Author's Notes – Ok, I'm a total Koume and Yaegashi nut, and I kinda took a break from my other story to write this one. There's only one other fic devoted to the K/Y cause (Ice-Cream, go read it if you have a chance to, because it's pretty cute), and I think its time there was a second one. Anywho, this shall be my first, and probably only, serious story that I ever write, so for all of you Koume and Yaegashi fans out there, this one's for you!

Rated – PG for swearing (bad Koume…^_^;)

Story Note – Ok, this takes place 26 hours AFTER the whole Suzano-o battle. This fic does have a few spoilers about episodes 24 and 26 in them, so if you haven't seen them and don't want to know, then don't read this fic. Also, there's a line in here pertaining to Koume and Yaegashi's little bit in Episode 26 (Private time for each of us episode) in dub format. Basically, for those who don't remember, Koume was freaking out over the possibility of losing (as if they're gonna lose, this is animé after all!) and Yaegashi says to her, "It's alright, give in and let me be the strong one." Just so you don't get lost in the story. =)

Rebuilding

            It had been twenty-six hours since Lord Suzano-o was defeated, and the military was everywhere. Personnel from the Self-Defense Force crawled the area, hooking up various machines to the giant cherry blossom tree that now stood in the middle of Tokyo, trying to get a better understanding of what it was, and if it was a threat or not. Several members of the Japanese CIA, as well as many other high-ranking government officials, had taken all of the members of the TAC, including Kusenagi (who wanted to stay with Momiji for support) to separate makeshift rooms and vehicles to interrogate them into the happenings before, during, and after the major battle between Lord Suzano-o and the Kushinada.  Each member of the TAC was thumb printed and put on file as high-level security personnel, whose actions were to be monitored for the next few months. Finally, after over twenty-six hours of non-stop interviews and interrogations by the government, the TAC members were set free to get a bit of sleep before coming back to do *more* interviews, accounts, interrogations, and the like.

Momiji squinted as she walked into the bright sunlight, after being cooped up for all of those hours in a dark room (not that she minded, because Kusenagi was there holding her hand). "Ouch, that sun's bright. Ugh, I am so tired." Kusenagi yawned loudly in response to her comment.

"I wonder how the rest of the TAC are holding up. They probably got it worse than we did."

"Why do you say that?" Momiji asked as she rubbed her eyes sleepily,

"Because they actually work for the government, and they all disobeyed orders in order to save everyone's hide." Kusenagi stretched as he said the last part of his sentence. Suddenly, a loud, sleep-heavy voice cut through the air.

"God DAMNIT, I am so freakin' TIRED, jeez, you think 26 hours is long enough?! ARHG!!!" Both Momiji and Kusenagi turned to the voice, knowing full well that it was a very tired and very cranky Koume. As Kusenagi looked towards Koume as she walked up to them, fearing her wrath now that she was extremely sleep-deprived, he noticed that all of the other members of the TAC had been let go as well.

"Well, it looks like they let us all go at the same time." Kusenagi noted lightly as the rest of the members caught up to Koume. They all gathered around, large dark bags under their eyes and glazed over looks dictating the mood.

"How bad did you guys get it?" Momiji asked quizzically,

"Bad enough." Ryoko commented as she yawned loudly,

"Horrible." Matsudaira said as she tried to focus on the people in front of her, her vision getting blurry with exhaustion.

"I am in the biggest trouble of my life." Yaegashi stated as he took off his glasses and lightly rubbed his eyes.

"ARGH!!!" Was all Koume could get out, her grumpiness taking over her mind and clouding it with hate.

"You think you're in trouble, ha, that's nothing compared to the shit that I'm in." Kunikida said uncharacteristically, the rest of the TAC blanched at his comment.

"Did you just swear?" Koume asked, her hate turning into utter confusion.

"I've been getting yelled at for 26 hours Koume, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm angry, and all I want to do is to go home for a few hours and sleep." Kunikida said pointedly. Nodding in agreement, the group agreed to meet back in the same spot in twelve hours and they staggered off to their vehicles (or what was left of them).

Koume looked over at Yaegashi, as he slowly made his way in the direction of his house. Noticing the red on the back of his shirt and the grimace of extreme pain and exertion on his face, she became concerned and ran over to him.

"Yaegashi, you don't look so good." She said, her voice full of concern.

