I am soooo sorry for the extremely late update. I wasn't quite confident in this story tbh. I didn't think many people had any interest in it since I only got 4 reviews, but then I saw that a lot of people had actually alerted and favorited it. Plus my editor read it and said it was great and encouraged me to keep going. She has revised the first chapter for me with minor grammatical changes. And although I should wait for her to edit this chapter before releasing it, I just can't wait. It's 4am in the morning and you guys deserve this. Literally bless charmingchrissy1 for her amazing review.
Again, I apologize for any errors, I have been writing since 1am and I'm too exhausted to go over it, but I'll be sure to update the edited version sometime tomorrow. Thank you all for your patience~
Please review and don't just favorite or alert to the story. It's what keeps me going. Love you cuties xoxo
May 1st, 2012
When I first met Suoh Mikoto, I only ever let my light shine through. I was a girl with messy pink hair, hiding behind it, her messy mind.
I told him everything I loved, nothing I hated. Everything ended in a giggle, or a short smile, my period ending to each sentence.
I told him my favorite songs, and the books I kept on my shelf closest to my bed. When I first met him, he saw no flaw in my eyes. I was a walking picture perfect woman.
I bit my tongue and spent nights spitting out blood.
When Anna had returned to the bookshop it had been a mere three days. Three days since they had spoken their first words to each other. Three days since Kana had handed the girl one of her favorite masterpieces. She had expected for the pair to return in another week or so, but when she saw a little snow white head peep through the front door of her store, she couldn't help but smile. And to no surprise, the little princess had dragged the grumpy lion along as well. But of course, they had still arrived at the time they always did. 7 o'clock.
Kana closed her book. "Anna, what a surprise to see you back so soon."
But instead of disappearing into the aisles like Kana had expected her to do, she timidly approached the counter.
"I had a hard time reading it," she confessed with red tinted cheeks.
Tilting her head, the pink haired beauty gave a small, teasing smile. "Giving up already?"
Seemingly irked by the teasing, Anna's expression turned into one of clear displeasure. Her small mouth upturned as her brows knitted together. It was the first time Kana had seen the girl show any display of clear emotion. "No," came her curt response.
Leaning back from her position on the counter, the librarian made her way around the wooden counter. Coming to a stop in front of the much smaller female, she leaned down with her hands on her knees. "Would you like me to help you then?" A look of uncertainty crossed Anna's features, causing a chuckle to escape Kana's lips. "I don't bite, I promise." Taking the book from the young girl's tiny hands, she eyed it with a certain look of wonderment. "Besides, this is an amazing piece of art that I would hate to see you pass up. You look like a young lady who loves a challenge, anyways." Straightening herself out, Kana began to turn and walk away with the book in hand. "That is, unless-
"I want to!" Anna blurted suddenly. "I want to read it," she repeated in a whisper.
"Great, then come right this way." Kana notice the girl eye the lion who always stood silently behind her. She knew that Anna was silently asking permission. She observed them in silence as he simply grunted, which Anna clearly took as a yes. The way the two communicated always amazed Kana. It was such a peculiar and endearing relationship. She couldn't help but find herself constantly studying the pair.
Kana lead them to a obscure corner of the bookstore where a coffee table and comfortable arm chairs rested. She took a seat quickly, but Anna hesitated like she always did. Smiling kindly, the librarian patted the seat next to her. "Sit."
As soon as Anna complied and found herself sitting comfortably in the chair, Kana had to bite her cheek to hold in her laugh. While most kids her age didn't seem to care about mannerism, Anna was the exact opposite. She sat prim and proper, with her back straightened, hands folded neatly on her dress, and legs closed gracefully together. Once again, the young beauty never failed to fascinate Kana.
"Now tell me exactly what you don't understand."
