"Ow! Damn, Futaba, quit elbowing me!" Ryuji grunted in irritation, rubbing his side as the small girl shifted away from him.
"It's not my fault! Inari's being weird again and he's taking up too much room!" she yelled, pushing her glasses back onto her face.
"I beg your pardon?!" Yusuke spoke up, clearly offended by that accusation as he peeked at Futaba from behind his sketchbook.
"You heard me, Inari! You're being weird!"
"I am doing nothing of the sort!"
Ryuji just groaned. Out of all the people he sat in the same row as, it had to be those two, didn't it?
"Now, now, calm down, we'll be there soon, so let's just stay relaxed for the rest of the journey, okay?" Haru said from the row behind them with her usual sweet smile as she nibbled on a cupcake from the picnic basket she had brought with her. She pulled out the small box of cupcakes and offered it to the raven haired girl sat next to her.
"Oh! Thank you," she responded as she plucked up one of the cupcakes with her slender fingers. "Um, I know I've said this before, but thank you so much for inviting me along," she added as she delicately took a bite of her cupcake.
"It's no problem at all, Togo-San." Makoto reassured her, quickly glancing at her through the rear view mirror.
"Yeah, 'sides you're friends with Yusuke and Ren, why wouldn't we invite you?" Ryuji added as he casually leaned back on his seat.
"If you define 'friendship' as 'bonding over your mutual distaste for your spoiled, rich classmates' then yes, I suppose we are very good friends," Hifumi replied as she took another, larger bite of her cupcake.
"Such as, Nakamura from 3-B? When she showed off three different phones and then deliberately broke two because 'her daddy will buy her five more by tomorrow'?" Yusuke gave an example, irritation and tiredness evident in his voice. Hifumi just gave a disgusted groan as she rolled her eyes.
"Wow, they sound annoying... The worst we have at Shujin are girls who think they're better than everyone else 'cause they've got an older, rich boyfriend who constantly spoils them..." The blue haired boy sitting in the back row finally spoke up as he put down his phone. As he said that, the pigtailed girl in the front seat groaned.
"You're talking about that Haruka girl in the year below us, right Mishima? All she ever does is show off her jewelry, brag about her boyfriend, accuse everyone of being jealous of her and insult everyone..." Ann sighed as she leaned on her girlfriend's shoulder with a pout.
"Surely, she can't be that bad..." Haru muttered, trying to stay optimistic.
"She told me that my life has no meaning..." Mishima refuted.
"She called me a freak just 'cause I stuttered in a conversation..." Futaba added.
"She made jokes about my leg when she saw me limping once." Ryuji tacked on.
"Is that so?" Makoto asked, her voice considerably deeper with a slight hint of venom.
"She should learn some manners," Haru cheerfully remarked. However, the dangerous glint in her eyes did not match her sweet smile at all. Ryuji quickly turned his attention to the window. He'd been looking forward to today; they'd been planning to give Ren a surprise visit during the summer holidays. They had planned to stay an entire week, maybe more, but they weren't sure they'd be able to stay at Ren's house, so they'd all been saving up for months just in case. They'd stopped along the way to pick up Shiho, who lived in a town close to Ren's but too far away for them to visit each other. Ryuji had been excited all day, but now he was just starting to get annoyed. It was way too hot, some of the group had managed to oversleep, they’d had to stop to fix a flat tire, and now everyone in the van was just growing restless. Goddammit, he didn't want any of this bullshit... He just wanted to see Ren…
"We'll be there soon, right?" Mishima asked, checking the map on his phone anxiously.
"Judging by all the fields we're driving past, my guess would be yeah." Ryuji huffed out sarcastically. Ann turned round and smacked his arm. "Ow! The hell was that for?!"
"Quite acting bitchy! We get it, you wanna see your boyfriend, but how about you just shut up for now, and when we get there you can make out with him all you want!" She lectured him, clearly feeling hot and bothered herself, probably thanks to the lack of AC in the van. Ryuji sunk down into his seat and muttered out a sulky 'fine'.
"Eloquent as always, Ann." Futaba commented sarcastically, grinning at the show she'd just witnessed. Ann didn't say anything, but shot Futaba a playful fingergun.
