They meet again at a cafe just outside of Yokohama. It’s small, almost cozy. Mostly, it’s quiet. The business it gets isn’t enough to make it crowded, keeps it comfortably empty, lets them have the space to themselves aside from the stoop-backed woman that pours their tea into porcelain-and-gold-cracked cups.
He’s silent. So is Gide. Rarely do they ever have to fill their time with words; what have they to say that they already haven’t, a life ago or two or three ago? What answers could they give they haven’t already spat out or bit back?
It’s good to see you?No it isn’t.
How have you been?Wading through agony.
Did you miss me?Like one misses a cancer gnawing on bone.
Yet there’s a peace. It’s strange. They sit across from each other like they haven’t put swords through each others’ bellies and bullets through each others’ skulls, like they haven’t had their fingers wrapped around each others’ throats as the pulse beats out a dying cadence, like they haven’t always and forever been the reason they leave the world in a current of blood and salted tears.
Yet there’s a peace. Odasaku turns the parchment papers of the book he brought with him, eyes training over elegantly inked kanji, and Gide sips his Darjeeling methodically - silently. Index and middle finger slip through the handle, the other hand cradles the bottom of cup as he brings it to his lips - sighs and sips as the heat slides down his throat and the bitter-sweet coats his tongue.
Odasaku watches, from his peripheral, the way red eyes slide listlessly closed and Gide savors. He wonders when was the last time Gide had ability to drink his tea without the world burning around him, though to be fair, he thinks to himself a little bitterly, the world is always burning wherever Gide steps.
He can almost feel the embers beginning to crackle beneath his feet. Every second of peace is just one second closer to the flame.
He turns another page. Gide takes another sip. The cafe is quiet.
“[Voldemort] can punish them. Couple of kids more or less, what’s the difference?”
“Only the difference between truth and lies, courage and cowardice,” said Professor McGonagall, who had turned very pale. “A difference, in short, which you and your sister seem unable to appreciate. But let me make one thing very clear. You are not going to pass off your many ineptitudes on the students of Hogwarts. I shall not permit it.”
“He couldn’t tell if he was letting himself idolize this place or Ronan, and he wasn’t sure there was a difference. When he opened his eyes, he saw that Ronan was looking at him, as he had been looking at him for months. Adam looked back, as he had been looking back for months.”