Silent Worlds: Dial Tone Book 2

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Face Off

Yakusoku woke with a smear of drool on his cheek that wasn’t his own. “Oh gross, Ai...” He gave the younger boy a shove before wrenching himself from his death grip to get out of bed.

Walking to the window, he rubbed his arms. He hadn’t even realized that he’d left the damned window open. The room would have been a tomb for the two had it not been for the heating system keeping the room at a stable 63 degrees, rather than the below 5 it is outside. Before closing the window, he peered down onto the street at the white sheet of snow covering everything, it looked like a Christmas card, maybe even Thanksgiving.

His stomach growled at the thought of food, but he paid it no mind just yet, still taking in the scenery of stark naked trees slapped with white; it kind of looked like a fucked up Christmas with a bad decorator taste for hanging things in a straight line as none of the snow drooped or sagged, and since it wasn’t warming up outside anytime soon, there are no icicles freezing up in the thaw.

A woman diagonal from his home is griping to herself as she scrapes snow from the windows of her car. She should have put it in the garage. Big walking color pallets went by, purples and deep blues, a chubby yellow. School kids all bundled up and heading off to the bus stop or just plain walking to school like he’d be doing.

The first day without his cover. No mask to hide behind. No guyliner-eyeliner to keep his distressed eyes looking fierce and unaffected. No nothing. Ai’s sneeze snapped him out of his trance, and he closed the window with a sound slap.

He hadn’t meant to make such a show of closing it, but the windows are made on a rolling track- exactly of like a sliding door. Black metal frame and two glass panes where only the right side moves and the left side gets covered over by its partner when it’s slid open. Yakusoku often thought that if the family moved, he’d miss the windows. Weird, right? But it’s little things that you miss the most.

“Hey, rise and shine.” He says to his eye-goo rubbing little brother. “Thanks for drooling on me last night. I never can get enough eeeuw factor from my own.”

He teased with full intentions of washing the hell out of his face in a nice hot shower. The room is already feeling much better as the heat coming from the vents has brought it up to a comfortable 71 degrees. It’s like being on a tropical island.

“Sorry.” Ai said in a voice so craggly it was no wonder he drooled. The fluids had to go somewhere if his throat was all stuffed up with something.

“Wanna help me make breakfast?”

“Yeah,” The boy still sounded sleepy but he was waking up more and more. “Omelet?”

“It’s my best dish.”

Yakusoku loved making omelets. He made some on Mother’s day and Father’s day for his parents and since the compliments went to the chef he’s always been fond of making them. He’s never burned them, not once. And as the years went by he even learned how to do that flip it over thing chefs do.

“You can make chocolate chip muffins, its just add water anyway.”

“That’s for me.”

Ai got up from the bed heading out the door. He had to pause for a moment to take in how much better it felt out in the hall compared to his brother’s tomb of a room. He should have noticed that the window was open, he’d spent half the night crying and not once did it occur to him to shut it.

Yakusoku lagged behind to make that pit-stop in the bathroom to wash his face; he felt like his skin was crawling as he dried it, and it wasn’t from Ai’s drool. His stomach felt as if it were turning into knots and he took a moment to rub the itchy feeling from it before finally heading downstairs and into the kitchen.

Breakfast was pleasantly filled with light and sweet conversation. No one brought up last night’s lie about puberty and changes. They were just happy to have their son coming back to normal, no need to rub the experience in his face like he was the world’s worst criminal. He is grounded, though, but that isn’t so much of an issue with Yakusoku. He wanted to take some kind of punishment. He felt even worse about it when his father, over dinner, asked him what he wanted to do on his birthday.

Last year’s birthday was sort of a slap in their faces since Yakusoku said he’d be around and he instead skipped out completely and went to a concert with his friends, in another state. How that wasn’t the turning point for his parents he didn’t know, but he was happy things were going to get better. He could sure use a smoke, though. Maybe he can bum one off Gev- if he’s still speaking to him after he tells him he’s no longer a brooding goth.

