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21068 No. 21068
The Christmas Eve just kicked in... whatever timezone it did, and so, here is my present for you guys. Enjoy it or not, I know it's a long read, but deal with it. I'd rather post it later tonight, but the fortune has condemned me to spending the evening with a bunch of loli cousins of mine, and I doubt I'll find enough stamina to even as much as turn on my laptop afterwards.

Picture attached is Giddy's latest drawing. Don't know about you, but I'd kill for those lips.


And /shrine/?
Merry Christmas.

==

BGM:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mkZ8OLB8nk starting 00:32

==

In the darkest of nights
There's a place full of lights

Collaboration of Missing Days
Act 24/12 - Shining Night



Though the wind whistles down the cold, dark streets tonight, a lone soldier ploughs through the snow piled up on the streets, persistently keeping a moderately straight trajectory while his pants and boots slowly become dampened with the ubiquitous, malicious water, invading their insides like an army of hostile particles, which - if we take a scientific approach - they pretty much are. Even so, the soldier can't help but imagine them as a legion of miniature warriors, who - with the name of their god, president, king, or whatever authority on their lips - launch continuous assaults, just to get under that theoretically water-proof fabric and fill his feet with an unpleasant, splashy feeling. Someone could ask - what is the sense of tiring oneself by breaking through snowdrifts on such an important day? Ah yes, I still haven't mentioned what exactly are his circumstances, have I? You see, 'today' is the twenty fourth of December - the day we usually call the Christmas Eve. Be it in any other language, country or religion, this day, this certain, particular day always holds some kind of special meaning, to everyone, without an exception, in the world. Come to think of it, mentioning the said day would explain the package our soldier is clutching with one hand - a rather small, red bag, obviously containing - what else could it be? - some sort of present. The only question that remains - for whom is it?

Needless to say, that 'soldier' is me. Probably one of the most unfortunate people on Earth, a military enthusiast and slightly unstable emotionally when it comes to girls student, named - for some weird reason - with a name of a Japanese origin by his not-completely-right in the head, and what's more - long gone parents. To keep it brief, I'm Renji Usami, and I happen to be one of those people who forget about Christmas Eve until the last moment, and thus are condemned to roaming the slowly darkening streets, dragging presents that they ought to have bought days or weeks before, but instead had to stand in unexpectedly long and slow lines, only to get one tinny, weetle item, wrapped in decorative paper all the shops start giving out even before the start of December. But, I cannot complain. After all, I brought this one on myself. Besides, it's not really that big of a deal - what doesn't kill me will strengthen me, and the reason is noble. After all, what kind of man would I be if I didn't get a present for my beloved girl? That is why, no matter the circumstances, I must hold out, for the good of all of us. That means, me and her.
Yes, I'm exaggerating, but forgive a tired mind it's excesses, it's not my fault all those thoughts just keep on haunting me on every sloppy step. I'm simply tired and having a hard time thinking, that's all. So tired...

...

