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 That's When I Love You [one-shot]

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novemberbaby

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Posts : 388
Join date : 2008-11-30
Age : 31
Location : Where I want to be.

PostSubject: That's When I Love You [one-shot]   Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:43 am

Title: That’s When I Love You
Author: novemberbaby
Genre: Pure fluff
Rating: PG-13 at the end.
Summary: “The more I learn, the more I love / The more my heart can’t get enough”.
Disclaimer: Nino belongs to Johnny’s Entertainment and Ohno Satoshi. Mirei is an original character. Matsumoto Jun and Inoue Mao belong to each other, as well as Johnny’s Entertainment and Seventh Avenue respectively.
Music: I can’t think of a better song to describe the feelings of a girl who’s in love with Nino. (Especially “And when you’re mad ‘cause you lost a game” because it screams Nino. At least to me it does.) So yeah, that’s the title of this fic too because I am very unoriginal. T__T
Notes: I started this fic back in November so the flow might be a little weird. Nino is probably out of character and I apologize for that. =/ Oh, and shogayaki is gingered pork.
Special Thanks: Hugs to my wonderful and detailed beta-reader yoshi09 !


8:32 A.M.

“Ah, I died again.”

Mirei cracked one eye open for the umpteenth time, refusing to rise from the futon she was resting on. Instead, she opened the other eye and adjusted to the sharp and colorful lights coming from the television screen. She stretched her limbs, kicking aside the thick blanket that was wrapped around her.

“I don’t want to die again.”

She then rolled off the futon and crawled onto the cold floor where he was, pressing the life out of those poor buttons on his game remote. She situated herself next to him, crossed her legs, and smoothed out her snowflake-printed pajamas. Seeing that he was too engrossed with passing his current game level, she took the opportunity to check him out as she felt that she hadn’t done so in a while.

She had been swarmed with projects at work, taking on the responsibility to schedule KAT-TUN’s activities while their coordinator Kuroda-san rested at home because of the flu. To top it off, she also had to work out some knickknacks with NTV regarding Arashi’s upcoming appearances. The last time she actually slept her usual eight-hours-a-day was about two weeks ago. If it weren’t for the fact that he had forcefully dragged her home late last night to make him dinner, she would have probably camped out in the office again. Sleep for two hours, wake up again to work, and then fight the urge to fall asleep during the day. It had gradually become a routine.

“Ah, no! No!”

She broke into a grin as she looked at him, his eyebrows furrowed and his tiny fingers working their magic to save his character from dying. Then she fixated her gaze on those pouty lips of his, remembering that the last thing she did before collapsing onto the futon was kiss him good night. “Did you even brush your teeth?” was what he had said in response but she felt his lips graze against hers shortly after she closed her eyes. She was convinced she had a good night’s sleep because of that.

“Take that!”

She stretched out on the cold floor and rested her head on his lap. She heard him fake a cough, but he said nothing. She did, however, catch him steal a few glances at her. And then she began to wonder if he would stare at her longer if it weren’t for the fact that he needed to save his character once again.

“What the…?”

She stayed that way for a few minutes, basking in the view of his jaw line. This was not the first time she laid on his lap, but every time that she did, she learned that there was always something about his jaw line that made her heart flutter. Unable to resist a temptation that was growing inside of her, she reached to touch his light facial stubble.

“Mirei!”

Ah, finally a response that had nothing to do with his game. She chuckled and sat up to steal a kiss from him. That was when she felt his fingers loosen around the game control and then the words ‘game over’ flashed across the screen. He fell backwards, pulling her close to him so that her head now rested on his stomach. He kicked the floor and groaned. “I was so close to winning,” he whined, while at the same time, stroked her tresses. Why he did this so often to her she would probably never know, but it felt so good that it sometimes made her sleepy.

“It’s your fault,” he declared, replacing his gentle gesture with poking her instead. “Why did you have to touch me?”

She caught his wrist and slowly enveloped his finger with hers. And she knew he wasn’t exactly mad at her because he tightened his grip around her hand. “Because I wanted to,” she stated, honestly. “And I’m sorry I distracted you from winning. What do you want me to do about it?”

Since he already possessed her hand, that made it easier for him to pull her onto of him and that was what he did. Her forehead grazed against his stubble and she yelped in pain while he laughed. “I have to say I’m not sorry about that,” he bantered. “You made me lose my game.”

She hit his chest and detangled herself from him. Rubbing her forehead with a pout, she got up and kicked his calf playfully before walking off towards their bedroom.

“What are you doing?” he asked, sitting up.

