What a familiar voice.
Ryouta Kawara sighed, turning around to avoid being tackled from behind, having learned that lesson a very long time ago. Ever since Hiyoko had discovered social tackling, everyone she knew became at a very distinct risk of being tackled. Particularly moreso since she’d started hanging out with that kid from 2-2… in any case, he turned around quickly enough that she only stopped in her tracks with her nose inches from his, then frowned and pushed his shoulders to make HIM take a step back, as if this was somehow his fault.
“What’s going on, Hiyoko?” He asked sheepishly, swinging his bookbag over his shoulder and smiling at her, having easily regained his footing after her shove. It hadn’t snowed yet this year, nor had it rained in close enough vicinity to a temperature drop, so the ground wasn’t yet dangerously iced.
“Oh, nothing much, except that…” She frowned, sticking her hands on her hips and glaring at him, “A little birdie just told me that sooooomebody hasn’t RSVPed to Sakuya’s Christmas party yet! Come on, Ryouta! I thought for sure that you of all people would be all over this!”
“...Why?” He asked, seeming genuinely confused, “You’ve known me for my entire life. Have I ever celebrated Christmas before?”
“Uhm, you did once…” She muttered, scratching her chin and looking away, “Your mother bought me a gift too, even though she knew I didn’t celebrate it. That was a long time ago, though. What I was referring to was that, it’s a party! Being hosted by Sakuya Le Bel Shirogane! Your close friend, and more importantly, a rich fuck. Think of all the fancy food you could try there!”
“I’m pretty sure the food thing is more fitting of you,” Ryouta chuckled, shaking his head, “I’ll go to some other party he throws, I’m sure.”
“What? Do you have to work on Christmas Eve or something?? I’m sure your employer would understand if you had a really cool party to go to! Come on Ryouta! The world reaches into your heart and whispers with the voice of a thousand souls, coming to this party is your destiny!” She insisted, grabbing onto his arm and leaning up to his ear to whisper eerily, “Destinyyyy…”
“You’ve been spending way too much time with Higure,” Ryouta sighed, rolling his eyes, “No, I don’t have work, I just don’t really feel like going.”
“There’s no such thing as too much time with the crimson angel! I am bound to stay by his side now, as we never know when the dark sorcerer Wallenstein may return to wreak his vengeance upon us!” She insisted, then groaned, “And I mean, come on. Ryouta. Why won’t you just come to the party?”
“Hiyoko, I just don’t want to go, okay? I’m going home,” He frowned, shaking her off of his arm and turning around, “Don’t keep bugging me about this, please…”
“Fine…” She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, watching as he walked away and wondering what exactly had spurred his resistance.
When Ryouta got home, he put his bag next to the door and walked into the living room, leaning on the back of the couch and looking over it to see the television. His mother was watching some old sitcom off of DVDs. She always pulled out DVDs around this time of year, because they had entirely generic advertisements on them. Unlike any other television, which was bound to be filled with ‘get your holiday shopping done at x store!’ and the like. She hadn’t noticed Ryouta was back yet, so he spoke up, “Hey Mom.”
“Oh! Ryouta! You didn’t have work today? Why didn’t you do something with your friends?” She questioned, turning around and frowning at him, “Did you and Hiyoko have a falling-out, or something?”
“No, nothing like that. You worry too much,” He chuckled, shaking his head.
“You’re one to talk,” She laughed as well, but then turned serious again, “So, why DID you come home early? I’m in good condition lately, you know, you don’t have to come right home to see me…”
“I just didn’t want to do anything. Sakuya had a music club meeting, and Hiyoko was being kind of annoying. It’s not like we had a fight or anything, she was just obnoxious this afternoon. Kept trying to convince me to go to some Christmas party…” He groaned, leaning more of his weight on the couch and pressing his face against one of the cushions of the sofa’s back.
“Well, why don’t you go?” She asked softly, and Ryouta picked his head back up, giving her a strange look, “What’s that look for? Just because we don’t celebrate it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and have fun with your friends…”
“It’s on Christmas Eve, though. You always seem really upset then…” He mumbled, standing up straight now.
