If the world was ending tomorrow, I certainly know what I would do. I would say thanks to all my coworkers, hug Moko-san for hooours, and probably convince her and Chiori-san to do an end-of-the-world-sleepover with me. Sure, that would be a little egotistical, but it is my hypothetical party, excuse me! Hah, why bother... this line of thinking doesn't help with my problem at all. Concentrate, Mogami Kyoko, this is not about you or your plain self. Setsu… What would Setsuka Heel do on her last day in the world?
To be honest, technically it is not her last day alive, but rather, it is her last day in Guam. In fact, she is going back to her imaginary London, to meet her imaginary nii-san and they will exchange kisses and hugs and do all those embarrassing things western people and sinful brothers do… That's not such a big deal, is it? If I project Setsu's longing today, because it is certainly her who wants to hold hands, be close and... mark his skin, not me. Certainly not me. I just want to…. but regardless.
Concentrate. Breath in, breath out. We can do this. It should be as easy as knocking at his door, and in fact, silly me should have already done that 10 minutes ago. Well, no, not me. Her. Kyoko shakes my head and loosens my shoulders. She isn't here to worry anymore. I have a brother complex. I'm an outlaw. I'm low tension. I'm Setsu.
'Ni-san. Let's go.' Setsu doesn't care about knocking. Setsu just opens doors.
'Setsu, sleep with me.' Brother is right there, slouching on the couch when he should be up and eating breakfast already. Honestly, who cares, he can get away with anything, because he's so cute! Especially laying down shirtless like this, and his abdomen… hmm, exposed brother skin.
'I would love to, but don't you have some set to be on?' I ask nonchalantly, sitting at the edge of the couch and making myself comfortable. I juuuust need a better angle to check if it's soft as it was yesterday. Yup. Soft.
'I would be there if I got any rest. I can't sleep without you in the room.' He puppy eyes me. Low move, brother, low move.
'Hmm, you should have just asked, ni-san. I would have come to you.' I reason, trying to see how long I can caress his skin without looking suspicious.
'You should know that already.' He purrs, looking at me with sad eyes and pouting lips.
'Fine.' I give in, pushing his torso up to make room on the couch. Ni-san is heavy and unwilling at first, looking at me funny with his head upside down, but he quickly gets the idea and lifts up his body so that I can rest his head on my lap.
'Finally' He whispers. I must be smiling, petting his soft curls. Such a puppy brother. How on earth is someone afraid of him?
He relaxes and cuddles on my lap. After a short while, his breathing gets heavier. Brother never liked to wake up so early, and if anyone deserves 15 more minutes of sleep, it's him. After all, it is our last day together, right? I continue to pat his hair and carefully examine him. It's not my last day on earth, but it is our last day on this 'vacation.' The least I can do is mark this Guam morning in my mind. For future purposes. I want to absorb all of him, his smell, his warmth, his funny looking toenails. His worn-out sweatpants, with a hole in the left knee. The tiny, sexy trail of hair on his abdomen, slowly going up and down. The utterly adorable strand of curly hair peeking at his right cheek. Heh, he must have slept with wet hair again. Should I punish him… let's say, by messing up his hair with my lip gloss? Yes, or certainly yes?
'My poor ni-san,' I murmur, leaning down 'because you have such a cute sister like me, you can't sleep.' Of course, he chooses this very moment to move his neck and look at me, shifting his head and making my punishment kiss land at the edge of his lips. I barely, just barely taste him and Kyoko's stomach drops, butterflies invading her body as she claims back control. Chill out woman.
'Yeah.' Brother speaks at our lips, his breathing so close it warms our skin, becoming our breath too. Danger, Kyoko screams at us, get out of here.
'Dejavu! Didn't we talk about this before?.' Kyoko lifts my face and licks my lips, trying to avoid the situation and give back control. Brother complex. Outlaw. Low tension. I'm Setsu, and I'm not running today. Not on my last day.
'Let's eat, nii-san.' I lean back on him, resting my forehead on his.
