Disclaimer: I do NOT own Hakuouki or anything related to it.
"Whose turn is it to pick the movie?"
The group froze at Sanan's response to Hijikata's question. They stayed frozen for a total of five seconds before exchanging glances to silently confirm if the bespectacled man was correct and when no one offered a denial, their true reactions came on full display. Souji grinned from ear to ear at Sanan, who reciprocated the expression. Saito and Yamazaki's faces remained neutral, though the latter could not prevent a droplet of sweat from dripping down his cheek. Hijikata stiffened. Harada and Shinpachi looked at one another in mutual uncertainty of how to properly react. Kondou and Chizuru smiled, the former appearing to be the very picture of cheerfulness while the girl just smiled out of naive courtesy. Heisuke gulped.
Every Friday night they would meet and watch a movie together of one person's choosing. Not sure what to expect from Sanan, most of the group (with the exception of Kondou, Chizuru, and Souji) had established no order in deciding which of them would be selecting the film (other than, of course, ensuring Sanan's turn was delayed for as long as possible). Had Heisuke known that the inevitable would come today, he would have fabricated an excuse to be absent this time.
Granted, it would be suspicious the first time and become even more so after more than one absence…
Sanan had turned away from his friends and was looking through the box of DVDs for a suitable film. Souji, still grinning, went to make popcorn. Heisuke wondered if Souji would be more entertained by whatever Sanan chose or by watching how the others reacted to it. Maybe both.
Shinpachi cleared his throat."Hey, Sanan-san, mind if we say-"
"If memories serves, Nagakura-kun, we agreed that whosever turn it was would make an indisputable decision and that his or her choice was to be respected." Sanan did not avert his attention from the box as he spoke in a calm, clear, matter-of-fact voice."I did not protest to anyone's preferences, even though there was at least one I did not enjoy in the slightest. I also did not protest before a selection could even be made." He paused as Shinpachi flinched, then returned to his task."So I do not think I am asking for much by expecting the same courtesy to be offered for myself."
Everyone else looked at Shinpachi, who was a combination of guilty and embarrassed.
Kondou stepped forward, lifting his hands in a gesture of peace."Now, now, it is only fair for us to do as Sanan says. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how he surprises us."
Following Kondou's example, Chizuru clapped her hands."Me too."
"Me three!" Souji said as he arrived with two bowls of popcorn. He handed one to Kondou and plopped down on a coach."So what'd you pick, Sanan-san?" He asked, tossing a piece of popcorn into his mouth.
"You will see in a moment," Sanan said over his shoulder. Kondou gestured for everyone to sit on the coach while Sanan prepared everything.
Sighing, Heisuke did as Kondou said. He sat in between Harada and Chizuru and braced himself for a very…interesting hour-in-a-half.
It surprised no one when Sanan chose a horror film.
What also did not personally surprise Heisuke was how Souji alternated between jumping and laughing from enjoyment at the scary moments in the movie and displaying amusement at the reactions of the others. He occasionally nudged Sanan to whisper comments about what was going on, to which Sanan responded by nodding or whispering in agreement.
Saito and Yamazaki's expressions did not change from the ones they wore when Sanan revealed it was his turn to make the selection. That being said, their hands were shaking and they shifted in their seats sometimes. Hijikata muttered curses under his breath. Kondou, although he'd never admit it, was partially regretting his earlier enthusiasm as time passed. His smile was strained and he kept glancing at Hijikata and Souji, though they were too engrossed in what they were watching to notice.
At least, Heisuke thought, Shinpachi and Harada were too busy being frightened themselves to tease him about his own fear. It gave him plenty of freedom to tremble and flicker his eyes back and forth every few minutes.
If this was how well they handled it forty minutes in, most of them would be nervous wrecks once it was finished.
Chizuru covered her mouth to muffle a soft gasp at a particularly frightening scene and unknowingly scooted closer to Heisuke to the point that she nearly pressed into his side. Upon realizing what she'd done, she blushed and though he was blushing too, he didn't hesitate to offer her his hand, which she took. They squeezed each other's hands during a jump scare, Heisuke barely managing to stifle a cry of shock and fear that would have drawn Shinpachi and Harada's attention if they weren't equally affected by the terrors occurring on the screen. Heisuke would not be surprised if the pair threw their arms around one another at the next jump scare.
