A Game of Alter Egos

A Game of Alter Egos

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A one-on-one roleplay between Monochrome and Jakuri-chan.

820 readers have visited A Game of Alter Egos since Jakuri-chan created it.
Monochrome are listed as curators, giving them final say over any conflict & the ability to clean up mistakes.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://www.roleplaygateway.com/roleplay/the-alter-egos/

Introduction

NOTICE: The original version of this, ‘The Alter Egos’ was entirely the brainchild of Monochrome.

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Some people have another personality, if you like. It really comes in handy when you can't be shy, or reckless or hot-headed. Maybe you need to be optimistic, or organised or calm. It comes around without you even trying, and it may not exactly help in the situation, but it could. It really could. A bullied child could finally stand up for themselves. A jobless person could finally get a job in that restaurant round the corner. That assassin could finally turn his life around.

And here's where the story starts.

Four people are living their lives normally, as they do every day. They all live in the same apartment block. They all have another personality. They realise later on that this isn't a coincidence. Then, all of a sudden, four of the other apartments are filled. The new tenants are strange, familiar. Then, after a bit of working out and building friendships, the original tenants work it out. They are their other personalities. Their Alter Egos.

Reasons

It's been like this for millenniums. The originals had another personality, and when they died, that personality was born in to a person. A person with the original's personality. It's like living with another person inside. Today, the Gods decided to have a little fun.

Details

So the first four live in an apartment block. They have all talked to each other and some of them are friends with each other. Then, four of the seven empty apartments are filled. The Alter Ego doesn't have to look like the original. They can even be another gender. The Alter Egos know all this, but have been banned from telling anyone.

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

Taking place in...

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa

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[Evande & Kiku]


It was late in the afternoon . . . evening was fast approaching as the air grew colder, as expected of near-winter weather. The sun was already beginning to sink down in the far off skies, painting the town a somber sort of orange, the skies shown a deep hue of blue spanning through the spectrum toward a sort of glowing pink and red. A frost was beginning to form upon the city too, and any soul caught outside now would find themselves breathing out a soft white mist whenever they exhaled. Winter would indeed be touching down upon the city soon; snow could be expected any day now. In all truth, the day seemed as ordinary as any other might—there seemed to be nothing notable about it in the least, and in all honesty, that was the way she preferred things.

Expectant, simple, plain—ordinary. Her life, that’s all she wanted from it, a simple and uneventful existence.

The day had indeed been the same as any other for her; she’d worked again, doing her job as a cashier, ringing up people’s merchandise, their food and such, eight hours of the same thing. And as she could always expect, she’d been confronted again by one of her male co-workers who’d once more tried to talk her into going out with him on a date and . . . more. At least the onslaught had remained verbal today . . . and hadn’t been physical. It was always hard to turn them down, to tell them no without stuttering, and that just made it worse if it did happen. They’d begin to insist, eventually they’d try to demand it. . . . It’d come down to them trying to use physical force as a means of making her agree to them more than once before. Of course, it had never worked. . . .

Though she probably shouldn’t have thought of it as much, that was just a part of what she’d come to view as her everyday normal too. It was something she could expect to maybe happen, she didn’t like it, but it was just a part of the experience.

And, as expected, her workday was at its end now, at 5PM. Already clocked-out, apron off, her needed items purchased, Evande Sterling was set and ready to begin her weekend. So, before it was that she could be stopped or spoken to, she quickly headed out the automatic doors of her workplace and into the orange-colored city while it was she ceased movement for a second as a shiver coursed through her body from the sudden change in temperature it’d undergone, from warm to near freezing at the drop of a hat. She had the next three days free, as she only worked four days of a week. As usual, she intended to live out those three days like she normally would—online roleplaying, catching up on some manga or anime, or maybe she’d go ahead and indulge herself with some videogames again. Well, those would be her plans if things didn’t wind up insane or something of the sort, or if Kiku didn’t pop up again to try to get her to do something out of the blue. Given the girl’s nature, that wasn’t entirely unlikely to happen.

Evande could only wonder it was that Kiku had in store for her this weekend, there was usually something. Even then, that was as much a part of her normal as anything else too. With Kiku in her life, Evande knew to always be at the ready for something a little crazy. That was okay though, because it was always a comfortable sort of insanity.

But, she had the next three days free of work, free of having to worry about anything major . . . and that was perfect, even if Kiku did drag her into something insane, that was all right, she’d welcome it since it’d be a strange sort of her normality. This was what her life had come to in the last year, since it was she’d moved away from home at sixteen, she’d lived through a seemingly endless cycle of day in and day out, same as always, never changing . . . the only thing which had come to be different within her like recently was Kiku, and even then things weren’t so much different. Evande still always had some idea of what to expect.

Knowing what might come her way, the things that awaited her, that was a good and comfortable feeling, it was something she needed in order to get by in the world, facing the unexpected was just . . . no, it was just a no. It made her anxious, to even think about being thrown out of her zone, the things that made her content, losing those was something she wouldn’t be able to deal with well, if at all. Since it was she’d been left alone, to face the world on her own, when it was she’d been abandoned by those who she’d called her friends as a child, Evande had come to need a cycle, to know what to expect, those thing are what kept her sane, what kept her going. Without those, she was convinced that she wouldn’t be able to handle life, and that she’d finally just cave in under the pressures and the unknowns.

Living alone, to living with a single friend was a big change for her, but it was one she’d been able to cope with because she quickly learned to understand how it was that Kiku operated.

Trekking along the sidewalk at a reasonable pace, attempting to make it back home before the sun really did set and left her in the dark, Evande kept her crystal-eyes turned downward, lost in her own musings and thoughts about her life and how it was that she actually was coming to like it. Dull, uneventful and full of nothing but her having any sort of fun through fictional means . . . it was nice. It really was. But, while it was that she was lost so much in her own head, Evande had failed to notice and realize that she was no longer treading along the seemingly desolate walkway alone. No, the figure of a much shorter person had taken to keeping pace with her, right at her side.

The form of a small young woman walked at her side, keeping quiet, something of a playful smile overlaying her lips. . . . After it was she had been at Evande’s side for more than a minute without being addressed, at last, she spoke up. “Hellooooooooo? Earth to Eva-kun! Are you lost up there in space or something? Cause I’ve been walking alongside you for the last minute and you haven’t said squat to me. That’s rude y’know!”

“Mm?” Eyes wide, Evade blinked a few times, stopping in place before she drew her gaze over and downward. Standing right next to her, hands on her rather flat hips, was none other than Kiku Kurosawa—Evande’s neighbor and only friend, the girl who brought with her manageable insanity. “Ah, um, sorry Kiku-san, I didn’t know you were there!” Evande apologized, a regretful look formed over her features.

“Hah, yeah I know, you were off in space again, it’s not that weird for you. So, what were you thinking about this time?” A playful tone took root within Kiku’s voice, something of a teasing one.

Tilting her head to the side, Evande stared at her questioningly, “What was I . . . thinking about? What do you mean?”

There slipped from Kiku a laugh, “C’mon Eva-kun, you were totally gone, I wanna know what you were thinking about.”
“A-ah, honestly, I wasn’t thinking about much of anything. . . .”

Kiku about groaned at hearing what Evande said, a blasé look formed over her face and she stared at her friend with those deep red eyes of her, looking about as bored as ever. “Like usual, you’re not much fun.” With a shake of Kiku’s head, and a slight blush forming over Evande’s face, the little teenager set her hands behind her head. “I was hoping to hear that you were finally thinking about taking me up on that offer I made you to draw the sample pages for that manga idea I had!”

A sharp squeak slipped from Evande, as it was the pink-haired woman’s face flashed red in an instant, “Ki-Kiku-san, I declined that offer because y-you know I-I’m not a fan of the ya-yaoi or b-boy’s love genres. . . .” Evande began to fiddle with her hair, No, no, no, please don’t go and get on this topic again, I don’t think I can take it. . . .

“Tch, you can’t call yourself a real manga fan unless you do like it, because it’s the best that’s out there!” A bit of a manical giggle slipped from Kiku, “The love, the drama, the strong, assertive semes and the reluctan, anxious ukes, ahhh~ Honestly, I can’t understand why you don’t like it!”

“B-Because of . . . we-well, you know why! An-anyway! What were you even doing out to catch me when I was coming home?” Jumping topics was the only way Evande felt like she was going to keep from having her face turn permanently red at this point.

“Subtle, as usual, E. Eh, I was out looking for some manga I haven’t read before, or an anime I haven’t seen.” She already knew that, she was just asking so she could avoid me explaining my love for it again.

“O-oh.” Was the eloquent reply offered up by Evande, her face still stained red from Kiku’s near tangent before.

Kiku laughed, “Come on you pink-haired otaku freak, let’s haul ass and get home before it gets too cold!”

Without a warning, Kiku was off and sprinting away from Evande, leaving her standing there as the skies began to dim, stars peeking out across the deep blue horizon. Standing there, grocery bags in hand still, looking off into the distance blankly while her friend was still off on her way, Kiku wasn’t one to wait for her, Evande knew as much. The girl hated being cold, and as such, if she wanted to be warm she’d head off on her own with no regard to another. The girl could be snide, rude and so much of a priss, wanting everything to go her way . . . but Kiku was Kiku, Evande knew her well enough, seen her as she really was. Whether or not she could be selfish, there was more to the small girl than met the eye, given her background and the family she came from too, one might never expect her to be a self-acclaimed fujoshi as well, nor would they expect her to take so much pride in it as well.

She was a girl who wanted to have things go her way, hated it when she was ignored or when it was she was treated as less than what she thought of herself. . . . Kiku loved yaoi, boy’s love and was a notorious slashfic writer and shipper. . . . Topping that off, she was a NEET as well, her parents supported her and her strange habits. Really, she was a strange one. Evande knew she could be defined as a ‘himedere,’ a princess, and yet a girl who was also strangely loving and kind underneath it all. For all it was worth, that’s just who Kiku was, a strange girl without a doubt and someone Evande had yet to fully come to know.

As a soft breath slipped from between Evande’s cold lips, a smile formed over her lips as well as she took to walking the path that Kiku had sprinted through before, heading for the place that they both called ‘home.’ I suppose my life isn’t so much normal as it is strange, but it’s my normal, it’s a comfortable normal that I’m happy with. Though her face was pink from embarrassment still, she didn’t mind.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It didn’t exactly take her too long to get back to her apartment complex, nor did it take long for her to get into her building—Kiku was nowhere in sight, Evande could guess that the fujoshi had already gotten back and was in her own little abode, warming up from the cold near-winter air. Stepping up the stairs to the sublevel her apartment was on; Evande worked her keys out from the pocket of her pants and headed toward her apartment door, without so much of a thought passing through her head about how it was that anything might go different for her than usual. She expected everything to be as normal as before. . . . I’ll feed Kiseki when I get inside, make myself some food and maybe watch some television if Kiku doesn’t pop on over and want to do something, or comes to pester me about that manga idea of hers again.

A though passed through Evande’s head though, Right, I didn’t check my mail. she realized, blinking a bit as it was she turned herself around and headed back down the stairs, toward the entranceway of the building, the soles of her shoes squeaking against the tile. Finding the key for her mailbox, Evande undid the lock, and opened it up, only to find that it was devoid of anything, save the air within. A blank look on her face, she stared at it for a moment before it was she shut it back, locked it and turned to head back up to her apartment door, grocery bags held in one hand. It wasn’t so much of a surprise to have found her mailbox empty, that was just about as normal a thing for her as everything else was. . . . Kiku’s mailbox was probably the same as her own, utterly empty.

It was normal as ever, just normal.

With but a soft sigh slipping from between her lips, Evande fished out that key for her door again, slipping it into the lock as she always would, she turned it, expecting to hear a resounding click that indicated that she was now few to enter. Only, there was silence. Eyes drawn to her hand, and the key it held, Evande remained quiet, she blinked. Oh . . . no. she thought, turning the key back and forth, trying to urge the lock to undo repeatedly, before finally, a high-pitched whine slipped from her throat as she came to realize the grim truth—that she well may’ve been locked out of her apartment. This was not part of her expected normal, what she was at all prepared to deal with. A clear look of panic setting in over her features, Evande attempted then to pull her key back from the seemingly broken lock, only to find that it wouldn’t even allow that. “. . . .this is almost as bad as Kiku when she gets on one of her tangents.”

Setting her groceries down on the floor by her feet, Evande took to trying to tug the key from the lock one more time, to no avail. She pulled and pulled at it, whining as she tried one last time, putting her all into it. Nope though, the key just didn’t want to leave the lock. Letting go of the thing, Evande backed away from her door and sighed, a pout formed over her features, and she squeezed her eyes shut before she bent a leg back and promptly kicked the door before her as hard as she could, “Darn it!!” she cried.

All she wanted was to get inside so she could begin her weekend of peace and quiet. The delivered kick and her rather loud exclamation echoed within the hallway, causing Evande to remain still, foot against the door, her face going red. It was a really good thing that only Kiku lived on this floor with her. Clearing her throat nervously, she stood back again, away from the door. Louder than I meant for it to be. . . . Setting her hand to her forehead, Evande stood there that way for a moment, waiting to see if maybe Kiku gave into some curiosity and slipped out of her apartment to see what had Evande in a tizzy. When it was that the girl did not do so, the pinkette looked back up at her door, thinking about what it was she could do now.

“Guess I’ll get something figured out.” She murmured to herself, leaning over to the side to at least hoist her things up off the floor, only even that went about as well as getting her door unlocked when it was that her ankle gave way under her without warning and she went to the ground with a thud, a groan that was followed by an, “Owwww. . . .”

This was definitely not a part of her normal.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Well, to say Nikolas was annoyed would be the biggest understatement of the year. He wasn't 'annoyed'. He wasn't 'mildly ticked-off'. Oh no. Nikolas 'King' was tapping his foot in the apartment, looking at the person who was currently taking up the couch and wondering what he had done to deserve this. Oh, how he hated that purple hair. It reminded him who it was every single time he looked at him, and just made him bloody raging angry. The blonde stamped his foot on the floor sharply, causing the head of purple to turn and amiably smile at him.

Blue eyes stared coldly into the violet ones in front of him and he crossed his arms angrily. The Gods must hate him. Why, all of a sudden, had they become the 'living'? They were the alters, while Evande and Kiku were off living their own lives somewhere. Of course, Nikolas didn't know that his alter was in the apartment opposite him. Well, not at that precise moment. Trusting the time of day, she was at work. Nikolas' frown deepened as Ryu kept gazing at him without fail.

"What are you staring at?" Nikolas almost shouted, pulling down on his shirt sleeves. When Ryu simply grinned mockingly and shrugged, Nikolas turned sharply on his heel and stalked off to the bathroom so he could wash his face with cold water for the millionth time that day. He'd been constantly pinching himself too, just to make sure this whole set up wasn't just one big dream and he was actually just resting in his 'soul' form. As per usual.

But no, he came back out of the bathroom and saw that Ryu had only shifted a little bit, and so he just. . . . flipped. He strode quickly over to Ryu, looming over him on the couch before putting his foot on the other's chest, pressing down. "Why am I stuck here with you? Hah? Answer me." Nikolas' voice was practically oozing restraint not to kick Ryu in the face.

Ryu, however, was actually quite impressed. Nikolas had managed to go more than twenty-four hours without violence towards him, only uttering more than a few, venomous words. But, of course, who was he to let Nikolas bottle up his anger? No, no, he was much too nice for that. He'd have to draw it out of Niko-tan somehow, so he could finally calm down and relax. Of course, after that, they could find out the real reason why they were there.

They had arrived the day before. It was out of nowhere, and even Ryu saw how surprised Nikolas was, despite having been told they were going to live for this era about five minutes earlier. Nikolas had checked every single nook and cranny of their new apartment, but then the blonde had finally actually looked at Ryu. And he certainly was not happy, especially with his short sleeved shirt and his three-quarter length shorts. He'd actually ran into his new room and when he'd emerged, he was wearing a long sleeve shirt, with the cuff-buttons done up, an even longer jumper and the black jeans he now donned.

Now, however, was wearing something completely different and even more layers. He wore a black, long-sleeved shirt with white little stars decorating it, a dark blue shirt over it. The second shirt was a tad big for him, but he didn't seem to care. And over that, he wore a green jacket. But now, he also wore a scarf around his neck and his hair was pinned back on the right side.

Nikolas blinked, and Ryu realised that he was, rather patiently, waiting for an answer. "But, Niko-tan," Nikolas flinched visibly and gritted his teeth, but said nothing, "you know as much as I do. The Gods sent us here without telling us the reason, so I really, really don't know."

The blonde shouted a curse in anger, grabbing his hair with his hands. He paced around the couch three times while Ryu's eyes settled on the TV once more. "Why don't you loosen up a little? I'm sure we'll find out why we're here soon. First things first, are you sure you should be wearing so many layers?"

"What? Winter's coming along, and I'm wearing these because of you! You, you- I don't feel safe around such a weird pervert."

Ryu raised an eyebrow. "Ah? Are you referring to the past again?"

"Sixteen years old." he reminded him quietly, a glare in his eyes. "And it doesn't matter how long ago it was; I blame you entirely and I think you brought this upon yourself, kay?!" Nikolas' voice rose into a yell, before he stormed off into his room, slamming the door loudly behind him.

Ryu stared after him, before sinking into the couch even further and casting all his attention to the television lazily. A strange program regarding how to take care of a dog was on, and Ryu watched it with amusement. It was the usual; pet a dog and give it treats when it does well and reprimand it when it's been bad. The purple-haired man's eyes flicked to the door of his new roommate and he wondered if Niko-tan would be the same. Now that he though back, Nikolas had always reminded him of a dog. Although he was violent, he'd always reminded him of a labrador, since he could be so nice sometimes.

The boy edged out of his room quietly, a book in his hands. He stopped above the couch, before bringing his attention to Ryu. "I'm hungry." he said. Ryu shrugged.

"No food."

"I know." Nikolas muttered, before perking up slightly. Ryu could practically see his tail wagging. "We can go out and get some right no-"

A voice from outside the apartment made Nikolas jump. "Darn it!!" he heard, after a loud thud, and he blinked. It echoed and he looked from the door to Ryu, who was now sitting up and glancing at Nikolas worriedly. Nikolas was busy placing the voice while he zipped up his green jacket, but he had other things to worry about. Like his hunger.

He listed out carefully for the voice just beyond the door. "Hurry up, Ryu." Ryu jumped up obediently and slipped on his shoes. "Put on your coat. You'll catch cold." he said calmly, but the purple-haired man shook his head violently. As they stepped out, Ryu placed his hand on Nikolas' head and patted him softly. The blonde flinched and turned around quickly, a scowl on his face.

"Don't touch me!" he yelled, his fists in balls in front of his chest.

Ryu sighed. "Niko-tan, get over it~! It was over a century ago; literally."

"I was sixteen years old, damn it! I hadn't even left school! Jesus Christ, Ryu, stop patting me! I'm not a pet! Stop, stooooop!!" Nikolas' voice turned into a whine towards the end as the tiredness finally settled in. "Ryuuuuuu!" he complained, drawing the vowels out in the annoying way that children do. He punched the man's chest angrily, though his hits were rather soft.

Nikolas' hands were caught around the wrists and he was pulled into the air by Ryu. The blonde kicked at the man in front of him, almost hitting his target of the groin-area once.

Ryu, however, saw something surprising behind Nikolas and he dropped the boy on the floor. Nikolas hit the ground with a small thud, before he jumped up and pushed Ryu to the wall, holding his arm at the other's neck. Nikolas stared at him with the same, usual childish hatred, and kneed Ryu in his stomach. The talled man doubled over while Nikolas turned.

And then, finally, his eyes rested on the head of pink on the floor. The sudden twinge in his scar and the jolt through his body told him who it was, but he'd already known as soon as his vision had come into contact with her. Yet he just stood there, staring. Why is Evande here. . . . ? he thought, eyes scanning the pink hair. He backed away, straight into Ryu, but just stood there, shocked out of his mind. He'd assumed that the Gods had just made Ryu and Nikolas live in the same era as Evande so that maybe they would have an occasional encounter and the Gods would find it hilarious, but this was completely different. Ryu glanced at Nikolas. All his defences were down and he was more vulnerable than ever, so Ryu put a hand on his shoulder. The blonde was shocked into reality once more and he tilted his head at Ryu. "You seemed pretty far off. I was just getting you back." Ryu said, and Nikolas nodded.