"I really can't wait to see him again. I need to thank him for everything he did to help me. Plus, I really wanna meet Morgana!" Shiho piped up excitedly, holding Ann's hand all the while. Shiho had found out about the Phantom Thieves a while ago. It had been an accident on Ann's part; she’d unlocked her phone to take a selfie with Shiho, but forgotten that she still had the PT chat open. Luckily, Shiho was very understanding and found the whole ordeal hilarious. Plus, it was nice knowing that her girlfriend was a badass thief who beat up criminals' inner selves.
"Oh, that's right! You never met Mona, did you? It was only around the time all that... stuff happened that we met him." Ann remarked, squeezing Shiho's hand slightly in the middle of her sentence.
"Morgana's the cat that Ren always had in his bag, right?" Mishima butted in awkwardly.
"Yes, that would be him." Yusuke answered as he continued sketching.
"Oh, that's Morgana? I'd seen him a few times before... He's rather cute..." Hifumi commented, blushing slightly.
"Seriously, I always wanted to stroke him, but I wasn't sure if Ren knew that everyone could see Morgana..." Mishima admitted shyly.
"D'ya remember that kid who sat behind Ren? The one with the green pencil case?" Ann asked Mishima as she turned around again.
"Oh! U-Um... Takehara, right?" Mishima responded, taking a few seconds to recall the name.
"Yeah, that's him! Well, I asked him why he never snitched on Ren even though he always saw all the shit Ren did at his desk."
"Yeah, and he told me it was because 'the cat in Ren's desk was so cute, and I didn't want to snitch just in case he stopped bringing the cat to school' and honestly? That's the purest thing I've ever heard!"
"Oh my fucking god."
"I know, right?!"
"That's kind of adorable?" Shiho giggled at the story.
"I'm happy that we get to see Mona-Chan again, too!" Haru exclaimed happily, clapping her hands together.
"What exactly is Morgana like?" Hifumi enquired, leaning forward slightly.
"Horrible." Ryuji joked bluntly.
"No! Don't be so mean to Mona-Chan!" Haru protested.
"Brat cat." Ryuji persisted.
"Stinky bastard man." Futaba joined in, a mischievous grin on her face.
"Ryuji. Futaba. Stop antagonising Haru." Makoto ordered sternly.
"Yes, Queen." The pair obeyed.
"Is the group always like this?" Shiho asked Ann with an innocent twinkle in her eye.
"Unfortunately..." Ann sighed. Shiho giggled in response as she glanced back at everyone else in the van. Ryuji's eyes widened slightly as he began to see an increase in houses through the window. He sat up in anticipation as he realised that they would be there soon.
"I hope Ren has been taking care of my painting." Yusuke remarked as he closed his sketchbook and glanced out the window.
"This is Ren we're talking about. He may be a clumsy idiot at times, but you know that he'd always take care of a gift from a friend." Makoto reassured him as she focused on the road in front of her, turning the steering wheel to drive around a corner. Yusuke just chuckled contendly in response.
"Honestly? I just can't wait to get out this van... My legs're cramping up..." Mishima mumbled as he massaged his legs in an attempt to get feeling back into them.
"Sooooo, how are we gonna go about greeting Ren? I vote we scare him!" Futaba snickered with a dangerous smirk on her face. "Ooh! Or we could prank him! Maybe even dogpile on him!" She continued with her suggestions, giggling more and more with each new one.
"No. No scares. No pranks. And no dogpiling. Understand?" Makoto interjected, squeezing the steering wheel with an iron grip. "We are just going to knock on the door and say hello. That's enough of a surprise for him, wouldn't you agree?" She added, glancing at Futaba through the rear view mirror with a stern glare. Futaba crossed her arms and pouted in defeat.
"And you wonder why we call you 'team mum'..." Ryuji muttered under his breath.
"You say something, Ryuji?" Makoto demanded with a deadly edge in her voice.
"N-Nothing at all!" Ryuji stammered, avoiding eye contact.
"But, y'know, I'm really excited to see Ren. Texting and phone calls and video chats are nice and all, but I just wanna see him in person..." Ann changed the subject.
"Yeah, I know what you mean..." Futaba agreed quietly, fiddling with the headphones that rested on her shoulders.
