After graduation, Kayashima went on to further his studies. It was his plan all along, to delve into the supernatural and the deep roots of Japanese folklore. As what was planned, he got into Keio (a good University) and got a job as a summoner in the nearby temple. He still stayed in Tokyo.
But there were things that he didn't plan on. Things that surprised even him, despite his powers to see through people.
He was sure he would just leave his High School friends and have a new life. It was the plan. He always did so, anyhow. Move on to the next life planned, and leave everything behind. He barely even cared when he went to a different school from his Middle School one (of course it was different since he was bullied there). He would have his job and his classes as priority.
The Himejima twins were not part of his plan. They were supposed to be two people he would leave behind as mere memories of his colorful high school life. They were not important. He tried to believe that.
"Taiki-senpai~!" Yoshio waved his hand, standing up as he welcomed the older guy. He was standing right outside Kayashima's apartment. "We've been waiting for you."
Michio nodded happily. "It's cold here!" He immediately took hold of Kayashima's arm and pulled him closer to the door. "Let's go inside!"
It was never his plan to entertain the two. To be like a big brother to them. To treat them as family.
"We'll be sleeping over!" The twins said at the same time.
"I don't have a futon for guests." He blankly replied as he watched the two sit down comfortably as if they were in their own house.
Yoshio smiled. "It's okay~ We can share your futon."
Kayashima was supposed to be alone. He was supposed to study earnestly, meditate on his own, and live his whole life searching for the supernatural truths. It was his future. But...
But now he's lying in between the twins, sharing his small futon with the two. They just finished eating dinner, and were now about to sleep.
"You won't go home this time, right?" Michio asked. "You're doing some folkloric field work?"
Kayashima simply nodded, staring at the ceiling and enjoying the warmth he felt being in between the two hyperactive boys.
Yoshio held on to his left arm, hugging him close. "Then won't you be lonely?"
Michio, noticing his brother, hugged Kayashima's other arm. "Yoshi! Let go!"
"You let go!"
"I always let go of mom first!" Michio pouted, tugging him closer.
"Then let go first this time too!" Yoshio stuck out his tongue. Then started a tug-of-war with him as the rope.
Kayashima smiled inwardly, watching the two. He really didn't plan any of this. He was supposed to be alone.
But this way, he was not lonely.
There was one other thing he did not plan on. One other entity that refused to be forgotten.
"Ehh~" Yoshio stood up angrily, annoyed at the fact that there was someone knocking at the door this late. "Who is it? This late?" His face was showing that rare angry "Masao-like" face you would not expect from the cute kid.
The sound of the door opening, and a few seconds of silence, followed. "...who?" Kayashima heard Yoshio say.
"Ah! I must have gotten the number wrong!" A familiar voice said.
'Nakatsu!' Kayashima rushed to stand up before the door gets closed.
Luckily, before he reached the door, Yoshio was able to remember Nakatsu. "Ah... You're Nakatsu-senpai. Master's roommate."
"...Master?" Nakatsu stared wide eyed at Yoshio, trying to remember where he saw the younger guy. He looked stupid, as usual.
Kayashima watched in amusement as his aura changed from the color of confusion to something much more like him, a bunch of confused colors with the prominent happy color of orange. "Nakatsu." He nodded in greeting as he walked closer.
"Kayashima~!" Nakatsu smiled brightly as he jumped in to glomp him. "It's been so long~!"
Smiling a bit, he returned the hug. "Why are you here?" he asked, though he had a good guess why.
Scratching his cheek in embarrassment, he showed a plastic bag full of snacks and liquor. "I thought we could catch up, since I was in the vicinity. Didn't think you would have..." He glanced at Yoshio, and noticed for the first time that Michio was behind Kayashima. "Uh, guests?"
Michio pouted a bit. "What's with that look?" He immediately pulled Kayashima away protectively. "You're the one who arrived here so late in the night! We were about to sleep!"
"The Twin brats still pester you?" Nakatsu sympathetically looked at Kayashima. "Himejimas..."
"There's no room for you here!" Yoshio was pouting like the brat he was as well. He pulled on Nakatsu's arm to pull him away from the room and to the door. "It's already cramped!"
Narrowing his eyes, Nakatsu easily evaded Yoshio and took off his sandals to go inside. "Sorry to disturb~ I'm coming in~" He grinned widely at his ex-classmate and ignored the two brats as he ran inside.
"Oi!" "Wait!" The twins heatedly ran after him in annoyance.
Walking calmly to the two, he patted both their heads and said "There's enough room for everyone." Glancing at the three, he added "Or you could all go away. It is a good choice as well."
Staring blankly at him, the twins took a few seconds of standing there before sitting beside Nakatsu who was already making himself comfortable under the kotatsu. "So Nakatsu-senpai, how's J-league?" Yoshio grinned happily.
That smile looks fake... Kayashima couldn't help but think as he watched the twins try to feign kindness towards the other guy. Shrugging, he sat opposite the three and took one can of beer. It wouldn't hurt to drink and have some fun. As Nakatsu said, it has been a while. His field work was during the afternoon anyway, and he knew just how much liquor to drink.
"So, why are you in the vicinity?" Kayashima opened a conversation to stop the twins' lame attempt at trying to be nice. "I thought you were staying at Mito?"
Nakatsu nodded. "I'm staying at my parents' house but I thought of finding an apartment to rent just in case I need a place to stay in during meets." He sighed. "Hotels are so expensive!"
"Then why don't you just stay here when..." It was too late to take that back. He, perhaps because it was so long ago since he saw his former roommate, realized too late that Nakatsu wanted him right at that spot. "Not ALL the time, just during those..." It really was too late. No use trying to fix that.
Nakatsu had the widest smile he could muster. "Thanks, Kayashima! You're really my best friend!"
Kayashima frowned just a bit. "I thought that was Sano."
"Well, you can both be my best friend?" Nakatsu simply shrugged.
Can't argue with that guy, after all. Despite all these years, he was still the same Nakatsu. He still had that easy-going character, and that warm aura which always makes Kayashima feel calmer. As always, it felt like a spell made to make him feel better at anytime.
On the contrary, the twins' auras were like bright spotlights he was unaccustomed to at first. But it was as gentle as it was blinding. Unlike Himejima Masao, the twins were fond of him from a young age. That was why their aura had this certain response to him. It was a welcoming feeling, a nice kind of light.
"Just choose one" Yoshio crinkled his nose, almost in disgust. "Don't go trying to take Taiki-master from us if you're not even sure he's your best friend." His aura was changing rapidly. There was that protectiveness he seldom shows surfacing so well.
Michio was more childish in his efforts, but his aura showed a different set of passionate emotions. Like those of a child clinging on to his mother. "Yoshi's right!"
"You've got pesky children clinging on you now, huh." Nakatsu chuckled simply, not feeling offended at all by the two. "That's nice." He drank a bit of his beer and fondly glanced at Kayashima. "I never thought I would see you babysitting these two again."
"He's not babysitting us!" Michio frowned, and childishly pinched Nakatsu's left cheek. "Shut up, Yellow monkey!"
This made the almost-mature Nakatsu turn back into the way he was, a rowdy hot-headed teenager. "You brat! Take this!" He captured Michio into a headlock and laughed as the younger boy shouted 'give up! give up!'
Kayashima could only watch in amusement as the three continued fighting amongst themselves (about him, nonetheless). This wasn't part of the plan...
But he wouldn't like it any other way.