Lover's Conundrum

By xxkoffeexx



The door opens and she knows it is him from the reflection against the window. The small room is dark and unlit, save for the moonlight streaming through the drawn curtains.

The door shuts quietly.

"I refuse to speak to you," she tells him, flipping her long hair at his direction.

Kei barely pauses. "I see."

She scowls out the window at the spectacular view of the town below, not noticing how he silently admires the way silver moonlight paints her outline so that she glows faintly. Hikari does not know why he is here, but she doubts it is to beg for forgiveness. Not that she would have given it so easily.

"Would you like to lose another game?" he asks, taking a single step into the room.

Her head whirls at the movement and she bursts out, "Don't—" Then she glares at him and presses her lips. She is well and truly upset this time and no simple apology is going to suffice.

But the insufferable jerk has the nerve to insult her with a challenge. And she hates losing even after all these years.

They look at each other across the room for several moments. Hikari mutters, "I'm leaving." She strides purposefully towards him, her black hair swinging hypnotically behind her like a pendulum. When she stops in front of him, glaring expectantly, he moves aside without a word. There is a faint niggling of suspicion, but she ignores it to reach for the door handle.

"Why is the door locked?"

He has gone to take up her place by the window, leaning against the pane with the grace of a model posing for a magazine shot. "Is it?" he says lazily. "Leave the door alone, Hikari. Let's play a game."

"Why?" she demands.

"For the sake of nostalgia."

"No, I mean why is it locked?"

"Doors tend to lock, Hikari. That's why there are keys. Oh. No need to try kicking it down, its triple-enforced titanium with several layers of unidentified substances for added security. Even I'd have little luck destroying it."

Hikari looks ready to destroy him. "Takishima Kei, you black-hearted—"

"I thought you weren't speaking to me?"

Oh she can never win a battle of words with him. Or really anything. And he's blocked off the only window in the room, damn him.

"Now, would you like to play a game?"

She crosses her arms and scans the room for any other way out. No such thing. It is a spare room, meant for temporary storage or sudden unwanted guests. There is only a small writing desk and chair, an empty closet, a simple rug and one stupid window. Kei has her cornered and he knows it.

"The game is this," he continues although she pretends to ignore him. "First, what have I got on my person?"

Her eyes narrow and she flings out her hand. "The key! Give it to me!" She doesn't care that she's speaking to him.

The man seems pleased. "Very enthusiastic," he acknowledges. "This game will be straightforward then: find the key and you win."


His head tilts and he says, "Let me reiterate. The key is somewhere on my body. If you find it, you win. Simple, no?" Hikari can't even summon any words she is too infuriated. "You look a little red in the face, my dear. A tad stuffy in here, perhaps?"

Being intelligent, she immediately grasps this opportunity. "Yes, very stuffy. I might faint of… of overheat. Open the window. And the door too, you jerk."

He shakes his head with a small smile. "That will not be necessary, Hikari. You may adjust the temperature over there." Kei gestures languidly at the thermostat on the wall next to her and she sighs in frustration.

"Kei, I'm not in the mood to play games. Open this door right now."

He shrugs grandly. "And yet she used to jump at the chance to challenge me to a game. How passive and dull a person can become with passing time…" If he notices her posture stiffen he doesn't show it. "I suppose all those years of losing to me every single time has made you soft and cautious. A pity, but I won't claim I don't understand your fear—"

"You," she cuts in with deceptive calm, "are going down."

Hikari knows he has goaded her into taking the bait, but all she really wants is a chance to smack his handsome face into oblivion. The man should have just apologized.

"Then," he says softly, "let the game begin."

She wastes no time in marching over to him, fist clenched to punch that smug smile off his equally smug face, and almost comes within touching distance when he straightens. Hikari barely has time to register the flicker in his eyes when he suddenly makes a grab for her arm. She leaps back instinctively, his fingers grazing her skin. Adrenaline pumps through her body as she stares at him.

"What are you doing?" she asks.

"I would have thought it should be obvious."

"I thought the game was—"

"The game is for you to find the key," Kei explains smoothly. "But I have no obligation to make it easy for you to win, now do I?"

Hikari is startled. He wants to turn this into a wrestling match? The thought of touching him makes her feel strange, because they haven't touched each other ever since the fight. Why in the world would he suggest something so—then she sees the dangerous gleam in his eyes and in a flash it all makes sense to her.

Her face feels too hot but she manages to bark out, "This is very immature of you, Kei! I won't go along with this game until you apologize and admit that you were wrong!"

