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dragged by the waves

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Maybe most people wouldn’t think to go to the Mostro Lounge of all places when they needed a good place to study in, but it surprisingly worked rather well for that.

The energy just felt balanced, ideal for helping one focus. Piano music playing in the background, upbeat enough to not relax you into drowsiness, gentle enough to not make you feel compelled to move around too much — Soft jazz unless it was one of the evenings where it was packed, or they had some sort of special event, which wasn’t the case tonight — clinking silverware and indiscernible chatter, cool toned lights bathing the ample expanse of the establishment.

With the drink of your choosing by your side, maybe a small snack too, your books and notes in front of you, it just felt good to study there. Studying wasn’t as stressful as it could be when the entire atmosphere around you was so pleasant. 

...but, of course, there was a catch. Or rather, two.

And they went by the name of Floyd and Jade Leech.

“Shrimpy, you gotta put that book down, ‘cause I just had a fun idea!” Floyd chimes, hopping into the seat in front of yours — Even though he was supposed to be working tonight, you were pretty sure.

He’d done something like that so many times now, you barely even look up from the textbook you’d been going over.

“What is it, Floyd?” You ask in a sigh, only glancing at him when you’re done writing down the sentence you’d been halfway through. You catch the sight of Floyd smiling widely, sharp teeth displayed in a dangerous row. “’re looking at me kind of weirdly now.”

“Ehh, am I?” He asks, elbows propped up on the table, he cups his own cheeks, the grin turning into just a sunny-looking smile. “How mean, Shrimpy, I just wanted to ask if you wanted to have a sleepover tonight! Y’know, I read about ‘em online earlier today, I didn’t know anything at all before, but it’s this cool thing friends do to hang out, right? So we should do it!”

You set down your pen and blink at him, not sure if you’d heard what he said correctly.

“A sleepover.” You repeat, the words feeling strange to even be spoken.

“Yeah!” Floyd chimes back, you hear his legs bouncing under the table. “I never thought about doing something like that, but don’t you think it’d be fun, Shrimpy? We can watch movies and do pranks and stuff! Wouldn’t it be cool?”

You can’t help but stare at him for a moment. Floyd waits for a response with that unassuming smile on — It’s one he wears often, though it becomes such a strange sight on him as you get to know him more.

The Leech twins aren’t what one would call… trustworthy people, after all. It had been a couple months since you’d been randomly tossed into this unknown world, and if there was something you’d hear often, besides all these comments about you being the only girl in school, it was how scary and suspicious the duo were.

It extended to most Octavinelle students, really — It’s said that the dorm is founded on compassion or benevolence, traits supposedly associated with Sea Witch, but…you’d heard her story, and just like how you can’t really see much of the standard definition of compassion or benevolence in her, you don’t really see it in many Octavinelle students either, and especially not in the twins.

They ran the place like a business, and a not very honest one, you suspected. Comments would pop up here and there about things the dorm leader, Azul Ashengrotto, had done, mixing positive and negative reviews together so much it was difficult to tell just how much of a good person the guy really was, even after you’d talked to him more than just a few times.

...your brows furrow. Thinking too hard about Octavinelle, its principles and deeds, made you feel weird, sort of uncomfortable to be in the Mostro Lounge so casually, especially now that Floyd was sitting right in front of you. Well, I don’t have any contracts with any of them, so I should be fine, you reassure yourself, and go back to the situation at hand instead of just musing over their natures.

“So, Shrimpy?”

“Well, I don’t know.” You respond, voice a bit quieter. You knew Floyd wouldn’t just leave you alone over it, and you weren’t sure if you wanted someone like… him in the Ramshackle dorm, no offense to the guy. You just didn’t feel too good about letting him into a building where the two of you would be alone. God knew what that guy was planning… “We’re getting close to exam week, so I’m not sure if a sleepover would be… a good idea.”

