Date: November 16, 2014
A surprise picnic provokes an unexpected revelation that brings two hearts closer to one another.
"Acceptance & Truth"
Hidden Tropical Oasis [Land of Water]
Marvelous, strange and exciting. A literal forest domed right inside the large cliff face. Its walls spand high into the sky surrounding the entire area, high above there are large openings where light seeps in providing just the right amount of light to light up this area. The dome shaped area from within the caves is filled with life, trees and bushes. Some trees spanding 100 meters into the sky with thick green leaves. The area is heated in the days and cooled in the evenings, a constant cool wind brushes throughout.
There are vegetables, fruits and a natural source of water in this area allowing the flora to grow. There are rocks, small caverns and openings with flower patches. Further north there are ruins of what seemed to have once been a stone city, now a relic of its former self. Overall this area is a miracle to exist, undisturbed by the human race it is a natural living habitat of great marvel and mystery.
Kiji had spent most of the day in the Oasis switching between researching the herbs around her and practicing with her whips. She'd set her book aside and now hand a whip coming from her right wrist. Carefully it seemed to lift and tremble, carefully she reached out trying to pick a single flower from a grouping. Her eyes were hard but colorless in her concentration. Around her were examples of past failures, either bloody or simply decimated from using too much strength.
The hard part with these whips was the fine control needed for some things. If she could gain fine-tuned control she could use pinpoint attacks. Slowly she lifted, plucking the flower.. and it's roots at the same time. Sighing, she set it down on the pile that she was going to bring back to the medical center. She'd pulled too hard. Wiping away sweat on her brow she looked up at the sky and sighed.
Kiyoshi has to pause and gather his wits about him after catching the scent of Kiji's blood in the air. No matter how hard he try, panic always seemed to latch onto his heart whenever the scent was around without the Shimizu in sight. By resolving to work on the issue later, Kiyoshi recovers more quickly and is able to move on once more. As the scent of Kiji grows thicker in the air, the Kirryu gradually loses himself in memories, both bittersweet and the simply pleasant ones. One in particular gives the dark-haired youth pause at first, but as it plays out a mischievous smile splits his features. From then on, Kiyoshi pulled out all of the stops to approach cautiously, quietly, or at least as much as the O-katana at his back and basket in hand would allow. His attentions for the latter being his own, increasing his chance to take his girlfriend unaware.
His approach puts him in her physical blind spot, but he knew from experience that that wouldn't necessarily keep her from sensing him. Hope grew at the sight of her seeming to struggle though, and after only a brief moment of hesitation, Kiyoshi pads closer, staying as low to the ground his giant frame would allow. The moment she's within arms reach Kiyoshi doesn't hesitate to snatch her up around the waist and pull her back against his chest, uplifting her a second later as he straightened. "Boo!"
The arm wrapped around her and Kiji's first thought was panic. She let out a squeak and her blood gathered under her skin along her back like hard marbles. It had taken concentration to force the whips out her back in Suna so here with him suprising her, she had no chance of properly forming them, though he might note the marbles for a few seconds.
Her mind opened and she could sense him then. She looked up and when she finally realized who had her she seemed to go limp for a moment, a hand on her chest, her eyes a tainted yellow. Indeed he had managed to pull from her one emotion she hadn't even shown to her various captors. Fear. It was fleeting, just a moment where her senses had failed her.
Once she realized who it was her eyes blanked out again and she let out a breath before thumping his arm lightly. "You..scared me!" But to show that she wasn't really upset and kissed his cheek, comfortable in his arm now that she understood what had happened.
Kiyoshi mentally kicked himself for given in to momentary insanity, and more importantly, for forgetting Kiji's past dealings with surprises. The rapidly forming marbles pressed into his body being the trigger of his epiphany. Despite the ill feeling in his gut, Kiyoshi tried to suppress it and feigns a predatory grin, but is rebuked by the look in her eyes. Even without the change in color or even his advanced sense of smell, the feeling would've remained clear to him.