Reeve was out the door when his sons left for school. He has to shave ice from the car before heading out. Ai is waiting outside beside the man, helping with snow removal to get a ride, but Yakusoku wanted to walk. He has to speak with his friends and he preferred to just get it over with. So with a piping cup of cappuccino in hand, he set out at an even pace wanting to get it over with while still feeling the need to lag and keep the bomb from hitting him too soon.

It was weird wearing a shirt that reads ‘fan of being pissed off’ when he didn’t look the part. And he sure as hell doesn’t wanna feel the part anymore. He’s like a kid playing pretend by wearing someone else’s clothing. He could actually have been seen that way altogether since it was Gev’s influence that had him dressing this way. Rubbing his temple, he steeled himself when he saw a familiar figure up ahead.

“Gev!” He called out, darting up the pace it took to reach the Russian male.

Gev looked him up and down, one snake eye scrutinizing him along with a solid white eye and with an indifferent smile and tone he greeted. “Hey.”

Okay. He clearly wouldn’t recognize his friend if he wore a rainbow-striped clown wig to school, but then again, he could be high. Speaking of which. “It’s me dumbass, Yakuza?” Giving the male a nudge, he asks. “Got a cigarette?”

“Yeah,” he fished into his jeans pocket. “And I know it’s you- ya dumbass. I just haven’t seen this you since day one.” And damn if he didn’t sound all kinds of distracted as he spoke. “So, what’s with the getup? Your new body in the wash today?”

“Something like that,” He jumped up, hand up over his head to smack a leafy branch covered in snow; and over his shoulder, he watched the avalanche.

The trees around his home are completely bare now so it wasn’t the same thing with smacking branches.

“I’m sort of... giving up the bullshit- no offense.” He made sure to smooth that over to his still very gothy friend. Lit up, he smokes the cigarette with a near greed behind it. Damn he still feels numb. “Is that okay with you?”

“Whatever.” Gev replied stuffing his hands into his pocket. And he looked raked through the coals, his hair sticking up everywhere and his eyes with contacts making him look positively mad.

“What’s with you?”

“Colds a bitch. Don’t tell me you can’t feel it?”

“No,” Yakusoku replied holding a gloveless hand out to the open air. He felt nothing. “You want this? Its ’ccino, still hot.” He handed his best friend the plastic cup filled with his favorite beverage.

“Thanks, buuuddy.” Taking the drink he uncaps it and takes a swig back, a nice hard gulp that burned like a bitch to the core. Turning his head left, he makes a sound like blaaah. “That is hot.”

“What gave it away, the fact that I said it was hot or that you can feel the heat through the cup?” He said smugly but teasingly.

“Didn’t say I hated it.” He took another gulp. “So,” Slinging an arm around his friend’s shoulders, Gev gave him a palsy shake. “what do you wanna do for your birthday? Take out a couple guys on your hit list, and adrenaline-fuck some cute girls?”

“Oooh tempting, but no. My dad wants to take me and you and the guys laser tagging, rock climbing- the whole thing. Wanna come?”

"Pizza?”

“Yeah.”

“Then I’ll be there.”

“Nevermind that I’m your best friend; you know, if someone wanted to off you and didn’t know where you were hiding they’d only have to call out Piiizza Hut to get you to ‘yum’.” He commented making a refrence to the Red Robin hamburger commercials.

“Can’t help it, boy, that crust owns me.” He said in all seriousness. “You’d be the same way over your dirty desire.”

“I don’t have one.”

“Mmmm,” He intoned thoughtfully. “Maybe not yet, but you will.”

The two walk in a companionable silence, one smoking clouds of second-hand into the air, the other slurping hot cappuccino. Gev, once again, looked his friend up and down curiously.

“What was the bullshit, anyway?”

“Hmm?” The question clearly caught Yakusoku, who was just thinking about how great Gev was for not shoving him aside about the changes, by surprise. “Umm.”

