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KEEP WATCH OVER ME

Chapter Text

"Before using, please read the instruction manual..." The brunet read the text at the back of the box. Sitting by the raven's sick bed, the brunet bought the toy and didn't even think what was inside it. Feeling guilty, the nine-year-old boy decided to explain the content of his gift to his sick friend.

"..." The raven blinked, his sapphire eyes watching his friend muttering to himself. "Always handle item with proper care. Limited-edition item... No return, no exchange blah blah blah... Please be understanding."

"Hey Daichi... Maybe we should open the box and read this instruction manual." The raven suggested, smiling at his friend's difficulty in reading English. He knew the brunet learned English terms seen from his day-to-day life. He, on the other hand, was stuck in this hospital with some sort of terminal illness. At least his parents gave him books to read and gadgets to tinker. The world inside this white room was a bit bland for a child's taste. His childhood friend agreed on this too. He waited patiently, checking his brunet’s outfit. A black jacket with white pocket linings and cuffs and an ‘off-limits’ logo orange T-shirt was underneath tucked at the ends by tan pants. Hibiki was pleased to see his friend wearing the yellow scarf he gave when they were in Kindergarten. It was big enough to conceal Daichi’s neck. "It's a remote controlled helicopter yes?"

 

"Yup! With this, you'll be able to install a camera and check the area beyond your room." Daichi smirked, bringing out a thumbs up at his friend. Tearing the upper portion of the box open, the brunet wondered if his friend will recover from his sickness. Sure. His friend was adept to learning stuff from the books, but life in the hospital sucks badly. Terminal meant can still be treated right? His friend's parents will surely find a doctor to cure him. They are rich business people after all. "Hibiki! I found the instruction manual."

"Great. I'll read while you experiment on the copter. Don't break it like the last toy alright?" The raven named Hibiki moves his eyes in Daichi's direction, a raised eyebrow with a smile on his face. The referred boy did a raspberry sound, moving his scarf to another side of his body as he looked away. Hibiki laughed, still reminiscing the moment when Daichi accidentally threw their battery operated machine to remove the battery underneath it. It was sent flying outside, hitting a female brunette named Io. That was fun, especially when Io was Daichi's secret crush. Seeing Daichi stutter in front of a girl was entertaining, but back to the topic. "Besides, this is my gift right? Your birthday is still too far for me to give you presents...”

"Just because you're few months older than me, doesn't mean you can be cheeky." Daichi did a duck face unintentionally, making the raven laugh again. Getting angry, the brunet stood up and did a noogie to the raven's head. The raven was still laughing, but was now shooing his friend's knuckle. Feeling the pain beginning to intensify, the raven yelped, pleading for his sensitive head's life. "Stop! Please stop Daichiii!!!"

 


 

"Daichi... I don't want to know anything about our new transferee students." The ten-year-old frowns, sitting on his bed with his arms crossed. The brunet shook his head as if the raven had said something blasphemous. Hibiki's frown deepens, looking at his friend for any response. It was already dusk when his friend came and all he talked about was the famous dancer-pianist duo. Hibiki didn't even watch TV nor was he updated with the latest trends so how would he know about these people. However, Hibiki didn’t want to sound rude and interrupt Daichi, it’s…well? "Just tell me if we have an assignment or incoming test first... I can research about them when you leave, but I’ll never be able to research our assignments knowing our ‘tech-savvy’ teacher is on the case. Not like I’m saying teachers have to be techy but… Ah. I’m sorry."

"You're no fun dude. Life's not just about studies, you know?" Daichi explained. Hinako Kujou and Airi Ban, who is from Osaka and Nagoya respectively, transferred to their school which signified that their school was gaining recognition locally. He knew Hibiki was the type to focus on his Academics, but a social life is necessary for the raven's dull life. Hospitalized starting at the age of seven, Hibiki's parents wanted him to continue his studies - allowing Hibiki to attend the Long Tests and National Assessment Tests. Even though he wasn't present in any lecture from their teachers, Hibiki was wise enough to become smart, always finding a way to understand the problems. Daichi sometimes dubbed him as: The Wise Teacher Student. Understandable, considering the fact that Hibiki teaches Daichi whenever he's having difficulty in some of the lessons. "You need to be trendy. Learn some trivia and brighten your day with a laugh."