Within the chaos of fear invoked thoughts, two words stand out the most. 'Never. Again.' He promised silently, absently squeezing her closer to his chest. No matter what the cost or external demand, Kiyoshi absolutely refused to be the source of Kiji's fear. Just thinking along those lines left him quiet, distant, and frozen in place until she kissed him. But even then, he is slow to speak, and the smile that crept into being seemed forced. "Gomen, Kiji.. The moment was just too… tempting." He says softly.
Kiji could see that something had frozen Kiyoshi, something had upset him and she tilted her head, very serious once more. When he spoke she realized he must feel bad about suprising her and she squirmed a little so she could face him better, the marbles dissipating into her veins again. She reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck in a hug. "I'm alright. I'm so used to sensing everything around me I forgot what it was like to be snuck up on."
SHe smiled at him, eyes slowly changing to blue. She was glad to see him no matter the circumstance. So the fact he was sad made her frown and nuzzle his shoulder. "I was trying to fine tune my control but it's like picking flowers with a big hammer." The tendril of her whip retracted back into her wrist leaving a quickly healing mark there and nothing more. Then her eyes fell on the basket and she quirked an eyebrow up at Kiyoshi curiously.
Kiyoshi obliges Kiji, if somewhat belatedly, and loosens his hold on her just enough for her to turn about without too much trouble. Truthfully, he almost mistook her motions as wanting to be free, and more than likely would have done so if not for his desire to keep her close. He is taken aback by the hug, but doesn't resist or voice mounting curiosity. Kiyoshi simply waits patiently.
The forced smile grew into a smaller, and yet more genuine one as she spoke on. While not quite enough for the Kirryu to forgive himself, his softer gaze showed that it was start in the right direction. "Mn… That is difficult, to say the least, yet… strangely easier with…" He trails off from there, and looks between the basket and Kiji before making the connection. "I, uh… I knew, erm, heard — figured you might be here, and so.. uhm.. I didn't think that…" If Kiyoshi had a free hand by this point, he would be scratching his cheek awkwardly. As things stood at present, the flustered Kirryu could do no more than get his point across by raising the basket to eye level before motioning to one of the few spots not damaged by Kiji's training so far.
Kiji ended up on her own feet but she stayed in contact with Kiyoshi physically. So when he sheepishly held up the basket and motioned to the bare places one might sit she brightened. Her eyes warmed to a brilliant blue like the waters of a lagoon and she nodded happily. "That sounds really nice Kiyoshi." She took his hand and headed for a place along the stream that was open and untouched. "I suppose you had to learn something similar right? How to use your.. 'extra' chakra?" Referring to his bijuu, of course, and curious if he had any suggestions for her. She would help him with the basket if allowed too.
The tail adjusts as needed for her to sit down, though it does so with some seeming reluctance. Until she is good and comfortable, or short of being asked or motioned to otherwise, Kiyoshi keeps up the petting absently. Afterwards, it falls and rests upon her shoulder, offering some continued measure of comfort.
The Kirryu listens calmly, even though internally her words set his heart to racing. Pride filled his chest, as well as happiness and love, causing it to swell. A twinge of sadness dampened his spirit a little. This moment was the first time she felt so happy…
"Why are you apologizing for feeling good?" The question slips out. It is only belatedly that Kiyoshi realizes this, and as soon soon as he does, the flustered Kirryu snatches up the nearest sandwich and stuffed it into his mouth.
Kiji enjoyed the feel of his tail and settled with it around her easily enough. She could see a hint of something in his eyes when he felt those strong emotions but she could not identify what it was. When he asked her why she apologized for feeling happy she flushed but then laughed at herself. "I just didn't want to upset you. I don't know why i was crying. It doesn't make sense." She watched him stuff his mouth and smiled a bit more, reaching out for some tea and then another taste of a fruit dish.
"The whole time I was gone I felt bad because I knew you'd worry. I couldn't get a message out or I would have…" She took another bite and swallowed, licking off her fingers. "Thanks for thinking of this Kiyoshi."