There's a saying that goes 'home sweet home', obviously trying to suggest that there's no place on Earth one would feel better than at his supposed home, and while I have to agree with that - because whenever I returned to this small flat of mine, I felt relieved, elated even, but you see, this time, the feelings accompanying the door closing behind my back and completely different. Yeah, I'm an idiot like that, I forgot all this was actually supposed to be a surprise for her, and carelessly walked inside brandishing the bad all around. What a fool I am. What a great and intoxicating innocence! How could I be so incautious?!
But at least I haven't walked right into her, plus the sounds of a TV show coming from the living room suggest she's busy with something else, fortunately. I may as well be worrying prematurely here. Never hurts to be extra sure though, and so I take a deep breath...
"I'm home!" and let out a loud greeting "Fuku?"
But there's no response. Usually, she would at least groan in false displeasure or greet me back with a quiet 'hello', but this time, nothing like that reaches my cold and aching ears. Be it a good or a bad sign, there's never enough caution one can pay to his surroundings, and so I - having taken off my coat and boots - I proceed inside, in full readiness for the impending slaughter... Or the possibility of a sudden need to retreat appearing out of the blue, in form of a curious stare of a pair of heterochromic eyes. Before I pass the step, by chance, my eyes glance at the TV, and see that the channel on is the one she usually watches whenever given the free time. Fukuzai. Fukuzai never changes. No matter how many months pass, she's always the same. Grumpy, a bit possessive, invariably negative about everything and everyone. Whoever said that only cows don't change their minds was stupid. Or simply never met a girl like her.
"Fuku?"
And here she is, laying on the couch, her body partially covered by a blanket, her hand resting on the TV remote beside her, eyes closed, breathing rhythmically. Asleep. Unruly strands of black hair somehow found their way onto her face, painting single, straight lines running across her forehead, eyes, cheeks and chin. A little too straight, for my taste. Is it...
"... damnit."
I knew it. There's a reason why they're shining so frivolously in the dim aura of the TV - they're simply wet. When will she learn? No matter how many times I nag her about it, this girl refuses to dry her hair properly after taking a shower. I don't know whether she's being silly or stubborn, or perhaps wants to catch a cold. At least it lets me stealthily hide the present in one of the cupboards, without her noticing. A surprise must remain a surprise till the very last moment.

The task done, the stress subsides, and I can see the things clear when I look all around. Even though the Christmas Eve is today, there's a distinctive lack of any elements suggesting so in the room... Aside from a small, artificial Christmas tree I had to decorate myself, because that girl thought it's too 'childish'. It's dark outside, already, despite the hour being relatively early. This is one of the things we both detest about winter, one of the few common points we share, to be honest. Sometimes, I ask myself - how come we managed to stay together for so long?
The couch creaks silently as I seat my tired butt just beside Fuku, and having snatched the remote out of her fingers, I turn the TV off, thus dipping the room in soothing silence and shade, broken only by the colourful lamps of the poor Christmas tree imitation. Maybe, this way, the Christmas spirit may turn a gracing eye to this establishment and grant me at least a little bit of the mood one should feel on a day like this. Yet, nothing happens. Of course, it was foolish of me to hope for a miracle to happen - but what was I wishing for in the first place? Good mood can't be set with just me, I also need cooperation from the other party...
... that's napping happily right there, an arm's reach away. I... I should probably wake her up, shouldn't I? But... Damn, I don't have the heart to disturb her rest. Not when she has that innocent expression on. Somehow, her sleeping face is so much different than her usual one. Almost like if... only in dreams she could finally calm down and forget about all the nuisances haunting her in the real world. I... I kind of wish I could be there with her. Is it silly? Incredibly, but I can't help it, I'm in love with that face.
My hand moves on it's own to brush the naughty strands off that face while the other one grabs a hold of hers.

>> No. 21069
And I can't help but smile. If this is the power of love manipulating my thoughts and actions, then I've no intentions of defying it. Even if it forces me to lean forward, with my palm on her cheek, even if it drags me towards her delicate eyelids like if they were super-powerful magnets, even if all this happens without my interference, so be it. After all, how can I resist? The warmth of her lips on mine causes my eyes to close. And concentrate on everything else.
I couldn't find the guts to wake her up normally, but this way it should be fine, right? First, her hand twitches. Once, briefly. Feeling that under my fingers makes me want to smile, but for the sake of the kiss, I endure and keep still.
"... nn..."
She wants to moan, but my lips are keeping hers shut, so all that comes out is a muffled groan. I can feel tensing under my touch, gently throwing around, without actually doing it, like a person thrown into an ocean, desperately trying to reach the surface with abrupt, uncoordinated movements. I'm literally fishing her out of her dreams.
".. nngh..."
Another one, this time louder. It's the hint, I guess. I open my eyes, and lo and behold, her blue-and-violet pupils are right there, looking at mine, still hazy, a bit confused maybe. Either way, I gently break the kiss and pull back, finally letting that smile creep onto my face.
"Good evening."
"... aa...?" Ahaha, this is great! I love it how every time she wakes up, her innocent face remains there for a minute or two before she fully regains consciousness. It's just so cute, I find myself grinning involuntarily. Yeah, I'm a bastard like that, smiling at her confusion. But like I said, it's just too cute to ignore. "Wha... what are...?"
Still not awake, huh? Oh, Fuku, sleeping in the evening, what are you going to do at night? Oh no, I can't allow you to fall asleep again, don't even think about it! This is for your own good!
And perhaps for mine as well, a little.
Either way, I can't waste the opportunity. She's full of openings, and so shall I use them to the fullest.
By which I mean forcing another kiss.
"Mmf?"
Perhaps due to my sudden charge, her senses woke up a bit faster, making the last groan a bit more audible than the previous ones. Oho, she's started to actively resist! But I'm not going down so easily, Fuku! Not now, when you can witness my win!
And so I hold onto her palm with one hand, her cheek with the other, and try my best not to break the contact, no matter how hard she may resist...