It took all of Heisuke's willpower not to burst out laughing when his two best friends did exactly as he predicted.
Somehow, by some miracle of Heaven, they survived.
In all honesty, Sanan had made an interesting selection. There wasn't too much gore despite there being a decent amount of character deaths and the scares were subtle and well-performed. Basically, a nice mix of nostalgia and new ideas.
But this also meant they had been scared shitless. Sanan and Souji's calm and cheerful wishes of goodnight did nothing to assuage those feelings, not that Heisuke expected them to.
He was currently in his room, the blanket pulled up to his chin and completely open eyes glued to the ceiling and he was certainly not quivering. He was also certainly not sweating. And even if his body was quivering and covered in sweat, it was because he was cold and the blanket was very warm, but not warm enough to annihilate the cold. Yes, that was the reason.
Oh, who was he kidding? He was afraid and he knew it. He was sure the others (with the exception of Sanan and Souji) were enduring similar plights; their strength was simply better than his. He'd been in bed like this for an hour now and although he was sleepy, every time he closed his eyes, the images from the film immediately filled his mind and caused him to open his eyes and become more unnerved by the darkness of his room. It was times like these that he missed having a nightlight when he was a child.
"Come on, Heisuke, be a man," he told himself."It's not real. Its just a movie. There are things in real life way scarier than that. So just forget about it and go to sleep."
He rolled onto his side, groaning after five additional minutes of unsuccessful attempts at slumber. He rolled onto his other side and got the same result. He rolled onto his back and glared at the ceiling. Finally, he pushed the blanket off and got out of bed, deciding to get something to drink to calm himself.
When he arrived in the kitchen, he stopped in his tracks."Chizuru?"
Chizuru, who was seated at the table with a cup of hot chocolate in her hands, looked up when she heard his voice. She smiled weakly."Oh, hello, Heisuke-kun. You cannot sleep either?"
Chuckling, Heisuke rubbed the back of his neck."How long have you been here?" He asked.
"Not long," she replied, taking a sip of her hot chocolate. She stood and asked,"Would you like some?"
"Oh, it's okay, I can do it myself!" Heisuke assured her, but she had already put her cup down and gotten up to make a drink for him. By the time Heisuke reached the table, she had completed her task, returned to the table, and was handing him the cup. Heisuke accepted it with a quiet utterance of gratitude and sat down across from her at the table.
After a moment of awkward silence, Heisuke cleared his throat and spoke."So, that movie Sanan-san picked has been keeping you up too?"
Chizuru nodded."I actually enjoyed, or at least, acknowledge that it is an effective horror film. It is simply not my favorite genre. Then again, I was not too fond of the action movie Nagakura-san picked either."
"But that didn't scare you," Heisuke said.
She nodded again whilst biting her lip. Silence settled over them once more as they allowed their thoughts to consume them. Eventually, Chizuru broke it.
"Heisuke-kun?" She was running her fingertips over her cup as she spoke."Since we both can't sleep, maybe we could…stay together for the night?" She leaned back with her jaw clenched and her eyes tightly shut, as if waiting for him to reject her.
Heisuke froze with the cup near his lips, his eyes the size of saucers and his cheeks pink. Lowering the cup, he looked at Chizuru and opened his mouth to respond, but nothing came out. Unless "umm" and "uhh" could be considered actual responses.
"I didn't mean it like, well, um…" Chizuru tried to explain herself.
Heisuke couldn't explain why, but a sudden feeling of confidence filled him, and he reached out to take her hand, making her open her eyes and blush even harder. When she saw the small grin on his face, she smiled back at him.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Hakuouki or anything related to it.
Kazama sat outside at a café table with Amagiri and Shiranui, watching his future bride sit several feet away at a different, much larger table with her disgusting, pathetic friends. Well, friends wasn't the right word to describe all of them, given the fact that she was holding hands with one of those men and resting her head on his shoulder.
