"What are you doing here?"
He was currently on the bench, sitting all alone in all his glory. The kind man who was with the nice grandma left him there about an hour ago and he has no plans of leaving that bench. The man said he should get inside when he felt he was ready but he wasn't anything close to ready. There were people inside, and being with people usually end with him being tossed into a closet and/or starved for a day or two; he preferred not to go through one at the moment. And his face still hurts from the trip at the hospital though he was pretty sure it will pass soon like always. But…
"Hey? You can hear me, right? Hello~?"
"…Maybe? Should I try again but louder? …Ok!"
Someone was calling. He turned around and saw a boy. A boy and girl. Probably his sister from the looks of it. She looked like the boy, same colored hair and eyes. That's nice.
"Oh! You aren't deaf after all! I'm asking what are… Hey! You're like me too, right?!" asked the boy. The girl beside him tugged at his shirt and hid behind him. She was peeking while keeping her body hidden, though the rabbit doll she had been holding was still visible to him.
He pointed to himself while raising an eyebrow. While he could understand the words the boy was speaking, he couldn't speak it without stuttering or making a mistake. Living on the streets for almost a month – was it really a month? it felt more than a month - really gave him the time to learn the language of the new place he found himself in.
"Yeah, you. I saw you came in from my room-" The boy with silver hair pointed towards the window on the second floor. "-and Miki wanted to see you. Well, me too; I'm curious as she is." The girl behind the boy made a peek and nodded through the hole created with the boy's arm. "Welcome to the orphanage! Forgot the name, though. It's a bit long. Name's Akihiko. This little girl with me is Miki, my sister. You?"
He gave Akihiko a confused look and shook his head. He knew what 'name' meant but he doesn't know what his was. A name was something he never had nor was given to. His relatives never spoke to him aside from 'boy' or 'freak', and ever since he found himself on the streets of the city, he knew those weren't names for someone like him; they were… derogatory? That was what the old man said once when he passed by him, mumbling at the things his uncle had said to him.
The signs in the new pace he was at also had English words on them, making them very helpful in teaching him that 'boy' and 'freak' weren't names but something more… describing? Yeah, he'll go with that.
"No name huh. That's bad… Wait. You haven't spoke since we talked? You can talk, right?" Akihiko inquired, leaning forwards to him. He shook his head and voiced 'I can speak' as he slid backwards on the bench, creating a small space between him and the siblings. "What did you say? Hm… You can understand me but can't speak…?" He nodded. "Oh! Why didn't you tell me so?"
He gave the boy a glare, making the almost white-haired boy apologize. His sister laughed lightly at the side and went from his brother's side to him, clutching the rabbit doll. She handed him her rabbit doll and smiled. He took it with a questioning look, reaching out his hand to receive it, and the girl beamed at him. Her brother noticed it because he stated, "Miki liked you. Well, I like you too. Come join us! You've been here for almost an hour and lunch is almost here!"
Akihiko grabbed his arm and tugged him while his sister grabbed his other arm and joined in pulling him back to the building. He tried to protest, the area around his eyes covered with band-aids flared with pain briefly, but the glare the girl gave him ended the complaint in his throat before it even had the chance to come out. She then gave him a smile and pointed to her rabbit doll, which was still on his hand. "Rena is nice. Play with us."
They passed by a couple of kids and adults at the garden, who gave them odd and suspicious looks but Akihiko and Miki paid no attention to it, before they reached the front doors of the orphanage. Akihiko pushed it with only one hand and looked left and right before speaking, "No one's here huh. Maybe we're late and they already started eating!"
Akihiko's grip on his arm was still tight but not too tight for it to hurt while his sister's grip was just too light to be even called 'holding'. It was like she was only touching his arm than making an effort to even do the action. Her eyes were looking at the rabbit doll he was holding so he gave it back to her. She smiled to him which he then gave a smile back too.
It was strange. Smiling. But she's nice and it seemed she and her brother have no plans on doing any harm to him. He then frowned. There were some kids that used to 'befriend' him but they soon became targets of his cousin. Maybe they'll leave him soon after the same thing that happened to the others will happen to them too? The small girl tugged on his arm.
