A light, misty rain was filling this cool winter night with ice. Cars were inching along carefully, pedestrians were grumbling and in the middle of it all one girl was standing in front of a homeless man.
"Godai-san?" she breathed, automatically covering him with her umbrella. "Why are sitting out here in the cold?"
She crouched in front of him, ignoring the strange looks from passerby. Why is that girl looking at such a scary man?
Godai growled at her like a cornered dog. "'Cause I don't have somewhere warm to go." He looked away, pride wounded. Godai's grip tightened on the plastic cup he held.
Yako's kind heart constricted. I can't just leave him here... She was suddenly glad that she had bought four packs of instant ramen for dinner.
"You can stay with me for tonight," Yako smiled, standing up.
Godai narrowed his eyes at her, obviously distrustful. "Why the fuck would you care about me?"
Yako titled her head, her black umbrella bringing out the white in her toothy grin. "We're friends, aren't we?"
The loan shark was so shocked by her words he actually got up and followed her.
Hell, it was never a good idea to say no to a free meal anyway.
Godai sat under the kotatsu, enjoying the warmth as he watched Yako poke at the bubbling ramen with a pair of cheap plastic chopsticks.
The pot that held their dinner was oozing a nice, homely scent. Godai closed his eyes for a moment, wondering...when was the last time I smelled that smell?
"Hope you're hungry!" Yako set a big bowl of ramen in front of her guest, grinning when he licked his lips.
Noodles, some beef, a leek, even an egg! This really was a feast. Godai dug in with a muttered, "itadakimasu, I guess."
Yako slurped a noddle. "You should have told me you didn't have a place to stay, Godai-san."
"It's not your fucking burden," Godai shrugged. "And I've got a place I'm lookin' at. The rent's cheap, I just don't have the cash just yet."
"You can stay with me until you save enough up," Yako said kindly, smiling.
"Like I said, it's not your fucking problem."
The girl shoved a lock of hair out of her face, staring down at the broth swirling around in her bowl. "I don't mind, really. I'm here on my own anyway." She held the dish up and took a long, drawn out sip to hide the pain in her expression.
Godai saw through her bowl, though. He wasn't the brightest, but damn him to hell if he couldn't see something so obvious.
"If you insist," he shrugged, flopping back onto the ground, folding his legs up under the blanket.
He started to snore loudly, much to Yako's amusement. She finished her meal in a happy silence, her head resting on her arm. Her other hand draped over Godai's still-cold fingers, fingers that were rough with calluses and etched with scars.
Yako yawned, then promptly fell asleep on top of the kotatsu.
Up on the ceiling, Neuro was smiling down at his slaves, a large, twitching spider dangling from his thumb and forefinger.
Neuro's grin widened as he prepared to drop it.
A/N: Please excuse the cheesy title.