Mob placed down a bundle of branches.
“This will help us make a fire... how?”
Shou was rubbing two rocks together, the rocks were grating into dust at his feet.
“I saw it on a movie once, it’ll definitely work.”
Ritsu walked into the cave trailing behind him a much smaller bundle of branches with his telekinesis.
“Shou, that only works with flint stones, not regular stones.”
“What is a flint stone?”
Ritsu placed down his branches aside Mob’s.
“Why don’t you just walk over to the convenience store around two miles down the road and get some matches. Your face is the only one that isn’t on the news.”
Shou was beginning to suspect why Ritsu had brought him along, and he was right.
“Just wear the wig I brought you, and you’ll be fine.”
Ritsu was giving him a skeptical look.
“I’d call more attention to myself wearing that wig than without it.”
The wig was electric blonde.
Shou shook his head at him. “There’s no better camouflage than blatantly calling attention to yourself. You’re such an amateur at this, Ritsu.”
Ritsu decided to just drop the subject.
“We’ll just have sandwiches for dinner. We don’t need fire for that.”
“We ran out of spicy mayo.”
Mob shrugged, and Shou nodded approvingly at him.
“Either way, Ritsu has to go to the store.”
“It’d be safer for you to go, Shou....”
“But doesn’t Shou call too much attention to himself, anyways. It’s fine whoever goes.”
“Ok, I’ll go...”
Ritsu zipped up the collar of his windbreaker and trudged out of the cave.
Mob stared at him go, and then turned to Shou.
“It would have been safer for you to go.”
“It’s fine. Ritsu would have been upset whatever we decided on.”
“...how would you know..?”
Shou slapped his hand against the wall. Mob stared at him.
“Because he knows what’s going on between us.”
“What’s going on between us?”
Shou slapped his hand against the wall again, this time closer to Mob’s head.
Mob shook his head at him. “That’s not it.”
“How would you know if you don’t even let me kiss you.”
“Why would I do that?”
Shou brought his hand to pat Mob’s cheek.
“I see how you’re always staring at me when you think I’m not paying attention. You think I wouldn’t notice? ”
“No. I’m just questioning how trustworthy you are.”
They stared at eachother fixedly. Shou drew into the space between them.
“Let me kiss you.”
Shou brought his hands to Mob’s shoulders to try and force their faces together, but Mob held up a barrier of energy to Shou’s face.
“We’re not doing that.”
Shou released him.
“What’s the point of running away from the police together if we’re not going to have a romantic fling?”
“Ritsu is also here. Why don’t you have a fling with Ritsu?”
“Ritsu is scary.”
Mob walked over to the pile of rocks Shou had gathered and squatted next to it.
“Can I at least sleep with you?”
“Next to me?”
“Yes.... We’ll share a blanket, and I’ll give my blanket over to Ritsu so he’ll be warmer during the night, wouldn’t you like that?” Shou was liking this plan more and more.
The Ritsu part really swayed Mob.
“I’ll think about it.”
Shou punched the air in victory.
There was the sound of stepping on gravel near the entrance of the cave and they both looked up cautiously.
It was Ritsu.
“You really came back quickly.”
“I ran all the way because I don’t like you being alone with my brother.”
Shou nodded understandingly.
“Yes, it might be bad if he got pregnant before the wedding. You should really watch out about leaving us alone.”
Ritsu made a disgusted face at him and placed the groceries down on the ground.
They all sat down around their failed campfire.
“Well, our options for dinner have expanded now. I think we should have this canned ham I found on discount at the convenience store. It will last us for a while, but who knows how long the promotion will last.”
Shou took a canned ham and stared at it.
“We might be able to stock up on them, the expiration date is in two years.”
Mob gave him an admiring look for a split second, before something else came to mind.
“How long are we staying here?”
“On this cave? Maybe two months.”
Ritsu was holding the bottle of spicy mayo.
“Lets have sandwiches.”
Shou started to say something about having brought the wrong brand of mayo, and he argued with Ritsu.
Mob watched them with an odd empty feeling in his stomach.