That is, until I realize the mistake of leaving her other arm unattended, thus allowing it to land a swift punch in my stomach.
The pain! The pain, man! It sets in quicker than I'd have ever expected it to. My muscles slacken against my will, making my body slide down, down, and onto the floor. It hurts. It hurts so much. But hell, it was worth it. It's my win, Fukuzai, even though in the end, I'm the one in pain!
"... what the hell do you think you're doing?"
I look up, only to find her rubbing her eyes in an innocent manner, as if though that punch I just received was someone else's doing. As expected of the ice queen. Couldn't you at least cover your lips? Blush a little? Stutter? Now that'd be cute. N-not necessarily e-easy on t-the ear, but cute nonetheless. Not that it matters now.
"Ugh..." I try to arise, but my aching belly denies me the privilege of doing that. I wonder if anything's broken... "Just... wanted to say... hello..."
She casts me the usual, annoyed glance, the very same one I see whenever something stupid escapes my lips. Well, something stupid in her opinion at least.
"... normal people say hello by saying hello, not by trying to suffocate their partners in their sleep."
Well... She's kind of right, except I didn't want to suffocate her. Okay, I went a little overboard, but it was her fault in the first place! It's your fault for being so cute, Fukuzai! Don't try to blame it on me! The one at fault is you! ... like I'm going to say that. This is kinda awkward, no matter how you look at it. Actually, I'm pretty sure I'd be pretty surprised as well, should I wake up to a guy pressing his lips against mine like some sort of unappeased animal... Alright, this comparison is not only ridiculous, but also gay, let us not go any deeper into that.
"Sorry..." I manage to gasp out "I... yeah, I went overboard... Sorry..."
"... stop apologising already."
She lets out a displeased sigh. Eh, here goes the mood. But she's right, it's not the time to be meeking around, I need to get stuff going if we're to enjoy this evening. It's Christmas eve after all, I can't let it pass like any other evening, plus I still need to come up with a plan on how to give her the present I put so much effort in buying.
"Look," I sit up, not without difficulty "I'm sorry, so how about--"
"Didn't I tell you to stop apologizing?"
"That's why I said I'm sorry." I rebut "Look, I only wanted to--"
"You're asking for another."
"Huh?"
"Another punch."
Her face is completely straight, as well as her tone. Sometimes I find it hard to believe how blunt she can be. I mean, one would think that such behaviour wouldn't suit a girl so beautiful, and hell, no matter how you look at her - she is a girl. Unless those hips are in reality mutated man hips, that belly is an effect of a very careful diet, and those breasts are actually fake, which I can deny with all certainty in the world. That leaves no other options - she must be a girl. Just her personality... Well, like I said, you wouldn't expect something like that from a girl, but somehow, it doesn't feel any weird when she's doing that. Maybe it's an issue of getting used to it? I don't know.
"As appealing as that sounds... I think I'll pass." I cough once under her gaze before continuing "A-anyway, today is a special day, how about I prepare something to eat? We can't afford 12 dishes, but one or two should be fine."
She remains silent for good twenty seconds. And then...
"Special day?"
Ugh. Special day? Of course it's a special day, dummy! It's the goddamn Christmas eve! Er... That didn't sound too good, did it.
"Christmas eve."
"Christmas eve." she repeats, apparently still unsure about the weight of those words "... already?"
The urge to palm my face is overwhelming.
"There's a reason for that poor excuse for a Christmas tree to be there, you know." I point at the said and frown "And today just happens to be the 24th of December, in other words, the Christmas eve."
"Huh..." I can't tell whether she's not interested or still trying to process the meaning of what I said "Christmas eve, huh..."
"Don't tell me you forgot."
"..."
The answer is silence. Alright, enough bickering, show's over, time to work!
I stand up and try not to make it too visible that my stomach still hurts.
"So, I'm going to prepare something, we're going to eat it, just like we freaking should on a Christmas eve, got it? But first..." I give her wet hair a scolding look "Dry that hair, would you kindly?"
She blinks twice before averting her gaze.
"... whatever."
This'll have to suffice. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but it's enough. I'm gonna take this to the end, even if it costs me both pride and physical integrity of my body. Hell, if I concentrate a little, I can actually make this pain feel arguably pleasant! That's right, let it be the fuel of my fervour, the factor driving me to work harder, to set up a decent mood for the upcoming event.
And so, I land back in the place where I probably rightfully belong in this relationship - namely, in the kitchen.
>> No. 21070
==
BGM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1GPxcxrBkI
==

