The sun shone down on the park, bringing a small amount of warmth on the cool, early spring afternoon. A small flake of bark broke off and fell down onto the pavement below as Ikuto shifted his position in the tree, trying to get a little more sunlight.
The teenager sighed tiredly. He was not in a very good mood. The rather intense "disagreement" he had had with his stepfather earlier that day, had brought on a headache that refused to leave. On top of that, he had snapped at Utau, so now she was upset. Though he didn't really want to apologize to her, considering her response would probably be to squeal loudly in forgiveness and glomp him. And to tie it all off, it was getting a little chilly and the sun kept on evading him.
He shifted again, sighing and watching Yoru scratch his name into all the leaves he could get his paws on.
"Yo-ru," muttered the little chara as he worked. He started on another one but suddenly let go of the leaf and perked his ears. "Ikuto. I sense charas nearby ~nya."
Ikuto closed his eyes. "I'm not in the mood."
"But they're Amu's charas! ~Nya!" added the little blue cat.
Ikuto immediately sat up, looking around to see if Amu was with her guardian characters as well. Sure enough, there came Amu, walking down the path while her charas floated around her head, discussing something. The boy's scowl disappeared as he watched the pinkette draw near. Maybe Amu would be able to lighten his mood.
He character changed with Yoru and waited until she walked directly underneath his branch before dangling his tail down and rubbing it against her ear.
Her reaction was predictable and instantaneous. She jumped back, grabbing her ear as she snapped her head around, looking for whatever the furry thing had been. She didn't look up until Ikuto passed his tail in front of her face once more, causing her to go almost cross-eyes as she took it in. She glared up at the teen as he chuckled at her.
She flushed and stuttered, "P-pervert!"
Ikuto smirked. "Now what was to perverted about that?" His tail still swung lazily.
"Y-you were touching my ears! With your tail!"
Ikuto's smirk grew. "Yes, I almost forgot it was your weak spot." He said the last two words more slowly, letting them roll off his tongue.
Amu's blush grew. "No it- They aren't! I-I mean you did it without asking!" She stomped her foot childishly.
Still grinning at Amu, Ikuto swung down from his perch and bent his head down slightly so his face was level with hers. He lowered his voice seductively. "So
You want me to ask first?" Amu blushed uncomfortably as his face drew closer to hers. Ikuto continued, enjoying himself. "Amu
May I touch
your ears?" Amu remained silent, her heart thudding.
Ikuto slowly reached out and moved the hair above Amu's ear. Amu was certain the boy could hear her heart thudding. But without warning, Ikuto let out a short, suppressed laugh from between his lips. He immediately started chuckling, pulling back. He looked at the girl's flushed face. She glared at him as she turned an almost impossible shade of pink. "P-p-pervert! What was that?!"
Ikuto straightened. "You tell me," he said, almost playfully.
Amu tossed her head, trying to regain her composure. "Whatever. I'm not in the mood right now."
Yoru huffed. No one seemed to be in the mood for anything today.
Ikuto raised an eyebrow slightly. "Oh, so you normally are?"
"N-no," Amu said, crossing her arms. Then she sighed and glanced back at the older teen. "Tadase
and I sort of had a little fight
Ikuto's left ear twitched a little. "Yeah? And what did you fight about?" He looked down at the girl who was serving as a distraction from his bad mood.
Amu regarded Ikuto warily before giving in, needing to vent her pent-up troubles to someone.
While Ikuto managed to gleam a little bit of information from Amu, Yoru flew up to the girl's charas. "Nyah, it's like she's doing everything the same as him."
"What do you mean?" asked Ran curiously.
"Well," said Yoru as he leaned back in the air, "first Amu had an argument, just like Ikuto did ~nya. Then they both came to the park. Plus, Amu said that she wasn't 'in the mood', just like Ikuto ~nya. It's like magic almost ~nya."
"It's like they're being brought together by fate!" cheered Ran.
"How romantic!" Miki exclaimed.
"Like a love story desu!" cried Su, clasping her hands together dramatically.
Yoru sweat-dropped. He turned around again to hear Ikuto chuckling softly. "That's not a fight. That's just a very small argument
About a hairclip."
