A cool breeze danced over her face, drawing circles against her tattooed skin. Her violet eyes twinkled as they observed the swath of constellations that sparkled overhead. Toads and cicadas made themselves known, their summery noises echoing out around her.
"A hero, huh?" the woman muttered, her voice being carried away by the wind.
She glanced over the large pond that laid in the backyard of their house, glittering with the reflections of thousands of stars. The tickle of a lilypad touched the surface of her toes, and soon water joined it. Ripples emerged.
A door opened behind her and the familiar sound of feet padding against the wood of the walkway brought her away from her loud thoughts. A quiet plop could be heard after that and the girl peered over her shoulder to see none other than her younger brother, having thrown a stone into the pond.
"You've been out here for hours, Hoshiko," the boy pointed out, leaning down to grab another rock.
Hoshiko tilted her head back and leaned into the cool embrace of the walkway. "Have I? I hadn't noticed..."
They went silent, her brother-Areku Toraichi- skipping the next stone he had removed from the zen garden, surrounding the pond. They stayed like that for several minutes, soaking in the relaxing view. "How's dad?"
He shrugged. "He went to bed early."
The young woman scoffed, rising from the walkway. "Did he even wish you a happy birthday?"
Areku glared into the distance, avoiding the question wholeheartedly. "Doesn't matter..."
She lightly smacked the back of his head. "Of course it does dummy. I'll force those words outta him if I have to!"
This prompted a slight smirk from the boy. Although his eyes showed a different story. Solemn. "No... It's really okay, Hoshi... He's preoccupied already. He doesn't need to be worried about me."
"Bullshit," she snorted. "You're his son. If he doesn't appreciate the day you were born, we'll just have to disown him!"
Her brother's brows crinkled and he let out a slight chuckle. "Yeah, good luck with kicking him out of his own house."
Hoshiko smiled down at him before running her fingers through the kid's silvery hair. It glowed in the moonlight. He slightly stared up at her. "You nervous about tomorrow?"
"The entrance exam?"
She froze a bit, her body just barely trembling. But just as quickly, it stopped from doing so. "No, I'm not nervous. Besides, if I don't make it, I can always choose a different school. U.A.'s entrance exam is near impossible, I hear, anyway."
Areku snickered. "You're terrified, aren't you?"
Still resting her hand on his head, she grasped onto his scalp and shoved down his head playfully. "Terrified?!? The only one who should be terrified is you once I find proof of that stash of candy you keep hidden!"
Mischievous eyes peaked up from underneath his bangs, a grin creeping onto his face. "You'll never find it!"
Before she could attempt to apprehend him with any more sisterly attacks, he struggled out of her grip and dashed to the end of the walkway. The air calmed and he peered over his shoulder while grasping ahold of the sliding door. "Go get some sleep. You need to."
He had already departed behind the sliding door before she was given the chance to say, "Aren't I supposed to tell you that? I'm the older sibling, aren't I?"
Of course, there was no reply, except for the disgusting and reaping secondary thoughts that clawed at the back of her mind that she held no control over.
What a bratty child...
Rolling her eyes, Hoshiko said, "Shut the hell up. You know nothing about him."
A laugh echoed throughout her head as she stormed off, back indoors, and towards her bedroom. Despite the fact that she yearned for an escape, she couldn't. She probably would never be able to...