A/N: Well hello everyone; this is my first and probably last story I will make for this site. Because first off, I don't have any other solid ideas for longer stories, and I'm currently trying to write a long story for another show.
Beta reader: Tapp
So please, enjoy this story and leave a review.
In the cozy haven of Kobayashi's living room, the residents and guests are enjoying a horror movie night-a mild movie with the lights on for the two kids present.
Kobayashi is sitting in the middle of the large couch. Her cheeks flushing and giggles escaping her as she downs her third bottle of beer. She offers a comment or two at the 'comedy' of the movie. For now, she's wearing her casual beige sweater over her shirt with comfy green pants.
Tohru, on the left of the human, is slowly sipping her drink. Her cheeks lightly blushes as she give small glances to Kobayashi.
On her right, Kanna is munching on a bag of popcorn. Her eye glints at the female protagonist on screen holding a knife, looking around for the killer in the mask.
Riko is next to her wearing a light green sweater with a kitty design in front and long pink shorts. The young girl is shivering, eyes wide, her gaze transfixed on the movie. She desperately wants to clutch to Kanna like a warm teddy bear, but the fear has her immobilized.
On the shorter couch adjacent to theirs, Elma is munching happily on a cream filled bread from a bag she brought. Her cheeks are flush from the delicacies exploding in her mouth.
The last four are on either side of the table with their legs under the kotatsu. Fafnir and Makoto are on one end. Makoto is watching the movie calmly, but Fafnir is the opposite. He is glaring at the screen, every scream causes his eye to twitch and his frown to deepen.
Shouta and Lucoa are on the other end. The young wizard is trying to keep a calm exterior, but even he shivers and twitches. Lucoa keeps her gaze on the movie, but at times switched her focus to Shouta.
Riko's scream drew most pair of eyes. The woman in the movie has turned a corner and is face to face with the bloody mask of the murderer. The little girl jumps, encircles her arms around Kanna, and presses her face into her shoulder. The young dragon places her hands on the girl's shoulders.
Fafnir scowls at the screen and Shouta gives a small shriek, jumping towards the nearest body source. He presses his face, his arms trying to encircle the person.
He feels a pat on his shoulder. "There, there, I will keep you save."
The boy freezes and slowly turns his head upwards. He instantly regrets it. Lucoa is watching him with teasing smile. The bottom of his face is pressed against her large mounds.
He jumps back. His face is fully flushed as he waves an accusatory finger. "Y-You do-don't think I will fall for your trap!"
She hums, "ahh, but weren't you the one who grabbed me?"
His eyes widen, knowing it's true. Lucoa presses an arm over her heart.
"Remember that as your familiar, you can use me however you want."
"Wh-What does that mean?"
"It means you can give me a hug whenever you want to."
He looks around in panic. Nobody is paying much attention as it's an everyday occurrence. Kanna, however, is watching intently. Her hand imitates Lucoa's petting as she says, "there, there."
It seems to work as Riko calms down.
Kanna's friend slowly leans back. She chuckles with embarrassment and musters everything to keep eye contact. "Sorry, I-um, usually have nee-san with me."
"I will keep you safe."
The blush returns again. "I-I know that! But…I feel silly getting scared. I mean, I know it's just a movie, but I wish I was as brave as you."
It's not like Kanna doesn't appreciate the praise, but she has no reason to fear violent humans. Even in her human form, Earth humans are no threat to her. Though she wouldn't mind if Kobayashi protected her…
Before she could respond, Elma beats her. "Riko, right? How about a protective charm?"
The girl in question turns, leaving Kanna to her own thoughts.
"Charm? Like the ones sold in stores?"
The dragon of the Order Faction shakes her head. "Those don't work. I commend the humans of this dimension to try to replicate the arts of my own, but they only have the superficial level done."
