Harry's POV*** Paul: You!! Paul ran at us. We stayed holding hands.Louis squeezed harder every step Paul and Simon took. I rubbed his hand softly. Once Paul and Simon reached us they were smiling. Paul: This is great!!!!!!! All the fans love it!!! Louis: So me and Harry can date? Simon nodded irratated but ok with the fact it would keep One Direction popular. I kissed Louis's cheek and all the boys ran up behind Paul and Simon out of breath. Liam: Sorry... We couldn't hold them off anymore. Harry: It's alright they said its ok that we date! Zayn: WOOHOO! FInally i got some gay friends. Louis laughed really loud at that comment. This was Louis's real laugh and it was so cute. I smiled at him. We were still holding hands. I liked being taller than Louis. It was fun. We all joined onto the bus after the VIP signing and pictures. Niall: Where are we eating? Liam: The club. Zayn: yea you can eat at the bar. Niall: Wait, why are we going to a club. Louis: To celebrate Harry and I dating and being accepted. He smiled at me and i smiled at him. We arrived at the club. It was loud. It was dark too which was great! Now we didn't have to worry about people reconizing us. We entered the club and started dancing. We drank too. Being underaged, we had to act like we were older. It worked. And it worked little too much for Lou. He drank alot. But i didn't mind. Drunk Louis was always the funnest. We were dancing together. Me: Lou! I gotta go to the bathroom! I'll be back!!! Louis just swayed his hand. I chuckled and went to the bathroom. I came out and Niall was tugging on my shirt. Niall: Hurry! Louis is in trouble!!! Everyone's voices were slurred from drinking. Niall stumbly dragged me to Louis and this large black guy. Louis was yelling. I ran past everyone and went up to drunk Louis. Me: Louis! Stop you're gonna get hurt!! Louis swung towards me with a fist. And before i knew it i got hit. I fell to the ground. Louis passed out from drinking. Liam helped me up and to the van and Niall and Zayn carried Louis to the van. Louis hit me. I was so pissed off and didn't want to speak to him... I was only trying to help.
Alfred woke up in a panic. His head was pounding, he groaned while he sat up, no longer laying against the uncomforable bed that he was placed on. He looked around the unrecognizable dark room.
A loud knock came from the door. "C-Come in," he said, fearing of who was on the other side. The door opened, revealing a tall man with a white scarf wrapped snugly around his neck. Alfred looked at the man, something about him was familiar, but he didn't know what.
"How are you?" the tall man said.
Alfred scanned the man from head to toe. He wore a long brown coat, a long white scarf, shiny heavy brown boots, he had blazing purple eyes and platinum blond hair. "I-I ...."
"Whats wrong, da?" the tall man asked.
Alfred flinched when he heard, 'da'. Why though? He asked himself. He had a sudden feeling that he was in danger. He quickly jumped out of the uncomfortable bed, hoping to run from this dreaded feeling. When he began to run something yanked him back to the bed, causing him to stumble.
Alfred looked at his foot, it had a rusty metal chain around it, the rusty metal was attached to the bed.
Alfred looked at the man, staring into those deep purple orbs. "Who the hell are you? Why am I chained? Why am I here? Why can't I remember anything?"Alfred yelled in pure terror.
"Isn't it obvious, little America?"the man said as he left, shutting the door behind him.
Alfred looked around the room once again. This time noticing cameras all watching him. "Let me out!" He shouted to them over and over again.
"Wave goodbye to ya head, wanka." The Sniper pulled his trigger. "Boom. Headshot." The Sniper cocked the bolt on his gun and climbed down from his perch. He straightened his hat as he walked to his camper van, a triumphant grin on his face partially hidden behind his mirror shades. He started it up and drove over the bumpy terrain of the Australian outback, his dashboard bobble head bouncing wildly. Life on the Australian outback ain't easy. It was hot, dry; loads of animals itchin to finish ya off; Ya had to be dressed properly. Wide brimmed hat to keep the sun outta your eyes. Long sleeved shirt for when the going got tough(his shirt was khaki) and a vest with pockets full of ammo. A good kukri didn't hurt neither. He'd spent many nights sleeping in the compartment above the cab of his camper van. Sometimes he'd run out of ammo and have to pull out his kukri to do the job. But no matter how bleak things seemed, he always prevailed in the end. Sometimes it was too hot to do anything, so he'd miss a day sitting in the back of his van, rationing his food supply again. There was a lot that could go wrong out here. Get bit by a raddle snake and you'd have to haul your ass back to town at the speed of sound, or else you'd die out here. No town for miles and miles. Today he had just been camping around in the same spot, waiting for something to come along to the coast. First kill of the day. As he approached his kill his grin grew wider. "Sorry mate!" He said in his heavy Australian accent. "Now I gotta make a necklace outta ya teeth. Bushman's rules." He had blown the scalp off of a large, male, Saltwater Crocodile with his customized Remington 700. "Merchant gonna pay a pretty penny for this." And so he set to work. He took it's teeth, and put it in a body bag. After placing the bag into the back of his camper van(his living space), he drove back toward town. He'd sell the meat of his kills to a local merchant down by the docks. Good way to make money. Kill, sell, eat, repeat. He'd go long periods of time without human contact and food, just tracking his prey like a lion tracks a bull elephant. Slowly and carefully, with much vigilance. Making no wrong moves. Tension and power. He came to a large tree with dozens of vultures roosting in it. He got out and searched around in the back of his van until he found his box of ammo. He climbed up onto his camper van and loaded up his rifle. Then he looked through the scope and made some adjustments. Near the very top of the tree was a freak-of-nature, giant vulture. Perfect. He held his breath to keep as still as possible. He lined up his laser sight with the vulture's head. Boom! All the other vultures flew off, startled. Thanks for standin still wanka! He ran under the tree to claim his fallen prize. Suppa! He wrapped it up and put it in his van. He got