Scared of the Dark - Hi_im_scared (2024)

Chapter Text

Tzz… tzz…

Tzz… tzz… tzz…


"Hey, Deucey, have you found it yet?" Ace yawned. He stretched his body, purposefully annoying Jack in the process by 'accidentally' kicking him. Jack let out a small growl, knowing full well that Ace would still continue to kick him with his legs on his lap.

The first years were hanging out at one of the secluded parts of NRC. Jack brought a picnic mat with him so the group could sit under an apple tree without the grass pricking them through the fabric of their pants. Epel brought a picnic basket and some ripe apples while Ortho and Ace contributed by snagging and ‘negotiating’ some snacks and pastries from the cafeteria. Deuce provided some juice boxes and Sebek brought a cooler with some ice since the weather has gotten a bit hotter. Which is also another reason why they were all wearing their PE uniform.

Yuu and Grim were coming later with some stationeries since they offered to buy some for the others. Although, those two will come much later due to Crowley wanting their help on something which equals to the first years also being roped in to help.

"Not yet…" Deuce muttered, at the edge of their picnic mat. He pursed his lips, "I was so sure that I placed it in Epel's bag."

"Psssh, skill issue." Ace smirked at the middle finger Deuce threw his way. He turned his eyes towards the tree where Epel was comfortably laying on Sebek’s lap while the latter was rigidly napping against the tree. Ortho was on Sebek’s right, fiddling with a rubik’s cube that Ace ‘randomly’ had in his bag.

"Yo, Epel. How would you rate Sebek's chest?"

"10/10. Very much comfy, better than your twink ass." Epel smirked when Ace’s eye twitched a little. “I think it beats the comfiest pillows that Pomefiore has to offer.”

"Damn. That’s a gold star standard, right there.” Ace mused. “Better than Jack’s?”

Ace received a rough squeeze on his calf. “Ace, pass me the chicken cutlet sandwich.”

“Geez, don’t hurt me, I’m fragile~” Ace laughed a little when Jack’s tail wagged a little when he passed him the sandwich.

"Hmm... Jack's chest is much firmer but Sebek's is much bigger and pillowy which is even better!" Epel remarked objectively, he tentatively relaxed more in Sebek’s lap. "It’s like I could just sink myself in-"

"Don't." Jack grunted. He swallowed a bite before continuing, “We don't know whether he is fully healed or not. Knowing him, he probably aggravated the previous injuries.”

"Yeah, yeah, I know." Epel sighed. He slowly pulled himself out and now sat next to Ortho. "I think you can start scanning him."

"Aye aye!" Ortho nodded vigorously.

"Hrm... mmm..." Sebek stirred awake slowly, no one could ignore the crackling sounds of his bones brushing and creaking against each other as he slowly stretched. Once awake, Sebek blinked once. Then twice. And then his face got hit with a salmon cream cheese sandwich, courtesy of Ace.

“Good morning, sleeping beauty~” Ace teased.

Although thankful for the sandwich, Sebek looked confused. “It’s closer to the evening. I suggest you either own a watch or a better set of eyes to see the sun heading west.”

Deuce and Epel started bursting out laughing while Jack shook his head. Ace, on the other hand, wanted to throw his juice box at Sebek.

“Oh seVENS-” Deuce wiped the tears off his eyes. “Never change, Sebek. Never change.”

“Anyways,” Ace steered the conservation, a little peeved, “Have you guys done the reading for History?”

Their conversation from there started to be on the topic of academics, namely assignments and upcoming quizzes. In the midst of Deuce and Ace fighting over the amount of words to submit in their lab report, Yuu came holding two bags of stationeries in both hands. Epel patted the ground next to him so Yuu could sit and Deuce tossed him a grape juice box.

“Grim couldn’t come, he wanted to take an early cat nap so he’s in Ramshackle.” Yuu poked his box with the straw. “What are you two arguing about?”

“Ace says that we need to submit a 100 word lab report! I’m pretty sure it's 150…” Deuce glared at Ace who stuck out his tongue.

“Deuce, the word count is always in the hundreds and it's 100!”