“Going to take a shower, change, and head to work again,” she answered with a slight yawn. “I have a meeting with other coordinators in two hours and then I have a list of tasks to tackle after that.”

He jumped to his feet and scratched the back of his head. “You just woke up,” he pointed out, going after her. “What do they think you are, a robot? You need some rest too.”

“You know how the company is at this time of the year,” she replied, stopping in front of their closet. “Plus, Kuroda-san sick so I need to take over her job until she’s recovered,” she added, opening it up to find her work wear.

“Who cares about KAT-TUN? Just let them do their own organizing.”

She burst into laughter, thinking what a typical answer that was.

On the other hand, he didn’t seem to think that was funny as the look on his face remained annoyed. “If I didn’t drag you home last night, you would have slept in your office again, and I would have missed a chance to see you,” he said, pulling her back from the closet. “Call in sick and go back to sleep.”

She shook her head as she rummaged through her clothes. “You took me home because you wanted me to make your dinner, remember?”

He frowned as he thought it was hard to argue that point. “Ah, fine. Go ahead. Go to work,” he said, bitterly.

“If you come pick me up after work today at five, we can go grocery shopping together,” she suggested, pulling off a white dress shirt from its hanger. “Then I’ll make whatever you want to eat.”

“We’ll see about that,” he answered and then stalked out of the bedroom. She guessed he was going to vent his frustration through playing the game he had lost. Her assumptions were confirmed when the familiar game music blasted from the living room. Shaking her head with a smile, she grabbed the rest of her outfit and a towel, and headed to the bathroom.

About forty-five minutes later, she was almost ready to go, but was in the midst of relocating her ID badge for work. She rushed back and forth inside the bedroom. “Kazu! Have you seen my ID badge?” she queried, tucking strands hair behind her ears as she looked under the bed. Why she thought it was there she didn’t know, but she decided it wouldn’t hurt to look.

He didn’t answer.

“Kazu!” she called, in a panicky voice. She was afraid to lose it as this was her fourth replacement badge. The people from Human Resources all knew her name and face by now and she hated being the source of their inside jokes.

“It’s on the sofa!” he hollered, followed by a groan. “I pressed the wrong button because of you!”

Chuckling, she ran into the living room, and found the badge lying on the sofa in between a couple of cushions. She threw it into her bag and then realized that the most important thing of all, her planner, was missing. “Planner!” she gasped, picking up the cushions and throwing them off the sofa. One of them hit the back of his head, but instead of complaining, he merely said, “Check under the futon.”

She did as she was told and found the black planner opened to the current month. She closed it quickly and tossed it into her bag. “Thank you,” she said, kissing his cheek before rushing to the entryway to slip into her black pumps. “Come pick me up at five, Kazu!” she reminded him before heading out.

In response to that, he grunted like an old man.

~

9:57 A.M.

And when you’re mad ‘cause you lost the game
Forget I'm waiting in the rain
Baby I love you
I love you anyway


Mirei rushed in and out of his life like a whirlwind, he realized. At one moment she would be sitting next to him, watching him play his games and practice his card tricks. And the next moment she could be seen running back and forth inside their tiny apartment, desperate to find her scattered belongings. Her failed memory was at times very annoying, but he had known about it from the very beginning, and somehow reminding her of where her things were became a part of his daily life.

Moments after she left for work, he paused the game and buried his face into one of the fallen cushions. He had been awake since six in the morning, right after he had felt her body tremble against his on the futon. So he had gotten up, grabbed a blanket from the bedroom and placed it on her. And although he had tried going back to sleep after that, he found it very hard to, especially since he saw the frown on her face. So he had wrapped his arms around her until her furrowed eyebrows disappeared but by then, his urge to sleep was also gone.

He turned on his back and rolled around on the floor, feeling somewhat empty now that she had left the apartment. But then he chastised himself for feeling like this. After all, she had chosen work over him, and so he was going to punish her by playing games and not even thinking about her.

~

4:56 P.M.

If it weren’t for the fact that she was excited to go grocery shopping with Kazu, she would have collapsed by now after an agonizing work day with which she had spent making a ton of phone calls to different television stations, sitting in on a boring meeting that lasted for hours, and so on. But she removed these depressing thoughts from her mind as she made her way out of her department and into the hallway to the set of elevators where she pressed the ‘down’ button.

“Mirei.”

She turned around and saw Matsumoto Jun emerging from the office of public relations. She flashed him a smile and bowed slightly. “Doing your daily rounds of dazzling the ladies in the company, Jun-kun?” she teased. “Does Mao-chan know?”

He raised an eyebrow at her as he joined her at the elevators. “You become more and more like Kazu with the teasing every time I see you,” he replied, shaking his head but unable to suppress a smile at the mention of his girlfriend’s name.

