Teaser: “ ‘Momo?’ she asked. ‘You’re in love with our Momo?’ I recall turning bright red when I realized that she knew the woman I was talking about.”
Inspiration: The Maroon 5 song and a conversation with my dear Valarie made this madness come about. This is actually a side-story for “One-Trick Pony”, but once I started it, it demanded to be finished quickly. Addition inspiration for this part came from an evening I spent with an old friend who always assured me that I need not always have a sex scene to have a good story :)
Rating: M, because you can’t spell “Matsumoto” without using it –twice! :P
Setting: AU. Same ‘verse as “One-Trick Pony”. Byakuya is the crown prince of Nigotta, and is on surprisingly good terms with Kōsei (公正) the neighboring kingdom, Princess Rukia’s bodygyard, and the women who still work where his beautiful Hisana once worked…
POV: Toshiro (first person) clear through.
Summary: Toshiro fell in love with Rangiku at first sight, but Rangiku has no idea –and they just had their last “one more night”.
Additional ANs: If you guys were hoping for a scene in which Rangiku sees Toshiro, the music comes up, and they run into each other’s arms like the movies… well, you’re not gonna find it here in SIDE B. If you started humming “Someday My Prince Will Come”… well, God help you, you’re gonna be really disappointed. What you will find is more back-story on Toshiro, what is up with him calling Ran “Momo”, and why he is so tragically misunderstood by Ran… The kingdom this takes place in is called Nigotta (濁った), which means "murky". The neighboring kingdom is Kōsei (公正) which means “justice”. Byakuya's title, Kōketsuna (高潔な) roughly means "virtuous or honorable". The club is called Amai Kisu! (甘いキス) which means “Sweet Kiss!”.The capital city of Nigotta is called Kakoku (過酷) which means “severity”. When he calls her Momo (モモ), he means “peach”. When Yoruichi calls him Ōji (王子), that means “prince”. If my translations are wrong, blame Google Translate :P P.S. This is my first hetero story in a long while, so be gentle with me, loves. Also, I apologize if this perspective seems more feminine to you than it should…
Universe: “One Trick Pony” universe. Takes place before “One Trick Pony”, itself. The memories exist alongside “One More Night –SIDE A”, but the actual event in the last section happens after their night.
Word Count: 2441 words full of angst and painful love…
The first night I went to Amai Kisu!, I fell in love. I know: it’s lame and cheesy, like a bad romance novel. But if it makes you feel any better, our romance novel had the ending ripped out.
I was never supposed to go into Amai Kisu!. I had business at the palace in Kakoku, the capital city of Nigotta, and my father had sent me alone for the first time. Unfortunately, when I had been to Kakoku before, I had always been conversing with my father the entire time and not paying attention to the place I was in. That came back to bite me that day, because I got completely lost in their capital city. It didn’t help that it was pouring down rain, like every inch of the sky was crying heavy tears. Utterly lost and soaking wet, I took shelter in the nearest open business. The bouncer barely let me through the door –at that point, I was a few months underage for a strip-club. But the dangerous-looking man took pity on me –mostly because I was soaked to the bone and all of my hair was plastered down around my ears. Later, I would discover it was actually because one wayward daughter of another nation recognized me, but that day, it really didn’t matter why, only that he did let me. One of the beautiful ladies who worked there pulled me forward by the arm and drug me to her own dressing room. “You’re a little young, aren’t you?” she asked me wryly, pushing her glasses up as she dug through for something. I blushed a bit. “Yeah. I got lost: it’s my first trip alone in the city and I couldn’t seem to find where I was headed.” She smiled and tossed a towel at me. “Well, where ever you were headed, you’re not gonna get there tonight. You can stay with me, provided you’re a perfect gentleman, and Yoruichi or Urahara can give you directions tomorrow morning.” I smiled and used the towel to dry my hair. “Thank you. I’m Toshiro.” “I’m Nanoa. I’ll be up on stage soon, but you can mingle with the girls back-stage –or, if you’re adventurous, you can watch us dance.” She winked at me. My blush returned