DelMarre is a good place to live. As a matter of fact, it’s a great place to live. Too bad that the rent’s so expensive… you would think that a freshly-graduated detective (that makes good money, too) would be able to afford to live in such a ritzy subdivision.
What a great way to be humbled.
Time for some roommates.
Oh, God. He really hates to do this. He doesn’t like people; he’s never gotten along with them, and he really doesn’t have it in him to explain to anybody his eccentricities. He’s an odd guy, really.
But, despite this, he sees the bills mounting behind him on the counter, and that gives him the last little push he needs to put the ad up. He’d rather not get murdered from folks on Craigslist. Besides, that’s so outdated. Instead, he goes to Facebook Marketplace
In DelMarre… looking for roommates! Up to three max. 4 bd 2 1/2 bath. No pref on gender(s)! Please no dogs no smokers. I’m allergic… cats are fine. Message me if interested!
23/M in DelMarre looking for roommates… up to three max. 4 bd 2 1/2 bath. No pref on gender(s)! Please no dogs no smokers. I’m allergic… cats are fine. DM me if interested!
He wasn’t expecting anybody to respond at all. But what a way to be flattered. His ads on both Facebook and Reddit blow up—and now the stress of his bills are accompanied by weeding out all of the duds from his ads. Seriously… out of the several dozens of people who sent him messages, he’s able to narrow it down to seven candidates. Seven.
Two of the guys he likes message him on Reddit. With two completely different approaches.
hi!! i’m a little older than u [26/m] hope that’s not too big of a gap ^^” i would love one of the rooms if one’s still available!! i don’t have any pets & i’m willing to go up to half w/ u on the rent. and i’m p quiet and v clean!
Ahh! Thank you for your interest (and enthusiasm). I don’t mind; you’re not too much older than me! You don’t have to go half. Other people have messaged me too! What’s your name? What do you do for work? And when do you have some time to chat face to face?
my name’s makoto!! everybody calls me kody :) i’m a teacher at hope’s peak elementary. w/ that being said i’m free on weekdays any time after 4 (usually) and on weekends. sat work for u?
Yes it does—nice to meet you. See you Saturday, Kody!
see u then shuichi!! tysm & nice to meet u too! 💓
(He… he seems very upbeat. But, for some reason, he likes him.)
hey man are u still looking for a roommate? my name’s hajime, 28/M. imma server at kuzu’s down the street. but don’t worry man i can pay my part of the rent lmao
I don’t doubt you man! Lmao. All the rooms are still open… I’ve got a guy I’m meeting up w on Sat but that’s it. Wanna meet up this weekend too?
sweeeet. yeah man works for me 😎🤙🏽
(He can only hope to be that cool.)
All the rest of the candidates he likes are women, or non-binary individuals. He really likes one of them. Check this out:
Hi, Shuichi!! My name’s Kaede! I was wondering if you were still looking for roommates? I’m 23 too, just moved out of my ex’s place, and I would LOVE a room. Is there an application process you go thru? Just send me the form and I’ll fill it out for u!
Hi, Kaede, nice to meet you! Ah, you don’t have to do that ^^” I’m just meeting up w/ people tbh. So we can talk face to face. I’ve got some guys I’m chatting with on Sat… does that work for you, too?
Omg yes it does!! Thank you for taking the time to meet up with me!! I’ll see you then!
(Who would ever break up with her? She’s very beautiful. Yes, he does stalk her page.
Shut up; stop looking at me like that. Everybody does it. I’m normal, okay.)
See, that wasn’t so hard… now was it? It was simultaneously easier and harder than he thought it’d be. Now, all he has to do is wait for Saturday to roll around—and, after that, see if he even likes any of these people in person.
They come in the order in which they messaged him. And they… all throw him curveballs. He knows he shouldn’t imagine people in his head—but all three of them fit his imaginings to a T and are completely different than what he was expecting, all at once.
He’s not expecting Makoto to be so damn short. He’s an itty-bitty little dude, wearing ripped cargo pants and a red football hoodie. He’s got freckles, dimples, and a little gap in his front teeth. And he’s as cheerful as he thought he’d be.
“Hey, Shuichi, good morning! Man, you’re a tall drink of water. Am I the first one?”
He’s got a soft Southern accent that’s warm and pleasant; almost undetectable. Only certain words and phrases he drawls and y’all’s. He smiles a little.
“Yep… you’re the first one.”
“Oh, good!” Makoto lilts out. He figures that if he weren’t the first one of the day that he would still respond with an ‘oh, good’. “Well, I’m not gonna take up too much of your time. Is it cool if I look around?”
He nods. “Totally… I’ll give you a tour.”
He decides right then and there, in the middle of the tour, that he really likes Makoto. He’s a really charming dude, who oooh’s and aaah’s at the interior of the house. “Whoa! These rooms are bigger than my whole apartment!” (He’s sure he’s exaggerating. At least he hopes he is.)
