Fandom: Detective Conan
Characters: Heiji/Kazuha (General series)
Word Count: 5540 words
Author's Notes: I do not own Detective Conan. It all belongs to Gosho Aoyama. I simply borrow the characters, tie them up, and dance them around like life-sized puppets. I do wish they’d stop complaining.
Summary: The present is nice, and the future is looking even better. Heiji/Kazuha
The bus bumped and tossed slightly as it rolled along. Every time it jumped, the passengers inside would go for a little tiny ride before settling back in. No one complained, save for a gentleman near the back who was trying to write something down in a notebook; he was getting irritated at the bounces messing up his handwriting, but there was nothing to be done about it.
Kazuha was sitting near the front, her gaze fixated firmly out the window. The jostling of the bus normally wouldn’t have even registered, but her rebelling stomach was firmly enough in her shoes that when the bus tossed, her stomach tossed with it. She felt horrible, nauseous. At least they were almost to her stop, and she would be able to walk the rest of the way. It was just a couple of blocks from the bus stop to the apartment complex where she and Heiji lived.
No. She pushed him from her mind for the moment. She wasn’t quite ready to face that just yet.
When the long vehicle finally rolled to a stop, she gathered her purse and got to her feet, making a quick exit onto the sidewalk. She glanced around for no particular reason, then began to walk towards her street and her building. It didn’t take long, and she was thankful for that in some ways; truth be told, the events of the morning had left her exhausted. But somehow, she almost wished that it could have taken longer. Her head wasn’t completely clear just yet, and she wanted a few more minutes to think.
Alas, wishes do not always come true, and she shortly found herself on her way up to their floor of the building. Nervous fingers fumbled with keys for a moment or two before finally settling on the right one and allowing her to unlock the door. When she stepped inside, she glanced down, and saw shoes sitting there. He was home.
Sure enough, a familiar voice called to her. “Kazuha?”
“I’m home,” she said with as much cheeriness as she could muster up. Her shoes slipped off her feet into their proper place at the door before she walked inside, plastering a smile onto her face. She knew perfectly well that it would not fool him, though. He knew her too well for this to actually work.
Sure enough, he took one look at her and his own smile of greeting faded. “What’s wrong?”
She should just tell the truth. It wasn’t like it was anything she had to be afraid of. And he had a right to know, didn’t he? He had every right to know what she knew. She opened her mouth to just say it and be done with it, and instead heard the words “Nothing. Everything’s fine!” come out of her mouth.
To his credit, Heiji did not seem to believe her. He studied her intently for a moment before he spoke. “You’re white as a sheet,” he pointed out, turning back to his book with a sigh, “and you keep tugging at your hair. It’s a classic nervous habit for you. Something’s up.”
Kazuha was silent.
“Do you just not want to tell me?” he asked.
“I…” she started, then faltered.
To her surprise, he threw her a smile. “Eh, I’ll admit that I’m curious as hell. But you’re entitled to your secrets. Even if I already know most of them.” At her surprised look, he winked. “You really shouldn’t leave those chocolates in such an obvious place, you know.”
She blinked. “They were hidden under an entire stack of towels in my closet.”
“I know. Easy to find,” he grinned broadly, which immediately softened. “Is it anything bad?”
Again her voice caught, and she shook her head.
“Then you can tell me when you’re ready,” he shrugged. “No pressure.”
…that was far too easy.
And Kazuha felt horrible for it, but she didn’t have the courage to object.
Still, she wondered if Heiji was really giving up when he took her out to dinner that night. A nice place, requiring both of them to dress up a bit—although Heiji dressing up still took a bit of cajoling on her part. He preferred the comfort of casual clothes to any other type of outfit, no matter how nice he looked when he put forth the effort of donning a suit and a nice shirt.
Either way, Kazuha shifted in her little black dress and managed a sincere smile. “This is really nice.”
“I knew you liked this place,” he said with a grin. “That’s why I brought you here.”
“The training continues,” she chuckled. “You’re learning manners and courtesy. Next on my list is teaching you how to cook something that does not go in the microwave.”
“…well, good luck with that,” he rubbed at the back of his neck in a sheepish gesture before his expression suddenly grew serious. “Oi, Kazuha…you’re sure you’re okay?”
“I’m fine,” she said. The lie popped out so easily, and she almost hated herself for it.
“You still look…weird,” he said, then immediately shook his head. “That’s not what I meant! I mean, you look a little different, but I don’t know why. Something about you just seems really…off. Wow, I’m not making any sense at all.”
