The Colors Universe

The Party by Skie

Characters: Midorin, Aoi-sama, and others
Word Count: 1,911 words
Theme: Aoi-sama is here, the color of
Author Notes: Depressing ending. You've been warned. Do not read past "-~-*-~- -~-*-~- -~-*-~-" if you dislike sad stuff.

It was time at last for the Colors household to hold a celebration of epic proportions. It had been a year since the moment that Akai first set foot in the household. Nine others had joined him in calling it home and on this very day, all nine had invited along their families as well as friends in the surrounding area to celebrate. The only important thing during the celebration was the feeling of friendship that each and every one of the people present shared.

Akai had invited along his two younger brothers. Both had striking red hair, but each styled it in their own way that made them stand out. As a pair, they were definitely a handful. They only stopped their cheery fun jabs at Akai to comment on behalf of their parents regarding how they wanted him to move back home. “I’m already home.” He told the two of them, and added “They should come visit more often!” which earned further laughs from the two as well as jokes about their parents. “You know dad’s big enough to roll down a hill! He’s staying home!” the youngest brother joked.

Mikan had invited her two younger sisters. Both saw fit to seek out and have fun at the expense of other younger boys, especially Akai’s brothers. After a time, and a few suggestions from Mikan, the orange sisters teamed up with the red brothers and wrought havoc on the party in their own way. Everyone had known that this would occur, but there were still plenty of surprises all around. The two sisters pulled Mikan into a hug at one point and whispered plans to surprise their own parents the following week and asked for her advice; advice that Mikan eagerly provided for the two.

Kou had, despite his reluctance to do so, invited his three other brothers. The eldest arrived in a pristine suit, his hair slicked back and his eyes shrouded behind sunglasses. With a hand on Kou’s shoulder, he wished him the best before seeking out Aoi to discuss a business deal he had in mind. The next brother, though in a suit not nearly as pristine as the eldest brother’s, arrived with a laptop in hand and his fingers rapidly typing away. He glanced up at Kou as he entered and, even if only for the briefest of moments, paused his typing and nodded at him before proceeding to the nearest bench to work. The final brother, though only a mere year older than Kou, strode into the household as if he owned it. The moment that he locked eyes with Kou, however, he stretched his well-muscled arms and locked Kou into a hug. “Still tiny, eh?!” he laughed heartily as he separated from his brother. “Still wearin’ the vests… I wish I could wear vests!” he laughed again at his reference to his own, well, over-muscled form. He had a knack for sports and exercise and took it to the max. “If you need me, I’ll be trading blows with that Gin fellow’s new punching machine!”

Midorin and Aoi had no siblings to invite and each visited the party only once while it occurred. Midorin joined the party shortly after it began to greet everyone and grab a few snacks for herself before departing. Though she sought out the solace of her gardens to be alone, the younger siblings inevitably found her at several points to keep her involved. Aoi, meanwhile, only attended the party as lunch was being set out. He met with several of the older siblings as well as his fellow housemates before returning to his own room. He was never one for parties and their unnecessary loudness, but he knew he had to at cover the formalities at the very least.

Murasaki invited her older sister who, in turn, brought along her husband and their daughter. Much like Murasaki, her older sister was the perfect image of a traditional woman. As she mingled amongst the party-goers, it was clear that she wished the happiness that she had upon her younger sister. The tea at the party quickly ran dry, far earlier than the Colors housemates had thought, but Murasaki’s sister made short work of the lack of tea and prepared several different teas for all to enjoy. Though Murasaki was proud of her own tea, she couldn’t deny that her older sister’s skills were something to be admired as well as feared.

Tobi, meanwhile, invited his three older brothers and three older sisters. He was the seventh child of seven and, quite obviously, was immensely proud of that. His older siblings didn’t share his love of adventures, but that didn’t stop him from occasionally bringing them along on his expeditions. His adventures had been what landed him with the Colors household, after all! After a time, Tobi organized the ultimate group game that involved the red siblings, orange siblings, the youngest two yellow siblings, and all of the brown siblings. Kou chose to sit to the side and be the judge while the red-orange-yellow team faced off against the seven brown siblings. Kou’s older brother insisted that he would not only win for himself, but for Kou because he was sitting it out. The game, unfortunately, came to an end when the orange sisters deemed it necessary to see how many people it took to pin down Kou’s super-strong brother. The goal, however, was not met.

