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Of Partially Successful Expeditions, Taste, and Hope

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“Unacceptable,” I declared, beating repeatedly my palm against the changing room door. As your elder brother, your Guiding Star, your Jimmy Cricket, I cannot abide by you in such a, such a--“

Words failed me. Yes, even I, the great Sohma Ayame, sometimes find myself at a loss for words. I am not so proud that I cannot admit this fact. Fortunately for all, these lapses do not last long. “Such a travesty! I would die first!”

My protégé, so naïve in his youth, persisted in admiring his profile in the mirror. “Dunno, I think the blue goes well with my hair. And it fits me well.”

Just as I can sometimes lack words, my brilliant younger brother can be quite daft. “While I do not deny the appeal in combining a pale blue to match your silver-grey hair and eyes, the rest is abominable! Regard!” I clutched his shoulders from behind and you, gentle reader, do not think, like he does, that I did not catch his expression of martyrdom, for catch them I do. But I am his older brother, and it is my duty to steer him right, even if he cannot, at this moment, understand the wisdom of my ways. “This cotton! These jeans! These are not the materials that would best bring out your beauty.”

He did not sigh. Most impressive. Six months ago he would have sighed. A year ago, he would have punched me. Two years ago he would not even have allowed me to take him out on a clothes-shopping spree for his first year at college.

My heart all but burst with pride; I, Sohma Ayame, have so helped train his discipline and patience! Virtues that I myself may have not yet mastered. “Maybe,” he said, “But they’re normal, at least.”

Normal. “Normal” was not a characteristic towards I myself strived. That Yuki would long for it so badly befuddles me; why hide in the shadows when you can shine brighter than any star? Why settle for average when it is within you to be magnificent?

But I too have changed; I understand now that he cannot be just like me. He has his own desires. It is his right to pursue them. “Very well,” I sighed, pressing my hand to my forehead and closing my eyes, so that I need not be any more traumatized than need be than by his unfortunate taste. “Be normal. Fit in with your fellow peers. Do not stand out and shine. However--“

I glanced sadly at the rejected pile, in the corner, mountain-high. It consisted entirely of items that I had picked out for him. “Do you not wish to reconsider any of my selections? You were hasty in refusing them. I think you did not even look at them.”

“I told you,” and for all his advances in character, he could not stop irritation from seeping into this tone. But I did not mind. He is precious when angry. “No leather, no furs, no silks, no rainbow-colored things, and absolutely nothing that shines. Or glitters.”

“Not even the rainbow-dyed leather jacket with sparkling fur along the collar?” I asked, for I am not one to abandon hope. One must try and try again, until your goal is conquered! “I am certain that the young Machi would find you most dashing--“

“Absolutely not,” he repeated, firmly and decisively.

Even so, I bought the aforementioned jacket. After all, with all the changes he has gone through, he is to say that one day he would not wake up and regret not having it? One must be prepared for all contingencies!