"But," protested Amu, "he sounded angry
" She bowed her head slightly, clearly hurt. "And
Ikuto thought. But upon seeing a discarded coupon lying by his foot, he asked, "Would you feel better with some ice cream?"
There was a pause. Amu blinked and looked up at him, puzzled. "
Feeling unexpectedly awkward, Ikuto resisted the urge to rub the back of his neck as he tried to figure out what he was supposed to say next. He was just grateful that the coupon hadn't been for spicy, buffalo wings. Or dog food
Or a mattress. Or
His mind wandered
tampons. Yes. Asking Amu if getting tampons would make her feel better, would definitely make this conversation more awkward.
His situation suddenly seeming much better, Ikuto sighed and bent down. He picked up the coupon, which was advertising a free cone with the purchase of one of equal or greater value, and said, "I just saw this lying here. You don't have to have any. I'll just share the tamp-err, ice cream with Yoru then." Ikuto turned away.
Yoru could have almost sworn he had seen a hint of pink tinge his bearer's face, but that was probably just a trick of the light. Besides, Ikuto's face had been that color since his argument with his stepfather.
"No!" Amu exclaimed, a little more loudly than she had intended. A faint blush tinted her cheeks as she lowered her voice. "I mean, that is, isn't it a little
cold for ice cream?"
Ikuto smirked, facing her. "Not if you melt it with that blush of yours."
As expected, Amu's blush came out bright as ever. "H-hey!"
"There," teased Ikuto, turning to walk away, "Now we'll be nice and warm." His tail and ears disappeared.
He started walking, his hands in his pockets, headache almost forgotten. He left it up to Amu to decide whether to join him and continue his amusements, or let him go alone.
Amu hesitated. Then she didn't know why, but she followed behind him.
Ikuto glanced quickly over his shoulder and saw the pinkette hurrying to catch up with him. He pulled his hand out of his pocket and discreetly glanced down at the small piece of paper in his palm. Checking for an expiration date, he saw that it expired that day, though he hoped it would still be accepted. Otherwise, he would just pay for it on his own.
He located the food vendor in the park. Amu hung back a little as Ikuto approached the stand. "What'll it be?" asked a slightly pudgy man.
Ikuto held out the coupon. "Can I use this?"
The man took the slip of paper and read it. Seeing the expiration, he looked up to inform the teen that, no, he couldn't use it, but he saw the boy glance back at a young girl standing a little ways away, watching them. On a hunch, the man muttered, "Your girlfriend?" Ikuto looked at the vendor and couldn't help but grin a little at the question. The pudgy man took Ikuto's smile to be an affirmative and returned it. "Yep, it's still usable." Technically, the coupon expired today, but the day wasn't over, so it could still be used. Technically. It wasn't a big deal anyway. "What flavor?"
"Chocolate," Ikuto replied.
"And the little lady?" the pudgy man asked as he scooped out some chocolate ice cream into a waffle-cone.
"Amu!" Ikuto called, gesturing for the girl to come over. She did and Ikuto asked her, "What flavor do you want?"
" Amu thought. She almost said chocolate, but she saw that Ikuto also had chocolate, and reckoned that he might try something perverted, like switching out their cones back and forth when she wasn't looking. And Ikuto would definitely tease her about her childish tastes if she said vanilla. "Strawberry," she finally decided.
The vendor smiled and prepared a second cone after giving Ikuto his, and Ikuto dug into his pockets and pulled out some money. Ikuto paid and the vendor handed over the strawberry cone, saying, "To the happy couple," as if he were making a toast.
Amu blushed brightly and stammered, "We-we're not a couple!"
"Oh?" asked the vendor, quirking an eyebrow.
Ikuto put his arm around Amu's shoulder, drawing her closer while leaning down so their heads were closer. He shot the vendor a grin and said, "She's in denial."
The man's eyes lit up and he began laughing heartily. "Oh-ho-ho! So that's how it is! Well, the best of luck winning her over. You two deserve each other!"
Ikuto nodded and thanked the man, then pulled Amu away. "I-Ikuto!" reprimanded Amu, almost shrieking but remembering to keep her voice down. "What was that?!"
"Hmm?" asked Ikuto as he guided them over to a park bench sitting under a tree.
Amu huffed and sat down, followed by the boy. "That whole 'couple' thing. We're not a couple!"
Ikuto shrugged. "If you say so." He started on his ice cream.
