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All These Voices (I Hear in My Mind)

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He hears him sing, once.

Lips parted, eyes closed, hands outstretched to the sky, hair ruffled by the passing breeze, Yuri presents such an unusual sight – unusual enough Sejuru feels himself stop at the sight. Yuri’s lips move, and the high note he lets out feels like something has just pierced Sejuru--far too fast, far too deep for him to realize it’s happening at all.

Sejuru looks down at his chest. But there’s no blood; no tear at his uniform, nothing that would explain the pain he feels scorching his heart.

And then the singing stops.

Sejuru looks up.

Yuri’s staring at him, his eyes a brilliant shade of blue-grey. He looks surprised, and a bit startled, and like he’s about to bolt.

“I didn’t know you sing.” The words leave his mouth before he could stop himself. He doesn’t know why, but it feels important Yuri does not leave. At least not now.

Yuri blinks.

You don’t know a lot of things, Yuri’s eyes say, even as his mouth says, “I don’t. Make it a habit, that is.”

Sejuru only looks at him blankly.

Yuri sighs. Turns his back. And then starts walking to the direction of the open greenhouse, steps slow and measured. “Hurry up now, or you’re gonna get late for class.” He throws a wave over his shoulder, not bothering to turn.

Sejuru watches him leave; watches his back swallowed by the trees surrounding the greenhouse; watches him disappear, even as his voice keeps singing inside Sejuru’s head.



“Did you know Yuri-hyung sings?” Sejuru asks.

June looks up. Tilts her head slightly. “No, though it wouldn’t surprise me.” June offers. At Sejuru’s confused frown, she adds, “he grew up in the Palace’s church. Considering his upbringing, he must have been a choir boy somewhere down the line before he became a full-fledged magistrate, don’t you think?”

“Really.” Sejuru says.

“He could dance.” Lucia says. “He could also play piano and violin. I guess it would only be expected he could also sing.”

“But you never actually see him sing.” Sejuru says.

“Does anyone?” Lucia says.




The day Sejuru decides to walk along the aisle in the east corner of the library, a mountain of books suddenly tumble down into the ground in a messy heap, completely blocking Sejuru’s path.

Sejuru stares.

The messy heap moves.

Sejuru stares some more.

Then a hand shoots up from beneath the books, followed by another hand, and then together both hands start to push the books around, until suddenly a messy blond head appears, coughing violently.

Sejuru blinks.

Once the coughing subsides, the blond head looks up, sees Sejuru, and promptly blinks. “Why, hello there, Sejuru. Fancy library we have here, eh?” Yuri makes to stand, but he seems to have forgotten the books he’s still half-buried in, and promptly trips over them - causing a rain of dust and letting out a string of expletive.

Sejuru doesn’t even know Yuri actually knows how to curse. Quite impressively too, at that.

“Are you okay?” Sejuru asks, because he cannot not ask.

“Quite,” Yuri starts, and then promptly sneezes. “What. I mean, I thought the library gets cleaned every now and then! So what’s with this mountain of dust?” he moans between bouts of coughing, his hands valiantly covering his mouth. “Oh, to think of the indignity these books have to live with!”

Every now and then is the keyword, Sejuru thinks. “Can you stand?” Sejuru’s hand is already offered before he could think about it.

Yuri’s eyes flicker. Then he smiles at Sejuru and takes his hand, but. But Sejuru just can’t miss the way Yuri’s shoulders tense when their hands finally touch. Nor could he miss the way Yuri’s eyes glance over Sejuru’s neck when he lets his hand go.

The moment Yuri makes his leave from Sejuru, Sejuru immediately goes to the nearest reflexive surface, which just happens to be the library’s high ceiling window.

There, just beneath his open collar, his hexagram necklace is gleaming innocently.



“June,” Sejuru says, “do you remember why I started wearing this necklace?”

June’s hand stills, the pen she’s holding pauses its movement. She looks up; her eyes zoom in on the necklace string pulled taut by Sejuru’s finger. “It’s Schauer, isn’t it?” June says quietly. “I knew he’s trouble.”

June.” Sejuru says.

June sighs. “Just ignore him; he’s a bit too sensitized for his own good.” She gestures vaguely at the hexagram pendant. “It’s the charm attached to the necklace; Yuri can’t stand it.”

Sejuru tilts his head. “I didn’t know somebody could ever be too… sensitized against a charm.”

June snorts. “That’s Yuri for you; he just couldn’t stand being ordinary.” But there’s a shadow to her eyes, one that’s always present when she says one thing only to mean another. Considering June’s penchant for harsh bluntness, this is quite something.

“If you say so.” Sejuru says.



It’s not that Sejuru is big on touching; it’s just that he never even thought about it until Yuri flinched at his touch. After that, he just can’t stop thinking about it.

For someone who appears so easy-going and laid-back, Yuri seems careful to keep his distance, Sejuru observes. A casual sidestep to avoid a hug; a shrug of the shoulder to dislodge a friendly pat; a charming grin to distract, and none ever suspect a thing.

A brilliant conman, and no one’s even aware of it.

(they never try to look)

The light side is lucky Yuri works for them and not against them, Sejuru thinks.



“What’s so special about this necklace?” Sejuru asks, touching the chain of said necklace with a finger.

