"Moroboshi Ataru, no one ever said it would be easy."
Lum's eyes flung open; her entire body was sweating from head to toe. Awakening from a nightmare not about herself, but about her darling, Moroboshi Ataru, she slowly opened the closet door that she usually slept in to see if Ataru was alright. To her surprise, he was also up, holding on to his pillow tightly. The moonlight pouring in through the balcony allowed for Lum to see that Ataru was shaking slightly. With a small sigh, the green-haired oni slowly crawled from out of the closet to Ataru. He didn't notice Lum crawling toward him, so this prompted the female to tap him on the shoulder lightly, which caused Ataru to let out a small yelp and jump in surprise.
"L-Lum! What are you doing up!?" Ataru shouted, which caused Lum's little cousin, Ten, to shift slightly in his sleep. Lum put a finger on her lips.
"Shhhh. You'll wake Ten up," She whispered. Ataru nodded in response; he didn't want Ten to wake up and bother him this late at night. Lum put her finger down and looked at the pillow Ataru was still clutching against his chest.
"Are you alright darling?" Lum questioned.
Ataru blinked then responded, "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"
"Well, you're up and you usually sleep through the entire night. Not to mention, when I woke up I noticed you were shaking and you're still clutching the pillow." Lum answered. Ataru quickly put the pillow down and crossed his arms.
"I had a nightmare, there, happy?" Ataru scoffed. Lum didn't say anything for a moment, but after a while she asked, "Did it end with someone saying that it wouldn't be easy?" Ataru's expression changed from annoyed to surprised.
"How did you know that?"
"I think we might of had the same dream, but I don't really remember what happened before those words were said."
" I don't either." Ataru sighed, laying back down, although he really didn't want to go back to sleep.
"Tired?" Lum asked.
"Want me to lay beside you?"
"Whatever, just don't fall asleep, I don't want to get fried if I do end up going back to sleep."
With a small smile, Lum nodded.
"I told you not to fall asleep!" Ataru shouted at Lum as they were sitting down eating breakfast. Since it was summer vacation, Ataru was still in his pajamas, which now had burn marks on them from Lum's electric shocks. Despite Ataru's warning Lum had ended up falling asleep beside him.
"I'm sorry darling I couldn't help it," Lum retorted. "You looked so peaceful once you fell asleep and I couldn't help but want to snuggle with y-"
"That's not an excuse!" Ataru interrupted. Ataru's mother let out a small sigh as her son and her daughter in law continued to argue among each other. It had been two weeks since the dreadful second tag race and you would think the two would change even a little, but nope, things were as they were the first year Lum began to stay in their household. She took a glance at her husband, who of course had his face hidden behind a newspaper. With another sigh, Mrs. Moroboshi felt like she couldn't take the couple's arguing anymore. She slammed her fists on the table, which caused both Ataru and Lum to cease their shouting. Mr. Moroboshi peaked from behind the newspaper he was reading to see what his wife would say.
"Since you two are so tense this morning why don't you two go take a walk in the park? It's a beautiful day outside; maybe it'll ease your minds," Mrs. Moroboshi suggested with a smile, although she was feeling rather annoyed at the moment.
"That sounds like a wonderful idea mother, Lum exclaimed excitedly. "It has been a while since darling and I have been on a date together."
"When the hell did date come out of her mouth? She said a walk in the park and that does not mean I have to walk with you!" Ataru retorted. Mrs. Moroboshi slapped her son across the head.
"Why are you like this? Go take Lum on a date!" Mrs. Moroboshi demanded with a glare. She really wanted Ataru and Lum out of the house for the day. She couldn't bare to hear their bickering all day long. Ataru let out a scowl before quietly saying, "Fine whatever." Lum let out a squeal of joy before rushing to her UFO to find something suitable to wear for the date. After picking up Lum's dishes, Mrs. Moroboshi looked at her son, and for a split second she thought he looked...sad? Why would he be sad? If anything, she thought he'd be looking irritated about the whole ordeal.
"Everything alright Ataru?" She questioned, sitting beside her only son. Ataru just shook his head.
"It's nothing mom..." He mumbled, getting up from off the floor. As he walked slowly up the stairs, Mrs. Moroboshi watched him, and she could tell something was definitely wrong just by his movements.
After taking a nice shower and dressing in a pastel green summer dress with a sun hat on top of her head, Lum flew out of her UFO. She was going to see if Ataru was ready until she spotted Ten on the roof with a big bump on his head. Lum let out a sigh; did she really need to ask what happened? The green haired girl flew down towards her little cousin and sat beside him.
