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Say A Prayer for the Butterfly

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Time heals all wounds.

Logically speaking, this statement made perfect sense. Given time, all physical wounds, external and internal, will heal. They may not be the same as they were before, but they heal, nonetheless. Rei wasn’t sure why that particular anecdote chose to lodge itself in his mind at that moment. Well…he was fairly sure, but didn’t want to admit it. His grip on the one of the train’s poles tightened as the car jolted. One more stop, he thought. The blue-haired man fidgeted with his glasses and unconsciously straightened his tie. He had always viewed nervousness as unbeautiful and unbecoming of people. Things happened the way they were supposed to and nothing could be changed about it. It was one of the many beliefs he held dear B.N. (or Before Nagisa, as Gou affectionately referred to it.) Nagisa was nothing less than a whirlwind, an unstoppable force of nature that sucked you up and never let go. Even after three years of being separated, Rei still wasn’t free from the blond. Not truly.

The train car jolted again and a woman’s voice announced his stop. He briskly left the car with a few others. Once on the street, he stopped to check the address of his destination on his phone (with time to spare, punctual as always.) His thoughts could not help but to linger on Nagisa once more. Had he gotten taller? Maybe cut his hair to a reasonable length? Or had nothing changed at all? He was so caught up in his internal questions that he nearly passed the restaurant. Rei glanced up at the sign, then at his phone. More than five minutes before our scheduled meeting time. He smiled to himself, straightened his glasses and tie one last time, and pushed open the door.

His violet eyes scanned the restaurant for a familiar face. Just as the maître d’ approached him, he spotted two of his former senpais. He waived the man off, gesturing to his friends waiting at a table already. Makoto-senpai, er, Makoto had somehow managed to gain more muscle since graduating college. Quite the sight for any parents of the elementary schoolers he taught, Rei was sure. Haru looked as disinterested as ever, but anyone who knew him could tell that he was hanging on to every word that was coming out of his companion’s mouth. Rei finally reached the table, bowing shallowly to the two men. Makoto smiled at him and rose to envelop Rei in a spine-crushing hug.

“There’s no need for formalities, Rei. We’ve missed you.” The blue haired man knew Makoto also spoke on Haru’s behalf when he said this and took a seat on the other side of the table.

“Of course, Makoto-sen--,” He stopped himself before he could complete the usual suffix. Haru let out a light snort into his glass of water.

“Rin said he’s on his way and Nagisa, as usual, will be fashionably late.” Makoto informed Rei. He nodded. “So, how have things been? We’ve been told things are looking up at Kimoshiro Corp. thanks to their newest head scientist.”

Rei chuckled softly. “I was quite surprised when they gave me the appointment. Most of my research is nothing but theory and most companies would like more solid evidence when it comes to scientific subjects. However, one of my superiors apparently saw the potential in one of the reports I submitted to the board and wanted to give me all of the necessary materials to bring it to fruition. And, well, here I am.”

“That’s wonderful, Rei. What are you working on in particular? Unless, that’s classified or something.” The brunet joked.

Rei laughed, “Actually, it’s--,”

“Sorry, I’m late.” A familiar voice cut him off. The three seated looked up at Rin, all giving him their own greetings. Even Haru hummed. He took a seat next to Rei, tapping the table once. “But, at least I’m not as late as Nagisa.”

“What was that about me, Rinrin?” The blond peeked his head around the startled redhead. “If you’d been here just a second later, you could have been fashionably late, too.” Nagisa sat in the chair left of Haru, right across from Rei. “How is everyone?”

“Well, I’m just peachy.” Rin began, “Do you guys understand how many perverts I’ve arrested in the past two weeks for indecent exposure? It’s fuckin’ ridiculous. Is there some kind of convention…”

Rei tuned out of what the man next to him was saying, choosing to, instead, stare at the blond across from him. It wasn’t staring, per se, just observing. Nagisa had indeed cut his hair but his current undercut was no more professional than his unruly curls had been. The small bit of his, dare Rei call it innocence, kept by the curls falling over his forehead was wiped out by the multiple piercings lining his ear and was that a stud in his nose? Oh goodness… Regardless, Rei still found him as beautiful as ever. The blond was laughing and smiling at Rin’s story, giving Rei confirmation that despite the piercings and hair, Nagisa hadn’t changed all that much. So, he was startled when Nagisa’s gaze quickly landed on him, a scarily serious look on his face, and he mouthed “Stop staring” at the younger man. Rei blinked and tried to focus on Rin’s story that didn’t seem to have an end. Maybe Nagisa had changed more than he anticipated.