hair had grown long enough to be pulled back into a thin ponytail, bangs still hanging in his eyes. He wore a red tank top and loose, off-white khaki shorts. On his feet were his favorite brand, Adidas, running shoes. His exposed arms and legs, covered in lean muscle, showed the fruits of his karate lessons. It was hard to compare him to the Kazuma I'd last seen, but the look in his eyes was unmistakable.
"Hey, Kenji..." he said, voice deep and rich with age. "His voice dropped..." We both blushed, an awkward silence filling our ears. I panicked, why was I reacting this way? Well, Kazuma was tall, dark, and handsome, but still! He's four years younger than me, not even legal yet! I tore my wide eyes from the man, coughing nervously. What the hell was I thinking...?
"You really have grown up..." I said softly, my thought escaping from the captivity of my head. Kazuma looked up, observing the new height difference between us.
"I guess I have..." he admitted, a rare smile blossoming on his lips. "I could have sworn you were taller."
"I was." I laughed. The smiles fell from our faces as the roar of the enclosing train rung in our ears. We boarded the train in silence, awkwardly sitting side by side. Kazuma fiddled with his earphone cord that hung from his pocket, probably wanting to listen to his music but thinking it to be impolite.
"Do you think...they're mad at me?" I asked suddenly. Kazuma raised an eyebrow, his eyes shifting from me to the window as the train began rolling.
"Hmm..." he hummed in thought. "Maybe Shota is. Other than that, I doubt it." his voice was confident, quiet yet caring. "They said you could attend. I can't see why they'd let you come back if they hated you."
I nodded. This made sense. I couldn't shake the nervousness out of me, though. Thinking back on it, I was just a nervous person in general, really. I sighed, relaxing a bit in my chair. My eyes slid over to the window seat where Kazuma was still toying with his cord.
"I don't mind if you listen to music." I finally said. Kazuma blinked, turning to meet my eyes; something he almost never did.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I don't mind." I smiled softly. Kazuma nodded, pulling his earphones out and letting the music calm him. It was obvious how much social environments distressed him. My smile grew as I watched his eyes flutter shut. It hadn't crossed my mind until then, but he'd come here alone. How many people did he have to talk to, or even be in contact with to get here all by himself? Whatever it was, he was clearly exhausted from it. Not but a few minutes later was his head drooping onto my shoulder.
My cheeks burned red, but I didn't dare move. I'd wake him if I moved, so I stayed perfectly still. Slowly, I became accustomed to the sensation of Kazuma's skin on mine, his silky hair caressing my neck and shoulder. I leaned into the touch, ever so slightly. Maybe it was wrong, but unlike with Natsuki, it felt all to right. I sighed heavily, this was going to be a problem.
"I can't do this..." I grumbled, staring up at the Jinnouchi house in the distance.
"Yes you can." Kazuma said, matter-of-factly. "Now come on."
"No!" I whined, shaking my head. "They're all up there..." I sighed. Kazuma tapped me on the head, getting me to look up and meet his dark eyes.
"And they all miss you, just like...I did." his voice trailed off. I blushed softly, looking away. "So lets go." he held out his hand, which I hesitantly accepted. His hand engulfed mine, holding it tight as we walked up to the house.
Kazuma didn't know what I'd said. That night, he'd had his earphones on as he always did, blocking out his family's hysteria with music and Oz sound affects. Natsuki had told him some sort of lie, unable to speak the truth of the harsh words I'd said. I had no idea what story she'd come up with, but I did know one thing for certain; Kazuma didn't know I was gay.
Maybe this now 17 year old had figured me out, or maybe he was just being kind to the man he looked up to. I couldn't tell, couldn't be sure, and certainly couldn't gamble my heart away on a chance. My heart? What? "Its almost like I have a crush on him...!"
As we neared the house, I wriggled my hand free of his. Too many complications could arise if the first everyone saw of me was holding Kazuma's hand.
Sure, we'd become pretty close over the years. I knew all there was to know about Kazuma, and he knew all there was to know about me. Our conversations had always been friendly...maybe too friendly? No, no. No way. I couldn't deny that Kazuma was, ahem, very attractive, but that was simply an observation. Nothing more. Besides that, there was no possible way that Kazuma saw the same in me.
"We're here!" Kazuma shouted as we entered the front gate.
"Welcome back, Kenji-kun!" a chorus of Jinnouchi members sang as the gate was shut behind us.
"Wha...?" I gaped at the warm welcome. Natsuki fumbled through the crowd, pushing her way to the front with the four children behind her.
