Eagle had been very sure that Umi wasn’t his type at all. That had been a fact that he had quickly established from first impressions.
Umi was loud, sarcastic, with a hint of arrogance from the very first time they had met. A startling contrast to Hikaru and Fuu - but perhaps that was also what made the trio work. They had complemented each other, and fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Anyhow, he wouldn’t question it since Mokona had chosen them and they were after all the ones accepted by the mashins.
But things had somewhat changed over the years. He wasn’t quite sure how he or Umi had changed. He was however, quite sure that they had both let go of the people they had once loved.
Somehow or another, his mind and heart had healed while in coma. What he had felt for Hikaru was not actually romantic love, but an extension of his desire to live and need for a hint of hope in his life. Cephiro, Lantis and Hikaru had represented all of those, and he had tried grasping at them like the desperate dying man that he was. But now that he has healed, he recognised that his feelings and desires were but crutches to survive.
Umi on the other hand, had a failed relationship with Clef. He had missed a fair bit of how they had begun given his coma. All that he knew that it was a passionate whirlwind romance. Given both their characters, he wasn’t quite surprised. He wasn’t sure what caused Umi to walk away from Clef ultimately, but she had never looked back. (Clef, did however, seem to regret ending the relationship.)
It had resulted in them coincidentally spending a lot of time together. He hadn’t thought that he’d like it much, but he had stumbled onto Umi’s baking efforts in the kitchen. Hook, line and sinker — Umi had unwittingly lured and captured him, the biggest sweets-lover in the castle.
And while he had previously thought poorly of Umi (loud, sarcastic, with a hint of arrogance), he begun to view these traits more positively. For example, she was quick-witted and armed with witty retorts. Their conversations were always lively, and their verbal sparring had always kept him on his toes. She was kind and considerate (even if she wasn’t that apt at expressing it); baking for the castle residents when she herself didn’t fancy sweets as much. And she was ever so graceful when she was duelling with smooth and fluid motions that made it seem like she was dancing instead. He could understand why Clef had been attracted to her.
She had her quiet downtimes too — sides that she preferred not to show people so that they wouldn’t worry. He had found her by the sea, lost in her own thoughts. It had been a beautiful picture, and it was a memory that he secretly treasured.
Ceres had chosen the right person. Umi was as deep and unfathomable as the oceans. There was so much about her that he (now) appreciated.
Just like that, Umi had unknowingly slipped into his heart.
Leaning against the kitchen island, he watched her bustling about for her latest baking project. He was slow to realise, but his eyes betrayed the depth of his tenderness for the blue-haired girl. Eagle was utterly and completely fascinated and enamoured.
“Try this. Is it the right amount of sweetness?” Umi fed a teaspoon into his mouth.
He nodded, savouring the taste of the chocolate and the sight of Umi standing opposite him. She was usually carefully put together, but she tended to get a little messier while baking. Here she was, a spot of flour on her right cheek, and a spot of chocolate at the corner of her mouth.
If there was anything he had learnt from Hikaru, was that sometimes all love needed was a bit of impulse.
So he didn’t think and acted on his gut.
Cupping her cheek to wipe away the flour with his thumb, he pulled her close to land a kiss at the exact spot where the chocolate was.
And to think that she wasn’t his type at all.