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Always (A “Kiss Day” Story)
Oneshot
Reading Time: 31 minutes
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Details
Idol

Yamada Ryosuke

Relationship

Yamada x Reader

Type

Oneshot

Genre

Sweet, fluffy cute first kiss

Rating

PG

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Synopsis

The two of you had been dating for almost five months. It had been a period of adjustment for you–as Ryosuke was always so busy–a lot of your ‘getting to know you’ times happened via phone and computer, as video chat made things at least a little more personal. You didn’t mind, and weren’t actually a very possessive or jealous type, not of girls, not of work, not of time–you understood from the start that his lifestyle was unique, and you fully supported it.

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Story Rating

The two of you had been dating for almost five months. It had been a period of adjustment for you–as Ryosuke was always so busy–a lot of your ‘getting to know you’ times happened via phone and computer, as video chat made things at least a little more personal. You didn’t mind, and weren’t actually a very possessive or jealous type, not of girls, not of work, not of time–you understood from the start that his lifestyle was unique, and you fully supported it.

At least, that’s what you told yourself most of the time. You couldn’t help that inside you there was a quiet voice that always wondered about why he’d be with you, why he’d pursued you. It didn’t creep in very often, but when it did it was hard to silence.

Right now, he’d been gone for nearly a month, and wasn’t due home for another four days.

You’d had two of your friends, Akari and Mako, come over to your house for the afternoon, hoping that one of them would teach you how to make some kind of dessert so you could surprise Ryosuke with your new baking skills when he returned.  It was at least something to break up the monotony of work, talking to Ryo-chan, sleep, work, talking to Ryo-chan, sleep and on and on it would go.

You’d given the girls free reign of your kitchen, letting them do what they needed, sitting across from them at the bar watching them work.

“I thought we were teaching you,” Mako huffed.

You laughed, the wine they brought was good, the conversation better, and you took another sip of your drink as she blurted out, “We’ve been the only one’s talking! Why aren’t you spilling the dirt on your Idol—Ryosuke?”

You knew one of them would eventually get around to asking, or more like prying–though this was far more forward than you expected– laughing nervously, “He’s amazing, I don’t know what else I could tell you, really?”

“Oh, come on!” Akari chimed in, “you’ve got to be kidding! You’ve been together for what—going on six months! I want to know how he treats you, how does he talk, does he use sweet words?”

“Forget talking,” Mako interrupted, “I wanna know how he kisses! Or better yet what he’s like in bed…” She lifted her eyebrows up and down in a suggestive way.

“He’s gotta be amazing, he’s just oozing with sexuality…I mean really! Spill it!”

You held your hand up, “Ah, well…sorry, ladies! I gotta go to the bathroom! I’ll be right back!”

You were hedging, glad to get out of there, and after ten minutes when you returned the conversation had thankfully been lost. When you turned the corner into the room you were smacked in the face with an apron.

“Why do I need to wear an apron?” you mumbled, protesting loudly, stretching up to fasten the ties around your neck. Meaning to fasten it around your waist, but pausing when Mako pointed out that your clothes were too nice for cooking and that the sweets would never come out if you got some on them.

You rushed to your bedroom, quickly pulling on a set of your pajamas, black silk shorts and a tank top, simple, fastening the apron over top of it. When you walked back out Mako picked up right where she’d left off.

“…because that’s what you do when you cook? Of course!”

Akari set a small pot filled with oil on the burner of the stove, setting it on low to heat while she shifted down the counter to the area where various bowls and tools were waiting to be used.

“What’re we making again?” you reached up, jerking the fabric tied around your neck, not liking how it felt.

“We settled on something pretty simple, since you haven’t really cooked before—it was kinda screaming ‘personal challenge’ to us which, you know…”

“We flat out suck at backing down,” Mako finished the thought.

You sighed loudly, plopping back down in the stool across the counter, leaning your elbows over and resting your head on your hands while you watched Mako pull other ingredients out of the bags she brought with her.

“Can’t you just make it?” you moaned, already overwhelmed by how many ingredients there were stretched out across the counter. You were fully aware you were whining, but really didn’t care. The apron was scratchy and felt like sandpaper on your skin. The tank top and shorts were probably not the best choice, since it caused the fabric of the apron to feel like it was touching everywhere, and making you want to crawl out of your skin.

“No, I cannot,” Mako murmured pulling out a bowl in front of her to mix things in, “besides, good grief, you are a grown ass woman. You need to know how to cook.”

You scoffed at that, feeling a little offensive, slapping your hand out forward on the counter, laying your head down on your arm, your eyes intently watching Mako, “I haven’t died yet, so I don’t see why I need to learn to cook. Somehow, miraculously, I have been able to eat enough to survive all of these years.”

“Where do I even start?” Akari slapped the spatula she was holding down on the counter, “First of all, you not dying has nothing to do with the quality of the ‘food’ you eat—you’re a damn walking miracle!”

“I mean seriously, eating these,” Mako walked over to the cabinet across from you, swinging it open, her hands gesturing violently to the stacks of boxed and canned foods concealed there, “does NOTHING to make you healthy.”

“Preach!”

You wanted to slap Akari with the spatula or a baseball bat, either one.

Mako continued on, looking at you pointedly, “This is not food. This is trash. I don’t even know how you are alive, having eaten this prepackaged garbage for so long. I should dump it all into the garbage bin!”

You sat up quickly, “Don’t you dare. I like those! What do you have against easy to cook food anyway?”

