It had been so long since he had felt the soft, delicate touch of Tsuki's hand upon his skin. When he felt it gently caress his cheek, Taiyō closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. His hand came up slowly to rest upon hers, feeling the back of her warm hand in his own. The Hōzuki basked in the moment, in their eye of the storm-- he heard the discontent in her voice when he told her of their plan. He feared for the words that would come to follow, soaking in the happiness that he could gather beforehand. His hands dropped to his lap as he opened his eyes again and turned to the girl that had earned his heart. Even in the darkness, her teeth glistened. Even with the tears, her cheeks still looked perfect.
Tsuki shared her feelings, declaring her intentions to battle alongside everyone else from Kirigakure. Taiyō's heart beat faster and faster as a subtle tremble shot through his body. Her decision was exactly what he feared, more than anything. "Ts-Tsuki, I ..." He stammered, a quirk that he had been doing well to conquer in the recent days. That it had come back showed how flustered he was now. "This is a war, not another Chuunin Exam fight. We struggled against a couple of Genin! What do you think we could possibly do against anyone stronger?" His voice went up in volume as his words flowed faster than he usually spoke. His gaze fell downward onto Tsuki's hands, still wrapped around his own. "Remember that huge explosion that destroyed the Mizukage's Office a couple of weeks ago? The attack from the Darkeater?" He paused for a moment, though he knew that she wouldn't have forgotten that tragedy. "Shouko-chan and I investigated it, you know ... Capable of explosions like that, moved faster than anyone could see, strong enough to smash through our gates without a second thought ... Those are the sort of people that might be in that war."
Meeting someone like that on the battlefield was a terrifying thought. Against someone like that, Taiyō knew that he would be able to do nothing. To know that if something like that targeted Tsuki he would be powerless to save her terrified him. In that heated moment, it didn't occur to him that mentioning the dangers could potentially give his betrothed even more cause to go and assist their friends. "And, and I ... I want to marry you, Tsuki." Taiyō blurted out without thought. As soon as his mind caught up with his mouth, he pulled his head back slightly as a heavy blush fell onto his face. It was a wild jump in topic, there was no doubt about that. He knew it might sound silly, considering they were already betrothed, but ... The decision for Taiyō and Tsuki to be married was one born by their parents, not them. The Hōzuki heir had always acknowledged it factually, as something that was going to happen as a result of their positions as heirs of powerful clans. This time, however, was different. Taiyō didn't speak from the perspective of what his family wanted.
This time, it was what Taiyō wanted. Between the two of them, expressing these sorts of things had always been much harder for him. The last time he had gotten close to expressing it was that night that the Mizukage's Office had been attacked. Back then, all he could muster was that kiss on her forehead. "I want to see your smiling face again and again, everyday, but ... I can't do that if either of us die." Taiyō leaned into her, resting his chin over her shoulder. Now, she wasn't the only one with tears cascading down her cheeks.