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A Strange Arrangement

Hideki sighed in content as he watched the whipped cream he was making double in size in the stand mixer.

There really wasn’t anything quite like the feeling of success at seeing a technique work out just like you practiced it.

“Alright, soon as this is whipped, I’ll get it into the cake and-”

There was a tugging on his apron, causing him to jump. He looked down to see Ken was giving him a puppy eyed look, tugging again on it.

“What’s up, Shark Pup?”

Ken smiled, jumping back.

“Can you make me a lunch?”

“Like, to eat here or a bento? And for that matter, why? I thought you already ate.”

Ken sighed, giving him a kicked look.

“I shared my lunch with my friends. I’m gonna be hungry real soon… Pleeeaaase?”

Hideki glanced at his mixer, checking the consistency of the whipped cream. Fluffy and nearly coming out of the bowl, just how he liked it.

“Maybe later. I need to finish my roll cake. If you’re patient, I’ll put a piece in there.”

Ken perked up, letting out a little gasp.

“Really? Can you put two?”

Hideki gave him a curious look, getting his roll cake set out on the counter and spreading the filling out atop it. 

“This is really rich. It’s chocolate with strawberries and I’m gonna cover it with a ganache before freezing it. You’ll get a tummy ache on two.”

“I won’t! The other piece isn’t for me.” Ken put both his hands together, giving another pout… throwing in a whimper for effect. “Pleeeaaase?”

Hideki flinched, trying not to make eye contact. He knew that look. He had become very accustomed to it.

“Ken, please don’t make that face.”

“Pretty please?”

“Ken, who are you even hanging out with? You know you can’t feed chocolate to the dog.” 

Okami, as if understanding this, let out a loud whine. Hideki rolled his eyes.

“She’s a really good friend of mine from school.” It wasn’t a lie, Ayami was waiting for him outside and he wanted to share a snack with her. “We’re going on a big hike.”

“I don’t remember hearing you talk about this friend before. Which one?”

“Her name’s Ayami.” 

Hideki hummed in thought. He remembered seeing a few kids playing with Ken during park trips but never anyone by that name.

“Ayami, huh?” 

He nodded, bouncing on his heels a little, leaning up to watch his big brother work. Hideki’s hands were fast as always, rolling the cake up carefully but securely before sliding it into the fridge. He moved to the stove, starting to melt chocolate together with heavy cream. 

“So, can I have it? Please?”

“How long are you gonna be gone? Did you tell Dad or Mom?” 

“I’ll tell them in a bit, but Mommy would just go “You have food at home, you two can eat here.” and… they don’t know Ayami’s mommy.” Ken pouted. 

Hidei nodded, very familiar with that rule. He grew up with it from Aika and Daisuke. Before the age of ten, no friends were allowed in the house unless they talked to their parents first.

“Well, why not ask her to bring her mom over then? She’s gotta anyways if she’s being dropped off, right?”

Ken went very quiet at this, biting his lip.

“… Ken?” Hideki narrowed his eyes. “I’m not helping you keep a secret.”

“But it’s an important one…” Ken looked down at his shoes. “I promised.”

Hideki sighed a little. He knew that all too well. He wasn’t comfortable keeping secrets like this though. Especially if it went against their parents’ rules.

Sure, he’d gladly sneak the kid an extra cookie or stay up an hour later than he said because his favorite show was on… but when it came to going off alone, or rather, anything involving Ken’s well being after the nightmare incident, he wasn’t comfortable with that.

“Ken…” He looked up from his cooking, meeting his eyes. “I want to respect your wishes but I’m not gonna keep secrets from Mom and Dad. That’s not my thing.”

Ken looked down, breaking eye contact.

“Ayami’s not normal though.”

“Is she like you? Or like me?”

“…. She’s…” Ken mumbled something, looking away from Hideki. The teenager frowned, raising an eyebrow.

“Pardon?”

Ken smiled sheepishly, guilt in his eyes.

“She’s a ghost.” 

Hideki’s eyes widened before he put a hand to his face.