Amu wasn't satisfied with that. The boy still seemed so sure of himself. "We aren't!"
"I never said we were, Amu," Ikuto teased, fighting back a cocky smirk as he continued licking his soft treat.
"Yes! You said I was in denial!" Amu's face was pink.
Ikuto's smile broke through as he looked at the girl and asked, "Are you?"
"No! Of course not!" Ikuto's smirk grew and Amu realized how contradictory her statement had just been. She glared at the boy, then started on her own ice cream as he chuckled and leaned back in his seat.
They were quiet for several minutes, each eating their cold treats and watching their charas run a relay race.
Ikuto's contented smile slowly melted off his face as his headache returned. He held back a shiver; maybe Amu was right about it being too cold for ice cream. He wished that he had at least chosen a spot in the sunlight, versus this cool shade.
A soft breeze blew and Amu shivered, hunching her shoulders over her half-eaten cone. "Cold, Amu?" Ikuto asked as he held back a shudder of his own.
Amu frowned at the older boy. "It's cold out here," she excused herself, as if shivering was a sign of weakness. Ikuto noted the goose bumps running down her arms, then playfully reached out and put his hand on her shoulder. "Wha-?" was all Amu managed to get out before she was unexpectedly pulled onto Ikuto lap. She let out a gasp.
"What?" Ikuto asked as he pulled his legs up and crossed them underneath the girl, welcoming the warmth the brought to his sore limbs. "You said you were cold. Let me warm you up." He shifted a little as he put one arm over Amu's front the other rotation his ice cream cone so he could get at the semi-melted area around the base.
"Not warmed that way!" Amu cried out, flustered. She immediately struggled and tried to get up, but stopped abruptly when she felt something icy press onto the top of her head. Icy and slightly wet. And soft. And sticky?
Amu slowly turned her head around and saw Ikuto, tongue still poised for a lick in front of his smushed dessert. He lowered his cone and raised an eyebrow at Amu's shocked expression. He put on a small, wry smile, not wanting to spoil this day.
Amu stared at Ikuto. Seeing his smile on his surprised face, she was torn between yelling and laughing. She settled for somewhere in-between. "I-Ikuto
?" she managed, her lips twitching with a smile, her eyebrows arching in disapproval.
The four charas were silent, their game suddenly stopped as they gazed in awe at the couple. "So," said Ikuto, "are you going to share yours with me, then?" His face was close to Amu's, her being in his lap, one arm gently holding her there.
Amu's conflicting reactions warred and neither actually beat the other in the end. Scrunching her face up, Amu's expression turned into a deep scowl just as she abruptly laughed and shoved her own cone at Ikuto's head. The teen couldn't help but wince and shiver as he felt the icy cold come in contact with his skin. He looked at Amu, surprised by her boldness. Amu's smile dropped as she realized what she had done, and she blushed.
The charas were slack jawed as they watched their bearers staring at each other awkwardly. Ikuto pushed out a small smirk as he closed his eyes tiredly and leaned back. He was feeling slightly stressed with having to turn all these situations around. "Real smooth, Amu. Now I can't have your ice cream and mine is all over your dirty head."
Amu bristled at that comment. "My headand hairare clean!"
Ikuto opened one eye. "Oh really?" He sat up, conscious of the uncomfortable cold sensation on his head. He held Amu's shoulders and playfully murmured, "Good." Then he turned her around to face away from him.
Amu's eyes grew wide as she felt something soft and warm touch the top of her head. Then it moved along a ways, feeling as wet as the ice cream. Amu's face was red with humiliation and her charas faces were also pink, as they watched Ikuto lick the ice cream from Amu's hair. Amu let out a gasping breath and Ikuto let go of one of her shoulders so he could undo her hairclip. He pocketed it and gently grabbed the girl's shoulder once more. He turned his head a little, looking incredibly like a mother cat cleaning a kitten, especially when his cat ears and tail popped up. And Amu's stiffly closed eyes only accentuated the feeling.
Ikuto paused for a moment, closing his eyes before resuming his retrieval of the sweet chocolate. Amu's face was so hot that she was sure it would melt the ice cream right off her head. "You taste like chocolate, Amu
" Ikuto purred in her ear, stating the obvious. He shivered as another cool breeze blew their way, ruffling the pinkette's hair.