“Oh, that’s just me. I’ll be less upset knowing that you’re out having fun with your friends, after all,” She offered, patting the couch next to herself for Ryouta to come sit down, “I’m not bitter or anything. It’s just… kind of sad, around Christmastime. Your father always loved the holiday. Just because it makes me a bit depressed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and enjoy yourself.”
“Are you sure?” He asked as he sat down next to her.
“Of course. Your father always said that Christmas was a time to spend with people whose company you enjoy. Now, I am glad that you and I get along so well, but I’m sure you’d have a better time with people your age, especially considering that I /am/ such a downer in December,” She offered with a soft smile, putting an arm around her son, “So who else is going to be there, besides Hiyoko?”
“Well, Hiyoko’s probably going to bring this kid from one of the other second year classes with her, but otherwise just normal people. It’s at Sakuya’s house,” Ryouta explained, and his mother chuckled a bit, causing him to blush slightly, “What’re you laughing about!?”
“Oh, nothing,” She shook her head, “You’re blushing though.”
“Mom…” He groaned, pushing his palm against his forehead, “Stop.”
“All right, All right,” She sighed, then turned her attention back to the sitcom, “Have you seen this episode before?”
“Yeah, three times,” He nodded, pulling his phone out to let Hiyoko know that he was going after all, “But I may as well watch it again. I don’t have anything better to do.”
“Thanks,” She nodded, “I’m feeling up to it, so I’ll cook dinner tonight, too.”
“You don’t have to, I really don’t mind cooking,” Ryouta shrugged, sending off the text to Hiyoko as he spoke to his mother, “I think it’s pretty fun, actually.”
“Well, I enjoy it too,” She nudged him with her elbow, snickering, “Never thought of that, did you? I’m just not usually in good enough shape to do it. I am today though, so you better let me at that stove.”
“Okay, okay,” Ryouta laughed a bit, smiling, “I do like your cooking. I could never quite recreate any of the meals you used to make when I was younger.”
“That’s because anytime I gave you the recipes, I left one small ingredient out,” She teased, “I couldn’t very well let my son become a better cook than me!”
“You’re kidding,” He laughed, shaking his head, “Well now that I know, I’m going to start experimenting to find the missing ingredient! I always thought you were giving me complete recipes before!”
“Well you know, every chef has secrets!”
Ryouta could have sworn that he saw Sakuya sigh in relief when he walked down the stairs. As it turned out, the Le Bel household was running two simultaneous Christmas parties; a rather fancy affair in the main portion of the building for adults, and a “kid’s party” downstairs in what was referred to as, but Ryouta would definitely not consider, a basement. When he thought of a basement he thought of concrete, dust, and bins full of things. His own basement was small but fit that bill, as did the basement of the school when Hiyoko had once dragged him down there for the purpose of exploration (and for that matter, gotten both of them detentions handed out by a very unamused Doctor Iwamine).
This basement just looked more like another floor of the house. The Christmas tree down here was much less splendid that the one upstairs, but only in size, because the ceiling was shorter. Maybe that, coupled with the lack of windows, was the only difference between the basement and the rest of the mansion. Despite his shock, Ryouta still managed to catch Sakuya’s relief before he walked over, meeting him at the bottom of the stairs, “Thank goodness. Finally, somebody half-sane.”
“Only half-sane? I thought for sure I was at least three-fourths-sane,” Ryouta smirked, staying two steps up the stairs just to bother Sakuya even more. He was already taller than him without being this high up; and Sakuya clearly noticed and cared, seeing as he attempted to discreetly move past Ryouta to stand three steps above him. He made the move, but it was certainly not discreet, though Ryouta wasn’t sure how something like that ever could be.
“No, I’m certain you are not a single bit above exactly fifty percent sane. However, that is regardless leagues better than my other guests. At the very least I can trust you not to break anything,” As if on cue, there was a crashing noise, and Sakuya shouted into the room, “Sakazaki! I thought I told you to keep that bird away from the hors d'oeuvres!”
