“ Romani, you’re on! ＼(≧▽≦)／”
“ I missed you Ritsuka! (╥﹏╥)”
Smiling to herself, the redhaired young adult type backs.
“ Where have you been? It’s not like you to not be on for a whole week like that.”
Instantaneously, Romani replies back to her.
“ Work. I’ve been working too much. My job has been keeping me busy lately! But that isn’t important right now. The important thing is, that you’re the first person to greet me! Ah, I missed talking to you as well, Ritsuka. (^人<)〜☆”
Giggling to herself, she moves her fingers back onto the keyboard, in order to respond to Romani, but is interrupted by a soft knock at the door.
“Gudako, can I come in?” A sweet voice asks.
Cursing, Gudako sighs. She loves her roommate, Kishinami Hakuno, she really does. She’s her best friend, but she always has this habit of popping up when she’s in the middle of something!
“Yeah, come in!” Gudako says, spinning around in her computer chair, as Hakuno enters her bedroom.
“How was class?” Hakuno asks, dropping her book bag onto the carpet.
“Meh. I think I passed my final.” Gudako tells Hakuno, turning back around to face her desktop. “So, I’m rewarding myself by playing some Sun and Moon.”
“I wish I could get into MMOs. They seem like fun.” Hakuno muses, sitting on Gudako’s bed. “Are you talking to that boy, again?”
“How did you know?!” Gudako exclaims.
“ Sorry, my roommate walked into my room. I’ve been busy too, but with college. I’m happy that you’ve made it online, I was starting to worry about you.”
“Because you aren’t in the middle of a raid, like you usually are when I come to bug you.”
“Good point. How was your date? Did you and rich boy smash yet?”
“No!” Hakuno exclaims, a blush present on her face. “All we did was eat, and Gilgamesh showed me this new club he and his business partner are opening up.”
“A club? Didn’t think he would be the type to do that.” Gudako comments, “He seems the type of guy to mock that lifestyle.”
“He says that there’s a lot of money in clubs.”
“Is he still hounding you to quit school?”
Snorting, Gudako’s eyes turn back to the computer screen.
“ Oh, that’s right. You did say you were going to college. What were you studying again? I can’t remember if you’ve told me or not.”
“ I study art. My roommate’s major is a lot cooler than mine. She’s studying to be a super cool hacker. She’s a programming major.”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about…”
Oh no. She doesn’t like where this is going. Not at all.
“Don’t tell me you want me to play third wheel to you and Gilgamesh again.” Gudako whines. “I love you Hakuno, but I’m never doing that again. I can only watch you suck faces with someone for so long…”
“NO! I promise you it’s nothing like that. Just, Gil’s club is opening tonight, and well, he wants us to show up.”
She didn’t hear that right, did she?
“Haku, you want us to go to a club? Me and you, who barely leave our apartment, to go to a probably very crowded place, with people we don’t know?”
“Gil will be there.”
“He doesn’t count Hakuno. I think you’d have a lot more fun if you went by yourself…” Gudako points out. “You wouldn’t have to babysit me.”
“ You’re an artist? That’s amazing! ( ˙꒳˙ ) I was never good at drawing. You and your roommate must be close. You sound very proud of her. Remind me next time I need something drawn to hit you up ahaha.”
“ I’m mostly a digital artist. I would be happy to draw you something anytime Romani, you’ve carried me through so many dungeons I owe you, Romani! Eh, she’s my best friend, but she recently got this new boyfriend and….well I’m trying to look out for her. Someone’s gotta do it. ╮( ˘ ､ ˘ )╭”
“I don’t babysit you in the first place,” Hakuno argues. “Come on, just go with me. I really don’t want to go on my own.”
“ You’re a good friend, Gudako. I’ll take you up on that offer to draw me something, one of these days.
A few seconds later, another message pops up on screen.
“ I got to go. Gotta get back to work. I’ll be back on in the morning, how about you? Are going gonna be on tomorrow?”
