© Beloved Doll
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In the high school parking lot, Shadow is sitting on his parked motorcycle with his arms folded on the handle bars. His friends are standing beside him, all talking while he mostly listens. One of the girls, Rouge, is sitting on the bike behind Shadow with her legs crossed. Fang is going on about his target practice that he`s looking forward to this weekend. Rouge mostly rolls her eyes at it and ignores the conversation. Instead Rouge leans over to Shadow,"So what`ll we do tonight?"
Almost as if to answer her question, Shadow`s cell phone gives a short ring, signifying a text message. Shadow moves off the handle bars and pulls out his phone. It is a message from Gerald, reminding him to come straight home today because he is to help clear out a room for Maria to migrate to. Shadow blinks, being reminded by the message as to what he`s supposed to be doing. He isn`t used to having Maria around yet. Shadow closes the phone and places it back in his pants pocket. Rouge questions Shadow about the text message but the response she receives is Shadow nudging her off his bike,"I have to go home."
Rouge gets off the motorcycle and on to her feet but feels a little irritated,"Why? What for?"
This catches the attention of the other students present in Shadow`s circle of friends. They stop their conversations to turn their attention to Shadow starting up his motorcycle. As Shadow starts pulling back out of the parking spot, he simply answers,"Need to help Maria move in."
As his motorcycle begins to pull off, Rouge yells out to him,"Who the hell is Maria?!"
But she will not receive an answer.
Shadow heads straight home as requested by Gerald. To which, Gerald is slightly surprised by this though mainly because Shadow hasn`t been home this early in quite some time. However, to reinforce the idea of Shadow returning home in a timely manner, Gerald decides a positive reaction rather than tease Shadow about his promptness,"Oh thank you, Shadow. I`m glad you came home. I need quite a bit of your help with moving everything."
Shadow gives a simple nod to Gerald, for once he isn`t being haughty. It pleases Gerald to see that attitude of Shadow`s subside finally, even if it were to last only a little while.
Shadow`s cell phone starts ringing. As Shadow digs his cell phone out of his pocket to answer it, Gerald walks into the kitchen,"I`ll grab some bags we can put stuff in. Go on ahead upstairs and start moving everything. We`ll just put the stuff into the storage room."
Shadow starts walking up the stairs and answers his phone,"Yes?"
It`s Rouge,"What is going on, Shadow? Who is this Maria that`s moving in with you?"
Shadow cringes a little. He had hoped that it wouldn`t be a big deal to anyone. But apparently the moment the blonde girl`s name was mentioned, someone is at arms and all over his case about it. Who`s business was it anyways?
Rouge becomes impatient with Shadow not answering her,"Shadow! Dammit, answer me!"
Shadow is walking down the hallway at this point, heading towards the room that Gerald wants cleared out for Maria. Shadow finally answers Rouge`s prodding as he grips the door handle to open the door to the destined room. He answers without emotion,"She`s like a sister."
"I`ll talk about it later. I have some things to do."
Shadow hangs up his phone and turns it off in case she decides to call back or if anyone else tries to call him. He doesn`t need the phone bothering him while he`s busy doing physical work.
Maria steps out of her temporary room upon hearing Shadow and sees him stepping into what will be her permanent bedroom. She puts on a hopeful smile and comes down the hallway to go to the room where Shadow is.
Stepping into the room, Maria sees that this room is stocked full of many items. One would almost swear it was a hoarder`s room! Boxes and bags and loose items are piled everywhere. Supposedly there is some furniture underneath all of this. And most likely once the furniture is discovered, everything will need to be cleaned before Maria can move in there to reside.
Maria looks to the side and sees Shadow grabbing a few boxes. She steps up closer to him, putting her hands behind her back. With a sweet sounding voice she speaks to Shadow,"Anything I can help with?"
Shadow pauses a moment, not expecting Maria to be there or to even offering to help. He looks over his shoulder at her though his face remains expressionless. He had to look at her for a moment. That voice of hers...
With the area starting to feel awkward due to Shadow`s silence, Maria perks out a "hmm?" in attempt to get Shadow to give her an answer. Shadow turns back to the boxes he`s grabbing and picks them up, grabbing a stack of 3. His slight grunt suggests the boxes are heavy. Then he turns around to face Maria,"You can grab whatever you can lift and follow me."
As he steps out of the room, Maria grabs some bags that have items in them. They aren`t too heavy for her. Then she exits the room and follows Shadow down the stairs. Once on the bottom floor, Shadow leads Maria to a room in the back. This is the storage room where everything will go. Surprisingly, the room is mostly empty. It makes Maria wonder why all the stuff is in a spare bedroom rather than the storage room. But she decides not to ask. It probably isn`t important to know the reason.
As they exit the storage room, Maria following behind Shadow, they meet up with Gerald at the bottom of the stairs. Gerald is pleasantly surprised to see Maria,"Oh, Maria, you`re helping?"
Maria smiles,"Well, if the room is being cleared out for me, I thought I should at least help with what I can. I don`t know how much I can do but I`m willing to try."
Gerald chuckles and begins to ascend the stairs,"That a girl."
Shadow is the next one to go up the stairs followed by Maria.
The three of them will continue bringing items out of the bedroom and down to the storage room. Maria and Gerald usually take the smaller or lighter weighted items, leaving the large and heavy items for Shadow as he is the strongest of the three. Once enough of the boxes and bags of things are moved out where some furniture are uncovered, Shadow concentrates on moving those while Maria and Gerald continue their efforts on the items.
The first furniture Shadow moves out is a file cabinet. He slides a switch on each door so that the doors lock in place and will be prevented from flying open as he moves it. Then Shadow proceeds with taking the file cabinet down to the storage room. Maria finds herself unable to take her eyes off of him, watching him move the heavy object. She is quite impressed by him accomplishing this task by himself and begins to wish that she could be that strong, or even just half so.
It takes the three of them the rest of the day to get everything out that needs to be moved to the storage room. What`s left is mainly furniture which consists of a queen size bed, a dresser and entertainment centre with a flatscreen tv in it. The closet in this room is much bigger than the one in Maria`s temporary room. Unfortunately, there isn`t enough time today to clean the furniture, the carpet and to have Maria`s stuff transferred. All of this will have to wait until tomorrow. At least the most difficult part is all done.
Gerald is exhausted from the up and down the stairs run being as old as he is. He decides to go to bed and rest his body. When the old scientist leaves, Shadow turns to Maria,"You should rest as well."
Maria smiles,"You, too."
Shadow tilts his head down a bit and gives a soft sound.
Maria walks back to her temporary room. Shadow stays in the hallway, watching her as if making sure that she won`t detour elsewhere. Once she enters her room and closes the door behind her, Shadow slowly turns around and retreats to his own room.
For some reason, perhaps because of the clean up job he just did, Shadow is starting to really notice how messy his room is. But he won`t do anything about it now. It`s too late in the night. Luckily, it has little importance right now. As he lies down in his bed, he still can`t help but wonder why suddenly the state of his room has summoned his attention to it.