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Yatori Week - Day Seven - Whatever You Like

(This was my idea for the Adorkable prompt, but I also really wanted to write the short fic for Firsts.)

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Yatori Week - Day Six - Fandom Crossover
(Noragami x Rurouni Kenshin)

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Yatori Week - Day Five - Firsts

WARNING This fanfic mentions some events that take place in the manga post-anime. May be slightly spoiler-y.

First, a First

Although it would be naive for anyone to believe that Yato had never taken a lover in all his years, it was true that Hiyori held most of the firsts that Yato felt had any real worth. The first time a human had saved him. The first time someone had promised not to forget him. The first time someone had bothered to keep a promise at all, for that matter. The first human to build a shrine for him. The first time he had ever truly wanted to protect someone else. The first time he’d thought about someone before himself. The first time he had felt at home next to another being. The first time he’d felt the lonely void he carried overflow with warmth. The first time he’d felt the inkling that he wanted to be different…better. All of these, he attributed to her.

And now he found himself in this awkward position. She was just about to return home, had just wished him a good night and turned toward the direction of her house when the god had unconsciously grabbed her wrist and pulled her back toward him. Suddenly, he just didn’t want to be without her. It was like after a slow burn, a fire had suddenly ignited inside of him, and he couldn’t stand it any longer. He wanted to press his lips against hers, to feel them give under pressure. He wanted to tangle his hands in her hair and hold her head steady so as to look directly at her flushed face. He wanted to hear his name drip from her mouth. But what would she do if he tried? He was almost certain she’d punch him or call him a pervert and proceed to ignore him for days on end. He wouldn’t be able to stand that either.

And that’s when he realized that this was also a first for him. Sure, he’d had others in the past. But this was the first time he felt nervous. Or maybe slight shame for his desires? The first time he’d wondered if doing as he pleased at this moment would be the wrong thing to do. But wasn’t a god’s actions always justified? He wasn’t so sure he could believe that anymore. A lump formed in his throat and he swallowed hard.

Hiyori was standing right in front of him, held in place by Yato’s steady hands on her upper arms. He had caught her off guard with his sudden tug, and his face was so…serious. What was this heavy atmosphere? Hiyori’s heart was pounding in her chest. Surely Yato could feel the vibrations reverberating throughout her body through his fingertips.

"Y-Yato?"

Yato never averted his intent gaze. He cleared his throat and took one step forward, closing what little distance was left between them. In an instant, his hand cupped one side of her face and he bent toward her. Hiyori inhaled sharply and squeezed her eyes shut. It reminded her of how her first kiss had been stolen by Fujisaki… A first she had unknowingly intended for someone else. She had hated it, the way he’d just taken it from her as if it had been up for grabs. As if she had no say it the matter herself. Although she knew this was different…not unwelcomed… her body seized up.

He stopped just before his lips touched hers. She could feel the heat of his breath, the tickling of his hair brushing her cheeks and nose, but the climax of his mouth on hers never came. Confused, Hiyori dared to open her eyes, only to find his own shocking blue ones staring back. They had softened slightly.

"Hiyori. May I?"

The first time he’d ever bothered to ask for permission for anything. The first time anyone had asked her for her permission. Her affirmation came silently as she tilted her chin upward toward him.

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I’m really glad I decided to participate in Yatori Week. It’s gotten me over a long doodle dry spell and seeing others work has made me want to try out some other styles.

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I have a thing for blushing Mamura.

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Yatori Week - Day Four - Blush

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Yatori Week - Day Three - Apology

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Yatori Week - Day Two - Bound

Separation Anxiety

Summer meant festivals, and while part of him resented that the festivals were usually in honor of other gods or dead relatives rather than for him, Yato couldn’t help but love the atmosphere. Food sizzling on open grills, children scooping goldfish or rubber balls, the night air charged with the excitement of the crowd, the fireworks. He loved every part of it. And this is why he pestered Yukine and Hiyori to go with him to every festival he could find, no matter how small it was. But there was always some excuse for why they couldn’t. Study and summer homework. Daikoku and Kofuku needed an extra set of hands. Other engagements had left them too exhausted to be bothered with pushing through crowds. It was just too hot. And so, Yato drifted through the crowds alone which, he thought grumpily, completely defeated the point.

