Daftar karakter: Isao Hironori (Morry), Shenji Ro (Raina Sim), Shimamura Yasunari (Felicia Caitlin)
Total words: 4,391 words
Summary: Hiro and Shenji was about to hang out together to the city. But they just had to met a certain someone and broke their fun by bringing them a shocking news.
He would waste so much stamina today. He probably wouldn't go to the studio to dance after school. Or maybe he would drink much mineral water, like, more than a liter.
As he done tying back his hair, he began stretching.
And as he stretched, his mind was beginning to think about what he should dance for today. Or should he give it all for this lap run. PE is not his most favorite subject though (as if he has one), but if he's in the mood for it, well, he might let it all out. Give his best.
But Hironori seldom give his best in school. Just another futile effort, he thought. He scoffed as he stretched his both hands, pulling them to the back.
On the other hand, Shenji, who was standing not too far away from Hironori, lazily stretched. PE has never been his favorite subject. True, he wouldn’t be the weakest of his class, but the idea of wasting energy on such redundant subject?
If the idiots won’t take care of their own body by themselves, why the hell do we have to force it to them?
Oh yes, Shenji would very much prefer to do something else.
"How many laps we have to do again?" Shenji asked aloud, his foxy smile in place.
Hiro turned his head to Shenji as he began to stretch his legs. "Ten for boys, and seven for girls," he answered simply, and then he smirked. "Think you're gonna be a dead meat, today, huh?"
Hearing Hiro reply, Shenji pouted, slowly coming to a stand. "Ten? I will certainly be tender by the end of the session," he quipped back.
After a short while, Shenji looked to the girls, contemplative. "Think I could pretend to be a girl? I could shove something in my chest."
Hiro snickered at Shenji's whining as he raised one of his leg and hold it firmly to his chest. "Sure. I think the basketballs are available in the gym. Just be sure someone won't find out that some of the balls went missing."
Then, as he changed to his other leg, he added, "and don't count me on this."
Shenji snorted, "I can feel the love~, but even so, putting even only one of those will make me a monstrosity, Seaweed-kun~."
Hiro rolled his eyes, "right. That will make you look pregnant, actually." His eye twitched as he imagined Shenji insert a basketball beneath his shirt, making his stomach looked bulging.
The moment the word pregnant came up, Shenji chuckled, lightly rubbing his stomach, "Wonder who's the father will be~."
As he tried to regain his balance, Hiro scoffed. Then he looked at the other student, "probably Oh-no-kun would make a perfect father figure, don't you think?" He snickered. "And perfect reaction when he found out that you... have that thing." He continued as he pointed to Shenji's stomach.
Glancing at the red haired student, the white-haired boy snickered, "Seaweed-kun~ how evil, Romeo will be flustered as hell, but I don’t think I can pin point it at him. I can say I am pregnant though, just to mess with him~."
Hiro stared at his slanted-eye classmate judgingly, raising an eyebrow. "Look at the mirror sometimes--like, really look." He gestured his hand to his face. "I'm not the evil one here, Meaty."
Shenji pouted at the dis, "Ehh?! How cruel, Seaweed-kun~ don’t go bacon my heart here~," he whined.
Stretching his arms up, the white-haired boy sighed, "Oh well~ I guess I have to run my lungs out then. I really don’t like PE."
Hiro straighten his stance and sighed. "Well, that is something I would agree, because I already ran this morning. I totally forgot today's PE would be a lap run. Sucks." Then he put his both hands on his sides, "guess I'll be free after school." He said to no apparent one.
Putting his hand on the side, Shenji moved closer to Hiro, while eyeing the rest of the students who are slowly heading to the start line. He caught his friend’s words. "Hm? You are?" Shenji asked. "Well, shall we hang out then? I don’t really feel like going back home so fast~."
"Yep." He answered and started to walk lazily to the start line. "Eh. Sure. Don't have anything to do at home, anyway." Yeah, really, nothing to do at home. His house is just nice and big with a lone high-school student living in it. Not that he mind though, he's finally free anyway, but sometimes he just wanted to kill some time before he went home.
"Good," Shenji nodded. "It’s settled then, we can walk around the city. You can help me browse through some stuff.” He trailed after Hiro towards the starting line.
