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I'm back, DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN. That only took two months. But I did get my story finished!

Trying to get back into the swing of things now. I did a couple random drabbles in July, so there's some extra ones in this volume. Hopefully that makes up for the utter lack of updates.

7-10-13: Pacifier
Characters: Hinata Hanazaki, Eddie Valentine

It started with an argument. Most things did back then—Hana went against everything Eddie knew, and it was really the only way Eddie knew how to talk.

This time it was about feeding schedules. Hana insisted he could feed Eddie more than his self-imposed once-a-month starvation diet, had in fact been eating to enrich his blood for that very purpose, and it spiraled from there.

Hana could admit he lost his temper, but it was concern for Eddie that prompted him to shut him up. The kiss did the trick; catatonic Eddie was a better listener.

7-11-13: Amends
Characters: Ryo Maeda, Christopher Larkin

They hadn’t spoken since the day Chris had rejected his confession. It was understandable; Ryo was hurting, but he was done playing the bully.

Still, it had been months, and Ryo found himself missing just seeing the younger boy’s face. He was moving up to the next school level this year, and so far it’d been a dismal summer break. How much worse could it get?

He had nothing to lose by reaching out.

Chris’ birthday was a hot day in July—the perfect day to invite him out for ice cream, and an attempt to start over as friends.

8-6-13: Not So Different
Characters: Hinata Hanazaki, Tavish Kerr

Once their relationship was uncovered, the only question anyone could ask was:

Why him?

Tav had warned him from the start about the reaction he was likely to bring out of people, and Hana hated that he’d been so right. He couldn’t believe that in this day and age, no one seemed able to see past Tav’s tattoos and wild nature; that so many seemed to think Tav was beneath him.

He burned to tell the truth. That he was with Tav because he was kind, sweet, fun—and the only person willing to explore and accept his darker side.

8-7-13: Lap of Luxury
Characters: James Landon, Tavish Kerr

He heard the door opening and closing quickly, and then Tav’s voice called out to him. “I’m home—did it come?”

James smiled from where he stood in the bedroom. “Come see for yourself.”

He heard excited feet hurrying his way, and turned to see the look of delight on Tav’s face. “It’s huge!” He ran in and twisted to flop on the luxurious new bed. “Ah…”

James approached slowly, a paper in his hands. “It says we need to walk on it to break in the memory foam.”

Tav smirked. “I can think of something better we could do.”

8-8-13: Dodge
Characters: Hudson Cooper


The familiar slurring whine set Hudson’s teeth on edge. He had things to do, but he knew better than to simply turn up his music to tune it out.

Shutting the laptop he’d saved every penny for and sliding it into his bag, he threw on his hoodie and hurried for the window. He heard stumbling footsteps nearing his bedroom door, and barely slipped out onto the fire escape and got the window shut before the door opened.

“Hewiiie? Dammit…”

He heard the door shut again and breathed in relief. He wouldn’t be the one buying her booze today.

8-9-13: Anytime, Anyplace
Characters: Hudson Cooper

His friends called him Cooper, or Coop.

He had a lot of them—in name mostly, since he never let anyone close enough to find out just what was wrong at home. But he was fairly popular, as he was always the first to agree to go anywhere with anyone. If nothing was going on that day, he made as many calls as he had to. If that failed, he went out on his own.

Anything to get out of the house.

But that worked too; his friends loved bumping into him out and about. And none of them knew.

8-10-13: The Invisible Child
Characters: Hudson Cooper

A lot went into his family’s denial of the problem. Most just didn’t want to bring it up, because they all knew when his mother had started drinking. They hadn’t known how to help her then, either.

What could anyone say to comfort a mother who was ecstatic to be having twins, only for one of them to have been stillborn? For complications to render her sterile afterward?

Hudson was well aware of his dead brother Howard. Howie, he would have been called. Howie and Hewie—that was how it was supposed to have been.

One just wasn’t good enough.

8-11-13: Femme Fatale
Characters: Nozomu Ito, Shayden Hashimoto

It was just meant as a surprise for the Halloween show; Nocchi never expected to be turned on by Shay dressing as a woman, especially a slightly undead one.

His throat went dry when his bandmate stepped out from behind the screens in a frilly, slightly tattered dress, with a long wig and full red lips that pouted when their eyes met.

“Why do I always have to be the woman? Even Nocchi’s staring like I’m a weirdo.”

Nocchi blushed, making Tav laugh like a maniac; thankfully Shay was distracted by a placating Tomoki. This would be a tough live.

8-12-13: Eyes of a Star
Characters: Eddie Valentine, Hinata Hanazaki

Hana wasn’t exactly his kind of music, but then, he was ambivalent to most music. They only hired roadies who weren’t expressly fans, anyway.

He didn’t have the training for electrical stuff, and he didn’t have the strength or height to set up the stage. By default, Eddie became the towel and water guy. He didn’t hate it, and he still helped out where he could.

He watched a lot—the stage production, yes, but at some point his eyes were drawn to the pop star. Hana was always doing something; at some point that included looking back at him.

8-13-13: Spirited Living (Part 1)
Characters: Keiichiro Sasaki, Daiki Ishizawa, Ryo Maeda, Alliance Jinks

“Why him?” asked Kei, feeling bad for the sweet-looking man.

“Who cares?” Ryo looked bored, waiting for his turn as he watched Allie undoing the barista’s shoelaces. Mischief spirits got to have all the fun.

“Because those two have been ogling each other for weeks, and neither will do a damn thing about it,” said Daiki. Nothing frustrated a lust spirit more than a pair of shy idiots.

Kei kept quiet and wrung his hands as the barista brought a coffee to the man’s table. Coffee shops made him antsy already, and his fellow spirits weren’t helping him today.

8-14-13: Spirited Living (Part 2)
Characters: Keiichiro Sasaki, Daiki Ishizawa, Ryo Maeda, Alliance Jinks

Kei didn’t want to watch, but as a tranquility spirit he couldn’t let anyone get hurt, and when the inevitable trip occurred he made sure the hot coffee only hit the window and table.

“Ohmigod I-I’m sorry! I’m s-so sorry!”

Ryo howled with laughter as the flustered barista struggled to get out of the man’s lap; Kei was just grateful Ryo was too distracted to make him angry.

After the flurry of napkins and apologies, the four spirits watched the man’s face. His eyes lingered on the barista’s ass.

“Wasn’t me,” said Daiki in response to their looks.

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