Now, I know I give my sweet little Kotarou a lot of gentle ribbing about his size and stunningly feminine good looks, but let's face it, he's as straight as they come. He's not a cool ladies' man like me, or anything, but he got himself a girlfriend early on, and he's stuck with her. And hell, she's stuck with him through a lot more than most girls would manage.
The only person who's stuck with Kotarou more than Mio -- and yours truly, of course -- is Tatsuki, and he has a really funny way of showing his loyalty. They've known each other since they were kids, and Tatsuki has saved Kotarou's bacon a dozen times by now, but Tatsuki can be a real jerk to Kotarou when he's got a bug up his ass.
I've just arrived and am looking for my little buddy when I come upon this heartwarming scene of cousinly affection, so I hide in the shadows for a minute just to see what's going on.
"Tak-kun, come on," says Kotarou, standing outside of Tatsuki's room. "Help me out, here!"
The door slides open just a tiny bit and Tatsuki pokes his nose out. "With what?" he asks suspiciously; he's been better since everything went to hell and they came out the other side changed, but he's still not all flowers and sunshine if you know what I mean.
Kotarou looks down and fidgets, and then when he looks up into Tatsuki's face he's got this earnest expression on him, and his aura's this blue-green mix of worried and excited. "I think... I think those guys broke something inside me," he said, his expression earnest. "I mean, I like Mio, but when she kisses me, there's nothing."
Tatsuki goes totally still for a moment, and I can see a glimmer of hope peeking through the gold he's usually got around him these days. Then it flickers out and he shuts down, his usual charming expression slipping back into place. "Not my problem," he says, and starts to shut the door.
"Wait, please!" says Kotarou, holding onto the door even though we all know Tatsuki could overpower him in a heartbeat. "Look, I... The only person who makes me feel anything anymore..."
I straighten up and get ready for my timely entrance -- I'm normally all for the ladies, but who could pass up a hottie like Kotarou?"
Tatsuki stops and looks down at Kotarou's earnest face, waiting. "Is who?" he prompts after a long moment.
Kotarou's aura flares bluer, more worried now. "It's you, Tak-kun."
Damn, heartbroken again. Ah, well, at least I still have Karen to console me, at least if she's still speaking to me.
Tatsuki's looking like Kotarou just smacked him in the back of the head with a board, and I can't say I blame him. After all, Kotarou spends a great deal of energy telling anyone who'll listen about how he doesn't see his cousin that way.
I guess the lady doth protest too much, or whatever.
Tatsuki's Adam's apple bobs and then he lets the door slide back open. "What do you want me to do about it?" he asks, and I can hear a world of hurt there just waiting to happen.
Kotarou stares at his feet for a minute, playing with the hem of his shirt, and then he looks back up and whispers, "Could you maybe... kiss me, just this once?"
I think about stopping them for a split second, because god knows there's a hundred ways this could go all wrong, but in the end even I can admit that Tatsuki and Kotarou are happiest when they're together. Of course, adding yours truly to the mix ups the happiness levels to pure bliss, but it all starts with the two of them, and it always has.
"What if you like it?" asks Tatsuki, though he's already leaning in, and I can see the longing sparkling around the edges of his aura. I'm finally learning to read past the gold and see a few things, though it's nowhere near as clear as the mounting excitement in Kotarou's aura.
Kotarou cocks his head and says with one of those reckless grins, "Then I'll hope you like it, too?"
And that's all it takes for Tatsuki -- who knew Kotarou could be so sweet? I feel like I'm witnessing something truly special here as Tatsuki nods, and then brings up one hand to cup Kotarou's cheek. Those big eyes of Kotarou's flutter shut like he's a girl for real, and he lets out the kind of sound that men go to great lengths to hear when Tatsuki's lips touch his.
Damn, I've got to find out where that boy learned to kiss. Kotarou is practically drowning in it, with his hands clutched in Tatsuki's shirt and a distinct and very fetching flush rising in his cheeks that's nothing at all like the blotchy red he gets when he's angry. Tatsuki's other arm snakes around his waist and pulls him close so that they're almost hidden in the doorway, but the kiss doesn't stop for several more seconds.
I really shouldn't be watching this, and I really really shouldn't be thinking it's as hot as I do, but I think Karen would be understanding just this once, considering how much she likes to take pictures.
Tatsuki lets Kotarou go and takes a stumbling step backwards, his expression dazed and his lips all red and swollen, and it would take a stronger man than even Tatsuki to resist that.
"Did you like it?" asks Tatsuki, though anyone with eyes could see that he did.
Kotarou nods, then licks his lips, making them shine. "Did you?" he asks, his aura so full of hope and desire that he's practically eclipsing the sunlight.
"Yeah," admits Tatsuki, then he shrugs. "So what now?"
Kotarou gets redder, but he steps back into that stupid, in-the-way doorway with Tatsuki and says something too soft for me to hear. Tatsuki gets this stunned expression and nods, and they disappear into the room, the door shutting behind them with a very final sound.
I take my leave quietly, and contemplate how I'm going to tease them both mercilessly about this. Don't get me wrong, I'll give them a few days to enjoy the warm glow of new love and all that, but eventually... Well, Kotarou's got a little of his own coming back, that's all.