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Aside from Kazuo, the basketball court was vacant. He stood near the hoop with the ball in hand, but his attention was elsewhere. A group of boys, delinquents most likely, had gathered not too far from him. Ordinarily, Kazuo would ignore their like, but the shuffling of money and small packaged products changed the situation. Drug trafficking was uncommon to this area; Kazuya and Kazuo saw to it.

The guys were careless, paying no attention to Kazuo who made no attempt to conceal the fact that he was watching them. He didn’t approach. He was outnumbered and outmatched. But he wasn’t about to let them get away with it in this area. He would have to wait until they dispersed.

He held up his phone, took a picture, and sent it to his brother. Just as the message disappeared from his screen, they started moving. Kazuo’s muscles tensed; perhaps they had saw him take the picture and weren’t too happy.

They hadn’t, or if they had, they didn’t seem to care. They were merely heading their separate ways.

His eyes picked out the one that had supplied the drugs. He would be the one to follow. As soon as the other boys were out of sight, Kazuo began to trail him. He wasn’t looking to fight, even if his chances were somewhat better now that the others had left. For all he knew, the guy had a weapon that he would be quick to use. Kazuo had a knife, but last time that led to some painful memories. He would have to wait to confront the guy for when Kazuya and the others were around. Intimidation meant nothing if Kazuo were to fight and lose. He couldn’t take the chance.

For now, he would focus on where the guy was coming from.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The house was quiet other than the soft mews coming from a cat that was walking back and forth in the kitchen, rubbing against her master's legs. Kazuo was crouched in the kitchen, biting his thumbnail as he peered through the rusty window of the oven door. The room was scented with the smell of baking cookies, though they were far from being done. The clock on the timer clicked slowly, counting the remaining time before Kazuo would be able to enjoy his hard labor. It was his first time making cookies. In fact it was his first time baking anything, and the first time the kitchen was being put to good use in a long time. The kitchen was used for cooking instant foods, not making meals. Clutter took up much of the food prepping counters, and even the oven had been used as a storage space for pots, utensils, and other odds and ends, which was now currently stacked dangerously on a nearby table.

Both of his parents were away. His mother was still locked up in the hospital, and his father, who should have gotten off of work already, was probably there visiting her. Afterwards, his father would probably end up at a bar afterwards. He never made much of an appearance at home until his wife was released. In the meantime, Kazuo and Kazuya had free reign of the house. That also meant that Chaos, Kazuo's cat, could also roam the house freely. Kazuo kept the feline confined to his room when his mother was home and not in her room. He didn't want anything to happen to the cat. He also feared that his dad may attempt to remove the cat from the house because he wasn't too fond of animals. The cat took full advantage of being able to venture around the house, but she still spent most of her time remaining close by Kazuo.

Kazuo eyed the timer miserably. He was hoping that they would be finished before Kazuya returned home, so that he could surprise his brother. Of course he planned to eat most of the cookies himself; he had a sweet tooth that needed to be satisfied. He had even stopped by a grocery store earlier and pocketed some frosting to decorate the cookies with. Regrettably, he could not find sprinkles to take as well. He would have to do without this time around. He looked back in the direction of the front door, wondering when his twin would come home. Kazuya had told him that he had something planned for Kazuo this evening and advised him not to make any plans. Though they were twins, Kazuya's mind worked differently than Kazuo's, and there were many times that Kazuo could not figure out what his twin had in mind. Tonight was one of those times. With Christmas nearing, he assumed that it had something to do with the holidays. They had always exchanged simple gifts on the holidays and birthdays ever since their parents stopped. With neither of the twins being rich, the presents were never much, but something that could still be appreciated.

The chiming of the timer interrupted his thoughts, and Kazuo hopped up, grabbing a hand towel from the counter. Finally, he would soon be able to enjoy what he had been craving all morning.
 
 
 
 
 
 

((ooc- PMed Kurosaki for this post. All of Kurosaki’s movement were either decided on or approved of by Kuro’s typist.))

