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    The first night in my new apartment told me my mother and I had similar house-choosing skills. The apartment was decent in size, but was in rough shape.

                The walls of most of the rooms needed the paint redone, and in some spots there were cracks, probably from a mix of earthquakes and the foundation settling. The kitchen was bigger than most apartments would expect, but its counters were thick with dust and one of the cabinet doors had been knocked off its hinges.

                The bathroom was in better shape, but clearly hadn’t been cleaned in a while. I dropped my wet bag into the bathtub. I wonder if they just gave up on this apartment?

                Though I had seen the discarded home once before, I had thought getting it for so cheap in a busy city like Shibuya-with permission to fix it up-was a dream come true. Sure, it would take some time to get everything the way I wanted, but it was an adventure; something fun to do between studying and trying to earn money.

                Only now, cloaked in the rain and moonlight, it just seemed sad.

    This is my life right now. And somehow the finality of it caught up to me. This was Shibuya. Miles and miles away from my childhood home, away from my childhood friends, away from the childhood comfort brought by my mother.

    I leaned against the wall and took a deep breath. You’ve done this before, Yuki. This isn’t the first time you’ve moved for school. But it was the first time I wasn’t living at the school I was attending. But you have to look at the bright side. The apartment could, and should, be fun to fix. And everyone I’ve met today has been nice.

    After composing myself, I walked to a short hallway that led to the two bedrooms of the apartment. One was smaller and clearly meant for children, and one was meant for the parents of a family.

    I walked into the bigger room and sighed. The floor was covered in dust. My blanket was in my bag, and definitely in no condition to sleep under, and it was going to be chilly. A glance out the window determined that the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon, and with it was the cold wind rattling against the glass. I wished I’d thought about this when I bought clothes.

    Maybe I should stay at a hotel tonight. After a moment, I shook my head in dismissal. No, you can’t do that. It’s too late to go anywhere, and you don’t have a job here yet. You only have so much in savings. It might be a rough night, but it’ll be fine.

    I couldn’t bring myself to remove my sweater, so instead I arranged the night clothes I’d purchased from Ayame into a make-shift pallet on the floor. This was both to protect myself from any dirt, and to keep off of the cold wooden floor. I fought to get comfortable for some time, but eventually gave up and curled into a tight ball.

    Fur would be a lot warmer.

    But humans don’t have fur.

     

    -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

    When I woke it was still in the early hours of the morning. I was still a little tired, but after a restless night I was ready to be up and about. I stood and picked up the clothes on the floor before straightening my outfit. I went to the bathroom and left the clothes on the edge of the sink before prying open my bag, which was still damp. The clothes inside were in worse shape. Aside from being wet, they were also starting to smell and would need to be washed again. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the soap for that at the moment. Fortunately, if the movers were on time, I wouldn’t have to worry about it for longer than the day.

    Taking all of the clothes and my blanket out of the bag, I set them to one side of the tub and grabbed what I’d actually set out to find: my toothbrush. Well, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a hairbrush.

    My toothbrush was purple with pink bristles, and was luckily saved from the rain by the plastic bag it had been sealed in. The typical tube of toothpaste was still closed despite the beating my bag had taken, but it was about half gone and I realized I’d have to buy more soon.

    My hairbrush, regrettably, had not been saved at all. Its red spine was damp and sticky, a combination of the rain water and leftover hair product. I frowned at it and removed a not-quite-dry ponytail holder from around its handle before setting the brush on top of the damp clothes.

    Rather than risk my hair turning into the consistency on the hairbrush, I combed my fingers through it and pulled it up. I didn’t wear it up often, but I knew I had a long day ahead of me. After taking care of the rest of the morning hygiene the best I could, I nodded to myself in the mirror. Today is going to be a better day.

    The rest of the morning was spent buying cleaning supplies. I didn’t know for sure when the moving truck was going to arrive, but I didn’t want to waste time. I needed to go job hunting too, but I decided to wait until I could look a little more presentable.

    By mid-afternoon the bathroom and the kitchen had been scrubbed clean, but I didn’t grab supplies to fix the cabinet door.  I’d just have to pick that up some other time.