“Eheh…” Yuuya stammered as he tried to grab the oversized fantail pigeon who had just knocked the ladle out of the bowl of fruit punch and was now splashing around in it, “Sorry, Sakuya! It’s kind of hard to control animals, but I’m trying my best!”
“Just keep him elsewhere! It’s not such a big deal if he breaks a couple of ornaments, but some of those bowls are lolique crystal! Not to mention how unsanitary… Albert?” Sakuya said and a man dressed all in black seemed to appear instantaneously at the bottom of the stairs, though he was certainly right there the entire time.
“Yes, Master Sakuya?”
“Replace the fruit punch,” He said, pointing at the bowl which still had a fucking dove bathing in it, “I wouldn’t feed that mongrel’s bathwater to my worst enemy…”
“Of course,” Albert nodded, bowing at the waist before walking over, picking up the bird with ease, and handing it to Yuuya before carrying the bowl away.
“...Why is Okosan here?” Ryouta questioned, raising an eyebrow as he watched the bird in question thrash against Yuuya’s grip with loud cooing noises that nobody could translate.
“Tosaka brought him,” Sakuya grumbled, crossing his arms as he moved up one more stair then sat down, just NEEDING to stay taller than Ryouta, “She’s the only one who could have done such an idiotic thing… and the only person Okosan allows to carry him. Convenient that she and Higure immediately disappeared before I could chew her out for bringing a bird to a sophisticated Le Bel Christmas party…”
“Wait… Hiyoko and Anghel disappeared?” Ryouta questioned, raising an eyebrow as he went up a few steps, making Sakuya mildly uncomfortable until he sat down as well, closing the distance that would have become between them while still allowing Sakuya to be taller.
“Yes. I haven’t the faintest idea where they went, either,” Sakuya rolled his eyes, frowning, then glanced back at Yuuya, who was still struggling to hold onto Okosan, “Dreadfully unhelpful. Even Sakazaki doesn’t deserve to attempt to hold onto that mongrel for so long, but it’s not like there’s anybody else to do it.”
“I’m just gonna go outside for a minute, if that’s all right,” Ryouta said, standing up again and starting to go, but as he got to the step Sakuya was sitting upon, he found his ankle grabbed, almost tripping.
“You only just got here. You’re not planning to abandon ship as well, are you?” He almost sounded pathetic.
“No, I’m just going to go look for Hiyoko and Anghel,” Ryouta said simply.
“But why would they be outside?” Sakuya questioned, looking genuinely confused.
“Do I really have to spell it out for you? Knowing Anghel, and knowing Hiyoko, it’s pretty obvious…” He was met only by blinking, so he rolled his eyes, “Look, they’re doing drugs, okay?”
Just as Ryouta said this, the door at the top of the stairs opened up, “Did somebody say drugs? Count me in!” It was Kanta.
“Kanta!” And there was Pyonpyon, as all of the students who went to St Pigeonation’s from Heartful House had been invited (“an act of charity towards those less fortunate!”) and why would they show up separately. They all lived together, “Hitori says we can only go to parties with NO DRUGS!”
“Ah, Pyonpyon. You’re just a first-year. You’ll understand soon,” Kanta laughed as he started crutching down the stairs with a smirk on his face, “Whatever, though. This place looks pretty nice, so I’d rather stick around in here than go and smoke out in the cold or whatever. It’s looking like it might snow!”
“Oh, I like snow…” A dull voice added in, clearly belonging to Kokoro, “Maybe I’ll go out there…”
“Kokoro!!” Hoppe shouted from behind, “Hitori said /no drug parties/, in no unclear terms!”
“Oh, relax. It’s not like he’d find out,” Momo added as she filed along, the entire parade of them going down the stairs and gingerly avoiding stepping on Sakuya’s toes.
“Well, aside from this talk of drugs, I WAS wondering when you lot would show up. Without your entire gaggle being here, the party was… Rather sparse,” Sakuya stated with disdain, shooting a glare at Yuuya who just smiled sheepishly and waved while Okosan pushed his feet against his captor’s face.
