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[personal profile] cosmic_book
Aya-chan was about to pull the gate down when a ghostly pale figure appeared in front of her. She jumped, startled. Then she saw it was only a beautiful young man. She lifted the gate a little, smiled, and said, "I'm sorry. We're closed." She needed to be closed. After the phone call from Ran, staying up had been… She just wanted to go to her room and cry.

"I didn't come for flowers," he assured her softly, something wistful and affectionate in his golden eyes as he looked at her. He noticed the hints of strain, concern mixing in. "I came to..." He wasn't sure what word was appropriate here. See? Meet? "I just wanted to be your friend again. You don't have to smile for me if something's wrong, Aya-chan...."

Aya-chan put the gate up all the way. She looked confused. "I'm sorry. Have we met before?"

"Yes and no. The answer to that is complicated," the young man replied apologetically. He bowed his head slightly. "And long. Would it be alright if I came inside to talk?"

Aya-chan looked afraid for a moment. She hesitated. "Could we go somewhere? There is a place not far from here that has great hot chocolate."

His smile was a little sad as he nodded immediately. "Of course. I don't want to make you uncomfortable. And..." He hesitated, but offered "I can come back later, if that's what you need. You seemed upset about something. I'd like to help, but I know you don't have a reason to confide in me."

"I'm sorry. I want to talk to you. Just give me 10 minutes to close up? I'll meet you outside."

"I'll wait," he promised, stepping back from the door.

She smiled again, just a little more genuinely. "I'll be right back." She closed the gate, but in about 10 minutes, she stepped outside.

True to his word, he was waiting patiently on the sidewalk. He smiled shyly when he saw her come out, his expression welcoming.

Aya-chan smiled back. She smelled of flowers. "Thanks for waiting."

"It's no trouble," Kakyou assured her, ducking his head. He moved to stand closer to her, thinking he probably knew the place she meant but it was better to let her lead him.

"What's your name?"

"Kuzuki Kakyou," he told her, the introduction feeling odd. "I'd like it if you just called me Kakyou."

"I'd like that," she said, smiling brightly. "Please call me Aya. Um. You said something that made me think we might have meant before."

"It's hard to explain," Kakyou said quietly. "You...this you, has never met me. This is going to sound like something from a movie. I'm from another world. Another Earth, I mean."

Aya-chan let out a surprised breath, but took Kakyou's arm. "It's alright. I like movies. Tell me more?"

"The short version of how this started is that I was lonely," he told her, reaching to touch her hand on his arm. "I have powers that...seem to work not quite the way I thought they did. I saw a place, a life, where we were friends."

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