If she were to highlight a singular characteristic of Zen-chan that she found most intriguing, it would be his eyes.
It was not so much as the hue of his blue irises nor its shape, but a combination of both that expressed so much raw intensity whenever he was agitated. In Zen-chan's honest gaze she could see a wild beast being restrained by its owner's sensibilities.
She had to wonder if Kurokami Medaka knew of the primal impulses Zen-chan put to sleep.
Even by the standards of an Abnormal, Medaka saw things abnormally. It was why she could so casually disregard important matters as trivial. Despite how much Medaka grew, despite her overflowing love for everyone and especially Zen-chan, that one trait that made Medaka stand above them all was still there.
Kurokami Medaka was still an existence from a different plane peering into theirs. Her hands stretched from her surface, reaching out and manipulating theirs.
She was a very curious woman that sought to understand everyone around her.
It was a simple fact that everyone except Kurokami Medaka herself knew. Even Zen-chan's stubbornness had accepted this one fact.
No, more than that, Zen-chan embraced it because, after all, it was what made her Kurokami Medaka, his childhood friend and the woman he fell in love with. Zen-chan's own hands reached out to Medaka, grasping them tightly and never letting go – never letting her drift alone in her own orbit no matter how much it scorched him to hold her because Zen-chan knew that, above everything else, Medaka-chan did not want to be alone.
He was a very stubborn man that continued to love Kurokami Medaka.
Youka understood this.
However, Youka also understood how many frustrations Zen-chan bottled inside him because of this.
More than that, Youka reveled in the knowledge that Zen-chan housed so many frustrations. What would happen if Zen-chan let himself loose?
Could Medaka truly understand what precipitated the episode, or would she merely accept it as another part of Zen-chan and never spend a second thought to ponder why? Worse still, would Medaka once more calculate Zen-chan's worth?
Kurokami Medaka could be an incredibly selfish woman without even realizing it, after all. Zen-chan could not hold on to Kurokami Medaka if she tore off his arms.
Regardless, Medaka's reaction to Zen-chan's inevitable breakdown should the pair travel through their shared lives as they were now was inconsequential to what Naze Youka had planned. What was important was that such bitterness existed because, after all, something needs to exist in order to be exploited.
And Naze Youka was a master of exploiting every single morsel of misery to get what she wanted.
Medaka's heart raced with excitement as she bended over the wooden stall, effortlessly balancing the weight of her considerable bust with her two elbows as she held the rifle steadily.
"So, we just have to knock down the prize we want?" Incredibly curious carmine eyes drifted to her side where Zenkichi's face was not that far from her own.
"That's right." Zenkichi agreed as he watched Medaka grin in excitement.
Already, Zenkichi knew what it was that she wanted as she aimed her cork rifle at the stuffed puppy gazing at its would-be owners with dewy eyes. The eyes were truly overkill to a fervent lover of animals like Medaka-chan.
Worse still, almost all the animals shared the stuffed puppy's eyes; the kitten, the llama, the koi, the panda, and even the snake at the lowest shelf that required some maneuvering to target all sent 'hug me' pleas to every passer-by. And it wasn't just the eyes as well; Zenkichi could appreciate the quality of the materials used to create the fine doll. Truly, these dolls must have cost a fortune for a shop such as this.
Needless to say, Medaka-chan's attention was successfully caught.
That was the point, of course. At three shots per attempt, firing a cork at a stuffed toy sounded like child's play. However, an experienced player of such festival games knew there was always a catch. In this case, the proviso was all-too obvious. A cork rifle with extremely limited firepower against a stuffed doll was a recipe that made physics sniff in disdain at all those that attempted. It did make the shopkeeper a happy man, however.
Not for long, Zenkichi thought as his blue eyes spied the smug owner. His eyes trailed back at his woman, who was eagerly choosing her target before finally, as he predicted, settling her sights on the stuffed puppy; Zenkichi grinned. You've never met a woman like Medaka-chan.
"That one!" Medaka declared excitedly and let the cork loose with a loud pop.
The shopkeeper inwardly smirked, "Good luck, miss-", and gaped when the puppy fell from its place. "-y…eh?!"
"I got it!" Medaka whooped with a manic grin on her face as she turned towards the proud Zenkichi. "I got it, Zenkichi!"
"Congratulations, Medaka-chan." Zenkichi wrapped an arm around her waist and drew her closer, making the young woman blush at her fiancée's intimacy.
"Ah, right." The shopkeeper shook off his bewilderment as he placed the doll in front of the animated woman. "Congratulations!"
Zenkichi had the sneaking suspicion that the man waved Medaka's feat as a lucky chance. If only he knew…
"Thanks!" Medaka grinned in satisfaction, quickly pecking Zenkichi on the cheek in her elation and causing him to redden at the unexpectedness of her affection, before setting her sights on the kitten this time. "I shall be taking that one next!"
When the shopkeeper's lips twitched into the slightest frown, Zenkichi realized the man was a subscriber to the 'once bitten, twice shy' philosophy.
With another audible pop, Medaka was once more awarded with a stuffed kitten to go with her puppy.
"This is fun, Zenkichi!" Medaka squealed as she held both dolls close to her breasts.
