Maybe the spirits will heed my request

Tadase and Amu meet at the Hikawa Shrine

Date: 2015-12-26
Pose Count: 22
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 04:54:58 19460
Tadase Hotori walks up the steps to the Hikawa shrine - it's a chilly evening this Christmas, and surprisingly, this shrine is relatively quiet, given the time.

Kiseki is floating nearby, leaning over a bit. "You've got a lot on your mind, Tadase. I hope this trip helps you clear it." the little chara says, looking intently at him.

"Mmm." Tadase agrees. "I think it will. It'll make me feel like I'm doing something - and there are a lot of places I feel like that would be very helpful. And maybe the spirits will heed my request - we know Gods exist, after all."

Kiseki shakes his head. "The God we know still needs our help all the time." he reminds him.

Tadase turns to him. "And? So we help each other. We're good at that. It's just like Amu and myself. We make each other stronger." Tadase says to the little chibi.
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 05:01:10 19464
Amu makes her way to the shrine flanked by her trio of charas. The day has been so busy, with her family breakfast and gifts, entertaining her little sister, and then going out to see all the lights. She's finally gotten away, when she should be getting ready for bed, to have some alone time.

Draped in a fur-lined maroon coat and a heavy scarf, she's actually managed to be prepared for the chill weather that the evening brings. "I bet we missed him," Amu murmurs thoughtfully as she walks along the path towards the shrine.

"You shouldn't worry about that," Miki replies to Amu with a frown. "It's not like you can't see him whenever you want."

"I know," Amu says quietly. "I could just call him. But ... I had hoped to catch him here."

"So that you can give him the cookies!" Su chimes in for Amu.

The pink-haired girl smiles at Su and nods. "Yeah," she agrees, "but also because I want to talk to him. I'm worried about him. We haven't really talked since finals week, and I just want to make sure he's still okay. Chiba-san was so very important to him."

Ran giggles a little. "Amu-chan, you're so th--hey, Kiseki!" she cuts herself off, then zips up ahead.

Amu's eyes widen as she glances to the two remaining charas, both of whom seem excited to sense Kiseki's presence nearby.

Amu starts running a little faster, her boots slapping the path noisily as she rushes ahead towards the shrine.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 05:29:54 19475
Tadase hears Amu's charas before he sees Amu herself - this is not entirely an uncommon occurance. Tadase turns from the shrine after finishing his little prayer, turning to see her running up the path. Tadase's hand is in the air and he's waving her over.

Kiseki meets up with Ran, smiling and hands on his hips. He's probably giving some sort of dramatic order.

Tadase waves Amu over, and as she runs up, he smiles. "Merry Christmas, Hinamori-san." he says. Then, his eyes sort of drift for a moment, before they return to hers. "It's good to see you here. We haven't gotten to talk much lately." In fact, the last time they /really/ talked, Tadase was not in the greatest spirits. He seems much better now, though.
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 05:31:47 19479
Ran, Miki, and Su all eventually meet up with Tadase. The trio are far more interested in the little king than they are his bearer!

Amu, however, rushes right up to Tadase with a bag of cookies in her arms. She transfers the bag to just her right hand as she literally leaps the last few feet towards Tadase and wraps her arms around him in a sudden, possibly unexpected hug. "Tadase-kun," she murmurs his name softly. "Merry Christmas. I'm so glad I got to see you."
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 05:42:34 19487
Tadase is... surprised by Amu's sudden hug, and the way she says his name. It's almost reflexive, the way he changes the way he addresses her as he hugs her tightly. "Amu-chan... I'm glad I got to see you today, too."

For a moment he's not sure what to think, and he's just glad for the hug. It's very helpful at this time of everything, for sure. And... it also doesn't hurt given who it's from.
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 05:46:57 19489
It's a few moments after she pounces him that Amu realizes what she's done. She blushes and lets go very suddenly, backs up a step and says, "S-s-s-sorry!" She smiles at him hopefully, whilest inwardly kicking herself, hard, for being so very 'uncool'. "Here. I made these for you!" she says, offering him the bag of cookies. "M-m-m-erry Christmas," she repeats. Then she takes a deep breath. "I um. I came to make a prayer. But I didn't think you'd still be here. It's awfully late. So I ... just sorta .. hoped. And here you are. And I think I'm going to shut up now."
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 06:00:11 19491
Tadase just pauses for a moment, catching up. Then he laughs. But only a little. And it's not a hostile laugh. "Amu-chan, it's okay." he says, smiling. (there may or may not be sparkles involved.)

He reaches out and takes the cookies. "I... thank you, Amu-chan." he says, looking into her bright golden eyes. "For these, and for the hug. I... it helps, too." he admits. He then straightens himself out a bit, too. "I just finished praying..." he admits.
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 06:05:25 19492
Oh God he is sparkling. Amu stares at Tadase dumbfounded for several moment, her cheeks slowly growing more intently red with every moment. "You're welcome, Tadase-kun," she breathes quietly.

