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Phobia

Chapter Text

Phobia- suffix meaning 'fear'

At the first glance at Mikoshiba Toru, you see a kid. A kid with raven black hair and dull black eyes that seemed endless, a perfect posture with great muscles, and a tattoo poking out of collar and up his neck, another slipping through the gaps of his leather black gloves.

A tattoo that shows his superiority and skill.

The tattoo that chains him down.

A tattoo that was fear.

"Mikoshiba!"

"Hai?" the soft voice of a 6 year old, Mikoshiba Toru was a weapon.

A deadly weapon within the yakuza.

"Today, you are to protect the heir," it was a stern voice, "And as you are the same gender and age, you can protect him."

A genius weapon within the yakuza, "Of course."

"Good. Akahoshi-sama!"

"Hai, hai," a kid walked in, with dirty clothes and face, his black hair going crazy and his dark eyes blazed at the sight of Mikoshiba, "Ugh, another one?"

"As the heir of the Akuma family, you must be protected so you'll take on the name as well!" the male, at this point stomped off.

"It's not like I want to be the heir," Akahoshi huffed and turned to Mikoshiba, "Call me, Shoji, alright? If you call me Akahoshi," he punched his palm, "I'll make you regret it."

No answer from the other boy.

"Answer me!"

"...Hai, Shoji-sama."

"You know what?" the male stood up from his spot and ran outside into the courtyard Mikoshiba was in, "I'm gonna play baseball when I grow up! Screw the yakuza!" he turned around, grinning, "Start smiling you idiot!"

And with that order, a frozen smile appeared on Mikoshiba's face, one that came with an order.

Mikoshiba, at the age of seven, was still smiling at his master.

"Geez, stop smiling," and he did, the lips fell, "No, you know what, just smile when you're happy, cry when you're sad, and... eat when you're hungry!" Shoji cried out in despair, "It's like I have a robot near me and not a friend."

"A friend?" Mikoshiba blinked, curiosity shinning in his eyes.

"Yeah, someone I can do everything with! Not someone that would just give up their life on orders, but on feelings!" the male cried out.

The young master was frustrated and by this time, ran away.

"Young master!" running after the male, when Shoji glared at him, shoving him aside, and screaming.

"And call me Shoji!" he called to the male.

That was all he heard before the kid disappeared on him.

"...To smile when I'm happy..." Mikoshiba sighed, "A weapon doesn't get to feel happiness," he replied to himself.

He sniffed, "Damn it..."

"Toru, are you okay?" an older version of Mikoshiba, with longer hair and a softer tone walked over to her younger brother.

"Nee-chan..." looking up with confusion brimming his eyes, Mikoshiba asked, "What am I?"

"Toru!" eight-year old Mikoshiba looked up at his master, "Let's go to school!" he called.

Nodding, Mikoshiba smiled, "Of course, young master."

He knew better than to show his emotions, but after more intensive training, he was taught to know the moments and read the atmosphere and do everything possible to guide the other person's emotions and reactions.

At the age of eight, Mikoshiba Toru could fight extremely well (with and without weapons), memorize data and analyze just about everything, read things, predict things correctly, have everything fall within what he wants, and to top all of that, Mikoshiba Toru was only eight.

With a life full of experience ahead, Mikoshiba was going to become better.

The cold brisk air as Mikoshiba watched as Akahoshi began playing baseball with his friends.

"Hey, is Mikoshiba playing?"

"Mikoshiba, do you want to play?"

"I'm sorry, Young Master, but I'll have to decline," Mikoshiba replied with a nod.

"Eh? Today too?" the others seemed to complain and Akahoshi sighed.

"Well, he says he doesn't want to..."

"Can't you make him? Since you're his master and everything?"

Everything seemed to stop and before anything else, Akahoshi shook his head, "Forcing someone to do something out of their will isn't someone I want to become. I want to be a good man since I'm not going to continue the family tradition after all," a large grin appeared on the face and he began talking the strategy.

Mikoshiba found himself on the side-lines, watching carefully.

He knows the baseball rules by heart, and he and the Young Master would often play catch because the Little Master would ask politely.

After all, Mikoshiba Toru does nothing more but live for the Young Master.

After three years of staying together, and the two were never separated, not once.

"Mikoshiba-kun, would you like to sit somewhere else?"

"...Sensei, you're Kimihira Ryousuke, am I correct? The person that slept wit-"

"Okay, okay never mind."

A deadly smile at this and Mikoshiba nodded, "I'm glad we came to terms."

The two troublemakers of the class, one more vocal that the other, the two that were an outcast because they didn't hide their social status.

And especially since one of the two boys was a brilliant fighter that could probably take down most high-schoolers, and to some others, know things that should not be known or presented aloud, ever.

10-year old Akahoshi grinned brightly as he stared at Mikoshiba.

"Happy birthday, Young Master, is there something you would like?" 11 year old Mikoshiba asked and Akahoshi paused.

"I... I want you to call me by my name!" he announced with a grin.

"A wish that could bring great things, wasted like that?" Mikoshiba seemed confused.

"It's not a waste when it's important! It's not a waste if I'll have another wish next year too!" the Young Master grinned brightly and Mikoshiba paused.

"You know that you'll survive?"

"Because you'll be there, right?"

And for one of the first times ever, Mikoshiba felt himself come up with a soft smile.

And Akahoshi grinned back.

"Young Master! Please be careful!" Mikoshiba shoved the small body aside, as he was stabbed in the chest area.

"Mikoshiba!" young Akahoshi screamed as he dropped down next to the small kid that began barfing up blood.

"It doesn't matter, because if you protect someone, that will just bring you down," the male across from them laughed.

"R...Run, Little Master," Mikoshiba coughed as he stood up and pulled the knife out, ready to fight with it.

"W-What? You can't just-"

"Go!" Mikoshiba yelled, raising his voice, "Please..." the hoarse voice that came out scared the male.

Blood streamed down the young one's neck, a large red spot that seemed to cover up all of his chest.

"To use kids like this..." the male in front of them sighed, "Is a shame. You could've been much better..."

"I wonder..." Mikoshiba grinned.

"M-Mikoshiba..." Akahoshi sniffed, and then gulped.

"Young Master! Mikoshiba!" another group of people ran in.

"Great. Reinforcements," the male sighed and ran away, "Good day, little ones."

And with that, Mikoshiba fell over, gasping for air and barfing up more blood than food.

That caused the eighth time Mikoshiba went to the hospital, and at this time his sister snapped at last.

"A yakuza environment isn't good for Toru!" she yelled when Mikoshiba was caught in a cross-fire between two yakuza groups with many weapons, "I'm sorry, but I'm taking him away," she sobbed.

"...I understand," old Akahoshi said, and picked up his son from Toru's hospital bed, "Please, leave, but I hope you know that we will always be here."

"Yes, I understand..." she sniffled, "I'm...Thank you for all this time."

"Yes, I can say the same as well," he turned to his men, "Let's go."

"Hai!"

-
And that was the last time Mikoshiba An ever saw them ever again.

Little did she know, it wasn't the same for Toru. For the kid went out and continued doing missions for many places, the yakuza, the police, anything, and slowly, his tree of knowledge just kept growing...

A fearsome tiger released to the world, nothing holding him back.

Chapter Text

Autophobia-Fear of being alone

13 year old Mikoshiba leaned over and in front of the male who was sitting down, his back leaning on the wall, as he gasped heavily, blood running down above his eyebrow. Holding a red umbrella to keep the rain from hitting him, the smaller male pulled out a small book from his messenger bad.

"Shinjo Kei, 12 year old, attends Hatsunade Middle School," he read aloud as the blond male twitched, "...What happened here?" He asked, staring at the other males, "Hm... Kikihara Ayamase and Hanamura Taketura..."

The male, in response, let out ragged breath, "Who...Who the hell are you?"

"Mikoshiba Toru," the male replied as he looked at the other body at the end, "Kobayakawa Shozo..."

"What?"

"Now, I answered you're question, so you answer mine, what happened here?" Mikoshiba asked, looking around at the unconscious corpses, and then muttered, "Juumonji Kazuma..."

"I..." the male limped over, eyes closed and Mikoshiba sighed.

"Oh dear," he said, worried as he leaned down to the male, the back of his hand on the male's forehead, "You have a fever..."

The next time Shinjo Kei woke up, it was in a warm blanket in a room, and in a rush.

"What the..." tired as his movement was sluggish, as he stared at the mass of black hair next to him, and it slowly turned back around to show a male, at least a sixth-grader, with big black eyes filled with something...

"Since you're awake," a shuffling and some sort of movement, as a bowl came within his each, with a spoon, "Eat this, and then you're medicine," he said.

Shinjo groaned, "W...What?"

"Good point, you can't eat if you're not sitting up, huh?" a sigh and an arm came around the larger male's back, helping him up.

That was when Shinjo first realized how small the room was, at least in comparison to what he was used to.

"Here," the bowl was in front of him, and Shinjo looked at it, and then the spoonful of hot soup and rice, and then at the male feeding him, "What? It's not poisonous," he said simply and realizing what was going on, "Is it too hot?"

"Why are you helping me?" Shinjo demanded instead and Mikoshiba shrugged.

"I don't know," he replied.

A look of disbelief crossed the blacked-haired male's face.

"Do you even know who I am?"

"Shinjo Kei, from Hatsunade Middle School, 13-"

"No, as in, what I am?"

"A... human?" Mikoshiba was honestly confused about this question.

A long pause before Shinjo sighed, "I'm... Shinjo Kei, the streetfighter. The one that took out Kabuto and his gang..." he said clenching his fists.

"So? You can't beat me in a fight," Mikoshiba answered and before Shinjo said anything, shoved the spoon in his mouth.

The male paused from eating his food and swallowed.

"Taste okay?" the renter asked.

A nod.

"Best of all," he smiled, "It's not poisonous, right?"

Shinjo nodded once more, and began to eat on his own. I can't beat him? He paused momentarily, before drowning himself into his own thoughts.