"Isn't it?" Zenkichi grinned happily for Medaka and pulled his childhood friend even closer towards his warmth. It was his turn to brush his lips against her smooth flesh, an act that made the redness in Medaka's cheeks deepen to such a shade that Zenkichi wondered if she could grow any more red.
"I think I want all of these!" Medaka muttered to him eagerly, her carmine gaze tracing every doll on display with a childish hunger. It was apparent to both Zenkichi and the shopkeeper that Medaka was very serious.
The shopkeeper's heart sank at the woman's declaration and he hastily attempted to sway the excited woman from running him out of business. With a practiced smile that conveyed no ill will, he spoke, "Missy, I don't think you and your boyfriend will be able to carry all of these and enjoy the festival."
Medaka, as usual, did not see the problem. "I can claim my prizes later, can I not?"
"That's-" The man's brows creased as he struggled to think up an excuse. "-…I might have to leave in a few minutes."
"I can wait."
"I meant I'll have to close shop!" the man stammered. "It's getting late, and I have a while to travel so I can't hold on to these dolls for you."
"Ah, I see." Medaka nodded in understanding, and for a moment the shopkeeper thought she bought into his white lie. Zenkichi merely shook his head as he waited for Medaka to continue. With an eager smile, Medaka turned to her companion. "Zenkichi," she started, and Zenkichi already had an inkling where this was going. "Would you mind holding my prizes after I win them while I search for neesama? I'm sure she wouldn't mind carrying these dolls if I ask her."
"…" The shopkeeper sunk back on his seat with a hollow thud; Zenkichi mused that the sound must have reflected how the man felt.
Fortunately, Zenkichi had already anticipated this unfolding scene. With a husky voice, and his hand wandering down the curve of Medaka's hip to trace the inward curve of her thigh, he whispered to his fiancée, "I don't mind, Medaka-chan." He was delighted by the way Medaka's body trembled at his ministrations, and the way her head sank; it seemed Medaka could flush even redder. "However, if you did that, what will happen to the other people that want to bring home stuffed dolls?"
"But I want these dolls." Medaka whined with a displeased frown, and tried to pry herself from Zenkichi's distracting heat; his grip wouldn't relent, and Medaka's heart pounded at his sudden assertiveness. Was he challenging her? "Zenkichi?"
"How about this, Medaka-chan," There was no mistaking the challenge in Zenkichi's tone, and the pounding of her heart intensified with her delight. "You've got one shot left. If you can hit that snake next, then I'll agree to your request."
"That sounds too simple, Zenkichi." Medaka's eyes narrowed in suspicion, though the act only made her look more endearing in Zenkichi's eyes. With any luck, he would see more of this side to his Medaka-chan when this was over; she hadn't rejected his proposition, after all.
"Are you backing down, Medaka-chan?" He teased her with a triumphant sort of grin.
Medaka merely grinned in excitement, and declared her intent with two simple words. "Watch me."
"Oh, I intend to." He grinned at her wildly.
The young Kurokami stood on the tips of her sandals as she hefted more of her body over the high wooden table that distanced her from the wonderful, wonderful dolls. Her hips flexed and rose even higher, squishing more of her breasts as she set her sights on Zenkichi's target. Despite marring the pristineness of her kimono – it would surely be a bit crinkled after this, but nothing a few pats could not straighten; this was for a good cause, anyway – and feeling the cool night's breeze brush its lips her exposed nape, Medaka's breath stilled as her finger brushed the surface of the trigger to more fluffy happiness.
Zenkichi was forced to bend over as well as his hold on Medaka never wavered despite her awkward shuffling. Medaka didn't mind; she enjoyed the intimacy of their contact. It warmed her inside to feel him so close.
"I'm ready." She muttered to him, cheeks still flushed. She willed the butterflies in her stomach to momentarily still while her carmine eyes focused on the doll.
Zenkichi waited patiently until; finally, he was presented with the perfect moment to strike. His blue eyes gleamed wickedly and, with the speed of an attacking snake, kissed her exposed nape while his hand simultaneously brushed against that spot where her thigh ended.
"Ah!" Medaka gasped as her body reflexively tensed at the sudden brazen touch; Zenkichi quickly withdrew his wandering hand at having felt something expected. Her eyes frantically darted towards the stuffed snake which, to her horror, remained on the shelf. With a face redder than anything Zenkichi has ever seen, Medaka's angry gaze snapped at him as she glowered, "Zenkichi! You made me miss!"
Zenkichi's face was red with embarrassment and surprise at one unexpected surprise. Despite this, he calmly, if a bit shakily, dipped his head closer to Medaka's, pressing their foreheads together with a triumphant smile. "Well, it's your fault for exposing yourself so much. I couldn't resist; you look so beautiful tonight, Medaka-chan."
"Th-that's-!" Medaka stammered at the sudden compliment from her fiancée. Her eyes scanned the dolls once more longingly before sighing sadly. With her features softening, Medaka whispered in disappointment, "I lost, didn't I? Despite the uh, tactics," they both blushed, "that you, uh, used," it was a very unusual occurrence to hear Medaka stammer so much; she must have truly been embarrassed, and Zenkichi, recalling what exactly his fingers hadn't felt, figured he knew why, "it doesn't change the fact that I lost."
