Motohama didn't know what made him stood in front of the gate of Hyoudou residence. He didn't know the residents, as his house was in a different area than this. However, apparently, there was a classmate of him that never attended school for the past two years of middle school. He was what people called hikikomori.
Not to demean the hikikomori boy or anything, but this was actually his first time seeing a hikikomori with his own eyes. True, this phenomenon had been reported and became a topic in a talk show on television, as such he already knew what hikikomori was, but he never saw any of it in the flesh. Those television programs talking about hikikomori always invited former hikikomoris, not in the flesh.
So Motohama gulped before he shouted, "Excuse me!"
From inside, a woman in mid-thirties came out. She looked puzzled when she saw a middle school student still in his uniform standing in front of her house's gate. Who was he?
"Ah, Hyoudou-san?" Motohama asked the woman. "My name is Motohama, I am from Nagami Private Middle School. I am here to bring Hyoudou Issei-kun the homework he didn't do."
The woman winced. Maybe he shouldn't have said that so crudely. Who knew what she felt about her son. Was she ashamed? Or did she love her the same?
"Ah, I am sorry. I didn't mean to..."
"It's fine, Motohama-kun. Please come in."
Motohama went inside. There was nothing out of ordinary inside the Hyoudou household. Hyoudou-san brought him a glass of water.
"Right, I can bring you to Ise's room now. But..."
"He didn't want to open?"
The woman nodded, a grief visible on her face. Please stop that, Hyoudou-san, Motohama shouted inside his mind. He had felt bad enough, please don't make him feel bad even more.
"That's okay, I think. If Hyoudou-kun didn't want to open, I'll just leave it in front of his door. Is that okay?"
The woman nodded again, her eyes wet with unshed tears. She then led him to his supposed to be classmate's room. The door wasn't anything fancy. Just your typical western-style door. He heard noises coming from inside the room. Probably Hyoudou Issei was surfing the web. Because well, that was the only thing he could do if he shut himself in his room all day.
He knocked on the door. "Hyoudou Issei-kun? I am Motohama, your classmate. Here. I leave your homework in front of the door."
After five seconds of no response, Motohama decided to leave since apparently the occupant of the room didn't want to reply. But he didn't leave without last words. "Well, that's it, I suppose."
He was about to left Issei's front door when Issei's mother appeared and was bringing something in a package.
"Ise! Your order arrived! What do you order this time?!"
"Nothing expensive, Mom!"
"I know it's not! I want to know what it is!"
The package was wrapped in a brown package, but Motohama saw the receipt taped on top of the package.
"Is that True Paradise Fandisc 2?! The preorder has arrived, huh?"
"And what is this True Paradise Fandisc 2, Motohama-kun?" Issei's mother asked him.
"It's an erotic game, Ma'am."
"Hyoudou Issei! Come here or I'll bust your door!"
The door instantly opened by the occupant. Hyoudou Issei appeared, scared of the threat her mother shouted.
"What did I say about ordering R-18 things, Ise?"
"...To not do it before I turned eighteen?" Issei asked meekly.
"I ordered it before I turned eighteen."
"There you go. I will lock this until you turn eighteen."
Issei's mother left the two of them. Probably to lock the package.
"Man, your mother's a harsh one."
"Shut your mouth! It's because of you that I can't play that!" Issei shouted at him.
"Well, I can just lend you mine. I also preordered it."
At this, Issei's expression changed into something akin to... scared? Why was he scared?
"You're... not lying, are you? Will you lend it to me? Will you laugh at me?"
"I'm not lying. I'll lend it to you, and why would I laugh at you? I mean, it's sorta my fault that your mother confiscated it and I'm not a bastard so..."
"Promise me one thing, though. Come to school. I am the class representative even though I didn't want it, and because of that, the job of delivering your homework fell to me. If you come to school, then I won't have to spend my time here and I can play my eroge freely!"
"You just want to play your eroge?! What kind of class rep are you?!"
"Like I said I didn't even want to be a class rep. Since our homeroom teacher somehow heard that I memorized all of our classmate's name, she suddenly tossed the job to me. I didn't even know all the guys. I just memorized the girls. Damn that bastard of a teacher," Motohama muttered the last part under his breath.
"Are you some kind of stalker?!"
"Ha, no! Memorizing each girls name was hard. But when I have my Three Size Scouter, assigning each name to their breasts made it a piece of cake. Fufu," Motohama fixed his glasses. "That's right! It's the ability that I get after meditating under the waterfall! The Three Size Scouter! With this, my eyes can instantly know every girls' three sizes!"
"You're just a pervert, aren't you!"
"Hello pot, meet the kettle!"
After both shouted at each other, Motohama offered his hand. "Wanna be my friend?"
Issei stared hard at the extended hand. "I..."
"...I'm scared," Issei looked at the ground. "Have you ever been beaten, bullied, humiliated, by your peers just because you love boobs so much?"
So that was it.
That was the reason why Hyoudou Issei became a hikikomori. He was beaten, bullied, humiliated because he was a pervert.
"...Never. But I can understand why they did it."
Issei winced. He was prepared to hear more jeers and mock to his obsession.
"It's because your taste is shit! Everybody know thighs is where dreams lay! Especially zettai ryouiki! That's the thing, I tell you!"
"Fuck you! Boobs are where men's dream lay! You're the one with shit taste!"
"You wanna fight?!"
They were at each other until Issei's mother separated them. When she heard what was the reason for their fight, she just sighed and left them to fight once again.
Later that night, though, Motohama had Issei promised to come to school. Just because he wanted to continue shitting at Issei for his shit taste. And Issei had agreed because he didn't want Motohama sullied boobs good name in the name of thighs.
That was the beginning of two best friends' friendship that would last only three years before one of them got jealous because the 'former hikikomori' got girls all over him.
"Ise, here's your package."
"Huh? What package?"
"That one from years ago, when you met your friends Motohama-kun for the first time."
Issei honestly didn't remember about their first meeting, except for the fact that they argued until it escalated into a fight. Carefully, Issei opened the package and was greeted with the sight of the front cover of True Paradise Fandisc 2.
In an instant, the memories came back to him.
Opening his phone, Issei composed a mail and attached the cover's photo.
Hey, Motohama. Wanna play something nostalgic?
A/N: The alternate title of this fic is 'Best Bro Motohama'. Because every friendship has a beginning.