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Made Your Mark On Me

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Tohru

If slamming doors could kill, the house would be in ruins at this very moment. I shut it so loud that my biggest expectation is for the boys to come up here to make sure my room is in one piece, but I don’t hear any indications of pitter-patters coming up the staircase. It is a big house, so sound can get lost in it.

I sag against my closed door and let out the breath I’d been holding the whole walk home. Could Yuki-Kun and Kyo-Kun tell? Was I on edge as much as I am right now? Those two worry about the littlest things. What if they think I’m angry with them because I was so quiet on the way home?

I bolt off the door, going to my closet and pulling out my day clothes. I scramble to take off my uniform and put the dress on. I have to make sure I didn’t offend them as much as I suspect I have. I yank open the door and go down the stairs, nearly tripping on the last step in my haste to get to them, but something catches my arm just in time. I look up at my savior and catch bright auburn eyes at first sight.

“Ah!” I stand up straight and Kyo-Kun releases my arm. “Th-thank you! I’m so sorry! I just had to make sure you were alright-!”

His stance becomes more relaxed instead of alert. “What do you mean? I’m fine. You’re the one I should be checking up on. You almost sprained your ankle or something.” He leans against the wall to the entrance of the staircase, his toned arm crossing over his torso.

I glance at his muscled forearm for a second for what reason, I don’t know. “Oh, no, I’m okay because you saved me. Thank you so much.”

He nods once. “Are you though?”

Abort! I need to get out of here! “Yes! I’m a-okay!” I smile as big as I can to prove it, so much so that my cheeks start to ache.

His brow raises. “You’re faking it. You always smile too big when you try to pretend to be happy.” His sigh ruffles my hair against my neck. “You were acting strangely on the way home.”

I ring my fingers together, avoiding his gaze however I could. “I…was worried you could tell.”

All I ever do is bring trouble to others. All. The. Time. Even if I don’t mean to. The pain in my heart expands throughout my whole chest in a wave. I never want to cause trouble for them. Not when they already do so much to take care of me.

I blink back tears and on the third time I open them, Kyo-Kun’s hand grabs mine and I’m being dragged up the stairs. I widen my eyes as I stare at his back. “Kyo-Kun?! Where are you taking me?!”

“Somewhere private,” he says. We hit the top of the staircase and he takes me to my room. I’m back where I started once again.

He releases his hold on me and closes the door halfway. He turns back to me, gesturing to my bed in the corner of my room. “Sit and tell me what’s on your mind.”

My feet stay glued to the floor in the center of my room. He actually wants to listen to me. I always lend him an ear when he throws his burdens on me, but I can’t remember the last time he did the same for me. But…maybe it would be nice.

I bite my lip and go to my bed, tucking my hands under my thighs after sitting down. He follows, taking the spot beside me. The sudden closeness causes my shoulders to slump. I didn’t know they were so tense.

“Okay, um…” I start. “Well, I didn’t want to tell you because I’m afraid of what you’ll think.”

He shifts, pivoting himself toward me. “Are you serious? I’ve told you I wouldn’t think any different of you no matter what you did.”

I swallow, soothed by that notion. I believe him. I always will. “I know. That’s why I trust you,” I say, my voice quaking more every excruciatingly long moment.

“If you trust me, tell me what’s wrong,” he says sternly.

Cracking under pressure, I oblige before I can change my mind. I ball my fists into the skirt of my dress and blurt out, “Momiji-Kun asked me out!”

The silence that follows hits me like a ton of bricks. That confession has nothing on me like the way he looks at me with perplexity causes me to feel. What can he be thinking? I can only imagine. Oh, dear, I’m dating his cousin. It has to be a bizarre situation for him.

“I’m sorry! He confessed to me today and I…I said yes. Maybe I shouldn’t have! This must be weird for you and Yuki-Kun!”

“Woah, hold it,” he says quickly, easing his palms onto the tops of my hands buried in the fabric of my dress. “What the hell, Tohru? Why would you think that would bother me?”

I take one quick look at his hands on mine. They’re so big that my own disappear beneath them. They’re huge and…so strong. “You mean, you’re not angry? I thought it would bother you that I’m dating your cousin. I thought it would be awkward.”

His fingers inch up my wrist, the touch surprisingly soft and beautifully gentle. “Of course, you’d think that.” He makes a little chuckle that takes me out of my panicked reverie.

I lift my head hard enough for my hair to fall off my shoulders. “I just thought-“

“Don’t worry about it.” He takes his hands off mine and rests them on his knees. “I saw this coming. He really likes you. Like…really likes you.”

I think it got fifty degrees hotter in here. “Oh? I like him too. He’s nice.” I bring myself to finally smile and it’s more genuine this time. The happiness I felt at Momiji’s sweet, heartfelt confession remains.

Kyo-Kun looks to me, his features softening. His lips perk up. “I’m glad. Really glad. I did tell you I’d give you my full support when you got a boyfriend.”

“Yes, I remember. Thank you.” I bow my head, the relief floating off my chest. He’s not angry. Thank goodness. I don’t want to lose him. Not to this. He’s my best friend.

He stands, sighing. “You worry over the stupidest things…seriously,” he mumbles. “As long as you’re happy, I don’t care who you’re with.”

Leaning against my pillows, I grin at his turned form. “I’m happy. Momiji-Kun is so sweet.”

“Wish I thought the same,” he grumbles while heading towards the door.

“Ah, what?!”

“Kidding.” He looks back at me when he hits the doorway. “Just kidding. I think he’s still a brat, but he’s matured a lot so he’s good for you.”

“I see,” I say, trying not to get worked up over how gullible I am. However, Kyo-Kun’s teasing is adorable. It thrills me more than it embarrasses me. “Thank you again. I’m grateful for the support.”

“Yeah, don’t mention it,” he says, his eyes looking down and glazing over for a split second.

My breath hitches and catches in the back of my throat, my smile dropping. Wasn’t he happy just a second ago? Before I have time to inquire, he leaves my room.

I had clarity for several minutes, then uncertainty after his silent goodbye. That blank look held a blanket of sorrow that he kept hidden along with the other demons that remain inside him that he still keeps from me. To this day, I’m still pulling back those layers bit by bit. I’m usually patient when it comes to uncovering those dark parts of him, but after the conversation we just had, it has to be what’s affecting him.

But why? Why would he feel saddened by Momiji-Kun and I being together? If it’s not because it’s awkward, then what left is there? I’ve always had a skill of reading him…I think this is about me.

Chapter Text

Kyo

The hollowness in the pit of my stomach hasn’t left even an hour after my conversation with her. I have to forget it. Push it to the wayside like it doesn’t exist. But it’s festering until it’s eating away at me. Fucking hell, I just found out and I’m already filled with such agony for a stupid reason.

Not even the silence of the forest outside or in the house can keep my thoughts from screaming. It’s too quiet. Where the hell is that damn rat? I need to pick a fight…or something. Something to stop me from going back to Tohru’s room to tell her that, no, I don’t want her to be with someone else. I don’t-

Perfect. He’s here. I sit up on the porch, eyes narrowing. “You’ve been out a while.”

“Student council business,” Yuki mumbled tiredly, walking behind me and setting his schoolbag in the entryway to the house.

I stand, rolling my shoulders back enough to crack my back. I’m so ready. “I’m feeling kind of reckless today, pretty boy,” I say, sparing him a glance over my shoulder.

He looks back at me with not even the littlest bit of amusement. “I’m feeling kind of exhausted today, so it’s a no from me. Thanks for the offer.” He leaves the living room, heading down the hallway and completely ignoring me.

Silence falls again. It’s way too loud. “Hey!” I call to him. I follow him and catch him just as his foot hits the first step to the stairs. “I wasn’t asking! Now get outside and fight me!”

Yuki steadily turns his head my way, his eyes drooping. “What’s bothering you?”

Like I’d tell him. No way. Not in a billion years. “That’s none of your business!”

He sighs, stepping off of the step. “It’s Miss Honda. Of course, it is.”

I don’t want to react, but my wide eyes betray me. I open my mouth to speak and a harsh breath comes out along with it. “What-…Wait, how do you know?”

“You stupid cat,” he grumbles. “Everyone knows how you feel about her. This is what you get for not telling her that you love her.”

Well…fuck. Am I that transparent? Everyone knows? Does Tohru realize it?! I straighten, every part of me rigid. “I don’t understand…”

“Haru told me that Momiji asked Miss Honda out. I put two and two together based on your mood right now and the fact that you’ve gotten a lot closer to her.” His eyes soften, peering into mine as if searching for something. “Why didn’t you tell her? Because now it’s too late.”

The tips of my canines brush my lips. “You don’t need to know-“ I stop myself, walking back into the living room. I need to punch something. Anything. Maybe I can sneak attack Yuk. Or…break this damn kotatsu in half. It won’t solve anything, but…I need a distraction from whatever this is…this pain.

Footsteps come from behind me and I turn.

“It’s because you’ll be locked up, so you can’t be with her,” Yuki says, his expression blank. “So you just let her go.”

Hit the nail on the head right there. I sigh, my shoulders rising with the motion. I sit at the kotatsu, my head ungracefully leaning against my raised forearm. “Yeah. I just…can't say anything. What’s the point if I’ll be separated from her come this spring? I can’t have her so Momiji should.” 

Yuki’s scoff says more than words ever could. “You’re such a coward. You won’t even try to fight for your freedom. What if she feels the same for you? You’re not giving her a say in the matter. You’re jumping to the conclusion that your imprisonment is inevitable so you can’t be with her.”

“SHUT UP!” I yell with an ungraceful pound of my fist on the kotatsu. “Mind your goddamn business and leave me alone!” I sound like a child, but who the fuck cares? I don’t want to hear it. Thinking it myself was one thing, but to hear someone say it to me, telling me to think of the “what if?”. No. There is no option, no future with her that is promised. “Check your hearing, rat. She has a boyfriend. As you said, I’m too late.”

Yuki huffs out a sigh. His footsteps return back down the hall and quiet until they are nothing.

I can’t entertain the idea. Like hell she loves me. No one could have that kind of affection for me, let alone someone like her; someone who deserves so much better than what I could give her. My forehead hits the kotatsu with a gentle thud. Get the idea out of your mind. Forget it. It can only ever be a dream, nothing more.


 

Tohru

It happened during lunch. I had been so confused as to why he asked me to join him on lunch break alone. I’ve fallen into a routine of spending lunch period with all the Sohmas. I can’t remember the last time we went without having one together. We always spend the period on the roof, Hana-Chan and Uo-Chan occasionally joining us. On that specific day, I had to wonder if the others were questioning where we were.

Momiji-Kun had taken me to the front of the school building. We were at one of the many benches under the cherry blossoms that are in full bloom right now. It really was the most romantic place, now that I think about it. Momiji-Kun had to have put in some thought on where to take me to ask me because it was perfect. The atmosphere, the flower petals falling and landing on us like pink snow, it set the mood. Maybe that’s why I said yes.

“So why’d you take me here?” I asked him with an awkward giggle. “The others must be missing us.”

Momiji-Kun looked up thoughtfully and a petal landed on his nose. Giggling again, I brushed it off him with a flick of my thumb against his lightly tanned nose. That’s when he finally looked to me, eyes sparkling a shade of light brown.

I kept staring, caught off guard by his small blush. He was…nervous. It’s not like him to get worked up over anything, but at that moment, he looked terrified. If I could, I would’ve hugged him. In fact, there have been many moments where I couldn’t resist hugging Momiji-Kun, such as after he told me the truth about his mother and when Akito-San struck him for protecting me. Maybe it’s just the thought of him being scared like he was that day that makes me soft. But because of the curse, I had to refrain from embracing him.

I stroked his cheeks instead, a vain attempt of comfort. He pressed his cheek against my palm and smiled. “Sorry. I’m a little scared of what you’ll say after I ask you.”

“Ask me what, Momiji-Kun?” Sudden anticipation settled inside me. My first thought was that I’d done something wrong, something to offend him. That’s why he was acting strange. He had to pull me aside to scold me or…voice that he was upset with me. The scare factor now shifted to me.

His eyes flicked to mine and he shook his head. “It’s nothing bad. Don’t worry. It’s just that this sort of topic is hard. I’ve never done it before.”

I still didn’t fully understand, but from how nerve-wracked he was, it had to be a big deal. “Please tell me. Nothing you say can change what I think of you. I promise,” I smiled, giving him all my support and doing my best to show it.

He sighed, grabbing my hand that was on his cheek and taking it in his. “I want to let you know that though we’ve been friends for a while…I want something more with you. I’ve been falling in love with you. You’re not just my best friend, but someone I love.”

All that ran through my mind was the word 'love'. Yes, I love Momiji. Ever since I’ve known him, I’ve adored him just like I do with the rest of the Sohmas. But putting it into context with how he was reacting so timidly with me, it had to be a different kind of love.

“You love me?” I finally said. “Um…well, I don’t know what to say.” I squeezed his hand as I felt my cheeks burn. “Momiji-Kun, I love you too. I’ll always love you. But…I don’t know if I love you the same way.” I took it that this was what he was afraid of hearing. His face shifted into a frown that pulled at my heartstrings.