"Alright, here's your medicine," handing some pills to the sick male, Mikoshiba smiled, "S-Sorry about all this, but there is something I need from you."

Shinjo nodded, "It makes sense for a stranger to pick me up and nurse me," he muttered, "What do you want?"

"Could you stay with me for a while?"

A completely, honest, sincere, and innocent request.

Shinjo chocked, "What?"

"It gets lonely when you're alone," Mikoshiba said, a small blush forming at his cheeks, "And you don't seem like a bad guy, so what's the worst that could happen?" a grin, and Shinjo sighed, "Don't worry, once you're useless to me, I'll get rid of you myself."

"O-Okay," he grumbled out, a dusty pink on his cheeks, and for some odd reason, he was barely worried about the last sentence, "You'll get rid of me pretty quickly then, huh?"

"Yeah, yeah. But still...Thanks!" a large grin, and Mikoshiba, for the first time, left the room.

Shinjo smiled softly at the disappearing figure and eased himself back to sleep, after taking his medicine.

What's the worst that could happen?

Shinjo Kei, 13 years old, was currently walking to Mikoshiba Toru's home with the male, that barely reached his shoulders, next to him.

Two days together and Shinjo was fully healed, "So, are you going to go home then?" Mikoshiba asked.

"Well, you said that being alone is lonely, right?" Shinjo replied.

"...I didn't think you would actually remember that," Mikoshiba said in awe, giving him a small applause.

A bright pink blush covered his face as Shinjo scowled, and almost immediately the small black-haired male stood in front of him, and putting the back of his hand on his forehead, "No, your not sick..." he muttered to himself and brightened up, "It's hot! That's right, as of right now... the air is about 78%, maybe 79% thicker than usual..."

"What?" very amused and surprised, Shinjo patted the hand away from him, "What are you, a weatherman?"

"A weatherman uses exact numbers because of the computers and instruments they use. I can only estimate through what I feel," a grin and the taller male rolled his eyes, "Are you sure you can stay over though?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Don't you have a family?" the male asked.

"Yeah, but it's real tense right now... I guess you came at the right time..." the tall, black-haired male said.

"But isn't it the same for your sister?" Now Shinjo, who was now used to Mikoshiba's amazing web of connections and data, paused.

"...I... don't know."

"Go ask," Mikoshiba said softly, "If all else fails, you can come here, right?" a grin and Shinjo blinked.

He thought it was hilarious and downright ironic, that he, Shinjo Kei, could completely trust a male he knew for barely two days. To top that, not really know much about the boy who picked him up.

Maybe, it was because the two had nothing to do other than talk in the small apartment complex, and seeing as they didn't really talk about school life, (especially when it seemed as though Mikoshiba already knew everything) they just talked about anything else.

Anything possible.

"Oh ya!"

The pair turned around and realized that they were surrounded by a group of people, at least eight, "Shinjo!" one of them called, "I'll get ya today!"

"Man, what bad grammar," Mikoshiba sighed, "Who says 'ya' these days? Old geezers?" casually looking at them and then at the sky, "Well, after one look of your face, I think I know why."

Shinjo stiffed a laughed, 'Kid got guts. I'll give him that. And he probably know that these guys are...' his thoughts trailed off.

The other blushed a mad red and Shinjo took a step back, as he and Mikoshiba was back-to-back, he said, "I got this, these guys aren't hard."

"Even with weapons?" Mikoshiba asked, "I know that you guys all have something between a pocket-knife, a Philip-head screwdriver, and a combination wrench, right?"

And once again, Shinjo was amazed by his trivia and knowledge, in general as the other scowled.

"Well then, if you know so, no holding back," taking out said weapons, Mikoshiba sighed once more, closing his eyes.

"I feel bad for Shinjo," he said, before anyone made a move, "Being jumped by cowards."

"C-cowards?"

"Who else would attack an unarmed person with a group of people with weapons?" the male continued, "Trash like you people...I'm surprised that they still exist. Instead of fighting, why don't you do something?" He asked, his eyes still gazing at the 3 o'clock bright April clouds above him, "Everything and everyone has some sort of use, so go look for it," he finished, as he tipped his head towards the male, "Let's go, Shinjo-san."

"W-what? Guys attack!" the leader-like male from before called.

"D-dude man, do you know who that thing is?" they whispered and sort of pointed at the general direction of the pair.

"W-what do you mean?"

"Th-That's..."

"Mikoshiba Toru," Mikoshiba came out, and smirked, "Commonly know as, 'Tora the Tiger'."

Shinjo raised both eyebrows in surprise as the others fled from the name.

"You're the infamous Tiger?" he asked, some sort of smirk on his face.

"Yeah, surprised?" Mikoshiba looked at the male, who just shrugged.

"I was more surprised when you took me in."

A soft smile as the two continued their journey to Mikoshiba's home.

The following day, Shinjo went home, after exchanging phone numbers and Mikoshiba sighed as he laid down on his futon.

"What an interesting guy," he whispered softly as he drifted onto sleep.

Four hours later, the male woke up and heard the rain pattering, and sighing, he stood up.

"Looks like some one's in trouble," he said, rolling his eyes as he grabbed his red umbrella and walked out. His worn-out sneakers splashing water unintentionally.

Walking down to the riverbank, where he stopped as he gazed at an empty baseball field.

"Mikoshiba?" a rough voice that echoed, the said male turned around, and with a smile on his face.

"Good day, Shinjo-san, Shinjo-chan."

The little girl with large brown eyes and shoulder-length black hair stood behind his new friend nodded and Shinjo sighed with relief, "Thank god it was you..."

Calmly walking over as he gave him umbrella to the small girl, took off his blue jacket and put it on her.

The warm April rain soaking his white long-sleeve shirt, as Shinjo saw black markings on the male, "I'm Mikoshiba Toru, and I'm your brother's friend," a soft voice and Shinjo leaned down.
"Don't worry, I'm still here." He said to her, as though he was trying to soothe her.

"But... what about Okaa-san and Otou-san?" the girl whimpered.

"...They'll..." Shinjo stopped, not knowing how to break this down, when Mikoshiba smiled.

"Don't worry about it," Mikoshiba replied, "They're doing something special for you, and it won't be a surprise if you were there and knew what it was, right?"

"Okay!" all of a sudden, happy smiles and grins ran up the girl's face.

"Don't tell them I told you, alright?" the male replied and the girl nodded energetically.

Shinjo smiled, "You really do these kinds of things well," he said.

"Yeah, well, you gotta remember," he said, turning to the male, "It's not a lie, I mean, if whatever tension stops, and the family comes together once more," starting to walk forward, Shinjo close behind, "It'll... be a gift, and to those who don't know, a surprise."

"Yeah... I guess so..." Shinjo said.

"Sorry, I like to ramble," Mikoshiba said sheepishly.

The tall, broad male shrugged next to him, "It's okay, because it makes sense."

"Does it?"

"It does."

And that was the start of Shinjo and Mikoshiba...

A fearsome pair.

Chapter Text

Jophaboia- The fear of cakes

"Nee, Aniya-kun!" Aniya Keiichi, in six months, he shall be 13, and has already dated with 36 girls until today, and one male for 3 minutes, and currently on his new girlfriend, making the previous statement, 37.

"Hai, Margretto," Aniya replied, scooting closer the the girl with the bright brown eyes and long blond hair that curled it's way down to her large chest.

Currently in a bakery in the fifth district, the Akai Cafe, and true to it's name, it was a cafe with a red floor, red walls, and red chairs.

A place Mikoshiba Toru often went to for information.

"Aiko-san!" walking in he softly called out for the manager.

"Ah! Tiger-kun!" they called back.

All of a sudden, the entire cafe went silent as people started to stand up and stare, while others just glared, and many others, bringing out cell phones.

"I still owe you from what you did to my kouhais!" one of them, a large, bald male, and Aniya rolled his eyes.

If he got into a fight here, he would be kicked out of baseball for the rest of the year.

Eyes fell onto the short male, the one with black hair and emotionless black pits of eyes, who blinked once at the male and sighed, "If it's a fight you want, do it outside."

"Then, will you be coming with us?"

"T-Tiger..."

A heavy sigh as Mikoshiba calmly walked outside, "I'm sorry, am I walking too fast for you?"

Twitching, the group rushed out after them, and immediately, the cafe was empty.

"Wah! That was scary!" Margretto, a dyed-blond sighed, her long, curly hair reaching around and up on her breasts, "But if it did turn into a fight, you'd save me right?"

"We'd run together," Aniya replied with a smirk, "Nee, Margretto-chan?"

Doors swung open once more within the next five minutes, and Mikoshiba, completely clean and healthy walks in, perfectly fine.

"So, what's this all about?" Mikoshiba asked calmly, as the girl gave him a large orange envelope.

"Thanks, Tiger, that's all for today," Aiko, the girl behind the counter said, "Don't you have guests today?"

"Ah, thank you for remembering," Mikoshiba smiled, when he paused and took out a cell phone, "Hello?"

Silence and at last Aniya stood up, "Sorry, Margretto, but I don't like cakes," and with that, he left.

"Eh? A-Aniya-kun?" the girl stammered, before realizing that she was just stood up.

The second time Aniya Keiichi had an encounter with Mikoshiba Toru was at a bakery in the ninth district, the Hanada Bakery, a blue bakery to counter the red one he was at.

"Ne, ne, Aniya-kun!" a spunky girl with bouncing knockers, her curled black hair and batting black eyelashes surrounding her honey eyes, as she skipped next to Aniya, linking her arm with his, "Aniya-kun?"

But, his eyes were only focused on an alley-way, where he saw two figures that stood out to him, a tall male with bright dyed-orange hair and the kid from before.

The kid was taping everything onto his cell phone, while the other one fought.

"Ah! It's Shinjo and...who's the kid?" the girl asked and sighed, "Let's go!" the girl growled out, "C'mon!"

