The rain pattered quite loudly against the windows of the house. But in the bedroom, the closed curtains muffled the pitter-patter of the fat drops against the windowpane. The alarm clock on the nightstand had its alarm turned off. It should have ringed four hours ago, but someone had switched it off. In the bed, the covers slowly rose up and down with the breaths of the lone occupant. His long green hair, which was usually held in a ponytail, was now splayed freely around his back and shoulders. Several long locks lay across his face.
A deep, soft sigh slipped from N’s lips as he slept, completely oblivious to the rain outside, and the person who now entered his room. Her long, wavy brunette hair framed her face; she had yet to pull it up into her usual high ponytail. She tiptoed to the side of N’s bed, and stood there, intently watching his breathing. She then silently slid under the covers and snuggled up next to him. She leaned in close to his face, her mouth brushing against the skin on his neck. Her soft lips travelled up his neck, and she gently planted a feather-light kiss on N’s jaw. She slowly inched her body upward, and craned her neck to drop a kiss on both his eyelids. N’s eyelids fluttered, and he looked at her through half-closed eyes, his mind still drugged with sleep.
Touko smiled at his sleepy face, his slightly confused expression making him all the more innocent and adorable. She showered more light, ticklish kisses all over his face.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” she whispered softly.
N shut his eyes again, as if he wanted to slip back into his dreams once more. Touko nuzzled up to N’s body, her head resting in the crook of his neck. Her hand found its way under his shirt, and slowly slid across his waist onto his lower back. N’s body gave a slight shiver as her fingers lingered on the base of his spine. Touko guided her hand up N’s back, feeling the pleasure of his warm skin against her bare arm. N bit back a moan as her hand travelled higher still, pushing his shirt upwards and exposing his skin to the slightly cool air. Touko’s hand massaged the muscles between N’s shoulder blades, and his eyes squeezed shut a little tighter and he gave the smallest of grunts as her fingers pressed into his flesh. N felt Touko’s hand pop out of the top of his shirt, and her fingers scratching the base of his hairline. Her curved fingers steadily made their way up the back of his head. His shirt slid up higher, and N could now feel Touko’s body pressed against his. The soft fabric of her shirt. Her warmth. Her steady, calming breaths.
As Touko’s nails scratched his scalp, N felt another moan rising in the back of his throat. Before he could suppress it, it escaped past his lips, and he groaned pathetically in contentment. He managed to open his eyes once more, and saw Touko’s face right next to his. Her lips delicately pressed against his in a greeting kiss. N wrapped his arm around Touko’s waist and pulled her even closer, his fingers slipping into the space between the top of her shorts and the hem of her shirt. His fingers tickled her skin, and he felt goose bumps rise on her back. His mind, still heavy with drowsiness, chased away any fleeting dreams as he pushed his lips against Touko’s and deepened their kiss.
Touko pulled her face back, but it was still mere centimeters away from N’s. N yearned for another kiss from her, but his mind was now drunk on the serenity and sluggishness that was mixing into a thick stew; it couldn’t quite focus on leaning forward again. N sighed aloud, his breath barely swirling around Touko’s face.
“What time is it…?” he mumbled, his voice muffled by Touko’s hair.
“It’s a little past 10:00,” Touko said quietly.
“Wha…? Why didn’t the alarm go off?” N’s mind was now starting to clear and become more alert, slight panic starting to set in at the fact he had seemingly slept in four hours past his alarm.
“I turned it off and let you sleep in. The fact that you kept sleeping and didn’t wake up before the alarm like you usually do means that you overworked yourself again.”
Touko ruffled her boyfriend’s hair.
“You get a day off today, so let’s do something,” she said.
N heaved another deep sigh, trying to push the remaining bits of fuzz from his mind. He glanced at the window, and finally took notice of the sound of the pattering rain.
“It’s raining out…” he said slowly.
“It sure is, Captain Obvious. But there are plenty of things we can do in the house,” Touko said, flashing a grin.
“Heh…out of all the things we could do, he suggests Hide and Seek?” Touko took cautious steps down the hall, careful not to make the wooden floorboards creak. She stopped, and leaned against the wall.
“So childish…” she murmured to herself.
