Author's notes here: Well, I'm back from another hiatus. Unlike last time, where a series of unfortunate events got in the way, the main reason why I've been gone for so long was because I moved to Florida and started a new job. For a while, I was working seven days a week and was way too tired to do anything after work. It also didn't help that I'd gotten into a confrontation with another popular fanfiction writer that seriously knocked my confidence down.
However, things have changed for me, and I've since recovered my confidence. I also have a lot more free time now, so I decided to go back to writing this story. I severely apologize for the delay. I'm working hard to improve my work ethic, and I hope that this will be the last hiatus this story goes on.
Oh, and I know that this is long overdue, but I wanted to thank Gotonis for pointing out a minor plot hole in the last chapter. It was a bit of an embarrassment, but I'm glad it's fixed.
Anyway, I plan on working harder than ever to improve my writing skills, so don't be afraid to give constructive criticism. I hope this chapter doesn't disappoint, even those it's been so long overdue.
Today is the day. After a whole week of waiting, I was finally going to see my parents and little sister, and I was absolutely terrified. The reason for this was not because my parents were terrible people. Far from it. Instead, it was because they were normal.
There was no way that they were going to get along with Haruhi's family.
Heck, I was barely able to get along with the Suzumiyas for the first couple weeks. It was only after the circumstances involving that monstrous thing in the back of that grocery store that Oruki started treating me like a human being. True, I always got along with Naru-san, but there was a brief period after discovering her eccentricities that I didn't want to be around her. It was only when I realized that she was a genuinely nice person that I ignored her weirdness. My parents wouldn't have the luxury of getting to know either of them along enough to realize that they were decent people...well, Oruki's only half-decent.
The only hope I had was that all three Suzumiyas would fake normalcy long enough to fool my parents. Considering the fact that I knew that Naru-san lacked the common sense to do so, that meant that I could only rely on Haruhi and her father. Strangely enough, Haruhi was the only one that I wasn't worried about at all. I'd seen her mask her eccentric behavior before, so I knew she could do it. Oruki, however, just needed to keep his temper in check. That shouldn't be too hard, right? I mean, what could he possibly get mad at while my parents were here?
As you've probably guessed, I didn't sleep very well the night before.
It wasn't until I felt the sensation of my girlfriend snuggling beside me that I even started to wake up.
"Good morning, Kyon. Today's the big day."
"Don't remind me," I said in a nearly inaudible mumble.
Haruhi pulled on my earlobe a bit. "Don't be like that. I'm sure your parents miss you a lot. Your little sister, too."
"They're not the ones I'm worried about."
She sat up. "Why are you such a pessimist? Your parents are going to get along fine with mine. You have nothing to worry about."
You're wrong. I just know it.
Haruhi started getting off my bed. "Well if you're going to be like that, then I'm giving another second of snuggling."
No! Come back! This was going to be the highlight of my day!
"No." she said as she walked out of my room. "You better not let my parents know that you feel this way. They'd be upset for sure."
Yeah, that would be just what I needed.
It was another hour before I finally woke up enough to get out of bed. Today was the first day of summer break, and I could already tell that it was insanely hot outside. If it weren't for the air-conditioning in the house, I'd probably be melting by now.
Yesterday, I'd received the finals grades for my tests, and I had mixed feelings about them. I was fortunate in that they were slightly better than my usual grades, but I was still disappointed because I'd really hoped that I would have been able to ace them given all of the studying that Haruhi and I did together. I just hoped that my mother would accept my scores without getting upset.
After getting dressed in a red short-sleeved shirt and khaki shorts, I made my way downstairs to greet the Suzumiyas. "Good morning."
"Good morning, Kyon-kun!" said Naru-san as she cooked breakfast.
"Yo," said Oruki while reading his newspaper.
Haruhi didn't acknowledge my existence. Great, still mad at me. It's not my fault that you lack enough sense to understand my position. If you did, you'd totally understand why I'm worried.
"Worried about what?" said Oruki, looking at me.
"Oh, I'm sure Kyon-kun's just anxious about his family coming today," said Naru-san.
"Oh yeah," said Oruki as if he was doctor being reminded to see his next patient.
I was nervous that Haruhi was going to spill the beans as to why I was worried, but I was fortunate that she seemed to want to spare her parents' feelings. She still didn't look at me, though. Dammit, you better not be like this when they get here.
Breakfast went by normally, and before long, I was cleaning up the table. Meanwhile, Haruhi went upstairs, and Oruki went into the living room to watch some TV. Naru-san was nice enough to dry off the clean dishes and put them away.
"I heard from Haru-chan that you have a really cute younger sister. That that true?"
"Yeah," I said, "although I think that I'm the only one who doesn't find her all that cute." I hear all the time about how so many guys wish that they had a cute younger sister, but trust me, it gets old fast. After you get over the cuteness, what's left is annoyances, like whenever she took my scissors without asking. I mean, don't get me wrong. I love my sister, but the idea of doting over her like she's a doll or something is just creepy. And let's not even talk about those bastards who are a little too into underage girls! Damn perverts!
Naru-san was giggling. "It sounds like you miss her a lot."
"Yeah, I guess I do. Although I don't miss how she'd wake me up each morning."
She chuckled a bit more. "Haru-chan's done a good job of taking her place, I bet."
"She's getting better," I said with a smug smile.
Naru-san put her hand in front of her mouth. "Ohhhh. I see~!"
Damn! Didn't expect her to pick up the subtext so easily. "W...what are you talking about?"
Naru-san patted my back. "I'm not surprised. It's only natural for young lovers to find ways to be with one another." She then stared into space with dreamy eyes before she began to twirl around the room.
After a minute, she stopped suddenly and look at me seriously. "Wait a second, what if Haru-chan got pregnant?"
"W-what?!" I said, almost falling over. "N...no! It's not like that! We haven't gotten that far yet!"
Naru-san blinked at me for a second before sighing in relief. "Thank goodness. I'm not old enough to be a grandma, yet."
I began to seriously worry that Oruki would overhear us. "Please be quiet."
Naru-san nodded. "Don't worry, Kyon-kun. I won't tell Oruki-kun that Haru-chan is sneaking into your room in the morning."
Man, I really hope I can believe you. Your lips have never been known for being very tight. It was at this moment that I realized that the last five minutes had been a pretty good demonstration of why I couldn't trust Naru-san to know better about how to act in front of my parents. Ignoring Haruhi's earlier warnings, I reluctantly decided to bring the subject matter up.
