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Players: stainless_akebi and shadesofgray_1
Takes place: at the park -- their first meeting
Rating: G - nothing special happens but you get to see how cute they both are.

kiss me sweet
I'm sleeping in silence
all alone
in ice and snow

Akebi smiled softly to herself as she listened to the soft melody flow from her body. She stood gently at the top of a hill in the park, arms stretched out and feeling the breeze. Soft orange butterflies floated around her as she continued to sing. Her flame-coloured hair cascaded down over her shoulders and shifted gently in the breeze. A soft giggle escaped her as she took a break from the song for a moment to enjoy the sensations in the park. It had been a long time since she'd enjoyed herself like this. The last place she lived in was a metropolitan city, the hustle and bustle with no parks; nothing natural whatsoever.

The young girl let off a soft but happy sigh as her eyes closed and she allowed her voice to run free once more.

in my dream
I'm calling your name
you are my love

She didn't know who she was singing about precisely but she knew that person was special and one day she was going to meet him. He was going to fully accept everything about her and she could be happy for the rest of her life. Searching for her partner had been her life's work up until now and going through so many cities in her short life was tiring and emotional. Akebi was only fourteen but she'd seen more towns than many people would in their entire lifetime. Nagisa had told her it was time to come home and that she did. She wondered quietly to herself if she was ever going to find that person and how long she would be staying in Tokyo before leaving again.

Akebi would find her partner. It doesn't matter how long it took, Nagisa had told her so. And Nagisa-nee was always right.

Kouri was walking home alone from school, shifting his heavy bookbag on his shoulder, the strap surely digging into him so hard that he'd probably have a big red mark when he finally took it off. That was what he got for stuffing it beyond capacity full with library books before he had started heading home. He'd been reading a lot more than usual lately. Anything to keep his mind off of certain things that were knawing away at his brain with frustration much more often than usual recently. Things usually didn't bother him so much.

He'd been shuffling home as quickly as possible, but his ears perked up as he passed the park, when he heard just the faintest tune of...something. For the briefest second...he thought he'd heard someone call his name. He walked towards the sound, realizing that the sound was someone singing. Why would someone be singing in the middle of a park? He sat in that park before sometimes to read, and he'd never heard anyone singing before, most people in Tokyo wouldn't do a thing like that.

He didn't know why he followed the song, just a moment ago he'd been only thinking of getting home to relieve the pressure on his shoulder, but now he'd completely forgotten there was any discomfort at all. His legs just seemed to be traveling on their own, the silhouette of the singer becoming clearer and clearer as he approached. It was hard to make out what they looked like, but there was no missing that wave of brilliant flame-coloured hair--it was then that Kouri hid himself behind a tree before the songstress could realize she had an audience. He didn't want to disturb her. He closed his eyes, letting the melody invade his senses, thinking that he was perfectly safe in his little hiding place. He was pretty good at blending into the scenery...but he was unaware that his gray tail was poking out from the side of the tree, lazily swishing back and forth to the tune of the song.

Why did he still get that feeling somebody was calling his name?

Lifting up a finger into the air, one of the butterflies fluttered down and sat for a moment, as if it were also listening to the song. Akebi smiled quietly at it as she continued to sing.

in your eyes
I search for my memory
lost in vain
so far in the scenery
hold me tight,
and swear again and again
we'll never be apart

The soft melody continued to travel through the park, blowing gently with the breaze. People never gathered around while she sang at the park. Part of her hoped it was because it was just a secluded area that people didn't wander through very often. She had dreams...one day her singing talent would take her somewhere. And if her special someone hadn't noticed her by then...he would once she showed the world her voice. Running her slender fingers through her hair the girl almost purred at the contentment she was feeling.

if you could touch my feathers softly
I'll give you my love

Akebi turned slightly as the butterflies seemed to be guiding her somewhere. These butterflies were a present for her since she got lonely in her travels. Nagisa had managed to increase their lifespan significantly and for that Akebi would always be grateful.

we set sail in the darkness of the night
out to the sea
to find me there
to find you there

It wasn't but a moment later that the girl spied some movements hidden in the bushes nearby.

love me now
if you---.

A soft gasp escaped her as Akebi stopped her singing. It was her first audience and it felt kind of strange that he didn't reveal his presence to her. She raised a finger happily and pointed to the hidden figure, her little pets innocently fluttering towards the figure as she followed closely behind. The young teen's voice was playful as she spoke towards the hidden figure. "I seee yooou~"

'love me now
if you---'

..if I what...?

Kouri opened his eyes, finding himself disappointed when the melody stopped. He wondered why the song had ended before it was supposed to be over but had little time to ponder this before he realized he had been caught. Kouri's tail stiffened and every single gray hair stood up on end, but as he took a step out into the open to reveal himself, his face was entirely calm and composed, expression unreadable.