"Mm. Thanks." he said distractedly, tugging down on the hem of his blue shirt down, before crossing his arms angrily. "Why me?" he asked to seemingly no one other than himself.

But then he realised that while he knew who Evande was, she had absolutely no idea as to who the hell he was and just probably thought he and Ryu were her new, crazy neighbours who live across the hall from her. No, everything was still all wrong. How, in any way, was he living opposite his other self?! And even then, why the hell was she on the floor?

Nikolas looked from the door to the girl, then to the groceries, and he sighed. Trusting Evande's clumsiness, she'd tried to get into her apartment and failed miserably, before falling over in some stupid way. His defences were back up and stronger than ever, and he shifted his weight to his left leg. "Oi, Pinky. Yes, you. D'you need help getting in or something?" The blonde flicked the hair out of his face in one quick motion and only stopped looking at her when he head a groan from behind him. He turned on Ryu. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to knee you that hard. Well, I did, but I didn't think it'd hurt you that much. You used to be tougher. Are you okay?" Ryu nodded, before ruffling Nikolas' hair. The worried look on his face turned into a deadpan stare, before he sighed. "Don't make that a habit. Ryu, get her groceries and we'll try and get Pinky here into her apartment. Looks like the key-thing jammed."

Ryu nodded, but he looked up at the ceiling for a second in thought. Was this why they were here? To meet their Alters? Would he meet Kiku, after all this time? And most of all, did he want to?


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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[Evande & Kiku]


As Evande had thought, Kiku had darted back home and promptly had popped into her own little apartment to warm herself up—she kept a rather large electric heater within her domicile for the colder months, she hated them. Cold or hot, she hated the extreme temperatures and could never understand how it was someone could bear to live in a place where it was one or the other year-round. People who lived far to the North or South, or on the equator, they were insane as far as she was concerned. Moderate temperatures were the best by far, they were comfortable . . . and plus, one could wear whatever sort of clothing they desired without having to worry about being hot or cold! But as things were now, with winter approaching, Kiku wasn’t happy with the outside at all, which is why she’d ran home without waiting for Evande. Yes that was rude of her, but Evande knew enough about her to guess what was up.

And it was that as soon as she got in, she’d quickly gone ahead and cranked up her heater, grabbed a blanket from her unmade daybed and plopped herself down in front of the warmness, wrapped up tightly while enjoying the comfortable heat. It was good to be home . . . even if she didn’t work, Kiku had been out all day, shopping looking around and browsing through manga and anime related things, looking for a new series to get into, like she’d told Evande before. It does suck that I couldn’t find anything that looked like it had the potential for some BL though. Her day had been unproductive, she’d found nothing that had intrigued her in the least. . . . So, it really was good to be home.

Maybe later on she’d go ahead and pop open her laptop and write herself up some new slashfics for one of the pairings she shipped, it had been a while since she’d uploaded anything really good. . . . The question though, was what pairing would she type something for? There were so many to choose from, and so many situations she could put the characters in. Kiku giggled at the thoughts that passed through her head—things that no sane, decent-minded person would even conceive. Yaoi is just the greatest thing ever~

It really was too bad that Evande kept declining her request to draw those manga pages for her—the pinkette was freaking amazing when it came to sketching, and the guys she drew were perfect for a boy’s love comic! “Ooooh, I bet I can get her to do it if I just keep pestering her about it. Shy or not, I’ll get her into yaoi eventually, she’ll see how awesome it is soon enough.” Kiku murmured to herself, snuggling down deeper into the confines of her blanket as her body grew warm and content before her heater, her thoughts bounding back to the slashfic she planned on writing, and which couple she’d put in whatever situation that suited her tastes. . . .

Because she’d been out the whole day, and the day before in her hunt for a new series, Kiku had no idea that she and Evande were no longer the only two people occupying that sublevel of their apartment building. And, she hadn’t even heard Evande’s exclamation nor her kicking her door.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

She was lying on her side, tears forming her eyes from the fact that her ankle was now stinging and throbbing in pain—in truth, she looked rather pathetic. Locked out of her apartment, keys stuck in said lock, alone, cold and with a more than likely twisted ankle. . . . All she had wanted was to begin her weekend normally, surely there was nothing wrong with her going to do that, was there? But, nope, that didn’t happen at all, she couldn’t even get into her own home to feed her pet! Kiku was holed up in her home again, and Evande didn’t want to disturb the fujoshi, knowing that she was probably busy with business of her own. That business likely being her plotting out some new slashfic of hers or whatever else God only knew. Though if she decides to pop on by later, I’m sure I’ll know too.

Evande sighed, still just laying there, a forlorn look on her features—what was she going to do about being locked out of her apartment? She really didn’t want to have to call Mrs. Takashi to get help. . . . But, she couldn’t get inside if she didn’t, nor could she feed Kiseki. Despite this rather depressing fact though, the pink-haired woman was happy that she and Kiku were the only two people who lived on their sublevel, no one had to see her as she was now, nor would they have to feel obligated to go and help her either. “At least I have that much to take comfort in I suppose. . . .” she mumbled to herself.

Moreover, the fewer people who got to see her in her work clothing the better. No glasses, a buttoned up white blouse with tan pants and fake-leather boots too. . . . She hated this sort of clothing. Kiku always dressed nice, but Evande hated it, it seemed pointless.

Shutting her eyes, trying her best to relax a moment, Evande tried to will away the pain in her ankle, hoping that it would at least provide a bit of relief to her. It was the opening of one of the apartment doors though that startled Evande, making her yelp a bit and her body jolt with the unexpected noise. The fact that it wasn’t coming from Kiku’s door too was also what got her, no, the fact that it’d come from across the hall was enough to alarm her. Wh-what? A-Another of the apartments here has a tenant now? she thought, crystal-eyes wide as she remained where she was frozen, heart beginning to speed up in her chest as she resisted the urge to shake. People, more people . . . no, not what she wanted or needed around her. Anything but that . . . ! she prayed, muscles tensing up while it was she squeezed her eyes shut as if to will this away.

Since when did she and Kiku suddenly have neighbors? All of the other apartments had been empty beforehand, and Evande hadn’t been aware that Mrs. Takashi had been ready to rent one of them out so soon. . . . “Don’t touch me!” the shout of a male her age made Evande’s heart sink into the depths of her stomach. Having a new neighbor was bad enough, but one who was male was even worse. Eyes opening again, a whimper slipped from her, going unnoticed it seemed.

“Niko-tan, get over it~! It was over a century ago; literally.” another male’s spoke. So occupied with the fact that both of the people now in the hallway with her were male, Evande had failed to notice that the second speaker had said ‘over a century ago.’ No, the otaku was simply doing her best to recede into her own mind, and to shut down in full so that she might not have to deal with these two. Maybe if she wished hard enough she could suddenly turn invisible or blend into the surroundings enough to not draw attention to her heap of a form.

However, the voices of these two had drawn attention from none other than Kiku, who had gotten up from her seat in front of her heater to find the source of the commotion, deep blue blanket draped around her form, surprised by the fact that it seemed that she and Evande had neighbors beside one another now. Although it was indeed true that the ahoge-bearing girl was curious about the people, she wasn’t about to burst through her door to interrupt them now, nope. . . . Instead of that, she pulled a footrest with her toward her door, where she propped it there before climbing onto it to peer out into the hallway through the peephole on her door. Keeping quiet, a sly smile twisted over the girl’s features when she spotted the speakers—two guys about her and Eva’s age it seemed . . . one short with blonde hair, one taller with purple hair that’d make a flower jealous.

Already, the girl’s brain was beginning to spin thoughts of things found in her favorite genre of manga. Ah ha~ What do we have here?

Meanwhile, Evande was just trying to do her best to keep herself as invisible and as still as she could, going unnoticed by Kiku due to the fact that the peephole in the fujoshi’s door blocked her from view.

Kiku was just giggling to herself in a slightly giddy manner while it was that the purple-headed one kept patting the blonde on the top of his head as if he were a pet. “I was sixteen years old, damn it! I hadn't even left school! Jesus Christ, Ryu, stop patting me! I'm not a pet! Stop, stooooop!!” Sixteen years old for what I wonder~?

A whine slipped from Evande’s throat though, the words spoken by these two filtered into her ears as she began to absorb what was being said, also catching their names. “Ryuuuuuu!? Hearing this, Evande felt her face flush pink a bit, cheeks probably matching the color of her hair quite well before it was the woman moved an arm down under her to sit up more. Not saying anything, she turned her head around to look at the people she had been trying to keep from noticing her, knowing she’d probably be spotted by them anyway since they were lingering in the hallway.

There was . . . a blonde and a man with purple-hair there. H-He sort of looks like Ulric when I last saw him. Evande thought, a nervous look forming over her face while it was the blonde-boy turned around and started punching at the older one, who she presumed to be ‘Ryu.’ Eva didn’t quite know what to make of this whole scene at all . . . the two failed to notice her, which was something she was grateful for. The longer she went ignored, the better as far as she was concerned. She would probably be noted eventually, but she would rather it be later.

Her eyes went wide when it was the blonde was hoisted up into the air by who she presumed was Ryu by his wrists, and the pink tinge her face carried only deepened to near red when it was she managed to overhear an overly eager Kiku’s muffled, “Total seme and uke!!”

Oh God, she’s already. . . . W-with those who are our neighbors too? Evande thought with something of a groan.

Her ankle still throbbing, she could only sigh. Kiku knew they had neighbors now, and was watching them through her peephole it seemed, so there was no way she was going to come out into the hall yet, not if it interrupted the little scene going on between the two. So much for her normal weekend indeed.

The blonde boy had been trying to kick at Ryu before it was he was suddenly dropped—and Evande stiffened up as it was the man’s eyes seemed to be on her, and even more so when it was that he was pinned up against the wall suddenly and was kneed in his stomach, causing him to double over. Seeing this caused Eva to inadvertently whimper as the boy began to turn on his heel, about to see her as well. Quickly moving her arm out from underneath her, Evande took to lying there on the floor again. Don’t notice me, don’t notice me, just think I’m some sort of dummy that got left behind by someone, please think that!

Kiku of course was still staring out her peephole, and thus was able to see the strange reaction that was incited within the blonde boy as it was he seemed to set eyes on her friendly neighborhood otaku. . . . He’d just been violent toward his counterpart seme-figure, and now was seemingly caught in a daze as he looked on at Evande—Kiku did know that Evande was there now, she’d seen her sit up before. Hmm, that’s odd. she noted, all yaoi-related thoughts slipping from her mind as more serious matters peaked her curiosity. Why was this boy acting so strange in regards to Evande?

While it was that both of the boys went on between themselves, Evande kept herself there, quiet, acting like a turtle, wishing she was one so she’d at least have that shell of hers to hide in so that she could be overlooked. Upon hearing, “Why me?” though, Evande couldn’t help but timidly turning her head to the side to peer at the two again. Her face was still a shade of red, while her discomfort could probably be noticed, a clear frown was on her face. For the moment, she managed to forget about her throbbing ankle.

“Oi, Pinky. Yes, you. D'you need help getting in or something?” addressed directly, Evande tensed up, quickly jolting upward into a sitting position from where she’d been laying while shaking her head—no, she didn’t want help from these two! No, she didn’t want help from anyone, but especially not strangers—guy strangers nonetheless. He was staring right at her too, only stopping that when the taller of the two groaned behind him.

Kiku was still watching, having no intensions on intruding upon this little scene yet, if at all. She was intrigued by this . . . the fact that the blonde seemed to know her friend, and the fact that a part of her was just having too much fun to yet intrude. She wanted to see how Evande acted in this situation, and how it was that her deemed seme and uke acted with her too.

“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to knee you that hard. Well, I did, but I didn't think it'd hurt you that much. You used to be tougher. Are you okay?”[b] he asked to which the one named Ryu nodded. Ruffling up the blonde’s hair, which was followed with an exasperated sigh. [b]“Don't make that a habit. Ryu, get her groceries and we'll try and get Pinky here into her apartment. Looks like the key-thing jammed.”

He was going to help whether or not she gave him a vocal answer?! Nooooooo . . . ! The one time I wish that Kiku would pop up out of nowhere I know she won’t intervene on this because she’s probably finding it too entertaining! Clearly, by looking at both of her apparent-neighbors, Evande could tell that they’d been planning on going somewhere outside, they were certainly dressed for the bit of it, and they were evidently living together while the blonde was violent toward the one called Ryu, and now, they were going to help her into her place when she hadn’t said a word to either? She didn’t want the help of a stranger, she just wanted a normal night to be ahead of her, wanted to be inside and alone, or even with Kiku when the girl went on one of her rants about how awesome boy’s love was. . . .

“N-No! Th-That’s not necessary!” she yelped out, throwing her hands up, alarm evident on her features. “H-Honestly, you don’t have to be concerned wi-with me, I’d rather prefer it if you weren’t since it’s not worth your ti-time!”

Inside of her apartment, Kiku sighed to herself, “Eva-kun, you couldn’t be worse of a liar if you tried. . . . Just take their help, and make sure to share with me all the fun details going on between those two.”

Shaking her head back and forth a bit too fast, Evande took to insisting upon what it was she was saying. “I’ll be okay, I can get into my apartment quick enough, s-so. . . .” Without thinking about it, she attempted to stand up with her still hurting ankle. “So there’s—ouch!” Evande squeaked, flinching when any bit of weight was set down upon her right foot. Though it did indeed hurt, she forced it, she didn’t want to seem like she was in need of help at all, from either of these two. She didn’t want them to aid her at all, she just wanted them to go about her business and to leave her alone, Her weekend was already off to a less than normal enough start, the last thing she needed or wanted was for it to go any further into that realm. Getting involved with people would just drag her into who knew what.

So, she stood there at her full height, weight on her ankle, face twisted in some manner of pain as she did her best to ignore it. “I-I’m fine, just a bit sore. . . .” she mumbled, stepping toward her door before it was her ankle indeed gave out from under her, and Evande tipped to the side with a yelp, stumbling a bit before finally, she did indeed fall . . . right into the blonde she’d been trying to deter from helping her. And, seeing this happen was enough to finally draw Kiku from her peeking point.

Evande was hurt; no doubt about that, she’d done enough watching, the otaku’s health mattered more than her fantasies after all. So, it was that the short girl hopped down from her position on the footrest, and popped open her door to look upon her neighbors in person, those two who already were stuck in her head as a couple from a yaoi/BL manga. “Sheesh, E, not even two minutes with the neighbors and you’ve already managed to get friendly with one of them it seems.” Kiku laughed a bit, standing there in her doorway, clutching onto the blanket still draped around her form, a joking smile on her face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Nikolas sighed, feeling the tiredness which came from ignoring Ryu for over a day, and looked at the wall. So, I have to live at the same time- no, in the same apartment block as Evande, with Ryu, and probably spawn-of-the-devil-Kiku. I, quite rightly, will commit suicide in a few days. he thought calmly, flicking his hair out of his face in one swift moment.

The blonde almost turned around and whacked his head on the wall at the response. “N-No! Th-That’s not necessary!” Typical Evande. “H-Honestly, you don’t have to be concerned wi-with me, I’d rather prefer it if you weren’t since it’s not worth your ti-time!” This was typical of her. Even Ryu didn't seem surprised, or even interested, and that was something. He just, rather than actually listen to Evande, picked up her grocery bags and waited patiently by the door. “I’ll be okay, I can get into my apartment quick enough, s-so. . . .”

She seemed to step on her her foot, wincing. “So there’s—ouch!” she said, interrupting herself. Nikolas looked at her foot; it seemed she'd injured it in her fall or something. The amount of times Nikolas had simply said the word 'typical' in his internal monologue probably wasn't all too healthy, but he just uncrossed his arms and stuffed them into his pocked, looking away. “I-I’m fine, just a bit sore. . . .” Nikolas opened his mouth to say something, but the shock of another body hitting his own instead made him flinch. Maybe he jumped too much, for Ryu looked at him with concern while the blonde looked around for answers to his current dilemma.

And then, something happened. More specifically, the door to an apartment on his right opened and he glanced over to who had exited. I should have known. I should have known! We should have just stayed inside, before the bratty little alter of the purple haired idiot popped out of nowhere. “Sheesh, E, not even two minutes with the neighbors and you’ve already managed to get friendly with one of them it seems.” Kiku laughed a little, her blanket around her. Ryu didn't even pay her much attention; it was as if he was expecting her. Apparently, he had spent a lot more time observing his alter when her emotions weren't on edge (which was generally the only times he checked on Evande) and knew that the two lived in the same apartment.

But his eyes wandered down to the girl by his chest, before he went a slight tint of red. He held her shoulders up to give her support and pulled away quickly, looking her in the eye. He had to make sure his words wouldn't be questioned, not even by his own alter, and the tone of his voice, the force laced within it, was obvious.

"We're going to take your groceries into your apartment, and then you're going to make just you ice that injury. You're going to keep off it as much as possible so you don't strain the injury, and then you can do whatever the hell you want. I hope you understand." he said coolly, staring deeply into her eyes. Same shade as mine. he thought, looking at the floor to his left.

So how were they going to get in? He did know how to pick a lock, but only the really old types and in any case, the key was well and truly jammed into the door. Ryu came up to Evande and slipped under her arm so her support was now on his shoulders and Nikolas let her go, standing parallel to her door. Ryu smiled. "He's got that look of innocence on his face; he's gonna do something~" he said in a singsong voice. Nikolas remembered a diagram from a long, long time ago when he was a member of the police, and suddenly, he pivoted on his left foot and suddenly brought up his right, kicking the area right next to the handle with force.

Apparently, it was unneeded force and the door swung open quickly, hitting the wall behind it with a clang. A shock ran through Nikolas' foot from the impact and he flinched, slowly placing his foot back on the ground. A few throbs ran through it, but they settled down as he stood still and shifted his weight to his left leg. The sideways kick had been perfect for the force he needed, and, unlike shown in police movies, doing a kick while facing the door could be the worst thing you've ever done, since your foot would be at such a weird angle, the impact would break or dislocate something. Nikolas flicked his hair, glancing at Ryu who was clapping slightly with a big grin on his face.

Nikolas sighed once more, taking the grocery bags from Ryu's hands so he could help Evande in. "C'mon, Ryuugamine." he said absentmindedly, his voice faraway and dreamy as his thoughts wandered.

"Wow, is that my full name?!" Ryu asked excitedly, peering into the apartment. Nikolas was snapped back to reality.

"Of course not." he barked, turning his head quickly so his blonde hair flew out around his head for a second. "Ryuutarou. Ryuichi. Ryuunosuke. All dragon related, huh? Ryu. You know your name is just Ryu, so calm your childlike mind." Nikolas scolded, placing the goods by the fridge in the room. "Why aren't you moving?!"

"Ah? Oh, right. Why don't you take her in? It's hard to bend over so much to support her. You two are around the same height."

Nikolas growled. "Maybe it's cause your ancestors are giraffes!" Ryu let out a warm chuckle while Nikolas glared at him, then reached out and patted his head. It wasn't until he felt the pain that he saw the blonde had jumped up and bitten his hand. "I tol' ya not to ma'e it a 'abit!" he said, his voice muffled by the hand in his mouth. He bit down further, to which Ryu let out a sound of pain and yanked his hand back, slipping away from Evande. They both stared at each other, arms at both sides and their feet planted on the floor carefully.

Sparks could have been created as they glared at each other. "The winner gets treated to instant ramen." Ryu said, his voice serious. Nikolas nodded. A few more seconds passed slowly and Nikolas put his hand in a fist in front of him dramatically while Ryu did the same. "Jan-ken-PON!" they yelled in unison. Ryu brought out scissors, while Nikolas' hand stayed in its fist.

A slow, lazy grin spread across his face and he laughed darkly. "You lost at janken. I see you haven't changed." he said. The way they were talking would suggest janken was punishable by death, because Ryu smiled evilly.

"I let you win." Ryu said, and Nikolas marched up to him, standing less than a metre away and looking up at him defiantly. The sparkle in his eyes practically said 'I dare you to repeat that'. "I. Let. You. Win." Ryu laughed while Nikolas punched his arm playfully. Ryu pinched the blonde's cheeks and the smaller boy jumped back gracefully.