back in, started the engine, and headed down the road. He arrived into town and looked around as he smelled the salt air of the sea. Beauty. There were people walking around the town, life going as usual. Nothing too interesting. He decided to stop at the boozer and pick up a countery. He reached the pub and got out. Upon stepping in, he was instantly surrounded by taxidermy, the stench of booze, and the loud voices of hunters boasting. He ordered himself some Vegemite and amber fluid. Then he walked into the corner where all the hunters sit. "So I'm out in me boat, fishin, and a big, ugly, grey nurse shark comes up and attacks me boat. I'm sittin , mindin me own business, and 'e comes up want'n a fight! So, to protect me boat, I jump on top of 'im and punch 'im in the snout." The Sniper sat there, enthralled in this tale, spreading some Vegemite on toast and swigging some amber fluid. "So e's flounderin around, tryin to knock me off, but I'm too strong for 'im! I end up beatin im to death. So I take 'is teeth, for arrow heads, and go back to fishin!" All the hunters around looked impressed, while the speaker puffed out his chest, hands on his hips, and grinned. "Oh any bludga can big-note imself!" the Sniper spat out after swigging a shot of amber fluid. "That's impressive, spare the fact that grey nurse sharks are endangered." All the hunters looked from the Sniper to the man who boasted, who now was speechless. "If ya gonna play the game, play by the rules, mate." All the hunters grinned. The boaster looked embarrassed and hushed up. "So, Mundy. Any good kills today?" "Just a big-ass, bloody, Saltwata Croc!" They all looked impressed and nodded as he retold the first kill of the day. "Oi, that'll make some bloody good eats." "Spice up that jerky and put it in a sandwich!" The Sniper mouth began to water at this. Crocodile jerky beat beef jerky any day. So he left to go to market. He reached the market and went in. Once inside, he smelled the aroma of fresh fish and up at the counter was the very man he was looking for. "'Ello there, mate!" The Sniper said, approaching the counter. "Oi! What'll it be this time?" The man behind the counter asked, his anticipation obvious. "Just a big, beautiful Slatwata Croc!" The Sniper boasted, looking over his sunglasses. "Ace!" the man said, impressed. They went out to the camper van and the Sniper opened up the body bag for the clerk to see. "Oh 'e's a bottla!" The clerk exclaimed. Now came the hard part. "I give yeah 250." "250?" The Sniper asked. "Not on my watch, mate." "270." "Keep bloody 'goin!" "The value 'o croc's just goin down!" The clerk said. "270. Max." "Alright, mate," The Sniper said disappointed, but tipping his hat all the same. 270 was enough to feed him, and that's all he really needed. After receiving payment, he moved the croc to the store's freezer and went back to the van. There stood a man in a black suit. He wore a fedora and sunglasses. This guy looked like trouble. Very suspicious. "Hello, Mr. Mundy," The man spoke in an American accent. "Ello Mista..." The Sniper started for him. "Do you know what Mann Co. is?" The man asked, ignoring him. "No," The Sniper said carefully. That's some shonky business right there. "We need your help," The man said casually. "You're the best hunter in all of Queensland. The only difference is, now we need you to hunt people." "You appear to 'ave made a blue," The Sniper said, angrily. "I'm a Bushman. Not an assassin!" "We'll pay you handsomely," The man said. "You won't need to sleep another night in that van of yours." "Sorry mate," The Sniper said, opening the door. "My answer stands." "Oh, okay," The man said, shrugging. "The animals don't see it coming. That's shooting fish in a barrel. Men... well that takes skill. Which I guess you don't have." "Oi!" The Sniper got out of his van and slammed the door. This man had struck a very sensitive nerve. Somebody doubts his skill? Mess them up. "You listen 'ere mate!" he said, pointing right at the man's face accusingly. "Nobody says ratbag rubbish like that 'bout me and gets away with it!" He turned away and rubbed his stubble and muttonchops, thinking hard. "If it's a war you want, it's war you'll get! I'll show you! I'm in!" "Thank you Mr. Mundy." And as the Sniper started getting into his camper van, he was chloroformed.
There's something about you But I can't put my finger on it You're different from the rest But in a good way I don't know what it is about you But you pull me in Maybe it's your eyes, full of happiness Or your long, wavy hair It could even be your smile One that is so big and bright I don't understand why I feel like this Every time I see you, talk to you Or even just imagine you with me My heart races 10x fast It only happens when I think of you You entice me, make me happy And most of all, you love me back That must be it.. No one else could love me back as much as you do No one else would put up with me I guess that's also why I love you so much too I'm glad you're different from the rest Because compared to you, the rest are like clouds in the sky All pretty much the same and something you see every day Please stay different from the rest And please stay with me too. I love you.
-Veronica's P.O.V- Everyone left the mall and I was waiting to be picked up by my brother outside while Mikey was waiting for his mom. We sat next to each other on the curb which was kind of awkward. I like him a lot, but I know he doesn't feel the same way. I mean, he has so many girls drooling over him and he just seems like someone who can't commit to one person, ugh. I hate falling for the bad boy My phone vibrated in my pocket and Riana was calling and I was about to pick up when Mikey started talking so I just hit end.
"So," he said "So " I said back. Ugh! Could this be any more awkward? "It's dark huh?" he said leaning back propping himself up with his hands. "Uh, yeah," I said looking up. Seriously that's all he was gunna say? I sighed and then he looked up and asked me, "So, you like anybody?" My eyes got wide and then I told him, "Yeah, but he doesn't feel the same way " He smirked and looked up at the street light. Then I looked at him and smiled a fake smile, "What about you? Do you like anyone?" "Yeah, you." He said really calm like it wasn't a big deal. "W-what..?" I asked trying not to smile insanely. "Yeah, I like you. You're really chill and funny, and a great person to be around," he said still looking at the street light.
