So I didn't have my yearly 'first fic of the year' written ahead of time like I usually do each New Year's Eve, so I decided I needed to write one the day of. I wrote this in two, hyperactively-focused hours and alas I have a New Year's fic now! :D
This takes place after the anime, I'd say. These two are dating (or at least trying to) So please enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own ToraDora! :'( Or the OVA :'[
"Whaaaaat? No fair!"
"I know, I'm sorry, Taiga-chan! But Ya-chan has to go to work tonight, even though it's such a special night. But don't worry, you can enjoy it with Ryuu-chan, right?"
"B-B-But that's exactly why you can't leave! I don't want to be alone with him all night!"
"But you're going to stay up and watch the sunrise together, right?"
"W..Well yeah, but..."
"Oy. What the heck are you two chattering about over there?"
The unluckily-inherited malicious glare of Ryuuji Takasu came from the kitchen to lock onto his mother and the person who was at his house so much that she may as well have been his sister.
"Nothing, nothiiing, Ryuu-chan!" His mother sang from the living room as Taiga blushed a deep red and became silent. "Well then, since I won't see you two at the big moment, happy New Year in advance!" She continued, ruffling Taiga's long, dirty blonde hair before making her way over to the kitchen. "Ryuu-chan! Let me give you a New Year's kiss before I head off to work!"
"You already did! Twice! Plus this rice is almost done cooking!"
"Oh poo!" His mother pouted. "Fine then, I'll just kiss Taiga-chan instead."
Ryuuji sighed to himself, not unhappily, as the sounds of cooing and protesting erupted from the living room.
Well, this is certainly a nice way to spend New Year's Eve. Even though it'll just be me and Taiga, that's still a lot better than what it used to be. No wait, that's incredibly better than what it used to be. He recalled all those past years he had stayed home alone on this night. Yasuko always tried to take off every once in a while, but the money she made for working on New Years was too generous to pass up, especially for the Takasu residence and their steadily increasing rent.
Ryuuji would always tell himself that he would uphold the tradition of staying awake all night to see the sun rise on the first morning of the New Year and make the special wish accompanied with the endeavor. Yet he could only remember one year, three years ago, when he had actually upheld that determination. He usually fell asleep around 4AM and next woke up at noon the next day, or he would simply brush off the tradition as lame and go to sleep; even the time three years ago when he had actually made it as far as the sunrise, he failed to prepare an appropriate wish for the event, and the moment when the sun's ray broke the horizon passed over his fruitless efforts.
He wondered if Taiga upheld the same tradition; Kitamura, Haruta and Noto had all told Ryuuji they did, though they all knew Haruta had his gorgeous girlfriend by his side each time for the past several years. Ryuuji used to find himself wondering if Minori ever did it, and he could definitely picture her running on negative hours of sleep just to see the sunrise.
He remembered Ami in school a few days ago saying "What? That's such a weird tradition. I'd never do that. Ami-chan needs her beauty sleep after all!" But there had been something beneath her angelic mask, some lingering curiosity about the tradition that Ryuuji had seen that made him certain he would not be the only one attempting this year.
At last, the rice was finished and Ryuuji began setting up his and Taiga's dinner plates as the whimpering of Taiga from behind him came to an end when Yasuko finally ceased her ruthless cuddling attacks.
"Well, I'll be off then! Happy New Year, you two! Ryuu-chan, make sure you take good care of Taiga-chan!" She called over her shoulder before she walked out and closed the door behind her.
The lingering atmosphere in the living room was now laden with embarrassment; as he stepped in with her dinner, Ryuuji was sure he could hear Taiga's heavy heartbeat.
"Uh..." he cleared his throat, pretending not to have heard his mother's comment, even though most of his neighbors probably had. "Here you go." He said helplessly as he placed her food before her. She said nothing as she stared down at the plate and Ryuuji said his thanks quickly before digging into his own, stuffing food into his mouth as an excuse to not have to speak.
With a sigh that seemed to give the world a handful of new problems escaping from her lips, she slowly picked up her chopsticks, mumbled a prayer, and began eating. There was a lingering silence that carried on then that Ryuuji dared not break, therefore he was extremely thankful for the distant chittering of Inko-chan from his cage, constantly mumbling as though holding a conversation with himself.