I shook my head and held his hand against my chest. “I adore you so much. I’m not quite there with you yet, but maybe I could get there?”

Hope clung to him in the way his eyes brightened. “Yes, please. Can you give me a chance? Maybe we can go on a few dates and see where it goes?”

I smiled. The sound of a date sounded fun. Spending time with Momiji-Kun all alone sounded amazing in particular. “I like that idea. Let’s do it.” My first date. Well, I went on a double date with Yuki-Kun, Kyo-Kun, and Kagura-San, but I’d never been on a one-on-one date before. My excitement bursted inside me until there were butterflies in my stomach.

“Okay! Let’s go out this weekend. We can do a movie!” he said, the bubbly energy back in him, the kind that always leaves me smiling.

“Sounds fun!” I said, bouncing in my seat.


I invited Hana-Chan over earlier today to help me get ready. Uo-Chan had to work, so she couldn’t be there, but we managed to put together an outfit. Hana-Chan is more of a fashion enthusiast anyway. She insisted on putting me in pink and black: pink being my favorite color, and black being hers. We settled on a pink sheer blouse with a pattern of tiny flowers on it and black high-waisted shorts.

Momiji-Kun approved of the look as well as my curled hair. He said he’d hardly recognized me. I didn’t recognize myself due to the fact that I never curled my hair, but I love it. I have to add it to my repertoire of hairstyles.

Three hours later, I leave the movie theatre with him and we chat about the romantic-drama we just saw. It’s when we hit the sidewalk that he takes my hand, something he’s done before, but put it with the fact that we’re on a date, the gesture holds an entirely new meaning.

I hold his hand, my fingers entwining through his. It’s a comforting, welcoming touch.

“Would you like to get ice cream before I take you home?” he asks.

I perk my head up, sporting an enthusiastic smile. “Yes, please!”

He smiles back at me, eyes gazing over my face and leaving my stomach in knots. For a good reason, of course.

He takes me a block down from the theatre to the park where an ice cream truck sits beside a playground. It’s evening, so there aren’t a lot of kids out, but a few families with their children are at the truck and getting their ice cream. Such an innocent act makes me feel young again. Momiji-Kun himself makes me feel young when I’m around him since he still has so much child-like spirit.

“What flavor would you like?” he asks me while taking his wallet out of his pocket.

“Strawberry, thank you,” I say. “On a cone.”

He orders, getting chocolate for himself. I take the cone that the ice cream man hands to me and we head towards the grass area, sitting under a huge willow tree. I lick my ice cream, smiling at the burst of flavor that lands on my tongue. “So good! Thank you so much for taking me out tonight. I’m having a wonderful time!”

Momiji-Kun’s adorable blush is evident even under the dim lighting from the street lights. “I want to thank you too for allowing me to take you out. I wanted it to be special for you.”

“You’ve made me feel so special,” I coo. I feel spoiled, which is something I never want to be. But I’ve heard that dates require the girl to be spoiled, so I let it slide.

He smiles, a soft tilt to his lips. “Then I want to take you on many more. We’ll explore the entire city together.”

“I would love to.” I turn to him, half of my ice cream now gone. “You said you’ve never dated before, but I’m surprised. You have such a natural aura about all of this.”

He shrugs, finishing off the remainder of his cone. “I was brought up on how to treat women. Believe it or not, Hatori was the one to teach me.” He chuckles. “He knows quite a bit about that stuff.”

“How cute,” I say. “He taught you well.”

“Yeah,” he replies, running his hand along the nape of his neck. “There are still some things about the concept that I don’t know or understand, so I guess we’ll discover it together.”

So he’s as much in the dark about it as I am. That’s good. Maybe we are perfect for each other. “Ah, yes! There’s a lot that I don’t know as well.” I chomped down the reminder of my cone, the chill of the ice cream landing on my lip.

Momiji-Kun takes notice in the way his gaze lingers on my lips, making me feel almost naked. I tilt my head, perplexed.

His hand raises, a gentle thumb placed on my lip. He moves it in a slow swipe, the movement swift and steady like he was creating an immaculate painting.

My eyes drift downward, my vision blurred as I watch his wrist. The ice cream is gone, I can feel it to be so, but he keeps his thumb pressed against my lip. The heat of my blush travels to every inch of my face, and it increases as he moves closer to me, his tall form that I’m still getting used to towering over me. His hand moves to my cheek, holding it steady and-be still my racing heart-he kisses me, so slow and yet quick since I hadn’t expected it.

The press of his lips to mine is something new, exhilarating, and welcoming. I take it in, repeating the motion. I close my eyes halfway. I have no idea if I’m doing this right. All I know is it feels nice. I sit still and move my lips against his once before he pulls away. It was a small kiss, but it was lovely all the same.

“Ah-“ my voice gets caught in my throat. “Um…that was…thanks?” Thanks?!

Momiji-Kun’s grin is a bright light on his face. “No, thank you for letting me do that. I’ve been wanting to all night.”

I laugh. He could’ve just asked. “That was a beautiful first kiss. You’re so gentle.” And because he’s made me feel more at ease than ever, I lay my head on his shoulder. In turn, he presses against me and holds my waist. He kisses the side of my head his heart beating quickly in tandem with mine against my back.

I like this. It’s comfortable. Comfortable is always ideal, right?


Although I got home at eleven p.m, I’m not anywhere near as tired as I should be. Maybe all that sugar from the ice cream has gotten me hyped, or it could be the high I got from that date. I’m still walking on cloud nine after that kiss. I can’t get it out of my head. Thinking about it again has me smiling stupidly, I’m sure.

But everyone else is asleep, evident as I enter a dark house. I quietly go up the staircase and to my room, shedding my clothes off and putting on my white silk pajamas. What to do at almost midnight…?

The idea enters my mind and I take my school laptop off my desk. Taking a seat on the bed, I open the lid and pull up the search engine, typing ‘how to date’.

There have to be some answers here that will be useful. I look at the articles listed: ‘How to Date (with pictures)’, ‘How to seduce someone into dating you’, ‘Dating tips for women’. Well, I’m a woman. I click on the link and it brings me to an article filled with a ton of bullet points, most of which were common sense such as ‘Cook him a nice meal’ (I already cook regularly, so that wasn’t anything new to me), ‘Give him a gift every once in a while to make him feel special. If you do, you will always be on his mind when he looks at/uses your gift (That I could do. In fact, I’ve given Momiji-Kun countless gifts anyway). My eyes skim past the rest of the common clichés, albeit cute suggestions, about how girls can treat their guys until my gaze finally stops at the last point: Use the bedroom to your advantage. A sexual relationship helps a couple to grow closer. Make sure to educate yourself on what your man likes. This is one aspect of a relationship that can rarely ever fail as long as you understand what your partner likes from you. Be sure to take notes about the subject.

Well…what? Is that really how dating is nowadays? I mean, school has covered sex before, encouraging teens to wait, but also not to treat it like it’s something evil. I don’t believe it is, but I’ve never given the concept much thought. But is that really what guys expect from their girlfriends?

Just thinking of doing that with Momiji-Kun has me blushing up a storm. I can feel the evidence in the heat of my cheeks. However, if it helps keep a relationship healthy, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, but I only know the surface of what it entails.

Research. Just like the article says, I have to do research. I erase what I had previously written in the search engine and type ‘how to have sex’. What results is a plethora of articles discussing the matter, one of which being ‘How to have sex for the first time’, which, I don’t know about Momiji-Kun, but is something I’d need advice on. Almost a half-hour into searching, I come across a blog post talking about the importance of considering and trying various positions. How many positions could there be? I thought the only one was…

I shake my head, willing the blush to go away. I type, ‘sex positions’ and quickly scroll down the page, clicking on a random link that I hope will give me some answers on what I need to consider. A video pops up and I wait intently as it loads, my fingers mindlessly tapping beside the trackpad on the laptop.

It finally quits buffering and brightens to a video of what I take to be a couple kissing, then shifts to-

I push the laptop away as if it’s caught fire and it lands with a loud thud to the floor. I stare into space, still trying to process what I just saw. Fortunately, I come to quickly enough to realize that noise is coming through my speakers at full volume, the sounds similar to that of a dying animal, but high enough to resemble a woman’s cry.

I scramble off the bed, nearly tripping over my feet as I try to get to the laptop. “No, no, no, no, please stop!!!” I whisper-yell. I pick up the laptop, baffled about how it's not broken after the crash it received, and close my eyes so as not to see the video. I begin blinding pushing keys on the computer in a vain attempt to exit out of the video. At last, I manage to turn the laptop off and the noises stop.

I stand in silence, listening for any signs of the guys getting up to come to my room and ask me what in the world I’m watching. To my relief, I’m met with silence after a minute. I set my laptop back on the desk and throw myself face-first onto the bed. I can’t believe I saw that. Oh, dear, I’ll never be able to look at a boy the same way again.

I cover my eyes with my hands, the embarrassment overtaking me. That’s what that is? I’m supposed to do that? I don’t want to admit it, not even to myself, but the brief glance I got of the video has me feeling some way. Something sort of like…longing.

Maybe I do want Momiji like that, even though I hadn’t imagined the idea before doing my research. Yet, I still don’t know all that goes into satisfying a boy. I could ask Hana-Chan and Uo-Chan about it, but something tells me they wouldn’t take me seriously. They haven’t during the few instances that I have made comments about relationships. If they kept me in the dark about dating, they definitely wouldn’t tell me about this. They’d probably laugh at me.

My options are limited. The only person other than my friends I can think of is Kyo. We tell each other everything, after all. But would he be willing to talk about such a deep and personal topic with me? What if I make him feel uncomfortable? He said he wouldn’t think differently of me no matter what I did. So…maybe…

Chapter Text

Tohru

Approaching the topic is the hard part. Specifically because I’ve been unable to get Kyo-kun to myself. There isn’t any way I’m going to ask him in front of Shigure-san and Yuki-kun. Even at school, I couldn’t get to him. He skipped out on lunch with the other Sohmas and I because he had to take a retest. I hadn’t seen him throughout the day since.

Then at home, I didn’t have the opportunity to get him alone. Part of me wondered if I should go ahead and bring it up while Yuki was there. However, Yuki-kun and I don’t have that sort of personal relationship, not like what I have with Kyo-kun. I’d never been vulnerable with him before, and I certainly didn’t want my first piece of advice from him to be about something so embarrassing.

It could’ve been easy to just pull Kyo-kun aside, but every time I’d get the courage to do it, I’d chicken out. Initiating a conversation about it would make me come off too strong. It had to come up naturally. I had to think of a plan.

The idea came after dinner. As I wash the dishes and clean the kitchen, I catch Kyo-kun going up the stairs in my peripheral vision. I know his routine well enough. He often spends the evening after dinner on the roof. I’ve caught him there several times while hanging the laundry out to dry on the balcony. He’s the most fascinating when he thinks no one’s watching him. I’ll typically spend a few extra minutes on the balcony just observing him and the way he stares up at the stars with such intensity as if he’s trying to study each twinkle and memorize them by heart. In rare instances, I’ll notice him smile, which leads me to wonder what he thinks about.

I’ve always resisted the urge to join him up there because it’s the only place Kyo-kun really has to himself, aside from his bedroom. He deserves the peace and quiet that space gives him. I’d just be a nuisance, robbing him of that luxury, but this might be my only opportunity. The topic of that aside, I generally need someone to talk to. Someone to give me assurance that I do have the capability to make a relationship worthwhile.

And so, after hanging the sheets on the clothesline, I go up the ladder to the roof, clearing my throat softly so I don’t startle him. I do, even though I was quiet.

He jolts up into a sitting position, whipping his head toward me. “Oh, hey. Sorry. I didn’t see you.”

“No, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” I smile, though I try not to. He really is so cute when he’s scared. I crawl over to him as he buries his blushing face into the crook of his arm that’s wrapped around his knees.

I sit beside him. “I’m sorry to bother you, Kyo-kun. I just…wanna talk, I guess. I haven’t seen you much today.”

He lifts his head, his gaze focused on the tiles of the roof. “You’re not bothering me. I had to retake that stupid algebra test even though I was one answer off.”

“I know. I could’ve helped you study. Although, I’m not a pro at math.”

“No, you have your own schoolwork to worry about,” he says. He leans back on his elbows and I have to crane my head back to see him. He’s gotten so tall. Or maybe I’m just really short. “So how are things going with Momiji? You went on a date last night, right?”

“Yes! It was fun. He got me ice cream.” I fold my hands in my lap to stop them from fiddling with each other. “That’s actually what I came here to ask you about. I need advice.” This is a good start. Ease into it. Make it sound natural so it will be less embarrassing.

He perks his head up, looking to me. “Okay. What’s this about?”

I bite my lip, unable to hold his gaze for longer than a second. “I realized yesterday after our date that I don’t know anything about dating. I had to look up suggestions online to get any sort of insight. My mom…she died before she could really teach me about that stuff.” I shouldn’t have brought up that last part. It brings me to the verge of tears and I quickly blink them away.

