The start of this story is not a case of 'goddammit Yukari', as I didn't want to use the overused plot device. It's a combination of factors, but none of them involve the gap yokai.
[X]Go, Naomi's hangouts are varied and interesting. Plus Yukari stalking is getting annoying.
"To answer your question, I don't mind going with you." Well, it was for a few reasons, but primarily I trust Naomi, and second I didn't want to get involved with the gap yokai until I stood a chance that was better than that of a snowball's in hell. I may not get that long, but still...
"Let's go then!" Naomi, who seemed happy at the prospect of leaving the crowds, started leading me out of the mall and through the streets twoards an art dealership. She didn't go through the front, but rather to the back entrance in the alley and knocked.
A small sliding window opened up a few moments later, an eye looked us both over, not a gap, and a hand stuck out a second later.
The hand held out five fingers and then two.
"If this is three, then what is this?"
Naomi took care of answering.
Then eight fingers, with two hands, and then one finger.
"If this is two, then what is this?"
"Eight." Naomi seemed slightly annoyed. "He's with me you know."
"I guessed that, but the password..."
"Don't need it any other time."
The door opened and Naomi led me in. The doorkeep requested that the cat not shed too much.
From what I saw on the outside I never woud have thought Naomi would willingly spend time here. In the back though, it was easy to see why. All manners of paintings were hung and stacked haphazardly all over the place, instead of any normal color scheme it looked like someone made a massive mural across the walls and ceiling, and there was even a stocked fridge, a working oven as well as functional bathrooms. The air absolutely reeked of paint as a result, but it was tolerable.
A black haired man stood up from his painting and approached us. Black hair that had grown out a bit, square glasses that seemed to add to his artist look, bright blue eyes and skin that was a few shades lighter than Naomi's... Were they related? Also, the clothes were a pink undershirt with a white overcoat, and jeans. Though the only reason I knew the pants were jeans was because some of the paint chipped off.
"Uncle Dave!" Namoi promply hugged the man, and seemed to answer my question.
Dave hugged Naomi back and ruffled her hair before turning his attention to me. "So you must be Wade, right? The name's Dave."
"Nice to meet you then. So you and Naomi?"
"Uncle and niece, you got it." Closing his eyes and smiling for a moment before letting Naomi go. "So what'd you drag your boyfriend over here for?"
Eh? Boyfriend? "Naomi, what have you been telling him?"
Naomi just flashed an innocent smile.
"Nothing that would give him that idea. Don't tease the poor guy uncle, he doesn't know you well enough."
"Sure, sure. Doesn't answer my question though." That pleasant expression turned serious in the span of a second, which made me wonder about wether it was really okay for me to be here.
"Well, he stumbled on me in one of my hiding spots and I knocked him out since I didn't know who it was and brought him here. Now I need to get him back to his home and I was wondering if you would mind giving him a ride?"
Dave thought for a moment before answering.
"I don't think it'll be a problem, that is if you don't mind waiting until I close up shop." Looking at me with once he ended his sentence.
"I don't see a problem with that."
Naomi was walking over to the ladies bathroom. "I'll just be a minute, 'kay?"
Her uncle waved her off. "T.M.I. Naomi, just go."
Which left me, Nari, Dave, and a few other people.
"So, you're Naomi's guardian angel, huh? She's told me about the times you've helped bail her out."
"Angel? That's the first time anyone's called me that. But I do help Naomi from time to time, not that she really needs it."
"Not according to her. You've got my thanks anyways. Even if I don't fully approve of her method of expression, I don't want to see her wind up in jail for it. Plus it'd be a waste for her murals to be destroyed."
"Now that I think about it, what's the relationship between Naomi and her parents? They seem kind of harsh."
Dave closed his eyes again and crossed his arms.
"Harsh, overreactive and overprotective. My brother and his wife aren't bad people but I hardly think they're going about raising their kid the right way. My brother seems bent on getting Naomi off art altogether, and his wife wants her to go into show biz. I already know Naomi's going to run away before ever consenting to that, but they just don't see the fissure they've wedged between themselves and their daughter." Dave stopped to take a breath before continuing. "So Naomi tries to spend as little time at home as possible to avoid them, and visits me, holes up with her friends, or somehow finds you. Thanks to that things are only going to escelate, and since I can't take custody it means she can't live with me. Not for another year, and even then..." Trailing off, he looked into space for a minute.
"It explains her hiding spots."
"Naomi's a resourceful girl. She can find her own way through the world, but she shouldn't have to do it alone. Also, a word of advice: Don't try to help bridge the gap. It's been left too long and they'd be more likely to throw you out the window than listen."
"On a less depressing note, I take it you saw Naomi's latest work?"
"That statue in the park near my home? Yeah, it's interesting."
"That it is. I'm guessing you also know more about Naomi's hiding spots than she wants to admit."
The conversation kept up for an hour or two, with Naomi joining it somewhere along the way. At closing time we went to go grab something to eat before dropping Naomi off at her home, and I didn't really want to leave her there now that I knew. But onward Dave drove, with my providing directions as we got closer to my home. I asked Dave to drop me off about a block away to try and reduce the number of questions asked by my parents and he understood.
I bid Dave farewell and started walking the rest of the way home, and no random gapping occured. Nari was also still present, which calmed me down somewhat since I was getting worried when I saw- How?
There was Yukari, sitting at a bus stop across the street that I was pretty damn sure wasn't there a second ago, giving me a smile as she looked on. It didn't even give me reason to pause, I just kept going at a normal walking speed while trying my best to ignore her.
I got home, answered my parent's questions and got ready for bed. Duffel bag in hand, I stripped down to my boxers, closed the window curtains and flopped on my bed. Nari curled up between my legs and we both quickly fell asleep.
It's rather convenient having a fully-rested body on the other end, otherwise I'd be tempted to just fall back asleep and wait 'til later to get up.
First thing I noticed was that true to her word, Suika had in fact used me as a pillow. Her body postion placed her crotch on top of mine, and my morning wood was pushing up on her. You do the math about how I felt just then. Did I mention she was drooling and her face was red?
Nari woke up and used Suika as a scratching post before I picked up the oni, pried her off with the crowbar and dropped her out the window.
She landed horns first, yet she was still asleep.
[X]Get dressed, go get breakfast.
[X]Take a bath first, Suika's drool reeks of alcohol and now I do too.
[X]Pet Nari while I wait for my body to stop that.