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A Colored Compromise

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In fairy tales, a white rabbit in a waistcoat with spectacles carrying a pocket watch exclaims he’s late. In fairy tales, the rabbit jumps, skips, and dashes until he’s falling down a hole with no end. In fairy tales, the white rabbit slips through a door that transports him to a hallucinogenic world, no one has ever seen before. But that’s just in fairy tales In fairy tales, a white rabbit in a waistcoat with spectacles carrying a pocket watch exclaims he’s late. In fairy tales, the rabbit jumps, skips, and dashes until he’s falling down a hole with no end. In fairy tales, the white rabbit slips through a door that transports him to a hallucinogenic world, no one has ever seen before. But that’s just in fairy tales reality is different. There are no white, talking, well-mannered, rabbits. In reality, there are white-haired, cursing, but equally late males. Yahaba Shigeru wasn’t a rabbit in a fairytale but he dressed like one. Dolled up in a formal waistcoat that highlighted his color scheme. The lightest shade of blue that was only a few tones off from white locks. The only thing that was off from a scheme of blue was caramel brown frames of glasses. Similarly to a fairy tale, they rested on top of a bunny-like nose. No pocket watch but a cellphone was deep in a pocket ringing from alarms. Yahaba’s entire schedule was destroyed from the help of what he called his friends. The smartest seven students on campus, the school renowned “pastels”. Their label is given for their choice in color-coded and shade specific style. Each assigned a color, in the lightest hues of the rainbow, and couldn’t be seen in anything else. They’ve been called a cult but the leader doesn’t welcome new members. The leader has stated many times no more intelligent idiots. The leader was Yahaba Shigeru who blames his group of “geniuses” for his misery. This situation specifically they were nothing but a nuisance, and they were sure to hear why. A planned general discussion on school grounds for two hours, back to the share house, do your own thing, meet for dinner, on your own again, relax together, and sleep. This same pattern they created their first school year together. Even if it’s the start of the second Yahaba hadn’t intended for any changes. He had a strong hate for change, not fearful of it but never enjoying it. Only seconds off from the end of a meeting someone said it. Someone said something stupid, a correction was said calmly, another agreement to the idiocy, aggressive correction to combat the foolishness of the subject, a sudden pun, to top it off even a thrown in completely false idea to piss everyone off. All Yahaba added to the conversation was an exhausted sigh before he gave in after thirty minutes and picked a side. He was coming to realize his regrets the moment he stepped outside a building that hosted the meeting. That general discussion turned into a painfully long debate. It stretched to roughly four hours and forty minutes. Not knowing this from atop of a head but, from the luminescent glow of another missed alarm. Once outside the weather didn’t hesitate to make its mark.

A series of various storms have been occurring every night. A hidden moon would lie tucked in each night, under a blanket of thick clouds. No puffy sweetness to any of them. Carrying a darkening gloom it was obvious why they were there. They held a weight of water that needed to be released. As the meeting progressed softly the rain began. Time continued and continued and so did the heaviness of a rainfall. By the time the group was walking to an exit the beat of water echoed within the building. All hesitated at a door watching lighting become a nightlight to the darkness. He wasn’t as quick or as agile as a rabbit but Yahaba found himself jumping, skipping, and dashing along the sidewalk. There was no hole he was chasing after nor a magically transporting door. He was simply chasing after a dry spot. With the rain, there also came a few other competitors to ruin Yahaba’s evening. Puddles, his pride, and the fact he was breaking curfew. A week’s collection of rain on top of the current crying sky left not one spot on the sidewalk dry. Shoes that were the perfect hybrid of formal yet sneakers were taking critical damage. Hidden behind tongues were cutesy and secretive duck decorated socks, they too were drowning from each step. When Yahaba increased his speed ever so slightly it went nothing but downhill. The water effect started to spread. Puddles got bigger and so did the splash that bounced back. Yahaba dared to let out a groan in the disaster he had brought himself into. Even if he had the right to blame the other pastels for stretching the meeting on, this was his fault. He was the only one who had yet to ever get a license. Other things were always on his mind. When not on his mind he alongside that had health issues he repressed. In the end, he both never cared to drive and also didn’t trust himself. The fact Yahaba couldn’t drive was not the only thing that put him into this situation. He also happened to be one of the most stubborn and determined assholes of his generation. Every single member had offered him a ride home. A comfortable, warm, and not long car ride. The ride offered only a small sprinkle of rain entering and exiting. Instead, he turned it down from every last member. All shook heads and the medical majors even begged softly. The sense in him was knocked out when it came to Yahaba’s toxic pride. He was quickly realizing that his pride wasn’t noble it was just stupid. Plain and as simple as that it was stupid. As if it all couldn’t get any worse and he couldn’t have a better reason to scream he was late, he was breaking the new curfew. The curfew was a new adjustment for the year for a very odd reason. It wasn’t exactly a curfew after all. It was an advisory for a danger that had fallen upon campus. Similar to the weather another storm had occurred each night this week. A gang has been seen wreaking havoc and scaring students, even teachers. They lingered after the long hours and only disappeared when they could hide in the crowds of morning classes. There was a rumor that there were seven even if only six had been seen. The number happened to be identical to the pastels with that was also a color scheme. Yahaba was steamed as if the idea was snatched right from his hand and turned upside down. The pastels ruled the faintest shades of blue, yellow, green, orange, red, gray, and finally purple. The punks ruled the same colors but with the twist, they seemed mighty proud of. For every pastel that could nearly blend in with the light, a punk could nearly disappear with the darkness. So it was easy to say even if fear ate his stomach away from breaking technically the camps “rule”, Yahaba wouldn’t mind bumping into these classless frauds. The storm was getting stronger. A wind howled with a force able to knock someone off their feet. Yahaba was barely able to keep stable. He had become used to the puddles at this point. They were slowly becoming a river that was carrying him down the stream from campus to his destination. The constant placement on the wet sidewalk next to familiar grass also made up for the loss of vision. Long ago it had faded into a blur. Droplets, dark sky, and clotted bangs beating back and forth between a forehead and lenses killed the sense.

