With Kirihara Misaki it was always about work. She solved various cases, she caught criminals, she fought Contractors. Love wasn't on her mind. Ever. She concentrated on work and work alone.
Until she started to think about him. Okay, he was a few years younger, but she was fine with that. It was only a slight age difference. After years of not caring about love, herself and her emotions, everything went overdrive. She thought about him constantly. She imagined them together - holding hands, kissing. She imagined situations when the two of them meet and he invites her somewhere. Later in this daydreams he usually confessed that he was always around because he was silently watching her and have been in love with her since he first saw her. Sometimes he would be with his shirt off. Showing his lean frame, his dark blue-gray eyes watching her with admiration. She would ran her hands through his black hair. She would tell him she loves him too.
Li Shengshun, a Chinese student. He was easy to talk to and treated her like a normal girl, not like a cop. He was unlike the criminals – he didn't have an ulterior motive and she liked it. She could be herself around him – be a woman new to all the feelings that can be shared within a man and a woman. She knew he won't laugh at her.
She met him quite often – he seemed to be in places that she frequented – even when she was on one of her cases. He was a waiter at the party she had almost been killed, she saw him on the street, in the shop gallery… He was everywhere.
So it was easy for her to ask him out during one of their unexpected meetings. They went out and got some coffee. It was nice and Li-kun was amazingly sweet. He just made Misaki fall for him more.
They continued their dates. It was great – they weren't doing any kissing or hand holding, mostly talking, but Misaki thought everything would come in time. They went on their dates to various restaurants, stargazing a couple of times, cinema once or twice. She even invited Li-kun to her apartment.
One thing unnerved her. Li-kun would never tell her anything about himself. No "what-was-he-doing-lately", no "the-people-he-knows" and no "what-happened-in-the-past". It was awful. She told him everything about her friends, family, work and childhood. He told her none of that. He hadn't even tell her where he lived. That was why they were now having this conversation.
"Li-kun. Why don't you ever take me to your place?" she asked when he suggested her apartment. It was getting late and she wanted to spend some time in a calm and quiet place. She thought she could somehow talk him into showing her his apartment.
"Um." He blushed cutely as he always would. He was just so nice. "Misaki-san. It's a shame to admit it but it's just a student's apartment. It's empty and I haven't fully unpacked."
"It doesn't matter Li-kun. Can I see it?" she saw the uneasiness in his eyes but eventually he gave up. He led her through the streets to the block of flats and then to the first floor. She memorized the street and the number on the door. 201.
Pretending to be a nice student was a hard work. He agreed to date Kirihara because of Huang's order. The old man working for the Syndicate suggested she may share some important information with her boyfriend. Besides, they weren't really doing anything. No kissing and couples stuff. Hei felt nothing towards Misaki.
Hei knew something was up the moment when he opened the door to his temporary place.
On the mat next to an extra pair of his shoes were little boots. Girl's boots.
He knew those, of course. They belonged to Yin. What was Yin doing in his apartment at this hour? It was appearing to be extremely troublesome. How was he going to explain Yin's presence to Misaki?
"Um, Misaki-san?" he wore his best embarrassed expression.
She looked at him questioningly.
"My friend is staying with me. It's just for a couple of days."
"Why didn't you tell me before?"
Hei was thinking fast. Luckily, he was an excellent liar and had a good head on his shoulders.
"I wanted you to meet her."
Her? Was he having a female friend over in his house? No wonder he didn't want Misaki here.
One thing was good – he wanted her to meet his friend and that was good, right? When you truly care about someone you would introduce them to your friends. First sign of treating her as his girlfriend. She made up her mind. She won't be mad at him now. He had the best intentions.
Kirihara heard something. Li-kun seemed to hear it too, because he started to take off his shoes. She did the same and heard more clearly.
Girl's voice. His friend? Did she call Li-kun "Hei"? Why?
One word came from Li-kun's lips.
Must be the girl's name. It was a weird name.
That was strange. Why wasn't the girl saying anything else? She kept repeating this one word. Li-kun, however, didn't seem disturbed. It appeared normal to him. He went to the room the voice came from. Misaki followed him.
It was a little kitchen. Among the necessary equipment and white furniture sat a girl. She was certainly pretty in an unconventional way. She had long silver hair tied by a purple ribbon. She wore a purple dress and a short black jacket over it. She looked like one of the characters Mayu often wrote about. Her pink-red eyes just completed the look. The girl was spectacular in a weird way.
"Hi, I'm Misaki. What's your name? Are you Japanese?" Kirihara asked to make a good impression. It was one of Li-kun's friends after all. She didn't want them to dislike her.
"Yin." the girl said quietly. Her voice was monotone.
"She is Finnish." Li-kun finished for the girl. She just nodded her head slowly. He then addressed his friend.
