Marui shouted as he opened the door to the hospital room wide open, and then he shouted, "Goodmorning, Chiyoko!"
"Marui-san!" Chiyoko looked at him with a wide smile, and then her gaze fell on the other figure on the door, who was shuffling and then she said, "Um.."
"Geez, Chiyoko," Marui entered, hopping like a hyperactive bunny, and then he gently ruffled the girl's hair, and then he adds, "He won't eat you, you know."
Chiyoko made the perfect imitation of a goldfish before she exclaimed, "Yes?"
"Uggh," Marui sat by her side, and gently said, "You're so stubborn."
"Stubborn as a mule, honestly," Niou went in himself, and he chirped, "Forgot about me already, Chiyoko?"
"Hahaha," Chiyoko grinned as she said, "Of course not, Niou-san."
Her gaze fell on the roses on Niou's hand, and she said, "Eh, Niou-san, why do you have flowers on your hand?"
"…Hm.?" Marui looked as well, and a large grin formed on his face as he muttered, "Roses, eh, Haru?"
This caught the attention of the other two on the room and Marui cleared his throat, and he said, with a lopsided grin, "Roses for your lover?"
"…" Niou gave Marui a playful glare, but then he smirked as he handed it to Chiyoko, stating, "It's for you, Chiyoko."
Marui managed to give out a little low whistle, but before he can further comment, Niou said, "It's the last kind of flower in the shop, I heard that someone pranked the store owner one way or another and everything became roses-literally."
"Someone?" Marui looked at Niou with disbelief, but the latter looked and only gave a casual shrug in reply.
"I'm not sure about the store owner," Chiyoko stated, catching both guys attention, and she added, "But I' m happy that everything became roses."
When Niou looked at her with slight emotion, and Marui gave another wide grin, Chiyoko exclaimed, "These roses are beautiful!"
Niou shrugged as he sat down on a chair, and then he said, "What did you bring then, Marui?"
"Me..?" Marui made a face, and then he tilted his face, "Should I bring something..?"
As Niou rolled his eyes, Chiyoko giggled behind his hands. The trickster smirked as he asked, "So you're going to eat this large cake by yourself then?"
Marui gaped as he saw his hidden treat magically appear in Niou's hand, and then Niou teased, "That's the reason why you're so fat."
"I am NOT fat!" Marui retorted as he grabbed the cake from Niou's hands, and then he sighed, and said, "I was going to share this with Chiyoko, you know."
"Me?" Chiyoko tilted her head to the side.
"Yep, or else Akashi might kill me." Marui nodded with a pop of his gum, and as Chiyoko's smile turned a little downwards, Marui waved his hands as he said, "Just kidding!"
"Honestly," Niou muttered under his breath, "Why is Chiyoko so Mura-ish?"
"Ne," Chiyoko waved her hand as she asked, "What flavor is this, ne, Marui-san?"
Marui smiled as he answered, "It's a huge strawberry ice cream cake!"
"Strawberry?" Chiyoko asked with a gleam on her eyes, and then she asked again, "Ice cream?"
"Strawberry ice cream cake," Marui nodded his head with a smile.
"I love that perfect combination." Chiyoko exclaimed with a smile on her face, she tilted her head and then she asked, "How'd you know?"
"Well," Marui shrugged as he winked, "I'm a genius."
Before Chiyoko can further comment, Niou smirked as he said, "Falling in love with our fattie now, are you, Chiyoko?"
Marui paled as he saw Niou narrowed his eyes ever so slightly, and Chiyoko giggled as she shook her head, "That's incest!"
Both guys were shocked at the younger girl's slightly mature vocabulary, and as soon as Niou recovered he asked, trying to suppress a laugh, "Where did you learn that from?"
"Ermm," Chiyoko bit her lip, and she paused before her eyes went wide as she said, "I… can't remember."
"You aren't involved with Yukimura aren't you, Chiyoko?" A blurry figure smirked as he asked.
"What the hell.!" The other figure nearly shrieked as he asked, "What kind of question is that?"
As the first figure continued to smirk, Chiyoko tilted her head as she asked, "Involved..?"
"You know," the figure laughed, "That way."
"Umm," Chiyoko bit her lips as her eyes widened in late realization and then she said, waving her eyes frantically, "N-no we're not!"
"Of course," The second figure nodded and then he ruffled her hair as he commented, "Chiyoko would never commit incest."
"Incest?" Chiyoko asked, and the first figure laughed as the second figure gaped in shock as Chiyoko asked, "What's incest?"
The first figure sneered at the second figure, "Idiot."