He stares at my eyes. Oh, no, he can see them. I rub them for good measure until they dry.

“What did you find out then?” He asks me, ignoring my tears. Maybe he didn’t see them, or else he would’ve said something.

“The article told me to give him a gift, which I did.” I smile. “I got him a new schoolbag since he said his was really worn out. I’m giving it to him tomorrow.” I scratch my head as I try to remember the other points, purposefully avoiding the big topic. “Another one was to keep up on communication, and cook regularly, which I don’t mind doing.” I go on as he quietly listens. I saved it for last, but it still jolts me all the same. Just say it. This is what you’re here for.

“It’s the last point that I’m having trouble with because I don’t know how to go about it,” I start, opening my mouth, but finding myself unable to go on.

He tilts his head, his fingers drumming against his raised knee while waiting. “Alright, spit it out.”

Fortunately, it’s dark enough that he probably can’t see my blush. “Um, okay, well, the last part was about…that sort of personal thing that couples do that involves a lot of touching…” I say, stumbling over my words and struggling to get them out.

“Huh?” He replies, his brows furrowing. “What do you mean touching?”

Do I have to spell it out?! Oh, dear… “It talks about sex and I don’t know how to do that,” I say, my words so quick as if I was saying them on my last breath.

His tapping fingers stop. He looks at me like I’m unrecognizable. I’ve done it. He’s disgusted by me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is. I hide my face in my hands and sigh. “I’m sorry. This must be a mistake. That was too much information-“

“No, no, you’re good,” he says, his voice soft. The complete opposite to how I sound: panicked. “If that’s something you want to consider, then I’m not stopping you. That’s your choice to make.”

I sigh again out of relief, removing my hands from my face, but the heat in my cheeks remains.

“But I’m just wondering…why are you asking me about this?” He looks up, eyes focusing on the stars again.

I’ve still made him uncomfortable. I should’ve known. “I thought you’d know some things about it. You’re very smart, Kyo-kun. And you know more than me.”

He bites the corner of his mouth and huffs out a breath of air that I take as either a laugh or a sigh. “I know the bare minimum to stuff like that. Do I look like someone who knows everything that has to do with it?”

I lift my shoulders. “I thought it was worth asking if you have any experience.”

He quickly pivots his head in my direction, eyes slightly widened. His face flushes a bright red. He scratches the back of his neck while his gaze goes every which way. “W-what?! No! Why would you think that?!” His voice echoes as he raises it, making me flinch.

I’ve gone too far. “I’m sorry! It’s just…you’re so handsome. I thought you had to have-“ I stop myself before I can say anything more humiliating.

“Have you lost your mind?!” He finally looks to me again, his brows pinched down in that usual scowl he makes. I often find that look on him adorable, but not when I know it’s because I’ve upset him.

My throat grows sore as I feel the tears come again. This time, I can’t stop them from spilling. “S-sorry. I shouldn’t have asked. I’ll go now,” I squeak and begin to stand. I never meant to offend him, yet I did. Why am I such an idiot?

His groan stops me. “Tohru, sit down. It’s fine. You just caught me off guard.”

When I turn around, his head is buried in his hands. I freeze before easing back down. “I made you uncomfortable…” I say weakly.

“Yeah, you did, but it’s fine. That’s not something I’ve ever discussed before.”

Well, same here. I turn myself towards him. “So you haven’t-?”

He lifts his head and shakes it. “Why would you think I’d have any experience? I’ve never had a girlfriend because I scare girls away.”

I wipe the tears on my cheek as I giggle. “I’d say it’s the other way around. You’re the one who’s scared of them. A lot of girls at school really like you.”

He rests his chin on his palm, eyeing my face. He shows no hesitation as he wipes the tears from under my eyes with his thumb. I gulp down a breath of air, my heart picking up speed in double time. That one little touch felt like a million.

“I don’t deserve intimacy, Tohru. I thought you knew that,” he says.

What? I think the opposite. “Of course, you deserve it. Any girl would be lucky to have you. You’re so sweet and good looking and compassionate,” I ramble on. Why is my heart still pounding? Maybe it’s because his hand is still on my cheek. “I would’ve felt lucky be with you and do that with you, Kyo-kun.”

His fingers still on my face, spreading into my hair. I seem to have no filter lately, but it’s always been easy for me to admit the truth to Kyo-kun. The words tumbled out on their own.

He blinks before speaking. “You realize what you’re saying? You mean it?”

“Yes,” I smile and press my cheek into his palm. I do wholeheartedly, but he doesn’t feel the same. I’ve come to terms with that. If he wanted me, he wouldn’t continuously distance himself from me every time I initiate any sort of affection. I’ve given up and settled with Momiji-kun, but the way he’s acting right now, hand on my skin and the tender look in his eyes as he stares at me, has me believing he’s not telling me the truth. There’s something there.

I hold his wrist connected to the hand that was on my cheek. “Your touch feels nice. Is this what intimacy is?”

He blushes, cheeks a bright scarlet. “I suppose it has something to do with it. If it feels good, it must be.”

I smile, ideas running through my head. Or are they excuses? “Can I touch you, Kyo-kun?”

“Huh?” He removes his hand from my cheek and I internally wallow at the loss of contact. “I guess, but are you sure that’s a good idea?”

I should say no, but… “I think I need practice and, I hate to ask, but if you’re willing…?” Yes, it’s just practice. That makes it rational. Even if I’m still attracted to him, even if I have a desire to touch him, it’s just practice.

He turns himself towards me, avoiding my gaze. “Um…okay, sure.” He’s reverting to his awkward self, and I can see why.

I grin as I scoot closer to him. I place my hand on his and inch my other hand up his chest. What am I supposed to do? Just do what I think will make him feel good? What if I touch him wrong?

No. I have to push my doubts aside or else I won’t get anywhere. I take a deep breath and inch my hand up to his jaw. His pulse is pumping rapidly on his neck, the motion beating against my finger. I look to his eyes that finally meet mine, enthralled by the auburn orbs that shine like crystals in the moonlight. His slit cat-like pupils expand into circles the longer I look at them. It’s not the first time I’ve seen them do that. They tend to expand when he feels happiness or comfort. Then I’m doing something right.

I place both hands on his cheek and kiss the spot right below his ear. He tenses and releases a harsh breath that goes down the back of my neck, making me shiver. It’s been ages since I’ve been this close to him. He hasn’t allowed me to be this close. I can’t let the opportunity slip me by.

I shift forward, planting myself on his lap. He leans back until he’s laying down. He raises his hands, looking over my torso and legs. I don’t think he knows where to put them.

I make a small laugh and take his wrists, planting his hands on either side of my waist. His grasp rests there and I revel in it. I prop myself up and place my palms on his torso just above his navel. I have no idea where to begin. I inch my fingers up his shirt, getting a feel of his warm skin. Small touches should be a good start.

His gaze follows my hands. The bright blush is still on his cheeks. He nods slowly, giving me the courage to go on. I lift his shirt to reveal his midsection. I never realized he’s had abs. They’re softly defined, but still there. I stare at them while mapping them out with my fingers, running my touch through the grooves in gentle strokes like he’s a delicate piece of art. I have to admit, he sort of is.

I shift my eyes up to him and find him still watching me, biting the corner of his lip. “You’re really focusing on that area.”

“Um, y-yes,” I say with a shaky voice, indicating how nervous I am. “I didn’t know you had these muscles. They look really good.”

He sighs through his nose, one hand leaving my waist and landing on his chest. “They’re barely muscles. They just started forming.”

“Still…” I smile and look back to the raised skin on his stomach. My hands trail down them once more then land on his belt. Although I don’t know much about this sort of thing, I figure this is where most of the touching happens. My blush heats up my ears at the very thought of touching that part of Kyo-kun.

He leans up on his elbows and watches my shaky hand on the buckle of his belt. “You…don’t have to go that far.”

N-no. This is where I need the most practice.” I bite my lip and begin undoing the buckle at a slow pace. “As long as you’re okay with it.”

He nods, seemingly just as timid as I am in the way his breath comes out quickly.

I smile to, hopefully, put him at ease. At least we’re both nervous. I don’t have to feel alone in this. I pull each end of the buckle aside and fiddle with the button on his pants until it comes undone. I’m not going to undo everything. There’s no way I can handle seeing it yet. One step at a time.

I take in a deep breath and pull his pants down to his ankles. Fortunately, his boxers seem loose so that gives me some wiggle room to get my hand up there. Oh, gosh. I can’t believe that thought went through my head. This is actually happening.

I swallow hard and rest my touch on his thigh. As I inch it up, I feel him flinch and look up to make sure he’s doing okay.

He meets my gaze, his eyes half-lidded. “Sorry. You’re fine,” he says.

I look back down to where my hand froze. With that conformation, I bring it underneath the leg of his boxers before I can change my mind. I travel it up, getting a feel of his hip. I shift it around, splaying my fingers. I touch something firm and the instant I do, he makes a sound so soft, but I pick it up in the silence of the night.

I pull my hand back at once. “Sorry! Did that hurt? Do you not like that?”

“Ah, no, it feels good. I promise.” He sighs and squeezes his eyes shut. “You’re…doing it right.”

My shoulders sag from relief. “G-good.” I look down again only to find the fabric of his boxers raised. My eyes widen. I didn’t know it could do that. I wrap my hand on the base of it. His skin is as soft as silk. Each nerve in my fingers gets a bit of satisfaction as I feel it.

He moans again, his gaze leaving my face when he lays his head back down. Just the sound gets me feeling something. It’s the same as what I heard when I accidentally opened that video last night. It sounds so much more beautiful when Kyo-kun does it.

As I bring my hand up the length of it, my heart begins to pound at a rapid rate. The feel of it as well as his reactions are so foreign to me but so blissfully sweet. My hand reaches its destination to the tip and I stroke my thumb along it.

He elicits another long groan and twitches in my hand a moment later. “Tohru…” he whispers.

Just that sound, that one short, soft breath that forms my name is enough to create a pool in my stomach. I flick my eyes up to him and sigh. This feeling…I’ve never felt it before, but it’s remarkable. I shift my hand down then back up the hard length, repeating the motion until I get a rhythm going.

He shivers once, his leg raising beside me and resting at my side. I concentrate on his face again. His eyes are still closed and his lips are slightly parted, constant harsh breaths flowing between them.

A tiny, inaudible sound comes from the back of my throat. The pool between my legs grows damp, throwing me off for a second. What is that? When he moans again, slightly louder this time, I feel the tingle travel to my abdomen to the spot at the apex of my thighs and it felt…so good, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

I shift forward, my hand on him keeping its gentle pace, and reach my body up until my face is above his. I have to put all my weight on my free arm that rests beside his head so my chest doesn’t touch his. I can’t have him transform and ruin this. That would just turn things awkward again.

He opens his eyes and they find mine. Once again, they shine a brilliant shade of deep red and leave me weak in the knees. I could kiss him so easily from this position, but I already have experience with kissing. I don’t need practice. I resist the urge to put my lips on his, but I place them somewhere else instead. Somewhere I can manage to kiss him where my chest won’t touch his.

I brush his bangs back and press my lips to his forehead, making the kiss light as a feather. His breath hitches against my neck, continuing to come out in harsh pants as I stroke his length faster. I kiss him there again, my lips lingering above his skin when I pull an inch back.

His hand moves from my waist to my bottom, his large hand gripped on the left cheek. My bottom half is threatening to shake and collapse, but I keep myself upright. “Kyo-kun,” I whisper against his head.

He makes a low groan in response that then comes out as a purr, which has me smiling. I kiss his forehead again and the purring comes out louder. I take a moment to giggle before focusing again on my hand moving up and down him.

The purrs and the moans along with every other foreign sound coming from him cause my body to become too heated to bear. He squeezes my bottom and my hips shift forward from the unexpected grasp. It was an accidental movement, but it somehow felt good. It gave some relief from the tingle settled at my core. I push them forward again and release a small moan that’s been clogged in my throat this whole time.

He gasps, knocking his head back again. “Tohru, what are you…?” he asks weakly.

I don’t know if he finished the question. My mind is too foggy to comprehend it. I repeat the thrust of my hips against his, matching the rhythm of my pumping hand along with it. I lift my head and look down at him, finding him blushing as much as I’m sure I am.

My breaths come out quicker and match his. I increase everything. My hand stroking on him, my rocking hips, they seem to have a mind of their own. I can’t stop. Not until I relive whatever it is that’s caught in my stomach.

He puts both hands on my bottom and pushes my hips forward. “Oh, my God, Tohru, I’m…” he mumbles, his eyes fluttering closed.

I close my eyelids halfway. “You’re what?” I thread my fingers through his soft hair and bite my lip. Like a damn releasing, the knot in my abdomen comes undone. The feeling is so unknown to me that it catches my whole being off guard, but I welcome it because it feels incredible.