'What?' He asks eyes closed and in a weirdly rough voice. Kyoko would think that maybe he has a cold?
'Pancakes with syrup, like back home.' I smile.
'Ah.' Brother says with a disappointed sigh. I wonder why? 'Let's go, Setsu'
He gets up, and I'm left alone on the couch, feeling his warmth fade. That's not an acceptable outcome, so I grab his arm tightly after he puts on a shirt. Brother won't stay alone a second. Today is my day.
Usually, we are up way earlier so we can enjoy some quiet time in the cafeteria, but now we are late, and the hotel is booming with the energy of a horde of little brats in the food island. We want none of that mess, so we wait for a waiter and order our stack of pancakes and juices.
Brother is slouching again and looking at me funny.
'What?' I ask, cocking my head to the side.
'You go back tomorrow.' He states, direct, point blank.
'I don't want to.' I pout to my plate.
He makes an understanding sound.
I decide that I'm very interested in all the intricate details printed on my napkin. This is bullshit; I shouldn't have to hide this feeling of loss, but I'm having a hard time coping with it. No, not me, Kyoko is. Somehow, she doesn't feel closure. Like, is this really how it ends? After all we went through, the final act is: suck it up and have a good girl goodbye? I suppose... this is a fictional relationship; we need don't need any real closure... but regardless. Tsuruga-san would be disappointed in me if he knew. Oh no no no, don't focus on this. Focus on the napkin, the brats, the scene, nii-san. Relock this heart Kyoko. Stupid love sick girls like Manaka need stuff like closure. Real actresses don't. Our work is all we need.
'Oh, look at that.' Brother suddenly perks up and stares at the food island.
'What?' I ask, following his gaze. I spot Ten-san and some families grabbing food. What could have caught the attention of Cain Heel?
'That girl's incredible boots. I want to buy you a pair.' He gets up and enters the crowd. Are you fucking kidding me, brother? Really, you're going to chase another girl while your sister is right here?!
Our pancakes arrive and I start eating. I'm not waiting for mister flirt, oh no.
'Got it.' He returns after some good ten minutes with a smug smile, obviously successful.
Maintaining eye contact with the jerk I stab his stack of pancakes full force, making the plate ring. Slowly, deliberately, eye to eye, I eat the insides of his meal, letting the syrup drip from my mouth, like tainted blood dripping from vampire fangs.
'It will arrive before you leave.' He nonchalantly drinks his juice and looks at me unphased, too used to my schemes.
''Hmm' It is all he gets from me at breakfast though. He earned the silent treatment.
When we finally walk through the hotel gardens, we are positively one hour late. Since Heels don't run, or rush, I use the time to fully appreciate the multitude of flowers in this place. This view always makes Kyoko happy. The garden would be a honored addition to any princess's castle. I breathe in as much air as I can manage, stop, and slowly release. So soothing.
'Do you like it?' Brother asks, patting my head.
'Yeah, you know. It's almost like being thin air'. I smile at him.
'Setsu, what's your favorite color?' Brother suddenly asks, looking at the flowers.
'It depends nii-san, what is your favorite color?' I turn my head.
'Black.' He shrugs.
'So that's my color too.' I shrug.
'Hmm' He keeps walking, but takes his phone and starts typing. Nothing buzzes in my pocket so, clearly, the message was not for me. Hmph. All the soothing feeling from the garden vanishes in a second. What is up with brother today? It's not typical of him not to pay his full attention on me. Maybe… maybe he got that girl's number. Will brother have an online girlfriend now? I'm not prepared for this.
With these gloomy thoughts, we arrive at the set. I don't want to think about brother being with other girls, so I take my seat outside of the waiting room and leave all the brain power to Kyoko, aaand she quickly makes a fool of herself with nonsense talk about sweat and acting. Ah, we can't stand it. This day sucks. This heat is too much. These actors are too little. They can't hold themselves for a minute against Tsuruga-san on set. Sure, his makeup and aura are threatening, but they are professionals! They should know better. After hours of retakes, Brother walks back to our waiting room balcony. He makes me a bit happier by demonstrating extra care for my well being. I know I should be inside the air-conditioned room, but I don't want to see brother suffering alone. I won't let him.