Come to think of it, I've never really liked Christmas. All the turmoil and commotion drove me sick, even in the pre-accident days. I remember my parents would give in to the helter-skelter, rushing through supermarts like hurried sheep, not paying attention to what should really count on such a special holiday. Although I was still a kid back then, it all felt just... wrong. When they died, nothing changed. It all remained the same, unorderly mess like it was before, only this time, there was no one to do the shopping for me. Truth be told, usually I would just accept Marry's parents' invitation to spend the eve at their place, but it just wasn't it. The family wasn't mine, I knew no one except for those three-four people, everyone would treat me nicely only because of obligation, not because of their true feelings... Like someone you have to tolerate only due to him being a guest of your host. False, artificial kindness. That is why, I never really enjoyed Christmas.
So, why is it that I can't help but smile cheerfully while my precious girl lazily devours the effects of my hard work? Maybe... Maybe this is what my Christmas lacked? Someone to spend it with? Or maybe I'm just happy to see her like this? Either way, I've already finished my share of the stuff, a bit rushed by the wish to give her the present already... But I can't simply tell her to hurry up, now can I?
The sound of Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' playing in the background from an old boombox I dug out especially for this occasion - to be able to listen to old Christmas songs saved on some old magnetic tapes - one of the few things my parents left behind - creates a nice, calm atmosphere, exactly what I need right now, if the plan is to succeed. Mhm, I put too much thought into it to back away now, neither can I simply accept any chances of failure. That is, for now, she's free to progress at her own pace, slowly eating the soup, spoon after spoon, in unchanging silence.
"... stop staring at me."
That is, until now. Aw, it seems my gaze was too intense for her to not notice it after all. Blame my impatience for this one.
"Ah, sorry, don't mind me." I try to wave off her scold "Take your time."
She doesn't give up though, and putting down her spoon, gives me another displeased look.
"... I can't with you staring at me like this. If you've got something to say, say it."
Of course. Of course I do have something to say! I've got so many things to tell you, Fukuzai! But this isn't the right time. That moment must come and pass undisturbed, for the sake of us both. Sorry, I can't say it yet, Fukuzai. You'll have to wait.
"No, it's nothing. Really."
"..."
The answer is silence, but as I'm about to turn and check the time, my eyes catch a movement on her side. She grabs the bowl and raises it to her mouth, a bit too hasty, if you ask me, and judging from the sounds... Gulps it all down in one go. In less than two seconds, she's done with the meal I put so much effort in preparing.
"There." she mutters, slamming the said bowl against the table "I'm done. You can start talking."
I'm speechless. This... Alright, this is kind of convenient, but... No, no, no, Fukuzai! You don't get it at all! Staring at me intently won't help, I can't say it yet! The atmosphere is not right! It's not something you can fire and forget I want to tell you! Sometimes that straightforward attitude of yours irritates me. Total lack of timing in your head, Fukuzai. You can't read the climate at all!
"... I told you, it's nothing." again, I attempt to shun off her gaze, but in vain "Just... er..."
I was about to say 'take your time', but now that I look at it, there's nothing left to take time on. Curses, why does god have to punish me with such dilemmas? I can't tell her yet, it just wouldn't feel right! Damn it, damn it, triple damn it! This is what you call unforeseen, unfortunate consequences! If I only held my impatience for a while longer... But I brought this on myself, didn't I. I knew her patience is even weaker than mine, yet I continued to subconsciously urge her to finish already... And she did.