" Amu breathed. Her charas' enraptured expressions were not lost on her.
"Hnn," replied Ikuto softly. Amu couldn't tell if it was muffled "what", the sound of him enjoying the ice cream, or just a sigh. She took it to be the first one. "What
What are you doing
?" She was praying desperately that nobody saw them in this circumstance. Part of her was actually enjoying this position; her held securely on Ikuto's lap, close together. But another part of her was screaming to jump up and slap the pervert. She just sat there, eyes closing again as she felt Ikuto's warm tongue touch her ice cream-covered scalp.
"Cleaning you," came Ikuto's response after a few moments. Amu gripped her skirt. She felt him rest for a moment, breathing into her hair. She felt him shiver as yet another gust of wind blew by. However, she was almost burning up from embarrassment. She stayed very still.
Amu's heart was thudding in her chest. "But
I can take a shower
Besides," She managed a small laugh, "you probably need cleaning more than I do
Then you can do me next
" Ikuto murmured. Strawberry ice cream dripped from his hair onto the bench.
"N-no way! Pervert!" accused Amu.
"Hold still," chided Ikuto. The sun drifted behind a cloud. Amu's ice cream cone lay discarded on the wooden bench, next to Ikuto's, which was cleverly stuck between the wooden slats.
All four charas had sunk down to rest on the grass. They gaped at Amu and Ikuto. Amu was bright red, and Ikuto looked slightly flushed as well.
Stop," Amu finally managed, growing extremely uncomfortable. Though she might have not hated it so much if there hadn't been the risk of somebody she knew seeing the pair.
"You don't like it?" asked Ikuto, eyes closed. His headache making him wince, he paused. "Does that kiddy king
" He winced again. "
ever clean you off
Amu's eyes opened wide and her face managed to turn redder than it was. Immediately, she shot up to fix the teen with a glare. However, halfway through her jumping up, Amu's head collided with the upper half of Ikuto's jaw, which was still positioned above her head.
Amu yelped in pain, stumbling away from the bench. Her hand quickly shot up to grab at the top of her head. Involuntary tears sprang to her eyes and her finger touched on the small cut that had just been created.
She spun around to see Ikuto's hand pressed to his front teeth. His character change had ended. "What-" she began to complain, but was cut off by Ikuto's angry shout.
"Hey!" he yelled. He couldn't help snapping at her. He was cold, tired, sore, and in a bad mood. His hand moved from his teeth to his now pounding head, strawberry ice cream wiping across his fingers. "What was that for?!"
The wetness in Amu's golden eyes shimmered for a moment, then pooled into tears at the sudden reprimand, which seemed worse with the cut on her head. A couple tears slid down her cheeks as she angrily shouted, "It's your own fault, you stupid pervert! Just leave me alone!" She turned and ran off, crying. Ran, Miki, and Su glanced nervously at Ikuto and Yoru, before floating after their bearer, glancing back worriedly a few times.
"Amu" Ikuto started, standing up. But the sudden movement caused the blood to rush to his head, making him dizzy. He staggered, grabbing onto the bench as he held his head.
"Ikuto! ~Nya!" called Yoru worriedly as he flew up to his bearer to see what was the matter. Ikuto impatiently swatted the small chara away, sitting back down.
He clenched his teeth and closed his eyes tightly. "Stupid
" he muttered angrily under his breath. By the time he opened his eyes and looked up, Amu was long gone. Not that he had expected otherwise. Ikuto let out a weary sigh.
Yoru was still floating worriedly around the blue haired boy's head. The chara landed on Ikuto's pant leg, concerned. "Ikuto
Ikuto gave him half of a reassuring smile. "I'm fine, Yoru. It's fine. I'm just having a
bad day. Come on, let's head home. Maybe Utau will be waiting." With that, Ikuto stood up, pushing himself off the bench. Though the mere fact that Ikuto was looking forward to seeing his sister, caused Yoru concern. "It's getting late," Ikuto said to no one in particular.
The sun was still high, but was threatening to begin its quick descent towards the horizon. Ikuto grabbed his mostly eaten ice cream, breaking off the shell as he ate the dessert inside, taking small pleasure in how nice the cold food felt going down his throat.
