Katsuko’s laughter wound down eventually. She recovered enough to look up at Raidou, trying her best charming smile. “Actually, I was wondering if you’d help me pack up my stuff. I need you to carry heavy shit for me.”
He made dubious eyebrows at her. “Since when have you ever needed anyone to carry heavy shit for you?”
“Never, really,” Katsuko admitted. She batted her lashes flirtatiously at him and echoed his words from earlier. “Maybe I just enjoy your company.”
Raidou’s horrified expression made her snort so loudly she almost hurt her sinuses. He turned around and made as if he was going to escape outside. “Yeah, okay, leaving.”
She was probably going to have to use actual sincere words to get her point across. Katsuko sighed in frustration. “I meant I wouldn’t mind if you’d help me pack. It would be a lot more entertaining than doing it myself.”
He turned back, lifting an eyebrow. “You already have a new place in mind?”
“Hell yes,” Katsuko said fervently. “I’ve been looking at apartments since I moved into the barracks and saw the bloodstain on my ceiling.” At night, when she was tired, the bloodstain looked like a snake. She’d papered it over, but it still showed through. “There’s a fifth floor walk-up near the monument that’s open. Has its own shower and everything.”
“Sounds fancy,” Raidou said, amused. He’d stopped walking away, though.
“Very shiny,” Katsuko agreed. “So shiny you should come help me pack, so I can move into it faster. Please?”
He eyeballed her. "What do I get out of it?"
“More time spent in my luminous presence?” Katsuko tried. Raidou’s expression didn’t change. She sighed. “I’ll help you get the blood out of your hair. And I won’t even poke your scalp wound or anything.”
Katsuko’s room in the barracks was second-to-the-last near the end of the hall, sandwiched in between Arai, who made too much noise, and Gondou, whose room always smelled like sake. She unlocked her door and shouldered it open, holding it for Raidou to come in. “Home, sweet home.”
Her spare swords were still where she’d left them on their stands, her extra uniform hung on the wall for quick access. She’d pack those last. Everything else— the sheets lying crumpled on the bed, her dresser full of clothes, the picture frames on her nightstand— would be easy to store away. She spent most of her money on weapons and food, anyways.
“Let’s get all of that shit out of your hair, first,” Katsuko said. “I don’t want you shedding blood crumbs all over my stuff.”
Raidou looked pointedly up at the ceiling, where the cloying brown bloodstain showed through thin paper. “Would it make a difference?”
Katsuko opened one of the cupboards in her kitchenette, taking out a clean plastic bowl. “Yes. I’m moving to get away from that.” She pointed at the bloodstain. “I don’t want to bring it with me.”
“Fair point,” he said, and spread his hands. He took up a lot more space in her room than she did. “Where do you want me?”
She waved in the general direction of the kitchenette’s two tiny chairs and stuck the bowl in the sink, turning the water on warm. “Grab a couple towels, too. Bottom dresser drawer.”
Footsteps, then a wooden scrape as Raidou opened the dresser. Katsuko turned the faucet off well before the bowl could overflow and turned around just as he settled on one of the chairs. He looked at her curiously, draping a towel around his shoulders. “I didn’t know you could do domestic, Ueno.”
Katsuko’s mouth tilted up. “The things you don’t know about me could fill a whole lot of books, Namiashi.”
“The kind of books civilians like to burn, I’d imagine.”
“How’d you know?” She retrieved a new sponge from a drawer, ripping off the plastic covering, and dropped it into the bowl; then she slid the whole thing down the counter to where Raidou sat. “I’m banned in several countries for having extremely sexy illustrations.”
“I could have lived without picturing that,” Raidou said distantly. “I think I would have been happy.”
“People are boring when they’re happy,” Katsuko said, and squeezed the sponge over his head.