Author's brief notes: this story takes place in the world established in 'Coolness Factor', although you don't need to read that story to understand this one.

All you need to know is: 'Nanasen Yamino' is Dark Yuugi. There is no magic; Yami and Yuugi have always been separate people. And this is what happened when they went to Burger World and faced Prisoner 777 without said magic.


At 2:59, three pairs of eyes were glued to the classroom clock. Mazaki Anzu, being the studious sort, glared at the owner of one of those pairs of eyes.

Mutou Yuugi glanced her way and offered a sheepish, ashamed smile, his gaze darting back towards the owner of the seat behind him. Anzu followed his look and found a new person to glare at as well.

Nanasen Yamino just raised an eyebrow at her and went back to watching the clock.

But when the school chimes began to ring at 3 PM, it was Jounouchi Katsuya that jumped to his feet. "Finally!"

"Jounouchi-kun!" Anzu snapped, flying to her feet as well.

Twenty-eight pairs of eyes, including the teacher's, went to Anzu and Jounouchi. Anzu flushed. "Oi! Class is over! Stand! Bow!"

It was September 21st, the first official day of fall, and another normal day at Domino High School.


Yuugi stretched his arms over his head and flopped back in his seat with a huge, relieved sigh. "Class is finally over!"

"I thought Kiichi-sensei was never going to shut up," Jounouchi agreed, sitting on top of Yuugi's desk.

"Honestly, you two," Anzu started - before shooting a glare at Yamino. "You three! Don't you have any ambition!? Yuugi-kun, you're so smart; your grades would be so much better if you'd just--"

"Yeah, yeah, Mom," Jounouchi smirked. "Come on, Anzu, lighten up! There's plenty of time to think about the future. It's just first year."

Anzu stuck out her lower lip, raising her eyebrows skeptically.

"I'm sorry," Yuugi apologized automatically, offering a hesitant smile. "It's just that class is so boring."

Yamino just yawned, offering his own, sharp smile. If he had anything to say about it, he was cut off by Jounouchi.

"Whatever! Class is over. I dunno about you guys, but I'm hungry." Jounouchi rubbed his stomach. "Let's go check out that new Burger World!"

It was a good, long walk away from the school, but Yuugi's eyes lit up. "Yeah! They have the best burgers ever," he added, twisting in his chair to look at Yamino. "Have you ever had a Burger World burger?"

"Yeah, they don't have Burger World in Cairo, do they?" Jounouchi asked.

Yamino blinked at them both. "Mm, no ... I'm not--"

"Then it's decided! We're going to Burger World!" Jounouchi punched the air.


Jounouchi, Yuugi, and Yamino all blinked when the negative response was shouted at them in stereo. Anzu and Honda both stood before them with fists curled at their sides, their postures defensive.

"H-Honda-kun? When did you get h--" Yuugi started, but Honda cut him off.

"You don't want to go to the new Burger World!" Honda thundered. His face was flushed.

"Yeah!" Anzu agreed. "D-didn't you know ... that--"

"That everyone got sick when they ate there?" Honda chimed in.

Anzu nodded emphatically. "That's right! The first week they opened, everyone got food poisoning! It's terrible. Yuugi-kun, you can't ever go there!"

Yuugi stared. Their response was ... very vehement. And it was both of them together, which was weird. Anzu and Honda rarely agreed on anything.

"Wouldn't it have gone out of business if that were true?" Yamino asked, leaning forward on his desk.

If it was possible, Anzu turned even more red. "I don't know. It doesn't matter, anyway! Haven't you listened to the news? A dangerous criminal escaped prison last week! You can't go to someplace so far away; you should go straight home."

Yuugi flushed slightly, both from embarrassment and frustration, when Anzu looked right at him as she said that. He was grateful that Anzu looked out for him, but did she have to treat him like he was still in elementary school? But on the other hand ... "She's right," he agreed reluctantly, but building up steam as he remembered the report. "He's a murderer! Prisoner 777 ... he even has his prison number tattooed on his forehead."

"Exactly!" Anzu exclaimed, triumphant.

"I'm going straight home," Honda declared, starting for the classroom door with the air of someone who was righteous and just.

"And you should too!" Anzu reminded them, turning to leave herself. "See you tomorrow--!"

Yamino raised his eyebrows after them. "Did they seem agitated to you?"

Jounouchi, ever the imaginative one, leaned over conspiratorially. "Have you noticed?" he asked, lips curling upwards. "They're both in the go-home club and they both leave at the same time every day!"

