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Kiyoshi Tanaka

Just because I never cry does not mean I never feel.

0 · 718 views · located in Downstairs

a character in “Marked 2”, as played by Everscale

Description

My Name is: Kiyoshi “Kiyo” Tanaka

I am the: Omega

I am age: 20

My mate is/I hope my Mate is: TBA

In human form I look like: Half-Japanese, he has the exotic face, dark hair, and almond-eyes of an Asian man. Some would say he got the best of both sides – he is tall and slender and has the brilliant blue eyes of his American mother. He wears his hair short and somewhat spiked, but keeps it naturally colored – he likes it better that way.

Image:Image

As a wolf i look like: Image

Personality: Kiyo is, and has always been, a remarkably calm and accepting person. He simply moves with the flow of things, and as a result is almost impossible to shake. Some would call him clueless, others would call him incredible. The man does things – folding himself in half, catching a fly in mid-air – that make people stare at him in astonishment, and he just does not seem to understand why they are staring at him. He finds nothing unusual in his flexibility and speed. He looks at other peoples’ good points and accepts them for who they are, and he doesn’t get that people can’t really do that with him as well. He is just a little bit too… strange.
He is friendly and likes to have a good time, loves to fool around, but he also enjoys hard work and exercise. It is difficult to predict what he is going to do at any given moment, most because he usually doesn’t know himself what he is going to do.
Making things up as he goes, never planning, just letting life’s current sweep him away, he is never upset and forever at ease. He can pull off pranks on the people he loves that they could never imagine accomplishing, because he simply does not panic. He never screams of cries or runs or loses his temper, and to those who do not know him this can give him the appearance of being coldhearted, unfeeling, even dangerous, but he really is just clueless and comfortable with his own existence. When one is entirely comfortable with themselves, why would they have cause to freak out? There seems to be only one thing in the world that can actually irritate him…
The wolves in his head.

Likes: Chocolate, protecting people, going with the flow, martial arts (specifically Aikido, Kung Fu, and Tai-Chi), speaking Japanese, being able to switch languages at will, spending time with his friends, being a wolf, horror movies, video games, dancing, singing, acting, being on stage, playing pranks on people, spicy foods, sushi, snow, being reckless, making people laugh or otherwise enjoy themselves, being romantic, being in love, making a fool out of himself for the benefit of others

Dislikes: Having to fight for real in any situation, his wolves (he somewhat dislikes them… at least when they are talking in his head), not having his parents (he was orphaned young), not knowing who his mate is, being unable to protect anyone, being caged (figuratively or literally), having no control over his own life, not being normal (sometimes), suffocating (drowning and suffocating are his greatest fears)

How you feel about the pack: As yet undetermined.

Other: Kiyo’s parents were killed in a car-crash when he was ten. Part of what scares people about Kiyo is that he hardly cried – he showed tears for one day and after that their deaths barely seemed to affect him. He went back to being normal, what he is every day. That is one of the reasons he has been called heartless. The truth is, that was his only method of coping with their deaths. He could not stand the pain so he let it brush by him, and to this day does his best not to think about it. In a way, he is always running away.
He is an accomplished martial artist, a master of Tai-Chi and Kung Fu and currently studying Aikido and Kendo. It is simply one of the things he likes to do for himself, and for his late father.
He is a singer, dancer, and actor. He hopes to one day be famous world-wide, so that his being a werewolf and unable to perform near the full moon will not matter.

So begins...

Kiyoshi Tanaka's Story

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka
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Lyra sighed softly, the morning streams of sun knocking on her eyelids. For once, she was not anxious to start the day and continue in her vigorous schedule of training and school; she was content here, sleeping softly of her side. Wouldn't it be nice to stay like this forever? a soft voice murmured in her mind. She nodded softly in transition from dream to day, her mind clouded and not considering the phrase of her own invention, or that of another. She was comfortable and that was all that mattered.

The grass crunched beneath body as she shifted slightly, knowing that all good things must come to an end. It was cold, a fresh autumn morning nipping at her skin as she tried to arouse herself. She was disoriented slightly, confused as to why she was outside. Had she stayed the night here? She must have. She nodded, eyes still firmly closed, recalling how her training with Kiyoshi had been missed. She understood, he was with Ares. It would be improper to demand all of his time to herself. . .

A thought struck Lyra strangely as she began to blink her eyes open. She was cool, but by far not as cold as she should have been sleeping outside in the grass. Then it hit her, the faint scent of a chrysanthemum. At this, Lyra opened her eyes fully, her back stiffening to find her head tucked against Kiyoshi's chest. Before the panic settled inside her mind, a thought tricked past her consciousness, He's so warm.

Lyra scooted back a safe distance, a blush settling across her face as she looked away and pulled her knees up to her chest shivering slightly. It would be like Kiyoshi to still come and wait to begin their lessons if she still wanted to train. But what-- how did they get that close? In sleep, she probably just looked for a source of heat unconsciously and shifted closer to him. Yes, that was it, she decided with a nod.

Slowly, Lyra brought her hazel eyes back to him, wondering how he managed to always appear so peaceful. And he had never taken off the flower she had given to him. Lyra sighed softly and shook her head to clear her mind, rubbing her arms vigorous to return the warmth now that she was fully exposed to the air. Hesitantly, she reached out to shake Kiyoshi, trying to forget the thoughts about why and simply accept that it was. "Sempai? It's time to wake up now," she said softly, knowing that he was a light sleeper and praying that he had not woken up before hand. What would he have thought if. . . In that matter, what did she think?