“Well, let’s see,” Akari reached in and pulled out one of the boxes, turning it to read the label, “hmmm…there’s so many ingredients here, and you know what? I don’t see any that I know as ‘food’ at all. These things are disgusting, and I swear you should be in the Guinness’s Book of World Records for not already being dead from the low quality of your diet.”

“You can kiss my ass,” you huffed, pointing at both girls sharply, “and, if you touch my food, we are going to fight for real.”

Mako stared at you for a moment, then looked at Akari, both girls shrugging, “Like I really care enough about what you eat to fight you—I’m not the one who has to live with the results of that kind of diet though.”

“My grandmother who is blind raised me on her own, and I ate better as a child than you do as an adult,” Akari mused, “You should be ashamed.”

“I’m not,” you mumbled, watching as Mako lined up different ingredients, explaining different things as she went. You did have questions and both of the girls were very patient teachers.

You stared at the piece of parchment paper Akari had just pushed across the counter in front of you, gesturing to the lump of….something on it, “Knead that.”

“What? I don’t need it?”

“No, knead it—with a k—“ Mako rolled her eyes, “Gah, you really are clueless,” she rolled her eyes as she pulled the paper back to her and used her hands to push the dough around and then roll it, repeating the pushing and squeezing—then pushed it back over to you, tilting her head in sarcasm, “kneading.”

You looked at the big blob of dough with true trepidation…you really didn’t need to make dessert for Ryosuke THIS badly did you?

“For the love…you teach a preschool class with eighteen three-year old’s and you’re worried about a pile of dough? How have you survived this long by yourself?”

She reached over, grabbing both of your hands and plopped them unceremoniously into the dough.

“Eww, it feels disgusting!” you whined, lifting your hands, bits of dough sticking to them as you leaned forward and sniffed the dough, “Smells alright, I guess.”

“Just do it,” Akari ordered while she mixed together some spices in another bowl.

You reached timidly into the dough, its sticky, gooey surface feeling foreign on your hands. You kept trying to pull your hand out but the dough kept sticking. You put your other hand into it, pushing down on it, hoping to rescue the first hand, but your hand just squished through the dough, hitting the table with a thump.

“Roll it,” Mako nodded while she turned to look for something else.

You wished they’d give you better instructions.

How the hell do you roll it? It’s so sticky and…gross.

You reached forward and pulled the blob of dough toward yourself, rolling it back up into a ball, and then pushed your hands back into it.

“So…” Mako’s voice had a different tone to it than before, causing Akari to look up at her at the same time, your hands stilling as you glanced at her, “Are you going to tell us anything about you and your Idol?”

You took a deep breath before speaking, knowing you should share things with your friends, Ryosuke had told you it was fine to talk about him with these two, so you plunged ahead, “Well, when he’s home, we watch movies…and we play video games. We…hold hands, and sometimes we cuddle together when we watch a scary movie because you guys know how I am about them…”

The girls squealed excitedly, and you had to wonder if they came there to teach you to cook or to find out about your relationship with Ryosuke.

Maybe both.

Mako couldn’t stop herself from jumping up and down, a high-pitched noise coming from her involuntarily, “I bet he makes you watch scary movies on purpose just to get to hold you!”

Akari agreed with Mako, nodding her head as she washed her hands.

“Calm down,” you laughed, “It’s not a big deal.”

Mako’s hands slapped on the counter, “Cuddling counts, that’s pretty big…are his arms strong? Does he hold you around the waist?!”

You tried to look stern but just couldn’t pull it off when Mako looked like she was going to explode with excitement any second.

“His arms are like granite…and he holds me with his hand resting right here,” you twisted to the side to point to your hip where if you imagined it you would still feel his hand resting there.

God, I miss him.

“Well, I’ll tell you what I wanna know—is he the best kisser ever or what? I mean seriously! He has to be!” Akari asked excitedly.

You felt your cheeks flaming and ducked your head down trying to hide.

“Forget that–my question is have you two actually…you know…?” You glanced up to see Mako raising her eyebrows up and down quickly.

“What? No!” The words practically came out as a screech, “I mean, I suppose it’s not so farfetched to think that maybe that’s….going to happen obviously at some point—and I don’t mean….THAT, but you know…stuff, but…no…we…haven’t—we’ve just…cuddled and hugged.”

You glanced down at your hands on the counter when they both began talking over top of each other.

“You mean to tell me you haven’t even kissed?”

“I mean, how’s that possible?”

“He’s so hot, and like, he seems like a kisser, right?”

“Right? I know!”

“As an Idol, he always seemed like he’d have a pretty high sex drive, but maybe that’s part of his Idol persona, hmmm…”

“I would die for a kiss from him, I mean if you’re not into it…well, anyway…”

They turned to look at you, pity on their faces, Akari whispering, “I’m sure he’ll kiss you soon, don’t worry about it—“

“Honestly though, I swear, you two are so stupid at this, I don’t even know how you have progressed this far,” Mako laughed stirring something in a bowl as she watched you focus back on the dough to avoid the conversation, “I mean you two clearly like each other, I have only been around you guys three times, but even I could see it’s all on some alternate plane I can’t even comprehend most of the time, you kinda make me sick the way you have these conversations without even talking…but anyway…it’s like you two are made for each other…and I want to see you…”

“We just want you to be happy, honey,” Akari finished the thought, pulling Mako to the side to direct her at another task, taking pity on you.

“There’s still so much to share, so much to learn about each other…and Ryo-chan….he just is the kind of guy who doesn’t rush things, that’s all…I am glad for it to be honest, it’s kind of intimidating dating an Idol that everyone looks at the way you two do.”