“Heiji, don’t worry so much,” she said, hands clenching at her skirt under the table.
He stretched one hand, palm up, across the table, obviously hoping for a chance to hold one of hers. “If you say so, ahou,” he said. She rolled her eyes at the nickname (which could almost be called a pet name now) and drew one hand up to place it in his, giving his fingers a quick squeeze.
Heiji squeezed her hand back, and then pulled his own hand away.
Leaving something small and warm pressed against her palm.
Kazuha’s back stiffened as her fingers instinctively tightened around whatever it was that he had left in her hand. She felt it press against her palm, and oh god there was no way this could be what she thought it was not a chance in hell…
She drew her hand back and opened it, staring down at the small circle of silver-white metal sitting there innocently on her palm, sparkling dully in the restaurant’s dim light. Her eyes widened, and she glanced up at Heiji for confirmation. This was…
He was smiling, a genuine smile with only a hint of nerves visible. His hands clasped together on the table in front of them, fingers interlocking tightly together. “Kazuha, the real reason I brought you here is…well, I kind of wanted to ask you something…”
…oh god, he was…
It wasn’t like it was a total surprise. The idea had been mentioned by one or the other of them a couple of times during quiet moments. And it was no secret at all that they were in love and prepared to spend the rest of their lives together. But on top of everything she had learned that morning and what she now knew and now he was actually proposing and the ring was in her hand…
“Will you marry me?” he asked in the softest voice she had ever heard from him.
She wanted to scream YES to the world, but her voice wouldn’t work. All she could manage was to nod, and hold her hand out while he slid the ring onto her finger, and lean across the table to let him kiss her. It was suddenly surreal, like a dream.
If only there wasn’t that pile of nerves, coiled like lead in the pit of her stomach…
Kazuha slept in her own bed that night, pleading a headache and saying that she felt ill. It really wasn’t that much of a stretch of the truth, either. She did feel ill, and her thoughts were enough to keep her awake for much of the night as she tried to figure out what to do. The ring was still on her finger; she had not been able to bring herself to take it off. It was so innocently there, a golden promise and a terrifying weight wrapped so neatly into a thin metal band.
When the first light of the new day crept into her window and across her bedroom floor, it found her still awake and still unsure of what she was to do. Outside in the apartment, she heard a familiar cell phone ring, and Heiji’s voice grumbling a hello. He tended towards the Neanderthal when he first woke up on a given day. She emerged some time later, rubbing at her eyes, to find Heiji gone and a note saying that he had been called to a case and would be home later.
Now she was completely alone in the apartment, still in her pajamas and bathrobe with the ring on her finger and only her frazzled nerves and jumbled thoughts for comfort. In the end, she could really only make one decision: she had to tell him.
As soon as he got home.
What he did after that was his business, and she would respect it, whatever his choice.
Strange…why hadn’t she cried yet? She felt like she probably should have broken down last night at dinner, surrounded by warm, dim lighting and good food and a question to decide her future, his future, and their future together. Instead she was just…numb.
Still, Kazuha tried to busy herself while she waited. She tidied up things here and there, and forced herself to shower and at least make an attempt to get dressed, though she wound up pulling the bathrobe back on simply by virtue of the fact that it was warm and comfortable.
Whatever the case was, it must have been a tough one because it was several hours later that her phone rang. She jumped, then rushed to grab it. Sure enough, the caller ID told the story. Kazuha hesitated, then answered the phone, not entirely sure what he was going to say or what she was going to say in reply.
Whew, that was a doozy, Heiji reflected as he glanced at the clock. Better call home so she wasn’t worrying. A glance over his shoulder proved that the culprit had indeed confessed to the murder, pinned down by the evidence and the weight of Heiji’s logic; the man was now being read his rights and arrested by the attending officers. Another successful case solved.
The phone rang several times on the other end before a tired female voice answered. “Hello?”
“…you sound worn out,” Heiji said, a bit surprised.
“I didn’t feel well last night,” she said.
He couldn’t argue with that, seeing as how she had said as much the night before. “Well, we’re wrapping this up here. I should be home soon.” He felt a big, dopey grin cross his face. “I think we have some phone calls to make, too—our parents, for sure, and—“ He was cut off when he heard her sob on the other end. “K-Kazuha? What’s wrong?”
