Title: Isostasy #1
Universe: Foreshocks, future omake
Characters: Kunzite/Kei Ishihara, Mamoru Chiba
Prompt: Imagine your characters picking apples.
Prompt source: https://love-me-a-good-prompt.tumblr.com/post/178304284471/autumn-ideas
“Kei!” shrieked Mamoru’s young voice delightedly from the back door, echoing through the kitchen. “KEI!”
“What!” called his best friend and constant companion, somewhere further inside; his footsteps sounded on the floorboards before he stuck his head around the door into the kitchen, pushing his long white hair back from his face.
“The orchard! A bunch of the apples are finally ripe! COME ON we have to pick them!” Mamoru sang out, kicking dirt off his boots before stepping just inside, letting the screen door slam behind him. He looked so *happy*, so ridiculously excited, that Kei just grinned for a second, looking at him. And then Mamoru demanded, “Well?”
“Getting the basket,” laughed Kei, vanishing again.
It’d been a little under a year since they found the house, apparently abandoned, but clean and dry and sound on the inside, no matter how overgrown the extensive grounds were on the outside, no matter how much paint peeled and porch sagged. Miraculously, it had running water and electricity, and Kei had tried to do research on the place in the ward's public records, but it was unlisted – and the astonishing lack of vandalism only underscored what seemed apparent when watching the sidewalk outside the brick-and-wrought-iron fence walling off the property: the place was unfindable. Except to them. People passed by without seeing any of it. They’d only found it because it was calling Mamoru, and he’d insisted they follow the call, and Kei never resisted that kind of request.
The grounds had gardens, untended but bearing seasonal fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts and tubers, and Kei and Mamoru had learned how to harvest and store all of them – but the big prize in Mamoru’s book, aside from the strawberries, was the enormous apple orchard behind the sprawling three-and-a-half storey house.
He’d waited so patiently that it was no wonder the smaller boy was squeaking in delight and halfway being actually imperious.
Kei laughed as he followed Mamoru’s small running figure through the winding paths they’d cleared through the gardens, headed for the treeline, and he cheerfully swung the big basket they’d found in the attic while he walked. Everything was so different now– was so different with Mamoru himself at his side, but now that they had a *place*, a place no one could take from them and that no one would find them in, Kei could actually relax to some degree. There were worries – there were *always* worries, and one of them was that this gift of a safe place would have some terrible cost – but watching his prince, his heart always fluttered and his throat always caught with wonder.
“Come onnnnn!” yelled Mamoru over his shoulder, hauling himself up into the branches of a slightly gnarled tree about three rows in, then scrambling up and up the way only monkeys and small boys can. “We can eat apples until we get sick, and we can dry some and we can make jam and cider and lots of pies and crisps and crumbles and–”
“–and if you get sick from too many apples,” Kei finished, unable to keep the fond amusement from his voice, “who’s going to be stuck feeling terrible about your stomachache?”
He stopped under the tree, then slung the basket handle over his shoulder and shoved the bowl of it behind his back, then climbed up into the tree more cautiously, settling himself just far enough he wouldn’t break any branches but Mamoru could still hand apples down – which the younger boy started doing immediately.
“Okay, so not until I get sick, but then we should only pick as many at a time as we can eat and do stuff to, since they’re Akanes– they don’t keep. I looked them up,” said the little boy self-importantly.
Again, Kei could only grin up at him. The boy was talking so much, these days.
He’d never get tired of hearing Mamoru’s voice.