Hope you enjoy the one-shot. This is for all M-21 junkies out there who like me, feel that our boy needs a little bit more TLC in his life.
(Apologies for any grammar mistakes.)
Sweat still glistened on his torso as he lay awaken in bed listening to the rain pouring down outside.
Beyond the window frame, M-21 could see the dark crown of a willow tree gently tapping against it. A strong gust of wind pushed in and rushed across him, making the small frame curled up beside him shiver in her sleep.
Instinctively, he pulled her closer, his arm circling tighter around her waist, as she let out a content sigh, resting her head on his chest.
He looked down at her sleeping form, at the trace of the smile lingering in her lips and suddenly felt disgusted with himself.
He had no right to be with her.
He had no right to take advantage of the feelings she had for him.
She was too pure, too innocent. She deserved someone better, untainted by life, and yet… yet he couldn't stop himself from wanting her, from craving her warmth and her touch.
She made him feel alive, human. She made him experience feelings he hadn't even dreamt he'd be capable of.
And the funny thing to him was that he couldn't even recall how it all started. How he had come to love her as much as he did.
At first she had been just another one of the kids. One more kid to look out for at school. One more kid to clean up after at home.
Sure she was the nicest one of them. Always greeted him with a smile; always interested in how he was doing. But she was that way with everyone, he'd mused.
It was Tao who started with the jokes.
"She's looking at you again." The computer whiz would whisper to him conspiratorially, while they were both patrolling the school grounds during intermission.
"Cut it out." M-21 would invariably say, although on more than one occasion he would have sworn he saw her blush when their eyes met.
"Enemy at two o'clock." Tao would also say, every time a male student would stop her for a chat in the school hallways.
"Oh, put a sock in it, will you?" M-21 would cry out, not without glaring at the teenage boy though, as they went pass them. But only because the reputation of the guys in that high school was not the greatest when it came to girls, and M-21 had vowed to defend those kids, even if that meant defending them from each other… Or so he tried to convince himself.
And so the days turned into weeks, which slowly turned into years, and the kids mellowed becoming young adults, and M-21 found himself more than often searching for a pair of familiar brown eyes through the crowd of seniors during intermissions, and glaring more menacingly than ever at any male that came 5 feet from them.
By then he was already painfully aware he was in love with her. The feeling was quite shocking to him at first. It was so foreign to his nature it took him awhile to figure out what it actually was.
When he did, he tried to fight it. He tried to avoid her, avoid her gaze. He even went to the extent of continuously coming up with some excuse to leave the house every time she would come to visit.
He had a faint feeling she was hurt by it, but it was better that way, he guessed. Soon he noticed she didn't stare at him anymore during intermissions; she didn't blush anymore when they spoke to each other on the way to school or home.
He was finally free to love her from afar, in silence, with no chance of being reciprocated, just as he wanted.
So her confession, not long after, came as quite of a shock to him.
It was the end of graduation day for the senior class, and while the students had already left the premises to celebrate together the end of the school year, some of the staff had stayed behind to help out with the clean-up.
M-21 was finishing piling up some folding chairs in the storeroom when he heard footsteps outside.
"Just put the rest of the chairs in the other room, Takeo." He said, not looking up from his task. "There's no more space left for them here."
"Um… Takeo-Hyung is talking to the Principal right now." A familiar female voice said.
Startled, M-21 turned around to face his speaker. Yuna was leaning against the doorframe, still dressed in her student ceremony garb.
"Hello Ajussi." She greeted shyly, a small smile appearing on her lips.
"…Hello Yuna." He greeted back, still surprised. "I thought you'd already left with the others."
She blushed at his comment. "W-Well…I-I kind of thought I'd stay behind for a while to say goodbye to everyone."
The meaning of her words suddenly dawned on him. He forced out a smile. "…I suppose we won't be seeing you guys as often now that you graduated." He said, hoping the disappointment wouldn't show through his voice.
"… I guess." She mused, avoiding his gaze.
"…Well, where are my manners?" M-21 said, cutting through the silence that had fallen between them.
He put down the chairs he was holding up and quickly shortened the distance between them, extending his arm so she could shake his hand. "I wish you good luck for the future, Yuna… I'm sure you'll be great at whatever you choose to do…"
Nothing could have prepared him for what was to come.
His hand stayed motionless in the air for a few seconds, as he waited for her to shake it, but she didn't move a muscle. As he was about to pull it away, afraid he might have offended her in some way, she finally looked back at him and he could see in her eyes, she was struggling with herself for a moment.
In the next though, she closed the distance between them and pulling herself up on her tiptoes, cupped his cheeks in her palms and placed a gentle kiss on his lips.
"Goodbye, Ajussi." She whispered against them; her eyes still closed.
Before she had a chance to disappear from the room though, M-21 caught her hand, spun her around and fully kissed her back.
That was the beginning of the best days of his life and the start of his suffocating guilt.
He smiled bitterly as he recalled the previous night's events. He had come to her apartment in the middle of the night resolved on ending everything between them. He'd practiced every possible scenario, had a reply ready for everything; even her tears.
As much as it would kill him to cause her pain, he knew it was for the best. She had no chance of being happy if he stayed with her. He had to cut himself off from her life for good.
How pathetic of him to think he could resist her…
"Yuna, please…" He tried reasoning with her as she blocked his way out of the apartment; his voice faltering as he noticed her eyes on the brink of tears.
They had spent the last half-hour pleading and even yelling at each other for reason. He could already feel his resolve slipping away. He needed to get away from her fast.
"I'm no good for you." He finally said, his eyes darting to the floor in shame. "I wish I was, but-"
She chuckled bitterly. "Shouldn't I be the judge of that?"
"You don't kno-"
"You're right! I don't know. I don't know a damn thing about you." She said, hiding her face in her hands, unable to hold her tears back any longer. "I don't even know your name… I don't even know your name and still I love you this much…"
The pain in her voice cut through his heart like a blade. Without thinking, he pulled her into his arms in a tight embrace; his face burying itself in her hair as he gently whispered her name.
"Why won't you tell me your name?" She sobbed, gripping his shirt.
"…I'm sorry." He quietly answered back, before silencing her lips with a kiss.
M-21 didn't know how long he stayed awake that night, musing with his thoughts. The rain had long since stopped, and the full moon now bathed the couple upon the bed in its light.
Quietly, so as not to wake her, he started to get out of bed, only to feel Yuna's petite hand suddenly grip his wrist.
"Don't go." She whispered half-asleep.
"I should." He replied quietly.
Slowly shaking her head, she pulled herself closer to him. "Please don't… Please stay with me tonight."
M-21 stared in silence at her peaceful face for a moment before laying back down in bed. Gently kissing her forehead, he closed his eyes, allowing himself to relax at last.
His inner demons were not going to plague him anymore that night.