“I will wait forever for you,” he said honestly, letting go of your hand then placing it gently on your cheek.
You wanted to go mushy, you really did. Your whole being was melting internally before him but you stayed strong… except for your softly closing eyes and the slight head tilt into the palm of his hand… yeah ok…. so you gave yourself away… big deal.
“Would you care for a walk in the garden then return for a delayed dessert?” Iida asked you.
You just nodded, feeling lonely when he removed his hand from your face.
Iida stood and you did too, leaving the dining room side by side but not holding hands as you made your way out to the garden.
“Are you cold, Y/N?” Iida asked gently when he saw you rub your arms with your hands.
“Nah, I’m fine, all my blood has rushed to my stomach… that’s all.”
“Here,” he said, tugging on the jumper he had tied around his waist and gently placing it around your shoulders, “this should keep you warm while you blood is otherwise occupied.”
You snorted softly with amusement and let him put it on you then grabbed the sleeves and wrapped them around you.
“Thanks,” you said softly.
You both walked in silence, heading down to the back of the garden to where there was a high wall on which you could sit and overlook the forest and bright lights of the city beyond.
“Are you happy with the current living arrangements?” Iida asked as he sat down beside you on the wall ledge.
“Uh. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about…” you said hesitantly, “it’s not that I don’t like living here but I kinda just want my own space, you know? I’m really not cut out for this high quality lifestyle.”
“Understandable,” he replied with a nod, “well you have plenty of funds to find yourself a suitable place. If I could be of benefit, I can have our real estate agent find you somewhere?”
“What funds?” you asked with a laugh, “I have like… $20 in my bank account, and even then it’s in my mum’s name. So that means I have zero dollars now.”
Iida looked at you confused, then realized that you hadn’t been there when the court verdict had been announced that night at the celebratory dinner.
“Y/N, you have over $200,000 waiting for you in a settlement account,” he said bluntly.
“WHAT?” you screeched, “are you putting money into an account for me?!”
“No, no, from the court case. We won. You now have $200,000 as compensation for what happened- although it can never really compensate for—,”
Your sudden hug cut him off and he stared down at the top of your head before smiling softly and wrapping his good arm around you.
“You are welcome, Y/N, I wouldn’t do it over again because instead I would have wanted to save you before any of this happened. But I am happy the outcome is that your life is now much improved.”
You were still wrapped up in your own head and just continued to hug him, not yet ready to speak.
The soft breeze swirled around you both as you sat in silence, the awkwardness from earlier all but gone.
“I don’t even know where to start with the thank you’s,” you replied as you sat back and let go of him.
“There is no need for thank you. I saw that I could help, so I did. This is basic human decency.”
“Dude. You literally became my lawyer to get shiiiiiiiiggy-digs sorted. That’s not basic human decency, that’s going next level,” you deadpanned.
“But I used the resources I had, to help. The gesture in and of itself is basic kindness.”
“Well, I’m just grateful,” you half mumbled, looking down and glancing across at his hand before taking it in yours.
He nodded then looked out at the lights.
“So what will your next action be?” he asked.
“Get a place, I guess?” you replied with a shrug.
Silence fell again and suddenly you remembered to tell him about your past and why you were the way you were.
“I’m sorry. It’s not that I don’t want to open up to you or be close to you or whatever, it’s just every time I’ve let someone in they’ve hurt me and I find it hard to trust people. Like, I know you’re different from the rest but it just might take me a while to come around, y’know? I know I look like I have a hard exterior but I’m super soft on the inside and I might need reassuring from time to time so please don’t think that I want to break up or anything; oh my god I’m rambling now; you didn’t need any of that, I’m so sorry. I’m still going. Stop Y/N. FUCK.”
As you had started talking, Iida had looked across at you and the more you rambled the softer the look in his eye became until you had finished talking and he was just gazing at you tenderly.
“There is no need for an explanation. I am very much aware of what you went though. I oversaw your court case remember?”
“How much did they tell you?” you croaked out, suddenly getting a little emotional after your outburst.
“More than you would have liked for them to have divulged but upon hearing it, it has made me swear to protect you for the rest of our lives.”
You felt at peace inside, there was just something about Iida’s earnest manner that put you at ease.
“I’d say thank you again but I feel like I’ve already used up my thank you’s,” you said with a sheepish smile.
Iida just nodded with a small smile again, squeezing your hand gently.
“Will you help me look for a new place?” you asked him softly.
“Yes of course, Y/N,” he replied, “it would be an honour.”
You scooted closer to his side and your shoulder touched his, wanting to be a little closer to him now.
“May I put my arm around you, Y/N?” Iida asked with gentle hesitation.
“Yeah,” you said softly, a warmth washing over you as he wrapped his good arm around behind your back, “how’s your arm doing?” you asked, pointing to his other arm, still in the sling.
“It is doing well. I still have a lot of rehabilitation to do but it is making fine progress.”
“Ok good,” you said quietly.