One week. Seven days. 168 hours. 10080 minutes. 604800 seconds. All of those time amounts described how long he had been watching the youngest of those dogs be very close to her. What angered him even more than that watching Heisuke or whatever his name was touch Chizuru was how happy she was to accept and reciprocate the contact and even initiate it sometimes. The nudges and smiles of fond exasperation from their friends whenever they witnessed these interactions made him want to throw up. Or commit murder. Perhaps both.
"Kazama, this is not healthy behavior," Amagiri stated.
"Or legal," Shiranui added, taking a sip of his drink.
"Shut up, both of you!" Kazama growled, then returned his attention to the group when he noticed Kondou asking the waitress for a check. Sighing, Amagiri gestured to another waitress to do the same for them.
The moment the group stood up to leave, Kazama got up from his seat and followed them.
"You do all realize we are being followed, yes?" Sanan asked. After seeing the way Chizuru's head snapped up and her eyes widened as she looked around the place, he smiled and added,"Well, almost all of you."
Hijikata sighed."How much you wanna bet that it's him again?" He ran a hand down his face.
Heisuke tightened his grip on Chizuru's hand and flashed her a brief smile that she returned before he turned to the other men."How long do you think he's been following us?" He directed the question to Sanan.
Sanan tilted his head."Since we left the cafe."
"Perhaps he was at the café while we were there too," Yamazaki suggested. "I could have sworn I experienced the feeling of being watched since our arrival there."
Saito nodded in agreement."As did I."
Sanan hummed thoughtfully."You both may be right about that."
"What should we do?" Chizuru asked nervously, not eager to see her "ex" again.
Her uncle and adoptive father, Kodo Yukimura, was a rich doctor who'd taken her in after her parents died in a car accident when she was very young. It was in the family bussines to be a doctor, with the exception of her twin brother Kaoru, who had gone to other relatives after the accident, and Chizuru intended to carry on that tradition despite one obstacle.
The Yukimura and Kazama families were well-acquainted for generations and there had been talk about convincing their children marry for a long time, but no one attempted to fulfill those intentions until she was born. Her parents and Chikage's parents had discussed the matter before the formers' deaths and Kodo continued those talks. Chizuru wished no one ill, but she did not want to marry the Kazama heir. It unnerved her how he immediately took to referring to her as his bride from their first meeting when they were children and that he refused to stop doing so as they got older did not help her unease regarding him.
Kodo had arranged dates between them, all of which included Kazama threatening any man who so much as looked in her direction and acting as if he knew everything she wanted. Kodo tried to make her change her mind, assuring her that the marriage meant she would be well taken care of and not have to worry about working herself to death and could live in luxury. She refused, and Kodo complied, though he did express hope that she would reconsider.
Kazama took to stalking her after their "relationship" ended. Her best friend Sen accompanied her everywhere she went so he couldn't get her alone and corner her. Even after she moved away to go to college, the stalking did not cease. He had gone after her and at one point followed her to a store and would have gotten her if she hadn't bumped into Heisuke, who was there with Harada and Shinpachi. Noticing how uneasy she was as well as the nearby stalker, they offered to walk with her and they kept in touch afterwards, resulting in her befriending them and their group.
She wasn't sure what to call her relationship with Heisuke. Since their last movie night, where they'd stayed up late talking in his room afore falling asleep with their fingers entwined, their physical interactions became more intimate. He didn't force her to hold his hand unless she assured him she didn't mind or initiated the contact herself, nor did he flirt with her. They were comfortable with each other at least, which was good enough for her after her bad experiences with Kazama Chikage. She was in no rush for these types of things and was grateful that Heisuke respected her feelings on the matter.
Before anyone could answer her question, Saito pointed toward a familiar trio that was approaching them. She easily recognized Kazama, along with Amagiri and Shiranui. Amagiri's family had long served the Kazamas, so his presence was not surprising. She wasn't taken aback by Shiranui being here either, though she always wondered why he accompanied Kazama as often as he did.
As usual, Kazama's companions sent her apologetic looks that she acknowledged with a nod. On the few occasions that Kazama brought them with him, they had restrained him from going too far. That wasn't to say she liked them, given their connection to the man who'd been making her life difficult for many years now, but she didn't hate them. It was better than nothing, which was what Kodo had done in response to the stalking, causing her to cut off contact with him.
