"And… here… we… go! You sure you wanna' do this, Su-kun?" The pen finished its scribble of a signature with a flourish. The owner of the hand that held it in its tight, possessive clutches looked up at the young man next to him, honey-chestnut hair with a consistency of silk, falling into his crystal-clear baby blues.
The young man smiled with a relief so evident in his words, as if he'd just been relieved of a heavy, bothersome burden on his slender chest. "And I thought you were smart, Anki-san. Would I have asked, if I weren't sure? Sheesh." He leaned his weight on a long, smooth table carved out of fine quality mahogany, dark and curving patterns twisting their way across the surface that Anki was seated at, and regretted it immediately when his hand slipped and he almost landed flat on his back, onto said guilty table.
He growled. "I hate it when the janitor gets too enthusiastic."
They were in a whitewashed room-No, a hall- with magnificent gilded columns, and delicate French windows, the panes wrought with ivory and marble plastering the entire floor. Outside, were generous hills, voluminous chunks of mountains and greenery. It was the season of falling, brittle leaves, in the bright and cheerful hues of ruby red and honeyed yellow and gold.
The ceiling was high up and arched elegantly, and potted ferns, and honeysuckle and roses that had burst into bloom hung from inconspicuous hooks by the walls. They flashed their sun-kissed leaves for the world to see, their plump tendrils creeping down. So well-protected from the biting, snapping cold that autumn brought every year.
The setting sun splashed fire into the room, illuminating the shadows of the two men.
"Touché. But, you know… You've been in this… thing, for so long, after all. You were one of the best, in this industry." Anki swallowed down the painful and growing lump at his throat. Hard. "You never thought that ya'll… miss it or something?"
"Too much excitement for me. I am growing old. See?" Su, as supposedly nicknamed, flashed his ID into the smoothly-shaven face of Anki. The offending numbers screamed at his face. Anki gave a start, and his head whipped back in shock, his hair slapping his face.
"Good lord! You're freaking thirty-three!"
Su smirked. Heh.
He snapped the piece of parchment that lay in front of Anki up in his nimble fingers. He surveyed it closely as Anki glanced up at him hopefully. "It's… okay?"
Su's eyes skimmed over the words that were scribbled hurriedly onto the stiff paper, the handwriting languid and aquiline expertly. A smile made its way onto his thin lips. "Yeah. Very fine, Anki-san." He set it down and producing an expensive pen from the mysterious depths of his coat, he proceeded to sign his name on the bottom of the parchment. "Here I go, now." He slipped his hand into his coat, revealing a thick, shiny badge.
It was old, but Su had taken good care of it over the years and the badge still gleamed in the soft and gradually ebbing light.
Su thrust the badge towards Anki with his large hand. "Here. Take it."
It was so melancholy. It was as if a whisper of the chilly autumn wind had danced into the room. No, no.
Anki's lips trembled and his line of vision was blurred by warm and wet things. Tears. He tilted his head back slightly to prevent them escaping from their blue prison. He stretched his hand out, falteringly, reluctantly. No.
He withdrew his hand sharply, as if he'd just been stung.
He managed a choked, "Just put it on the table."
Su looked at him. "I'm not dead yet, Anki-san." His eyes held a sort of quiet, fond and affectionate amusement. He folded his arms and chuckled. "You can still visit me anytime."
A bawl from Anki interrupted him rudely. "But I don't wanna' see my kohai go!" Poor Anki. He wanted to do anything, anything that would stop Su from leaving. He would even latch on to Su's leg and refuse to let it go, like a koala baby.
Su smiled again, cocking his head. For a long time, there was silence.
Su broke it, saying," You know, to see you being so gloomy when I'm leaving hurts my stomach."
Anki sniffled. "That's 'cause I'll never see you being so respectful and obedient, greeting me, "'Senpai!' every morning and mission anymore. All I have left is a bunch of cold, soulless kohais who just give me a glance as they pass. It really is insufferable!"
He turned to Su and threw his arms around him, grabbing him in a generous bear hug. Su gasped for breath quietly and Anki released him, thankfully, looking at him like a wounded puppy.
"You'll forever be the aniki I never had." Su breathed out slowly. He was, in fact, even starting to feel a smarting pang of wistfulness.
Anki wailed. "Don't go… Otoutou," he added.
Su smiled and hugged Anki again. "Really. Stop dragging me back." Pulling away from the embrace, he rummaged around his pocket for something. He shoved a tiny piece of folded paper at Anki. "You might want to keep this. But of course you would," He added, after an afterthought. "Bye."
The white light that appeared next was so bright and powerful that it ceased all of Anki's senses to work at once. The dazzling blast of heat seared his face and singed his beautiful hair, including that in his nostrils and ears. He squinted at the dimming light, and spotted Su's figure fading away. More like disparated.
He was now alone, in the massive hall. The curtains rustled with the energy of the aftershock. Menacing shadows glinted and lurked ominously from the many corners of the room. The setting sun blazed mercilessly for the last time that day, and then it dipped below the ice-capped mountaintops, faraway off into the distance. The loneliness gave him a chill, arching from the top of his hair to the tips of his feet. The marble was cold under his feet.
He sighed, weary and a little heartbroken. It was so like Su to leave so suddenly like that.
Then he remembered the piece of paper Su had left him. The one still in his hand. Yes, that one. He cracked a tired smile, a little dizzy and light-headed from glee.
Slowly, he unfurled the fold of paper. He squinted at the words, all in Su's lovely and familiar curlicue-like handwriting. It said:
126 Eninowa Road
Sukadan Preparatory Academy
I'm a teacher now, by the way.