A gentle cry escapes my lips. My lower half shakes, but I keep rocking myself on him throughout the entire high.

In the midst of rubbing him, it pulses against my hand and he makes a long, deep moan that silences his purring. I stop moving my hand when I feel something hot and wet on it. I gasp, my eyes flying open to meet his and my hips stopping their thrusting.

“I’m…oh, shit. I’m sorry,” he says, looking away from me and covering his hand over half his face. His breathing still comes out fast and hard.

“Ah, no. It’s okay.” It really is. It gave me the experience I needed. That’s for sure.

He shakes his head and sits up, causing me to prop myself on his lap again. I pull my hand out of his boxers, and when I look down at it, I take in a sharp breath. My fingers and hand are stained white.

“Dammit,” he mutters and pulls off his shirt without warning.

“What are you doing?!” I start but get distracted by the sight of him. If I think his torso is defined, it has nothing on his chest and biceps. He really has filled out since the last time I’ve seen his bare chest.

He strokes my wet hand with his shirt until all the liquid is off. “You probably didn’t sign up for that,” he says quietly, his cheeks and neck painted crimson.

I smile because it really isn’t a big deal. “Don’t apologize. You couldn’t help it.”

He looks to me, gaze landing to my smiling lips which he then mimics with his own. “You think you can do it with Momiji now?”

Oh. That’s right. Momiji-kun. “I’ll talk to him about it. Yes, I feel so much more confident.” I get off his lap and settle beside him, even though I didn’t want to leave.

“Good. I’m…um…glad I could help.” His smile fades away. He takes some time to pull his pants back up and places his shirt beside him. He rests his arms on his knees after he raises them to his chest, his eyes cast down. Seemingly, he’s distancing himself from me again, and the pain in my chest is instant.

“We should get to bed. We’ve been up here awhile,” he suggests.

I nod a bit too fast. I need to be alone and think; take in what I’m feeling. “That sounds good.” I get up, heading towards the ladder. I spare one look behind me when I reach it and discover him beating his knuckles against his head and shaking it. Plain as day, it looks like regret.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Tohru

At school, I try my best to ignore everything that happened with Kyo-kun and me last night. If I think it over, I’ll opt out of seeing Momiji-kun altogether. I didn’t expect there to be so much guilt within me, but it’s there, eating away at me.

I don’t think I’d feel as bad had touching Kyo-kun only been for practice, but I can’t deny how much I wanted to touch him. I’d wanted to for ages. I thought I could get over him after establishing a relationship with Momiji-kun, but what if that’s not the case? A small part of me still has strong feelings for Kyo-kun.

I push the last of those thoughts aside when I see Momiji-kun in the hallway, hurrying towards me.

“Tohru! Good morning!” he says cheerily. He takes my hand then sneaks a kiss on my lips.

I close my eyes and tilt my head back to reach his kiss. “Good morning,” I say after pulling away. “I’m so glad I caught you. I have a gift for you.”

He widens his eyes and enthusiastically kisses my cheek. “Is that what you have behind your back?” 

“Oh, yes,” I reply and reveal the gift bag I’ve been hiding. “Here you go!” I hand it to him.

He takes it, opening it immediately. He pulls out the light beige leather bag. His face lights up with a big smile. “It’s beautiful! And it matches my hair!” He holds the bag up to his head to compare the two.

I laugh, nodding. “I thought the same thing.”

“I want to use it right now!” he says. “Come on, I’ll put my things in it while we walk.”

“Sure. Let me be your extra hand.” We start walking down the hallway that leads to the back doors of the building. I hold the new bag open while he takes his books from his old one and drops them in it. Walking, holding the bag open, and maneuvering through the busy hallway filled with students is a challenge, but by the time we get outside, we’ve successfully gotten all the books in his new bag.

I hand it to him and he folds up his old bag and puts it in it as well. “We have fifteen minutes until class starts. What should we do?”

“I guess we can just talk.” I turn, taking his hands and leading the way while walking backward. “I do have a few things I’d like to talk to you about.”

He raises an eyebrow, smiling. “Ooh, like what?”

We hit the school’s sports field, which is deserted. I sit underneath a tree providing shade and he follows, positioning himself towards me and moving my legs so they sit on top of his.

“Remember how we talked about how new we are to this relationship thing? I researched all that goes into dating the other day and I got some good knowledge on it.” I began listing off the points, save for the gift-giving one. I don’t want him to think I gave him a gift just because the list told me to, even though that isn’t the case. I would’ve given it to him anyway. “I had to think about the last one the most. It said that intimacy is important in a relationship, and we haven’t tried that yet.” I shift my vision away from him, looking at the fence that surrounds the field and watching the cars pass swiftly by. Hopefully, that wasn’t too forward.

“Oh, I see,” he says. He places his hand on my thigh.

I turn my head towards him, slightly startled by the sudden touch.

“I’ve already thought that part through. Of course, I won’t ask you to do it if you’re not comfortable.”

My cheeks heat. “I would be okay with it, but is it too soon?”

He tilts his head, studying every inch of my face. He holds my cheek and wraps his arm around my waist. I’m pushed onto his lap, my legs on either side of him. “It might be a little soon. We should at least have two more dates first.”

I smile, relief coursing through me. “I agree. I’m…excited.”

“Me too.” His fingers tangle into my hair. He moves his hand until it reaches the back of my neck, and he pulls me forward, making my lips crash against his.

I close my eyes, focusing on the kiss. Although it’s passionate on his end and so incredibly sweet, my head is in it, but my heart isn’t quite there.


 

Kyo

Her shoulders are so stiff. Did what we do make her this uncomfortable with me? Goddammit. I knew it was a mistake, yet, still, I allowed it. And it was a stupid move. I should’ve told her no, whether it was for practice or not because, either way, it’s changed our dynamic. I just hope it isn’t permanent.

I spare one glance her way as we walk along the sidewalk towards the house. Of course, the place my gaze had to land on was her lips, which I had caught kissing Momiji earlier. It shouldn’t affect me this bad. I’m supposed to be over her by now, but I’m not. Especially not after she jacked me off last night. It still seems like a dream. It should’ve been.

I jab her side with my elbow. “You’re being quiet.”

“Ah,” she starts. “I…I guess I’m tired.” She shrugs, looking ahead again.

Okay, now this is getting too awkward to ignore. I sigh heavily. The last thing I want to do is bring this up. “Don’t let what happened with us last night get to you. It was just practice for you, right? It meant nothing.” It meant everything.

She gasps, shaking her head. “Yes, I know! Don’t worry. I won’t even bring it up. We’ll just forget it happened.” Her cheeks blush in that adorable way they always do when she’s embarrassed. I can’t help but stare. It’s only when I nearly miss the step leading down the sidewalk and onto the road that I whip my head away from her.

“That was my plan,” I say. Truthfully, I can’t get it out of my head, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to for a long time. “And nothing’s changed between us, right?”

“Of course not!” She smiles and my heart flutters. “We’re still friends.” When she looks ahead, gaze tracing each step up towards Shigure house, her smile fades just as quickly as it appeared.


 

Tohru

Today marks four weeks since Momiji-kun and I started dating. We’ve become one of those couples that celebrate each milestone, giving each other small gifts and spending time together to make the day special. He gave me a bouquet of sunflowers at school. Their petals are vivid, the yellow standing out against my dark dresser where they sit in a vase of crystal clear water.

Momiji is perfect in every way. He’s a boyfriend that any girl would ask for. I love him for it, but even after four weeks…something is still missing. Maybe it’s because while I lie awake at night, my thoughts running ramped, I don’t think of him. Isn’t it normal to have the person you love on your mind at all times? That’s how I am with Mom. I think about her constantly throughout the day. But instead of Momiji-kun, I think of Kyo-kun.

I daydream about the subtle but meaningful glances we’ve shared ever since that night. I always catch him looking at me, his soft eyes conveying what he can’t speak. Those looks he sends me say more than words can. On more than one occasion, I’ve wanted to ask him what his real feelings are for me.

He says what happened with us meant nothing, but it’s clearly affected him just as much as it’s changed me. I can’t go a night without thinking about him when I should be thinking of Momiji-kun. The way it felt to be pressed against him, close but not close enough due to the repercussions of the curse, and how it messed with my core until I became undone is forever imprinted in my mind. I want him more than I ever did before, and I hate myself for it. I don’t know how Momiji-kun and I can work if my desire is for someone else.

I stare at my bedroom ceiling in the darkness, pondering what I should do: call it off with Momiji-kun, or hold out on the hope that my feelings for him will get there. I settle on the latter option because it’s the safest as long as my feelings do change. I could be making a mistake if I break up with him, especially if Kyo-kun truly doesn’t want me anyway.

Kyo-kun. It makes me smile just thinking of him. I wish he was here lying next to me so I can touch him again, so he can touch me again in that gentle way of his. I maneuver my hand under the sheet and down my torso, imaging that the touch is his. Images flow through my head in a clear memory. I picture myself moving against him just like I did all those weeks ago, his rock hard body making a rhythmic friction between my legs. And how my hand felt a blissful type of satisfaction when it stroked the skin that he’s likely never let anyone see let alone touch.

The memories are a kaleidoscope within my closed eyes. My body regains the familiar heat I’ve experienced each night. Absentmindedly, my hand reaches my navel and probes between my legs. The touch isn’t enough no matter how many times I do it.

I sit up, slightly out of breath. What is wrong with me? Why…why does it have to be Kyo-kun? I sigh out of frustration. I need him. I wish I didn’t, but the longing is becoming too much for me to handle on my own. I don’t think it over as my feet hit the rug, as they start moving of their own accord towards the door then through it.

Kyo-kun’s room is across from mine. Sometimes I forget that he’s been so close to me at night all this time. Right now, he isn’t close enough. I take the few steps toward his room and place my hands on the wooden door. If I think this over, I can talk myself out of it and recognize that this is a very bad idea, but I don’t want to.

I suck in some air and open the door an inch. I’m met with so much darkness that I can’t see him. Quietly and carefully, I tip-toe into the room and close the door behind me. My eyes shift around the room. I don’t want to take a step further, afraid of stepping on him since I can’t see. That would be bad and undeniably awkward.

I listen for any clues that he’s close-by. I make out delicate breaths and they give me a chill. He’s close. I can hear it. A moment passes and I can now see him as the moon is revealed by the clouds, the light coming through the window and shining down on him.

He’s curled on his side, his arm extended across the opposite end of the bed and his other hand tucked under his cheek. I lower myself to the ground beside the futon. From this angle, I clearly make out the features of his face. His relaxed expression is nearly unrecognizable. I rarely ever see his face this serene, and I’m mystified by it. I trace the contour of his cheekbone with my eyes. The structure of his face all the way down to his jaw has grown defined by age, the baby fat that clung to his cheeks only a distant memory by now.

 I watch his eyes and catch them fluttering, which brings a smile on my face. He’s dreaming. I only hope that it isn’t a nightmare. He seems to have those often, evident of the times I’m woken up in the middle of the night to his screaming. I’ve wanted to come to his room many times to comfort him through it, but I’ve always backed out as I didn’t know if it would be appropriate to enter his room at night. Yet, here I am now and he hasn’t even had a nightmare.

 His lips part when he takes another gentle breath then releases it. I squirm in place, the familiar heat coating my cheeks. He’s my forbidden fruit, and I should treat him as such, but…

I let myself indulge. This is what I came here for. I put a finger beside his nose, my other fingers spreading across his cheek until I hold it. I move my index finger lower, the warm breath slowly leaving his nose hitting my skin. I wish I could feel that breath down my neck again. Such a simple touch of air shouldn’t have made me feel so complete, so full of pleasure.

I give in to the temptation to touch his lip with my thumb, getting a feel of the velvety skin there, but then he shifts. I yank my hand back as if he caught fire, horrified at the concept of him waking up to find me hovering over him. However, he only moves so he’s lying on his back, his eyes remaining sealed.

I let out a long breath of air. That was too close. I should leave before he wakes up for real, but my feet tell me no.

The thin sheet that had covered him has shifted so it sits below his navel. His shirt has risen up, revealing the toned torso I had become familiar with all those weeks ago. I stare and stare. The longer I do, the more I want to feel instead of look.

I gulp down any future regret, sweeping it under the rug. I put my palm on his stomach while positioning myself over him, settling down to where I’m straddling his thighs. I never knew it was possible to get addicted to a body, but ever since touching him for the first time, I’ve wanted more. Not from anyone else. Just from him.

It’s why I can’t stop myself from mapping the contours of his abdomen. It’s the reason why I can’t resist digging my fingers into the band of his boxers, then pulling them down. I close my eyes for a moment, slowly opening each one while tilting my gaze down. I can barely see through the darkness. It’s only a vague outline, but it’s there. I shiver at the ache settling in that lower part of my abdomen again.

I look to his still face. He has no idea what’s going on, which makes this wrong. I shouldn’t be violating him like this, even though I’ve touched him before. I’ve never been this selfish. I never knew I had the capacity too. But raging desire has overtaken me to the point of no return, and it’s at an all-time high right now.

