Truth and Dare

Aya + Aki

By: L 0 K I

- part two -

"This is the Best Birthday Ever!" Aya exclaimed, throwing her arms out wildly and nearly smacking Aki as he stood a little ways behind her.

He grumbled something that sounded like 'baka', but was undoubtedly, 'Youre completely right, Aya. Im so glad you made me come with you.' Or, you know, something along those lines.

The impromptu birthday bash was in full-swing. Kaede's parents were gone for the weekend, and that was great. Of course, they were underage, but Kaede's older brother had supplied them with alcohol---making things even better.

Maya had lugged her new karaoke machine into the house right after the alcohol had arrived, and now it was a matter of getting everything set-up. In the mean-time, Aya was hopping between conversations and stuffing her face with food, occasionally leaving Aki behind, and occasionally dragging him along with her in her excitement.

"Well, well, if it isnt the lady of the hour."

Aya turned at the new voice, her ponytail whipping about and then resettling to curl around her throat. She knew Aki didn't like Kaede's brother, but she didn't really have a problem with him. He was always nice to her.

"And where is your mirror image? Might as well give you both your birthday wishes at the same time..."

Aya frowned prettily, realizing she had run off without her brother again. Looking around, she didnt see him nearby. Which really didn't mean anything, as the lights had been dimmed for the dancing. But she wasn't worried, she knew she'd meet up with him again later.

"Hmm, not sure where he is," she explained, thinking that Keitou was a little cute, but really out of the question since Aki couldn't stand him. Plus, he was a little too old for her tastes. A lot of girls here age went gaga over older boys, but she wasn't one of them.

He frowned slightly, then brightened. "Well, happy birthday, Aya! What is this, the big one five?"

She nodded, "Yes, I'm getting to be an old lady now," she joked, feeling slightly awkward. Anytime Keitou talked to her she seemed to stall for conversation soon after the first minute. In the back of her mind she urged Aki to come find her. He never left her alone very long with Keitou.

"Old? Never," he mocked outrage at her self-depreciating statement, using a time-honoured technique of flirting. Then he smiled that smile that always made her a little wary, and she wasn't sure why. "But I do have to say, you definitely look mature for your age..."

Okay, no. She was grateful for his contributions to the party, and flattered by his compliments, but she drew the line at an out-right come-on. She opened her mouth to, in characteristic Aya-style, bluntly tell him that she wasn't interested, when a more subtle voice beat her to it.

"There you are, Aya," Aki appeared at her side, taking a half-step forward and placing himself steadfastly between her and Keitou.

However, instead of looking disappointed at the interruption, Keitou grinned, taking a more casual stance. "Aki-kun, there you are! I was just asking Aya where you had gotten to."

And here his presence always changed slightly. She wasn't sure how, he never said or did anything threatening, but Aki always bristled like a wet cat, his lavender eyes darkening to purple.

"I'm here now, that's all that matters. Aya," he half-turned to her, hiding his face from Keitou, but showing her a look of concern. She smiled faintly in return and he relaxed, replacing the concern with a slight hint of annoyance. "Come and see the cake Kaede made for us, Aya."

Aya was never one to follow dutifully, but cake was involved so she absently excused herself and wove after her brother through the thickening throng.

Unfortunately, he had no intention of leading her to any sugary confection. Once in the sparser crowd of the hall, he caught her arm and dragged her into the bathroom, in that non-gentle gentle way that only siblings seemed to understand. Aya frowned, her reflection in the mirror behind him doing the same as he closed and locked the door.

The party was muffled, distant merriment, and he took a deep breath, seeming to slump where he stood.

"Cake?" Aya prompted. There was mention of a cake, she was sure of it.

"In a second," he muttered, running anxious fingers through his hair.

She sighed, looking around the tight, cramped bathroom. "I don't think there's any cake in here."

"Aya," he said in exasperated fondness, "Just drop the cake for a second, okay?"

Teasing Aki lost its appeal when...well, it never lost its appeal, she decided. But he had asked, and since she was such a good sister she decided to indulge him.

