“Spirit! Spirit!” - called out the young high-school boy, running onto the front yard of the school, on a warm summer day. The school itself was basically inaccessible at this point, so they had to meet outside. The boy’s blonde locks bounced excitedly alongside his steps as he skipped over to the entity, a grey laptop was clenched close to his chest. He smiled at them brightly, his mouth agape and cheeks red as white sparkles accompanied his head.
Said entity jumped at the sudden noise; “Senpai-“ they started, “you can’t just yell my name that loudly. You startled me…” The AI in question quickly lost his happy face, his bouncing stopped abruptly before he bowed down deeply in front of the red, floating patch of blood; “I’m so sorry! I really didn’t mean to!” Spirit let out an exhausted sigh, closing their eyes for a quick moment before comforting the AI; “It’s alright… No need to... do that.”
Senpai straightened his posture immediately at their words, his bright and dumb smile returned instantly as the white sparkles glimmered besides him again. He inhaled a sharp breath excitedly, bouncing up and down in one place once more, the laptop being held even closer against his chest. He looked away for a moment, his cheeks reddened even more.
“I have something for you…” he finally said. Senpai was already used to receiving all sorts of gifts and presents from everyone around him, may that be from his two best friends or from the MC. However, gifting someone, especially Spirit, something he made with his own two pixelated hands, purely because he can, was an entirely different story.
Spirit’s expression changed very slightly at his words, their usual display of pain and torment was now mixed with a hint of… confusion? Or curiosity perhaps? “Uhm… Alright?” they said, puzzled. Just a week ago they had this giant argument about Senpai wanting to sit on Spirit’s face that resulted in the latter being disgusted, while the AI became very cross with them. He would constantly try to ignore them, head snapping to the opposite direction of the red entity, a soft “Hmph.” leaving his lips as he walked away. This was very sudden and unusual, but the entity wanted to know what it was about: “Ok, so what did you prepare for me?”
“No, no, no! I can’t show you here, silly.” Senpai giggled, curling a lock of hair around his pointer finger, “It’s a bedtime story I wrote for you and as far as I can see – we’re in the school’s front yard!”
The Spirit stared at him in silence for a solid minute, their expression unreadable. The school boy’s stomach twisted at their silence before they spoke up finally;
“Senpai, I… I don’t know how to tell you this but… I can’t sleep.”
Said male’s smile dropped immediately, now replaced with a disappointed frown; “I know…” he whined, “But please! I put so much effort in it! It’s the thought that counts, right?”
“If that’s the case you can go ahead and read it to me here.”
Senpai let out a frustrated groan in ager, catching himself off guard as he forced the cheery façade to return. After all, this was supposed to be an apology gift, he shouldn’t get angry at Spirit now. He put on the biggest puppy eyes his sprite allowed him to instead; “…. Pwease… Sir- “
“OK- Ok… Fine, just don’t ever do that again, geez…”
The location Senpai was talking about was an off-map room that Spirit made for him a while ago. It was fairly small, not taking up a lot of ROM storage, its walls were white and a single lightbulb hung from the ceiling, illuminating the room in the first place. Inside it was a single, horizontally placed locker sprite with a gym mattress on top, supposedly resembling a bed. Aside from that, in one corner stood a school desk accompanied with a chair, a single open textbook and pencil visible.
Spirit laid horizontally on the bed, Senpai seated besides them on a small nightstand, the lamp that was previously occupying the spot now seated on the floor. His fingers typed quickly on the device that laid on his lap, looking through various MS Word documents and files. He was humming to himself quietly, suddenly exclaiming “Aha!” when he found the one he was originally searching for.
“Alright, are you all tucked in and comfortable?” he asked, smiling brightly at Spirit, his sparkles glitching through the wall behind him. The entity nodded, which essentially made his face texture sway up and down weirdly. “Great!” Senpai ignored the texture warp, “So, this story is about our first day after we escape this game! Doesn’t that sound exciting?”
Spirit looked away nervously; “Uhm… I suppose it does.”
“Teehee, I know it does! I got so excited yesterday while writing it- But not in the way you’re thinking of…”
“I didn’t eve-“
“I know you did, but don’t worry! This one is rated E for Everyone, hehe!” Senpai smiled before his gaze focused on the text in front of him. Spirit shot him a look of uncertainty, they expected at least a few innuendoes to be present in his work. The AI coughed a few times, preparing his voice for a long read.