    I went to the front door and stared down the hall, trying to decide what to clean next. The living area was still a mess and the bedrooms needed a thorough scrubbing, but in the end I decided it should be the bedroom I’m using to get the cleansing treatment next. At least if the living room was dirty I wouldn’t be sleeping there, and it wasn’t like I planned on having any guests.

    I hadn’t taken one step forward when a knock hit the door. I jumped, startled, but I turned around to open it anyway. Of course the truck would come before I finish cleaning.

    But when I opened the door, the two people standing outside of it were definitely not movers.

    It was Ren and Kaede.

    Kaede smiled at me brightly. “It looks like you’ve been working hard.”

     For a moment I was confused. From where she was standing surely all she could see was the uncleaned living room. However, the confusion faded when I looked myself over and saw my semi-tousled outfit was now covered in dust from cleaning. I could feel my cheeks start to burn and I laughed nervously. I was even more embarrassed when I realized that my outfit, underneath the grime and dirt, was the same one they’d seen me in the day before. “The moving truck hasn’t come yet, so I’ve been cleaning all I can.”

    Kaede nodded. “I figured as much,” She started, “after you told me the state of your apartment yesterday, I knew you’d be busy. So busy, that you’d probably forget to eat lunch.”

    I blinked as my stomach growled in response. To my horror, it was very audible. Ren smiled at this and held up a plastic bag. “So we brought you food.”

    -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

    Even after trying to convince them my house was in such disarray that they would probably puke from trying to eat inside; we still ended up on a blanket on the kitchen floor. Kaede had brought the blanket just for the occasion, and the meal they brought was less of a meal and more of a mix and match of items from the convenience store.

    Despite this, I was still grateful to them for going through all the trouble. The meal passed quickly, but the chatter didn’t stop with it.

    Ren, who I’d come to think of as a quiet-if-not-awkward man, relaxed immensely as the meal went on, and by the time the food was gone he was speaking and laughing as much as Kaede. I wasn’t sure if the change in him was due to him being more comfortable around me, or if it was just the affect Kaede had on him. Regardless, it was nice.

    Kaede seemed to make me feel more comfortable as well, and she told me a little about her home life. Although she didn’t seem overly enthusiastic about it, she still seemed happy. After a little time had passed, she looked to me curiously. “So where are you from, Yuki?” Ren looked over, clearly also curious, but not in a prying way.

    I smiled lightly at them. “I grew up on a farm in a small town. It’s very beautiful, but it’s pretty far from here.”

    “You were a farm girl?” Ren couldn’t quite keep the surprise out of his voice, and for once, I was the one who started laughing while the other party blushed.

    I gave a light shake of my head as I stopped laughing, though my smile remained. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have laughed. I know it’s hard to believe. Honestly though, I didn’t do much of the work. I helped out when I was small, but when I got a little older my mother did most of it while I focused on school. Ame helped her for a while too, but now that we’ve both moved out, she still keeps it going the best she can.”

    “Ame?”

    “The best she can?”

    Ren and Kaede asked at the same time, and then they both looked at each other as though trying to decide which question deserved an answer first. I decided for them. “My mother has always made a lot more than we actually need. She’s in good health, but keeping it up is hard work. I’m not worried though. The farming keeps her strong.”

    Ren gave a nod of approval before asking once more, “Ame?”

    I took a small sip of water from a bottle they brought as I stalled for time. Sometimes it was difficult to explain anything regarding him without revealing the truth. When I finished I looked at them both. “Ame is my little brother. He didn’t enjoy school like I did, and it wasn’t required for him to attend, so most of the time he just stayed home with my mother. He was more at home surrounded by nature than surrounded by people.”

    I unintentionally sighed. I missed Ame, and I knew there were so many things left unspoken. After a pause that was probably a little too lengthy I continued, “We’re still quite the opposites, and I haven’t seen him in years. We didn’t part on the best terms.” I realized too late that maybe that was opening up far too much to people I’d just met a day prior, but it had been a long time since anyone had asked me about Ame. Though, maybe that was because my friends knew it was still a tender subject.

    Despite this, Kaede’s gaze softened lightly, in a show of sympathy, and after a moment of clearly debating, she spoke again. “Do you…want to talk about it?”