"I-it's nothing a child should know!" The second figure immediately answered, waving his hand. As Chiyoko semi-glared at him, the second figure sighed defeatedly as he said, "I'll explain, then."
As Chiyoko beamed, the second figure immediately added, "Just promise not to tell Mura that I was the one who explained it, okay?"
Chiyoko smiled but she answered back, "Sure."
"Actually," Chiyoko bit her lips, Niou narrowed his eyes as he repeated, "Actually?"
"Mmm," Chiyoko shook her head, and then she smiled, albeit a little comfortably, and then she said, "It's nothing."
"Are you sure..?" Marui asked with slight worry.
"…" Chiyoko kept silent before she looked them into the eye and answered, "I'm sure that it's nothing."
"Haru," Marui hoarsely whispered on the trickster's ears, "I wasn't the one who introduced that word to her… wasn't I…?"
"Fattie," Niou whispered back, and then he answered, "You ARE the one who introduced the girl to the word incest."
As the realization appeared on the older regular's face, he said, "Did she, somehow, remembered some of her lost memories."
"I'm not some doctor," Niou drawled, and added, "but I know so. She kind of blanked out."
"Bunta," Niou said, "If she can't remember us in particular then that's it. There's no need to force her."
Marui sighed as he said, "Fine."
"Ne," Marui looked at the silent, slightly shaken girl, as he asked, "Are you hungry?"
"Um, not really," Chiyoko said as she gave a slight wave. She narrowed her eyes ever so slightly as she asked, "Isn't there someone missing?"
As the other two looked at her questioningly, she asked, "I mean, Sei-nii told me that Kirihara-san's going to visit."
"Oh," Marui nodded in understanding, and then he adds, "Aka-chan's running late. I heard he's running some errand for his sister."
Niou raised his eyebrow as he asked, "Risette?"
"Yep," Marui nods and then as soon as he saw the slight crestfallen look on the girl's face, he smiled as he adds, "He'll arrive, though, soon."
As Chiyoko looked back, lightening up a little, loud, continuous knocks on the door was heard. Niou smirked as he said, "Speaking of the little devil."
The door opened and introduced the half-sweating, half-panting seaweed brat, and then he shouted, more like shrieked, "I'm sorry I'm late!"
"What happened?" Marui asked as he poked the younger boy who flopped down in the couch.
"Nothing," Akaya shook his head, and then he took out something from a paper bag he was carrying and then he approached the younger girl and then gave her the item, "Here."
"This is…?" Chiyoko asked as her gaze went from Akaya to the item.
"It's a gift," Akaya said with a grin, and then he said, "It's only polite, ne?"
"Aka-chaan!" Marui glomped Akaya, and then he whispered, "When did you grow up to be a fine young man?"
"Erk, you're heavy, Bunta-sempai," Akaya commented, and then he offhandedly answered, "It was Risette-neechan who told me."
"Oh." Marui nodded, but did not pull away.
"Sempaaai," Akaya drawled and he pulled away, "You're heavy!"
"Haha," Niou smirked, and then he said, "He got you good there, fattie."
Marui narrowed his eyes as he said, "I am NOT fat."
"Oh yes, you are." Niou pulled a Cheshire grin and then he said, "Even Akaya agrees."
Before Akaya can protest or Marui turn dangerous, Chiyoko laughed, and then she said, "You guys are funny."
"Heh," Marui immediately softened as he smiled at the younger girl, "We are, aren't we?"
At the girl's nod, Niou muttered, "That wasn't a compliment, idiot."
"Ne, Niou-sempai," Akaya whispered, and after a pause, he asked, "Why are you meaner than usual?"
Marui burst out laughing, cue glare from Niou, and then he repeated the question, "I wonder why, too, Haru?"
Niou's eyes hardened and then he was about to say something before Chiyoko interrupted and ask, "…Is it troublesome for you to visit me..?"
All three young boys looked at the girl. Akaya looked somewhere between sadness and fear, he somehow felt cold seeing the frown on the girl's face, Marui popped his gum, nervous but excited to see the next event, and Niou just stand there, with his best poker face on, before he looked at the girl with slight daze.
"It's not like that." Niou said with an unknown tone in his voice. He drew nearer to the young girl, and then as he ruffled her hair, he said, "It's never troublesome to visit you."
"Ano, Marui-sempai," Akaya gulped as he whispered softly in Marui's ears, "Is Niou-sempai on crack today? Or is he sick? He's too nice…"
Niou heard it but did not comment though he temporarily glared at the younger boy, and a smile formed on Marui's lips as he whispered back, "I'm not sure myself. But atleast he isn't pranking you, right?"