"I did not mean to interrupt you."

Hmm? The person standing in front of her was so serious and formal that for a moment Akebi had no idea how to react. Her dark eyes trailed over the grey tail and ears, almost as if she was appraising him. Nagisa had always told her to watch out for strangers.

She paused for a moment, the butterflies taking this chance to fly away and home. A slight sad expression flitted across her face as she watched them leave but she focused her energy back on the boy.

Small orange ears twitched on her head, her tail coming up and wrapping itself around her wrist as she walked towards him and peered at him up close. Well, he didn't seem that dangerou. "Akebi." A soft giggle. "I'm new here and I haven't met anyone yet." Attempting her warmest smile yet the girl repeated her name once more. "Akebi."

The girl really couldn't resist meeting and talking to new people. And this person...seemed fun despite the way he was acting. Another childish giggle. Maybe he'll be her new friend in this town.

Kouri's expression did not change as she eyed him, and he would have looked to have barely the vaguest interest in her. He watched her butterflies flitter away, squinting to keep track of them as long as he could while they disappeared into the distance.

When he could no longer see even the faintest traces of the butterflies, he turned his steely gray eyes back to meet 'Akebi's' gaze. "My name is Kouri. It is nice to meet you, Akebi-san," he responded, though it surely sounded more like a polite Japanese formality than anything else.

He searched for something else to say. Your singing was lovely or You have a beautiful voice or I wish you hadn't stopped...that was what he wanted to say. That was how he really felt. Instead--

"I have never heard anyone singing in this park before."

The girl tipped her head slightly as she watched the boy in front of her. He was so polite...maybe he was one of those rich boys or something. Deep black eyes watched him with a curious expression and the girl side-stepped around him as if to observe him more. The long orange-furred tail stayed wrapped firmly around her wrist as if trained to remain there to prevent any accidental trips that could occur.

"I've only been here for a few days. I haven't been to Japan since...I was c--" She paused and quickly caught herself. You don't normally tell people you were created...did you? "--born." A soft giggle escaped her once more. "Do you come through here often...?"

And before he was given a chance to answer. "You're kinda cute." She smiled some more and watched him expectantly. Making a new friend so quickly would be an accomplishment.

Kouri couldn't figure out why she kept observing him like that. He really didn't think he was all too interesting to look at. He looked just slightly off to the side of her. He didn't want to stare, that was impolite, right?

'You're kinda cute.'

He didn't think anyone had ever said that to his face. His expression, as usual, did not change, but his ears shot up in surprise. Was he cute? He didn't know. It wasn't really something he thought about. He'd just pretend he hadn't heard it.

"This park is on my way home from school," he replied vaguely in answer to her question, implying that he passed it almost every day. He almost added that he came here to read frequently on nice days, but he didn't see the point in telling her, why would she care about that?

"That's great!" The girl smiled brightly and threw her hands up in the air excitedly. "Then you can be my new friend!" The excitement she felt could barely be contained as a childish laughter escaped her small frame. She wanted to hear all about the area, the schools nearby and all the fun she could have. The tail released itself from around her wrist and the girl moved again to stand in the middle of his field of vision. "You don't mind, right?"

"And you go to a school nearby?" As usual, when she got excited, it was hard to stop Akebi from talking. A lot of people found that trait rather annoying but a few others managed to get used to her. "Onee said that I could enrol in another month. I can't wait. Maybe she'll let me go to your school. That'd be so fun!"

Be friends? Huh? Kouri could barely keep up with her train of thought. Why would she want to be friends with him? She was obviously perky and bubbly and outgoing and...well, everything that Kouri wasn't. It was alright though. It would just be like those kids at school. They all wanted to be his friend until they realized what he was like, then they'd quietly ditch him. That was fine. This would probably be the same. He was used to it.

"No, I don't mind," he responded politely, finding that with her directly in his line of vision he couldn't look away anymore.

"Yes, my school is very close to here," Kouri winced just a little, suddenly reminded of the fact that his heavy bag was digging into his shoulder. He switched it to the other side. He thought of putting it down, but he didn't expect to be staying here too long. A girl like her would get bored of him very quickly.

"Ah!" The girl reached out abruptly and pulled at the bag that was hanging around his shoulder. "You've been carrying that for ages..and I kept talking. It's very heavy isn't it!" She gave the bag another tug and pulled it off Kouri's shoulder. For a second her eyes bulged at the actual weight of it and it fell, almost hitting the ground before she was able to finally get a good grip on it.

"Uwaaah..bricks...is that what you keep in this thing?" They can't all be school books can they? And he was going to carry this bag all the way home..."You're so strong!!" Half lowering, but more like dropping the bag to the ground, Akebi eyed the boy curiously for a moment, her tail swinging around in a hyper-like fashion. "AH! I left my bag up on the hill! I'll be right back!" She turned and quickly rushed over to where she left her pack.