“Oh, a sleepover? Floyd had mentioned that he wanted to do something like that, all three of us.” Jade’s voice suddenly enters the scene as he steps towards your table, setting down the drink you’d ordered a couple minutes ago right next to your notebooks.

Jade would be added into the mix too? You can’t tell if that made it better or worse.

“Jade! I was gonna call for you so you could help me convince Shrimpy.” Floyd chimes, looking up at his twin that had been standing. You get a weird feeling about the situation as a whole. “She should let us have a sleepover, since we’re friends and stuff! Don’t you think it’d be fun? You said you’d like it if it happened too when we talked about it!”

They had been talking about it? Those weird twins…

“We’ve never really been to any events like these, you see.” Jade explains, mismatched eyes staring straight into yours. You want to look away, but there’s something about him that makes it hard — Once again, weird guy he was. You feel justified being careful around them, Lounge regular or not. “And since you’d been spending so much time around us, Prefect, we thought it might be a fun experience for the three of us, don’t you agree? It’d strengthen our bonds”

You narrow your eyes at them a bit, unable to tell if Jade was serious or if he was making you the victim of one of his roundabout jokes.

“Where did you guys even get that idea?” You ask. A part of you knows there isn’t really a way to avoid doing something with these twins, when they set their mind to something, only god could help you, but you were still a human being with common sense, you’d still try to argue your way out of this for your own damn sake. “Y’know, usually sleepovers don’t mix boys and girls together.”

“Ehh, we don’t gotta follow all the rules, that just makes it boring. Are you Goldfishie or something?” Floyd giggles. “Come on, Shrimpy, you’re all alone in Ramshackle everyday, don’t you get lonely?”

“I would understand if you don’t want to go through with something like this, but, wouldn’t you consider indulging us, Prefect?” Jade asks, still staring, a gloved hand placed on the table. “I’m just as curious as Floyd about what it’s like.”

“...if you want a sleepover you should go talk to Azul. Haven’t you known him for longer?” You retort, and Floyd pouts.

“But we basically live with Azul, so it’s not a real sleepover.” Floyd complains, slumping further on his seat. “C’mon, Shrimpy, are you really gonna be so mean to us like that? We just wanna hang out with you!”

You feel pressured, backed into a corner — Literally too, you shrink against your seat, back pressing against the stuffing, shoulders tense. “Listen, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to have you two…”

“Come on, Shrimpy!” He whines, pouting as he tilts his head towards you. You’re running out of arguments—

Jade sighs, shooting a look at his brother that lasts maybe a full second, and he takes a step closer to the table. 

“Floyd, that’s enough. She clearly doesn’t want it, so it’d be rude to keep insisting on it.” He says, and… something about his tone seems off, you notice, but there’s always something a little bit off about Jade’s actions, it’s hard to really understand what about it had been making you feel odd.

“Ehh, Jade, are you gonna be boring too? I thought you’d never do something like that, so lame.” He complains, eyes narrowing as his head tilts towards his sibling. Jade’s brows furrow in a way you hadn’t seen them do before.

“Floyd, I’m just trying to be considerate to the Prefect. I don’t mind you being your usual self, of course, but don’t push her too much if she’s said she doesn’t want to do what you suggested.” He says, every word spelled out like he’d been reading lines off a script—

You find yourself blinking repeatedly at them again, eyes going from one twin to the other. Is that… they’re fighting? You don’t think you, or anyone else, really, had ever seen them do something like that. It felt so out of nowhere — Do they really want to go through with that sleepover idea so much? A feeling of awkwardness has you continuing to shrink on your seat further, unsure of what to say.

Really, what the hell? They never fight, so why now?

“But she’s not being considerate of us, so why do you gotta do that anyway?” Floyd full on gets up from his seat, hands on the table as he glares down at Jade. “I thought you got it, Jade! I just really wanna have that sleepover…”

“Floyd, you’re being childish right now.” Jade says, unyielding, and he crosses his arms. “And aren’t you supposed to be working as well? We should both go back to our duties.”

