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All my fanfics about Bechnokid’s versions of the characters take place in the universe of Wartime by StellarIce and Bechnokid found on Deviantart, but are not official fandom canon. That is Bechnokid’s call and my fanfics are simply my fanfics, my hopes and dreams.

This one also takes bits and pieces from Bloom by FableWing and Shurara Steampunk by BFG11, also on Deviantart, to help with backstory.

Characters belong to Bechnokid and by extension, Keroro Gunsu (Sgt. Frog).

 

Part 1: Six Days After

Heat. Unbearable heat.

No air. Choking on fumes.

Pain. Burning agony. Screaming. My voice.

HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME PLEASE!

Hanana jolted awake, barely stopping the scream that forced its way to her throat. She sat up in her bed, frantically looking about the room for danger. Relief spread through her at the absence of flames, but it soured at the unfamiliarity of the room. A reminder that the fire of her repeating nightmares wasn’t entirely just her mind torturing her.

Misery began to set in and Hanana drew her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around them into a pitiful ball. Hanana yelped in pain, immediately withdrawing her arms. She sighed, tears beginning to run down her cheeks as she stared at the bandages all along her arms and legs. She lightly coughed, grimacing at the added pain of her scorched throat. More reminders of what had happened. Gingerly laying her arms at her sides, she let several more tears fall before cringing in pain at another cough. She found herself desperate for some water.

Carefully, she moved the covers aside and stood up from the bed. Walking across the nearly empty spare room that she now called home, she slowly opened the door to the lantern-filled hallways of the Shurara Mansion. Hoping she was going the right way, she quietly started her march to the mansion’s kitchen. Expecting a long walk through the quiet halls, she had nothing else to do but think, and her thoughts led her unwillingly to her most terrifying moment. She shivered violently as the memories sprang up before her eyes . . .
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Her eyes snapped open to an immense feeling of dread. Bolting upright, she looked about the room, hoping to see a peaceful, flowery room during a winter night. But her gaze was drawn to an unwarranted source of light in her bedroom. Horror shot through her veins at the sight of fire licking at her window from the outside. The smell of smoke was pungent in the air. She bolted from bed and ran for the door, knowing the house had to be on fire for flames to reach a second-story window. She hoped that didn’t mean her downstairs was engulfed, cutting off her main escape.

Tearing open the door, she screamed at the sight. She could see flames spread up the stairs at the end of the hall, creeping ever close to her. Heat assaulted her even from here and the smoke billowed at her and clawed at her throat, sending her into a coughing fit. Her deep sleeping habit had just become an unexpectedly deadly part of her life. Terror held her, freezing her to the spot in a shaking mess of gasps and coughs.

Briefly snapping out of it, she stumbled to the bathroom. She opened the door to make an escape through its window, but screamed again at the sight of another window engulfed in flames. In full panic, she slammed the door shut and darted for the activity room, her terror accelerating at being closer to the approaching flames. She ran into the room with tears in her burning eyes and a cough with every breath. She nearly collapsed at the sight of flames outside this window as well.

Hanana spun around and sprinted back out of the room. She barely saved herself from burning her feet, finding the flames had reached the door frame. She backed away from the fire, desperately trying to think of a way out, but could think of none. All the ways out were burning. Tears ran in rivers down her face as the thought of her end here came to mind. Even if someone had noticed her house on fire, help had apparently not arrived yet. She heard no sirens, no yells or screams, nothing but the roar of the rapidly approaching fire.

She slowly backed away, back towards her room in despair. But her movements came to a stop at the sound of a loud crack beneath her. She froze, deathly afraid before more cracking sounds joined the first.

Then suddenly she was falling.

Splintered and burning old wood cut at her skin as she fell through the charring floor into an inferno. She groaned in pain on impact with the living room floor. She then screamed at realizing she had landed in flames. She rolled away, screaming in agony as fire licked at her arms and legs. She pulled herself into a clear spot of the room, beating at the fire that spawned on her nightgown.

Once put out, she curled up into a ball, sobbing at her pain and the scene before her. Fire surrounded her on all sides, eating away at her walls and furniture like a gluttonous monster. She saw through the black haze of smoke her cherished pictures and beloved plants scorched to ashes, along with everything she ever owned. She coughed again and again, clean air becoming harder and harder to find amongst the black smoke. Her lungs burned and her skin screamed. The heat gave off the impression of hell.

“HELP! SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!” She couldn’t resist yelling for help, having a flicker of hope in her panic that someone would somehow hear.

“PLEASE! HELP ME! MY HOUSE IS--” Her sentence came to a stop at the arrival of a frenzy of hard coughs as more of the ceiling collapsed around her. Her lungs screamed of air, but only received life-stealing smoke. In between her coughs, she listened for a reply, praying for an answering voice above of the cracking of the fire.

She heard nothing but hell. 

She blinked her stinging eyes, trying to clear them as tears rolling out to evaporate quickly in the heat. The nearly blinding light of the inferno was going dark around the edges of her vision as she gasped for breath. She slumped against the wall, finding her burned limbs heavy and weak. She was finding it hard to keep her eyes open to watch for approaching flames. She could barely breathe and she could hardly move. The flames were coming closer, like a predator ready to deliver the final blow. She closed her eyes, struggling just to breathe through her weak coughs.

Suddenly, fresh cold air blasted into her, providing relief to her dry lungs and boiling skin. She managed to open her eyes and caught a few glimpses of what followed.

All the windows shattered all at once, a furious wind entering with a storm of cold, white flurries. The force of it blew her hair back and its icy chill soothed her. The flames seemed to flee from the wind’s chilling power, snow consuming and covering the spots of fire. The sound of something hard hitting wood echoed over the retreating roar of fire. The sound echoed once more with a cracking, then a third quickly followed with the sound of something breaking and shattering.

