What would happen
If we kissed,
Would your tongue slip past my lips
Would you run away.
Would you stay
Or would I melt into you...
Jun hummed the words to herself as she wiped the bar, eyes on the Eagle as he sat at the end, sipping a drink he’d bummed off her and arguing with Joe.
He was so beautiful, she thought. A familiar feeling. And so unattainable.
Sighing, she gave the counter an extra vicious rub, wishing the object of her affections weren’t so dense. She saw Joe glance up and see her looking. He winked quickly and tossed down a few yen, making his goodbyes and sauntering out.
Baka, she thought. Joe had been trying to get her and Ken together for ages. As had Jinpei, as had Ryu. The only one who wasn’t helping was Ken. He sat where he’d been left, working on his beer.
Jun sighed again and glanced at the clock. Closing time, not that she was going to boot out this particular customer. He could stay straight to morning and beyond if he wanted. Fat chance.
Making her way around the bar, she felt her commander’s eyes on her as she went to lock the door and put an extra wiggle into her step. Not that it did much good.
"I should head off," he told her. "Uh, can I pay you tomorrow?"
Jun rolled her eyes, not wanting another argument about the size of his tab, but not wanting him to leave either. Instead, she flipped the little sign to closed and turned to smile at him. "Before you go, can you help me carry something upstairs?"
Heart beating, she led him into the back storeroom, where a rolled up carpet lay. Once, it’d been in her bedroom, but she’d tired of it and bullied Ryu into helping her take it down. Now, she hefted one end. "This has to go upstairs," she told him, hoping the excuse didn’t sound as lame as she thought it did.
He just shrugged. "Sure." Then he grabbed the other end and his eyes widened. "Whoa! I think we might need Ryu for this."
She giggled. "Don’t worry, we can do it."
He looked doubtful, but together they manhandled the carpet out of the storeroom and across the bar to the stairs, cursing and bumping into everything as they went, looking like a bad comedy as they tried to force it up the stairs. Reaching a corner, Jun went first, struggling mightily, and saw Jinpei standing at the top of the stairs.
"Onechan, what are you-"
"Go away," she hissed. "Go to your room and stay there."
"But I didn’ do nothing!"
"What’s wrong, Jun?" Ken called.
"Nothing," she lied. "Just stubbed my toe." She glared at her brother. "Piss off."
His eyes widened. "Onechan, are you gonna-"
"No! Yes! I don’t know, but if you don’t-"
He fled and she heard his door close.
Blushing, she started climbing again.
"Did I hear Jinpei?" Ken panted as he struggled around the corner and could see her again.
She smiled. "Um, yeah. He saw work and ran."
He smiled back and her heart melted. He was so beautiful and she felt so cheap, basically tricking him into her bedroom. She didn’t know what if anything would happen there, but even just to see him sitting on her bed... Her heart beat faster.
They got the carpet into the bedroom. It was the largest room on the second floor, basically a loft with high, slanted ceilings and windows that overlooked the street. A fireplace sat against one wall, her bed against the other, a dresser on the third with a mirror above it. That was basically all she had in there, so that she would have room to do her katas.
They dropped the carpet with a thump and rolled it out. "Kinda ugly, isn’t it?" Ken commented.
Jun giggled, aware she was giggling and hating it, but too nervous to stop. "I know."
"Then why have it?"
"Keeps my feet warm in the morning."
He looked at the slippers waiting beside her bed and smiled. "I guess I better take off now."
Jun panicked. "No, stay for a bit. We hardly ever see each other when we’re not on duty. I’ll make a fire and we can talk or something." She tried to keep a pleading tone out of her voice.
He shrugged. "Okay. The heat kinda died in my place anyway."
"Again?" She went to lay kindling in the fireplace. "Why don’t you get that place fixed?"
"With what? I don’t not pay you because it amuses me. I’m broke."
Jun prepared the kindling and grabbed the matches, knowing the truth of it. They didn’t make much outside Gatchaman, and inside, they functionally made nothing. Red Impulse agents had been lost because they were tracked through their paycheques and the Gatchaman team was even more at risk. They’d be rich on back pay when the war ended and were allowed to use any of the facilities at Crescent Coral free of charge, but sometimes it made things tight for them in the meantime. It was their own fault. Nambu did take care of them, leaving them to want for nothing. They were the ones who unanimously decided to seek lives outside the team.
Carefully, Jun took a match from the box and almost jumped when Ken’s hand came down on her wrist. "Let me."
Giving him the box, she sat back and felt that wonderful smile on her again. "I love fires. Naturally, my fireplace doesn’t work."
"Naturally," she giggled.
He lit the kindling. He was wearing a loose, cream coloured button up shirt instead of his usual T-shirt, which was wadded up in a pouch in case he needed it, and the light of the fire flickered across it and across his face and dark brown hair, dancing highlights in his blue eyes.