“What’s the dress code at your boy toys place?” Gudako asks, typing away at her keyboard.
“ Aw. Okay. I’ll be on in the morning. You have a good day Romani!~”
“He’s not my boy toy Ritsuka!” Hakuno exclaims, heat rushing to her cheeks.
“Yeah, yeah,” Gudako replies, waving her hand.
Hakuno watches as Gudako clicks around the computer screen for a few moments, before turning her chair around. “You never answered me Hakuno. I’m assuming I can’t wear my pajamas there, right?”
Pulling out her phone, Hakuno scrolls through her messages for a bit before answering. “He says we can wear whatever, but the dress code is formal usually.”
“Usually?” Running a hand through her hair, Gudako stands up, looking over at her closet. “So, he’s telling us that we have to dress all fancy?”
“Dammit. Do we even own anything like that?” Gudako mummers, heading over to her closet, opening the door.
“He bought an outfit for you, didn’t he?” Gudako questions. Hakuno isn’t one to spend money on anything but the basic necessities, so Gilgamesh had to have bought her clothes.
“S-Something like that.”
Right. That’s exactly what happened then.
“What about me then?” Gudako asks half teasingly, looking over her wardrobe. “Are you gonna help me put an outfit together?”
“Well, I can’t afford to go and buy new clothes right now, so I’ll have to be content with what’s in here. Unless you wanna hit up your boy toy, and get him to buy me an outfit?”
That seemed to do the trick, as Hakuno heads over and begins to shift through her clothes.
“How about this?” Hakuno asks, pulling out a simple short black dress, from the very back of her closet.
“That’s super short…” Gudako counters, cringing at the thought of wearing something like that out in public.
“I think you could pull it off though!” Hakuno says honestly, “I mean, this is all I see in here, that you could wear…. I could ask Gil, but I don’t want to bug him..”
Ugh, fine. She’ll wear the damn dress if only to get Hakuno to stop looking at her like a lost pet.
“Okay, okay. I’ll wear it.” To which Hakuno’s eyes light up, “What time do we have to be there?”
“He said nine tonight. Gil said he can’t pick us up personally, but he would make sure we would have a ride there.”
Thank god, is all Gudako can think, as Hakuno says she’s gonna go get ready, and she won’t use the shower for too long so that she can use it next. As much as she’s happy for her friend, there’s also a part of her that can’t stand to be around Gilgamesh for too long, he’s….too much to put it simply.
How Hakuno can stand to be around someone with that kind of personality she’ll never know, as she places her dress onto her bed.
“Oh, here’s our car, Gudako!” Hakuno exclaims, grabbing Gudako by the hand, leading her towards the all-black vehicle.
God, she looks so plain compared to Hakuno, with her red dress, and different jewels in her hair. She knows it’s just because of her rich boyfriend but part of her can’t help but want to turn around and go back inside of their apartment.
“Here, you can sit in the front seat,” Hakuno says, opening the back car door.
Taking a deep breath, Gudako opens the door and nearly falls over at the sight in front of her.
An incredibly beautiful man, long snow colored hair, eyes like gold, and visible tattoos on his hands.
What did Hakuno just get them into?
“Oh! It’s Hakuno-chan!” The man says a little too excitedly, as she closes the car door, “I see you brought a friend with you.”
“Mm. This Gudako. Gudako, this is Solomon. He’s a friend of Gilgamesh’s.”
“Ah, he would throw a fit if he heard you say that, Hakuno.” Solomon jokes, turning his attention to Gudako.
“N-Nice to meet you, Solomon,” Gudako mutters, bowing her head slightly.
That smile of his, makes her heartbeat in double time, as he drives off from their apartment.
“You both look very pretty today. I’m sure Gilgamesh will be extremely happy when he sees you, Hakuno.” Solomon states, as Hakuno giggles at his words.
“Hakuno does look pretty…” Gudako says in agreement, pulling out her phone.
