Please read this note!: Okay, this is my first time actually writing this genre of story…and it feels a little odd. I just need to settle into the new gloves that type this genre, so I am pretty sure this is going to get better as I go along. This story is still going to have twists and turns, intervening characters, and bonds between characters as my stories always have. This will be around 6 to 8 chapters long—my shortest story. Another important thing to consider is that I am writing this story in such a way that you can interpret the bond between a two specific characters yourself. ^^
You do not kn'O'w?
Halloween approached Nippon swiftly that year, bubbly celebration beginning to brew in the streets of Sei-an city. Evening brought darkness early as the pearly moon of Yumigami began to rise above the cityscape. Its gibbous moon, a blessing to the citizens, signalled Halloween the next night would be coupled with a full moon. No clouds disturbed the diamonds of the night that twinkled upon the velvety blanket of the skies to be admired by mortal eyes. Although this brought nightly beauty to Nippon, it also brought bitter cold. Autumn had caused summer to cower in order to invite the beginnings of winter.
The city lay abandoned. Many remained in the welcoming warmth of their homes instead of bracing the frosty chill that lingered in the atmosphere outside. Eerily empty streets held a gentle breeze to which left them swirling with oranges, reds and browns of the sakura trees' October leaves. These trees grew alongside the cobbled streets…most having signs of bareness as most of their leaves had already fallen—carried by the whispering winds.
In the Commoner's Quarters among the more well-off estate, a three bedroom apartment bustled with conversation. Three residents who housed a visitor leisurely played out their evening: two residents had come back from their respective jobs, and the final one had lazed about the house all day. The two who had worked were currently bickering to no end: one in utter disbelief, and the other just wishing to relax and play his flute.
Or at least…that was what Kurow desired to do.
After what they all named the 'Time of Darkness' had been conquered—Akuro slain beyond return—the Moon Tribe male had miserably been thought to be lost by his grieving friends. However, fate appeared to have set another roll for him. And although he was unsure where this path of life bestowed to him by none other than the Gods themselves would lead him…he knew he enjoyed every second of it. Even the female of the apartment's constant jibes. He was living, living, not a mere puppet controlled by destiny, learning the necessities to survive.
But on numerous occasions, Kurow concerned the other two. He seemed nagged by constant flashes of his past, it constantly revealed itself in his face, and the comfort the other two tried to give always had no effect. But in general, Kurow was happy regardless: constantly smirking or flirting in his own way, always cocky yet genuinely caring, sometimes even sarcastic, and the other two would smile in content and not want him any other way.
All three residents had decided to share an apartment together. Kagu, Kuni and Kurow, the 'Triple K' as they called themselves, all wished to be more independent and had left past homes fading behind them. One happily paid the rent for all since she had the highest pay, one did the shopping and bought the food since he also had a well paying job…and the final one stayed at home, jobless, acceptably cleaning the apartment and cooking dinner when the other two returned home—both exhausted.
Yet exhaustion appeared unnoticeable as they persistently bickered in their red decorated Living Room.
"Hallo-what-now?" Kurow asked, raising a delicate eyebrow.
Kagura rolled elegant eyes, her exasperated sigh causing the male to smirk. "Halloween you idiot, Halloween."
Kuni, lazily strewn on his back upon the crimson, double-sofa nearest to the argument, peered over the edge of his crossword book. His eyes shone in affection for his greatest friends as he momentarily watched them bicker. Would these two ever survive twenty four hours without an friendly argument? Deciding it to be absolutely impossible, he decidedly focused back on his crossword with an expression of utter concentration: eyes narrowed, dark eyebrows furrowed, pencil tensely dangling from chapped lips. Only when several moments passed to no avail of success did he relent in his iron pride.
"Nanami?" Kuni began, to which his low voice immediately caught the mermaid's attention. Keeping eyes locked on his crossword and tuning out Kagu, who was currently threatening to strangle Kurow with his own scarf, he distinctly felt the tingle gracing his skin that signalled gorgeously golden eyes gazed on him. He continued as a whisper through his pencil end so that neither Kagu nor Kurow heard him, "What's a nine letter word for someone who has no idea what's going on?"
"Do you have a beginning letter clue?"
Kuni jumped before sharply whipping his head around. To discover that Nanami had mysteriously managed to be at the foot of the sofa directly beside him, leaning arms with an audible creak of leather atop the sofa edge and just staring at him. A nervous smile tugged at his lips as he wondered how in Celestial's name she accomplished that without a single sound. Even out of water, the mermaid seemed as fluent as a flowing stream and strangely silent like a waters unbroken surface. He would never admit that a footless creature's stealth far outdid his own—but he did admire it.
