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Mirio, 6:55am

Yo, where r u??

Me, 6:55am

Beach.

Will be back up in 5.

Mirio, 6:56am

U better!!

Tamaki sighs as he tucks his phone back into his pocket, his eyes scanning he golden sand for any cool rocks or tiny, gem-like pieces of sea glass. The beach was a usually uneventful and peaceful place, as Tamaki liked it, save for jellyfish washing up occasionally—which Tamaki would pick up with a stick and drop them back into the water. The jellyfish never came back, so he liked to think he did a good thing by rescuing them.

Just as he considers this, his foot kicks something that is definitely not sand and he looks down just in time to see a plastic bottle roll down the beach. He watches as it comes to a halt and then glares, shoves his hands in his pockets just a little bit more and marches towards it.

Damn, can’t people learn to pick up their litter?

He picks up the bottle and just as he is about to crush it in his hand, he stops and peers inside. Behind the scratched, dirty plastic, submerged in sandy water is a small blue fish struggling to escape its prison. He glances at the bottle cap, screwed tight shut.

Some… immature kid must’ve caught it. How cruel.  

Tamaki turns the bottle the right way up and unscrews it, heading to the nearest rock pool and emptying the fish into it. It plops into the water with a tiny splash and swims in two complete circles before stilling in front of Tamaki almost as if it was watching him.

“Those kids that trapped you in there must’ve been cruel.” He says softly to the fish. “Don’t worry, the tide will come in and you’ll be able to swim home little fishy.”

The fish swims in a tight circle, splashing Tamaki a little. He chuckles. “I live up there. In the house on the cliff.” Tamaki checks his phone and winces. “I gotta go now, fishy. Once the tide come in, go back to your family!” With one final fond look at the rock pool, Tamaki turns and charges up the winding, cobbled path, hardly realizing that the fish was staring after him sadly, it’s lacey tail flicking water into the air.

* * *

The storm comes suddenly, and classes are dismissed for the foreseeable future as the dark black cloud roll over the sun and the rain begins to fall from them as thick as a blanket. 

Mirio and Tamaki meet in the corridor, grabbing onto each other as the crowd pushes and pulls them in different directions. Tamaki manages to pry his way through the crowd and outside, his bag over his head as he runs over to the car and dives inside as soon as Mirio manages to find the unlock button, and he is in the driver’s seat; he grimaces but pulls out of the space as soon as Mirio has his seatbelt on.

As Tamaki had predicted, the road is jammed and with a sigh he pulls out and turns right instead of the usual left, deciding to take the costal path back to their house. Mirio has his face pressed against the car window, oohing and ahhing at the rain cascading down the glass in thick sheets and the massive waves that crash dangerously close to them, he throws his arm across Mirio’s chest as they skid around the corner and right into the drive way.

For a moment, they sit in silence.

Mirio looks at Tamaki. “You drive like a demon.” He says and Tamaki rolls his eyes. “What did you drink? Gasoline?”

“Grab your stuff and get out of the car.” He says and Mirio does.

They make their way up to the door, soaked to the bone and manage to unlock the door and get inside. Mirio flicks the light switch, and the two stare up at the light as it doesn’t turn on. Tamaki looks at Mirio.

“It’s your turn to start the generator.” He says.

Mirio shakes his head vigorously. “No! I did it last time!” he says and then he stretches his fist out between them. “Rock paper scissors.”

Tamaki sighs but plays along, smiling at Mirio’s scowl when he comes up victorious. “Go start the generator.” He tells him, and Mirio, very dramatically and moodily, does so. Mirio always picks scissors first. 

* * *

Two hours later, warm and toasty with a cup ramen each, Mirio and Tamaki’s conversation is stopped by a knock at the door. They look at each other and then out the window, watching as the almost black sky cracks with lightening and as the rain pours down the glass in a thick sheet.

“Suspicious.” Tamaki manages.

Mirio, ever the optimist, gets up to answer the door, and immediately something very blue and silky wraps him around the middle and starts smiling into his chest. He steps back and closes the door, a girl with pastel blue hair every obviously hugging him tight, giggling as she lifts her legs to wrap around his knees.

“It’s a girl.” He says and Tamaki can see that.

The girl pulls back to look at him and them releases her grip, dropping onto the floor unceremoniously in a pile of floaty blue and white. “You’re wrong.” She says and Mirio blinks at her.

“Excuse me?” He asks.

“In two ways. I’m not a girl, I’m a fish; and you’re not the right person.” The girl clarifies, and then she turns around and points at Tamaki with a grin. “You’re right!”

Tamaki looks at her. “I thought I was all left.” He says dryly. “You must be mistaken.” The girl tilts her head at him in confusion and he sighs into his hand. “Nevermind—wait, did you say you were a fish?”

The girl nods vigorously. “Yup!” She says and then she pauses. “Or… I was. Now I’m a girl. And I came to see you, Togata!” She says as she skips over to Tamaki.

Mirio points at himself. “I’m Togata.” 

