I don't own Shall We Date: Ninja Love or its characters!
To say that the ninja princess was a difficult woman would be quite the understatement. While she was efficient in wearing her title, and very inspiring when she put it to use, she wasn't exactly what one would call bright. Perhaps not in the area of intellect, though often one could wonder, but instead, when it came to her own personal matters. She had a bad habit of shoving things aside until they became too big for her to handle alone, and even then, she hardly ever told anyone what was bothering her until it was pried out of her.
Now was no exception to that, unfortunately. Munenori had been watching his soon-to-be wife intently, whenever his duty gave him down time. He would see her with Matsu most of the time, constantly 'training' in the ways to be a well-rounded lady, which, despite being female, she seemed to be utterly hopeless at. Whereas she usually would shine with determination, no matter how utterly impossible a task may seem, her cheerfulness had began to dwindle the last few days. At first he had inquired if she was feeling okay, inwardly worried she had become ill. She had managed to catch developmental fever a few times after all, though he still huffed at the implication Rennoshin had been calling her childish.
He had all but forced her to have herself checked out, just to be sure, but when results came back that she was fine, he only found himself perplexed. Outwardly, he was as calm as ever, making sure to wrap his glances at her in the illusion of observance for her progress as opposed to her health. He wasn't one to fret over even his own possessions, because naturally the things he owned were never harmed.
However, he had not ever once had a possession in which he did not control directly.
This woman plagued his mind, as he stubbornly watched her working with Matsu, taking in the woman's every word even though her confidence had taken dips every now and again. Her determination was still present, but her body language still indicating the problem was as well, whatever it may be. Her shoulders drooped and her eyes didn't sparkle nearly as much as they usually would. When she answered one of her current instructor's questions, her voice shook. Not enough for anyone to notice, however. Only enough for him to notice, because she belonged to him, and he had burned into memory the sound of her voice.
The closer he analyzed her, the less ill she really did seem. It was no kind of physical sickness, that had been proven. Was she unhappy? The thought caused the Yagyu to bite onto the end of his pipe as he inhaled on it, his gaze narrowing. The princess turned her head at that moment and locked gazes with him, unsurprised by his scrutiny. She had seen him watching on different occasions. Something lit up in her eyes just then, and she turned back to Matsu, continuing her lesson as if nothing was wrong at all.
Her shoulders had lifted, and he realized what he had just seen was the spark returning to her eyes. Somehow, that did not bring him comfort. What kind of front was she putting on? He had watched her enough times, even before she had been brought back to the Yagyu estate, to know when something troubled her.
It was with regret that he turned away from the scene, his presence called upon by another; and as he walked away, he saw her shoulders fall once more.
He could only let it go on so long before he said something, and she knew it too, even if she acted perfectly normal in his presence. He gave it time, likening himself to believe that it was merely a passing bout of sadness. Perhaps she was just feeling the pressure of Matsu's training, or maybe her insecurities were getting the better of her again. In which case, those would probably come pouring out on their own, as they usually did.
That began to show itself untrue as days passed and no progress was made on this matter. Of course, he had his own business to keep his mind off it, and she had her own duties to attend to whilst being melded into the perfect wife for him. Still, it nagged at him. He didn't show it, only remained as cool and distant as usual, aside from the few moments they captured alone, which he dared not waste with words.
However, that time had been used wisely for the night, and he found himself in a prolonged moment with her, as neither of them had fallen asleep yet, despite their activities.
"Munenori?" She spoke beside him, curled up with a cover to her chin. She held onto it as if it were her lifeline, and he couldn't help but admit it was adorable how ridiculously self-conscious she was of her body; even now that he'd seen it a good many times.
"Hmm?" He played with the pipe in his hand as he stared down at her, occasionally moving his hand over to the side so none of the ash incidentally fell on his chest. She shifted, prompting him to lean down and brush a few strands of hair from her face. He saw immediately that the spark was missing from her eyes again. He frowned.
"Um . . . no, never mind." She seemed thoughtful for a moment, then dropped it. Again, there it was. The reluctance to tell him about her problems. He truly had difficulty understanding this, as she'd been so vocal about everything else; her feelings, most notably. He puffed on his pipe for a while, taking in the darkness of the room.
"Are you unhappy here?" When he spoke, his voice was level and calm, but he figured she would be able to identify the slight hint of worry in it. Only she could. The question caught her off guard, judging by the slight noise of confusion that came from her throat. The silence hung in the air for a moment before she answered.
"Of course not! I mean, it's a little difficult at times, but..." The princess slowly shifted so that she was sitting up next to him. She still held the cover up, of course, though he found his eyes trained on her face more than anything. Her brow crinkled a bit, as it usually did when she was thinking. He remained silent for her to continue. "It's a lot of pressure, trying to make myself worthy in everyone's eyes. I'm not unhappy, though! I'll prove them right to believe in me, somehow." She nodded matter-of-factly. They'd already had that discussion once, and she'd indeed said she wouldn't give up on becoming the perfect woman for him.
Part of him was slightly amused she didn't realize she already was.
"Why are you asking that all of a sudden . . . Munenori?"
It was his turn to remain quiet for a moment, before he answered her calmly. "You've been sulking around for days. Usually you're annoyingly bright and cheerful... you seem almost deflated as of late. If you are not unhappy, then what is it?"
Realization seemed to dawn on her face, then immediately after, embarrassment. "O-oh. You thought... It's not exactly that I've been sad, you see. It's just . . . um." She scooted away from him a bit, staring down at her index fingers as she slowly pushed the tips together repeatedly. He had seen that action enough times to know she figured the answer to his inquiry would sound stupid to him. Which, in turn, made him listen all the more intently, for he felt some part of him hoping that it was the case – that it was anything other than what he'd been thinking the past few days.
