Inspired (okay, fine, I admit I ripped off 80 percent of the flow – but not the plot! Never the plot!) by a story written by a friend long ago. Also, I miss this fandom terribly. What happened to all of the awesome stories?
She's had a bad day, he can tell. Her knees ache with fatigue and she's kind of pale and he wants to hug her. But he can't.
She's a few feet away from him, separated by two or four people and he wants to call out to her, but he probably shouldn't. It's kind of rude. He sees her shift her feet, trying to get comfortable.
He sighs – he should.
He leaves his grocery bag on his seat and politely asks the people around him to not take his seat, and thankfully they agree. He stands and squeezes his way through the crowd, arm reaching out for her.
"Anna—" he starts, but before he can get her name out of his mouth she's sitting suddenly, the guy in front of her giving her room. Yoh freezes.
She's looking right at him.
They hold each other's eyes for a beat before she bows her head and looks away. His arm drops and his lips press together.
He walks back to his space on the bench and takes his grocery bag, offering the seat to an old lady.
University is too much for them to handle. No, it's too much for their relationship to handle.
Anna guesses that it really was time for their relationship to die – they're on opposite sides of the country and it just gets… hard. The messages that used to come in five times a day get fewer and shorter. The calls that used to come in as good morning's and good night's start to become just good night's and it wasn't even every night. And, before they knew it, it just… died.
She calls him seven months into her freshman college year to say that she's sorry, Yoh, it just won't work. He tries to make her change her mind, of course. He tries so hard, like he always does.
I miss you, he told her through the phone and her heart beats a little bit faster. Maybe they should visit home and talk there – a call, just a phone call isn't the right place. It isn't the right anything.
She replies that it's a fair shot. There's a long weekend coming up, anyway. She'll see him at Funbari.
Three days later and she's home and in his arms and wow, she missed him more than she thought. How could she even think of ending things? But he tells her he's leaving in three days, that he can't stay, that he has exams, and she thinks about them. She thinks about missing him.
"Yoh, I—" She almost chokes. She's not good with feelings. "I'm sorry, Yoh," she said, "We're… this isn't good for us. For our careers. Let's – can we – I think we should prioritize." She might as well have slapped him.
His eyes are hard and she feels guilty that he says yes.
"Yoh, why are we here?" she asks coolly and he just laughs that same carefree laugh that hasn't changed for the past three years they've known each other. He moves to stand behind her, one hand holding hers and the other gently rubbing her arm.
"Relax, Anna," he murmurs soothingly, and his entire body purrs in satisfaction as he felt her walls melt. He was so attuned to her body. He was so attuned to her. "I just… wanted to spend time with you is all."
The river beyond them is peaceful, the waning moon a stark reflection against the dark waters. Yoh moves them to sit on the slanted grass, his arms around her and he back to his chest. He kisses the exposed skin of her shoulder as the strap of her dress managed to fall off. She sighs a small sigh of contentment. It's been a busy week full of college applications and studying for entrance exams.
She turns her head upwards to face him and he looks down at her. "Thank you," she says, simple and straightforward. He smiles back and leans forward to kiss her forehead, her nose, her lips. His lips linger a moment longer and she smiles.
He worms his way into her life.
It started with a History project in sophomore year. They'd stay at this ramen place he liked so much going through piles of papers and books and websites and photos. Yoh says they're bonding. Anna just raises an eyebrow.
Turns out they're classmates again the next year in Math and Lit. They aren't partners for the Lit paper, but they end up studying together for most Math tests.
Yoh's pretty popular, and Anna's… not so much. But that's okay, Yoh says, she can stay with him and his friends for lunch. Anna says a flat No but Yoh's Yoh and it happens eventually.
There's a loudmouth with blue hair, and his freshman sister – who is dating the pointy-haired Chinese guy? Oh, wait, no, they're not. But they should. There's a shy girl with pink hair who Anna remembers being in some of her Advance Placement classes. And a guy who looks like he's past the high school age with weird hair offers her really good sushi.
Yoh asks how she's feeling. Anna shrugs and says it beats the library.
"Anna, right?" She blinks and turns her head up to look at him from her Lit handout. He's sure she was on the train the other day. Okay, maybe only ninety percent sure. Whatever, it's a chance.
"Yes. May I help you?" He laughs.
"Sorry, uh – well, I remembered you from the train yesterday – um, I let you sit in my seat?" She blinks at him and he feels like an idiot. Keep it together, man. "Uh – well, I was hoping – can I sit here?" The lunch table is empty except for her – he doesn't see her at the cafeteria during lunch often, so it's a shot to the moon.
She nods. He can't stop the grin on his face.
"I see you in Math," he starts, his mouth moving faster than he can think, "You're really smart." Wow, she's pretty, he thinks. Yoh doesn't realize that she doesn't verbally respond to anything he's been spouting for the past twenty minutes so he does the dumbest thing he can think of.
"Orange?" She looks at the fruit in his hand. "I have, like, three so if you want some, I don't mind sharing." She presses her lips together in thought.
"Thanks." He remembers he hadn't introduced himself.
"Sorry! Wow – I'm such an idiot! I've been talking for majority of lunch and I didn't even – I didn't even introduce myself! Sorry, sorry," he says, mentally berating himself for being part idiot. "I'm Yoh. Asakura Yoh. It's nice to finally meet you." His hand is extended again, and she stares at it.
She shakes his hand. "Kyoyama Anna." He's sure his smile looks like it's going to tear his face in two.
The train is full.
Anna mutters a curse under her breath and closes her eyes, trying to calm down. Today was not her day.
Three trains later and she finally manages to get in and squeeze through a few dozens to stand in front the train benches, knees aching with fatigue. She'd walked for at least four hours already.
"Hey, are you okay?" the boy in front of her asks, and she eyes the giant orange headphones atop his messy brown hair. He grabs the headgear and pulls it down to his neck with his free hand. He was holding a grocery bag in the other. "You look really tired."
She tries to force out an I'm Fine but it leads her to start coughing. No, in truth, she feels like crap. The boy hurriedly gets up from his seat and guides her to sit, and her knees almost buckle in relief.
But she tries to get up anyway. "No, I—"
"It's okay," he soothes. "The next one's my stop, anyway." He grins a goofy grin and places his headphones back on his head and turns, Anna watching the back of his coat as he squeezes his way through spaces filled with mingled breaths. When the train stops, he's swallowed by a sea of people who file out of the car.
Anna blinks, but makes herself comfortable. She has three stops to go.
I haven't written anything in almost a year. Please review?