Yet, a minor uncomfortable sensation suddenly crept across his spine, sensing her closeness, feeling her unnaturally icy radiance seeping into his waist near where her arms rested. As a mermaid, she always appeared peculiarly cold to the touch...yet he physically felt that her chill held a radius.
Kuni cleared his throat and hastily turned his attention back to his crossword book, contemplating. "'O,' alright?"
"What? I did not say anything yet." Nanami blinked in confusion, expression evidently lost.
It took a couple of utterly confused moments of Kuni staring at the ceiling for it to click into place. If you could you would have literally heard it. Like a puzzle piece snapping into place in the jigsaw of his brain. And when it did his pencil instantly spluttered onto his lap. He burst into humorous laughter to which Nanami pouted at, her liquefied hair flowing slightly wilder in irritation.
After he had taken a short moment to recover himself, Kuni wiped a tear from one glistening eye. His voice still held mirth, "Huh? No, no not 'oh.' I mean 'O,' as in the letter 'O.'"
"No, I meant the 'oh' as in realisation."
Both mermaid and warrior abruptly burst into laughter as they ended up falling over their own words. Little did they know, currently absorbed in their own humour, that both Kurow and Kagu had silently snuck behind the sofa to peer at the crossword.
So when Kurow literally hovered over the back and pointed a slender finger at the empty boxes, Kuni nearly had a heart attack.
"Dude, seriously I know this one," Kurow muttered with a frown. Kagu crossed her arms and snickered as his sapphire eyes became hazy when he attempted to grasp that slippery, runaway word. "Man, it's on the tip of my tongue, dudes!"
"Well, if only it began with an 'S,'" Kagu mused out loud, as Kurow yet again glanced to her with a raised eyebrow. "'Stupidity' fits the question perfectly...since it fits Kurow."
"Not cool," Kurow said. However, a grin could not help but upturn his lips whilst everyone laughed at his expense.
Kurow momentarily stopped smirking, to which Kagu narrowed onyx eyes suspiciously, "Like, Annoying Babe, I can't even remember what started off our series of arguments this time."
"Halloween," Kagu droned, blunt. "Halloween's tomorrow and you have no idea what it is...and can you stop calling me that."
"'Babe' or 'annoying'? Both are entirely true."
Kuni once again lowered his crossword book, eyebrow slowly rising. I'm pretty sure there was a twisted compliment in there.
How Kurow was capable of jabbing at someone whilst secretly flirting in unison was beyond Kuni. Kuni merely shrugged. Naturally gifted, he supposed. However, a pitied smile befell his face as Kagu only glared hot enough to burn Kurow's insides —her stubborn pride focussed on the jab and tossed out any other possibilities. He unnoticeably shook his head.
Before Kagu could unleash further verbal wrath, Nanami hurriedly interjected. Her soothing voice sounded small, almost shy, when all stares fixed on her, "Kurow, you really do not know about Halloween?"
A tense silence suddenly passed between the four young ones. Strangely enough Kagu discovered she had turned to stare at Kurow's expression. Her heart unexplainably dropped into the pit of her stomach at spotting a change. Gentle breath caught harshly in her throat...
He looked...heart wrenchingly dejected.
"Nope," Kurow all of sudden answered. Everyone could not help but feel a sense of sympathy, sympathy for that heart breaking, forced, smile. That forced smile contradicted his happy tone, too happy. Yet, if you knew the male well enough...the strangling tendril of depression could be seen through his eyes, and the passive shrug he gave could be ignored. "No worries, He never created me with that knowledge. But you dudes can tell me."
"But why?" Nanami pressed.
Behind his crossword, Kuni frantically signalled a sawing hand across his throat. Danger, danger, danger rang like a silent siren. Dangerous ground, they were treading on dangerous ground—on personal ground. Nanami's blood abruptly ran colder than usual as if the life had been ruthlessly sucked from her—terrified. Her worried fingertips hovered over her gaping mouth; she detected it too late. She darted apologetic eyes to Kurow in obvious fear.
The blonde just stiffly chuckled from false optimism. Pale hands once placed on his hips tenderly grabbed his flute to fiddle with it instead.
"Ah, what's with the tension dudes? It's actually pretty simple...He didn't believe I'd be around that long."