Jun’s heart beat wildly. Trembling, she reached out a hand and laid it on his shoulder. "Ken?" she whispered.
He didn’t answer, staring into the flame.
Gently, he pulled away.
Jun felt like running, or screaming, but it was tears that came, streaming down her face silently as she desperately tried to wipe them away. Turning his head, her Commander looked at her, his expression as kind and beautiful as ever. As unreachable.
"Sorry," she managed. "Something in my eye."
He made a noncommittal noise in his throat, nodding, and shifted backwards across that hideous carpet until he was sitting with his back against the side of her bed. Taking a deep breath, Jun joined him.
"Thanks for helping me with the carpet," she said quietly after a moment.
Again that perfect smile. "No problem."
What was wrong with her? she wondered. Was she ugly? Was it her hair? Her skin? Was it because she wasn’t full blooded Japanese? Surely he wasn’t either or he’d never have those eyes. Was it because they were teammates? Was he gay? Was he seeing someone else?
Ken looked at her. "You okay?" he asked.
Of course not. She managed a smile. "Sure. Just a little tired. How are you?"
"Not bad. Liked the sushi you made tonight."
"Thanks. It was, um, take out."
He laughed. "A restaurant ordering take out for its own customers?"
She blushed, grinning a little. "Well, it was Jinpei’s night off."
He grinned, shaking his head.
Some of the pain was going away, back into the shadows where she normally left it. "So, what were you arguing with Joe about?"
He winced. "The usual."
"Oh?" she looked at him sideways. "Tell me."
"It’s no big deal."
Feeling like she wanted a little revenge, she poked his shoulder. "Come on, if it were no big deal, you wouldn’t have winced."
"Come on, Ken. Tell me or else."
He looked surprised. "You can’t threaten me."
She just smirked. "It’s my house. I can do whatever I want."
She cricked her fingers into hooks. "Tell me, little boy."
Ken started shuffling away. "No way!"
Giggling, Jun lunged at him, trying to pin him against the floor and tickle him. He fought back, but he was hampered by his need not to hurt her while she was still annoyed and not nearly so considerate. There was no technique to their battle. Just two teenagers rolling on the floor, shrieking and laughing as they tried with hands and feet to keep the other far enough away that they couldn’t tickle them. With one foot against Ken’s chest, the other leg over his arms and both hands gripping his wrists, Jun felt her mood lighten and stuck her tongue out at him.
"I’ve got you now," she teased.
"Maybe," he gasped. "But you’re hardly in a position to tickle me either."
He had a point there. Jun put a bit of thought in it, sticking her chin out in exaggeration, then moved the foot against his chest closer to his side. His eyes widened.
"You wouldn’t dare."
She grinned. "Yes, I would."
She tickled him with her toes and was almost deafened by his shriek and immediate struggles. "I didn’t know you were ticklish!" she whooped as he broke free and tried to crawl away. Diving after him, she grabbed him around the hips. "Come back here!"
He froze. "Uh, Jun, could you move your hands up a bit? I might need that later."
Realizing where her hands were, Jun turned beat red and, a little regretfully, moved her hands up to his belt. "Well, I had to grab something," she teased.
Ken sniggered, then started squirming, trying to get him off her back and away, but she had enough leverage to keep him down and tickle him with one had. He shrieked again. "I’m going to get you for this!"
"Promises, promises." Impulsively, she pulled his belt open and yanked experimentally. Without the belt, his pants were just the slightest bit loose on him. "You have two choices," she told him with a leer he couldn’t see. "Lie still and say uncle or show off your legs."
He looked back at her over his shoulder. "I see. I guess there’s only one thing to do." He squirmed forward, leaving Jun holding his pants and nothing else.
For an instant her eyes bugged out, staring at the white denim, then she bolted out the door with them, laughing insanely, slamming the door behind her just in time for Ken to slam into it. Jinpei was standing at the entrance to his room.
She threw the pants at him. "Hide these," she hissed and grabbed a towel from the hamper beside the door, bolting down the stairs with the large white cloth as bait just as Ken tore down after her in his shirt and socks.
"Come back here! That’s an order!"
"We’re off duty!" she sang and bolted into the Snack J, the Eagle hot on her heels as she sprinted into the connecting garage and again managed to slam the door in his face. Reaching up, she unscrewed the single lightbulb and hid.
Ken opened the door and tried the lightswitch. "K’so... Jun? Come on, Jun, my legs are getting cold." He paused. "You know, you do have an unfair advantage over me right now."
Her pants whapped him right in the face.
For a long moment, Ken stared down at the striped jeans in his hand, his eyes wide. Then he shook himself and started into the garage. "Jun? Come on, Jun. This is very silly."
Crouched behind a steel drum and wondering what possessed her to throw her pants at him, Jun bit down on a giggle.