Nikolas pointed at Ryu, his arm fully extended as he did so. "Don't touch me, pervert! I bet you have some cheek fetish or something! Don't touch my cheeks!" he shouted, now holding his own hands protectively over his own cheeks. Ryu pouted childishly.

"Aw, Niko-tan -"

"That's not my name, is it? What if I started calling you Ryuugamineryuutarouryuichiryuunosuke?"

Ryu blinked, impressed at Nikolas' words. "How did you even pronounce that?" Nikolas shrugged, a mocking smirk on his face as he tapped his nose on the side with his finger twice, signalling that only he knew. "Wow, Niko-tan. I mean, Niko." Nikolas still frowned deeply, but he seemed to be as annoyed.

"C'mon then, Pinky." He slipped his arm under hers and held onto her shoulder. "Just sit down somewhere, will you?"




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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[Evande & Kiku]


Evande had gone stark silent at the fact that she’d made contact with the blonde when it was she stumbled—she couldn’t move, she just could not get herself to move she was so mortified. All she wanted to do was to convince him and that Ryu guy that she was fine, to keep a noted distance between herself and them, and somehow, she managed to do just the opposite, and she even then managed to wind up making physical contact. Still, with a horrified expression upon her features, Evande stood right there, at a distance she would consider far too close to the blonde if her brain was working as it normally would. The pinkette’s cheeks were a deep shade of red as it seemed she’d even stopped breathing for the moment, as her eyes were perpetually locked on something unseen. What it was Kiku had said before, it didn’t help how it was the woman was feeling—at least she was still standing, though she had barely any weight on her ankle and was supporting herself almost entirely on her left foot, which threatened to make her tip over again most any moment it seemed.

Kiku however was standing there against the door to her apartment, staring at the quiet scene, clutching the blanket around her form so that she wouldn’t grow cold. Those deep red eyes of hers were flittering back and forth between the purple-haired seme type and the blonde-uke type, and also to her otaku neighbor—mostly though the girl found herself looking back to the first of the bunch than anyone of the others. . . . Though Evande was indeed caught within a rather entertaining situation, there was something about that Ryu guy that just kept drawing her attention to him, and it really wasn’t his obnoxiously bright hair, it was something that Kiku couldn’t quite explain. Looking at him, there was . . . a feeling of familiarity, a strange sense that was contenting, comforting, it made her heart feel warm. She felt flustered at that, and the fact that she was feeling anything like this toward a stranger—toward a guy nonetheless, it made an irritable expression form over her face as her own cheeks turned a shade of pink. There was no reason for that, to feel weird around him. Her heart already belonged to someone; she’d made a promise before, so there was no reason for this. . . .

When it was that Evande felt as if she were being watched though, looked upon, she managed to blink before it was she stiffly craned her own neck up to look right back at the blonde. Familiar. went through her mind as she looked at him. His face was tinged red, and his features were somewhat on the feminine side. In truth, Evande could understand why it was Kiku had labeled him an ‘uke’ already. It was true though, it felt like Evande knew him, this stranger. Why would that be? She avoided people and tried her best to keep them out of her life. Like I thought before, he sort of looks like Ulric, so, that’s maybe why. Hands drawn up into her chest, Evande wound up squeaking when it was that he wound up holding onto her shoulders after she managed to teeter a bit on her foot again, supporting her balance before he just as hastily pulled away, staring her right in the eyes.

He seemed to be focusing on something. . . . “ We're going to take your groceries into your apartment, and then you're going to make just you ice that injury. You're going to keep off it as much as possible so you don't strain the injury, and then you can do whatever the hell you want. I hope you understand.” Still, he was going to force his help upon her whether or not she’d been trying to insist otherwise. The tone in his voice was a forced out one, like he was trying to keep himself detached from the situation. A sense of guilt was beginning to take hold within Evande; she was stuck between feeling as if she was a nuisance and also wanting only to be left alone by these new neighbors.

No . . . no, I don’t want their help, I don’t need it! My path’s already overlapped with his and that other man’s too much already. I just want to be alone, for my normalcy to return. she thought, tensing up as a clearly uncomfortable expression took root there on her face. Kiku herself was still staring at Ryu with that bitter look, hearing what it was that the other boy had said though caused her to look at him while it was she began to lower her head into the confines of her blanket.

He kept looking right into her eyes before it was he finally looked down to the floor, much to her own relief. Honestly, she didn’t need want them to help her at all. . . . A very soft whimper slipped from Evande as the woman lowered her head down, shutting her eyes as she felt the hands move away from her shoulders, only to be replaced by an someone throwing her arm over their shoulders as a means of support for her. Her ankle was throbbing and she was beginning to feel terribly overwhelmed—she was a nuisance to these men, drawing attention to herself, causing them to interact with her, and they wouldn’t go ahead and just leave her be when it was obvious that they wanted to. . . .

On the other hand, Kiku was standing there now with her blanket drawn up and over her head as if it were a cloak, only her eyes were visible right then, and they appeared to be on the shifty side—looking back and forth between everyone while her mind sank into the depths of questioning Ryu. These two, they sure as Hell are like a couple from my favorite slashfics and BL manga as far as mannerisms go. . . . But still, there was that weird feeling her chest that she didn’t get, it was the feeling that only one person managed to induce within her before, and she hadn’t seen him in years. Of course, she wanted to see him again, but whenever that was, or if ever. . . . Eventually, he’ll come back for me I’m sure. Kiku assured herself, sighing as her thoughts scrambled and jumbled up. There was no way that Ryu was that guy, even if he seemed damn familiar.

However, Evande remained completely out of it while it was Ryu tittered on about how his evidential roomie was up to something. Head still down, she kept her eyes shut as her brain partly shut down to cope with what she was now undergoing, physical contact with the opposite gender, being a nuisance, pain and her normality crumbling under her slowly. Inside her head she was simply chanting, Things will go back to normal soon. . . . Anything and everything said around her was muffled out or was simply lost to her completely as her mind sank into a sort of sleeplike state.

Even when her door was kicked in with a very loud thud, Evande didn’t come out of this trancelike state of hers. Kiku though, she looked at the blonde as if he were completely crazy for what he had just done. Sure, Evande’s keys had been jammed, but kicking her door in? If he had damaged that thing, he was going to have to pay to repair it probably. . . . So, the little brunette stared at him with those deep red eyes of hers. The whole exchange following between Ryu and the boy though only further convinced Kiku of the two’s archetypes, as a seme and an uke. Evande being exchanged between the two of them, the fact that the blonde seemed to have hurt himself kicking Eva’s door in too did not escape her attention.

Why were the two of them so . . .willing to up and help Evande as they had anyway? Seemed somewhat odd, even if people were nice, they normally weren’t like this. It struck her as odd, and annoyed her a bit too. Well, many things annoyed her really, so that shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. Despite this truth though, there was no denying the fact that her usual, weird thought pattern started to surface again. As far as things go, I suspect that there will be some interesting moments regarding Ryu-seme, Blonde-uke and Eva-kun to come soon within the future. . . . Whatever those moments may be, I don’t know, but they will be interesting I’m sure. this brought forth a giggle from her.

It was only when Evande had been exchanged between Ryu and the other guy . . . Niko-whatever as Ryu had been calling him, that she began to snap out of her little weird state. A little gasp came from her as she opened her eyes, feeling weird and groggy—realizing that someone was holding onto her shoulder, slinging it over their own made her head bolt upward, a surge of pain jolted up from her now injured ankle as she about threw herself into a complete panic. Her eyes wide, her face went red again as she looked up, and blinked a couple of times quietly before she heard, “C’mon then, Pinky. Just sit down somewhere, will you?”

A rather frazzled look took over her features at that, as she hobbled into her apartment with the unwanted and awkward support provided to her by her new neighbor. Evande kept herself quiet at this, face just red, her feeling tense and utterly horrified at her current situation.

Remaining where she was, Kiku had her blanket still pulled over her head like a cloak, standing there with it over her while the blonde and Eva wandered into her apartment. She remained silent a moment before she looked back up and at Ryu and spoke, “So, you two weirdos, you and Blondie-uke there, when did you move in, and what are you two? Because I know that I haven’t seen you two around here before today—at all. Eva-kun’s definitely not seen you before, or she would’ve probably told me such.”

“I’m surprised that you just got into an apartment so fast, normally Mrs. Takashi is freaking regimented about the process to apply for a place here, so much so that it drives a lot of people away. . . . Tch, it’s a good thing that the old lady only keeps these places up and going as a hobby since she has enough money to probably buy out most of Japan, if she didn’t, she’d be going broke with how many apartments sit empty here.” Kiku prattled on.

Meanwhile, Evande was keeping herself more or less quiet as she drew her arm up and away from the blonde, turning to trying to lean on her wall for support—she didn’t want her path crossing over with his anyone, and didn’t want to wind up any more involved with him than she was now. Despite her own wants and wishes, her own desires for normalcy and maintain some sense of isolation from the world and people, save Kiku, Evande knew that she was now indebted to this man and to the other one for helping her out when she clearly had not wanted as much. At least one more time she was going to have to force some sort of interaction to make them equal for this.

Pressing herself up against her wall, away from the blonde as best she could, Evande had her head tipped to the side a bit, face red and her eyes drawn away from him. There was still something familiar about him to her too. I-I don’t want to, but I need to. she thought to herself, taking in a deep and shaky breath before it was that she opened her mouth to speak, only managing up stutters before it was that she exhaled, trying to compose herself some. “I-I . . . E-Evande Sterling, th-that’s my name. No-not ‘Pinky.’” She said first, not looking at him. She felt herself tense up too, before it was she tried to continue. “Y-You didn’t have to help me out like you di-did, I’d have managed somehow. . . . Bu-but thank you, anyway, for that.”

Clearing her throat, she turned her head up and looked at him a bit, “Ah, um . . . so, we’re neighbors . . . ? I-I’m going to find a way to repay you for helping me out like you did today, soon, since you’re living across from me.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Nikolas even closed his eyes at Kiku's words. He could hear her from inside Evande's apartment. Already, she annoyed him as much as Ryu, but at least she didn't seem to have hatred towards Evande like she did in previous lifetimes. “So, you two weirdos, you and Blondie-uke there, when did you move in, and what are you two? Because I know that I haven’t seen you two around here before today—at all. Eva-kun’s definitely not seen you before, or she would’ve probably told me such.”

"Woah, you ask for people's names without even giving your own? Kids, nowadays." Nikolas sighed, staring calmly at the wall to his left so as not to make eye-contact with any of them. Ryu, however, caught his eye and smiled, only creating a spark of annoyance in Nikolas' eyes. "And I wouldn't be the uke." he muttered, almost inaudible even to himself.

Kiku, however, continued talking without even paying him any attention. What was he anyway? Just a neighbour who she'd like to gossip about? Judging by her nickname for him, Blonde-uke, she'd already assumed things between he and Ryu. Maybe he'd have to really go through their 'background' in his head. Obviously, he and Ryu didn't even seem related. But the concept of stepbrothers? Surely, that wasn't half as suspicious. But it was weird for brothers to be living together, so they'd have to pretend their parent sent them off. Except for the fact Nikolas hates the concept of parents. He could have been adopted; it would surely explain his and Ryu's love-hate relationship.

“I’m surprised that you just got into an apartment so fast, normally Mrs. Takashi is freaking regimented about the process to apply for a place here, so much so that it drives a lot of people away. . . . Tch, it’s a good thing that the old lady only keeps these places up and going as a hobby since she has enough money to probably buy out most of Japan, if she didn’t, she’d be going broke with how many apartments sit empty here.” Kiku said, not stopping for anyone. Nikolas actually rolled his eyes.

The blonde spoke before the purple-haired idiot even open his mouth. "I hope you haven't assumed anything between us. He's my brother, so don't go there." he stated, before going on to continue his response to the small girl. "We moved in yesterday, but you probably didn't see us because we were out buying apartmenty. . . . stuff." Nikolas looked at the ceiling. What had they bought? "We bought new bedsheets. And then I bought new clothes so that thing would stop making any sort of human contact with me, but he apparently doesn't get. The fricking. Message." The blonde split up his words carefully, glaring at Ryu. The taller man simply shrugged.

He glanced at Evande as she separated from him and leaned onto the wall. The pink-haired girl was red and she was avoiding eye-contact. The boy sighed and crossed his arms, shifting his body weight from one leg to the other, and upon catching eye-contact with Ryu, he frowned and drew his sleeves halfway down his hands. Nikolas even pulled down his jumper and wrapped his arms around himself protectively, taking a step away unconsciously, before flicking his hair carefully. “I-I . . . E-Evande Sterling, th-that’s my name. No-not ‘Pinky.’” The girl didn't even look at him while she spoke. How rude. Nikolas thought, glancing at her. “Y-You didn’t have to help me out like you di-did, I’d have managed somehow. . . . Bu-but thank you, anyway, for that.”

Nikolas scoffed. She have managed? Yeah, no, not really. He figured that Kiku probably wouldn't have noticed the commotion in the hallway without he and Ryu having a full blown argument. The blonde looked at his foot and shifted onto his right, feeling a slight pain. At least it was manageable.

“Ah, um . . . so, we’re neighbors . . . ? I-I’m going to find a way to repay you for helping me out like you did today, soon, since you’re living across from me.” The girl said, looking at him slightly. She seemed to force herself to look at him, so he looked back, though only in glances.

"Well, Evande Sterling, it's nice to meet you. I'm Nikolas King, and that's Ryu King. He's my brother, though there's no blood-relation." he said, a small smile on his face. He bowed, before lifting his head. "Please take care of me." he said, though he didn't mean it much. It was just what he said, what he was taught to say, and he said it in an almost robotic fashion. To him, introducing himself without saying that would just make him feel like something was off. So when he sprung up from his bow, a satisfied smile on his face, Ryu grinned.

Nikolas crossed his arms and looked at Evande. It would probably be best to avoid their neighbours for the rest of the time they were there; after all, he was less likely to slip up and cause awkward questions if he didn't even see his neighbours in the first place. In fact, he had now decided that staying away from Evande was the best course he could possibly take. That was what she wanted too, anyway.

There was a silence, when Nikolas felt a dull pain in his scar. He made a sharp intake of breath, then a small hiss before Nikolas frowned angrily. Ryu tilted his head. "Is it-"

"It's nothing!" The blonde said too loudly, too quickly, for it to be a normal response. "I'm just starving, literally. I feel like I haven't eaten for days."

Ryu frowned. "You didn't eat anything yesterday." He said, stuffing his hands into his pockets.

"You joked that you drugged it, remember? So I went to bed and decided I would eat this morning, but there was no food so I just wandered around the apartment. Remember?" Nikolas said, placing his arms protectively around his middle as he stepped out of Evande's apartment.

Ryu, however, had practically no attention span whatsoever, so it was no surprise when he was on a completely different subject altogether. "Why do you wear so many layers~?"

Nikolas ignored the question, choosing instead to hug himself tighter. He then looked up at Ryu. "Can we go get food now? It's getting dark." Nikolas stared at him, not even breaking eye contact once.

The taller man shrugged. "Have you made sure Ms Sterling is okay?" he said casually, to which Nikolas gave him those puppy-eyes which could convince anyone, especially someone who'd just been watching a television program with animals as adorable, to do almost anything. Ryu looked resistant, like he was trying to fight back, but then sighed dramatically. Nikolas smiled angelically up at him, checking the door while Ryu waved a quick goodbye to Kiku, stepping down the stairs. Nikolas bowed to her quickly, before getting to the top of the stairs. He ran down about halfway, before taking a big leap straight past Ryu and landed like a frog on the floor.




The boys reentered the apartment building no less than half an hour later. Nikolas held some of the grocery bags loosely in his hands as he slept, positions carefully on Ryu's back. As Ryu scaled the stairs, He began to realise the problem. He was holding some grocery bags too, so how was he supposed to open the door?

He reached the top stair and stood face to face with the door. The key, for they left the spare one in the apartment, was in Nikolas' pocket and was practically unreachable to Ryu, who pouted while he paced around the door.

Perhaps he should wake their neighbours? Surely, Nikolas wouldn't be too angry if he were woken up from his nap by Kiku or Evande, but then he was most likely to be in his tired mode, where he just clings to everyone and climbs all over people. If that were to happen around Kiku, whom he knew as a fujoshi who'd already deemed Nikolas as the 'uke', then she would probably just enforce her theory of them being 'together'.

The purple-haired man had been told while shopping that they were to be 'adoptive brothers', with Nikolas being adopted into the family. However, the brunette would probably just take it as some sort of scenario for her yaoi pairings. Ryu shivered at the thought, and knew fully well that Niko-tan would despise him if Kiku were to ever say all her thoughts out loud.

Dropping all common sense, he banged his foot quietly on the doors of his neighbours, before waiting in the hall. Any shouting would just wake Nikolas and then he'd surely be in a foul mood if the taller man had woken him himself.

Well, it was worth a try he thought, glancing at the calm face of the blonde sleeping away on his back. He really, really didn't want to ruin the peace between them that came around when the blonde was dead tired. I guess I'll wait a few minutes to see if they respond before waking him. . . .

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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[Evande & Kiku]


So, they had their names—and their ‘story,’ brothers, adopted or step-siblings? That didn’t matter at all, at least not to Kiku. No matter what it was those two said or insisted, she still had them labeled as what she did within that head of hers. Evande remained within the confines of her small apartment while the two went on their way for food. Kiku kept her blanket drawn up and over her, only moving her hand to wave back to Ryu as he’d done so while he and Nikolas descended the stairs.

Evande kept herself up against the wall she’d been supporting herself with after Nikolas had taken her into her apartment—it was a blur how he’d gotten the door open when it was jammed shut and locked. She’d completely dazed out from the situation, being touched, having her usual weekend regime completely shattered, oh, she just felt miserable. Indebted to strangers, neighbors, men. . . . Why did this have to happen to her? Why, why, why . . . ? It was just so very overwhelming for her to take. When it was that Kiku had entered into the picture a year ago, Evande had done so much to try to keep the girl at bay, and to maintain the isolated life she’d led until then, it’d taken months for the brunette to slink her way through all of the otaku’s defenses and to become a part of what she considered her ‘everyday normal.’ She coped with that because of how long the process had taken, for her regime to change, it was manageable, comfortable enough to take.

But the events of the past few minutes had just been too much for her to handle right away, it was anything but her normal. Nikolas and Ryu had both touched her, helped her and one had been inside her apartment. . . . All sense of normal was indeed lost. Her ankle still hurt too.

Kiku stared at the backs of her apparent new neighbors as they vanished from her sight, and promptly she turned her gaze upon doorway of Eva’s apartment. It didn’t exactly take her long to scuttle on toward it. Seeing that Evande had herself propped up within the entranceway of the abode, seemingly caught up in her own thoughts, she kept quiet a moment, staring at her. Sheesh, things get a bit screwy for a minute and Eva goes into complete meltdown—girl really needs to learn how to be more flexible.

Pretending that she didn’t notice her friend’s current state, she went right on ahead with her secondary thoughts. “So, those two are claiming to be ‘brothers,’ hehe, how freaking awesome is that Eva-kun?” A giddy little laugh slipped from her throat, and Evande shook her head and turned back to look at Kiku as the short girl treaded into her home. A few blinks, a still red face that only got redder as she knew where this was headed. “We have a total seme and uke type as our neighbors, who not only are living together but are telling us they are siblings.” Her voice was excited.

A whimper slipped from Evande, as she squeezed her eyes shut, “Kikuuuuuuu-san!” she whined.

“Oh c’mon, you know what I’m thinking, and you know how great it is~” Kiku grinned, “You and I have the chance to play witness to every true otaku’s ultimate fantasy—boy’s love in real life that involves the even more forbidden!”

The pink-haired otaku’s cheeks flushed a deeper shade of red. As if things weren’t bad enough. . . . Kiku was practically jumping up and down in excitement where she stood, blanket still drawn around her shoulders as she tittered on about matters that best not be repeated for the sanity of everyone. And this is a part of my everyday normal too, or what was my normal. Eva sighed, staring at her friend with a rather dull expression upon her features. Thanks to her, I’m now going to wind up noting every little thing those two wind up doing that is reminiscent of something in a boy’s love manga. . . . And so, I’m going to wind up with my mind in the gutter and a perpetually red face.