Of course, while we are having our moment, the cheese brain Manaka girl decides to interfere. She dares to grab his arm while babbling something about water. His arm. Cain Heel's arm. My nii-san. Something terrible clicks audibly inside of us. He can be attracted to cool-boots girl, but I'm not losing to a rodent. Not today, not ever. I'm Setsuka Heel, and this man is mine.
I grab the filth and throw her on the floor, the proper place for rats. I make sure to use simple, Japanese, words so even primal stunted mammals can understand.
'Listen here, little girl. From the moment he was born into the world this man has been mine, I tell you.' I decide to scream a bit, maybe she is deaf? 'Don't put those filthy hands again on my nii-san. Ever. Again.' Bitch.
I grab brother by his arm, my arm by right, and take him inside. Enough of caring for others feelings, and enough of this unbearable heat!
'Sit.' He knows better than to not do what he has been told. My secret, silent plan treatment was to let him eat his lunch by himself today, but fuck that. I'm Setsu and Setsu doesn't do passive.
'Nii-san, make a bit of space here.' I grab his plate, our plate, and calmly, deliberately sit on his lap.
Kyoko, Manaka and Murasame stare at me with wide eyes. Hah, how cute you guys. Do you think there are lines? Fuck the lines. This is how our relationship is. Deal with it.
'Here, open wide.' I bring my spoon to brother's mouth. He looks at me funny, but eats nonetheless.
I sense the expected internal bubble of despair coming. I know what she would scream: inappropriate lecture, yada yada, you don't sit on a man's lap yada yada. Useless. My resolution is harder than steel. Who cares if we look like lovers? That's a compliment. Who besides me should be embraced by his lap's warmth now? No one. Only I am allowed that. Who cares if all I can do right now is hold my breath so I can't think how good he smells, otherwise I would tremble like crazy? Just me. This is my scene and she has no voice. Kyoko stays strangely quiet after I scream back at her my final point: you too want this and you know it. She stops. I win.
'But, but, why they…' The rodent squeaks from the door. I calmly serve myself a spoonful, not sparing her any attention.
'Don't look at me, I gave up understanding already.' Murasame is sighing 'Just let these crazy idiots be.' He pushes the scum out of the room. I give brother another spoonful. His wide eyes are locked on mine, his hands are on my hips. His arms. I see a small torn path on his sleeve. Strange, looks like he cut himself in the scene. Oh well, I'll take care of this. I don't care about anyone else, brother's health comes first.
'Are you alright? You're bleeding!' I ask while I strip him of his coat, making sure to make it a prolonged and tactile process.
'Hmm… It must've happened during the chase scene.' It's the first time he's spoken in a while, his voice sounds deep and rough around the edges.
'Poor nii-san. Your skin... it's so hard, I can feel it throbbing.' I squeeze his arm, right below the cut. He follows my movement with his eyes, looking hungry. 'I have some medicine here, let me grab it first, we can eat later.' I decide I've had enough. I'm happy, Manaka went away and I got brother all to myself for a while. I start to get up from his lap…only to be pulled back down.
'No, I can reach it.' He says, leaving no room for argument.
I decide to eat another spoonful and try not to make a sound while he twists and lifts his body with me on top, grabbing my purse from the side table. I can feel how hard all his muscles are. Leg muscles, arm muscles, abdominal muscles. Mmmm. Chill, Setsu, chill.
'Thank you.' I find the medicine stashed at the bottom and start disinfecting the cut with hand sanitizer. It's a shallow wound, a bloodless scrape, but I feel his muscles tense up below my hands like he's in pain. Ah, the gel is alcohol-based, it must sting.
'I'm so sorry nii-san. It's all I have with me.' I smile at him apologetically.
'I can take it.'. He smiles back at me.