Thankfully every other sense of Yahaba’s was on hyper-alert. Paranoia was suffocating almost as much as the upcoming smell that struck a nose. Knees nearly buckled sending legs into a halt. Slipping on heels the screech was anything but slick on a surface of similar nature. Slowly peeling glasses away, Yahaba held them a good distance away from eyes. There was the cause of the smell. Within the dark the smallest bit of smoke managed to not drown out in the sky. Paying more attention there was something else in the air. Hearty laughs of deep-voiced strangers followed by coughs. Resting frames back onto a nose Yahaba sniffed. Sticking to the inside of a nose it was nearly toxic and most likely illegal. Rushing through a body it was triggering a flight or fight response. His personality said fight but his mind was screaming flight. A body was also reacting with its own response. It slowly carried the boy towards the crowd. Howling laughter on top of howling winds ate away at what little skin wasn’t in goosebumps. The storm had suddenly halted. Nothing but a rain with less pressure than a hose. From the depths of the sky, the moon even made a guest appearance and a guest. The guest of light came with the parting of the dark skies. It shone through not the strongest but just enough. Just enough to bring a glow to perfectly highlight six upcoming figures. They were no longer rumors, voices, and the source of the smoke. They were about to be real people before Yahaba. There was a path around these upcoming 3-d figures meaning they could stick at 2-d images within his mind. But curiosity killed the cat, not the rabbit. This was the fastest way and they just happened to be alongside it. This phrase repeated like a broken record within the turntable of his mind. The echos, outlines, smoke, and smell all grew stronger with every step. No seventh member was just a rumor, unlike the rumor of these six. With each growing step closer though fear was subsiding. All these figures were in fact against bikes. Pierced out boys in dark colors on a college campus on their bicycles late at night. Yahaba hadn’t imagined it to be correct but he was so happy he was. This was no sort of threatening gang. It was in fact just a pack of punks. Nearly steps away from being face to face to them all he came to a stop. Shuffling behind a tree nearby he wanted a better peak. He wanted to observe the opposites that suddenly came for him where it hurt most. His school life.

The first he cared to pay attention to was one of the main sources of laughter. A reflection in the skylight that was all too bright revealed his color. Purple hues came from various piercings clogging up a face next to laughing lips. The outfit below the metal face was that of an American frat boy and goth. He didn’t scream exactly punk, his soft auburn hair didn’t help a case, he was more of a wannabe. Next to him, probably catching a contact high, was someone who better suited the label. Leaning on a bike frame, talking in an aggressive tone emphasizing slurs, his fingers brushed through rebel blond locks. Color could have been black but..he knew he knew better. This was the boy who sported gray to clash against his pastel. The line got louder with the next two. Both shared freshly bleached hair and very similar features. It was ironic they were the red and the orange of the group. Only off in a few hues and blends and small details. The red had a tattoo encapsulating the entirety of his neck, multiple piercings, and dyed hair in a mohawk. Orange’s skin was inkless but still had its fair share of piercings. Its presentation of blond hair made him look like a used cotton swab. There then was a giant. He was the most terrifying. A face locked in anger and aggression that was caged and needed to be free. Eyebrows happened to be nowhere in sight. The only comforting feature about this creature of a man was his hair. The shade was even lighter than what Yahaba saw each day in the mirror. Puffs of white hair with oddly most tucked away under a cap. Who knows what lies beneath but that hat matched perfectly with the rest of a dark green outfit. His stature and features were indeed terrifying, but that seemed to be all. Not a tattoo nor any sort of piercing present on skin. There was only one thing that really made him fit the crowd. One thing that made him different from a scary stranger on a train. The begging in a deep voice for a narcotic to be passed for him. Of course, there wasn’t a good one. They are “gang” members after all. There were two color options left. But, if it was a leader he had a feeling it had to be his opposite. Resting peacefully in the middle of chaos there he was. Ginger eyes ringed by black could uproot anyone from the ground with their glare. Familiarity was instead much darker this time. A blue denim jacket darker than the sky above rested on shoulders. Damaged hands balled up along sleeves as arms crossed firmly before a chest. Scars were boldly intensifying the look of muscles that stretched worn material. His hair was most likely the start of the fad that had hit all the other members. Bleached so extremely it looked nearly damaged with its yellow hue. Just above-gaged ears were left untouched streaks of natural hair. Gorgeous if it wasn’t taken over from the waxy color of bleach tournament. His skin also happened to be ironically darker than the others. Skin wrapped around a strong jaw was a close attempt at what Yahaba’s glasses could be.

