Disclaimer: I do not own Ushio and Tora. This chapter of the triad is about a discovery of feelings. In otherwards, pure sap, no lemons. Sorry to disappoint for all yaoi lemon fans. It's sweet though, please read.
Ps: This chapter switches between Ushio and Tora's POVs, so be warned.
Tora. I watch you silently as you sleep unaware. When I awoke early this morning, the night came back to me. I don't know what I expected to feel after allowing myself to give in to my soul's desires. It was a moment, and an eternity, wonderful, and yet, it seemed to end too quickly. What do we do now, Tora?
The sunlight brushes your fur, making it glow like flames in the night. I realized last night, that you wondered how I could bear touching you in such ways. You believe that you are a beast, that you do not deserve soft touches. But, Tora... I think I... I... I care about you, more than ever. I cannot forget the feel of your body, the way your arms wrapped around me, so loving and strong. The warmth of your heart beating in my ear, the touch of your fur brushing my cheeks. Even now, my fingers stroke them, feeling again the softness that once caressed them lovingly. But, it is not as satisfying, for it is merely a phantom touch.
There is no turning back now. Our fate is sealed, or at least my heart is. I have grown fond of you... more than any other. I know you doubt me, I doubted myself at first. I would never have believed it if someone had told me this would come to be. Imagine, a demon hunter falling in love with a monster. That's it... isn't it. I've finally admitted it, though only to myself. I love you, Tora. I love you.
I worry. You are beginning to stir and soon you will awaken. Do you care for me as I do you? I do not know if monsters can love, but I hope you will not turn me away. I felt a hesitantness last night, as if you were unsure of something. Is it me? I am not Mayuko, caring and beautiful as sunlight. I cannot give you what she can. She offers you life, Tora. What can I offer you?
Nothing. I am a hunter, a shadow that rides the night searching for flesh to devour with my weapon. I am your most dangerous enemy, the Master of the Beast Spear. My soul purpose is to destroy your kind... No. Not mine. It is the Spear that puts these thoughts into my head. I'm afraid, Tora. I don't want to hurt you. But, if we remain like this, together... but not... I worry that the time may come for us to fight. It would be a battle to the death, for both of us.
Your nose is twitching. I can tell you are about to awaken. The muscles in your arms and legs are beginning to tense up. Oh Tora... I love you with my heart, body, and soul. It seems like such a long time ago, though only 4 years have passed, that I released you. Now, I regret not getting to know you as a friend, instead of treating you as an enemy. True, you were an enemy to all humanity at the time, but now... now all I see is the face of my beloved.
I fear that when you open your eyes, when you see me, you will turn me away. How can I expect you to love me in return, even after last night? I care about you so much, it would shatter my soul if I saw dismissal in your eyes. Will you respect me at all? I practically threw myself at you, not truly understanding my own feelings. Did I make the wrong choice? Did you feel obligated to touch me as you did, to hold me close as though we were simply two people in love, and not sworn enemies? I pray that I am wrong in that assumption.
White. Your eyes are opening slowly, blinking as though to focus on the world around you. I can feel the nervousness seeping through my bones as those white orbs focus on me and you rise to all fours. We watch each other, silently, as if neither can build up the courage to speak. I cannot read your thoughts, your eyes are clouded as you study me, waiting.
Stop looking at me, Tora! I can't bear it. Flashes of last night mix with images of you and Mayuko pressed together in the same intimate dance. How can this be? Is it true? Do you care more for Mayuko than you do me? Was last night just sex to you?
You move, and I run. I can't stand it anymore. My heart is weighed down painfully with assumptions. I want to know what you feel for me, but I can't bear to hear you say that I mean nothing to you. I know that is what you will say, we are enemies after all. I cannot hope for eternity, last night's moment will have to console me the rest of my life. But, how can I live without you? My heart already feels like it is breaking, shattering my soul to pieces. I love you... How can I live without you?!
NANI?! My breath is knocked out of me as something heavy lands upon me, pressing my front into the grass. Tendrils of long orange hair float around me, caressing the sides of my face like... NO! I don't want to be reminded of last night. You care not for me, so why not leave me be? Leave before you find out my horrible secret.
What the hell? I didn't expect you to do that. I thought you would forget last night, but it seems as though you have not. I woke to see you standing there on the far end of the rooftop, just watching me silently. I rose, waiting for you to speak, to clear your mind of any doubts. For, you must be ashamed of what has occurred between us. How can you not be? I am a beast, you are a hunter. I expected angry accusations, even a fight, but not this.
Your eyes grew uncertain, hesitant as we watched each other. I could almost sense the tenseness in your body, your lips pressed tightly together as if to keep yourself from blurting out an overbearing secret. And then, you fled. My eyes widened, my body flowing to the edge of the rooftop in time to see you land gracefully in a crouch and race off around the corner.
After only a second's pause, perhaps too long, I leapt downwards to follow. I could have caught you sooner, if I had not hesitated... but, this will have to do. The forest is calm tonight, the peace broken only by the sound of your footsteps. You run fast, my mate, but I am faster. After all, you are only human at this moment.
In an instant, a second before you can sense my presence, I pounce. The feel of your body beneath mine on the forest floor, reminds me of that night. Your scent fills me, the softness of your skin seems to caress mine as we lay there.