    I went quiet, but after what felt like eternity to me, and probably more so to them, I nodded. “One day we got into a fight. We used to be so close and…I didn’t understand why we weren’t anymore. He used to be such a shy kid, and I always thought that he’d just keep following me around, you know? But when he stopped coming to school and didn’t make any friends there…it felt like we were living in two different worlds. And I just wanted us to stick together. I just wanted him to be…normal.”

    “….I don’t think I really understood until after he ran away.” I paused, deciding what more to say, and I noticed that Ren had gone very quiet. I realized the look he was giving to the floor didn’t quite match Kaede’s. His was empathetic where hers was still laced with sympathy. “I get it now. He is normal. And just because his normal doesn’t match mine doesn’t mean he was wrong. I just wish I would have told him that.”

    After a solemn silence, Ren spoke, hushed, but with a determination I didn’t expect. “So why don’t you tell him?”

    “You see…my mother and I know who he’s with, and that he’s safe. But we don’t know exactly where he’s at, and we know that…that he doesn’t want to be bothered.” I sighed again. “I think if I met with him he’d probably think I was going to try and change him.” I gave them both a soft smile that I knew didn’t quite reach my eyes. “But it really does feel good to talk about it. Thank you, guys.”

    Kaede gave a solitary nod, and Ren looked like there was more he wanted to say but couldn’t find the words for.

    Before he could come up with the right sentence, there was another knock at the door.

    I excused myself from our small picnic and went back to the door. I took a breath to retrieve my smile from the tense atmosphere, and opened it.

    This time, it really was the movers.

    The first night in my new apartment told me my mother and I had similar house-choosing skills. The apartment was decent in size, but was in rough shape.

                The walls of most of the rooms needed the paint redone, and in some spots there were cracks, probably from a mix of earthquakes and the foundation settling. The kitchen was bigger than most apartments would expect, but its counters were thick with dust and one of the cabinet doors had been knocked off its hinges.

                The bathroom was in better shape, but clearly hadn’t been cleaned in a while. I dropped my wet bag into the bathtub. I wonder if they just gave up on this apartment?

                Though I had seen the discarded home once before, I had thought getting it for so cheap in a busy city like Shibuya-with permission to fix it up-was a dream come true. Sure, it would take some time to get everything the way I wanted, but it was an adventure; something fun to do between studying and trying to earn money.

                Only now, cloaked in the rain and moonlight, it just seemed sad.

    This is my life right now. And somehow the finality of it caught up to me. This was Shibuya. Miles and miles away from my childhood home, away from my childhood friends, away from the childhood comfort brought by my mother.

    I leaned against the wall and took a deep breath. You’ve done this before, Yuki. This isn’t the first time you’ve moved for school. But it was the first time I wasn’t living at the school I was attending. But you have to look at the bright side. The apartment could, and should, be fun to fix. And everyone I’ve met today has been nice.

    After composing myself, I walked to a short hallway that led to the two bedrooms of the apartment. One was smaller and clearly meant for children, and one was meant for the parents of a family.

    I walked into the bigger room and sighed. The floor was covered in dust. My blanket was in my bag, and definitely in no condition to sleep under, and it was going to be chilly. A glance out the window determined that the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon, and with it was the cold wind rattling against the glass. I wished I’d thought about this when I bought clothes.

    Maybe I should stay at a hotel tonight. After a moment, I shook my head in dismissal. No, you can’t do that. It’s too late to go anywhere, and you don’t have a job here yet. You only have so much in savings. It might be a rough night, but it’ll be fine.

    I couldn’t bring myself to remove my sweater, so instead I arranged the night clothes I’d purchased from Ayame into a make-shift pallet on the floor. This was both to protect myself from any dirt, and to keep off of the cold wooden floor. I fought to get comfortable for some time, but eventually gave up and curled into a tight ball.

    Fur would be a lot warmer.

    But humans don’t have fur.

     

    -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

    When I woke it was still in the early hours of the morning. I was still a little tired, but after a restless night I was ready to be up and about. I stood and picked up the clothes on the floor before straightening my outfit. I went to the bathroom and left the clothes on the edge of the sink before prying open my bag, which was still damp. The clothes inside were in worse shape. Aside from being wet, they were also starting to smell and would need to be washed again. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the soap for that at the moment. Fortunately, if the movers were on time, I wouldn’t have to worry about it for longer than the day.

