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After a Few Monsters

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Akoya tucked his hair behind his ear and sniffed daintily. Ibushi looked up from where he was preparing the tea, and sure enough, his junior had a wrinkled brow. Akoya was hunched (most ungracefully) over the pile of forms be was working on, with that particular look on his face that meant he was annoyed with something.

"Akoya, you're making that face again," Ibushi said mildly.

At his words, Akoya immediately sat up straight and breathed in, smoothing out the creases in his expression. "I'm not making a face."

"Not anymore, maybe," Ibushi fussed with the tea set. "Would you like to talk about what's bothering you?"

Akoya huffed.

Ibushi rearranged the teacups.

Akoya shuffled his papers.

Ibushi looked for the tea he wanted to steep.

Akoya sighed. "Fine. If you must know, I'm not sure about this earth conquest thing." Ibushi hummed and Akoya continued, setting down his pen. "I mean, obviously, I know the world will be much more beautiful and orderly with us in charge. But I'm not sure we're going about this in the right way."

Ibushi set the kettle on to boil. "How so?"

Akoya flipped his hair and tilted his head prettily—he must work on his expressions in a mirror—as he went on, "Well, these… people we're controlling. We turn someone into some strange monster once or twice a week, and for what? The chopstick monster was decidedly unbeautiful, that shut-in who created arguments was more trouble than it was worth… And we keep getting thwarted by those ridiculous Battle Lovers! Surely there must be a better path to world conquest, don't you think? Something to get us off this school campus and into the world?"

"I'm not really sure," Ibushi demurred, "President and Lord Zundar seem to think so, and I trust President."

"Well of course," Akoya sounded a little annoyed, "I just think that—"

But he cut himself off as the door opened and the president walked in, surely with Lord Zundar in his pocket. "Ah, Arima, the tea is almost done, I expect. Do double check the temperature before it steeps. Akoya, have you finished those forms?"

As Kinshiro swept by, Akoya handed him the forms. He glanced over them and Lord Zundar peeked out from his pocket. "What were you saying as we walked in?"

Ibushi hummed noncommittally, and Akoya shrugged incousiantly, then said, "Just our progress in conquering the world."

Zundar's nose twitched and he looked about as pleased as an alien hedgehog could. "Excellent. With such dedication I am sure we will soon achieve victory."

"Of course, Lord Zundar!" Kinshiro tapped his papers on the desk emphatically, "We're closer every time!"

Akoya rather thought that the boy who turned everyone into children had been more successful than the strange remote control immediately after him, but he wasn't in charge. Still, he raised a pointed eyebrow and Ibushi, who smiled placidly.

"Of course, President," Ibushi agreed.

"Of course," Akoya echoed.

A small satisfied smile settled on Kinshiro's face, the kind that made Ibushi believe they would be able to do this.