She had no idea how she had let N convince her to play a game she hadn’t played since she was a small child. She was too old to be playing such childlike games…but he had seemed so excited. When Touko had finally relented, after much persistent nagging on N’s part, he had insisted on hiding first.
A smile danced on the corners of Touko’s mouth. As childish as the game seemed, N’s enthusiasm was contagious; she could feel that familiar thrill at the prospect of searching for the hidden people.
She crept stealthily down the hall, keeping a sharp ear out for any noises that could give her a clue to where her boyfriend was hiding. As she passed a hallway closet, she felt a hand close tightly around her wrist, and before she had any time to react, Touko was yanked into the closet. She let out a yelp of surprise, which was quickly muffled by a hand. She felt something soft and warm tickle the side of her face; someone had nuzzled their face into her neck. Touko squeaked and tried to squirm away, but the person held on tightly to her wrist.
“Gotcha,” a low voice murmured next to her ear. Touko turned her head, and N swooped in and bopped his nose against Touko’s in an Eskimo kiss. When they broke apart, Touko glared at him playfully, one eyebrow arched.
“Hey wise guy, I was aware we were playing Hide ‘N Seek, not Seven Minutes in Heaven,” she said, smirking slightly. She heard N giggle.
“What’d you think of my hiding spot? Pretty good, huh? You had no idea!”
Touko sighed. “No, I had no clue you were in here. But you’re not planning on keeping me hostage in this closet all day, are you? It’s my turn to hide now.”
“Oh, right,” N let go of Touko’s wrist, covered his eyes, and began to count.
Touko quietly slipped out of the closet and ran down the hall, towards the stairs. She began to slowly ascend, putting her feet down slowly and deliberately, as to not make any of the stairs creak. When she was halfway up, she realized with horror that N had finished counting.
“18…19…20! Ready or not, here I come!” his voice echoed through the house.
Definitely not ready…crap crap crap crap crap CRAP! Touko thought. She bolted up the rest of the stairs, knowing perfectly well their loud creaking would give away where she was. She scampered down the hall, and slid to a halt in front of the door to the spare bedroom. She flung the door open and looked wildly around the room. As she heard N’s footsteps grow louder, she dropped down and rolled under the bed. She was panting quite heavily, but forced herself to slow her breathing. She waited with batted breath for N to come into the room. She saw his feet pause at the entrance of the door…he was going to walk in and find her…but he kept going…his footsteps were growing fainter…
Touko grinned. Her hiding spot had worked. A faint memory buzzed in the back of her mind. Something she had loved to do whenever the seeker came by her hiding place…
After several minutes, she saw N’s feet walk back to the entrance of the room. N paused, as if considering whether to go into the room or not. After another brief pause, he walked cautiously into the room, his feet creaking quietly on the floorboards. Touko could see his legs rotating as N turned a full 360, trying to look for Touko.
Just a little closer…
N reached the bed. Touko shot out her arm, grabbed his ankle, and yanked. N let out a high-pitched shriek and slipped, crashing face-first on the floor. Touko pulled herself out from underneath the bed, cackling.
“Oh my GOD, N! You just DROPPED!” She bent over on all fours, her stomach aching from her giggling.
N straightened up and turned to face her defiantly, his eyes streaming.
“Touko! That isn’t funny! I hit my face!” he wailed.
Touko finally stopped her laughing, and looked at N’s brooding expression. She crawled over to him.
“I’m sorry, babe. I just didn’t expect you to fall over like that!” she said gently.
“I hit my face though!” N repeated, blinking hard in an attempt to stem the flow of tears from his eyes.
Touko studied his face, a smile forming on her lips.
“Would a kiss make it better?” she asked.
N sniffed and nodded. Touko leaned forward and planted a kiss on N’s forehead and nose.
“You’re my little toughie, aren’t you?” she crooned.
N looked at her with a sullen expression.
“It was a head injury…” he said indignantly in his defense.
Touko glanced at her watch. It read 11:05 a.m.
“Hey N, let’s go eat lunch. All this running and hiding has made me hungry.”
N perked up at the mention of food.
“Can we make dessert after? Like a cookie cake?” he asked eagerly.