"Listen, Naru-san. There's something I've been wanting to say."
Naru-san tilted her head. "What is it, Kyon-kun?"
I took a deep breath. "Look, I know you're a great person, and so does everyone else that knows you. However..." I paused a bit to find the right words. "...Surely you must realize that you're a bit...eccentric, right? I mean, I know your character traits are harmless enough, but my parents don't really know you. So...if you could tone it down a bit while they're visiting, that would relieve me greatly."
Naru-san took in what I had to say. "Oh..." Her eyes then slowly narrowed. "...I see."
I was unable to respond, since I'd had never seen her act that way before.
She crossed her arms and closed her eyes. "I know that I'm weird, and I always have been. I've been told by a lot of people that I should act differently, but I don't care what they have to say. If your parents are that kind of people that can't get along with someone like me, that's their problem. And here I thought that you were okay with how I was."
"I am! I am!" I said before I realized I'd made a mistake. Upsetting her was the last thing I wanted to do. "I'm sorry. Please understand tha-"
Naru-san didn't let me finish and instead walked out of the kitchen. I had no idea that she could be so sensitive. Was she going to exact her revenge on me later? Please, for the love of any and all gods in the universe, don't try anything while my parents are here. If you do that, I'll gladly accept any punishment you wish to exact upon me later.
After that abysmal failure, I decided to wait in my until I got the phone call from my parents, letting me know that they were about to arrive. About two hours later, the dreaded phone call came. After confirming the directions, I said goodbye and closed my phone. This was it. Too late to stop it now. I looked over my room one last time before I left, calling out to Haruhi to come downstairs. I had all of us gather near the door when I heard the cab pull up to the house. Everyone had polite smiles, so there was no indication that any of them were still upset. Please don't let this be a ruse!
It just as my family started knocking on the door that I was hit with a terrifying realization. My parents and little sister don't know anything about all of the supernatural stuff that I've been involved in, and I completely forgot to tell Oruki and Naru-san about that! Crap! It's too late now!
I opened the door and was greeted by the sight of my parents and my little sister. My mother was a woman in her late thirties who had short, wavy hair. She was wearing a lavender dress that I'd seen her wear on a number of previous occasions. She hasn't aged as well as Naru-san, but she definitely didn't look old. If I had to compare her looks to myself and my sister, then I'd say that my sister took after her more than I did.
On the other hand, I'd definitely say that I looked more like my dad, with a few key differences. For starters, my dad was a tiny bit shorter than me. He also wore glasses and had a decent potbelly due to a lack of exercise. He was also balding, with only a small patch of hair left in the middle of his head. He was wearing a green, short-sleeved, button-up shirt with khaki pants. I've been told by some people that I was going to look just like him when I reached my forties, but I refused to acknowledge their statements. There's no way that I'm going to be bald, dammit!
To my surprise, my sister wasn't wearing her trademark sideways ponytail and was instead leaving her hair down. She also must have had a growth spurt over the last few months as she was a little bit taller than the last time I'd seen her. I assumed that she was finally starting puberty. She was clad in a familiar blue dress that I remembered her wearing a year ago. I had wondered if my sister had grown up a bit in the time since I'd last seen her. However, I was proven wrong when the first thing she did was lunge at me and give me a hug!
"Hiya! Kyon-kun! I missed you sooooooo much!"
"I missed you, too," I said as I hugged her back. I decided not to bug her about not taking her shoes off first.
After she was done hugging me, she immediately latched onto Haruhi. "Hi hi, Haru-nyan!"
"It's good to see you, little sis!" said Haruhi as she hugged her back. I had to admit that I enjoyed the fact that the two of them got along so well.
My parent greeted me after that, and I politely bowed and introduced them to Haruhi's parents.
"I'm Naru Suzumiya. A pleasure to meet you!"
"I'm Oruki Suzumiya. Welcome to my home."
I could tell that Oruki was mildly uncomfortable being so polite. In fact, that was probably the most polite thing he's ever said since I met him.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," said my mother with a bow. "I hope my son hasn't been too much trouble."
"Not at all," said Naru-san. "If anything, he's been a breath of fresh air around here."
I was relieved that Naru-san had complimented me. I guess she's not mad at me anymore.
"Please excuse us for coming on such short notice," my father said.
"It's fine," said Haruhi after letting go of my sister. "It's rare that we get visitors. It's nice to meet you, by the way. I'm Haruhi Suzumiya. I've believe this is the first time we've met."
"The pleasure is all mine," said my dad. "I hope you're treating my son well."
"He's been great," she said as she grabbed my arm. I was a bit worried when she did this, but my parents didn't seem to mind.
"We also brought another visitor!" said my sister as ran behind my parents. She then pulled in a cat carrier. "Surprise!"
Haruhi looked inside and realized who is was. "Shamisen!" She immediately opened the cat carrier up and pulled out the male calico. She then gave him a nice squeeze. "How are you doing, little guy?"
"Hey there, Shamisen," I said as I patted his head. This was a bit unexpected. I don't remember my mother mentioning that he was coming along.
It was then that a strong hand grabbed onto my shoulder. I turned to find that it was Oruki, who was clearly fighting with his emotions. "Kyon-kun...can we speak briefly downstairs?"
Oh no, what's the problem now? Don't tell me that things are falling apart already?
I excused myself and followed Oruki down into the basement. The moment we both made it down, he immediately turned around and grabbed me by my shoulders.
"What the hell is that?!"
"What the hell is what?" I said.
Oruki pointed in the direction of the front door. "That! That...thing!"
I raised an eyebrow. "You mean the cat?"
"Yes! What the hell is it doing here?! You never told me they were bringing a cat!"
"I don't remember them saying anything about it. Is there a problem?"
"Yes there's a problem!" He then moved a bit closer, his eyes fully wide open. "I...HATE...CATS!"
You've got to be kidding me! "Are you allergic the them?"
"No! I just #$%ing hate them! I wish that they would all die!"
I place my hand on my face. "What do you want me to do about it?"
"I don't care! Burn it! Bash it! Trash it! Doesn't matter! Just as long at it's not in my house!"
"I'm not harming him."
"Then leave him outside!"
"No," I said, feeling a bit annoyed. "He's a good cat. He's not going to harm anything."
Oruki gritted his teeth. "What did you say?"
I rolled my eyes. "Look, I'll just leave him in my room. Is that okay?"