“It was a warm and sunny summer day outside. I, accompanied by Spirit, was walking down the street, heading towards the mall. We were…” Senpai’s gaze jumped towards said entity for a moment, his cheeks reddened before he focused on the laptop again. “We were… holding hands.” He waited for Spirit’s reaction as his shoulders slumped towards the screen, hiding himself behind it.
“Why are we holding hands?” they asked, voice monotone.
“Shush, you’ll see!”
“Our eyes met briefly, I shot them a warm smile. They kindly returned the gesture for once, softly pressing their lips against mine in a warm kiss.”
Spirit’s eyes widened in disgust for a moment before their face scrunched up; “EW- Stop that! Why would you even think about writing this? I’m not gay! Well, definitely not for you.”
Ouch, this was going worse than expected – Senpai wasn’t sure if Spirit was over exaggerating. Was it really that weird to write something like this? The AI had no idea, it’s not like he had any contact with anyone outside of the game. Anyhow, he put on a cheery façade again, smile returning;
“I’m going to make your homophobic ass suffer!” he smiled.
He heard the entity exhale, sounding even more exhausted then ever; “Is this why Parental Figure Least Favorite trapped me in here? With YOU of all people?”
Senpai looked at them with confusion written on his face. Suddenly, the person Spirit was referring to popped into his head. “Oh! Daddy Dearest!”
The entity physically recoiled at the name of their abuser, but they decided to keep quite for now.
“I don’t know… You could have been put somewhere cool, I guess.”
“Yes.” Spirit confirmed, “I simply had to be put into this shitty bootleg dating simulator with essentially nothing to do when the MC isn’t around…” they mumbled to themselves mostly, but the AI heard them nonetheless. Senpai looked down on the floor for a moment, muttering a soft “Sorry…” even if he didn’t know what he was really apologizing for in the first place.
“It’s alright… Uhm, continue with the story.”
“After we KISSED while HOLDING HANDS-“ he emphasized on those parts on purpose, making Spirit roll their eyes at him in annoyance, receiving an evil smile back. “We finally arrived at the mall together. We immediately went into Hot Topic, Spirit’s favorite store.”
The entity interrupted the story; “Excuse me?” They sounded almost offended at the last statement. Their tone managed to tear a soft giggle out of Senpai’s throat before he focused on the text yet again.
“There we bought a few cool shirt and posters before we headed out. We decided to check out the rest of the mall, but we found nothing of interest. After that adventure, we noticed it was already time for lunch! We settled on the best fast-food place ever: McDonald!”
Spirit snorted in amusement at Senpai’s horrible pronunciation of the American fast-food place, but they decided to not correct him for now, deeming the mistake too funny. However, they complained about something else: “McDonalds? Seriously? That place sucks, we should go to KFC instead.”
Their mouth watered as pictures of chicken nuggets flooded their mind, wishing that they could taste that perfection at least once more…
“Oh, ok!” Senpai smiled before continuing; “So, we went to KFC, sitting down on a table FOR TWO, looking like a real cute COUPLE to everyone in the restaurant.”
Any hint of amusement or humor left Spirit’s face at those words, they muttered in annoyance; “Why do you have to ruin everything?”
The AI ignored their comment and continued onwards; “We ate together happily, even sharing our meals, real CUTE and ROMANTIC. After our lunch, we decided to go to the park.”
Spirit’s eyebrows shot up in interest; “Are there any dogs at the park?” they asked in a hopeful voice.
Senpai looked lost for a moment, not understanding why that would be of any relevance. “Uhm… Sure? Sure! It was a dog friendly park!” he exclaimed afterwards. Spirit smiled at the thought, it has certainly been a while since they were at the dog-park with their pet Shepard, Hanna. They secretly hoped that she was doing alright with their mom, maybe they could see her again after all this.
“We decided to get some ice cream for dessert, walking with our hands still clasped tightly together of course. Suddenly, Spirit noticed something.”
Said entity became curious again, an eyebrow crooked in interest. It was weird being told something about themselves that they didn’t know, even if it was fictional. It was like those times when they heard a rumor about themselves and were thinking Really, what did I do next?
“They noticed that there was a little drop of strawberry ice cream smeared on my lower lip, and dummy me didn’t even notice! I just looked at them with an innocent face.”
“Senpai. I know where you’re going with this and I don’t like it.” They interrupted, but the AI ignored their protests.