"Koume, would it be alright if I asked you to give me a ride back to my house?" Yaegashi said as she put his arm around her shoulder and helped him walk.

"Sure, it's not like I have anywhere important." Koume said as she slowly helped Yaegashi over to where she had left her motorcycle last.

"That's funny," Koume said, a hint of distress in her voice.

"What is?" Yaegashi grunted out, his pain growing exceedingly worse.

"My bike, it's not here. One second," Koume said as she helped Yaegashi sit down, then went to look for it. Her stress level flew up when she finally found it lodged sideways through a store window, the energy Suzano-o had omitted earlier having blown the motorcycle into it. Cursing and grunting repeatedly, Koume kicked the tires of her motorcycle until the window that held it have way in a shower of glass, allowing Koume to pick it up.

            "OW!!! DAMNIT!!!" Koume yelled as she cut herself repeatedly on the surrounding glass shards. Rolling her motorcycle and trying to dislodge some of the glass at the same time, Koume made her way back over to Yaegashi.

            "Koume, you're bleeding everywhere! What happened?" Yaegashi said as she tried to help him get onto her bike.

            "Damn bike got stuck in a damn window." She spat as she turned on the motorcycle and headed towards Yaegashi's house.

Upon arriving at his house, Koume helped Yaegashi off of her motorcycle and into the den, where they had spent the night before their fight with Lord Suzano-o only a few days earlier. Setting him down on a footstool, Koume ran into the kitchen and grabbed a first-aid kit, rag, towel, soap, and a bowl of warm water.

"Take off your shirt, we need to replace those bandages." Koume stated as she walked back into the room. Struggling, Yaegashi did as he was told, and leaned forward so as to give Koume more access to his injured back. Taking a seat behind him on the coach, Koume began to slowly take the bandages off, so as not to hurt him any more than he already was. Koume became concerned with the fact that the bandages had been completely soaked through with blood, the red liquid now smeared all over his entire back.

"I can't believe you didn't get any medical attention. What the hell? I mean seriously, why didn't those damn government agents get you to a doctor or something?" Koume said with concern as she finished unrolling the bandages to reveal a very irritated and free-bleeding gash on Yaegashi's back. Soaking a rag in the bowl of warm water, Koume began to clean his wound as gingerly as possible. Yaegashi winced, as ginger wasn't exactly what would describe Koume.

"Ow!" Yaegashi said as Koume continued,

"Ugh, don't be such a wimp." Koume said grumpily, her digilgence being thrown off by the severe lack of sleep she was experiencing.

"Sorry. I don't know why they didn't help me. They were just more interested in everything that had happened, what I knew, and all of the research on Suzano-o that I did than in my condition." Yaegashi complained as he tried hard not to show Koume how much pain he was in.

"Damn friggin' jerks." Koume swore as she soaped up the rag, having wiped of a lot of the smeared blood, and began to thoroughly clean Yaegashi's wound.

"Yeah." Was all Yaegashi could say as he bit his tongue. While he was grateful that Koume was taking care of him, he wished she could've been a bit gentler.

"So what happens now?" Koume asked, an uncharacteristic tone of exhaustion and stress playing on her voice.

"I don't know. I guess we just rebuild. We always have in the past." Yaegashi stated calmly. Koume finished washing his wound clean and began to put ointment and bandages on it.

"Hold still, I'm almost done." She said gently as she tried to slowly pat the ointment onto his gash, to avoid further irritation and pain. Though try as she might, Yaegashi could feel the intense sting of the medication, but kept his mouth shut, as he knew it was all for the best.

"Thank you Koume." Yaegashi said as she started to slowly roll crisp new bandages around his upper body.

"For what?" Koume asked, her attention being fully on making sure that his bandages were tight and secure.

"For taking care of me. It's really sweet of you."

"Yeah well…" Koume trailed off as she concentrated on the bandages. After a few minutes of silence, she finished securing the bandages, and got up. Walking around Yaegashi, she sat down on a neighboring footstool on his left and looked at him.

"All done, no thanks to the government." Yaegashi smiled at her, looking into her deep blue eyes. Koume smiled back, but her smiled turned into a frown, when she saw concern in his eyes.

"What?"

"Koume, you're hurt as well. Why don't you let me help you?" Yaegashi offered, taking her hand and pulling her arm towards him to reveal many cuts on her arm, courtesy of the broken window that she had gotten her motorcycle out of earlier. Koume looked down at her arm and grunted.