Kiyoshi roughly swallows his sandwich before a light chuckle escapes Kiyoshi's lips at her words. The crying made no senses to him, but so long as she was alright, all was well. And though she has never spoken the words, hearing her worry more about his worrying felt close to…
"You are so… silly, Kiji-chan." He says jokingly as he shook his head. Afterwards, he grows quiet for a long moment, his focus on nowhere in particular. Absently, another sandwhich is picked up before he finally goes on to say, "I know I can't promise to always be there, but.. If something like this happens again…"
Kiji blinked up at him when he called her silly, a flush on her cheeks. She knew he hadn't meant anything by it so the expression she gave him was every bit a child's reaction with puffed out cheeks and a stuck out tongue. Then she broke into laughter. She was on such a high she felt like she was living someone else's life. It made her heart beat faster and her fingers tremble. Even her chest felt funny, giddy, nervous. But oddly enough it was in a good way.
The promise wasn't finished but Kiji knew he'd meant to say he would help her if it happened again. She bent forward and picked up a berry before kneeling up and offering it to Kiyoshi's lips with a bright smile. "If there had been any trail to follow, Kiyoshi you would have but only three people knew where I was stationed ont he border. Me, Meruin-dono, and my replacement."
Kiyoshi could practically taste her excitement, and knew not how to respond to it. His tail on the other hand had no such problem matching the feeling with steady flickers along its tip. Its pace nearly doubled as his gaze fell upon the offered treat, embarrassing Kiyoshi. He would quickly snap up the berry if possible, and offer Kiji in turn an embarrassed smile in turn. The smile falters quickly in the wake of her words. "Yeah… and Meruin-sensi wasn't forthcoming the last time I asked. Which… which means I'll have to actually take Surumu-niisan's words to heart." Kiyoshi lets out an exasperated sight.
Kiji smiled as he quickly took the berry and she reached down for one for herself. When she looked up again he wasn't really smiling anymore. She tilted her head, eyes shading purple as she bit down on the berry. She blinked when he said he asked Meruin about her and he hadn't been forthcoming about her location. His next statement made her tilt her head the other way, licking the juice from her fingers. "What did your brother say?" She asked curiously.
Kiyoshi looks towards Kiji and opens his mouth as if to speak, only to pause and shake his head. "… A.. Two years ago — I think it was — back before Me, Yuriko, Sei-san, and Hissori had this aging seal placed upon us, Meruin-sensei gave us a challenge that couldn't be refused… We were to create or own organization for the benefit of Kirigakure and ourselves." Kiyoshi states bitterly before taking a deep breath to calm his neres once more. It doesn't help by much. "Surumu-niisan suggested that I take advantage of the one I created to start a spy network."
Kiji looked innocently curious as to what Surumu had tolld Kiyoshi and vaguely wondered why he seemed unnerved by the memory. The story that Meruin had challenged them to create an organization made her tilt her head a bit, listening. She was vaguely surprised that Kiyoshi had made one that could develop into a spy network, but she already considered him to be smart, a prodigy so to speak. For several beats after he finished speaking, though, Kiji's bright oblivious mood hesitated and stalled. She furrowed her brow and sat up, looking directly at Kiyoshi with a look tht told him she was shocked.. "You.. you would do that just to circumvent Meruin-dono about my whereabouts?"
Kiyoshi knew not her thoughts, or cared to pry into them at the moment. A large part of him still resented the Okumo for forcing the responsibilities and duties of an adult on a child, mature though he was, relatively speaking. Kiyoshi looks towards Kiji with an indescribable look, and says not a word for a lengthy moment. After the moment passes, Kiyoshi looks away. "Yes… If push comes to shove I will… Not that he wouldn't find out or doesn't already have something in place for that if I tried."
Kiji watched Kiyoshi closely, the Kirryu's silence grating on her nerves. She could see something dark pass through his eyes, an expression of resolve on his face. When he finally looked away to answer she remained silent, watching him again, in silence. Resting back on her knees she dropped her eyes as a myriad of emotions swirled within her and in her eyes, like a kaleidoscope of shades. Finally they settled on a deep deep blue, like the night sky and she climbed to her feet. This put her just a head higher than his. She looked down at him, her hands resting lightly on his shoulders for a brief moment. Then she moved them to cup Kiyoshi's cheeks, gently, guiding him to look up at her.