"I will do whatever you say. Daichi, the great game theorist in Utube." Hibiki praised with his hands raised in the air, doing a bowing motion to his friend's direction. Seeing his friend continue with his conversation, Hibiki wondered if Daichi was still interested in uploading videos regarding game endings. Watching interesting Utube videos about aliens, demons and whatever cute there is available (like bunnies and kitties), Hibiki usually imagines the world in a manner offered by these Theorists. 'What if the world got struck with a plague zombie virus?' Or 'What if demons roamed the world once more?' are some of the scenarios he imagined and it wasn't pretty at all. Hibiki looked down with his eyebrows knitted, 'Why did the idea of demons seem vivid in my mind?'

"Hey Dude. You listening?" Daichi asked, looking at the sullen mood of the raven. Hibiki remained his silence, looking down as if trying to recall something important. Daichi sighed, knowing Hibiki was in one of those times again. Those moments where Hibiki would suddenly not respond and would angry if he left to buy a drink from the nearby vending machine. Yet the raven would tear up and apologize for his actions, asking Daichi to continue talking with him until night comes. It was really weird, but Daichi sees it as not a big deal - must be the hospital's fault. "About the video game I gave you..."

 


 

"Happy eleventh birthday Hibiki~!" Five people cheered, three of which held out a chocolate mousse cake to the raven. The raven grinned, watching the sixth person at a corner sulking. The sixth person wore a black jacket with white shirt underneath, his white hair gelled upward to form little spikes. That person was Keita - the sole person who pretended that he was forced to come to the little rendezvous.

"Present time!" Daichi grinned, also present in the scene. Bringing out the gifts and placing it to his table side, Daichi had the help of another male who really liked cats. Having a black beanie hat and fish emblem shirt, the black haired cat-loving man with matching black eyes was rumored to be an orphan. He was a year older than Hibiki, but his love for cats make him docile and approachable in Hibiki's opinion. If Hibiki remembered correctly, the guy's name is Jungo. As time was spent watching the duo (Daichi and Jungo), Hibiki saw Jungo pull out from his side an authentic knife. A red head girl saw this too and panicked - Io tries to calm her down.

"Stupid Jungo! You shouldn't bring out real knives here. We could get kicked out." A redhead wearing a scarf hissed, making Jungo stare at her with a question mark. Hibiki doesn't know her very well except she was a famous pianist who lost the passion of doing so due to the disappearance of her father. Before the worrying girl could continue ranting at her friend's reckless action, she was held by the neck by an older female with bright orange hair. She had a pretty flower ornament as a clip to her long hair, tying it high on her head. The woman was few months older than Jungo, labelled as Osaka's own prodigy towards dancing. Her name is Hinako and she was holding her partner-in-crime Airi away from Jungo. Making Airi become more angry, Hinako does a tut-tut sound similar to a mother. "Don't worry Ban~ As long as the nurses don't find out and no one tattletales in the room, we will be free of any charges!"

 

"Quiet down guys. There are other patients in the other rooms remember?" A brunette recalled to her friends, placing the cake down on the table above his lap. Hibiki looked up at that brunette, she had short bob hair with a thin pony tail at the back and chestnut brown eyes. The brunette, who he knows as Io, was in a different section of his class. Because of Daichi, he knew Io's popularity towards his fellow classmates. If Daichi didn't talk about Io, Hibiki would only know her as 'the girl from class C' as well as the librarian's assistant when he visits his school. "I hope we aren't a bother..."

"Noisy gits. Let's hurry up and get this over with." The albino called Keita muttered, walking closer to the group. Jungo nodded in agreement and pulls out his bag. Everyone, including Hibiki was surprised to see petite bowls of chawanmushi found in the soon-to-be-chef's bag. Daichi was the first to comment, his eyes wide open and his mouth forming a small 'o' shape. "You brought your foster dad's food?"

"No. I made it myself for everyone to eat." Jungo gave an earnest smile, making everyone feel guilty. Due to the unexpected circumstances, everyone was given their respective bowl and eating it with chopsticks. Hibiki took a taste and nodded in approval. "It tastes nice... The warm soup soothes my throat. I think I'll buy another when I have the time? I think you'll do well in the business, Jungo. Thank you for the food."