"No," Aniya replied and left the girl, "Those kids...they live in my neighborhood..."

"Aniya-kun?"

"I'm leaving you, call me later," he said simply before walking towards the alley, a grin on his face.

The second encounter was a scary one, but one, nonetheless.

"Oh, so you're the infamous 'Head of the Sexual Harassment Department,'..." Mikoshiba said, nodding his head while Aniya did a double take.

"W-what? THE head of WHAT?"

"Whoops?" Mikoshiba meeped out and hid behind his other friend.

A roll of eyes and Aniya stopped, "Wait a moment...You mean... the rumors that Shinjo is hanging out with tiger was true?"

"Hai," Mikoshiba replied.

"Wait, I keep forgetting but," Shinjo turned around to face the male, "Why is it 'Tiger'?"

"Huh? Oh, someone got my name messed up my name, and it stuck," the male explained rather plainly.

"Wait... How did you get 'Tiger' with whatever your name is?" Aniya asked in confusion.

"Oh, my name is Mikoshiba Toru, and Toru, could be spelled as 'T-O-R-U' but they misspelled it as, 'T-O-R-A', like 'Tora' so when translated from Spanish, it becomes, 'Tiger'. And then, the name sort of...stuck."

"Who and where were you at the time?" Shinjo continued the conversation, ignoring Aniya.

"Oh, this was when I was in America for the first time," Mikoshiba grinned, "Let's go, I'm making pot pie today," he said simply.

"Oh?" Shinjo seemed interested.

"...Would you like some too?" Mikoshiba grinned at the two males.

"Uh...why the hell not?" Aniya sighed and followed the male, a small smile on his face.

"Then, make sure you tell your families alright?" he said, and Shinjo took out his cell phone and did so before sticking it out in Aniya's direction.

"Don't you need to tell them?" he asked.

"Nah, they don't care," Aniya replied, pushing the cell back.

"Then leave a message."

The sternness of Mikoshiba's voice is what he forced himself to listen to.

Upon entering the small apartment complex, it was getting very cramped between two very large and muscular men and although small, buff one, in between a small TV, thee laptops (different sizes) and many, many piles of paper and notebooks everywhere.

"Wh-what the?"

"So that's what I forgot to do..." Mikoshiba sighed as he picked some stuff up, "It's slightly messy, so I hope you don't mind," he said.

"Yeah, no problem, you got me away from that bitch," Aniya scoffed out.

"That 'bitch'?" Shinjo asked in mild amusement.

"Meaning the girl you were with? Shouko Mizahara, am I correct, the daughter of the adviser of the Hitomotokarama Family... Yakuza with only 3,921 members..." Mikoshiba stated calmly and then perked up, "I'll go get the pot pie then."

Aniya paused, had he just cursed out at a girl that will command others to kill him.

"Don't worry, since they are probably a yakuza family, they'll torture you slowly first," Shinjo said easily as he leaned back onto the wall, "If you're lucky, they'll let you off without a couple of fingers."

Aniya stared at him, eyes wide and mouth open in complete shock.

"Shinjo-san! Get the table!" Mikoshiba called and Shinjo nodded.

Although Aniya was in total shock as he stared at the small white room, and then at the far end, a small table with a computer on it, as Shinjo brought out a medium sized table to sit around.

The black-haired male came in with large mitts on his hands and carefully placed the medium sized pot on top of a cold cloth, "Here," he said, passing out chopsticks, "Ah! Let me go get some-"

"I got the drinks, so chill," Shinjo replied, standing up and walking off into an area Mikoshiba came out of, "Coke sounds good?"

"I want my 2% milk!" Mikoshiba called back, Aniya stared at him funny as he looked at the other middle schooler, "Calcium is good for you."

A sigh was heard before the dyed hair came back into view, a small 2% milk bottle in one hand, and two bottles of coke in the other.

"Here," he said, placing it in front of the other two.

"Ah... yeah... thanks..." Aniya said.

"Itadakimasu!" Mikoshiba grinned as he stared at the other two.

"Itadakimas," Shinjo nodded.

"I-Ita...Itadakimas..." Aniya muttered as he began eating as well.

The soft texture of the food that wasn't burning hot melted in his mouth as he chewed softly and for a large amount of time, while Mikoshiba smiled and just kept eating, Shinjo just eating.

"...So, why'd you follow us?" Shinjo asked off-handedly.

"You guys live in my neighborhood, so I figured that I might as well know you now than never," Aniya replied.

A scoff and Mikoshiba grinned, "Well then, if you ever need cover, here's a base," he grinned.

"Yeah, life's more fun once you have the right people," Aniya said.

"It varies on you definition of, 'fun'," the smallest one responded dryly.

A laugh from two of them, a smile on Shinjo's face, and the three just got along.

"So, where's Shinjo today?" Aniya asked as he leaned back on the seat while Mikoshiba sat across from him.

"Shinjo's watching over his little sister," Mikoshiba replied, looking up at the male with a soft smile, and then looked back down at his notepad before scribbling something down once more, "I'm surprised to have seen you today," the male continued calmly.

"Don't mention it, it was a good timing," Aniya replied, and leaned back in his seat to stare out the window.

"Is that so?"

The two were at a local cafe near the riverbank and Aniya was eating a strawberry cake and Mikoshiba drinking some iced tea, as he stared out the window, watching the rain beat down.

"Damn, crazy girl, could you believe that she actually have guts to slap me," Aniya, who recently dumped a girl, just seemed to continue his complaints about the girl, "She wasn't even that good!" Munching on another piece of cake as darkly cursed out the girl and twitched at his swollen cheek.

A sigh, "Only you, Aniya-san," Mikoshiba sighed.

The two exchanged a glance and Aniya rolled his eyes.

One month since the two have actually met, and Mikoshiba dared to ask, "Is there anything... you want?" he asked and stared outside.

"What? That sounds a bit creepy..." Aniya replied, a suspicious look on his face, but he did lean in, as though to hear the soft words better.

"Yes... but in this world, when people become desperate, they become a lot more uglier than what they were," Mikoshiba smiled softly, "I guess... that I don't want that to happen to you, so, I'm going to figure out all and as much as I can, starting with wants and needs."

"Um... I want a..." the pitched paused and then scoffed, "I want to go to Koshien," he grinned, he was joking, and vaguely wondering whether or not Mikoshiba knew that, and the male nodded his head.

"Interesting," he scribbled something down.

"Man, every time I'm with you, you always ask me questions, and I always answer them," Aniya said, "What's up with that?"

"Then don't answer the questions, Aniya-san," Mikoshiba smiled politely.

"...Probably, but..." the said male paused once more.

It's a good way for attention that I always want...

The thought that rang true in his head, but he will never admit aloud.

"But?" Mikoshiba asked, his wide eyes blinking at the male, curiosity shining brightly in his eyes.

"It's nothing," Aniya sighed.

"Alright," and that was another great thing about Mikoshiba Toru.

He never pried. He'd ask once, and that was it.

And he had never forgotten something before.

"So, what about you? I'm sure that you want something, all humans do."

"Except Buddha," Mikoshiba mentioned and Aniya snorted.

"Yeah, but you're not him," he recalled.

"Just stating out the facts."

"So then, what do you want?"

"I...want-"

"TIGER! I KNOW YOU'RE HERE!" a bunch of screams and Aniya choked on his cake.

"Good grief," Mikoshiba sighed, "I'll be back within a moment," he said and walked over to the males calling him.

Within the next ten minutes, Mikoshiba sat back down in front of Aniya, slightly panting, and his hair dripping, but other than that, perfectly fine, "Headphones," Mikoshiba said, "It could block out the noise better than my earphones."

"...Wait... anything in the world and you choose that?" Aniya sputtered out.

Mikoshiba looked at him and smiled, "Anything in the world and you chose Koshien?"

"Hey, Koshien is really-"

"One man's treasure is another man's trash. Oops, I gotta run," Mikoshiba nodded at the male, "Later." And then, he was gone, leaving the pitched by himself, sighing as he stared off into space. Headphones...

"Yeah..."

Aniya watched the male walk back outside, and he smiled to himself.

And then cursed, "He left me with the bill..." he muttered and then cursed about how expensive cakes were.

Mikoshiba, Shinjo, and Aniya sighed as they walked side-by-side, and quietly down past the riverbed, listening in to the soft water trickles as the moon shined down on them.

"Ah... so cool..." Mikoshiba sighed happily as he walked in between the other three.

"Stop right there, Mikoshiba Toru!"

The three paused as they slowly turned around to see a group of 12 people.

"Oh dear... This seems way too familiar," Mikoshiba commented dryly.

"I'll join you this time, so we'll win completely," Aniya replied, "Besides, 12 is a lot for one person."

"6 isn't," Shinjo replied taking his fists out of his pockets.

"Let's GO!" the leader-like man called, and all of a sudden, more people from the sides came by, and Mikoshiba, Shinjo, and Aniya ended up back-to-back.

"You have-" Mikoshiba groaned.

"Got to-" Aniya twitched.

"Be kidding me," Shinjo growled.

"Oh well," Mikoshiba smirked, "This is the way to make things even, right? There should be at least 36..."

"Hn." Shinjo grunted.

Aniya sighed, "So in the end, it ends with 12..." he sighed.

The other two stopped and turned at the male.

"Did you just do mental math within a couple of seconds?" Mikoshiba asked in astonishment.

Shinjo blinked at the male, surprise showing greatly and Aniya snarled.

"Shut up."

The three of them, with some form of a smirk and grin on their faces, looked off at their opponents, ready to fight.

And they did, Shinjo swinging down before coming up to meet people with his fists and sometimes, legs, while Aniya got his back, Mikoshiba being a blur as he easily maneuvered his way around the people, attacking them in ways they couldn't fight back, and ended up sprawled on the ground.

And in about an hour or so, with everyone passed out on the ground with the exception of a panting Shinjo and Aniya, and Mikoshiba that was just looking around.

