I just found this rather amusing to write up, so write it up I did.
And when you're looking for someone, you tend to make stupid mistakes. I speak from experience here. On both sides, though the second side was really stupid. I mean, my friends should know in six years that the first place to look for me is the library, and they look everywhere but...
They decided it was about time he got a cell-phone. Maybe then it wouldn't be so difficult to get a hold of him when they needed to. Post-Frontier.
Kouji M & Kouichi K
'Seriously, your parents want us,' Takuya pointed at himself, then at Tomoki, Izumi and Junpei in turn, 'to go to Hiyama with your family?'
Kouji rolled his eyes. 'Didn't I already say that?'
'I was just making sure!' he exclaimed, a little indignantly, but good-naturedly all the same. 'Any specific reason?'
The bandana-wearing boy shrugged. 'Otou-san's got a conference there for three weeks, and he didn't want to ruin my holiday. Especially now that I've got some great friends.' He mumbled that last part, but regardless, they all heard. 'So he suggested I bring you all. And 'kaa-san. There's plenty of room.'
'Aww,' Izumi teased. 'Kouji's getting sentimental.'
'Shut up,' the other shot back. 'And I thought I asked everyone to come. Where's Kouichi?'
They looked at each other. 'No-one picked up when I called,' Junpei shrugged.
'Nor when I did,' Izumi agreed. 'And that was only ten minutes ago.'
He frowned slightly, before pulling out his cell phone. 'Otou-san needs an answer by four,' he said. 'So he can inform his boss, and he can make arrangements for us.'
'That stubborn old man with the moustache and bold head?' Takuya asked.
'The very same one,' the other agreed calmly, speed dialling his brother's home number.
/Moshi Moshi, Kimura residence,/ his mother's voice sounded through the receiver, sounding a little hurried.
''kaa-san? This is Kouji.'
/Oh, Kouji dear. Gomen, I just got off of work./
Kouji covered the cell with his hand, before repeating the words to the others, who nodded in understanding, before returning to the conversation.
'Is Ni-san home?'
/Kouichi? No, he went to the new bookstore in Toshima./
'Toshima!..Do you know when he'll be back?'
/Not till tomorrow. He's going to a friend's home afterwards, and he's sleeping over./
Kouji muttered something under his breath again, before asking which friend.
There was a pause at the other end of the line.
/Teruo I think./ Tomoko answered finally.
Great. Whose idea was it to make a bookworm friends with another bookworm.
/Is there something wrong?/ She sounded concerned.
'Iie. We just needed to ask him something.'
/All right./ She sounded relieved.
'Ja ne 'kaa-san.'
/Take care of yourself Kouji./
He disconnected the line, before turning back to his friends. ''kaa-san says he's checking out a new bookstore in Toshima, and then he's going over to Teruo's house.'
Junpei groaned, a little jokingly. 'Don't tell me we're chasing him halfway across the country.'
'You'd better believe it,' Izumi grinned, seeing as Kouji had already set off for the nearest train station.
'Isn't Toshima neighbouring Shinjuku?' Tomoki asked.
'It's just a figure of speech,' the eldest groaned. 'Besides, we're on the opposite end of Shibuya. This is going to take a while.'
That was an understatement. It had taken over an hour to get to the district as the trains were delayed due to an accident on the rails, and another half to find the bookstore. Once they did however, and confronted the especially irate salesman, they found he had left about twenty minutes ago.
'Great,' Junpei moaned, plopping down onto a bench outside. 'Does anybody have Teruo's number. And why didn't we call and tell whoever was there to call back as soon as Kouichi got there?'
The other four stared at him, before face-palming their heads in disbelief. 'I can't believe we didn't think of that,' Kouji muttered. 'And no, I don't have his number.'
'Neither do I,' the other three said at once.
'Does anyone know his surname then?' the ex-warrior of thunder tried.
'Nope,' the other four all said at once.
He face-palmed his head. 'This really is a wild goose chase.'
They stood, or sat, in silence for a few minutes, before Tomoki thought of something. 'Maybe Teppei or Katsuharu have his number.'
'Great,' Junpei said sarcastically. 'And does anybody have their numbers?'
'I do,' the ex-warrior of ice replied. 'They invite me to play soccer with them sometimes.'
