Written for Rose Argent, Yuletide 2010
Title: The More Things Change
Warnings: some relatively minor character stuff if you haven't read the manga
The sound of glass meeting glass rang through the room, followed quickly by cursing as Chika nearly spilled his drink in his enthusiasm. Michiru giggled softly as she brought her glass back and sipped at the liquid in it, the fizzy bubbles of the champagne popping against her tongue. She'd had sake a few times before, at festivals and celebrations, but this was the first time she'd ever tasted something like this.
"It was nice of Soutetsu-senpai to buy this for us," she said, smiling. "It's too bad he couldn't stay for the party." Then again, if there had been another person present, it would have been too crowded for them all to just sit on her bed and be comfortable. She was enjoying the closeness.
"Nah, it's better with just the three of us," Chika replied. "It's our celebration. No zombies allowed. No more zombies, ever!"
"It still feels strange," Shito complained. He had one hand pressed to his chest and an uncomfortable expression on his face. "My heart is beating so hard, and my lungs work even when I'm not talking, and my body is so warm. And I feel so... so... emotional!"
"Yeah, well, welcome to humanity," Chika said, grinning at him. "Trust me, feels a little weird to me too, and I was only dead a year. Kinda scary how much I'd already lost, actually."
"I'm just glad everything went back to normal once you paid off the loan," Michiru said fervently. Towards the end Chika had been starting to scare her a little with how emotionless and uncaring he'd become, the effects of being a zombie taking over his remembered humanity. Seeing the genuine warmth in his smile now made her realize that even at the time when she'd first met him, he'd already lost a great deal of himself.
"It's not normal for me," Shito pointed out. "I've never felt anything like this."
"You'll get used to it," Michiru promised him, hoping that it was true. "And it's better this way, you'll see. What are you guys going to do now? Chika-kun, you're going home tomorrow, right?"
"Damn straight I am," he said, eyes gleaming. "No more of this shit-hole of a dorm for me! Means I gotta put up with my old man clinging all over me again, but at least I'll be close to my adorable little Momoka-chan! We can hang out every weekend, and I can actually keep the money from my part-time so I'll be able to buy her anything she wants! She'll tell me all about her life and her problems, and I'll beat up any boy that ever makes her cry!"
"Or ever says two words to her," Shito snorted. "You are such a sis-con, it's pathetic."
"Says the guy who was in love with his mother," Chika retorted, waving a fist in Shito's direction. "Anyway you didn't even know what a sis-con was until Soutetsu told you."
"That doesn't make you any less of one," Shito said.
For a moment Michiru thought they might come to blows, another of their endless arguments and brawls. Instead, a little to her amazement, Chika snorted and tossed back the rest of his drink, deliberately turning his attention away from Shito. "Whatever. I'm in too good a mood to let you ruin it. What about you, gopher? You're not going back to your aunt and uncle, are you?"
The genuine concern in his eyes warmed her, and she smiled. "No, I'm staying here." When they both looked at her in surprise, she added, "I thought you guys knew. Since pretty much everyone in the other realm seems to want to keep an eye on me anyway, Bekkou-san offered me a clerking job in the office, and that means I can still live here in the dorm." It might be run down to the point of being condemned, but it was familiar and comforting in its own way. She was grateful that she wouldn't have to suffer yet another upheaval in her life.
Well, not as much as it could have been, anyway. Not working with Shito and Chika anymore was definitely going to count as an 'upheaval'. "I'm... really going to miss you two," she said. She turned the glass in her hands around and around, using it as an excuse to keep her eyes down so they wouldn't read too much into her expression.
As a result, she was caught completely by surprise when Chika slapped her on the back, and she nearly dropped her drink. "Aw, don't say it like that," he scolded her fondly. "We're not just gonna abandon you, gopher. Even if you have paid off your debt, you still belong to us."
Michiru bit her lip, more touched than she probably should have been by a declaration of ownership. "What about you, Shito-kun?" she said, asking both to change the subject and because she was curious. Shito didn't have any living relatives, unless you counted the Xu Fu as 'family'. She wasn't sure they would even want him back now that he was human, not after everything he'd done to rebel against them.
Shito was quiet for a moment, staring thoughtfully at his glass. Though she knew him better and he was a great deal more open than he had been when she'd first met him, she still found it difficult to read him. When he did look up, he met and held her gaze. "Michiru..."