"I um," she starts, then holds up a finger to him, before turning up to the shrine. She takes a deep breath, then another, and neither really helps her calm down. Why is her heart beating so fast? Why are her knees so weak? Butterflies in her stomach. Amu clutches it gently and leans over the shrine's purification font, suddenly feeling sick.

Except it's not sick that she feels. AFter a moment, she turns back around to face him again, "Tadase-kun," she starts. "Look, I ... I know you just lost your friend. So it's ... not appropriate to talk about these things ..." she trails off, hunting for the right words.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 06:14:48 19495
Tadase shakes his head. "Don't worry about that. We're... still not sure what happened. He may be more lost than gone." he adds. "But... look. That's not important right now. I mean it is. But it's not." He's going in circles. It's obvious Kiseki isn't helping him out here.

He puts a hand on her shoulder. "What is it, Amu-chan?" he asks, looking at her. "Right now, I'm just more worried about you. Are you okay?"
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 06:29:23 19496
Amu's eyes meet Tadase's, and she begins to sink into the brilliant pink hue. "Tadase-kun," she murmurs, in that same tone she said his name when she pounced him for the hug. For a long moment, she just falls silent, and then she leans forward, reaches up with both hands, and gently cups his cheeks in her hands.

"You have been so busy," Amu says quietly. "And so I've had a lot of time to think. And ... and I know I've told you this before, but I need you to understand that I really mean it." Amu lowers her hands so that both are gently resting on his chest.

"I really like you, Tadase," Amu admits with only a little quiver in her voice. "So much more than as just a friend. More than my partner, in this crazy magical world. And I'm scared that if I don't say that to you now, that something might happen to you, or to me, like something happened to Chiba-san. And I don't want to go through life without you knowing this."
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 06:49:31 19501
Tadase cheeks redden when suddenly Amu breaks her silence and stillness by taking his face in her hands. "Amu-chan..." he murmurs softly. Then she lays it out. This time, there's no paniced switch out to Kiseki.

Tadase, more than anything, realizes that this means that he cares for her too. "Amu-chan..." he says again, after she finishes. Then there's a deep breath and he loses himself in her eyes for a moment as he talks. It's easier to talk that way, easier to bear his heart.

"I... really like you too, Amu." It's easier, but still not easy, and he takes another breath. "You're incredible. I said that before. But..." he puts his hands on hers, taking her hands. "Not just when you transform. You, Amu Hinamori, are incredible." It's now time for Tadase's heart to try to retreat out of his chest through sheer vibrative force. "When you came to help me... in the garden, when I was writing. That wasn't any of the Amulets. That was you."
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 06:57:08 19503
Oh. Oh he's not running. He's not turning her down. This isn't at all what Amu expected, even if it's everything she dared to dream of. Her eyes widen in surprise, and her heart quickens to double time. She shakes a little, hands still gently laid on his chest. "T-t-tadata," she mumbles quietly, diminutizing his name almost childishly, and yet with such a fondness to it.

"I had to help you," Amu tells him, tears forming just at the edge of her eyes. "You were so sad. You were forgetting to believe in Kiseki. And ... I can't let you do that, Tadase-kun. I can't let you stop being the perfect king. Because ... because I need you, too. I know sometimes I say stupid things, and I come across so cool and disinterested. But that's not who I really am. That's not ... me. But this person, shakingly confessing to you, is afraid. Afraid of rejection, and afraid of acceptance, and afraid of everything. I'm not brave," she tells him, "except when you're with me, I feel like I could be. I want to stay with you. I want to be brave, because of you."
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 07:08:50 19506
Tadase does the only thing he can figure out to do in this situation - he wraps his arms around her and hugs her tightly. He leans down and whispers to her. "The person you are is just fine, Amu-chan." he says, trying to find the words to calm her down. "The person that you are, the person you really are? That's the person Kiseki ran to when I was in trouble. That's the person who helped me be strong when I needed someone to lean on."

"You have a lot of potential - Ran, Miki, and Su are all part of that. But don't ever forget how important to me the person you already are is. You're already strong, in a lot of ways. You can only improve."

He'll let her go if she seems to want to be let go, but otherwise, he's just holding her in the empty shrine walway in the cool winter night. "I... I need you too, Amu Hinamori. You make me stronger."
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 07:12:23 19507
Amu doesn't return the hug, but that's because her hands are trapped against his chest. She does, however, put her head down on Tadase's shoulder, enjoying the warmth of that hug. She does close her eyes, breath gently escaping against his neck.

It's the nicest feeling she's had all year.

