A new one-shot based on the Kibō Clan will be up soon so I figured I may as well write about another one of my favorite couples. ^^'

I searched and I was very unhappy to find there wasn't a single KokoroxElliot piece on here! D: Well, I still have much left to do. 8I Yes. I just quoted Ryu Hayabusa. Got a problem with that? XD

Anyways, enjoy the story. :)

Kokoro smiled sweetly, with a little more than a hint of dejection hidden behind the soft curls of her pink lips.

Oh, her mother was right; this was no place for her. Only the strongest of the strong were here at the DOA tournament.

One little mishap and she was ready to throw her arms up in the air and return home. She shook her head dismally and swore that she would never let herself do something like this again, also wondering how each girl was so powerful on the inside and out. She was strong on the outside. She could kick a man over ten years older than herself into a wall and keep him stuck there until the cows came home. On the inside though? Well, she was still growing.

No, she told herself, that was no excuse for her weakness.

Leifang was fresh out of high-school and she could be thrown into tables, yelled at, insulted and pushed away by the man she loved. And every time she would get up, dust herself off, place her hands delicately on the child-baring hips she had, and throw him, yell at him, insult him right back- but never push him away.

Hitomi wasn't much weaker- if she was at all.

She had fallen in love with a non-existent man. Her heart had found its way to the bold hands of the man that was Hayate, who she had dubbed Ein when she found him. How she found him, Kokoro didn't know the specifications of. She only knew he had amnesia. "Ein" had spent a portion of time training at Hitomi's dojo to become a prodigy, and this time drew the two closer. She didn't understand why it was that Hitomi and Hayate couldn't be together, but she knew it had something to do with Hayate's line of work. Either way, Hitomi still participated year after year with seeing him as one of her main goals.

But Kokoro?

Yeah, no… she wasn't that strong.

All it took was one wrong turn- one wrong idea and she folded.

She, too, had fallen in love with a strong boy, one that she felt could protect her if she ever needed it and vice versa. He wasn't the most confident in his abilities but he was a gentleman and he was sweet and forgiving and she, for lack of a better term, "dug" that about him. That, and those blue eyes that made her want to liquefy in place and that blonde hair that fell over his eyes and the way he started twisting plates on his pointer-finger, spinning it like it were a basketball when he was bored.

She was to be a geisha. She was to be a "classy" or "expensive" form of entertainment. She was not meant to truly fall in love, yet she knew that the burning feeling in her chest, that beating that ached and that sudden giddiness that made her want to squeal like the young girl she was meant that she had truly fallen for this boy. She was told by her mother, once she expressed her ulterior motives for joining the tournament once again, that she should be careful not to rush into anything, that she had better not get too caught up in it because somehow, her mother knew more than her how weak she was when it came to matters of emotions and desires. When she got older she was to be, not necessarily forbidden, but advised against feeling much more than lust.

A geisha was there for a man to use after he has rightfully bought her for a night.

A geisha was not a quiet princess to be married to a prince- even though in some cases those two situations are pretty close to being one in the same, except sex was only PART of being "bought" or "sold" to a prince.

But at least nobody could tell you it was wrong to fall in love.

No, as a princess being married off to a prince, you have a chance to fall for your husband and enjoy the marriage as it is. But as a geisha you are to provide what they ask for and nothing more.

They didn't want your love.

They didn't care for your affection.

But that was not what she was upset about; no she could easily refuse to become a geisha if she wished. She had decent grades and she could go on to college and get a higher education to do something more productive.

What upset her was that she had made the mistake of letting down a guard she didn't know she was holding up naturally, and with that guard came the downfall of the only thing she had ever truly cared for other than her mother or her Bai Ji Quan.

Kokoro could feel her legs curl up to her chest by themselves as her arms circled around them, allowing her to lean her chin into the folded arms.

Perhaps she had fallen for the wrong one?

No, he was the right one. She loved every little thing about him. His flaws, as far as she was concerned, were the best things about him.

His insecurity and his sudden rage in a battle… they were bad qualities in him that she loved more than anything.

