He had let her statement drop, and he had tried to process her words for the face value they were. He began to see the reality of the woman in front of him. the reasons she was the way she was. He was awestruck at the true reality of her. They had continued like she had not dropped a bombshell on the table and didn’t really want to talk about it. He could also not understand the overpowering rage he felt as well. He hardly knew her, but he wanted to exact a horrible and painful revenge on the man who had hurt her before he even knew her.
“How old are you?“, he asked later in the silence in the room.
“Why does it matter?“, she asked as she looked up. She was now wearing her glasses which she had dug through her bag to find. They framed her face and made her eyes shine through.
“Curious.“, he replied.
“It isn’t like age really matters.“, she stated as she looked down back at the papers.
“You are my wife.“, he said softly, “I would like to at least know how old you are if nothing else.”
“I am twenty-five.“, she said without looking up.
“Really?“, he asked.
“Really.“, she said as she looked up at him.
“You were only twenty when we met?“, he asked shocked she was so much younger than he was. Seven years though it seemed like a lifetime in some ways.
“I was.“, she replied.
“But you were a doctor then.“, he said as he was trying to understand her.
“At that point, everyone jumped the gun and called me doc.,” she said. “I was still in medical school then though I did graduate shortly after.”
“Oh.“, he said as he filed that piece of information away.
“Why do you care Akechi?“, she asked.
“I just want to know more about you. The day is done, and we should pack it in for the night.“, he replied.
“You’re right. We both have a lot to do before we have to leave.“, she said making no move to get up.
“So my place or yours?“, he asked.
“What?“, she asked.
“My place or yours?“, he asked again. “We are married. Regardless of anything else do you think I would leave my wife alone the day we got married?”
“We aren’t really married Mitsuhide.“, she stated blankly at him.
“We are, Princess. For better or worse we are.“, he said in a tone that should have snapped her back to the here and now but instead seemed to have the opposite effect on her. She almost seemed smaller, timid to a point. That was not the same woman he knew. “Sweetheart, you do know I would never hurt you, right?”
“No, I don’t know that.“, she said softly.
“I will never hurt you that much I can promise.“, he said as he rounded the table. “I get it, my love. That is the reason you are still single. You haven’t found someone you can trust.”
“Are you profiling me?“, she asked with a harshness in her voice that he knew he had hit the nail on the head on the first try.
“No.,” he replied. “It is just a simple observation. You have nothing to fear from me.”
“Mitsuhide don’t okay.“, she said. She stood up, and he was sitting on the table next to her. They were eye to eye right then. “It is not like we are really married. You don’t have to try to be something more than my partner for this mission. We don’t have to be friends. We don’t have to be anything but partners for this mission okay?”
“If you say so.“, he replied knowing that he had a uphill battle to try to get close to her. She made a move to the door and then walked out of it. He was left in the room alone and pondering what just happened. He knew that rage he had felt earlier came back, and he wanted nothing more than to rip that other man into pieces for hurting her that badly. He now knew why she didn’t speak much. He knew why she was single still. He knew above all else he wanted to make her feel better and that last one was enough to make him think twice about everything he thought he knew about her. This was not going to be a simple mission.
He watched her go to her car as he followed her out of the building. Everything about her screamed practicality, but he knew there was something under all that. She drove off into the night, and he knew he wanted to find it and let it free. He also knew spending his wedding night alone regardless if it was fake or not was not the way he wanted to pass the dull evening. He was at a loss for words on what exactly he was itching for, but it was right there in a blue SUV driving away. He turned and walked into the building as he saw the commander for the first time in a few hours.
“Akechi, Good I was wondering how late you both would be working today.“, the commander stated. “We started the upload of the new profiles for you both, and we also set up the payments for your stuff for the both of you. We will be ready to send you both off in two days from today.”
“So we have one more day here?“, Mitsuhide asked.
“Yes.“, the commander stated. “Your team is still on mission, so I will pass on your new assignment when they arrive back. Doc should be informed of this asap as well.”
“Do you have my lovely wife’s information? I will be happy to pass it on to her tonight before I head home.“, Mitsuhide said as he made a plan for the night in his head and would not allow the commander to know his intentions.
“Are you sure you don’t mind?“, the commander asked, “We can have someone give her a call.”
“I am married to her.“, Mitsuhide said with a smirk.
“You are playing the role well.“, the commander chuckled.
“Who knows the title may fit, one day.“, Mitsuhide replied, and the commander laughed.
“Yes, it might.“, the commander said as he handed Mitsuhide a piece of paper with her address and phone number on it. “Be careful though you never know with whom that title may fit too.”