Lastly, Gin invited his older sister. Upon her arrival, there was some confusion regarding who she was. The colors housemates had met her before and knew very well who she was, but their siblings had not had the privilege. When a young girl who looked no older than ten years set foot in the doorway, several people greeted her and asked who she was. With a cheery smile, she told them flat out that she wanted to see Gin, her brother. Once together with Gin, the party-goers laughed and told Gin they had “brought his little sister” and were promptly told, by Gin’s sister: “I’m his older sister, you know.” Gin offered nothing more than a shrug at the news; it was true, after all.

-~-*-~- -~-*-~- -~-*-~-

While the party raged on, Aoi mingled with his own thoughts. One particular issue had been bothering him for some time that he had been putting off as it required speaking with Midorin. With the rest of the household busy at the party, he figured it was a prime time to find and speak with her privately where there would be no further interruptions. Striding from his room, he wasn’t entirely certain where he would find his green-obsessed housemate, but it wasn’t a bad idea to start with her room. Turning down the hallway towards her room, he quickly sidestepped to the opposite part of the hallway to avoid being tackled by the youngest of the orange sisters. She pouted, realizing she had failed to get him, and then stuck her tongue out before running off.

“Kids” Aoi found himself muttering as he pushed open the door to Midorin’s room. It hadn’t been closed or locked, so he saw no problem with entering. “Midorin?” he asked as he looked around within, not finding her as he had hoped to. As he glanced around the room, which had been subjected to some form of chaos at the hands of, inevitably, one of the younger siblings of another housemate, his gaze settled upon a camera and an album. Despite his normal aversion to snooping, his curiosity regarding two items he had never seen in Midorin’s possession before got the better of him and he moved closer. The camera, a model that he hadn’t seen since his own childhood, had streaks of green paint over its surface as well as several buttons. The album beneath seemed to match with its green smeared cover.

Aoi sat within Midorin’s room and pushed the door closed behind him as he took the album in hand. He carefully set the camera aside, not wanting to damage it at all considering its age. “Memories” the title read, though barely visible beneath a streak of green paint. Aoi slowly opened the album to its first pages and looked upon the images.

They say when a child is born, they’ll never forget the first face they see; their mother. No matter where you are in the world, this will always be true. The pictures were of a young woman, her features accented with makeup and her hair highlighted with streaks; all of which were colored green. Held in her arms was an adorable baby girl who, to her mother’s great joy, had beautiful flowing green hair. As Aoi turned the page, the girl looked older and happier. She wore green and looked as happy as she could be in each image with her parents at her sides.

Aoi turned the pages and glanced through, seeing the girl’s first day in school as well as several birthdays. After flipping an unusually heavy page, Aoi stared upon the pages of photos before him. The girl was there, as was her father, but her mother was absent from the pictures. No longer did the two smile as happily as they had before and there were no further pictures of the mother in the album. Flipping back in the album, Aoi pressed a finger against the edge of the heavy page. It gave and bent just slightly, enough to reveal a single transparent clip along the edge. Hesitating for a few moments, Aoi shook his head and pulled at the clip, separating what he now realized to be three pages. He tentatively opened the pages, looking upon the photographs that they contained, and realized what should have been obvious before he had seen them. The images were of a funeral, and the date was—

“I don’t think my past is any of your business, Aoi.”

The sudden voice tore Aoi’s attention from the album directly to the figure leaning against the frame of the doorway. He hadn’t heard her arrive and it was clear that she didn’t want him to know she had done so. She, despite having spoken to him, was looking away from him. Her arms were folded across her front, though not clenched angrily as he would have expected before. “Midorin, I—” he began, but quickly stopped himself as she cringed.

“I just want to be alone, please.” She moved slowly from the door, into the room, but kept as close to the walls as she could. “Please”

Aoi closed the album slowly, carefully before setting it on the edge of Midorin’s bed. Upon it, he placed the camera that he had moved with it. While still struggling to think of anything he could say, he slowly stood and began moving to leave the room. Only a few steps and he would be out. Only a few steps and she would lock herself away. While the rest of the house continued to party, she would sit alone. Just one more step and he would be out of the room, out of her business. She would be alone with her loss; alone on the day that her mother died.

A single further step and he slowly pulled the door closed behind him. Within, Midorin sat alone and wept. Lamenting his inability to console her, Aoi slid slowly to his knees outside the door and fought back tears of his own.

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