"Ne, Ruka-chan," Nagisa started as she sat at the Kurosaki residence's dining table, together with Daisuke, Inari, and Ruka. Both Rei and Shuichi were out to get some more meat and vegetables for their impromptu hotpot party.
"Yes?" Ruka asked, though she didn't look up from the book she was reading.
"How did you and Rei meet?" Nagisa queried, munching on the peanuts that Rei had set out for her and Daisuke to snack on.
Ruka fell silent and Nagisa looked at her curiously. "Was it something I shouldn't have asked?"
"No," Ruka said, "it's not that big of a secret."
"Ruka is not your name, right?" Nagisa asked again. "I don't think you'll let everyone know your name that easily."
Ruka chuckled. "True," she said. "The only one who knows it won't ever use it."
"So… how did you two meet?" Inari asked then. "I'm curious now."
"Me too," Daisuke added.
"You guys are all nosy."
"You look different," a little girl said as she stood behind a girl with fiery red hair. "Are you not from around here?"
The girl with blazing red hair turned, and her eyes were flaming red as well. "Who are you?"
"I'm Rei," the little girl said. "What's your name?"
"I can't give you my name," the red-haired girl said. "My name is my life."
"Oh," Rei said, "are you one of them?"
"Maybe," the girl replied.
"Then can I give you a name?" Rei asked with a smile. "So we can be friends."
"So Rei gave you that name?" Daisuke asked.
"I chose Miyagi for myself," Ruka answered. "It's not like I just told her yes then and there. There was an… incident. That was when I let her give me this name, and told her my name."
"But she's never going to use your name, is she?" Inari asked as he munched on fried tofu. "She's never going to use mine too."
"Oh?" Nagisa asked. "Did you give Rei your name too, Inari-chan?"
"I did," Inari replied. "She's a good girl. I know she won't misuse my name."
"It's a lonely existence we lead, right?" Ruka asked Inari. "No one ever called our names. Well, before that clumsy girl turned up, anyway."
Nagisa chuckled. "That's why Rei gave you a new name, isn't it?"
"We're home!" Rei announced from the entry and Daisuke rushed to welcome her and take the meat and vegetables off of her.
"Yay, we can start the hotpot now~" Nagisa cheered.
Rei chuckled as she walked into the dining room followed by Shuichi.
"Ah, what's this? What were you guys talking about?" Rei asked. "The atmosphere felt a bit different."
"We were talking about names," Inari replied.
"Your real names?" Rei asked.
"I see," she said. "I always thought it was unfair that the only times your names will be called is when someone wants you to do their bidding."
"Such is the life of a spirit," Ruka said with a shrug. "But that's why we give our names to people we trust."
Rei smiled at her. "Do you want me to call your name?"
"Oh?" Ruka asked with a grin. "What do you want me to do, Rei-sama? I can help them make the hotpot," she said, glancing at Nagisa, Daisuke and Shuichi who were too absorbed with preparing the hotpot to pay much attention to their conversation.
"I will only ever have one command for you," Rei said, "for both of you."
Inari snorted, but smiled. "You're a good girl," he said. "Ah, well, I'll go to steal some meat from the hotpot now," he added, leave the two alone.
Ruka rolled her eyes, knowing it was Inari's way to give them privacy, and also because he didn't want to know Ruka's name. "So? What's your command?"
"Be happy, Akari," Rei said softly, "because you've made me happy too."
"I already am, silly girl."