"What the hell's going on here?"
"Just as I said Someoka-kun. We turned into kids." Fubuki answered, with no trace of doubt of fear.
"That's why I'm askin'... HOW THE HELL DID YOU GUYS TURNED INTO BRATS?" A vein popped in Someoka's tanned forehead. "And why are there three of you?!"
"Don't sweat the small details and let us stay the night," Atsuya said after uncovering his ears.
"We don't have another place to stay." Fubuki Kuro said matter-of-factly.
"I don't mind, but who are you?" Someoka had given up understanding the situation and proceeded to ask about the existence of the third Fubuki sibling.
"I'm Fubuki Kuro. Nice to meetcha." He lifted his small palm and gave a smooth nod. Kuro's lazy-like eyes were enough to form a first and accurate impression.
This guy is gonna pain to deal with.
He was used to Atsuya's fiery attitude and Fubuki's chill one, but this one was on a whole other level of chill-one Someoka wasn't good with.
He made way for the three boys before the ran inside, the new sibling staggering, his legs had turned into spaghetti. The slow motion caused Someoka to feel the world around him just as slow.
What's with this guy?
He already had a bad day, no need to rack his brain understand what cannot be understood.
"You guys hungry? I just came from the convenience store."
He gave one last look outside, the day was ending. His friendship with the siblings was important, he wasn't so heartless as to chase them away--no matter how weird they looked.
Fubuki had made himself comfortable on the sofa, had found the controller and turned on the TV and was watching the winter tournament. He wouldn't come back to reality anytime soon.
The other two were nowhere in sight.
"Huh?" He answered without glancing from the screen.
"Where's Atsuya and the other?"
Someoka grumbled to himself, they better not be in his room or messing around.
"Is it okay for us to be here?!" He heard Fubuki ask. Someka had checked the kitchen beside the living room and the bathroom--after knocking of course.
He almost slapped himself, it was his house.
"My parents are away. A trip to Kyoto, business!" Hopefully, Fubuki heard him.
First floor, check.
He made the smart decision of hearing his surroundings, small steps came from upstairs.
They are so dead.
I have to make dinner soon, Someoka thought. The clock was would soon point seven.
"Atsuya, Kuro. Manners." Small Fubuki puffed his cheeks. His body may have shrunk, but his mind was still one of a fourteen-year-old; at least as far as Atsuya as Kuro knew.
He looks cute, though, the three thought.
Atsuya and Kuro kneeled and apologized.
"I didn't know you had that in your room," Atsuya whispered hiding a snicker.
"He's a guy Aniki. You don't even have the guts to open one." Kuro said.
"If a word goes to the team, you three are dead."
"But I didn't do anything!" Fubuki chirped.
"I don't care! It's late, you guys place the table."
"You know how to cook?! That's so cool!"
"I'm an only child and I'm sick of bentos."
"But convini bentos are the best," Kuro said.
Someoka had found him playing on one of his hand-held consoles, he wasn't much of a gamer but this one totally gave the vibes.
Kuro locked his sleepy-looking eyes with Someoka and cocked his head aside.
"Something in my face dude?"
How old did they look? Eight? Nine? The bizarre sight made his stomach churn. To him, he was just a brat who tried to act cool.
"Who are you?"
He had to protect the house, though if he's their sibling he couldn't a burglar or killer or someone suspicious.
"Fubuki Kuro! I told you already!"
Someoka was going to ask where did he came out from, neither Fubuki or Atsuya had given him and explanation. But as he opened his mouth he choked, like a hand wrapped around inside of his throat.
Better not ask then.
"This ish great!"
"Atsuya you're spitting the food."
"No good Aniki, food is important. "
Dinner consisted of steamed potatoes, fish, salad and of course rice. The twins-I mean triplets dug in happily, flushed cheeks make Someoka proud of his skills.
"Marry me Someoka."
He would have shrugged it off as a joke if it came from his two friends, but this foreign entity was acting as if they'd know each other for years. Someoka didn't react.
By the time they finished an hour had passed.
"Oh, that's right. Someoka, that's weird." Atsuya pointed at a photo frame at the other side of the room. It was a picture of a younger self--like the size of the three--and his father, big smiles and cheerful. Young Someoka held a soccer ball wearing the uniform of his elementary school team.
"You have a problem me smiling?" He warned Atsuya with a look if he said the wrong thing the consequences wouldn't be good.
"Not at all, but in your room, there was another one and you looked pretty down."
Oh, that. It was in a high spot on his bookshelf, though it wasn't unreachable he wasn't compelled to hide it. In the past it was a constant reminder he wasn't good enough, motivating to push himself and train harder.
"It's just an old photo. Forget it."
It's not like he was adamant in hiding it. So when Atsuya and Kuro insisted he told him the story behind it.
"I told you I started playing in elementary school, right? Well, I never played in any match. Seems my teammates were too scared of me and I practiced shoots by myself. I really sucked."
"So you were a loner with a bad temper. I can see that." Fubuki shushed him with a light smack and apologized on his behalf, but Someoka shrugged it off.
"I don't mind, it was just an incentive. But it's all in the past."
"I'll do the dishes," said Kuro.