She fought to keep her eyes open, to stay awake, but the dark was pulling her down. She opened them enough to see through blurry vision some flames that the snowy wind had yet to extinguish. It was getting dangerously close to her, spreading over the carpet towards her.

She heard a sound. A familiar noise. A baritone word.

Then the stalking fire was gone in a flash of blue light, leaving nothing but glistening spikes of cold.

Her awareness was going. She could only make out very few dim details. Some dark clothing, a deep voice speaking urgently, and a cold feeling wrapping around her. Her eyes closed, unable to open again. She heard groaning and cracking and then a thunderous crash. She let out a wheezing breath before she couldn’t fight it anymore.

The dark took her as the world seemed to crash down around her.

She woke up in the hospital late into the next day under her friend Pururu’s care, with Kagege seating next to her bed. She had 3rd degree burns on her arms and leg. First degree burns covered her other leg. Her hair was singed, she was covered in cuts and bruises, and her lungs were lightly scorched. But she was alive. Alive and very lucky, according to Pururu. It could have been much worse.

After awakening, she was overjoyed when nearly the whole corps came to visit her when they could escape notice. Putata and Mekeke tried to visit her constantly, fussing over her and trying to keep her entertained until her release.

Nuii stayed with her nearly the whole time, acting as a normal doll when doctors and nurses came in. Gyororo tried to stay with Nuii as much as he could, but his boredom would get the best of him and he would sneak back out to God knows where. But he would always come back for Nuii.

Dokuku visited twice, phasing into the hospital and going invisible around strangers. He also fussed over her injuries and managed to convey a “get well” message from Giruru and Robobo.

Kagege was a frequent visitor, arriving through the shadows to check on her and to give her news about the corps and her house. It was through him, and some animated descriptions from Putata and Mekeke, that she learned what had happened.

Apparently, she was very lucky indeed. If a certain corps member hadn’t decided to take a midnight stroll close to her house and seen the light of fire, she would very likely be dead. She was also fortunate that winter had set in, to which this certain corps member was at his strongest and able to fight through the fire.

Hanana was very grateful, but concerned to find out that Yukiki had been her savior. Her concern spawned from the fact that she hadn’t seen him around at all and she feared that he might have been hurt on her behalf, given he was a snowman amongst fire.

She was assured that Yukiki was fine, despite barely getting them out in time to avoid the whole house collapsing on top of them. He had immediately rushed her into Pururu’s care, alerting the whole corps while doing so. She was surprised to learn that he stayed with her the ENTIRE time she was unconscious, a total of 15 hours never setting foot outside her hospital room.

From what she was told, Yukiki left a mere hour before she woke up to respond to the information gathered from an investigation of her house.

Shortly after Hanana was admitted into the hospital, Yukiki had called in a favor from Samama and had her search the remains of her house. From what she was told, Samama had been pretty aggravated to have been woken up in the middle of the night, but had immediately accepted the task upon hearing what had happened to Hanana.

The firefighters were reportedly there when Samama arrived, putting out the last of the fire and searching the rubble for Hanana’s remains, since no one else had any clue she had been rescued.

“Better late than never.” Putata had commented disdainfully.

Samama luckily had friends and a past in the firefighting force and had no problem investigating alongside them.

To Hanana’s dismay, her home was completely destroyed, despite Yukiki’s frontal attack putting out a good portion of the fire. The home was old, its wooden structure weakened with age and past instances of termites. This proved to be a big help in its quick destruction to fire. The whole house was burnt to ash and rubble, but Samama had an eye for details on a fire’s origin. She was the one who confirmed that the fire was no accident. Fires had been started outside every exit, both windows and doors with plenty of fuel to burn high and long even in the stormy, winter weather. Someone was trying to make sure she didn’t escape.

Everyone knew immediately that it had to be an enemy of the corps. No one else would have a reason to kill Hanana, being the kind-hearted and respected person she was. Someone knew how close she was to the corps and was vengeful enough to murder their dearest friend.

It was this news to which Yukiki had left in a hurry, but not without making it clear that at least one corps member had to be with her at all times. Hanana had been flattered by the protective gesture and had looked forward to thanking him for saving her life.

But with each day that passed, he never returned, never visited her. She would ask again and again where he was to every visiting corps member, but every person had a disappointing answer. Many times they didn’t know where he was. Other times they mentioned seeing him but very briefly. Kagege managed to catch him the day before she left the hospital and tried to get him to see her. Kagege refused to tell her their conversation, but left it at that he had fled with the wind.

“Like a coward.” Kagege had seethed, surprising Hanana with his uncharacteristic, silent rage.

She didn’t see him until she got out of the hospital. Putata and Mekeke had taken her to the mansion, where she would stay under the corps’ watch. Dokuku had somehow provided an extra bed and furniture in one of the empty spare rooms for her to stay in. Her escorts were leading her there, helping her keep balance on her aching legs, when she saw him.

They had just entered through the front doors into the parlor and there he was, leaning against the wall by one of the hallways. The rim of his top hat covered his eyes and his arms were crossed. She stopped and opened her mouth to call to him, happy to finally see him.

He lifted his head and their eyes met. She froze in place. She prided herself on reading people and being able to tell what they were really feeling. It was useful in helping friends and even complete strangers through hard times. Yukiki had been no exception, even though he could be difficult to read.

On this day, she found his face completely and carefully blank and his eyes dark and guarded. A mask she could not see past. He was studying her, that much she could tell. But to what end and how he felt about what he saw, she did not know.

They stared at each other, Hanana barely aware of Putata and Mekeke standing nervously off to the side. It was only a few seconds, but it felt like years.

Finally, he broke eye contact and push off the wall. She half-hoped he would approach her, but she watched in dismay as he turned around and disappeared around the corner without a word.

“Yukiki wait!” Hanana called out to him, but he did not answer nor reappear. She made an attempt to chase after him, but only got a few feet before collapsing from her weakened legs. She felt miserable at that moment. Yukiki was avoiding her, she could tell. He hadn’t done that in a long time, the last being several months after meeting him.