“Keeennny, why didn’t you just start with that!?”

“Ehehe?” Ken kicked at the floor a little. “She’s not like a regular one though. She’s a Ghost Guardian… You know what those are, right?”

“Yeah, of course. Ghost kids who stay behind and work under Lady Phantova as her warriors against the undead.” Hideki took his pot off the stove, pouring it over the cake before shoving the entire thing into the freezer. “So, that’s who your little friend is, huh?”

“Ahuh… You see why I can’t just go “Bring your mom over.” since her mom is y’know…a GODDESS!?”

Hideki nodded, wincing a little.

“Yeah… I can imagine. At least tell Dad since I think he’d be more okay with this.”

“I’ll tell him later, Ayami’s waitin’ and I can’t cook.” 

Hideki sighed, lowering his head. 

“Okay, but just this once. I mean it bub.” He gave Ken a stern look. “And if you don’t tell, I will. This is not gonna be like your bad dreams. Okay?”

Ken nodded.

Hideki sighed before getting started on a relatively simple lunch, making sure there was enough for two.

“And if she offers you ghost fruit, you don’t eat it until you tell the folks. Alright?”

“Okay. Why?”

“I heard it doesn’t wear off that fast and you don’t wanna scare them with thinking you died and came back to pretend all was normal.”

Ken’s eyes widened before he nodded.

“Got it…. And Hideki?”

“Hm?”

Ken hugged him tightly.

“I love you.”

Hideki smiled softly.

“Love you too, Shark Pup.”

Things just keep getting interesting don’t they?

Honestly though, might be just the thing he needs to practice those gifts. He’s gonna see worse things than making a friend out of a dead kid.

It wasn’t long before Hideki saw Ken off, the little boy running off as he joined Ayami’s side. The ghost girl looked over her shoulder at him, giving him a thumbs up.

“Be careful.” He looked down at Okami, the dog giving a huff of annoyance. “What’s her issue?”

“It’s hard for her to keep up.” Ken frowned a little. “Okami, stay-”

The large dog bolted to his side, whining.

“Alright, alright. C’mon!” 

“Be safe you two.” He waved, before the kids started to walk off… Only to jump when Hideki let out a yelp.

They looked back, seeing Eiji was standing right behind Hideki. The man raised an eyebrow, motioning with his finger for them to come back.

“… Uh oh.”

Ken gulped, hurrying back over, as Eiji knelt to his level.

“Am I in trouble?”

Eiji held up a finger, taking off his reading glasses. 

“Not yet.” He gave a firm look. “First, I heard about half of what was going on in the kitchen. I was grading papers in the living room.”

Hideki winced.

“Frick…”

“You’re not in trouble. Like I said - not yet.” He gave Ken in particular a stern look. “Ken, can I finally meet your friend properly?”

“You knew!?” Ken yelped.

Eiji shrugged a little.

“I played with Ghost Guardians when I was little too. Kind of not a surprise to me, that you’d make friends with them too.” He was nostalgic as he looked Ayami over, nodding as he recognized the armor style. “Yup, the real deal… Which is why I’m not mad. But Ken, you should never be worried about this stuff, like I told you before - you can tell us anything and we won’t be mad.”

“Even if I tried to keep another secret?”

Ayami hurried over.

“It was my fault.” She insisted. “Please don’t be mad at Ken.”

Eiji looked at her, giving her a gentle look.

“I’m not mad. Like I said, I just want to know what my kids are getting up to. The woods aren’t entirely safe but if he’s got a friend like you, I think I can trust he’ll be alright… but I do want to at some point meet with your mother. Is that alright?”

Ayami nodded quickly.

“Frannie wouldn’t mind. If you played with us Ghost Guardians before then you’d know her too, right?”

“Yeah but it’s been about twenty years, give or take.” Eiji patted their heads. “But, no more of these little secrets, okay?”

“Okay!”

“Good… and Ken?”

“Huh?”

Eiji kissed his head.

“Be good and be safe.” 

Ken smiled, hugging him tightly, relieved he wasn’t in trouble.

