Fumi was used to Ichie coming to her apartment at ungodly hours. So, when she heard the doorbell ring at almost nine, she assumed it was just Ichie deciding to pay her another late night visit. However, when Fumi opened the door, she found that it wasn't Ichie. It was Tamao.
"Fumi... I... I know it's late and... this is really sudden but... but please... I have nowhere else to go..."
Hearing Tamao plead to be let in was the last thing Fumi expected today. It hurt to hear it. Just what had happened? Why was Tamao upset? And why did Tamao have to come here?
"My home is always open, Tamao. Please come in." Fumi said and backed away.
Tamao quickly entered the house, as if worried Fumi may take back her offer. Now that Tamao was in the light, Fumi could take in everything a lot better. The main thing she noticed was that Tamao was hurt.
"What happened?" Fumi frowned and hugged Tamao.
"I... I... I told my parents I'm nonbinary and they... they beat me..." Tamao burst into tears and clung to Fumi for dear life.
"Oh, Tamao... let's get you cleaned up." Fumi guided the shaking Tamao to the bathroom.
She had them sit on the toilet while she grabbed some stuff to clean them up. Tamao was still crying. Fumi handed them a pack of tissues. Tamao tried to wipe away their tears, but more and more just kept falling down their face.
"You need a hug." Fumi hugged them tightly, feeling Tamao return it.
"Shh... I'm here. You're okay now..." Fumi whispered, running a hand over Tamao's back.
Tamao kept crying for a long time. Fumi just held them close and tried her best to offer them comfort. She didn't know what it felt like to go through something like that. She could only understand so much about how Tamao was feeling right now.
"Fumi... What do I do...?"
Fumi frowned. She had no answer to that. What did she do now? It was obvious Tamao would never be welcomed back home.
"Shh... we'll figure all of that out in the morning." Fumi decided, "Let's just get you cleaned up first."
Tamao nodded. Fumi didn't let go for a few more minutes. She didn't want to take this too fast. Tamao needed a lot of comfort right now.
Fumi pulled away and took in Tamao's appearance again. She gently started to clean them up. Tamao watched her silently, wincing in pain every now and again.
"Yes?" Fumi turned her attention to Tamao.
"I... never wanted you to find out like this..."
Fumi sighed and pulled them into another hug, "It's okay, Tamao. I'm here for you. I love you no matter what."
Tamao broke down into tears. Fumi frowned and hugged them even tighter. She tried her best to soothe them.
"I'm right here, Tamao. You're safe here. You're loved here. I won't let them ever hurt you again. I promise." Fumi whispered.
"Fumi... thank you..."
"Shh... no more talking about this tonight, okay? You should rest. I've done what I can about the bruises."
"Where am I staying?" Tamao asked quietly.
"Your choice. With me or I'll set up another bed and give you mine." Fumi replied.
Tamao grabbed hold of her tightly. That was enough of an answer for Fumi. She carefully picked Tamao up and carried them to the bedroom. She set them down on the bed and then climbed in. After turning off the lights, Fumi laid down. Tamao clung to her tightly and started crying again.
"Shh... it's okay..." Fumi kissed them on the head and let them cry.
She didn't know what had happened. Not what they had done to Tamao. How badly had they beat them? How traumatized was Tamao from this? Fumi didn't know. And she would only know if Tamao ever wanted her to.
"Fumi... why did they stop loving me?"
"Hush. I told you no more, Tamao. Don't give them any more of your thoughts." Fumi hushed them.
"But... they're my family... they're supposed to-"
"Tamao. Enough. It'll just make you more upset if you keep thinking like that." Fumi cut them off, "Look. They're not your family now. Forget about them."
"Then... I'm all alone..." Tamao started tearing up again.
"No, no, no. You're not alone, Tamao. I'm here. And the others will be too. We're your family, Tamao. You've never been alone." Fumi quickly said.
"You... my family..." Tamao whispered to themself.
"Yes. Now, please, Tamao. Try to get some rest."
"Goodnight..." Tamao curled up closer.
"Goodnight, Tamao. I'm right here if you need me."