Medaka's eyes traced the dolls once again before finally resting on Zenkichi's blue orbs and, with a sad pout, whispered, "Can I really not have them all?"
All of a sudden, Zenkichi's heart ached.
And he was scared. Zenkichi was scared that he had the power to make Medaka feel such sadness… and he was scared at the small part of him that reveled in such power – to make Kurokami Medaka feel.
But this was something Zenkichi refused to ponder, and he violently buried it away from his thoughts before it physically manifested. He had normal sensibilities, and he would never place himself upon high pedestal no matter how much hardships or how many successes he met. To revel in such power would lead to exploiting it, and he could not bring himself to sink that low – that wasn't love, after all.
In fact, one could even call such an act as rape.
Zenkichi inwardly shuddered and banished such thoughts, focusing on the now.
Truthfully, Zenkichi was content with Medaka running wild and being true to herself. It wasn't Medaka's fault that she was so capable. If this were in Hakoniwa Academy, Zenkichi would have been more than happy to let his fiancée cut loose.
However, this wasn't Hakoniwa Academy. The adult world operated differently from that sandbox. Medaka shouldn't roam free without regard for how her actions affected her surroundings. She had already sent many a man to their early graves through her tactlessness, after all.
Not that she knew. Zenkichi was fearful of the day when Medaka, his well-meaning but overzealous Medaka, would see the other side of her crusade. When that day came, however, Zenkichi was prepared to do everything to help Medaka through that ordeal.
But that was problem for another time.
Medaka's despondent yearning was a problem now; in the present.
Zenkichi cleared his throat. His arm was still wrapped around Medaka's waist, though his hand had retreated from its early distraction. At some point in his musings, Medaka had curled into his side, no doubt in an attempt to coerce him into letting her have another go. "Well, you've got your kitten and your puppy."
"But I want all of them." Medaka whined and gestured her hand at the dolls.
The shopkeeper's lips pursed in thought as he silently watched the exchange.
Ignoring the man, Zenkichi tried to reason with his fiancée. He knew why she was acting like this, of course. Unlike their live counterparts, these animals didn't flee in Medaka's presence, and so the youngest Kurokami could hug and squeeze these dolls to her heart's content. But still…
Zenkichi pulled away from their embrace and cupped both Medaka's hands in his own, drawing the attention of her curious carmine eyes. He smiled at her sincerely, and the intensity of his blue eyes caused Medaka's heart to flutter.
"It's alright, Medaka-chan. I'll take you to the arcade where they'll have more stuffed dolls." He assured her softly, slowly pulling her arms above and beyond his shoulders. Medaka reflexively wrapped her arms around his neck when Zenkichi held her so very tenderly. "And besides… this gives us an excuse to visit again next year, and the year after next, and so on."
Dewy carmine eyes slowly became hopeful, and she whispered to him softly, "Do you promise me, Zenkichi?"
"I promise, Medaka-chan." He promised her seriously with a confident smile. "We can fill up your house with as many stuffed animals as you want. No," Zenkichi shook his head suddenly, and Medaka flushed at the way his eyes saw only her. "Our future home, Medaka-chan."
Once more, Medaka was stunned by Zenkichi's declaration.
Their home. Zenkichi was already making plans for their home. In hindsight, she shouldn't really be surprised by this revelation considering who her fiancée was, but…
She had never given their marriage much thought beyond the certainty that Zenkichi will be forever by her side, for better or for worse, once the knot was tied.
With a warm smile, Medaka rested her temple against the crook of Zenkichi's neck. Her eyes trailed towards the shopkeeper. "Well, it appears I can't take all of them this time." She told him kindly and without any sense of remorse, not when Zenkichi had satisfied her so.
The shopkeeper nodded his head, inwardly relieved that he had managed to avoid losing his business. Still, as he watched the pair, he couldn't help but feel ashamed for deceiving the beautiful young woman, and grateful to the young man. With a heavy breath, he stood from his seat and took the snake from its perch.
"Here, missy. You can have him." He said, handing her the toy. With a toothy grin, he explained to the stunned woman, "Not a lot of people like this fella here, y'know? Think of him as a consolation prize."
He wondered if this was the right thing to do but, when Kurokami Medaka flashed him a winning smile, he felt that it didn't matter anymore. That man beside her must have had the devil's luck to land himself a woman like her.
"Thank you!" Medaka cradled the snake as it joined her other dolls. Blinking with sudden clarity, she craned her head upwards to tell Zenkichi with a mischievous smile, "Well, it appears I managed to acquire the snake."
A pin would have echoed loudly in the silence her words brought as both Zenkichi and the shopkeeper blinked stupidly.
"…That's right." Zenkichi nodded slowly in disbelief.
The grin on Medaka's lips never faded even as she let loose a barking laugh at both their expressions. "Don't worry, Zenkichi!" She assured her fiancée. "Just as you said, we'll need an excuse to visit next time."
"Ah, right!" Zenkichi flushed in embarrassment at being reminded by her. Shaking his head, Zenkichi smiled at her warmly. "We'll come again next time. For now, we've got other shops to visit, right?"
Faced with Zenkichi's smile, Medaka felt her cheeks redden once more, and she ducked her head shyly. She blinked, wondering where such a reflex came from.