...your whole posture stiffens so uncomfortably, what are you supposed to say in a situation like this? It was hard to believe at first, but when you looked at it they were really fighting? And over this out of all subjects? Your heart does a weird twist, you’re not sure if you even feel guilty or not, the situation is just far too alien to fully process…

Floyd straightens his posture some more, standing up to his full height, and something flashes on his eyes, his voice dropping lower. “You’re being such a—”

“Listen, if the two of you keep fighting like this, that’s how you convince me I shouldn’t let you come over at all!” You get up, hands slamming on the table as you blurt out the scolding, louder than either of their voices had been, so much you’re out of breath after the shout—

Their eyes turn to you like moths to a flame. 

And just like that, the seemingly angered expressions turn into sharp smiles splitting across their faces, stances relaxing in less than a second.

“Oh, so you’ll be so kind as to let us come over, Prefect?” Jade asks, every bit of that reprehensive tone gone now, and… 

It hits you like a slap to the face. Ah. So that wasn’t a real fight. The bastards totally staged it, didn’t they?

Too late to take back any words, you supposed, because the pair now eyed you with enthusiasm, eyes sparkling with an almost childlike sort of glee. 

And so you sigh, defeated before you even had a chance to join any fight. Well, maybe, hopefully, it wouldn’t be as bad to have a sleepover with the two of them as one would imagine it is. You weren’t in debt with Azul or either of them, were you? No, you’re pretty sure that’s not the case, so they don’t really have a reason to do anything bad.

...somehow that’s not very comforting. But it’s better to have some self-reassurance than nothing, surely? Or maybe not. Well, what mattered was that you tried.

“I didn’t say that, exactly...” 

Not even that really works well, Floyd hops to take a seat by your side on your booth, swinging an arm around your shoulders and making you yelp in surprise.

“Shrimpy! I’m so happy you liked my idea, we’re gonna have so much fun!” He chirps, voice high with enthusiasm again, like he’d never been arguing with his brother in the first place. You try to move to at least adjust your posture, but he leans his weight onto you. “I thought of so much stuff we could do! First, we gotta prank call one of the teachers, maybe Goldfishie too, and then we gotta watch these horror movies i found, and then we can play party games, and, and…!”

Floyd’s rant feels neverending, and as he goes on, Jade just smiles at the two of you in a way you could almost dare to call fond.

So this was going to be a long night.

“What are the two of you doing here?” Azul’s voice enters the scene followed by the clacks of his loafers against the floor, Jade’s smile takes in a slight coloring of guilt as the dorm leader glares at both him and Floyd. “I’m sure you two had shifts tonight, without any scheduled breaks now…”

“Ehh, don’t worry about it, Azul, the Lounge’s super empty tonight anyways!” Floyd giggles, still leaning against you, the unsurprising weight of those 191 centimeters of eel merman pressing you down rather heavily. “It’s just Shrimpy and like, two other people? And they’re eating already, so!”

“Yes, you see, Azul, Floyd seems to have gotten a little bored with work…” Jade begins his justification, and the dorm leader just sighs heavily, clearly even more used to dealing with their antics than you.

And you’d say you’re pretty experienced with that, as a regular in the Lounge.

“I’ll be taking that one out of your paycheck, Floyd.” Azul says, arms crossed, but his expression changes rather quickly when he looks at you, putting on a commercial smile instead. “My apologies for these two, Prefect, have they been on your case too much?”

“Uh… Floyd was bugging me about a sleepover.” You say with a shrug. The twins stare at you like they’re analyzing every word that come out of your mouth, always smiling, but it’s at moments like these that you don’t miss how menacing they can really be when they try. “So we were… planning that out now, I guess. For tonight.”

Azul’s face lights up further, a sparkle surging over his eyes on command. “Oh, it’s lovely to see you all getting along well. Though, these two really should go back to work now.” He says, and shoots a glare towards Jade promptly.

“Yes, yes, we’ll go back to our duties soon enough.” Jade chuckles. “But you really don’t need to worry much, Azul. It really is a slow night, after all.”

