"She kissed you and you just pushed her away."
"I know, I know. But it just...you know how I am."
"Yeah, you're a nut, that's what you are. She seems to really like you, Blaze. Why do you keep pushing her away?"
Blaze placed his head on the counter-top. "I'm stupid."
"You're telling me. I know you had a hard time when you first were getting together with Rena, but this is worse."
"What do you expect? After dealing with her, my heart can't seem to handle it."
"Need to fix that, big guy. You can't go around being love-sick and waiting to see if she'll come back to you."
"I've given up on waiting for her. Especially after seeing her at the mall. Nova's getting more persistent each day that goes by. Have to keep her locked out of the bathroom just so she won't come in when I'm showering."
Yuri laughed. "Sounds like she really wants to see you naked."
"Like I said before-"
He rested his cheek on his fist, waving his free hand. "I know, I know! I should talk to her."
"If you don't, I'll tell her myself."
"You wouldn't dare!"
Yuri nodded solemnly. "I will."
"I'll strangle you first."
"Now, now. You wouldn't really."
He held out his hand, claws flexed out. "You wanna bet?"
The bartender took a step away from the counter. "Eh-heh...come now, Blaze. I'm doing it for your own good."
"You're really pushing my buttons, Yuri."
"Where is Nova, anyways?"
"Not sure, exactly. Out running with some friends, I think."
"You're not looking after her?"
"She's a big girl. And her father is keeping tabs on her, I don't think he'd let his own guys do anything."
"No, he wouldn't. I can't even believe you got him to let her stay without breaking a bone in his body."
"I was ready to. He made me sick."
"How are you really going to be able to get that money to him?"
"I'm going to go tomorrow and talk to my boss about giving me more bounties. I know he has more than what he gives. Just been giving me a break after what happened with Joshua..."
"You holdin' up with that, Blaze?"
"Best I can. Can't say I forgive myself for what I did to him."
"Man, if you had stayed and made him see how you were, he would rather you have stayed away."
"You think so?"
"I knew the kid as well as I know you, Blaze. He was a tough kid until the end. To see you in the state you were in, would have killed him sooner.
Blaze stared at the liquid in his cup. "Hm. Still doesn't make me feel all that great."
"Sorry, big guy. There isn't much else I can do about that, it's only you who can learn to cope with it."
Blaze sighed. "Just gonna take longer, I suppose."
"Here comes your gal."
"Face it, she might as well be."
Nova sat down beside Blaze. "Hey Blaze, Yuri."
Yuri smiled, leaning on the counter. "Hey, good-lookin'."
"Can I have a drink, please?"
"Why, of course. What do you want?"
Yuri grinned and gave her a wink. "You asked for it."
While he went about putting together Nova's drink, she turned her attention to Blaze.
"So, how was your day?"
"Pretty boring. We had one guy think he was ten foot tall and bullet-proof. Sucker-punched me in the back of the head."
Nova's eyes grew wide. "Really?! What did you do?"
Blaze jerked a thumb over his shoulder at a hole in the wall.
"Did you really throw him through a wall?"
"That hole wasn't there when I got here."
"What he okay?"
"Dunna. I think he's still in there."
Nova got to her feet. "I'm going to go see."
Yuri set a large martini glass filled just below the rim with a dark red liquid. "Where's she off to?"
"To go check on that nit-wit what hit me earlier."
"Is that guy even still in there?"
Nova returned a few moments later. "I didn't see anyone."
"His buddies must've retrieved him.
She took a sip of the drink Yuri had made. "Mmm. What is this?"
"Cherry juice, some lime juice, a little liqueur and vodka."
"I love it!"
Yuri grinned. "I thought you would. Oh hey, Nova, I got something I wanna talk to you about."
Blaze shot his friend the dirtiest look he could.
Nova looked at Blaze quizzically, then to Yuri. "Hm? Why did he give you that face?"
"Because he needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut." Blaze growled, scowling.
Yuri chuckled half-heartedly. "I may be the bartender, doesn't mean I can't get in on a little gossip myself."
"Talk about other people."
"Oh. Who are you talking about?"
Yuri inclined his head to Blaze.
Nova looked to her house-mate in surprise.
"I swear, I am going to strangle you if you don't quit, Yuri."
Yuri held his hands up. "I'm all finished."
Blaze cringed, already knowing Yuri had done what he had intended: peak Nova's curiosity. "Dammit."
"Is there something the matter?"
"Nope. Not at all."
"I can tell you're lying. Can you at least tell me something?"
Blaze shook his head vigorously.
"Yuri would not have said anything if he didn't think it was an important matter."