You begin to tremble, I can feel it and I halfway rise to gaze down at you. Your eyes are hidden from me, your fingers clenching in the dewsoaked grass below. I trail a single clawed finger down your cheek before flipping you onto you back easily. You do not look at me even now, your head tilted to the side, your eyes closed tightly as if to ward me away.
Can you not bear to look at me? Was that night, last night, so horrible to you now? Is that why you ran when you did? Because you could not speak to me, for I am the one who took something precious from you. If I could take it back, knowing now that it pains you so much, I would. I'd do anything to keep you from harm, even leave if you cannot stand to look at me.
Stop watching me. I can feel your eyes on me, even as I lay in the damp grass beneath your heavy form. I can still feel the silken caress of your long mane, like a beacon in the darkness. If I look at you, you will know my secret. You will know... and you will leave me. I cannot bear for you to go, and I cannot bear for you to stay if I cannot touch you. I love you, Tora.
I feel your body shift, knowing immediately that something is wrong. For a second, my body is flooded with fear. You are leaving me. Do not go. Tora! My eyes snap open, even as I reach out and grip your arm as you are pulling away. You glance down at me, surprised at my actions. In that instant, I know... I know my secret is no more. I cannot hide from you any longer, my love.
I felt you relax for a moment, thinking only that you were relieved that I was willing to leave you. How could you not be? I was ready to release you of any vow we made last night. That is, until I felt your fingers touch my fur, hands holding me, keeping me from leaving. I looked down, finding myself trapped by the emotions in your deep opaque eyes that are suddenly wide open, and staring at me in fear.
No, you are not afraid of me, I can see that. It is almost as if... you do not want me to leave. Your lips open, mouthing words I cannot hear.
'Don't leave. Please don't leave. I don't want you to go.'
I am puzzled. You want me to stay? Why? Only moments before, you could not bear to look upon me and now you won't let me go. But then, I see the shimmer of unshed tears in your eyes, hear the choked sob that rises in your throat. I cannot help myself, I kneel to hold you. For a moment, I pause, uncertain if you truly desire my touch. But, then I feel your body in my arms as you lean into me, and I hold on tightly, afraid to let you go.
Your body shakes with emotion, your thin human fingers clutching my fur like a safehold. Tears stain my chest as you weep, and I do nothing more than hold you. You are my mate, I will protect you. I made that vow last night through my actions, and I will not go back on it. You are to precious to me.
'Don't leave me. Please don't. I need you.'
Your words slash into me like a bolt of lightning. You need me? After everything, you do not feel any hatred or disgust when you look upon me? I start to stand, only to feel your fingers clench tighter, then release. As I rise, I look down and watch your arms curl instinctively around you, as if to form a protection against the world. Your head tilts up, dark eyes gazing at me in silence. I cannot read what you are going through right now, the emotions hidden as if behind a thick barrier of opaque glass. You seem to be watching me for something, looking for a sign. Then, your eyes leave mine and drop down to the ground. The sadness seems to radiate around you, and all I want to do is take you in my arms once more.
'You're leaving, aren't you? Even after last night. I shouldn't have expected more. After all, how can you possibly care for me. Me, a demon hunter, your worst enemy; a male, not even worthy of anything short of a one night stand. If you are leaving, then go. I won't hold you back.'
Your words cause my entire body to freeze. I cannot move, not after that confession. Can it be? Is it possible that you have been feeling the same doubts as I after our one night of passion, of love? I thought you would be happy if I left, but it turns out that it would hurt you more than anything. Is there even a slight chance that you feel the same for me as I do for you? Only one way to find out. I ask you.
Your head rises, dark eyes widening even as I speak. Your face betrays all your emotions. From shock to disbelief, then amazement and hope. I watch you pick yourself up from the ground and step towards me, hands trembling at your sides. Still you have not answered, simply stared at me as if this was all just a dream. A single hand rises and I cannot help but flinch, worried that I misunderstood your words, your response.
Instead, I feel your gentle touch, watch the smile appear on your face. You are radiant as you stand there, just looking at me with such emotion. The instant is like eternity, but over too quickly. But, I find that I am enjoying this more. The feel of your body against mine as you throw yourself into my waiting arms. The sound of relieved laughter echoes around us, even as you rub your cheek into my chest. I gaze down as smile as you look up at me, your lips parting to whisper...
'I love you, my Tora.'
For a second, I am speechless. I had expected nothing more than your relief that I was not going to leave you, that perhaps last night meant a bit more to you than I had thought. But, I had not expected this. Your love. A precious gift, equal to the one you granted me last night. And... how can I possibly refuse? My arms tighter, the emotion welling up in my throat until I can do nothing but stand there, holding you tighter and tighter.
You just laugh gently, realizing that I do not want to release you. You whisper words, tender words of reassurance. I know you will not run away. I realize that now. You will never look at me with disgust, nor will you turn me away. No, you will love me until the end of your days, and I will do the same for you.
I understand more fully now. I cannot live without you and you will not live without me. I won't leave you to fend on your own; I will stay and guide you the rest of your days. But, even as the wonder and happiness twirls around us, I cannot help but fear the day you will be taken from me. Humans live such short lives. But, until that day, I will not let you go. I love you, my demon hunter... my Ushio.
Author's Note: Reviews! Please let me know if you enjoyed it. I know it wasn't a lemon, more sappy, but the pair needed to get their feelings straightened out.