Yoru started floating after his bearer as he started walking. He knew Utau wouldn't be home at this time of day. They would just be wandering around the streets. Though they wouldn't want to run into anyone from Easter.
Yoru decided to keep an extra eye out for any of those goons. He wanted to keep Ikuto from having to deal with any more troubles in his down state.
It would probably be a long afternoon.
Amu sat down on her bed with a sigh. Her hair was finally completely dry from her lengthy shower.
She wasn't really sore at Ikuto anymore. Her hour-long shower had helped her relax, and a lot of her anger had been from their little "collision". The cut on her scalp had bled a little, but she knew that that was just because it was on her head; "head wounds" always bled more than normal cuts. But it had long since stopped.
Though there was still the fact that he had shouted at her. Amu pulled her shoulders closer and frowned. Why? Why had he shouted at her? Was he angry? She had just as much right, if not more, to be angry.
But he had still looked mad
Amu gripped the legs of her pajama pants in her fists. Why did she care? She loved Tadase
right? She still hadn't gotten over their little argument earlier that day. Though Ikuto was probably right; it wasn't a big deal. It had just been about a hairclip, after all. Maybe she should just forget about it.
Amu relaxed her hands. Ikuto was right. Ikuto
Amu looked up suddenly when she heard a small 'clomp'. Her charas were in their eggs. Amu sighed once again. She usually didn't go to bed this early, but her parents had taken Ami to a sleepover birthday party, and knowing Ami, she had insisted that they stay with her to 'play' for a while, or at least until the girl fell asleep. They had called home to tell her, but now she was all-alone. And her charas had just gone to sleep.
She sighed and slid back into bed, pulling back the blankets before crawling under. It might be early spring, but the weather had quickly gotten very chilly as soon as the sun had set.
The pinkette reached out and turned out her bedside lamp. Then she closed her eyes, waiting for sleep. It didn't come for almost an hour. When she finally drifted off, she dreamt of Tadase.
He was standing in a big field. The grass swayed around his feet in the warm breeze. He laughed and turned around to smile at Amu. The boy continued laughing, harder and harder. Suddenly, Amu saw a crown appear on his head, and then he was Kiseki, laughing malevolently. Then Miki was floating in front of him. She spun around a few times, passing the faces of a few other charas, before stopping at Yoru.
He smiled, saying, "Nyah." Then he quickly flew over a hill, calling out a name. "Ikuto~! Ikuto, ~nya!" He approached the teen, who was sleeping under a tree. "Ikutooo~!" he called one last time. Ikuto cracked one eye open and gazed at his chara. "I need some help," he stated.
"Hmm?" encouraged Ikuto. He picked up a glass of milk and took a sip.
Yoru crossed his arms proudly and proclaimed, "I'm going to be a romance expert."
Ikuto's eyes bulged as he spat out his mouthful of milk. He coughed several times, then looked at his chara, shocked. "What?!" He seemed extremely disturbed that Yoru, his would-be self, desired to pursue the field of romance expertise.
"Yep," continued Yoru. "So I need your advice. You have someone you like, right
?" Yoru grinned widely.
A laugh was heard, and Utau walked out from behind the tree. She smiled and called out to Ikuto. Ikuto watched warily as she ran towards him, even though she didn't seem to be getting any closer.
Then Tadase was beside Amu, holding her hand. He reached up and clipped something into her hair. Then he began walking away, beckoning her to follow him. Amu couldn't help but glance back at Ikuto, who looked lonely.
Then, without warning, the world suddenly flipped upside down. Amu was falling and there was a loud roaring. She screamed as the roar grew louder. Then
"Ikuto!" Amu sat up, looking around. A dream. But why had she called out to Ikuto, and not Tadase
? There was a rumble, like the noise in her dream, and she heard thunder crack. She jumped involuntarily, whipping her head to look out the window. It wasn't raining, but
There he was.
Amu blinked, waiting for the figure to disappear as quickly as her dream had, but it remained near her balcony door. The unmistakable silhouette of a certain cat-boy. Hurriedly, Amu scrambled to turn on her bedside lamp.
When the lights flicked on, she turned around to face the blue haired boy. He was perfectly still, paused in the middle of taking a step. Caught in the act. His eyes traveled up to meet hers, but he then shifted allowing his hair to fall over his eyes. Amu sat stiffly in her bed, wide awake now, and puling the blankets closer to her body as a cold wind blew through the open door.