"I concur. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it... But Ren has quite a comforting presence..." Yusuke added, placing his hand on his chin in thought. Ryuji usually had trouble figuring out what Yusuke meant when he said things like that, but this time, he completely understood. Whenever he was with Ren, he felt like he had somewhere he could belong. Ryuji smiled slightly to himself at that thought. Everyone else in the van agreed too. It was honestly kind of amazing how Ren had made all of their lives better just by being there for them and giving them someone to talk to. As Ryuji remembered how much Ren had helped him the past year, he was pulled out of his thoughts by the van slowly down to a halt.
"We're here!" Makoto announced as she turned the engine off and unclicked her seatbelt. "Don't jump out! Just slowly exit the van and then quietly walk up to the door, okay? We wanna surprise him, remember?" She quickly added when she noticed how excited everyone was. Everyone agreed as Ryuji and Yusuke carefully slid the van doors open.
After everyone had gathered around the front door, they all looked at each other for confirmation before turning to Ryuji with huge excited grins on their faces. Ryuji nodded with an anticipative smirk on his face as he stepped forward and pressed the doorbell. A loud bell rang. Ryuji felt his heart beat faster than usual.
"Coming!" A voice called out from inside the house. They knew that voice. That was the voice they wanted to hear. Ryuji's heart began beating even faster. The sound of footsteps could be heard slowly getting closer before they stopped right in front of the door. They could see his shadow now. He was right there! The door was unlocked and slid open as the boy began to speak.
"Sorry, mum and dad aren't here right— What?" The raven haired boy froze at the unexpected sight in front of him. Ryuji had to hold back his laughter at the sight of Ren's face. His eyes were wide open and his mouth was hanging agape as he turned his attention to all of his friends. He was trying and failing to think of something to say as Morgana came trotting up from behind him, an excited smile on his face. Ryuji looked back at everyone for confirmation and turned back to face Ren again.
"Surprise!" Everyone cheered, flashing huge smiles at their friend. Ryuji jumped forward and flung his arms around him. Ren's arms stayed at his side while he processed what was happening before gently wrapping around the blond's back. After a few seconds, Ren pushed himself away from Ryuji with a confused smile.
"The hell're are all of you doin' here?" He exclaimed, unintentionally letting his natural country-tinged voice make an appearance. This time, Ryuji couldn't hold back his laughter.
"W-We came to g-give you a... a surprise visit!" Ryuji wheezed out between laughs. Ren pouted as he blushed a bright red.
"Your country voice is kinda cute!" Haru complimented with a cheerful smile. Ren blushed even more at the compliment and began fiddling with his hair. A nervous habit of his. Ryuji thought it was adorable.
"And look who we've brought along!" Makoto announced in a slight sing-song voice as she gently pushed the trio forward. Ren's eyes widened even more as a smile spread across his face. He slid past Ryuji and flung his arms around the three of them.
"Heyyyy! Holy crap, how are you?" He gasped out as he pulled back to get a closer look at them. The three of them giggled happily at his excitement.
"I'm doing great! I'm still working on the Phan-Site and I'm still writing that documentary script!" Mishima informed him, grinning proudly.
"I'm doing very well. I think you'll be happy to hear that my mother isn't forcing me into fame anymore, and I'm slowly getting much better at shogi." Hifumi chimed in with a grateful smile. Ren smiled at the two of them before focusing his attention onto Shiho.
"And what about you? How are you doing? You doing better?" He asked, gently encouraging her to give him the details.
"I've been doing much better, thank you. I'm still having a few problems with one of my legs, but my doctors have prescribed me some painkillers, so I'm slowly but surely getting better." She quietly explained.
"That's amazing, I'm so proud of you!" Ren cheered as he pulled her into a celebratory hug before freezing as he realised something. "Hey, Ann... I remember you telling me that you'd give me Shiho's number or give Shiho my number so we could keep in touch... Why didn't you?" He asked while frowning childishly at Ann.
"Yeah... Why didn't you, Ann?" Shiho joined in, turning around with a childish frown on her face.
"Uhhhhhhh..... I forgot?" Ann awkwardly replied.
"Lady Ann!" Morgana hollered happily as he galloped towards Ann and jumped up into her arms.