“Ladies, ladies. You’re both beautiful,” Yuu ignored the faked fawning noises from the Adeuce duo. “But Jack is correct.”


“He didn’t even say anything!”

“Yet, I know he is correct,” Yuu expertly dodged the empty juice box from Ace with his eyes closed. Jack smiled smugly at the two.

“It's 200 words, guys.”


As they continued the conversation and desperation, which resulted in Sebek and Jack begrudgingly allowing the Adeuce pair, Yuu plus Epel to copy their homework but with the promise that the four of them are to at least learn the material afterwards. Despite Ortho kindly offering them to copy his homework, the four of them declined because they couldn’t comprehend the binary code that Idia programmed into Ortho so no one could cheat off him.

"Scanning complete!" Ortho chimed, although it lacked its usual cheeriness. From the way that Sebek shuffled a bit, Jack sighed out loud at what he was about to hear.

"What's the verdict, doctor?" Ace rolled a bit and lay on his stomach, eyeing Deuce who was still foraging through their bags.

“I’ll start with the good news first then!”

“There's bad news??” Epel and Yuu exclaimed in unison beside him and quickly glared at Sebek who seemed a bit too focused eating his sandwich.

“His previous bruises at his waist and chest are fading quickly! I suspect by tomorrow, it will be gone. The inflammation on his right ankle has lessened substantially-”

“Wow. I actually thought your ankle got even more jacked up with all those people you carried to the infirmary.” Ace lifted his eyebrow.

“I can not just leave them on the floor injured!” Sebek grumbled loudly. “It’ll be poor of me to do so! I mustn't stain the reputation of Diasomnia and Wakasama!”

“Dude. You were the one who kept German suplexing them into oblivion if one of them accidentally bumps into you. And no, you cannot cite flight or fight response if you always choose to fight.” Ace clicked his tongue in irritation.

Yuu placed his head against his palm as he eyed Sebek's jacket as if burning a hole through them. “Also pot calling kettle black- Sebek check yourself into the infirmary, man.”

“Well, yesterday, he Judo slammed one of them so he doesn’t always German suplex people.” Deuce said. He immediately received a glare from both Ace and Yuu. “Right, right, not helping.”

“While the inflammation of his right ankle has decreased quite a lot, it seems that his left calf muscles are tense and tight-”

“So that’s how you didn’t jacked it up more.”

“However, there’s nothing much to worry about since it’ll just need some rest! His two broken ribs also have healed quite nicely since we have continuously applied the magical salubrious balm on him almost everyday for a week. By tomorrow, his ribs would be fully healed and he would only experience mild discomfort for about 2 days! Yippee!” Ortho fist pumped the air as cheers were heard throughout the picnic mat.


“Slay King, we love bones being healed!”




“Atta boy.”

Ortho continued after the cheers quietened down a bit. “Luckily, the bad news is not as bad as it usually would be! There are new cuts littered across both his forearms but it’s been treated and bandaged very cleanly so we do not need to help. Although it seems that he recently dislocated his left shoulder."

"Sebek, you dumb sh*t. That's your dominant arm." Jack stared at Sebek in disappointment who at least had the decency to look a little sheepish. “When did you dislocate it?”

“Based on my calculations, he should have dislocated it yesterday... around the evening!”

“Oh Sevens, may you bestow me patience for the poor soul you have gifted to me on my friendship quest, for if you have given me strength,” Epel tearfully looked at Sebek for a second as he dramatically prayed. “I would have returned him to you packaged with a pink bow to heaven.”

While Yuu, Ortho and Ace giggled at the image of Sebek being wrapped in pink ribbons, Deuce, however, looked horrified. “Sebek. You should have immediately gone to pop your shoulder back in by the nurse. Do you know how dangerous it is to leave it on its own?? Please tell me, you at least iced it.”

Sebek scoffed. “Of course, I know to ice it human! I could not relocate my shoulder back since it was nearing the night and everyone else was starting to sleep. So I figured to relocate it the following morning where I could do it in a more private and isolated setting.”