He had been cold and distant to everyone then. The other members would tread carefully around him, being the kind of careful one would reserve for a cornered predator.  She had heard that in his first days among the assassins, he nearly killed Putata and Mekeke over a supposed accidental dog bite. He gave out death threats and deadly glares on a daily basis. The others regarded him like a landmine, an effective weapon for their cause but an object you personally didn’t want to be close to and accidently set off.

But while they saw an emotionless killing machine, Hanana saw something else. She saw someone who didn’t know or had forgotten the better things in life. He didn’t understand that there was more out there then what he thought there was.

She saw him as lost and alone. And she was determined to change that.

So shortly after meeting him, she began to approach him, even after multiple warnings from her friends. She would try to talk to him, gently but determinedly inviting him into group outings or a visit to her house. Sometimes to just talk.

For a long time, he just ignored her or glared at her and told her a clear and final no. She tried again and again to get him to open up and many began to fear he would eventually retaliate to her poking. To be honest, some encounters made Hanana fear the same. But at those times, she would push down her fear and continue trying, something telling her that he wouldn’t hurt her. And fortunately for her, he made no attempt at violence towards her, a rare thing for anyone else at the time. His only retaliation was his decision to actively avoid her at all costs. To the point of not seeing him for weeks at a time despite the mansion basically becoming her second home with all her visits.

Then finally, after those weeks of searching, chasing and asking, Yukiki accepted her invitation to taste test some cake at her home. She had been saddened when she learned he couldn’t taste, but she was a bit astonished when he tried to make it up to her by saying he could enjoy the texture, a small sign he was finally showing a softer side. That day had gone well in her opinion. Having never eaten cake before, Hanana was excited to introduce him to her strawberry shortcake. She had been delighted to see a look of content spread across Yukiki’s face at the first bite, even after he quickly hid it.

He eat several pieces before they drifted into a steady, if not slightly awkward, conversation. They had walked around her modest house on a small tour until Yukiki took an interest in her small piano. She saw a real smile on his face when she was showing him how to play. She found herself thinking of how handsome he looked smiling contently like that. The dark, brooding behavior seemed to be melting away already.

But then something happened. He suddenly looked confused, then frustrated, before abruptly jolting up from the piano bench and hurrying for the door. He had nearly left, saying only that it was all a mistake, if Hanana hadn’t chased him down and begged him not to leave. She thought she had done something wrong. It had almost been the end of it, but he stopped and, to her surprise, he asked if he could visit again. Hanana quickly agreed.

Ever since then, the both of them spent more and more time together. Eating cake and taking walks became an enjoyable pastime for them. They would talk about all sorts of things, most of time Hanana bringing them up. As time passed, his attempts at conservation with her went from awkward and guarded to friendly and curious. They got to know each other and Hanana found herself blessed that he was letting her in.

His relationship with his teammates also greatly improved, proof of her breakthrough. When before he would be silent and extremely anti-social, he now joined in on group discussions and activities. He still remained strict and intimidating, but toned it down enough towards his fellow assassins for them to have a chance to actually come up and talk to him.

They were, at first, astonished at Yukiki’s growing tolerate behavior and most had been nervous at first on approaching him, corps member or otherwise. But once again, with time and Hanana’s coaxing, their view of Yukiki became that of a friend and comrade more than a wild animal. In a little over a year’s time, Yukiki’s mannerisms and status amongst the others had drastically changed for the better. And Hanana couldn’t be happier for him.

And with his change, other relationships seemed to do the same. Over countless misadventures and memorable moments, the corps, along with their few allies, seemed to grow closer together. Now, over two years after the start of her friendship with the assassins, they had become one big, dysfunctional family, to put it in Mekeke’s terms. A family of caring friends is how Hanana saw them and she was very thankful to be a part of it.

Which is why it hurt so much to see Yukiki turn away from her like that. She had come to know Yukiki well over the years and he had become a close friend of hers. But still he kept certain parts of himself a secret from everyone. She couldn’t understand why he never came to visit her after she woke up or why he had walked away without a word. She had worked hard to uncover the man she had glimpsed in the cold killer time ago and now she was beginning to think he was receding back in. 

Did she do something wrong?

Was he angry at her? Maybe . . . disappointed?

Putata and Mekeke gently helped her back to her feet and led her away, taking her up the grand staircase to the 3rd floor to the room prepared for her. The whole way up she stared at the floor, asking her friends again and again what could be wrong and if it were her fault. They ensured her again and again that she did nothing wrong, telling her Yukiki was just stressed over work and the mystery with the fire.

Once they had shown her to her room and told her where to find theirs, Putata and Mekeke reluctantly left her to her thoughts.

The room was smaller than her bedroom had been. For now, it contained nothing more than a plain twin bed, a wooden side table and lamp, and a simple desk and chair in the corner. It was here, sitting on the bed in the dull white room, that everything finally hit her.

She had lost everything. Her home. Her belongings. Her plants. Everything she had. Everything she had left of her parents. The clothes she was wearing weren’t even hers, barrowed from Samama when the hospital released her. She was homeless and nearly penniless. All those childhood memories in that house. All those happy days. They were all gone because someone thought it a good idea to destroy such a lovely home with her in it when she had done nothing wrong.

And now, her and Yukiki’s friendship was in question.

She broke down. She didn’t know how long she sobbed into her hands, since there was no clock in the room, but she felt like she would never stop. Eventually however, the tears did begin to run dry and her sobs became soft sniffs. But still the dark thoughts and a heavy heart remained.

A knock on the door signaled that Kagege had come to take her downstairs for dinner. She quickly cleaned herself up the best she could and met the Shadow Assassin at the door. She knew immediately that Kagege could tell she had been crying. She was certain it was because her eyes were red. She was grateful to him when he didn’t comment on it and politely requested to escort her to dinner. She walked with him to the dining hall and joined the others for the meal. Everyone there offered her comfort and tried their best to lighten her mood. Even Giruru gave her a reassuring word or two and her old crush on him caused her to blush a bit. Robobo also show up to dinner, a real rarity, to offer his services in any way he could to make her feel more at home.

