“Just you and me for a while then, how about it?”
They were the first to be dropped off at their new homes. They had done like their brother and had them designed. And for both them and their dogs, it would be a new experience just being them without everyone else.
“Do you like it Gramma?”
“It looks beautiful, and in a way, I think very you:”
“I guess I will have to take your word for it.”
They both chuckled, but he had spent quite a lot of time getting used to the layout from the layout they had gotten from the architect. With that he was hoping that he would learn to move around fairly easy. At first he had planned it to be only one floor, but with the help of the professionals, they had made a basement that would still be mostly open.
“So… what do you think?”
“I’ll take that as you like it.. “
Mostly he could feel the dogs tail wag and also he was really not to keen on standing still while getting brushed.
“Yeah, I am hurrying, you can explore more soon.”
He chuckled, he knew that Lunos wanted to explore all the new things, as he also had to do. With the general knowledge of the layout though it didn’t take him too long to become fairly comfortable with the new house.
The first weeks went by so fast that no one in the family noticed how easily they had settled into their new home, and new routine. Although he played most the instruments, he had to admit that he had fallen completely for the piano. At first he had learned all the keys, and then he simply listened to music, and did his best to copy it.
“You know, you should start a career with music.”
“Well why not, you have a talent I have never seen the likes off, and you love playing it.”
Nagisa sighed, as he just went quiet again. It was the same pretty much every time they hinted that he needed to get out of the house. Sure, he spent time in the yard, but that was just about all.
As he heard her walk away, he just focused back on the playing. It wasn’t like he hadn’t tried, but the reaction had been the same every time. He froze the instant he knew he was outside the garden.
He mumbled the words to himself as he kept on playing the piano trying to force his thoughts away from his own short-comings. He knew they were right, he should do more with his music. If he could just do it from home..
“I have a plan Lunos.. but for that to work, I need you to help.”
She smiled, petting the large dog who had claimed one of the sofa’s close to the piano as his own. That way, he had a comfortable place to sleep, as well as being close to his favorite person in the whole world.
The plan was actually quite simple, she and Itsuki would go visit family that day, and happen to forget it was the same day that their butler was also away. That way, he would be the only one home to take Lunos out.. and the hope was that his loyalty to his dog, would simply be greater than his fear.
“We can only hope it works, can’t we?”
She stretched out her hand and scratched the large dog behind the ear. It was still kinda quiet in the house with only one dog, after being used to having all five of them. They had also gotten a call from Skylar the other day telling them that Truman had passed.
“Luckily… we get to keep you, a long time.”
They had made the decision to keep him around, with using the treats Jessica and Andy had once come up with. Lunos was just to important to Carl to not do it.
He heard them leaving and telling him they would be back late that evening, without thinking much about it. He was used to just lying in his room as if he was sleeping without actually being asleep.
“A whole day without anyone asking…”
He stretched, before getting up and seeing if he could ask Hana to get him some coffee
“Wait.. was this her day off?”
She stood at the kitchen, as that was where she was often found, his mind now racing to try and remember.
“Ah crap.. it is her day off..”
Lunos was watching him make himself something some coffee, following every step he did fairly closely, as you never knew when food fell out of the fridge.
“Just you and me then.. huh?”
After coffee he simply went back to what had become his new routine. Taking up one of the many different guitars and trying to find a way to play the same music on it, as he did on the piano. Like always when he played music he lost all sense of time, until his focus was broken by Lunos standing next to him.
At first he couldn’t understand what it was, then he felt something being pushed against his hand. Aft first he wasn’t sure, but as he held it he realized that it was a leash. For a while he just stood there with the leash with his hand. In his mind a debate of what to do was all he could focus on, he could take the dog out, but what if someone decided he needed a second beating? Would Lunos be able to keep them at bay?
His panicked mind was stopped by the soft nudge of a snout, as if telling him it would all be okay.
“Okay,.. you win.. but go slow, okay?”
He knew they were out of the garden the instant he could feel the two of them going down a small hill. He could remember it from when he was just a kid, so he was fairly sure of where they were.
