Look, I apologize that it's been almost three months since I've updated. I know that's a really long time to wait for such a mediocre chapter it's not even worth it, but I've been going through a lot of stuff. Right after my last post, I broke up with my boyfriend who took my to prom and after that I finished up my sophomore and after that it's been vacations, writers block and band. I am super sorry I am posting right now and that some of you have probably grown sick of waiting and have just quit on me. Little to say I wouldn't blame you if that did happen.
BUT! I do need to get a review with anybody who hasn't seen their character in the story yet and still wants them there. I'm cleaning out my profiles and I need to know who still is waiting for a character to show up so I introduce those who are wanted to be seen still.
Anyways, I'm going to leave you with this chapter. Enjoy the Setsuja, I guess. Good luck, readers and hopefully I'll be able to stick around~
"I-I was thinking...uhm...maybe we should try and reconnect everybody again. Maybe we could do a group thing...like...uh...like a picnic!"
Kimiko cringed from the other end of the line, chewing her lower lip at the idea that Kyo s voice pitched to her from the phone. "A-A picnic?"
She was surprised by the enthusiastic tone in his voice, especially since she had taken quite a bit of time to simply talk about the entrance of Kiyo as a possible member of the alliance from time to time along with the continued progress of T and her as a pair of partners. But breaking the conversation to suggest a group thing, just so out of the blue, immediately made her cringe and begin to suspect things, drawing her own conclusions about why he would want to do something like that. Like, a picnic with the entire Alliance?
"W-Well, yeah. " Kyo grunted from the other line.
"W-Why would you want to do that so suddenly?" She frowned. "I mean, everybody s been so busy lately, I don't think we've been together as a group in a long time."
"Exactly though." Kyo replied. "Look, I've been talking to Michael, Flynn and Setsuna a lot lately and I mean, it's nice to hang out with them, but it's nicer to be in a group. I mean...we all went through Xenolith s Castle together! And we have barely spent time together as a huge mob since then. What happens when Summer comes and we don't have school to keep us all together? Are we going to just stop spending time together until one of us runs into some kind of demon crisis?"
"I-I...I don't think so." Replied Kimiko, although she was anything but sure of that answer. "B-But, I am not sure about this."
"...I've talked to Flynn and Kenja, Kimiko, I know about the Aislinn thing. And we all agree that you can't run from this, no matter how you feel."
"I'm not running..."
"Prove it to me then." Kyo challenged. "I'll tell the others and get this figured out, but this Alliance is going to spend some time together, all of us, this Saturday."
"Alright, fine." Kimiko replied, trying to sound bold as she chewed her lip with a nervous sigh. She didn't know how to feel, her shoulders drooping and her pulse slightly hiked just at the idea of this. Everybody was together. Everybody had barely been one hundred percent together since she left to visit Yusuke, so their knowledge of T, of everything happening in their lives lately, was likely low.
Sure, they knew of T but that was before this new pact was built and things were beginning to improve. She wasn't sure how to feel about being able to see Michael or Setsuna again. It was exciting, but she was frightened.
"Good, I'll see you then."
"Y-Yeah...I'll see you."
Kyo hung up...but Kimiko continued to hold the phone to her ear as if waiting for something more that she wasn't going to receive.
"So, everybody is going to this?"
The poison duo found themselves walking to the event both were skeptical on going to, even though they were fond of meeting the old friends that more or less went to hell and back with them.
"Yep." Kimiko nodded, having a box of baked goods in her hands for her contribution to going to the event. Lucky for her Kyo had initiated this plan, leaving it up to him and any other contributor to the idea to actually put it into action and breathe life into it. At minimum that was a weight off a pair of uneager shoulders. "Well, everybody but Mister Kincaid..."
Without Icarus, it was more or less a lost cause to invite Yukio, being that he'd openly reject with a polite manner and a gentle smile.
"Y-Yeah...guess he has a reason..." Tsumi nodded slowly.
"But still...this is good. I haven ' seen some of these guys in a while. "And when saying it, she couldn't help but feel a slight sadness at the statement. They went to the same school! The fact that she hadn't seen some of them was a sign that she wasn't trying hard enough to keep up with the friendships that she had with some of them. Granted, members like Setsuna weren't quite interested in her, but they were still members and therefore still friends.
The sound of Kenja Sedai's voice caught the attention of the poison bookreader, bringing her to turn her head to find the sickly blond sitting on a red blanket with Setsuna and Kesai. The dark haired junior seeming to acknowledge her with slight indifference as Kesai waved them over. "Over here!"
A smile was brought to her face at the sight of a close friend, finding comfort in the sight of the fire duo and not seeing any reason to fear Setsuna as he lay by Kenja, the blond seeming to be almost leaning into the chest and stomach of the dark haired junior. "Hey you guys!" She dropped a bit of her worry as she motioned for Tsumi to follow, heading up the hill to the three sitting on the blanket.