The smaller male turned back and grinned, shutting his cell phone as he said simply, "So much for tonight's okonamiyaki, huh?" he asked.

The other two, gasping for air on the ground, just stared at him before breaking out into laughs and grins.

So, when Mikoshiba and Shinjo met, it was a deadly pair.

That pair has now become a trio when they encountered Aniya.

A fearsome trio.

Chapter Text

Biblophobia- Fear of books.

12 year old Wakana cursed darkly under his breath as he sneezed, why was he in the ridiculously large library anyways?

Sighing as he remembered the project, and that he should at least try and bring home something good, when he stumbled over something.

"What the-" and that's when he saw a small guy, sleeping against the bookshelves, books scattered around him.

Wakana, ready to snap at the male, when another figure walked in.

Two actually.

A tall, muscular and buff male, with blonde hair leaned over to the small male, "He's out cold," he sighed and picked him up, and looked at Wakana, "Thank you for watching over him."

"Ah... n-no problem," he gulped. He knew who that was.

"Then," a grin came from the other male, "Let's go out."

"Ah? Already?" the tall male replied.

"Shinjo-san?" the boy murmmered.

"Ah, Miko-chan, you're awake, let's go," the other male replied.

The male nodded back off to sleep.

And Wakana took this chance to disperse.

Wakana sighed as he walked around in his loose pair of jeans and plain white t-shirt, when he looked over he a guy, turning his head around just to see a male in an alley-way, surrounded by at least 25 people, all knocked out as they laid on the ground, some in positions most humans can't bend in.

And there he was, the kid from the library, Miko-chan, in the center, stretching and walking across the bodies.

And then, he looked up, from across the street, met Wakana's eyes and then, while Wakana was stunned speechless, he did the unthinkable.

He smiled.

In May, Wakana scowled as he glanced around once more, ever since he had seen 'him' at the alley-way, he couldn't forget about him.

His tall posture next to the laying people, as he smiled.

He groaned.

He needed a quiet place to think...

The library.

Upon his entrance to the library, he sat down in between two bookshelves, safely hidden away from everything else as he sighed deeply.

"Nothing good?" a soft whisper, and Wakana, sighing once more nodded.

"Yeah, everything is just... borring."

And this wasn't a lie.

For he had nothing to do until he saw that male.

In fact, he turned his head up and saw him once more.

"Wakana-san," he said and Wakana nodded his head, "I'm Mikoshiba Toru," he smiled.

Wakana nodded his head once more.

"Wait... How do you k-" placing one finger on the larger male's mouth Mikoshiba silenced him.

"Let's talk outside."

Glancing around at the glares coming from the people around him, he sighed and followed the male out.

It was a fast-food place across from the library, and next to the bookstore, Mikoshiba and Wakana sat in one of the back corners.

Wakana, who was stuffing himself with a burger, munched and stared at the male, "So then..." he said, and then took a drink from his Cherry Coke, "What the hell man?"

A long stare before Mikoshiba smiled, "Well, then, this is how I work," he said and brought out a notebook and a mechanical pencil, and in the other hand, held a small hand-held Iphone, "You give me information, and I give you information," he grinned, "Or something as close as you can to it."

"So, I give you something, you give me something?" Wakana smirked.

"As long as its fair and we can pay the price."

It was like starting a deal with the devil, but Wakana, despite the protesting other side of him, smirked.

"Alright then...Let's begin."

And in turn, Mikoshiba grinned, "Of course."

That was the third time Wakana had ever made a deal that scared him so, and as of right now, he didn't care.

"Aniya Keiichi," the first male grinned.

"Shinjo Kei."

"Mikoshiba Toru."

"Wakana Tomochika."

"Good, the formalities are done so let's go finish some work!" the male said, and Wakana stuttered.

"Wait, that's it?"

Shinjo blinked and Aniya rolled his eyes.

"What more do you want?" Aniya asked.

Wakana sputtered, unable to say anything.

"C'mon, or else I'm going to make you pay for the cakes today!" Mikoshiba, already next to the doors of the library, called out.

The three, although Wakana was last, followed, some more faster than the other one.

Sighing as he sat down at a desk, he brought out his school-work, not once did he ever understand any of it.

"Wait... so you mean x is five?" Wakana said in astonishment as Mikoshiba grinned at him.

"Yep!"

The male's grin grew large as he looked up at the other two across from him, who looked surprised as well, before they gave out an inaudible applause, causing Wakana to blush.

"Shut up and get to work," he muttered darkly.

Who would've thought that he would be hanging out with the largest names in the streets?

Moreorless, working on something like academics?

"Okay then, next question..."

And due to these small study-sessions between the four, followed by a small cake break at a nearby cafe, the four of them just relaxed throughout the month of August and September.

"Check that out! I got a 78! That's the highest I ever gotten!" Wakana shouted as he hooted with laughter.

Aniya growled and muttered under his breath and Mikoshiba grinned, "Aniya got a 66."

"Ha-ha! Check that out!" the male shouted out.

In the dark of the night as they finished another session together, Shinjo next to Mikoshiba, slightly behind, as Aniya was to his right and Wakana to the far left.

"We should go celebrate this," the smallest male suggested, "Alright then... Cake shop!"

"Wakana's purchase!' Aniya yelled in time.

"What?"

"I don't mind," Shinjo said nodding his head.

"T-the person with the least amount of points should buy it!" the male continued to protest, "What did the two of you get anyways?" he demanded out of Shinjo and Mikoshiba.

"100." The flat answer between the two stopped his solid.

"H-h-HUNDRED?" the male exclaimed.

The other three snickered at the male's reaction as they continued down the path to the cake shop.

For at this moment in time Wakana didn't care about anything, and no matter how scary anything is, or they were going to be.

He tried his best not to be.

Chapter Text

Ailurophobia- Fear of cats

Yufune Tsturo, 13 year old student at Fujishiro Middle School.

Currently inside a burning building.

"Ah..." the young male, inside a locked room, stood in the middle of the room, away from the hot walls and trying to avoid the falling roof, "God..."

"CRASH!" another part of the ceiling broke, and a person fell through.

"Meow?" a soft, cat's mewls that was drained out by the sound of the crackling fire.

"Ouch..." groaning, the figure turned around, the male that was rather short, and lean, but vaguely defined muscles showing through the tight black clothing and the faded white sash on his waist like a belt.

He stood up tall and looked up from the hole he fell through.

"W...what?" Yufune gasped and fell to his butt while the male looked over.

A small dagger in his hand as he smiled.

And when Yufune saw the blood splatters on his face, he gulped.

"Looks like there's another witness," he sighed and then slowly walked to the male, barely flinching or even gazing as the bookshelf next to him was engulfed in flames, "Hey kid. Do you have any goals?"

"Kid?" Yufune scowled, "I'm not a kid!" he growled out.

"That's right," the other male laughed kind-heatedly, "You're Yufune Tetsuro, 13 years old, right?"

"Eh?"

"So, what's wrong?"

"What?"

A blink and the ninja-like male sighed, "I'm sorry," he confessed, with a bow, "I'm being very rude." Standing up straighter, he offered a soft smile, "I'm Tora, more often known as Tiger," he said and nodded at the male.

"Wait... You mean, you're The Tiger?"

Tiger nodded.

"W...What?"

"BLAST!"

The wall began to burst in flames and Tiger sighed.

"Let's go," he said, nodding at Yufune.

"Wait...What the hell is going on?"

Unfortunately enough, or maybe it was luck, he was knocked out, and into a pair of arms, as he heard, "You have got to be-"

"Meow," Yufune slowly opened his eyes as he saw a small cat sitting on him.

"Mikoshiba-kun! Please get rid of the cat! It is disturbing other paitents!"

"Ah, sorry!" the call came and Mikoshiba picked the kitten off the male.

"What... you're... Tiger?"

"Well, in this world, I'm Mikoshiba," the reply came back with a soft smile, followed by a soft mewl of the cat in his hands.

Yufune breathed deeply, "Don't try to get up," Mikoshiba said, stopping his actions, "Some of your ribs are broken, and since you inhaled so much smoke, so stay there and keep breathing in fresh air, alright?"

At this moment in time, he opened the curtains to the window beside Yufune's bed and opened the windows outward.

"Wow..." Yufune said in awe, "It feels like forever since I've seen the sun," the male grinned, "It's a nice feeling."

A sudden flash flew over Mikoshiba, who looked outside, "I wonder...Is it really worth it?"

"Of course!" the soft question answered with a hearty grin as Yufune coughed, "Because if it wasn't, we wouldn't be born in the first place!"

And Mikoshiba smiled at the male.

"Nya?" the kitty cat looked up at him and Mikoshiba petted him lightly.

-One month later-

"MIKO-CHAN!" Wakana whipped around to see a male, run down the street and next to Mikoshiba, a kitty-cat in hand.

"Ah, Yufune-san," Mikoshiba turned around gracefully, "And Ai-chan," he said, nodding to the cat that mewled in response.

"So, this is cat-boy?" Wakana said in mild-amusement.

"Ah? Who are you, nya?"

"What?"

"Oh dear," Mikoshiba sighed and pointed at Wakana, "That's Wakana Tomochika, 13 year old at-"

"Not all my information!" Wakana huffed at the black haired male who sighed once more.

"And this is Yufune Tetsuro," the male said, "Get along, okay?" a soft smile and while Yufune grin brightly, Wakana scowled.

"Whatever..." the tallest male muttered and Yufune held Ai to Mikoshiba.

"She wants you!" he said, loud and proud and Mikoshiba picked her up into his arms, "Man, it's been such a long time..."

"Yeah, I guess it was..." Mikoshiba said, offhandedly as he lightly stroked the orange, black and white bobtail, "Ne, Ai-chan?"

"Meow," the reply came from the small kitten.

"Oi, we're here," Wakana said loudly as he walked into the fast-food restaurant once more.

"Oh yeah," Mikoshiba walked in, "Would you like to join us, Yufune-san?"

"Sure, Miko-chan!"