Lyra shook her head and returned her mind to the present matter. "Kiyoshi-san, thank you for staying with me. And thank you for helping Ares, I know you probably did a better job that I could have." She smiled softly, knowing it was not a question of if he helped Ares. Kiyoshi was here, so he must have felt his duty to Ares's sanity was complete for now. She shifted slightly and looked back up to him, continuing to rub her arms. "I have an exam first period so I should go get ready for class," she added after a pause, although she did not attempt to stand just yet.

The setting changes from Yard to Outside

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka
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Lyra felt herself relax as Kiyoshi awoke and offered her his hand. If he was okay with everything, then why should Lyra worry? She was often told that she did not allow herself to relax enough, and so Lyra did just that. Besides, it was easy around Kiyoshi to feel calm. His personality always brought a sense of peace to the teen.

Lyra smiled and accepted his hand to pull herself up, glad that to be in his company. Most of all, she was pleased that he appeared to have slept soundly once again. Lyra could still remember when he first came to the pack house and was wrenched by terrible dreams of his deceased parents. Even though she was only seven at the time, and Kiyoshi was three years her elder, the small Lyra often snuck into his room at night to sit with him until he fell asleep. She could not imagine the pain that he felt by orphaned at such a young age while her own parents were healthy and loving. She did her best to offer him comfort, reading him stories, petting his hair, and sometimes staying long into the night before finally returning to her own room. Anything to help him adjust and open up the selective-mute. She smiled, deciding that the previous night was just like old times. Only he had come to her.

"I am sorry about last night. We'll have to train tonight, ne?"

Lyra offered Kiyoshi a reassuring smile. It was annoying that she had missed training, but she could always make up for it later. One day at a time. Everything would eventually fall into place, and Lyra knew that she could best James when the time came to it. "Hai. That would be good. I've been feeling off balanced lately. I think I need to work on my footing." Lyra paused as they began their journey back to the house, running her hand through her hair in annoyance. "Aye, I may need to take a rain check. I promised Mother that I would go to her music group after school and then I was going to join Duncan and Calvin for a patrol. I guess things really do get crazy near the full moon." She sighed and looked to him pleading. "Maybe when we get a break we can pick it up, Sempai?" She smiled and looked back up to the sky, wondering where the moon was hidden. "You must be looking forward to the moon. Even without my wolf I can feel it coming, all the guys are starting to act up again," she chuckled.

The setting changes from Outside to Connorsford

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka
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Kiyoshi nodded quietly when she spoke of a rain-check. It was fine with him - he could train any time, anywhere. He frequently did. It was not uncommon to see him meditating in the middle of a bus station, for instance.
On the rare occasion that he was to be found in a bus station at all.
He blinked, surprised at the reminder of the music group. Right... he was meant to go to that, as well. He would have been quite disappointed if he had forgotten, actually.

It was not until Lyra spoke of the full moon that he really reacted. His lips twitched up into a smile, and he gave a small, song-like laugh. A rare sound from someone who was always so emotionally controlled.
"Yes," he agreed quietly. "Yes, we are getting more... active... aren't we?" He gave his head a sharp shake, flicking the wild strands of his hair from his blue eyes. "Even I feel less controlled now. It makes me nervous, honestly." If there was one thing in the world that Kiyoshi hated, it was being out of control, and what time was any werewolf more out of their own control than at a full moon? He certainly could not think of a better example. "But what about you, Lyra? Are you disappointed to be coming up on a full moon again?"

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka
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Lyra smiled to Kiyoshi's reaction of her mentioning the moon, her ears enjoying the bell-like tune of his laugh that he so infrequently used. It was difficult for her to imagine Kiyoshi feeling nervous. He was so calm all the time, Lyra often challenged herself to try and pull emotions out of her tamed friend. A laugh, a smile, anything to let her know that he was happy to be with her.

"But what about you, Lyra? Are you disappointed to be coming up on a full moon again?"

At this, Lyra's gaze flickered away from Kiyoshi, a small, confident smile spreading across her face. She quickened her pace slightly ahead of him and ran her fingers through her thick, wild black hair before piling it on her head. In a slow motion she extended her arms toward the sky, allowing the black locks to cascade down her shoulders. "Disappointed? Tondemo nai, no way." Her eyes took on a golden glow in the early morning, gleaming with passion and excitement. "I'm ecstatic. Every moon I don't have my wolf means that I have to work that much fiercer to be James's equal. And when I do finally expose my mate, I'll just be that much stronger." She turned back to him, the bells on her wrists the only silent part of her being. Every ounce of her body irradiated zeal and a desire, her temper fiery and unable to be controlled.

She smiled to him, her eyes dancing about the woods and sky, as if searching for her wolf in the foliage behind him. "It's not easy watching you guys change, but I know it won't be much longer now. Every moon I feel it beginning to awaken, but if it's trying to tell me who it is, she's not doing a good job at it. But I know I won't have to wait much longer, I'm not sure how, but I do." Lyra sighed, allowing her gaze to soften although excitement still flickered from within. "You guys think that the females know everything about our mates. For the most part, we're just as clueless as you are. It's a pain, watching you shift every moon while we are trapped in our human forms, but it gives us hope. Because one day, one day soon, I know I'll be out there with you, running by your side. " Lyra smiled and looked to him, as if waiting for his response. She had never told anyone this before, not even her mother. For the life of her, Lyra couldn't understand why she trusted Kiyoshi so much. Then again, it was something she never questioned. As for the identity of her mate, she did not question that subject either. Soon enough, the answer would become bright, shinning, and clear.

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka
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Lyra blinked in hesitation at Kiyoshi's words, never hearing him say this before. Her gaze soften as the shock left her features, leaving her to feel sorry for her friend. She did not understand why this truly surprised her; of course the house was lonely when everyone was at school or work. Even for a martial art master, there was more to life than just practicing his skills. She smiled reassuringly, matching her pace with his. In an unconscious but deliberate action, Lyra wove her fingers into Kiyoshi's hand and squeezed softly in comfort. She didn't care what the others would think if they saw the pair walking towards the house holding hands after obviously spending the night. All she cared about was to bring Kiyoshi's gentle smile back to his face. This was the one task that could overshadow her desire to beating James.

