Quoth the Raven.

If he was to believe Tamaki Souh's words, miscommunication was a normal enough problem in every kind of relationship, and Umehito knew more than enough about that to know that romantic relationships were, probably, the most affected by that. And if he was to believe Kirimi's words, whom at eight years old knew so much more about romantic relationships than he ever would (and realizing that always made him feel both intimidated and a little panicky at the thought of his baby sister one day growing up mostly because he pitied whoever it was his baby sister took a fancy into), when a couple fought due to a misunderstanding, one had to apologize.

Kirimi actually knew about romance, the one that involved flowers and chocolates, rather than the Romance that Umehito enjoyed, that of Poe and Stoker, and she had given him good advice since he had started dating Renge. (Or, at least, her advice was good once he had stripped it down to the rather PG, toned down version of what Kirimi said: editing most of Kirimi's words had become a second nature by now).

Of course, since he and Renge started dating, Umehito had learned that there was an even more delicate balance in a relationship you had to try to dance with. Give or take too much and the balance was lost.

Dating Renge had, of course, made dancing with that delicate balance more of a tango than a waltz. Umehito had, surprisingly enough, even for him, welcomed this chaotic influence that was Renge. His schedule had had to change a bit to leave enough room for her anime, but she had also agreed to watch something besides shoujo, harem and shounen ai stories and leaning into darker things that he could like as well.

Which was really what had gotten him in this situation.

"We had a deal!" Renge said, hands on her hips. Umehito didn't quite dare just yet to get closer, just in case she had her fan with her. "We watched Hellsing and then I'd get to choose what we'd cosplay as in the next party, and you were okay with us cosplaying Kyou Kara Maou!"

It had, also, taken a bit of give-and-take before they could come to terms about what they could cosplay together. His photophobia meant that he couldn't cosplay pretty much of all the shounen or shoujo heroes she liked, but Renge had taken it quite calmly that many times they couldn't cosplay as a couple, rejoicing in the times they could. Umehito had surprised himself by the fact that he, also, enjoyed cosplaying and roleplaying, now being a vampire and his sire, now being her a witch and he the demon she had called, now being two students that doomed others around them. And the way it made her laugh as she planned things to be perfect always made everything worthy.

"B-but it's Halloween," Umehito despaired, wishing he had Belzeenof to at least hide one of his twitching hands.

Halloween had always been his party. And yes, he had told her that he agreed cosplaying, in part due to the kitten ears, in part because he knew she had really enjoyed it. Even though he hadn't liked the series all that much, it being too perky and happy for his tastes, it wasn't that much of a sacrifice for an afternoon.

Just. Not in Halloween. Halloween was about ghosts and spirits and monsters and demons! Real demons! Scary demons!

Renge glared at him for a few moments, arms crossed, but Nekozawa stood his point.

And then, Renge sighed.

"Okay," Renge said, in the tone of voice of someone doing a collossal and huge favor to someone else, even if that someone was your boyfriend. "If we go to the New Year's Party as the Shinou and Daikenja in full costume, and yes, that includes either extensions or a long haired wig for you, then we can do The Raven thing."

Umehito perked. "Really?"

"Yes, really," Renge sighed again, but then she started humming, already diving into her love for costumes and characterization. "I think I still have enough white make up to look ghost like. We could try to go a little Tim Burton-like with this, don't you think? Sort of like the Corpse Bride? Oh! I know where we can get you a fake raven! We'll have to see if we can get it on your shoulder, or maybe with some wires so it seems that it's over you..."

Umehito found himself grinning, getting close to her, a hand on her shoulder, interrupting Renge from her planning. A balance, he remembered, but he couldn't stop himself from grinning.

"And can I call you Lenore?"

"Whatever," quoth his girlfriend before she rolled her eyes at him, but she was smiling as well. "I suppose I can live with that."