There were a few moments of silence. "What
are you doing here
?" The boy started turning around to leave but Amu called out. "Wait! Tell me what you're doing here." She was almost inclined to get angry. Ikuto slowly glanced back at her, then held out his hand, palm up. Amu saw something in it, but she had to scoot forward a little ways to see what it was.
Her hairclip. There it was, resting on Ikuto's palm. Amu's threatening anger quickly dissipated and she slid off her bed. She walked over to the teen and reached out to take the accessory. "Idiot," she muttered softly as she took it. "You could have at least waited until morning." But then she smiled a little. Ikuto looked blankly at her upon hearing her change of heart.
They locked gazed for a few moments. Amu's childlike smile of gratitude slipped slightly and her brow wrinkled. Something didn't seem right. Ikuto's ears. They were hanging down, drooping like he was unhappy. "Ikuto? What's wrong?" the girl asked, reaching up to touch his soft ears in concern.
He shifted back a little, giving her a small smirk, then whispered, "What, you're not going to ask permission to touch my ears?"
Amu frowned. Why was he whispering so quietly? "What's the matter?" she asked again. The boy shifted away.
"He remembered that he was carrying it right when we were near your house," piped up a voice. Yoru's voice. The cat-chara floated out from behind his bearer. Thunder cracked again. A cold wind blew into Amu's bedroom.
Amu shivered, rubbing her arms. "Sure is cold out
What were you doing, walking around when a storm was coming?"
Ikuto gave a half shrug. He whispered, "Heading home."
Amu was confused. Why was the boy whispering? And why wasn't he teasing her? And his ears
She looked at his pale face. "Ikuto
Are you feeling alright?"
Ikuto nodded, looking towards the balcony door. "Fine." Amu wasn't convinced. She noticed the flush on his cheeks. Stretching out her hand, she reached up to the blue haired boy's face. Ikuto leaned away from her hand, turning his face aside. Amu took a step forward and tried again. This time, Ikuto tiredly swatted her hand away. "I'm fine." Determined, Amu once more tried to feel Ikuto's face, but he evaded her and turned and took a few steps towards her balcony door, the cold wind blowing his hair.
"No, you're not!" insisted Amu. She grabbed his sleeve. "Stop being so stubborn." More thunder. The teen stumbled and Amu wasted no time in moving ahead and trying to support him. She looked up to his face. His eyes were closed in pain. After a few seconds, he pushed himself up on his own. He looked dazedly down at Amu, who promptly cupped his cheek with her palm. Feeling the heat, she moved her hand up to his forehead, slipping her fingers under his soft hair. Her determined expression faded to one of concern.
Ikuto returned her gaze, his look of irritation at her persistence was shadowed by the weariness in his eyes. "Amu, I'll be fine." Thunder boomed once more, immediately followed by the sound of raindrops hitting the outside world. The wind carried a gust of them to land inside Amu's room.
"You're sick," Amu said sternly. Inside, she was flipping out about what to do with a sick boy, who was in her bedroom, in the middle of the night. But she remained calm and collected on the outside, trying to muster out some sense of authority.
"No, I'm not," responded Ikuto, his voice growing slightly bolder, which only brought attention to how hoarse he was.
"Yes, you are. Admit it. You have a fever, Ikuto," insisted the pinkette.
"So?" demanded Ikuto, deciding to give up on that part of the argument.
"You can't go outside."
"Ikuto, you're sick, and it's raining, toothere's a storm."
"I've been through worse
" Ikuto's head swam slightly. He suppressed a small groan. His headache had tripled since earlier that evening, his whole body was sore with an achy feeling that only came with sickness, and he felt like he was freezing. The occasional dizziness and him having his pride challenged by an elementary girl were not helping his mood. Ikuto resisted the urge to sit down on Amu's floor to rest a moment. Instead, he swayed on his feet.
Amu wrapped her arm around Ikuto's waist, supporting him. She was trying to be as authoritative as she was when Ami got sick and acted as belligerent as Ikuto. "You shouldn't have to, though," she said softly. "You shouldn't always try to do everything by yourself." Ikuto sighed, the noise turning into a soft groan after a second. "What is it?" Amu asked worriedly. Yoru floated nearby, not saying anything.