Taking a seat at the furthest stall in the back, the trio sat down.

"Okay, so Mikoshiba," Wakana said, "What's this 'baseball' thing going around with you and Aniya?" he asked.

"Aniya?"

"A really good pitcher I know," Mikoshiba said to the confused Yufune, who was still petting the small cat against him. Mikoshiba turned back to Wakana, "Well, we both play, so-"

"Wait, you play a sport?" the disbelief in both their voices rang through.

"Yes...well, I am a bench-warmer..." the male said, not so confident anymore.

"Really?" both males were completely taken back by this.

And this began the baseball-learning process, as Mikoshiba talked about the game, and just seemed to go on and on...

It was thirty minutes from the first time they came in, and, while eating some food, Mikoshiba was still talking.

When he abruptly stopped mid-sentence and took out his phone.

"Shinjo-san?" Yufune froze, and Mikoshiba noticed this as well, "Yufune-sa-" he stopped once more as he continued the conversation, and hanged up, "Are you okay?"

"S-Shinjo Kei?" the male stuttered out, "You know him?"

"That... that guy..." eyes turning dark, "He... I don't know him, but the people at the apartment that burned down... They said his name a lot..."

"That's probably because the landowner there hates him, and probably wanted to pin all the blame on him..." Mikoshiba replied, and then smiled, "That day the apartment burned down, it was Shinjo and I that ran in to get something, when Shinjo got out, I fell through the floor."

"Where you met me..."

"Yep," Mikoshiba's happy tone, while Wakana was seriously amazed at the fearless male.

"Oh..." Yufune, meanwhile, seemed to relax better.

"Well, now that that's over with..." the smallest male picked up a fork and was ready to eat the cake when someone called out his name.

"Mikoshiba!" three heads looked over at two males walking over to their booth.

"Aniya-san! Shinjo-san!"

"Man, if you hadn't called, I'd be screwed," Aniya sighed in relief as he slid next to the Mikoshiba, as Shinjo brought a chair up to sit at the side.

"What? You already have another girlfriend?" Wakana sounded pissed as he looked in front of him to Mikoshiba, "Why are you always hooking him up with someone?" he demanded.

Yufune, at the side was looking at the group in mild surprise when the kitty on the table mewled.

"Ah, may I pet him?' Shinjo asked, eyes almost sparkling like a small infant with a toy.

Yufune grinned, "Ai-chan's a girl, and I don't think she would mind," he said.

"Oh, I'm sorry then," Shinjo said, eyes softening as he gently rubbed her back, as she began to purr happily.

Yufune looked at the once lonely male and then at the group who was laughing and fooling around and grinned.

"So, you dumped a girl that I can never get!" Wakana growled out as he scowled, "That's so not fair."

"Good looks vs. bad ones, of course I would win," Aniya bragged.

"No against Ai-chan, right, Yufune-san?"

Yufune blinked and then broke out into a large grin, "Me too, nya!"

A long pause and Shinjo stiffed a laugh as Wakana's face twisted up in disgust, Aniya's eyebrow raised and Mikoshiba, covering his surprise with a smile.

"Don't. Do. That. Ever. Again." Wakana shuddered.

It was really scary how well they could come together, and they still did...

But, this was only the start of a fear.

Chapter Text

Nosocomephobia- Fear of Hospitals

"Three bullets to your lungs, now you be careful Mikoshiba, even if they're grazed, you'll be coughing up blood and stuff if you press your body too much," the worried doctor said, "Isn't it time that you stopped with the yakuza?"

Hiyama Kiyooki stopped dead in front of the door, listening in.

Yakuza?

"I know, but I have to... I need to repent for killing the Young Master..."

"Mikoshiba-kun... What if he wasn't dead?" the doctor asked.

"Then... maybe one day, the people that I could and have saved would come back and save me," the kid, Mikoshiba, said, a soft voice that rang through the room, "Now then, come out of your hiding spot, you know, the kid at the door," Hiyama gulped.

"Someone's there?" the doctor was genuinely surprised.

"Yeah, I think they heard everything," the male said easily.

"And you don't care?"

"...It's up to the person to grow up and keep their mouth shut of things they can about, right?"

Hiyama gulped once more as he reached for the door, wondering whether or not if he should run or not.

"...They're not coming in..." the doctor said.

Mikoshiba sighed, "I guess no one's really confident these days," he said, disappointment in his voice, "I... I was looking forward to meeting someone that's not a coward-"

"I'm not a coward!" snapping, Hiyama slammed the doors open to scowl at the male.

The shirtless, tattooed and smirking male.

"That's good to know," a soft smile as the male polietely bowed to the doctor, "Thank you very much, I shall be taking my leave," he said, slipping his shirt on.

"Wait, your pain-killers, take one when it's serious," he said, handing a orange container that held small pills.

"Thank you very much," he said, gracefully taking the pills and when walking past the males, "Good day to you too, Hiyama Kiyooki-san."

"How do you know-" whipping around, Mikoshiba was already out the door and down the hall, "Huh?"

"That's Mikoshiba Toru, he's a regular here," the doctor said, "Now, what's the problem?"

One week later, Hiyama Kiyooki found himself overhearing another conversation.

"Doctor, is Toru here?"

"Mikoshiba-kun? No, I believe not, he just left," the doctor replied simply.

"Oh, is that so?" the girl, seemed to just sigh, "Well, tell him to come home then, okay?"

"Hiyama-san?" whipping around Hiyama grabbed the male and rushed over to the other side of the hallway, "Mph?"

"Shut up," the male said to the smaller one.

Blinking curiously, Mikoshiba's eyes widened at the sight of the girl leaving and the hallway being empty once more.

"Okay, I don't know what's going on, and I don't really care, but if you do, go follow her or something..." the male muttered.

"...Thank you very much," Mikoshiba smiled, "But, if I were you, I would hurry up and get your ribs checked."

With that the male walked off, leaving Hiyama to wonder what the hell happened and how the male knew about his ribs.

As patients in the hospitals that came there regularly, the two just talked to each other. When they were waiting for the doctor to call them in, the two would just take a seat somewhere and chill.

"Wait... you follow baseball?" Mikoshiba, who seemed fascinated by the 13 year old asked in question and marvel.

"Yeah, I don't know how to play but..." he paused and looked at his recently dislocated shoulder, "I guess it's impossible to play like this..." he sighed.

"Then, when you get better, let's play catch or something," Mikoshiba suggested.

"What?"

"Yeah, I mean, what's the worst that could happen? Um... if you had a cell phone, this would be easier."

"Oh, here," Hiyama replied as he took out his phone.

The two quickly exchanged numbers before the doctor walked out.

"Mikoshiba Toru," he said, and the said male looked up.

"Hai," he said simply as he looked up, and before leaving with his large black messenger bag, turned to Hiyama and nodded, "I hope to see you again..."

"Yeah, ditto."

And due to that, the single months of October and November flew by, with the two just getting along, almost every other day.

"You're getting injured a lot more than usual," Mikoshiba joked as he stared at Hiyama's bruised face.

"Shut up," the male growled out, getting irritated.

The smaller kid laughed softly, as his messenger bag was put down onto his lap when he sat down, he looked up at the male, curiosity in his eyes, "Are you sitting down?"

Hiyama shook his head, "Injured my knee."

Mikoshiba tutted, "Oh dear... At this rate, we won't be playing baseball anytime soon..." he sighed.

"Wait, you were serious about the entire baseball thing?" Hiyama asked, alarmed.

He didn't mean for the male to take him so seriously.

"I'm sorry," Mikoshiba said, smiling softly, "I guess I still take things too seriously," he sighed.

And looking at the sad male, Hiyama gritted his teeth, "What are you talking about? I was never joking!" he laughed. Oh gods, what did I just do?

"Really?" but seeing eyes light up brighter than the Christmas Trees at Christmas time, Hiyama just grinned.

All he needed to do was make lies a reality.

"Yeah...Yeah! I'll meet you at the riverbed, at three, next Saturday, that sound good?" the taller male said happily.

Mikoshiba nodded, "Then, you have seven days to get better, Hiyama-kun."

The two nodded at each other before going their separate directions.

Hiyama gulped as he made his way to the riverbed, "I never played before..So go easy on me, okay?"

"Hai!" the energetic call as he gave him a tanned glove, "Here," and putting the glove on his left hand he sighed.

As Mikoshiba eagerly went over the rules and how to catch and throw, the two began to start, going little at times, and withing a couple of hours, began to throw great distances.

"You have an amazing pair of shoulders!" the small male cried out.

Hiyama blushed, "F-Flattery will get you nowhere!" he called back.

"B-but, you're amazing!"

"Shut up!"

And face dark red with embarrassment, Hiyama's flushed face relaxed happily.

It's been a while since he enjoyed something like this.

It seemed to fall into a pattern, they would meet at the riverbed every Saturday, just to throw around or hit some balls, or they would meet at the hospital, Mikoshiba for his regular check-ups and Hiyama because he just gets into too many fights.

Not once, did they mind.

"You're injured again?" Mikoshiba sighed.

"You're in the hospital, again?" Hiyama sighed.

The two looked at each other before breaking out into grins.

"Yep!"

"Good catch!" Mikoshiba called when Hiyama caught the ball.

"Good throw!" he called back.

"Mikoshiba?" Aniya gasped at the scene and the two stopped and stared at the middle school pitcher.

"Aniya-san?"

"Wait... you're Aniya?" Hiyama's face twisted up, "Your the reason my girlfriend dumped me..." he sniffled as he ran up towards the male.

"Oh really?" Aniya smirked, "Loser."

"What was that?"

"Guys, now, now, calm down," Mikoshiba sighed, stuck once more in the middle of a fight, "So, what brings you here?" he asked the male.

"I was looking for you, and you wouldn't pick up your cell," he said.

"Ah..." Mikoshiba nodded, "I left it charging at my place," he said simply.

"Wait... How do you guys know each other?" Hiyama asked.

"He saved me from a crazy girl," Aniya replied, "And you two?"

