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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): In the Shadows of the City - [Fic] Getting What You Want [Complete]


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Sometime after her adventure with Kazuo, yet well before being gifted the Tessen of KamiKaze...

There are moments that are identified later as life-changing, when the course of a destiny is set in a channel of granite. Skye would have two of them before the Oni began to tear Tokyo apart. The second one will happen just before the Oni arrive, when an old man gifted her with two fans. The first is happening right now.

Skye Fell walked easily along the hallways, Queen of the school. Perhaps she was that in truth instead of just her own mind, but the fiction was true enough that the young woman wasn't troubled by the chance that it wasn't. She did have power and sway in the school, and she was hated and admired for it. Few students were neutral about her, but most knew of her. And she had made a point to learn at least their faces, and their names whenever possible.

So the new face in the usual morning crowd jumped out at her. Skye saw him, realized he was new and took another, longer look.

And the world stopped.

Skye had seen this before in anime and movies, but she'd never felt time crawl to a stop before. But as her blue eyes met hazel-gold ones, she felt that old cliche become real. He was taller than her, and white, with chocolate-brown hair that fell in disorganized locks around his face. As Skye's eyes widened and stared, he smiled. It was a smile that should have told her she was in trouble, that he had tasted blood in the water. Instead, she saw only the supreme confidence in the smile, going beyond what even Kazuo could manage.

Then students passed between them, and she couldn't see him anymore.


"Hi," he said, dropping into the spot between her and Suki at lunchtime.

Skye started and turned; when she saw golden-brown eyes, she blushed but managed to smile back at him. "Hello, new person."

"Ah, I haven't been here a day, and already I'm neatly pinholed and labeled," he replied, chuckling a little as he unwrapped a sandwich. His voice was heavily accented with an English accent, though Skye wasn't sure if he was American, British or Australian - yet. His Japanese was very good, for which Skye was grateful. It made talking to him easier.

"You don't have to be," Skye offered, smiling a little wider.

"You can get me an individual identity?" he asked, grinning more widely.

"I can, but I need your name first," she said. There was more than a little flirt in her voice, or in the way she spun her hair around her finger.

"I'm Henry," he replied, offering her a hand.

"Skye," she said, slipping her hand into his. It was like touching silk and her fingers involuntarily caressed him, lengthening their contact.

His smile softened a little. "Skye. What a beautiful name. Not as lovely as you, naturally."

Skye blushed harder, shyly turning her attention to the food on her lap, forgotten until now. She knew that she should talk to him, but the words weren't coming out. For the first time in her life, she was without speech.

"Would you be willing to show me around?" Henry asked.

"Of course," Skye said quickly, smiling at him. After a moment of deep eye contact, a blush spread over her cheeks. He was perfect. Just perfect, and she had to know more about him. "Where are you from?"

"England. London, to be exact. You?"

"Germany, though I've lived here most of my life," Skye told him.

"Really. You, Skye, are a very interesting person," Henry said, propping his elbow on his knee and his head on his hand. It tilted his head as he looked at her, his eyes lingering on her, studying her.

"That's silly! How can you tell - you just met me!" Skye said, flattered and charmed despite herself.

"Oh, I can tell, Skye-chan," he replied, lowering his voice so that only they could hear. "You are special - any fool can see it."

And despite the liberty he had taken with the honorific, she found herself smiling just as warmly as he.

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A week later, he asked her to come to the movies with him that Saturday. She had a dozen reasons not to go: she had homework, she had to practice for her recital, she was swamped with Student Council and on and on.

She still said yes.

They met at the doors of the movies at eleven in the morning. Skye had been up at seven, picking out the perfect blue sweater to go with her skirt, making sure her hair was perfect, and that her makeup was subtle and tasteful. It must have worked - his smile when he saw her was very warm and happy. "You look gorgeous," he said, stopping just a couple of feet away from her.

"So do you," she said with a bravery she didn't feel. And he did - the wind lifted his hair just so, and made his curls bounce and wiggle.

"C'mon," he said, opening the door for her. "The movie's going to start."

"Oh, ok," she said, blushing becomingly as she walked through the door. After she was inside, she asked, "What did you want to see?"

"I knew you'd like to see Wings of Love," Henry said, "so I bought two yesterday." He held up two tickets.

Skye smiled, thinking how sweet it was for him to think of her like that, even though she hadn't thought about seeing the movie. "Sounds great," she told him, taking the ticket he offered her.