Pushing away my resistance, I settle my hand onto it. Checking again only to find him just as frozen in place as before. My fingers tentatively inch up the length until they hit the tip. My heart pounds like a constant drum, overtaking every part of my chest. I lower myself until my face hovers inches above it. My hand gives it one more stroke, going for another but halting when the idea comes to me.

I only have to lower my neck an inch to press my lips to it, and I’m met with a touch so soft, it feels like freshly clean silk. Instinct tells me to take it a step further. I wrap my mouth on the tip, surprised to find that it’s gotten hard. Does that mean I’m doing this right?

I crane my head down, moving until I’ve taken half of it. He finally responds, making a soft moan that comes out loud in the quiet room. Maybe I’ve gotten too bold-too comfortable-because even when I hear my name, I don’t stop.


Kyo

“Tohru?!” I yell as loud as I’m able to without waking the whole house. This has to be one of those dreams I have of her. I hate to admit that I have those often. That’s all this has to be. The only way I can tell is if I touch her.

I place my hand on her head, my fingers embedding themselves into her hair. My nerves get a sense of reality too vivid to be a dream. My eyes widen, and I sit up halfway. “What the fuck are you-?!” I’m cut off by the moan that escapes me. Dammit, this is embarrassing.

I look to her again. When did she get here? How long has she been here? How did I not hear her?! The questions turn to nothing in my mind as it becomes fogged with this feeling. I should tell her to stop. But, fucking hell, I don’t want her to. I’ll beat myself up for it later.

I sink my grip further into her hair and hold it back so it’s out of her way. I have a clearer look at what she’s doing, and it’s enough to send me over the edge already. How does she know how to do this? If I didn’t know her, I’d think this wasn’t her first time.

She meets my gaze, a blush coating her cheeks. I flick my gaze away. Even now, in the throes of pleasure that makes my head spin, guilt is festering in me. A “stop” sits on my tongue, but I don’t let it out. It’s replaced with a groan so loud that I have to cover my mouth.

She takes all of my dick down while her hand works the base of it. Her eyes are closed, lashes fanning her cheeks that are still stained red. God, she’s gorgeous. How could she want to do this to me? What did I do to deserve this? Nothing. That makes me all the more guilty.

“Tohru,” stop, stop, stop “don’t stop,” I mutter.

At the command, her head bobs faster. She removes her hand and takes all of it in until it hits her throat. I bite my palm to keep myself from making any noise. Her warm mouth around me as well as her tongue on the length of it, so soft and tender, makes me see stars as I close my eyes. I lay down, unable to support my weight anymore. I roll my hips against her face and I shatter as I release.

She coughs, and I sit up again, realizing while still in the midst of my high that I just came in her mouth without warning her. “Oh, my God. Shit-!” I say and make her take me out of her mouth by pulling out. “You can spit it out on my bed!”

She shakes her head, her eyes still closed and her brows furrowed in concentration. She swallows slowly then sighs, her tense shoulders coming undone.

I just stupidly stare for several seconds. “Why…how did you do that?” Now I said something more stupid, but I can’t believe it.

She turns her head away from me. “I wanted to,” she whispers, her voice hoarse.

My eyes lock on her for a full minute before I also turn my head away. I’ve been so confused lately and this doesn’t help. Does this mean she also has feelings for me? Or did she just want to suck dick no matter who it was? Who am I kidding? She isn’t like that. There are three men in this house and she chose me. She’s choosing me. I can’t deny that. This is bad.

“Go to your room, Tohru,” I say, my chest aching as I do so.

She looks at me, eyes soft yet sad. “But, Kyo-kun…”

I hate that I have to do this. I have to scare her off. It’s the only way to get through to her. I can’t let this develop further when my future is inevitable. She’s pulling me in as if the universe is telling me that my fate is to be with her. Well, the universe is an idiot and I wish it’d let go, stop tempting me.

“Leave!” I yell, swallowing down my apologies. “Why would you fucking do that?! Go back to bed!”

She flinches, stumbling off the futon, then she stands. The light from the moon glistens off her teary eyes. She covers her mouth with her fist and sobs. “I…I’m sorry,” she squeaks and leaves my room so fast that I hardly see her through the darkness. It’s only when I hear my door shut that I know she’s gone.

One time I can deal with but two is taking it too far. Our relationship could be permanently ruined now. I fall back on the bed, covering my face with my hands so I don’t scream out of frustration. I can’t pretend that she doesn’t want me anymore. The first time was for “practice”, but it looked like she really wanted it this time. Why? Why does it have to be me?

Maybe I need to tell her the truth. She might back off after I do. I’m not looking forward to her reaction when she does eventually find out.

I roll onto my side, shutting my eyes. I try to sleep. I want to just forget these thoughts of losing her. It’s those very thoughts that keep me awake for the rest of the night and become a living nightmare.

Chapter Text

Kyo

My feet found themselves going towards the Sohma estate rather than home. I told Tohru and Yuki that I was going to see Shishou. If I have to be honest, I left just to get away from Tohru. The whole day had been entirely uncomfortable during the moments we were in the vicinity of each other. I hadn’t caught her looking at me even once throughout the day when, before, she was constantly glancing towards me with a special glint in her eyes she never gave anyone else. Now she treats me like a stranger.

It figures. I scared her off last night, after all. But I miss what we had; the sort of relationship that was strictly platonic without these conflicting emotions in the mix.

I was relieved when Yuki was able to join us on the walk from school so I wouldn’t be alone with her. I never would have thought I’d be happy to have the rat around.

I’m also visiting Shishou because he might be able to ease my mind. I always come to him when I’m troubled. Although,…we’ve never talked about girls. We only have briefly during that talk when I was about thirteen. I never want to relive that again.

I enter the outskirts of the estate to the familiar dojo that’s my second home. Shishou is on the porch, sending his class off. I hide behind the stone gate lining the building, peeking out from behind it while waiting. I hate interrupting him. He’s always so busy. It’s a wonder how he always makes time for me no matter what. Especially since I usually don’t deserve the time of day.

His students start to disperse, passing me as they go through the gate. Shishou goes back into the dojo. His back remains to me.

“What’s wrong, Kyo?” he asks.

I flinch, popping out from behind the stone wall. “How-?!”

“You ask that every time,” he says with a chuckle. “You know I can always feel you sneaking up behind me when you either need something or you’re in trouble.”

I flush, flicking my head away from him and grumbling.

He laughs again. “Come inside and we’ll talk. I’ll go get some tea ready.”

I face defeat and walk up the stone path to the dojo. I take a seat on one of the mats still left out from the previous class, and Shishou comes in with cups and a kettle a minute later, sitting on the mat across from me.

“So what’s on your mind?”

God, this is so humiliating. But I did choose to come here. “It’s about a girl.”

He nods, a knowing look in his eyes. “Tohru, right?”

“What?!” I start. “How did you know?!”

He smiles, shaking his head. “You think I don’t see the kind of relationship you two have? You look at her like she’s one of those small pieces of salmon you’re always cooking for yourself.”

I raise my brows. “I look at her like she’s a meal?”

“Precisely,” he says with confidence. “So? What’s going on with you guys?”

I feel the blood drain from my face while just thinking about telling him all that we’ve done. “Um…nothing?”

He stares at me, pursing his lips. “Something had to have happened if you’re this nervous over it.” He pours the tea in my cup while saying. “Did it get physical?”

“Huh?!” I squeak. This was a bad idea. “N-no! Well…I don’t know.”

He laughs. “How could you not know?” He shifts the kettle over his cup and pours the liquid into it. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I was a teenager once. I know what it involves.”

I don’t even want to imagine that. “Fine. We did things, but I’m not going into detail,” I say.

“Fair enough. I have a general idea anyway.” He sips the tea from his cup before going on. “Isn’t she dating Momiji?”

I hadn’t planned to go there. The harsh reality is settling in. “Yes,”

His grin drops. “Kyo…”

“I know. I’m terrible.” I sigh and run my hands over my face. “She came onto me first, but I allowed it. I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her no. Then after it happened, I told her to screw off and now she won’t talk to me. I’ve ruined everything between us.”

Shishou frowns, holding his cup against his knee. “Okay, first I have to get this out of the way. You were safe, right?”

Oh, my fucking god. “We didn’t go all the way! It was just…touching! And even if we did, I would’ve been smart about it! I’m not stupid!”

“Okay, okay, calm down,” he says in a much more even tone than I have. “I just don’t want you having any babies at least before you graduate from high school.”

I lean my cheek against my fist, mindlessly sipping from my cup. “I’m never having kids,” I mumble. I came to terms with that a long time ago.

He smiles once again. “I wouldn’t say that.” He refills his cup and slow steam comes out of it. “Let’s get this straight then. You two did some explicit things due to hormones and you scolded her for it and now she’s avoiding you?”

I shrug. “That sums it up.” He made me sound like a villain. Hell, maybe I am.

“And you’re pushing her away because of what will happen to you after graduation,” he concludes. We’ve gone over this before. He’s claimed that he will find a way to make it so I’m not confined forever. I’ve hated that he’s entertained the idea all these years when it’s impossible. He’s wasting his time with it.

“Yeah, and don’t tell me. It’s going to happen no matter what. There’s no use fighting it. That’s why she needs to stay away.” My eyes grow moist, and I blink. “It’ll only hurt her if she gets too involved with me. But…I miss her. And she won’t talk to me.”

“Well, no wonder. You scarred the poor girl.” His smile grows soft as he looks to me. “Kyo, if she was willing to get intimate with you, that already means she’s in deep. It’s probably too late.” He sets his cup down then scoots closer to me. “I think you need to have a talk with her about it and sort out your feelings. Both of you keeping quiet and pretending like the tension doesn’t exist is just adding fuel to the fire. You’ll be miserable if you continue with that behavior.”

I get what he means. I really do. But I feel like talking about it with her will cause her further pain. “I don’t want to hurt her,” I say.

“You already have,” he says matter-of-factly. “If you talk it out, you won’t. It’ll heal you both. You love her, don’t you?”

I can feel the blush all the way down to my toes. “Y-yes,”

His eyes soften and find mine. “Then you’ll make the decision that’s best for her, but it may not be the one you have in mind.”


Tohru

After this draining day, I really want to see Momiji-kun. It’s fortunate that I’m going to his house this evening. We’ve planned to do it: that thing we’ve been saving for our third date. This is the one. I think I’m ready. And maybe “thinking” means I shouldn’t do it, but I’ve already set it in stone that we’d do it by now. I’m not backing out.

To my surprise, Kyo-kun talked it over with me this morning. He’d heard about it since Momiji-kun told him yesterday. The conversation was short. He asked me if I had something to protect myself. I’ve been on birth control for the past month in preparation for this. I thought it was a good idea if Momiji-kun and I are going to be a long term thing. Kyo-kun only replied with, “Good,” and left it at that. I suppose it means he still worries about me. It’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still devastated that he’s avoiding me.

In all honesty, I’m doing the same to him. I can’t face him after he scolded me last night. Though, maybe I deserve it. I crossed a line that I should’ve avoided at all costs, and now he hates me for it.

I choke back my tears as I enter the Sohma estate through the hole in the gate. I can’t cry now. I shouldn’t even have Kyo-kun on my mind. Tonight, I’m only focusing on Momiji-kun. This is an important night for us. I won’t ruin it with my emotions and drama.

He peeks out the front window of his house and answers the door before I have time to knock. “You’re just on time!” he exclaims, kissing me gently on the lips.

I gladly return it, my purse wedged between us so as not to let our chests touch. “Hi, thank you for having me.” I step inside and take off my shoes. There’s a plate of three rows of sushi on the island in his kitchen. “Are those for us?”

“Yes, I thought we could have them in bed while we watch the movie,” he says.

“That sounds wonderful!”

His face is lit up after I smile. Over these past weeks, I’ve found him the happiest when I’m happy. It’s incredibly sweet, and I’ve fallen a little for him because of it. But…is it enough?

“Go get settled in bed and I’ll bring everything in,” he says, leaving to the kitchen.

I follow the order, going to the master bedroom in the hallway. The tv is already on so I set up the movie he recorded for us and pause it so he doesn’t miss it. He comes in, hands and arms filled with the sushi platter and two drinks.

I hop off the bed and take the drinks from him. “Momiji-kun, I could’ve helped you,” I laugh.

“But I’m the one treating you. It wouldn’t be right.” He shakes his head and grins, briefly kissing my head. “Thanks anyway. Now get back in bed.”

I set the glasses of apple cider on each of the nightstands then get in the bed and sit against the pillows lining the headboard. He settles in beside me, setting the platter between us. He plays the movie, then lays against the pillows. His arm slithers around my shoulders without me noticing it.

This feels comfortable; nice. It’s what a real date should feel like. I get the idea to take a piece of sushi, and I hold it up for him to eat.

He looks to me, noticing the fish in front of his face, and grins. He opens his mouth and I pop it in with a giggle. “How is it?”