 

"I kind of agree with him Jungo. You'll do fine." Keita said begrudgingly. Hibiki gave a refreshing smile which Jungo reflected, accidentally turning to make eye-to-eye contact with Airi. Flustered at the face of expectation, Airi looked away from Jungo and began conversing with Io. Hinako laughs evilly, spouting words like 'ship' and 'cute' to the hesitant scarfed-brunet. Hibiki hummed a pleasant tone, wanting days like these long-lasting. Their unlikely friendship started several month ago when Hinako got into an accident in one of her practices. Ending up in the same hospital as his, Hibiki came to visit her on the accidental sprain and well... The rest came natural. Because of the casual visits of his friends, whether by group or individual, Hibiki noticed the slightest of changes happening around them. Their appearance, attitude, clothing, passion or even new things regarding their life - Hibiki took it all down in his head and praised them when needed. The exchange of Hibiki's actions were their constant vigilance over him, watching carefully and making sure he was alright. Hibiki was glad, checking the skies if it was turning dawn. While watching the skies, the raven formulated his motto for today.

‘Because we are not perfect, we learn to live by helping one another. Because everybody has weakness, we rely on others. Ergo... I am determined to survive and help all these wonderful people by my side.’

Chapter Text

"Are you okay?" Hibiki asked, peering by a depressed woman's room. She had long dark blue hair resting on her breasts, her azure eyes reflecting despair over something. She had a single wrap on her head as the rest was hidden underneath the hospital gown. The confrontation was a pure accident. It was a rainy day and the twelve-year-old boy wanted to go around and check the difference of the hospital today from the hospital last week. Except he saw with his twinkling eyes, a door left ajar which brought him here. Hibiki wanted the woman to be happy. She looked like an adult though, but that wouldn't stop the raven. Walking in further, brilliant eyes met dull ones. "Do you want to talk? My name is Hibiki and I want to help you."

"Talking to a complete stranger... You're certainly weird, but blunt on intention." The woman smiled, but her eyes covered with her bangs. Hibiki tilted his head, deciding to sit beside her and check the decorative vase. It held no flowers. "I'm sorry for saying mean things to you. I'm Makoto Sako. Call me Sako and I don't think you can help me.."

"There's always a way to help someone even if it's meager. It'll be okay. I will help you. So tell me what’s wrong. “Hibiki suggested, realizing what he said was wrong and the woman was gripping the blanket tightly. Her head bowed, eyes closed and hands shaking. She whispered in a low tone. “No thank you…I’m… All… Right.”

 

“…” Tears were falling down her face, opting the child to pull out his bunny-themed handkerchief. Wiping the tears as gently as he can, Hibiki felt the cloth dampened with her tears. Having the woman grab hold of the handkerchief and cry louder, she covered her face and wept about her 'future' and 'it being destroyed'. Hibiki didn't catch everything, but he got the gist of her story. Thinking he needed to comfort her, he went close and tried to hold her. Wrapping his insufficient length of arms, Hibiki gave his best to give a tight embrace (tiptoeing to hug her torso and lean on her shoulder).

Closing his eyes and hoped she let the sadness out, the raven wished his friend's advice work for today. That if you hold someone tight, you're actually keeping him/her from breaking apart. Hibiki hoped that he wouldn't be the only one wanting to fix sad Makoto-san. She needed as much love as possible. Patting her back, Hibiki chanted lines of encouragement and comfort. "It's okay. It is going to be all right. Just let it all out. Everyone will be waiting for your safe return. No one would abandon you simply because of your inability. I know and I'll be here for you if that happens. There there...”

 


 

"Here are your pillows~" A young female sang in an off-tone, making Hibiki flinch and sit up to face the intruder... Only to find out it was a blonde wearing a 'For the Elderly' shirt. A year passed and Makoto went to her normal life, letting Hibiki go back to roaming around the hospital. Makoto was really determined to come back to society, not that her determination was a bad thing. "Wakey-Waky~!"