"Bah, it's fine, just a few little paper cuts." Yaegashi looked at her arm more closely, and noticed many glass shards riddled throughout the cuts in her arm. Sighing, he took out a pair of tweezers from a small table-cabinet combination and with one of the unused rags, began to pluck out the shards.

"You're tired, and you need your rest. I'm not gonna die or nothin', just do it later." Koume said in an exhaustive tone.

"Koume, these could heal inside your arm and cause an infection. Remember what I said a few days ago about giving in and letting me be the strong one? Just give in now, and let me help you, as you've helped me." (Author's note: see the Story Note at the top of this fic if you didn't get that line) He said, his focus staying on her arm and getting the shards out. Speechless, Koume sat still and let Yaegashi clean and tend to her wounds, the little shards taking over an hour to painstakingly remove. Finally, Yaegashi looked up at Koume, who was trying hard not to fall asleep.

"That should do it for your arms, but I want to check and see if you have shards anywhere else." Yaegashi said as he lightly cupped her face with is hand and turned her head sideways a little. Koume, who was feeling rather strange about what was happening, simply let him inspect her check for anything that shouldn't be on it. Yaegashi suddenly scooted up and began taking a closer look at her forehead, causing a half-asleep Koume to suddenly snap awake, as his face was mere inches away from hers.

"You don't seem to have anything on your face." Yaegashi whispered lightly. Without really thinking, Koume moved forward slightly, closing the gap between their faces…and their lips. Yaegashi didn't move back or try to stop her, he simply gave into the kiss, her soft lips pressed lightly, almost unsurely, against his. The kiss felt very intense to Koume, "Even though," she noted in her mind, "this isn't some open-mouthed kiss like in the movies." After a few minutes, they broke apart, and they looked into each other's eyes.

"Sorry." Koume said lightly, "That must've been a really bad kiss." Yaegashi brought his hand up to her cheek and lightly caressed it.

"Why do you say that?"

"Because, well…"

"Hm?"

"I've never kissed a guy before." Koume said reluctantly as she blushed a deep crimson. It was true, although it wouldn't come as a shock to really anybody, as she was usually known to be manlier than the men she worked with. However, to Koume, being 23 years old and having never kissed a boy was not exactly something that most people would consider normal.

"Oh? I hadn't noticed. For what it's worth, I consider that my first kiss as well." Yaegashi said, a small smile forming on his face.

"What do mean?" Koume asked, genuinely confused.

"I once met a girl in early elementary school, and she kissed me once. But I never really counted that as a kiss." Yaegashi said, blushing a bit as well. "I know I'm a total loser for saying that, I mean, I'm 25 years old now and that was pretty much my first kiss." Koume, overcome with emotion, leaned back over and kissed Yaegashi again, this time much more passionately. Yaegashi slowly parted her lips with his, and they both felt lost in their own little world of love and acceptance.

"So this is what a real kiss feels like." Koume mused as she felt their kiss grow more and more passionate, their need for comfort in their time of extreme trouble and exhaustion becoming more and more intense.

Finally, the two parted, having needed to come up for air. Breathing heavily, Yaegashi once more brought his hand up to Koume's face and began to stroke it lightly.

"Now I know how Momiji feels." Koume whispered through heavy breaths. Yaegashi smiled as he looked into her eyes and stroked her face lovingly.

"Listen, I know we're both tired and we both could really use some sleep, but before I go to bed, I want to ask you something." Yaegashi stated, a blush creeping onto his cheeks and palms beginning to perspire.

"Yeah?"

"Would you maybe, I mean you don't have to or anything, but, well, I mean, would you maybe, kinda, sorta, be my girlfriend?" Koume smiled at his nervousness, and quickly pecking Yaegashi on the lips, said,

"Sure." Yaegashi smiled as Koume then got up to get a blanket so that they could get a bit of beauty sleep on the couch before going back to the giant cherry tree where Suzano-o slept to continue their interviews, interrogations, and overall questioning with the rest of the Japanese government. 

The End

Well there ya go, my one time attempt at a serious story. Now back to my other series! =D By the way, please review, because I love reviews! Hehe! Viva Koume and Yaegashi! And yes, I support Kusenagi and Momiji as well, but there are enough of those fics out there to keep all those K/M shippers happy for quite awhile.