Authors Note: This is the first time I made a full story in years. Yes, years. I didn't think I was gonna get back into writing again, but then my childhood idol Pucca showed up! And after reading so many stories on here, I couldn't help but make my own. I'm a little scared to see how people will think, especially since I may have rushed through a lot of it, but I take and accept criticism all the same. Enjoy it if you can!
Disclaimer: I do not own Pucca or any of the characters mentioned here. If I did, I'd let hellfire rain on Sooga Village. HAHA jk... unless?
I was out on my usual stroll around my village. The sun was out and brimming with confidence, like me! The people had bright smiles on their faces as I strolled past them, and I never forgot to return a bigger smile to them. I had a little bit of time before I had to make my deliveries, meaning I had the perfect opportunity to seize the day!
And by that, I planned on seizing a kiss from my longtime boyfriend, of course!
As soon as my eyes caught onto him, I just had to make my move! It turned into a chase scene, not that stopped me from giving him all of my love! I was right on his tail...
Only for him to fade away into a batch of shadows.
I looked around me, but I couldn't catch him. I was gonna give chase again, but the ring of my restaurant's gong echoed throughout the village. I could just feel the heat reaching to my head as I stomp my foot on the ground. With no choice, I head back to the restaurant.
My delivery run ended as soon as I hoped, so I had more than enough time to see my special one. I sighed as my mind slipped into a daydream, with him being as affectionate as ever. A simple kiss was all I needed... or maybe two, or three, or five! I couldn't help but squeal and hide my red face in my hands. He may escape my grasp, but he'll never escape my heart! As my heart pounded, my feet pounded toward his house.
I skidded to a stop and turned to the owner of the familiar voice. It was my best friend's dad and my boyfriend's mentor, Master Chang. I skipped over to him, wondering if what he was about to say was related to those two.
"I couldn't help but catch you with Garu earlier," he said.
That sentence alone made me grunt in frustration. Somehow, Chang found that funny enough to chuckle out loud. I couldn't get what was so funny myself.
He should try chasing around the love of his life for a change, I thought, puffing my cheeks out.
"Yeah, it must be hard. He is the best ninja in Sooga Village after all."
I had to nod. A simple but angry "mhm" slipped out of my mouth. It was one of the things I loved about Garu. His skills always left me impressed, no matter how mad I got when he used them to escape me.
"Well, as his mentor, I do have one suggestion that might work."
My eyebrows shot up. A suggestion? To snatch my one and only Garu? He had my full attention! I'm sure my eyes were glimmering.
"Ha ha! If you can, I recommend you meditate with him. I'm sure he meditates often. That way, he'll be comfortable around you and won't likely run away."
I let out a long "oh" in amazement. I never even thought of that! Though, I gave it some more thought and grew more confused by the second. I never even thought of meditating for myself. I knew I was strong. It's not a stretch to say I'm the strongest girl here. Taking on anyone doesn't take much thought for me at all.
"You are strong on your own, and that's impressive! But, meditation isn't just for focusing on physical strength. It can focus on mental and emotional strength as well. Just give it a try. I'm sure he'll come around."
I hummed, thinking deeply over his words. An image of Garu suddenly popped into my mind. That was all the confirmation I needed. With no time to wait, I broke into a full sprint towards his house.
As soon as his figure slowly showed up into my view, I skirted into some bamboo trees. I inch closer towards his house. I hoped he didn't sense me, otherwise, he'd flee back into his house or off into the village. I took a peek between some of the bamboo trees and stared at him. Just seeing him made me super giddy, I let out a giggle.
Uh oh, I thought, not realizing he could hear me.
I immediately take my eyes off him and blend into the trees. I could feel his gaze towards my direction, piercing and cold, enough to make me break into a sweat and bring a chill down my spine. Once the feeling wore off, I let out a quiet sigh.
That was close, I thought, amazed by his perception to find me so easily.
"He is the best ninja in Sooga Village, after all."
All that training definitely paid off. Funnily enough, that only fueled my passion even more. If I got that kind of perception, I'll be able to find Garu no matter where he's hiding! This was the perfect plan all along! I was determined to get close to him.
I inch even closer, step by step until I was behind him.
I gotta plan this right, or else he'll run away again!
I gulped from the idea. Still, the more I thought about it, the more I was excited to get close to him.
I think I was a bit too excited at that moment, though, since I couldn't think of another strategy. I slapped my hand against the middle of my face, catching myself thinking beyond realization. If I sneaked up on him, he'll just poof away again. If I inch closer, he'll spot me and run away. My head was throbbing in panic.
What do I do?! What do I do?!