The two students ate in silence, which was quite odd for the two of them since there was always something Taiga chose to comment on. But tonight she ate in silence, chewing her food with her head bowed and her bangs hanging over her face to shield her eyes. She looked like a horse that had been trained for years to run in a race that had been discharged moments before the event.
However, what Ryuuji judged as humiliation from Yasuko's previous comment of him having to 'take care of her', he soon discovered the cause of her silence to be the same as his own.
They were both about halfway finished with their meals when Taiga, her trademark clumsiness raising its pathetic head once again, accompanied by a fantastic sneeze, ended up having her spill rice all over her white lace dress.
"Gah! You klutz! Quick, get it off; I'll get a towel. There weren't any toppings on that, were there?" As the boy leapt to his feet and dashed into the kitchen to get a towel, the girl absent-mindedly picked each grain of rice from her dress one by one and placed it back into her bowl. "What are you doing, idiot! You can't eat that now!"
"Why not?" The edge in her voice hinted that she was getting her usual fiery temper back, which somehow relieved Ryuuji. "It's not like it was on the floor or anything. Are you saying that my clothes are dirty, even though I just pulled this from the clean laundry? Oh wait, I suppose that could be right, considering this is the house of a perverted dog..." she trailed off in a mumble.
"What was that last part?"
"You heard me. Now just give me the towel."
"Yeah, yeah." He agreed, tossing it to her as he sat back down. He watched in frustration as Taiga plucked each grain off of her dress and tossed it back onto the table or into her bowl. Well, it's not like she's eating soybeans off the floor like that one time...
When she had finally finished, she stared at her food as though she just realized it was her least favorite thing to eat and did not want it anymore.
Unable to take it anymore, Ryuuji finally snapped.
"Okay. What is it this time?" He sighed, his hopes of having a peaceful New Year's Eve obviously on the verge of being shattered.
"What do you mean 'this time'?" She glowered up at him past the screen of her long hair that spilled out over her shoulders and she hunched over the table. Then she sighed. "My god, you really are the stupidest dog...possibly even moreso than the Baka Chihuahua."
"Hah? Why the hell's that?" He raised his voice, not in anger, but more about the fact that he was currently being measured as 'stupider than Kawashima' in Taiga's book; in other words, really bad.
"Because...you're just...gah! You are so stupid!" She shouted.
"Calm down. Why are you shouting?" He felt his sanity being hurled out the window, as it often was with her.
"I'm shouting so that I can be sure you know the extent of your stupidity! Idiot!"
"You're the idiot here! The landlady's gonna skyrocket our rent again for causing such a racket!" He whimpered in dismay.
"Huh? Who the hell cares about that? This is why you're such a stupid dog!"
"You still haven't told me why you're upset!"
"I never said I was upset!"
"You obviously are!"
"No I'm not!"
The two of them were now panting for breath as they continued to yell at one another; how they always managed to get into the stupidest arguments over the pettiest little things always dumbfounded him.
"Taiga." He said in a more level tone. "Come on. How long have we been...going out?" She flinched at those words, but he continued on. "And we've basically been living together for even longer than that. I know when something's not right; you make it completely obvious. So why don't you just spare us both the drama and tell me?"
Taiga raised her head to lock her stunning chestnut gaze on his delinquent-like eyes; he was taken aback to see her angry glare and the light cherry blush on her cheeks.
"You...Idiot!" She cried out. "That's exactly what's wrong!" Her shouts were turning into wails now.
"What?" Now he was just plain confused.
"It...It's because...It's because this is the first time we're spending New Year's together as a couple!" She declared at last.
It took her bashful statement to finally hammer the issue into his skull.
Oh. I get it now. Ryuuji was now aware of just how oblivious he had been being up until this point; no wonder she had become so flustered and frustrated. It was their first New Year's together as what society called 'boyfriend and girlfriend'. He had not taken into account that this night was going to be completely different than any other, nor had he taken into account her feelings on the matter.
Honestly, Ryuuji just assumed it would be another night with his freeloading companion. She must have been fiddling her thumbs since yesterday with nervousness for tonight. No matter how fearful a tiger can be, a tiger is still a cat, and the Palmtop Tiger is still just a girl. And I bet Yasuko's comment didn't help her to calm down much. Another moment of silence drifted by between them and Taiga got her breath back and tried to stop her shoulders from shaking.