    Taking all of the clothes and my blanket out of the bag, I set them to one side of the tub and grabbed what I’d actually set out to find: my toothbrush. Well, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a hairbrush.

    My toothbrush was purple with pink bristles, and was luckily saved from the rain by the plastic bag it had been sealed in. The typical tube of toothpaste was still closed despite the beating my bag had taken, but it was about half gone and I realized I’d have to buy more soon.

    My hairbrush, regrettably, had not been saved at all. Its red spine was damp and sticky, a combination of the rain water and leftover hair product. I frowned at it and removed a not-quite-dry ponytail holder from around its handle before setting the brush on top of the damp clothes.

    Rather than risk my hair turning into the consistency on the hairbrush, I combed my fingers through it and pulled it up. I didn’t wear it up often, but I knew I had a long day ahead of me. After taking care of the rest of the morning hygiene the best I could, I nodded to myself in the mirror. Today is going to be a better day.

    The rest of the morning was spent buying cleaning supplies. I didn’t know for sure when the moving truck was going to arrive, but I didn’t want to waste time. I needed to go job hunting too, but I decided to wait until I could look a little more presentable.

    By mid-afternoon the bathroom and the kitchen had been scrubbed clean, but I didn’t grab supplies to fix the cabinet door.  I’d just have to pick that up some other time.

    I went to the front door and stared down the hall, trying to decide what to clean next. The living area was still a mess and the bedrooms needed a thorough scrubbing, but in the end I decided it should be the bedroom I’m using to get the cleansing treatment next. At least if the living room was dirty I wouldn’t be sleeping there, and it wasn’t like I planned on having any guests.

    I hadn’t taken one step forward when a knock hit the door. I jumped, startled, but I turned around to open it anyway. Of course the truck would come before I finish cleaning.

    But when I opened the door, the two people standing outside of it were definitely not movers.

    It was Ren and Kaede.

    Kaede smiled at me brightly. “It looks like you’ve been working hard.”

     For a moment I was confused. From where she was standing surely all she could see was the uncleaned living room. However, the confusion faded when I looked myself over and saw my semi-tousled outfit was now covered in dust from cleaning. I could feel my cheeks start to burn and I laughed nervously. I was even more embarrassed when I realized that my outfit, underneath the grime and dirt, was the same one they’d seen me in the day before. “The moving truck hasn’t come yet, so I’ve been cleaning all I can.”

    Kaede nodded. “I figured as much,” She started, “after you told me the state of your apartment yesterday, I knew you’d be busy. So busy, that you’d probably forget to eat lunch.”

    I blinked as my stomach growled in response. To my horror, it was very audible. Ren smiled at this and held up a plastic bag. “So we brought you food.”

    -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

    Even after trying to convince them my house was in such disarray that they would probably puke from trying to eat inside; we still ended up on a blanket on the kitchen floor. Kaede had brought the blanket just for the occasion, and the meal they brought was less of a meal and more of a mix and match of items from the convenience store.

    Despite this, I was still grateful to them for going through all the trouble. The meal passed quickly, but the chatter didn’t stop with it.

    Ren, who I’d come to think of as a quiet-if-not-awkward man, relaxed immensely as the meal went on, and by the time the food was gone he was speaking and laughing as much as Kaede. I wasn’t sure if the change in him was due to him being more comfortable around me, or if it was just the affect Kaede had on him. Regardless, it was nice.

    Kaede seemed to make me feel more comfortable as well, and she told me a little about her home life. Although she didn’t seem overly enthusiastic about it, she still seemed happy. After a little time had passed, she looked to me curiously. “So where are you from, Yuki?” Ren looked over, clearly also curious, but not in a prying way.

    I smiled lightly at them. “I grew up on a farm in a small town. It’s very beautiful, but it’s pretty far from here.”

    “You were a farm girl?” Ren couldn’t quite keep the surprise out of his voice, and for once, I was the one who started laughing while the other party blushed.

    I gave a light shake of my head as I stopped laughing, though my smile remained. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have laughed. I know it’s hard to believe. Honestly though, I didn’t do much of the work. I helped out when I was small, but when I got a little older my mother did most of it while I focused on school. Ame helped her for a while too, but now that we’ve both moved out, she still keeps it going the best she can.”

    “Ame?”

    “The best she can?”

