In response to review by Fee:
Once again, thank you for your review and comments! I did watch 'Vampire Knight' before but that was a long time ago and I didn't draw any inspiration from that anime. Most of the story comes from my own imagination. I pictured the entire story in 'anime form' in my mind before translating the entire story into words =P
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Chapter 98: Love
Yuki settles the dirty dishes onto the counter beside the sink where Takashi is currently washing the dishes after their first candlelight dinner in a long time. Despite offering to help him with the chores, he insists that he wants to do everything instead.
"Yuki." Takashi's call makes her turn her eyes to him. Takashi looks at her as his hands continue to work on the dishes in the sink. "When did you first come back from the other world anyway?"
"A few minutes before you found me." Yuki replies casually, wondering why he is asking her this question and he appears confused for a moment after her reply. "Is something the matter?"
"Then …" Takashi pauses before asking the next question in his mind. "Did you go to Celest before coming to Earth?"
Yuki shakes her head. "No, I was in the park ever since I stepped through the one-way portal." Takashi turns his eyes back to the dishes, appearing to be thinking about something. "Why are you asking me all this?"
It takes Takashi a few seconds to reply. "I was visiting Shin earlier today in Celest … when I sensed someone watching me …" He turns his eyes back to her as he settles a clean plate onto a dry cloth on the counter with all the clean plates and utensils. "That person had no presence and I thought it was you."
"Someone with no presence?" Yuki ponders as she repeats his words. "Did you ask Riko or your brother? It may be them."
"I didn't ask them but …" Takashi tilts his head to the side as he tries to recall. "Something tells me that it isn't them …"
"Or is it just your imagination?" Yuki smiles as she takes the wet clean plates and begin manually drying them one by one.
Takashi laughs as he finishes the last plate and settles it beside Yuki. "Maybe." He takes off his gloves, putting them at the edge of the sink before putting his hands around Yuki's waist as he hugs her from the back.
Yuki smiles wider as she turns her head to the side and their faces are only inches apart. "We're not done with the chores yet."
"I was just wondering …" He closes his eyes as he takes in the smell of her hair. "If you mind staying with me for tonight."
Yuki laughs softly. "That phrase does sound familiar."
"At least you have a different reaction to it now as you did fourteen years ago." Takashi smiles wider as he opens his eyes and rests his chin gently on her right shoulder.
"Are you referring to …" Yuki keeps her smile as she puts a plate and the cloth back onto the counter as she turns around to face him. Takashi stands upright as she puts on a shocked expression on her face. "You're not asking me to …" She mimics the reaction that she has when she is Mizuki fourteen years ago, the night when they first find out about the feelings they have for each other.
"Yes, that." Takashi agrees. "It may be the same question but my intentions are not exactly the same as fourteen years ago." Yuki's eyes widen as the smile on her face slowly disappears. Upon taking in her expression, the smile on Takashi's face slowly disappear as well. "You don't like it?"
"Wait …" Yuki holds up one hand as she attempts to clarify. "Are you saying that … you want to …" The next few words appear to be stuck in her throat. "Are you asking me to …" Once again, the next few words appear to be stuck despite trying to rephrase her question.
Takashi starts to smile again at her hilarious facial expression. "I understand what you're trying to say and my answer to that question of yours is 'yes' …" Yuki's face blushes red as she takes in his words. "Seems like you're still a little uncomfortable with it."
"That's … I … well …" Yuki fumbles over her words as she turns away from him, back to the plates on the counter.
Takashi sighs once. "No worries." He puts his hand on her shoulder, turning her around to face him. "I don't mind taking baby steps." His mouth attacks hers quickly after he finishes his sentence and no matter how much she likes the feeling when their lips meet, she attempts to pull back two seconds later. Takashi stops immediately upon understanding her body language, not wanting to force her to do anything that she does not want to.
"Wait …" Yuki pants and turns back to the plates. "We're not done with …"
"Just leave them." Takashi insists as he moves closer to her once more, attempting to kiss her again.
Yuki puts her hands on his chest, trying to stop him from doing so. "But … even still …" She points upstairs. "I need to do some preparations … you know …" Her words come out from her mouth in a rush. "Girls need to …"
Takashi interrupts her by picking her up in her arms immediately and Yuki can feel the wind as he breaks into a run. Within less than a second, they are already in the bedroom and he settles her down in the middle of the king-sized bed with her head a few centimeters below the pillows. He bends over her as he pushes her hair off her face before stroking her cheek gently. "All that is not necessary now." He takes in her expression and a wide smile forms on his face. "You can save all that for our honeymoon." He kisses her again and Yuki closes her eyes this time, going along with him without any more resistance.
Kiran rushes into the sitting room with her brother behind her. The both of them are now wearing formal clothing as Kai is now part of the royal team of healers while Kiran is learning to become a trainer from Shiki, who is now the head-of-training. At the moment, only Tsuyoshi and Riko are in the room, discussing about Yuki.
"I heard that Yuki has contacted you a few moments ago?" The words rush out of Kiran's mouth as though they are a raging river. "Where is she now?"
"With Takashi on Earth." Riko stands from her seat. "Calm down Kiran … I should be the one jumping in joy." She jokes with a wide smile on her face.
"I'm going over to see her then." Kiran turns back to the door just in time to see Shiki enter the room, who folds his arms across his chest.
"You can't just leave your students alone in the gym while you make a side-trip to Earth." Shiki insists firmly as Sakuya stops beside him. Like Kai, she is also part of the royal team of healers.
"Can't you take over her place for awhile? Naturally, everyone is excited by the news that Yuki's back." Sakuya tries to convince her cousin.