"Sempai, maybe you could ask the school principal and Father if you could start a martial arts course at school. Instead of a gym, it would give students a chance to find a different activity that may suit their needs better. I know I would take it. I could probably find some others to sign up as well." She smiled, looking up to him. "I don't want you to feel lonely. I didn't realize you felt that way. Come on, it would be fun. And it would give us another opportunity to train together," she said with a laugh, squeezing his hand gently.

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka
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Lyra laughed in agreement to Kiyoshi's advice of starting the class after the full moon. "Hai, you're probably right. For the next few days no one is going to be focused on anything besides the full moon." She smiled, her eyes catching the flower still tucked beneath his ear. Why was he still wearing it? And, more importantly, why did this fact delight Lyra? She shook her head softly to clear her mind, allowing herself to simply enjoy his presence and the warmth of his hand. This was something that she would one day be doing with her mate.

WHAT?!

Lyra resisted the urge to snatch her hand away from Kiyoshi and instead allowed it to casually fall back down to her side. Her mind felt heavy at the prior thought, confused and scared for what she may have discovered. Yes, she was coming to the age where she would discover her mate, but how could it be Kiyoshi? They were friends, best friends. He was her Sempai, not lover. Or. . . Could he be both? Could it really be that simple?

She sighed slightly and rubbed her hands against her arms for the warmth of friction. Maybe she was misunderstanding this. Maybe she was anxious for the moon to come and was stirring up pretentious feelings. Maybe they were meant to be. She wanted to growl at herself, to crawl inside her shell and strange the truth from her wolf in this very moment. Because, if she was wrong, nothing would ever be simple again. With adverted eyes, she smiled softly to Kiyoshi in attempt to hide her sudden mental turmoil. "I should get going. I can't start tarnishing my record for perfect attendance now, can I?" she joked, turning back to enter the house. "I'll see you later, okay? Have a good day Sempai."

With that said, Lyra turned and ran into the house to change and dress, her mind slightly unfocused to all but the matter at hand. How, what, why? She groaned while grabbing her bag and flute, realizing that not only had she over-slept, but she missed her morning training and ran out of time to study. She had a calc test first period. Mentally she ran through her theorems and physically ran out the door towards school, sliding into the classroom moments before the bell. She forced herself to slow down and breath. She was usually so focused and driven, now, with the possibility of her mate unveiled, she was a wreck. James would love this. She sighed heavily as the test was distributed and glanced to the first question: Integrate ∫ (2sinx + 2x) dx

Easy, she thought, a small smile crossing her face as she began to work. Her mind slowly drifted away from Kiyoshi. For the moment, anyway.

The setting changes from Connorsford to Yard

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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"Ares-kun,"

A voice murmured into his ears and Ares almost jumped. Almost. He relaxed slightly when he recognized it was just Kiyoshi talking to him and he turned his head, looking at the older man. He blushed and pressed his fingers together nervously. Taking a deep breath, Ares tried his best not to stutter and utter the Japanese word he just read earlier "K-konnichi-chim-ma..." He said, completely pronounced the word wrong because of his nervousness as well as the fact that he had no one to teach him the pronunciation.

He held the newly made bouquet of flowers and the flower tiara in his hand tightly. Biting his lips, Ares didn't know if he should ask Kiyoshi about Ray's birthday or not. He didn't want to annoy anyone with his questions but he still wanted to learn more about the pack. Opened his mouth, Ares stuttered, his face tinted pink because of embarrassment "....u-uhm, Ki-kiyoshi-sam...?" He asked, trying to use the suffix and failed again. Taking a deep breath, the shy boy continued "I-I h-heard that t-today is R-ray's b-birthday a-and I w-was w-wondering..." He paused, unsure how he should ask his question.

Finally, gathering all his courage, Ares continued, his voice was just barely above a whisper "...a-and I was w-wondering w-what p-people o-often g-give t-to each o-other on t-their b-b-birthday..." He pressed his fingers and fidgeted again "u-uhm, o-if you d-don't want t-to answer, i-it's a-alright..." Even though he had felt a lot more comfortable around Kiyoshi, Ares knew that asking a question about birthday presents like this was...abnormal and his nervousness came back ten fold as he feared Kiyoshi would laugh in his face and tell him he was a failure.

The setting changes from Yard to Connorsford

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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"Konnichiwa"

Kiyoshi said and Ares blinked then blushed slightly as he realized his incorrect pronunciation. He repeated what Kiyoshi had said underneath his breath, trying to pronounce it correctly. He looked at Kiyoshi curiously as the older man knelt down next to him and began picking flowers. He didn't know he liked gardening, too. Still clutching the flower bouquet and the tiara in his hands, Ares listened to Kiyoshi's explanation with wide eyes. He didn't know what to give Ray. He didn't even know what she liked best. What to do? What to do? What to do?

Ares looked around, almost panicked. He didn't have any money and wasn't good at anything except gardening. What was he supposed to give her now.

"Honestly, I couldn't think of anything. I just got her a stuffed animal and baked a cake... Usually it doesn't matter what you get someone. They'll just be happy that you thought of it."

Kiyoshi continued and Ares looked relieved slightly. Oh, that meant he didn't have to find her another presents then. He folded his hands and put them in his lap, his fingers playing with the flowers gently. Finally, he spoke up "...u-uhm...t-then...d-does that m-mean...u-uhm...R-ray w-will b-be w-with t-the p-presents I-I g-give her?..." He mumbled and looked at his hands again "b-b-because I-I d-don't have a-any m-m-money t-to buy a-anything a-and ga-gardening i-is what I-I d-do be-best..."

