It's been three months. Every time this happens I can feel my body lurch, my hands shake and my nerves are shot. I need Akira to be here. Any minute now he'll come walking through that door and we'll find ourselves hopelessly attached at the lips, swaying and finding where our hips lay on each others perfectly again until we tumble into bed. We're so needy, or at least it seems that way. But how often do normal couples go without seeing each other? Maybe a week or two at a time. It's always months for us. He's in Dubai. Away in London with his boss. Across the world, and no chance of seeing each other soon.
Our apartment is a mess. Situated off the coast of North Carolina on a small island where no one can bother us. It reminds me of home. For five years we've done this. Work and love, work...and a little bit more love. We've gotten used to it you could say. Most people wouldn't put up with the sort of distance, or lack of communication, but it's worth it. Akira is worth all the time I've ever spent waiting, because I know when he comes home, that smile will make up for all our lost time.
"Shit." I curse under my breath, throwing blankets onto our couch, and magazines out of sight. What time is it? How many more minutes? Minutes. My breath hitches. That word isn't months, or even weeks now. Minutes.
There's a knock at the door, and just like that I'm in high school again. Like it's the first time seeing him. The first time I'll have to speak to him. Of course I look completely composed but my pulse is climbing as my hand reaches for the door.
"Natsuki!" There's that smile. He drops all the luggage in his arms to scoop me up instead, twirling me around the living room before setting me down.
"You need to get your bags out of the hall and close the doo-" Silenced by a kiss, my words disappear as if they never existed, or even needed to. My eyes close only because Akira's got his eyes on me, and that's not a glare, however longing that I can ever meet.
After a while there's nothing I can do but give in, kissing him back and letting my arms go limp. Akira's cold fingers are entangling themselves in my hair, as if he could pull me any farther into his mouth at this point.
"I've missed you." Akira stopped to say, but in a way he'd already said it. All I do is mumble and clear my throat, too flustered by his passionate kisses. Then he does what I've asked, and grabs the luggage, removing them from the doorway and closing the door. Akira sheds the coat he'd has on, the scarf, shoes, and lastly wrist watch and turban. I'm quick to fluff up his beautiful chestnut hair in my hands, giggling as I go, but secretly enjoying it. There it is again. He's staring right at me.
"What is it?" I sound firm, but it's all an act. I can't pretend with him.
"Your hair has grown out again." There's a laugh in his voice that he's trying to hide.
"And you've cut yours off."
From there our laughter billows over, acting obnoxious and snobby to each other on purpose was normal. It'd been too long. We carryourselves to the couch, and for the next few ours all we do is talk. What he'd done in London, and how fishing was here. Annoying co-workers, and difficult catches. All the while our fingers remain intertwined, and warmer then they've been in the months.
"There's one more thing."
"Oh, yeah? Is it another dirty joke from work, because if it is I think I'll need a break. I haven't laughed like this in so long."
"No, it's nothing like that."
Then I stop to look at him. Akira's beautiful smile has vanished, along with the hand that'd been on mine. Worry sets in, and it shows on my face.
"What is it?"
"DUCK has asked me to retire."
"What? What do you mean?"
"I mean, thirty is the normal age that DUCK agents retire. I'm old to them now, you know?"
"I'm being well paid for, I'll be good for the rest of my life. DUCK pays a lot for us, we just gave them a lot of our young lives. And they're always making sure that we're on backup for emergencies. They need us to stay loyal for some reason. I guess, well I guess they're worried about us too. I mean, what does a DUCK agent really do as a job after wards?" A laugh escapes his lips, but it's dry. Akira loves what he does. The pain is evident on his face.
"I'm sorry." What else am I supposed to say?
"No. Don't be. Now I get to be with you more often."
"Yeah, but you love work."
"I love you more than work, Natsuki."
The statement makes me jump, and I gulp before conjuring up a response.
"You know, you could go into the fishing business easily. I don't want you sitting around here all day like some house wife."
"Maybe I want to be a house wife." He's teasing again, the cheery tone back in his voice.
"Yeah, and Tapioca can be our baby!" A giggle bursts out as soon as I finish the statement, laced with sarcasm.
"Why can't we have a real baby?"
My laughter halts.
"You know why."