with a vengeance. Nanoa definitely had a sexy librarian thing working for her, and I was a teenage male. “I-I think I’ll hang out back-stage, if it’s all the same.” Mostly because I’d prefer to not embarrass the hell out of myself, if it’s all the same to you. A knock sounded and the door opened automatically. “Na-chan, you’re about up. You ready yet? Oh!” Nanoa and I both turned to look at the source of that lovely voice. “Rangiku, this is why you should actually let me answer before you open the door,” Nanoa told her calmly. “As it is, it’s not what you’re thinking.” “What do you think I’m thinking?” asked the woman. She was absolutely the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, with long strawberry-blond hair and lush curvy hips and breasts that were probably around the size of my head. She didn’t wear much more than a simple cotton yukata that stopped just above her knees, and it certainly left little to the imagination. “You just assumed you intruded on some kind of tryst.” Nanoa’s knowing smile somehow drug my attention away from the woman. “I… Psh, n-no, I didn’t!” she exclaimed, trying to cover her reaction to her friend’s knowing words. “Rangiku, this is Toshiro. He got lost in the city today and ended up here. Toshiro, this is Rangiku, my best friend and coworker,” Nanoa introduced cheerfully. “Ran, you get to keep an eye on him while I’m on stage. ‘Kay, thanks.” Then Nanoa promptly shoved both of us out of her dressing room and slammed the door. The woman –Rangiku– looked at me, a little stunned. I started to laugh. “I should have suspected. She reminds me of a teacher I had once, and that’s exactly what she’d do when she needed to be alone,” I managed to choke out between chuckles. She started to giggle. “You have a cute laugh,” she told me, poking at my forehead. I poked her forehead in return. “So do you,” I returned, smiling. When she ruffled my hair, it didn’t bother me. I should have known that I would love her when that didn’t bother me.
That night seemed to bond Rangiku and I. Although fate –with a helping hand from Nanoa– had thrown us together, we got along effortlessly. Every time I went to Kakoku, I always stopped by Amai Kisu! to see how everyone was doing. I’d watch each of them dance, then slip back stage to tease Rangiku about her act. She eternally smelled of peaches and I couldn’t help but notice that her skin made me think of the fruit. I would spend hours with her just watching her and talking about nothing. We would sit backstage and chat sometimes. Other times, we’d go to her apartment and talk. With the time I’d never known how to fill before, I allowed myself to just exist with her for a while. I couldn’t help but fall for her. Sometimes, she’d ask about my job or who I was supposed to be meeting in the city. I’d lie to her only then: I wasn’t sure how she’d react to knowing who I was. I had friends in Kōsei that reacted badly when they found out, and I had no wish to repeat the experience –or lose Rangiku’s friendship. My father noticed a change in me as well, yet I still couldn’t bring myself to tell him. I was to chose who I married, but I knew that he wished me marry someone of our country, no matter how good of terms we were on with the Kōketsuna Prince of Nigotta and his wife Hisana. Despite the fact that my father dearly loved Hisana –both of us did– I knew him well. He and I both knew the pain and the ridicule Hisana had to put up with for her past, and I was sure he’d prefer that I never put anyone else through the same pain. He wanted something easier for the wife I had yet to choose and me. I made more trips to Kakoku –mostly just to see her, but also to see the prince. Eventually, I ended up spilling all of my secrets to Byakuya, of all people. Well, it wasn’t really that much of a shock that Byakuya was the one I told: he was an incredibly good listener, close enough to my own age, and most of all, he had an intimate understanding of my situation. After all, we were both the crown prince of our respective nation: it was encouraged that we be on good terms, even though our parents were on horrible terms with each other. When I told him where Rangiku worked, he about choked on his tea. When I told Hisana, the usually quiet young woman burst out laughing. “Momo?” she asked. “You’re in love with our Momo?” I recall turning bright red when I realized that she knew the woman I was talking about.