Thankfully, the antibiotic doesn't sting too. He looks relaxed at the end when I smooth out the edges of the band-aid.
'Now the crucial part. A healing spell.' I say seriously. I steady myself, holding his arm with both hands and press a quick kiss on top. He closes his eyes at my touch. So cute… Oh no, I forgot I had gloss on. Now he has a kiss marked band-aid!
'Ah! I shouldn't have done that. Maybe it will get infected? Let me get a new one, nii-san.' I say, box in my hands already.
It's magic, isn't it? You can't take it back.' He looks hurt and moves his arm out of reach.
'Nii-san, don't be silly.' I pout. He is too tall. I can't reach.
'You want to take the magic back?' He looks even more hurt, giving me full force puppy eyes.
'What if you get sick?' I'm not giving in. His health is important, his health!
'If you feed me, I won't be weak.' He says and hugs me closer. Brother opens his mouth wide and makes an 'aaaaaaaah' sound. I can see the smug smile at the corner of this lips.
'Urgh, fine. Here have some fish.' I shove another mouthful into his face. He accepts it like the good brother that he is. We keep chatting idly throughout the meal. He looks happy. After all, he's with me. And I, I'm feeling particularly proud of bringing the first-aid kit today. I thought it would be just another dead weight, but who knew! I reach for one more spoonful, but suddenly realize there's no food left.
'Ah, seems like we finished the bento already.' I close the lid and set the utensils on the table. 'How was lunch today?'
'Amazing' He does seem happy. Hmmm.
'Well, it's the same as yesterday. I didn't know you liked rice and fish so much. I'll remember that. I say, looking at him knowingly.
'Ah, nii-san, you have rice on your face.' I say as I bend forward on his lap, closer to him so I can look. Right cheek, a solitary grain. I feel bad for its lonely fate. I decide to lick it off, so, you know, it can join its brothers in my belly. Nii-san's skin tastes salty of sweat. I make sure to be attentive and thorough in my rice hunting quest.
Brother hugs me tightly when I reach the inside of his ear. I can feel him shiver and shortly after, he lifts me up, princess style.
'I wish I could steal you today' He confesses with a little squeeze. There is a parting promise ringing in my ear as he puts me down.'I'll be out as quick as I can...'
'Make those actors work for what they're being paid.' I begrudgingly say, watching him withdraw 'No one compares to you.'
He smiles a BJ smile and is off to set. I decide to stay in the air-conditioned room for a while. Just because he asked.
The day goes by uneventfully, and I have my fun staring at the Manaka rodent everytime she tries to enter the room and never manages to go beyond the door. My afternoon is complete after I realize another girl from the cast brought two lunches outside. Loosers.
Twenty past four, I see movement outside the room. Brother did it. They finished half an hour early. I walk outside and find him a little away from the rest of the cast. I go to him.
'Yeah, my grandma has a house here for vacations' I hear Murasame say.
'Woah, that's amazing. I didn't know your family was rich like that.' Says Mitsui, the older actor who had a bad time keeping up with brother today.
'We are not, Grandma is. Anyway, do you guys want to go?' Murasame replies.
'Sure lets party. Should I invite people from production too?' One of the girls, Rio asks. Hmm, maybe her name is Kaneko? I don't know, Kyoko would. She keeps track of everybody. I couldn't care less about them.
'Everyone! Let's invite everyone!' I avoid Murasame's wildly waving hands - so noisy -, and finally catch up with brother. He's looking at his phone. Again.
'Hmmm, we are going then.' Brother says, pocketing the phone.
'Whaaaat?' Rio screams in a high pitched screech.
'Huh?' It's all I manage, stunned as I am.
'Why not? Don't you like parties Setsu?' He asks with a straight face.
'Hmmm, sure.' I shrug. It's not like I'll say no when nii-san is taking me.
'Oooook? Right, let's meet in that market outside and... and grab some things before heading to the house. I... It is pretty close, we can just walk.' Murasame manages to say coherently. 'Man this is gonna to be weird.' I hear him talking to Mitsui after they left in the direction of the production members.