"I see." Ryuuji said simply.
"You get it now, you mongrel?" She mumbled, mortified at the fact that she had to spell it out for him.
"I get it, I get it." He confirmed in understanding. But a 'humph!' growled out from her throat as Taiga slammed her small fist on the table.
"I don't think you do." She huffed. "Don't you realize what...what...uuh..." Again, she trailed off, whimpering.
"You're being ambiguous again. Why don't you just tell me-...ah..."
Taiga looked up at him as Ryuuji finally seemed to comprehend the source of her troubles.
Ryuuji wanted to smack himself in the face. Damn! I really am a moron!
It was New Year's Eve. The secular night where every couple kissed within relatively the same timeframe.
Aahh crap. Now it's going to be awkward.
They sighed unanimously and Taiga leaned forward and crashed her forehead onto the table, hiding her face and burying it in her arms.
"O-Oy. That sounded like it hurt."
"...It did." She sniffled.
"Okay, okay." He desperately grasped this opportunity to try and change the subject. "Hey, come on, eat something. It's gonna go to waste."
"I'm not hungry." She mumbled.
Ryuuji was silent.
"Hey, are you sick?"
"Hah?" She lifted her face from off the table slightly to send an icy stare his way.
"You never refuse to eat."
"Aw, shut up."
Ryuuji sighed again. Getting to his feet, he cleaned up his plates and let her alone for the moment. He figured she would eat when he left, but he returned to find her plate untouched. Knowing it would be wasted effort to try and persuade her any further, Ryuuji quietly took her dishes and brought them into the kitchen. He wrapped them carefully to keep them as leftovers later, even though it was a shame to let the freshness be wasted.
As he reentered the living room, he found her gradually raising her head and lifting her hands to her face. She rubbed her eyes, her cheeks puffy and red, before she sniffed once and straightened up a bit.
"What is it?"
"What is it?" He repeated.
After retrieving her dinner and unwrapping it one minute after it had been put away, Taiga scoffed down the food when it was placed before her again.
This girl... Ryuuji thought helplessly.
The rest of the evening was passed on a thankfully improved atmosphere as they whittled away the hours playing video games and other mindless things. They got so engulfed in one game that they almost missed the big moment when the clock struck 12.
At 11:58, Ryuuji suddenly shouted when he saw the time, causing Taiga to jump.
"What? What? Why are you screaming all of a sudden, idiot!"
"T-Taiga! We have two minutes left!"
"Huh?" Glancing at the clock, it seemed Taiga had forgotten exactly what day and time it was. After a few seconds, a look of horror flashed onto her face.
"U...Uwaaahh! R-Ryuuji! W-W-Wh-What do we do?"
"C-Calm down!" He stiffened up. His mind was telling him, Technically, it's not like we have to do anything, you know. But then again, I think it would be nice to... "Okay. Just calm down."
"H-H-H-How am I supposed to calm down? What am I supposed to do? I don't want to do this!" Her outburst hurt him on the inside a little bit before Ryuuji finally came to his senses. Ahh...what am I doing?
"S...Sorry, Taiga. I just got caught up in the moment." He said in a more gentle tone as the clock raised its minute.
"Huh?" She flicked her chestnut eyes up at him, seeming a little less frantic now. "W...What are you saying? Do you...not...want..."
Ryuuji blushed as he guessed where she was going with this.
"N-No!" He declared firmly Then, his voice softened a bit and he slid a centimeter closer to her. "Of course that's not what I meant. I just...don't want this to be...forced, you know?"
"Mm." She nodded in agreement. "I-It's not like we have to do this or anything. I don't want to feel like we have to do this just because every other couple in the world is doing it right now..." her face was cherry red again, and she was bowing her head slightly.
"Hey." Ryuuji slid even closer and dared to place a hand on her small shoulder; he felt her tense up like a rolly-polly bug. "Taiga." She made a small sound like an injured kitten as he slid his finger under her chin and lifted her face up. He stared down into her watery eyes, a sight he had seen far too often within the past year. But only twice before had he seen the hidden emotion in her irises so strongly portrayed.
Although she was trembling and her body seemed to ache with nervousness, her eyes were telling him everything her voice could not manage to. Completely forgetting the clock, Ryuuji waited patiently as she gathered herself.
"You don't have to rush." He chuckled lightly.