Azul huffs, and by your side, you hear Floyd giggle excitedly.

“Right, right. I’m gunna go finish my shift with Jade, and you can get back to studying, Shrimpy. But you gotta wait until we’re done so we can go to Ramshackle together, okay?” He asks, and hops off your side on the booth.

You can finally sit up straight now, relieving that odd weight that had been pressuring you into a strange position… 

“Yeah, sure.” You agree a bit mindlessly, knowing there isn’t really anywhere else you could run at this point. Jade bows his head at you politely before he and Floyd begin to walk away from the scene, going back to their work.

“Again, my apologies for these two. They really do seem to like you, hm?” Azul says in his conversational, plastically polite usual tone. “They can be rather troublesome at times, but we’re all friends here.”

“It’s alright.” You shrug, adjusting the books on your table again, and finally taking the drink Jade had brought you up to your lips for a sip. “I guess they just got a lot of energy.”

“They most certainly do. Floyd especially, but Jade can get just as enthusiastic as well.” Azul agrees with a nod of his head. “But, ah, while I’m glad you’re spending time with them, you should also feel free to come see me any time, Prefect. I’d love to have you over for some tea.”

Finishing the long sip of the drink you just had, you set the glass back onto the table.

Just like the twins who were so often around him, Azul also seemed very… not quite right. Slightly off putting, maybe due to how polished he acted. After hearing all those rumors, you were almost certain a good deal of his pleasantness was fake.

“I wouldn’t mind, but I wouldn’t be here for business.” After giving some thought as to what response would be the safest around him, that’s what you choose. Azul doesn’t seem to mind it. Well, at least on the outside he doesn’t.

“Of course, I was just aiming for some time spent between friends. As dorm leaders, we should support each other, shouldn’t we? And since Ramshackle may be getting some new members in the upcoming year, I wouldn’t you some pointers on how to manage a dorm, either.”

The way he spells out the proposal has alarms sounding off in your head. Luckily, you were already well aware it was never a good idea to be in debt with Azul Ashengrotto.

“Ah, I’m good. I’ve done my homework on it.” You say, shrugging, and put on some effort to keep a polite smile on. “But having some tea and a chat between friends could be fun. Just hit me up when you’re free.”

Azul gives you a bit of a stare for a moment, one you can’t quite decode.

“Surely I will. Now, I’ll go back to my work as well, have a good evening!” Like Jade, he also bows his head, following it up with a short wave as well, before he walks away.

...and when there’s more than just a couple steps of distance between the two of you, you sigh heavily, slumping against the table, faraway staring at your half-empty glass.

Tonight really was going to be a lot to deal with. But such was the life of a Night Raven student, wasn’t it?

.     .     .

You flip through the pages of your textbooks, working on a couple more notes here and there, but after the odd event, your focus on the subjects at hand is mostly gone. You drain the glass of the drink you’d ordered, and then another, Jade smiling slyly as he set it right next to your notes.

“Don’t forget to wait until the end of our shift, Prefect.” He informs, ever so gracefully.

You just feel weird. At one point, what you’re doing is more staring at the pages rather than taking in any of the words. You were ready to declare your study session over, shove everything into your bag, and walk back to Ramshackle for some much needed rest, but… 

There were maybe three other tables that were taken around this time, one by a singular Pomefiore student who seemed to be brooding, other by a Heartslabyul pair, a last one by a group of four, three from Savanaclaw and one from Scarabia, all chattering happily despite the looming of exams. You find that your stare lingers on them now, thoughts floating into a barely coherent haze, and as Floyd sweeps in with full silver trays to serve that bigger group that cheers in response, all so excited to indulge in their meals, you two make eye contact.

“Just a couple minutes, Shrimpy!” He chimes at you, grinning sharply. You sink on your seat a little.