"Hmm," I said and smiled. "Well in an odd turn of events, the guy I like likes me back " I said and looked at him. "Wait, what..?" he said and looked at me. "Really?" "Yeah.. I like you, a lot actually," I smiled. He looked like he was about to say something important when my brother pulled up in his car. "Gotta go!" I said heading towards the car. "Uh yeah bye..!" he said "I'll see you tomorrow right?" he asked loudly when I was about to open the car door. "Yeah, for sure," I told him. "By the way you look really pretty tonight," "Thanks," I said blushing and got in the car. My brother looked at me while I was smiling like crazy to myself. "Who was that?" he asked. "Oh no one," I said trying hard not to smile.
"Sebastian," Ciel purses his lips and sets the pastry down. He licks his little finger free of cream and fixes me with the most intriguing of expressions. Calculating as ever, but tempered with a desperate sort of curiosity.
Perhaps he's begun to count the days. October already.
"What do you think people think of us?" He lets out his breath in an annoyed stream. "Not like that. I mean, I've always called you my assistant, but maybe that was a little too " he pauses and casts his eyes down, displaying his eyelashes.
Sad. Shy. Two words I would rarely ascribe to ruthless Ciel Phantomhive. I consider him again. Ah, but perhaps more cunning than shy. This is part of his little scheme.
"Next time, sit down with me and at least pretend to have tea." He brushes at a few minuscule crumbs. " We're done here for today, Sebastian. I'm going out. Try and act natural."
"Of course, certain people know what kinds of groups I work with, and they know that you obey me." He raises an eyebrow, inviting me to disagree. When I don't, he continues. "But in public, at least, maybe you should try and act more casual around me." He leans forward, putting an elbow on the table and tilting his head. He flashes a crooked smile. "I hardly look like the class of person who has personal assistants or a body guard anymore "
I smile indulgingly. "That is the image you cultivate. You could have chosen to build a wealthy enterprise, or build your own underworld " Old habits make me speak slowly, and with just the right amount of inflection to suggest a good natured offer rather than temptation from a demon's mouth.
Ciel waves his hand dismissively. "I have enough to buy connections and relevant bribes. Anything else would unnecessarily complicate things." He eats the pastry in a succession of dainty bites and sips of tea.
He's at it again.
The dear soft smiles, that near self-satisfied tap of his fingers planning something, and it involves me. "Come walk with me the leaves are turning colors, and I hear that Hyde Park is looking exceptional."
A walk. How quaint. I look at him more closely. A soft, glistening sheen on his palms, and I notice he has taken on a pallor most concerning of late. It seems to suggest serious preoccupancy but with what?
As I arrange for our transportation, I think about the past few months. He has sent me all over England and the rest of the kingdoms, searching out even the barest connection to that day. But with the end of summer, he tires of this fruitless procedure, and now he looks at me with one wide, beguiling eye.
The other stares, transfixed, at my essence. Though I doubt he realizes it. To the human mind, his eye--that delicate and intricately bewitched vessel-- may seem a sensitive, sometimes painful mess. Such small and fickle things that do not realize true natures.
"We're here " he announces quietly. He takes us into the foliage, and says after a time, "Stay at hand I mean. Stay with me."
"Of course." Belatedly, I remember his request to appear more familiar. "Ciel."
As we walk, the wind tickles my nose and ruffles my hair. Finally, the trees of the lane make themselves known to me, and that greenish, potted smell comes over my senses.
Ciel, as I might have expected, sneezes. Not just once, in a dignified, self-important kind of way, but three times. At odd succession. His allergies, one might presume, may yet get the better of him.
He stops, and for the briefest of minutes, leans against me but only for a moment. He gets up and walks down the path, walking purposefully toward another quiet corner of the park.
The setting sun has stained the horizon a bloody wine of a color, and purple wafts at the edge of the visage. In minutes, we will be left in that murky half-darkness.
"Pleasant evening." He murmurs, his words gone awkward. His natural arrogance and confidence seems to have abandoned him. Even so, he sticks his chin out a little. "Do you like the plants?" He gazes into the carefully trimmed and kept foliage. He seems to be looking through it rather than at it. "You used to complain about technology especially computers and the net "
He smiles at me so convincingly. Like he were sharing memories with an old friend, rather than his executioner. I return the smile. I do like to see where this little noose will bring him.
Emboldened, he continues. "Do you like it here?" he waves his hand, the picture of a lord indicating his birthright. His property. "London. Earth. The present." He continues distractedly, as though he has lost that confidence again.
To keep him from talking too much, I tilt my head. Then I lower my eyelids and shrug. "It is." My eyes flick to the sky, where only the brightest stars are visible. "I am."
Ciel doesn't scowl or scoff like I expected, but rather looks at me with that sweet smile. He continues his questioning. "What do you like about cats?"
I stare, wondering what this is about. What it has to do with his plans.
"Does the young master mean to purchase a cat?" I keep my tone light, my expression friendly. "I know of a few delightful"
"None of that 'young master,' remember? And I was asking about you. Your reasons."
"Cats are delightful beautiful. Wise, and secretive about their ways They are fierce. Cunning, and lovely." I pause. " and masterless hunters " I move to stand next to the teen, lean in to whisper in his ear. "You know this, don't you?" I wait long enough to hear him swallow. "Ciel." I straighten, brushing my fingers across his neck.
Ciel shivers and swallows. He turns away, so I suppose he must have realized his mistake. Instead of correcting it, he plows on. "And food." He licks his lips with the very tip of his tongue, parting them just enough to show me it. "What kinds of foods do you like to make?"
I frown. What is he after? I look at him, still so vibrant and hopeful in these last months. So sure that he can find something about me that will give him true power over the contract. Over me.
Realization leaves me almost breathless.
