Until Your Heartbeat Settles
(Thank you to waterinegirl for the commission and happy birthday!)
I close the sliding screen to my room, sat down in the center of the room, and like that I slowly lay down.
[KAGEMOCHI]: (Although it was a banquet within the army, I drank a little too much…)
I tossed and turned above the tatami mats, looking for a cool and pleasurable spot.
[KAGEMOCHI]: (It’s perfect for my body flushed with alcohol.)
I quietly closed my eyes and just as I entrusted my body to the silence I sensed someone approaching my room.
[KAGEMOCHI]: (These footsteps…)
[YUZUKI]: “Kagemochi-san, it’s Yuzuki. I brought water.”
Suddenly, when I heard Yuzuki-san’s voice, a mischievous spark was born and I stayed silent, pretending to sleep.
[YUZUKI]: “Kagemochi-san…? I’m coming in.”
The sliding screen opened and in the corner of my lowered eyes I caught a glimpse of her feet.
I heard the sound of cloth brushing against the tatami mats and then, softly, the gentle scent of Yuzuki-san.
[YUZUKI]: “I’m putting the water here, okay?”
[YUZUKI]: “Is he sleeping…?”
A shadow was cast on my face and I could tell that she was peeking at me.
[YUZUKI]: “… Haha.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Am I making an interesting expression?”
I snapped open my eyes and gently pulled Yuzuki-san’s arm.
In a flash her body was trapped inside my arms.
[YUZUKI]: “K-Kagemochi-san…! You were awake?”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Yes, from the start I wasn’t sleeping.”
[YUZUKI]: “If that’s the case then why didn’t you respond when I called out to you?”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Well, I wonder why?”
[KAGEMOCHI]: (Haha… if I said I wanted to see your surprised look then you’ll surely get angry, won’t you.)
I smiled mischievously at Yuzuki-san who was showing a small, troubled look.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “In your case, why did you laugh when looking at my face?”
[YUZUKI]: “… Your sleeping face looked a bit cute.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “You’re courageous to use the words cute for me.”
[YUZUKI]: “S-sorry… I did think it was rude to call a man cute, but…”
Yuzuki-san continued with an apologetic appearance.
[YUZUKI]: “Kagemochi-san, you’re always composed… and I get the impression that no matter what happens it’ll be settled without a change in your expression… so…”
[YUZUKI]: “Your relaxed and open sleeping face is cute…”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I see, so that’s what you meant.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “However… I do not let my guard down, you know. Even when I’m sleeping.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… We don’t know when we will be attacked by an army after all.”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s… true.”
Yuzuki-san nodded as if she was deeply impressed.
[YUZUKI]: “Kagemochi-san, you’re amazing. To me, it looked like you were defenseless.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “That would be the case, since I was unguarded earlier.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh…? But just now…”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “It was because I knew the person coming beside me was you. I wouldn’t show a defenseless posture like that to anyone apart from you.”
[YUZUKI]: “I-I see…”
I saw that Yuzuki-san, who lowered her head with red-stained cheeks, was somewhat happy.
That sight of her was so dear that I pulled her tightly into my chest and heard her small heartbeats.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “You don’t seem to be very calm. Is it that you dislike being held by me?”
I tried asking her, teasing.
[YUZUKI]: “N… No! It’s not that I don’t like it, um… I’m n-nervous…”
Her cheeks, as she answered incoherently, became even more red, perhaps from her embarrassment.
[KAGEMOCHI]: (I’ll feel bad if I tease her too much.)
Loosening the strength of the arms holding her, I tried to release Yuzuki-san, but she mumbled out.
[YUZUKI]: “Um… I’ll calm down after a bit longer, so… can we stay like this?”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Huh?”
I was unintentionally at a loss for words to her unexpected sentence.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I do not mind, but…”
[KAGEMOCHI]: (By that does she mean… that she wants to be held by me for a while…?)
Feeling that Yuzuki-san liked me more than I thought she did I became happy.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “If you say such adorable things then just holding you won’t be enough.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Moreover, letting you calm down like this feels somewhat like a shame…”
I lightly lifted up Yuzuki-san’s hair with my fingers and smoothly traced her exposed pale neck.
I looked down at Yuzuki-san, who was staring up with glistening eyes, and quietly placed my lips over hers.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Oh my… your heartbeats have grown even quicker compared to earlier.”
Yuzuki-san buried her bright red face into my chest like she was embarrassed.
[KAGEMOCHI]: (It appears like it will take some time, but…)
[KAGEMOCHI]: (Like you said, I’ll hold you until you calm down—)