“I can only see it fitting one person, sir. Now if you excuse me, I have to surprise my wife.“, he said as he grabbed his bag and headed to his car. He now had a plan ready to surprise the woman who was nothing but surprises for him. He had no idea why he wanted to try so hard. He always did like a challenge, but the idea of this one almost scared him. What exactly was he looking for with her?
An hour later he stood outside the door to the small house on a quiet street. He had a bag in one hand and a parcel in the other as he waited for her to answer the door. It had begun to mist outside, and he was looking forward to getting out of the damp for a minute before she kicked him out. She came to the door in a towel. Her hair was down, and he was surprised at the length of it. She always had it up.
“How?“, she said when she looked at him.
“I have a message from the commander. Can I come in?“, he asked. She looked at him like he had grown three heads right there on the spot. She must be thinking of something, and then it clicked in her that it was raining now. She opened the door wider for him to walk in. She then realized she was in a towel and flushed as she looked at him and motioned for him to go into the main room.
“Be back in a sec.,” she said as she walked out of the room and then returned a few minutes later now clad in sweats and a comfortable looking sweatshirt. She looked at him and the bags he had.
“Dinner.“, he said as he lifted one of the bags.
“Mitsuhide.“, she started.
“Look you have to eat, I have to eat. We might as well get used to each other despite our differences.“, he said as he cut her off. “Our mission starts the day after tomorrow, so we need a crash course in each other regardless.”
“The day after tomorrow?“, she asked.
“That is the message I have for you.“, he said.
“So soon?“, she asked.
“I thought it was soon too, but it looks like that is when they plan for us to go.“, he replied.
“Then I guess you are right.“, she sighed.
“I normally am.“, he said with a grin.
“Don’t get too smug there Mitsuhide.“, she said with her own smile.
“Me, never.“, he said as he followed her to get some plates for the food he brought. “I also got you these.” He said holding out the other parcel to her.
She looked at it and smiled softly. “Thank you. You really shouldn’t have.” She took the bundle of fresh flowers from him and reached up to the shelf above her head and got a vase down for them. She filled the water and then placed them in it.
“You should have flowers on your wedding day. No matter if it was just for work or not. Look princess I don’t know how this is going to work if we both have our walls up against each other. So I am going to drop mine down, at least for now. We have to think of the mission more than the false nature of this, and the only way we can do that is if we both agree we at least have to try to look the part of a married couple.“, he said.
“I was thinking the same thing. I know you want to try, and that was this was about, but it isn’t that easy for me. I want to try. I want to make this mission work, Mitsuhide but as you now know, I have some issues with relationships in general.“, she replied.
“I would love to say wipe it from your memory and focus on me, but I understand you can’t do that.“, he said softly, “How about we do try if something bothers you or it is too much than just tell me. We will adjust, together.”
“I think that could work.“, she said as she handed him a fork. “Thank you for the flowers and the thought behind them. I didn’t have any the first time either.”
“Can I ask about him?“, he asked.
“I would rather you not, but I guess you do have the right to know.“, she said. “I was eighteen and lonely. The place I grew up didn’t hold my interest, and I was already one foot out the door. When I met him online. He seemed like everything I wanted at the time which wasn’t all that much, to be honest. The more we talked, the more I thought I was in love. The less I even felt like myself but someone else. I left and went to see him as he was across the country. I didn’t come back. He had me so twisted in myself that I thought I was nothing. We got married within the first week, with him telling me I couldn’t do better than him. somehow I believed it. I knew he was telling me something that wasn’t true, but I still believed every word. A few weeks later the first time he hit me came. I knew I should leave, but everything he did seemed so sincere with his apology. I really thought it was my fault. Then the second time and the third. The last time I was on the phone with my co-worker from the base. He started hitting before I knew it and I never saw it coming either. The doctors said at the time they thought it was at least twenty two blows to the head and torso at full speed with a bat. After the three weeks of the medically induced coma, they suspected it was more just overlapping. The injuries were extensive, and sometimes they still bother me slightly.”
“Where is he now?“, Mitsuhide asked, and she looked up into his normally cool light golden eyes, but this time there was something burning in them. His voice was low and soft. She knew that was for her.
“He got off on a technicality.“, she said. “I don’t know exactly where he is now.”
“What?“, he asked, and the light in his eyes flickered with something unknown to her.
“It wasn’t fair but something happened, and they lost some of the original evidence.“, she said.
“Has he come near you since?” Mitsuhide asked.
“Does it matter?“, she asked.
“So he has.“, Mitsuhide replied.
“Not in the way you are thinking. He has cyber-stalked me since then. He has never really showed his face around here though.“, she replied.
“I think I want to kill him.“, Mitsuhide murmured under his breath.
“What?“, she asked.
“Nothing, my love.“, he said as he looked into her eyes. “I get it now.”
“Get what now?“, she asked.
“Why you dismiss every man who asks you out.“, he simply said.