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Author: Amy the Evitable a.k.a. LunarGeography
Rating: G
Summary: A love confession can be a lot of things. And Doumeki's always liked a challenge.
Last updated: 2 February 2008

Xenoanthropology 1: The Unrefusable Challenge

It came entirely out of left field.

They were eating lunch in a stairwell, due to the rain, and Doumeki's attention was more or less evenly divided between appreciation of the cold soba noodles with cucumber and contemplation of the limp Watanuki had been displaying all morning. Almost none of it was on the conversation between his dining companions. He'd more or less come to the conclusion that while he'd like to know exactly what had caused Watanuki's injury and if it was still lurking around, he was highly unlikely to get an answer when he asked. Particularly since he'd decided Watanuki would be seeing the nurse before the end of the day, even if he had to carry Mister “I'm fine, and don't you have anything better to stare at, you jerk?” to the nurse slung over his own shoulder.

And he probably would. He'd better plan on hauling out the earplugs.

He'd also concluded that first, he was going to have to revise a lifelong negative opinion of soba noodles, and second, that it was best to assume that whatever had caused the injury was both malevolent and lying in wait, and to plan on walking Watanuki to work after school, when he realized that the conversation between the other two seemed to have died away. Kunogi had apparently finished describing the horror movie she'd seen last night, and Watanuki was apparently out of falsely enthusiastic things to say about it.

In fact, Watanuki was staring fixedly at his own barely-touched soba-noodle bento, and the pink on his cheeks was making Doumeki wonder if the other teen was ill as well as injured.

Then there it was, out of left field. Watanuki jerked his head up, and fixed Doumeki with furious glare.

“You might have made me love you, but you can't make me like it!”

Then Watanuki's bento was set firmly – not to say slammed – onto the floor in front of Doumeki, and  Watanuki himself was limping down the stairs, shoulders back and head held high.

Doumeki blinked.

His other dining companion pressed her hands together in front of her chest, and beamed at him delightedly. “I think Watanuki just confessed to you! How adorable! That was so sweet of him!”

Doumeki blinked again.

After a considerable number of lunches with the girl, he'd come to several conclusions about what affection and courtship must be like on whatever planet Kunogi came from. It must be an intimidating, not to say terrifying, endeavor, full of risk to life and limb. Perhaps unsuccessful suitors were killed and eaten, or maybe they just had their hearts ripped out in the middle of a public square for all to see. And the happiest of couples would be the ones who succeeded at a simultaneous double-maiming, and could share a hospital room while recuperating.

He was reasonably certain that on this planet, at least, one did not generally fling out a love confession as though it were a bag of bricks one was hoping to brain the object of one's affection with.

Reasonably certain.

But perhaps the the romantic customs on Planet Himawari were not so different from Earth customs. Or at least the customs of Planet Watanuki, where Doumeki had to admit he'd been spending most of his time lately. Because frankly, Watanuki's angry words of love – and offer of his leftovers – were generating an alarming amount of warm fuzzies in Doumeki's chest.

If he looked in a mirror, he was almost certain he'd be smiling.

“Yeah. He did,” he answered Kunogi. “And yeah, it was.”

She smiled back at him, as bright and cheerful as the sunflowers she was named after.

'...might have made me love you, but you can't make me like it!”

Doumeki was pretty sure one could interpret that as a challenge.

'...but you can't make me like it!'

Doumeki had never backed down from an interesting challenge. And this one promised to be highly interesting. After all, he was a healthy male. He was 17. And he had an awful lot of ideas about ways to make Watanuki come to like being in love with him. To see the upside of it, so to speak.

This was going to be fun.

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