"Haven't you ever heard of adoption?"
"I don't want a kid!" I shriek, terrified of the thought. Messing up, or making mistakes like my father did. Even if they weren't really mistakes, and more of missteps. He still couldn't handle me perfectly, how could I? How do I handle some other being and call it mine?
"The point isn't to be perfect you know."
"Akira, stop. I don't want to talk about this." My eyes avert, and my body seems to shrink away.
"In time what? You'll get tired of me now that you're going to be here all the time."
"Will you get tired of me?" Akira snaps back.
"See? How can you say I'll be tired of you then?"
"Well, prove it." Another battle to win. Another fight I'm going to pick with him. This always happens. We're children, I swear it. Neither of us are the bigger man.
"Prove to me that you're not going to get tired of me."
"Natsuki, I was with you a whole year in Enoshima when I wanted you, and while I was waiting I never grew tired. Why now, after I'm finally able to stay would I grow tired? It's been five years."
"I said, prove it."
Then it happens. The look we give each other. That, Natsuki, are you really gonna do this right now? And my ever constant glare that says nothing but yes. We hold it for a moment longer before Akira breaks eye contact. Giving into my demands.
"I was going to wait until tomorrow," He sighs very loudly.
"Wow, that actually sounded like disappointment in your voice. I'm impressed."
Akira sighs again, but this time it's because he's annoyed. "Put your hand in my pocket."
"What?" What kind of request is that?
"Just do it god damn it, you're pissing me off now."
"What? No! Why should I have to do it?"
"It's the left pocket, just in case you were wondering." This bastard. I take a second to glance at his pocket, and sure enough I can tell there's something in it. There's a minute glance shared between us before I actually go and reach for it. My hand squeezes through the opening, and Akira leans back so I can access it more easily. A box? The little blue thing fits perfectly in my hand, and I still haven't realized.
"What is it?"
Reluctantly, my right hand holds the bottom as my left opens it up. What I find are two matching rings, snug in their respective places beside one another. They're not too fat or too skinny for my taste, and they're silver instead of gold. I despise gold jewelry. Akira had given me rings before, but this time I didn't understand.
This time Akira sighs loud enough that it could be mistaken for a moan. The box fumbles back to him and he takes one ring out of it's place.
"What?" I'm still clueless, but my breath hitches as his hand grabs mine. When did I realize exactly what was going on?
"Will you marry me?"
"W-wedding bands?" I gulp suddenly, ignoring the question entirely. My thoughts never stop, and my eyes try not to look at him, to feel the grasp he has on my hand. His eyes are probably looking for mine.
"Of...of course Akira. Yes." I manage to say the word, and the ring slips on my finger just before I choke out my first few tears. But it doesn't stop from there, I continue to sob like a child in his arms for quite some time. Swaying back and forth, smiling through it all and exchanging sloppy kisses.
"Prove it? Really, I can't believe I just did it like that." Akira rolls his eyes once more before kissing me again.
"No, it fits us perfectly." I breathe out between our lips and his response is only another lengthy kiss.
"I've always wanted to be your house wife, Natsuki." The sarcasm lights from him to me.
"No, you've always wanted to be my-stay-at-home-wife-with-the-children."
"That too. Plleeease?"
"One step at a time."
"If I can prove to you'd be a good father, can I have kids too?"
"Okay, sorry." But we're both laughing together, my tears still falling and bodies helplessly touching in every way they can be.
"You proved the first though..."
"Is it a bad time to say I told you so?"
"Yes." My toes curl as those words fall on my neck, kisses being planted tenderly at the appropriate places.
"Well, I told you so."
"Shut up, house wife." This time Akira bites at my retort.
"I told you so," He murmurs again behind clenched teeth, tongue glazing over and mouth sucking at my tender skin before hesitantly pulling away. "Let that be a reminder." I'm forced to blink, and nod at him. He's still staring at my neck. Honestly, Akira gets me every time. That's a cheesy thing to say, I know, but there's not a better way to arrange words that makes sense. Not in Japanese or English. Every time he smiles, every time he bites, or looks. Every I told you so. Akira Agarkar Yamada could prove me wrong a thousand times over as he did tonight and I'd cry for him every single time.
My idiot house wife.