Although it was true that Kiku was rambling on about her giddiness regarding the chance that was now at hand for her and Evande, a part of the fujoshi’s mind was still on about the fact that Ryu had managed to incite that bizarre feeling within her heart before. It wasn’t something she understood, and it was something she was going to make sure she got to the bottom to . . . but that was something that would wait until after her creepy obsession. The girl stopped speaking, though she kept that mischievous smile on her face when she looked back to Evande. “So, E, you think those two are potential slashfic inspiration?”

A sigh slipped from the woman, before she turned around and pushed herself away from her wall, hand still pressed to it as she hobbled further into her apartment, “Kiku-san, they’re our . . . neighbors, what you’re thinking is far too extreme since this is reality. . . .”

“But Eva-kun, those two are so stereotypical of what you find for the main couple in every series I’ve read! I bet that if you and I worked with one another and got together a short comic based off them. . . .”

Facing turning redder, Evande very quickly shook her head back and forth, making herself dizzy in the process. “I will not be the artist for a yaoi manga. . . .”

Kiku pouted, “You’ll say yes eventually! I know you will~” She giggled, smiling certainly before she took a few steps backward. “Well E, I’m going to go back to my own place now to take a nap, and to warm up—your apartment is too cold for my tastes. I expect you to be thinking over my idea in the meantime~!”

With that, and before Evande could respond to the brunette, she had darted out of her home, shutting the door behind her with something of a loud slam, her keys clattering to the floor having managed to come loose from the lock. The otaku glanced back to them, “. . . .why couldn’t you have just come out of there a few minutes ago?” she groaned, shaking her head as she remembered her groceries, seeing that they were placed near her fridge. A frowned formed over her features.

The neighbors had brought them in. Knowing that was enough to make her tense up, even if they had not lurked within for long, people had been inside of her home. Strangers, neighbors, people she didn’t know, that weren’t a part of everything she’d built up as her normal had permeated all that she’d come to know as her life. Quickly and swiftly, everything that Evande knew as normality had been shattered and broken. So quickly, so easily—everything was in pieces. Her heart felt like it was sinking into her stomach, it felt hard to breathe. Tears began to prick at her eyes. It was too much to take in one, short go.

Breathing shaky and unsure, Evande did her best to steady her train of thought and her grasp upon reality—she had to stay calm. Even if it was all disrupted, she couldn’t lose it yet. She could align the pieces of her life again if she did things right, it would be all right, she could return to her normal, she could, definitely! If she just quickly did what she had to do in order to relieve herself of her indebted status toward her neighbors, then she could just do everything in her power to stay away from them and to keep to herself as before, even if that meant the occasional pestering from Kiku about yaoi and BL manga. “Just keep yourself together Evande, you can get it back—if you contain the ripples this might have created, you can contain it and limit the damage. . . .”

The sound of a meow broke Evande of her thoughts though, and she remembered something very important—that she had a cat who needed feeding, and that she had a life she could resume living so long as she was very careful about not letting a ripple slip from what had happened to her tonight. . . .




So, a bit of time had passed on, Evande managed to regain herself from her near breakdown and she went on with her night as best she could. Feeding Kiseki, taking a bath and loading her groceries into her cabinets and her fridge before going on to try to prepare some dinner for herself. She was up and on her feet without support despite the pain in her swollen ankle—she couldn’t remain on the floor or down despite that. The expression carried on her now bespectacled face was a grim one. Though she was getting on with her weekend as best as she could, there was no doubt that the weight of the disturbance she’d experienced was still plaguing her.

At least she felt more at ease now, being in some clothing she actually felt content in. A grey tanktop, black cloth shorts, her glasses on with her damp hair back in a ponytail while she walked around barefoot, an icepack duct taped around her right ankle. Her thoughts were rather fragmented, everywhere and nowhere all at once thanks to everything. But still, her body seemed to move with the knowledge of what was normal and usual for it to, gathering up her work clothes to pitch into her washer, clicking on her television for the sake of background noise while it was she went to cook as Kiseki conked out on her futon following his dinner. . . .

While it was she was halfway cooking her dinner; eggs, bacon and toast, Evande heard the rapping on her door, which caused her head to shoot upward, eyes wide behind her glasses. Whoever was at her door, it wasn’t Kiku, because Kiku didn’t knock on her door when she intended to pop in. Literally, the girl would just pop in, open the door and poke her head in for whatever the reason.
So . . . that meant. A-Again, things are. . . .

A shudder traveled through Evande, a frown forming on her face. This was a ripple from before, something she had to contain or risk it spreading further through her life, through her normalcy and completely disrupting it, making it worse than it already was. But, how did she do that exactly? The person at her door, it had to be either Nikolas or Ryu—there was no one else in the world who would be knocking on her door now, at all.

Not knowing how to handle this, how to contain this aftershock, Evande swallowed harshly, the anxiety of this beginning to weigh in on her again as her chest felt heavy and her breaths didn’t want to yet come. Beginning to shake, the otaku moved away from her stovetop, letting the eggs in her frying pan simmer where they were, setting her spatula at the side there while she stood in place for a moment, thinking. Did she answer? Was that the right course to take now, to contain this? Would answering her door only make the disturbance worse, or would it allow her to move on with her life in time as if it never had happened?

“Either way . . . I-I just, I can’t ignore someone knocking since it’s obvious I’m home. . . . Whether or not it make things worse, or better, it’s rude.” She mumbled to herself, sighing deeply as her shoulders sank. “I have to answer.”

Forcing a deep inhale of air into her lungs, Evande composed herself best she could before she turned and looked upon her door, dreading this, she slowly, hesitantly, limped toward it, the uncertainty she felt written across her features. Setting a hand on the handle, she slowly turned it and pulled back on the door, opening it up fully. Ryu was standing there, Nikolas on his back while he seemed to be holding onto their groceries as well. Her cheeks tinted with pink at seeing them as she set a hand on the edge of her door, she had to be right, this was a ripple of before, something that came with having neighbors who so quickly shot into her carefully led life.

Her crystal-eyes glanced upon Nikolas’ sleeping face, feeling a strange sentiment blurb through her like lightning. Again, that’s because he looks like Ulric. . . . she assured herself of that. Keeping her voice low, Evande attempted to speak. “Y-Yes, Ryu, what is i-it that you need?”

As much as the idea made her feel uncomfortable, a small thought seeded itself within her mind. She owed both Ryu and Nikolas for before, even if she didn’t want their help . . . maybe she could repay them now, get it done and over with so that she didn’t have to concern herself with it later on. That idea made her feel even more uneasy; it made a frown form on her face. But, the sooner the better. Holding in a breath, Evande shuffled over to the side, pulling her door with her as she held it wide open. “U-Um, you can come in if you want to, and lay him on the couch—I was just getting some food together for myself, but if you’d like me to, I can go ahead and just get something together for you and Ni-Nikolas, as well. I-I, uh, I do owe you two for helping me out before, I overheard that he was hungry and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were also. . . .”

The notion of inviting people into her home was very uncomforting to her, she didn’t want anyone in there but herself and Kiku. She didn’t want people to see all the anime and manga she owned, the posters on her walls, the figurines, her game systems and how she lived. . . . But to clear this up as fast as possible, she would have to cope with this for now. The sooner it’s over, the better.

“Ho-honestly, I’m just going to insist on getting food together for you two. . . .”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Ryu blinked at the pink-haired girl stepped out from her apartment. He hadn't expected either of the two to answer, and as it has taken her a while, he had almost given up. But there she was, standing in the doorway of her apartment. His eyes lit up happily, a big grin now on his face.

“Y-Yes, Ryu, what is i-it that you need?” She asked. He didn't respond, instead taking to looking at the ceiling in a moment of confusion. What had he come there for in the first place? He just needed to open his door, but he couldn't exactly ask a stranger, even if it was his 'other self', so to speak, to reach into his pocket to find his keys. Nikolas would kill him if he let Evande search through his pockets, and Evande didn't look like she wanted to have much with them. Or anyone, really.

But as she moved over and opened her door further, Ryu couldn't help the look of surprise on his face. The otaku didn't tend to let people in, he'd gathered, from when he was observing Kiku. "U-Um, you can come in if you want to, and lay him on the couch—I was just getting some food together for myself, but if you’d like me to, I can go ahead and just get something together for you and Ni-Nikolas, as well. I-I, uh, I do owe you two for helping me out before, I overheard that he was hungry and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were also. . . .”

The purple-haired man let out a hearty chuckle. "I wouldn't want to impose, Evande." he said quietly, glancing at the mound of blonde hair on his shoulder.

She seemed uncomfortable enough talking to he and Nikolas, so wouldn't cooking food for them just be. . . . weird? Well, he found it normal, but maybe Evande herself would find it weird. He wasn't all too sure on mannerisms nowadays. However, the only thing he could do was glance at Nikolas for answers, before realising he was sleeping.

And so, he devised a plan. Oh, how Ryu loved tricking people. Maybe he should leave Niko-tan and Eva-chan together, so they can be all alter-y, or whatever. Of course, he wouldn't like to make it too obvious, as Nikolas would notice something was up and that he had some scheme going on in his head. But he planned carefully while looking at the ceiling, obviously in deep thought. Why were we sent here, in actuality? Other than entertainment for the Gods, of course. He sighed, shifting Nikolas on his back slightly.

“Ho-honestly, I’m just going to insist on getting food together for you two. . . .” Ah, she's insisting? Maybe if we all spend more time together, we can fix the fact that Evande isn't used to us. he thought, before he decided to answer.

Ryu bowed slightly, trying not to move the blonde on his back too much. "Then, if you insist, I guess I'll have to take up your offer. I hope it's okay if I just put Nikolas down on the couch?" Ryu walked past her carefully, eyeing her to make sure he wasn't invading, and carefully placed the boy on the couch. Nikolas whimpered slightly, his hands reaching out slightly for the warmth, before he snuggled further into the couch and sighed breezily. Ryu watched him carefully and sighed. "I think Niko-tan'll be waking up soon. He'll smell the food or something, like a dog. But he loves cats. . . ." Ryu glanced at the poster on the wall, thinking he recognised it, so he just stared.

"Ah, I feel like I know that manga but from where. . . . ?" he scratched his head, frowning. Well, no need to burden Evande with questions; he just kept quiet and sat himself down next to Nikolas, the blonde's legs on his lap.

A good few minutes passed, before Ryu heard a yawn and the blonde sat up dozily, rubbing one of his eyes. "Are you cooking. . . . ?" he asked slowly, looking at Ryu with exhausted eyes. "Is it. . . . bacon?"

"Evande's cooking."

Nikolas seemed confused, before he tilted his head left. "Is this her apartment?" he questioned, crawling across the couch so he was on the same side as Ryu, before slumping down, tired. Ryu nodded, and Nikolas groaned, grabbing onto Ryu's arm. "I don't want to burden her. Why'd you make a mess out of everything you do? Ever?"

Ryu looked almost offended. "She insisted!" he said quickly, frowning as Nikolas slung his legs over his own and cuddled his arms around his middle.

"You're like my own, personal kotatsu." Nikolas said sleepily, his blue eyes almost closing again. But then, his mind seemed to truly comprehend where he was and he popped his head up, looking around, before his eyes finally landed on Evande and he gasped.

He stood up quickly and bowed, his voice making a very meek "Pardon the intrusion!" before he sat back down, staring at his lap with a slight tint of pink dusted on his cheeks. He looked at Ryu from the corner of his eye, who was trying not to laugh, and pouted even more, making what Ryu was now calling 'The Face'. It was something which made him literally want to glomp Nikolas, if only the blonde wouldn't do something like faint if he did so.

The boy looked dead tired. If people realised how exhausting it was to put up with Ryu, he would have so much pity. During the day, he had to reprimand him, show him how to use the TV at least a gazillion times, before finally getting him to shut up and watch the goddamn thing in silence.

Honestly, it was like living with a child.

But now it was the evening and their roles had been reversed as Nikolas had brought down a few of his people-defences and had settled down and gotten used to the situation. He still watched Evande warily, however, as if expecting her to do something which would harm his calm emotional state.

Nikolas turned at the sound of Ryu at his left, who was watching him with adoration in his eyes. "Awwww, Niko-tan!" he said, smiling his face off. "You're doing that cute worried face."

"Am not." Nikolas protested, frowning.

Ryu laughed. "You are! You have that innocent look on your face which just screams 'I would never even hurt a fly'! Niko-taaaan!" The purple-haired man fawned and fussed over him, a big smile of his childlike face. Then, his voice turned into a quiet whisper. "Make sure you thank Evande for the meal."

Nikolas took on a look of complete disbelief upon his tired, effeminate features and stared at Ryu. "When do I ever, ever forget?!" He asked loudly, blinking as he settled back down to lean against Ryu's shoulder, glancing at Evande.

How long would this calm last, without either of the alters having a breakdown?

The blonde's eyes rested on the pinkette's ankle, noticing the ice-pack taped carefully around it. He smiled. "I see you iced it. Good. Is it. . . . still painful?"


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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[Evande & Kiku]


Her back was pressed up against the wall, as she stood holding the door open to Ryu. He had seemed surprised to see that she had answered her door for him. Well, she had taken a while in doing so. Even getting her hand on the handle had been a task in itself, actually getting the thing open was another story entirely. But, this was the path she had to take in order to limit the damage done to what she considered her everyday normal, to the routine she’d come to adopt in the last years of her life.

Ryu gave a shallow bow to her while she simply remained where she was, still and tense not even the words to describe how very unmoving she’d become. The hesitancy she still felt had to have been clearly written across her features, her face was tinged a shade of pink.

Cook them dinner, and you can consider yourself evened up with these two Evande, after this you won’t have to feel any guilt or anything if you avoid them entirely. she assured herself.

“Then, if you insist, I guess I'll have to take up your offer. I hope it's okay if I just put Nikolas down on the couch?” Ryu asked her, stepping by her rather slowly. Evande shut her eyes, able to feel the violet-haired man observing her. Having eyes on her was something she had grown somewhat used to thanks to all she underwent at work, but still, she felt very out of place now, with him looking her over. Why he was so intently looking over her, she didn’t understand or know, but she did her best to hold at bay the unease she felt, reminding herself that she only had to endure this one meal with Ryu and Nikolas, and then she would be able to return to her normality. Contain the ripples—that’s what she had to do.

Releasing a shaky breath, Evande quietly closed the door behind her neighbors as Ryu took his eyes off her and moved to plop Nikolas off his back and onto the couch. It was hard for her to make her body move, her joints felt stiff, and her limbs were heavy. Her body was doing everything it could to express its displeasure in her having chosen to allow people into her living space, letting strangers in. Without a word to Ryu, Evande shuffled back to her stovetop, picking up her spatula again as she resumed her cooking, knowing that she was going to have to go ahead and drag the eggs and bacon back out from her fridge, the bread from the cabinet as well.

“I think Niko-tan'll be waking up soon. He'll smell the food or something, like a dog. But he loves cats. . . .” Ryu prattled on, “Ah, I feel like I know that manga but from where. . . .” she heard him say, as if he were thinking aloud rather than actually talking to her this time. Despite the fact that sounded curious indeed, Ryu seemed to go quiet after that. . . . .much to Evande’s personal relief, when it was he had mentioned something about knowing a manga, she’d glanced up and over from the cooking eggs in her frying pan to see what he was looking at—he’d been looking at the poster she had tacked up near her television for one of her favorite manga, Othello.

Saying nothing though, the pinkette went back to her cooking, lips drawn into a thin line as she forced herself to move against the will of her body, which seemed to be intent on remaining rigid. Her eyebrows were drawn down, her cheeks still pink while her eyes began to tear up behind her glasses—her diaphragm and chest felt heavy. But, the otaku pushed herself through it all, through the discomfort and the want she had to cry, continuing her cooking while it was she forced off a part of her mind, the part that thought too much, assuring herself that this would be a single time only occurrence, that after tonight, neither Nikolas or Ryu would ever step foot in her domicile again.

Minutes passed by in near-silence, only the low garbled speech slipping from the speakers of her television filled the air along with the sizzle and popping of eggs and bacon from her frying pan before it was a quiet yawns sounded out from her couch. Evande turned her head in that direction, seeing that Nikolas was in the midst of awakening, sitting upward on her couch while stretching. Between the blonde and Ryu, there was some idle chatter, though she couldn’t quite make out what it was the two were going on about. Their voices were too hushed, though it really wasn’t like it mattered what the two spoke of—all that mattered to her was finishing the cooking, letting the two eat, and then keeping them out of her life for good.

She would do what she had to in order to keep her everyday life intact. And for now, that meant her repaying Nikolas and Ryu for their earlier assistance. Almost done with cooking the food, Evande was flipping over the last of the eggs when it was she heard a rather loud gasp come from, well she presumed this, Nikolas. The shocked intake of air, the noisy one at that, caused Eva to blink before she looked up from the food for the first time in some minutes, a rather blasé expression upon her features. Still, she stood somewhat hunched over her stovetop, appearing almost, bored, one could’ve said in looking at her then.

Nikolas was up to his feet in the blink of an eye, his somewhat feminine face tinted the same shade of pink as her own hair as he timidly managed to get out, “Pardon the intrusion!” before he just as quickly seated himself back on the couch.

That was . . . that was enough to send her for a loop, to send a crack through her. There was a jolt that ran through her again, a tingle of familiarity, like she knew Nikolas. The sense of it though, this time, it was not the same as before—no. The sentiment wasn’t something drudged up in the depths of her stomach from him simply looking like her brother had the last time she’d seen him face to face, it felt like she knew him from something beyond that.

A shudder went through the otaku’s body, her heart skipping a beat within her chest, causing her to bring a hand overtop it. What is this . . . ? Why do I feel like this, like I know him?

That sense she’d had before, the want and will to keep Nikolas from her home, for her to keep him from her life, it faltered then and there from nowhere. A strange sensation arose within her, something she didn’t understand, something that almost made her feel like crying for some reason. There was no reason for this abrupt change, for her to feel like it was all right for Nikolas and for Ryu to be within the confines of her apartment when before her body had been adamantly against the mere notion of it. The two were strangers, neighbors she was only showing kindness toward in order to return a gesture of goodwill. Beyond that, there was meant to be nothing, following this one incident, she was then suppose to bid them a goodbye and avoid getting pulled into their lives while making sure of vice versa. That was what she was suppose to be keeping certain of, yet. . . .

The sense and will to throw them from her life, both the purple-haired man and the blonde was near gone, with only the knowledge of what she’d intended in the first place. There was still some definite doubt there within the otaku though. Taking people into her life, or even feeling like she could accept them into it so quickly, when it had taken Kiku a good six months to even remotely worm her way through her barriers-! Evande didn’t understand it, and that was enough to make tears prickle at her eyes, from confusion and from alarm.

Ryu and Nikolas were going on amongst themselves again about something Evande was paying no heed to as a hand went up to her head, her taking in deep breaths as she tried to calm herself, and compose. This was just . . . a side effect of having her weekend routine disrupted, it had to be. Having such change thrust upon her so quickly was enough to shake her up enough to make her drop all sense of caution toward her new and strange neighbors. Claiming to be brothers, already labeled as a seme and uke by Kiku, they had helped her out without warning when she had insisted they not, acting strange between themselves. . . . They were odd, indeed they were. And, she felt as if she knew one of them.

It’s nothing to be so concerned over Evande, just calm down and resume your plans as before. she sighed, turning back to slide the eggs from the frying pan onto a plate along with the bacon and toast already prepared. Three plates, two eggs to each, two pieces of toast, and several strips of bacon too. While she was placing the frying pan and spatula in the sink after having clicked off the burner she’d been using, she heard Nikolas speak up, words directed toward her. “I see you iced it. Good. Is it. . . . still painful?”

Looking up, eyes a bit wide, Evande remained quiet before it was she glanced down to the icepack that was duct taped around her swollen and twisted ankle. Letting her cooking utensils clatter into her sink, the bespectacled woman drew her hands back toward herself, remaining quiet for a moment, the words just wouldn’t come. It wasn’t as she normally felt though, like she was going to become overwhelmed by speaking at all to someone, the words just wouldn’t form . . . and she didn’t know why. Toward Nikolas, it felt like she just didn’t know what to say to him. At all. Maybe it was because of the fact that she felt so weird with him at the moment, for whatever the reason.