"At a hospital," Mikoshiba answered, and before the pitcher could comment on that fact, he busted in with his own question, "Now, what's up?"

"It's Shinjo and Yufune," eyes narrowing, Mikoshiba bit his lower lip, "They're in the hospital."

"Hiyama-san," turning to the other male, the small male bowed politely, "It seems that I have to be leaving now."

"...Can I come as well?"

"Excuse me?" Aniya rose an eyebrow at this.

"...Besides, I have to go," he muttered under his breath, "Stupid elbow..."

A smile, "Alright, then, no more wasting time," the shortest one said, "Let's go!"

"Shinjo! Yufune!"

"Hi, nya!" the call came happily, almost excited as the male next to him paled considerably.

"Mikoshiba?" the squeak came through.

And the six boys in the room paused.

"Wait... I thought..." Mikoshiba sighed as he pulled up a seat in between Yufune's and Shinjo's bed, "Spill it. All of it."

Wakana stood up as he sighed, flexing his wrist.

"Well, you see..." and then, he just paused, "Hey, what's that?" he demanded.

"I'm not a 'that'!" Hiyma snarled back.

"Quiet down you guys," Mikoshiba scolded lightly, "You're going to get kicked out," he whispered, "That's Hiyama. Hiyama," the male looked up to the male that pointed at each and every single one of them, "Wakana. Yufune. Shinjo. And Aniya."

The male nodded, beginning to understand, and Shinjo chuckled darkly.

"Anyways," Wakana growled out, "So, the three of us were..." the voice trailed off in the newcomer's mind.

And Hiyama, at the side, was watching everything, standing next to Aniya at the side of Yufune's bed.

"Creepy guy, huh?" Aniya asked Hiyama, "Comes into our lives, screw everything up, gave us a second chance, and hasn't abandoned us," he sighed.

Hiyama blinked, as he continued to stare at the small, worried-looking male as he listened to the group as they made fun of what happened and Mikoshiba sighing, in both relief before breaking out into a soft smile.

"What to expect from you guys?" he sighed with a smile on his face as he looked up to Hiyama, "Thank you very much."

"No problem," Hiyama replied, "Wait... for what?"

"For staying with me," the male replied, very confused by all this.

The group paused as Yufune grinned.

"Just what to expect from Miko-chan, nya!" he said, and then paused, "Oh no! Someone has to feed Ai-chan!" he cried out.

The other members of the group just sort of stared at the outburst.

A soft laugh from Mikoshiba before the rest of them grinned.

In a peaceful, good kid's world, there are things that are never seen, Hiyama has experienced this first-hand.

Not everything is what it looks like, and that was the scary part.

Chapter Text

Hydrophobia- Fear of running water or rabies

"Sekikawa!" the scream echoed through the night streets as a fist came flying at his prideful mowhawk male as he dodged, and began running through the beginning stripes of daylight.

A biker gang following him.

"Hah... hah..." harsh pants and gasps as the male rushed into a narrow alleyway, it's was large enough for him to fight at least one-on-one, and it was better than nothing.

"Got you now!" and he was right, they were swarming in, two at a time, and tow was enough for him.

Now, of course, he didn't have much of stamina, but he would half to survive, he promised his little sister that he would come home today.

"God... damn... it..."

And then, he heard someone call for him, "Sekikawa Shuta-san?"

"Oh crap, it's Toru! Let's get out of here!" and landing next to him in the dark alley, was a small male, with a messenger bag, that dropped from the large wall behind him.

"Wh...What?" Sekikawa gasped as he leaned against the wall, catching his breath, "So, you're Tiger, huh?" he asked, his clear Japanese accent going through the name, "I... I thought you would be bigger..." he grinned lop-sided.

A shrug from the smaller male, "I get that all the time," he said, "Now then, would you like to explain why you're being hunted down by the Cainine?" he asked, referring the other biker gang.

"And now that you've been seen with me, you do know that you'll be hunted down too, right?" Sekikawa asked, too tired to be surprised at this male.

"If I knew them well enough to call their name, and ask you about it without cowering in fear," the male replied, a smile on his face, "I wouldn't have jumped."

"Well, you never know, with people these days..." the male replied, almost sounding disgusted.

"Good thing I'm a person."

A stare was shared between the two.

"Strange kid..." Sekikawa muttered.

"Don't worry, I only jumped in for two reasons," and grinning, Mikoshiba turned up to the skies, staring as the sun was no longer visible, and instead, left behind traces of orange and lavender, "One, I need more information on those guys, and two, you need to go home, right?"

Sekikawa blinked once before blushing slightly, "Yeah... that would be nice..." A soft smile painted itself on the male's face, before he helped the other male up.

Sekikawa sighed as he rubbed his head when his little sister came out to greet him and Tora.

"Nii-chan!" she called out happily as she ran and gave her older brother a hug.

"Kairi, calm down," he said to his tiny sister, who just grinned at him and him before looking at Tora.

"Thank you very much for taking care of my older brother," she said, grinning widely and showing the missing two front teeth.

"It's fine," he smiled, "So, Sekikawa Kairi-chan, right?"

"Hai!" she blushed lightly.

"Ah, forgive my rudeness. But I am Mikoshiba Toru," he smiled at the small girl and then looked up at Sekikawa, "You have a good sister," he said.

"Ah?" Sekikawa paused before he blushed lightly as he stared at the young, 6 year-old girl, "Yeah, I guess so..."

Within moments the two were sitting down in the residents of the Sekikawa household.

"May I borrow your kitchen?" Mikoshiba asked.

"What?" the man of the home was surprised.

"Okay!" Kairi led him to the kitchen, her small self excitedly taking the older male in, her black hair in small pigtails that bounced up and down with her every move, "Here you go!"

"Thank you," he said kindly, "Are you or your brother allergic to anything?"

"No, if he was, Mama would've left him too!" she said energetically.

Mikoshiba stopped momentarily before whipping away the surprised look on his face.

And instead, much to Sekikawa Shuta's disbelief, smiled.

And so within the next hour or so, the three sat down to eat a large serving of curry. And after large servings with laughs as Mikoshiba kept making jokes that his sister continued kept laughing.

A bright look never leaving leaving the face.

"Thanks..." Sekikawa said, as he helped put helped dishes away, the water running in between them, and Mikoshiba shook his head.

"What are humans for? Comfort?" laughing dryly at his own joke, "So, will you ever give me my information?"

"...Huh? Oh yeah, sure," he said.

"Alright," turning the water off, Mikoshiba dried his hands and took out a notebook from his bag, and then a pen while his leaned on the counter, "What's your favorite color?"

Sekikawa paused, completely baffled.

And that was how Sekikawa first encountered Mikoshiba Toru.

Looking at his little sister, and how happy she looked, the male didn't mind at all.

"Nee, nee, onii-chan!" Sekikawa Shuta looked at his little, six-year old sister.

"What's wrong, Kairi?"

"When's Miko-chan coming by?" she asked.

Sekikawa paused before answering with a smile, "Soon," he said. And walked out of the home.

And that was when he made his mind up and began walking around the city again, hoping to find the male.

"Sekikawa-san?" whipping around, he saw the male he was looking for for the past hours near the riverbed, as he smiled at him and waved his arms around, as though calling him over.

And with a grin on his face, Sekikawa ran towards the male, as they sat near the water.

"Kairi... wants to see you again," Sekikawa said, and mentally smacked himself for sounding so lame.

"Is that so?" Mikoshiba asked, a smile on his face, "Yes, that would be nice..."

"So, um... one day, you should come by and..." a blush on the taller one's face, "Just... be with her..."

"And will you be there?"

A fast reply startled Sekikawa as his eyes looked at the male, and then at the smooth looking water.

"Yeah, I guess..." he said.

"Good."

And with that, Mikoshiba stood up, "Sunday at 12."

"Yeah..."

"Miko-chan!" Kairi tackled the older male in a hug, "Are you making food today?" she asked, "Mama would love it!"

"Excuse me?"

"I hope that one day, you'll live with us too!" she cried out.

Mikoshiba looked at Sekikawa, who was burning red as he grabbed his sister, "Sorry about that..." he muttered, "She usually isn't like that..." he sighed.

"Kids are allowed to be as greedy as they want," Mikoshiba replied, "So, make sure you spoil her, alright?"

Sekikawa looked at the male, "You really care, don't you?"

"Hai?"

"I mean," Sekikawa rubbed the back of his head nervously, "You just met me and yet... you care..."

"Would you like me to stop?" the male asked, truly confused.

"Nah, it's fine. And don't worry, I'll repay you one day," the male grinned.

"I look forward to that."

And the two continued talking, very easily as that began to make way for the Sekikawa residence, before the rain started to fall.

"Shit! You have got to be kidding me!" Sekikawa groaned as he ran for shelter his little sister in his arms, Mikoshiba easily keeping up with large laughters.

"C'mon, race to your house?"

"You're on!"

And to Sekikawa's house, they sprinted in the cold November rain.

"Shuta! Where were you?" a mother's scold, while a Kairi ran from Mikoshiba and her brother and towards her mother.

"Miko-nii!" she cried out happily, dragging her mother in by her hand, "This is my mummy! And mommy! This is Miko-chan!"

"Ah, Kairi-chan," Mikoshiba said, slightly surprised when the girl rushed to glomp him again, he grabbed onto Sekikawa for support.

"Man, Kairi, get off him," Sekikawa grabbed the young girl and pried her off his poor friend.

"Nee, nee, Mama's here, so can you make her something real yummy for her?" she asked, her eyes glistening.

"Excuse me, but who are you?" the woman snapped, "Shuta?"

"Oh, this is just a friend I ran into," Sekikawa replied sheepishly.

"Oh, is that so?" she said, automatically softening up.

"Hai, I am Mikoshiba Toru," he said with a polieteful bow.

"Wait... Mikoshiba... Toru?"

"MIKOSHIBA TORU!" another girl, at least a second year in high school ran in, "You're Mikoshiba Toru?"