"Nothing, I'm fine."
"Stop it," ordered Amu as she gently but firmly led him to her desk's chair. He obediently sat down and Amu knelt to get a better look at him. "You're sick. And you sound so stupid saying that you're not."
Ikuto closed his eyes as he waited for the room to stop spinning. He opened an eye, muttering, "I need to leave. Your parents will
"They're not here," consoled Amu. "
I think." She glanced at her clock to see how long they had been gone. "No, and I think they might have been held up by the storm. Ikuto relaxed slightly, one of his excuses for leaving dying away with the most recent thunder crack.
Amu felt his face again, but Ikuto shrugged her away, uncomfortable with her trying to care for him. Amu huffed. "I can't stay long," he told her as he rested his chin in his hand, propping his elbow on Amu's desktop. "Utau will be worried."
"Then why didn't you go home to her when you started feeling sick?" queried Amu.
Ikuto realized that that bluff wouldn't work. He would honestly like to stay here, but what if Easter got interested in Amu? But he didn't feel up-to going back out in that cold weather, no matter how awkward he felt with someone worrying over him. He opened his eyes to see Amu staring up at him, her question still unanswered. He sighed. "I'll stay here for a little while."
Amu scoffed. "You can't go outside when it's raining that much. You have to at least wait until it's over." Thunder boomed as if to emphasize her statement.
Ikuto raised an eyebrow and smirked at her. "Why, Amu? Do you really want me to stay? What would your friends think if they found out that I was staying in your bedroom?"
Amu flushed more than Ikuto, and looked down. "I can't just leave you
" she muttered.
Ikuto's gaze softened. He lifted her chin. "Until the storm passes," he promised. Amu pulled away from him after a second, her face growing pinker. Ikuto smirked once more. "So, what do you want to do until then, Amu?" His voice was flirtive. He twirled a lock of her pink hair around one of his slender fingers.
Amu slapped his hand away. "Pervert," she muttered. She stood up and closed her balcony door, then told him, "Stay here." Quickly leaving the room, she went to the medicine cabinet.
Ikuto was alone, the only noise in the room being the sound of the rain hitting the side of the house and the occasional boom of thunder. Ikuto rested his pounding head on the desk. Brushing the hair from his eyes, he saw a little blue lump by Amu's pencil holder. Yoru. He was curled up, snoring softly. Ikuto reached out with a cold hand and scooped the warm body up. The cat chara muttered something about fish before turning over. Ikuto lowered his hand to his lap, holding Yoru close.
A moment later, Amu reentered the room. Ikuto didn't look up until she was standing before him. He have her a half smirk. "Couldn't stay away, huh?"
Amu rolled her eyes and held out a thermometer. "Open up," she instructed. Ikuto turned his head the other way, facing the opposite wall. "Ikuto!" Amu fussed. She walked around to the other side of him and proffered the thermometer once more. The boy moved his head the other way again. Amu stomped her foot impatiently. This shouldn't be this hard! She needed to outsmart him.
Without a word, she quickly hurried out of the room. She was back in a few moments. Ikuto had changed positions once again, his face facing the doorway. He watched at Amu walked toward him. She had a look of determination on her face, and Ikuto wondered what she was planning. Upon reaching his side, she reached an arm over his shoulders to the other side of him. Then she knelt down in front of him. "Why are you being so stubborn?" she asked sullenly.
Ikuto quirked an eyebrow. "You're going to get sick, too, getting this close to me." He gave her a cocky, if tired, smile.
"I took a vitamin," Amu informed him proudly.
"So a vitamin is going to keep you safe from me? It's not that simple." Amu frowned at his wording, but decided to ignore him; he was just playing with her. The pinkette once more raised the thermometer to the boy's lips. He rolled his eyes and turned away, only to come face-to face with another thermometer held on Amu's other hand. This one instantly japed him in the cheek. "Ow!" he protested, quickly turning to face Amu again. "Careful with-"
He didn't get another word out before Amu shoved the first thermometer into his mouth. He promptly gagged on it and spat it out. Ikuto coughed several times, trying to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling in the back of his throat. Finally, he shot Amu a glare. The girl looked startled, but quickly regained her composure, returning his look. "Well that wouldn't have happened if you had just accepted it!"