“Sebek,” Jack growled in warning. “It’s now past 4pm. We not only had lessons today that required a lot of writing, we also had PE and ingredient gathering where I recall you carrying the bulk of what your group members scourge. You are so lucky that your dislocated shoulder has not worsened to a muscle tear, right now.”

“GUYS! I found it!” Deuce announced happily. He was holding up a comically large box from an averaged size bag like it was the holy grail. “I apparently placed a compression spell on the first aid kit so that’s why it took me a while to find it!”

"Alright Sebek, start stripping." Ace said nonchalantly, Yuu snorted at the joke. “Time to put that shoulder back.”

"Human! I don't need your help, I know how to relocate my shoulder to its original position!" Sebek took off his jacket slowly and left the sleeves untied, sprawled across his lap.

Jack squinted his eyes at Sebek who was minutely struggling at taking off his shirt. "This is not... the first time you dislocated your shoulder?"

Epel caught the towel Deuce threw at him and wordlessly offered it to Sebek. As he waited for Sebek to neatly fold his turtleneck, he suddenly connected the pieces of why Sebek delayed his relocation of his shoulder.

"Sebek... please don't tell me, the reason why you didn’t relocate your shoulder back last night was because you would just loudly banged your shoulder against a wall to relocate it back."

The five empty seconds of stretched silence was more than enough to answer Epel's question which caused both Epel and Jack to sighed in disappointment while Deuce admiringly looked at Sebek.

"Dude," Deuce said in awe. "That's so metal! You gotta teach me-"

"NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. You are not doing that, Deuce." Jack was quick to deny Deuce's wishes. "And as for you-"

Jack pointedly threatened Sebek who was already biting into the towel, fully prepared to hit his shoulder against the tree. "You will receive at least my help in relocating your shoulder and I would not take no as an answer."

Jack stood up, crumpling his sandwich wrapper within his fist, not caring that Ace’s legs would fall from his lap with a thud. Epel, Yuu and Ortho discreetly shuffled off towards Ace who was grumbling at the loss of his ‘footstool’. Deuce moved from the edge of the picnic mat towards the apple tree with the first aid kit and the cooler.

"Uwahh~~ the big bad wolf is angry. But honestly, Sebek, my efforts in wearing Deuce's pink leopard print while riding a shopping cart through the hallways will all go to waste.” Ace pouted. “I mean how else would Deuce get the first aid kit from the infirmary if the nurse didn't get distracted."

"THAT WAS YOU?!?!” Yuu shouted as he sat between Ace and the group at the tree.

“Yep.” Ace emphasized the ‘p’ with a pop sound. He adjusted his legs a bit to let Ortho lay his head on his thighs. However, he was not prepared to feel all the air in his lungs to escape all at once when Epel just plopped his head on his stomach like a nuclear bomb. As Ace was temporarily not able to enjoy breathing, Epel whined akin to a kitten crying on his diaphragm.

“Why didn’t you invite me~! I would’ve been the perfect candidate!! Do you know that it's in my bucket list to ride a shopping cart to school and my lifelong dream to offend Vil with something that is fashionably horrendous like Sebek wanting to put a pom-pom on his armor.”


“Epel, you only met Vil this year.”

“Shut the f*ck up, Howl. A fetus can dream.”

“Lol.” Ace commented at the lovely display of friendship. “Actually we wanted you to do it because, one, I am too tired to receive another lecture from my dorm leader and two, Ortho strapped blasters to the shopping cart, I do not want to die.”

Both Epel’s and Deuce’s eyes started sparkling at the prospect. This was the closest thing to riding their magical wheel in school. Yuu just looked at Ortho in amusem*nt who wink cheekily back at him.

“Those two would definitely try to do it,” Jack sighed as he adjusted his grip on Sebek’s shoulder.

“I do not know who those two are.” Sebek smiled a little when his jest curled up the corners of Jack’s mouth. He placed back the towel into his mouth as he listened raptly at Jack’s countdown from 3.




“Also another reason why is because you-”

“MMHHH-!” Sebek painfully grunted into the towel and released a hiss as he removed the towel. Deuce quickly passed the bandages to Jack and started preparing a bag of ice from the cooler.

“Remind me to be thankful that I had never once dislocated my shoulder.” Ace cringed at the noise.