“Well.. you gotta keep the lead.. “
As they walked, the worry he felt slowly lessened with every step. The sound of birds, the water and just the general feeling of being out on his own again. He also slowly realized that they had probably done this on purpose, they knew leaving him home alone, he would have to take Lunos for a walk.
“Cleaver.. very cleaver.”
“Ah, so you were in on it too.”
They kept walking, Lunos keeping close to Carl’s side, just going off to the side every now and then to do what he needed to do. Then suddenly they both stopped as they heard someone shouting, Lunos suddenly pulling away from him, making him drop the leash.
“Is he yours?”
The voice was unknown to him, but the quickly following woof and familiar nudge from Lunos was a welcome calming sensation.
“Yeah.. sorry about that.”
“Are you okay?”
It didn’t take her much to know that the guy she had just ran into was not okay. One thing was the eyes, but he looked stressed, pale and scared.
“So.. what’s his name?”
“That’s an unusual name for a dog, I never heard it before.”
“Yeah.. was my sisters idea, I’ll have to ask her one day why.”
he could still feel how his heart was racing, but at least having someone to talk to seemed to help him a little.
“Don’t do that again huh.. you scared me.”
“Does he do this often?”
“This is our first walk.. in a very long time.”
She looked over at him as he talked, her eyes falling on the scars on his arms. Combined with the eyes, it dawned on her who he might be, she had read the newspapers, and he reminded her of a story that had kept her parents from allowing her to walk alone for a while.
“So, want me to walk with you?”
She noticed how he looked somewhat uncomfortable, guessing he wasn’t really quite ready to ask such a thing of anyone. Lunos seemed more than happy with the idea though, so she decided to simply change they way she asked the question.
“I mean, I am walking alone, I would really not mind having company for a change.”
“Sure.. I guess company would be nice..”
“Great, I am Rosalie, and you are?”
“Well then, nice to meet you Carl, and come on, join me for my walk.”
Without him realizing it, they had been out walking for over an hour. Small talk seemed to come easily between the two, and with her offering a stick as a cane, he could also let Lunos run around without the leash for a bit.
“Come on, lets sit for a bit before we head back, I think my dad will start to worry soon.”
She realized that she had done most the talking off the two. Mostly he had replied to her questions, and simply let her do the talking.
“You know my story don’t you?”
She noticed how he seemed to hunch over a bit as they were just sitting there in their return way.
“Well, I kinda guessed it from the scar and the eyes..”
“So that’s why you wanted to help me?”
“Not really, I wanted more time with this handsome fella.”
She chuckled as Lunos put his head on her lap. He most certainly liked this girl, that much even he could hear from the sound of the tail wagging.
“Ah, I should have guessed, he always was the handsome one of the two off us.”
“Yeah, clearly the better looking one.”
They sat there for a while and talked, before they said their goodbye’s and headed back to their respective home’s. Not without him getting her phone number of course, and while at it, as she said, she had his too.
“Thanks.. I guess I better thank the folks too huh?”
“Thank us for what?”
Although they had planned to stay out longer, in the end, they didn’t have it in them to stay away much longer. Just in case their plan backfired, and poor Lunos would have to wait.
“Ditching me with Lunos, all alone, and with that forcing me to go out?”
“Oh.. was it Hana’s day off?”
“Heh, as if you didn’t know.”
They looked at each other for a second or two before bursting into a laugh. But by the look of his face, they guessed that their plan had worked and that perhaps this was the start of something new.
“Met a girl huh?”
“Yeah, Lunos kinda ran right too her.”
“Smart dog you got there then.”
It was quite hard to say no to that. Without Lunos doing that, they wouldn’t have met, and probably their walk would just have been a short one. With meeting her, he had been out for hours, and talked to someone outside the family for the first time in ages.
“Got her number?”
“Yeah.. she also has mine.”
“Gonna call her then?”
“Yeah.. gonna call that number you and Gramma gave me first, do something with my music.”
Itsuki smiled as he got up, ready to head out to his own job, putting his hand on Carls shoulder as he passed.
“Good, I think your music will make a lot of people happy.”