With a grateful nod at the shopkeeper, the couple left with their spoils.
Youka licked her lips with wicked anticipation.
The former Kurokami had stalked after the pair. When she saw the couple stop by the shooting stand, Youka knew she would see a flash of the depravity Zenkichi kept in bay.
She was thrilled at not being proven wrong.
Medaka may have missed it and Zenkichi may deny ever feeling it, but Youka saw it. She saw the way Zenkichi almost pushed Medaka's emotions too far for his own enjoyment; she saw the shock on Zenkichi's face when he realized how much the act of denying Medaka such a simple pleasure had hurt her.
It was edging towards the time for the fireworks to light the sky when Zenkichi and Medaka settled themselves in a secluded part of the shrine overlooking the plaza.
"I had a lot of fun tonight, Zenkichi." Medaka told him excitedly, her hair bouncing with her movement. She spun, facing away from him as she rested her hands on the small of her back and danced on the ball of her feet, recounting the evening's rhapsody with a thoughtful smile.
Watching her, Zenkichi couldn't help but smile back. Medaka looked genuinely happy, and though he was tired from the night's festivities, he couldn't help but feel it was all worth it just to see her like this.
"I'm glad, Medaka-chan." He told her sincerely. A dry grin etched itself on his face as he, too, reminisced their jaunt. "I think we made an impression, though."
Medaka flushed and glared at him out of the corner of her eyes.
"That's because you wouldn't let go of me!"
Zenkichi couldn't help but grin inwardly at her embarrassment; this was such a huge reversal from the Medaka-chan of last year.
"Well, I didn't see you pulling away." He teased her and was delighted when her glare abruptly ceased.
Slowly facing him, Medaka approached him with sure but quiet steps, her kimono rustling with the movement. "That's because I don't want to." She told him softly, stopping before her fiancée and reaching upwards to cup his cheek. Her carmine eyes were shimmering splendidly under the moonlight. "Don't ever leave me, Zenkichi. I want you to stay by my side." She pecked his chin as if to bind this contract. "Always."
Zenkichi's hand cupped hers; Medaka was worried by how nervous they were.
"I'm not going anywhere without you, Medaka-chan." He told her, though Medaka could feel his voice wavering. "No matter where you go, I'll always come after you."
Medaka's eyes suddenly watered, and Zenkichi panicked; he had no way of knowing this was because of the tête-a-tête Medaka shared with her older sister.
"You won't come after me, Zenkichi." Medaka told him slowly, drawing him closer towards her. "You've always been chasing after me – all these years." Her heart ache as she recalled every time Zenkichi stepped up for her, and every time she had belittled his efforts because she thought it was perfectly normal. "Zenkichi… this time, I'll chase after you."
She breathed in his scent, and smiled lovingly when her nose caught the muskiness of his sweat. Feeling lightheaded, she murmured to him softly, "Thanks for all your hard work, anata."
Zenkichi flushed deeply at the seductiveness of her whisper and at the unexpectedness of Medaka suddenly referring to him by the proper honorific for a husband. He could already feel his honest body reacting to her presence no matter how hard he tried to suppress it. Red with embarrassment, Zenkichi's heart pounded anxiously as he knew Medaka would soon notice his current predicament. "Medaka-chan, I-"
With a beautiful flush on her cheeks, Medaka took both of Zenkichi's hands in hers and drew them southward to rest on the curves of her firm rear, making whatever protests her fiancée was about to spout die at the tip of his tongue. She smiled at him brilliantly, wrapping her arms around his neck and drawing him close.
Zenkichi's self-control almost shattered when he realized that Medaka's stomach, while firm, was still incredibly soft against the hardness of his length and, despite the thickness of her kimono, a pair of pert peaks still poked at his pecs.
"I'm tired of waiting, Zenkichi." Medaka half-whined, half-pleaded at her fiancée with eyes that reminded Zenkichi of the dolls she had won; she wanted him to hold her.
It was his fault for teasing her all-through the night; for being such a perfect partner for her; for making her so unbearably happy that she could no longer contain herself.
A frown tugged at Medaka's lips as she recalled his endless teasing. "Zenkichi," she began slowly, and she could feel his heart pounding through their contact. Medaka idly wondered if he, too, could feel how her heart drummed for him. "Why did you not comment about the way I am dressed?"
As if to punctuate her statement, Medaka ground her body closer to him. Zenkichi could feel exactly what she was getting at; the lack of telltale creases alerted his virile body that beneath the silken softness of her kimono, Medaka-chan's nubile body was his to touch and tease and torment.
Zenkichi wetted his suddenly parched throat. "It- it wasn't appropriate. At the time." He stammered. How was he supposed to question her about her lack of undergarments, that she was completely naked underneath her kimono? Unhelpfully, Zenkichi recalled a snippet of information from his many readings about how kimonos were traditionally worn; the thought only served to divert more blood away from his cognitive head.
Inwardly shrugging off such musings, Zenkichi saw Medaka's pout deepened, and he had to ask because he needed to hear it from her lips. "Medaka-chan, are you sure?"
Because there was no going back after this.
Hitoyoshi Zenkichi and Kurokami Medaka could not return to being just two best friends after this.