She would not say she was not afraid to admit it now, considering the current circumstances, but she would confidently tell you, if you were trustworthy, that she had fallen for a young Xing Yi Quan apprentice.

Would Leifang do the same in her situation?

Would Hitomi?

No. If Leifang were in her position she'd scream at Jann Lee and huff and puff and start a fight with him.

Hitomi would apologize profusely and leave as soon as possible, knowing to leave Hayate be and not to let him see how much pain she was in and later pull herself through it and be happy for him.

Kokoro was different. She left without a word, the tears already starting to sting in the corners of her grey eyes as she ran down the staircase as fast as her legs could carry her, degrading herself in her mind every step of the way. She knew it was wrong to do such a thing over a boy, but for her it was a natural reaction, something she didn't even have to think about doing.

The pond shined a bright night sky blue, the waves lighting up with the moon hitting on them. Petals of the trees fell to the water, meeting up with others as they circled in the tarn together.

The stars reflected in the liquid and made it sparkle, looking as though a young child had thrown her entire art kit into the mere, curious as to what color the liquid would take. Lanterns, the trees, the moon and the light, red, green, white, and gold, all mixed, creating a vision of pure astonishing beauty.

Kokoro reached over, dipping the tips of her fingers lightly in the water, the ripples causing the colors to "vibrate" and look even prettier than before. Her reflection grew hazy, although she was unsure if that was from the undulations or the dried tears that still clouded her eyes.

She saw that the colors seemed to get dimmer even as the sky grew brighter and she pulled her hand back up to wipe her eyes copiously.

The shadow loomed over her, seemingly trying to process if it would be okay to join her.

It finally decided that she wouldn't mind.

It was speaking ever-so-softly to her, yet she could hardly hear the words.


She answered.

What did she just answer again?

"It's a beautiful night, isn't it?" Oh yes, that was what she had answered to. "Are you doing alright, Kokoro?"


"Do you miss your mother?"

Every minute.

"Why are you here by yourself?"

There were such long intervals in between each question. She would continue to give short, choppy answers, regardless of what was asked.

For the things she couldn't answer with a simple yes or no, she would stay silent for.

She shivered at the warmth on her shoulder, not cold but scared. The shadow was too close to her, it was depriving her of her own energy.

Her lips wouldn't stop, she couldn't keep herself calm. If she had then she was sure she wouldn't be so embarrassed. She felt her shoulder grow weaker, her other one following- but for the guilt she recognized she had, not for the pressure that weighed on the other. The noise of the world surrounded her and made her deaf to much else. Her own noise was just that to her ears- noise.

Everything came pouring out, the things being forced on her, the pent up heartbreak she was experiencing for the first time- all of it.

The weight on her shoulder soon lifted, and he sat there, eyes not wide but open in surprise at her words.

"You… saw that, then?"

"I didn't mean to walk in on the two of you… I truly didn't- I just wanted to…" She didn't dare finish her sentence, knowing that he understood and had gotten her point when he turned his head away and nodded.

The fair-haired boy sat there and she didn't know if he was unsure how to take the news or had nothing else to say.

The two sat in silence as she thought of what to do next.

She had been confident, with how close they had recently been getting, that he would love her like she knew she wanted, that she would give him everything he wanted in return for loving her like she had always dreamed of.

But no, he was different and wouldn't jump at the chance to date a woman the first chance he got.

Not to mention, if he were to jump at anybody it wouldn't be her.

He had been so close- too close to that girl when she went to see him. Those curls and those shiny glittering eyes… he would be a fool not to fall for her. She was a true beauty and was not bound by the burdens that she held. This girl that she didn't know the name of came so close to him, her hands pressed on his chest, her eyes staring directly into his… the two had both been grinning and Kokoro could tell he held something different for her.

So she had turned and left without either of them noticing, as said earlier.

As to why he was here now… it could be that after he had a "conversation" with that girl Ayane, curious herself, had pointed in the direction she went, mumbling something about her being weird for leaving like she did.

Kokoro was always confident she would fall in love. She knew it right from the first love story she had ever heard that she wanted a boy like that for herself.

