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At a crossroads

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They meet unexpectedly at a well-loved joint’s lobby; he with no one but himself, about to leave the premises, while the other comes in with a very pregnant wife by his side.

They both stop. There are no words, just a brief exchange of glances between the men, and a chipper greeting for the wife; he also sends well-wishes to the little one inside her womb, leaning down a bit before speaking in a tender, loving manner.

He remembers where they are right then, and he straightens up, back tensing. He bows before the couple and then he’s moving on. Behind him, the other man suddenly says, “We’re friends, Kazu, there’s no need to be so formal.”

Kame stops in his tracks, looking back to see Jin fumbling with his hands, while Satsuki smiles encouragingly up at both men.

“I mean, we still are, right?” Jin continues, as though unsure of how to put his feelings into words. Typical.

The smooth blankness of Kame’s expression melts into a full, genuine smile. “Yeah. Yeah we are.”