Categories > Anime/Manga > Tactics

one for sorrow, two for joy

by feliciter-audax 1 Reviews

Kantarou has a story to tell.

Category: Tactics - Rating: G - Genres: Angst - Characters: Haruka, Kantarou - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006/04/16 - Updated: 2006/04/16 - 569 words - Complete

Some deadlines are impossible to meet, as he keeps telling Reiko, who nods and smiles as she continues to sit by him, passing him fresh sheets of paper and refilling the inkstand into the small hours until he has cobbled a story together from stray ideas and vestiges of memories half-forgotten, buried in the recesses of his mind until they are unexpectedly needed. When he is finally able to lay the pen down, she takes it from him almost before the ink is dry and bows, thanking him for his efforts, and politely reminds him that her editor will expect the next installment on the same day two weeks from now.

By the time she disappears into the early morning mist, the brisk clicking of her heels fading away down the deserted street, he has already forgotten what he wrote scant minutes ago, but it does not matter: few people read folklore nowadays, unless to scoff and deride it as superstitious nonsense. Though occasionally, a serendipitious word or turn of phrase remembered from somewhere will catch his eye once set down on paper, and he spends some time bringing down volume after volume from the shelf, trying to look for a place or a name, the source of the inspiration, before it flies from him.

He tries to do this as quietly as possible, because when Youko wakes she will invariably berate him in her strident well-meaning tones for eating too little and working too hard, and even her voice will begin to grate on his nerves after several days without sleep. It is on the tip of his tongue to tell her that she might be a little happier at their improved finances, now that there is one less mouth to feed and he has started to catch up on the columns owed to the newspaper, but one look at her face when his first word turns into a yawn, and he is unable to finish.

But he does get some sleep, since he realizes that his pen has smudged the paper and there is a long ink trail behind an indecipherable phrase that he must have written in his cataleptic state, and when he squints, trying to make the words out and salvage some sense of the mess, all he sees is a few characters that might be a name, or might not.

It is more difficult at night, lying on the futon in Haruka's room, surrounded by glass objects of all shapes and sizes, the reflections of himself and the surroundings etched behind his eyelids even after he has shut his eyes; he had thought that the number rhymes and snatches of song floating in his mind would lull him into unconsciousness: they always had when he was a child and there was no one else to rock him to bed, but there is always something forgotten, the last word that would complete the rhyme and round off the story. It is then that he rises, walking through the darkened house; all the things that are familiar in the day seem strange to the eye now that Haruka is not there, and he has to touch them to remind himself that he is real.

They were writing a story together: it is a work in progress that he knows will be resumed and completed one day, even if only one is left behind to tell it.
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