You hurried down the road to Japan's house, eager to talk to your shy friend.
Today was the day you were finally going to confess your feelings to him. After years of loving him in silence, you realized that the only way you could have a relationship with the timid man was if you made the first move. Though it wasn't exactly conventional, you knew there was no way Kiku would ever initiate anything, and you couldn't take him being oblivious to your feelings any longer.
Last night you had called him, asking if you could come over the next day.
"Of course, (Name)-san. You are arlways werlcome in my home."
So now you knocked on the door, breathlessly waiting.
You frowned, confused at the silence that greeted you. He knew that you were coming today... Where was he?
"He must have forgotten about me..." You murmured, a pang of disappointment tweaking your heart.
Regardless of where he was, you decided to wait for him. Sitting down on the porch, you folded your hands over your crossed legs and watched the gentle movements of the nearby Sakura trees.
Lost in the moment, you completely missed China walking by until he waved and called out,
"(Name)! How are you, aru?"
Looking up, you smiled at the Chinese man.
"Hello, Yao! I'm just waiting for Kiku; he was suppose to be here, but I think he forgot..." You said, trying to mask any signs of disappointment.
Yao looked surprised. "You are waiting for Kiku, aru? But he is at the bath house!"
You raised your eyebrows. "The...bath house?"
"Sh́." He nodded. "Kiku always takes his baths at this time."
"Oh...well, can you tell me where the bath house is?"
A brush of pink flooded Yao's cheeks.
"Ah, sure (Name)..."
You listened patiently as he gave you the directions. Once he was finished, you thanked him and sped off toward where Kiku was.
China rubbed the back of his neck as he watched your retreating figure.
"Maybe I should have explained bath houses to her, aru." He whispered to himself.
. . .
You approached the marble building and slowly pushed open the door.
The inside was beautiful: engraved pillars graced the sides of an azure pool of water. Tall windows filtered in beams of golden sun that bounced if the water and made reflections dance along the cool interior.
Your breath caught in your throat as you spotted Kiku at the end of the pool. He was beautiful, in every sense of the word. His eyes were closed and an expression of tranquility alighted his features. His head was slightly rolled to the side, exposing his smooth neck to the sunshine. The rest of his pale skin glowed as well, only fading when it meet the black hair plastered to his face or the edge of the water...
A deep blush flooded your face. W-was he wearing any cloths?! The water was too dark to tell... You mentally slapped yourself; you shouldn't be looking there anyway!
You suddenly felt very ashamed of your presence; how you were staring at Kiku during what was a very...privet moment.
Deciding it would be best to leave him in peace, you began to silently back out of the pool house.
Placing your foot gingerly on the ground, your vision suddenly shifted as you found yourself plummeting to the ground. With a sickening crack, your head struck the marble floor.
Panic flooded your mind. Kiku! What would he do when he saw you?! You squeeze your eyes shut in pain and embarrassment. Just let me disappear... Just let me disappear...
You heard your name echoing in the room. The sound of hurried footsteps grew closer until...
"(Name)-san! Are you arlright?"
You could feel his body heat as he bent over you. Daring to look, you opened your eyes and found yourself staring into concerned chocolate eyes. A towel was thrown around his hips, but his chest was uncovered, water droplets glistening in the light. You closed your eyes again, knowing how he felt about public nudity.
"I-I must have slipped..." You said weakly, feeling drops of water roll off his body and into yours.
You became aware of something thick and hot on the back of your head. A muffled outcry (and maybe a few Japanese expletives) came from Kiku's direction.
"You're brleeding!" His voice shook slightly.
"O-oh? I'm fine, Kiku, please don't-"
Arms suddenly wrapped around your back and legs as you were lifted into Kiku's chest with surprising strength.
You blushed from your close proximity to his body.
"Shh, (Name)-san." His soft voice greeted your ears. "You need to get crleaned up."
He laid you down gently by the edge of the pool and hesitated.
"Eh, I wirrl need to...remove your crloths..." He said nervously.
Your ears turned red, not daring to open your eyes. "Oh! Um, ok..."
And to think you were worried about his chest!
You heard an intake of breath as he grasped the ends of your shirt and gently pulled it over your head, being careful to avoid any hair matted with blood.
His hands then moved down to your jeans; he unbuttoned them slowly and slid them down your legs. The tips of his long fingers would sometimes brush your thigh, causing a hot shiver to course through you.
"I-I am sorry I am making you corld. The water wirrl warm you up."
"Oh, t-thank you, Kiku."
He slipped into the water himself, then reach up and guided you gently down towards him. He drew you close to him and started to move his fingers through your hair, working loose the blood.
The blood and pain began to wash away under his therapy. You held back a sigh as he moved around your head, making sure to shy away from the wounded area. His hands started to slow down.
Feeling more confident now that the water was covering you up, you opened your eyes and looked up at him. "Yes?"
He gazed at you with a mixture of concern and confusion. "Why did you come to the bath house?"
Well, you knew you had some blood left because it all arrived promptly to your cheeks.
"Oh! W-well, I went to your house to talk to you, but you weren't there, so I waited around and then Yao came by and told me you were here, so I ran over but then you looked busy so..." You trailed off, not having to recount how you slipped.
Kiku looked startled. "Ah! I comprletly forgot that you were coming to tarlk today! I am so sorry, (Name)-san!"
"No, it's ok, Kiku..."
"No, it's not; I shourld not have broken our engagement. I aporlogize." He hung his head.
Your heart couldn't help but flutter when he said "engagement", even though you knew he didn't mean it that way.
"Your hair is crlean now, (Name)-san. We can get out of the warter and then we wirrl tarlk." He said as he moved you up right. He brought you over to the water's edge to where the towels were. He turned his face away, blushing, as you wrapped one around your body and sat down at the edge of the pool. He took two towels: one that he used to cover his waist (It was your turn to blush and look away), and the other he pressed against your head.
"Now (Name)-san, what did you want to tarlk about?" He asked, sitting down next to you.
You looked down nervously, twiddling your thumbs. "Well, it's kind of about me..."
He nodded. "Hai?"
"…and my feelings…"
"…and you, Kiku." You finished in a small voice.
He looked puzzled. "Your feerlings…about me? I do not understand. Have I offended you in some way, (Name)-san?"
"No, no! They're positive feelings!"
"Oh! I am glad…but I am stirrl confrused. What are your feerlings? We are friends, correct?"
"Y-yes, but, Kiku-I really like you. R-really like you."
He started, flushing deep red. "(N-Name)-san! What are you saying?"
"Here," You whispered. "Let me explain…"
Closing the space between you, you gently press your lips against his, admiring the feel of his soft-spoken mouth on you own.
He jumped, blushing furiously. Despite his apparent uncomfortableness, his hands flew up your back, grabbing your waist delicately.
As he stood still in shock, your heart fluttered rapidly. "What have I done? He won't even let people hug him and here I am trying to kiss him!"
But then you felt something. Something wonderful: he was kissing you back.
Kiku's lips moved softly against your own, his light breathing tickling your nose.
You could have died of excitement! This was so much better than the thousands of times you'd imaged it! His real, tangible lips, his actual affection: it made you want to keel over then and there.
His fingers left your back and rested on your hands and you both pulled away for air. A look you've never seen on him before outlined his features. It was very timid, but strong and full of fondness. It made you dizzy.
You smiled shyly, "Was that easier to understand?"
"Hai, (Name)-chan. Arigato." He whispered, kissing you on the forehead.