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25 February 2007 @ 12:43 am
[Aim log] [Hana and Shuuhei] [(Let's Give Them) Something to Talk About]  
[OOC: This is backdated to Monday the 12th of February.]

Baking, Hana decided, was a dangerous venture when Shuuhei was around. As she mixed the chocolate batter for the cake she was preparing, she made sure to keep a safe distance from the man who was seated on an otherwise unoccupied portion of the counter. She'd already had to whack his hand with a spoon to keep him from getting "Shuuhei-germs" in the cake mix, and she wasn't planning on exposing her batter to danger again.

Hana stirred the mix in a large plastic bowl, leaning on the counter opposite and down a bit from Shuuhei. "So this girl, Jennifer. Do you really know her at all?"

"Not really. She works in the vocational training program, so we don't really interact much even though we work in the same building," he replied, drumming his heels against the lower cabinet door. "But from what I know of her, she seems nice... Are you sure she has a boyfriend? I can't imagine that she'd ask me out if she had one."

"Well, she mentioned that she was dating a guy who worked at the local cable company, so she got a discount on her direct TV, or something like that." Hana offered him a wan smile as she sprinkled a handful of chocolate chips into the batter. "She might have broken up with him by now, I don't know."

After she'd set the oven to preheat, Hana poured the cake mix into the pans, leaving a little extra in the bottom of the bowl. "Maybe you should ask some of the guys at work? People who know her better?" She handed Shuuhei the bowl and leaned against the counter.

Shuuhei accepted the bowl gratefully and wasted no time in dipping a finger into the mixture and licking off the chocolate-y goodness.

"I guess I could ask around..." he mused, thoughtfully sucking his finger. He paused and gave Hana an inquisitive look. "Do you really not want me to go? 'Cause I meant what I said. If you don't think it's a good idea, I won't." And if he were honest with himself, Shuuhei would admit that deep down, he really, really hoped that she would say "No."

And she very much wanted to say "no," but she figured it would be rather unfair of her to try and tell Shuuhei how to run his own life. Placing the pans in the oven and turning on the timer, she tried to be nonchalant. "Well, I'd like for you to stay, but you can go if you want to. Of course, it'll be more fun here..."

Shuuhei shifted uncomfortably. Hana was stiff and coolly nonchalant... and it unsettled him. He'd never felt so distant from her before. He forced a smile, hoping to lighten up the atmosphere. "Well, I admit, the option of staying here is beginning to look more and more attractive, what with the cake and all..."

"It's gonna be a good cake, lemme tell you. I'm gonna need some food coloring to make the icing black, though. Scoot over a bit, would you?" she asked, making a shooing motion with her hand and indicating the shelf behind Shuuhei where the aforementioned food coloring resided. "How does the batter taste? I never use that packaged stuff, home made is always better."

Shuuhei obediently got down off the counter. The atmosphere had lifted somewhat, but it was still a little too tense for his comfort. What could he do? He looked thoughtfully at the bowl of batter... and suddenly it occurred to him. A slow, mischievous grin made its way across his lips.

"If the batter is any indication of how the cake's gonna taste, then I'm definitely staying," he replied lightly. "Here, have a taste." When she turned around, he smeared a generous blotch of batter on her nose, and stepped back to survey his handiwork with a smug smile.

Hana squealed in surprise and jumped back reflexively. The look on her face was somewhere between an 'Oh my God' and 'Oh no you didn't.' Well, two could play at that game. Without hesitation, she grabbed the spatula she'd used to scrape the batter out of the bowl and returned fire, leaving almost half of Shuuhei's face covered in a thin layer of the chocolate mix. "It's a great recipe, don't you think?"

And with that, the previously strained atmosphere was completely lifted. He was such a genius sometimes. Seriously.

"I agree. Here, have some more," he returned affably, smearing a good amount of batter in her hair. He was in so much trouble now and he knew it.

Yes. Yes he was. "You jerk! You know this means war, right?" Without further ado, Hana snagged one of her smaller mixing bowls and attacked. After a bit of a scuffle, she managed to get a glob of cake mix down the back of Shuuhei's shirt, grinning and laughing all the while. She had a fair amount of the stuff all over her face and arms, too, but she didn't think he could top that.