You’re not sure how to feel about the whole sleepover thing you’d been dragged into as well. It’s not like you had anything against Jade and Floyd as people, you really did get along just fine, but they weren’t the sort of guys you’d want in your dorm for a whole night. Their ideas of fun were clearly all sorts of twisted. You worry that while the night may start with a fun movie marathon, it might end with burying the body of an innocent person right behind the building.

And well, that wasn’t a very encouraging thought.

Your hands rest on top of the books for a moment, wondering if you’d just leave now and hope for the best, or wait for them as they asked you to. Possibilities swim in your head like the fish in the aquarium your eyes are drawn to as you space out, you hold onto the notebook…

With a sigh, you surrender yourself to the bizarre situation, and you decide to just wait. It was probably the best way to go about this, not risking to spark up whatever odd chasing instinct you knew the twins had, which would probably end up with them going to Ramshackle anyways, those weird smiles on their faces as they complained in fake innocence about how mean the Ramshackle dorm leader was for not waiting for them, but it was okay, her dear friends would still want to come over even as she rejected them so rudely… or something like that.

“Alright, here we are!” Speaking of the devil — Floyd jumps into your field of vision, duffel bag in hands, Jade following right behind him. “Aren’t you excited, Shrimpy? I’m super excited!”

“Of course you are.” You sigh, head shaking in exasperation. “So, we’ll just… leave together now?” 

“Yes, if it’s not an issue. We gathered the things we’d like to bring already, so you can lead the way.”

You agree to it with a nod, getting up from your seat and taking your studying supplies to be placed back into your bag, taking its weight against your body. The three of you walk away from the Mostro Lounge, then Octavinelle entirely, side by side, like the bestest of friends.

And it’s not like that feels bad or anything, but…

“Do you have anything in mind, Prefect?” Jade asks, rushing to your side some more — The duo had been walking just a tad slower than you, which was surprising now that you noticed it, given that being this tall usually made them move rather quickly. You just shrug at Jade in response.

“Not really. I guess I’m kind of spaced out now.” You reply, looking around as you leave Octavinelle, the underwater environment taking in a striking, strange look without the illumination of the daylight. It never failed to catch your eye. “Tired, probably. These exams aren’t gonna be easy…”

“You think so? They’re pretty easy for me!” Floyd speaks up, swinging the bag back and forth as he walks. 

“Of course you’d think that.” Jade says with a chuckle.

The trip to Ramshackle happens with bouts of strange silence, a comment thrown here and there, responses given, a couple laughs. It doesn’t last as much as it usually does when you take it by yourself.

The doors open with its usual rather loud creak when you get there, you switch on the lights quickly, and Floyd is already excitedly stepping into the lounge, looking around with sparkles in his eyes like a kid at a toy store.

“Woah, Shrimpy, you cleaned up the place?” He asks, giggling as he turns around, trying to take in as much information as possible. A bit of a proud smile makes its way into your face.

“Oh, yeah, I’ve been working on it. Sometimes people come over to help too, but most of the rooms in the top floor still need some work.” You inform. “Where do you guys want to sleep? I don’t think we could fit all three of us in my room, so…”

“We could bring some mattresses to the lounge?” Jade suggests, and… well, that was a smart idea, actually. You hum as you acknowledge it, nodding. He drops the duffel bags on the coffee table, looking around like his twin, though in more poised motions. “We can get to that later. For now, maybe we should get changed? And arrange our first activities.”

“Yeah, I guess.” You say in agreement, hands on your hips as you looked around for a moment too. “Are you guys hungry or something? We could get snacks.”

“Ooh, gimme a moment, I’ll help you pick them!” Floyd says with a giggle, skipping towards the stairs.

“We’ll get changed then. You should do the same.” Jade announces, and follows suit. “Being in these stiff clothes is no good way to start a sleepover, isn’t it?”

His remark hangs in the air for a bit as he goes up the stairs. 

Well, this was still a little weird. 

