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Copper and Candlelight

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Yui lay with her arms folded behind her head on the rumpled cotton of their quilt, staring up at the high, clear blue of the sky. “I wonder if he was just going crazy.”

Tetsuya pushed himself up on his elbows and slid his shades down to look at her with wide eyes. “What?”

“Seiryuu.” She wriggled her stockinged toes in the cool air. “He really shouldn’t have been able to do what he did, you know. I think that’s why all of us were so… deranged.” She flicked her fingers over the smooth, green paper cover of the book she’d brought to read today. “At least that’s what all the stories about gods say. When someone tries to do something at the wrong place or time it just twists.”

She looked over to see what Tetsuya thought of this theory. He was silent for a long moment, eyes dark and steady on her. Finally he reached up to move their picnic basket out of the way and slid an arm under her shoulders. She smiled and cuddled into the solid warmth of his chest. Tetsu was always warm; it was nice.

“It sure looked like everyone on his side was pretty messed up, yeah,” he murmured. “Tell me about what you’ve been reading?”

“Well, a lot of the stories themselves are in really old language, but I’ve tracked down some very good annotations.” A fact which pleased her. At a time when most of her tests, even in a middle range high school, didn’t make sense to her anymore, it was good to feel that familiar, sure grasp on words and thoughts.

“Who’d have ever thought you’d go into folklore,” Tetsuya chuckled. “So? What do they say?”

“Well, from the very start, with Izanami inviting at the wrong time…”



Tetsuya listened and nodded and twined a long, soft strand of her hair around his fingers. He worried about Yui. Keisuke’s little sister had lived her story and found an ending for it, and now she was walking on into her life. Yui hadn’t been so lucky. He wondered, sometimes, whether this story would ever end, for her.

So he held her close in the spring sunshine and listened to her retelling her story’s beginning and stroked his thumb absently over the smooth, blue stone in her ear.

End