She shook her head, forcing her mind to work. “Um, y-yes, it does still hurt some, but it’s twisted so that’s to be expected of it.” She answered him, looking up at him after glancing about in a rather frazzled manner, her tone of voice was different from before, it was actually normal. “An-Anyway. . . .”

Evande picked up two of the plates, half-shuffling toward her kotatsu with them. “The food’s done,” she stated dryly, setting them down on the table’s face before it was she moved back across the room for her own plate of food and actual utensils to eat with, along with three cans of soda—cola. “I hope you don’t mind soda . . . it’s all I really have.”

Placing the cans down, Evande sat herself down on the floor, “Well, you two can go ahead and help yourselves to your food. . . .” honestly, she really didn’t know what to say to either of these two right now, she felt uncomfortable, not in the way she had before, but she just felt generally so. Maybe this is what it felt like to be a normal person stuck eating with strangers rather than some other way around. “So . . . a-are you settled into your apartment yet . . . ?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Nikolas watched the girl carefully. Stupid Ryu, bringing me here. I. . . . We should both avoid our alters. After all, it's best for the both of us, really. The blonde looked into his lap, ignoring the silence and regarding it as just not being heard. But he knew he had been heard, since the girl had reacted.

He should have just kept his trap shut, like Ryu was trying very hard to do right now. They both knew Evande wasn't one for discussion and they were both trying hard not to make the girl uncomfortable, but it seemed their calm silence hadn't really helped in any way, he had just spoken out. Idiot. Idiot, idiot, idiot Nikolas. Nikolas pouted at himself, before it was that Evande actually responded and he was brought out of his miserable thoughts for the time being.

“Um, y-yes, it does still hurt some, but it’s twisted so that’s to be expected of it.” And there were the stupid thoughts again. Of course it would still hurt. Injuries don't just heal out of nowhere, and Evande's a klutz, so she's had millions. Nikolas just made some noise of agreement and rested his chin on the palm of his hand. “An-Anyway. . . .” Blue eyes drifted up at the pink-haired girl, and he made sure not to look for so long. But it was just so weird seeing her like this! Like. . . . Like a person. Well, of course he always had seen her as a real person, but he'd come to regard her as his Alter, and not really anything else. Of course, he cared about her and her wellbeing, but he'd never really seen. . . . her.

So all he did when she put down the plate was stare at the food, a tiny frown located on his face. Evande placed her own food onto the kotatsu and cans of soda, to which Nikolas and Ryu both looked surprised, looking at the strange cans in awe. “I hope you don’t mind soda . . . it’s all I really have.” Nikolas glanced slightly at the girl, before going to observe. “Well, you two can go ahead and help yourselves to your food. . . .”

He took a fork and picked up a piece of bacon, observing it before nibbling at the edge. Now that he'd thought things through, he wasn't so much in the mood for food, but the hunger in his stomach made him eat. Ryu started his meal too, glancing mysteriously between the two, making Nikolas slightly nervous. What is he thinking. . . . ? he thought, glancing at the purple haired man. “So . . . a-are you settled into your apartment yet . . . ?”

The two broke their eyes away from the cans, looking at the pink-haired girl. "Yes." "No." The two answered in unison, with Ryu saying the former and Nikolas drifting into his thoughts.

"Erm, it may take a while for me to get used to the bed. I might just use the futon; more used to those." Nikolas said, selecting and egg to eat now. He glanced up at the two weird-haired people before looking at his plate. "If I'd made these, you'd be eating charred remains of a fire." he said miserable, causing Ryu to start laughing quietly. The purple haired man began to giggle and Nikolas punched him on the arm playfully, a defiant smile on his face. "Bet I'll be able to cook something without burning it in the next month."

Ryu laughed out loud now. "As long as you don't take down the apartment in the process." he said sagely, before going back to eating his food. Then, the two reached out for the cans and Nikolas showed total confusion on his face.

"How do you even. . . . " he trailed off, looking at the weird pin-thing on top of the can.

Both boys flicked the strange pins, before Nikolas' opened with the usual fizz and he gasped loudly, as if shocked. He then peered into the contents of the can and put his lips to the metal, tilting it so he could drink. "Ooooooh!" he said delightedly. Ryu was looking at him, amazed, before he started pulling on the weird pin too.

His soda opened in the exact same way and he did the exact same as Nikolas, before sipping it too. They looked at each other, the blonde showing amazingly sparkling eyes and a large grin. "What a strange little contraption!" he exclaimed, making Ryu nod in agreement.

Only then did he notice Evande. Or rather, remember it wasn't just he and Ryu figuring out how to open a can.Of course she would think their behaviour was weird. "We're from the country. Far out. Waaaaay far out; rural place, no other houses for miles." He lied smoothly, waving his hand in the air, and Ryu nodded enthusiastically.

Nikolas began nibbling his food again, seeing that Ryu was already done, and he decided he should eat a bit quicker. However, the tiredness was weighing on his mind and he he struggled to keep his eyes open as they ate in silence. As soon as he'd eaten his last piece of bacon, he gathered his and Ryu's plates, placing the cutlery on top of the plates carefully, before he finally gave in to the clutches of sleep and fell against Ryu, lightly napping to work off his tiredness. Ryu smiled at Evande and rested Nikolas carefully, only to find the boy had already awoken from his microsleep and was watching the situation with half-closed, tired eyes, a small pout on his face.

Ryu took the liberty to wash his and Nikolas's plates quietly, placing them on the counter, before he heard a groan. Nikolas was holding his shoulder, where Ryu knew the scar started, and had his eyes tightly shut while he stayed utterly silent. "I'm terribly sorry, Miss Evande, but we must be taking out leave." Ryu said quietly, seizing both his and the blonde's shares of the shopping. "It was a lovely meal. Thank you very much." The boy paused. "And thank you for showing us the strange 'soda' contraptions." He said, blinking and the cans on the table as if they still amused his mind. Then, he directed his calm voice to Nikolas. "C'mon buddy. Let's leave Evande alone in peace." The blonde nodded automatically, blocking out the pain as he stood and bowed to the girl.

"Thank you for the nice meal and the odd little 'soda'." Nikolas whispered, before raising his head dutifully and following Ryu to leave. They looked at the lock, with Ryu looking confused and Nikolas muttering "No, it was like this." before they got the door open and stepped out, casting one last look into the apartment.

"Ah!" Ryu said, finally recognising some posters. "It was. . . . Othello, right?"

Nikolas sighed. "Oh, come on? You only recognised one poster? I found it easy to remember them all, especially the Tales of Symphonia figurines over there. I'm disappointed in you, Ryu. . . .Have a good evening, Evande." He said in a quiet voice, nodding as he closed the door behind him.

As soon as the door closed behind him and they fiddled with the key to their apartment, Nikolas threw himself onto the couch and crumpled into a little ball. "I don't understand! It's as if the Gods are punishing me, because my sca- it doesn't usually hurt. Bastards, all of them." The pain subdued and he flicked on the TV, flicking through the channels slowly. Ryu sat next to him and soon enough, Nikolas was fast asleep while leaning on the arm of the chair. Ryu, however, had found an odd anime show and the opening song drifted through the apartment as peace settled once more.

But Ryu couldn't help wondering: what the actual hell? Why, oh dear Gods, why were they there and how come Nikolas's scar was aching? They were trying to message him, or maybe it's their way of prodding him for not reacting in the way they expected him to.

Either way, they weren't going to find blessed normality any time soon. . . .

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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[Evande]


She remained seated, right where she was after Nikolas and Ryu left her home. No words made it past her lips, as none formed within her mind. A fork remained in her hand, her eyes on her door. Following her asking them whether they’d yet settled into their apartment, she had not said a word. Simply, she had observed her neighbors in silence. There just had been nothing she could think of to say—nothing at all. Her own food was growing cold by now; she’d barely eaten any of what she had made for herself. Those two—something about them, it just, just. . . . Honestly, she didn’t know. Not at all. Ankle still hurting, the icepack she had around it beginning to warm to room temperature, Evande found herself coming back to reality thanks to the ache, and the sound of a tired ‘meow’ coming from somewhere under the blanket wad balled up on her futon.

Evande shook her head with a light exhale, trying to string her thoughts back together. Nikolas and Ryu, they were strange—beyond it. In and out of her home so quickly, as if they knew that she really hadn’t wanted them there. Though that might’ve been obvious from how she was acting, most people would normally linger in another’s home as long as they felt like, if they were invited in. And, those two had been invited in.

Something within her felt so off right now, that discontent she’d felt before with them, the wanting to have them out of her home, and for her to be able to return to her normalcy right after. . . . Where had it gone so quickly? Before she had set herself down, it had vanished away without as much as a warning. She didn’t understand how that could happen. It had been hard to so much as move herself while those two were around, and suddenly, that was bye-bye, left in its place was only what felt like a natural sort of shyness toward them, the uncertainty that one might feel if they were, well, more normal than her, if they were used to dealing with people already.

Her fork clanked against the plate, as Evande moved both her arms up onto the kotatsu’s surface, setting her head into her hands as she tried to make some sense of this. She couldn’t though, she just couldn’t no matter how hard she tried to, in truth, she almost felt like she wanted to cry she felt so confused by all of this. Years of her life, she had gone ahead and avoided people unless necessary, Kiku was even included in this, because she felt uncomfortable around them, she wanted so little to do with anyone since she was younger. People, they brought with them problems, complications, things that interrupted the comfortable normal of life. That’s why she wanted to keep them from her life, why it was she always felt so scared and anxious if her everyday normal was suddenly veered off its course, even if by a little.

Nikolas and Ryu had definitely veered things off course. . . . And she’d felt what she should’ve as a result before. Interaction with others, it just brought trouble! Drama, love, adventure and all of that stuff, the interesting and uncertain things in the world, she was happy leaving all of that to her manga, to her anime and videogames. They belonged there, not in her life. Never. Never at all. Amazing things did not have a place within her existence, she was someone who was meant to lead a boring and ordinary existence for the rest of her days, it was as simple as that. It had to be, because that was how things had been for her for years now . . . !

Squeezing her eyes shut, Evande’s body shook a bit, tensing up as it felt like her heart was beginning to sink into her stomach, which had began to churn, herself feeling nauseous. Was everything she had worked so hard for being uprooted? Was she losing everything she had worked so hard for? Would her normality begin to crumble underneath her, and vanish away? Is that what was happening?

It felt like it. She’d wanted Nikolas and Ryu to keep out of her life before, wanted to contain all the ripples that were going to occur from the one instance of their disrupting her routine. That’d been her goal in cooking for them, to repay their kindness with her own, even if it were an act driven of a selfish desire to maintain her normalcy. Simply, that was it. But things weren’t simple like that, they were not going to be. If they were, then she could’ve gotten through the meal with those two with no thoughts surfacing within her mind about them, about how they were acting, or anything like that.

Nikolas . . . he’d clutched onto his shoulder as if he’d been in pain all of a sudden at one point, but he tried to go on before he and Ryu left as if there was nothing wrong. She had noticed that instance, that gesture of discomfort and it had ingrained itself within her thoughts. And she couldn’t help it, what she felt within her heart—feeling concern. She shouldn’t have felt that, she shouldn’t have felt anything if things were going to be simple for her, if she were really going to just get those two in and out of her life so that she could make things go back to normal like before, then she wouldn’t have felt anything at all when she saw that!

That one single acknowledgement, that one bit of worry about another person, that would be the beginning of the undoing of everything she had come to know as her normal. Evande knew within her heart that her life was to become entwined with her new neighbors at some point, no matter what it was she wanted or what she tried to do to prevent that. She’d felt concern for Nikolas, which was going to bring about curiosity, a want to make sure he was all right, to look in on him, and in time that would lead to her speaking to either him or Ryu more often, and after that . . . a connection would form, a possible friendship. That was how it worked, that was how it started with Kiku, and how it was the fujoshi wound up a part of her life, being accepted into it. Evande had noticed that she was upset when passing by her on the street when she was heading home and the brunette was heading out, she looked like she had been crying, her nose was red and her eyes teary.

So, unable to turn a blind eye to that, she had given into her concern and took after the girl to find out what had seemed to upset her—the reason had been petty by anyone’s standards, but it had led to Kiku and her bonding, and shortly after, becoming something akin to friends. And again, it seemed like it might be happening. A spark of worry for another’s wellbeing couldn’t be ignored by her at all, that spark would eventually erupt into a powerful flame, and burn away at her until she could no longer take it and had to act in order to extinguish it. More people would be pulled into her life, and she would find herself connected to them whether or not she wanted to be, and with that happening, there would be within her existence more trouble, things would come to distress her when they otherwise wouldn’t have. . . .

Evidently, both the blonde and violet-haired man were not normal people! For one, she felt like she knew Nikolas from somewhere already, the two acted like a total couple out of a manga—even if she wasn’t one to think that way normally, Evande knew that was true—and the way they had reacted to a couple of cans of soda. . . . Claiming to be from the countryside was lame, even she knew that. They had soda in rural areas too.

Body about as tense as it could be, Evande had her hands pressing into the sides of her head while it was she’d been holding her breath; she took in a deeply strained inhale. That concern for Nikolas was beginning to grow. . . . She could feel it.

There was going to be no way to keep this from happening, she knew it. Those two and their weirdness, somehow and at some point they were going to become a part of her life. In some instances, like these, Evande wished herself like Kiku, she wished that she were unafraid of things; that she was bold and sure of herself, unafraid of whatever it might be that life had to offer to her. No matter how scary this felt to her, Evande knew what was coming, she knew that it was going to be inevitable—she was going to give into her instinct, her concerns and cares for others, and sink to checking in on Nikolas eventually. It was going to happen. It was just a question of when she would.

Head remaining in her hands, Evande could only allow a long sigh, an exasperated sort, slip from her. A few tears had formed in her eyes, and had begun to roll down her cheeks. Soon she was going to be saying goodbye to her life as it was, and she knew it. At last though, the otaku stood to her feet, gathering up her plate and eating utensils, leaving her unopened soda on the kotatsu while she went ahead and dumped the contents of her plate into the trash before it was she just dropped the thing into the sink without washing it off. She just didn’t feel like doing that right now, she’d get to it in the morning. . . . Ankle throbbing all the while she was on it, Evande hobbled back toward her futon, untangling the blankets up she quietly laid herself down into the mattress, drawing her knees up into her chest while she felt something squirming up between her torso and legs, a muffled mewl. Lifting the blankets up, a feline head popped out, a set of mismatched eyes, one gold and one green, stared at her while a body of black slinked out from there and curled up into a ball near the pillow that Evande had her head above.

Kiseki, her cat, who had not gotten much attention from her tonight thanks to everything that had happened, how she was feeling. “I’m sorry, Kiseki, momma’s been sort of preoccupied tonight, and she’s too tired to keep herself up any longer. . . .” she apologized to the cat. To this, the feline meowed. “I promise, I’ll be more attentive toward you in the morning, when I’ve slept off all this strangeness I’m feeling. . . .” Evande moved her hand up, and pulled the glasses off her face, setting them on the floor nearby. She rubbed at her eyes, sighing again before reaching up and clicking off the lights via a switch above her. All that remained on was her television now, showing nothing but cartoons and anime while it was the pink-haired otaku simply laid there, curled up, her crystal-eyes staring into the dimness that was her room.

It was only around seven PM, and already, she had herself in bed. The day had just been overwhelming, and she didn’t want to deal with it any longer, knowing what wasn’t too far off in the future for her, she just wanted to sleep. And that was what she did. Her eyes shut after sometime, and she drifted off into a light slumber, doing the same as Kiku had seemed to before. . . .

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Dawn hit the horizon and the apartment building was silent. There was no sound whatsoever, but then, there was the slight patter of bare feet on the floor of the apartment which belonged to the new tenants. The sun was only in the skies when the blonde crept over to the kitchen and flicked on the instant coffee machine, placing the cup underneath. He walked and sat on the couch, burying his head into the pillow sleepily and sighed, his eyes only glancing up at the coffee now overflowing from the cup it was supposed to be in. The boy stared at it, before groaning and standing up, stretching his arms out and walking over to turn off the machine and pour some of the coffee down the sink so it was actually portable. Sugar, stirring, and then leaving it to cool. Nikolas looked sleepily around the apartment before slipping into the bathroom and slipping on his pyjamas, laying down on the couch again.

Sure, it was a waste of coffee, but he decided he didn't want to sleep, but thought that maybe the smell would keep him awake. A quick glance at the clock showed that it hadn't even gone seven yet, and a flick of the wrist turned on the TV. He grabbed a brown blanket from under the couch and pulled it onto his body, snuggling under the warmth and almost purring like a cat. He watched the cooking program blankly, knowing quietly that he could never cook anything they did.

Nikolas' eyes were drifting closed when his hand reached out for the cup on the table, bringing it to his lips and drinking quickly. He downed the whole thing in a matter of seconds and sighed. Nikolas wasn't prepared to sleep, especially if all he was going to dream about were distant nightmares he'd rather forget. He stared up at the ceiling, before glancing at the mirror. Yeah, he looked fine. Not like he'd woken up hours before and hadn't been able to sleep since. As long as he acted energetic and violent as ever, no one would notice. Of course, he didn't have dark circles or bags under his eyes, but the pallor of his skin worried even himself and he brought a hand to his cheek, pinching it to bring colour. His efforts went down the drain and he sighed, rolling back onto the chair. Maybe he shouldn't have even gotten up in the first place.

The blonde shut his eyes against the light and yawned, before giving in to the temptation and letting himself drift into sleep once more.

His eyes only opened when at least an hour had passed and Ryu was kneeling next to him worriedly. Nikolas turned on the couch so he could see the purple haired man's face. Ryu hesitated, before placing his hand on Nikolas's forehead. He was apparently pleased, as he smiled lazily.

"No fever." He said, before the look of genuine concern Nikolas couldn't quite trust came back to the man's face. "Did you have a bad dream? Does your scar still pain you?" Nikolas shook his head in response warily, though he was aware of the mighty headache he had rolling in.

The boy pulled up his knees and curled up in a small ball, a big sigh drifting from his lungs. Ryu cast one more worried glance his way before standing. "I'm making instant ramen." He said.

"At eight in the morning?" Nikolas asked sarcastically, but he was happy for the food. Ryu didn't respond and Nikolas could hear rustling and boiling water for a few minutes, before he took both bowls in his hands. The blonde sat up and took his bowl with only a small mention of thanks, before he dug in. He ate with the chopsticks which came in the pack and scooted over to let Ryu sit on the other side of the couch, before he sighed and ate more. There was a few minutes of silence, before Nikolas spoke. "Don't you find it hard being so nice to everyone?"

Ryu laughed. "You make it sound like a chore." He said, before glancing at Nikolas' confused look.

"Isn't it?" he asked meekly, his face uncharacteristically expressive, and Ryu realised he'd let his defences down for the time being. There will be no tsun for now, only dere. the purple-haired man closed his eyes and took a deep breath triumphantly, a look of heroism on his face. However, Nikolas only seemed more confused, but not angry at him for being weird.

The violet haired boy took a few more seconds to compose his thoughts, before he spoke. "Being nice to people isn't something I think about. Like when you're nice to people; do you ever question your own intentions and do it for your own intentions, or do you just do it because you think it is right?" Nikolas seemed to consider the question carefully.

"I'd. . . . . do it because I think it's right. That doesn't mean everyone else does. I'll just get hurt if I think that way." There were a few seconds of silence while Nikolas put his bowl on the floor and curled up in a small ball.

"It also means that you should be more trusting and shouldn't judge people as bad without seeing their true colours." Ryu said calmly, getting off the couch and taking his and Nikolas' plates while washing them in silence. The blonde was going to protest against his point but Ryu spoke first. "Where did that question come from anyways?"

Nikolas seemed taken aback by the question, before he answered it quietly. "I was just wondering why you're always so nice to me even though I'm not so nice to you, and why Evande thought it would be fine to invite two strangers into her abode without keeping a knife nearby."

"Woah, would you keep a knife nearby?"