Yuri looks at him. “I’m not…sure,” Yuri says, sounding hesitant. “But it’s unusual, I guess, for such a thing to have that amount of powers stored in them. And Sejuru—“ Yuri nearly bites his lip, “—they’re not dormant.”

“You’re afraid of this.” Sejuru says, failing to make it a question.

“I’m afraid of the things that necklace is trying to protect you from.” Yuri says.

“Aren’t you quite powerful yourself?” Sejuru asks.

Again, Yuri hesitates. “My powers are not suited for this kind of thing.”

Fool, Sejuru remembers Commander Mayanne called Yuri. And a coward.

“You mean you aren’t suited for this kind of thing.” Sezru says. “Right?”

Yuri looks at him, and Sejuru knows he’s remembering the time when he had stopped Mayanne’s full attack with just a single move—right in front of Sejuru.

“Yeah,” Yuri says. “Yeah, I guess so.”

But he doesn’t look at Sejuru.



Yuri dances with Lucia, but only on insistence from the Etiquette teacher. Reluctant volunteer he might be, a clumsy dancer he’s not. He moves like water—flowingly smooth, and calm, and just plain graceful—unlike the persona he’s often seen in.

Sejuru can’t stop staring at him.

Even Lucia, who keeps sending Sejuru glances at the beginning, is giving Yuri her full attention now. After all, it’s indeed quite jarring to see Yuri like this—so enchanting, so—

Anybody would be entranced by that, Sejuru thinks.

Sejuru looks to his side; but June’s not smiling. Her eyes are on Yuri, but there’s something lurking in the depth of her golden orbs, something that Sejuru doesn’t recognize.

When she notices Sejuru’s looking at her, she smiles; she smiles so cheerfully and readily that if Sejuru hadn’t been looking, he might believe she’d been smiling all along. But she’s not--but she’s not, and Sejuru doesn’t know why, but whatever it is, it has to do with Yuri.



“Do you hate Yuri-hyung?” Sejuru later asks.

“I pity him.” June says with a smile, and doesn’t elaborate.



Whatever it is June feels towards Yuri, it doesn’t stop her from smacking him around as usual; nor it stops Yuri from letting June touching him.

Sejuru knows; he watches.

Yuri suffers the Queen’s hand on his cheek with obvious reluctance—as obvious as the way the Queen saddens when she sees him. Yuri also lets Mayanne Senora near, sometimes, but they never touch. But he--

But he accepts June’s touch (a hand on his hair, a pull on his wrist, a smack on his head) readily enough, easily enough that his clear rejection of Sejuru stings that much more.

He’s jealous, he thinks.



“Are you sulking?” June demands.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Sejuru says.

“Holy shit. You are sulking.” June claims with wide eyes. “What brought on this unusual phenomenon?”

Sejuru looks away. “I really, really don’t know what you’re talking about.”

June looks entirely too amused. “Look Sejuru, not that this isn’t cute, but—“

Just then, Yuri passes by them on the intersecting corridor, too engrossed reading the papers in his hands to pay his surroundings any mind.

The female students sigh collectively.

It’s only when he suddenly remembers June’s never quiet that he realizes, that he, just like those girls, has stared at Yuri’s form until he disappears in the next corridor.

When he turns back to June, she’s no longer looking amused. “Well,” she says, smiling, even as the smile never reaches her eyes. “This is quite unexpected.”

The bell rings.



It’s not that he’s avoiding June, Sejuru convinces himself. It’s just that he doesn’t want any confrontation. Considering the mood he’s last seen June is, that is going to be the first thing she wants.

“Oh. Hey, Sejuru.”

Unexpectedly, his walks bring him to the central greenhouse, where one Yuri Schauer is longing about on the ground.


“Come sit.” Yuri gestures with his free hand.

Sejuru looks at the smoking cigarette on Yuri’s other hand blankly. “Are you sure it’s okay for you to smoke here, Yuri-hyung?”

“Don’t worry.” He waves a hand dismissively. “I’m sure some extra smoke from time to time won’t kill these plants.”

Shrugging, Sejuru lets himself down and sits beside Yuri, just a few feet away. The ground is unexpectedly cold against his palm, although dry and starched as it is. When he looks up, the stars are blinking away at him from the sky, so vast and beautiful, with no cloud hiding the view.

“So.” Yuri says. “You’ve been watching me.”

Sejuru blinks, once, real slow. “Yes.” He admits.


Sejuru hesitates. “Curiosity.”

(why won’t you look at me?)

Yuri looks amused, but there’s an edge to his smile that says he’s still wary. “Is it satisfied now?”

An out—Yuri’s offering him an out. Sejuru could just drop the whole thing and pretends nothing happens, because nothing really happens. It’s all only in Sejuru’s head anyway.

“The teacher always says there’s no way to satisfy our curiosity.”

Yuri laughs. “And she would be right, too.” He clears his throat. “Fine. Let me rephrase that: are you satisfied?”

Sejuru looks at him; really, really looks at him. And then moves closer to Yuri, gestures casual enough to indicate he’s only trying to get comfy.

But Yuri’s eyes still fly to Sejuru’s necklace—wary and more than a little guarded.

Sejuru looks away.

(why won’t you give me a chance?)

“Yes.” Sejuru says. “For now.”

He tries to keep his hands from making little half-moon marks all over his palms.

He fails.