"I apologize. I admit that I was wrong."

"Is that so? I'm very happy." She gives him a bland smile and it quickly turns into an icy glare. "I'm not playing your stupid game."

"Why not? I apologized."

"You didn't even mean it!"

He spreads his arms in a manner that irritates Hikari to no end. "Then it looks like we will be here for quite a while. I hope you don't mind sleeping on the rug."

Hikari plants her hands on her hips and sniffs. "Hah! Like I'll sleep in the same room as—" She abruptly lunges at him, catching him about the midriff, and they crash to the floor. Her hands are hurriedly searching his shirt, but before she can do much more than that, he grabs her wrists and flips them over so she's pinned underneath him.

"That," he says as she struggles to break out of his vice grip, "was a dirty move, Hikari."

"You're dirty," is her clever comeback before kneeing him precariously close to his family jewels. He avoids it, luckily, but she gains enough purchase to shove herself free and jump to her feet.

He rolls swiftly to his own feet and remarks, "Shall I give you a hint?"

She frowns at him. "As if. You'd probably lie to me."

He chuckles. "How deeply you distrust me. I shall give you a hint anyways: it is not in my pocket."

"But then where—" Hikari breaks off with a strangled yelp when he moves toward her lightning fast, twirling away before his hand can grasp her elbow. She grabs the chair and stands behind it. "You know what, time out," she declares.

He stands leisurely before her and the chair. "Very well," he allows.

The window is just to her right, only five steps away. "I don't understand why you're trying to grab me," she tells him. "Think about it, I'm the one searching you for the key. You have nothing to gain by willingly coming close to me. That puts you in a disadvantage, right? So stop it." She keeps hold of the chair and takes one small step to the right.

"I appreciate your advice," he smiles. "But I'm afraid you read my intentions wrong."

Hikari sidesteps again. Just three more steps diagonal and then she can jump out the window to freedom. "What are your intentions?" she asks without any real desire to know.

"I want to hold your hand."

She blinks at him.

"I also want to hold you close to me so that I can kiss you senseless, my princess."

Hikari grips the chair and takes another step. Don't smile, she orders herself sternly. "That's cheesy," she informs him.

"That's not all. I want you to bear my children."

Her face turns red. "You beast!" And she throws the chair at his head.

Kei dodges it easily, but she's already opening the window latch, one foot on the sill and poised to jump out. She shrieks when his arms snake around her waist and drags her back into the room, away from escape and freedom. He ignores her as she calls him every degrading name under the sun and rights the chair, then unceremoniously plunks her down into it.

"Is it so bad to want children?" he wants to know, planting his hands on the armrests to block her movements.

"Just give me the key!" She presses against the chair to get as far away from him as possible, and lashes out with her leg. He maneuvers himself so he is standing between her knees, effectively negating any attacks to his lower body.

"Will you listen to me?"

"Leave me alone," she huffs.

"I love you."

Hikari is surprised, but she crosses her arms and refuses to look up. "I'm still mad at you."

"I'm sorry." This time she glances at him, startled by the emotion in his voice. "I want to talk to you again. I want us to hold hands. I want to sleep in the same bed as you." She makes a noise but he continues seriously, "I miss smelling your hair. I miss hearing you laugh. I even miss your horrible cooking but more than anything I miss you, Hikari."

By this time his hand is on her cheek, his eyes tracing every curve of her face with the thirst of a man who hasn't seen his beloved in years.

She watches him carefully when he takes her unresisting hand and slowly brings it up to his lips.

"Fine," she says. "You can keep the key."

Hikari gently retracts her hand from him grasp. Then she winds her arms around his warm neck and tugs his head closer to her, near enough he can feel her breath on his skin. She smiles at the surprise in his eyes. Even now Kei is under the impression that he is the only one deeply in love.

"I don't mind sleeping on the rug," she whispers.

Surprise is replaced quickly by a hint of relief and then an answering smirk. "I'm glad," he murmurs back, and without further ado he kisses her. She hums in approval, slowly sinking into the familiar feel of his lips on hers and the heat of his body. No, she thinks, it isn't so bad to want children. Not bad at all.

Because she has missed her husband too.



A/N: What was their fight about? Who knows. Where is the key hidden? Who knows. How old are Hikari and Kei in this fic? Who knows. What does the title even mean? Who knows. In other words, it's all up to the reader to fill in the gaps. Use your imagination because this author is signing out. XD Thanks for reading!