I do not own Ore-Imo in any shape or fashion. I am a huge fan of the series and the themes involved. This is my first time writing for an audience so please leave productive comments and reviews after you're done reading.
Side note: I will typically not be using Japanese words in my fics, such as "Oni-chan, nii-san, etc"
Why do these thoughts dance around my head like this? At first it was just self-preservation lest I bear her wrath. Then it evolved into an instinct to protect her lest she face the world alone. Next thing I knew I was humiliating myself for her, losing face for her, and going farther than I ever would for anyone else just to have her show me that caring side of her. From that disposition to protect it evolved again. When it materialized is still a mystery. I only dance around the thought of it, as if I were to touch it directly, it would damage what little normalcy I had left.
I lay on my stomach on my bed, my head trying not to eat itself as I appreciate the peace of the house. It's a gloomy November Sunday, a little early into the afternoon. Mother is out, bargain hunting for new kitchen appliances with her friends, and father is at work at the police station filing his reports. My imp of sister is on a major modeling shoot with Ayase. This leaves me alone, in my house, with my thoughts. I am not thinking tortuous thoughts, I am not thinking of my sister and her antics. I am thinking of how I want to get back to my agreeable, normal life.
Except that's a lie. My sister may have some "tsundere" qualities and they seem to be hereditary. The biggest dissimilarity between us, in that area, is maybe that I've developed out of that stage.
I flip my phone open and blankly regard my phones wallpaper. My sister beams back in a pink bikini, playfully splashing water up at the camera. I wasn't the one who took the picture mind you; it came from one of Kirino's modeling shoots. I catch myself grinning when I remember showing it off to her on the couch in front of our friends. Not to mention the photo-booth sticker we took; I stuck it onto the back panel of my phone. Yes, I've acknowledged I'm a sis-con to some degree, but I'm not sure where it stems from exactly. I abandon thinking about my 'affliction' for the moment. It's hazardous to my psychological health if I think too much about it. I stretch my limbs and arch my back out; stiff from my prolonged state of non-movement. I flip my phone closed and stand up facing the offensively pink laptop which, most likely, held the rest of my day. I press the power button to start the boot-up process and make my out of my room and downstairs. If I'm going to play these damn games that are, and a special thanks goes out to Kirino for this, now a part of my daily life, I might as well do it with some refreshments.
The kitchen lies on the other side of the living room, so as I approach the door to cut through I hear a voice. The door is mostly open, as if the people inside hadn't known I was home. I had been in my room all day and had even napped some that late morning; but how did they miss my shoes in the cubby near the door? I kept out of the doorway and stood in the shadows. I'm really not into gossip, but sometimes it's best if you know the situation you're about to walk into. Two voices echoed out from the living room.
"I'm sorry Kirino, I couldn't help it!" cried out one voice. It was soft and feminine, but held touches of earnestness in it. Ayase's voice I pegged.
"Couldn't help it? You know how I feel! How everyone feels! I trusted you after you said you hated him. After you said he was nothing but a perverted brother who was better off away from me. Now you say you can't help but confess to him?" Kirinos voice, augmented by the ambient silence resounded. I thought they were at that photo shoot till evening?
"I know. I think I always knew he really wasn't like that, easier to believe what he said. To hate him and trust only what I wanted to see. Taking care of him as he was studding for you though...it let me see the real Kyousuke. A much different person than the pervert I thought he was"
Ah. They're talking about me. I get chills being the subject of a foreign conversation. A few weeks ago my parents, believing my sister complex ways would distract me from passing my finals, temporarily moved me out of the house and into an apartment my father arranged for me nearby. My sister had appointed Ayase as my guardian/care-giver trusting that since she had such a low personal opinion of me that she wouldn't try anything. The day after I found that I had "aced" my test she confessed her love to me outside the apartment. It shocked me to no end, and a part of me was happy that day. But I had to respond my honest feelings and told I had loved for someone else. Although true, she deserves to know who it is but I am tremendously hesitant to tell her who. It seems Ayase had told Kirino what had happened that day, she is an honest girl.
"Please don't be so upset with me...please", Ayase whimpered out.
"You're one of my best friends Ayase, I could never hate you. But of course I'm upset. After what happened with the "black one" I told you how I felt about the subject. You knew and you still confessed to him." Kirino had a controlled voice for someone with such a temper. Who woulda thought? They are pretty best friends though; Ayase told me once that the Kirino I see at home is just one side of her. All fangs I swear. I scoot back a bit further in the hall way to make sure I was not spotted. Of course, it goes without saying that I didn't mean to eaves-drop, but I was here and was frankly curious on how much they were going to say at this point.
"I...I see. You know...he said had someone else he loved. After he rejected me that is." Ayase squirmed a little at that and I could feel a hesitance from Kirino.
"Di-did he say who it was?". Did she sound a little insecure in those words just now?