Ken grinned. "I’m going to find you..." He paced into the garage, vanishing almost instantly into the shadows. "You are powerless against me."
His voice was almost as deep as Joe’s when he wanted, Jun mused as she hunkered down farther, grinning. He may have turned down her advances, but he’d never played with her like this before either. It was definitely a place to start.
"GOTCHA!" Ken yelled, leaning over the drum.
Jun shrieked, tossed the towel at him and ran, holding her shirt down so that it covered her bottom. She may have been feeling playful, but she was still a lady.
"Hah!" Ken yelled after her. "I win, I-" He obviously realized what he was holding wasn’t his pants. "K’so!"
Jun sprinted up the stairs and into her room, grabbed a pillow and whacked him with it as he came in the door.
Giggling, Jun backed away, pillow at the ready. Ken rubbed his nose and glared at her, his hair disheveled and his shirt half open from their earlier tickle fight, her underwear showing below where the front buttons ended. He’d lost his socks somewhere in the chase. Jun fought down a shiver and grinned wider. "I’m armed."
"I noticed." He tossed the towel aside and turned, deliberately shutting and locking the door. "You’re not getting away this time. I want my pants."
"Well, you can’t have them."
He smiled. "Oh, can’t I? And how are you going to keep me from finding them?" He started to circle her and she leaped up onto the bed to get above him.
"By whacking you severely around the head and shoulders if you so much as TRY to look for them," she taunted.
"Oh? And what if I take your mighty weapon away from you?"
"Go ahead and try."
"Okay." Grabbing a book off her dresser, he hurled it at her and she eeped as it knocked the pillow out of her hands. Then the Eagle slammed into her, tackling her to the bed. Jun shrieked as she fell back with him on top of her, then felt her breath catch in her throat as she realized she was now lying on her back, Ken on top of her between her legs, his face only inches from hers.
Those magnificent blue eyes of his eyes widened and she could feel his reaction down below against her. Shivering, she reached one hand up to touch his cheek. It was warm, soft, as smooth as she’d dreamed. Even at eighteen, he hadn’t needed to start shaving yet. He flinched at her touch, but he didn’t pull away.
"What were you arguing about with Joe?" she whispered, wanting to distract him so that he didn’t run, fighting the urge to lift her head up those few inches to kiss him.
He winced. "He said I was an idiot."
"Why?" she asked gently, brushing fingers light as moth wings over his ear, through his hair.
Ken’s lip twisted ironically. "He said I should take you upstairs and make love to you and I was a moron if I didn’t."
Her breath caught in her throat as she silently thanked Joe a thousand times. "You don’t like that idea?" she asked reasonably.
"Never done anything like it."
She blinked. "Never?"
He shook his head.
Somehow, the idea of Owashi no Ken being a virgin had never occurred to her. Even she wasn’t one, though her first lover hadn’t been terribly impressive. She’d thought Jinpei was their only virgin, sure that even Ryu had picked up some experience along the line.
"Why not?" she blurted.
He flushed and she realized in an instant that he was shy. He’d never paid any attention to women because he was afraid he’d disappoint them, and for the Great Eagle, who had to be perfect or people died, that kind of stress was impossible to deal with. He might even have tried and failed, then never tried again.
Ken started to pull away, but Jun looped an arm around his neck. "Don’t go," she whispered. "I just want to feel your arms around me."
He hesitated. "But I don’t want to-"
She put a finger against his mouth. "I’m a lady, Ken. I don’t make love on the first date." But oh, how she wanted to.
He really was naive. "What else is there?"
All or nothing? Is that what he thought? Jun decided then to smack Joe after she thanked him for being the one who probably taught him that. "Just holding someone, or talking." She beeped his nose. "Or having tickle fights."
He smiled. "Anything else?"
"How about this?"
Gently, as she’d wanted since the first moment she’d seen him, Jun pulled his head down and kissed him, almost a chaste kiss, just the warmth of her lips against his in a long, aching moment. It sent lightning shooting through her body, and releasing him was a physical effort.
"How was that?" she asked with a smile.
He swallowed. "Not bad. You’re good at this."
"So are you," she told him and was rewarded to see his eyes widen. Shifting him over so that he was by her side, she reached for the blanket and pulled it over them both.
"What are you doing?"
"You said the heat died in your house. You can stay here."
She kissed his forehead. "It’s okay, Ken. Just go to sleep."
Slowly, he soothed him enough to relax, his head on the pillow beside her and his arms around her as he finally fell asleep with her arms around him as well. Absolutely nothing happened, but it was the greatest night of her life nevertheless.
(the song at the front is 'What Would Happen' by Meredith Brooks, which Shana said inspired her. Listening to that at the same time I wandered through Miyae's site looking at her Ken/Jun pics was just too much for me, I guess. :)