Chapter 21:


Curiosity Killed The Cat

The first thing Reohn did when Nithew switched back was make him apologize. He had put him through a lot without telling him anything. His excuse was that he just kind of ‘forgot’. That earned him a punch for being a bad liar. Reohn knew Nithew just didn’t know how to tell him something like that.

Nithew never excelled at the physical training so it didn’t draw any suspicion when Liobin took the training for him. In fact, her just keeping up was a feat of its own. After a few times, she was even improving. Reohn couldn’t help but wonder, was it alright for this to continue? Nithew hadn’t trained even once. What was his moral duty here? He rather enjoyed spending time with Liobin, as much as he would never admit it. The more he cared about her, the more conflicted he felt.

Liobin collapsed on the floor when they got back. She was making quite the pained expression and it looked like she was having trouble catching her breath. Reohn was worried, so he sat beside her.

“Ah! Tight!” She struggled to sit up, but managed to reach behind her back and under her shirt. A few white linen bandages fell out in waves around her chest. She took a few deep breaths. Her chest heaved.

Reohn couldn’t help but stare. The thin white shirt showed their shape pretty well. “I didn’t know you had breasts.” He muttered. Wait, wasn’t that a dumb thing to say? He kind of just thought she was flat.

She gave him a dirty look. “Yeah, well, I wish I didn’t. I tied this thing too tight today.” She flung the bandages. “It really hurts.”

“Just stop doing this then, already. Hasn’t this been going on long enough?”

“You sure would be more convincing if you weren’t staring. Why do guys like breasts so much? They’re nothing but a burden and just plain dangerous. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women, you know.” Her hands were moving over them while she talked, pulling the shirt tighter and reveling their shape more clearly.

“Stop doing that!” He grabbed her hands and pulled them to the ground so her back slouched. “You clearly haven't been around many guys before. And to answer your question... guys just like dangerous things.” He glared at her without letting go. His heart pounded. This was so embarrassing.

Her face turned shy. He was really close. “Oh... sorry, I wasn’t thinking.” Struggling with wanting something else to say, she said the first thing on her mind. “I heard guys can tell if a girl is attractive to them within three seconds of seeing them. So...”

“I’m not answering that. I’m sure for girls it’s not much different either.” He finally let go of her hands, embarrassed that he was holding them for so long.

“Ah. I know how to get your answer while also telling mine. Would you like to know?” She gave him a coy look.

Reohn stayed silent with his muscles tense. It felt like a trap. Liobin leaned in to kiss him. Reohn accepted, even though it’s supposed to be the guy that leans in.

Liobin pulled away suddenly and turned around. She looked pretty flustered. “Ok, ok. That’s enough of that, right? Now turn around. I have to put these back on before I leave.” She said waving her hands at him.

Reohn turned around in frustration. One second she’s kissing me. The next, she’s pushing me away. How annoying. He found himself liking that girly side of her, though.

“Hey, Reohn. I overheard something interesting earlier from one of the sergeants. Apparently we’re going to land early tomorrow.”

“Really? Weren’t we suppose to land at night tomorrow?”

“So I heard. I want you to do me a favor. Please, can you tell my brother that we’re still arriving tomorrow at night?”

“But that’s... Argh, why did you have to tell me? You could have just kept quiet about it. Now you’re just dragging me into this suicide mission of yours.” His voice dripping with anger.

“Sorry. I just wanted to know that you’re on my side, I guess.”

“Damn it! I’m not fucking doing it! Tell him yourself or go die on your own time. I don’t care.” He regretted turning to look at her. It was such a sad look on her face, she might start crying. “Hey, you can’t leave looking like that. You’ll get found out.”

“Y-you’re right.” She slapped herself on the cheek a few times and bounded out of the room without another word.

Reohn sat in silence. He felt pretty bad after all. This is so stupid, he thought. She’s not even supposed to be here and she’s making me feel all guilty.

It was a while before Nithew came in. He looked tired and started stretching his back. “Cooking and cleaning for a whole ship is hard. What’s wrong with you? Did Liobin do something?”

“It’s nothing. She just beat me in a game of cards earlier.” He made up a lie. It wasn’t something he wanted to talk about, especially to her brother.

“Oh, yeah. She’s pretty good. I don’t think I’ve ever beaten her.”

Reohn was still upset. “Why the hell are you letting her switch places with you all the time?”

“Hm. I’m just used to it, I guess? We’ve done it since we were kids.” Nithew replied nonchalantly.

“This isn’t fucking kid stuff. I know you’re not dumb enough to forget why we’re on this ship in the first place. We get there tomorrow and you haven’t done any training. Don’t you want to go home alive?”

“Why are you taking this so harshly, jackass? Everyone fucking dies at some point. I wanted to live out my time alive doing what I want and that wasn’t getting sweaty with a bunch of dudes every day. If I die tomorrow, so be it.”

Reohn wanted to laugh. Both of these twins were ridiculous. Why did he think Nithew would be any less ready to die than Liobin? Whatever. He already decided he wasn’t going to be a part of this anymore, Reohn thought as he turned away from him.

“We’re getting there tomorrow at night anyway, so there’s still all of tomorrow to not worry about it, right?”

Reohn hesitated. If both of them were alright with dying, he might as well give Liobin what she wanted.

“Yeah, that’s right.”