It was already August. Summer would end soon, but not before the Obon season, in which humans would clean the graves of their relatives and make preparations to have their spirits visit. This was also the last and largest festival of the season. Yato had begged, on his knees and with hands clasped tightly. It was their last chance. He wanted to go all together. Please!

Hiyori and Yukine relented with a resigned smile and a sigh respectfully. That is how Yato found himself at the main entrance of the park at the center of the city with Yukine, waiting for Hiyori to arrive. They’d been standing there for at least an hour.

"She’s late," Yato huffed. He leaned against a light post, arms folded impatiently.

Yukine scanned the incoming stream of people for a sign of their friend, but found none. People were crowding into the park at an alarming rate, and it was hard to distinguish one person from the next. “Maybe she forgot,” he commented casually.

Yato frowned. He knew Hiyori wasn’t the kind of girl to break her promises, but he couldn’t keep his mind from considering it. After all, he had reminded her at least three times a day for the past week. Maybe she had gotten annoyed and decided to punish him by not showing at all. He wouldn’t put it past her. It wouldn’t be the first time she had ignored him when she felt he was being overbearing.

"Ah! There she is!" Yukine exclaimed, interrupting his master’s thoughts. "Yato, she’s wearing a yukata! Hiyori!" Yukine waved both his hands over his head to grab her attention. Yato craned his neck to get a glimpse.

Hiyori noticed and waved back before pushing through the crowd, apologizing as she went, until she stood before her friends, bent over with both hands on her knees. She was wrapped in deep purple fabric printed with yellow and white chrysanthemums. A pale pink obi held the fabric in place and was tied in an elegant bow at the back. Her hair was off her neck in a high bun, held in place by jeweled pins. Wisps of hair had already come loose and a few beads of sweat dotted her hairline. It was obvious she had rushed over. Yato mentally chided himself for doubting her.

"Sorry I’m late," Hiyori apologized between gulps of air, "I asked my mom to help me dress, but she took forever tying the obi."

"You could have just come in your normal clothes," Yato complained. He hadn’t bothered to put on anything special after all. It was the usual jersey and tattered scarf for him.

"No, no, that wouldn’t do. It’s a festival after all. I thought you’d appreciate it if I got in the spirit a little," Hiyori insisted with a smile. She stood up straight and set to work straightening out the fabric of her outfit.

Yato cleared his throat and stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Well, you… You look.. nice.”

"Thanks!" Hiyori grinned.

Yukine rolled his eyes. “Well, I want to get some food before the fireworks start. Yato, give me some money.” The boy held his hand out, palm up, expectantly.

"You—! You want to waste all my savings on food?!" Yato balked.

"I’m hungry!" Yukine retorted. "It’s your responsibility to feed me!"

Hiyori chuckled and put a hand on Yukine’s shoulder. “I brought some money, Yukine, so it’ll be my treat.”

"Really?" Yukine asked, eyes sparkling.

"Sure! Why don’t you two scout out a spot for us to sit, and I’ll go around the stalls. Ah, but maybe I’ll need help carrying it all…"

"Then I’ll go with you," Yato volunteered.

Just as Hiyori opened her mouth to express her thanks, a throng of people pushed past her and nearly toppled her. Yato caught her shoulder and steadied her. As soon as she’d regained her footing, another group squeezed themselves into the small spaces between the trio, effectively pushing them in opposite directions. A bit stunned, Yato watched as both Yukine and Hiyori drifted farther away into a sea of faces.

I don’t want to spend this one alone, too.

Balling his fists, Yato prepared to make his move— either to yell or knock down every person in his way if that’s what it took. Yukine moved first; he grabbed Hiyori’s wrist and shouldered a path back to Yato like a fish fighting to go upstream. Yato wondered if the boy could read his mind or, if by some chance the god had managed the impossible and stung his regalia with the thoughts of harming others for the sake of Hiyori’s safety.

When the trio had crowded back together, Hiyori smiled sheepishly. “It’s really crowded isn’t it? Sorry, I really should have gotten here earlier.”

Yato did his best to shrug nonchalantly. “But with this many people, it’ll be easy to get separated,” he observed coolly. “Maybe I should go and you sit with—”

This time it was Hiyori who held out her hand to him. “Here,” she interrupted. “So I don’t lose you.”

Yato’s cheeks pinked. He blinked down at the upturned palm for a moment and then lifted his hand to take hers. Just before he could clasp her small hand in his, Yukine spoke up.

