Author's Note: I got super bored and decided to pick a random character and just start writing. This is the result. XD I'm actually quite fond of where this is going. The idea sparks so much inside me - I think I might go far with this one! :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


Neglected, half unpacked cardboard boxes lay scattered across the fuzzy sky blue carpet. Tsumiki knew she was going to have to take everything out at some point, but right now it was just too . . . accepting. And she didn't think she was ready to accept her fate quite yet.

Tsumiki sifted through the boxes until she found what she was looking for - an old, beat up pink bunny, covered in bandages. Holding it close to her chest, she buried her face in its' fur, remembering the day she'd gotten it.

"Do you want me to get it for you?"

"It's-it's not like I wanted it or anything . . ."

Clutching the bunny tightly, Tsumiki collapsed onto her bed, her violet locks cascading down her shoulders. She'd left her hair out of its usual ponytail this morning in an effort to fight off the cold of early winter. She couldn't help remembering that the day she met Io was a year ago tomorrow.

Her heart suddenly starting to ache, Tsumiki pulled out her phone and opened a new message.

Tsumiki: Are you home yet?

A few seconds later, a response popped up.

Io: Yes. How was school?

Tsumiki: It was fine. It's cold outside today.

Io: Are you getting along with your new classmates?

Tsumiki: The other students seem nice, but making new friends is difficult.

Io: I just want to make sure you make a good friend.

Tsumiki: You're . . . all I need.

Io took a little longer to respond, and Tsumiki's heart thumped inside her chest, a million scenarios running through her mind.

Io: I'm not there anymore. You should make a new friend. It'll help stop me from worrying.

Tsumiki's chest tightened. She didn't want to make Io worry, but . . .

Tsumiki: How are the others?

Io: They're doing good. Hime seems a little uncomfortable now that Mayoi and Sakaki are a couple, and I don't blame her. They're both so strange together. They like each other, but they're bad at expressing it and they get into fights a lot.

Tsumiki: Haha, I wouldn't have guessed any less from those two. I don't pity anyone on the receiving end of their future pranks.

Io: Hime and I already wrote our wills in advance for April 1st. :)

Tsumiki: Hahaha! XD

There was a long pause and Tsumiki itched for a response. She flipped back up to the top of the messages, reading all of them over again while she waited for Io to come back. After the seconds time going over them, she started to worry - Where is he? Is he okay? Is he hurt? Did he get kidnapped?

Io: Sorry, but I have to go. I have homework :(

Of course he had homework. Tsumiki felt the sudden urge to cry, but she ignored it. It's stupid to cry over something so small, she berated herself. Rolling over onto her stomach, she leaned on her elbows and brushed the hair out of her eyes before typing a response.

Tsumiki: O-of course. I'm sorry I kept bothering you.

Io answered immediately this time.

Io: You never bother me. I'll always be here for you, Tsumiki-chan.

Tsumiki wanted to see him again so badly she thought she might stop breathing after another minute without him.

Tsumiki: Thanks. :) Go do your homework. I have to do mine too.

Io: Okay. I'll talk to you later. Bye.

Tsumiki: Bye, Io.

[Io has logged off.]

Tsumiki shut off her phone and flipped onto her back, staring at the blank ceiling.

Io, I hate it here. No matter what I do, this will never be home.

Not without you.


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