"She'll be coming over from Earth in a few more hours." Riko indicates. "So Kiran … you can focus on training your students for now."
"Really?" Kiran turns back to Kiran, her eyes sparkling brightly in excitement.
Kai smiles as he watches his sister's expression. "She's really still a kid at heart …"
"It's night time on Earth right now so I asked them to drop by later today." Riko elaborates.
Yuki blinks as she slowly opens her eyes and the first thing she notices is that the room is bright despite the curtains being drawn. She is currently facing the window and most of her body is being covered by the huge blanket except for her head. She stretches her arms before turning around in bed, wanting to sleep for a little while longer. She slowly closes her eyes after turning over but her eyes open wide two seconds later as the last image she has just seen surprises her.
Takashi smiles widely as he rests his head on his right hand. He is currently lying beside her on the blanket and using his right hand to support his head as he watches her sleep. "Good morning, princess."
Yuki sits up immediately with her eyes wide in shock. "What did you …" She turns back to look at him, noticing that he is fully dressed, before turning down to look at her body under the blanket. "What did I …" She continues to hold up the blanket such that it is covering her entire body except her head.
The smile on Takashi's face grows wider as he takes in her panic expression. "What are you thinking?"
Yuki looks down at the blanket for a moment before looking at him again. "Last night … did we …" She appears too embarrassed to continue the sentence.
Takashi laughs once and sits upright before bending closer to her face. "You really don't remember anything?" He whispers softly and Yuki's eyes widen again as she takes in his words. "I can't believe you've forgotten everything after just one night of sleep."
Yuki's mouth drops. "Oh my god." She closes her eyes as she pulls the blanket over her head immediately, wanting to hide her face desperately.
Takashi laughs louder this time and gently pulls the side of the blanket. Seeing that she still does not want to show her face, he adds. "I'm joking … really."
Yuki pulls the blanket off her head but only to the extent where only the top half of her face can be seen. "Really?"
"I swear that I'm only joking." Takashi raises both hands as though he is surrendering. "Nothing of that sort happened last night." Yuki's eyes narrow suspiciously, as though she does not believe him. "If 'that' really happened last night, you wouldn't be wearing any of your clothes right now, would you?"
Yuki takes a quick look down at her body and it seems like what Takashi has just said is true. She is still wearing her clothes and there is no signs of any attempt to take them off but it is still difficult for her to believe that nothing has happened during the night. She turns her eyes back to Takashi as she continues. "That may be true … but who knows if you put them back on while I was sleeping …"
Takashi drops his hands and turns away for a moment as he cannot believe his ears. "Do I look like that sort of guy to you?"
Yuki's eyes move from his head to toe and back again. "Maybe you are … without me knowing."
"We're still virgins … I swear." Takashi insists, starting to be a little embarrassed as well. "We only slept together in the same bed last night but we didn't do anything more than that … and you know I'll never do anything to you that will make you uncomfortable."
Yuki looks at him for a moment before finally dropping the blanket. "I guess … I'll believe you." She slowly gets off the bed and heads to the washroom to clean up.
"Breakfast is ready downstairs." Takashi indicates as he appears relieved and leaves the room.
After ten minutes, Yuki makes her way slowly down the steps and notices a plate on the small dining table with a glass of orange juice beside it. There is bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, pancakes with honey as well as some baked beans on the plate. Takashi is sitting in the living room, reading the morning newspapers.
"American breakfast?" Yuki laughs as she stops behind the dining room chair and takes in the food on the plate before sitting down. "I thought you can't cook." She recalls the candlelight dinner last night and the past when she lives with him as Mizuki. During the short period of time when Kai and Kiran are not around, he has always buy food from the outside as he cannot cook very well.
"Practice makes perfect." Takashi replies casually as he makes his way to the dining table and sits opposite her.
"Did you learn that phrase from your brother?" Yuki laughs as she drinks a mouthful of orange juice.
"No …" Takashi claims as he settles the newspaper neatly onto the dining table. "Eat up … we're heading back to Celest."
Yuki steps through the dimension door behind Takashi with her hand in his and the door closes before disappearing into thin air. The room that they have entered is huge and it is empty of furniture, except for a round platform in the middle of the room where the both of them are standing on after stepping through the dimension between Earth and Celest. It is as though this room is only used for the purpose of travelling to and from Earth.
"Yuki!" Riko is the first to approach them and she throws her arms around her sister with tears in her eyes.
"It's been a long time." Yuki smiles as she puts her hands around her sister and comforts her. Most of their friends approach them behind Riko, namely Kai, Kiran, Kazuki, Shiki, Sakuya and Tsuyoshi. Upon seeing Tsuyoshi, the smile on her face grows wider. "Sorry that I missed your wedding."
Riko pulls back and looks at Tsuyoshi before replying. "Sorry we couldn't wait for you to return."
Yuki nods. "Celest needs a king and a queen … I understand."
"We've another wedding to prepare anyways." Kiran smiles widely as she steps forward such that she is standing beside Riko. "I've been working on your dressing dress."
Yuki's eyes widen in surprise. "Already? How did you …"
"It's been fourteen years since the both of you are together." Kazuki interrupts her. "It's about time he propose to you."
Yuki exchanges a look with Takashi quietly and Kiran voices her thoughts. "Wait … he already proposed?" Everyone's eyes move to Takashi who merely keeps quiet in response. "Oh man! I really want to see it!" Kiran sounds disappointed.
Kai puts his hand on his sister's head. "Just be glad that you're invited for their wedding and not taken off the guest list because of what you said."