Akebi wanted to spend some time with this boy. He sounded really fun. Really polite but fun. Maybe he'll stop being polite if she bugged him enough.

For some reason he couldn't explain, Kouri nearly panicked (an almost unheard of thing for the ice boy) when she went for his heavy bag. Not that he cared about the bag's contents. It was just some books. His heart had nearly stopped with worry that she might hurt herself trying to carry the bag, which, considering her tiny frame, probably weighed a good percentage of her mass.

"Ah-no-reading books-no-heavy-you-it's-..." Kouri couldn't get a word in edgewise and before he knew it she had dashed off. He frowned a little, feeling like too many things were going on for him to keep up with. A tiny part of him wanted to walk away now and go home and forget all this ever happened. He didn't like feeling this confused.

But just like his legs had guided him to this spot, they wouldn't let him walk away. He stared down at his bookbag while he waited for this girl to return, thinking to himself, 'no, i'm not really that strong, maybe if I was I could...'

Running up the hill, Akebi's unwound tail caught between her legs. In her excitement she had forgotten to make sure that it stayed securely to her wrist. A soft squeal escaped her small frame as she fell towards the ground and landed with a quiet thud. "Owww..." One eye closed from the slight pain as she sat up and rubbed the dirt smudges off her leg. She looked over at Kouri and tried to make sure he didn't notice.

A moment later she was back on her feet, the tail winding itself back around her wrist as she picked up her little bag and smiled brightly. Tokyo is a wonderful place, if you forgot things, people didn't take them from you. In some places, as soon as you put something down it was snatched from you. A soft giggle escaped her. A moment later Akebi was running back down the hill towards the boy. Spend time with Kouri! She was excited at the prospect and wondered what spending time with him would be like. "Sorry for making you wait!"

Of course, Kouri had noticed her little fall and it took him every fiber of self control (which, thankfully, he had quite a lot of) not to run over to help her the moment he saw her hit the ground. That would just embarrass her right? She got up really quickly so she must be fine. Kouri sighed quietly to himself and looked down at the ground.

'Sorry for making you wait!'

He had little time to give this too much thought because there she was again. "No, it's alright," he responded politely, looking up at her and noticing a dirt streak across her cheek that she must have missed.

His fingers twitched at his side, and without realizing it he had raised his hand to brush his fingers across the smudge. The moment his fingertips touched her cheek it felt like she had transferred heat or fire or something into his blood.

He dropped his hand back to his side. He may still have appeared calm on the outside but everything was all mixed up and jumbled inside. "You had something on your cheek...but i'm sorry, that was rude. I think I have to go home," he continued blankly, heaving his bag onto his shoulder. He probably shouldn't be out like this anyways, too many distractions weren't good, right?

A soft blush spread over her cheeks as a happy giggle managed to escape her once more. A soft smile spread over her features as she watched the other boy for a moment before realizing what he was just saying. Instantly a hand reached out to grab his and the girl was almost pulled over by the sudden force of his body moving away. "Mm!! You're going already?" The soft orange ears on the top of her head seemed to flatten themselves slightly at the prospect, the disappointment clearly showing itself.

It didn't last long however as she released his hand and realized that she in turn was probably being really rude, they had only just met after all. "Well...if you're around here again...come say hi to me okay?" Her voice was slightly quieter than previous moments when she was hyper and excited. Maybe he didn't want to be around her after all. A soft pout revealed itself for a few seconds. Akebi wasn't upset for long periods of time very often. She wouldn't allow herself to be. "It was fun to be around you." She smiled brightly once more, hoping that if he saw her smile he would be more willing to come visit her again.

The moment they were free, Kouri's hands dove straight into the safety of his pockets. Akebi was too confusing to him. He wanted to believe she was nice and maybe different...but she was surely just being polite. That was more than enough, right?

"Yes. Of course," he responded to her request that he return, but in reality he didn't know if he'd ever come back this way. "I apologize for being a bother," he bowed politely and restraightened, "It was nice to meet you, Akebi-san." With that, he half-bowed once more, then turned around to head back home.

But the moment he turned around he knew he'd have to come back again. He'd just find a better hiding place next time.

He had to hear her song again.

The girl smiled softly as she watched him turn to leave, her soft gaze watching after him. He said he would come back...that was a good start. She giggled to herself and watched as her butterflies returned to her. They didn't really like her hanging around people but this was the first time they had left without giving her a reason why. Maybe there was something special about Kouri, oh well it doesn't matter. She strood up straight and allowed her voice to carry once more.

to find me there
to find you there
love me now
if you dare....
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