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12 February 2007 @ 05:24 pm
11 Reasons We Were Reborn [Please Save My Earth]  
[11 REASONS GENERAL THEME] 11 Reasons We Were Reborn
[CHARACTER/S/PAIRINGS] Please Save My Earth general series
[TITLE] For an Emerging Passion
[RATING] PG
[WARNINGS/DISCLAIMERS] If I were Hiwatari Saki it would be great, but I'm not.

"Why we were reborn and able to meet in this way is truly a great mystery.” –Daisuke

Eleven Reasons We Were Reborn
a Please Save My Earth fanfic set by Jennifer Wand

III. For an Emerging Passion


“Here you are, the man that Enju wanted to be born as. Doesn’t that mean that instead of staying as she was, Enju wanted to change? To become a better person?” --Sakura

Sakura needed a date for the prom.

Yes, her school had a prom, American-style, with the dresses and the balloons on the ceiling and all. She couldn’t stop laughing about how pathetic it was, but when it came right down to it, she couldn’t not-go.

Daisuke could not-go, though. He could very not-go, considering he was studying for the Tokyo U entrance exams day and night and he was thoroughly uninterested in the social scene. At least, that was what Sakura said just before she asked Issei. “I know it’s all the way out in Kawasaki,” she said, “but how about it?”

“Fine,” answered Issei without thinking about it. Sakura had smiled happily and bugged him about being able to dance. And Issei had not really thought about it much after that.

But now, he wished he had.

The titters of the girls around him were just audible enough to be embarrassing. “Who rides the local in a tuxedo?” they giggled and whispered. “Is he a HOST or something? How bizarre!” Issei clutched the hanging strap with a death grip, the corsage box nearly crushed in his other hand. This had better be worth it, he thought.

But it only took Sakura coming to the door to make him decide it was worth it. The Chinese dress was red with periwinkle flowers meandering down its sides, and her hair was pinned up in a sweep of satin blonde. Had Sakura always looked so much like a girl? Had she always been so, well, curvy?

Issei tried in vain to remember what it was like to have curves like that. He couldn’t imagine what it would be to look that way. He couldn’t ever remember touching a slender waist and having it be his own. It seemed so exotic, so foreign.

He couldn’t make Enju’s point of view work at all. Hell, he couldn’t even remember what it was to look longingly at Gyokuran. What was all that about the straight up-and-down of a man’s form that he had found so appealing?

He never had, really. It was Gyokuran, no matter what Gyokuran looked like, that Enju had wanted - and he suddenly wondered what Gyokuran would look like as a girl -

Probably a lot like Shusuran,

Oh. That’s not a good train of thought.
Issei frowned.

“That’s not the expression you’re supposed to give me!” Sakura put a fist to his chin threateningly, and Issei snapped back into action.

“Uh. Ah. Sorry,” he stammered. “Spacing out.”

“That much I can see,” she pouted. “You know, you’re supposed to say something along the lines of ‘Wow, how pretty you look’ or something.”

“But that’s why I was spacing out!”

“Sure, sure.” She checked her watch. “Are you going to put that corsage on me or what? We’re going to be late.”

“You know,” he grinned, “with that dress on, you could at least try to act a little more delicate for one night.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sakura glared at him.

“It means that Steamroller Sakura is going full speed ahead!” At that, they both laughed, and the thought of curves and past lives retreated again. After all, they were just two good friends going to the prom together.

And that’s how Issei was introduced to Sakura’s classmates, as her friend Nishikiori-kun, a name those classmates repeated with a slightly glazed look in their eyes as Sakura looked kind of pleased with herself. A pleasure that Issei didn’t share, he found with some surprise, when guys came over to compliment Sakura on her appearance or ask her to dance. He found himself sizing up each one, wondering if he could take them out should their attention turn unwanted and Sakura need his help.

But she always came back unscathed, and he was always there to dance with her if she loved a song but had no admirers handy. In fact, it was during a dance with Issei that Sakura suffered the worst disaster of the night.

Her hair flopped.

They were dancing, and Sakura was animatedly telling a story about her gym teacher, when that carefully teased hair, held in place for so long by spray and gel, just tumbled right down and over her face.

“Oh!” yelped Sakura, as though she’d been bitten by a flea. She jumped away from Issei and brought both hands to her now-disheveled head, trying in vain to tame the limp strands. All the time, her face wore such a forlorn, broken-hearted expression that Issei had to let out a sympathetic laugh. Her eyes instantly turned to fire and she glared at him from behind a fringe of misbehaving bangs.

“Here,” said Issei gently, “give me your corsage.”

Still toying with her hair, Sakura just blinked at him.

“Here!” Somehow annoyed with her frantic fiddling, Issei took firm hold of her wrist and pulled the corsage off. With another deft motion, he was threading it through her tousled hair, pulling the strands tight enough that Sakura let out a little whine of pain. His hands moved swiftly enough that he never stopped to wonder how he had thought to do this. He only became aware of himself again once he was done.

