Two is a Crowd

Chapter 1: Yeah, right.

POV: Snake Eyes

Thomas and I stared at the papers sitting on the table in front of us. They were the rental contract for the apartments we had chosen… there was just one problem.

Neither of us had enough money for them. And we both knew there was only one solution.

"No," said Thomas, shaking his head, "No way, no how."

"Right," I agreed firmly.

"We'll just have to live in an alley."

"Exactly."

We both continued to stare at the pages, then we looked at each other. Then back at the pages. Then back at each other. With a sigh, I picked up the pen and signed.

Thomas and Snake Eyes were about to share an apartment.

"This is so not going to work," said Thomas, shaking his head. He pushed his black hair away from his forehead and surveyed the now-furnished apartment. It was small, but cozy and clean.

It was the 'small' that had us worried. Neither of us are big cleaner-uppers. In fact, Thomas is a downright slob.

Not that I'm much better.

"I think you're right," I agreed.

"Well, there's not much we can do, anyway," Thomas sighed. He flopped down onto the couch as I began to inspect the apartment.

For the fourth time.

"One bathroom," I noted.

"You pointed that out the first time," said Thomas, opening a Kendo magazine.

"Yeah, I know," I said, "I just can't get over it."

"We'll never survive," my brother said gloomily.

"Two bedrooms, at least," I said, trying to look on the optimistic side.

"Two bedrooms that are actually closets made to look like bedrooms in order to fool people," Thomas said.

I looked doubtfully into the bedroom I had chosen. It was about the size of a Gestappo cell. I sighed and walked down the built-for-a-ruler-not-a-person-sized hallway and walked into the kitchen.

"It has an island," I called.

"Good. We can set toothpicks on it while we cook."

"You're a pessimist."

"This apartment was designed for them."

"It was designed for one person," I said.

"As I said. It was designed for pessimists. Who's making dinner?"

"You are," I said, peering into the Fridge. It was about as big as a jewelry box.

"We'll get along fine here," I said, "I think we can manage."

"Yeah, right."

Chapter 2: Pepper and Toothpaste

POV: Thomas

I am going to kill Ian. There was absolutely no way we were going to survive. At least, one of us wasn't, and it wasn't going to be me that got killed.

I ordinarily would have been much more debonair and gentlemanly about sharing the apartment, but I had known this would happen. I was looking, eyes narrowed, at my tube of Crest toothpaste and thinking this is the last straw.

We had only been living together for seven hours - since twelve o'clock p.m. to be precise - and already we were having trouble.

It all started after Snakes told me I was making dinner. I happen to be a pretty good cook, so I wasn't all that worried about what he would think. What I WAS worried about was the fact that there were two cabinets in the kitchen, two burners on the stove which was only big enough for a few strips of bacon, and the only food we happened to have was a jar of oatmeal, unless those little packets of hot sauce from Taco Bell count.

So much for the gourmet dinner I'd been planning (NOT!) Anyway, at six o'clock that evening, I started making oatmeal on the two-burner stove. It must have smelled like something else, because Snakes called to me from his room "Put pepper on it, would ya?"

And I thought "Well, his food issues are not my problem," and dumped the entire contents of the pepper grinder into his bowl of oatmeal. It turned an unappetizing blackish-grey color, but hey! If Snakes wanted pepper in his oatmeal, he would have pepper in his oatmeal.

I set the two plastic bowls on the card table, got out two plastic spoons and two cans of coke. "Snakes, dinner!" I called.

"Good! Smells delicious."

Ha, I thought. Just wait.

He must have been distracted about something, because he sat down and took a huge bite of the oatmeal - without actually looking at the contents of his bowl.

The look on his face was priceless.

His eyes grew to three times their normal size. While I was sitting on the floor dying with laughter, he was running into the kitchen to spit out the pepper-filled Oatmeal into the trash.

He didn't think it was as funny as I did, apparently, because now I am staring at my toothpaste tube, like I said. And all the toothpaste has been squeezed from the MIDDLE!

Everyone knows - you squeeze the toothpaste from the BOTTOM! Not the top, not the middle, the BOTTOM!

I'm going to kill Ian.

Chapter 3: Dirty Socks and Soda

POV: Snake Eyes

"THOMAS SUBURU ARASHIKAGE!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. Thomas came screeching out of his room. "What?" he panted, eyes wide.

I looked at him. "Look at the mess in this hallway!" I said, waving my arms helplessly at the mess of shirts, socks, and jeans strewn all over.

"Is that's what's got you so hot n' bothered?" laughed Thomas, sagging against the doorway.

"For your information, this mess could really hurt someone!" I said, glaring.

"Who? Snake Eyes, the American Ninja, or Storm Shadow, the Arashikage Ninja?" Thomas questioned. Obviously, he doubted the truth of my statement. "Come here," I said, motioning with a hand.

"What for?" he asked suspiciously.

"I want to show you something."

"Right," he said, narrowing his eyes.