"Anzu-chan and Honda-kun?" Yuugi asked, bewildered.

"No, Miho and Kenji. No, doofus, of course Anzu and Honda!" Jounouchi rolled his eyes. "You don't think they're ..."

Yuugi felt his heart sinking into the floor. "They're ...?"


The very idea was enough to make Yuugi feel sick. "No way," he denied, clenching his hand into a fist.

Yamino didn't seem to think much of this idea either. "They disagree about everything," he pointed out. "Besides, I thought Honda-san had the hots for Miho-san."

"Haven't you ever heard that opposites attract? And I'll bet the whole crush on Miho thing is just for show. Hey, let's go spy on them and find out!"

Yamino scowled, which made his whole face look even darker than it really was. "That's stupid."

"I want to know if Jounouchi-kun is right," Yuugi heard himself say. He blushed when both Jounouchi and Yamino looked at him doubtfully. "I mean-- well--"

Jounouchi and Yamino glanced at each other. "Well, maybe we'll prove I'm wrong," Jounouchi temporized.

"I guess I'll come," Yamino sighed, getting to his feet.

Yuugi dropped his gaze to the floor for a moment, embarrassed by how transparent he was. "Thanks," he mumbled.

"Are you kidding?" Jounouchi punched Yuugi in the shoulder. "This is fun!"


Luckily for the three stalkers, Anzu and Honda were both in less of a hurry than they expected. It only took them a few minutes to find the two of them walking together down the street, not talking to one another. Yuugi's eyes nearly bugged out of his head at the sight; Jounouchi clapped a hand over his mouth. "Shh!" When they'd gotten far enough ahead, Yuugi and company slowly went to follow at a healthy distance.

"At least they're not holding hands," Yamino observed.

It was a long chase, though. Anzu and Honda chatted a little, but Honda never touched Anzu, and Anzu never touched Honda; for all the world they looked like friends walking home from school. Only, they weren't going towards Anzu's home, and Jounouchi said they weren't going to Honda's home either. So where were they going ...?

All three of them stared when they rounded the corner in time to see Anzu and Honda walk in the front door of the new Burger World.

"... Seriously?" Jounouchi's voice was incredulous.

"Should've guessed," Yamino groaned, "after their reaction."

Yuugi pursed his lips. "Two possibilities," he said, looking at Yamino. They both enjoyed logic games, so he was willing to bet that Nanasen had come to the same conclusions he had.

"The first one is that this is their secret dating place," Yamino agreed as they started for the doors.

"The second ..." Yuugi started. But he didn't have to finish; the doors to Burger World opened before them, facing them with two greeters.

"Hello, and welcome to Burger--!" Anzu and Honda were dressed in matching outfits; both wore orange shirts, and Anzu was in a green miniskirt while Honda was in green pants. They greeted Yuugi and the others together, before breaking off and turning deathly pale.

Jounouchi stifled a laugh behind his hand.

"This is where they secretly work," Yuugi groaned, pressing his hand over his heart in honest relief.

"--World," Anzu finished weakly.


Domino High School had very strict regulations regarding part-time jobs: they were forbidden. Students caught holding down such jobs could be punished severely, even expelled. Honda and Anzu's violent defamation of their workplace made perfect sense; if anyone at school came and caught them, they could be in deep trouble.

"Maybe we should go?" Yuugi whispered.

"No way." Jounouchi grinned. "We wanted Burger World burgers, remember? Table for three, please." He beamed at Anzu and Honda both.

Anzu's smile was frozen in place. "Of course," she said with gritted teeth. "Right this way." She stalked off down one of the rows of tables. The place wasn't very busy; there were maybe fifteen guests in the whole restaurant, scattered around the tables. Yuugi flushed; his line of sight had him looking straight at Anzu's rear, and she looked ... very good in a miniskirt. It made her legs look longer. He looked away quickly, towards Yamino; the other boy didn't seem to have noticed just how much leg was exposed.

"Here you go." Anzu gestured vaguely at one of the boothes; Yuugi scrambled in, and Jounouchi slid in next to him. Yamino sat opposite them both. Anzu fairly slammed down three menus for them and stalked off.

"She's really mad," Yuugi groaned unhappily, but he couldn't stop blushing. "Jounouchi-kun, this isn't funny!"

"Oh come on," Jounouchi protested, nudging Yuugi with his elbow. "It's a little funny. Besides, it's not like we're gonna tell on them. Take a moment to bask in the knowledge that Anzu is not dating Honda, and be grateful."