“Seconded.” Yuu winced.

“Make it three.” Epel squirmed.

“I am programmed to not be able to dislocate my mechanical shoulder blade!” Ortho lively chimed.

“Good for you, Ortho. Good for you.” Yuu morbidly said.

Epel awkwardly watched Deuce fiddling with the ice bag. “Back to the topic... Why didn’t you put me into the shopping cart?!”

“Oh, I don’t know. I think it’s due to the fact that you were serving detention for almost killing your clubmates yesterday.” Ace answered bluntly.

"Tsk. It wasn't my fault, they couldn't keep up with me." Epel pouted and squirmed a bit on Ace’s stomach. "I swear, I'm not going to hear the end of Vil. ‘It’s improper for you to cause such a disgraceful ruckus!’, ‘That’s not how a Pomefiore student behaves!’, ‘I ought to send you to another etiquette lesson!’. And my personal favorite, ‘Baby potato, you are in so much trouble!’.”

“How is that your favorite?” Yuu gave a questioning brow.

Epel giggled. “He usually says that and then faints.”

“You demon! You should not disrespect your dorm leader! Your dorm leader has one of my highest respect due to his unbroken tenacity and unabating hard work to be the man he is today!” Sebek reprimanded which at least caused Epel to look guilty at the prospect. As Jack was tying the bandages, his ears were folded down, a sign that he is pitying Epel for what is about to come.

“It is impressive that Vil-senpai’s face has not a single wrinkle from our vexatious escapades! Honestly, it is quite tiring for not only Vil-senpai but also Rook-senpai to put up with our antics whilst trying to appease Vil-senpai-!”

As Sebek was chewing out Epel who looked more guilty and guilty at every sentence, Ace was cackling to himself and Ortho was humming softly on his thighs. Deuce was eating on his blueberry egg tart next to him and offered a bite to Jack who declined and adjusted his grip on the ice pack on Sebek’s freshly relocated shoulder. It kind of impresses Yuu how Sebek manages to guilt trip all of the first years with his scolding much more effectively and potently than their own respective dorm leaders.

‘I have never seen Sebek get lectured as badly as they do before by his dorm leaders...’ Yuu thought as he took a final gulp from his juice box. ‘Wonder how he got this paranoid though...”

“Sebek’s kinda right, Epel. As much as Ace gets under Roseheart-senpai’s skin-” Deuce said, swallowing a bite.


“He only does it to make sure that our dorm leader can vent out his anger instead of bottling them up and overblotting, ya know? You, on the other hand, would jump at any opportunity to give Schoenheit-senpai gray hair.”

Epel frowned in thought. “Not really, to be honest. I’d only do it when I’m feeling a little miffed with him. Like, I know he is under a lot of pressure and stress from whateva events he gotta plan but I kinda hate how by extension, he gotta plan me.”

“Plan you?” Jack questioned as he removed the ice to let Sebek put on his clothes. “Why does he do that?”

“I don’t heckin’ know! He treats me like a goddamn pet project! I know he means well in all of his glorious nagging- but I can’t stand it! Do you know how suffocating Pomefiore is? I swear it's like a goddamn prison in there! Like I really appreciate how much he looks over me and the dorm but I HATE IT HOW MUCH HE DOES IT AT-”

Epel suddenly stops. He took a slow deep breath and continued, “ my own freedom.”

“Every nag and nitpick he does, or every complaint or ‘misdemeanor’ I’ve said or done, I suffocate and choke in that dorm every day.” Epel sat up. He had a distant look gracing his face. “I ain’t lying when I say I appreciate all the things he has done for me but I just... I can’t be myself in that glorified glamor house. It’s to the point where I had to hide onions- ONIONS! Just so I can swallow a meal there.”

“Everyday, I am placed in more and more chains and restrictions. It is a real mystery that I am still allowed to hang out with you guys and not on a noose!” Epel joked before shutting his eyes and laying back down on Ace’s stomach, this time much gently. “...sorry to ruin the mood, guys.”

“Nah~ You’re valid.” Ace ruffled Epel’s hair. “I relate to be honest.”