They disappear into  the top floor, you’re not quite sure where they went, but you take the short trip to your room to change too. Having gotten used to Night Raven’s uniform by now, you didn’t really feel too constricted by it as you go about your day, but slipping out of the blazer and vest still feels quite nice, especially when you’re replacing it with a looser shirt as you were now.

You wonder how it felt for other students, with the dorm uniforms and such. Something like Octavinelle’s really did seem quite stiff, with their structured suits, bowtie and suspenders.

When you’re done changing, hanging the pieces that made up your uniform over the chair by your desk, your phone buzzes.

Ah, the dorm leader group chat, you mentally chime as you pick your phone up to check the notifications. The first one labeled with Riddle’s name, you wonder if it’s something important.

“Shrimpy, are you ready? I wanna get those snacks now!” Floyd’s voice calls you from somewhere in the distance.

“Just a moment!” You respond as you unlock the device, taking a few steps towards the door, ready to leave.

Have we scheduled the time for the next dorm leader meeting already? is what Riddle’s text reads.

Vil: I don’t think we have, we still need confirmations from Ramshackle and Scarabia about the time. But I suggested tomorrow morning and everyone else seems to agree.

You blink at the mention of your name.

I might not be able to go if it’s tomorrow morning

Since I’m with the Leech twins now and they’re spending the night here

Leona: youre hanging out with those weirdos?

Leona: damn herbivore. thought you were smarter than that

Azul: Excuse me, the aim of this group chat is to discuss dorm leader business, not for you to make rude remarks about others like this.

Even interacting with the other dorm leaders, all you can do is sigh and stare in exasperation… 

Riddle: I’ll have to agree with Azul here. 

Riddle: Though… do be careful, if you just wanted to do something different you can always come to Heartslabyul’s Unbirthday Parties.

I’m fine. Just said I might not be able to make it tomorrow morning

Can we just move it to the day after?

Leona: it could just not be in the morning

Leona: im free on that one though

Vil: No. We all have our afternoons occupied for the next two weeks with all the exams, so it needs to be in the morning. Luckily I’m free for the day after as well.

Vil: And I second what Riddle said. Be careful. You don’t need to be doing reckless things like these to have fun, especially not when exams are approaching. 

Leona: still think its a bad idea

Leona: you can literally do anything with anyone else and itd be better for someone like you

...and now they were going off topic. Weird, weird people. You can never tell if they’re worried for you, or if they just have a strange sort of fixation on you because you were different from them, maybe weaker, to their eyes.

Or something like that. It really is difficult to tell what opinions they have on you, exactly.

I don’t even know what you’re talking about now

Can we focus on the meeting

Riddle: And now I second that

Riddle: We still need a response from Scarabia, Octavinelle and Ignihyde then. I’m fine with it being postponed.

Riddle: I’ll ask Shroud about it later since he doesn’t seem to be on now, and I think that’s everyone?

Azul: You know I’ll always make time for our meetings, I’m available for that morning as well.

Kalim: hi hi sorry for popping up so late!! but im fine with either tomorrow or the day after too :D

Kalim: also prefect!! you didnt tell me you guys were having a sleepover :( let me come next time!!

You sigh. Was it really that big of a deal that you were having the Leech twins over that night? You never really asked for it, and were the dorm leaders even your actual friends? There it was, one more question you couldn’t answer 

I didn’t plan for it either

And I don’t know if there’ll be a second time

But… Kalim was a sweet one, at least. Someone like him is a breath of fresh air at a school like this, so you can never bring yourself to be too mean to him.

“Shrimpy! The snacks!”

Floyd’s voice calls for you loudly, you look up from your phone and towards the door for a moment. 

I’ll think about it though

I gotta go now. I’ll see you all that morning then

You switch off your phone and leave your room, finding Floyd in the hallway, loose white shirt and teal sweatpants on. You simply join him on walking down the stairs, Floyd with a spring on his step, Jade meeting the two of you when you arrive back at the lounge, in a lavender buttoned pajama set.

“So we’re ready, it seems. How exciting.” He chuckles.