 

Finals were over and the intense level of stress that lingered over the campus had subsided. In the wake of the unwinding, Kazuya had an idea for the Naka Baka paper that he wanted published before winter break was upon them. At his request, plans were made, and they were to all meet at Miyavi’s house today. The Ito’s had access to all the materials they would need for the paper.

 

Kazuya was already at the meeting spot. He had gone ahead so that he and Miyavi could get the planning out of the way. Kazuo was on his way now, but first he had to pick up Kurosaki.

 

As the two boys made their way to Miyavi’s house, Kurosaki took care of all the talking. He didn’t even waste time waiting to see if Kazuo would answer a question, and instead, he would continue right along with his conversation. Ignoring the rambling, Kazuo walked behind Kurosaki, his eyes on the ground.

 

It was because of this that Kazuo didn’t realize where they were before they had come to a stop. He looked up only to find himself in a pastry shop, Kurosaki pressed against the glass looking at the treats before him. Sweets never really appealed to Kazuo. They were too expensive, and whenever he did come across some, he would give his share to Kazuya. He did note that they were pleasing to look at.

 

Soon, the employee was boxing Kurosaki’s selection. Almost as soon as it was in his hands, Kurosaki was taste testing it. Kurosaki saw Kazuo’s watching and assumed that it meant that he wanted some too. Before Kazuo could object, he had a couple of sweets in his hands.

 

He sighed at Kurosaki’s antics. The boy was almost as bad as Kazuya sometimes. With no else to pass the snack on to, Kazuo decided to just try it.

 

An addiction took hold of him immediately. He couldn’t believe the tastes that that little treat had. He looked at Kurosaki, his eyes wide. Kurosaki just responded with a grin and a giggle. When he had finished the pastry, he had gotten back in line, this time to choose some treats for himself.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Kazuo walked along the faded line that had been painted on the ground some time ago. The court had long ago been forgotten; perhaps a playground when there wasn’t as much buildings around. Now, few frequented the basketball court either because of the area or because Kazuya was rumored to hang around here.
 
He was retrieving the basketball that had bounced away. He could remember as a child, he would always end up having to go fetch the ball after it rebounded to some distance. He was always frustrated about it. Basketball was one of the few things his brother prevailed at more than Kazuo did. He didn’t like being bested, even if it were only his twin. He could recall all the times he would go out to the court and practice, yet coming up short every time. Memories of him letting his anger unleash as he threw the ball as hard as he could at the back board and watched it bounce away, satisfying his frustration. It was on that same day that he met him.
 
As the image of a man’s face began to familiarize itself in Kazuo’s mind, Kazuo closed his eyes tightly and dropped to his knees, putting one hand up to his head for support. He didn’t want to remember those memories. He had long ago forced them from his mind.
 
He had a pain of regret for coming out there today. It was his first time playing basketball after injuring his arm. Lately, he had been following Kazuya there just to watch his brother play. He had thought he would have been okay to play today.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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With a day off from work, Kazuo ended up heading to the small arcade that he and Kazuya could usually be found at if not at the basketball court. He was at the arcade today because of the light rain earlier that evening.

Just as he was starting another game, a girl approached him. She was a pretty girl and much like Kazuya's type. Kazuo however paid no attention to her.

The girl hovered about him, obviously hoping to get his attention. After awhile, she got frustrated enough to try a different approach.

"You're really good at that game," she said standing closely now to Kazuo. Kazuo's eyes drifted from the screen to the girl and back to the screen.

The girl sighed in frustration. "My names Etsu Saiya, but you earn the special privilege of calling me Etsu." Still no response. "Well? I'm dying to know you're name, sexy boy," She reached out and touched the side of his face.

Kazuo flinched and moved away to face her. His eyes were wide and he felt somewhat threatened. Etsu just looked back at him, eyebrows raised. "Uh okay. Never had a girl touch you before or something?" There was a hint of edgy-ness to her voice.

Kazuo's eyes narrowed. He debated whether saying his name or not to this girl. Either way, he knew he didn't like her.

"Kisho baby, I think we have a pansy boy here. You know, your favorite type," Etsu called out. A guy that was standing at a game a few feet away turned to look at them. He smiled before leaving his unfinished game for a different type of fun.