Yuugi put his forehead down on the table and groaned.


Nothing on the menu appealed. Yamino put down the plastic-covered sheet detailing Massive Mammoth Graveyard Burgers (Earth Attribute card with 1200/800 stats, he couldn't help thinking) and Delicious Meat For Your Mouth Burgers and other equally appalling dishes.

Anzu and Honda were conferring in hushed tones near the door, glancing at their table periodically. "Wonder why they got jobs in the first place," Yamino mused aloud.

Yuugi lifted his head at that. "Mm ... me too," he agreed. "They could get in big trouble, after all."

But Honda was coming their way again, looking somewhere between irritated and possibly apprehensive. It was hard to tell. He planted himself squarely in front of their table. "Whaddaya want?" he asked.

"I'll take the Mammoth Graveyard Burger," Jounouchi replied, handing back his menu with a smug look.

"I-I'll just take a regular Burger World burger," Yuugi said weakly, looking apologetic.

Honda's gaze went to Yamino, one eyebrow arching upwards. "I'll take a vanilla shake." Ugh. He was pretty sure there were week-old leftovers in his fridge that would be better than these burgers.

Honda bent closer. "Will you take breathe-a-word-of-this-and-I'll-make-your-life-miserable a soda on the side with that?"

Yuugi's eyes widened. Jounouchi waved his hand. "Soda for me and Yuugi-kun, yeah," he agreed. Honda and Jounouchi engaged in a brief but intense staring contest before Honda straightened up, took Jounouchi and Yamino's menus, and went to place their order.

"A vanilla shake?" Jounouchi asked with a raised eyebrow. "Trying to maintain your girlish figure, Yamino-kun?"

Yamino bristled. "As I might be the closest you ever come to anything resembling a girl, I think you should thank me. Jounouchi-kun." A small smirk graced his lips.

Yuugi spluttered, choking on air, but Jounouchi pressed a hand to his chest. "Oh, burn. Want a little heart to go with that?"

"Is that the best pun you can come up with?"

"Just because I haven't spent my whole life playing word games doesn't mean--"

"H-hey, look," Yuugi interrupted, pointing at his menu (which Honda had left behind). "Next week the kid's meals here will come with Duel Monsters booster packs! And card figurines!"

Yamino was completely distracted. "Really? What figurines?"

"Booster packs? For free?" Jounouchi's eyes got round.

"Your. Food."

All three of the interlopers looked up to see a visibly-steaming Anzu carrying two trays of food. Anzu slammed down the trays with far more force than necessary, making Yamino jump; he reached out very slowly to take his vanilla shake off Jounouchi's tray. If Honda's anger had done nothing to Jounouchi, Anzu's fury certainly had him round-eyed; Yuugi's shoulders were drawn up, his fingers fisted in his pants. "And have some of our world-famous ketchup to go with it!" Anzu added, squirting said ketchup in copious amounts all over Jounouchi and Yuugi's burgers.

Yamino, Jounouchi, and Yuugi all almost banged heads reading what she'd written in metaphorical blood: Tell on me and I'll kill you!

Yamino was the first to recover; after all, the threat was not (luckily) written on his vanilla shake. "Of course we won't tell."

"Yeah, duh. We're your friends." Jounouchi nodded, although he was still pale.

"Why did you need a part-time job, anyway?" Yuugi added with a tremulous smile.

Anzu glared at them all in turn, promising with her eyes alone the firey depths of hell for any liars, before her features softened. "Because of my dream," she said quietly. She drew up her shoulders, and this time she blushed with embarrassment, not anger, as she wagged a finger. "I'm going to New York to study dance! It may only be first year, but I'll never scrape together the money if I don't get started now." Her gaze darted between Yuugi and Yamino. "So don't tell; I swear I won't forgive you if you do!" She whirled away gracefully and walked off, but there was no stomping involved this time.

Yuugi twisted and looked over the booth back to watch her go, then flopped back into his seat, his face red. "Wow. I didn't know she had such a big dream." He studied his burger; Jounouchi went to scrape the ketchup off the bun with a plastic knife. "What about you, Jounouchi-kun? Do you have anything you want to do after high school?"

"Hmm. Not be arrested, or drunk, or broke. Darn it, she ruined the bun!" Jounouchi griped.

