I'll Be What You're Looking For
Mimi shifted her weight from one slippered foot to the other as she waited for him to knock. She had just been about to leave for Yamato's apartment when Taichi's ringing call met her ears. He was insisting on a visit that he promised would be kept short. She impatiently reached for the doorknob, quickly stepping out into the hall. She caught sight of him amongst a small group exiting the elevator, his brown hair peaking up above the rest.
She gestured at him frantically to hurry. "Taichi!"
His grin was wide as he came to stand before her. There was no customary embrace as usual, but he was his same jovial self.
"Mimi, calm down. He can wait like five minutes!"
"I've been waiting for like fifteen!"
Her eyes fell to a bag he grasped in one hand. It was a cloth bag with a red strawberry pattern that she recognized immediately.
She pointed one polished finger at it and asked incredulously, "Okaa-san?"
He chuckled. "Yeah! She called me earlier and told me she had this waiting for me when I got off work, so I stopped by before I came over here."
She stared at the bag for a moment longer and before she could speak, he said airily, "She loves me."
Mimi sighed heavily, turning on her heel for the apartment. Over her shoulder she told him ruefully, "More than Yamato it seems..."
His laugh was short but deep. "Does she even like him?"
She held the door open for him. "Of course she does."
"Does she make him food, too?"
Mimi gave a tsk of her tongue, locking the door behind them.
"He prefers my food, Yagami."
"Isn't he the one always cooking for you?"
Mimi widened her eyes in dramatic exasperation. "Tell me what was so important, please. I have to meet him soon."
He slipped off his shoes, leaving them by the door, and sat his few belongings on a nearby chair.
He was standing near her now, peering down at her with searching eyes that held more emotion than she was accustomed to when it came to him. She opened her mouth and closed it, unable to think past the serious air about him.
"Yamato is being unreasonable."
Her brow furrowed for an instant, momentarily confused.
His eyes never leaving hers, he asked, "I can't touch you?"
She felt the familiar rise of unease with the turn of conversation. She tried for indifference, flipping loose curls over one shoulder as she told him, "You just have to stop flirting so much, Tai-kun."
He tilted his head to the side, one hand going to rub at his neck. She watched as he absentmindedly looked her up and down. "It's not like I do it on purpose."
She exhaled and lowered her eyes to her pink fluffy slippers.
"Come here," he told her. She looked up in question just as he was stepping closer, her head tilting back to meet his gaze. He took her in his arms, circling them around her waist and pressing her to him. Her stomach fluttered as his hands moved slowly against her sides.
He pulled back just enough to look at her as he whispered, "Why would you agree to that?"
She squirmed in his hold, feeling for the first time uncomfortable with him. "Why wouldn't I?"
He placed a warm hand to her cheek, his fingers tracing down her jawline. She jerked at the intimate gesture, but he didn't let go. Her skin tingled where his touch traced, making her inhale sharply. Both hands now on the soft skin of her face, his gaze slipped back and forth from her eyes and lips. She pushed at the muscles of his chest at the realization of what he wanted, effectively distancing herself.
"Taichi," she scolded him.
He stepped back to her, taking her left wrist to bring her closer. Her heart raced as she stared down at his tanned hand holding on despite her tugging lightly for release. Her thoughts caught and tangled as she stared at their forced connection.
"Where is this coming from?"
This feeling, it was familiar. It was Yamato's, and only he could give it. Her previous tug had been half-hearted, playful even. This time she yanked it hard from his grasp.
His forehead crinkled in confusion, fingertips outstretched for her once more. He left his hand upturned, as if waiting for her to fix whatever had gone wrong. When she stayed still, he dropped his hand to his side, dragging the other through his untamed hair.
"Mimi, what is wrong with you? Usually you can take a joke."
She backed up from him and crossed her arms defensively.
"That's just it. You're not joking around this time."
He gave a short nervous fidget, scratching at his head as he looked away from her.
"Why did you come here? And why are you-" She stopped, unwilling to finish.
He jumped to finish for her, his humor rearing now, "Touching me?"
She turned her back to him and made her way deeper into her apartment and away from him. He watched her walk aimlessly around the living room, noting the increased distance she maintained as she almost paced the room.
"Were we actually supposed to follow Ishida's commands?"
"He didn't command."
