129 โ€“ Strangers to love
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Sakura walked out of the elevator into John's office. When she saw the mess in the area, she sighed.

It seemed like the two guys really went at it last night. The remaining chairs were shattered, and the office was covered in dust and wooden shrapnel.

Sakura stepped forward and said, "If this is John holding back, I'm worried about what it's like when he doesn't..."

The blonde man was obviously fit and well-trained, but from the fact that Kai was completely laid out cold in the middle of the room and that John had been completely fine the other night...

Well, she sure hoped that John didn't come across any idiots who tried to flirt with his wife.

Though, considering that she seemed to be pregnant, that might not be a problem.

A different problem, but Sakura would let John sort that one out.

It was morning, with bright light filtering into the room through the windows. A clear and blue sky, with the sun slowly peeking out over the cityscape.

Sakura sighed and then walked over towards Kai.

It was getting close to 9:00 AM now. Sakura had been up for a while working on her story and emailing Ars Nova Productions about the first draft, but since it was getting close to a reasonable hour, she wanted to check on her dear friend and make sure he was up to be there when Tsuki woke up from staying up late playing games with Meggie.

Stopping just in front of him, Sakura crossed her arms and said, "Kai. You still asleep?"

Silence, broken only by the sound of light breathing.

Sakura shook her head.

Kai wasn't a heavy sleeper, so it seemed like John really did a number on him.

Well, there weren't any bruises or marks that Sakura could see, so he was probably fine.

As she was pondering on whether or not to just kick the guy awake, Sakura noticed a note lying on the ground. "Hm?" She picked it up and took a look at it. "What's this?"

-----AI|IA-----

[To my 'best friend']

Hope you got your head on straight now. Clean yourself up and take Tsuki out for breakfast when you get up. And stop running away from your problems. Believe me, it helps.

-John

-----AI|IA-----

"This guy..." Sakura smiled.

Even after all that, he was still being nice to Kai. No, considering the fact that Kai had a blanket and a pillow, John went out of his way to make sure that Kai was taken care of too.

"...He's really too nice."

Sakura could understand how Yue fell for him. Cute face, killer abs, money, and then being that considerate and not holding a grudge and taking a mature stance... He was basically mister perfect.

Which was definitely going to be a problem considering that he was running an idol company, but having someone as perfect as Yue around should help with that.

But enough about John.

Sakura looked at her childhood friend and sighed before kicking him in the ribs. "Oi."

Kai winced and immediately opened his eyes. He curled up, frantically looking around the room. "Who the hell-?! Huh? Sakura?" He paused, staring at her outstretched leg before slowly shifting his gaze upwards.

Sakura didn't miss how his eyes lingered a bit too long at her skirt. But since he was still dazed, she gave it a pass for the day. Didn't stop her from rolling her eyes though.

Kai coughed and got up, brushing off his clothes. "Sorry about that."

"Whatever." Sakura tossed the note and Kai and said, "Here. From John."

"Hm?" Kai snatched the paper out of the air and looked at it. After a few moments reading it, he sighed and tucked it away in his shirt pocket.

Sakura raised an eyebrow. "Cooled your head now?"

"Yes." Kai nodded. "I've... come to terms with my actions the other day." He adjusted his jaw, frowning. "Rather forcefully at that."

Sakura frowned and reached out, carefully checking out his chin and jaw. "Hm... Nothing bruised or misplaced. But you sure you're alright?"

Kai chuckled and lightly pushed Sakura's hands away. "I'm fine. John was lenient." He frowned, patting down his clothes. "Perhaps a bit too lenient... If it were the other way around, I doubt that I would have held back as much." He sighed and said, "Even as a friend, he's a better man than I."

Sakura adjusted Kai's collar and nodded. "That's to be expected. John's an international crime syndicate boss or something. A small-time yakuza chairman like yourself can't compare."