"Depends what you mean by 'important.'" the Viral grumbled.
"Fine. Yuri, will you please tell me?"
Yuri moved to the other side of Nova, away from Blaze. "I could."
"Yuri!" Blaze quickly got to his feet, his hands still on the counter.
Nova also stood up, wagging a finger at him. "You leave him alone," She turned to Yuri. "Go ahead."
Blaze sat back down, covering his head with his hands. "Gonna kill you later..."
Yuri leaned over the counter to whisper in Nova's ear.
Her expression changed from confusion to mild surprise by the time he had finished.
She sat back down on the stool and took a long draunt of her drink. She then turned completely to face Blaze.
The Viral leaned away from her as much as he could without falling.
"Are you going to talk to me now?"
She grabbed his elbow. "Come on. We can talk at the house if you want to."
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Dammit, Yuri, I'm gonna kill you!"
"Blaze," Nova started with an undertone of anger. "Stop blaming Yuri."
"Fine." He got to his feet.
Without another word, he left the bar and made his way home. He could hear the clicking of Nova's heels as she tried to catch up to him.
Even though he did not want a confrontation with her, he slowed his pace, knowing she would be more angry with him if she had to chase him all the way back to the house.
When she caught up to him, she grabbed his hand. "Gotcha!"
"Only 'cause I let you."
"Why won't you talk to me?"
"I don't want to discuss what he told you, Nova."
"He wasn't even supposed to tell you."
"Well he did, but you should have first."
Blaze halted. "That was the point, I didn't want to."
"I don't understand why not. You know already how I feel..."
"I know, I know. But I can't..."
"Sure you could, it isn't that hard."
"It is for me."
"Let's go back home and talk it over. Will you carry me?"
Blaze rolled his eyes. "Fine." He scooped her up in his arms.
Nova rested her head against his chest. "Your heart is racing."
"You're just imagining it."
"I am not."
"Yeah huh. I don't have a heart."
Nova gasped. "What?!"
"It was a joke."
She breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, goodness. Don't do that to me!"
Blaze chuckled half-heartedly.
The walk to the house was otherwise quiet. Both human and Digimon were lost in their own thoughts.
When they arrived, Blaze set Nova down on the couch and settled himself at the far end.
Nova slipped her shoes off and moved closer to the Viral. "Now. I want to know your thoughts."
Blaze looked away, folding his arms across his chest.
Nova wrapped her arms about his neck, resting her chin on the fuzzy lining of his jacket collar. "I don't get it. Why would you tell Yuri but refuse to talk to me?"
Blaze remained silent.
She started toying with his spiked blonde hair. "I wish you would talk to me."
Blaze blew hard through his nose to show his discontent.
"Look at me, at least."
He rolled his eyes.
Nova pulled one of her arms back, placing her hand on his cheek and pushing his head towards her at the same time.
The Viral found himself staring into Nova's rather perplexing eyes, filled with sadness.
"If you really didn't mean what you told Yuri, just say so. I'll understand."
Blaze sighed heavily. "It isn't that I didn't mean what I told him. I find you more attractive than I feel I should. I just...dealing with Rena..."
"I won't treat you like she did."
"I can't trust that you won't.
"So you won't even give me a chance?"
"I..." He averted his gaze.
"I don't mean your girlfriend or such, Blaze. I don't think you would ever have me as that. I just figured...I could give you a different kind of experience than what she did."
Blaze closed his eyes. His face remained the same chalk-white it normally was. He felt too saddened to be embarrassed.
"Seeing you in this state, because of her, it just upsets me. I thought that...if you let me, maybe you would feel better."
"That's what Yuri thinks, too. Am I really in such a terrible state that two people figure I'll be better if I slept with someone?"
Nova stroked his cheek with her thumb. "I can't say it would really help. Maybe I'm just being selfish. Trying to come up with some excuse to get you in bed with me."
Blaze sighed. "I did figure that might be a reason."
"If it's any consolation, it isn't just because I sleep with anyone I come into contact with. I do really like you. You just happen to be extremely attractive to me."
"I don't see anything attractive."
"You're not supposed to, silly...it's you."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You'll never want to see what someone else thinks of you."
The Viral slipped his arms about her waist, pressing a hand against her back as he hugged her tightly to him. He rested the forehead of his helmet against the dip between her neck and shoulder.
She ran her fingers through his spiked hair. "I hope you don't think I'm stupid."
He pulled back, surveying her face. "Of course not, Nova. Do you really care about me, though? Not just that I'm male?"
"Blaze, you've been the kindest, most considerate person I've met, aside from Yuri. And even he doesn't quite understand me as you have. I've found that I...really care about you. I just want to see you happy."