“Forget it, smoke your cig’ and let it continue to take your troubles away.” He takes a sip of heat.

“Okay.” He smiled.

It was nice to be around someone who didn’t want to know and meant it. Gev wouldn’t pry, which meant he would never have to be humiliated about it. Something about that show of trust and that flood of comfort made Yakusoku want to tell him. Gev’s his best friend, after all, he’d understand and wouldn’t give him shit about it.

“Hey Gev’, my parents called the counselor and asked her to bring me down to her office so we could talk... They thought I was unhappy living with them because their not my real parents.”

“Huh?” Casual as usual.

“And then there’s...” He started but the Russian cut him off.

“I’ll bet Nono and Dick-sick won’t recognize you.” He snickered.

Knowing that he met the two sometime after he went goth, Yakusoku was sure that they wouldn’t as well.

“There they are- quick, make up a name so I can introduce you.”

“How ’bout Yakusoku?” He said smartly.

“Yeah, like that- a name like yours but not.” He said to himself. “I feel like I’ve heard it somewhere before, though.”

Yakusoku gaped in amazement.

“How do you say it again,” Gev asked working his mouth around it. “Yakaska?”

“Yaku-so-ku.”

“Yaku-soku got it.” Waving his hand with the cup of cappuccino in it as he had yet to release his hold around Yakusoku’s shoulders, he called out. “Nono! Clark!”

The two looked over their shoulders and waved, slowing to a complete stop to wait for their friend and who they figured to be Yakuza until he got up close and they saw a normal, run-in-the-mill Asian boy with oddly placed blue green eyes.

“Guys, I want you to meet my new friend Yakusoku.” He said it slowly but pronounced perfectly. “He just moved here from Japan- we’ve been pen-paling.”

“Ohhh, nice to meet you.” Clark held out his hand, a handsome grin plastered to his strong face.

Nono wasn’t so stupid, and his meaty hand slapped Clark’s muscular hand away. “Idiot, that’s Yakuza.”

“It is?” Cocking his head to the side to study the foreign looking male, Clark felt his face flush from realization. “Fuck me, it is you. What happened? You trip in the snow and all your pretty makeup came off?”

“Bite me Dick-sick.” Replied the male hardly offended.

Clark only laughed at the nickname, as he often does, and walking to Yakusoku’s other side he slips an arm around his shoulders. “So now we have three normals and a goth. We must look like the keepers of a pet project.”

He said this while shooting a glance around the Asian to Gev, who only blinked in disinterest to the comment. Goth is who he is and he’s staying this way, he isn’t uncomfortable and he really doesn’t mind it.

The four fell into step in a small scatter and they continued on to school. Yakusoku told them that he just decided that he didn’t wanna be a goth anymore, so he stopped. If Gev thought anything about the choice of explanation he didn’t show it. He instead chucked the empty plastic cup next to the first trash can outside of the school that he saw, and went on to class. He really does hate the cold.

Yakusoku asked the two others to his birthday party tomorrow and Clark flat-out declined because he had a date- imagine that- and Nono couldn’t make it because his mother is visiting her sister and taking him along with her. Which left just him and Gev, unless...

“Here.” He held out a five dollar bill to Ludwig who’s at his locker during the period change.

He hadn’t seen the library victim all day, and he could feel the money burning a whole in his pocket as he went through the day. Not to mention his tongue was itching to rub it in the male’s face that he could easily brush off his bullshit- however slight. He still went outside during 4th period to smoke, but he was allowed. The school sees you as an adult so they figure ‘go nuts’, just don’t do it directly in the school.

Ludwig looked at the bill then looked the owner of it up and down curiously before saying. “I’m worth more than that.”

“Doubtful, but fine, I’ll keep the money. But just so you know, I was right.” Yakusoku began.

“Abouut?” Ludwig was either playing dumb, or he seriously didn’t recognize him.