She later left dinner feeling loved, yet strangely abandoned. Everyone had offered their support . . . except Yukiki. He hadn’t come to dinner at all and no one knew where he was. He truly was avoiding her.

She went to bed that night in that blank room feeling immensely upset, despite her friends’ caring actions.

She went to sleep crying and awoke screaming. Even put out, the flames were still burning her.

Hanana broke from her thoughts and memories as she finally arrived in the mansion’s kitchen. It was a large kitchen, typical of a manor. Hanana could easily imagine several chefs and their crew cooking giant feasts in this place. Since only the hallways’ lanterns were lit at night, she walked carefully through the darkness around the kitchen to the cabinets. After retrieving a glass and filling it with water, she made her way out of the kitchen and into the dining room. She walked through the dark of the room, past the long table and chairs, and into the sitting room. This room had comfortable couches and grand chairs, and a bullet-proof glass wall provided a lovely view of the land surrounding the mansion. A good place to relax and think.

She stepped into the entryway and looked around the room, the glass of water held tightly in her hands.

And she nearly dropped it when she saw she wasn’t alone.

A few candles lightened the area in front of the window, effectively revealing the room’s occupant. Sitting in a one of the chairs in front of the window, smoking a pipe and watching the snow fall outside, was Yukiki.
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At first, she didn’t know what to do. But she quickly recovered, knowing that this was her chance to ask him why he was avoiding her. She straightened her posture and, with determination, stepped forward to accomplish her goal.

Only, she had gotten a total of two steps before Yukiki’s head slowly turned to her. His expression was one of aggravation, but upon sight of her quickly turned into surprise. She immediately got the impression that he had known all along that someone was there, but not who. She should have known, given how sharp his hearing was. He probably heard her while she was in the kitchen.

They stared at each other, both completely still and unsure what to do or say.

At last, Yukiki made a move. He lowered his pipe, which he had been removing from his mouth when he spotted her. Without looking away from her, he carefully set it on the side table next to his hat and stood from his seat. Once again, they did nothing but stare. Then, Yukiki broke the silence, his expression taking on a seriousness she would see on the faces of parents scorning their children.

“You’re awake.” Hanana would have playfully rolled her eyes on a normal day, or night in this case. But now, she just felt unsure and nervous. Cautiously, she took a few steps toward him, his dimly glowing eyes watching her approach.

“I . . . I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I came down to get some water.” She held the glass up a little higher to prove it. His eyes briefly darted to the glass before returning to her, their depths hard and concealing. She shivered. She hadn’t seen him look at her like that in a long time.

“So it seems.” Hanana could almost physically feel the tension coming off of him, seemingly overwhelming her own. She had no idea why it was there, but she had to stop it. Such tension should not exist between them.

“Yes. I came here to sit down and think. Watch the snow outside. I’m not . . . used . . . to my room yet.” Hanana gave him the best smile she could at the moment. He eyed her suspiciously and Hanana couldn’t help but feel hurt. Where had all the friendliness and trust between them gone? What had happened to make him act this way?

He studied her a few seconds more before turning away.  He grabbed his pipe, dumped its contents into the table’s ash tray, and then placed it in his coat pocket. After retrieving his hat and securing it on his head, he turned back to her. She held her breath as he approached her, his pace even and precise. She watched with round eyes as he reached her . . . and walked straight past her.

“I’ll leave you to it then.”

Something snapped inside her at his dismissive tone. She spun around to face his retreating form, which was rapidly blending into the darkness. Immediately, her tears once again made an appearance in force.

“YUKIKI STOP IT!!” Her shout echoed through the room and out into the connecting halls. Yukiki froze in his tracks, completely taken off guard by her loud outburst.

Hanana glared at the back of his dark coat, her tears cascading down to the floor as her breathing sped up. Her body was shaking with the whirlwind of emotions raging inside her. She didn’t even notice that she had flung her arms down to her sides, clutching the now empty glass. With a scratchy voice of ravaged lungs and a sandpaper throat, she continued.

“I’m sorry for whatever I did wrong! I’ll do anything to make it up to you! Just . . . just stop ignoring me please! Stop acting like you don’t care anymore!” She was nearly losing it. Everything that had happened was crushing her. The murder attempt. The fire that took her home. The near constant ache of her wounds. The nightmares every night. And now the wall Yukiki was putting up between them.

For a girl who had lived a relatively peaceful and happy life, it was becoming too much.

She collapsed, falling to her knees before Yukiki’s unmoving form. She stared at his back a moment more, willing him to turn around. When he remained as still as a statue, a painful ping shot through her heart. Her throat protested to the sobs forming, but she was powerless to stop them. Instantly, her hands were catching her tears as she sobbed into them.

“Please. . .” she whimpered, “. . . I don’t want to lose anything else.” She sat there on the decorative carpet, wallowing in her misery. She couldn’t care less how pitiful right now. She just didn’t know what to do anymore. She just wanted all of this to be one, big nightmare that she would wake up from, in her childhood home with all friendships still strong and intact.

She gasped when the still air around her shifted.

She suddenly found herself held tightly against a firm chest, cold arms wrapping around her protectively. Her face, after lowering her hands in shock, was pressed into a blue scarf, his scent of winter forests and tobacco smoke oddly calming to her. She sniffed woefully as she buried her face in the scarf and fisted her hands into his coat. He pulled her closer, nearly into his lap as he sat on the floor next to her.

Calming down, she let her slowing stream of tears wet the snowman’s neck scarf and her sobs weaken into hiccups. She felt Yukiki hesitantly lay his cheek on the top of her head and when he spoke she could feel the rumble of his voice.