"Hey, Morgana!" Ann greeted him as she scratched his chin. Shiho leaned down to get a close look at him as he purred contentedly.
"So, this is Morgana... You said he talks right? I wish I could understand him..." She observed. Hifumi and Mishima shuffled closer to see Morgana as well.
"Now that I've gotten a closer look at him... He's pretty cute, isn't he?" Mishima muttered to himself.
"C-Can I pet him?" Hifumi asked bashfully.
"If you think you can handle my beautifully silky fur, then please feel free." Morgana answered with a smug tone.
"What'd he say?" Shiho asked, turning to look at Ren.
"He's just being a cocky lil shit... But, feel free to stroke him." Ren sighed in response, waving his hand dismissively. Morgana glared at him but quickly began smiling as Mishima and the two girls began gently petting him and scratching him behind the ears. Hifumi smiled gleefully as Morgana began purring.
"So, um, do you guys wanna come in?" Ren clumsily asked, vaguely gesturing with his arm.
"That would be wonderful, thank you." Yusuke replied, brushing his hair out of his eye. Ren gestured for them to follow him.
"Could the last person shut and lock the door behind them, please?" He politely requested as he guided the group into the living room.
"Sure thing!" Makoto called out from the back of the group. Ren offered the sofa and chairs to everyone, watching as they all took their seats. Futaba sighed in relief.
"Ahhhhhh, it's so nice to sit on a soft, comfy chair after being stuck in that godforsaken van for so long..." She groaned contentedly with a peaceful smile on her face. Ren chuckled at the sight. There was a reason he considered her a little sister.
"Um, do you guys want anything to eat? Anything to drink?" Ren asked, fidgeting about from foot to foot, unsure what to do. To be fair, he’d had no idea he was gonna have so many visitors at once. He’d had no idea he was gonna have any visitors at all, actually.
"It's quite alright, I brought a picnic basket with me, so we've all had something to eat already. Although... We did run out of tea quite a while ago..." Haru replied sweetly.
"I dunno, I could use a cold drink..." Ryuji grunted tiredly.
"I'd have to agree, it was rather hot in the van..." Yusuke chimed in. Everyone else seemed tired and sweaty. Ren let out of quiet, breathy chuckle at the sight.
"Do you guys want me to put the AC on?" He asked. A loud chorus of 'YES' and a single very loud 'OH GOD YES' sounded out in reply. Ren couldn't help but laugh as he wandered out into the hallway. He pressed a few button and turned his head as he made sure the AC was working. He was assured of it when he heard sighs of relief from all of his friends. He giggled quietly to himself as he walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge. "So, uh, what do you guys want to drink? We've got some, uh, Coke, Dr. Pepper, lemonade, orange juice, cranberry juice and chocolate milkshake." He called out.
"You want some help sorting all those drinks out?" Ryuji called back.
"No, no, it's fine."
"Tough shit, I'm helping." Ryuji refuted as he wandered into the kitchen and slung his arm round Ren's shoulders.
"Then why'd you ask me?" Ren asked, smirking at his boyfriend and raising an eyebrow.
"Eh, I gave you the chance to make the right decision." Ryuji mumbled as he nuzzled against Ren's cheek.
"Oh, well, thank you for your generosity." Ren replied, sarcasm dripping from every syllable. He hadn't realised how much he had missed Ryuji until he saw him. A blissful smile made its way onto his face as he leaned into Ryuji, placing a small, gentle kiss on his cheek. Ryuji giggled happily.
"Okay, I wrote down what everyone wants." Makoto announced as she stepped into the kitchen before freezing and giving the boys a knowing look. "Happy to see each other by any chance?" She asked sarcastically as she handed her phone over to Ren and walked back into the living room. Ren bashfully fiddled with his hair as he pushed himself away from Ryuji and made his way over to a cupboard to retrieve the large group of cups he required.
"Could you get out the milkshake, orange juice, cranberry juice and Coke please?" He asked the blond as he scanned his eyes down the list.
"Sure thing." Ryuji agreed, leaning into the fridge to grab the drinks. He grabbed them one by one and placed them next to Ren. After placing down all of the cups, Ren checked the list again and began pouring out all of the drinks.