"Sounds like a deal to me." He replied, and as he arrived at the line, he just stood with his lazy posture, waiting for the next instruction to start the run.
"I will say this again,” the white-haired boy grouched. “I. Don’t. Like. PE." Shenji trudged along the pathway out of the changing rooms.
His legs ached, his lungs were burning, and he could imagine the strain he would be having tomorrow.
"Ready to go, Seaweed-kun?" He asked to his classmate.
"You sure you're okay? I don't want to deal with fainted guys anymore. They give me a real headache." Hiro growled. He had enough of having to bring people to the health unit room, taking care of them as if he's the nurse. He would make those guys really pay for him for sure.
Hiro does have high stamina and power, but that doesn't mean he has to be that one savior who will come to the rescue when someone fell. Leave that job to the police or someone else.
"And if you're gonna faint in the middle of the way, I will really left you behind." He continued as he folded his both arms in front of his chest.
Shenji gave a mocking, surprised gasp. "You will just leave me dead? Seaweed~ where is your heart?" Really, this classmate of his, so grumpy at times. If only he’s not so canine, Shenji would give him a name based on the grumpy cat.
Also, Shenji had half of mind to pretend fainting just to see if Hiro has the heart to leave him behind like what he said.
The tallest of the boys raised his eyebrow. "My heart is between my lungs and behind my sternum." He replied with a bit sarcastic tone.
Shenji brushed off his friend’s quip. "I don’t think I am that heavy. I am sure you can princess carry me~," he said as the shove his hands to the pockets. "But I am fine prince charming~ me can go~.”
Hiro rolled his eyes and sighed. "Fine. Let's go then." As he said that, he began to walk to exit the school and treading to the train station.
They both arrived at Meiseki City Central station. And, as Shenji said that he wanted to buy some stuff, he turned to his slanted-eyed friend.
"So," Hiro started. "To the mall, or where?"
Shopping was not his cup of tea, but well, as long as he's not involved in something that would bother him, he didn’t mind, though.
On the other side of the station, the train doors slide open and a middle-aged man hopped down, minding the gap as he slipped between two women to the platform. Shimamura fixed his scarf, then took the way to his right. An instant coffee vending machine caught his attention. Surely a cup of warm latte would cheer up the rather cold day.
A few coins later and he hold a paper cup, steam whirling in a beautiful spiral above it.
He had just came back from visiting a 'relative' living outside the town. Went out early in the morning so he could take his time strolling around a bit. The week had been quite hectic.
Just as he stepped away from the station gate and was about to walk to the shopping centre, he saw two familiar faces. Students of Shizumida High, judging from their uniform. He sipped his coffee, thinking where did exactly he saw those faces before realizes they were the people whose shadow persona he awoken.
So they know each other, he thought to himself, feeling funny.
His eyes met Shenji, and he smiled.
Pocketing his phone back, Shenji replied to his classmate. "The mall will be fine, I think, I am actually looking for some new so--" Shenji trailed off when suddenly his eyes meet with a familiar person.
Shenji was grateful that his smiling face rarely faltered, he wouldn’t be showing his surprise to Shimamura. He slightly nodded to the middle aged-man in acknowledgement.
I meant Meiseki isn’t that big, but to be able to pass him so soon. What luck, he thought before coughing, "Songs, Seaweed-kun~ I am looking for songs."
Hiro caught the sudden stop of Shenji's words. He looked up, trying to notice of what his friend noticed, raising his eyebrow.
And then he got this funny feeling.
The tall boy frowned. The feeling he's having was quite foreign, but it's also kind of familiar. It was also kind of faint, cloudy, he could not exactly pinpoint it.
But, whatever it was, it made Hiro raise his awareness, putting his guard up.
It's strange, because he never felt this way before. Well, he actually felt it too whenever he's near Shenji and some of his friends at school, but they're kind of way fainter that Hiro could just ignore it.
But this one was something that Hiro felt like he already knew this feeling and felt clearer than usual, so he was kind of confused.
Hiro looked up once again when Shenji continued his words. "Oh. Sure. Well, let's go then--"
The boy also stopped his words as he turned his head away from Shenji and saw someone familiar.
That goddamned book clerk.
Hiro's eyes widen a bit as he tried to suppress his surprise. He stared at Shimamura, taking notice of his smile and his eyes directed to.