"No...but he won't confess to her, not with the promise you two have right? So I don't think you need to worry."
"Yes...yes you're right."
An obstinate silence pervaded the living room. It seems I came down near the end of the argument anyway. I mutely creep back up stairs and close my door. I can do without the drink at the moment; the abuse that would come from them knowing I was there is not worth it. I move the laptop to my desk and take a seat. Kirino had recently downloaded several new games on the laptop to play and I really haven't gotten around to them yet. I check the clock on the laptop: 2:15pm. I'm actually very tentative about playing these games now-a-days. I partially blame them for the thoughts, or shapes of thoughts, that plague my otherwise unoccupied brain.
But a promise is a promise so in the end I double click the icon in the upper right of the screen and prepare my brain for another "moe" assault.
It's been a few hours, I should take a break. I crick my neck and rub my eyes. I swear, I'm gonna need glasses if I keep this up. I managed to complete at least one route already. The story is the same as every other, little sister falls in love with big brother, big brother falls for little sister, let the humping begin! It's as if the designer had no idea what it's like to actually have a little sister that does whatever she wants notwithstanding of how you feel. I use the bathroom then make my way downstairs to the kitchen. This time I'm getting my damn barley tea, to hell with the consequences!
The living room door is still open and there is no sound coming from it. I peek in at first just to make sure nothing else is happening in there, disregarding my earlier cockiness. Kirino is sitting on the couch, head knocked back with a small string of drool hanging from her mouth. Eyes closed and evidently in a deep sleep. She was obvious to my entering. My first thought is for par I guess; Cute. God-dammit, those games really did give me a sister-complex. I fix myself a glass of my carton tea and start making my way back. My brotherly instincts stop me at the door. I just stand there for a minute; it's as if I forgot to do something. I look back over my shoulder and see my sister passed out still, she looks so comfortable but she's too vulnerable out here.
I let out a sigh and trudge over to her and give her shoulder a tender shake. It takes a minute but she stirs and her eyes blearily open.
"Huh, I must of fallen asleep sitting here." She looks up at me, her mind still not fully aware of her condition yet. I realize that my half-smirk at her adorable face with drool smeared over cheek was probably not the best idea, but luckily I managed to snag it back speedily. She quickly wipes at her face, I guess she felt the drool there.
"Hey Kirino, it's not good to just fall asleep out here." She seems a bit taken aback a first. But her expression clears up and she stretches out a little after I back up enough to give her room.
"Then thank you, Kyousuke". Now it's my turn to be surprised. It's not as if I was expecting to be verbally slammed, but an amused sister calling me by my given name is a little unsettling when you're not used to it.
"Yeah...". I lamely reply back. That delightful smile has an effect on me I would like not to admit. "Mom should be back within the evening. Dad has night shift and should be home in the morning". My sister continues stretching as if I said nothing. She has on a blue sweater vest with a sleeveless yellow blouse and skirt. She also sported black stockings, seemingly a favorite of hers and mine (to my chagrin), that rose up to thigh level. It was a simple yet elegant piece for the 15 year old to wear. Usually her clothes can be pretty intricate, particularly for a major photo shoot.
Instead of "idiot" or "stupid" or even "fool" as it had been for as long as I could dredge up, after my break-up with Ruri she began to either use my given name when alone or even a simple "brother" or "bro". I'm still not really used to it, and it seems to make me flush as Kirino has pointed out before.
"Geez, are blushing from me calling you by your name?" she giggles out. "What age are you?" she nudges me out of the way and heads into the kitchen. She's fishing in the fridge when she drops this on me. "I hear Ayase confessed to you." I knew this was coming ever since I heard that conversation. I was just hoping I could mount a defense before it came is all.
"Yeah..." I mumble back. She seems to hear me though and brings out the carton of tea I drank from earlier.
"You rejected her?"
"I thought she was your Angel Ayase?" with a hint of mockery.
"Maybe, but I promised. No girls until you have a boyfriend-"
"And I promised I won't get a boyfriend till you have a girlfriend." She begins pouring the tea into two glasses. She sets one off the side and nods toward it and begins to sip hers. I move forward to the counter and pick up the glass.
"Kinda faulty logic don't ya think?" Kirino just stares at me after I voice that. The silence begins to fill the room again. I glance at the living room clock: 5:13pm. Mom had texted me saying she was grabbing a bite with her work friends tonight and would be home later, so we had to fend for ourselves with dinner. Using the silence I open the fridge to scout for potential meals. I'm tossing over different quick fixes in my head. Ramen? No, too humble and lame. Tempura? Too multifaceted for me right now.
"Who are you in love with?" Her voice wasn't loud in the least; in fact it was barely more than a whisper. The question seemed to fill every space in the house, every fiber in my brain. My brain began to rack itself seeking a quick answer, but I really didn't want to lie to her either. "S-sorry, say again?" I spluttered out
"Ayase told me what happened between you two. She told me that even when said she would kill you if you didn't date her that you denied her. That you were different than usual, and that you said that you loved someone else so you couldn't date her." She gave me a side long glimpse. "You asked for my guidance in respects to the "black one" why not this?"
