Crescent Moon Fan Fiction ❯ Phases ❯ The Calm Before the Storm ( Chapter 10 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Dedication: Kasha. The first person to review this story on my mediaminer account.
Sadness. Review responses are banned. I'm not risking deletion of this story, so I'm not responding to reviews. There is a petition going around, so if I still have it, I might send it to those who review.
Chapter 10: The Calm Before the Storm
Mahiru was lost in a state of shock. Her eyes were wide and unseeing. Mitsuru had hugged her to his chest, refusing to let go.
“Two guards,” Misoka said as he stepped into the couple's room, “Both branded with the mark.”
“God, it was…” Keiko shuddered, hugging herself. She almost wished Akira was next to her, comforting her… “…It was right outside your door.”
“That's why we're moving them,” Misoka said, “The emperor's orders, so don't try to change it. Akira's supposed to take you to your new chambers.”
Mitsuru looked at Akira like a lost dog, unsure of what to do. The werewolf gave a solemn nod, and the tengu reluctantly stood, cradling Mahiru against his chest.
Misoka watched them leave and turned to Keiko.
“I may need your help with something…”
Mahiru blinked her eyes and sat up slowly. She was in a bed. Did that mean it was all one bad dream. She prayed that Mitsuru would be beside her, telling her that it was a nightmare, and she could forget all about it.
Her hopeful thoughts dimmed as she looked across the room. It was entirely different: bigger, grander, and redder. In an armchair set next to a window overlooking the courtyard, Mitsuru was curled up.
Mahiru got up slowly. She placed a hand on his shoulder, and he jumped, catching her hand too tightly. Her eyes went wide, and he let go, cursing himself for not realizing it was her.
“Sorry,” he murmured.
Mahiru blinked. Since when was he so cold to her? She rubbed her wrist self-consciously and spoke, trying to hide the hurt in her voice. “What's bothering you?”
Mitsuru sighed and turned away. “I'm just jumpy. That attack last night…”
So there had been an attack. She let out a breath and sat down in his lap, leaning against his chest.
The tengu couldn't hide a smile as he rested his chin on her shoulder. “…It came way too close to hurting you.”
She turned around, wrapping her legs around his waist. He kissed her softly, pressing her against him. It was a long moment before either let go.
“I want something to remain normal,” she whispered into his skin.
“We're not exactly normal,” Mitsuru joked.
She shoved him playfully and resumed their lip lock.
This was not the only couple at play.
Keiko had spent the night worrying about Mahiru, then the kiss, then Mahiru, then Akira, then the kiss… It went on like that until she fell into a restless sleep. She'd woken up confused and tired and stumbled out of bed, wishing that the kitchen stocked coffee. It was then she remembered the fox demon's request, and she decided it would be better if she curled up into bed and disappeared for a while.
Akira's morning was not much better. He had spent the night worrying over similar points. He'd woken up from an odd dream involving Keiko and a bucket of pudding and almost ran out of the room to avoid her. Part of him told him it was childish to do such a thing, but at the moment, it seemed the best. He had no idea what the kiss meant and how Keiko felt about it. He barely knew how he felt about it.
Of course their remeet was inevitable, they just hadn't realized it would happen so quickly. Akira had gone to do what he always did when he was worried or stressed: cook. Keiko had gone to do what she normally did in the morning: eat.
Both stopped short when they saw each other.
“Oh,” Keiko said.
“Um,” Akira messed with the frying pan, “Uh, hi.”
They both took a deep breath and said at the exact same time, “About last night…”
`Dammit,' Keiko berated herself, `Why is this so hard?'
“Never happened?” Akira offered, sensing her inner turmoil.
She smiled. “Please?”
He nodded and resumed cooking.
“So,” she leaned back innocently, smiling a tiny bit more than usual, “Got any coffee in this place?”
(the final page break)
Mitsuru could feel it in the back of his mind as he and Mahiru exchanged kiss after deep kiss. The voice said he had to be careful now, to guard his secrets even more. Even if it meant closing off Mahiru.
This was the calm before the storm.
And a typhoon was blowing their way.
Kay, I started school this week, so this is all you're getting for now. This was just a fluffy chapter, because it should get a bit darker after this. And don't worry, Akira and Keiko will make up.
So… next chapter will be here next week. I might have an evil cliffy planned, I might not. We'll wait and see.
To those who asked, those who died were no one they knew. I based the fish face off of the boatman and guards in the sixth book. I gave them peach skin because… Well, I kinda imagine them with blue skin, but whatever.
Thanks to those who reviewed:
Kasha, random, Chrysanthemum3, Outsane, Fallen Angel Mitsu.