"You know him?" the mother asked her eldest daughter.

"He saved me from a bunch of perverts!" she said excitedly, "I never got to thank him for that either!"

"Excuse me?" the entire group held the same expression of confusion.

Sekikawa Shuta's face was absolutely priceless.

Kairi gently tugged on Mikoshiba's pants, "What are perverts?" she asked quietly.

With permission from the Mother, Mikoshiba made some of the dinner that was shared between the family and friend.

"So, Mikoshiba-kun," the mother said gently, "Is this okay? Isn't your parents waiting for you at home?"

Mikoshiba grinned as he gulped slowly and reached for something on the table, "Yes, this is fine, and no, my parents will not be waiting for me."

"Is that so? What do your parents do for a living?"

"Mom..."

"Shut up Shuta," the older sister snapped.

"Nothing," a polite smile as Mikoshiba continued eating.

The mother stopped, "Excuse me?"

"My parents cannot do anything," he said, "Is there something wrong?"

"Oh, is that so?" the mother said and before anything else, Kairi spoke up, her mouth full with rice as she munched on it.

"Why? What's wrong with your family?" she asked.

"Kairi!"

"It's fine, it's natural for kids to be curious," Mikoshiba said easily, "My parents aren't alive right now."

The mother gasped and Sekikawa's sister stopped eating, Shuta looked up, surprised as well.

"So, they're dead?" the kid continued.

"Kairi!" stunned with the kid's absolute rudeness.

"Yes, they are," Mikoshiba said, eyes fading into a dark depression.

"Mikoshiba?" stunned with the polite answer to the kid.

The rest of the dinner was mostly in silence, as Mikoshiba and Sekikawa's mother continued small conversations.

"Man, dude, I'm so sorry," Sekikawa sighed as he plopped down on to his bed as Mikoshiba sat down on the floor in front of him.

"It's fine, so chill, alright?"

"No, really," the soft and serious tone of the voice was what really made Mikoshiba smile, "That was really going to far," he sighed.

"Thank you," he said silently.

Sekikawa never really understood why the Canines were so afraid of someone like Mikoshiba Toru, the rumors must have mixed him up with the Tora, the fearsome tiger of the night-life.

Sekikawa shook his head.

No matter how much information he had, and how many fights he got in with him, there was no way possible.

He couldn't be such a scary guy...

Chapter Text

Verbophobia- Fear of Words

Okada leaned back into his chair as he closed his eyes, and losing one sense, the others heightened. Focusing on listening intently to the words that were coming out and flying around.

"Yeah, and did you hear about the alley fight?"

"Yeah, it was devastating!"

"20 to one! And one won!" one of them called out.

Okada sighed, it was about that Tora again.

"Who cares? It's not like he's in our school or anything," one of the males, probably from the Judo club announced.

"Yeah, but isn't Kono so much more cooler?" one of the girls swooned.

"Yeah, but aren't all guys that play sports hot?"

"Yeah, especially the fit and smart ones..." a group of girls sighed.

Okada finally opened his eyes and looked off onto the sky.

Mikoshiba Toru sighed as he walked over some fainted people, "You alright, Shinjo-san, Aniya-san?"

In the middle of December, this was not a good place to be caught up in.

"Fine..." a muttered reply from Aniya as he finished off one male with a punch, "God, stay down!" he called.

A grunt and Shinjo threw two males at the wall at the back of the alley, and sighing, he looked at the other two.

"I should be fine," he said, "Aniya, aren't you playing them next?"

Coming out of the alleyway with Shinjo by his side, the two walked over to Mikoshiba, who was pointing at a group of kids in uniforms.

Baseball uniforms.

"Yeah, I think it is," Aniya said, "Shit. Did they see me?" he asked.

"Nah, too far away... Although, if they come over here and see the mess we made," a pause, "Yeah, they'll stereotype you and then judge you, and possibly report you for half-killing a bunch of people."

"Ugh. And you don't bother sugar-coating it," Aniya sighed, "And that's why you never get girls."

"I don't need them," a steady reply came with a shrug, "Especially the ones that are useless."

"Don't you hate anyone that's useless?" Shinjo asked.

"Yeah, pretty much."

A silence fell on the three.

"So, will you go say hi?" Mikoshiba asked.

"Nah, too troubleso-"

"Miko-chan!"

The three sighed as they turned around, Wakana throwing a male aside, he walked in with Hiyama, Yufune and Sekikawa.

"Yo!" he announced, with a full blown grin.

"Hey, what's up?" Mikoshiba fully turned around to great them properly.

"My teacher makes no sense and if I don't bring my grades up, I'm gonna flunk," Wakana and Sekikawa grinned brightly.

"Me too!" he added in brightly the two smiling like idiots. Aniya scoffed behind them.

"...Oh..." Mikoshiba sighed and turned to Shinjo, "Have fun then."

"Wait a minute..." the male said and the group laughed.

The male underneath Wakana twitched.

"Wait, it's 40?"

"Is it me or do the numbers keep multiplying?" walking home from school on a cold December day, Okada sighed as he opened his eyes to continue walking.

Walking straight to the riverbed, he laid down in the grass.

"TORA!" looking up, he rolled over as 12 people circled around one male.

"Oh dear," the male said, his black jeans twisting around as he bit his lips. Adjusting the black t-shirt on top of his white turtleneck, he gulped.

Okada gasped, he knew he should do something, but...

What could he...

The males were dropping like flies as Mikoshiba easily maneuvered around them, hitting with a karate-like chop. The dangling sleeves of his gray sweater going from blurs to disappearing once more.

"GAH!" most were just whithering in pain and agony.

And then, a black shoe slammed down next to Okada's head, as it disappeared and became a pair of dark blue jeans, and as the dreadlocked male looked up, Shinjo Kei was towering above him. His glaring eyes and black sweater around him, the chains on his pants pockets clicking in the small wind.

With a single hand, he picked him up by the scruff of the neck and brought him over, dropping him onto his knees in front of Mikoshiba and in the middle of the sea of bodies.

Okada scrambled onto his feet as a male, with dark faded jeans and yawning, his black jacket opened to let the world see his yellow shirt, came into the picture as well.

"Good job," Aniya said, looking at the dead bodies, "See, this is why you can't fight by yourself," he said, shaking his head, "We'll end up with so many hospitals with people filled up that we'll have no room for us!"

"Simple," Shinjo started and then glanced at Mikoshiba, who broke out into a grin.

"Get rid of the trash," he said happily.

"MIKOSHIBA!" Hiyama jumped in, his red shirt wrinkled as it stood next to his white jacket, his black pants being pulled up as he panted, "What?"

"Late," Aniya replied and Hiyama growled.

"Like hell I am!" he yelled back, "You're the one that said we were going to meet on the other side of this place!"

"Like hell we'd do that!" Aniya yelled in responce.

"You guys, shut up," Shinjo growled.

"Why don't you!" Hiyama yelled and then, finally noticed Okada, "New one?"

"Not really," Mikoshiba said, and then took out a small notebook out of his messenger bag, and flipped to a page, "Okada Yuya. The gossip boy-toy of Hirooka North Middle School, class 1-D."

"W-what?"

"Currently in love with model Sakura-"

"Too much information!" Hiyama cried, and then sighed, "Listen Mikoshiba..." the male continued to scold the 'innocent' boy.

Okada blinked at the group that sort of smiled at each other.

And then, Shinjo asked, "Are you in their group?" he asked.

"What? Hell no!" Okada replied.

Hiyama growled, "Don't lie."

"Cool it, I thought you guys wanted to raise your grades," Mikoshiba called and the group turned over with a sheepish look on their face and Shinjo sighed as he dropped the male, "Would you like to come too, then?"

"Huh?" the entire group looked at the male in surprise as Mikoshiba smiled at the dreadlocked male.

Apparently, the people around the male was more surprised then himself.

"Wait, Mikoshiba!" Aniya called out, "I don't think that a good-"

"There you guys are!" Sekikawa ran towards them, his arms waving around as he came in front of them, his casual jeans and long black shirt with a pink t-shirt on top of it, and his a thin orange coat on top of it all, he gasped for breath, "God, I can't believe I ran the whole way here," he said and then looked at Okada, "I'm Sekikawa Shuta!" He grinned widely and before he knew it, everyone else was laughing at him.

"W-what?"

"Oi! Sekikawa!" the last male, who was huffing and puffing, "You... run...way... too...fast!" he growled out as he began shaking the male by his shoulder, "Trying to kill me!"

"Gah!" a chocked cry from Sekikawa as air flew out of him, Okada blinked once more.

He really didn't understand what was going on.

"You guys, chill!" Mikoshiba cried and he sighed when the said men didn't, "Wakana-"

"Don't worry about it," Shinjo shut him down, "They can't die, even if you try to kill them."

"...Point taken," the smallest male replied, before turning back towards Okada, "Mikoshiba Toru," he said happily.

"Hey! I heard that!" Wakana dropped Sekikawa to start a new argument with the two of them, and Mikoshiba put his hands up as though he trying to prove his innocence.

"C'mon, let's leave," Mikoshiba said as he walked past the male, "Would Okada-kun be joining us?"

Okada gulped, and as his eyes carefully looked at the other males, he realized that none of them had a killing intent in their eyes.

"Leave him, Mikoshiba," Hiyama said, "We're wasting time," he said as he looked up at the setting sun, "And Yufune is going to get pissed."

"It's okay, Wakana is paying for the food today." Sekikawa grinned.

"What? Again?" Wakana scoffed as he did a double-take.

"Yeah, Shinjo went last time." Aniya replied.

"B-but!" Wakana was stuttering now.

"And you still have the lowest total score, 52," Mikoshiba said thoughtfully.

"Shut up! I only lost to Aniya by one point!"

"One point is still four tests," Shinjo replied swiftly.

"SHUT UP!" huffing and puffing the male finally calmed down with a single sigh.