"I don't need knives. I can just use whatever I have in front of me. Evande, however, doesn't remember such skills from previous lifetimes and probably doesn't know how to make someone pass out using a chopstick." He said, before his body lolled back to the side and he noticed a pain in his joints. "Ryu?"

"Mm?"

"Could you go ask one of the girls for painkillers?"

Ryu frowned. "Maybe when I hear that one of them is up. You have to remember its quite early. I know you're feeling miserable, but you might have to wait unless you want me to nip down to the shop."

Nikolas frowned, turning to the television. "No. Stay." He said stubbornly, before closing his eyes and burying his face into the fabric. "Don't leave me alone."

"Aaah! Can't I just hug you~?" Ryu asked happily, smiling amiably over the boy who frowned. Nikolas shook his head and the violet haired man laughed, before sitting by the couch. "So, Niko-tan. Have you gotten any ideas over the last day?"

Nikolas shook his head. "Unfortunately, no. I can't work out what the gods want from us. They'll be sending down neon arrows pointing to what they want next." Nikolas sighed, before going silent and watching the talent show on the television, before drifting into a light sleep.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa

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[Evande & Kiku]


Sleep had not come easy, though she’d wanted nothing more than to feel its embrace, it’d taken her some hours to finally sink into it. That whole time, her brain had been overwhelmed with so many thoughts regarding everything that had happened to her in such a short time, the fact that her everyday life had come under threat, and would remain that way. . . . There was no getting past it, though she’d tried to contain the ripples caused by Nikolas and Ryu intervening when she’d hurt her ankle, by insisting those two come inside her home, so that she could repay their unwanted kindness, she had only wound up hurting herself instead of helping. Nikolas holding onto his shoulder, that’d caught her attention, and her concern. Evande knew where things were going to lead soon enough.

She’d managed to bring herself to care about the wellbeing of a stranger, and in doing so, doomed herself and the comfortable routine she had established. Life would never be the same for her.

With weighted thoughts on her mind, Evande found herself delving into a fitful sleep full of fragmented dreams and nightmares, causing her to toss and turn throughout the night, moaning and whimpering to herself the whole of the time. As the sun had come and risen above the morning horizon, shining brightly into her room, painting the poster and shelf covered walls orange, Evande managed to remain out like a light. Her television still on, the pinkette found herself awakening, groggily, to the sounds of a morning cartoon—English, by the sounds of it. What channel did her television have to be on to be getting that . . . ?

The otaku didn’t move at all, body feeling as if it weighed twice as much as it really did, and she was still very tired—she just wanted to shut her eyes, and drift off again. Or, try to, at least. She cracked open her crystalline eyes, peering out into her bright room, at her television with a soft moan, before she turned her head and buried her face in her pillow again. Kiseki was still curled up in a ball, in the same place as he’d been last night. Early morning, and both owner and pet were comfortable, so why not try for some more sleep? In her state, she didn’t remember anything of the previous day, or the fact that her sense of peace and comfort had become endangered. All she wanted was sleep.

As she turned to move her body though, to turn onto her stomach, there was something that caught hold of Evande’s attention—the fact that she felt a set of arms, wrapped around her middle, a head rested against her back. “Mm?” a questioning noise slipped from her throat, as her eyes opened completely. Although it might’ve seemed like she should’ve been freaking out to waking up as she was, Evande couldn’t have been calmer. Blinking a few times, her mind clearing up to the haze that sleep had cast around it, the otaku only really realized that there were arms around her after about half a minute of being awake, staring off into the air at nothing. She knew whom those arms belonged to. They were thin, and spindly. Kiku.

Reaching over, Evande felt around the floor for her glasses, finding them after a moment, she put them on as she turned her head around to see that it was indeed Kiku, clinging onto her, fast asleep. The fujoshi was holding onto her it felt like for dear life, resting soundly with her head on Evande’s back, in the early morning light though, the pink-haired woman was able to make out something that didn’t belong on the brunette’s face. On her cheeks, there were tearstains, light and barely there. She had been crying? Seeing this, Evande’s gaze softened. This wasn’t the first time that she’d woken up to find Kiku in her bed, clutching onto her seeming to have been crying.

Evande never asked her why that was, why it happened, or what it was that had Kiku crying. Instead, she simply accepted the girl’s strange presence like this. The first time it’d happened, it had been a shock to awaken with the fujoshi holding onto her like that. . . . But now, it felt like a part of her normal.

My . . . normal. Evande’s mind ticked, thoughts beginning to spin, to weave together as her brain stirred up from its fatigue. The otaku lain still for a moment, body tensing up as she came to remember the events of the previous day. Her new neighbors, her falling, them helping her while she declined their help, insisting she’d be fine on her own. . . . Kiku’s insistence on them matching the stereotypes of a couple from a yaoi manga, and the fact that she had gone and made them food before, to try to repay their kindness so that she could get them out of her life then and there. Then there was the concern she’d felt surge through her for Nikolas, seeing him hold onto his shoulder. The familiarity, and the fact that she hadn’t felt so scared to have him and Ryu within her home, or even in her life. Th-that’s right, that was what I felt. . . . Why? Why did I have to feel anything for him? To see him in pain?

She was going to wind up checking up on him and Ryu at some point today, even though she dreaded doing so on the inside, Evande could feel that was going to happen. From the otaku came a weary exhale, as it was she supported herself up with her arms, moving the right out from under her to shake Kiku awake. Gently stirring the girl, she spoke, “Kiku-san . . . you need to wake up, I need to move.” There was no sign of response from the girl, save a light moan as she nuzzled her face into Eva’s back some more. Evande rolled her eyes, a small smile surfaced on her face. “C’mon, I need to moooooooove. . . .”

“Don’t wanna. . . .” slipped from Kiku, the girl’s voice groggy. “Too comfy to move.”

“You’re holding onto me, who needs to get up and move.” Evande responded while it was Kiku suddenly tightened the grip she had around Evande’s middle, doing so, so quickly that the pinkette half-shrieked out in surprise, voice carrying and definitely audible outside of her apartment. Her eyes a bit wide, face going a bit red, she glanced back down at the fujoshi who was holding onto her so closely.

Evande tried to turn herself around a bit, causing Kiku to be resting her head on her stomach rather than her back, still clutching onto her. There slipped from near Evande’s head a ‘meow,’ before Evande found herself with a weight on her leg, looking down to see that Kiseki was up, lying there staring at his owner, tail swishing back and forth behind him as if he were ready to pounce.

Seemed like her day was off to another weird enough start—Kiku clinging onto her, while she knew she was going to wind up checking in on the neighbors who she felt strangely okay around. . . . In truth, the otaku knew that her current predicament had to look questionable, if anything. Kiku was asleep in her bed, holding onto her as if for dear life. Honestly, she didn’t much care though, since it was somewhat normal for things to be like this some mornings, well, she didn’t care until it was she remembered that her door had to be unlocked for Kiku to have gotten in that night. And she’d shrieked loud enough before to have been heard outside her apartment, and now, she had neighbors.

Oh god, no, no, no. . . . Evande thought, the horror setting in.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

0.00 INK

- Nikolas & Ryu -


Ryu watched the television in silence. It was weird, with all these people singing and sometimes the judges would stop whoever was singing and tell them they're great or to get off the stage and go home. He couldn't help thinking how hilarious it would be to see Nikolas being rejected by the judges; he'd be so quick he could pin one of the judges to the floor and choked them to death before the guards could even get a glance of him. Though, of course, Nikolas wouldn't go within a hundred miles of any talent show and Ryu would be the one choking to death if he even tried to register him for one.

A scream drifted through the hallway. Ryu noticed that it wasn't a bloodcurdling scream or anything, but more of a frightened scream. Perhaps Evande's cat had jumped her? It was strange; Nikolas hadn't noticed the cat. Was he really that on edge? For Nikolas to not notice the feline was strange; Ryu had seen a glimpse of the cat in the futon the night before. Well, Nikolas was asleep anyway.

However, Ryu had decided to glance at Nikolas to see how he had reacted, only to see that his thoughts had distracted him and Nikolas was edging towards the door with their heaviest frying pan. Ryu had to walk towards him slowly so he wouldn't startle the blonde and end up the victim of a Texas frying-pan massacre. The violet-haired boy placed his hand on Nikolas's shoulder calmly, startling the boy.

Nikolas spun quickly. "I bet she's being robbed, o-or hurt or something and-" The look in his eyes shocked Ryu. There were so many emotions; anxiety, fear, concern, confusion but most of all, care. It was obvious he did care about Evande, and Ryu could tell he had his walls of defence down. He was just Nikolas, clean of any tough pretences, and he could practically feel the worry and paranoia radiating off the blonde.

The boy made for the door again and Ryu grabbed his wrist. "No." Ryu said. If he had thought Nikolas had seemed pale before, he was insane because he had turned into a sheet.

"What. . . . ?" He said slowly, looking at Ryu while letting his wrist go limp in Ryu's hold. Ryu, however, held a tight grip to make sure Nikolas didn't go flying out of the door.

Ryu looked at the puppy dog eyes Nikolas was making and forced himself to ignore them. "I said no. You're supposed to be avoiding her, and she'll get really suspicious if you burst in there like you own the joint with a frying pan!"

"What if she's hurt? She could have fell and broken something and-"

"And what has she done in times without you? She just got up and went to the doctor's," The blonde tensed and shivered at the very word, " and she turned out fine. She probably just got attacked by her cat or something."

Nikolas stayed quiet for a few seconds. "Hear that?" He asked. Ryu shook his head. "Silence. That's what it is. Evande would be making a lot of noise if she hurt herself since she'd be stumbling into everything, but silence is just. . . . " Nikolas loosened Ryu's hold on his hand and he swung the door open, creeping through the corridor. He was going to knock, but his mind was set on the 'attacker/burglar' theory. The blonde placed his hand on the handle and he moved it a bit, and was surprised a hell when it opened.

The frying pan stayed casually in his hand so it looked like he'd just coincidentally had the pan in his hand before he left his apartment. Nikolas only became more worried when he wondered why the door was open; had someone kicked it down like him? No, he hadn't heard a bang. Then again, he had been asleep so it was hard to tell. He edged into her apartment and caught a glimpse of himself and saw Ryu behind him. He was still white as snow and his blonde hair was fluffy and ruffled. His grey pyjamas had buttoned up cuffs at least halfway down his hands and the trousers were long, fabric gathering around his ankles with only feet popping out from underneath. Ryu's hair was a complete mess and he was wearing purple pyjama trousers which scarily matched his hair, and a white t-shirt.

"Miss Sterling?" Nikolas called, being sure not to sound too personal and worried. That didn't stop the concern from lacing itself into his voice. "Are you alright?"

The two boys glanced at Evande's couch and saw Kiku with her arms around Evande's middle, and saw that Evande was awake and very much awake. Nikolas looked shocked, then guilty, and then he bowed, keeping his head down while he spoke. "S-Sorry for the intrusion, but I thought. . . . I-I mean I. . . I heard you scream and I assumed something bad had happened, and then your door was unlocked so I thought someone had broken in and I'm terribly sorry." Nikolas spoke in a quick rush, before finally looking up and giving Evande a sheepish look which Ryu instantly dubbed the "adorable 'Forgive me?' look" and he grinned.

"You're so cute when your flustered. Can I hug you?" He asked, causing Nikolas to just stare at him. And then Nikolas remembered how tired and pale he looked; he didn't want Evande or Kiku to see him like that.

Like a mouse, he snuck behind Ryu and grabbed his shirt from the back, clutching it behind his hands as he pressed his head on the violet-haired boy's spine to hide himself from Evande and Kiku.

I just have to wait for an acceptance of my apology and then we can leave and give Evande her long sought out peace. he thought, a small frown on his face as he peeked out from his 'human shield' to see how the girls had reacted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

0.00 INK

[Evande & Kiku]



Kiku’s grip was iron, no doubt about that. She’d learned this sometime ago, another time when it was that she’d found the fujoshi holding onto her after waking up. It didn’t matter how she struggled against it, there was just no breaking free of her hold. The brunette was out cold again, face pressed into Evande’s stomach, much to the otaku’s embarrassment—and trepidation. Kiku had squeezed before, managing to make her squeak in shock, and she knew that sound of hers had carried; the apartment building wasn’t exactly soundproofed well. Her cheeks were a shade of red, and she had her hands on Kiku, trying to pry herself free because of what she dreaded happening. They had neighbors now, people who could well wander over in curiosity to investigate why it was she’d shrieked out so early in the day. God please don’t let that happen, it’s bad enough to had to go and overlap my life with the lives of two strangers so suddenly. . . . So, please just give me a bit of a break and don’t let either of those two come and see this!

Nikolas and Ryu, those two. . . . Interaction had been brief, only lasting less than an hour last night. But that hour had altered something, and Evande knew that much. There was something profound, the sentiment was fleeting, and unexplainable, but she felt it. The fear she bore of people impeding upon her comfortable, normal life had seemed to just flow away from her in a heartbeat, and she’d only been left with what she presumed would be the normal sort of fright carried by anyone. That fact alone was enough to send through her a different sort of anxiety—why would she just up and relinquish something she’d carried for years, something that had been so instrumental in her getting by in the world?

Since she’d been younger, the only thing that had sustained her through hard times and through bad had been her anxieties and her sense of caution. It kept people away from her, from getting caught up in her life and her in theirs. Her problems remained hers while others kept their concerns to themselves. Floating by through life by herself, while lonely, had kept so much from troubling her, kept her secure. . . . She’d been safe.

Then when Kiku had invaded her security, it had sent her into a panic, a state of uncertainty, so overwhelming and painful had it been for her to admit that things were going to change for her, and that she had to accommodate the addition of a new element into her life. . . . It felt like it was going to be impossible to do, and after some time she’d been able to do so. But, it had been such a process, and so hard before, when, now, it seemed as if things were progressing toward that. It wasn’t normal, there was no way it could be called so when she knew that it just wasn’t. The girl who was clinging onto her now was proof enough of that.

“Kiku-san, please . . . let go of me. I don’t mind if you go right back to sleep afterward, but for now, please just let go.” Evande spoke softly, frowning a bit in embarrassment when the girl nuzzled her face into her stomach. Kiseki meowed again, still perched upon his master’s leg; it caused her to turn her crystal-eyes upon the feline. He stared at her with a bemused sort of glint in those slitted eyes of his, causing the pinkette to sigh. “Don’t give me that look, Kiseki. . . .”

The cat meowed again, before it was he turned his head, getting up from her and hopping onto the floor. Shaking her head, Evande looked back to the girl holding onto her for dear life. In truth, she wondered what made the girl do this. Kiku seemed like she was so full of vigor, inner-strength and certainty, enough to keep her from crying in her sleep, or from seeking out the warmth and comfort of another person at ungodly hours. Attitudes and appearances though, they were deceiving. Evande herself knew that, given her own background and self. There must’ve been something really troubling the fujoshi for her to get like this at times, not that Evande would know since she never pried or asked—and if she thought enough, she always wound up realizing that she really didn’t know much about her yaoi-loving neighbor, save some more or less obvious things.

They were friends, indeed, they were, but their relationship was shallow. They never spoke of any subjects or topics with depth, so, their friendship remained comfortable, simple and casual. Neither herself or Kiku had ever seemed fit to go ahead and drudge up something of true significance. Obviously, both Evande and Kiku herself did have some troubles within their pasts—Evande’s showed through her life, and Kiku’s showed through the fact that she could sometimes be found how she was now. In a way, they were both alone.

Evande might’ve been comfortable with solitude, Kiku might not have been. With a deep sigh slipping from her, Evande set a hand upon the girl’s head. “You’re just one full of troubles, aren’t you . . . ?” she asked quietly.

Life was just, it just wasn’t going to go the way she wanted it to. All she had wanted for herself was a simple, and routine sort of lifestyle, but with Kiku popping into it last year, and now, perhaps two more people. It wasn’t going to be easy. Evande already knew that there was something strange up. . . . She’d felt like she knew Nikolas the night before. And there’s the fact that I already am feeling concern for him, despite only have exchanged very few words with him and Ryu. In the quiet of her sunlit-orange apartment, with the only sound coming from a half-muted television, Evande could only mull over things a bit, letting Kiku rest against her in peace, though her cheeks were still tinged pink from the prospect of them being seen like this. It’d been a few minutes since she’d cried out though, and there’d been nothing so far. . . . Maybe she was safe? Maybe God had gone ahead and shown her some pity.

When it was that her nerves regarding that began to calm though, Evande heard a squeak, a squeak that came from the hinges of her front door. As soon as she heard that, the otaku froze up, even her breathing stopped. [i]Why is this happening after minutes and not seconds?!


Why the hell did they have to wind up with new neighbors who seemed like they were out of a BL manga . . . ?!

“Miss Sterling?” she heard the voice of Nikolas call into her apartment, from within the entranceway, and with that, Evande turned her head up, her hand still on Kiku’s head. “Are you all right?” Though she was mortified, Evande heard it within his voice . . . concern. The otaku blinked a few times as it was both Nikolas and Ryu peeked into the living area of her home, both looking like they’d just woken up themselves, still in their pajamas with bed head.

Nikolas looked like he was utterly stunned at the sight of Kiku clinging onto her, before it very hastily slipped into an expression of culpability. Her face just went red because the blonde looked like he was freaked. . . . Then, the boy bowed, his head kept downward while he began to prattle on, stumbling and stuttering over his words just like herself whenever faced with a situation he felt no comfort in. “S-Sorry for the intrusion, but I thought. . . . I-I mean I. . . I heard you scream and I assumed something bad had happened, and then your door was unlocked so I thought someone had broken in and I'm terribly sorry.” He looked up to her, bearing a rather shamefaced appearance on top of him looking about as ashen as a ghost.

The new voices within the bounds of the apartment caused Kiku to begin stirring, the brunette let out a soft moan, audible only to Evande as she moved, turning her head away from Evande’s middle, gazing out into the woman’s apartment, eyes only half open. It still looked like she’d been crying, her eyes were a bit swollen while her nose was tinted red. Evande glanced down at the girl. She looked very tired; her deep-red eyes were laced over with the want to succumb to sleep again, but the fujoshi didn’t do that. Instead her eyes, trailed from Evande, over to the two boys standing within the mouth of the apartment. The pink-haired woman knew what thoughts were already beginning to spin within that tired brain of Kiku’s.

“You're so cute when your flustered. Can I hug you?” Ryu asked, Nikolas in turn just wound up staring at the guy, before he darted behind him, in a timid manner.

Eva blinked and sighed, This isn’t going to help Kiku’s viewing them as a couple, despite their claim of being brothers. Her own face was beginning to go flush she knew it. If not for the reason that she and Kiku were caught as they were in her bed, it was for the fact that she knew what manner of thought the little fujoshi was capable of, considering she’d forced her ideas on Evande time and time again, urging her to draw them out in manga form. . . .

Nikolas peeked out from behind Ryu, as it was Kiku was relinquishing Evande from her grip, pulling her thin arms back to herself as she stretched them above her head with a groan, rubbing at one of her eyes afterward, looking at her neighbors before acknowledging them. “Mm, mornin’ Ryu-seme, Niko-uke. . . .”

To hearing her greeting, Evande tensed up, a squeak escaping her. “Kiku!!” she breathed out, voice going very high pitched. Now it was Evande found herself caught between feelings—mortification due to Kiku, and the situation they’d be found in, the uncertainty of having Nikolas and Ryu in her home again, the fact that she felt less than freaked toward the two, and the whole sense of familiarity toward Nikolas.

Kiku looked up at Evande, still tired. “Ooooh, g’morning to you too Eva-kun, I forgot I was here. . . .”

“E-eh, how d’you forget you were . . . here?” she asked her, eyes a bit wide, “You were clinging onto me about as tightly as you could while you were sleeping.”

The brunette simply shrugged before it was she yawned and tipped backward, turning on her side as she curled up into a ball, shutting her eyes to seemingly sleep some more. Evande stared at her, blinking a couple of times before looking back up at her two neighbors, a twitch of discontent rippled through her at seeing them. Standing there, in her home, having seen Kiku clinging onto her. . . . Embarrassing wasn’t the word. The otaku, glanced away from the two, her face still red while it was she did her best to swallow back the fact that she was reluctant to have them nearby at all . . . uncomfortable with it or not, Eva knew well enough that things weren’t going to be as simple as shoving them out of her life since she’d already felt concern for Nikolas, seeing him clutch onto his shoulder at dinner last night.

