Notes; Set around 8 years after G-Rev. The book mentioned is an actual book that does not belong to me.

Stagnant
by: zulka

-x-

He could easily see the hesitation in her. It was in her eyes, in the way she bit her lip. She slipped her glasses off.

"I guess…I guess its okay." She said softly.

Standing away from the doorway she let him in. The apartment was small. A small living room, with a sofa and a few armchairs, he could see the kitchen from the doorway and a hallway he knew, lead to the bedrooms and bathroom.

The kitchen table was full of open books and a laptop.

"I was making some tea. Do you want some? Maybe water?"

"Tea is fine."

She nodded. "You can take my bed. I'm not going to sleep tonight and if I do I'll just fall asleep at the table." She chuckled.

He tried to smile.

"Finals?"

"Yeah. I have a ton of papers. One of my roommates finished already. The other is out with her boyfriend. I don't think she'll come home tonight."

He opened his mouth to say something but thinking better of it closed it.

She placed a tea cup in front of him and moved papers and books out of the way. "Sorry it's a mess."

He shook his head.

She sat down and shuffled through some papers. He could hear faint music coming from her laptop. He couldn't distinguish what it was. He ran hand through his tousled hair.

She had put her glasses on again, her hair was in a messy bun and he could see the beginning of shadows beneath her eyes.

"You're working too hard." He told her.

She spared him a glance from the notebook she was leafing through. "It's my second to last quarter. I need to pass all my classes."

"Thanks for letting me spend the night." He told her as he sipped the hot tea. He made a face. He had never liked tea.

"No problem. What are friends for." She answered absentmindedly as she began typing. The clicking of the keyboard distracted him. She typed pretty fast. He watched her then, as she stared at some notes, her glasses slipping down her nose, strands of hair falling down her face, as she continued typing.

"I miss this." He whispered.

The typing stopped abruptly. She looked at him. The same hesitation from earlier was back and he could see it in her eyes. She took her glasses off again. "Let's not go there."

Just like that it was final.

A non-spoken agreement between them when they last saw each other, a few months ago at a BBA Charity Ball.

"I haven't met anyone who enjoys it as much as you do, or who understands what it means to me."

She began typing again. The clicking of the keys filling the room.

"I'm sure you will. Maybe all you need to do is show them how amazing it is." She smiled then. "Remember I used to hate it too. Introduce her to your friends; I'm sure Takao will make her love the sport."

"We broke up."

She didn't look at him. "Did she find out about-"

"Yes."

She sighed then. "Gods," she whispered as she covered her face with her hands. "How?"

"She saw us both come out of the bathroom during the ball. You're lipstick was all over my face and-"

"My dress was so wrinkled." She finished for him. "Of course she'd conclude the obvious." She rested her head on her hand. But she stared at her computer screen and not at him. She didn't ask about her. She couldn't and it wasn't out of shame or regret and that was what bothered her.

"I didn't apologize. I couldn't. I wasn't going to apologize for something I didn't feel bad about." He was staring at her intently.

She stood up and began pacing. "I—I don't regret it." She said finally, her back to him. She heard him sigh in relief. Wheeling around she shot him a glare. "I don't regret it and I don't feel any shame and—and I don't know how I should feel about that!" She closed her eyes and leaned against a counter.

"When I was younger I told myself I would never do something like this. I wouldn't cheat or have anything to do with someone who was already attached. And now look at me, at us. And the worst part is that I don't feel bad." She laughed miserably then.

The tea was cold now. He stared at it, watching his reflection in the liquid.

You and Hiromi! Dammit Kai, don't you guys realize what the hell you're doing? You're both hurting people left and right. Either stop it or go forwards.

Takao was right. He knew that.

There was a loud rumble and the heater turned on.

At length he finally said, "When are your papers due?"

She closed her eyes for a bit. "One is due on Monday. The other two on Wednesday and I have an in-class one on Friday."

Standing up she sat back down on her chair and put her glasses back on. The computer screen had gone black. "Is that why you're here? Because she's gone?"

"No. Whether she was gone or not I would have come anyways."

And she knew that she would have opened the door and let him in regardless. He knew that too. She rested her head on her hands again. Takao was right. Gods, they were both so fucked up.

He stared at her book, Death by Design. Shifting closer, he reached out and took her glasses off. "Let's go to bed." He whispered.

She sighed, looked at him before turning to her books and notes. She felt him kiss her neck and jaw as his hand moved under her shirt and just like that, it began again as she stood up and allowed him to lead her to the bedroom. But they both knew they were still in the same place. They hadn't gotten back together. They just had this thing—whatever it was going on.