“You should tell him that when you see him,” she replied as the elevator doors opened. “He’s coming here to pick me up so we can go grocery shopping.” For a split second, she could picture herself strolling down the aisles of a supermarket with him as he pushed the shopping cart. He would be telling her to buy this and that and not even make an attempt to pull out his wallet – if he even brought one along, that is. Despite that, she smiled as she stepped into the elevator, thinking about spending a simple evening with him where she wasn’t half asleep.

“Ah, he’s becoming more and more like a married man these days,” Jun remarked with a snort as he pressed the button for the lobby. “Yesterday, he was itching to go home to make dinner. It’s weird because our assistant director was going to treat us all to a meal but he declined.”

She laughed. “Married man? I don’t think so. He was itching to go home, I’m sure, but he also dragged me along. I had to make his dinner with him bugging me the entire time. I was so exhausted.”

“Hm, you say that, but I’m sure you were happy that you made his dinner,” he said, crossing his arms. “And I bet he rewarded you for that.”

She felt her cheeks start to burn. “Well, this morning, he did-”

“Too much information, Mirei.”

But she really wanted to tell Jun about what Kazu had done this morning. She knew that he had gotten a blanket for her. And she knew very well that he had hugged her while she was sleeping. She also understood that he was probably mad that she had gone to work, despite knowing that he was genuinely concerned about her health. At times like these, when her feelings were flowing out of her heart, if that was possible, she wanted to tell every single soul out there that the Kazu who loved her wasn’t a brat.

The elevator doors opened and she sped out first. She looked around the lobby area anxiously like a child for she was suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to give her boyfriend a hug. Except after scanning the area for a couple of minutes, she knew that he wasn’t there.

“I thought you said he’d be here,” Jun said, joining her.

“He’s probably on his way,” she said, checking her cell phone. 5:05. She could wait. “But Jun-kun, aren’t you going to pick up Mao-chan today? You should go.”

Jun checked his watch and nodded. “I should. Well, then, thanks for your hard work today. I’ll see you tomorrow at the meeting.”

“See you tomorrow,” she said, waving to Jun, who was on his way to the garage.

With Jun out of sight, her attention returned to the lobby where Kazu was supposed to pick her up. She sat down on one of the available sofas and flipped through her planner as she waited. Every now and then, she would look up but there was still no sign of him. It wasn’t until 5:45 when she finally took her cell phone out and dialed his number.

She got his voice mail on the second ring.

“Kazu. Did you forget about me?” she whispered into the phone, eyes watering due to exhaustion. “Are you still playing your game?”

She couldn’t find anything else to say, so she shut her phone dejectedly. There would be no use in calling the house phone as he was probably too occupied with his game. So she stood up and smoothed her skirt. Maybe a trip to the supermarket by herself wouldn’t be so bad.

~

6:45 P.M.

The game was finally over.

He had lost track of the number of hours he spent on winning, but his back ached when he stretched. He groaned as the pain traveled from his lower back to his shoulders. If he had continued playing any longer, he would have needed a cane again and Mirei would not be pleased. That was when he frowned, realizing that she should have been home by now.

He rolled his eyes. Maybe she was working overtime again. It wouldn’t be the first time anyway.

The phone rang, ending his thoughts about her. He sat up and reached for the phone sitting on the coffee table. “Hello?” he said, closing his eyes for comfort.

“Hey Kazu!”

Before he could open his mouth to say a word, another conversation had already started on the other end.

“How many times do I have to tell you that you can’t call him Kazu?”

“Mirei-chan said I could. You call him that too. And besides, it’s just a name. You don’t have to get so jealous, Jun.”

“What? That’s not even it. It’s respect, Mao. Kazu is what Mirei-chan calls him because he’s her boyfriend. Would you like it if other women called me Jun?”

“Sure, why not?”

“You don’t mean that.”

He had to intervene before this conversation got out of control, and by that he meant the two lovebirds bickering and then making up afterward. He could deal with the bickering, just not the making up. “Jun-kun and Mao-chan, can I remind you that I’m listening? Don’t tell me you two called because you needed an audience.”

“Um, no, it’s not that,” Mao said with a nervous laugh. “It’s about Mirei-chan and you.”

He frowned, switching the phone to his other ear. “What about her and me?”

“Is everything okay?” It was Jun.

“Yeah, why?”

“Are you sure?” That was Mao.

Nino rolled his eyes and sighed. “Could you two stop rotating and just tell me what’s going on?”