“Well, it’ll soon get even less sparse, once I fetch Hiyoko and Anghel. They’re going to stop with the drugs, sorry to anyone who wanted in on it, but I really should bring them inside before it gets too snowy and we end up with buried weirdos,” Ryouta said, working his way up the stairs and out of the door, ducking his way through the adult’s party to get out to the backyard. At least he’d visited Sakuya’s house often enough that he didn’t get lost along the way.
Out in the middle of the backyard, Ryouta saw the missing pair sitting with their backs to a tree, one on either side with soft plumes of smoke being let out into the air above them. Well as far as Ryouta knew, you didn’t /smoke/ LSD, so at least they were on something slightly more tame. Then again, that wasn’t to say they hadn’t done something else earlier… He guessed, as he approached, that he would find out.
“Ryouta!” Hiyoko noticed him first, and though she was, even for her, unnaturally cheery, her use of his actual name revealed that she seemed to only be under the influence of the joint in her hand, which she stood up and clumsily held out to him, “Do you want some??”
“Not right now, Hiyoko. You and Anghel need to come inside, it’s going to snow. Also, Sakazaki is stuck holding onto Okosan since you… Brought him for some reason…”
“Heyyyyyy, Okosan is our friend too! He deserves to be at the party!” Hiyoko explained with a shit-eating grin, and Ryouta just groaned.
“He’s a BIRD,” He pressed his fingers into the bridge of his nose, squeezing his eyes shut.
“Yes… A /smart/ bird!” She insisted, then pressed herself against Ryouta, looking up at him with her chin on his chest, “Ryouuuuuta, you’re so tall. What the shit. How is being this tall possible…”
“Sure. Come on, you need to come inside so you can hold onto the smart bird before he breaks something important,” Ryouta sighed, stepping away from her, “Come on, Anghel!” It seemed that the other hadn’t even noticed Ryouta’s arrival until he was called.
“Ah! Textoris Melodia Funeris!” Given that Anghel had never uttered the word ‘Ryouta’ in his life, there was no such gauge on if he was sober or not. Everyone just sort of assumed he was never sober, “Will you partake in this herb of relaxation with the apostle and myself?” As he said this he stood up and dashed the two feet he had to go to reach the standing members of the conversation.
“I already said no, I’m just here to bring you both inside,” He chuckled, shaking his head, “And… I don’t really think there’s anything in the world, not even marijuana, that could make the both of you calm down…”
“Probably correct!” Hiyoko nodded, then broke out in a fit of giggles. Ryouta sighed and stuck a hand on the back of each of his toasted friends, leading them back inside and down the stairs to the basement. As soon as they got there Hiyoko went and took Okosan out of Yuuya’s arms, and the bird immediately calmed down.
“Thanks for the freedom, mon amie,” Yuuya smiled but sounded exhausted and incredibly grateful when the inexplicable fantail dove was no longer his responsibility. He wandered off to do who knows what.
“Thank you for retrieving them,” Sakuya said from right behind him, seeming to have just appeared. Must be taking lessons from that butler of his, “As… Much as they may also be prone to breaking things, at least Tosaka’s presence tames that mongrel of a wild animal. Now if only somebody could tame the OTHER wrecking ball she brought along with her, all would be well.”
“You mean Anghel? Well, there aren’t any windows in this basement so I don’t think you need to worry too much,” Ryouta chuckled, shaking his head.
“This is true. His destruction does appear to have a peculiar preference,” Sakuya sighed, crossing his arms, but then smiled a bit, “Thank you for coming after all. Tosaka told me of your initial reluctance to attend, but I am… Glad that you’re here.”
“I’m glad that I’m here too! It’s true that I didn’t want to come at first, but now that everyone’s here and Okosan is under control, I think it’s going to be fun,” Ryouta smiled, leaning back against the wall.
“Actually, not everyone is here. Sakazaki insisted on invited some of his own friends as well. But, everyone that you and I know are here, yes,” Sakuya explained simply, and speak of the devil, Yuuya appeared again.