"S-Shut up! I have to...make this...i-it has to be good, okay?"
Ryuuji had read about scenes like this in the books they read for school, and seen them on dramas and TV shows; he had even had one opportunity like this with her, his future wife.
As he looked at her, he could see her striving to blinked her eyes up at him; he had discovered that that was her sign to him that she was ready.
The clock seemed frozen on 11:59, as if waiting just for her, when at last she lifted her head and nodded up at him. He gave a small smile and reached out with his other hand to caress her cheek. Of all the times he had spent with her, the times when she was like this were his absolute favorites. Of course she was exceedingly cute whenever she was flustered, but the times he could remember her being so irresistibly adorable were limited to being counted on one hand.
He felt her inhale a shaky breath before she closed her eyes and straightened up as much as she could to meet him; he closed his eyes as well and leaned down.
As the clock switched to 12:00, their lips pressed together ever so slightly.
Ryuuji felt Taiga flinch and almost recoil, but to his surprise, she stood her ground against her own flustered emotions and stayed where she was; obviously she was determined to keep her promise and give Ryuuji a New Year's to remember.
Hesitantly, she kissed back, still slightly unsure about the foreign sensation on her lips she only got to experience a few times previously. He still tasted faintly of rice and Taiga's lips curled up slightly into a smile. Her hands found their ways to his where they rested on her shoulder and cheek and she placed her palms on the backs of his hands.
Ryuuji squeezed her shoulder a bit tighter as he carefully pulled her up toward him, and she took the silent hint and strained up to meet him.
They held their loving kiss for almost a full minute, more intoxicated by the love between them than any amount of oxygen. Neither of them wanted to part now that they had finally gotten so close, but her tiny body and thus small lungs did not allow Taiga to hold out for long until she was applying pressure on the back of his hands, begging for air. Ryuuji finished up the kiss quickly before he reluctantly pulled back.
Taiga tried to suppress her desperate gasp for air as his hands slid away from hers, and she felt the warmth on her face and shoulder disappear. She slowly re-opened her eyes and tried her best to look his way, although she found her gaze flickering away more often than she wanted it to.
Ryuuji was still lost in the previous moment and was only pulled out of it when her small voice said, "Happy New Year, Ryuuji." He blinked in surprise as he felt the blood rush to his face before he brought himself to smile too.
"You too. Happy New Year, Taiga."
Her face turned red again and she squeaked as she ducked her head to hide her blush. "S-So now what?"
"Well..." he scratched his head, trying to savor the sensation her lips had left on his. "We could try to stay up until sunrise and then make wishes."
"Have you even done it before?"
"No. Not correctly, anyway." He admitted.
"As expected from this hopeless dog of mine." This time, there was more affection in her voice than anything else; Ryuuji rather liked that sound, especially the 'mine' part.
"Want to give it a shot?"
"Of course! I'm all fired up now-!" Just as she finished speaking, she realized what she had said, squealed, and hid her face once more. Ryuuji could not hold back his laugh; at least he now knew that she had enjoyed the kiss just as much as he had.
"S-Stop laughing!" She complained.
"Sorry." He smirked. "Well, we've got about six hours to go so...let's start where we left off with the video games."
They picked up their controllers and continued the game they had been playing at the end of the past year. For nearly two hours, they kept themselves awake by keeping the lights on and their eyes glued to the screen of the TV. Taiga proposed a challenge for their racing game, best 30 out of 50, which took up a great deal of the time; in the end, she beat him.
Once their retinas began to burn, they moved on to other things; Ryuuji cleaned the living room while Taiga read a magazine, cover to cover.
Around 3AM was when it started getting tough. They both kept glancing at the clock every other moment, only to despair that they still had 3 hours to go. Once, a bickering session even saved them from falling asleep.
At 4, Ryuuji noticed that she was fading fast and made a suggestion.
"The same thing happened around this time three years ago when I stayed up, so you know what works? Taking a shower."
"Huh? Wouldn't that just..." a yawn interrupted her. "make you even more tired?"
"Hm. Maybe some people, but it really woke me up. I'm gonna give it a shot."
"W-Wait! How will I stay awake by myself?"
"Try playing with Inko-chan for a bit."