I agree silently. I mean, I'm British. I'm used to punk parties and cult-like gatherings, but not friendly cast meetings. Without knowing how, the next hour passed in a blur as we bought several types of alcohol and snacks. The house is really close, with a big yard, pool and an incredible view of the sea. I walk through it all absentmindedly, more interested in looking at brother. Was this all an elaborate joke? I didn't know Nii-san had space for humor in him.
We greeted the hosts, sorted out the groceries, put some music on, and the crowd actually manages to get red from alcohol in a heartbeat. After half an hour or so, they became soooo lost. Asians, I think as I roll my eyes Me and brother stay in a comfortable corner, out of view from everyone. By luck, I witness the highly satisfying scene of someone throwing Manaka in the pool.
'I like this party.' I say grimacing like an evil cat, while I hear her screaming about phones and water.
'Good.' Brother is settled in a comfy chair, going through a big book.
'What is that?' I sit on the arm of the chair.
'Encyclopedia. Fascinating read.' He turns a new page.
'Perfect read for a party.' I say looking around.
'No better shield against drunk humans.' He reasons.
'We wouldn't need a shield if we didn't come.' I arch an eyebrow.
'But we did, so enjoy yourself.' He keeps staring at the book.
'How? You already took the B-C encyclopedia volume. Everyone knows that's the best one.'
Brother makes a show of ignoring me. I sigh and look around. No one dares come to his corner of the living room. It's dark and gloomy, I like it. Since we're already here, how can we have some fun? Actually, he already told me. He's avoiding drunk humans; no better way to tease him than by becoming onemyself. Looking around I quickly spot my tools, a mischievous grin spreading across my face. Perfect.
I jump off the chair and sneak into the kitchen. Murasame's grandpa is mixing up some drinks at the counter. He seems like a nice old man, so I ask him if he can make me something thematic to Guam, mild in alcohol and extraordinarily sweet. He winks at me and grabs the orange juice bottle and a cocktail umbrella. He quickly mix it and the finished product is revealed. Just Perfect. I come back to brother's encyclopedia reading shortly after, sipping the orange gradient cup. He's looking at different types of bays. With B.
'Do you want sex on the beach?' I ask, biting my lip to stop myself from bursting out laughting.
'What? Mog...' He looks at me, wide-eyed. Then, he stares at my hands resolutely 'No.'
'C'mooon nii-san.' I pout, faking a hurt look. 'It would be easy for you. It's sweet. I made sure of it.' I sip a bit. Yup, super sweet.
'That's worse.' He puts a hand on his mouth, disgusted.
'It's so good. It really makes me think of beaches and stuff.' I smile sipping again and sit on the arm of the chair.
'I'm not drinking something that comes with an umbrella.' He stubbornly closes his book.
'Oh. Is Cain Heel scared? I dare you to...' I start to lean on him with an evil grin, but Manaka chooses now of all times to pass by our little corner.
'DARE? TRUTH OR DARE?! LET'S PLAY THAT!' She screams with all the force her lungs allow. I close my eyes. There goes my moment.
'I didn't...' I start. But she silences my nonchalant tone of voice with the awful sound of a chair being dragged at the floor.
'EVERONEEEEE, COME PLAY!' staggering and flailing, Red-faced people start to gather around us. Around the Heel siblings. Apparently it's true, alcohol inhibits fear.
'Here!' The Rio girl brings an empty bottle to our circle. 'The top of the bottle points to who is asking, bottom to who is being challenged.' Without thinking any other explanation necessary, she twists the thing on the floor.
It goes round and round and stops, top to me, bottom to nii-san. Perfect.
'Truth or Dare?' I grin.
'Dare.' He answers even before I finish asking.
'Drink.' I hand him my cup. Wow, I managed to drink half of it already. It's weird because I don't feel drunk.