Oruki narrowed his eyes. "Fine! But the moment he's gone, you're cleaning your entire room from top to bottom with a toothbrush!"
"Whatever," I said as I started walking back up the stairs.
When I got back up, I noticed that Haruhi was running around the house with Shamisen on her head while my sister tried to grab his tail. Be careful, you two!
"Wait a second guys," I said. "Unfortunately, this house hasn't been made cat-proof, so we're going to have to leave Shamisen in my room."
Haruhi pouted toward me. "Aw, that's no fair."
"Poor Shami," said my sister with a frown.
"Didn't I mention that we were bringing him?" said my mother. "I'm sorry, it must've slipped my mind."
"It's fine, mom. I'm glad to see him."
"Let's play with him in Kyon's room, little sis!" said Haruhi as she bolted up the stairs. She was quickly followed by my sister, who was still trying to grab the cat's tail.
"Crisis averted," I mumbled to myself as I noticed my mother approaching me. "What up, mom?"
"As much as I love seeing you again, there's something I need to know." She then looked at me with complete seriousness. "How did you do on your exams?"
I sighed deeply. I knew she was going to ask. "I'll go get the results. They're in my room." I then reluctantly walked upstairs and into my room. When I got there, I noticed that Haruhi was rubbing Shamisen tummy while my sister used my school tie as a makeshift cat toy.
"Hey, don't let him ruin my tie!"
"He's not going to ruin it, are you Shami?" said my sister.
The cat responded by batting at my tie multiple times. I shook my head and went into my school bag to pull out my exam results.
"What are you up to, Kyon?" said Haruhi.
"My mother wanted to see how I did on my exams. I'm expecting her to be less than satisfied."
"Why is that? I thought you did pretty good considering the circumstances."
"I was hoping to do better,"
"You worry too much. You can't expect your grades to go from being average to great overnight! I'm sure your mother will understand."
"We'll see," I said as I took the results and left my room. Once I got downstairs, I handed my mother the sheet of paper. She studied it carefully before sighing. Crap, she is disappointed, isn't she?
"Actually, I'm rather relieved."
I blinked for a few seconds. "Really?"
She nodded. "To be honest, I was expecting your exams results to be even worse than usual, seeing as how you're living with your girlfriend and all."
I scratched the back of my head. "Yeah, she's actually been forcing me to study a lot since I moved here. She's a pretty good tutor, too."
"Thank goodness," she said as she leaned in toward me while holding her hand next to her mouth. "I guess she's a keeper after all, huh?"
I chuckled lightly. "I take it you were worried?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" she said as she placed her hands on her hips. "My teenage son is living with his girlfriend. The rest of the family still don't know yet, believe it or not."
I was surprised to hear this. "Why haven't you told them?"
"Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea what my mother would say if she knew I did this? She'd have a heart attack if she knew."
Come on, mom. Why do you have to hide stuff from people? I'd like you a lot more if you were a bit more honest.
"I'll tell them eventually, I swear!" said my mother. "Maybe I'll wait until you're both in college." She then looked back and forth before moving closer. "Try not to be stupid and get her pregnant, will you?"
MOM! Not you, too! Gaaaahhh!
My mother chuckled. "Still embarrassed about that stuff, huh? I take it that you haven't gotten that far, yet."
"Doesn't seem that way," came a gentle voice from behind my mother.
Both myself and my mother were startled and looked towards the voice.
"Oh, Naru-san!" I said. "I forgot you were there."
"My apologies," said Naru-san with a light bow. "You should know that Kyon-kun has been wonderful while he's been here."
My mother moved closer to her and smiled. "Thank goodness he has. I was worried that you'd kick him out eventually."
"There were times when we thought about it," said Naru-san with a giggle.
My mother took her words seriously. "Really? What did he do?"
No no, I didn't do anything, I swear!
Luckily, Naru-san allayed her fears. "No no, I was kidding!"
"Are you sure?" my mother said. "Remember that I'm his mother and that you can tell me anything."
I was worried that Naru-san was going to tell her about what I said earlier today, but it didn't happen.
"Your son is wonderful!"
My mother sighed. "Sorry. My son doesn't tell me much. He probably wouldn't have even told me he was sick if you didn't call me last week."
You're probably right, mom. Probably right.
"You know how boys are," said Naru-san. "They think they can handle everything on their own."
It was at that moment that I realized that Naru-san was acting surprisingly normal. She was even getting along with my mother. THANK GOD! A huge wave of relief came over me, and I decided to turn around and walk towards the living room. I figured that now would be a great time to let the two of them talk while I checked on my dad and Oruki.
My dad and Oruki were both sitting on the couch while a baseball game was coming on. Great! I knew that my dad wasn't much into sports, but as long as baseball was on, I knew Oruki would be on his best behavior. Excellent! Everything is going according to plan!
"The Buffaloes lost yesterday, so I'm rooting for the Giants to win today," said Oruki.
"I see," said my dad.
Perfect! Now I could walk away knowing everything is fine. I had thought about setting both Naru-san and Oruki aside to tell them that my family didn't know anything, but by now I figured that the both of them had figured it out. I went upstairs to check on Haruhi and my sister, hoping that I could hang out with them for a while.
When I entered my room, I saw that my tie was no longer undamaged thanks to my sister and the cat.
"Hey! Look at what you did to my tie!"
My sister looked at the tie and lowered her head. "Sorry, Kyon-kun."
"Don't worry about that stupid tie, Kyon," said Haruhi. "It's not like you're going to need it for a while."
"That's not the point. I'm going to need it eventually." And I was sure the school officials were not so lenient as to let me go to class with a ripped-up tie.
"You can just buy a new one later."
"I'm not paying for it."
"I'll pay for it!" said my little sister. She then got off of the bed and pulled out a small pocketbook from her pocket. After opening it, she pulled out a 500 yen coin and handed it to me. "Fair is fair!"
I was so touched by her behavior that I couldn't bring myself to tell her that my tie probably cost around 2000 yen. "Looks like someone has done a lot of growing up since they left."
After my sister giggled, Haruhi came up from behind and gave her a hug.
"You don't know the half of it! Guess who is going to create a new branch of the SOS Brigade after summer break is over!"
"Me! I am!" said my sister as she jumped in the air.
"Great," I said while forcing a smile. Creating a branch of the SOS Brigade was not an action that resembled maturity, but I didn't want to rain on her parade. I was happy to see that she was happy.
"I better make you an armband if you're going to do that," said Haruhi while stroking her chin. "Unfortunately, I'm fresh out of armbands."
