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forwards, and not backwards

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If someone was to theoretically ask what Sasami liked the most about her, Sasami would theoretically answer that she likes Kagami's wrists. On one layer, she would say it's because they're so unexpectedly dainty - on another, she would say that it's because her best friend is capable of such brutality, and yet recently she chooses to be gentler - the real reason is that even when she tries her best at playing stoic, if Sasami is holding onto her, she will always catch her nervous pulse between the fingers nestled against her wrist.

If someone was to theoretically ask Kagami what she liked about Sasami, she would theoretically insist that it's her smile, though it's really more her mouth in general, some magic in the way she speaks... every time they've come so close by accident, and her lips have almost brushed skin, hair, once even Kagami's own lips, and those few seconds have been burnt into her head regardless of whether she truly wanted them there or not. And that foolish, idiotic girl would laugh in an awkward kind of way, Kagami would brush off her trembling fingers, and the two would take a few minutes of silence to themselves before they could bring themselves to look each other in the eyes again. Speaking of which.

Sasami's eyes flitter back and forth, between Kagami and the scenery behind her, Kagami and the bench on which she's sat, Kagami and the concrete that her shoes idly clunk against. She notes her slender and somewhat overdressed form, the slight blush of her cheeks in cold weather, everything about the girl in far more detail than she'd intended to. Sasami is a precarious girl, even for the firmness of her resolve. She compromises. Whilst she knows and asserts her feelings to some degree, she only does so in the curve of her smiles, the undercurrent of her jokes, hands which stroke faces and fingers which grasp for all the closeness she can. One singular kiss on the cheek, too. Body language is the simplest language, and maybe the method of communication she knows best. Still, she's not one for firm eye contact, at least not in this scenario: and she is yet to express anything of her truths with a real kiss.

In some ways that flinching gaze is better, thinks Kagami in that same moment: if Sasami was to look her in the eyes for more than four consecutive seconds (she counted, and even then four seconds is a high limit), she fears that sun would blind her. Or at least her cheeks would burn from such close attention, and Sasami would laugh so softly, and that would just make the situation even more unbearable. Still, the evening breeze moves on, and she's taken out of this daydream by the chill in the air, and Sasami's playful invitation to lead her by the hand: Kagami looks back up at her. Sasami has began to pace by now, wearing a simple and transparent smile as she reaches out in her direction.

"Want me to walk you home?"

See, whenever Kagami looks at her, Sasami will immediately remember every reason why she can never give up on having given up: this disjointed existence carries with it priceless things, none of which she could obtain if she had endured that path set out for her. If she had left her future down to the shrine back home. What happens next comes down to the two of them: more specifically, if Sasami can take Kagami's hand without her shying away, if Kagami can allow enough vulnerability to lean in against Sasami's shoulder after she stands up, if Sasami can just coax her head upwards without jerking back or spluttering apologies again... and after all this time, the two manage to pull each other close enough to cement that quiet bond between them.

"I... just a bit longer."

They play a strange game for just a moment, where both know exactly what is coming but neither seems capable of committing to action. The air almost begins to feel a little suffocating, at this point. Warm breath, a mutual stare of five or so seconds, finally having come so far that it seems too late to return to anything less. But by this time, even here, the thought of continuing has begun to feel alarming. Sasami lets go for a second. Kagami accidentally makes some kind of exasperated sound at the motion, and doesn't immediately realise what she just did.

Luckily, the next thing she feels is the jagged, nervous inhale of lips parallel to hers, with their noses clumsily pressed together. A flutter, a skip between them and a mutually unsteady embrace. And it seems so obvious in hindsight, that things couldn't have ever been any other way, that fate has taken a very sharp turn in their favour. It's true and it happened, against what reason would say.

Not that being "reasonable" has ever really meant much for either of them, to begin with.