8:50. At least they’ll be there on time. Maybe she can talk this Solomon guy into taking her back home after an hour…
“You look beautiful yourself, Gudako.” Solomon tells her honestly, “The color of your eyes goes well with your dress.”
“Thanks…” Feeling a blush creep to her cheeks. God, what is wrong with her?! She’s seen plenty of good looking men in the time Hakuno has been with Gilgamesh. Enkidu, and the British guy who has a business in security, Arthur she thinks was his name, so why is this guy bothering her so badly?
It’s the tattoos. It’s got to be. There’s no other explanation for it. Gudako tells herself as Solomon pulls into a large building, with a neon sign that says “Club Rabbit.”
Without hesitation, Hakuno says some words of thanks before damn near jumping out of the car, and into the club.
“She’s so in love with him, it’s insane.” Gudako catches herself saying out loud.
“Love is a good thing though, isn’t it?” Solomon asks, those eyes of his hyper-focused on her, “I believe love can change people, and bring that you would never think could be in a functional relationship together.”
“I suppose so.” Gudako begins to open the car door, but is quickly stopped by Solomon, “Don’t worry about it, I will let you out.”
“Oh? You're a gentlemen are you?” Gudako teases.
“Only to beautiful women.” Solomon counters, stepping outside of the car.
Yeah right. Gudako resists the urge to roll her eyes at his statement as he opens her car door, offering his hand, which Gudako reluctantly takes.
Adjusting his suit jacket for a moment, Solomon gives Gudako another smile, causing her stomach to do a flip flop.
“I’m going, to be honest with you Gudako, you probably aren’t going to see your friend too much tonight. Once Gilgamesh sees her looking like that, I doubt they’re gonna stay here too much longer, he’ll probably take her back to his home.”
Then why did Hakuno drag her out here then?! Deep down she knows Solomon's right, those two make out like two lions fighting over a wounded animal, with Hakuno dressed like that, Gilgamesh isn’t going to be able to keep his hands off her.
“You look frustrated.”
“Because I am!” Gudako admits, looking up at Solomon, noticing just how pretty his face is, how soft his skin looks, “Hakuno just wanted me to get out of the house I think. She just used the excuse of me coming out here to support her, to get me out of our apartment.”
“What a coincide! My business partner did the exact same thing to me. You see, she contributed to half of this club here with Gilgamesh. I just showed up here to support her and Gilgamesh. Though, when I got here, Gilgamesh asked me to pick you two up so here we are.”
Okay, that’s a nice story, really, it is, but…
“Is there any way you can take me home then?” Playing dress-up was fun, but there’s a chance Romani might be online, and she doesn’t want to miss a chance to talk to him.
“Why don’t you keep me company for a little while?” Solomon asks, earning a frown from Gudako, “Only until Gilgamesh and Hakuno leave, then I’ll take you home. As long as my business partner stays here, the opening should run smoothly without Gilgamesh being here”
“I don’t fit in here,” Gudako says, hoping that excuse will work.
“Neither do I. We can go to the VIP area away from the crowds then, and have a drink together.”
….But then there’s this beautiful man here almost begging her to spend time with him.
What is a girl to do?
Obviously spend time with attractive man, and hope that your online crush doesn’t hop online until in the morning.
“Alright. I can have a drink with you at least, if only as a thank you for wasting your gas to bring me and Hakuno here.”
“You are too cute.” Solomon teases, “I’ve only been here a few times while my business partner was helping to decorate the club, but I know my way up to the VIP lounge. So, you just stick close to me, okay? I would hate for you to get lost in here.”
As Gudako follows Solomon into the club, the first thing that hits her, is how dimly lit the building is, with only strobe lights illuminating the place, and the occasional light here and there. The second thing she notices is just how beautiful the people here are. So many pretty men and women, just drinking, talking, and dancing without a care in the world.
…..She really feels out of place here.
“Gudako, it’s up these stairs here.” Gudako barely hears Solomon say, over the loud music.