"Do you like pastries? Or maybe"
I laugh unkindly. "I enjoy cultivating souls." I step forward again, bringing our bodies close. I peel off a glove and touch the outline of his eyepatch, tugging his hair with the other hand. "Sweet, bruised souls. Broken. Powerless and angry ." I push into his soft skin. " and I mold them into shrewd, desperate souls with no hope." I take a slow breath, as though tasting the air about him.
Ciel is still in my arms, and then flushed, angry. He pulls himself freeI let him. And he scowls at me. "Tell me your name."
I laugh again. "Sebastian Michaelis."
It is what he made me.
Ciel shakes his head and rips at this eye patch, showing the fragile orb beneath. "Your secret name. The one with power"
Ciel sighs, exasperated. "You are to tell no lies." He reminds me. "You are to obey all orders." He looks at me, very much the wounded bird.
I lick my lips. "I have bound myself to do these things," I agree. "But just look." I turn my face upward. "The sky is dark and the darkness is deep."
He does not understand.
And yet he is stubborn. Later, he will ask me again. And I shall refuse an outright answer is beyond the contract he formed.
"Then tell me about your past masters. Or your beginning." This desperate hunt for knowledge makes him reckless. He's tipped his hand, and there are weeks left to us.
Oh, the damage he could do
"They're all dead." I drop my gaze to meet his. "And none knew any such name." I chuckle low in my throat, and ask him gently, "could a human even pronounce it?"
"You mock me." Ciel looks to me, his pale face brighter than the reflected moon in the water. He doesn't cringe, doesn't beg. Just stares at me balefully.
Excitement tingles through me, rushing through my limbs. One last effort of a thrashing soul
Ah, how bitter truth must taste in his mouth.
I wonder, have I crushed it all out of him? That hope.
"I'm leaving." He snaps. "Get me home. Now."
"Ah, but I thought I was to be more familiar out in public," I taunt. I touch his face, smooth his hair.
Ciel flushes, and his hands shake. He grasps at the weapon hidden in his clothes, but doesn't draw it. "You will take me."
Ah, this child. This youth who would be a man in a few years time does he know of what he speaks?
Perhaps it's too early to tell if he's abandoned that last path. But he has at least plenty of anger left.
"Yes, my lord." I bring him up into my arms, and he allows it. I bound up. The path and city skyline blur beneath us, and at last, he says nothing more.
The weather had been awful the previous day. The ground was still muddy and soggy, mushy from the hard downpour the thunderstorm had let loose upon Konoha. The winds had managed to uproot several electricity poles throughout the city, and tree limbs dotted the streets like decorations.
So it was with great difficulty that Hinata managed to maneuver her way through the wreckage to School.
The only happy ones about this are the plants, Hinata thought somewhat begrudgingly. It was no easy feat, getting around numerous fallen branches and splashing through tons of puddles. Hinata's feet were soaked, and as she parked her bike y the side of the school and walked in, they squished and squelched against the ground with every step she took. And she took a lot of steps. Because, you know, short people need to.
Hinata, needless to say, was not in the most pleasant of moods that morning.
But once she walked inside the building, she felt her edginess ease slightly. The almost-regal appearance of the interior of the school -- high, Roman columns extending from floor to ceiling, newly-polished tiles, sleek, glass frames holding trophies and posters -- brought with it a sense of calm, despite the noise of hundreds of students echoing down the hallways and up the staircases. Hinata inhaled deeply, enjoying the moment, and then walked to find her locker, her feet squilching unceremoniously against the floor as she went. It was after she had put her things away and gathered her materials for first period that the intercom clicked on.
"Hinata Hyuuga, please come to the office."
What...? She did not finish her thought, instead heading to the office.
Shizune, the secretary, waved her into the Principal's office, where Tsunade sat at her desk among piles of paper.
"Jiraiya tells me you haven't signed up for a booth for the Spring Fling yet."
Tsunade always was rather to-the-point. Hinata blinked, then swallowed. She had hoped no one would notice that she hadn' bothered to fill her name in on the sign-up sheets passes around in classes and during extra-curriculars...
"I--" she began. Tsunade raised a finger, effectively silencing her.
"This is serious! You do realize the Spring Fling is tomorrow? You've had two months now to have signed up, so there are no excuses," said the Principal. "Every student is expected to contribute in some way by volunteering their services. You are not an exception, Miss Hyuuga." Tsunade pulled paper down from th top of one of the piles on her desk. Hinata caught a quixk glance at it as she did so, and realized it was a sign-up sheet. "Jiraiya has informed me that the Farmers of America club booth has extra slots."
Hinata felt her stomach drop.
"Ah, I don't thin--"
"You are a member of Farmers of America, are you not?" asked Teunade sharply, cutting Hinata off easily.
Hinata gulped and nodded slowly.
Darn you, Naruto! Hinata thought. I'm only a member because you joined that stupid club!
"Then it's settled," said Tsunade, lifting a pen and scribbling Hinata's name on the sign-up sheet.
"Y-you want me to...?"
"Hinata," she said, "You're taking the first shift for the kissing booth."
To say that Hinata was upset was an understatement. In fact, she was utterly livid, but she knew better than to argue with the Principal. She wen through the rest of the day in a haze of anger and increasing dread.
She was going to do the Kissing Booth.
Ki. Ssing. Booth.
As in, a booth for kissing. She was going to have to kiss. She was going to have to kiss BOYS. Maybe girls, too, but she didn't want to think about that.
This was possibly the worst thing that could ever have happened to her. Even worse than when that one pig bit her hand. She cursed her involvement in her after-school farming club yet again.
Why couldn't Naruto have joined something normal like soccer or debate or something? she wailed to herself. She knew the answer, of course: He wasn't into those kinds of things. He was different.
And how she hated him for it. Right now, anyway.
The next day was Saturday. As soon as she woke up, Hinata let out a moan and turned to her alarm clock.
She had three hours until the booth opened.