And as Anna opened the book and Kana leaned in towards her, the two became completely lost in the world of love, tragedy, and adventure. And once again, Anna fascinated the woman before her. No, at this point Kana was completely enthralled by the intelligent creature next to her. Kana had rarely been able to find someone who could speak on such an intellectual level about books with her. She had only once knew someone who's eyes shined like the stars when they talked about books. And yet here Anna was with her inventive theories and bright eyes, peeling off the words like skin. She was quick to catch on to things she didn't understand and bashful whenever complimented on her brilliancy. The two were so engrossed in their own little world that they had failed to notice the grumpy lion sprawled out on the floor in a deep slumber, nor how much time had flied. When Kana had finally taken notice of the time, it was already 10 o'clock- a full two hours past closing.
Standing up, she lifted her hands above her head and stretched. "Well look at the time. I think that's enough for today." She eyed the passed out man on the ground and giggled. "Your friend here certainly has had enough for today."
Anna closed the book in her hands, slipping off the couch to approach the grumpy lion and gently shake his shoulders. She whispered something, a name perhaps, but it was too quite for Kana to hear her. Eventually, he opened his eyes only to blink grumpily.
"You're done?" he asked, looking at the clock on the wall. Anna nodded. "Let's go then." He was quick to get up and lazily head through the bookshelves, towards the door.
Kana watched him with a certain amused glint in her eyes. It was the first words she had heard him speak since he had entered her bookstore a little over a month ago, and his voice had sounded exactly just as he looked- gruff, monotone, lazy, and manly.
The white-haired girl, bowed politely to the librarian and mumbled her thanks before following after her grumpy counterpart.
"I'll be here whenever you feel like coming back, little Cherry Blossom."
Anna seemingly stumbled over her feet as she turned back to look at Kana, her face lightly tinted red in embarrassment at the sudden nickname. "Tomorrow?" she whispered in hesitation after a moment of her awkward silence.
Kana simply smiled and waved before turning and disappearing into another aisle.
"You're always welcomed here, Anna."
I looked at him like fire. He was warm, red, scary, and ready to burn if touched. I couldn't have wanted him more in that moment. When he was laid on my bedroom floor in my tiny apartment above that worn down bookstore, flat out tired and hopeless. His signature grumpy frown missing from his handsome features, replaced with a foreign, solemn expression.
"We can't," he mumbled.
I didn't understand what he was talking about, all I could think about was him and how he was so close to me. When he was laying on that old and cheap bed, thinking about anything other than I. With hair in eyes, longing breaths and shining stars and his entire presence seeping out to the corners of the room. It was the perfect movie scene, the one where love creeps in and stays for a awhile. But it didn't make it's way past the flaming sorrow of his soul. It stopped, and melted in shaky hands. I couldn't have him. He didn't want me.
Kana woke with a start. Confused and bleary eyed, she squinted furiously to clear her vision. For a few minutes she just stared at her white ceiling, the sound of her uneven breathing the only noise in the room. To say that Kana was shocked and baffled was an understatement. She didn't dream much, and when she did it was nightmares that left her paralyzed in fear, hands clenched. So when that grumpy lion suddenly appeared in her dream like that, Kana was a bit taken aback. Kana didn't know his name, and while Anna had made good on her request and came to the store almost everyday, Kana had yet to learn the grumpy lion's name.
It wasn't as if Kana was intimidated by him- that was far from it. It was more like the man never really gave her the chance to speak. He screamed 'do not speak to me if you value your life'. And while most normal pedestrians always stood as far away from him as possible without making eye contact, Kana found herself simply perplexed by his very existence. After all, Oda Kana was a strange women. Kana stared at him, a lot. And she wasn't sure if the grumpy lion was just really oblivious to his surroundings, or ignoring her piercing blue eyes every day. Either way, Kana enjoyed watching him. Not only did his enigmatic personality amaze her, but Kana would be lying if she said he wasn't pleasing to look at. Because he was very pleasing to look at. And when he fell asleep at the store every time Anna came to visit, Kana carefully inspected the planes of his face. She hadn't asked Anna for his name. Kana liked the mystery. It kept things interesting for her.