"Hello, my bride," Kazama greeted, crossing his arms."Such a pleasant surprise to see you again, and here of all places."
Frowning, Chizuru stepped back. Heisuke gently urged her to stand behind him, and she obeyed. She kept silent, both out of trust that her friends could handle the situation and refusal to acknowledge Kazama for fear that any kind of response would encourage him.
"The lady doesn't want to talk to you," Harada said."Never has, never will."
"So quit wasting your time and beat it," Souji said with a fake yawn."We don't have time to waste on your broken heart and bruised ego."
"Yes, please leave," Kondou agreed."We do not want any conflict, but we will not allow you to bother Yukimura-kun."
Chizuru sighed."He has to show up while we're on our way home so I can pick the movie for tonight," she muttered to herself, though she did not go unheard, especially by Kazama.
"Oh, what was that?" Kazama smiled with interest. Chizuru imagined the lightbulb going on above his head."It just so happens that we are on our way home for our movie night. I am certain it will be much more enjoyable than wasting your time with these cretins." Chizuru fought the urge to yell at him for insulting her friends for the hundred time now. She wasn't exaggerating; she actually counted it like she'd counted the times he threatened another man during their dates.
Kazama ignored the looks of confusion and exasperation on Amagiri and Shiranui's faces. He extended his hand, fully expecting her to take it."Come with me, my bride. Be smart and do not waste your time with these fools anymore."
Chizuru added another number to her count of insults he directed to her friends. She shook her head."I'm not going anywhere with you, Kazama-san," she said politely but firmly."Please enjoy your movie night, without me, and we will enjoy ours, without you."
Amagiri grasped Kazama by the arm."We should leave now." Normally, Kazama would have told him to shut up and though he was obviously displeased, he did not argue and turned to leave.
It seemed that Heisuke, Harada, and Shinpachi got an idea at that moment, because they suddenly looked at one another with grins. Harada gestured for Shiranui to stay put, and he complied.
"Are you coming, Shiranui?" Amagiri called when he noticed Shiranui was not moving. Shiranui replied that he would catch up with them a little later, and the other two men soon walked out of sight.
Hijikata raised an eyebrow at the trio."What did you three think of?"
"You remember the last movie we watched?" Shinpachi asked.
"You are referring to the horror film I chose that frightened you and Harada-kun so much that you jumped into each other's arms?" Sanan's tone was wry.
"Yup," Heisuke said before his now red-faced friends could respond.
Chizuru's eyes widened in realization. She had mentioned to them that Kazama loathed horror films. She had wanted to watch one once out of mere curiosity and while the film had frightened her, it wasn't anywhere near as scary as the film Sanan had chosen and Kazama had been more affected by it than she was, if his trembling hands and jumping at the slightest sound during the weeks following their viewing of the movie could be considered proof. Of course, whenever she asked about it, he denied being afraid and came up with an excuse or way to change the subject if the topic come up.
If he were to see the film she had seen recently…she felt a mix of pity and amusement at the thought.
"Go get it. I'll wait," Shiranui said, popping his knuckles with a grin."I need something to amuse myself tonight."
"No need," Souji said, pulling something out of his coat pocket.
"Why do you have that, Souji?" Kondou inquired as he took the DVD from the younger man and handed it to Shiranui.
Souji snickered."I overheard Hijikata talking about what movie he'd pick when it's his turn next, so I was gonna switch the boxes to give him a nice surprise." He winked at Hijikata.
Hijikata scowled."Why, you little-" Yamazaki and Saito grabbed his arms to restrain him while Sanan told him to calm down and Kondou claimed he was overreacting. Souji watched this all with a smirk.
"Ha! I've seen this one. Kazama's too proud to reject this if I hit his ego enough times. He'll be up all night for sure after watching this," Shiranui remarked after reading the title on the DVD.
"Most of us certainly were," Harada muttered under his breath.
Shiranui put the DVD into his coat pocket."Well, I look forward to laughing about this later." He waved at Chizuru and turned to leave."See ya later. Have a nice night."