"You weren't there. Let me tell you, he commanded me not to touch you." He gave a shrug. "I figure he's just being Ishida, he's being...weird. You know, in one of those moods that will blow over by Monday."
"Marriage is not a mood."
"Mimi..." he began slowly, "You're not married."
She scoffed and rolled her eyes at him. That statement didn't deserve a response from her.
In her annoyed silence, he continued. "Yamato acts like you two are already husband and wife. It's crazy."
Mimi arched one thin brow, her irritation building. She walked over to him in fast strides, stopping close enough to slap him if only she would give in to that base urge within her. Before she could speak, he reached out and took hold of her upper arm.
She felt an anxious wave pass through her, starting from the pit of her stomach and working its way down to her toes. She knew his next move would be to pull her flush against him. Her eyes darted up to lock with his, the anxiety showing plainly in her face.
He released her abruptly, even took a step back from her. His brown eyes passed over her form, settling last on her distraught face.
"Since when are you afraid of me?"
Her chin dropped slightly, her breath catching at his soft-spoken words and the new look of worry he wore.
"I..." She shook her head before continuing with downcast eyes. "I'm not afraid of you. I'm just...I'm just confused."
"Why did you come over here tonight? Why..."
She couldn't find the words. Her unspoken question was truly to herself. 'Why is this happening?'
"I wanted to see you."
She could hear the smile in his words. Finally bringing her eyes up to meet his, her features were back to their typical warmth. "Taichi, you're not acting the same. You're different."
"So are you."
She flinched inwardly at his remark. He was backing her into a corner.
Her voice was quiet as she told him, "You're touching me like Yamato does. This is different because you're making it different."
His prideful smirk threw her off, and she could only blink at him as he closed the small space between them he had created. She instinctively took a step back to avoid his attempt at proximal intimacy.
He shrugged both shoulders on a sigh, placing his hands in the front pockets of his pants in concession. "I'm not making your feelings any different than they always have been. I'm just forcing you to finally see me like you should have seen me all along."
"Nothing has changed." She bit her bottom lip upon hearing her own quivering voice. He was affecting her to the point of embarrassment now. She could feel her cheeks heating up behind the peach blush she wore.
His laugh was low and the humor of it, she knew, was not directed at her behavior. "Hug me then."
"If I'm not such a big deal to you all of a sudden then what's the problem? You've never hesitated before."
"I'm engaged to your best friend. I'm not supposed to be hugging you."
"You only say that because of him and his obsessive commands. He's obsessed."
"And how is that a bad thing?"
"Mimi, really? He's this close to telling you not to even speak with me. Believe me, that's next."
She heaved an exasperated sigh as she rolled her eyes. "Taichi, please. I've had enough of this. I think we should say goodnight."
"Alright. Just one more thing."
She waited for his reply with growing trepidation, his gaze on her strong and relentless. In anticipation, she backed up simultaneously as he reached her. But she was caught, head to his chest and hands crushed between them at his stomach. This hug was different. He wasn't holding her like something he craved, he held her in a way that made her feel like something precious. His arms were linked behind her neck and across her shoulders. She could feel him breathe into her hair, slow and deep. His head shifted lower as he spoke, his voice a rumble she could feel against her skin.
"You're not his yet."
A creeping fear rose within her chest, but not of him. She felt lost, adrift in this smell and this feeling that was so foreign and entirely wrong.
She told him, "Let go," so weakly she wasn't sure if he heard her. He didn't make a move to separate them, instead his hands began to wind up her neck and into her honey toned strands. His mouth brushed her forehead and slipped to her cheek, being sure not to kiss her lips. He would only go so far, allow himself so much.
She was pushing him away before he'd had his fill, small insistent hands pressing at his ribs. Her push was not enough this time but she didn't have to say it again. He released her with a grievous sigh. The draw he felt to her was immense, one he could suppress but no longer cared to. Yet the look on her face as he pulled away from her had his blood running cold in an instant. She seemed as if she would burst into tears as soon as she met his gaze, but she didn't.
She covered her face with both palms, taking in a steadying breath. When she resurfaced, she couldn't bring herself to look him in the eye.
She told him flatly, "My promise to Yamato can't be broken. And this..." Her shining eyes rose to his. "This is so inappropriate, Tai-kun I honestly can't believe you! How am I supposed to tell Yamato about this? You're his best friend. He hated when you played around with me. How do you think he's going to react with you trying to-to..."
