Title: Surprise Party
Series: Ultraman Orb
Characters: Kurenai Gai, Jugglus Juggler, Yumeno Naomi, Shibukawa Tetsuko, Yumeno Keiko
Summary: Naomi would never have expected for the party to turn up like this.

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Gai watched the scene in front of him warily. This... shouldn't be good. He needed to do something. Well, considering that everyone else besides Naomi and him was still clueless about the current situation, it might not be so bad.

Juggler was drunk. No, he was truly, in every sense of that wording... really drunk. Then again, so did most of the people inside this room.

It was a right move he did earlier, telling Naomi to help him get everyone back home after the party. They managed to wake Shibukawa up again, get Keiko-san, Tetsuko... everyone else to head back home. Even Juggler, because he can't exactly leave him out.

But then on the way home, Shin for some reason decided to buy a few more cans of beer for himself and the 'party' resumed again back at the SSP base. And somehow, at least one can from that particular stash found its way to Juggler.

"Waahh, Mama... you really have an interesting fortune here!"

Gai shook his head. Somehow now, Juggler had taken out his stack of monster cards and started a small fortune reading session. Keiko and Tetsuko didn't take any notice on the cards used... and assumed they were just a peculiar version of the usual tarot cards they've seen before. Shin and Jetta were initially wary of the cards but then started to join along when some of the readings Juggler did, ended up quite accurate. Yet, despite that... Gai couldn't help being cautious.

Keiko started to laugh as Juggler told her of his reading of her fortune. Gai silently eyed him as Tetsuko picked up one of the cards from the stack that Juggler set aside.

"Whoa! This card is pretty..." she exclaimed. Tetsuko gave the card to Juggler as he nodded his head.

"Aah... Chaos Header!" Juggler drunkenly cocked his head towards Tetsuko. "I actually had another card with this guy in it as well."

He grabbed his deck and quickly sift through the cards before taking one out. Juggler placed the two cards side by side in front of Tetsuko, as Gai walked closer to take a look. Indeed both cards were that of Chaos Header, but one showing its shining form while the other showing its monstrous form.

"Your fortune reading result would change drastically if you just change one of these cards into the other. Of course, so far I've never pulled these two cards at the same time when doing a reading, so I'm not even sure what would happen when I finally do—"

Keiko glanced up as she noticed Gai looming over them. "Eh, Gai-kun? Do you want your fortunes read too? Come, sit over here..."

Juggler immediately started to shake his head vigorously at Keiko. "No, Mama... don't call him over here. He's no good... and he's not into these kinda things anyway," He started pouting again as he clung to Naomi's mother. "Mama... do you know? That guy... is always very annoying. He never listens to others... and always did everything as he liked. Isn't he the type of  guy you just can't seem to like?"

"Hmm... now that you said it, I seem to remember—"

Juggler didn't even wait for Keiko to finish her words. "Mama! There's also this one time when we're supposed to send this kid home, and you know happen? I told him that it might be dangerous and he—!"

Seeing that Juggler seem to almost about to start talking nonsense, Gai hastily dragged him away from the groupie and out towards the roof.

xxx

When Naomi saw Gai taking Juggler out, she was almost afraid that they would immediately leave. But then Gai started to head towards the roof as she followed behind.

At the rooftop, Naomi silently watching the two of them as Gai pushed Juggler away.

"What? Did you have a problem with anything I said just now?" Juggler snapped as he turned to face Gai. "It's true after all. You NEVER listen to anything I've ever said to you and you're always been doing things as you like!"

"What do you mean I never listened to you? I did listen to you a number of times. I did depend on you many times before!"

Juggler gave him a look of disbelief. "Oh really? A number of times don't mean most or all the time! You told me before that I should be your support, to help you out from the sides when you need it. But all those times before, have you ever... really taken my words of advice seriously? When I told you to be careful... when I told you to be mindful of the things you do or say, did you ever listen to them? NO! Because unlike you, I'm not an Ultraman! You just decide everything by yourself! You didn't even ask me if I'm fine about it! You just go on your merry ways regardless of what my opinion was. Am I your supporter, your friend... or am I just your servant? "

"Juggler... that—!"

Naomi tried to step closer to see Gai having a pained look on his face. She turned to look at Juggler, who—to her surprise—had started to cry.

"Do you even realise how much of the things you did in the past have hurt me? Whenever you brushed me aside and rush blindly into danger without thinking. When you paid more heed to the words spoken by your predecessors than me... whom you've known for much longer! As if my words hold less weight compared to them. When you deem my concerns to be so lowly compared to you who's been chosen by the light... did you ever stop to think about how your thoughtless words and actions have hurt people? Were you even aware how people have been treating you—treating me, who've been by your side—differently just because you're Orb?"

He giggled. "All these might sound a bit petty to hold a grudge over for so long, I don't really get bothered by it at first. But try getting it over and over and over—it'll start to get to you after a while. And then the darkness would seem too sweet to push away,"

Juggler cocked his head at Gai before twirling around and skipping towards the edge of the roof. He stared downwards towards the ground below as he muttered aloud. "I wonder I could just die if I fall from here and did nothing? That seemed to be an interesting notion..."

"Juggler... don't!"

Naomi turned her eyes to see Gai looking so worried as Juggler was standing unstably on the edge of the ledge. She also couldn't help noticing that Juggler's eyes started to droop. He must have started feeling drowsy after all the alcohol intake.

"Juggler-san!" Naomi started to cry out. "Please step away from the ledge! It's dangerous!"

"Hmm?" Juggler turned his head towards her, dreamily. "Why?"

"Because I don't like it!" she started to say, frantically trying to think up things to say to get Juggler away from the ledge. "Also, Mama... Tecchan! They would be sad if you get hurt!"

Juggler stared at her blankly. "Mama?" he started to say. But then there was a sudden gust of winds and Juggler started to sway and Naomi started to scream and closed her eyes!

She could hear the sound of a clay pot breaking. Was there any other sound besides that? Did Juggler-san fell?

Naomi was almost afraid to open her eyes.

"I'm sorry..."

She finally braved herself to open her eyes and look up towards the corner of the ledge. Juggler was no longer standing there but a meter from it, Gai was kneeling on the ground... in tears. He was holding the now unconscious Juggler in his arms. Naomi slowly approached the two.

"Sorry... I didn't realise how much you've been hurt..." Gai continued to whisper into Juggler's ear.

She let out a long sigh before recalling a conversation she used to have with Juggler. Naomi shrugged.

"Back then, when Juggler-san took me away... he said something to me." Gai glanced up towards her. "He forgot what was it that bothered him about you. Perhaps... all these times, Juggler-san had been harbouring these resentments inside himself for so long that he forgot about it. But even when he didn't remember, the darkness kept on eating inside him until he couldn't see the light—!"

"A hole inside his heart..." he softly said it to himself, recalling the exchange they have during the day Magata no Orochi ran amok. Gai glanced back towards Juggler as he held his body tighter. "It's my fault. I've been so overwhelmed with my new responsibilities and duties... that I don't really pay attention to the things around me anymore. Not like how I used to. Before all these started."

"Perhaps now... you can finally be able to patch things up between you two..."

Gai gave her another look. "Ugh... with him? That'll probably only gonna work if he actually allowed me to get close to him," Naomi laughed, as she watched Gai trying to carry Juggler's unconscious body in his arms.

As they head downstairs, Naomi smiled. Well, the party didn't turn out as she expected... but at least it did turn out well.
.

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