She was aware of Meruin's power level, knew of Kiyoshi's abilities and how they compared. She knew what it meant for a student to disobey a Master and what it meant here to conspire against the Mizukage. She looked strained, then she wrapped her arms around his head and neck, bending so he was pulled against her chest and her lips pressed a protective kiss to his hair. "Kiyoshi.. I don't ever want you hurt because of me." She knew better than to suggest that she wasn't worth the effort, of course. She wished she were stronger so she could protect him… But in the same vein she liked him being protective of her as well. She tried to lift his face, and if he did not argue or fiht, she would kiss him gently at first, eyes falling closed.
Either Kiyoshi had once more retreated within himself to deeply to notice or in sensing Kiji's desire to some degree his tail did not try to impede her with its protective coiling. The former certainly seems more likely, seeing as how his normally sensitive ears would've warned him of her standing up. Or perhaps he was afraid? In the end, it doesn't matter. She is free to move about without consequence. His ignorance or stubbornness persist well after her hands rest on his shoulder. Then the move to his cheeks. He tenses up at first, but doesn't begrudge her by resisting the pull. The same can't quite be said for his gaze, though inevitably, they do rise to meet Kiji's own. Seeing them the way they were robs him of any desire to speak. His mouth would move — /had/ moved at first, only to close without a word slipping past. Worry over the strained look about her is quickly replaced by surprise after being pulled into her chest. His eyes widen in even greater surprise at the kiss.
What could he say? As much as he wanted to make the promise, there was just no guarantee he could keep it. Not in the world they lived in currently. Nevertheless, he tries once to speak the words… but to no avail. Frustrated, Kiyoshi closes his eyes, wraps his arms about her frame, and leans more heavily against Kiji.
Kiji saw his struggle, saw him try to speak and fail. But she did not need him to promise her anything. She needed him to understand that she did not want him to be harmed for her sake. Kiji had had very little experience with emotion, in fact the last year in kirigakure was like a crash course in emotions. One she felt sometimes she was failing at. But it had created in her a desire to get her feelings across to certain people. Kiyoshi being one of the main targets. So while he struggled with a promise, she saw that she'd gotten her desire across at least a little.
His arms wrapped around her and she ran her hand over his hair, enjoying the moment. Silence as communication always surprised her but it held some of the most powerful feelings in it. She respected the silence and her other hand slid to his back, the contact casual but caring. She smiled and bent her head again to rest her cheek on the top of his head.
Kiyoshi knew not how much time passed since the embrace, or cared to know for the matter. He enjoyed every second of it as much as possible. A guilty pleasure after what came before, but one he was not ashamed of. Silently, he thanked her for not pressing him on the issue, as well for comforting him with gentle caresses. For awhile, he wondered what would've been and the how things came about. Then, he lets go of the thought, and finally peels away far enough to look up at Kiji (if allowed to get as far), a small, grateful smile adorning his features.
"… We should get back to lunch before ants get to it." He says, smile brightening with mirth. Honestly, the lunch no longer mattered to Kiyoshi so long as it did not to Kiji. It'd be misfortunate for their bodies if afterwards training is picked up, or… some other activities are taken up.
Kiji felt him loosen his grip on her and let him move as he pleased. It was the smile on his face that brought her own smile back, though. She nodded at his comment about eating again but leaned down to kiss him lightly on the lips before she sat down beside him again.
"You really went all out. I don't know how much I can eat. But it all looks relly good…" She eyed a dark red dish that looked like mousse but had the color of blood. "Well.. except that one." She grinned up at him, half kidding. "I'm not sure if it should taste sweet or metallic." The food was good but Kiji was right, she only had so much room for food. She ended up stuffed and leaning against Kiyoshi's side, her hand idly brushing his tail. She was finally starting to understand just how sensitive it was so she was trying to be more careful with how she touched it.
His bringing foods from the Shimizu clan made her finally turn to look at him, curiosity showing purple in her eyes. "What does your clan eat?"
Again, Kiyoshi found himself taken by surprise with kiss, though this time he recovers in time to return it before the fleeting moment has passed. Despite his own word of warning, the dark-haired youth doesn't allow his attention to wander back to the spread at first. Kiji remained his sole focus up until the mousse was pointed out. A brief glance turns into an extended look that leaves a sheepish grin on Kiyoshi's face.