He was also by far not the biggest, but his energy was. He looked like an actual gang member, leader, and not just a punk. After analyzing nearly every feature Yahaba had one conclusion he was sure of. The leader was very attractive. He also could conclude he was going insane. Falling for hoodlums at nearly...his alarms. He had no clear idea of what time it was but that wasn’t going to stop alarms. Hands that had been clenching from thirst into bark scrounged. They dug and chased as fast as they could. On a mission for life and death to retrieve a device. Sadly, by exactly one number in a passcode off, it rang. Sweet harmonies fluttered out into the air. The cancel button was swiped but what was the point? Looking towards delectable eyes Yahaba had come to make another realization. Those eyes had never moved. Both were now looking directly at one another. Against his power blush softly spreaded across cheeks. Completely one-sided in embarrassment for being caught gawking. He had been watching Yahaba the entire time. With late effects goons to his side became alert. The distorted rainbow that rose from hell took last hits and cut off jokes. Now it wasn’t just one but five other eyes were watching him. The weather had refused to cooperate with him but it was on this group's side. Thunder roaring to fill the silence and give them all a proper welcome. Weakly lips turned up in a smile as a body tensed. Yahaba needed to be snapped in half. He would prefer for his future physical therapists best friend to do it, but he ever so slightly feared he had no choice. Would it be an idiot copying one of his idiots? Or would the attractive badass fuck him up? He knew why he was in the wrong. He had gathered more information on all of them than anyone has yet. They saw him as a nark and as someone who needed to be rid of. There was no easy way to simply express, no you are copying my style and I wanted to judge you all but your leader is also kinda cute. So thankfully Yahaba did not have to break the silence with that. His opposite did instead.

“What the fuck are you doing still standing there? Get over here or do we have to fetch you? Your alarms must mean you're a late little rabbit right?. What if you just never show up?” Every line may have ended in a question coming from snake bit lips, but they still were easily threats. The handsome stranger’s true identity finally clicked in Yahaba’s mind once again. He was a leader of an actual gang. It may be a pathetic one but it was real. There were reasons scars coated hands and drugs were able to pass around the crowd. An escape plan was slowly plotting in a mind as a body made its own idiotic mistake. Following at a completely different pace it moved forward. The purple male who could cling to a refrigerator rose a studded brow. He didn’t waste time to speak his mind,

“Mad-dog him? Do you think he’s a threat? He’s one of those softies Bokuto left us for.” Yahaba was lost on what came from his lips. They already knew about him? They know of his softies? The words that were said triggered something within this mad dog. He quickly became exactly what his name meant. A mad, deranged, and very pissed off dog. Nearly foaming at the mouth lips curved exposing teeth. Pointed at every tip sharp enough to rip out a jugular, that rapid eyes were watching. There was no more comfortable resting waiting to take action. Those war-torn scarred hands were now cracking knuckles. Yahaba with his own hands mocked an action. There were no scars and it wasn’t nearly as threatening. Baby smooth skin paler than a model’s barely managed to create a single pop. If this was how a leader was going to greet him he thought he might as well do the same. A jaw tensed closing a smile and releasing a grunt from across. Mad dog may have known the group Yahaba ran but he didn’t know Yahaba. The levels of stubborn cockheadingness all bundled up in a cute appearance. To add to the introduction of himself he tossed in a laugh. With the laugh lips naturally curled into a smile. Not scary but innocent and sweet. Sweet and delectable with sour and rotten intentions at the core.

“What do you gentlemen want with me? I was simply just seeing if the rumor was true on my walk back home! I can say it is! I’m...what did you call me bunny boy? We can stick by that. How about it hm?” With each outstretching line of dialogue, a hand extended. Going for a polite gesture of a shake. Judgemental wasn’t enough to describe the look in their eyes. It was as if he was now the one with narcotics and was handing them to officers of the law willingly. Making himself beyond vulnerable to a group who could cause him extreme damage. It was as if he was now the criminal. Only one seemed to accept the exposed hand. It thankfully was just the person Yahaba wanted. Delicate skin tore apart like tissue pieces against sandpaper, as a hand clasped around his with the exact texture. An inner nervous system wanted to retract. Urges wanted to scrub every bit of a bad boy and his grime away. Yahaba wished he never allowed his perfection to touch someone so filthy. Shockingly hands that looked as if they had been to hell and back carried such a limp grip. The air and tension were as thick as Yahaba’s prescription. They both were left at a standstill on what to do next. Arms have not risen, there has been no further movement. A grip that was so weak but suddenly grew stronger. The muscles that bulged beneath those jacket sleeves were so attractive, until they were used at their full power. What little strength Yahaba had he used it to try and fight back, keeping a grasp. The rest of the body was losing a fight to keep up. Legs collapsed under a frame. Catching one from his fall mad dog delightfully gathered a collar. Gripping and nearly ripping fabric their eyes met and noses were barely centimeters apart. Yahaba had never lost his delightful smile until that moment. The sugary topping of his personality had been brushed away leaving nothing but an ugly truth now exposed. It was in the eyes and how two almost had the exact same expression upon their lips. Both wanted to rip each other to shreds. Both also knew who would win. Both also had mixed perceptions of who would win. The rest of the members didn’t have second guesses on the other hand. They knew who exactly would win. And who exactly would press charges for losing. They scrambled to break the two apart. Screams and squeaks came ripping the dog away from its toy it wanted to chew out. At first, they did nothing but shove Yahaba softly away. Then forcefully. At first, ushering him in a direction he was originally heading. Then shouting and pointing anywhere just go anywhere.

“WE CAN’T HOLD HIM OFF FOR MUCH LONGER GO!” The purple male yelled. He clearly was the next in charge. Or at least the one who locked the mad dog in his cage each night. Yahaba rubbed at a sore wrist. Now it was feeling as limp as the hand that annihilated his once was. There wasn’t much color to gain back but it was slowly coming. He looked at the sight he was being forced away from. The advisory turned out to be realistic. He knew he should have followed it. But that stubborn personality was the thing that told him he was fine. It also told him to make his next move. Feet had power again. He had the dominant hand over the mad dog. Slowly he approached. Slowly he got closer as other members were more frantic than ever. A throat growled. A throat grumbled. A throat was preparing. A mouth salivated. The dog hadn't drooled on him so Yahaba was going to make that move. Tilting back a mouth had gathered all it needed. Using the bottom lining of glasses to aim he managed. Rocketing a skull forward and opening lips just enough you could say he blew a sloppy kiss. Liquid shot forward gathering and splattering across a forehead. He couldn’t have missed on that big of a target thankfully. It seemed that even the one who released was frightened by the scream that was shouted. Screeching louder than a car slamming onto the breaks. A body was becoming loose at its seat belts of support were taken so off guard. Yahaba had made his mark and also started a color war. He had his fun. That’s all he wanted not to die tonight. The storm had roared as well. So many signs were screaming to go. Yahaba finally listened.