An hour later, they were all enjoying the historical fiction film Chizuru had selected.
Chizuru had her head on Heisuke's shoulder and his arm wrapped around her waist. The comfort of this position and her enjoyment of the movie made her reluctant to look at her phone when it vibrated on the table next to her. She looked to the others for their opinion and they all nodded. She nodded back, paused the movie, and picked up her phone.
She had gotten a message from Shiranui with a picture and a caption. The picture was of Kazama sitting on the couch with his eyes wide and mouth wide open in response to the most frightening moment in the movie. The caption read: 'He's been like that for half-an-hour now.'
She then received another message that read: 'He just hugged Amagiri'. This was followed by a picture of what the message described.
Chizuru showed it to her friends, causing all of them to either smirk or laugh. Heisuke, Shinpachi, and Harada exchanged smug looks which Chizuru tried and failed not to giggle at. She put away her phone and settled back into Heisuke's embrace to enjoy the rest of the movie.
Despite the brief interaction with Kazama earlier, it was one of the best nights of her life
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Hakuouki or anything related to it.
"If you keep pacing like that, you'll make a hole in the floor."
Heisuke did not react to Harada's half-amused, half-concerned remark. For the last thirty minutes, ten of which were before the arrival of his two friends, he had been pacing and mentally arguing with himself. Shinpachi and Harada sat on the coach whilst watching television, having unsuccessfully tried to snap the younger male out of it and decided to let him be for the time being. But after twenty minutes of Heisuke still acting this way, they spoke up.
"Hey, shrimp," Shinpachi said."What's the problem?"
Again, Heisuke did not respond. He just kept walking back and forth. This Friday, tomorrow evening, would be his turn to pick the movie. He wanted something everyone could enjoy with him, especially Chizuru. Romantic comedy? Too obvious. Horror? Out of the damn question. It didn't matter that this genre had possibly bought them together. Action? Maybe if there was an actual, interesting story to it. Chizuru favored historical fiction and no one showed any dislike for her selection the previous week. Maybe a film of that genre that contained some romance? He stopped in the middle of the room and rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
At that moment, a pillow hit him and he fell down with a yelp. Shinpachi was laughing and pointing at him. Rolling his eyes, Harada grabbed his own pillow and smacked Shinpachi upside the head with it, knocking him off the couch.
"Serves you right," Heisuke said. When Shinpachi looked at him, he smacked him with the pillow that Shinpachi had thrown at him a moment ago."What did you even do that for?" He asked."I wasn't even pacing anymore!"
"What were you pacing about in the first place?" Harada asked, ignoring Shinpachi as he rubbed his head. Heisuke hopped over Shinpachi and plopped onto the couch beside the redhead. The youngest of the trio sighed deeply.
"I've been trying to figure out which movie to pick for tomorrow," Heisuke explained.
"Why's that so hard?" Shinpachi inquired as he stood. He sat back down on the couch.
"Because he wants everyone else to like it too," Harada stated."Particularly a certain someone," he added with a smirk and wink directed at Heisuke.
"Oooh," Shinpachi drawled, playfully flicking Heisuke on the back of the head. Without turning around, the younger man swung his arm overhead with the pillow in his grip and slammed it atop Shinpachi's head. Grabbing the pillow, Shinpachi tried to return the favor, only for Harada to throw a pillow into his face, knocking him onto his back.
Harada leaned backwards until he was resting against the arm of the couch."Seeing as you've stopped pacing, I assume you've made a decision. Or come close to one, at least?"
Heisuke nodded."Maybe. At the very least, I have a genre in mind. I still need to figure out what movie to watch."
Harada sighed."I get where you're coming from, but there may be another way of doing this." He shrugged."Or you could do both. Double benefit, I suppose."
Heisuke's eyebrows rose."What do you mean?"
"You're obviously concerned primarily about Chizuru even if the rest of us aren't out of your mind. It'd be more beneficial for the both of you if you just ask her out on a date. Like dinner and a movie, or one of the two. Whichever you and she prefer."