He took a deep breath and looked at Kiyoshi again. Hesitantly, almost fearfully, Ares asked the question he wanted the answer most, the question that had been in his mind for a long time ago "...K-kiyoshi...w-why a-are you a-and e-everyone s-so s-strong?"

He fidgeted and tried to explain his question, his stuttered was temporarily lessened due to the fact that he wanted to explain his weird question "...I-I mean...y-you a-and everyone e-else a-are all s-so c-confident i-in y-yourselves an-and..." He trailed off in the end and blushed again. He really liked to ask stupid questions, didn't he? Fidgeting again, Ares tried to busy himself by playing with a white daisy and occasionally sneaked a glance at Kiyoshi, studying the man's expression.

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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"We're not,"

Kiyoshi said and put a hand on his shoulder, making Ares flinch slightly but the younger boy didn't shy away from the touch like he normally did. He cocked his head to one side, listening to Kiyoshi's explanation with a confused look. Why did the man say he and the others were not strong? They were thousands times stronger than he was. Ares was sure of it!

"We're not strong, Ares-kun. We are still frightened, still insecure. We think the worst of ourselves, make ourselves believe we are less than we really are. That is simply human nature. I think that the reason we all appear strong is we have learned how to survive, and we have each other to support us. You... you were never taught to survive, and you were alone."

Ares' eyes saddened when he listened to Kiyoshi's words. What he said was true. Completely true. Ares was alone for most of his short life. The day he lost his Mother was the day he, somehow, lost both of his parents. He turned away to wipe hastily a tear that had run down his face when he heard him said. He didn't want Kiyoshi thought that he had somehow offended Ares. No, Kiyoshi hadn't offended Ares. It was just...Kiyoshi's words had hit him harder than he thought. Even if deep down, Ares always subconsciously knew that he was alone, he was never willing to admit it openly but now...? Kiyoshi had taken him by surprised and his words had destroyed the wall that Ares had built carefully around himself for years. He licked his dry lips and lowered his head. It was true then...he was alone...maybe even forever...

"But you're not alone now, okay?"

The gentle voice pulled him out of his thoughts and Ares looked at Kiyoshi with tears-filled eyes, trying to search for any lies beneath that smile but he found none. Why did he say that? Didn't the man just say he was alone? Why...?

"You're one of us. Don't be afraid to ask your questions, come to us for help. That's what we're here for."

Ares' eyes once again shone with tears but he forced his eyes to blink rapidly to prevent the silver liquids from spilling. He answered quickly, his voice was thick with emotions "...t-thank you, Kiyoshi..." He tried to give Kiyoshi a smile but quickly realized his face was wet with tears. The emotion blocks around him were falling apart.

But for once, Ares didn't stop it...

He nodded his head, afraid that his voice wouldn't be able to work because of the turmoil in himself now. Before he knew what he was doing, Ares had clutched onto Kiyoshi and begun to cry. He cried for many things. He cried for his death mother. The one he hadn't cried for, not even once since the day she died. He cried for his father. The broken man who lost his wife to the death's grip. He cried for himself. The orphan who lost both of his parents the day one died. He cried for his loneliness. He cried for the sleepless nights he had to endure because of the pain his own Father had inflicted upon him. But his tears contained happiness as well. He cried in happiness because he now once again, had a new family. He cried in happiness because he once again, could be able to feel the warmth of a caring embrace. He cried in happiness because he was, once again, being accepted to a community where he was truly belonged to. And so, teardrops after teardrops continued to pour out of his eyes and soaked Kiyoshi's shirt wet.

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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It felt so good to be released from the chains that were binding him and he let it all out. Finally, when he found out that he couldn't cry anymore, he had run out of tears. He was exhausted...exhausted but happy. He touched his eyes slightly, feeling the things were all puffy. His eyes must have looked really bad right now! He wiped his face with his sleeve and looked up when he heard Kiyoshi spoke.

“This is your home, Ares… my brother…”

Brother? He had a brother now? Someone to care for him from now on? Kiyoshi - his...brother. The word felt strange to Ares since he had never had the chance to experience a sibling love before. But he sometimes heard people said that siblings took care of each other, right? He asked softly, his voice was rough and it was just barely above a small whisper "....r-really? y-you w-will take c-care of m-me fo-forever?..." He wiped his eyes again and looked at Kiyoshi hopefully. Suddenly, Aree looked so much younger than his real age. He bit his lips, waiting for Kiyoshi...his brother's answer.

"Now...Would you like to help me with Ray's birthday present?"

Ares nodded his head frantically, not wanting to disappoint his newest family member "...'kay...but I d-don't k-know h-how to c-cook..." He blushed and looked at his hands again, his body fidgeted uncomfortably before he added "...Mo-mother u-used to t-teach m-me s-some b-but I n-never h-have the c-chance t-to p-practice..." He grasped the flower tiara and bouquet before stood up and faced Kiyoshi, his eyes still avoided Kiyoshi's eyes since he felt ashamed at himself for not knowing how to cook or make birthday presents...

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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Ares shyly took Kiyoshi's hand and let himself be leaded to the kitchen. Was Kiyoshi going to teach him how to cook? that was...that was just...amazing. He looked at the older man in gratitude. He would never forget Kiyoshi's help, never betray the man and would even try to you his own power to protect him...though the other man was probably be able to protect himself better than Ares could ever hope to defense for him. He sighed softly but then a brilliant smile lit up his entire face. It was not matter anymore...Kiyoshi was going to teach him how to become strong...like how Kiyoshi was.