I had no choice. I had to do what I always do. It's what I do best!
With no hesitation at all, I quickly lunge from the bamboo trees. I had my sights aimed on Garu. I could tell he sensed me, but I didn't care.
I decided to try something different, though. Instead of landing on him, I landed right next to him. Once I landed, I flipped from my knees to that lotus position he's always sitting in: I sat up straight, I slapped my hands against my knees, and I was perfectly still.
He'll have to come to me now!
I opened my eye in sheer triumph, just to see him sitting next to me. Except, he wasn't sitting next to me at all. I looked around me quickly and nearly cried, hoping he didn't escape too far. I looked up and caught him on his roof, staring down at me with that same fierce expression he always has.
I nearly lunged after him again, but I had to body slam my desires into oblivion. I had to refrain from making him run again, or else he'll run from me forever!
No! This will be the day he stops running from me! I'm sure of it! He'll never run from me again!
I repeated that promise in my head as I kept my position. I was dying, and I mean dying to give him all my love and affection, to smother him in kisses and cuddles, to let him know that he's mine and mine alone. The opportunity was right there!
… Like every other time, but still!
I shut my eyes closed, waiting for him to come. To my surprise, I heard him jump down from his roof. I could hear his feet crunching beneath the grass, with each step growing louder and louder. I shut my eyes tighter in anticipation, not wanting to scare him any more than I did now. I kept a calm face, as difficult as that was. I felt some wind brush past my face for a moment. It felt as if I was being fanned.
Is he... checking to see if I'm asleep?
He was probably waving his hand in front of my face. I'm sure he couldn't believe his eyes. It filled me with confidence, knowing I was right all along! He was right beside me.
… He was right beside me.
He's close to me!
I suffocated all of my urge to tackle, squeeze, and smooch him. Not even one peck on the cheek! I had to stay focused with all my strength.
I felt my heart pumping faster and thought to myself, be still, be still, my beating heart!
Eventually, or rather a moment later, I heard him sigh. I heard one last crunch of grass next to me. I opened my eye to see him sitting to my left, in the same spot he sat in earlier.
Tears were welling up in my eyes. I couldn't believe he chose to sit next to me! I didn't have to make him stay! He sat right there, with his will!
Master Chang was right! Garu didn't run away!
The only downside to this was that I couldn't share my love with him. I kept my head held high, though. If he had the courage to sit next to me, that means he'll have courage to kiss me! Courage to ask me out! Courage to cuddle me! Cook for me! Ask me out! It was all coming together! All I had to do was sit in that very spot!
… But, then what? I sit here, and then what? Once again, I was left in my plan with no thought ahead of me.
"You are strong on your own, and that's impressive! But, meditation isn't just for focusing on physical strength. It can focus on mental and emotional strength as well."
Master Chang's words rang in my head. If it meant getting closer to Garu, I didn't have much of a choice. I just needed to figure out what to meditate on. My mental strength? Fortified! My emotional strength? As strong as me! Chang is wise, but I didn't see any real reason to meditate. I wanted to have one, though, just so I can stay next to Garu!
A realization occurred.
Garu! I'll just meditate on Garu! I always do that!
Well, I daydream, but it's basically the same thing!
I immediately think about Garu at that moment. To me, I was peaking into the future. No meditation required. Just me and him, cuddling and sharing a tender moment together.
His hand was gently placed on my waist, and my arms were wrapped around his torso. Our pink cheeks nuzzling against each other. Suddenly, I feel his hand cup my cheek and turn my face to his.
His bushy brows softened up from his hard stare into a loving gaze. He gave the softest smile that would make me swoon. My eyes were sparkling in pure joy and love. I saw him inch closer subtly, and I made sure to pucker my lips...
I broke out into a squeal and a fit of giggles. A blunt "ahem" interrupted me and my thoughts, bringing me back into reality. I opened my eye and stared at my pig-tailed boyfriend. I noticed his brows were furrowed deeper than before, scrunching his forehead a bit.
I puffed my cheeks out as I was a little annoyed by his rude interruption, thinking, He's more focused than I am... I wonder what he's meditating on. If only I could read his mind. Then I could figure out why he runs from me all the time.
… Hey, that's it! I just need to meditate on it, that's all! It's not the same as reading his mind, but it's worth a shot!
I shut my eye closed and deeply focused on this one idea. I embraced the silence around me. It was the first time I focused on something really hard. I figured that if I tackle this down, I can see if I can get Garu to be nice to me.
Garu... being nice to me... those words bothered me greatly. It was all I ever wanted, but it was so hard to obtain. I wracked my brain for answers on why he was so gosh darn nasty to me all the time.