And Hiro knew, those eyes were directed to his friend beside him.
Hiro's shock increased considerably. Probably it was just his imagination, right? Probably they just knew each other normally. Probably Shenji is the book clerk's common customer or something. It's just his weird mind.
But if they really knew each other, why did Shenji stutter earlier? Hiro knew his friend’s normal reaction would be cheerily, or not just nonchalantly, greet to any of his acquaintance.
Is this why he felt this kind of awareness? The presence of the book clerk, who awakened the monsters inside him?
Hiro shook his head inwardly, trying to put aside his annoying anxiety. And he also tried to continue his reply. "--to the mall. Yeah." Kind of failed attempt, but at least he tried.
When Shimamura saw that Hiro noticed his presence too, he diverted his attention and threw another meaningful smile to him, too. He did notice that the dark haired lad had started to get jittery, for a reason he did not know.
It's interesting to know that they know each other, though he thought they would not easily share what was happening between them on that fateful night.
He started to approach them.
Fight or flee? Those were the choices that were running through Shenji's mind when he sees Shimamura heading their way.
Really? He's coming here? What the frick? Shenji thought, aggravated as he glanced at Hiro.
Shenji was confident enough to be able to weave through the word games, but it’s definitely troublesome to try to remember the lies he would be spouting in front of his classmate.
It’s... too late and weird to just run off. I guess we will have to wing it now, he thought again as he preparing himself as the man came nearer.
Oh no. His mind started to break again once more, just like at that time.
Why the hell is he coming toward us? What is he going to do? He knew Shenji? What kind of relationship they have? And suddenly, he remembered that night he awakened to his shadow persona. That Shimamura mentioned that there are others than him. Them.
Hiro cursed inwardly. His face began to darken as Shimamura was approaching both of them.
So to avoid any faulty that he would bring, he stood silently, keeping his mouth shut, waiting for the goddamn book clerk next action. Or Shenji.
Shimamura caught them, Hiro, to be exact, stiffened. As expected, kids these days really dislikes adults, he thought. Then, he realized something. Maybe because it's him? Either way, they would have to work together at some point. It would be troublesome if the people whose power he pulled out ended up cat-and-dog-ing at each other. They would just have to hide their true motives from each other, right?
"Afternoon, Ro-san, Isao-san," Shimamura greeted them as he drew nearer, "so you both go to the same school. What a surprise." The man smiled.
"Planning to have some fun in town, I see."
Here we go, Shenji braced himself before widening his smile.
"Shima-san! It’s so grape to see you~," he replied at the greetings, his mind turn at the fact that Hiro apparently know Shimamura. How? And what for? Does Hiro knows what this guy had his hand in?
But he continued to speak in a beat, "well... Shizumida is after all the best school around here~."
He pointedly ignore to the last statement, half for privacy, half curious in what Hiro might reply to Shimamura greetings.
Hiro felt his heart was going to pop out.
All of his speculation was true. Well, not really. Shimamura's words just confirmed his suspicion about him and Shenji knowing each other. He still didn't know what kind of relationship they have.
So Hiro tried to calm himself down inwardly and nodded simply at Shimamura in greeting. "We do." There. Simple answer to confirmed to his friend that he also knew the book clerk. If Shenji has any mind about it, though.
Then, at Shimamura's last words, Hiro scoffed inwardly. Not so fun again when you suddenly appeared here, confirmed my guess and make me having this kinda weird, wary feeling, he thought grumpily.
"What are you doing here?" The tallest of the three asked to the book clerk with raising his eyebrow.
The lad chuckled at Shenji's apparent out of nowhere pun, didn't know what to reply. He turned to Hiro, whose answer was ever so short.
"Just came back from a short trip out of town," Shimamura replied Hiro lightly, totally unaware of the fact that his simple greeting had driven both boys to their edge. "Need to do a little shopping before going home."
He sipped his coffee before went on saying, after giving it a thought for a while, "but it's nice to know our future team has known each other beforehand. That will help with the awkwardness later."
In his surprise, Shenji dropped down his smile and his eyes opened, his thought’s process stopped to a halt. The fuck? Team member? Hironori? His classmate is also looking for power? How many more will there be? Who's next? One of his teacher? His guardian?
"Future team?" Shenji chokes out the words before pinching his nose.