“I’m s-sorry...I s-should have t-told you yesterday, but I got so freaked out that I c-couldn’t,” she said, her voice thick and choked with what sounded like tears. “And y-you’re going to get angry, I j-just know it…I’m sorry, Heiji, s-so sorry…”
He could actually picture her now, sitting on the couch with the phone pressed to her ear and her face in her hands. “Kazuha, what’s wrong?” he said in a rush, voice rising with alarm. “I’ll be there in five minutes, I swear to god—“
“I c-can’t tell you this t-to your f-face,” she said. “I can’t s-see your face when you h-hear it…”
“…Kazuha, what is it?” he asked finally.
There was a long pause before she answered. She said only two words.
For quite possibly the first time in his life, Heiji dropped the phone.
When he picked it up again, she had hung up.
Heiji stood there in a daze for quite a few minutes, just staring at the phone in his hand like it had somehow done this. It wasn’t until a hand clapped down on his shoulder that he realized what he had been doing; he turned to see Ootaki-han standing behind him, giving him a curious look. “I’m sorry,” Heiji said. “What did you say?”
“I asked if you needed a lift,” the officer said, giving him another of those dubious looks that Heiji was growing very accustomed to. “Are you all right? You look awfully pale.”
How interesting. Hadn’t he just said almost those exact words to Kazuha the night before? At least she had a reason for it. “Y-yeah, I’m fine. And yes, a ride home would be great. Thank you.”
Again the officer gave him a look complete with raised eyebrow, but he made no further comment on it. He simply fished his car keys out of his coat pocket and said, “Shall we go?” Heiji followed him out to the car and hopped in on the passenger side without another word.
The first few minutes of the ride were quiet, and there was no missing how tense the young man was. He sat slumped in the passenger seat, arms crossed tightly over his chest, his eyes focused out the window with his jaw firmly set. He was lost in thought, there was no question about that.
After they had gone for quite a number of blocks, Ootaki decided to risk asking. “What’s on your mind, Hei-chan?” The old nickname could prove to be a bit risky, as Heiji was certainly not a child anymore, but perhaps the familiarity would help.
It seemed to. Heiji sighed, some of the tension leaving his posture. “Sorry. Just…got a bit of a shock.”
“Who were you calling?” the officer asked, pressing the brake to stop at a red light.
“Kazuha,” he said as one tanned hand threaded through dark hair. “I wanted to let her know that the case was done and that I would be heading home soon.”
“Did she say something?”
“What was it?”
There was a long, heavy hush in the car as Heiji turned his eyes back towards the window. And just when it got to the point where Ootaki was about to tell him to forget about it, since it seemed to be something on the secretive side, Heiji spoke up again.
Ootaki nearly hit the brakes in surprise, but managed to keep himself firmly on the road.
“Don’t say anything, Ootaki-han,” Heiji said softly. “Especially not to my parents. Please.”
“My lips are sealed,” the officer agreed. After all, it really wasn’t his secret to tell, and the fact that Heiji had admitted it to him said plenty about how much the young man trusted him. Still, he had to ask the obvious question. “And I take you’re the…”
“Yes,” he said with a laugh that seemed to hold precious little of humor. “I am the father. She’s not that kind of girl, you know? She’s faithful.”
A nod of assent. “Do you know anything else?”
“Not yet. I dropped the phone, I was so surprised. But damn, the timing on this…” he shook his head before finally turning to look directly at Ootaki. “Last night, I asked her to marry me. And she said yes. I think she already knew, though.” He remember their conversation about how pale she was and how she seemed a bit different somehow, and how she didn’t have to tell him.
…it actually hurt a little bit that she hadn’t just come right out and said it then.
“She probably didn’t know how to tell you,” the officer said wisely. “I imagine she’s scared.”
“She said she was too freaked out to tell me. And that she couldn’t bear saying it to my face. Guess she didn’t want to see how I reacted,” Heiji said as a sigh blew past his lips.
“…let me ask you this, Hei-chan,” Ootaki said after a moment’s thought. “You said she probably knew about this yesterday. And that you proposed to her last night, right?”
“Suppose she had told you right then and there,” Ootaki went on. “I’m assuming that you still would have asked her.” Here, the officer’s tone hardened a little bit. “If you wouldn’t have, then you are not the person I thought you were, Heiji.”
“Of course I would have!” Heiji barked with a bit more of his usual fiery temper.
“How would she have interpreted the marriage proposal, do you think?”
Now he stopped cold. “Eh?”
“She tells you she’s going to have a baby. Your baby. And then suddenly you propose,” the officer said. “Now, I don’t claim to know everything, and I certainly wouldn’t know how she would take it. She might very well have been thrilled or relieved. But from an outsider’s viewpoint, what does it sound like?”