"Seriously, Jounouchi-kun," Yuugi complained, rolling his eyes. Yamino took a long pull on his shake and found it wasn't half-bad. He watched over Jounouchi's shoulder while Honda talked to a man who was probably his manager, then ran out the door with some yen notes clenched in his fist.

"I am serious." Jounouchi scrubbed his fingers back through his hair. "As long as I'm not anything like my old man, I'm happy. What about you?"

Yuugi was abashed by Jounouchi's response. The subject of Jounouchi's father was a tetchy one; Yamino had only gathered that he was a drunk, and Jounouchi lived with him. "I haven't really thought about it. I guess I always imagined I'd end up taking over Grandpa's game shop someday." He reached for his burger, ignoring the extra ketchup. "What about you, Yamino-kun?"

Yamino fiddled with the straw in his shake. "I think I want to--"

"Nobody move!"

Yamino couldn't help jerking upright in his chair. Jounouchi and Yuugi both twisted in their seats to see what was the matter. Beyond them, at the door, Anzu was held in a headlock by a man with short, spiked hair and narrow features, a gun in his hands, and the numbers '777' tattooed on his forehead.

"Nobody move or I'll kill this girl!" The man reiterated, baring yellow teeth and sneering at the pale-faced manager.

"Anzu!" Yuugi cried in horror. Jounouchi reacted faster than Yamino could; he practically leapt on Yuugi, shoving him down towards the booth seat.

"Shut up! Keep your head down!" Jounouchi hissed, his face deathly pale. There were terrified gasps all up and down the aisles from the scattered customers, murmurs.

"Prisoner 777!" "The escaped criminal!"

"Shut up, all of you!" The former prisoner swung the gun around, pointing it it across the restaurant. "Put your hands on the tables and put your heads down. Don't move."

Yamino scrunched down in his seat, his hands shaking a little. "I-I'm going to try to reach my cell phone," he mumbled, fumbling in his back pocket for the phone before remembering it was in his backpack. Slowly he twisted towards it, not taking his eyes off the criminal; he was busy tying Anzu's scarf over her eyes.

But he wasn't fast enough. Prisoner 777 yanked Anzu back against his chest, slowly frog-marching her towards a booth near the doorway, and his eyes fell on Yamino. Yamino froze. "You! Yeah, you, with the crazy bangs. Get over here."

Yuugi's head was all but hidden by the booth and table; his eyes were wide when he lifted his face enough to look at Yamino. "Me?" he mouthed. Yamino shook his head slightly, sliding out from the booth seat carefully. Jounouchi met his eyes briefly, his lips pressed into a thin line.

"Me?" Yamino asked, pointing at his own chest.

"Yeah. Go get me some booze and cigarettes. Lucky Strikes, you hear me!? Nothing else will do. I finally get to take a break, so you make sure I get the brand I want." The criminal pressed the muzzle of the pistol tightly against Anzu's temple.

Yamino swallowed hard, feeling his heart pound in his ears. "I-I'll have to go to the--"

"Don't be stupid. They sell that stuff here. Go behind the counter and get some for me!" Abruptly he shifted the gun downwards, pressing it against Anzu's knee. "Or I'll shoot her in the leg. Whaddaya think of that?"

"I'll get it," Yamino said quickly, and ran.


Jounouchi pressed his hands flat to the table and laid his head down; he might have been a tough guy, but two things you didn't mess with was guns and knives. With Anzu's life at stake, there was nothing he could do but gaze at the empty booth across the aisle and kick himself for not reacting faster, not finding something he could do.

He could feel Yuugi trembling next to him, one hand fisted in his pants leg, and he cursed himself. "Shh," he mumbled. "No one's gonna get hurt as long as he gets what he wants."

"You hope," Yuugi whispered back, his voice tremulous.


How could he have left his cell phone in his backpack!? Yamino kicked himself, breathing through his teeth as he ducked behind the counter. If only he had it now; he could have called the police while he was out of the criminal's direct line of sight under the counter.

The manager had his hands and head pressed to the countertop there, following orders just like everyone else. "Kid," he whispered hoarsely, "I sent Honda-kun to go buy fresh lettuce. He should be back in just a little bit."

It was a ray of hope. "He could call the police!" Yamino whispered back.

"What's taking so long!?" the criminal demanded, and Yamino jumped back to his feet in surprise.

"The alcohol is under lock and key," the manager answered for him, startling Yamino. "I have to give him the key."

The prisoner cocked his head, his eyes narrowed distrustfully. "Show me." The manager reached into his back pocket and pulled out the keys, holding them up so the prisoner could see. "All right. Hand them to the kid. And don't move after that!"

