It was hours past dinner when Iku returned to the dorm. She heaved a tired sigh as she opened the door to her room. "I'm home," she said softly.
Her husband looked up from his special signed copy of Nuclear Peril, which he was reading yet again. "Long day?" he asked, watching her pull her shoes off. She sighed in reply and moved over to the bed, on which he was sitting.
"It was a very long day," she muttered, falling face first on her side of the bed.
"You're going to wrinkle your uniform, you blockhead."
Atsushi marked his book and closed it, leaning over to ruffle Iku's hair. She glared at him out of the corner of her eye. "So what happened today?" he asked.
"The newbies were being ridiculous," she began, getting up so she could change out of her uniform and into something more comfortable.
"Now you feel my pain….Hours wasted keeping you and Tezuka from biting each other's heads off, and even more hours wasted dealing with you and your incompetence."
Iku threw her shirt at him, covering his face as she slipped on a t-shirt. "Not funny."
Atsushi pulled the shirt from his head, tossing it back to her. "Anyway, what did they do?"
"They were wishing they had joined up earlier, only so they could shoot guns." She gave a huff. "Idiots. They have no idea what it was like." She grumbled under her breath as she threw her uniform into the hamper by her closet. "Then I was going to see if I could join you for dinner, but Tezuka caught me-"
"Hikaru. He needed to discuss something involving another newbie, and I had to catch up on some paperwork that took me longer to complete, not to mention Asako distracted me from it, and somehow I managed to eat dinner and…" She flopped back on the bed, heaving another sigh.
"You are so dramatic someti-ack!"
Iku, who had hit him with her pillow, grinned innocently. "You were saying?"
"Is that how you want to play?"
"Bring it, sir."
The two wrestled for a few minutes, hitting each other with pillows and causing chaos in their small yet cozy dwelling. It only stopped when Atsushi pinned Iku down on the mattress and relieved her of her pillow. He had always been the better fighter, even when she was a stubborn recruit. "Truce?"
Iku pouted. "Fine…" Atsushi let her up and they quickly cleaned up the mess they made before cuddling back together in bed. Atsushi returned to his book and Iku was content to lie there, sleepily enjoying the warmth and love of her prince.
She frowned slightly, running a hand over his arm. Pale scars ran over the entire extent, and many she didn't recognize. A rather nasty-looking one was the only one she knew. It was from a gunshot wound he got in Ibaraki years ago.
"What is it?" Atsushi asked.
"You have so many scars…" she murmured, tracing her finger along a long, thin one.
"We're in a dangerous business, though not all of them are from battles or training." At his wife's confused expression, he elaborated. "I was a bit of a klutz as a teenager. My friends all joked I would trip and get myself killed or some nonsense."
"Heh, I would have never pegged you as a klutz."
"Not as bad as you when you're nervous."
Iku scowled playfully, causing Atsushi to laugh. Instead of gracing him with a snarky reply, she yawned. She ran her hand over his arm again, this time sleepily musing on the muscles he was unconsciously showing off. She gave a slight smirk. That was the benefits of being married to a man on the Task Force – training gave him serious muscles that she was privy to.
"Wipe that smirk off your face, blockhead. I know what you're thinking."
"N-no, you're wrong!"
He looked at her out if the corner of his eye, and she gave a sheepish grin. He rolled his eyes and returned, once more, to his book. Several years of marriage to him made Iku realize that he was amused at her reaction. So she reached across him to pull him closer – or to pull herself closer – and kissed his cheek. He set his book down again, wrapping an arm around her and returning the kiss, this time placing it on her lips.
"Goodnight, love," she said softly.
Iku settled down once more, her eyes closing. She felt him trace her cheek with the back of his fingers and smiled.
After a few more minutes, Atsushi marked his place in his book once more, setting it off to the side. He shut off the small light he had been reading by and turned so that he could wrap Iku in his embrace. "I love you, my princess," he said softly, knowing that Iku was asleep. He'd never call her that otherwise.
Author's note: Hi, guys! I'm back! And it's only been a couple months this time! I recently reread all the manga and rewatched the majority of the anime and the movie, plus an awesome reviewer gave me some ideas, so you may get another update soon! Anyway, in case you couldn't tell, this takes place the evening after the epilogue of the movie, and is inspired by one of the chapters covers, in which is depicted a very handsome Dojo. The details made it look like he's got scars all over his arms. I don't remember the chapter number, but it was one of the earlier ones, if you're curious.
Hope you enjoyed!
EDIT: Found it! The cover is from chapter nine, found in volume two of the Library Wars: Love and War manga.