"Kenji!" she smiled. I wavered, what was I supposed to say? She sensed my hesitation, straightening herself. "Its good to see you again." she smiled. There was a soft silence, my eyes scanning the crowd of warm faces.
"You all..." my smile brightened. "Thank you so much, its good to see you too." I nodded happily. Mansuke emerged from the crowd, pulling me into a manly embrace. I accepted it, awkwardly hugging the large man back.
"I'm glad you came out Kenji!" he laughed warmly, though the words "came out" seemed to sting the mood and left us quiet. "I-I mean...you know..." he laughed again.
"Let's get to work then!" Mariko said, clapping in her hands. The bulk of the family left to go help prepare dinner, while others welcomed me personally before going about their business. As Kazuma had said, Shota decided to linger, glaring me up and down before leaving in a huff. I sighed. There was no pleasing that man.
While lost in thought, I caught a glimpse of Natsuki whispering to Kazuma. I turned to question them about it, but Natsuki promptly got in my way as Kazuma ran off.
"What?" she asked cheerfully.
"I...well, erm, nevermind..." I laughed nervously, watching Kazuma retreat. "Where'd Kazuma go to...?" I asked with genuine curiosity. Natsuki shrugged her shoulders in a less-than-innocent manner.
"Hmm, I'm not sure. I think he's taking care of your stuff." she answered. I looked at my feet to find my bags had disappeared.
"Speaking of Kazuma," she giggled. "I'm sorry for what happened."
"That night. It must have been pretty traumatic for you to have stayed away for four whole years." she explained, her eyes downcast.
"What, no!...I'm the one who should be apologizing." I said softly.
"It must have been hard for you. No wonder you didn't want to pretend to be my fiancé."
"Natsuki..." I whispered, the pain obvious in her eyes. She shook her head, shirking it off.
"I'm fine, really. I forgive you. I completely understand."
"Really." she answered confidentially. The start of our conversation suddenly occurred to me.
"What does this have to do with Kazuma?"
"Ohh, you'll find out." she said with a devious smile. I gulped, what was she saying?
"First, I'd like to thank you all for coming." Mariko said, a tired smile on her face from her hours of baking. "Secondly," all eyes turned to me. "Kenji." I gulped.
"Thank you for joining us."
"I think I speak for all of us when I say you are as much of a part of this family as I or anyone else here is. Please do not forget his." she spoke with warmth laced in her words. Cheers were given, agreeing and congratulating me on my return. I blushed, feeling both horribly nervous but also incredibly happy.
"Thank you so much!" I said happily.
"Now then," Mariko said, quieting the family and picking up her chopsticks. "Itadakimasu!"
Natsuki elbowed me, a playful smile on her lips. "Glad you came?" she asked. I nodded.
"Yeah, I never thought..." I bit my lip, trying to stop the tears welling in my eyes. My parents had never been there for me. When I came out to them, it had been nothing short of a disaster. Yet here I was, sitting in a house full of people accepting me with open arms. "I never though you all would be so kind to me." I rubbed at my eyes, laughing nervously. Natsuki placed a hand on my shoulder, squeezing it comfortingly.
"That's what a family's for." she said, taking her hand back and starting on a bowl of rice. I nodded, nibbling on a prawn.
"Kenji!" a warm hand slapped me on the back, nearly causing me to choke.
"W-Wabisuke...?" I coughed. His childish smile became serious as he sat next to me.
"Its good to see you." he said, taking his own plate.
"Yeah..." I agreed, remembering the day he fought valiantly to end his own creation.
"What are you doing these days?" he asked, absently munching on a dumpling.
"I'm in college." I answered plainly. "I'm studying to be a professor." Wabisuke's smile burst wide.
"Oh yeah? Congratulations!" he laughed, seemingly proud that I'd picked his profession as my own. "Have you found anyone special?" he asked, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. I blushed, looking away and shaking me head.
"Wabisuke!" Natsuki growled, hitting her uncle on the head playfully.
"N-No, its okay." I laughed. "I haven't found anyone..." Natsuki seemed to read my thoughts, hitting Wabisuke once more for good measure.
"So are you living on your own now?" she asked kindly.
"Yeah, I got a really good deal on a studio apartment." I nodded.
"Wow, I'm still living with my parents." she laughed.
"That's not necessarily a bad thing." I pointed out, knowing full well how much I wished I could still be living with my parents. They had kicked me out the day I came out to them, not that I was really living with them anyways. I had hardly been home at all that year.
"He's right you know." Wabisuke agreed solemnly. Natsuki observed our dampened moods, laughing and waving her hands apologetically.