That did it. Everyone, including Kuni lying there with his crossword, flinched as if physically struck.
Kagu braced herself on the sofa back and audibly hissed. It visibly appeared, as feminine fingers gripped that sofa edge tightly enough to leave scarring nail marks, that his nonchalant statement affected her the most. And deep down, she acknowledged why. Why? Why regret of course. She had been arguing with him for ages.
"Oh, Kurow," Kagu groaned. The audible sound of her palm hitting her forehead resounded a little too loudly. "Kurow, I apologise. I thought you were just being oblivious—"
"DUDE!" Kurow's hand shot to grip his chest—shocked.
"Orochi's origami, Kuni! Warn us before you make our hearts explode!" Nanami shrieked. She had no doubts that everyone apart from Kuni had just jumped at least ten feet in the air.
As the atmosphere shifted to one he felt more comfortable with, Kurow sighed in powerful relief.
Kagu put her hands firmly on her hips as she leant over the back of the sofa to give Kuni a questioning stare. "Care to explain why you almost killed us all from heart failure?"
"Oh, sorry...you just said the word that's all," Kuni nervously answered through his pencil's writing scratches, Kagu's fiery glare refused to leave. Her lack of response made him roll his eyes disbelievingly. Figuring it best, he pointed a fight-worn finger directly in-between her eyes and poked. "You know? The nine letter word that begins with 'O' and means when you have no idea what's going on?"
Kagu's eyes widened in realisation. "Oh!"
Kuni sniggered, "Yes, 'Oh.'"
"Oh here we go," The mermaid moaned.
"Oh no." Kurow broke into an uncontrollable grin, laughter breaking loose. Since darkness and Akuro had retracted from Nippon, could any of them be serious anymore, even Kagu? Although, Kagu undeniably still reigned supreme on the seriousness scale in his opinion.
And therefore she, like, remains an absolute cow most of the time! But dudes, she's still one of the best friends I could ever ask for.
Before Kagu could rant to the purple-clad warrior, she hesitated when the Moon Tribe male out of the blue covered his mouth to audibly yawn. After it finally subsided, leaving the remains of drowsiness in him, his half lidded eyes made everyone soften. The blonde must have experienced another of those long days since it painfully showed. Very strange how it was always around a certain time in the evening, about seven onwards, when fatigue visibly seemed to hit the blonde. Only then did Kagu detect it and frowned: his exhaustion, those luring blue orbs underlined with shadows.
No one objected when Kurow unenthusiastically groaned and gradually floated over to what they classed was solely his seat—just his—for natural instinct had made him choose the single-sofa identical to the double one as his own. Nobody else ever sat within it—they did not dare. They all merely watched as the blonde sighed out and settled comfortably within his familiar seat.
Nimble fingers grabbed his silky, red blanket always draped over the chair arm. Feeling that soft material relaxed him further and he pulled his bare feet to curl up more under the blanket to keep them warm, his stilts having been discarded hours ago and currently leaning against the wall by the door.
"Well then dudes, hit me," Kurow said, gently cuddling himself into his fluffy blanket until only his head showed. Nanami nearly cooed on impulse, but certain her friend would not appreciate it, she just smiled happily instead. His long, hefty sigh filled their red painted Living Room, "What's Halloween? Maybe it'll explain why my job seemed more overloaded than usual."
"Rough day, huh?" Kuni gently inquired, for once switching his gaze from the mighty crossword to his friend.
Kurow shot him an expression that sarcastically said, 'no, really?' Kuni quickly raised his hands full of the pencil and crossword in willing surrender, to which Kurow smirked at.
"If ya really wanna know, Dude. The restaurant was jam-packed! Man, without a doubt it must have been one of my more hectic afternoon shifts since working there. Ruby-Ráe Restaurant is great, don't get me wrong dudes, posh restaurant pays posh dosh. But...Oh, I don't know. Somehow being the waiter today just seemed like being the scapegoat. I'm beat."
Kagu decided standing up irritated her and followed Kurow's example. In moving around the front of the double-sofa, Kuni did not hesitate in pulling his knees up to let her collapse in her own chosen seat—Kuni on the left and her on the right. All appeared cosy in the warmness that was there peculiar, great home arrangement. Though Nanami was only visiting.
The actress of the troop dramatically placed her hand to her forehead in good humour, "Oh diddems! Try getting on stage in front of hundreds of people at least five times a day."