“Great!” He feeds me one and I gladly take it, letting the sauce melt onto my tongue. I swallow, looking at him and mapping out his expression. He’s being a lot quieter than he usually is. Granted, he’s been more energetic than the average person, but he’s dialed it down several notches. Could he be…nervous? I am. The more I think about the implications of what we’ll do, the more nerve-wracked I get. A huge part of me wants to get it over with to send the anxiety away. But how do I lead up to it? Do I just start touching him? I could do what I’ve tried on Kyo-kun, I suppose.

He sets the sushi he had just picked up down on the platter and mutes the tv. “What’s wrong? You look glum all of a sudden.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.” I gaze down at my hands, taking an interest in my nails. “I’m just…nervous?”

He shifts himself towards me. “About what we’re going to do? If you’re not ready, we don’t have to.”

“No,” I say a little too quickly and lift my head. “I want to. I promise. But…maybe we could start now? It might help me calm down.”

His face takes on a serious nature that I’ve never seen on him. It’s captivating; beautiful. He truly is stunning, no longer a boy, but a young man in every sense of the word. I should feel lucky. I do…somewhat. “Then let’s do it,” he whispers and holds my cheeks. He sets the platter on the floor then returns to me, holding my thigh with his free hand.

I smile. The touch is comforting, and it helps me settle into the mood. I place my hands on his sides, drawing closer to him and brushing my lips against his once before he completes it with a searing kiss. I close my eyes and take it in. I focus every ounce of my mind on the kiss, urging my feelings to get involved; to react.

His hands find my back and they unzip my dress. I have deemed it the sexiest dress I own, but it isn’t much. At least the silk flatters my body, and the black extenuated my skin. However, Momiji-kun hadn’t commented on it like I hoped he would. Perhaps he isn’t into dresses. I’d worn it just for this occasion along with the fancy underwear I got yesterday. I’d went out and bought them for this. I hope he notices. I mean, he probably will notice my naked body regardless of what I wear.

I put my arms down so he can pull down the straps. He maneuvers the top of the dress down to my hips, leaving my upper half partially exposed. I lean my head forward and he kisses my neck, pulling me onto his lap as close as he is able to.

I tilt my head to the side and expose my neck. I check for the butterflies: there are none. I check my heart: it doesn’t feel full. I feel empty. It’s only when I image Kyo-kun’s lips on my neck that a spark forms inside me. No. It isn’t supposed to be like this. Momiji-kun is who I should be focusing on. He’s the one doing this to me.

The more I try to force myself to feel even a sliver of pleasure, the more frustrated I get. I squirm in his lap and bite my lip. He begins pulling my dress down my legs, barely getting halfway past my thighs when my hands halt his. “Momiji-kun,” I whisper. “I…can’t. I can’t do this.”

His body goes still. I look to his face, hoping I haven’t upset him. His brows furrow and he frowns. “Did I do something wrong?”

“N-no!” I say while flushing. “It’s just that maybe I’m not ready. I’m not feeling it.” I make a pathetic whimper that I didn’t mean to let out. “I’m sorry.”

He moves his hands off me, shaking his head. “Don’t be. If you’re not ready, then that’s fine. I already told you that.” He takes my face in my hands, making me look at his eyes. “Alright? I’m sorry I made you uncomfortable.”

“You’ve been wonderful,” I reply, forcing a smile.

He returns it and kisses me gently. I only give one back halfheartedly. “I know this is soon, but I should get home. There’s so much on my mind right now so…”

He begins redressing me and my lip tilts up at the sweet gesture. “Then you go home and rest. I know this has been a stressful night since you’ve been worrying over this.” He takes my hand, pressing the back of it to his lips. “And I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”

“Thank you.” I hold his hand back, partially relieved. “Thank you for understanding.”

“Always,” he says with a soft expression. I wish these tender looks, these sweet moments that he’s constantly giving me, was enough to change my mind.


It started raining halfway through my walk home. I hadn’t checked the weather, so I had no idea. And here I am in a short dress with no sleeves. I sigh and wrap my arms around myself. I can only think of Kyo who must be exhausted due to this weather. He’s probably asleep by now. I smile like I always do when I think of him, but it quickly goes away when I remember that he wants nothing to do with me right now.

How do I get him back? Perhaps distance will help mend our relationship if it’s not completely broken. It can’t be. I promised I’d stay with him forever on that night when I first saw his true form. I’m not breaking it no matter how much he tries to push me away.

I stop at the front door to the house, the panic starting to settle in. If I lose him…I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll be broken. I clench my fists on the door, fighting away these thoughts to no avail. “Kyo-kun,” I say, my voice cracking. I don’t know if I’ll ever see his smile again. Will he ever let me in on his deepest, darkest secrets, his anxieties, and worries that he doesn’t share with anyone else? There’s a chance he won’t want to listen to me anymore either.

It’s at that realization that I cry before I can notice the drops cascading down my cheeks. If I don’t have him to confide in, what will I do? This past month, physicality between us has been heightened, but that’s not the only reason I need him. I need him with me during the disastrous moments where I feel lost and alone, and he’s there to give me some light. I need him because I can’t go through life on my own. And maybe that paints me as weak and unstable, but perhaps love has that effect. And I love him with my whole body and soul.

My tears shift to sobs as I rest my head on the door, the rain pounding off my back. I almost land face-first on the floor when the door opens, but someone catches my arm.

“What the hell are you standing out here in the rain for?” Kyo-kun says.

I look up. How is he still awake at this hour and with this weather? “Kyo-kun?!”

“Shh, everyone else is sleeping.” He pulls me into the house, making exasperated sighs. “Before you ask, I’m up to get a glass of milk, but your sobbing is so loud that I heard it from the kitchen. What are you crying about? Did Momiji do something to you?” He takes us to the closet by the bathroom and pulls out a towel. He turns around, handing it to me, and his gaze lands on my chest, working its way down my body. He blushes and quickly turns his head away.

Do I look weird? I look down at myself and find my dress soaked and plastered to me. The thin, damp fabric makes it so that my underwear is visible. I’m practically naked. I flush as well and wrap the towel around myself. “Momiji-kun, did nothing wrong, but…I couldn’t do that with him.”

He blinks, seemingly dazed. “Why?”

I wrap the towel tighter around my shoulders. “It didn’t feel right,” I say. I want to add why so desperately, but I don’t think he’d understand.

“Oh, well, I’m sorry.” He closes the closet door, his shoulders sagging as he loses a breath. “Go take a bath before you catch a cold,” he mutters, heading to the kitchen.

So that’s it. At least he’s talking to me, but there are words left unsaid, and we both know it. I can’t go another day like this. Of course, I want to avoid confrontation as I always do, but the will to keep him by my side is stronger. And right now, he’s fading away.  “Kyo-kun, wait,” I start.

He stops at the entrance to the kitchen. His back remains to me, and it’s like I’m talking into the void. Just look at me like you did before. Please. “I need to talk to you. Please, can I just have a moment?”

He turns his head, his eyes drooping. He looks exhausted. It’d be wrong of me to keep him up, but… “Fine,” he mumbles and returns to me, sitting at the kotasu. I make him out in the dark, turning on the dim lamp by the tv before joining him, sitting on the side adjacent to him.

“We’ve been very awkward with each other lately, and I hate it. I know it’s my fault, and I’m sorry.” I swallow to halt any crying. “I’m afraid I’m losing you as my friend, and I don’t want to.”

He leans his arms on the surface of the kotatsu, peering at me underneath his orange bangs. “I honestly don’t know how to act around you anymore, Tohru. We can’t just do that and pretend like it didn’t happen the next day. I’ve tried to get it out of my mind, and I can’t. The only way I know how to resolve the issue is by distancing myself from you.”

I shake my head. Apparently, we have different views on the matter. Hopefully, I can make him understand. “We need to talk and get it off our chests. Maybe then we could fix us,” I say, not bothering to hide how desperate I am according to my voice.

“Look,” he says quickly after I finished. “Shishou told me we should do the same thing, so I’m willing to hear you out.” He reaches across the table, his fingers grazing mine. The simplest touch causes my heart to go into overdrive.

I take in a long breath. “Kyo-kun, I can’t stop having feelings for you no matter how hard I try to fight it. I want you…physically and emotionally, but every time I try to get close to you, you push me back. I don’t understand why.” A tear hits the kotatsu. What’s the point even holding them back? I openly cry instead. “I love you…so much. I want to be with you. I know it’s so selfish so I hate saying it, but I always want you by my side to listen to me, to continue helping me. I want you there during the dark times to tell me everything is going to be okay just like you used to do.” I sob and it makes me hiccup. I sound so stupid. “Give me a chance because I can’t be without you.”

His hand flinches as I finish, no longer near mine, but I reach out and hold it before it can slip away, as if trying to tether him to the spot so I don’t lose him forever. He closes his eyes and furrows his brows. “Tohru, we can’t.”

“Why?” I say a little too loud. My frustration couldn’t keep itself at bay. Years of pent up anguish over him forcibly resisting me is coming out all at once. “Tell me why. Now. I’m going crazy, Kyo-kun. Please tell me!” I speak as loud as I can without waking the others.

He yanks his grip away from mine and puts his face in his hands, blocking me out again.

My empty hand begins to shake. “P-please say-“

“I’m going to be locked up.”


Kyo

Finally. It’s out there. And maybe this will be her motivation to stay away. As much as I don’t want her too, as much as I want to take her with into my permeant cage forever, I’ll only hurt her if we take this further. Better for her to feel pain now temporarily than grow closer to her to the point of no return. I hope Shishou is wrong and that she’s not in too deep. I don’t want it to be too late.

Her brows pull together as she stares at me. “Locked up?”

“After graduation, Akito’s putting me in a cell and I’ll never come out. I’ll be gone forever,” my voice breaks and my previous resolve fades. I slump against the surface of the kotatsu, the pattering of the rain on the roof reminding me of my weakened state. “That’s why I can’t be with you because you’re going to lose me anyway.”

Her mouth hangs open and she shakes her head. “Tell me that’s not true. You’re making this up because you don’t want to be with me.”

“Of course, I want to be with you!” I snap. “Goddammit, Tohru, I can’t believe you’d question that. I’m in love with you! That’s why we can’t be together because it’ll hurt you when I have to go and I care about you too much to put you through that pain.” I rake my hands through my hair and grip it for support. “I’ve been pushing you away, and I scolded you after you fucking sucked me off because I was trying to scare you away so you’d be too afraid of me to want to get any closer!”

Her eyes widen, her mouth continuing to gape like a fish. “Then I’ll find a way to stop it. I’ll do anything-“

“There’s nothing you can do,” I interrupt. “My fate has been decided since the day I was born.”

“There has to be something!” She bites her lip and begins to sob. “I won’t allow it. Even if you didn’t love me, didn’t want to be with me, I could bear through that, but I can’t handle you leaving me forever.”

I wish she’d stop; stop crying. It put my chest in a stir. It raises the emotions that I’m trying to keep under control. I can’t stand to see her like this. “I’m sorry, but that’s the way it will be.”

She breathes out a harsh cry that permeates the air around us and hangs in an echo. Her eyes lock on mine, big, brown, and devastated. Just looking at them makes my eyes sting, and I blink.  Don’t cry. Be the strong one.

She inches around the corner of the kotatsu until she’s on the same side as me. I can’t bring myself to back away. Her presence is something I always crave no matter how much I try to resist her. Sometimes, I think about letting myself indulge just for a little while. It wouldn’t be the right thing to do, but…I need her too. So much.

She puts her cold hands on my cheeks, her eyes impeccably distraught and glistening with tears. “Kyo-kun, I love you so much. Nothing you say to try to get me to stay away is going to change that,” she whispers.

To be honest, deep down, I didn’t think it would. It’s so like her. I love her for it. I squeeze my eyes shut while thinking of the possible repressions of what I’m about to say. Fuck the consequences. “I love you too,” I tell her.

She sighs, her body relaxing all at once as if pounds of weight has been lifted off her tiny body. She leans in closer, so close that I can smell the poignant perfume she’s wearing, and I let her. Regardless of my future and the fact that this moment, this bliss, is temporary, I give myself the luxury of being in her vicinity. Even though I don’t deserve her.

Her head touches mine and her eyes close. I just stare, probably stupidly. The urge to touch her grows even more since she’s this close. I rest my hand on her hip. Her dress is still soaked. It’s about time she gets out of it before she gets sick. God, now I’m imagining her out of the dress. My grip on her tightens while I fight off these rather perverse thoughts I’ve, honestly, had about her before.

She jerks forward in response as if the touch was the button to turn her on. Her lips touch mine with a soft brush before she puts pressure on them. I’d anticipated it with how close she was getting, but it still makes me jump, possibly because the touch was unknown. I had hoped, if I were ever to have a first kiss, it would be with her. So I can’t help myself.

I grab the back of her neck with my free hand and draw her in closer. She willingly lets me take the lead, her body turning to goo in my lose embrace. How badly I want to hold her against me, to have her body molded with mine, but I have to keep her inches apart. This is going to have to be enough.