Ehh, this is hopeless. It's time to give up, I guess. This isn't how it was supposed to happen, but...
"Hell." I curse under my nose "You're not going to give up, are you."
"... hmm."
The only answer is a gentle nod. I swear there's some sort of twisted satisfaction in her eyes, she's deriving pleasure from my defeat! How impudent! But calm down, me. Bear with it for a while longer.
"The thing is," I resume after a deep and long sigh "I... have something I'd like to give you."
Ah, first sign of a success. She blinks a few times, in clearly visible surprisal. I might just have received an advantage point.
"... a present?" she repeats in disbelief "For... me?"
"It's obvious, isn't it?" I try to make my voice sound playful "After all, it's the Christmas eve, and I don't see anyone else around."
"... but I..."
"So it's kind of obvious it would be for you, right?"
"... I..." a moment of hesitation "I'm sorry." her stare drops to the ground "I can't take it."
"You can't--"
W-wait. Wait just a moment. What did she say? Can't... Can't take it? No, no, no, I cannot accept such an outcome! Not a way in hell! In the first place, why would she...
"Why would you say that?" even though I want to stand up and scream at the moon now, I manage to restrain myself from doing so "What do you mean you can't take it?"
As if though the question I asked was something incredibly painful, her shoulders quiver, once, weakly, almost unnoticeably. Too bad my eyes are those of an eagle, and even such details can't escape my superior awareness.
"... because..." her voice too is weak. Where's the malicious spark from a minute ago, Fukuzai? "... I... I didn't get anything for you."
"Didn't--" I can't believe it. I'm simply speechless. Is that it? That's all? How... silly. No, ridiculous, even. She couldn't possibly believe that I'd be... angry at not receiving a present, could she? No, I refuse to believe it. "Oh, screw that."
Screw that indeed. No matter the reason, I won't let her get away like this. For that purpose, proper steps must be taken. Steps that lead from my chair to hers. Almost like if my movements were controlled from some outside, omnipotent source, my body closes the distance between us in two quick leaps...
Too quick, perhaps, because as soon as I'm about to grab her shoulder and give her a warm smile, the realization kicks in - at this speed, I won't be able to stop.
And so I don't. Instead, I practically ram into her chair, as well as her body, pushing it backwards.
"Ah?!"
I don't even know who it was that gasped in surprise when we both land on the couch, which creaks under the sudden strain, like all old couches do. But my ears didn't hear it. No, the unexpected closeness of her face is enough to turn off all the irrelevant senses.
"... w... what are you doing..."
I can't help but notice how her ruffled hair spread across the blanket she'd been using before I woke her up, creating elaborate, incredibly... eye-catching patterns on it's surface. Eye-catching, but not enough eye-catching to catch my eyes, which are now concentrated on her blue-and-violet pupils. This... This is unexpectedly pleasant.
"Er..." the words can't find their way out of my mouth, thanks to her warmth slowly seeping through my clothes "I... Fuku..."
And then I realize - that completely against - against? - my will, I'm slowly descending my face, getting closer and closer to hers, inevitably, irresistibly being dragged down, towards her, towards that confused expression, towards those frightened eyes. So close, so really close. I can feel the air exhaled by her on my cheeks, I can feel her lips opening slightly, as if inviting me... Inviting mine... So, it's okay to... It's okay to do it... right...?
>> No. 21071
RRRRING RRRRRING