"That's okay! I made my own!" My sister then frowned. "I forgot to bring it, though."
"That's great, imoto-chan! By making one yourself, you're already proving to me that you have the motivation needed to lead the first branch of the SOS Brigade!" She then frowned at me. "If only your brother had half as much motivation."
Well, forgive me for having common sense.
Haruhi continued talking to my sister. "If you're going to be leading the first branch, then you're going to need to know the following top secret information, okay?"
"Ooo! Top secret information! Tell me! Tell me, Haru-nyan!"
Haruhi looked at me and narrowed her eyes. "Not until a certain someone leaves."
"Hey, why can't I hear this secret information?"
Haruhi turned away from me. "This information is too important for ordinary members to hear."
"Yeah, Kyon-kun! Shoo! Shoo!"
Great! Now even my sister outranks me! I narrowed my eyes at the both of them, feeling pretty left out. However, when I saw a wink from Haruhi, I realized that it was probably best just to play along. Maybe later she'll tell me what the "secret information" was.
"Fine, fine. I'll go," I said as I opened the door. "Just make sure to listen to Haruhi, okay?"
"Okay!" she said as jumped onto my bed next to Haruhi.
It was after I closed the door that I realized how dumb saying something like "listen to Haruhi" was. I sincerely hoped that she doesn't teach my sister how to blackmail people. The last thing I need to hear that my sister has gotten suspended.
Seeing as I was temporarily banned from my own room, I decided to walk downstairs to see how my parents were getting along with Naru-san and Oruki. When I looked in the living room, I saw that the two guys were still getting along fine. Good. I then looked in the kitchen to see if the same was true for the two women.
That's when the trouble started.
I noticed that my mother's eyes were very wide and she had one eyebrow raised. It didn't take me long to realize why.
"And then this giant tentacle came down and almost squished the esper, but he turned into a red ball thingy and dodged it!"
CRAP! What are you doing, Naru-san?! I didn't wait for her to finish the story. I ran behind her and place a hand on her mouth.
"She's just kidding around. None of what she just said actually happened."
"I see," said my mother, who was now giving me a strange look.
"Naru-san, I need to talk to you privately for a minute. Can you follow me downstairs?"
Naru-san removed my hand and smiled brightly. "Oh! You want me to come down to the basement? Yay! It's finally my turn!"
I ignored her excitement at turned towards the living room. "Oruki-san! Can you hear me?"
"What?!" I heard before his head popped out of around the corner. "I'm watching the game! Can it wait?"
I shook my head and pointed towards the basement door.
"Aw, he's coming, too?" said Naru-san with a frown. "And here I thought I was going to be special."
Oruki rolled his eyes and started walking towards the door to the basement. "This better be important."
I opened the door and let the two walk down the stairs. Just before I could follow them, my mother poked me on the shoulder.
"Is everything okay?" she said, obviously very worried.
"It's fine, mom," I said as I closed the door before walking downstairs.
When I got to the bottom, Oruki and Naru-san stood there waiting for me to talk.
"Guys, there's something you need to know. My parents don't know anything about the...supernatural stuff."
Oruki rolled his eyes again. "That was it?"
"They don't know?" said Naru-san.
Oruki looked at his wife with disbelief. "Of course they don't know!"
"You already knew?" I said. "How?"
"If they knew that their son was battling alien monsters and crap, there's no way in hell that they would move up north and leave their kid behind."
Good point. Why didn't I think of that?
"Good point," said Naru-san. "Why didn't I think of that?"
...Don't do that again!
"Are we done now?" said Oruki.
"Yeah," I said, feeling both embarrassed and relieved. My instincts were right to believe Oruki would figure that much out. I should have left him alone.
After the three of us came out of the basement, I approached my mother. "Sorry about that. I just wanted to clarify with them on some things."
My mother was still confused. "Oh, it's fine...was there something wrong?"
"God dammit!" came a voice coming from the living room. Oruki popped his head out briefly. "Thanks to you, I missed a run scored by the Giants!"
Thanks, Oruki. This situation wasn't awkward enough.
After he was out of sight, I turned back to my mother. "Again...sorry. I just wanted to let you know that whole story that Naru-san was talking about was all a computer game that me and my friends were playing together."
"Ooohhh," said my mother. "That makes sense. So she was watching you play it?"
"Yes," said Naru-san, trying her best to play along. "I was watching Kyon-kun... while he played a computer game."
"Exactly," I said. "It was a well known MMORPG."
My mother nodded. "And I take it that your friends were playing as an alien and an esper, right?"
"Correct!" I said.
"That makes sense," said my mother before turning toward Naru-san. "I was wondering what you were talking about."
"My apologies," said Naru-san. "I must have forgotten to mention that detail...heh..."
Yes, crisis averted!
Naru-san smiled and pointed towards the back door. "Care to follow me outside? I have something to show you."
"I would love to," said my mother as she got up to follow Naru-san out the door.
Feeling a lot better about the situation, I left the kitchen and went into the living room to watch some baseball with my dad and Oruki.
"Yes!" said Oruki with with fist in the air. "Another run for the Giants!"
The game they were watching was between the Yomiuri Giants and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. It was the third inning, and the Giants were winning four to nothing.
"You think they'll win the championship?" I said as I sat in between them.
"Too early to tell. They better at least get ahead of the Dragons. I'm sick of them winning so damn much."
"I see," I said as I started watching the game. "You doing alright, dad?"
"I'm fine," he said, looking a little bored.
The next fifteen minutes went by without any problems. The Giants scored two more runs in the fourth inning, and there were no runs in the fifth. While Oruki was glued to the screen the whole time, I noticed my father regularly checking his watch. He was being as polite as he could, but eventually he decided to speak up.
"So tell me, Oruki-san. How has it been taking care of my son?"
Since the game was slow at the moment, Oruki turned to answer the question. "He's a good kid. Works hard. Treats my daughter well. He's not the smartest, but he and his friends have some...interesting pastimes."
"Pastimes?" said my father.
"You don't know about the club that my daughter and your son run?"
Wait a minute. Why are you bringing the club up? "My dad knows about the club."
Oruki raised his hand in an attempt to alleviate my fears. "Did you know that they solve mysteries and stuff?"
My father looked at me weirdly. "Isn't that the SOS something or other your sister was bragging about?"
"Oh, so you really didn't hide it from them," said Oruki.
"You didn't know?" said my father.