"Eh," Akaya looked slightly confused and cautious, "Is this a prank..?"
Marui gave a shrug as he took out and chew another gum, and he turned his gaze at his best friend who was in a slight complicated condition.
"Idiot," Niou sneered and then he ruffled the seaweed's hair, "If I was pranking you, I bet you wouldn't have enough time to gape and stand like a goldfish like that."
"Hahaha!" Marui laughed as he looked at Akaya gaping, and Chiyoko giggled at the weird expression on Akaya's face.
"So," Chiyoko smiled, and then she turned her gaze at the unopened box before she looked at Akaya, "What is this, Kirihara-san?"
"Heh!" Kirihara grinned, and then he chirped, "Open it!"
"Ne, Aka-chaan," Marui smiled at the younger boy as he whispered as he said, "What is in the box, anyway?"
"Heh, it's a secret, " Akaya still grinned and then he gave the same V-pose as he acted like Marui and said, "Dou, aren't I'm a genius?"
"…" Marui's eye twitched as he said, "That's only irritating."
"Sorry, sorry," Akaya scratched his head as he gave a slightly sheepish smile, "But it's a secret."
"Uggh," Marui pouted, and then he looked at Niou with a slight pleading look, "Do you have any idea what it is, eh, Niou?"
"Hmm?" Niou's gaze turned from the box to Marui, and then he smirked, "Figure it out for yourself, aren't you a genius?"
"Haruu," Marui drawled as he continued to pout, "I can sense the sarcasm in your voice."
"Heh." Niou shrugged as he said, in a feminine voice, "It's a secret~"
Marui looked from the grinning Akaya to the mocking Niou and he twitched, "You two are annoying."
"Geez, Bunbun," Niou swung his hand in Marui's shoulder as he poked the redhead's cheeks and said, "Relax."
When Marui looked slightly taken aback, Niou whispered in a low voice, "Besides, it's better if we have excitement because of the gift."
"Haha," Marui grinned and then he said, "I never expected you to be that soft, Haru."
Akaya shivered and unconsciously moved meters away from the trickster as he said, "Niou-sempai's getting too out of character, it's scary."
Marui laughed, Chiyoko giggled, and Niou's eyebrow twitched as he said, "What is it again, brat?"
"N-nothing," Akaya waved his hands frantically as he said, "I didn't say anything about you being scary, I really didn't!"
Chiyoko gave a slight smile as he sweatdropped and then Marui, who also sweatdropped, commented out loud, "I have no idea if he's trying to aggravate you, Niou, or he's just plain idiotic."
"Geez," Niou flicked Akaya's head, who immediately gave a tearful pout, and then he said, "Aka-chan was never graceful especially when he's under pressure."
"Ugh," Marui blanched, "When was he ever graceful?"
Niou gave him a blank look, and then Marui answered he's rhetorical question by himself, "Oh, right. He's graceful when he was on captain duties before, and when he's doing things for Mura."
"Thank you very much, sempai-tachis," Akaya pouted, and then he continued, "Please, continue talking as if I'm not here."
A silence passed and Marui whispered to Niou, out loud, "Aka-chan's all grew up."
"Yeah, right," Niou's voiced was laced with sarcasm as he said, "Say that when you see that he still talks to his teddy bears."
Another silence passed, and three out of the four people in the room sweatdropped, one of them blushing madly. Marui cleared his throat and asked, "That's certainly… possible. But, how did you knew about it , ne, Niou?"
As Niou opened his mouth to speak, Marui waved his hands as he said, "On a second thought, don't answer!"
Niou rolled his eyes, and Chiyoko gave an amused smile as she commented, "Kirihara-san is surely.."
Before she can even finish, Akaya interrupted as he beamed, saying, "Genius?"
"Ugh," Marui blanched before Chiyoko can even answer, and then he said, "Stop describing yourselves as genius. I'm the one and only genius, okay?"
"Bleeh," Akaya childishly stucked his tongue out, and then he said, "As if, sempai."
"Brat," Marui twitched as he said, "You're too young to act brave around me."
"As if," Akaya crossed his arms, and then he exclaimed, "During our middle school, the only thing you did was blow bubbles, boss around Jackal-sempai, and helped Niou-sempai with his pranks!"
"Uh-huh," Marui nodded, but then he said, "But I was never caught even if I helped Haru with his pranks, right? And I was never reprimanded by any teacher, no matter, even if I ask Jackal to do a lot of things or even if I eat a during their class."