“…it sounds like I’m asking her because of the baby,” Heiji said finally. “Not because of her.”
“Exactly,” Ootaki said with a smile. “So perhaps count it as a blessing that she didn’t say anything. At least she has a pretty good indication that your feelings and your intentions are genuine.”
They had pulled up to the curb in front of the apartment building by this point. “Ootaki-han,” Heiji said, one hand on the car’s door handle, “when did you get to be this smart?”
The officer chuckled at the tease. “It comes with old age. Now you’d better get inside. She’s waiting.”
Heiji didn’t need to be told twice, and he dashed out of the car. He had already sprinted up the sidewalk and vanished into the building by the time Ootaki pulled the cruiser away from the curb.
She was asleep.
Somehow, that was the best possible homecoming Heiji could have imagined. There were no emotions running high or panic-stricken people running about. The apartment was quiet; the only illumination was a lamp on one of the end tables.
And Kazuha was curled up on the couch, sound asleep.
Heiji stood there for a moment, simply taking the sight in. She had said that she had felt ill the night before, and given the circumstances, sleep had probably been elusive. She was wearing her bathrobe over jeans and a T-shirt, her hair down from its usual ponytail. One of her hands hung past the edge of the cushion; the cell phone was laying innocuously on the ground beneath that hand. She had probably dropped it when she fell asleep. There were still faint tear-tracks on her pink cheeks.
And the engagement ring was visible on her finger.
That alone was enough to make him smile.
Sighing to himself, he carefully sat down on the edge of the couch, cautious not to jostle her around too much. One hand moved tentatively to brush her bangs back from her face, again with care not to disturb her. She murmured softly, a sound that he thought resembled his name, but did not awaken.
Heiji smiled and stood. Let her sleep a bit. She had earned it. They could talk later. In the meantime, he was admittedly rather hungry, though his stomach was dancing around a little bit as the news sank in.
He must have dozed off because he woke up in the recliner with a severe ache in his neck due to the odd angle at which his head had lulled. It took him a moment to grasp the precise reason why he had woken up. Namely, there was a horrible retching sound coming from the bathroom. A glance towards the open door told him that the light in there was on, and it didn’t take a detective to add up all the variables in that equation to come to an answer.
Heiji got up and stretched, rolling his shoulders and head to try and work out the kinks in his muscles as he walked quickly to the bathroom. The sight that met his eyes was not one that surprised him: Kazuha was half-sprawled on the bathroom floor, clutching at the toilet like a life-line as she violently emptied the contents of her stomach.
Acting on some hitherto unknown instinct, he stepped over her and took a seat on the edge of the bathtub. From that point, it was much easier to get a grip on her hair and rub her back. She made a small noise that indicated she was aware of his presence, but that was all the sign she gave before she was once again distracted by other matters.
Heiji simply sat there and waited it out with her. Finally, she heaved a few more times before sitting back a bit and leaning her head against the toilet seat, moaning softly. He could see that her eyes were closed, and perspiration dotted her forehead. She seemed to have forgotten that he was there. Again, he couldn’t blame her. She had a lot of things on her mind at the moment.
He stepped over her for a second time and filled a glass with water from the sink before kneeling beside her and coaxing her head up to press it to her lips. It took her a moment to realize what it was; once she grasped it, she gratefully drank, swirled it around in her mouth, and spit it out into the toilet before leaning her head against the porcelain bowl again with a groan.
“Better?” he asked, not quite able to keep the slightest smile from his face.
Kazuha opened one eye, looked at him, and closed that eye with another soft sound. “Quit grinning, ahou,” she rasped harshly without thinking before she spoke. “This is your fault. You are responsible for this. So consider it practice.”
“Do you think you’re done?” he asked, ignoring the implications of that statement. When she nodded, he flushed for her and shifted so he could carefully scoop her up, ignoring her whine of protest at being moved. It didn’t take him too long to get her arranged as comfortably as possible on the couch (though he did grab a garbage can and set it next to her as a precautionary measure, one she did not deem worthy of protest). He took a quick minute to make sure all was clean in the bathroom before he took a seat on the floor next to her.
“…how far along are you?” he asked quietly.
“Two months,” she murmured without opening her eyes. “Doctor said so. Went yesterday. Thought I was just getting sick. Been feeling weird for a few weeks.”
“You knew last night?” he prodded, though not harshly.
