“You want me to do the song with you?” Atsushi demanded, eyes wide.
“Of course!” Kenji shot him a radiant smile. “You’re perfect for it!”
Atsushi doubted it many times over the following days of practice before New Year’s, learning not only the drums but how to match Kenji’s tone and rhythm without tripping over his own feet and while adjusting to their outfits for the performance.
“That’s the tone we want! Let’s celebrate!” Kenji’s smile was as contagious as ever.
When finally the night came and they beat the drums in time together, Atsushi finally smiled, having caught it.
Kyouka’s eyes were shining beside Atsushi as they stared at all the good things offered in the stall at the festival—crepes, chazuke, warm buns with different spices and fillings. Colorful lights had been strung over stalls and the stars twinkled down on festive music and chattering crowds. It was all in all a delight.
Atsushi grimaced at his poor purse. An expensive delight.
But as Kyouka gasped softly, biting down on soft crepe and sweet warm fillings, the stars in her eyes as bright as the ones in the sky, he thought to himself that it was worth it.
Chuuya is crimson, the color of blood and destruction. Dazai runs his hand through his sleeping partner’s red hair, when he can’t protest (likely with a fist) nor think it means something it doesn’t.
It doesn’t mean friendship, but it is partnership. They share the blood, but not the wine.
Dazai is fascinated by the conundrum of Chuuya’s humanity versus his inhumanity, his equal passion for life and bloody violence. It’s a reason to keep living, to keep looking. Chuuya straddles the line between life and death more closely than even Dazai.
It’s almost odd that he never realizes it.
Last Order wouldn’t stop staring at him.
“That’s creepy,” Accelerator told her, shoving her off the end of the couch with one arm.
“‘Don’t be mean!’ Misaka Misaka protests, flailing her arms for balance,” Last Order squawked indignantly. She shot back upright and glared.
He eyed her from the corner of his eye, but she just huffed and clambered back up beside him.
“Misaka thinks that you look happy, Misaka Misaka notes with satisfaction.” Last Order grinned. “Misaka thinks that you should stay here with her forever.”
“Happy, huh?” he murmured and closed his eyes.
Such an odd feeling. Happy.
“You’re too loud,” Accelerator grumbled at the unwanted intruder in his bed.
“‘Don’t be so mean!’ says Misaka Misaka, glaring at you.” Last Order was indeed glaring, but she only managed to look pouty and not at all intimidating from where she’d sprawled against his side over the blanket, her frog strangled in her arms.
“You should be in your own bed.” He didn’t bother to prod her away.
She burrowed in closer. “‘It’s nicer here,’ says Misaka Misaka, stifling a yawn.” It didn’t stay stifled.
Accelerator watched her yawn, head dropping, eyes closing… and sighed.
Last Order was asleep.
Proof that Yata loves Saruhiko: he’s making pudding without any fruit or vegetables for the third time in a row, while muttering about immature picky eaters.
“Oh?” Saruhiko asks, with his most annoying, sideways smile and glittering eyes. “I’m the immature one?”
Yata just glares at him. “You can’t go shopping right now because you did in your leg,” he reminds Saruhiko, pointing with the stirring spoon.
“Because you were reckless. And that’s the only reason I’m cooking for you.” Yata huffs.
Lying. He’d cook for Saruhiko anyway, does cook for him. He just adds fruits and vegetables.
She hated that face. It wasn’t her own face.
Gray prepared herself each day without availing herself of a mirror. She could do up her hair without looking, clean even her face simply by feel, hide herself beneath a hood from shishou, from herself.
Her mother used to smile at her lovingly. The smiles had changed once she’d acquired this alien face. Everyone had been so happy—everyone but Gray.
“Ah, Gray.” He looked at her without looking at her, without wanting her to house someone else’s spirit, without wanting her to be anyone but Gray.
Attolia raised his eyes to hers, and for a moment, Eugenides was staring at her, not her earrings. She did not change expression, she willed him to see, and then he did, frozen.
“Do you know what’s going to happen to you?”
It was everything spoken without words, an offer made and rejected under duress, accepted now for reasons that somehow no longer seemed purely political. But Eugenides had never needed her words to understand, had never needed words to make himself understood.
Even so, he found them, closed his eyes a moment, then stared into her eyes anew. “Yes.”
She looked into those ugly eyes—all the pain and anger and fear that had built up in Kyo over years and years of knowing the truth about his own self—and saw him.
Not just the beautiful moments they’d managed to share. Not just his humanity lying over the top of this cat spirit. Not just the person and form that people loved, but the one they hated, the one that smelled and looked disgusting, even in the eyes of those who swore they loved him.
He saw it in her eyes that she saw him truly.
He had beautiful eyes.
From the first moment Violet saw the Major, she saw something she’d never seen before in the eyes that looked at her. She couldn’t name the feeling there, nor the feeling it struck within her own breast, only that when he reached for her, held her, she didn’t feel compelled to bite or hurt him. She didn’t feel threatened by his touch.
From the moment she looked in his eyes, they calmed and reassured her in a way nothing else had or could. She held onto her broach now and looked into that beautiful color—remembering.
Technically, Ekos wasn’t lost.
Hurtling end over end, nose over thruster through the cold deep in the dying light of a riftspace tidal wave. He only hoped the wave of byte and digit and signal flares he’d worked it in passed all the intended checkpoints.
He felt lost.
He’d destroyed the solar system, shredded riftspace throughout, and left the enemy squadron in smatterings and pieces. His own hull was damaged, engines not firing, adrift wherever he’d fall or riftspace would take him.
Ekos had been alone too long already, but now—
It burned within him coldly, he wouldn’t be found.