Nii-san gives a long suffering sigh and cups my hands with his. He brings my glass to his lips and swallows it all in one gulp. Everyone around us cheers and laughs. Cain gives them the stink eye, and they stop. I beam with happiness and spin the bottle again.
Top to Murasame Bottom to nii-san. Oh, this is going to be good.
'Truth or Dare?' Murasame almost screams, defiantly.
'Truth.' Brother spits. I can sense he's still processing the sex on the beach's effects.
'How many people have you killed?' Murasame asks without thinking for a second.
'Two or three, I don't know.' Brother answers as he grabs a cup of water.
'Don't lie to my face.' Murasame explodes.
'I never counted.' Brother reasons.
Apparently, my giggle is out of place because a death-like silence takes over. Simpletons can't appreciate a joke. They don't deserve him. I twist the bottle for them. This is fun!
The Rio girl dares Kaneko girl to kiss her. I don't woohoo with the others because of my principles. You shouldn't cowardly ask for a kiss like that. You should take it.
Despite her best efforts to swing the bottle away, the new round is Manaka questioning and me answering.
'T-truth or d-d-dare...?' She squeaks.
'Dare!' I get up excited, death in my eyes.
'I d-d-dare you to leave me alone!' She hides her face in her hands.
'Oi, that's not a real dare.' Mitsui protests. I laugh at her weakness. Ah, the sweet taste of victory. This cheese brain won't annoy me anymore. I'm sure.
The game goes on for a while, but nothing else exciting happens. Brother keeps looking at his phone and people try to nudge the bottle away from us. My drink effects are gone and I'm bored again. I don't understand why we're here. Brother said it himself: he doesn't see the need for socializing with others actors. Why change his mind now? After a while, the circle of people dismantles, most of them start to dance to the cheerful music. I think it's our cue.
'Should we go home?' I ask.
'Not yet' He glances at the phone.
'Nii-san,' I lovingly cup his cute face with my hands. 'If you look at this thing one more time, I'm throwing it in the pool.' I smile viciously. I won't have him paying attention to anything else other than me.
'Sorry.' He smirks at me, unapologetic. So, he hopes to get aways with just that? Not happening. I set my mind on a new punishment.
'You've been ignoring me allllll day long, Nii-san.' I get to my feet. 'Now, you owe me a dance.'
He makes a weird grunting noise in his throat as a reply.
I ignore it and start to walk in the direction of the dance floor, my back to it, face to him. I feel confident. This would be a terrible idea if Kyoko didn't complete the dancing course at the LME acting program. She wouldn't be able to keep up with my groovy dancing style.
I stop at the middle of the room and start shifting my feet and shoulders around a bit, paying attention and feeling the rhythm of the song. It has a beat, too happy for my taste but it is seductive. Ah, I can work with this. It will do. I lock my eyes on nii-san and settle for rocking my hips and messing my hair to the rhythm.
He isn't moving.
I leave the messy hair on my face and roll my spine, inviting him with a finger and a smile. He still doesn't move. He is finally staring at me and not at the damn phone, but the rhythm is not reaching him.
I use a break in the beat as an excuse to face the other side of the room. I see how it is, very well Nii-san. Time to kick this up a notch. I purposefully walk in the rhythm to where everyone seems to be concentrated, where a certain tall someone catches my eye. Here he is. Who better than this man? My sacrificial goose, ripe for slaughter.
Muramase is busy dancing with three other girls and doesn't look at me. I stop in front of him, do a hair flip to draw back the others, and purposely lift my breasts in his direction to get his attention. As simple as that, he is mine. I smile triumphantly as I move in.
We are locked for just some seconds, and I can already tell, he is good. I just have to admit. Alchohol magic or not, he is not wiggling around. He presses closer with a swing and moves his hands up and down the sides of my torso, without really touching anything. Perfect. Now to count three, two, o...
I feel hands at my waist. The simple proximity gives me shivers all over even before he pulls me away. We stop a good 3 meters from the others. Part one, successful.
Still, he isn't moving.
'I thought you were mine.' He says in my ear.