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After an encounter like he had previously had Yahaba thought he had the right to make a dramatic entrance. During his chase, he had also made a realization. That realization needed some answers immediately. Door slamming open keys jangled still stuck in the lock as he analyzed the room. Pastel did exactly as they should have and looked back at him. He lifted his throat to show a gulp as he gave a nod. The wet rat then went back to his sopping struggles. Trying to rip feet free from water damaged shoes that needed replacing. Money down the gutter that looked like he just rose from. Pastels then finally blew their roommate off. They were for once on a better schedule than he was. They in fact went back to it. Sipping and eating snacks and socializing once again before they parted ways full for the night. Yahaba still in the door pinched at his outfit. The colors so dark made him feel so off that he should join them in the dryer. Fingers unclipped from the material and his shoulder dropped. He was almost going to just change and pout but then he remembered. Steps that could be heard from a mile away they were heading towards one specific pastel. One whose opposite color wasn’t present. Akaashi was chatting softly in his normal color yellow in the form of pajama pants. But something was off about them. They weren’t almost mistakable for white. They were nearly a mustard shade in hue. In simplest terms they were dark they also clearly were not his own. Tucked in at the waist and rolled up at the ankles. They were too big. Yahaba smirked. Oh, he had done it.

“You can’t just say he has another piercing and not tell us!” Terushima begged excitedly, flashing his gray tongue ring as he spoke. Akaashi giggled ever so slightly with a bit of blush staining the tips of his ears.

“It’s in a spot none of you will see.” He murmured sipping onto his tea trying to draw the attention away from him. Shirabu bit at a violet sleeve pondering on a destination. They had all just met him; he had seen a body he couldn’t imagine where a piercing may be. Ennoshita, on the other hand, had a clear idea from a personality. The two tended to love to synchronize embarrass the others. Their time to shine was now. Clearing his throat ever so slightly Ennoshita caught Shirabu’s attention. He gestured a thumb towards his own groin on top of orange boxers. The two looked like mirror reflections of the same devilish smirk. They counted as Futakuchi tossed an annoyed hand into the air.

“It’s on his fucking dick Keiji isn’t it?” Every color snapped as green stole the other’s thunder. Akaashi spat his tea struggling to contain laughter. The remaining color that hasn’t spoken was planning how to intervene. Fukunaga has been previously fixated on a phone screen before orange and purple had gathered thoughts. He knew what it was instantly but he wanted to make a good joke from it. Images of flesh and metal reflected onto his glasses lenses. He regretted this immensely but he gathered more than enough information to ask,

“Does he have a Prince Albert or a frenum?” That one did the job. That one broke him. Frequently remarked as the calmest and tame member of the group lost it. Akaashi replaced the lukewarm tea in his hands for piping hot cheeks. Squeezing the skin as hard as he could he let out a groan as colors broke into laughter. So many voices became one beautiful song that played around the house. All but two participated. Akaashi who was in a ball of embarrassment and Yahaba who was standing next to him. Yahaba had heard more than enough. He heard it all actually. He held onto every bit of laughter from the situation. He wanted to get a point across without accidentally snorting. He parted lips preparing to speak but then...the man of the hour appeared from the doorway. Akaashi managed to score the whole package. And with newfound information that was the spot many of the pastels now gazed upon. Yahaba was holding in that urge. He was looking for other features. It was almost too easy to figure it out though. The figure just had to come out shirtless and in the color yellow. Yahaba ended up looking waist down anyway, pants were around two sizes too small. They were also maybe around two hues off of white. Going above and past a very defined set of abs on a bicep, there was something else. Quiet boldly something not every normal individual would have. From the top of a shoulder and ending roughly at a wrist on a right arm a tattoo sleeve was there. Quite delicate and stunning for something on one of the punks. A very large horned owl resting peacefully on a branch of cherry blossoms. Why an owl? That took mere seconds for it to click once again. His name. Bokuto. Every single piece matched up. This was the missing punk in the pack. This is the runaway gang member that left for one of his pastels. Yahaba had met all the rest he wanted to met this one face to face now. The one who caused this trouble and this war. Hair was shockingly not blond. It was completely different. Pitch black tips looking electrified as they were white at tips. His face did make sense. A spot of metal which peaked from above and beneath a bottom lip. Both ears were simply pierced but nothing filled them. The thing that screamed the most attention about Bokuto though. Was his smile. Radiating and largely full of sweet joy. He had the body and strength that would fit a gang, but as Akaashi affectionately called him he seemed like a,

“Goofball what are you doing out here?” Akaashi rose from his cheek to palm solace to ask his thirst trap. Every pastel in the room then had to pretend eyes were not watching him. Oh how being alone in the prime of their lives was eating away at the pastel sharehouse. Bokuto crossed through a gap of two couches in which conversation took place between. Eyes wandered and then quickly talking started up to fill the empty air. Akaashi waited patiently for his partner to come to him. Yahaba felt as if he was a ghost now. All eyes on him to nothing?! Akaashi was more than aware of him actually. He had been standing there for roughly three minutes now. He also smelt like a wet dog and looked as if he fought with one. It was obvious everyone knew he was there. But to mess with the perfectionist they couldn’t help it. Bokuto then reached his destination and his other destination as well. He had yet to see his purpose but still pressed lips against Akaashi’s. Hands that held heated cheeks cupped a different set this time. Akaashi could feel a specific set of brown eyes from his left side watching him. He had to part a kiss and give an introduction.