It wasn't a bad idea. But was it the right time? The past few weeks had consisted of handholding and cuddling a little during the previous movie night; other than that, their interactions hadn't changed. They'd always been close friends, so spending time alone talking was nothing new. The last thing he wanted was to pressure her, especially when recalling her past and current experiences with Kazama.
Speaking of the blonde, he hadn't made any appearances since they set him up to watch that horror film. They didn't expect him to simply go away, though, and kept their eyes and ears out for him. According to Chizuru, she'd gotten a message from Shiranui explaining that Kazama had some family business to attend to and would not be bothering her for some time. Chizuru was clearly still uneasy about him, but appreciated the respite.
As if reading his thoughts, Harada smiled sympathetically."Do whatever you think is best. As long as she's okay with it, of course. It won't hurt anyone if you ask."
That was a fair statement. There was no need for this to be a romantic encounter. Any normal person would want to take this kind of thing slowly, particularly after a bad experience with someone like Kazama. They hadn't done anything romantic besides hold hands and cuddle and even then Chizuru did that with people who were just friends too, so there was no reason to presume anything. There was nothing wrong with a friendly hangout. This could help them determine what to do with their relationship, or be the beginning of a slow but sure romance. That thought excited and made him nervous, but whatever came, he would accept it.
His lips formed a smile as he became increasingly inclined to follow his friend's advice. Seeing this, Harada grinned and patted his head.
He would pick whichever film he wanted tomorrow and then ask Chizuru if she wanted to go out to watch a movie with him on Saturday. He nodded to himself and relaxed.
It was then that he noticed Shinpachi was gone. He looked to Harada, who snorted quietly, having realized the same thing. Harada pointed his thumb upward and a shuffling noise could be heard from behind the couch. Their gazes locked and they exchanged smirks as each of them grabbed a pillow and prepared to strike.
Five seconds passed afore a battle cry filled the room as Shinpachi shot up with a pillow in each hand. But his intended victims were ready. Heisuke and Harada simultaneously let out their own battle cries and swung their pillows at their attacker, hitting him at the same time. Shinpachi yelped as he fell backwards. They jumped over the couch after him, continuing to assault him. In desperation, Shinpachi threw a pillow, hoping to hit either of them, but they dodged it. The pillow did hit someone, though, and that person let out a grunt as he staggered back. Another person who'd entered the room with the victim gasped in surprise but then started laughing hysterically.
Shinpachi's eyes widened, and his two best friends turned to see who the new arrivals were and more importantly, which of them had received the blow from Shinpachi's pillow. Their eyes widened as well and they dropped their pillows and stepped back.
Standing near the doorway were Souji and Sanan, the former of whom was still laughing and clutching his stomach while tears poured out of his eyes. Sanan's gaze was glued to the floor, or rather, what was on the floor: his glasses. His broken glasses. The trio exchanged glances, silently agreeing to make a run for it before Sanan snapped out of his shock. Right as Shinpachi stood up, however, Sanan lifted his head and stared straight ahead, and Heisuke imagined an invisible line between Sanan and Shinpachi.
"Nagakura-kun," Sanan spoke, his tone of voice and facial expression void of emotion as he picked up the pillow that had struck him."I would like to have a word with you."
Never did Heisuke think it possible that a pillow could resemble a dangerous weapon, yet Sanan made it seem so obvious with very little effort. He exchanged looks with Harada, and a soft whistle from Souji brought their attention to the mischievous young man. Souji gestured for them to come with him and after casting a final glance to the terrified Shinpachi, they whispered apologies to him and wished him luck. He had started this fight and made the possibly fatal mistake of accidentally hitting Sanan. He'd brought this on himself. They shrugged in unison and followed Souji to the kitchen. By the time they entered the kitchen, Souji had finished preparing a bowl of popcorn and was making his way to the table that was located near the doorway so he could see and hear what was happening in the living room. Harada and Heisuke wasted no time in joining him. The three watched with excited grins for the show to begin.
Ten seconds went by before Shinpachi screamed, and they burst out laughing.
Chizuru was comfortably settled on her bed and writing in her diary when there was a knock at the door.
"Chizuru?" Heisuke's hesitant voice sounded from the other side of the door. She smiled and told him to enter.