She spent the first hour and a half getting ready: she showered, she ate, she did her hair, she painstakingly applied makeup (which she exclusively reserved for special and/or desperate situations; Hinata figured the latter applied) and she attempted to convince Neji to trade booths (it didn't work).
Then she hopped on her bike and made the journey to school, the butterflies in her stomach growing.
When she arrived at school, it was like an entirely different place. Moonwalks were EVERYWHERE, as were discarded shoes; intoxicating food smells mingled together as she walked through the crowds of people, making her mouth water longingly. Students manning game booths and shops yelled into the crowds, advertising amazing prizes and amazing prices. Hinata caught sight of Kiba sitting aloft a dunking booth, taunting those trying to knock him in; she couldn't help but smile when she notices he was already dripping wet. She saw Ino weaving a crown of flowers for a little girl who sat excitedly in a chair beside the blonde. Even Shikamaru was doing his part: he watched over a game of shoji, clearly acting as a judge. In the sky, kites were flying, balloons were swishing, and decorative lanterns were hanging.
Hinata's yes landed on Jiraiya, who was waving her down. She slowly walked towards him.
"Ah!" said the older man. "You're early! That's great, it means we can open up early!" Jiraiya grinned at her, unaware of Hinata's nervousness.
"I-I don't really feel comfortable doing this..." Hinata mumbled. Jiraiya waved his hand dismissively at her.
"Then don't do it next year," he said. "Follow me!"
Hinata would have made a break for it had her teacher not put an arm on her shoulder, guiding her to a nearby booth. It was decked out in bright colors, and a big, gaudy pair of lips sat atop the booth's roof. Jiraiya pointed to the stool inside.
"You just sit there and peck people, it's real simple. Just take their tickets and put em in the box by your feet." He led her inside and gestured; a simple wooden box sat below the desk-like structure of the booth. "No ticket, no kiss! Be sure to smile and thank them for coming!" With that, Jiraiya strode off, leaving a stammering and blushing Hinata behind.
She HATED that man.
But not as much as she hated her life at the moment.
She hesitantly slid onto the stool, nervously placing her hands on her lap.
Please, God, she prayed silently, Don't let any old men or creepy perverts come here!
Hinata sat like that for a good five minutes. She was almost relieved, but she knew it was probably only this way because no one had noticed the stall was open.
Sure enough, a freshman approached shortly after, his friends teasingly pushing him forward. Hinata felt her heart leap; he was holding a ticket!
She tried not to panic.
I don't want to kiss anyone! I still haven't had my first kiss yet, and I DON'T want to lose it to some fish who--
"Hey," said the kid, raising a hand and waving. Hinata, flustered as she was, managed to return the gesture. She plastered a smile onto her face.
"H-hello," she said.
"Look, here's the deal," said the kid, leaning onto the desk; Hinata instinctively leaned back in her stool. "My friends are too chicken to ask, but is it possible to reserve a kiss?"
"Uh-Uhm," she began. "I..." She shook her head. "I don't think so."
The kid laughed.
"Okay, thanks!" he said. "I was asking for a friend, is all."
Hinata doubted this, but said nothing as the boy retreated to his two giggling friends and tromped off.
"What, no line?"
Hinata started. She turned and saw a grinning Naruto, who had pink glitter in his hair for some inexplicable reason. She blushed.
"I-I didn't even sign up for this..." she mumbled, and then let out a frustrated squeal. "I don't wanna do this!"
"It's just a kiss," he said. He smirked mischievously. "And you know you can cheat, right?"
Hinata looked up at him, curious.
"Oh? How so?"
Naruto slid a ticket onto the desk.
"I'll demonstrate," he said. "I'll be the big, ugly pervert, and you can be you." Naruto cleared his throat, then spoke in a raspy voice. "Pucker up, pretty little girl!" He sucked in his cheeks and stuck out his lips, making kissing sounds, and Hinata laughed.
"S-So how do I g-get out of k-k-kissing you?" she asked.
"Turn at the last minute and make him kiss your cheek!" said Naruto excitedly. "Then send him off!"
Hinata's eyes widened.
"B-But I thought had to actually KISS pe-people," she said, pressing her fingers together nervously.
"Not if you don't wanna!" replied Naruto. "But kissing on the cheek is fine, right?" he asked. He leaned closer. "Try it!" he said, turning his face. Hinata could see the whisker marks on his cheeks.
She felt her face flush and quickly pecked him, then put her face in her hands.
"Th-that was em-embarrassing!" she cried. Naruto patted her head reassuringly.
"Aw, I'm not THAT bad-looking," he said jokingly. "Besides, you did it, didn't you? So now you can do that for everyone!"
Hinata looked up to thank him, but he was already running off somewhere else. He seemed to be in a hurry.
Pribably to see Sakura wherever she's at, she thought somewhat bitterly. She had no problem with Sakura, but she knew Naruto liked her. Had, anyway. According to Ino, who was gossip central, Naruto had told Sasuke that he only loved Sakura as a friend these days. Hinata doubted this, however; it wasn't that easy to just stop loving someone and move on.
She was brought out of her reverie by Kiba, who approached waving a ticket.
"So do I get a picture, too?" he asked teasingly, handing her the ticket. His hair was still wet; he must have just finished his shift at the dunking booth. Hinata shook her head, taking Kiba's and Naruto's tickets and dropping them in the little bucket.
"Just a kiss," she said. Kiba grinned at her.
"I would feel bad about making you do this, but the look on your face when you saw me holding that ticket was priceless," explained Kiba. "All right, smoochie-smoochie time!"
Hinata leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
"Smoochie-smoochie," she said, smiling innocently at her friend. He blinked a few times, then howled in laughter.
"HINATA, YOU'RE HILARIOUS!" he yelled. "Wow, what a con artist!" He grinned again. "I LOVE IT!!! You're gonna disappoint a lot of guys!"
Hinata shrugged, blushing a bit.
"I don't want to kiss people for real..." she murmured. Kiba heard her and shrugged, still grinning.