Her strange wording confuses Riko, but Elma smiles with pride and pounds her fist to her chest. "Before I joined the workforce of programming, I learned several charms that would aid my human comrades. I even gave a good luck charm to Kobayashi."
With that name dropped, Tohru's happiness instantly dies as she now glares at Elma. Riko is now curious. "Really? Does it work?"
"Yup! After I gave it to her, she always comes to work with energy."
Elma's enthusiasm is contagious for Riko. This just ticks Tohru even more.
"I can make a different type of charm for you, but of course, I just can't give one for free, faction policies. I gave one to Kobayashi as thanks for helping me, but I promise to you that we will come to a-"
"Hey, Kanna's slave."
Riko blinks and turns towards the maid, flinching at the intensity of the glare that's directed at the other dragon.
"Be careful with her kind. The offerings usually come with a steep price."
Riko seems to be the only one to care the shift in the maid's mood. Kobayashi is still giggling at the movie and Kanna is looking at her palm.
Elma counters with a scowl of her own. "Unless you forgot, I'm part of the Order Faction, and we are taught to make fair deals between both parties."
Riko looks confused at her strange choice of words, but this is just something she's grown accustomed to.
Tohru smirks. "What if the one who holds the higher power wants something from the other party?"
The water dragon now looks nervous. Dread pills up inside her. "What are you-"
"Have you already spent all your money on sweets?"
As if being stabbed, she reels back. "I-that's not-I-"
Riko leans forward. "Miss Elma." This gets her attention. "Does that mean you don't have any for tomorrow?"
The pity in her eyes only causes Elma to feel worse and brings satisfaction to Tohru.
This continues on between Elma and Riko, the former trying to convince the latter that she's fine.
At this point, Kanna's thought process has led her to something interesting. In the past, she played pranks to get the attention of her parents. While that led to her meeting Kobayashi, she recognizes now that it was the wrong method. Riko and Shouta already proved that.
She tightens both hands into fists, and gathers the courage for what she needs to do next.
Kobayashi is finishing her fifth beer bottle. She feels someone tugging at her shirt as she places it down. Even through the drunken haze, she is confused when she sees Kanna looking up at her with a set of sparkly doe eyes.
"Would you protect me from the masked man?"
Her lips curve into a goofy smile. "Of course I will."
Kobayashi wraps her arms around the girl's waist, and brings the dragon's face up to hers. She makes exaggerated munching noises in the air. "Once I'm done with them, you can munch on them for dessert."
Without much change to her expression, there's a vibrant cheer around her. Kanna presses herself onto the human's chest and nuzzles. Kobayashi settles her chin on top of her, mindful of the two curled horns.
This conversation didn't go unnoticed by a certain dragon maid who treats Kobayashi's voice like a serenate. To see the human being affectionate to Kanna sends Tohru into a whirlwind of emotions. Had it been any dragon other than Kanna, the end emotion would be anger. But now it's desperation.
Her hands reach towards the human. They shake and stop as if doing so will backfire with some type of reprimand.
"M-Miss Kobayashi! I…" She places both hands over her head. "I'm scared too! Protect me!"
She flinches at the new vibe being emitted from the human.
"Toooo-OHRUUU!" Kobayashi slowly turns her head. This tactic works to intensify the dragon's fear. "Your job as a maid comes with many obligations, and one of those is to keep intruders out. Understood?"
Tohru sits straight, hands folded over her lap, and with an excited tone says, "yes, Miss Kobayashi!"
As this discussion occurred, the four at the table got into a heated discussion.
Fafnir sneers at the movie. "Makoto, when you said we would be watching a horror movie, I expected something on par with the screeches of banshee and a storm of blood rain. This is more of a fantasized version of humans with cheap jump scares."
Takiya responds calmly, "sorry, Fafnir. Kobayashi and I thought this be a good way to introduce you all to movies. I guess we should've checked with you guys first."
"It's fine." His expression relaxes as a new thought comes to mind. "But I'm curious. Are there movies based on video games?"