"My daughter lied to me and told me that she was in the Literary Club," said Oruki bitterly.
"Oh really, why would she do that?"
I wanted to jump into the conversation, but I didn't know where I could add anything. I only hoped that Oruki wouldn't say anything that would get me into trouble.
"I don't know. Probably thought I wouldn't approve of her club if I knew about it, and when I did find out, I almost pulled her out of it."
"We had to prove ourselves first," I said, relieved to get a word in. "Luckily, we had that mystery involving a local grocery store not too long ago!"
My father raised an eyebrow. "You never told me about this."
"Now's a great time!" I said as I stood up. "However, Haruhi would probably tell the story better than I could. I'll go get her!"
"Can it wait?" said Oruki, pointing at the TV.
"The Giants are way ahead anyway. I promise this won't take too long." I was hoping to alleviate my dad's boredom.
Oruki sighed. "Sure, whatever."
"Thanks!" I said as I left the living room and bolted upstairs. When I opened the door to my room, I was surprised to find that it was empty. I then went in front of door to Haruhi's room, knocking politely.
"You in there?"
"Come in!" said a both voices inside.
I opened the door to find my sister and my girlfriend both applying make-up to Shamisen. "What's going on?"
"Your sister wanted an opportunity to practice applying costume make-up, so we decided to use Shamisen as a guinea pig!"
"Isn't Shami pretty?" My sister them picked up the cat and showed him to me. His face was a mess of lipstick, eyeliner, and some other cosmetics. Poor guy. This must count as animal cruelty.
It took me a moment to respond. "Um...let's leave the cat alone for now and come downstairs. I was hoping that you could relate the details involving our most recent solved mystery."
Haruhi's eyes lit up. "Your parents want to listen to the exploits of the SOS Brigade?"
"Uh, well...I guess I could go get my mother so she can listen, too."
Haruhi didn't hesitate a second. In fact, she was out of her room before I was, my sister right on her heels.
"I want to hear about the mystery you guys solved! Tell me! Tell me!"
I sighed for a moment before putting my cat back in my room and following them downstairs. While Haruhi and my sister went into the living room, I went for the back door to get my mother and Naru-san.
When I found them outside, I noticed that Naru-san was showing my mother her carnivorous plant garden.
"The pitcher plants are some of my favorite," said Naru-san. "Look inside."
My mother looked inside, and the grimace on her face removed any doubt that she saw a lot of dead bugs inside.
"It's disgusting," said my mother as she turned away.
"It is, isn't it?" said Naru-san, oblivious to my mother's reaction.
I realized immediately that my mother was probably getting the wrong idea, so I decided to come to Naru-san's defense.
"The best part about all these plants is that it reduces the amount of bugs we have to deal with around the house."
"Exactly!" said Naru-san. "I love my garden! It's both interesting and useful!"
"Hmm. I see," said my mother. "I didn't think about it that way."
It was then that the back door opened, revealing the impatient face of my girlfriend. "What's taking so long, Kyon? Did you tell them to come inside?"
"S-sorry," I said before turning to my mother. "Haruhi wanted to tell you and dad the story of how our club saved a local grocery store."
Naru-san became excited! "Is that the one that had all the produce that was rotting?"
"Goody!" said Naru-san as she turned to my mother. "It's a great story. You really should listen to it."
"I'll be in the living room!" said Haruhi. "Don't wait up!"
My mother agreed and quickly went inside, perhaps largely to get away from the plants. Naru-san and I followed her into the living room. When we got there, I saw Haruhi standing dramatically in the middle of the room, waiting for everyone to be seated. There wasn't enough room on the couch for everyone, so my sister and I had the honor of sitting on the floor. I looked at Oruki, who was giving me a somewhat nasty look. Hey, you brought this up. If you didn't want to miss out on the game, you should have kept your mouth shut.
After everyone was settled, Haruhi began her amazing tale on how the SOS Brigade overcame one of it's biggest trials ever. She started her tale at on the day that her parents found out the truth about the SOS Brigade. Details were given on the brutal interrogation her father gave to me, and how he manipulated me into telling the "truth". Honestly, she made it all sound like it was some kind of high stakes murder trial, and I was the witness being drilled by a seasoned prosecuting attorney. She then moved onto how her father banned her from her club, and I was the only one brave enough to stand up for his Brigade Leader and her Brigade, omitting the detail that Oruki beat the crap out of me that night.
"So romantic!" said Naru-san's
"Did you really do that?" said my sister.
"Yep." I said with a bit of satisfaction.
"I'll never forget what he said that night," said Haruhi. "After my dad said something to him, I heard him scream at the top of his lungs 'I'm doing this because I'm a Brigade member! And Haruhi is my Brigade Chief!'"
Everyone laughed at the corny statement, except for Oruki, who instead was turning away to hide his face.
"I can't believe I said that."
"I was actually really touched," said Haruhi, looking at me affectionately.
I was too embarrassed to look at anyone, even my sister, although I was able to hear her giggling next to me.
Haruhi continued the story, stating that thanks to my heroics, we were given a second chance. We had to prove that the club was doing good for people by solving a mystery in front of them. There was only one problem. We didn't have a mystery to solve at the time.
"What did you do?" said my little sister.
"Well, at first I couldn't do anything, but luckily..."
"Luckily, we had a back-up plan," I said.
Haruhi was surprised that I admitted that. "Oh...um, that was true. You told me that Koizumi was trying to put together a fake mystery, but that was meant to be a last ditch resort."
"Wait a minute!" said Oruki angrily before he stopped himself. He went into what appeared to be deep thought before he turned away with a grunt. "Never mind."
Haruhi continued. "Fortunately, we didn't have to go with that, since a real mystery appeared just in the nick-of-time. His name was Kiyosumi Morimura."
Haruhi then went into the details involving the mystery, including how all of the poor man's produce had started to rapidly rot for no obvious reason.
"The SOS Brigade searched the place high and low, trying to find out the hidden cause of what was rotting the produce. We even went as far as checking out his supplier, but that was a dead end. Do you know what the real cause was?"
"A giant eldritch abomination that was hiding in the store room the whole time," I said.
I heard some laughter from Naru-san and my sister, followed my a snort from Oruki.
"Kyon!" said Haruhi. "Stop interrupting and ruining the story!"
"Sorry," I said with a chuckle.
Haruhi cleared her throat and finished the story. "It turned out that the owner accidentally mixed two different cleaners together, and the resulting chemical reaction caused all the produce to rot. I thought it was strange, but sure enough when he stopped using those cleaners, the problem went away."