"Hey, it's all good," he said. "No one's gonna hold it against you." He looked over his shoulder. Then raised an eyebrow. "So anyway, I'll see ya when you're done. I'm holding up the line!"
Hinata paled as Kiba walked off.
There WAS A line. A VERY long line. Consisting of many of her male classmates. She inwardly groaned, but outwardly smiled and waved them forward.
And so it was that she spent the next hour kissing young men on the cheeks and giggling at the more surprised and affronted faces.
Hinata waved to Choji, who waved back as he retreated into the crowds. So far, everything had gone well; her shift was almost over, and she still hadn't had a first kiss yet! She had never been more relieved in her life.
She looked up and saw the freshman and his friends standing near the booth again. She waved and tentatively motioned for them to come near. The boy who she had spoken to earlier approached.
"We're not in line," he said, "Just waiting for our friend to show up."
"Is he working a booth?" asked Hinata. The boy shook his head.
"No," he replied. "His shift was earlier. He worked the Princess booth."
Hinata had to wonder what boy in his right mind would sign up for something so flagrantly girly.
"Well," she said, "If he wants a kiss, he needs to show up soon." She glanced at the watch on her wrist. "Im done here in five minutes."
At that moment, a group of sophomore boys approached for kisses, and as she was occupied, Hinata did not keep track of the freshman and his friends.
When she had dealt with the sophomores and sent them on their way, she continued speaking.
"He's actually got about a minute now."
Hinata's eyes widened, and she glanced up to see Naruto smiling at her.
"O-oh," she stammered. "A freshman wa-was saving a spot in l-line for his friend, but he didn't show... A-And my shift is nearly over."
Naruto's smile grew.
"You mean Konohamaru?" asked Naruto. "Nah, he was just holding onto a ticket for me so I wouldn't accidentally spend 'em all."
"I... I don't follow..." she said. Naruto scratched the back of his neck.
"I'm the friend he was waiting for," he said.
Ah. That explained the glitter, then.
Hinata felt... Well, she couldn't even describe what she felt... It was a mixture of the walking-on-air feeling and the I-feel-like-a-piece-of-poo feeling: Naruto had been saving a ticket to use at her booth, but Naruto wanted a kiss!!! The thought both scared her and made her want to burst out in a happy song.
It didn't help that she realized she had unknowingly insulted his manliness just a short while ago.
Naruto slid the ticket his friend had saved for him onto the booth's desk.
"So... Pucker up!" he said jokingly.
She didn't know why she did it. It was almost like the puppet theory, as if she had no control over it, but it happened.
She leaned forward and missed him.
On the lips.
For several moments.
She had closed her eyes, but she was sure he wore a surprised expression. She felt like slapping herself, and quickly pulled away, ducking her head, eyes wide and trained on her fingers, which were for once not twiddling.
"Sorry," she blurted out. She felt her eyes watering. Why had she done something so stupid?! Now he would hate her, and oh God, he would HATE her--
Well. She had expected something along the lines of "Aaaah!" and "WHAT THE HELL," not "Wow." Was "Wow" even a good thing? It was definitely unexpected, so that probably meant it was a bad thing. Great. Just great.
"Sorry," she whispered, feeling a tear slide down her cheek. This was it. She knew it. He would never look at her again. She wouldn't blame him. After all, she had--
Something brushed her tear away. It took a moment to register that it was a finger. She felt herself trembling, and slowly lifted her chin.
Naruto was staring straight at her, concern written all over his face.
"Was it really that bad?" he asked, wiping more tears away; she hadn't felt them fall, but now they were streaming down her face.
He grinned and leaned in, kissing her.
It caught her completely unawares, and she was stunned for a moment before she melted. Into a pile of goo.
Naruto was kissing her.
Naruto was kissing her.
NARUTO WAS KISSING HER!!!
She kissed back.
After a few moments, they pulled apart. Hinata wiped her tears away, cursing her darned emotionalness, and then looked up at Naruto.
He was beaming.
She smiled back.
"Oops," she said sheepishly. "I wasn't supposed t-to give any freebies."
"You didn't," he replied. "Your shift's over."
"Oh," she responded. She silently dismounted from the stool and left the booth, joining Naruto.
He grinned mischievously and grabbed her hand, pulling her in for a hug.
After a sharp intake of breath, Hinata relaxed, hugging him back.
In her peripheral, she saw Kiba approaching.
"Whoa!" yelled her friend. "Get a room, you two!"
Hinata blushed and pulled out of Naruto's arms hastily. The blonde pouted.
"Way to ruin the mood, Kiba," he grumbled. Hinata giggled euphorically.
"It's fine," she said. Naruto shrugged, then turned excitedly to her.
"Have you grabbed anything to eat yet?" he asked. "'Cuz I haven't!"
Hinata shook her head.
"Then let's go!" said Naruto. He pulled her along with him, and smiling, she followed.
The purple miasma dissipated around them, letting her eyes view the man holding her by the waist with a possessive, yet dedicated touch. It was as if he was afraid to touch her, but at the same time, he needed to feel the warmth of her body under his trembling hands.
He looked desperate to have her next to him, but his actions made her question things she'd been certain about since their separation. Why he chose magic. Could it be that she'd been wrong all this time and he really did treasure magic more than anything and anyone. But his expression when he saw her again said the opposite, and his words and the way he spoke them was like a man awakening from a nightmare. He'd babbled nonsense, at least to her, and she didn't understand anything that was happening or why. She was in a strange world and a stranger, Jefferson, gave her the means to find him so he'd protect her from the queen.
He said all magic came with a price and she wondered the cost he'd have to pay. Would he reject her again when she least expected it. Would he cast her out the moment she made a mistake? She felt bad for thinking such things, but she only had their past together to draw her conclusions upon.