Hana looked entirely too smug. This would have to be remedied. Shuuhei gathered what was left of the batter in his hand and launched a fresh assault. After a brief struggle, he managed to get past her and give her a firm smack on her ass, leaving a batter-y hand-print on the seat of her jeans. Let it never be said that Shuuhei Hisagi did not know how to play dirty. He folded his arms and shot her a cocky grin.

The apartment became eerily quiet after that. Even the dogs, who'd been tussling in the living room had gone silent. Hana stared at Shuuhei with a look of disbelief before twisting around at the waist to look down at her begrimed bottom. "You did not just do that," she said, pinning Shuuhei with a glare that would make lesser men quail.

Well fine. If he wanted to play dirty, she'd show him how it was done. Hana returned Shuuhei's cocky grin before swooping in and rasping her tongue over his cheek, exposing a swath of batter-free skin.

Shuuhei froze and stared in shocked silence as his mind scrambled to process what had just happened. A slew of reactions raced through his head, beginning with incoherency ("She...wha--tongue? Buh???"), then confusion ("Was that a come-on or was she trying to gross me out?"), followed by a quick visit from his libido ("That was kinda hot,") that he made a concerted effort to ignore before his thoughts took a turn for the carnal. Eventually, his mental processes settled on "competition" and ok, maybe a touch of "carnal" was mixed in there somewhere too.... So fine, she won at Bust-a-Move every damn time they played... but there was no way she was winning this.

He fixed her with a piercing look, and began moving forward--never breaking eye contact--forcing her back until she bumped up against the counter. He pressed in close, bracing his arms against the counter, effectively trapping her there. His eyes searched her face, gauging her reaction.

Naturally, Hana wasn't going to back down. He'd gotten cake batter in her hair, for crying out loud, and backing out would mean he'd won this little game of one-upmanship and she just wouldn't stand for that, since her hair was practically demanding justice, damnit. A look of surprise did flash across her face when she realized Shuuhei had her pinned, however, but Hana quickly schooled her expression to one of unaffected boredom.

"So, Mister Hisagi," Hana said, "you gonna keep me here all day or did you have some sort of devious plan up your sleeve?" Good idea, let's taunt him. Good job, Hana, she thought. Maybe that wasn't such a great idea, considering he did currently have the upper hand, but she couldn't help herself.

His eyebrow quirked upwards in mild surprise. She was...resisting? He wasn't going to lie--that wasn't quite the reaction he was hoping for. Shuuhei was not unaware of his appeal, something he'd taken advantage of in his younger years, though he wasn't in the habit of putting it to use since he'd gotten clean. Maybe he was losing his touch...? Shuuhei cut off that train of thought abruptly as he realized that she was probably just trying to throw him off his game. It was just like her to be so difficult, he thought with fond exasperation. He'd just have to push the envelope a little further, see if she'd get flustered and back down....or y'know, be offended and slap him, though he was kinda hoping she'd bypass both options and just give in and jump him and okay--he was getting ahead of himself here and his mind really needed to get out of the gutter, but it's not like anyone could blame him what with her being so close and so warm, and dammit, he was a man and it'd been a really long time since he'd gotten any--right, he was stopping now.

Shuuhei shut his eyes for a brief second to recompose himself, and then reopened them, adopting his game face once more. He lifted his right hand and let it skim up the length of her arm, tickling it across her shoulder, her collarbone, and then her neck before tangling his fingers in her hair as he cradled the back of her head. Leaning in until their faces were just scant inches apart, a lazy smirk spread across his lips as he traced her pretty features with his eyes.

"Maybe the plan is to keep you... right... here," he murmured lowly, dragging out the last few words as his gaze lingered on her lips. He looked up to lock eyes with her again. "Unless... you have any objections?"

Hana's breath hitched a little as Shuuhei ghosted his fingers over her skin, as he invaded her personal space to where he was close enough that she could see the funny little dimple on the corner of his (arrogant, smirking, beautiful) mouth, and it seemed clear to her that this wasn't really a game anymore.