Ace placed both of his hands under his head and closed his eyes. “I do have freedom in Heartslabyul but you know what I don’t have?”

“A brain cell?”

“f*ck you, Deuce.”


“Correct but still f*ck you, Epel.”

“A healthy coping mechanism!”

“Ok, I think we are getting a bit too off track but thank you Ortho-”

“I call favoritism.” Yuu raised his hand.

“-what I don’t have is trust from our seniors.”

“Ace, have you seen yourself in the mirror?” Jack scrutinized. “If you were not sorted into Heartslabyul, I think you will be sorted into Octavinelle.”

“I would definitely be sorted there due to my clever wit and charm~” Ace sang.

Sebek looked at him once and shook his head. “He is a lost cause.”

“Hey, only my seniors can say that about me!” Ace huffed jokingly. When he opened his eyes, a hazy sheen went over them. “You know as much as I like exceeding their very low expectations of me doing something right, it kinda stings that every phone call or text I receive gives me a heart attack and a seizure at the same time.”

“If we were to compare Pomefiore as a prison, I’d say that Heartslabyul is a court. I mean with the whole ‘Off with your head’ shtick, it’s not very difficult to understand why. You know what sucks the worst? Whenever one of our seniors comes to me, I’d figure ‘sh*t, what did I do this time’ and not ‘Do they need my help on something?’ Doesn’t help that when I’m struggling, they won’t help or give me any advice until I beg for it.”

“I know, I’m not the favorite but... every new collar that attaches itself to my neck does not make it any easier to sleep every night. Sometimes, I wake up gasping for air or with bruises around my neck due to how tight the collar is.” Ace tentatively touched his neck, although Ortho had already scanned him before, he doubts a minor sore hurts this badly.

“I know Riddle is trying to be more chill but I can tell that he needs something to vent out his anger so by proxy, little ol’ me has to help by causing a ruckus.” Ace pursed his lips before looking at Deuce. “Hey Deucey, you remember that time where our senpais were actually surprised that we didn’t cause a commotion for a week straight.”

“Yeah that was last week. You ended the streak by purposefully breaking one of the vases in front of them as they were saying that.” Deuce looked at him in amusem*nt. “I swear, I don’t know what to do with you, sometimes.”

“You know you love me~~”


“Don’t start singing the cringy Justin Beaver song.”

“Not the time for PDA guys.”

“Refrain from flirtatious behavior.”

“That’s adorable!”

“Boooo,” Ace pouted. “Alright, someone else talk about their problems because I don’t think it's fair for me and Epel to be the only one crying our hearts out.”

There was a comfortable heavy silence before Ortho spoke.

“You know Nii-chan is quite protective of me.” Ortho closed his eyes. He felt the wind brushing through his fiery hair as if taming it down. “Nii-chan created me in his grief, where I play the role of the Original Ortho but after he overblotted and rebuilt me, I am glad that I get to be his real brother!”

Ortho opened his eyes back, there was metallic glaze under his irises, “My algorithm now is self-learning and now I own an independent consciousness that cannot be interfered by any viruses or programming. I am happy with what I have now and I still love Nii-chan with all my ‘heart’ and circuits.”

“But... ever since Nii-chan gave me the freedom of choice, I feel him hovering and hounding me for my safety and interests. I like that Nii-chan has been going out more and interacting with more people but his protective stat has increased exponentially. I don’t like that I feel bad about it. I understand Nii-chan is actually not inhibiting what I want to do but I could feel his judgment whenever I am about to do something.”

“Like Epel, I believe that I cannot let loose as freely as I want to. Before, it could be blamed on my programming but now... it’s the people, influences and things that I am learning.” The wind stopped blowing his hair, letting his hair blaze on its own.

“Not gonna lie but Ortho, your unhingedness in putting rocket boosters on the shopping cart probably caused Idia a seizure.” Yuu commented.

Ortho giggled as he felt Epel holding his hand. “I guess, I have bad influences in my life.”

“Don’t lump me and Sebek, we are the only two trying to prevent anything from happening.” Jack said. Sebek nodded furiously next to him.