He squeezed Kiyoshi's hand a little, a gesture he only gave his Mother when she was alive. He nodded his head timidly and walked to the kitchen. Once inside, Ares couldn't prevent the small 'whoa' from escaping his mouth as he gazed at the cake in admiration. It was simply...beautiful. Elegant. Graceful. Perfect. He looked at Kiyoshi, silently asked for permission to take a closer look at the cake.

He clutched the tiara and the bouquet a little tighter, feeling a bit sad as he realized his gifts weren't as good as Kiyoshi's. But his brother had said that it didn't matter, right? He was older, stronger, smarter so he must know what he was talking about, right? His lips pressed tightly and he tried to peer his eyes to look at the cake from his position behind Kiyoshi's back. He wasn't sure if Kiyoshi was going to give him the permission to look at the man's work so he would try to look at it as long as he could. Finally, he opened his mouth and commented truthfully "I-I's a-a beautiful c-cake, b-b-brother..."

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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Ares looked at Kiyoshi when he felt himself being pushed forward slightly but he didn't flinch. He trusted Kiyoshi wouldn't harm him. At least, that was what the man had promised him. He walked slowly to the cake, examined it carefully from all corners and sniffed to smell it. He sneaked a glance at Kiyoshi, slightly embarrassed because of his actions. The closer the full moons were, the more he would act on instinct and Ares usually didn't notice it until he had embarrassed himself in some ways or another. He bit his lips and hesitantly put a hand on the table, leaning against it so he could look at a nice angle of the cake. It was truly beautiful. And smelled nice, too. It reminded him of the cakes he usually ate when his Mother was alive. The thought brought a wave of sadness to wash over him but Ares forced himself to think more positive. He didn't want to ruin the party with his sad thoughts.

“Is there something you want to learn to cook, Otoutou-kun?”

The question caught Ares off guard and he turned his head to look at Kiyoshi. He made a mental note to check the meaning of the word 'Otoutou-kun' later and gave a barely noticeable nod. He pressed his fingers together as a sign that he was a little uncomfortable in asking Kiyoshi to teach him how to cook. He really didn't want to bother his brother at all. Would his brother feel annoyed when he realized he was too stupid to learn anything? Would he be disappointed?

“I think we have time before the others come back to start dinner.”

Ares opened his mouth and said hesitantly, once again feared that he would bother Kiyoshi with his request "...u-uhm...Mo-mother u-used t-to m-m-make v-very g-g-good s-salad..." He croaked out finally, having realized that it was the first time he mentioned his Mother in the presence of another pack member. He pressed his lips tightly and looked down, suddenly found the floor very interesting.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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“Do you remember what she put in the salad?”

Kiyoshi asked and Ares shook his head silently, ashamed at himself for not remembering. He mumbled softly underneath his breath "...d-don't r-remember...d-died a-a-a l-long t-t-time ag-ago...". He sniffed and wiped his eyes again even though there was no tear. He didn't remember his mother very well anymore. All of what was left in his memories were her smiles, her warm embraces and her voices. He glued his eyes to the ground, his lips quivered slightly.

“Lettuce? Cucumbers…? Potato? Pecans?”

Kiyoshi began to name the ingredients and Ares looked up. He bit his lips and stuttered "a-any-anything w-will b-be f-fine..." He said finally and played with the hem of his shirt again. He sighed. He didn't want to be useless but he didn't know how to. It seemed like he didn't know anything and it made Ares feel helpless. And Ares disliked feeling like that. He hesitantly moved a step closer to Kiyoshi and wait for his adopted brother to say something.

“Are you alright with these?”

Kiyoshi said something and Ares jolted awake as he realized he wasn't paying attention to him. He looked at the direction where Kiyoshi was pointing and his eyes widened slightly as he recognized what Kiyoshi was talking about. His breathing quickened and Ares almost shook his head or to tell 'no' but he caught himself in the last second. He needed to be helpful. And if he continued to be afraid of the knives, he wouldn't be able to help anyone. Besides, he had seen the knives many times before, when his Father was mad and...

Ares swallowed thickly, refused to think of the memory anymore and looked at Kiyoshi's hands again. Carefully, he took a small step backward in order to have a better advantage if Kiyoshi suddenly decided he wanted Ares to 'play with the knives'. He gave a shaky nod and uttered finally "o-o-okay...I-I-I'm f-fine..." He said, shaking like a leaf but didn't run away. He needed to be strong. Besides, he trusted Kiyoshi.

OOC:Sorry for the delay...my dearest laptop has gone awry for the past 2 or 3 days

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan
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Ares flinched slightly when Kiyoshi touched him. It felt so strange, so gentle...like when his Mother had touched him when she was alive. Unconsciously, Ares leaned closer to Kiyoshi and felt the man's hand on his hair. He relaxed and let out a sigh he didn't know he was holding when Kiyoshi closed the drawer.

"Come here"

Kiyoshi said and Ares took an obedient step toward his 'adopted' brother. He looked at the lettuce curiously, his fear was temporarily forgotten. He poked the lettuce and gave a short, unsure nod when Kiyoshi asked him to tear up the green vegetables. He hesitantly took the lettuce and held it carefully like he was afraid it would fall out of his grip any moments. Finally, with shaky fingers, Ares began to do what Kiyoshi told him to do - tear the lettuce up.

A green leaf was torn apart. And then another. And then another. He looked at Kiyoshi and bit his lips, waiting for his approval or direction. He touched the green leaves with his hands and stuttered softly underneath his breath "...t-thank y-you f-f-for n-not h-hurting m-me..." He blushed and focused on the lettuce in his hands again.