Amu remains happily in his arms for several long moments, before reality sets back in. "I'm glad," she says to him softly. "I'm glad we said these things. I don't know if I can show the rest of the world who I really am, yet. But when it's just us ... I want to try. I want you to see me for me," she explains softly, breath warm against his neck. She blushes a little. This has all become so surreal, and she's certain she's going to wake up at any moment.

But there are no warnings of X-Eggs, no suddenly appearing cliffs. Just Tadase holding onto her, and Amu being very happy at this.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 07:22:43 19509
Tadase's speech is a lot slower. It's a lot quieter. He's trying to find the words, and that's not always something that comes so easily to him. He can deliver big speeches easily, but this is so much different. So much more intimate. So much more important.

It's obvious to her, that it's not as easy for him as most things he does. But still, he's holding her. "I'm glad you found the courage to say them." he says, quietly. "I have... been thinking about you a lot, too." he admits. "But I didn't want to scare you away - I didn't want to say something that would upset you, or make you uncomfortable. And... if you hadn't said something now, maybe I never would've said anything." He breaks the hug to look down at her.

"And I'm alright with however it needs to work for you." he adds after another long pause. "I like seeing the real you, though. But I do think the real you is this. The real you is also everyone else you've been. They're all part of you. You don't have to sacrifice any of those parts. Just..."

He looks into her eyes, and his stare is firm now. Commanding, but caring. It's that nearly royal part of himself. "Please don't hide yourself from me. I need Amu Hinamori - this Amu that you are /right now/ as much as Tokyo needs the Amulets. And there are things that only this version of Amu can do for me."
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 07:28:44 19511
Amu opens her eyes again when Tadase pulls away from the hug, and she smiles at him. Her eyes meet his, and she once more seems to fall into that stare. "Okay," she says to him quietly. "I'll try," she promises, even though she's worrying she won't be able to.

But she smiles at him, then, and manages a girlish blush. She continues to stare at him for a long moment, not speaking. Butg finally, finally, she asks, "What happens, now?"
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 07:36:01 19512
"All you have to do is try. I mean, you've already done so well. You've already saved me, Amu. So... don't worry."

Tadase stands away from her now, and he shrugs a bit when she asks him what now. "What do you want to happen now." he asks. "Because... something about holding you there felt right, or at least it did for me?" he says. He seems at least like he's looking for it all too. He's confident, but in a different way, like someone moving to uncharted territory. "I want to keep doing that."
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 07:38:03 19513
Amu grins, even as she blushes, and she gently reaches out to take his hand. "Maybe we shouldn't just stand here hugging all night long," she tells him. "Even if it would be nice, I think my parents would worry if they come to check on me before bed." They probably already have. Her phone is probably being texted like crazy. "I think I want you to lead," she tells him. "You're the king, after all, right? I'll try to tell you if I'm not comfortable, but I need you to lead."
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 07:42:25 19514
Tadase smiles. "I meant over the long term. Not tonight." Wether the joke went over his head or if he's just falling back on his seriousness is up for debate. "But, I think I understand." he says, nodding.

"If it's all the same to you, I'm more comfortable leading anyways, Amu-chan. So... that works out well, I think?" He takes a step back. "Why don't we talk again tomorrow, Amu-chan. And the day after that. And so on. We'll take it one step at a time. I think if we need to start putting names on it, or anything else, I think we'll both know. If not?"

He smiles a bit. The words he says lack some of the conviction they might come with in other circumstances, to be sure, but they're honest.

"Well, someone has to make those decisions, so I will."
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 07:50:53 19515
It is, at this moment, that Amu begins to understand how Juliet feels. Thankfully, their parents are not likely to be opposed. Well okay, her dad might object to her having a boyfriend on principal, but not because of who Tadase is.

"Tomorrow," she says, almost sadly, then reaches out to hug Tadase again. "Enjoy your cookies," she whispers to him mid-hug. "Where will I meet you tomorrow?"
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-26 08:03:04 19518
Tadase's mind freezes up for just a moment. Okay. Tomorrow. Where tomorrow? That's a good question. This is all so sudden, and it's only just now sinking in. He thinks on it.

"We should... can you meet me here tomorrow? Around eleven? Then we'll go somewhere else from here for lunch." This is Tadase not knowing where to take Amu after all of their mutual heartfelt talks, and buying himself some time.

He's clutching the cookies in his hand for a moment before he finds himself. "We should do something nice." he adds, a bit obviously.
Amu Hinamori 2015-12-26 08:05:01 19519
Lunch! Lunch is nice. Amu nods her head slowly at the idea, then again a moment later. She smiles at Tadase, then leans forward to give him one last, very sudden hug. "Tomorrow," she agrees, then lets him go. "I'll be here tomorrow," she promises.

Amu takes a step away, then turns and starts back down the path. "Ran, Miki, Su!" she calls, and her charas say their goodbyes to Kiseki before flitting off to join Amu.