“Cake? Sure, we can make cookie cake-“
“Can I help?” N interrupted.
Touko stared at her boyfriend, a surprised frown tugging at her lips.
“N…the last time you tried to bake something you almost burned the house down. If you want to make a cake, I’m going to help.”
“OK, so after you add the flour, beat it. Then, we chill the dough for an hour, and roll it out and put it in the oven,” Touko read the instructions out of her mother’s cookbook. N started to carefully pour two and a half cups of flour, the white powder plopping softly into the mixture.
“Make sure to add it in little by little,” Touko added as she turned her back to grab some foil from the pantry. She pushed some boxes of cereal aside, rummaging around for the foil. As her hand closed around the long, thin box, she heard the beater whirl loudly, too loudly for mixing flour. Touko pulled her head out of the pantry and turned back around. N was standing rigid, the beater clutched tightly in his hand. Touko could see wisps of flour swirling around him and settling on the kitchen counter, or drifting to the floor.
“N…?” Touko said, a hint of a stern tone creeping into her voice.
“Nu…Nothing…” N’s voice came out a squeak. He still didn’t turn around.
Touko reached out grabbed N’s shoulder, making him turned around. N’s face was screwed up, his eyes squinting. Flour covered his face is white splotches and had settled in his hair.
A sigh rushed from Touko’s lips as she reached up and wiped some of the powder away from N’s face.
“What did I tell you about turning the blender on high when mixing flour?” she asked sternly.
N’s face suddenly fell.
“Does this mean we can’t make the cake?” he asked.
Touko couldn’t help but smile at her boyfriend’s crestfallen face.
“We still have flour left. We can still make it. But I’m going to mix this time.”
Touko poured in the flour and took up the beater, N hovering wearily behind her, as if he were worried getting any closer would cause the dough to explode.
As she started to pour the chocolate chips, N suddenly wrapped his arms around Touko’s waist and pressed his face into the nape of her neck. Touko jumped as she felt his lips press against her skin, his hair tickling the base of her hairline. Shivers shot up her back and neck, and she almost flung the bag out of her hands in her surprise.
“S-Stop! You’re getting flour on me!” Touko yelped.
“This piece goes right here,” N said, point to the middle of the jigsaw puzzle.
“No it doesn’t! This piece goes there!” Touko insisted hotly, clutching a puzzle piece between her two fingers.
“It obviously doesn’t fit, Touko. Look at it. That pointy bit won’t fit there,” N said mildly.
“Yeah it will!” Touko snapped, turning the piece around, but she was unsuccessful in placing it in the spot she was sure it would be.
N calmly placed his puzzle piece in the gap, where it fit perfectly. He looked up at Touko, a smug expression on his face. Touko’s cheeks swelled up with air as her face twisted into a grumpy frown. She seized an unused puzzle piece and chucked it at N’s face. It made contact right in the middle of his forehead.
“Ow! Touko! What the heck!” N pressed his fingers over the red mark.
Now he grabbed a piece and threw it in Touko’s direction. It clipped her ear. Eventually, the two of them started grabbing any pieces they could, even from the picture, and started hurling them at each other. Puzzle pieces flew everywhere. One somehow ended up behind the couch and landed on Zoroark’s ear. His ear twitched and he opened his eye irritably. He could handle N and his mate running about in a game of Hide and Seek and making all sorts of ruckus, but throwing puzzle pieces at him was crossing the line. He popped up from behind the furniture.
“HEY, lovebirds! I’m trying to sleep here! Quit lobbing pieces of cardboard at each other!”
N froze with a piece still clutched in his fingertips. Touko was subtly trying to get out a piece that fell down her shirt.
“Oh, let me help-“ N reached towards her.
“Wha-oh heck no-!” The puzzle piece fell out the bottom of Touko’s shirt.
She picked it up and pressed it onto N’s forehead.
“I don’t need your help for THAT,” she said.
N batted the puzzle piece of his forehead, and then surveyed the living room. Puzzle pieces were scattered everywhere.
“Well, looks like the puzzle didn’t work out,” he observed.
“N, it’s not gonna bake any faster if you just sit there and watch it,” Touko called into the kitchen. N was sitting cross-legged in front of the oven, intently looking at the dough filled pan inside. He was like an eager child, hoping that his intent staring would make the cookie dough bake faster, feeling frustrated when his attempts failed.