Unfortunately, his clumsiness decided to show its face and Ares accidentally torn a leaf to shred. He sucked his breath and looked at the pieces in his hands in horror. Shakily, he looked at Kiyoshi and his lips trembled. He opened his mouth to stammer his apologize "I-I-I'm s-s-s-sorry...I-I'm s-sorry...I'm s-s-sorry..." He stammered over and over again before taking a step backward. His eyes glued to Kiyoshi's hands and followed the man's movements, ready to run if he even had the slightest threatening movement.

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"I am trained to fight, but I don't. I only train so I can protect myself, and the people I love. Do you understand?"

Ares didn't reply, too busy staring at Kiyoshi to notice he had been asked a question. Finally, he lowered his eyes to the bowl before him and gave a barely noticeable nod. He was still very unsure but right now, Kiyoshi was one of the persons he could trust most in the pack. He hesitantly stepped forward again, carefully this time, like he was afraid he would breath the comfortable silence between them. Turning his focus on the lettuce, he looked at the lettuce made by Kiyoshi and realized it wasn't even, either. He gave a small sigh of relief and continued to work in silence again.

After what seemed like hours to Ares but in reality, for about 10 minutes, Ares asked his question hesitantly "...u-uhm...w-who w-was t-t-the p-per-person th-that t-trained y-you?..." He bit his lips, cursing his big mouth but still gave Kiyoshi a hopeful look. The young man had said he would answer any questions Ares had and Ares was waiting for him to prove his words. He hoped he wouldn't be disappointed but if he was disappointed, that was fine, too since he had gotten used to it. But still, it would be nice not to be disappointed for one. He torn another leaf and fidgeted, a little uncomfortable with his question.

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Ares flinched when Kiyoshi took a deep breath and froze. His face showed no emotion but Ares could see passed his facade. He had seen it too many times on himself to ignore it like that. He had touched a sensitive subject. Like Ares' Mother and Father subject, this was one of Kiyoshi's sensitive subject, too. Ares cursed himself again and again for opening his mouth. He should have shut it and said nothing. He should have. But he still did it.

Looking at Kiyoshi, Ares was grateful that he still answered him instead of ignoring Ares like how people often did. He took a deep breath and torn another leaf, unsure what to say now. What if he touched another sensitive subject? What if he made Kiyoshi angry? What if Kiyoshi hated him? He glanced at Kiyoshi when he heard him mentioned the hint that he didn't come from America. Well, Ares had guessed that much, considered that the man still spoke sometimes by his native language. Japanese. Ares hadn't had the chance to meet any foreigners, having no friend and no relative but his Father, who was very possessive and angry all the time, made him have very few experience when it came to the society of the world. He gave Kiyoshi another glance but didn't comment on the subject any longer, afraid that Kiyoshi would find it offended.

He looked at the lettuce in his hands. Well, he had finished tearing it up. He should turn his subject into a more...normal one. Like making salad. Yeah, it should work. Having made up his mind, Ares raised a hand and grasped Kiyoshi's t-shirt hem and tugged it slightly,was still very afraid but not as much as before. He opened his mouth and asked "u-uhm...w-what d-do I-I h-have t-to d-do n-n-next?..."

The setting changes from Connorsford to Downstairs

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Ares Fagan Character Portrait: Reina "Ray" Lillin
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Reina grinned copiously as Anya seemed to buy her fib that the party was a dress-up party. She looked around to see who else she could persuade into humiliating themselves before going off to get ready herself. Not far away in the kitchen, Ares and Kyoshi seemed to be preparing some food, but oddly the sweet and savoury smells of cooking were distinctly absent. She paced through into the kitchen.

"Good evening boys." she said, making a note not to be too much of a spaz unless she ended up troubling young Ares. "I like salad as much as the next person, but don't forget the mini-pizzas and cheese-sticks!"

She flashed them both a winning smile and folded her hands behind her back innocently.

"I imagine everybody will be arriving soon." she said, "Not much time left for you to get into your costumes for the party. What are you going as Kyoshi?"

She suddenly remembered her promise not to prank Ares for a month. So she discreetly winked at the young boy, hoping that he would understand that it wasn't really a costume party and that she was just pranking Kyoshi.

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Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Reina "Ray" Lillin Character Portrait: Sahvanna Ironclaw
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Reina scowled a little. Obviously Kiyoshi hadn't taken the bait. She grinned once again and shrugged. It was her party anyway, he would have to be nice to her whatever she said.

"Oh well, it's always worth a try!" she sang, before bounding out of the kitchen and almost running straight into Tai and a woman she didn't recognise.

"Oops! I wasn't doing anything, honest!"

The setting changes from Downstairs to Connorsford

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"I'm sorry about earlier, It's just... my parents died in a car crash. It still hurts."

Kiyoshi had said with a smile but Ares could still feel the sadness buried deep inside him. The young boy blinked his eyes rapidly, was suddenly aware that another person was like him in this pack house. A person still fulled of grief, a person...like him. Ares looked back at the ironic of it all. Kiyoshi was, in a way, his newly adopted brother and yet they had so much in common. They both liked flower arranging, they both found the joy in doing things normal people wouldn't find any interest in doing and they...they were both mourning for the lost of their parents...Somehow, Ares could see a reflection of him in Kiyoshi but this 'him' in Kiyoshi was much, much more matured, stronger, calmer...experienced...

Ares flinched involuntarily when the door opened with a bang and he unconsciously hid behind Kiyoshi for protection. He peeked his eyes and looked at the new comer. Oh, it was just Ray. She was grinning widely and Ares could feel the beginning of a blush crept up his face, making his face as red as a tomato. He clutched Kiyoshi's shirt and looked at the both of them, listening to their conversation without making any comments.