He flipped open his own cell phone and searched for one of the numbers in his phone book. He found Katsuharu's first, and pressed the 'call' button.
/...the number you have called is currently unavailable.../
He disconnected the line, then tried Teppei, who picked up in the third ring.
/Hey Tomoki? What's up?/
He glanced at the others. 'We kinda need Teruo's phone number? Do you have it?'
/What did he do? Stick his nose in a book and lose track of time?/
'More like us looking for Kouichi who's supposed to be with him.'
/Ahh...cell or home?/
'Uh...might as well give us both.'
Teppei read out the numbers and Tomoki repeated them, letting one of the remaining three enter it into their own directory, before thanking the other boy and hanging up.
'All right, which one? Home or cell?'
The others thought about that. 'You might as well try the cell. If he's home, he would probably still answer it.'
Then Takuya, who had been the one to record the number, tossed the phone to Kouji.
'It's your brother we're trying to reach.'
Only, as soon as he pressed dial, the screen died.
The ex-warrior of light gritted his teeth. 'You're phone's out of batteries.'
Junpei sighed dramatically. 'Fate's really against us today. Did anyone else get the number?'
The others just looked at each other.
After a re-call, in which the other three all recorded the numbers, they dialled the number of Teruo's cell.
And after a while, he picked up.
'Teruo?' Kouji asked, a little doubtfully. He didn't entirely recognise the voice, as it was the older twin who got along better with him.
/Yes?/ Apparently, he wasn't the only one.
'This is Kouji. Are you with my brother?'
/I was, but we split up for now./
'Oh brother,' Kouji groaned, before looking at his watch. It was two now, so they had less than two hours to find him, talk to him, ask for permission, and then tell their father the answer. Luckily, the others had asked on the subway, otherwise he would never have a solid answer. 'Any chance of meeting up with him in the next hour?'
/Maybe./ He sounded a little doubtful though. /This place is like a maze though./
He groaned again. 'Where are you?'
/The museum in Nerima./
'Nerima? Aargh, call me if you find him. I need him before four.'
/I'll try and find him./ the other promised. /We synchronised our watches for four-thirty though./
He disconnected his phone, and then sighed for the third time in ten minutes. 'This is getting extremely tedious. Why can't he just have a cell phone? It would have simplified things.'
'Well,' Izumi said cheerfully, nonplussed with all the chasing they were doing even as it wore down the boys. 'We know what to get him next birthday...which is when?'
'A month and a half,' Kouji muttered.
'Great. That's my present set then. It's about time he got one.'
'Isn't it a little early to be thinking of birthday presents?' Tomoki blinked up at him.
'Better early than late. Besides, you never pass up a good opportunity.'
'Guys!' Takuya called from a few feet away. Then he turned to stare at Kouji. 'Don't tell me we're going to Nerima.'
'I am, since I want to spend my holidays with my brother.'
The brunette shrugged. 'Well, you're not getting rid of us.'
This train journey hadn't taken as long, and thankfully, they were wandering around the streets of Nerima-ku soon after. The problem was they didn't know Nerima any better than Toshima, so naturally, they were lost again.
Until they managed to stumble across the Ward Art Museum.
The problem, after splitting up and searching for twenty minutes to no avail, they asked the receptionist at the front desk, only to find that neither Teruo nor Kouichi had come in that day.
'Is there another museum in this district?' Izumi asked, as Junpei plopped down in the nearest chair, complaining of sore feet.
'Why yes,' the receptionist replied. 'There's the Iwasaki Chihiro illustrated book museum.'
'Could you tell us where it is?'
She gave them directions, and the blonde thanked them, before dragging the still complaining Junpei out, with the other boys following suit.
Only, they hadn't made it three blocks before Kouji's cell rang.
He quickly checked the number, before answering the call. 'Teruo?'
/Yep. And I've got Kouichi./
The younger twin sighed in relief. 'Could you give the phone to him please?'
/Sure./ The other sounded a little confused at the slight urgency in his voice.
Static filled his eardrum for a moment, indicating that the phone was being passed, before his brother's voice came through.
'Kouichi. Listen, 'tou-san's going to Hiyama for the winter break and-' He suddenly cut himself off as the dial tone echoed in his ears. 'Huh? Why'd he hang up on me?'