    Ren and Kaede asked at the same time, and then they both looked at each other as though trying to decide which question deserved an answer first. I decided for them. “My mother has always made a lot more than we actually need. She’s in good health, but keeping it up is hard work. I’m not worried though. The farming keeps her strong.”

    Ren gave a nod of approval before asking once more, “Ame?”

    I took a small sip of water from a bottle they brought as I stalled for time. Sometimes it was difficult to explain anything regarding him without revealing the truth. When I finished I looked at them both. “Ame is my little brother. He didn’t enjoy school like I did, and it wasn’t required for him to attend, so most of the time he just stayed home with my mother. He was more at home surrounded by nature than surrounded by people.”

    I unintentionally sighed. I missed Ame, and I knew there were so many things left unspoken. After a pause that was probably a little too lengthy I continued, “We’re still quite the opposites, and I haven’t seen him in years. We didn’t part on the best terms.” I realized too late that maybe that was opening up far too much to people I’d just met a day prior, but it had been a long time since anyone had asked me about Ame. Though, maybe that was because my friends knew it was still a tender subject.

    Despite this, Kaede’s gaze softened lightly, in a show of sympathy, and after a moment of clearly debating, she spoke again. “Do you…want to talk about it?”

    I went quiet, but after what felt like eternity to me, and probably more so to them, I nodded. “One day we got into a fight. We used to be so close and…I didn’t understand why we weren’t anymore. He used to be such a shy kid, and I always thought that he’d just keep following me around, you know? But when he stopped coming to school and didn’t make any friends there…it felt like we were living in two different worlds. And I just wanted us to stick together. I just wanted him to be…normal.”

    “….I don’t think I really understood until after he ran away.” I paused, deciding what more to say, and I noticed that Ren had gone very quiet. I realized the look he was giving to the floor didn’t quite match Kaede’s. His was empathetic where hers was still laced with sympathy. “I get it now. He is normal. And just because his normal doesn’t match mine doesn’t mean he was wrong. I just wish I would have told him that.”

    After a solemn silence, Ren spoke, hushed, but with a determination I didn’t expect. “So why don’t you tell him?”

    “You see…my mother and I know who he’s with, and that he’s safe. But we don’t know exactly where he’s at, and we know that…that he doesn’t want to be bothered.” I sighed again. “I think if I met with him he’d probably think I was going to try and change him.” I gave them both a soft smile that I knew didn’t quite reach my eyes. “But it really does feel good to talk about it. Thank you, guys.”

    Kaede gave a solitary nod, and Ren looked like there was more he wanted to say but couldn’t find the words for.

    Before he could come up with the right sentence, there was another knock at the door.

    I excused myself from our small picnic and went back to the door. I took a breath to retrieve my smile from the tense atmosphere, and opened it.

    This time, it really was the movers.

    "I'll be fine mom. Yes, I have everything. Yes, the map is in my bag. Of course I have an umbrella. I can't call you again until they set up my phone tomorrow. I know, I know. You worry too much. I know. I love you too. Say hi to dad for me. Bye."

    I sighed lightly as I put the payphone back in its place. It was my first day in Shibuya since picking out my apartment four months ago. I'd thought waiting to move was a smart idea for financial reasons, but now, looking at the rain pouring a foot away from me, I was beginning to have my doubts.

    I picked up the duffel bag sitting at my feet. It held the few necessities I'd need until the moving van would be able to make it to my new home. I opened my pink umbrella before stepping out of the small shelter that surrounded the phone and onto the wet sidewalk. I stopped at a crosswalk close by and unzipped the duffel's outer pocket as I waited for the light to change to walk. "I cross here..." I opened the sheet of paper that had my directions on it. "Left here, and..." A large truck zoomed by and hit the puddle of water in front of me.

    I lifted my directions just in time to avoid it getting soaked, but the lower half of me wasn't so lucky. The bottom half of my skirt was sticking to me, which wouldn't have been so bad if I knew that I could change into something dry when I got home...but my bag was now drenched too.

    "Today is not my day." I mumbled to myself as I crossed the street. Soon after I ended up ducking under a shop's canopy. The front of the shop was wide open, but a drain nearby kept the inside from getting too wet. To the sides I could see the edges of sliding doors that were probably used when it was time to close for the night. An employee with her hair pulled into a ponytail bounced over to me. She looked to be a year or two younger than me, with a cheerful smile. "Oh, you poor thing. How did you get so wet even with an umbrella?"