“I’m sorry.” The cold Yukiki from seconds ago had seemingly vanished. No longer was his voice hard or emotionless. Now it was filled with such regret and shame that it startled her. She stared into his scarf in shock, having never heard him take on such a sorrowful tone. On instinct, she wiggled her arms out from between their chests and wrapped them around him, ignoring the protests of her burns. He stiffened for moment, then quickly relaxed into her timid embrace.

“F-For what?” At her question, his hold on her tightened even further. She couldn’t help the light blush forming from their closeness, even with her emotions still on the negative side.

“For avoiding you. For making you so upset.” Gently, he released his tight hold and pushed her away enough to look her in the eyes. There, she saw all coldness gone and in its place was an almost pleading expression. His mouth was set in a deep frown and his eyes searched hers with a similarity of a kicked puppy begging for forgiveness and comfort. The look was so strange on him, but she felt her heart break for him all the same.

“I . . .” He took a breath, “. . . I think . . . I mean I thought . . . it would be best if I distanced myself from you, after what happened.” He lowered eyes.

“I told you that being friends with us would get you killed.” In an almost ashamed manner, he slowly began to separate himself from her.

Fear shot through her at even the slightest notion of him leaving, even of ending the comfort she found in his arms. Quick as a snake, he barely had time to move before she lunged at him, one hand grabbing his arm and the other landing on his cheek in an attempt to get him to look at her again. She needed know what was wrong. She needed him to stay.

And it did the trick. His attempt at retreat was halted at her touch and his blue eyes snapped back to her pink ones in complete shock. Even in the dim light of the candles she could see a bright blush alighting on his face, a fact she put aside.

She focused on his eyes, trying to convey through her own her thoughts and emotions. She wanted him to know that she needed him here and that she wanted to help him with whatever was wrong. She knew he would see it, he knew the art of reading eyes for hidden agendas.

Slowly, she gave his cheek a small caress with her thumb. He reacted with a flinch, which caused one of her own.

“Why?” She nearly whispered the word. At the question, Yukiki acquired an almost pained look, like he had been dreading it. He lifted his hand and placed it on top of her own that held his cheek. Very carefully, like he was handling something fragile, he lifted her hand off his face and lowered it to the carpet. He gave her a hopeless look.

“I . . . I knew who was behind the fire.”  Hanana nearly choked on her quick intake of breath. Her eyes were wide and her mouth worked to speak but couldn’t get a sound out. After several failed attempts, Yukiki answered the unspoken question.

"But don't worry about him. He will not be bothering anyone ever again." His lips pulled back into a hateful snarl while Hanana's mouth dropped on horror. The snowman saw her expression and his fell into a depressed seriousness.

“We’re assassins, Hanana. It’s our job to kill. Besides, he was an escaped contract . . . and the bastard deserved far worse than what I gave him.” Hanana brought her hands to her chest as Yukiki looked away.

“No one deserves to die . . .” Her voice was barely a whisper, but Yukiki caught it. He barked out a tired chuckle.

“Everyone dies. Some simply deserve to die sooner and more painfully. A good portion of our targets are these scum of the earth, and trust me on this, that man had been wreaking havoc for years, murdering and raping his way to power with a smile on his face. I took the tip on his whereabouts the moment I had it.” He glanced back up at her with rage in his eyes, a frequent emotion for him.

 “He still had that smile when I found him. And he made the grave mistake of bragging, thinking he had succeed in killing you.” His teeth were bared, fists clutched against the rug, and his eyes were starting to glow a fierce blue. Despite her earlier terror of Yukiki’s deed, she reached forward carefully to hug him again, hoping to calm him out of his growing rage. As expected, he gradually relaxed against her.

“I’m sorry it upsets you, but I couldn’t allow him to live. The attempt on you was far from his first murder attempt and he had no quarrels trying again and killing more in the future. It’s one less serial killer on the loose.” He hugged her back as he explained and they stayed that way for a while, silent in their thoughts. The man finally sighed, slowly getting to his feet.

“Come now. Let’s get up off the floor and take a proper seat.” He pulled her up from him and walked her over to the couch facing the large fireplace. Hanana slowly sat down on the plush seat, a bit of uncertainty about her. Uncertainty began to creep into Yukiki as well, as he tried to think of what to do next. He watched as Hanana’s arms moved to wrap around herself, concerning him.

“Would you like for me to light a fire?” He gestured to the fireplace.

Thinking she must be cold from contact with him, he thought it was a reasonable question. But he realized too late his mistake as she tensed and she shook her head fiercely in panic.

“NO!” Yukiki took a step back as she yelled her answer at him, her body starting to shake. Her eyes started to become distant and breathing grew faster. Yukiki knew what that meant and quickly knelled in front of her and grabbed her shoulders.

“It’s alright, Hanana. It’s alright. I won’t start one. You’re safe, please calm yourself.” He stared straight into her terrified eyes, lightly squeezing her shoulders to keep her in reality. She stared back, her eyes clearing as she pushed back the horrible memories. Yukiki mentally cursed himself for not making his most recent victim’s demise all-the-more agonizing.

That scumbag. Hanana should never have to suffer through PTSD. He made a mental note to talk to Pururu about that. Maybe Kagege as well. He seemed to have a knack for counseling.

“T-Thank *cough* you. I’m sorry for yelling. I just *cough* don’t want . . . to be near one for a while.” Yukiki nodded understandingly as he concerned over her, her coughing continuing as he looked on. Her fast breathing had irritated her dry throat, producing a persistent coughing fit. He stood up and looked over the couch to the empty glass laying on the floor, a dark splatter disrupting the carpet’s pattern near it. Guilt made its way back into him. He lightly shook her shoulder to get her attention.

“I’m going to get you another glass of water. I’ll be right back.” He turned away from her to retrieve to abandoned glass. His hand had only been off her shoulders of a few seconds before she lunged forward, catching his hand in both hands and holding on tightly. He looked back at her surprised and she stared back pleadingly.