“Ah, actually, Kamiya and Tatsuya can’t make it after all. Something about being worried about getting snowed in?” Yuuya explained, sighing as he sat himself down on the stairs, “Oh, and I’m not sure if you were aware of this, but the two of you are standing under mistletoe~”
“What!?” Sakuya shouted, his voice cracking somewhat and making it sound more like he’d squawked as he looked up and saw that it was true, “This is NOT supposed to be here! I didn’t approve this decoration! Who put this here!?” He demanded, and Yuuya just winked and gave finger pistols. He should have known.
“Well, regardless of when it got put there… rules are rules…” Ryouta mumbled, rubbing the side of his arm and looking away. Maybe he didn’t celebrate Christmas, but he sure knew about that tradition. It was impossible not to, as a secretly frequent watcher of romantic comedies. It was awfully convenient, actually, that he’d stumble upon an opportunity to get a kiss, even just a quick peck, from Sakuya. Not like he’d admit that, of course.
“That’s… true. Yes. Rules are rules,” Sakuya mumbled right back, and blushed, causing Ryouta to blush as well, which triggered more blushing on his part until it was clear that they were both at some sort of embarrassment event horizon.
“Allez! Just kiss already!” Yuuya insisted from where he sat on the stairs, “I’ll look away if it makes you more comfortable!” Without getting a response, he did so anyway.
Sakuya stood there in silence for a few moments, shifting between his feet. Ryouta just stood as well, and a particular awkwardness hung in the air between them until Sakuya took a step closer, reached up and grabbed Ryouta’s shoulders, pulling him down to lock their lips together. Much to both of their surprise, Sakuya kept the kiss going for more than half a second; quite a while, actually, before he let go of Ryouta’s shoulders and stepped backwards, blushing even darker than he had before and holding a hand over his mouth, clearly flustered before he turned and ran off, opening some door then slamming it behind himself.
“I wonder if he remembered that door leads to a broom closet,” Yuuya said from the stairs as he looked in the direction Sakuya had run, then turned back to see Ryouta, who was currently in a state of shock. Yuuya just chuckled to see this, “Well, I’m guessing something happened while I wasn’t looking. A classic case of ‘that was certainly more than a mistletoe kiss’ perhaps?”
“Precisely…” Ryouta nodded slowly, staring off in the direction Sakuya had gone, arms hanging limply at his side as he still stood dumbfounded, “Did you know that would happen?”
“I can’t say I expected it! But, I did know that Sakuya liked you… A sexy and luxurious cassanova such as myself couldn’t even call himself that if he couldn’t figure out who his younger brother had feelings for!” He laughed a bit, climbing up the stairs and leaning over again to take the mistletoe back down, “I thought you’d just have the standard barely-there kiss that this plant so often spurs! Ah, but this isn’t a bad thing, is it? You must like him back…”
“I’m… gonna go talk to him,” Ryouta said slowly, still composing himself, though by the time he got to the broom closet he’d gotten over the shock and was prepared to speak intelligibly. He quickly opened the door, slid in against the wall Sakuya was leaning against inside, and closed the door behind himself. He was standing on a dustpan, but that was okay.
“Er… Ryouta, I…” Sakuya started trying to explain himself, but only found his cheeks heating up again as he fell silent, furrowing his eyebrows in frustration.
“Heh,” He chuckled a bit, smiling at Sakuya, “That was quite a kiss.”
“I, um, I don’t… I don’t know why I did that. I apologize,” Sakuya frowned, crossing his arms and staring down at the ground, biting down on his bottom lip.
“Are you sure you don’t know why? I mean, I think…” Ryouta smirked, “I think that you kissed me like that because you like me. Is that true?”
“No! Of course not!” He proclaimed, but Ryouta’s raised eyebrows of disbelief caused him to amend his statement, “Fine. Maybe a little bit.”
“Oh, good!” Ryouta said, his smirk turning into a grin as he leaned a palm against his cheek and glanced away, “Because, you know, I think that you might make a pretty good boyfriend, if you’d be interested…”
“B-boyfriend? You mean, as in, a relationship? With you?”
“That’s generally what that phrase would mean, yes. So what do you say?”