Kana often found herself guessing what his life was like out of the shop. It provided her entertainment when she had nothing to do but stare at a sea of bookshelves all day and hope for customers to take interest in her run down shop. 'He's probably a gangster. Like a mob boss or something. Definitely not an underling.' But then she would remember Anna and quickly change her mind. 'Their parents died so the grumpy lion had to take care of Anna all on his own. That must have been tough on them growing up. So he got into bad stuff just so he could protect her from the world and grew up rough.'
Of course, Kana knew that her theories were all off the wall and laughable. But Kana spent her days with her nose buried in tales of fantasy. She was someone who was never afraid to let her imagination run wild. When Kana wasn't entombed in books, she was scrawling in the tattered journal she had been given on her thirteenth birthday, eight years ago.
When Kana had finally wiped the morning fatigue from her eyes and gotten out of bed, she opted to take a shower and skip breakfast. She was never hungry in the mornings anyways. Instead, she opted for changing into a white, frilly, noodle strap summer dress and headed deep into the city. Although Kana was a recluse who preferred the solitary of her quiet bookstore to the bustling streets of Shizume City, she was still a woman. A woman who liked pretty things and frilly dresses. And when the librarian went shopping, she went shopping to her hearts content.
Several stores and many hours later, Kana found herself overwhelmed with copious bags of clothing and various trinkets that she struggled to carry on her own. "Maybe I went a little overboard.' But the thought was quickly dismissed when something shiny in one of the window display's caught her eye. Her azure eyes were so focused on the object of her attention that she failed to pay attention to where she was walking. Before Kana knew it, she had ran into something hard and fell back on her behind with an 'ompf'.
Blinking in surprise, Kana looked up to find the same grumpy man that had appeared in her dreams towering above her, staring down with piercing golden eyes. The sun reflected on his red hair, making it seem brighter and fierier than usual.
And quickly, Mikoto's questioning stare turned into a biting glare. "Oi, who are you calling a rooster?"
It wasn't that Kana had meant to say that- she certainly didn't. It was that in her brief state of daze, rooster had been the first word to pop into her mind when she saw his flaming red hair. And it was obviously something that had struck a cord in the man. The two had never exchanged even a brief greeting in the past month and seven days since he entered her bookstore, and the first word that came out of her mouth was an accidental insult.
And for one of the first times in her life, Oda Kana was utterly embarrassed.
For a moment time seemed to stop around the two. The grumpy man glaring down at Kana, and Kana staring blankly up at his appalling figure. And then, the tension was broken in a quick moment as Kana's voice chimed. "Hello to you too, grumpy lion." And with quick, graceful movements, she stood back up. And yet, she still found herself craning her neck to meet his gaze. It wasn't as if Kana was short. She stood slightly above average height with long, slender legs. But everyone seemed to dwarf in comparison to the grumpy man.
His right eye twitched in irritation. "Rooster?"
This time she gave him an amused smile, letting out her pearly laughter. "Well, I believe you have yet to introduce yourself." She pouted playfully. "It's been over a month and I still don't know your name. So I just made up some that suited you."
He blinked slowly at her, seemingly perplexed. Yet again, there was another moment of silence between them.
Kana cocked her head to the side. "Are you gonna tell me your name? Or should I just-
"Mikoto. Suoh Mikoto."
Kana smiled once again. "Well then, Mikoto-kun, it's nice to meet you. I'm Oda Kana, but you already know that." The rooster man, Mikoto, raised an eyebrow at her forwardness. "Sorry, I'm not good with formalities."
He simply shrugged, reaching down to help pick up the bags that had dropped in Kana's tumble to the ground.
But when Kana thought he would just hand them back to her, Mikoto had already wordlessly walked passed her, bags in hand.
"Mikoto-kun?" she called. White heels clacking against the pavement to keep up with him.
"If I let you carry these on your own you'll just run into someone else."
Kana laughed. "I promise you I'm not that much of a klutz."
He simply grunted in response. And Kana was totally okay with that.
And so the two headed back towards the shop, with Kana trailing close to Mikoto. And all the way she had on a smile that never quite reached her ears. They never did.