Her held breath while waiting for him to pull his hand away was crushing her lungs. At any moment she expected him to jerk back, to call her crazy, to make her feel as unwanted as she had always believed herself to be. His eyes asked questions she couldn't answer or, more accurately, refused to. The time it took for him to say anything was nice at least. His hand was warm. She could feel the heartbeat behind his skin, the faintest ripple from that beating in his chest. That was almost as pleasant as the entire evening. Her heart beat too, but it was a different kind of thing when that beating meant nothing. After a short time that felt like so much longer, Kanbe spoke her name. Instinctively she began to pull back at the sound. It was enough while it lasted.
She thought as a defeated smile began to pull her lips haphazardly. Then she felt his hand nudge more into hers. Now it was her turn to look up at him, eyes a confused color of hazel mixing with their normal yellow. She couldn't help but continue to smile. This time soft, only the slight dimpling of her cheek as the corner of her lip turned upward.
"A little while would be great."
She said in a breathy voice. She gave him a heavy-lidded look, a mix of gratitude and something more. She had never thought of this moment, never bothered to even entertain it. While it was no secret that she was flirty, she couldn't remember being that way with Kanbe and meaning it. She had never pretended to be interested in him, never used her body for attention from him. She had liked him from the day they met, his eyes and the concern in his voice as he caught her jumping from the cliffs. Maybe it was because of that, that this moment meant as much as it did. Absently her thumb ran along the knuckle of his index finger. As her exploration of his skin came to an end, her thumb resting once more, she looked up at him sheepishly. The yellow of her irises were gone, replaced entirely by that hazel she had been born with.
"Do you think, if I had never told you about what my beliefs are, we could have done this more? I know I don't have certain assets like Nensho does, but if you never knew about Jashin...would you have liked me? Could we have held hands more?"
The day had been long and devastating. Two of her loved ones had simply abandoned her, one having risen from the grave in order to do so. Hearing Kanbe's truth now couldn't make the day worse. She hoped he would be honest and not hold back in order to try and protect her. It was okay to hurt, Yui had taught her that. It was okay use her voice for good, Shingen had taught her that.
It was okay to be brave.
Kanbe had taught her that.