Right now, Hibiki woke up in a confused state, eyeing the cause of confusion. The raven understood the fact mentioned by his doctor of an organization coming over the hospital for charity purposes, but wasn't the actions for the aged and not terminally ill or youth? Also, the female volunteer in his room looked like a teen with motherly golden eyes. A high school student which has bad eyesight maybe? Unfortunately for her, Hibiki is quite offended at the association of the term 'old'. Following the woman sit by his chair with his eyes, Hibiki retorts. "I'm thirteen mind you."

"I know, but my teacher said I need to check the young patients too. So that they'll be happy and interact with new people. I'm Otome Yanagiya, eighteen years old, about to go to college at your service~" The blonde-haired woman named Otome greeted, pulling her hand forward to Hibiki's direction. 'So was it because of her teacher or was this her altruism that led her here?' Hibiki thought, but shook the question off. Taking her hand, Hibiki shook it firmly. Answering back in a joking tone when they let go of each other's hand. "Very well... I am Hibiki, the fragile patient now under your care. Please be gentle with me."

"Hah~ I will. I'm so happy to know that you're respondent." Otome shows a wide smile, Hibiki mimics the action as he understood the conditions of his neighbors. They were despondent and inactive as if they knew Death was around the corner. Worse comes to worst was on the time of the death of an aged man residing in the room in front of his. Last year, Hibiki talked with the man and realized that he was waiting for his children to visit him. Ten years passed and he still waited for his children to come, only to find out in the end that they have started a new life elsewhere. Before he succumb to death by age, the man saw Hibiki cry by his bedside. Touching Hibiki's leaning hand near his pinky finger, the man requested Hibiki that when he grows up, people start looking for others. When that happens, he wants Hibiki to recall all the happy memories. The first time he met with his friends, found his destined one or the song lists in his mp3 - The man asked Hibiki to never forget him and recall the day of their first meeting.

 

"Why are you crying?" Hibiki heard Otome's concerned voice, unaware why he's shedding tears from his eyes. Feeling white fabric wiped under his eyes, Hibiki closes his eyes and waits for the tears to stop. Once the tears halt, Hibiki opens his eyes and feel his heart tighten at the anxious expression of his new friend. Hibiki brings out a melancholic smile, starting the conversation of why he is sad in the first place. He wonders if he'll get along with her, even if he is like this. In fact, will all his friends forgive God if he is placed under Death's doorstep? All for sure, Hibiki wants all his friends to smile for him. Frowning, Otome brings her arms out for an embrace.

"..." Hibiki returned the hug with silent tears still flowing. “It’s going to be okay. At least you cared.”

“It’s not that. It’s…” Insisting on apologizing for his actions, Hibiki confessed his remorse as he wasn’t courageous enough to find for the deceased man’s family. Hibiki felt a pat on his back, making him rest on Otome’s shoulder. Perceiving the sensation of warmth dripping down his back, Hibiki found that he made the woman cry. Hibiki only hugged tighter, allowing the bad memories to be toppled by new happy ones after this event. After all, Hibiki didn’t want his friends to be sad given the short amount of time he had left.

He needs everyone to cherish the memories they built together, because then they will make a thing called forever. Because Forever exists. Therefore, forever can be created. 'It seems fair, isn't it? That I am the one who has a lifetime warranty.'

 


 

"Take her to a trip around Nagoya? She'd love it." The now fourteen-year-old boy said in a cheery voice, walking beside a stylish man wearing a black and white striped tux. The man nodded to himself, strolling the hallway holding his matching cap, his light brown hair exposed to the hospital lights. Hibiki chuckled and nudged the man's shoulder, making the man nearly trip but pat the pre-adolescent's head. "Oh come on Joe. You've already gave out a bunch of flowers, chocolates and trinkets to your woman. Not like I'm saying that those are ineffective, but you got to think of choosing the importance of the presents. Heart-felt letters aren't always going to be effective forever too. Act like the dashing yet random traveler your girlfriend fell in love for, not an ordinary busy business man who can't find the time to come over his own hometown."