'Absolutely.' I'm not losing this fight. I keep moving my hips, still facing away from him. 'I know you used other girls to learn how to dance. Why is this any different, nii-san?'
'You're already a great dancer.' He says in a deep voice.
'Why can't I learn more nii-san?' I pout, turning to look at him.
'Nii-san.' He keeps quiet. I assume it is, at last, a quiet acceptance. I settle for running my hands over his arms and bringing his hands back to my rocking hips. 'Come on.'
Unexpectedly he pulls me to him. Hips touching hips. Mission accomplished. I smile, my heart racing as we move together. I lean my shoulders back and incline my face up to his. In turn, he pushes himself into me and soon we are a mass of tangled limbs with joined bodies, exhaling a sinful aura. It's so hard to breathe with his face pressed to mine, and I sense the others staring. This is my cue to touch his everything: face, chest, abdomen, back and hips. I chuckle entranced and overwhelmed by the feeling of him on me. He is amazing like no one else. They clearly don't teach people how to dance correctly in this country.
'Stop this.' suddenly, Murasame is tearing us apart, roaring.' There are limits! Limits. Stop that, it's gross!.'
What did this worm just say?
'How ...' I start, full force, but brother beats me into it.
'Don't you ever, ever, touch her again.' He towers over him threateningly.
'I wouldn't have to if you would stop making out on my carpet!' He reasons, as straight as a drunk man can be. 'This is a family house.'
A ringing song fills the silence. It comes from brother's phone. He deflates and quickly looks at it, almost excited.
'Setsu, let's go.' Nii-san says.
I give him an inquisitive lookwhile he closes his phone. 'Oook?'
Why now? What was that? I can't stop thinking about it while we say goodbye to the hosts and enter a taxi. Well, I suppose I'll just never know. I can spot the sun starting to deepen behind the clouds in an inexplicably pretty sunset as orange as my last drink. End of the day. We arrive at the hotel shortly, I pay, and too soon, we are standing silently outside his room. Damn, I realize what this is. Where did the time go? I'm not ready for goodbyes. I should just downplay this. I'm low tension.
'Well, see you in London' I say, bailing. 'Don't let yourself be delayed.'
'Of course.' Brother smiles at me.
'Safe travels.' I turn around and start to look for my door. I sigh. All in all, thinking back on the day, it was enjoyable, right? We couldn't stay as close as I wished to... but it never works that way anyway. People never let us. Still, I'm happy with how everything turned out. All my teasings where spot on, I touched plenty of his skin, and I even got to dance with nii-san. I did my best today. I know it.
'Setsu' I feel his hands over my eyes, suddenly making everything dark. 'Did you forget I had a surprise for you?'
'Aaah, the pretty girl's boots, wasn't it?' I question, still blindfolded. My heart isn't in it. I don't want more clothes. Boots won't fit in my luggage. There is something akin to lead at the bottom of my heart, making it sink when it should float.
'Come in and see.' He whispers in my ear ' Don't peek.'
Still, I nod, and we end up mildly entertained by the logistics of opening a door and walking together without having his hands slip from my face. He leaves me alone for a second and sits me on the ground. I can hear some strange, faint noises in the background, I can also feel a strong wind blowing my hair, and… a sweet smell. Strange. It was not this windy outside. What the hell is going on?
'All right.' He sounds a bit stoic. Weird, nii-san usually doesn't sounds like that . 'You can look.'
I peek my eyes open, and I'm left speechless for once. We are sitting on the floor, and my hair is flying everywhere. Not just my hair, but the air is filled with dark petals and fireflies making erratic patterns, barely visible in the yellow sunset. I look down, confused. There is a circle of various fans turning erratically around us, it catches all the falling petals and bugs and makes them go spinning in the air in a new direction of the room. Oh my goodness, the room. My vision finally expands, and my heart stops for a second. The smell is overwhelming. His neat and spacious room is filled with endless flower bouquets of many sizes and shapes. All black.
