I look towards them. "Nuh-uh. I'm going home. I've had enough for one day." I sigh, I never did like fighting and just because I was a zodiac and I had found others didn't mean I was about to start now. "I'm going." I re-adjusted the bag on my shoulder and began to walk in another direction toward my house. "Ike, are you okay?" I asked him through our mental link. "Yeah, I'm fine." He replied. "I'm at the house." I looked at the group behind me then nodded. "Come to where I am now and then follow the group's thoughts. They'll need you. I'm going home, I'm tired." Ike mumbled an 'okay' without any further questions. He knew how much I hated this stuff.
Only when I turned around again I noticed that Luca shrugged. "I've had enough too. The only reason no one bloody attacked me in the first place was because I stayed hidden. Don't talk to me at school." He took out another cigarette and looked at it warily as he followed me. I stopped, turning to him. "Still up for my invitation? You can smoke too if you want." I smiled, carrying on walking as he joined me.
"Thanks." He mumbled as he placed the cigarette to his lips and began to smoke it. I didn't live too far from here and we managed to get there pretty quickly. I took out my key, unlocking the door. I checked the house for intruders but found none. I ushered him in. "It's only small, two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and the basic kitchen through there, living room and study." I muttered, pointing to the various rooms.
He looked around, seemingly impressed by the modest house. "Nice." He commented. I smiled wider. "Thank you. It's not hard to keep clean when you live on your own." I walked into the kitchen fetching him one of my adopted father's ash trays. "Would you like a drink?"
"I'm okay thanks." I sat down, motioning for him to do the same. "So, still don't want to join in 'the zodiac group?"
"After that complete mess? No way." He shook his head, taking my motion he sat down in the armchair opposite.
"Well... would you like something, food perhaps?" I asked embarrassed. I had never had guests before you see, but I picked up a few things from my adopted mother's parties.
"No, no. I'm fine." He smiled friendly-like. I nodded. "Oh! Do you still want to see my tattoos?" He wondered.
I nodded again. "Oh, please. I heard you thinking about them and I got curious. Again." I blushed slightly as I leant forward intently.
"All of them?" He asked, unzipping his hoodie.
I tilted my head slightly. "How many do you have?"
"A few, they're all on my back and arms so I would have to take of my shirt to show you them."
"Well, I would but if you would feel uncomfortable..." I trailed, in awe by the tattoos on his arms as he took off his hoodie.
"I wouldn't feel uncomfortable. I just didn't wanna make you uncomfortable. I mean... I'm practically a stranger, getting undressed in your house," he said as he pulled his shirt off too.
I shook my head softly, then got up as he removed his shirt to inspect his tattoos more closely. "What does this mean?" I wondered pointing to the symbols on his arm.
"They're kanji for 'warrior.'" I nodded, "from what I have seen you are quite the warrior." I giggled softly, slowly tracing the tribal pattern that ran across his back and arms. "They're beautiful." I commented.
"Everything in life is a fight. We are all warriors in our own right."
I nodded, "I hate to fight without a cause though. I don't start fights. I finish them." I muttered absently, bringing my finger back as I found myself get lost in the tangles of ink.
"No, I don't just mean combat. I mean like... well, just staying alive every day. Even for a normal person, though I guess it's a bit harder for us zodiacs, since we have people chasing us down with murderous intent."
"Yeah..." I sighed, trying not to let my sorrow edge into my voice. "They are really nice tattoos though." I smiled once more, sitting back in my seat across from him.
"Thanks. The school doesn't think so. The principle nearly had a fit when he first saw them," he grinned.
"I could change that." She giggled.
"Nah. It gave me a reputation I'm pretty comfortable with. No one bothers me, and I don't bother them." he laughed.
"I bet." She laughed with him. "I believe I have seen you around before, I suppose I never thought to talk to you. You seemed happier that way."
"I dunno about 'happy', but it's certainly easier when people leave you alone." his shoulders lifted for a moment in a shrug and he screwed his cigarette butt into the ashtray.
"It is a lonely life though, everyone needs somebody..." I trailed, realising how stupid I sounded. "I'm sorry."
He shrugged and continued anyway, "I have people. Just not the kind of people you would ever think went into any kind of education.”
“Oh, right. Okay.” I mumbled, realising how comfortable I had become with him, I had never been this comfortable with anyone before.
"Actually, I don't think many of them ever did. Not past the age of fifteen, at any rate..." he mused. His fingers tapped the cigarette box he was holding thoughtfully.
I nodded, still listening although I had drifted off into my own thought-process. "I missed half my education, what with being between being chased, death and being split from my brother and moving half-way across the country there wasn't much time."
"Yeah, but you didn't end up wasting your life away in a drug den, did you? You at least had a reason to miss school."
My eyes opened curiously. "What?"
"You spent most of your time in a... drug den?"
He sighed. "I live in one." he grumbled, staring out of the window.
"Surely you can't stay there!"
"Well I've managed it for the last..." pausing, he counted on his fingers, "three and a half years. It beats the streets."
"Well, you have living here with me open if you wish. It would beat the streets and there." The offer just rolled off my tongue without even thinking about it. Although, I believe it was a good offer compared to a drug den.
His eyes widened. "I couldn't. I'd drive you mad."
I thought about this for a moment, before coming to my conclusion. "You haven't so far. Plus, I live everyday with the thoughts of hundreds of people in my head. I think I can cope."
"You ever tried living with a total slob? It's really... kind, and sweet of you, but really, I..."
"I insist. Please. I couldn't bear the thought of you living... there."
"You don't even know me," he laughed.
"I'm a generous stranger." I shrugged. "But, ultimately it is your choice."
He looked at me curiously and intently for a moment, I waited for his answer, although I expected him to turn me down. "I'll... think about it. Thanks." I smiled. “You’re welcome.”