Restarting with the DEAD chapter 9
L.T: I… am… so… HAPPY! The incredibly talented FF author Draco38 read this story, and reviewed it positively! If you'd like to check out his H.O.T.D fanfic, look for 'Time Trax of the DEAD' and be sure to tell them what you think. I'm also looking for a beta reader, so any applicants please PM me, and thanks for your time. All credit for the song used in this chapter goes to Heaven's Lost Property. Now, on to chapter nine!
She cut me off with a raised hand. "Don't apologise. I'm happy. You may not have been exactly charming about it, but you're earnest, and told me how you feel. Thank you, I liked that. But, I can't accept your confession, not yet. There are a few things you need to know about me first. When I'm ready, I'll tell you, and then you can make your decision…"
I kept a small smile on my face, but inside, I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. This was tantamount to a rejection! I stood abruptly, and Saeko looked at me. "Are you alright?" I nodded. I'm fine. Excuse me, I'm going to check on everyone else. I'm the leader, so it's my responsibility." I headed over to Takagi, and got a mouthful from her about how I was stupid and doing everything wrong, as usual. Hirano was next on my list.
"Hirano, you holding up ok? I saw you earlier, with 'Them'? You looked a bit manic, dude. I just want you to know. You need to talk, come find me. I'll make time." He nodded, and I joined Rei and smiled faintly at her obvious happiness at having me to herself. I guess she really is jealous of Saeko. I spent a bit of time making sure she was fine, then moved on to Yamada.
He was drawing in that pad of his, pencil lines filling the page at an astonishing rate. It was like he knew exactly where to put a mark, and how dark the lines had to be. I sat next to him, waiting until he noticed me, and then nodded. "Hey," I said lightly. He nodded and smiled back, his eyes flicking between the pad and my face.
"Yamada, right? You're a good artist. Where you taking extra-curricular lessons?" he shook his head. "No, I just like drawing. I'm good at painting too, but I prefer pencil. It's like… I know what shape the paper wants me to put on it, and then I have to draw." I craned to look at his picture, and whistled as he turned it so I could see better.
It was a bird, perched on a branch. Its wings were half-spread, like it wasn't sure whether to fly or not. The expression in the eyes was of fear, but with an undercurrent of wisdom running deeper than the terror. Finally, I checked on Yuuki Miku, who was staring out of the window. I put a hand on her shoulder. She looked up at me, and her amber eyes gleamed with unshed tears.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. I sat next to her and put my arm around her. "Sorry for what? You haven't done anything." She blinked. "No, I've been such a bitch. I followed that jerk-off Shido, and I was a total slut back in school. I just wanted guys to buy me things, so I used my body to get them to."
She shook her head. "Not any more. From now on, I'm going to work with you guys instead of for myself, and do whatever I can to help us survive. I'm not such a good fighter, but I can help scavenge, and if you let me, I used to be part of the junior branch of the Japanese Red Cross. I could help Ms Shizuka!" I grinned. "Sure, I'll let her know she has an assistant."
As I started to head back to my seat, I paused. "Thanks, Yuuki. You might have been a bit of a moo, but I think this'll work out fine." She blushed, and looked out of the window again. I took my seat next to Saeko again, and plugged my earphones in. Selecting a song at random, I set it to repeat and closed my eyes, humming along quietly with the music.
I saw the look of Takashi's face when I told him that I couldn't accept his heart just yet, and I quailed inside. He looked wretched, before he pasted a smile on his lips and outlined his desire to make sure everyone else was o.k. I felt like such a horrible girl. He probably thought I'd rejected him outright, but had tried to hide his shame. After about half an hour, he came back and sat down again, but before I could apologise, he just put his headphones in and seemed to trance out, listening to some tune or other. It was a sight I felt was quite melancholy. Gently, I touched his arm. "What are you listening to?" I whispered. He opened one chocolate eye, and looked at me.
"Huh?" I felt a soft pressure on my right fore-arm, and opened my right eye, focussing it on Saeko. Her face had a faintly pleading look. I shook my head, and one earphone popped out. I paused my tune, and pulled the other one free. "Sorry?" she asked again, "What are you listening to, Takashi?" I smiled. "Just a song from 'Sora no Otoshimono'. It's called 'I'm Falling Down'. I like to sing it when I feel depressed or upset."
She blinked. "You like singing, Takashi?" I nodded. "Just belting out a song can cheer you up, even if you're really feeling bad. I used to be part of a band when I was younger, so I did the singing and song-writing for them." Saeko smiled winningly. "Would you mind…singing for me?"
I froze. I'd been part of a band, true, but I hadn't sung for a girl before. Not unless you counted my mom. Gulping, I nodded, and restarted the track again. With one earphone in, I began singing Ikaros' song in my clear tenor voice.
"Fallen down, ahhahhahh…
Blue, the sky up above,
I wanna soar forever, with you, my love,
But you are the one that can fly.
I've fallen and I'm stranded here,
It's because my, my wings are heavy from…
The shame of all the ways that I've hurt you.
So don't run away,
Don't leave me here to cry in vain.
So give me a sign, I'll try and I'll try,
I know I can fly, to be with you.
Blue is the sky that hangs above!
Clouds are like tears I've cried, my love!
I'm gonna spread these broken wings,
And soar back into your heart.
Cause that's when,
I'm falling all over again,
Falling for you!
Falling down, ahhahhahh,
Saeko stared at me, and I looked away, embarrassed. "Uum, it's just a hobby. You don't have to be that shocked, you know!" She blushed, and touched my arm again. "I thought that was beautiful. You looked so into the music, that your voice seemed sweeter than any song I've heard for years. I wish I could sing…" she sighed, before turning to look at me again. "And, Komu- no, Takashi, I'm not rejecting you. I like you too, but I need to talk to you about my past. It's very hard for me to tell anyone, so I'd like to say these things in private. When we get a chance, I promise you I'll tell you the truth about me."
"Pinky promise?" I laughed, and she smirked. "Oh, come now, Takashi. We're not kids anymore. Haven't you ever heard of 'Kiss and Tell'?" She leaned towards me, her eyes half-lidded and gentle. "Here's the 'kiss', and the 'tell' comes later…" my lips felt the soft, sweet puff of her breath, moments before her mouth touched mine. I pressed back into her lips, feeling the warmth coming from her body as her arms encircled my chest. My arms folded around her back, one hand rested on her spine, the other on her long purple hair.
Our lips moved together, and I opened my mouth, licking her lower lip. Her tongue slid from between them and danced against mine as I tasted peppermint on her breath. She'd been chewing gum. I gently closed my lips over the tip of her tongue, trapping it like a little fish in my mouth. Slowly, I lowered my left hand, drawing her attention. "What are you- ooh!" she broke off in a quiet gasp. I'd brought my hand down, and clasped her butt softly, squeezing tenderly.
She bucked slightly, and I broke off the kiss. She tried to move in for another, but I gently held her away. "What's wrong? Don't you like kissing me?" she murmured, looking hurt. "It's not that. I could happily live attached to your mouth, until I died of oxygen deprivation at least, but… if this goes any further, I don't think I'll be able to hold back…"