"Kimiko and Tsumi are here!" Called Kesai, Kimiko frowning as she looked around for a moment to see who else was there. And sure enough, there was basically the rest of the group; Michael, Shura, Kyo and Amera.
Well, almost everybody else...
Kimiko brought herself to smile with joy and slight relief. "O-Oh, hey guys!" She gave a simple wave and a gentle smile to the lot of them.
"Aislinn is on her way, Flynn and Cheshire will be with her." Kenja's voice came, causing the poison bookreader to cringe and slowly nod, knowing this couldn't be evaded.
"It'll be good for you to talk to them." Setsuna seemed to remark, causing Kimiko a bit of annoyance at the realization that Setsuna knew what was going on. "Since you guys are fighting."
She turned around. "How do you know about this?"
"I am friends with Flynn." He shrugged. "And I've got Kenja."
She bit her lip, looking to Kenja. "So, you just tell your boyfriend everything, huh? "Her eyes slightly narrowed, but widening the moment she watched the pale cheeks of her friend turn a bright shade of pink as he lowered his head, moving his back slightly away from the body of Setsuna.
"Of course he does." The junior shrugged, an arm wrapping around Kenja's slim middle and pulling him back to where he was a moment ago. "Why wouldn't he keep me up to date with this stuff? I am a member, aren't I?"
She was too stunned by Setsuna's touching Kenja to really say anything, unable to really think of anything to say as she noticed Tsumi and Kesai interacting out of the corner of her eye. You think Kesai would have given her a heads up that this was more...official than she was aware of. But come to think of it, why hadn't Kenja told her?
"There you are~!"
Kimiko turned at the sound of another voice, her hazel eyes meeting the light green ones of Kyoshiro Yakage and bringing both relief and joy to her face. She was glad to see him there, if only because he managed to pull her out of an awkward situation. "Hey, Kyo. I guess you really did manage to get all of this planned, huh?"
"Oh yeah, it was easy. "He smiled. "I just got in contact with whoever I ran into and told them to tell the others. Its pretty simple when we all kind of go to the same school now." Well, he had a decent point when making that statement.
"I don't know, it might have been a mess if I d have tried to do the planning here." A soft laugh leaving her throat as she brought herself to smile slightly.
"You could take the compliment." She smiled gently, causing him to chuckle slightly at the slight teasing. "Yeah, yeah, okay, okay."
Setsuna snorted while watching this, Kenja frowning slightly as he looked at the junior who continued to keep him to his chest. "God, you think they'd just get together by now."
"Oh, come now, you can't rush these things..." Kenja muttered with a blush still lingering, feeling Setsuna s hand leave his waist, causing his teeth to slightly run against his thin lower lip. "They'll be ready when it comes time to be ready."
"Yeah? And when do you know when?" Setsuna asked, slightly teasing Kenja with the tone he spoke in while he sat himself up.
"I-I...It's just intuition, I guess." He replied, drawing in a breath as he felt Setsuna s arms drape over his shoulders, chin resting on one of the arms. Setsuna could feel the warmth that ignited the fire bookreader's face, chuckling to himself slightly.
"Yeah? When did you know you were ready for this?"
"I-I..." The sickly blond's voice faltered. "I...When it came to you? I-I was always ready..."
A head lifted, Setsuna's eyebrow lifting questioningly. "You were?"
"Y-Yes...I mean, not at once, but after we started talking...I got an understanding for who you were. I knew you were gentle, even if you didn't believe that you were anymore. I could feel that you were sad and I wanted to help you. And the more time we 'e spent together...the more I found myself infatuated and spellbound by you..."
He was blushing harder than Setsu previously thought was possible, leaving him considering two different methods of action when it came to his next move.
"I think that's why I took to you." The junior replied, moving himself so the two could look at one another, so their eyes could study one another as Kenja s face continued to find itself painted in a bright pink. "Maybe you saw that somewhere deep in me, I was gentle...but you 'e completely gentle. When you approached me for the first time, to learn about Xenolith, you didn't just come to talk answers and leave, you genuinely did care about my person. And you just...you kept that up by standing up for me when Kincad didn't want Flynn and I going to Xenolith s castle...
"I guess I really knew how much you meant to me when I told you about...about Nora. I mean, you burned the book...you helped me do all of those things and you've been just so goddamn gentle the entire time. You had the parts of the old me I didn't know I needed or loved until I had you in my life..."
Kenja nodded slowly, slightly shaking in his spot with surprise as Setsuna reached forward. "Kenja, there is no reason to be upset." His hand resting on the shaking boy's shoulder. "C-Come on, don't cry or anything...it's alright. T-Tell me what's wrong."
"...I'm not upset or anything. It is just...I am happy... :He reached up to wipe away the beginning to form tears. "I am so relieved to know that you...you feel this way about me just like I do." He sniffled, wiping his eyes.
"And how do you feel about me, Kenja?"
He sniffled, laughing slightly through his tears. "I-I like you quite a lot, Setsuna...you know that."