“Don’t leave . . .” Yukiki felt what he could only describe as chips of ice breaking off his heart at her desperate whisper. The fire must have traumatized her so badly and trying to distance himself from her had only made it worse. Smiling softly, he moved her hands so that they were completely encased in his larger ones.

“I’m just going to get some water for you. I’ll be right back. I promise.” Looking into his eyes, she saw nothing but concern and honesty. Berating herself on being so childish, she cautiously removed her hands from his grasp, an embarrassed blush on her cheeks.

“Yes . . . um *cough* . . . thank you.” Her eyes bore holes in the carpet as Yukiki waited a moment to gage her posture. Watching her reaction carefully, he cautiously rounded the couch to retrieve the abandoned glass, then retreated into the dining hall.

Listening to fading footfalls of his boots, Hanana was left alone to her thoughts. She gently hugged herself, thinking over what she had just learned.

She didn’t find it hard to believe that Yukiki had killed someone; every corps member had at one point or another. Even though she had worked to lead them away from this career, she had accepted some time ago that they would always to killers, some more than others. No matter how friendly and understanding they were, they would always have an ease for killing. And shamefully she would admit, she found it a relief that almost all their targets were fellow killers and corrupted politicians. She made it her mission to interfere as much as possible with the few orders that required the death of someone she found undeserving of such, like those of that Kerero man and his subordinates. She found out recently from Mekeke that the only reason Yukiki hadn’t killed him yet was because Hanana herself asked him not to back when she had been accidently dragged into a mission. The puppeteer had smugly commented that she must have him completely whipped if he refrained from “roughing up Kerero too badly,” given the snowman’s obvious hate of the green-haired man.

Hanana had blushed the comment away and replied that it was simply Yukiki finally finding mercy a valuable attribute. Now, having found him quick to forget all mercy and kill for her safety, she may have to rethink her own point. And rethink who her friend really was. But despite the current frequent image of a ruthless killer, she couldn’t ignore the images of Yukiki as what he was to her: a protective friend and a determined comrade. He wasn’t just a killer, none of the corps were. They were friends, family, people who you could laugh with and talk with and trust with your life. He was both the man he was when he first met her and he was the man she had seen inside all those years ago when no one else would dare approach him. He couldn’t be the Yukiki she cared so much about without both sides of himself. She suspected none of the corps could be who they were without their darker sides.

She sighed at her thoughts, coughing a bit more from the exhale. It was just something she had to accept and maybe weaken if she could. They were really good people. They just had made a poor career choice in her opinion. And as she thought about it, were they not like the soldiers that society praised for their bravery and willingness to kill and risk death for their people?

Yukiki was good person in defending her. To be honest, she couldn’t find any fear or anger towards Yukiki’s actions. He had point. If he was telling the truth, which she did not doubt, he had taken a cruel man off the streets, benefiting both her life and the lives of possible future victims. He was technically a hero in this situation and the thought brought a sense of pride and affection to her heart, despite the sin of the deed.

She smiled weakly. He only sought to protect her, and in the process likely saved others.

If there was anything to forgive, she found herself already forgiving him. And her previous fear was already long gone. A memory of catching the snowman in a snowball fight with Putata and Mekeke came to the surface at the thought. Her smile strengthened at the memory. She could never be truly be afraid of him, not her Yukiki. Even as a skilled assassin, he would never hurt those he cared about, nor those he found truly innocent. Not anymore at least. He had long since learned that there was in fact value to the lives around him.

The reappearance of footsteps to her ears jerked her out of her thoughts. She turned her head to the right to watch Yukiki emerge from the darkness of the dining hall entranceway, full glass in hand.

“Here.” She gratefully took the glass the moment he offered, desperate for it as she became well aware of her burning throat and dry tongue. She drank nearly the whole drink, enjoying the satisfaction of relieving one of her pains. Yukiki watched her, satisfied by her look of contentment as she finally lowered her drink. She smiled at him.

“Thank you.” She put the glass on the table as Yukiki moved closer.

“You’re welcome. Now . . .” He eyed her as she let out a small yawn, noting her drooping eyes, the dark rings under them, and her slightly slouched posture.

“We should be getting you back to bed. You look exhausted.” At his concerned observation, her body stiffened, the thoughts of nightmares and empty rooms quickly sending her into a panic. She shook her head in response, trying to hide her fear.

“C-C-Can we stay here f-for a little longer? I . . . don’t want to sleep just yet.” It was a bad attempt at covering her fear and Yukiki’s expression proved it. He sat down beside her carefully.

“Hanana, what’s wrong?” She avoided his eyes, facing away from him. She didn’t want him to see how scared she had gotten. Yukiki wasn’t having it. With determination, he placed a hand on her cheek and turned her head back to him. The strength of his hold gave her no choice but to witness the seriousness of his gaze.

“Hanana.” Her name didn’t come out as a growl, but it was close. A warning to her that he wasn’t going to let her out of this until she gave him the truth. And that he would know if she lied. Her body slumped in defeat and she could feel a familiar itch in her eyes as she leaned into his gloved palm. She avoided his eyes, staring at the chest of his coat as she confessed.

“I . . . I have nightmares.” She saw his chin enter her vision, indicating that he had nodded.

“I figured as much. For how long?” She grimaced.

“Every night since . . .” She shut her eyes, hoping the tears she felt behind her eyes didn’t decide to make another appearance. The pain of her burns had been slowly building since she woke up and the pain was only encouragement for her nightmarish memories.

“I’m always in my room. Surrounded by fire. And . . . and the flames always reach me a-and I-I-I start burning! And then I wake up.” The tears she hoped would stay put betrayed her and streamed down her face. She sniffed woefully as she became more and more aware for the burning of her arms and legs.