Medaka chewed on her bottom lip in thought, his words suddenly bestowing upon her a moment for recollection about what she truly wanted. She knew that her heart and body wanted, no, needed him - to have Zenkichi claim her everything, and for her to feel his everything - but her mind – all of society's rules of propriety that she had memorized; proud traditions that span thousands of years; algorithms that boasted eternal happiness between her and her partner…
Medaka nodded her head, gazing up at him with the tenderest smile Zenkichi had ever seen.
When made such an offer by the love of his life looking at him with such a yearning, needy expression, Zenkichi could no longer contain himself. With a hungry growl, he scooped the woman into his arms and took off into the shrine.
Medaka was delighted and thrilled by his initiative; she made this pleasure known to him as she sucked on his bottom lip and groped at his biceps while he led the way.
This was it.
This was the crucial moment she had been waiting for.
As she watched the couple consummate their love, Youka knew her distant euphoria was finally within her grasp. Medaka and Zenkichi had finally torn the barriers of friendship down and shared house under a new roof. Through this, she could slip in if she played her hand right.
Fireworks erupted, illuminating the writhing bodies on the wooden floor for the faintest of seconds before once more enshrouding them in the secrecy of darkness. Medaka's moans and Zenkichi's groans were a duet of passion that beat against the festival's drums. Musk and sweat filled the air; pheromones that only served to drive their passions wilder.
It was so very hot in the room as Zenkichi continued to make Medaka scream incoherently in rapture.
Neither noticed their voyeur who hid in the shadows where light could never reach, both her hands fervently managing her own itch. Her white teeth drew blood as they punctured her lower lip as she struggled not to vocalize her own ecstasy.
Youka's eyes gleamed hungrily when Medaka screamed, and the former Kurokami watched as her sister was forced to physically push Zenkichi back so she could catch her breath; Youka knew that Zen-chan's control slipped, and Medaka wasn't ready for this side of Zenkichi – a side that forewent all propriety in its quest to completely devour she who held his heart in her palms.
Despite the interruption, the couple didn't stop. Regaining her breath and her courage, Medaka had crawled towards Zenkichi, her kimono bunched up around her waist thanks to her obi, to plant a kiss on his chest just as the fireworks erupted once more outside. Medaka's ginger touches stoked his fires back into an inferno, begging him to fill her up once more.
Medaka whispered something to Zen-chan, and he murmured something back that sounded somewhat apologetic, and kissed her with a passion that Youka figured scared and exhilarated her younger sister.
Oh yes. This was the moment she had been waiting for.
Medaka never understood Zen-chan; not fully.
There was no doubt in her mind that Medaka would grow to understand him, but Youka knew this was her chance…
This was her chance to be with her Zen-chan.
Zenkichi kissed the moist skin of Medaka's shoulder as he helped her inside her ruffled kimono. Medaka's flesh was incredibly warm and soft, and it tasted of sweat and exertion.
"Zenkichi…" Medaka moaned into his hair as if to tell him not to start up again. Her hands were around his waist, tying the knot of his trousers expertly as she, too, helped him dress. "We need to leave before the owner of this shrine returns."
"Oh?" Zenkichi nipped at her flesh one last time before drawing back with a cocky smile on his face as he teased, "I thought you weren't ashamed of your body, Medaka-chan."
Medaka's eyes narrowed at her fiancée and she reminded him of their new station, "You are correct. I am not ashamed of what I have been blessed with. However, anata," she stressed his title quite clearly to show how serious she was, "Would you like another man to see your future wife in all her glory?"
"…Point." Zenkichi conceded. In the darkest depths of his mind, Zenkichi did not mind showing off Medaka for all men to be envious of and, once more, he scared himself with such depraved thoughts.
Nevertheless, Zenkichi wanted to hold Medaka's body close to him longer, he wanted to feel the caress of her skin against his but it was as Medaka said; she was his future wife, and it was his duty to protect her virtues.
With a slight grumble, Zenkichi added, "And I guess we better start heading back. Speaking of which," He wagged his eyebrows at Medaka suggestively, "Your apartment is far from here, isn't it? You can stay at my house for the night. I'm sure my mom won't mind."
Medaka's cheeks flushed and she realized she'd have to speak with Hitoyoshi-sensei about her and Zenkichi's wedding. The thought dampened Medaka's mood; the diminutive surgeon would no doubt know that she had slept with her son, and Medaka was worried about how she would react.
It wasn't proper, after all, for the bride to see the groom before marriage. Worse still, she had lost her chastity to Zenkichi before even having his ring on her finger; was this not an outright breach of tradition?
Appearing to sense her turmoil, Zenkichi, having fixed Medaka's kimono, cupped her chin between his thumb and forefinger and tilted her head upwards.
His blue orbs were as warm as his voice, "It's alright, Medaka-chan. Whatever hurdles we'll face, we'll face it together."
A smile blossomed on Medaka's face at her fiancée comfort. "You're right, Zenkichi. And I suppose I wouldn't mind spending the night with you, as well."
What was she worried about? She had her man, and he was right here.
"Zen-chan's right, Kurokami." A dark chuckle suddenly cut in.
