(1938-10-17) Perspective
Details for Perspective
Summary: Niko has been avoiding Kimiko, nobly trying to spare her further grief. But she's having none of it.
Date: 17 October, 1938
Location: Viaduct and then Gardens, Hogwarts
Related: Dinner Just Got Weird, Rain Dance, Egg On Your Face

Viaduct, Hogwarts

The wood work and structure of the bridge that is laid out here is one of function and form. It's covered with a high gable roof, complete with steeples, to keep the rain and weather off the head but it is still left open enough with cathedral windows that are open to the elements on either side. The bridge is fully covered about three feet up on the sides and keeps anyone from falling off. Being up in the air as it is, it's held up by a great number of cross braces and bolts to keep the structure high in the valley of rock and green that it covers and keeps one from falling a long way down to certain doom. It should stand for many, many years.

The darkness of October night has fallen heavy, the moon blotted out by deep gray rainclouds. Graciously, the rainfall itself is light, not that it would matter under the covered viaduct.

Kimiko strolls along the high bridge, humming softly to herself, occasionally skipping or moving sidelong in the private little dance she's got playing through her head. But as distracted as she might seem, she's got her sights set firmly on the young man ahead of her. She says nothing at first, simply smiling warmly as she draws nearer.

Niko is leaning against the Viaduct, his eyes staring out into this distance. His face still a straight and many have noticed he hasn't smiled in days. In fact some are saying he is getting worse, he barely speaks to anyone when passing through the commons, his Quidditch game is horrid and when he is not hiding in the Boys Dorms playing with his cat, Joffery. He leaves unannounced, he seems so lost in his thoughts that he doesn't even seem to notice Kimiko's approach.

Kimiko doesn't say a word until she's right next to him, leaning against the same ledge, sharing the same view. "You know what I like about this spot? Perspective. I mean look at the how enormous that valley is. It's completely massive. Then I think about how this valley is just a tiny crack in the enormity of all of Great Britain. Of course…then I imagine how the Isles are just a speck in all of the Empire, which itself pales compared to the whole Earth. Yet here we are, two teensy-weensy dots on the face of this planet, able to look out on that little crack and be utterly in awe of it. And all I can think is…things are only as big as we choose to see them." She turns her head to look up at him, offering a hopeful smile and big, brown, almond-shaped eyes.

Niko doesn't say anything at first, he just keeps staring out, "This is where I took my first photograph of Hogwarts." he says slowly with a small nod, "My second year, one of the few times I went outside, I took it so when I went back upstairs, I could still see it." he says slowly, "All that is, is a teensy-tiny, speck held by a teensy-weensy dot. But it made the world better, for me at least, for a few moments." he says slowly nodding, "Did you know, I am actually feeling so many emotions, I didn't fight with Black? I just let him walk all over me and didn't even bat an eye." he says slowly.

"Did it matter? Does anything he says matter?" Kimiko keeps her eyes on his face. "You're the one always trying to reassure me that we can't let people like him get to us, and you're right." She spares a glance out at the valley. "I'd love to see that photograph…to see what you saw back then. What it was that made your world a little better."

Niko shakes his head, before looking at Kimiko, "He has never gotten to me, but I didn't even feel up to dealing with him." he says with a shrug, "Normally I would have let him know that we are the same, both wizards." he says slowly with a shake of his head, "I don't know what's wrong with me Kimiko, I am becoming the boy I was…" he says slowly, before looking at Kimiko and pointing out in the valley, "You are seeing it right now." he explains, "Out of everything that is considered so amazing here, why would I take a picture of a Valley?" he says curiously.

Kimiko meets his eyes at last, and her smile immediately brightens. But she blinks at his question, tilting her head quizzically. "I don't understand. Why wouldn't you take a picture of the valley? I know Hogwarts is amazing, too. But…everything is amazing. You always seem to think so. Please don't lose that. You can be who you choose to be. I know things have been hard…and I don't mean to dismiss your feelings. Just know that I'm here to stand by you. It…sort of feels as if you've been avoiding me."

Niko nods, "Exactly, because you don't have to be a Wizard to see it, but you don't have to be a muggle to appreciate the beauty of it." he says slowly with a small nod, "Even art, certain wizards don't want like things made by muggles, but this." he says pointing out to the Valley, "The Natural beauty found on every inch of this world? That is the only thing that we can both see and agree is amazing." he says slowly with a small nod, "Because I have been, Kimiko." he says rather bluntly, "Because I am trying to protect you." he says softly with a small nod.

Kimiko blinks in surprise…then frowns…then balls up a fist and slugs him lightly in the arm. "I told you I'm not letting you stand alone. Don't make me beat you up." Said the mouse to the lion.

Niko rubs his arm, "Ouch." eye says narrowing his eyes at Kimiko, "And I said you could stand by me, I never said that I would let you know where I was standing, Kimiko." he says matter of factly to her, a smile actually tugging on his lips for a moment, before he shakes his head, "You know the rumors will just get worse and worse." he says slowly with a nod, "I want to keep you from that Kimiko…" he says slowly.

