Nami sat on Hiroshi's porch with an exasperated look on her face. Dammit, where is he! she thought in annoyance. I've called Keiji's house, Hiroshi's not home...Dammit...

Nami's impatience wasn't completely uncalled for. Keiji had practice for the play at school, but no one being at Hiroshi's house was almost alarming. Someone was usually at home, whether it was one of his siblings or his parents. There were rare occasions when all were absent. She sighed blankly. Just my luck.

Hiroshi stumbled onto the lawn, out of breath and a little on the red side, and fell flat on his back in the grass to catch his breath. Nami lifted her eyes at the sound of the thump.

She blinked twice. "Where the hell have you been!"

Hiroshi turned his head up to look up at the blond. "Out, why?"

"Where is everyone else?"

Green eyes blinked softly. "Probably out shopping..."

Nami seemed to fume, then she turned away. "Don't be a smartass, Hiroshi."

"Don't ask stupid questions, Nami." Hiroshi smiled towards the glowering girl, then stuck his tongue out at her teasingly. "Chill, I'm here now. What do you want?"

"Have you talked to Rue today, by chance?"

Hiroshi blinked, then shook his head against the grass beneath him. "Not a word. I haven't really been home since early this morning, and I don't carry a phone. Why?"

Nami sat quietly before choosing her words carefully. "I asked him about you and Keiji-kun..."

The smile faded from Hiroshi's face. *Ah,* Nami though, *I hit a nerve. Finally.*

"Are you two...more..than I thought?"

"What do you mean?" Hiroshi asked in his usual calm voice, trying his best to keep his face dim as it normally was.

"Are you a couple? Lovers?" Nami questioned, tilting her head a bit to regard the boy who still insisted on laying in the grass, looking at her upside-down.

Hiroshi blinked up towards her impassively. "You've liked Keiji for years and you're asking me if I'm with him? Have you lost your mind?"

"I'm trying to see if it's true. You've brushed me off, both of you, you've gone off by yourselves, and that's unusual, how much you two do that, even for guys. I want to know if I should give up on Keiji so I don't lose you both, or if it's okay for me to persue my crush," Nami stated softly, looking a little forlorn with her own words.

Hiroshi finally sat up and turned towards Nami. "You're admitting you have a crush on him..."

Nami nodded softly. "You already knew...Just please tell me, Hiroshi..."

The tall boy decided that he couldn't hurt his best female friend with such an idiotic thing as a relationship right now. Besides, if anything, it was up to Keiji as to what they were considered. Friends? A couple? Lovers? Up to Keiji, Hiroshi didn't care much one way or another at this point. "We're friends, Nami. Best friends."

"So nothing's changed..."

Hiroshi looked a little guilty. "You should ask Keiji himself about that..."

Nami's face fell. Hiroshi bit his lip a bit, then shook his head with his hands held up a bit. "Don't give me that look. You just have to ask him..."

She nodded softly. "Alright..."

A few minutes passed before Hiroshi sighed a bit and stood, moving to the porch and sitting next to Nami. "Is that all you came to say?..."

Purple eyes clouded darkly before turning away with a soft shake of her head. "No...Far from it..."

"So what else is there?" Hiroshi prodded gently.

Nami hesitated before looking towards the driveway. "How long do you think we'll be alone here?"

"...For what I have a feeling you're going to say, not long enough...Do you want to wait until another time to talk about it?" he asked, glancing to the girl sitting before him.

She shook her head. "No...Just..can we go inside, in case someone does come and we won't be disturbed?"

The obsidian-haired boy nodded a bit, then stood and started for the door, opening it with his key and going up to his room, followed swiftly by Nami. Soon they were within Hiroshi's vanilla-scented room, fairly tidey for a boy's room.

"Go ahead and sit wherever," Hiroshi invited, taking a seat at his desk, where he promptly flipped open a notebook and sketchpad, fishing around for a pencil. "Do you mind if I'm working while you talk?"

Nami shook her head softly. "Not at all."

"You want anything?"

Again she shook her head.

"Alright..." Hiroshi propped a sketchbook in his lap and started moving his pencil across lightly. "I'm listening."

Dark amethyst eyes closed for a second, Nami folding her hands in her lap, making herself comfortable before starting to speak. "I already mentioned this to Rue...Well, I started to, then I thought better of it...He's not exactly known for keeping a level head and I was worried that he'd mistake my..speech."

Hiroshi nodded a little, not looking up.

"Have you ever heard, in reality, of there being a possibility for a split world, a parallel universe?"

The pencil stopped.

Nami's eyes widened a little at the reaction she got, and hastily went through with her concerns. "I've seen it, and I was hoping that you would know what it is, what I'm seeing. It's extraordinary...It's odd, though...I'm conscious in this reality when I sleep there, but when I wake up there, I blank out from this world. If I fall back asleep there, I regain awareness here, and I sort of get an update of what I've been doing. But this is only the beginning! The world itself, it's incredible! There are beings there that probably never existed here, clans and civilizations that have been gone for centuries, and a maze is the heart of it! I don't know what I'm doing there, and I don't know how to get out or how I got there in the first place..."

"Why are you saying any of this to me?" Hiroshi asked deliberately, cutting off Nami's jumbled explination.

"I...I thought that you would listen to me earnestly...You've always had the sense of realism and comprehension that I thought would be able to help me..." Nami's voice replied, the girl looking down at her hands. "And...I've run into some people there...They said that they need help, that because I come from another world, I am one of the Chosen..."

"And you're suggesting that the rest of us here help you?"

Nami looked pained before she nodded slowly. "Was I that much of an idiot for suggesting it?..."

"I think we should wait until we can get everyone in one spot and talk this over," Hiroshi muttered, avoiding her question.

"When will that be?"

"Later tonight, I imagine. Rue shouldn't be doing anything, Shan shouldn't be working, Keiji'll be free, and I wouldn't be suggesting it unless it were a go for me."

"Where would we go?"

Hiroshi blinked before starting his sketching again. "In the woods behind Rue's or Keiji's house. If not there, Shan's apartment."

Nami nodded softly, then looked around awkwardly. "Do you mind if I stay here?..."

Forest eyes glanced up from the sketchbook to regard Nami.

Nami's face flushed. "I'm a bit tired, and.."

"It's fine..." Hiroshi tilted the book down a bit and smiled. "I don't mind. Go ahead. My home is open to my friends, anyway."

Nami smiled softly before she layed down on the bed she had been sitting on, curling up underneath a blanket that had been haphazardly placed earlier. "Arigatou, Hiroshi-kun..."

"Don't mention it," Hiroshi grumbled softly, going back to his sketch of Keiji.