There was a brief muffled sound before Jun’s voice came on. “She called us and asked whether we’ve heard from you today. I thought it was kind of strange though. Did you forget to pick her up?”

Nino rubbed his eyes, suddenly feeling frustrated. “I did forget,” he admitted. “She told me to pick her up at five.” And he had thought she was probably working overtime again. The poor girl was probably dragging loads of groceries on her way home at the moment.

He wanted to thank Jun for reminding him but then he realized that the couple was already having a conversation of their own again. And this time, the topic was something about grocery shopping but he had zero interest in knowing what they wanted to eat for tomorrow’s breakfast. He ended the conversation and decided to give Mirei a call.

He reached her voice mail.

Groaning, he lifted himself onto the sofa behind him and attempted to stand up. He failed the first time, falling back in his seat. It was then that he discovered his cell phone under one of the cushions there.

He flipped it open.

Three missed calls and three voice messages.

~

“You have three new messages. First message left at 6:02 P.M.”

Beep.

“Kazu, I’m in the meat section right now and the pork is cheaper this week! I got it! Shall we have shogayaki today or tomorr – ITAIIIIIIIII! What is this? Oh, a table. Um, hi, Kazu. So yeah, let’s make shogayaki, okay? Oh, by the way, have you won the game? Yes? That’s great. Did you even eat lunch? Oh right, I was supposed to call you at noontime but then I was still stuck in the meeting. I’m so sorry about that. Kyaaaaaaa, onigiri! Kazu, would you like me to get some for you? I think I’ll go with the salmon today. I’m starving. I only ate rice crackers before the meeting. Hold on, okay? I’m going to grab some onigiri.”


The message had been cut off right after that.

He sighed but couldn’t suppress a smile from listening to her message. She pretended that he was there with him. A part of him was thoroughly amused but there was also guilt because he could have been there with her for real. On the other hand, he knew she probably attracted some strange looks because he could picture her talking animatedly into the phone and not stopping once for a reply. But that was how she was.

He pressed the save button for this message and proceeded to listen to the next.

“Second message left at 6:06 P.M.”

Beep.

“Kazu, I got you five onigiris. Now let’s head over to the produce section because we ran out of ginger and to make shogayaki, you must buy it. Umph. Oh yeah, I ran into Jun-kun today. He says you’re becoming more and more of a married man but I think he meant ‘old’ instead.”


He frowned. It already irked him that others were calling him old but hearing it from her just made it worse. Her chuckle after that didn’t seem very encouraging either. He thought he was about to hear more of her laughing at him for being ‘old’ but instead, he was met with silence. He took the phone away from his ear and looked at the screen. He wasn’t disconnected so he pressed his ear against the phone again, waiting for her to speak. But she didn’t. A mere few seconds later, there was a soft thud on the other end and that was it.

He sprung up from his seat, ignoring the sharp pain from his back and pressed for the next message.

“Third message left at 6:28 P.M.”

Beep.

“Kazu. Um, I’m sorry about the last message. I just had, um, the sudden urge for a nap. Heh. But I’m back now and everything’s fine. I should be back home in about an hour. I’ll see you then.”


He snapped his phone shut and shoved the slim device into the pocket of his sweatpants. Staring at the front door, he inhaled deeply before limping towards it, getting ready to go out and find her before her condition worsened.

“If you collapsed, just say so,” he muttered as he grabbed a cap on his way. He slipped into a pair of sneakers and was about to sit down and tie the shoelaces when the front door opened.

She stood there, grocery bags tangled around her skinny arms, blinking her tired eyes at him in confusion. “Where are you going?” she asked, setting the bags down and slipping out of her pumps.

His eyes traveled to her feet. They were red and swollen. He could never understand how women could actually walk in those kind of shoes for hours and he hated them even more now.

“Kazu, I’m sorry. The chairs they were selling in the supermarket seemed so comfy so I...”

He narrowed his eyes at her, refusing to believe a single word. She caught the hint immediately and began to redeem herself.

“They didn’t have to call the ambulance,” she said, a tiny smile tugging at her lips. “I woke up minutes later. I’m okay, you know. I just needed to eat.”

“You’re not okay,” he spat. “You haven’t been sleeping or eating properly.”

“It’s only temporary. Once Kuroda-san recovers then –”

“Then what? Then you will no longer pretend that you’re okay?” he snapped. “I told you not to go to work this morning.”

“But-”

“Go take a shower and get into bed,” he demanded, motioning to the bathroom. “I’ll let you know when the shogayaki is done.”

“Kazu, you don’t know how to make shogayaki.”

Instead of refuting, which he usually would have done in a conversation like this, he took her hand and led her towards their bedroom. The thing was, the journey took twice as long as he limped his way there and she wanted to withdraw her hand when she saw this, but he wouldn’t let go.