"Yeah, I guess I'm really lucky!" she agreed quickly. Seeing this had no affect on the storm clouds brewing above our heads, Natsuki decided to change the subject. "Sooo, Kazuma-kun isn't here..." she said softly. My ears perked up instantly.
"I wonder what he's doing..." I whispered my thoughts aloud. Wabisuke stared at me with curiosity, slowly beginning to understand. He smiled mischievously.
"Don't worry, Kazuma never eats with the family." he explained.
"No, its really stressful to be around so many people so we agreed it was fine for him to eat alone." Natsuki clarified. "Hmm, I can't believe he wouldn't let any of us go with him to pick you up."
"Yes, how very odd." Wabisuke chimed in.
"I wonder if he's feeling lonely right now." Natsuki added.
"He's been in his room all day." Wabisuke agreed.
"Just because being around a lot of people is stressful doesn't mean he doesn't get lonely." Natsuki concluded.
"If only there were someone to go eat with him, so he wouldn't be so alone!" Wabisuke suggested. Both pairs of eyes from either side shifted to me along with matching devious smiles.
"A-Alright, alright, I get it!" I said, piling up some food to take with me. I heard the soft clap of Wabisuke and Natsuki high-fiving as I exited the dining room, sighing as the noise faded to silence.
I walked around, trying to remember where Kazuma liked to spend his time. It took a few wrong turns, but eventually I found my way to his room. I knocked on the sliding door before opening it a crack to find Kazuma curled up in front of his laptop with all the lights turned off, chopsticks in hand. He looked back at me for a moment, nodding his head.
"Hey, Kazuma." I greeted softly. He pulled his earphones off and turned to face me.
"Hi, Kenji..." he said, nibbling on some home-made ramen.
"Have you been in here all day...?" I asked, instantly regretting being so insensitive. Kazuma seemed to take no offense, though.
"Yeah." he answered. "I love my family, but they're all so...loud." he explained, slurping some more noodles. I laughed, nodding my head.
"I can understand that."
A silence passed before Kazuma reached over to turn on a lamp, the light revealing his soft smile as he continued eating. The smile was contagious, and soon I realized how happy it made me to see it.
"Thanks for inviting me." I said happily, my heart beating hard in my chest as our eyes met. Kazuma's eyes fell to the floor.
"You're welcome..." he said, visibly forcing his eyes back up to mine. Eye contact seemed hard for him. I smiled, encouraging him with my eyes. His shoulders seemed to relax, and slowly he lifted up a hand. My heart seemed to stop as his fingers brushed my cheekbone, pulling away a grain of rice from what had been my dinner. I blushed hard, unable to even laugh at how careless I was. Kazuma examined the rice on his finger for a moment before popping it in his mouth, oblivious to the significance of his actions. I bit the inside my cheek to keep any sounds from escaping, trying every trick in the book to calm my heart before I ended up with a nose bleed.
"Kenji, are you alright..?" Kazuma asked, setting his empty ramen bowl aside and crawling close to me. I fell back, my hands holding me up as Kazuma's lips were only inches from my own. I gasped, trying hard not to faint.
"I...I...I-I'm fine!" I squeaked. Kazuma stared into my eyes, as if contemplating something important. Finally he nodded, sitting back and allowing distance between us once more. I took a deep breath, a hand resting on my chest nervously.
Outside the door, an assembly of the youngsters had formed. Natsuki and Wabisuke pressed their ears to the door, soaking up every detail of our conversation. Soon enough Youhei, Shingo, and Mao, the terrible trio, had joined the eavesdropping party as well. Even Kazuma's shy little sister Nanako snuck up to the door, listening to her brother's conversation with a childish curiosity.
"Shh!" Natsuki shushed the children angrily.
"They're totally going to kiss!" Mao said.
"Ew!" Yuhei gasped.
"Yeah, gross!" Shingo added.
"Shuttup!" Wabisuke hissed, silencing the children and returning to the door.
"I like you." Kazuma said boldly, his face stoic and unphased by his own words. My eyes grew wide.
"What...? What? What?" I asked, my brain completely fried. Kazuma simply nodded.
"Should I give you a moment?" he asked politely. I nodded, getting on my feet and heading for the door.
"Go, go, go!" I heard a muffled voice whisper angrily as I opened the door, followed by the screams of Natsuki and a flock of children falling right on me. The kids quickly scrambled up and away, running for their lives.
"What the hell?" I gasped, pushing her off me. Kazuma glared viciously.
