Nishimura, Kitamoto, Tanuma and Natsume sat huddled around the campfire waiting for their fish to cook and deciding on who should tell the first scary story and debating on whether they caught enough fish to feed themselves and Natsume’s cat or not. Natsume looked over the group with a fond smile until nyanko sensei grabbed one of the fish and then Natsume was off chasing after the wayward animal and it wasn’t long before Tanuma joined the chase.
Nishimura and Kitamoto exchanged amused grins. This whole trip had started out because they had been reminiscing about old camping trips when Natsume had said he’d never really gone camping. Which was honestly surprising with how much time he spent wandering around the woods. Like many of the other times when Natsume would casually announce that he hadn’t participated in some sort of childhood activity the two decided then and there they would help Natsume experience those events and make some good memories to hopefully counteract all the negative memories their friend seemed to have. When talking over their plans a few days later Tanuma had also mentioned never being camping before and so he was quickly added to the fold.
Natsume and Tanuma finally returned to the campfire, though they were noticeably missing both the cat and the stolen fish. It appeared Natsume’s pig-like cat was victorious once again. As they settled down to eat all four boys couldn’t help but start laughing.
The night continued on with many scary stories. Nishimura and Kitamoto were pleasantly surprised and a little bit scared at how many scary stories Natsume seemed to know and how detailed and realistic they seemed to be. Then again in hindsight it did seem like something that Natsume would be good at. As the night and the fire was dying down it went from telling scary stories to just talking about general fees. Nishimura admitted to being scared of spiders and Kitamoto let everyone know that yes he really was afraid of heights. Tanuma’s fear was a bit deeper in that he was afraid he would be left behind with how often he missed school and activities due to being sick so often. Natsume was strangely quiet throughout the exchange until Nishimura turned and asked him what he was afraid of. Natsume threw out a small seemingly normal fear of thunder. When he did Tanuma gained a sad glint in his eyes and Nishimura and Kitamoto shared a strained look but the conversation continued slowly going to a lighter conversation.
Eventually the boys put out the fire and found their way into their tents and sleeping bags. They all drifted off to a peaceful sleep. Natsume’s brows furrowed in his sleep as his dreams took a turn. A voice whispered through his head “You’re lying. What are you actually afraid of?”