"What did you do this time Ten?" She questioned.
"I didn't do anything to that jerk! I asked him where he was going and then he got mad at me!" Ten shouted. Lum raised an eyebrow at him.
"Is that all that happened Ten?" Ten didn't say anything for a moment; he looked up at Lum slowly then let out a huff.
"I may have teased him about finally taking you on a date after everything that he put you through two weeks ago." Ten admitted, looking away from his elder cousin.
Well that was a bit shocking; Lum wouldn't have suspected Ten to bring up the events of the second tag race so soon.
"Ten, you shouldn't of said anything like that. You should apologize to darling." Lum responded. Ten, being too proud just like his cousin in law, did not want to apologize to Ataru, even if he was in the wrong. So with another moment of silence, Ten began to think of an excuse as to why he couldn't apologize to Ataru at the moment. He then remembered as he was coming back to roast Ataru for sending him flying using a mallet, that Ataru was crying at his desk.
That kind of bothered him...
The young oni let out a small squeal when Lum had shouted his name.
"Didn't you hear me? Go apologize to darling," Lum demanded, getting up. "I'll go with you if you'd like."
"I....I cant," Ten admitted softly.
"And why not?" Ten let out a small sigh; he really didn't want Lum to know that he might of caused Ataru to cry, but he knew that any excuse he could come up with wouldn't phase the elder oni. After all, the second tag race was a serious topic that Ataru and Lum avoided nowadays, even if it had ended happily. Finally, he decided to fess up to Lum.
"I think I made him cry..."
Dressed in a buttoned yellow shirt with black suspenders and pants, Ataru wiped the tears from his eyes using his hands. He thought taking a shower would make him feel better, but it only made him feel worse, and then Ten just had to go and say that. The brunette let a small sigh escape him as he looked up at the ceiling in his room. Sooner or later he'd had to face Lum again, even if he felt like a mess.
Suddenly, there was a tapping on the transparent door that led to his balcony. Ataru glanced to the side and, speak of the devil, saw that it was Lum....and Ten, great. With another sigh, Ataru got up and went toward the two oni, opening the door.
"You ready Lum?" He asked, disregarding Ten altogether, which made the child pout. Lum just shook her head; she knew Ataru would still be upset about the whole ordeal. The female then looked down at Ten, clearing her throat. After a moment of awkward silence, Ten looked up at Ataru, whose eyes were still a bit red from crying earlier.
"I'm sorry..." Ten whispered. Ataru's eyes widened slightly; did Ten just apologize to him? The elder male shook his head, blinking in surprise, but he put on his usual cocky facade to cover up his surprise.
"Did Lum make you apologize or are you just trying to make yourself look like a 'good boy' ?" He asked with a tease, putting emphasis on good boy. Ten wanted to roast him right then and there; how dare he tease him after it took all it had to say he was sorry. But Ten held back because he could see that Ataru didn't really mean it, after all his usual teasing towards Ten today seemed a bit...forced. He still was going to fight fire with fire.
"No. I just felt guilty because I saw you crying earlier and thought it was my fault." Ten responded, putting his hands behind his head. The grin once on Ataru's face had disappeared. Ten had saw him cry?
After a moment of a very awkward silence, Lum intervened. "Well darling?" She questioned; a hint of worry in her tone of voice.
Ataru shook his head once more then let out a small huff. "Um, okay then, I forgive you Ten." He said a bit awkwardly.
"Okay." Ten responded, unsure of what else to say.
"I'll be downstairs..." Ataru mumbled, walking out of the room; leaving Lum and Ten looking at each other with confused expressions.
After what had taken place a few moments ago, Lum and Ataru began to make their way to the park. The two hadn't said a word to each other since they were in the bed room but as usual, Lum broke the silence.
"Something's wrong with you darling," She said suddenly. "Ever since breakfast ended you haven't been acting like yourself." Ataru stopped walking and looked at her.
Lum was interrupted as an explosion happened right behind the two, which sent them flying. Luckily, well at least for Lum, her ability to fly made it possible for her to stop herself from falling onto the ground. Ataru,however, hit the ground with a loud thud. Well, at least he had landed in some grass, which had cushioned his fall. Lum quickly went over to Ataru to see if he had injured himself, which seemed impossible for Ataru Moroboshi, but she wanted to be sure.
"Darling! Are you okay?" Lum asked worriedly as she floated beside him, helping him off the ground. Ataru nodded, although he did feel a bit wobbly. The male's eyes widened once he glanced over at where the explosion had taken place.
"Lum.." Ataru began, but before he could finish, Lum was already flying towards the crater that had formed from the explosion.