Both Medaka and Zenkichi snapped towards the opening door, and Zenkichi reflexively stood in front of his fiancée.
They blinked when they came face-to-face with a familiar figure.
"Neesama?" Medaka whispered.
"…Naze-sempai?" Zenkichi blinked before flushing in realization. "Wait, how long have you been there?!"
A jagged grin stretched across the former Kurokami's lips. "Long enough to see quite a show, Zen-chan." Her carmine eyes were wide and manic as it trailed between her sister and her sister's lover. "Had fun, Medaka-chan?"
"I had a lot of fun, neesama." Medaka replied calmly, a far cry from the blushing young woman that bellowed her pleasure to all those with ears nearby just moments before.
Youka shook her head at her sister's tone; she had reverted back to the beast woman instead of the young woman in love that she was moments before. She figured that maybe this was Medaka's way of coping with the unexpectedness of her interruption.
No matter; it was easier for her if Medaka responded this way. She smirked.
"I see you took Zenkichi for a ride."
A drop of embarrassment actually fell on Medaka's cheeks. "If you could call it that." Medaka sounded almost miffed. "Zenkichi drove me harder than I ever expected."
"Oi," Zenkichi interjected between the two sisters dryly, "I'm still here, you know?"
"We know." They both spoke in unison; Youka knowingly and Medaka, affectionately.
"What about you, Zen-chan?" Youka continued smoothly, sliding the wooden door behind her shut as she closed the gap between them sedately. "Are you satisfied?"
Medaka twitched, both at the reminder that her sister had seen everything including when she shrugged Zenkichi away in a moment of fright, and at the sense of déjà vu; Kujira had asked that very same question earlier in the evening to mind-changing results. A bead of nervous sweat trailed down her spine; she was a fool to assume that Kujira merely planned to bring her and Zenkichi together that evening.
There was no such thing as a benevolent bone in the former Kurokami Kujira's physiology, after all.
The hairs on Zenkichi's skin rose at the sudden tension of the room.
"I am." Zenkichi answered clearly, his arm snaking behind him and around Medaka's shoulders to pull her close. "Being with Medaka-chan is everything I could ever want."
"Oh, but are you truly satisfied?" Youka looked at him almost lazily, her eyes deconstructing Zenkichi's every movement. "Your needs haven't been fully addressed, after all."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Despite his words, Youka found Zenkichi's honest body prove her point.
Medaka's arms wrapped around Zenkichi's waist and she pulled her fiancée towards her possessively before directing her question at her sister, "What are you truly after, neesama?"
Again, Kurokami Medaka was direct to the point.
Youka sighed, though neither teen was fooled into letting their guard down by the listless act.
"It appears to me that Zen-chan isn't satisfied." Youka began, circling the pair like a vulture. Given their situation, she may as well be. "And don't you try to deny it, Zen-chan. Why don't you take Medaka-chan right now? I know you want to feel her clamp down on you once more; you want to hear her cry herself hoarse, don't you?"
"That's-!" -A thought that crossed his mind and wouldn't leave him be- "Not true. I am satisfied."
"Hey, Medaka-chan," Youka ignored Zenkichi's lies to address her sister, "Did you know that Zen-chan's quite the pervert?"
"Zenkichi is a man." Medaka waved off her sister's statement. "Perversions are part of their nature. Even our household is a nesting ground for perverts."
"I'm still here!" Zenkichi grumbled, his face red with embarrassment at the way his ladylove saw him.
"It's not a bad thing, Zen-chan." Youka cooed the young man between her and her sister matter-of-factly. "A perversion is merely an extreme love that an individual's moral precepts judge unhealthy. However, Medaka-chan," Her carmine eyes locked with Medaka's narrowed own. "Why did you reject Zen-chan's advance?"
Medaka's blood froze, and she muttered warningly at her sister. "You are annoying me, neesama."
"Is it that you couldn't handle Zen-chan's perversion?" Youka's teeth gleamed predatorily. "Could you not handle the depth of Zen-chan's love for you? Did it frighten you, Medaka-chan?" Medaka raised her head to speak, but Youka cut her off with one final question. "Do you know how frustrated Zen-chan is trying to restrain himself for your sake?"
"What do you want, neesama?" Medaka repeated, angry now that the truth was laid before her fiancée.
Zenkichi felt the grip Medaka had on his clothes tighten; it was as if she was afraid that Zenkichi would leave her.
"Medaka-chan…" He began before shaking his head to calm himself. Fixing his teacher with a hard stare, he told her defiantly, "That doesn't matter, Naze-sempai. I love Medaka-chan." He declared, smiling at his lover affectionately, "I am satisfied as long as Medaka-chan is happy."
He was surprised when it was Medaka that responded with a voice just shy of a whisper.
"That's unfair, Zenkichi." Medaka began, clearing her throat as her pained carmine eyes locked with his stunned blue orbs. "Why should I be the only one happy?"
Couldn't she make him happy? Medaka wanted Zenkichi to always smile at her the way he did when they first met. She shook herself out of such thoughts.
"Medaka-chan's not ready to receive the entirety of your love, Zen-chan." Youka summarized succinctly. Her eyes were warmer than they had ever been in her whole life as she gazed at Medaka's bowed head. "At least, not yet. How can she be when her whole life until now was spent giving love?"
