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Youkai (Demon)

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Go on and hold her till the screaming is gone
Go on believe her when she tells you nothing's wrong
But I'm the only one who'll walk across the fire for you
I'm the only one who'll drown in my desire for you
It's only fear that makes you run 
The demons that you're hiding from
When all your promises are gone
I'm the only one

  - "The Only One" - Melissa Etheridge


I stop beside the table, nod politely to them both. Yuuki's startled by my unexpected appearance, and to my delight there's a momentary flicker of guilt at being caught dining with Kawashima.

"Tounoin-san, what a pleasure to see you."

Kawashima's words belie her expression, brown eyes darkening into hard little plumstones, soft cherry-ripe mouth shrivelling into a moue of displeasure. I wonder how much of her attendance can be attributed to wanting to salvage their friendship, and how much is revenge for my rejection. She noticed me as soon as they entered the restaurant but ignored me, flicking poorly concealed glances across the room inbetween their bouts of stilted conversation. Yuuki, on the other hand, has eaten halfway through his meal without registering my presence. He's so charmingly oblivious at times.

"You too, Kawashima-san. How are you, Yuuki-san? Well, I hope?"

I touch the back of his hand, brush the tips of my fingers lightly across his skin. Little more than a whisper of contact. His hand jerks, crashing into his teacup and slopping hot liquid over the table linen. He jumps up, flustered and stammering apologies,

"G.. gomen! Gomen nasai!"

"Sit down, Yuuki." I capture his hand and he collapses into his seat like an abruptly disconnected puppet. "It's my fault, let me take care of it."

I let my words imply other things as I dab at the spill with a serviette. Still holding his hand, I smile warmly down into wide-eyed uncertainty. He's date-neat. Scrubbed, tidy, smelling sweet and clean - of shampoo, fresh laundry and that light melon-scented aftershave he sometimes wears. 

I want to bury my hands in his hair, muffle his groans with my mouth, drive my body into his warmth.

"Arigato-gozaimasu, Tounoin-san."

This time Kawashima's words are distinctly opposite their meaning. Her mouth has flattened to a thin line and she resembles an affronted cat, all slit eyes and ruffled fur. The cloudy expression dissipates from Yuuki's face and he flushes, jerking his hand from my grasp.

"Arigato-gozaimasu, Tounoin-san," he parrots, avoiding both of us by lowering his eyes to the table.

It's enough for now. I nod to them again.

"Doitashimasite. Enjoy your meal. I'll see you both at rehearsal."

They murmur their goodbyes in unison, but what frail accord they had is now disrupted. And she won't be the one he dreams of tonight.