Well, we'd made it into my room safely, without too much worry for my sanity on my mother's part (she had been worried
for my health, though, as I'd come home an hour late). Luckily, she hadn't seen 'Ssori, even if he'd more or less been standing
right next to me when she'd come out the door. I was sorta wondering about that.
Not much, though.
"Ooh... Shiney..." I murmured as I ran my fingers through his dark, to-die-for-silky hair. He sighed again, but didn't
try to stop me, so I went on. "What shampoo do you use?"
"... Shampoo?" He looked faintly confused as I stared at him in horror.
"You don't know was shampoo is? Yanno, the stuff you wash your hair with?" I asked, indignantly incredulous.
He straightened up, looking like his pride had been injured. "Of course I know what 'shampoo' is," he replied.
I had the vaguest impression that he was lying. "Right, sure you do," I said, humoring him. "So... What do you wash your
hair with? It's so silky... Like... silk." Gee, that was original. I could feel my stupidity points adding up. By the lift
of his brow, I just knew he was wondering if I was stupid or not. What can I say? I'm relatively simple.
"Whatever I have on hand," he replied boredly, still just staring at me.
Come to think of it, his gaze hadn't really left me the majority of the time we'd known each other - about an hour and
a half, actually - and I wasn't quite sure if I should be creeped out or not. Or maybe I should have been a little worried
about the fact that I wasn't. That was just a little weird.
But anyway... Back on topic. "Really? So, you don't use anything... Specific?" I asked skeptically. Surely not. His hair
was just naturally like this? Dammit; some people had all the luck. I was ridiculously jealous of him.
For some reason, he looked at me in haughty amusement. "Nothing specific. I do not really consider such things."
I blinked at that. How could someone not? That was really weird. Actually, a lot was weird lately in my life. "Oh."
Pause. "Why not?"
For a moment, Yoru-Ssori didn't answer, and even looked away. He stared silently at the wall, obviously thinking over his
response. I wasn't known for my patience, but I stayed quiet, worried that he wouldn't say anything if I pushed. "I... have
responsibilities that take up my time," was the eventual, cryptic response.
I wasn't letting him get away, figuratively. "What sort of responsibilities?"
He gave me a quelling look, which I ignored completely. He must have realized he'd more or less sealed his doom by mentioning
anything, because he once again looked away. "I'm a prince," he responded softly.
He looked completely blown away when I squealed excitedly. "Really?! Oh my god, that's so cool!" I proclaimed, clapping
my hands for some reason. "I get to meet a real, live prince! Freaking insane, man!" I got up and rushed over to my dresser,
pulling out a piece of paper and thrusting it into his face. "Can I have your autograph?"
He stared at me like I'd lost my mind. "Auto... graph? What is this thing you speak of?"
Silence descended between us, then, "Have you been living under a rock?"
"How did you know?"
"... that was a joke?"
"Yes, Miranda. That was a joke."
He sighed again.
"... and then he pulled me back onto the bridge," I said, finishing up my highly edited version of Yoru-Ssori's rescue
of me. Edited because he'd told me I couldn't say anything to anyone about demons and stuff.
Clarissa stared at me, gape-jawed, for a long moment. Then she shrieked and pulled me into a hug. "Tell me he's at least
cute, please tell me you're interested! You need a man, girl!"
I started to wheeze, and she immediately released me, but started going on and on about how this could be 'the one'. I
waited until she stopped talking to breathe (she hadn't done so for at least three minutes) and calmly said, "He's gorgeous,
yes, but... I dunno."
"You guy-shy twit," Clare scolded instantly, tweaking my ear. "If he's gorgeous, jump his freaking bones!"
I felt my face heat up at her crudeness. "Clare!" I squeaked in protest, mortified.
She giggled at the look on my face. "Oh god, Mir, you're so precious," she chided, poking my nose like one would an infant.
"But in all seriousness, you have to introduce me to him if you plan on ever meeting him again."
I blinked at that. Would I be able to? Neither Alex nor mom had been able to see him. "Maybe," I hedged. "I'll see if he
can... um, make it."
She nodded, satisfied with that. "Okay. And in other news... David and I broke up."
"What?" I gasped, mortified. "How could you?! You two were so cute together!"
"He just wasn't the one for me," she replied, shaking her head and grabbing my cupcake. I barely noticed, as she was continuing
while chewing (which was slightly gross, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't do it too). "Besides, there're plenty of other
fish in the sea, as you've clearly proved."
I groaned and dropped my head onto the table in front of me. "Leave 'Ssori out of this," I grumbled. "You're so callous
about guys. They have feelings, too, you know," I pointed out.
She nodded. "Of course they do. Their feelings just don't matter-"
"-to me." Clare smiled brightly and swallowed. "Thanks for the dessert, by the way, airhead."
"... my cupcake!"
"Dammit." I dropped my arms and settled onto my heels as Yoru-Ssori glanced at me over his shoulder, looking amused. "You
knew I was sneaking up behind you, didn't you?"
He smirked faintly. "I have excellent hearing."
"Lucky bastard," I grumbled, dropping onto my bed with a grunt. "I've decided that you're a Mary Sue."
"... a what?" His brow lifted with some measure of bemusement.
I sighed and wracked my brain for a good explanation. "Um... Well, to put it simply, you're too pretty, too perfect, and
totally unlike anything else in my world." I nodded for emphasis.
Liquid gold eyes stared at me for a moment. "... Thank you. I think."
He gave me another strange look before turning back to what he'd been doing. Curiously, I leaned over his shoulder and
watched for a moment. "Is that origami?" I asked, skeptical. At least, it looked like it. I was pretty sure I'd never seen
a creature like that before.