Ace smirked. “Oh really? I wonder who was the one to start numerous fights with their own dorm members because some of them gave Sebek a mild concussion and several bruises because he accidentally knocked over their books.”

Catching on to what Ace is doing, Deuce contributed with, “You’re wondering about that? I’m more worried about the guy who purposefully cracked every glass mirror a poor Pomefiore student glanced at because he called Jack a ‘dirty mutt’! I'm surprised no one knew who did it.”

Both Jack and Sebek were flustered, their faces had a deep rosy hue to them that one would mistake them as students in Heartslabyul. Sebek coughed into his fist while Jack combed through his hair before staring at Ace and Deuce.

“Honestly, I want to know about the people who flooded the Savanaclaw lounge because a certain someone forgot to water my cacti while I was away and thought it was a great idea to transport a body of water with magic.” Jack smirked when Deuce and Ace immediately shut their mouths.

Sebek dramatically raised a brow and leaned against Jack to emphasize his point, “You are concerned about that? What about the brave soul who rode a shopping cart with blasters on full throttle in pink leopard print today so that his other friend could procure a first aid kit from the infirmary.”

“You’re right, Sebek! I should have been more concerned about that,” Jack exclaimed in faux concern. “If I’m correct, the friend who took the first aid kit was pantless-”

“Ok! Ok! Ok! Enough, don’t need to retell our heroic deeds,” Ace groaned as he saw Deuce had his face in his hands. The spectators were laughing out loudly, it even caused Epel and Ortho to get up from Ace due to how hilarious it is.

“I have so many regrets. Why did I lose my NRC uniform pants?” Deuce lamented in his palms.

Epel looked at him, sitting up. “Deuce, you could’ve worn your PE uniform when grabbing the first aid kit.”

Yuu chuckled when he heard another groan. “There, there Deuce. At least you did a good deed.”

“We could have done the heist, after Epel got released from detention,” Deuce laid down on Sebek’s lap, rolling around. “Yet, I got dragged in the heat of the moment, pantless.”

Sebek looked down, trying to comfort Deuce. “It is alright, human. It is not as though there is much dignity to cover up!”

“SEBEK-” Ace choked. Epel cackled as Jack and Ortho tried to muffle their laughter. Yuu was wheezing through his mouth, “OH SeveNS- Sebek-”

Yuu wiped some of the tears from his face. “Deuce, by right, you should think that that was a bad idea. Why do you still do it?”

Deuce buried deeply into Sebek’s jacket which was sprawled on his lap. He was too busy regretting to even take offense to whatever Sebek said. Even buried in the folds of Sebek’s jacket, Deuce's voice remained loud and clear.

“Because me and Ace come in a pair.”

“I didn’t know you guys started dating~” Epel teased.

“Are those wedding bells, I hear?” Yuu supplemented.

“sHUT-” Deuce squawked. “We ain’t dating-”

“But darling~ who was the man I slept with last night, if it wasn’t you,” Ace said in betrayal.

“First of all, you sneaked into someone else’s bed.” Deuce responded back.


“Such infidelity.”

“Knew you were a cheating type, Trappola.”


“That’s just mean.”

“-and second of all, Rosehearts-senpai would always expect me to have the answers on your whereabouts. And it’s difficult to lie if I don't know what the hell you were doing.”

Deuce shuffled on Sebek’s lap until he revealed his melancholic eyes for them to see. “Whenever boss- dorm leader Rosehearts, Clover-senpai or Diamond-senpai come to me about Ace, a little part of my heart dies a bit. I hate that they don’t ask about me. They’ll only scold me for not reigning Ace in or joining him when I’m the more ‘obedient’ of us two.”

“It’s like they put more expectations on me to do better and be better but whenever I do it, they never acknowledge it. They will only acknowledge Ace. They know that I used to be a delinquent, that I’m still struggling to change but why does Ace get off more easily?”

And then Ace had the audacity to let out a barely audible, “My bad.”

Yuu smacked him upside the head. Deuce lightly glared at him. “Ace you’re such a pain. Full offense.”

“All taken.”