Heisuke stepped inside, closing the door behind him. He wore an endearingly nervous smile that made her want to giggle. She moved closer to him as he sat on the edge of her bed. He was twiddling his thumbs and gazing at his lap. Clearly there was something important he wanted to discuss, so she patiently waited for him to speak.
After a minute, he let out a deep breath and looked at her while biting his lower lip."I wanted to ask you something," he said."Would you...maybe wanna go see a movie with me tomorrow? Just the two of us?" She blinked in surprise, and he blushed and held up his hands before he started babbling."It's fine if you don't want to. It can just be a friendly thing or you can say no and no-"
Surprise having been replaced by amusement and gratitude, Chizuru swiftly kissed him on the cheek and giggled when he immediately fell silent. His cheeks became even more red and his lips kept moving without making any sounds. He looked at her, eyes wide and face red. She inclined her head with a kind smile decorating her lips.
"I-Is that a yes?" He stammered.
She bit her lip to keep from giggling again and gave him another peck on the cheek. He looked like he was about to pass out, which amused and worried her. She placed a hand on his shoulder and opened her mouth to speak, but stopped when he put his hand on hers and gave her a smile.
"That is indeed a yes," she said, then added with another giggle,"A double yes, technically."
She wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her chin on his shoulder. He tentatively hugged her waist with his arm and pressed a kiss to her forehead.
They tightened their embraces and sat together in comfortable silence for awhile.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Hakuouki or anything related to it.
"Are you sure you're okay, Heisuke-kun?"
Heisuke's body language confirmed he was lying about being fine. There was a nervous tremble in his fingers and slight sweatiness that made Chizuru squeeze his hand. She gave him a few concerned looks that he dismissed with headshakes. Her attempts at small talk received curt replies and nods.
How was she supposed to enjoy the date when her companion wasn't even participating? That went against the point/definition of the term 'date'.
There still wasn't any word on Kazama. Whatever family business Shiranui claimed the blonde was occupied with must be very important if she hadn't heard anything from him for this long. Maybe it was related to his obsession with finding a perfect bride and hopefully finally getting a permanent reason to leave her alone.
Maybe Heisuke was worried Kazama would show up and ruin their time together? Had he contacted him to threaten him?
No. She knew what Heisuke looked like when he was on alert for danger and if he were being threatened and worried for their safety, he wouldn't have taken her out tonight. He would also have told her and their friends about the issue.
Whatever the case, they needed to discuss this at this very moment, or they might as well cancel the date.
Chizuru stopped walking. So distracted by his uneasiness was Heisuke that he tripped and almost fell, but Chizuru pulled him upright. He blinked at her, opening his mouth to ask why she'd stopped and closing it when he saw her stern expression.
Releasing him, she crossed her arms."Tell me what's wrong." Her tone brooked no argument.
Heisuke sighed."A-Are you...sure about this?" He gestured to the space between them, then to himself."...about me?"
Chizuru's eyes widened; her expression softened; her arms fell to her sides.
She probably shouldn't have been surprised. Heisuke had been very nervous about the change in their relationship two weeks ago and asking her out. She'd been nervous too, but never felt afraid or uneasy with him. After enduring years of Kazama's forceful and possessive behavior, seeing such carefulness touched her heart. It also irked her that he didn't feel comfortable talking to her about this, but at least his intentions were good, and they could work to improve that.
Stepping forward, she took his face in her hands. He blushed like a tomato.
"I wouldn't be here with you if I was unsure," she said."And you've made it clear that I can say no whenever I want. You've done everything Kazama never did for me. I've always felt safe and happy with you. If I ever feel uncomfortable, I know I can talk to you about it. You've been a good friend to me, and I," she took a deep breath."I like the idea of you being more." She kissed his cheek, and he blushed harder, looking like his skin had always been this red. She pressed her forehead to his and smiled.
Heisuke swallowed, managing to slightly reduce his blush as he grasped her wrists and nodded."I-I'm okay now. For real this time."
Her smile brightened in a way that lit up her face."Good." She kissed his cheek again, grabbed his hand, and skipped along the rest of the way, dragging a grinning and blushing Heisuke with her.
It was a good date, for both of them.