All characters are the property of Kaori Naruse. I claim none, I merely borrow them and take them to yummy shoes sales and put them through the horror of finding the perfect strappy sandal.Important Note:
This is a follow-up to the last Kiss, “Promise.”Summary:
It was a special place for them. Of course they would meet here.
Ten weeks had passed, to the day. She had counted, day by day, watching them slowly add up as a series of X’s scrawled in bright red marker on a calendar page. It seemed so impersonal, so detached from the fact that it hurt to make every single one of those marks.
She’d escaped the house earlier and gone walking in town. Fresh air usually helped to clear her head; that was one reason why she always ran straight to the garden when she was upset about something. Being there, amidst the plants and the wind, usually did wonders for her mood.
Unfortunately, the gardens were now just as stained as the calendar, though it was a less tangible mark. They were tainted with memories, both good and bad, and all about him, her, them.
She’d officially met the Leafe Knights in that garden, and they’d spent many a good afternoon out there. The doorway that linked her world with Leafenia was there, beside the site of larvae battles and the miraculous awakening of the White Pretear by love’s first kiss.
Wandering the streets of the town that bore her family’s name didn’t do much for her heartache, but it made her feel the best she’d felt physically since he’d left. Feeling slightly adventurous, she gave her feet the power to go where they wanted, and they chose a spot she hadn’t been to in quite a while.
The pavement beneath her shoes suddenly changed into the softer feel of sand; footprints were suddenly left to mark her trail as she wandered onto the beach. She paused by the rocks—she and Mawata had come here once, in the early days of their newfound status as sisters.
He chased her down that one day—to this spot. Unable to prêt, unable to fight…she was of no use to them if she couldn’t become the Pretear. Yet he’d run after her, he’d come to her here, and he’d stopped her from running away anymore. She’d become the Pretear once again there.
They’d come here many times since the days of Fenrir and the Pretear, just to sit on the beach. It was one of their special spots, a place where they had really connected and realized…no, she had always known that he was important to her. She’d known that from the first moment she’d met his eyes.
Sighing, she tightened her jacket around her as a cool breeze picked up off the water. It was time to go home to another lonely night of wondering…
…a hand clasped down over her eyes and an arm wrapped around her waist.
“Hey!” she yelped before she could stop herself. Hands immediately clenched into fists, and self-defense training took over; rational thought was traded for instinct. Get away get away…
The arm around her waist pulled, and there was someone warm and solid pressed against her back. Hot breath tickled her cheek as a low voice murmured into her ear, “What? Aren’t you happy to see me?”
Himeno froze, one fist raised to strike at her unknown assailant.
She knew that voice as well as she knew her own name…
She whirled suddenly to face him, startling him enough that his grasp was loosened.
“Hayate…” Oh God…he looks exactly the same…
The only thing that had changed was the acquisition of a scar running a trail across one cheek, just beneath his eye. It detracted nothing, but merely drew attention to…
…his eyes. Himeno forgot how to breathe.
“Did you miss me?” he asked, faint teasing belying the real seriousness of his question. The hand he’d thrown around her to pull her to him initially was still resting on her waist, while his other hand (the one that had momentarily blinded her) was holding the back of her head.
“Where the hell have you been?” she asked bluntly; she was shaking. “What happened?”
“You don’t want to know,” he said honestly. “It’s better if you don’t.” His head dropped to hers, the hand on the back of her head guiding her into place, effectively silencing any further questions or protests. For the moment, at least. It worked.
Truthfully, Himeno didn’t care anymore. She could live not knowing what had happened. She was fine not knowing what had caused that scar. As long as he stayed, like this…one of their special spots…
When he released her, she looked up at him, promising herself that she wouldn’t cry. “If you ever disappear like that again,” she said shakily, reaching up to touch his scar with gentle fingers, “and don’t let me know that you’re all right…I’ll kill you myself.”
“It’s good to be home,” Hayate laughed…and kissed her again.PS. Got a request for a companion piece to the previous Kiss. Disappointing readers is not high on Candy-chan’s list, so she did it. Hope this was something along the lines of what you had in mind! The countdown is winding down fast—seven left! Thanks, all. Much love!
Cross-posted to candy__chan
and 30 Kisses: Hayate and Himeno.