“We didn’t mean it like that,” Akari mumbled, reaching over to rest her hand on your arm for a moment.

“I know—it’s just a lot, you know? But…guys…I really think I might…really love him.”

You were shocked when all the glass in the room didn’t burst at the decibel of scream that came out of Mako as she ran around the corner of the bar, and was hugging you, jumping up and down in place.

You lifted your hands up above your heads to avoid messing up the dough, laughing lightly.

“Sorry, sorry,” Mako giggled as she backed away and moved back to her side of the counter to keep working on the spices.

You dug your hands back into the dough, curious as it became less and less sticky as you worked it, eventually forming into a large, firm lump on the paper.

“Look at you, you did it!” you jumped at Mako’s squeal, looking up at her to find her beaming. 

“Thank you, I guess,” you shrugged, “It better be worth it, that’s all I’m gonna say.”

You stood up and went to the sink washing your hands, grabbing a towel to dry them and walked back to sit down, watching Mako take a small bit of dough and roll it in her hands.

Akari did the same, rolling the dough round and round.

“What are you guys doing to it?”

“Getting it ready for the oil, just in small bite sized portions,” Mako glanced up to make sure you were watching and dropped the ball of dough in the oil.

Your eyes widened as the oil sputtered and sizzled, the dough disturbing its flat surface, and then the dough began to grow, getting bigger from the oil. It was bright and happy. Mako dropped more dough balls in and you were consumed by the noise the oil was making, now making pattering noises as the dough turned a bright golden brown. Once they were browned on both sides, Mako fished them out, and passed them to Akari who lay them out on paper towels creating a kind of assembly line.

“Oh, no!” Mako exclaimed, as she turned looking around frantically, “I forgot the powdered sugar!”

“The what?”

“The powdered sugar! You have to roll them in the spices and powder them while they’re still warm or it won’t stick to them! Can you grab it out of my bag over there? It’s white.”

You retrieved the powder from across the room, walking back to the counter. Mako pointed to an empty bowl, “Open it and put some in there.”

You pulled the zipper on the bag, a little puff of white dust rising, and you had to smile as the scent hit you, something so good about it, it smelled like happiness.

You tipped the bag over the bowl and the powder rushed out. When it hit the bowl a large cloud of white powder filled the entire kitchen. You screeched, and Mako sighed, and Akari just laughed, somehow knowing that was exactly what you were going to do.

“What the…Mako! Why didn’t you warn me?!”

Mako glanced beside her and couldn’t help but laugh, as you were covered in the powdered sugar, “Where would the fun be in that? It’s fine, we’ll help you clean up after, for now—just start rolling those in the spice and then the powdered sugar before they dry out or it won’t stick to them!”

You reached over and picked one of the balls up and rolled it in the spice, moving quickly with your fingers moving fast as they were still rather hot, then retrieved it from the bowl to roll it in the powder, setting it on the plate Akari had set to the side of you for the finished ones.

“They smell really good,” you had to admit.

“They taste better!”

After all the cooked dough had been spiced and powdered Mako quickly moved the dirty dishes to the sink and grabbed the plate of treats, holding it out to you, jiggling it a bit, “You first!”

You reached out and picked up one of the treats, “What are they called?”

“Cinnamon Puff Donuts,” Akari announced, “It was my Mom’s recipe!”

Mako hmmmed, sniffing deeply of the plate, “Eat one!”

You popped it into your mouth, your eyes widening and a loud groan coming from you as the taste of sweet buttery sugary goodness burst in your mouth.

“That’s amazing!” you muttered through your full mouth, as Mako picked up one and popped it into her own mouth, closing her eyes and humming in satisfaction as she passed the plate to Akari.

There was a loud noise, a clanging from the other side of the room at the front door.

“It’s your house, answer it!” the girls looked at you and giggled, knowing it was going to be a nightmare answering the door like that.

“No way!”

The noise happened again and you heard someone jiggling the doorknob. You panicked, rushing over to the door to put the extra safety latch across it, but just as you made it there it felt like you ran into a brick wall, falling backward flat on your behind, yelping as the door had swung open and knocked you down.

Ryosuke dropped the bags he had in his hands on the floor and rushed to kneel down next to you, “Babe! Are you okay? I’m so sorry; didn’t know you were here! Aren’t you supposed to be at work—that parent teacher thing!?”

The first thing that registered was that he smelled good. Really good. Like it didn’t matter that the house was full of fresh baked goods smells, his smell was better. Next you realized you were sprawled out on the floor, in your pajamas, with just an apron over it, covered in powdered sugar. You had no idea what you actually looked like—but you were fully aware that your face was turning ten thousand shades of red.

It would be good if the floor just opened and swallowed me whole.

Your eyes were fixed on a point just below Ryosuke’s chin as you struggled to try to think of words to say.

“You okay?” his voice was gentle, full of concern, his hand warm and soft on your shoulder as he waited for you to respond.

You nodded, a bubbled laugh of embarrassment, a small snort sounding out as you shook your head. He laughed, standing up to offer you his hand, which you gladly accepted, “It was my fault, I just was…I thought someone was breaking into the house.”

You drifted off, not sure of what to say, as you watched him turn back to the doorway, as if maybe giving you a few moments of privacy to compose yourself. He gathered the bags and walked them over to the table, his gait assured, the model of certainty at the moment when you were struggling to find words.