But she wasn't one to just go for anybody, and she was had her eyes set on him- nobody but him. She wanted his gentle nature and his politeness. She wanted those shining blue eyes to stare into hers. She wanted him- and she would do anything to have him no matter what it took.

Now that she thought of it that way… where had her thoughts gone? Goodness that was spiteful as hell! That was completely out-of-character for her! How did she even GET there?! It wasn't HER choice, it was HIS!

"If you had said something I would have stopped to speak to you."

"I suppose I just felt as though it would have been disrespectful to interrupt."

There. That was an answer. It was one that made sense and sounded like her and not like this awful, possessive, newly-founded Kokoro that she was shocked to realize resided within her.

Well, everybody had a dark side. Maybe it was the fact that she didn't have anybody else but her mother? Maybe whenever she met somebody beyond the realm of her every-day life, she wanted to hold on to that tidbit of adventure and friendship or love and that's what brought about her possessiveness?

She could feel him tense beside her.

He looked as though he was about to say something- only to close his mouth and close his eyes to look away. Her hand reached up to her chest and she could feel the tears coming back all over again.

Oh Kokoro… what have you gotten yourself into?

She never pictured her first confession being in quite that way. Like any other girl, she had hoped she would plead guilty to her heart's desires to that special person and he, in return, would say that he felt the same way and wrap his arms around her in this way that would just make her heart float in her chest.

Instead she, like most girls, was brought to the unfortunate conclusion that something so romantic hardly ever happens. Of course, this was seeing as how she had found him with another girl in his arms, she just come clean about her emotions when she REALLY wouldn't had to have to explain what was going on (why did she do that, again?), and now he wasn't responding.

She felt guilt. She felt pain. She felt anger. She felt jealousy. All she wanted to do was break down and let a tear or two fall when she knew she couldn't- making it all the more desirable.

She felt Elliot look at her and, without her permission, her own head looked towards him, her eyes blinking as she smiled softly, almost seeming to be apologizing for the inconvenience.

There were no words to describe the way he looked back at her.

Something changed.

Some miracle happened and everything was different.

There was only this intense, cold, yet not painfully-so, rise in her chest as her heart continued to beat. It was as though a certain wind had stirred within her.

It made her nearly jump.

Contrary to this intense cold, content emotion, she felt her cheeks warm up, hot to the touch.

She closed her eyes, taking in the situation, her body moving on its own once again.

The only sound she could hear was the water as the mini-waterfall poured itself into the tiny pool below it. Her hand clutched his warm one tightly, only for him to pull it away and reach further as he ran a hand through her hair slowly. He was not being cautious. He was being gentle. It was that same gentle that she knew she had come to love.

The pool reflected the loving kiss, the colors melding into a rainbow of color around the "picture".

Kokoro wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing him closer as he tilted his head a little more to the side, deepening the kiss as the hand running through her hair pulled her even closer with hesitance.

She could hear the violins and pianos going off in her mind, the song a powerful one. It was one that you could hear when two lovers were finally reunited in a heart-warming scene. This she knew was exactly the same- if not better- than any of those scenes. Elliot held the both of them up, one hand placed firmly on the ground as the other continued trailing through her long locks.

As he pulled away for a quick breath she could feel him whisper, his forehead pressed against hers before he dived in for another soft kiss.

"Forgive me for being selfish… if just this once."


That was what she was being.

A geisha was taking such a catch for herself when she wasn't supposed to catch anything.

She couldn't help it.

Kokoro pulled away, looking him in the eyes, blushing at the beam he was giving.

And she knew right then and there that it wasn't serious, what he had with that girl. It was just flirting.

It was one-sided flirting that Elliot was too good of a guy to fall for. She suppressed a giggle at the thought. Elliot must have been as oblivious to the notion of flirting as she was. The two knew much about love, as much as two people who had never experienced it could be, and had a basic idea of what they wanted, but if somebody were to make a move that wasn't painfully obvious through their words, it most likely wouldn't get through to them that it was flirting.

"I love you" was something that was said by the look the two gave each-other as she leaned her head on his shoulder, his hand still running through her hair.

I love you.

A little ways away Helena was giving Leifang, who was taking off a curly wig and some contacts, a quiet high-five.