So quick had their interactions been before, her trying to forcedly and selfishly repay their gesture of aiding her with her locked door and twisted ankle. She’d thought she was containing one of the ripple from that event by doing so, but she hadn’t, if anything she’d gone ahead and managed to make a ripple of her own by answering her door for Ryu when he knocked, letting them into her home, insisting on it had been a mistake. It’d deepened whatever shallow connection had already been established between herself and these two. I suppose that even if I try to push them away now, it might not happen . . . darn it, my sense of peace and normality is really gone, isn’t it? she sighed.

Pushing up on her glasses with her index finger, Evande lightly cleared her throat as it was she moved herself out from under her blankets, ascending to her feet, wincing a bit as a dull pain surged up from her hurt ankle. The ice pack she’d had on it had thawed completely overnight, and at some point come off, leaving the joint exposed, red and swollen. But, that wasn’t what mattered at the moment—Nikolas and Ryu.

Abashedly, she looked up at both the boys, “A-ah, um. . . .” she started, unable to get anything out.

So, she looked down and away at the two, lightly crossing her arms over her middle. “Y-you just thought th-that there was something wrong . . . s-so you were trying to help. I-it’s all right. . . .” Her voice barely made it out as more than a breathy sort. “K-Kiku-san, she just—just sometimes wanders ov-over here at night, I-I guess she gets lonely o-or something, and I wake up to find her clinging onto me, l-like, well, y’know, what you both saw.”

Moving her hands until it was her fingers intertwined at her front; the otaku blinked a couple of times, her face matching her hair rather well now. Glancing back up, looking between Ryu and Nikolas’ faces, she noted the fact that the blonde still looked rather . . . pallor. “Y-you two, are you all right . . . ?” she asked. “Ni-Nikolas, you’re lo-looking rather pale in particular. . . .”

As soon as she finished speaking though, the sound of the front door slamming caused Evande to inwardly flinch, as well as squeak. No sooner did that squeak come from her though, did a loud and somewhat mischievous mewl slip from the entranceway of the apartment—Kiseki had taken it upon himself to shut the door behind Nikolas and Ryu, and was now sitting in front of it, staring at the two men. Her eyes wide and Kiku still sleeping, Evande stayed quiet a moment. “Umm, I-I guess that’s Kiseki’s way of saying he wants you two to stay for a little while?”

To this, the cat meowed.

That’s a yes if there ever was one. . . . she thought, before smiling nervously. “Uhh, um, sooooo . . . either of you two up for breakfast then?” Though it was true that she didn’t want to do this, she was still going to, something was off with what she was feeling, and though it scared her to admit so, that ‘off-ness’ she felt, it was important.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

0.00 INK

- Nikolas & Ryu -


“Mm, mornin’ Ryu-seme, Niko-uke. . . .” Nikolas raised an eyebrow and glanced at Kiku's face, obviously tear-stained, before deciding not to say anything in retaliation. She didn't need an annoying blonde in the morning, and so he wasn't going to be unless the time called for it.

Evande seemed shocked at her neighbour's words. To be fair, neither of the boys really seemed all that surprised at Kiku, but probably since they were literally centuries ahead of Evande on the subject of the personality which Kiku Kurosawa dons. Kiku!!

The two shared more friendly banter, while Ryu mumbled a quick "G' morning." to the brunette, before Nikolas zoned out of the conversation. He had always found it strange how the Gods had practically plotted Kiku and Evande in each other's lives. This had never happened before; if the Gods had interfered with other people or other selves, it was mostly for a fight or something violent to happen so they could laugh themselves silly. Nikolas himself didn't find any of their 'jokes' personally funny and instead hates them for screwing around with lives.

However, it's not his opinion which counts and the blonde seems to forget about this with every passing era. In fact, he was starting to nurse the small flame of hope and determination within him.

“A-ah, um. . . .” Her stumbling drew his mind away from his thoughts, blue eyes drifting from the wall he had seemingly suddenly found very interesting.

Nikolas looked at the girl, her pink hair and her blue eyes identical to his own in colour, before looking away.“Y-you just thought th-that there was something wrong . . . s-so you were trying to help. I-it’s all right. . . .” Ah, so he was forgiven. He was prepared to flee at that very moment, but he just hid himself perfectly behing Ryu and buried his head into the purple-haired boy's back. It was as if he thought that if he made himself as small and invisible as possible, he could soon disappear. “K-Kiku-san, she just—just sometimes wanders ov-over here at night, I-I guess she gets lonely o-or something, and I wake up to find her clinging onto me, l-like, well, y’know, what you both saw.”

"Like a koala bear." Ryu remarked gleefully, causing Nikolas to snigger involuntarily at the image of Kiku as a koala bear while he reprimanded Ryu with a small hit to the back.

Evande, however, seemed concerned about something else. She was looking at them once more and was a bright shade of red which caused Nikolas to pop his head out from behind the taller man so he could look at the girl as she spoke.“Y-you two, are you all right . . . ?” she asked. Is she talking about me or Ryu? She can't be talking about me. She can't have noticed. There's no way; no one apart from bastard-purple-thing notices stupid things like this. “Ni-Nikolas, you’re lo-looking rather pale in particular. . . .” The blonde brought his head up quickly so his hair bounced as he stared at the girl in surprise.

Nikolas was taken aback. He wrapped his arms instinctively around his middle and bit his bottom lip while sliding sideways so he was no longer hidden behind Ryu. She noticed. She actually. . . . Evande, she- What's the point in hiding behind the bastard when what I was trying to hide was found? Although his eyes had been surprised and fixed on Evande, he now stared at the floor without even answering her question. Just as he opened his mouth though, something happened. He couldn't quite work out what because his brain didn't quite register exactly what had happened. He couldn't quite tell what made the noise without doing a bit of glancing around. His eyes fixated on a black cat, locking eyes with the animals.

“Umm, I-I guess that’s Kiseki’s way of saying he wants you two to stay for a little while?” The blonde looked in awe from the cat to its owner and blinked, before loosing eye contact with them both and looking up at Ryu for assurance. Ryu shrugged; it wasn't as if the world was ending. They could just answer her with a simple yes or no, but neither of them said a word. They just looked at her blankly.

Evande was speaking once more, however Ryu didn't seem to be listening and was instead glancing at Kiku. I wonder what made her cry this time.“Uhh, um, sooooo . . . either of you two up for breakfast then?”

And once again, the blonde was shocked. He glanced up from the floor to the pink haired girl, before looking at Ryu to make sure he'd gotten the gist of the conversation. Nope. "Ryu?" he asked timidly, before standing in front of him and pulling the man's cheeks apart to make a comical face. Nikolas sniggered at the sight, but Ryu seemed to be back to earth. "Evande asked if we want to stay for breakfast."

"Oh." Ryu said rather blankly, before crossing his arms. "We'd be delighted to. Thank you." Nikolas frowned; they had eaten pretty recently and he wasn't sure he'd be able to finish the meal. Maybe he could get away with the excuse of feeling under the weather. The blonde glanced uneasily around the apartment, before he jumped at the hand ruffling his hair. Instantly, the boy had leapt on Ryu and knocked him to the ground, pinning him down and holding his hand loosely around the other's neck.

He frowned at Ryu's seemingly amused smile. "Don't scare me like that. Don't just do things out of nowhere without even warning me, okay?[/i] he said, his voice filled with confusion. I shouldn't do things without warning him, eh? He just shoved me to the ground without another word. Ryu thought. "What are you smiling at?" In that small silence where Nikolas stared at the purple haired man, Kiseki crawled over Ryu on the floor. Nikolas' face filled with hoy and he smiled, a big grin as his eyes glimmered to show he wasn't even close to faking the smile on his face.

He slid sideways so he was sitting on the floor near the cat, holding his hand out the pet Kiseki. The cat sniffed his hand slowly, before pressing his head against the hand. Ryu had already stood and was glancing at Kiku to make sure she wouldn't make strange uke-jokes.

Nikolas was petting the cat fondly. Kiseki doesn't really seem all to shy or wary of me. Perhaps. . . . it's because I'm essentially part of Evande, as she is of me. Ah, Kiseki's really cute! I wish Ryu and I had a cat. he thought, even letting Ryu pet his own hair. Unconsciously, he leaned towards the contact and closed his eyes like the cat, before he realised what he was actually doing and he blinked. "D-d-don't get any weird ideas." he said, standing quickly. "My hair is just fluffy to- O-oh." Nikolas swayed on his feet, placing cold hands on his head. Ryu placed his hand on the blonde's shoulder, looking at him in concern.

"Are you okay?"

"Mm." he responded, before crossing his arms. "Just stood up too quickly."

Ryu shrugged, mocking ignorance. "If you say so."

Nikolas raised an eyebrow. "Well, I do say so, so. . . ." Ryu chuckled and Nikolas grinned at him awkwardly.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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[Evande & Kiku]


Evande pressed upon the bridge of her glasses again, fiddling about with them a bit, nervous and undoubtedly hesitant in all this. She’d actually mustered up the will to ask if they wanted to stay over for breakfast, despite the fact that so much of her was against it. It was important though, something about this ‘off’ feeling she felt, it was significant in some way. Why did it matter at all, what importance did either Ryu or Nikolas have in her life . . . ? The two were strangers, she’d barely spoken to them before, they’d helped her out with her situation last night despite her insistence on not, and though she’d made them dinner as well, they’d not lingered in her home long, they simply ate and left when most people would’ve stuck around a while longer. Yet there persisted within her this familiar sort of sentiment, that Nikolas was someone she . . . knew.

The blonde really did look like Ulric the last time she’d seen him a couple of years ago, and that made her feel nostalgic, thinking of her brother. But that wasn’t it, when she looked at Nikolas, it didn’t drudge anything up that made her think of just Ulric, the feeling was one that made her think that she knew him instead. Of course, there were no memories there of him within her mind. It was a complete blank, and yet still, she felt a sense in her heart that told her otherwise . . . why? It made no sense.

The notion that these two were going to become a part of her ‘normal’ was still hard to swallow down. It made her feel like her insides were squirming with unease; it made her feel like she wanted to panic. She’d felt like this when Kiku had invaded her life a year ago too, but before, it had felt much worse, it had been so much tougher then. This time though, it wasn’t so. At least, not so prominent, the feeling wasn’t so strong. I really don’t understand why. I don’t like the idea of letting my life change on me, letting more people into it. . . . But, I have to cope with this for now, fighting it might just cause more problems.

Kiku was still snoozing away, peacefully.

Her face still pink, Evande drew her gaze back to Nikolas and Ryu, doing her best to lay all she felt to rest for the time being. She had to act as ‘normal’ as she could for now. That would indeed be a hard thing to do. . . . Nikolas was looking at her, looking like he might feeling like he was in the same boat as her. He still looked like he wasn’t feeling so well—despite the fact that it was obvious enough that both boys had probably just jumped up from sleeping when they popped into her apartment after she’d squeaked. . . . In truth, a part of her had to wonder why it was they had just come on over as they had. It wasn’t like she knew either Ryu or Nikolas well, the two had just moved in after all. Most brand-new neighbors would not just burst into action for the sake of someone they barely knew, at best, most people would just call for help or something. Honestly, the two, it felt like they were trying to regard her with some level of distance, like they did know her but didn’t want to let that on.

Nikolas was busy tugging on Ryu’s cheeks, trying to get the violet-haired man’s attention, as he seemed like he was daydreaming rather well. . . . “Evande asked if we want to stay for breakfast.” Seemed as if that got him back into reality. . . .

It took him a moment to process that, or so it seemed to Evande. “Oh. We’d be delighted to. Thank you.” he answered.

There came from the otaku a quiet nod in response, she didn’t need to say anything since they’d agreed—or Ryu had, Nikolas hadn’t revealed what he wanted to do. She took a few tentative steps toward the entranceway kitchen, limping a bit due to her hurting ankle. Her face cringed up a bit as she moved, yes, there was pain, but it was tolerable for now. The pain was a result of her normality being disrupted by a jammed door lock. . . . Which led to how things were now. Evande glanced at Nikolas and Ryu as she moved, noting that the Kiku deemed uke-type was looking around in something of a flighty manner it seemed, like he wasn’t sure if he actually wanted to be there now. Perhaps he was thinking of skipping out.

I wouldn’t be surprised, nor would I be disappointed if that happened. . . . I don’t even know why I’m compelling myself to do this, even if it is true that I felt something for him in the way of concern, much of me still doesn’t want to go through with this. she sighed to herself.

The pinkette froze when it was that Nikolas tackled Ryu to the floor, looking almost ready to throttle the latter. Her eyes were wide, not sure what to make of the scene. God, it’s a really good think Kiku’s out like a light, if she saw that scene I’d have to dart back over and clamp her mouth shout or else she’d be going on about yaoi stuff. . . . Eva’s cheeks flushed red again. Oh that fujoshi was a strange one, moving her odd tastes from the realm of fiction where they belonged into reality, making the focal point of them her neighbors. Honestly, she feared what might come from the brunette in the future, it wasn’t as if she hadn’t spewed out enough material for Evande to mentally block out before. . . .

“Don't scare me like that. Don't just do things out of nowhere without even warning me, okay?” she overheard Nikolas say that to Ryu, before he asked, “What are you smiling at?”

Evande had made her way into the kitchen by this point, and was looking back at both of the boys while Kiseki made his ninja-cat way over to them, curious it seemed. He’d been conked out the night before, mostly, when she’d insisted the two come in for dinner. The cat was an odd one really, too intelligent for his own good, sly and troublemaking too. . . . He’d been the same since it was that Eva had brought him home after finding him in an alleyway some time back. He could be a nuisance at times, but life wouldn’t be the same if Kiseki weren’t in it. I guess, how it came to be with Kiku, a-and . . . maybe these two . . . ? she wondered to herself, feeling her heart grow heavy. It felt like it sunk into her stomach.

A slow and quiet exhale slipped from her. But her crystalline eyes slipped again to her neighbors, and she couldn’t help a small smile when she saw the rather wide grin that took hold of Nikolas’ features at seeing Kiseki so close. He slid to the floor so he was level with the feline, and both simply stared at one another. That was endearing in its own weird way. Seemed the blonde was an animal lover. Which was nice to know since she did have a cat. Kiseki sniffed warily at Nikolas’ hand, before he nuzzled his head into it happily enough, a soft mewl slipped from him.

Ryu was back to his feet already. Though Evande wasn’t sure, she thought it looked like he was looking to Kiku off and on. Though, the next sight that played out with Nikolas leaning into Ryu’s hand as the Kiku deemed seme-type more or less went on to pet the blonde as if he were a cat made Eva’s eyes go a bit wide as her face reddened. One didn’t need to have a gutter-mind like Kiku to get the wrong impression from seeing that sort of thing between two people. Nikolas seemed to try to compose himself after he realized what was going on about as quickly as he could, trying to push the whole even aside, standing to his feet quickly, tipping to the side a bit.

He claimed he was fine but. . . . She wasn’t so sure of that. However, she wasn’t going to let on about noticing what she had yet, so instead the otaku opted for a more simple route. Fiddling with her glasses again, she attempted to speak up while it was Kiseki was pawing at Nikolas’ pants leg, meowing for his attention again. “Um, Ryu, Nikolas, if you would like to, you can go ahead and watch television while I get things together. The remote is on the kotatsu—I have satellite, so I get foreign channels too if you’re interested. . . .” she spoke quickly and quietly, a tone of concern laced through her words.

“Feel free to sit down on the couch as well, Kiku-san will likely remain asleep until after I finished up breakfast—she has impeccable time like that.” Evande turned on her heel, stepping to gather things out from the fridge and from the cupboards, clicking her stovetop on so that she could get things together while it heated up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Nikolas brought his eyes down to the tugging sensation on his trouser leg and made a face which Ryu could only describe as the face he himself makes when Nikolas is being too adorable for words. Obviously, the look Kiseki was giving to Nikolas convinced him to melt to the ground and start petting the cat quietly, a childish smile on his face. “Um, Ryu, Nikolas, if you would like to, you can go ahead and watch television while I get things together. The remote is on the kotatsu—I have satellite, so I get foreign channels too if you’re interested. . . .” Foreign channels? Why would they need foreign channels? Nikolas obviously wasn't listening to a single word Evande was saying and was now petting the cat who had crawled onto his lap quietly.

“Feel free to sit down on the couch as well, Kiku-san will likely remain asleep until after I finished up breakfast—she has impeccable time like that.” Evande continued. Ryu nodded, but didn't see much sense in probably startling the girl when she woke up. She didn't want to wake up to a mess of purple hair. Actually, his and Nikolas' hair wasn't really that messed up. Sure, Nikolas's hair was a tad bit fluffy, but Ryu's hair was just normal as usual. Still, bright colours in the morning were t usually desired.

Ryu sat at the end of the couch, spotting Kiku's bare feet. The purple-haired man had to fight the urge to run his finger up the underside of her foot just to tickle her. He wondered if she would actually laugh or if she wouldn't react and just stare at him like he was a weirdo.

Probably the latter.

Kiseki was very calm in Nikolas' arms, nuzzling his head against the blonde's chest. Ryu slid from the couch and sat by the boy on the floor. Ah, he's making that face again~ Maybe I should scare him a teeny bit~ Ryu thought happily, before deciding upon his next course of action.

At the feel of something closing around him, Nikolas nearly jumped out of his skin. Ryu glomped him, a foolish grin on his face. A few meaningless stutters left Nikolas' mouth before he shuddered and his body went limp. The cat jumped from his arms gracefully while Ryu made a sound within the lines of "Ah." and "Oh!". He moved so he saw Nikolas' blank eyes and flicked the blonde's nose. No response. Maybe because he's feeling off? Perhaps he just doesn't know what to do.

Nikolas, however, was thinking something completely different as he stared blankly into the space in front of him. Idiot. No wonder you feel sick, moron. Just walking around in pyjamas like it's safe and normal. No, people in this era may show off a lot of flesh or whatever, but if I have to wear a yukata to cover up properly and feel comfortable, I will. It's not like I don't know how to put on on. Tsk. At least a good minute after Ryu had gotten hold of him, Nikolas seemed to regain the power to move his body again and he shot up suddenly, on his feet once more, and ignored the spinning feeling swimming through his head. Ryu saw the moment of uncertainty where he was, before he flew out the door in quick strides. He left the front door open and a few seconds later, the loud slam of their own apartment rung through the hallway.

Ryu thought that Nikolas had obviously gotten angry with him, but that didn't seem to be the problem. No, a good ten minutes later (while Ryu was watching the television in silence), Nikolas strolled into the room fully dressed, a frown on his face.

He wore black jeans and a white shirt, followed by a baggy blue jumper of which he had pulled the sleeves down to his hands. He then wore a thick black scarf around his neck and the only item of clothing he was missing was socks. The blonde had pinned his hair back slightly with bright red clips and sat in a grump next to Ryu, glaring. Ryu sat up on the floor and grinned. "You're missing something."

"What?" Nikolas snapped, turning his head quickly to look at the grin on the man's face.

Ryu reached out a hand and tickled Nikolas' foot, making a loud, childish giggle fill the apartment. The purple haired man grinned. "Hey, Nikolas? What are ribs for?"

"Noo!" Nikolas protested, before being cut off by the laughs coming from his own mouth. Ryu tickled his ribs with a childish grin on his face while the blonde tried to fight him off, only to fail miserably. "S-Stop it already!" he said, suddenly speaking English in comparison to the Japanese he was previous using. Ryu backed away and left Nikolas in a heap of laughter while he sat back triumphantly.

The purple haired man flicked his hair. "You're in the presence of two ladies. To act like Ebenezer Scrooge is out of the question. D'you hear?" Nikolas didn't respond due to his giggles still choking him up. Ryu stretched his hands towards Nikolas threateningly and the blonde jumped, laughing while making feeble promises to stay happy.

Nikolas seemed to calm down a few minutes later and stopped edgily looking at Ryu or laughing randomly whenever the purple haired man even moved slightly. He began crawling around and for once, Ryu had to reprimand the blonde instead to the other way around. "Walk properly." However, Nikolas had seen the cat and held his hand out. Kiseki didn't seem all too bothered by the amount of noise the two had been making, but as if thinking the same thing, Ryu and Nikolas both turned and stared at Evande.