To this, Makoto laughs awkwardly and looks to the side, trying to think of a way to steer the conversation away from how horrible video game movies are.
Shouta is doing his best to ignore the two and focus on the movie. He's also strictly ignoring the pleas of the demon next to him.
"I said I was sorry. Pleaaaase."
He knows it's rude to ignore someone, but from the amount of embarrassment and blushing he received from her, he wants to believe his rude behavior is justified.
"Is there anything I can do to prove to you that I'm a kind and benevolent familiar?"
Then again, his father always mentioned how ignoring one's problems will never make them go away.
He turns, and sees the docile smile of Lucoa.
"So?" she asks.
He says, "I did some divination for your past, and saw…stuff that's better to forget. Adding that you have the largest amount of magic, you're the most dangerous being in this room."
She asks innocently, "isn't that a bit harsh?"
Fafnir drops his own opinion. "He's not wrong. Your reign over humans was bloody."
With an awkward chuckle, she sits back properly. "Just because at one point I asked for human sacrifices, doesn't mean I was a bad goddess. I did it all for a fair exchange."
"I knew it!" Shouta exclaims with conviction and bravery despite the revelation. "You're a demon!"
Lucoa frantically convinces the apprentice wizard otherwise.
The movie is sort of forgotten at this point. Fafnir is once again prodding Makoto for more info on video game movies; Elma and Riko are making a deal exchanging protective charms and baked sweets. Lucoa and Shouta are deep into whether the fallen goddess is a demon or not.
Rowdy, nosy. Those are the words being filtered in Kobayashi's mind. It becomes even more so as Tohru clutches her shoulder while repeating her name in a sweet manner. All this leads to Kobayashi being…happy.
The days after Tohru entered her life had been loud and full of surprises that crashed the rhythm she set for herself. And she can truthfully say her days have been better because of it.
How many days has she spent alone in her apartment just watching TV or getting happy drunk. Rinse and repeat.
She spent several times getting drunk with Makoto and considers him a friend, but their friendship never developed farther from that. He became part of her rhythm.
As crazy things get with her…the crazy fun made her forget the boring days before she came.
Makoto was right. She never realized how lonely things were until Tohru crashed into her life.
The reality of that crashed hard when Tohru's father took her by force, making what followed a boring hell with an unbearable amount of effort trying to readjust to a normal life, and failing. Her biggest failure is unable to properly take care of Kanna on her own.
Then for Tohru to disobey her father and come back to her, and for herself to argue against Tohru's father, who would've had no qualms in killing her.
And now only a week later, they're here, relaxing as if those days have never transpired.
She smiles, and wraps an arm around Tohru's shoulder. The maid dragon's face turns scarlet red, and she stammers a response to this.
Kobayashi interrupts her by pulling her close, her lips right next to Tohru's ears. "Thanks for staying with me, and for being the best maid in the world."
"Miss Kobayashi." Tohru feels her heart beating against her ribcage. She smiles sweetly and lays her head on her shoulder.
The first rays of sunlight enter the apartment, and the first to slowly awaken is Tohru. She moans in annoyance, her brows furrow before her eyes slowly open with reluctance.
She's not sure why, but something tells her not to move. Yet, curiosity gets the best of her.
She pushes herself away from whatever she's leaning from, and opens both eyes to examine the scene.
The four on the table are now lying over the carpet, pillows under their head and blankets for heat.
Elma is covered in a large blanket. Tohru looks to her right and sees-
She inhales deeply. Kobayashi is sleeping with her head leaning to where Tohru's head was, and Kanna is lying on her lap with Kobayashi's hand on her head. Riko has her own blanket and is lying behind Kanna with a large content smile.
Tohru needs to take several deep breaths to stop herself from squealing in joy. She goes back to her previous position. In her head is a clear picture of how this looks. After quickly casting a spell on herself, she falls asleep to preserve this moment a bit longer.