Maybe not then…
He noticed Akihiko was becoming red in desperation…? He looked around and noticed there weren't any people in the building. Maybe they're not here? He closed his eyes and tried to sense the others. Handy trick he learned in order to avoid the nasty adults that were roaming the streets before he was found by that nice old grandma. She was nice. She gave him some kind of black colored food that was delicious.
"Let's go. The dining hall is at this corner, I think."
"No, it's at the left, Nii-san."
"Huh. But…? Are you sure?"
He coughed and the two looked at him. He pointed to the hallway in front of them instead of the two hallways beside them. Akihiko gave him a confused look, which he then countered with a glare, before shaking his head. "Alright, let's go this way." The glare was pretty useful, best thing he picked up from the older guys at the streets.
Miki just smiled and instead of grabbing his arm before, she tugged on his sleeve. Akihiko had dropped his arm moments before he went ahead on the hallway; he was quite strong for a lanky kid like him. He and Miki followed her brother and they found him grinning in front of two half-opened doors.
"Hey, you were right! This was the right way to the dining hall! You were right!" Akihiko said, pushing the doors for them. He followed the boy and his sister and found himself being stared at by dozens of children of his age. All of them were already on their seats and had bowls of food on front of them. He looked around, tried to find a door or a closet to hide at, but Akihiko and Miki's hand grabbed his and dragged him to an empty table.
There was already food on it, some white stuff and soup, and a pair of sticks. Beside the bowl of white stuff was fried fish, which made his mouth water from the smell. Akihiko and Miki laughed at his expression: mouth open and drool almost dripping out.
"Thought so. You haven't eaten since you came here this morning, right? Eat up! The last table is supposed to help the kitchens afterwards," the silver haired boy spoke as two more kids went in through the doors they just passed through. The nice grandma that brought him at the orphanage then followed in and shut the doors. She began to point at the children while Akihiko continued, "Next thing we'll know is that you don't know how to use chopsticks." He turned his attention to the boy instead of the nice grandma and gave him a blank stare, which caused both Akihiko and Miki to gasp loudly.
"No way! Really? Here, let me teach you!" Akihiko then moved his seat closer to him, making a noise from the seat's movement on the floor. Miki did the same, causing some of the kids and adults to give them a look and a hush. Both of them paid no mind to it as Akihiko forced the pair of sticks on his hands and Miki did something to his fingers, twisting them around the pair of sticks in a weird position; it allowed him, though, to hold the sticks the same way as Akihiko and Miki did moments ago.
A clap and a loud cry or yell happened, and everyone aside from the three of them went to eating their food. He stared at how almost everyone in the room were eating without taking a part of their food into their pockets or taking the bowl and hide under the table or in a closet. Akihiko stopped him from taking the bowl of soup and plate of fish from the table by patting on his arm, a bemused expression prevalent on his face as he did so.
"Here, you move it like this and…"
Maybe he should follow the boy's actions? He'll keep a piece of fish later using the plastic bag in his pockets. And the soup. And the white stuff. Whatever that is, it was food since almost everyone was eating it. The kids at the tables near them were sloppily munching on it, scattering some of the bits of fish at the floor.
He almost want to go down and pick them up from the floor but the silver(?)-haired girl had pinched his arm.
"Oi, you paying attention? Hm… Oh! The food. You never had miso soup before? It's good but not that good."
He focused on his fingers and the way Akihiko used his hand to move the sticks on his own fingers. Imitating them seemed to be the idea so he followed the idle movement the silver-haired boy was doing as he was making remarks on the food.
"Nii-san. He did it," Miki said, catching him and her brother's attention. Akihiko spotted him moving the sticks and beamed. The silver haired girl grinned at him the same way her brother did and continued on bringing food to her mouth. Her food wasn't completely inside her mouth before she brought a piece of fish, at which Akihiko scolded her.
Akihiko huffed and returned his attention to him. "Cool! You learn fast huh! Then let's eat!" The girl said something but the food in her mouth muffled her words. She must be starving from the way she gobbled the food into her mouth. His stomach rumbled but thankfully Akihiko and Miki didn't make any remarks about the noise.
He copied Akihiko how to pick the fish off the plate and the white stuff off the bowl and placed them in his mouth.
It was delicious.