Ares looked at the exchange with wide eyes. Did Ray just...trick Kiyoshi? and did Kiyoshi just say that he would...poison her? He looked at Kiyoshi's back with a strange expression on his face. Would Kiyoshi really be that...mean? Ares' eyebrows furrowed as he tried to think of an explanation as to why Kiyoshi just...threatened Ray because of a joke. That must mean...Kiyoshi was joking, too, right? He watched as Ray left and he looked up, tugging Kiyoshi's shirt once again. Opened his mouth hesitantly, Ares asked "u-uhm...Ki-br-brother...w-we a-are n-not g-g-going t-to poi-poison R-ray, ri-right?..." He said, his face was red with embarrassment "...R-ray is a n-nice g-girl...I-I m-mean y-you a-are n-nice, t-too a-and it-it's...u-uhm..." Ares pressed his mouth shut when he realized his sentence had become too confusing. Finally, extremely reluctantly, Ares tried again "...I d-d-don't w-want you t-t-two t-to get h-hurt b-because o-of a j-joke...y-you are b-both v-very n-nice t-to me, b-brother..." He admited finally, unaware that he just called Kiyoshi his brother twice.

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Ares held his breath as Kiyoshi began to chuckle. Did he say something wrong? Why did Kiyoshi laugh at him? Did he just...make a fool out of himself again? Did he...? 'Stupid...he's laughing with joy, dunderhead...' His wolf whispered harshly into his ears and Ares flinched slightly at the sharp tone. He nodded his head slowly, unsure if his wolf was right or not. 'Have I ever lied to you, Ares? Narrowed mind...' His wolf snapped and went silent as Kiyoshi put a hand on Ares' head and ruffed it with affection.

Even though Ares couldn't see it, he could clearly image a very smug-looking wolf stared back at him and mouthed 'I told you so' and he relaxed slightly at the gentleness in Kiyoshi's voice. He nodded his head shyly and answered "...o-okay..."

"We'd better go get dressed, ne?...Do you have anything you want to wear to the party tonight?"

Kiyoshi spoke and Ares felt like he was being slapped. He immediately lowered his eyes and said, the shame was clearly visible in his voice "...I-I...I..." Finally, he settled in a simple shake of his head instead, indicated that he didn't have any nice clothes to wear for the party. He whispered, his face was still red "....M-maybe I s-should s-stay in m-my room...t-that way, p-people w-won't ha-have t-to s-see me i-in m-my u-ugly c-c-clothes..." He sniffed and glued his eyes to the ground.

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Even though Kiyoshi's action was slow and careful, Ares still flinched when he felt himself being pulled into the warm embrace of the older man. He stood still, as stiff as a board, unsure how to react. What should he do? What could he do? This was one of his most vulnerable position, which Kiyoshi could hurt him immediately if the man wanted to. Should he pull back? Should he run away? Should he...?

Ares took a deep breath, trying to calm down and this time, he was successfully in preventing a panic attack. Carefully, as if he was afraid that Kiyoshi would pull back, shaking arms slowly snaked around Kiyoshi's neck in an awkward attempt at returning the hug. Ares squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for Kiyoshi to hit him or at the very least, pull back. His thin body trembled slightly as he was trying his best not to run or shy away from the contact.

"So don't cry, alright? And don't hide from me. I told you, I'm here for you."

Kiyoshi spoke at last and Ares opened his eyes, unaware that his hands had gripped tightly into the man's shirt, making it crumble slightly. He gave Kiyoshi a shy nod and released his hold on his brother's shirt, letting them fall back into his sides. He swallowed a lump in his throat and he spoke very softly, his voice was barely above a whisper.

"y-you d-don't care? y-you don't c-care i-if I'm em-embarrassed y-you be-because o-of my c-clothes?"

He asked, his eyes locked with the man, searching for any lies, any discomfort, any anger or even hatred. Ares unconsciously tugged his shirt and fidgeted again.

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Ares carefully took Kiyoshi's hand and squeezed it slightly before letting himself being lead into the man's room. As he arrived, Kiyoshi stepped inside the room while Ares stood outside, unsure if he should come inside or not. The room looked so...private that Ares felt like he was stepping into an unknown territory, another's territory. He grasped the door frame and looked inside, observed everything carefully because this might be the only time he had the permission to go there.

""What color do you like?"

Kiyoshi's question once again caught Ares off guard. What color...did he like? Ares seriously didn't know. He never thought about it all of his life. It was never the question about what he liked or what he wanted. It was always the question about his acceptance. Whether he accepted it...or not. It was never about his choice...

Ares licked his lips and took a hesitant step inside the room and he looked at Kiyoshi before answering softly "...n-not p-pink or wh-white..." Pink and white were his mother's favourite color. White was also the color she was wearing before she...Ares shook his head slightly again. Thinking about it always hurt him badly. He repeated again, this time stronger than the last time "...n-not p-pink o-or w-white..."

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Ares glanced at the shirt in Kiyoshi's hands and he whimpered when he saw that the shirt had short sleeves. His eyes darted back and forth, trying to find a way to avoid wearing it but quickly realized that he had no choice in the matter. Kiyoshi was nice enough...no, not nice enough... Ares reminded himself. Kiyoshi was too nice to him, gave him comfort, taught him things, and even gave him hugs...He couldn't just...deny the man. Hesitantly, Ares' shaking hands reached out and took the shirt, wishing that there were some other ways to...to prevent the young man from seeing his arms. He squeezed his eyes shut and carefully took the green shirt, his body trembled even so slightly.