“Spirit wordlessly placed one of their hands under my chin, lifting my head so that we met eye to eye. My innocent blue irises looked at them in confusion, not understanding.”
“Ugh… You are anything but innoce-“
“Their lips inched closer to mine as my eyes instinctively shut. I felt a warm presence on my lips as we experienced a sweet, strawberry flavored kiss.”
“Alright, alright, I get it.” Spirit finally managed to interrupt the strawberry blonde from his daydreaming, bringing him back into reality. “This is really fucking weird, dude. I mean, I’m a real person, you shouldn’t write something like that. It’s creepy.”
Senpai stared at them with a stern expression before he huffed, waving a dismissive hand in front of the entity. “Pfff, you’re always such a killjoy! Spirit, you’re getting worked up over nothing! This was supposed to make you feel sleepy!” Senpai had to hide his face behind the screen again, the actual thought of kissing a humanoid version of the entity surprisingly appealing. After all, he was made to love and be loved, while Spirit on the other hand didn’t love or want to be loved.
It was driving him insane, just a few years ago he was being showered in compliments, gifts and attention of all kinds. He could have picked any school girl he wished for without any restrictions, they would have swooned at his feet without any questions. However, since the floating red blood stain appeared, Senpai was left completely and utterly starved off any affection, attention or love. The Spirit didn’t put up with him as gracefully like the school girls did, they didn’t give him gifts nor listen to his love poems he wrote in his literature classes, they didn’t hug him or kiss him, nor did they talk to him sweetly.
It was the opposite most of the time, it seemed like they hated his guts. Senpai wasn’t used to being treated like this, so of course he snapped at them a lot when they were getting to know each other five years ago. Spirit would then ignore him, which was the most hurtful thing they could have done to a main love interest. Senpai was left feeling very lonely and abandoned without his best friends or the MC, but he would never show that weakness in front of them.
He snapped back into thought as Spirit spoke up; “Arrgh... Aphewww…” They fake snored in an attempt to get rid of the AI, but even Senpai wasn’t that dumb to believe it.
“After we met a lot of cute doggies, we noticed it was getting late. We agreed to go to our SHARED apartment. We were really cute ROOMMATES.”
Spirit hummed in thought; “Oh my God, we were roommates…”
Senpai stared at them in confusion for a brief moment before continuing; “Right… So, we wanted to watch a nice movie together. I decided to let you have the honor of picking!” He smiled at them as they looked around the room in thought, quickly coming up with something.
“Rick and Morty, all seasons.” Spirit said in a serious tone. The AI looked at them with nothing but hatred, they simply had to ruin the cutest moments! They could have picked Titanic or The Notebook, something that could have made Senpai cry. That would have prompted them to softly brush his tears away, comforting him kindly, kissing his forehead romantically.
But now, they were going to watch fucking Rick and Morty, the series Spirit can’t shut up about.
“I see… Very romantic…” he inhaled sharply, trying not to snap. He noticed that the entity enjoyed his suffering, a sly smile on their lips for once, which only made him want to yell at them even more.
“Anyhow, we watched the series in a comfortable silence. Our gazes met once again as we smiled at each other, noses brushing togeth-“
“Ok, I think that’s enough for tonight. I’m feeling really sleepy.” They said in a mocking tone, watching as Senpai closed the laptop, placing it on the floor gently.
“So, how did you like it?” he asked, his voice hopeful even if he was still a little mad.
“Well, your writing is very nice, it’s just that the plot is, uhm… How should I say it? Ah, yes… The plot is fucking weird.”
Senpai nodded, not really caring. It’s not like anyone will ever read this except for him and occasionally Spirit if he feels like showing them, so there was no real need to change anything.
“Are you actually going to sleep or?” he asked once he noticed that the entity wasn’t floating up anytime soon.
“Ah, yes. I won’t really sleep, I just kind of want to rest for a while.” They answered.
Senpai smiled at them, “Oh! Can I join?” he asked in a begging voice.
“No.” was the immediate reply he got, but it didn’t stop him. He crawled on the bed on top of the Spirit, watching their expression change into a disgusted one. He giggled softly at that, snuggling up besides one of their pixeled sides, the red mist was soft and almost pillow like. They were the only thing that radiated some sort of warmth, so Senpai found himself humming comfortably at the touch.
“You’re not going to leave me alone, are you?”
“Hmm, let me think. No!” He giggled in response.