"Is there anything you want to drink?" He asked, glancing at Ryuji out of the corner of his eye as he poured the final listed cup.
"I'm fine with some Coke, thanks." Ryuji answered simply. Ren flashed a quick smile at him as he began pouring a drink for his boyfriend.
"Do you guys want any ice?" He called out as he screwed the lid back onto the Coke bottle. Everyone responded with an enthusiastic yes. Ren laughed again as he made his way back over to the fridge, placing all of the bottles back inside before closing the door and pouring ice into every cup. "Hey Ryuji, there's a tray in that cupboard down there, could you take in everyone's drinks for me, please?" He asked as he placed the cups back onto the counter one by one. Ryuji replied with a simple 'sure' and retrieved the tray from the cupboard Ren said. After placing the last cup on the counter, Ren got one more cup and poured himself a cup of Dr. Pepper. After making sure that everywhere in the kitchen was clean, he followed behind Ryuji back into the living room.
"So, uh, how are you guys doing? Or you know what, more importantly, what are you guys doing here?!" Ren spoke up as he perched himself on the arm of the sofa. Everyone laughed quietly at his question.
"Would believe me if I told you that we've been planning this months?" Ann giggled.
"Yep! We all really wanted to see you and we all really wanted to surprise you, so y'know, win-win!" Futaba explained cheerfully.
"Yes, by the way, Ren, I'd hate to change the subject, but have you been taking care of 'Desire And Hope'?" Yusuke asked, a slight hint of concern evident in his voice.
"Desire and what?" Mishima asked, clearly confused.
"Yeah, it's hanging up in my room, where I know it's safe." Ren reassured his artist friend with a soft smile.
"Ohhhhh, a painting, okay." Mishima muttered to himself in realisation.
"Oh wow, an original painting as a gift? You better step up your game, Ryuji. Otherwise Yusuke's gonna steal your boyfriend..." Makoto joked as she took a sip of her ice cold drink.
"Shut up and make out with your girlfriend..." Ryuji huffed.
"I'm sorry, what? 'Girlfriend'?" Ren butted in, choking on his drink.
"Yeah? Makoto and Haru are dating?" Ann confirmed, slightly confused.
"SINCE FUCKING WHEN?!" Ren exclaimed, leaping up to his feet. Haru giggled at the raven haired boy's outburst.
"Oh shit, we forgot to tell him..." Ryuji gasped as the realisation hit him.
"YOU FORGOT TO TELL ME?! GIVE ME THE DETAILS. NOW." Ren yelled out in surprise, focusing his attention on the two girls in question.
"There's not really much to say? We decided to share an apartment while attending university because it's cheaper and we've gradually grown closer and closer. Then, about three months ago, I asked Haru out on a date and she said yes." Makoto explained, stifling a giggle at Ren's over dramatic reaction.
"Seriously?! Three whole fucking months, and I'm not told anything?! What the hell? Also, living together because it's cheaper? Haru's got plenty of money?" Ren spoke quickly, rushing to get answers to all of his questions at once.
"I'm sorry, I guess we never really noticed that we didn't mention it in the group chat at all... If we had realised that, we would have definitely told you. Also, yes, we're both attending the same university, so we thought it would be nice to share with someone we feel comfortable around rather than a stranger. Besides, I'm focusing on creating my own line of small cafes and I'd much rather achieve that goal by myself." Haru explained slowly, leaning over to hold Makoto's hand. Ren nodded his head slightly as Haru spoke to convey his understanding.
"Right, okay, that makes sense. Besides, you guys are pretty busy now, huh? Yeah, I still really like your cafe idea, you'd better save a cup of coffee for me on opening day." He responded with an encouraging grin. Haru just giggled gleefully. "What about you, Miss Future Police Commissioner?" Ren asked, staring at Makoto.
"Lessons are going well and I'm receiving some help from Sis, she's explaining the current state of the police force and the judicial system to me." She responded matter-of-factly.
"Nice! Oh, hey, how is Sae? How's the whole defense attorney thing going for her?" Ren asked excitedly, clearly happy to be catching up with all of his close friends.
"It's going really well! She's already defended for fifteen clients, and she won thirteen of those cases!" Makoto informed him with an enthusiastic smile.
"Holy shit, that's incredible!" Ren exclaimed, eyes wide open.