“I… can’t deny that such a thing might be something I would enjoy, however…” He hesitated, then shook his head, “Oh, it’s unimportant. I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it. For the time-being, I believe that I would indeed like to… be your boyfriend,” He lifted his hands to cover his face as he said this, “I cannot believe I just said that. It… holds true, but I can’t believe that I said that.”
“Yeah, it is pretty strange,” Ryouta nodded, laughing a bit, “Somebody like you, you probably thought you’d always be the one asking people out, or at least you’d be turning down people who’d ask you out… but there’s a first time for everything! So, can we get out of this broom closet now?”
“...Yes. I believed it to be another room, forgetting that I was in the basement, where every single door leads to a closet. Well, or to the furnace. At least I didn’t run in there,” He said as he reached over and opened the door before stepping back out. Aside from Yuuya, who gave another one of those ridiculous and unattractive winks, nobody seemed to notice. Good. Neither Sakuya nor Ryouta would be all too keen on dealing with the rumors that Hiyoko or Kanta would be prone to starting.
As it was, everyone else seemed preoccupied with the snack table, because what was the purpose of a party without food anyway? It was really just an excuse to have a lot of snacks and talk to people, when you got down to it. Everybody seemed particularly keen on the eggnog, compared with the replaced fruit punch that only Yuuya was drinking. Not out of any fear that it was still somehow contaminated (even now, Hiyoko kept giving Okosan sips of her eggnog) but the actual reason was a mystery, “Why is everyone drinking the eggnog? I mean, no offense, but eggnog actually really fucking sucks.”
“Well, another time that could be true, but you need to remember that you are in the house of noblemen. The Le Bels would not settle for mediocre eggnog, made ‘safe’ by overprocessing and wrongly branded as eggnog before placed on supermarket shelves despite containing no raw egg… This is only the best! Of course it will be drunk with great gusto when this lot of plebians finally tried TRUE eggnog rather than the disgusting falsehoods they have been drinking their entire lives…” Sakuya explained with a great… Enthusiasm.
“You’re certainly passionate about eggnog…” Ryouta trailed off, then sighed, “I can’t try any, though. Raw egg sounds like bad news for my stomach problems.”
“You need to at least try one tiny sip. That shouldn’t be enough to make you sick, and you absolutely must try non-disgusting eggnog at least once in your life,” Sakuya insisted as he dragged Ryouta over to the table, then continued holding onto his hand once they arrived, and Sakuya put just a little bit into a cup for Ryouta to try.
“I… Guess that one sip can’t hurt anything,” He shrugged as he took the cup and tried it, then stared at the bowl, wide-eyed, “You know, I think the stomach pain might just be worth it…”
“I told you! This is probably the best eggnog you will have in your entire life, if we are to be completely honest,” As he said this he filled Ryouta’s cup to a more reasonable amount that would have no place in a gourmet restaurant, then got some for himself as well.
“You’re totally right,” Ryouta sighed with a nod as he took his cup and turned around to go sit down where the others were. There were like six couches? Why were there so many? In any case, he sat down on one of them and Sakuya sat down next to him, grabbing his free hand again.
“Hey! I just had a great idea! Why don’t we all play truth or dare?” Pyonpyon offered from where he was sitting on the arm of a couch despite plenty of actual seats still being open.
“I don’t see why not!” Yuuya said cheerfully before taking a sip of fruit punch.
“Sakazaki, I am the host of this party, not you! You do not have the jurisdiction to decide that! As the host, /I/ don’t see why not,” Sakuya huffed, clearly intent on staying in control.
“Well then, if that’s the case, you’ll be first! Sakuya, truth or dare?” Yuuya asked, smirking while leaning on the back of one of the couches, again, inexplicably so given the number of available places to sit. On that topic too, Hiyoko was sitting on the ground with Okosan in her lap, but at least the remainder were seated in a way that made sense.
“I dare you to make out with Kawara! Right here, right now, in front of everybody! Risque!” Yuuya grinned as he pointed at Sakuya and just watched him turn several shades redder.
“I-I meant truth!” He said quickly, fidgeting with his collar nervously. Ryouta just chuckled a bit.
