The First Beach
Some people’s lives did not revolve around someone else. Khun, my love, Shibisu wanted to say but didn’t, life did not begin or end on that beach.
It was early evening at the great Summer Court, but it was storming outside and already quite dark. The lanterns and chandeliers had already been lit, and there were those who shivered when standing near any of the great windows of the royal hall. It had been winter for a very long time.
He’d almost lost Saruhiko.
Yata didn’t like to think of himself as weak or clingy, but he’d lost so much. Saruhiko, Totsuka, Mikoto, HOMRA for a while, almost Anna, and his red aura and power. He wasn’t going to lose Saruhiko again.
“Stop glaring,” Saruhiko chided, annoyed, from the hospital bed.
He’d lost a lot of blood in the fight with Sukuna and Yata knew a line of stitches ran up the side of his leg. “Shut up, Monkey.” You nearly died without me ever knowing.
Saruhiko stared but settled back comfortably.
They were together again, found instead of lost.
Love is nowhere, Abigail Mortin thought to herself. If it were anywhere left, it would be right here with her husband she no longer knew how to relate to, but she couldn’t feel love when she looked up from her kneading dough at the tired middle-aged man frowning at the kitchen table over a newspaper.
David had been buried in work and statistics so long—just a few more months, he had always promised, and they’ll wrap up this project—but by the end of those eight years when David finally dragged himself out of numbers back into the real world, they had grown apart. He knew only numbers. Abigail could not share his love for them.
Paper rustled. She watched her husband stand and walk over to her, put one hand on her hand.
“Are your hands clean?” she sniffed, kneading with a little less vim.
“Teach me how to make bread,” David suddenly said softly.
Abigail glanced up in sharp surprise. “You’ve never been a baker,” she pointed out, perhaps a little harsher than was warranted.
But David pressed his hand a little more firmly onto hers. “Please.”
It surprised her, the quiet desperate pleading in that voice. She looked up at him, uncertain, more uncertain than she’d been when he took the job as City Statistician and buried himself in a deluge of work she simply couldn’t understand.
Her heart and body softened, enough, and she nodded. Baking. She pulled out the numbered measuring cups and spoons she never used—always been taught with a pinch of this, a handful of that—but that he would understand. It was a start. It was enough.