“A-And I never wake up in my room, in my home with everything intact. Now I wake up to an empty room with my burns aching. It shouldn’t be a big deal but . . . but it is! It’s just all gone!” As she fell silent, she finally became aware that at some point in her distress she had collapsed against Yukiki. He was doing his best to comfort her, holding her tightly as he shushed her gently. She once again found herself drying her tears in his scarf. His voice proved a huge comfort as he spoke.

“Ssssshhhh, Hanana. It will be okay. Your room won’t be empty for long. I’m sure the others will be more than happy to help you. Putata and Mekeke I’m sure will be eager to take you shopping.” At the last comment, he was thankful to hear a half-hearted giggle through her whimpers. He didn’t entirely understand why her new room bothered her so much, but he tried his best to cheer her up. He continued as he gently stroked her back.

“And once things have settled down and your burns are gone, we can make plans on rebuilding your home if you like. Or at least help you purchase another . . . likely closer to the mansion.” She remained silent for a moment, but she soon weakly nodded against his chest. She stopped clinging to his coat and shifted her arms to hug him tightly, her tears fading away.

“T-That would be nice.” He nodded, encouraged by her response. However, he hesitated before speaking again, a bit uncertain.

“And the nightmares will fade in time. But for tonight, why don’t you sleep here? I’ve already gotten my share of sleep today and I’ve heard that not sleeping alone helps prevent nightmares. . . . And should they return, I’ll be here to wake you.” Hanana didn’t want he keep him all night, but she was too drained to protest and instead nodded weakly. They stayed that way for a while. Hanana completely relaxed into his embrace and her sadness slowly faded as drowsiness made itself known to her. His words had soothed her thoughts. And the pain of her burns that kept her awake had started to lessen.

But why? Curious, she concentrated on her wounds and confirmed that some of the burns were going numb, those that were pressed against Yukiki. Already half-asleep and desperate to relieve the last of her pain, she pressed herself to him, her arms searching for the coldest spots and her legs tangling themselves with his. To her relief, the cold was proving strong enough to seep through her bandages and very slowly act as a pain reliever. With pain no longer being a block to sleep, she cuddled against him, intent on doing so.

Until she heard him stutter and noticed how rigid his body had gone.

“H-H-Hanana?” At his VERY nervous voice, her eyes snapped open, it finally hitting her what exactly she was doing. She threw herself off of him, wide awake and mortified by how she had come just short of groping him. His face was beet red and so was hers. She hide her face in her hands.

“I AM. SO. SORRY! I-I just . . . you . . . I mean, the cold, it . . . um . . . it-it made m-my burns stop aching and I . . . Oh, I didn’t mean to . . . oh god.” She sat on the far end of the couch, nearly shaking with complete humiliation. All she could hear was silence, not even breathing, and it scared her. Did he leave?

She moved her hands slightly to check and was in time to witness Yukiki stand up quickly. The fear of him leaving tripled and her hands darted away from her face and prepared to grab him.

But she froze, completely confused, as instead he took off his hat and set it on the arm of the couch. His scarf and gloves soon followed. With a still obvious blush and a stubborn glare, he proceeded to unbutton his coat. Hanana finally found her voice as he reached the last button.

“Y-Yu-Yuki? What are you d-doing?” He didn’t answer her nor did he look her way, merely proceeding to almost violently shrug off his coat with a huff. Before she could react, he stood directly in front of her, draping his heavy coat around her shoulders. A nervous wreck of confusion, she stiffen at the touch of the chilled fabric, not at all sure what to do or what he was doing. Robotically, her hands grabbed the edges of the coat, pulling it tighter around her. Already, her body heat was warming the thick cloth.

She opened her mouth to try a feeble attempt to ask her question again, but he had already moved away from her. She watched as he sat back down in his seat, but did not lean back into it. Finally, he looked her in the eyes. His face was still in a stubborn stoic mold, but his eyes were swimming with all sorts of emotions. He turned away from her again, his blush growing as he made his next move.

He turned his body slightly towards her and lifted his arms.

Hanana could only stare. In her tangled state of mind, it took a few moments for her to realize what he was offering. And when she did, her blush grew as her heart warmed. She was still nervous about boundaries, but she wasn’t going to refuse the offer, not with the burning starting to come back.

Slowly, she slid across the couch and timidly wrapped her arms around his torso. Once in position, he lowered his arms, one wrapping around her shoulders and the other along the bandages of her right arm. He then slowly leaned back against the couch, trapping her left arm between his back and the couch. He did nothing as Hanana cautiously wound her burning legs around his frigid own. When all was said and done, Hanana sighed in relief as his temperature, now stronger with the removal of a layer of clothing, began to sooth her pains once more. His legs tended to her legs while his arm and torso dealt with her arms. And his coat acted as a blanket to keep her from getting too cold.

She felt her heart swell at kind act. Despite his obvious discomfort, he had offered his body’s chill to help ease her pain. And she had learned immediately upon meeting him that he wasn’t one for being touched by anyone. That fact had not changed much over the years. He also rarely gave out words of comfort, becoming aloof and quick to make an exit when someone presented signs of becoming emotional in any way. But tonight, a stranger would have never guessed that from all the embraces and comforting words he had given her. He had gone against his own nature to comfort her and numb her burns. He had even been thoughtful enough to give her his coat as a blanket, just to keep his own cold from becoming too much for her.

Tears came to her eyes, but they were not of sadness. She buried her face in his vest, breathing in that ever comforting scent. At a time like this, it was hard to see him as a ruthless killer. All she could see in this moment was the caring man who had crossed his own personal boundaries to help her and offer solutions to her silly fears. The man who ate cake with her and went on walks with her. The one who saved her life and protected her on more than one dangerous occasion.

Oh, how she loved this ma—

Wait. What?

Her eyes snapped back open and her blush deepened even further. Her heart skipped a beat at the realization of just how fondly she was thinking about him.

Was . . . was she? Was she falling in love with him?