“Oh, truth then? Answer me this question! How much would you WANT to make out with Kawara… In private?” Yuuya made a clicking noise with his tongue.
“Actually, I do see why not. We are not playing this,” Sakuya decided, crossing his arms and blushing intensely.
“Come on Sakuya, it’s all in good fun,” Ryouta joked, nudging him with his elbow and smirking, “Besides, I want to know!”
“If you really MUST know the answer to that question… It is an amount potentially higher than not at all,” Sakuya Le Bel Shirogane, master of the loophole.
“Well that’s dumb. But legal… I guess,” Yuusuke sighed, and Yuuya nodded in agreement with his comment before then pointing at Ryouta.
“In any case, I will be the sexy and luxurious assigner of truths and dares, and I will address everyone in a circular manner! Meaning that Kawara is next! So Kawara, truth or dare?”
“Truth,” Ryouta said simply, without hesitating. He was ready and willing to participate in the game of course, but still feared the dares that Yuuya might give out.
“Well, we all know that you work like, twelve jobs at a time, so… what’s the weirdest customer story you have? The absolute weirdest, no trying to pass off the second weirdest! I’ll be able to tell if you’re lying,” Yuuya smirked as he came up with this one, crossing his arms.
“Oh! Well, I definitely do have a weirdest customer story,” Ryouta smiled, leaning forward to tell the story, “I don’t usually tell them because I don’t want to complain, but since you asked… the weirdest thing a customer ever did, was when I was working at a maid cafe. Now, when working at a maid cafe, especially a maid cafe that only hires male waitresses, you’re bound to run into a lot of weirdos, but this is a particularly weird story because it wasn’t the typical type of weirdo that you’d meet at a maid cafe. He actually came in and started yelling that he wanted a different waitress, and that that it was ‘so shameful’ that a guy would be a maid at a maid cafe… and I guess he just didn’t realize this maid cafe was literally nothing but that. Anyway though, I heard this from another part of the cafe, and when I walked over, he pointed at me and said that he’d prefer if I was his waitress. He actually thought that I was a girl! When I told him that I wasn’t he started citing some ridiculous religious spiel or… something. I wasn’t really paying attention, and the manager kicked him out midway through.”
“It seems a little bit hypocritical, that somebody who would go to such a place as a maid cafe would be so appalled by cross-dressing…” Sakuya said, shaking his head.
“Exactly! That’s what makes the story the weirdest one I have. What sort of self-respecting guy would see nothing morally wrong with going to a maid cafe, but suddenly he’s a sinner if it’s dudes in the dresses? I just don’t get it,” Ryouta shrugged, “Anyway, moving on?”
“Right-o!” Yuuya nodded and moved on. The game continued on in a similar fashion, with Yuuya giving consistently embarrassing truths and dares as if it was his only talent. Actually, if anyone else in the room stopped to think about it, maybe that /was/ Yuuya’s only talent. In any case, the game was only occasionally interrupted for its participants to get more snacks or refill their cups, and by the time an hour was spent the basement was in vague disarray, and the ratio of people wearing shirts was completely disproportionate to the number not. Courtesy of Yuuya, of course, though he hadn’t actually expected some of them to take the dare. Notably, Sakuya.
That wasn’t to say that Yuuya wasn’t enjoying himself with this, of course. That also wasn’t to say that Yuuya didn’t know exactly the reason everyone had become much more willing to go along with his ridiculous dares. In any case, he had another to assign, “Anghel. Truth or dare?”
“Dare!” Anghel shouted enthusiastically, hitting his hands against his knees. He’d done this every single turn, very clearly eager to prove himself in the apostle’s challenges.
“Well you see…” Yuuya grinned, then dramatically pointed to himself, “I dare you to kiss moi.”
“HEY hey hey hold on jusssssssst a second…” Hiyoko interrupted, standing up and dropping Okosan, who, to nobody’s shock, immediately started flying around the room again now that he was no longer in Hiyoko’s calming and muscular arms, “That’s just NOT fair…” Her words were slightly slurred as she pointed at Yuuya, “Yuuuuuuya, if you and Anghel kiss, then who will kiss me? We need to,” She ran to the other side of the room and picked up somebody’s (not her’s) winter glove then threw it at Yuuya, “We gotta DUEL for his affections,” And with that she pulled one of the plastic sword-shaped toothpicks from the finger sandwiches on the table.