"Oh come on Annoying Babe, don't play that card. You love your job."
"And you don't yours?" All three of Nanami, Kagu and Kuni asked in disbelief.
Silence suddenly enveloped the room in comfortable jaws. It was sudden, it was friendly, it held no sense of distaste.
Kurow then admitted, "...Alright I concede: I do enjoy my job."
"Only because of the amount of 'babes' that you can flirt with," Kagu snorted, unimpressed.
Kuni sniggered with his pencil back in his mouth to which Nanami tapped his knee in fake disapproval.
Kurow sighed and caringly smirked over the rim of his blanket. "Dudes, give me some credit. There's only one totally hot babe for me." Kagu sweat dropped as Kurow appeared to swoon. "My hot scholar lady is the only one for me—I just flirt for...erm..."
"The heck of it?" Kagu intervened, eyebrow raised.
His fingers clicked in agreement. "Yep, pretty much Dudette."
The Miko could only roll her eyes in exasperation. Until…an abrupt grin brightened that beautiful face.
"Kurow you idiot, you realise that the only reason that restaurant's doing so well is because you lure the females like wildfire, right? The majority of people that I see go in there when I am on my break before my final Show are women."
"I know right! Dude, I should get a pay rise for helping the business so much," He cheekily stated.
"I do not think so, would you not have to work harder to get a higher pay?" Nanami blinked.
Kurow blinked back. "Nanami, I, like, attract more customers, more of them means more orders—more orders means more tables to waiter. Either way I believe the business is doing better with me than without me." He rubbed the back of his neck and continued with a sheepish smile, "...regardless on whether three quarters of the babes just come for a drink with me."
"Kurow!" They all affectionately droned.
"Alright, alright everyone. We severely derailed off topic here," Kagu hastily inputted before another string of events caused more idle conversation. Rely on Kagu to bring them back down to earth. Her stern yet friendly gaze locked on Kurow in seriousness only she could convey, and the receiver of that stare would never admit he felt uneasy. "Halloween we were going to talk about."
"Right...what's a four letter word for something that annoys you—"
The actress' pupils glinted in rage. The warrior flailed when Kagu suddenly growled and slapped a hand over his mouth. Utterly ignoring the grumbles beneath her palm, she arranged her thoughts to figure out where to begin. How did one describe Halloween when they had done it for so long it just appeared natural?
Kurow decided he felt immensely better at not being on the receiving end of that aspect of her behaviour...she would not reach him fast enough anyway. However, he politely opened his ears to listen intently when the Miko's mouth finally opened to explain it to him.
"Okay, Halloween is basically a celebration at the end of October that celebrates the dead and the supernatural. On the 31st, tomorrow, many people, young and old, dress up and follow certain traditions. People normally dress up as something spooky: maybe the superstitious black cat, a zombie, a witch, a demon, anything along those lines. And when darkness falls to signal the night, we go around the decorated streets of Sei-an City and knock on people's doors to gather candy. This is called Trick-or-Treating. It's always an amazing time as people from both the Commoner's Quarter and the Aristocratic Quarter are given free will to move from one to the other in equality."
Kurow cocked his head almost cutely to the side as he listened. At feeling satisfied that he was processing it, albeit uncertainly, Kagu carried on. At the same time, she dropped the imperative hand from Kuni's mouth when he did not speak anymore. At finally being released, the warrior playfully glared and hit her on the arm gently with the crossword book. To which Kagu ignored, smirking.
"Tomorrow will be your first Halloween, and I am determined to make it an unforgettable time for you. I shall guide you through the day and show you typical Halloween traditions. I'll personally help you with your costume too—it pays in more ways than one to be such a popular actress."
Sapphire's visibly glittered with a spark, and Kagu could not resist rolling her eyes as it looked both mischievous and grateful. "Oh really? You? Helping me? What have you done with the real Kagu, dude."
"Oh, on holiday for a couple of days. Until then I, nicer, sweeter Kagu, will take over, I won't be here long so don't get used to me. Anyway, tomorrow, you and I go shopping!"
"Dude...I don't know whether I should be relieved or frightened right now."
xXEnd of chapterXx
Not my best written work by far, but I quite enjoyed writing this chapter all the same. Don't worry, this chapter was solely written in this format to set the introduction to the characters, background behind them, location and time—the essentials.
Please do review; I am going to need to know what you think. I will repeat I am not used to this genre and in turn the style that's meant to go with it. ^^'