He bought her soda and popcorn, too, and picked what he thought was the best seat in the house. Skye nodded and let him make the choices and pay for everything. It was nice to be pampered and treated like so much royalty.

The movie was good, but the best part was when Henry slipped his hands into hers. Just the merest touch of his hand made her skin tingle, and the sensual stroke of his thumb on the back of her fingers made her knees weak.

No boy could be more perfect.

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The movie went too fast, with Henry holding her hand. Skye didn't really like the movie that much, but she wished it would last forever. She loved to hold his hand, to just be with him, and the movie was enriched by it.

Afterward, they walked out of the movie, blinking in the bright light and allowing their shoulders to brush. That was one more wonderful thing about Henry, Skye sighed to herself. She let her shoulder brush a little harder against his and got a smile from him. He doesn't push me to act in a shameful way. He's willing to let the etiquette of Japan rule.

As if to contradict her, Henry suddenly grabbed her arm and pulled her to the side. Giggling, Skye allowed him to pull her into a corner in the theatre - and realized that they were effectively alone. Her eyes widened as she met his golden-brown ones; he smiled as he leaned down and murmured, "You are so beautiful and special. I can't stop thinking about you."

With tantalizing slowness, his face moved toward hers. Skye held her breath, her lips tingling with the anticipation of her first real kiss. She'd dreamed of this all her short life, prepared herself for this magical moment - but this isn't how she saw it happening, in public where anyone could see. She turned her head slightly, stopping his advances. "Please," she whispered, "anyone could see."

"No one will see us here," Henry whispered, turning his head so that he was tracking her lips with his own. He leaned against her, trapping her against the wall. Skye felt a slight stirring of unease as he caught her cheeks in his hands and held her very still. "Trust me."

The light seemed to catch his eyes, making them flare with golden color. Skye felt her inhibitions flow away, and Henry grinned as he continued to lower his head toward hers. Skye's heart began to pound in anticipation.

Which, of course, was when they were interrupted.

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Kazuo Kanai wasn't generally the kind of guy who'd spend his spare time at the movies. He generally preferred late nights at clubs and parties, or a day well spent at, say, the Kit Pophill or Rock in Japan festivals.

But it was way too early in the day for any cool parties, and it was the wrong time of year for rock festivals, so Kazuo had to make due with what was available. And it just so happened that a new Takashi Miike film was out, called God's Puzzle, and if it had been anything like Kazuo and his friends had expected, it would have been a day very well spent. Unfortunately, despite the fact that God's Puzzle had been made by the same guy who directed Ichii the Killer, the movie had turned out to be ridiculously boring for, like, the entire first hour, and way too metaphysical for, like, the entire last hour.

It wasn't like there weren't any cool parts to it or anything, they'd just been too spread out, and neither Kazuo, nor any of his friends, had any interest in all that "meaning of life" crap. But hey, Mitsuki Tanimura was the lead actress, and not only was she almost the same age as Kazuo, she was fuckin' hot! So it hadn't been a total waste of time.

Anyway, moving on.

Kazuo had just come from out of the men's room, having felt a pressing need to relieve the insistent pressure in his bladder after two hours of sitting in a darkened theater, when he saw a familiar-looking toe head in the corner, flirting with some guy. Kazuo being Kazuo, he stopped dead in his tracks and just watched the proceedings for a moment, trying not to laugh at what Kazuo was sure would be the loss of Little Miss Proper's tongue-cherry. Oh, who was he kidding? There was no way he could help himself.

"Hey, bijin!", he called in a voice that was way louder than necessary, "What're the chances of you running into me in a place like this, huh?"

Doing a pretty decent job of pretending to be oblivious to both Skye's and Henry's chagrin, Kazuo walked right up to the couple, slapped Henry inappropriately hard behind the shoulder, looked Skye up and then looked her right back down again, and then said, "damn, Fell, you look hot! So, who's this lucky bastard?"

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The couple stepped apart when Kazuo screamed across the open area. While Skye glared at him, the boy with her straightened his jacket with a smile. "Henry," he said, brushing back perfectly curled hair easily. "You have to be Kazuo Kanai."

"Bijin, you've been talking about me, eh?" Kazuo gloating, grinning at the glowering Skye.

"Skye's never mentioned you," Henry said, his tone perfectly designed to deflate Kazuo and to make him wonder how he knew him.

Skye finally found her tongue - maybe Henry had been hiding it? "Kazuo, you're not welcome and not invited," she said, struggling to keep her tone civil. "Henry and I are having a date, so if you wouldn't mind?" She made a sweeping motion with her hand.