She winced and nodded. “I wanted to tell you right away, but…I just panicked. And then we went out and you asked…” She raised one hand and pressed it to her forehead beneath her sweat-dampened bangs; he saw the glint of metal on her ring finger. “M’sorry, Heiji…”
He sighed. That was the point he had thought the most on, and somehow he just couldn’t bring himself to be terribly angry about it. “It’s okay,” he said, and he meant it. “The question now becomes what are we going to do?”
She cracked one watery, bloodshot eye open to look at him. “Do you still want to…?” She didn’t say the rest of the question aloud; she did not need to. He knew exactly what she was asking.
“Do you?” he replied. “I asked you because I meant it.”
“…I do,” she admitted. “But god…I don’t know how I’m going to tell Dad.” She closed her eyes again and seemed to deflate, sinking back against the couch. “I don’t know how he’ll react…”
“I know your dad pretty well,” Heiji said thoughtfully. “I think he’ll be surprised, but I doubt he’ll disown you or anything. He’ll be supportive.” A chuckle escaped him. “I think he’ll have fun being Grandpa.” His smile faded. “It’s my parents I’m really worried about. I think the engagement will thrill them. They like you, and I think Mom’s had our towels monogrammed since we were twelve.” He felt gratified when she let out a very small laugh at that. “But the other part? …I’m really not sure. Not at all.”
“Should we go together?” Kazuha pressed.
“…I actually feel like I should handle my parents,” Heiji ran a nervous hand through his hair. “I’ll go with you to tell your dad, though. If you want me to, I mean?”
She hesitated, then shook her head. “No. I can do it. Best to do it soon…” She winced. “God…your parents…they’re going to hate me. They’re going to think I’m a whore…”
“They will not,” he said firmly. “They know you better than that.” And in the unlikely event that they did have any thoughts of the sort, Heiji privately decided, then he was leaving and not looking back.
Still, they both fell silent at the unspoken consensus: This was going to be interesting.
In hindsight, Heiji was starting to wish that he had agreed with Kazuha’s suggestion that they do this together. He was feeling smaller and smaller with each passing second that he had to spend under the weight of his father’s glare. But he did not let his feelings on that show; he kept his expression neutral and his head held high. Weakness or fear was not an option.
Although he had always been fairly certain that his father could smell fear.
They had taken the news of the engagement as he thought they would, with definite happiness. But the news of Kazuha’s pregnancy elicited a much cooler response, to say the least. But interestingly, he wasn’t getting quite as disapproving a vibe from his mother. She looked startled at the announcement, but her expression was more one of thoughtfulness rather than disgust.
“They’re coming over after Kazuha talks to her father,” Heiji said. He hesitated, then added, “And for what it’s worth, Kazuha’s terrified of what you’ll have to say to her.”
“What does she think we’re going to say?” Shizuka asked.
“That she’s a whore.”
Now there was a nice tinge of amazement to the shock in the room.
But that quickly gave way as the questions began, mostly from Heizo. The stern man seemed surprisingly agitated over the whole situation and appeared to be grilling his son as a means of venting. Heiji sat back and resigned himself to fielding those questions as they waited for the Toyamas to arrive.
The car ride from the Toyama house to the Hattori residence was not exactly a long one. But it felt a great deal longer than it actually was, as both passengers in the car were silent and ill at ease, giving rise to tension that felt even heavier in the small, enclosed space. It was so thick that you could have sliced it with a katana, and probably served it on a flatbread.
Finally, the officer sighed. “Kazuha, please try to relax.”
“Easier said than done,” she murmured. “They’re going to hate me.”
“I don’t think so. Heizo…well, he’ll be shocked, I’m sure, but he’s not going to hate you,” Toyama said with a shake of the head. “Just take a deep breath, just like before. Everything’s going to be fine.” He was thinking back to the chat they had just had. The conversation between father and daughter in the kitchen of the Toyama home had been brief, and decidedly interesting, but nerves had been calmed (for the moment, at least). Now it seemed that it might be a struggle to get Kazuha through the front door.
She mumbled something in response and let the silence lapse again, only speaking out when they had pulled up to the house. She glanced up towards the expansive home and saw the light in the window of the main room and shook her head. “I can’t do this.”
“You can, and you will,” he said firmly, turning the key to shut off the engine. “Heiji’s inside, isn’t he?”
“…y-yes, he is…” she said, her nerves lapsing into a momentary blush.
“Then let’s trust him to have things handled here,” he said with a smile and a wink, offering her a hand out of the car. “Come on. Let’s go talk to the in-laws.”