"So you saved the man his livelihood," said my father. "That's quite commendable, especially for people your age."
"That's only the start of what we plan on doing in the future," said Haruhi. "However, the truth be told is that I don't know what I would have done if it weren't for the help of a certain someone." She looked at me again before looking at my parents. She then gave a light bow. "Thank you so much for letting him stay. I know it's been hard on you guys having to pay for his expenses."
"It's quite alright," said my dad.
"After hearing that story," said my mom while looking at me. "I know now that I did the right thing convincing my husband to let you stay here. I'm so happy to hear that you and your friends are doing a lot of good."
It was then that Oruki stood up. "I need to go out for a bit."
"Are you okay, Oruki-kun?" said Naru-san.
"I'm fine," he said as he made his way out of the living room. He then put his shoes on and went out the door. Shortly afterward, I heard the car starting before it pulled out of the driveway and left.
"We didn't offend him, did we?" said my dad.
"It's fine," I said. "He's not good with people, so sometimes he needs to get away." Although I was worried that his temper might be getting the better of him.
"I better start getting supper ready," said Naru-san as she stood up.
"Would you like some help?" asked my mother.
"No, it's quite alright. You're my guest. However, if you'd like to keep me company while I cook, that would be wonderful!"
"Of course!" said my mother as she got up to follow Naru-san into the kitchen.
I was about to sit next to my dad and watch some TV when I felt my collar being pulled on with a great deal of force.
"I need to talk to you for a minute," said Haruhi as she dragged me upstairs. At first, I was hoping that maybe she was dragging me to up there for an unplanned make-out session, but I was disappointed when after we entered my room, she instead made an announcement. "I want to keep Shamisen."
I blinked for a second. "Wait...what?"
"Seeing Shamisen again made me realize that I really want to keep him. Don't you?"
I looked at my cat, who by now had managed to clean off most of the make-up by licking his paws and rubbing them on this face. I so hope that stuff is non-toxic. "Well, I'm not against the idea, but there are two really big problems with that."
"I know, I know. My dad hates cats, and your sister probably wouldn't want to give him up, right?"
Well...that was convenient...
"I don't see what the big deal is anyway. I mean, isn't it technically your cat?"
"It used to be, but I'm pretty sure my sister has unofficially adopted him."
"Hmm... If only we could convince her and my dad to let him stay. I could really use him."
It was then that I figured out what was going on. "Wait a minute, you're trying to keep him here so you can use him for the movie, aren't you?"
"Of course!" said Haruhi with no shame at all. "Yuki-chan needs him to play the role of her familiar, and I'd hate to have to go through the trouble of finding another cat to replace him."
And here I thought you wanted him to stay because you enjoy his company.
"Well, it's not like I wouldn't enjoy having him around, too. I mean, he's a great cat, you know?"
True, but none of that matters if your dad or my sister don't agree to this.
Haruhi continued to think while pacing around in my room. "What could I say to convince those two to let him stay?"
We could say 'Please'?
"You're not helping, Kyon!"
I rolled my eyes. "How long are we going to keep him? He can't stay forever, can he?"
"That's it!" said Haruhi, her face beaming. "We only need him for a month! Maybe if we tell them that, they'll both give in!"
"Great. Then I'll go convince my sister while you convince your dad."
"Hmm, it might be better if you convince my dad while I handle your sister."
"You have a way with my dad. For some reason, he listens to you more than he does to me. I wish I knew what your secret was."
That's easy. I just tell him that if he doesn't do what you want, the universe will end.
"Quit kidding around, Kyon! Just convince him to let Shamisen stay, okay?"
"Fine, fine," I said as I opened the door to my room. "Hope he comes back soon."
I went downstairs and into the living room. I figured that I'd hang out with my dad while I waited for Oruki to come back. Honestly, a small part of me hoped he wouldn't come back, at least not until AFTER my parents left. Still, I did like the idea of having my cat back, even if it was only for a little while.
While watching TV with my dad for a while (he changed the channel after Oruki left), I overheard my mother and my little sister talking to Naru-san.
"What are we eating?" said my sister.
"Oh, I was just going to make some donburi," said Naru-san.
"Aw," said my sister. "That sounds boring."
"Don't be rude!" said my mother. "My apologies."
"It's alright. I was much worse when I was her age. I used to love to hang out in graveyards. I think I scared my parents a lot."
My sister gasped in excitement. "Did you ever see a ghost?"
I could tell from my mother's silence that she was feeling awkward. I know I would.
It was at that moment that I heard Haruhi's voice. "Hey, little sis! Can you come here?"
"Okay!" she said as she ran upstairs.
The door opened after that, signaling the return of Oruki. When I saw him, I noticed that he was carrying a case of beer. He took one out of the container and looked at my dad.
"You want one?"
My father thought about it. "I normally don't drink, but sure."
Oruki handed him a beer before grabbing another one. He was about to hand me that one before he clearly remembered that I was still underaged. He instead placed it on the table close to wear he normally sat.
"Be right back."
He then carried the remainder of the beer into the kitchen.
"Oh, you bought beer," said Naru-san. "I thought tha-"
"Don't worry about it!"
Great! Oruki is still in a bad mood. That'll make things easier...
I waited until he came back into the living room before I spoke to him. "Oruki-san, can I talk to you downstairs?"
He raised an eyebrow. "What is it now?"
"Just follow me," I said as I got up and made my way towards the basement door. I heard a groan behind me, but I ignored it.
When the both of us were in the basement, Oruki spoke up. "Just tell me what this is about."
"It's about the cat..."
"No!" he said as he moved towards the stairs.
"Wait! You didn't let me finish!"
"Don't care! That cat is not staying here another day!"
"Haruhi needs her for something important!"
" #$% you! I don't care!"
Keep you voice down! No doubt that everyone can hear you! "You know what happens when your daughter gets upset!"
"Screw the universe! I won't have a cat in my house!" He then started walking up the stairs.
In desperation, I grabbed him by the ankle. "Will you please hear me out? We only need him here for a month!"
"Let go of me!"
"I promise I'll make sure he won't leave my room! I swear!"
Oruki stopped resisting me, choosing instead to place both hands on his face before pulling on his hair. After taking a deep breath, he looked at me one last time. "You know what? It doesn't even matter anymore. I give up! Do whatever you want!" He then marched up the stairs and out of the basement.