"A little of both ifff, I remember correctly. She only allowed me to get a quick swipe while her attention was elsewhere, and didn't exactly let me get off scott free for it." Kiyoshi chuckles weakly as he started to comb through his hair, but stops at the reminder of lingering sandwich crumbs. An inconvenience he looked towards and intended to clean off, only to promptly as his tail gets brushed again.
While the sensation isn't as bad as before — clearly thanks to Kiji's carefulness — it is still… distracting. Although taking in food for himself provides some measure of focus, it is far from enough to keep from glancing over whenever she moved, keep his breathing always even, or stuff himself by the time she pops a question. "Hm?… oh, uhm.. it… its been awhile, but I guess that depends on the animal forms we — they like to take." He replies with a pensive look about him.
Kiji smiled at the anecdote about the mousse and how he'd swiped a taste before. It was a curious thing to think of the large boy acting like a little kid, though she guess he was still a kid in his mind. She was too. It got confusing sometimes. When he ran his hand through his hair.. well started to, she reached up and dutifully picked out the crumbs from the sandwich before running her hand through his hair.
The bit about his family and how they shifted into different animals and thus had different diets she tilted her head a bit. "That makes sense." She smiled lightly and leaned on him, licking some of that mousse off one of her fingers. "Thanks for thinking of me Kiyoshi…."
Kiyoshi started to look at her funny at first, but once those magic fingers started moving through his hair the man teen's concern simply faded from thought. Long after her fingers have left he still lost in thought. And yet, with just her weight back pressed against him focus returns more quickly then it left him. He regards her with a curious look about him, though it is obvious there is some strain on his part to keep his eyes from drifting towards her fingers. Her words made it considerably easier, for the lack of a response at first left him troubled for a few moments there.
A tentative smile eventually graces lips as his tail returned to coiling loosely about her waist. "Thank you… for staying by my side." He says softly.
Kiji noticed the look on his face and smiled softly, enjoying the fact that she could make him relax so much. It was a compliment for one shinobi to trust another that far. And he put her in that position even more starkly because he produced that tail for her whenever she wanted it. So when it curled about her waist she blinked btu didn't think much about it. Then she looked up and saw Kiyoshi's expression and she blushed lightly. His words made her reach up to stroke his cheek with one hand. Then she leaned against him and smiled softly. "I like you Kiyoshi. And you /let/ me stay by your side. You're the important one." She wasn't being depressive or anything of the sort, she really saw his worth ranked that much higher than her own.
Kiyoshi can no more keep his smile from growing after seeing Kiji blush then he could keep her from reaching up to stroke his cheek. The desire just didn't exist in his heart. Upon contact he leans against her hand as much as their position would allow, and eyes became half-lidded. There's a twinge in the corner of his eyes at the word like, but only for a brief second. It irked him, but he understood she still needed time to understand love. Kiyoshi even respected her for not being so keen to jump to it quickly, albeit not without consequence.
"I-…" '—wish you would stop that.' As much as he wanted to complete the thought, he knew from experience that it wasn't an argument he would win any time soon. They both couldn't help putting greater worth in each other, or so Kiyoshi observed. The thought alone elicits a weary sigh from the Moto. "… And I love you, Kiji. You're important to me, though… sometimes it feels wierd." He frowns a little and closes his eyes fully. "Its hard to explain, and now my head is getting all tangled trying to sort it all."
Kiji smiled as he leaned against her touch. Even she could see he enjoyed it. His smile made her feel warm inside and it bubbled up in the form of a smile. She noted the twitch at the corner of his eyes and when he spoke at first she could see the argument he wanted to have and ironicly she came to the same conclusion as he did. It was a circle argument that would have no end.
As for 'like' rather than 'love' well, she did not want to upset him. She had not said it in that way until now either. It felt odd on her tongue but it had come to her naturally.
