They probably think he's asleep. He won't wake up and interrupt them. This is relevant, he tells himself, and besides it would be a worse intrusion to excuse himself than to stay quiet. If they don't know he's there, he isn't. "It's sweet of you, really," Sakura is saying. Quietly, so as not to wake him up.
Emishi giggles - not chuckles, giggles, and only Emishi could get away with that - and there's a ruffled noise. "The least I could do for the most beautiful woman in Mugenjou," he says. "And besides, you never know. Someday perhaps you'll discover you're not immune to my charm! Most people are," he adds hopelessly, "but maybe you're not."
An uncomfortable moment of silence. "You do know I'm spoken for, right?" Sakura offers, with the air of one prodding at a bruise to see if it hurts.
" ... no. No, I didn't. So who's the lucky man?"
Makubex wonders if Emishi is being deliberately obtuse, or if he truly did not suspect. Emishi had given the impression of being nearly as good as Makubex himself at reading people. For him not to have noticed - not that there had been much outward sign, but still - is unusual to the point of absurdity. He's playing it up. He must be.
"Makubex, of course," says Sakura, and by her voice she is as confused as he. "I thought you knew that."
"Ah, Sakura-chan, how could I suspect? You havn't exactly been shouting it from the rooftops. And the way you act around him is the exact same way you've acted since you were - hold on. How long has this been going on?" Makubex blushes and pulls up the blanket to hide it; he knows what the continuation of that sentence would have been.
Emishi has a pecuiliar gift of missing what's right beneath his nose at times; perhaps this is only an example of that. He knows them too well. And they acted like lovers, at times, the subtle things - he would rest his head on her shoulder, or run a hand through her hair, absently, as he used the other to type or gesture, or she would sit slightly too close and from time to time put her hand on his knee - but they had done that for years. They had done it since the days of the Volts, when sometimes he would work quietly on his laptop and she would sit beside him and watch him work, and eventually he would fall asleep in her lap. The amazing thing is that Emishi had not assumed it before.
Sakura bows her head. "Half a year," she says. Makubex almost winces at that. Emishi is capable of subtraction as well as anyone. Seven months ago now was IL. It sickens him to remember it. It is no wonder that it was shortly afterward Sakura took what had long been hers for the asking.
Emishi's silent for a while, and when he begins to speak again, his voice is almost serious. "You know, that's good. It'll be good for him, if you're ... He smiles more when you're around, you know that?" Makubex didn't, and he resolves to stop; it's foolish to display such a weakness.
Sakura's answer is even, calm, as always. "I know. I try to keep him happy. But it's difficult."
"Feh." Emishi is back to his casual irreverence again, the voice that makes terrible puns at innapropriate moments and never lets an opportunity go by to make someone laugh. "The two of you are exactly alike. He runs himself ragged trying to take care of everyone, you run yourself ragged trying to make sure he takes care of himself, and then picking up the slack when he collapses from overwork." Slander, utter slander. Makubex has never once collapsed from overwork - he's never collapsed where Emishi could have seen it anyway - he cathces himself; this is exactly the sort of reaction that remark was meant as bait too, and only his feigned slumber has saved him from a confrontation. Weak, undisciplined, far too thoughtless.
The first time he collapsed was alone, in front of his computers two years ago; he had suddenly found himself going numb and landed on the floor, fallen over for no reason he could name, without the will to rise again. He stayed there for most of an hour, screaming silently at himself to rise, watching his computers waiting for the next piece of input, yet somehow he had not been able too, and finally the dull flashes behind his eyes had merged into steady blackness and he had shook himself and risen, only to find that he had forgotten the last five minutes of his life. Only five minutes, but still it disturbed him intensely.
Sakura's soft laughter floats out across the room, and Makubex can bear it no longer and stirs, deliberately loud, dragging his boot across the floor. Even as he does it he curses himself for jealousy. Why shouldn't they have a few moments together, if they wish it? But the warmth between them only makes him feel colder. He sits up, rubbing at his eyes. "Oh, Emishi," he says in feigned suprise, doing his best to seem like a sleepy child.
Emishi, bless him, takes the bait. "Oh, I'm sorry," he declares instantly, "did we wake you up? I was just bringing this by for Sakura!" And beaming, he holds out a bracelet. It's really quite pretty, all blue and silver and where Emishi got it Makubex has no idea, although it's obviously handmade.
Impractical. It would get in the way of her typing.
"It's lovely," he says, and tries to sound like a joyful son instead of a jealous lover. She deserves better. She deserves someone who can see all the beauty she is made of, not only the aspects that are useful to him. "Go on, put it on."