Taking a slightly more serious stance against the sink, she leveled him with her attention. "What's up?"

"I don't like Keitou," he said bluntly, and she blinked at the complete and utter lack of flexibility to that statement. Usually she was the stubborn and frank one. But, as was a little known fact, Aki could blow her out of the water when he was truly ruffled. Glancing at him now, she realized he was starting to get there.

So, she shifted instantly into pacification-mode. Her brother was really unbearable when he decided he needed to take a stand.

She knew this, of course, from observation. Not any type of personal experience. It wasn't like she was obstinate, or something.

"I don't like him either," she agreed quietly, pleased to see him relax just a little at her admission. Of course, in true Aya-style, she ruined it by shrugging a moment later, adding, "But he's harmless. So don't worry about it."

The easing aura of tension suddenly snapped tight around him again. And there went his hands, though his hair, ruining the cute style and sending spikes of gold up everywhere. It was amazing what the change in appearance of ones hair could indicate about ones equilibrium.

"Harmless...maybe." He clearly grappled with the combined strength of his words and thoughts, looking uncertain as to what point he was actually trying to make. Then he shook his head, "There's something...not harmless about him. And he's fixated on you---"

"Well, I am very cute," she said mock-helpfully, provoking an instant roll of his lavender eyes. But he soldiered on past her continued attempts to goad him. Really, it was her party and she'd rather not spend it locked in the bathroom with her brother.

Okay, so it was their party, but who cared about semantics?

"Aya, Im being serious..."

"So am I," she said solemnly, patting her stomach. "I want to have my cake, and eat it, too. Keitou is bad. Okay. Hes dangerous. And you want me to stay away from him."

He was staring at her with a raised eyebrow now.

"Well, that's what youre gearing up to say, right?" She rolled her eyes in the effect of a true teenage girl. "I dont really agree, but if you ask me nicely, I may consider staying away from him..."

Now he looked irritated. "Aya."

"Hmm," she said with feigned sweetness, shifting her balance to her hip and cocking her ear at him.

He huffed, stared at her for a long moment, as if trying to telepathically will her into a more agreeable nature---which was just impossible, honestly. "Aya, come on," he muttered when she didn't relent.

Giving him a smile of pure sugar, she waited pointedly.

His hands slipped slowly down into his pockets. "Fine. Will you please-please-stay away from Keitou? I don't trust him."

"For you? Okay!" Then she shrugged, losing the vestiges of her game for a slightly more serious mien, "It's not as if he's my type anyway."

He scoffed at that, looking slightly relieved to finally wrangle a real promise out of her. "Aya, you don't have a 'type'."

"Oi! Yes, I do!" she surged back instantly, with ire that lacked anything resembling true ire. "At least, I will. Once I find him." She frowned at that. She found several boys cute or amusing, but she always seemed to lose interest so quickly. She knew that part of her was holding out, not necessarily for a prince or such, but...something unique.

Maybe her standards were set too high, and she was doomed for all eternity to be alone. But the thought never really bothered her. She was young after all, and she didn't have time to worry about such things. Shed worry about that when she was thirty or something. When she really had something to worry about.

Aki would always keep her company anyway.

"Are we done here," she asked pointedly. She wasn't a wallflower. She wasn't the type to hide out in the bathroom when a party was raging.

He sighed, still didn't look thrilled, but nodded his acquiescence, giving her irritated eyes that were really projecting concern. I'm just worried about you.

Don't be, she thought, smiling warmly at him. She reached forward and smoothed down his hair, tucking it back into place so that it looked more like him, and less like a wreck.

He gave her a curious look at that, but did nothing to impede her efforts. Though she knew he really didn't care if his hair was a little...disheveled.

"Now were done," she said, and turned back to the door. Only to come face to face with Keitou on the other side. He gave them raised eyebrows and sly lips, but Aya cast him a blank look before moving past him.

She was beginning to think Aki might be right about him...