Kimiko pinches her lips disbelievingly at his protestation of pain. Her hands go to her hips, as if it would make the tiny girl seem any more imposing. "I don't care. I'm not running from this, and the more you try to escape me, the more I'm going to track you down. Next time I'll bring a net."

Niko chuckles softly, "Do elaborate on the full plan for the use of this net Kimiko." he says slowly his head tilting a bit to the right, his amber hair cascading down his face slowly, before he brushes it out, staring out at Kimiko with his bluish green eyes.

Kimiko lifts her chin stubbornly. "I…don't have one. But that's not the point," she says sternly. "Look, now you're just trying to poke my buttons, and…" Her words start to trail off, finding herself wandering into that blue-green gaze. "And…um…"

Niko warm smile returns to his face for a second, "You are silly, you know that Kimiko." he says with a small wave of his hand, "Everyone knows you don't bring a net, but a lasso." he says leaning back against the Viaduct staring out at the valley again.

Deflated, her soapbox slipped out from under her, Kimiko leans up beside Niko again. "No more hiding from me, okay? I just…can't take it. I know it's not about me, but…" Kimiko's hand slides over the stone balustrade to rest on his forearm, betraying a slight nervous tremble, "…I need you."

Niko looks at Kimiko, he doesn't know what to say. His mouth opens but nothing. He just stares at Kimiko with those eyes of his. His gaze moves down to her touch on his arm then back at Kimiko, closing his eyes for a moment, he still can't seem to find words.

Panic builds behind Kimiko's eyes. Did she overstep her bounds? Did she just ruin everything? She starts to retract her hand slowly, her whisper barely audible, "I'm sorry. I…I wasn't thinking."

Niko chuckles, "You are cute when you're nervous." he says slowly, with a small nod. His hand moves up through his hair slowly, before finding it's resting place on top of Kimiko's. "I need you too." he says slowly with a small nod.

Kimiko's slowly crumbling world finds its gravity again, and within moments, her face lights up. The smile is subtle, but there is such a shine in her eyes. When his hand covers her, her heart flutters. Impulse takes over, and this time without apology, she move to put her arms around him in a warm embrace.

Niko returns Kimiko's hug softly, closing his eyes, truth be told he had missed her, missed this, missed her scent and her touch. He has felt so alone as of late, so empty. This makes him feel alive again, "I want this…" he says slowly with a soft sigh, "But I don't want people to hurt you… I don't want to see what happened in the halls happen again…" he says slowly shaking his head.

Kimiko pulls away only just enough to look up at him while keeping her arms around him. "Do you think I care what those girls say? Niko…" She catches her lower lip between her teeth in a guilty grimace, "…I know it sounds awful. But some of the thing they said…I wanted them to be true."

Niko tilts his head curiously, "Like what?" he asks slowly his bluish green eyes staring at her, "Also the truth never sounds awful, especially about how you feel." he says giving her an affirmative nod. He also keeps his arms around her, the warm smile back on his face.

Kimiko shrugs abashedly. "Like…when one of them called me your girlfriend." Her cheeks are flushing pink before she even finishes the sentence, and she dips her face in embarrassment.

Niko smiles softly, "Why?" he asks slowly looking at Kimiko, "How do you not know that I won't just run away?" he asks curiously, noting the pink on her cheeks with a slightly wider smile, "That's right you got that net…" he says giving her a small wink.

Kimiko giggles softly, but still hasn't the courage to look up at him again. "I don't. I guess…I'd just run after you if you did. Maybe bring the net…"

Niko reaches up and cusps Kimiko's cheek, looking into her eyes with his bluish green ones. He stares for a long moment, "How far would you run? What if you needed another two nets?" he asks softly, tilting his head at his question.

Kimiko's breath catches at the touch, and she is again mesmerized by his gaze. Swallowing to dispel the dryness in her throat, she says softly, "As far as you needed me to…until I caught up to you. I wouldn't need a net. I'd just need to run with you."

Niko rubs his chin for a moment, his eyes moving across Kimiko curiously, he repeats her words slowly, "As far I need you to…" he says softly before looking at Kimiko, "Until you caught up to me…" he says softly, his mind clearly considering something, before he looks at Kimiko, removing his hands from her and softly putting them on her hands, a warm smile on his face as he slowly, removed her hands from him and took off in a dead sprint north towards the Gardens.

Kimiko already sees what's coming, and is shaking her head. "Noooo, don't you daaaarrrNIKO!" She sighs, "Where's a net when I need one?" Then, with a grin, she's off, shrugging off her robe to shed extra weight and dashing after him.