"Fine. Fine. You're right. I need to take her out to a trip for our anniversary. Maybe some fashionable dinner and what not but... What if she didn't like the place I reserved or the time I asked her out or even-" The man named Joe rambled, holding out a clipboard of materials he needed to negotiate with the doctors of the hospital. Hibiki pouted, it was just like Joe to avoid confrontation. Meeting the young adult outside the hospital in another coincidental accident, Hibiki offered guidance of direction which led to their humorous relationship. Daichi also met him one time and they became friends pretty fast for Hibiki's joy. Raising his hand high enough to knock the man's head like a door, Hibiki reassured in his dominating voice mode. "Calm down bro. She won't say anything bad about anything and if she did, that means she wants to hear you talk. Act like a gentleman and escort her around town, interact with her to lighten the atmosphere and voila! You'll see the deepness of your relationship with one another. Hopefully, she'll accept you your stupidity and absence with a whole heart."

"Pfftt. Hahah. Man! You hurt my feelings, Love Guru. But you're right. I need to give my everything to make up for our lost moments. Unfortunately for me, my Lady tends to accept things as it is. With a huge heart like hers, I wouldn't know what extent our relationship has gone into." The twenty-one year-old man uttered, receiving another thwack on the head. Looking at the raven, Joe laughed at his pouting face. "Don't give me that face, it looks adorable. Bring out a manly face and make me proud! Oh god. You still look like a girl. Maybe you're getting your puberty late-Crap! Not the pinches!"

 

"What's going on here?" An unknown deep voice inquired, making Hibiki and Joe face that direction. The sound was from a taller adult with a brown complexion with dark brown eyes and hair to boot. He was wearing a violet zipped up jacket with light brown fur and dark green jeans; he was standing with on hand in his pocket as he stared at the duo. Hibiki froze, sensing the suspicious man familiar. Did he see him in an Utube video or from the news…? Hibiki isn't sure. But as he held Joe’s arm, Hibiki sensed the man’s arm jerk. Seems Joe is also scared of the man, but why did he feel like an old friend.

“My name is Hibiki Kuze and this is Yuzuru Akie. Do you need help mister?” Hibiki smiled, holding Joe’s arm as he tried to start a conversation. Brown eyes met blue, halting the business man’s action of retreat to one of reservation. Hibiki giggled and stared at the detective with his blue eyes. “Ah. You must be the man who talked with my neighbor earlier right? I hope you didn’t scare him with your authoritative voice.”

“!!! I remember you. You must be the black-haired teen known to help others open their doors, which my witness mentioned in particular. My bad. The name is Ronaldo Kuriki. I’m a police officer part-time private detective.” The man held out his hand that Joe shook as a sign of respect. Letting go, Ronaldo had a sudden interest on the teen. Looking at them with a serious face, Ronaldo solicits to the duo. “I apologize for the dramatic request, but I need your full cooperation in my case.”

 

“If you call me Joe and make sure we don’t get into trouble then. Well~ We’re in.” Joe riposte, staring at the man with equal degree of magnitude. Hibiki rolled his eyes, aware that Joe likes getting himself into adventurous situations and not passive romance. On the other hand, the detective thought he found a surprising trait towards the man. As much as he acts easy-going towards everything around him, Yuzuru is the type to get the points known before heading to the battlefield.

Joe laughed, short and silly as if he knew he mystified the older man. “You don’t need to think that hard since I know you’ll give us minor work. It is something about your witness you mentioned earlier right? My gut feeling tells me it is including your expression when you mentioned about a certain ‘case’. This will be just like the movies where we become your henchmen and persuade the scared witness into telling us the whole truth~ then bad guys come in and hold the hospital hostage and you’ll have no choice but to give us guns. By the time we know it, we’re part of a secret police force solving crime and mayhem.”

“Excluding the dramatic foretelling and exaggeration of what ‘Joe’ has mentioned in his story… You could say in all honesty that ‘you will aid me in my persuasion to find for the truth’. And fortunately, there is no Yakuza after the witness.” Ronaldo responded. Shaking his head at the sheer creativity of Joe, Ronaldo saw the two react differently at his answer. Hibiki looked down, slightly upset for the loss of potential excitement in the hospital. Joe was also displeased, frowning and looking at the side. The detective groaned, baffled at the complexity or more like irrationality of his acquaintances. “Life isn’t a movie so get a move on. We need the witness to open up before the case closes down the deadline of evidences.”

