A Message from Yours Truly

(or - A Scene in Which No Wall Left Unmolested)

The first hint of morning sunlight filtered in through the window, chasing out the comfortable darkness and slowly coaxing him into consciousness. Ichigo obliged, yawning wide and opening his eyes–

–only to find Kazuha hovering very creepily over him with unreadable expression.

Ichigo froze.

Kazuha stared.

Ichigo's left eyebrow twitched.

"... What the fuck," he said calmly, before suddenly throwing his hands up, nearly smacking Kazuha's face in the process. "What the hell are you doing? This isn't how the scene's supposed to go!"

Kazuha blinked, breaking his creepy staring. "I know," the older male replied in solemn tone, "but I just got a message from our director, and it told us to cancel today's work."

"What? Why?"

"Let's see." Kazuha pulled out his phone and squinted at something on the display. "It says here that Raith-san has decided to rework most of the earlier chapters of 'Butterflies, Hurricanes' because she thought, and I quote, 'damn short chapters'. Apparently she wants to increase the length of some of the chapters to at least 3000 words each. There's also a mention about 'lack of details and gravitas' and 'too many holes accidentally opened' – whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. It also said here that she's worried that my character's past and inner monologues were slipping into something called 'wangst territory'–" he paused and looked up. "What is 'wangst', anyway?"

"A horrible disease," Ichigo answered grimly. "It'll slowly but steadily twist your character into a whiny little bitch if left untreated."

"... I see." Kazuha shook his head to clear his mind from the disturbing image Ichigo's words invoked, and directed his gaze back to his phone. "Where was– ah, right... she's worried about 'wangst', but also want to make sure that my character doesn't just shrug off every bad thing that happens to him–"

"Well, your character does kinda come across as inconsistent in his behaviors," Ichigo commented. "I mean, one moment he's all grim and melancholic and bitter, and in the next moment he suddenly smirks and snarks and makes fun of my character–"

Kazuha huffed. "I just did my job following the script–"

"Exactly," Ichigo hurriedly pointed out, interrupting the older male before he could go on a tirade. "I was just going to say that the inconsistency might be the script's fault."

Kazuha, to his credit, looked a bit sheepish after Ichigo's explanation. "Sorry. I thought you're trying to give me hard time there." He shifted on his feet, cleared out his throat, and went back to reading out the message. "Anyway, people apparently like our 'bromance', so she'd make sure that there'll be more of that in the future; the 'romance' portion of the package, however, will be relatively nonexistent aside from occasional 'fluff-teases' and 'crackish fanservices' here and there–"

"... 'Crackish'?"

Kazuha snorted. "They'll involve my character acting flirty or lecherous to gross your character out, most probably."

Ichigo made a face at the imagery that came to his mind.

"Yes. Quite," the older male drawled, tone dry. "So... in short, our director has decided that there won't be any romantic involvement between our characters in this story–"

"Thank gods," Ichigo muttered.

"–but there still might be a chance of her writing a separated story that contains exactly that with enough incentive."

Ichigo's expression morphed into one of horror. Kazuha gave him a commiserating look.

"Let's just hope that none of the readers like self-cest."

Ichigo glanced warily at the older male. "Your reaction is way too calm."

Kazuha shrugged. "Well, I figure I'll just pretend that you're a girl with a very flat chest if it comes to that." He ignored the glare he received from the younger male, and once again directed his attention to the device in his hand. "One last thing... Raith-san also asked us to thank the readers on her behalf for their previous reviews and participation in the poll – most of them want me to be forever alone, those cruel bastards – and ask what they'd think about her answering their reviews through a forum thread instead of PM."

"... She's just being too lazy to reply those reviews one by one, isn't she?"

Kazuha snorted. "Probably, yeah." He slipped his phone back into his pocket and shifted on his feet. "Anyway, now that's taken care of... wanna go grab a breakfast outside? There's this good place around the block..."

Ichigo blinked at the unexpected offer, but immediately took it in stride. "Sure, I'm in." He stood up and stretched. "As long as you're paying, of course."

Kazuha rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah; whatever." The older male turned around and walked out of the set, but not before Ichigo heard him mutter something that sounded a lot like cheapskate.

Ichigo grinned, and followed.


Note: The story is NOT abandoned. This fake chapter will be replaced with the real one after the aforementioned changes for earlier chapters are finished. Also, have just had several difficult issues in real life these past months. Please be patient with me.

~Keylan Raith