His body relaxed slightly when he realized that Kiyoshi had purposely turned his back to give him so comfort and he sighed in relief. Slowly and reluctantly, Ares took off his old, black shirt and grimaced when he saw the numberous scars ran down his arms. Most of them were made from fists and kicks, some were made from knives, or ropes, and the others were made from sharp glass shards. Ares turned away from the scars, not wanting to see them any longer. There were some nights, when his Father was irritated, he had thrown the whole bottle of wine to Ares and these scars were what remained afterward. Of course, his Father never remembered anything and thought that Ares had got into fights at school...again and then proceeded to beat him even harder so he would 'remember his place and his lessons'. Ares' hold on the shirt tightened slightly and he swallowed hard to control himself. Putting on the shirt, the young boy looked at his reflection and he lowered his eyes in shame. He looked like a broken doll and the glaring scars did not help, not one bit. They were all the reminders of his past.

Ares' breath hitched as he realized that he also needed to change his pants. He looked at Kiyoshi fearfully, unwilling to do so in the man's room. So much could happen. So many possibilities, so many...Ares shook his head again. Kiyoshi had promised that he would not hurt Ares in any ways. Kiyoshi would keep his promise, right? And so, biting his lips hard, Ares tried to change as fast as possible. His body nearly went limp with relief when he finally finished and he checked the mirror again. The clothes fitted him really well, too well. Ares looked at his stick-like legs and his thin frame. If anyone couldn't know his past based on his scars, well, his body would ensure that at least they knew he was starved.

A scent captured his attention and Ares' eyes widened as he saw what Kiyoshi was doing. The match was still burning in his hand. That must mean...that must mean...the man was planning to burn him alive. To torture him, to beat him, to hit him, to kick him, to...harm him. His heart was screaming at him that Kiyoshi wouldn't be that cruel because he had promised. He had promised not to hurt him. He must keep his promise. He had to. However, his mind refused to believe it. Adults lied. They lied like his Father had lied to him that he would never beat him again and the next morning, the beating would happen all over again. His breath quickened and Ares felt his knees gave in. He fell to the ground with a soft thump and he began to whimper and beg, begging Kiyoshi not to harm him, begging for Kiyoshi to remember his promise. He uttered, his voice was trembling with undeniable fear "p-p-please...d-d-don't h-hur-hurt me...I-I'm s-s-sorry...d-d-don't h-h-hurt m-me..." He continued, his hands shook violently "...p-please...". He should have known. He should have known that no-one would be able to love him. He was useless, he was only good for beating and nothing else.

But then...did that mean he couldn't even have happiness? Not now, not ever?...was fate really that cruel to him?

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Ares took several steps backward when Kiyoshi spun around, frightened that he would harm him. He shook his head, his face was white and his palms were all sweaty. He was scared. Would Kiyoshi hit him now? Would Kiyoshi burn him now? His hands covered his head as Kiyoshi's hand did something to the match, too quickly that Ares had unconsciously activated his defensive mood and was now trying to protect his most important parts - his stomach and his head. But Kiyoshi did not get up. He was still on his knees, a gesture that reassured Ares somewhat since he knew if he ran now, the man wouldn't be able to catch up with him...at least, he hoped that Kiyoshi wouldn't be able to catch up with him. He swallowed hard when Kiyoshi opened his mouth, waiting for the insults to come.

"Otoutou-kun, it's alright. I"m sorry. Please, don't be frightened."

Ares stared at Kiyoshi with wide eyes, which were beginning to get sore and uncomfortable from the lack of blinking, his hands were never once left his head in case Kiyoshi changed his mind and began to beat him. What could he expect? Well, he had expected many things, from beatings to insults but never once had he expected to receive an apologize. He opened his mouth but no sound came out as his confusion and fear fought each other. Should he run away? Like a coward that he was?

"I forgot, Otoutou-kun...I did not think. I simply wanted to honor my parents. It did not occur to me that it might frighten you."

Kiyoshi bowed and Ares' breath caught in his throat again. What was happening? What was going on? He...This wasn't making any senses. He was supposed to be beaten and insulted, not apologized to...Ares shook his head frantically, the confusion won as the fear retreated but only begrudgingly. He whispered finally "It's...y-you a-are d-doing it w-wrong...y-you a-are supposed t-t-to h-hit m-me...s-stop a-apologizing...s-stop it..." He said in despair, too confused to think clearly and to frighten to act "...s-stop it, p-please..." He couldn't take it. Kiyoshi couldn't apologize to him. He just...couldn't. He was supposed to throw curses at Ares, not this. This was not...this was not what Ares had expected. What could he do in this situation? His eyes darted back and forth, completely unsure how to deal with the current situation.

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Ares' eyes watched Kiyoshi's every movement, carefully observed him so even if the man started beating him, he would have time to react. However, what got Ares surprised was Kiyoshi's hands. They were folded harmlessly on the man's lap, a gesture that did not go unseen. 'He was not going to hit me,' Ares came to realize that fact sooner than he thought. But there was no other explanation, the slow movements, the folded hands, the kneeling gesture... all of them indicated that Kiyoshi would not harm him, at least, not right away.

"No one is going to hit you here."

Kiyoshi spoke and smiled quietly. Ares bit his lips, depressedly wanting to believe his words but somehow, a part of his mind refused the idea, saying that adults always lied. It was the part of him that had to endure so much and was forced to grow up quickly while another part, a part that always yearned for warmth and love, a child-part that was missing from the day his Mother died, came to the surface and it was begging him to accept it, to accept Kiyoshi's words. And so, with the two parts fighting, Ares didn't react, still trying to proceed what was happening to himself.

Kiyoshi stood up and Ares nearly flinched. He just barely controlled himself and sat still, his eyes followed Kiyoshi's movement across the room and he nearly jumped when Kiyoshi asked:

"Would it make you feel better if you had a jacket?"

Ares stared at Kiyoshi's back. Should he say yes? Was it what Kiyoshi was expecting from him? To accept the kindness? Decided that it was his best chance not to get beaten, Ares nodded his head and said softly "...y-yes, please..." He gazed at his arms and traced a long white scar that ran down his right arm and chewed his bottom lip nervously.