"I wasn't going to kiss you, Mimi. I promise."
"Just everything but? He's going to be so angry."
"With me, you mean. Not you." Another shrug. "And what's new about that? How many times have we gone at it? It's what we do, we fight."
"Never about this."
He stood soberly and ran a hand over his forehead in agitation. "No, never about you, Mimi."
"And you never should! There's no rivalry here. I'm not choosing one or the other. You're supposed to be my friend, that's it."
He nodded as he listened to her, bending to collect his belongings. Slinging his orange messenger bag over his shoulder, he told her with newfound hope, "Just think it over, alright. Don't jump the gun just because I've freaked you out tonight and made you feel for me."
He made his way to the door with more to say, tossing his words back as he went. "And don't forget your mom likes me best. Just think of all the awkward inlaw family dinners you guys will have with Ishida by your side."
"Our dinners are never awkward."
Door open, he had one foot out before turning back for a last warning.
"Most importantly...don't be fooled by this temporary happiness with you."
"He's happy with you all the time, isn't he?"
"Of course he is, he loves me."
"It won't last. But it won't be you, you won't be to blame."
With that, he ducked out, but she grabbed him before he could leave. Her grip was tight on his forearm, eyes holding him with fury.
"What are you talking about?"
"It's just who he is. He can be a depressed mess."
"He hasn't been depressed since we've been together."
"I know." He hesitated before expounding, glancing down at her pale fingers tightly wound around his arm. He smiled to himself, wondering if she thought she was actually hurting him. "I've never seen him so happy. But that's just not his character. You're a temporary fix."
She threw his arm from her grasp, seething now and on the verge of tears. "You're horrible."
"That's not how I meant it!"
She groaned and turned to slam the door in his face, but he took her by both arms to turn her back to him and keep her there. This time his fingers dug in painfully, an accident she knew, but it tipped her over the edge. Her tears came fast and ran silently down her heated face.
He let her arms go, guilt coursing through him at the sight of her. "Mimi, I'm sorry."
She was brought back to him by the shoulders with no objection as he held her head to his chest.
His mouth whispered against her temple as he spoke. "I just meant you can't save him from himself. And I don't want to see you get hurt once he goes back down that road. He always does."
She shook her head against him. "That doesn't matter." Her tears now gone, she pulled back to look him in the eye. "I'll be here to help him through it."
He gave a nod and watched as she retreated back into her apartment. There were no goodbyes tonight. Taichi gritted his teeth, walking slowly back to the elevator. His chest felt tight, his emotions on overdrive. He was infuriated with himself, with Yamato, with this night. The elevator doors swooshed open and he half expected to find Yamato there, blue eyes staring him down. The elevator was empty and he let himself lean in emotional exhaustion against the back wall. He checked his watch to see just how late he had made Mimi for her dinner. He wouldn't be surprised if she canceled altogether. How could she face Yamato tonight? He had left her in pieces. His head snapped up at the ding, arriving at the first floor. He held his messenger bag strap as he made his way into the lobby, head down in dismal thought.
He felt a sudden hand flat against his chest, stopping him dead. He raised his head to meet those blue eyes he had so hoped to avoid. This was inevitable; Yamato had grown to be more protective of Mimi than anyone, even more than his brother Takeru.
"So..." Yamato's icy eyes bore into Taichi hard. His entire body was tense yet tightly controlled. "She's late because of you."
Taichi groaned, one hand raking against his face in aggravation. "Yeah...yeah she's late because of me."
Yamato's voice was cold and level, his anger kept well in check. "Should I ask you or her why?"
"Ask us both, you'll get two different answers."
Taichi tried to move past him, but he knew it wasn't going to happen. The gripping hand to his collar was well expected, and he couldn't help but smile as adrenaline rushed him. He wanted this confrontation, but the timing was off.
He pried Yamato's hand off of him and muttered, "I'll see you later."
He clapped a hand to Yamato's back and walked off, brushing their shoulders as he went.
A/N: So, I wanted to write a Michi and I thought this was a good starter for one. This was the old second chapter I got rid of and replaced from my story Time For Two. I wanted that piece to be pure, perfect romance for Mimi and Yamato. But here, there will be drama.