Ikuto coughed once before sitting up. "Hmm
" he hummed softly. Nimbly slipping the second thermometer out of her grasp, he said, "Then why don't you give it to me." He gave her a cocky smile at her look of confusion, before proffering the balled end of the thermometer to her lips. "Ladies first."
Amu flushed as she looked down at the top end of the thermometer. He was such a pervert! But if this was the only way
The girl put her mouth around the cold stick, then set it between her teeth to hold it still. She looked at Ikuto. He was looking softly at her, then he leaned forward. Amu did the same, blushing hard. Ikuto was gazing into her eyes. But she was looking at his lips as she gently moved the thermometer to his mouth. He allowed the object to slip between his lips and under his tongue. She shot him a look that said, "don't even think about trying anything or I swear, I'll ram this thing down your throat". Ikuto gave her a small smirk. Before letting go, Amu couldn't help but return the boy's gaze; staring deeply into his indigo eyes.
She felt herself becoming lost
That it, until Ikuto broke the moment by smirking at her. She scowled, but quickly held up a finger upon seeing his lips move slightly; probably bout to spout out some quirky remark. "Two minutes," she instructed. "Until then, keep your mouth closed." To her surprise, Ikuto nodded his consent.
They both waited silently during the next two minutes. Amu noticed that the thunder had stopped rumbling. She wondered if Ikuto had noticed as well. She didn't want the storm to end; not when Ikuto wasn't feeling well. She needed it to continue all night. And not only for Ikuto's sake, but also for her. Having The teenager here was
Well, it wasn't as awful as she would have thought. Just him being with her
It was almost
nice. In fact
Amu quickly shook her head, tossing away the confusing thoughts as she glanced at the clock to see that two minutes had already passed. She pulled the thermometer from the blue haired boy's mouth and looked at it: 38.5° C. / 101.3° F.
"You have a fever," she informed Ikuto.
"You sure do get hung up on one thing, don't you?" asked Ikuto sarcastically. He folded his arms. "Move onto something else now."
Amu frowned disapprovingly. "Here," she said. She picked up the glass of water that she had set down on her desk from earlier and held out a hand holding three pills.
Ikuto looked out the window, ignoring her. "I think it's stopped storming," he noted.
"No, it hasn't," argued the pinkette. "It just stopped thundering; it's still raining. So take the medicine." Amu desperately hoped that the boy wouldn't demand that she "give" him the pills the same way she had taken his temperature. But the boy gave her a mischievous look that said he was thinking the same thing. "No," Amu told him firmly. "You'll get me sick, too."
Ikuto shrugged and chuckled. "You're fun to tease," he murmured. Then he took the water and pills from Amu and downed them in one swallow. He set the glass down, sighing tiredly. Not only was he sick, but it was also late into the night. Amu found herself yawning.
It's late," she stated at last.
"Hnn," was the teenager's only response. His eyes were closed and his head was lying on top of Amu's desk.
"Come on," urged Amu as she grabbed his arm. She pulled him gently away from the desk. He didn't stand up, as she had hoped, but instead crawled down onto the floor. His head was sagging, letting his blue hair cover his face. Amu pursed her lips, realizing how quickly a sleeping pill cold take effect on an already-exhausted teen. "Come on," she coaxed again and finally got him over next to her bed.
She let go of his arm and watched him lie down on the floor, somehow managing to keep the sleeping Yoru comfortable cupped in his palm. Ikuto shivered. Feeling sorry for him, Amu pulled one of the blankets off of her bed and laid it over his body. He unconsciously pulled it closer, already asleep.
Amu smiled softly and climbed into bed, making a mental note to try to sleep lightly so that her parents didn't walk in on them. "Goodnight, Ikuto," she called softly as she pulled the covers up around her. She was met with silence and she reached out to turn out her light.
Right before it went out, she saw the red hairclip that she had set on her bedside table. She smiled. If Ikuto hadn't brought it back, he would be alone, cold, and sick. If she hadn't gotten his ice cream in her hair, he would never have taken it. And if she and Tadase hadn't gotten their feelings hurt over it, Amu would have never met with Ikuto in the park.
Amu closed her eyes and listened to the soft patter of rain. All because of the hairclip.