"Oh, now, let's not be hasty," Henry said, softly. His hand brushed hers, a motion that was subtle but that spoke volumes to those Japanese who were observant. "Let's talk to our classmate." He smiled at Kazuo, and there was something wrong in the way his yellow eyes flashed in the light. "Yes, Skye is quite hot."

Skye turned bright red. "Henry..." she whispered, looking uncomfortable.

"He's right," Henry said, "and I can't deny the truth." He rubbed her arm, and to Kazuo's experienced eyes, there was nothing caring about it. Henry was marking his territory. He was casual about it and worse, his faint contempt indicated that he believed that there was no challenge in keeping Skye.

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Kazuo really wasn't the most observant guy on the planet, so a lot of Henry's "subtle motions" were lost on him entirely, but he still had a knack for making on-the-spot assessments of a person's character that usually turned out to be dead-on. So it didn't take a real long time to decide that the foreign kid was an asshole. On the other hand, it was nice to be overestimated. wink

Even being a not-terribly-observant, self-absorbed, and egotistical jerk, Kazuo could still tell that this joker was making Skye uncomfortable in a way that just wasn't cool. This irritated him, but in truth, a lot of things irritated him, so this wasn't really surprising. Anywho, Kazuo was already tired of this guy trying to get him to play some stupid social game that he wasn't good at and had no interest in learning. Time to move things into an arena he was comfortable with. Outright confronation - always a good time!

So he stared flatly at 'Sr. Rico Suave' in a way that let him know that he was not only entirely unimpressed with his little display, he was also not really interested in anything the guy was saying, either. He was Kazuo fucking Kanai; like he actually needed some joker he'd just met telling him he was right about whether some girl was good looking or not! Was this guy retarded or something?

Since Kazuo was the kind of guy who tended to speak his mind - a lot - he took a step forward, and just looked the foreigner in the eye and said, "Oi! Jingai! I was just bein' nice. I don't need your agreement to know I'm right about Fell here, I can see she's a babe just by lookin' at 'er! Now is one of you gonna answer my question or not? Who the fuck are you?"

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Henry was unfazed by the insult, the profanity or the intimidation that Kazuo was displaying. His odd eyes just watched the posturing teen, making no move and showing way too much composure for an average high school kid.

It was Skye who reacted. "Kazuo, go away! We don't want you here." Of course, that had about as much reaction as spitting into a tsunami, and both men ignored her.

"Skye told you who the fuck I am," Henry said, his profanity drawing a startled look from Skye. "But you either can't understand simple conversation, or you really want to know what I am. So I'll repeat. My name in Henry. My what is: I am a new student at your school. I enjoy Kendo and chess, as well as working on interpersonal ties with new people. Does that answer your question?"

Henry's smile hadn't changed, he had barely moved, but there was a sense of danger around him. He was like a coiled snake, and there was no way to know if he was going to continue to watch or strike. It was unnerving, or would be to someone who catches subtle clues. Skye, for example, looked scared of him. It was an expression Kazuo hadn't seen since the night she'd shot someone in the foot.

"We should go," Skye said softly. She looked at Kazuo, her blue eyes afraid, and for a moment, he thought she was talking to him. But her eyes went back to Henry's face and she added, "We had something else to do, right?"

"Yes, we do," Henry said, "but let's finish talking to our friend Kanai."

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Kazuo Kanai laughed softly at Henry's words, and Skye's desperate attempts to keep things simple. This was more like it. He'd always been at a loss in complicated social situations, feeling left out and uncomfortable, but tension and conflict he understood perfectly. So the tighter this strange young man with the equally strange eyes coiled, the looser and more confident Kazuo became.

Stupid? Oh, you betcha! But that's just the way he rolls. wink

"See, Henry", he said, "that wasn't so hard, was it?" Kazuo gave a wry grin and added, "there's no need to be shy around me, 'new kid'."

"We should go," Skye said softly. She looked at Kazuo, her blue eyes afraid, and for a moment, he thought she was talking to him. But her eyes went back to Henry's face and she added, "We had something else to do, right?"

"Yes, we do," Henry said, "but let's finish talking to our friend Kanai."

"Yeah", said Kazuo, the shark's grin still on his face, "let's finish talking. What're we talking about?"

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"I was talking about how attractive my girl is, but you seem to like disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing with me." Henry shrugged easily, while Skye glanced from boy to boy, looking confused. "We could talk about other things. Got a topic, Kanai? Something you're dying to get off your chest?"