She moves onto my lap and straddles my legs, her heavy, wet dress inching up her thighs. I’ve noticed how beautiful she is before, especially in the past year while her body has been filling out more in…certain areas. But I’ve never associated “sexy” with her. Yet, right now, she’s just that, and it’s making it harder to keep my cool and not touch her more than I should.

Her dainty hands land on my chest and her tongue grazes my lip. I shiver, the contact unexpected yet pleasing. I take a guess at what her intentions are and part my lips. Her tongue moves in straight away and runs along mine.

I wedge my arm between us and hold her stomach so our chests don’t touch, then close my eyes, putting in the same amount of pressure. She cranes her head back while my fingers thread through her hair in a gentle grip. It’s only a matter of time when even this isn’t enough, and I’m getting there.

My canines brush her bottom lip as I pull away. She looks up at me, face flushed and lips slightly swollen. She holds the collar of my shirt and sits up straight. “Kyo-kun,” she whispers, the low range in her voice saying enough.

I put my grip on her thighs, inching the skirt of her dress up further. “You need to get out of this dress,” I say. For two reasons.

She looks down at herself, a mischievous grin plastered on her lips that I’ve never seen on her before. It’s jarring. “If I’m being honest, when I was putting on this dress, I was imaging you taking it off of me.”

Holy. Fucking. Shit. Was that actually what she said, or did I make that up? Whatever. I have to get it off her anyway. I find the zipper in the back and draw it down. The thin straps fall off her shoulders, and she pulls them down her arms. The material is still plastered to her skin due to being wet. I take the skirt and pull it up over her head while she raises her arms, then throw the wet fabric to the side. Her bra and underwear are black and patterned with lace. I look at her chest where her breasts are held perfectly by the bra. Maybe it’s just the material, but they’re bigger than I thought they were. Has she been hiding these behind her clothes this whole time?

I check her face and find her blushing. Not that it’s surprising. I smile, holding her cheek. “Go ahead and undress me so you don’t feel alone.”

She makes a giggle, nodding in my palm. She starts with my shirt, moving it over my head and laying it next to her dress. She checks out my chest as I did with hers. I guess it’s only fair.

“You’re making me feel naked right now,” I tease.

She laughs quietly, making it come out more like a breath. “You are partially naked.” She flushes again while moving her hands down my torso. They stop at my belt and immediately begin to work it off.

Reality hits as hard as a train. I’d been so caught up in her, that I hadn’t truly taken in the direction this was going. “Tohru, what are you doing?” I sound idiotic. What does it look like?!

She pulls her hands back and flinches. “Ah-! I’m sorry. You told me to never do it again!”

“No, no, it’s not that. I’m just wondering how far you’re taking this. I don’t care…what you do to me.” Of course not. It’s only ever been a dream for her to touch me this way, and now it’s happening for the third time.

She fiddles with her fingers before placing them back on my belt. “I…want you, Kyo-kun. All of you. This time, I want everything, if you’ll let me.” Her eyes start to twinkle, holding that same innocence she’s always had, but including something entirely new at the same time. Her eyelids become heavy and her smile softens.

It’s like I’m holding heaven in my arms. It’s right here. When did I deserve to be looked at like that? As soon as she has the belt undone, I pull my pants down, wasting no more time.

She seems to take note of my urgency because she works on getting my underwear off just as quickly. Now we’re a bundle of limbs and clothes, and I don’t know where I begin and she ends. I fall back on my ass while getting my pants off.

She laughs, then covers her mouth. “Sorry. That was cute.” She smiles, bringing her arms behind her back and undoing her bra. It slides off while I hold my breath in anticipation. So it wasn’t just the bra. Her breasts have grown. It must have happened without me knowing. Being around her all the time, it’s a challenge to notice the subtle changes about her.

I zero in on her, leaning in her direction, and she closes the distance. Her hand goes into the back of my hair, tugging on it as she kisses along my jaw. The touch from her lips is like butter, as soft as I’d imagined they’d be. My nagging concerns on how wrong it is for us to do this go away if only for a little while. I want to focus on her for just one night. I’ll embrace this for whatever it’s worthwhile hoping it lasts forever, even though it’s futile.

Her lips pull off my skin and I wallow in the loss, but there are better things to come, I’m sure. And because I can’t wait for those better things, I think I’ll get right to the point. But…

“What’s wrong?” she asks as my nose scrunches up.

I can feel my blush deepen. “I’m trying to figure out the safest way to go about this.”

Her eyes grow and she makes a small gasp. “Oh, I see.” She looks away thoughtfully, her hand absentmindedly landing on my thigh. I try not to squirm.

She nods, more to herself because I have no clue what she’s thinking. She crawls to the kotatsu, her back staying to me as she leans herself over it. Well, she apparently has this thing down. But…duh…She’s said she’s done research.

I place my palm on her lower back to let her know I’m here, and she shivers once. Her skin is ice cold from the wet dress she’d been wearing. I’m surprised she’s not shivering as much as she should be. I run both hands up her back quickly to warm her up and she coos a happy, blissful sound. My touch trails down her abdomen. I want to memorize all of her body by hand even if I only have one night to do so. I take in the feel of it, like soft clean sheets against the skin on a chilly night. It’s perfection.

My hands finally land on her underwear that is just slightly damp from the dress. I pull them down slowly, more out of nerves than anything. I’ll be seeing her in a way I’m not used to. And, if I’m being totally honest, I still don’t know how to handle girls like this. But I take in a breath and pull them off her legs.

I’m greeted by her bottom, pushed up by the arch of her back. I put my palm on it with care, and I’m met by her cold skin again. Thank God, she’s turned around because I must be blushing up a storm right now. Yet, I still have a desire to see her face.

I lean forward carefully and take her chin in my hand, pivoting her head. Her cheeks are flushed too. That’s not a surprise. “Hey,” I say stupidly.

“Hi,” she giggles, and she looks so happy that my heart can’t take it. –

I shift my hand between her legs and cup her there, completely shocked to find her already… “When did this happen?”

She hangs her head and her back tenses. “Since the moment I saw you naked. You have that effect on me.”

I don’t know how. She’s always putting me on too high of a pedestal that I don’t deserve. It’s insane. “Well, that means I don’t have to do much work to get you ready.”

She laughs awkwardly, and it comes out as a squeak. “I’m ready for you,” she whispers.

I smile when she looks back at me, the light in the room reflecting off her alabaster skin. She smiles back at me and reaches for my hand that sits beside her on the kotatsu. She squeezes it, and I return the gesture.

I get as close to her as I can manage and hold her waist with my free hand to keep her in place. “Tell me if it hurts too much, and I’ll stop,” I say in all seriousness.

She shakes her head. “I’ll be fine. I want you, Kyo-kun.”

Holy hell, I can’t resist that. Even if she did need me to stop, I’m not sure I would have the capacity too at this point. I have to hope she will be okay. Regardless, the thought of physically hurting her is an unbearable idea.

I press myself against her bottom, and she makes a soft gasp in response. It gives me a chill as I maneuver myself between her legs, shifting her thighs apart to make room. I guide myself to its destination, taking a few long seconds to find it and embarrassingly so. I severely suck at this. Before I have time to worry about potentially not performing well enough for her, I get it over with so I don’t have a spare moment to change my mind. I finally find the hollow spot in the center of her core and gradually lead it in.

She whimpers throughout every inch that enters her, her nails digging into the palm of my hand when I shift all the way inside her.  It takes an insurmountable amount of control not to collapse onto her. Her mouth and hand had been one thing, but this causes an explosion inside me that I’ve never come close to feeling before.

She makes a short cry before cutting it off. The sound snaps me out of it just enough to check on her. “Are you okay?”

She nods quickly. I can spot the tears flowing down her cheek, the only part of her face that’s in my vision. “I’m so happy. Don’t worry,” she says in a broken voice. “It just…hurts.”

“I know.” I push myself a little more forward and she grips my length tighter. Another groan releases from me, and I bite my lip to cut it short. I lean down and pepper kisses up her spine, and, gradually, her back begins to relax once more.

She sighs as my lips find the back of her neck. I push her hair over her shoulder and suck on the sliver of skin at the nape of her neck. She hangs her head again, exposing more of it to me. She takes several deep breaths, releasing my name on the last one.

I moan against her skin, shivers tickling my spine at the sweet sound. Nothing has ever sounded so ethereal, so beautiful.

She arches her back and presses her bottom back against me, making me slip deeper inside her. She takes the initiative to move while eliciting a frustrated groan. “M-move,” she stutters.

I resist the urge to laugh. She could have just said so earlier. But she’s embarrassed as I am as well. I understand. “Okay, just relax.”

She lifts her head and loses a breath she’s been holding as I steadily move against her, taking in every grip she has wrapped around me. The stars in my vision already begin to appear before I’ve barely started. I close my eyes, which only makes them become more clear. I pick up the pace, the pleasure flowing like a harsh wave in every inch of my limbs, turning me molten to the point where I want to collapse, but I keep myself upright with the little strength in me.

Her whimpers begin to increase, but they sound pleased rather that filled with sorrow, which gives me relief that she’s okay, that she feels good. She deserves it. However, I can’t have her get too loud. If we get caught, I’ll never hear the end of it from that damn dog.

I pull my hand away from hers and reach until I find her lips. “Shh,” I say in a whisper. She nods then opens her mouth, gently biting down on my index finger. Somehow, feeling the warmth of her mouth on my skin sends another ripple of pleasure through me almost as intense as before. Now I have to bite my own lip to keep myself quiet.

Unfortunately, with the lingering concerns of me getting caught fucking her on the damn kotatsu, which is a horrible judgment of location on my part, I have to do this quick. I pick up the pace of my thrusts, my shoulders shaking with the effort to hold myself up.

Her gasp comes out full force, and she bites my finger harder. I don’t mind the pain as long as it keeps her quiet. It’s all that matters.

“Tohru…” I groan, resting my forehead against the back of her neck, arching my back up to keep my chest from touching her.

“Kyo-kun,” she whispers breathlessly. “I feel it coming.”

“It’s okay,” I assure her. With the anticipation of feeling her climax, I move faster, feeling my end approaching too.

She makes a gasp that shutters her body, and she moves her head so her mouth is flush against my palm. Her moans vibrate my hand like it’s giving it a thorough message, then her lips press against it in a tender kiss.

Only because her back is to me where she can’t see me, I start to cry silently enough so she can’t hear. This is the most surreal moment of my life, being with her like this, our bodies fused together in every possible way. And I love her so much, it’s unbearable.

Her moan comes out long and hard against my skin, and she contracts around me as she comes to her end. The constant grips convulsing on me are the final straw to breaking my composure. I completely unravel, releasing into her as if it’s on instinct.

I bite her neck to shut myself up, and in return, she takes my thumb into her mouth and presses her teeth into my knuckle.

I shut my eyes and allow the high that I can’t imagine coming down from to consume me. I imagine time slowing or, better yet, the world stopping if only so we can stay in this moment forever. I don’t want to leave. I don’t want this to be the only time we do this. I jerk my hips against her to take in more of the mystifying feeling as if I’m looking to prolong my fix.

And because of the reality of my fate lingering in my mind, I once again begin to cry, the tears hitting her shoulder and trailing down her collarbone so vividly, she has to notice my crying this time. “I don’t want to lose you either.”

Chapter Text

Tohru

I slump against the kotatsu, struggling to get even a smidge of air into my lungs. As he removes himself from me, I feel the reality of how much pain I’m in, as if my thighs and core have caught fire.

I lift myself off the kotatsu with shaky arms. My head is reeling. Did that really just happen? One second, we were just kissing, then the next we were connected in a way I didn’t think would happen. At least not this soon. I adored every second of it.

I turn myself around, my back against the kotatsu while I kept trying to pull in breath. “Kyo-kun, I loved…ah, are you okay?!” I thought I was panting up a storm, but he’s even worse. He looks on the verge of hyperventilating.

“What’s wrong?” I say in a bit of a panic and place my hand on his neck.

His eyes are closed, sweat clinging to his forehead. “Rain…” he huffed.

It clicked. He overexerted himself too much due to the rain. I should’ve known. I shouldn’t have allowed him to do that, but I quite honestly never thought it would be an issue. “I’m so sorry. This is my fault. Just try to breathe.”

“Can’t-“ he started, before a puff of orange smoke permeated the air. A cat lay in my lap, its shoulder blades rising and falling with each shallow breath.

Poor thing. I frown and pick him up, holding him in the crook of my shoulder. “I feel so bad. I didn’t know that would weaken you so much.”

“Don’t…worry about it. I didn’t know either. Goddamn rain,” he grumbles.

I giggle. At least he’s in good spirits. “What I wanted to say was that was incredible. Thank you so much.” My tears came down and they hit the fur on his back. It still seems unreal, but the memory is there of him moving inside me, the evidence there as well in the ache between my legs.

He begins to purr as I stroke his coat. The blissful sound makes me smile. “It was…it was worth it. No matter…what happens with us. I want you to know that,” he says.

“I know that. I promise.” I sink my face against his neck and breathe in his scent. “I love you…so, so much.”