"No can do, you're a guest."
"I know you don't trust me. It's the least I can do."
After putting away the dishes Someoka walked to the second floor. The bath should be ready by now.
"I CAN'T REACH THE SINK!"
Someoka's face contorted. So much for doing a favor.
"Let's play trump!"
After a bath, the four were in Someka's bedroom in pajamas. The triplets had to make do with L shirts he rarely used.
Atsuya waved the deck of cards and shuffled them with little difficulty, his small hands barely hanging from the cuffs. The sleeves were too heavy for his arms to shuffle as usual.
Nevertheless, Someoka noticed he knew the drill.
"Did you work in a casino or something?"
"He just wanted to learn that," Fubuki answered instead, laughing at his brother's childishness.
"Hurry up Aniki I'm getting bored." The youngest sibling's head rested on the table, bored. His concentration flew away, he was dozing off.
The night proceeded to be noisy, with Atsuya complaining after losing each round, accusing of plotting together against him.
"Someoka-kun? You awake?"
Someoka turned to meet Fubuki gaze. The other two were snoring.
"I just can't sleep."
They stood up and Someoka motioned to the balcony, opposite to the door. After he closed the sliding door Fubuki asked in a small voice.
"Are we really not a bother? You looked angrier than usual. Kuro might be annoying-"
"It's not that Fubuki. Certainly not that."
Someoka wanted to deny it, but Fubuki would persist, he knew him that well. He couldn't stop remembering his past.
"It's hard to believe. Only a few months ago our soccer team was so close to being. Then we managed to win the preliminaries and Nationals before fighting with aliens, though they were just like us. It's just. . ."
Someoka scratched his head, he couldn't put into words his feelings, he was never good at it. Even so this time he tried this time.
"It's like living a dream, it doesn't feel real at all. I wonder if one day I'll wake up and return to how things were before."
"I understand. Things were so hectic."
"So how did you guys. . . Y'know."
"Ah, this? We just came to visit when we stumbled upon a lady that wanted to tell our fortune, but Atsuya scared her and she cursed us. . . Literally."
"And Kuro?" He didn't know what answer Fubuki would give, he swallowed and waited.
"We found him on the way here. Atsuya said he didn't smell funny so we let him come along."
Someoka didn't know whom should he reprimand-Fubuki for believing his brother blindly or Atsuya for acting like an animal.
There was something weird. Fubuki's eyes weren't there a second ago, he lifted his gaze a little and saw him blinking. Fubuki turned to the reflecting glass and noticed the same.
"Umm, maybe because I was honest?"
"So if we get those two to do the same they'll turn back."
They returned to the chilly room. Fubuki changed to his usual clothes while they heard Atsuya's mumbling.
"Who are you calling weak? I'll teach you who's weak fire head!"
Fubuki looked at his brother smiling wryly.
"What are you looking Someka? People won't noticed how much of a nice guy you are if you growl at everyone."
So Atsuya did had cared about people's feelings? Neither knew how to react.
Fubuki wrapped his arms around Someoka's torso, he was ready to stomp his head.
But at least Atsuya he was to his normal size. Fubuki sighed in relief.
What a night.
Morning came peering down the window, the light heated Kuro's eyes forced to wake.
He wobbled to a sitting position before his body fell face-first asking for more sleep. His hands pushed him up, anyone who saw him would've though he had invented some kind of push-up.
Getting a hold of himself, Kuro walked to the washroom and splashed some water.
"Okay, I'm awake."
His thoughts wandered to his new friend. He did make him lost his cool last night--more than Atsuya.
He liked the guy--he had games--so Kuro thought of another way of paying back his kindness. He snapped his fingers and grinned quite devilishly.
He tipped-toed across the hall and opened the door slightly to make less noise as possible.
His brothers had returned to normal overnight but Kuro's height hadn't changed the slightest.
Shirou had his arm stretched as if he was punching Someoka's face, who slept with furrowed eyebrows.
Kuro cupped his mouth, leaning on the outside wall.
He had to see his Aniki. He might lose it, though. It was the first time Kuro wished he had a cell phone to capture this scene.
He peered the door's gap, Atsuya was a little farther. The door creaked from a slight push making Someoka snore and Kuro flinch like a cat.
There he was, on the far side of the door at the left Atsuya legs formed a four. His bare foot just on top of Shirou's head while one of his arms was lifted over his head.
Kuro lost it, falling on his knees and laughing his heart out bringing everyone out of cloud nine.
Three angry sleepy people.
"Come whenever you like."
"Really?! I'll gladly take om the offer."
"Atsuya, don't live up by people's kindness."
"Why are you three acting so chummy. There's still a big problem!"
Kuro flailed his arms, showing his short stature.
"Isn't the curse lifted is one said the truth, right Shirou?"
"What kind of truth could I say?"
"Now that I think about what did I said?"
"Don't bring that up Atsuya."
"I'll stay like this I don't care anymore. Can I come again?"
Someoka eyed him. "Sure."
"Yes! It was great to meet you, dude. Best day ever."
Kuro lifted a clenched hand. Someoka returned the gesture. Their knuckles bumped in a straight line.
"Great! I'm back!"
"Put some pants on first!"