"Enough about us, what about you?" Haru announced, focusing everyone's attention onto the fluffy haired boy.
"Mmmm, not much really. Been studying a lot, got a few part time jobs... That's it, really. What about you guys? Have you decided what you're gonna do after school? And hey, what about you, Futaba? How's Shujin treating you?" Ren dismissed the question aimed at him, turning the attention back to his friends. Everyone raised their eyebrows but decided to just let it go.
"Okay, um, I'm still working on my modelling career, I'm getting a lot better I think! Plus, I'm actually on friendly terms with Mika now, if you can believe that." Ann started. Ren raised his eyebrows in surprise at that news.
"Well, I'm still focusing on art. So, I'll most likely go to an art college, although I must admit that I haven't made any decisions yet." Yusuke admitted, placing his chin onto his hand.
"I'm not entirely sure what I wanna do yet... But, I've been considering maybe getting into viral marketing?" Mishima suggested. Ren nodded thoughtfully.
"Yeah, I think that would be great for you. If not viral marketing, what about web design? I think that could work out?" Ren proposed another idea. Mishima hummed in thought.
"I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do right now, but I know I want to focus on my shogi career" Hifumi quietly admitted. Ren made a vague 'that's fine' hand gesture.
"Y'know, I've been thinking of becoming a physiotherapist. Y'know, helping kids that suffer from similar injuries as mine to get back on their feet?" Ryuji announced in a unsure tone while bashfully scratching the back of his neck. A chorus of 'oooooh's' and 'awwwwww's' left his friends mouth.
"That's a great idea, Ryuji! I love it!" Ren exclaimed joyfully with a big smile covering his face. Ryuji just blushed and grinned.
"See, I'm in a similar mindset as Ryuji, I've been considering becoming a high school PE teacher. Y'know, give the kids the kind of coach I wanted instead of... That piece of shit." Shiho chimed in. Everyone burst out laughing as she finished her sentence and began sharing insults for the piece of shit in question. After they had calmed down, Ren focused his gaze on Futaba and gently encouraged her to speak up.
"Shujin's going pretty well so far. Ann, Ryuji and Mishima have been taking care of me when things get a bit much. Plus, I've actually made friends with a boy in my class!" She informed her brother figure happily. Ren smiled merrily.
"I'm so proud of you!" He yelled as he ruffled her hair playfully until she swatted his hand away.
"Oh yeah! That boy! What was name again? Uhhh... Kaoru?" Ann butted in.
"Oh! Uh... Iwai-Kun, right?" Mishima checked.
"Yep! That's him! He's really cool, really funny too. We study together a lot." Futaba confirmed.
"Wait, wait... Kaoru Iwai?" Ren asked slowly, his eyebrows creased together.
"Holy shit, that's awesome!" Ren shouted.
"Wait, do you know him?" Futaba asked him, readjusting her glasses.
"Yeah, remember Iwai from Untouchables? Kaoru's his son." Ren explained.
"That guy has a kid?!" Ryuji howled in disbelief. Ren choked on his drink as he began laughing at shock plastered on Ryuji's face.
"Anyway, you still haven't properly answered our question: What are you doing?" Ann smirked as focused the attention back onto Ren once again. The boy in question clammed up.
"He does music!" Morgana piped up for the first time in ages from Ann's lap. Ren glared at the cat.
"Wait, seriously? Music? You've never mentioned anything about music before." Ryuji asked his boyfriend. The black haired boy blushed a bright red as he fiddled with his hair again.
"Mona, you little snitch..." He muttered as he avoided eye contact with all his friends.
"What exactly do you do? What instruments?" Haru quizzed him, genuinely intrigued by this new information. Ren just grumbled quietly under his breath as his face grew redder.
"He plays the piano, violin and guitar, but he mostly composes!" Morgana called out again. Ren frowned at the cat as his face grew redder still.
"Wow, what kinda guitar? Acoustic or electric?" Futaba asked, pushing for more details.
"Both" Ren mumbled quietly.
"Why didn't you tell us that you did music?" Mishima asked, confused by Ren's reaction.
"...'s... barassing..." The boy mumbled again, blushing profusely.
"Why? I think your commitment towards music is very admirable." Hifumi replied bluntly.
