I may or may not include a sequel and/or prequel to the response for #48. Maybe if I feel like it.
Yeah, and these are unedited as of right now so there may be an error or two. Sorry!
#60 – Realization
Title: No Reason
Summary: Shinogu finally realizes.
When Shinogu finally realized that he loved Asahi, she was in the middle of trimming his hair.
Her pink tongue darted out just at the corner of her mouth – a cute habit of hers, really – as she worked, snipping and cutting.
It hit him like a blow to the face. His feelings for her had changed somewhere along the line… When had it been? How long ago? Had he been aware of it? No, of course not – but then what took him so long? How? And why?
Maybe it was because she had been there for him when he needed her most. Maybe it was because of her steadfast devotion. Maybe… maybe…
“All done!” She announced cheerfully, and stepped back to let him look himself in the mirror. “So, how’d I do?”
His eyes fell upon her reflection immediately and the words were nothing but an appreciative whisper on his lips, “Couldn’t be better.”
Maybe he didn’t need a reason after all.
#48 - Rain
Title: Utopia Dashed
Summary: In the middle of a rainy night, Asahi gives Shinogu the freedom he wasn’t sure he wanted.
She appeared on his doorstep around one in the morning, soaked to the bone and not seeming to care one little bit.
After some appropriate scolding on his part (just for the sake of formalities really), he sat her down on the couch, placed a steaming cup of tea in front of her, and retrieved some towels and a set of dry clothes.
Still she stared into nothing and the blank, wide-eyed expression she wore stayed in place.
“Asahi?” he tried, placing a hand on her shoulder. No response, not even a blink. “Asahi? What’s wrong?”
Her mouth opened and closed several times like a fish, yet the words failed to come.
His brow furrowed. Why was she out in the rain in the first place? Without taking his eyes off her, his hand reached for one of the towels. It was around her shoulders soon enough.
Leaden silence echoed around them.
Shinogu bit his lip and tried to ignore the apprehension that was steadily creeping up his back. What had happened to get Asahi in such a state? Normally she was as bubbly and cheerful as anyone could possibly get. What was wrong?
His fingers traveled from her shoulders up to her neck, her ears, her cheeks. There was only one thing he could do now that she had proven that she wouldn’t respond to anything else. With her chin cradled in his fingers like a fragile thing, he lowered his face to hers.
Her lips were cold, unbelievably cold. If it weren’t for the steady rise and fall of her chest, which moved in rhythm with his as he had begun to pull her towards him, it would be as if he were kissing a corpse. It was only when he began probing her bottom lip when she pulled back and pushed him away.
But still, that dead, blank look in her eyes. Then she craned her neck to look up at him and held out a fist. Unconsciously he opened his palm underneath her fist. Her grip loosened, and a ring dropped into his hand.
The ring that he had given her.
Their promise ring.
He looked at her, alarmed. “Asahi, this is…”
She looked at him sadly, and for the first time in his life, he was at a complete loss as to what to do. After all… she looked completely miserable.
His fingers tightened around the ring. “This is yours. I gave it to you, remember?” Without another word, he had taken her hand and the ring was back to its place on her right ring finger.
“I can’t take it anymore,” her voice, usually bright and chirpy, was strained. “You can stop pretending.”
The ring dropped to the cream colored carpet, and in the blink of an eye she bolted for the door, escaping once again into the night.
By the time it registered to Shinogu that she had left, he could no longer hear the splash of her footsteps. He sat there for hours and his eyes remained glued to the open door as if willing her to come back, but she never did.
The rain continued to fall.