“Oh so you’re working with an attorney right now. Are you getting paid well?” Joe questioned, shocked to see the man shake his head. Walking behind him where he could see Hibiki and Ronaldo in fair view, Joe replied with another question. “Then why are you doing this for?”

“Because there’s a saying… If someone starts doing the right thing, the others will follow. Humans are that kind of people.” Ronaldo clarified to both listeners. As they walked, Ronaldo didn’t understand why he was experiencing déjà vu with his current associates. It felt right that they were with him yet felt empty as if something went wrong. He continues, “That’s why I will lead the example so everyone will learn to cooperate with one another. Wouldn’t it be great for a world filled with altruism? Even if the change starts little, I swear to continue on with my ideals with these hands.”

Chapter Text

“Shouldn’t a kid like you be at home tucked in bed?” A woman questioned to a sixteen-year-old boy wandering around the hospital. Sitting on a pavement by the hospital’s parking lot, she was on the verge of finishing a program when she saw the male. Seeing the boy wear a pure-blue turtleneck shirt and white pants, the woman grew suspicious as to see the boy’s clothing unfitted for the winter weather. The black-haired teen halted and twirled to meet the voice, only to see another teen with pale skin and short hair. The programmer raised her eyebrow, feeling nostalgic to see the flushed teen hold a black blanket. He came forward, nearly stumbling because of the uneven snow pile. She dismissed his clumsiness and continued, “Who are you?”

 

“I’m *hah* Hibiki... Kuze.” The teen panted, placing his hands on his knees. Fumi looked back down her laptop and typed again, waiting for the teen to compose himself. Hibiki closed his eyes and took a breather, wondering how he got himself tired… It all began in the early morning. When sixteen-year-old Hibiki wakes up and peaks outside his window, he saw a strange woman walking around the hospital grounds. She was weird because the black-haired woman was not even wearing winter clothing when it was clearly winter outside. Hibiki had a big question mark above his head and decided to watch the woman search for something.

Having short straight black hair unlike his wavy ones, the wanderer has blank grayish-black eyes and pale skin. Wearing a white Chinese-styled dress with matching slippers, she carried a white laptop as she searched for… ‘An item, a person or a place?’ Hibiki wondered on what the woman is trying to search for then noticed that her cheeks were already red from the cold. Hibiki chose to bring out a scarf to give the lady. He didn’t know why, but he wanted to meet her. He was such in a hurry that he forgot to change himself. Watching the female teen sit at the hospital parking lot, typing on her laptop without a care in the world, Hibiki asked. “Have you found what you were looking for?”

“Oh don’t worry about that. My name is Fumi Kanno. Why are you here?” The eighteen-year-old female asked. She was curious to her reason of associating with the teen. Hibiki placed a blanket over her shoulder which made Fumi realize she was pretty numb with the cold. "Forgot to change- pfftt.. I'm such a hypocrite."

 

"Please be more careful." Hibiki scolded lightly. Fumi rolled her eyes, typing on her laptop with ease. "Fine by me. I don't want any other male suspiciously approaching me just to scold and give a blanket out of reckless altruism. You shouldn't have come here. I'm just a stranger wandering around town finding for good signal."

“If I turn back now, I’ll definitely regret not meeting you.” Hibiki said with a sheepish smile and his eyes turn at his cheesiness. The female teen chuckled, but Hibiki was curious why the female wasn't looking at him anymore. Her blush was more prominent now. Maybe she was embarrassed on her situation of being scolded by a teenager younger than her. Fumi gave a loop-sided grin, Hibiki had a bad feeling about this. "Mind if I pretend to be your cousin? I'd like to hack something to finish my program."

"Fumi!!" Hibiki now had a disturbed/what-if-we-get-caught expression. Fumi cackled evilly, standing up and dragging the teenager with her. For the teenage scientist, anywhere was better than in the cold... But then, why was she open to this male? Fumi asked aloud. "I wonder if we met each other in the past...? Oh. I see another experiment coming in. Do mind if you become one of my test subjects?"

"Yes! I do mind~!!" Hibiki responded frantically. He only heard the scientist chuckle. Entering the hospital, the nurses were laughing as he bickered with Fumi in regards to morality. In the end, Fumi won as she cracked open a server in the internet. Hibiki sulked on his bed, watching the female by his bed side. 'Why do I help people so willingly?! Kami-sama. What have I done to deserve this?!'