Not right, not a slightest bit right! Why, in such a moment?!
Against all the odds, I manage to pull back and reach for my cellphone. Who the hell could be calling at such a time?
"... Marry." That's right, who else could it be? As opposed to Fuku's, your timing is perfect, brother. Too perfect. Just a minute more would do, just 30 more seconds, in fact! Yet, you just had to... "Hello?"
"Merry Christmas, Renji!" he greets me with an overzealously joyful tone "How are you?"
Well, I'd tell you how am I, bastard!
"Okay, I guess."
"Hm, are you sure?" I can clearly hear other people talking in the background. Ah, yes, family Christmas eve dinner, as always, huh, Marry? "We still do have two free seats left, you know, so if you want, you can always--"
"I appreciate it, but no, thanks." I interrupt him "I don't mean to sound rude, but..."
"Ah, I see. No offense taken." Yeah, I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I know you're doing this because you worry about me, but I'm really fine, Marry. So... "Say, we're going to launch fireworks tomorrow evening, how about it?"
"Sounds fun." I agree, honestly "At what hou--" wait, there's something on my collar?! "--ufh?!"
"Renji? Er, we're going to start around 7PM, so if you want... Renji? Are you there? Did something happen? Renji? Reeenjiiii?!"


==
BGM:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mkZ8OLB8nk
==

Air, I need air. Desperately, my lungs cry out for life-giving oxygen that they severely lack. Even if it takes all the willpower in the world to pull back, even if I'm going to forever curse myself for breaking this moment...!
"Gaah! Haah! Haah!" this isn't breathing, I'm literally wheezing, gasping for air. H-how many minutes were those? Two? I don't know how in the world she's able to hold her breath for so long... I most certainly can't. God, I almost died there! "God... wheeze... damnit..." shit, my cellphone...! Ah, here it is... Call dropped. Did I press the wrong button when she...? Damn. "Next time... haah... you do that... I'm going to bite your tongue off!"
No, Fukuzai, looking all glad and satisfied won't help to soothe my anger! You can smile all you want, it's not going to calm me down!
"Is that so?"
I swear she's making fun of me. Her tone remains relatively calm, but I've spent too much time with her not to learn how to read her emotions. I'm being mocked here! Me! The guy who blew up half of the human village entirely on his own! Do you know who you're screwing with, Fukuzai?
... I'm amazed how my thoughts can revolve around such ambiguous phrases at a time like this.
Nevertheless, I must say, this sort of solves the problem of there being a wrong atmosphere. Still...
"Why did you even do that?"
"Eye for an eye."
"What?!"
"... nothing."
Oh no, you didn't, Fukuzai. You did not just give me that mocking smirk, you accursed succubus! If to play on my nerves was your goal, then you have achieved it. But not for long shall the victory be yours, Fukuzai. For I am not quite yet done!
"So be it!" I spring up, and although the regret of her body suddenly gaining distance from mine kicks in almost immediately, I hold it back with all the might I can dig up now. I will not allow myself to be looked down upon! If this is a war of shocking activities, I shall emerge victorious in the end! For the surprise I had prepared reigns superior over your trifling tricks!
And so! With haste worth of a better cause! I whip out the red bag!
Plunge my hand inside! Take out what dwells within!
And kneeling before that malicious girl, on one knee, open it - the small box that cost me a month of painful renunciations! But it was worth it. No matter how much money I packed into this little baby, to finally put it to use fills me with euphoria incomparable to anything else I've ever felt. She too, confused, stares at the little thing right there, shining in the dim aura of the Christmas lights.
"Fukuzai!" I almost yell out "Will you marry me?!"