“Ko, here’s my roommate you haven’t met Yahaba. Yahaba this is..”

“Bokuto.” Yahaba firmly filled in the rest of the sentence. Akaashi was taken aback. Yahaba hadn’t been told the name ever before. He had no way in hell of knowing. Is that why he was angry? Akaashi’s mind was overstimulating but softly fingers brushed his across his skin. He gazed up and Bokuto had brought glasses from a bedroom. Akaashi let it be and took them to at least cure one headache. Boyfriend a mess over it Bokuto was simply impressed somehow this stranger knew who he was! He felt bad he managed to not care too much of his presence. He was near his Akaashi and when Akaashi was there that was all he cared about.

“Nice to meet you.” Words were once again so soft and innocent. Why were they like that? Yahaba had no real idea of why and or how? How was he a member of a gang? Looking at the gesture presented before him he was exhausted. An extended open palm preparing for a shaking. Of course towards his damaged hand. Yahaba didn’t have the time to waist on this anymore. He was blunt as it is he might as well be open about it. Turning his wrist towards the crowd he lifted a sleeve. Pastels cringed and gasped even from afar, seeing the number done to the skin of his arm. It looked so violent and certainly not self-inflicted. Everyone could piece together someone else did that to him. This was the darkest shade of blue Yahaba had worn in almost two years. Bokuto murmured a soft oh retracting his hand back to place. He hadn’t meant to expose any marks or make the room as quiet as it became. Yahaba gave a small glance and smiled. Attention was comfortably sounding him. Even concern and hopefully ice after he told a story. Smile still soft he wet lips plotting words carefully. His gaze stayed low. He couldn’t dare look Bokuto in the eyes during this interrogation. It was not even an interrogation but the blame game. Yahaba had most of his questions answered until new ones rose.

“I just happened to have met the gang that is roaming the campus. Their leader did this to me. Wanna know why guys? Did you know they actually had seven members just like us?” Yahaba watched all life drain from two sets of eyes. Baby blue’s of Akaaashi’s were filling with guilt-filled tears. Bokuto’s eyes were as golden as the owl’s on his tattoo that decorated his arm. They were also as sharp and as wide. But...they weren’t dangerous so he was going to continue. The other pastels were lost for words. They were geniuses they didn’t need the rest of this. They knew Yahaba was steamed and he wanted to keep going. He wanted all the information he could get. All the answers he could get from the runaway member right before his eyes. “They had all the colors but yellow actually. They said that we stole someone named Bokuto hm. A tattooed, muscled, hottie in Akaashi’s literal pants? That’s I don’t know DATING HIM AND NOW LIVING HERE AM I RIGHT?! I know you were moving him in I saw the papers Keiji. What the fuck is your group? Why were you part of it? Why are you here?” Bokuto sighed he was dense but he wasn’t stupid. These questions were going to be asked. They had the right to be asked. Ears caught a horrible gut-wrenching sound. Bokuto cared firstly about the soft sniffles from Keiji next to him. The irritating blue boy could wait a moment. Yahaba was beyond appalled when to his questions he got nothing but the turn of a back. That was until he realized it had no rude intentions. Akaashi wasn’t any drama queen but Yahaba ripping at his boyfriend seemed to have struck a nerve. No snapping just soft tears rolling down pinks that were still sweetly pink from joy minutes ago. Bokuto picked up a body and placed it on his lap as he sunk onto the couch. Cupping Akaashi’s back he let the male unwind and calm down. He then sighed heavily and looked at Yahaba,

“You want the short answer or the long answer?” Yahaba bit his inner cheek. He had already made someone cry and ruined his first introduction. Bokuto seemed different or was trying to be. Why did he have to be such a bitch about it? That sadly came with a personality.

“Whichever. I just wanna know as much as I can. I’m sorry for being rude.” The pastels gasped at this sudden and never before seen apology. Yahaba blushed stomping onto the ground with a shut up. Bokuto and Akaashi snickered in one another’s hold. Yahaba finally took a seat on one of the sofas. He was tired and was really tired of talking. He wanted a story from the bad boy who was now living in his house.

Bokuto told a story with chunks. There were big chunks of information and also lots missing. Akaaashi filled in what a spaced-out mind forgot about. Bokuto told the tale of how he was the original gang leader. Tired of feeling he didn’t belong so he dropped out. And others feeling the same way followed after him. He got a small gathering were they became actual freaks. They became what people treated them as. It was also safe and comfortable and Bokuto didn’t push others away. Around four months nearly five months back though Bokuto met Akaashi. Akaashi met Bokuto. And their worlds completely flipped upside down. Bokuto got soft. Those were the exact words from mad dog or Kyoutani’s mouth. They weren’t even words they were meant to be insults that came with Bokuto getting kicked from the gang. Bokuto accepted it. He had Akaashi to go to. He had someone who accepted him on the sidelines. It was enough for him to go without a fight. Love does crazy things he stated holding a hand tightly in his lap. Bokuto warned Kyoutani apparently. He wanted him to stay safe. Even if they got into trouble every now and then, it was never with the law. They were neither chasers or dodgers. They kept clean they used to that is. With no connections to anyone, Bokuto had no way to know what was going on. He was near tears speaking on the topic. He has been trying for weeks but Kyoutani’s threats were risking his life. Yahaba couldn’t take what he was hearing. Pastels were all soothing Bokuto thankfully as Yahaba reflected on what he was told. Wrestling with the couch he still soaked and had a mountain of homework in his bedroom. He wasn’t in the mood. He just wanted to change and forget his mistakes. He then heard his name in a shaky voice. Oh no he hadn’t done it had he? He learned more than enough Bokuto didn’t need to continue.

