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Interactions At A Leisurely Pace {History}

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Araxiel

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"So, what is it with you and not having shelves?"
The question had been fermenting in Alex's mind since the day he'd met Sora. To be quite honest, he hadn't entirely clocked what was unusual about her apartment at first, but soon enough he'd noticed her odd habit; there was not a single shelf in any room. In the main room, books sat in stacks by the walls. The TV simply sat on the floor across from the sofa. Everything in the kitchen either sat out on the counters permanently or in floor-level cupboards. Even the fridge had no internal shelves, just a stack of food and beer bottles.
One of said bottles dangled loosely from Sora's fingers as she sat across from Alex, idly browsing a magazine. Having lived with her for a while now, he had no doubt that she'd heard him; the delayed reaction was a favourite tactic when she considered something too stupid to warrant an immediate answer. Come on, though, he thought. Surely shelves are normal and this isn't a dumb question.
"Three years."
Sora slowly glanced up, and Alex then understood the stupid-question pause.
"Seriously, dude? Three years you've been here and only now you wanna ask?" Clearly no longer even pretending to be interested in the magazine, Sora had now identified an opportunity to harass Alex, a favourite pastime of hers, and had fully comitted.
"So you acknowledge the lack of shelves and recognise it's weird."
"Well yeah obviously, I'm not a moron." Sora furrowed her pierced brows in an exasperated fashion. "I have a perfectly legitimate reason for not having shelves. You, on the other had, you got no excuse for not bringing this up when you first walked in here."
Being a more naturally polite individual, Alex had of course decided not to comment on the lack of shelves at first. Why would you go around questioning the living arrangements of someone letting you stay there? And of course, by the time he had got to a position where he was significantly supporting their upkeep, it had been so long that questioning it would have been awkward. For the exact same reasons, the Englishman mused, as the conversation had become irritating right now.

***​
Indeed, it had been three years, more or less, since Alex had come to Japan on the trail of ghosts and supernaturally-powered humans like himself. Initially, he had joined the 'Dusk To Dawn' organisation, a collection of such individuals, in an attempt to learn more, and through them had been assigned to live with the sometimes-abrasive Sora, who'd been with the organisation longer. Following the organisation's subsequent collapse, Sora had elected to let Alex continue living with her, barely acknowledging any change of arrangement verbally. Some months after that, they'd actually started a relationship, which in typical Sora fashion hadn't much changed the way they treated each other all at once. Alex still wasn't sure if Sora really was softening, or if he was just getting better at telling when she was being affectionate. Probably a little of both.
In the meantime, they'd pretty much just been living life comfortably, at their own pace. Alex had continued his investigation independently. Sora, despite her own powers allowing her to manipulate ghosts directly, had never expressed any real interest in investigating further, and beyond giving Alex the data from her time with the organisation hadn't contributed.
***​

"Alright, so tomorrow I'm going to go get us some shelves."
"I flatly refuse."
Alex tucked his hair back behind his ears and folded his arms, settling into the debate. "Alright, so why?"
"I'm not letting you install any shelves in my apartment." True to form, it was her apartment when she wanted to put her foot down, and their apartment when she wanted to enlist his aid with something. "I don't trust the things. They fall down."
There was a long silence. Alex held her gaze the whole time. Finally, he adjusted his glasses and spoke.
"They fall down."
"Yes."
"That's it? I don't get any backstory? Nothing deep or meaningful?"
"Nope. Shelves fall down. Doesn't feel right keeping stuff that high above the floor." Sora shrugged, and pursed her lips in a fashion that indicated she'd entirely answered the question. Alex, however, was left dissatisfied.
"So what if I want shelves for my stuff? We can do that dumb sitcom thing where we divide the room in half with duct tape, and stick all the shelves on one side, and your garbage on the other."
Sora made an interesting face. It was the kind of face one makes when they're amused, but want to appear annoyed, and can't muster enough control over their facial muscles to stop the corners of their mouth spasming upwards while their brow gets on with the frowning thing. Sora did like dumb sitcom things, he knew, but she also accumulated far less stuff than Alex, and doubtless wanted to retort to the 'garbage' comment. By giving her two possible things to comment on at once, Alex knew he had her on the ropes.
Sora responded, in fact, by saying nothing, going limp, and slithering off the sofa into a heap on the floor. She was giving up. Victory was within reach.
'Dude, I'm not ready for a commitment like shelves,' said a muffled voice from the gangly pile of human. 'I've lived without shelves for this long. I don't see why I've got to cave right at the random-ass moment you suddenly remember shelves exist.'
'Shhh.' Alex reached his foot out and patted her leg with it in what was an attempt at reassurance. 'I promise you they'll be tacky and awful.'
'F*** off back to Australia and take your shelves with you.'
'I'm from England.'
Sora rolled over onto her front, limbs still in something of a tangled mess. 'I know, but Australia's more likely to kill you.'
'Daww, I love you too.'
This garnered a raised eyebrow and a matter-of-fact sort of smile, which was as good as any response.
 
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