Disclaimer: Do not own PoT.
A/N: This story was written for the NXYZ forum prompt pick up. The prompt was given by meccanico:
Rating/Word length: K+/T, 1000 + words? Oneshot.
Prompt: They meet in the most unlikeliest way, in the most unlikeliest situation, and she is the most unlikely person to fall for. Yanagi does not approve of such uncertainty, but he has to live with it."
Yanagi spent hours analyzing data. He would look for patterns in numbers, pick out their sequences, and calculate percentages. It was what he did. It was how his predictions were scarily accurate. Of course, when you put in so much effort, you'd expect to get some results.
He predicted that he would get a job in Research and Development with his childhood friend, have a decent salary, and live fairly well. He would meet an average girl at the workplace, whom he didn't love but liked well enough, and settle down. He predicted that he'd have two children, both girls (due to the biological probability of the chromosomes to line up in XX). He also predicted that the younger one would be his favorite, since she was more likely to get bullied by the older one. He expected that the younger one would get married before the older one, and he would retire when the older one had her first child. Which would most likely be when she was 28. Finally, he predicted that he would die before his wife, taking into account the average longevity of a woman's life as compared to a man.
Of course, then life had to step in and screw him up.
He did end up going into R&D with Inui, but only because he did not make it in finance. And he did meet a lovely girl at the workplace. But not in the way you might think. Or in the way he thought he would.
When he made the prediction that he would meet someone at the workplace, he meant perhaps through a merger deal, or someone in another department. He did not expect to be walking up the stairs to his building, minding his own business, when the girl in front of him tripped, stumbled, and literally fell into his arms.
"Sorry," she had said, getting off him clumsily. She picked up her shoes, waving one of them in his face. "New shoes. They have wobbly heels."
Then she proceeded to carry them in one hand and run up to the office, barefoot.
Yanagi blinked and dismissed the event as an anomaly in his everyday routine. After all, they had a 3.63 percent chance of occurring.
The next time he saw her was at a party with a bunch of their co-workers a few weeks later. They were celebrating the success of a deal. She made eye contact with him and waved him over.
"Yanagi-san, right?" she asked with a smile.
How did she know his name?
"Employee of the month twice in a row?" She took a sip from her drink. "You're very good at what you do."
(Aha. That damn photo in front of the office. That's how she knew.)
"If I was good at what I did, I wouldn't be here." he replied instead.
She laughed. Her green eyes twinkled when she laughed. Was that a biological phenomenon or just a trick of the light? He was about to ask her of her name when the boss came through the door. She gave him another smile and excused herself.
Yanagi heard the unmistakable scritch-scratch of a pencil coming from behind him. "Sadaharu, you never give up, do you?"
His friend merely smiled secretively and continued to jot down the data.
And so it went on.
(He found out her name. A quick security bypass into the company employee database did it.)
One day, when Yanagi decided to take the long route to the cafeteria, he happened across her office. She was huddled behind her desk, her shoulders slouched like she was cold. Her head jerked up when he approached, startled. When she saw it was only him, she smiled in relief and sheepishly pulled out her cell phone from behind the desk.
"Angry Birds," she said, pointing at the screen. "I can't seem to beat this level."
Yanagi took the phone from her and easily pulled back the slingshot on the screen. The birds found their mark with perfect accuracy. It was simple catapult physics. He handed her the phone back, the level cleared.
Her jaw dropped. "How did you do that? Teach me." she demanded.
He guided her finger on the screen of her phone, back and forth. She was immersed in the game, and he was immersed in her smile.
He wondered if Inui figured it out. Surely he would've noticed that Yanagi did not return to his desk all afternoon.
Looking back, Yanagi supposed that he shouldn't be surprised that he fell in love with her. She had a certain childish naiveté that was her very charm. And according to Akaya, he needed someone to "lighten him up." When Yukimura met her, he'd said, "I can see why Renji likes you so much." Even Sanada had given her a nod of approval.
How was it that every else expected him to fall for someone like her when he didn't?
Even she herself said it. As he slipped the engagement ring on her finger, she happily said, "I knew we'd end up together."
