The group of men were standing in the hallway waiting for the conference room to be opened. They knew they had a new mission and they were ready for it. This new post had all the comforts of home but a bunch of downtime. The group had been together now for close to ten years and had been to three major posts and two outstations. The main group of the ten of them had remained the core for their unit. Others had come and gone over the years, but the main ten had stayed and continued in their various roles.
They all stood there and waited as the three-person team moved closer to give their updated briefing. As the door was opened and everyone filed in they all started to get comfortable as the team of men looked up to the three standing.
“Sorry guys we have to wait for one more person.”, their commander said as he looked at the door impatiently.
“Who is late.”, Hideyoshi said. The group wondered who would be late to a meeting where for all they knew time was of the essence.
“I hate the highway system here.”, The heard a female voice say as they all looked up to see the one person they never thought they would work with again.
“Heya Doc.,” Masamune said.
“Hello, Date.”, She replied. She smiled at the rest of them as she settled into her chair and waited for the rest of them to begin. Mitsuhide looked at her and thought of the first time he and the rest of them had laid eyes on her. She was nothing but a starry-eyed little girl then. She had long blonde hair that was stick straight and often was tangled around grass or had dirt in it from her laying on the ground. She was so young looking then. She had looked like a child, and after the test and she had gone further than anyone had thought she would, things at the camp had changed, but she really hadn’t. Mitsuhide had taken the role of a friend and somewhat like an older brother. He knew he had to look out for her because she was still so young. That was the way he looked at her. That was the way he still tried to look at her. However, that was not so easy to do.
She had changed after she had been sent back after the outbreak. She had been there to find the origin of the virus. However she had found herself right in the middle of the outbreak of a lifetime. She had managed to keep their area clear and free from the virus, but that had been because of the trust she had built up with the local village and the elders of few others as well. She had grown that year and knew she could do the job she had begun. The project itself had run its course, and though they had not found the origin, in the end, she had provided a stepping stone of all the things it could not come from. She had done what she had set out to do, sort of. In the five years, she had managed to stay in touch with him though they couldn’t see each other often he did call when he could. When they came back to the states, she was there waiting for all of them even though it had been a few years.
She never forgot the thing they all had done for her that first Christmas in having their own families send her something so she would get a box as well. Mitsuhide had been the driving force behind that. He didn’t want her to ever feel that lonely again.
He had been surprised by the change in her when he finally did recognize her while standing there with a welcome home sign. He had shared that his parents had passed away while he was overseas, and she made sure someone was there to welcome him home. He had to look her over, again and again, to believe this was the same little girl he had thought of as his little sister. She wasn’t a little girl anymore, and he saw the fleeting glances from almost everyone else there getting off the plane. He definitely noticed at the bar where almost all the single guys went when they arrived back home. He was spending more time glaring at the other men then he was at listening to her.
“Is everything okay?”, she had asked.
“Yeah, it is the transformation Princess.”, he had replied.
“Transformation?” she asked.
“You are not the little girl from the camp anymore.”, he had stated, and she laughed.
“Yeah just because I ate some more and gained a little weight and got boobs that changed me, right?”, She had laughed. He always loved her way of going straight to the point.
“Well, it does change things.”, he said. “Everyone stares now.”
“They don’t matter.”, She had laughed the concern away and was still focused on the conversation. He had to agree they didn’t matter, but he couldn’t help the feeling in the pit of his stomach that he was also affected by her and this new change in her. She would still see herself as the little girl she was while he couldn’t help but see the woman she was now.
He still had that problem. Every time she was around him. She stirred his blood in an unholy way. It was almost too much for him to deal with, but he swallowed it done, and every Friday night the two still met for dinner and just to talk. Neither of them dated much and it never got past the first date with her if she did go out. So the standing arrangement between the two was a good way for them to get out. She always smiled which was more important to him than the pain he felt that she caused. The growing need for her had all but consumed him, but he would never let her see it. She had never thought of him as anything but an older brother or friend.
