Letting Go
by Demi en     More by this Writer
Still in the past, Mirai Trunks enjoys a day at the Hinami festival with his love Gohan, whilst remembering a dear, old friend…

A response to the mini seasonal challenge, “A Sharp 1000 Words”.

‘I wonder if he will show up…’ Tora thought, while absentmindedly watching a bunch of kids playing hide and seek among the flower-covered cherry trees.

It was the day of Hanami – the day of the cherry trees blossom and Spring’s celebration – and this picnic near Edo Castle’s ruins had been planned months ago. However, to their ill luck, a problem appeared at Gohan’s work, and since the schools were soon opening, it had to be solved as quickly as possible. Gohan had promised him though, to do his best to finish early.

Deep in his thoughts, he didn’t hear Yamucha asking him whether he was enjoying himself until the third time. His mother from the different timeline touched his arm, getting him out of his daze.

“Tora-kun, are you ok?” she asked with a worried smile. “Why don’t you just go wander around the park for awhile, till Gohan-san joins us?”

The Mirai youth nodded, smiling warmly at the insight of mothers. “Hai, mother, I guess that I should.”

He strolled down the winding path of the Chidorigafuchi Park, absorbing the delightful scenes of happy families enjoying the sakura trees blossoming. The sake was plentiful and the tablecloths heavy with tasty treats prepared by obliging wives. He let his mind briefly wander back to the dark world he had left behind and allowed himself a prideful half-smile at the thought that he had given that wrecked world a chance for similar, peaceful moments.

“Exactly what you wanted, Master,” he whispered. Blinking rapidly, he noticed the shape of a Shinto shrine drawn in the horizon. He remembered…’Yasukuni shrine – in memory of those who have died for a peaceful country’. Before he could make up his mind, his body had taken the decision for him, leading his steps past the entrance gate and the guardian beasts of the temple.

He cleaned himself at the fountain and proceeded inside the shrine. He found himself almost automatically performing the traditional rituals, and suddenly, when inside the offering hall, he paused.

Too many memories raced to drown him, as the too familiar smell of burning offerings reached his nostrils. All the times when Gohan and he retreated to a small abandoned shrine, sometimes to ask for strength before a battle, sometimes to pray for their dead, and some other times to find comfort after another loss to the androids…

He bowed, left his offerings, and then prayed, not to a god or Kami – a bit hard since he’d already met him. He just wished, wholeheartedly, that all the lost-in-war people would find peace. He tried not to but he couldn’t help bitterly wishing that his dearest and above them all, his sensei, could be there celebrating the new life beside him. ‘And gods only know how you’d deserve it…’

Out of the shrine now, still lost in his melancholic thoughts, a warm hand landing on his shoulder startled him. His surprise didn’t last long though when warm lips softly landed behind his ear, sharing a tiny bit of ki – of the most adored ki – making him shiver in delight.

“You made me worried, you know?” his koi said, in a slightly pouting voice. “I had to seek you all the way up here…” He nuzzled the silken strands that had gotten free from the loose ponytail, and turned Tora’s face towards his direction, only to stop dead at his act as he met a pair of crystal-blue dumb eyes.

“Thinking of him again, Aibou?” He spoke the words with no venom, just a distinct sadness in his eyes.

“No…well, not really.” Tora countered his gaze with his own. “Just remembering a bit and wishing he – they – were here…”

Gohan never answered. He took Tora’s hand in both of his own and held it briefly next to his heart before they started moving, hands joined, down the strewn with flowers footpath and towards the moats of the old castle. They were both content for awhile, sharing each other’s presence in a comfortable silence. Small wooden boats with couples inside them were slowly floating in front and passing them.

It was Gohan who broke the moment. “I think…” his voice was very soft, almost difficult to be heard. “I think that he would’ve liked being here right now, sharing these moments with you.”

“You think so?” Tora answered equally silently, both pair of eyes fixed on the rippling surface of the green water.

“I know it, koi.” A sigh. “The same way I know he would be very proud of you and your decisions.” He silenced Tora with his finger, before he could voice any protests. “The same way I know that he would be happy for you. And glad, that you’d finally let him go -” he didn’t speak more. It wasn’t needed.

He gently pulled Mirai’s shaking body into his arms, resting his chin on top of the lavender hair, rubbing soothingly his well-chiseled back. Raining kisses on his long mane and uttering comforting words at his ear, he let his koi cry.

They stayed in their isolated park-corner for long after Mirai’s eyes were dry. They just lay there, Tora on Gohan’s lap, taking in the beautiful scenery and talking about plain, everyday things. The darker one had picked a single blossom, and adorned with it Tora’s now loose hair, which was elegantly waving in the breeze.

Finally, they got up, and together they headed towards their families. It was late evening and most of the activities had already begun, sounds of karaoke and dancing figures changing the previously quiet scenery.

Under the bright flashing lights, Gohan halted, cupping Tora’s face with his left hand. “You are so beautiful…” he studied the regular, royal features, illuminated purple and golden by the concert nearby, with awe written in his eyes. “I love you.” he simply said.

A true smile brightened Tora’s face for first time that day. Hugging his mate, he replied. “I feel so lucky that I have you…Ai shiteru, Gohan.”

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