"Did they send you?"
Misaki had no idea who were "they". The girl seemed not to have a problem with understanding who Li-kun was talking about. She shook her head no and answered monotonely.
"I felt lonely, Hei."
Li-kun looked relieved. Misaki thought it sounded too intimate for friends. Li-kun didn't appear to think it sounded weird from the girl's lips.
"Why is she calling you Hei, Li-kun?" was it some sort of nickname? It was certainly uncommon.
Li-kun looked troubled for a moment.
"Hei and Yin." came from the finnish girl.
"Uh-h, she means that all of our friends have short nicknames. Usually three-letters-long." he hoped it was a good lie. "One of us is Mao, for example. I'm Hei, she is Yin."
Yin nodded her head. Misaki thought it sounded reasonable.
"Are you hungry?"
Who was he asking? Misaki or the silver haired weirdo? Kirihara was just about to answer when Yin nodded her head once.
Li-kun started taking things out of his freezer. He chopped the cabbage and pulled out the pan. He moved onto slicing the tomatoes.
The room was quiet. Misaki felt out of place. The strange pair seemed content with the silence. Yin was sitting in her chair and Li-kun was preparing the meal. There was a weird understanding between the two. Misaki decided to break the silence.
"Do you need help, Li-kun?" she figured it was a simple question to break the ice.
"I'm almost done. Thank you, Misaki-san." he send a smile in her direction.
Kirihara didn't see the silver haired girl smile. She had a stoic expression, she didn't show any emotion. That was weird. She also noticed that Li-kun wasn't smiling at her. He was like a different person to Yin. He was serious but his eyes were almost caring. He didn't smile. They were comfortable with each other anyway.
"Could you take out the plates?" he showed Misaki the right closet and she set one plate in front of everyone's chair. Yin was sitting calmly, expressionlessly in her place.
Li-kun put the food onto the plates. Misaki's portion was almost as big as Li-kun's. Only Yin got a smaller one. They grabbed their chopsticks.
Misaki ate at her normal pace. Li-kun ate quickly. Yin ate slowly.
Hei was almost on his third bowl. Misaki ate two. Yin was slowly chewing on the food on her plate. She suddenly stopped eating at the same time Hei finished stuffing his mouth.
She placed her plate in front of Hei. There was some food left.
"Eat." she said calmly.
"Yin. You have to eat more. You barely ate anything." he wasn't about to let the poor Doll starve to death.
"You're still hungry." it was not a question. It was a statement and Yin looked sure of it.
Hei nodded his head and ate what she left.
Misaki was feeling out of place. There was an awkward silence in the room. The two acted like they had some secrets they couldn't talk about in front of Misaki. That's why she was relieved when the weird finnish girl announced in her bored tone.
Yin went to sleep and Misaki finally was left alone with Li-kun. She didn't know why but the girl unnerved her. She was almost too comfortable with Li-kun. All they shared was a silence yet they were extremely close. Misaki didn't have this kind of connection with Li-kun.
Half an hour have passed and Misaki almost forgot about the silver haired girl. Li-kun was an excellent companion, as always, and they were having fun, laughing and talking. She shared some stories of her work and was having a great time. Until she heard it.
It was a breathy "Hei". Misaki wished she would say Li-kun's name like that. It got all of his attention.
"I can't find a blanket."
He gave it to Yin – it was lying in a very visible place. Why hadn't she taken it herself?
He also took her hand and led her to the bedroom.
That's when Misaki noticed. Yin was wearing one of Li-kun's shirts. It reached almost her knees for the girl was really tiny. Not only was she a lot shorter than the Chinese student, she was also skinny and generally small.
She couldn't help but ask.
"Why are you wearing that?"
The Finnish girl answered simply.
"I like Hei's smell."
Li-kun was red as a tomato.
The weird friend of Li-kun's was standing in front of the window. Her hands were up and she was bathing in the stars light.
Misaki wasn't the subtlest of women.
"Why couldn't she take the blanket herself? It wasn't difficult to find."
Her tone was accusatory.
"Because she is blind." Li-kun answered in the same tone. Was he mad that she asked this question? Was she too intolerant?
For the first time it was Misaki that blushed.
They didn't have fun since then. Misaki was saying her thank-you's and goodbye's. Her first visit at Li-kun's apartment didn't go as well as she wanted. There was always another time, right?
As Misaki stepped out of the door she had to pull out her umbrella. It was raining intensively.
On her way out she saw the girl – Yin – standing in the rain. She was all wet, shirt and everything.
Li-kun went to the balcony and delicately pulled the girl inside the house by her hand. He was saying something quietly. The same caring look in his eyes.
Misaki wondered if he'll ever look at her like that.
The curtains of Li-kun's window closed.
She saw a shadow of two people hugging each other.
I hope you like it.