"Guh." Though she made a disgusted face, the Palmtop Tiger went to retrieve the birdcage nonetheless as Ryuuji got a change of clothes and went into the bathroom. He emerged several moments later, completely refreshed to find Taiga barely conscious beside the birdcage with the parakeet squawking above her.
"O-Oy, Taiga! Go take a shower."
"H-Huh?" she mumbled, wiping her eyes. "Oh."
"On second thought, maybe you shouldn't. Knowing you, you'd trip over something and knock yourself out.
"What was that?" Just as he thought, irking her certainly seemed to wake her up a bit. "No way. I'm not gonna fall asleep before sunrise. That'd be like cheating."
"Are you sure you can make it?"
"Don't underestimate your master." She huffed, stalking past him.
Ryuuji sat on the floor and flicked on the TV to distract himself from slumber as he waited for Taiga to finish. He heard the water come on and listened carefully for any cries or loud crashes but none came.
After ten minutes, he wondered if she had simply fallen asleep quietly, but just as he was about to call in to check up on her, the water stopped. She emerged a moment later in the same white dress and long socks as before, her long hair now turned brown and dripping through the towel she had wrapped around it.
"So? Think you can make it now?" He wondered.
"Half of me wants to stay up and the other half wants to go back into the shower forever."
"Well, that is how people normally feel about showers, isn't it?"
"I guess. But I'll stay up. What time is it?"
Too exhausted to play video games or read any more, they decided to play verbal games. Another small quarrel erupted when Taiga disagreed with Ryuuji's "I Spy" choice of Inko being teal rather than green, and before they knew it, it was 5:30.
The worst part of the night was over, and now there was this sense in the air that there was not much more to go, and even if there was, most of the fatigue was gone now; their bodies had somehow gained energy off the lack of sleep.
They began to get restless as the sky turned from black to gray with the most palest of light in the distance beginning to creep into the velvet ocean; the moon still hung like a cat's claw, shifting slowly.
"Wanna go outside?" Ryuuji suggested.
Taiga's only response was a muffled sound and a nod.
Ryuuji retrieved his green jacket and a dark blue scarf, glancing over at Taiga as he put them on.
"Should I go over to my house to get a jacket?" She mumbled without really thinking about what she was saying.
"How would that help anything, idiot? Go over to your house with no jacket to get a jacket? No, just wear one of Yasuko's." He dug through a closet and pulled out the smallest trench coat available, a pale, pink-colored one.
She fumbled to get her arms into place like fish out of water, so Ryuuji held it open for her as she slipped it on. Her fingers were too flimsy to function with the buttons so Ryuuji took care of those for her as well. When he fastened the last one, he pulled out a red scarf of his mother's and draped it around her neck snugly. Then they slid on their shoes.
"Okay, let's head out."
She nodded groggily in agreement as she followed him to the door. Of course, her clumsiness kicked in again and she stumbled, colliding with his back. "Whoa, easy!" Ryuuji quickly turned around to catch her and steadied her until she found her balance. "Come on, it's not much longer now. Promise."
She looked up at him with partially-closed eyes as if her mind was processing his words like a broken search engine before she nodded.
Walking slowly, Ryuuji gradually led her down the steps to the ground outside. The breeze was cold, but not frigid, so it refreshed them, waking them up a bit more. They sat down on a bench on the sidewalk beneath a streetlight in between their two homes and waited.
For several moments, no cars passed by, no birds were chirping yet, and no distant voices or traffic sounds were heard; it was utter silence.
Neither of them wanted to break it either as the sky turned brighter, so they shuffled closer together on the cold bench.
Taiga suppressed a shiver as best she could, but Ryuuji still noticed. "Crap. Is your hair still wet?"
"Mm mm." She shook her head. "It's just a little chilly." She shifted her hands in her lap. Ryuuji smiled as he took her subtle hint and he reached forward and took her hands in his. Her small fists slowly loosened in his warm palms and she allowed herself to push closer to him.
"Do you know what you're going to wish for?" He asked her
"Am I allowed to tell?" She asked, titling her head to one side.
"I think that rule only applies to birthday wishes."
"Okay. Then I'll tell you afterward." She decided.
About ten minutes later, the sky turned a pale pink, like Yasuko's trench coat that currently shielded Taiga from the breeze; before long, the sun's rays were beginning to peak above the horizon.
The two stared in awe for a little while at the sheer beauty of the scene; the dawn just barely breaking, the cool, fresh air, the warmth of the other person.