“Thank you, Daddy. I love you!” He grabbed Ayami’s hand as they ran off, Okami chasing after the children. “C’mon Aya!”

“Eep!”

Hideki and Eiji watched them go, before Eiji sighed a little.

“She’s so tiny…”

Hideki looked up at him.

“How young do you think she was?”

“Given I’ve seen Ken playing with someone I couldn’t see since he was about 4? I’d imagine she was five. She’s presenting herself as six right now but she’s still learning. Could be awhile before she decides her final age so to speak.” Eiji sighed. “Makes me just sad for her parents, if they were good ones.”

Hideki looked back to where they had gone.

“If they were anything like mine, they’d just be happy she has a life somewhere. Even if it’s just her afterlife.” 

“Yeah… Welp, guess this means we might have a deity dropping in on us.” Eiji headed back inside. “I’m gonna go back sure I swept.”

“… So wait, that’s it? If Titan just showed up here, you’d be this nonchalant about it?”

“Kind of?” Eiji shrugged. “Honestly, this is just par for the course for me. I remember meeting her once when I was Ken’s age but that was twenty years ago. She probably doesn’t remember me.”

“Aww… Who could forget you?”

Eiji ruffled his hair.

“Aww shucks… Now… How about that cake eh?”

“Oh, you’re gonna love it. C’mon!”

Hideki hurried back inside, calling out for Hikaru and Carmen. Eiji looked back towards the forest, as the wind picked up around him.

The more things change… the more they stay the same.

oooooo

Ken and Okami were keeping up at a decent pace with Ayami, who was flying above them. The kids were relieved they hadn’t been in any actual trouble. 

“Hey, my big brother packed a big snack enough for two people. Do you wanna share it with me?”

“Sure! When we get to a good rest spot.” She did a flip through the trees above them. “Wee!”

Ken saw a large boulder coming up. He picked up the pace, before leaping over it, forcing himself into a flip before he kept running.

“Oooo nice! You learn that recently?” She clapped a bit.

Ken grinned. The extra lessons while practicing with Chase and Eiji were paying off.

“Ahuh! Just can’t do it often.” 

“Got ya…” She came to a stop, standing on a high tree branch looking around the forest. “Let’s see… Where to go…”

Ken looked around, Okami whining a bit as she nudged him along. 

“Oof! Hey.”

Ayami looked down, raising an eyebrow.

“What’s up with her?”

“She smells something she doesn’t like.” Ken moved along, knowing very well that trying to go anywhere Okami deemed “danger” was a bad idea.

Ayami narrowed her eyes, looking around them, focusing on the energy of the forest.

Something was nearby but… it didn’t feel like a threat. Still, she swooped down, pulling Ken up, flying at a pace to keep up with how fast Okami was sprinting away from it.

“Oof! Hey!”

“I don’t think it’s bad but we’re not alone. Let’s not tick something off.”

“Right.” He looked behind them… He saw a bush rustle. “… Let’s get far away. Fast!”

Ayami looked behind them before using her strength to grab onto the scruff of Okami’s neck, lifting them both up.

“ARROOOOOOO!” Okami howled in alarm. She smelled it… It was close but she smelled it. 

And she didn’t want it anywhere near her pup or the strange, not living pup.

“Um, Aya what are you-EEP!”

She phased them through a large brush of trees, before stopping at a large rock that had a relatively smooth surface, enough for all three of them to lay across.


“We’ll just stay here a bit.” She gave a salute. “I’ll go investigate.”

Ken frowned.

“It can’t hurt you can it?”

“Naaah. I’m already dead!” She boasted. “Nothing can hurt me!”

“Okay…”

Ayami gave a salute, before hurrying off, turning invisible. She came back to the path they had been on before, peering through the bushes and trees…

Whatever it was she had sensed and what scared Okami, was long gone now. She couldn’t pick up a trace of it.

Weird… Maybe a forest spirit?

Ayami shook her head. No, that wasn’t right. It hadn’t felt dead. 

The presence was alive… very much alive.

