It was strange how you could have the most inappropriate thoughts despite being in a life or death
situation. If you were told that you have only less than ten hours
to live, you could spend your time having your life flash before your eyes. Or you could drag up
old painful memories and bemoaning what could've been. Or you could
even kick up your heels and curse at whatever God had sentenced you to this fate.
Instead, all Shiina Yuya could think about was how her first kiss had been stolen.
Entirely inappropriate, she thought from her uncomfortable position.
Kyo had slung her over his shoulder with his hand resting a little too close to her rear for her liking. In a strange sort of way, his manhandling of her reminded her that she wasn't alone, and that if Kyo was on her side, she knew he would somehow make the impossible happen.
Hadn't Muramasa phrased it best? Kyo was hope. Something about looking into those demon eyes always seemed to lift her spirits.
Although right now, no amount of rationalization was throwing that thought out of her head.
How on earth could her first kiss have been stolen by Shinrei just to implant that stupid water dragon to kill her?
The sheer injustice of it all made her want to scream, but Yuya wisely kept silent. If she made too much noise, Kyo would undoubtedly say something aggravating and make her want to brain him. That or he would try to molest her person again. What was even more puzzling was the fact that she had somehow accepted this as being normal.
Was it too much to ask for the normal life of a sixteen year old?
She knew that she had given normalcy up by devoting her life towards finding her brother's killer. But in the back of her mind, she was secretly hoping that at least some aspects of her life would be normal. Girls her age would already be married, or at the very least be engaged, or at least have some prospective suitor.
Yuya knew she was attractive enough to some guys, though traveling with Kyo was enough to give any girl a complex. She was a part of a group of men, and yet the only sign that any of them treated her as a woman was if she needed rescuing. You didn't see any of them giving that type of attention to Okuni.
Well, that wasn't entirely true. Benitora had declared his intentions though she was never too certain just how serious he was. For all that she saw, he was as much of a pervert as Kyo was at times. Akira had also asked her to join him but he had other intentions. He'd always seen her as the one weakness that Kyo had and possibly sought to get rid of her as a result. However, Akira was also strangely like Kyo in that way. They were both honourable men who kept their words, an odd description to think of two men who had killed as many as they had. There was no doubt that if he had said he would bring her happiness, he would've kept his word. It was a pity that she believed that she was responsible for her own happiness.
As silent as she tried to be, Yuya couldn't help the sigh that escaped, nor the scream that had emerged a mere second later as she rubbed her abused posterior.
"What was that for?" She had managed to raise herself to glare at Kyo.
He returned her look, annoyance clearly visible on his face. "What was that for?" he retorted, which in turn caused her to blink in confusion.
"I asked you the question first!"
"I don't have to answer your question, ugly."
Yuya clenched her fists, forcefully reminding herself not to hit the red-eyed swordsman, especially when her strength wasn't at maximum. He smirked before flipping her over and depositing her none-too-gently on a big boulder. Caught off guard by the movement, she would've toppled over had Kyo not put a hand on her shoulder to steady her.
It felt as if his fingers had branded her. Startled, she looked up at him to find his grin becoming more insolent. She took a deep breath to calm herself down, something that was easier to do now that she wasn't slung across Kyo's shoulder. Then, he moved his hand abruptly and pulled out his smoke. She watched as he lit the cigarette, the lazy rise of the smoke mesmerising.
She clutched the edges of her kimono. "So what?"
"Are you going to tell me?"
She could tell by the edge in his voice that he was annoyed with her. Then again, when wasn't he annoyed with her? She couldn't very well tell him the truth. He's probably laugh at her, and then fondle her a little for his own pleasure as he reiterated how unwomanly he found her.
Inexplicably, she sighed again, which, of course, further aggravated Kyo. He grabbed chin and forced her to look at him. Though his face revealed his displeasure, his red-eyes were gentle.
"You're going to think it's stupid," Yuya mumbled.
"Yes, I will," came his prompt response, "because you are stupid. Nevertheless, you will tell me."
"I'm NOT stupid! Just because I allowed Shinrei to do that to me doesn't mean I'm stupid!"
Kyo blinked, not quite taken aback by her anger but by her unexpected words. Yuya took another deep breath, and tried to calm herself down. She knew what she was to Kyo and the group she traveled with. She knew she burdened them and she knew Kyo made derisive comments about everyone. She knew full well that it was just his defense mechanism. So why had she said that?
Something flickered in his eyes. "I never said you were stupid because of that. You were an idiot long before that."
His words held none of his usual arrogance. Instead, he sounded strangely affected by what she had said. An odd note clung to it, something she wasn't quite familiar with, and those eyes were drawing her in once again.
"It's not what you think, although I have to admit, it does scare me. But I've told you, I believe in you. If you say you're going to repay this debt that you owe me, I know you will."
The taut expression on his face eased a little. "Well, then what is it?"
"I can't believe I'm telling you this," she muttered more to herself than him. "I'mupsetbecauseShinreistolemyfirstkiss."
Kyo was looking faintly cross-eyed at this point. "What?"
She twisted away from his grasp and looked at the appealing ground. Maybe she could hurl herself under it and avoid Kyo for the next little while, which would be fairly difficult considering her other two traveling companions had fallen into a massive hole and were nowhere to be found. She could almost hear the sound of his mocking laughter, and her cheeks flamed even further in response.
Behind her, Kyo was oddly silent. He was probably just gearing up and getting ready to laugh his head off at her behaviour. Well, she couldn't help it. She couldn't really explain to a man who had killed over a thousand men without batting an eyelash her girlish dreams, and she couldn't really expect him to understand either. How could he? She couldn't even understand it herself. She was afraid of dying, yes, but superimposing that fear was the image of Kyo's face assuring her that he would pay back this debt he owed her.
She was about to sigh again when she received a solid whack to the head. Reeling from the pain, she whirled around angrily to poke him in the chest. "I can't believe you would hit a woman who's dying in 10 hours!"
"You're an idiot, you know that?" he replied, his body completely relaxed as he inhaled his cigarette.
"And you're a jerk!" she yelled. "I can't believe I told you that and you just-
What had she been expecting anyway that he do something about it? The familiar rush of embarrassment overcame her as she stared blankly at the ground. Girlish confidences to a man who had the blood of thousands on his sword she was definitely a glutton for punishment.
"-to be me?"
His soft voice had barely pierced through her thoughts. "What did you say?"
The smug grin was back on his face. "Did you have someone else in mind for your first kiss? Like me?"
Sheer outrage flooded her body as she forced her heart to slow down at his words. "What?!"
Kyo threw his head back and roared with laughter. "You DID want me to kiss you, didn't you?"
She was really going to have to hurt him. Her fists clenched tightly by her sides even as her cheeks were rosily flushed. "You- I'm going to-"
He taunted her with the largest smirk she'd ever seen from him. "kiss me?"
As Yuya sputtered with indignation, he bent over slightly and pushed against her stomach, forcing her to be slung over his shoulder once again. "And if you're this stupid again, I will kiss you."
She paused to allow his words to sink in before beginning to protest a little too violently at his 'threat' and bickering all the way to the first gate. Everyone knew that Kyo was always good on his word.