Following Solomon up the staircase, she can spot Hakuno talking with Gilgamesh, and another woman with dark purple hair, and is she wearing rabbit ears?
“Gudako!” Hakuno exclaims, motioning for her to join them.
“Shall we go see what the commotion is?” Solomon asks, walking over to the small group, with Gudako following right behind him.
“Thanks for ditching me.” Gudako mumbles.
“Hakuno will be staying with me for a while,” Gilgamesh tells Gudako simply, annoyance dripping from his words like poison.
Damn, what’s got him all pissed off?
“Gil!” Hakuno starts.
“Now, don’t take your bad mood on Gudako.” Solomon warns, “It’s not her fault that Enkidu is sic-”
“Enough! As I thought, this was a waste of time.” Grabbing Hakuno’s hand, Gilgamesh turns away from Solomon, “Solomon I trust that you and Sheba have this handled here.”
“Of course!” The woman says with a smile.
“Sorry.” Hakuno mutters, “I’ll call you later, Gudako.”
“Asshole.” Solomon whispers, “Let me apologize to you on Gilgamesh’s behalf. He did not need to talk to you that way.”
“It’s okay.” Gudako assures him, “I’m used to his bad moods.”
“Regardless, he shouldn’t take out his anger from the fact his brother is sick on you. It’s not right.”
“Oh~! Who is this Solomon?” The woman with rabbit ears asks, peering over Solomon’s shoulder.
“This is Gudako. She’s Hakuno’s friend.” Solomon says, glancing over at Gudako, “Gudako, this is my business partner, Sheba.”
She didn’t expect Solomon’s business partner to be so….
“Nice to m-meet you.” After bowing slightly, Gudako locks eyes with Sheba.
“She’s cute, boss. I’m sorry that Gilgamesh dragged your friend away. In hindsight, I probably should’ve never invited him, with all of the issues he has going on right now.”
“It’s fine. Really, it didn’t bother me at all.”
“What are you two about to do boss?” Sheba asks, stepping to stand beside Gudako, her hand idly brushing Gudako’s hair away from her face.
“Have a drink, talk a little, then I believe I’m probably taking Gudako back to her home.”
That sounds about right.
“I see, I see! Well, you guys have free range of the lounge, you can close the glass door behind you, so that you guys can at least hear each other a little better. There should be a cold bottle of champagne in there as well.”
“What are you going to do, Sheba?” Gudako asks.
“Go mingle of course! See how much money we’re making on our opening night!” Sheba explains with a wink, “You just go enjoy yourself, Hakuno might not be here, but Solomon is a good guy to talk to.”
“I thank you, Sheba.” Solomon states honestly, “Shall we, Gudako?”
With a nod, Gudako follows Solomon into the lounge, as Solomon closes the door behind him.
“Whew. It is much quieter now.” Solomon says with a sigh, “You can go ahead and sit down, Gudako. I will pour us some champagne.”
Sitting down, she watches as Solomon sits down next to her, grabbing the bottle of champagne from the bucket of ice, and the corkscrew next to it.
All the while her heart is being loudly. She’s never been alone with a man before, much less with a man as pretty as him.
She needs to think of something to say, as she hears a loud pop come from the champagne bottle.
“There we go. They make these things so hard to open.” Chuckling, Solomon pours her a glass first, then himself.
“S-So, um, what do you do for a living, Solomon?”
What a lame starter conversation. She hates small talk, and yet here she is forcing someone else to endure it,
“I run a company. You know Gilgamesh is in the technology business, correct? He deals with software for phones. Meanwhile, I deal in spices… I export various other items as well, but spices are the main thing I deal with.”
Huh. He doesn’t look like the type who would trade spices off all things, but then again you can’t judge a book by its cover.
“So, Sheba is your business partner in your spice business?”
“Not quite. I have my hand in other things as well, Sheba runs a modeling business, and I help fund said business.” Solomon explains, “Take a drink with me.”
