I wake up the next day not feeling quite as rested as I ought to for how much I slept. Considering how little I actually did yesterday, it sure left me feeling drained. Not to mention my ass kinda hurts from sitting on the hard hallway floor for so long, but I’m hardly one to complain.
I sit up in bed and rub my tired eyes, hazily wondering what I should do with my day. Probably shower first… And then I can go check on—
KRYSTOFF: Wow, just when I thought your hair couldn’t look any more like a bird’s nest than it already did!
The sound of an unexpected voice nearly gives me a heart attack. It doesn’t take long for me to spot the source: a big, floating nuisance reclined placidly outside of my window like he has any business being there. I should have slept with the curtains closed.
KRYSTOFF: Heeheehee! Articulate first thing in the morning, aren’t we?
JUN: I’m calling the police.
KRYSTOFF: The what?
JUN: Never mind.
KRYSTOFF: Anyway, this bug screen is annoying. How am I supposed to get in like this?
JUN: You’re not supposed to, stupid!! You’re not supposed to get in at all!
With an expression that clearly says he isn’t listening, Krystoff waves his hand over the bug screen and phases through it so he can perch himself at the foot of my bed like the awful little criminal he is. I’d yell at him, but the last thing I want is for Lady to come check on me with Krystoff sitting in here unannounced.
JUN: Oh, okay, just make yourself comfy, then, I guess. That’s fine.
JUN: How the hell are you so perky after the thrashing you got yesterday? The bruising is gone and everything. You look like it never happened.
KRYSTOFF: I told you I heal quickly. You doted over me for nothing. Look at me now! Right as rain!
JUN: Okay, I’ll let you drown in your own blood next time, then.
KRYSTOFF: Delightful. So, I have a gift for you.
He underhand throws something small at me, and I somehow catch it before it hits me in the face, which I feel like I deserve an athletic award for, considering I just woke up.
JUN: …A key?
KRYSTOFF: Copy of my house key. So you can come in whenever you want. It was pure luck that I accidentally left my door open yesterday, but I’d rather not make a habit of doing that.
I consider commenting on the fact that he’d just deemed it “lucky” that I was able to go check on him yesterday, despite how much he’s acted like he didn’t need me at all, but I decide to file that one away for my own private enjoyment. If I alert him to how transparent he can be, he might double down on avoiding it.
JUN: Huh. Thanks, then.
KRYSTOFF: Have you… given any thought to what we talked about before? The contract?
JUN: Yeah, I’ll do it.
KRYSTOFF: ‘Cause I think it’d be favorable to—wait. Really?
JUN: Yeah. I don’t see why not. If it’ll keep you and me both out of hot water for us to form your weird little apparition contract-bond, I’m not opposed to it. As long as I’m not tied down to any other obligations.
JUN: I’ll come around when I feel like it. If you get the energy you need, you get the energy you need, and I’ll ask for your help at the end of the year if I decide I want to stay or keep my memories. If not, then that’s fine, too. I don’t want to obsess over what the future holds… I want to focus on the day-to-day and just see what comes next.
KRYSTOFF: An uncharacteristically astute decision.
JUN: Dude, shut up, you just met me like a week ago. You have no idea what’s characteristic for me.
His face splits into that sharp, mischievous grin that’d gone so woefully missing yesterday. I’d almost say it’s a relief to see it again.
KRYSTOFF: Guess I’ll just have to get to know you better, then, huh?
>END OF CHAPTER ONE: THE CONTRACT.