As the sun climbed higher, Ryuuji felt a tug on his sleeve and he looked down at her and nodded.
Taiga reversed their hands' positions, doing her best to hold his in her own small palms as she pulled his hands toward her chest, pulling him down to her. Ryuuji blinked at her before she closed her eyes.
They kissed just as the sun broke free from its nighttime chains, illuminating their silhouettes.
Taiga squeezed his hands tightly, as though swearing in her mind at that moment that she would never let them go.
Soon, he felt her getting weaker, from a combination of fatigue and lack of air, so Ryuuji gently nudged her back a little.
Their kiss ended all too soon as they let some distance in between them.
"So. What was your wish?" He wondered playfully. But obviously, it was no game to Taiga; she turned red again and he guessed that she had put her heart fully into this wish.
"It...It's just that...well I-I know we'll have a lot more arguments in the future because of me so...I-I wished to always make up with you no matter what!" She announced, her eyes squeezed shut.
Ryuuji never expected to be as touched as he felt; he knew there was a possibility her wish might involve him, but he did not know she would wish for something like that. Aside from a prayer that she could improve herself, it also suggested that she assumed they would be staying together for a long time to come, enough to quarrel to have her use her New Year's wish for it.
"S-S-So what did you wish for?" She squeaked, embarrassed.
"Huh...ah...well...p-pretty much the same thing." Now it was Ryuuji's turn to be embarrassed.
"Hm?" She tilted her head to the side questioningly.
"W-Well...I wished that...that Yasuko continues to be happy with her job and that Inko-chan stops shedding so much...but..." he could see from the look in her eyes that she was slightly hurt. Well obviously she would be, especially if I was only thinking about other people while kissing her. "But more than anything else..." he gathered his bearings and smiled at her. "I wished for you to be happy."
As he spoke his final words, he heard her draw in a soft gasp. Her grasp on his hands tightened as she pulled them to her chest again.
"Taiga." He smiled. Her eyes were tearing up, but before the tears could fall, she threw herself forward at him and locked her arms around his shoulders.
"Ryuuji! I love you!" She blurted out whole-heartedly. He was fairly shocked at the sudden declaration and hug on her part, but he was not about to be outdone just yet.
"I love you too, Taiga!" He shouted. He reached out and wrapped his arms around her back and waist. He embraced her tightly, pulling her into his chest and never intending to let go.
Warmth flooded over them both; Taiga curled into his lap and nuzzled her face into his shoulder. After a moment of sheer bliss, he heard her hiccuping and realized she was crying. He smiled and patted her golden hair down her back as her body trembled with sobs; he could feel her heart beating rhythmically against him.
Time froze just for them, it seemed.
Finally, Ryuuji felt her grip around his neck relax and he soon discovered that she had fallen asleep in his arms. He gently shifted her into his lap and lifted her bridal style. He looked lovingly down at her face; though her cheeks were wet with tear trails, but her smile was the most blissful thing he had ever seen.
He bent down and kissed her forehead and white puffs clouded around her as she breathed softly.
Carefully, he carried her back inside and laid her on the cushions of the tatami mats. He left a note to his mother who should be home soon, about the food for her in the fridge and he slid off his jacket and scarf while gingerly taking Yasuko's coat and scarf from Taiga as not to wake her.
He glanced at the clock and decided to get as much sleep as he could before his mother came home; perhaps she would even be sober enough to stay quiet long enough for him to get some decent sleep.
Ryuuji considered going into his room but brushed the thought off as idiotic and laid down beside Taiga instead. Wrapping his arms around her small body, he pulled her closer again, kissing the top of her head. She made a small sound in her sleep, and as he rested his chin atop her head, he heard her mumble his name too.
He pulled her as close as possible and closed his eyes, listening to her steady breathing.
I promise, Taiga. I'll always be here for you. And I promise I'll always make you happy, no matter what. He vowed as he fell into slumber beside her.
Outside, the sun rose and overtook the moon, symbolizing the start of a new year, bound to bring with it new quarrels and new affectionate moments for the tiger and the dragon.
A/N: Hope you liked it! Like I said, I wrote this like 3 hours before posting it so it was kinda rushed but I did try my best :3
Well, happy New Year everyone! It's the year of the Dragon so be nice to Ryuuji!