Gardens, Hogwarts

Sculpted box woods and grafted flowering trees border fountains and statuary, benches of a wide variety of shapes and sizes affording a person the opportunity to stop and appreciate the beauty here or a quiet moment from the courtyard. A riot of salvia and geraniums are visible from one angle, maroon begonias alongide tall and bright scarlet bee balm blaze from the southern corner. Black eyes susans, contrast with rising sunflowers, tightly-clustered heads of sunny marigold and goldenrod bob lazily in the breezes that blow from the west. Across from the sunflowers, a profusion of green in the form of hostas and ferns coupled with Canterbury bells and even a few pitcher plants twist in a wilder jungle of more loosely-controlled foliage. Deep blue foxgloves, creeping lobelia and Siberian iris serenely fill the northern corner. Seventh Year Herbology students tend the garden of their own House's colors, those who truly care for their duties obviously taking visible pride in the health of their flowers.

Niko continues to run, though he doesn't shed his robe, trying his best to keep away from Kimiko. He looks over his should, "See you were not prepared for this Kimiko," he says loud enough that she can hear him, "Otherwise you would have brought two of them!" he chuckles softly.

Kimiko races after him, the light rain pelting her face and gradually dampening her clothes. "You may be fast on a broom, Nikolas Denholm! But I'm light on my fee-wwwooop!" There's that graceless gracefulness, as her foot slips on some wet grass, sending her tumbling to the ground. But the dancer's reflexes win out, and she's rolling right back to her feet with a giggle, speeding after him once more!

Niko looks back and Kimiko is gaining on him, but he is keeping his distance. But them she slips on the wet grass and he stops, despite her bouncing back, he just stands there for a moment, before his lips part, "Are you okay?" he asks, genuine concern in his voice before saying, "See chasing after me is bad for you." with a slow nod, closing his eyes as he does so and crossing his arms across his chest.

Kimiko's smile turns into a look of sheer determining. "It's not…bad for me…" she calls after him, panting with the exertion of her tumble. "Just not easy…and nothing…worth doing…is easy!" She breaks into a sprint, gaining a sudden burst of speed, as if from sheer willpower. Even with him standing still, she's not slowing down.

Niko looks at her for a moment and continues to stand there. His bluish green eyes just stare out at her, "What are you going to do when you catch me?" he asks softly.

Kimiko would shrug if she could while pumping her arms in a full run. She has no idea what she intends to do. But in that last moment before slamming right into him, she takes a leap of faith. Quite literally, she impulsively jumps up to throw her arms and legs around him, praying he'll catch her. It isn't ladylike, but it seemed right to do.

Niko of course goes to catch her, even though he knows she is going at full speed. His arms come out and he grabs a hold of her, though the force knocks him to the ground, taking her with him. "Ooofff." he says with a chuckle, "Came at me like a bludger you did." he says slowly with a warm smile, "You are too cute Kimiko." he says softly, looking up at her.

Kimiko squeaks in surprise as they hit the ground. What exactly did she expect? Whatever it was, it's gone from her mind, as she finds herself in the awkward position of being rain-soaked and on top of Niko. Her blush blends nicely with her flush from running, and the pinkening of her cheeks from the cold. "You…you're pretty cute, too." She stares down at him with wide eyes, full of wonder, nibbling her lip in sheepish anticipation.

Niko stares up at her, the rain clinging to his amber hair as he looks into Kimiko's eyes, "This is the second time we have been this close in the rain, Kimiko." he says slowly, his bluish green eyes still locked onto her brown ones. "You remember when you got mad at stomped out of the Great Hall?" he asks slowly.

Kimiko remembers the rain dance. That much is clear in her eyes, and the captivated nod. "I…I wasn't mad," she says. "I was embarrassed…because I was confused." She barely even realizes when her fingers start to trace lines through his hair, brushing against his temple.

Niko doesn't say anything about he playing with his hair, "Do you remember what I said that made you run out?" he says slowly, looking up at her, clearly admitting defeat, she did catch him and tackle him after all. "That is what started this whole chaotic, thing. It is what made this start to spiral out of control." he says slowly, closing his eyes for a moment before opening them again.

Kimiko nods again with an unquestionable sureness. "You said…that you were sure we'd make a really nice couple. Or…you tried to. You didn't get past 'coup-.'" She smiles softly. Nooo, she hasn't replayed that in her mind a thousand times.

Niko leans up and softly kisses Kimiko on the lips, its a brief kiss but one none the less, "We would make a nice couple." he says warmly, the smile returning to his face, "Though we should keep it quiet for a while." he says slowly, "You have me Kimiko, you caught me. I won't avoid you, but I don't want you to get grief." he says slowly.

The kiss, however brief, is like a lightning strike through her body. Kimiko shivers, and clings tighter to him, the movement causing her wet locks of ebony hair to fall around his face. "Then give me a place to stand tall so I can rise above it," she murmurs, and presses her lips softly to his again. He's opened that door, and Kimiko has never met a door she's not willing to run blindly through.

Niko returns her kiss softly, his cheek pink now. "First and Second kiss all in a matter of moments." he says slowly, trying not to seem nervous but is clearly nervous, not a lot but a little bit. "You weren't going to give up til you got me, were you?" he asks tilting his head a little bit, his hand moving up and softly and brushing her hair out of her face.

Kimiko smiles like the sun itself, tilting her face slightly into the touch of his hand. "You're assuming I ever thought it through that far. It just…felt right. You feel right."

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