“Yahaba...I’m sorry he hurt you. He has uncontrollable. anger but it’s no excuse. Be safe around him. All of you.” Colors rolled eyes and nervously laughed trying to poke fun at it all. Especially the line about anger. They all pointed hands and gestured but most of them ended up pointed at Yahaba. He was one of the worst and he knew that. He knew it more than he’d like. Bokuto started it originally but he let the fire go out. Yahaba created a new and with one launch of spit. Brought the fire back stronger. His thoughts were simply winding down to one opinion. He fucked up big time.

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It took nearly seven hours for the storm to pass. Futakuchi was awake for all several hours. Fear was not his favorite emotion. He wasn’t special for not liking it he was aware. He couldn’t help but hate it though. If it hit him at any point when he was even near a bed or getting changed into pajamas sleep was canceled. Tossed directly out the window like Futa slowly craved to also be after so many sleepless nights. College life had brought many new fears the previous year. This year the threat of a gang coming after his close friends was also a new fear of this year. He could feel the bags grow when he got under the covers that night. It was pointless. Last year with new fears and new empty nights without sleep, he found alternatives. He found the perfect destination. It even brought him the smallest bit of weariness. It was calmer than any home could be and more comforting than any blanket. It was simply the campus pond. A calm walk, delightful scenery, and even creatures for entertainment. It was Futakuchi’s escape. The simple student made structure gave him more pleasure than a boyfriend ever has. Futakuchi wanted to push away this fear and stuff it in his getaway bag. A breath made brunette bangs flutter as a head slowly rolled to the side of a clock. Five am as clear as the rising daylight. Rolling to the other side towards a window there was a surprise. There was actual daylight starting to appear. A treat both too early in the morning and too late at night. Futakuchi bit his lip. He knew exactly what every pastel would say. But, he was in a sharehouse, not a cult. Things didn’t need to be gathered. His outfit didn’t need to be changed. Simply arms swiped a bag onto a back and feet snuck outdoors. It just hit five o’ five by the time the front door shut behind him.

Futakuchi had a habit he didn’t understand himself. He would fill and refill the same bag for his pond adventures on sleepless nights. The thing is that he would viciously overpack. He didn’t care enough about himself to carry all of this. If he cared about himself he would have just got sleeping medication a long time ago. He wanted to be cool in a way. He wanted to be prepared for anything. He wanted to have anything anyone needed. Examples of things kept in a bag that had yet to be used a first aid kit, a change of clothes, gloves, pepper spray, and even a gathering of charger cables with no blocks. Everything had a good purpose but they just happened to never be used. Futa pulled at something he did plan to use from a bag. The pond had a family of tortoises embracing the mascot of the school. They were there every time he needed them. They were the perfect therapists in which Futakuchi could insanely let loose upon. He pulled out their favorite melon slices he snatched from a refrigerator on his way out. Not his own yes, but they wouldn’t be missed. It took passing over two bridges by the architect students of the campus. After a second bridge, they would tend to wander on their small hill in front of their temple shaped home. Fingers playing with a seal, eyes were studying on the condensation on the inside of a bag. Futakuchi only stopped in his tracks hearing a growl. His heart soon stopped right after. There were his tortoise friends but before them was a creature. A creature he was unfamiliar with. It appeared human with its clothes but Futakuchi was delusional. He would be the only person who would come and hang out with tortoises at five am. The creature sat like a predator and the sweet creatures gathered around it. They weren’t aware of what was coming. Eyes adjusting though, those were in fact clothes they...also were dark green. The member of the gang and the predatory to this innocent pray was quivering. Shaking violently. Futakuci couldn’t help but panic ever so slightly. What was he up to? What was his opposite plotting? A throat closed and hands held onto a bag of melons pretending they were a shield. Pretending that a ziplock, not even all the way full could block a drug-filled outburst. That’s what he thought was happening. Until he heard it. Fingers trying to tear at a jacket sleeve as breathing raced. They were desperate to rip it off. Futakuchi felt sick thinking was it dirty but then thought realistically. He then looked fearfully. There was red. So much red on the grass around the stranger. With how pale is skin was he looked like it has been a while. He needed urgent care. Futakuchi was the closet he could get currently. Futa balled fists to his sides rolling eyes up to the sky. Why did he have a drop more empathy than Yahaba? Why can’t he shout, call him a sick bastard, and run away? Because he was envious green not blue. His cool guy time to shine finally appeared as melons got a switch for a kit.

“Str..sir..dude? Do you need help?” Futakuchi asked slowly approaching. He held a kit at an angle in defense if he happened to be wrong. Small pupils expanded into black holes looking at the injury as a figure turned over.

“P..ple..ease.” Words stuttered out. A palm was cleanly sliced as fingers from another hand were drenched trying to put the pieces back together. What skin wasn’t pale was red. Not cooled and dark either still pooling and warm from the color. What little medical training Futakuchi had he sprinted to aid. He couldn’t deny the fact the sight was too much. He had never been so happy he went a dentist route instead of a surgeon. The giant solid built tree of a creature was wilting. Lighter than a flower Futa had to keep him up straight. Every step that followed was quick. It needed to be. Fluids poured and dabbed onto the skin. Grunts from a stranger were exhausted and Futa wished he could have supplied meds. He was silent that brought Futakuchi into a frenzy. Was he messing up? Had it been too late? How had this dude sliced himself in the hand by accident at five am in the morning? He needed to start questions or conversation. Not for fun but the next step was calling an ambulance. If he did that he feared it would make this tall rebel figure skitter way like a deer.