Maybe it was nothing. Probably a fox.

Still, she made note to keep close to Ken during more of these excursions if she didn’t have training. 

Ayami hurried back to where Ken was waiting for her, already setting out their snack.

“Well?” He looked up, worried.

Ayami frowned.

“I couldn’t find it. It’s gone.”

“That’s good… right?”

“I think so but I’ll keep around more.” She sat on the edge of the rock, picking up a sandwich, taking a large bite out of it. “Mmm! Oooh that’s yummy! What’s in it?”

“Hideki makes this yummy sandwich spread, with veggies and cream cheese. It’s really good.” Ken smiled a little. “Aya, don’t worry, okay? I know you got my back.”

“And I intend to keep doing that.” She offered him a fist bump. “Ghost friends?”

“Not secret friends.” He nodded, bumping his fist with hers. He looked out over the forest, closing his eyes.

The forest’s energy was the same as ever but… his gut told him something else was around. He wasn’t entirely sure what it meant yet…

But he hoped it was nothing scary.

Just don’t let it hurt my family. 

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Journal entry #141-142📝

Date: 5/30/20

Today’s mood:😄

Amount of water (cups):10

Skincare routine:❎✅

Dental hygiene:❎❎

Stretch:❎

Exercise:❎

Medicine:❎


Today’s talk: I have to combine Friday and today because they are basically the same day. Hanging out with Dylan, Tess, and Sarah was so much fucking fun. We played games, watched Netflix, they drank, and we had hours of laughing and screaming. I feel bad for Dylan’s neighbors. We stayed up until 3 am this morning and made cookies at like 1. We all were awake by 10:30, got breakfast at Waffle House, and watched Mulan and Zootopia. At around 5, Dylan nicely kicked us out and the three of us went to go get Boba tea before heading home. Rest of the day went by quick and it is suddenly 11 pm. It was such a fun weekend and was definitely needed.

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Killing eve it’s much more than a show. It’s so important for the community and the audience. Growing up all these heterosexual couples were displayed on tv. Killing eve put two women on the lead, we followed their journey, we never see them sexualised, it’s was never queer baiting, it’s was them genuinely falling for one another, their sexuality was never question, it was never a problem, the only thing was that eve was obsessing over an assassin not over a woman. We saw one of the main character checking out people of the same sex constantly without the need to sexualise anything, it was so refreshing and beautiful. We need more dynamics displayed like this one.

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Noite passada a ansiedade e o cansaço acabou comigo, acordei do jeito mais desagradável que eu posso estar.

E minha mãe não entende o que e ansiedade, hoje eu só queria estar dentro do meu quarto sem falar com ninguém.

Eu literalmente não queria ir trabalhar hj pq e uma opção, mais vou ficar um pouquinho isolado quieto no meu canto.

Essa pandemia fudeu o enem, fudeu a vida de trabalho, fudeu tudo. A vontade de chorar e grande, mais eu vou engulindo seco, pois não sei mais o que posso faze.

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can’t believe Brennan showed us a bunch of vulnerable moments between adaine and aelwen in fantasy high: sophomore year and then had a whole scene in episode ten showing adaine that her sister was actually full of self- loathing and hated herself secretly for never helping adaine but was too scared of her parents and was also actually dealing with their horrible parents her whole childhood as well and then at the end of episode ten, aelwen’s spell is triggered and the episode ends with her back to her old self WTF now I’m attached

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Logan: You have to get back to work and back into the studio, and make another record, so start thinking about that.

Virgil: Well, start thinking about this!

[struggles to overturn a table]

Logan: Actually, I had that table… I had that table…

[waits until Virgil stops]

Logan: I had that table permanently fixed to the floor.

Janus: Oh no.

Virgil: Don’t you take away my ability to have tantrums, alright. That you CANNOT have! Alright, you ROBOT?

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Okay. I really want to know how much fandom overlap between Sanders Sides and Metalocalypse exist over here, because I just mentally connected them and had to share.

Okay. What if costume/scene/role swap…

Keep reading

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