He didn’t know how long these peaceful days would last.
“You two... Thank you for being here with me.”
Shou and Ritsu stopped arguing to turn to look at him. Ritsu looked like he was about to cry, while Shou was smiling almost pridefully.
“There’s nothing to thank for, you’d do the same for me, brother. I’ll stay beside you no matter what.”
Shou nodded in agreement. “The same that Ritsu said but romantically.”
Mob smiled and nodded at both of them. He began to smear mayo on his bread.
“Where did Shou go?”
Ritsu shrugged at Mob. “Squirrels?”
“I don’t want to eat a squirrel.”
Thanks to Ritsu bringing matches from the store yesterday, they could finally get a fire running. Which was good, since autumn was really settling into winter, and there was already a cold bite to the air.
Mob kneeled next to the fire to warm himself up. Ritsu was carving something into the wall with a sharp rock. It looked like prison scribbles.
Shou trudged into the entrance of the cave.
He laid down a rustic-looking spear and two bundles of fur beside the fire.
“We’re not eating squirrels, Shou.”
Shou took in the sight of Mob sitting next to the fire and sat down next to him.
“For a second there, you looked like a young wife waiting for her husband to come home. Do you want to make that a reality?”
“Does that mean you’re going to leave?” Mob seemed genuinely concerned.
Shou’s forehead quickly wrinkled in worry. He swooped to coop Mob’s hands into his dramatically.
“No no no. I’d never leave you. I’m never leaving this cave again if that makes you happy. I’ll send Ritsu on all errands from now on.”
Ritsu paused scratching on the wall. “I don’t like that.”
“Also, I couldn’t catch any squirrels. Those are rabbits.”
Mob held Shou’s eyes and they smiled at eachother. “I heard people in Europe eat rabbits.”
Shou pulled on the strap across his chest to secure it.
“We could just carry this with psychic energy.”
“That would call too much attention to us.”
They headed out the cave.
The three months had gone by, so they were heading to a new place. Ritsu had already scouted ahead, so they agreed to meet on a spot west of the forest. They had argued over it, but settled for a small town close to the sea, where it was unlikely they would be recognized.
They had slept in too many caves, so they were caving in to wanting to go back to modern society.
Shou reached out to hold Mob’s hand as they walked. He found out recently that Mob let him do that much.
“Once we’re in that town, I’ll get a job, and you can go back to school, and then we’ll get married and adopt Ritsu as our child.”
“We’ll be one big happy family.”
“I wonder how master Reigen and my parents are doing.”
Shou turned to look at Mob’s face. That was probably something that made him depressed, but his expression didn’t change much. Shou squeezed his palm reassuringly, anyways.
“Once we settle down on this new town, you could write them a letter, and I’ll sign with my name so it doesn’t tip off the police or something.”
Mob turned to hold Shou’s eyes.
“I didn’t think I’d ever find myself enjoying this kind of situation, but you make everything easier. You’ve been making me happy, Shou.”
Shou’s chest swelled.
“Ah... Suddenly saying things like that... I’m already in love with you, you don’t have to try so hard....”
“ Ah .”
Their faces heated up as they stared at eachother.
“I didn’t... I never thought your feelings were so serious, Shou....”
“Does that make you uncomfortable?”
Mob’s eyes trailed down to their linked hands. He squeezed Shou’s hand tighter.
Ritsu waved from a distance to call their attention, and they jogged ahead in mis-matched steps since they didn’t want to let go of eachother’s hands.
Ritsu debriefed them. “We’ll be surviving on canned ham until we all get jobs, and then we’ll just work up from there. Do you all have questions?”
“What is there to ask?”
Mob brought up his linked hand with Shou, and Ritsu made an exhausted face.
“You can use Shou’s blanket tonight, Ritsu, Shou is sleeping with me from now on.”
Shou made a scandalized face. “My lover is so bold !”
Ritsu was really tired. “No you’re not. Nobody is sleeping with anybody.”
“But I love him, Ritsu.”
“But we’re in love, Ritsu.”
“Can you both shut up.”