Hearing Shimamura comment about "future team", Hiro tensed, his eyes widen considerably and snapped his head to his classmate.
Another suspicion confirmed. Hiro felt that he might just took a job as a fortune-teller instead.
But that's aside the point. With Shimamura confirming his thoughts, then it's also confirmed the wary feeling he has when Shenji was near him.
His classmate had also awakened the monster inside.
With that fact, Hiro's mind scrambled even worse, and he scowled, cursing inwardly to his uncontrollable thoughts.
What is Shenji’s reason to seek out this power? What’s in his mind about knowing that his classmate also here with shadow persona awakened by the goddamned book clerk? Does his friend already know about him awakened to his power? No, wait, judging from Shenji’s reaction, he also didn’t know nothing about this... surprising news.
There might be others. And Shenji is just one of them. Who will be the other ones?
She might be. And Hiro didn't know what to expect if it would be another of his correct thought.
As Hiro suspicion raised, he pointed to even bigger question in his head: what is this man planning to do with this "future team"? He scowled deeper. This man is seriously no joke.
"What are you planning, Shimamura?" Hiro asked straightly, with a dead-serious expression.
The book clerk might put the people he awakened to a really good use. And definitely, Hiro did not like that idea. Who likes to being used like a slave, anyway?
"Isao-san, watch your language," Shimamura promptly replied, then smiled. "Trust me, you don't want to get on my nerve so soon."
Several people passing by glanced to the small crowd but nevertheless kept on walking. A gust of cold wind blew past the hall.
Shimamura took note of Shenji's apparent shock as well. Seemed like he had failed to notice them that there were other people like them. Regardless of their personal motive, they would have to, at some point, know friends from foes.
"Small team, five or six at most," he turned his attention to Shenji, "I will let you all meet each other soon. You will need each other to survive so I expect a little cooperation, at the very least."
Letting go his nose, Shenji teased his classmate, "Yes, Hiro. How rude~ watch your language~," he said as he tried to compose himself back while listening to Shimamura's explanation.
Hironori’s eye twitched when Shimamura smiled at him, warned him about his words. Then glanced at Shenji, who followed up the book clerk.
Hiro felt his annoyance was raising several percent, but looking at the crowd, he collected himself.
At least he knew he wouldn’t start a mess in a public place. It would put him into a bigger bothersome trouble.
The dark-haired boy sighed heavily and knead his temple with his fingers, trying to calm down his sudden shock and anger. The book clerk did mention that there are others, but he had no idea that he would make a team out of this.
Shenji conceded. "I wasn’t expecting this kind of surprise, Shima-san~," placing his foxy smile back. "But then again... my fault for not asking more details. Silly me~."
I won’t make that mistake again. He has to, there's too much at stake. Five or six people? Depends on who they are. What they are like. Or their profession. They might be nosy enough to try to budge in, and for sure Shenji doesn’t want anyone to get in his way.
But of course, he could play nice if he have to. "And sure, Shima-san~ we will be buddies-buddies with each other... well, I hope." He finished with a glance to his classmate who looked agitated.
The tallest of the three turned his head to his classmate. "Right." Hiro surrendered. Making argues won't make the situation better either. Then he turned his head back to the book clerk. "You did mention there are others, anyway. But I didn't know that to do the... thing, would require a team."
"A team will have a better chance at survival than a lone wolf," Shimamura lowered his voice, "Why do you think wolves hunt in pack? But I can't talk too much about it here."
"It's not like we're not without enemies, anyway," he added.
The man’s mind flew back to a few years ago when a huge fight broke between them and those who possessed a similar but different power. He hoped there will be no more of them this time, but who knows? The Universe has a funny way to work.
"Shima-san is right... it’s not the right place nor time to talk about this." Shenji agreed to the book clerk.
Not in the day light. Not in the city. And certainly not when they were wearing their school uniforms! It made it so much easier to target them down.
"Also, its redundant for Shima-san to repeat exactly what he want us to do before we even meet the... rest... of the team." Shenji continued even though the word ‘enemy’ worried him.
He didn’t like the idea of enemies that he didn’t have info or power over. At this point, anything can happen and despite with Nogitsune’s help... Well. Shenji is not exactly the strength type.
Hiro scowled once again when Shimamura mention the word ‘enemies’. This man probably picked random people to his liking and awakened their power, make a group out of them so he won't deal with his enemies alone.