At first, she denied it, berating herself for jumping to conclusions. Sure, she had had a small crush on him, but . . .

His hold on her tightened and he leaned into her.

“Are you alright?” His worried voice sounded above her.

And just like that, she felt herself start to melt. Okay, maybe she was starting to fall. Hard.

But what would falling in love again lead to?

She flinched, remembering what had happened with Giruru. It had been devastating to finally come to terms that he had no interest in her. She had moved on, sure, and she and Giruru were friends to an extent, but it had still been painful.

Much like Giruru, she had never seen Yukiki show any interest in anyone and being romantic didn’t seem to be in his character. He had become a good friend to her and others, but he still tended to be reclusive, only dealing with others when the need was dire or he was given no choice.

A stature of the stoic lone wolf he still maintained, preventing her from seeing him being that close with anyone. And with what she had observed and heard from others about him, she wasn’t sure if he knew what being in love meant. Did he even know how?

This may become even worse than the Giruru situation.

Could she really afford to fall for another untouchable man?

Her thoughts were interrupted by Yukiki’s hand lifting her chin up to meet her eyes to his. They were filled with concern, of course, and a pinch of nervousness. His mouth was set in a frown, deeper than usual.

And despite it being the worried face of a living snowman, she had always found him handsome no matter the expression. And his blue eyes had always been the best part, even when glowing with fearsome power.

She didn’t think it was possible to blush as much as she was tonight. Where had all these thoughts and feelings suddenly come from?

“Hanana?” And his voice was a bonus to her nearly spontaneous lovesickness. Putata and Mekeke had teased him with the nickname “old man” for his grumpy attitude and his older sounding voice. Hanana had never understood the second part. His voice was normal in her opinion, at least when he wasn’t enraged; then it morphed into an otherworldly growl that strangely echoed. Yes, it sounded a bit older than how he appeared, but she thought it only added to the old-fashioned style of him. It was a deep baritone sound, spoken smoothly with the occasion of a gravel or rumble. It sounded aged, but had the flow and strength of someone in their prime, if that made any sense.

She liked the sound of his voice and she was now finding it hard to not change ‘like’ to ‘love.’

She sighed, giving up. It seemed that realizing that she had feelings for him had set her on a downhill sloop. She could try distancing herself from him, but she knew she could never bring herself to do that. Already, she was too far in.

With all he had done tonight, he had finally tipped her over the edge she never saw coming and now she was falling.

She had always known that love worked in mysterious ways. Maybe . . . maybe someday it would work in her favor?

Finally emerging from her thoughts, she gave him a smile as he wiped away her tears.

“Thank you.” She tore her face away from his hand and back into his vest.

“Thank you so much.” He was still for moment before relaxing into his seat, pulling her as close as he could.

“For you Hanana . . . anything.”

Her heart blossomed with hope as she felt sleep approach her once more.

Ice Melts Fire: Part 1
Based Bechnokid's gijinka versions of the characters. "One dream, will suffice a thousand nightmares." ― Anthony Liccione In the mist of the terror and loss of her home, Hanana finds something far more precious in the comforting arms of one grumpy snowman assassin and he, in return, finds the courage. This is part one of a three part one-shot.

Noticed some good but far in between stories written about Yukiki and Hanana and wanted to join in and spread the love! Those two just need to be official already!
Let me love yous plz Like stop running and freaking accept your feelings already!

Cover and characters (these versions any way) belong to Bechnokid of course.
Fanfic is my own writing.

This can also be found on my tumblr and my fanfiction accounts, if anything happens to this one! :)

Please enjoy! Share the love and keep the Bechnokid fandom growing! 
:beach: 
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Okay, because of college and Halloween coming up, you guys will be lucky to get a few sketches but there WILL be something soon. I can't promise anything though. Because of Halloween, I will probably start doodling more soon. The hundreds of pictures I have yet to paint will also hopefully encourage something out of this hand.

Hope for the best!

No Funny Corner for now...sorry. :(
  • Mood: Daily Needs
  • Listening to: Wrong Side of Heaven - Five Finger Death Punch
  • Reading: TEXTBOOOOOOOOKKKS
  • Watching: YOUTUBE
  • Playing: Team Fortress 2
  • Eating: Italian Sausage Melt
  • Drinking: Kool-Aid

deviantID

LionessGamer
Baylee
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
United States
It will always start with the first drawing.

Current Residence: Classified
Favorite genre of music: Rock/Pop/Hip Hop
Favorite style of art: RANDOM!!!!
Favorite character: There is NO WAY I can answer that with the amount of fandoms that crush me!
Personal Quote: Only You Can Decide Who You Are.
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:icondevilgirl007:
Devilgirl007 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2015
hello there! remember the osmosis jones dogs you did? I did a short story and I hope you like it! i'll get back to you Thursday. low GB.
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:iconlionessgamer:
LionessGamer Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool! Where are you putting it? GIF Gravity Falls - Celestabellebethabelle 
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:icondevilgirl007:
Devilgirl007 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2015
It's in my gallery.
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:iconclarystar:
Clarystar Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Your art is awesome, plus you draw DP and GF I LOVE both those shows! I also love wolves!
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:iconlionessgamer:
LionessGamer Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!  Thank you 
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:iconclarystar:
Clarystar Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome!
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:iconrebarc:
RebArc Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Hey! Thanks for the fave! :dance:
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:iconice-fire-bolt:
Ice-Fire-Bolt Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
 Hey there! Thanks for joining :icongravityfalls-fans:! Be sure to read the rules, and if you have any questions concerning the group, feel free to message me! Hope you enjoy your stay! Aww Star!
-Nicole
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:iconlionessgamer:
LionessGamer Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! Just expect tons of Bill Cipher foxes and Gravity Falls wolves. Animal transformation is my specialty!

:icondipperplz: ---> :iconwolfohshitplz:
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Ice-Fire-Bolt Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
Alright! :D
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