The group laughed softly and smiled and Okada was left to stare.

"Don't worry, it's Wakana's treat," Mikoshiba said kindly.

"Nothing expensive," the male growled out.

"Ah... no thank you..." Okada said, and began to run in the other direction, wondering what the hell was going on.

Missing the slightly disappointed look on Mikoshiba's face.

The next time he went to school the word was flying around.

Words that seemed to echo around him.

"Isn't that..."

"Yeah, it is..."

"Man, it's always the quiet ones..."

He twitched. 10 minutes. 10 minutes is when he talked to those kids from before, and already, names and words were jumping back and forth and through the hallways.

"DING-DONG-DANG!" the school bells went off and he sighed in relief as he picked his things up to leave, once and for all-

"Okada-kun, right?" looking up, a fellow first-year smiled kindly at him, "I'm Kono, do you know who Mikoshiba Toru is? I've been hearing that you know him."

"...I never knew you were one to believe in rumors," Okada replied.

"Well, that's what happens when you judge people, right?" a kind smile.

"Oi! Kono! Get over here!" another person called for the large male, who looked at the male and then back at Okada.

"Excuse me then, I have to get to baseball practice!" he said excitedly as he ran out.

The male blinked and slowly went out, and staring at the baseball team, watching them laugh and yell.

"Hey! Okada! What's up?" Kono ran towards him with a grin as he looked at the field, "You wanna play?"

"What's so fun about baseball?" Okada growled under his breath as he walked off the school grounds and to his home.

"OKADA!" the calls from behind him went unheard.

December 24th, and Okada was alone, as his family went for a trip and he volunteered to stay behind and watch the house.

And walking home from buying some food from the convenience store, he stopped as he saw a male with a pair of headsets on top of earphones their plug disappearing in his messanger bag, the male looked up at the night sky and then at Okada.

A smile on his face, the male was trembling and shivering, a thin orange jacket zipped up all the way, but ragged and ripped, his blue jeans the same.

"What's with you?" Okada asked.

"C-cold," Mikoshiba replied.

Okada sighed, "What are you waiting for?"

"A... a person..." the male replied.

"A date?"

"N-no, a-a-any p-p-person," Mikoshiba coughed as he sneezed and sighed into the dark sky, his breath puffing up into a large fog as he grinned.

"For what?" Okada, who usually wasn't, was extremely curious about this.

About the male in general, which was why he always listened for him.

"W-Waiting f-f-for my C-C-C-Christmas wish to come true..." he said, and then smiled pathetically.

"Is that-" Okada didn't get to finish as the body fell over, and instincts and shock came over the dread-locked male as he barely caught the male.

Looking up, he saw snowflakes fall and cursed as he noticed the male was out cold. And no matter what happened, Okada will not be held for murder.

The male sighed as he hauled the cold, light body into his arms and all the way home.

"Gah! I'm so sorry!" twelve minutes into the fact that Mikoshiba woke up and gasped and sniffling, the male bowed down in apology.

"Don't worry about it," Okada said, as his stomach roared, and blushing furiously, he coughed, "Sorry, I'm hungry."

And then, a bright grin, that worried Okada, came through as Mikoshiba said, "If I make some edible food for you, would that make up for everything?" he asked.

"Although there is nothing to make up for, sure, I would like some free food," a cool grin and Mikoshiba stood up.

"I'll be borrowing the kitchen then."

Within the next hour, the two sat back down in the large house for their dinner.

A warm meal that consisted of chicken pot-pie, an omelet and lots of milk and water.

"Wait... what was your Christmas wish?" Okada asked at last, as he put a spoonful of the pot-pie in his mouth and downed it with water.

"It came true," Mikoshiba replied as he picked up his second glass of milk.

"Really?"

"Yeah. After all, it was for someone to pick me up."

"What are you a dog?"

"Only in metaphors and similies."

"In what?" Okada looked at the male with a dumb-founded expression and Mikoshiba smiled and shook his head.

"It's a form of writing," the other male just nodded his head. And Mikoshiba grinned at the male, "Thank you very much," he said.

"No problem...wait, are you going to go back out?" Okada asked in alarm and the male smiled.

"No, the person I was waiting for is long gone," Mikoshiba said.

"So you were waiting for someone..." the male said and then looked outside, "Dude man, it's really piling out there, you sure you're going to leave?"

Mikoshiba joined the other male in staring outside and shrugged.

"I'll just have to endure it," he said, and then stood up to put the dishes away, "Right?"

A disblief look and Okada stood up to help out as well, silent before he reached his answer.

"No, you can spend the night," he said, "And I'll walk you back, so chill."

"Excuse me?"

"C'mon, at these times just shut up and agree." The male commanded as he blushed lightly.

"Hai." The soft tone of Mikoshiba's voice with a fluffy smile that turned solid, the male nodded.

A delinquent named Okada, a fearsome male named Mikoshiba Toru. Awkward meetings and conversations, the two were fearsome.

And as the whole gang came together, their names stretching and flying around the back alley-ways of Japan.

Truly scary.

Chapter Text

Agateophobia- fear of insanity

When middle school kids come together and play baseball in college turf, it's something rather large.

First year Enatsu Suguru was a pitcher that could play all positions in the realm of baseball, but mainly focused on pitching, as he was a pitcher.

The sound of the ball that evaded the air and made it's own rotation as it ran towards the soft mitt with a soft, 'Thud!'

"Nice, Enatsu! Keep it up!" First year Mikoshiba Toru, catching for Enatsu Suguru on college grounds. The male stood up and threw the ball back.

"Shut up!" Enatsu said, "I know that without you telling me!" he called back.

"But it was really pretty!"

"I told you to shut up!"

"Man, look at those two..." the others commented as they watched the two use many kinds of breaking balls.

"Fork!"

"Don't command me!" Enatsu continued to do, and he sighed, huffing and puffing slightly.

"Let's take a break!" Mikoshiba said, with a large grin and Enatsu sighed.

"I'm not tired!" he yelled stubbornly.

"Never said you were," the male replied evenly.

Nonetheless, the two left the field and into the dugout, where Mikoshiba took out a notebook and began to write many things down, look up, and then write without looking.

"His arm's too high, it's obvious that it's going to be a curve," he pointed out.

And he was right.

Enatsu scowled.

"What about me?" he asked.

"Hm?" taking out another notebook, Mikoshiba replied with, "You threw... at least 100 today, you wanna stop?"

"Nah, I'll get 200," Enatsu replied.

"You sure about that?" Mikoshiba, a worry-wart like always, looked up with concern as he bit his lower lip.

"Yeah, besides, you're working harder too, right?"

"...I guess so..."

The two walked home, or at least up until they reached the riverbed, where they parted or headed to one of their homes.

"Enatsu, are you going to come over today?" he asked, rubbing his hands and blowing warm air over them.

"Huh? Yeah sure," he said and then shuddered. "Too cold for January..." he muttered.

Mikoshiba offered a smile, "Then, hot chocolate?"

"Hot chocolate?" Enatsu scoffed, "I'm not a kid."

"You act like one," Mikoshiba added helpfully.

"Shut up!" the pitcher snapped.

And then, the two cracked smiles and grins as they continued their merry way towards Mikoshiba's estate.

The two of them were new friends, meeting last year when Mikoshiba was a sixth grader, moving on seventh, and Enatsu the same, meeting at the riverbed and their scary meeting consisting of them being a catcher and pitcher.

That never changed.

"So, I was saying that if x is equal to 27..." Mikoshiba and Enatsu was sitting at Mikoshiba's small desk at the center of the room, the two conversation about math.

"Then it has to be three..." Enatsu muttered as he pulled out his pencil and redid the problem.

"Alright, next one!"

"There is no next one, stupid, I finished," Enatsu replied, and then looked outside, "Can I crash here?"

"Tell your parents and run it by them first."

"I don't have any," Enatsu replied.

"No one?"

"Nah, not anymore," he said.

"Look," Mikoshiba offered a smile, "Another similarity."

A pause and Enatsu scoffed, "Shut up," he grumbled, a faint pinkness settling on his cheeks.

"Hey Enatsu," the two of them were sitting at a cafe.

"Hn?" Drinking bubble tea together, an English textbook open in front of Enatsu, and a regular notebook in front of Mikoshiba, and twirling a pen in his hand as he looked out into the sky, "What's up?"

The clear sky of a February, "...I... I'm going to America next year," the male chocked on his drink.

"What?" eyes wide and watching the calmer male's every move.

"No, it'll be this year, I'll be leaving in a couple of weeks."

"And you didn't bother to tell me?"

"I just did..." Mikoshiba said, looking puzzled.

"No, you idiot, I mean... " a heavy sigh, "What ever."

Mikoshiba grinned at the male.

-One year later

February and Mikoshiba Toru was talking to a bunch of other people at the airport.

"Mikoshiba!" Enatsu called out inbetween people.

"Enatsu-kun!" Mikoshiba stood up and ran towards the male.

"WHAT THE HELL? WHY THE HELL IS ENATSU HERE?" Wakana was totally flipping out, "Mikoshiba?"

"Looks like you know each other then," Mikoshiba said, "Good," he clasped his hands together, "Now you guys be good with each other alright?" he said.

The others gaped at him, stunned speechless.

"The Plane for 11:30 AM America ticket is boarding..." the announcer boomed before repeating itself.

"Well then, I'll try to keep in touch," he said happily before merrily skipping away.

"Wait-what?" after all these years together, he was still amazed at the fact that he could keep the surprised and on the edge at any given moment.

"See you guys, take good care of each other!"

"MIKOSHIBA!" all ten people cried out for their best friend that brought them all together, with some exception to Enatsu.

The one that disappeared completely from their grip. Never to come back again.

"The 11:30 plane heading to America this morning has been in a serious incident... Not many survivors are known to survive the crash into the river... People are saying that terrorists had hacked into the lines..."

The news would continue talking.

Leaving all the males, in different places, doing different things, just there.

And that was when they truly learned the meaning of fear.