She hesitated, then took his hand and climbed out of the car. He didn’t let go of her hand, which was probably just as well because it meant that she couldn’t run. It did take a bit of forceful persuasion, though, for her to make it all the way to the front door. Her father knocked, once.
The door opened immediately, and Hattori Shizuka appeared, standing in the doorway. Kazuha privately thought that the admittedly formidable woman looked even more dignified and imposing than she usually did, which was exactly what Kazuha was afraid of.
“I…” Kazuha tried to speak, but her words failed her, and she looked down, waiting for the axe to fall.
A hand touched her arm. “You are truly terrified, aren’t you?” Shizuka’s voice was kind.
Kazuha looked up, bit her lip, then nodded.
“Come in, come in,” the Hattori matron waved them both inside, and closed the door behind them before putting a motherly arm around Kazuha’s shoulders. “You have nothing to fear.”
Before she could stop herself, Kazuha blurted out, “I’m not a whore.”
A pause of surprise. Then Shizuka’s calm, comforting voice. “No one said you were.” She led father and daughter into the room where Heiji and Heizo were looking at each other; neither seemed terribly comfortable with the arrangement.
There was no mistaking it or missing it: both Heiji and Kazuha lit up the moment they laid eyes on each other, and she quickly crossed the room to sit next to him, reaching down to give his hand a squeeze.
The parents took seats and looked at each other. Finally, Shizuka sighed. “All right, since no one else is going to speak, I suppose it will fall to me. Now, you two,” she fixed them both with a look that told them they were going to answer and answer quickly, “since there are many plans to be made in a very short time, I think we should begin.”
At their surprised looks, she raised an eyebrow. “While I do wish this news were coming after the wedding, what’s done is done, and might have been’s don’t mend the broken pot. So let us discuss wedding plans, shall we?”
“…your mom is really awesome.”
He chuckled. “I know.”
The conversation at the Hattori household had been surprisingly easy once Shizuka had taken the lead and began steering the conversation. Wedding plans were discussed at length. It was actually very calming to talk about that; it was almost therapeutic, really, to talk about something that was undeniably joyful and thrilling.
Wedding plans first, Shizuka said. Then the baby. And not to worry, Kazuha-chan, she assured the girl, who tensed immediately at the mention of the baby, because it will all be fine. To hear that from the woman who had been like a mother to her was a great deal of help, as were her assurances that women had been going through this for centuries…and her whispered confession (during a moment away from the men) that she was personally looking forward to becoming a grandmother.
By the time they had called it a night, it was actually morning, and well into the wee hours of it. By the time Heiji and Kazuha had tumbled into bed, it was nearing two o’clock. They were exhausted, nervous, happy, and perfectly content to sprawl out in bed and just enjoy each other’s company for a moment before they lost consciousness. Neither had any intention of moving before noon, though it remained to be seen as to whether or not outside factors would permit such sloth.
“So how do you feel?” he asked.
Kazuha shifted. “I’m still nervous. But…I think everything will be okay.” She turned her head to look at him. “Our parents are with us. We’re getting married. And we’re going to be parents.” She sighed, which turned into a face-splitting yawn. “A family of our own…”
Heiji kissed her cheek. “You’re going to be an amazing mom.”
“Thank you,” she said. “And you’ll be an awesome dad. If we can get past your natural ahou state, of course.” That last was said with the most teasing voice she could muster up.
Heiji laughed and gave her a light swat on the arm. “You’re the ahou.”
“Takes one to know one.”
He grinned, and then it was his turn to yawn. “In the meantime…sleep sounds good, yes?”
“Absolutely…” she pulled the blanket a little bit tighter around her and smiled. “Goodnight…”
There was a moment of silence, then Heiji spoke up. “Hey, Kazuha, one more thing…”
She opened one eye. “Hmm?”
She could see his grin through the darkness. “I don’t know if the apartment would be big enough for a family.” His eyes were sparkling. “What do you think about looking into a house?”
PS. Whew…that’s over and done with. I knew pretty much from the beginning that this was where they’d end up (the proposal itself seemed obvious enough), and then I had a couple of people telling me that there had better be a proposal, a wedding, a baby, or some combination of the three, or else there would be brickings in my immediate future. Needless to say, I gave them what they wanted.
So this makes ninety-nine. One more to go, can you believe it? It’ll be up on September 2nd, two years to the day of the posting of the first one. I planned it that way :D Hope you’ll check back in for the anticlimactic ending! Thanks for reading, all! Much love!