The shared dinner, their first shared dinner alone had been fantastic. Not because the food was exceptional, because compared to what they'd grown used to the last weeks it wasn't anything special. And it wasn't the place either. The resort outclassed it in every romantic way possible, but this time it was something only the two of them did together.
Despite feeling sweaty and dirty after a long day on trains Kyoko saw herself as a princess for the first time in her life. Maybe because that was the image mirrored in Yukio's eyes whenever she looked at him.
“We'd better go home now,” Yukio said. He tightened his grip on her hand. “Funny, I've longed for being just normal for a while now, but now. I don't know.”
She looked at him again. Dishevelled clothes and hair that needed washing despite the last day's hot spring bath. He had dirt under his nails, and his shirt sported a stain from their dinner. He was the most beautiful person she had ever seen. And you're all mine! The thought scared her a bit. Does that make me yours?
“I know what you mean. So let's catch a train.” No, it doesn't scare me. Not if it is you.
On their way to the subway she saw students from different schools returning home from cram school. It was still summer, but the faces they met were already preparing for autumn. So much that has happened. And it's only been a month. But from now on we're back to our usual lives. “Yukio?”
“I haven't told my parents about you. Do you hate me for that?” Where did that thought come from?
He stopped and took both her hands in his. “Why would I?”
“I don't know. I'm sorry. It was just a stupid thought.”
He leaned closer to her face. “Don't call yourself stupid. I can't talk with my parents about my parents, if you know what I mean.”
She thought she understood what he was thinking. “Uhum.”
“There are things we don't want to talk about. Not the same things for everyone, but I believe all of us has something we feel uncomfortable talking about.”
Yes, she had understood. We think alike. This isn't just me falling in love. I can love you and be friends with you at the same time. “I want to introduce you, but I think you'll get a cold welcome. That scares me.”
“As long as you prepare me for what they don't like it's fine.”
Kyoko felt frustration rise in her. “It's so stupid. They're like really old fashioned, and for them a divorce is because those involved were bad people.”
“Maybe they were,” he grinned. “It ended up in a divorce after all.”
“Yukio! Don't joke about that! You've never said anything bad about your parents. Just that they can't live together.”
“Yeah, sorry my bad. I didn't mean to make you angry.”
She sighed and let go of one hand. The other she kept in a firm grip as they started walking again. “I'm not angry. It's just that… It's just that I want them to like the one I like. Ah, that didn't make any sense, did it?”
Yukio laughed and pulled her close. “It makes a lot of sense. I often feel that way myself.” He turned silent. “You know, when I find someone who makes me laugh I want the entire world to laugh. When I found you I wanted everyone to love you as well.” He blushed at his own words. “But I wanted you to love me more than any of the others.”
Kyoko smiled. Those words filled her with warmth and a tingling sensation of being special. “I do.”
“Yeah,” he whispered. “I dare to believe that now. I really love you.”
They got on a train, slept a little shoulder to shoulder and got off at a station where they changed to a local train that took them to their station. From there it was half an hours walk home. It was a little heavy with their bags, but she didn't mind.
When they passed the mall where she had seen him the first time she absent-mindedly noticed that Urufu's bike wasn't locked to the stand. And it shouldn't have been. She knew that, but seeing that bike under the café had once meant that she could find Yukio upstairs. Now he was by her side.
“I wonder how they're doing,” she said. “Urufu and Kuri-chan I mean.”
Yukio dropped his bags to the ground, looked up and stretched. “I know what you mean,” he said. “Let them out of sight and you never know what stupid things they'll do.”
They shared a laugh at that.
“Sometimes Kuri-chan feels like an unruly little sister that I have to take care of,” Kyoko said. She looked at Yukio and saw a knowing smile play over his lips.
“Urufu, my little brother. Yep, that's about it.”
And they laughed again, loud enough for some people around them to frown. That only made them laugh some more.