He's my boyfriend, though. He should be nice to me. I'm nice to him. I'm the sweetest to him!
… But... he's not the sweetest to me.
It hit me. Garu doesn't even give me affection even when I'm calm. The most I've gotten from him were flowers, and even then it was just to cheer me up. I'm normally the one cooking something for him. I don't even ask him out, I just take him wherever I want to go. I'm always the one cuddling him... and kissing him...
Does he hate me?
I regretted asking myself that, so much so my heart tried to drive me away from the thought. It couldn't be helped, though. When I asked myself that, my mind drifted to all the times he was so shy. Not just shy but... irritated, too. Sometimes I hear him groan whenever I cuddle him as if he was frustrated to be around me. All those times he tried to dodge my kisses. All those times he wiped my kisses off his face. All those times he... avoided me.
But, he always does that! He's just really shy, that's all! He just has a hard time... returning my feelings?
What have I been doing all this time?
Is this really because I haven't given him space?
Hold on! I'm just thinking all these things because I'm upset that he runs away!
But, that's the problem. He runs away.
Is it my fault he runs away all the time?
Of course not! He's just shy!
Yeah, shy, because of me.
All of my thoughts swirled in my head as I swirled down with them. I couldn't keep up with all of them at once. They were all happening so fast and they hit me so hard. Worst of all... most of these thoughts were probably true. Nothing hurt me more than the thought of hurting him... all because I wanted to be with him.
I let out a depressed sigh without thinking. His concerned hum in response took me by surprise. I found him looking at me, but I shook my head quickly to deny any concern. I looked away after, puffing my cheek.
The last thing I need is for him to think about me now, I thought, as much as that hurt me.
I was thankful for Chang's suggestion at least. Without him, I wouldn't have taken the time to open my eyes to what I was doing. I would've been blind to what Garu was feeling. Yet, I was starting to miss being blind since that didn't make me hesitate and worry about his feelings for me. Then again, his shyness was tugging at the back of my mind every day, so I can't say I was never worried about his feelings for me.
Another question popped into my head. Thought-provoking, yet hurtful. Life-changing, yet damaging.
If he really was my boyfriend, why would he be shy?
I quit the lotus position and brought my knees to my face, letting my head rest on them. I squeezed them tight, letting guilt brim to the top of me. I doubt Garu noticed me and, honestly, I didn't care anymore.
I shouldn't even be sitting here right now...
Even if he did consider me his girlfriend, I've acted like a terrible one. I'm sure if he ever barged into my space unwarranted, especially for something important, I would be sick of him, too. I always wished he would be happy with me, but not borderline clingy.
Like I was.
To think that I was bringing him out of his shyness, too. I thought that if I extended my heart to him with all my confidence, he would learn that he doesn't need to be so shy around me. I thought he had a really hard time getting his feelings for me across... if he had them at all.
I don't deserve to have his feelings, anyway.
That thought was the last straw. I was drowning in guilt and frustration and I knew that meditating on any of that will only make me feel worse. I sat there to feel closer to Garu only to feel like I'm farther away from him. I shook my head furiously, flipped to my feet, and headed toward the village.
I couldn't even bring myself to look back at Garu. I may have felt his gaze then, but I brushed it off. He needed a break... a break from me.
After that day, I haven't been able to shed some affection for Garu. Guilt would cause me to freeze in a dead stop. The very least I could do was smile and wave at him. No smooches, no squeezes, nothing. I was hurt all the way through, but I feared it would hurt more if I had been all over him.
One thing I noticed was his whole reaction to my behavior. The first time I saw him after that day, I had to serve a bowl of jajangmyeon noodles to him. When I left my uncles' kitchen with a fresh, hot bowl of noodles, our eyes instantly locked onto each other. I couldn't tell what he was thinking. I just assumed he wanted the noodles as soon as possible. I was hoping he was thinking about me, but the guilt reminded me that I couldn't have him like that so easily.
Instead of running to his table as I did with all the others, I just calmly walked there and set the bowl right in front of him. No smooch came after. Instead, I bowed.
Would I be exaggerating if I said his eyebrows shot through the roof?
I didn't think much of it, though. I had to walk back to the kitchen to wait for more orders. The weird thing is, I felt him watching me. Needless to say, it didn't make me feel any better. It made me think that was the only time I could ever get his attention properly. Of all those times I tried getting his attention...
I couldn't get mad at him, though. I knew I was forceful with him. He had the right to be angry more than I did.
Soon, others caught on to me. Within that week, Ching wondered if I stopped having feelings for him, to which I denied. The feelings were still there, I just had newfound guilt. She seemed to understand, even when I don't say much.