 


 

“You going to step off?” The seventeen-year old raven asked an albino wearing red and black striped shirt with black pants. Currently, both teens were at the edge of the hospital roof. The albino turned to his direction, revealing thick eyelashes. Unusual for the raven's standards but not for the country. The raven blinked, noting that the albino's hair was as messy as his. The raven also realized (a bit late) how wrong his sentence is. The raven coughed, trying to sound natural. “What I meant was that you'll move out on a mission. You know? Your adventure on going around Tokyo.”

"Have you been watching me?" The albino mused. The raven frowned, crossing his arms in contemplation. The raven slowly nodded, finding it awkward to confess this sort of question. "I didn't mean to. You just really stick out when you sit on high and dangerous places near Tokyo. How are you even able to do that? But as long as you're safe, I think it's okay for you to continue your activities?"

"How reckless yet relieving to know that someone cares enough to warn and not hold back someone's continuous strain of activities. Even if, this so-called person has never met the entity to its fullest entirety." The albino smiled.

“Hmm...” The raven nodded unconsciously, stating something the albino didn't expect him to say. "Then. I'll just have to fix that. My name is Hibiki Kuze."

 

"You may call me... Anguished one." The albino squinted, but his smile widened. Walking at the edge, the tall male asked. “Do you wish to join me?”

“Oh. I can’t.” Hibiki walks a step closer to look down from the building, staring at the people minding their own business. “Ronaldo said I shouldn’t go outside the wire.”

“Your friend is a military man.” Anguished One reveled, tilting his head to stare at the sky. Looking over his shoulder, the albino waited for Hibiki to face him. “Do you believe in fate? That the situation you currently hold is one of many alterations caused by a higher being?”

“If so, then I would like to change it. The future can be changed if we have the determination and willingness to do it.” Hibiki smiled and took a tentative step back when he noticed the teen go near him.

“Is that so?” Moving his head backward, blue met lavender in an alarming distance. Breaking the raven’s personal bubble, Anguished One had a Cheshire type of smile as he leaned close to Hibiki’s face. “Even at the risk of losing ones’ life? Even if everyone was better off being ignorant?”

“For the sake of everyone, I will. No one wants to-” Hibiki took another step backward and didn’t realize he was at the edge, losing his footing. “?!”

 

“What a strange human.” Anguished One chuckled, grabbing hold of Hibiki’s hand before the raven fell down.

“Your fault.” Hibiki grinned. Pulling him up, both teens found themselves smiling at each other. Anguished One closed his eyes; his aura turning lighter instead of the usual depressing mood. “I will see you again.”

“I hope I’m not a bother.” Hibiki jokes and finds it strange to see his new friend guiding him back to the staircase. No. The stranger moment is the fact Anguished One has yet to let go of his hand.

“You are not a bother. You amuse me.” Anguished One disclosed, letting go when they reached the floor Hibiki’s room is in. “How long will you stay in this building?”

“...I don’t know.” Hibiki shrugged, “sorry ‘bout that.”

“You should start learning to go on your own soon.” The albino suggested, cupping one of Hibiki’s cheek. Hibiki raised an eyebrow, confused on how cryptic and strangely familiar this individual was. “I’ll try my best.”

“Good.” Anguished One nods in relief. Letting go, the male's smile dropped as he floated- What?! Hibiki rubbed his eyes and saw his friend vanish from thin air. He ran to the other side but it’s either his friend can teleport or he’s a ghost.

“He was walking... right?” Hibiki said to himself, hoping he didn’t encounter a ghost just now. Actually, meeting ghosts weren’t a strange incident. ‘It’s either very horrifying or sad. He was neither of those.... Though, his name does sound like a ghost. Cripes. I should stop overthinking about him. He’ll be fine!’

 


 

“Dude… Who did you befriend this time?” Daichi said in a slow tone, looking around his friend’s room. Being the last of Hibiki’s friends to enter the room, Daichi knew Hibiki already told him he made friends with a low self-esteemed official, a carefree businessman, a licensed motherly doctor, a suspicious detective and a whacked up programmer but the latest one took everyone by surprise.