She smiled at the group and stood when it was her turn to speak. He forgot to listen as his mouth watered at the uniform she was wearing. It has been said that the militaries uniform is not flattering to the female form; however, the mold was broken with her. She had the curves now that she was slightly older to make any head turn. His had been for years. Luckily the guys in the room also thought of her as a friend and colleague, so she was safe from their depraved minds as to how delectable she really looked.
When she was done, she returned to her seat and met eyes with him. So they would be working together again on this mission. Maybe if he saw her in the field again, he could go back to thinking of the girl she once was. He hoped he could do that. He wanted nothing more than to just be her friend. Her best friend she had said. He smiled back as their eyes met.
She hated the idea. She wanted nothing to do with this mission and didn’t want this team of all of them to work it. She had tried to fight it but she couldn’t, and the brass had said she had to work it with them. She knew he would be on the team. She just wanted to be a friend to him, not his coworker again. They had grown as people since she first started out what seemed so long ago. She had enjoyed that they had remained friends and could just hang out and talk. He seemed to never want to impose, but she also knew if she ever needed anyone he would be the first on her doorstep. He was her best friend. He had helped her through the aftermath of the outbreak which she had never thought she would be able to see the world upright again.
When they had been moved, and she had been sent home, she was hurt. It felt like her heart had been ripped out of her chest. She never could explain why it had felt that way like being split in two. She had focused on work and had continued what she had needed to do. She rose to the star in the field that CJ had once thought she could be. His faith in her and with Mitsuhide’s friendship she had grown into the person she always had wanted to be.
When Mitsuhide and the rest of them had come back from overseas, she knew he was going to have no one there waiting for him. She had taken a few days off and drive out to the base he was coming into. He got off the plane, and her heart felt like it was going to fly right out of her chest. It had been a few years since the two had been in the same room, but it felt like yesterday for her. He had to do a triple take when he saw her, and she got lost in his eyes as he picked her up and hugged her. She had missed him so much she nearly cried.
When they were stationed at sister bases, they had made the deal to go out every Friday as she had no desire to date. He didn’t seem that interested either, and it was a good way for the two not to lose touch. She smiled every time someone labeled them as together or married, though he seemed to flinch almost every time as well. She was just happy thinking about Friday as the time to see him again. They talked on the phone a couple times a week as well. That was mostly him or her spouting off about one of their coworkers. She always felt better after they talked. She also knew that she loved him, not as she should as a friend but much more than that. She wasn’t dumb nor was she willing to ignore it. She knew it, and she settled for what she thought she could have. He was her friend. That was all he wanted to be.
“Not happy, Princess?”, he asked as he walked up behind her.
“Not really. How did you know?”, she asked.
“I can read you, remember.”, he said as he helped her put on her coat.
“Yeah, I forgot about that.”, she said with a sigh, “To you, I am an open book.”
“You are that for everyone, my dear.”, he said as they walked out of the room. “You want to talk?”
“Not here, not now. I will call you when I get home.”, She said as she started down the hallway. He stood there looking after her the burning desire still in his eyes that he knew only she could quench.
In the room, the two had just left. “It has been eight years!”, Masamune had said.
“She certainly had grown up since then.”, Shingen said.
“Keep it up, and I will take off your head.”, Kenshin replied.
“Screw that, he will.”, Ieyasu said as he motioned to the window where Mitsuhide was still standing.
“I can not believe those two still haven’t hooked up yet.”, Hideyoshi said to himself.
“He still thinks of her as his sister.”, Sasuke said.
“I do not think that he thinks of her as his sister any longer, nor does she realize that he loves her as much as she does him.”, Nobunaga stated.
“Even I can see that.”, Mitsunari joked.
“Maybe they just need a push.”, Yukimura said.
“They do!”, multiple voices said.
“Out a window.”, Ieyasu finished his thought aloud.
“Into bed.”, Masamune did as well.
“I was thinking into each other’s arms.”, Nobunaga stated. “We have to do this, so he doesn’t catch on. So we do it like this.”