"I can tell by just looking at him!" Kisho announced. Kazuo's eyes narrowed at the boys presence. "He's my favorite type too, the ones that put up a bit of a fight, but in the end give in," Kisho added, making it sound like a game.

"Well he's doing me no good, he was ignoring me of all people too! You can have your fun with him" Etsu said already scanning the area for a new boy to talk too. Kisho responded with a laugh. "Alright than pretty boy, why don't we find somewhere a bit more private."

Kisho reached forward and grabbed ahold of Kazuo's wrist, jerking Kazuo forward. Kazuo was unable to stop him from pulling him forward, he hadn't expected the guy to grab him. He pulled back, but found that the guy's grip was harder than he expected. The guy was built like a middle-weight boxer. Kazuo could feel himself loosing control of his mind...
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kazuo walked briskly through the streets. He was still in his school uniform for he had left almost immediately after returning home from rugby practice, allowing himself only enough time to feed Chaos. He had been regretting this day for some time now. It had only been a few hours ago that Kazuo decided on an alternative plan.

He carried a basket with him. The basket was empty aside from a few light blankets in it. The basket would be occupied soon enough.

Withou missing a step, Kazuo walked into on of the many alleyways. The alleyway he chose was between to food shops, meaning it would be the host of many rats and even more stray cats.

In no time, Kazuo came across a cat. The first one he saw, he picked up by the scruff of the neck and tossed it in the basket, then preceded to cover it with the blankets to keep it from escaping. The cat was orange in color and appeared to be a loner stray. Kazuo could see this in its ferociousness. It would have to do. Kazuo continued on his way.

Soon, Kazuo arrived at Yosuke's trailer-like house. He knocked on the front door and waited.
 
 
 
 
 
 
((Ooc: wasn't sure what time you'd want them to meet, but since Tsukasa did a post about lunch of this day, I just decided on the morning hours.))

Kazuo stood on the edge of the roof of the school building, watching fellow students make their way slowly to the school. He would have let his feet hang off the edge if there hadn't been a chain link fence preventing that.

He had his hands in his pockets. Within one of the pockets, his finger could make out the note that Leo had given him Saturday. Though the note had specifically stated not to tell anyone, Kazuo had mentioned it to Kazuya. He didn't go into detail though, so his brother probably only thought it to be on of the training sessions they had frequently last term.

In the other pocket was a beat up carton of cigarettes. Feeling the small box, Kazuo felt a strong temptation to have a smoke. He shook his head no though, resisting it. Kazuo was one with a good sense of control when he wasn't in one of those black-out modes. Eventually, he decided that he would smoke, but just one, if Leo didn't arrive soon.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kazuo sat on his bed, observing the cat known as Chaos. It had been a few days since the incident, and the cat was faring well. It confused Kazuo, yet made him curious to see what would happen next.

He spent most of his time when at home studying the cats behaviour. It surprised him how much pain it was in, physically in mentally from losing her babies, yet she didn't really show it.

It was probably from spending this time with the cat that it began sleeping on Kazuo's bed. It didn't bother Kazuo, in fact, he made it a nice comfortable spot on the bed just for her.

Now the only problem was that he didn't think he would want to give Yosuke the cat back. He even feared that his mother would go on her rampage when looking for drugs that she would hurt the cat, so whenever Kazuo heard her making a ruckus, he would keep the cat near him.

Perhaps the oddest of all Kazuo's new behavior towards something living that wasn't his brother was the fact that Kazuo would find himself smiling at the feline companion unintentionally. He just found it...well to put it simply: cute.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kazuo walked out of the shabby apartment building on his way to work. Kazuya had mentioned at the meeting a few days ago that they weren't to travel alone, but Kazuo had no choice. Kazuya wasn't home and Kazuo needed the money his job brought in.

He wanted to get there quickly. He found his thoughts wondering a lot lately, much to his displeasure. That same grin that mocked him always found its way back into Kazuo's mind. It was because of this that he had became quite grouchy lately.

He stormed through the maze of streets, avoiding the most crowded areas. He would have to deal with enough people at his job.