“M-Mako and Akari were just teaching me how to make cinnamon donuts,” you gestured at the plate as he walked across the kitchen past all three of you to do something with the oven behind you.

“They look really good!” he exclaimed as he looked at the plate, amusement coloring his words, as he surveyed the disaster that was your kitchen, “With the house smelling like this, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the neighbors were trying to get in.”

He laughed in a quick, nervous way as he brushed past you walking back to the table to get the bags, “Looks like you had some fun learning, too.”

His hand drifted out over toward the kitchen and the mess that was all over you and the floor, and the counters, and pretty much everything. He huffed, running his hand through his hair before he turned his back to you, pulling items out of the bags onto the only clear countertop.

“Was gonna surprise you with dinner when you got home,” he’d turned back around to look at you, nodding at Mako and Akari who appeared to be completely star-struck.

“We should go!” Mako’s voice was positively manic as she practically screamed the words. Like a whirlwind set in motion, the two girls flew through the kitchen wiping things down as quickly as they could, packing up their things, and dragging you over to the door as they called out goodbye to Ryosuke who was leaning on the counter watching them laughing lightly.

Mako reached out and dusted your cheeks, white powder rising from them.

“You owe me an explanation of how in the world that boy has a key to your apartment!” Mako snapped, and you knew she would hold you to it, “You haven’t even kissed him but you’ve given him free reign to your home.”

She rolled her eyes, and you couldn’t help but be a little frustrated given the fact that you were nothing short of a disaster at the moment and an Idol was in your kitchen to make dinner for you. It barely matters that you were in a relationship, really.

“What am I going to do!? I’m a mess!” you hissed, gesturing at yourself, your entire demeanor one of near hysteria. Your eyes moved back to glance at the kitchen which was covered in the white dust, your own footprints marking walk to the door around them.

“You’re fine!” Mako muttered, grabbing Akari’s hand and turning to move out the door, “You look like a girl learning to cook, he loves to cook, right?”

You nodded.

“Then he’ll love that you were trying to learn, relax!” She leaned over and kissed your cheek and just like that she was gone.

Akari smiled at you, leaning closely to whisper, “Good luck, and sweet heavens, kiss that boy!”

The door closed and you were left reeling. You looked down at your black tank top, covered in powdered sugar, your black shorts smattered with white handprints from you slapping your hands on them, and you knew it was in your hair and on your face.

“I’m sorry I messed up your plans,” he spoke just loud enough for you to hear him.

You turned to look at him, standing there in the same place, his hands passing some kind of vegetable back and forth between them, his cheeks red and all you really wanted to do was go hug him, reassure him that you knew this was weird for both of you—the learning how to be in a relationship thing.

Sure, he at least had an excuse thanks to his work, but you? You just didn’t want to, and then when he came into your life, you didn’t have a choice. He was a definite. It just happened, without any decision. Like the kind of fate long written about in history.

He drew you out of your thoughts, “I just wanted to surprise you with dinner…if you want we can do this tomorrow…”

“What? No!” the words burst out louder than you meant for them to, your hands flying up to cover your mouth, a nervous laugh flowing between your fingers, “I mean, I’d love to do it, now!”

You couldn’t stop another laugh from bubbling out as you realized what you’d said.

Yes, please, do it now.

Ryosuke’s hands paused what he was doing, one of his eyebrows raising teasingly, as you rushed the words, clarifying, “I’d love to have dinner with you. Now…I mean…”

Be more stupid! UGH.

“Good,” he stated firmly, hiding a laugh behind a tight smirk, as he turned back to the counter, emptying the bags so the contents were laid out.

You crossed the room sheepishly while he was turned away, shaking your hands and arms out, trying to relax, taking a deep breath, calming yourself—he seemed happy! And he wanted to surprise you! And he was here, and you think maybe you love him.

Right? This could be what love looks like, what it feels like. The slow way my heart beats for him and then it is at peace the moment he’s in my orbit. I think that’s love.

You jumped up on the counter a few feet away sitting casually, pulling your legs up, bent and crossed, flattening the apron down, with your elbows resting on your legs, face slumped down into your hands, looking curiously at Ryosuke as he turned and put different vegetables on the island in the middle of your kitchen, pulling up a stool, and getting his tools ready.

“What are you planning here, Yamada?” you asked, taking a deep breath, smelling the exotic scents from the items laying across the island—herbs and spices that tickled your nose.

“Family recipe,” he said, tossing some kind of vegetable up in the air, catching it and then slamming it back on the island, striding over, reaching past you to grab a knife from the stand behind you, his shoulder pressed into yours, as his stomach rippled and stretched across your knee, then turning to go back to the island.

Shivers ran over your skin from his proximity, shifting to sit up straight, wondering if he were so unaffected. You noticed his hands lay flat on the island for a moment, the knife placed down, his body moving as he took in a deep breath, then picking the knife back up, his hand wobbled a little when it came down for the first slice.

Not so unaffected.

You smirked at his back, lulled by the sound of the knife hitting the metal in quick succession, like it was forming a beat to its own music.

He cooks. It’s good, it means we won’t actually starve to death.

“Where did you learn to cook anyway?” you asked, genuinely curious, as you simply couldn’t think of another man you knew who was comfortable in the kitchen unless he was eating.

He turned, glancing at you as the knife stilled, “All of the women in my family are amazing cooks, for generations—my Dad wanted to learn, so they taught him, starting with my great grandmother—I guess my Dad decided it was a family bonding thing not a guy versus girl thing. I really love it to be honest—maybe would be a chef if I weren’t with Johnny’s.”

