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Muscle Memory

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Being possessed is a funny thing. Not “ha-ha” funny, strange funny. Even when it’s over, you’re left with remnants of the person who was using your body. Not even as dramatic as scars or tattoos you didn’t get. Just muscle memory of things you don’t do. Strange impulses like wanting to be sitting higher up than anyone else in the room. A weird movement you do with your hand sometimes.

And sometimes, when you’re blearily getting ready for work in the morning and not really awake yet, perfectly lining one eye and half of the other in your sister’s best extremely waterproof kohl before you realize what you’re doing. Because the person who used your body for the last year was an incredibly vain bird who loved his eyeliner, and now your body thinks this is an essential morning task on par with brushing your teeth.

“Oh, not again.” He muttered ruefully, pushing his brown bangs out of his eyes to look at the damage.

Izumi Shingo dug through the medicine cabinet, then the drawers under the bathroom sink. There was usually a bottle of waterproof make-up remover here, somewhere. 


Today, it was nowhere to be found. He heaved a heavy sigh. Scrubbing at it would just make his eyes red and puffy and smear most of it around, he knew that from experience.

“Hina! Do you know where the make-up remover is?” He shouted down the hallway, leaning out of the bathroom in his pajama pants and undershirt.

Hina’s head popped out of her room. “I ran out yesterday, wh-- Oh no .” She exclaimed, cutting herself off as she saw Shingo’s mostly rimmed eyes under his shaggy brown hair. “It happened again? I’ll run down to the convenience store and get some right now, hang on.” She ducked back inside and reappeared moments later, purse over her shoulder and sprinting for the door.

“Thank you, I really appreciate it.” Shingo said as she passed, and went back to brushing his teeth. By the time Hina got back from the store on the corner he could wipe off the eyeliner properly and be ready to leave in plenty of time for work.

For some reason, as it always did when this happened, he thought of Eiji and wondered how he was doing. Maybe he’d call Chiyoko later and see if she’d heard any updates.

Yeah, that was a good plan.