Tamaki points to himself. “I’m Tamaki.”

The girl nods firmly. “That’s what I said.” She says and Tamaki sighs again while Mirio laughs. “Do you have any food? I’m hungry.” She asks, detaching herself from Tamaki to aimlessly wander, rather bumpily into the kitchen.

Tamaki is very suddenly aware that she is wearing an extremely short blue dress with the fluffiest, trailing blue sleeves imaginable and goes very, very red. He and Mirio follow her into the kitchen, where she begins pulling things out of drawers and keeping hold of them, laughing as she looks at her reflection in the side of a pot before she places it over her head.

“I think you need clothes.” Tamaki mutters and as the girl turns the handle of the pot almost smacks him across the face.

She picks at her dress and then looks at Mirio’s clothes, walking over to inspect it before she looks at him with a grin. “I want to wear this!” She says, already beginning to pull the hem up and expose his stomach.

Mirio stops her very gently with a laugh, catching her hands in his own. “I have other clothes,” he says. “Ones that are not on my body. I’ll take you upstairs and you can pick them out.”

The girl nods and then wrinkles her nose. “Yes, but are they all so… bright?” She asks, poking at the neon green sleeves of his shirt.

“I’ll let you pick from Tamaki’s clothes.” Mirio says and Tamaki looks at him, incredulous. “He wears black.”

The girl, satisfied, nods and begins to follow Mirio up the stairs. “Okay!”

Vaguely, Tamaki realizes she’s still wearing the pot on her head.

* * *

The girl, when she returns is wearing one of Tamaki’s button-down shirts and a pair of his gym shorts. And she inspects herself in the side of the pot, cooing as she sees the tiny octopus pattern across her chest, Tamaki and Mirio observe her curiously. She seems unsteady on her feet and enamored by everything they place in front of her.

“Do you have a name?” Tamaki asks, drawing the girl’s attention away from her own reflection.

The girl nods and plonks herself down on the sofa, cradling the pot tenderly to her body. “Nejire.” She says and then she thrusts the pot out towards them. “What’s this? Is it a hat?”

“It’s a pot.” Tamaki says. “You cook food in it.”

Nejire blinks at him and then looks down at the pot in wonder, clutching it even closer. “What kinds of food?” she asks. “Mollusks?”

Mirio wrinkles his nose at her. “Sure.” he says before he holds his hands out. “Can I take the pot and I’ll cook you something? Not mollusks but something that Tamaki and I love.”

Entranced, Nejire places the pot in his hands. “Is it a surprise?” She asks, almost child-like in her curiosity.

“If you want it to be.” He says and when she nods, Mirio departs to the kitchen.

Nejire looks at Tamaki then and crawls across the sofa to him, pressing her face into his thigh as she giggles, Tamaki immediately flushes red and awkwardly reaches out to pat her head. After a moment, she flips over, staring up at his face as she starfishes out on the sofa.

“I came for you, y’know.” She says very sincerely, and Tamaki blinks down at her as she looks at him. “You rescued me, Tamaki. I wanted to come and meet you; you’re cuter in person. Do you remember me? Fishy, remember?”

Tamaki blushes, jerking his hand away when he realizes he was nervously patting her hair. “A fish can’t be a person.” He mumbles, feeling a stab in his heart when Nejire looks hurt. “I’m just confused; don’t you have a family?”

Nejire sits up and tugs her knees up to her chest., shaking her head. “No,” she says softly. “But… I would like you to be my family. I… I want to see everything.”

“Are you a fish princess?” Mirio shouts from the kitchen, the smell of frying vegetables and meat pungent in the air. 

“No, that’s just a myth!” Nejire shouts back with a laugh.

Tamaki looks at her. “I don’t suppose you have anywhere to go, do you?” He sighs when she shakes her head. “You can stay in my room. What exactly do you want to see?”

Her eyes sparkle at his words and she laughs as she launches forward and wraps her arms around his neck, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you, thank you!” She chirps happily as he flushes as red as a tomato, glaring at Mirio who laughs at the scene from the kitchen. “You’re so, so amazing! I want to see everything you want to show me! I just… I love you so much!”

Tamaki decides to quit living and curl up into a ball for the rest of his life as Mirio laughs at him.

“No love for me?” Mirio asks, pouting as he presents Nejire with a spoon and a bowl of stir fried vegetables and meat and rice. “I made you food!”

“I love you too, Mirio!” She chirps happily as she takes the bowl, leaning up to press a kiss to his hand. 

Mirio ruffles her hair. “I like her, let’s keep her around.”

Tamaki makes a half amused, half nervous noise as he pulls his hoodie up over his burning face and listens to Mirio and Nejire aimlessly chatting. He could hardly deal with Mirio’s everlasting well of positivity and sunshine-boy energy, how was he supposed to deal with Nejire as well?

He hears her laugh and pokes out of his hoodie, catching a look of her as she laughs brilliantly, a smile on her face.

Oh, oh no , he thinks. I’m going to die .