He shrugged, the knife clicking on the island again.

“Will I like it?” you asked, honestly a little confused about what made this food different from other food you’d eaten before.  Was it from a different country?

Ryosuke stepped around the island so he could look at you while he continued to chop the foods on the surface, you tilted your head sideways, studying him, as he lifted his eyes to look at you while still chopping. He was clearly a professional, not even remotely worried about cutting himself, he was so skilled. His hand a blur as he sliced the next item.

Wonder what other skills he might have with his hands.

You quickly cut that train of thought off—feeling the already telling warmth spreading across your skin. He looked down to get another vegetable to cut up.

“Depends,” he started to talk glancing back up at you, but then stopped abruptly, his knife stilling where it was, “You okay?”

Your eyes widened at the question.

“You look flushed, is it too hot in here?”

You glanced down at your clothes, your normal sleep clothes, not something you ordinarily wore in front of anyone, ever. You were completely flustered and embarrassed and lacked the brain cells in the moment to come up with a reason she had to go back into your room after you’d slammed into the front door.

You could think of a hundred now.

I need to put some clothes on—simple.

I need to check on my pet fish—he doesn’t know I don’t have one.

I left the oven on—okay so the oven is in this room, that wouldn’t have worked, probably.

I can’t stand here half naked in front of you—the word naked and Ryosuke in the same room. Nope.

I need to run and hide from you now—yes, that’s the one that might have worked.

Well, they weren’t all legitimate excuses. Of course, had you delivered an excuse to him—he might not have stayed to cook, and then you wouldn’t be sitting here watching him cut food up and be so…Ryosuke. So here you sat barely dressed in front of him, in clothes you used to sleep in, and he is asking you if you’re what….hot?

Really?

“I’m fine,” you muttered waving your hand at him, “go on then!”

“Just let me know, I can turn the oven down, I was just getting it warmed up faster,” he gestured toward the oven with his knife, to which you waved your hands dismissively again, he nodded, picking the conversation back up, “It depends, do you like spicy foods?”

You pondered this for a moment, lost in thought of what kinds of foods you might have actually eaten that were spicy.

“Well, cons–,” he glanced up at you then, his words caught in his throat, having meant to offer a smile, some encouragement about the food you’d be trying, not meaning to scare you away from it, but instantly realized it was a huge mistake as you were absorbed in counting something on your fingers.

The way you were now sitting, your legs having dropped down off the counter, swinging gently, gave him the most exquisite view of you, with so much skin, so many curves that were normally hidden behind your clothes and sweaters. You were a preschool teacher, and unfortunately, you dressed like one. He figured he’d breach that subject when you were ready.

I’ll dress you like a goddess. Like one from our game. I need to get her to cosplay.

He wondered absently if you’d like that or not. You were very practical after all.

Fine. I’ll dress you like a practical goddess. You like pink, I’ll make it all pink.

He paused for a moment…

I mean, those dresses she wears…I know why, cause kids are climbing all over her and stuff, but…well, is it wrong to just blame it on being a stupid man?

In truth, this was the first time he’d seen you out of one of your dresses, which might as well be armor for the way it covered you from head to toe and did nothing to accentuate all the feminine parts of you that he now knew were exquisite.

He’d always imagined it to be so, but he had to admit you were far more lovely than his mind had contrived. And he had a very active imagination.

Beautiful.

Inside and out.

Ryosuke cleared his throat, trying to unmuddle his head in the process, finding his voice again, “Consider it a test then, my Granny used to say that any woman who could eat ‘The Spice’—what she named the dish—was a woman to treasure.”

For your own excuse of missing the entirety of Ryosuke’s flustered response to you, you were consumed by trying to think of the number of spicy foods you’d eaten, which was surprising low…your mind picking up a little late on what he said about his Granny saying what made a woman a ‘treasure’.

I’ll eat a ton of the stuff to be your treasure, spicy or not. That sounds horrible. Does that sound horrible?  I think it sounds horrible.

You grinned mischievously.

Not even sorry.

For his own salvation Ryosuke was tremendously relieved when you resumed your previous position of your legs being tucked up, your arms resting on them, with your head in your hands looking at him. He realized he had stopped chopping and quickly began again. The clicking keeping time to his wildly beating heart.

It’s a miracle I haven’t cut off a finger already. What is she even wearing!?

Your eyes were watching his hands handle the vegetables, so he took the chance to really look at you now that the initial shock had abated. His eyes moved over you, so much to see, to worship, your skin was so light, and it looked so soft, creamy—like warm caramelized vanilla sugar candy that he’d eaten as a child, rich and —smooth and sweet. You even had sweet powder dusted on your skin, giving the normal pink glow of your skin a sparkling sheen from whatever Mako and Akari had you doing before he’d arrived.

His mind filled instantly with a vison of licking the sweet powder off your arm straight up to your shoulder.

His mouth actually watered.

What the ever-loving hell.

He slammed the knife down on the metal, clearing his throat and abruptly stepping out of the room—going down the hall without any explanation.

Your mouth was gaping open, startled by the loud sound the knife made when he slammed it onto the island and his leaving had barely registered before he was already walking down the hall from your bedroom, trying to figure out what you’d done wrong, wondering if you should go after him.

He came back into the room before you could make a decision, setting up the large floor fan from your bedroom into the kitchen pointed straight at you and turning it on, the air blowing your hair back off your face.

You looked at him questioningly.