I turned from the fridge, using the cool of the appliance to harden my features. "I'm not really sure how to answer that Kirino." I say gently. "My promise still stands so you don't need to worry." I pat the top of her head and attempt to move around her. She holds out her arm and stops me in my tracks, her palm pressed to my chest. That calm before the storm feel starts to tingle my neck and I sense imminent violence.
"Is it Kuroneko? Kanako? Saori? ...Manami?" As she rattles of the names, I can see part of the old Kirino begin to surface. She's not mad exactly, just irritated.
"I'm sorry Kirino; I think it's just best that question remains unanswered for now." Mercifully, she sees the resolution I put forth and lowers her arm. "But I promise I will tell you soon enough. So just be a little more patient." I give her a small smile and hope it helps my words get into her head.
"Fine. Idiot" She turns and swallows her tea in one gulp, grabs her purse from the couch and heads out of the room. I hear her feet tramp up the stairs and her door shut soon after. I let out a sigh and start to systematically dismissing those damn dancing thoughts and replenish my guard. I just need to survive the night. Mom will be late and dad going to be at the station for the night. I once again scrutinize the fridge looking for a meal to prepare. As my body accomplishes this my mind begins to wonder what to tell Kirino about her question. She won't be held off forever and thee sooner I find a solution the better. Still…the truth? The person I have the strongest feelings for, the one I would do anything to be with, even hop a trans-pacific flight and drag her back with me-
"Stir-fry beef it is then." I cut the thought off before it truly begins to take any further shape. The time that Ayase cooked for me also allowed me to watch and learn as well. I was never a terrible cook, just lethargic. I'm not about to feed my model/athlete/super-star sister anything less than a home cooked meal, for fear that I'll hear about it from mom later. I go about the task of the meal, cleaning and cutting the beef, washing the rice, and preparing a base sauce to have on the side. Kirino hates bland food, but I'm not one-hundred percent on what she likes so a base, neutral tangy, is best.
After twenty minutes or so dinner is pretty much ready, stir-fry isn't exactly rocket science. Hell, the most time-consuming part is actually waiting for the rice to cook. I serve it to plates and swiftly wash the pots, pans, and cutting board. After setting the table I head upstairs to get Kirino for dinner. Arriving in front of her door always gave me a gut feeling of dread. I can't rationally explain it, it just was; like entering an alien atmosphere. I remember the first time in there. She had rudely woken me with a slap and pretty much dragged me in here. As I had sat there my eyes were glancing around like a trapped animal. I take a deep breath and I knock on the door and wait. No answer, I knock again. Still nothing. Probably has her head phones in I decide, but I'm not waiting. Probably one of my wisest decisions, if I do say so myself.
"Pardon the intrusion", I say humbly as I open the door.
Kirino is at her desk typing away at the keyboard with a serious look plastered across her face. Her eyes are heavy lidded and glazed over, the light from the screen reflecting off her face, making her eyes glow. Her mouth is slightly open with her lips formed into something like an 'O'. She had taken off the sweater vest from earlier and the stockings. One of her bare legs swung back-and-forth in the chair like a pendulum. She seemed held by whatever she was typing and one of her hands to come up to her mouth and she began to bite the end of her thumb. I just spent this entire time not only standing in her doorway but noticing the posture of my fifteen year old sister. I need to find help.
After I shelve my thoughts for later introspection; I summon my nerve and start to cross her domain. I call out her name as I approach but she must have the music up loud this time and she doesn't notice me. Maybe I shouldn't have come in here I begin to think; she'll probably either make fun of me, but most likely spend the rest of my night kicking my ass. I start to think I should throw something to get her attention but it's too late, I'm pretty much next to her. Out some strange instinct I glance to her laptop screen to identify what she's working on. I don't really mean to pry, but I wasn't really conscious of the movement either. I manage to make out a few of the characters on the screen. It seems to be some kind of text document written in paragraph form. I restrain myself from prying any further but something catches my eyes. Kirino is in the process of reacting to me and is turning around with horror spread across her face, but I've already read too much. My brain is grasping the meaning of the words I read and I quickly face Kirino with the worst poker face of my life. I guess this is where the rest of our lives truly begin. The incident may be small compared to the rest that follows, but this is the lynch-pin. The event that starts it all you could say. Not much, just a push, but sometimes that's all it takes.
AN: If you have read my story before then you know this is a re-write. At the time I wrote the original I had used nothing but a crappy word processing program from the 90's with no spell check or grammar check so I decided to revamp it a little. It's still just a warm-up compared to the rest of the series so please take time to comment on the chapter and give the rest a chance. Thank you and god-bless.