“It looks about the same.” Tamamori thought out loud, walking through the beaten path, his legs feeling heavy compared to twenty years ago. “Unlike us, I suppose.”
The temple’s path they had taken for the first time back then had not changed; creating the illusion of traveling back in time. That was something he should have been wary of by now, but he had started to feel that it wasn’t so bad.
It wouldn’t have been so bad, to live another life with him like this. Or a hundred more.
“I suppose.” Minakami walked tall at his right side, not showing his age. His gaze was fixed straight ahead, the back of his hand occasionally brushing against Tamamori’s.
“You are supposed to be a bookworm jeez, stop trying to show off.” Tamamori laughed quietly, his fingers slipping between the other’s, interlocking them together.
“If you want, I can carry you.” Minakami said sincerely.
“I’m not that old. And besides, we’re already here.” The old temple appeared suddenly in front of them, almost as if spirited away from another time and place, the walls still holding firm and solid after all these years. “Not bad, not bad at all. Is someone keeping it clean?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“Then I wonder if we were its last visitors." Tamamori said, his gaze shifting from the temple to Minakami, waiting for the other’s expression to change.
I killed your mom here.
Minakami’s voice from twenty year ago echoed in in his mind. This place, Tamamori realized, represented two different things for them.
“Does it hurt?”
Minakami didn't answer immediately, instead he kept looking ahead, even his breathing was almost imperceptible.
“It’s… bittersweet.” The fact he didn’t need to elaborate was really the proof of how far they had come. The days Minakami’s heart was unknown to him were long gone, and the days Minakami wouldn’t even hope for his feelings to be reciprocated were nothing but a distant memory.
After all, it had been you all along, Minakami. It couldn’t have been anyone but you.
“It’s a shame.” Tamamori took a deep breath, holding the other’s hand even tighter, almost as if he was trying to hold him in place. “It holds nothing but good memories for me.”
It’s not like I actually think he’s going somewhere else ever again, but well… old habits die hard.
“Is that so?” Minakami replied, and Tamamori could have sworn he heard a bit of childish cheekiness in his voice.
“I don’t think there was even any doubt about it. Or is your memory faulty now?” He decided to reply with the same cheekiness. The days of him being shy in their relationship were long, long gone, but he did feel like playing that old part of himself for the other, from time to time. “Or do you need a reminder?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” He smiled, his eyes looking away from the old shrine, toward the bright horizon. The setting sun illuminated everything. “Rainy days rule still applies, technically.”
“Uh-uh”. Tamaori cracked at the last word. “The sky reminds me of the one from that day. I wonder if it’s a coincidence? Or maybe it’s just your influence. “
“I love you.” Minakami said suddenly.
“Me too. Are you going somewhere?”