He moved quickly, over to the front door, where he had his suitcases, clearly coming there straight from his flight—and in the confusion of hitting doors and powdered sugar you hadn’t even noticed. He unzipped a bag, pulling something out of it, then walked over to you, his eyes burning, wild with an emotion you weren’t familiar with, holding out some kind of white fabric in his hand.

You looked down at the cloth, unsure. He gestured out to you to take whatever it was, his eyes on the floor between you. You pulled the fabric from his hands, shaking it out and then holding it up to see what it was.

A white button up shirt, twice your size, clearly something of Ryosuke’s. You smirked, lowering the shirt you were holding up to peek over the top of it at Ryosuke, who had moved back to the island, resuming the clicking sound of the knife hitting the metal while he chopped, his eyes fixed on the food.

He didn’t even look up at you, just kept his eyes on the…whatever he was cutting up, “Please.”

Anything.

You nodded, having no shame but admonishing yourself that you really probably should given the fact that he responded so strongly to your lack of proper clothing. You were, after all, not that kind of girl, but you found that you kinda enjoyed it a bit, and that was both exhilarating and terrifying in equal amounts.

You hopped down off the counter, turning away from him, slipping the shirt on quickly, lifting the fabric to your face, inhaling sharply as it carried the scent that was all Ryosuke. Trying to not make a satisfied noise from the experience, you shook your hips from side to side in a happy dance, while also trying to figure out how to keep the shirt.

Forever.

You took the time to button each button all the way from the top to the bottom. The shirt reached to your knees and covered your arms as well, the sleeves falling over your hands—which you pulled through, rolling them a bit to cuff them.

You turned around, seeing that Ryosuke had taken a seat at the island, holding a bowl in his hand with a pestle, grinding up some type of seasoning for the recipe he was making. You timidly held your arms out as if presenting yourself to him when his eyes glanced up at you.

His hand froze in mid motion. His eyes moved across your form the way he took in all the weaknesses of one of his video game opponents. His body tensed in a way that was unique to him, you saw it all the time when they were gaming, the way every muscle, every system responded to the fight—the way instinct took over and he moved with such fluidity—and always won, always.

You noted the subtle changes in him now but weren’t super clear on what was happening, dropping your arms to your side, turning to glance behind you to see if there was something you were missing, but finding nothing—then realizing, a slow dawning—unable to stop the flush that spread over your body—it was because of you.

A low growl came out of him then, something different than what you heard in the heat of battle when the group was struggling to stay alive.

Suddenly, the chair slammed backward into the cabinets behind him with a furious crash, the island made a harsh grinding noise as his hands pushed it, and he was there, grabbing you around the waist—his hands wild with need, digging into your skin, breeching the distance between you before you could even process it, his lips landing on yours, devouring, taking, begging without words.

Instantly, you’d thrown your hands up in front of you to hit him, self-defense mechanism’s ruling over your mind in the confusion, his hand came up grabbing your arm, clenching your wrist, stopping its motion, not even looking.

He pressed you backward until you hit the counter, one of his legs pushing between yours, bowing you backwards, towering over you. He grabbed the hand you had tried to hit him with and pulled it to rest around his neck, his arm then moved down to your waist and lifted you up against him, his fingers sliding past the edge of your silk shirt, touching your skin, setting it on fire, grinding his body forcefully against yours.

You caught up then, your right leg lifting to wrap around him, as he eased you onto the counter, your other leg moving around him, his mouth moving across your face and down your neck, nibbling lightly, sucking, tasting the dusting of sugar on your skin, delightfully teasing.

You tried to keep your head together, but his mouth was so soft and warm against your skin, and you were slowly losing yourself in his touch.

You whispered his name, grabbing onto his hair and holding him there against you, your mind spinning from the emotions that were thick in the air, yours, his, lost in the sensations, the air around you felt heavy with the weight of it.

He stilled, clenching his eyes shut, laughing lightly under his breath, shaking his head as he rest his forehead on your shoulder.

He should apologize, he should tell you he didn’t mean to do that, but he did mean it, he wanted to. Maybe not like this—this was definitely not the plan he had carefully formulated, down to the finest detail, but there was no question this is what he’d wanted. Had wanted to for so, so long. He knew he couldn’t apologize for what he felt around you anymore, not now.

Not ever.

You stilled with him, worried you’d done something wrong, been too eager, to unlady-like, but not able to think too deeply on any level as the myriad of sensations flowing through your body were overwhelming.

The only movements were your bodies shaking with the ragged breaths you were taking. Seemingly coming back to his senses, Ryosuke leaned back to look at you, his dilated eyes working to focus, trying to shake off the need he felt. The passion he exuded, you were returning tenfold, it felt like he was smothering in it.

“Breathe,” he whispered, his hands reaching down to grasp the edge of the counter, squeezing it hard, as he gulped in the air between you.

He leaned his head on your forehead, your hands still caught up in his hair, gently scratching his scalp as you soothed him, soothing yourself by drawing your attention to him. You felt the keen sense that this wasn’t really his way of doing things—not your way either, truth be told, but you two were here together and you didn’t regret it—but worried he might.

He didn’t lose control. That’s not who he was. He was all about control. You wanted to let him have it.

You started to apologize, but he made a clicking noise with his tongue, seeming to know before you opened your mouth what you intended to do. He shook his head against yours, his eyes alight with a mixture of humor and severity at the same time. An odd mixture for him.

“Three things, baby,” he whispered, your breath mingling as he spoke.

“One, what exactly were you planning to do,” he held your hand up between you, forming it into a fist, “with this?”