"You’ll regret it, Hiyori. This guy’s hands are like a swamp. It’s the worst."

Yato’s face turned from pink to a deep red. He spun on his heels, an index finger pointing accusingly at the boy.

"Y-y-you…! I can’t help it if… if…!"

As he fumbled over his words, Yato turned back to glance at Hiyori, sure that her face would register disgust. Instead, he found her hand, still stretched out to him.

"I don’t mind," she insisted.

The god felt his face get hotter. His hands went to his scarf and fidgeted with the frayed edges. Though he didn’t like to be reminded about his sweaty hands, he couldn’t exactly deny the fact either. And for other reasons, when he thought about holding Hiyori’s hand, beads of moisture already sprung up in his palms. He couldn’t endure the thought of Hiyori finding him repulsive. But if they didn’t stick together, she’d surely get lost in the crowd. Then it came to him.

Nimbly, he untied the knot at the back of his neck and his scarf came loose. In one swift motion, he tied one end around Hiyori’s wrist and the other around his own, binding them together. He gave his own end one last good tug with his teeth and then lifted his wrist up.

"Now we won’t lose each other," he said firmly.

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Bonus Yato doodle.

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Yatori Week - Day One - One Color

Blue Gazes

Those eyes of brilliant blue. The azure gleam under all that dark fringe. It always caught Hiyori’s attention, even when she was doing her best to avoid looking. Like now, for example, when Yato was bent over a small, neglected garden dutifully pulling out weeds from the earth as had been requested by an aging woman no longer able to tend to her flowers. Yukine had complained, as usual, about how unimportant the job was, how he had his studies to think about. Hiyori had stepped in, offering to accompany Yato instead.

But since they’d arrived, Hiyori hadn’t really helped all that much. She was absorbed in watching him. The line of his shoulders. The deftness of thin, elegant fingers as they removed creeping vines and dandelions that encroached on bellflowers and morning glories. The sway of the locks that hung down in his face as he hunched over the flower bed. And those eyes. The same look he had when he wielded Sekki. Deep. Calculating. The potential to be quite scary. It reminded her of the blue ocean just before a storm. If only he’d tilt his chin up just a bit. If only he’d look at her with that same intensity…Suddenly, her face felt hot.

"…ri…..-yori…"

There it was. Without realizing that he’d shifted in his low crouch to turn toward her, blue filled Hiyori’s field of vision.

"Hiyori!"

Her eyes fluttered as they came back into focus. The closeness of his face to hers registered only after a short delay and she immediately fell backward from her own idle crouch. A squeak escaped from her throat and she hit the soft ground with a dull thud.

Yato quirked one brow up. “Are you all right? You’ve been sitting there in a daze for while. Aren’t you here to help me with this? At this rate, we won’t finish before dinner.” He brushed dirt from his hands and pushed stray tresses from his face, giving her a clearer view of the very thing that’d gotten her into trouble the first place.

"Ah, um… Sorry," the girl stuttered. She averted her gaze and scratched her cheek with a single finger. "I guess I’m a little bit tired. I’m not being much help, am I?"

Back up on her haunches, Hiyori’s hands immediately went to work pulling plants, albeit a bit haphazardly. Without so much as a warning, she felt his hands on her shoulders, pulling her backward. The same surprised squeak that had escaped from her lips just moments ago held an encore, and Hiyori braced for an impact to the back of her head which never came. Instead, her short fall was padded by Yato’s arm.

The two landed on their backs, side by side. The god’s arms were stretched out on either side of him, turning his body in a “t”, his left arm a pillow for Hiyori. With her own eyes wide, she turned to shout at him, to demand to know what he thought he was doing. But when she saw his chest rising and falling gently, his profile, and the way the cloudless sky reflected off his upturned eyes and made them appear to glow with an even brighter blue than the one she always found herself studying, she swallowed her temper.

"It’s a good time for a break, anyway, don’t you think?" Yato asked, turning his head to meet her gaze. A boyish grinned flashed across his lips.

It wasn’t the intense stormy ocean look for which Hiyori had been…hoping?…but this look suited her just fine too. It was calm. Reassuring. Peaceful. Familiar. Like the current sky above. The sky with which his eyes shared a color.

"Mm," Hiyori agreed. She returned his smile and turned her own eyes upward.