“Honestly, Deuce, I understand your pain. If Riddle-senpai could not find you or Ace, he would come to me instead.” Yuu sighed out loud. Then he started to point to the other first years. “Actually all of your dorm heads will come to me when they can't find any of you.”

“I had to lie and save all of your asses. Honestly, I’m so tired with everything.” Yuu closed his eyes, letting Epel and Ortho lean against him as support. “I’m so done.”

Yuu opened his eyes and there was a deep abyss in the soulless orbs. “I’m not tired of being with you guys, just tired of the predicament we always ended up in. I just can’t catch a break and sure I can chalk all of this up to poor time management but it’s difficult when everything flies so fast.”

“The amount of overblots we received just this year is only seven but dang their impacts are so bad because of course it had to be the people who have high affinity to magic. And looking forward, I can tell there will be more because of the changeover of dorm leaders so some self-loathing and jealousy plus some of us,” Yuu coughed suspiciously into his hand. “May actually overblot if this keeps up.”

The six other first years awkwardly laugh at the very realistic prediction.

“Either way, I’m kind of glad to have you guys around,” Yuu looked at them fondly. “It’s nice to have someone to back you up and rely on. And... I don’t know. You guys help me relax and make it more bearable to walk down the hallways, I guess.”


“You sap.”

“Gah, my heart can’t handle this.”

“I can say the same.”

“The feeling is mutual, human!”

“That was so nice of you!”

That’s when all five eyes landed on the two most inept at being emotionally vulnerable. Sebek and Jack stared back, unwavering. The staring contest continues until one of them breaks under their pleading gazes. It only took 3 seconds before Jack broke.

He ruffled his hair before speaking. “I... don’t feel safe in Savanaclaw. It’s not like a prison like Pomefiore or royal court like Heartslabyul but-”

Jack let out a huge sigh as his ears pointed downwards. “It’s like a battle royale.”

“I mean with a dorm that goes with ‘Might makes right’ and ‘Survival of the fittest’. I wouldn’t be surprised how scary it is to be in Savanaclaw.” Yuu analyzed.

“Really? Honestly, I wanted to be in Savanaclaw but the mirror sorted me into Pomefiore,” Epel spoke truthfully. “I feel like being in Savanaclaw would be so much fun and less overbearing.”

Jack laughed although it sounded a bit pitiful. “Well yeah, it's easier to survive here but you need to be strong enough to watch your own back. Weaklings get picked on there so most of them form a pack because there’s safety in numbers but some don’t because they are solitary in nature.”

“I don’t have a pack there…” Jack muttered, he closed his eyes and leaned closer to Sebek. When he opened his eyes, his eyes were shifty and dull. “I do have friends and acquaintances there but none close enough to protect or defend me when one of our seniors wants to pick a fight.”

“I am too aware of my position there. Strong athletic build, decent grades, kind of close to dorm leader Leona. It’s difficult to ignore the glares behind my back or every backhanded threat there. I know that in Savanaclaw, it’s normal to be rough and curt with each other but I guess living in the Land of Pyroxene made me soft.”

“Like Yuu, I am kind of thankful to meet you guys. It’s like the only time where I can take a breather.” Jack wanted to say more but he decided to keep his mouth shut. They don’t need to know that he finally has something to protect, something to keep him safe and something, no, someone to be affectionate to outside his family.

“I knew you were a big softie at heart, Jack~” Yuu teased.

Epel dramatically gasped, “Who would’ve thought that the big bad wolf was such a gentle beast.”

“Awww, who’s a good boy-” Ace was promptly smacked in his face by a sandwich wrapper.

Jack being the tsundere he is, does not deny the allegations but just casually leans gently on Sebek’s newly relocated shoulder and lets out a small gruff akin to a disgruntled cat.

“Did you know, there has been studies of cats being able to accelerate healing of broken bones, muscles and tendons! Apparently the frequency of their purring has been directly linked to frequency needed to heal an injury which is between 25 to 140 Hz!” Ortho supplied randomly.

Sebek looked at Ortho questioningly, “What is your point you are getting at?”

“I’m saying it’s kinda cute that the growl Jack let out fall between the frequency range on your dislocated shoulder!” Ortho chirped to the horror of the tough guy named Jack Howl.