"Um. Yes?" she said, hoping the words didn't come out as squeaky as they'd sounded to her. The intensity of his stare was mesmerizing, and she didn't think she'd have been able to look away even if she'd wanted to. Her heart rate doubled abruptly, and the force of it pounding in her chest made her shiver.
He just watched her silently for another moment, before finally asking, "Can I kiss you?"
There was a thump and a clatter from one side that indicated Chika might have fallen off the bed in surprise, but Michiru was still too caught by Shito's gaze to look. "What?" Chika exclaimed. "How can you possibly be drunk off one sip of champagne, you curly-haired freak?"
"I'm not drunk, I just want to kiss her," Shito replied, as if it was the most reasonable request in the world.
If Michiru had thought her heart was pounding a moment ago, that was nothing compared to how it felt now. Had the glass in Shito's hands been empty? She thought it might have been, but was that really enough to get him drunk? "You only ask things like that when you're drunk, Shito-kun," she said, her voice wavering slightly. Earlier it had seemed like there was plenty of room for all three of them to sit on her bed, but now it felt like he was far too close for comfort.
"What, I can't want to kiss you unless I'm out of my mind?" Shito finally blinked, breaking the spell and allowing Michiru to look away as well. "If you don't want to, then just say so, idiot."
The insult startled her, because on the previous occasion she'd seen Shito drunk and asking for affection, he'd been almost disturbingly sweet about it. But why else would he be asking? Could he really just... want to kiss her? "I didn't say that," Michiru said, blushing. "I, er, wouldn't mind. That is, I'd like it."
"Hey." Chika had turned his head, quite deliberately looking away from them, but Michiru thought she saw a hint of a blush on his cheeks as well. "You're only allowed to do it if I get one, too."
"Hmm?" Shito raised an eyebrow and cocked his head at his former partner, and smirked. "I didn't think you were interested in that sort of thing."
"What, you're the only one who's allowed?" Chika said, turning back to glare at him. He was definitely blushing, the expression at odds with the defiant anger in his eyes.
"Well, if you really want to," Shito said, shrugging. "I suppose I don't mind." He caught Chika's shirt in one hand and hauled the other boy towards him, leaning in to plant his mouth firmly on Chika's.
As Michiru stared with her hands over her mouth, Chika made a noise that was close to a squawk, clearly too startled to react for a moment. When he recovered from the shock he planted both hands on Shito's shoulders and shoved him hard, breaking the connection with enough force to send them both tumbling back off the bed. "What the hell was that?!"
To Michiru's further astonishment, Shito was chuckling softly as he picked himself up from the floor, his eyes glinting with evil amusement. "Well, you did ask," he said. His voice was far too innocent to be believed. Who would have thought that turning him human would give him a sense of humour?
On second thought, he'd always enjoyed tormenting Chika at any opportunity. Perhaps the combination of humanity and alcohol had just loosened him up enough for this sort of teasing.
"With her, you freak of nature," Chika shouted, waving his arm wildly in Michiru's direction. "I meant I wanted one with her, not you."
"Ah. Well, then you should have been clearer," Shito said. He shrugged, unperturbed by Chika's yelling and flailing. "The way you're carrying on, you'd think I'd just stolen your first kiss."
"A-as if," Chika said, blushing harder still even as his eyes narrowed with fury. "I've probably kissed more people than you have."
"I doubt it," Shito retorted. "Considering I'm centuries older than you, idiot. That was your first, wasn't it? Explains why it was so bad."
"It was bad because I wasn't kissing you back, moron," Chika howled. "Damn it Shito, I am seriously going to fucking kill you..."
"W-wait, you two," Michiru interrupted, because if she didn't she was afraid she was going to end up with bloodshed on her hands. She wasn't sure it had occurred to them yet that they would be injured like humans now, where even small cuts would bleed and getting their arm torn off would result in permanent maiming, not an annoying inconvenience. It would be ironic but not in any way amusing if they killed each other on their first night of being alive again.
Thankfully they both turned towards her, though Chika was growling and Shito was still smirking. Unfortunately now that she had their attention, she wasn't quite sure what to do with it. "Um... it's okay," she said, a little shyly. "With both of you. I'd like to kiss you both. But Shito-kun asked first," she added to forestall the argument she could already predict was coming.
