Content warnings: Gets a little suggestive at the end, otherwise none.
Notes: Written for Jashi Week: Anniversary.
"Hey, about that other night…"
A chill of embarrassment fluttered up Jack's spine. She could only mean that night. He reluctantly looked up to meet her gaze, hoping that the nervousness on his face wasn't too apparent to dissuade her from finishing her inquiry. It was about time they had a talk about that night anyway. Fortunately, Ashi was never one to be dissuaded from expressing whatever was on her mind; the calm defiance shown through her face and body after seeing Jack's eyes said as much.
"You've…uh, been alive a long time," continued Ashi. "That wasn't your first kiss, was it?"
Jack brought a hand up to the back of his neck, rubbing it sheepishly.
"I uh….my first kiss on the lips, yes," he answered.
Ashi's eyes widened, then she burst into a fit of laughter. It took Jack aback; he hadn't seen her laugh with such a gusto since they had been engulfed by that creature. It figures she would continue to take amusement in my pain! he thought with a childish pout.
"Seriously?" Ashi said, her laughter having subsided in place of a mischievous smirk. "The mighty, unbeatable samurai, wanted by countless bounty hunters, the bane of Aku's existence…has not ever been kissed before?"
"D-does it truly matter?" Jack huffed, pulling his sword closer towards him. "I'm on a quest, I've no time for romantic endeavors…"
"Romance, no, you told me as much. But I'm sure there had been time to fit a moment of intimacy in between your busy schedule."
"No! Truly, no…" He glanced to the side, cheeks slightly flushed. "Well…I suppose there had been one time…"
Ashi smiled, nodding in interest for him to continue.
"It was another time before Aku…" Jack began in a low, melancholic tone. "I had been chasing a grasshopper through the grain fields. I ran into a girl along the way and we chased it together before it flew away and escaped. I crafted a grasshopper out of paper for her in its place and…"
He gingerly brought a hand to his cheek, leaning in against its touch and closing his eyes as he savored the memory.
"…she kissed me. Right here."
"That sounds like it was a nice memory," Ashi said softly.
"It was, very much."
Silence, save for the crackle of the firewood, hung between them for a moment. Then Ashi broke it once more.
"Would…you like to experience that memory again?"
Jack shifted about in his seat, clearing his throat to formulate a clear response.
"I…would like that, yes."
Ashi stood up, dusting off her shirt before walking to where Jack was seated. He brought the hand his cheek was seated in down, trying not to tense up too much. Ashi she bent down, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear before pressing her lips against his cheek.
Jack closed his eyes to take in the sensation--he could still remember that quick, gentle peck on the cheek the girl from his childhood had left him. He was not reliving that memory, however. Ashi's kiss was different; hers was firmer, her lips less soft and lightly chapped, but no less tender against his skin. A rush of warmth flooded through his body, and he couldn't help but smile affectionately. This was a lovely new memory being formed.
"Thank you," said Jack, bringing a hand up to caress his cheek once more.
"Now," Ashi said, standing in front of Jack with her hands on her hips, "Ask me about my first kiss."
"I experienced a kiss before that one we had."
It was Jack's turn for his eyes to widen, this time in response to experience rather than lack thereof.
"Wh…what was your first kiss, Ashi?"
"My first kiss was right…" She trailed a hand down to her calf. "…here. When you sucked the poison out of me."
She sat down, stretching out her bare legs at him. Jack gulped down.
"W…would you like to experience that memory again?"
Ashi narrowed her eyes and grinned.
"I would like that very much."