Pairing: Karen Kasumi and Aoki Seichiirou
Theme: # 19 Red
Note: Rough draft.
Disclaimer: Copyright CLAMP and Kadokawa Shoten Publishing
Red (Karen and Aoki [X])
She comes to him, dressed in a coat the color of flame. She takes her station next to him, fronting the rink where people skate past them.
They talk, lightly, of recent events – the death of an enemy, the disappearance of a comrade. (They bandy devastation and bedlam about as other people would discuss weather and traffic.)
She leans against the dull gray stone of the wall, her hands deep in her pockets. (She reminds him, suddenly, of a tongue of fire upon a rough hearth.) He props himself against the low barrier, his elbows locked, arms straight and stiff. They survey the skaters wheeling past them on the ice.
This is all worth it, she murmurs. She gestures to the laughing children, the couple kissing beneath the streetlamp, the park, the city. It’s not such a hard task to protect all this.
Do you live – do you fight – to keep this whole?
Yes. I have nothing else to protect.
She speaks without regret, without bitterness. You’re very brave and generous, Karen-san, he says earnestly.
No, she argues, I’m selfish, really.
Then we’re all selfish, he counters. All of us who fight to maintain this status quo are acting selfishly. We fight to prevent the end of the world, but really, we fight only to preserve our own narrow reality.
Still, he repeats, I think you’re very brave and generous.
She shakes her head. I only want to keep safe what I love.
And that’s enough, he asserts. That’s more than enough.
She smiles. Somewhere, a bell tolls nine o’clock.
I’m sorry, but I have to go to work, she apologizes.
It’s all right, he says. Take care.
They bow to each other. She walks away, her coat burning in the twilight. He watches her leave (thinks she is one of the noblest people he has ever met).
Then distance snuffs her out.