“You’re not okay either,” she pointed out as they reached the edge of their bed. Her eyes were now watering but he couldn’t tell whether she was crying for his sake or from exhaustion.

He didn’t say anything as he released his hand from hers and opened up their joint closet. He pulled out a set of pajamas with snowflake prints, a towel, and undergarments and limped over to her to hand her the items.

“Go,” he uttered, softly. He put his hand on his waist, trying to relieve the pain.

She bit her lower lip as she made her way into the hallway with him trailing behind her. He made sure she walked into the bathroom and closed the door. Then he pulled himself over to the entryway where she had left the grocery bags.

“I’ll make the shogayaki. It can’t be that hard,” he muttered under his breath as he lifted the bags into his arms and walked into the kitchen as slowly as he could to lessen the pain.

~

9:13 P.M.

Shogayaki turned out to be a piece of cake to make. But it was only so because he kept Jun on the phone while he was making it and his group mate gave him a set of detailed instructions. There were a couple of times when he was thoroughly confused because Mao kept interrupting their phone call to annoy Jun and then there were moments of absolute silence. He didn’t have to ask why because he knew Jun’s mouth was probably too preoccupied to be talking. But in the end, he succeeded in making his first shogayaki for Mirei.

Unfortunately, by the time he was finished, she had already fallen asleep inside their bedroom. He stood at the edge of the bed, rubbing his face with his hands, muttering how she could have fallen asleep without eating, and how she didn’t even come into the kitchen once to check up on him.

She slept in the fetal position on the right side of the bed so he climbed onto the opposite side and mimicked her.

He reached out to touch her nose. When she reacted by scratching the spot, he giggled like a little boy. But that died quickly when he saw a scratch on the back of her hand. It extended halfway from her ring finger to her wrist.

He frowned, concluding that she must have gotten it when she collapsed at the supermarket. He felt a twinge of guilt, remembering that he was the one who had forgotten to pick her up. He had missed the chance of going grocery shopping with her, an activity that he knew she liked to do with him exclusively.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, playing with her hair.

She shifted a bit in her sleep, moving closer towards him at the same time. Then, she opened her eyes very slowly. Before he could say anything though, she gave him a tiny smile and reached out to touch his stubble.

“Oi, go back to sleep,” he said, wanting to detangle himself from her. But she caught his arm and shook her head at him. He glared at her but his voice was soft, “Mirei.”

“You didn’t have to apologize. You had your sneakers on when I came home because you wanted to find me,” she said, lying on her back and staring at the ceiling. “That was more than enough for me.”

His eyes traveled back and forth uncomfortably as he also rested on his back. “What are you saying? I was going to pick up after you,” he retorted. “You know, you leave trails everywhere you go.”

She looked at him and chuckled, eyes sparkling as she said, “I love you too, Kazu.”

“You should sleep,” he said, ignoring her declaration of love and reaching for her hand and with a pout, he continued, “You need to report to work tomorrow, you know. As a matter of fact, we both have to work.”

She straddled herself on top of him but she did so carefully not to injure his back and lowered herself to kiss his lips. “I said I love you, Kazu,” she said in a whisper, lips still lingering near his.

He grinned as he cupped her face. And when she thought he was to continue the kiss that she had started, he pinched her cheeks hard and said, “Hayakawa Mirei, stop saying nonsense and go back to sleeeeeeep.”

She laughed as she tried to move away from him, “Unfortunately, with your short fingers, Kazu, your pinching doesn’t hurt all that much.”

“Don’t move,” he warned, narrowing his eyes at her hips, which was joined with his. “We’re in a very dangerous position right now, thanks to you.”

“You ignored me,” she argued, resting her head on his shoulder. “And plus, I was sleeping before you came in.” She closed her eyes and mumbled, “By the way, what happened to the shogayaki?”

“I ate it all,” he said with a scoff. “That’s what you get for falling asleep when I made it.”

She wiggled her hips a little and he inhaled deeply at that. “Kazu,” she began, “congratulations on making your own dinner for the first time in a long time.”

Part of him was thinking that he was in a very dangerous but comfortable position, and the other part of him was thoroughly confused. But it took him less than a second to figure out what her congratulations meant. “Don’t tell me that making me cook my own meal was my punishment.”

“I ate all the onigiris on my way home,” she said, nuzzling his neck.

He lifted his hand and let hover over the back of her head. His palm was wide opened. But instead of smacking her, he stroked her hair, as he always did when she was with him in bed.

“I love you too, Mirei.”

~
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