His words made her smile then blink and tilt her head when he said it was confusing. Like things were getting jumbled in his ead. She chewed on her lower lip for a moment. She turned in the grip of his tail and reached up to touch his cheeks, a hand on either side of his face. "Tell me what you don't know.. Maybe we can work it out…" A blush. "Er..t..together…"
The twisting motion 'awakens' Kiyoshi, though only just. He did not understand the 'why' afterwards, but his cheeks too darkened as her own did. His first attempt at speaking is halted by a wince. Still, he tries again after a few moments after he closed his eyes to puzzle things out. "I know what I said before about not wanting to know certain things if it'll get you into trouble, but for some reason… I want to know that kind of stuff more and more lately. Then, there's the small things too like what's your favorite food, color, things to do… Who's are your parents..?" He cracks opens his eyes again. However, the remain half-lidded and focused away from Kiji. "Then there's the wierder stuff too.. kind of wierd stuff I mean, like.. just wanting to be close to you, bur-…. a-and doing stuff with you." He admits, blushing madly a moment later.
Kiji sat back on her heels a bit as Kiyoshi looked up at her. She couldn't help the blush or the color of green in her eyes. She stroked his collar bones lightly. She could tell he was not comfortable with this subject and was going to make it as easy as she could. But what he asked for made her eyes darken, shifting closer to blue than green and for a split second she looked away.
It was brief, but it was there. She looked him in the eyes sadly. "You might be sorry.. But I can.. answer some of that…" She shifted so she was sitting more on one of his thighs, tail still about her waist. Her eyes darkened to a night blue. "I.. I think I like black, but purple is pretty too. Like an iris." She smiled a little then shrugged. "I study, I train… I was thinking of trying the flute. I like freedom."
Once more her lips turned down. "I don't have 'parents' Well.. Okay it's complicated. please don;t tell Meruin-dono… I'm just a copy… Kiyoshi… I.. I wasn't born I was made. There's a medic in the concentration camp outside of Kirigakure. I.." She lowered her voice as if afraid the flowers would hear her. "I'm a clone." She sat back then, watching him closely, expecting yet afraid of his rejection…. It might make more sense now that she was always saying she was created for Meruin and would be destroyed for him. She did not think she qualified as a person because she was just a copy. With tampered eyes and over-sensitive chakra. .
More heat continued to rush to his face in response to look in her eyes despite his personal efforts to keep it down. The moment proved to be one of the few in which scenting her excitement left him too vulnerable for control. Her stroking his collar bone only ensured the flames stayed kindled, though at least some sense of balance was achieved. For a while. She could no more hope to hide her mood darkening then he could ignore his growing sensitivity to the Shimizu's feelings. The faint smile that played at the edge of his lip died away at the sad look in her eyes. Despite himself, Kiyoshi buried the desire to try and 'fix' the issue, and instead chose to be patient and listen.
As soon as she planted herself more or less on his lap, his tail shifted about, forming a blanket for the duo's lower half. A thoughtless gesture of comfort before the Kirryu nod curtly for Kiji to go on. Again, a smile played at his lip as she too smiled, if only briefly. But all too soon things turned back to the feared. Try as he might, Kiyoshi cannot help but appear taken aback by her words. Though lingering confusion remain in his eyes, Kiyoshi nods curtly again in acceptance of her desire. Not that Kiyoshi had any intention of repeating what was told today to anyone…
There's no revulsion in his eyes by the time she finishes. No fear. Not even a hint of anger. Kiyoshi is pensive, to say the least, but otherwise… the rest of his emotions are either well hidden or too jumbled together to get a clear pick beyond the clearly thoughtful. "… Are /not/ just a clone…. You are my mma-… my girlfriend…. You are a shinobi of Kirigakure, and-…" Kiyoshi pauses, then shakes his head in exasperation. "You are Kiji." Kiyoshi states firmly and with conviction, normally docile eyes now fiercely locked on Kiji's own after cupping her cheek with a hand and kept it held up to him just in case.
Questions upon questions roamed about in the back of his mind, but not a one mattered to him at the moment. He understood now why she felt the way she felt. Perhaps not as keenly as perhaps as Sei might've… but still, he understood, and wanted — needed her to know that it did not matter to him.