"Heh." Kai shook his head. "It's definitely the 'or something'... but you've got a point." He turned towards the windows and stared at the light. "I guess it's also about time I stopped blaming myself too."

Sakura smiled. "That's the Kai-kun I know."

The slightly older and reliable young man that she grew up with. A bit immature and hot-headed, but also one with a good sense of justice and morals.

He got a bit twisted over the years... They both did. But it seemed like meeting John had helped him get back to what he should be.

"Right." Kai nodded and turned around to look at Sakura, his face serious. "So, Sakura."

Seeing that, Sakura gave a serious expression in return. "Yeah?"

Kai took a deep breath and then said, "Marry m- Bwah?!"

A loud slap echoed through the room before Sakura could think.

Kai staggered back, clutching a red cheek and his eyes wide.

Sakura blinked and looked down at her outstretched right hand.

That was... unexpected. She didn't think she had that sort of reflex.

Kai rubbed his cheek and then straightened, frowning. "You didn't need to reject me that strongly."

Sakura lowered her hand and then crossed her arms. After that, she let out a long sigh. "No wonder I got along so well with Yue. Both of our men are idiots."

"Huh?"

Sakura covered her face with her right hand and said, "John knocked some sense back into you, sure. But he must have knocked some screws loose too. To actually propose to me..."

Was it because he saw John and Yue together? Did he notice that Yue was pregnant? Or did he really just lose his marbles?

"So... Is that a no?"

"OBVIOUSLY!" Sakura threw her hands up and said, "I'm not marrying you! Hell, we haven't even gone a proper date in... ever! Not only that, there's Tsuki!" She lowered her hands and glared at Kai. "Honestly, did you even stop to think about her? What she would think about me if, and this is *if*, I married you?"

"...But you get along well with Tsuki, don't you?"

Sakura stopped and looked at Kai.

Kai stared back, confused.

Sakura let out a long sigh. "I see. So that's why you two are so different."

It was true that opposites attracted, but similar people tended to resonate with each other too.

Like Yue mentioned to her, Kai and John were really similar. Both of them had women issues, and both weren't the smartest. Cunning, kind, and understanding, yes. But not the smartest.

But unlike Kai, John had become more responsible. Or rather, he put his family first and foremost, with everything else secondary.

And as for her dear childhood friend...

"Hey."

"Yes?"

Sakura frowned and said, "How long have you been with Tsuki now?"

"That's..." Kai paused to think. "...A month?"

A month. So then he had only been a 'father' for that long of a time period. It probably still hadn't sunk in yet... No, it *definitely* didn't sink in yet if he was still acting like that.

"...Sakura?"

Sakura groaned and then shook her head. "Look. Kai."

He flinched. "Yes?"

Sakura narrowed her eyes and said, "You need to go properly apologize to John. After that, you need to apologize to Tsuki. After *that*, sit down and have a long chat with John about what it means to be a father and what it means to marry someone. When you've done all of that, maybe, just *maybe* I'll consider going out on a date with you."

Kai pursed his lips.

Seeing that, Sakura had to resist the urge to sigh. And she also felt a bit guilty.

Maybe it would have been better to have cut things off cleanly than for it to be like this...

Kai had been running after her for almost two decades now trying to find her. When she met him, it seemed like he was ready to cut things off too, but now they were in this weird spot. And then there was Tsuki to consider as well.

The girl's mother had died and she had been looking forward to meeting her father her whole life. But then that father happens to be pining for another woman, and not long after Tsuki's mother died...

After a long while, Kai sighed and said, "Understood."

Sakura nodded. "Good. You aren't a kid or a young man anymore. You're a father." She spun around and said, "Act like one."

Kai winced. "...Yeah. I know."

Sakura walked back towards the elevator. "Come on. Tsuki's probably waking up around now after playing with her new friend."

"...Yes, Mother."

"I will end you."

Kai coughed. "Sorry. Couldn't resist."

"...This is why you are still single."

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