But he’s glad that he’s not one of those people who’s typography style contradicts how he’s like in real life. He’s really glad. With all of his own Doom & Gloom, this place— and himself, honestly—could deal with a little Sunshine around.
By the end of the tour, he’s already decided that he’ll give him one of the rooms. Whichever one he picks.
“Your neighbors across the street are really nosy, dude. Did you know?”
He and Hajime look each other dead in the eyes—but he’s sure the man could snap him like a fucking twig. He looks like he just came from the gym, in a black tank top that show off his chiseled arms (and some of his sides); sunglasses are perched on top of his head.
Even with his sharp tongue, he’s smirking at him. His thumb’s hiked towards the window, seemingly pointing across the street.
He stammers and blushes. How does he even talk to a dude like this?
“U-uh… well, yeah… I mean, I knew, a little. Don’t mind them. They’re just a bunch of rich dudes with nothing else to do…”
Hajime barks out laughter. “Yeah. Sounds about right. That’s all rich dudes do: play golf, and be nosy. But anyway.”
“Anyway! Uh, let me show you around!”
He’s not as abrasive, or unapproachable, as he thought he’d be. He’s a little blunt (“Dude, I’m dying. Whoever was here before me wears way too much cologne”)—but honestly, he kind of appreciates that about certain people. He’s not good at picking up other people’s cues… he’d much rather people just tell him how they feel. Whether it hurts his feelings or not.
They actually get along really well. They look across the street together and laugh. Hajime even slaps him on the back.
“Good afternoon, Shuichi! I see you saved the best for last!”
Goddamn it. Why, God? Why did she have to wear that dress?
When he swipes his hand along his nose, he almost checks for blood. “Of course… what type of man would I be if I didn’t?”
She smiles and giggles at him. “Aw, you’re cute! Aren’t you gonna invite me in?”
“A-ah! Of course! Um! Right this way! I’ll show you around!”
Kaede looks just like her pictures— even better than her pictures. She’s beautiful, with soft blonde hair, blue eyes—and,
curves for days he can already tell, a humongous heart. She’s wearing a pink off-the-shoulder dress adorned with flowers, with a matching ribbon in her hair. From below the knee, he can see her smooth and defined dancer’s legs.
Like Makoto, her enthusiasm doesn’t fail to put a smile on his face. She even says something similar, too (“Whoa, this place is huge. I bet I could fit my piano in here?”) which makes him laugh. After the tour, she looks at him with her clear eyes, a slight furrow in between her eyebrows.
“Shuichi… I hate to put this on you, but… did I get the room? Or do you still need some time to decide? I totally understand if you do. But I just wanna tell you how honored I’d be if you—”
“You’ve got it,” he tells her. He doesn’t mean to cut her off, but he gets a little cocky; a little too fuckboy -ish. The serious answer is he doesn’t like the look on her face, and even though he’s known this woman for less than two hours, he wants to do everything he can to see her smile again. He’s successful.
“Um, our other two roommates are named Hajime and Makoto. They’re both guys; is that oh—’
“Oh, my God! Shuichi! Thank you so much! I honestly can’t tell you how much this means to me!”
When she wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him on the cheek, he hears his heartbeat swishing in his ears. Feels it, too.
It’s a Christmas Miracle. He likes them all.
Well, that’s settled. He really gets to stay in this house after all. Lord knows he doesn’t want the flack from his Uncle if he couldn’t. He has to say that he’s relieved.
He has roommates. Actual roommates, who all have plans to start moving their stuff in as soon as possible.
He’s very nervous. Can they all become friends? What if they pull the old Bait and Switch on him? What if they don’t like him? Or what if they all like each other more than they like him?
What if one of them snores? What’s he gonna do, then?
What if the Neighbors Across The Street run them off? One of them’s a pompous asshole; another, he can barely look in the eye without a shiver going down his spine. Then, there’s the annoying motherfucker who works at Target; the Five Foot Menace.
Last, but not least, there’s his Arch Rival; The Worst Person In Human History: Rantaro Amami.
Whatever. He can’t worry about them. They’re all just snotty weird dudes who’re able to get into the Country Club and stick their nose in places where it doesn’t belong.
Don’t wave at him from across the street; sneer at him at a simple “Good morning, neighbor”. Give him the absolute fucking creeps (especially since he’s one of the ones who do wave. He has to be nice and wave back). TP his house (and egg it, too). And that everybody thinks is just absolutely perfect that it makes him sick.
It’ll all be alright.
Maybe they can all have movie nights, and things. Maybe they’re all introverts like him (even though he doubts it; all three of them seem like extroverts), and will want to stay in with him from time-to-time. Maybe Kaede’s ready to mingle?
But then something dawns on him. He’s been so busy worrying about whether or not his roommates will like him that he didn’t even take into account whether or not they’ll even like each other.
Oh, goddamn it.
All he can do is swallow his anxiety and hope for the best.