I managed to keep things platonic for the first entire year I knew her. However, at that point, I was so in love with her that I just couldn’t help it any longer. I remember the strong scent of peaches and the spice of enticing ginger. When I cradled her chin in my hand, I marveled at the texture of her skin. And when I pressed my lips to hers, I knew that it was the most spectacular first kiss in the history of first kisses. I knew that I would never, ever be able to get enough of her. I knew that I was already in way over my head. I just couldn’t bring myself to care about that last one. I knew that I had slipped up when I called her Momo. Tension slid into her muscles and she asked me how much being able to call her that meant to me. In an instant, I knew exactly what she had assumed. I could have set her straight. I should have set her straight. Nonetheless, I didn’t. I knew that she supplemented her income with sex, so I guess my thought was to protect her from just how bad that could turn out and to bind her to me. So I swallowed my pride and the love in my heart and named an overly generous figure, knowing from Nanoa how little she usually got from such a transaction. She sealed the deal with her own lips on mine. I remember being terrified that I couldn’t please her –she was my first everything, though I certainly knew the basic mechanics of the matter. Yet it had been wonderful –more than wonderful: a life-altering, soul-shattering miracle of an experience. It was like every contact was one more spark that contributed to a roaring blaze. I couldn’t get her out of my head or out of my heart at all after that. All I could remember was the way her nails felt when she raked them down my back, the soft sound she made when I found the most sensitive places on her body, the husky way she called out my name, and the way she looked with her head thrown back in ecstasy. It nearly killed me that she wouldn’t allow me to hold her that way for two months. I kept wondering what I’d done wrong. When we came back together, it was rash and hungry and beautiful. We stroked each other to exquisite ardor and held on for dear life when we shattered. I tried to pour every ounce of love in my heart into that single act. She smothered out every word I tried to form with her mouth and her clever tongue. My heart ached, yet I couldn’t give up my chance to love her this way, even though I was certain that the whole thing would come crashing down around my ears. We were together for two whole years. The desire only seemed to build and build: I could never seem to get enough of her. We probably should have flash-boiled every droplet of water in the air with the heat that stirred between us. We were like a ravaging fire together, but I felt a little empty knowing that to her, this was nothing but sex. To me, it was the physical expression of my adoration, my desire, and my love. It hurt a little more each time, but I still wasn’t prepared for the night it all came crashing to the ground. Hisana was one week dead the night I went to her. I needed her more than ever, having seen how crushed my best friend was by his bride’s death. It was tender, sweet, and almost sorrowful. When she told me it was over, I felt like she’d slammed her fist into my solar plexus. Was my love so common, so cheap, that it could be thrown away when I needed her the most?
I stayed with Byakuya for the month that followed that. Honestly, I couldn’t face my father and reveal that not only had I recklessly fallen in love with someone from Nigotta, I had lain with her and had risked getting her pregnant, only to be tossed out on my ass. Byakuya, who was still morning Hisana, was doing better than I was, but I knew he wouldn’t send me home. However, he would –and did– ask me point blank what was wrong with me. When I told him my story, he shook just shook his head. “Toshiro, why didn’t you just tell her the truth?” he asked me. “I don’t even know any more,” I confessed. “Okay. Here’s what you’re going to do: you are going to go down to Amai Kisu!, and you’re going to tell her the truth.” “Which truth?” “All of it, Toshiro. She still has the right to throw you out on your ass, though.” He gave me one of his rare smiles. “Hisana would have.” I couldn’t help but smile back.
Five months after he sent me here –six months after the end of our relationship– I still hadn’t managed to tell her. We just fell back into our old habit of being with each other. It still hurt, and I still couldn’t find the words to tell her. Yet her proximity soothed me, somehow. That was why, after yet another night I had begged her for under the influence of too much sake, I stopped by the club before it opened. i couldn’t tell her when I drank, so I’d try it sober. “Ōji?” inquired an all-too-familiar dark-skinned woman with haunting golden eyes and purple hair that was currently down around her shoulders. “Yoruichi,” I greeted, smiling faintly. Of all the places to run into the noble daughter of another nation, I’ll admit Amai Kisu! didn't exactly top the list of most likely places. It also didn’t help that she felt the need to call me ‘Ōji’ every time she saw me. “Have you seen Rangiku?” Her expression went from friendly to shocked. “She didn’t tell you? I thought you two were still together.” That sounded particularly ominous. “Didn’t tell me what?” I asked, scared of the answer. “Last night was her last night. She’s got a job somewhere else. She left early this morning.” She looked away as she gave me the news. Shock washed over me in waves and I forgot to breathe at my heart broke in my chest. Yoruichi took one look at me. “Kisuke!” she yelled. The blond man who owned the club came running, one hand on his white and green striped hate as his shoes made clomping sounds clear across the hard-wood floor. It sounded hysterical to me for some reason. Manic, high-pitched laughter escaped my mouth in uncontrollable streams and Yoruichi looked positively terrified. “Kisuke, I think she broke Ōji.” For some reason, that was even funnier than the sound Kisuke made when he ran in those shoes of his. My laughter grew and grew and grew until I realized tears were streaming down my face and my laughter had turned to bitter sobs. “You know, I think you’re right, Yoruichi. She broke the young prince. And she has no idea.” Kisuke’s tone betrayed his sadness more than his neutral expression did. To me, it seemed that watching me hurt both of their hearts.