Touko blew air out her nose in exasperation, and went to flop down on the couch.
N’s eyes remained trained on the oven, almost in awe of the dough steadily turning golden. He could almost smell the sweet scent starting to waft out from the closed oven door. His mouth started to water in anticipation as he imagined sinking his teeth into the soft baked good once it cooled.
He remembered the first time he had ever had one of Touko’s cookies. Ah, it was so amazing. He hadn’t had anything like that when he was a-
Wham! Something slammed into the back of N’s head, sending it flying forward.
N shouted in surprise. It didn’t hurt, whatever it was was soft. N twisted his head around to look up at Touko. She loomed over him, two pillows in her hands.
“Arm yourself!” she shouted, throwing a pillow at his face and winding her arm back for another attack. N barely had time to throw his own pillow in front of his head protect himself from Touko. Her pillow collided with his with the softest of thwacks.
N grunted and thrust his leg out, tripping Touko. He leapt over her and rolled over the couch landing on the floor next to it. He scrambled to his feet just as Touko rocketed over the couch after him, shrieking a sort of war cry. It was so similar to her cry from all those years ago…
“YAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” The pillow swung backwards and started closing in on N at lightning speed. There was no way he could dodge in time.
“HHHYAAAH!!” N thrust his pillow forward and blocked it. The force of Touko’s swing reverberated dully up his arms. That certainly took him back. N grasped her pillow tightly in his free hand, keeping her frozen in place. With a gleeful shout, he brought his pillow down on her head. Moving fast, he let go of her pillow and hit her again as she attempted to right herself.
“Guh-!” Touko grunted as N hit her again. She tucked her legs under her body and launched herself off the couch, knocking N to the floor. She planted her feet on N’s arms, pinning them down, and pushed her pillow over his face. N squirmed furiously, but couldn’t shake her off.
“Mmmmmmph!” He thrashed his legs, but Touko didn’t budge.
After a few seconds, she yanked her pillow off his face, and N gasped loudly, sucking air into his lungs.
Touko giggled at his dramatic act.
“Awww c’mon N, I didn’t even press it over you face that hard. It was only for like, 5 seconds,” she smirked.
N pulled a childish, pouty face and started wriggling again. Touko planted her body on his chest and refused to move. She wasn’t letting her quarry get away that easily.
“You’re not escaping until you admit defeat, Harmonia,” she said, leaning close to his face.
“N-Never!” N spat, a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth threatening to betray his defiant act.
Touko grabbed N’s wrists in her right hand and forced them above his head. She leaned in closer still.
“Admit it. You’re finished.”
“No! I’m not-“ N’s words were swallowed as Touko pressed her mouth against his in a passionate kiss. His eyes widened briefly, but then closed blissfully as he drank in Touko’s scent. His fingers curled as Touko’s hand gripped his wrists tighter, and a low moan escaped his mouth. Touko slowly pulled back, her eyes clouded over with ardor. N gazed deep into her eyes, no longer struggling.
“Touko…” N murmured.
Their breath, sweet with the scent of cookie dough, drifted about their faces.
“Touko…” N craned his neck upwards.
“Sike.” N wrenched his hands free, grabbed his pillow, and brought it down on Touko’s head with a soft thump. Touko shouted in surprise and rolled off him, the fierce look returning to her eyes.
“Hey! That was dirty!” she protested.
“You were never one to fight fair in the first place!” N shouted as he charged her, swinging his pillow forward.
Touko took a step forward and propelled her pillow towards the green-haired man in front of her.
Their pillows collided and suddenly exploded in a cloud of feathers scattering wildly about. Touko and N froze and stared up at the flurry of soft feathers floating gently downward, then their gazes moved down to look at each other. A chuckle escaped from N’s mouth.
At that, Touko burst out in a fit of laughter. She bent over, clutching the flattened pillowcase in her hands as she was overcome by laughter.