Deuce dumbly questioned, “Wolves can purr-?”

And after a beat of silence, all the first years laugh joyously whether it be at the pure stupor of a question that was asked or at the insanity of the situation they are all in. They all laugh together in one harmonious tune, mixing and melding their voices in unison. Oh, how joyous it was.

In the midst of their laughter, Deuce's head popped out from Sebek’s jacket and saw how doleful Sebek’s eyes had become. Deuce nudged Yuu with his foot to ask the rest to quieten and calm down. After a final soft laugh from Ortho, Sebek took a deep breath and spoke with the softest voice they ever heard.

“I truthfully do not have any qualms with Diasmonia. The only thing I am a little discontented with is how cold the dorm is. It is never warm enough despite the numerous green fires that luminates the palace...”

“But…” Epel prod Sebek to implore more.

“...I” Sebek hesitated a bit before continuing. “I think I am the weak link in Diasomnia.”

Ignoring the gasps, Sebek nervously continued. “Wakasama and Master Lillia are a powerhouse in their own right. Silver already discovered his unique magic and is far more capable than what I could ever dream to be.”

“I just do not wish for them to be... upset or burdened when I am with them. I know that they have great expectations of me to be someone fit to be the retainer of Wakasama, however it feels as though I am not worthy. I do not think I am doing enough or actually being enough.

“Being half-fae didn’t make it…” Sebek felt Deuce and Jack snuggle closer to him. “Any easier in the Valley of Thorns, much more difficult than a regular human would. In any way, I still have to work harder to be worthy!”

Deuce frowned in his lap, “I think you work too much…”

“Absolutely not-”

“I think you need a well deserved break!” Ortho chimed. “You skipped out on our previous sleepover because you said that you have to train!”

Ace rolled over, landing his head in Yuu’s lap. “You better come to this weekend’s Ramshackle sleepover, if not I will make a deal with the Octo-bastard for a spell to summon you at 8pm with all your belongings in front of Ramshackle dorm that only works every Friday.”

Jack and Deuce looked at him a little perturbed. Epel taunted next to Yuu, “Oh yeah? Then what are you going to trade the spell for Ace-kun~?”

“Why of course, my humble yet sought after servitude of 1 day in Mostro Lounge.”

Yuu laughed mockingly. “Sure sure, with just your presence alone, the sales in Mostro Lounge would skyrocket.”

Ortho’s screen popped up. “My calculations suggest in exchange for such an absurd spell with a payment of 24 hours in Mostro Lounge, Ace needs to perform an equally absurd song preferably with a group of people in a Musical. It is most effective if we were to break it up into 12 days with 2 hours each to perform! Hence 3 weeks because Friday is our sleepover, working in the Mostro Lounge would bring up the sales quadruply.”

“Ortho. Sincerely, you unnerve me.” Epel looked horrified while Jack looked vaguely impressed.

“Don’t tell Azul-senpai about this, Ortho.” Yuu apprised.

“Welp, there we go. That’s our answer!” Ace cheered.

“Your answer, you mean.” Deuce corrected.

“Deucey, for the sake of Sebek getting rest, OUR answer.”

“Please refrain from embarrassing yourself even more, I do not wish whatever is left of your honor to completely disintegrate and die.” Sebek chided lightly.

Tzz… tzz…

Tzz… tzz… tzz…



As the sun was starting to set, the first years continued to talk about their homework, chatted about their hopes and pushed and pulled at each other. Each word they spoke to each other, unknowingly affected someone else, be it good or bad.

Deep down in their hearts, the first years trust each other. Deep down, they knew that they have each other’s back in Night Raven College. Deep down, all too familiarly and intimately, they knew the problems each other faced and although they cannot do anything to fix it, all of them could just remedy it the best way they could.

However, what they do not know was that their seniors, dorm leaders who they had interacted, chatted and played with, were all listening into their conversation, dawning a look of horror and overwrought at the dirty laundry that has been aired by their lovely, sweet, naive and poor innocent first years.

Scared of the Dark - Hi_im_scared (2024)


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