Sakura, who had frozen at the touch of Issei’s fingers, eased back into motion then, tilting her head to test the hold, touching the sides of it to feel the shape, training her suspicious eye on him as though he had just committed a horrible hair felony. Once it all checked out, she drew a compact from the small purse hanging at her side and opened it. Her eyes widened as she did.

With a snap, the compact closed and she looked up with a grin. “You’re good!” she breathed. “Issei-kun, I had no idea. You should be a hair designer!”

“A what?” Issei laughed, ignoring the stirrings of possibility that hummed low in his heart at the idea. He focused instead on her reaction and felt his cheeks grow pink with the flattery. Then he felt a tug on his shirtsleeve, and turned to see a petite girl standing there shyly.

“Will you do mine, too?” she said.

“Oh, and mine!” said an eager-faced girl just behind her.

Sakura’s expression soured. Her face turned redder than her dress, and she stepped between him and the girls. “He is dancing,” she insisted with a flat emphasis on every syllable, “with me!” And grabbing both his hands, she swung him around and away from their gazes.

Issei touched her waist lightly, settling back into the familiar rhythm of the song. “I don’t know,” he said airily. “If I’m going to be a hair designer, I’m going to need to practice. Perhaps I should…” He turned his shoulders as if to walk away.

Sakura’s hands came up like a clamp around his cheeks and she drew his face in toward hers. Glaring into his eyes, she said through gritted teeth, “I want you looking at me!”

It was meant as a joke, they both knew it. But there was at least one moment there, on that dance floor, where it seemed very, very serious. After all, her hands were cool on his hot cheeks, and her forehead was tilted in toward his, with eyes of fire burning into his, her mouth skewed into a snarl. Issei felt a sudden urge to answer her touch, to bring his palms up to her face as well. But then what would he do but draw her face in further toward his, and what would happen then? For a very brief moment, he found it hard to breathe.

But the urge passed, and he smiled at her, sharing the joke. She dropped her hands to his shoulders, looking away a little. There was just a tinge of red to her cheeks in the moment before she averted her gaze, and in that slight tint there was a sort of comfort to Issei. A hint that he hadn’t been the only one to feel that sudden rush to action. He hadn’t been alone in feeling the bottom drop out from underneath them for a few seconds, in feeling as though he were treading uncharted water.

“Sakura,” he said, “you know something?”

“Hmm?” She was still looking away.

“Earlier tonight, when I saw you come out that door.”

“Mm-hm?”

“It really was because you were so pretty that I was spacing out.”

She was silent a moment.

Then, she turned back to face him, and he saw that the pink glow to her cheeks had not yet faded. “I know,” she said. “I’m glad.”

She interlaced her fingers behind his neck and drew closer to him. Her chin tilted upwards just beneath his. “It means you’re thinking about me.”

Issei was only really aware of the fact that her mouth was close to his.

“Sakura--“ he gasped.

“Now I have something to tell you,” she said.

Issei’s heart had been hammering, he realized. He nodded mutely, still looking down at her in amazement. She was. So. Close.

She smiled and cocked her head to the side. “I never asked Hiiragi,” she said smartly.

“Huh?”

“To the dance.”

Issei was silent, but whatever was in his eyes at that moment seemed to light Sakura up like a candle. She gave a contented sigh and laid her head against his chest.

“It’s okay, Issei-kun,” she said. “Let it come slowly. We have time.”

- End Chapter 3 -


Author’s note: Manga continuity; all quotes are my original translations from the Japanese.

This fanfic set is inspired by the 11_reasons community.
 
 
 
Natasmainatasmaii on February 13th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
*Fangirling mode: ON* lol THAT'S AWESOME! So THAT'S why Issei became a hairdresser, hahahaha. Hmmm, always wondered about that. XD That pairing was so unexpected! I was like waaaaahh when I read it in the manga. XD I think they go well together.

Again, awesome fanfic! Very cute XD.
Tiptoe39: caketiptoe39 on February 13th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
yay thanks for coming to my journal, so now can we squee about Sutton x Miller? :D
labingilabingi on February 13th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
Well written.
♥ Leta: Alice & Rin // Happy Endingprettybird on February 13th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
Awww...

Very cute :)
♥ Leta: Nothing endsprettybird on October 11th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
about to go off on a tangent...
I commented on this before, but I came back to reread since you were lookin' for more feedback. Babble ahead...

Back in the early days when I was new to the PSME fandom...*this* is what I'd been hoping for when I ventured online. I've said this before but you've *got* these characters, you understand them and it shows in your writing.

Issei/Sakura needs more love.
Tiptoe39tiptoe39 on October 11th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
Re: about to go off on a tangent...
<3 I enjoyed writing them. thank you! :D