You snatched your fist out of his hand, your body shaking softly with laughter, his hands coming down onto your legs to hold you still, his face tense and pained, the kiss clearly taking its toll on him.

“I’m sorry,” you knew he would know it was for all of it, “It’s just that you startled me, it was instinct….there’s no way I could have actually hurt you,” you whispered, shrugging.

“I’m glad you have those instincts, I hate how you are alone too much,” he whispered, lifting his head to touch his lips to your forehead before ducking it back down again.

“Two,” he blushed, and you wondered how far down his body it extended, “I am sorry for being so forceful—direct…I didn’t mean to be.”

You had to bite your tongue to stop from telling him you didn’t know why he stopped, but thought that might be the wrong thing to say when he was trying to apologize so sincerely.

“You weren’t exactly alone in your enthusiasm,” you smiled as you admitted to your own desires.

His admiration blossomed, filling him with such happiness and joy knowing that you were his, and he was yours—that you were building something unique and beautiful in such an ugly world. His heart was caught up in his throat, swallowing down the thickness of the words that wanted to spill out to you—confessions of love, of a future, of promises, and truths.

I have so much to share with you. So many days stretch out in front of us.

Suddenly, you were overwhelmingly self-conscious as his silence stretched out, worry filling your brain where bliss had been moments before. What if you didn’t do it right, what if you weren’t any good at this? What if the other girls he’d been with had been more skilled, more beautiful, what if he didn’t like you when he got closer to you?

“I hope I didn’t do it…wrong,” you looked down at his chest, your voice small and shaky, not willing to look into his eyes, “I mean…I haven’t…you know…”

He slowly took in the words that you were saying—realizing that you were caught up in self-depreciation because…you what? Had never kissed anyone before?

His hand reached out to touch a long strand of hair that fell forward, his fingers rubbing together, sliding downward as he took in the silky texture—his eyes moving up as your voice was growing more and more agitated.

“I mean, it’s stupid right, and it’s stupid to even care about it, I don’t know why I even care about it, to be honest…I just…it’s…I’m so stupid…” your voice caught on the word as it tumbled out, holding back your tears, “I know that it’s ridiculous to be worried about this, but I can feel so worried—about the girls who want you—about how you could have any girl in the world you wanted—and so I’m sometimes jealous of other women I don’t even know. Ones from before, ones that you haven’t even met yet…I don’t know….but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t envious…”

“Baby, they should long to be you,” he stopped your hands which had been shaking violently in front of you as you spoke, shushing you softly, gently, to make sure you knew that he wasn’t upset with you, his eyes drifting over you face, your hair, then pulled your hands down between you as he leaned his head onto yours, “Other women should have no greater desire than to be you. You are beautiful, perfectly flawless, a fierce and resolute warrior princess who fights in real life and our video games with me, and you are on the same hand the most soft, gentle natured person I have ever met—the way you take care of your children—the way you love so unconditionally. Your beauty can not be compared because unlike other women—your beauty is not simply held in your hair—your body—captivating as it is—your personality or anywhere physical any more than it is held in your hands, or eyes, or any part of your body—it is held in your soul.”

His eyes moved across your face, taking in the way you held your breath as if you were trying to believe what he was saying.

I will spend the rest of my life proving it to you.

He leaned his head up to kiss your forehead softly, then back down to catch your eyes, “You take my breath away. There is only you, there has only ever been you.”

He stared at you, his expression open, “Do you understand?”

You couldn’t respond, you felt like if words came out you’d just cry harder.

“I’ve never been in a relationship, and yes, I’ve had ‘stage’ kisses, but believe me there’s nothing remotely sexual about those…you’re the first girl for me—and I want you to be the last. Why do you think they guys freaked out so much over me bringing you to meet them? I’ve never done that before. You’ve become the first of all of my experiences in a relationship.”

A tear slid slowly down your cheek as you felt the truth of his words—there were no other women—and he stood there before you full of nothing but a smile that reflected his affection and acceptance.

His hands reached to cup your face, his thumb sliding to wipe the tear away from your eye, as he whispered, “I love you.”

Your heart stopped in your chest, breath caught as the words flowed through you—at it breathed bright light into the darkest recesses of your essence—smiling as you moved your hands to touch his cheeks, “Ryo-chan, I love you, too.”

His eyes sparkled brightly as the words he’d so longed to hear rushed like a raging river against every single cell of his body.

His lips gently sought yours out then, speaking slowly, less frenzied than before, with more direct purpose, the kind of kiss that took hold of you from deep down inside, anchoring you to the other person. Senses floating softly, the taste of sweet powder accenting the movement, his tongue brushing across your lips, coaxing you to answer, his hands holding your face between you, his thumbs gently stroking your cheeks, a slow, sensuous movement filled with whispers of love and adoration and deeper words of need and desire. His mouth drew out your whimpers, answering with his touch, stepping into you, his shoulders curving inward as his mouth spoke words to you that his mind could not yet form, careful, delighting in your sigh, talking down to the very soul of you, and in its own voice it responded with equal volume, embracing the need, seeking and finding.

Coming home.

Slowly, he withdrew, smaller touches, gentle pulls, softly soothing the burning running through them, a tiny noise of protest from you, making him smile as he broke the kiss, understanding your need, feeling it like a living thing in the room with you. His mouth touched you tenderly again, trying to temper the fire with thoughts of what was yet to come, pulling you from the sanctuary you’d found together, softly caressing you, kissing your forehead, his hands whisping across your skin, feeling the way your body was trembling, pleased that it had the same effect on you that it had him.