"You were listening?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"N-No!" Natsuki said quickly. "We were just passing by, is all...!" Wabisuke grabbed her arm pulling her off before Kazuma could unleash his wrath. The man growled harshly.
"Bastards." he swore under his breath as they left. Sighing, he shook off the anger. "No, family members aren't bastards." he corrected himself softly. I shook my head, exiting the room on wobbly legs. I walked out to the deck, sighing as the cool air hit my skin.
"Oh man..." I shook my head. "This is crazy."
"Oh, yeah?" Natsuki asked, appearing from the door. I nodded.
"I think its a good thing." she said.
"Is this what you were talking about earlier...?" I asked, our eyes scanning the vast night sky. Natsuki nodded, tucking a stray strand of black hair behind her ear.
"Yeah. I told Kazuma I'd help him." she explained.
"He seemed pretty confident to me..."
"Yeah, that's because it was just you and him. He's really comfortable with you."
"Really...?" I asked, the distant clattering of silverware from the dinner table filling my ears. What would the family think of this?
"You haven't noticed?" she asked. I tossed the question around in my head.
"I guess I just never thought about it." I sighed, crouching down and sitting on the wood deck, still warm from the summer sun. Somewhere in the distance, grasshoppers chirped.
"But he really does." Natsuki paused, taking in the sweet scene under the soft light of the stars and moon. "So what are you going to tell him?" she asked, staring down at me. I blinked, unsure of the answer.
"I have no idea."
"I know what you're going to tell him." she said confidently, on hand on her hip.
"What's that...?" Natsuki rolled her eyes.
"You're going to tell him you like him too and that you want to go out!" she said as if it was the obvious choice. And it was the obvious choice, to anyone but me.
"What? I can't do that!"
"Yes you can." she said, crossing her slender arms. "It'll be something like "Oh, Kazuma, I've always liked you too. You're so tall, dark, and handsome, lets get married!" she spoke in a deep voice, clasping her hands together and swooning with pretend love.
"I-I wouldn't say something like that!" I yelled defensively, recounting that exact thought from just the morning before. Natsuki laughed.
"Okay, well you get the idea. So why don't you go get him, lover boy?" she asked. I sighed, running a hand through my hair.
"Well, what about everyone else...? Will they really be okay with us..." I gulped. "With us...d-dating?" I spit the words out. Natsuki laughed delicately.
"Of course they'll be okay with it. I would make a formal request to his parents though, since you are the older one. Even if you don't look like it."
"How are you so sure of all this?" I asked, my voice heavy with distress and confusion.
"Kazuma's liked you since he first saw you, it was hard for him to keep it a secret." she explained. "His parents were the first to know, and I can assure you that they're thrilled he's interested in you."
I groaned. "That doesn't make sense!" Natsuki hit me lightly on the head, leaning down to meet my eyes.
"Yes it does! You're a great guy, and anyone, male or female, would be lucky to have you!" she straightened herself, brushing off her irritation. "So you'll go?" My eyes fell to the grass, Natsuki's words settling in my head.
"Yeah...I will..." I said softly, getting on my feet. Natsuki smiled warmly at me.
"Good, I know you can do it."
"K-Kazuma...?" I said, opening the door and entering his room cautiously. Kazuma looked up from a manga he'd apparently been reading during my absence. Closing the book and setting it aside, he motioned for me to sit.
"Are you feeling better?" he asked. I nodded, feeling my heart picking up speed once more.
"Y-Yeah, I am..." I answered, finding it hard to keep my eyes off the floor.
"So?" Kazuma asked quietly. I took a deep breath through my nose.
"I like you a lot too Kazuma!" I blurted. My eyes slowly traveled up to meet his, a warm smile on his lips. I fought to keep breathing. "Would you...be my boyfriend?" I squeezed my eyes shut, afraid I was going to pass out. Kazuma's hand fell over mine, urging me to open my eyes.
"Yes!" he agreed with his calm happiness. My cheeks were flushed red once again, but I didn't care. Without warning, Kazuma leaned forward, hugging me tight.
"K-Kazuma...?" I gasped, hugging him back sheepishly. He said nothing, but the joy was evident in his warm embrace. Soon enough his arms were back at his side, a blank look on his face.
"Wanna hang out here for a little bit?" he asked, turning back to his computer. I smiled, crawling over to his side. He didn't need to show his feelings on his face, I could sense them perfectly through the sound of his voice and warmth in his eyes.
"Yeah, that sounds good." I said, sitting close to the other male. Kazuma spent the night playing games and reading e-books. I don't remember when, but somewhere I had fallen asleep, my head resting in his lap. It was the safest I'd felt in a long time, and sleep came to me swiftly.