“What’s your name? Why are you green? Would you mind if I gave you stitches? Because you need them! I’m not the best but I’m confident I can do a better job than nothing.” Words were as shaky as hands which probably shouldn’t start an emergency procedure. The stranger held onto a Futa’s shoulder. His forehead fell onto another’s. They were very close. Noses were even touching. Futa was panting enough to breathe for both of them. That’s exactly what he was doing as the stranger’s chest had yet to move. “Aone. They told me to. I trust you.” His head then fell away after such a deep conversation. It now rested in Futa’s shoulder. Futa took a deep inhale and took a palm into his own and got to work. He in this position could hear breathing and see the awake eyes of his patient. It took exactly sixteen stitches. Futakuchi swore he felt tears stain his shirt. As a patient stayed in his place behaving perfectly Futa thought he’d observe a bit. Brows weren’t apparent at all. They had been picked away long ago and now nothing but skin. Even with no hair, they were still knitted in an angry expression. They seemed to knit in response to pain and to stay tough. Otherwise in this relaxed state nothing. An expression as soft as a child in his mother’s arms. He was in fact very pale before for Futa’s benefit. Also before this adventure began he wore a cap. When noses collided and then an expression dug into a shoulder it fell off. Underneath it held very little amounts of white hair. So many bunches ripped away by angry tugs. Futakuchi could sense the damage that wasn’t just beneath the skin of a hand he fixed. Futa had finished not too long ago but the stranger...Aone had yet to move. He seemed comfortable. Futa himself would admit out loud this is comfortable as well. He didn’t but he truly didn’t mind this. Mixing supplies from a backpack and kit he poured water upon a cotton pad. He scrubbed softly away layers of blood. And in that scrub, he noticed something else. There was a tattoo on a wrist. It was a word. It was upside down from his perspective. Being stressed yet relieved as hell and sleep-deprived were not mixing well together. Aone matched his stare at a wrist. He had gotten sad when the soothing water texture had stopped moving. He attempted to make a fist. His teeth grinded it felt like the cause of his tattoo. He let fingers rest again.

“It means safety.” Futakuchi rose a brow? What a peculiar word choice? Aone took the brows as another question. He wasn’t a fan of answering it. But, this stranger had just saved his hand.

“I was abused..my dad. He was bad. He’s gone now.” Futakuchi was stunned Aone just opened up like this but...he was on his own adventure in a battle of mental health. A blood-drenched cotton pad got put aside. Instead, Futa traced his own finger along a tattoo. Both didn’t say a word and accepted it.

“I was severely bullied. They would get me during the night...I don’t have anymore but, that’s why I’m out here. I couldn’t sleep. Someone said your group was out to get..mine. I’m a pastel. I’m Futakuchi.” Aone puffed. It meant nothing but a vocal shrug,

“You saved my hand. And I’m not out for you. I’m just there because no one else likes me.” Futakuchi frowned at hearing that and Aone was puzzled. Futa even pouted,

“I haven’t known you long but I like you. We both like green and..trauma and safety.” Aone let out a laugh sitting up to hide his smile. Futakichi’s heart fluttered. The butterflies were beating and beating hard. It’s been years and how were they hitting so heavily?

“Do you like tortoises too? That’s how I cut my hand. I was feeding them their favorite..”

“Melons!” Futakuchi interrupted with a correct answer. Aone blinked blushing ever so slightly. He thought this mystery savior was cute the moment he saved him but, the tortoises really did it. The sun continued to rise and time continued as two tried together to cut a melon. Passing pieces they kept talking. Aone was actually an ex-marine biology major and he had another hidden tattoo. Futakuchi was stunned by the oceanic pattern with rushing turtles drenching an entire muscular back. Akaashi may have done good with his opposite but, Futa couldn't find a complaint with his. He promised Aone he wouldn't leave until he could close his fist. It took hours but eventually, it happened. Aone closed his fist. Funnily right around a dozing off Futakuchi. They thankfully both had just enough energy to intertwine fingers as well.

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Ennoshita had never regretted something so hard in his life. Why? Why did he pick a medical major? Why did he think that was smart? Fingers pinched the bridge of a nose dulling a migraine. Lungs reinflated to puff air out from inflated cheeks. One more set of tests and summer break would finally be here. He would have loved to image his summer plans in action but, he couldn’t go three minutes in thought without interruption. Coffee cups and energy drinks were his only source of living and his paperweights. A living room table had been devoured in study guides and notes. Unlike Shirabu he couldn’t simply memorize everything with super-genius abilities. He had to put effort into it. And that was his plan for the night. He didn’t expect to suddenly fall into a rule of threes with someone across the street. Three hours of car motors and tools crashing, three playlists to drown out the noise but they were what got drowned out, and ironically this was finally breaking Ennoshita at three am. Avoiding urges to break out the scotch for when his exams are passed, he realized he had to face this idiot. He was told from Futakuchi and his new “bad boy punk” boyfriend that the grease monkey slamming at a vehicle out there was his. Of course, it was! Ennoshita gathered himself to his best ability. Orange sweat pants and a white sweatshirt screamed a creamsicle aesthetic. He hoped that saying the pun in his mind would him from hearing it out loud. Slipping on slippers aggression came out in the slam of a door. One doesn’t know their power until its too late. Ennoshita learned that the hard way catching the smallest glimpse, that was just enough, of the disaster from his mistake. Cans and cups splattered onto the floor and with that flew the papers they were keeping contained.