Yanagi lived by his predictions. He liked order. It kept things neat and smooth. But then she'd come into his life like a whirlwind, with her spontaneity and her childlike glee, and he'd been blown away.
Really, all he wanted was an average girl who he liked enough to marry.
He didn't expect to love her.
And she was anything but average.
How had his data gone awry? He used to make impeccable predictions. He'd even predicted the exact date of his promotion to Associate Director. His wife was like the X value in the equation, a miniscule factor that could throw everything off balance. No, he could calculate the X value. Face it, his wife just wouldn't fit into an equation.
('Wouldn't fit' was right. At 8 months pregnant, she was even having trouble squeezing into the car.)
Later, Yanagi came up with the answer. His wife just enjoyed proving him wrong.
When investing money for their future baby's trust fund, Yanagi invests in gold. Gold holds its value. It is a safe investment. His wife, however, takes 30% and invests it in a risky cotton venture… and ends up with a 4 thousand percent return. When they go to Akaya's game in June, and he seems on the verge of losing, she cheers so loudly that Akaya gets up and destroys his opponent with a renewed energy. She may be solely responsible for his third Grand Slam title. When they get into their first huge fight, Yanagi is daring enough to predict that she will storm out. Instead, the frying pan is hurled at his forehead. "Predict this, you bastard!"
Well, they made up in the end. In every way imaginable.
That brought him to another point. In bed… well, it's safe to assume that nothing was lacking in that department. Her enormous belly was proof of that. However, let's just say that he'd been quite surprised on more than one occasion, though not unpleasantly so.
(Definitely not unpleasantly so.)
At this point, Yanagi believes that he has encountered every error in his data that he could ever experience.
As it turns out, destiny was not done playing with him.
He expected two daughters.
He didn't expect his second to be born minutes after his first. Technically, he argues with himself, his prediction was still right. After all, the first one was older than the second by 2 minutes and 24 seconds.
He expected the second to be his favorite because she was the underdog.
The second was his favorite, for she seemed to have inherited his aptitude for math. However, she was not the underdog. Yanagi vows never to let Inui babysit his children again. His second daughter (under Inui's guidance, he suspects) had invented a semi-permanent dye that turned her sister's hands blue for a week.
Inui, needless to say, was thrilled. He already bought her a blender for Christmas.
He expected the younger one to get married before the first.
Well, that was likely to come true now, since at 4 years old the older one has declared that she wants to marry "Uncle Sanada". He and Sanada were both unnerved. His wife found it hilarious.
He expected that he'd retire when the older one had her first child, which would most likely happen when she was 28.
Well, she's 4 now, and Yanagi has just signed a 25 year contract with another corporation. Although it does not require him to remain CEO for the duration of that period, he suspects that he will anyways. He loves his job and could do it for another thirty-so years, if necessary. 55 seems like a reasonable retirement age anyhow.
The only prediction that has some possibility of coming true is that he may still die before his wife.
(And if his daughter does end up marrying Sanada, please tell him where to find the nearest cliff.)
But he doesn't think about that at all. He looks forward to watching their children grow up and growing old together with his wife. In fact, the other day his first daughter had crawled into his lap and asked how "mommy" met "daddy".
His wife laughed. "Well, it was an accident. Steve Madden made a pair of very uncomfortable shoes that year…"
His daughter frowned, remembering the spilled milk that morning. "But Mommy said accidents are bad…"
His wife stroked her hair gently. "Not all of them are, honey." Then she caught Yanagi's eye and winked.
Yanagi smiles, because that is the best explanation for his life since then. It has been one anomaly after another. Life was throwing his predictions in his face. Someone up there was laughing at him, he believed.
At first, all he wanted was an ordered life.
Now he realizes that all this time, he wanted this.
They met in the most unlikeliest way, in the most unlikeliest situation, and she is the most unlikely person to fall for. Yanagi does not approve of such uncertainty, but he has to live with it.
Truth be told, he likes it.
Dear meccanico (Yuuki), I'm not sure if this was what you were expecting, because it certainly wasn't what I was expecting, but I hope you enjoyed it on some level.
Dear my other awesome readers: Do check out meccanico's work; she's a lovely author herself. I hope you enjoyed this! And I hope you keep supporting "To Catch A Falling Star"!