'I had them dyed for you.' He says softly at my side. Some petals stuck in his hair.
'It's gorgeous.' I manage a whisper, following the path of the stunning fireflies.
'I hope you can feel like you're made of thin air now.' He says softly as he leans on my back.
'I do. I really do.' I lean back and reach for one nearby petal, trying to see if it's real.
We stay like this, supporting each other until the sky goes dark and all bugs and petals learn the prime spots where the wind doesn't hit. It's a soothing space. A calm space. Nothing can reach us there.
'Mogami-san.' Simple as that, one word and the spell is broken. Setsu is gone at once, without warning. Too soon. I'm left in the dark with Tsuruga-san, and my heart hurts. I perk up and stop leaning on him. We are not siblings anymore. This is highly inappropriate.
'Yes.' Can he hear me?
'I still have some more scenes to do.' His voice is somehow different from nii-san. More mature, more gentle, less intimate. 'I would like to ask you a favor if it's not too much?'
I clear my throat before replying. 'However I can help, I would be happy to, Tsuruga-san.' My voice is clear and even now. Everything is fine. I can deal with this. I'm steady. Well, my whole world was steady until he reached for my lips with his hands. Everything is confusing again. I freeze like a deer in the headlights.
'Can I have this?' He looks at me with pleading, but not puppy eyes.
'What?' I whisper almost inaudibly.
'Your lip ring.' He says.
'Ah!' I reach to my ear and take off the stud. That was scary, for a second I thought he would ask for my…. Regardless, he gently pulls on the ring and the whole thing comes undone.
'For luck. You are my good luck charm.' He smiles at me with sadness in his voice, and weaves the chain between his fingers'. 'Having something from my sister will keep me safe while you're gone.'
'Glad to help.' I say, half-heartedly. I can see him wavering, mouth open as if to say something more, eyes flickering with the light of the fireflies. He's battling with something in his mind and all I can do is to stay quiet. I'm doing the same thing. I'm trying not to plea, but well, what can I ask for? To finish this scene properly? To have something of him with me too? To stay here and sleep as Setsu, one last time? None of the options sounds right. I don't know what Setsuka Heel would want, I don't even know what Mogami Kyoko wants. It all just feels wrong. Incomplete. I can sense it. We lost whatever we had a minute ago. They are gone, and I have to find a way to mend the hole they left in my heart.
'It's already late' He says suddenly, standing up. I try to immediately follow by reflex, but my knees falter. How long did we stay in this position? He holds my hand to help stabilize me. He is gentle. He is cold. He is not nii-san. 'I don't want to make you lose sleep before the flight.' Tsuruga-san quickly lets me go. After all, there's no reason for him not to.
I nod in silence and turn to the door, deciding it's the best course of action. To leave the sea of dark flowers behind. To leave my gifts behind. To leave nii-san behind. It was a good end scene, I hope it was. I inhale deeply, breathing in the scent of the flowers one last time. God, I hate to let a character go.
'Good night, Tsuruga-san.' I bow intently at his door, trying to hide that part of my soul is missing.
'Good night, Mogami-san.' He smiles at me and swiftly closes the door.
I'm left alone in the corridor, at the hotel in Guam, somewhere before midnight. I'm left wondering. What's going through the mind of Tsuruga-san now? I can only hope, wistfully, that he feels as I feel; believes as I believe and endures as I do. My futile hope is that something bubbles inside him the same as me. I hope, fruitlessly, wishfully, vainly.
I hope it is loss, too.
I never got closure from those last Heel siblings chapters at Guam, and worst of all, how can everyone be so calm with just that one tiny frame of Kyoko sitting on Ren's lap? We are clearly missing something here, people. If you were earning closure like me, hope I could settle your feelings a bit.
All thanks go again to Teal and UnicornForceWinds for indulging my madness and shouting ideas that make me giggle like crazy on discord. This story wouldn't be half of it without them. Not even a third, really.
I hope you like the cover, I expanded one of my illustrations, and now I have matching fanfic covers! Yay!