Holding Medaka close, assuring her that he would never leave her, Zenkichi looked at his teacher tiredly as he repeated Medaka's earlier question.
This really wasn't how he wanted the night to end. Him and Medaka were supposed to be happy.
"What do you want, Naze-sempai?"
With her eyes closed, Naze Youka inhaled deeply as she gathered her will. Her carmine eyes revealed themselves, and they were alight with utmost seriousness.
"I want you, Zen-chan." Youka blinked before swiftly correcting herself. She idly noted that she wasn't fast enough as Medaka's eyes narrowed at her. Regardless, "I want your darkness."
Zenkichi blinked in confusion, and Youka took the opportunity to explain.
"Even you have a dark side, Zen-chan. Rather, you of all people would have a dark side, having spent all these years beside Medaka-chan." Though Medaka's lips thinned in displeasure, she didn't respond as even she could understand that her sister was merely speaking the truth. "You are, after all, so very normal… and normal people do not work on extremes."
Youka paused in her analysis to allow Zenkichi to digest her words. Her carmine gaze was warm when it settled on her younger sister's form partially hidden behind her fiancée.
"Medaka-chan wants your love, Zen-chan. She wants all that warm and fluffy shit." Youka's tone darkened with every syllable she spoke. "I. Don't."
The temperature seemed to drop after her declaration, and even Medaka's warmth wasn't enough to stop Zenkichi from shivering.
"I want your passion. I want it raw, unbridled, and erupting. I want all your ferocity, Zen-chan. Come on; let's see what you got." She goaded him. Zenkichi began to sweat at the deranged smile on her face as she dragged her nail against his cheek, leaving a trail of red in its wake. "You're a kind man, Zen-chan, but kindness is merely the repression of ego. You and I both know how unhealthy repression is."
A painful realization dawned on Kurokami Medaka when she finally understood what it was that Youka truly wanted; her heart clenched at the realization.
The sister that she loved so dearly was in love with her Zenkichi, and so she was professing her love in a way that both made sense to her and allowed Medaka to remain happy – if she was willing to share in her happiness.
"Naze-sempai…" Zenkichi managed to croak through his clenched jaw. His heart ached for this woman, and he didn't know why. There was something off about this entire situation. It was as if Youka was telling him something while meaning an entirely different matter.
But what was it?
Emukae's brilliant, watery smile suddenly flittered through his mind, and it only served to confuse him further.
Wait a second-!
"So what say you, Zen-chan?" Youka suddenly cut off his thoughts, dragging him back to the reality of this situation. "Confide it in me. Unleash your every depravity in me. After all, I am the only one that can take all your pain, all your frustrations, and turn it into something glorious. Not even Medaka-chan can handle your darkness."
Zenkichi's heart pounded against his chest.
Medaka could feel her fiancée coming to the same conclusion as she, and Medaka inwardly cursed herself for not having seen how her sister truly regarded Zenkichi before this.
"I…" Zenkichi's voice was shaky. It was his turn to receive reassurance as Medaka squeezed his arm, wordlessly giving him strength. "…I can't. Naze-sempai, I… I love Medaka-chan."
It pained him so much to admit this to her.
It pained him almost as much as the time he had to reject Emukae's pure and honest feelings.
Silence descended on the three before, finally, Youka scoffed.
"I don't want your love, Zen-chan."
And yet, despite her words, the former Kurokami's eyes never did meet theirs as she gazed at a spot somewhere off to the side. Her arms were folded under her breasts in her trademark stance, and she continued with growing annoyance.
"And what were you planning to do, anyways? You gonna spill blood for me? Like with Emukae?" She gave a very unladylike snort of derision at the thought. "No amount of blood will satisfy me, Zen-chan." Her gaze found his once more, and Zenkichi was taken aback by the intensity in those usually dull carmine orbs. "Only you. Only your lust. Only your desire."
Zenkichi looked pained.
"This relationship is not normal."
"On the contrary, Zenkichi," Medaka spoke up, gathering her lover in her arms as she pressed herself against his back in an attempt to ease his pain. "Normality is a relative term."
Youka nodded her head. "May I remind you that polygyny was outlawed only in the aftermath of the second world war. The Kurokami household does practice it to an extent, as well. Mine and Medaka-chan's paternal progenitor is proof of that." Her teeth gleamed with humor. "Food for thought."
Never in his wildest dreams would Zenkichi even think of such a happening to unfold before him. As his mind reeled from her words, Zenkichi could only reason that, if her proclamation proved anything, it was that the Kurokami bloodline is truly insane. Not in the 'needs to be put down now' sense, no, but more of the 'no sane person would ever think like this' way.
And as he glanced over to the side with eyes asking for help from the only other person in the room, Zenkichi couldn't help but wonder if maybe he was a tad bit off sanity's mark, too, with the way his heart raced and ached at this revelation. Or maybe, this was what it meant to be so very normal. A mundane, dynamic yet uncertain view of the world tinted his young eyes; his steel was forged in brittle but malleable convictions to be tested by time; rationality and morality were mere walls that enclosed him.