Ennoshita broadened his shoulders and took a deep inhale stapping away from the front door. He was about to burst into defeated tears, but he wasn’t going to cry to this opposite. He only will cry is he absolutely must. The neighborhood was silent right now. He had no clear identity of a car or the stranger so he needed to listen for it. He might as well make himself comfortable. He has one hundred and eighty seconds to kill. Moving towards a driveway he sprawled. Legs and arms outstretched lazily before him They waited and then in sync moved together ticking like a clock. He would have enjoyed doing this for a whole three minutes. But he thought he needed to attempt to be productive. As he counted like a toddler, eyes wandered along with the neighborhood. Numbers got higher and in his line of vision, he had found the culprit. Standing up he continued his counting. As if it was a household trait he was another stubborn pastel. He wanted to be right. Counting was equal enough to the trigonometry homework that might be drenched in twelve-hour energy. Looking at his opposite he didn’t hate all that he saw. A pierced ear was in his direction with the smallest stud of their shared color. Not too dark not too light just right. Somehow his outfit was worse than Ennoshita’s and even more of the opposite? Dark orange skin-tight v neck paired with nothing but black boxers. Why? Why was he out here looking like this? On top of the look was his sunflower presentation of hair. His dark face and hints of dark roots connected to vibrant yellow petals. Ennoshita was starting to get more questions but as he reached the hundred and seventies he knew he was going to have an order to stop more than anything. Exactly on the seventy-nine, a shin collided, what looked like painfully, against a bumper. It made a hood pop and an orange boy dive down the hole of the vehicle. Ennoshita wasn’t far. Just out of eyesight. Barely four steps away but he couldn’t help himself. Cheering softly he gave himself a win. He needed at least one tonight. He didn’t think he could be heard but he didn’t think anyone could see him either. There was limited space between an engine and hood but it allowed a fist bump perfectly in a line of vision. The man deep within a vehicle who prepared to dive deep, and solve another issue in a motor, for another few hours was now intrigued. The sight of sweats shaded orange sherbert covering thick thighs was a good sight. And from what Aone had told him is exactly his type. Ennoshita watched wires be clasped between fingers as he was now being analyzed. Bottom to top and top to bottom. Insecurity took overseeing nothing but judgment in eyes. Ennoshita in a petty fashion searched for something unattractive but not a thing. Just more things he was so happy to have on his opposite. Outlines of defined abs showing through a thin material of a top, and snake bites. It was only four piercings but they were a leash that this punk had on his collar. Snapping from thoughts Ennoshita shook himself awake. His opposite was hot. But also a fucking nuisance and he wanted that point across. It was as if the oiled up idiot could read minds,

“I gotta admit thank god I got someone thick. I was tired of all those twinks.” Words were straight forward in the blunt way, not the sexuality. They came from a flirtatious smirk and a pinch of a wink tossed into the batter. Stir it together with saying absolutely nothing else and going back to a car? A perfect recipe for Ennoshita going ape shit. Slippers violently stomped on the blacktop. The noise wasn’t prominent, but the expression it came with was cute enough to make one look up from work again. Ennoshita wasn’t letting this man who has been ruining his studying time for the entire night. He had a few words to be said,

“Stop with this fucking noise it is three am in the goddam morning, you dickhead! Oh my god, I am trying to study I go to college? I know you dropped out I heard it I know, I know. But I didn’t! Also what sexuality are you? Which head would you like me to get blood flow too?!” Ennoshita knew exactly which head was full of blood flow now. The blond-headed rebel’s eyes became the size of the moon as he stumbled backward. Fingers clasped and slammed a hood as a hearty laugh left him shaking ontop. Ennoshita whished he could drive make him into a hood ornament. He looked like roadkill half his body under a vehicle the other sprawled on top. Ennoshita put a wrist to his face not wanting to ever talk to any male again. Why couldn’t he have stayed with his middle school boyfriend for the rest of his life?

“I’m Tanaka. I’m bisexual. And I’d like to see you red all over...I’d say that but are you blushing orange?” Ennoshita gulped cupping his face and flipping directions. He’s had enough he wanted to go back home. Stomping on his way back an arm grabbed his. He was blocking out various words just trying to lock himself with negative thoughts. He deserved them he needs to get back to work. Words were one thing but, he felt arms curve around his waist. Hugging him softly a head tilted onto his. Lips touching skin but not in a kiss. For being a piercing on the mouth it was still freezing.

“You want help studying or some shit? I’ll quit bothering you. I know your name don’t call me creepy...but you’re pretty cute. This little shade of orange blush is really cute” Tanaka whispered into an ear. His hand hesitantly went to pull down Ennoshita’s. Ennoshita inhaled. He exhaled. So much was happening but,

“When I left to go yell at you for making noise I spilled a bunch of stuff. You help me clean we can go grab a coffee? You...need to put some pants on first.” Ennoshita stated firmly hands up in a pause to keep himself from laughing. Tanaka went to a car and dug out Jeans in one slip on and done. Ennoshita wanted to comment. But he realized he couldn’t. He was the smart one out of the two. He was okay with that. He’ll make a better studying partner than Shirabu anyway. Teasing fingers brushed against his own he’s done it so many times tonight but once again, he rose a brow. Trying to get a confirmation that Tanaka wanted this? Even if they’ve known eachother for three hours in irritating and around twenty minutes in real life fingers connected. They were warm for Tanaka but cold for Ennoshita. They didn’t mind. It still felt right.