"Tonight we have something very special planned!" Natsuki announced to the Jinnouchi family from the head of the table. I gulped, taking my side next to her as a hush fell over the crowd. "Kenji has something he'd like to say!" she said, motioning to me before sitting at the table. I froze, what was I going to say...? Natsuki elbowed me sharply in the leg, whispering "Go on!"
"Ms. Ikezawa..." I said, catching the woman's eyes. She sat with her husband and children; Nanako, and surprisingly Kazuma. Well, I knew why he was there, but surely it was a surprise to everyone else. I cleared my throat, doing my best to act confident. "Kazuma is a great kid and..." I took another deep breath, feeling suddenly light headed by all the attention. "I would like to ask your permission to date him!" I said, bowing respectfully. Sweat dripped down my face as the room became rigid with silence, my head feeling heavier with each passing second.
"Oh, Kenji." she sighed happily. "Lift your head." I slowly obliged, anxious to hear her judgment. "You're a star student, an honest man, and for god's sake you saved us all. Of course you may date Kazuma." she took her husband's hand and ruffled Kazuma's hair with the other. Kazuma glared, less than happy with being the center of attention.
"You have our blessing, Kenji." Kazuma's father said warmly. I could hardly believe the words I was hearing. Tears began welling in my eyes, rolling down my cheeks shamelessly.
"Kenji!" Natsuki gasped, reaching for me. I shook my head wiping my eyes.
"Thank you, thank you so much!" I said, sniffling happily. "You all have been so kind to me...!" the tears fell a little harder, all filled with joy and love. Kazuma quickly rose from his seat, coming to my side and taking my hand. I blushed, the tears instantly subsiding as I became distracted. Kazuma smiled, kissing me on the forehead. My cheeks flushed as a burst of cheers and clapping filled the room.
"Now then," Mariko said as the noise died down. "Let us eat, in honor of Kenji and Kazuma."
Kazuma and I sat next to Natsuki, smiling brightly. She tapped me on the shoulder, motioning me to lean in close.
"Kazuma never smiles." she whispered behind a cupped hand.
"He doesn't...?" I whispered back. Natsuki shook her head, a sweet smile on her lips. I ran a nervous hand through my hair. I'd seen him smile a lot.
"Honestly, I didn't think you'd go to his parents. I'm surprised you took my suggestion so seriously." she laughed happily. Perhaps I was being too old-fashioned, but what better way to win their admiration than to appeal to their generation?
After dinner was over and congratulations had been granted, the house fell quiet with tired children and adults readying themselves for bed. There Kazuma and I sat out in the night air, our fingers tangled together. I leaned against him, and he leaned back. It was the most amazing feeling I'd ever had. I felt safe, content, and...loved. In so many ways, I felt loved.
"I really like the night." Kazuma said softly. I nodded.
"Yeah, its so calm." I agreed. Kazuma straightened, shifted to face me.
"And there's no one awake to see us..." he whispered, leaning in cautiously. My heart fluttered against my ribcage, my hand gripping Kazuma's tighter. When I didn't pull away, Kazuma pressed his lips to mine in our very first kiss. I melted into the touch, feeling higher than heaven itself. Kazuma kneaded my lips softly, pulling away with a soft 'smack'. Our eyes locked.
"You're really good..." I complimented, my voice barely even a whisper. Kazuma nuzzled his nose against mine. Despite his fears of social situations, Kazuma was incredibly touchy, and I loved it. He ran a large hand through my hair lovingly.
"Hmm, maybe." he agreed with a sly smile. His lips met mine once more, and from that moment on I was certain I'd never find anyone better. I was head over heals in love, and Kazuma was the one.
So I watched Summer Wars last week and was like "Holy crap that kid is a guy!...I am really okay with that." Moments later I fell in love with the idea of KazumaxKenji. I was surprised to find this pairing wasn't as uncommon as I had thought it would be, but there were no fanfictions for them! Naturally, being the obsessed fanperson I am, I decided to write one! Its just a one shot, but I still feel accomplished. There are probably some mistakes, I accidentally deleted the copy my beta reader sent me. _ So I'm waiting to see if she saved the copy and if she did I'll replace that one with this one. Until then! Oh, and sorry if the title sucks. I could not figure out what to names this! But Summer Wars is just so Persona-y, so I thought it fit.
Leave me reviews, I love them. And if I get enough, I might upload a second chapter. We'll just see how many reviews I get. ;3