Was he so naïve, or was he just becoming insane? To have a part of him that wanted this, despite already binding his heart to another; was this normal or were his feelings really just that fickle? He was certain of his love for Kurokami Medaka, so why did his heart twinge at the painful longing in Youka's request?
Did he not love Medaka enough?
How would Medaka feel when she inevitably deduced the reason for his pause, for his turmoil?
Just as he felt nauseous at the thought, the warm, unwavering arms securing his waist and pulled him closer. Zenkichi looked over his shoulder and shuddered at what he saw.
Medaka-chan merely smiled and nodded her head without even the slightest hint of dishonesty or disconcertion on her features. In stark contrast to how a normal person would respond, Medaka-chan was glowing at the proposal.
It showed in the brilliant smile upon her lips.
"Do it, Zenkichi. I want this as well." The youngest Kurokami prodded him into accepting the offer. "This conflict in your heart is endearing, but utterly inconsequential. You are simply too kind, Zenkichi, but never for a second think that is trait without worth. To feel what you are feeling now, and to react how you are reacting now- both are perfectly acceptable, and normal."
She was preaching again, yes, but this time it was not with arrogant generalizations. Medaka's heart drummed against his back, and Zenkichi could feel her understanding him. Though preaching again, she was no longer from a place high above and disconnected, but down here and with him; their hearts were beating in wondrous synchronicity.
"I love you, Zenkichi." Medaka's smile was ever-so lovely, and her body perfectly molded against his back when she graced the posterior triangle of his neck with her blessing and her lips. "So, do it. I do not mind. My only condition is that I am your first." Her tone was nothing but imperious, and though the affectionate smile Zenkichi responded with did cause her stomach to flutter, her tone remained firm; Medaka's cheeks were red, however. "I will not be the mistress even should you gain another inamorata."
As no doubt he would, Medaka felt, if Najimi, Mukae, and Hansode were any indication. Still, they were words she knew that did not need saying- her Zenkichi had more than earned her trust and commitment- but it felt good saying them.
Zenkichi's hesitations faded at his beloved's baptism of this unusual union. He shifted his body so that Medaka was pressed against his side- both her arms were still wrapped around his waist, and she did not want to let go- and snaked one arm behind her back to rest his hand on the curve of her hip.
"Of course, Medaka-chan. You will forever be my first."
Unable to contain his elation, Zenkichi kissed Medaka deeply, conveying his love for this simply profound woman; the gratitude he felt at her support; and the promise that he will forever keep. Medaka smiled even as her tongue danced with his, accepting everything that was her Zenkichi, but chiding with a nip on his lower lip to not forget their voyeur before they lost themselves in each other once more.
If he did still wish to continue regardless, she would not mind for it was a thrilling prospect, but it was only proper to address the matter at hand first. They had all the time in the world to address their pleasure afterwards.
Taking the hint, Zenkichi pulled back. His chest was heaving slightly, echoing the labored swaying of Medaka's own, and though he shivered when her hot breath caressed his neck, he nonetheless reined in his torrential emotions. After his breath steadied, he turned back to his silent sempai, who had been patiently, if not with a pinch of trepidation and a cup of arousal, watching the pair.
The eldest of the Kurokami sisters had inched closer during their exchange, Medaka left unsaid as her carmine eyes glimmered with amusement.
"Naze-sempai." He smirked an almost roguish, Zenkichi-smirk; the clarity in his eyes was new but reassuring. Though Zenkichi was a tad bit delirious after the passionate petting with his ladylove, he was still largely in control.
Naze Youka grinned. For once, there was an ember of life in her dull eyes.
"You gonna be a man now, Zen-chan?" Youka teased, half in jest and half in hope. It was an odd feeling to her; hope. She hoped that, for once, her fears were not realized. "Well, not that I can blame you. Men are cursed with two heads-"
Youka never finished her tirade.
Medaka pulled her into their embrace.
Zenkichi silenced her lips with his.
The eldest of the trio pulled back and blinked away the amazement she felt. Youka schooled her features, and though a malicious grin stretched her lips as her gaze fell on the closeness of her younger sister and their man, it was with a shaky breath when she pointed out,
"Ahem… Well, Zen-chan, it seems you landed yourself a ménage à trois."
Zenkichi flushed at the clarification.
Medaka spoke before he could let out a snippy retort.
"Do try and keep us satisfied, Zenkichi."
Medaka tightened her hold on both her loved ones with a mischievous grin.
A stray thought struck Youka, and she shot a wide and wicked grin at her new partners.
"Say, Zen-chan, where should I sleep tonight?"
That caused Zenkichi to pause, before horror crept into his features when an even more serious matter dawned upon him.
As if reading his mind, Medaka made an adamant declaration. She crossed her arms and sniffed indignantly.
"I'm not explaining this situation to your mother."
A/N: Geha! This chapter's finally done! I'll proofread this later ;(
News: I'm busy at the moment with volunteer work in the charity clinics, no thanks in small part to mother nature's most recent present, Supertyphoon Pablo.
Thanks to everyone that's given their input! I hope the length of this one didn't bore you.
Straximo, thanks for the constructive critique. I tend to focus too much on the human interaction of a scene with little to zilch about their surroundings. I tried to be a bit more mindful of my writing with this chapter, though I kinda messed up towards the end. I'll get there, soon!