He wanted it. He longed for it, ached for it. The feel of the wind in his feathers, the triumph of seeing the ground so very far below him. The freedom of it, the ecstasy to which nothing else in his life could even begin to compare. Burn it all down and fly away, completely free.
Blinking, Jui turned back to see Hitsugi frowning at him. A deep breath and he forced aside the thoughts he couldn't pursue. Useless fantasies, they didn't belong to this life. It wasn't safe, he couldn't let himself get caught up in such daydreams so casually. Nothing could come of them anyway.
“Sorry, did you ask something?”
“I think we got everything, but you should probably check,” his friend said, a quiet sadness under each word. Nodding, Jui walked through the apartment again, but his friend had been right, everything of his had been removed. Sitting at the kitchen table, he wrote out his last good bye, then slipped the ring off his finger to hold the note in place. As if it was really going to get up and walk away. But then that wasn't really the point.
“You know, if you need a place to stay....”
“Thanks, Tsugi-kun, but I've got it figured out. And thanks again for helping with this.”
“What are friends for, right?” his friend said with a lopsided smile and a shrug. “If there's anything else you need....”
“Take care of Ghost for me? I'll let you know when I'm settled in a new place and I'll try not to take too long at it.”
“Careful, you let me take care of him for too long, you might not get him back,” the guitarist teased. Jui laughed, but in the back of his mind, he wondered if that might not be better for all of them. Another thing to discuss with someone wiser than him. A parting hug and he got behind the wheel, turning his car towards the mountains to the west. Time to see an old friend. Again.