The boy jumped up, before bowing even quicker. "I'm so sorry for making so much noise when it's so early in the mor-" Nikolas cut himself off, raising his head slowly. "A-ah." He muttered, letting Ryu hold his shoulders quickly and set him back down on the floor quietly.

"Niko-tan, you're such a kid when it comes to being sick."

Nikolas waved a hand in the air nonchalantly. "Says you, ultimate champion of acting his shoe size." He said in a soft voice. "I actually feel my headache going away."

Ryu shrugged. "Maybe you're just not a morning person." Nikolas scoffed. "Okay, I know you're not anyway, but maybe that's why you have a headache." Both boys shrugged their shoulders in unison, before looking at Evande. "We truly are sorry for the ruckus we've caused."

"Immensely sorry." Nikolas added, staring at his hands as he twiddled his thumbs. I wonder. . . . What's for breakfast?


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evande Sterling Character Portrait: Kiku Kurosawa Character Portrait: Nikolas 'King' Character Portrait: Ryu 'King'

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[Evande & Kiku]


Cooking a meal for the second time in less than twenty-four hours for the same set of strangers. . . . Ah, the peace and simplicity she’d known within the last years of her life were indeed gone. Everything she’d strived for, worked to maintain, all of it was as good as gone with this. Cooking both Nikolas and Ryu breakfast was the final nail in her normality’s coffin. The notion of this truth, it was something that was indeed bitter. There was a part of her that wanted to tell both of the boys to get up and to leave her home, and to stay out of her life, to avoid her and to not bother her ever again. She didn’t want them in her proximity, didn’t want them bothering her or getting her dragged into god knew what insanity or problems they might have that she’d be otherwise free of.

This was exactly how she’d felt when it was Kiku had paraded into her life a year ago though, Eva had wanted nothing more than to get the girl out of her life, she at one point even mustered up the courage and strength to tell Kiku to leave her be as well. Lot of good that did. Months later, and she was still finding herself waking up with the fujoshi in her bed, clinging onto her for dear life in her sleep.

Though she had at one point definitely wanted Kiku out, and to leave her completely alone, nowadays, there was no denying the fact that the girl had become as much a stable part of her normalcy as Kiseki had. And . . . perhaps with these two, patience and time was a needed factor in not minding them around so much. It was painful now, the fact that she knew accepting their presence could lead her into trouble. . . . But, if she was able to cope with people becoming a part of her normal before, could she do it again? Even if said people were very, very odd? For Kiku, the two were nothing but fodder for her yaoi-tainted gutter-mind. They incited the girl’s inner insanity and that would in the end only wind up causing torment for her, as she’d be the one to hear the bulk of Kiku’s ideas and fangirl rants about it.

Which would lead her to yet having to block out more things from her memory. She’d already had to block about thirty percent of what Kiku had said to her in the last year out . . . looks as if that number was going to be going up. The pinkette could only sigh to herself as she flipped the eggs in the frying pan. Nikolas had already stomped out of her apartment after Ryu had gone and seemingly glomped him before. It was a really good thing that the resident boy’s love fangirl had been out like a light for that, otherwise she would’ve been plotting and plotting in that head of hers, no doubt to try to find a way to get Evande to draw her ideas.

When it was Nikolas wandered back into her home, seemingly dressed for the day, Evande paid to him only a momentary stare before she blinked a few times, and went about cooking again. Even the whole bout between he and Ryu, with Nikolas going on in English did nothing to get her to look up, only she went on with her business, sighing and wondering to herself why this was happening. All she ever wanted was a simple life, but indeed, it looked like that was far beyond her now. It was something she was never going to get back at this rate.

An expression of discontent formed over her features, hidden from view by her hair. A pain went through her chest. But she couldn’t allow it to overtake her, there was more going on, things she didn’t understand here. Yes, the fact that she didn’t know scared her, and she didn’t like the notion of letting her life become uncertain. But, Nikolas and Ryu, they meant her no harm, they had only shown to her a sense of kindness to her that most would not. And in return to that, she’d tried to force them out of her life as quickly as she could the night before with dinner. Her action had been done of selflessness, she’d tried to contain something which had not been there but in the end had only managed to create her own splash in the placidness of her existence.

This was the result of that. She now stood in her entranceway kitchen cooking dinner for two neighbors she hardly knew while it was her friend was sleeping in her bed.

As if on the same sort of timing, as it was Evande looked up to set her eyes on Kiku, both Ryu and Nikolas were looking at her, the blonde more or less jumped upward all of a sudden, seemingly panicked by something. “ I'm so sorry for making so much noise when it's so early in the mor-“ he stopped talking as he lifted his head up all of a sudden, “A-Ah.” he went on as Ryu held onto his shoulders, and guided him into sitting back down. So, it seemed that he still wasn’t feeling entirely up to snuff. How wonderful.

Ryu went on, “Niko-tan you’re such a kid when it comes to being sick.”

Sick? So, I was right about him not feeling well. the otaku sighed to herself, shaking her head as she turned her attention back to the almost-finished breakfast before her. Goodness, I’ve gotten myself into a real mess this time by allow these two into my apartment and into my life so . . . easily. A sense of lightheadedness was attempting to settle in upon her at this rate, her heart sped up within her chest as it became somewhat hard for her to breathe—anxiety was trying to overwhelm her again it felt. Nikolas and Ryu being there. . . .

A shaky breath slipped from her as it was Nikolas again apologized. Shaking her head, Evande spoke, “There’s no reason to apologize about it. I’m not sleeping, Kiku is, and she’s still out like a light over there.” She pointed to the girl with her spatula. “Anyway, breakfast’s done . . . eggs and toast, I sort of ran out of bacon after last night.”

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- Nikolas & Ryu -


Nikolas looked at the ceiling. Something felt weird for a second, but then he looked at the eggs and toast. “There’s no reason to apologize about it. I’m not sleeping, Kiku is, and she’s still out like a light over there.” She pointed to the girl with her spatula. “Anyway, breakfast’s done . . . eggs and toast, I sort of ran out of bacon after last night.” Due to Ryu and I. He did wonder something; Evande had always been the. . . . introverted type. So why did she invite them in, twice no less, to her quiet abode where she most likely considered herself safe. That was just about the one thing he couldn't comprehend.

She always tried so hard to seclude herself from the abnormal and tried to stay away from people. As far as he was concerned, the only person she'd ever allowed herself to be friends with was Kiku and she'd basically forced her little way into the pinkette's heart. Nikolas himself wasn't planning on badgering Evande until she became friends with them and instead thought that it would be easier if they just stayed away from each other. Then, at least, she would be free from the Gods' wrath, or whatever they were planning on doing. Obviously, Ryu hadn't really thought through this whole 'stay away from out alters' plan when he had mentioned it and seemed to not even consider it for any more than an hour. Maybe he knew more than he. But he could not be sure. The quicker they could get out of there without making a scene, the better. Then, he could discuss with Ryu what the term 'staying away' means. "Itadakimasu." He whispered.

Ryu didn't seem to mind the fact that his alter was just casually sleeping on the couch, a few metres from him. No, he didn't even seem to notice, much less mind or care. However, Nikolas was finding it much harder to act normal around the two girls. He constantly felt on edge, as if he was about to say something he wasn't supposed to. Confidential information in his head must stay there and Evande must not learn even a tidbit about Alters, or who he and Ryu really are. He'd have to be careful, really careful so he doesn't seem even the slightest bit suspicious.

But no, he couldn't add things up properly in his head. Why was Evande trying so hard to. . . . was she trying to let them into her life? Nikolas wasn't sure just what Evande was trying to do, really. And that's why nothing added up properly; he didn't have all the factors to get his conclusion, his answer. Everything felt like something was off, and he wasn't quite sure what. What was that odd feeling he felt earlier, a feeling as if something shifted slightly in his life, like a cog slipping out of gear.

A knock on the door rang out through the corridor, but it wasn't Evande's door. It was either his and Ryu's door, or Kiku's. Both both perked up, Nikolas just lifting his toast with his hand. There was silence and he was about to go back to his meal, before the knock came again, along with a shout. "Oh, Niko-chaaan~?" The voice called, and Nikolas dropped his toast onto the plate. He recognised the voice, as well as the stupid nickname, and wondered why in hell that person was there. That shouldn't be right; he had to be hearing things, since people didn't just come back from the grave without the Gods making it so. And this certain person should be locked away inside another person's soul, like he and Ryu have been for half their expansive lifetimes.

Nikolas sat quietly, picking his toast back up and nibbling the corner absentmindedly. The voice seemed annoyed and gave up, before calling a name into the hall. "Lily, Niko-chan is hiding like a mouse!" It laughed, and Nikolas slammed his hands onto the kotatsu, before standing and striding out of the apartment quickly. He made sure not to make any eye contact with Evande or Ryu as he left as he would probably get a confused look or a disappointed stare, respectfully. He stood in the doorway and took one glance at what could have easily been normality if he hadn't been so goddamn paranoid about it. He closed the door behind him, not even bothering to turn around and take his eyes off the person in front of him. The boy jumped on him, all smiles, but Nikolas threw the boy off and knocked him to the ground, placing his foot on the boy's right cheek.

"I can't believe the almighty Seri would get knocked to the ground so quickly." He sneered. "What brings you here? No, why are you here, and how do you dare to call me a mouse?" The boy giggled annoyingly again.

"Aw, c'mon Niko-chan! Loosen up a little, have some fun. Me and Lily have been confusing our Alters all month! I have to say, it's hilarious when they're confused." He said, a big grin on his face. Nikolas only scowled more.

He sighed. "Do you forget these alters were people you once knew?" He said, a hint of sadness in his voice. Lily jumped up the stairs, a wide grin on her face.

"It's not like we care about them any more. How long has it been since you actually talked to your Alter, face to face?" Seri said, looking up at the blonde. Nikolas checked the door behind him was closed.

He ignored the question, somewhat. "Shouldn't you be taking this opportunity to talk to your Alter then?"

"All I'm saying is that we've given up on them." Lily said. Nikolas scoffed and stepped back, leaning on the wall with his arms crossed. Seri sat up and Nikolas saw that he was pretty young in this lifetime, around the age of fifteen. But he didn't seem any dumber. Well, than usual, anyways.

However, Nikolas just smirked at the two. "That's ridiculous. You're ridiculous. I hope I never grow up to be like you; oh, wait, you're both tiny little squirts." He Seri's eyebrow twitch. "What's wrong? Does mummy not know you're outside playing with the big kids?" Seri grinned lazily.

"Mm, maybe, maybe not. Does your boyfriend know you're talking to another man?" Nikolas flipped and launched himself onto the boy, growling like a dog, and held his hand at his throat. Unlike when he did so to Ryu, he actually put force into his hand and only let go when Lily started tugging him off with all her power. Nikolas sat back.

He ran a hand through his hair and smirked wickedly. "Ryu's not my boyfriend, but if you want him so bad. . . . " Seri flinched angrily as Nikolas poked his pouting cheeks.

Ryu, however, ate his toast quietly, occasionally glancing at the door when he heard a bang, but he luckily couldn't hear their conversation so he wasn't sure if Evande could either. Hopefully not. But, as he finished the last morsel, he nodded and stood. "Sorry they're making such a racket." He said suddenly, before turning and winking at Evande. "I'll get him to eat his breakfast, once he stops playing around."

How typical that he would open the door to find Nikolas sitting on top of the boy, his arms crossed in a rebellious and defiant way. "Ah. Seri." Ryu said, crossing his own arms. "What are you doing here, pipsqueak? Actually, no, don't tell me. Just get out or visit us at a better time." He said, his voice uncharacteristically annoyed. He sounded almost angry. Lily tugged at Seri's arms and they began to leave, standing at the top of the stairs.

"Well, have fun with your boyfriend~!" He called, before running down the stairs. Nikolas had to be held strongly by Ryu around the waist while the blonde kicked and flailed his arms and legs, growling and attempting to free himself so he could chase the boy.

He turned even more animal-like when Ryu began dragging him in and he started trying to walk away, being pulled back by the arms around his waist. "I'll kill that brat, I swear to god! Let me go, Ryu!" Ryu picked him up and put him over his shoulder, leaving Nikolas to pound his back with his fists. Nikolas didn't stop kicking and punching like a child until Ryu was near the kotatsu, where he apparently gave up and let his arms and legs hang down as he pouted like a child.

"There there, little brother." Ryu said, shaking his head. Nikolas only gave him a childish, annoyed look and began eating his toast properly.


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Fullscreen Chat » Create Topic » A Game of Alter Egos: Out of Character

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Most recent OOC posts in A Game of Alter Egos

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Gonna agree with you there, sadly the Mozaik Role did start to feel like that. >.< I think what happened for me though was that it started to go slow, so the longer the gaps became between postings, the harder it became for me to actually write for Rii. Eventually, it led to me not being able to write for her at all. Which is a shame, but it happens. I felt like I could've done better for Rii too.... Anyway, what was the idea you had?

I might know a few roleplayers offhand who could possibly be up for a another good roleplay to join in on.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

I'm not sure either. I was actually thinking of abandoning the Mozaik Role as I feel like every post for Eden and Eric is forced out instead of being more free-flowing as ideas come to mind, like this roleplay, and the Mozaik Role has started to feel like a chore. However, if I did abandon it, I have another idea and invitation for you and Tsukiakari. But it would have to be with more people.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

I'm not sure that would solve the problem, I've been trying for days to write a post for Rii.... And I can't muster up much of anything. ._.''

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Well, if you want, I can mess up the post order and post again in the Mozaik Role.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

It's all right, and I'm sorry I still haven't replied to The Mozaik Role.... I seriously cannot write for Rii at the moment. x_x

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

I finally have my Internet connection back so I'll be posting tonight after work. Sorry it took so long~

I think I'll bring the Alter NPCs into my next post too.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

I'm going to try to rewrite my last post in this I think on Saturday, I was never real happy with how it turned out. >.>;;

Also, I 'm good with the idea of Alter NPCs.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Chro: It's fine. It took me ages to reply in the first place. By the way, for this whole week, I'm moving house so it will take me a while to type up posts.

Ryu: We will all work hard to finish Chro's posts and everything will be up and running by next Monday.

Niko-tan: Till then, not many posts, we're afraid.

Chro: I'll try though. I was also thinking that maybe we could bring some Alter NPCs into this, as in other Other Selves, really. For example, Evande or Kiku could be walking around somewhere and people could randomly come up to them and say odd things. Or Niko-tan and Ryu could see someone and suddenly say hello or freeze on the spot in some cases. I thought it would be rather interesting for people of their past to pop up.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Jakuri: *sighs* I'm sorry to say that I'm not sure if I can continue on with The Mozaik Role at the moment, I just sit there and I stare at the roleplay now trying to think of something to type, I have my fingers on the keys and...nothing comes.

Eva: ....braindead/block.

Kiku: I have had many of those instances....

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Chro: I usually have my Sundays off so that was a bummer.

Ryu: I think she's paying extra care now.

Niko-tan: *groans* I can't believe Ryu hugged me. Eugh.

Ryu: Oh come on. You liked it~

Niko-tan: Hugs are for bears and young children.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Jakuri: Oh Chro. . . . XD I work most every Sunday anyway, happily I got a post done tonight.

Kiku: Dropping things, sounds like something Eva would do.

Eva: I-it is something I've done.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Chro: Well, I probably won't get much roleplaying done today since I don't have this Sunday off.

Ryu: Because she dropped precious goods and smashed them my accident~!

Nikolas: Because she was watching TV~!

Chro: They had anime on when usually they just have BBC News! I was really happy and then I dropped everything T_____T

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Jakuri: So I saw. XD Ah, I'll reply to The Mozaik Role tonight, and keep waiting on the Pokémon roleplay.

Kiku: Jakuri has a rather short attention span herself~

Eva: Mm, I-I have to agree. . . .

Jakuri: Yep, attention span of a squirrel!

Kiku: You think she'd defend herself.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Chro: I was going to write for the Pokemon roleplay but ended up writing for The Mozaik Role. *sighs at herself* -____-;;

Ryu: Maybe it's because you have no attention span?

Niko-tan: Says the man who watches a TV program for about five minutes before flicking through the channels due to boredom and the. Repeating the process all over again.

Ryu: It's not my fault that there is never anything interesting on.

Chro: There's always something interesting on; you just get bored of interesting things. You know, for Christmas, I might get you a whole series of Spongebob.

Ryu: What the heck is a sponge bob?

Niko-tan: I dunno. A sponge called Bob. Maybe.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Jakuri: Ah, sounds like me some days . . . or most days. But, you can do it Chro! You've got great characters, and you're an amazing writer too.

Kiku: Listen to you give the pep talk, don't you think you should save some of that for yourself?

Eva: Kiku-san, she does her best. . . .

Jakuri: Like I said, dorodere. And Chro's not a yandere~

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Chro: Ah, I really have no idea. It's like my brain just short-circuits every time I open the tab to start posting. Brain, work! Work, work, woooooork!

Niko-tan: Ahaha! She's starting to sound like her boss!

Chro: I will cook you and eat you for breakfast, o' child of mine.

Ryu: Ah, I think I'm not the only yandere here!

Chro: Eh? I don't think I'm a yandere?

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Eva: *blinks and looks around at everyone in uncertainty* D-Dandere, I suppose, but I-I could also say I'm a darudere too. . . .

Jakuri: It's fine assuming its the next morning, Chro! Them seeming king of flighty like that works out perfectly as far as things are going to wind up going, because it'll wind up making a few things click together quite well. ^-^

Kiku: If I'm a himedere then Jakuri is a dorodere! >_<

Jakuri: Oooh, you know it Kiku, you know it. . . . >.> Oh Chro, by the way, do you have any idea when you might post in the Pokemon roleplay again?

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Niko-tan: Ufufu~ Kiku only knows so many types of deres because she wanted to find out exactly which one she was. Ohonhonhon~

Chro: Niko-tan, don't laugh like that. You'll creep out, I dunno, everyone.

Ryu: You do realise she was actually talking about what kind of person is fun to have in a BL relationship, most likely the uke. Namely; you.

Niko-tan: *ominous aura* You're gonna wish you never saaaaaid that~

Ryu: N-Niko-taaaaan! S-s-stoooop!

Niko-tan: *starts walking towards Ryu with his fingers in a gun shape* Ahahahahaaa- *pops back to normal* . . . . . . . . Well, personally, I always thought Ryu was the yandere. You know, how he is about food. I think that if the world was ending and he was the only one who could save it, he wouldn't save the world until he has eaten. And if someone tried to steal his food, he would kill them with a scythe which would descend from heaven despite being crafted by demons and-

Chro: Ah! He changed the subject as if nothing happened! Niko-tan, maybe you inherited Evande's otaku-ness?

Niko-tan: *ignores* I would say Eva-chan is a dandere, and Kiku is a. . . . . . . kamidere?

Ryu: Idiot. Don't be so disrespectful.

Chro: Yeah! She's obviously a himedere! Well, I'm going to assume that it's the next morning, if that's okay. I know it looks like Niko-tan and Ryu are kind of leaving situations really quickly, but I think it fits the whole 'Avoid your Alter and everything will be fine!' theme going on through Niko-tan's head.

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Jakuri: Y'know what I realized after I asked to have it changed to Jakuri-chan though? That it sounded a lot like Jackie Chan. XD

Eva: *stares at Niko-tan* . . . .th-there are worse things than being a tsundere. At least you weren't called a yandere, right?

Kiku: Yanderes are fun, but not as fun as kuuderes and kamideres . . . oooooh, doroderes are pretty nice too~

Jakuri: She knows way too many dere-archtypes. . . .

Re: A Game of Alter Egos

Chro: Ah! Jakuri-chan!

Niko-tan: Jakuri-chan!

Ryu: Jakuri-chan! You changed it! I like it~ I think Niko-tan does too but he's too tsundere to ever, ever admit it. Ever.

Niko-tan: I am so not a tsundere, idiot.

Chro: *sniggers* Okay, Niko-tan. If you say so~ I should really empty my inbox since it's getting kinda full, but I can't be asked -__-