N got on his knees and made a tiny pile of feathers and scooped them into his hands. He reached over to Touko and dumped the pile on her head, giggling. Touko shook her head vigorously, scattering the fluffy feather all about. She suddenly leapt forward and tackled N in a tight hug, knocking him onto his back, sending more feathers fluttering into the air. She pressed her face into his shoulder, her giggles eventually subsiding as N wrapped his arms around her. His fingers lightly tugged at her shirt as her soft hair drifted by his face.
“I love you…” He heard the words uttered from her mouth, muffled by his shirt. N craned his neck upwards once more and softly kissed Touko’s head.
“I love you, too…”
I love you. The words resounded in his head even after he said them.
He pulled his arms tighter around Touko, pressing his body to hers and closing the distance between their hearts, beating in time.
The rain pattered loudly against the roof and windows, but the noise seemed distant and muffled.
Suddenly, a loud shrill noise tore through the comfortable silence. N and Touko both jumped.
The timer in the kitchen had started ringing loudly.
“Ah! The cookie cake!” Touko scramble off N and walked briskly into the kitchen.
She yanked open the oven, and the sweet smell of baked cookies wafted about the room.
Touko slipped on her oven mitts and pulled the baked confection out, a wave of heat following it.
Touko carefully set the pan on the stove to cool, and turned back towards the living room when she heard the scraping of chairs.
N was walking back from the closet with several puffy blankets in his arms.
N? What are you doing?” Touko asked as he set the blankets down on the couch.
He gave a smile.
Touko laid her head back against N’s chest and snuggled her back against him, taking a large bite of the soft, sweet cookie cake. She broke off another piece and reached up towards N. He wordlessly opened his mouth, and Touko stuck the cookie inside.
“Mmmm…so good,” N murmured happily.
Touko giggled and wiped the crumbs from her mouth, then reached up and gently tapped the tip of N’s nose with her finger. N shut his eyes and screwed up his face as Touko’s finger booped him. Outside, the rain poured as relentlessly as ever.
“It’s still raining…?” N craned his head backwards, trying to see out the window.
“Looks like it. The rivers will be overflowing if it keeps up soon.”
N was silent, then placed his empty plate on the table nearby.
Touko’s heart doubled its pace as she felt him pull her into a tight embrace and slowly lay down on the pillows.
Touko gently pressed her mouth against his neck, feeling goose bumps prickle her lips. N’s hand slithered under her shirt as he nuzzled against her face; his hand gently caressing the smooth skin of her waist.
Touko let out a soft giggle as she tried to lean away.
“N…that tickles,” she muttered.
N didn’t listen, and only pulled her closer and started to kiss her face over and over.
Touko wasn’t about to let him get away with being the one to kiss more.
Bodies moved so she was laying on top of N, placing him beneath her, pillows scattered about.
“T-Touko?” N squeaked as Touko leaned in close.
She gazed down at him, her eyes slowly becoming clouded over with ardor.
She wordlessly leaned down and pressed her mouth hard against his.
N’s face flushed crimson as he felt Touko’s teeth graze his lower lip.
N squeezed his eyes shut and deepened their kiss, not wanting even a single inch of distance between and his beloved girlfriend.
He felt Touko pull away and he opened his eyes halfway and looked at her.
She was still looking down at him, her cheeks were also flushed red, and a small smile was starting to form on her lips.
N let out a chuckled.
“Ok, get off me, please.”
Touko giggled and rolled to his side before resting her head on his chest. N reached over and grabbed a free blanket and wrapped around them.
“Mmmm babe, lower the blanket up front,” Touko murmured.
N sat up and reached forward to grab the red blanket covering the front of the blanket fort like a curtain, keeping his other arm around Touko’s shoulders.
He tugged the blanket over the entrance, cutting off the living rom light and tinting him and Touko a dark red. He settled back down against the plush pillows, and Touko snuggled against him, her fingers curling into the fabric of his shirt.
N gave a contented sigh and closed his eyes, listening to the soothing sound of the falling rain mingling with Touko’s gentle breathing.
“Love you…” he heard Touko sigh quietly.
N allowed himself another smile.
“Love you too…” he replied.
“I’m glad it rained,” Touko said.
“Oh? Why’s that?” N asked.
“I liked being able to spend the whole day inside with you, doing fun things.
I like that the rain let us spend some time together.”