“I love you too. I meant that,” he mumbles. He raises his head and licks my cheek with his sandpaper tongue.

I look down at him, and I’m met with the sight of big, red, beautiful eyes. “I’m going to fight to be with you. I promised I’d stay with you forever. I don’t break my promises.”

“I don’t want you putting your effort into something when it’s not going to change anything,” he says sternly.

“I can’t not try, Kyo-kun.” I hold him to my bosom, clutching him like I never would again. “I’ll do anything. I love you too much to let you go.”

He sighs, putting his head back against my neck. “What did I do to deserve you?” he mutters. His breathing gradually gets more even, but sleep clings in his voice.

I stand and gather our clothes with my free hand. “You didn’t have to do anything to deserve me. I’m yours if you’ll let me.”

He purrs in response, the sound cascading down my ear. Maybe I’m being too hopeful, too desperate, but I take it as a yes.


 

 

I slept like a baby last night after dropping Kyo-kun off in his room. The temptation to crawl into his bed with him was strong, but then I was reminded that we aren’t the only ones here. It would be hard to explain to Shigure-san and Yuki-kun why I was in Kyo-kun’s room if they caught me coming out of it this morning. I reluctantly left to my room, exhausted from what we’d done.

It was only when I woke up this morning, still naked, that I noticed what had happened between my thighs, and I had to try not to become nauseated at the sight of dried blood on my skin. I took a bath moments after I got up, regardless of the fact that I had no time to since it’s a school day. I’d just have to eat a quick breakfast.

Everyone was already around the kotatsu when I came downstairs. “I’m sorry I’m late making breakfast. I had some business to take care of,” I say, keeping it vague.

As I went into the kitchen, Yuki says, “Don’t worry about it, Miss Honda. We still have time before we have to leave.”

“Got it!” I reply. I look back at them, my gaze landing on Kyo-kun, who was looking at me with a sort of fondness that made my heart stutter. His smile is soft and small, but still meaningful. I smile back without any attempts to mask it in front of the others. I could get used to these precious looks he gives me from now on. I suppose what we did last night really did change our relationship to something more…intimate. It’s a kind of closeness I’ve never come close to feeling with anyone else.

I go to the refrigerator and take out the ingredients and start to prepare everything as quickly as I can. In the midst of cooking the eggs, I get a glass of water and begin to drink.

“So I found the oddest thing this morning,” I hear Shigure say from the other room. “When I came into the living room this morning, I found a pool of blood on the kotatsu. Do any of you know where that came from?”

The water in my mouth spews past my lips and hits the wall above the sink. I cough so hard, it feels like my lungs are shaking. I grip the edge of the sink and cough up the remainder of the water I retained down the drain.

“Miss Honda! Are you alright?” Yuki calls.

I continue to cough while hitting my chest. I look to Kyo in a panic, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so pale. How could we be so careless? I didn’t notice it. I was so caught up with comforting Kyo after his breathing attack that I didn’t think of it. I hadn’t even noticed there was any blood until this morning.

I feel my face turn a hundred shades of red, and I blurt out “I cut my hand chopping chives last night!” while Kyo simultaneously exclaims “I got a nosebleed!”

Shigure drops his newspaper to his lap, glancing between us with furrowed brows. “You both were bleeding at the same time?”

I twiddle my fingers together, trying to come up with an explanation, but nothing would leave my mouth.

“Yes,” Kyo-kun says with a forced even tone. “It’s not like it’s impossible.”

“Just unlikely,” Yuki-kun says while staring at Kyo-kun. No one seems suspicious. It was just blood after all. It could come from anywhere. However, knowing where it came from still permeates my thoughts and leaves me more horrified than ever. I feel disgusting. We completely disrespected Shigure-san’s kotatsu by doing what we did on it. Why did it have to be there? We were too caught up in the moment to realize the implications of where it was happening.

I swallow hard and put down the knife I was holding. “I…need a moment. I’m sorry. It won’t be long,” I say, then leave to the front door. I need some air, something to help calm down the panic rising up in my throat. I stand on the first step leading up to the door and cross my arms over my abdomen.

Tears fall from my eyes before I notice them. I’ve never been so embarrassed in all my life. I don’t know how to face Yuki-kun and Shigure-san while knowing the truth. I regret it, not what I did with Kyo-kun, but where it was done. I’m such an idiot.

“Tohru,” I whip my head back and there’s Kyo-kun. I hadn’t heard him open the door.

I wipe my cheeks frantically. “Ah, I’m so sorry. I just needed to get out of there.” I whimper and cover my mouth with my hand.

He gets onto the step above me and holds my jaw, brushing my hair off my shoulder. “I didn’t realize…”

“Me neither,” I mumble. “If I had known, I would’ve cleaned it off. I hadn’t even noticed I had bled until this morning. I’m…so humiliated. I can’t believe it. I feel so stupid for doing that there.” I cry harder the more I talk about it, burrowing my mouth against his hand that was on my cheek.

His fingers inch onto my scalp, entwining with the strands of hair. “We both were stupid. Don’t feel like this is all on you.” He lays his other hand on my hip, and the sudden closeness makes me feel a little better.

I meet his eyes with my own, my vision blurry from the tears. “O-okay. We can’t let that happen again.”

His grip hardens on my hip while he pulls me closer, our chests inches apart. “I don’t know the full scope of how girl’s bodies work, but I’m pretty sure you only bleed the first time.”

Oh, right. I laugh just a little and my breath ruffles his shirt. “I mean, we shouldn’t do it there ever again or anywhere outside of a bed or our own personal spaces. That’s so disrespectful to Shigure-san.”

“Ah, stop that. He would’ve gotten over it. Actually he probably would’ve gotten a kick out of it more than anything.”

“Doesn’t make it any better…” I mumble, laying my forehead on his chest.

His touch moves to my back, and he strokes it in slow circles. “I’m sorry,” he says. “How are you doing this morning…after everything?”

I crane my neck up to look to him, and I catch his previous small smile drooping. “I feel great, but why do you look so concerned? You thought I wasn’t okay?”

“Well, I was worried you had regretted what happened last night since it was so sudden. It hadn’t been my initial intention to do that, so-“

“Kyo-kun,” I coo, smiling for proof. “I don’t regret it at all. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from you for so long.” I inch my hands up his chest and to his exposed collarbone. “I want to do it with you many times more.”

The blush on him is so cute, it ignites the love inside me and makes me obtain the inclination to kiss him. He returns it with a sweet sweep of his lip against my own. I pull back and hold him by his neck. “That leads me to ask you what we are now. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, but…”

“No, it’s fine. I need to talk to you about that anyway.” His expression goes serious, back to how it usually is. “Before I go on, what are you going to do about Momiji?”

Oh my goodness. I’ve forgotten about Momiji-kun since last night. There’s no way I can continue what I have with him now that Kyo-kun and I are so far ahead. It wouldn’t be right. But the last thing I want to do is hurt Momiji-kun. “I have to break up with him. My heart is with you,” I say, frowning. “I have to let Momiji-kun go. It’s not fair to stay with him when I’m not dedicated to him.”

He sighs and rests his head against mine. “I feel like an asshole pulling you away from your boyfriend.”

I shake my head and it shifts against his. “It’s not your fault. This is my decision. Besides, I was in love with you first, and I always will be.”

He flinches, and my heart drops. “You know my confinement is inevitable,” he says.

“And I’ll do what I can to stop it,” I say, filled with a rush of determination. I’d find a way even if it kills me. “But even if you do get locked up, I still want to stay with you. Please let me stay by your side.”

He sighs, seemingly at war with himself. I took heart that he visibly is fighting. He does want to be with me. It means so much, more than I can say.

“Okay,” he whispers. “I want you too bad to say no.”

 

The urge to hug him is strong, but I resist and opt for kissing him instead, harder than I did before. He accepts it with ease, allowing my breath and presence to mingle with his. I could go on forever, but breakfast has to be made.


I think this is the first time I’ve ever dreaded going to school. I’m always happy to go because it means I’m fulfilling my promise to Mom to go to school every day, but going means I have to face Momiji-kun and confess to him that I’m in love with someone else. It will be hard, but it has to be done.

 I separate from the boys once we enter the building and go on the search for him. Through the sea of students, I spot his yellow hair at the end of the hallway, and I force my feet to go towards him.

He notices me and the huge smile on his face makes the little confidence I have falters. I don’t know if I can do this.

“Hey!” he says and takes my hand, pulling me toward him and kissing my lips.

I only press mine against his once before pulling away. I look down at my shaking feet. “I need to tell you something.”

His grip on my hand tightens. “Of course. Should we get out of this crowd first?”

I nod and look to him again. His smile is gone: a really bad sign. We go up the stairs and to the first landing. I back myself against the corner and look away from him. I don’t think I had any confidence to begin with.

“Um,” I start with shakiness in my voice. “I don’t know how to lead up to this, so I’ll just say it. I don’t think we’re going to work out.”

I watch his hand on mine. It stays in my grasp, but it loosens. When my vision turns to him, I find him actually grinning, and I’m left baffled. However, it’s the sort of bittersweet smile that makes me want to cry.

“I didn’t do something wrong last night, right?”

“Oh, no!” I say. “Not at all. You were so sweet to me. It’s not that. It’s just that…I love someone else,” I admit, laying down the complete truth in front of him.

He nods. “I see.” He sighs, his body relaxing. I hadn’t noticed it was so tense. “Is it Kyo?”

I open my mouth, but no sound comes out. I wasn’t expecting that. “It is. How do you know?”

“I’ve known for ages,” he says, dropping my hand. “Deep down, I’ve known I couldn’t compete with him for your affections. But I had to try, you know?”

Even Momiji-kun knew when I had to take time to realize it myself. If this means that everyone knows…”And you’re not upset?”

“I’m disappointed. I can’t hide that.” He slips his hands in his pockets and shrugs. “But I want you to be happy, Tohru. Kyo can provide that for you.” His lips straighten into a line. “Has he told you?”

“That he will be locked up? Yes,” I keep trying to block that fact from my mind just so I don’t go into a panic. Imagining him imprisoned forever hurts more than anything. “But I still want to be with him, and I’m trying to find a way to free him in the meantime.” It’s wishful thinking. Kyo-kun has made that clear, but I won’t give up.

Momiji-kun puts his hand on my arm and I meet his gaze with my own. His sad smile is back. “When you love someone that much, you’ll do anything for them. He’s lucky.”

I smile back, lifting myself up on my toes and kissing his cheek. “Thank you for understanding. You’re going to make a girl very happy one day.”

He runs his grip down my arm and to my hand. “Tohru…” he whispers, the sound devastating, but sweet. He presses the back of my hand to his lips before he departs down the staircase. I wait several minutes, left with the possible notion that I still hurt him, although it’s the last thing I wanted to do, before I re-enter the hallway and walk solemnly to class.


 

Kyo

I’m ashamed to say I followed Tohru at a distance after she departed from me and Yuki to go find Momiji, but I had to make sure she was okay. It was evident in the way she stayed silent during breakfast, not looking any of us in the eye, that she was anxious over this. Something in my gut told me I had to be there for her. And do what? I don’t know. I just don’t want to see her cry. I might have to step in if she does.

I stand under the staircase with my back against the wall, overhearing their conversation. It still feels unreal to hear her say that she loves me. I don’t know how she could, how anyone could love me, but I feel lucky. Just as Momiji said, I’m the luckiest guy in the world because I have her.

By her breaking it off with Momiji, I guess that it makes us official. It’s not like I want her to leave Momiji for me. I had wanted her to be with him so she would be taken care of after I get locked up. However, I can’t force her feelings where they don’t lie, and I’ve come to terms that she’s never going to stop loving me. I left the choice up to her, and she made it. She still wants me. HowFootprints descend down the steps above me, and I look to the hallway to find Momiji stop in the middle of it and look to me. Crap. I’ve been noticed.

He comes my way, a smile on him that I’ve never seen before. It looks rather depressing. “You heard?”

“Yeah,” I say, lifting myself off the wall.

He chuckles, holding the strap of his backpack. “I always knew it’d be you. I shouldn’t have even bothered to try.” He looks down, his hair falling into his eyes. “She looked so happy while she was talking about you. I hope you know that.”

“Uh, yeah,” I say because I don’t know what to add to that. I can never handle myself in such awkward conversations. “Thanks for…getting it.”

He lifted his head, making a snarky grin. “That’s the first time you’ve ever thanked me.”

“Don’t get used to it.” I walk past him, pause, and pat his shoulder. “Really. I know this is hard.”

“Thanks,” he mumbles. “I just want the best for her. I know you can provide that.” Without a second look my way, he leaves, and I lose sight of him quickly in the crowd of students.

I hope he’s right, of course, but I can never help feeling like there’s someone better for her than me out there. Regardless, I’ll try to make her happy, and I’ll be the man she deserves to have. Even if it’s just for a little while, even if it’s a horrible idea that can only end in tragedy with my imminent confinement, I’ll make the concept of us worthwhile.