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Tea Leaves and Gold Pins

By Noizchild

Romance / Drama

Welcome Back, Kiku

Match Fourteen: Welcome Back, Kiku:

Kiku and Sena walked up to their front door. The scent of good food greeted their noses. Kiku gave his wife's back a puzzled look.

"Did you look cook dinner this evening?" he asked.

"No…" she said. "I don't cook, remember." He nodded to himself at that statement.

"True…" he mumbled. The poor man did most of the housework while Sena did odd jobs and nothing else around the city. Pretty foolish enough have such a childish hope that she would cook for him on his day back. Sena turned to him with a huge smile on her face.

"Welcome home, baby!" she cheered. The woman slid the door wide open. Kiku's eyes widened as he looked inside the house. All of his friends stood in the living room, waiting for him.

"Everyone?" he asked. Yao stepped forward.

"Welcome home, Kiku," he said. The Japanese man blinked at all of his friends.

"What are you all doing here?" he asked. Alfred walked over and smacked him on the back.

"It's your welcome home party, dude!" he cheered. Kiku winced in pain. Sena pushed Alfred backwards.

"Careful, you idiot!" she yelled. "He got out of the hospital this morning and he still recovering here!" Kiku waved his hands at her.

"It's okay, Sena-chan!" he exclaimed. "Really, I'm fine!" Yao tried to break everyone up.

"Come on, you guys," he said. "Stop this. We're trying to have fun here. Calm down." It took a moment to calm the three of them down. But from there, Yao clapped his hands together.

"Okay everyone," he said. "Now that's everyone's here, have fun!" His suggestion seemed to work, because everyone really got into the party spirit. Most of the attention focused on Alfred's new friend and her younger sister.

"Vho is this voman?" Ludwig asked Alfred.

"Oh, this is Florence," the American said. She gave the German a small wave.

"Hi," she said. Arthur was the first one to ask.

"Is she your girlfriend?" he asked.

"No, it's nothing like that, dude," the American said. "She and I are just friends!" The English man smirked at him.

"What?!" Alfred cried. "It's true!"

"Okay, okay," his brother said. "So she's just a mate."

"Yes!" Alfred yelled red-headed. Arthur laughed inside of his head at his red-faced brother. Made him feel superior to the simple-minded American.

Meanwhile, Feliciano Vargas and Florence hit it off rather well. That wasn't a surprise because the Italian man got along with most of the other countries and she did look rather attractive. Feliciano gave her a huge smile.

"So, what is your name?" he asked.

"Florence," she said. "And what is your name?"

"Feliciano!" he said. "There is actually a city in my homeland named Florence." She giggled at him.

"You are so pretty too!" the young Italian man went on.

"Thank you," she said. Feliciano smiled as he reached into his jacket and retrieve a fresh pack of cigarettes. He pulled out one and put it in his mouth. Florence watched as he lit up and took a smoke. However no sooner had he done that, Feliciano began to cough.

"Oh," he whimpered. "*Cough* I'm still not used to this, I guess. *Hack*"

"Then why do it?" she asked. The young Italian man looked up at her.

"Huh?" he asked.

"Why do something that could be harmful to you in the end?" Florence asked. "I have never understood that of people."

"My brother smokes," he explained sheepishly. "I just want to be closer to him somehow."

"But is this really the way to do it?" she asked. Feliciano went quiet and looked down at his cigarettes. That sheepish feeling tumbled in little circles in his stomach.

Lydia had just walked out of the bathroom when she noticed a man that looked like Alfred waiting outside in the hallway. She automatically frowned at him.

"What do you want now, Alfred?" she asked. The man blinked at her.

"Alfred?" he asked. "I'm not Alfred, I'm his brother, Matthew." The girl blinked at him.

"Huh?" she asked.

"I'm Matthew Williams," he repeated. "Alfred's brother." The girl still didn't seem to understand.

"Okay…" she said. Matthew sighed.

"Why doesn't anyone ever remember who I am?" he asked. Lydia looked on at him intrigued as she walked over next to him.

"You always have this problem?" she asked.

"Yes!" Matthew wailed. Lydia nodded a bit.

"Hm," she said. "And your name is Matthew Williams?"

"Yes," he said. Lydia nodded again.

"Okay…"she mumbled. Then, Matthew walked into the bathroom.

"Dude, I've got a question," Alfred said in the living room.

"What is it?" Arthur asked.

"What do little teenage girls like?" the American asked. His English brother made an odd face at him.

"E-Excuse me?" he asked.

"You know," Alfred went on. "What kinds of things would teenage girls like?"

"Why?" Arthur asked.

"You see, Florence has a younger sister and she doesn't like me for some reason," the American explained in an embarrassed tone. Arthur suppressed a snicker.

"Oh!" he said. "Your bird's kid sister doesn't like you! Maybe she's thinks you're a wanker!"

"Shut up, I'm serious!" Alfred said. "I just want her to like me so that I can get closer to Florence. You know, like we can all be friends or something."

"Okay, okay," his brother said. "Just get her a stuffed animal or some candy. Girls like something like that." Alfred blinked at him.

"You sure?" he asked. Arthur gave him a shrug.

"It's a start," he said. Usually, Alfred would shoot down the suggestion with a smart-mouthed comment, but this time, it some to make rational sense. That might actually work…, he thought.

Kiku sat at the table near the TV, quietly eating his fried rice. Sena just ran her mouth at Francis and Yao just to humor her husband. For some reason that he couldn't name until he got back into a normal flow of things, this party actually felt nice to him. Being surrounded by friends and his wife after being in the hospital for a month. Yet, he couldn't get that man that he saw in his dreams all those nights ago out of his head. Who was he and who was coming to kill him? These questions refused to die in the Japanese man's head.

Suddenly, his cell phone buzzed in his gi. Kiku looked at his surroundings. No one seemed to notice a thing at the moment. Then, his phone buzzed again. Kiku reached into his gi for his phone. Nervous confusion came over his face at the number.

444-444-444?, he thought. His phone buzzed again in his hand. Kiku dashed out to the front porch. Sena looked up when she heard the door close.

"Something wrong?" Francis asked. The woman quickly looked up and shook her head.

"No," she said. "I think Kiku just went out to be alone for a moment."

"Is he okay?" Yao asked. Sena just waved him off.

"He's fine," she said. The men looked uncertain, but said nothing.

Outside, Kiku pressed the call button and held the phone up to his ear.

"Hello?" he asked.

"Akuma ga watashi o shutoku sa sete wa ikenai," a woman's voice that tried to sound like a child's said on the other line.

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