Yamino accepted the keys, hating that his hands trembled as he did so. "The small key," the manager murmured. Yamino nodded, the motion jerky, and he unlocked the alcohol fridge, trying to formulate a plan. If Honda was coming back, all they needed was a distraction - something to keep the criminal from shooting anyone that came in the door, or keep him from noticing that the police were coming until it was too late. Something ...

Cigarettes and booze. Yamino's mind clicked over the combination, and he reached for the highest proof alcohol he could find in the fridge.


Anzu breathed very slowly. In, and out. In, and baaaaack oooout. She counted her heartbeats and willed them to slow, with limited success.

She was pretty sure the criminal had singled out Yamino.

Don't do anything stupid, she willed, swallowing hard. She could still feel the muzzle of the gun at her temple, now warm from her skin. Her hands were splayed on the table, and the prisoner's arm was around her, sweaty and hairy against her bare shoulders. He smelled like urine. Her stomach turned by fear and nausea, she was shocked that she had not yet thrown up.

Oh, why did they have to follow her to work today of all days!? This was awful. She was terrified for her own life, but also afraid for the lives of her friends, who wouldn't have even been here if she hadn't - hadn't made such a mystery of everything! Stupid Jounouchi and his stupid--

"Yeah, perfect." Anzu felt the criminal shift next to her, felt the gun move from her temple. "Bring that right over here." She heard a short gait on the linoleum floor, and then the sound of a tray hitting the table unevenly, rattling against the formica. She had expected that, but she jumped when she also heard the squeak of clothes on the vinyl seating. "Hey!" the criminal snapped, his arm tightening around her; Anzu caught her breath and held it. "Did I say you could sit down!?"

"You're in charge of the situation here," replied the newcomer, his voice giving way to only a little tremor. "There's nothing I could do to you. Don't you think it's just a little boring, winning so easily?"

It was Yamino. It had to be Yamino. Anzu bit her lip. Why was he trying to come to her rescue!? Couldn't he see it was better if the criminal just got what he wanted?

"Shut up!" The criminal jerked against her. "Get back to your seat and--"

There was a ripping sound. Anzu wished desperately to see what was going on as the criminal stilled next to her; she waited for the gunshot, shivering uncontrollably.


What am I DOING?

Yamino reached for the pack of Lucky Strikes and ripped the top of the pack open. Anzu was visibly sweating; the criminal watched with sharp, dangerous interest. The gun in his hand was no longer pointed at Anzu, but rather at Yamino, and the teenager was sharply aware of it with every move. His hands were shaking when he shook one cigarette loose from the rest and offered it to Prisoner 777.

The criminal took the cigarette from the pack with his lips; he moved the cigarette around until it was clenched in his teeth at the corner of his mouth. Yamino swallowed hard but kept talking. "Relax. Just enjoy your booze and cigarette. S-sounds like you've earned it."

"Damn right I have," the criminal smirked. He kept the gun pointed at Yamino a moment longer, then lifted the muzzle towards the ceiling as he unslung his arm from around Anzu, reaching for the bottle of alcohol. Yamino passed his hand over the zippo lighter as he drew away, trapping it under his palm as he pressed his hands flat to the table.

All he needed was for the man to feel at ease. Yamino could feel himself relaxing a little when he removed his arm from around Anzu; he almost cried with relief when the gun was pointed away from himself. But that hope was short-lived when the criminal began to lower the pistol again, about to pour himself a glass of straight vodka.

"What the hell do you want, kid? You got some serious guts, talking to me." He sneered. "I can see you shaking."

You've got a gun and you're going to shoot me or my friend! Yamino let out a long, trembling breath, trying to see out the front windows with his peripheral vision. No sign of Honda. He had to keep stalling. "It's just that-- y-you're ... I-I'm a g-g-game freak and I-I just think--"

"You wanna play a game with me?" The criminal stared at him, then started to laugh. "Ha! Hahaha! Sure, kid! Whatever you want. But you know, it's been a long time since I killed anyone. So the stakes are, if you lose, I kill you. Got it?"

Yamino stiffened and nodded, not trusting himself to do anything else. He was going to wet his pants; his stomach churned with nausea. At least he wasn't going to kill Anzu if Yamino lost, but that wasn't much comfort at all.


"Yamino, you idiot," Jounouchi whispered, his face turning faintly green.

