By Stefi


"Will you stop it?"

"Aya, I just-"

"I don't care what you want! I am going out and you can't stop me!"

"Someone might-"

"-Try something with you. I know, Ran! I'm not some naïve little girl, okay? Stop treating me like one."

The black-haired girl stormed past her older brother and out the front door. No 'Goodnight', nothing. The older brother's feelings were hurt, of course, but he could always act like it was nothing among his other housemates.

It had been about two years since Aya Fujimiya had woken up from her coma, and her older brother and his teammates had moved back into the apartment over the flower shop known as the Koneko no Sumu Ie. Aya had lived on her own in the apartment until about three months ago, when the boys decided it was time to retire the mobile home. There was a dramatic drop of the need for 'dark beasts' to be hunted, so it was perfectly fine that they move back in. Things had been fine… the first few weeks, until the disagreements between the two siblings started. Arguments ranged from the men Aya dated to how much water a fern needed. She always seemed to win these arguments, though, since her older brother, Ran, wouldn't put up much of a fight with her.

Ran sighed and turned away from the door Aya exited the house from. He hated arguing with his little sister more than anything. She had been awake almost two years now and wanting to live her life without having to be constantly watched or sheltered. Ran understood how she felt, but he just couldn't help himself. He'd gone through so much for her, only to have her resent him at every chance she was given. He was upset over their most recent of arguments, but he'd be damned if he let any of his teammates see him in a vulnerable state.

"…You okay?"

Ran turned around and saw Ken standing behind him with a bowl of cereal in one hand and the television's remote control in the other.

"I'm fine. Aya-chan and I just had another little fight, that's all." Ran answered.

"Ah…" Ken replied, heading for the couch. He put his bowl down and turned on the television. "Hey, come watch some TV with me."

Ran repressed an eye roll, but complied. What was he going to do but sulk around anyway? Might as well sulk in company. "Why are you eating cereal so late? It's a breakfast food." He said, sitting on the couch.

" 'cuz I'm hungry." Ken answered simply.

"… but cereal?"

"It's fast and easy to make." Ken rationalized.

The two didn't exchange words for a while. Ken was too absorbed in his cartoons, as for Ran… Ran was pondering what to do about Aya. It was true that she was an adult now, but still, Ran had that brotherly instinct to want to always protect her. Soon, oddly enough, Ran broke the silence.

"It kills me."

Ken blinked. He looked at his redheaded friend and nodded, as if he has some idea of what the Hell Ran was talking about… which he didn't.

"Why does she feel the need to do this to me anyway? After all I've done for her… God, listen to me, I sound like her father." Ran continued.

Oh. Aya-chan. Ken put a reassuring hand on Ran's knee. "Well, you are the closest thing to a father she's got now, but you have to see it this way, Ran: she was living here perfectly fine before we moved back in. I think Aya-chan knows how to take care of herself."

Ran sighed. "I can see your point. I just can't stop myself sometimes, so I get a bit overly protective." He looked over at Ken. "That's the main reason Aya-chan and I fight so often."

Ken shrugged. "It's only natural to want to protect those that you love, Ran." Why in the world were they discussing this? Ran never talked about his problems and Ken certainly never gave any advice.

"Aa." Ran agreed, nodding. He had to admit it to himself, this talk with Ken made him feel a lot better.

The two sat together on the couch for the better part of an hour or so, until Aya came home. Ran sat up and watched her remove her shoes. Apparently, she was in a better mood now than when she left earlier. "I'm home, guys. Hey, whatcha watching?" She came over to the couch and sat herself between the two boys.

Ran smiled slightly and brushed some of his sister's hair over her shoulder. "A show about a guy who goes around, almost getting killed by wild animals."

"Ohh, I've seen this." Aya said, getting comfortable. She leaned back as far as she could into the couch cushions. "I like this show, it's good."

Ken watched the two, both sets of violet eyes glued to the television. 'They may fight a lot, but it's clear that they're loving siblings.' He thought. He observed them cringe at all the close calls, and smile in amusement at the host's antics. 'They're both so alike, as different as they may act.'

Ran looked away from the TV briefly when he felt Ken's eyes on him. He turned his head slightly and simply looked at the other boy. Ken froze as Ran gave him the smallest hints of a smile before going back to watching the TV. Ken quickly turned his head, fighting back a blush. Ran had smiled. At him. 'And here I thought Aya-chan was pretty…' Ken thought to himself.


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