When Akaya made the goldfish action, Marui added, "Unlike you, Aka-chan."
Akaya tried to protest, "That's-"
Marui interrupted as he gave out more information, "Unlike me, or even Haru, you, Aka-chan, gets caught easily. Whenever you force someone to do something for you, it's only successful half of the time, more or less the person you force cracks under pressure and tries to report you to a teacher."
When Akaya gape, Marui grinned as he continued to add another information, "And then when YOU try to help with the prank, you don't get out unscathed, unlike me, or Haru. You get caught, and if we aren't the nice sempai-tachis we are, there wouldn't be someone to bail you or someone to give you at the very least a decent escape from the teacher's wrath."
Akaya's eyes bulged, and at this point Chiyoko looked somewhat aghast and Niou gave a sadistic smile, and Marui decided to ignore the reactions as he continued, "And you can't even get away with eating in class. You're a regular for kami-sama's sake! If you can give at the very least, a barely decent excuse like you didn't eat breakfast that's why you need to eat because you were tired from the early tennis practice, then the teacher with eat it up with no protest. But no-o, you give out-of-this world excuses like my dog ate my breakfast so I need to eat up to make up for it."
Akaya got stone-eyed by the end of Marui's statement, but the bubble-gum eating genius continued to add salt to the wound as he added, "You can't even get the teachers at the palm of your hand with even the most minor of flatteries, instead, you piss them off with your attitude, saying things like, to hell with this, to hell with that, I'm number one!"
By the end of Marui's long speech, Akaya was nearly close to tears, and Niou, despite amusement of seeing Marui go into the rare genius mode, sighed as he tapped Marui to say, "You're making our baby cry, Bunta."
"Uh," Marui snapped out as he saw the tears leaking out of the brat's eyes, and then he sighed as he said, "That wasn't intentional. Sorry, Aka-chan."
When Akaya refused to give a reply, Marui sighed, and then he ruffled the younger boy's hair as he said, "Besides, you might be like that, but you have your good points too."
When the sparkles that were normally present in Akaya's eyes were still suppressed, Marui grinned as he started, "You're arrogant, but nevertheless you have the skills to stand up for it. You don't need to go with manipulation because you can straight-forwardly do things your way, and you can walk your talk."
When he noticed the slight shimmer in Akaya's eyes, Marui gave a smile as he continued, "Even if you're stubborn, it's a good thing, because you never give up on anything. If you can't have it now, you always try to do things better next time so that you can achieve your goals. You're violentic, but you're also fiercely loyal to everyone, and despite the rumors that goes around at times, you never let it go to your head, but instead, use it to get even stronger."
Marui chuckled as he saw the smile on the younger boy's lips, and then he continued it again, "You're more hyper than someone on ecstacy, but nevertheless, you're the ray and beam of energy for the team. You're innocent and the most pure amongst everyone, and even though ignorance is sometimes a bad thing, it's nice to see someone like you. You cry, you go mad, and you do things that are clearly insane, but despite everything, you're you."
Marui ended, as he said, "You're our dear Aka-chan, our most favorite kouhai, and despite all your negatives, we won't ever want to replace you."
"Sempaaii," Akaya cried out and then he hugged Marui, "You're the best!"
"Hahaha," Marui chuckled as he ruffled the young boy's hair, "Calm down, Akaya."
"You two," Niou hid his smile into a smirk as he said, "Stop showing BL to our precious Chiyoko."
Marui immediately pulled off Akaya as he said, "We are NOT BL!"
"Haha," Chiyoko gave an amused smile, and then she said, "You guys are so close."
Marui muttered something under his breath, but then Akaya perked up as he grinned at Chiyoko and said, "Open it, your gift!"
"Oh, right," Chiyoko nodded, and then commented, "We kind off forgot it, didn't we?"
Without waiting for anyone to react, Chiyoko gingerly opened the gift, and then she beamed as she saw the gift, and then she said, "…It's beautiful!"
A/N: What's the gift?! Review anything as a gift, like if you think it's a flower or a coat, haha ) It's none of that, but, still, it would be nice to know what do you think Aka-chan would give Chiyoko? So review, ne?
I noticed that this was a roller-coaster of a chapter, from crack to intense to crack to friendship. Hehe, the effects of stress, I guess. -.-ll Still, I think it was pretty good
And minna, thanks for reading the story, ne :D Cookies for everyone!
sleeepymode: Thanks for following Complications :D
SapphireAlley: Thanks for favoriting and following the story *hugs*
Skyla15699: Hehe, you make me blush :'' Thanks for the follow and favorite :*