With an angry growl, Hattori threw his arms up in the air out of frustration.
“ You prissy little ingrate! In spite of everything I’ve done for you, you just can’t wake up and smell the fucking coffee for once! And here I was beginning think I might actually be getting through to you, but no. You’re still the same spoilt little brat you where when I first laid eyes on you!” he yelled, ebony brows arched in anger as a pair of deep brown eyes stared darkly into his own.
“ Oh yeah? Well I never asked for your help in the first place!” Asuka snapped back, brow furrowing as the heavily tattooed man before her pulled his hair in agitation.
“ That’s it! ” He groaned, shaking his head defiantly; “I can’t take another second of your goddamned whining!”
“ I’m the one who’s whining?! You’re the one who’s always bitching about how his band will never make it- ooh, look at me! I’m Hattori, I’m twenty two years old, unemployed, single and still living in my parent’s basement! I don’t have a car, I can’t afford a decent pair of jeans- I’m a complete fucking loser-!” the silver haired woman openly mocked, her voice dripping with over-the-top sarcasm as her hands waved animatedly with every word.
Yet as she spoke, her brown eyes caught met his and she froze.
The look upon his features was one of disgusted rage and as the uncharacteristic snarl spread rapidly across Hattori’s face, Asuka instantly regretted her words. She had touched several nerves then, her agitation getting better of her as she spoke cruel words that lacked meaning.
Even so, the repulsed look upon the young man’s face chilled her to the bone.
“ Are you satisfied? Always have to have the last word, don’t you?” his voice, though calm, was shaking with suppressed rage.
Studying this strange unfamiliar expression on his normally kind-hearted face, Asuka was taken aback at how truly frightening he appeared.
That trademark smile of his, an adorable flash of pearly teeth framed by a shaggy goatee was now contorted into a snarl, his incisors looking almost pointed as the corners of his lips curled up cruelly.
Gone was the richly tanned tones of his skin, replaced instead with an ugly red tinge, several veins protruding from his temples whilst his nostrils, almost lost in the wilderness of untamed black hair, had flared out, white with fury.
“ Hattori, I-“
“ Save it. I’m done with you.”
The finality of those words cut the young woman like a knife and as she stood helplessly atop the worn lambskin rug at her feet, her heart gave a terrible lurch in her chest.
As much as she hated to admit it, she couldn’t bare the thought of him leaving. He had been her only friend through the media hurricane of her addiction and subsequent stay in rehab, the only one who stood by her side when so-called companions left her in droves.
He was the only person who stuck around after the flash and the glitter had long since vanished and she was thanking him by pushing him away just like everyone else.
Swallowing back a lump in her throat, Asuka bit her bottom lip as she felt the ghosts of tears stab at her eyes. She hated herself for feeling such things, for feeling anything other than loathing towards the very person who had tried to help.
Despite her better judgement screaming at her to remain hidden behind empty walls, she ignored her stubborn pride and ran after the young man following him up the basement stairs and into the ensuing corridor.
“ Hattori! Please, don’t go! I didn’t mea-!”
Without warning, he rounded on her, causing her to squeal and bump into a small table against the wall.
“ What difference does it make?!” he practically screamed, bearing down at her from his statuesque height as his eyes blazed with heated emotion.
“ You just won’t let me in, no matter how many times I knock on the door. You have no idea what you’re doing to me-!” he choked slightly, his voice faltering; “Do you feel anything other than resentment towards me?”
His strong hands, both tattooed at the knuckles with the word “ LOVE” in bold, spiralling letters gripped her arms with such force and roughness that the young woman couldn’t help but emit a soft cry of pain. Biting her bottom lip as she struggled to keep her composure, Asuka stared hard into the enraged man’s deep blue eyes.
He was hurting, no doubt about it but whilst her head screamed at her to run before she sunk even deeper beneath the waves, her heart was begging her to acknowledge the truth she had denied to herself for so long.
Clenching her eyes shut, she turned her head away from him wishing she could be so much stronger at this moment.
“ I-I do feel for you, ‘Tori-“
“ Then tell me why! Why are you trying to push me away?!”
The raven haired man was practically nose to nose with her now and as she opened her eyes slowly, Asuka couldn’t help the anger she felt at this very moment, the words forcing their way past her heart, into her throat and through her lips in a defiant yell:
“ Because I love you!”
Hattori’s eyes grew to the size of saucers, his jaw slackening and falling open slightly at the stark revelation. Unable to fight back the tears, Asuka let out a strangled sob and seized a handful of his dark vest tightly in her hands, head bowed low as shame and self-loathing washed over her.
She had finally admitted what she’d known all along but refused to admit: She loved the raven haired slacker. She loved him…
“… And I am scared shitless right now!”
Her words left her in a throaty gasp and as she lifted her head slightly, she was caught off guard by Hattori’s expression.
He still wasn’t smiling that loveable, toothy grin that she’d grown so fond of but he wasn’t snarling either. His lips were open slightly, chapped and worn from having been chewed on in the frustrating days gone by. But it was his eyes that startled her most. Gone was the furious rage that had erupted only mere moments ago, replaced by a strange, foreign expression.
Could it be… hope ?
” Asuka…” he whispered softly, relaxing his grip on her arms as he felt her shake beneath his fingers. Face flushed pink, she turned away from his gaze and retained a look of agitated uncertainty upon her striking features.
“ Get your damn hands off me…” she groaned, more of a feeble request than angry threat.
Hattori ignored it and instead leaned in close to the shaking woman, pressing her back against the wall as their eyes met once more. Nose to nose, chest to chest. He could feel her heart pounding frantically against her rib cage and the quickened pace of her breath.
He wanted desperately to say something to her, to reply to her sudden declaration but words failed him and as Hattori got even closer to his hesitant ward, he found himself unable to control his movements. A stocky, calloused hand held Asuka’s chin between his thumb and forefinger tilting her head up towards him.
“ Say it again. Let me hear it one more time from those luscious lips…” he whispered softly, brushing a thumb over the remnants of the hot pink tint that had once graced her mouth.
Meeting his gaze, Asuka stared with uncertainty.
Her heart was practically in her throat, her mind screaming for her to run away and never look back but for once in her eighteen short years, she finally decided to obey her neglected heart but before she could even utter a single word, a pair of full, rough lips ensnared her own in a heated kiss causing her to gasp with mixed surprise and longing.
Seizing the opening offered to him as she gasped, Hattori wasted no time in deftly licking at the corners of her mouth, gently teasing but never actually entering.
“ Mmmm…” she murmured as his hands fell to her waist, pulling her into a tight embrace. With a low moan Asuka’s fingers tangled themselves in his wild unkempt locks, deepening their kiss as her back ground into the wall behind her.
She had never known a feeling such as this.
Lust, passion and longing mixed with a sensational new emotion, one that made her tingle from her head to her toes. She wasn’t sure what to call it but at that moment, she just didn’t care instead surrendering to the strong but gentle touch of Hattori’s hands as they slid from her waist to her hips, hoisting her up against the wall as his body so obviously ached with desire.
Breaking their kiss to momentarily surface for air, Asuka gazed at him with a glazed expression. She said nothing, unsure of the words. Instead she merely rested her head against his muscular shoulder, eyes veiled as she held him close to savor the gentle warmth that radiated from his body.
"You didn’t say it again…” Hattori whispered playfully into her ear, causing her to look up.
With a mock pout spreading across her lips, Asuka cocked an eyebrow.
That's because you took the words right out of my mouth!