Yuuya followed suit, but they’d only clacked the tiny swords against each other three times before hearing the door at the top of the stairs open. Yuuya immediately dropped his toothpick and went over before Monsieur Le Bel could see the chaos that was taking place, “Ahh, Le Bel… we have a slight problem.”
“What is it?” He questioned, suddenly looking very intimidating.
“Well, you see,” Yuuya rubbed the back of his neck, smiling nervously, “I think they’re drunk.”
“...How would they have gotten drunk?” Le Bel asked, the intimidation melting away to confusion, “And how would you not be drunk?”
“Ah… I’m not sure, but I assure you, I’m perfectly sober! And I must admit that your assumption isn’t entirely a wrong one… if I /saw/ any alcohol I can’t really claim that I would refuse it, but it seems almost as if everyone just slowly became inebriated without consuming anything alcoholic at all…”
“...Oh, I see,” Le Bel nodded slowly, frowning in what seemed only like minor annoyance. He’d invited his son’s homeroom teacher to the party to make up for missing the parent-teacher conferences earlier in the year, and the snivelling man had accidentally shown up early. Tasked to help with setup, he was /supposed/ to put alcohol into one of the eggnog bowls and not the other… Le Bel should have expected that somebody so common and seemingly incompetent wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between glass and lolique crystal… “That’s inconvenient. In any case, we will be sending them home sober. Have Albert swap your bowl of eggnog out for the one upstairs, it seems there was a mix-up; and, there’s a blizzard going on outside, so our guests will need to stay the night. Also, you’re grounded, Sakazaki.”
“I’m grounded…? What did I do?” He questioned, tilting his head to the side.
“Well, given that you’re sober, that must mean that you’d been drinking from the upstairs bowl of eggnog, hoping to get drunk. The teacher couldn’t tell the difference between glass and lolique, and seems to have just guessed,” Le Bel said simply, then left, closing the door behind himself.
“...Actually, I haven’t had any eggnog at all, because I’m allergic to /eggs/ you piece of shit whore,” Yuuya smiled at the closed door, speaking just as cheerfully as ever before sighing and going back down the stairs only to see that Okosan had knocked over at least five different things, Hiyoko was still standing en garde with the sword toothpick, and Sakuya and Ryouta were taking up the first dare that Yuuya had tried to hand to Sakuya.
“Hiyoko, we aren’t fighting right now. Okay, I need one of Mr. Uzune’s siblings’ phones, Kawara’s phone, and Anghel’s phone. I need to let your moms know that because of the blizzard, you’re going to be here overnight. And Albert?” As Yuuya said that, Sakuya’s butler stepped forward from the corner, “Le Bel says you gotta switch the eggnog upstairs for the one down here. Professor Nanaki messed up.”
“Hitori’s not a /mom/, Sakazaki…” Momo slurred out as she handed her phone over.
“Mr. Uzune is one hundred percent a mom. Okay, Kawara? Anghel? Give me yours too,” After they did, he took a quick glance at the previous texts the three of them had each sent to their respective parents, then imitated the style with ease. Impersonating a few of his friends was a breeze compared with some of the other things he’d had to do in his life. He went to return Ryouta’s phone, only to find him missing, “Where did Kawara go?”
“I dunno, he and Sakuya both went missing while you were busy talking to fancypants upstairs,” Kanta shrugged, not looking up from the game he was playing. Closer examination would prove him to be full-comboing a medley festival in Love Live. While drunk. Impressive.
“I… see…” Yuuya sighed, pressing the palm of his hand against his forehead. While he did this, Okosan flew over and landed on his head, as if to further prove to him the absurdity of the situation. Yuuya Sakazaki could NOT BELIEVE he was at a party where he was the only one NOT drunk. Even the goddamn bird was drunk.
What a chaotic experience. He only hoped that things would settle down before morning.