    I returned her smile with a half-hearted one of my own. "It just seems to be my luck today."

    I placed my umbrella in a stand near the entrance so the floor didn't end up wet. I looked at my bag. Not only was it wet, but I was sure the store wouldn't appreciate me dragging it near the merchandise. "Um...can I leave this here for a bit?" I gestured to a spot near the umbrella stand.

    The girl seemed surprised. "Of course. Are you here to shop? I thought you were just ducking out of the rain for a bit."

    "Well," I looked down at my skirt and bag. "All of my things ended up covered in water, so I thought I'd buy something to change into and something dry to sleep in tonight."

    The shop-girl looked at the bag. "Oh no. That's all you have? Feel free to grab anything you need."

    I was confused as to what the expression on her face was, but when I placed it as sympathy, I quickly shook my head. "No no, it's not everything I have. It's just all I have access to right now. I'm in the middle of moving."

    She seemed to cheer up at that. "Oh! Are you close by?"

    I answered her as I started browsing through a garment rack. "I'm...actually, I'm not really sure. It's harder to navigate in the rain than you'd think it would be. It's an apartment complex off of Tomigaya Street."

    "Tomigaya? Why, you're almost there. Looks like your luck is turning around."

    I hm'd in response. "I sure hope so. It hasn't been a very promising start to university life so far."

    The girl went to the counter and dug around for something I couldn't see. "So you're a student? Are you going to the University of Tokyo? I know the Komaba campus is nearby." She pulled out a box of items and started to tag them as we spoke.

    I gave my head a light shake. "No, I've just enrolled in Tokai University." She gave a nod as though that were acceptable, and I brought the clothes I'd picked to the counter as I fished out my wallet. I was careful to set them away from what she was tagging.

    "I've got a couple of regular customers who'll start there this semester too. Actually, I think one of them lives off Tomigaya too." She scanned the items and handed them back to me, accurately guessing which ones I wanted to wear out of the store. She bagged the rest and tied it so the rain wouldn't make it through. I paid, and she pointed me in the direction of the fitting room.

    I glanced back at my duffel bag, wondering if I really wanted to leave it unattended with the luck I was having today. The shop-girl noticed and laughed lightly. "Don't worry, I'll keep it safe."

    I smiled at her. "Thank you." I bowed to her appropriately and retreated to the fitting room.

    About halfway into changing, I heard the girl greet more customers as they came in. "Ah, Hirose-san, Sometani-san, welcome! Oh, be caref-" I heard a thud followed by some girlish laughter that didn't sound like the employees. "Eh?" The shop-girl continued. "How can you be as cool as you are and be tripped by a bag?"

    I frowned deeply and popped part way out from behind the changing rooms curtain. "If my bag is broken, I'll-" I paused as I realized the three others in the shop-the employee and the two newcomers, a girl and a very tall boy-were definitely staring at me. For a moment I thought it was due to my outburst, but after a very long second I realized it was because more of me appeared from the curtain than it should have. I quickly hid myself. How could I do something so embarrassing?

   
After scolding myself, I considered hiding there until the other customers left, but in the end the need to make it home before it got too late won out. I finished changing and approached my bag to put away the wet clothes, realizing with dismay that the two people from before were still near it. The girl approached me and knelt down with me as I crouched to put away my items. "We're sorry about...before." She had a slightly sympathetic tone that told me she definitely meant about the curtain and not about knocking the bag over.

    I could feel my cheeks heat up, but I chose to ignore it as I zipped the bag up and stood. "It's alright. It was already soaked anyway."

    The shop-girl smiled at me apologetically. "I really was keeping an eye on it. I just couldn't keep Sometani-san from knocking it over." She gestured to the tall boy from before. He was dressed in a white button-up shirt that might have given him a professional look, if it weren't for the mess of shaggy black hair on his head. The sheepish look he gave as he glanced my way reminded me a little of Sohei, and I gave him a smile to show I didn't mind. He gave me a lopsided smile in return that said maybe he wasn't comfortable around strangers.