Rumplestiltskin moved his fingers along her waist, slow as if playing a soft, calm melody on a piano. If he continued, she'd either melt or end up cuddling in his embrace whether he wanted it or not. She forced herself not to get distracted; this time she wanted the truth. She needed to know the truth in order to save their hearts from ache.
Their gazes locked and she could see the desire for magic clinging in his eyes. She tried not to look hurt, but knew her emotions were betraying pain and doubt through her stare.
She stepped back, separating her body from his, but without breaking his hold on her waist. He looked confused. Worried.
"What happened?" he asked, his voice shaking.
She took a deep breath and gathered the courage for his future words, all the while trying not to remember the disaster that trigger her final act of bravery. When she dared to stand up to him. To call him a coward.
"Why'd you bring magic Rumplestiltskin?" He opened his mouth, but didn't speak. "I. . . I know you have your reasons but . . . is . . . was I wrong about how you feel?" She looked down, and prepared for the pain his answer would have on her.
He exhaled loudly and looked everywhere except her. A habit she knew he had when he was trying to find a way to escape something.
She stepped forward once again, letting his arm slide around her body. She placed her hand on his chest, wanting to treasure the closeness for as long as she could have it. She wasn't going to be the one to walk away. He'd have to be the one to leave.
"I know your power is important but"
"Not as much as you." Her fingers reached up and she began playing with the buttons on his jacket. His arms tightened around her. "But I still need it."
"Will you tell me why?" She looked up at him, her eyes boring into his with a silent request to not cast her aside. For him to trust that she loved him and that he deserved to be loved.
"It was part of our deal, dear. So, like it or not, I have to fulfill it."
Her face and burden lightened, and her cheeks reddened. He buried his face in her brown hair, and took a deep breath to enjoy the aroma he'd missed so much. The freshness of a rose that he'd never allow to wither.
She happily surrendered to Rumplestiltskin's strange display of affection. She put one arm around him, and tangled his silky hair between her fingers, while the other hand kept fiddling with his jacket buttons and collar. She relished his beating heart underneath her hands.
"I always let the things I care about slip through my hands, I won't let you go again," he said. She nodded, pleased at his words. She felt his body relax around her. She pressed herself closer, a wordless gesture to give strength to him. "I need my power to protect you from the queen and make her pay for what she's done to you."
His voice was filled with pain and hatred. A hate bespeaking such a cruel revenge her mind couldn't fathom its equal. She pushed it back and encouraged him to continue the tale he hid for so long. "But that's not all," she whispered.
"No." He closed his eyes and inhaled again. "When you were in the castle with me, I told you I lost my son. That's not entirely true. It was tha" he choked on his words. The last time he tried to tell her about his son, he evaded the subject. If she wanted him to tell her, to release a bit of the burden upon her, she had to offer her support each time his words failed.
Belle saw the anguish expressed in his eyes and his trembling lips. She moved her hand up, along his red tie, and then timidly stroked his shaven chin with her fingertips in an attempt relax his nerves.
Rumplestiltskin leaned into her touch for a moment before pressing his forehead against hers. "It's my fault he's gone. He tried to find a way to free me from the power I had. In his eyes I'd become a wretch. I said if he found a way to get rid of the powers without killing me, I'd do it. He did find a way, but I was afraid of returning to my old self and I broke my deal. He was sent to a different world. A world without magic, and without his father."
"He came to this world?"
He nodded. "The Blue Fairy made it possible with a magic beanstalk. It created a vortex that I didn't dare cross. I created this curse to come to this world, but I need magic to find my son in this vast place."
"You created the curse? I thought the queen was responsible."
At hearing her words, he laughed. "The queen is not that powerful dear, but she has a despicable heart. She had to carry out the vilest act, and she had the hatred to do it purely for revenge on Snow White. She never realized how she fell right into my manipulations." She heard gloating in his tone and looked away. "I told you I was a monster Belle," he whispered with bitterness.
She looked back at him. "You aren't. You have questionable methods of doing things, but your overall cause is noble."
"It's not always Belle. Don't be so naïve."
"So what do you feel now?" she demanded with more force than intended. She wasn't as naïve as he thought she was and hated that term when it was used to describe her.
"I have hope of regaining everything I lost. You're the proof. I thought you were dead but now you're here." He took a shuddering breath, as if about to break into tears. "And if you still lo" He closed his eyes.
Belle wrapped her arms around his neck. "If you were a monster then you wouldn't be able to feel what you feel or withstand having me in your arms. I wouldn't be able to love anyone that didn't have a heart."
He removed one of her hands from his shoulders, brought it to his lips, and kissed it. Her stomach tightened and her eyes burned because of the small gesture. "I don't deserve you Belle."
She shook her head and they leaned into each other, his eyes asking for a kiss, and her eyes screaming their permission. Their lips met just as they did years go, timidly with delicacy and filled with the tenderness their hearts held.
They hesitantly pulled away and trembled at the loss of contact. She withheld the urge to jump for joy. "Your magic is till intact?" she asked, worried she might have broken the spell he needed so badly right now.
"Yes, in this world we don't have to worry," he said. "Although there is magic now, my body is still one of a mere human. There is not a curse to break."
"Oh," she said, for once at a loss of words with him.
He pulled away from her and grabbed her hand. "Let's get you some clothes. As beautiful as you are, those clothes do nothing for you."
She fake pouted and intertwined her fingers with his as she let him guide her through the strange world.
As they walked out of the forest, the small town came into sight. It looked like the villages he saw after an attack by ogres. His face remained expressionless, and he could feel Belle looking at him with her always-inquisitive eyes.
"It's ironic that true love is able to cause so much destruction," he said as he led her along the lonely street that led back into the small town. He felt so much stronger having her near him now.
"Your living room was a mess when I left it, so you should've known it already."
Regret flashed through his body. "That was the product of anger Belle." He hit his cane harder against the pavement as he walked.