"Can we please change the subject?" Ren pleaded, hiding his face with his hands. Ryuji smiled to himself. It was pretty funny, really. The capable leader of the Phantom Thieves who took charge of every situation and probably had a bit too much fun killing shadows was ridiculously embarrassed by the fact that he wrote and played music. How adorable.
The group chatted and laughed with each other for a few hours before noticing that it was starting to get dark outside. Ren cooked a couple of pizzas for everyone to eat as they all continued to happily chat away.
"Y'know, I've been meaning to ask, but where are your parents?" Ryuji asked between mouthfuls of pizza.
"They're on a business trip, left a couple of days ago, gone for two and a half weeks." Ren informed him after swallowing his mouthful of pizza.
"Oh! I've just remembered, I've been meaning to ask you." Makoto piped up, wiping her mouth with a napkin. Ren gestured for her to continue. "We've planned to stay down here for a week or two. So, would we be able to stay here? If not, we've got plenty of money to stay at the Amagi Inn." She explained. Everyone else looked at Ren, waiting for his response. He held a finger up to ask them to wait for him to finish chewing his food.
"Of course you guys can stay here! There's plenty of room! There's not quite enough space in my bedroom for everyone... But, we could either put the all the boys in my room and all the girls in the guest bedroom, or we could rearrange the furniture in here and all sleep down here?" Ren suggested after finally swallowing.
"I think I'd prefer everyone in the same room..." Ann commented.
"I think everyone would prefer that. We drove for hours to see Ren, we're staying with Ren the whole time!" Futaba butted in indignantly.
"That's fair." Ren said blankly. "You guys want me to find any spare futons or sleeping bags or anything like that?" He continued, wanting to be as helpful as possible. Makoto was about to respond, but was quickly cut off by Shiho gasping.
"We could build a pillow and blanket fort!" She suggested delightedly, clapping her hands together with a gleeful smile.
"That's kinda childish... I love it." Mishima remarked with a grin.
"Oh my, I've never actually made a blanket fort before." Haru admitted. Everyone stopped and stared at her in silence.
"Well, that settles it. Let's make a motherfucking pillow fort!" Ren announced with a determined smirk. "Have you guys brought your stuff?"
"Oh, we left it all in the van." Hifumi observed.
"Okay, here's how we're gonna do this: Ann, Ryuji, Mishima and myself will collect all of the blankets and pillows we can find, Makoto, Futaba and Shiho will bring in everyone's bags from the van, Yusuke, Haru and Hifumi will rearrange the furniture in here to make room for our fort. And Morgana... Make sure they don't break anything..." Ren ordered everyone with a carefully thought out plan (That he came up with in less than a minute.)
"Sure thing, Joker!" Morgana affirmed with a dedicated nod of his fluffy little head.
"Alright, then. Let's get this shit started!"
Forty five minutes later, an impressive blanket fort stood in the middle of the living room, practically covering the entire room. While searching for blankets and pillows, Ren had the idea to pull out the fairy lights that were usually brought out during parties and Christmas, just to gain a light source and make the fort look that little bit more festive. At this point, everyone was pretty tired, not surprising seeing as they'd been active since the early morning.
"Hey, Ren, where's the bathroom? I wanna change into my pyjamas and brush my teeth..." Ann asked sleepily while rubbing her eyes.
"There's a bathroom downstairs, next to my parents' office room, and there's one upstairs next to the guest bedroom." Ren informed her while plumping a pillow.
"Thanks..." Ann yawned out as she wandered off to the closest bathroom, dragging her feet across the floor.
"I'm gonna go get changed too..." Makoto mumbled, clearly a bit drowsy herself as she sluggishly stood up. One by one, everyone of the group stood up and wandered off to change into their pyjamas. Ren giggled quietly to himself at the sight.
"Welp, I should probably get prepared to go to bed too..." He whispered to himself. Before standing up, he placed down the pillow he was tending to and patted it. "Here you go, Morgana." He said as he offered it to the black cat. The four legged animal trotted over to the pillow and plopped himself down.