'Ssori stopped fidgeting with the paper and looked at me. "Yes." He quirked a brow before finishing. Oh. It was a crane.
Go figure. "Do you know how?" he asked me, turning and holding it out for me to take.
I picked it up gingerly, careful not to crush the delicate paper present. "No," I admitted. "I tried to make a swan in
eighth grade, but I failed spectacularly. My teacher told me that she believed I'd created a new species of creature." I grimaced.
"She couldn't replicate it, either."
He chuckled. "Then I shall make you one whenever you ask," he promised, smiling slightly.
I blinked, looking up at him in surprise. It was a surprisingly sweet gesture, I couldn't help but think. He'd seemed slightly
indifferent to me, but... Maybe he was just not used to me? "Thank you, 'Ssori," I said, smiling back.
Suddenly, the door burst open and Alex flew in, shutting it behind him. His gaze darted around the room before he almost
literally dove underneath my bed. Silence fell. Then, "Um... Al? You okay, dude?" I asked him, brow twitching with annoyance.
"Ssshhh!" he hissed. "I'm not here."
There was a knock on my door then, and Jake's voice. "Mir? Have you seen Alex? He's late for his tutoring."
Oh. Alex didn't want to go to his 'heir of the company' lessons today. Well. "No, I haven't," I told Jake, faking a yawn.
"Go 'way. I'm trying to take a nap."
"You and your beauty sleep," my older brother grumbled. "Fine. If you see him, tell him he's in trouble."
"'Kay." The sound of his footsteps receded and I leaned over, staring upside-down at my little brother as he hid under
my bed. "Good?"
"Good," he agreed with a relieved grin, climbing out from under the bed and locking the door. Turning around, he propped
his hands on his hips - a move he'd likely picked up from our mother - and peered about. "So... were you really trying to
take a nap?" he asked, looking skeptical.
"No. Just thinking about how best to avoid my homework," I replied with a shrug. "Wanna hang out?"
"Obviously," he replied smartly, rolling his eyes. "Now that you've rescued me and all." He rummaged through my dresser
and pulled out the deck of cards I kept in my sock drawer. "Wanna play Speed?" he asked, eyes lighting up at the thought of
I glanced at 'Ssori and then nodded. "Yeah," I said, smiling at him. I sort of wished Alex could meet my demon. Maybe they'd
get along. Maybe Alex would have a friend.
I couldn't sleep. I was tossing and turning, and had eventually ended up just staring up at the ceiling, chewing my lip.
The reason for this was laying on the floor in a pile of blankets I'd gotten him (not like I felt comfortable with him sleeping
in my bed, though I did feel bad about making him sleep on the floor). I couldn't hear him, but I knew he was there.
My mind was going back over everything that had happened for the past two days. Having a weird vision, falling off a bridge,
summoning a demon (I still hadn't asked about that, and I got the feeling that he was waiting for me to), having said demon
save my life, having another vision...
The first vision worried me. Would that really happen to Jake? What would I do? How would I stand it? I just knew I couldn't
let that happen. I'd do whatever I could to help him. Maybe... Should I warn him about it? I knew I'd want to know if I might
die... No, actually, I wouldn't. I'd want someone to be there to save me, but I'd flip out if I knew I might die. I'd become
this horrible mess of a person and jump at every little thing.
Jake wouldn't, though, I knew. He'd want to know. I should tell him. I needed to warn him...
Carefully, I slid out of my bed and stepped over 'Ssori, walking to the door and unlocking it. I was just about to turn
the doorknob when he spoke. "Miranda? Where are you going?" he asked, voice soft.
I turned around and tried not to look guilty. "To the bathroom..." I lied slowly.
He stared at me for a long time, face cast into shadow and eyes burning. Then he lay back down on the blankets. "I am sorry
you feel you cannot trust me," he said, eyes closing.
My heart squeezed painfully at that and I went over to him, kneeling down beside him. I bit my lip to keep myself from
crying like a baby. "I'm sorry, 'Ssori," I muttered, sitting on my heels and staring down at my hands. I could feel his gaze
on me as I saw him sit up at the edge of my vision. "When I fell of the bridge... It was because I had a vision," I admitted.
"I don't know really what it was supposed to be, but I could see Jake on the floor, and he was bleeding and I just knew he
was dead... I don't want that to happen to my big brother."
'Ssori reached out and touched my cheek gently, sighing. "I know, Miranda, but you cannot say a word," he said, sounding
as if he regretted telling me this.
I looked up at him, feeling hurt. I'd thought he'd understand! It was weird enough for me already, and what if my brother
was really hurt? I couldn't deal with that! I had to tell him! 'Ssori seemed to see this in my face, my expression,
because he lowered his hand to my shoulder and pulled me into a hug. "You cannot," he murmured in my ear. "I know you wish
to, but you cannot. It would hurt him, mentally, to learn of such things before the time he needs to learn them."
I felt pathetically tiny sitting there, practically curled up in his lap. This guy really was too tall for his own good.
"So... he'll know? When the time is right?" I asked, feeling like I was in a cheesy movie or something.
He pulled back and brushed my hair out of my face, then placed a kiss in the dead center of my forehead. It was such a
strange sensation, almost erotic, if it weren't for the fact that it was so gentle. It almost felt as if he were afraid I'd
break; though if you compared me to him, I might. "One day, he will know," he promised solemnly.
"Okay," I whispered back, trying and failing to smile.
I felt like I wanted to scream, and something told me I'd be able to soon.