“I… I don’t want to know…” your voice choked out, throat burning as your voice box refused to get the rest of the words out. “I don’t want to know, so that I don’t have to acknowledge how I feel in return,” your brain screamed.
Iida looked hurt and you could clearly see that. You didn’t want to hurt him it, truly, it’s just that it was just becoming increasingly difficult to open your heart to people.
Truth be told, you liked how everything was between you and Iida and you didn’t want to ruin it with trying to further a relationship that may or may not work out in the future.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered regretfully, “it was a selfish act.”
“No it wasn’t, I’m just pathetic.” You thought, tears springing up in your eyes as your brain yelled untruths at you.
You shook your head and tried to speak but no words came out and then suddenly you were running.
The further you got from him the worse you felt, you knew he genuinely liked you and you knew he would never do anything to hurt you because all he had ever done was protect you and be there for you.
“You’re stupid.” You yelled internally at yourself as you ran, “stupid, stupid girl, no one will ever love you. No one wants you now. You’ve lost your chance with Iida and he was the only one who was willing to give your pathetic ass a chance.”
Blinded by tears you ran towards the doors and entered the back of the still packed hall, quickly ducking through the crowd with your head down until you ran head first into someone.
“Sorry, I need to get through,” you mumbled in a monotone voice, keeping your head down as you waited for them to move out of the way- but they didn’t.
Suddenly the person took your hand and started moving you quickly through the crowd towards a back staircase that would take you upstairs.
You sniffed and looked up to see who it was and weren’t surprised when you saw it was Tensei.
“You again,” you mumbled morosely, “why are you always around?”
“I’m an Iida, we just magically appear when most needed,” he replied with a kind yet slightly cheeky expression on his face.
Saying no more, he led you upstairs and back to your room, kindly opening your door for you before gesturing for you to enter.
“There you go, you’re free to hide in here,” he said with a smile, “although I can’t deny that Tenya might come looking for you…”
“He’s so fucking persistent,” you snapped, half annoyed, half secretly elated that someone would pursue you so hard.
“That’s Tenya,” Tensei laughed, “he’s always been a little obsessive and once he has made his mind up about something he becomes single-mindedly focused on it.”
“Well you’re not wrong there,” you replied with an eyeroll.
“But, having said that, he is a dedicated and loving person, and I know for a fact that he would do anything to make sure someone in his care is safe and happy.”
You started to well up with tears again and covered your mouth and nose with one hand to try and stop your emotions from showing but it was no use.
“Heyyy~,” Tensei hummed softly, “don’t cry…”
“Why me? Why me though? Why? WHY? I don’t deserve any of his attention, he’s been so good to me and done everything he can for me and all I’ve ever done is push him away,” you wailed.
“Sometimes we can’t choose who we fall in love with,” Tensei said softly, “I know you’ve had a really tough time over the past, well… decades, probably… but I can vouch that Tenya is different to anyone you’ve ever met and if you do like him back, you need not be afraid to let him know.”
You cried harder, some of the tears being from relief that Iida still might try and let you know that he still liked you (as deep down you had feared that that was the end of him trying to confess to you).
“Sorry,” you cried, “sorry, I’m crying everywhere.”
“Don’t apologize,” Tensei replied unfazed, “it’s fine. You go and rest now.”
You nodded and wiped your nose, sniffing loudly as you stepped back from the door and held onto it.
Tensei smiled as he stepped away, turning and heading back down the hall and towards where the celebrations were still happening.
He had only just gotten back downstairs when he saw a very stern looking Iida making his way around the crowded room.
The brothers made eye contact and Tenya walked over.
“Brother, have you seen—.”
“Yes. But please just give her a moment to collect herself, she’s a little overwhelmed,” Tensei replied.
Tenya looked crestfallen and looked down at the floor dejectedly.
“Brother, I don’t know how to tell her without overwhelming her,” he said sadly, “I am not giving up. But this is more difficult that I realized it would be.”
“Women can be like that,” Tensei replied with a smirk, “it’s the ones that make you chase them that are the good ones, she’s a good one.”
“I am aware that she is- as you say, ‘a good one’ but that does not make it any easier to get my message across.” Iida said sadly.
“Have you written her a letter? A confession letter?” Tensei asked.
“Yes, of course? One must always prepare drafts and edit accordingly?” Iida replied with surprise, “this is no time for unrehearsed script!”
Tensei chuckled and shook his head knowingly, “I knew you’d say something like that. Well why not go with the old school approach of writing the letter and placing it in her locker at school. That gives her time to read it over and deliberate on your words before replying.”
“You are a genius!” Iida exclaimed happily, “this is a brilliant idea, thank you ever so much!”
“It’s no trouble, little brother,” Tensei replied with a smile, “may I also suggest allowing Y/N to have this night to think. Don’t go knocking on her door. You have chased her enough, it’s time to step back a little to let her breathe.”
“I will accept your suggestion, seeing as you have already given me much direction tonight,” Iida replied gratefully.
“Ok, good. After the dinner is finished, go and write up the final of that confession letter.” Tensei said as he grabbed another flute of champagne as it passed.
“Brother, how many glasses of champagne have you had this eve?” Iida asked suspiciously.
“Am I one to keep record?” Tensei replied with a smirk as he downed it in one go.