She stopped walking, making him stop. He looked at her. "I didn't betray you Rumplestiltskin. You know that, right?"
He swallowed hard, the pain in her face hurting him worse than anything could, and her bravery amazing him at the same time. "Yes, I know. Everything that happened to you is my fault, and I hope you can forgive me someday."
"We both have some part of the blame, but now we are here together. That's what matters. When this is over, maybe we can have a happy ending if we desire one. Being locked up for so long made me think about many things. You don't have to fear anything because I forgave you long long ago. Just not myself. I shouldn't have-"
"Forgive yourself Belle, because I don't hold a grudge against you."
"I will try if you do the same," she said.
He shook his head. "It's not easy to forget I was a beast."
"No, being a beast has nothing to do with forgiveness. You're just complex."
"Layered?" he asked, smiling with a half smile.
The small bell above the door tinkled happily when they entered the pawnshop. The blinds were still drawn on the windows, letting the darkness reign over the place filled with old memories. It reminded her of the dimly lit parts of the dark castle where Rumplestiltskin placed the objects he attained through his agreements. This room, however, was small in comparison, but that didn't make this place any less value-filled.
Belle slowly navigated her way around the shelves, crystal tables and glass cases, as she followed Rumplestiltskin to the back room where she'd found him the night before. That was when she couldn't remember anything, good or bad. Rumplestiltskin's face of astonishment now made so much sense. Her imprisonment, the lies she'd been forced to listen to, the despair at seeing her beloved in anguish through the queen's mirrors, had a lasting effect on her. She'd never forget his cry of pain echoing in her ears night after night. She closed her eyes, desperately wanting to take his hand just to make sure he was alive and safe.
The memories were torture.
She watched as he searched through the drawers in a chest he had in his office, as if desperate for something he needed to find. Sometimes she knew she made him believe he could have a happy ending, and now that things were different, he was willing to get one for her.
Rumplestiltskin continued searching. He must have felt her questioning aura because he said, "I'm trying to find your clothing." She laughed to herself. Perhaps it would be better if he conjured the clothing so they didn't have to go from one place to another.
She walked behind him and her arms encircled his body. He didn't stop his movements until he held one of Belle's old dresses in his hands.
Rumplestiltskin looked over his shoulder.
"I heard you," she whispered. He tilted his face.
"What do you mean?"
"I heard you when the queen said I died."
Rumplestiltskin's body tensed. He clinched his teeth and she heard a low growl. She moved her hands over his stomach, tickling him. He exhaled deeply and let a tiny smile come to his lips. Rumplestiltskin dropped the clothes he had in his hands and took her hands.
"No one is going to take you away from me. If anyone touches you, I will not feel the smallest amount of guilt for what happens to them."
"Rumplestiltskin, I know how to take care of myself."
He huffed to hide a laugh, an action that made her take one of his locks of hair and pull it to shut him up. "Just why are you laughing?"
He stifled a groan and stared at her with his clever eyes. "Oh yes, I forgot you have a gift for taming beasts," he replied jokingly and turned around to face her.
She muttered at hearing him use that absurd word as a descriptor. "I will try not to approach ostentatious carriages with darkly dressed queens inside."
"You're going to make things difficult for me, aren't you?"
"You know how I am." She broke contact between their bodies and looked at the clothing he'd been rummaging through. "Why are my clothes in this world?"
He stood beside her. "It's part of the curs-" The jingle of the bell at the door cut off his words. Before she could speak, he placed a finger on her lips so she'd remain silent.
He grabbed his cane and limped elegantly towards the front of the shop. He stopped in the doorframe, watching the intruder and blocking Belle from the view of prying eyes.
"Ah, I wondered where you were," said the voice of the woman who destroyed so many lives. "I didn't think you'd continue this facade of yours. Surely you've noticed that woman has made everyone remember."
"Your Highness, coming here is a reckless thing, don't you think? Shouldn't you find a safe place to hide from your imminent capture?"
"Those idiots can't do anything to me. The magic is back. I feel it running through my veins. Don't you?" she asked and smiled loftily.
"If you've come here to kill time, you should leave. I have much to do"
"Don't be sullen, Rumple. I wanted to make a deal with you like old times."
"I won't make any deals with you your Majesty" he replied with his face strained with rage. "Leave."
"The magic has gone bad on you, Rumple. It's normal since it came so suddenly-"
"I should dismember you!" He moved menacingly towards the woman who still held a smile of joy and superiority. "But you caught me in a good mood, so get out of here...please."
The woman stopped smiling and a murderous look formed in her eyes. Magic forced her feet to move.
"Ah, and your majesty. The next time you cross paths with me, don't expect to get out unharmed," he said with a grim smile as she headed toward the door, accompanied by an unusual trembling in her legs.
With the sharpness of a hawk, Rumplestiltskin monitored her every step until her presence vanished from his territory. He clenched his fists. Belle walked up to him.
"Let's go home," she whispered as she unfolded one of his trembling fists and entangled his fingers with hers. He blinked a few times before his eyes focused on her.
"Are you okay?"
She nodded. He squeezed her hand gently. "I'm fine, just a little dazed. I didn't expect to see her so soon," she said without hesitation. She lifted her arm, which was holding one of her dresses. "I'll be better when we get home."
Without waiting another minute, they left the shop and journeyed through the deserted city, their hands still entwined.
AN: Thanks to my lovely Moon who made this possible. Hope you enjoyed and if you have time you can tell me what you think.
Fandom: Once Upon a time. Pairing: Rumplestiltskin/Belle Disclaimer: Characters aren't mine, they belong to their owners. Sumary: Rumplestiltskin completes a step in his plan, bringing back magic, but now there are some truths that need to be revealed. How will these truths affect his most important relationship? Spoilers 1x22
AN: This can be considered a sequel to Ripped Hearts because there are some references.
PS: Thanks moonie for make the image You can also read it on fanfiction: [link]