Towering Tower

Narumi has always had weird dreams, but they're especially bad when they circle around Puffy-Head. He doesn't mean for them to happen. They just do.

But this last one...it left him shaken, and he wasn't entirely sure why.

Kiri had just returned from her two year stay in LA with her mother and father. Like, literally. Just returned. That morning. Twelve hours ago. The S.P. gang had gone to greet her and her father at the airport, and after many hugs and grins and blushes and denials, everyone was back at Koshiba's Salon.

There was to be a massive sleepover, just like in the good ol' days. If Kiri was surprised that both Kanako and Ken and Iori and Chisami had finally become couples, she didn't show it. She simply smiled at them when they had their subtle public displays of affection.

Ochiai tried to get in Narumi's way as much as possible, and Narumi was internally fighting which emotion to act upon: his joy that she's returned or his embarrassment at all the people in the room that could see him acting upon his joy. Kei found this to be hilarious and teased both Ochiai and Narumi all evening, much to their chagrin.

Kiri was simply happy to see everyone again.

It wasn't until everyone was settling down for the night that Narumi's heart started to race in anticipation and fear. Soon, he and Kiri were the only ones left awake.

Coincidentally, they were set up to sleep next to each other.

Narumi cleared his throat nervously, looking anywhere but at her.

"Aren't you going to bed, Naru-Naru?" Kiri asked casually. So casually. Narumi was growing more and more nervous. They really were the only two awake now.

"Er...I'm—I'm not tired."

"Did you voice just squeak?"

"Of—of course not!"

"It just did again."

"Why are you so observant all of a sudden! I'm just not tired, all right?" He tried hard to keep his voice as quiet as possible. As much as he was annoyed at her for noticing so much about him, he didn't want the others to wake and take their first moment alone from them.

"If you say so," she puffed, and he couldn't tell if she was annoyed or holding back a smile. Her face was still so aloof.

There was a moment of awkward calmness as they both looked at the wall in front of them.

A thought struck Narumi suddenly. "Are...are you all right?"

"Why wouldn't I be?" She looked over at him, cocking an eyebrow, and his heart thumped in his chest.

"Well, there isn't much light in here. Are you still afraid of the dark?"

Puffy-Head pondered him a moment before smiling slightly. "But you're here, aren't you? So I'll be okay. Maybe."

Narumi's face exploded with red, and he quickly lied down and faced away from her. "Er...yeah. Like last time," he squeaked. "Goodnight, Puffy-Head."

He wasn't sure, but he thought he heard her sigh as she copied his movements behind his back. "Night, Naru-Naru."

There was that crippling silence again, and Narumi was almost disappointed in himself. He'd been waiting for this moment for two years, and this was how he was going to let it end? No.

No.

He resisted the urge to clear his throat again. He succeeded. Hoping that she was asleep but even more so that she was awake, Narumi whispered into the darkness of the room, "I'm glad your back," before he forced himself to fall asleep.

If he had been facing the other way, he would have seen her smile.


It was then that his dream started, and it was a weird one. The weirdest.

He was standing before a tower, a towering tower that towered above him at least fifteen feet. He was craning his neck in confusion at it when a sound to his left caused him to...well, look to the left.

It was Kei. And he was eating an apple that he materialized out of nowhere.

"What are you doing here?" Narumi asked, figuring that he had to be dreaming. Like Kei would be eating apples. Or anything healthy, for that matter.

"I'm here to help you."

"Help me with what?" Narumi asked, narrowing his eyes.

Kei just smiled and looked up at the tower. Narumi, growing more agitated and confused, looked with him. There, at the top, a window. There, in the window, a flicker. A flicker of orange. Of orange hair.

Of Kiri Koshiba's hair.

It was thrust out the window, and it cascaded down until it swept the ground in front of the two boys. She poked her head out the window.

"Ah. Naru-Naru-senpai." She folded her arms on the window's edge and leaned her weight against it, looking down at them through half-lidded eyes. "You're finally here."

"What is this?! Are you supposed to be Rapunzel or something?"

"No. I'm Kiri. Have you really forgotten me already?" She took a drink of a juice box that she pulled out of no where. Probably from her hair.

"You're one to talk!" He pointed an accusatory finger at her. "But of course I know who you are!"

"So what are you going to do?" she asked.

"Huh?"

He looked to Kei, who said to him, "Yeah, what are you going to do?"

"What are you talking about?" Suddenly, a pair of scissors appeared in his hands. "What the heck?!"

"This is your choice: either climb Kiri-chan's hair to get to her, or cut her hair and become the best hair stylist in all of Japan."

Narumi balked. "What?! This is my choice? Cut her hair or climb it?" He wanted to say that this was a stupid choice to make, he didn't need to, it wouldn't affect his real life in any way, shape, or form, but the words wouldn't come.

The dream wouldn't stop.

He wouldn't wake up.

And Kiri and Kei were still looking at him expectantly. Narumi turned back to the hair with a look of despair crossing his features.

But he already knew the choice he was going to make even before they told him he had to. He knew it the moment he saw Kiri's head appear through the window.


When he woke from his dream, it was early morning. Early early morning. The sun hadn't even risen yet. Narumi was still a bit shaken from his dream. He could feel it fading from his conscious, and he was afraid he was going to forget the choice he made.

But then he felt a slight movement behind him, and his hold body went rigid.

Oh. My. Word.

Puffy-Head was close. Really close. Really really close. Sometime in her sleep, she must have moved closer and closer to him because she was now curled up against his back.

Curled up against his back.

At least Narumi didn't have to worry about having anymore weird dreams that night. There would be no sleeping after that.

-0-0-0-0-

"So what did you do?"

It was the next morning, and everyone was eating breakfast. Narumi was a bit temperamental because he was sleep deprived, but at least he wasn't as tense around Kiri anymore (much to Ochiai's disappointment).

It was Kei who asked this question, and he asked this question to Narumi, who jumped in surprise.

"Er, what?" He couldn't possibly mean...

Kei just cocked his head to the side, a fresh sucker in his mouth that scented faintly of apples. They both stole a glance at Kiri, who was still having problems waking up completely.

Narumi looked back at Kei and smiled.

.fin.


A.N. Hmm...it's me again. Did you miss me? (I guess not! Ha ha ha!) (lololol, jk, that's just one of my fav movies) I missed you guys, though! Well, really, I missed Beauty Pop. I don't think I've read it in almost a year. Considering it's my favorite and all, I'm kind of ashamed at myself. Anyways. This was originally going to be a chapter story, and it was going to be a retelling of Tangled with the BP gang. But then I thought about it too much and realized it probably wouldn't be very good.

So I changed it to this, and I must say, I've done it once again. Made a fic so fluffy that I think my teeth hurt. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. Also, I know that in the books, he calls her Mussy-Head, but in the scantalations online, he calls her Puffy-Head, and I like how that sounds better, so...yeah.

Thought I'd try doing the A.N. at the bottom this time. Which do people prefer, anyway? A.N. at the beginning or the end? Just out of curiosity.

Disclaimer: Did you know Kiyoko Arai was originally going to make Narumi a player with all these ladies hanging off his arm and spend all of his father's money but pretend to be the "perfect son" in front of him and who wouldn't trust anyone? I know! I would hate if he was really like that! So I'm glad she changed him. And that she owns BP and I don't.