"I know, I just wanted to hear it from you for the first time." He reached forward and took Kenja's thin chin in his fingers, pulling the blond into a soft and gentle kiss as Kenja's face exploded into a bright pink that appeared almost neon thanks to the fire book reader's pale complexion.
And when the kiss was broken, Kenja silently looked up to meet the red-violet eyes of his crush as his face continued to practically burn thanks to such a heavy blush. "S-Setsuna?" He whispered the name, surprised at how forbidden and dangerous it sounded when on the tip of his tongue now that Setsuna had kissed him, now that Setsuna had taken his first kiss.
"I like you a lot too." He whispered, pressing his forehead to the fire bookreader's shoulder. "And I really want to be with you and around you more often."
"You can be around me all you want, dear." He whispered gently, reaching up to stroke Setsuna's raven hair.
"Then...Then will you...go out with me?"
"Of course." Kenja nodded slowly, drawing in a breath to let himself smile. "I'd be honored."
"I'm so glad."
The two had decided not to talk about their newly formed relationship as after a while everybody was sitting down to eat, Kimiko trying to distract herself from the inevitable when she finally heard what she hadn't been waiting for.
"Aislinn, Cheshire and Flynn are here!" Shura called, causing the girl to lift her head and look at the three of them with an almost unfamiliar glint in her eyes when it came to Aislinn. She felt as if she barely knew her anymore, chewing her lip nervously and drawing in a breath.
"Come on down, you re just in time for lunch!" Kyo invited, waving them all over with a smile on his face. Of course he knew what he was doing since he had Kimiko and Tsumi beside him. "Sit with us, there is a lot of room."
The poison book reader hesitated, only to feel a palm wrap around her wrist to hold her in place. Her face slightly flushing as she looked to Kyo with slight surprise. "Kyo?" She mumbled, meeting his eyes as he gave her a look to tell her she needed to quit acting like a child and talk to her ally. "...Okay, I get it..." She mumbled, slightly pursing her lips.
And after they got their food, the trio that had only now shown up sat down with Kyo, Amera, Kimiko and Tsumi. And by the look in Aislinn s eyes she didn't exactly want to be sitting here anymore.
"...Sorry..." Kimiko mumbled as she put her drink down, looking up to meet the eyes of the dream bookreader. "I...I shouldn't have been ignoring you or acting like I'm some kind of a victim..."
"You're right, you shouldn't be." Aislinn said, eating one of the little sausages she had taken from one of the brought bentos. "I was never out to get you for all of this, you just assumed everything about how Cheshire and I were going to take this. You vilified us and then played the victim, so all of this was one sided, Kimiko."
"...You're right." She sighed. "I-I guess I was so sure that T turning out to be strong would have drove you crazy, that he almost did a lot of damage to Cheshire."
"We will just get stronger." Cheshire shrugged, sipping from her own cup. "We aren't just going to let you remain the strongest in this group."
"Well, we aren't going to get any weaker, you can count on that." Tsumi said, giggling slightly at this statement and the sudden drop in tension.
"You really think I'll let you stay strong? Or rather, let the alternate you think he's dominant over me?" The snow leopard laughed gently. "You really are pathetic."
"You watch us stay the strongest." Kimiko found a smile returning to her face.
"You are on." Aislinn replied as she seemed to soften up a bit, no longer seeming annoyed or mad at the others.
"...So are we friends ago?"
"...In a way...I guess." Aislinn nodded, but in her own way, this meant yes.
"So, what did you think about that? Not as bad as you thought, right?"
Kyo and Kimiko were the only two left at the park now, along with their demon partners of course, doing all the cleaning up that came with an after party kind of thing. And they were currently folding up the blankets, having all the food neatly packed away.
"...I guess you knew what I needed more than I did." Kimiko admitted. "I guess I just really needed to apologize to her...Thanks for everything you did for me."
"It was no trouble." Kyo nodded as he took the folded blanket from her arms and set it with the others. "I'm just glad we all got the time to just be together, you know? Savor the fact that we are all still together."
"It is nice." Kimiko smiled, picking up some of the items so they could leave now that everything was cleaned up. "Just to relax and stay out of fights for a little bit, enjoy having our partners while they are here."
He snapped his fingers before grabbing stuff. "You got it." A soft sigh on his lips. "Kenja told me all about what happened...when Icarus's book burned and it just, it got me to want to savor everything with Amera. I m sure Mister Kincad regrets not taking enough pictures, not going out enough with him to just have fun."
"I won't be like that. I'm going to try and spend all the time I can just treasuring what I've been given with my partner."
"That's a brilliant idea."
Kyo turned to look at the smiling Kimiko as they headed out of the park with their partners walking far enough behind that they were oblivious to the conversation at hand. "You think so?"
"Yeah, I really do." The poison bookreader smiled. "Think Tsumi and I could join you to make sure we make enough memories to last a lifetime?"
"Yeah." He said, feeling his heart race slightly at the sight of her smiling. "I would love to have you do it with us."