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Two Lies and a Truth

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“Good grief, where have they gotten too?” Trailing after Iyami and Chibita for the rumoured gold buried away somewhere in the centre of that forest, despite the curse supposedly placed on the treasure, had been a hell trip and a half. You were thankful you’d thought ahead far enough to bring a change of clothes but…

 

Well, it was a tad rude of none of the sextuplets, let alone your boyfriend, to wait for you. You’d be lying to yourself if you said you hadn’t expected that to happen, but still; rude.

 

“At least they left a bread crumb trail.” Follow the tracks of mud through the otherwise spotless, uptown open-air mall was thankfully easy. Turning the corner, though, snickers spilled from your lips as a line of food stores greeted your tired, aching limbs. Of course the sextuplets went straight to their stomachs— food was a popular appeal to most, especially as a ‘tourist’ attraction.

 

You supposed middle-upper class Japan would be a tourist visit to the sextuplets.

 

“Hi, thank you for coming to Starbucks!” A cheery voice greeted you, and wow, how had you forgotten how stupid the katakana word for Starbucks was?! Shoving the free snicker down, you fell back into your social template. “How are you today?”

 

“Good, thank you, how’re you?” You’d forgotten why you’d come in here, confronted by the girl at the counter, and you made your way over to order a drink. Did you want a drink?

 

“Good, thank you.” She had a really pretty smile, and her voice was a grating high pitch. The usual tone for retail workers in higher class stores. “What can I get you today?”

 

You couldn’t read the menu; you could never read menus in these situations.

 

“A tall iced coffee, please.” You glanced down at the menu, and pointed at the image of the creamed, cold drink on the far left.  Always a good option— especially since you could remember your allergy-safe choices from Starbucks’ online menu.

 

“Did you want cream on that?”

 

“Oooh, yes please!” Clapping your hands together and bouncing excitedly, your excitement flooded out of your form; appropriate social behaviour. The cashier rewarded your mannerisms with a pearl of giggles and a wider smile; good— you mimicked that properly.

 

“Ah, you’re so cute!” The girl smiled, handing over the card reader for you to tap.

 

“Aaah, thank you,” Flushing a little at the focused attention, you turned around to scan your environment. Where was a safe place too— oooooh, that’s why you came in here. Riiiight.

 

“Oh, hey, Todomatsu.” He hadn’t come with you on the trip— this must be why. “I didn’t know you worked here?”

 

“Oh, you know Totty?” The cashier spoke before Todo— Totty could. “Do you go to university too?”

 

“Ah,” You giggled, and it sounded a little hysterical to your sensitive hearing, but you were pleased that even you couldn’t hear the hitch in pitch in the note as you pursed your lips. Regaining your composure was easy, as you flipped back to your template mode… with a little edition. “Yup, I’m currently majoring in two branches of anthropology and international studies; kind of boring, ne? Are you studying as well?”

 

“Oh, no, they’re not boring at all!” The girl mimicked your previous bouncing, clapping her hands together, and you grinned along side her. Aaah, seeing people happy was the best. “I’m currently studying microeconomics with marketing and management minors— now that’s boring!”

 

“Not at all,” You chided, shaking your hands and waggling your fingers. Todomatsu was giving you a half-stunned, half-terrified look, as you kept the conversation to the scripted, templated form. Living with his five socially-inept siblings, it must be strange to see anyone in his everyday life… act sane. “I’ve dabbled in business with my electives; it’s fascinating the way our everyday reactions are so predictable, ne?”

 

“Absolutely!” Enthusiastic nodding made you dizzy, and you kept your clammy palms tight clasped on your wallet and phone. Which turn would she take now? “Did you know Totty had five, identical siblings?”

 

Okay, you could roll with this.

 

Actually, you could fly with this!!

 

“Well, I’d have to.” The smirk growing on your face was dark around the edges, and you felt Todomatsu shrink back a little from the sharp points. “I’m dating one of them.”

 

Aaaah, the glorious spit-takes; a reward all on their own.

 

“Oooh, really?” The girl question, eyes glinting and she leaned in to gather the gossip (and potential emotional blackmail). Thankfully, the barista chose that moment to slide your drink in front of you. “Which one?”

 

Slipping a napkin and straw out of the holders, you rose your free hand to rest a finger on your lips.

 

“It’s a secret~!” With that, you gifted her a wink and walked over the the corner table— which was in front of the bathrooms?

 

“You’re dating one of us?” The chorus greeted you in a hissed whisper; quieter than you’d expected. Then it hit you— they didn’t want to let everyone else know that you weren’t actually dating any of them… as far as they knew. A mixture of cackles and giggles broke from your lips as you circled the wall to sit on Ichimatsu’s lap; there was no other chairs left.

 

Okay, you’d probably sit there anyway; especially since he was so tense at the moment.

 

“Eh, I figured since we’re, apparently, all lying anyway, I’d roll with the situation.” Ichimatsu’s scowl was pressed against your back, but you could feel his response as it differed from his siblings.

 

“Ooooooh,”

 

“What, by throwing a few truths in there too?”

 

Yeah, today’s adventure wasn’t over yet.