"Aaahhhhhhhhh.... So cozy... Thank you, Ren." He purred happily as the boy with the glasses smiled gently at him and wandered off to find his own pyjamas. As he slowly climbed the stairs, a fond smile was plastered on his face. Just yesterday, he was sat in a quiet house with only Morgana to keep him company. Now all of his closest friends were all piled together in a huge blanket fort, that he was actually pretty proud of, and having a sleepover. He gently swung open his bedroom door so he didn't disturb his tired friends in the closest bathroom and flicked on the light. His bed was missing it's usual pillows and duvet, since they were now downstairs in the ever so wonderful fort. Meandering over to his wardrobe, he pulled out a random pair of pyjamas. He carefully removed his glasses and placed them down on the nearby desk before pulled his shirt up above his head. As he reached for his pyjama top, he heard Futaba call out to him.
"Yeah?" He shouted back, pulling his top down and sliding his arms through the sleeves.
"Are there any stools? I can't reach the mirror..." She admitted in a defeated tone. Ren laughed quietly to himself as he tugged his jeans down.
"There should be one next to the shower, check there." He informed her, reaching for his pyjama trousers.
"Next to the shower... Oh! Found it! Thank you!" Futaba called back gratefully.
"No problem!" Ren replied while yanking his trousers up. After having a quick stretch, Ren ruffled his hair and slid his glasses back onto his face. He picked up his previous outfit and carried it back downstairs, flicking off the light as he left his bedroom, and placed the clothes into the washing basket next to the washing machine. All he had to do now was brush his teeth. With his new objective in mind, he made his way over to the bathroom and softly knocked on the door. "Are you guys done in there? I need to brush my teeth." He asked politely.
"It's fine, you can come in, we're all decent." Ann responded. After being given the all clear, Ren opened the door and made his way in. Makoto and Hifumi had already sorted themselves out and shuffled their way past him, Haru was carefully folding up her clothes, Ann and Shiho had let their hair down and were now brushing it, and Futaba was balancing on the stool and brushing her teeth.
"Ah! Ren-Kun, where should I put my clothes?" Haru asked with the said clothes in her arms.
"There's a basket next to the washing machine, just throw them in there and I'll wash them tomorrow morning." He told her, pointing towards the kitchen.
"Thank you!" She thanked him as she made her way towards the kitchen, closely followed by Makoto and Hifumi. Ren slid past Ann to reach the sink and grabbed his toothbrush.
"I've gotta say, this is a really nice house, Ren!" Shiho remarked as she placed her hairbrush back into her bag.
"Yeah, my parents are pretty successful, so, y'know." Ren replied vaguely as he put some toothpaste onto his toothbrush. As the two girlfriends left the bathroom, Futaba finished brushing her teeth, spitting out all of the froth. She stepped back, forgetting that she was stood on a stool.
"HOLY FUCKING SHIT!" She screamed as she toppled over. Ren quickly reached out and grabbed her waist, gently helping her get her footing again.
"Doesh Shojibo knowp yoou shay shutff like bat?" He asked her with his toothbrush hanging out of his mouth and toothpaste dribbling down his chin.
"Don't tell him." She ordered him. Ren just winked and turned back to face the mirror and continued brushing his teeth as Futaba exited the room while glaring at him. After finishing and washing his face, he placed his brush back into the cabinet and set the stool back down next to the shower so no one would trip over it. When he returned to the living room, he found everyone else happily huddled up in the fort.
"And here he is!" Ryuji celebrated, his words slightly slurred due to his fatigue. Ren smiled as he sat down next to the sleepy blond. Hifumi smiled at the scene in front of her as she picked up her phone and checked the time.
"Oh! 11:30 already?" She observed in surprise.
"Well, that explains why we're so tired..." Yusuke commented, rubbing his eyes.
"We should probably go to sleep now." Makoto stated as she shuffled in a lying down position and pulled a blanket over her body.
"At least it's not Morgana telling me to go to bed this time." Ren joked with a yawn. Morgana just rolled his eyes and curled up on his designated pillow.
"Goodnight, everyone." Haru whispered sweetly as she nestled herself next to Makoto. Everyone else whispered out their own quick 'goodnights' as they all shifted into more comfortable positions. As Ren snuggled into Ryuji's chest and felt Ryuji's hand gently by firmly grasp his waist, all he could think was,
"I wish days like this would last forever."