    After a moment I turned my gaze back to the girl. She was an inch or so shorter than I was, with her brown hair cropped short. She wore a navy blazer with a knee length pleated skirt of the same color. Beneath the blazer was a collared white shirt, but unlike her companion, it was button-less. I assumed she was Hirose.

    My new outfit matched hers fairly well. I'd chosen a skirt the same shade and length as hers, and I found myself wondering if she bought hers here too. I'd forgone the matching blazer in favor of a sky blue sweater, since it was a little chilly outside. "Oh!" The shop-girl startled me from my observations. "These are the two I was telling you about!" She looked to Hirose. "This is...oh." She turned her gaze back to me. "I didn't get your name."

    I bowed to the three of them. "Miyazaki Yuki. It's nice to meet you."

    The boy stiffly copied my bow, and I found myself wondering how often he introduced himself. "Ren."

    I waited a moment for him to continue, but when he didn't I decided it couldn't be very often. I wondered how the employee managed to get his last name.

    The girl in turn bowed with practiced grace. "Hirose Kaede. Please, call me Kaede."

    I nodded at them. "Kaede-san, Ren-san," I looked to the girl at the counter and she smiled.

    "Chiba Ayame." She turned her attention back to Kaede. "Miyazaki-san is moving in near Tomigaya and will be going to school with you guys. She's had a rough day so far, so be nice to her, okay?" She winked at me. How can someone act so informal but still be respectful? The look Ren was giving Ayame told me he might be thinking the same thing.

    Kaede nodded in response to Ayame. "Of course." She turned to me. "Ren has to pick up a few things, but we'll be heading to his apartment soon after. Do you want to come with us?"

    I was a little taken aback at her casual use of his name, but it quickly dawned on me that they must be a couple. "I'd love to." I didn't know many people yet, and it seemed as good a time as any to try and make friends.

    Soon I found myself walking with them from store front to store front. A part of me hoped I wasn't interrupting a date, but I assured myself that no one would go on a date in this weather. At one store, Ren asked Kaede and I to wait at the entrance while he grabbed what he needed. Well, it was more of a command, but the lack of reaction on his part told me he had no idea that it was rude. The lack of reaction on Kaede's end, however, told me this probably happened often. "Kaede-san?"

    "Hm?" She looked to me. "You don't have to do that, really. I'm used to going by my given name only." She looked at the shocked expression on my face and laughed lightly. "I know, it's unusual. But Ren grew up in a place where no one went by their family name. So its been hard on him, getting used to some of the things we do here." She smiled fondly in the direction Ren was shopping, and it was easy to see the two were very close. "Oh, you had something to say, didn't you?"

    "Actually," I started, "You answered my question...but now there's something else I'm curious about."

    "Oh?"

    "Well I thought...but since you ask everyone to call you by name..." I hesitated, unsure how to phrase my question without seeming nosy.

    But it seemed I didn't have to. Kaede blushed softly. "We are. We started dating very recently." I nodded in understanding, but she wasn't finished. "But I don't ask everyone to call me Kaede. Just people I know will be good friends." She smiled in a teasing way that didn't quite fit on her innocent seeming face. "So, can I call you by name too?"

    I laughed lightly. "I guess it would be weird to be the only one that didn't, hanging around you guys."

    She smiled back at me, and Ren chose that moment to rejoin us. "Looks like it's time to get going, Yuki."

    Despite giving her permission, I blushed. But I'd made new friends already, and that was all that really mattered.
Nigen no Kemono CH1: Lost
So here is the first official chapter.

Some notes: Both schools mentioned here are actual schools in Shibuya.
                    Ayame is sort of an OC, sort of not an OC. She was meant to be the shopkeeper that talks to Ren's father in the movie, but she remained unnamed, so I named her. Don't worry, she won't have a huge role.
                    This takes place after the end of both movies. Several years after Wolf Children, but almost directly after the Boy and the Beast. Because of this, I decided Ren wouldn't be super accustomed to the formalities that were largely absent in his childhood. Since we don't get to see a lot of things, I am taking a few liberties, but it is fiction.
                    Ayame is a year or two younger than our protagonist, but because she is currently at work, I chose to have her refer to every customer with -san. This goes for ones she doesn't know the name of as well. Sir, Ma'am, customer-san. XD

This will be a slowgoing fanfic, but you'll see Jutengai eventually, I promise. I also apologize because Kyuta/Ren is not actually going to have a huge role.
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    When I was little, my mother always wanted the best for my brother and I. After our father died, she did everything she could to keep us safe. And when the time came, she let us choose our own path through life.