Seeing them like this, it’s… you squint at them just a little bit, they almost seem younger to you. That unnerved feeling you’d been soaking up on fades just barely.

“Yeah! I’m super hyped.” Floyd chirps as the three of you make your way into the Ramshackle kitchen, Jade following suit even as he hadn’t really expressed any interest in eating at the moment. “But who were you talking to, Shrimpy? I saw you on your phone. And do you have takoyaki?”

“It was just the dorm leader group chat. We were planning for the next meeting and I told them I wouldn’t be able to make it if it happened tomorrow morning.” You explain, flicking the lights of the kitchen on. A couple bags of snacks were scattered around the counter already, courtesy of Grim. He was sleeping now, you imagined. You stare at the packages, wondering if you should take them. Grim would steal your own snacks often, so you’re sure it was only fair… “And we don’t. I have these, uh… shrimp flavored chips, though?”

“Oh, show me!”

You toss him the bag, which he easily catches — That’s what basketball does to someone, you guessed — though still being all over the selection, while Jade simply peeks at it over your shoulder, but with great interest too, you can tell.

“...and there’s these mushroom shaped chocolate cookies, I think you’d like these, Jade. You guys can get more food anytime you want too.” You toss him a bag as well, also caught like he knew where it’d land, Jade eyeing at the sweets with interest.

“Mm, they do seem nice.”

You can’t help the small laugh that leaves you. How characteristic of them, really. The shrimps for Floyd and the mushrooms for Jade… 

Floyd takes two more bags of chips, Jade sticks to the chocolate, the wistful stare he turns towards the chips as he leaves telling you he’d be back later for more. You take your favorite out of the bunch, the one you’d usually get when you bought some for yourself, and you make your way back into the lounge.

“Now what?” You ask, tearing into the bag you’d gotten for yourself, hopping to sit on your favorite couch — Your eyes are caught by how they had laid mattresses on the floor, already, and you wonder how they’d done that so fast. “I’m assuming you guys have plans, since you wanted to do this so bad.”

“Hmm, I thought about watchin’ movies, but I think I don’t feel like doing that now.” Floyd says before shoving a handful of orange shrimp-shaped chips into his mouth, the sounds of crunching filling the room as he hops to sit next to you. “Y’know, we should prank call Goldfishie. I bet it’d be so funny, it’s sad we can’t see him going all red though.” He giggles, a grin surging on his face.

“You should leave Riddle alone.” You say as you flick at his shoulder. “He’s gonna collar you one of these days.”

“If he gets fast enough to catch me, maybe!” He shrugs, still grinning. “But that’ll be like a surprise, right? That can be fun too.”

“Riddle is my classmate…” Jade says, taking the nearest armchair. “I wouldn’t feel right to participate, but… whatever choice you two make, that’s for you to deal with.” One of his odd smiles spread through his lips. You can tell this means something like if you do that, I’ll sit back and watch happily.

A pause, you think about what to respond. In the background, all you hear is crunch, crunch, crunch.

“I have to see him at a meeting in two days. I’m not gonna prank call him.” You decide, setting your foot down, to which Floyd pouts.

“What are we gonna do, then? I had ideas but I don’t wanna do ‘em now.”

Pairs of mismatched eyes fall upon you—

You sigh for the thousandth time that evening, you were really doing this sleepover thing, weren’t you? Putting all that effort into it too…

Not too long ago, you wouldn’t have even been able to imagine living like this, with all these strange people around you doing all sorts of strange things, and now? Now it felt like a routine — Though not in the bad, boring way. You would often be so full of exasperation, but there was this homey characteristic to all of this, somehow.

The Ramshackle dorm wasn’t just a run down, abandoned building. It was a place you could call yours. 

And even outside these doors, things felt a bit more like home everyday. There was always something new happening to keep you entertained, tonight it just happened to be those twins’ random idea of having a sleepover.

So you let it happen.

“Okay, so, I have a suggestion…”