I pondered for a second as to what he meant by what he said, I but gave up when I realized that I'd succeeded. It was almost too easy.
When I exited the basement, I was approached by my mother. "Is everything alright?"
"It's fine. I was asking if it would be okay if the cat stayed here for a month. I kinda miss him."
"He was yelling over that?"
"He...really doesn't like cats, apparently, but it's okay. He gave permission."
"Didn't sound like it," she said with a sigh. "I'm fine with it, but I'm sure that your little sister might be a bit upset if she found out if the cat is staying."
"Haruhi is talking to her right no-"
"No! Nononononono! I won't let you take Shami!"
The next thing I saw was my sister as she ran downstairs and out the front door. She was carrying Shamisen along with her.
Haruhi was chasing after her, but stopped at the bottom of the stairs. "Wait! Oh, never mind."
"So much for that," I said as I approached Haruhi. "Didn't go well, huh?"
"Nope," she said while staring at the door. "Looks like this isn't going to work after all."
"I figured this would happen. She's always been pretty attached to him."
"What did my dad say?"
"Well, that's half the battle." She then looked into the living room. "Thank you, daddy!"
Oruki didn't respond. I noticed that the TV was still on the channel my father was watching, so I suspected that he was even more annoyed. Man, I hope he doesn't blow up in front of my family. I could tell that my father was getting very uncomfortable around him but was too polite to say anything.
I looked back at Haruhi. "I'll go talk to my sister."
"Okay. Good luck."
I walked out the door to find my sister sitting next to the road, still holding onto the cat. I decided to approach quietly, waiting until I was almost right next to her to speak up.
"Went out for some fresh air?"
She didn't turn to look at me. "No."
"It's only going to be for a month. It's not that long."
"I don't want to." She then held onto Shamisen even tighter.
"Did Haruhi tell you that we're going to film the sequel to our movie? We could really use Shamisen's help."
My sister was quiet for a while. I took the opportunity to sit right next to her.
"It's not fair," she said.
"What's not fair?"
I saw her tearing up. "I hate it up north."
"I don't have any friends up there. Shami is the only friend I have."
"I'm sorry to hear that. What about your cousin?"
"Most of them are either too young or too old."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," I said, feeling a little dismayed. "Didn't you go to school up there for a few months?"
"I did, but everybody was mean." She then pointed at her head. "They made fun of my hair when I wore that ponytail on the side like I used to."
"Kids can be real jerks." I certainly have had to deal with my fair share of childhood cruelty. "So what happened to you starting a branch of the SOS Brigade at your school?"
"Still want to do that because I know Haru-nyan made lots of friends because of it, but I'm kinda scared. What if it doesn't work?"
"You could learn a lot from Haruhi. Failure has never stopped her before."
"Haru-nyan is really brave and smart and cool. I'm not any of those things."
"Sure you are. Trust me. Haruhi would not allow you to create a branch of the SOS Brigade if she didn't think you could do it."
"What if doesn't work? If you have Shami, then I'll be all alone."
"Didn't you hear me? I told you we only need him for a month. After that, I'll bring him right back."
My sister turned to look at me. "You promise?"
"Absolutely! And if you get lonely during the month that he's gone, you can always give me a call. I'll even let Shamisen say hello."
She giggled a bit before wiping her tears. "Thank you, Kyon-kun."
I'd be nice if you called me your big brother for a change. I really do miss that.
My sister handed me the cat. "Now you be good while your here, okay Shami?"
"Okay!" I said, pretending to speak for my cat.
After hearing my sister laugh, we decided to go back inside. After I brought my cat back to my room, I heard the announcement from Naru-san that dinner was ready. A minute later, everyone was gathered in the dining room.
"Sorry we weren't able to make something nicer to eat," said Naru-san.
"It's quite alright," said my father. "We did come on fairly short notice."
My sister poked Haruhi on the shoulder. "I wanted to let you know that it's okay if Shami stays here for a month, okay?"
Haruhi looked at me and smiled. "Thank you very much. I promise that we'll take good care of him."
I heard Oruki grumble from across the table.
"You okay?" I said.
"I'm fine," he said before taking a swig of beer.
I need to find out what's wrong with him. I'm sure it's more than just the cat.
My sister leaned in towards Haruhi's ear, although she was still loud enough for me to hear. "If you get married to Kyon-kun, does that make you my sister?"
I could tell that everyone else heard her, too, so I decided to save Haruhi the embarrassment of answering the question. "I think we have a lot we need to do first before we worry about marriage."
"You got that right," said Oruki under his breath.
"The innocence of youth," said Naru-san. "I miss being that young."
Some would say that you've never grown up.
Perhaps to change the subject, my mother decided to talk to me. "By the way, the rest of your family would love to see you over the summer. When are you planning to come up?"
"Since I have to return Shamisen in a month, I guess I could come down then."
"Wonderful. We'll make sure you have tickets to the train soon, okay?"
I paused for a moment. "When will I be coming back?"
"Well, a week should be good, right?" said my mother.
I was hesitant to respond. I knew that I needed as many days as possible to complete all the nightmarish tasks we had to deal with. "Um...well, I'm going to be really busy over the summer with my club an-"
"Ooohhh," said my mother as she quickly looked at Haruhi. "I understand."
I think she has the wrong idea. "It's not what you think. I'm really am going to be busy."
"He doesn't have to stay a week if he doesn't want to," said my dad.
"It's fine, sir," said Haruhi before looking at me. "You don't have to worry. Go spend a week with your family."
I was surprised to hear my girlfriend say that. Normally, she'd never let anything get in the way of Brigade activities. Does she not realize that we barely have enough time to do the things we need to do anyway?
"It's settled then," said my mom. "We'll see you again in one month."
Great. Now I have even less time to get things done. What else could go wrong?
Fortunately, the rest of dinner went by without any problems, and before long, Haruhi and I were cleaning up the dishes. After that, my family decided that it was time to head out, as the taxi had been called while I was cleaning up. I was extremely relieved that the whole ordeal was over, and while the Suzumiyas weren't perfect, it wasn't quite the disaster I feared it would be.
After my sister said goodbye to the cat, I went outside with my family to bid them farewell and give everyone a good hug.
"I'll miss you guys," I said.
"We'll miss you, too," said my mom. "You live with a...pretty eccentric family, don't you?"
You don't know the half of it. "I know they didn't give the best first impression, but they're good people."
"Are you sure we didn't offend Mr. Suzumiya?" said my father.
"No. I'm pretty sure something else is bothering him."