"Being around you does make me happy. Something about knowing I have someone I can talk to and who listens. Who isn't off with her friends drinking or pretending and being with another guy-not saying you of course can't be out with one-that at least you're not lying about it."
"I wouldn't lie to you, Blaze. I would feel awful if I did."
Blaze was quiet for a few moments, evaluating his options. Once he had decided, he spoke, "It won't be pleasant with me, I suppose..."
She smiled warmly. "I'll make sure it will be."
He blushed slightly. "Just feel like I'll be a disappointment."
"Oh, Blaze," Nova giggled. "I'm sure you won't be as bad as some of the guys I've dealt with. Let me tell you, there are some that were just...I wasn't even sure what they were trying to do. Even if you're not quite sure what to do, I can teach you."
"C'mon!" She wiggled herself out of his grip and grabbed his arm.
He stood up as she pulled his arm. "Dammit..."
"Don't worry. I won't hurt you."
"I'm more worried about hurting you." he muttered.
Nova stopped in front of the bed. She turned to face Blaze, putting her arms behind her back.
She chuckled. "Have to get undressed. I would help but I'm not even sure what's what."
"Er...I didn't even undress in front of Rena."
Nova waved her hand dismissively. "I am not Rena. Let's just say this is part of your learning process. You have to get used to it."
"I'm going to see you naked, anyway." She grinned widely.
"This was not a good idea." he murmured.
"Sure it was!" She stepped up to him, picking up his wrist. She turned it over so that the arm-guard bands were visible. "Hm. Now, how do you get these off?"
"I ain't undressing in front of you, just the fact you'll be able to strip me in my sleep or somethin'."
Nova burst into a fit of giggles, covering her mouth with her hands.
Blaze placed his fists on his hips. "I'm right, aren't I?"
When she was finally able to control her fit, she looked up at the ceiling with a suppressed smile on her face, rocking back and forth on her heels. "Nooooo."
He drew a circle with his finger, indicating she turn around. "If you want anything to do with seeing me naked, you're gonna turn around, at least."
"Aww." Her face fell. She huffily turned around.
He shook his head, a bemused half-smile tugging at his lips. He commenced unstrapping his arm-guards. "No peeking."
He went red in the face when she pulled off her shirt. He quickly turned around so that his back was to her. "It isn't going to be any different than Rena. She has the same build as a female...then why does she make me so nervous?" he muttered to himself.
Pushing the feeling aside, he returned to undressing himself. Once completely undressed, he made sure that Nova was still not looking as he hid himself under the sheet.
Nova climbed in on the side she was facing, moving closer to the Viral.
Blaze felt his heart jump to his throat from the feeling of Nova's skin and the pressure on his hips as the young woman positioned herself on top of him so that she was sitting just below the bottom of his hip bones.
"You doing okay?"
"I..." He took a deep breath. "I think so." He shuddered as she skimmed her hands along his sides.
"Now, don't worry about anything. Just relax and enjoy yourself."
The Viral shut his eyes, trying to will himself to take her advice. A tremor ran up his body when he felt her lips against his sternum.
She nuzzled his stomach. “Try your best. If you don’t relax, it won’t be as enjoyable.”
“I don’t really know if I can do this. What I did with Rena-”
“Blaze, I’m not Rena.” Nova said in a slightly irritated tone.
“I know you’re not, Nova. But-”
“Shh.” She leaned up and placed a kiss on his throat.
A gurgled noise spilled from his lips and he wrapped his arms around her shoulders.
“Ow.” Nova murmured, rotating her shoulder.
“You hit a bruise.”
“It’s okay,” She smiled slyly. “I’ve rather wanted to know what it sounded like to hear you moan.”
“Eh?!” His eyes widened as he felt her lips close around his neck.
Blaze was completely taken aback by the sensation coursing through his body as Nova kissed every inch of his throat that she could reach. He could not remember ever feeling it before when he was with Rena. She had hurriedly finished with him the first time he finally allowed her to sleep with him and the second time was not any different.
A low moan bubbled up from his throat when Nova’s tongue made its way up from one side of his collarbone to the top of his throat.
“Do you like that?” She repeated the action on the other side, resulting in the same response.
He buried his claws in her hair, pressing her face against his neck. “Nova...” he purred as best as his gruff voice would allow.
“I think I’m ready.”
She shifted around and repositioned herself atop the Viral.
He expelled a pleasurable sigh when she applied weight to his hips with her own.
The feeling of ecstasy grew the longer he was subjected to Nova’s body.
The session lasted for nearly an hour before Nova tired and the pair took to slumbering.