“Hm?” Hibiki recently woke up, also looking around the room in awe. “What do you mean- Oh.”

 

[Hanged on the ceilings, on the floor, on his table, even on his bed – there was a myriad of different types of colorful origami.]

 

“Good morning to you to Hibiki.” Io greeted, sitting beside his table side.

“Huh.” Hibiki looked at Daichi with a concerned face as the brunet went to pick one of a dozen unusual flower in his vase. Ranging in white, pink and red, these flowers had a lot of soft, delicate and curve petals. Daichi took a sniff, eyes albeit cross-eyed at the flowers. “I think that guy is a botanist…I’ve never seen these stuff before.”

“Shijima’s theory might be correct, since it is a one of the rarest flower breeds as of today. Named after the botanist John Middlemist, that’s a Middlemist camellia which was supposedly native to China… Secured in two locations, one would be in England, I never thought someone would bring it all the way to Japan for decor.” Fumi said in a delight, her scientific inquiry spurring within her. “Hey. Hibiki. Mind if you give me some samples? Always did want to replicate these camellias and place it in my garden.”

“Since it’s rare, I researched the flower’s sister? So according to my sources, Camellias are known to represent desire/passion, refinement, perfection & excellence as well as faithfulness & longevity. We know this as a divine flower used by ceremonies. This also represent the coming of spring.” Io looks at her phone. “For China, this symbolizes their children, but is used by young lovers as a token of expressing devotion to each other. Korea is a symbol of faithfulness and longevity, used in their wedding ceremonies. In England, a sent camellia means you are adorable?”

“T-that’s pretty... cute.” Airi stuttered, sitting on the chair with Hinako as Jungo served them some chawanmushi. Hinako grinned, already thanking Jungo for the food. “A symbol of perfection, excellence and deep longing? Aww. I think you got yourself an admirer~!”

“Or it means good luck.” Hibiki emphasized that he was a guy and ah... It could also mean flowers of mourning. “It’s probably from Anguished One.”

 

“Who’s Ure-tan?” Joe, even if he’s a working man, is also inside the room with a bowl in hand. Can’t hurt to have a food sample right? Hibiki rested his cheek on one of the palms of his hand. “A friend I met some months ago. He visited few days back while you guys were gone.”

“...” Keita stared at Hibiki, furrowing his eyebrows. “If this male is actually a ghost, we’re taking you to another hospital.”

“Aw. Thanks Keita-” Hibiki immediately gets cut off by said albino, continuing. “Hopefully, that would retain your sanity.”

“...” Hibiki squinted at the younger teen. Thankfully, Jungo was the one who hit Keita on the head, disapproving. “Keita. Hibiki’s not lying or crazy. Say sorry to Hibiki.”

“Tsk. Fine. Sorry...” Keita crossed his arm, already placing the empty bowl on the table. Fumi hummed, smiling at the raven. “I heard you know Sakocchi and Yanagiya. They’re my colleagues now. How fun~”

“Hey! Clicky know also those guys. Ya know? Ronny?” Joe joked and Airi’s eyes widened, “w-wait a sec! You know my father’s student?!”

“What a small world we live in.” Io blinked, confused and yet finding it funny how everyone is related in some way. Daichi sighed, “it’s giving me a headache.”

 

“More importantly, what am I going to do with all of this?” Hibiki mused, staring at the paper ornaments. Hinako picked one up and threw it in the air. “We can... give it to people and make them feel happy about it?”

“Or... We can use it on our charity concert.” Airi suggested and Hinako wrapped her arm around her fellow red head. “What a great idea Ban-ban!”

“Quit calling me that! Stupid Hina!” Airi fussed and Hibiki laughed. People always made this room feel lively, no matter what situation there may be. Helping his friends gather all the ornaments, Hibiki bid them goodbye as the visiting hours ended. Anguished One really made so much. How long did the male spent to make it?

Hibiki has no idea but he’s thankful. Closing his eyes, Hibiki prepares for the incoming months. He recently reached eighteen last week, celebrating it with Anguished One because for unknown reasons no one could make it.

Hibiki hopes his doctors arrive with good news.

 

[Unfortunately, the Administrator decides next week will be the final week for humanity.]