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Name: Bonding
Series: A Pleasant Story
Written by: AsherÉire
Release date: 5 August 2012

Previous chapter: Insomnia
Next chapter: Broken and Fixed

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"This is it." Lee announced. "Chuck your stuff anywhere." Ripp gently put his bags down whilst he surveyed his surroundings. A small table with three chairs sat in the centre of the front room. A kitchen was off to the left. "Hey, there are three chairs." Ripp pointed out. "Did you use to have roomies before?"

"Yeah. Angela and Lilith Pleasant. They're twins. They left last year. Angela is actually in a relationship with my brother, so that may be the reason they took me in."

"And since their departure, you've had problems sleeping?"

"Yes..." Lee muttered. Then it clicked. "Are you saying I can only sleep if someone's living with me?"

"I guess. If you can get some sleep whilst I'm here, then, yeah I am." Ripp felt quite pleased. Finding the solution to Lee's problem may give her a good first impression.

"So, do you want a drink, or should I show you to your room?" Ripp chose to see his room first. He wondered how claustrophobic he was about to get. He followed Lee to the top of the stairs to see a small bed, and wall and a door. Lee decided to explain about the wall. Angie and Lil decided to build the wall before I came here. Then when I started, Lilith volunteered to crash out on the sofa downstairs. So, my room's behind that door. This used to be Angela's room. She preferred to be by the stairs in case anything got Lilith in the next room. Then she would have a five second head-start to run for her life." Ripp started laughing. Lee managed a weak smile. It was quite a funny thing to say, but anyone who knew Angela well enough knew about her personal phobia: her fear of the dark. "Angela's afraid of the dark, just so you know."

"Right..." Ripp said, feeling a little bit foolish. "I'm not too good with heights." He ran his hand through his 'hippie hair'. "So, how about that drink?"

Ripp and Lee were sat at the table; a cup of coffee for each. "I'm so glad I can stay here for the rest of my college years." Ripp said. "My dad constantly has a go at me. I sleep too much, he has a go at me. I don't get enough sleep, he has a go at me. I stay inside all day, he has a go at me and kicks me outside. I stay outside all day, he has a go at me and grounds me. Conclusion: I cannot win. And apparently, I need a hair cut." He rested his head on his arm. "I may as well take his advice. Most people don't like people who look like modern-day hippies... I'll get it sorted tomorrow." He noticed Lee had her head buried in her arms. "Lee?" he called, before gently patting her arm. "Whuzzat?" she shouted as she arose.

"Were you asleep?" he asked, trying hard not to laugh.

"No." she said moodily. "I was training to die. Yeah, kinda. It's been a manic day."

Later on that night, whilst staring at the ceiling, it occurred to Ripp that he felt... accepted. Within a few minutes of meeting Leona, he already had a place to stay. And she was such a nice person... Ripp bolted upright when he thought of it.

He loved Lee.


Ripp, struggling to sleep...