"It's just...?" he prompted, a bit impatiently.
She groaned, clutching at the blanket once more. "It's just that I got a letter from grandpa the other day, talking about how everything is going back home, and I guess you could say I've been a little . . . homesick." She remained quiet after she spoke, allowing him a moment to let that linger. He seemed frozen in place for a moment, before he let out a frustrated sigh.
"...Homesick?" Munenori pressed his palm against his face, shaking his head slowly. "That's all? If that's the problem, you should just tell me so that we can arrange a visit back to your village at some point." He dropped his hand back to his side, playing with his pipe with his other. "To think I've been worried about you for these past few days..."
She blinked at him owlishly, surprised by his words. "You were worried? To think I'd ever hear you say that aloud..."
"Hmph, you've still got that lip on you, I see." He narrowed his eyes in response, and automatically knew that his cheeks had flushed significantly at her inquiry. "I've told you before, haven't I? You're one of my possessions, and I take it seriously when one of them happens to be in a worn state." Despite his harsh, scolding tone, she was beaming at him as if she'd just accomplished something wonderful, much like the time she'd learned of his panic when he took her ill, fainted self to Rennoshin.
"I'm sorry... I didn't intend to make you worry! I just didn't think it was that big of a deal." He sighed heavily at this, reaching over and setting his pipe a safe distance away from him.
"You see? That is the problem with you. You think these things are such a little deal, and as well they might be at times, you don't seem to understand that in your position, I should be the first to know when something is bothering you." Though the look on her face told him this wouldn't be the last time it happened, and his breath would be wasted once again. It annoyed and infuriated him, but at the same time, he couldn't help finding the emotions she put him through rather . . . interesting.
One look from her could change his mood in an instant. If she seemed sad, he was immediately worried, even if he'd never admit it without a push. When she was scared, he found himself ready to destroy whatever may have caused her to tremble. One smile and he would find more happiness in the silly country girl than he ever could have imagined before she fell straight into his life.
He had found himself to rather prefer the type of woman that was strong-willed and utterly frustrating; and there was no better candidate for both those attributes than the girl sitting beside him, staring at him with a renewed sparkle in her eyes.
"It really wasn't that big of a problem, though." There she went, completely disregarding his words entirely. He was unsurprised in the least. "I mean, I would miss home when I started thinking about it here and there, and it would be nice to visit every once in a while, but . . . I felt better almost immediately, a lot of the time." She looked down at the sheet once more, biting the bottom of her lip lightly. "Because, whenever I started to feel down, somehow, I would find you standing off to the side. Then, I would remember that this is where Munenori is. And wherever you are . . . is my home. So there was no reason to feel sad."
He stared at her, watching as she began fidgeting shyly, adding pulling gently on her hair to her list of nervous ticks. Without a moment's hesitation, he reached over and grabbed both her wrists, knocking her onto her back. "Ahh!" she squeaked as she fell over, looking up to see the man hovering over her with a gentle smile on his face.
It would be a rare sight for anyone else, but not for her. He enjoyed seeing the blush on her cheeks grow darker as a result of his expression. "So that's the case? You've managed to learn where your place is..." She puffed up her cheeks at his words, to which he only chuckled at. However, his features soon relaxed into a serious expression. Releasing her wrists, he spread out her palms and pressed theirs together, linking his fingers with his, to which her own fingers curled naturally to form a perfect fit.
"Munenori?" The curious look returned to her face, the sparkle in her eyes having been reduced to something more expressive and shy. She already belonged to him, this stubborn, self-conscious, beautiful woman. However, in a few days, with one simple ceremony, it would be known by all just who possessed her.
"Your mind can wander wherever it pleases. I sure seem to not have the ability to get anything into that head of yours, anyways." She huffed at his words, but he smiled nonetheless. "Just so long as you manage to keep it coming back home to me."
There it went; her blush spread to the tips of her ears. He squeezed her hands gently, lowering himself so that the only thing between them was the sheet she'd been clutching moments before. Close enough to feel her heartbeat in her chest, close enough to feel her breath on his lips, he chuckled at her innocent embarrassment.
"I love you, you stubborn woman." Before she could retort something back at him, he closed the distance between them and captured her lips with his own.
I don't know what this is. Boredom, I guess. :P
This isn't going to be a story or anything; it'll be more like a series of completely unrelated, fluffy oneshots between the MC and whatever person I feel like typing about. So, yes, all the pairings will be written about at one point or another, some more than once. They will all include the MC, who I will leave nameless in all of them since you can choose her name in the game.
I'm considering doing an actual chapter-driven story with one of the other games, probably My Sweet Prince if I do, but I haven't decided yet. Just thought I'd only do oneshots for this one in particular since the Ninja Love game itself already has a main story and epilogues. And I have other stories to finish. OTL.
Anyways, fanfiction, Y U NO HAVE MORE SHALL WE DATE STORIES? I'm honestly surprised more hasn't been written for it, ha.
Constructive criticism is always welcome. I tried my best to keep everyone in character, but I'm always paranoid when it comes to things like that. Hopefully I didn't butcher Munenori in this one. D:
Nonetheless! Thanks for reading! Reviews make me update faster and put me in a happy mood. :)
– Matron of Madness.
P.S. This chapter has a lot of references to Munenori's "Mission Adorable 2" in the side stories; if you happen to not understand some of the events specifically referenced, that would be because you haven't played it yet!