Now modeling is something she can see Solomon doing, Gudako thinks to herself, as she takes a sip of champagne. He’s beautiful enough to be a model himself.
“Now that you know a little about me, I would like to hear a little about you, Gudako,” Solomon said, scooting a little closer to Gudako, making her heart kick into overdrive.
“Er, I’m afraid that I’m not so interesting as you are. I’m just a college student.”
“Getting an education is something to proud of.” Solomon counters, finishing his glass of alcohol, and pouring himself another, “What are you studying?”
“Art. I’m an artist.”
“Oh? That’s very interesting, do you have any of your drawings on your phone?”
Why does everyone ask that? As soon as she tells someone she’s an artist, people want to see her work. Normally that question would annoy her, but since it’s Solomon….
She can show him the only thing she has on her phone at the moment, a drawing of her online crushes character in Sun & Moon.
“I only have one drawing on my phone…” Gudako admits, pulling out her cell-phone and unlocking it, Solomon’s eyes refusing to linger off her.
“Oh? You play Sun & Moon?” Solomon casually asks.
“I just noticed your phone’s background. I recognize those character models.”
“Oh. Yeah, it’s a picture of me and my friend's character together.” Staring at the picture of Romani’s character and her own character together for a moment, she pulls up her phone's gallery, glancing over as Solomon pulls out his own cell-phone.
“It’s only a rough sketch but…” Holding up her phone so that Solomon can see it, she shows him the sketch of the character Romani, with his long pink fluffy hair, not unlike Solomon’s.
“You’re just as talented as I thought you’d be, Ritsuka,” Solomon says, causing Gudako to blink her eyes a few times.
What? Did she hear him right?
“Ritsuka. That’s you isn’t it?” Solomon asks, his body leaning in closer to hers, “Or am I mistaken?”
“N-No. That’s my online name. How did you know that?!” She’s sure she’s never told her online name to anyone, not even Hakuno so how-
“I’m Romani.” That low voice utters, “When I saw our characters together, I knew it was you. I can pull up our messages together on the games app, if you’d like?”
In a few seconds, Solomon unlocks her phone, allowing Gudako to watch him as he typed in his username and password, and went to his messages. Sure enough, she sees the messages between them. The most recent ones being from this morning.
“I am quite surprised myself.” Solomon admits, “I knew you lived in Japan, but never did I expect to run into you here of all places.”
Wait, wait, wait! This guy is Romani?! This guy, whose methodical in his speech, and movements? This guy is the same Romani who sends her cute emojis, and cute messages?!
“You’re Romani? Truly?”
“Truly. I wouldn’t lie to you about something like this, Ritsuka.”
“Call me Gudako.”
“Ritsuka is prettier.” Solomon counters.
“Y-You’re so different, like, not in a bad way but-”
“And you’re still the same as when we were talking online. When I talk to you on the game, I feel like I can be myself.”
“Y-Yeah, me too.”
“I found myself falling for you, and I realized that we would probably never meet, so I stopped playing for a little while.” Solomon explains, as Gudako downs her champagne in one go, “But I missed talking to you, I planned on telling you my real name, and was hoping that you’d be willing to meet in person, but fate worked in our favor, don’t you think?”
Oh, she’s thinking a lot of things right now! Mainly that she can’t believe what’s going on what now!
“I missed talking to you too.” Those words leave her lips instead of the many questions running through her mind.
“You’re much more beautiful than I had originally imagined.” His lips draw closer to hers, “I’m so touched that you would draw something inspired by me, Ritsuka.”
“I-I-I,” God, what is she doing?! “I like you, Romani.”
Closing in the gap between the, her lips meet his, the taste of champagne fresh on his tongue.
“As do I Gudako, I like you more than you’ll ever know.” Solomon whispers, his hand resting on her cheek, “Won’t you come home with me, Gudako?”
With a smile, Gudako shuts off the annoying voice in her head, telling her to take it slow, as she kisses him once more.
She will. She’ll go anywhere with Solomon, just as long as she can keep talking and being with him.