It was their last day in Dezso that it happened.
He couldn't believe his eyes.
They'd just stepped out of the store, having bought the last of their supplies, and were heading back to their rooms when he just glanced across the crowded street at the candy store. Three people stepped out the doors: an exasperated black-haired girl, a giggly one with twin sky-blue buns, and him. He froze, never imagining he'd see him again so randomly. Hakuren just sighed, juggling the packages as he followed the two girls.
He wanted to so badly.
He took two steps closer as he clenched his fists so tightly he almost broke the skin. He kept opening his mouth but not even his name came to mind. His heart was screaming at him to do something. But his head kept reminding him why not to.
"Teito," Castor's soft voice called into his confusion. All three men turned and followed his gaze, watched as Hakuren followed the girls, stopping as they browsed at a flower stand.
Labrador's gentle hand on his arm finally made him close his eyes, "He's where he has to be Teito-kun."
"Though I'd love to trade places with him," Frau put out.
Castor immediately smacked him down as Teito shouted, "Damn perv!"
He must have been daydreaming, he thought he'd heard Teito's voice. Absently scanning the crowds so the girls wouldn't notice, Hakuren jumped as he saw Bishop Castor… grinding Bishop Frau's face into the ground with his foot. Bishop Labrador knelt down beside him as Castor stepped back, both of them jumping as Teito stomped on Frau's stomach.
It hurt to see them - him like that. He wondered if Teito had uncovered some more of his past. He had to be in even more danger if Bishops Labrador and Castor were with them now. He wanted to know what Teito remembered. He needed to know why all three were there.
He just wanted to drop the boxes and run.
Ouka had told them all about her adventure with Teito; they'd all been warned that he was a traitor to the Empire and must be turned in immediately. He'd done a lot of research, a lot of snooping around and found out all about the warsphiles, the Black Hawks, and what they were doing with the Eye of Mikael. He still wasn't sure if the Empire knew about their friendship, but he knew about the Eye.
He was NOT going to send Teito right back into the Empire's clutches.
All he could do was smile half-heartedly as he watched Teito storm off, the bishops right behind him.
Teito stood at the window and fidgeted. Castor had gone to check on the hawkziles, and Frau had just disappeared like always. Being left in the room with the most empathic of bishops had made him nervous… remembering that afternoon.
"Teito-kun," Labrador started as he stepped up behind the young man. "Is something wrong? Did you forget something?"
"Yeah…. Yeah I did," Teito nodded, turning around to find Labrador smiling. "Can I ask you a favor, Labrador-san?"
He nodded softly as Teito joined him at the door.
The light knock on his door made him close his book. "Hakuren, there's someone at the door for you," one of the girls said through the wood.
His hands shook as he put the book down. His heart was racing in hope and fear that it was Teito. He wanted to see him so badly, but he knew the bishops wouldn't let him do something so reckless and risky. Stopping briefly at his door to school his nerves and hide his feelings, Hakuren calmly walked out to find all the girls waiting at the main door with what looked like a delivery man. Glaring at them briefly before turned to the man, he jumped as he said, "You Hakuren Oak?"
Standing taller, he answered overconfidently. "Yes, my name is Hakuren Oak."
The delivery man offered the small box in his hand, smirking as he added, "Oh, and Mikage said he's fine."
All color, emotion, everything drained from his face as he heard those words. The man once again held out the box, chuckling softly as Hakuren caught a look at the top. He quickly snatched it out of his hands, blindly handing the man whatever yuus were in his pocket before spinning on his heel and almost running to his room. Locking and barring the door before the girls charged in, Hakuren sank down on the bed with his package.
It was a simple white cube, almost too big to hold with one hand. It rattled as he moved it, but he couldn't stop staring at the top. There was his name…
… in Teito's hand.
He wasn't sure how long he stared, but the room was bathed in shades of orange and red when he bit his lip and finally opened it. Hakuren chuckled at finding it was half full with the same candy sticks the church had. But he gasped at the paper sitting on top of them; there was his name again, in Bishop Labrador's hand. Shaking hands lifted it up, unfolding it.
I wanted you to know that I saw you today, but we were so busy I couldn't say hi.
It's getting pretty hectic here. Don't worry, we took Capella home to his mother. He's a good kid and a fast learner, but he's too small for this kind of work. Lab and a friend of his showed up to help though. It's not so hard to do now, but it means the workload is different too.
So how is your new job? I hope all those girls aren't too hard on you. I can't believe you're tutoring the Princess of all people. I wish we could have talked today, but Bastien's such an ass sometimes. Damn pervert, always flirting with the girls.
I'm not sure when we'll be able to really talk again, since you job's taken you so far away, but I'm glad I even got to see you. I'll try to write again, but don't get your hopes up. I miss you.
It was all in Bishop Labrador's handwriting. Except the closing was Teito's.
His fingers, and his hopes, lingered on those words. He knew he was reading too much into it, it was probably part of the cover it was written under. Heaving a sigh as he squashed his own dream, he almost jumped as he recognized part of what he'd thought was the stationary design.
It was a thin and loopy string - a small one across the top, three different segments along the bottom - but the last one looked familiar. 'Raggs'… it was the written script of Teito's homeland.
All he could do was stare… the meaning of this simple piece of paper just multiplied a million fold. This was definitely his most precious possession.
A light tapping at the window made him jolt up. Spinning towards the glass, Hakuren gasped at the tiny vine waving in the middle of the pane. He rushed to the window, freezing as the vine slithered back towards them.
Down on the back street, Bishop Labrador was sitting on the hawkzile, smiling motherly at them. Teito stood a few steps closer, just staring at his window. Hakuren smiled down on him, his right hand rising to the glass. Raising his left hand, Teito smiled back, nodding softly. He had to bite his cheek as Teito's fingers curled down. Closing his eyes before taking a deep breath, Hakuren opened them again, mouthing 'go'. Teito's gaze fell as he nodded back, turning around and getting on behind Labrador. Glancing back up quick, a blush stained his cheeks as he blew a kiss.
Hakuren gasped, hand clenching on the glass as if he really caught it before blowing one back. He chuckled as Teito jumped in surprise, hiding his face in Labrador's back. Right then Frau and Castor shot up and through the alley. Labrador twisted towards them both, smiling apologetically as Teito nodded and they followed.
Turning his back to the window, Hakuren sighed as he turned back to his bed, the letter lying there. Maybe they weren't such foolish hopes after all.