The part of her mind that hadn't already ground to an abrupt halt was trying to decide what to make of this new situation. She could be offended that he was playing with her feelings, but she knew that Shuuhei wouldn't be so disingenuous as to do something like that. After all, she'd thought he was cute when she met him, but her priority had always been to keep him as a friend. And he was; he was her best friend, honestly, and wouldn't it be awkward after this if it all turned out to be just fooling? Hana didn't believe he'd want to risk their friendship over a silly game, so he was probably being honest, even if he was grinning like he'd just won a bet.

Then again, she'd been burned in her last relationship and the logical bit of her mind (which was having a hard time getting a word in edgewise) was reminding her that maybe she wasn't ready to try again, though the rest of her mind wholeheartedly disagreed. The bottom line was that, really, Hana was a regular girl who liked being paid attention and shown affection to, and Shuuhei had always been sweet to her and fun to hang out with and spend time with.

She decided.

After the moment of hesitation it took to sort through her mixed emotions, Hana simply chose to take the plunge. She closed the gap between the two of them, meeting Shuuhei's lips with her own and snaking her arms around his waist. She didn't seem to have any objections with Shuuhei's devious, devious plan.

The kiss was the last thing he'd expected. He'd expected to have his bluff called, had expected to be rejected in some way and possibly pummeled to within an inch of his life, but this? Despite any thoughts he'd entertained about it earlier, he hadn't actually believed it would happen -- it had been wishful thinking. It had always been wishful thinking; he wasn't willing to ruin a great friendship by pushing for more than he felt he deserved. Even as he pulled her closer, he was half-expecting to be smacked and then told that the kiss was just another way for her to get one over on him.

The expected smack, however, wasn't forthcoming. Hana deepened the kiss slightly, hooking her fingers through the belt loops on Shuuhei's jeans in a possessive gesture, effectively preventing his escape (not that he'd want to escape anyway). After a moment, she pulled back and promptly buried her nose against Shuuhei's shoulder to hide the blush that had blossomed on her cheeks (surreptitiously cleaning the chocolate batter from her nose while she was there by disguising it as an affectionate nuzzle into his shirt).

"Don't go," Hana said quietly after a second, clearing her throat before repeating her request in a steadier voice. "Don't go out with that girl on Wednesday. Stay here with me."

Shuuhei let out a shaky breath and violently suppressed the urge to laugh hysterically. After a kiss like that? Like hell he was accepting that date with whatsherface. Instead of laughing (which he decided was a surefire way to get his ass kicked), he opted instead to clutch her to him as tightly as possible; the gesture didn't even begin to express his relief, his giddiness, his affection, but he trusted that she'd understand him all the same.

"Okay," he murmured quietly, pressing a kiss to her temple. "I won't go."

"Good," she replied, smiling, understanding. "I didn't want you to go in the first place. I think she was a cat person, anyway." Because someone being a cat person was a perfectly justifiable reason not to go out with them, naturally.

And anyway, that Jennifer girl didn't know Shuuhei the way Hana did; didn't know the face he made when he was losing another round of Bust-A-Move, or the way that he always folded his pants first when they did laundry together, or how his old scars would ache sometimes when it rained, or that he would eat literally any food put in front of him, or any of the other little quirks that made Shuuhei who he was. Jennifer didn't know that he drank his coffee black, 'cause that was the manly thing to do, or that he startled easily at loud noises. No, Jennifer couldn't possibly appreciate him the way Hana did, which was why Hana didn't feel especially guilty about ruining the other girl's date prospects.

Hana grinned up at him, kissed his cheek and wiped at his face a little, feeling slightly awkward now that reality was kicking back in. "I'm glad you asked me," she told him, "I wanted to tell you right off the bat not to go with her, but I thought you might have wanted to and I just wanted you to be happy."

"I probably still would've said no, even if you'd told me I should go for it," he admitted, rubbing a patch of batter off her chin with his thumb. "She didn't seem all that interesting and beside... I prefer brunettes." He grinned playfully and pecked a kiss on her lips.

Hana beamed at Shuuhei and gave a toss of her (lightly battered) hair, amazed at the turn this evening had taken. "Thanks," she said, "I like you too." And then she laughed and grabbed some paper towels, dabbing at their faces and arms as the cake baked in the oven. "Man, I need a shower," Hana said, chuckling, "but that can wait until the cake is finished. I don't want you getting icing in my hair after I've washed it."