Omi, skipping school, a park, and octopus.
The clock above the Kodak shop reads 14:38. The street is almost empty. Countless office drones are back from lunch, hived in tall air-conditioned buildings. Schoolchildren in classrooms, chalk-dust and textbooks and the smell of old sports equipment; and Omi standing next to the vending machine on the corner of the street, standing in an in-between place and not feeling to be quite anywhere. Omi didn't go to school this morning, and none of his teammates stopped to tell him he should.
They got back from the last mission around 4am, and he slept till eleven and then made lunch and then, feeling twitchy and uncomfortable, left the house. Omi is still thinking warehouses and explosions and taut stomach-clenching adrenaline, the muggy quiet daylight jarring and incongruous. Omi's muscles recall the actions of last night. He doesn't want to go back to the Koneko, not right now, where Yohji is flirting with Aya and Aya is pleased and trying not to show it and Omi doesn't quite know where to put himself.
He wanders instead in the direction of the park where Ken goes to play football. He sits on an unoccupied bench and draws his knees up to his chest. He stares abstractedly at the balding grass.
Ken plays football here. Sweat and grass stains, and an easy joy in physical activity that Omi will never quite understand. Omi watches, sometimes. He doesn't normally play.
Yohji brought Omi here after Omi found out about his own family and didn't know what to think or say to anyone. They climbed over the fence and sat and smoked something funny that Yohji had, and talked and talked until Omi was clinging to Yohji and sobbing with his face buried against Yohji's warm chest - and somehow it didn't seem so bad, after that.
He has seen Yohji with Aya here too, on occasion. Omi doesn't know quite what to make of Yohji and Aya. Yohji still goes out to meet other women - but then Aya isn't a woman, and certainly wouldn't stand to be treated like one, so, Omi guesses, it must count as something aside from that for both of them.
"Omi? Hey, Omi!" He jerks his head up. Yohji is calling him and waving over the fence. He waves back, disorientated for a moment, and goes to meet him. "Is this where you've been holed up all this time?" Yohji asks.
"I - I think I must have dozed off or something," says Omi.
"How's your arm?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah, it's fine. What're you doing here, Yohji?"
Yohji brandishes a stripy plastic bag. "I'm cooking tonight. Tako-tako." He grins.
"What? Oh right, that's cool, I like it when you cook, Yohji. Did you go down the market or something? No, don't show me, I don't like looking at it when it's not cooked, it's too much like sea monster."
Yohji laughs and ruffles Omi's hair with a damp octopus-y hand. "You're a weird kid, Omi."
Omi supposes he is. He can barely imagine what 'normal' would be like. Warehouses and explosions and parks at dusk and now, bizarrely, octopus, which always fails spectacularly to resemble the cute clean primary-coloured octopuses - octopi? - painted on the walls of chain restaurants. Life is strange, Omi thinks. He realises he is still clutching the half-can of lemonade. It's warm. Omi drops it in a bin coming out of the park and follows Yohji's back home.