'Maybe Teruo's phone died.' Takuya shrugged. 'At least we know where they are.'
'Provided they haven't moved since then,' Junpei pointed out.
Kouichi blinked as the connection suddenly died out, staring at the bright screen. 'What happened?' he wondered out loud, handing the phone back to Teruo.
'The credit probably ran out,' the other shrugged. 'I wonder what your brother wanted though.'
'Knowing him, he'll come here if it's important.'
The brunette paused suddenly. 'He might have some trouble doing that. I forgot to tell him which museum.'
The ex-warrior of darkness just stared at the other, before bursting into laughter. 'Kouji must have been really impatient if he forgot to ask for specifics.' Then his face became worried. 'I hope nothing's wrong.'
'I don't think there is,' the other consoled. 'He just sounded annoyed.'
'That sounds like Kouji.'
'Well, while we're discussing this, let's go see E no Nai Ehon. That's the only one I haven't seen yet.'
'And you've been to this museum how many times?'
'Well...I keep on getting interrupted.'
And that was where the others eventually found them, admiring the illustrations of 'What the Moon Saw.'
Kouji, as it was twenty minutes to four by that time, immediately explained why he had tracked his brother over four districts.
Kouichi, unlike Takuya thankfully, simply nodded at the end of the said explanation and said he'd just have to ask for permission. Which made Kouji face-palm his head again.
'You mean I could have just asked 'kaa-san?'
'Well...no. There was supposed to be a few winter classes during the break, two of which I needed to attend, but they got cancelled yesterday, and Tahara-san only told me about two hours ago. It would have been a definite 'no' if you had.'
'Well..,' he tossed his cell phone at the other. 'Call her.'
He did so, and after a brief conversation, he handed the phone back with a thumbs up. 'She said I can go.'
'Great,' Kouji said, relieved. 'I'd better tell 'tou-san, and he's going to kill me for taking this long.'
And he did so, while the others continued their conversation.
'We'll just blame Kouichi,' Takuya quipped, leaning against the wall. 'Being so hard to reach.'
'Not just me,' he pointed out.
'It was mostly your lack of a cell phone though,' Izumi cut in. 'Which I'm going to fix up for your birthday.'
'With a charged battery,' Junpei agreed, staring at Takuya.
'Not my fault I forgot to charge it,' the other complained.
'Actually, it is.'
'And credit,' Teruo laughed. 'My phone ran out of it mid-conversation.'
Takuya paused for a second. 'Wait...so if one of us rang, you'd have picked up.'
'I suppose so.'
Kouji hit his head again. 'How many mistakes can five kids make in an afternoon.'
'Seven,' Kouichi corrected. 'I forgot to tell 'kaa-san that we were meeting at the department store and then going to this museum.'
'And I forgot to renew my credit,' Teruo input. 'And tell you which museum in Nerima.'
They laughed, before Takuya's stomach grumbled. 'I guess we forgot about lunch too.'
The others remembered. 'Well,' Junpei mused. 'We passed a fast food place on the way. And I think we've got enough money.'
They did, so they decided to stop for a very late lunch.
'You coming Ni-san?'
'No way,' Teruo interrupted. 'You'll have him for the next three weeks, but I've got him for the rest of today.'
'I'm not a thing to be 'gotten',' the elder twin complained, but let himself be obligingly dragged away.
'Oh no.' Kouji hit his head again, after they were long gone.
The other four turned to him. 'You're not going to have any brain cells left if you keep doing that,' Takuya pointed out, before ducking the retaliated swipe. 'And what did you forget?'
'To tell him to pack a very thick jacket. The temperature can go down to -12C.'
'Tell me you're kidding,' the others groaned. 'We'll be frozen icicles in that cold.'
They looked towards where Teruo and Kouichi had disappeared. 'Just tell your mother. Or ring him another day. Who knows where they went, and all that looking for him made me hungry.' That remark was punctured by another growl.
'And to think, we could have avoided all that if he had a functional cell phone...'
'Which I'm going to fix in one and a half months.'
'Of course, that's only good if he remembers to carry it around,' Tomoki pointed out.
'That's true,' Kouji mused. 'He does tend to be a little scatterbrained about things.'
Then he shrugged. ''kaa-san would probably remind him.'