"He'll win." Yuugi's voice was strained. "But ... it might not matter ..."


It took Yamino a few seconds to get his wits about him again. "Ah ... ah, the-the game is ... like this," he began. "Of your ten fingers, y-you can only move one when it starts."

The criminal chuckled, starting to pour his vodka. "I pick my index finger on my right hand - my trigger finger. You'll be dead before the game even begins," he sneered.

Yamino willed himself to relax with limited success. "I pick my right thumb," he said. He curled his fist around the zippo, glancing slightly towards the door. No Honda. Yamino steeled himself. "Game start!" With his eyes squeezed shut, he lifted the zippo in his fingers and flicked it open.

There was no gunshot. Yamino opened one eye carefully; the criminal was looking at him with interest. "Hm," he said. "Good point." He turned his head slightly so the unlit cigarette was pointed at Yamino's face.

Yamino breathed a sigh of unmitigated relief. He leaned forward, flicking the lighter on, and lit the man's cigarette for him.

Then he deposited the lighter on the back of the man's other hand, which was still bent to pour the vodka in his cup.

It was a precarious perch, but being a Zippo, it wouldn't go out until someone either blew the flame out or shut the lighter. Vodka poured over the sides of the glass and pooled around the cup, then spilled towards the criminal's lap. "What the f--" the criminal snarled. "I'll kill you--!"

"If you shoot, the recoil will knock the lighter into your alcohol," Yamino whispered. His voice was shot from nerves. "I'm sure you realize what that means." It was the ultimate delay tactic, trapping the criminal between his vices.

That was when Honda came from around the corner with the glass bottle raised above his head.

Yamino couldn't help it; he looked up in surprise. The criminal, cursing at him, noticed where Yamino's gaze had gone, and his paranoia working overtime, he went to look too.

The lighter fell.

Honda gave a yell and ran the last two steps to crack the criminal over the head with the bottle.

Yamino dove for the lighter, his knuckles knocking the overflowing glass of vodka onto its side, smashing it.

The criminal slumped, knocked out cold as Honda smashed the bottle against his temple; Yamino's fingers closed around the lighter, and he yelped, juggling it away from the puddle of vodka and from burning his fingers. It jumped away from his hands and skittered across the floor, snapping shut on the way.

There was a moment of shocked silence. Yamino stared up at Honda, who looked back at him. Anzu was frozen in the corner, not daring to remove her blindfold yet.

"Thanks for keeping him distracted for me, but didja have to use a lighter and alcohol?" Honda asked.

"Ah," Yamino gasped, and twisted away to throw up all over the floor.


"You're a hero! Both of you," the Domino City Police Chief intoned in his deep voice.

Yamino was gray-faced and wrapped in a blanket, sitting on the hood of one of the several police cars now parked outside Burger World. Honda sat shoulder-to-shoulder with him on one side; Anzu sat on his other side, wrapped in another, identical blanket. They shared occasional tremors, as if one of them shaking prompted the other to do, a chain reaction. Yuugi had been given a breathing mask when the EMT determined he had been hyperventilating throughout the ordeal; Jounouchi was sitting with him, rubbing his back, just visible over the police chief's left elbow.

"You've done Domino City a huge favor by getting this prisoner cornered. We've been trying to catch him for a week."

"Caught by his own vices," Yamino offered weakly.

"Yeah, in a manner of speaking," the police chief agreed. "Couldn't live without his smokes or booze. Your parents on the way?"

Yamino nodded, and felt Honda doing the same; Anzu trembled slightly next to him. "My mom," she said.

"Good. We're not letting you kids go home without some parental supervision." The radio on the chief's shoulder squawked, and he twisted to it. "10-4, on my way ..."

Yamino waited until the police chief was a decent distance away before turning his head towards Anzu. "Are you going to keep your job?" he asked, his smile ghostly.

"... I don't think I can keep working here," Anzu murmured. "But I'll find another job. What about you, Honda? You were the hero, after all." Her smile was not much better than Yamino's.

"Are you kidding?" Honda looked up at the sky. "I just wanted to buy presents for Miho-chan! But watching you guys ..." he trailed off. "I can't ... I don't think I can even look at the booth where that guy sat again."

"Maybe we'll get reward money," Yamino murmured, his tone amused.

Honda snorted. "Yeah, maybe." He rubbed his arms. Yamino threw one blanketed arm over Honda's shoulders; Anzu got up and shuffled over to Honda's other side and did the same. Honda didn't rub his arms again.