So once he found out, Hiro, Shenji and the others would fell together with him. He scoffed inwardly.
But Shimamura has a point that he couldn't deny. It is better to work in a team, though Hiro didn't have any idea how they would execute the... job. Especially when Shimamura also mentioned that this was not something legal.
They might even deal with police. Hiro growled inwardly.
"You really will put us into some hard work, won't you?" Hiro growled lowly as he smirked twistedly. But no matter. If it's about to kill without killing, he would count himself in.
"Hard work, perhaps, but it's not like you have nothing you want yourself," the man replied. He was still kind of surprised with the boy's sudden strain just now. Now part of him felt the urge to quickly let them know who were their friends, another part was ready to scold the boy out loud. "I am helping you to make it out all alive."
"Hmm." Hiro grunted shortly, agreeing to Shimamura's reply. Of course he has something he want.
Shenji kept quiet.
Such a broad word.
Alive... it could mean for as long as you have breath in your body. As long it could function. Alive doesn’t meant safe and well. He thought darkly, by the end of this, it could mean he lose one or two of his limb. Hiro might lost his sanity, maybe another team member went to a coma, but ultimately, they were alive.
Although, Shenji shrugged mentally, it’s to be expected. Nothing is free. And people who agreed to take it thinking there's no string attached is just... foolish.
Hiro? As a classmate, Shenji could only wish him the best of luck, while Shenji’s focus only towards the man in front of him. He needed to take all the info and contacts he had.
"I will call for a group meeting soon," Shimamura continued. "Schools are off on weekends, right?"
Both of the school boys nodded at the question.
And Shenji’s smile widened. Shimamura... let’s see what games you will be making us play~, thought the white-haired boy.
As for Hironori, he couldn't wait to find out what these demon dogs are capable of. Well, so far, they had tried to consume himself and made him entered those emotional rage phase again. One told him to kill, filling him with bloodlust, and the other told him to end his own life, filling him with despair. While the other one, well. He didn't want to remember the boss of the three wolves did to him. He just stood there, staring at him as he already know Hiro completely. Fenris know him like the back of his hand.
He filled Hironori with fear.
Hiro didn't know what he's about to face yet, and he definitely didn't want to risk his life. But Shimamura said it. This book clerk supposedly could do more to move the group alive. Not that Hiro believe in him, he just really curious of what this man could do.
"Then I'll let you all know," the man said. He fixed his scarf and was ready to leave, "maybe this weekend’s evening. Keep your schedule open, alright?"
"I'll feed you all," he said before leaving, "have a nice day."
Feed them all? What did he mean by that? Hiro raised his eyebrow as Shimamura left both of them. Did he just treat him like a pet or something?
Goddamned book clerk.
Looking at the retreating figure of Shimamura, Shenji could no longer feel the relaxed mood he was feeling when he first arrive to the station.
Still facing forward, Shenji tilted his head before stating, "Well... that's over with, and to be frank... I lost all my mood in looking for songs..."
Hiro rolled his eyes and sighed. "No shit. Freaking book clerk appeared from nowhere. Who would've known."
Glancing at Hiro at the corner of his eyes, Shenji said again. "I think I’ll head home... you?"
Hiro wanted to mention about Shenji’s motives to join this kind of group, but as his classmate said, this is no place to talk such things.
"Same here, I guess." There's no way he would go to the studio now. He was still in kind of shock, finding out that his classmate was also part of this... illegal business. "That man just have to kill the mood."
At Hiro's agreement, Shenji nodded to himself. Now that Shenji knew that Hiro and some other people were going to be part of this "project", he would need to adjust and prep some stuff.
I guess I can play around with Nogitsune later tonight.
Such hassle for power.
"Alright then... I’ll see you whenever," Shenji said, ready to turned back to the station. "Oh, and Seaweed-kun?"
In the middle of his mind, Hiro looked up when his slanted-eye friend called to him. “Hm?”
When he sees that he got Hiro's attention, Shenji grinned, "Romaine calm~, you look too tense, that won’t be good for your blood pressure~," Shenji chuckled as he wave goodbye to his tall friend.
Hiro scoffed. “You donut know how shocked I was.” The dark-haired boy quipped as he waved back to his classmate.