Rin woke up groggily to the dryness of her throat. She assessed the darkness of the night, a thick veil of nocturnal quietness a sheet a sound she'd make would rip in disturbed shreds. Her ceiling was a dim shade of sunset-orange, the same colour as her walls and everything else she owned in her room, as much as she preferred having. It didn't sting her eyes like most people. On the contrary, it put her at ease almost more than anything else in the world. Almost.

It didn't solve her water problem. Being typically lazy, she didn't want to get up, even to quench her thirst. She did want a glass, though. So this could be difficult. Her legs paid no heed to her commands. Haha, she thought grimly, they were as disobedient as she was.

Hauling herself forward, she stood up the bed, not bothering to stretch. God, what time is it? Rin wondered as she lethargically made her way out of her room, her vision blurred through her drooping eyelids. Her parents and her brother weren't awake yet, meaning it's far from six in the morning. No duh, the sun wasn't up, either. A glance at the window outside proved it.

Switch...switch...where's the switch? Rin groped in the blackness, slicing through thin air. She slashed this way and that, until finally her finger jabbed on something that turned the lights of the kitchen on. She was still uber sleepy: Her vivid dreams still fresh in her mind, she slammed a cup on the container. Rin clicked the 'Cold' button, dozing off a bit as the water gushed into the glass. When it was half-full, she pressed the button again to stop it flowing. The dispenser made bubbly noises as she chugged down the tasteless but delicious water.

"That's some great shot," Rin muttered, wiping her mouth. She put the cup on the table, job well done. Mission freaking accomplished. Now, sleep.

She took one last sip, turned around to turn the lights out, and stopped dead.

In the window, there was a dark ominous silhouette a shade of black heavier than the sky. It had eyes.

The figure blinked.

Rin screamed, dropping her glass on the floor with a loud smash.

She kept her eyes on the thing outside, her hands searching frantically behind her for something to defend herself with—or to throw at the creeper—knife-knife-knifethis was a kitchen, for God's sake—fork—anything

"Wait! Wait! Chill out!" The guy was banging his fist on the window. "Rin, don't freak!"

"Like hell—" Rin finally got hold of something and raised it above her head. The stalker held up both his hands in front of his face like Rin had enough power to make whatever she's clutching pass through the glass and hurt him.

With the strong light, Rin could see more clearly who was outside, her senses recognising the voice as well. She lowered what she only realised was a bladeless cooking tool.

"Piko?" she hissed, eyes wide. The white-haired boy looked so much as a stranger in the dark. "What the...?"

He pointed to the right, doing a weird gesture. She furrowed her brows and made for the door to let him inside.

She clumsily unlocked all the bolts-her parents were a little paranoid due to her mother's irrational fear of being robbed-and turned the knob. Almost immediately, her friend poured inside, falling to Rin's surprised arms.

"What is wrong with you?" she asked, pushing him to his feet. The boy grunted, forcing her door close behind him.

"What's wrong with me? I wasn't about to knock my friend out with a colander!"

"I might as well have! You looked like a freakin' creep!"

He sighed.

"Dad's home drunk again," Piko replied to Rin, who used the bolts to lock the door back, rolling his eyes like crashing into his friend's home was normal, and that what he said was a legit excuse.

While he made himself comfortable on the couch (without Rin's consent) Rin said, "As if you barged in here any other night."

He shrugged. "He's worse now. Came in like a psycho thinking it was morning and let me out. Because he said I should be in school."

"Your pops is more responsible than ever." Rin plopped down next to him. Then, she cursed under her breath and kicked his feet rudely.

Piko, who'd been relaxing, let out a whine. "What's with that?"

"My home, my rules."

"Since when've I listened to you?" Since you realised the danger you'll put your nuts in if you don't.

She gave him her iciest glare. He merely blinked back at her dully, believing it not intimidating in the least.

Rin balled up her fist and punched his knee: Piko sat up in excruciation.

"Those would be your goinglings next time you talk like that to me."

"...I c-can do that to you, too, you know," coughed out Piko darkly.

"I'd like to see you try," snapped Rin.

Immediately she stopped, honing her ears in on a sound.

There was a shuffling of feet upstairs: Rin slapped a hand to Piko's mouth, the boy spluttering in pain and confusion.


"Sorry, just shut up," she whispered, calming down as the sound faded. She looked alert, then eased into relief. "It's Len."

Irritated, Piko jerked away her arm to wipe his face with his sleeve. "So what if it's Len?"

"I don't want him to wake up!" Sometimes Piko just doesn't get it. It'd be embarrassing enough to get caught letting a boy in your house in the dead of night. What more if Len walks in on them? The idea horrified Rin so dreadfully she trembled to even think of it. How'd he react?

Piko's eye twitched. "You're more worried about what your brother has to say about me being here than your parents?"

"He voices the most sensible opinions," she replied.

"Aren't you the most perfect sister."

"Whatever. Just—" Rin threw him a pillow. "Just don't make yourself too at home."

Piko, whose face was hit with a soft impact, lied down again.

He was used to hanging out about his best friends' home, even spending a night or two with them when they were kids. It was almost like it was his home, too.

...Uh, he didn't say that.

Well, he'd like to.

Not that he'd ever say it to Rin.


Piko's gaze was questionably locked on to something below Rin's neck that she didn't notice at once until this point. She rolled her eyes at him, knowing full well what he had to say.

"Shut up. So what if I didn't have time to change?"

Almost consciously, like he was afraid of getting caught of looking, Piko tore his gaze from her, a furious redness spreading across his face. "Not like there's anything worth seeing."

"Hey!" Rin threw a pillow at him again. "I wear a bra!"

"Not now you aren't," said Piko. Smirking, he added, "As if you need it."

Snarling, Rin pushed him. "I so do! You're such a jerk." She gestured his odd choice of nightwear, to which he reaised an eyebrow. "Look at you—you look like a love child of a pastor!"

"What. What?" He showed her his clothes, stretching out his arms, ironically the effect making him look more like a son of a preacher. "This? It's imported silk, Rinny. You wouldn't know that, of course."

"Do I look like I care?" Rin was already at the flight of the stairs, shutting out the lights. "I hope you get nightmares."

She was at the second floor when Piko replied, drowsily, "After seeing you, I don't doubt that."


PikoxRinxLen =)