Well, how could he, no frosted blue-tipped hair, no chunk of green to accent it. His contacts are out, he’s utterly normal. As if he’d read the male’s smug little mind, Ludwig grinned suddenly then snapped up the five spot.

“Yakusoku, hey.”

Looking at his now empty hand, he then met the male’s so dark blue it could be black gaze and nodded. “Yeah, and you didn’t recognize me. Which means the five remains mine.” He went to grab it back but Ludwig held it over his head.

“Wasn’t part of the deal. Infact, there was no deal. You owed me for the lent, remember?” He stuffed it into his pocket. “You look better this way,” He compliments easily, now doesn’t he? “So don’t fuck up your recovery.” He went back to fishing in his locker for his books.

“Whatever.” And he planned to leave but then he remembered. “My birthday is tomorrow, and if you wanna come I won’t shove you aside.”

“Aaaw, thank you.” He smiled sweetly though his tone was meant to be snide it came off more as joking. “I’ll see if I can make it.”

“Good. Here’s my address.” He handed over a slip of paper.

“This feels weird like you’re handing your boyfriend a love note.”

“I know it.” Yakusoku chided and ignored the imaginary onlookers thinking something like that.

“By the way...” Ludwig began but he got cut off by a pair of lips landing upon his own.

“Tag, you’re it.” Said Fey Madigan before heading off to class.

So another game of ‘Kissing-Tag’ has begun. It happens sometimes. A girl or guy wants to kiss someone without commitment and so they walk up to them do so, and before the slug comes they play it off like it was a game by saying: tag, you’re it. It’s both brilliant and repulsive due to the germ factor. But he’s gotten his share of pretty girls to smooch and be smooched by. It may not be a make-out session but it’s something. Ludwig turned to Yakusoku with a dumb, pleased look on his face.

The Asian teen cocked a brow at the gaze and said flatly. “Don’t even think about it.”

As rules state the first person you see is the one you kiss- although smart people bend the rule and just kiss whomever they want. You never know with some people.

The male’s shark gaze focused in on Yakusoku for a brief moment, and he asked quickly. “What?” As he hadn’t heard him at all. Moving him aside he takes a short brunette’s hand and plants a kiss on her forehead. “Tag, you’re it.”

The girl blushed like she was about to catch fire. “I... I don’t understand.” She replied.

Seeing the poor girl flailing, Yakusoku gave Ludwig a push away from the shy little thing. “It’s nothing, just some stupid game. And if anyone tries to kiss you again tell them,” and he turns his gaze to Ludwig, “to get lost.”

Ludwig shrugged. He thought he was doing the girl a favor; she’s so shy. She needs a little adventure in her day. “I’m sorry.” He said to her.

Still floundering, Yakusoku took the initiative by cupping her face and giving the girl the faintest peck on the lips. Rules say the lips of the tagged have to make contact anyplace on the tagged: forehead, cheek, lips, jaw, hell ear- anywhere so long as its the tagged’s lips offering.

“There. You’re free. Run along.”

If she weren’t blushing before, she was surely blushing now and she nodded thanks before taking off.

“Dude, don’t bring the innocent into this sicko’s game.” Chided Yakusoku fully offended for the girl.

Ludwig shrugged it off. He really didn’t see what the big deal was.

“Now what were you gonna ask me?” Yakusoku’s walking to his class now, Ludwig following.

“Ummm... right, want me to bring anything?”

“No.” He said bluntly. “You’re not my friend,” Very true fact. “I barely know you” He doesn’t have to be so rude about it the invite. “You won’t know what I like.”

Blinking, face confused and full of concern Ludwig asked after the Land teen who ducked into a classroom. “Then why am I coming?”

“Because I asked you. Come. Don’t. I don’t care.” And then he was gone from sight.

The Canadian threw his hands up in defeat. He’ll never understand that Asian weirdo. Why try? At least, there’s a plus to all of the madness... no more goth.

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