Glad to know he could create that response in you—the same as you had worried about whether you were enough—he’d had some of the same worries. He smiled, a gentle loving smile, holding you there for a moment and then leaning down, dipping his body so his eyes were aligned with your own to look into your eyes.

That should have been our first kiss.”

You were entirely too flustered and undone to even formulate a proper response, just nodding that you understood, your hands clenched so hard in his hair it had to be hurting him. You released it, your hands still curled, wanting to grab him back, but you shifted them, down to his shoulders. He reached up and pulled them down, holding your hands in his own between you, lifting them to kiss them gently.

“Third,” he whispered, smiling at you that crooked adorable smile that melted you every single time, “if you want to eat tonight?”

He paused there, and you nodded that she was looking forward to eating.

Cause I am proving I’m your treasure tonight.

If you want to eat tonight,” he nodded his head with you then, matching your bobbing movement, “I’m gonna need you to go put some other clothes on.”

Your face flamed like it had been hit with a blast from a torch, ducking your head, trying to move away from him, he burst out laughing with amusement then, pulling you into him, your face buried in his chest as you slid down off the counter and stood hidden in his arms, his head above yours, shaking with mirth as he kissed the top of your head.


You ate two bowls of ‘The Spice’ that night. Just to make sure he knew.

He, of course, already knew—but laughed when he kissed your pinked, spiced tingly lips goodnight, “So…I guess you’re definitely a treasure, huh?”

You shoved him playfully, giggling in a very un-you like way, “You knew that!”

“I did,” he admitted, grasping your hand between you, lifting it to place a kiss on the top of it, not ready to leave you and be apart again.

“What was your plan?” You mused, looking at him curiously.

“Hmm?”

“You said this wasn’t how you planned it, what were you planning?”

He smiled, moving to his bag to retrieve something, grabbing you by the arm and pulling you into him, shuffling you backwards toward the couch, plopping you down there.

You smiled up at him, entertained by the carefree attitude he was showing with you—wondering if kissing was this good, how good would everything else be?

He laughed, shuffling his feet, as he pulled a book from behind his back, letting your hand go so he could open the page to show you what was written on the inside. Your hands flew up to your mouth, gasping, emotion flooding you as you realized the book had been a gift his father had given to his mother, and if the date was any indication it was when they were near your ages.

Below the note from his father, Ryosuke had written his own note.

Speaking words plainly is never simple for me, but I find that music can easily touch the inner recesses of the soul.

He handed you a cd, “It’s got a few songs Keito helped me record for you…but please,” he laughed nervously, “don’t listen when I’m here, okay?”

You nodded, willing to do anything, lifting the book to look at it, you discovered it was a book of poetry, ‘Japanese Love Poems’, in fact, and you turned the book over to look at the cover, soft and worn as if it’d been through many hands, but still wanting to know you better.

You would treasure it, of course!

You felt tears welling up in your eyes, he pulled the book out of your hand, apologizing like he’d done something wrong as he sat down next to you, pulling you into a soft, gentle hug, “I didn’t mean to upset you…”

You sobbed as you laughed, “Don’t be crazy! It is beautiful.”

“Well, I had candles and strawberries, and music, and food…”

“And you came home early!”

“Yes, I came home early because today was special.”

You turned to look up at him, snuggling closer as you laid your chin on his shoulder, “What was special about today?”

“It’s May 23rd, silly,” he leaned over to kiss the top of your head.

“You, wait, you planned this, even coming home early to be here today because it’s ‘Kiss Day’?”

“It’s stupid,” he laughed softly.

“No, it’s not, I didn’t mean that, I just…you went through a lot of trouble…I mean…does this mean you’ve been holding out on me just to make it to this day?”

“Well…I guess I thought if it was a special day I might have more courage,” he grinned brightly, “and it was true—I wanted it to be memorable…wanted it to be…I guess? Perfect?”

You smiled, leaning up to place a soft, sweet kiss on his lips, smiling as you breathed the words, “It was perfect, thank you.”

He held his breath at how absolutely adorable you were and wanted to kiss you again, but instead sighed, leaning your head on the back of the couch, “Time for goodnight?”

“You wouldn’t have to go,” you hedged, gesturing to his luggage by the door, “you have stuff here…and I certainly wouldn’t mind it.”

He lifted his hand up, brushing the hair away from your face, tucking it behind your shoulder before he leaned down placing a soft kiss on your temple, sighing into your ear as he breathed the words, “I’d love to stay.”

Your sleepy eyes cleared, as he leaned back up to look into your now brightened face, pink and glowing at the admission, your heart beating wildly in your chest.

You drew your hand up, stroking his cheek, “You should know—if you stay, I might never want you to leave.”

He reached his hand forward to lay across your heart, the words feeling foreign and strange in his throat, but flowing outward in a simple phrase, “I’ll stay forever.”

“Are you real?” you asked softly, staring into his eyes.

Ryosuke’s smile was instant, lighting up his face as he leaned down, knocking his forehead gently against yours before letting it rest there, “Yes.”

You moved forward, letting your arms wrap around him, his arms meeting behind your back as you squeezed him as tight as you could around the shoulders, resting your head over his heart, humming softly at the sound of his strong heartbeat matching your own in rhythm and tone.

“Are you really mine?”

“Always.”

One of his hands drew up, sliding under your hair, to cradle your head against his chest, his eyes fluttering closed as he breathed deeply in the beauty of this moment.

Always.

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