Kiji expected revulsion, annoyance, rage even, but not empathy. She could read it clearly on Kiyoshi's face. He suddenly understood something about her that he had failed to before and it did not make him dislike her, it just allowed him to understand her. Could that be possible? The excitement and hope boiled over in her eyes as a kind of golden brown. As he cupped her cheek and insisted she was not /just/ a clone she lookked at him with wide eyes, in a state of awe that he would say that to her. She was a Kiri shinobi. She was Kiji. Kiyoshi liked — no loved — Kiji. Kiji was Sei's friend. Kiji was Kiyoshi's girlfriend. A blush crossed her face as she clicked on that description… Shyly she nodded in agreement with that.
She looked up at him and hesitantly asked, "So… it doesn't bother you?"
It both really did and did not matter to him. Kiji was simply Kiji. It, for one, wasn't as if she and the original weren't toying with him this whole time given her reaction and actions earlier. Although if they were then — the train of thought gets derailed before it pick up too much traction. That kind of thinking left the Kirryu obviously a little on the distracted side. But either by chance or some other external factor, his focus sharpens once more on the present in time to catch the shy nod from her.
Confusion flickers in his eyes, but is quickly shunted aside at the question. "It prolly should, but… it doesn't. And honestly, I can't see why it should. It was you I met on that delivery mission. It was you went to the hospital to see. It was you that… I fell in love with." He struggles to hold his gaze upon her as shyness tried to force its way to the surface. Barely, Kiyoshi resists the temptation to look away and smiles softly. "Kiji is Kiji. So… Why should it bother me?"
Kiji listned with that honest, innocent hesitation of hers that spoke of her fear of hope. But slowly she brightened as a flower bloomed and her eyes shaded into a brilliant cyan, her arms wrapping around Kiyoshi's ribs under his arms, her head burrowing against his chest. "Because I'm not like a real person. I'm a copy. But.. But I have my own memories. ee why I don't have parents but like.. the Donor did.. I don't. I grew up fast and in Meruin-dono's lab." It all rushed out of her and she suddenly felt like she was setting aside a huge weight. It was a slowly sinking ship.
"They still do tests and stuff and my eyes were made this way so I couldn't ever lie to him. But..I think I'm a disappointment as a medic. Even that Spy can do better than me." Yes she still thinks of Akane as a spy…. "But.. I..I'm glad you don't mind…" She hugged him again and hid her face against his chest. Her body had been tense and now it was suddenly relaxed as if she'd slumped as she fought to keep tears out of her eyes. It meant more than she could say that he still cared about her…
Kiyoshi found himself taken aback for what may have been the fourth time by now. Nevertheless, the Kirryu thawed quickly and accepted the embrace with little more than quiet chuckle. At first. Then she spoke up. It is then he realized that the question that left his mouth was better off unspoken. At the same time, it was a good thing it did come up. For the first time, well, technically second time counting the time she pretended to be a boy, Kiyoshi felt genuine anger towards Kiji. It is only a brief flash this time, and only in regards to her not seeing herself as a real person.
Before he became self-aware of the fact, his arms and tail enclosed her form, though left her plenty of wiggle room to speak or break free without much effort if desired. It is all he could do, he figured in hindsight. That and listen without allowing his emotions to get the better of him. Such 'consideration' didn't mean he would hide his feelings; only dull down the outward effect. Anger, sadness, , confusion, and pain shared a spot in his eyes for a time at one point or another, though hearing her glad brought relief that all but erradicated the others. He would ask her later about the spy comment. But for now…
"… You'll always be a real person to me, Kiji. That's never gonna change." He says, burying his face in her hair as he held her once again as closely as he dared to.
Kiji could feel the tension in his chest and back when he was angry with her. No matter how brief, she felt it and hesitated to look up. But once again he said the right thing and she calmed. Her arms slowly pulled back. (he had a huge chest for such a small person to hug). Then she rested her hands on his chest and turned to kneel up, still under his arms and tail. But she lifted her head and offered herself. Her lips for kissing, her body for hugging. She smiled up at him, the right blue shade still there. Even the stress of admitting what she had couldn't dampen the fact he still cared for her.