Chang called out to me and asked me how the meditation went. All I did was rub my head and groan. He told me that if I kept trying, Garu was sure to come around, but I just shrugged.
Ring-Ring threatened to snatch Garu away from me if I kept the so-called "act" up. I just stuck my tongue at her. It wasn't an act, but there's no way I would let her get the best of me.
I was sure Tobe was eating this up as much as Garu was. I haven't seen him since I haven't gone out of my way to see Garu. I'm confident Garu held on his own, though. He should've been able to catch up on his training with me not there.
Others were asking if I stopped dating Garu. I just shrugged. I couldn't really answer their question without the swirl of thoughts and emotions making me dizzy. They could think what they want, they had a right, and so did Garu.
I just knew he was enjoying himself. A whole week without me getting in his way. He must have soaked in all of his time alone, but that's impossible for me. A huge part of me still wants to see him. If I had controlled myself before, I wouldn't even have this nasty feeling sticking to me. The loneliness was sinking in, and it was only one week!
The entire week went past me slower than I imagined. When I was with Garu, it was as if time was going too fast for me to take in all my time with him. Without him, days just drag on and on with no purpose.
No! No, no no! I'm not gonna think like this today! Garu may be my one and only deep down inside, but I'm still me!
That was all the motivation I needed to get out of bed that day. I rushed right out of my room, down the stairs, and straight out the door. I couldn't care less about what I wanted to do, all I know was that I hated sitting around because I knew that's how I got depressed in the first place. I completely shut out all thought I had and only ran to act.
Until I saw a pair of pigtails.
I nearly halted, but I kept pressing forward. I would do anything to get my spirits back up and running up to Garu again wasn't gonna fix anything. I caught a glimpse of his hand reaching out to me, but I was too scared to stop now. It was time I left him in the dust for a change.
Sitting under a tree was one of the last things I wanted to do. It was something, just not what I had in mind. But, I hated being in another place that would make me think again. I forced myself to stare at the sunset, taking in all of its orange hues and pink shades.
Romantic, I thought, … if only Garu were here. I know better than to think of him so suddenly... but my heart still belongs to him, even if his heart doesn't belong to mine. Even if I'm not Garu's girlfriend, I'll always remain by his side. I'll watch him from a distance if I can. I'll support him. I'll do whatever it takes to keep him with me.
Whatever it takes. I mean that. With all my heart.
I let out a long, depressed sigh. Those thoughts are definitely true, but I was preparing for a big change in my life. He was my whole life. I just wish he felt the same.
Yet, there I was once again, thinking to myself when I didn't mean to.
I picked up the sounds of crunching grass behind me. I was too absorbed in my thoughts to know who it was. That final crunch of grass let me know they sat beside me. I pulled my knees toward me and moved my head to the side, my best attempt at ignoring someone.
Maybe they'll walk away if I ignore them...
I was a tiny bit curious to see who it was, so I did a quick side glance...
The first and last person I wanted to see. Just from seeing him, my guilt rose back to the top in no time flat. For once, I actually regretted seeing his face.
My eyes widened.
He sat next to me! On purpose! I never forced him to do that!
As soon as I realized that, all of my guilt washed away. Soft feelings of endearment took its place. I felt literal tears run down my cheeks, and after so long, I smiled.
I heard a short chuckle from him. When I whipped my head to him, I couldn't see a smile. I raised my eyebrow at him, and I can only assume he noticed my gaze because the side of his head formed sweat.
He did laugh!
I couldn't understand why my reaction was so funny to him. I didn't try to find out, I was too overjoyed to care at all. Just sitting beside him was all I needed to know how he felt about me. It was all I needed to know that he appreciates me and cares about me.
Yep, it was all I needed.
Well, maybe just a little bit. I may have slipped in a little cheek kiss, but nothing harmful. I figured it was justified since it's been a whole week, anyway. I had to promise myself to never go too far again.
I've come this far!
I took one look at Garu... just to see his hand rest on the spot I kissed. He wasn't wiping it off. He didn't even moan in anger and, if I knew any better, I think his cheeks were a bright red.
... Did he really miss me? I asked myself with my mouth gaping open.
I was too excited to wait to find out. I scooted close to him and laid my head against his. For my super love combo, I grasped his hand for added measure. I must've been dreaming, because I could've sworn I felt him lean closer to me! I used all my power to refrain from squealing, just so I couldn't bother him one bit. For once in a while, I could safely say that he was mine.
This moment wasn't exactly how I pictured it before, but it's more than I could ever ask for.
Author's End Note: If you made it this far, thanks for reading!