Written by: LIONESS357

Edited by: ILIKEPANDAS17

It had been a year since she lost her first love, Night. Soushi moved away soon after that. She was slowly moving on with her life, when started seeing Toshiki, her first crush. After the two had been dating a while, Riiko discovered Toshiki didn't like any other guy around her. 'My Riiko' he would call her before hitting her over and over again. Eventually she stopped going around guys altogether. She was behind the counter at her part time job at the pet store; it was an unusually slow day. There was only one man there, a little older than her, wandering aimlessly throughout the store.

With a friendly smile, he approached the counter. He recognized her immediately but she was slower.

"How have you been, Riiko?" Soushi asked pleasantly.

Riiko didn't know what to say at first.

"Riiko?" he asked again concerned.

"Soushi" she exclaimed hugging her best friend.

She jumped back as she heard a bell ring and saw Toshiki standing by the door. Toshiki walked towards the two attempting to look pleasantly surprised and Riiko acted as if she was happy to see him.

"Toshiki it's nice of you to stop in and see me at work" she kissed his cheek.

"You remember Soushi, don't you?"

"Good to see you again." he said as he shook Soushi's hand

"What are you doing back?" he asked politely.

"I'm actually thinking of moving back permanently" he said laughing.

"Why don't we all hang out tomorrow?" Riiko asked trying to lighten the mood.

The other two agreed, and reluctantly so did Toshiki. Riiko excused herself to tend to another customer, and the guys left. Riiko's mood was much more improved for the rest of her shift, until it was time to go home where Toshiki would be waiting for her.

When she walked through the front door of their apartment she heard the TV in the living room go off and knew what was coming. He slapped her hard across the face.

"You little whore" he said.

She fell to the ground.

"Do you think I'm stupid? I saw the way you looked at him."

Riiko didn't try to deny what she said a long time ago, because he never listened. She stopped paying attention to where he hit her and how many times. He grabbed her arm tightly and pushed her into her room. It had been a long day and she gladly collapsed on her bed and fell asleep.

The next morning she woke up early and considered the damage in the full length mirror on her door. There were many bruises on her legs and stomach, and one on her upper arm where he grabbed her. She could wear pants to cover the bruises on her legs, but it was too hot to wear a long sleeve shirt to hide the bruise on her arm. She decided on jeans and a quarter sleeve shirt that barely covered her upper arm. Toshiki was already gone when she left to meet Soushi; she hurried to the café and found him sitting at a table by a window.

"Hey Soushi" she greeted him sitting down across from him.

"Hey Riiko" he said smiling obviously happy to see her.

Shortly after that, Toshiki joined them and ordered their food.

Toshiki raised his menu to the waitress and without meaning to Riiko flinched away from him slightly. She quickly glanced across the table at Soushi, hoping he hadn't noticed. He didn't seem to have noticed because he was looking out the big, picture window. After they had eaten Toshiki excused himself first and Riiko excused herself shortly after that to go to work. Soushi and Riiko said goodbye outside the café and went their separate ways.

It was another boring day at the pet shop until Soushi came in. Riiko was now wearing her blue, short sleeve shirt and khaki pants uniform. Soushi walked up to the counter and leaned against it staring into her eyes. She became very aware of the bruise on her arm that was now half visible.

"Why are you with that guy?" he asked before she was able to speak.

"Because I love him" she said trying to sound convincing but she knew she didn't.

"That's a lie Riiko and you know it" he said sadly "I saw you flinch earlier and I saw the bruise on your arm."

"He just doesn't like me around other guys" she said quietly almost to herself.

She couldn't look at him 'cause she knew if she did she wouldn't be able to keep lying.

"Riiko I can't stand to see you with someone who causes you so much pain" he said quietly. "Night wouldn't want you with someone like Toshiki."

And with that she started crying all the tears she had held in since she lost Night. Soushi walked behind the counter and held her comfortingly.

"He still cares about me" she thought as she ruined his shirt.

She looked up at Soushi , her eyes red from crying.

"Without Toshiki where will I live?"

"You'll live with me of course" he said smiling as she relaxed a little in his arms.

"When do you get off work?"

That's when she realized they were still in the pet store surrounded by animal cages and tanks; she glanced at her watch

"Now" she said.

"Great! Then we can go get your stuff now." She nodded as she pulled away from Soushi and started closing up the store.

Soushi was waiting patiently outside when she finished; they walked to her apartment with Toshiki in silence.

"You should wait out here" she said turning to Soushi.

She began making her way to the apartment but flinched when Soushi stopped her gently with a cool hand her arm.

"I don't want you going in there alone, he might hurt you again"

"Then he might hurt you" she said clearly worried.

He half smiled.

"Don't worry about me Riiko, I will be fine and now so will you."

He led her with a hand gently resting on the small of her back into the apartment. When she closed the door behind them the TV flicked off in the living room, and a drunken Toshiki staggered into the hallway. Surprised at seeing Soushi standing there with his Riiko he dropped the beer he had been drinking. Soushi cleared his throat.

"Riiko is moving out now and the two of two of you are no longer seeing each other, you will not cause Riiko anymore pain" he said politely.

"You bastard!" Toshiki yelled attempting to punch Soushi who caught his fist and twisted his arm until he was in quite a bit of pain.

"Go into the other room and do not bother us again" Soushi said roughly.

Toshiki returned to the living room glaring at Soushi and rubbing his sore arm.

"Lead the way" Soushi said turning to Riiko who at first only looked at him.

He saw something different in her eyes now but shrugged it off as she led him to her room. She didn't have much, so packing took surprisingly a little amount of time. Soushi caught Riiko looking at him strangely once in a while and wouldn't speak a word.

"Riiko is there something wrong?" he asked when they got to his apartment.

He hoped she wasn't having second thoughts about leaving Toshiki. When she didn't answer, he reached out to touch her shoulder. She yelped from pain and jumped away from him. He realized the new emotion in her eyes was fear. She was afraid of him. He couldn't hide the hurt he felt.

"Riiko I would never hurt you" he said sadly.

She relaxed a little when he said that and allowed him to approach. He gently held her in his arms.

"I'm sorry I left and allowed you to get hurt this way" he whispered into her hair.

"Would you like some hot chocolate?" Soushi asked trying to make her feel better.

She nodded into his chest. He led her to the couch before disappearing into the kitchen. Shortly after, he returned with two, steaming cups of hot chocolate, which he sat on the coffee table. He sat beside her on the couch. They waited for their drinks to cool in silence; they were facing each other on the couch until they began gradually getting closer and closer. Just before their lips met Riiko pulled back.

"Thank you" she said as she began to sip at her drink.

Once both cups were empty Riiko yawned.

"You should get some sleep" Soushi said before standing and leading her to her room.

She followed like a little duckling.

Riiko woke the next morning to the smell of eggs and bacon. Following the scent, she found Soushi in the kitchen making breakfast in an apron.

"Hey Riiko" he said smiling.

"I'm glad you're awake I made eggs".

At that moment she realized she really loved Soushi.

Soushi glared into Riiko's eyes and felt like the happiest guy in the world. He walked over to Riiko, not being able to resist, grabbed her around the waist, and pulled her in close to him and kissed her lips passionately. From that moment on they both knew they never wanted to be without each other again.