Obviously, I did not expect her to answer right away. Just the opposite, actually. This silence is something I had foreseen long before it started to rule over this small room. Still, I can't help, but feel a little disturbed by it's prolonged presence. Glancing up, I am faced with an expression I would never expect to see from her. Shocked, surprised, that's for sure. I don't blame her - it was me who jumped out with something so serious out of the blue, it's only fair to be surprised. Even so... This uncertainty is killing me. This may be the most critical point my life has ever had to get through. The outcome might decide about our futures - both her and mine. I... to be honest, I can't imagine her refusing. My mind simply denies the existence of such a possibility, not allowing me to even consider such a result. Yet, the certainty remains.
The corners of her lips twitch, as do mine, only because of a completely different reason. I swear every blink she makes feels like a whole eternity passing by.
"... I..."
This isn't how it should have been. I can't accept any hesitation.
"Fukuzai." it's rude, I know, but I have to say it "I know what you're thinking. Why would someone like me want to marry a nobody? Why would I want to bind my life with someone's who doesn't even officially exist? Why would I want to marry someone with a false name?"
"..."
She remains silent, and so I continue.
"The answer is: I don't care. Even if we won't be able to get married for real, I don't care. After all, it's just a formality. No," I cut in, seeing her want to protest "I don't care if it's a false name I call you with. Right now, you're Fukuzai. Fukuzai Toorima. No matter who you used to be, or who you think you used to be, right now, you're only that. I don't care about your circumstances. I just... want to ask..." I lower my gaze as not to intimidate her too much "Will... would you marry me?"
Again, silence. Damning, accursed lack of any response that makes my heart race and freeze at the same time, flailing around in contradicting emotions. Yes or no? No or yes? What will it be? I can't take it. I can't take it anymore. Even if I shouldn't, even if it feels like I was forcing her to answer, I must, for my own sanity, I have to...
"... sob..."
A single, silent whimper reaches my ears, causing all the strings holding my body still, to snap. It springs up, completely forgetting about the little, black box containing the now irrelevant ring.
>> No. 21072
File 123012371718.jpg - (212.34KB , 786x1168 , christmasfuku_well-I-like-it.jpg ) [iqdb]
21072
She's crying. Because of me, she's crying. I made her cry. Covering her eyes with one hand, her shoulders jerking up with every sob, she's crying, quietly, timidly, like if it was a penal act, like if if anyone noticed, there would be a punishment waiting for her, she desperately tries to contain it... In vain. Even if she's trying her best, there's no way to stop those tears from flowing.
"Fuku...?"
"I'm... I'm... not crying..."
"Of course you're not."
Saying that obvious lie, I gently wrap my shoulders around hers and pull her closer. No resistance, not even a slightest protest escapes her lips when I tighten the embrace, to the point where her body no longer can shake in spasms. I just... Want this to stop.
"I'm not crying..."
"Mhm." I nod.
"I'm really.. not crying..."
"Yeah."
"I just..." a long, long pause "I would have never thought... that something like this..."
"It's okay." I try to assure her, not even knowing of what "You don't have to force yourself."
A minute passes before she speaks up again.
"Renji... do you really want to..."
"I do. Do you, Fuku?"
It is exactly as I said. I don't care if we're never going to be able to get married for real. I don't care if she's using a false name. I don't care if I had to go through hell because of her. I don't care about her past. Right now, all that counts, all that I can care about is her current self. Her crying self, that, having pulled away a little, gives me a sad smile. Through tears, through a moist haze, she gives me the warmest smile I could ever imagine. Tears flow down her cheeks like two rivers of mysterious source. And I... can't help but stare back, unable to mutter a word.





And then... she nods.
"... yes."



But even in the darkness
One can find peace

Collaboration of Missing Days
Act 24/12 - Shining Night
- END

>> No. 21073
Superb. Way to remind me why you continue to be one of my favorites on this site.
>> No. 21074
I take back what I said half an hour ago. This was great. ;_;
>> No. 21075
Superb~

A very merry Christmas indeed~
>> No. 21076
I enjoyed it greaty.
Merry Christmas to you YAF
>> No. 21079
Just too lovely for words. T_T

Fuku in a wedding dress~