For a moment she thought Chika would argue anyway, but in the end he shrugged and dropped his fists, sinking back into his chair and looking pointedly away again. "Yeah, whatever."
Shito turned towards her, and suddenly Michiru didn't know what to do with herself. Should she lean over, or wait for him to come to her? Was she supposed to embrace him, or just sit there and let him kiss her? That might or might not have been Chika's first kiss, but this was definitely hers.
Shito leaned over her with one hand braced on the headboard, the other catching her chin to turn her face up towards him. "You don't have to do this, you know," he said, a trace of irritation in his voice. "You could have just said no."
"N-no, I... want to," she whispered, and licked her lips without thinking. His eyes darkened abruptly, and she had just enough time to shiver in response before he leaned down and pressed his lips to hers.
He kissed with the same intensity that had been in his earlier stare; as if she was literally the only thing in his entire world that mattered. She felt like she was drowning in it, in him. Deftly he coaxed her mouth open and plunged his tongue inside, and it felt a hundred times better than she'd ever expected it to. He didn't let up for a moment, finding what had to be every sensitive spot in her mouth and teasing her endlessly, until she was dazed and breathless with sensation overload.
And also with lack of air, she realized as he broke the kiss abruptly and pulled back. Both of them were gasping, and Shito looked as dizzy as she felt. He stared at her with an oddly bewildered look on his face, as if he wasn't quite certain what had just happened.
After a moment, Michiru registered the sound ringing in her ears as Chika's laughter. When she glanced over she found him practically doubled over, laughing so hard he was wheezing. "Idiot. You forgot that you need to breathe now, didn't you?" he choked out, pointing at Shito. "You can't just kiss forever and not come up for air. You looked like you were gonna pass out!"
"Oh." Shito actually flushed slightly, and shook his head. "I've never needed to breathe before, except to talk." When Chika continued to laugh, Shito frowned and drew himself up. "Let's see you do better then, monkey."
"Heh. Just you watch," Chika replied, a wicked glint in his eyes as he reached over and caught the back of Michiru's neck, pulling her close. "Brace yourself, gopher."
She might have protested, still reeling from lack of air and the effect of Shito's kiss, but she hesitated a moment too long and lost her chance. Chika's kiss was rougher than Shito's, full of enthusiastic passion rather than refined intensity, but it had no less impact for the difference. She could hardly keep up with his energy, clutching at his shoulders for balance as he thoroughly explored her mouth. If it was his first - well, second - kiss, she would never have guessed.
When he pulled back they were both breathing hard, but not panting the way she and Shito had been. Michiru wasn't entirely certain whether that was better or not, because she wouldn't have minded if it had gone on just a little longer.
Especially since now that they'd both kissed her, there was an awkward feeling hanging in the air between the three of them. Chika's eyes were narrowed, and Shito looked speculative, and they were both alternating between glancing at her and glaring at each other as if trying to decide who had had the most effect on her. In another moment they would ask, and no matter how she answered there would be hurt feelings and probably a fight.
That was the last thing she wanted on this, their last night together. "Let's play Revolution," she suggested brightly, before either of them could say anything. "We have cards, right?"
She thought they were going to object, but then Chika grinned and said, "I've got a better idea. Let's play strip Revolution."
Michiru blushed and sputtered, but Shito only snorted in contempt. "Considering you inevitably lose every game you play, are you sure you want to suggest that?" he taunted Chika. "If you really want to get naked that badly, you could just strip down without an excuse."
"Not this time, bastard," Chika said, eyes glittering. "I've come up with a sure-fire strategy to deal with you. For once, it's going to be you crawling on the ground in the misery of losing!"
"You're a hundred years too early to have any hope of beating me," Shito told him, waving a hand dismissively. "But if you're that eager to have your face rubbed in the dirt, bring it on."
"Hah! Gopher, get the cards," Chika ordered. He braced both hands behind him on the mattress and leaned back, smirking at Shito. "Care to put your money where your mouth is, asshole?"
Smiling to herself, Michiru got up to fetch the cards from the shelf. Human or not, it was good to know that some things would never change. Things were certainly going to be different, but maybe not all changes were bad. After all, nothing could change what they'd been through together - or what they meant to her.
And in the end, that was all that really mattered.