A/N: Two uploads so close together? What am I procrastinating now, you might ask? Finals. RIP me.
I've always loved the fact that the manga (and now anime) shows that Tohru keeps the paper flower in her room, so I wanted to write about it. Enjoy!
(Also...if you know what song the title is from...I love you)
She has to admit that it's very pretty, the flower he'd given her. The way the white layers of paper fold over each other in perfect curves, all leaning into the middle of the flower and the curls that lay there looks like the real thing. She has small, delicate hands and fingers, so she's prided herself on the intricacies of the ones she's folded, but they're nothing compared to this. Her heart is always reduced to nothing when she's next to him, too, for a million different reasons she doesn't understand and isn't sure she wants to, either.
It sits large in her palms, just like his hands always do. It's rough, too, the tissue paper. Just like the calluses on his fingers when they brush against hers. It's all like him, really––pretty but rough, lovely yet ache-inducing.
A minuscule part of her wants to crush it in her fist, then, wants to hate him and everything he does.
Because lately, all Kyo does is conjure up strange feelings within her. Ones she doesn't know how to define, or explain at all, really. They aren't necessarily bad, but they aren't exactly good, either. All she knows is that they always eat her whole.
So is having this in here really a good idea? Maybe it will devour her, too.
But she knows she can't hate him.
She'll never be able to.
So, she rearranges the trinkets that sit on her dresser.
She moves the handkerchief and the zodiac figurines that sit on top of it farther to the left, gritting her teeth when she picks up the cat. She relocates the hat from that mysterious boy––whom she'd once considered her first love, but knows now, after feeling the real thing that he's insignificant in that way–– to the right edge of the dresser. Her mom's picture gets gently pushed backwards. And the flower sits in the center of everything.
She feels her lips tighten.
He's always in the center of her world, somehow, isn't he?
There's a knock on her door, and the timid nature of it lets her know who it is before he even speaks. Because somehow, in his own way, his own heart seems to be reduced to nothing when he's near her, too.
She doesn't understand.
"Tohru?" he calls.
She swallows dryly and moves over to her desk, unzipping her bag to find today's handouts. He'll want to do homework together, she knows.
Sure enough, when he slips into the room and closes the door behind him, his arms are nearly overflowing with textbooks. He pauses, looking her over.
"You're still in your uniform? Did ya fall asleep or something?"
Her heart stops with the nostalgia of his words. But this time, instead of explaining, she only manages to choke out a shaky, "No."
He nods awkwardly, shifting his weight from foot to foot. She knows she should tell him to put down the books and sit on her bed, like she always does, but no words will come out.
She can hardly even look at him. Because she has secrets, so many secrets, none of which she can tell him. Not without upsetting him or someone else.
Through eyes hazy with tears, she sees his gaze flit over to the dresser for a moment, but it returns to her face just as quickly, trying to analyze her. Her cheeks warm, and she hates it.
"Are you okay?" he whispers.
She looks down and fixes her eyes on his bare feet. "I'm fine, Kyo-kun."
"... 'Kay." He doesn't sound sure. He always sees through her. "Wanna just sit and talk for a bit before we start working?"
She wants to say no, wants to tell him to leave, doesn't want to do anything but lie down and cry into her pillow. But she finds herself nodding anyway.
He plops the books down on the floor and stretches out sideways on her bed, back against the wall and long legs hanging over the edge. He holds a hand out to her.
She reaches out to him, too, and soon finds herself next to him. She tucks her legs underneath her. He tangles their fingers together and tries to keep his eyes away from the flower across the room. She pretends not to notice. She feels her heart burn, matching the stinging of the tears threatening to spill out of her eyes.
And when she lays her head on his shoulder and starts to doze off, she feels him press his cheek against her hair for just a second before pulling back with a rather jerky motion.
She pretends not to notice that, too. She's gotten very good at pretending lately, she realizes.
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