Skye hated this. Some part of her was deeply afraid of Henry now, while another part was still infatuated with him. She was also very uninterested in watching a pissing match between the two high schoolers. And in a place she wasn't willing to face, she hate seeing her once-comrade being insulted like this, even if he didn't seem to care. When the pause in conversation came, she took it. Before Kazuo could reply, Skye snapped, "This is dumb. I'm going home."

"No, you're not," Henry said, without looking at her. Skye stopped in her tracks, not sure why but knowing that she had to stop. She hated the sensation of unthinking compliance, and it was worse because Kazuo was there. He's going to think I'm some weak girl turned by a pretty face, she thought miserably, even as another part of her pointed out that was exactly what was happening. The internal conflict caused deeply conflicting emotions, and her face was flushing red as she came back.

Henry still didn't look at her, though he was clearly talking to her. "Kanai and I were talking, but we'll be done soon, won't we Kanai? I mean, is there really anything a loser like you could say to me?"

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Kazuo didn't know what had crawled up this guy's crapper and died, but whatever it was, it must be fuckin' haunting this guy's ass for him to have such a shitty attitude!

"Are?", he asked, in mock-bewilderment, and then promptly let his expression and tone switch back to partially amused and mostly annoyed. "You need to clean the wax out of your ears, gaijin. I aint disagreed with you about nothin so far, bozu, you're the one who keeps agreein' with me, and you're the one who won't even take his girl's hint and beat it jus' so he can talk to me!"

He looked away from Henry's strange eyes, and turned towards Skye then, saying, "hey Fell, what' with this guy? You sure you're even on a date? 'Cause he seems more interested in talking to me than you!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"You butted in," Skye snapped, her blue eyes locking onto his. "Why should we have to leave?" Some part of her was still miserable and confused, but that faded before the very real anger she now directed at Kazuo. "We were here first, and you are the intruder. Why don't you leave?"

Henry smiled victoriously as Skye snapped at Kazuo. He seemed to enjoy her anger. For once, he remained silent as the petite blond faced off against the relatively tall Kazuo. "No one wants you here, though no one wants you anywhere, so this should be no surprise. Why don't you disappear already?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Cuz this is fun, bijin, that's why. Anyway, aren't you the one who keeps talking about leaving? I mean, like, seriously - have either of you been listening to yerselves? Or are you both too busy hangin' off of every word that comes outta my mouth?"

Kazuo stared at them both with open incredulity before continuing. "I have to admit, I am feelin' a little redundant here. You two are doin' such a great job of contradictin' yerselves, ya don't hardly need me at all, do ya?"

Kazuo already knew that Fell was a little bit nuts, but the way she and Henry were acting was starting to get really weird, even by his standards. It was like, even though they were facing each other from across a distance of only a few feet, Skye and Henry were having a completely different conversation than the one Kazuo was having. Actually, it was more like both of them kept imagining that they'd said something significantly more witty or telling than they actually had. It was getting kind of sad. Even an unapologetic ass like Kazuo was beginning to feel embarrassed for them.

Ok, maybe not for Henry, but maybe a little bit for Skye. A very little bit. Like, ->this much<-, possibly less.

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  • 1 year later...

If Kazuo was confused, Skye was even more confused. She wasn’t sure what she was doing here anymore; she wanted to leave a long time ago. However, she remained for… some reason. She honestly wasn’t sure why but she also couldn’t leave.

Somehow, this was Kazuo’s fault. She wasn’t sure how, but she was sure he was to blame.

She opened her mouth to plead leaving again with Henry when he spoke. “Well, I have what I need.” Henry’s manner changed slightly as he spoke and he took a firmer grip on Skye’s hand. “Good day, Kanai. Until we meet again.” He turned and steered Skye away from Kazuo, not looking back.

“Ugh, let’s hope that never happens,” Skye said over her shoulder, scowling at the scarred teen as they walked away. She felt a small desire to be leaving with Kazuo rather than Henry, but she crushed it. They left the very bewildered Kazuo behind quickly, moving through the crowds with purpose.

Outside, Henry took her for a stroll through the park. He’d dropped her hand when they were outside and they walked together to Skye’s stop. Henry took her hand and lifted it to his lips; Skye waited for the kiss, but it never came. Instead, there was the whisper of warmth on her skin before he withdrew. She then thought he was going to leave, but he leaned forward and whispered in her ear, “Someday, dear Skye, someday. You and I will have our moment.” His lips brushed her cheek before he spun on his heel and left, leaving her feeling strangely bereft.

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