My sister held up her pinky. "Pinky swear that you'll take good take of Shami, okay?"
"Of course," I said as we pinky-sweared. I then looked at my dad. "Speaking of which...I need a favor."
"What is it, son?"
I was a bit embarrassed to ask. "I'm sorry to do this, but I need to buy some cat supplies now that Shamisen will be staying with me, plus I might need a little money for some other things and-"
"I figured as much," said my father as he pulled out his wallet. He then pulled out five 2000 yen bills. "Is that enough?"
"Thank you," I said as I graciously took the money. "I really appreciate it."
"Consider it a reward for your good behavior while we were gone."
"Promise me that you'll keep improving your grades when you start school again, okay?" said my mom.
"Bye, Kyon-kun!" said my sister as everyone walked towards the taxi. "Tell Shami and Haru-nyan that I love them!"
"I will!" I said as I waved goodbye.
I stood outside until the taxi they entered left my sight. With them gone, I went back inside to relax and unwind for a bit. I found Oruki passed out on the couch, and Naru-san was next to him watching TV.
"Tough day for him, huh?" I said.
"He's never been good around new people. The stress must've tired him out."
That and the beer probably didn't help.
"I'll be upstairs for a while," I said as I turned towards the stairs.
After that, I made my way into my room. Seeing my cat relaxing on my bed brought back some warm memories. I was about to lay right next to him when I realized that he didn't even have a litter box yet. Great. Now I have to go back out. I sighed as I turned around to go out, but before I could, I heard a knock on my window. I turned to see that it was Haruhi, who was pointing towards her room. Ah, she must want me to meet her on the roof. I immediately went into her room and made my way up there.
"Hell of a day, huh?" I said as I took a seat next to her.
"It wasn't so bad. I had a lot of fun with your sister."
"I could tell. I spent most of my time trying to make sure my parents were okay."
She narrowed her eyes at me. "I noticed."
"Hey, you were right. The day didn't end in disaster." Thanks in part to my quick thinking.
"I told you it wouldn't."
"Well, in my defense, there were a few close calls, especially your dad. I thought he'd blow a fuse for sure."
"I can believe that. He like some kind of antisocial troll or something."
I laughed. "That fits him perfectly."
"It does, doesn't it?" she said before she began to pout a bit. "I can't believe you were able to talk your sister into letting Shamisen stay, and I couldn't."
"She was just lonely. She hasn't made any friends up north, yet."
"I'm surprised to hear that, considering how she wanted to create a new branch of the SOS Brigade and everything."
"She was hoping that the club would help her make friends."
"Aw," she said with a frown. "Now I feel bad for taking the cat."
"She'll be fine," I said before remembering something. "By the way, what tips did you give to my sister?"
Haruhi giggled. "Oh, I was just giving her advice on how to recruit people."
"You didn't suggest that she kidnap people, did you?"
"Well, some people need more motivation than others."
Please tell me you're joking. You're going to get my sister in trouble!
"She'll be fine. I didn't get in trouble for it."
"That's because...never mind." It would be impossible to explain to her why she's gotten away with so much without revealing top secret information. After sighing deeply, I decided to change the subject. "About the next month, do you really think we can get everything ready before I have to leave?"
"We'll be fine," she said with a smile. "I know it seems like a lot, but since we won't have school in the way, we'll have all the time we need."
"I sure hope so. I still wish we could spend some more time together, just the two of us."
"Well, are you doing anything now?" She then moved closer to me and gently grabbed my hand.
"Not right away, I guess." We then moved closer and closer until we were able to kiss.
We made out together for a while, our passions growing with every minute. I didn't even care that we were technically outside where everyone could see us. Eventually, I started to move past first base and onto second.
"Slow down a bit, okay?" said Haruhi. "People might call the police."
"You're right," I said as I grabbed her hand. "Let go into your room."
"But...what about my parents?"
"Your dad is asleep, and I don't think your mother cares."
"Oh," she said as we made our way back in through the window. "Good."
Before long, we were both on her bed, continuing where we left off. It wasn't long before I was starting to reach under her clothing.
"Remember not to go too far," she said. "We still have a promise to keep."
"Forget the promise," I said as I kissed her neck.
"Wait...what?" she said, her tone obviously changing.
"Forget it. It was a dumb idea." I then tried to kiss her again.
Unfortunately, her fist collided with my cheek, and I was knocked out of the bed and onto the floor.
"Ow! What the hell?"
"Idiot!" she screamed. She stood above me with clenched fists; her face was red with anger. "What kind of a man breaks his promises that easily?! Get out!"
"Hold on a sec-"
"OUT!" she said as she kicked me in the butt.
"Ow! Fine!" I said as escaped from her room. What the hell was her problem?
Upset over what had just happened, I decided to leave the house to go somewhere else.
As I made my way down the stairs, I was confronted my Naru-san. "What happened, Kyon-kun?"
"Nothing," I said as I went into the garage to get my bike. "I'm heading out!"
A minute later, I was on my bike, heading as far away from the house as I could. I decided to go to the convenience store to pick up the cat supplies I needed to get anyway. On my way back, though, I began to calm down, and I started to realize that I had made a mistake and acted like an idiot. She was right. I gave into my hormones way too easily. How could I be so stupid? She'll probably be mad at me all day tomorrow. Great...
I was feeling pretty awful by the time I got back, and after I set up my cat's litter box, food bowl and water bowl, I knew I'd had enough of the day. I laid down to go to sleep, but an awful realization hit me during the middle of the night.
This was only the first day of summer.
At this rate, this was going to be the longest summer of my life (if you don't count the final two weeks of last summer). To make matters worse, it wasn't until it was the middle of the night that I finally fell asleep.
Man, this sucked.
Author's notes: I hope this chapter was on par with my previous works. If you see any typos, feel free to point them out so I can correct them. The truth of the matter is that I'm a pretty crappy proof reader, and I could really use an extra hand finding typos.
If your interested in being a beta-reader for me, send me a PM. I do plan on testing those who volunteer, as I need to make sure my beta-reader is the best I can get. Only one of you will get the job, so make sure you're really committed. The best part is that you'll always get a sneak preview of each chapter. Isn't that great!
Anyway, I hope enough of my readers are still out there. I want to try and revitalize the community, as I've noticed that things have been drying up with the lack of a third season of the anime. However, I still think that there is enough fans out there to bring some life back here, and I hope my fanfic encourages you to do some more writing!
Have a great day, guys!