    You see, my brother and I were born a little different than most. But, you've heard that story before, haven't you?

When I was still young, Ame made the decision to stay in the forest outside of our childhood home.

I decided to go to school and continue living as a human.

Now and again I miss how things used to be. I miss living with my family and being to young to really know who-or what-I wanted to be.

Yet I've never regretted my decision. I don't think I'd have grown to be the person I am if I'd never met all the humans I know today.



Thinking back on it now is a little funny.

In my mind, there were really only two options.

Am I human?

Or am I a wolf?

I never stopped to consider that maybe,

it was okay to be both.
Ningen no Kemono: Prologue
"It's funny, looking back on it now. In my mind there were really only two options. Am I human? Or am I a wolf? I never stopped to consider that maybe it was okay to be both."

Yuki grew up as a human and finished high school. Now, at 20 years old, she has moved to Shibuya to start college, only to stumble upon a world she never knew existed. After meeting several others she finds herself re-questioning what she is, and where she's meant to be.

Kyuta/RenxKaede, ShinoxJiromaru, slight SoheixYuki, YukixIchirohiko

After seeing the Boy and the Beast for the first time I searched for fanfiction, only to find that there were practically none. So I decided to write some. This is a crossover between it and Wolf Children.

The actual chapters will be longer, but I wanted to have a prologue where you could picture Yuki narrating, just like in the beginning of her movie.

Please tell me what you think, and feel free to let me know if there's anything you want to see, because this isn't completely planned out just yet.
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Jacqueline
    This is Jacqueline, who was very recently adopted from FunFancyFree-Adopts .

     I imagine she's about 15 here. I'll update this with her personality and more references as I make them~
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So I noticed there is a severe lack of fanfiction for this game and I don't approve. I'm hoping to change that, and will now be posting this journal for everyone to request something they want to see. It doesn't mean I'll automatically accept it, but may as well try.

You can request anything with any of the characters. You can request Leoxreader, or KazexCamilla, doesn't matter. You can request a vague plotline or something expansive, I just want as many ideas as possible, so let's get this started.

The countdown below is not limited.

Requests Currently in progress:
1. AzuraxReader
2. 
3.

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Comments


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:iconariamay123:
Ariamay123 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2016
happy birthday! :)
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:iconleaf0nthewind:
Leaf0nthewind Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2016
Happy Birthday!
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:iconblackbutlerlover72:
BlackButlerLover72 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2016  Student General Artist
Who made your icon? I ADORE IT!^^
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:iconsora22302:
sora22302 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2016  Student Writer
It was made by zomgO3O !!! Oh man, I really had to hunt that down. I used to have the information in a custom box on my page but lost it when I didn't renew my membership. I'm glad you asked so now I can put the information on my page again. I feel so bad for losing it that I think I need to commission them again. XD
Here is a link to the icon commissions: zomgo3o.deviantart.com/journal…
And to the other commissions: zomgo3o.deviantart.com/journal…

I hope that helps!
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:iconfandom-oc-queen:
Fandom-OC-Queen Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
{~PC~} Chishio icon~ by ScissorLuvMidnight:iconfaveplz:
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:iconzombie-echo:
Zombie-Echo Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for liking my work :hug:
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:iconkhkairi12:
khkairi12 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 16, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
hey sora i realized i spammed the making of raffle ticket counter journal. I'm going to delete the one you faved, but this is the correct one now to fav. Sry!^ ^' khkairi12.deviantart.com/journ…
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:iconsora22302:
sora22302 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2016  Student Writer
Sorry for the late reply, I favorited the one you linked now.
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:iconkhkairi12:
khkairi12 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
No problem, sorry for any confusion!
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Madam-Flare Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2016

Hello! Would you like to join my new group called Female-Deviants? It’s a group about female deviant art users.

female-deviants.deviantart.com…

P.S.  A friend of mine called only human is trying to get her youtube channel off the ground. Could you please take a look at her video titled “New super Marisa land GamePlay”?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7juybL…

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